While most chess clubs are enjoying a break from chess having closed down at Easter to re-start in September, there has been no respite for the hard-working and loyal Broadstairs members. This week’s attendance of fourteen (out of a club of twenty members, two of whom are Russian nationals in Moscow for the summer) was commendable. But then there are still three competitions to play for with only two weeks left in the season. Actually, make that two competitions because ten of the fourteen present on Monday were playing their last match in Round 5 of the Summer Swiss and here is the result:


Nick McBride 4½/5
Paul Carfrae    4/5
Bob Page   3½/5
Andy Flood 3/5
Reg Pidduck 2/5
John Couzens 2/5
Fredy Reber 2/5
Michael Jenkinson 2/5
Michael Doyle 1/5
Jordan Leach 1/5
Well done, Nick, I hear you say but not so….The prize for this competition (the John Cutting Cup) goes not to the player with the highest score but to the one with the best grade improvement over the five rounds. This will be revealed at the AGM in September. The two competitions left to be decided are the the club championship (Goodall Cup) and the knockout competition, a time handicap for the John Couzens Vase.   Fittingly, the two strongest players in the club, David Faldon (174) and Nick McBride (173) will be contesting both matches over the next two Mondays: an excellent climax to another successful season at the club. The Thanet Chess Congress – still places left but be quick as it’s filling up: go to http://www.thanetchesscongress.co.uk for more details – concludes the season and the club takes a short break before re-starting with the AGM the first Monday in September.


The quiet summer months mean that there has been no Game of the Week for some time so what about this alternative: Tactical Brilliancy of the Week? It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as easily, does it? Some of you might even prefer Blunder of the Week but have a look at the following and you may change your mind. Last month we featured one of our old – or not so old – friends, Wei Yi. What about our other favourite Chinese star, Hou Yifan, I hear you ask? Well, she has just completed a stunning win at the Biel International Chess Festival, becoming the first woman to win in the history of the tournament with a 2809 performance. She won her last three games and possibly her finest performance was in the penultimate round against the veteran, Rafael Vaganian. Have a look at the position below and see if you can guess Yifan’s next move (Black to play).

Hands up if you spotted 20…Bxg2!!  Now be honest…you didn’t, did you? The game continued 21.Kxg2 Qxd4!! and now 22.exd4 would have allowed Yifan to play 22…Nf4+!, winning back the queen. Vaganian tried to wriggle out with 22.Qxg6 but the there was no escape: 22…Qd5+ 23.e4 fxe4 24.Qxe4 Qg5+ 25. Kh1 Qxd2 and Yifan won after 33 moves.


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