Exeter Prevail

The demands of Devon's premier tournament, the Bremridge, were well illustrated by the team Exeter team, packed with high-graded players, which faced Newton Abbot last Saturday. All the games were hard-fought, but Newton Abbot eventually went down 1.5-4.5. On the positive side, Paul Brooks gained a solid draw against 188-graded Tim Paulden, while Trefor Thynne kept cool under pressure, before finishing strongly to beat Jos Haynes.

Great Evening with GM Keith

The long-awaited simultaneous display by GM Keith Arkell was a great success. Twenty members of Newton Abbot chess club enjoyed an evening pitting their skills against Keith's formidable talent, which due to Keith's warm and friendly personality provided a very memorable experience for all who took part.

Keith proved an outstanding opponent, and, despite many club members putting up a strong fight, he achieved the remarkable result of 18 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat. The sole victor was fast-improving junior Aarv Paul who held his nerve brilliantly, keeping his cool when Keith attacked, taking advantage of a tactic which won a piece, and calculating very well to win the resulting endgame.

Club secretary Trefor Thynne was unlucky not to win, gaining the advantage of a knight for 2 pawns, but Keith showed his endgame prowess by playing actively to simplify the position to one where Trefor had a bare knight and a draw was agreed.

Keith awarded prizes to the best games played against him. Aarv was the worthy winner of the junior prize, while Jacquie Barber-Lafon who was unfortunate not to gain a hard-fought draw was awarded the senior prize. Jacquie also organised welcome refreshments on a splendid night for the club.

The games played by Aarv and Trefor are available here.

Second Mamhead Victory

A long trip to Barnstaple was rewarded by a second victory for Newton Abbot in the DCCA Mamhead tournament, 2.5-1.5. It was a good day for the white pieces, with Alan Brusey and Paul Brooks recording wins on boards 1 and 3.

Vignesh Ramesh gained a solid draw on board 2, while Josh Blackmore, in the last game to finish, eventually succumbed to his opponent's attack. Games from the match can be found here.

Revenge on South Hams

Newton Abbot experienced the pain of defeat and the joy of victory in 2 recent matches against South Hams. The Abbots unexpectedly went down 3-1 in their premier division match, with only John Stephens able to record a victory.

Revenge of a sort came 2 days later in the Mamhead competition, where the result was an equally unexpected 3.5-0.5 victory, with wins for Alan Brusey, Josh Blackmore and Wilf Taylor and a draw for Trefor Thynne. Games from the Mamhead match can be accessed here.

Bishops top the Table

Newton Abbot Bishops went to the top of the Torbay League Premier Division with an away win at Teignmouth, 3-1. Alan Brusey, Josh Blackmore and Jason Cole all recorded victories while only captain Andrew Kinder went down to defeat. Josh has annotated his game from the match which can be viewed here.

Devon Junior Chess Championships

Nine Newton Abbot juniors took part in the recent Devon Junior Championships with outstanding results. Isaac Kennedy-Bruyneels came first with 5.5/6, while Vignesh Ramesh was close behind in second with 5/6. Nirinjana Narayanan won 3 prizes with her score of 4/6: best girl, first in the U13 age group and equal first in the U15s. Aarv Paul scored 3/6 and was equal first in the Under 12s. Other scores included Evan McMullan, James Gibbs and Oliver Mortimer all with 3.5/6, Bradley Holland with 3/6 and Alfie Sequeira with 2.5/6. Congratulations to all of them!

Bremridge Fighting Draw

The first match in Devon's top team event ended in a hard-won 3-3 draw between Newton Abbot and Exmouth. This was a very creditable performance as Newton Abbot were outgraded by an average of 14 points by their opponents. Players with the white pieces won the day as Stephen Homer and Paul Brooks both won with white against higher-graded players, while Alan Brusey and Andrew Kinder fought hard but went down with black. Trefor Thynne and Vignesh Ramesh both came out with draws to leave honours even. Games from the match can be accessed here.

Wins against the Grammar School

Two matches between Newton Abbot and Torquay Boys' Grammar School took place on the most recent club night, and both resulted in 3-1 wins for the home team. In division 3, there were wins for Paul Miller, Wilf Taylor and Jacquie Barber-Lafon while Nirinjana Narayanan was defeated on board 4. The same result occurred in the division 4 match, where Thomas Bonds won by default, while Mike Hussey and Naru Narayanan defeated their opponents on boards 2 and 4. Only Leon Farmer, on his debut, made a loss on board 3. So, overall, a succesful evening for the club!

