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Nigel's Tournament Win

posted Mar 26, 2018, 3:32 PM by Phil Morgan
Congratulations, Nigel

Nigel Wright  scored his first tournament win in the Minor Section of the Birningham Rapidplay on Sunday, 25th March

-I managed to win the minor outright at Birmingham yesterday, my first ever tournament win! There were 3 others with higher long play grades than me, including someone in the 140's. 

I started off the day poorly, my opponent playing a Dutch against my London and it was just a horrible blocked position. I think the early draw helped me though, my next couple of games were straightforward wins, and then the tough games started. 

Blundered a pawn in round 5 against the then leader after 4 moves, and then faced a real fight to win in excruciating time trouble! Thankfully the tournament had an increment, 15+10. Never played that control before, took a bit of getting used to, but saved me big time in the later rounds.   

Round 6 was a bit easier, my opponent had already mentioned he was afraid of playing me after watching me fight to the death in round 5! He kindly Blundered a bishop early on, followed by two moves later gifting me the exchange. After forcing him to swap remaining pieces off, RN+2 passed pawns V N was a relatively simple win.

Round 7 started with me on 5.5/6, and my 2 nearest challengers on 5 points each. The young lad with 5 on the board next to me won very quickly, meaning I had to win to win the section outright. I thought everything was going swimmingly, winning a couple of pawns in the opening, before I realised I had neglected my king and minor piece development... I don't think I've been in a more desperate position for a very long time. 

I used up the majority of my time and we had barely gotten into the middle game - my 23 seconds to my opponents 12 minutes was a bit of a shock! After finding the only moves to keep me in the game, I fluckily found the one move that forced him to swap Queens off (at the expense of a pawn). Still in a hopelessly trapped position, I found a quick forced combination of about 6 moves to boost my time, and then when the dust settled to my surprise it was RB+5 V RB+3 with opposite coloured bishops in my favour! 

Slowly fighting for position, I managed to eliminate all of his pawns at only the cost of 2 of mine. Again finding a quick combination to boost my time, I eventually forced him into a mistake where I would swap rooks off and Queen a pawn, so he resigned. Suffice to say I had to remain seated for 5 minutes after the game. It was quite a well run tournament to be fair, and with 3 IM'S and 1 GM in the open, obviously competitive. 

This win will hoist up Nigel's Rapidplay Grade and move him out of Minor Sections, but he evidenced a winning mentality and I don't think this will be his last tournament  win..