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WECU Congress Winners (14.04.2012.)

The prizewinners of the West of England Congress last weekend were as follows:-

Open: 1st K. C. Arkell     (225 – Paignton) 5½ points. 2nd= S. Berry (216) & R. McMichael (194) both 5 pts. Grading prizes: U-186 1st= S. Dilleigh (183 – Bristol) & P. Krzyzanowski (185 – Yeovil) 4pts. U-180: S. Greely (170 – Downend) 4 pts.

Keith Arkell thus became the West of England Champion, but his title pre-qualifies him for the British Championship so that place will go to someone lower down the order.

Major Section: 1st J. Nyman (156) 5½  . 2nd= R. Bryant (171); R. Gamble (161); W. Ingham (155 – Teignmouth) & M. Wilson (149 – Teignmouth) all 5 pts. Grading Prize: U-158 1st A. Hibbitt (156 – Grendel)

4 pts. U-148 1st G. Body (147 – Exeter) 4½.

Minor Section: 1st= T. Woodward (137 – Trowbridge) & P. Errington (129). 3rd= J. Morrison (136 – Tiverton);    A. Wiggins (134); I. Blencowe  (125 – Gloucester) & M. French      (119 – Millfield) all 5 pts. Grading Prize:  U-127 1st= I. Blencowe (125 – Gloucester) & M. French (119 – Millfield). U-108: Alyssa Wang               (106) 4 pts.

It was, perhaps, no great surprise that GM Arkell should be overall winner, but it was not as smooth as might be expected, as he had to concede a draw and a loss before the start of the final round, leaving him half a point behind Berry and McMichael. They could only draw their last game, leaving Arkell needing to win to overtake them. This was the key game.

White: R. De Coverly. Black: K. Arkell.

Caro-Kann – Arkell/Khenkin Variation [B12]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 Arkells’ own gift to the chess world – the Arkell-Khenkin variation. 4.dxc5 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.c3 e6 7.b4 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nxe5 9.Bb5+ Nc6 10.Nd2 Nge7 11.Nb3 Qc7 12.0–0 Ng6 13.c4 Rd8 14.Bb2 Be7 15.Rad1 0–0 16.cxd5 exd5 17.a3 a6 18.Bxc6 bxc6 19.Rfe1 Rfe8 20.g3 Qc8 21.Kg2 Nf8 22.h4 Ne6 23.Nd4 Nxd4 24.Bxd4 Bf8 25.Re3 Rxe3 26.Bxe3 Qe6 27.Rd4 a5 28.h5 axb4 29.axb4 h6 30.Qf4 Be7 31.Rd3 f5 32.Qf3 Bf6 33.Bd4 Bg5 34.Be3 Qe4 35.Bxg5 hxg5 36.Qxe4 fxe4 reducing the game to a single R&P ending, an area in which Arkell excels. However, he is running out of time at this stage. 37.Rd4 Rb8 38.f3 exf3+ 39.Kxf3 Kf7 40.Ke3 Ke6 41.Rg4 Kf5 42.Rd4 Kf6 43.Kd3 Ke6 44.Rg4 Kf6 45.Rd4 Ra8 46.Kc2 Ra3 cutting off the White king from any further action in the centre. 47.g4 Ke5 48.Rd1 d4 the key move, freeing up d5 for his king. 49.Re1+ Kd5 50.Re7 Rg3 51.Rxg7 Kc4 52.Rxg5 Black has given up 2 pawns in the expectation that his own plan will work. 52…d3+ 53.Kd2 Rg2+ 54.Kd1 Kc3 55.Re5 Rg1+ 56.Re1 Rxe1+ 57.Kxe1 Kc2 0-1. White resigns as the pawn must queen and will be able to cover the advance of any white pawns.

David Howard’s Easter special was solved by 1.Bb2! This 2-mover by A. Lewis appears in this year’s ECF Yearbook. Of White’s best three tries, two fail only to a single Black response. Can you find them and the correct solution?

White to mate in 2.

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