Posts Tagged ‘Western Morning News’
As you might have realised by now, Western Morning News has, as from 1st November 2014, been forced to cut in half the Westcountry Life supplement in its Saturday edition, and with it has gone the chess column. They are due to monitor the situation in January, when further decisions will be made on future developments. In the meantime, the editorial staff will welcome views on the future of the column. Letters should be addressed to:- The Editor, Western Morning News, 3rd Floor, Studio 5-11. Millbay Road, Plymouth PL1 3LF. During that interim period, I’ll be posting a weekly column in the WMN slot on this website, even though it will not appear in the paper itself. The code number (812) refers to the number of columns I’ve written since starting about 17 years ago. If the WMN column is not restored in January, I may have to reconsider.
So, here goes……
The new President of the English Chess Federation is Dominic Lawson, former Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, son of former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson and brother to Nigella. He is a strong and active player who is likely to use his professional contacts to raise the profile of the game in the national consciousness. To this end he has, all this week, been involved in a second series on Radio 4 in which, while playing a game with them, he talks to a number of diverse public figures for whom chess has played a part in their lives. On Monday it was the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and on Thursday it was Sol Campbell, former Arsenal and England footballer. He did a 1st series earlier this year which included boxing champion Lennox Lewis. All ten broadcasts will remain available on the BBC website for at least a year.
By way of introduction, writing in the Radio Times, Lawson links this with the film The Imitation Game, shortly due for UK release, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the part of the mathematician Alan Turing. It concentrates on Turing’s work at Bletchley Park cracking the “unbreakable” Nazi codes, where his line managers included British Chess Champion Hugh Alexander and Sir Stuart Milner-Barry.
Turing was not in their league as a player but left an even greater legacy to the chess world when, in 1952, he developed the first chess program, which he called “Turochamp”. It took half an hour to execute the instructions for each move but it worked, and 45 years later its direct descendant “Deeper Blue” defeated Kasparov himself.
This begs the question as to whether the silicon algorithms have taken over and are killing human creativity. While there is no substitute for human vs human competition, the best players will always be those that harness the computer to help develop their innate skills; to be its master rather than its slave.
Here is the 1997 game in which a computer defeats a world champion in a match for the first time.
White: Deeper Blue. Black G. Kasparov Caro-Kann Defence – Steinitz Var. [B17]
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 Ngf6 6.Bd3 e6 7.N1f3 h6?? The blunder that sealed the human’s fate as it allows a known winning sacrifice 8.Nxe6! Qe7 9.0–0 fxe6 10.Bg6+ Kd8 11.Bf4 b5 12.a4 Bb7 13.Re1 Nd5 14.Bg3 Kc8 15.axb5 cxb5 16.Qd3 Bc6 17.Bf5 exf5 18.Rxe7 Bxe7 19.c4 1–0
Last week’s short game ended with 1.Bxf7+ Should Black take the bishop and try to hang on – or not? Black chooses the former 1…Kxf7?? 2.Ng5+ Ke8 and 3.Ne6 traps the queen, a move that Black clearly overlooked. But even if 1…Kf8 2.Ng5 Ndf6 3.Bb3 Nh6 etc. his position is a mess.
In this position from 1882, how does White win in two moves?
Newspapers all over the country, if not the whole world, are struggling to adapt to the challenges brought about by the new media – multiple channels of 24 hour rolling news - twitface – etc. etc. Added to that, the printed media’s lifeblood, advertising income, has been depressed throughout the banking and general financial crisis of recent years.
The Western Morning News cannot be immune to these factors, and must adapt to survive. One thing it has done is to sell off its award-winning flagship offices, built in the shape of a galleon, and move to premises near the docks. Another idea was the addition of a Sunday edition. However, circulation figures are not as predicted, as folk are probably already locked in to their favourite Sunday titles, and loth to either switch or add another paper to the already heavy bundle the paper boy delivers. But the experiment was committed until the end of January 2015 when it will be assessed. Until then, economies have to be made and the cutting in half of the Westcountry Life supplement on a Saturday is one of them.
