Search Keverel Chess
Monthly Archive

Archive for the ‘Western Morning News’ Category

Arkell Sets The Pace at Paignton. (08.10.2018.) 1002

The 68th Paignton Congress finishes this afternoon after 7 strenuous rounds. In the early stages, local Grandmaster Keith Arkell with 4 wins out of 4, looked to be well on course to repeat his achievements of numerous previous years in coming clear 1st in the Premier Section. The full prizelist will appear next week.

This game of his from Rd. 2 was his favourite of the 4 played so far.

White: K. C. Arkell. Black. D. B. Rosen.

1.d4 f5 the Dutch Defence, an opening that has retained its popularity since the 19th century. 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 d5 5.Bg2 c6 6.0–0 Bd6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 0–0 9.Nbd2 Ne4 10.Qc2 Nd7 11.e3 Ndf6 12.Ne5 Both players have developed quickly and without bloodshed – so far. 12…Nxd2 13.Qxd2 Bd7 14.a4 Rab8 15.Qc1 Rfc8 16.Ba3 c5 17.Qb2 cxd4 18.exd4 dxc4 19.bxc4 Bxa3 20.Rxa3 Bc6 21.Bxc6 bxc6 22.Nxc6! Cleverly spotting the fact that Black’s rook on c1 is overloaded; If, for example, 22…Rxb2?? 23.Nxe7+ wins a rook; and if 22…Rxc6?? 23.Qxb8+ also wins a rook. 22.Qb7 Qxb7 Rxb7 24.Ne5 Nd7 25.Nf3 Rxc4 26.Re1 Nf8 27.Re5 h6 28.d5 exd5 29.Rxd5 f4 30.Rd8 fxg3 31.hxg3 Rc1+ 32.Kg2 Kf7 33.Re3 Ng6 34.Rd6 Rcc7 35.Ree6 Nf8 36.Ne5+ Kg8 37.Rd8 Re7 38.Rxe7 Rxe7 39.Ng6 Rf7 40.f4 Rf6 41.f5 Rf7 Not 41…Rxf5?? as 42.Ne7+ wins the rook. So Black’s rook is now reduced to moving back and forth one square, and its king cannot even do that. Meanwhile, White’s other pieces can creep up the board to add their own weight to the proceedings, unafraid of being attacked themselves. 42.g4 Rf6 43.Kg3 Rf7 44.a5 Rf6 45.Kf4 Rf7 46.Ke5 Rf6 47.a6 1-0

Two pieces of news hot off the presses. Firstly, the 2019 British Championships are returning to the Riviera Centre, Torquay next July. The two previous occasions were 2013 and 2009, when David Howell was the winner each time. Is this an omen?

Also, a number of changes are afoot for next year’s Cornish Championship Congress. (a) It’s moving from winter to summer, i.e. the weekend of 3rd – 5th May. (b) It’s moving to the Terrace Rooms of the prestigious Falmouth Hotel; (c) the new organisers will be Colin & Rebecca Gardiner, who have organised similar events in other parts of the country, and (d) Instead of being a “closed” event, it will be open to any player in the country. The caveat is that while any player is eligible to win the cash prizes, the Cornish championship trophy itself, the Emigrant Cup, may only be won by someone resident in, born in, working in or attending an educational establishment within the county borderline.

In this position, Black has 4 pieces in attack in contrast to White’s pair of knights which don’t look to have much threat beyond a possible check. Anyway, it’s Black to move, so should he protect against the knights or simply ignore them and go for it?

Black to play and win in 2

Paignton is here!….. in Torquay, that is. (01.09.2018) 1,001

The 68th Paignton Congress starts at 1.45 p.m. tomorrow at the Livermead House Hotel. At the time of going to print there were 33 entries for the 5 round morning sections and 68 for the 7 round afternoon sections, but more will be coming in every day. The Premier Section has 16 entries of whom Paignton resident, Grandmaster Keith Arkell, is by some margin the favourite to win, though strong challengers may yet emerge from the shadows.

Here is one of Keith’s games from the recent British Championship.

