Thursday, 14 April 2016

Mea Culpa!

Last Saturday was the Grand National. In the 1956 running of the great race, Devon Loch famously threw the race away by inexplicably "jumping" a non-existent fence and slithering to the ground, just 50 yards from the finish. I did something very similar this week and threw away the Coventry League KO Cup Final in the process. Through me contriving to blunder a rook in a completely winning position (+3.37 according to Fritz) against someone graded 122, we went down 2.5- 3.75 on handicap against Division 3 team Chelmsley Wood.

It hardly seems appropriate to discuss the rest of the match, but the bare facts are:-

Ben won very quickly with Black on Bd 3 after a Bxf2 and Ne4+ cheapo had netted him a pawn and a better position - though his opponent's subsequent resignation was probably a touch premature.

Dave also won on  Board 4, though it took a long time to turn his space advantage and extra activity into a full point.

Although Mike's game on Board 2 was happening right next to mine, the only thing I can report is that his opponent's phone went off 3 times. He/We could have - in fact, according to the rules, should have claimed the game - but being sporting chaps and in the absence of any Coventry League representative as arbiter, we didn't. The game ended as a draw once I had lost, although even that seemed to be a source of contention.

I wonder what odds Ladbrokes would have been offering that we could only score 0.5 on the top two boards given our enormous grading advantage? Whatever our own failings, our opponents played way above their nominal strength, so congratulations are certainly due to them on that score.

So, beaten Cup finalists in our debut Coventry League season, but that hardly feels like something to be particularly proud of. I should probably throw myself on my sword in penance, but luckily I haven't got one. So all I can do is offer my apologies to my team mates, and especially those who scored a perfect 100% in the Cup competition this season - namely, Carl (one game, one win); Roy (two games, two wins - yes, really!); Ben (three games three wins) and Dave (four games, four wins).

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