With it went the chess column. That is the reason it has not appeared since October. In answer to the several enquirers I’ve already had, I am not too ill to write, or dead – far from it. Not yet, anyway.
The WMN chess column is one of the oldest provincial columns in the country. It started in 1891 under the editorship of Carslake Winter-Wood, writing under the nom de plume “Queen’s Knight”, in contrast to the contemporary Exeter columnist “King’s Knight”. In March 1906 the column switched to the Illustrated Western Weeky News. A. R. Cooper ran it from 1927 – 1939. Writing in the March 1939 issue of Chess, the eminent problemist, C. S. Kipping, observed that “the three British columns which have international reputations for their composing tourneys are (1) the Grantham Journal, (2) the Falkirk Herald and (3) the Western Morning News”. After the war it was taken on by former British Champion, R. J. Broadbent (1948 & 1950) but it was mostly devoted to problems. That is, until the arrival from Lichfield of J. E. Jones in 1956, who took the paper to task and insisted there should be real local news, so a chess column appeared twice a week, one by Broadbest and a new one by Jones (no relation).
However, Jones ran his column on the same lines as Howard Staunton ran his, a century earlier – that is, as a pulpit from which he would admonish any chess official who could not live up to his own high standards. In 1963 Jones moved away and when Ken Bloodworth took over he was quietly advised to keep it all low key. Which, of course, he did for the next 35 years. When he was approaching his late 80s, he wished to retire, but was keen that there should be no break to give the management an opportunity to end the sequence, and he recommended me to them, and the switch was smoothly made. I have now written 812 weekly columns.
There is now a hiatus until the end of January 2015 when further decisions will be made. If you wish to convey your personal opinion on the future of the column, I’m sure the decision-makers would listen attentively.
Their address is: Western Morning News, Studio 5-11, Millbay Road, Plymouth. PL1 3LF.
The Chipping Sodbury RapidPlay was held recently at the Old Grammar School. The winners were as follows:
Open Section: 1st James Cobb (228) Bristol& Clifton 5/6 pts. 2nd= Chris Beaumont (214) Bristol & Clifton & Jerry Humphries Downend & Fishponds 4½.
Major Section (U-155): 1st= Andrew Munn (150) & David Tipper (143) both Downend & Fishponds, and David Dugdale (151) Thornbury all 4½.
Minor Section: Dorota Pacion (117) S. Bristol 5½. 2nd= Jack Walpole (90) & Richard Port (113) both University and Kevin Langmaid (112) Yate & Sodbury all 4 pts. Dorota Pacian was the only female player in the tournament.
While the 15th Beacon Seniors tournament was played out during the week, the World Seniors Championship was due to finish on Wednesday at Katerini, Greece. Millionaire chess player, Terry Chapman, had organised a team of four English players, himself incuded, to have a concerted effort for one of them to win the title.
This was the 8th round game between two of the contingent.
White: Keith Arkell (2450). Black: Mark Hebden (2540).
King’s Indian Defence [E62]
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 0–0 5.g3 d6 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.0–0 Rb8 8.b3 a6 9.Nd5 Nh5 10.Bb2 e6 11.Nc3 b5 12.d5 Ne7 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.c5 dxc5 15.Qc2 Nc6 16.Rad1 Nd4 17.Nxd4 cxd4 18.e3 e5 19.exd4 exd4 20.Nd5 d3 21.Qc1 Bf5 22.Bxg7 Nxg7 23.Qxc7 Qxc7 24.Nxc7 White has now won a pawn and has a distinct advantage considering Black’s isolated pawn and inferior piece placement. 24…a5 25.Nd5 Rf7 26.Ne3 Rd7 27.Rd2 a4 28.Nxf5 Nxf5 29.Rfd1 axb3 30.axb3 Black must lose at least one of his 2 queenside pawns. 30…Rbd8 31.Bc6 Rd4 32.Bxb5 Now the other must fall as well. 32…g5 33.Rxd3 Kg7 34.Kg2 R8d6 35.Rxd4 Nxd4 36.Bc4 Kf6 37.b4 Ke5 38.Re1+ Kf6 39.b5 Nf5 40.Rb1 Rb6 41.Bd3 Nd6 42.Rb4 h6 43.h4 Nf7 44.Ra4 Ke5 45.hxg5 hxg5 46.Ra6 Rb8 47.Rg6 Kd4 48.Be2 Ke5 49.Bc4 1–0. Now Black’s last pawn must go, leaving him in a hopeless position. Arkell won again in the next round, putting him in the joint lead with 2 games to play, and Hebden and Nunn just behind. The chances of having an English World Seniors Champion look good.
