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WELCOME to KEVEREL CHESS

Welcome to the Keverel Chess website, which will be covering all chess matters relating to Exmouth and Exmouth players, whether played or written in the town or further afield.

In addition, there will be a selection of chess books available to discriminating collectors. Lists will be updated regularly and enquiries about books listed may be e-mailed.

Introduction

Here are some short biographies of chessplayers who have made above-average contributions to chess at some level, whether in Devon or further afield.

The 1st editions of some of these articles got their first airing on the chessdevon website, and the author is grateful to its webmaster for that opportunity. These early ones have now all been reviewed and updated where new information has come to light before posting here.

Copyright remains with the author who will be pleased to receive further information for inclusion, or make corrections where necessary. Family history researchers should contact the author in the first instance with a view to a possible useful exchange of information.

Introduction to Exmouth Chess Club

Weekly Chess Column.

The Plymouth-based Western Morning News carries one of the oldest chess columns in any provincial daily paper. It was started in 1891 and has continued ever since in one form or another, in spite of having shifted for a short spell to another title in the same stable, the Illustrated Western Weekly News.

For the past 55 years it has had just three correspondents: J. E. “Eddy” Jones (1956 – 63); K. J. “Ken” Bloodworth (1963 – 1999) & R. H. “Bob” Jones from 1999.

For all this time, it has reported weekly on the chess activities within its readership’s area, Devon & Cornwall, However, since December 2010, in a cost-cutting exercise and rationalisation, the WMN joined forces with its Northcliff Group neighbour, the Bristol-based Western Daily Press, to produce a weekend supplement in common, called Westcountry Life. Fortunately, they retained the chess column, which means it now gets a much wider readership, and this must be reflected in the scope of what it records. So the activities in Somerset and Gloucestershire must get equal billing, as it were, with those of Devon & Cornwall.

One must hope this experiment will prove successful and continue. We hope chess followers will purchase the two papers in question, at least their Saturday edition, as this is the point of the exercise. However, I have permission to reproduce it on this website for the benefit of those outside the readership area.

To that end, I aim to post it here a day or two after its appearance in the paper.

Bob Jones

West of England Championship & Congress 2017

For 50 years after its inaugural event in 1947, the WECU Championship was (a) always held at Easter-time as that was when folk had their holidays and were therefore free to attend a 4 day event, making it the first seaside holiday of the year for many and (b) it rotated around the constituent counties – Newquay, Weymouth, Weston-Super-Mare and Torquay were the most regular hosts, and all took a turn. It was relatively easy to organise because the towns themselves were keen to host it, as it was seen to be a boost to the local holiday business. Civic buildings were offered as venues, the Mayor would gladly open and close the event, and would organise a free Civic Reception for players and their families. But the days when town councils had that degree of largesse gradually dimished as they became increasingly hit by financial strictures, and it became left to the Congress Secretary of the day to try and find suitable venues, on his own in towns he didn’t know.

Eventually, the Union Executive decided to see if holding it in one place would help to stabilise the entry by regularising the arrangements from year to year. Thus in 1999 it came to Exmouth, which had never hosted the event before. As the Union’s General Secretary at the time, it was left to me to find a suitable venue. My first port of call was a visit to see a former member of the Exmouth Chess Club, John Fowler of Eagle Investments, who I knew dealt with properties in the town. “That’s a coincidence”, he said “I’ve just bought a hotel – the Royal Beacon Hotel”. It was that easy, and it’s been there ever since.

The Beacon area of Exmouth has been described as one of the best-kept secrets of the south coast, situated as it is where the Exe estuary, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) for its flora and faunam, meets the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage site. A series of late 18th century houses, in which lived Lady Nelson and Lady Hamilton as neighbours,  lead up from the town centre to a point high above the promenade, where the hotel is situated. In mediaeval times, a beacon was situated at the cliff edge, outside where the hotel now is, ready to be lit in times of threatened invasion by foreign forces, as it was when the Spanish Armada approached. Today there is a symbolic beacon in metalwork to mark the site.

That explains the Beacon part of its name – the Royal bit is explained by the King of Saxony, who was conducting a private journey around the British Isles in the 1840s, staying there … for one night. The owner at the time spotted his opportunity and Royal it has been ever since.

The Hotel has proved a very satisfactory venue, both for its situation, residential accommodation and playing conditions. This was the 19th consective year it’s been held there.

