After a 2 and a half year hiatus, I’m back at the chess club for a tournament – the Kingston Chess Club Championship. The last time I was at the club was back during the 2014/2015 season.

We have quite a few new faces, and a few that no longer come. And there’s still quite the range of players, from beginner/intermediate, all the way to expert. Seeing as people are still on school holiday, turn out for round one was a little low, about 10 players on 5 boards, with one person taking a bye.

I was seeded third, so being in the first half of the draw put me with a lower rated player. It’s been a while since I played, so I relished having the opportunity to dust off the cobwebs, and start off easy. And since this was the first round, I didn’t know who my opponent was before hand, so I was not able to prepare before hand. I had to rely on my basic knowledge of openings.

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My first game was a good warm up. I played White, and started with the English Opening. I stayed true to the modern style, and let Black control the center, and then chipped away positionally with small advantages over time. There were moments where I had a strong initiative, but I wasn’t able to convert it to a tactical advantage. I was only able to fall back to a positional advantage once the attack sequence was complete. I also made sure to manage my time well. It was a slow game, but towards the end, the sum of all the small advantages led to a definite win.

What was more remarkable was that the first 2 seeds lost their game. Seed #2 made a blunder early in the game and was not able to recover. Seed #1 lost to my son Arman. I caught a glimpse of his game while I was playing, and I know he traded his knight for 3 pawns. Quite a gutsy move against a stronger opponent. But by the end game, Arman had 3 pawns against his single knight, which he managed convert to a win. Congratulations Arman! I look forward to seeing your notes on your game.

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