The Thanet Chess Congress has been and gone for another year and we shall be devoting a few pages to it over the next couple of weeks while Broadstairs enjoys its brief summer break. We hope to feature some of the winners’ games and perhaps one or two disasters if players are brave enough to send them in. Let’s begin with one of our own. Nick McBride and David Faldon were always going to find it tough in the Open with five of the thirteen players graded 200 or above and three over 230. However, there were also five players including Nick and David in the 170s so there was healthy competition for the U180 grading prize. In the end, both players scored 2/5, only half a point behind Kevin Bowmer, the eventual grading prize winner. In the first round Nick found himself paired against Freddie Hand who may only be 14 but already has a grade of 205. This is the position after White’s 28th move.
White: Nick McBride (173) Black: Freddie Hand (205)
Thanet Chess Congress 2017
Nick takes up the story:
“I’m white against Freddie Hand (205J). For a while now I had been working towards: Rbg1, Rxh6+, gxh6, g7+!, Bxg7 and mate next move. But Freddie ignored this. He now played 28… Nd2! I continued with what I thought was nearly a forced mate 29 Rbg1. Then Freddie played 29… Be6!! and I’m dead. The rook on c7 now stops my g7+! He’s pretty good.”