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It was a busy weekend for Devon’s players, starting with their annual Wayling Cup match against Dorset at Luppitt on Saturday. The teams were well-matched over the top 8 boards, where the score was 4-all, but Devon’s greater strength in depth proved decisive and they won 10-6. Devon’s winners were Charlie Howard, Tim Paulden, John Morrison, Wilf Taylor, Steve Murray, Robert Jones and John Knowles, while honourable draws were obtained by Messrs. Gosling, Kennedy, Toms, Gorodi and Southall.

This game was last to finish and involved a newcomer to Devon.

White: T. Paulden (157). Black: P. Wilcock (157).

Polish Opening [A00]

1.b4 d5 2.Bb2 Nf6 3.e3 Bf5 4.c4 e6 5.Qb3 Be7 6.Nf3 0–0 7.Be2 c6 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.d4 Ne4 11.Qc2 Ndf6 12.c5 Nxc3 13.Bxc3 Ne4 14.Bd3 Nxc3 15.Qxc3 Bxf3 16.gxf3 f5 cutting off White’s pieces from rushing to the defence of the King while opening lines for attackers. 17.f4 Rf6 18.Kh1 Rh6 19.Rg1 Bf8 20.Rg5 Be7 21.Rg2 Bf6 22.a4 It behoves White to create a diversion on the opposite wing. 22…Rc8 23.b5 Qe7 24.Qa5 cxb5 25.axb5 Ra8 26.b6 a6 27.c6 bxc6 28.Bxa6 Qe8 29.b7 Rb8 30.Qc7 Be7 31.Rc1 e5 32.Qxe5 Rf6 33.Qc7 Kf8 34.Qa5 By this stage Black has only seconds left to reach move 40 and a small crowd has gathered round. 34…Bd6 35.Qc3 Bc7 36.f3 Kg8 37.Rcg1 g6 38.Rb1 Re6 39.Rc1 White is thinking more of attacking c6 rather than defending e3. 39…Rxe3 40.Qxc6 Re1+ 41.Rg1 Rxg1+ 42.Kxg1 Qe3+ 43.Kg2 Qd2+ 44.Kf1 Qd3+?? The game is brought to a sudden halt by a terrible blunder brought on by time-pressure. 1-0 If Black had played instead 44…Bxf4 45.Rc2 Qd1+ 46.Kg2 Kg7 and the game is very finely balanced.

The following day, the Newton Abbot Club hosted Devon’s Team RapidPlay Tournament for the cup originally donated by A. R. B. Thomas. Nine teams of 4 players entered, playing six rounds at 12 minutes per player per game. At that speed, it was nail-biting stuff – not for the faint-hearted – and it was not decided until the last game to finish, when Exmouth “A” clinched it, just a half point ahead of Barnstaple, with Tiverton “A” in 3rd place. The event was organised by the host club’s Secretary, Trefor Thynne.

The death was announced this week of Denys Bonner at the age of 90 in an Exeter nursing home. In his prime he had been a top player in Devon and later in Somerset for many years. I hope to record more of his career later.

In last week’s position, Mestel won after 1…Nxa2+ 2.Qxa2 (forced) 2…Qf4 mate.

The 35th Guernsey Chess  Festival starts tomorrow and several local players will be involved. This week’s position shows the end of a game between Steve Murray of the Met. Office and Tony Corkett at Guernsey in 2002. How did Corkett (Black) win in 2 moves against any defence?

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