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Paignton Congress 2014 – Final Day (Rd. 7)

At the start of the final round, there was a tie between the five top-rated players in the Premier Section, – Gormally, Arkell, Ledger, Mackle & Bates – all on 4.5/6. Any one of the 5 could win it outright, while other possibilities included double ties, triple ties or, if they all drew, a 5-way tie. The possibilities ran into double digits, and the only certainty was that would be no quick draws in this round.

 The pairings were Arkell vs Mackle; Bates vs Gormally and McKenna vs Ledger. Arkell played an open game and managed at several points in the game to create small threats, forcing Mackle to exchange pieces, and it wasn’t long before an endgame was reached, an aspect of the game in which Arkell is an acknowledged master. With R+2 minor pieces each left on the board, Black at least had some activity, but he chose to exchange off the rooks, after which White had most of  the attacking options and Mackle resigned. Arkell could relax as the leader in the clubhouse and watch the other three slug it out. He relaxed even more when Bates and Gormally agreed a draw. This left Ledger fighting for a win in order to share 1st prize. And strive he did as the game went on for hour after hour, finishing long after the room was empty of players. After 6 hours play, McKenna avoided a loss on time at the 2nd time control by seconds, and it went down to R vs R+P. The pawn was on the a-file, protected by K + R and far away from the White king, but McKenna managed to find just enough resources to prevent the queening, so a draw was agreed. Thus Arkell, the Paignton veteran, won his 20th 1st place in the 22 consecutive years he’s entered – doubly pleasing for him.

The second-to-last game to finish was Bd. 1 in the Challengers, where Mike Waddington, who had 6/6 points and had already won the section with a round to spare, was trying very hard to make it a clean sweep. But he was faced by the ever-steady Martin Page who had no intentions of falling in with his plans, and after many hours play, a draw was agreed. Although he failed in his bid for a 100% score, he finished with the highest score by any player in any section.

The full prize list was as follows.

  Ron Bruce Premier Rating   Pts/7 £
1st K. C. Arkell 2435 Cheddleton 600
2nd= D. W. Gormally 2500 Cheddleton 5 150
  R. A. Bates 2338 Hackney 5 150
  S. H. Berry 2322 Wimbledon 5 150
  D. J. Ledger 2235 Bedford 5 150
GPs          
U-2151 S. P. Dilleigh 2138 Horfield 4 17
  A. Brown 2095 Northampton 4 17
  P. R. Kemp 2078 Linton 4 17
U-2071 I. J. Myall 2054 Chelmsford 17
  G. Bolt 2013 Railways London 17
  A. Pickersgill 1990 Hastings 17
U-1981 A. W. Brusey 1951 Teignmouth 25
  A. F. Footner 1869 Dorchester 25
0/2 T. R. Spanton 1976 Hastings   20
           
  Rowena Bruce Challengers (U-180) Grd.      
1st M. P. Waddington 172 Dorchester 300
2nd = G. Body 169 Exeter 5 75
  M. C. Page 163 Insurance 5 75
  D. A. Patrick 159 Courier 5 75
  P. S. Morton 153 Hammersmith 5 75
GPs          
U-161 R. Clegg 160 Huddersfield 4 25
  A. Price 155 Leamington 4 25
U-149 A. M. Hibbitt 147 Banbury 4 25
  J. Morgan 147 Exeter 4 25
U-136 J. Robertson 123 E. Kilbride 4 50
0/2 A. M. Hibbitt 147 Banbury 4 10
  J. Morgan 147 Exeter 4 10
           
  Walker Minor (U-130)        
1st R. J. Kearsley 125 Wimbledon 6 300
2nd= K. R. Alexander 126 Seaton 150
  R. P. Hamilton 124 Metropolitan 150
GPs          
U-122 M. R. Harris 120 Colchester 5 50
U-113 A. R. Fraser 108 Beckenham 17
  M. Bolan 107 Ashtead 17
  S. Thacker 105 West Notts 17
U-104 R. Burroughs 86 Malvern 50
0/2 R. G. Waters 112 Taunton 20

NB: Grading prize winners do not quaify for a prize in a higher section, even though they might have a higher score.

