Originally posted on Jul 28 2015

Hi Phil,
Here's the story so far.
Sun: took the caravan down to the outskirts of Coventry. It was cheaper than staying at Warwick University, but the rain meant that I didn't have a great night's sleep.
Mon am rd. 1 of the U140. I had white against someone graded 107, so I'd have been disappointed not to win this. He was  tenacious, but took ages over the opening and was always behind on time. It looked like he was going to win a pawn, but then got his rook pinned against his queen and although he hung on, he lost. Ours was almost the last game to finish.
Still had plenty of time for lunch and the official opening ceremony before I started rd 1 of the over 50yr olds U 150. This time, although I had white I was up against one of the highest graded players: 146. Feeling a bit tired, I misplayed the opening but managed to get away with it. However, I eventually managed to blunder and moved my king where it was mated immediately!
Ah well, it was fun watching the top boards afterwards. I only had the camera on my phone, but I got some pics.
I've brought my proper camera too but left it in the caravan, so I'll try and get some better ones tomorrow

Day 2
.Well I finished with the same no. of points, but via 2 draws, unfortunately to players graded a fair way below me. The first  was down as 99 but is 112 in the new grading list. Being a junior (15) that still sometimes doesn't tell the whole story. Anyway, I was black for both games. The other was against a wily old bird (107) - grade not age! The ending of each game came about in remarkably similar fashion. In the first, I was offered a draw, turned it down and next move accepted it. In the 2nd, I was the one offering a draw in a very drawn position, opposite coloured bishops, with both of us having pawns on the same coloured squares as our bishop. He declined and the very next move offered a draw which I accepted. The move rate is new to me: 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move. All moves within that limit. I seem to be handling it ok.
The fact that I got a better night's sleep was a bonus (no rain). Also, the morning game finished at about 12.30 so I still had plenty of time to go for a run before the 3pm session!
Cheers, David

Day 3
Not good: 2 losses. One of my opponents had even gone to the trouble of looking up my rd. 1 game to see what I might play! I don't think that's why I lost, though. The afternoon game was more disappointing as I was on top but overreached.
Afterwards I stayed to watch a marathon game on bd. 1 of the Championship between David Howell and Daniel Gormally. There was lots of tiptoeing around before Howell took the plunge and got round the back. He was one move away from queening a pawn but couldn't avoid perpetual check. I think it went on for about 115 moves.
All the games are on the Championship's website (including the lower levels.)
Some lad c.12 yrs old managed to hold Keith Arkell to a draw today.
Cheers, David

Day 4 
Two draws today against people of similar strength. The second one was quite quick, which gave me time to cook myself some tea and get back in the evening to watch a documentary on the Polgar family, which apparently was a British premiere.
Mind you, on the way back to my caravan in the afternoon there was a traffic jam, due, as it turned out, to a 4 car shunt. I don't think there were any fatalities, though, so that's something.

Day 5
A lovely sunny day today. I ended the U140 as I started, with a win - hooray! It was  probably my best game of the  week; a gradual closing down of the position followed by expansion on the kside with pawn thrusts. I'm not sure my opponent found the best defence, but the end was quite pretty and a little similar to my game against John Tassi in the league...

Yay! Another win, but I'd have been disappointed not  to. It was a fairly routine Ruy Lopez exchange, with him happy to swap off pieces. That should lead to a winning  endgame if white plays correctly, but he made it easier by losing a couple of pawns too.
Anyway, that gave me a chance to enjoy the match commentary and watch the games live. I just saw Howell blow Pert away with a cute combination. Pert couldn't believe it - much head shaking!
After an indifferent 5 days it was nice to finish on a high and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
David