|Pete Leonard reveals the secret of his early successes
for HBCC: an ice cream sundae before every match!
ï»¿ï»¿ Today’s post comes courtesy of “T.M.W.D.W.M.T” (a.k.a. Pete Leonard). Who took part in the Jorvik Chess Congress in York back at the beginning of this month. Pete has been through all his games and annotated them so my thanks go to him for taking the time to prepare this report for us.
“Intermezzo was not the only person to have entered a chess tournament this summer, though my choice was a much less prestigious affair than the British Championships. However, I followed similar reasoning to his, when I saw the flyers for this event at the HBCC. We have friends who live in York, so I could stay with them and have a pleasant walk to and from the hotel each day.
This congress is in its second year. According to the organiser, Peter Cloudsdale, he had just ten entries last year; this time there were 34, which is a healthy increase. We were divided into two sections: A for those graded above 130 and B for those on 130 or below. A five round Swiss would suffice for such numbers, but I didn’t have his problems of managing the draw, so could simply enjoy an extra game for my entry fee.
Unlike the British Championships, the time allowance was quite short: just an hour apiece for the entire game. As my first game lasted over 60 moves, that was quicker than a minute a move! My target was to achieve a 50% score overall; not unreasonable, as my grade placed me pretty well in the middle, between a highest of 187 and a lowest of 131. I should be disappointed with less than 3/6 and pleased with more.
Everyone else was a stranger to me; in the first round, I drew White against Eric Key. A pleasant chap, I think we both had similar ambitions: to play as well as we could but chiefly to enjoy the experience. He confessed to not having touched a piece in anger for four months; together with my lack of match practice, this probably accounts for the less than perfect, though close, game.
So, I won each morning with White and lost each afternoon with Black. It must be my age; I’m missing my afternoon nap! Still, I can take satisfaction from the fact that I achieved my target and could even have had 3½ or 4/6.
It was a friendly, informal, tournament, held in a pleasant atmosphere; my thanks and congratulations to Peter and Claire Cloudsdale for their excellent organisation. Also to the various winners: of course Alexander Combie won Section A, with Adam Ismail joint second, so it’s no disgrace to have lost to him, either. Section B had joint winners and a five-way tie for third; there would probably have been a clearer result, from 16 players, if there had only been five, or even four, rounds. However, I can understand why six rounds were played; I certainly plan to enter the Jorvik Congress again.”