Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Tiverton 2 Teignmouth 2 (Schofield Cup)

Simultaneously with the Mamhead match against Newton Abbot, the Tiverton Schofield team were home aginst Teignmouth at Blundell's School on Saturday March 27th.

Towards the end of the game on board 3, superficially it looked as though Stephen Thorpe-Tracey, with 3 pawns for the exchange, was doing well against Kevin Hindum. But eventually the pawns fell and the rook proved too strong for the knight.

Brian Connor (Tiverton, Black) against Ray Chubb on board 4 cleverly won the exchange and a pawn and the game looked secure. Unfortunately he then blundered a rook and Ray wrapped it up with some ease. Two down, with two to play!

On board 2, in a level position, John Knowles with queen and two knights against Wally Sapiecha's queen, bishop and knight, managed to double his opponents pawns by exchanging a pair of knights. This weakness proved to be decisive once all the pieces had been exchanged. John queened his h-pawn and cleaned up.

Jon Duckham on board 1 for Tiverton developed pressure from the opening against Rev Doidge. Jon won the exchange and managed to pin his opponent's knight against his rook. However there was pawn counterplay for his opponent and an interesting ending emerged with rook & pawn against knight and pawn. It was quite subtle but eventually the rook prevailed.

Tiverton 2.5 Newton Abbot 1.5 (Mamhead Cup)

Thanks to Ivor Annetts for this and the following report:

Tiverton entertained Newton Abbot at Blundell's School on Saturday 27th March in the last match of the season in the Mamhead Cup (Devon County Chess Association, Div. 2).

On board 2 Ivor Annetts (Tiverton) White encountered Stephen Schofield's Centre Counter. Ivor came out of the opening with the initiative, squandered it, came close to losing a piece, but eventually agreed a draw with most pieces exchanged and the position symmetrical.

On board 1, Simon Bartlett (Tiverton) in a 'sort of Catalan' won a pawn and the exchange after his opponent, teenager Robert Thompson, overpressed. Eventually with major piece pressure on White's second rank, Robert was forced to concede.

On board 3, John Morrison retained the gambit pawn and a reasonable position against Adrew Kinder's Smith-Morra gambit. Unfortunately John overlooked a one move trick that lost a piece and then he had to fight hard to save the game. Eventually with a Bishop and two connected passed pawns against a bishop and night and one pawn Andrew was forced to concede the draw with only three minutes left on his clock.

On board 4, Keith Atkins lost the initiative in a classical French Defence against John Allen. But Keith managed to eliminate Black's dangerous white squared bishop and then won a central passed pawn. John managed to blockade this on the sixth rank and, in a queen and pawn ending, a draw was agreed.

Tiverton has done well in this competition with 3 wins and 1 loss. Unfortunately they must take second place to Exmouth who achieved three wins and a draw.

Somerset League, Division 2 West

Sedgemoor confirmed their first place in the Somerset League, Division 2 West, with a 3.5-2.5 defeat of Taunton last Thursday. This leaves Sedgemoor with a record of 7 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss, from their 10 matches.

Next Tuesday sees the rematch, this time taking place in Division 1. In this league Taunton are neck- and- neck with Frome at the top of the league, with only a few matches still to be played. Sedgemoor on the other hand, are rock- bottom and well out of contention.

4ncl pt.2

Plenty to report from the 4ncl:

Firstly, Michael Adams scored a crushing win on Saturday with black against IM John Cox. Definetly a day for the IM to forget, as he resigned after just 14 moves. Michael followed this up with a decent (albeit much longer) win against former British Champion Stuart Conquest.

GM Matthew Turner drew with white against Bristol- based IM James Cobb on Saturday, before beating 2298- rated John Richardson with black on Sunday.

Peter Poobalasingam lost against GM Mark Hebden, before bouncing back with a win against 2204- rated Andrew Harley.

Swindon- based GM Peter Wells drew with FM Alexei Slavin and IM Karl Mah.

James Cobb followed up his draw with Matthew Turner by defeating 2097- rated Colin Eckoff on Sunday.

Rhys Cummings lost against 2074- rated Michael Rabbitt on Saturday, but more then made up for it by overturning a 269 point rating defecit to defeat 2224- rated Russell James on Sunday.

And finally... I defeated 2074- rated junior Alan Merry on the Saturday, before returning to my more traditional result with a draw against 2061- rated Robert McCorry on Sunday.

I believe that's every west-country player who doesn't play for a west- country team covered, although if I've missed anyone let me know.

Sunday, 28 March 2010


Here's how the teams did this weekend at 4ncl:

Bristol 1 defeated both FCA 1 5-3, and Wessex 1 5.5-2.5

Bristol 2 drew with The Full Ponty 3-3, lost to Notts 1 4.5-1.5

Bristol 3 lost against Notts 2 4.5-1.5, and The Full Ponty 4.5-1.5

Wessex 1 lost to AMCA Dragons 4.5-3 (Wessex were deducted half a point for
defaulting on botttom board I believe), and Bristol 1 5.5-2.5

Brown Jack defeated Barbican Youth 4.5-3.5, and Guildford 3 5-3.

Wessex 2 defeated Iceni 5-1, and lost against against Cambridge University 2 4.5-1.5

Glos. Gambits lost against Sambucca Black Sheep 3.5-2.5, but defeated Celtic Tigers 2 4-1 (with Celtic Tigers being deducted a point for defaulting on bottom board I believe)

So here's how things currently stand:

Bristol 1 are in the relegation pool, but have a record so far of 3 wins and 1 draw against the other teams in their pool. 2 wins from their final 3 matches against White Rose 2, Anglian Avengers, and Brown Jack will guarantee them another season in division 2.

Bristol 2 currently have a record of 2 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses. Division 3 is run entirely as a swiss- style league, and I believe it's now a certainty that Bristol 2 will be in Division 3 again next season.

Bristol 3 are trailing just behind Bristol 2 with a record of 2 wins, 1 draw, 5 losses, and like their compatriots will be in Division 3 again next season.

Wessex 1 are in the Division 2 relegation pool, and currently have a record of 2 wins and 2 losses against their relegation rivals. At the moment they are just in the relegation half of the relegation pool, although given the closesness of the league, it all comes down to how Wessex perform on the final weekend. They face Celtic Tigers 1, Guildford 3, and FCA 1. If I had to predict, I think they'll avoid relegation.

Brown Jack are also in the Division 2 relegation pool, with a record of 1 win, 1 draw, and 2 losses against their relegation rivals. They are just below Wessex 1, and face a tough last weekend. Their last round fixtures are: Bristol 1, Celtic Tigers 1, and FCA 1. If they can get a strong line-up for the final fixtures I think they have strong enough players to avoid relegation, but it's going to be a tough ask.

