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West of England Championship (06.04.2013.)

The West of England Championship finished on Monday in Exmouth after the coldest Easter weekend since records began, but although it was bitter outside there was plenty of hot chess inside, with a very open Championship section. After 7 hard-fought rounds the winners were as follows (All scores out of 7):

Open: 1st= Dominic Mackle (Newton Abbot); Richard McMichael (King’s Head); Robert Thompson (Bristol Uni.) & Patryk Krzyzanowski (Yeovil) all 5 points. Grading prizes: (U-188) Steve Dilleigh (Bristol) 4½. (U-180) Dave Littlejohns (Taunton) 4½.

Major Section: (U-175). 1st= Yasser Tello (Wimbledon); David Razzell (King’s Head) & John Nyman (Sutton) all 5. C07Grading prizes: (U-158) Theo Slade (Barnstaple) & Joshua Higgs (Worth School) both 4½. (U-150) Andrew Farthing (Worcester) 4½.

Minor (U-140) 1st Graham Shepherd (Church Stretton) 6. 2nd= Dave Rogers (Exmouth) & Nathan Mills (Brixham) both 5½. Grading prizes: (U-124) John Dean (Plymouth) & Nigel Mills (Yeovil) both 4½. (U-109) Alan Fraser (Beckenham) 4.

The standard in the Open section was high and there were very few short draws, many games being long drawn out affairs. Going in to the last round, 8 players, a third of the section, were either in the lead or a half point off it.

Here is a sharp finish from round 7 by two non-prizewinners.

White: Steve Homer (183 – Newton Abbot). Black: Alan Brusey (171 – Teignmouth).

French Defence – Tarrasch Variation [C07]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Ne4 6.Nxe4 dxe4 7.Ng5 cxd4 8.Nxe4 Qa5+ 9.Bd2 Qxe5 A nice manoeuvre to win a pawn, but it leaves his queen in the centre, vulnerable to harassment. 10.Bd3 Nc6 11.0–0 Bd7 12.f4 Now, as the position opens up, Black’s tardy development proves fatal. 12…Qc7 13.Ng5 g6 14.f5 exf5 15.Bc4 Nd8 16.Qe2+ Ne6 17.Bxe6 Bxe6 18.Nxe6 fxe6 19.Qxe6+ Qe7 20.Qc4 Qc5 Now the Black king is really exposed. 21.Rae1+ Kd7 If 21…Be7?? 22.Qxc5. 22.Qe6+ Kc7 23.Bf4+ Bd6 24.Qe7+ Again, the bishop is pinned. Kc6 the least worst move. 25.Bxd6 Qxd6 26.Re6 the Black queen falls. 1–0

The key move in last week’s problem was 1.Nd6!

In this position, how can White mate in 2 while avoiding stalemate.

White to mate in 2

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