Good Showing in First Week of British

11 players with strong associations to Newton Abbot took part in the tournaments in the first week of the British Chess Championships in the Riviera Centre, Torquay.

Alan Brusey scored 3 points in the Over-50s event, with Stephen Homer finishing strongly to score 4.5. Jack Wills scored 3.5 in the Under-16 event and also did well in the rapidplay.

In the graded events, Trefor Thynne finished on 4/7 in the U2050 - Josh Blackmore scored 3.5 in the U1900. Brooklyn Stephens and Nandaja Narayanan both scored 3/7 in the U1750, while Nandaja's sister Niranjana gained 2 points in the U1600.

Perhaps the best result came in the U1450 event with Suhayl Abdalla scoring 5/7 to finish 3rd. Aritra Paul scored 4 in the same event, and in the weekend U1750 tournament Richard Brenton scored 1.5/5.

A great turnout from the club!

A Walk in the Park for Martin

Martin Goldschmidt was a clear winner in the second Chess in the Park tournament of the summer, dropping only half a point in scoring 4.5 out of 5. Alan Brusey finished strongly to take second place on 3.5, ahead of a group of three, Jack Wills, Josh Blackmore and Paul Brooks on 3 points.

10 players took part altogether and it was great to welcome another Ukrainian junior, Rostislav Ektov, who acquitted himself well.

Good Luck to all the participants from Newton in the British Championships - the list so far includes Brooklyn Stephens, Josh Blackmore, Richard Brenton, Paul Brooks, Edward Hill, Jack Wills, Trefor Thynne, Martin Goldschmidt, and Alan Brusey - an excellent turnout from the club!

Congratulations to the juniors who took part in the recent Gigafinal and acquitted themselves well against strong opposition. Well done to Suhayl Abdalla, Niranjana Narayanan, Jamie Glasson, Peter Pratt and Adrian Pratt.

Dominic Makes a Successful Return

The first Chess in the Park tournament of the summer marked a successful return to Newton Abbot chess for Dominic Mackle. He scored an unbeaten 4.5/5 taking victory ahead of Alan Brusey, Chris Collins and Paul Brooks on 3.5/5.

It was great to see Ukrainian refugee, Anastasia, competing well alongside the Newton Abbot regulars. Thanks are due to Trefor Thynne for efficiently organising the tournament and pairings.

Look out for news of a second tournament later in the summer.

Last Chance to Enter British (for less money!)

The British Championship comes to Torquay between 8th and 22nd August 2022.

There are lots of tournaments for players of all standards in an excellent venue, so it's definitely worth entering.

Entry fees go up from 7th July, so if you want to take advantage of the early-bird discount, do it now!

Here is the link to the Championship website.

Chess in the Park Returns

After a successful launch in 2021, we are pleased to announce that the Pavilion in Forde Parke will be the venue for the first 'Chess in the Park' tournament of 2022.

The format will be a Swiss Rapidplay Tournament of 5 rounds, starting at 2pm, and finishing around 5pm. There will be an entry fee of £2, and please only consume food and drink purchased from the cafe.

We would love to see as many players as possible so if you want to join us, get in touch with Trefor by phone or email.

Totnes Victorious in Friendly

The first outdoor event of the summer was played in good spirits and excellent weather at the Forde Park Pavilion.

Totnes brought a team of Newton Abbot club players and guests and emerged as victors in a double-round six-board rapidplay match.

Things were close after the first round where Martin Goldschmidt, Chris Collins and Andrew Skirrow won for Totnes, while Paul Brooks and Jack Smith got the points for Newton.The sixth match was drawn leaving Totnes with a narrow lead.

In the second round, Totnes stretched their lead when Martin Goldschmidt and Chris Collins made it two out of two, while Charlie Howard and Clive Liggatt also won. Newton took the lower boards with victories for Jack Smith and Les Barron, leaving the final score 7.5-4.5 to Totnes.

Members are encouraged to look out for more events during the summer. All will be welcome to join in.

Brooklyn and Alan win the Leagues

The Spring Leagues came to their climax with decisive games involving the challengers at the top of both divisions.

George Darling had a chance of catching Alan Brusey in the Competitors' League and kept his hopes alive when he defeated Paul Brooks, after Paul couldn't find a good continuation in a promising position and went down in time pressure in the endgame.

He next faced Andrew Kinder who is having an unpredictable season. This time George got the advantage, but missed a tactic and lost quickly. So the field was left open for Alan Brusey who cemented top position with a draw against Trefor Thynne. Charlie Howard finished his season well with a win against Andrew Kinder, while, in his last game, George Darling made a misjudgement in exchanging into an endgame and succumbed to Trefor Thynne. This left Alan Brusey clearly out on top with 5.5 points followed by Josh Blackmore and George Darling equal on 4 points each. Paul's and Trefor's games against George can be found here.

The Challengers' League was decided when Brooklyn Stephens defeated Suhayl Abdalla to finish half a point clear of Richard Brenton. In other games, Mike Hussey finished the season with a good result against John Allen, while Suhayl won against Jack Wills.

Wins for Josh and Mike

Two games were played in the Spring leagues this week.

Andrew Kinder took on Josh Blackmore with the black pieces and, surprisingly, played a rather passive opening which gave Josh the initiative. When Andrew missed a pin which allowed Josh to win a key pawn, Andrew came under further pressure, which eventually led to Josh checkmating him.

In the Challengers' League, Mike Hussey won with white against Les Barron. The game between Josh and Andrew can be found here.

Both leagues are coming to a climax in the next couple of weeks, with several players in contention for the top prizes.

Newton B Take the Title

The closest Torbay League title race for many years came to a conclusion in an exciting final match of the season at South Hams.

The home team hosted Newton Abbot A with both teams knowing that whoever won would take the title. George Darling defeated the dangerous Dave Archer on board 2, while Charlie Howard gained a draw on board 3. With Phil McConnell defeating John Allen, the match result hung in the balance with Alan Brusey coming under strong pressure from Steve Levy on top board. When Steve simplified by swapping off queens, Alan was able obtain counterplay and guided his game and the match to a draw.

This result left the door open for Newton Abbot B to take the prize, having gained 6 wins in the season, compared to the 5 wins and 1 draw achieved by both Newton Abbot A and South Hams. The A team took second place on game points.

The second division was equally close, with all 3 teams in the division finishing on 4 points. The title was shared by Torquay Boys Grammar and South Hams who both had an equal game point score which was slightly better than Newton Abbot's. Congratulations to all the players who have played for the teams this season.

The Spring League games were both drawn this week. Andrew Kinder played the combative Farjarowicz variation against Trefor Thynne, and defended well to gain just enough counterplay after he lost material early in the game. Suhayl Abdalla had the advantage through most of his game against Richard Brenton, but missed a simplification into a winning endgame and allowed Richard a stalemate draw. Both games are available here, as well as Alan Brusey's fighting draw against Steve Levy.

Andrew Topples Alan

Andrew Kinder inflicted a rare defeat on table-topping Alan Brusey in their Spring League game.

Andrew's typically agressive opening led to him sacrificing the exchange for a lead in development. When Alan was able to force off queens it looked like he might take control, but the ending was complex and Andrew was able to force his central pawns into a position which obliged Alan's resignation.

In the other Competitors' League match played this week, Trefor Thynne failed to take an opportunity to gain an active position in the opening against Paul Brooks and allowed Paul to take control of the position. 40 moves later, Paul's kingside attack broke through to mate Trefor's king.

In the Challengers' League, John Allen had a quick victory against Les Barron when Les failed to spot a knight-fork which won his queen.

This week's internal league games can be accessed here.

Narrow Victory against Boys' Grammar

TBGS continued their late season run of good form by making the B team work hard for their victory in their final match of the year.

Paul Brooks took advantage of David Forbes' oversight of a check and won David's queen to give the home team a good start. A knight-fork check enabled Trefor Thynne to win a rook and the game against Piran Wills making it 2-0 to Newton.

But that was as good as it got for the B team. Danilo Wasques lost his a-pawn against Jack Smith who played the resulting queen and pawn ending very accurately, and Danilo resigned when a pawn was about to promote. On top board, James Gibbs, playing his final match for the Grammar School, gained a very creditable draw against Martin Goldschmidt, when he created an impenetrable stronghold in a bishop and pawn ending. The final result was Newton Abbot B 2.5, TBGS 1.5.

Recent games in the Spring Leagues include a good attacking victory for Trefor Thynne against Danilo Wasques, a win for Richard Brenton against Mike Hussey, and a hard-fought victory for Brooklyn Stephens when he was able to exchange into a winning ending against Jack Wills. The top of the table clash between George Darling and Alan Brusey was decided when George lost on time with his kingside attack unable to break through Alan's solid defence.

Match and league games are available here.

Bad Week for the B Team

The B team went down to their second consecutive 3.5-0.5 defeat, losing at home to South Hams. The result leaves the 1st Division title wide open with the A team, B team and South Hams all on 10 points with one match to play.

On board 4, Jack Wills, on his well-deserved debut, missed a tactic against Trevor Hurt and lost a piece and eventaully the game. Martin Goldschmidt played solidly against Steve Levy, but then thought he was losing a piece to a queen fork and resigned, missing that he had a backwards defensive move which kept things level.

Things didn't improve when Piotr Ruszelak lost on time against Phil McConnell when there was still plenty of play in the game. Paul Brooks helped the team avoid the whitewash when he reached a winning ending against James Schofield, but both players were playing on the increment and a couple of inaccurate moves lost his advantage and the players agreed a draw.

In the Spring Leagues, Les Barron picked up his second win, defeating Mike Gilding, while John Allen drew against Patrick Anderson. Richard Brenton fought back to gain a perpetual check against Brooklyn Stephens.

Match games and others can be found here.

A Team Keep up the Pressure

Teignmouth were the latest victims of the A Team who achieved a 3.5 to 0.5 victory for the second consecutive week.

Richard Brenton was on top from the start against Charlie Tucker and won quickly, while John Allen agreed a draw with Charles Doidge.

On board 1, Charlie Howard built an advantage in the late middlegame against Bill Ingham and was able to transpose into a won rook and pawn endgame. Ian Henry held on-form Josh Blackmore to a more-or-less equal position for a long period of their game before he made 2 consecutive poor moves in time pressure and Josh finished the game off with a neat tactic.

In the Spring Leagues, Les Barron was defeated by Brooklyn Stephens, and Mike Gilding won against Patrick Anderson. Some games from the match can be found here.

In other news, congratulations to John Allen who has reached the top 100 for his age category in the latest ECF ratings list. And best wishes to Alan Brusey in recovering from a recent fall which left him with a broken arm - we hope you're back playing soon, Alan!

A Team win Local Derby

The A Team took revenge over the B Team with a comprehensive victory in the recent local derby, winning 3.5 to 0.5.

Things started well for the A team, when George Darling won a fine attacking game against Trefor Thynne. Paul Brooks could not break through agianst Charlie Howard and a draw was agreed.

On top board, Martin Goldschmidt reached a level and quiet position against Alan Brusey, but an oversight allowed Alan to advance in the centre, win a couple of pawns and eventually the game. It was a similar story on board 4, where Josh Blackmore won a pawn in the early stages of an ending and his good technique brought home the point.

The result leaves the 1st division title in the balance, with both Newton Abbot teams in the mix along with South Hams. Key games involving the protagonists are coming up in the next few weeks.

In the Spring Leagues, Patrick Anderson won a good game against in-form Brooklyn Stephens. Junior Ed Hall defeated Les Barron, and Mike Hussey eventually prevailed in a topsy-turvy game against Suhayl Abdalla. This week's games can be found here.

B Team Victory but Defeat in Division 2

Two matches played this week led to contrasting fortunes for Newton Abbot teams. In division 1, the B team played their second match in a week away against Teignmouth.

On board 1, Martin Goldschmidt ground down Bill Ingham's Indian defence successfully, while Trefor Thynne defeated Charles Doidge in a good game on board 2. Andrew Kinder converted an ending with bishop versus 2 pawns against John Ariss. Newton's only defeat was when Wilf Taylor made an unfortunate error in his game against Ian Henry.

The Division 2 team travelled to South Hams and gained just two draws from the match, with Wilf Taylor and John Allen both able to share the spoils on boards 1 and 2.

In the Spring Leagues, Josh Blackmore won a close game against Danilo Wasques, while Brooklyn Stephens won against Mike Hussey. Some recent games can be found here.

B team Keep their 100% Record

The B team continued their winning ways with a 3-1 victory over visitors Teignmouth.

Peter Ruszelak, in his first match this season, exchanged into a much better endgame against John Ariss and won comfortably. Danilo Wasques defeated Ian Henry in a tight contest.

Charles Doidge's unusual opening caused Paul Brooks some problems, but when he emerged stronger from some tactical exchanges, Paul's material advantage saw him through.

Top board saw a tough struggle between Bill Ingham and Trefor Thynne. Bill obtained a structural advantage from the opening, and was able to keep up the pressure, eventually forcing Trefor's king into the open where a tactical operation to win a rook forced Trefor's resignation.

There was another epic encounter in the Spring Leagues, when George Darling eventually prevailed in a rook-and-pawn ending against Josh Blackmore. Mike Gilding lost to John Allen, while Jack Wills defeated Les Barron.

