Monday, 1 December 2003

Archive: UNCUT! 26

The Sean Marsh Chess Column
Column 26
***December 2003***

Bread and Circuses

Dear Readers,

This has been a particularly busy few months, with the Chess Links Project taking up a good deal of my time. However, with Christmas now just over a year away, I thought it was time to catch up with a few recent events, so here’s a brand new column just for you…

It has not escaped the attention of the masses that I have already managed to lose a couple of games so far this season curiosity has been running high and details have been in demand….
…but before all that, I have to tell you that the Chess Links Project is going extremely well and that full details of our latest exploits can be found on the website.
Grandmaster Keith Arkell made a special visit to support the project with two very popular and enjoyable simultaneous displays. Go and read all about it! And then I’ll tell you about my recent defeats…

…Back already? Shouldn’t you be out doing some shopping rather than vulturing after details of my defeats? Christmas shopping provides us all with shared experiences, developing a race-memory to warn off future generations from such foolish exploits. For example, I think I can say with some confidence that…..

We've All Been To Argos Hell

...I think I set a new British Record in Argos the other week. All I wanted to do was return a broken Hoover and get a replacement. The whole process lasted no less than 73 minutes! The big sticking point came when they said the replacement one wouldn't carry a year's guarantee because six months had already been used up. But that was used up on the broken Hoover and I didn't see why it shouldn't start again with the new machine.
So I gave them the Hoover back and asked for a full refund, and with that refund I bought the same Hoover, as if buying it without the complication of being a replacement, thus getting the full year guarantee. This cunning procedure proved a bit too much for them to handle and it took them ages to make all sorts of phone calls and checks. 73 minutes!!
On the counter, there was a little bell and a message saying something like, 'If you have been happy with your service here today, ring the bell and make us feel good.'
Did I ring the bell? I Don't THINK So!!

And the moral of the story? Nature abhors a vacuum – but Argos makes it mighty difficult to replace one.

Just before showing my defeats, I must say that the reaction to my last column was somewhat mixed, with high praise for handling a difficult subject from some and criticism from others. There was also a suggestion that I should write a column about other conditions, such as manic depression, but I’m in two minds about that. Oh well, at least people read it and from the point of view of bringing a serious matter to the attention of the local chess community, I think it did the job.

Another great recent talking point was the poor showing of Middlesbrough Rooks against arch-rivals Elmwood in an important league fixture. There can be no doubt whatsoever than captain Tony Kiddle did his upmost to ensure that
The Rooks fielded a full team and, despite knowing in advance that the team wouldn’t be at full strength, he didn’t try and rearrange the fixture. An unfortunate set of circumstances ensured that The Rooks defaulted two boards and consequently struggled to make any impression at all against a strong Elmwood side.
The 6-0 scoreline was predictable under the circumstances. A couple of years ago, The Rooks beat Elmwood by the same score, so what goes around, comes around I suppose. Make no mistake – The Rooks are still very much in the title race and once their key players return they will once again be a force to be reckoned with. Respect between the two teams remains high. There was no gloating from the Elmwood players, no matter what the casual observer might think.

Give the people what they want!

Okay, okay…I shall now provide a few details of a recent defeat you have been waiting to see…

SM v Ian Elcoate
Notes by Ian

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4
I had spent the previous evening studying the Saemisch as that is what Sean plays!
7...Bg7 8.Bb5+ Nfd7 I know Nbd7 is regarded as playable but black needs to know what he is doing in that line.....and I don't!
9.Be2 Qh4+ a la Watson.
10.g3 Qe7 I'm never totally sure where the queen should go but after Be2 e7 has to be the square. 11.Nf3 0–0 I've now run out of theory the move is [11...Nb6 12.0–0 Bg4 13.e5 0–0 14.Ne4 dxe5 15.d6 Qe8 16.fxe5 N8d7 which looks fine for black]
12.0–0 Re8= 13.Nd2 Nb6 Finally remembering the idea behind this line.
14.Bb5 Bd7 15.a4 a6 [Maybe the immediate 15...f5 ] 16.Bxd7 N8xd7 17.a5 Nc8 This retreat looks a bit ugly but is fine as it supports the b5 push.
18.Re1 b5 19.axb6 Ncxb6 20.Nf3 I believe I have come out of the opening equal which is an achievement against a player of Sean's calibre. I now spent a long time coming up with a suitable plan.
20...Qd8 21.Qc2 f5 and that was it. I also had the alternative of Qc7-b7 which may have been better.
22.exf5 Rxe1+ 23.Nxe1 Bd4+ 24.Kh1 Qe8 25.Nf3 Bxc3 26.bxc3 Nxd5 27.Bb2 Ne3?! [27...gxf5 28.Qxf5 N7b6] 28.Qd3 c4! Well at least I think this is a very good move restricting the bishop and it comes in very useful later on.
29.Qd4 Nxf5 30.Qd5+?! [30.Qxc4+] 30...Kg7 31.Re1
Time is getting very tight around here.
31...Qg8 32.Qb7 Rd8?! [32...Qc8] 33.g4 Qf7
The only fighting move 34.Ng5?! [34.gxf5 Rb8 35.f6+! Kxf6 36.Qc7 Qd5 37.Qxd7 Qxf3+ 38.Kg1 Rb7 39.Qe6++- None of which I had seen during the game] 34...Rb8 35.Qg2?! Nh4! Making life difficult, in the spirit of the Benoni.
36.Qd2 Qf6 37.Re6?
I think this is a mistake. I was worried about [37.Ne6+ Kg8 38.Qxd6 Nf3 39.Re2] 37...Rxb2 The only move and I think black is ok now.
38.Qxb2 Qxf4 39.Re7+ Time was becoming very tight again as I had thought hard about the consequences of Rxb2.
39...Kg8 40.Qe2?! [40.Rg7+ Kh8 41.Rxh7+ Kg8 42.Rg7+ Kh8 is a draw and is what I expected.]
40...Qxg5 41.Qe6+ Kh8 42.Re8+ Kg7 I now had about 2 minutes left for all my remaining moves.
43.Qe7+?? losing to 43...Kh6 44.Qxg5+ Kxg5 45.Rd8 Ne5 46.Rxd6 Kxg4 47.Rd4+ Kh3 48.Re4 Ng4 49.Rf4 g5 oops! 50.Rf7 [50.Rf3+ Nxf3 stalemate] 50...Nxh2 Sean has not got a lot of time now. 51.Kg1 g4 52.Rxh7 g3 53.Rg7 N4f3+ 54.Kh1 Ng4 55.Rh7+ Nh4 56.Rf7 a5 at last I've noticed my a-pawn. 57.Kg1 a4 58.Rf1 a3 59.Ra1 Nf3+ 60.Kf1 g2+ 61.Ke2 g1Q 62.Rxg1 Nxg1+ 63.Kd2 a2 64.Kc2 a1Q 65.Kd2 Qb2+ 66.Kd1 Ne3+ with about 20 seconds to spare. 0–1

