CHESS CORNWALL
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County Matches 2015/16

 

Played at Yate
on 23rd April 2016
  CORNWALL 5½ - 10½ LINCOLNSHIRE
1 237 Andrew Greet 1 - 0 Chris Dorrington 229
2 187 Jeremy Menadue 0 - 1 Paul Cumbers 192
3 178 James Hooker ½ - ½ Nick Stead 195
4   Default 0 - 1 Default  
5 174 Lloyd Retallick 1 - 0 Joe Kilshaw 172
6 175 David Saqui 0 - 1 Nigel Birtwistle 183
7 160 Gary Trudeau ½ - ½ Stuart Williams 183
8 155 Colin Sellwood 0 - 1 Harry Russell 178
9 150 Jeff Nicholas ½ - ½ Kevin McCarthy 164
10 140 Richard Smith 0 - 1 Denis Georgiou 171
11 147 Richard Stephens ½ - ½ Andrew Hebert 157
12 119 David R Jenkins 0 - 1 Keith Palmer 161
13 120 Ian Renshaw ½ - ½ Ian McDonald 153
14 117 Anton Barkhuysen 0 - 1 Graham Ladds 158
15 113 Brian Parkin 1 - 0 Ivan David 156
16 UG Jason Henderson 0 - 1 Stuart McDonald 151
Cornwall had white on the odd boards.

Bd.1 Greet - Dorrington

Match Captain's Report

For the second year running Cornwall qualified for the ‘Minor’ section of the national level inter-county championships, which is open to county teams with a maximum mean grade of 180, a lImit that our opponents came close to. Since we carry a traditional ‘tail’ of players with a relatively low grade, meeting the conditions was no problem but as in last year’s excursion into national level inter-county chess, Cornwall proved not to be seriously competitive at this level. Although sufficiently nervous of our reputation for formidable preparation to decline to exchange team sheets, Lincolnshire ran out comfortable winners by 10.5 to 5.5, although many of the matches were hard fought and the result was close to what the grading database might have predicted. Our vulnerable bottom eight boards produced some commendable individual performances with a nice strange win on time by Brian Parkin in a dead drawn position against an opponent who refused to acknowledge the inevitable, refused the offer of a truce, and ran out of time. There were also commendable draws by Jeff Nicholas, Richard Stephens and Ian Renshaw against higher rated opponents. Andrew Greet once again had a splendid win on Board 1 and his annotated score card is offered as a ‘game of the week’, and will eventually appear in the Chess Cornwall archive. The other winner was the newly consistent Lloyd Retallick. Although not making excuses for our troops, who performed valiantly, Cornwall seems quite incapable of getting out its best team for these serious encounters and the low priority given to chess by a few of our higher graded players is one of the reasons I resigned as captain. I hope that new captain Mark Hassall’s ambition for the team will be more widely shared.

The match with Lincolnshire was required to be held at a geographical midpoint, and after some reconnaissance the match was eventually held in Yate, near Chipping Sodbury, where the facilities of the Village Hall proved excellent. For both teams transport was a potential problem given the distances, and this year we elected to travel mainly in a fleet of cars, although one or two used public transport. We were once again greatly helped by generous sponsorship from Seasons Holidays PLC, one of whose resorts is the Clowance Estate at Praze-an-Beeble. Mark Hassall thankfully survived a tyre blow-out on the motorway but arrived too late to participate, so we were forced to concede one game

It was suggested at the Chess Cornwall AGM that the county team might schedule training sessions that would include analyzing concrete variations from our county games. This is clearly a good idea and I hope it will be implemented with Jeremy Menadue, who has been collecting an archive of recent county games, as the leading coach.

Finally, as this is my last Captain’s Match Report I wish to address and place on record my gratitude to the loyal core of personally efficient and committed county players, particularly those who have volunteered as drivers (given that chess players are disproportionately disinclined to drive, or drive at night, compared to the general population). Your splendid unfailing support not only made my job easier, it made it possible.

David Jenkins


Played at Victory Hall, Exminster
on 5th March 2016
  CORNWALL 2½ - 13½ SOMERSET
1 187 Jeremy Menadue 0 - 1 Jack Rudd 215
2 178 James Hooker 0 - 1 Ben P Edgell 200
3 177 Robin Kneebone 1 - 0 Patryk Krzyzanowski 199
4 175 David Saqui 0 - 1 Stephen AJ (jnr) Whatley 195
5 160 Gary Trudeau 0 - 1 James Byrne 178
6 155 Colin Sellwood 0 - 1 Andrew F Footner 174
7 147 Richard Stephens 0 - 1 Andrew M Gregory 165
8 141 John Wilman 0 - 1 Darren Freeman 165
9 130 Adam Hussain 0 - 1 Barry Morris 163
10 119 David R Jenkins ½ - ½ Chris S Purry 154
11 119 John Constable 0 - 1 Roger D Knight 153
12 112 Barry Childs 0 - 1 Lander Arrasate Bedialauneta U/G
13 UG Jason Henderson 1 - 0 Mark R Baker 151
14 94 Hugh Brown 0 - 1 Neville N Senior 151
15 UG Gabriel Rusalowitz 0 - 1 Adrian W Champion 134
16 UG Chris Hussain 0 - 1 Chris TJ McKinley 129
 

