Got off to a disappointing start in my first trip to Dudley. All games are 36 moves in 90mins, then clocks back 15mins to finish. I was white against Stuart Calderbank (Grade 99). He played the Pirc defence. The first major mistake was 15.Rb1, allowing the Queen to fork the pawns on a2 and d3.
The next move I played was even worse because for some reason I hadn't even spotted the d3 pawn being attacked. I think my break from chess has left a lot of rustiness. It was a very frustrating game where I felt always on the defensive. The final mistake was 35.Bc4, overlooking Rxc4, bxc4, Rxb1.
Accepted a draw as black against Paul Broderick (102). Tried to get an attack going but nothing came of it. Draw probably fair result.
Another draw, this time against Maria Gonzalez (93) who plays for Hackney. She started off with 1...e6 which looked like a french, but it changed into something else (something like a hedgehog?). I offered a draw after my 37th move, which she declined. We finally agreed a draw after my 62nd move. I possibly missed a difficult win towards the end, but I was very low on time so happy with the draw.
Lost with black against Peter Kearns (100). Scandinavian defence with 2.e5. 13...g5 was a mistake that I didn't visualise properly, should have played Nh4. When the g-file opened, I didn't notice the Queen looking down the b1-h7 diagonal until it was too late.
Last round was another draw as white against blind player Voldi Gailans (88). It was a two knights defence. Enjoyable game even though I was on the defensive for most of it. I couldn't see a way of winning the Queen and 3 pawns versus Queen and 1 pawn endgame, so accepted the draw.
Nice venue and run well as always by Spectrum chess. Bit disappointed with end result of 3 draws and 2 losses, but I think I was playing some strong players. Will hopefully return next year.