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Forthcoming Westcountry events

The following harum-scarum game occurred in the recent Devon-Somerset match.

White: Keith Atkins (145). Black: John I. Wilkinson (137)

Pirc Defence [B07]

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.f3 Nbd7 6.Be3 0–0 7.Qd2 e5 8.Nge2 a6 9.h4 Rb8 10.Bh6 exd4 11.Nxd4 Ne5 12.Bb3 c5! White suddenly realises he is about to lose a piece after 14.Nde2 c4 15.Ba4 b5 winning the trapped bishop, so decides his best chance is a direct attack against the Black king on the other wing. 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.h5 cxd4 15.hxg6 dxc3 16.Qh6+ Kg8 17.gxf7+ Nxf7 This knight is now pinned and so poses no threat to the attacking queen. 18.0–0–0 necessary preparation for the final assault as the rook’s participation is essential. 18…cxb2+ 19.Kb1 Qe7 20.Qg5+ Kh8 By unpinning one knight Black is merely pinning the other. 21.Rxh7+ Nxh7 He has no choice but to lose his queen, but has a rook and 2 knights for it – the game’s not quite over yet. 22.Qxe7 Kg7 23.Rh1 b5 hoping to get in Rb7, but he doesn’t quite have the time. 23…Nf6 was necessary here, to keep his pieces as active as possible. 24.Bxf7 Rxf7 25.Qxd6 leaving him still with 3 pieces for the queen. 24.Rxh7+! The killing move, enabling the powerful queen to mop up Black’s uncoordinated pieces left and right. 24…Kxh7 25.Qxf8 Ne5 26.Bg8+ Kg6 27.f4 Nd7 28.Qxd6+ Kg7 29.Be6 Rb6 30.Qe7+ Kg6 31.Bxd7 1–0

The final matches in the WECU tournament take place this afternoon, with Cornwall facing Somerset at Exminster and Devon taking on Gloucestershire in the 1st Division, while Hampshire play Dorset in Division 2.

The following weekend will see the Cornwall Congress at Stithians, organised by Anton Barkhuyson. The top section, the Emigrant Cup, constitutes the Cornish Championship, where the current champion, Robin Kneebone, will be defending his title. The Falmouth Cup is open to all players graded U-146. Everyone is eligible for the prize money but only Cornwall registered players may win the cup. The same applies to the Penwith Cup, for players U-91 grade. Round 1 starts on the evening of Friday 23rd March and entries must reach the organiser by the previous day.

WECU’s own Congress over the Easter weekend is also getting close. It starts on Friday 6th April at its usual venue in Exmouth. Enquiries and late entries to Andrew Footner on 01935-873610 or

In last week’s position, White has to eliminate Black’s knight with 1.BxN before playing 2.Qh5.

In this game between Fogel and Czerniak, White needs just one move to complete his development, but it’s not his go. How did Black mate in 2?

Black to mate in 2.

Death of Tim Hay (12.02.2011.)

Devon’s former Match Captain, Tim Hay, passed away last month at the age of 64, after a long illness. His major feat was a unique achievement for a provincial county when, in 1992, he led Devon’s Under-11 team to the National Championship, usually the preserve of sides from the big conurbations. Then taking on the senior side, he took two Devon teams to the National Finals in 1996, winning the U-150 Championship.

In the current West of England competition, Gloucestershire have drawn two of their matches. Against Cornwall it finished 6-all in a 12 board match with wins for Nigel Hosken, Chris Mattos and Graham Brown, while Ian George, Gary Trudeau and David Lucas scored wins for the Cornish. Last month they drew 8-all against Somerset at Cheltenham. The home team winners were John Jenkins, John Waterfield, Graham Brown and Alun Richards, while the visitors’ victors were Gerry Jepps, Jim Fewkes, David Peters and Roger Morgan.

The 36th East Devon Congress starts a fortnight on Friday, so now is the time for late entries to be sent to the Secretary, Alan Maynard. (Tel: 01363-773313 or e-mail Last year’s winner, Paul Helbig of Bristol, went on to become West of England Champion a few weeks later, so it is a good indication of form. He will be defending his title again this year. Last year’s top seed was the Devon champion, but he came unstuck in two games of which this is one.

White: D. Mackle. Black: T. Paulden. Dutch Defence [A90]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 signature move of the Dutch Defence. 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 d5 5.Nh3 c6 6.b3 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bd6? moving this piece for the 2nd time in the opening is the start of the slippery slope. It is much better to get castled now before it is too late. 8.Bc3 Ne4 9.Bb2 Bb4+ forcing the King to move. Already White is on the back foot. 10.Kf1 0–0 11.f3 Nf6 12.Nf4 Bd6 13.Nd3 Nbd7 14.Nc3 Qe7 15.Qd2 b6 16.Rc1 Bb7 17.Qe3 Nh5 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.f4 g5 20.Bf3 Ndf6 21.fxg5 Ng4 22.Bxg4 fxg4+ 23.Ke1 Ba6 24.Kd2 Rf5 25.Rhf1 Raf8 26.Rxf5 Rxf5 27.Ne5! Black has spotted the winning move. 27…Rxe5 28.dxe5 Bc5 trapping the White Queen. If White tries 29.Nxd5 Bxe3+ 30.Nxe3 Qxg5 leaving White Queen for rook down. 0–1

The solution to last week’s position was 1.Qb1! from where the queen can administer mate whichever way the black king runs.

The final of the British Solving Championship takes place on Saturday 26th February at Oakham School, with Jon Lawrence of Paignton being the Westcountry representative. This 2-mover was one of the problems from the postal round sent to all potential qualifiers. It was composed by E. J. Polglase and first appeared in The Field in 1913. White to move.

White to mate in 2