Saturday, 12 October 2019


MY top-board opponent in round three of the Dorset open this afternoon was an ungraded junior who is the Dorset blitz champion, having won the title last month with a score of 10/11.
Declan Lovelock - Spanton (168)
Open Spanish
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 a6!? 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6
The same move-order as in a Central London League game of mine last month:
9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 Be7 11.Bc2 d4 12.Nb3 dxc3!?
The mainline runs 12...d3 13.Bb1 Nxb3 14.axb3 Bf5 15.Be3 0-0 16.Bd4 Qd5 17.Re1 d2 18.Re2 Bxb1 19.Rxb1 Nxd4 20.Nxd4 Bg5, when Stockfish10 and Komodo10 reckon White is slightly better.
An interesting novelty, or at least a move that is not in ChessBase's 2019 Mega database. Naturally a blitz champion, and a junior at that, is not interested in lines where queens might come off.
13...Nxd4 14.Nxd4 cxb2!?
Grabbing a pawn against such an opponent may be objectively fine, but was hardly my brightest moment.
15.Bxb2 Qd7 16.Qf3 0-0?!
With hindsight I should have gone for 16...Bd5, although after 17.Qg3 Black is more-or-less committed to castling long, when there is no doubt who has the safer king.
Can you see the problem with Black's 16th move?
A strong move that I suspect most club players would quickly reject - assuming they saw my reply.
White is better, but not yet winning, after the engines' 17...Qe8.
18.Qg3 Bxd1 19.Nf5 g6?
Better was 19...Qxf5 20.Bxf5 Na4 21.Rxd1 Nxb2, but White is winning after the engines' 22.Rd7.
20.e6 h5
Yes, stronger was Resigns.
21.exd7 Bxc2 22.Qc3 Ne6 23.Qh8#
I will be interested to see what grade DL has when the January list comes out.


  1. After representations from an interested party, I have removed all comments from this post. People hold strong views on both sides of the issue concerning Declan Lovelock, and those interested have had plenty of chances to see the views here. I will be happy to publish comments about developments in the case, but speculation about what has been going on is better reserved, I believe, for the English Chess Forum. I am also happy to print comments about my decision, which I realise will upset some people.

  2. A very good decision Tim and thanks for supporting the discussion over the past 3 months. Without your help this would not have gained the attention that it deserves.

    1. It doesn’t need attention. Nor did it ever need any attention.

  3. My last comment on this in response to another comment with no justification by yet another anonymous poster. Maybe Tim will let it through as I don't hide my name. To justify my previous comment, I think that an increase in strength in excess of anything that anyone has ever achieved in the history of the game of chess (happy to be proven wrong on this assertion but I can't find anything approaching an ELO improvement of c1200 points in 10 months) is worth attention. Especially taking London into account.

  4. Pete for Heaven's sake. Do you really get that much enjoyment from being Bwana you great vat of dripping? Although it is easily depictable that you can't be assuaged from such embarrassment. There's a dislike for outnumbered ruling, makes for too much stupid in the room. Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring. Your mind: it's so placid, straight-forward, barely used. You see but you do not observe, the distinction is clear. You're all so vacant. And no, I'm not insulting you, I'm describing you. Let me make this unequivocally clear, we have done multiple tests and have come to the standing conclusion that the accusations hold no substance and can be dismissed. A full report is able to be sent to those who are still being childish.