White: David Zakarian (213). Black: Keith Arkell (235)

1.e4 e6 Black tries for the French Defence, but White has no intention of  getting sucked into the usual lines, so goes for something quite different. 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4 A most unusual response. 4…cxb4 5.a3 bxa3 6.c3 Nc6 7.d4 White has given up pawns in order to establish a strong central pawn formation. 7…Nh6 8.Bd3 Nf5 9.0–0 h5 10.Nxa3 Be7 11.Re1 a6 12.Bb2 g6 13.Nc2 Na5 14.Ne3 b5 15.Bxf5 gxf5 16.Nd2 Bb7 17.Qf3 Rb8 18.Qg3 Looking to invade on g7 18…Kf8 19.Ba3 Bxa3 20.Rxa3 Nc4 21.Ra2 Rg8 22.Qf4 Qg5 23.Qxg5 Rxg5 24.f4 Rg8 25.Nb3 Ke7 26.Nc5 Rgc8 27.Kf2 h4 28.Rb1 Nxe3 29.Kxe3 Rc6 Both kings now set off on an odyssey across the board to where the game will ultimately be decided. 30.Kd3 Bc8 31.Kc2 Kd8 32.Kb3 Kc7 33.Kb4 Kb6 There now follows some jousting as both sides look for an opening. 34.Rf1 Ra8 35.Ra5 Bb7 36.Rf3 Rh8 37.Ra2 Rc7 38.Rff2 Ra8 39.Ra5 Rac8 40.Rfa2 The position is now blocked and neither player can make much headway. Time, perhaps, for something radical. 40…Rxc5! A sacrifice, which subsequent computer analysis shows is the best move. 41.dxc5+ Rxc5 Black now has a bishop and 2 pawns for the rook, so it’s relatively risk-free. 42.g3 Rc4+ 43.Kb3 d4 44.cxd4 Rxd4 45.Kc3 Rc4+ 46.Kd3 hxg3 47.hxg3 Rc8 48.Ra1 Rg8 White can’t defend this pawn as his rooks are locked together. 49.Kd4 Rxg3

Black has now broken through, with free-moving pieces and a menacing pair of united passed pawns. 50.R5a3 Rg4 51.Rf1 b4 52.Ra2 a5 53.Rb2 Bd5 54.Rh2 Rg3 55.Rh8 Rc3 56.Rb8+ Bb7 57.Rf8 Rc7 58.Rb1 Rd7+ 59.Ke3 Kb5 0-1 Resigns, as it’s just a matter of time now. Black’s 2 pieces have the run of the board; White’s rooks are disconnected and ineffective, and the passed pawns will rumble forward with the full support of Black’s king and heavy artillery.

The solution to last week’s M-shaped 2-mover was 1.Be5! and if 1…KxN 2.Bb4#; or 1…PxN 2.Re7# or 1…PxB 2.Nf4#.

This is the starter problem to the British Solving Championship, given earlier. Two readers got it right, so for the rest, here is the correct solution.

1. Qf7! with the threat of 2. Qf1 mate.

Black had 4 unsuccessful tries to avoid this fate, namely:-

1…Qb8+     2. a x b8 = Q mate.

1…Qb2       2. Rc1 mate.

1…Q x c2   2. Qb7 mate.

1…c x d3    2. Q x b3 mate.

White to mate in 2

MMmmm…. 1,000 down and counting

In the final round of the recent British Championship in Hull, 3-times champion David Howell (2009; 2013 & ’14) was drawn against Luke McShane, and one of them had to win if either was going to try to catch Michael Adams and force a play-off.

White: D. Howell (2687). Black: L. McShane (2669).