The overall entry this year was 76, with the Minor Section, usually the biggest section, strangely this year being the smallest at 22.

In the Open, although there were 2 FIDE Masters and a Candidate Master among the ranks there was never any question that GM Keith Arkell would retain his championship title, although even for him, having secured that particular aim after Rd. 6, there was a sting in the tail and he lost to McMichael in the final round.

The wallcharts below, tell the whole story:

The Championship Section

The Major Section

The Minor Section

West of England Congress – Easter 2017

Prizelist

Grd Club /7
Championship (Open)
1st K. C. Arkell 2411 Paignton 6
2nd= R. McMichael 2230 Kings Head 5
M. Waddington 2061 Dorchester 5
GPs D. Littlejohns 1999 Taunton
R. De Coverley 1988 Bourne End
R. Bryant 1984 Oswestry
M. Shaw 1944 Exmouth
O. E. Wensley 1798 Exmouth
Major (U-2000)
1st= P. Brooks 1915 Newton Abbot
R. Hutchings 1845 Woodpushers
3rd= J. Hickman 1897 5
J. McDonnell 1863 Streatham 5
GP C. Sellwood   (U-1750) 1668 Camborne
Minor (U-130)
1st= J, Barber-Lafon 128 Newton Abbot 5
1st= K. Alexander 124 Seaton 5
1st= D. Burt 104 Bournemouth 5
GP A. Fraser        (U-110) 107 Beckenham 4

And now, the story in pictures …..

Rd. 1: Mitchell vs McMichael 0-1

Rd. 1: General view of the playing area - right side from the stage.

Rd. 1: Generel view of the playing area - left side from stage.

Rd. 1: Ingham vs Waddington (nearest) 0-1 & Bolt vs Shaw. 1-0

Rd. 1: Up & coming Cornish junior, Adam Hussain, faces the top seed in the Major, Ronnie Burton. 2nd seed, Paul Brooks opens against Phil Foley.

Rd. 2: Clubmates Walter Braun and event secretary, Meyrick Shaw, get their 2nd game under way, while Littlejohns plays Tim Paulden.

Rd. 2: John Bass plays Patryk Krzyzanowski alongside Menadue and Helbig.

Rd. 2: Eventual winner, Keith Arkell, moves against eventual joint runner-up, Mike Waddington.

Rd. 2: In the Minor, Bracken Lockett faces the eventual Grading Prize winner, Alan Fraser, alongside Wendy Carr and N. Thatte.

Rd. 5: MsMichael plays Alan Crombleholme, a well-known name in chess circles, especially in the Midlands, but his first visit to this event.

Rd. 5: Sellwood vs Brooks & Hutchings vs Hickman

Rd. 6: Graham Bolt makes a move against Mike Waddington.

Rd. 6: Top 2 boards in the Major - Brooks vs Hutchings & Price vs Sellwood.

Rd. 7: Top 2 games in the Minor - Rogers vs Tidy (drawn) & Dave Burt vs Paul Errington. 1-0. A remarkable achievement for the 14th seed, and 80+ years young to come 1st=.

Rd 7: The top 2 seeds meet at last. Arkell had already won the title with 6/6, which may have affected his sharpness in this game, which he lost after a long tactical endgame.

Final round; final game to finish, and a crowd gathers around as a small drama unfolds - Arkell loses a game!

Ken Alexander and Jacquie Barber-Lafon, 2 of the 3 joint winners of the Minor, accept their prize from WECU Treasurer, Oliver Wensley, who features in every photo from now on!

Jacquie Barber-Lafon was clearly delighted to become West of England Ladies Champion.

Joint winners in the Major, "Superman" Hutchings and Paul Brooks.

The Grading Prize winners from the Open, messers Shaw, Wensley, de Coverly and Bryant.

Runners-Up: Waddington & McMichael.

He's won it twice before, he's just lost a game, but that obviously doesn't spoil the moment for GM Keith Arkell.

West of England Congress – Easter 2017

Prizelist

Grd Club /7
Championship (Open)
1st K. C. Arkell 2411 Paignton 6
2nd= R. McMichael 2230 Kings Head 5
M. Waddington 2061 Dorchester 5
GPs D. Littlejohns 1999 Taunton
R. De Coverley 1988 Bourne End
R. Bryant 1984 Oswestry
M. Shaw 1944 Exmouth
O. E. Wensley 1798 Exmouth
Major (U-2000)
1st= P. Brooks 1915 Newton Abbot
R. Hutchings 1845 Woodpushers
3rd= J. Hickman 1897 5
J. McDonnell 1863 Streatham 5
GP C. Sellwood   (U-1750) 1668 Camborne
Minor (U-130)
1st= J, Barber-Lafon 128 Newton Abbot 5
1st= K. Alexander 124 Seaton 5
1st= D. Burt 104 Bournemouth 5
GP A. Fraser        (U-110) 107 Beckenham 4

WECU Congress Entries (13.04.2017.)

