Sunday 11th August saw my return to competitive rapid-play, for the first time since the summer of 2007!
Both Emily and Isobel were entered for the U80 (grade) section, and I entered the U120… notably, the majority of players in both sections were juniors.
The first match saw me entering the end-game with a material and time advantage… but carelessness allowed my opponent (who subsequently came 3rd overall) to dismantle my pawn structure, leading to my resignation. A quick win in the second, and an early agreed draw was a satisfying morning’s work.
The afternoon began with a long (in rapid-play terms) match against one of the few other adults… with both players under two minutes left on the clock, my opponent had a bishop for two pawn advantage – his additional mobility paid dividends. In the fifth, a tactical game resulted in an agreed draw. The final round saw me enter the end game two pawns down, with my King defending against a passed pawn. Thankfully my opponent blundered, allowing me to block his King’s path through my pawn structure… a third draw.
Overall, one win and three draws (with a grading performance estimated at 78.8) was a reasonable result. Equally important, gaining two draws from the three games against FIDE graded players means (for the first time) I have a FIDE grade (estimated at 1009).
Both Emily and Isobel struggled, registering one win (against the same opponent) in their first five games… leading to the inevitable match-up – with Emily winning the family bragging rights in the sixth round.