Firtly, the Musashino Chess Club reopened their doors in a spot that's just 10 minutes walk from where I live! Small by foreign standards (this is Tokyo, after all), but the club has everything and is right in the middle of town. It also happens to be in the kyabakura district, not that I'd ever be tempted drop 10,000 yen for an hour of chatting, yes just chatting, to some Japanese sheila with a big blonde wig and who looks as if she'd just taken a dip in vat of tanning solution.
The club opens 5 days a week, except Mondays and Tuesdays.
As I had to spend the first half of my day out at Shibuya, I managed to make it back in time for the last round. Yep, they let me play. The privilege cost me 900 yen or roughly AU$12.
It wasn't exactly my best effort, but here the chess God smiled on my fortune for a second time. Despite clear signs of rust, I got lucky.
Musashino CC club game
The Closet Grandmaster
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nf3 d6 5. g3 Nbd7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O e5 8. e4 Re8 9. h3 exd4 10. Nxd4 a5 11. Be3 Nc5 12. Qc2 c6 All book so far. Reminds me of my mate Toby. I think he and I must have played this line a hundred times in lightning. But now my opponent deviates. 13. Kh2!? Never seen this one before. 13...a4 14. Rad1 Qa5 15. Bf4 Qb4? 16. b3? (16. Bxd6! Qxc4 17. e5 Nfd7 18. f4 makes life very hard for Black.) 16... axb3 17. axb3 Ne6 18. Nxe6 Rxe6 19. Be3 Ra3 20. Rb1 Nd7? (20... Ng4+ 21. hxg4 Bxc3) 21. Ne2? (21. Na4 threatening to trap the Queen! Luckily my opponent also did not see it.) 21...Re8 22. Bd4 Nc5 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Nd4 Bd7?? Another awful move. And again, my opponent, a well dressed lady who seemed to be already in her 60's, missed the appropriate reply.
After 24...Bd7, what should White play?
25. Rfd1? (25. Qb2! with the powerful threat of Nc2.) 25... Rea8?? Still, the same idea is on the board, but again.... 26. Qd2? ...my opponent fails to capitalise! 26...Qb6 27. Qf4 Ra2 28. Rd2 Ne6 29. Nxe6+ Bxe6 30. Bf1 Qb4 31. Rxd6 Rxf2+ 32. Qxf2 Qxd6 33. Qb2+ Kg8 34. Be2 Qc5 35. Kg2 Qe3 36. Qc2 f5 37. Bd3 Rd8 38. Rd1 fxe4 39. Be2 Rf8 40. Rf1 Rxf1 41. Bxf1 Qf3+ 42. Kg1 Qxg3+ 43. Bg2 Bf5 (Should have been just... 43... Bxh3) 44. Qe2 Bxh3 45. Qxe4 Qxg2+ 0-1