Search Keverel Chess
Monthly Archive

Posts Tagged ‘WECU Championship 2016’

Evans Above! (16.04.2016.)

As reported earlier, the appearance of the Dutchman, Thomas Broek, added to the interest in the Championship section of the recent WECU Congress, with some enterprising, uninhibited play, as in this last round game.

White: Thomas Broek. Black: Jack Rudd. Evans Gambit [C51]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 The signature move of the Evans Gambit, devised by Capt. William E. Evans (1790 – 1872) as he commanded the Royal Mail’s first steam packet between his native Milford Haven and Waterford. It became a highly popular variation of the Giuoco Piano or Italian Game, described by a contemporary as “A gift of the gods to a languishing chess world”. Both players here knew it well and rattled off the first 12 moves in a matter of seconds. 4…Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 exd4 8.Qxd4 Nf6 9.e5 Nc6 10.Qf4 Nd5 11.Qg3 0–0 12.Bh6 Now it begins to get really interesting. 12…g6 13.Bxf8 Qxf8 Although White’s queen has done a job in helping to win the exchange, it’s virtually trapped in a corner. 14.0–0 d6 15.c4 Ndb4 threatening …Nc2 winning the rook. 16.Nc3 dxe5 17.Nd5 e4 18.Nd2 Nd4 19.Bd1 Bd6 20.Qh4 Nxd5 21.cxd5 f5 22.Nb3 Nxb3 23.Bxb3 f4 24.Rac1 Kg7 25.Rc4 Bf5 26.Rfc1 Rc8 27.g4 fxg3 28.hxg3 b5 29.Rc6 a5 30.a4 bxa4 31.Bxa4 Qf7 32.Bb3 Rb8 33.Bc2 Rb4 34.Qg5 a4 35.Qe3 It’s taken 22 moves, but White’s queen can finally escape to the centre of the board. 35…Qxd5 36.Qc3+ Qe5 37.Rxc7+! exploiting the fact that Black’s bishop is overloaded, trying to defend both queen & rook. 37…Bxc7. If 37…Kf6 38.Rd1 Qxc3 39.Rxc3 Be5 40.Rc6+ Kg5 41.Ra6. 38.Qxb4 e3 39.Bxf5 exf2+ 40.Kf1 Ba5 41.Qb7+ Kh6 42.Qh1+ Kg5 43.Be4 Qb5+ 44.Kg2 1–0 White tucks his king away, rather than expose it to risk by 44.Kxf2 Bb6+ 45.Kf3 Qb3+ 46.Kg2 Qb2+ etc. It also threatens 45. Qh4 mate, thus forcing 44…f1Q+ 45.Qxf1 not 45.Rxf1 Qe2+ 46.Kh3 Qh5+ 47.Kg2 Qe2+ 48.Rf2 Qxe4+ etc.

Two Westcountry congresses now follow each other in quick succession. Firstly, the 27th Frome Congress takes place Friday 13th–15th May at Selwood Academy. One can now enter on-line at their website

Then there is the 48th Cotswold Congress held over Whit Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 28th – 30th May at King’s School Gloucester. More information may be found on their website,

Last week’s position ended in a queen sacrifice viz 1.Qg8+ and it can only be taken by 1…Raxg8 which leaves the knight free to come to f7 mate because the other rook is pinned and the king is hemmed in by his own pieces. This is known in the trade as a “smothered mate”.

This position is also from the London Classic. The position is complicated, with both queens en prise.  There is no clever mate here, so how does White cut through the Gordian Knot of complex variations and keep it simple.

White to play and win

WECU Championship Day 3 – Rds 5 & 6

As the rounds went on, so the number of draws increased, as one would expect, but not to the point where interest in the eventual outcome waned. Arkell did win a difficult endgame with Black against McMichael in the morning, though when he found he was Black again in the afternoon, it left him inclined to agree a short draw against his nearest-rated opponent, Jack Rudd.

Rd. 5              WECU Open  2016
Bd White Black
1 McMichael (3½) 0 1 Arkell (4)
2 James (3) 0 1 Rudd (3)
3 Fallowfield (2½) 1 0 Smith (3)
4 Bass (2) 0 1 De Coverley (2)
5 Littlejohns (2) ½ ½ Jamroz (2)
6 Wilson (2) 0 1 Dilleigh (2)
7 Gamble (½) 1 0 Shaw (1)
8 Snook-Lumb (2) 0 1 Menadue (2)
9 Woodward (2½) 0 1 Broek (2½)
10 Bartlett (2) ½ ½ Benson (1½)
11 French (1) ½ ½ Wensley (1)
12 Hickman (0) ½ ½ Burton (½)
13 Bolt (2½) ½ bye

McMichael vs Arkell - a hard-fought win for Black.

