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WECU Council Meeting 2016

The West of England Chess Union’s Council Meeting (or AGM) was held at the Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster on Saturday 4th June, with President, Brian Hewson, in the chair and Roger Morgan taking notes.

It was mostly routine, but essential stuff. There was some discussion as to the best way of determining the Ladies Champion in the annual WECU Congress. As things stand at the moment, getting  4/7 points in the Minor Section beats getting 3.5 in the Open, but which is the better performance? Several possible alternatives were mentioned, from maintaining the status quo to abolishing the Ladies trophy altogether, and several in between; e.g. tournament grade and, most radical of all, asking the ladies their opinion.

The role of presidential succssion usually takes up a fair amount of time each year, both at and before the meeting. Brian Hewson (Devon) was due to complete his second year in the Chair, with a Deputy President stepping up to the plate. Except that, in the previous 12 months, no Deputy had been identified/persuaded to take this on. Apparently, Robin Kneebone had toyed with the idea, but eventually decided that he was so fully committed to Cornish chess and keeping that particular boat afloat, that he wouldn’t be able to do justice to the Union role. Former President, Fenella Headlong, had also been approached, but the combination of work and family commitments made it very difficult for her to accept. In the end, former President , Gerry Jepps (Somerset), was persuaded to reprise the role. He tried to protest that the art of chairmanship was not his greatest skill, but the room was convinced that his great experience as a successful organiser over many years far outweighed this, and he was readily voted in, and will take the chair at the 2017 Executive Meeting. All other officers were re-elected en bloc.

Both trophies were available for presentation, the Harold Meek Cup for the 1st team competition and the Wayling Cup for the 2nd team. Normally, the President will hand each cup to the delegate of the winning county, but this was complicated by the fact that the President was also the match captain of both teams. So the Fixtures Secretary, Phil Mead, readily stepped in to the breach.

Phil Mead (l) presents the Harold Meek Cup to the Devon 1st team captain, Brian Hewson.

Brian Hewson also receives the Wayling Cup, the 18th consecutive year Devon have won it.

Cotswold Congress Prizewinners (07.06.2014.)

The West of England Chess Union held their annual Council Meeting at Ilminster on Saturday under the chairmanship of John Wheeler. Jim Fewkes of Yeovil retired after 21 years as Treasurer to be replaced by Oliver Wensley of Exmouth, while all other officers were re-elected en bloc. The Harold Meek Cup was presented to Ben Edgell for Somerset’s 1st place in Division 1 and Brian Hewson received the Wayling Cup for Devon’s win in Division 2. It was the 4th consecutive time both teams had won these trophies. Cornwall were the surprise package, coming 3rd in Division 1, with the promise of more to come next season.

The winners in last weekend’s Cotswold Congress were as follows:

Open: 1st S. Berry (218 – Wimbledon) 6/6 points. 2nd= T. Slade (173 – Marhamchurch) & R. Bryant (170 – Oswestry). Grading prize (U-171) P. Asenov (170 – Witney) & C. McLaren (156 – Wotton Hall).

Major Section – (U-155): 1st P. Foley (136 – Upminster). 2nd= D. Macarthur (147 – Keynsham); D. Rogers (146 – Exmouth); M. Forknall (135 – Cheltenham) & S. Whitehead (135 – Cirencester). P. Morton – 147 – Hammersmith) & I. Lamb (137 – Bolton).  Grading prize (U-145) A. Gentry (142 – Witney) & R. Ashworth (139 – Wotton Hall).

Minor Section – (U-125): 1st= K. Langmaid (124 – Yate); S. Williams (122 – Cwmbran) & J. Lightowler (117 – Gloucester). Grading Prize (U-115) G. Mill-Wilson (112 – Yate) & S. Rees (107 – Hereford).

At the recent Frome congress, Stephen Appleby won a Grading Prize with the help of this quick win in Rd. 4.

White: S. Appleby Black: F. Palm

Queen’s Pawn Game [D04]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c5 4.e3 g6 5.cxd5 cxd4 6.Qa4+ Bd7 7.Qxd4 Qa5+ 8.Nc3 If 8.Bd2 Black could reclaim his pawn with  8…Qxd5. 8…Bg7 9.e4 0–0 10.Bd2 Black is hampered from completing development of his kingside pieces and starts moving other material instead. 10…e6 11.Bc4 Ng4 12.e5 exd5 13.Nxd5 Qd8 14.Bg5 Nxe5 Now would have been a good time to consider unravelling his Q-side pieces with 14…Nc6. 15.Qxe5! White courageously takes the piece. 15…Qa5+ 16.Bd2 Qa4 17.Qf4 remaining a piece up. 17…Re8+ 18.Kf1 1–0 Black resigns not only because he’s a piece down, but has the problem of his trapped rook and the threatened knight fork on c7. e.g. 18…Na6 19.Bxa6 Qxa6+ 20.Kg1 and White’s threatened fork cannot be denied.

From a game played earlier this year, how does Black finish clinically?

Black to play and win by force.