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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

Is This The Breakthrough? (24.06.2017.)

Many chessplayers are also keen on, and good at, contract bridge, and the two games have similar appeals as both are excellent mental and socialising activities. For decades, the English Bridge Union and ECF have tried, and failed, to convince HMRC that the games should be categorised as sports, thus becoming exempt from having to pay VAT on tournament entry fees. In 2015 the High Court ruled that bridge and chess were not sports eligible for lottery funding, with lawyers acting for Sport England telling the Court that the games were no more a sport than “sitting at home reading a book”.

Consequently, as reported earlier, the long-time organiser of the world’s biggest tournament for junior chessplayers, Mike Basman, was declared a bankrupt for his failure to collect VAT.

Recently, however, the English Bridge Union took their case to the European Court of Justice, and one of its most senior lawyers, the Advocate General, Maciej Szpunar, argued that sport should be understood as something that involved the “training of mental or physical fitness in a way that is generally beneficial to the health and well-being of citizens”, and recommended that Bridge be exempted from VAT in the UK.

He also noted that the International Olympic Committee was among organisations that “expressly include mental sports or endorse activities without a physical element”, having classified Bridge as a sport in 1998.

Also, the 2011 Charities Act adopted a definition of sport as “activities which promote health involving physical or mental health or exertion”, which specifically included “mind sports”.

Advocate Generals’ recommendations are not necessarily binding, but the courts rarely go against their rulings.

Where Bridge leads, English Chess Federation officials must now surely follow, and quickly, to make sure Chess does not miss out. But can it be done before Brexit?

Devon’s opponents in the U-180 team championships will be Middlesex who squeezed past Essex after an 8-all draw and tie-break rules were applied. This will take place at Warwick next month, and will be Brian Hewson’s last match as Devon Captain, having won the West of England hat-trick of the Jamboree in the Autumn, and the 1st & 2nd divisions of the inter-county championship. It would be a great treat to win the National title as well. His final award of Devon Player of the Year went to Oliver Wensley (Exmouth) for his unbeaten run of games against strong opposition.

There’s only room for a short game this week. White: R. Combe. Black: W. Hasenfuss. (Folkestone 1933). 1.d4 c5 2.c4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.Nxe5?? Qa5+ winning the knight. Combe had the last laugh by wining the 1946 British Championship at a canter in the greatest upset in the history of that event.

In last week’s position (above) Black could play 1… Rd2! with threats of a back rank mate.

In this position, Black is a piece up with a free-wheeling queen. Is there anything White can do about it?

White to play

Devom March On To A National Final (17.06.2017.)

After beating Nottinghamshire in the quarter finals of the U-180 Inter-County Championship, Devon met their semi-final opponents, Surrey, on Saturday at Burcombe Village Hall, on the A30 near Salisbury. The teams were very evenly matched in strength, apart from one Surrey player having to withdraw at short notice and being replaced by a lower-graded reserve. His eventual loss was the difference between the teams as Devon finished 8½-7½ winners. They now go on to play in the Final next month. The details were as follows:- (Devon names first in each pairing).

1.John Fraser (178) ½-½ R. F. Holmes. 2.John Wheeler (176) 1-0 F. Hernandez. 3.Mark Abbott (176) 1-0 D. J. Young. 4.Chris Bellers (173) ½-½ J. Ranga. 5.Plamen Sivrev (173) 1-0 D. Sedgwick. 6.Trefor Thynne (165) ½-½ J. P. Foley. 7.Oliver Wensley (168) ½-½ M. Smart. 8.Jos Haynes (165) ½-½ M. G. Smith. 9.Alan Brusey (161) ½-½ N. L Edwards. 10.Paul Brooks (162) 0-1 O. S. Phillips. 11.Meyrick Shaw (159) 0-1 N. Faulkes. 12.Bill Ingham (165) ½-½ I. Deswarte. 13.Brian Gosling (159) ½-½ P. D. Barasi. 14.Chris Scott (152) ½-½ P. Gibbons J. 15.Andrew Kinder (153) 0-1 N. D. Grey. 16.Martin Quinn (145) 1-0 D. J. Howes.

Here is Devon’s unusual opening and subsequent win from Bd. 2.

White: F. Hernandez (178). Black: John Wheeler (176).