I was going to put some notes to the game too, but I don’t honestly think I can add much more to what Ian has already given us. I thought that 34 Ng5 was virtually forcing resignation when in fact just taking the Knight – the very justification for my previous few moves – should have won the game. I spotted the stalemate possibility on move 50 but my objectivity had gone by then and after using up a lot of time talking myself out of forcing the half-point split I decided to risk everything. I still thought the Rook would break free and cause mass destruction in the time-dash but I was wrong.

The game certainly had an epic feel to it, in true Benoni fashion. Well played, Mr. Elcoate! You played fantastically well.

So there you have it! The story of how I was caught up in the festive spirit a little too early this year. Philanthropist? Me? No chance – you know I never touch a drop!

Wednesday, 1 October 2003

The Sean Marsh Chess Column
Column 25
October 2003

New Season Changes

Dear Readers,

There is one particular subject that people have been eager to discuss over the last month or so. So here is the definitive account, which will hopefully explain most of what you want to know….
Gender Dysphoria.

Gender Dysphoria is a condition in which the person in question believes themselves to be inhabiting the wrong kind of body. Specifically, in the case of Denise Michelle Mosse, the person is a woman trapped inside the body of a man.

‘Denise Michelle Mosse?’ I hear you ask. Who is that? Well, that is the new name of the chess player formerly known as Michael Mossom. Mike recently ‘came out’ in a famous match for Redcar against Stokesley and has subsequently appeared only as a woman. Michael Mossom no longer exists and I have seen the deed poll to prove it. The intention is to go for the big operation sometime next year. Things will never be the same again.

The impression – of seeing someone you’ve known for many years suddenly appearing as someone else – is really very strange but I have to say that the local chess community as a whole has reacted in a very positive and supporting way. Denise asked me to write this definitive column to bring the whole story out in the open and speed up the sharing of the information.

There are plenty of jokes to be made, of course, but they have just about run their course now. (Just to get them out of the system, don’t bother posting on the forum the following:

‘How many Dykes play for Redcar these days?’

‘I see Mike’s got some new openings this season’

'When he said he felt like a woman, I thought he meant he was off out on the pull’

…there, done and dusted, no need to bother with those.)

There are many names used to describe a whole plethora of ‘conditions’ and behaviour patterns. I’m not an expert – I doubt many readers are – but here are a few basic definitions which should help to understand the particular case of Miss Mosse.

Someone who displays characteristics associated with both genders. I.e. Their birth gender and its opposite.

Short form for Cross-Dresser

Someone who derives satisfaction from dressing in clothing normally reserved for the opposite gender.

Drag is a theatrical term to describe cross-dressing on stage. The term is generally associated with the more flamboyant examples of cross-dressing.

A condition where the person displays physical characteristics of both genders (usually genitalia) This can be congenital (at birth) or through sexual reassignment surgery (SRS)

Sexual Reassignment Surgery. Cosmetic Surgery that constructs genitalia of the opposite sex.

Someone who wishes to "cross over" to the other gender.Based on today's technology, this is a permanent choice.

Latin term for cross-dresser. Trans=Cross, Vestes=Clothes


Of course, I’m sure there are one or two local yokels with secrets of their own they would rather keep from the general public and not everyone can be as brave as Mike was and Denise is. Yes indeed, what goes on down at The Nonce and Fiddle during wild birthday parties is probably best kept quiet….

So there you go. There is an old saying, which I’ve just made up, that says, ‘Don’t paint yourself into a corner unless you are sure that’s where you want to be.’ It will not be easy putting the butterfly back into the chrysalis following a change of mind. Denise has taken a huge step and not everybody will be as sympathetic as the majority of our local chess community. There’ll always be some who will try and break the butterfly on the wheel.

Meanwhile, back at the chess board, here’s the first win by the new lady...

Elmwood V Redcar 15/10/03
Mosse,D - Myers,B

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 c5 5.dxc5 Qa5 6.e5 dxe5 7.fxe5 Ne4 8.Qd4 Nxc5 9.b4 Ne6 10.Bb5+ Nc6 11.Qc4 Qc7 12.Nd5 Qxe5+ 13.Ne2 Bd7 14.0-0 Rc8 15.Bf4 Nxf4 16.Nexf4 Nd4 17.Qxc8# 1-0

And finally….

The county individual championship has two very notable absentees. British Veterans’ Champion Norman Stephenson is taking a little break from the competition but plans to be back in good time for the 2009-2010 season. The reason for this comeback date? Norman first won the title in the 1959-60 season and has also been victorious in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. He needs to win the title anytime between the 2009-2010 and 2019-2020 seasons to have been a champion with a foot in seven consecutive decades. I would say that the achievement is well within his grasp. He has already broken enough records but the ‘seven decades’ one would be absolutely phenomenal.

Multi-title winner and co-defending champion David Wise has had to withdraw from the tournament before the start of the first round due to family reasons.

Stop press – your correspondent made sure the tournament started in an interesting way with a first round loss – with White – to Ian Elcoate!*

The A division could be an excellent and exciting five-horse race, with champions Elmwood, Middlesbrough Rooks, Middlesbrough Wasps, Peterlee and Redcar all expecting to feature heavily at the top of the table. With respect to Stokesley, Athenaeum and Synthonia, survival in the A division would be a great achievement. A complete SAS survival would be a major shock.

The Chess Links Project has now been granted its very own web pages, thanks to top man Steve Henderson. Visit for full details.

Monday, 1 September 2003

Archive: UNCUT! 24

The Sean Marsh Chess Column
Column 24
September 2003

The Chess Links Project

It’s been months in the planning and now it’s actually a reality.

The Links Primary School and Teesside High have won a grant of £22,000 to develop a partnership between the two schools, with chess as the link. The grant covers a two-year period and has been awarded by the Department for Education and Skills as part of their ‘Building Bridges’ award scheme.

