South Hams Chess Club
South Hams Chess Club

Diary Of a Totnes Pawn in the Battle of Frome

Day 3

Sunday 16 May

After the usual morning rituals I was back at the venue and feeling ready for action. Looking at the listings it was (you guessed it!) Mr Ford himself sitting at the top of the tree with the point I gifted him. Couldn't help feeling that was my place technically. But on the bright side he was at least making good use of my mistake. I cleared my mind from negative thoughts and sat down for the next challenge. I was facing a Mr William Curry (106) who also had two points from three. He had the manner of a gentle, elderly chap but had eyes like a hawk the the smile of a cunning fox. He was white and opened with e5, I played c5 and we were off (see game!).

The interesting thing about playing new people is that you have absolutely no idea what they're going to do. It obviously works both ways and from my limited experience this uncertainty usually manifests itself into some fantastic games. After only my third move he had the opportunity for a wicked sacrifice (4. Bxf7!!) and I saw him pondering it for quite some time but he opted for a more cautious approach (thankfully). I think if he'd been playing someone he was familiar with he would have opted for the sacrifice but because I was an unknown quantity (with two wins so far!) he kept his claws retracted while he assessed the lay of the land. Anyway the battle raged on with heavy artillery deployed all over the board and at a few points the complexity factor was off the scale.

With both of us having missed chances to dominate the board ended up with William ahead and it was here that I spotted a sneaky way to get the draw. He played into it and even when I said it was a draw he didn't believe me, such was the beauty of the position. Anyway a draw was well deserved for both of us with such good play and their was scarcely time for a snack before I was playing my final game.

My opponent was Mr Robin Morris-Weston and we were both sitting on two and a half points. I was white and began e4, he answered c5 and to my pleasure I got to play c3 for the first time over the weekend. Excellent! As we played the opening I got a feeling that it was going to be an easy game as it all flowed smoothly with theory that I felt I knew. Then I played my thirteenth move (unlucky for some it must be said!), Qb3 and sat back smugly before the realization dawned on me slowly that he could mate me in a couple of moves (see game for the test!)...I stayed calm and prayed that I wouldn't be on my way in a matter of 6 minutes into the game. Luckily he played Bg4 and I breathed a sigh of relief. Needless to say, after that scare the rest of the game was plain sailing and I came away with an easy win. Although I think he resigned a bit prematurely. I think he was tired and my 18th move took him so by surprise that he thought he was out of his depth.

So a win to end the day. Fantastic. And that puts me up on 3 and a half points. In my own mind I'll always have 4 and a half so I feel proud and relieved and exhausted too. I think I need a holiday. So with both me and the sun heading west it's time to put the pieces away for a few weeks and give the old grey matter a breather.

See you all back at the club...