March 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘Seaton Chess Club’

Historic First – Exmouth Lose to Seaton (27.10.2014.)

Exmouth started the day as County champions at all forms of the over-the-board game – Standard play, RapidPlay and Blitz. But chess has a way of bringing any individual or group getting delusions of grandeur down to earth with a bump. So it was with Exmouth when they finished the day by losing to Seaton for the first time in many encounters in Devon’s RapidPlay League – the Newman Cup.

Last year, Seaton improved their chances by bringing in Steve Martin, and this year added Dr. Jonathan Underwood, which tipped the balance altogether. Seaton won both rounds 2.5 – 1.5  and finished 5-3 winners. Chris Scott maintained his continuing improvement by winning his individual encounter against Martin, while Jones managed to stem early aggression from Adams and may have had very slight advantages in both games but with time running out offered draws, which  Adams was minded to accept. But Underwood was clearly fired up after winning 6 Blitz games eight days earlier and the combination of his endgame technique and speed of move proved too much for the Exmouth captain. Blake had a won position in Rd. 1 but ran very low on time and Dowse kindly offered a draw when he could have won on time.

Exmouth have started with a loss several times before in this competition, but managed to make up lost ground. In this case, this seems less likely than hitherto, and Seaton must be considered serious contenders for the title.

  RapidPlay League             27.10.2014  
  Seaton Grd Rd 1 Rd 2   Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Grd
1 Jon Underwood 179 1 1   0 0 Mark Abbott 167
2 Steve Martin 172 ½ 0   ½ 1 Chris Scott 157
3 Martyn Adams 133 ½ ½   ½ ½ Bob Jones 147
4 Alan Dowse 111 ½ 1   ½ 0 Simon Blake   91
    595             562
        5   3      


Seaton players facing camera: Underwood, Martin (shaking hands), Adams (purple shirt) and Dowse.


Martin (l) vs Scott (nearest) & Underwood vs Abbott.

Exmouth Edge It – Again. 1st Newman Cup Win (05.12.2013.)

The Newman Cup is Devon’s RapidPlay Tournament, held by Exmouth numerous times in recent years. Their defence started with a reverse at the hands of Tiverton last month, making their away match to Seaton a crucial one.

It is a commonplace that away matches to Seaton are held in the depths of winter, when the trip there has to be made during the rush hour, with a great wind blowing and rain thrashing down. Last night was no exception. Progress was slow and the venue was reached with only minutes to spare before the scheduled start of 7 p.m. However, on arrival, the venue was locked and the key-holder unobtainable as a group of chess-players and others huddled in the doorway. Eventually, she arrived and play started just a few minutes late.

Rd. 1 started well with Simon Blake winning quickly and Oliver Wensley getting a draw, but Chris Scott was overwhelmed by the very steady Steve Dean, and Meyrick Shaw’s position, playing a Closed Sicilian, ran short of time and came unstuck against Steve Martin. So Rd. 1 was lost 2.5 – 1.5.

Fortunately, in this competition there’s always a second bite of the cherry, which is where Exmouth often hit back after an early loss. So in this case, when Blake won again. Scott played quickly, leaving Dean to get behind on the clock and he cracked under the pressure. Shaw invited the Alekhine’s Defence, but Martin opted not to play 2.e5 but preferred 2.d3 and soon found himself on the back foot with his King’s position in a mess and pieces undeveloped. Shaw managed to maintain th einitiative and eventually got a 2nd queen, forcing resignation. the 3-0 lead ensured a won match, and it mattered not that Wensley ran out of time in a winning position.

  Newman Cup             05.12.2013.  
  Seaton Grd Rd 1 Rd 2   Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Grd
1 Steve Martin 162 1 0   0 1 Meyrick Shaw 164
2 Steve Dean 148 1 0   0 1 Chris Scott 154
3 Alan Dowse 113 ½ 1   ½ 0 Oliver Wensley 146
4 Nicolas Bacon 108 0 0   1 1 Simon Blake 100
    531 1   3   564

Exmouth Win Devon’s Newman Cup (RapidPlay)

The Newman Cup is DCCA’s RapidPlay trophy. As in recent years, the only entries were Exmouth, Tiverton and Seaton, playing each other at home and away. Last Wednesday evening was Exmouth’s last match, entertaining Seaton at their Age Concern Day Centre in New Street. Having beaten and drawn  against Tiverton, and beaten Seaton away, and knowing that Seaton had beaten Tiverton in their first encounter, the title was Exmouth’s to lose. Not that anything was to be taken for granted as Seaton were able to field a much stronger team for this 2nd match.

