My 4 Games at the 5th Annual Worcestershire Chess Congress 2013!

Over the weekend of 20th and 21st July I took part in my very first 'Major' section of a tournament and this was the 'Major u160's' which is for anyone with an ECF grade of 159 or below, or under 1930 FIDE equivalent strength.

My grade hasn't been updated yet and is still 116 (1578) so I could have entered another section. The 4 sections were 'Minor u115's' (u1570), 'Intermediate u135's' (u1730) this is the lowest section I could have entered being a 116 ECF still and a section where I would have had awesome 1st or =2nd place podium chances, nothing's ever a certainty but still great chances, then the major section I entered, and the hardest section was the 'Open' for anyone of ANY grade/rating.

I chose the major section purely for experience, no other reason. I couldn't play all 5 rounds anyway due to travel issues and distance etc, and thought the major section would give me 4 very hard and tense games, and for me that = FUN! Cool 

I'm still very much in the learning process and it's not often I get to do a weekend congress so I do like to challenge myself Wink - but if I was able to do 12 a year instead of just 2 atm then I would enter the lower sections more definitely, but I do love the challenge these harder sections bring me because I'm not a fan of easy wins. So, here's my 4 games!!... I hope you appreciate I analyzed all my games myself without any engine as to improve my self-anaysis skills except where I say an engine was used because parts of my games were analyzed by a friends engine at the tournament Smile

My first game had me up against a player graded 149 ECF!


So although it didn't go completely as planned at the end, I still managed to get a rated draw against a 149 ECF player which I hadn't ever done before!

Here's round 2 against a 152 ECF!

So a blur in my tactical vision (tiredness) cost me the game, I should have held a draw with queens still on the board but yeah, that was the worst move I played of the whole tournament lol Tongue Out so with my 3rd round bye, I headed home for some proper food and rest ready for my 4th and 5th round games the next day!

Here's round 4 against a 144 ECF!...

I feel like I should have won this, but after some extensive computer evaluation I realized that only an expert with hours on his clock could have really worked some magic with this awesome position, ah, hate time trouble lol Laughing

So for the final game I really needed a win, well wanted one at least, and I faced another opponent rated 152 ECF...

So, this position where the draw was agreed, he thought he had a slight advantage having 2 minors for my rook but I thought I had a slight advantage having the only heavy piece on the board and a more active king. But I realized neither of us could make progress without making holes in our position, and so did he so he accepted my draw offer. But still another great draw because I had never drew with anyone over 150 ECF before, not in a rated game!

So overall I think I did myself justice with 2/5 (1.5/4) in a very hard section and it was a great weekend for me, now I'm just waiting for the 2013/14 season to start for my club where I will be on board 1 or 2 for the second team and board 5 or 6 for the top team.

My TPR was 137 ECF (1746 FIDE equ.) which I think is an accurate measure of my true strength anyway Cool And another great thing I only lost a single game all weekend against much stronger players! Smile

Analyzing these games has been almost as much fun as playing them I appreciate any constructive comments Smile Cool


  • 3 years ago


    I appreciate the comments thanks Smile yeah that h4 move is open to suggestion but it was a thought-out move, but all of the analysis has been done without an engine... - who knows we may even meet again at Kidlington 2014 Wink I'm sure I'll enter in the u145's again! I've been told by one of my team members that I won't (most likely) be playing for the second team anymore now not even on board 1, I'll just be playing for the first team on board 6. But it would be nice to get a few board 1 games in as I'm very sure my new grade will be under 140 and am therefore able to play in Division 3.

    Who knows, but I'm definitely looking forward to this next season as I know my club are happy to give me higher boards whilst they take easier wins on the lower boards I seem to play better against stronger opponents but there's areas of my game that need work, I finally got my middlegame sorted, getting good positions for the endgame, but now I really have to work on converting that advantage. Quite easy against people under 130 ECF but currently very hard against anyone over 140 ECF. Hopefully my new book on the queen's gambit will give me some fresh ideas for my otb play for the next year Cool

  • 3 years ago


    Indeed I think your grading has improved significantly over the year so that is good news, the first game was really unlucky, you had him for sure that is why this game is so frustrating, just one minor miscalculation, or move made too quickly at a crucial point etc. Just another small point but I am not sure about your move 11 h4 in the second game as it would always be difficult to castle queenside with the pawn at c4 (I believe if the pawn was on c3 this would be safer), the black rook has easy access to c8 and can cause discomfort, thus losing tempi, it is certainly worth looking at this position on a computer (which I haven 't done) to look at what are deemed as the strongest options. You certainly equalised very quickly in your third game and showed your higher rated opponent the weakness of that F4 opening and bravo on that early knight second move, not something I tend to go for, but it was particularly useful in that position. The new season is not too far away now and I am sure you will increase by another 10 points or so. Good luck

  • 3 years ago


    Thanks for your comment! No more rated games now for 2 months so I need to make sure I'm ready to do my club's top team justice albeit on board 6 but that's where I was 2 years ago for the second team so definite progress is being made I just hope I can be consistent, no massive jumps or falls in my grade, no great streaks followed by a rubbish streak, I'm just aiming for consistency at the moment, I like to think I had a good tournament with only 2 major blunders (missing the win in game 1 and allowing the queen trade in game 2) and the rest was solid play. Still have a long way to go yet before I can consistently beat people ~150 ECF, I can get draws lol ( I'm Anand in disguise! Laughing Tongue Out ) now I've gotta figure out how to convert these advantages into wins. It's harder than I thought in the 'Major' sections, but at least I only lost a single game all weekend! Cool 

    Thanks again for checking the games!

  • 3 years ago


    Indeed some tense games here with some very thought provoking moves. I have to be honest I would personally prefer bishop and knight v rook in the last game especially as your rook is blockaded and blacks queenside pawns are protected. The knight can create a bit of hassle by some nifty manoevering whilst white's pieces are a bit tied up, but again as it is the last game probably both players need to remove themselves from the battle arena and get home after a tiring weekend! Congrats on your improving rating and continued good entertainment.

  • 3 years ago


    Thanks Alex I appreciate the input! Smile  My expected ECF is gonna be anywhere from 130-135 I'm not 100% sure but my TPR was 137 ECF (1746 FIDE equ.) and I'd say that's my average rating atm, if not nearer 140 but the new gradings will reveal all Wink Cool

    This tournament won't be a factor until the January 2014 lists the rating I'll be getting is from my games up til April this year... and there has been improvement even in this short time!

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