University vs. Morecambe Knights 22/10/15

Nov 1, 2015, 1:27 PM |

It's a new season in the Lancaster, Morecambe and District chess league. After winning it last year, we (the University team) are aiming to make it back-to-back titles.

Our first match of the season was against Morecambe Knights (Morecambe's "second team"). Inevitably, our line-up was much-changed from last season due to graduations and the like, with Kshitij on top board and myself on second the only core team members from last year available to start this match. For our boards 3 and 4, we had Ian and Nikola as the two strongest players available for this match. Ian is an improving player currently rated ~ 1700 with the USCF, and Nikola is a solid player rated ~1600 with FIDE.

Due to troubles with the University room booking system, we ended up playing the match in the Learning Zone, a sort-of private study area, which was a bit odd! With the Knights' ratings ranging from 139 on top board to ~120 on bottom, we outgraded them a bit, particularly on the top two boards. As White, it was especially important I should beat my opponent.

My game was quite tough - my opponent was clearly more prepared to play the opening than I was and achieved an equal position. I decided to take some risks to win, grabbing a pawn but inviting some attacking pressure on my uncastled king. In the end, the game looked like it would peter out to a draw, but I managed to find some lucky resources that gave me the full point. Time control was 90|0.

We managed to win the match 3.5-0.5, with Ian conceding a draw. A great start to the new season!