Thursday, 5 November 2009

The London League

Yesterday I won my game for Hackney in the London League against an opponent of the same ECF rating as me. It was especially nice to win because I was on the white side of Benoni for the first time in my life, without any preparation. Basically, I'm fed up with boredom playing the Torre Attack or other similar non-main lines with white. I've only been playing those because I haven't been spending any time on learning chess in the past 6 or 7 years. Now that I'm being serious about chess - it's time to play more ambitious main lines! So, my coach Simon Ansell told me just to play d4 and c4 and not to worry about not knowing the theory. It turned out to be a very good advice as I managed to figure out the first 12 moves of theory anyway at which point my opponent deviated from the theory by making an inferior move and made a losing mistake the move after. Maybe my memory isn't as bad as I think if I remember how to play Benoni without ever learning it. Unfortunately, my team lost but I'm sure we'll win next time.

What really puzzles me about the London League is why it is still possible to adjourn the games. Chess has speeded up and we need to keep up with the current trends to allow our players to get used to the faster time limits to be more competitive in the wider world. Probably only in England we still use adjournments while the rest of the world has got rid of that rule a long time ago. Perhaps I should start a campaign to abolish adjournments in the London and other English Leagues! While I'm on the subject of time limits for a game, I also think that 4NCL games should be speeded up to at least 2hr for 40 moves + 1 hour to the end, abolishing additional 30 minutes. And if 4NCL could obtain enough electronic chess clocks, then we should move to the incremented time limit like most international tournaments.

Bob did bring me whole 4 books about the "mystery" opening that I'm going to learn. Simon's advice is the same - just play it and learn from books afterwards... That may not be very scary with white, but with black there is more chance of getting into serious trouble! So, perhaps I'd test it out on the ICC and in the rapid plays before using in a long play game.

I'm currently making plans for my future tournaments. My next tournament would be the women's invitational alongside the London Chess Classic in December, and at the end of December I'm off to Hastings. Beyond that I'm struggling to make my choice as I have several options. I could go either to Gibraltar or to Moscow. There is the Moscow Open starting at the end of January which is directly followed by the Aeroflot Open. It's a rather good deal because I'd have two tournaments and would fly to Moscow only once. But I haven't experienced Russian winter for 16 years and might not enjoy the cold weather... The other dilemma is whether I shouldn't be playing so much chess and should be training instead. I think I'll see how my November training is coming along before deciding what to do about February.

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