AoaLCP #4: Beating the Fort Knox
Looking over the last few blogs I've realised that I've been showing a lot of my wins. I vow to write about some embarrassing defeats next week; I don't want to create a false assumption that I'm a particularly good player. Having said that, I won an interesting game yesterday in the second division of the local league. I often find that playing on top board (as I did) in the second division is roughly equivalent to board 4 or 5 in the top division (obviously depending on the teams' strength) so I suspected I'd have a tough game ahead. This suspicion was confirmed when I found my opponent was Arron Barker.
Arron is rated around 160 like me and is a strange player. He is capable of playing good and solid chess and can be very difficult to beat, but sometimes he plays very ill-advised openings. I've witnessed him playing 1. b4, and also 1. d4 d5 2. c4 b6?!. On the other hand, in two of our three prior games he has essayed a solid Philidor as black and won a well played and logical game against my King's Indian setup, so I think he should concentrate on playing to his strengths and play more of these sound and positional games. He clearly agreed with me, as soon a Fort Knox variation of the French was on the board.
All in all an interesting game. To be honest, I expected to get home and be told by a disapproving computer that my opponent had missed something winning so I was pleasantly surprised to find that only Na4 would have giving him an edge. Even more suprisingly, black never had a perpetual like I suspected I'd find. To add to the good news, the team won 3.5-2.5 so it was good all round.
I suppose I'll end it on a nice positive note. Until next time, chess friends!