The 51st Dorset Open Congress was run in Bournemouth the weekend of 2-4 December 2016. The Organiser was Ian Clark. Here, Alan Dommett comprehensively analyses 8 games across the Open, Major, Intermediate & Minor Sections. In the 8th and last game Alan congratulates 88 year old James Wallman, who lives in Dorset and is the new Dorset Minor Champion. Some achievement, especially as James does not get practice playing in a club and only took up chess when he was 78, after learning at school! Gives many of us hope! (Mike Jay)

Dorset Open Games

P Helbig (189) 0

M Clancy (170) 1

Dorset Open (1), 2016

Closed Sicilian: 3.g3 B26

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.d3 d6 6.Be3 Bd7 

Unconventional and no doubt designed to take White out of any opening comfort zone, this move, combined with the pawn sacrifice that follows, takes the game along an adventurous path.

7.Qd2 a6 8.Nge2 Nd4 9.0–0 h5 10.f3 Nf6?! 11.Nxd4 cxd4 12.Bxd4 h4 

The point of all that unorthodox play – at the cost of a pawn Black has active play for all his minor pieces and an immediate attack on the enemy king… but is that enough?

13.g4?!

Allowing the opening of the h-file is less cramping than this ultra-cautious bypass of the advancing pawn. For example, 13.Nd5 hxg3 14.hxg3 Rb8 15.Rae1 leaves Black little option but to accept wholesale exchanges and after 15…Rh7 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Bxf6 exf6 he is still down in material, has no compensation, and is saddled with a rather sorry looking pawn formation.

13…h3 14.Bh1 e5 15.Be3 Nh7 16.Nd5!? 

Somewhat delayed, but still good.

16…0–0 17.g5 Bc6 18.Nb6? 

However this attack on the rook is no more than an unwarranted distraction, especially when 18 c4 would have strong-pointed the d5-square.

18…Rb8 19.a4 f5!? 

Martin seizes the opportunity to open up on the kingside.

20.gxf6

20.Nc4 f4 21.Ba7 Qxg5+ restores parity and takes the initiative.

20…Nxf6 21.f4 Nh5 22.fxe5 Qh4! 23.Bf3 

Freedom for the bishop, but…

23…Rxf3! 

… this exchange sacrifice is deadly.

24.Rxf3 Qg4+ 25.Rg3

25.Kf2 Qg2+ 26.Ke1 Qxf3+-

25…Nxg3 26.hxg3 Qxg3+ 27.Kh1

27.Kf1 Rf8+ 28.Ke2 Qf3+ 29.Ke1 Qf1mate.

27…Qf3+ 28.Kg1 Bxe5! and White resigned rather than face an unstoppable 29…h2+ and the inevitable loss of his queen to avoid Black obtaining a second one.

 

M Simons (190) 1

I Deswarte (160) 0

Dorset Open (2), 2016

Dutch Defence A80

1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.f3 Nf6 5.Bg5 c6?

Martin can now complete the transposition into a favourable Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (Netherlands Defence) – and he wasn’t going to let that chance pass him by! In J Duncker-B Margoline (Oberliga,1997) Black correctly identified the d-pawn as a weakness and played 5…Nc6 instead, forcing White to pin it, whereupon the game continued 6.Bb5 a6 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 8.Qd2 c5 9.d5 e6 10.0–0–0 Be7 11.fxe4 Nxe4 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxe4 fxe4 14.Nh3 0–0 15.Rhe1 Rb8 16.Rxe4 Qf6 17.c3 Qg6 18.Re5 and a draw was agreed.

6.Bc4 e6 7.fxe4 fxe4 8.Nxe4 

White now has the game by the scruff of its neck, emerging from the opening having obtained better development and a superior pawn formation without the customary loss of a pawn!

8…Qa5+ 9.Bd2 Qf5 10.Nxf6+ gxf6 11.Nf3 Bd6 12.Qe2 Rg8 13.0–0–0 

Better than castling short, the white king being moved well away from the action.

13…Na6 14.Rhf1 Qg4 15.h3! 

No, Martin is not just hankering after the usual pawn deficit, there is genuine poison in this sacrifice.

15…Qxg2 16.Rg1 Qxe2 17.Rxg8+ and Black resigned, as 17…Kf7 18.Rdg1! not only forces 18…Qxd2+ 19.Nxd2 f5 to avoid mate, but also loses the exchange and leads to a hopeless position.

