Monday, 7 February 2011

Stockport Rapidplay 2011

Yesterday was my first time at Stockport. 127 players had entered when I checked on arrival, with more late entries afterwards. Think it must be biggest turnout I've played in.

Round 1:

Black against Stuart Hamilton (ECF grade 67) from Rhyl. He played an offbeat opening, Nf3, d3 etc. Quite even until I got a passed pawn which he had to spend a lot of time defending. Eventually he had to try bringing his King across so I gave up the pawn and took a pawn from the other side. Luckily for me, him taking my pawn allowed a fork of king against his rook. He moved the pieces to play it, then realised the error and tried putting the pieces back and moving something else instead. I said to him we're playing touch move, and he admitted defeat.

Round 2:

Lost with black against junior Jennifer Neil (92). Scandinavian defence. She took a long time over her moves, and was very short on time at the end. I had about 20mins left. She played well to set up a mating attack which I just couldn't stop.

Jennifer kindly allowed me to take a photo of her scoresheet, so was able to go over the game (I don't keep score in rapid games due to time trouble).

The big mistake on my part was 17...g5 allowing the mating attack.

Round 3:

Things went from bad to worse when I lost with white against ungraded Gary Jones. Two knights defence. Was up a pawn from the opening, then up the exchange when skewered king against rook. Then somehow towards the end I threw away a rook, and he had a pawn advantage in bishop endgame. Was hoping he might run out of time and blunder but he played well.

Round 4:

Played terrible as black against Derek Marsden (93). Started 1. e4 d5 2. e5 c5 3. c4 e6 4. Nf3 Nc6. Didn't like the position. Got a couple of pawns lead but then he pinned my knight against the king and piled everything onto the knight. Should probably have castled earlier. He got a mating threat which meant I'd have to give up Queen for rook so resigned.

Round 5:

Easy win with white against ungraded junior A.S. Tathare.

Round 6:

Another easy win with white against Angie Howe (UG). She played a weird Scandinavian: 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qe5+. I played 4. Nge2 but looks like the book move is Be7. Anyway I chased the Queen around a bit while developing pieces and eventually it went back to it's starting position. I was slightly hampered in the game due to a stomach ache, but just played sensible moves and capitalised on mistakes.

So I ended up with 3 wins and 3 losses, which probably sounds better than the poor performance I gave. Need to cut out silly mistakes.

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