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– from Chris Howell
A very exciting day in prospect with England narrowly/jointly leading 3 of the 4 events and with an outside chance of overtaking Ireland in the fourth – so all to play for!
Round 5: Wednesday 22/7/2015 am versus Scotland
A quick note on each of the games:
- Omeet surprised his opponent with the Sniper, netted 2 pawns and solid defence netted a great win as his opponent’s time and position deteriorated.
- Oli misplayed the opening slightly and wisely took a quick draw in a potentially difficult position.
- Ben also had a quick draw where his opponent’s doubled pawns gave him some useful open lines in compensation.
- Tim played an enterprising piece sacrifice in the opening and won his piece back with a won ending which he converted neatly.
- Max saw his kingside collapse under a vicious attack, sacked material to survive, nearly grabbed a draw a rook down, won some material back but went down in a close ending
- Teddy played a good steady game and took advantage of a suicidal king advance by his opponent to get a winning ending and duly won it.
- But Wales’ fine win against Ireland put them half-a-point ahead of us going into the final round!
- Harry drummed up a strong king-side attack for a slight material deficit but could not quite break through and went down in time trouble.
- Alfie developed a slight initiative on the black side of a Benko but could make no headway and the endgame was always drawn.
- Jake played a nice game but could not win a slightly better ending as black.
- Elliot tried everything to win his ending but also had to settle for a draw.
- Matthew lost control of the c-file early on resulting in a lost pawn and despite stout resistance eventually went down in an endgame.
- Alex won a classic queen-side majority endgame efficiently, a really good performance.
- The Irish extended their lead to six points meaning that a good second place was now the realistic aim for our Robinson team.
In the Glorney:
- Ollie had a typical king’s Indian Attack game where black’s queen-side activity balanced white’s king-side attack and a draw was the result.
- John broke through with a lovely sacrificial attack and consolidated his extra material to win convincingly.
- Daniel played a brilliancy on the black side of the King’s Indian – “the best game of my life!”
- Michael neutralised a slight initiative for his opponent and gained a comfortable draw.
- Joseph had a nice plus throughout and finished with a neat tactic for another win.
Despite this superb 4-1 win the Irish edged up to us with a 4.5 – 0.5 win themselves.
In the Gilbert:
- Katherine won another long game in fine positional style to move to a superb 4.5/5.
- Emily obtained a lovely attacking position with a choice of good continuations and won nicely with a winning rook sacrifice.
- Zoe achieved a solid draw on the black side of the Gruenfeld.
The excellent score of 2.5 was matched by the Irish to leave it all square in this tournament too!
– thanks to Anna Gallagher
– from Mike Forster
Round 3: Tuesday 21st am
A quick note on each of the games:
· Omeet wins a pawn in the opening with an interesting double attack after a surprise in the opening. White later builds up compensation with a strong attack and a better bishop. Omeet does well to swap queens and draw the ending.
· Oli Howell has an early attack on opposite wings starting after his opponent castled long with pleasant prospects. After some unclear middle game play black ended up with a better double rook endgame – but after allowing white to get doubled rooks on the 7th his position became indefensible.
· Ben found a nice tactic to win a pawn against a castled king, but white had compensation on the white squares with a strong knight outpost on f5 – and ended up with a better knight against bishop ending with enough to draw despite the pawn minus.
· Tim was ok out the opening – with a balanced position and the game went on to a draw in a rook and pawn ending.
· Max faced a challenging pawn storm on the kingside and had to defend well to survive. He ended up an outside pawn down in a rook and pawn ending, where his opponent found a good plan to force the rooks off and win.
· Teddy achieved a nice initiative out of the opening and his opponent played well to reach a rook end-game where black was slightly worse.
· A final score of 3-3 left England with a 1 point lead over Wales.
· Harry as black ended up with a weak c pawn and ended up sacrificing his Queen for Rook and Piece. In the end lacked enough compensation.
· Alfie got a reasonable position out the opening but his opponent achieved a central pawn break under favourable circumstances to wrest the initiative.
· Jake faced some problems against a strong white bishop raking the long diagonal, and ended up sacrificing a pawn to try and get some activity. His opponent played well to make the most of the two bishops and his passed e-pawn.
· Elliot sacrificed a pawn for the initiative, but his opponent managed to consolidate with some strong central pawns and a well-placed central knight.
· Matthew made an interesting piece sacrifice in the opening which was probably not sound, but he managed to regain the piece with some activity for a pawn. A complex middle-game position ensued where black played well to achieve a draw.
· Alex as white developed a strong attack on the kingside while the centre was blocked and with both kings reserving their flight options by remaining on their original squares well into the middle-game. Alex was the first to commit by castling long and developed a ferocious attack, which black did very well to survive. The game just ending in a draw after an attractive looking line just failed to win.
· The Irish ending in worth winners this round by a 5-1 score – taking them into 6.5 point lead after three rounds.
In the Glorney
· Ollie resisted strong white play in the Kan opening for many moves and played very well to draw with his FM opponent.
· Michael played well against an opponent who achieved a space advantage with the two bishops, with an eventual draw where a “bad bishop” was locking in a “bad knight”.
· As white John achieved a satisfactory Bishop and Knight + double rook ending, but black won a central pawn and played well to finish.
· Daniel developed a ferocious initiative in a double rook and bishop ending, and his opponent did very well to hold the draw.
· Joseph lured his opponent into the crosshairs of his speciality opening, and then varied on his round 2 game to escape from any preparation. A very nice mating finish for Joseph to conclude in a 2.5 all draw leaving England just ½ point behind the Irish leaders.
In the Gilbert
· In Katherine’s game a complex opening position arose where white had a missed opportunity – whereupon black established a good bishop and Queen ending with strong pressure against the exposed white king and a nice winning endgame for black.
· Emily played a very solid game as white, taking no risks, and her black opponent was equally careful to secure a draw.
· In Zoe’s game white achieved very active pieces attacking the white king, and eventually crashed through with a nice queen sacrifice. The final score of 1.5 each leaving England with a 1 point lead after 3 rounds.