  5-Rd. AM Grd Boniface   U-180 Pts/5 £
1st= B. G. Gosling 153 E. Budleigh/Exmouth 4 150
  R. A. Dean 158 Undercliffe 4 150
3rd= R. R. Sanders 178 Sudbury 60
  R. J. Gamble 161 Derby 60
  D. A. Patrick 159 Courier 60
  B. O’Gorman 157 DHSS 60
  A. M. Hibbitt 147 On a barge somewhere 60
U-161 D. Siddall 157 Austin Friars 3 50
U-154 N. G. Andrews 157 York 3 50
U-143 Ms G. A. Moore 142 Southampton 50
0/2 M. Adams 130 Sidmouth 20
           
  5-Rd. A.M.   Thynne   U-130    
1st R. J. Nash 125 Barnstaple 4 300
2nd= J. B. Farrell 128 Metropolitan 4 50
  A. Collins 126 Cowley 4 50
  M. J. Gunn 126 Guildford 4 50
  M. R. Harris 120 Colchester 4 50
  C. A. Fraser 113 West Bridgford 4 50
  Ms. J. Goldsmith 104 Harrow 4 50
U-126 P. P. Sartain 123 Guildford 25
  J. E. Dean 119 Plymouth 25
U-119 P. Harrington 118 Blackburn 25
  Ms. J. Gardiner 114 Hemel Hempstead 25
U-111 A. R. Fraser 105 Beckenham Bromley 50
0/2 J. G. Davis 128 Guildford 20

 

The state of play after Rd. 6 in the Premier

The draw for the final round in the Premier.

Top board: Bates vs Gormally - destined for a draw.

Mackle starts White's clock - game on!

Final round draw for the Challengers.

 

Mike Waddington, who has already won the Challengers Section, wants to make it a perfect score but is faced by the redoubtable Martin Page.

 

So pleasant is the weather, post-game analysis can be held in the hotel gardens

100th British – Prizegiving.

With all play finishing by the Friday evening, the prizegiving ceremony took place promptly at 09.30 the next morning.

The Chairman of the Torbay Coucil, Cllr. Julien Parrott, and the Lib. Dem. MP for Torbay, Adrian Saunders, were in the platform party and both had encouraging words for the assembled audience, and after a few words from the ECF President, Roger Edwards, they handed out the many trophies beautifully arrayed on the front table.

As is traditional, the final words came from the newly-crowned British Champion, David Howell, who had secured the prize with a round to spare. The 22 year-old’s relaxed and modest demeanour throughout the fortnight and making this closing speech, a nerve-wracking prospect for most, was all the more remarkable for the full circumstances. His father, who had taught him the game since the age of 5 and worked hard to get him to many events both at home and abroad, died three months ago. and David, who is reading philosophy and English at Cardiff University, was allowed to defer his 2nd Year exams until the middle of August. This meant that while others were preparing like mad for their next opponent, David was having to prepare like mad for his exams, finishing assignments and revising. However, he did not let this side-track him, as he was determined to win for his father’s sake. The remarkable victory was dedicated to him.

David with proud Mum & sister.

Granny & Uncle wanted to be included - and why not - this one's for the family!

Sarah Hegarty was declared Ladies' Champion, seen here with all their glittering prizes.

If the main trophies seen here look especially sparkling, that’s because they are. Over recent years they have looked increasingly fragile and time-worn, but they have had a fundamental make-over; polishing, fixing bits from dropping off etc., with the result that’s all too plain to see.

Sara Hegarty, 1999 Girls' U-10 Champion, finally gets to the top of the tree.

Akshaya Kalaiyala tied with Sarah for the British Ladies Championship but missed the trophy on tie-break. However, her time will surely come.

Multiple prizewinner Akshaya Kalaiyala; U-12 Champion / U-18 Girls' Champion & English Womens' Champion (jt)

Mark Hebden; Grand Prix winners and 2nd= in the Championship.

4th= were (l-r) Lalic (checking the cheque is for the right amount - £250); Arkell, Wells, Zhou & Gormally.

Yang-fan Zhou - British U-21 Champion.

1st in the Major Open, Matthew Dignam recieves his prize/s.

Matthew Dignam with the Dundee Trophy and a bound copy of the 2012 BCM.

Stewart Reuben with the Boxall Salver for services to the Congress.

Joint winners of the Seniors' Championship; Paul Timson, Graham Chesters, David Friedgood & Roger Emerson.

Seniors' Ladies Champions (jt.) Dinah Norman & Gillian Moore, with a small piece of history - an actual trophy (the Gibraltar Cup).

Paignton Congress Day 7

The Paignton Congress has enjoyed some of the best weather of the summer which has put all players in a good mood. The favourite, Grandmaster Keith Arkell, won the Premier Section for the 18th time in his career, after the predictable short, safe draw in the final round. But there were many other prizewinners all the way down the order.

Premier: 1st K. Arkell 6/7 pts. 2nd= R. Bates (Hackney); D. Ledger (Bedford) & D. Mackle (N. Abbot) all 5 pts.

