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Posts Tagged ‘WECU Junior Championships’

A Recent Nunn Win & WECU Junior Winners (25.03.2017.)

Grandmaster John Nunn’s unexpected appearance at the recent East Devon Congress undoubtedly created some extra interest in the event, and he didn’t disappoint, coming clear 1st with 4 wins and finishing with a draw. This was his game from Rd. 3.

White: Stephen Piper (187). Black: John Nunn (236).

Grünfeld Defence [D79]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 c6 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.0–0 0–0 8.d4 Ne4 9.Qb3 Nc6 10.Rd1 Na5 11.Qb4 Bf5 12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.Nh4 Bg4 14.Bxe4 Bxe2 15.Re1 Ba6 16.Bg5 Re8 17.Rad1 Rc8 Grabbing the open file with a rook – a contributory factor in Black’s win. 18.b3 b6 19.Ng2 Qd7 20.Be3 Bb7 21.Bxb7 Nxb7 22.Nf4 Nd6 23.Nd3 Rc2 24.a4 Nf5 Black must have calculated carefully that his advanced rook cannot become trapped and picked off. 25.Ne5 Qd5 26.Nc4 Rd8 27.Na3 Rb2 28.Nc4 Ra2 The rook cuts a lonely figure on a2, but cannot be taken, so must lie quietly. It doesn’t move again. 29.Rd3 e6 30.Red1 h5 As the White pieces are situated in the centre, Black chooses this moment to attack White’s king’s position. 31.Qe1 h4 32.Qf1 hxg3 33.hxg3 Qe4 34.Qg2 Qg4 35.d5 exd5 36.Rxd5 Just as White’s rooks break free for their self-imposed constraints, Black strikes. 36…Qxd1+! 37.Rxd1 Rxd1+ All other things being equal, two rooks are generally deemed to be stronger than a queen, providing they have scope to move and can cooperate, as is the case here. 38.Kh2 Nxe3 39.Nxe3 Rdd2 40.Qa8+ Kh7 41.Qxa7 Rxf2+ 42.Kh3 f5 Blocking off g5 as a possible escape route. 43.Kh4 Rh2+ 0–1 Resigned in view of 44.Kg5 Rh5+ 45.Kf4 Rf2#.

The West of England Junior Championships were held in Swindon last month, and the main winners were as follows:-

U-18: Michael Ashworth (Wotton Hall, Gloucester). U-18 Girls: Zoe Varney (Somerset). U-16: Oliver Howell (Somerset). U-14: Max Walker (Churchill Academy) & Ben Headlong (Swindon). U-12: Adam Hussain (Truro Prep School). U-12 Girls: Georgia Headlong (Swindon). U-10: Daniel Yu (Hants). U-10 Girls: Jaime Ashworth (Wotton Hall). U-9: Matthew Timbrell (Somerset). U-8: Daniel Shek (Yately Manor School). U-8 Girls: Jessica White (Wiltshire).

The West of England Congress starts a fortnight on Friday in Exmouth, with entries currently standing at 60 and rising. Time, therefore, not to risk missing the cut-off by getting entries to the Secretary, Meyrick Shaw, (tel: 01395-275494 or e-mail: Entry forms are downloadable from

The solution to last week’s 2-mover (above) was 1.Qe7! threatening 2.Qh4#.

This week’s position came from a recent game played in the 4NCL. As with 2 rooks vs a queen, Black’s 2 minor pieces should be slightly stronger than a rook, all other things being equal, but in this case they are not, as White has the opportunity to sweep away this slight inequality. How so?

White to play & win quickly

WECU Junior Congress Winners (25.02.2012.)

The West of England Junior Open Congress was held last weekend at St. Joseph’s College, Swindon. This event has grown in importance in recent years under the guidance of WECU Junior Secretary Bev Schofield and her band of helpers, and this year’s total entry was 356, making it by far the biggest weekend tournament in the westcountry.

As it is an Open event there were entries from all over the country, all of whom

were eligible to win their age sections, but only those with genuine westcountry connections (birth, residence or schooling in the area) were eligible for the title of WECU Champion.

The prizelist was long and comprehensive, and this is just a summary of the main winners – (grades & clubs given).

Major Section: 1st= Marcus Harvey (209–Bicester) & Peter Bachelor (184-Willesdon) both 4/5 pts. 3rd= Rahda Jain (179-Cheltenham Ladies Coll.) & Kumar Dixit (164-Camberley) both 3½. WECU U-18 Championship Awarded to Jain and Dixit. The British Championship Qualifying Place, a new feature of this event, went to Bachelor.