Scotch 4 Knights [C47]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 White’s pawn on e4 is no longer protected as its defender is pinned. 6.f3 This seems a reasonable defensive move but then… 6…Nxe4? A gambit usually assumes the voluntary loss of a pawn in return for advantages other than purely material. Offering a whole piece is much more unusual, especially in such a crucial match.  However, if it was Black’s wish to lead his opponent into unfamiliar territory, he surely succeeded in that.  7.fxe4 Qh4+ 8.Ke2 If 8.g3 Qxe4+ forking king & rook, but after 9.Qe2 Black’s queen is pinned anyway, so there’s no real advantage. 9.bxc3 Qxe4+ At least Black gets 2 pawns for his knight, and White’s pawns, isolated and doubled, look a mess compared to Black’s.  10.Be3 d6 11.Nf3 0–0 12.Qd3 White would like to make equal exchanges won’t help Black’s cause, so… 12…Qg4 13.h3 Qh5 14.Kd2 Bf5 15.Qc4 Be6 16.Qf4 Qd5+ 17.Bd3 Rfe8 18.Rhb1 Threatening Rb5 winning the White queen. 18…Ne5 19.Qe4? The threatened mate forces Black’s hand, but it proves bad for White. 19…Qxe4 20.Bxe4 Nc4+ 21.Kd3 Nxe3 22.Bxb7? In not retaking immediately, White has miscalculated.  22…Bf5+! Not just check but defending the knight as well. 23.Kd2 Rad8 White has now lost his one piece advantage and is a pawn down. 24.Nd4 Nc4+ 25.Kd1 Bd7 26.Rb4? A fatal error, inviting c4; but first… 26…Ne3+ 27.Kd2 c5 forking rook & knight. 0–1

The key to last week’s position (above) was 1.NxP+ and if 1…PxN 2. Qd6#, or 1…Kf8 2.Qh8#.

This week’s position came at the end of a game played in the US Championships earlier this year. Black to play and win.

Black to play and win

Cotswold Congress Results (10.06.2017.)

The Cotswold Congress finished on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, and of the 116 competitors the following emerged with prizes:-

Open Section: 1st= Michael Ashworth 186 – Wotton Hall) & Tim Kett (202 – Cardiff). 3rd= Don Mason 193 – Shirley), Martin Simons (194- Southbourne) & Joe Stewart (194 – Gloucester). Grading prize: Ian Clarke (168 – Malvern). Junior prize: Charlie McClaren (177 – Wotton Hall).

Major Section (U-155) 1st T. Woodward (154 – Trowbridge). 2nd= D. Edwards (142 – Witney); C. Hosdurga (141 – Bristol); B. O’Gorman (150 – DHSS); A. Papier (139 – Bristol) & I. White (148 – Wotton Hall). Grading prizes (U-145) D. Curry (139 – Halesowen) . (U-136) A. Di-Vetta (127 – Bridgend). Junior: Eleanor Hapeshi (136 – Kings’ School).

Minor Section (U-125): 1st= S. Butterworth (120) & K. Langmaid (114 – Yate). 3rd= B. Aubrey (108 – Dragon School), C. Frazer & Rachel McIntosh (110 – Chepstow). Grading prizes: (U-111) Christine Constable (106 – Bude). (U-100) Z. Ashraf (77 – Wiltshire).

Joint winner of the Open, 55 year old Tim Kett has been playing since he was 4, but only since retiring early from his career as a software specialist with a global company about 3 years ago has he been able to play much more frequently. He has thrice been Welsh Champion (2012 -14 & -16) and with his wife, Sarah, has set up TSK, which brings coaching to schools and individuals in South Wales, where they are heavily involved in the Chess in Schools and Communities project. He has truly made his hobby his 2nd career.

Here was his Rd. 5 win against the no. 3 seed.

White: T. J. Kett (202). Black: Martin Simons (194)

Nimzowitsch Defence [B00]

