Okay, I got roped into playing chess for Bedfordshire County today (Sunday 19th October). Having been advised I'd be playing people close to my own rating, I wasn't in the least bit surprised to find myself against a 170 (24 ECF points higher) and a 158 (12 ECF points higher) in what was an "all dayer".
The venue was The Turner Hall in Newmarket. My satnav took me to the wrong place first off but myself and a teammate did manage to arrive just in time (these things never start on time anyway). Having got up earlier than I normally do for work during the week, I wasn't at all surprised at the naffigation. The venue itself was just about okay, a typical church hall so no bar, no canteen and the autumn sun streaming through the windows which had luckily been fitted with black out blinds. We are creatures of the night and lighting is an important feature when playing chess - sunlight directly on a chessboard is not my idea of fun so I kissed goodbye to the nice weather and tried to concentrate on the games at hand.
Before I print my two games, I have to apologise to Northampton Junior Chess Club as I'd promised to help out at the annual club championship event and didn't realise I'd been double booked :-(
Bedfordshire were up against Hertfordshire and Norfolk in a sort of 3-way round robin. That's the only was I can describe it... You play an opponent from one county in the first game and another county in the second game and then someone who knows what they're doing tallies up the scores and, well, that's about it really. I've got a bad feeling we didn't fare that well and I will try and get the final results at some point and add them to this blog!
My first game was with the black pieces against a queens pawn opening. I'm trying to develop my opening repertoire but made some poor moves (seems to be a recurring theme!). So, here's my morning game, warts and all.... with a rather pitiful ending and subsequent resignation from yours truly - my first loss of the season.
Onto the afternoon then and fuelled by a club sandwich and some liquid refreshment from the local bar, I went back into game hall and into the fray. With less than an hour between the end of my first game and start of the next I was still kicking myself over my inept display. I confess that I was very anxious and subsequently made some dubious moves in the opening before my opponent blundered. Even then, I the game went on a lot longer than it should as I missed one absolute sitter before finally stumbling over the line. Having three passed pawns bearing down on you is not really my idea of a pleasant afternoon but I did manage to hang on!
I don't know if I'll get asked to play again but in hindsight, it was a good day out despite my guilt at letting NJCC down.