Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Just like old times

When I first started playing serious chess as a 16 year old, beating an adult player was a real achievement. It did not matter how strong they are, it was the fact that they seemed a lot older than me that was important. While I'm pretty sure the first 'grown up' I beat in a serious game was Alan Runciman, my early games against Bill East seemed to stand out. We played each other on several occasions and the games followed a familiar script. He was usually White and played the Ruy Lopez. I would wheel out the Marshall Gambit, and we would play the opening quite quickly, until we both ran out of theory. We would then play a few more moves that looked sensible, and then I would find a tactic and win. The next time we played, we would both play slightly more theory (having down a little research in the meantime), then I would find a tactic and win. This happened on at least 2 occasions, and possibly 3. Of course this all happened almost 30 years ago so my memory is a little hazy on the details. Fast forward to this evening when we were paired to play each other in the first time in over 20 years. Bill once again opened 1.e4 and away we went. This time we managed to bash out 22 moves of Marshall theory (not all of it perfect) until Bill grabbed a very poisoned pawn on b5. And just like in the olden days, I found a tactic. At least we both could see the humour in the situation and Bill even promised to learn a little more theory for the next time we meet.

East,William - Press,Shaun [C89]
University Cup, 28.02.2012


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