Stated aims of the project include:

· Teaching every single child in both schools the basics of chess and creating a suitable environment in which they can develop their skills

· The organization of regular inter-school tournaments and matches, including the official Cleveland Junior Chess Championships

· E-mail chess matches between schools and an ongoing match between The Links and Teesside High in which every child has the opportunity to vote for the next move in the game

· Regular coaching sessions for all strengths of player

· Inviting several Grandmasters to the schools to provide further coaching and inspiration

The project moved into full swing at the start of the Autumn term and great steps forward have already been taken. We have been able to buy lots of new chess sets and other equipment which is already being used throughout the two schools and extra coaching sessions are being run.

Brand new inter-school championships will feature not only The Links and Teesside High, but also several more local schools.

The first Grandmaster visit is already scheduled. GM Keith Arkell, one of the country’s top players, will be coming to Eaglescliffe for special events on the weekend of 29-30 November. Full details to follow – just make a note in your diaries now if you are interested in taking part.

Looking ahead to next term, we have the first of the new Cleveland Junior Chess Championships, which will take place on February 28th at Teesside High.

The Chess Links Project will provide astounding and original opportunities for our local chess juniors. Stay tuned for further developments - and there will be plenty of those over the next two years.

9th Yarm Chess Championship

The latest tournament in this famous series took place on Saturday 20th September at Yarm School and was well attended, with approximately 100 children competing. There were two sections and both featured school teams of four players.

The Primary Section featured 22 teams. Yarm A dominated and deservedly took first place with 29.5 points after the eight rounds.

The battle for the other places was much tougher. Whale Hill A showed excellent fighting qualities throughout the critical rounds to hold second place with a magnificent score of 22.5 points. Whinfield A, Yarm B and Yarm C all shared third place with 19.5.

The remaining scores were:

17.5: Red Rose A
17: The Links
16.5: Meadowside, Yarm F
16: Yarm D
15.5: Red Rose B, Teesside High A
15: Whinfield C
14.5: Whale Hill B, Whale Hill C, Whinfield B
14: Whinfield D, Teesside High B
13.5: Yarm E
12.5: Yarm G
11: Yarm H
6.5: Yarm I

The Secondary Section was a close run two-horse race between Yarm and Hartlepool Juniors. Both teams finished on 10 points after five rounds but Hartlepool Juniors went on to record a famous victory with a 3-1 result in the Blitz play-off. This is the first time that Hartlepool have won the championship and is a timely reward for their fine efforts over the years.

Friday, 1 August 2003

Archive: UNCUT! 23

The Sean Marsh Chess Column
Column 23
August 2003

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Dear Readers,

Chess often goes nap over the Summer months, but this time there has been plenty going on at all levels. Recent events have proved to be a bit of a mixed bag, hence the title….

The Good

Norman Stephenson – British Champion!

For a few years now, Norman has been ‘threatening’ to enter the Senior Championship. I think we all knew he was capable of winning it, and he has proved us all right!

He shared first place with David Anderton and George Dickson on 5/7 (21 played). Norman was unbeaten; he won three games and drew the rest.Unusually, his three wins all came from the Black pieces (he scores well with both colours but is normally a particularly ‘big hitter’ with White).

Here’s a couple of snippets from the champion’s games.

Norman Stephenson v J. Toothill, J
Round 4

White looks to be on the verge of victory in the following position. The Black Knight is cut off behind enemy lines and seems to be about to die for no compensation. However, Black was able to muddy the waters with the following sequence….

24...Qc7 25.Bxd3 Qxc3 26.Bxf5 Qxa1 27.Qd2 g6 28.Bd7 …and in this unclear position, the players agreed to a draw ½–½ White still appears to stand better, but perhaps the change in circumstances, which saw the position pass from ‘easy win’ to ‘murky complications’, influenced the decision.

David Anderton v Norman Stephenson

This is a critical encounter from round 5. Black is in real trouble and faces the sort of problems all exponents of the Dutch Defence will be familiar with. Yes, the Dutch is a good fighting opening, but there are times when it just seems to go horribly wrong, all on its own. Black’s King position resembles Custer’s Last Stand. The White Bishops are beautifully active and the heavy pieces are in very strong positions. Yet there are always chances….

Just a few moves later, White played Bd3-c4, reaching this position, and Norman must have breathed a huge sigh of relief as he played Bc8!, trapping the White Queen, and winning the game.

Following this amazing reversal of fortune, Norman coasted to his final tally with a couple of speedy draws but David Anderton was able to catch him up with two wins from his last two games.

Well done, Norman! Now you’ve got to set your sites on retaining the title at next year’s championship!

It has to be said that the internet coverage of this year’s British Championship was woefully inadequate. Only the top four boards of the main section had (very) occasional updates and the rest of the games merely had the results up by the next morning. Several days later, the game scores of were finally posted for download. I’m not doubting that the people in charge worked very hard to get even that amount of information posted, but for the national championship I think we have every right to expect something more comprehensive.


From the postbag….

‘Dear Sean,

I really can’t face going back to school in September. Ever since chess club last term, when I won the tournament following a dubious ruling, I have the feeling that everyone hates me. The teachers hate me, the kids hate me, the dinner ladies hate me and the cleaners hate me. Oh, I don’t want to go back to school! What can I do?’

Mike Hunt
(School address withheld)

Sorry Mike, you’ll have to go back to school. After all, you’re the Headmaster!

The Bad

The following is quoted from the BCM website, as part of a tribute to the great Grandmaster of chess history. Visit for the full tribute.

† Ken Whyld (1926-2003)
"What terrible news about Ken Whyld. I first met him in the pressroom at the London Candidates Matches (Karpov-Yusupov and Speelman Timman) and then several times at big London-based matches after that. Being new to such behind the scenes press activity, I was a bit dazed to be in such tremendous chess company but Ken made a special effort to befriend me and put me at ease. At the subsequent events he was always very friendly and always greeted me warmly. Shortly after our first couple of meetings, he wrote to me with some information about two old tournaments based in Redcar, close to where live. He turned over his entire findings to me and I was able to collate them and produce a bulletin for our local players. I managed to turn up a 'new' newspaper reference to the tournament in one of our county library archives, which Ken was delighted with. Since then, we kept in touch through many letters and e-mails, the most recent of which was just a couple of weeks ago. He always answered promptly and very instructively. Ken's modesty kept his name very low-profile, often tucked away in the small print of books to which he made massive contributions. There is no doubt that the loss of this perfect gentleman and grandmaster of chess history will leave a huge gap in the lives of his friends and in chess itself. He was a wonderful and irreplaceable man. I can't believe he's gone." Sean Marsh, Yarm

The Ugly

According to a shining wit in the forum of this very site, this article should be renamed ‘I am great feature’.

