The Omen at Greyfriars – 13th November

 

It was a dark night as we entered the car park and a stranger came up to me and mentioned it was the first time in many years there were spare car parking places in the car park, me too, that’s why we parked down the road.  The front door opened and someone asked  my erstwhile team mate Seth if he was Christian from Germany, me thinks No, I am Seth from Oklahoma – moving on, to the safe haven over the chess board, I sat down and breathed a sigh of relief (me thinks). A normal chess night.

A few moments later our wily wanderer from Wareham (WWFW),  Simon Patterson enquired why he was on board 2 – I said it’s something to do with grading system to which he replied Okeeeeee not dissimilar to the brutal murderer in ‘Fargo’, I again  returned to the safe haven of 64 squares.

Handshakes commenced and tick tock .. tick tock… my opponent played the Scillian, I was tempted to play the Smith-Morra but chickened out and played NxP on E5 ..move ..tick tock… quiet room, tension, serious faces, things moving on. Is this fun.  Standard position until white (yours truly) played a quiet move and allowed a knight to force the exchange for a strong bishop of E3, mistake, black has a little tempo. Tick tock… he played QR to C8 a quiet move but building on his superior file. Oh dear, a first minor error, carry on, build in the middle, see what happens. One hour or so has passed on the clock, no movement on other boards but Seth has a smile on Bd 4. Back to Bd 1 white has managed to get a bishop on D3 and developing an attack.. tick.. tock.. plenty of moves made and time under control but its getting interesting and then black played two very quiet rook moves behind the pawns in the middle of the board like closed sentries at Buck house, going nowhere. Hello, white can play G4, then H4 and launch at attack on  the slightly unprotected Black king position. The clouds are lifting but the clock is ticking faster as the moves become more critical .. tick tock.. tick tock, will that thing ever stop?. I look over to our WWFW whom is a piece up and Seth is also favourable… my clock  is going faster as the moves are slowing down. 5 minutes…. 10 minutes.. my gawd I have to move and you are supposed to be fast player .. um um what to do.. a breakthrough.. PxP, PxP, RxP equalises a lost P on the Q side for white and there is a something here. Now, 5 minutes left on the clock and 5/6 moves to make the time control… bang/bang/ a couple of checks should do it.. swap off and then K side pawn shove… lovely.. tick tock.. all of a sudden white plays Q- H7.. a disaster and darkness comes over.. the face reddens, its a mistake a big one. QxQ ch.. KxQ and a white piece goes. White has lost a piece, chess is reality so  the attack from the Q is negated and there is a black pawn advancing.. oh dear. My opponent a Neil Salinger winds the clock back 15 minutes for each players – he could have turned it back to Domesday! I made a couple more moves and resigned!

Neil very sportingly admitted he was lost and going to be mated – little consolation but honest, thanks.

I looked over  and Simon had won (well done), Seth had lost – what, after a piece up – heh hoh… what was I to tell Captain Tarik, me thinks. Simon indicates Mike has lost on Bd 3. My gawd.

I sat disconsolate in the chair – it’s 10.15 pm .. I offer Mike consolation, as he walks by – he says … NO I have won, my opponent lost on time. My mind is racing – 1,2,3,4.. ABCD… LWWL.. again.. LWWL its 2-2!

The score sheet comes over and I sign the card without delay, before you can say tikity boo, the card is with Mike Jay.

Walking out into the car park with Seth I look up and there is twinkle in the deep, dark, dark, sky and all I can think of is — ‘Always look on the bright side of life di dum di dum’… (Life of Brian – Monty Python)…..

 

 

Eric Sachs
November 14, 2017