BUCA - British University Chess Championships - Championship Section
Feb 29, 2016, 1:52 AM
About a week ago, the Lancaster University Chess Team participated in the British University Chess Championships with a team in the top and bottom sections (out of 3 total). It was a two day tournament that took place in Birmingham at a hotel (I forget which one). The Lancaster second team did quite well with 3/5 wins (I might still be wrong on the final score), whereas the A team got absolutely smashed.
We managed 0.5/5, which is indicative of my personal score as well. 2 of our best players were unable to come, so I ended up playing board 2 (!), and all of my opponents were 2050+ FIDE (or converted from BCF). I am mostly happy with how I played, given the continuous strong level of play from my opponents, and that I tried to take chances when they were given to me.
The first game was an example of my new style of play - said to be extremely boring by my friends - but after pushing in the opening and achieving nothing, just hunkering down and playing it safe.
The second game was an absolute crush - I used to play the Sveshnikov and was unaware that the d5 push is transferable after an early Nf5 - my enterprising opponent managed to demolish me without much effort.
The third game was a great learning experience for me as I was distracted from my kingside attack and merely went on the defensive. My opponent managed to push all my pieces back and set up a powerful battery on the a file and then the second rank! The best defense is a good offense.
The last game that I will show is one where I had chances (the 5th game was utter garbage by me, along with my stress migraines building up). This game was played on the second day of the tournament and even though I was ground down in the opening again, I struck back on the alternate flank (kingside) and even missed a win late in time trouble! This I can blame on having searched for a draw the whole game - I even missed that I was getting mated!
This game I believe best demonstrated my strength of play, despite my increasing migraines throughout the weekend. Not giving up and finding a plan to play for can be extremely important towards not conceding the full point.