In last week’s miniature problem White wins by 1.Qg7! from where it can go to either a7 or a1 to give mate, depending on which way the Black king goes.
This position comes at the end of a blitz game earlier this year. White is 2 pawns down but might have winning chances; if only he had more than a few seconds to think about it…
The Beacon Seniors Congress finished yesterday afternoon. Jim Burnett of Doncaster was a new face on the local scene and looked impregnable early on and a likely winner. Here are his first 2 games.
White: R. Scowen (159). Black: J. Burnett (196).
French Defence [C02]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.0–0 Ng6 8.b3 Be7 9.Ba3? There is no possibility of winning a pawn as White’s own important e-pawn would also fall. So it puts the bishop out of the game. 9…0–0 10.Bd3 b6 11.Re1 Rc8 12.Nbd2 f5 13.exf6 Rxf6 14.Bxg6? Swapping off his most active piece. 14…Rxg6 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Bc6 17.f3 Qc7 18.Nf1 All White’s pieces are now at the edge of the board and none of them posing any threat. 18…Rf8 19.Kf2 Rg5 20.Qd3 Rxe5 Opening the way for Black’s queen, bishops & central pawn to flex their muscles. 21.Rxe5 Qxe5 22.Re1 Qf6 23.Bb2 e5 24.Qe2 Bd6 25.c4 d4 Creating a passed pawn and finally giving the “French bishop” room to breathe. 26.Nd2 Qh4+ 27.Kg1 e4 28.Nxe4 Bxh2+ 28…Qxh2+ 29.Kf1 Bxe4 30.Qxe4 Bg3 31.Rc1 Qh1+ 32.Ke2 Qxg2+ 33.Kd1 Qxf3+ 34.Qxf3 Rxf3 leaving White without a move on the board. 29.Kf1 Bf4 30.Nf2 Re8 31.Qd1 Be3 32.Nh3 Bxf3 0–1.
White: J. Burnett (196). Black: B. Gosling (151).
1.d4 g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.c4 d6 4.g3 e5 5.Bg2 Nd7 6.e4 Ne7 7.0–0 exd4 8.Nxd4 0–0 9.Nc3 a6 10.Re1 Ne5 11.Bf1 c6 12.h3 Qb6 13.Nb3 Be6 14.Be3 Qc7 15.Nd2 b5 16.cxb5 axb5 17.Qc2 Rfc8 18.b3 b4 19.Na4 c5 20.Rac1 A speculative sacrifice follows. 20…Rxa4 21.bxa4 Qd7 22.Bb5 N5c6 23.h4 Bc3 24.f3 Qc7 25.Kg2 Nd4 26.Bxd4 cxd4 27.Red1 d5 28.Nb3 Qe5 29.Bd3 dxe4 30.fxe4 Be1 A great idea that doesn’t quite work. White must give up his queen, but having won the earlier exchange, he gets plenty of compensation for it. 31.Qxc8+ Nxc8 32.Rxe1 Bxb3 33.Rxc8+ Kg7 34.axb3 2 rooks would be equal to a queen in most positions, but with the bishop thrown in as well, the Black queen cuts a lonely figure. 34…Qe6 35.Rc4 g5 36.hxg5 Qg4 37.Rxd4 Qxg5 38.Re2 Qc5 39.Rd5 Qb6 40.Bc4 h6 41.Rf5 1–0
In last week’s position, Black won by 1…Rd1+ and White must take it or lose his queen, but then faces 2…Nf2+ forking king and queen.
