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West of England Championship & Congress – Day 2

 The results of the morning games, with its 5 draws,  led to a certain bunching up of scores, behind the sole leader, Keith Arkell. In the last game to finish, Slade pushed Mackle to the limit, but with only a few minutes of extra time left, a draw was agreed, with Slade having the only piece on the board. The withdrawal of Fallowfield jr. meant that a bye was created and this fell to Maurice Staples. He got the full point, but had a meaningful game against a player with a bye  in the Minor. By chance (no pun intended), this happened to be Hazel Welch, which meant that a former WECU Champion was playing a former WECU Ladies Champion, and that doesn’t happen often.

  Open – Rd. 3            
1 Arkell, Keith CC 2493 (2) ½ – ½ Rudd, Jack 2251 (1½)
2 Smith, Andrew P 2132 (1½) ½ – ½ Menadue, Jeremy FS 2043 (1½)
3 Shaw, Meyrick 1980 (1½) ½ – ½ Bolt, Graham 1989 (1)
4 Mackle, Dominic 2248 (1) ½ – ½ Slade, Theo 1962 (1)
5 Bartlett, Simon 1961 (1) 0 – 1 McMichael, Richard J 2176 (1)
6 Brusey, Alan W 1991 (1) ½ – ½ Dilleigh, Stephen P 2106 (1)
7 Bass, John W 2013 (1) 0 – 1 Thompson, Robert 1995 (½)
8 Littlejohns, David P 1983 (½) 1 – 0 Savory, Richard J 2100 (½)
9 Staples, Maurice J 2006 (½) 1 –      

The afternoon saw 5 wins, with the 3 titled players starting to edge ahead, while Brusey and Bolt continued their good run of form.

  Open Rd. 4              
1 Menadue, Jeremy FS 2043 (2) 0 – 1 Arkell, Keith C 2493 (2½) 1
2 Rudd, Jack 2251 (2) 1 – 0 Shaw, Meyrick 1980 (2) 17
3 Staples, Maurice J 2006 (1½) 0 – 1 Smith, Andrew P 2132 (2) 5
4 Dilleigh, Stephen P 2106 (1½) ½ – ½ Mackle, Dominic 2248 (1½) 3
5 McMichael, Richard J 2176 (2) 1 – 0 Littlejohns, David P 1983 (1½) 15
6 Thompson, Robert 1995 (1½) 0 – 1 Brusey, Alan W 1991 (1½) 13
7 Bolt, Graham 1989 (1½) 1 – 0 Bartlett, Simon 1961 (1) 19
8 Savory, Richard J 2100 (½) ½ – ½ Bass, John W 2013 (1) 10
9 Slade, Theo 1962 (1½) 1 –        

16th West of England Congress Approaches (28.03.2015.)

The West of England Championship starts on Friday morning at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, with the leading contenders for the title currently being Keith Arkell (GM), Jack Rudd (IM) and Dominic Mackle, and late entries are coming in every day.

I hope to have the prizelist and top games available in a fortnight, but meanwhile here is a look back at a game from the early years of the tournament.

Trevenen of Penzance became the first Champion in 1946, then ’49 and ’50, while Kitto of Exminster had to wait until 1951 & ’55. The centenary of his birth was last month, though he died of cancer aged only 49.

This is their encounter from 1947, the 2nd  Championship held in Bristol.

White: Francis Ernest Appleyard Kitto. Black: Henry Vickers White Trevenen.

Caro-Kann Defence – Alekhine Gambit. [B15]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 Alekhine’s Gambit in which White offers his d-pawn in exchange for a gain in tempo and attacking chances. Black accepts the “gift”. 5…Qxd4 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Qe2 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Nd7 9.0–0 Nf6 10.Bg5 Bg4 11.Rfe1 e6 12.Rad1 White’s plan is successful inasmuch as his development is complete while Black still has some way to go. How can White use this to further his advantage? 12…Qc7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.h3 Bh5 15.Rd3 Bd6 16.Qe3 Ke7? The natural move would be 16…0–0–0 but White has 17.Qxa7. An alternative would be 16…f5 17.Bxf5 and then 17…0–0–0 is safe because White has to look to the safety of his bishop. e.g. 18.Be4 f5 trapping the bishop. Or 18.g4 exf5 19.gxh5 and his king’s stronghold is somewhat compromised. 17.Nd4 Qb6 18.Qh6 Bg6 19.Bxg6 hxg6 With his queen en prise, Kitto spots a winning combination. 20.Rxe6+! Kd7 If 20…fxe6 21.Qg7+ Ke8 22.Qxh8+ Bf8 23.Qxf6 c5 24.Nxe6 Bd6 25.Qh8+ etc. 21.Rxd6+ Kxd6. If 21…Ke7 22.Nf5+ gxf5 23.Qxf6+ Kf8 24.Qxh8+ Ke7 25.Rd7+ Ke6 26.R3d6 mate. 22.Nf5+ Ke6 23.Re3+ Kd7 24.Re7+ The king must retreat to the back rank, allowing QxR mate. 1–0

It won’t be long now until the 26th Frome  Congress on 15th – 17th May at Selwood Academy. Berkley Road, Frome, BA11 2EF. Entry forms are available on the event website, and further details from G. N. Jepps, 27 Lockey Rd. Shepton

Mallet, BA4 5RQ. Tel: 01749-344191 or e-mail: fromecongress@btinternet.com.

In last week’s position, White won with the pseudo-sacrifice 1.QxN! If Black takes the queen he is mated in 3. viz

1…Qxh5 2.Rxg7+ and if 2…Kh8  3.Rg5+ Re5 4.Bxe5 mate, or 2…Kf8 3.Rxf4+ Qf5 4.Rxf5 mate. Moving his rook only delays the inevitable.

It’s an unwritten rule of chess that one should develop all one’s pieces before starting an all-out attack, as in the above game. In this position Black has followed this plan, while White’s queenside pieces are still trapped. How can Black best maximise his advantage?

Black to play and win.