Plymouth Rapidplay

Newton Abbot members had very creditable successes in the annual Plymouth Rapidplay tournament. John Stephens won the tournament with an excellent 5.5/6, while Alan Brusey came equal second with 4.5/6.

DCCA results

The first Schofield match of the season ended in a hard-fought draw 2-2. Naru Narayanan, debuting on board 4 suffered an unfortunate early loss, but Paul Brooks broke though to mate and Andrew Kinder won a very controlled ending (Queen and 2 pawns against 2 rooks) to leave the score 2-1 to Newton Abbot.

It all came down to board 1 where Vignesh Ramesh and Sean Pope played a very tight game in the Caro-Kann. It looked to be heading for a draw until Vignesh made an error, exchanging bishops into a King and Pawn ending. Sean broke through on the kingside, to leave the final score 2-2. Games from the match can be accessed here.

In the Moyle Cup, Jacqui Barber-Lafon's team had an excellent victory, 4-0 away at Teignmouth.

Latest Newsletter

Trefor's November newsletter is attached here. It contains lots of interesting and useful information.

Ups and Downs for the Rapidplay Team

The first rapidplay match of the season ended in a draw after a South Hams fightback in the second round of matches. Newton Abbot started strongly with wins in the first round for Andrew Kinder, Josh Blackmore and Mike Hussey, and led by 3-1 at half-time. But South Hams came back strongly with only Josh Blackmore able to complete a 100% performance, as the match ended in a 4-4 draw.

Good Away Win for D team

Newton Abbot D enjoyed a comprehensive away victory against Teignmouth by 3 games to 1. Mike Hussey's win on board 1 was backed up with victories for juniors Isaac Kennedy-Bruyneels and Nirinjana Narayanan. Only Kieran Rayne on board 2 suffered the setback of a defeat against Alan Webster.

C Team in Hard-fought Draw

A very close match saw the C team share the spoils with South Hams. Isaac Kennedy-Bruyneels continued his good run of form with a victory on Board 4 against Dennis Russell. Mike Hussey's attack was repulsed and his opponent claimed the spoils.

Another solid performance saw Jacquie Barber-Lafon share the point with Roy Greenhalgh which left the result of the match depending on Board 1. Jason Cole and Ben Wilkinson played out a very close game and, when Jason missed a late chance to gain the advantage, the game and the match was honourably drawn.

The game on board 1 can be accessed here.

Success at Torbay Congress

Seven NACC members participated in the recent weekend Torbay Congress. In a strong Open Section, Alan Brusey won a grading prize with 2.5/5. Josh Blackmore and Evan McMullan competed in the Intermediate Section with Josh scoring 3 and Evan 1.5.

Four juniors performed well in the Foundation tournament. James Gibbs scored 2.5, while Nirinjana Narayanan's score of 2 won her the slow starter prize. Aarv Paul also scored 2 points, and Oliver Mortimore 1.5.

Setback for D team

In a very close match, the D team were edged out by an experienced South Hams team, 1.5 - 2.5. The points were shared on the bottom 2 boards - Kieran won, while Nirinjana lost. Jacquie drew against Roy Greenhalgh, so the result of the match came down to the last match to finish between team captain Mike Hussey and Alan Davies.

Mike had a strong attack on Alan's king and, as the other games finished, he faced a choice of 2 tempting continuations - recapturing a piece or placing his rook agressively on the seventh rank. Mike moved the rook, which allowed his opponent to make a rather strange-looking move to protect his attacked piece. The tactics stopped working for Mike and he soon resigned when Alan had unstoppable queenside pawns.

Easy Win for Abbots

A near full-strength Abbots team enjoyed their first win of the season, 4-0 away at Teignmouth. Isaac Kennedy-Bruyneels, in an excellent performance, gained the first point for the team when his opponent resigned abruptly after losing a piece.

Teignmouth were severely outgraded on the top 3 boards, but fought hard. Paul Brooks' queenside pressure led to an exchange-gaining tactic and he wrapped up smoothly. Stephen Homer and John Stephens both faced stiff resistance but eventually won through - John's game had an amusing ending when his opponent (in a losing position) marched his king up the board into a one-move mate.

A game from the match can be accessed here.

Exeter retain DCCA quickplay trophy

14 teams of 4 players enjoyed an excellent Sunday afternoon of chess at the DCCA quickplay tournament. After 6 rounds of hard-fought chess, top seeds Exeter A came out on top with 20 games points. Newton Abbot Abbots (18 points) and Exeter University A (16) came close behind.

