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Teignmouth Chess Club History (02.07.2016.)

Chess history can be a fascinating aspect of the game. This generally takes the form of biographies of great players with a collection of their best games. It can also take the form of the story of great tournaments or head-to-head matches, St, Petersburg 1914 being a classic.

Less common are the histories of individual chess clubs. In my archives I have several, including A History of the Metropolitan Chess Club 1890-1990, by Moore & Deery, and histories of the Plymouth and Exeter clubs.

The latest addition to this list is Teignmouth Chess Club 1901 – 2016 compiled by Bill Frost with numerous contributions from fellow members past and present and a joint publication by Chess Devon and Keverel Chess. It comprises 66 A4 pages with 46 photographs and numerous games, and costs £13 plus p&p. For copies, contact Bill Frost via billfrost@hotmail.co.uk.

An excellent and valuable project, beautifully executed and finished.

The Teignmouth club was founded in 1901 and competed for the county championship (the Bremridge Cup) that year and every year it has been held thereafter. Although they had to wait a hundred years before they won it, their consistency is admirable.

The book recalls how, in 1965, ten club members took on the great Andrew Thomas in a simultaneous match.

White: A. R. B. Thomas. Black: R. H. Jones.

Sicilian Defence – Wing Gambit [B40]

1.e4 c5 2.b4 Having just given a talk on the virtues of the opening, A.R.B. felt duty bound to play it on this occasion. 2…cxb4 3.d4 e6 4.Nf3 Ne7 5.a3 d5 6.axb4 dxe4 7.Ne5 Nf5 8.Bb5+ Nd7 9.0–0 Bxb4 10.c3 Be7 11.Nd2 e3 12.Ne4 If 12.fxe3 Nxe3 winning the exchange. 12…exf2+ 13.Rxf2 0–0 14.Bxd7 Bxd7 15.Qh5 Bc6 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Bg5 Bxg5 18.Nxg5 h6 19.Ne4 a5 Once Black’s a-pawn starts to advance in this opening it can become a nuisance. 20.Re1 a4 21.g4 Qh4 22.Qxh4 Nxh4 23.Ra1 Ra7 24.Ra3 Rb8 25.Rfa2 Nf3+ 26.Kf2 Nxh2! 27.Kg3 Nxg4 28.Kxg4 f5+ (a) winning the piece back and (b) obtaining 2 passed pawns. 29.Kf4 fxe4 30.Rxa4 Rxa4 31.Rxa4 Rb3 32.Rc4 Rb6 33.Kxe4 Kf7 34.Ra4 g5 35.Ke5 g4 36.Ra7+ Kg6 37.Ra8 Kh5 38.Kxe6 c5+ 39.Ke5 cxd4 40.cxd4 By this time, the other 9 games had finished and it was just him and me. 40…g3 41.d5 Rg6! vital to get the rook behind the pawn and in a position to protect the king and other pawn. 42.Ra1 If 42.d6 g2 43.Ra1 g1Q 44.Rxg1 Rxg1 45.d7 Rd1 and the h-pawn will queen. 42…g2 43.Rg1 Rg8 44.d6 Kh4 45.d7 Kh3 46.Rd1 Kh2 47.Rd2 Kh1 48.Rd6 g1Q 49.Rxh6+ Kg2 50.Rg6+ Rxg6 51.Ke4 If 51.d8Q Qe3+ 52.Kd5 (52.Kf5 Qe6+ 53.Kf4 Rg4#) 52…Qd3+ winning the queen. 51…Re6+ 52.Kf4 Qe3+ 0–1

Last week’s Mansfield 2-mover was solved by 1.Nd3! and, because the rook is pinned, Black can do nothing about the threat of 2.Qf5 mate.

This week’s position is taken from a game earlier this year. How does White win significant material?

Exmouth Retain Bremridge Cup Div. 1 (04.04.2016)

Exmouth’s final match in Devon’s premier inter-club competition was against old rivals Teignmouth, at the Manor Hotel on Exmouth’s Beacon, overlooking the sea, with Teignmouth town feintly visible on the other side of the bay.

Looking at the team lists and grades, one might assume this could be an easy proposition for the cup holders, were it not for three things; (a) nothing is certain in chess (b) Exmouth were 3 X 170+ players light, for various reasons, including a family wedding and an Exeter City vs Plymouth Argyle match and (c) on the night of the recent Storm Katie, with the winds howling all around the town, the non-playing Captain, Bob Jones, heard a loud bang in the middle of the night. In the morning, fearing the worst and expecting some degree of structural damage to the house, as there had been in the previous storm only a couple of weeks earlier, he found the noise had been caused by the Bremridge Cup falling off its perch for no apparent reason. Could all this be an omen?

