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British Championship 2017 – Final Round Prospects.

The absence of 2 factors has probably helped to create this year’s blanket finish, going in to the final round this afternoon.

British Championship – Final Rd.
1 McShane Jones
2 Howell 6 Emms
3 Yang-Fan 6 6 Hanley
4 Gormally 6 Ghasi

Either Adams or Short would surely have this all sewn up by now, but they’re not here, and are surely missed by the spectators, if not the players.

The foreshortened 9 round format has many good points, but the possibility of a multiple play-off after the prizegiving is not one of them. An extra 2 rounds would have thinned down the contenders somewhat. As it is, the possibilities are almost endless.

For example, McShane and Jones can hardly afford to have a quick draw to ensure a play-off place, when Emms, who is clearly on-form, is capable of beating Howell, who is clearly not, thus taking the trophy outright. If Howell-Emms and Bd. 1 is drawn there would be 3-way tie. Or, if Howell, Yang-Fan and Gormally (all White) all win, while McShane – Jones is drawn, there’s a 5-way tie – and that could take the rest of the day tomorrow to resolve. And let’s not forget Hanley.

Two things are certain: there are many permutations, and the players will keeping a close eye on the other games as well as their own.

So who’s it going to be?

Devon Win National U-180 Title (03.07.2017.)

Devon took the English U-180 Championship in the Finals at Leamington Spa on Saturday. Here is the report of Captain on the day, Paul Brooks.

Match report: Devon vs Middlesex – U180 Final:
Devon won the toss and had white on odd boards. The first three hours of the match went well for Devon with a very good positional victory for Bill Ingham and solid draws for Brian Gosling, Dennis Cowley, Jos Haynes and Paul Brooks. John Fraser had the better of his opponent’s Sicilian defence and Steve Dean was looking in control of his game with excellent outposts for his knights and a good space advantage. I then looked at Steve’s clock and noticed he had 5 minutes to play about 17 moves! By the time he reached the time-control the outposts had gone, he was a pawn down and his bishop was buried behind a solid wall of pawns, so he was facing an uphill struggle.
Debutant Alex Taylor played a King’s Gambit where chances seemed to be fluctuating from one side to the other, while Dave Regis and Oliver Wensley were both under fairly strong pressure. Meyrick Shaw, on the other hand, created an excellent position with a kingside attack, doubling rooks on the h file.
Chris Bellers and Alan Brusey both achieved well-earned draws and a few minutes later John Wheeler had neutralised his opponent’s slight pressure and another draw was agreed.
Alex Taylor having fought to reach an position where he had 3 pawns for a bishop was unfortunate that his opponent was able to co-ordinate his rooks and bishop successfully in an attack where Alex had to give up a rook or be mated.
Mark Abbott took advantage of opposition time pressure to win a good game, but things were looking bad for Dave Regis and Oliver Wensley, who both reached positions where their opponents had endgames with a couple of extra pawns. After a hard fight both players were forced to resign.
Steve Dean also succumbed in the endgame, so with 3 matches still to be decided Devon were 2 points in arrears. It was clear that 2 wins and a draw would enable Devon to win on board count, so there was still all to play for.
Meyrick Shaw played well to exchange into a rook and pawn endgame where he was 3 pawns up and after a short fight his opponent was forced to resign. On top board, John Fraser played an excellent attack which forced his opponent to exchange into an endgame where John was two pawns up and these were both passed and connected on the sixth rank. John played a clever combination which allowed his opponent to win a pawn, but the consequence was that a couple of moves later he was forced to liquidate into an endgame where John had a single unstoppable g pawn.
So the match was all-square and everyone’s attention shifted to Paul Hampton’s game. This had been very close all the way through, but, with both players down to their last 10 minutes, the Middlesex player seemed to have an edge, holding the slight material advantage of rook and 2 pawns to Paul’s knight and 3 pawns. The fact that all the pawns were on the kingside meant that we had hopes that Paul could hold the draw. Paul’s opponent looked as though he was taking control with his advanced king and rook on the seventh rank, but Paul kept cool, swapping off a pawn and creating a fortress which meant that his opponent was never going to be able to force his final pawn through. In the end, Paul was able to create a passed pawn himself which advanced to the seventh rank where his opponent had to sacrifice his rook and leave Paul with a bare knight and a draw.
So a very tough encounter finished 8-8, but as Devon’s wins had come on higher boards Devon were victorious on board count. A great victory to follow up an excellent season!
Devon grd Middlesex grd
1 John Fraser 178 1 0 B. Kelmendi 179
2 John Wheeler 174 ½ ½ S. Coles 176
3 Mark Abbott 172 1 0 M. Grigorian 175
4 Chris Bellers 173 ½ ½ I. Calvert 177
5 Dennis Cowley 169 ½ ½ G. Batchelor 174
6 Dave Regis 175 0 1 A. Hayler 170
7 Paul Hampton 161 ½ ½ M. Dydak 169
8 Oliver Wensley 168 0 1 A. Fulton 173
9 Jos Haynes ½ ½ R. Campbell 168
10 Alan Brusey 166 ½ ½ R. Walczak 173
11 Alex Taylor 165 0 1 J. White 171
12 Paul Brooks 161 ½ ½ P. Kennelly 167
13 Bill Ingham 162 1 0 J. Dhemrait 161
14 Meyrick Shaw 163 1 0 J. Hudson 154
15 Steve Dean 160 0 1 J. Rudeck 161
16 Brian Gosling 159 ½ ½ R. Thursby 154
8 8
Board count 31 40
A few photos of the happy occasion……
The team after the presentation, clutching their golden trophies.

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

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 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.

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 – 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.

E. Devon Congress 2017 – Final Day (12.03.2017.)

By the end of Rd. 4, the Open Section had developed into a mini tournament between the titled players just playing among themselves. Top seed, Arkell had had a dodgy game against his former pupil, Rudd and dropped a half point, but Nunn’s scorecard was unblemished, while, the Spanish IM, Simon, the Austrian FM, Braun, and Tournament Secretary,Tim Paulden himself, were never far away.

A few scenes from the end of Rd. 4: Brian Gosling (E. Budleigh & Exmouth) plays Stephen Homer (Newton Abbot), while next door, Dave Littlejohns (Taunton) plays Adam Woodruff, formerly of Exmouth.

Jamie Morgan (Exeter) in action against Meyrick Shaw (Exmouth)

At the top of the Minor Section, Paul Errington faces Joy, one of the Fursman sisters, in front of Martin Maber against Ken Alexander

The 5th & final round gets under way with a handshake between John Nunn (4/4) and Jack Rudd. The prospect of a bright and breezy game in the usual Rudd style pleased the neutrals, but the game ended with a quick & quiet draw in 10 moves. There might have been an element of disappointment in the hall, but then, if John Nunn offered you a draw, wouldn't you accept?! It guaranteed Nunn at least a share of 1st prize.

David Pardo Simon kicks off against Keith Arkell. Both knew from early on that a win would catch Nunn in 1st place, but they could only manage a draw, Arkell having to draw on all his endgame powers to achieve that.

Walter Braun kicks off against Tim Paulden, who, in spite of the heavy organisational load in this his first year in charge, had an excellent tournament. The game finished as a draw, with only a knight and less than a handful of pawns each. It was good to have a fresh face featuring among the regulars, and he hopes to be on the local scene for the foreseeable future.

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