This post is the first in a series where I look back over some of the 1000+ games I have played in competitive tournaments and matches over the years. I am going to start with a look at some of the games I played for the school team during the period 1988-92, while I was at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford.
In regular league matches and the Times knockout competition, I played 38 games, scoring 34 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss, for a 93% score. This sounds impressive, until you realise that I was generally playing on board 5 of 6 in the first team (or board 1 of the second team in a handful of matches) and my opponents were usually, for the want of a more tactful term, patzers.
There are not many publishable games among these encounters. They feature a number of gross blunders, usually by my opponent, but sometimes by me. However, there are a couple of games that are worth a look, which I give below.
The school entered the Marlwood Team Tournament twice during my last couple of years at the school. In the first event I scored 100% with 7 out of 7, while in the second I scored 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss for 71%. These represented a better achievement than the games from the league and knockout games, in that the quality of the opposition was generally higher.
Below I give three games I played as Black in the event. They all feature the King’s Indian, which was my preferred defence to 1 d4 at the time. The first two I won, while the third was my only defeat at the event in both visits. However, the last position I have from the game, before I stopped scoring due to time shortage in a quickplay finish, sees the game very much in my favour.