In the event, Teignmouth, too, were under-strength, with their top player, Alan Brusey, unwell. Yet the games went on and on – there were no quick wins anywhere. In fact, it was only when the endgames were reached that the differences in grade began to tell. All 6 games then finished within quite a short time of each other, and suddenly the match was over.

EXMOUTH Grd TEIGNMOUTH Grd
1 John Stephens 196 1 0 Bill Ingham 158
2 Dr. Jon Underwood 184 1 0 Nathan Mills 154
3 Steve Martin 183 1 0 Peter E. Halmkin 151
4 Brian Gosling 157 1 0 Rev. Charles Doidge 129
5 Chris Scott 150 1 0 John Ariss 121
6 Steve Murray 150 1 0 Norman F. Tidy 119
1,020 6 0 832

This left Exmouth with 3 won matches and one drawn. The match they came closest to losing was against Exeter, where Exeter were leading 3-2 and one unclear ending in progress. In the event, Brian Gosling found a clever pseudo-sacrificial move that won the game and saved the match.

Summaries of results and performances are as follows:

Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Rd. 3 Rd. 4
Bd vs Newton A vs Tiverton vs Exeter vs Teignmouth
1 Stephens 1 Stephens 1 Underwood 0 Stephens 1
2 Underwood ½ Martin 1 Martin ½ Underwood 1
3 Martin ½ Underwood 1 Abbott ½ Martin 1
4 Abbott ½ Abbott 1 Wensley ½ Gosling 1
5 Wensley ½ Wensley 1 Gosling 1 Scott 1
6 Scott ½ Scott 1 Scott ½ Murray 1
6 3 6
Name P W D L %
John Stephens 3 3 0 0 100
Jon Underwood 4 2 1 1 62.5
Steve Martin 4 2 2 0 75
Mark Abbott 3 1 2 0 66
Oliver Wensley 3 1 2 0 66
Brian Gosling 2 2 0 0 100
Chris Scott 4 2 2 0 75
Steve Murray 1 1 0 0 100
Bremridge Cup Div. 1       2015 – 16 season
Team 1 2 3 4 5 Tot. For Against
1 Exeter X 1 0 0
2 Exmouth 1 X 2 2 2 7 18½
3 Newton Abbot 2 0 X
4 Teignmouth 0 X
5 Tiverton 2 0 X

Exmouth Retain Bremridge Cup (Div. 1)

Exmouth’s final match in Devon’s premier inter-club competition was against old rivals Teignmouth, at the Manor Hotel on Exmouth’s Beacon, overlooking the sea, with Teignmouth town feintly visible on the other side of the bay.

Looking at the team lists and grades, one might assume this could be an easy proposition for the cup holders, were it not for three things; (a) nothing is certain in chess (b) Exmouth were 3 X 170+ players light, for various reasons, including a family wedding and an Exeter City vs Plymouth Argyle match and (c) on the night of the recent Storm Katie, with the winds howling all around the town, the non-playing Captain, Bob Jones, heard a loud bang in the middle of the night. In the morning, fearing the worst and expecting some degree of structural damage to the house, as there had been in the previous storm only a couple of weeks earlier, he found the noise had been caused by the Bremridge Cup falling off its perch for no apparent reason. Could all this be an omen?

In the event, Teignmouth, too, were under-strength, with their top player, Alan Brusey, unwell. Yet the games went on and on – there were no quick wins anywhere. In fact, it was only when the endgames were reached that the differences in grade began to tell. All 6 games then finished within quite a short time of each other, and suddenly the match was over.

Bremridge Cup (Div. 1)     02.04.2016.
EXMOUTH EXMOUTH EXMOUTH EXMOUTH
1 John Stephens 1 John Stephens 1 John Stephens 1 John Stephens 1
2 Dr. Jon Underwood 2 Dr. Jon Underwood 2 Dr. Jon Underwood 2 Dr. Jon Underwood 2
3 Steve Martin 3 Steve Martin 3 Steve Martin 3 Steve Martin 3
4 Brian Gosling 4 Brian Gosling 4 Brian Gosling 4 Brian Gosling 4
5 Chris Scott 5 Chris Scott 5 Chris Scott 5 Chris Scott 5
6 Steve Murray 6 Steve Murray 6 Steve Murray 6 Steve Murray 6

This left Exmouth with 3 won matches and one drawn. The match they came closest to losing was against Exeter, where Exeter were leading 3-2 and one unclear ending in progress. In the event, Brian Gosling found a clever pseudo-sacrificial move that won the game and saved the match.