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.d4 d6 4.d5 Nb8 5.Bg5 c6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nbd7 9.0–0–0 Taking a considerable but calculated risk, as Black’s queenside pawns are well-placed to launch an attack at any time. But at least White has castled while Black still has some way to go.  9…Qc7 10.Be2 g6 11.Qe3 Bg7 12.Bh6 Bxh6 13.Qxh6 c5 14.Qe3 a6 15.f4 Before Black’s pawns can fully mobilise, White concentrates on the centre. 15…b5 16.Bf3 b4 17.Ne2 Rb8 18.g4 h6 19.h4 Completing an impressive array of advanced kingside pawns, forcing Black to divert his attention away from his own plan of attack. 19…h5 20.gxh5 Nxh5 21.Bxh5 Rxh5 22.Ng3 Rh7 23.e5 dxe5 24.f5 Nf6 25.fxg6 fxg6 26.Qg5 Kf7 27.Rhe1 e4 28.Nxe4 Rh5 29.d6! Best. White is not to be diverted, as the centre is rapidly breaking open to his advantage. 29…Qc6 If 29…Rxg5? 30.Nxg5+ Ke8 31.dxc7 Ra8 32.Ne6 Black has lost a rook and White threatens 38.Rd8=Q+. 30.Qf4 Rf5 31.Ng5+ 1–0 Play might have continued… Kg8 32.Qc4+ Rd5 33.dxe7 Re8 34.Rxd5 Qxd5 35.Qxa6 Kg7 36.Ne6+ with the deadly fork 37.Nc7 to follow.

In this week’s position, almost hidden among all these pieces is a mate in 2 for White. Can you see it?

White to play

E. Devon League’s End of Term Jolly (06.06.2017.)

On Tuesday evening the local league held their annual end-of-term prizegiving and match at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth, by kind invitation of the new Management.

Proceedings started with the presentation of trophies by the League President, Brian Aldwin. Pictures may be found below, but in summary they were as follows:

Cup___________ For Winning_________ Team________Recipient

RapidPlay Cup:    RapidPlay League        Exmouth Eels           Alan Dean

Cottew Cup:       Div 1 Champions         Sidmouth Scorpions     Charlie Keen

Turner Cup        Div. 1 Grading prize       Exmouth Eagles        Steve Murray

Polsloe Cup        Div. 2 Champions           Just Seaton                  Hazel Welsh

Mainstay Cup    Div. 2 Grading prize     Tiverton Thinkers       Greg Fotheringham

This bit didn’t take long, and then it was time to sort out the 28 players present into two teams of roughly equal ability, ready for two rapidplay games of 30 minutes per player per game. This finished as follows.

E. Devon League Prizegiving – 2017
RapidPlay Details
Bd President’s XIV 1st 2nd Secretary’s XIV 1st 2nd
1 J. Underwood 0 0 T. Paulden 1 1
2 T. F. Thynne 1 1 M. Shaw 0 0
3 I. Gregory 1 0 G. Body 0 1
4 I. S. Annetts ½ ½ S. Dean ½ ½
5 B. G. Gosling ½ ½ C. Keen ½ ½
6 A. Dean ½ 0 J. Duckham ½ 1
7 J. S. Murray 0 ½ J. Amos 1 ½
8 W. Marjoram 1 ½ R. H. Jones 0 ½
9 P. Dillon 0 ½ G. Fotheringham 1 ½
10 R. Scholes 1 1 M. Haines 0 0
11 B. Newcombe 1 0 M. Hussey 0 1
12 B. Perchard 1 0 S. Honeyball 0 1
13 H. Welch 1 1 G. Jenkins 0 0
14 P. Leask 1 1 R. Greenall 0 0
……………………… ………………………
TOTALS
16 12
Charlie Keen receives the Cottew Cup on behalf of the Div. 1 Champions, Sidmouth Scorpions
Alan Dean takes the RapidPlay Cup for Exmouth Eels, a slippery lot when it comes to quickplay!

Steve Murray collects the Turner Cup for Exmouth Eagles.

Hazel Welch takes the Polsloe Cup for Just Seaton.

Greg Fotheringham takes the Mainstay Cup for Tiverton.

Jupiter Bring In The Stars (03.06.2017.)

Chess events are often run on a financial  shoestring, so it’s nice to see private enterprise stepping in to support tournaments from time to time. Winton Capital Management, for example, have for several years lent their name to the annual British problem-solving Championship, the latest version of which starts this week (see below).

As reported last week, Jupiter Asset Management organised an even more unusual event. They got the services of Daily Telegraph chess columnist, Malcolm Pein, to round up 8 top players, each one of whom would partner a Jupiter employee, in a Pro-Am blitz knockout tournament. The professionals comprised World Championship finalists, Nigel Short and Michael Adams; world top amateur GM Luke McShane; GM Gawain Jones and his wife Sue; GMs David Howell & Peter Wells, and English Ladies Champion, Kanwal Bhatia.