Charlie's Epic Victory

The clock was heading towards 11pm when the longest game so far in the Spring Leagues ended in a 94-move victory for Charlie Howard. Trefor Thynne played a good response to Charlie's English Opening, and it looked as though his kingside play would give him the advantage.

When Trefor failed to make a preparatory king move Charlie spotted a clever tactic which won Trefor's queen. Trefor fought back and when Charlie made the mistake of driving Trefor's king up the board, Trefor had the chance to launch a mating attack with his rook, knight and king. When this opportunity was missed, Trefor also had the chance to make a perpetual check, but he captured a pawn which brought Charlie's queen back into the action. The game came down to an ending with Charlie's queen against a rook and two pawns, and after 30 patient moves, Charlie's technique brought him the point.

In contrast, George Darling and Danilo Wasques played a wild game which was over in 17 moves when George gained a decisive attack. Alan Brusey maintained his winning form, when he gained a large advantage against Paul Brooks, but the end of the game was spoiled by a problem with the clock settings. Paul conceded the game.

In the Challengers' League, Richard Brenton defeated Jack Wills when he trapped Jack's bishop in a balanced ending. John Allen went down to Brooklyn Stephens when he could not hold a good knight v bad bishop ending. Patrick Anderson held Mike Hussey to a draw, when Mike could not convert a rook and pawn ending, a pawn up.

This week's games are available here.

Jolt for B Division Team

The B Division team suffered an unexpected defeat at the hands of Torquay Boys' Grammar School.

Things went wrong from the start with board 4 Edward Hill unable to play after a late positive Covid test result. So 0-1 at 7.15 p.m!

On Board 1, Brooklyn Stephens' successful run came to an end when he was well beaten by Evan McMullan. Then Suhayl Abdalla dropped a piece against Piran Wills and never recovered.


Newton's only success was for Jack Wills who came back to defeat Josh Keay when Josh lost a rook to a fork when winning comfortably. 3-1 represents a notable scalp for the Grammar School.

Alan Still on Top

The 5 latest games in the Spring leagues saw Alan Brusey maintain his lead in the Competitors' league. He gained a pawn against Wilf Taylor but it looked as though Wilf would have drawing chances due to Alan having the worse bishop in an rook and opposite-coloured bishop ending. An oversight by Wilf allowed Alan to extricate his bishop and he duly converted.

The other two matches in the Competitors' League ended in draws, when both Paul Brooks and Trefor Thynne made little progress as white against Charlie Howard and Josh Blackmore respectively.

In the Challengers' League, Jack Wills came back from a piece down to defeat John Allen, while Richard Brenton shepherded his queenside majority to victory against Mike Gilding.

Games from this week and earlier in the season can be found here.

South Hams Cup Victory

South Hams fielded a strong team at home in the Knock Out Cup and were victorious in a tight match against Newton.

Here is captain Trefor Thynne's match report.

"We lost 2-4 - an interesting and closely contested match which should have ended 3-3 but we would have lost on board count with their wins on 2 and 3 counting for more.

Some chaotic stuff too!

In order of finishing: Board 3 Wilf 0-1 Phil McConnell. A bad start to the match as Wilf lost an exchange early on and never recovered.

Board 1 Trefor 1/2-1/2 Stephen Levy. A London system in which neither player established domination though I had the better bishop at the end.

Board 6 Jack Wills 1/2-1/2 James Fowler. Another good effort by young Jack. The game was always approximately equal and ended with Jack trying to win with K, N and P each.

Board 2 Danilo 0-1 David Archer. Danilo always looked second best against DA who is a strong player on board 2. He got as far as the ending but his 2 passed queenside pawns were outweighed by his opponent's 3 passed kingside ones.

Then the fun started! Both Mike and John should have won.

Board 5 Mike 1/2-1/2 Tony Tatam. Mike had attacking chances against black's king and had a very strong knight against a poor bishop with W, R and minor piece each. I am sure there was a win somewhere but Mike sacrificed his rook unnecessarily. Then Wilf said to me " Mike has stopped pressing his clock". At that point he had 17 minutes left so I did not worry but he continued to ignore his clock and sank into deep thought to find a non- existent win. He needed to claim a draw by repetition but did not do so. At one point it looked as though Mike's time would run out. Mike offered a draw. Tony did not answer but made a move. Finally, to my relief, Mike gave a flurry of repeated moves and common sense broke out all round - game drawn.

Board 4 John 1/2-1/2 Trevor Hurt. In some ways the best game except for the end. John early on won a piece but came under strong attack. He might have been worse but found his way through many complications to reach an ending with a piece advantage and a passed pawn on the 6th. Easily won but for some reason he simplified out into an ending with, K B and rook's pawn v king which was drawn because the pawn was queening on the wrong colour square for the bishop. Hurt headed for a1 with his king - a well-known draw! John not pleased!

So South Hams go through to face TBGS. I thought it would be tough when I saw their team. But an enjoyable evening." Here are the games from the match.

Alan in Winning Form

4 games were played in the Spring leagues this week. Alan Brusey continued his winning streak with an endgame victory against Charlie Howard.

Josh Blackmore gained an advantage from the opening against Paul Brooks and gained the exchange for a pawn when Paul tried to ease the pressure. Josh played the ending very well to take the point.

In the Challengers' League, Suhayl Abdalla defeated Les Barron, while Patrick Anderson and Richard Brenton agreed a draw when they discovered problems with the clock settings at the end of their game.

This week, Alan also had his first victory against Grandmaster Keith Arkell in a simultaneous display. This game and other Spring League games can be found here.

A Team Win Again

TBGS came to Newton Abbot to play the A team but went away empty-handed.

Alan Brusey got an active position from the opening, then won a pawn in the tactical battle and was able to exchange into a winning endgame.

On board 2, Josh Blackmore's opponent obtained a level position, but lost a pawn and then another piece when he tried to counterattack. Brooklyn Stephens took control when his opponent allowed a kingside attack, while Suhayl Abdalla brought home the point in a hard-fought game.

4-0 to Newton Abbot did not reflect the Grammar School Boys' efforts.

In the Competitors' League, Trefor Thynne was held to a draw by Wilf Taylor, after Wilf successfully defended an opposite-coloured bishop ending. Danilo Wasques and Paul Brooks played out a wild and exciting game, where Paul sacrificed 2 pawns in the opening, then a piece, to reach a position where he won back the material and had a small advantage. Time pressure caught up with him and Danilo played strongly to gain a winning position, then missed a 2-move mate, before Paul was able to find a tactical resource which secured the draw.

In the Challengers', Mike Gilding and Richard Brenton gained wins, while Jack Wills and Patrick Anderson drew their game. Many of this week's games can be accessed here.

B Team Top The Table

Another strong performance from the B team, away to South Hams, left them leading the way in the first division.

Danilo Wasques achieved an early victory when he overran Phil McConnell's Jobava System. Paul Brooks won a pawn early in his game against Ben Wilkinson, then gained the exchange, but allowed Ben some counterplay. When Ben missed a chance to force a draw, Paul consolidated and the game was soon over.

Trefor Thynne's game against James Schofield had an extraordinary conclusion. Trefor gradually built up a winning position, but missed the opportunity to win a clear piece. A couple of moves later, Trefor blundered to drop the exchange and it looked as though James would be victorious. Trefor's hopes were based on a passed pawn on the seventh rank, and James had to make a forced rook move to stop it promoting. Unbelievably, James picked up his king, and being obliged to move it lost immediately. Subsequent analysis showed that the ending was drawn.

The final game to finish was on top board, where Martin Goldschmidt had strong pressure all through his game against Steve Levy. Martin won a pawn, but an epic defensive effort meant that eventually he had to agree the draw.

So the final result was 3.5-0.5 to Newton Abbot. Some of the match games are annotated here.

Early Lead for Alan and John

Alan Brusey had a second victory in the Spring Competitors' League after he quickly won a pawn against Josh Blackmore which helped him to victory. George Darling made a winning debut against Charlie Howard.

In the Challengers' League, John Allen also moved to 2 points winning against Suhayl Abdalla, while Patrick Anderson let a big advantage slip against Les Barron and Brooklyn Stephens played out a long draw against Mike Gilding.

Some online milestones to celebrate - Alan Brusey has reached an amazing puzzle rating of 3000 on, while Mike Hussey recently played his 20,000th game on the same platform.

Victory over South Hams

The latest division 2 match saw Newton Abbot come through to defeat South Hams 2.5-1.5.

Brooklyn Stephens continued his good form to win as black against Roy Greenhalgh. Wilf Taylor had a very good win when his strong kingside attack broke through to mate Tony Tatam.

With Mike Gilding going down on board 3, the result was decided when Jack Wills was able to hold the draw in an opposite-coloured bishop ending despite being a pawn down.

In the first week of the Spring leagues, Alan Brusey's pawn advances overwhelmed Danilo Wasques, while Paul Brooks converted a material advantage after Andrew Kinder missed the vital breakthrough in a promising attacking position. Charlie Howard and Josh Blackmore played out a peaceful draw.

In the Challengers' League, John Allen eventually prevailed after a long game against Richard Brenton. Several of this week's games can be seen here.

A Team 100%

The division 1 match between Teignmouth and Newton Abbot A ended in a comfortable 4-0 victory for Newton.

On top board, Alan Brusey showed good technique to win a rook and pawn ending against Bill Ingham. There were also good victories for Josh Blackmore, Brooklyn Stephens and a winning return to competitive chess for John Allen.

B Team Edge It

A close match between Newton Abbot's A and B teams was decided on the bottom boards, where the B team won both games.

Paul Brooks defeated Brooklyn Stephens in the first game to finish after Brooklyn missed a skewer on the long diagonal. Martin Goldschmidt made an optimistic attacking move against Alan Brusey which forced Alan's king into the open, but his attack ran out of ammunition and Alan was able to consolidate his material advantage.

The crucial game was on board 4, where junior Suhayl Abdalla achieved an advantageous position against Danilo Wasques, but missed a queen check which would have allowed a decisive breakthrough. Danilo exchanged down into an ending where his experience told. The final game to be completed saw Trefor Thynne unable to convert his opening advantage after stubborn defence from Josh Blackmore and the players finally agreed a draw, leaving the result 2.5-1.5 to the B team.

The match games, as well as an exciting club game between Jack Wills and Wilf Taylor can be accessed here.

The Spring Leagues launch next week with plenty of exciting chess in store.

Charlie is Joint Winner

Charlie Howard and Alan Brusey played out the final crucial game in the Autumn Swiss Tournament. Alan played his usual Chigorin defence reply to 1.d4, and the game looked level after Charlie agreed to a queen swap. The ending was proceeding peacefully when Alan played a natural-looking but dangerous move which allowed Charlie to play a neat combination to win a pawn, and when Alan immediately made an inaccurate follow-up, his fate was sealed.

This result enabled Charlie to join George Darling as joint winner of the tournament with 4 points out of 5, followed by a group of 4 players on 3.5. Brooklyn Stephens and Richard Brenton were awarded grading prizes with 2.5 points out of 5.

The game between Charlie and Alan is available here.

The rest of the club played a blitz tournament which was won jointly by Josh Blackmore and Trefor Thynne.

The first club night of the New Year on 6th January will feature the division 1 match between Newton Abbot A and Newton Abbot B.

George on Top

With just one match to play in the Autumn Swiss, George Darling is in pole position after his victory over previous leader Trefor Thynne. Trefor had a slightly better position as white in a Nimzoindian, but missed a strong pawn advance and then, a couple of moves later, he made a poor rook move which lost the exchange. George played well to take the point.

Junior Jack Wills played a good opening against Paul Brooks and had the initiative for a long period, but then overstretched in his attack, and Paul was able to swap off into a won ending.

These two games can be accessed here.

Wilf Taylor won a pawn against Brooklyn Stephens and was on his way to victory when he allowed his opponent a one-move mate with just a bishop, a knight and pawns on the board! Richard Brenton won a piece and the game against Suhayl Abdalla, while Mike Gilding defeated Les Barron. In the online game, Patrick Anderson overcame Mike Hussey.

The only question which remains is whether Charlie Howard or Alan Brusey can join George on 4 points.

A Winning Start for B Team

Things couldn't have gone better for the newly-formed B team, winning their opening match at Torquay Boys' Grammar School 4-0.

Paul Brooks had a quick win when his opponent tried the risky Englund Gambit, but was soon in a lost position and allowed a pretty smothered mate after only 13 moves!

Martin Goldschmidt made a winning debut with a strong attack against Evan McMullan's King's Indian Defence which also ended in checkmate. Trefor Thynne got an early advantage against Bradley Holland's London System and converted smoothly, while Wilf Taylor's opponent missed a winning knight fork which lost his queen.

All the games are available here.

Trefor Takes The Lead

The fourth round of the Autumn Swiss came to a climax with a batch of matches played this Thursday.

The top of the table clash saw Trefor Thynne and Josh Blackmore play out a cagey Nimzoindian. Josh was always slightly worse as black, but was still in the game, when, having exchanged off into an ending, he blundered by allowing Trefor to create a weak doubled pawn which was quickly captured, then Trefor wrapped things up efficiently.

