Thursday, 6 August 2015

British Championship Update - Day Twelve

Today was perhaps the most successful day for Kenilworth in the championships thus far, with an overall score of 3.5/4. Paul got the ball rolling with his win over very promising junior Koby Kalavannan (2170 at age 13). Me and Paul are probably going to have a disagreement about how good his opening was, with Paul thinking it gave him good practical chances, and me thinking he was just considerably worse fairly quickly. What cannot be doubted, however, is that after a terrible blunder on move 27 (I would imagine time trouble induced), Paul ended up with a completely lost position (the computer says -5). Fortunately, his opponent was generous enough to immediately return the favour, then proceeded to give away sufficient material that he got himself into a bad endgame by force. Paul was not about to miss his opportunity so, after making the time control with no further disasters, he was able to easily convert the position an exchange up for no compensation.

Mark appears to have overcome his early tournament slump, and is now playing considerably better chess. Today he managed to equalise as black almost immediately out of the opening, a King's Indian Defence. I actually expected the game to end in a very early draw, but either one player managed to convince himself he was better, or they both simply kept playing on out of inertia. After a while, a more interesting endgame did actually occur, with equal pawns and a knight for each side, but a slight structural imbalance. Of all equal material endgames, knight ones are probably the easiest in which to go wrong, simply because of the potential forks, as well as frequent transitions to king and pawn endgames, in which a single tempo loss can be enough to bring a decisive result. Eventually Mark was able to win his opponent's knight, but doing so meant his king was stuck on completely the opposite side of the board from the remaining pawns, so he could do nothing else but rush back to secure the draw, after his opponent cleared out all the pawns left on the board. A much more interesting game that I originally expected it to be, but probably always one in which the overall balance was maintained.

As for myself, my morning game also looked as if it was going to be a quick draw as my opponent, playing white, more or less forced the game into an entirely equal rook endgame right out of the opening. Indeed he did offer me a draw, which I only declined because I didn't feel I'd got my money's worth out of the entry fee by only playing for an hour. However, as so often happened when you are convinced the position is an easy draw, he started to get careless and managed to force himself into a very passive position, which I was able to convert to a winning king and pawn endgame, and was able to finish with a nice temporary pawn sacrifice. Sadly, I cannot put this game down as a well played game on my part as I actually missed the winning move the first time it was available, and was fortunate that my opponent gave me a second chance to play it, rather than finding the more precise defence that almost certainly led to a draw. In the afternoon my win was more straightforward, with a kingside attack leading to a win of material, and hence the game, in fairly short order. Not particularly memorable except for the fact that my opponent was an FM (even if, by rating, a particularly weak one), making this my first win over a titled player, and the first by a Kenilworth player in this tournament.

Continuing our theme of opening disasters, here is how to win with the French Defence in only 14 moves, though perhaps it might not work against best play.

Summary thus far:
Total score by Kenilworth players: 52.5/113
Score against titled players: 1/5

My personal performance:
Played: 39
Wins: 18
Losses: 14
Draws: 7
Well played endgames: 11
Atrocious blunders: 9
Games won through opponent's illegal moves: 1

No comments:

Post a Comment