Sunday, 26 October 2008

English Chess Forum

Just a quick note to let people know that the English Chess Forum has had to move location to It was originally the English Chess Federation official forum, but the ECF has decided to disassociate itself with it, blaming it for losing sponsors. Looks more like they don't want freedom of expression to me. Anyway, the ECF has removed any links to it, but I'd recommend the forum to all English players as a good way of debating issues and keeping up to date with the latest news and politics.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Leicester Congress 2008

I played in the amateur (u80ECF) section of the Leicester congress over the weekend of 10-12th October. Better late than never, here's how I got on.

Unusually for this time of year, we had some very bright and sunny days. The venue unfortunately had no blinds or curtains in the smallish hall we played in, meaning a lot of players were looking directly into the sun in the afternoon games. This was a bit of a let down as the venue for last years congress was much better and bigger.

Anyway I ended on 2/5, with four draws and one loss out of the five games. Too many draws, and I feel like I had good winning chances in most of the games including the loss. But I was happy to play in some good competitive games and a few of them went to interesting end games.


Game 1 on Friday night was against Richard Greenwood (69ECF) of Northampton. It got down to a Queen and Rook endgame, and I felt he had a stronger position. I had a chance of perpetual check and took it, as he had a mating threat on f2. However it looks like I could have played Re2 and have better chances.


Game 2 on Saturday morning was against fellow Spondon player Peter Brace, I was hoping they might keep players from the same club apart. It was pretty much a fair draw with no big mistakes by either of us.


My sole loss was against Colin Ross (73ECF) of Littlethorpe, who apparently reads this blog, so I can't saying anything nasty about him :).

In the position above, Colin chose to sacrifice his knight by taking g4, which looks to probably be a mistake, although he does get 2 pawns and opens up my king. As the pieces were traded off he got a passed pawn on the h-file which caused me a lot of trouble.

In the position above I threw the game away by playing Qxg3, totally miscalculating that h1Q, Bxh1 leaves my Queen undefended. Qf8+ would have given me possible winning chances.


The Sunday morning game against Lucas had a massively tactical opening, so I thought it'd be over quick, but it dragged out into a long game and I had little time left on my clock at the end.

It worked into a Queen, Rook and more pawns versus Queen and 2 Knights. I should really have won this game, but didn't kill him off.


The last game against Dorothy was bit of a non-event. I was very uncomfortable with the sun in my face, and was very thankful to accept a draw offer after 20 moves.