The West of England Championship and Congress took place over the Easter weekend at its usual venue of the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth. The final prize list held few major surprises, though the games were well-contested. The winners were as follows (all scores out of 7).
Open: 1st Keith Arkell (234) Paignton 6½.
2nd Jack Rudd (221) Barnstaple 5½.
3rd= Richard McMichael (221) Kings Head & Theo Slade (178) Barnstaple both 4½. Grading prizes – U-187:
1st Richard Savory (179) Downend 4. U-1994: 1st= Alan Brusey –Teignmouth; Meyrick Shaw Exmouth & Graham Bolt Railways. Theo Slade accepted the British Championship Qualifying Place.
Major Section (U-175): 1st= Oliver Wensley (151) Exmouth & Colin Sellwood (153) Camborne both 5½. 3rd= Ray Gamble (160) Derby; Mark Potter (154); Tony Packham (169) GLCC; Matthew Wilson (157) Newton Abbot; Max French (154) Frome & Jamie Morgan (149) Penwith. Grading Prizes: (U-158); Tim Woodward (150) Trowbridge. (U-148): John Nyman (147) King’s Head.
Minor Section (U-140): 1st Chris Snook-Lumb (129) Swindon. 2nd Nigel Dicker. 127 Glastonbury
3rd= Barry Sandercock (133) & Duncan Cooper (119). GP (U-130) Tim Crouch (129) King’s Head; R. Hunt (129); Paul Foster (127) Medway & Peter Dimond (123) Bath. (U-123): Terry Greenaway (118) Torquay. (U-110): John Harris(109) Stroud; Hazel Welch (105) Seaton & Martyn Maber (100) Taunton.
This was the 14 yr old Theo Slade’s Rd. 2 game against the seasoned Grandmaster, the bottom-rated player against the top.
White: T. L. Slade. Black: K. C. Arkell.
Caro-Kann Defence [B17].
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 Ngf6 6.Bd3 Nb6 7.N1f3 Bg4 8.Qe2 Bh5 9.h3 h6 10.g4 hxg5 11.gxh5 Rxh5 12.Nxg5 Qxd4 13.Ne6 Qd6 If 13…fxe6 14.Bg6+ disturbing the king and winning a rook, which looks a horror show for Black but after 14…Kd8 15.Bxh5 Nxh5 16.Be3 Qb4+ 17.c3 Qb5 18.Bxb6+ axb6 19.0–0–0+ Kc7 20.Qxe6 and Black has 2 minor pieces for a rook, often an advantage, depending on where the pieces in question are situated. This game is a good example of that. 14.Bf4 Qxe6 15.Qxe6 fxe6 16.Bg6+ Kd7 17.Bxh5 Nxh5 18.0–0–0+ Ke8 19.Be5 g6 20.Rhg1 Kf7 21.Rd4 Now Black’s pieces spring into action. 21…Bh6+ 22.Kd1 Nf6 23.c4 Nbd7 24.Bxf6 Nxf6 25.Re1 Rh8 26.Kc2 Bg7 27.Rd3 Rh4 28.b3 Rf4 29.Re2 Ne4 30.Rd7 Nc5 31.Rd1 a5 32.Rh1 Bd4 33.Rh2 g5 34.Rg2 Bf6 35.Rg4 Rf5 36.a3 e5 37.b4 axb4 38.axb4 Ne6 Threatening Nd4+. 39.Kc1 Nf4 40.Ra2 b5 41.cxb5 cxb5 The knight is ready to mop up White’s pawns via d3 or h3. 0–1
Last week’s game ended 1.Nxd6! attacking the rook, and if 1…PxN White can swap off all the kingside pieces and his b-pawn romps home to queen.
Keith Arkell played faultlessly at Exmouth, but even GMs can overlook things at times, and in this recent position he missed Black’s best move. Can you improve on 1…Be6?