So on Saturday I went to my first rapidplay event!
The 4th Jorvik Rapidplay was held in the Holiday Inn in York, which is near enough to Durham for me to be able to make it. Nevertheless, it was an early start! I got up at 6am to leave the house at 7am. A mile's walk over to Durham train station, followed by an hour's train journey, then another mile and a half's walk through York was required! All through a fair bit of snow. Nevertheless, I arrived in plenty of time.
There were two sections, Over-145 and Under-145 (the cutoff was decided on the day). I had sent in my form estimating my rapid grade at 150 in the hope of playing in the upper section, and got my wish! Nevertheless, I would be almost at the very bottom of the section and would be playing up every time. Bring it on!
When I arrived in the playing venue, most people were there already. There was a bit of light-hearted complaining going on because the organised had changed the time control from 25 to 20 mins a side, without notice, just in case it snowed more (If you didn't know, it snows most years in England, especially northern England, but we still treat it like a natural disaster!) The room itself was pretty nice, if a bit cramped.
Anyway, the draws for the first round were made, and I found myself with White against a 180 (~2100 FIDE) rapid-graded player. The opening was fairly innocuous and we agreed a draw in a position where it looked like neither side could make much progress without risking a lot. It's important to get on the scoreboard, I guess.
You'll be glad to know I reconstructed all the games when I got home, so here is Round 1!
Normally I wouldn't agree to a draw so early, but I didn't like my position so much, and wanted to get on the scoreboard to settle myself.
Maybe I settled myself too much, however, as the next two rounds, as you will see, were the stuff of nightmares, each in their own way. Round 2, and I'm facing a 184 player with Black. It was an interesting game; here it is
Disappointing, but I made a real fight of it. I thought at the time I had missed the chance to seize an advantage around his 28.f4?? move, and I was right! Just didn't take enough time to see it.
If the last round was a nightmare because I missed some potentially winning chances, the next round, straight after lunch, was a nightmare because I played like an absolute moron.I made a poor decision on move 4, my position got worse and worse, and culminated in me missing a basic tactic, winning boatloads of material. All I can take from this is how not to play the opening!
One other thing, my opponent's grade was estimated; he didn't have a rapid grade, so 163 is his standard grade.
Here it is:
Cringeworthy stuff. So after 3 games, I had managed 0.5/3, missed a bunch of tactics (unlike me) and was feeling annoyed with myself! And so we reach the halfway point of the tournament, and this part of the blog ends.
What happened in the second half? Did I go absolutely wild with rage and start pushing my h-pawns on move 2 in a caveman style? Did I channel my rage into a beautiful game where I mated a 220 player with my sole remaining pawn? Well, you'll have to wait until next time to find out I'm afraid. Thanks for reading!