Sunday, 13 February 2011

Warwickshire Chess Congress 2011


Round 1:

Had a very pleasing win against Paul Williams (99) with black. It felt like I got my focus back 100% on the game for the first time since my break.

He played 2.f4 after 1.d4 Nf6. Haven't seen this before, but decided to carry on with the Kings Indian defence. It was looking very drawish in the middlegame.

I was happy when he played 19.Bxe4, as it looked to me (and I may be wrong), that it left him with a bad bishop that was blocked by all his pawns. And also left me with the bishop pair on a board that was opening up.

I liked my bishop on e4 and was hoping something would come out of the theoretically good position. I've been reading up on positional strategy recently which I think will improve my game and make it less dependent on tactics.

I managed to get a passed pawn, then supported it with another passed pawn. I was surprised he didn't try to sacrifice his remaining bishop at the end to stop the pawns.

Round 2:

Lost with white against ungraded junior Aaron Vitarana. I started playing too fast in the opening and didn't even consider 7.Bxf7 until after I'd castled. I was playing speculative moves without taking the time to analyse them deeply.

26.Nxe5 was the big mistake. I calculated I'd win a pawn, but didn't visualise the back rank mate threat. Taking with the bishop first would have been ok.

Round 3:

Lost with black against Gabor Csepregi (116). He played well and deserved the win. Towards the end he forced me to give up my Queen for a rook. So it was Queen and 4 pawns versus Rook and 4 pawns. I realise it's a winning position for him, but didn't see any reason to resign immediately until he showed he could convert it.

After his last move, I was studying the position, and could tell it was lost, but was just checking if there was anything left I could try. I was just about to resign when my elderly Russian sounding opponent started to speak to me.

"I think it is about time for you to give up. Why are you playing on now? We have a long journey home, what is the point in playing any longer?"

I felt it was very bad manners of him to speak to me at all during a game, and even worse to suggest I should resign. I have every right to use all my time to play on as long as I want. I felt furious inside, and no longer wanted to continue the game, and as I was about to resign in any case, I toppled my king, quickly shook his hand and left. I have nothing to gain out of getting into an argument with an old man.

Anyway, it was a good game apart from that. He had an interesting opening against the Kings Indian. It came down to Queen and 2 rooks each, and he had a big attack which forced me on the defensive. By move 34 I only had a minute on my clock to reach the time control of 36 moves. I quickly went for a couple of checks, but unfortunately this was the error that allowed my Queen to be trapped to prevent mate. A shame it had to end on such a sour note.


Round 4:

Lost with white against Christine Constable (102). I thought I'd got my knight into a good position on d6, but it proved to be my undoing. She did well to convert the extra minor piece into a win. I was hoping to take all her pawns and leave her with bishop and knight mate but it didn't work out.

Round 5:

Won my final game with black against Anthony Taylor (92). On move 13 he looked to be winning a rook and pawn for a knight and bishop, but for some reason he didn't take the rook, leaving me a knight up for a pawn. Move 17 he blundered his bishop, so I thought being up two minor pieces would leave me plain sailing. But he mounted a good attack on my King, which had me very worried. I should have released my rook on a8 much sooner. Eventually though he resigned when he'd have to exchange Queens to stop mate leaving me up a rook and bishop.

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