Posts Tagged ‘prizewinners’
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||5½||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|
|U-2151||S. P. Dilleigh||2138||Horfield||4||17|
|P. R. Kemp||2078||Linton||4||17|
|U-2071||I. J. Myall||2054||Chelmsford||3½||17|
|G. Bolt||2013||Railways London||3½||17|
|U-1981||A. W. Brusey||1951||Teignmouth||4½||25|
|A. F. Footner||1869||Dorchester||4½||25|
|0/2||T. R. Spanton||1976||Hastings||20|
|Rowena Bruce Challengers (U-180)||Grd.|
|1st||M. P. Waddington||172||Dorchester||6½||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|
|U-149||A. M. Hibbitt||147||Banbury||4||25|
|U-136||J. Robertson||123||E. Kilbride||4||50|
|0/2||A. M. Hibbitt||147||Banbury||4||10|
|Walker Minor (U-130)|
|1st||R. J. Kearsley||125||Wimbledon||6||300|
|2nd=||K. R. Alexander||126||Seaton||5½||150|
|R. P. Hamilton||124||Metropolitan||5½||150|
|U-122||M. R. Harris||120||Colchester||5||50|
|U-113||A. R. Fraser||108||Beckenham||3½||17|
|S. Thacker||105||West Notts||3½||17|
|0/2||R. G. Waters||112||Taunton||3½||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||3½||60|
|R. J. Gamble||161||Derby||3½||60|
|D. A. Patrick||159||Courier||3½||60|
|A. M. Hibbitt||147||On a barge somewhere||3½||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||2½||50|
|5-Rd. A.M.||Thynne U-130|
|1st||R. J. Nash||125||Barnstaple||4||300|
|2nd=||J. B. Farrell||128||Metropolitan||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||2½||25|
|J. E. Dean||119||Plymouth||2½||25|
|Ms. J. Gardiner||114||Hemel Hempstead||2½||25|
|U-111||A. R. Fraser||105||Beckenham Bromley||2½||50|
|0/2||J. G. Davis||128||Guildford||2½||20|
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.
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.
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:-
|Premier||1st||K. C. Arkell||2451||Paignton||6|
|2nd=||R. A. Bates||2376||Hackney||5½|
|D. J. Ledger||2262||Bedford||“|
|D. Mackle||2227||Newton A.||“|
|GP U-2110||1st=||A. Crombleholme||2099||Bushbury||4½|
|D. Cutmore||2057||Wood Green||“|
|GP U-2040||1st=||A. Pickersgill||2019||Eastbourne||3½|
|J. C. Wells||184||N. Norfolk||“|
|Slow starter||1st||R. J. Webster||2088||Ashfield||3|
|Challengers||1st=||C. Costello||166||Weisse Dame||5½|
|A. F. Footner||174||Yeovil||“|
|3rd=||R. Thompson||176||Newton A.||5|
|GP U-162||1st||T. F. Thynne||158||Newton A.||5|
|GP U-155||1st||A. Price||154||Leamington||4½|
|Slow starter||1st=||A. Hibbitt||156||Bristol||3½|
|P. G. Jackson||163||Coulsdon||“|
|GP U-137||1st||R. Taylor||136||Ashfield||4½|
|GP U-136||1st||M. Ingram||126||Peterborough||4|
|Slow starter||1st||N. F. Tidy||119||Torquay||4|
|A. Davison||117||King’s Head||“|
|GP U-114||Fay Ainscow||109||King’s head||4|
|Slow starter||D. McGeeney||107||Bristol||4|
|5 Rd. Morning||1st=||A. F. Footner||174||Yeovil||4|
|R. Thompson||176||Newton A.||“|
|GP U-155||M. A. Roberts||152||Holmes Chapel||3½|
|GP U-136||L. Bullock||113||Hackney||3|
|Slow starters||1st=||R. Piggott||137||Wantage||1½|
|R. H. Jones||130||Exmouth||“|
|RapidPlay PM||1st=||M. Henley||4½|
Access the games here ▼
Saturday, 8th August 2009
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.
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)
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.