Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How To Annotate A Fine Victory . . .

So, you win one of the UK's most prestigious Opens, ahead of several Grandmasters, scalping a pair of titled players in the process - and the tournament organisers ask you to write up your games for their website. How do you do it?

Compensation, the inititiave, pawn structure, stamina, psychology, calculation, time-management, strategical out-playing, openings, variations, variations, variations - in short, all the usual stuff . . . ? Harald Borchgrevink won Blackpool 2007, and went for a rather different emphasis:
I enjoyed three cans of Tennent's on the way down, mostly to ease the pain of being inches away from Graeme Kafka's one working speaker, however a rather loud one, but at the board I would soon discover that I had the "flow" this weekend, so my slight fuzzy feeling should not worry me too much. With the black pieces I soon equalised, but my opponent played the middle game well, and as our pawn chains locked the centre efficiently, the a-file was my only hope.

Luckily, Nigel Chapman offered me a pint as we passed the first time control, and that did the trick. With my opponent spending much time, and me with no risk of losing, I managed to "grind her down", winning a pawn and then another before 0-1 was a fact. Not an impressive start, but nonetheless a point and a pint,

he wrote of round 1.

You can read the rest here, and I don't think it spoils anything to let you know the inevitable punch-line: "The trophy is now on display at the Sandy Bells pub."

Thanks to Tryfon Gavriel for the tip-off on this one.


ejh said...

I played Blackpool a few years ago. If I'd written a report it would have concentrated not on the drink but on the bus journey back, which started after midnight and entailed changing buses at some bizarre hour in the morning somewhere in the South Midlands.

Or I could have mentioned the hotel room where the landlord turned the heating off intermittently to save money.

Or my Saturday night entertainment which involved going to see The Rivals at the theatre in one of the worst-acted productions I have ever attended in my life.

Or the several hours I spent walking round Blackpool looking without success for an internet outlet.

Or the chess, which was even worse. I played one local player who burped all the way through without once putting his hand over his mouth. I scrambled a draw in that one which is more than I managed when I played him the following year in Doncaster. I think I'd rather be kicked under the table.

Never again.

Anonymous said...

I went to a magician's convention in Blackpool a couple of years ago (and if you think a chess tournament is disproportionately populated by winkers you should try a meeting of conjurers).

January 2005: still no public internet access in the whole of Blackpool. It took some time to get this concept across to the visiting americans. Or indeed to those of us who come from more civilised parts of the country.

FACT: Blackpool is the world's biggest cack hole

I'd need to get slaughtered to going back there again regardless of the cause.

Tom Chivers said...

I guess neither of you were drunk enough.

ejh said...

I was amused to see Donny Muter mentioned in the report. I used to play on the same 4NCL team as the one-time promising junior. He ought to be doing rather better than 182 but the fact that he appeared to view every Saturday night as an opportunity to get legless and therefore spent every Sunday morning recovering may have affected his performance on the chessboard just a little.

Meanwhile is there any reasonable explanation why his grade last year was only 155?

Anonymous said...

Well I know that some people who also play in Majors ask the same question as he hoovers up the prize money.