 

M Waddington (182) 1

M Potter (160) 0

Dorset Open (2), 2016

King’s Indian E70

1.c4 d6 2.Nc3 g6 3.d4 Bg7 4.e4 Nf6 5.Bg5 Na6 6.Qd2 c5 7.d5 h5 8.h3 Bd7 9.f4 Nc7 10.a4?!

Concerned by the prospect of Black expanding on the queenside with 10…b5, but after 10.e5!? dxe5 11.fxe5 Nh7 12.Bf4 White would have had a stranglehold on the centre and 12…b5 13.cxb5 Rb8 14.a4 only makes matters worse.

10…Rb8 11.Nf3 Nh7 12.Bh4 f6? 

Trying to prevent 13 e5, Black seriously weakens his kingside pawn structure.

13.Bd3 Bh6 14.e5! Bf5 

A sad necessity, as 14…f5 15.exd6 Na6 16.Bxe7 Qc8 17.Ne5 gives White an overwhelming positional advantage.

15.Bxf5 gxf5 16.e6 Nf8 17.0–0 Ng6 18.Na2?! 

Seemingly determined to lock-down an already ultra-safe situation before pressing home the advantage held, but 18.Qd3 Bxf4 19.Qxf5 Be3+ 20.Kh1 Rh6 21.Bxf6! exf6 22.Ne4 would have cut Black’s defence to ribbons without further ado. The next passage of play only the serves to accentuate the attritional approach adopted by both sides, although in view of the positional superiority Mike has already established, there was only ever going to be one winner once heads were finally raised above the parapet.

18…Kf8 19.g3 Ne8 20.Qc2 Ng7 21.Nc3 a6 22.Ra3 Kg8 23.Rfa1 Kh7 24.Rb3 Rg8 25.Kh1 Qc7 26.Qe2 b6 27.Nd1 Qb7 28.Ne3 Nxh4?? 

A sudden, inexplicable, rush of blood to the head when 28…a5 was not only playable, but far more in keeping with proceedings!

29.Nxh4 Nxe6 30.Nexf5 

A multi-purpose move if ever there was one – regaining the pawn, protecting the g3-pawn and doubling the threat to the knight on e6.

30…Ng7 31.Qc2! and, against the run of recent play, Mike finds a forcing line to finish the game with a flourish.

31…Nxf5 32.Qxf5+ Kh8 33.Qxh5 Kh7 34.Re1 Qd7 35.Nf5 1–0

 

M Duggan (180) 1

A Pleasants (184) 0

Dorset Open (4), 2016

Modern Defence B06

1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 a6 5.a4 Nc6 6.h3

In JM Shepley-R van Kemenade (4NCL Div 3, 2002) White allowed the pin on the king’s knight and after 6.Be3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.gxf3 e5 9.d5 Nd4? 10.Na2! Qf6 11.Bg2 Bh6 12.Bxh6 Nxh6 13.c3 the stalking horse had no flight squares, with Black going on to lose in 30 moves.

6…e5 7.Bg5 Qd7 8.dxe5 Nxe5 9.Nxe5 Bxe5 10.Qd2  

Allan is in danger here of lagging way behind in development, a tempo about to be lost on returning his misplaced bishop to its haven at g7 not helping matters.

10…Bg7 11.Bc4 h6 12.Be3 Ne7 13.f3 Nc6 14.0–0 b6 15.Bd5 Bb7 16.b4 a5? 

With neither long or short castling looking particularly safe, options were limited, but this retreat does little to improve the situation.

17.b5 Nd8 18.Rfe1 Rb8 19.Rad1 Kf8

Attempting to break free of White’s grip on the game with 19…Ne6 is punished by 20.Bxb7 Rxb7 21.f4 0–0 22.f5 Nc5 23.Bxh6 and with Nd5/f6 to follow Black is still hemmed in.

20.f4 Qe7 21.Bxb7 Nxb7 22.Nd5 Qd7 23.Bd4 Rg8 24.Nf6

Also good is 24.Bxg7+ Kxg7 (24…Rxg7 25.f5+-) 25.Qc3+ Kf8 26.Nf6 Qe6 27.Nh7+! Ke8 28.f5+-

24…Bxf6 25.Bxf6 Qe6 26.e5 Nc5 27.f5! 

