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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.


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

You-Tube Student (24.03.2018.) 977

Cornwall’s Championship and general congress took place last weekend at Carnon Downs Village Hall. James Hooker was unable to defend his title due to illness which left ten players to fight it out over 5 rounds. Going into the final game, the clear leader was Mark Watkins who faced top seed Jeremy Menadue, the latter emerging triumphant and winning the Emigrant Cup for the 5th time. Rodrigo continued his recent improvement by winning the U-150 Grading Prize in his first appearance in this section.

Details kindly supplied by Ian George: 1st Jeremy Menadue (185 – Carrick) 4/5. 2nd= David Saqui (170 – Penwith); Gary Trudeau (151 – Liskeard) & Mark Watkins (172 – Penwith) 3½. 5th Jan Rodrigo (140 – Penwith) 2. 6th= Percy Gill (143 – Penwith); Grant Healey (Carrick) & Colin Sellwood (149 – Camborne) 2. 9th Adam Hussain (150 – Carrick) 1½. 10th David J. Jenkins (144 – Penwith) 1.

The Falmouth Cup for those graded U-146 was contested by 18 players one of whom was a complete novice, Toby Willis, who made the most interesting story of the day. Toby is a 1st Year student at the Penryn Campus of Exeter University, and before the weekend had never played before in public, having taught himself the game entirely via the chess materials on YouTube. However, far from being an innocent thrown to the wild beasts, he won every game and came clear 1st. Definitely one to watch.

Details: 1st T. Willis (UG – Carrick) 5. 2nd= Keith Brewer (UG – Liskeard); Jason Henderson (124 – Lerryn) & Bryan Jones (103 – Carrick). Here is one of the games from the top section involving 3 queens on the board at the same time.

White: G. Trudeau. Black: J. Rodrigo.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.Be3 e5 5.d5 Be7 6.Be2 c6 7.f4 Qa5 threatening 8…Nxe4 8.Qd2 Qb4 9.Bf3 This time ignoring the threat. 9…Qxb2 Black’s acceptance of the b-pawn is double-edged: on the one hand he later gets a 2nd queen in that corner, but on the other he is neglecting normal piece development. 10.Rb1 Qa3 11.Nge2 Qa5 12.0–0 a6 13.Ng3 g6 14.Kh1 c5 15.f5 b5 16.Bh6 Bf8 17.Be3 Bg7 18.h4 Nb6 19.Be2 b4 20.Nd1 gxf5 21.Bh6 Rg8 22.exf5 Nbxd5 23.Bc4 Bb7 24.Bg5 Qc7 25.h5 h6 26.Bh4 Qc6 27.Be2 Qa4 28.Bf3 b3 29.Bxf6 Bxf6 30.Ne4 bxa2 31.Rxb7 a1Q 32.Qxd5 Taking stock, Black has a queen & 2 pawns for 2 knights, but his king is trapped in the centre and his rooks are disconnected, whereas White has queen, rook & knight in threatening positions. 32…Q1a2 33.Qxf7+? The obvious move is 33.Nxf6+! and if 33…Kd8 34.Qxd6+ Kc8 35.Qc7#; or 33…Kf8 34.Rxf7# 33…Qxf7 34.Nxd6+ Kd8 35.Nxf7+ Kc8 36.Nd6+ Kd8 37.Ne4 Rg7 38.Ndc3 Qc6 39.Rd1+ Kc8 1-0 Resigned in view of 40.Rxg7 Bxg7 41.Nd6+ winning the queen.

Last week’s problem was solved by 1.QxP+ PxQ 2.Bishop moves = mate.

This position is taken from the 6 nation international Clare Benedict Tournament of 1963, where, in Rd. 2, Owen Hindle (W) was the only winner, enabling England to beat Spain 2½-1½. How did he do that from this position?

White to play and win.

The Bird Has Flown: (10.03.2018.) 976

After Jack Rudd’s apparently easy progress through the recent E. Devon Congress, it was found that not all games were quite that straightforward. This one from Round 1, for example, could have been an upset.