Here is another Dave Collier win, this time in the British Championship. White to move and win immediately.
Devon’s 2nd team met Dorset at Luppitt Village Hall last Saturday, and anyone looking at the team lists before kick-off could have been forgiven for thinking that Devon should have a fairly smooth ride, as they outgraded their opponents on all boards but one. However, a late withdrawal and a default did much to even things up, and as the games finished there was never more than a point between the teams. In the end, with the scores standing at 7½-all, it came down to the last game to finish (Annetts-Litchfield), which was an unclear endgame, until the Dorset player allowed his last piece to get trapped and conceded his game, and with it the match.
The full scores were as follows; (Devon names first in each pairing).
1. T. F. Thynne (158) ½-½ P. Aston (151); 2. P. Brooks (157) ½-½ W. Legg (149); 3.M. Stinton-Brownbridge (159) 0-1 D. Aldwinckle (149). 4. D. A. Toms (159) 0-1 J. Cherryson (145); 5. J. Fraser (153) 1-0 Steve Blake (145); 6. I. S. Annetts (152) 1-0 M. Litchfield (142); 7. J. G. Gorodi (148) 0-1 M. Fielding (139); 8. P. Dobber (142) ½-½ P. Errington (140); 9. R. G. Wilby (145) 1-0 P. Brackner (136); 10. K. P. Atkins (143) 1-0 P. Jackson (133); 11. P. E. Halmkin (140) 1-0 J. Kelly (128); 12. D. Nie (146) 1-0 P. Bland (128); 13. A. Hart (135) 0-1 J. May (128); 14. K. Alexander (129) 0-1 F. Fallon (124); 15. R. H. Jones (130) 1-0 N. Mackie (117); 16. Simon Blake (96) 0-1 J. M. George (108).
In this game from the match, Black conducts a successful kingside attack.
White: P. Brackner. Black: R. Wilby.
Franco-Indian Defence [A45]
1.d4 e6 2.e3 Nf6 3.Nd2 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Be2 Qc7 6.a4 cxd4 7.exd4 d5 8.Ngf3 Bd6 9.0–0 Ng4 10.g3 f5 11.Nh4 Nf6 12.Ng2 Bd7 13.Re1 Ne7 14.Nf1 Ng6 15.Bh5 0–0–0 16.Be2 A retreat that doesn’t help White’s piece development. 16…Ne4 17.f3 Nf6 18.Be3 Now Black proceeds to break open the kingside. 18…f4 19.Nxf4 Nxf4 20.Bxf4 Bxf4 21.gxf4 Nh5 22.Qd2 Rdf8 23.Bb5 Rxf4 24.Bxd7+ Kxd7 25.Qe2 Rf6 26.Qe5 Qxe5 27.Rxe5 Nf4 28.Re3 h5 29.Kh1 Rg6 30.b4 Nh3 31.Ng3 h4 32.Ra2 The knight must stay there, as if 32.Ne2 Nf2# 32…hxg3 33.Ree2 Nf4 34.Red2 g2+ 35.Rxg2 Nxg2 36.Rxg2 Rxg2 37.Kxg2 Rc8 0–1 Already a rook down, White must lose his queenside pawns.
Last week’s game ended after 1.b4! does several things including providing a flight square for White’s king and threatens Qxf2, after which White’s queen and bishop pair bear down on the Black king.
Here is another original 2-mover by Dave Howard, which he tells me is not too difficult.
Weymouth hosted the sailing events at the recent Olympics and Dorset chessplayers marked the occasion by organising a simultaneous match against Grandmaster Ray Keene in the splendid surroundings of the library of Kingston Maurward College nearby. Twenty local players took on the GM, of whom 4 Wimborne players secured a draw, but Weymouth’s Allan Pleasants was the only winner, whose notes these are.
White: R. D. Keene. Black: A. Pleasants (188).