A lovely move that led to immediate resignation, as the black queen must be given up for the bishop to avoid a mate once Qxh6+ is played. 

 

G Horvath (206) 1

M Duggan (180) 0

Dorset Open (5), 2016

Dutch Defence A80

1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 g6 4.Bxf6 exf6 5.e3 d5 6.Qf3 c6 7.Bd3 Bd6 8.Nge2 0–0?!  

Underdeveloped on the queenside and causing his opponent few problems in the opening, Black bravely decides to ‘castle into it’. No prizes for guessing White’s immediate response.

9.h4! Be6 10.h5 Kg7 11.Nf4 Qe8?  

The threatening knight had to go, but even then, after 11…Bxf4 12.exf4 Re8 13.0–0–0 Nd7 14.Qh3 Rh8 15.Rde1 White is in complete control.

12.hxg6 hxg6 13.Qh3 Rg8 14.Qh7+ Kf8 15.Nxe6+ Qxe6 16.Qxb7 f4 17.0–0–0 and it was here that Black resigned, his queen’s rook soon to be removed and 17…fxe3 18 fxe3 Qxe3+ 19 Kb1 offering little by way of counterplay.

 

B Headlong (138) 1

B O’Gorman (159) 0

Dorset Major (5), 2016

Sicilian: Morra Gambit B21

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 d6 6.Nf3 a6 7.e5

7.Bg5!? is the sharpest response… the threat is now against f7 with 8 Qb3. However, this pawn push has its merits, not least in pursuing the principle that, if White can get in an early e5 in the Morra, he must be winning. Unfortunately, in this instance, there is no knight at f6 to target and Black can cope with the advance quite easily.

7…e6 8.Bf4 d5 9.Bd3 Bc5 10.0–0 Nge7 11.Rc1 Ba7 12.a3 Bd7 13.b4 b5 14.Re1 Ng6 15.Bg3 0–0 

White has emerged from the opening with little compensation for his gambit pawn other than greater space to work in. Nevertheless, he is about to make this tell.

16.h4 h6 17.h5 Nge7 18.Bh4 Qb6 19.Qe2 Rfe8 20.g4 Nd4 21.Nxd4 Qxd4 22.Red1 Kh8? 

Not wanting to return his queen to the confines of b6 or venture into f4, Black chooses instead to remove the one move threat (23.Bh7+) and in so doing enters into a slug fest that he is positionally ill equipped to deal with.

23.Bxb5 Bxb5 24.Nxb5 axb5??

Giving up queen for rook and knight is one thing, but when the b-pawn drops as well, leaving two connected and passed pawns, chances of survival are slim to none… and so it proves. 24…Qf4 offered more hope, but after 25.Nxa7 Rxa7 26.Bg3 Qe4 27.Qxe4 dxe4 28.Rd4 the e4-pawn falls and White is better.

25.Rxd4 Bxd4 26.Kg2 Nc8

26…Rab8? 27.Rc7 g5 28.hxg6 Nxg6 29.Bf6+ Kg8 30.Qd2+-

27.Qxb5 Na7 28.Qe2 Rec8 29.Rxc8+ Rxc8 30.a4 Rc4 31.g5 Rxb4 32.gxh6 g6 33.Qf3! Bxe5 34.Bf6+ 1–0  

This victory, together with wins in the previous two rounds, resulted in Benjamin taking a share of third place and he finished with an impressive 173 grading performance.

 

O Stubbs (118) 1

D Agostinelli (132) 0

Dorset Intermediate (4), 2016

Queen’s Pwn: London System A48

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.Nf3 d6 4.e3 Bg7 5.Nbd2 0–0 6.h3 b6 7.Be2 Bb7 8.c3 Nbd7 9.0–0 Re8

9…Qe8 is an interesting alternative that breathed life into M Ballmann-V Kortschnoj (Swiss Ch, 1995) but, of course, we cannot all play like Victor Kortschnoj! 10.Bh2 e5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 dxe5 13.Bf3 e4 14.Be2 Qe7 15.Qb3 Nd7 16.Qc2 Nc5 17.b4 Nd3! 18.Rad1 f5 19.Bxd3 exd3 20.Qxd3 Rad8 21.Qc2 Qg5 22.Bg3 h5 23.Qb3+ Kh7 24.Qc4 f4 25.exf4 Qf5 26.Bh4 Rd3 27.Nb1 Rxh3! 28.Bg3 (28.gxh3 Qxh3 29.f3 Qxh4–+) 28…h4 29.Qd3 Rh1+! 1–0

10.Qb3 h6 11.Bc4 d5 12.Be2 c5 13.Rfe1 c4 14.Qc2 b5 15.b3 Nh5 16.Bh2 Nhf6 17.Rab1 Rc8?