Ruy Lopez – Steinitz Defence Deferred. [C72]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 This was not the moment to be experimenting with unusual openings in the hope of catching one’s opponent unawares, as it’s always liable to rebound on one’s head, so familiar, well-trodden ground should be safer, in this case the centuries-old Ruy Lopez. 3…a6 4.Ba4 d6 Key move in the Steinitz Defence Deferred, but McShane knows most variations in this opening well and is well-versed in this one. 5.0–0 Bd7 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 Nxd4 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Qxd4 Nf6 10.Nc3 Be7 11.Bf4 0–0 12.Rad1 Qc6 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Qxc2 15.Rc1 Qf5 16.Rxc7 Attack and… 16…Bf6 counter-attack. 17.Qd2 Rfc8 18.Rfc1 Rxc7 19.Rxc7 Re8 Theatening …20.Qb1+ 21.Qc1 QxQ+ 22.BxQ Re1#.  20.h3 Playing a “safe” opening is all very well, but someone has to get aggressive at some point, and Black takes up the challenge. 20…h5 21.b3 g5 22.Be3 Re5 winning the d-pawn 23.Rxb7 Rxd5 24.Qc1 Be5 Black is now throwing almost everything he’s got at the White king’s position. 25.Rb4 Qd3 Mate alert! 26.f4 Qe2 threatening Rd1 winning the queen, after …Rd1+. 27.Kh2 gxf4 28.Bxf4 Rd2 29.Qc6 Kg7 30.a3 h4 31.Rc4 Qe3! Utilising the pin on White’s bishop. 32.Qe4 Qg3+! 0-1 resigned in view of 33.Bxg3 Bxg3+ 34.Kg1 Rd1+ mate.

In the subsequent play-off, McShane and Adams played 2 games at RapidPlay speed, resulting in 1-all, necessitating another two games at Blitz speed, both of which Adams won. So the £10,000 1st prize went to him, while McShane had to be content with £5,000. But it wasn’t just about the money. However, McShane could be proud of his play under that maximum pressure.

The 68th Paignton Congress starts a week on Sunday, 2nd September, at the Livermead House Hotel, and entry forms can be downloaded, and entries even paid for, at the event website

The solution to the starter problem for the next British Solving Championship has been announced. The best responses were, not unnaturally, from the big national dailies, while those from the Western Morning News were the only ones from any provincial newspaper.

The answer to last week’s problem was 1.f4! and depending on what Black tries, White will have 3 mates available viz. 2.Qb4; Nxb7 or b8=Q.

As this is my 1,000th column I have chosen a 2-mover in the shape of the letter M, the Roman numeral for a thousand, which was composed by Mrs. W. J. Baird née Edith Elina Winter-Wood (1859 – 1924) whose ancestral home was at Hareston in Brixton, near Plymouth.

Saved From Deportation. 18.08.2018. 999

From some of my recent reports, it will have been clear that England currently contains a large number of outstandingly talented junior players who are winning tournaments and championships not only in this country but throughout Europe.

The latest to emerge is 9 year old Shreyas Royal from Woolwich, who is ranked 2nd in the world for his age group, and has represented England in international events. Former British Champion, Chris Ward, said “He is the next Michael Adams or Nigel Short”.

Shreyas came to London aged 3 after his father was granted a permit to work as an IT project manager. This having run its course, the family was due to be deported back to India, but approaches  to the Government by top chess officials fell on deaf ears. Immigration minister, Carolyn Nokes, tried to explain that “there is no route, within the rules,” and when it was pointed out that, in a similar situation, she had recently granted a young musician to remain in the UK, she replied that the musician’s application was “within the rules”. In her defence it could be argued that she was overworked trying to cope with, among other things, the “Windrush” fiasco and the Good Friday Agreement.

Quite apart from the chess aspect, there seems little sense in deporting a senior IT project manager when IT is the future.

Then, on Tuesday, when all seemed lost, the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, overruled Nokes and said Shreyas could apply to have his visa extended.

Here is a win of his from Easter, against a strong former Plymouth College pupil. One has to admire his mature play.

White: Sheyras Royal. Black: Chris  Archer-Lock.

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Be7 7.Bxf6 Bxf6 8.Bd3 Qe7 9.Qb3 Na6 10.a3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 b5 12.Be2 0–0 13.0–0 Nc7 14.Rac1 Bd7 15.Bd3 Kh8 16.Rfd1 Nd5 17.Nxd5 exd5 18.Rc5 f4 19.Re1 Qd6 20.Qc2 g6 21.e4 dxe4 22.Bxe4 Bxd4 23.Nxd4 Qxd4 24.Rd1 Qg7 25.Rxd7 Qxd7 26.Bxc6 Qe7 27.Qc3+ Qg7 28.Qxg7+ Kxg7 29.Bxa8 Rxa8 30.Rxb5 Kf6 31.g3 fxg3 32.hxg3 h5 33.Kg2 a5 34.a4 g5 35.f4 gxf4 36.gxf4 Rg8+ 37.Kf3 h4 38.Rxa5 Rg3+ 39.Kf2 Rg4 40.Kf3 Rg3+ 41.Ke4 h3 42.Rh5 Rb3 43.a5 Kg6 44.Rh4 Rxb2 45.Rxh3 Ra2 46.f5+ Kg7 47.Rh5 Ra4+ 48.Kd3 Kf6 49.a6 Kg7 50.Rg5+ Kf6 51.Rg8 Kxf5 52.Ra8 Ke6 53.a7 1–0