Well, apart from the fact that this suggested title displays a grasp of grammar not seen since JFK’s infamous ‘I am a jelly doughnut’ speech, it does seem to miss a rather fundamental point of the column. It is not now, and has never been intended to be, the mouthpiece of the Cleveland Chess Association, the British Chess Federation or anyone else. It is, always has been and always will be, my own personal thoughts on whatever takes my fancy.

So what was the point of the suggestion, I wonder?

Despite the best efforts of some, the forum has once again descended into a three-handed game of attention seeking. This can take many forms, such as…

· Claiming ‘I won’t be back’ - but returning more times than The Terminator.

· Making outrageous claims and statements and having the cheek to add names of respectable chess players as corroboration.

· Turning a simple announcement into a battle of wits to see who can squeeze the last drop of attention from a particular thread.

· Making sure the forum is not a fit place to post in and then appearing bemused and amazed that nobody posts there any more.

…and many more, of course. It’s hard to tell who’s ‘Braindead’ and who’s not. The forum once again makes us the laughing stock of the chess world. Have you ever tried entering a debate in the forum? You soon find out that some play by one set of ‘rules’ and expect others to play by another set altogether.

I know for a fact that I am not the only local player who is fed up with the juvenile rantings of the forum. Lines have been crossed, and bridges have been burned, far too often. This should end now. To make the forum workable and enjoyable, the membership needs to be critically reviewed and certain threads need to be deleted. As it stands at the moment, local chess is being brought into disrepute.

It is said that if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters and an infinite amount of time, they will, at some point, come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Give the thickest chimp character from the old PG Tips adverts a couple of minutes with a blunt pencil and no access to a dictionary and you will no doubt end up with something resembling the majority of quotes from the forum. Or at least as unintentionally hilarious. Yes, if you thought the classic line ‘Can you ride tandem?’ was one of the funniest things you’ve ever heard, you really should check out the forum.

And finally…..

Here’s a curious position from my last round game at the Middlesbrough Congress.
Sean Marsh v Chris Ross

White is winning, and indeed Black resigned at this point, but the funny thing is that the main threat is Bxf8, capturing a Knight which does not defend any of the key squares and has no remotely good move for itself. Yet it’s demise is crucial in the variation 29 … a5 30 Bxf8 Rxf8 31 e7 Rg8 32 e8=Q! when the overloaded state of the Black Queen ensures the loss of a Rook. I don’t think I’ve ever known the threatened capture of such a useless piece to carry such weight.

Tuesday, 1 July 2003

Archive: UNCUT! 22

The Sean Marsh Chess Column
Column 22
July 2003

Dear Readers,

It’s been a while since the last UNCUT! column, due to various reasons. Meanwhile, the old postbag has been filling up and it’s time to dig deep and answer a few letters…

Starting with this one…

Dear Sean,
I never know what the correct etiquette regarding going away to weekend chess tournaments. Does one take the wife, or does one go alone?
Yours sincerely,
Arthur Littlehampton

Judging by the picture you sent, I think you should take her with you. Looking like she does, it’s preferable to kissing her goodbye.

Dear Sean,
I’m a great fan of yours and think you are fab. Is it true that you completed a domestic clean sweep this year, with success in the county championship, club championship and being part of the team that completed the league and cup double? If so, why not share a few interesting snippets from your games?
Best Wishes,
Ward 20,
St. Luke’s Hospital,

Well that’s not a bad idea! Here’s a little bit from each of the four events……

Marsh,S - Spence,D
Elmwood v M'bro Rooks, 09.05.2003

This was the crunch match of the season. The Rooks held the advantage on board points and could retain the title with a drawn match. Nothing but a match victory would do for Elmwood. I think the match lived up to expectations and featured several very exciting games. A key encounter saw John Garnett gain revenge for a bad loss earlier in the season. Meanwhile, on board one, this was happening.

Black is trying to win key squares and looking to slam the Knight into d3. However, White has an attack which could well feature both Bishops, both Rooks, Queen and Knight! Black was also running very short of time. 20.Qg3 Rfe8 21.Ne2 Threatening Rxf6, unleashing the dark-squared Bishop and rerouting the Knight to d4. 21...Kh8 22.Nd4 Qd8 Black's flag was already hanging and he is far from move 36! 23.Bg5 Nd3 24.Re2 Re5 25.Bxf6 gxf6 26.Nc6 Qe8

27.Qf3 I thought this better than just coldly taking the exchange. Black's whole position is on the point of collapse. 27...Rg5 28.Qxf6+ Rg7 29.Re3 Ne5 30.Rg3 Ng4 ...and seeing that this allows the simple 31 Rxg4, Black resigned and Elmwood took a big step to taking the title. This gave us a 2.5–0.5 advantage with three still playing. 1–0

Winning the league for the third time is a good achievement for Elmwood but the success must be built on. The target now is to retain the title for the first time. The Rooks have always made retaining the title look easy. Elmwood must emulate that to prove a shift in the balance of local power.

Myers,B - Marsh,S
Elmwood Ch. 2003 (5), 08.05.2003
Things have not turned out well for White and it is not surprising that Black can storm the enemy King by direct tactical means.
19...e3 20.fxe3 Nxe3 21.Qd3 Rxd4! 0–1 A Knight fork crashes in on c2 if the Rook is taken and declining with 22 Qc3 allows 22 Qh4+ 23 g3 Rxg3 24 Nxg3 Qxg3 mate.

Marsh,S - Simpson,J
KO Cup Semi-Final, Elmwood v Peterlee, 14.04.2003
We always have good battles with Peterlee. For this match they were strengthened by the addition of Mike Fenton.

