" Bourne" Again in Bournemouth?
Having finished second recently in the Winter Belfast South, City of Belfast and Spring Ballynafeigh tournaments, Martin Kelly decided to have a go at the British Chess Championship after a quarter of a century's absence. He had won the under-1600 event in Brighton in 1984 and this year it was held in another lovely and lively seaside resort on the English south coast, Bournemouth. He entered a weekend event and a weekday event, held in the mornings which allowed one to do other things the rest of the day, including karaoke (but I don't want to make a "song and dance" about it)!
As the bottom seed, Martin got a bye in Round 1 of the weekender, then met Peter Harrington in Round 2. The latter started off well but later he was to "peter" out to a draw. Round 3 gave Martin a slight edge against Michael Davidson but he didn't take the "michael" out of it- so another draw. His last two opponents were both 1520. The first, Nigel Redmond, lost to Martin in 58 moves- a "Nigel long" game rather than a Nigel Short game! The second, Paul Collins, played an "appaulingly" quiet line against Martin's Marshall Attack, but the resulting draw gave Martin 3.5/5 and third place overall.
"Life's a beach" but the Bournemouth weather encouraged one to relax near the water's edge and encourage one to kick the proverbial sand in the chess bullies' faces- so Martin, anxious to to win more than draw in the weekday tournament, decided to "force it in Dorset"! Again he met Peter Harrington, who this time played more like Padraig Harrington (if Padraig was playing chess, I mean) in losing to Martin's Budapest! Round 2 opponent was second seed Julian Hawthorne(1544)-" a thorny" set of complications by Martin meant he couldn't see the " wood from the trees" and lost! Exhausted next day against Alastair Drummond, Martin "summoned" all his energy, but it wasn't there and a 13 move draw resulted! Just as well, because the next game on Board 2 was the last to finish in the whole venue- 5 hour, 112 move win by Martin, "packing them" in against ex-Dubliner John Pakenham! The last day on top board against John D. Clapp,the top seed, saw Martin's French Advanced line pressurise his worthy opponent with the unfortunate name, but after a 37 move draw, " D. Clapp" from the audience was much appreciated as Martin clinched second prize ( and yes, that was the clean joke)! All in all, with 2 prizes and an unbeaten run of 9 games, I'm looking forward next year to Llandudno with the whole family- even though the "clan dudno" where it is or how to spell it!
PS Graeme McCormick got 5 out of 10 in the under 1880 and under 2040 events!