Wednesday, 12 December 2018

043. Form is Temporary

White: R.W. Bauld - BCCA Championship, 1994/95

I'm playing very badly at the moment and don't know why. I've hardly won a league game in over a year and am now losing to people who haven't beaten me in a long time - or even at all. So far this season, I've had a lost position in every one of my nine games. That I've drawn five and even won a game doesn't make me feel much better. From a peak rating of 221 (ECF) eighteen months ago, I'll have dropped 30 points by the time the next list comes out.

Well, form comes and goes, I suppose. And drastically so for me in correspondence chess. For instance, after winning the BCCA Championship for the second time (and consecutively) in 1993/94, in the following year I came last. The game below is from the 1994/95 tournament.

It features another "deferred" Open Game. To be precise, it's a type of Réti – a reversed Classical Pirc – to which ECO duly assigns the code A07. But it could just as well be C42 or C44. Indeed, the first game in the database to reach the position at move seven (B.Ivkov-L.Rellstab, Bled 1950) took the route 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d3 Nc6 4 g3 d5 5 Nbd2 Be7 6 Bg2 0-0 7 0-0. So there you are.

It's also a slightly unusual game in that, having built himself a fortress, my opponent took to "passing" from move 25 on, giving me unlimited time to try and find a way in. My written notes give no indication as to why I didn't take the e-pawn on move 29. Instead, I sent my knight on a trip from f6 to a8 and then round again to g5. This did in fact enable me to break through, though it was only a mistake on move 47 that gave me a winning position. And then I fell for a stalemate trick.

It was another three years before I was back in the Championship and won it again, this time with my best ever score of +6.

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