Friday, 7 August 2015

British Championship Update - Day Thirteen

I think it is only fair that we start today by talking about Mark's game, seeing as he finally achieved his first win of the tournament. As white, Mark played the Grand Prix attack against his opponents Sicilian, which soon transposed into a more traditional Closed Sicilian after Mark played g3. He seemed to get quite a pleasant position out of the opening, but it was unclear if it was going to be a large enough advantage for him to realistically be able to push for a win. This uncertainty persisted into the endgame, which eventually came down to a rook and 2 pawns for Mark, against a bishop and 4 pawns for his opponent. The structure was sufficiently locked that there was no chance of Mark ever losing the position, but it also didn't look as if it would be possible for him to make progress. Fortunately however, around this point, his opponent started to play some very dubious moves, gradually repositioning his pieces on to worse and worse squares, and giving Mark every reason to keep playing on. After not being able to convert a number of promising positions in previous games, the fear was another win would slip from his grasp, but on this occasion he was not to be denied and took advantage of his opponent's mistakes to wrap up the victory.

Paul, needing 1.5 from his final 2 games to qualify to play in the main championship again next year, found himself playing white against WIM Heather Richards. He seemed to get a nice little edge out of the opening, and then swung out with an exciting (and potentially even sound) rook sacrifice. Whilst objectively it probably should only have been good enough for equality, black faced a very difficult defense, didn't find the best moves, and ended up in a very bad endgame, down a pawn and with worse placed pieces. Hopes were high for Paul at this point, but sadly his endgame technique, at least in this game, could not be described as immaculate. After an unfortunately timed exchange of rooks gave away much of his advantage, the path to victory (if indeed one was available at all) became very narrow. From this point on she seemed to defend well, and despite his best efforts Paul was eventually forced to settle for a draw. This means he now needs a win in the final round, as black against FM Charles Storey. A difficult pairing to be sure, but he is at least a sufficiently aggressive player that you always feel you might have winning chances as black.

My two games today can be summed up in one sentence. In the first my opponent blundered a piece, hence I won; in the second I blundered a piece, and hence I lost. My could be said on the matter about how complicated the positions were and how they were understandable oversights, but really there is no excuse for quite how badly played both of these two games were. Still, I suppose, since both of my opponents were higher graded than me, a win and a loss, through whatever means, should still be regarded as a decent result.

I know I said that I wasn't going to include any more of my games on these updates, but I am nothing if not a liar. I felt I had to show this next one, simply because of how quickly my strong opponent manages to blunder a piece in the opening. I can only assume, given the general lowering in quality of games I've been seeing over the last couple of days, that people are starting to get fatigued and losing concentration.

Summary thus far:
Total score by Kenilworth players: 55/117
Score against titled players: 1.5/6

My personal performance:
Played: 41
Wins: 19
Losses: 15
Draws: 7
Well played endgames: 12
Atrocious blunders: 11
Games won through opponent's illegal moves: 1

No comments:

Post a Comment