Match Captain's Report

The match against Somerset was notable for the strength in depth of the Somerset team, which on this occasion significantly out-graded us on every board. The result, 13.5 to 2.5, was not wholly unexpected with Robin Kneebone and Jason Henderson our only winners, both in the teeth of a grading deficit. Jason’s victory against a strong player was particularly pleasing for its calm control and exemplary tactics in an entertaining miniature. My own drawn game was not without theoretical interest as my increasingly routine Latvian Gambit looked decidedly vulnerable for a time, but after surviving a ferocious attack in a novel line I had clear winning chances before the game subsiding into an unclear agreed draw. 'Several ways of winning: sometimes a position is too good' offered Jeremy helpfully in explaining my wasted opportunity.

It was good to see Gabriel Rusalowitz playing well in his first senior level game for the county, alongside Adam Hussain, and note that he went on to dominate his age group in the Cornwall Schools Chess Megafinal. Chris Hussain, Adam’s father, was drafted in as a reserve at the last moment due to an unexpected withdrawal and acquitted himself with honor, much to Adam’s amusement. The one area in which Cornwall is currently outstripping its WECU opposition is in the steady stream of promising young players who are playing at this level, a realization that augurs well for the future.

David Jenkins


Played at Victory Hall, Exminster
on 16th January 2016
  CORNWALL 9½ - 6½ GLOUCESTERSHIRE
1 190 Jeremy Menadue 1 - 0 Ian Robson 199
2 178 James Hooker ½ - ½ Michael Ashworth 190
3 175 Mark Hassall 0 - 1 John Jenkins 185
4 175 Robin Kneebone ½ - ½ Nigel Hosken 184
5 174 Grant Healey 1 - 0 Paul Masters 182
6 171 Lloyd Retallick 1 - 0 Peter Kirby 181
7 170 David Saqui ½ - ½ Chris Jones 180
8 167 Simon Bartlett 1 - 0 Phil Meade 169
9 160 Gary Trudeau ½ - ½ Phil Dodwell 149
10 156 Colin Sellwood 1 - 0 Robert Ashworth 145
11 149 Jeff Nicholas ½ - ½ Barry Whitelaw 137
12 145 Richard Smith 0 - 1 Tim Chinnick 134
13 142 Mick Hill ½ - ½ Ainsley Killey 128
14 136 Richard Clark ½ - ½ Alun Richards 125
15 124 David R Jenkins ½ - ½ Peter Bending 114
16 124 David Lucas 0 - 1 John Harris 110
 

Match Captain's Report

This match was won by Cornwall by 9.5 to 6.5 and was closer than the result suggests with a high proportion of draws – five on our last eight boards to accompany the solitary win by Colin Sellwood. Many of the games ending in an enforced or negotiated truce could have gone either way. The result was secured largely by our top eight boards with four wins and three draws, the Cornish heroes being Jeremy Menadue, Grant Healey, Lloyd Retallick and Simon Bartlett.

David Jenkins


Played at Chudleigh Knighton Village Hall
on 5th December 2015
  CORNWALL U160 4 - 8 WILTSHIRE U160
1 157 Colin Sellwood 0 - 1 Tim Woodward 154
2 143 Richard Smith 0 - 1 Mark Bowhay 142
3 142 Richard Stephens 0 - 1 Danny O’Byrne 149
4 136 Mick Hill 1 - 0 Fenella Headlong 148
5 129 Neil Robinson 0 - 1 Chris Snook-Lamb 138
6 124 David R Jenkins 0 - 1 Thomas Cooper 133
7 124 David Lucas 0 - 1 Chris Callow UG
8 124 Richard Clark 1 - 0 Ben Headlong 126
9 121 Ian Renshaw 1 - 0 Richard Morris 122
10 UG David Hutchinson 0 - 1 Richard Carver 115
11 115 Brian Parkin 0 - 1 Michael Walters 104
12 82 Adam Hussain 1 - 0 Robert Sparks 80
 

Match Captain's Report

Cornwall lost the under 160 fixture with Wiltshire by 8 points to 4, although there were a number of close games that suggested that the gap might have been narrower. I will confine my report to a single comment, addressing those who have been struggling to record a win at inter-county level. It can be disappointing to come close on a number of occasions and still find the desired win elusive. It is important that we do not lose heart, but study our games and learn from them so we can approach our next venture on behalf of the county with renewed optimism. as ever there were some fine individual performances, near misses as well as victories

