Allan beats his first GM


April 23rd

Welsh International Allan Pleasants beats his first GM at the Bournemouth Grand Congress.  

Allen gave a review of his performance...

As one of the earliest entries to the Bournemouth Grand I watched the tournament web-site with interest especially as no GMs had entered despite the large first prize. There was a chance of a really rewarding weekend.  On turning up I found there had been a large number of strong players entering at the last minute including GMs David Howell, Simon Williams, Alex Cherniaev, and Keith Arkell.  Considering that this was the first time this event has taken place the tournament was well attended and in pleasant surroundings. Oh well may as well just play my best and just enjoy myself.

In round 1 I didn’t play particularly well, but managed to scramble a win. In the early evening I realised that I had been paired against Keith Arkell, and that I had white. I have never got a result against a GM.  It was not helped by the fact that last time I played Keith I tried to avoid his Caro-Kann by transposing to a Blackmaar Diemar gambit. Unfortunately on move 14 I got very careless and blundered a piece away - my shortest ever game.

This time I decided to take on the Caro-Kann, and started my preparation. I fairly quickly found a line which Keith had played several times and where the results looked good for white.  Further analysis suggested the whole line was flawed. I committed it to memory and went to bed.

The game proceeded exactly as I had hoped, and I couldn’t believe my luck. Surely there must be an improvement coming that I haven’t seen. We reached move 21 and Keith offered a draw. I had no interest in the offer as the black king was stuck in the centre and the Nd7 pinned. It would drop after Rd1. I suspect that Keith’s draw offer had a sting in the tail for the unwary since if I carelessly played Rd1 then Rb1 wins for black. After avoiding that pitfall I pick up the piece on d7. That should be game over, but I had to play accurately in order to convert the point. Keith congratulated me after the game on both my preparation and excellent follow up play.

I drew against Peter Williams (no doubt a GM in the making), but then had black in my last two games and ended up losing to both GM Alex Cherniaev and then to the strong Warwickshire player Don Mason. Overall it was a very good weekend.  I have now achieved another chess goal and now have to set myself some new, but achievable goals…


The report in the Dorset Echo was published in  Susan Polgar's Daily News


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