Challengers: 1st= C. Costello & A. Footner (Yeovil). 3rd= R. Thompson (N. Abbot) & Y. Tello (Wimbledon). Grading prizes: U-162: T. F. Thynne (5). U-155: A. Price (Leamington) 4½.

Best slow starters: A. Hibbitt (Grendel) & Jackson (Coulsdon) both 3½.

The key game in Arkell’s campaign was this Rd. 6 win, which allowed him to coast home with a short draw in the final round to become clear 1st and take home a cheque for £600. Notice how, as in Rd. 1 published last week, he makes full use of his bishop pair to force fatal weaknesses in Black’s position.

White: K. C. Arkell (234). Black: Zaki Harari. (193)

Queen’s Gambit Accepted. [D20]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Qxd4 White is happy to exchange queens early on, keeping things simple and knowing his endgame technique will probably win the day. 5…Qxd4 6.Nxd4 Nf6 7.Nc3 a6 8.Bxc4 Bb4 9.f3 0–0 10.Bf4 b5 11.Be2 c5 12.Nc2 Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 Be6 14.Kf2 Nbd7 15.Rhc1 Nb6 16.Ne3 c4 17.Nc2 Na4 18.Nd4 Rac8 19.Bd1 Nc5 20.Bc2 Rfd8 21.Rd1 h6 22.Be3 Bd7 23.Rd2 Kf8 24.Rad1 Ke8 25.g4 Ng8 26.Nf5 Bxf5 27.gxf5 Rxd2+ 28.Rxd2 Nf6 29.e5 Nfd7 30.f4 Ke7 31.Kf3 Rc6 32.Rd1 making as if to move it to g1. 32…Rc7 33.Rd6 But no, the rook moves forward instead. 33…a5 34.a3 Rb7 35.Rc6 Nb3 36.Be4 Rb8 37.Bd5 a4 38.Rc7 Kd8 39.Ra7 f6 40.e6 1–0 The advanced pawn must win it.

Here is the full list of winners:-

Section   Winners Grd Club Pts/7
           
Premier 1st K. C. Arkell 2451 Paignton 6
  2nd= R. A. Bates 2376 Hackney
    D. J. Ledger 2262 Bedford
    D. Mackle 2227 Newton A.
    S. Berry 2325 Wimbledon
GP U-2110 1st= A. Crombleholme 2099 Bushbury
    D. Cutmore 2057 Wood Green
GP U-2040 1st= A. Pickersgill 2019 Eastbourne
    T. Spanton 1977 Hastings
    J. C. Wells 184 N. Norfolk
Slow starter 1st R. J. Webster 2088 Ashfield 3
           
Challengers 1st= C. Costello 166 Weisse Dame
    A. F. Footner 174 Yeovil
  3rd= R. Thompson 176 Newton A. 5
    Y. Tello 163 Wimbledon
GP U-162 1st T. F. Thynne 158 Newton A. 5
GP U-155 1st A. Price 154 Leamington
Slow starter 1st= A. Hibbitt  156 Bristol
    P. G. Jackson 163 Coulsdon
Intermediate          
  1st M. Wilson 149 Wigston 6
  2nd P. Wood 139 Hastings
  3rd T. Greenaway 141 Torquay 5
GP U-137 1st R. Taylor 136 Ashfield
GP U-136 1st M. Ingram 126 Peterborough 4
Slow starter 1st N. F. Tidy 119 Torquay 4
           
Minor 1st= L. Bullock 113 Hackney
    A. Davison 117 King’s Head
    R. Hamilton 123 Metropolitan
GP U-114   Fay Ainscow 109 King’s head 4
    A. Doust 104 Marple 5
Slow starter   D. McGeeney 107 Bristol 4
           
American 1st= J. Hawkesley 171 Hull
    R. Westra 169 Hull
  3rd N. Dennis 167 Maidenhead
           
5 Rd. Morning 1st= A. F. Footner 174 Yeovil 4
    A. Hibbitt 156 Bristol
    R. Saunders    
    R. Gamble 172 Derby
    R. Thompson 176 Newton A.
GP U-155   M. A. Roberts 152 Holmes Chapel
GP U-136   L. Bullock 113 Hackney 3
Slow starters 1st= R. Piggott 137 Wantage
    R. H. Jones 130 Exmouth
    P. Smith 141 Hastings
    G. Rosser 127 Torquay
           
RapidPlay PM 1st= M. Henley    
    A. Archer-Lock 178 Maidenhead
  3rd= A. Brown 186 Norhtampton
    S. Burke 184 Ashfield
    C. Archer-Lock 177 Maidenhead
           

