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November 2014
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WECU’s British Championship Qualifying Place

The English Chess Federation annually reserves four places in the British Championship for players nominated by the West of England Chess Union. WECU passes on three of these to events in its area that meet certain criteria, like the Torbay and Frome Congresses, while retaining one place for its own Easter Congress. This place is offered to the highest-placed, eligible player in the Open section. Eligibility depends on the player being either born or currently resident in, or attending a school or college in one of the seven counties comprising the Union, and not already qualified by some other route.

This year, the winner of the Open, Steve Berry was ineligible on all counts. Equal 2nd were M. Turner and D. Mackle, but the former is pre-qualified by virtue of being a GM and Mackle could not spare the time off, so the offer was made to Patryk Krzyzanowski who has lived in Yeovil for about three years. He seems likely to accept, once he has worked out the details.

He recently won the Teignmouth RapidPlay and here scored 4 points and is clearly very strong for his grade which is sure to rise when the new grading list comes out. Here is his game against the current Devon Champion.

White: P. Krzyzanowski (177). Black: M. V. Abbott (177).

Benko Gambit  [A57]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 3…b5 The signature move of the Benko Gambit. 4.cxb5 4a6 5.b6 5.bxa6 is more usual, but White does not wish to play into Black’s hands, as he correctly assumes Black will know well all the common lines. 5…g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.e4 d6 8.Qb3 Bb7 9.a4 a5 10.Bb5+ Nbd7 11.Bc6 Bxc6 12.dxc6 Nxb6 13.Nd5 Nbxd5 14.exd5 White’s two advanced pawns now look well-entrenched. 14…Rb8 15.Qf3 0–0 16.Ne2 e6 17.Bg5 h6 18.c7! The Black Queen is now compromised and cannot defend both c7 and f6 at the same time. 18…Qxc7 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Qxf6 exd5 Black comes out of this skirmish having lost a piece for 2 pawns. 21.0–0 d4 22.Rae1 Qd8 23.Qf4 Rxb2 24.Qxh6 Qf6 25.Nf4 Qg7 26.Qg5 c4 Black’s 3 passed pawns must shuffle forward as and when they can if he is to stand any chance. White must generate his own threats, possibly using his extra piece rather than being solely defensive as the advancing pawns with soon become increasingly powerful. 27.Re7 d3 28.Nd5 Qd4 The threat is 29.Nf6+ Kh8 30.Qh4+ etc. 29.Re4 Qc5 If 29…Qxe4 30.Nf6+. 30.Ne7+ Kg7 31.Nd5 Kg8 32.Rh4 Rxf2 33.Rxf2 Rb8 34.Rh8+ and Black resigned in view of  34…Kxh8 35.Qh6+ Kg8 36.Nf6 mate or 34…Kg7 35.Qf6 mate 1–0

Last week’s problem by G. F. Anderson was solved by 1.Rb4-b6! If that was tricky, try this easier one. Black is about to queen but doesn’t get the chance as White mates next move.

White to play and mate immediately.

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