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West of England Junior Winners. (24.03.2018.) 978

One of the largest events in the Westcountry is the Junior Championships held annually in Swindon. These were this year’s West of England Junior Champions in the various age groups.

U-18: Zoe Varney (178 – Millfield). U-16: Aliriza Gorgon (174 – Swindon). U-14: Chirag Hosdurga (164 – Bristol). U-14 Girls: Mansa Chandar (79 – Chandler’s Ford). U-12: Adam Hussain (150 – Carrick). U-12 Girls: Melissa Hamilton (113 – Portsmouth). U-10: Kandara Acharya (96 – Bristol). U-9: Daniel Shek (114 – Yately Manor). U-8: Mayank Palav (UG – Wilts). U-8 Girls: Jessica White (UG – Wilts).

The re-arranged 1st team match between Devon and Cornwall takes place tomorrow at the Plymouth Bridge Club, and the West of England Championship and general Congress starts the following Friday at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, and lasts throughout the Easter weekend. Details may be found on-line.

The 1st West of England Championship was held over the Easter weekend 1946 in the clubroom of the Bristol & Clifton Chess Club, where it was won by its club champion at the time, 23 year old Henry Vickers Trevenen. He was born in Penzance, the son of a stonemason, and as WWII robbed him of his formative years so mental illness later took away his prime, but in the immediate post war years he was almost unbeatable, becoming West of England Champion three times out of the first four.

This was one of his wins from the 2nd WECU Championship in 1947. His opponent, Ron Slade, had to wait another decade until he won the title.

White: R. A. Slade. – Black: H. V. Trevenen.

Pirc Defence  [B07]

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 Black has adopted a Pirc Defence formation, first popularised in the mid-’40s. 4.Bd3 Bg7 5.h3 Nbd7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 h6 Black will not be able to castle without losing his h-pawn as long as White’s pieces are lined up against h3. 8.Nge2 e5 9.0-0 exd4 10.Nxd4 Nc5 11.Rae1 Nxd3 12.cxd3 Bd7 13.f4 0-0 Black doesn’t hesitate to get castled. 14.f5 Kh7 15.Nce2 c5 16.Nf3 c4 17.fxg6+ fxg6 18.Ng3 cxd3 19.e5 Not 19.Qxd3? Bb5 19…Nd5 20.Qxd3 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 Leaving Black with the bishop pair against two knights. 21…Bb5 22.Rf2 dxe5 23.Nxe5 Rxf2

Slightly better was 23…Qh4 24.Rc2 Rae8. 24.Qxf2 Qd5 25.Ng4 While the knights are almost sidelined, the bishops cut swathes across the board. 25…Bc6 26.Re7 Rf8 27.Qe2 h5 28.Nh2 and now Black delivers a two-move knockout blow. 28…Qc5+ 29.Kh1 Rf2 Resigned because of the devastating fork between queen and h2. e.g. 30.Qe3 Qxe3 31.Rxe3 Rxg2 32.Ne4 Rxb2 and White’s problems are too many to repair. 0-1.

In last week’s problem, Owen Hindle won after 1.QxP!  and Black’s queen cannot retake because of Rxh7 #, so 1…Rg8 2.Qh5 and mate is inevitable.

In this position, White has his king tucked away and is all set to harass Black’s king. But it’s not his move. Does that matter?

Black to play

WECU Junior Winners

The Wiltshire and West of England Championships were held last weekend in Swindon. Although ineligible for West of England titles, the overall winners were as follows (grades in brackets):-

1st Matthew Wadsworth (205 – Berks).

2nd = Joseph Levene (172 – Barnet), Peter Batchelor (207 – Willesdon) & Ananthanarayanan Balaji (189 -Middlesex). The latter 3 all won a British Championship Qualifying Place.