14.Bb1 Here rather than c2 for two reasons; firstly, the Ra1 can swing across to the centre along the uncluttered second rank, and secondly the Queen can quickly slip to c2 with instant threats in the some lines. 14...Bd7 15.Nf5 Bxf5 After playing Nf5 I got up to take some food from the buffet. I glanced round and saw that Jim was already capturing the Knight. So fast, in fact, that my first reaction was that I must have made a blunder but I kept a straight face on my return to the board. Although the Knight was troublesome, I think it's a definite mistake to leave White with two bishops v two Knights. Black is far from a complete blockade of the position - once White pushes the e-pawn both Bishops will be fierce. 16.Bxf5 a6 17.Ra2 Qc7 18.Qe1 Nc4 19.Re2 Qb6 20.Kh1 Nd6 21.Bc2 Here rather than b1 - for two reasons! The Bishop might get a jab in at a4 and on c2 it is protected. 21...Rac8 22.e4 The thematic break. Jim was under the impression that he'd stopped it...
22...dxe4 23.fxe4 Nc4 24.e5 Ng4 25.Qh4 No need for 25 Bf5, winning the exchange, as Black's King is the real target. 25...Nh6 26.Qe4 Qg6 27.Qxb7 Qh5 28.Bxh6 gxh6 29.g4
Curtains! Either the Queen dies or it's mate. Peterlee board 2, Colin Walton, said afterwards that the Bishops were so strong that he was worried they were going to start playing on his board too! This game made the score 2½–½ to us, with two playing. The match ended up 2½–2½ but we went through to the final on board count. 1–0

Taylor,B - Marsh,S
County Ch. 2002-3 (2), 14.11.2002
Lots of active pieces, so let the good times roll!
16 Qg3! 17.Kh1 Bxf2 18.Rxf2 Qxf2 19.Bxh7+ Kh8 20.Ng5 Nf4 21.Qg4 Nxe5 22.Bd4 Nxg4 0–1
The Qg3 idea is not new.

I remembered it from a famous Korchnoy game
Tatai,S – Korchnoy V
Beersheba Beersheba (6), 1978
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Bd3 c5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Qe2+ Be7 7.dxc5 Nf6 8.h3 0–0 9.0–0 Bxc5 10.c3 Re8 11.Qc2 Qd6 12. Nbd2
Qg3! 13.Bf5 Re2 14.Nd4 Nxd4 0–1

I first played in the county championship in 1983 and have occupied second place more times than any player in recorded history. This time I shared first place with David Wise. It also took me 20 years to win the Redcar Congress (1980-2000). So if I say I’m going to cut the lawn, trim the hedges or complete my tax return, don’t forget - I might be slow but I get there in the end.

Dear Sean,
I am intrigued by the concentration required for competitive chess. What goes through a player’s mind during tough chess battles? Does anything intrude, or is it purely the current game that occupies the thoughts?
Mrs. Trills,
Seaview Guest House,

Well Mrs. Trills, you’d be amazed at the things that are going on in a player’s mind during a game of chess. When one is losing, the main thoughts concern the noise in the room, the annoyance of mobile ‘phones and the ugliness of the opponent. In fact, these things are common to all chess clubs and tournaments.

However, when one is winning, it’s more likely to be something like this….

''Chantilly lace and a pretty faceAnd a pony tail a hangin' downThat wiggle in the walk And giggle in the talk Makes the world go round There ain't nothin in the worldLike a big eyed girlThat makes me act so funny Make me spend my money Make me feel real loose like a long necked goose Like a - ohhhhhhhh baby that's what I like!''

Dear Sean,
Now that you have conquered the local chess scene, will you retire like Bobby or will you create new goals, further afield?
Yours in peace,
The Dalai Lama,

There’s no cause for a-lama! I can never retire from chess. I have plans to conquer the universe, but only with a little help from my friends!

That’s all for now folks!
And don’t forget – if you’ve enjoyed this column just half as much as I have, then I must have enjoyed it twice as much as you!

Tuesday, 1 April 2003

Archive: UNCUT! 21

The Sean Marsh Chess Column


Column 21

April 2003

‘Knocking at the door’

Dear Readers,

It is not long ago that in this very column I warned you all of the rapid rise of two of our local juniors. For those of you who didn’t go out and bag a couple of wins against the juniors in question when you had the chance, I’m afraid to say you may have left it too late. For the Eggleston twins, Thomas and David, are now getting far too strong to trifle with.

Their list of victims grows by the tournament. Here’s a few examples of play from the recent Durham Congress. Thomas and David shared first place, ahead of a strong field. It took me 20 years, from my first weekend congress, to win an Open tournament. The Eggleston’s made it look easy at Durham.

In the first round, they drew with Jimmy Simpson and Bret Addison. In the second round they switched opponents and had to take on the two greats with the Black pieces....

Bret Addison - Thomas Eggleston

1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bf4 0–0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.c5 Ne4 8.Rc1 g5
(Double edged! Thomas hunts the Bishop and soon sets up a delayed Stonewall system) 9.Nxe4 gxf4 10.Nc3 fxe3 11.fxe3 f5 12.Be2 c6 13.b4 Bf6 14.0–0 Rf7 15.Ne1 Bg5 16.Rf3 Rg7 17.Nd3 Qe7 18.Nf4 Nf6 19.Rb1 Ng4 20.Qd2 e5 21.dxe5 Qxe5 22.h3 (This doesn’t look like a typical Bret position) 22 ... Nxe3 23.Qxe3 Qxe3+ 24.Rxe3 Bxf4 25.Re8+ Kf7 26.Bh5+ Kf6 27.Ne2 Be5 (Black has the extra pawn but must suffer a little discomfort on the back rank.) 28.Rf8+ Kg5 29.Bf3 a6 30.Re1 Rb8 31.Re8 Kf6 32.Nc1 Bg3 33.Rf8+ Rf7 34.Ree8 Rxf8 35.Rxf8+ Kg7 36.Re8 Kf7 37.Bh5+ Kf6 38.Rf8+ Kg7 39.Rf7+ Kh6 40.Bf3 Kg6 41.Re7 Bh4 42.Re8 Kf6 43.Ne2 Be1 44.a3 Bd2 (Black is clearly winning now as White’s Queenside pawns canot be maintained.) 45.Kf1 a5 46.bxa5 Bxa5 47.Nf4 b6 48.cxb6 Ba6+ 0–1