David R Jenkins


Played at Plymouth Bridge Club
on 31st October 2015
  CORNWALL A 5½ - 10½ DEVON A
1 191 Jeremy Menadue ½ - ½ John Stephens 196
2 174 Mark Hassall 1 - 0 Lorenz Hartmann 190
3 171 Lloyd Retallick ½ - ½ Jonathan Underwood 186
4 170 David Saqui 1 - 0 Mark Hui 185
5 167 Simon Bartlett 0 - 1 Stephen Homer 181
6 160 Gary Trudeau ½ - ½ Kevin Hirst 183
7 155 Colin Sellwood 1 - 0 John Wheeler 177
8 149 Jeff Nicholas 0 - 1 Meyrick Shaw 177
9 144 David J Jenkins 0 - 1 John Fraser 176
10 142 Richard Stephens 0 - 1 Brian Hewson 176
11 136 Mick Hill 0 - 1 Plamen Sivrev 172
12 129 Neil Robinson 0 - 1 Oliver Wensley 170
13 124 David R Jenkins 0 - 1 Trefor Thynne 167
14 124 David Lucas 1 - 0 David Toms 162
15 124 Richard Clark 0 - 1 Bill Ingham 158
16 121 Ian Renshaw 0 - 1 MIchael Stinton-Brownbridge 158
 
 
  CORNWALL B 2½ - 9½ DEVON B
1 UG David Hutchinson 0 - 1 Paul Brooks 158
2 117 Richard Humpleby 0 - 1 Jon Duckham 157
3 112 Bill Pope 0 - 1 Martin Quinn 159
4 111 Barry Childs 0 - 1 Matt Best 155
5   Default 0 - 1 Default  
6 UG Jason Henderson ½ - ½ Ivor Annetts 151
7 UG Steve Knight 0 - 1 Adam Hart-Davis 151
8 82 Adam Hussain 1 - 0 Andrew Kinder 151
9 94 Stephen Pearce 1 - 0 Chris Scott 149
10 UG Richard Hendin 0 - 1 Vignesh Ramesh 143
11   Default 0 - 1 Default  
12 UG Sam Coe 0 - 1 Nicholas Hodge 131
 

Match Captain's Report

The Unburied Corpse of Cornish Chess

Cornish chess may be able to take some small comfort as well as a warning from the classical myth of Sisyphus, who was condemned by Tartarus to an eternity of rolling a boulder uphill only to see it roll back down, forcing him to repeat the ascent. As in the infamous football commentary, it is déjà vu all over again! In my allegory, Devon chess’s Brian Hewson has the role of King Hades, the arbiter of death and Lord of the Underworld (but as we know a nice chap in real life) and your team captain, moi, is a prospective Sisyphus. Fortunately the narrative of the myth has only been played out half way through and we are not yet in possession of the boulder, although there are many lying around on Dartmoor that would do the job nicely. We need, like Sisyphus, to find a way of living on for a bit first!

The analogy is an extended one. Last season King Hades came along to the Devon v Cornwall match with the intent of carting the Cornwall team off to the underworld, bringing with him the novel restraining device of a pair of handcuffs. It seemed that the embryonic Cornwall Spring was about to be strangled at birth. But the cunning Cornish pawn pushers persuaded Hades to demonstrate the handcuffs on himself and in short order he found himself chained up and humiliated, the victim of his own device.

As in the myth, the God Hades escaped in time for the following WECU season and demanded that the Cornish team resume their rightful position as the underdogs of the underworld. And so it transpired (see above). But we now have at our disposal the further device that Sisyphus conceived to cancel the mortal blow. He had arranged, against all custom, for his corpse to be unburied. Not only had he received no funeral rites, but the traditional oblation to the ferryman Charon had not been paid. He was able to argue successfully that in consequence he had no right to find himself unshriven the wrong side of the river Styx and he was reluctantly returned to earth by Persephone to try his luck again.

That is the current position of Cornish chess. We live to fight again. But your captain is still pushing a metaphorical boulder up a hill, although it is not yet his definitive individual punishment. To garble the allegory, we need more hands pushing on the boulder alongside the admirable stalwarts of Cornish chess. The take up of invitations to represent the county in the Devon match was frankly disappointing, even factoring in a number of legitimate withdrawals. It was humiliating to be fined for the non-appearance of one of our players, due to a misunderstanding. It is not my task to adjudicate individual priorities but if we do not retain a core of highly committed players, including younger folk in key areas of responsibility within Cornish chess, our aging population will determine our eventual fate.

My initial disappointment at the decidedly one-sided match score was ameliorated to a certain extent by redeeming pockets of encouragement. It was clear that Devon had fielded a strong team, with several of last year’s team appearing further down the board order, and Cornwall out-graded on each of the 28 boards, usually substantially. Although Cornwall A lost by 10.5 points to 5.5 points the top seven boards put in an extremely creditable performance, dropping only 2.5 points with wins by Mark Hassall, David Saqui and Colin Sellwood. David Lucas also won well on Board 14, thereby preventing the total route of our tail, which included your hapless captain.

Cornwall B was definitively outgunned by Devon B but there was a more than encouraging performance by Adam Hussain, our only winner at nine years old. Adam finished off the experienced Adam Hart-Davies in fine style with an accurate tactic based on a discovered pin; and this despite an ECF grading deficit of 82 to 151. Another fine win against the ECF grading gradient was by Stephen Pearce who overcame a gap of 55 points. Perhaps pushing boulders uphill is not so daunting as we first thought.

David R Jenkins


Last updated 8/7/2016