Black & White: Tournament Round-up

Today is my 21st birthday, and what better way to start the day than with a report on my poor performance at the recent Paignton congress? My final score in the Boniface 5-round Morning tournament was 2.5/5, and in the Rowena Bruce Challengers section it was 2.5/7. My only good game was the draw with Adams in a simul, shown in the last post.

Before looking more closely at my results, I’d like to thank the organisers and arbiters for a splendid event. They were all very helpful and friendly, which is more than can be said for some congresses. I plan to be back next year.

In general, the player of the white pieces scores something in the region of 54%. To break that down further, white wins 39% of the time, draws 30% of the time, and loses the remaining 31% of games (stats from Chessbase Mega Database ’09). The advantage of the white pieces is perhaps more noticeable at higher levels, but still, I would expect to win more than I lose with white. In fact my score with white at this tournament was a dismal 0/5! With black, on the other hand, before the last round I was on 4/5 (or 4.5/6 including the Adams simul game), with no losses. Unfortunately I started to correct things in the last round, not by winning with white, but by losing with black. I’m not sure quite how to explain this result, but several of my white losses came against slightly offbeat opening systems, where I was out of book very quickly and failed to come up with a good plan of development.

Here are two of my games, the first a quick loss against the ‘St. George Defence’ (1. e4 a6!?), and the second my only win against a higher-rated player. In the first, my attempt to gain a psychological edge by revealing my knowledge of the famous Karpov-Miles game clearly didn’t work, as I was going down by about move 11. 😉 I’ll probably put up more of the games, along with my comments, later.

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