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Friday, 8 June 2018


My fan club has requested that I revitalise the blog which has been idle since February, so here is my latest attempt to explain the brain processes of lower level chess!

In fact my game has improved considerably since January after a disastrous run.  I realised my loss of form was due to turning up for matches with no study since the last match.  Changing this has resulted in a run of sixteen games with a grade averaging 119 and including a win against last night's opponent Bill McCartney.  In that game Bill played the Alekhine Defence which you may be surprised to learn I have never faced before in my short career, a mere 299 games.  Things are different at this level.

So I arrived knowing what do against the Alekhine in case I faced Bill again.  I did, but we won the toss and I had black.  However without a game for some time and only just back from two weeks in Cornwall I was nearly back to my old ways, as you will see!

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. d3 e6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. f4 d5 6. Bb3 {I considered dxe4
here with a view to swopping queens and preventing him castling, but convinced
myself that I might end up with doubled isolated c pawns.  In fact dxe4 was the best
move} Bd7 7. e5 {so now my knight can only run home.  After some thought I
found....} d4 8. exf6 dxc3 9. bxc3 Qxf6 10. Bd2 Bd6 11. Ne2 Qh4+ {quite
pleased with this move, g3 is forced and leaves the king open} 12. g3 Qf6 13.
Rb1 O-O {queenside castling would have allowed h4 then h5} 14. c4 Rfd8 (14...
e5 15. Ba4 exf4 16. O-O f3) 15. Nc3 Qe7 16. Ne4 Bc7 17. Qh5 {after this I was
too concerned with preventing Ng5 (which is harmless) and didn't even see Qxc5.
If I had I might not have missed what I'm just about to miss!} f6 18. Bc3 Rf8
19. O-O Be8 20. Qxc5  {Diagram [#]} {missing the easily spotted Bb6! at
which point Bill might well have immediately resigned} Qxc5+ 21. Nxc5 Bb6 22. d4
Bxc5 23. dxc5 Rc8 {I offered a draw here} 24. Ba4 Rf7 25. Rfd1 Rfc7 26. Rd6 Bd7
$4 27. Rbd1 Rd8 28. Bxc6 Bxc6 29. Ba5 {and now I convinced myself I was
totally lost when in fact it's only +0.83!  Rxd6 is the obvious move I missed.}

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