In fact, after losing the toss and having Black on Bds. 1 & 3 Seaton won the first round. With colours reversed the crucial moment came after Stephens and Wensley won on Bds 1 & 2. Jones was locked into a rook and pawn ending against the dangerous M. Adams (Martyn, not Mickey). With two minutes left each, the play was getting wild, and although Jones had what was probably a winning position – with best play -  anything could go wrong, and knowing that a draw would ensure at least a drawn match, and with it, the title, offered a draw which was quickly accepted. Another factor in his offer, was that Blake was winning on Bd. 4. but in the last few seconds the win evaporated, and the match was, in fact, drawn.

Exmouth thus finished this tournament with a win and draw against both opponents.

  Newman Cup                
  Exmouth Grd Rd. 1 Rd. 2   Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Seaton Grd
1 J. K. F. Stephens 184 1 1   0 0 S. K. Dean 152
2 O. E. Wensley 136 0 1   1 0 K. Alexander 129
3 R. H. Jones 148 ½ ½   ½ ½ M. Adams 127
4 S. Blake   96 0 0   1 1 A. Dowse 110
    564     518
        4     4    

Exmouth – the Comeback Kings in the Newman Cup.

The Exmouth team travelled to Seaton knowing they had already secured the Newman Cup for the RapidPlay League with this match to spare; the only question was whether this would lull them into a sense of  anti-climax leading to a meaningless  loss – or inspire them to a final flourish, winning like true champions.

With the first round almost over, it certainly looked like the former case, as Exmouth trailed 3-0 and Belt left with a double-edged game to complete. He managed to force the win, leaving Seaton, during the break, contemplating gaining their first-ever win in a DCCA tournament.

However, in Rd. 2, Stone blundered again in the opening; instead of 2 pawns as in game 1, it was a whole piece, and Jones was determined not to blunder the game back a second time and ran out a winner. Shaw also made amends, winning a piece in the endgame, leaving him with R+N vs R plus pawns each. Against Wensley, Steve Dean ran short of time and blundered his last piece, leaving him a rook down. Belt and Dowse were again involved in a double-edged game in which Belt sacrificed a piece in order to break open the enemy king’s position, eventually getting a pawn to the 7th rank, which won the game. A 4-0 win in Rd. 2 gave them the match 3-5. Seaton were understandably disappointed to lose the match after such a promising start, but it was only Belt’s double win that was the difference and both of those games were very finely-balanced. Exmouth had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but it was a close-run thing.

Bd Seaton Grd Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Exmouth Grd
1 Steve Dean 157 1 – 0 0 – 1 Oliver Wensley 164
2 Martyn Adams 153 1 – 0 0 – 1 Meyrick Shaw 150e
3 Seb Stone 147 1 – 0 0 – 1 Robert Jones 147
4 Alan Dowse 135 0 – 1 0 – 1 Malcolm Belt 120
    592 3 – 1 0 – 4   581
      3 5    


The Town Hall home of the Seaton Club.


Wensley vs Dean on Bd. 1 as Martyn Adams looks on.


Malcolm Belt, the only double-winner, vs Alan Dowse.

Exmouth Scrape Home Past Seaton at RapidPlay.

A minor piece of local chess history was made on Wednesday when a Seaton team came to Exmouth to play in a DCCA tournament, the Team Rapidplay (Newman Cup); neither Seaton nor Sidmouth had ever played  in any DCCA competition before this season.

The maximum total grade for this match was 599, grades taken on the September 2011 grades (RapidPlay grade where appropriate), an average of just under 150 per board. Seaton’s team were all fairly close to this average, whereas Exmouth used Fred Hodge, relatively low-graded but vastly experienced and a safe pair of hands, on Bd. 4 to balance up the top 2 boards.

This policy proved successful as Fred held his own in both rounds against Alan Dowse who is c. 30 grading points higher, while Stephens and Wensley proved more than a handful at the top end. Only Jones failed to score, twice succumbing to Stone’s attacking skills.

Exmouth now have this win and a draw against Tiverton, with return matches yet to be played.

Bd Exmouth Grd Rd1 Rd2 Rd1 Rd2 Seaton Grd
1 J. K. F Stephens 176 1      1 0     0 S. K. Dean 150
2 O. E. Wensley 164 1     ½ 0     ½ M. W. Adams 136
3 R. H. Jones 147 0      0 1     1 S. Stone 147
4 F. R. Hodge 107 ½    ½ ½    ½ A. Dowse 135
  Totals 594 2½   2 1½   2   568
  Grand total      


Stephens (l) v Dean & Wensley v Adams.

Post-match analysis on Hodge's draw that clinched the match. l-r Wensley; Hodge; Stephens; Adams; Stone & Dean.