Grading trophies were awarded to Exeter B and Plymouth A (under 600), and to the team consisting of 4 members of the Bacon family (under 450). 2 players scored a maximum 100% in all 6 games, Tom Thorpe of Exeter A and Graham Bolt of Exeter B. Trefor Thynne's report on the tournament can be accessed here.

D Team defeat Plymouth

In a close first match, Mike Hussey's D team overcame Plymouth 2.5-1.5.

Kieran Raine took an early draw against Alan Crickmore, but the matches that mattered were on boards 1 and 2 where wins for Jacquie Barber-Lafon and Mike Hussey took Newton Abbot to victory. It was good to see Prabhu Kashap back at the club but unfortunately he was beaten by the experienced Tony Tatam. Nevertheless, a positive start for the D team!

First Blood to Bishops

The first match in the Torbay Chess League Premier Division pitted Newton Abbot Abbots v Newton Abbot Bishops. Bishops ran out easy winners 3.5-0.5.

Andrew Kinder's kingside attack broke through Evan McMullan's defence to give the Bishops an early lead. John Stephens and Alan Brusey played out a quiet draw, and the match was decided when Paul Brooks, in a level and very blocked position, decide to attack Vignesh Ramesh. The attack didn't work and the counter was crushing. In the last game to finish, Josh Blackmore held his nerve as Jacquie Barber-Lafon's endgame position went from better to equal to worse to lost.

Games from the match can be accessed here.

GM Keith Arkell Simultaneous Night

As a special Christmas treat, Grandmaster Keith Arkell will be giving a simultaneous display at Newton Abbot Chess Club on Thursday 20th December at 7pm.

This is a rare opportunity to play one of England's top players - the cost will be £5 per person, so if you want to book your place, please let Trefor or Jacquie know.

DCCA Team Quickplay Tournament

The annual DCCA Team Quickplay Tournament will be held on Sunday 4th November from 2.30-6.30 at Newton Abbot Chess Club. Players participate in teams of 4 against clubs from around the county and beyond.

This is a great competition (many of the website photos are stills from this event). The cost is £3 per person, so, sign up as soon as you can with Trefor.

Welcome to the New Season

The first club night of the new season is Thursday 27th September - we hope to see you all there! There will be a special Handicap Tournament, so everybody can be involved in friendly and competitive games.

Trefor's 'Members' Letter for the New Season' is attached here.

Don't forget to enter the internal tournaments - Club Championship and Rapidplay. Entry forms available at the club - deadline for entries THURSDAY 11th OCTOBER.

Paignton Congress

The DCCA Paignton Congress is a unique and historic event. Seven days playing chess in a relaxed environment with an extended time limit, and sections suited to players of all standards. This year's congress had a strong entry, headed by GM Keith Arkell, but only two competitors from Newton Abbot Club.

In the Premier section, Keith Arkell blasted his way to 6/6, but then had to struggle hard to hold the draw in his final game against Mike Waddington. Keith finished 2 points clear of the rest of the field.

The Challengers' section (in which Paul Brooks competed) was very closely fought, and resulted in an eight-way tie for first place. Among the joint winners scoring 4.5 were Megan O'Brien of Plymouth and Matt Wilson of Torbay. Paul was among another large group who scored 4 out of 7. The Intermediate section was won by Peter Halmkin of Teignmouth, who scored 5.5/7, and the Minor Tournament by Barry Miles of Coulsdon with 6/7.

Another unique feature of Paignton is the morning tournaments - 5 rounds from Monday to Friday. The Boniface Tournament for players graded below 180 was won jointly by Richard Bryant (Oswestry) and Robert Sanders (Sudbury) with 4/5. Jacquie Barber-Lafon scored a solid 2.5 (5 draws!) in the Thynne Morning Tournament (named after the father of our Club Secretary). The section was won jointly by Graham Shepherd (Church Stretton) and Graham Mill-Wilson (Plymouth).

European Adventures

Two members of Newton Abbot Chess Club competed successfully for England in the World Seniors Team Championships in Dresden this July. Stephen Homer, playing board 3 for England 3 in the 50+ section, had an exceptional performance of 6.5/9, easily the best in his team. In round 1 he lost narrowly to USA GM Jan Ehlvest but in round 5 he scored a great victory over Russian WGM Nina Fatalibekova and remained in good form to the end.

