The West of England Championship and Congress started yesterday at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth, and finishes at lunchtime on Monday after 7 hard-fought rounds. Top seed is Grandmaster Keith Arkell, but, as the recent East Devon Congress demonstrated, nothing is pre-determined in chess.
This game is from the first official WECU Championship in 1947, which consisted solely of 8 invited players. Both finished 2nd= on 4/7 behind the winner A. R. B. Thomas. Notes are a synthesis of those by C. H. O’D Alexander in the British Chess Magazine & Capt. P. D. Bolland.
White: Francis E. A. Kitto. Black: Harold V. Trevenen.
Caro-Kann Def. – Knight Variation. [B15]
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Bd3 This pawn sacrifice, as played in the game Alekhine-Winter (Hastings 1937), offers White adequate compensation for the pawn. 5…Qxd4 Black grabs the pawn, but has to be very careful – the least slip leading to disaster, as in this game. 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Qe2 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Nd7 Here Black could have got rid of White’s dangerous king’s bishop by 8…Bf5 9.Bxf5 Qa5+ 10.Bd2 Qxf5 11.0–0–0 Nd7 but White is well ahead in development. 9.0–0 Nf6 10.Bg5 Bg4 11.Rfe1 e6 12.Rad1 Qc7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.h3 Bh5 15.Rd3 Bd6 16.Qe3 Ke7? Black has defended himself reasonably well so far, but the text move is wrong. He must exchange off his queen’s bishop, which is merely a liability, for the knight, and he cannot afford to leave his king in the centre. So 16…Bxf3 17.Bxf3 (If 17.Qxf3? f5! 18.Bxf5 0–0–0 winning a piece.) 17…0–0–0 18.Qxa7 Bh2+ 19.Kh1 Rxd3 20.cxd3 Rd8 with equal chances. After 16…Ke7 Black is lost and White finishes the game off in excellent style. 17.Nd4 Qb6 18.Qh6 Bg6 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.Rxe6+! Kd7 If 20…fxe6 21.Qg7+ winning a rook. 21.Rxd6+ Kxd6 22.Nf5+ Ke6 23.Re3+ Kd7 If 23…Kxf5 24.g4#. 24.Re7+ Mate follows quickly. 1–0
Here is a miniature from the 1962 event.
White: F. Kitto. Black: A. R. B. Thomas.
Vienna Game [C29]
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Qf3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Nxc3 7.Bxc6+ This leads to great complications, which prove very much in Black’s favour. 7…bxc6 8.Qxc3 Qh4+ 9.g3 Qe4+ 10.Kf2 c5! 11.Nf3 d4 12.Qb3 Be6! The start of a subtle Bishop manoeuvre. If 12…Bb7 13Re1 and…Qf5 cannot be played as it would leave the Bishop en prise. As played, the Bishop gets onto the long diagonal at c6 13.Qa4+ Bd7 14.Qb3 Bc6 15.Re1 Qf5 16.e6 This attack is finely refuted by Black but White can’t save the game now. The fatal weakness is his inability to develop by d3 16…0–0–0 17.e7 Bxe7 18.Rxe7 c4 19.Qa3 Rhe8 0–1
In last week’s 2-mover by Sam Loyd, White plays 1.Rg4! If Black’s queenside knight moves anywhere, there is 2.Bd4 mate. If 1…Nf3 2. Nh3 mate. Wherever else it moves, there follows 2.g5 mate.
This week’s 2-mover is another world premier poser by Dave Howard.