Notes by Hampton and Tim Paulden

White: Paul Hampton (175). Black: J. Rudd (225)

Bird’s Opening [A03]

1.f4 Much favoured by Henry Edward Bird (1830-1908) who, after a lengthy absence from the game, found “it led to highly interesting games out of the usual groove and I became partial to it.” Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.d3 d5 4.e3 Bg7 5.Be2 0–0 6.0–0 c5 7.Qe1 Nc6 8.c3 d4 9.cxd4 cxd4 10.e4 Black has planned to exploit the weak d3 pawn, but now White has a solid centre on which to base a kingside attack, which will be all out for mate, giving little regard for any queenside activity. 10…b6 11.Na3 a5 12.Bd2 Ba6 13.Rc1 Rc8 14.Nc4 Nd7 Black brings more pieces to pressurise the d3 pawn, but the knight on f6 is a key defensive piece so h7 is now White’s target. 15.Qh4 Nc5 16.f5 Nb4 17.Bh6 f6 Black is finally forced to weaken his position to counter the threat of Ng5. 18.Nce5! Turning the game in White’s favour. 18…Nbxd3 If 18…fxe5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Rxc5 bxc5 21.Ng5 and Black has to give up his queen to avoid mate e.g. 21…gxf5 19.fxg6 hxg6 20.Nxg6 Nxc1 21.Bxa6 Nxa6 22.Nfe5? White missed the subtlety of Black’s knight check putting his king in the corner. Also, post-congress analysis has uncovered the continuation… 22.Bxg7! Kxg7 23.Qg4! From this point on, all lines are winning for White, and although with best play Black can avoid any forced mates, White will hoover up material.  Ne2+ 24.Kh1 Kh7 25.Nfh4 d3 26.Nf5 Rc7 27.Nf4 threatening mate on g7. 27…Ng3+ 28.hxg3 e5 29.Qh5+ Kg8 30.Nh6+ Kg7 31.Ne6+ forking K, Q & 2 rooks. 31…Kh8 32.Nf7+ double check. 32…Kg8 33.Qg6 mate But it’s a highly complex position and difficult to see every possibility in the heat of battle. 22…Ne2+ 23.Kh1 fxe5 24.Nxf8 Qxf8 25.Rxf8+ Rxf8 Now the importance of the N-check is clear: if Black did not threaten mate then White could exchange bishops and fork K & N. But the chance of an upset has gone, as the lone queen is not enough to combat a rook & 2 knights. 26.g4 Bxh6 27.Qxh6 Rf6 28.Qg5+ Kf7 29.Qxe5 Nc5 30.Qh5+ Kg7 31.Qg5+ Kf8 32.e5 Ne4 33.Qh4 Rf1+ 34.Kg2 Rf2+ 35.Kh1 Nf4 36.Qh8+ Kf7 37.Kg1 Rg2+ 38.Kf1 Nd2+ 39.Ke1 Nf3+ 40.Kf1 Nxh2+ 41.Ke1 Nxg4 42.Qh7+ Ke6 43.Qg8+ Kxe5 44.Qg5+ Ke4 45.Qxe7+ Kf3 46.Qb7+ Kg3 47.b4 Nd3+ 0–1

Last week’s position by Sam Loyd was taken from the collection entitled Roi acculé aux angles (Paris – 1905), White could play 1.Qa8! and if the Black queen moves there will be mate on a8 or if Black’s pawn moves 2.Rh6 mate. Here is another from that book, composed by Lilian Baird (1881 – 1977), the young daughter of Edith (née Winter-Wood), the queen of the problem world. Lilian was indeed a prodigy, with compositions published at the age of 8 but didn’t keep it up to the extent her mother did.

A prodigy's problem: White to move & mate in 2

West of England Congress 2018 – Latest Entries

Here are the entries currently recived for th WECU Congress over the Easter Weekend.

WECU Congress — Easter Weekend 2018.