Bremridge Cup Div. 1       2015 – 16 season
Team 1 2 3 4 5 Tot. For Against
1 Exeter X 1 0 0
2 Exmouth 1 X 2 2 2 7 18½
3 Newton Abbot 2 0 X
4 Teignmouth 0 X
5 Tiverton 2 0 X

Exmouth Retain Bremridge Cup – Div. 1 (11.04.2015.)

After wins against Newton Abbot and Tiverton, and a streaky draw against Exeter, Exmouth went into their last match knowing that even a narrow loss would leave them 1st= on match points, while even a draw would make them champions again. As the teams assembled at Teignmouth’s venue, the Alice Cross Day Centre, there was nervous banter between the players, with some mention of the possible odds on a 6-0 win for Exmouth, but this was only gallows humour from some of the home team; Exmouth were taking nothing for granted.

The only presumption was to be taking a team photograph with the cup, but this was only because it was probably the only time the team would all be present in the same place at the same time.  Naturally, it wouldn’t be used if Exmouth lost the match. To keep things even-handed, a team photo was taken of the Teignmouth team as well. (see below).

As the match got under way, a win seemed some way off, as Ingham & Underwood played a quick draw and went off to do other things, while Wensley, otherwise the in-form player, went a piece down against the dangerous Bramley, and there were no discernable advantages to Exmouth in the other 4 games – at that point. Nor could Gosling make any headway against Prior and a draw was agreed. So where was a won game, let alone a won match coming from? However, after 3+ hours play, games 3 to 5 all went the visitors’ way in rapid succession, as grades and experience told in the long run. Wensley recovered his piece and won with Q+R on the 7th rank. Martin was able to pick up pawns in the endgame and broke through, while Scott forced a series of errors from his opponent. With the match won, it left Stephens and Brusey playing for pride, neither willing to concede anything. They played an endgame right through to the last minutes of extra time, until Brusey’s flag fell in a losing position, while Stephens had about 3 minutes left. 

A 5-1 result was about what one might expect, looking at the team sheets, but it was mighty hard work getting there.

  Bremridge Cup       11.04.2015  
  Teignmouth Grd     Exmouth Grd
1 Alan W. Brusey 176 0 1 John K. Stephens 196
2 H. Bill Ingham 168 ½ ½ Jon Underwood 180
3 Norman F. Tidy 127 0 1 Steve Martin 175
4 Graham Bramley 117 0 1 Oliver E. Wensley  151
5 John Ariss 117 0 1 Chris J. Scott 154
6 Mike T.  Prior 116 ½ ½ Brian G. Gosling 148
    821       1,004
      1 5    

The final table was as follows:-

  Bremridge Cup Div. 1: 2015     Game points  
  Team 1 2 3 4 5 for against pts
1 Exmouth X 2 2 1 2 16½ 7
2 Newton Abbot 0 X 1 2 2 15 9 5
3 Tiverton 0 1 X 2 2 13 11 5
4 Exeter 1 0 0 X 2 10½ 13½ 3
5 Teignmouth 0 0 0 0 X 5 19 0

 

    NA Tiv Ex Te    
  ▼players.  Rd ► 1 2 3 4    
1 Stephens 0 1 1 1   3
2 Underwood ½ ½ 0 ½  
3 Martin 1 1   2
4 Scott 1 1 0 1   3
5 Gosling ½ 1 0 ½   2
6 Wensley ½ 1 1 1  
7 Shaw ½ 1  
    5 3 5   16½ 

 

The Teignmouth team: seated l-r:- Bill Ingham; Alan Brusey, Norman Tidy (Capt.). Standing: John Ariss; Graham Bramley & M. Prior.

The Exmouth team: seated l-r: Jonathan Underwood; John Stephens & Oliver Wensley. Standing: Chris Scott, Brian Gosling & Steve Martin.

General view; Ingham - Underwood nearest.

General view #2: Prior - Gosling nearest.

Bramley & Wensley in some post-game analysis.

Exmouth Lose in Div. 2 …. again. (15.02.2014.)

