Dave co-ordinates the weekly coaching sessions held at the club, where through mutual support and discussion we hope to lift our chess by our collective bootstraps. The notes to the sessions are published on the Internet where they have attracted favourable comment from around the world.
To give yourself some pointers as to how to improve, we wondered if readers would like to take on this set of three puzzles, taken from the files of our chief coach.
Jackson (Plymouth) — Regis (Exeter), 1993
Black seems further ahead with the Queen's-side attack than White is on the other side.
What would you play as Black here?
Regis (Exeter) — Walton (Teignmouth), 1996
White to play has levered open the Black King's-side by a piece sacrifice.
Can you find a decisive line for White here?
Bellers — Regis, Exeter Club Championship, 1996
While White's major pieces are at play on the Queen's-side, Black has an opportunity to make mischief on the other side of the board. But watch out, the Queen's en prise
Puzzle 1 : Black could have played here the stock mate 1...Qxa2+ 2. Kxa2 Ra6+ 3. Kb1 Ra8# . Instead he played 1...b4 and eventually drew... poor captain Brian Hewson nearly yelped in dismay.
Puzzle 2 : White missed exploiting a pin with 1. Qh5+ Kg8 2. Qg4+ , and instead recovered the piece with 1. Qh5+ Kg8 2. Bxe6+ . I think everyone on the neighbouring boards had spotted the first line, but sadly the attack petered out... and Black even won.
Puzzle 3 : Black was distracted by the hanging Queen and actually sacrificed the Bishop on g3, which maybe should have won but Black went astray and lost... much to White's relief who was gloomily analysing the decisive 1...Re3 threatening mate in two.
Of course, Puzzle 4 is: why does Dave bother?