Current Entries

1 GM Keith Arkell 2411 240 Cheddelton
2 FM Walter Braun 2152 197 Exmouth
3 Andre Neilsen 2145 Norway
4 Steve Dilleigh 2070 191 Horfield
5 Graham Bolt 2053 188 Exeter
6 Alan Crombleholme 2002 188
7 Dave Littlejohns 1986 178 Taunton
8 Roger De Coverley 1953 179 Bourne End
9 Chris James 1876 Dunbar
10 Leif Hafstad 1799 164 Exeter
1 Tim Woodward 1914 148 Trowbridge
2 Ivor Annetts 1885 150 Tiverton
3 James Forster 1812 167 Southbourne
4 Matthew Wilson 1808 157 Teignmouth
5 Paul Jackson 1807 160 Coulsdon
6 Martin Page 1795 155 Insurance
7 Paul Jackson 1747 146 Bournemouth
8 Andrew Price 1747 151 Leamington
9 Phil Foley 1717 140 Upminster
10 Fenella Headlong 1683 131 Brown Jack
11 Jim Robertson 1679 144 E. Kilbride
12 Malcolm Roberts 1629 134 Holmes Chapel
13 Benjamin Halvorsen 1594 Norway
MINOR (U-130)
1 Ken Alexander 128 E. Budleigh
2 Paul Foster 128 Medway
3 Ian Blencowe 126 Gloucester
4 Paul Errington 124 Bournemouth
5 Georgia Headlong 118 Brown Jack
6 Andy Proudfoot 112 Plymouth
7 Roger Waters 109 Taunton
8 David Burt 108 Bournemouth
9 John Dean 108 Plymouth
10 Kevin Markey 105
11 James Wallman 105
12 John Carr 100 Portsmouth
13 Hazel Welch 88 Seaton
14 Wendy Carr 63 Portsmouth

East Devon Congress 2018 Results. 03.03.2018.) 975

The East Devon Congress came to a successful end on Sunday evening. In the Open Section, Jack Rudd skittled his way through the first 4 rounds enabling him to agree a quick draw to ensure 1st prize, and his opponent, Dominic Mackle, clear 2nd.

The other winners were as follows:

3rd= Mike Waddington (Dorchester); Jeremy Fallowfield (Stourbridge); Oscar Garcia (Poole); Philip Tozer (Athenaeum); Steve Dilleigh (Bristol), Graham Bolt (Exeter) & John Stephens, (Exmouth) all 3½.

Grading prizes (U-186) Mike Duggan; Paul Helbig & Paul Hampton (Seaton) all 3½. (U-160) Yuyang Wang (Plymouth) .

Major Section (U-155): 1st David Archer (154 – S. Hams) 5 pts. 2nd= Matthew Read (152 – Shrewsbury); Colin Sellwood (149 – Camborne) & Mark Potter (154 – Dorchester) all 4 pts. GPs (U-146) Roy Shapland (Barnstaple).

(U-135) Nick Cunliffe (Wells).

Minor Section (U-125): 1st= Roy Greenhalgh 115 – S. Hams); James Wallman (105 – Dorset); Graham Hillman (114 – Wimbourne); Gary Loyden (113 – Swindon); Chris Smith (102 – Thornbury) & Peter Strong (92 – Clevedon) All 4 pts. Although the lowest graded in this 6-way tie, Strong won the Cup by virtue of his sum-of-opponents’ scores. GPs (U-106) Christine Constable (105 – Bude) & John Carr (100). (U-91) Elmira Walker (90-Downend); Brian Aldwin (87 – Exeter); Tim Roberts (87 – Exeter Uni.) & Ken Hayden-Sadler (66 – Teignmouth) all 2½.

This was Rudd’s 3rd round game, a crisp win against an opponent who nevertheless still finished in the prizelist.

White: P. Tozer (193). Black: J. Rudd. (226)

English Opening – Sicilian Variation.