U-14 Section: 1st= Ananthanarayan Balaji (169–Harrow); Adam Taylor (168-Colchester); Akito Oyama (156-Cambridge) & Roman Mitra (165-Herts) all 4/6 pts. WECU U-14 Champion: Jamie MacDonald (128-Wilts).

U-12 Section: 1st Vincent Lee (133-Herts). 2nd= Matthew Fergusson (142-Birmingham); Joshua Higgs (137-Sussex); Richard Meikle-Briggs (132-Richmond) & Ryan Wong (131-Maidenhead) all 5/6. WECU U-l2 Champions: Theo Slade (147-Cornwall) & Alex Vanlint (137-Basingstoke). Girls Champion: Eleanor Hapeshi (92-Gloucester).

U-10 Section: 1st= Koby Kalavannan (137-Surbiton) & Francesco Bernadini (u/g-Kent). 3rd= Charlie McLaren  (114-Wilts); Anthony Zang (145-Berks) & Anantha Anilkumar (119-Coulsdon). WECU Champion; McLaren. Girl: Emily Vaughan (u/g Wilts).

U-9 Section: 1st Will Cleeves (86-Thamesdown). 2nd= Oliver Howell (106-Coulsdon) & Ben Perryman (u/g-Hants). WECU Champion: Cleeves.

Both Somerset and Devon have assembled strong teams for their match at Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton, this afternoon. On paper, Somerset have the edge in the 1st team match (16 boards), while Devon look favourites in the 2nd team.

At the recent very strong Bunratty Masters weekend tournament 1st= were Mickey Adams (Taunton), Nigel Short and Gawain Jones (all 5/6 pts) with Keith Arkell (Paignton) and Con Ionescu just half a point behind.

Last week’s position White could have won if he had played 1.Qc3! and 1…Qe7 is not enough to save things after 2.Qxc8.

Here is another new 2-mover from Dave Howard of West Harptree. White to move.

1st publication: White to mate in 2.

WECU Junior Championships (05.02.2011.)

The West of England Junior Championships start in Swindon three weeks today, just enough time to get late entries in.

This venerable event started way back in 1948 when it was held as a special section of the traditional West of England Easter Congress. It was held in Bristol that year and the first winner was P. T. Burnett. The following year there was a tie between G. Allin (Plymouth) and D. S. Reed (Bath) and in 1950 it was won by a 14 year old Exeter School pupil, Denis Gray with a 100% score of 8/8. He retained this title for several years and was a leading westcountry player until his role as a GP in his family practice took over, eventually being knighted for his services to the medical profession.

As more and more juniors took up the game in the 1970s, following the inspiration provided by the exploits of Bobby Fischer, it was hived off as a stand-alone event with its own Organiser, the last one being Ralph Maishman of Burnham-On-Sea.

It was then felt appropriate to combine it with the increasingly successful Wiltshire Junior Championships, and this formula has proved successful for several years.

This year’s congress takes place on 26th & 27th February at St. Joseph’s Catholic College, Swindon, SN3 3LR, and there will be prizes for boys and girls in both the West of England and Wiltshire Championship in the following age groups: U-18; U-16; U-14; U-12; U-12; U-10; U-9 and U-8. There are also other non-championship sections, so there is something for everyone.

Full details may be obtained from the Entry Secretary, Bev Schofield, on 01793-487575  or by e-mail to

Here is an instructive game of Gray’s from the 1952 WECU Junior Championship in which he demonstrates how to maintain the initiative after a bold piece sacrifice. His opponent was the runner-up.

White: D. J. P. Gray. Black: N. Ashbee.

King’s Gambit Accepted [C39]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 Black aims to defend his extra pawn even before it’s attacked. 4.h4 White’s aim is to undermine that defence and attack quickly on the Kingside. 4…g4 5.Ng5 White is preparing a piece sacrifice. 5…h6 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 Note how, rather than grabbing the g-pawn, White seeks to develop all his pieces in order to try and retain the initiative. 7.d4 d6 8.Bc4+ Ke8 9.Bxf4 Nf6 10.Nc3 Nc6 11.Qd2 Qe7 12.0–0–0 Bg7 White has succeeded in his primary aim – now to attack the king stuck in the centre. 13.e5 breaking open the centre Nd7 14.exd6 Qf6 15.Rde1+ Kf8 16.Rhf1 Nxd4 17.Be5 Nf3 18.Rxf3 gxf3 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Qd5 Black resigned as mate is inevitable. 1–0

Last week’s position was solved by 1.Kc4! which forces 1…Ka4 allowing 2.Qa2 mate. Here is another of a similar standard, suitable for juniors. White to mate in 2.

White to play & mate in 2