Simul by England Junior Theo Slade 8th July 2014

On Tuesday 15 July, we were honoured to host a simultaneous display by 13-year-old Theo Slade, the region's most promising up-and-coming chess star. Theo is a key member of the England junior squad and has earned a grading of 179 in the recent ECF list, having been expertly coached by Dave Regis for many years.

On the night of the simul, eleven of our club regulars bravely lined up to face Theo, but in the end our two centuries of collective experience proved no match for the young whippersnapper, who scored a convincing 8 - 5 victory (including two return matches against Piet and Jon).


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The individual results were as follows:

Theo 1 - 0 Jonathan Waley Theo 0 - 1 Giles Body Theo 1 - 0 Jeremy Amos Theo 1 - 0 Brian Aldwin Theo 0.5 - 0.5 Will Marjoram Theo 1 - 0 Richard Scholes Theo 2 - 0 Piet Dobber Theo 0 - 1 Tim Paulden Theo 0 - 1 Charlie Keen Theo 0.5 - 1.5 Jon Duckham Theo 1 - 0 Tom Murray

OVERALL: Theo 8 - 5 Exeter Chess Club

[Theo played White in all games, except the return matches with Piet and Jon]

Theo awarded the best game prize (a bottle of fizz) to Charlie Keen, who scored one of the club's four victories - see below for Charlie's interesting game, along with the Slade-Paulden scrap which Theo almost won inside 20 moves.

After the official simul, the night concluded with a short "caterpillar simul" (two simul-givers making alternate moves), with Paulden/Slade joining forces against the floor. Unfortunately, the result this time was an unmitigated disaster, to the extent that all records of how poorly we did have been destroyed. (I think we managed to draw one...) Needless to say, I'll be leaving Theo to it next time!

Many, many thanks to Theo and his dad Andrew for making the trip over to Exeter, and to everyone who participated in what was a very entertaining evening. (We'll get him next time!)

Cheers, Tim

Dr Tim Paulden ECC President & Tournament Controller 8 September 2014

[Event "Theo Slade Simul, Exeter Chess Club"]
[White "Slade, Theo"]
[Black "Keen, Charlie"]
[Date "2014.07.15"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Bg7 5. c4 Nc6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Be2 a6
9. O-O e6 10. Qd2 {The immediate c5 or Nxc6 may have been worth a punt} Re8 11. Rfd1 d5
12. cxd5 exd5 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. exd5 cxd5 15. Nxd5 Ne4 {An error - Black needs to
swap off on d5} 16. Qc2 Bf5 17. Qc7 {This leads to a level position - instead, White
could have gained a strong edge with the clever Nc7 (since Qc8 can be met by Qc6)} Bxb2
18. Rab1 Be5 19. Qxd8 Rexd8 20. Ne7+ Kf8 21. Rxd8+ Rxd8 22. Nc6 Nc3 {A strong riposte
which successfully holds the balance} 23. Re1 Nxe2+ 24. Kf1 Re8 25. Kxe2 Bc3 26. Rc1 Bb2
27. Rd1 Be4 28. Nb4 a5 {Slightly stronger was Bxg2} 29. Nd3 Bc3 30. f3 Bf5 31. Rc1
{A blunder that Charlie jumps on immediately - Nc5 would still have been level} Bd4 0-1
[Event "Theo Slade Simul, Exeter Chess Club"]
[White "Slade, Theo"]
[Black "Paulden, Tim"]
[Date "2014.07.15"]
1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 d6 3. e3 c5 4. d4 cxd4 5. exd4 e4 6. c4 Nf6 7. Nc3 Bf5 8. g3 h5
9. Bg2 h4 10. Nge2 {Better is Qe2} h3 11. Bf1 Na6 {The immediate Bg4 would have
left Black well on top} 12. Nf4 Nc7 13. f3 g5 14. fxe4 Nxe4 {Qe7 was stronger}
15. Qe2 Qe7 {A serious mistake: gxf4 was necessary} 16. Nfd5 Nxd5 17. Nxd5 Qd8
18. Nc3 {Natural, but Theo misses a win with Qe3 followed by Bd3 - the silicon
brain assesses the position as a crushing +4 to White!} Qe7 19. g4 Bg6 {Black
stumbles again - Nxc3 would have solved his woes - and the position swings back
in White's favour} 20. Nd5 Qd8 21. Qe3 Bg7 22. Bd3 O-O 23. O-O-O Re8 {This is
the critical moment - White should play Qf3 or Rhe1 with a winning advantage,
but Theo makes a crucial misstep (understandable given that he was playing ten
other games...)} 24. Bxe4 Bxe4 25. Rhe1 Bxd5 {Now everything comes off and Black
is winning} 26. Qxe8+ Qxe8 27. Rxe8+ Rxe8 28. cxd5 Re4 29. Ba3 Bf8 30. Rd3 Rxg4
31. Rxh3 f6 32. Rc3 Rg1+ 33. Kb2 Rg2+ 34. Rc2 Rxc2+ 35. Kxc2 Kf7 36. Kd3 Kg6
37. Ke3 Kf5 38. h3 {This loses without a fight - White had to try Kf3} g4
39. hxg4+ Kxg4 {Now Black's monster f-pawn decides matters} 40. Bb4 f5 41. a4 f4+
42. Kf2 Be7 43. Bd2 Bh4+ 44. Kf1 f3 45. Bb4 Bg3 {Defending d6 and imprisoning
White's king} 46. Ba3 Kf5 0-1