In last week’s position, Adams won by 1.Rh8 inviting Black to take the pawn, though 2.Rh7+ would win the rook and the game.

In 1951, the prolific composer, Kenneth S. Howard of New York, published a collection of 200 of his own problems to illustrate various themes within that genre. To each one he gave the date it was first published and the paper or magazine in which it first saw the light of day. Interestingly, 21 of them first appeared in the Western Morning News, more than any other source in that book, which demonstrates the fine, long-standing tradition this paper has for the art of chess problems. This 2-mover is taken from that book, in the chapter entitled Pinning and unpinning and was first seen here in 1935.

White to play and mate in 2

Adams Wins Again…. but it wasn’t easy!

The final 3 rounds of the British Championship finished with the result most people would have expected, but not without a few twists and turns along the way. In Rd. 7 Adams beat the defending champion, Gawain Jones and thereafter, maybe thinking “job done”, played steadily to get draws against Nick Pert and Danny Gormally. Meanwhile, Luke McShane drew against Hebden in Rd. 7 but finished strongly to beat Fodor and, perhaps surprisingly, former champion David Howell, leaving Adams and McShane tied on 7/9 pts, necessitating a Rapidplay play-off.

Adams won the first game (see this week’s position) and only needed another steady draw to clinch the title. But no; McShane hit back to inflict Adams’ only loss in all the games he’s played in this event since 1989. So, at 1-1 this meant 2 further play-off games had to be played at an even quicker pace – Blitz games, so fast that the computerised board and internet couldn’t keep up with transmitting the moves on screen, but not too fast for Michael who won them both.

This was Michael’s 6th title, having first been champion in 1989 in Plymouth, – the greatest number since Jonathan Penrose won his 10th in 1966. Here is his solitary loss, played at the speed of 20 minutes for all moves, plus an extra 10 seconds per move, which for this game is an average of 18 seconds per move.

White: L. McShane (2669). Black: M. Adams. (2706).

Guioco Pianissimo [C50]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 Also called the Italian Game. 4.d3 This constitutes the quietest form of this opening. Nf6 5.0–0 0–0 6.h3 h6 7.c3 d6 8.Re1 a6 9.Bb3 Re8 10.Nbd2 Be6 11.Nf1 Bxb3 12.axb3 d5 13.Qe2 Qd7 14.b4 Bf8 15.Ng3 Rad8 16.Kf1 g6 17.Qc2 Re6 18.Qa4 dxe4 19.dxe4 Qd3+ 20.Kg1 Red6 21.Be3 Qc4 22.Rac1 Kh7 23.b3 Qe6 24.c4 R6d7 25.c5 Rd3 26.Rc4 Na7 27.Bc1 Nd7 28.Qa2 Nb8 29.Bd2 Nbc6 30.Nf1 Nb5 31.Ne3 Nbd4 32.Nxd4 Nxd4 33.Bc3 Nb5 34.Bb2 c6 35.Ba1 h5 36.Rc2 Bh6 37.Nc4 Nd4 38.Bxd4 R8xd4 39.Qb2 h4 40.Rce2 Bf4 41.Qc2 Kg7 42.Rf1 Kg8 43.Ree1 Qd7 44.Nd6 Rd2 45.Qc3 R2d3 46.Qc2 Rd2 47.Qb1 Rxb4 48.Nc4 Rd4 49.Rd1 Rb5 50.b4 a5 51.Rxd4 Qxd4 52.Nd6 Trapping Black’s rook. 52…Qxb4 53.Nxb5 Qxc5 54.Nc7 White is now a rook up, but if his 3 connected passed pawns can get moving there may yet be a chance, especially at this speed.  54…b5 55.Rd1 a4 56.Qd3 Bg5 57.Qd7 Qc4 58.Qe8+ Kh7 59.Qxe5 Qc2 60.Rf1 Qd2 61.Ne8 Bh6 62.Nf6+ Kg7 63.Ng4+ Kh7 64.Qf6 Bg7 65.Qxh4+ Kg8 66.Nf6+ Bxf6 67.Qxf6 a3 68.e5 Qc3 Black defends his c-pawn at the expense of allowing the rook to grab the d-file. 69.Rd1 Kh7 70.Rd8 and Black can’t avoid mate on h8. 1–0