Malcolm Pein paired the players off, which led to Cornishman Adams joining up with Jupiter IT expert and former Exmothian, Chris Hunter-Jones, to form a Westcountry team. The rules were: to make alternate moves; no conferring and 15 minutes per team for all moves.

In the quarter-final the Westcountry team beat Sue Jones’s team and went on to meet Nigel Short and Edward Bonham Carter in the Semi. Their first game was drawn with only seconds to spare, but lost the tie-break game. This consisted of a 5 minute game by just the amateurs, in which Carter played a King’s Gambit and Hunter-Jones blundered in the opening (easily done in those circumstances) and it was quickly over. The Short/Carter team then lost in the Final to Peter Wells and Alastair McFie. The chess was often crazy – but great fun.

The solution to last week’s position (above) was 1…Qg3+ and if 2.hxQ Ng2 mate, while if 2.Rf2 QxR mate.

The road to discovering who will be next year’s Winton British Solving Champion starts here, as this week’s position is the starter problem. It’s White to play and force mate in 2 moves against any Black defence. There is no entry fee and the competition is open to British residents only. Competitors need only send White’s first move, known as the “key move” and this may be done in 2 ways. (a) by post to Nigel Dennis, Boundary House, 230 Greys Road, Henley-on-Thames RG9 1QY , or (b) by e-mail to winton@theproblemist.org.

All entries must be postmarked or e-mailed no later than 31st July 2017 and must give the entrant’s name and home postcode. Don’t forget to mention that you saw this notice in either the WMN or Western Daily Press.

After the closing date, all competitors will receive the solution, and those who get it right will be sent the postal round containing 8 more difficult and varied problems. In due course the best competitors and 5 best juniors (U-18 on 31.07.2017) will be invited to participate in the final at Eton College on Saturday 18th February 2018.

Best of luck to anyone who takes up the challenge.

Frome Congress Results (20.05.2017.)

Last weekend’s Frome Congress attracted 188 players from all over the South-West and beyond, of whom 36 won prizes. Details, kindly supplied by the Organiser, Gerry Jepps, as follows:

Open Section: 1st= Jane Richmond (Brown Jack); A. Pleasants, (Weymouth); S. Crockart (Didcot) 4 pts. Grading prizes U-2050: A. Gregory (Bath) 3½. U-1900 V. Stoyanov (Sandhurst) 3. Qualifying places for the British Championship were awarded to Andrew Gregory and Philip Holt (Olton).

Major Section (U-165): 1st E. Osbourn (Worcester) 4½. 2nd T. Woodward (Trowbridge) 4. 3rd= S. Jukes (Barry); R. Radford (Keynsham); B. Gosling (E. Budleigh); H. Fowler (Millfield) & C. Timmins (Bristol) all 3½. Grading prizes: U-155: A. Champion (Keynsham); G. Georgiou (Swindon) & A. Muller (Bristol) all 3. U-145: G. Williams (Swindon); P. Foley (Upminster); D. Watson (Bourne End) & I. S. Annetts (Tiverton) all 2½.

Intermediate Section: (U-140) 1st= D. McGeeney (Bristol); L. Tarbuck (Lichfield) & N. Mills (Yeovil) all 4½. GPs U-128: R. Morris-Weston (Bristol); E. Fierek (Gloucester); D. Rogers (Exmouth); A. Sage (Bath) & O. Stubbs (Downend). U-118: E. Hurst (Salisbury) all 3½.

Minor Section: (U-110): 1st J. Opie (Frome) 5. 2nd= Amanda Jones (Salisbury) & Y. Kumar (Bath) 4½. GPs (U-99) F. Cheeseman (Kent) & J. Wallman (Dorset). U-90: A. Wang (Bath) & J. Doull (Purbeck).

In the absence of any GMs to take the top prize, it was no surprise to see Jane Richmond taking a share of the spoils. She has been Welsh Ladies Champion 11 times and has played in several Olympiads. Here is her last round game, which clinched her share of 1st place.

