South Hams Chess Club
South Hams Chess Club

South Hams Players Do Well in the Torbay Congress

Five South Hams Plyers took part in the 48th Torbay Chess Congress at the Toorak Hotel, Torquay on 14th - 16th November 2014.

Cliff Peach chose to enter the Intermediate (U140) tournament, knowing that he would be up against higher-graded players - but, as we all know, he enjoys grinding out draws against good players!  Sure enough, his one point came from two draws; he lost one of his other games on time.  One point is a perfectly respectable outcome for Clif, bearing in mind the average grade of his opponens was 131.  Ben Wilkinson also entered the Intermediate, taking a half point bye on the Sunday morning due to work commitments.  Ben had a somewhat frustrating time - snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in one of his games - and he finished up with 1½ points.

In the Minor (U120) tournament, Roy Greenhalgh had elected to take a half point bye on the Friday evening, while Phil McConnell received a full point bye thanks to the computer drawing him as the player with no opponent in an odd-numbered field.  They each won both their games on the Saturday, leaving them very much in contention at the start of Sunday - Phil on 3 points and Roy on 2½ .  In Round 4 Phil drew with Michael Cuggy (Brixham), while Roy beat Norman Mackie (whom Phil had beated on Saturday).  This left four players on 3½ points out of 4 at the start of Round 5 - Roy, Phil, Michael Cuggy and David McGeeney (Bristol).  Phil drew with David McGeeney, but Roy lost to Michael Cuggy, leaving Michael the tournanent winner on 4½, with Phil sharing second place on 4.  The third South Hams player in the Minor was Ken Ashby, who scored 1½ points, including a notable win over John George from Wimborne (graded 116) and a worthy draw against Paul Broderick from Shifnal and Telford (graded 104).

In the team competition, South Hams was represented by Ben, Roy, Ken and Phil (we kicked Cliff off the team and made him play for Plymouth!).    Our total of 11½ points (out of 20) was good enough to secure second place in the team competition.

 A few interesting snippets:

  • In Round 1, Ben found himeslf on the receiving end of a "Ben-style" Fried Liver Attack in which his opponent sacrificed a knight for a pawn and an attack on Ben's King which was ludicrously exposed in the middle of the board.  It was nail-biting stuff, but Ben played accurately to fend off the attack, and eventually won thanks to his material superiority.
  • In two of Roy's games, Roy offered a draw which his opponent declined - only for Roy to go on to win!.  Clearly some people are still unaware of Roy's reputation as a street fighter!
  • Speaking of reputations, it is amazing how far Cliff's reputation as a dour draw specialist has spread.  Your only have to mention that you play for South Hams, and someone will remark on Cliff's propensity for draws!
  • During one game, the player next to Phil's board rebuked Phil's opponent for constantly making a noise during play by squeezing his empty mineral water bottle.  Phil was so engrossed in the game that he was totally unaware of either the noise or the rebuke!

Club members can now submit "ad-hoc" games (i.e. games which are not in the Torbay League or internal club games) to the database of games on this website.  Click here to submit a game from the Torbay Congress (or, indeed, any other game of interest).

The full results for the 48th Torbay Congress are available online here, and the Torbay Congress organiser's report is here.