Rd. 5: Hickman vs Burton (nearest) & French vs Wensley.

Rd. 5: top boards in the Major. 1.McDonnell vs Forster. 2. Robertson vs Morgan & Schulte vs Sellwood

Rd. 6              WECU Open  2016
Bd White Black
1 Rudd (3½) ½ ½ Arkell (5)
2 McMichael (3½) 1 0 James (3½)
3 Broek (3½) 0 1 Fallowfield (3½)
4 Menadue (3) ½ ½ Smith (3)
5 De Coverley (3) ½ ½ Bolt (3)
6 Jamroz (2½) ½ ½ Woodward (2½)
7 Dilleigh (3) 1 0 Bartlett (2½)
8 Littlejohns (2½) ½ ½ Bass (2½)
9 Wensley (1½) 1 0 Wilson (2)
10 Gamble (1½) 0 1 French (½)
11 Shaw (1) 0 1 Hickman (1½)
12 Benson (2) 1 0 Snook-Lumb (2)
13 Burton (0) ½ bye

Menadue Makes It (09.04.2016.)

Jeremy Menadue of Truro won the Grading Prize at the recent West of England Congress and also qualified for the British Championship, due in no small measure to this last round win.

The opening is named after the Hungarian, Richard Reti (1889 – 1929) who was a pioneer of the “Hypermodern” school of chess theory after WWI. The need for control of the centre of the chessboard is paramount, but whereas the 19th century “Romantics” believed this was only possible through occupation of the central squares with pawns supported by pieces, these conventional ideas broke down after the Great War, in chess much the same as in many other areas of the Arts. The Hypermoderns were happy to cede the centre in the opening, and then undermine it from the flanks. A new idea that caught on and is still with us, being by far the most popular opening amongst today’s top players, though it didn’t do much good for White in this game.

White: Graham Bolt (187). Black: J. F. S.  Menadue (187).

Reti Opening [A07]

1.g3 d5 2.Bg2 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 Bf5 5.0–0 e6 6.Nbd2 h6 7.Re1 Be7 8.b3 0–0 9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.e4 dxe4 11.dxe4 Bh7 12.Qe2 Qc7 13.h3 Rfd8 14.e5 Nd5 15.Ne4 a5 16.c4 Nb4 17.a3 Na6 18.Qe3 Bxe4 19.Qxe4 Ndc5 20.Qc2 Nd3 21.Red1 Nxb2 22.Qxb2 Qb6 23.Bf1 Nc5 24.Rxd8+ Rxd8 25.Rb1 Ne4 The start of a concerted attack against f2. 26.b4 axb4 27.axb4 Rd2! 28.Qxd2 The least worst option. If 28.c5 Rxb2 and White’s rook is left hanging. 28…Nxd2 29.Nxd2 Qd4 30.Nf3 Qe4 31.Rb3 g6 32.c5 Kg7 33.Kg2 Qc2 34.Rd3 Qb2 35.Rd7 Kf8 36.Rxb7?? White had to defend his b-pawn with 36.Rd4 36…Bxc5! A variation of the earlier attack on f2. White cannot now avoid mate, after 37…Qxf2+ 38.Kh1 Qxf3+ 39.Kh2 Qf2+ 40.Kh1 Qg1 mate. 0–1.

This 2nd round game involved castling on opposite sides of the board, which usually involves a race to attack.

White: J. Fallowfield. Black: J. Rudd.

1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.f3 c6 4.c4 e5 5.d5 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Nc3 0–0 8.Qd2 a6 9.0–0–0 Qa5 10.Kb1 c5 11.g4 b5 12.h4 h5 13.Bh6 Nbd7 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Qg5 Rh8 16.Rc1 hxg4 17.h5 Rxh5 18.Rxh5 Nxh5 19.fxg4 f6 20.Qh4 Nf4 21.g5 fxg5 22.Qxg5 Nf6 23.Nge2 Nd3 24.Rc2 Ne1 25.Ng3 Nxc2 26.Nf5+ Bxf5 27.exf5 Na3+ 28.bxa3 Rf8 29.Qxg6+ Kh8 30.Kb2 b4 31.axb4 cxb4 32.Ne4 Qa3+ 33.Kb1 b3 0–1

In last week’s position, Broek won the game by 1…Qb4+! If White takes the queen Black has 2…Nf5 mate, and if he does anything to avoid that, he loses his queen.

