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Somerset Lose To Essex In Close Match (27.06.2015.)

Of the Westcountry teams that qualified for the various sections of the National Stages of the Inter-County Championship, only one remains. In the Minor Counties section, Somerset lost narrowly to Essex by 8½-7½ in the semi-final, while in the Under-140 section Hampshire lost 9-7 to Nottinghamshire. On the other hand Devon drew with Lancashire 8-all in the semi-final of the Under-180 section, but won on the tie-break rule, in which  the numbers of the boards on which each team won, are added together and the team with the lower total goes through. Thus wins by the better players are given greater weighting. The Finals will be played next Saturday at Trident College, Warwick, where Devon are due to play Middlesex who beat Warwickshire 11½-4½ in the other semi.

Although losing to a stronger Essex team, Somerset’s match was only decided by the last game to finish. Here are the individual results, with Essex names 1st in each pairing: 1. J. Rogers (216) ½-½ J. Rudd (221). 2. A. P. Lewis (207) 0-1 T. Goldie (208). 3. D. Sands (205) ½-½       B. Edgell (197). 4. J. H. Hodgson (187) ½-½  A. Footner (182). 5. T. Hebbes (193) 1-0 B. Morris (178). 6. D. Spearman (188) 0-1 D. Littlejohns (177). 7. I. Reynolds (186) 0-1 S. Whatley (172). 8. J. Goldberg (185)       0-1 G. N. Jepps (171). 9. I. Myall (185) 1- 0 D. Peters (171). 10.K. White (181) ½-½ P. Cusick (167). 11. S. Rix (178) 1-0  C. Purry (159) 12. J. White (177) ½-½ A. Gregory (157) 13.        N. Twitchell (161) 1 R. D. Knight (157). 14. M. Murrell (158)    1-0 C. Strong, (155). 15. D. Smith (148) 0-1 M. French (154). 16. E. Cocks (144) 1-0 M. Baker (148). (Essex average grade 181 :: Somerset average grade 173).

This was the game won by Max French, a pupil at Millfield School.

White: D. Smith (148). Black: M. French (154).

Caro-Kann Defence – Exchange Variation.

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.c3 e6 6.Bf4 Bd6 7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.Nf3 0–0 9.0–0 Nc6 10.Re1 a6 11.Nbd2 b5 12.Ne5 Bd7 13.Ndf3 b4 14.Qe2 bxc3 15.bxc3 a5 16.Rab1 Rab8 17.Ng5 h6 18.Rxb8 Qxb8 Black now has to tread carefully, but it’s White who loses his way. 19.Nxd7 Nxd7 20.Nxe6? An idea that loses a piece. Alternatively  20.Nxf7 Rxf7 21.Qxe6 Qf4 22.Rf1 Qf6 23.Qxd5 at least leaves White with 3 pawns for his piece deficit. 20…Re8 If now 20…fxe6 21.Qxe6+ Rf7 22.Bg6 Qf4 23.Bxf7+ Qxf7 24.Qxc6 21.Qg4 fxe6 22.Rxe6 Nf8 23.Rxe8 Of course, not 23.Rxc6?? Re1+. 23…Qxe8 24.Qf5 Qe1+ 25.Bf1 Ne7 26.Qf3 Nd7 27.Qe2 Qxe2 28.Bxe2 Nb6 29.f3 Nf5 30.Kf2 Na4 31.g4 Nd6 32.Bd1 Nxc3 33.Bb3 a4 and White must lose his a-pawn and his bishop can’t cover the queening square of a1. 0–1

The solution to last week’s 2-mover was 1.d6! and if 1…KxN 2. Qh8# ; or 1…RxN 2.Qd5#.

This week you are in the shoes of World Champion Alexander Alekhine in the 1920s, looking for a sharp finish against Black. Can you help him?

White to play

Somerset Retain Top Trophy (14.03.2015.)

The Devon vs Somerset match at the weekend was always likely to be a championship decider, and so it proved. The 1st teams were closely matched on paper for the most part, except for the top 4 boards, all of which went Somerset’s way, making their winning total 10-6, thus retaining the Harold Meek trophy for another year. The details were:- (Somerset names first in each pairing).

