Time Flies When You're Having Fun
Welcome to my relaunched blog where I'll be analysing my games for my local chess club, Pontypridd, since I joined them last year (full story here!). Reviewing your games and trying to learn from them, especially the losses, is often cited as an important activity to improve your play.
I hadn't played OTB (Over The Board) chess since I was a teenager, some 30 years ago, so the club captain assigned me a conservative rating of 1450 Elo to start the season. Back in my youth the highest rating I achieved was 1715 Elo, so my target is to at least match that now that I'm older and hopefully wiser!
Pontypridd Chess Club play in the East Glamorgan Chess League in Wales, UK. In brief, there are four divisions of ten teams (the number of teams can vary in the lowest division), and at the start of the 2016/17 season Pontypridd had three teams, in the first, third and fourth divisions respectively. Each team has five players, and for my first game re-entering the fray of OTB chess I was playing board 1 for the third team.
The league time control is 60 minutes for 30 moves, then 25 minutes for the rest of the game.
A painful way to resume my chess career! I started cautiously when faced with an unfamiliar defence, was handed a clear advantage thanks to a mistake by my opponent, but then failed to follow through tactically in a winning position, used too much time on the clock and fell apart near the end. The match ended as a draw 2.5-2.5.
Oddly enough, although I was disappointed, I wasn't as upset as such a debacle might suggest. I enjoyed the club atmosphere and felt I was back where I belonged - at a real chess board, with a real chess clock, with no screen, keyboard or mouse in sight! I may have lost, but I was thirsty for more. Next time I'll cover my second game of the season when (spoiler alert) I scored my first competitive OTB win in over 30 years!
Comments are welcomed, especially any analysis of the game itself. I'm trying to learn!