Blast from the Past: Correspondence Chess

As I am unlikely to have many more games to annotate this season, I thought it would be interesting to do some more “Blast from the Past” posts, where I go over some of my old games. For this series I thought that I would revisit the correspondence chess games I have played over the years.

I first tried out correspondence chess in 1989, not that long after I started playing “Over the Board” (OTB) chess seriously. My first efforts were in the British Postal Chess Federation (BPCF) Open Tournament. This was organised in such a way to allow new sections to be formed as soon as there were enough entries. There were three rounds: preliminary, semi-final and final. The preliminary round sections consisted of seven players, the semi-final of nine and the final of fifteen. The preliminary round sections were started as soon as there were seven entries; the top two players qualified for a semi-final. The semi-final sections were started as soon as there were nine qualifiers from preliminary round sections; the top two players qualified for a final. The final sections were started as soon as there were fifteen qualifiers from semi-final sections. There were entry forms for the event at tournaments; I picked one up at one of the junior competitions I attended. Over the years, I played many times in this event, eventually qualifying for the 12th and 13th finals. Later on, I started playing in team events and international competitions.

For this series, I’ll start my look at my games in a particular competition with an overview of the event; I’ll look at individual games in subsequent posts. I may cover some games briefly in the main post rather than look at them in detail, such as games that were terminated early when my opponent withdrew.

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