I’m competing as an unrated player in the Hiroshima Open Chess Tournament, a round-robin consisting of seven games, brought to us by the Osaka Abeno Chess Club.
They hold an open competition in a different Japanese city every year, and this year, 2019, they decided to hold it in Hiroshima, which is very convenient as that is where I happen to live!
The event took place over the long weekend of September 21st-23rd 2019 at Aster Plaza, about ten minutes’ walk south from Peace Park.
As an unrated player I was not sure what to expect, or how many people would be competing, but my goal was to avoid bottom place at all costs!
I was the first person to arrive, and apart from a notice on a TV monitor confirming that the event was taking place, there was no sign that a chess competition was about to take place. Then, about ten minutes before the doors officially opened, a small group of chess players began to straggle in. It turned out that there were just fourteen of us, including two players from the Hiroshima Chess Circle. There were eleven players from Osaka, ten of whom were Japanese men and the eleventh a Filipina woman called Melody.
Here’s the Ginger GM, Simon William’s video account of his victory over Charlie Storey in the third round game of the British Chess Championships in Torquay in the summer of 2019.
I am posting this game because both Simon and Charlie are acquaintances of mind and occasional quaffing partners. I have learnt a lot from both of these professional players. Indeed, Charlie was the first person I met when I participated in my first ever chess tournament at the British Chess Championships in Torquay back in 2013.
If there’s ONE Easy Chess Tip I’d like to impress upon you it is this: When you are playing as Black against a d4 opening, do NOT go for the Marshall Defence!
Just a quick recap… The Marshall Defence occurs when Black moves his Knight to f6 on the second move in this sequence:
It is an inferior defence that poses no problems for White. Indeed, against an experienced player it practically guarantees that Black will never gain parity, will fail to gain control of the centre and will most likely go on to lose the game.
Yet, the Marshall Defence is a relatively common response to the Queen’s Gambit in casual chess games, probably because it seems to make sense to develop a Knight early on, and a Knight on f6 is at least defending the d5 pawn.