The first non-junior individual tournament I entered was the annual event at Islington in 1990. I returned there a couple more times, in 1992 and 1995. Playing in such adult events was an important part of my development as a chess player, as it was there that I first encountered consistently strong opposition.
Islington Major 1990
I found my first Islington Tournament in 1990 hard going. I entered the Major section, as I did on the two subsequent occasions. I don’t recall what the exact grading limit was for those events, but it was most probably 160 BCF, and certainly no higher than 170 BCF.
My overall score was +1=1-3. The one memorable game, in retrospect, was my draw with Black against one of the Pert twins. Of course, they were both very young at that point, so it was not quite the achievement it would be now!
Islington Major 1992
My second visit to the event, in 1992, started in much more promising fashion. I won in rounds 1 and 3, and drew in round 2, to place myself in the leading group going into round 4. In round 3 I won the following effective game against the King’s Indian:
However, disaster struck in round 4 as I went down as Black in a King’s Indian. At that time I used to answer the Saemisch Variation with …e5, but a few isolated successes aside, did not have much joy with that approach.
I managed to win again in round 5, but another loss in round 6 left me out of the top places.
Islington Major 1995
My best performance at the Islington event was in 1995, where I got closest to winning the Major section. I reached the last round having scored 4 wins and 1 draw, but I lost a tough game in the final round, and so missed out on first place. All the games were of interest and contain good fighting chess, so I’ve decide to give them all below, with notes.