Eighty players enjoyed the most beautiful weather over the Easter weekend for the WECU Congress held on the Beacon, high above Exmouth’s busy sea-front. The prizewinners were as follows:-
Open Section: 1st Stephen Berry (214) Wimbledon 6/7 pts. 2nd= Matthew Turner (233) Glastonbury & Dominic Mackle (194) Newton Abbot both 5. Grading prizes (188-170) Patryk Krzyzanowski (177) Yeovil 4.
(U-170) 1st = David Stephenson (168) Hull & David Littlejohns (167) Taunton both 3½.
The West of England Championship was awarded jointly to M. Turner & D. Mackle, and the Qualifying Place for the British Championship in August was offered to Krzyzanowski.
Major Section (U-175): 1st Robert Thompson (173) Newton Abbot 6½. 2nd = Adam Clarke (164) Torquay & Brian Gosling (159) Exmouth both 5. Grading prizes (156-149) John Gorodi (150) Teignmouth 4. (U-149 Martin Worrall (138) Taunton 4.
Minor Section (U-140): 1st A. Wright (128) Plymouth 5½. 2nd= Dinah Norman (139) & Malcolm Roberts (138) both 5. Grading prizes (130–115): Roger Waters (124) Taunton & Paul Foster (121) both 4½. (U-115) Alan Fraser (113) 4.
Probably the best game of the tournament came in the final round when Mackle was drawn to play Turner who was joint leader. Notes based on those by the winner.
White: D. Mackle (191). Black: M. Turner (233).
Queen’s Gambit – Slav Defence
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 initiating a pawn sacrifice in order to gain space. 5.a4 is usual. 5…b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 e6 8.axb5 Bb4 9.Bd2?! possibly dubious as Black will be forced to lose this important bishop. 9…Bxc3 10.bxc3 cxb5 11.Ng5 White now launches an early attack – a critical decision. There now follows a mighty struggle. 11…Qd7 12.Qh5 Nc6 13.Be2 Bb7 14.0–0 Kf8 If 14…h6 15.Ne4 a6 16.Nd6+ the supreme position for any knight. 15.f4 f5 16.exf6 Nxf6 17.Qh3 Re8 18.f5 exf5 19.Rxf5 Bc8 20.Bg4 Qd6 21.Rxf6+ gxf6 Not 21…Qxf6 22.Rf1 Bxg4 23.Qxg4 Qxf1+ 24.Kxf1. 22.Qh6+ Kg8 23.Bh5 Rf8 24.Rf1 Qe7 25.Bf3! This bishop manoeuvre is the key to paralysing Black’s defence. Qd7 26.Be4 Nd8 27.Rf3 Ne6 28.Nxe6 Qxe6 29.Rg3+ Kf7 30.Bxh7 Qd6 31.Bf4 Qd5 32.Qg7+ Ke8 33.Re3+? missing a mate in 2 e.g. 33.Bg6+ Kd8 34.Bc7# but the end is near anyway. 33…Be6 34.Bc7 Rhg8 35.Bg6+ 1–0
A fine game, enabling Mackle to catch his opponent on 5 points and thus share the Championship. Pictures and reports may be found on the keverelchess website and games on chessdevon.
Last week’s problem by D. Howard was solved by 1.Bd6! which cuts off a3 as an escape square for the King when White plays 2.b3 mate.
This 2-mover was composed by Gerald Francis Anderson and was first published in this paper in 1922.