White: O. Garcia (2062). Black: J. Richmond (2128)

Vienna Game C28

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Bc5 4.Nc3 Signature move of the Vienna Game, in which White intends to attack on the kingside. 4…d6 5.f4 exf4 6.Bxf4 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.Na4 Nh5 9.Bg5 an idea that doesn’t work. 9…Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Qxg5 11.Bxf7+ Ke7 12.Nxc5 Qxc5 13.Qxh5 White recovers his piece, at the expense of… 13…Qe3+ 14.Kd1 Raf8 15.Re1 Qd4 16.Bc4 Qxb2 17.Qh4+ Kd7 18.Kd2 Qb4+ 19.Kd1 Ne5 20.Bb3 Qd4 21.Rb1 Rf2 22.Qg3 g6 23.Bd5 Rhf8 24.Qh3+ Kd8 25.Qh4+ R8f6 26.Re2 The knight now becomes a real menace. 26…Nxd3 27.Rxf2 Not 27.cxd3?? because of  27…Qxd3+ 28.Kc1 Qxe2 with mate to follow. 27…Nxf2+ 28.Ke2 Ng4! 29.Rb3 Not 29.Qxg4?? Rf2+ 30.Ke1 Qd2#. 29…Ke8 unpinning the rook. 30.Rf3 Rxf3 31.Kxf3 h5 32.h3?? 32.Qe1 was needed to keep the game going. 32…Qe3# 0–1.

In last week’s position (above) Black had overlooked “the power of the check”, which overrides other threats. Hence White wins material rather than loses it after 1.Nf7+.

In this game from 1953 White’s pieces have the freedom of the board, while Black’s appear relatively cramped. His only advantage is that it’s his move. Is this enough to save the game?

Can Black save the day?

World Team Seniors 65+ (13.05.2017.)

Although most public attention was focussed on the 50+ group in the recent World Seniors team tournament in Crete, it should not be forgotten that there was a 65+ section as well. It seemed to appeal to players from Northern Europe, as of the 22 participating teams, 5 came from Sweden, 3 from England and 2 from Norway. Like the younger age group, the Russians won this section as well, winning all 9 matches.

Brian Hewson of Tiverton won this Bd. 1 game against England 1 for England II, for whom Trefor Thynne was team Captain.

White: B. W. R. Hewson (187). Black: Michael Stokes (187).

King’s Indian Defence – Fianchetto Variation.

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.0–0 d6 6.Re1 Nbd7 7.c4 e5 8.Nc3 This position was reached in the game Schwartz–L. Paulsen (Wiesbaden 1880) demonstrating its long time pedigree. Ng4 9.dxe5 Ndxe5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Qb3 c6 12.Bf4 Qe7 13.Rad1 Bf5 14.Bxe5 Bxe5 15.f4 Bg7 16.e4 Bg4 17.Rd2 Rfd8 18.Qa3 Qc7 19.h3 Be6 20.Bf1 Bf8 21.Qa4 a6 22.Qc2 Qa5 23.Kh2 b5 24.cxb5 axb5 25.a3 b4 26.axb4 Qxb4 27.Nd1 Bg7 28.Ree2 c5 29.Ne3 Bb3 30.Qc1 Ra2 31.Bg2 Rda8 32.Rxd6 Bf8 33.Rdd2 Qb5 34.e5 Ra1 35.Qc3 Rc8 36.Nd5 c4 37.Nf6+ Kh8 38.Rd5 Qb6 39.Re1 Bb4 40.Qe3 Qxe3 41.Rxe3 Bc5 42.Rxc5 White had little option but to give up the exchange, in view of, for example, 42.Re2 Bg1+ 43.Kh1 Bb6+ 44.Kh2 c3. 42…Rxc5 43.Re2 In spite of having to give up the exchange, White’s 2 minor pieces  become very active, so maybe it hasn’t turned out too badly. 43…Rc8 44.Ne4 Rc1 45.Nd6 Rc7 46.Bd5 Kg8 47.e6 Kf8 48.exf7 Re7 49.Rxe7 Kxe7 50.Nc8+ Kf8 51.Nb6 Threatening to win immediately with 5.Nd7+ getting a queen back. 51…Ba4 52.Nxa4 c3 53.bxc3 Ke7 54.c4 Ra1 55.Nc5 Ra7 56.Kg2 Kf8 57.Be6 1-0 White has 3 pawns & 2 minor pieces for a rook, and Black resigned in view of the renewed prospect of 58.Nd7+.

The Frome Congress started yesterday evening and continues until Sunday tea-time. After that, the next big event is the Cotswold Congress at the King’s School, Gloucester over the Whit Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday 27th to Monday 29th May. Like Frome, they also have easy on-line entry facilities, which experience has shown tends to increase entries. Their website is dmshome.co.uk/cotswoldcongress.