1.J. Rudd (221) 1-0   D. Mackle (209). 2.D. Buckley (205) 1-0 J. Stephens (196). 3.A. Wong (199) 1-0 S. Homer (184). 4.B. Edgell (197) 1-0 J. F. Wheeler (184). 5.M. Payne (189) 0-1 P. Sivrev (175). 6.P. Krzyzanowski (187) 1-0 J. Fraser (178). 7.M. Blocinski(185) 0-1 J. Underwood (180). 8.P. Chaplin (182) 1-0 D. Regis (181). 9.A. Footner (182) 0-1 A. Brusey (181). 10.B. Morris (178) ½-½ B. Hewson (176). 11.D. Littlejohns (177) ½-½ M. Abbott (173). 12. D. Painter-Kooiman (175) 1-0 S. Martin (171). 13.J. Byrne (172) ½-½ M. Shaw (173). 14.D. Peters (171) 0-1 W. Ingham (168). 15.G. Jepps (171) ½-½ T. Thynne (168). 16. F. Felício (162) 1-0 M. Stinton-Brownbridge (168).

Devon fared better in the 2nd team match, played over 12 boards. They led by 6½-3½ but Somerset won the last 2 games to finish losing by a single point.

1. D. Freeman (163) ½-½ K. Atkins (160). 2. C. Purry (159) 1-0 N. Butland (158). 3. M. Staniforth (158) 0-1 D. A. Toms (159). 4. A. Gregory (157) 1-0 C. J. Scott (154). 5. C. Strong (155) 0-1 M. Hui (150e). 6. M. French (154) ½-½ B. Gosling (148). 7. M. Worrall (151) 1-0 P. Brooks (152). 8. C. McKinley (149) 0-1 O. Wensley (151). 9. M. Baker (148) 0-1 A. Frangleton (151). 10. C. Fewtrell (148) ½-½ A. Kinder (147). 11. J. Fewkes (145) 1-0 W. Taylor (142). 12. A. Champion (143) 0-1 V. Ramesh (138).

The West of England Championship starts a fortnight on Friday, 3rd April, at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. With its relatively limited accommodation already nearing maximum, there’s little time left for late entries, so don’t delay. Enquiries to Meyrick Shaw on 01395-275494 or e-mail

This last round miniature gave White 1st prize in the recent Bristol Congress.

White: P. Krzyzanowski. Black: M. Lewis

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 Nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.e3 0–0 10.Be2 c6 11.0–0 Bf5 12.Bd3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nd7 14.b4 a6 15.a4 Qe7 16.b5 axb5 17.axb5 f5 18.bxc6 bxc6 19.Ra6 Rxa6 20.Qxa6 Rf6 21.Qc8+ Bf8 22.Rb1 Black now abandons his defences with fatal consequences. 22…Qa3?? 23.Qxd7 Qxc3 24.Ng5 and mate on h7 is unavoidable. 1–0

In last week’s position Rudd played 1.Rxd4! threatening both f2 and e5. 1…Nd2 (If 1…exd4 2.Bxd4 R2f7 3.Nb6+ Kb8 4.Be5 winning). 2.Rxd2 Rxd2 3.Rc4 Qxc4 4.Bxc4 Rxg2 5.Nb6+ and mate will follow after Qxe5+.

Here is another world premier 2-mover from reader Dave Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2

Wins for Devon and Somerset (31.01.2015.)

Devon beat  Hampshire 12½-3½ at Ilchester Town Hall, a margin that belies the toughness of the encounter. However, it was Devon’s strength in depth that made the difference, demonstrated by the fact that Devon’s lower half scored 7-1. The details were: (Devon names first in each pairing).

1.D. Mackle (203) 1-0 I. Thompson (213). 2.J. Stephens (194) 1-0 D. Tunks (197). 3.S. Homer (188) 1-0 C. Bellers (185). 4.P. Sivrev (187) 1-0 P. Cooper (177). 5.T, Paulden (185) ½-½ R. Marsh (176). 6.J. Fraser (182) 0-1 A. Cooper (174). 7.J. Wheeler (181) 0-1 D. Fowler (173). 8.J. Underwood (179) 1-0 S. Knox (170). 9.D. Regis (176) 1-0 T. Davis (167). 10.A. Brusey (176) 0-1 S. Smith (160). 11.B. Hewson 1-0 C. Priest (158). 12.W. Ingham (176) 1-0 D. Thompson (156). 13.M. Abbott (173) 1-0 R. Ashmore (147). 14.M. Shaw (170) 1-0 T. Chapman (144). 15.G. Body (169) 1-0 Miss G. Moore (142). 16. M. Stinton-Brownbridge (164) 1-0 D. Culliford (133).