1.c4 e5 The Sicilian Variation, generally regarded as the liveliest of Black’s responses, although Howard Staunton was of the opinion that “White would get a fine game”.  2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0–0 Be6 8.a3 a5 9.d3 Be7 10.Be3 0–0 11.Rc1 f5 Black wastes no time in starting a central attack. 12.Na4 e4 13.Ne1 Nd5 14.Bc5 e3 15.f4 The e-pawn cannot be taken because of 15…Nxe3 15…b6 16.Bxd5 Bxd5 White’s dominance of the white diagonal eventually proves the key to victory. 17.Bxe3 Bf6 Compare and contrast the positioning of each side’s minor pieces. 18.Nc3 Re8 19.Bf2 Bf7 20.Nf3 Nd4 21.Nxd4 Bxd4 22.Qd2 c5 23.e3 Bxc3 24.Qxc3 Qd5 25.g4 Qf3 26.gxf5 Bd5 Threatening mate on 2 squares. 27.e4 Black is not to be denied. 27…Rxe4! 28.Bg3 If 28.dxe4 and mate will follow. 28…Qxe4. 28…Re1 protecting Black’s queen by pinning its attacker and hence ensuring mate next move. 29.Rcxe1 Qg2# 0–1.

The “zinger” in last week’s position was 1.Rh6+! Kxh6 (1…Kf7 is no better) 2.Qf6+ Kh7 3.Rh1+ Kg8 4.Rh8 mate.

The US millionaire Alain White (1880-1951) used to collect problems and each Christmas would reward those who sent him specimens with a small book. This was from his 1905 gift which contained 200 problems with a “king trapped in the corner” theme. This was No. 26, a 2-mover by his friend and mentor, Sam Loyd, a devilishly teasing composer.

White to play and mate in 2

The E. Devon Congress Gets Under Way (24.02.2018.)

The East Devon Congress got under way smoothly at 7 p.m. on Friday 24th February, with an entry of 137, somewhat down on last year when the bait of John Nunn’s entry lured in a number of players, but still a higher entry than the years before that. The Open Section numbered 50, of whom 19 were graded 180 or higher. Top seed Jack Rudd is well clear of the field, but who else will be taking home winners’ cheques is anyone’s guess.

General view of the playing area, looking towards the stage.

Top board in the Open: Jack Rudd replies to Paul Hampton's opening moves.

Adam Woodruff (W) formerly of Exmouth waits for Paul O'Neill's next move.

Former Devon Champion, John Stephens (W) in play against Dragi Popovic of Poole.

Exeter Retain Top Prize (24.02.2018.) 974

Devon’s Premiership club competition was decided on Saturday when Exeter travelled all the way to Exmouth for the final showdown. Both 6-player teams’ grade total were almost 1,100 which made it a very strong event, but the result was the same as in recent encounters, a 3½-2½ win to Exeter.

Details: Exmouth names first in each pairing. 1. J. Stephens (189) 1-0 G. Bolt (188). 2. W. Braun (197) 0-1 L. Hartmann (183). 3. Dr. J. Underwood (191) ½-½ Dr. T. Paulden (189). 4. S. Martin (184)  ½-½ P. O’Neill (187). 5. O. E. Wensley (175) ½-½ C. Lowe (179). 6. B. Gosling (160) 0-1 Dr. D. Regis (165).

Here is the game from Board 1.

White: J. Stephens. Black: G. Bolt.

Sicilian Defence – Maroczy Bind [B38].