Jim Simpson - David Eggleston

1.Nf3 f5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e3 (The openings are not the strongest part of Jim’s game; here he goes into a line that certainly shouldn’t trouble Black’s Leningrad Dutch too much. However, in the middlegame Jim can play as strong as a master. He enjoys the struggle, the creation of plans and the battle of wills.) 5 ... d6 6.d5 0–0 7.Qc2 Na6 8.Be2 e5 (Black’s thematic break in this defence.) 9.dxe6 Nc5 10.Nd4 Nxe6 11.Nxe6 Bxe6 12.0–0 c6 13.Bd2 Qe7 14.Rad1 Ng4 15.h3 Ne5 16.b3 Rad8 17.f4 Nd7 18.Bf3 Nf6 19.Bc1 Rfe8 20.Rfe1 Qf7 21.e4 fxe4 22.Nxe4 Nxe4 23.Bxe4 (White can now target the potentially weak d6 pawn) d5 24.cxd5 cxd5 (David has accepted an isolated Queen’s pawn, which can be a weakness if it can be restrained, blockaded and finally destroyed. However, in this game it goes on to win the day.) 25.Bf3 d4 (here it comes...) 26.Be4 Rc8 27.Qf2 Bf5 28.Bxf5 Rxe1+ 29.Rxe1 Qxf5 30.Qe2 d3 (Slowly but surely...) 31.Qf3 Bc3 32.Rd1 Rd8 33.Bd2 Qc5+ 34.Kh2 Bxd2 35.Rxd2 Qd4 36.Qf1 Qe3 37.Rd1 d2 (Almost there...) 38.Qc4+ Kh8 39.Qb4 b6 40.Kh1 a5 41.Qc4 Qe1+ 42.Kh2 Qxd1 43.Qc3+ Kg8 0–1

The final round clash between the twins took a well known route to a quick draw, safe in the knowledge that nobody else could catch them up as they shared first place with 4/5. A magnificent achievement! We can look forward to seeing some more great Eggleston action at the British Championship. One has already qualified and I’d be very surprised if the other doesn’t manage to before the Summer!

Meanwhile, for us old has-beens, here’s a few fitting lines from The Master....

Age calls the tune,

Youth’s over soon,

That is the natural law.

There’s a Younger Generation,

Knock knock knocking at the door.

Why sit and fret?

Vainly regret

Things that have gone before?

There’s a Younger Generation

Knock knock knocking at the door.

I’ve had my fun,

All that is done,

Why should I sigh for more?

There’s a Younger Generation

Knock knock knocking at the door

Saturday, 1 February 2003

Archive: UNCUT! 20

The Sean Marsh Chess Column

Column 20
February 2003

Dear Readers...

it is a great pity that the Redcar Chess Congress did not go ahead this year (for the first time in 23 years). There were various problems which led to it being pulled form the schedule, most of which can hopefully be solved by next year. It will be a great shame if the series dies altogether and a speedy return is absolutely essential. Congresses that die tend never to return. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

Luckily for local chess, Graham Marshall, the indefatigable chess impresario, agreed at short notice to create yet another Hartlepool event. Under the name of The Cleveland Congress and held at the Masonic Hall, Hartlepool, the new event was a great success.

The Open was particularly strong, perhaps due to there being a qualification place for this year’s British Championship up for grabs. Even better than that, the place came with a paid entry fee for the Championship - a saving of around £155!

Here is a summary of the scores and a couple of games from the event. My thanks go to Lara Barnes and Clive Waters for supplying the official scores and games. In my opinion, given all the coaching, bulletin writing, Arbiting, grading and organising they do, I think Clive and Lara are two of the most important figures in North East chess. Apart from all the things mentioned
above, they are both very creative players and tough tournament competitors. I speak from many personal experiences!

Cleveland Congress
BCF Arbiter - Lara Barnes

1st= Robert Shaw, Bret Addison(u-21) 4/5
3rd= David Eggleston (junior), Colin Walton 3.5/5
5th= Sean Marsh, Martin Mitchell, Chris Ross (Disabled), Thomas Eggleston (Junior), Jonathan Hawkins (junior), Michael Round 3/5

1st Ian Elcoate (Middlesborough) 4.5/5
2nd= Jinwoo Song (Kings Head), Darren Laws (Tynemouth) 4/5

1st= David Appleyard (Teesside), Peter Smith (Bishop Aukland) 4.5/5
3rd Stan Hawes(South Shields) 4/5
4th David Ross[Athenaeum], Nick Webb[Elmwood] (Junior u-14), John Reddington, Fred Stobbart, Keith Burrett, 3.5/5
Vicky Crompton (Female, junior u-11) 3/5

1st Matthew Hammond [Hartlepool](Junior) 8.5/10
2nd= Bill McAlpine[Hartlepool], Thomas Mavin[Darlington] (junior, u-11) 6/10

Meanwhile, in honour of the Redcar Congress series, let’s tumble back through time to discover more about...

Redcar’s ‘unknown’ Chess Tournaments
1865 & 1866

Some years ago, I received a letter from chess historian Ken Whyld, asking if I could offer any information towards the completion of the cross-table for the second Redcar Congress - the one in 1866! I doubt if anyone in our county was even aware of there being two congresses in Redcar so long ago, but being very interested in the historical side of chess I was instantly intrigued. Ken had managed to construct the table for the first congress (1865) and most of the second from local papers and chess magazines, but there were still question marks over three games.

Further correspondence followed and Ken sent his entire findings on the congresses to me. Taking up the baton, I contacted all the relevant county libraries and the county archivist to see if there were other local newspapers of the time or any other archive material from which we could add the final piece to the jigsaw.

Meanwhile, I dug around in a large number of books for details of the participants, learning a great deal about players of which I had hitherto only the slightest knowledge. The chess library of local chess enthusiast Mike Mossom was of particular use in tracing some old references. The more I read, the more I realised how steeped in history the whole thing was and how strong the top players in the second congress really were.

In a parallel to today’s chess world, there existed a rivalry between associations. The British Chess Association (‘BCA’) had been formed in 1855 to try and co-ordinate chess within Britain but like any new thing it met with opposition - this time by none other than England’s most famous player, Howard Staunton. There were also those who thought the BCA was biased in favour of professional players, and also too London based. Rev. Arthur B. Skipworth was one of the biggest objectors but unlike many people he was also prepared to do something about it. He was one of the main organisers behind the 1st Redcar tournament, September 14-16 1865. It has also been labelled, retrospectively, the 1st Counties’ Chess Association tournament.

The Reverend Arthur Bolland Skipworth was the strongest player of the nine in the tournament, which was held at the Royal Hotel, Redcar in a room facing the beach. It was apparently quite an informal tournament. The newspaper ‘Middlesbrough Weekly News and Cleveland Advertiser’ of September 22 1865 commented on the ‘...lack of rules (which) caused various minor points to be left unsettled.’ It is quite explicit in the reporting of results, which led to Ken being able to reconstruct the cross-table.