Pillsbury Defence [A42]
1.d4 d6 2.e4 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.d5 Nb8 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.Nf3 e5 A bit commital; 9.h3 0–0 10.g4 Nc5 11.Nd2 a5 12.Qc2 c6 13.g5 Ne8 14.h4 f5 15.f3 Rf7 16.b3 Nc7 17.a3 cxd5 18.cxd5 Rb8 19.a4 N7a6 20.Nb5 fxe4 21.fxe4 Qe7 22.0–0–0 Understandably White wants to find somewhere safe for the king now that the f-file is open. However, it is not clear that it’s safe on the queenside either. 22…Bd7 23.Kb2 Rc8 24.Qb1 Nb4 25.Rc1 Rf4 Black gives up the exchange for excellent black square control. 26.Bxc5 If 26.Bxf4 exf4+ 27.Ka3 26…dxc5 27.d6 Qf8 28.Bc4+ Kh8 29.h5 Rf2 Hard to resist but not the best. e.g. 29…Bxb5 30.axb5 Qxd6 31.hxg6 Qxg6 30.hxg6 Rxd2+ 31.Kc3? White wins the exchange due to the threat of mate on h7. However, the king will become very exposed. 31…h6 32.Kxd2 Qf2+ 33.Be2 White had to beware of 33.Kc3 Bxb5 34.Bxb5 Qd4 mate. 33…Bxb5 34.axb5 Rd8 35.Rcd1 Qd4+ Black had originally intended 35…Rxd6+ 36.Kc3 Qe3+ 37.Kb2 Qxe2+ 36.Ke1 Qc3+ 37.Kf2 The king is now horribly exposed – Black scents a win. Better was 37.Rd2 Rxd6 38.Qb2 Qg3+ 39.Kd1. 37…Rf8+ 38.Kg2 Qe3 39.Rhf1 Qxe2+ 40.Kg1 Qg4+ 41.Kh2 Qh4+ 42.Kg2 Qxg5+ 43.Kh2 Qh5+ 44.Kg1 Qxg6+ 45.Kh1 Qh5+ 46.Kg1 Qg4+ 47.Kh1 Qh3+ 48.Kg1 Bf6 0–1 There is no defence to Rg8+ and a forced mate.
More details may be found on the Dorset website (dorsetchess.org.uk).
The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Qe5! leaving Black able only to capture either of the two adjacent knights, and depending on which one he takes, 2.Qb8 or 2.Qh8 are mate,
In this position from a game earlier this year, Taunton resident, Mickey Adams (White) looks reasonably secure, but Black has a surprising winning stroke. Can you spot it?
The recent match between Hampshire and Somerset resulted in easy wins for Hants in both the 1st and 2nd teams. There are the details (Hampshire names first).
1. M. Yeo (196) 1-0 J. Rudd (213). 2. P. Hackman (191) 0-1 D. Buckley (201). 3. D. Tunks (187) ½-½ P. Krzyzanowski (188). 4. O. Gill (184) 0-1 A. Footner (173). 5. F. McLeod (176) 0-1 P. Chaplin (172). 6. R. Marsh (174) 0-1 G. Jepps (161). 7. P. Cooper (172) 1-0 D. Peters (157). 8. C. Bellers (169) 1-0 N. Senior (156). 9. J. Wilkinson (167) 1-0 P. Humphreys (155). 10. I. Stipcevic (u/g) 1-0 P. Flexman (154). 11. T. Anderson (161) ½-½ A. Champion (153). 12. D. Fowler (158) ½-½ C. Purry (151). 13.P. Kocan (158) 1-0 R. Morgan (147). 14. A. Samuels (155) 1-0 T. Wallis (145). 15. D. Thompson (154) 1-0 D. Wood (145). 16. C. Priest (151) 1-0 A. Byrne (134). Totals 10½-5½.