At the same time, Somerset were facing Gloucestershire, and emerged winners by 10-6. Glos names first.

1.J.Stewart (207) ½-½ J. Rudd (224). 2.P. Meade (182) 0-1 D. Buckley (207). 3.N. Hosken (181) ½-½ B. Edgell (198). 4.C. McLaren (181) ½-½ P. Chaplin (189). 5.M. Ashworth (179) 0-1 M. Payne (186). 6.J. Jenkins (176) 0-1 P. Krzyzanowski (182). 7.P. Kirby (173) 1-0 R. Hearne (181). 8.P. Masters (166) ½-½ D. Littlejohns (178). 9.P. Dodwell (163). ½-½ D. Painter-Kooiman (178). 10.B. Whitelaw (159) 0-1 B. Morris (175). 11.R. Ashworth (151) ½-½ P. Cusick (169). 12.C. Haynes (146) ½-½ D. Peters (164). 13.A. Walker (134) 0-1 G. N Jepps (163). 14.P. Baker (132) ½-½ R. Knight (152). 15.T. Chinnick (128) 1-0 C. Purry (152). 16.P. Bending (122) 0-1 M. Blocinski (U/G).

Here is Devon’s win on Bd. 2.

White: P. Meade. Black: J. Stephens.

Sicilian Defence – Moscow Var. [B51]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Qd1 Ngf6 8.Nc3 h6 9.0–0 Nc5 10.Bd3 Be7 11.Re1 Be6 12.Qe2 Rc8 13.Be3 Qc7 14.Bxc5 Qxc5 15.h3 0–0 16.Na4 Qc6 17.b3 b5 18.Nb2 Qc3 19.Rab1 Nh5 At the cost of a pawn White prevents the knight coming to f5. 20.g3 Bxh3 21.Nd1 Qc5 22.Ne3 Nf6 23.c4 b4 24.Rbd1 a5 25.Bc2 Rfd8 26.Rd2 Qc6 27.Qd3 g6 28.Nd5 Nxd5 29.Qxd5 a4 30.bxa4 Qxc4 31.Bb3 Qxd5 32.Rxd5 Rc3 33.Nd2 White is looking for an outpost for his knight on c4, though it does cramp his forward rook, at least temporarily. 33…Bd7 The warning lights should be flashing. 34.a5?? …. but they’re not. 34…Bc6 0–1 White’s rook is trapped.

The solution to Dave Howard’s “really easy” problem last week was 1.Qa2! If 1…Rh7 2.Be7 mate or 1…Ka7 2.Bc5 mate.

This position arose near the end of a recent game in the Devon Individual Championship – Paulden vs Ingham. How did White win quickly?

White to play and win.

Somerset beat Hants (29.11.2014.)

The Somerset captain reports on their match against Hampshire at Mere on Saturday. The final score of 12 – 4 to Somerset looks like a crushing defeat for Hants, but it was far from that, apparently, as many games were keenly contested until late on. However, the fact that Somerset out-graded their opponents by, on average, 11 points on every board, made it likely that the stronger team on paper would pull through.

The details were as follows: 

1 Jack Rudd 224 1 0 Tunks, Dominic R 197
2 Peter E Chaplin 189 ½ ½ McDougall, William M 189
3 Andrew F Footner 187 ½ ½ Bellers, Chris J 185
4 Matthew J Payne 186 1 0 Marsh, Roger DW 176
5 Mike Richardt 184 1 0 Fowler, David W 173
6 Patryk Krzyzanowski 182 ½ ½ Knox, Stuart W 170
7 David P Littlejohns 178 1 0 Davis, Timothy 167
8 David Painter-Kooiman 178 0 1 McLeod, Fraser N 166
9 Barry Morris 175 1 0 Jones, Gareth Aneurin 158
10 James Byrne 165 1 0 Priest, Christopher PA 158
11 David Peters 164 0 1 Thompson, David F 156
12 Gerry N Jepps 163 1 0 Ashmore, Roy E 147
13 Andrew M Gregory 158 ½ ½ Chapman, Timothy J 144
14 Darren Freeman 158 1 0 Chilton, James I 143
15 Chris S Purry 152 1 0 Moore, Gillian A 142
16 Maciej Blocinski U/G 1 0 LeFevre, Stephen D 142
  totals 2785 12 4   2613

Somerset vs Hants Details (29.03.2014.)