In last week’s position, Adams (B) was let off the hook by playing 1…g5+ 2.PxP would lose his queen, so he must play 2…Kh5, but then Black has 2…Qxh3 mate.

Here is the final position from the 1st play-off game against McShane. Adams (W) to move and seal the win.

Progress in the British (04.08.2018.) 997

The draw for Rd. 1 of the British Championship will keep the Grandmasters apart, as they should be meeting in the later rounds, which gives them an easier chance to get warmed up. However, one player they might not wish to meet in those circumstances is Jack Rudd of Bideford, whose sharp and mercurial style is guaranteed to unsettle and test any of them, as in this game.

White: Ameet Ghasi (2494). Black: Jack Rudd (2244).

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b5 An unusual early move, but the open b-file later becomes the scene of decisive action. 3.Bg2 Bb7 4.d3 e6 5.0–0 Be7 6.c4 bxc4 7.dxc4 0–0 8.Qc2 White makes a number of move sequences that are easily repulsed and seem to do little to help his overall development. 8…Be4 9.Qd2 c6 10.Nc3 d5 11.Nxe4 Nxe4 12.Qc2 Bf6 13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Bxd2 Qb6 15.Rab1 Nd7 16.b3 g6 17.e4 Rac8 18.Be3 This bishop continues to flit all over the board to no great effect. 18…d4 19.Bd2 a5 20.Qd1 Be7 21.h4 Bb4 22.Bg5 Rfe8 23.Kh1 f6 24.Bh6 Ne5 25.Bf4 Rcd8 26.Bc1 Its 7th move finds him back on its original square. 26…h5 27.Bh3 d3 28.Be3 Bc5 29.Bxc5 Qxc5 30.f4 Nf7 31.Qd2 Rd4 32.Rbe1 Nd6 33.Bg2 f5 34.e5 Ne4 35.Bxe4 fxe4 Black now has a menacing pair of central passed pawns as opposed to White’s immobile pawns. 36.Re3 Black now needs to break up White’s Q-side pawns. 36…a4 37.Rfe1 axb3 38.axb3 Rb8 39.Rxe4 Rxb3 40.Rxd4 Qxd4 41.f5 Qc3 Black would like to exchange queens, freeing up his advanced pawn. 42.Qf2? Rb2 43.Qe3? Qc2 Resigns, in view of 44.Qg1 Qxc4 45.Qf1 Qd5+ 46.Kg1 gxf5 and Black is totally dominant 0–1.

After 6 of the scheduled 9 rounds the leading pack consisted mostly of the usual suspects, namely 1st= Michael Adams & Gawain Jones 5/6. 3rd= David Howell; Tomas Fodor; David Eggleston; Luke McShane & Mark Hebden. With, at the time of going to press, 3 rounds still to play, and these leaders due to fight it out among themselves, and every likelihood of a play-ff, it’s a question of who can best hold their nerve, but most money will be on either Adams or Jones.

In last week’s position, White won a piece, and with it the game, after 1.Rd7!  when Black can’t take it because of 2.Ra8+. He can only defend his rook by 1…Bb6 but then there’s 2.RxR+ BxR and 3.Ra8 pins the bishop which can be taken at leisure next move.

As I wrote last week, Samuel Boden was one of Hull’s master players in the 19th century, and he had a maxim which ran “He who strives to win a drawn game, will invariably lose”. An example of this arose on Tuesday evening at the end of the Rd. 3 game on Bd. 1 between Tomas Fodor (W) and Michael Adams. After being on the back foot for much of the first half of the game, Fodor recovered and himself started pressing, winning a pawn before playing 61.Qe5 to reach this week’s position, probably harbouring thoughts of a win against the top seed, possibly after exchanging queens and utilising his extra pawn. But Boden was right, he had striven too much and resigned next move. Why?