Paul Brooks and Andrew Kinder contested a wild game where, after some unorthodox manoeuvering, Paul emerged from the opening with a clear advantage. The players castled on opposite sides, and after his rook invaded the seventh rank, it looked as though Paul was going to break through, but Andrew defended well to minimise his losses to a single pawn. When Paul failed to find the correct pawn break, time pressure intervened and the players settled for a queen swap and a draw. Both games can be accessed here.

In other results, Alan Brusey bounced back to defeat Danilo Wasques, George Darling broke down Wilf Taylor's resistance, and Jack Wills overcame Mike Hussey. Suhayl Abdalla fell ill just before the club session and had to default his game against Charlie Howard.

Going into the final round, Trefor is in the lead with 3.5/4, followed by a group of 5 players on 3 points.

In the rapidplay, there were wins for Charlie Howard and Brooklyn Stephens, while Alfie Sequeira defeated Edward Hill in the Junior Championship.

More Book Reviews

Alan Brusey has kindly provided some more short book reviews. A slimmed-down version of the library will be accessible to members after Christmas.

I - Play the c3 Sicilian by Eduardas Rozentalis and Andrew Harley. Rozentalis is a Lithuanian GM who has much experience of playing this opening. I have found that the 2.c3 line has stood the test of time.

J - Sharpen your chess tactics in 7 days by Gary Lane. Any book by Gary is worth a read.

K - Michael Adams - Development of a chess Grandmaster. This book details progress from first starting chess up to first becoming a Grandmaster. This book is an interesting general read and includes many references to competitions Michael played in Devon.

L - How to play the English opening by Anatoly Karpov. The book is based on 30 well annotated games by the former World Champion.

M - The World Champions Teach Chess. An anthology compiled by Yakov Estrin and Isaac Romanov. Botvinnik is quoted as saying every chess player must be well prepared both psychologically and physically. Read about how he and other former world champions went about preparing for their matches.

N - SHORT V KASPAROV by William Hartson. The inside story of the match. This book contains more photographs than most.

O - The Power Chess Program by GM Nigel Davies. Chapters 5 and 6 on endgame theory and endgame battles are well worth reading.

Devon Junior News

A number of players with past, present and possibly future connections with Newton Abbot Chess Club performed well in the recent Devon Junior Championships.

In the Under-18's, Niranjana Narayanan was best girl with 3/6. Suhayl Abdalla and Alfie Sequiera shared first place in the under-15's with 4.5 out of 6. Edward Hill was equal 3rd in the under-13s with 3/6.

Brothers Peter and Adrian Pratt took first place in the under-11 and under-9 competitions respectively. Congratulations to all who participated.

Alan's Book Reviews

The club has an extensive library of chess books and DVDs. Alan Brusey is keeping a watching brief on these and has kindly agreed to provide brief reviews on selected titles. If you want to borrow any of these or enquire about other resources, please just let Alan know.

A - Revolutionize your chess by Viktor Moskalenko. This covers all aspects of the game and sparkles with ideas. A good read for the advanced player. Learn about the five touchstones and much more.

B - The Ruy Lopez for the Tournament player by Gary Lane. Gary was born in Paignton and is now an International Master and prolific author. I have read many of Gary's books and would suggest this for anyone who is likely to face the Ruy Lopez with either colour.

C - How to play good opening moves by Edmar Mednis. Good basic advice on opening principles. Suitable for players new to club chess.

D - An explosive chess opening repertoire for Black by Jouni Yrjola and Jussi Tella. Title says it all.

E - The Ultimate Colle by Gary Lane. The book to borrow if you want to try the Colle from the white side.

F - The Complete Pirc by John Nunn. Grandmaster John Nunn is currently an active member of the chess club at Bude.

G - Kasparov teaches chess by Gary Kasparov. An opportunity to learn from one of the greats. Suitable for players who are new to club chess up to average club standard.

'A' Team Defeat

South Hams visited Newton Abbot to play the A team and went away with a 3-1 victory.

An exciting game on board 1 was decided by David Archer's sustained attack against Alan Brusey. On board 2, Charlie Howard made an unfortunate blunder in an equal position against James Schofield. George Darling was bemused by Ben Wilkinson's Blackmar-Diemar Gambit and lost on time. Newton's only victory was on board 4, where Josh Blackmore continued his excellent run of form with a solid victory against Phil McConnell.

The game from board 1 can be viewed here.

In the Autumn Swiss, Patrick Anderson notched up his first win against Mike Gilding, while Brooklyn Stephens and Richard Brenton played out a hard-fought draw.

The Rapidplay saw Trefor Thynne defeat Jack Wills, and Paul Brooks win against Brooklyn Stephens.

Next week is the final week for playing Round 4 games so please arrange these as soon as you can.

Josh Out On His Own

The 3rd round of the Autumn Swiss drew to a conclusion with Josh Blackmore in the sole lead on 3 wins out of 3.

George Darling made the long journey to Kingston to play Andrew Kinder, but left empty-handed after an early blunder cost him a piece. In the other 3rd round match to be played this week, Patrick Anderson fought hard against Jack Wills, but eventually Jack took the point.

In the Rapidplay competition, Alan Brusey had two wins against Paul Brooks and Josh Blackmore, Paul Brooks defeated Brooklyn Stephens, who also went down to Trefor Thynne. In the Junior Tournament, Suhayl Abdalla won against Edward Hill.

The results table and the draw for round 4 are shown on the Fixtures/Results - Competitions page, so please arrange your fourth round games as soon as you can.

Another Exciting Evening

There was plenty of action at the club this week as the 3rd round of the Autumn Swiss got under way.

Josh Blackmore made his way to the top of the leader board after winning a pawn early in his game against Danilo Wasques, then withstanding Danilo's sacrificial counterattack successfully.

Alan Brusey got back to winning ways against Brooklyn Stephens, while Charlie Howard did the same against Les Barron. Trefor Thynne took advantage of junior Suhayl Abdalla's lack of familiarity with the Slav defence, while earlier in the week, Wilf Taylor and Mike Gilding had an aggressive battle where Wilf came out on top.

Richard Brenton took the fight to Paul Brooks with the unusual Sokolsky (or Orangutan) opening. Paul was able to get a positional advantage after Richard blocked in his bishop, and his attack netted him the exchange. When Paul played rather passively, it looked like Richard was gaining counterplay on the dark squares, but, suddenly, he blundered, and allowed Paul a quick checkmate. Paul and Richard's game is annotated here.

'A' Team Victory over TBGS

Experience told in the first match for Newton Abbot 'A' where the away players overcame stiff resistance from their youthful opponents.

Alan Brusey showed the power of 2 bishops working together in his victory on board 1, while Charlie Howard executed a neat tactic after a long struggle.

With George Darling and Josh Blackmore also gaining wins, the score of 4-0 was more one-sided than the Grammar School boys deserved. Some games from the match can be seen here.

George, Josh and Danilo Lead the Way

The second round of the Autumn Swiss Tournament has been completed this week and contained some surprise results.

Top seed Alan Brusey responded aggressively to George Darling's quiet opening, but found himself in a slightly worse position, which allowed George to exchange into a knight ending where he was a pawn up. George showed excellent technique to bring home the point.

Danilo Wasques joined George and Josh Blackmore on 2 points after defeating Charlie Howard. Wilf Taylor and Mike Hussey played out a wild game in which Wilf eventually triumphed. Other round 2 results and the round 3 draw can be seen on the Competitions dropdown on the Fixtures/Results tab. Games can be found here.

In the Rapidplay tournament, Josh Blackmore won against Jack Wills.

A Warm Welcome Back to League Chess

Newton Abbot hosted Torquay Boys' Grammar School in the first over-the-board match for over 18 months. The B division match lived up to expectations, being closely fought and decided by the final game.

Brooklyn Stephens made a winning start to his Newton Abbot chess career, and junior Suhayl Abdalla gained a creditable draw. When Richard Brenton went down on board 3, all eyes were on the top board where Mike Gilding held a material advantage over his young opponent. After some ups and downs Mike was able to corral his opponent's king in a pleasing mating net, so leading Newton Abbot to a 2.5-1.5 victory.

In the Autumn Swiss, Josh Blackmore took full advantage of 2 consecutive inaccurate moves by Paul Brooks to create an attractive mate. The game can be viewed here.

Patrick Anderson took on Jack Wills in the Rapidplay tournament, with Jack taking the point in both games.

Wins for Andrew, Alan and George

Another busy night at the club saw the first round of the Autumn Swiss Tournament completed.

Alan Brusey played Wilf Taylor at his home and came through after a tough battle. Andrew Kinder won with a queen-pawn opening as white against promising newcomer Patrick Anderson, while George Darling created a mating net in the endgame against Jack Wills.

Round 2 takes place in the next two weeks and the draw is shown on the Fixtures/Results - Competitions page, so please arrange your matches promptly.

There were 2 sets of matches in the Rapidplay tournament, with Josh Blackmore achieving a win and a draw against Brooklyn Stephens, and Charlie Howard gaining the same result against Paul Brooks.

Internal Tournaments Launch

It was great to see 16 players at the club on Thursday on the launch night of the Autumn Swiss Tournament. Welcome to new players Martin Goldschmidt and Kasi Jankowski.

In the main Swiss tournament, Charlie Howard and Danilo Wasques both had a winning start against Brooklyn Stephens and Les Barron respectively. Mike Hussey put up a stout defence against Josh Blackmore but eventually succumbed.

Richard Brenton played the unusual Orangutan opening against Trefor Thynne, and after Richard castled queenside, Trefor was able to break through against Richard's advanced pawns and eventually win decisive material.

Paul Brooks played a slightly unorthodox variation of the Sicilian defence against Mike Gilding and his queenside pawn advances soon netted him a pawn. A neat queen manoeuvre enabled him to win another pawn and simplify to a winning pawn endgame.

Paul and Trefor's games are accessible here.

In the Rapidplay tournament, Alan Brusey played Patrick Anderson and was able to win 2-0.

Successful Start to Season

The first two weeks of the new season saw new and old faces getting used to over-the-board chess once again. It was great to welcome potential new members to the club.

In week 2, Paul Brooks ran a very well-received 'buzzer' or '10-second chess' tournament. After five competitive and brain-stretching rounds there was a three-way tie for first place. Returnee George Darling played impressively to share the top spot with Josh Blackmore and Alan Brusey, all three scoring 4 points out of 5.

Newcomer Jack Wills scored 2 points alongside junior Suhayl Abdallah and Charlie Howard, while Mike Gilding and new player Brooklyn Stephens gained 1 point each.

The internal club competitions will start in the next couple of weeks so please sign up with Paul Brooks if you want to play.

Alan Wins Again

The final Chess in the Park tournament was a great success with 14 players battling it out on a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

It was great to welcome some new faces Alex Lyons, Simon Drost, Adam Lang, and Jack Pieprzycki, alongside Brooklyn Stephens and Andrew Ross; we hope they enjoyed the competition. It was also good to see the return of George Darling to Newton Abbot Chess after several years away.

Holding the event at the weekend meant that Danilo Wasques and Piotr Ruszelak were able to join us, and we were grateful to Trefor Thynne who stepped down from playing to act as tournament controller.

After 5 hard-fought rounds Alan Brusey emerged victorious with a 100% record, followed closely by Jack Pieprzycki with 4 points out of 5.

We are keen to welcome everyone, new and old, to the start of the new season at the Courtenay Centre at 7pm on Thursday 23rd September.

Alan wins 3rd Chess in the Park Tournament

Inclement weather forced the players indoors in the third Chess in the Park tournament at Forde Parke Pavilion.

There were two new players, Nathan Hardaker and Brooklyn Stephens, and two juniors, Jamie Glasson and Piran Wills, competing alongside more established club members.

In the end, Alan Brusey took the spoils with 4.5 out of 5 with Trefor Thynne second on 4 points.

The final chess afternoon of the Summer is planned for Sunday 5th September - look out for more details which will be published soon.

Park 2 a Great Success

Newton Abbot members enjoyed beautiful weather and lovely surroundings for their second over-the-board tournament at Forde Parke Pavilion.

Tim Onions was once again the controller and the field consisted of 9 Newton Abbot players with Ken Alexander making the journey from East Devon to join us.

After 5 competitive rounds Ken and Charles Howard came equal first with 4 points, followed by Alan Brusey and John Nyman sharing third place on 3.5 out of 5.

Our next chess afternoon will take place for Friday 6th August at 1.30pm - please join us - you will enjoy it!

A Great Afternoon

The Pavilion Cafe in Forde Park hosted an excellent afternoon of chess in the first chance we have had for over-the-board play this year.

12 players including 3 guests enjoyed a 4 round tournament of 15 mins plus 10 second increment, ably controlled by Tim Onions.

First place with 3.5 out of 4 was shared by Alan Brusey and John Nyman, but more important was the chance to meet again for 'proper' competitive, friendly chess.

The next chess afternoon is scheduled for Friday 16th July at 1.30pm - please come along - you'll enjoy it!

Chess in the Park

The first over-the-board chess in many months takes place on Friday 25th June from 1.30-4.30pm at the Pavilion Cafe in Forde Park, Newton Abbot.

We would love to see as many players as possible so if you want to join us, get in touch with Trefor by phone or email.

Stephen Wins with a Match to Spare

The Spring Rapidplay tournament was won by Stephen Homer after he defeated Trefor Thynne 2-0 in the latest round of matches. Stephen now has a unassailable lead with 11 points.