As reported last week, Somerset won the WECU Championship by beating Hampshire 8½-6½ in a close match at Mere. The details were as follows (Hants names first in each pairing). 1. I. Thompson (217) 1-0 D. Buckley (212). 2. J. Tambini (198) 0-1 J. Rudd (211). 3. D. Tunks (188) ½-½ P. Krzyzanowski (199). C. Bellers (186) 1-0 B. Edgell (198). 5. P. Cooper (182) 1-0 M. Payne (193). 6. D. Fowler (181) 0-1 P. Chaplin (189). 7. S. Knox (167) 0-1 A. Footner (183). 8. D. F. Thompson (160) ½-½ D. Littlejohns (182). 9. T. Davis (159) ½-½ B. Morris (174). 10. C. Priest (158) ½-½ G. Jepps (158). 11. G. Jones (158) ½-½ C. Purry (165). 12. Miss G. Moore (147) 0-1 J. Byrne (161). 13. R. Davenport (140) 0-1 D. Peters (158). 14. J. Chilton (139) ½-½ W. Taylor (157). 15. R. Ashmore (137) ½-½ J. Fewkes (152).  Somerset also won an U-160 match by 3½-2½ the details of which are:- 1. T. Chapman (135) ½-½ A. Champion (154). 2. D. Culliford (131) ½-½ D.  Freeman (148). 3. M. Pope (119) ½-½ U. Effiong (142). 4. S. Murphy (113) 0-1 P. Wojcik (141). 5. J. Barnett (111) 1-0 T. West (137). 6. T. Cutter (109) 0-1 S. Pickard (111).

The next big event is the Bristol Spring Congress on the weekend of 11th – 13th April. Details from G. Mill-Wilson on 0779 0167415 or e-mail This is followed by the WECU Championship and congress in Exmouth. Details from Meyrick Shaw on 01395-275494 or e-mail:

In this game from last year’s event, a former WECU Champion loses out in a lively game.

White: Paul Helbig (180). Black: John Stephens (191).

Closed Sicilian Defence [B26]

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 Rb8 7.Qd2 b5 8.Nge2 Nd4 9.0–0 e6 10.Nc1 b4 White usually tries to get in a quick kingside attack, with Black countering later on the queenside, but here it is the other way round. 11.Nd1 Qa5 12.c3 bxc3 13.bxc3 Nc6 14.f4 Now White’s attack gets under way.Nge7 15.Ne2 Ba6 16.f5 exf5 17.exf5 gxf5 18.Bh6 Be5 19.Ne3 Nd4 20.Rab1 Kd7 21.Nf4 Bxf4 22.Bxf4 Qxc3! Black cleverly wins another pawn.  23.Qxc3 Ne2+ 24.Kh1 Nxc3 25.Rxb8 Rxb8 26.Nc4 Bxc4 27.dxc4 Rb2 28.Bg5 Rxa2 29.Bf3 Rb2 30.g4 a5 31.gxf5 Nc6 32.Bf6 Ne5 33.Bxe5 dxe5 34.f6 Rb1 35.Rxb1 Nxb1 36.Bg4+ Kd6 37.Bf5 Nc3 38.Bxh7 a4 0–1.

Last week’s 3-mover was solved by 1.Bb1 threatening 2.Qxa2 mate, so Black must play 1…Nb4 and then 2.Kb7 leaving Black the option of either taking the bishop or moving the defending knight.

In this position, White last played h5 to which Black played the natural-looking counter Re4. What did White now play to earn a double !! and the full point?

White to play a "Magic Move".

Cornwall’s Inspirational Leadership (07.12.2013.)

