Thanks to some good fortune and to some tenacious play I'm leading the Hartlepool Chess Tournament with 3 out of 3. Club mate and occasional Chess Tales contributor, Paul Dargan, is one of 2 players just half a point behind. We play the final 2 rounds tomorrow.
The first round saw me 'blunder' a pawn opening the centre in a Queen's Gambit Exchange Variation, although the attack I managed to whip up proved more than adequate compensation. Round 2 saw me up against a long time rival, all my opening preparation went out the window when he opened up with 1 b3. I picked up a pawn around time control, and it was then just a matter of technique. Round 3 was an opponent against whom I've had bad results over the years, but on this occasion I was able to turn a rook and opposite bishop ending with an extra pawn into a won bishop and 3 pawns vs. rook ending.
There's been some interesting openings and endings, that we'll take a closer look at later in the week.
Apologies for the slow posting over the last few days; it proved difficult to get an Internet connection at the tournament.