West of England Championships

Current entries as at Thurs. 13th April 2017.

1 Day to go!

FIDE ECF OPEN CLUB Bye
1 2408 240 K. C. Arkell Cheddleton
2 2230 208 R. McMichael Kings Head
3 2202 208 D. Mackle Newton Abbot
4 2160 212 W. Braun Exmouth
5 2098 186 P. Helbig S. Bristol
6 2072 194 J. Menadue Truro
7 2066 197 G. Bolt Railways 5
8 2061 186 M. Waddington Dorchester
9 2048 193 P. Krzyzanowski S. Bristol
10 2041 185 S. Dilleigh Horfield
11 2034 185 O. Garcia Poole (Spain)
12 2030 166 J. W. Bass Richmond 1
13 2019 175 A. Crombleholme None
14 1997 175 D. Littlejohns Taunton 1
15 1994 183 R. Bryant Oswestry
16 1994 173 S. Mitchell None 4
17 1979 184 R. de Coverley Bourne End
18 1975 165 T. F. Thynne Newton Abbot 2
19 1971 185 T. Paulden Exeter
20 1944 159 M. Shaw Exmouth
21 1860 165 W. Ingham Teignmouth
22 1850 161 M. Wilson Newton Abbot
23 1798 168 O. Wensley Exmouth
MAJOR U-1950
1 1927 167 R. Burton Weymouth 4
2 1915 162 P. Brooks Newton Abbot
3 1911 158 R. Gamble Derby
4 1897 169 J. Hickman None
5 1884 142 I. S. Annetts Tiverton 5
6 1876 163 J. Morgan Exeter
7 1855 164 J. McDonnell Streatham
8 1860 165 W. H. Ingham Teignmouth
9 1840 159 S. K. Dean Seaton 4
10 1821 159 B. G. Gosling E. Budleigh
11 1791 156 A. Price Leamington
12 1794 150 M. Page Insurance
13 1790 165 P. G. Jackson Coulsdon
14 1777 167 J. Nyman Kings Head
15 1773 143 D. McArthur Keynsham
16 1738 153 A. Hibbitt Banbury 1
17 1735 138 A. Hussain Carrick
16 1716 147 P. Foley Upminster
17 1705 134 P. Jackson Bournemouth
18 1703 140 D. Watson Bourne End
19 1694 137 M. Roberts Holmes Chapel
20 1690 132 I. Blencowe Gloucester
21 1675 130 C. Brown Bath
22 1670 132 G. Parfett Athenaeumn 6
23 1668 155 C. Sellwood Camborne
24 1655 133 L. Hafsted Exeter Juniors
25 1653 133 D. Lawrence Kings Head
26 1647 132 J. Robertson E. Kilbride
27 1598 137 N. Thatte Ealing
28 1522 132 T. Greenaway Torquay
29 1390 138 P. Foster Medway 4
MINOR U-130
1 128 P. Wood Hastings
2 128 J. Barber-Lafon N. Abbott 1
3 128 D. R. Rogers Exmouth
4 125 S. Barry Battersea
5 124 K. Alexander Seaton
6 123 R. Hunt 5
7 123 P. Errington Bournemouth
8 119 R. Waters Taunton
9 119 E. Westlake Liskeard
10 119 N. Tidy Teignmouth
11 117 T. Crouch Kings Head
12 116 J. Dean Plymouth
13 107 A. Fraser Beckenham
14 104 D. Burt Bournemouth
15 97 Nan Thatte Ealing
16 93 H. Welch Seaton
17 93 John Carr —-
18 92 A. Davies S. Hams
19 89 M. Cox Southampton
20 81 R. E. Cox Southampton
21 71 B. Lockett N. Abbot 4
22 36 Wendy Carr —–
Total Entries   23+29+22 = 74

Teignmouth RapidPlay & Jersey Festival Results (08.04.2017.)