Somerset have been in all-conquering form of recent years but on Saturday they were unable to overcome Cornwall, having to be satisfied with an 8-8 draw. The Cornish lost on the top 4 boards by 3-1 and the same on the bottom 4 boards, but remarkably  scored 6 of the 8 points available on boards 5 – 12, to level things up. The details were: (Somerset names first).

1. J. Rudd 1-0 M. Hassall.

2. P. Chaplin ½-½ J. Menadue.

3. D. Littlejohns 1-0 M. Csuri.

4. M. Richardt ½-½ S. Bartlett.

5. B. Morris 0-1 D. Saqui.

6. C. Purry ½-½ L. Retallick.

7. A. F. Footner 0-1 G. Healey.

8. D. Painter-Ko 0-1 T. Slade.

9. J. E. Fewkes 1-0 C. Sellwood.

10. G. N. Jepps 0-1 G. Trudeau.

11.A. Champion ½-½ J. Nicholas.

12.M. Baker 0-1 J. Wilman.

13.D. Freeman 1-0 R. Smith.

14.N. N. Senior ½-½ D. J. Jenkins.

15.R. Knight 1-0 M. Richards.

16.C. Strong ½-½ D. R. Jenkins.

Cornwall’s previous match, against Hampshire, resembled a comedy of errors. A combination of illness and misunderstandings led to them arriving without any chess clocks, and their opponents turned up so late they would have been defaulted had there been any clocks. Eventually, some clocks were acquired locally and after lengthy negotiations between the two captains a match was played over 12 boards, which Cornwall won 7-5. However, it took several weeks of protracted discussion between interested parties before the result was finally agreed.

The details were as follows (Cornwall names first):-

1. M. Hassall v D. Tunks (did not play).

2. J. Menadue 1-0 T. Davis.

3. R. Kneebone 0-1 D. Fowler.

4. S. Bartlett ½-½ G. Jones.

5. D. Saqui 1-0 C. Priest.

6. L. Retallick ½-½ A. Manning.

7. T. Slade ½-½ Miss G. Moore.

8. G. Healey 1-0 B. Kocan.

9. C. Sellwood ½-½ S. Le Fevre.

10.G. Trudeau 0-1 J. Young.

11. J. Nicholas 1-0 R. Ashmore.

12. R. Smith 1-0 J. Barnett.

13. D. Lucas 0-1 S. Murphy.

Cornwall’s website has been recently upgraded (, and on it one can read, amongst other things, a fuller report on the match by their new match captain, Professor David Jenkins, together with his amusing and erudite Cornish chess adaptation of Henry V’s call to arms at the Battle of Agincourt, as imagined by Shakespeare. As Cornwall are doing so well lately, it must be working. Devon had better beware when they meet at Saltash in January.

In last week’s ending, White wins by force: i.e. 1.Rf8+ KxR. 2.Qf7 mate.

Here is a new 2-mover by David Howard of East Harptree.

White to mate in 2 moves

Somerset Beat Devon – Again (19.10.13.)

In spite of several key absentees, Somerset managed to inflict a heavy defeat over rivals Devon last Saturday, by 10½ – 5½.

Devon names first: 1. D. Mackle 0-1 P. Krzyzanowski. 2. A. Boyne 0-1 P. Chaplain. 3. J. Stephens 0-1 D. LIttlejohns. 4. S. Homer 0-1 M. Payne. 5. T. Paulden 0-1 A. Wong. 6. P. Medina 1-0 C. Purry. 7. K. Hurst 0-1 A. Footner. 8. D. Regis 1-0 J. Fewkes. 9. A. Brusey 0-1 G. Crockart. 10. J. Underwood 0-1 P. Cusick. 11. B. Hewson 0-1 G. Jepps. 12. J. Fraser 1-0 D. Peters. 13. T. Thynne 1-0 A. Champion. 14. P. Brooks 0-1 M. Baker. 15. G. Body 1-0 D. Freeman. 16. S. Martin ½-½ N. Senior.