The West of England (WECU) title winners in the various age groups were as follows:- U-18 Champion: 1st= John Fraser (154 – Devon) & Thomas Thorpe (177 – Bristol). Girls’ Champion:- Megan Owens (165 – Wilts). U-16 Champion:- John Fraser. U-14 Champion: Michael Ashworth (149 – Glos). Girls’ Champion: Eleanor Hapeshi (112 – Glos). U-12 Champion: Jonathan Lee (91 – Bristol). U-12 Girls’ Champion: Samantha Perryman (77 – Hants). WECU-10 Champion: William Cleeves (Thamesdown). Girls’ Champion: Mercedes Hobkirk-Capps (Glos). U-9 Champion: Benjamin Headlong (104 – Swindon). U-8 Champion: Dev Atara (Yately Manor). Girls’ Champion: (Jt.) Holly Bundy, Nandita Damarla & Georgia Headlong (all Wilts).

The West of England Championship will be held in Exmouth at the end of this month and it’s time now to get those late entries in as places are limited.

Cornwall is mourning the loss of one of its keenest players, and Britain one of its ablest problemists, with the sudden death of Christopher Reeves of St. Agnes at the age of 73. To the end, he was very active, and was often helpful to me in suggesting ideas for the problem section of this column, a number of his compositions appearing here over the years. He was not a prolific composer, having had about 120 published under his name, but their quality was of the highest, and FIDE awarded him the title of Master of Composition in 1990.

Last week’s problem by Kipping was solved by 1.d7! threatening 2.Nxc6# and if either of Black’s knights move to prevent this, the rook mates on the f-file.

This game ending occurred in the 2003 event (Woodruff v Finnegan). Black has just played Qf7 to pin White’s central rook. Does it work, or not?

Does White have a plan even more cunning that Black's plan?

Upcoming Events (14.01.2012.)

Next Saturday, Devon is hosting the West of England & South Wales team event at Tiverton, when over 200 Westcountry juniors will be involved.

The same day will also see a key round in the WECU Inter-County Championship when Somerset play Gloucestershire and Devon meet Hampshire at Wincanton. Both matches are likely to be close and the outcomes to have a major bearing on the eventual trophy winners.

The 26th Wilts and West of England Junior Congress will take place on 18th & 19th February at St. Joseph’s Catholic College,

Ocotal Way, Swindon, Wilts. This will include all the West of England junior titles in the various age groups. Details and entry forms may be found on their own website The top section has become so strong in recent years that the organisers applied for, and the WECU Executive was pleased to grant them, one of their four Qualifying Places for the British Championship in August.

This is another of Jack Rudd’s wins from the recent Hastings International, in which White fatally weakens his own kingside defences and Rudd needs no second invitation.

White: J. Burnett (2137). Black: J. Rudd (2290).

Hromadka Defence.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 a move introduced by the Hungarian, Karel Hromadka (1887-1956), and subsequent play often leads to the Modern Benoni. 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d5 6.cxd5 a6 7.N5c3 Bc5 8.e3 e4 9.Be2 0–0 10.a3 Qe7 11.b4 Bd6 12.Bb2 Bf5 13.Nd2 b5 14.Nb3 Nbd7 15.Nd4 Bg6 16.Rc1 Ne5 Black’s pieces are beginning to assemble for a kingside attack. 17.0–0 Rfd8 18.Qb3 Neg4 19.g3 Weakening the white squares around the king. 19…Qd7 20.Rcd1 h5 Black’s king is well tucked away, so he can consider this pawn advance without risking too much. 21.Rd2 h4 22.Nd1 Ne5 23.Kg2 Nd3 24.Bc3 White could perhaps try to be a bit more pro-active, trying to draw the sting of the gathering storm by exchanging pieces with something like 24.Nc6 Rdc8 25.Bxf6 gxf6 26.Bxd3 exd3 27.f3. etc. 24…Nc1 25.Qb2 Nxe2 working on the weakness of the white squares around the king. 26.Rxe2 Bh5 27.Rd2 Bf3+ 28.Nxf3 exf3+ 29.Kxf3 If 29.Kg1 Qh3; or 29.Kh1 Qh3 30.Rg1 Ng4. 29…Qg4+ 0–1 Resigned, as Black has a 4 move mate viz. 30.Kg2 h3+ 31.Kg1 Qf3.