Paul Brooks came second with 10.5 points, while Andrew Kinder was third with 7.5 points.

Trefor plans to arrange some outdoor over-the-board chess during the Summer months, and will be contacting members by email with the details in the next few weeks.

Alan Triumphant

A bumper week for standardplay games saw Alan Brusey emphatically confirm his position as tournament winner. Alan started the week with a hard-fought victory against Andrew Kinder coming through to win in the endgame. He then had a more straightforward victory when Mike Hussey overcommitted losing material from a fairly level position. This meant that Alan had conceded only 2 draws in the whole tournament finishing with 13/14, a magnificent achievement.

Josh Blackmore also played 2 games first losing to Mike Hussey's sacrificial attack, then defeating Peter Ruszelak in a double-rook endgame. He finished second in the tournament with 8.5/14. Paul Brooks survived a difficult position against Andrew Kinder, before Andrew blundered a rook to lose the game, leaving Paul in 3rd place with 8 points.

Trefor Thynne had a last-round win, checkmating Wilf Taylor in a King's Indian Defence.

This week's games can be found here.

Trefor takes the Blitz

The end of year Blitz tournament was won by Trefor Thynne with a 100% score. Trefor played well throughout but was slightly fortunate in his last-round game when Alan Brusey lost his connection in what looked like a fairly equal position. Paul Brooks came second with 3.5/5, while Andrew Kinder and Richard Brenton were equal 3rd with 3 points.

It was great to welcome back Richard Brenton and Suhayl Abdalla to competitive chess.

In the standardplay tournament, Trefor Thynne built up early pressure against Mike Hussey's Sicilian defence and smoothly converted. Josh Blackmore took advantage of an oversight by Wilf Taylor in a relatively equal position.

The standardplay games are available here.

Black is Best??

This week's games saw 3 victories for players with the black pieces in the standardplay tournament. Alan Brusey maintained his unstoppable progress using his favourite Chigorin defence to outplay Trefor Thynne. Andrew Kinder provided a demonstration that opposite-coloured bishops favour the attacking side in his win against Josh Blackmore. Mike Hussey picked up his first victory when he took advantage of an early blunder from Paul Brooks.

The only white victory was quite fortunate, as Peter Ruszelak missed a clear win just before he succumbed to Wilf Taylor.

The standardplay games can be accessed here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Alan Brusey defeated Paul Miller 2-0.

Two Underdog Victories

Lower graded competitors won their games in two matches played this week. Wilf Taylor built up a strong attacking position as black against Andrew Kinder, and after some ups and downs was able to carry off the full point. Peter Ruszelak played solidly against Trefor Thynne and reached an ending with a pawn advantage. With best play, the game was drawn, but under a bit of pressure, Trefor allowed his time to run out and Peter took the point.

Meanwhile, Alan Brusey continued his good form with a victory over Paul Brooks. Alan built up a strong position from the opening, but Paul fought back and it looked like Alan was in trouble. Alan found a clever sacrifice which eventually enabled him to re-establish control of the position and take the win.

This week's games can be viewed here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Paul Brooks had a 2-0 win against Andrew Kinder, Stephen Homer also defeated Andrew 2-0, while Trefor Thynne and Peter Ruszelak won one game each.

Alan takes Control

Alan Brusey extended his lead in the Newton Abbot Standardplay Tournament with an endgame victory against Josh Blackmore. After 27 moves, the players reached a level ending with Josh having rook and bishop to Alan's rook and knight. Over the next 15 moves Alan took control of the game, creating activity for his rook and outposts for his knights, eventually winning 2 pawns and the game.

In the other standardplay game played this week, Trefor Thynne and Paul Brooks agreed a draw after a computer issue caused Trefor to lose material when he was in a good position.

The game between Alan and Josh is available here. I have annotated the ending.

In the rapidplay tournament, Peter Ruszelak defeated Wilf Taylor 1.5-0.5.

A Good Week for Wilf

Three of the games played in the Standardplay tournament this week ended in draws, with the only victory going to Wilf Taylor. Wilf won when Mike Hussey missed an intermediate check in an open position which lost his queen, and Wilf was able to quickly checkmate him.

Wilf also played very well to reach a king and pawn endgame with equal pawns against tournament leader Alan Brusey. It was another case illustrating the difficulties pawn endings can cause when Alan missed his chance to create a decisive outside passed pawn, and the game was quickly drawn. I have annotated the critical section of the game.

Paul Brooks reached an ending a pawn up against Josh Blackmore, but was unable to make the most of his chances and the point was shared. Similarly, Trefor Thynne had the better of the position for most of his game against Andrew Kinder but wasn't able to gain a decisive advantage.

The games from this week are accessible here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Alan Brusey drew 1-1 with Peter Ruszelak, and also drew 1-1 with Trefor Thynne. Andrew Kinder defeated Peter Ruszelak 1.5-0.5.

Endings Hold the Key

The results of three of the four games played this week were determined by blunders in the endgame. Trefor Thynne reached a 'good versus bad'-bishop ending against Josh Blackmore, and when Josh naturally swapped off his 'bad' bishop, the computer indicated the resulting pawn ending was winning for Trefor. However, pawn endings are notoriously tricky, and, within two moves, Trefor's position went from winning to drawn to losing. I've annotated the final part of the game, which can be accessed below.

Peter Ruszelak fought back to a level double-rook endgame position against Alan Brusey, but then missed a tactic which allowed Alan to win a pawn and the game. Wilf Taylor reached a very good early-endgame position against Paul Brooks, but he also missed a decisive tactic which enabled Paul to skewer Wilf's rook with his bishop. Andrew Kinder also won with a quick attack against Mike Hussey's King's Indian Attack.

This week's games can be viewed here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Andrew Kinder won 2-0 against Alan Brusey, while Trefor Thynne also defeated Wilf Taylor 2-0.

Alan Leads at Halfway

Alan Brusey continued his good form in the Standardplay tournament by winning both games he played this week, defeating Josh Blackmore and Mike Hussey. He now leads the field at the halfway stage with 6.5/7.

Josh Blackmore won his second game of the week to move into second place with 5/7 when his powerful queenside attack broke through Peter Ruszelak's defences. Trefor Thynne is in third place with 4.5/7 after he defeated Wilf Taylor, while Andrew Kinder moved into joint fourth place with Paul Brooks on 3.5/7, when Andrew's strong kingside attack led to checkmate.

This week's games are available here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Paul Brooks won 2-0 against Wilf Taylor.

Favourites come out on Top

This week's games in the standardplay tournament were won by the higher-graded players, all playing black.

Andrew Kinder tried to attack Alan Brusey's solid kingside position in the French defence, but Alan defended calmly and broke through on the queenside winning material and the game.

Peter Ruszelak and Paul Brooks played out a very close game, which was only won in the endgame by Paul when Peter got into time trouble.

Trefor Thynne was able to harvest a large crop of pawns against Mike Hussey, while Josh Blackmore won a highly tactical game quite quickly when he was able to pin Wilf Taylor's queen.

This week's games can be viewed here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Stephen Homer took a clear lead by defeating Alan Brusey 1.5-0.5.

Devon Junior News

2 Newton Abbot juniors took part in a recent Devon under-18 training tournament and achieved good results.

Suhayl Abdalla scored 3.5 out of 6 finishing joint third, while Alfie Sequiera scored 2 points.

Time Pressure takes its Toll

Blunders caused by the pressure of the clock were a feature of the matches played in the standardplay tournament this week. Andrew Kinder and Josh Blackmore reached a completely equal position after 35 moves with Josh well ahead on time. Over the next 10 moves, Josh blundered to give Andrew a forced mating attack and a couple of moves later, instead of swapping off queens to reach a totally drawn position, Andrew put his queen en prise and immediately resigned.

Trefor Thynne and Alan Brusey played a Gioco Piano where Alan had a slightly easier game and a time advantage. Trefor missed a tactic based on a pin to lose a piece and Alan was able to convert the point.

Peter Ruszelak quickly built up a very strong position against Wilf Taylor and Wilf resigned when it looked as though he was about to lose a second pawn.

In the fourth game played this week, Mike Hussey sacrificed a pawn in trying to attack Paul Brooks' Dutch Defence but was unable to break through and resigned when Paul organised some strong central counterplay which could only be stopped by jettisoning a rook.

This week's games can be seen here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Stephen Homer won both games against Paul Brooks.

Trefor takes the Blitz

10 players enjoyed the Spring Blitz tournament on lichess and, after 5 hard-fought rounds, Trefor Thynne came out on top.

The final top-three were Trefor Thynne with 4/5, Stephen Homer with 4/5 followed by Alan Brusey on 3.5/5, Trefor taking the title on countback.

There were lots of exciting games including Alan and Andrew Kinder's throwback to the golden age of attacking chess, which can be viewed here, along with Andrew's marathon draw with Peter Ruszelak in the standardplay tournament.

In the rapidplay tournament, Wilf Taylor defeated Paul Miller 2-0.

More Exciting Games

4 more standardplay games were played this week in the Spring online tournament. Trefor Thynne had some early difficulties against Peter Ruszelak's old indian defence, but when Peter rejected the opportunity to break the pawn cover in front of Trefor's king, Trefor countered impressively and created a mating attack.

Alan Brusey took advantage of Paul Brooks' indecisive play to create a strong kingside build-up as black, and when Paul tried to push back on the same side, Alan broke through to win decisive material.

Wilf Taylor opened very aggressively against Andrew Kinder, but overstretched himself and Andrew took advantage of his material plus to fashion a checkmate.

Josh Blackmore was able to take advantage of Mike Hussey's decision not to castle and broke through to attack Mike's centralised king, eventually winning Mike's queen.

This week's games are available here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Trefor Thynne and Paul Miller played 2 wild games with Trefor coming out on top 2-0, while Andrew Kinder shared the points with Wilf Taylor.

A Quieter Week

Only 2 games were played in the standardplay online tournament this week. Mike Hussey took on Wilf Taylor in a no-holds barred contest. Mike was the first to sacrifice a piece and the game continued with Mike trying to break open Wilf's king. Despite his efforts, he was unable to break through and Wilf consolidated to take the point.

In contrast Paul Brooks and Trefor Thynne agreed a draw in a more-or-less equal position after their connection to the server was lost.

Mike and Wilf's game can be viewed here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Stephen Homer defeated Wilf Taylor 2-0 to move to joint-top spot with 3.5/4. Andrew Kinder also took both points against Trefor Thynne.

Lots of Online Action

Our Spring tournaments saw lots of exciting games, both rapid and standardplay. In the standardplay league, Wilf Taylor almost overcame the odds, sacrificing a pawn then a piece to build up a winning position against Alan Brusey. At the crucial moment, Wilf decided not to take Alan's queen, and allowed Alan to swap off queens into a winning endgame.

Paul Brooks also sacrificed early against Josh Blackmore - Josh failed to play the most active line and shortly overlooked the loss of a rook. He battled on but Paul was able to marshall his forces and embarked on a king hunt which ended in white's king being mated on a8!

Trefor Thynne picked up his first win when Andrew Kinder gained some queenside pressure from his Benko-like opening, but then played a combination which lost an exchange, and Trefor safely converted. In the 4th game played this week, Peter Ruszelak was able to grind down Mike Hussey's King's Indian defence.

The games can be viewed here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Paul Brooks played 4 games winning 2-0 against Trefor Thynne, and then 1.5-0.5 against Alan Brusey. Stephen Homer had a 1.5-0.5 victory against Peter Ruszelak, while Andrew Kinder drew 1-1 with Paul Miller.

Spring Tournaments Launch

4 matches were played this week in the Newton Abbot Spring Online Standardplay tournament.

Andrew Kinder used the Sicilian defence to overwhelm Mike Hussey's defences. Peter Ruszelak played solidly to earn a draw against Alan Brusey. Trefor Thynne obtained a good position from the opening against Josh Blackmore, but then lost his way (and a rook) under time pressure. Paul Brooks blundered on move 6 against Wilf Taylor and was unable to recover.

The games can be viewed here.

In the rapidplay tournament, Alan Brusey had 2 wins against Wilf Taylor.

British Online Championships

2 Newton Abbot members played in the British Online Chess Championships held over Christmas and the New Year.

Alan Brusey played well to qualify for the finals of the Over-50s championship, and then scored 2.5/7 in the tough final section, finishing 9th out of 14 players.

Stephen Homer played in the Over-50s Rapidplay Championship (won by GM Keith Arkell!) and scored a solid 3.5/7 to finish 9th out of 16 competitors.

Last Games in Online Tournament

3 games were played to finish off the Autumn Online tournament, all involving Danilo Wasques.

In the first game, Danilo defended a wild King's Gambit against Peter Ruszelak. Peter built up a strong-looking attack on the king's side but sacrificed too many pawns and Danilo's counterplay led to him winning a piece. Even at the end, Peter missed a tactic to get him back in the game.

Next, Danilo was black against Mike Hussey who played his favourite London System. Mike made a speculative piece sacrifice to open up the h-file, and it looked like Danilo could counter easily, but he missed a tactic and Mike had a forced mate.

In the third game, Danilo was white against Niranjana Narayanan. A solid opening from both players led to a complicated middlegame, where Danilo advanced his queenside pawns. It looked like Niranjana was able to win the b-pawn but she missed a zwischenzug which allowed Danilo to win a piece for 2 pawns. Niranjana was able to win a third pawn, but Danilo organised his pieces in the middle of the board to create an attractive mating net.

