Reality Conditions

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Chess Match

Today I played for first time in 2006 in the university chess team. To be more precise, the University of Nottingham has 4 chess teams that play in different leagues at different levels, and I play as Board 1 (out of 5) in the Third Team. I had played several times last year in this position, and believe it or not all those games were draws! But today it was different. There were no draws in the match, in fact all the games were exciting (though none had a high quality).

In today's match one of our players was unexpectedly missing, quite a disgrace because we were locals and so one of the memebers of the other team had to come all the way to uni for nothing. Of course it also meant that we started the match being already 0-1. I won my game fairly quickly which set things even, more by luck than by skill: it was a Bird Opening (me with black) that started very closed but soon got complicated when both of us moved knights to King 5, and refused to move them away when they were attacked by pawns. In the confusion that came about I managed to check in h4 forcing him to resign castling, but anyway the position was complex and with chances for both. Just then he made a huge blunder allowing me to checkmate and the game was over at move 15.

Our Board 4 was playing against a schoolchild and it should have been an easy win after he won a rook soon out of the opening. But he managed to complicate it more and more and lost a lot of time, and when he won at last he had only one minute left in his clock (and the match is played with 1 hour 15 minutes per player!). Board 3 started very bad and was a bishop and two pawns down. But somehow he built up a dangerous attack on the opponent's king, recovered the bishop, and could have forced a draw by perpetual check; he missed this chance, blundered and lost a rook, then the opponent blundered and lost a rook as well (!) and in a dramatic ending the opponent promoted two pawns and mated him with the two queens while having only half a minute left.

Thus the match was 2-2 and it was all to the game in Board 2. There they had both less than 5 minutes left and they were still in difficult middle-game position; our player had won the queen but the opponent had rook and bishop to compensate for it so it was still difficult; they were both throwing the places over the board, knocking the clock over when pressing it, terribly nervous... at that moment a security guard came in and told us we had to clear the room because it was booked only till 10:30 and it was time already... we argued that they had just seconds of game left and he insisted that they should finish it outside... but at the same time the players went on playing desperately, knocking pieces in every move and not picking them up, perhaps skipping moves sometimes... until the opponent's flag fell when he was about to get checkmated and a few seconds were left in our player's clock. One of the most dramatic endings I have ever seen. I'm not sure if it would have counted as valid in a proper chess tournment with a referee.

So, at the end, we won 3-2. Hooray! I realise that probably none of this is of interest for the likely readers of this blog. My apologies. It will not hapen again. Or actually, it may happen again next time I play. Be warned.

2 Comments:

  • You're wrong!!! This post had narrative! It had passion! It was understandable! It was the most exciting post you've done (that is, if the reader knows the rules of chess. And if not, you can steel feel the thrill of the confrontations!). And the last game you describe... I feel like making a movie about it.

    By Anonymous Suspicous friend, at 5:09 PM, February 18, 2006  

  • Well, thanks for the unexpected compliment, Merrick. Glad you enjoyed it.

    By Blogger Alejandro, at 6:57 PM, February 18, 2006  

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