Exmouth approached this match in bullish mood, on the backs of a win against Newton Abbot and a win and a draw against Tiverton, in 3 different competitions. However, there’s nothing like chess for bringing folk back down to earth again, and this was the case here.  

In the first game to finish, Abbott gave up a piece in order to try and get a stranglehold on White’s back rank with mating threats. Ingham had to be careful, and he was, managing to repeat moves 3 times. At this point, although Shaw’s position looked unclear, Wensley and Scott seemed to have their games under control. But as Shaw started to run out of time, Wensley lost his outside passed pawns and was suddenly on the back foot, while Scott missed a winning move and had to settle for a draw as Tidy was able to repeat moves. Shaw’s position collapsed under time pressure, leaving Wensley forced to try for a win in order to save the match, but with only pawns and opposite-coloured bishops left there was nothing he could do except agree a draw.  Full results below.

This loss rather undid the excellent win against Newton Abbot just two weeks earlier. We now await the visit of Barnstaple on 12th April, the final match in Division 2.  

General view of the Alice Cross Centre, Teignmouth.

Shaw vs Brusey nearest.

Ingham vs Abbott

Wensley vs Gorodi

Tidy vs Scott

  Mamhead Div. 2.       15.02.2014.  
  Teignmouth       Exmouth  
1 Alan Brusey    (B) 181 1 0 Meyrick Shaw 172
2 Bill Ingham     (W) 160 ½ ½ Mark Abbott 165
3 John Gorodi 159 ½ ½ Oliver Wensley 159
4 Norman Tidy 123 ½ ½ Christopher Scott 142
    623   638

Amaurosis Scachistica Outbreak In Exmouth (12.05.2013.)

The term Amaurosis scachistica is an ailment diagnosed in some detail by the physician, Tarrasch, the main symptom being the making of obvious but uncharateristic blunders, better known in English as Chess Blindness. Tarrasch claimed there was no sure preventative treatment and he had some evidence that it may actually be infectious, calling this amaurosis scachistica chronica communis.

After Exmouth’s final home match of the season yesterday, against Teignmouth in a Division 2 match, we have further evidence to support the infection theory. In a small room with just 8 players, it can be deadly, spreading like wildfire in a very short time, each blunder more profound than the one commited just minutes earlier.

It all started on Bd. 3, where White, tempted by a hot pawn on the other side of the board, took it with his queen, thereby abandoning her protection of a rook that was being eyed up by the Black queen.  There swiftly followed …QxR+ and the game was over. The stars on top board seemed to have some natural immunity to this craziness, and Stephens, having recently realised that his strength might lie in rook+pawn endgames, true to his instincts quickly reached such a position and ran his a-pawn to queen, forcing a win. Exmouth at this stage were 2 up with 2 to play, but the infection was spreading rapidly.

On Bd. 4, the Teignmouth player attacked the enemy queen with a bishop. White responded by advancing a pawn, discovering a check by the queen. What a blunder – but instead of taking the queen, Black simply moved his king aside. Both players obviously badly infected and the outcome clearly impossible to predict. Teignmouth reduced the arrears by winning this game, but at least the Bd. 2 game was safe, where the home player was never seriously troubled and the game seemed to be heading for at least the draw required to win the match. They had got down to rook + bishop vs rook + knight, where the former had the positional advantage. But you know what knights are like……  The knight checked on a square where it could be taken by the bishop, the perpetrator fully expecting an exchange of the minor pieces. White saw the check, but not the fact that it also forked his rook. As on Bd. 4 earlier, he moved his king away and was amazed to see his rook snaffled. End of game – end of match. Exmouth had snatched a draw from the jaws of victory.

Several players considered calling in to the local A & E Dept. on the way home, but it would have done no good. As Tarrasch correctly predicted, there is no known cure.

  Mamhead Cup       11.05.2013.  
  Exmouth Grd     Teignmouth Grd
1 J. K. F. Stephens 192 1 0 A. W. Brusey 174
2 M. Shaw 166 0 1 J. G. Gorodi 148
3 Dr. D. A.Toms 159 1 0 N. F. Tidy 119
4 I. G. Grist   96 0 1 J. Ariss 120
    613 2 2   561

 

An Exmouth team confident of victory.

The Teignmouth team.

View from the other end.

The first victim of amaurosis scachistica - but not the last.

Exmouth Finish Season On A High – As Do Newton Abbot.