S G B L D T B B B Total
A.B. Skipworth R 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
W. Grimshaw 0 E 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 1 6.5
Dr. G. Bodington 0 0 D 0.5 1 1 1 1 1 5.5
Rev. G.G. Lynn 0 0 0.5 C 1 1 1 1 1 5.5
Dr. P.M. Deas 0 0 0 0 A ? 1 ? 1 2
W.C. Trevor 0 0 0 0 ? R 1 1 ? 2
Rev. Beckett 0 0 0 0 0 0 X ? 1 1
Dr. Bennett 0 0.5 0 0 ? 0 ? ‘6 ? 0.5
Rev. R.R.W.Batty 0 0 0 0 0 ? 0 ? 5 0

From the way the paper reports the scores, it seems very likely that the games with a question mark in the table were not actually played, which would fit in with it being rather an informal affair. There were some fine prizes on offer, though and the influence of Staunton was very noticeable. Skipworth took home a ‘handsome set of Staunton chessmen’ and Grimshaw won a smaller set of pieces. Dr Bodington and Rev. G.G. Lynn ‘divided the third prize, a set of Staunton’s books on chess.’

The 2nd Redcar tournament is considered much more important, at least from the point of view of the strength of the players. Howard Staunton was there in person, but not to play in the tournament. It was hoped that Adolf Anderssen and Wilhelm Steinitz would attend, but they were busy playing their match which had suffered a delayed start. Steinitz rather surprisingly won the match 8-6 and claimed to be the strongest player in the world, although the first official World Championship match wasn’t until 1886, when Steinitz defeated Zukertort.

‘Neither... were present, as expected, but as some slight consolation Mr. Staunton handed round photographs of the "veteran" and his "gallant little foe," taken during their great match.’
Middlesbrough Weekly News and Cleveland Advertiser, August 17 1866.

This time the congress was in four sections. ‘Class 1’ was open to all British amateurs on becoming members of the association, with the first prize being £12-12s. Rev. Skipworth was the only one of the 1865 participants to enter this section, but he ended up being so busy with the organisational side of things that he ended up withdrawing from the tournament. The same was also true of Dr. Bennett, who had entered ‘Class 11’. As the newspaper of the time said:
‘Great praise is due to the Rev. A.B. Skipworth and Dr. Bennett, for their efficient management of the meeting, and it is to be regretted that their indefatigable exertions placed both gentlemen under the necessity of withdrawing from the tournament.’

V T W O W W S S Total
Cecil V. De Vere R 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 6
Edmund Thorold 1 E 1 0 0 1 1 1 5
John Wisker 0 0 D 1 1 1 1 5
Rev. John Owen 0 1 0 C 1 1 1 1 5
Dr. Wilson 0 1 0 0 A ? ? 1 3
Rev. William Wayte 0 0 0 0 ? R ? 1 2
Rev. David M. Salter 0 0 0 0 ? ? ‘6 1 2
Arthur B. Skipworth 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0

The question marked results cannot be worked out from the newspaper reports, but the correct totals for the players can. Ken Whyld suggests the results could be:

Dr. Wilson X 1 0
Rev. Wayte 0 X 1
Rev. Salter 1 0 X

...or a similar arrangement of wins and losses. It is also possible that all the games of the mini-table were drawn, which would also give the correct totals.

Apparently Steinitz was to have given a blindfold simultaneous display, which Rev. Wayte carried out instead. After five hours, he had won three (against Fieldsend, Beckett and Mrs Seaton) and drawn two (Morley and Semple) of the five games.

Staunton had played several casual games throughout the week of the tournament - giving Rook odds and winning every time. The final event of the chess meeting was a consultation game featuring Staunton & Salter v Owen & Skipworth, which was drawn after six hours’ play.

A report in Chess World, possibly written by Staunton himself, contains several negative comments on the meeting.
‘The prizes were small, and, if we are rightly informed, were not all given. The excursions promised to places of interest in the neighbourhood, consisted of a trip to Saltburn, where everybody paid for himself, and could hardly get anything worth having even upon those independent terms.’

‘The shortcomings in question we are willing to believe the result of inexperience on the part of the Managing Committee, and we are quite sure they will not occur at any future Meeting of the Association.’

Three games have been traced from the 1866 tournament. The scores are taken from the magazine Chess World (September 1866) and some of the original (often quaint!) comments are also quoted here. The games are Thorold v Owen, Thorold v Wilson and Owen v De Vere.

Thorold v Owen
Spanish Game

1 e4 e5 (Owen refrains from his own defence, 1 ... b6!) 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Be7 5 0-0 Nf6 6 d4 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 Re1 0-0 9 h3 Bb7 10 c3 Na5 (10 ... Re8 would give a Flohr-Zaitsev variation, which was one of the major battle grounds of the Kasparov v Karpov World Championship matches, over 120 years after this game was played!. 10 ... Na5 leads into the Chigorin variation, with Black striking quickly at the centre with ... c5.) 11 Bc2 Nd7 (One of Fischer’s most famous games, played against Stein at the 1967 Interzonal, continued here with 11 ... Nc4. Fischer won brilliantly.) 12 a4 c5 13 axb5 axb5 14 d5 c4 15 Be3 Ba6 16 Nbd2 Qc7 17 Nh2 (White is re-routing his pieces to head for the traditional Kingside attack. Black prepares a demolition job on the White centre.) 17 ... Bb7 18 Ndf1 f5 19 f4 exf4 20 Bxf4 fxe4 21 Rxe4 Nf6 22 Rd4 Qc5 23 Ne3 Nb3 24 Rxa8 Rxa8 25 Bxb3 cxb3 26 Nhg4 Ra4 (As The Chess World puts it: ‘The game is now extremely critical for both parties, and demands the nicest play.’) 27 Nf5 Nxd5 28 Qxb3 (An amusing brace of pins. White threatens 29 Nxe7+) 28 ... Kf8 29 Nxe7 Kxe7 30 Be3 Nxe3 31 Nxe3 Rxd4 32 cxd4 Qxd4 33 Kh1 Be4! (Black is a sound pawn up and this very strong move eliminates a lot of White’s hopes. For example, 34 Nc2 fails simply to 34 ... Qd1+ and 34 Ng4 to ... Qd3! forcing off the Queens due to the threat on h3. White tries his luck without the Queens but this sort of ending should be winning quite easily.) 34 Qc3 Qxc3 35 bxc3 d5 36 Kg1 Kd6 37 Kf2 Kc5 38 Ke2 d4 (Basic plan: create a passed pawn and Queen it.) 39 cxd4+ Kxd4 40 Kd2 b4 41 g3 b3 42 Nd1 h5 43 h4 Bf3 44 Nb2 Bd5 45 Nd3 Ke4 46 Ne1 Be6 (‘We should have preferred playing 46 ... Kf5 as a more expeditious and a more artistic mode of winning’ - The Chess World. Fair enough!) 47 Nd3 Kf3 48 Nf4 Bf7 49 Ne2 g5 0-1