Trefor Thynne, playing board 3 for England 3 in the 65+ section, also had a very good tournament remaining unbeaten with 3 wins and six draws. His wins were over a Welsh player, Peter Bevan, a Dutchman graded 2057 and a German from a local team while the draws included one against the top-scoring Mongolian woman player. Trefor's full report from the tournament can be accessed here.

A Successful Season

The club enjoyed a successful season, especially in the Torbay League. Newton Abbot teams won both divisions 1 and 2 and finished as runners-up in division 3. In division 4, we took the opportunity to give valuable match-playing experience to our junior and newer club members.

Our Division 1 team convincingly won its first 5 matches, losing only to Torbay after the destination of the title was decided. Alan Brusey top-scored with 4/4. Wilf Taylor’s Division 2 team lost its first match but won the other three to top the table. Jacquie Barber-Lafon’s team in division 3 also lost its first match but then won 4 and drew 1 to end as runners-up on game points difference . A notable achievement was Mike Hussey’s score of 4 ½ out of 6 which won him the division’s player of the year award.

Our Torbay Knock-Out Cup campaign lasted one match as we lost 2-4 to Torbay. In the Rapidplay Andrew Kinder’s team won 2 and drew 2 but were pipped for first place on game points.

Thanks to all our players and, in particular, to our Team Captains for their excellent efforts in organising the teams.

Ups and Downs in the Devon League

In the Devon leagues we had a tough season in divisions 1 (Bremridge) and 2 (Mamhead) with unavailability of strong players on key dates proving a real handicap. In the Bremridge Cup we lost all three matches, two to an extremely strong Exeter team and one to Exmouth. The second Bremridge match with Exmouth went unplayed as a dead rubber.

Our Mamhead team also struggled losing 2 and drawing three matches, though all the matches were well-contested. Better news from divisions 3 (Schofield) and 4 (Moyle) both of which we won convincingly. Wilf Taylor’s Schofield team won 3 and drew 1 match with good contributions from Alan Brusey, Charles Howard and Evan McMullan. Jacquie’s Moyle Cup team won all four of its matches with Mike Hussey scoring 100% and the captain 2 ½ /3.

In the Rooke knock-Out, a competition in which we have an excellent record of 8 wins since 2007 we had an interesting semi-final against new opponents in Seaton (close match won 4½ -3 ½) and a comfortable victory against Exeter (5 ½ - 2 ½) in the last match of the season. No individual games were lost in this match.

Our junior team competed in the Bloodworth Shield, now held at the Courtenay Centre as a Jamboree event. Four teams took part. We came third behind Sidmouth Juniors and Torquay Boys’ Grammar School but the value here lies in the opportunity given to our younger juniors of match experience.

Many thanks again to all our Team Captains for their excellent stewardship of our teams . Not a single game was defaulted this season.

Top Match Performers

Congratulations go to Alan Brusey and Evan McMullan for their efforts which earn them awards as best adult match player and best junior match player respectively. There were a number of other really good individual scores: Mike Hussey (26 matches played 63%), Paul Miller (5/5 in his first season), Charles Howard and Andrew Kinder both 8 ½ out of 14 and Kieran Raine 8 out of 12.

Individual Competition Winners

The club’s internal competitions were again run on the All-Play-All system. Section A was won by Trefor Thynne with Paul Brooks as runner-up. Section B saw John Allen complete all 8 of his games before he headed off to France and his 5 points proved sufficient for first place. Wilf Taylor was runner-up with 4 ½. In Section C, junior Kieran Raine came first with 4 ½, ahead of joint runners-up Paul Miller and Prabhu Kashap.

In the Rapidlay Section A, Alan Brusey maintained his successful tradition in winning with 8 ½ points, just ahead of Paul Brooks on 8 and junior Josh Blackmore with 7 ½. Not many games were played in Section B though James Gibbs, one of our new juniors came first with 3 points.

The Junior Championship was a good tournament and was won jointly by Kieran Raine and James Gibbs on 9 points with Evan McMullan ½ point behind. The under-12 award went to Niranjana Narayanan with 6 ½.

More Awards

As ever the season saw some notable external individual successes by our members: Charles Howard has won the DCCA Intermediate Cup. Nandaja Narayanan has retained her Devon Ladies’ Championship Trophy (third year in a row). Evan McMullan won the Minor Section at the Simon Bartlett memorial Congress in Torbay in February. Vignesh Ramesh and James Gibbs won the Devon under 18 and under 15 titles respectively at the Devon Junior Championships held at Teign School in December.

- June 2018