Details are now out about Cornwall’s Rapidplay Championship for the Kerrier Cup, to be held at Carnon Downs Village Hall TR3 6GH, on Saturday 17th June, starting at 1.45 p.m.  Space is at a premium and a maximum of 24 entries has been fixed, so early entry is essential to be sure of playing. Further details may be found on the website www.cornwallchess.org.uk.

Last week’s 2-mover (above) by Dave Howard, was solved by Bf3! with the threat of a discovered check being too much for Black to deal with.

In this game from 25 years ago, Black played 1…Nc4 in the hope of winning material. Did he succeed?

White to play

World Team Seniors 50+ Results (06.05.2017.)

The World Team Seniors Tournament finished on Tuesday on the island of Crete. It was held in two age groups; 50+ and 65+. There were 22 teams in the “junior” section, the top seed being England just ahead of St. Petersburg. The England 1 team’s pool of 5 players consisted of John Nunn, Jon Speelman, Keith Arkell, Terry Chapman and, it was said beforehand, Malcolm Pein. But this was only to disguise the fact that Nigel Short had agreed to play, and it was meant to be a surprise for the opposition.

In spite of all this, it was the Russians that finished in 1st place, having won all their 9 matches, while Armenia pushed England down to 3rd. England II came 10th with England III 20th.

England 1 lost their match vs St. Petersburg, though Speelman won his game.

White: Jon Speelman (2511). Black: S Ionov. (2535)

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 losing a tempo. 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.Qc2 b6 9.Bf4 Ba6 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Rc1 seizing control of the c-file. 11…Nbd7 12.Nc3 Nh5 13.Qa4 Nxf4 14.Qxa6 Nxg2 15.Kxg2 Qc8 16.Qxc8 Rfxc8 White clearly believes in keeping things simple. 17.Nb5 Bf8 18.Nc7 Rab8 19.a4 Nc5? Black has miscalculated the permutations in this little skirmish. 20.dxc5 Rxc7 21.cxb6! Rxc1 22.bxa7 Suddenly White has a 3–0 pawn majority on the q-side. 22…Ra8 23.Rxc1 Rxa7 24.b3 g6 25.Nd4 White’s 2 extra pawns should be enough to win, but help from the knight may be needed. 25…Kg7 26.Nc6 Rb7 27.b4 1-0 Black cannot take the pawn because if 27…Bxb4? 28.Rb1 wins a piece.

England 1’s match against England II had two former British champions facing off.

White: Nigel Short (2683). Black: James  Plaskett. (2458)

English Opening – Sicilian Variation.

1.c4 e5 2.e3 g6 3.d4 d6 4.Nc3 Nd7 5.g3 Bg7 6.Bg2 Ne7 7.Nge2 0–0 8.a4 f5 9.a5 a6 10.b3 g5 This is what is called in the trade as a “pawn storm”, but what Black’s king might call a dereliction of defensive duties. 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Ba3 c6 13.g4 f4 14.Be4 f3 15.Ng3 Black’s advanced pawns have achieved nothing, while his defences now leak like a colander. 15…Qxa5 16.0–0 c5 If 16…Qxc3? 17.Bxe7 wins Black’s g-pawn. 17.Bb2 Qb6 18.Bxf3 Nf6 19.Nce4 Ng6 20.Nxg5 Rd8 21.Qc2 Bxg4 22.Bxg4 Nxg4 23.h3 Nh6 24.Nh5 giving an extraordinary combination of knights on the wing. 24…Bh8 25.f4 Qc6 26.f5 Nf8 27.Rf2 Nf7 28.Ne4 Nd7 29.f6 Nf8 30.Kh2 Ng6 31.Rg1 Kf8 32.Rfg2 Ke8 33.Bc3 Kd7 34.Nhg3 Kc7 35.Rf2 Rd7 36.Qe2 Rg8 It’s a little late for this rook to be coming to the aid of the Party – the party’s almost over. 37.Qh5 h6 38.Rd2 Rxd2+ 39.Bxd2 b6 40.Bc3 Qe6 41.Nf5 Ng5 42.Nxh6 The rook must move away, leaving both knights undefended. 1–0

Last week’s 2-mover (above) by Dave Howard, was solved by Bh4! after which the queen can mate either on a5 or e2.

Here is another new and relatively easy 2-mover by him.

White to play & mate in 2

Exmouth’s Exciting End-of-Term Experiences.

If there has been a more concentrated and closely contested climax to a season, I don’t recall it.