This week's games are available here.

Paul wins Final Shootout

Paul Brooks defeated Josh Blackmore in the game which decided the fate of the Autumn online tournament. The opening was a Queen's Indian defence and a couple of inaccuracies from Josh allowed Paul to build up a strong initiative on the kingside. Paul won a pawn and broke though but he wobbled near the end and, even in the last couple of moves of the game, Josh had a chance to stir up counterplay. However, he missed his opportunity and had to resign.

Andrew Kinder finished third in the tournament after defeating Wilf Taylor in a wild game where Wilf loosened his king's position and paid the price. Alan Brusey cemented fourth place after Naru Narayanan played a good game to reach an ending with equal pawns but Alan's technique and some pawn weaknesses allowed him to take the point.

The final standings were: 1. Paul Brooks 8/9, 2. Josh Blackmore 7.5/9, 3. Andrew Kinder 6.5/9, 4. Alan Brusey 6/9.

This week's games are available here.

3 More Online Games

Josh Blackmore set up a 'winner-takes-all' finale against Paul Brooks by defeating Andrew Kinder in his penultimate game in the Newton Abbot Online Tournament. BUT he rode his luck in his game against Andrew Kinder. In a Sicilian defence, Josh put too many pawns on white squares. Andrew exploited the dark-squared weaknesses with a knight sacrifice and then broke through to win Josh's queen for a rook. Josh only had a passed c-pawn as compensation, and he advanced it to the seventh rank. Andrew missed that he could have sacrificed his rook for the pawn winning an extra piece, and, in time pressure, he allowed the pawn to queen, and 2 moves later lost his own queen.

Andrew played a second game this week drawing a close contest against Peter Ruszelak, while Alan Brusey defeated Wilf Taylor, after Wilf had missed a spectacular winning knight sacrifice.

The games are available here.

The Queen's Gambit

If you are looking for something a bit different to watch over the festive season, the highly acclaimed series, The Queen's Gambit,is streaming on Netflix.

The chess scenes are probably the best ever produced in a drama, with Garry Kasparov and renowned chess author, Bruce Pandolfini, involved in the production.

If you are new to Netflix you can sign up and get one month free (so pay £5.99 for 2 months subscription). Further details are available here.

Online British Championships

Thanks to Alan Brusey who has alerted us to the Caplin Online British Chess Championships which run from 18th December to 3rd January 2021. There is a range of tournaments at different time controls and different age/grading limits.

Full details can be found on the ECF website via this link.

A Hard-Fought Draw

Danilo Wasques and Paul Brooks played out a tough draw in the latest online tournament game. Danilo got an advantage from the opening when, after an oversight, Paul was left with a bad bishop and weak d5 square. Danilo then returned the favour by occupying the weak square too early and allowing Paul to exchange off to a more equal position. Paul advanced his f-pawn to threaten queening but Danilo manouevred well to prevent this and eventually won the f-pawn to reach a knight ending, where he was a pawn up. But Paul had left himself with a passed h-pawn which he was able to advance forcing Danilo's knight onto a passive square to prevent it queening. This enabled Paul to blockade Danilo's passed pawn pair and a draw was agreed.

The result leaves the tournament on a knife-edge with Paul on 7/8 and Josh Blackmore on 6.5/7. Josh and Paul are due to play each other in the final round.

The game can be viewed here.

Paul wins Top of the Table Battle

Two games were played in our online tournament this week. In the top of the table clash, Paul Brooks took on Andrew Kinder, who had a 100% record to this point. The opening was a Benoni defence, which suits Andrew's counterattacking style, but Paul was able to keep control of the position and, after winning Andrew's important d-pawn, Paul was able to promote his own d-pawn and liquidate to a winning endgame. This win enabled Paul to join Josh Blackmore in the lead of the tournament on 6.5/7.

In the other game played, Mike Hussey missed a chance to create an upset against Alan Brusey. After a fairly equal opening, Mike was able to advance towards Alan's king and had the opportunity to play a combination, capturing a pawn which appeared to be protected, with check. After a few forced moves, this would have led to an ending where Mike was 2 pawns up with excellent chances of a win. As it went, Alan was able to repel Mike's attack and a pin led to the win of a knight and subsequently the game.

The two games can be seen here.

Andrew keeps his 100% record, but Josh is still ahead

Andrew Kinder notched up his fifth win in a row in the latest round of the online tournament. He built up a good attacking position against Niranjana Naryanan and converted it quickly when she weakened her king position to allow a mate.

Peter Ruszelak played 2 games this week, one a solid draw against Alan Brusey, and the other a wilder affair against Wilf Taylor. In the second game, queens were exchanged early but Peter continued to put Wilf under pressure, missing the win of a piece in the middlegame. Later Peter picked up a knight due to a pin and mated Wilf in mid-board when he had just a Rook, Bishop and pawn left.

Josh Blackmore had a smooth victory against Naru Narayanan winning a pawn then a piece early in the game and constructing an elegant geometrical mate at the end.

The leaderboard shows Josh Blackmore ahead with 6.5/7, followed by Paul Brooks on 5.5/6 and Andrew Kinder on 5/5. There are some crucial games coming up in the next few weeks!

This week's games can be seen here.

Alan draws with GM!

Alan Brusey took part in the ECF Blitz tournament on this week and gained a draw as black against Grandmaster Bogdan Lalic. Bogdan played an early simplifying line against Alan's favourite Chigorin defence and Alan was never in trouble from start to finish.

At a less rarified level, 3 games were played in the latest round of our online tournament. Wilf Taylor took on Paul Brooks, and, after a quiet opening, Wilf played a speculative bishop sacrifice to break up the pawn cover in front of Paul's king. Unfortunately, the rest of his pieces weren't able to help in the follow-up, and Paul was able to simplify to a winning endgame.

Josh Blackmore won a piece early in his game against Mike Hussey, and Mike resigned when his queen was also about to be lost. Peter Ruszelak and Niranjana Narayanan played a fluctuating game where, initially Peter was well ahead, but, then, overlooked some tactics and finished the exchange down. Niranjana wasn't able to press home her material advantage, and they agreed a draw.

All the games are accessible here.

Brooks and Kinder Victorious

Andrew Kinder and Paul Brooks continued their good form in the latest online matches.

Paul played Peter Ruszelak, and after a balanced opening, Peter made the committal decision to castle queenside. His king was certainly not safe there from Paul's advancing pawns and a nice knight sacrifice from Paul enabled him to break through and gain the point.

Andrew's game against Naru Narayanan was decided when Naru played an incorrect sacrifice in a position where he was under some pressure.

Here are the latest games.

Due to the new lockdown, we have decided to suspend the 'At Home' tournament for 1 month. We will review the situation at the beginning of December.

Latest Online Games

4 more games were played in the Newton Abbot online tournament this week.

Josh Blackmore continued his strong run in the tournament against Alan Brusey. Good play in the opening allowed him to win a pawn and he successfully transformed his position into a winning rook and pawn endgame. Andrew Kinder got an early advantage against Mike Hussey's King's Indian defence and Mike resigned when Andrew's attack broke through. Niranjana Narayanan tried to attack Wilf Taylor's king from the opening but then missed a back rank tactic which cost her a knight. Wilf successfully mopped up. Father Naru suffered the same fate against Wilf when a long tough game went down to a pawn ending where Wilf prevailed.

Currently top of the table is Josh Blackmore with 4.5 from 5 games played, followed by Paul Brooks 3.5/4, with Andrew Kinder on 3/3.

Here are the latest games.

At Home Matches

Newton Abbot's 'at home' tournament got underway with 2 recent matches.

Wilf Taylor hosted Trefor Thynne, but had a disappointing outcome when he blundered dropping a piece after playing out a fairly level opening. Alan Brusey and Paul Brooks played out their second game in 3 days, with the same outcome. This time Alan got a clear advantage from the opening, but then missed a sneaky trap which allowed Paul strong counterplay, and he was eventually quite fortunate when Paul offered a draw.

Here are the games.

More Online Matches

4 more matches were played in the online tournament this week.

Naru Narayanan lost as white against Peter Ruszelak, while daughter Niranjana suffered the same fate against Paul Brooks. Josh Blackmore overcame Danilo Vasques, while Alan Brusey and Paul Brooks agreed a draw when Paul could not find a way to break through.

The games can be viewed here.

Second Round of Online Matches

The higher-rated players had good results in the second round of matches in the Newton Abbot online tournament.

Peter Ruszelak overcame Mike Hussey and Josh Blackmore defeated Niranjana Narayanan in the early kick-offs. On Thursday night, Andrew Kinder eventally prevailed in a fluctuating game against Danilo Wasques, Alan Brusey defeated Niranjana, while father Naru had the same fate after putting up a tough fight against Paul Brooks. The first draw of the tournament occurred when a French Defence played by Josh against Wilf Taylor ended up in a totally blocked position.

The games can be viewed here.

Twin Town Clash Goes Down To The Wire

An exciting return online match between Newton Abbot and twin town chess club, de Pionier of Hellevoetsluis, went down to the final game.

The match had been close throughout with Stephen Homer, Paul Brooks and Nandaja Narayanan winning both their games. Late substitute Charles Howard gained 1/2 while Naru Narayanan got the same score.

Other Newton Abbot players had failed to score and with Andrew Kinder drawing his first game, the scoreline was 8.5-8.5 as the players entered the final moves.

Andrew built up a strong position on the kingside and decided to try to break through with a piece-sacrifice. His opponent defended well and when Andrew was unable to bring up the reserves, the counterattack was deadly.

The final result was a 9.5-8.5 victory for de Pionier.

Online Tournament Launches

The Newton Abbot Online Tournament on Lichess got off to a successful start with 4 matches being played this week.

Andrew Kinder got off to a great start by defeating one of the favourites, Alan Brusey, in a Vienna variation.

Josh Blackmore overcame Peter Ruszelak, while Mike Hussey was unlucky not to hold Paul Brooks to a draw when he lost the thread in an otherwise equal ending.

Youth triumphed in the battle of the Narayanans with Niranjana taking the spoils against her father, Naru.

The games can be viewed here.

New Season Tournaments

As the new season approaches, challenges to over-the-board chess continue. We will put in place two tournaments to keep members involved.

The first tournament will be modelled on the DCCA individual tournaments where one player travels to the opponent's home to play a game. We will organise it to even out travel issues and to take into account members who do not have cars. Depending on numbers involved this might be a one-round or two-round (home and away) tournament. Time controls will be all moves in 60 mins plus 30 second increment per move (if players want to opt for a longer time control this will be allowed). Please let Paul know if you want to play.

We will also organise an online tournament probably on lichess with a time control of 45 mins plus 15 second increment. If players are interested it would be good to play this as a regular event on Thursday evenings starting at 7pm. Games would last between 1 and 2 hours and it is easy to view other players games when yours has finished. This might give us a feel of the club continuing even in these difficult times. Paul will create a schedule of matches leading up to Christmas for all the players who wish to be involved so please let him know if you want to take part.

In the next few weeks we will organise a return online match between Newton Abbot and de Pionier of the Netherlands, and there are plans to organise online matches against Plymouth and South Hams.

Watch out for emails to confirm the details.

Niranjana Qualifies

Congratulations to Niranjana Narayanan who has qualified for the Terafinals of the UK Chess Challenge which is being held online this year. She scored a very creditable 5 points out of 7 in the recent online Gigafinal. We all wish her good luck in the next stage.

Twin Town Challenge

Newton Abbot Chess took on rivals from Torbay's twin town, de Pionier of Hellevoetsluis, Netherlands, in a 10-board online match.

The match was very close, with hard-fought games throughout, but, eventually, de Pionier, came through as victors by 11.5-8.5.

Well done in particular to Suhayl Abdalla and Alex Billings who won both their games. It was also great to welcome back Freddie Sugden playing his first match for a number of years. A rematch is planned in the next couple of months, so watch this space.

Victory for South Hams

The return online match between Newton Abbot Chess and South Hams was a close-fought encounter over 9 boards.

Andrew Kinder and Piotr Ruszelak performed particularly well for Newton Abbot winning both their games.

Danilo Wasques gained 1.5 from his two games, Wilf Taylor and Suhayl Abdalla picked up a point each, while Niranjana Narayanan scored half a point out of 2. The match was won and lost on the top 3 boards where South Hams had a clean sweep of victories, but it was great to see Alex Billings back playing for Newton Abbot on top board. In the end, South Hams were overall victors by 10 points to 8.

Club Championship News

Now that it has become obvious that we won't be meeting as a club for a while, the President, Secretary and Competitions’ Secretary conferred as to how to conclude this year’s unfinished internal tournaments (Curates and Deacons sections). It was agreed to award Joint Champion status to the best performers in the two sections as follows:

Club Championship: Curates: Alan Brusey (9.5/10). Deacons: Trefor Thynne (8/9)

Challengers (under 140): Curates: Richard Brenton (4/8). Deacons: Wilf Taylor (4.5/7)

Minor (under 110): Curates: Aarv Paul (2.5/7). Deacons: Mike Hussey (3.5/8)

Congratulations to all winners. Presentation of awards will have to await a return to some form of normality!