Devon fared better in the 2nd team match, winning 8-4. 1. J. Gorodi 1-0 C. McKinley. 2. M. Stinton-Brownbridge 1-0 R. Knight. 3. A. Kinder 0-1 C. Strong. 4. I. Annetts ½-½ T. West. 5. B. Gosling ½-½ U. Effiong. 6. J. Duckham 1-0 G. Daniel. 7. S. Murray ½-½ R. Challoner. 8. K. Atkins 0-1 C. Fewtrell. 9. R. Wilby 1-0 J. Wilkinson. 10. N. Mills ½-½ S. Pickard. 11. P. Dobber 1-0 N. Mills. 12. W. Taylor 1-0 R. Fenton.     

This win by a Bath University student was an impressive start to his Westcountry chess career.

White: S. J. Homer (188). Black: M. J.   Payne (184).

French Defence – Guimard Var. [C04]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.Bd3 f6 7.Ng5 “Beware Greeks bearing gifts” – Black would be in terrible trouble if he took the knight e.g. 7…fxg5 8.Qh5+ g6 9.Bxg6+ Ke7 10.Qxg5+ forcing 10…Nf6 11.Qxf6+ Kd7 12.Qxh8 etc. 7…Ndxe5 Black can afford to ease the pressure by taking on e5, and also releasing d7 for his king, if required. 8.dxe5 fxg5 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Bxg6+ Kd7 11.Bd3 Nxe5 12.Nf3 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 h6 14.0–0 Bd6 15.Bd2 Qf8 White is much better developed at this point, but now helps Black’s cause. 16.Qg4 Kd8 17.f4 e5 18.f5 Qf6 19.h4 e4 20.hxg5 Qd4+ 21.Rf2 Bc5 22.Raf1 exd3 23.Qh5 dxc2 24.Bc1 Bxf5 Black’s bishops proceed to work well from the centre of the board.  25.g6 Qg4 26.g7 Rg8 27.Qf7 Be6 28.Qf6+ Kd7 29.Bxh6 Bd4 White must now exchange his queen and lose a rook.  0–1

Probably the shortest ever game in the history of the championship was this one. White: D. Freeman (151). Black: G. Body (160). 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Nxe5?? Qa5+ winning the knight 0-1.

In last week’s position, White can win immediately with 1.Kc3 when 2.Qb2 mate cannot be avoided.

This week’s position is a hitherto unpublished 2-mover by reader David Howard of East Harptree.

White to Mate in 2.

Devon vs Somerset

In their annual match in the WECU Inter-County Championship, Somerset were weakened by the absence of their top player, Jack Rudd and team Captain, Ben Edgell, both attending a crucial ECF meeting. Any pre-match hopes that Devon might have nurtured about the possibility of a rare win were stoked by the fact that they outgraded their opponents on every single one of the 28 boards. Added to that, Somerset gifted their opponents an early point after a few minutes, when Darren Freeman blundered a piece on move 5 and resigned immediately, creating what must surely be the shortest game in the history of the competition. What an opportunity!

However, it was all downhill for Devon from then onwards as they contrived to lose game after game using a variety of methods; weak opening moves, blunders losing a piece or overstepping the time control. Somerset won 9 of the top 11 games, a remarkable sequence. The concession of 3 losses on the lower boards did little to lighten the gloom for Devon. There was an impressive performance by a Somerset newcomer, Matthew J. Payne, recently enrolled at Bath University and formerly of Worthing and a product of the Sussex Juniors chess machine. His grade of 184 is 12 points up from his January grade, indicating he’s on a steep upward trajectory, backed up by his 195 rapidplay grade. He’s one to watch.

Devon’s  U-160 team fared much better, losing only 2 of their 12 games, and running out 8 – 4 winners.