Michael Adams (Black) to win immediately.

British Championships 2018 (28.07.2018.) 996

The British Championships started on Saturday in Hull City Hall, with total entries nudging 1,000, an excellent response. This is partly due to the recent move to reduce the overall time factor. It used to last almost 3 weeks, comprising 11 rounds, a rest day in between, several days to get there and get prepared and a similar time to attend the prize-giving, return home and get ready for work, all of which is a hefty chunk out of anyone’s normal schedule, too much for some.

Then it was decided to reduce the championship to 9 rounds with no rest-day, and make the overall time commitment just over a week, which seems to be proving beneficial.

The fact that the town has been awarded the title of UK City of Culture 2017-2020 might be another reason why the entry is so healthy. Hull is not your usual seaside holiday kind of place and the event has never been there in its 113 year history, in spite of the fact that Hull was a celebrated centre of chess activity from the early 19th Century. For example, in 1896 the British Chess Magazine recalled “The town of Hull has long been noted as a leading Northern chess centre; indeed, some thirty or forty years ago the Hull Club stood in high repute, and was visited by Howard Staunton, St. Amant, Harrwitz, Horwitz, Kling and other well-known players. In later years the late Mr. S. S. Boden and the late Mr. John Wisker were intimately connected with the Hull Chess Club, and Mr. Edward Freeborough became a very active member”.

It was Samuel Boden (1826-82) who devised what came to be known as “Boden’s Mate”, in which a player sacrifices his queen in order to mate with the pair of bishops. If that all sounds a bit gung-ho and 19th century, that’s exactly what 13 year old Nadia Jaufarally did recently at the Bristol Summer Congress, which I set as a problem to solve. So the spirit of Boden lives on.

John Wisker (1846-84) became the 2nd official British Champion in 1868, after a tie-break with a teenage Amos Burn, also born in Hull, and who went on to become the best of them all, winning prizes in over 22 international tournaments.

Here’s how Boden himself originally did it in a tournament in London in 1853.

White: Herr Schulder. Black: Samuel Standidge Boden.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 f5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d4 fxe4 6.dxe5 exf3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.gxf3 Nc6 9.f4 Bd7 10.Be3 0–0–0 11.Nd2 Re8 12.Qf3 Bf5 13.0–0–0 d5 The bait is set … 14.Bxd5?? and taken. 14…Qxc3+ 15.bxc3 Ba3#.

Boden’s name was attached to this pattern of mate thereafter.

In last week’s position Sveshnikov (W) won by 1.Qg7+! forcing Kxg7 2.Nf5++ K back to g8 leaving White the luxury of two possible mates, either 3.Ne7# or Nh6#.

Steve Dilleigh (B) is a regular player in westcountry events and in a recent game here has two minor pieces and a pawn for White’s extra rook, which in most cases would stand him in good stead, but White discovers a winning move that wins one of those pieces.

White to play and win

World Seniors’ News (21.07.2018.) 995

While the World Cup was on, the World Seniors’ Team Championship was being played out in Dresden. There were 67 teams of 5 in the 50+ section and 61 in the older group, and there were 3 England teams in each section with several local players involved.

The 50+ World Champions were the USA, whom England beat in their individual encounter, only to lose to Germany in the last round, and having to settle for Silver. However, Keith Arkell won the Gold medal for the best performance by a Board 5 player. A member of the England 3 team was Steve Homer who finished on 5/9 points, an excellent result in that company. His highpoint was this game against a Russian Woman Grandmaster.

White: Stephen Homer. Black: Elena Fatalibekova.

