Adventures of a lowly club player #1: Blundering 6 pawns!
I've been toying with the idea of a chess blog for a while now. For the last three years I've played regularly in a local evening league and increasingly often in congresses too and I like to think I'm fairly decent at the game by now. My grade sits at about 160 (That's an ECF grade, not the worst FIDE ever), which translates to somewhere in the ballpark of 1900, so I'm probably just a little bit better than average but definitely nothing special.
So like I say, most of my chess is played in my local league, which is a bit of a freak of nature. I'm at the University of York and play (and am the captain) for the uni's first team against other teams from the city. The city has a population of about 100,000 so you would probably think that this would be quite limited in talent, but yesterday I fielded three titled players (IM and 2xFM), and there are two other IMs that regularly play for other teams. Naturally I don't play on high enough boards to face these players myself, and I usually end up taking on someone of a level between ECF 140-170, which brings me to the point of this post.
My team won the game yesterday (4.5-1.5), but it wasn't as comfortable as it should have been. We only lost board four as it turned out, but at one point it looked like we would lose three and five too. Our opponents were sneaky with board order, and practically threw the top boards to load the lower boards with good players, so on board five I faced a 167 as black, shown below