I've been neglecting these diary pages, so maybe that indicates I'm not doing much of any wider interest. A lot of my efforts recently have been put into playing more chess. This last weekend (31 March - 1 April) I went to play in the St Albans congress. In fact I set off on the Thursday and spent a lot of time just walking around exploring the city. I'd only been there briefly once before over 20 years ago. In the chess I only managed 2/5 and those wins were against very low-graded players.
On Friday 9 and 16 March I played the last two games in the Hastings Chess Club internal tournament called the Rush Cup. In the first of these games, against Greg Chandler, I played very poorly, but the second against Joe Sharp, the winner of the tournament, was much more eventful, running to over 70 moves, with three pawns promoting to queens, two being mine yet still not enough to win!
The best game I have played recently was this one in the Paul Watson Trophy competition against a team at St Francis and Hayward Heath Chess Club. Although my opponent was a junior player his grade was 105 to my own 85.
White: George Jelliss, Black Joe Thorley:
1.Nf3 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.Bf4 Nf6 4.Nbd2 Bf5 5.e3 a6
6.h3 Ne4 7.NxNe4 BxNe4 8.Bd3 e6 9.c3 Bd6 10.Bg3 BxBg3
11.fxBg3 Qf6 12.0-0 0-0-0 13.Qe2 Rdf8 14.Bxa6 bxBa6 15.Qxa3+ Kd7
(with the Rook battery against the black Q I thought this sacrificial
attack pushing the black K to d7 might work, and it did!)
16.Ne5+ NxNe5 17.RxQf6 gxRf6 18.dxNe5 fxe5 19.Rd1 Rb8 20.b4 Rhg8
(Rd1 sets up a pin, which white Q proceeds to use, Black chooses to
sacrifice the Bishop in favour of a Pawn and Rook attack.)
21.g4 h5 22.Qc4 hxg4 23.QxBe4 gxh3 24.Qh7 Rxg2+ 25.Kh1 Rxa2
(Black got four Pawns for his Bishop but another pin coming up.}
26.Qxh3 Rc2 27.Rxd5+ Ke7 28.Rd3 Rg8 29.Qh4+ f6 30.Qh7+ Kf8