The Torbay Chess Congress
An annual congress held on the English Riviera
The Torbay Congress
Torbay Chess Congress
Torbay Chess Congress

52nd Torbay Chess Congress Report

9th - 11th November 2018 at the Livermead House Hotel, Torquay


Open 21; Major 27; Intermediate 35; Foundation 44.

This makes a total of 127: 2 down on last year. Late cancellations meant that we failed to top our entry for the 50th Anniversary Congress.

The Congress began on the Friday night in very heavy rain and high wind meaning some players arrived in a ‘drowned’ state and spent a long while drying off under the hand dryers! It says a great deal for their resilience and stamina that they managed to compose themselves to play chess. The trains were also disrupted which meant getting in to the venue on Sunday morning posed some challenges to those players coming from Exeter. Fortunately with goodwill on all sides travel problems were overcome. Thanks to those who helped.

Prize Winners


1stWilliam Claridge-HansenWimbledon4Winning £240
Joint 2ndDominic Mackle All winning £75
David PyeCosham
John EdgeHalesowen
Grading Prize (184 - 175 inc)Paul HelbigHorfield and Redland3All winning £14
Graham BoltExeter
Chris LoweExeter
Grading Prize (174 & below)Alan BruseyNewton AbbotWinning £40
Slow Starter Prize (0/2)Not applicable


1stAndrew WatersRainham (Kent)Winning £240
Joint 2ndMartin HarrisKendal4Both winning £113
Yasser TelloWimbledon
Grading Prize (160 – 151 inc)Matthew Wilson Winning £40
Grading Prize (150 – 146 inc)James FewkesYeovil3Winning £40
Grading Prize (145 & below)Phil FoleyUpminsterWinning £40
Slow Starter Prize (0/2)David JenkinsCamborne & Redruth2Winning £30


Joint 1stRob WilbyPlymouth4Both winning £190
Michael HillCalstock
Aditya YanamandraExeter UniversityWinning £85 Note 1
Grading Prize (132 - 128 inc)David RogersExmouthWinning £40
Grading Prize (127 - 122 inc)Paul HumphreysNorton RadstockWinning £40
Grading Prize (121 - 120 inc)Jason MaddenWarwickBoth winning £20 Note 2
Andy ProudfootPlymouth
Grading Prize (119 & below)Lynn Fursman Both winning £20
Paul O'BrienWorthing
Slow Starter Prize (0/2)Mike CuggyBrixhamWinning £30
Note 1: Ungraded players are ineligible for more than the value of 3rd Prize.
Note 2: Mike Cuggy tied with Jason Madden and Andy Proudfoot, but he receives the Slow Starter prize as this is more valuable than a share of the Grading Prize.


Joint 1stHarry CallinghamExeter UniversityBoth winning £190
Graham HillmanWimborne
3rdChris FraserSpondon4Winning £85
Grading Prize (111 – 106 inc)Stan ShareWillesden and BrentAll winning £14
James GallowayCamborne
John DeanPlymouth
Grading Prize (105 – 99 inc)Ian FarrowDons3Both winning £20
Christine ConstableBude
Grading Prize (98 – 85 inc)Alan FraserBeckenham & BromleyWinning £40
Grading Prize (84 and below)Edmund HollidayMaidenheadWinning £40
Slow Starter Prize (0/2)Niranjana NarayananNewton Abbot2Winning £30

Torbay Individual Championships (incorporated in the Congress)

Open: Basil Wallis CupSteve Levy Note 3South Hams
Major: Challenge CupDavid Archer Note 4South Hams
Intermediate: Intermediate CupRob WilbyPlymouth
Foundation: Candidates CupChris Willcox Note 5South Hams
Note 3: Alan Brusey tied with Steve Levy; tie resolved in Steve's favour by Sum of Progressive Scores.
Note 4: Bill Ingham tied with David Archer, and still tied on Sum of Progressive Scores; tie resolved in David's favour by Sonneborn-Berger System.
Note 5: Chris Willcox tied with John Dean; tie resolved in Chris' favour by Sum of Progressive Scores.

Best Score by a Devon Player in the Graded Sections

Ralph Newman CupHarry CallinghamExeter University

Best Score by a Devon Junior

John Whitfield CupAditya YanamandraExeter University

Team Event

Teams of four players entered the competition. This year there were six entries. After being pipped last year Plymouth managed to come out on top.

The winning Plymouth team consisted of
Rob Wilby
Megan O’Brien
John Dean
Graham Mill-Wilson

The 52nd Congress

The Congress was opened by James Cross, Partner and Chairman of Kitsons, who are our very faithful long term sponsors. James recalled Mark Batten's 31 years with Kitsons and described him as a ‘chess nut’, which is spot on. James also referred to the Chess World Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana which is taking place at the same time as the Torbay Congress. We continue to be enormously grateful to Kitsons for their sponsorship.

The Torbay Chess Congress would not take place without the help and support of many people. We had the expert support of Phil McConnell who solves problems, makes everything work, and still manages to stay calm and relaxed. In particular the marvellous web site that the Congress enjoys was created by Phil and this year he setup the spectacular print outs of the pairings and cross tables. The expert arbiter team of Tony Tatam, John Arris and John Constable were again on top form and kept the event running smoothly.

Many organisations, clubs and individuals helped to make the Congress a success. The Devon County Chess Association loaned their digital clocks. The Plymouth club also loaned us their clocks and as did individual members of the South Hams Club. Bob Jones provided the bookstall. We are very grateful to all of these.

Finally, I want to thank Mr Tim Rew and his team at the Livermead House Hotel who again hosted us with their usual grace. In particular, I want to single out Carol Groves, Head Receptionist, who has dealt with a multitude of my queries, and Gary Dansey who carried all the sets and equipment into the playing area from the front of the hotel and still had a smile on his face at the end. Well done!

Ken Alexander
Congress Organiser
November 2018



A Game from Round 2 of the 2012 Open
[Event "Torbay Open"] [Site "Torquay"] [Date "2012.11.10"] [Round "2"] [White "Helbig, Paul"] [Black "Wheeler, John Francis"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C30"] [PlyCount "95"] [EventDate "2012.11.??"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "5"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [SourceDate "2012.11.11"] 1. e4 e5 2. f4 Bc5 3. Nf3 d6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Bc4 Nc6 6. d3 O-O 7. f5 Na5 8. Bg5 c6 9. a3 Nxc4 10. dxc4 a6 11. Qd3 b5 12. Rd1 bxc4 13. Qxc4 a5 14. Qe2 Ba6 15. Qd2 Re8 16. Be3 Bxe3 17. Qxe3 Ng4 18. Qg1 Qb8 19. b3 a4 20. Nxa4 Qb5 21. Rd2 d5 22. h3 Nf6 23. exd5 Ne4 24. dxc6 Nxd2 25. Kxd2 Qxc6 26. Qc5 Rad8+ 27. Kc1 Qe4 28. Re1 Qf4+ 29. Kb2 Rc8 30. Rxe5 Rxe5 31. Qxe5 Qxe5+ 32. Nxe5 Re8 33. Nd3 Re2 34. Nac5 Bc8 35. g4 Re3 36. Nf4 Rf3 37. Ncd3 Kf8 38. Kc3 Ba6 39. a4 Bxd3 40. Nxd3 Rxh3 41. a5 Rh6 42. b4 Ke7 43. b5 Kd8 44. Kb4 Rh4 45. Ne5 f6 46. Nc6+ Kc7 47. Kc5 Rxg4 48. a6 1-0