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43rd Scarborough Chess Congress

Posted by fellman01 on November 1, 2019

Held on October 25-27 2019, this event was, as ever, well run and well supported, with 321 players spread over 5 sections. I played in the Minor, for players graded 135 and under, and was ranked 69th of the 75 entrants.

I took a half-point bye in round 1, held on the Friday night. On Saturday morning my opponent was Malcolm Roberts (grade 128) of Holmes Chapel. Over-ruling my better judgement, I launched a sacrificial attack on his castled king only to end up a bishop to 2 pawns down. The rest of the game was spent defending and I managed to hold out for a draw.

Saturday afternoon saw me playing Andy Kelly (grade 126) of Worsley. I had a nightmare game, foolishly taking a poisoned pawn and saying goodbye to my queen on move 12. More increasingly desperate defensive play on my part, ending with a move I thought might get me back in the game, only to find it led to mate in 2. Not the best afternoon of my chess career!

Another day and fresh hopes! I had white against David Fowler (grade 130) of Derbyshire and always had a positional advantage, but with equal material and both queens on the board to the end finding the win was hard work. Only after 3 hours and 45 minutes of play did I manage it, David resigning with mate just one move away.

Less than an hour later it was time for the final round. My opponent, Pete McKay of Darlington, was another 130 man. Again I achieved a positional advantage but each time I thought I could turn it into a material advantage Pete found an answer, and with both of us feeling Congress fatigue we agreed a draw after 3 hours and 15 minutes of play.

So I came away from the congress shattered but feeling well pleased (if you forget about the Saturday afternoon fiasco) at having managed 50% and ending up 40th in the section.

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