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West of England Championship (13.04.2013.)

At the end of the recent West of England Championship, held over the Easter weekend, there was a four-way tie at the top of the Open Section and although the cash prize could easily be calculated (£155 each), there was some uncertainty about who should get the title of WECU Champion and the qualifying place for this year’s British Championship. Richard McMichael was the first to be eliminated under the eligibility rule as he has no connection to the West of England by birth or residence. Next to go was Patryk Krzyzanowski of Yeovil as he had the lowest sum-of-opponents’ scores, the next level of tie-break.  This left Dominic Mackle and Robert Thompson, both of the Newton Abbot Club, but it took 3 days to be absolutely sure that Mackle had already qualified for “the British” via his success at the Paignton Congress in September. Therefore this place went to Thompson. However, as Mackle had the superior sum-of-opponents’ score, he became the new West of England Champion.

Here is a game from Rd. 4 in which two players from Hull battled it out.

White: D. Stephenson (169). Black: T. Paulden (177).

Robatsch Defence [B06]

1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 a6 4.f4 d5 5.e5 h5 6.Be3 Bg4 7.Qd2 Nh6 8.h3 Bf5 9.Nf3 e6 10.0–0–0 White has built up a strong centre, but his castled position looks vulnerable to a quick pawn-storm – and here it comes. 10…b5 11.Be2 Nd7 12.Nh2 h4 13.Nf3 Bf8 14.Bf2 Be7 15.Ng5 Ng8 16.Bg4 Nb6 17.Bxf5 gxf5 18.b3 c6 19.Kb1 a5 As Black’s attack proceeds, White must try to some activity on the other wing. 20.g4 hxg3 21.Bxg3 a4 22.h4 Qb8 23.h5 Nh6 Developing a piece and blocking the h-pawn. 24.Ka1 Qa7 25.Nf3 White’s kingside ambitions are thwarted so he must attend to his defences. Bb4 26.Rc1 Qa5 27.Be1 Kd7 28.Ng1 Rhg8 29.Nge2 Rg2 30.Rh3 Ba3 31.Rb1 b4 32.Nd1 Qb5 33.Bf2 Ng4 34.Rg3 Rxf2! 35.Nxf2 Nxf2 36.Rg7 Ne4 37.Qe1 axb3 38.cxb3 Qd3 39.Rxf7+ White is trying to get some counterplay but  a single piece is not enough.  39…Ke8 40.Rb7 which brings us to this week’s position in which Black found a winning move before White could threaten mate himself with Qh4. Can you find it?

The solution to last week’s problem was 1.Rh3! Kf4 (forced) 2.Rf3 mate

Black to play and win

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