Varsity against Bath
At the University, we consider ourselves to have 2 chess varsities; 1 for the A-team and 1 for the B-team. Although I should probably clarify that "we" is actually just "me" and that since the A-team plays Bath University in division 2 and the B-team plays UWE in division 4, they're less a "varsities" and more "bi-annual league fixtures". I don't want to undersell it but honestly, this whole blog post is basically just a build up to a joke that isn't even mine!
Anyway, assuming you didn't just scroll to the end, I'll set the scene. On the way to the match I had to pick up the players from the SU and although our top grade gave a valiant effort at student lateness (a credible 30 minutes) he failed to beat this season's current record of 50 minutes. They're both postgraduates too, so perhaps you undergrads could learn a thing or two from us. Clearly you're working too hard.
After numerous unwarranted criticisms of my driving we arrived at Bath and found that they had changed the venue to a more social place. Now a naive person might fall for their dastardly tricks, but we weren't to be fooled. Sure, we drank their wine and listened to the live music. Sure, we enjoyed the plush surroundings and their good humour. But we weren't fooled. They were clearly out to get us.
The four players on the top two boards for the match were way up there with grades the likes of which us mere mortals may never see. After our whopping intake though, we were lucky enough to start to see grading differences on the lower boards.
Way down on board 5 as I was, I was continuing with my new found ambition to play openings I would never normally play. Sadly I was white, and that could mean only one thing...
So despite all their shenanigans, we managed a ridiculous 5.5-0.5 win! Although in honesty, this was a quite a generous score for us. Presumably Bath will come back and kick our ass later in the season.
And as has been pointed out by some fellow students, there was actually no need to play 1. d4. The suggestions have included 1. Nf3, 1. c4, 1. f4, 1. b3 and even 1. b4 although I don't know if I've yet got the audacity to play that last one. My only defence is that students often experiment with things that they regret doing in later life.
I hope it was worth the wait.