Tuesday, 21 November 2006


Although I have given up competitive chess, the game still fascinates me with its blend of art and science. When I play I see an ever-shifting beauty and potentiality. I also make lots of mistakes, and let youthful enthusiam for showy sacrifices get the better of me.

My current chess nemesis is a friend from church, Glenford. He hails originally from the wonderfully named St Augustine in Trinidad (and Tobago) and lectures in computer science, while designing the next generation of wireless networks. This man has a seriously big brain. So, he almost always beats me over the board. Currently we are in our second correspondence game (a small board is 'live' on the front room windowsill for the odd moment of reflection and experimentation, and moves are exchanged every few days) and though it's tempting defeat to say it, I think I might have the edge...

James/Glenford (July-November 2006)
1. e4 g6
2. d4 d6
3. Bc4 Nf6
4. f3 c6
5. Bb3 Bg7
6. Be3 0-0
7. Qd2 Nbd7
8. Nc3 b5
9. g4 Rb8
10. Nge2 c5
11. a3 c4
12. Ba2 e6
13. Ng3 a5
14. b4 axb4
15. axb4 Rb7
16. h4 Nb8
17. h5 Nc6
18. Nce2 Ne8
19. c3 Ra7
20. f4! Qe7
21. Rd1 Ra3
22. Bb1 Nc7
23. Qc1 Ra1
24. Qb2 Ra6
25. Kf2 e5?!!
26. dxe5 and I await his response...

But, to give a fair reflection of what usually happens - see this excellent creative attacking play from Dr G in our last game.

Glenford/James (March-July 2006)
1. e4 e6
2. Nf3 d5
3. e5 c5
4. Bb5+ Bd7
5. Bxd7+ Nxd7
6. 0-0 Ne7
7. Re1 Nc6
8. d3 Qc7
9. Qe2 h6
10. h4 Be7
11. h5 g5
12. hxg6 fxg6
13. c4 d4
14. Qe4 Kf7
15. Na3 g5
16. Nb5 Qb8
17. Bf4!? gxf4
18. Qxf4+ Ke8
19. Qg3 Nf8
20. Rab1 Rh7!
21. b4 Nxb4
22. Nd2 b6
23. Ne4 Kf7?!
24. Nbd6+ Bxd6
25. Nxd6+ Ke7
26. Rxb4! cxb4
27. Qh4+ Kd7
28. Qxd4 Ng6
29. f4 Ke7
30. Qe4 Rg7
31. f5 exf5
32. Nxf5+ Kf8
33. d4 Qb7?!
34. d5 Nxe5
35. Qxe5 Qc7?
36. Qf6+ 1-0