I haven’t been playing recently, but I have kept up with some of the major events. Unlike the Pearl Spring or Tal Memorial super-tournaments, though, I didn’t get a set of predictions in for the London Chess Classic. There are still two rounds to go, but GM Luke McShane is surprisingly in a tie for first – maybe leaving the vampire-squid on the face of humanity is good for one’s chess?
Anyways, back to my own chess travels, I’ve been trying to enter some of my old games from a pile of scorebooks I have lying around. I’ve got scorebooks dating back to 1993, I think, and while I think I have pretty much all my games from about 1996 onwards, there are lots of missing games in my database from those early days. Along the way, I’ve found some real “gems.” So in this blog, let me wax nostalgic about the old days, back before computers had taken over …
I can’t remember anymore, but this may have been my first win against a master, back in 1994 at the People’s Tournament in Berkeley, CA. In the first round, I was white against Frank Say (2306). I was about 9.5 years old and rated about 1800.
The game started off in typical fashion for me back then – with a sketchy gambit.
rnbqkbnr/ppp2ppp/4p3/3p4/3PP3/4B3/PPP2PPP/RN1QKBNR b KQkq - 0 3)
I’m not sure what the exact name of this opening (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3) is, but I used to call it the French-Mar-Diemer Gambit. Growing up on a steady diet of Morphy and Anderssen games, gambits were my thing and I rarely hesitated to throw a pawn or two away. Almost all of Richard Shorman’s students play this way (at first, at least), and I was no exception.