Wessex 2 currently have a record of 5 wins and 3 losses in Division 3, and sit 2 match points off of the promotion places. This may well result in them getting a slightly easier draw for the last 3 rounds, on the basis that with the draw for division 3 the 3 rounds are all done beforehand. So Wessex 2 will be drawn against 3 teams boasting similar, if not the same, match point scores as them prior to the last weekend. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if Wessex 2 are promoted, or come very close to getting promoted, this season.

Glos Gambits have a record of 4 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses in Division 3, and are currently 3 points off of the promotion places. They may well benefit from the draw in a similar way to Wessex 2, but I'd be surprised if they managed to catch up the 3 match points on the promotion places over the last 3 matches. I think most likely they'll have a good last weekend, and finish highly, but still be in Division 3 come next season.

For the full results of each team, click on the title to this post, which'll take you the 4ncl home page.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Seaton 2.5 Tiverton 1.5 (Exeter & District Div.2)

Thanks to Ivor Annetts for the following match report. For more information on Tiverton Chess Club, click on the title to this post, which takes you to the Tiverton Chess Club group on the Tiverton People website.

On Wednesday a Tiverton team travelled all the way to Seaton and suffered a narrow defeat in an Exeter and District League Division 2 match.

John Morrison (Tiverton, Black, Board 2, grade 155) under strong pressure from Alan Dowse (grade 130) agreed an early draw.

Ivor Annetts (Tiverton, White, board 1, grade 156), lost an early pawn in a c3 Sicilian against John Underwood (grade 165) and this proved to be decisive.

Jon Duckham (Tiverton, Black, board 3, estimated grade 140) generated threats that were too strong for Hazel Welch (grade 118).

On board 4, John Knowles (Tiverton, grade 121) was left in a cramped position and eventually lost the exchange and then the game against Bill Burls (grade 98).

Thursday, 25 March 2010


I've mentioned how the various west county teams are doing at the 4ncl in a previous post, but there are a fair few west country players playing for non- west country teams this weekend, who I haven't mentioned. Let me know if I miss anyone from this list, but I believe it's the following people:

Michael Adams, Pride and Prejudice.
Matthew Turner, Barbican.
Peter Poobalasingam, Barbican.
Michael Twyble, Barbican.
Chris Dorrington, Barbican.
Rhys Cummings, Barbican.
Peter Wells, White Rose.
James Cobb, South Wales Dragons.
Ben Edgell, Sambucca Sharks.
Megan Owens, Celtic Tigers.
Tyson Mordue, Braille Chess Association.
Ian Jamieson, Guernsey Mates.
Nigel Mills, Guildford A&DC

I've doubled- checked this list now, and I'm pretty certain I've spotted everyone, although let me know if that's not the case. Anyhow, best of luck to everyone from the South West playing at the 4ncl this weekend.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Somerset League, Division 1.

I'm not sure of the final match result, but word's reached me that there were a few shocks in lasts nights Glastonbury- Yeovil match in division 1. On board 1 a tremendous result for Patryk Krzyzanowski, defeating no less a player then GM Matthew Turner. On board 2, another excellent result for Megan Owens, defeating Andrew Footner, who is graded about 25 points higher then her.

Last night also saw Taunton playing against Frome, in a top of the table clash that will go a long way towards deciding who wins the league. If Taunton won, they would draw level with Frome on match points, with only the Taunton- Sedgemoor match left to play. If Frome won they will have won the league, irregardless of the Taunton- Sedgemoor result.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Uxbridge Congress

The 2 west country players who entered this had mixed results.

Keith Arkell started as top seed, but after drawing with 2052- rated Chino Atako in rd.1, and FM Jovica Radovanovic in rd.4, could only finish 2nd=. His 4/5 was a 2419 performance, and means he drops a few rating points from this event.

Allan Pleasants had an excellent result in rd.1, drawing with FM Anders Linvers, rated more then 200 points higher than him. He then ran into GM Keith Arkell, who after a draw in rd.1 was eager to get his tournament back on track, and won. The last 3 rounds saw him facing 3 fairly lowly- rated juniors, which is more then a little unfortunate. It's very difficult to avoid losing rating points under the circumstances, and his 1.5/3 against the 3 of them was very credible. So 2/5 was Allan's final score, a 2019 performance, which is close to his actual rating.

WECU Congress

Firstly, something completely irrelevant to this topic: I've decided to remove a couple of the game viewers from the blog. I don't know this for fact, but I suspect that too many gamy viewers probably slows down the site loading up a fair bit.

Anyway, on to topic. The WECU Congress starts Friday April 2nd and is a 7-round tournament that takes advantage of the 2 holidays either side of the weekend to offer a slightly longer tournament then the usual congress. It's held in Exmouth, at the Royal Beacon Hotel, which I can personally attest is a superb venue. It's also walking distance from the beach, as well as the town centre. With the 4ncl the weekend before, I can't really afford to enter, but I'll be there at some point spectating, and providing a report on it all.

At present there have been 75 entrants, and from what I understand appears to have a very open open, so to speak, at this point. I have to point out that the venue has a fixed capacity (I'm not sure of the exact number, but they did have to decline some entries last year), so it's well worth entering early and not leaving it til the last minute.

Clicking on the title to this post should lead you to the entry form.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Bristol League Congress

All of the games from the minor of the Bristol League Congress are now available to download and play through. Clicking on the title to this post takes you to the relevant page. The games from the other sections have yet to be posted.

This is one of the games from this section. It's a pretty simple tactic, but amused me nonetheless.

Well done to Mike Richardt for being the first to spot 10. Nxe5 when 10...Bxe2 allows 11. Bxf7++ and 10...dxe5 allows 11. Rxd8+.

G.Jepps- G. Trudeau, Somerset- Cornwall match.

This is my first attempt at this, but hopefully you should be able to play through the game G. Jepps- G. Trudeau from the recent Somerset- Cornwall match. Here's Gerry Jepps' thoughts on the match:

Here is my game from the Cornwall match. My opponent was Trudeau (146). The opening is not very convincing - I was gambling as White to escape theoretical French lines. However, the position after White's 19th is quite intriguing and unusual with potentially 7 pieces queued up on the d file. After Black's best response 19...Rd8 20. Qf3! leads to a totally unclear (at least to me) position. Fritz reckons that Black has a slight edge because of the extra pawn. 20. Rxf7? would have been tempting but fails because of 20... Nd7f6. In the actual game, however, my opponent didn't resist the knight fork, playing 19...Ne3. After 20 Qf3 White is clearly winning, although there are no fewer than 5 pieces en-prise.

