Over Easter 2009 I went to the North island Chess Championship in Wellington. The event was 8 games over 4 days ( Friday to Monday ) and a single Swiss draw of 31 players. The field was fairly strong with the top 7 players in the field being in the top 20 in New Zealand. I was ranked down the bottom at 28th on a 1274 rating.
I took Thursday off and flew down first thing with my partner. During Thursday we wandered around Wellington ( Checking the buses to the venue ) went to some shops and went to the Terracotta Warriors of Qin which was pretty good. That evening I went to Wellington Thursday Night Curry.
On Friday the games started. Things were a little disorganised ( which the Wellington players joked about ) but we eventually got goine. Games were at 9:30am and 2:30pm each day.
Game 1. Black vs Ross Jackson ( 1972 ) – Exchange Slav
I was fairly equal for most of the game and eventually got an endgame where material was even but I was much better and was winning. However I wasn’t sure how to win so I offered my opponent a draw which he accepted.
Game 2 White vs Nathan Goodhue ( 1897 ) – Double fianchetto opening by Black
The unusual opening by black confused me quite a bit and I was in a bit of trouble. The game was fairly even but after we swapped off most of the pieces I played the endgame badly and ended up losing.
Unfortunately my girlfriend picked up a sour throat / cough in Wellington so was stuck in bed most of the weekend, we went to one of the Malaysian places near Cuba St for dinner though. It was fairly nice.
Game 3 Black vs Han Gao ( 1268 ) – Petrov’s Defence – Cochran’s Gambit
I got into a bit of trouble at the start. Cochran’s Gambit gave my opponent a pretty good attack and since I didn’t defend properly I was even but very low on time. However it turned out my clock was setup wrong ( see organisation problems above ) so I got an extra 15 minutes added to my time. I was able to win an endgame with bishop and 5 pawns vs 8 and 8 pawns.
Game 4 Black vs Quentin Johnson ( 2109 ) – Slav
I made a mistake in the opening which put be on the back foot pretty quickly. I made lots of little mistakes after that and my opponent’s position just got better and better until my position was completely lost and I resigned
That night went out to Indian Malaysian with some friends followed by some tea from and Asian tea place ( which is strangely much less asian than the ones in Wellington). [ to be continued ]