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British Championships 2009 Prizegiving

Saturday, 8th August 2009

Prizegiving

Review:
So things went as predicted – more or less. On Bd. 1, Gary Lane showed his hand by offering a draw after move 6. Howell declined, perhaps hoping to go out with a further win, but when the position soon became a bit turgid and would have required a lot of time and effort to resolve, he clearly came to the conclusion that the easiest option was probably the best after all. Furthermore, he was due to play in the 1st round of the Staunton Memorial in London the next afternoon, so it made good sense to conserve his energy.
After shaking hands with Lane, he rose from his chair with a broad smile, and there were handshakes and congratulations all round. He had won the title with 9 points, the highest total this century (8.5 points is par) and in that company it was a considerable achievement by any standard. In case he had stumbled at the final hurdle, Simon Williams and Mark Hebden would have been waiting for him, as they overcame Stephen Gordon and Gawain Jones, respectively, so finished joint 2nd on 8.5, frustratng for them as, in most years this would have given them the title or at least a play-off.
In the last game of the round to finish. Andrew Greet just failed to get a very respectable score as he pushed Conquest to the limit. Rudd finished in sparkling form as he equalled his highest score ever, after having been on bottom board-but-2 in Rd. 4.
Palliser’s 8 pts was also an excellent result for him. Last year it would have got him into the play-off.
 
Prizegiving:
Last year at Liverpool, in order to prepare for the prizegiving and the rush of trying to take meaningful photographs of the winners with their trophies, I hit on the idea of having a small table set up with a board and pieces next to the steps where the winners come down from the stage, so one can deal with the situation almost in a conveyor belt fashion. This was done the night before to minimise the risk of last minute panics. And to further reduce the risk I put a large printed notice in the middle of the board to the effect “Photographer’s table – do not move”. When I arrived the next morning, everything had been cleared away – no table, no set, no notice – nothing.
Nothing daunted, I prepared in the same way this year, but having learned from Liverpool, I worded the printed notice more pointedly, to the effect “Photographer’s Table – do not move before the prizegiving” in very large, computer-printed letters, and weighted down by a pawn on each corner. It was there at 9 p.m. as I left.
Next morning at 8.30 I couldn’t believe my eyes – no set and board, no table, no notice – nothing. That moment was my low point of the fortnight. Fortunately, the staff were very helpful and another table was found, and there was a spare set and board in the office, it was rectified fairly quickly.
The prizegiving went very smoothly and quickly. Scores of pictures were taken and the camera battery managed to cope – just about. Fortunately, it was decided to do the British players first to enable Howell to get off to London a.s.a.p. so if the battery did run down, it would have not been so serious. And they’ve come out reasonable well. Here is a selection.

David Howell – New British Champion.

 

Three Wise Men – the joint seniors champions.

And now… a group of Lady Champions:

Meg Owens, of Wales, with the Roy Clunes Trophy.

British Ladies Champion – Jovanka Houska, (as was)

Sheila Dines

Kevin Stavely of the Rhondda, with the Richard Boxall Plate for his contribution above and beyond the call of duty, in running the Sunday Quiz and the Murder Mystery play.

Balloon Match:  Weatherwise, the morning had started the best of the fortnight, so immediately after the prizegiving was over I gathered together Jack Rudd and Andrew Greet, and said we should get down there. I’d give the balloon folk one hour to get off the ground, then I was off.
From that moment on, everything fell into place, as if the weather Gods had had their fun and decided to relent as we’d given them enough amusement to last into the autumn.
We trundled the heavy equipment down to their little office. The balloon was up, having its obligatory test-run, and we could be on the first public ascent of the day.
Down it came, everything was piled in, Andrew and Jack and me with borrowed, hand-held video camera, and in moments we were rising up to 400 feet. With just 7 minutes on the clock, Jack and Andrew rattled out the moves and after what looked like a close contest, Greet won. There was just time for 2nd game mostly played on the way down. A draw was agreed, and so Greet won the match.
This was, of course, a match between deadly rivals, Devon and Cornwall; Greet from St. Austell and Rudd resident in Bideford, have each been their county Champions. So Cornwall won the first aerial chess match bewteen the two counties, just as they did the first terra-firma-based match in 1901.
Two questions remain: (a) Is this History’s first-ever inter-county match in a helium ballon at 400 feet?
(b) Did it actually take place at all, or am I making it up to cover for the fact that the weather was so lousy?
In answer to the latter, the video will be out shortly; post production is, even now, in the hands of IJ Productions, who are adding suitable music and titling.
In answer to the former, I’m going to claim it as a world 1st, but am happy to listen to credible counter-claims.