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Be3 c5 Transposing into a Sicilian Defence. 5.c4 The Maroczy Bind, the idea of which is to discourage Black from playing …d5 which would free up his position. 5…cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Be2 0–0 9.Rc1 Bd7 10.f3 a6 11.Qd2 Rc8 12.b3 Re8 13.0–0 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Qa5 15.Qe3 Qh5 16.Qf2 e6 17.Rfd1 Bc6 18.Bb6 Nd7 19.f4 Qh6 20.Be3 Bf8 21.b4 b5 Allowing White to obtain 2 passed pawns, which become more important as the game goes on, and White takes every chance to make equal exchanges 22.cxb5 axb5 23.Nxb5 Bxe4 24.Rxc8 Rxc8 25.Nxd6 Bxd6 26.Rxd6 Nf6 27.Rd4 Qf8 28.Qh4 Qg7 29.Rc4 Rxc4 30.Bxc4 Nd5 31.Qd8+ Qf8 32.Qxf8+ Kxf8 and now those pawns can spring to life. 33.Bc5+ Ke8 34.g3 Kd7 35.a4 Nc3 36.a5 Kc7 37.Kf2 Bc6 38.Ke3 Nd5+ 39.Kd4 f6 40.b5 Bd7 41.Bf8 Kd8 42.b6 Resigned 1–0.

The East Devon Congress started last evening in Exeter’s Corn Hall, and continues until tomorrow evening. With 3 days to go, there were no late Grandmaster entries; no John Nunn, as last year, acting as a magnet attracting enough players to make it a record entry for recent years. Total entries at this point are 137.

Future events include the following:

(a) West of England Championship & general Congress at the Manor Hotel, Exmouth over Easter weekend i.e. from Fri. 30th March – Mon. 2nd April.

(b) Fri. 18th May.29th Frome Congress

(c  Sat. 26th May. 50th Frome Congress.

A report was received this week of the death of a regular and popular player in Westcountry congresses, Robert Everson of Dartford, Kent. Like Simon Bartlett, who passed away last year, Robert also worked in the chemical industry and developed an inoperative brain tumour. A fuller obituary and photograph may be found on

In last week’s position, Black’s queen was overloaded trying to protect both c6 and f7, enabling White to play 1.Bc6 and if 1…QxB 2.Qxf7 mate.

Leafing through an old copy of Chess Life this week, I found a page of positions entitled Find The Zingers! (It’s an American magazine) and this is one from their Intermediate section. White to play.

Find The Zinger! White to play

Devon’s Div. 1 (Bremridge Cup) Retained (13.02.2018.)

Saturday was the defining day for this year’s destination of the Bremridge Cup, when Exeter were due to travel to neigbours Exmouth for their return match. Exmouth needed a win to retain any hope of wresting the cup from Exeter’s grasp, while a draw would be enough for Exeter to retain the trophy.

With this in mind, Exeter drafted in Exeter University student Lorenz Hartmann to beef up their team list, while Exmouth were able to field former local hero John Stephens. Unfortunately, this was offset by having three “unavailables”, but even so, the home team were slightly stronger on paper.

Things started badly for Exmouth, when Dave Regis was able to take full and immediate advantage of his opponent’s opening plan which left his king marooned in the centre and unable to move left or right to avoid the on-coming storm. 0-1

Boards 3, 4, & 5 were more cautious affairs all players keen not to miss any lurking dangers, and draws were agreed.

This left the top two games to settle matters. There was a distinctly continental flavour about Bd. 2 in which Hartmann, over from Germany doing in doctorate in Maths (in Game Theory, wouldn’t you know it!) was playing Viennese FIDE Master Walter Braun, currently enjoying his second period of residence in Exmouth. However, a slight slip in his early mid-game calculations enabled Hartmann to get a central pawn storm going, which proved impossible to resist. This was the win that clinched the title.

Which meant that Exeter team captain, Graham Bolt, didn’t need to worry too much about the way his own game was going. After Stephens had established 2 connected queenside pawns, he swapped off material whenever possible, increasing those pawns’ significance all the time until they were impossible to resist. It was consolation for Exmouth, but not quite enough.

Full details:-

D.C.C.A. Bremridge Cup                 Played Sat. 17.02.2018.
1 John Stephens 189 1 0 Graham Bolt 188
2 Walter Braun 197 0 1 Lorenz Hartmann 183
3 Dr. Jon Underwood 191 ½ ½ Dr. Tim Paulden 189
4 Steve Martin 184 ½ ½ Paul O’Neill 187
5 Oliver Wensley 175 ½ ½ Chris Lowe 179
6 Brian Gosling 160 0 1 Dr. Dave Regis 165
1,096 1,089

Nearest: Bd 2 Hartmann (W) vs Braun & Bd. 1 Stephens (W) vs Bolt

Two Doctors heading for a draw: Underwood (W) vs Paulden.