European Championships

Excellent work once again by Bill Frost, the ChessDevon Webmaster, who has loaded all of the games played by Mickey Adams and Keith Arkell at the European Championships onto the site, along with analysis by Rybka. Click on the title of this post to go there.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Uxbridge Chess Congress

This weekend sees the Uxbridge Chess Congress, which is somewhat unique in that it is one of the few weekend congresses that is FIDE rated, both in the open and major sections.

The 2 south- west entrants are GM Keith Arkell, and Allan Pleasants, from Wessex. Keith is the top seed by about 80 rating points, and will be favourite to win the event, whilst Allan is 20th seed of the 32 entrants. Clicking on the title to this post takes you to the Uxbridge Congress website, where hopefully there'll be results updates throughout the weekend.

If there is anyone from the south west entering congresses this weekend (or indeed any other weekend) that I haven't mentioned, do let me know either through the comments part on here, or emailing me

European Championships

Thought I'd copy the post Keith Arkell put up on the ECF Forum about his performance at the European Championships. The first part of it refers to Keith's loss to the 2150-something rated Bosnian, D. Kadric:

"My opening experimantation got me in trouble early on,but by the time we got to the ending I was doing fine.The Bishop and better structure were ample comp for the ineffectual a pawn.

I just have no explanation why here,and on another couple of occasions,I made horrendous blunders in types of positions in which I was both comfortble and familiar.

Here my hand was itching to play 43 Bxf6 Kxf6 44 g5+ Kf7 Ra7 when all he can do is try to hang on.He should draw though with reasonable defence,eg as long as he deals with my threat of Rh4 to f4 +-. 44 Bd2?? instead just handed him the point .To be fair to my young opponent though,he was obviously vastly under rated,and went on to score an IM norm when he downed Alexey Slavin in the last round.

My 2 other howlers were both with Black v 2600s. Against Rotstein in round 4 I would normally play 15...Qd7 16 Ne5 Qb7 planning ...b5 with equality,but instead played 15..Qd7?? just forgetting about 16 d5;and in round 6 against Romanov after kind of outplaying him I was intending to play 25..Ne6 when he can draw at best,but suddenly changed my mind and played 25...Qa5?? simply missing the intermizzo 28 Qh7+

My overall play was ok though,and I played a couple of nice games(in rounds 3 and 11),and made a study like save in a R ending in round 10.

Because of my seeding(207 out of 400) it was hard to get passed plus one,because to get to plus 2 at any time would necessitate beating a 2600.I just wished that I had given myself more opportunities to do so though,but anyway,123rd = wasn't horrific.

Enough though about me. It was a brilliant effort by David to beat 2 strong GMs with Black in rounds 10(R+B v R!) and 11,and I'm looking forward to watching him in the COME ON DAVID!!"

Thursday, 18 March 2010

4ncl, Div. 2

There are 3 south- west teams in division 2: Wessex 1, Brown Jack, and Bristol 1. In division 2 (and 1 as well, but that's beside the main point) the teams are split up into 2 groups of 8. After 7 rounds the top 4 from each group meet in a promotion play- off to decide who gets promoted to div.1, whilst the bottom 4 from each group meet in a relegation play- off to decide who gets relegated to div. 3. During the play- offs only the results against other teams in the same play- off as yourself count (i.e if you're in the promotion play- offs only the results against fellow teams in the promotion play- offs count, and vice- versa for relegation play- offs).

Hope that explains it. It's a little tricky to follow, but I look at it like this: just turn up, beat the team sat opposite you, repeat 10 more times, and you're promoted.

Anyway, convoluted introduction over, here are the fixtures for the respective south- west teams:

Round 7:

Div 2A:
AMCA Dragons v Wessex 1
Brown Jack v Barbican Youth 1

Div 2B:
Bristol 1 v FCA 1

Round 8 is where the group stages end, and the play- offs begin. Bristol 1 are confirmed in the relegation pool before the round 7 matches. Likewise Wessex and Brown Jack in the other group are also confirmed in the relegation pool before the final round of group matches. It's impossible to say who the teams could be facing before round 7 is completed, and the final places are confirmed, but it could well be that there is a south- west derby match in round 8.

Somerset- Cornwall

Board Somerset Grade Score Cornwall Grade Score
1 J Rudd 214 1 J Menadue 179 0
2 P Krzyzanowski 186 1 M Hassall 180 0
3 B Edgell 183 0.5 S Bartlett 167 0.5
4 A Footner 180 0 K Kneebone 165 1
5 C Purry 167 0 C Sellwood 150 1
6 G Jepps 166 1 G Trudeau 146 0
7 N Senior 161 1 M Hill 141 0
8 J Fewkes 158 0.5 M Ferrie 137 0.5
9 C McKinley 155 0 A Barkhuysen 132 1
10 T Wallis 152 1 G Healey 129 0
11 N Dicker 142 1 D Lucas 126 0
12 C Stanton 137 0.5 I Scott U 0.5
13 R Morgan 136 1 P Spargo 115 0
14 K Stanton 125 1 T Dengler U 0

For some reason this site seems to like everything left- aligned, so apologies for the results being a little difficult to read. Clicking on the title takes you to the site I copied the results across from, and is a little easier to read.

My understanding of the reason for it being played over 14 boards is that Cornwall were unable to raise 16 players, and so Somerset agreed to the bottom 2 boards being double- defaulted.

Looking at the results it's not entirely surprising the margin of victory. Most of the boards had 15- 20 points grading difference. Nevertheless, credit to Simon Bartlett (who completely outplayed me, and was very unfortunate only to drew.), K. Kneebone, Colin Sellwood, and el capitane Anton Barkhuysen, who all scored excellent results for Cornwall.

4ncl, Div. 3

The 27th and 28th of March sees the 4ncl reconvene for rounds 7 & 8.

In Division 3 there are 4 teams from the south west- Wessex 2, Gloucestershire Gambits, Bristol 2, and Bristol 3. Originally Bristol 2 and Bristol 3 were due to be playing each other in the next round, but the draw has now been changed, and this is what the pairings look like for the respective teams for rounds 7 & 8:

Round 7:

Iceni v Wessex 2
Sambucca Black Sheep v Gloucestershire Gambits
Nottinghamshire 2 v Bristol 3
Bristol 2 v The Full Ponty

Round 8:

Wessex 2 v Cambridge Uni. 2
Gloucestershire Gambits v Celtic Tigers 2
Nottinghamshire 1 v Bristol 2
The Full Ponty v Bristol 3

European Championships, round 11 results

Mickey Adams bounced back with a last round win to finish on 7/11. Sadly this was half a point short of the score needed for the World Championships qualifying play- off places. He had a 2691 performance for the tournament, 13 points shy of his actual rating.