  Devon 1 Grd     Somerset  1 Grd
1 D. Mackle 204 0 1 P. Krzyzanowski 197
2 A. K. Boyne 197 0 1 P. E. Chaplin 190
3 J. K. Stephens 190 0 1 D. P. Littlejohns 186
4 S. J. Homer 188 0 1 M. J. Payne 184
5 Dr. T. Paulden 186 0 1 A. V. Wong 181
6 P. Medina 180 1 0 C. S. Purry 177
7 K. J. Hurst 184 0 1 A. F. Footner 176
8 Dr. D. Regis 176 1 0 J. E. Fewkes 163
9 A. W. Brusey 181 0 1 G. N. Crockart 162
10 Dr. J. Underwood 172 0 1 P. W. Cusick 159
11 B. W. R. Hewson 165 0 1 G. N. Jepps 156
12 J. Fraser 163 1 0 D. Peters 156
13 T. F. Thynne 165 1 0 A. W. Champion 156
14 P. Brooks 167 0 1 M. R. Baker 152
15 G. Body 160 1 0 D. Freeman 151
16 S. Martin 162 ½ ½ N. N. Senior 149
  Totals   10½    
  Devon U-160       Somerset U-160  
1 J. G. Gorodi 159 1 0 C. J. S. McKinley 148
2 M. Stinton-Brown. 158 1 0 R. D. Knight 148
3 A. S. Kinder 150 0 1 C. M. Strong 144
4 I. S. Annetts 152 ½ ½ T. West 138
5 B. G. E. Gosling 151 ½ ½ U. Effiong 137
6 J. Duckham 146 1 0 G. Daniel 137
7 J. S. Murray 148 ½ ½ R. Challoner 136
8 K. P. Atkins 142 0 1 C. Fewtrell 130
9 R. G. Wilby 141 1 0 J. I. Wilkinson 125
10 N. Mills 140 ½ ½ S. Pickard 122
11 P. Dobber 136 1 0 N. Mills 124
12 W. R. P. Taylor 136 1 0 R. Fenton 121
  Totals   8 4    


Krzyzanowski vs Mackle in foreground.

Steve Homer (W) heading for a tough time against newcomer Matthew Payne.

George Crockart (W) made light of his 19 point grading deficit against Alan Brusey.

British U-150 Champion, John Gorodi, is currently on fire.


N. Mills (back to camera) was switched to avoid playing N. Mills (behind him)


Steve Murray vs Robin Challoner. Jon Duckham, next to him, finished his game in style.

British Championshipships Looming (01.06.2013.)

The arrival of June brings the British Championships that bit closer, as they return to the Westcountry next month, starting at the Riviera Centre, Torquay, on 28th July. The fact that this will be the 100th championship makes it that bit more special, and extra events have been organised to help mark the occasion, several of them quite unusual. For example, Gary Lane and Keith Arkell, past and present Paignton residents, will try to set a record for the greatest number of games played in 1 hour. The rate of moves is 1 minute per player per game, called “bullet chess”. Then 9 players will take part in an all-play-all simultaneous match, using 36 boards and there will be a prize for the player gaining the highest points total in all the tournaments he/she plays in, which, in theory, could be considerable.

Peter Chaplin of Weston-Super-Mare was Somerset’s only winner in their recent match against Lancashire.

White: P. Chaplin (187). Black: P. Almond (180).

Sicilian Defence – Close Variation [B50]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 a6 4.g3 Nf6 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.0–0 Bg4 7.h3 Bh5 8.d3 e6 9.Re1 Be7 10.Be3 0–0 11.Qd2 Qc7 12.g4 Bg6 13.Nh2 Rad8 14.f4 d5 15.exd5 If 15.f5 d4 16.Bf4 dxc3 17.bxc3 e5 18.Bg3. 15…exd5 16.Bf2 d4 17.Ne2 h6 18.f5 This lock-out of the bishop is a major factor in the eventual win. 18…Bh7 19.Bg3 Bd6 20.Bxd6 Qxd6 21.Qf4 Qd7 22.Ng3 Nb4 23.Re2 Nbd5 24.Qf3 g6 25.Re5 Rfe8 26.Rae1 Rxe5 27.Rxe5 Qd6 28.Re1 Ne3 29.Nhf1 Nxc2 30.Re2 Ne3 31.Nxe3 dxe3 32.Ne4 Nxe4 33.dxe4 Qd1+ 34.Bf1 Rd2 After the next skirmish, the weakness of Black’s bishop becomes more apparent.  35.Qxe3 Rxe2 36.Qxe2 Qxe2 37.Bxe2 gxf5 38.exf5 f6 39.Kf2 Kf8 40.Bc4 Ke7. If 40…b5 41.Be6 Ke7 and Black’s bishop is blocked out of the game.  42.Kf3 Kd6 43.Ke4. 41.Ke3 h5 42.Be6 hxg4 43.hxg4 b5 44.b3 a5 45.Bd5 If 45.a4 bxa4 46.bxa4 Kd6 47.Kf4 and Black hasn’t got a positive move on the board. 45…Kd6 46.Ke4 Kc7 47.Bf7 Kd6 48.Be8 Bg8 Finally the bishop is out, but still powerless. 49.Bxb5 Bd5+ 50.Kf4 Bg2 51.Bc4 Bc6 52.g5 fxg5+ 53.Kxg5 Ke7 54.f6+ Kf8 Bishop and pawn combine to keep the Black king on the back foot.  55.Kf4 a4 56.Ke5 axb3 57.axb3 1–0 Black resigns as his last pawn must fall.