Exmouth’s Bremridge Cup encounter against Teignmouth was their last match of the season, and there was nothing at stake, except, perhaps, the wooden spoon. Nevertheless, games were played with all seriousness, and although the final scoreline may sound like an end-of-term romp, this was certainly not the case.

Tindal played the White side of a Closed  Sicilian very quickly and a rook & pawn ending was soon reached, with Jones 2 pawns up, but it needed careful play and in the end it boiled down to a single pawn that couldn’t be prevented from queening.

The Hurst-Ingham game involved a complex position, but Hurst managed to conclude matters in 19 moves. Hart entered the endgame on the back foot, but Hindom rather lost his way which enabled Hart to negate any serious threat and a draw was agreed. Gosling was the nearest to having a field day, as all his pieces had open lines bearing down on the enemy king, to which there was no adequate defence.

The most double-edged game was Halmkin-Wensley, in which the Teignmouth player got short of time at the sharp end of the game, and Wensley was offering pieces that couldn’t be taken without giving in to a mating attack. In the end he did find a way through to mate the White king.

This left Meyrick “The Python” Shaw with a tight control of the position, and a supported passed pawn on d6. However, to maximise this advantage he had to relax his grip and open the position up, which gave Gorodi scope to break out of the straight-jacket he was in, and make threats of his own. Shaw monitored all threats and with only BvsN it was the d6 pawn that won the day.

  Bremridge – Div.1       21.04.’12  
  Exmouth Grd.     Teignmouth Grd.
1 Kevin Hurst 186 1 0 Bill Ingham 166
2 Oliver Wensley 164 1 0 Peter Halmkin 150
3 Meyrick Shaw 150e 1 0 John Gorodi 149
4 Anthony Hart 145e ½ ½ Kevin Hindom 135
5 Brian Gosling 150 1 0 Norman Tidy 130
6 Robert Jones 130 1 0 Bill Tindal 108
  Totals 945 ½   838

So Exmouth thus won their first and last match in this premier tournament, losing to Newton Abbot and Tiverton in between – at least avoiding the wooden spoon.

Meanwhile, at the same time, Newton Abbot were playing Tiverton to determine top spot in the Bremridge Cup, and their captain, Trefor Thynne has kindly sent in his account of that match.

“The fixture list for this year’s Bremridge Cup threw up an extremely tasty last-round pairing with 2010 and 2011 holders  Newton Abbot travelling to Blundell’s School to face Tiverton on 21st April, both sides having won all three of their matches to date. The visitors went into the match with the advantage of knowing that a 3-3 scoreline would be sufficient to retain the trophy since they had a favourable “goal difference”. However, the gradings of the two teams were likely to be close so a tough struggle was in prospect.

And so it turned out with hard-fought games on each board. The first three results were all draws, on Bds 4 (Thynne – Duckham), 5 (Kinder- Annetts) and 2 (Homer-Hewson). Only in the final hour, as the time control approached, did Newton Abbot’s players get on top, first on Bd 6 where Paul Brooks,  playing an English  Opening against Keith Atkins’ Dutch Defence, converted pressure into a material advantage. On Bd 3, perhaps the best game of the match, Alex Billings maintained his fine form this season and kept control in a complex position against Simon Bartlett. This settled the outcome of the match and a good day for the visitors was made better when Dominic Mackle showed exemplary endgame technique to defeat Ben Edgell on top board.  So Newton Abbot retain  the title of Devon’s top club. The league has been very interesting this year with 5 teams competing. It could be even better and more representative of all parts of the county if Plymouth (who certainly have the players on paper) and Barnstaple were to join in”.

TFT

  Bremridge Cup       21.04.2012.  
  Tiverton Grd     Newton Abbot Grd
1 Ben Edgell 198 0 1 Dominic Mackle 204
2 Brian Hewson 186 ½ ½ Steve Homer 180
3 Simon Bartlett 165 0 1 Alex Billings 165
4 John Duckham 155 ½ ½ Trefor Thynne 161
5 Ivor Annetts 156 ½ ½ Andrew Kinder 157
 6  Keith Atkins 146 0 1 Paul Brooks  160
    860   867
Now, back to the match at Exmouth for some “action shots”. 

The match gets under way

Exmouth's Bds. 2 - 6

Nearest: Halmkin vs Wensley.

Exmouth's Bds. 4-6

Teignmouth's Bds. 4-6

Halmkin & Gorodi both involved in tight finishes.

Hurst & Wensley, deep in thought.

Shaw v Gorodi - last game to finish. Norman Tidy looks on.