Keith Arkell also finished on a high, defeating German FM Manfred Boenisch to finish on 6/11. Keith's tp was 2417, 57 points lower then his actual rating.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Bristol League Congress

The results haven't been published yet, but it has been confirmed on the Bristol Chess website that Chris Beaumont won the open section. Also, a mention for Graham Mill- Wilson, who alongside organising and running the event, won the minor section.

European Championships, Round 10 results

A bad day for Mickey Adams, who lost against Russian GM Ildar Khairullin with black. I don't think a win in the last round will be enough to qualify for the World Championships now, but nevertheless he faces Belarussian gm Andrey Zhigalko, rated 2587, today.

Keith Arkell drew with 2389 rated Austrian IM Robert Kreisl yesterday, to move on to 5/10. It's now virtually certain that Keith will lose some rating points from this event, although the damage was largely done by the earlier loss to 2171- rated Denis Kadric. In the last round Keith faces 2316- rated German FM Manfred Boehnisch, and a win would put him on a plus score for the event.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Somerset Cup

Last night Glastonbury defeated Taunton 4.5-3.5 to win the Somerset Cup. I now have the full results thanks to Mike Richardt. There's a match report by Glastonbury on their website, which you can reach by clicking on the title of this posting, and a match report by Taunton in the comments.

Board 1: Rhys Cummings (Glast.) 0.5-0.5 Mike Redman (Tau.)
Board 2: Harry Streeter (Glast.) 0.5-0.5 Mark Hassall (Tau.)
Board 3: Sharan Soni (Glast.) 0.5-0.5 Mike Richardt (Tau.)
Board 4: Megan Owens (Glast.) 1-0 Nick Wilson (Tau.)
Board 5: Tony Bamford (Glast.) 0.5-0.5 Dave Littlejohns (Tau.)
Board 6: Tim Wallis (Glast.) 1-0 Jorge Pineda- Langford (Tau.)
Board 7: Ian Howe (Glast.) 0.5-0.5 Stan Wojack (Tau.)
Board 8: Paul Moody (Glast.) 0-1 Alex Conway (Tau.)

Bristol League Congress

Until the results are published on the Bristol Chess website (which you can visit by clicking on the title to this post) I can't confirm this, but it's my understanding that Chris Beaumont won the open section of the Bristol League Congress, defeating Dominic Bennett in the last round to secure first place.

European Championships, Round 9 results

In round 9 Mickey Adams drew his 5th game in a row to move on to 6/9. There's now a massive tie from one half of board 10 all the way down to both halfs of board 35 on 6 points, so I think at least 1.5/2, if not 2/2, will be necessary to secure a World Championship qualification place. Today Mickey faces 2617- rated Russian gm Ildar Khairullin with the black pieces.

Keith Arkell also drew in round 9, his opponent being Luxumborgian IM Mietek Bakalarz. Keith is now on 4.5/9, and his opponent for round 10 is Austrian IM Robert Kreisl.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Somerset League, Division 3, Central

Forgot to follow up on this after my earlier posting.

Thanks to everyone for keeping me up to date with the results for this league. Gillingham- Frome ended 2-2, with Mark Leonard and Gerry Udel winning for Frome, and Richard Adams and T. Millar winning for Gillingham. The Yeovil- Glastonbury match has been re-arranged. As things stand, this is how the league looks:

Gillingham: P6 W1 D5 L0 MP:8
Glastonbury: P5 W2 D3 L0 MP:7
Frome: P6 W1 D4 L1 MP:6
Yeovil C: P5 W0 D2 L3 MP:2

So a win for Glastonbury in the final match would be enough for them to win the league. Judging by the number of matches drawn this year, it's been an incredibly closely- fought league.

European Championships, Round 8 results

In round 8 Michael Adams drew with Serbian GM Robert Markus. He's now on 5.5/8, and given he's 1.5 points behind first place with 3 rounds to go, it appears he's out of the running for first. Mickey is currently in a huge tie for 18th place, and with the top 22 qualifying for the world championships, he needs a decent finish to secure a place. Today he faces the young French gm Romain Edouard, rated 2617, and has the white pieces.

Keith Arkell scored a decent win against Croatian IM Rikard Medancic in round 8, to move back to 50%. In round 9 he faces Luxumborgian (hope I've got that right) IM Mietek Bakalarz, rated 2300, with the white pieces, and will hope to move on to a plus score for the tournament with another win.

South West County Championships

This is the final standings in the South West County Championships:

Devon: P4 W 3 D1 MP: 7 GP: 40
Gloucestershire: P4 W1 D2 L1 MP: 4 GP: 38
Somerset: P4 W1 D2 L1 MP: 4 GP: 30.5
Hampshire: P3 D3 MP: 3 GP: 24
Cornwall: P3 L3 MP: 0 GP: 9.5

Gloucestershire- Devon

By beating Gloucestershire 10-6 on Saturday, Devon have won the Harold Meek Cup for 09/10.

BoardGLOUCESTERSHIRE Grade Score DEVON Grade Score
1John Jenkins 170 0 Dominic Mackle 200 1
2Andrew J Gilmour 168 0.5 Marco Mattei 195e 0.5
3Phil Dodwell 166 0 John F Wheeler 189 1
4Geoffrey P Taylor 162 1 Brian W.R Hewson 184 0
5Philip J Meade162 0.5 Alan W Brusey 175 0.5
6Richard J Dixon158 1 David Twine 173 0
7Graham K Brown152 0 Mark V Abbott 174 1
8Barry Whitelaw150 0 Ian M Jamieson 175 1
9 Martin Oliver1450Robert Thompson1701
10 Patrick Baker 143 1 Dave Regis 165 0
11 Alan R Bentley 141 0.5 Stephen W Schofield 162 0.5
12 Robin L Craven 140 0 Paul Brooks 162 1
13Alun Richards 139 1 Brian G.E. Gosling 159 0
14 Andrew E James 137 0 Andrew S Kinder 1581
15Ian P Blencowe 128 0.5 Ivor S Annetts 156 0.5
16 Peter R Bending 124 0 John V Morrison 155 1


Sunday, 14 March 2010

Teignmouth Rapidplay


Saturday 17th. April 2010

RapidPlay Tournament
6 – round Swiss

Open Section (for players graded 145 and above)
Graded Section (for players graded under 145)

Junior Section for players under 12 years on 1st September 2009

The Salle
Trinity School, Buckeridge Road, Teignmouth, Devon.

