Black to play and kiss goodbye to two hundred nicker
Three hours after this piece publishes I should be boarding a train in Sheffield, to take me to Birmingham, where I'll change trains for for Aberystwyth and the 2014 British Chess Championship.
It'll be good to get another game again: I've been preparing for the Championship by not playing chess, an eleven-month non-intensive program of not-playing-chess which began after the Hampstead Bank Holiday tournament last August.
This tournament, which offered a first prize of £200, saw an exciting last-round climax in which Black, needing a win for outright first, dominated from the off, turned down a draw, and, a piece up, missed at least one chance to be consolidate before suffering the tragedy introduced above.
I was that soldier.
Funny thing is, I wasn't too upset about the two hundred quid, having considered myself a dead man on leave ever since, two rounds earlier, I had been monumentally lost against a junior graded some three hundred points below me.
I pulled the game out of the fire nonetheless.
Black to play: White actually won this one
I'd also have been rather more traumatised had I not already qualified for the British, since along with the money, first prize brought a qualifying place for the Championship: indeed I see my opponent will be among the competitors. So I assure readers that any damage I suffered at the time was of a purely temporary nature and my eleven months off were nothing to do with what happened in the diagram position.
I can laugh about it now
Not quite the Worst Move On The Board, true. But close. Damned close.
There was some trauma. "Jesus Christ", I said. Said? I could probably be heard across the room.
I shall try not to do that again. In either sense of "that".