In recent internal tournament games, Trefor Thynne defeated Wilf Taylor at standardplay and Danilo Wasques won at rapidplay against Paul Brooks.

Coronavirus Clash

Newton Abbot Chess enjoyed an online rapidplay match against local rivals South Hams. Six players participated and the games were all hard-fought, with South Hams eventually coming through to win 8-4.

On board 1, Paul Brooks lost 2 very close games against top-rated Steve Levy. Trefor Thynne won one and lost one against Steve Dickinson, while Danilo Wasques achieved the same score against Phil McConnell. Jason Cole had 2 draws against Trevor Hurt, Wilf Taylor gained one out of two against James Fowler and Niranjana Narayanan went down 2-0 against experienced Tony Tatam.

In the internal tournaments, Paul Brooks had 2-0 rapidplay wins against juniors Suhayl Abdalla and Niranjana Narayanan.

Good Luck to Aarv

Everyone at Newton Abbot Chess Club extends their best wishes to junior Aarv Paul who is leaving us as his father is taking up a new post in Yeovil.

Aarv is a bright prospect and we are all very pleased that the standard of his chess has improved during his time with us. We remember especially his excellent victory over Grandmaster Keith Arkell in the simultaneous display last year, a feat of which Aarv can be justly proud.

Good Luck - keep enjoying your chess!

Latest Online News

The online tournaments continue to provide much needed chess during the lockdown.

In the latest Standardplay matches, Jason Cole drew with Trefor Thynne and defeated Paul Brooks, while Paul Brooks and Danilo Wasques played out a hard-fought draw.

The Rapidplay tournament saw Trefor Thynne playing the two junior competitors, defeating Suhayl Abdalla 2-0 and drawing 1-1 with Niranjana Narayanan. Trefor was very complimentary about the standard of their play. Paul Brooks played a single game, winning against Danilo Wasques.

More Online Results

Newton Abbot players enjoyed their chess online over the Easter weekend.

In the Standardplay tournament, Charles Howard and Jason Cole played a topsy-turvy game, where Jason won the exchange, but then played rather passively and allowed Charles to build up a mating attack. In the Rapidplay tournament, Stephen Homer made his debut with a 1.5-0.5 victory over Paul Brooks, while Trefor Thynne defeated Wilf Taylor in a single game, where Wilf missed that Trefor had offered him a draw, then blundered on move 63.

Here is the game between Charles and Jason.

Beat the Bug Tournament First Matches

3 sets of matches took place on the first virtual club night of the year.

In the Standardplay tournament, Trefor Thynne won a tough game against improving junior Suhayl Abdalla. In the Rapidplay tournament, there were 2 sets of matches; Piotr Ruszelak won 2-0 against Danilo Vasquez, while Paul Brooks defeated Wilf Taylor by the same margin.

Remember, games can be played at any time so just get in touch with your fellow competitors and make a challenge.

Online Chess Tournament

We have set up a new club on to play chess online while the club is suspended. Guidance on how to set up a account and join the online club 'Newton Abbot Chess' can be accessed here.

The aim is to set up an online standardplay tournament, and, possibly, a rapidplay tournament between club members. We might also be able to set up an online match against other Devon clubs (South Hams have set up a similar online club). The first step is to join and our online club. When I have an idea about who is keen to take part, I will set up the tournament(s) and provide you with further details. Many thanks, Paul.

Internal Tournaments Update

Thanks to all the club members who have played games in the Curates and Deacons Leagues. Although we couldn't finish the tournaments completely, the top places in both leagues have already been decided.

In the Curates League, Alan Brusey came first with an unbeaten 9.5/10. Second place is still not decided as there are several games still to be played. Things are slightly clearer in the Deacons League, where Trefor Thynne came first with 8/9, and Paul Brooks was second scoring 7. With any luck, we will be able to arrange a play-off to decide the overall champion. Here is the latest game played in the Deacons League, the top-of-the-table clash between Paul and Trefor.

Devon Junior Success

Newton Abbot players swept the board in the older age-groups at the recent Devon Junior Championships. Oliver Mortimer became the under-18 champion, while Evan McMullan was runner-up. At under-15 level, Nirinjana Narayanan won the tournament and Aritra Paul was equal second. Suhayl Abdalla and Aarv Paul competed at under-13 level with Suhayl finishing equal third. Congratulations to all participants!


Here is the text of a message sent to all members in light of the Coronavirus outbreak on 16/3/2020.

Dear club member

The national situation regarding the corona virus epidemic has evolved very quickly to the point where the chess world, like everything else, has had to face up to tough decisions. The English Chess Federation over the weekend advised all club leagues to suspend activity for the next few weeks at least. Most have now done so. The two leagues in which we participate, the Torbay League and the Devon County Chess Association, have contacted clubs to say that, unless clubs agreed between themselves to continue with matches, all league fixtures would be cancelled until further notice. The NACC committee has made a decision that we will not play any further matches and the fixtures that were due to be played this week (TL Div 1 Abbots v Totnes, DCCA Div 2 and Div 4 v Barnstaple) are now off as are the remaining fixtures on this season's list. If the situation changes in a month's time this decision can be reviewed but this seems unlikely. It is almost certain that the Simultaneous display by GM Keith Arkell will not go ahead though I have not yet been in touch with Keith about this. For the time being the club will still open for ordinary club nights on Thursdays for those members who are happy to continue over-the-board chess. I will be there to open up this Thursday. Obviously it is up to every individual member to make his or her own decision as to whether to continue attending or not. I know that a couple of members have decided to stop playing for the foreseeable future. The question of what will happen to the leagues in relation to unplayed club fixtures for the 2019-20 season is one which will be dealt with at the relevant AGMs in early summer. To be realistic it may be next season before any semblance of normality is resumed.

Trefor Thynne Secretary

Two Good Wins

Two excellent performances saw Newton Abbot achieve comfortable victories in their latest matches in divisions 2 and 4. Brixham were the opponents in division 2, and Piotr Ruszelak, Wilf Taylor and Jacquie Barber-Lafon all won their games, with Andrew Kinder drawing on top board, to make the result 3.5-1.5.

The division 4 team took on South Hams and came through with a 3-1 win. Mike Gilding, Mike Hussey and Nirinjana Narayanan were victorious with only top board Richard Brenton going down to defeat.

East Devon Congress

4 Newton Abbot players took part in the 2020 East Devon Congress in Exeter. Alan Brusey scored 2/5 in a very strong Open section. In the Minor, Oliver Mortimer had a positive performance scoring 3/5, while fellow junior Surhayl Abdulla scored 2.5. Richard Brenton also scored 50% in the Minor section.

Draw for Bishops

A close match between the Bishops and South Hams leaves the destination of the first division title very much in doubt. Captain Andrew Kinder carried through a brutal attack on Phil McConnell's king, while, on top board, Alan Brusey weakened his kingside and Steve Levy took advantage. John Nyman and Josh Blackmore drew their games to leave the outcome 2-2. Here are the two decisive games. Scroll down to see the second game.

Moyle Defeat sets up Tense Finale

Plymouth defeated Newton Abbot's Moyle team 3-1 to leave both teams equal on match points and game points coming up to the final round of matches. Whichever team performs better in their final match against Barnstaple should take the title. Against Plymouth, Naru Narayanan gave Newton Abbot an early lead, but, as the afternoon progressed, the home team showed their strength and Nirinjana Narayanan, Mike Hussey and Jacquie Barber-Lafon all succumbed.

Win against Teignmouth after Board Default

Teignmouth arrived at Newton Abbot with a team which broke the division 3 grading limit, so were forced to default board 2 where their captain Ian Henry stepped down. In the match itself, Mike Gilding drew against Richard Bailey, and Mike Hussey recorded a very good win against Charles Doidge. The last match to finish was another epic board 1 encounter between Josh Blackmore and Bill Ingham. Bill had pressure throughout and eventually won a pawn, but Josh defended doggedly and Bill only came through to victory after a long struggle in the endgame.So the final result was 2.5-1.5 to Newton Abbot.

Division 4 Draw against the Grammar School

Newton Abbot's division 4 team claimed their second consecutive draw against TBGS in a match which was notable for the fact that players with the black pieces won all the games. Mike Gilding and Nirinjana Narayanan were both victorious while Paul Miller and Mike Hussey went down.

Schofield Draw

A close match in the DCCA Schofield Cup ended in a 2-2 draw between Newton Abbot and Barnstaple. Charles Howard drew with Steve Clarke on the top board while Danilo Wasques won with white against Rob Oughton on board 2. Mike Gilding drew with Michael Dow on board 4, while captain Wilf Taylor was defeated on board 3 by Richard Smith.

Good Win in Rapidplay

Newton Abbot's latest rapidplay match resulted in a comfortable victory away at Brixham, 6-2. Trefor Thynne and Andrew Kinder both won their matches 2-0, while Paul Miller and Aarv Paul picked up one point each. Here is an exciting game played on the most recent club night.

Bishops dent Abbots' Title Chances

A tense match between Newton Abbot's top teams saw the Bishops claim the spoils and inflict the first defeat of the campaign on the Abbots, 2.5-1.5. On top board, Alan Brusey defended well against Stephen Homer's attack and won the subsequent ending. Mark Bowhay and John Nyman drew on board 2, while Danilo Wasques did not make the most of a good position against Andrew Kinder and eventually succumbed. The last game to finish was the Abbots' only win when Paul Brooks steered his way to victory in a tight endgame against Josh Blackmore. The annotated game can be accessed here.

Division 2 Win against Totnes

Totnes visited Newton Abbot for a close match which Newton won 2.5-1.5. Wins for Wilf Taylor and Mike Gilding were backed up by a draw on top board from new member Piotr Ruszelak.

Latest News

Lots of recent matches have taken place, and are summarised in Trefor's recent newsletter which can be viewed here.

Newton Abbot through to Final

An excellent team performance took Newton Abbot through to the final of the White Knights KO Cup following a 5-1 win against Teignmouth. The team was undefeated with good wins for Richard Brenton, Wilf Taylor, Paul Miller and Mike Hussey and solid draws for Jacquie Barber Lafon and Josh Blackmore, the latter playing very coolly to hold a difficult queen and pawn ending against Teignmouth's top player.

Excellent Away Win in Division 3

A trip to Plymouth on a wet and windy Monday was rewarded with a very good victory for Newton Abbot's division 3 team. Good wins for Jacquie Barber Lafon and Nirinjana Narayanan were offset by a defeat on top board for Wilf Taylor. The match was rounded off by a victory for Mike Gilding who mated his opponent in excellent geometrical style to make the final result 3-1.

Abbots Top the Table

Newton Abbot 'Abbots' top the Torbay League First Division table at the halfway stage of the season following their latest match away at Totnes. Paul Brooks had an early victory when Charles Howard blundered a piece. Danilo Wasques also lost a piece for insufficient compensation against Rob Wilby to make the score 1-1. Stephen Homer carried through an excellent minor piece attack to mate David Archer, while Trefor Thynne's pressure eventually told against Ben Wilkinson to seal the victory 3-1.

Rapidplay Team Defeated

Plymouth came to Newton Abbot in the Torbay League Rapidplay Division and were victorious in a close match by 5 games to 3. Star of the show for Newton Abbot was Josh Blackmore on board 1 who gained one victory and one draw against Mick Stinton-Brownbridge.

Instructive Endgame

A recent friendly between Paul Brooks and Richard Brenton reached an opposite-coloured bishop endgame, where Paul found to his cost that delicate manouevering is sometimes much more important than material advantage. Here it is.

Good win in Schofield

Two closely matched teams contested a hard-fought match when Newton Abbot faced Teignmouth in the latest DCCA Schofield encounter. On paper it was a comfortable 3.5-0.5 victory for Newton Abbot, but all the games were very tight and, at one point, it looked as though Teignmouth were on top. Well done to Charles Howard, Mike Gilding, Mike Hussey and captain Wilf Taylor.

Drama in Division 2

Newton Abbot visited Brixham for the first time since they returned to the Torbay League in a match which had more than its fair share of drama. Wilf Taylor won quickly against Mike Cuggy, but then the evening took a worrying turn when Nathan Mills unfortunately fell ill and an ambulance had to be called. After this the other games in the match were agreed drawn to leave Newton Abbot victorious by 2.5-1.5.

Topsy-Turvy Mamhead Match

Exmouth came to Newton Abbot for the second Mamhead match of the season and left victorious by 2.5-1.5. It was a fluctuating match with fortunes changing as the games went on. Paul Brooks won the exchange and was well ahead, but then underestimated the potential of Mark Abbott's bishop-pair and lost. Charlie Howard couldn’t make headway against Brian Gosling's solid defence.

The bottom 2 boards should have had completely opposite results – John Nyman was a piece up and clearly winning, then, unfortunately, left his queen en prise. Josh Blackmore was 2 pawns down in a queen and pawn endgame and should have lost but his much lower graded opponent struggled to win it and eventually allowed Josh a one-move mate!

Busy Night for Matches

Four Newton Abbot teams were involved in Torbay League matches on the latest club night.

In Division 1, the Abbots played the Bishops, and came through 3-1 to retain their unbeaten record. The top two boards were drawn, with Alan Brusey fighting back well against Stephen Homer, and Paul Brooks rescuing a draw from an unfavourable position against John Nyman. Trefor Thynne won a controlled attacking game against Josh Blackmore, and Danilo Wasques defeated Les Barron. The interesting game Blackmore v Thynne is attached here.