The Teignmouth RapidPlay tournament took place on Saturday, with these players emerging with prizes after 6 gruelling rounds.

Open Section: 1st Lorenz Hartmann (Exeter Uni.) 5 pts. 2nd= Oliver Wensley (Exmouth) & John Fraser (Exeter Uni.) both 4½. Grading prizes: U-166: Steve Dean (Seaton) 3½. U-151: Alan Dean (Exmouth). 2½

Graded Section (U-137): 1st Duncan Macarthur (Keynsham) 5½. 2nd Reece Whittington (Exeter) 5. U-122: Macey Rickard (Teignmouth); Graham Mill-Wilson (Yate & Sodbury); John Constable (Bude); Gregor Fotheringam (Tiverton) & Zoe Strong (Clevedon) all 4. U-111: Nicholas Cunliffe (Wells); David Thomson (Exmouth) & Christine Constable (Bude) all 4. U-94: Peter Strong (Exeter Uni.) 4.

Team Prize: Exeter University (Hartmann, Fraser & P. Strong).

Juniors:U-16; John Skeen (Churchill Academy) 3½. U-14: Max Walker (Churchill Academy) 4½. Photographs of the action may be found on keverelchess.com/blog

All this week, the Jersey Festival Congress has been taking place with Jack Rudd (Barnstaple) the focus of Westcountry interest. He is 7th seed overall, some way behind Jon Speelman and Hillarp Persson. In Rd. 2 on Sunday he faced the Swede with the following result:- notes kindly supplied by the winner.

White: Jack Rudd (2177). Black: Tiger Hillarp Persson (2503)

Sicilian Defence – Najdorf Variation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 h5 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.0–0–0 Be7 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.g3 b5 13.f4 This break changes the character of the position, but White couldn’t see what else to do. 13…Nb6 14.fxe5 dxe5 15.Bxb6 Qxb6 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Rd8 18.Bg2 0–0 19.Na5 Re-routing the knight to c6 from where it does a good defensive job, as Black has little play if he cannot access the c- & d-files. 19…Bd6 20.Nc6 Rde8 21.Rhf1 Ng4 22.Rde1 f5 23.Qg5 e4 24.Qxh5 24.Qg6 was a better way to drive the advantage home. 24…Qc5 25.Rxf5 Rxf5 26.Qxe8+ Rf8 27.Qxe4 24…Ne3 25.Bh3 Nxf1 26.Rxf1 Qe3 White had missed this route back for the queen. 27.Bxf5 Qh6 28.Qg4 e3 29.Nd4 g6 30.Re1 Qh5 31.Be6+ Kh8 32.Qe4 Black now played 32…Rf2 and offered a draw, which was declined. 33.Qxe3 Ref8 34.a3 A flight square for the king may be needed later. 34…Qxh2 35.Ka2 Kh7 36.Bg4 Qxg3 the best move. 37.Rh1+ 1-0 Rh2 would have been OK, but Black mistakenly picked up his queen. This may have been a stroke of luck for Rudd, but 2 games later he was leading the field by a clear point. He lost to Speelman in Rd. 5 but was still joint leader on 4/5 points.

NB:  Since going to press on Wednesday, Rudd kept his nerve and his form and was always in 1st place, either clear or shared. He won his last game on Saturday and finished 1st= with Alan Merry. More details next week.

In last week’s position (above) White could ignore Black’s attack as he had 1.RxB+ KxR 2.Rb8 mate.This 2-mover is more difficult, having been one of the problems in the recent British Solving Championships. What is White’s one move to enable mate next time against any Black defence.

Teignmouth RapidPlay 2017.

The Teignmouth Club has had its problems in recent years, mainly due to the ill-health of several senior members, and this has forced other members, perhaps less experienced in the administrational and organisational side of chess, to step up to the plate and ensure this popular event stayed on the road. This they did, and the event went ahead successfully on April Fools’ Day at its usual venue, Trinity School.

The table below lists all the prizewinners. All scores out of 6, and rapidplay grades are given, current preferably or failing that last year’s. Where no rapidplay is given on the ECF website, the current standardPlay grade is given.