Congress Organiser:

Mr. Ray Chubb,

29, West Cliff Park Drive, Dawlish, Devon. EX7 9EW.
Tel: (01626) 888255


Entry Form:

Junior Entry Form:

WECU Congress


63rd Open Congress

Easter 2010

to be held at the

Royal Beacon Hotel,

Exmouth, Devon EX8 2AF

Friday 2nd to Monday 5th April 2010


Entry Form:

Keith Arkell, Simul in Torquay

A couple of adverts coming up that I've copied from the Chess Devon website (click on the title of this post to go directly there)


Simultaneous exhibition by

GM Keith Arkell

4:30p.m. Wednesday 24th March 2010

Venue: School Library
Most places will be allocated to pupils of the school but others are invited to enter:

Contact: Trefor Thynne

Tele No 01626 337876


The mobile phone rule

As Jack Rudd mentioned on the last posting, there's been a lot of discussion of late about how the rule about mobile phones should be used at local level (click the title to this post if you've got a spare hour or 2). For whatever it's worth, here's my opinion: I don't take an evening/ day out playing chess to win by a technicality, I want to play chess. If my opponent's phone went off during a match, I would allow him to turn it off, and continue with the match. I honestly don't believe anyone would use a phone at local level chess to cheat.

In the Somerset- Cornwall match yesterday this happened on seperate occasions to both a Somerset player and a Cornwall player, and I'm pleased to say that in both cases their opponents allowed them to switch the phone off and continue with match. I won't mention specific names here, but credit to you both.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Somerset- Cornwall

Somerset beat Cornwall today 9.5-4.5, with the bottom 2 boards double- defaulted. I can't really give any details off hand, as I was scraping a draw right up until my last few minutes. Hopefully I'll be able to add a full match card at some point.

Exeter & District Chess League

I must admit to being fairly unfamiliar with the Exeter & District League, being one of the few leagues in the south west I haven't actually played in. The best source of information for this league is the site linked to in the title. Nevertheless, here are the league tables as they stand:

Div. 1

1. Exeter 1 1 0 2 2.5
2. Sidmouth 1 0 1 0 1.5
3. Exmouth 0 0 0 0 0
4. Met Office 0 0 0 0 0

Div. 2

1. Exeter Pawns 3 2 1 0 4 5.5
2. Seaton A 2 1 1 0 3 6
3. Tiverton Ravens 2 1 0 1 2 5
4. Met Office B 2 0 1 1 1 2.5
5. Exmouth 1 0 0 1 0 1

Div. 3

1. Sidmouth Bishops 1 1 0 0 2 3.5
2. Seaton B 2 0 1 1 1 2.5
3. Exeter Gambits 1 0 1 0 1 2
4. Tiverton Magpies 0 0 0 0 0 0

Div. 4

1. Seaton C 3 2 1 0 5 7
2. Exeter School 1 0 1 0 1 2
3. Exeter Juniors 1 0 0 1 0 1.5
4. Sidmouth Castles 1 0 0 1 0 1.5

I've emailed Exeter & District League Secretary, Ken Derrick, inviting him to comment on the League, so hopefully I'll be able to add to this post in the near future.

A couple of comments I'll make first: I don't know whether it's because of my teams (Sedgemoor/ Sedgeless, Sambucca Sharks/ Sambucca Black Sheep.), but I do prefer it when teams give their first/ second team names a bit of distinction ( Exeter, Exeter Pawns, Gambits etc. Tiverton Ravens, Magpies.), as opposed to just team 'A', 'B' etc.

Also, it's good to see a couple of junior teams competing.

33rd Bristol League Congress

Almost forgot about this with the various events going on at the moment, but this weekend sees the 33rd Bristol League Congress taking place at the Filton Sports & Leisure Centre. Earlier in the week there were doubts as to whether this event would take place, but given the fact that there have been no further annoucements since, it would seem that there has been a late flurry of entrants.

It's always difficult running congresses, where breaking- even is generally considered a success. Trying to balance the entry fee to assure this whilst making it an attractive proposition financially to entrants is a tricky task, even before one considers prizes and so on.

Graham Mill- Wilson deserves a lot of thanks for giving his time, not to mention possibly a fair amount of his own money, to running Bristol Congresses each year. Hopefully it's a successful event.

European Championships, Round 7 results

In round 7 Mickey Adams could only draw with 2625- rated Polish GM Bartlomiej Macieja, and has now dropped a point off the lead on 5/7. It may be difficult for him to catch up to the lead now, given that he has had 2 whites in a row. Today he has black against 2618- rated Serbian GM Robert Markus.

Keith Arkell had a bad result in round 7, losing with white against 2171 rated Bosnian Denis Kadric. Now on 3/7, he faces a big task to avoid losing rating points. A win today with black against 2311- rated Croatian IM Rikard Medancic would be a good start.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Somerset League, Division 2 West.

I can't confirm this as fact at this point, but it's my understanding that following the 3-3 draw with Glastonbury last night, Sedgemoor have won the Somerset League, Division 2 West. Currently they've played 8 matches, won 6, drawn 2, which is a very impressive record, especially given the fact that a certain blog writer has managed a grand total of 0 appearances for Sedgemoor in Div 2 this season. Congratulations to captain Neville Senior, and everyone else at Sedgemoor Chess Club.

European Championships, Round 6 results

In round 6 Mickey Adams drew with 2638- rated GM Ivan Sokolov to move on to 4.5/6, and now faces Polish GM Bartlomiej Macieja in round 7. Keith Arkell lost against Russian GM Evgeny Romanov, and now faces 2171- rated Bosnian Denis Kadric in round 7. So far Keith has been a little unfortunate in going from opponents much lower rated, to much higher rated, without really facing anyone around his own strength.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

European Championships, Round 5 results.

In round 5 Mickey Adams was held to a draw by Moldovan GM Viorel Iordachescu, and now has 4/5. Today he faces Bosnia and Herzegovinan GM Ivan Sokolov.

Keith Arkell had a decent win against Croatian FM Mladen Zelic yesterday, and today faces a tough match against Russian GM Evgeny Romanov, on 3/5.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

South West County Championships

This Saturday sees the final round of matches in the South West County Championships. Gloucestershire are at home to Devon, Hampshire face Dorset, and Somerset face Cornwall.

Apologies for the delay in updating this post (overslept yesteday). Here's the standings up to the final round. I've assumed 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw. MP= Match Points (the important one), and GP= Game Points (which I assume is used in the event of teams finishing on level points)

Devon: P3 W 2 D1 MP: 5 GP: 30
Gloucestershire: P3 W1 D2 MP: 4 GP: 32
Hampshire: P3 D3 MP: 3 GP: 24
Somerset: P3 D2 L1 MP: 2 GP: 21
Cornwall: P2 L2 MP: 0 GP: 5

So, if Gloucs can beat Devon in the last round of matches, they would overtake them and finish first. Somerset could finish on 50% and move up to third place with a win against Cornwall, as the Hants- Corn match has been cancelled (see earlier post). It's worth noting how close it's been this year, with a large number of drawn matches.

European Championships, Round 4 results

A good win for Mickey Adams today, against the 2509- rated Croatian IM Sasa Martinovic see him move on to 3.5/4, and he now faces Moldvan GM Viorel Iordachescu in round 5.

