My First Ever WIN for my County's Team!!
Today, 2nd March, exactly 4 weeks after having an epic win with the black pieces, I get another - and my first-ever win for the County! I was privileged to play for Oxfordshire in our match against Hampshire where we were actually outgraded across all 16 boards...
I was on board 14 as our captain decided the board order by offical ratings. My official rating still being only 116 ECF (1578 FIDE equ.)
I was hoping for some more queen's Indian action as my regular followers probably guessed lol - but faced 1.e4 and... I had done extensive preparation on my Sicialian Najdorf making sure I would at least enter the middlegame with near-equality and not get slaughtered by a race-attack position early on. This extensive preparation basically just involved looking over book lines to the Najdorf and then hoping to "try" and transpose my position into something more of my liking
The game however was cut short - a horrific blunder by my opponent just gave me free material and a resignation a few moves later...
I have included in the game the line I had calculated after I lost a pawn by mistake (tactical blur lol) to reach what I thought would be equality.
So as you can see it was looking equal in the alternate exchange variation inblue or so I thought, this is what I had calculated as having compensation for the pawn and I stood extremely good drawing chances and even winning chances with accurate play as I have this bishop pair on an open board after some pawn exchanges...
Please feel free to comment on the game, the analysis, and most importantly (for me) the alternate line that I thought I saw equality - this will be a great help for my continued improvement
So YES!! LUCKY NUMBER 4!! Number 4 has always been my lucky number, this was my 4th game for the County and after 2 draws and 1 loss, a win was well overdue, I wore my lucky blue trainers and jacket that I wore to Kidlington, everyone needs a good-luck charm lol and I had it all in my favour... and to get this result against another higher-rated player well lets just say I'm happy! I hope to be called up again now more often in the future especially when the new grades come out as my performace this season over 20 rated games is roughly 135 ECF (1730 FIDE equ.) which I'm pleased with my consistent progress. Although luck has indeed played a part here, I have racked-up a fair few upsets this season and that requires dedication and skill not just luck.
I can't say much more than that apart from the outlook for my first board 2 outing for my club on Wednesday - I'm even more "PUMPED"