The North Essex Chess Congress will take place at the Braintree Leisure Centre during the weekend of 21st September. The top section will be the Open, and the prize fund will be a total of £325, the entry fee being £15. Last season, this event was rather unusual in that it was controlled by Ivor Smith. There is nothing remarkable in that as Ivor controls many tournaments. The unusual part about last year's Open was that he also participated and played suficiently well to take second prize and, since the winner was a Peterborough player, with it the North Essex Championship.

The under 160 section was won last year by Matthew Noakes (Kent). Matthew, as one of the leading under-15s in Britain, is now too highly graded to be allowed to participate in this section. The prize fund here is again £325, but the entry fee is £14.

Last year's under-130 was won by Kerry Chilvers (Writtle) but Kerry is also too highly graded to be allowed to enter this section. The under-100 section was shared by Ron Prickett (Grays) and Peter Lloyd (Braintree). Peter is now graded 103, but Ron has been remarkably consistent and his grade stays at 99. Prizes in each of these two sections total £200 and the entry fee is £12.50 (£9 for Juniors). The contact for the North Essex Congress is David Millward on 01245 258111.

At the same time as the Braintree event is taking place, there are two other events, both for Juniors, both on Sunday 22nd September and both within easy striking distance of Essex. Stowmarket Junior Congress has been a regular fixture for quite a few years now, and hitherto has been one of the first Qualifying events for the London Junior Championships. This year, Stowmarket is not a qualifier, but nevertheless will offer Juiors some excellent chess. The contact is John Player on 01449 615502. The other event is the first Borehamwood Junior Congress. This is a London qualifier and the contact is Glynne Jones on 01763 853873.

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The new chess season will be launched on 25th September at the Wantz Hall, Barking as the Eastbrook Club, the 1995-96 Essex League Champions, entertain the President's team. Joe Rosenberg, the ECA President, is in the process of selecting a team designed to produce a close match and at the same time to represent each club in the Essex League.

This event is always a pleasant hors d'oeuvre for the season ahead. Although of course players are keen to win, the consensus has been in the past that they do not want these games graded, probably because many of the players have not played any competitive chess for quite a few weeks and they are concerned that their play might not be up to its usual sparkling strandard.

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The Essex teams competing in the 1995/96 Correspondence Championships have had another excellent year. Steve Abbott, the County Captain, reports that the First Team have won the Ward-Higgs Trophy by the enormous margin of 8 points. Essex scored 26 points from a possible 30 and the Third Team retained the Brown-Pond trophy with a score of 15½/20. The Second team was not so fortunate, but still performed very well, scoring 20½/30 to finish joint second, with Hampshire I, in the Minor Counties' event. Dorset I scored 22½ thereby becoming Minor Counties Champions.

It has long been an ambition of Steve's to win all three Divisions in the same season and, although this year has been another near miss, this ambition is far from being unrealistic. Full details of these successes will be published in the Recorder as soon as they are available.

The fixtures for inter-County chess have been published, and the Essex first and under-175 teams will be beginning their respective campaigns soon. The fixtures are as follows:-

Essex I

Captain - John Cooke

Essex u175

Captain - John Philpott

Herts home

12/10/96

Middlesex away

5/10/96

Bucks away

2/11/96

Kent home

9/11/96

Kent home

16/11/96

Surrey away

23/11/96

Surrey away

30/11/96

Sussex home

7/12/96

Berks away

14/12/96

Kent away

25/1/97

Middlesex home

18/1/97

Surrey home

8/2/97

Oxon away

1/2/97

Sussex away

22/2/97

Cambs home

15/2/97

Middlesex home

1/3/97

Sussex away

8/3/97

It is possible, although unlikely, that these fixtures may be altered by the Captains' mutual consent.

Mordue, Tyson - Martin, Andrew

British Championship Rd 1, 1996

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.b3 d6 4.Bb5 e5 5.0-0 g6 6.Bb2 Bg7 7.c3 Nge7 8.d4 exd4 9.cxd4 0-0 10.Qd2 Bg4 11.dxc5 Bxb2 12.Qxb2 Bxf3 13.cxd6 Qxd6 14.Bxc6 Nxc6 15.gxf3 Nd4 16.Nc3 f5 17.Kg2 Qf4 18.Rfe1 Nxf3 19.Re3 Qxh2+ 20.Kxf3 fxe4+ 21.Kxe4 Rae8+ 22.Kd3 Rxe3+ 23.Kxe3 Qe5+ 24.Kd3 Rf3+ 25.Kc4 b5+ 26.Kb4 Qd4+ 27.Kxb5 Rf5+ 28.Kc6 Qb6+ 29.Kd7 Rf7+ 30.Ke8 Qb8# 0-1

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White to play and win

Forsyth Check: r2q1rk1/1bpn1ppp/3p1b2/p2P1NB1/1pB3PP/5P2/ PPPQ4/2K1R2R.

Last Week's solution: van Scheltinga - Orban, Amsterdam 1954.

1 Bc8!! Qd8 2 Qc3! Bb5 3 Reg5! Nd5 4 R×d5! Resigns. (2 Qd4! looks even stronger)