Sadly Keith Arkell fared less well today, losing against the young Israeli GM Maxim Rodshtein to leave him on 2/4. Tommorow he faces Croatian FM Mladen Zelic.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Hampshire- Cornwall match

Some unfortunate news to this end, I'm afraid. I quote the following from the Hampshire Chess website, which you can reach by clicking on the title of this post:

"Hampshire v Cornwall There is not a mutually convenient date left before the end of the WECU season so this match has been cancelled.

However Dominic Tunks reports that he has Cornwall's agreement to move next year's match nearer to Hampshire. Previously we have met in Exminster and once or twice in Rockbeare. Next year we will look for a venue as close as possible to the intersection of the A30 (for those travelling down from North Hampshire) and the A35 (for those travelling the costal route),

That is, we will try to find a venue in or near Honiton."

As a former county match captain myself, I know only too well the difficulties in organising teams. Hopefully a change in the location of the venue for next year should make it easier for both sides to raise teams next season.

Somerset, Division 3 Central

Tommorow night (9th) sees the concluding round of the Somerset League, Division 3 Central, as Gillingham are at home to Frome, whilst Yeovil 'C' host Glastonbury. At the moment, Glastonbury are a point ahead of Gillingham, who are in turn a point ahead of Frome. Yeovil 'C' are bottom of this 4- team league, with 2 draws and 3 losses from their matches thus far, so Glastonbury will be favourites to win the league. Nevertheless if Yeovil 'C' were to pull off an upset, then either Gillingham or Frome could still win the league. Hopefully I'll be able to get match reports from the captains of the respective teams later in the week.

Blackpool/ European Championships

Firstly, the final results of several of the entrants at Blackpool. In the open, Mike Richardt sadly had to withdraw for personal reasons after the Saturday with a score of 1/3. In the intermediate section 2 draws on the Sunday saw Tom Cooper finish on 3/5. Also in the intermediate disappointing finishes of 0.5/2 from Gareth Williams and Dave Marshall saw them finish on 1.5/5 and 0.5/5 respectively. In the minor a win and a draw saw Adrian Davis finish on 3/5, whilst 2 wins from Steve Williams helped him complete a fine recovery to finish on 2.5/5.

At the European Championships a win and a draw from Michael Adams against opponents rated 2569 and 2606 respectively see him on 2.5/3. 2 wins from Keith Arkell have lead him to 2/3 now, having beaten opponents rated 2215 and 2271. I imagine Mickey Adams' game may well be shown live on the host website again tommorow.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Blackpool/ European Championships

The Trowbridge Chess website (which you can get to by clicking on the title of this post), has up to the minute results of the Trowbridge entrants at Blackpool. Here's how they're all getting on at the close of play on Saturday:

Tom Cooper, Intermediate section: 2/3
Gareth Williams, Intermediate section: 1/3
Dave Marshall, Intermediate section: 0.5/3
Adrian Davis, Minor: 1.5/3
Steve Williams, Minor: 0.5/3

In Rijeka, Mickey Adams has white against Croation GM Alojzije Jankovic, and his game will almost certainly be shown live again today. Keith Arkell has black against the 2215 rated Scottish player Alan Tate.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Blackpool/ European Championships

At Blackpool Mike Richardt suffered his first loss this afternoon, to leave him on 1/3, with 2 draws.

In Rijeka, Keith Arkell lost with white against GM Vallejo Pons, whilst Mickey Adams won with black against IM Shytaj.

Blackpool Congress

I'm not sure how everyone's getting on in this, as I imagine the full results will be published after the weekend, but Mike Richardt of Taunton is currently on 1/2 with 2 draws. His game this afternoon is being shown on the live feed that you can get to by clicking on the title of this post. His opponent this afternoon, Mike Surtees, graded 194, has a reputation for eccentric opening play, so it should be an interesting game.

The European Championships, Rd.1

As predicted, Keith Arkell has a tough first round pairing, with white against Francisco Vallejo Pons, seeded 5th and with a mighty impressive 2708 rating. 2 boards down from him, Michael Adams has black against Italian IM Luca Shytaj, rated 2472.

Clicking on the title should take you to the live games feed, where both games are being shown, and started about 10 minutes ago (14.30).

Friday, 5 March 2010

Somerset League, Div.1 (Prt.2)

Thanks to Taunton captain Nick Wilson for the following report on the Yeovil- Taunton match from last night. I've included a link in the title to the Taunton home page.

Hi everyone,

Ok, we travelled to Yeovil last night for an away match. I'd tried to drum up support by frequently mentioning the game is being held "in a pub!" - you see to me this conjures images of crackling fires and beer delivered to the playing tables by buxom wenches... I think my imagination is stuck in late victorian times... Anyway, turns out it was in a cramped, dark, dingy skittle alley, but more of this later.

I was struggling to get a good team out. Both MikeRs couldn't play, followed by no Martin, Alex, Robin or Stan - yes the team of players who couldn't play was starting to look stronger than the one that did play!

Luckily Mike Richardt had a change of plans and could play. So the final team was a respectable - MarkH, MikeR, NickW, DaveL, JorgeP, VicM.

On arrival at Yeovil, we notice Krisy wasn't there - even though MikeRed hadn't turned up, has his reputation preceded him? (to those not getting the subtlety here, Mike had crushed Krisy 3 times and we jokingly assumed he didn't want any more beatings - although to be fair, Krisy has not been well, so our fishwifery gossiping is probably just that)

We eventually found the new pub, and by a tedious stumbling elimination of various rooms and bars we eventually found the skittle alley round the back. Dark, cramped and dingy, but it did have a Kareoke machine with a selection of pirate '80s CDs, so not all bad then...

On to the games. I decided we should stick to the rules and play our team in strict grading order. Now lets see... we are away.. so white on evens.. , I'm on 3, hey, I have white - fancy that. What good luck!

On to the games, yet again I forgot to take a copy of the score-sheet, so I've only got a vague recollection of last night's evens (it was held in a pub after-all...)