The 2nd team match was played out over 12 boards and finished thus:-
17. T. Chapman (149) ½-½ L. Cutting (u/g). 18. S. Smith (149) ½-½ C. Strong (132). 19. P. Barber (149) 1-0 C. Stanton (129). 20. A. Beaney (146) ½-½ M. Baker (129). 21. G. Moore (145) 1-0 S. Hill (125). 22. K. Steele (136) 1-0 S. Cook (123). 23. D. Culliford (136) 0-1 R. Fenton (121). 24. M. Pope (135) ½- ½ M. Cooper (118). 25. J. Young (126) 1-0 R. Waters (113). 26. Double default. 27. J. Barnett (112) 1-0 R. Turner (112). 28. J. Davis (103) ½-½ P. Ploskonka (90). Totals 7½-3½
Somerset 1 fared very well on the top boards, getting 4½/6 points, but didn’t win a single one below that. Here was one of their bright spots from Board 4.
White: O. Gill (184). Black: A. F. Footner (173)
Scandinavian Defence [A00]
1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 immediately departing from conventional lines d4 3.Nce2 e5 4.Ng3 Be6 5.Nf3 f6 6.Bb5+ Nd7? This develops a piece, though it is immediately pinned which give White attacking chances. 7.Nxe5 fxe5 8.Qh5+ Ke7! If 8…Bf7 9.Qxe5+ Be7 10.Qxd4 and White has 3 pawns for his knight, but still needs to develop those pieces asap; or if 8…g6 9.Qxe5. 9.Bxd7 Nf6 10.Qxe5 Qxd7 11.Nf5+ Kf7 12.Nxd4 Re8 13.Nf3 Bg4 14.Ng5+ Kg6 It looks like a King-hunt, but Andrew assures me his was an attacking King. 15.Qg3 and now White’s lack of development suddenly looks fatal. 15…Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Rxe4+ 17.Kf1 Bd6 18.Qc3 Rhe8 Threatening mate on e1. Also winning is 18…Be2+ 19.Kg1 Qg4 20.Qh3 Qxh3 21.gxh3 Bf3 etc. 19.d3 too little too late, though there is nothing better. 19…Bb4 0–1.
The game illustrates the dangers of attacking before all one’s pieces are able to join the fray once the initial forces have been liquidated.
The solution to last week’s problem by Alain White was 1.Rf4!
This week’s 2-mover is another world premier by David Howard of East Harptree, near Bristol. In spite of the maximum number of knights, the problemist’s favourite piece, it’s not one of his most difficult, so the seasonal festivities are no excuse for not having time to solve it.
The 12th Beacon Seniors Congress finished last weekend at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, one of the best chess venues in the country. There was a high percentage of winners.
Seniors Section: 1st= J. Dodgson, R. Everson, B. Gosling (Exmouth) & M Page (4/5 points). Grading prize (141 – 111) 1st= S. Cranmer, N. Dicker (Glastonbury), D. Elwood & G.Naldrett (3/5 pts). U-110: P. Carrick (Bath), H. Herschmann & S. Jones (Dorchester). Over-80s: B. Sandercock & A. Sherriff.
“Juniors”: 1st= I. Heppell & J. Wells (3½/5). Grading prize: D. Rogers (Exmouth).
“The exchange” is a term used in chess when one player loses (or wins) a rook for a minor piece, knight or bishop, and is often sufficient to be a winning advantage. In this game, the exchange is won no less than four times, but in the end, the minor pieces have the last laugh. Both players knew they had to win to qualify for a share of 1st place, so held nothing back.
White: M. Page (168). Black: J. Footner (176).
Sicilian Defence – Paulsen Variation. [B49].