There were no major speedkings this year – no Jack Rudd (playing in Jersey) or Keith Arkell, but this just seemed to make the Open all the more competitive, as any one of the top 6 had a chance of 1st prize. In the final round, Bd. 1 consisted of top seed Paul Hampton (Seaton/Exmouth – 193) vs Hartmann which went right down to the wire, with, at the end, both players making c. 20 moves instantaneously, until Hampton’s clock ran out when Hartmann had just 4 seconds left. Bd. 2 consisted of John Fraser, whose loyalties this season have switched from Newton Abbot to Exeter University, vs 2nd seed Jonathan Underwood (Seaton/Exmouth – 185) and this game went to Fraser who thus came 2nd=. He was matched by Oliver Wensley who beat Exeter’s Graham Bolt in their last game.

The details were:-

Teignmouth RapidPlay     01.04.2017.
Open
Name Club Grd /6
1st Lorenz Hartmann Exeter University 179 5
2nd= Oliver Wensley Exmouth 160
John Fraser Exeter University 178
U-166 Steve Dean Seaton 154
U-151 Alan Dean Exmouth 141
Graded Section (U-137)
1st Duncan Macarthur Keynsham 139
2nd Reece Whittington Exeter 136 5
U-122 Macey Rickard Teignmouth 111 4
Graham Mill-Wilson Yate & Sodbury 113 4
John Constable Bude 121 4
Gregor Fotheringam Tiverton 121 4
Zoe Strong Clevedon 121 4
U-111 Nicholas Cunliffe Wells 98 4
David Thomson Exmouth 99 4
Christine Constable Bude 106 4
U-94 Peter Strong Exeter University 4
Team Exeter University
Hartmann
Fraser
P. Strong  (14/18)
Juniors
U-16 John Skeen Churchill Academy 110
U-14 Max Walker Churchill Academy 126

General view of the Open Section, Wensley vs Hartmann nearest.

General view of the Minor Section (top bds nearest)

Oliver Wensley vs Lorenz Hartmann with Bolt vs Fraser in background.

Top seed Paul Hampton (193) White - starts a last round game that finished in a nerve-shredding finale. Fraser vs Underwood in the background.

Wensley on his way to a win against Graham Bolt to take 2nd=.

Lorenz Hartmann - clear 1st - with trophy & cheque.

John Fraser receives his 2nd= prize from Congress Director, Mark Cockerton.

Oliver Wensley radiates pleasure at his 2nd prize.

Regular Bristolian visitor, Duncan Macarthur, wins the Minor.

Reece Whittington took clear 2nd prize in the Minor.

Winners of the Team Prize l-r Peter Strong, Lorenz Hartmann & John Fraser.

Gold Fever! (01.04.2017.)

There must be some gene in the Devonian make-up that compels them to go to the other side of the world on crackpot missions looking for vast quantities of gold. This was first displayed by Sir Walter Raleigh, late of East Budleigh, who in 1617 led a second expedition up the Orinoco in search of the fabled city of El Dorado. It was a doomed venture and many of his men, including his only son, Watt, died in the attempt. Raleigh reported back to King James I, who had him executed for his failure.

300 years later gold fever broke out again when Col. Percy Fawcett, born in Torquay and brought up in Teignmouth, led several expeditions into the Brazilian interior on the same mission. The very name El Dorado was, by this time, tainted, so Fawcett called it the Lost City of Z. Out this week is a major film of the story.  Like Raleigh, Fawcett took his son on his final expedition, which simply vanished without trace. Several expeditions were subsequently sent to look for the expedition that was looking for gold, but no trace of Fawcett or cities of gold has ever been found.

Meanwhile, Percy’s older brother, Douglas was living a life every bit as exotic as his sibling. He was a pioneering science fiction writer well ahead of H. G. Wells, philosopher, mountaineer, photographer, racing motor cyclist and motorist. For many more details on his life visit keverelchess/biographies/edouglas fawcett.

He was also a keen chess player all his long life, last playing at Paignton in 1959.

In 1904 he took part in a special Rice Gambit tournament, financed by the US millionaire, Isaac Rice, who had devised a gambit in a line of the King’s Gambit and wished to test it out with top players.