Thorold v Wilson
King’s Gambit

It seems a little unfair that two of the three surviving games from the tournament are the only two Thorold lost. This one is the best of the three.
1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Nf3 g5 4 Bc4 Bg7 5 0-0 h6 6 c3 Nc6 7 d4 d6 8 g3 (A different plan to the more usual attack on the pawn chain by an early h4. Morphy often followed up an early c3 with Qb3, instantly attacking f7.) 8 ... g4 9 Nh4 f3 10 Be3?! (10 Nd2 is normal, with a sacrifice of one of the Knights on f3 looming. Thorold seems content with simply completing his development but it doesn’t answer the demands of the position.) 10 ... Nf6 11 Nd2 d5! (Black’s big equaliser in most open games.) 12 exd5 Nxd5 13 Re1 0-0 14 Bf2 Nce7 15 Qc2 c6 16 Qe4 Re8 17 Rad1 Bd7 18 Qd3 f5?! (Another pawn moves from the King’s defence, but Wilson wanted to keep the Knight out of e4. However, it still creates weaknesses and White’s chances improve over the next few moves. ) 19 Bb3 Kh7?! (‘This subjects Black to a little embarrassment. It is difficult, however, to suggest a perfectly safe move for him at the present juncture.’ - The Chess World.) 20 Nc4 Rf8 21 Ne5 (21 Nd6!? is suggested by The Chess World.) 21 ... h5 22 c4 Nf6 23 Nxd7 Nxd7
24 Rxe7?! (‘We question the soundness of this sacrifice. Would he not have won the pawn, equally, and without losing the exchange, by moving his Bishop to QB’s second?’ - The Chess World.) 24 ... Qxe7 25 Nxf5 Qe2 (‘Very well played, indeed’ - The Chess World. Black renders White’s intended crushing discovered checks harmless. Presumably this is what Thorold overlooked when sacrificing the exchange.) 26 Qb1 Kh8 27 Re1 Qd2 28 Nxg7 (‘Mr Thorold might have kept his enemy at arm’s length, at any rate for a time, by now playing the Rook to the seventh, a move which leads to many striking situations. For example: 28 Re7 Rxf5 29 Qxf5 Nf6 30 Bc2 and he may still defend himself, or: 28 ... Rae8 29 Rxg7 Rxf5 30 Rxd7 Re2 31 Qf1 etc. He may play, too, 30 Rh7+, but we have only space to indicate the variations; the student must work them out.’ - The Chess World.) 28 ... Kxg7 29 Re6 Nf6 30 d5 cxd5 31 cxd5 Rac8 (The threat of 32 ... Rc1+ kicks White back.) 32 Re1 Rfe8 33 Rd1 Qg5 34 d6 Re2 35 Bxa7 h4 (‘Mr Staunton, who witnessed the latter part of this game, suggested afterwards that Black should now have played 35 ...Rc5. A good move, certainly, but so also is 35 ... h4.’ - The Chess World) 36 Bf2 hxg3 37 hxg3 Qh6 38 Qf5 Rh8 0-1

Owen v De Vere
Spanish Game
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 d4 exd4 (This position usually comes about from the move order 5 d4 exd4 6 0-0 Be7 and is reckoned to be a riskless way for White to attempt for an edge. However, against accurate play from Black White can count on very little.) 7 e5 Ne4 8 Bf4?! (White has a choice between the wild 8 b4?! and the normal 8 Nxd4. The move in the game is rather insipid and gives Black very few problems.) 8 ... 0-0 9 Bxc6 dxc6 10 Nxd4 Bc5 (10 ... Nc5 and 11 ... Ne6 is another very sound way of continuing, and a common manoeuvre in this variation.) 11 c3 Be6 12 Nd2 Nxd2 13 Nxe6?! (As pointed out in The Chess World, 13 Qxd2 is an improvement. Black will already be counting on winning a pawn - and the game - after the move played.) 13... fxe6 14 Qxd2 Qxd2 15 Bxd2 Rad8! The White e5 pawn is very difficult to defend and Black heads straight for it.) 16 Bg5 Rd5 17 Rae1 Rf5 (Black has wasted no time in attacking the seriously weak pawn. The painful pin on the f2 pawn prevents a successful defence.) 18 Be3 Bxe3 19 Rxe3 Rfxe5 20 Rxe5 Rxe5 (White is a clear pawn down and now decides to swap off the Rooks to prevent Black from occupying the seventh rank. The question is, will Black’s doubled c-pawns make the winning process difficult?) 21 f4 Re2 22 Rf2 Re1+ 23 Rf1 Rxf1+ 24 Kxf1 Kf7 25 Ke2 Kf6 26 g4 e5 27 Kf3 c5 28 c4 exf4 29 Kxf4 g5+ 30 Ke4 c6 31 a4 b6 32 a5 (An interesting attempt to confuse the issue but nothing offers chances to save the game.) 32 ... bxa5 33 b3 Ke6 34 Ke3 Ke5 35 Kf3 Kd4 0-1

The second class of entry was: ‘ to North Yorkshire and Durham especially, but other amateurs were admitted by the consent of the Executive Committee.’ South Durham Herald.

The first prize was £10 and this was won by Rev. F.R. Drew, who won 10 games and lost none. It would appear that draws were not counted, as the South Durham Herald reports that: ‘...Mr. W. Grimshaw also took a good position in the contest, winning six games and playing a long game with the Rev. F.R. Drew, which resulted in a draw.’ Mr Grimshaw’s official score is recorded as +6, -2 which earned him sixth position out of 12 players.

Class 3 was: ‘Open to amateurs who have never made a study of the game, or have not frequently played with strong players.’ Rev. G.B. Morley won, with four wins and no losses. Class 4 was: ‘ to ladies who are members of the association.’ No scores are available - it is only known that Miss Thorold and Mrs Dixon were the competitors.

So there you have it - a bit of local chess history featuring some of the giants of 19th Century chess. If anyone stumble across any of the missing details, please drop me a line!

Coming next....
My own personal memories from all of the Redcar Congresses! You lucky people!!