In the summer of 2016 I made my first ever foray into International chess at the World Seniors Team Championships in Radebeul, just outside Dresden.
I was in the England 50+ second team, which comprised 4 amateurs and - for reasons which still elude me - one GM, Jim Plaskett. With such a strong board 1, we were no pushovers, and as late as round 8 we found ourselves playing on a very high board against the all GM Armenian team. In fact, we were on such a high board that we played in a roped off area to keep the hoi polloi away. Boards 1 and 2 of our match were placed immediately by the rope, so that spectators could see the action, with 3 and 4 behind and next to them, But for some reason, Board 4 was placed next to Board 1, so I found myself just a couple of feet away from the monumental game which appears below. In opposition to our GM was none other than former super-GM, ex Soviet champion, and two times World Championship Candidate, Rafael Vaganian.
Wonderful stuff. Well played Jim!
Now it appears as though this website has something against GM Vaganian, since he also appeared in a post dated June 29, 2016 (with photo!) when he was on the receiving end of a brilliant miniature by Albin Planinc, but nothing could be further from the truth. I would be delighted to welcome him to our club with open arms should he ever make the trip from Yerevan!
While the Plaskett - Vaganian epic was going on, Jim's team-mates were proving no match for the other Armenian GMs, though at one point I got very excited as I was obviously better and even thought I might be winning. Of course, I was wrong, and a couple of moves later my position was a wreck. I don't know for sure, but my guess is that Jim Plaskett has not written an article about sitting alongside this game!
Now, I imagine that Joshua is sitting at home (self-isolating) reading this, and is now about to go incandescent with rage when I say that this is the end of this (brief) series of articles. But, imaginative as some of his efforts for Kenilworth have been when playing alongside me, I'm not sure I can truthfully say any of them have the stamp of genius. Still, I would be delighted to be proved wrong - if we ever get back to playing OTB chess again - in which case, there might yet be a Part 3 article. Just don't hold your breath!