Regis (W) vs Gosling

O'Neill (W) vs Martin

Robert Everson R.I.P. (20.02.2018.)

Robert Everson RIP.

Since receiving a couple of e-mails regarding Bob Everson, I’ve take the liberty of melding them together, adding some of my own material.

Robert Everson had been a regular attendee at the Royal Beacon Seniors Congress in Exmouth, and Paignton, for a number of years, one of a group of other Kent players; among them Mike Wiltshire, Alan Sherriff  and Ian McAllan.

He attended the Paignton Congress in September 2016, and towards the end of one round, I was walking past and noticed Bob with a few friends at the board, demonstrating how he had just lost his game because he missed/forgot a move that he had already noticed during his analysis. I heard him say “I can’t understand it – how could I do that?!” – an innocent remark that I couldn’t forget, as I knew another player, Simon Bartlett, was similarly ill.

On return home he took medical advice, and it was found he had an incurable brain tumour. Bartlett had been told his particular tumour was associated with workers in the chemical industry, and I gather Bob had had a similar career.

Bob had been the Dartford first team captain since September 1974, probably the longest period for any Kent club captain.  Bob joined the Dartford club shortly after leaving school and enjoyed many successful and happy years playing chess and mixing with his fellow players.  In particular he much enjoyed the Exmouth, Paignton and Thanet tournaments in which he competed for many years.

Bob died peacefully at home at 11.30 pm. on Tuesday 13th February. He suffered no pain.

A Humanist funeral will take place at Eltham Crematorium on Friday March 16th at 10.15am.
He was a gentleman and a great guy always prepared to offer advice.  He will be much missed by his family and all chess associates.

Rather than flowers Bob opted for a donation to the Ellener Foundation.

Paignton 2016: Bob Everson completes his move against Arthur Hibbert on top board.

Gambit Crazy (17.02.2018.) 973

On Friday evening the East Devon Congress starts in Exeter’s Corn Hall. At the time of writing, a total of 119 entries had been received: 41 in the Open, 31 in the Major, and 47 in the Minor Section. Currently, the top seed in the Open is IM Jack Rudd (226 grade) followed by a pack of 190s, led by Russell Granat (197), a member of the Wimbledon Club for almost half a century, but not often seen in Devon events. Also relatively new on the local scene is Viennese Master, Walter Braun (197) and Peter Anderson (192) who is making a   successful return to active chess after a long lay-off. However, a late entry from Grandmaster Keith Arkell would put a different perspective on things.

The Camborne Club has recently acquired some digital chess clocks and will be trying them out in a Rapidplay Gambit Tournament on Friday 23rd March. Open to all. At the start of each round, the name of a gambit opening will be drawn out of a hat, and that must be played; e.g. the Latvian; Goring; Englund and Blackmar-Diemer gambits. Details are on the Cornwall chess website.

Here is a game played in the 4 Nations Chess League in 2000.

White: Martin Simons. Black: Robert Noyce.

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit.