Board 6 - Vic McAndrew v small child
This board probably had the greatest age difference in the league. Vic keeps on beating me in casual club games, so I keep picking him for the team, only for him to make a slip and lose. Surely tonight would be different? No. He made a slip and lost. Mike R told me his opponent is a very promising junior who recently gave a 2000+ player a hard time, so don't feel bad Vic. Taunton now 0 - 1

Board 5 - Jorge Pineda Langford v N Mills
Jorge threw everything into a kingside attack and although he was an exchange down by mid-game, his strong bishop on d5 looked like it was a good piece. But his attack just needed an extra bit of fire power. I briefly turned away from the game, looked back and to my astonishment, Jorge's king had almost completed a march from g1 to h6! Surely this isn't the extra material the attack needed? Anyway, shortly after, and unsurprisingly, Jorge was mated on h6 or g5 or somewhere similarly inappropriate for a king to be during the middle game. Oh dear. Taunton now 0 - 2

Board 2 - Mike Richardt v Jim Fewkes
Jim is a strong, solid player, so imagine my surprise when I saw him happily advance the pawns in-front of his castled king, chasing Mike's bishop away. His position looked draughty, but it wasn't easy for Mike to nip in behind the mass of pawns. After much swapping, just the mass of pawns and queens were left. Both queens were behind enemy lines. Jim's was potentially threatening mate, but Mike had easy perpetual threats, so the game was drawn. Taunton now 0.5 - 2.5

Board 1 - Mark Hassall v Andrew Footner
Footner played the centre-counter and tried to play sharp. But Mark calmly swapped everything off, knowing his endgame knight was going to be stronger than Footner's bishop. Mark pressed ahead in the endgame and suddenly it was over with Mark winning. Good game! Taunton now 1.5 - 2.5

Board 4 - Dave Littlejohns v small child's Dad.
Dave's opponent played a very odd opening. I've got no idea if it has a name, but there were random pawns pushed forwards by a square or so, and somehow a knight was on h2. Dave, as black, constructed a caro-caan shell like pawn structure and then suddenly his opponent's briliiance struck us! In playing this odd opening, Dave played e6-e5, forcing him to attack, forcing him out of his comfort zone. Dave's caro-caan shell was ripped open and the juicy fleshy innards were now exposed for attack. Again, we were stunned at the psychological brilliance employed to open up Dave like that. However, maybe Dave is a fierce attacking animal after-all, as his e6-e5 advance lead to a winning a piece down said e-file. Round about now, Dave claimed the win, noticing his opponent's clock had fallen. There was some disagreement as they were playing on a replacement clock (Dave's clock had stopped earlier, so they used a new one, with adjusted times). I'm still unclear what Dave's opponent's argument was as you'd assume they'd both been happy with the clock when the replacement was started to be used. Anyway, Footner stepped in, did the right thing, and Dave was adjudged the winner. Form the position, he'd have won anyway, being a piece up. Taunton now 2.5 - 2.5

So, all on the final game - my game.. arrgh, not again!

Board 3 - Nick Wilson v Roger Knight
I was white and played the Evans Gambit. Everyone knows the evans is unsound, but very few actually can prove this over the board (including me!). And if black doesn't know what he is doing, he can get into a lot of trouble very quickly. Sure enough, after about 15 moves, I had a lovely position and cashed in with winning an exchange. But, after that, my pieces weren't very coordinated, and Roger played well. Then I made a mistake, effectively losing a peice. At a key moment, Roger was considering a (flashy) key move, that he thankfully didn't play. but even so, going into the endgame, I was 2R + 3P v RNB + 7P and in a worse position. Then I noticed on the Yeovil scoresheets that move 35 (the time control) wasn't halfway down the right side like on normal scoresheets, but was infact near the bottom of the right page! (dim lights, a small font on the scoresheet and my aged eyes are to blame..). So suddenly, not only was my position crap, but I had to make nearly 20 moves in under 15 mins (when I had thought it was less than 10 moves...). His N+B had my king tied up and was picking off what few pawns I had left. I swapped my R for the B+N+P to ease the pressure, but this just left me with a still lost looking R+2P v R+6P. I could see a glimmer of a draw chance, but realistically I knew I should lose. Then I was told of the 2.5 v 2.5 scoreline. Aw crap! I wanted to be the heroic captain, winning the final game for the team, not losing pathetically to a lower rated player, and therefore losing the match. Anyway, I played on. The only plusses for me was a good king position and 3 of his (many) pawns were isolated. I kept on hassling him with my rook, and suddenly he got a bit flustered partly to my threats, partly to being short on time and also because of the kerfuffle going on next to us regarding the on-going squabbles about Dave's clock. Suddenly I had a passed pawn racing up the board and in his dying minutes he offered me a draw. I accepted. The final position was definately double edged. I think he'd have to give up his rook for my pawn, but then I'd have to do the same for his best passer, while my king mopped up the other pawns.

So, final score - Taunton 3 - 3. A tough draw, but a fair result.

Man of the match is Mark for his calm, controlled win!

I'm also now able to add Yeovil captain Andrew Footner's comments on the match:

I lost to Mr Hasal on top board. Jim Fewkes drew with Mike Richardt on Bd 2(good result for Jim given the gap in grading). Roger Knight drew with Nick Wilson on board 3 ( 4 pawns up in a rook and pawn ending and managed to lose most of them in the time scramble! Mark you, he was the exchange down after about 15 moves and in a difficult position, so Nick has got some explaining to do as well). Colin Stanton lost to David Littlejohns on Bd 4 ,Nigel Mills beat J.Pineda Langford and Kells Stanton beat an ungraded V McAndrew. So a Draw!

Blackpool Chess Congress

This weekend sees the traditional Blackpool Congress, and once again boasts a very impressive field. 3 GMs, and more 190+ players then you can shake a stick at. The reason for this post however, is to focus on entrants from the South West.

By my reckoning the following people have entered from the South West-

Mike Richardt, Taunton, in the open.
William Taylor, Bridgwater (now resident at Durham Uni), in the major.
Stephen Piper, Wootton Basset, in the major.
Thomas Cooper, Trowbridge, in the intermediate.
Colin Gardiner, Falmouth, in the intermediate.
David Marshall, Trowbridge, in the intermediate.
Gareth Williams, Trowbridge, in the intermediate.
Adrian Davis, Trowbridge, in the minor.

If I've missed anyone from this list, do let me know and I'll add them. Depending on how quickly the Blackpool Chess website is updated (click on the title to go directly there), I'll either keep you up to date with the results daily, or let you know how everyone got on early next week.

The European Championships

Hard to see how this one fits in with Westcountry Chess isn't it? GMs Michael Adams and Keith Arkell are the link. Now resident in Somerset and Devon respectively, they've flown out to Rijeka in Croatia to compete in the European championships, starting tommorow. For anyone wondering where exactly in Croatia Rijeka is, it's (hope I'm getting this right) in the north- west of Croatia, right on the coast, close to the Slovenian border.

Michael Adams seems to have been around top level chess for as long as anyone, but his form has dipped slightly in recent years. Boasting a very impressive 2704 rating, he's 7th seed, and as long as he doesn't get bogged down in drawing with lower rated players, will be one of the favourites to win the tournament.

I think I'd need a calculator to add up the number of weekend congresses Keith Arkell's won, but here he's 212th seed, just in the bottom half of the draw. Given that the first round is done on a top-half vs bottom- half pairing system, he's going to face a very tough first round.