Dave Howard’s problem last week was solved by 1.Be8! after which Black has 3 moves, all answered by a rook mate viz.  1…Kb5 2.Rd5#; 1…f4 2.Rh5# and 1…b5 2.Rc2#.

This 2-mover won 1st prize in the Uzbekistan Sport Committee Tourney 1947.

White to mate in 2.

Devon & Somerset Both Lose (25.05.2013.)

Saturday was scheduled as the quarter-final round of the National Stages of the Inter-counties tournament, with several West of England teams featuring in the various sections. Devon were drawn against Middlesex in the U-180 section and they met under the shadow of Old Sarum, near Salisbury. Devon players were hampered by the County Show traffic, causing a delayed start and one player misunderstanding the start time, all of which contributed to their 6–10 loss. However, the match was closer than the score suggested and several games could have gone either way. Devon’s three winners were Kevin Hurst, Mark Abbott and John Fraser. Here is the win on Board 4, with notes based on those kindly supplied by the winner.

White: K. J. Hurst (176). Black: A. Fulton (178).

Caro-Kann – by transposition. [B15]

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 c6 4.Nc3 d5 5.e5 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 e6 8.Be3 Qa5 If 8…Qb6 9.0–0–0 still with advantage to White in space and development. 9.Be2 Nd7 10.0–0 a6 11.a3 c5 12.b4 cxb4 13.axb4 Qd8 14.b5 White toyed with the sacrifice 14.Nxd5 exd5 15.Qxd5 after which might have followed 15…Qc7 16.Bf3 Rb8 17.e6 fxe6 18.Qxe6+ and Black’s king is stuck in the centre and struggling. e.g. If 18…Ne7 19.Bg5 Nb6 20.Rfe1 Nbc8. 14…a5 15.b6 White offers a pawn in order to open up lines on the queenside. 15…Ne7 16.Nb5 0–0 17.Rfb1 Nc6 18.c3 White takes care to consolidate his centre before continuing with his attack 18…Nxb6 19.Qg3 h6 20.Bd3 Ne7 21.Nd6 Qc7 22.Bd2 Rfb8 23.Qh4! Having tied up most of Black’s piece-power on the queenside, White exploits his flexibility by switching quickly to the other wing. 23…Nf5 24.Bxf5 exf5 25.Bxh6 Bxh6 26.Qxh6 Nc8?? A blunder that loses immediately. Ne8 threatening both the queen and mate. 1–0. Black’s best chance was 26…Nc4! but it would still be a struggle after 27.Nxc4 Qxc4 28.Rb6 Ra6 29.Rab1 Rxb6 30.Rxb6 with a breakthrough planned on e6.

In the Open Section Somerset lost 5½-10½ to Lancashire, Mike Richardt and Peter Chaplin being their only winners. In the Minor Counties section, Gloucestershire lost by the same score to Lincolnshire, with Daniel Lambourne and Matthew Claypole being their only winners.

(NB: Please note that since going to press, it was ascertained that Richardt did lose his game, but his opponent was subsequently found to be ineligible. So, for the purposes of the match, the result of that game was reversed and Lancashire penalised an additional point. However, for grading purposes, Richardt’s loss will stand.)

Hants had a walkover against Warwickshire in the U-140s.

In last week’s position, World Champion Anand had no choices in losing to 1.Qxf7+ RxQ 2.Ng6+ Kg8 3.Rh8 mate.

Here is reader Dave Howard’s latest composition, hitherto unpublished. There are several mates in 3, but can you spot the only 2 move mate?

White to mate in 2