Roger de Coverly (Wessex A) v John Foley (CSC/Kingston 2)

Played in round 6 of the third division in the 4NCL at Warwick on 11 February 2024

Foreground: Roger de Coverly (left) and John Foley about to start (photo: Kate Cooke)

I was delighted to play against the man and the legend that is Roger de Coverly. Roger is the most prolific of the contributors to the English Chess Forum, a loosely moderated and often negative bulletin board which nonetheless serves to entertain and, very occasionally, inform those interested in the politics and happenings on the chess scene with no shortage of trivia and arcana. I dip into it infrequently as piranhas swim in those waters.

Roger is a model contributor who is generally well informed and polite even to his detractors, if indeed there are any. Roger has posted more than 21,000 comments and replies on the forum, usually supported by evidence and with a plausible argument. With an average of 3.68 posts per day, it is a wonder that Roger has any time left to play chess.

The game was played in the match between Wessex A and CSC/Kingston 2. The teams were evenly matched and we expected tough games. This game had several critical points. At one point I had a clear advantage and told myself not to relax – the bane of the Player with the Advantage. Alas, I failed to take my own advice and played a weak move which threw away my advantage. Roger then became the Player who Suddenly Gained the Advantage. He then fell into the trap of not adjusting his assessment, so that he played a defensive move when he could have taken full control of the game. This allowed the Player who Previously had the Advantage, Lost it and then Gained it Back to gratefully drive the game to a conclusion.