Monthly Archives: March 2012

Weekly Progress Report #77

Just two and a half hours this week, spent playing and analysing a local league game.  In non-chess news, after five and a half months spent getting precisely nowhere in my fourth-year project (finding a laser-based method to measure ultralow interfacial tensions by deforming the interface using radiation pressure), I’m finally getting results.  The game is given below:

I’ve added a couple of games from the Durham Congress to last week’s report, in response to a request.

Weekly Progress Report #76

I did thirteen and a half hours of chess this week, of which almost all was playing and analysing at this weekend’s Durham Congress.  I was the bottom seed in a strong Open section, and scored a disappointing 1.5/5, or 1/4 discounting my half-point bye.  Interestingly, each of my four opponents was called David!

I got a good position out of the opening in my first game, but spent far too long trying to find a forced win (which was probably never there).  For some reason I also thought that the time control was at move 30 rather than 36, and ended up blundering in time trouble in the lead-up to the time control.  In the second game I got a bad position out of the opening (which I didn’t know well), and although it seemed at one point like I may save it, I never fully recovered and resigned shortly after reaching the time control.  My third game was a King’s Indian Bayonet variation, and some move-order confusion gave me a nice advantage out of the opening.  Although my opponent fought hard and generated some chances to save the game, he eventually succumbed.  In my final game I played into an opening trap and lost fairly quickly.

I’m playing in a league game next week, and may play another game or two in April or May.  Apart from that, I won’t be doing much chess until the start of June when my project report, exams, viva and other fun will finally be completed.

Edit: I’ve uploaded the first and third of my games in response to a request.

Weekly Progress Reports #74-75

Over the last fortnight I’ve done a little over 9 hours of chess.  In the first week the time was split (mainly) between a league game and analysing a couple of my games.  The league game wasn’t a great success, as I ended up drawing against a somewhat lower-rated player.  I played a line I had previously played against the same player, and he had prepared a forcing line which was unknown to me and took us into a very level position.  In my efforts firstly to avoid falling into a trap and secondly to generate some winning chances I consumed a lot of time while he used very little, and was obliged to accept his draw offer when it came.

In the second week the majority of my time was spent playing and analysing my game in the 5th round of the club championship.  I eventually managed to overcome my young and relatively inexperienced opponent, but he put up a spirited fight.

Finally, I’d like to address a question I received in a comment recently, in case others are wondering the same: ‘Given your relative lack of recent activity and progress, have you given up?’  No, I’ve not given up, but I am focusing very much on finishing the 4th and final year of my degree at the moment, so chess is currently not my top priority.  It’s likely that I will have a gap year or few months after my degree to focus on chess, but what I do after uni is quite a big decision and I won’t decide on any plans for certain until after I graduate in June.

Catch-up Report: weeks #71-73

Week beginning 6th of February

On Wednesday I had a match against Ken Neat to decide the leader in the club championships.  As pointed out in a comment on my last report, Ken is a legendary translator of Russian chess books, and is responsible for, to give a recent example, Kasparov’s My Great Predecessors series.  He’s also a very strong player, having achieved a rating over 2300 in the past and still playing near that level.  A few weeks ago he drew with IM Jonathan Hawkins (=2nd in the last British Championships) in a local league game.  I felt that my best chance of beating him was to be on the attack in his time trouble, and so made the risky decision to surprise him with the Budapest Gambit.  This backfired almost immediately when Ken chose an offbeat line I wasn’t aware of, and I quickly became the one in time trouble and on the defensive.

Including Budapest preparation, the match with Ken, and a bit of other opening work, I did nearly 7 hours of chess work over the course of the week.

Week beginning 13th of February

I only did a little over 2 hours of chess in this week, consisting of online games and a quick analysis of the openings.  (It was a busy week with uni work, as regrettably they all will be from now on until my finals are over.)

Week beginning 20th of February

This week we took a Durham University team to the British Universities’ Chess Championship in High Wycombe.  We had (new-to-Durham) Callum Kilpatrick on board 1, who has an ECF grade of 224 and a GM norm, and high hopes of doing well.  Unfortunately none of us performed as well as we’d have liked, and all apart from Callum scored under 50% (although we tended to score points at the right moments, leading to a team performance of 50% on match points).

Personally, I found the time control of 60 minutes plus 10 seconds increment difficult to adjust to, and suffered from chronic time trouble in every game.  I won my first and last games, but lost the middle three despite having a winning position in two of them.  I’d like to show my game against Clement Sreeves (rated 2209 FIDE, and something of a GM killer, having beaten both Nick Pert and Daniele Vocaturo last year).  Clement won the board 4 prize, and his team, Edinburgh, went on to win overall after whitewashing us.

Overall I did about 13 and a quarter hours this week – most of that was BUCA games and post-mortem analysis, but I also played a little online blitz.