Three Gambiteers went up to Scarborough for the congress. As forecast, it rained incessantly from Friday pm until Saturday lunch and getting to the venue down the narrowed path from the foot bridge involved wading through a large puddle. The rain stopped on Saturday and on Sunday the sun came out and the sea became blue.
In round 1 in the Open, Mike Barnes beat a 170 who lost in round 2 when an arbiter caught him looking at the rugby score on his mobile at the bookstall and had to penalise him for having taken his phone out of the playing area in spite of clear warnings before play began. In round 2 Mike faced 2nd seed Lawrence Webb (222) and eventually had to concede. Two wins against 170s followed before he found himself floated up to face 6th seed James Moreby (211). Having to win to stand any chance of prize money Mike gave it a go but James was a bit sharper. Still, 3/5 with a 198 average, and playing two of the three joint winners (the other being GM Danny Gormally (245)), was a very decent performance.
Mike Naylor also entered the Open. He faced a 204 in round 1 and played very well with an equal or possibly better position deep into the game before a lapse of concentration allowed a simple trick winning material. A win and a loss to 170s followed; the loss after being an exchange up as he didn’t defend as tightly as he could have. A very quick draw on Sunday am v a 160 was followed by a long game v a 135 where Mike had to play accurately to win in a rooks plus pawns endgame. 2.5 and an average of 170 was a solid performance.
Solid performance is not how to describe Drag Sudar’s play in the Major. A lifeless draw in round 1 v a 139 was followed by a careless mistake and a loss to a 139 junior. He played reasonably well in round 3 before his 150 opponent allowed a mating attack. Another turgid draw came in round 4 v a 130. In round 5 he probably should have lost to a 169 before happily accepting a draw offer. 2.5 points with just a 145 average.
Some other Notts players entered and the details are on the Chess Results website.
Next year’s Open and Major might be FIDE rated.