Best of luck to both, and I'll keep you updated with their progress.

Bristol League Chess (Prt.3)

Thanks to Phil Nendick for the following report on the Clifton 'A'- Horfield 'A' match. If you click on the title it should, with any luck, take you to the Horfield home page.

Switching Steve and Derek so that Steve could have a break from playing James Cobb only managed to pair Derek against his previous opponent since Cobb wasn't playing. Steve ended Duncan's unbeaten run when the latter "self destructed" from a reasonable position and we were one up. Elsewhere we were doing well although Harvey was suffering with a backward c pawn but got a reprieve when David blocked the file and then followed up by nearly gifting a bishop, only realising at the last possible moment that he was about to leave it en prise. In my game we played the same first 10 moves from our previous encounter before I unleashed a sharp line I had found on Chessbase just an hour before the match. On our 3rd wintry visit to the Polish club in 22 days I was also pleased with my clothing preparations: body warmer, sweatshirt and fleece combo did the trick. After several hairy moments the game petered out to a drawn rook and pawn ending. Meanwhile Derek had taken a draw, Harvey had succumbed to David's relentless grinding down and boards 3 and 4 also went south after looking promising.
Our 3rd match loss in a row sees us out of the cup and league contention, but we should achieve a respectable 3rd place in the league if we can emulate our B team and return to winning ways against Clevedon.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Somerset League, Div. 1

This evening sees Yeovil play host to Taunton in Div 1 of the Somerset League. Taunton are neck-and-neck with Frome at the top, whilst Yeovil are struggling near the bottom of the league.

I should point out here that there is no promotion/ relegation in the Somerset leagues, as there simply aren't enough teams. Currently there are only 5 teams in Div 1, and of the 6 in Div 2, 4 are essentially the same teams as in Div 1, bar one of the top players. It's a shame that clubs such as Burnham and Street are no longer active, and I'm surprised there's never been a club in Minehead, but I'm wandering from the original point of my post here.

Currently Frome have 10 points from 6 games, whilst Taunton have 8 from 5, so a win tonight will draw Taunton level at the top. Yeovil have 3 points from 5 games, and although they are out of the title race, a win tonight would see them move above Sedgemoor into the top half of the league.

On the basis of who plays for each club, Taunton should be favourites. Whilst not quite as strong as say Clifton 'A', they can still boast a team that at full strength would have Mike Redman (186 grade) on top board, and Dave Littlejohns (167),on board 5. However, it's never easy getting every player available to play on any given evening, and Taunton's achilles heel has always been a lack of strength in depth.

Yeovil on the other hand have a long list of very solid players, but don't quite have the same strength at the top as Taunton. Patryk Krzyzanowski (186), and Andrew Footner (180), are both very strong players, but after that the next few boards will usually be around the 140-160 grade range.

Earlier in the season Taunton managed to win 3.5-2.5 against Yeovil, but that match was effected to a huge extent by 2 defaults on Yeovil's part. I've a feeling tonights match will be very close, and if I had to make a prediction, I'd bet on Yeovil to win 4-2.

I'll let you know the result later in the week.

Bristol League Chess (Prt 2.)

Just a quick follow up on yesterday's item. Here's the result of the Clifton 'A'- Horfield 'A' match. Thanks to David Collier for sending me the results, and it's his comment added on to the bottom as well.

Clifton 'A' - Horfield 'A'

1 A Pickering ½ - ½ D Pugh
2 D Grossett 0 - 1 S Dilleigh
3 G Morris 1 - 0 CJA Jones
4 D Bennett 1 - 0 M Levene
5 J Curtis ½ - ½ P Nendick
6 DO Collier 1 - 0 H Atkinson
4 - 2

Closer than it looks, with Clifton winning the last two games to finish.

I've discovered that the Bath 'A'- Clifton 'A' match has been re-arranged for April 28th.

As things stand, Clifton 'A' are Played 11, Points 21 whilst Bath 'A' are Played 12, Points 20. So (assuming I've got this worked out correctly), Bath 'A' need a big result from one of the teams still to play Clifton 'A' in order for their match to be relevant, whilst Clifton 'A' can afford to lose to Bath 'A', as long as they win the remaining matches.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Bristol League Chess

Thought I'd use today's entry to shine a light on the Bristol League. In Div.1 Bath 'A' and Clifton 'A' are neck-and- neck in the race for the title. It's difficult to tell precisely who's in the lead, as not all of the results are included on the website at the moment (I'm thinking specifically the Bath 'A'- Clifton 'A' match from 13/1), but the league tables currently show Bath 'A' hold a 1 point lead, but having played 2 matches more.

Tonight sees Clifton 'A' play host to third placed Horfield 'A', and could well be a critical match in deciding the outcome of the league. Horfield boast Steve Dilleigh (192 grade), and Derek Pugh (184 grade) as their top 2 players, and I'd be surprised if their bottom board is lower graded then 160. Nevertheless, it'll take a bit of an upset to overcome Clifton 'A', who probably have the strongest 6- board team in the south west. James Cobb (210), Andy Pickering (187), David Collier (187), Gareth Morris (181), Duncan Grossett (180), John Curtis (180). That's scarily strong.

Also, for anyone who reads this and plays in the Bristol League: 12th-14th March is the Bristol League Congress, held at Filton Sports & Leisure Centre. It's only open to people who play in the Bristol League, which I've always found curiously restrictive. Nevertheless...


is the link with the entry form.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

East Devon Congress

This weekened just gone was the East Devon Congress, held in Exeter. I had to cancel any plans to go and play/ watch owing to work and a cold (yes, I'm a wimp!), so I'm writing this based on the report on the excellent ChessDevon website. From what I can tell there was a pretty reasonable turnout (36 entrants in the open), and the winners of the open were Graham Bolt, Paul Helbig, Dominic Gibbs, and David Sully, all of whom scored 4/5.

I know it's very much the case that I'm in a glass house throwing bricks here, but it's a little disappointing that there weren't more entries from Somerset players. As far as I can tell only Gerry Jepps was representing Somerset in the open, and there were far more people that travelled down from Bristol for the weekend to play. Maybe it's the case that it wasn't well advertised amongst clubs in Somerset, maybe a lot of the top players were busy/ had work commitments, or maybe it's the case that there were more entrants from Somerset entered lower sections. Anyways, grumble over, the guys who organise this deserve a lot of thanks.

The next tournament is the long Easter- weekend tournament held in Exmouth (Friday 2nd April- Mon 5th). I'll say from personal experience it's quite a tough schedule with 7 rounds over 4 days, but it nearly always has beautiful weather, and is walking distance from the beach, bars, and restaurants, so if you fancy a short holiday combined with some chess, I'd highly recommend it.

Entry form