White: D. Fawcett. White: James Mortimer

Kings Gambit – Rice Gambit [C39]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd5 Bd6 8.0–0 White is gambitting not just a pawn but his central knight. 8…Bxe5 All games in this tournament had to start from this position. 9.Re1 Qe7 This was the defence most favoured by Black in the tournament, and was Prof. Rice’s own choice. 10.c3 and this was White’s preferred response. 10…g3 11.d4 Ng4 12.Bxf4 Bxf4 Less favoured by computer analysis is 12…Qxh4 13.Qf3 Qh2+ 14.Kf1 f6 15.dxe5 fxe5 16.Bxe5 Qh1+ 17.Ke2 Nxe5 18.Qf6 leaving Black’s Queen, rook & knight all attacked. 13.Rxe7+ Kxe7 14.Qf3 Be3+ 15.Kh1 f5 16.d6+ cxd6 17.Qd5 Rf8 18.Na3 Nf6 19.Qf3 f4 20.Re1 Nc6 21.Qxf4 Ng4 22.Rxe3+ Nce5 23.Qg5+ Ke8 24.dxe5 d5 25.Bb5+ Bd7 26.Bxd7+ Kxd7 27.Qxg4+ 1–0 The check is vital, giving White time to cover Black’s threatened back rank mate.

In last week’s position (above) it’s Black’s knight that is trying to hold everything together, but unsuccessfully as White won easily after 1.RexB and if 1…NxR 2.Rb7+ forcing 2…RxR 3.PxR and the pawn cannot be stopped from queening.

In this position White is facing a strong attack. How should he proceed?

A Recent Nunn Win & WECU Junior Winners (25.03.2017.)

Grandmaster John Nunn’s unexpected appearance at the recent East Devon Congress undoubtedly created some extra interest in the event, and he didn’t disappoint, coming clear 1st with 4 wins and finishing with a draw. This was his game from Rd. 3.

White: Stephen Piper (187). Black: John Nunn (236).

Grünfeld Defence [D79]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 c6 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.0–0 0–0 8.d4 Ne4 9.Qb3 Nc6 10.Rd1 Na5 11.Qb4 Bf5 12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.Nh4 Bg4 14.Bxe4 Bxe2 15.Re1 Ba6 16.Bg5 Re8 17.Rad1 Rc8 Grabbing the open file with a rook – a contributory factor in Black’s win. 18.b3 b6 19.Ng2 Qd7 20.Be3 Bb7 21.Bxb7 Nxb7 22.Nf4 Nd6 23.Nd3 Rc2 24.a4 Nf5 Black must have calculated carefully that his advanced rook cannot become trapped and picked off. 25.Ne5 Qd5 26.Nc4 Rd8 27.Na3 Rb2 28.Nc4 Ra2 The rook cuts a lonely figure on a2, but cannot be taken, so must lie quietly. It doesn’t move again. 29.Rd3 e6 30.Red1 h5 As the White pieces are situated in the centre, Black chooses this moment to attack White’s king’s position. 31.Qe1 h4 32.Qf1 hxg3 33.hxg3 Qe4 34.Qg2 Qg4 35.d5 exd5 36.Rxd5 Just as White’s rooks break free for their self-imposed constraints, Black strikes. 36…Qxd1+! 37.Rxd1 Rxd1+ All other things being equal, two rooks are generally deemed to be stronger than a queen, providing they have scope to move and can cooperate, as is the case here. 38.Kh2 Nxe3 39.Nxe3 Rdd2 40.Qa8+ Kh7 41.Qxa7 Rxf2+ 42.Kh3 f5 Blocking off g5 as a possible escape route. 43.Kh4 Rh2+ 0–1 Resigned in view of 44.Kg5 Rh5+ 45.Kf4 Rf2#.

The West of England Junior Championships were held in Swindon last month, and the main winners were as follows:-

U-18: Michael Ashworth (Wotton Hall, Gloucester). U-18 Girls: Zoe Varney (Somerset). U-16: Oliver Howell (Somerset). U-14: Max Walker (Churchill Academy) & Ben Headlong (Swindon). U-12: Adam Hussain (Truro Prep School). U-12 Girls: Georgia Headlong (Swindon). U-10: Daniel Yu (Hants). U-10 Girls: Jaime Ashworth (Wotton Hall). U-9: Matthew Timbrell (Somerset). U-8: Daniel Shek (Yately Manor School). U-8 Girls: Jessica White (Wiltshire).

The West of England Congress starts a fortnight on Friday in Exmouth, with entries currently standing at 60 and rising. Time, therefore, not to risk missing the cut-off by getting entries to the Secretary, Meyrick Shaw, (tel: 01395-275494 or e-mail: wecu@hotmail.co.uk. Entry forms are downloadable from chessdevon.org.

The solution to last week’s 2-mover (above) was 1.Qe7! threatening 2.Qh4#.

