Sunday, May 19

Cool-headed defense at the Kent and Sussex Congress

The joint Kent and Sussex Congress, held during the past week at Hastings, has now concluded.  As promised in this space, we now provide two fine games from the First-Class Open tournaments, the principal events of the gathering.

We use the plural, as the unexpectedly large number of entrants required the creation of two round-robin sections, A and B, the first with 12 participants and the second with 11.  Every effort was made to ensure that the sections were of equal strength; in particular, the two players widely acknowledged as the strongest, Messrs. Yates and Thomas, were deliberately separated, being placed in sections A and B respectively.  And indeed, Mr. Yates won his section handily, scoring ten games off the reel before conceding a draw in the final round, for a winning margin of three full points; Mr. Thomas likewise topped his section, with 8 points from 10 games played, and finished one and one-half points ahead of his nearest competitor.  There being no provision for a play-off, Mr. Yates and Mr. Thomas can each lay claim to having won a first-class tournament at the Congress.

That the path of the two winners was not always an easy one may be observed from an examination of the games herewith subjoined.  In the first, Mr. Yates comes under a powerful sacrificial attack, only to turn the tables on his opponent through some clever tactics of his own.  Mr. Thomas similarly finds himself under heavy pressure, but survives to an endgame in which, not without help from his adversary, his extra piece prevails.  The concluding moves of this latter game, with only six units remaining on the board, once again bring us into the realm of Prof. Malinov, whose verdict is that Black at his 49th turn had one and only one move to draw, 49...Rd7.

We will offer more games from the joint Congress at Hastings in our next entry.


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