Sicilian Defence – Sveshnikov Variation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bf4 With 3 pieces bearing down on d6, Black has to respond with a counter-threat. 7…e5 The signature move of the Sveshnikov variation of the Sicilian Defence, devised by the Russian, Evgeny Sveshnikov, who was also playing in the tournament, and walking past the game from time to time, to see how his compatriot was dealing with his pet opening, which made both players somewhat nervous. 8.Bg5 a6 9.Na3 b5 Threatening to fork the knights. 10.Nd5 Be7 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.c4! In post-game analysis, White learned that this intuitive move was, in fact, vital if White is to get good play. 12…b4 13.Nc2 Now White’s forward knight is very strongly placed, while Black is denied playing …d4 which often frees up Black’s position. 13…a5 14.Be2 Bg5 15.0–0 0–0 16.Qd3 Be6 17.Rad1 f5 18.Bf3 f4 19.a3 bxa3 20.Nxa3 It’s important to activate the knight a.s.a.p. 20…Nd4 21.Nb5 Bxd5 22.Nxd4 exd4 23.exd5 This skirmish leaves Black’s central pawns blocked and the e-file available to White. 23…Bf6 24.Rfe1 Qb6 25.Re6 a4 26.Be4 h6 27.Qh3 White is now dominating the white squares with great attacking potential. 27…Qb3 28.Qg4 f3 29.Re1 g5 30.Qf5 Threatening mate and winning the bishop. 30…Ra7 31.Rxf6 Rxf6 32.Qxf6 Qxb2 33.Bd3 Freeing up his rook and providing a defence against a possible back rank mate. 33…Qb8 34.Qg6+ Kf8 35.Re6 Now everything can pile in. 35…Rg7 36.Qxh6 Kg8 37.Qh5 1-0 Resigns, as there is a forced mate in 7  e.g. 37…Rd7 38.Rh6 Rb7 39.Rh8+ Kg7 Grab the queen – or is there something better? With all of White’s pieces coordinating beautifully, there surely is. e.g. 40.Qh6+ Kf7 41.Qg6+ Ke7 42.Qe6#.

Interestingly, Elena is the daughter of Olga Rubtsova (1909 – 1994), who became the 4th Womens World Champion in 1956, and was unique in being the only player, male or female, to become World Champion at both over-the-board and correspondence chess. All of which adds a little bit of icing on Stephen’s  already very sweet  cake.

Last week’s 2-mover, was solved by 1.Bg6!

In this position from 1991, Evgeny Sveshnikov (W) mated in 3 moves.

White to play and win

British Championships Approaching

The British Championships start in a fortnight in Kingston-Upon-Hull’s City Hall, as part of their UK City of Culture activities (2017-2020).  Generous support and sponsorship has attracted a healthy entry of 750+ and rising every day. The Championship section of 57 includes 15 GMs and 25 others with a Masters title, and there are 20 other sections available to enter. Check out the ECF website for latest developments.

Cornishman Michael Adams has returned to the fray after missing out last year. At Bournemouth in 2016 he became Champion with the unsurpassed score of 10/11, and in this company will need to be at his very best again to repeat that.

At Bournemouth, the last round pairing was most unusual, almost bizarre. For the final round, Adams should have been paired against one of his closest rivals, but he’d already played all of them, whereas another player, almost 500 rating points lower, had done exceedingly well up to that point and was the only realistic opponent. However, the almost surreal nature of the situation may have got to him, as Adams showed what he can do, given half a chance.

White: M. Brown (2252). Black: M. Adams (2727)

Scotch Game  [C45]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 White decides to go for the open Scotch Game, which can lead to complicated positions with lots of activity. exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 White is bound to want to be as aggressive as possible Nb6 9.Nc3 Qe6 10.Qe4? White’s queen now plays little significant part in the game. g6 11.Bd3 Bg7 12.f4 0–0 13.0–0 f5 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Bd2 d5 16.Qe2 If 16.cxd5 Bf5 17.Qf3 Qd4+ and White would be under severe pressure. 16…Ba6 17.Rae1 Bxc4 18.Bxc4 Nxc4 19.Bc1 a5 20.Qc2 Rae8 Black’s development is now complete, but White’s queen seems to want to run away and hide. 21.Qa4 Qd4+ 22.Kh1 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Qf2 24.Rg1 It’s too late for the queen to be effective. e.g. 24.Qd1 Nxb2 25.Bxb2 Qxb2 26.Ne2. 24…Bd4 25.Rd1 Re8 26.h3 Re1+ 27.Kh2 Qg1+ 28.Kg3 Ne3 0-1. If 29.Rd2, Black has the choice of 29…h5 or Nf1+ winning more material. A ruthless display by Adams.