1.e4 d5 2.d4 dxe4 3.Nc3 An immediate 3.f3 would constitute the Blackmar Gambit, named after its advocate, the US music publisher and chess Master Armand Blackmar (1826-88). Long after its initial popularity died out as improvements to Black’s defences were developed, in 1932 Emil Josef Diemer advised a preliminary 3rd move before playing f3, and this has been called the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, of uncertain soundness but beloved of gambiteers. At the time of this game, Martin’s clubmate at the Southbourne club, Alan Dommett, was preparing a book on the life and games of Diemer (1908-1990), eventually published in 2003, and the two facts were doubtless related. The book contains 126 annotated games, in which the gambit is either accepted, declined or sidestepped altogether. 3…Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 At this point, White can deploy all his pieces almost anywhere, whereas Black has only a solitary knight in play, and it’s vital he develops rapidly. 5…Bg4 The Teichmann Defence, as played by the Anglo-German Richard Teichmann, (1868–1925). 6.h3 Bh5 Black tends to play 6…Bxf3 in this position. 7.g4 Bg6 8.Bc4 e6 9.Ne5 Bb4 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Qf3 Nb6 13.Bd3 Qxd4+ Grabbing another pawn at the cost of losing a tempo. 14.Be3 Qd7 15.Rad1 Bxc3 16.Ba6 Nfd5 17.Bxb7 Rd8 Which brings us to this week’s position. Will Black’s temptation in winning a 2nd pawn prove his undoing? Richard Palliser, the Editor of Chess magazine, included this position in his book The Complete Chess Workout in the first chapter entitled Warming Up.

In last week’s position, White played 1.Nb5 threatening to win Black’s queen after 2.Bc7, but taking the knight merely allows White’s queen to support 2.Bc7

Castle With A Twist (10.02.2018.) 972

Cornwall’s championship and general congress will be held on the weekend of 9th – 11th March at Carnon Downs. The winner of the top section, the Emigrant Cup, will be declared the Cornish Champion, while the Falmouth Cup is for players graded 145 or below in the January list. Full details may be found on the website

Devon’s Division 1, the Bremridge Cup, is a limited affair with only three clubs involved this year, playing a double round. Division 2, the Mamhead Cup, is more interesting with seven teams competing. The holders are Exmouth who have had to survive several close encounters as they try to retain the cup. At the weekend they travelled to Dartmouth in order to play the burgeoning South Hams Club. The venue was the magnificent house called The Keep built in 1856 like a castle with tower and turrets, in order to blend in with its situation overlooking the even more historic Dartmouth Castle and the whole estuary.

This match looked like going to the South Hams team until an unlikely late twist turned the tide. It was ironic that it should be a castle that administered the coup de grace.

White: P. McConnell (128). Black: M. Belt (119). King’s Indian Defence [A47]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 b6 4.Nf3 Bb7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Be7 7.Nbd2 Nh5 8.Bg3 Nxg3 9.hxg3 h6 10.Qc2 cxd4 11.cxd4 Nc6 12.a3 Rc8 13.Qa4 0–0 14.Ke2? White ultimately pays the price for keeping his king in the centre. Better was 0-0. 14…d6 15.Rh2 Qc7 16.d5 exd5 17.Qg4 with 3 pieces bearing down on Black’s rather lonely king 17…f5! The best reply, though it loses material in the short term. 18.Bxf5 Rxf5 19.Qxf5 Black’s exchange sacrifice not only staves off the immediate threats but also allows his knight & white-square bishop a chance to work in concert, which they do to great effect. 19…Ba6+ 20.Kd1 Ne5 21.Nd4 Bd3 22.Qe6+ Kh7 23.f4 Bc2+ 24.Ke1 Nd3+ 25.Ke2 Nc5 26.Qxd5 Bd3+ 27.Kf2 Bf6 28.Kg1 Ne4 Threatening a back rank mate. 29.Nxe4 Removing the immediate threat, but it’s not enough. 29…Qc1+ 30.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 31.Kf2 Rf1# 0–1

The 43rd East Devon Congress starts a week on Friday at the Corn Hall, Exeter, details of which may be found on a new website called Chess Hawk. The site’s front page via the calendar has links to the congress brochure and means of paying to enter, plus a list of current entries. The Open Section looks like being a strong tournament with 17 players graded above 170, and more entering all the time as Rd, 1 approaches.

Hopefully, solvers will have realised that the queen in last week’s position should have been white.

This position arose last year between a Cornish and Devon player, Jeremy Menadue (Truro) and Matthew Wilson (Teignmouth). Black’s pieces are somewhat cramped which allows White (Menadue) to reap material benefit. How did he do this?

White to play