Four matches, four victories and two trophies in 12 days represents as rich a reward as anyone at the club could reasonably expect.

Let’s start on Saturday 22nd April in the Mamhead Cup, Devon’s Division 2. With one match to play, Exmouth and Newton Abbot were joint leaders on match points, but Exmouth having scored a half point more in games. So Exmouth simply did not have to score less points against the final opponents, Teignmouth, than Newton Abbot did against Barnstaple. As Newton Abbot did win their match 3.5 – o.5, Exmouth had to beat Teignmouth by at least the same score …. or more – a big ask. But they equalled Newton Abbot’s winning margin, so winning the Mamhead Cup by half a game point.

Exmouth Teignmouth
1 O. E. Wensley 168 ½ ½ W. H. Ingham 162
2 M. Shaw 163 1 0 Rev. C. Doidge 124
3 C. J. Scott 151 1 0 N. F. Tidy 122
4 M. Belt 127 1 0 A. Webster 82
609 ½ 490

Three days later, on Tuesday 25th April, there was an away match against Exeter in the E. Devon RapidPlay League. This turned out to be not quite as close a match as the previous one, thus winning that league, and a second trophy in 4 days. (Photos below)

Exeter & Dist. League   –   RapidPlay League  Div. 1     25.04.2017.
Exeter Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Rd 1 Rd 2
1 S. Pope 149 ½ ½ C. J. Scott 151 ½ ½
2 R. Whittington 136 1 1 A. Dean 141 0 0
3 R. Player 114 0 0 Dr. M. Marshall 140 1 1
4 Dr. J. Maloney 96 0 0 R. H. Jones 135 1 1
3 5

The following Saturday, Exmouth entertained Newton Abbot in the final round of the Bremridge Cup, Devon’s Division 1. There was no trophy at stake this time as Exeter had already secured overall victory by virtue of their narrow win over Exmouth earlier in the year, but nevertheless rivalry is always keen. Both teams were without 2 top players, but the six pairings looked to favour the home side.

However, at the halfway point, Exmouth went 1-0 down, and had no discernable advantage in the other 5 games, so it was backs-to-the-wall time for sure. Oliver Wensley went right down to K+P vs K but his king was in front of his pawn and the opposing king was not inclined to allow him the freedom to move aside, so game drawn. Then rather suddenly, the other four games, in spite of their closeness throughout, all went Exmouth’s way, leaving the final score 4.5 – 1.5, certainly a scoreline that belies the actual play.

DCCA    –   Div. 1   Bremridge Cup        29.04.2017.
Exmouth grd Newton Abbot grd
1 W. Braun 195 1 0 P. Brooks 185
2 S. Martin 185 0 1 A. W. Brusey 169
3 P. D. Hampton 166 1 0 V. Ramesh 139
4 M. V. Abbott 176 1 0 A. Kinder 125
5 O. E. Wensley 168 ½ ½ C. V. Howard 143
6 C. J. Scott 152 1 0 J. E. Allen 145
1043 4½ 1½ 910

Exmouth vs Newton Abbot: A study in collective concentration.

Bd. 1: Paul Brooks vs Walter Braun.

Bds 3 & 4: Ramesh vs Hampton & Abbott vs Kinder.

Bds 5 & 6: Howard vs Wensley & Scott vs Allen.

This was closely followed by another home match on Wednesday night, against Exeter in the E. Devon League Div. 1. This time the odds seemed to favour the visitors, with Barbara Newcombe, a newcomer this season to OTB chess,  playing her first 1st team match for the Club. Her draw against the experienced Will Marjoram, in the face of a 40 point difference in their grades, seemed to inspire the others, the home side running out 3.5 – 0.5 winners.

So the situation is that, with only 3 teams involved, Exmouth have lost to Seaton but beaten Exeter, who play Seaton next week. If Exeter win that match it could be 3-way tie situation – unless complicated tie-breaks come into play. Who knows, a third trophy might come our way, but no-one here’s holding their breath on that one.

Exeter & Dist. League   –   League  Div. 1     03.05.2017
Exmouth grd Exeter grd
1 M. V. Abbott 176 1 0 Dr. T. Paulden 185
2 O. E. Wensley 168 1 0 Dr. D. Regis 169
3 Dr. M. O. Marshall 162 1 0 R. Whittington 139
4 B. Newcombe 85 ½ ½ W. Marjoram 125
591 ½ 618

Exmouth's winning RapidPlay team: Seated (l) Chris Scott & Alan Dean (capt.). Standing (l) Bob Jones & Michael Marshall.