This week’s position came from a recent game played in the 4NCL. As with 2 rooks vs a queen, Black’s 2 minor pieces should be slightly stronger than a rook, all other things being equal, but in this case they are not, as White has the opportunity to sweep away this slight inequality. How so?

White to play & win quickly

WECU Congress 2017 – entries as at Mon. 27th March

WECU  CONGRESS  2017  ENTRIES

As at Mon. 27th March

(17 days to go)

FIDE ECF OPEN CLUB
1 2408 240 K. C. Arkell Cheddleton
2 2160 212 W. Braun Exmouth
3 2098 186 P. Helbig S. Bristol
4 2072 194 J. Menadue Truro
5 2066 197 G. Bolt Railways
6 2061 186 M. Waddington Dorchester
7 2041 185 S. Dilleigh Horfield
8 2030 166 J. W. Bass Richmond
9 1997 175 D. Littlejohns Taunton
10 1994 183 R. Bryant Oswestry
11 1979 184 R. de Coverley Bourne End
12 1975 165 T. F. Thynne N. Abbot
13 1885 179 M. French Frome
14 1798 168 O. Wensley Exmouth
MAJOR U-1950
1 1927 167 R. Burton Weymouth
2 1897 169 J. Hickman None
3 1884 142 I. S. Annetts Tiverton
4 1876 163 J. Morgan Exeter
5 1860 165 W. H. Ingham Teignmouth
5 1855 164 J. McDonnell Streatham
6 1840 159 S. K. Dean Seaton
7 1821 159 B. G. Gosling E. Budleigh
8 1794 150 M. Page Insurance
9 1791 156 A. Price Leamington
10 1790 165 P. G. Jackson Coulsdon
11 1777 167 J. Nyman Kings Head
12 1738 153 A. Hibbitt Banbury
13 1716 147 P. Foley Upminster
14 1705 134 P. Jackson Bournemouth
15 1690 132 I. Blencowe Gloucester
16 1675 130 C. Brown Bath
17 1670 132 G. Parfett Athenaeumn
18 1668 155 C. Sellwood Camborne
19 1653 133 D. Lawrence Kings Head
20 1647 132 J. Robertson E. Kilbride
21 1644 137 M. Roberts Holmes Chapel
22 1614 133 L. Hafsted Exeter Juniors
23 1519 133 D. J. Adams Exmouth
24 134 P. A. Jackson Bournemouth
25 138 P. Foster Medway
26 137 D. R. Rogers Exmouth
MINOR U-130
1 128 P. Wood Hastings
2 128 J. Barber-Lafon N. Abbott
3 125 S. Barry Battersea
4 123 R. Hunt
5 123 P. Errington Bournemouth
6 119 R. Waters Taunton
7 119 N. Tidy Teignmouth
8 116 J. Dean Plymouth
9 107 A. Fraser Beckenham
10 104 D. Burt Bournemouth
11 93 H. Welch Seaton
12 93 John Carr —-
13 92 A. Davies S. Hams
14 89 M. Cox Southampton
15 81 R. E. Cox Southampton
16 71 B. Lockett N. Abbot
17 36 Wendy Carr —–
57 TOTAL ENTRIES

East Devon Congress Winners (18.03.2017.)

The East Devon Congress was held in Exeter last weekend and attracted a higher than usual entry of 155, including half a dozen with a Masters title.

The prizewinners were as follows:

Open Section: 1st John Nunn 4½. 2nd= Keith Arkell (Paignton), Jack Rudd (Barnstaple) & Mike Waddington (Dorchester) all 4 pts.

Major: (U-155) 1st David Archer (S. Hams) 4½. 2nd= Arthur Hibbitt (Banbury), Lander Arrasate (Sedgemoor), Brendan O’Gorman (DHSS), Charles Keen (Sidmouth), and Darrell Watson (Bourne End), all with 4 pts.

Minor (U-125) 1st Grant Daly (Downend) 4½. 2nd= Ken Alexander (Tiverton), Ray Hunt (Sidmouth), Paul Errington (Bournemouth), Tim Crouch (King’s Head), Maurice Richards (Liskeard) and Tim Roberts (Exeter Uni.) all 4 pts.

This was the first time GM John Nunn had played in this event since 1979, and the result was exactly the same as then; clear 1st on 4½ points ahead of a number of top players of the day.

The event has its own website, eastdevonchesscongress.com, containing more details and keverelchess.com has pictures of the action.

