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Leuven Tournament Homepage
10-19 November 1999

GrandMaster Blaster.
Diary of a strong tournament by Graham Brown

Wednesday 10/11/99 8:30 am Wateroo Station

Just waiting for Mark and Ron. We are taking the 10.30 train to Leuven, belgium. Simple as that, Eurostar, 59 and you're straight there. We've decided that it's almost as cheap, if not cheaper to play abroad these days so ...

It's Mark's idea, an open tourament of Gm's Im's and the rest. A new one, untried by any King's Head members. We are the King's Tasters, doomed to die if the food is poisoned. Mind you in Belgium that's mabe tempting fate.

Sitting with a coffee in burger king wondering how my game will stand up. By 10 tonight we play the 1st round which makes for a long day.

I'm playing centre counter, the Englund gambit, and assorted White homemade stuff. Will it be good enough? It shouldn't be but time will tell.

We will be joined there by the 4th Kings Head member Steve Berry. He has a massive 231 grade but doesn't have time to study like the full time professionals. I wonder how he will get on.

The team is

Mark Huba 104
Ron Crooks 121
Graham Brown 147
Steve Berry 231

I shall keep this brief diary as we go along of how we all do.

I hope I read my 2 chess books that i have brought Shirov's"fire on board" and ."Winning with e4 by Schiller. A very lazy choice of study material typical of my nationality.

The tournament lasts till Sunday

10/11/99 9:43
Toilet at Waterloo say's warning acid in bowl. I wonder why, surely noone is going to touch it anyway. George Michael is nowhere in sight.

Now going for train

10/11/99 15:53
Arrived in Leuven.
Hotel is opposite the station we've booked in round 1 is at 9pm off to cafe now to meet Steve.

Rooms are great I have a view of the square and a desk. Lets hope I use it for some preparation!

Thursday 11/11/99 1:52 am

Round 1

Bd White Black
16 S Berry 2275 1 0 Bils Marc 1926
53 R Crooks 1448 0 1 D Voit 1856
55 M Huba 1416 0 1 J Verduycht 1844
61 G Brown 1776 1 0 C Jorgensen 1343

Steve won his first round outpowering a centre counter. I won scrappily against a weak player. Mark & Ron lost but there was plenty of chess to come. In fact we looked at the game and decided that Mark missed 10 wins at least! Ron fought back brilliantly from 3 pawns down to equal only to blow it. (Later note ...: He would only be given White once more in the tournament!? but ... keep reading!)

Thursday 11/11/99 13:08
I got up late then looked at a Michael Adams white game and some exchange ideas for playing against the french defence and the Caro Kan. I am probably white today.

Thursday 11/11/99 16:17
Everyone has lost except steve who appears to think he's completely losing. (Later note ...he drew)

Round 2

Bd White Black
15 B Boons 1811 .5 .5 S Berry 2275
18 G Brown 1776 0 1 T Verspecht 2216
58 P Vandenbempt 1955 1 0 R Crooks 1448
60 M Bils 1 0 M Huba 1416

12/11/99 11:25
Steve won nicely in round 3 a piece sac that is in Gary Lane's book. Gary himself is on 3/3. He was surprised to hear English voices having been coming here for years as the sole English representative.

Round 3

Bd White Black
18 S Berry 2275 see game 1 0 R De Coninck 2104
33 D Andre 2076 1 0 G Brown 1776
64 W Smekens 1715 0 1 R Crooks 1448
65 M Huba 1416 1 0 S Roosen 1496

Ron won having won the exchange, giving the exchange back to queen a pawn. Mark had his first win in a comic finish. After winning the strategic, tactical and psyehological battle mark blundered and presented his opponent with a mate in 2. His opponent chose qg1 check instead ... If rook takes queen it's a brilliant smothered mate. Unfortunately mark could take the queen with his king! so it was nice for them to get their first scores. I messed up a perfectly nice position by pawn pushing.

Round 4 coming up. Steve will be black most probably with white to follow against a 2500 perhaps if he wins.

Round 4

Bd White Black
10 K Ceulemans 2055 0 1 S Berry 2275
57 R Crooks 1448 1 0 A Van Den Hove 1810
60 G Brown 1776 1 0 A Dubrulle 1512
62 D Wiame 1751 1 0 M Huba 1416

We fed well Thursday. Steak for me, mixed grill for Ron and an expensive Rabbit dish for the wealthy Mark. Steve was grinding out his 2nd round draw.

Round 4 to come in 2 hours. 4 games to try and play some decent chess.

I'm now watching MTV instead of studying.
12/11/99 19:18
And we're still waiting for our food
the round starts at 7.30

12/11/99 19:22
Got our food finally!
12/11/99 19:39
Steve leaves before us since he will have a tough battle!

13/11/99 9:02
Well 3 losers but ... Steve beat a grandmaster! Amazing game too!

Round 5

Bd White Black
4 S Berry 2275 1 0 A Kogan 2518   see game
40 T Williams 1948 1 0 G Brown 1776
46 K De Smet 1 0 R Crooks 1448
66 M Huba 1416 0 1 R Valcke 1651

Now sat morning and round 6
steve 4.5/5
ron, graham 2/5
mark 1/5
lets see what this round has in store ...

Round 6

Bd White Black
3 A Barsov 2539 1 0 S Berry 2275
53 G Brown 1776 1 0 W Cormans ug
56 R Crooks 1448 .5 .5 D Hudart 1747
72 J Meijer ug 0 1 M Huba 1416

Ron drew morning and afternoon and won 1000 Francs grading u1500.
Steve lost to barzou then drew to a strong IM.

Round 7

Bd White Black
7 S Berry 2275 .5 .5 M Dutreeuw 2394
40 A Navasartian 1911 0 1 G Brown 1776
55 P Ertveldt ug .5 .5 R Crooks 1448
59 M Huba 1416 0 1 M Vandecan 1708

Final Scores

Steve 5/7
Graham 4/7
Ron 3/7
Mark 2/7

Mark won then lost and I won both my games with lucky gambits.

14/11/99 12:27

Quotes "what is this bollocks" Steve on having to confront another Huba position.

San sebastian next? suggestion from Mark. Anyone interested?

14/11/99 20:55
On the eurostar train
Been to lebanese restaurant
Brussles is amazing
all are tired!

Home very quickly, a few 10 minute games with Mark on the train. and then back to Waterloo.

Wiser and not much poorer thanks to the exchange rate.

Next tournament San Sebastian!?


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