Blast from the Past: First BPCF Open Preliminary Round Section

Each section of the BPCF Open had its own code, consisting of a letter indicating the round (P = Preliminary, S = Semi-Final, F = Final) and an ordinal to indicate which edition of that round was being played. I don’t know the exact code for the first section I played in; there had I think by that point been at least 300 preliminary round sections, so it would have been something like P300.

My first event was a success, as I managed to finish in the top two, with a score of four wins, one draw and one defeat, as so qualified for a Semi-Final section.

My three White games were against:

  • J.Copley
  • N.Fallowfield
  • Fletcher

My three Black games were against:

  • Hemming
  • K.Lucas
  • R.Scruton

My game against Hemming is not really worthy of its own post. After 15 moves, in an inferior position, he withdrew from the event. I give the game below:

The other games were more interesting; I’ll cover them in subsequent blog posts.

Looking at the openings in my White games, two of them following recommendations in Ray Keene’s repertoire book “An Opening Repertoire for White”, which I was using as the basis of my repertoire at the time. However, in the third I don’t follow Keene’s recommendation. I am not sure why this was the case, but possibly I was not entirely convinced by all his suggestions and decided to try out some lines I had seen elsewhere.

One thing that should be remembered is that at the time the game was played, computers were of no use for correspondence chess. It would take over a decade before they started to become a significant issue. One consequence of this was that there was a much wider standard of play in correspondence games, as a weak player could not simply fall back on the computer’s suggestion. Nowadays, it is much harder to win games as computers have by and large eliminated many of the mistakes that players would inevitably have made before.

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