Saturday 24 April 1999
But after a reign tiny even by Lady Jane Grey's standards of just three days, he was overtaken by Keith Arkell who put behind him the disappointment of his 3.5-2.5 defeat in Hampstead in the challenge match with Mark Hebden, with a savage 5/5 at Rhyl last weekend.
This left Arkell on 175.5/200 well clear of Gormally 164.9, Lalic 160, Simon Williams 157, Andrew Ledger 139.4, Crouch 138.2, Plaskett 136.7 and Hebden - last year's winner - currently on just 125.5.
There were 130 competitors in all at Rhyl including, I'm informed, a honeymoon couple who had got married the day before in Gretna Green. The three sections consisted of an Open, Major and what the organiser, a local GP, Dr Hugh Jones, prefers to call not as is usual the Minor, but by the less psychologically undermining "Goodnight tournament".
Arkell is already entitled to play in the British Championship; it was the runner-up R.A. Barton from Morecambe on 4 who qualified for this year's tournament, as ever in the first fortnight in August, and this time in Scarborough.
Arkell's best game was probably this one in the first round against the joint British under-18 champion, eldest of a family of four talented juniors from Bath.
When Buckley played 2 Qe2 rather than the usual 2 d4, Arkell decided on the unusual "Hippopotamus", named after the supposed resemblance between the structure, with the two fianchettoed bishops, centre pawns on e6 and d6 and the two knights behind them, and a hippo in a river.
This highly provocative opening is difficult to meet since White must strike a balance between the desire to punish his opponent's effrontery and overpressing. Buckley played perfectly reasonably but I don't like 11 axb5?! - eg 11 Nbd2 looks better, since after Black recaptured with the queen on a8 there was already strong pressure on e4.
If 15 Qxb5 Ba6 nets the exchange while 20 e6 Re8 21 exf7+ Kxf7 is also better for Black. Arkell got powerful queenside pressure and after 26 ...Be4! the advantage was considerable. At the end if 35 cxd5 Rxa4 36 Rxd3 Ra1+ wins the knight.
White: David Buckley
Black: Keith Arkell
1 e4 e6
2 Qe2 d6
3 d4 Nd7
4 g3 Ne7
5 Bg2 g6
6 f4 Bg7
7 Nf3 0-0
8 0-0 a6
9 c3 b5
10 a4 Bb7
11 axb5 axb5
12 Rxa8 Qxa8
13 Nh4 Nf6
14 e5 Nfd5
15 Nd2 Rd8
16 Ne4 Nf5
17 Nxf5 exf5
18 Ng5 h6
19 Nf3 Qa4
20 Bd2 Qb3
21 Rb1 Ra8
22 exd6 cxd6
23 Qd1 Qxd1+
24 Rxd1 Ra2
25 Bc1 Nb6
26 Ne1 Be4!
27 Bf1 Nc4
28 b3 Na3
29 Bxa3 Rxa3
30 Bxb5 Rxb3
31 c4 d5
32 Ng2 Bd3
33 Ba4 Bxd4+
34 Kh1 Ra3 0-1
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
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