Devonport Club championships, 2015 - Update 3rd of June

The Devonport Chess Club Championships continue.  Below are 2 interesting games, both wins for white and both from somewhat unusual openings.  While unusual the openings were not unsound giving rise to interesting and dynamic middlegames.

James W Peirce (1600) - Dylan Bourke (1228) [B24]

DCC Championship 2015 (5), 25.05.2015

Position after sideline 7. ... d6

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3

One of the lesser played closed Sicilian variations.

2...Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nge2 Nf6 6.d3 e5

6...0–0 7.0–0 d6 (diagram right) is another way to play the position, with black perhaps even being able to argue a slight edge due to his structure being slightly more harmonious with his dark squared bishop.  If not, he can at least claim to have achieved equality.

7.0–0 0–0 8.Be3 d6 9.a4 a6 10.Kh1

seems a little unnecessary, there are perhaps better waiting moves.  10.Qc1 forms a thematic battery, and prepares f4 if white wants to play as in the game.

10...Be6 11.f4 Ng4 12.Bg1 Nd4 13.h3 Nf6 14.f5 Bd7 15.fxg6 fxg6 16.Qd2 Nh5?! (diagram below)

Position after 16. ... Nh5

this is an inaccuracy, but blacks positon so far is solid, his pieces have much better activity, and he has better central control, despite the hole on d5.  16...b5 is a more useful move than Nh5, it expands on the queenside and proves blacks advantage as now he's playing on all areas of the board.

17.Bxd4 cxd4 18.Rxf8+ Qxf8 19.Rf1 Nf6 20.Nd5 Bxa4?!

This is a little greedy, and black soon finds himself over extended.

21.Nb6 Bh6?

Final positon after 24. Rxf6

21...Rb8 is a tricky move to spot, but the knight is trapped if white captures, black has to see this to keep the game alive. 22.Nxa4 b5 23.Nac3 dxc3 24.Qxc3


Perhaps a question mark is a little too harsh in this position, but the queen's retreat to d1 allows the Rb8 trick again.  Better was 22.Qb4 Rb8 saving the rook, then 23.Nd5! and on all lines black is losing material.


Unfortunately black can't find the saving moves.

23.Nxa8 Qxa8 24.Rxf6



Ellis, Felix - Grace, Patrick [E10]

Devonport Club Championship (4), 25.05.2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6

4...b5 and we're in the Blumenfeld Gambit position, as discussed on the short YouTube video; 4...exd5 5.cxd5 d6 and now we're in a Benoni structure with typical Benoni plans for both sides.

5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 Be7 7.e4

7.a5 is another good option, freezing the queenside pawn structure and locking in blacks pieces for some time. 7...b5 (7...b6 8.axb6 Qxb6 9.e4) 8.axb6 Qxb6 9.e4 In both cases white enjoys a better game and a better structure.

Position after 13. f4

7...e5 8.Be2 0–0 9.0–0 Bg4 10.h3 Bh5 11.Nh2 Bg6 12.Qd3 Nbd7 13.f4?! (diagram left)

Looks scary, and is a forcing move, but perhaps a little premature.  While white enjoys more space, black is just as developed.  Unless there is a convincing attack, opening the game too quickly will benefit black more than it does white.]13.a5 is a more patient way to play the position, with the idea of developing a little more, connecting the rooks, and cramping black as much as possible before striking out.  Because the pawn structure is fixed white can wait and use his extra space to engineer a pawn break under better circumstances.


Simply hanging a piece.  13...exf4 (forced) 14.Bxf4 Re8 15.Rae1 Bf8 16.Bf3 and it's black who is better here.  He can claim the bishop pair at any moment, else drop material and at the very least has considerable pressure on the backward e pawn.

14.g4 exf4 15.gxh5 Ne5 16.Qd2 f3 17.Nxf3 Nfd7 18.Kh1 Nxf3 19.Bxf3 Ne5 20.b3 h6 21.Qg2 Bg5 22.Bxg5 hxg5 23.Bg4 f6 24.Be6+ Kh7 25.Rg1 Qe8 26.Ne2 Qxh5 27.Raf1 g6 28.Ng3 Qh6 29.Qh2 Kg7 30.Rg2 Rh8 31.Rgf2 Raf8 32.Kg1 Nd3 33.Rf3 Nf4 34.Ne2 Nxe2+ 35.Qxe2 g4 36.Bxg4