The previous week’s problem by Dave Howard was solved by moving either knight to e6, after which, no matter what Black tries, there will be a range of different mates. Check them out.

This position is taken from the London Classic in December 2015, immediately before White’s winning move. It’s a well-known idea that rarely comes up in practice.

White to play and win.

WECU Congress Results & Games (02.04.2016.)

The West of England Congress at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, concluded on Monday with these players featuring in the prizelist. (points out of 7).

Open Section: 1st K. C. Arkell (2451) Paignton. 6½ pts. 2nd R. McMichael (2189) King’s Head 6. 3rd=J. Fallowfield  (2112) Stourbridge (2112); A. P. Smith (2127) Bourne End; T. Broek (2180) Holland & S. P. Dilleigh (2072) Horfield all 4½.

Grading prize (U-2022) J. F. Menadue (2021) Truro 4½. So Keith Arkell became West of England Champion, while Jeremy Menadue was awarded the Qualifying Place for the British Championship in Bournemouth.

Major Section (U-1950) 1st I. S. Annetts (1875) Tiverton 5½. 2nd= J. McDonnell (1942) Streatham and J. Forster (1809) Southbourne both 5. Grading Prize (U-1810) J. Nyman (1794) King’s Head 4½.

Best Junior Prize: L. Hafstad (1413) Exeter Juniors 4.

Minor Section (U-135) 1st J. Stone (100) Horley 7. 2nd R. Whittington (132) Exeter Juniors 5. 3rd= K. Alexander (131) Seaton; M. Roberts (132) Holmes Chapel; N. Dicker (128) Glastonbury; G. Taylor (128) Gloucester; G. Neil (124) Nomads; P. Foster (123) Medway; V. Jamroz (123) Kent Juniors; and  G. Parfett (119) Athenaeum, all 4½. Grading prize: A. Richards (121) Cheltenham 4.

There were many regulars among the entries, but a new face was that of Thomas Broek from Holland, whose sharp style of play kept his seven opponents on their toes throughout. He made his presence felt right from the off, with this Rd. 1 win over a local player who was joint winner of the East Devon Open a couple of years ago.

White: T. Broek. Black: O. E. Wensley.

Two Knights Defence [C58]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3 h6? Here Blackburne played 8…cxb5 9.Qxa8 a6 10.0–0 Be7 etc. Another alternative is 8…Rb8. 9.Ne4 Nd5 10.Nbc3 Bb7 11.Nxd5 Qxd5 12.Nf6+ 1-0 winning Black’s queen.

He followed this up with a longer battle in the following round, but with a sharp finish.

White: Roger de Coverley. Black: T. Broek.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.0–0 d6 6.c3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 e6 9.d3 Nge7 10.a4 0–0 11.Na3 d5 12.Qe2 Qd7 13.f4 a6 14.Bd2 Na5 15.Rae1 dxe4 16.dxe4 Qxa4 17.g4 b5 18.f5 b4 19.Nb1 bxc3 20.Nxc3 Bd4+ 21.Kh1 Qc4 22.Qf3 Nec6 23.f6 Rab8 24.Qf4 Rxb2 25.Qh6 forcing 25…Bxf6 26.Rxf6 Qd4 27.Nb1 Rxd2 28.Nxd2 Qxf6 29.e5 Nxe5 30.Ne4 Qg7 31.Qe3 Nac4 note how Black’s knights combine to create multiple threats. 32.Qe2 Rd8 33.g5 h6 34.Nf6+ Kf8 35.h4 hxg5 36.hxg5 Qh8+ 37.Kg1 Qh4 38.Ne4 Qg4 39.Qf2 Rd1 40.Qxc5+ Kg7 41.Rxd1 Qxd1+ 42.Kh2 Ng4+ 43.Kh3 Qd3+ 44.Ng3 Nce3 45.Bb7 Qd2 46.Nf1 Nf2+ 47.Kh4 See diagram. Broek now had a move to win immediately.  Can you see it?

Black to play and win.