Alongside the Redbus Knockout where I was playing in Southend, there was the 43rd Southend Congress, which resulted in a six-way tie between Adrian Jackson, David Ledger, Andrew Ledger, Nick Pert, John Sugden and Peter Sharp, all on 5.5/7
In the 52nd West of England Championships in Exmouth, the top score in the Open was made by Mike Bushill (Wood Green), though the title of West of England Champion and a qualifying place for this year's British Championship went to local player Neil Crickmore, a former British Under-18 champion.
The 25th Surrey Congress at Sutton resulted in victory for Andrew Webster with 6.5/7 ahead of Andrew Kinsman on 6 and Richard Bates and Simon Williams on 5.5; the Premier section (under 170) was won by 10-year-old Murugan Thiruchelvam on 6/7.
With Arkell and Hebden away at the French League and Lalic and Plaskett in Southend - at which only the slow games counted for Grand Prix purposes - there was little change in the Onyx Grand Prix leaderboard which currently stands at Arkell (160.5/200), Lalic (137.5), Plaskett (136.7), Gormally (134.5), Andrew ledger (129.4) and Hebden (125.5): though Grand Prix supremo Leonard Barden tells me that Lalic, who has a high percentage in the events he's so far played, is currently best placed to take the title.
The hurly-burly of weekend tournament play can be conducive to some admirably chaotic chess, such as this game played not last weekend but three weekends ago at the 7th Doncaster Congress in which the top section Stars Barred section for players up to 220 was won by Lawrence Cooper.
In the opening, White usually plays 4.d5 - instead he plotted to win a pawn with 6.Bxb8 though Black got huge compensation with the two bishops and a big centre.
If 19.hxg3 fxg3 20.Ng4 Qh4 21.Rfd1 Kh8! (better than 21...e5 22.Nf6+! Qxf6 23.Qxd5+ Kh8 24.Nd2 en route to f1) threatening ...h5 yields a very dangerous attack.
With 20.Nxd7!? - rather than 20.Ng4 Qh4 - White sacrificed his queen for considerable materal though his king remained under fire. 24...Rxf8 was possible and if 25.f4? Rxf4! but it was only with 27...exf3? that Black went badly wrong: instead 27...Rxf8! 28.fxe4 (or 28.f4 Rxf4 29.Rf1 Rh4!) Qf2+ 29.Kh2 Rf4 30.Kh3 Rf6 is winning. At the end Black lost on time though his position was indefensible, anyway.
White: Gary Hinchcliffe
Doncaster Stars Barred 1999
Black resignsReuse content