One of the Master players was an Austrian called Walter Braun, who had moved to Exmouth days before. His Rd. 1 game was one of the shortest ever played in the event and illustrates the need for caution even in the first few moves.

White: Walter Braun (203). Black: John Bass (166).

Queen’s Pawn Game [D01]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 c5 4.Bxf6 gxf6 5.e4 dxe4 6.dxc5 Qxd1+ 7.Rxd1 Bf5 8.Nd5 1–0 resigned in view of 8…Na6 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Nxf6+ exf6 11.Rxd7 Nxc5 12.Rd5+ Ke7 13.Rxc5 leaving Black a piece down and his position wrecked.

Meanwhile, someone else was making the same mistake.

White: R. Hutchings. Black: K. Arkell.

Benoni Defence [A62]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Bg2 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.Nf3 0–0 9.0–0 Re8 10.Nd2 Nbd7 11.Nc4 Nb6 12.Qb3 Nxc4 13.Qxc4 a6 14.Qh4 Ng4 15.Bg5 sealing his own tomb. 15…f6 16.Bd2 Re5 Trapping White’s queen which cannot avoid 17…Rh5 0–1.

This weekend the 31st Wiltshire and WECU junior championships are being held at St. Joseph’s Catholic College, Swindon. SN3 3LR.

After that will be the Teignmouth RapidPlay Congress on 1st April at Trinity School, Teignmouth, TQ14 8LY.

This will be followed by the West of England Congress, starting on Good Friday, 14th April, at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth.  Entry forms for both events are downloadable for chessdevon.org.

In last week’s position, the only thing preventing Jonathan Underwood (W) constructing a mating net by Bf6 was the knight, so 1.QxN! removes that obstacle and mate is inevitable.

This week’s 2-mover was composed exactly 50 years ago by Godfrey Quack, late of Exmouth.

White to mate in 2 moves

East Devon Congress – Out For A Duck! (14.03.2017.)

In his Encyclopaedia of Chess Variants, David Pritchard records that one of the most creative inventors of chess variants was Vernon Rylands Parton (1897 – 1974) whose most lasting invention was Alice Chess, based on Alice in Wonderland.

Vernon’s father ran a small private school in Cannock, Staffordshire. Both father and son and the school itself, referred to in the town simply as “Parton’s”, are described by a former pupil, Arthur Hopcraft in his autobiography, “The Great Apple Raid” (Heinemann – 1970 – pp113-116). My father also attended the school and got his taste for chess directly from Vernon c. 1917, and passed it on to me in the early 1950s. Like many others, my father and I both found bog standard chess enough to be going on with, without complicating it further.

Not so with Congress Secretary, Dr. Tim Paulden, who is himself entering the crazy world of Parton, not only embracing existing variants but inventing his own. He used the occasion of this year’s congress to launch Duck Chess on an unsuspecting world. The game requires a standard chess set, plus a duck! Tim researched the market for suitable ducks, testing their dimensions and quackability. Having found one, he order a significant number in small plastic bags together with an explanatory card, which reads thus:

Duck Chess is an exciting and absorbing new chess variant invented in 2016 by Dr. Tim Paulden (Exeter Chess Club).

The basic principle of the game is simple: in addition to the usual pieces, the two players have joint control of a small rubber duck which acts as a “blocker (i.e. nothing can move onto or through it). A player’s turn always consists of two actions (a) making a standard chess move and (b) moving the duck to any empty square on the board. There is no concept of “check” or “checkmate” – you must capture the enemy king to win!

For full rules and examples of play, go to www.duckchess.com.

Tim (left) shows Jack Rudd how it all works.

Tim makes a telling move before moving the duck with a hiss and a quack.

Max French of Millfield School takes over and a small and curious crowd starts to build up.

E. Devon Congress 2017 – The Endgame

Nunn's quick draw guaranteed him at least a share of 1st prize, but none could catch him. He has now entered the event twice - in 1979 and 2017, a mere 38 years apart, and each time he won with 4.5/5 ahead of a competitive field. He was happy to be photographed with the Steve Boniface Cup, but as his trophy cabinet at home is already full to overflowing, he regretfully had to leave it with the Committee.

Arthur Hibbert (W) in action against 7th seed, David Archer (S. Hams), the winner to take the trophy.

.... and David Archer came out on top, clear 1st in the Major Section.

Grant Daly of the Bristol Club, Downend & Fishponds, and 19th seed in his section, won the Minor, with a handsome trophy to go with it.