Last week’s game was finished off even more ruthlessly by 13 year old Nadia Jaufarally, thus:-

16.Nh6+ Sacrificing a piece with check in order to retain the initiative 16…gxh6 17.Bc4+ Kh8 Now throw in the queen & rook for good measure. 18.Qxe8+ Nxe8 19.Rxe8+ Bf8 Blocking the check with a piece already under attack – feels like a good idea. 20.Rxf8+ Nxf8 21.Be5# Oh dear – the bishops apply the coup de grace. 1–0

In 1910 Alain White published The White Rooks, a collection of 100 positions in which White had only rooks to help administer a swift mate, from which I’ve selected several in recent weeks. The year before, he’d published Knights & Bishops, a collection in which White has no queen or rook, but only the minor pieces in which to finish Black off in short time. This is a 2-mover from that book.

White to mate in 2

Bristol Summer Congress 2018 Results (29.06.2018.) 992

The recent Bristol Summer Congress took place at the Grammar School and demonstrated its increasing popularity by attracting116 players of whom 51 were in the strong Open Section, which unusually included 11 of the participating 25 juniors. It’s not uncommon for relatively inexperienced juniors to play in the lower sections in the hope they won’t get too badly smashed up, but here there were, for example, in the Open a 10 yr old with a grade of 190, and two 13 yr old girls all winning prizes against strong adult opponents as the following list testifies. The ages of juniors have been included to amplify the point. Open:- 1st= Alan Merry (238 – Barbican) & Mike Waddington (196 – Dorchester) 4½. 3rd= Simon Roe (208 – Cavendish); Graham Moore (210 – Bury St. Edmunds); Michael Handley (196 – Cowley); Patryk  Krzyzanowski (195 – Bristol) & Philipp Prasse (169 –  Germany/Bristol Uni.) all 3½. Grading Prize: Rajat Makkar (190 – Reading – 10 yrs) & Sam Jukes (161 – Barry) all 3½. Junior Prize: Aditya Munshi (191 – Nottingham -13 yrs) & Nadia Jaufarally (158 – Essex – 13 yrs.) 3½.

Major: 1st= Robert Radford (157-Keynsham); Yuyang Wang (158 – Plymouth – 12 yrs); Brendan O’Gorman (155-NHSS); Chris Strong (151 – Clevedon) 4/5. Grading: John Belinger (121 – Milton) 2½. Junior Prize: Max Walker (144 – Churchill – 13 yrs.) 3½

Minor: 1st= Mike Jennings (107 – Bristol); William Taplin (106 – Keynsham); John Harris (114 – Stroud); Daoyi Wang (119 -Bristol Uni.) all 4; Grading: Johan Mathew (70 – Richmond – 7 yrs) 3. Junior: Jessica Mellor (101 – Surrey – 9 yrs.) 3½

Full details of pairings and individual results for all players, and photographs may be found on the website

This is one game from the Open Section that got spectators talking.

White: Nadia Jaufarally (158) [age 13] Black:  Elizaveta Sheremetyeva (156) [age 15]

Caro-Kan Defence [B17]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 4…Bf5 looks tempting in order not to get the bishop blocked, but can itself lead to trouble after 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 and the bishop may be wishing it had stayed at home a little longer. 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Ng3 e6 7.Bd3 Qc7 8.Qe2 Be7 9.0–0 0–0 10.Ng5 e5 11.f4 exf4 12.Bxf4 Qd8 13.Rae1 White is now already fully developed while Black is somewhat cramped and finds her bishop attacked. 13…Re8 Solving one problem but creating another 14.Nxf7! Qb6 14…Kxf7 looks suicidal in view of White’s overall development. 15.c3 Bc5 Black is responding with threats of her own. Which brings us to this week’s diagram. Can White retain the initiative? Have a go yourself. White to play and win in 6.

White to play and win in 6

Nadia finished a half point ahead of Grandmaster Keith Arkell, so need we worry about a new generation of young stars coming through?

In last week’s 2-mover by Christopher Reeves White’s queen had 9 moves, 8 of which could be countered by Black, except 1.Qb3!