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.0–0 Nf6 8.Be3 Bb4 9.f3 d5 Black’s freeing move in the Sicilian Defence, but he allows White to get a positional edge. 10.exd5 Bxc3 11.dxc6 Bxb2 12.cxb7 Bxb7 13.Rb1 Ba3 14.Rb3 Bd6 15.f4 0–0 16.c4 Rfd8 17.Qb1 Be4 18.Qb2 Nd7 19.Nf3 Nc5 The rook has no safe place to go; White needs a plan. 20.Ng5 Nxb3 21.Nxe4 White has lost the exchange. 21…Nc5 22.Nxd6 Rxd6 23.Rb1 Rad8 24.Kf1 Ne4? allowing White to regain the exchange. 25.Bb6 Regaining the exchange – again… 25…Qd7 26.Bxd8 Nd2+ … but losing it back almost immediately. 27.Ke1 Nxb1 28.Ba5 Qa7 29.c5 Rd7 30.Qxb1 Qxc5 31.Qb8+ Qf8 32.Qxf8+ Kxf8 33.Bxa6 The issues have now crystallised – 2 bishops vs a rook, with the outside pawn being the advantage, providing it can be mobilised quickly. 33…Rd4 34.Bb5 Rxf4 35.Bd2 Rf5 36.Bb4+ Kg8 37.a4 f6 The bishops now withdraw to the protection of their king, leaving the a-pawn free to make a charge for the line. 38.Bd2 Kf7 39.Be2 Ke8 The rook alone will not be able to cope with the pawn and 2 bishops so the king must swing across, but finds it’s too late to be of any use. 40.a5 Kd7 41.a6 Kc7 42.Be3 Ra5 43.a7 1-0 Resigns. Play might have continued 43…Kb7 44.Bf3+ Rd5 the least worst option. 45.Bxd5+ exd5 leaving the White king free to mop up the pawns at leisure while the Black king is tied to b7 for ever.
This 2-mover shouldn’t delay you too long.
The Plymouth-based Western Morning News carries one of the oldest chess columns in any provincial daily paper. It was started in 1891 and has continued ever since in one form or another, in spite of having shifted for a short spell to another title in the same stable, the Illustrated Western Weekly News.
For the past 55 years it has had just three correspondents: J. E. “Eddy” Jones (1956 – 63); K. J. “Ken” Bloodworth (1963 – 1999) & R. H. “Bob” Jones from 1999.
For all this time, it has reported weekly on the chess activities within its readership’s area, Devon & Cornwall, However, since December 2010, in a cost-cutting exercise and rationalisation, the WMN joined forces with its Northcliff Group neighbour, the Bristol-based Western Daily Press, to produce a weekend supplement in common, called Westcountry Life. Fortunately, they retained the chess column, which means it now gets a much wider readership, and this must be reflected in the scope of what it records. So the activities in Somerset and Gloucestershire must get equal billing, as it were, with those of Devon & Cornwall.
One must hope this experiment will prove successful and continue. We hope chess followers will purchase the two papers in question, at least their Saturday edition, as this is the point of the exercise. However, I have permission to reproduce it on this website for the benefit of those outside the readership area.
To that end, I aim to post it here a day or two after its appearance in the paper.
Recently, I have been looking into the early years of the West of England Individual Championship. It started in 1946 when just four players were invited to compete for the title. These were Ron Bruce of Devon, Chris Sullivan of Gloucestershire, Capt. P. D. Bolland of Somerset and 23 year old H. V. Trevenen of Cornwall, who at that time was the new champion of the Bristol & Clifton Club. Trevenen was the surprise winner, and this was no fluke as he won again in 1949 and 1950 when it had been increased to a seven round 8-player tournament.
However, he seems to have been something of a mystery man, as no-one today, even those who can remember him, can relate anything about him, even his Christian names. He did suffer a nervous breakdown at some point and was hospitalised in Bodmin, but this is about all anyone knows. If any reader can add to this very small amount of information, I would be grateful.
Meanwhile, here is one of his games from the 1947 Championship, which demonstrates his sharpness. His opponent was the Gloucestershire and Bristol champion, Ron Slade, who was born in Plymouth and died in Cornwall at the age of 90.
White: R. A. Slade. Black: H. V. Trevenen.
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 0-1Resigned because of the devastating fork between the queen and h2. Play might have continued… 30.Qe3 Qxe3 31.Rxe3 Rxg2 32.Ne4 Rxb2 and White’s problems are too many and too serious to repair.
The East Devon Congress is taking place this weekend in Exeter’s Corn Hall, where the holder, Paul Helbig of Bristol, is defending his title. I will have full details of all prizewinners here next week.
White’s most efficient way of winning in last week’s position was to play 1.Bg8! and nothing the Black rook can do will prevent a mate on either g7 or h7.
This 2-mover is similar except that both sides have an extra piece to contend with.