The division 3 and 4 teams didn't fare so well. Torquay Boy's Grammar School produced an excellent performance to win 3.5-0.5 against our division 3 team. Jacquie Barber Lafon held the draw against James Gibbs, but Richard Brenton lost when he missed a one-move mate against Isaac Kennedy-Bruyneels. Mike Gilding lost on time, while Nirinjana Narayanan went down quickly on board 4.

It was a similar story in division 4 where the team went to South Hams and came away with a 3-1 defeat. Mike Hussey defeated Roy Greenhalgh but the other 3 matches resulted in wins for the home team.

Schofield Team Defeated

Newton Abbot's Schofield team made the long journey to Barnstaple but came away empty-handed. Charles Howard won on top board, Danilo Wasques shared the points on board 2, but defeats on boards 3 and 4 gave victory to the home team, 2.5-1.5.

Bishops Go Down Fighting

An understrength Bishops team fought hard in their away match at South Hams. The whole team were facing higher-graded opponents; Alan Brusey, Andrew Kinder and junior Bradley Holland all gained very good draws with only Paul Miller failing to score in a close 1.5-2.5 defeat.

Plymouth Rapidplay

Many of the stronger players from Devon participated in the annual Plymouth Rapidplay tournament. Newton Abbot's Alan Brusey scored a creditable 3 points out of 6.

Exciting Club Night for Internal Tournament Games

There was lots of action in the Championship tournaments at the latest club night. In the Curates League, Charles Howard won the 'top-of-the-table' clash against Andrew Kinder, Alan Brusey defeated Evan McMullan, while Mike Gilding overcame Aarv Paul. The Deacons League saw Trefor Thynne beat Mike Hussey, and Josh Blackmore overcome Naru Narayanan. Paul Brooks won a tough game against Paul Miller - the annotated game is available here.

Foreign Adventures

Good luck to John Nyman who is currently playing in Benidorm in an international Swiss tournament (XVIII Gran Torneo Internacional - Aficionados B). His progress can be followed via

Moyle Team Victorious Again

Newton Abbot's season was put back on the right road by the table-topping Moyle team. They travelled to Barnstaple and came away with a 2.5-1.5 win. Mike Hussey and Naru Narayanan both won with the white pieces with Jacquie Barber-Lafon drawing on top board to secure the victory.

Defeats in Divisions 1 and 2

Newton Abbot Bishops league campaign got off to a shaky start with a heavy defeat against new boys Totnes. Josh Blackmore gained a draw against Ben Wilkinson, but Alan Brusey, John Nyman and Andrew Kinder went down in a match which finished 0.5-3.5.

At the same time, the division 2 team were taking on South Hams. Danilo Wasques, Richard Brenton and Aarv Paul all failed to score, while Trefor Thynne, in his second match against Steve Dickinson in a month, carried through his kingside attack to victory. The match finished in a 3-1 victory for South Hams. The bright spot of the evening for Newton Abbot, Trefor's win, is available here.

Two Close Matches

Newton Abbot teams went down to South Hams by a single point in the 2 latest Torbay League matches. The Rapidplay team travelled to Kingsbridge and were defeated 4.5-3.5. In their games, Alan Brusey scored 0.5/2, Andrew Kinder 1/2, Wilf Taylor 1.5/2 and Mike Hussey 0.5/2.

Meanwhile, at Newton Abbot, the division 3 team also lost a close match against South Hams, 1.5-2.5. Solid draws were gained on boards 2-4 by Jacquie Barber-Lafon, Paul Miller and Aarv Paul, but Richard Brenton's time ran out in a tense position against James Schofield to give South Hams the victory.

Danilo Takes the Top Prize

There were several very good performances by Newton Abbot players at the Torbay Chess Congress. Star of the show was Danilo Wasques who took first place in the Intermediate section with an undefeated 4.5 out of 5 points. In another impressive performance, Jacquie Barber-Lafon won her last two games to finish equal third in the same tournament. Other club members who scored at least 50% were Alan Brusey, Paul Brooks, Charles Howard, John Nyman, Jamie Glasson, Suhayl Abdalla, Aarv Paul and Bradley Holland. Full details of all the Newton Abbot scores:

Open Section - Alan Brusey 3/5 (Grading Prize)

Major Section - Paul Brooks 3/5 Charles Howard 3/5 John Nyman 2.5/5

Intermediate Section - Danilo Wasques 4.5/5 Jacquie Barber-Lafon 3.5/5 Richard Brenton 0.5/5 (Slow Starter Prize)

Foundation Section - Suhayl Abdalla 3/5 (Grading Prize) Aarv Paul 2.5/5 Bradley Holland 2.5/5 Oliver Mortimer 2/5 Nirinjana Narayanan 1.5/5 Alfie Sequeira 1.5/5 Naru Narayanan 1.5/5

Club members also won several of the cups awarded to local players. In the Open section, Alan Brusey won the Basil Wallis cup, Danilo Wasques shared the Ralph Newman Cup, while Suhayl Abdalla shared the John Whitfield cup for the best score by a Devon Junior. Well done to all the competitors!

Win for Division 4 Team

Well done to Newton Abbot's division 4 team on their convincing victory, 3-1, against Teignmouth. The Narayanan's, Nirinjana and Naru, continued their fine form with victories on boards 3 and 4. Mike Gilding had a good first win for the club on board 2, while Mike Hussey lost an attacking game on board 1.

Arbiter Award for Josh

Congratulations to Josh Blackmore who qualified as an ECF level 1 arbiter after successfully completing a recent course at Exeter.

Fine Moyle Victory

Mike Hussey's Moyle team got their campaign off to a winning start with an excellent 3-1 victory against Plymouth. Two good victories for juniors Nirinjana Narayanan and Aritra Paul against their Plymouth junior counterparts gave Newton Abbot the lead, while Mike Gilding went down on board 2. The best game of the match saw captain Mike Hussey gain a positive result on board 1, defeating the much higher-graded Rob Wilby in an exciting contest. Here is the score of Mike's game.

Good Evening for Championship Games

8 more Club Championship games were played on the latest club night, all of them leading to a decisive result. In the Curates league, top seed Alan Brusey continued his impressive start to the tournament by defeating Danilo Wasques, while, second seed, Charles Howard won as black against Evan McMullan. Two higher-graded players were made to work hard for their victories with Andrew Kinder coming back from a poor position against Mike Gilding, and Richard Brenton, a pawn-down in a difficult position, profiting from an endgame error by Bradley Holland.

In the Deacons League, results went with the seedings. Top seed, Paul Brooks overcame a spirited challenge from junior, Nirinjana Narayanan - the game, an instructive French defence is accessible here - while, second seed, Trefor Thynne defeated her father, Naru. Josh Blackmore won with the black pieces against James Gibbs, and Mike Hussey also won with black against Les Barron.

Good luck to all the club members playing in the Beacon Seniors and Torbay Chess Congress next week.

First Defeat of Season

Plymouth inflicted the first defeat of the season on Newton Abbot as they started their defence of the Mamhead Cup. The teams were very closely matched on paper with players on each board separated by three grading points at most. Paul Brooks had a promising position against Mick Stinton-Brownbridge, but couldn't make the most of it and the players agreed a draw. Alan Brusey, on top board, blundered a pawn in the opening, but fought back well, and was only beaten by excellent play in the ending from his opponent, David Twine. Danilo Wasques gained his first point for the club by creating a strong attack against Rob Wilby and successfully converting his material advantage into a winning endgame. The last game to finish saw Charles Howard fighting hard but succumbing under time pressure against Nick Butland. So Plymouth won a close match 2.5 - 1.5.

Two More Exciting Contests

Newton Abbot's unbeaten start to the season continued following two exciting matches this Thursday. The Abbots started their Division 1 campaign with a tough match against South Hams who brought their strongest ever team to the Courtenay Centre. Paul Brooks agreed a relatively early draw against the higher-graded Dennis Cowley, while debutant, Danilo Wasques didn't make the most of a promising position and swapped off into a lost king and pawn ending. The best game of the night was on board 1 where Stephen Homer produced a consummate defensive performance to outplay his very strong opponent Steve Levy. The last match to finish saw Trefor Thynne just fail to convert an advantage he had held for most of his game against Steve Dickinson, when he swapped off into an endgame 2 pawns up, only to find that it was impossible to win because of opposite-coloured bishops. A very well-deserved 2-2 draw. Here are all of the games from the match. Steve's and Trefor's games are well worth playing through. (Scroll down to see all the games.)

The rapidplay team produced a winning performance against the newly reformed Brixham club. Josh Blackmore won both his games against Chris Collins, Andrew Kinder had a win and a draw against Nathan Mlls, while Aarv Paul had 2 good wins against Barry Lippard. Only James Gibbs struggled against the experienced Mike Cuggy. A very good win by 5.5 - 2.5.

Good performances in Divisions 2 and 4

Newton Abbot's division 2 team overcame debutants, Totnes, in a close match, 2.5-1.5. Good wins on the top 2 boards for John Nyman (against fellow club-member Charles Howard) and Josh Blackmore were backed up by a draw for James Gibbs on board 4.

There was an excellently contested match in Division 4 between Torquay Boys G.S. and Newton Abbot which ended in a hard-fought draw. The match was notable for the fact that all the players were Newton Abbot members. Torquay Boys took the spoils on the top 2 boards with Oliver Mortimer defeating Mike Hussey and Aarv Paul overcoming new member Mike Gilding. Newton Abbot fought back on boards 3 and 4, where Nirinjana Narayanan overcame Bradley Holland, while her father Naru defeated Aritra Paul. So 2-2 was the final score!

Lively Club Night

The Club Championship got off to a lively start on this week's club night with seven games played. Most notably, Richard Brenton had a very strong performance as black against the higher-graded Charles Howard, reaching a rook and pawn endgame a pawn up. Accurate defence ensured that Charles escaped with a draw. The results of the other games are on the competitions page. Competititors: please organise your games in the tournament!

Great First Win

Newton Abbot's division 3 team got the season off to a flying start with a 3.5-0.5 away win at Teignmouth. Josh Blackmore had an excellent victory on top board against the very experienced Bill Ingham, while Jacquie Barber-Lafon had a very good draw against Ian Henry. On board 3 Mike Hussey overcame Charles Doidge, while junior Aarv Paul also won to round off a splendid evening for Newton Abbot.

Enter the Devon Individual Tournaments

Newton Abbot has a strong tradition of success in the Devon DCCA Individual Championships. The current Devon Champion, Intermediate Champion and Ladies' Champion are all Newton Abbot members.

Here is an opportunity to enter the competition in 2019-20. There are 4 sections - the Devon Championship for players graded 170 and above, the Intermediate Championship for players graded 140-169, the Minor Championship for players graded 139 and below, and the Ladies' Championship with no grade limits. Each tournament is all-play-all once, and most matches are played on a club night or at weekends. Full details are in the attached leaflet. Paul is the Tournament Controller so just let him know if you want to enter.

Lively First Night Competition

It was great to welcome so many new faces to the first Club night of the year. A lively and competitive blitz handicap tournament stretched the brains of all participants with stronger players having to cope with as little as 2 minutes for their games, while some of the less-experienced players recorded very good wins.

Evan McMullan won the junior blitz prize, with Trefor Thynne, Josh Blackmore, Jacquie Barber-Lafon, and new players, Danilo Wasquez and Rob McPherson, performing particularly well in the senior event. Next Thursday will be a normal club night, so come prepared to play some longer (and maybe less frenetic) games. Please let Paul know by 10th October if you want to play in the Club Championship. Details of the Championship Competitions are attached here.

Tough Competition at Paignton

Newton Abbot players found the competition tough at the recent DCCA Paignton Congress. 6 club members participated with none scoring more than 50% in their section.

Alan Brusey scored 3.5 out of 9 in the Premier, Paul Brooks 3 out of 7 in the Challengers, while John Nyman scored 2.5 in the same event. Trefor Thynne entered two tournaments, scoring3 out of 7 in the Challengers and 2.5 out of 5 in the morning Boniface tournament. Jacquie Barber-Lafon also scored 2.5 out of 5 in the morning Thynne tournament. Richard Brenton enjoyed his first-ever chess congress experience, scoring 2.5 out of 7 in the Intermediate section, but impressing everyone with the quality and style of his various chess-themed sweatshirts. One game from the tournament, (Paul's only decent game, he says) is annotated here.

Newton Abbot Players perform well at British Championships

12 players from Newton Abbot club took part in different tournaments at the British Championships in Torquay, all with some success. 5 juniors participated and will have benefited from the tough competition they faced. Of particular note was the performance of James Gibbs who came equal second in the Under 100 tournament.

Trefor has compiled statistics for players' performances and these are attached.

Internal Competitions Results

The 2018-2019 Internal Competitions were hard fought with some excellent chess played. In Section A, John Stephens had a stunning performance winning all his seven games (although he readily admits that he had to battle back from some 'dodgy' opening positions). Alan Brusey came a creditable second with 5 points.

In Section B, Jacquie Barber-Lafon emerged victorious with 4 points, ahead of joint second-placed junior members Luke Glasson and Evan McMullan on 3 points.

Section C was won by another junior, Nirinjana Narayanan, with 4.5 points, ahead of junior James Gibbs with 3.5.

