British Over 65 Championship 2018

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Ian McDonald
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British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Ian McDonald » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:44 am

I don't know if this is the right place to post this but if not I'm sure someone will tell me.

Here's a tale from the final round of last week's British Over 65 Championship. Poker players among you might recognise a bad beat story! I arrived at Hull City Hall for my last round game. I'm rated 1726 and had 3 points out of 6. I was hoping to achieve my pre-tournament target of 3 1/2 points out of 7 which I reckoned would be a satisfactory score for my rating and current playing level. I sat awaiting my opponent when an arbiter called me over and told me that through some misunderstanding my opponent would not be putting in an appearance. Standing next to him was Oliver Jackson rated 2143. Oliver was on 4 1/2 points and a win would give him a chance of a share of first place. Oliver's opponent was also unable to play having had to go the local A&E department. The arbiter explained the situation and asked if I would be willing to play Oliver instead of my lower rated no-show opponent. Apparently Oliver had been offered a default win but sportingly agreed to play me rather than take the default. I thought I was, after all, in Hull to play chess so decided to wave goodbye to my 50 % score and play Oliver. To my surprise the game lasted a full five hours and was by a long way the last in our section to finish. Although the game was clearly not error-free I thought that at most stages I had good chances of holding on for a draw. However I resigned after blundering on move 56 when I had less than 2 minutes left on my clock. I was not too disappointed, thinking that I had put up a more than reasonable performance against an opponent rated more than 400 points above me, even though my final move was a beginner's blunder. But to my astonishment, I quickly (but obviously too late) realised that had I been just a little more alert instead of my sub-optimal final move I had an alternative bolt from the blue move that would have completely turned the tables. Here is the game, followed by the possibilities with an alternative White move 56:



Instead of 56. Bc5, I should have played 56. Rxg7

after which both 58. ... Qd6+ 59. Be5 and 58. ... Rxf6 59. Qg5+ seem to lead to a significant, if not winning, advantage for White.
I think 56. Rxg7 would have come as a severe shock to Oliver. For me though - the big fish that got away!

Ian McDonald
Last edited by Ian McDonald on Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.


David Robertson
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by David Robertson » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:35 pm

Would you care to revisit your post, and perform a little edit. I know it's the Seniors, and all that. But you were playing in Hull not Sheffield

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:17 pm

After 56.Rxg7 Kxg7 57.e6 are any of the plausible moves by the king any better for Black? i.e. 57...Kf8/Kg8/Kh7?

Ian McDonald
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Ian McDonald » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:52 pm

David Robertson wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:35 pm
Would you care to revisit your post, and perform a little edit. I know it's the Seniors, and all that. But you were playing in Hull not Sheffield
Whoops!

Ian McDonald
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Ian McDonald » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:12 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:17 pm
After 56.Rxg7 Kxg7 57.e6 are any of the plausible moves by the king any better for Black? i.e. 57...Kf8/Kg8/Kh7?

57. ... Kf8 58. Rxf7 wins easily
57. ... Kg8 58. Rg4+ Rg6 59. Qe5 wins
57. ... Kh7 58. Qd3+ Rg6 59. Rxf7+ wins easily (or 58. ... Kg8 59. Rg4+ leads to mate)

David Robertson
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by David Robertson » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:10 pm

Ian McDonald wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:52 pm
David Robertson wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:35 pm
Would you care to revisit your post, and perform a little edit. I know it's the Seniors, and all that. But you were playing in Hull not Sheffield
Whoops!
Nearly there. One corrected. Just check the 2nd line, and you'll be done

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Michael Farthing
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:49 pm

You are a bully, Prof!

David Robertson
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by David Robertson » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:16 pm

Nah, just gently teasing. Now Ian's corrected his post, I'll delete mine. Had I the presence of mind, I'd have PM'd rather than prompted in public. But I didn't

(pah! I can't delete them!)

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:31 am

I already congratulated Oliver elsewhere for playing instead of accepting the free point, so it seems only fair to say, "Well done Ian!". And sympathies on the loss after all that...

Tim Harding
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Tim Harding » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:04 pm

I have updated my Seniors pages now and included a summary of what happened, referring to the Forum discussion.

http://www.chessmail.com/seniors/Seniors-news.html
Tim Harding
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Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

Craig Pritchett
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Craig Pritchett » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:59 am

While I don't wish to make a big point about this, can anyone explain why in addition to the separate 50+ and 65+ British Championships, there are (rather good) prizes for competition among 50+ players who prefer to enter the 'main' Championships yet no prizes for 65+ players who do the same?

This has certainly been the case in the last two British championships, in which I (a 65+ player) played and would have taken first prize for 65+ players, had any been going. I was not alone: there were quite a few 65+ players in last year's 'main' championships, though I haven't checked this year's tally at all.

I don't expect much in the way of considered 'logic' to have played a part in any 'decision' about these matters but I did wonder whether an unconscious, or at best unintended message might be being sent to 65+ players that they should fade away gracefully from the 'main' event when they reach 65, which is of course strictly ageist and would have got the proverbial and deserved flea in the ear from the likes of the late Viktor Korchnoi if it is indeed the case.

For the record, my 5/9 score this year (in Hull, not Sheffield) was sufficient to garner a share of the 50+ 3rd equal prizes in the 'main' championships and I expect to return to the same next year.

Ian Thompson
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:23 pm

Craig Pritchett wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:59 am
While I don't wish to make a big point about this, can anyone explain why in addition to the separate 50+ and 65+ British Championships, there are (rather good) prizes for competition among 50+ players who prefer to enter the 'main' Championships yet no prizes for 65+ players who do the same?
I'd say the anomaly is the presence of 50+ prizes, not the absence of 65+ prizes. It must be very unusual to have a separate tournament for a particular category of player, and then to have prizes for exactly the same category subsumed within another event at the same congress.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:28 pm

Craig Pritchett wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:59 am
While I don't wish to make a big point about this, can anyone explain why in addition to the separate 50+ and 65+ British Championships, there are (rather good) prizes for competition among 50+ players who prefer to enter the 'main' Championships yet no prizes for 65+ players who do the same?
They were added last year and this at the request of the sponsor.

Tim Harding
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Re: British Over 65 Championship 2018

Post by Tim Harding » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:03 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:28 pm
Craig Pritchett wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:59 am
While I don't wish to make a big point about this, can anyone explain why in addition to the separate 50+ and 65+ British Championships, there are (rather good) prizes for competition among 50+ players who prefer to enter the 'main' Championships yet no prizes for 65+ players who do the same?
They were added last year and this at the request of the sponsor.
That doesn't really answer Craig's question about why a 50+ prize but none for 65+. Is it because nobody thought of it or because it wasn't expected there would be many 65+ players in the main Championship?

A good start would be to pencil this in for next year, and to ensure Craig doesn't win the prize without a fight also include in the field Tony Stebbings who has just done so well in the European Seniors with joint fifth and a 2325 result. I don't know what is required to qualify for the Championship these days but that performance should be considered a qualifying event for Tony.
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

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