Random Posts

Thursday, March 3, 2011

1961 Ohio Junior Championship

      Time for some nostalgia. Things have changed a lot since this game was played. The USCF had about 6000 members and at 16, I was one of the younger players in the tournament. This was my first OTB event and my +1 -2 =3 resulted in an initial rating of 1667. Unfortunately the scores of all but two games have been lost.
       I had a first round draw against an 1802. In the second round I had a particularly obnoxious opponent. At one point he looked up and informed me he was announcing mate in 8 moves! I told him I didn’t see and wanted to play it out at which point he got quite agitated because I refused to believe him. In frustration he mumbled an expletive directed at me and went to fetch the tournament director, Jim Schroeder. Schroeder looked at the board and told the guy, “You ain’t Morphy. Play it out.” This got the guy really upset and on every move he balled up his fist and hammered the clock (mine, of course.) This got me really mad, but I didn’t say anything. I got even madder when the little jerk mated me in 8 moves.

      This loss resulted in a third round pairing against a 1200 rated girl named Bonnie. I mopped up the floor with her and when I made my last move she resigned, we signed the scoresheets and I turned them in. A little later, looking at the wall chart, I noticed she had been given the win. I went to the TD and he returned the scoresheets and I saw what happened. We both had neglected to write down my last move and had written “Resigns” in the White column (my color). Schroeder told me to see my opponent and hope she would agree to the correction. Naturally I did not expect her to agree! Fortunately Bonnie was not only cute, she was very sweet and told me she did not want to take credit for my win. So we fixed the scoresheets to reflect the proper results.
      In this game, the only remaining score I have, my opponent was rated, if I remember correctly, around 1800. It was a hard fought draw with quite a few mistakes by both sides. For a long time I thought it was pretty well played, but the advent of engines changed my opinion of a lot of my early games!
      At the time I was under the influence of Botvinnik which explains my choice of openings.  I was fascinated with playing the English with a P on d3, fianchetto the f1B and then play b4 and advancing the Q-side P's.  It was the same setup that netted me a draw against my first round opponent.  Strangely enough in that game he also played an early advance of his h-Pawn, got an overwhelmingh K-side attack then botched it, resulting in a draw.
      In this game Black also played for a K-side attack with 12…h4 and things quickly got very messy as the position was rife with tactical possibilities which neither of us handled very well. The ending was not badly played though.

No comments:

Post a Comment