The Rapidplay Tournament was won by Josh Blackmore with 17.5 points, ahead of Alan Brusey with 14 points.

Congratulations to all competitors. Prizes will be awarded at the Club AGM on Thursday 23rd May.

Knockout Cup Triumph

Newton Abbot's strength-in-depth told as they wrapped up a very successful season with a 5-1 victory in the Torbay League Knockout Cup Final against Teignmouth. Teignmouth's promising junior Jamie Glasson picked up an early win against Naru Narayanan, but, following this setback, the Newton Abbot team turned the screw and victories followed one after another with Teignmouth drawing blanks in all the other games. Congratulations to team members Charles Howard, Josh Blackmore, Clive Liggatt, Mike Hussey, Richard Brenton and Naru Narayanan.

This result means that Newton Abbot teams have won 7 trophies making this the club's very best season since it formed in 2005.

Fighting Draw in Mamhead

Newton Abbot's trophy-winning Mamhead team finished the season undefeated with a hard-fought draw 2-2 away at Exmouth. Mark Bowhay and John Nyman took the spoils on boards 3 and 4, while Exmouth's strong pairings on the top two boards overcame Paul Brooks and Charles Howard. The games from the match can be accessed here.

Rooke Cup Victory Crowns Excellent Season

Newton Abbot brought home another DCCA trophy with an excellent 5-3 victory over Seaton in the final of the DCCA Rooke Cup. 3 new club members, Mark Bowhay, John Nyman, and Clive Liggatt all contributed well to a very solid performance with 2 victories (by John Nyman and Bradley Holland) and 6 draws (by John Stephens, Charles Howard, Mark Bowhay, Wilf Taylor, Evan McMullan and Clive Liggatt). Congratulations to captain Wilf Taylor and all the team.

This result caps the best-ever season for Newton Abbot in the DCCA leagues, winning the Rooke Cup and finishing top of the table in the Mamhead, Schofield and Moyle divisions. Well done to all who have contributed to an exceptional season. Games from the match can be accessed here.

Success at World Seniors

Two Newton Abbot players represented England with success in the World Seniors Championship held in Rhodes in April 2019. Stephen Homer played for England 2 in the Over-50s section and scored a very creditable 4 out of 7 helping England 2 to 9th place out of 26 teams. Trefor Thynne competed for England 3 in the Over-65s and scored 4.5 out of 9, which helped ensure that England 3 came 14th out of 27 teams, an excellent performance given that they were seeded to finish 22nd.

Devon Ladies' Championship - Only Newton Abbot Players Involved

Newton Abbot provided all 3 players in the 2018-19 Devon Ladies' Championship - Jacquie Barber Lafon, Nandaja Narayanan and her younger sister, Nirinjana. A tough competition was only resolved by a play-off between Jacquie and Nandaja. Nandaja triumphed in the game attached here and became the new Devon Ladies' Champion. Congratulations to all the players involved.

April Newsletter

Trefor's latest newsletter is attached here. It has all the latest news from the club, including successes in the Devon and Torbay Leagues, with a large number of results from recent matches.

Bishops win Torbay Premier League

Newton Abbot Bishops completed an excellent first season as champions of the Torbay Chess League Premier Division when Teignmouth were forced to default their last match against them. Their campaign included 5 victories and just a single defeat. Congratulations to captain Andrew Kinder and his team. The Abbots ended third in the division with a record of 3 wins and 3 defeats, but had the slight compensation of inflicting the Bishops' only defeat of the season.

Bremridge Team go down to League Champions Exeter

Exeter made their strength tell in Newton Abbot's final Bremridge match of the season, winning by a score of 4.5-1.5. Outgraded on all boards, the match got off to a shaky start for Newton Abbot when Charles Howard blundered a piece and Paul Brooks was comprehensively outplayed in the opening to give Exeter an early 2-0 lead. Alan Brusey made a draw on board 1, then Vignesh Ramesh after fighting hard allowed his opponent to break through decisively on the king's side. Trefor Thynne defended a difficult position very well, and would have gained half a point had he heard his opponent's draw offer, made a couple of moves before he put himself in zugzwang. The brightest moment for Newton Abbot came at the end of the match, when Josh Blackmore, after being under pressure for most of the game, broke through with a classy sacrificial attack to gain the sole win for the team. Thanks to captain Trefor Thynne and to all the players who have played in the Bremridge this season.

Schofield Triumph

A first trip to an away fixture at East Budleigh saw Newton Abbot return assured of winning the Schofield Cup. Good wins for Josh Blackmore, Wilf Taylor and Nirinjana Narayanan ensured a 3-1 victory, with Paul Brooks going down to defeat on board 1. Newton Abbot now know that, although they can still be caught on match points, their better game points' total will mean they win the title. Congratulations to team captain Wilf Taylor and all the members of the club who have represented the team this season.

Mamhead Team Stay on Top

Newton Abbot's Mamhead team made it 3 out of 3 with a hard-earned victory against Plymouth. Paul Brooks and Trefor Thynne played out solid but quite uneventful draws on boards 1 and 2. On board 3, Charles Howard obtained a good position from the opening against Rob Wilby's Budapest gambit and carried through the subsequent attack confidently and accurately. The match was decided by an exciting and fluctuating game on board 4 between Martin Quinn and John Nyman. Following quite a quiet opening, John's central pawns and well-placed pieces seemed to give him the advantage, but Martin gained counterplay by advancing his king-side pawns. As the clock ticked down both players missed opportunities, and when Martin missed a winning capture by his knight on move 51, John was able to force his pawns through, sealing a 3-1 victory for Newton Abbot. The decisive games from the match can be accessed here.

D team win the title

A 4-0 victory over TBGS cemented Newton Abbot D team's position as title winners in Division 4. Having scored 6 wins and 2 defeats, their points' difference now means they can't be caught even though there are still a couple of matches still to be played. Congratulations to team captain Mike Hussey, Kieran Raine, Richard Brenton and Naru Narayanan (who played in the TBGS fixture) and all the other club members who have represented the team this season.

East Devon Congress

Seven Newton Abbot members played in the recent East Devon congress at Exeter. In the Open section, John Stephens came away with 3/5 while Charles Howard sored 1.5. The Major (u155) section included John Nyman with 3.5/5 and Jason Cole with 2/5. 3 players competed in the Minor section (u125) with Oliver Mortimer scoring 3/5, Aarv Paul scoring 2 and new member Clive Liggatt scoring a very creditable 2.5/5.

4-0 to the D team

Newton Abbot's D team won a crushing victory at home to Teignmouth. All 4 games resulted in victories for the home team. Congratulations to Mike Hussey, Isaac Kennedy-Bruyneels, Richard Brenton and Nirinjana Narayanan.

Away Defeat for Abbots

The Abbots made the long journey to South Hams in the premier division and came away empty-handed. John Stephens had a good win on board 1 against Steve Levy, while, on board 2, Paul Brooks and Dave Archer played out a fluctuating game which ended in a draw. The damage was done on the bottom boards where John Nyman's good run of form came to an end against James Schofield, while Evan McMullan lost a positional battle against Ben Wilkinson, to leave the final score 1.5-2.5. The game between Archer and Brooks can be accessed here.

March Newsletter

Trefor's latest newsletter is attached here. It has all the latest news from the club, with a large number of results from recent matches.

Another Moyle Victory

Newton Abbot's Moyle team made it 3 out of 3 with a home victory against Teignmouth, 2.5 - 1.5. There were wins for Evan McMullan and Mike Hussey on boards 2 and 3, while top board Jacquie Barber-Lafon gained a draw. Only Naru Narayanan failed to score after he was defeated on board 4. This result means that Newton Abbot only need a draw in their final match against Barnstaple to maintain their hold on the Moyle Cup.

Two Exciting Section A Games

The internal club tournaments are reaching their climax, and, last Thursday, saw two games in section A where the lower-graded player nearly caused a big upset. Andrew Kinder played the very aggressive Latvian Gambit as black against Alan Brusey and sacrificed the exchange to build up a threatening attacking position. At a crucial moment, a subtle king move would have allowed Andrew to bring his rook into the fray, but he elected to regain the sacrificed material and Alan took over the initiative and converted the point.

Jason Cole played white against top seed John Stephens and after 12 moves they had reached a fairly even position in a Kings Indian Attack. Then, on move 13, Jason played a move which 'lost' a pawn, but he took the opportunity to launch a king-side attack. Jason's queen penetrated deep into John's position, and another agressive pawn move increased the tension still further. John missed the best move which would have made Jason's queen very uncomfortable, and a couple of moves later, Jason had the chance to play a very strong Bishop move, which, if followed up with a line-opening bishop sacrifice, would have ripped John's position apart. After this miss, John's counterattack came quickly and he wrapped up the point efficiently.

Both games can be accessed here. (Scroll down to see the second game)

Revenge for Abbots

Premier division rivals Newton Abbot Abbots and Bishops met on Thursday with the Abbots keen to avenge their early season defeat. For the Abbots, on board 1, Stephen Homer put Alan Brusey under early pressure and broke through to take the point. John Nyman made it 2-0 by defeating Bishops' captain Andrew Kinder. On board 4, the game between Josh Blackmore and Wilf Taylor looked to be heading for a draw, when, probably due to the match situation, Josh pushed too hard for a win, and Wilf converted to make the score 3-0 to the Abbots. A whitewash was avoided when Charles Howard won a hard-fought game against Paul Brooks. So the final score was 3-1 to the Abbots, but the Bishops still look well placed to win the league title.

Good Win in D Division

Newton Abbot D team travelled to table-topping South Hams and came away with an important win, 2.5-1.5. There were good wins for new-player Richard Brenton and junior Isaac Kennedy-Bruyneels, captain Mike Hussey made a draw on board 2, while the only defeat was for Thomas Bonds on board 1. This result leaves the D team in a strong position to challenge for the league title.


Rapidplay Team go down

Plymouth visited Newton Abbot in the latest rapidplay match and their stronger team inflicted a defeat on the home side, 5.5 - 2.5. Jason Cole and Mike Hussey scored one win each while Jacquie Barber-Lafon gained a draw in the first round of matches.

Victory for Table-Topping Bishops

Newton Abbot Bishops continued their excellent form with an away victory against South Hams, 2.5 - 1.5. The win was sealed on boards 3 and 4, where Andrew Kinder and Josh Blackmore defeated Ben Wilkinson and Phil McConnell, respectively. Charles Howard gained a draw in his first match since he came back from Spain, while Alan Brusey suffered a defeat in a tight game against top board Steven Levy.

Latest Newsletter

Trefor's February newsletter is attached here. It has all the latest news from the club, plus details of upcoming matches.

Another Moyle Victory

Newton Abbot achieved a comfortable win,3.5 -0.5, against Barnstaple in their latest DCCA Moyle Cup match. There were victories for Jacquie Barber-Lafon, Evan McMullan and Aarv Paul, while Mike Hussey drew on board 3. This result leaves Newton Abbot on top of the table in the Moyle. Evan also competed in the recent South of England Junior championships scoring 3 out of 5, while fellow Newton Abbot junior James Gibbs scored 1.5.

New Grades Published

The latest January gradings have been published and are available here . These will be used in Torbay League matches during the second half of the season.

Simon Bartlett Memorial

Five members of Newton Abbot Chess Club played in the second Simon Bartlett Memorial tournament in Torquay. In the Open, won by GM Keith Arkell, John Stephens came joint-third, with a creditable 3 out of 5, while Alan Brusey scored 1 out of 3. In the Major, new member John Nyman was joint second with 3.5 out 5.

Two members competed in the Minor tournament. Aarv Paul scored 3 out of 5, while Naru Narayanan scored 2 and also won the prize for the LOUDEST SHIRT!

C Team Falter at South Hams

In their latest division 2 match, the Newton Abbot C team travelled to South Hams but fell to a disappointing defeat, going down 3-1. Jacqui Barber-Lafon and Nirinjana Narayanan both achieved good draws with Black, but Paul Miller and Mike Hussey suffered losses against experienced opponents.

Meanwhile, at the Newton Abbot club night, there was another strong turnout, with several matches taking place in the club championship. In section A, top-graded John Stephens overcame Alan Brusey, Paul Brooks defeated Andrew Kinder while Jason Cole and Josh Blackmore played out a draw. In section C, Prabhu Kashap went down to Leon Farmer, while juniors Aarv Paul and James Gibbs drew.

Good Results for Newton's Premier Teams

Two matches on the same evening in the Torbay League Premier Division both resulted in good wins for Newton Abbot. The Bishops maintained their excellent record at the top of the division by beating a strong South Hams team, 3-1. Alan Brusey and Andrew Kinder overcame strong opponents on boards 1 and 2, while Josh Blackmore and Jason Cole backed this up with solid draws on boards 3 and 4.

The Abbots were also successful, overcoming Teignmouth 3.5-0.5. John Stephens won a early pawn on on board 1 and wrapped up the point smoothly. Paul Brooks ground out a victory in a tough game, while Isaac Kennedy-Bruyneels maintained his good record in the premier division by takng advantage of his opponent's mistake to win on board 4. On board 2, Stephen Homer built up a very strong attack which looked as though he was bound to win, but tough defence from his opponent enabled him to swap off into a drawn opposite-coloured bishop ending a pawn down.

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