AoaLCP #5: The black pieces
By chance I've had five games in a row with the black pieces recently. It's one of those things that sometimes happens, and I'm absolutely okay with it because I actually scored very well from the run. It started with a first division game against Eagle and Child 2, the chess club formerly known as Minster Inn. The club is so strong that they split their first team in two to create more competition in the league, and true to form E&C fielded two IMs for the game. They clearly expected us to come out all guns blazing. Unfortunately, none of our titled players were available, so the top boards looked an utter mismatch and it looked that we needed to score three points from the lower four boards to get anything from the match. The result of this was that I ended up on board three playing James Carpenter. The Carpenter family are well known in Yorkshire chess, and James is a strong player rated around 170 so I knew it would be a difficult game.
In the end the team secured a fantastic result, winning 4-2 with a shock draw coming from Alex on board two against his IM opponent.
My next game was in the second division, and to be honest it was a bit of a crush. I got a really good version of the dragon, and won quickly. The same can be said for my next game against Kevin Plaxton, where he blundered a pawn early and I converted the advantage eventually, though there was a point where he could have entered a rook ending that I considered absolutely equal. Instead I got to show some technique in a long bishop ending. I might show these two games in a later blog as they were both instructive and fun, but I won't show them here for fear of overloading this entry
I'll now show my first loss of 2017. The continued absence of our best players meant I again got to play on board three, this time against Steve Hodge who I know little about. He outranks me slightly, so I knew it would be a difficult game. Soon a closed Sicilian was on the board, and I wasn't too happy with my position
An unfortunate game, and my misery was compounded when the rest of my team also folded. To correct the details, this was the semifinal of the cup tournament, so we were unable to regain our trophy after last year's bitter defeat in the final. All in all, not the best day at the ofice.
To end on a better note, yesterday I played another game in the second division against the inimitable Herbert Lockwood. As he reminded me before the game, our last encounter ended with a mad time scramble and a checkmate delivered by yours truly with three seconds left on the clock, so he was looking forward to revenge. Soon enough, a King's Indian was on the board.
So, I won. The team also won, which pretty much guarantees them promotion. My rating is currently the bighest it's ever been, and for the first time in my life I have a FIDE rating! I'm now rated 1927, so the obvious goal is to play more events and get that up to 2000! Until then I'll just keep on playing, and hopefully also keep on doing this blogs. Until next time!