Following close on the 100th British Championship comes the 63rd Paignton Congress which starts a week tomorrow. It will be a bit different this year as for the first time it’s not being held in Oldway Mansion, nor even in Paignton as it’s moving to the Livermead House Hotel, not far from Torquay’s Riviera Centre. This is because Oldway is currently being redeveloped by the Akkeron Group. Although this bonanza of chess is a feast for locals, the proximity of the two events is bound to affect the inclination of players from further afield to make the long trip twice in a month. So it seems likely that in spite of the usual late influx, entries may be down on a typical year. Enquiries about late enquiries should go to Linda Crickmore on 01752 768206 or email@example.com.
Here is a game from the Paignton Premier of 1957. Bonham was blind and would sit fingering his special board before announcing his move, and checking his clock with its markers outside the glass face. He was awarded a Grandmaster title in 1972.
White: F. Kitto. Black: R. Bonham.
Sicilian Defence – Margate Variation [B62]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.0–0 Qa5 Black is presumably eyeing up the undefended bishop on g5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.Qf3 Qe5 12.Rad1 Rb8 13.Rfe1 Be7 Black resists the temptation of the b2 pawn, but White quickly withdraws the offer anyway. If 13…Rxb2 14.Qd3 Be7 15.Qa6 c5 16.Nde2 c4 17.Rb1 Rxb1 18.Rxb1 Qc5 19.Rb7 Bc8 20.Qa4+ Kf8 21.Rxa7. 14.b3 c5 15.Nde2 Bc6 16.Qe3 Qg5 17.f4 Qg7 18.Ng3 h5 Black decides to keep his king in the centre and go for an all-out kingside attack. 19.f5 h4 20.Nge2 Rg8 21.Qf2 exf5 22.Nf4 fxe4 23.Nxe4 Kf8 24.Nxd6 threatening 25.Nf5 24…Bxd6 25.Rxd6. Now Black’s c-pawn is at risk with the threat of a discovered check to follow. 25…Bxg2. The position is lost, but least worst was probably 25…Qxg2+ 26.Nxg2 Rxg2+ 27.Qxg2 Bxg2 28.Kxg2 26.Rd8+! and mates in 2 1–0
Last week’s problem was solved by 1.Qc2! Only the Black king can move, to either Ka3 (2.Qb3 mate) or Ka1 (2.Qa4 mate).
This position arose in a Rd. 9 game in the recent British Championship. Black has no pieces left, but his 3 pawns are all connected and can be shepherded forwarded by his king. He also knows that if he can manage to swap off 2 pawns each then White cannot win, but he must first get those pawns moving, as White will want to leave his where they are. To this end he plays …h5. Good or bad?