Exeter's home team: Seated (l) Sean Pope & Reece Whittington. Standing (l) Richard Player & John Maloney.

Rd. 1 gets under way.

Exeter & Dist. League   –   RapidPlay League  Div. 1     25.04.2017.
Exeter Rd 1 Rd 2 Exmouth Rd 1 Rd 2
1 S. Pope 149 ½ ½ C. J. Scott 151 ½ ½
2 R. Whittington 136 1 1 A. Dean 141 0 0
3 R. Player 114 0 0 Dr. M. Marshall 140 1 1
4 Dr. J. Maloney 96 0 0 R. H. Jones 135 1 1
3 5

Arkell Loses! (29.04.2017.)

As reported last week, Keith Arkell retained his West of England Championship over the Easter weekend by winning his first 6 games. However, in the 7th and final round he met his nearest rival and lost for the first time in the 21 games he’s played here in the past 3 years. It was a Dutch Defence, not dissimilar to the one being played at the same time, and given last week.

White: K. C. Arkell Black: R. McMichael

Dutch Defence [A90]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 Here we go with another Dutch Defence. 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 c6 5.Nf3 d5 6.0–0 Bd6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 0–0 9.Nbd2 Bd7 10.Ne5 Be8 11.a4 Nbd7 12.a5 White may be aware that Black intends the thematic king-side attack, and before that happens needs to create some space for himself on the other wing. 12…a6 13.Ndf3 Bh5 14.Qc2 Rad8 15.cxd5 Bxf3 16.exf3 Nxd5 17.Nc4 Bb4 18.f4 N7f6 19.Ne5 Nc7 20.Bxc6! Ncd5 The preferred move of computer analysis. If 20…bxc6 21.Nxc6 forking 3 pieces. 21…Qd6 22.Nxb4 (or if 22.Nxd8 Rxd8 23.Rfc1 leaving White with a rook & 2 pawns for 2 knights, but it’s unclear who has the better  chances, especially if Black’s 3 minor pieces start to get really active.) 22…Qxb4 23.Qxc7 Qxb3 24.Ba3 Rfe8 25.Bc5. 21.Bxd5 Nxd5 22.Nd3 Bd6 23.Nc5 Rf6 Black’s backward e-pawn needs reinforcement in view of White’s next move. 24.Rae1 Rh6 25.f3 Rg6 26.Kh1 h5 Now follows the kingside pawn storm that we saw in last week’s example of the Dutch. 27.Rg1 h4 28.Bc1 hxg3 29.hxg3 Kf7 30.Rg2 Rh8+ 31.Kg1 If 31.Rh2 Rxh2+ 32.Kxh2 (Of course, not 32.Qxh2?? Rh6 33.Qxh6 gxh6 34.Nxe6) 31…Rh3 32.Qf2 Rgh6 33.Kf1 Rh1+ 34.Ke2 Bxc5 35.dxc5 Qd7 36.Qd4 Nxf4+ 37.Qxf4 Rxe1+ 38.Kxe1 Rh1+ 39.Kf2 Qd1 Threatening mate on e1 40.Bd2 Qf1+ winning a piece back. 41.Ke3 Qxg2 42.Qc7+ Kg6 43.Bc3 Now Black has to tread carefully to counter the threat to g7. 43…Qg1+ 44.Kd3 The game went on for another 20 moves but unfortunately both scoresheets are indecipherable as the tension got to both players. However, Black remained the exchange ahead and with that advantage managed to keep threatening White’s king to the point of resignation.

Photographs of this, and many other games being played throughout the tournament, and the prizewinners receiving their trophies may be found on keverelchess.co.uk/blog.

There are two Westcountry congresses next month. Firstly, one at Frome, to be held Fri. 12th – 14th May  at Selwood Academy, Frome, BA11 2EF (website somersetchess.org/frome_congress). This is followed by the Cotswold Congress over the Bank Holiday Weekend Sat. 27th – Mon. 29th May at King’s School, Gloucester, GL1 2BG.

website:(http://dmshome.co.uk/CotswoldCongress/.

In last week’s position (above) Black could play …1.Qg2+ and depending which piece takes it, Black has either …2.Nh3# or Ne2# as the White king is smothered by his own defenders.

Here is a 2 mover by Dave Howard.

White to Play