17…Bc6 keeps everything on an even keel, as opposed to simply giving up a pawn. Oliver now seizes his opportunity and nurtures this early gain on to move 40, no mean feat for the fourteen year-old. At that point, he then doubles his advantage through to a rook and pawn ending that results in a fine win, a 166 grading performance, and an eventual share of first place.

18.bxc4 dxc4 19.Rxb5 Ba6 20.Rb4 Nb6 21.Ne5 Nfd5 22.Rbb1 Bxe5 23.Bxe5 Nd7 24.Bg3 Qa5 25.Rec1 e5 26.dxe5 Nxe5 27.Bxe5 Rxe5 28.Nf3 Ree8 29.Nd4 Rc7 30.Bf3 Nb6 31.Nc6 Qc5 32.Nd4 Nd7 33.Qa4 Bc8 34.Nb5 Nb6 35.Qb4 Qxb4 36.Rxb4 Rce7 37.Nd6 Rd8 38.Nxc4 Nxc4 39.Rxc4 Be6 40.Ra4 Rd2 41.a3 Rc7 42.c4 Kg7 43.Rb4 Kf6 44.c5 Ke7 45.c6 Kd6 46.Rb7 h5 47.Rcb1 Bd5 48.Rxc7 Kxc7 49.Bxd5 Rxd5 50.Rb7+ Kxc6 51.Rxa7 Rd3 52.Rxf7 Rxa3 53.Rf6+ Kd7 54.Rxg6 1–0 

 

And finally, a last round potentially winner-takes-all battle in the Minor event, which actually turned out to be an honourable draw that was enough to secure first place for Colin Gardiner while his opponent, 88yr-old James Wallman, took a share of second and a grading prize. James also became Dorset Minor Champion on the basis of being best Dorset player in the Minor

C Gardiner (104) ½

J Wallman (100) ½

Dorset Minor (5), 2016

Queen’s Pawn Opening D02

1.d4 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.Bd3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Nbd2 e6 6.h3 Bh5 7.0–0 Be7 8.c3 0–0 9.Qe2 Bg6 10.Bxg6 fxg6 

Recapturing away from the centre normally creates more problems than than it solves, problematic backward and doubled pawns outweighing the benefits of a rook on the open file, but here Black copes quite well…

11.Ne5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Nd7 13.Nf3 Rf5?!  

… until he tries this pawn grab and misses his opponent’s imaginative response.

14.e4!? dxe4 15.Qxe4 c6 16.Qc4! Nxe5 17.Qxe6+ Nf7 18.Be3 Rf6 19.Qb3 

The dust settles and White, due to his superior pawn structure and imminent control of the open central files, holds the initiative.

19…Qc7 20.Rad1 Kf8? 

There is still far too much enemy firepower in existence for the black king to be thinking about making a return to open territory.

21.Bd4?!

21.Bg5! was more punishing wherever the rook went:- 21…Rxf3 (21…Rf5 22.Bxe7+ Qxe7 23.Rfe1 Qc7 24.Nd4+-; 21…Rd6 22.Bf4+-) 22.Bxe7+ Qxe7 23.gxf3 Ng5 24.Kg2 Qf6 25.f4! Qxf4 26.Qb4++-

21…Rd6 22.Rfe1 Re8 23.c4 c5! 

James has managed to recover lost ground, in terms of contesting the centre, and is heading for well-earned equality.

24.Bc3 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Bd6 26.Qc2 b6 27.b3 Rd8 28.Re1 Qd7?! 

Wavering slightly, Black fails to deal with the pressure building on the kingside.

29.Qb2 Nh6 30.Qe2?!

However, once again White misses the strongest continuation:- 30.Ng5 Kg8 31.Bxg7! Nf5 32.Bf6+-

30…Nf7 31.a4 a5 32.Qe6 Qc6 33.Qe4 Qxe4 34.Rxe4 ½–½