The solution to David Howard’s New Year 2-mover was 1.Qb7! Last week’s Hastings 1895 continuation was 1.Nxg3 Rxg3+ 2.hxg3 Rxg3+ 3.Kf1! Rxd3 4Rg4! and Black resigned as his queen is pinned and mate is threatened on f8.

This week’s miniature 2-mover is by Henry D’Oyly Bernard (1878-1954) who was born in Combe Raleigh near Honiton. Interestingly, all four of White’s pieces may have the chance to administer mate, depending on how Black responds to the key move.

White to mate in 2.



West Of England Junior Championship Results (02.04.2011.)

The 25th combined West of England and Wiltshire Junior Championships were held recently at St. Joseph’s College, Swindon, with about 300 players taking part.

The older sections proved a triumph for the girls: the West of England Champion at both U-18 and U-16 was Radha Jain, whose eligibility is based on her being a pupil at Cheltenham Ladies College. The Wiltshire Champion for both age groups was Megan Owens who, although a native of Wales, was born in Salisbury.

The U-14 Champion was Kumar Dixit of Hampshire. At U-12, the Champions were Michael Ashworth and Eleanor Hapeshi both of Gloucester. In the U-10 group, the Champion was Harry Grieve (Hants) and the Girls title was won by Martha McCarron (Wilts). There was a tie in the U-9 section between brothers Thomas and Charlie McLaren of Wiltshire, so they won the county title as well. The U-8 Champion was Daniel Seymor (Wilts) while there was a tie for the Girls title between sisters Venetia and Mercedes Hobkirk-Caps of Gloucester. Wiltshire’s U-7 Champion was Rachel Fairfax.

The standard at the top end of each section was extremely high, and national team selectors take great notice of who is coming up through the ranks with a chance of representing their country.

The event was organised by the WECU Junior Organiser, Bev Schofield, with much help on the day from a host of volunteer helpers.

The very first West of England Junior Champion was P. T. Burnett of Kingswood School, Bath, when the event was held in Bristol in 1948. I wonder if he’s the Philip Burnett who plays for the Bristol Cabot club?

Here is an encounter from the WECU Junior Championship of 1974 that won the Best Junior Game prize.

White: H. Sommers. Black: A. W. Brusey.

French Defence [C00]

1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Be2 Nf6 5.0–0 Bd6 6.Re1 0–0 7.d4 Re8 8.Bg5 Bg4 9.Nc3 c6 10.Ne5 Be6 11.Qd2 Nbd7 12.Nxd7 Bxd7 13.Bf3 Re6 14.Rxe6 Bxe6 15.Re1 Be7 16.Ne2 Ne4 An exchanging line which forces an ending in Black’s favour. 17.Bxe7 White has nothing better. 17…Nxd2 18.Bxd8 Nxf3+ 19.gxf3 Rxd8 20.Nf4 Re8 21.Nd3 Kf8 22.Nc5 b6 23.Nxe6+ Rxe6 24.Rxe6 fxe6 White’s inferior pawn formation gives Black a big advantage. 25.Kg2 Kf7 26.Kg3 Kf6 27.Kf4 c5 28.c3 g5+ 29.Kg4 cxd4 30.cxd4 e5 31.dxe5+ Kxe5 32.Kxg5 d4 33.f4+ Kd6 After 33…Ke4 34.f5 d3 Black queens first but will find it hard to win. 34.f5? The fatal error.  34.Kg4 Ke6 leads to a draw – despite being a pawn up, White is not going to win. 34…d3 35.Kh6 d2 36.Kxh7 d1=Q 37.f6 Qg1 0–1

The solution to last week’s position was 1.Qf5! forcing 1…Kg3 and 2.Bf2 mate follows. How can White repeat a 2-move mate this week?

White to Mate in 2 moves.