British update: Paul finishes fourth

Paul:
I had my chances for =1st but it wasn’t to be. The top board game was drawn almost immediately, making James and Bowmer joint champions with 5.5/7. They could be joined by a winner from Boards 2 and 3. The Board 2 game was supposed to be Bimpson v Jackson, but Tom Bimpson turned up at the venue with a badly cut thumb and had to go to A & E. Oliver Jackson was offered a default win and thus a share of first place but, to his credit, he wanted to play. By chance someone on 3 points had no game because his opponent had thought the last round started at 10 a.m. and had timed his train ticket accordingly. So Jackson at least had a game against an O-65 player. Meanwhile I declined an early draw offer and had built up what I thought was a crushing position (see game) against Chris Jones on Board 3. However, he defended stubbornly and I took a draw when I got short of time and could not see a way to make further progress. There were three prizes, so Jones and I could still be in a sextuple tie for third if Jackson failed to win. That game went on for four and a half hours with the weaker player having the draw in hand until the very last moment when he blundered a pawn and lost. Oliver Jackson therefore finished in a three-way tie for the Championship (no tie-breaks or play-off). He deserved it for his sportsmanship. That ate up the third prize, leaving me in a quintuple tie for fourth place on 5/7.
I gained 15 FIDE rating points, but, to be realistic, I had two huge slices of luck in drawn games I should have lost. Also, I didn’t have to play any of the ten top-rated players in the section. Since starting in the Seniors in 2007 (it used to be 60+) I have come third three times, but a higher place is proving elusive.

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