Friday, 2 August 2019

Joshua fails to qualify for the British Championship (part 6)

Team Sprog

The Phillips juggernaut slightly slowed down today, with David only picking up a draw, to leave him one point off the lead with two games left. Still just about within striking distance, but two wins probably required from his text two games.


Andy continues his excellent performance, with another comfortable looking draw against a player rated well in excess of 2000. Ben had an equally solid day, with two draws, including yet another game in that dodgy version of the London System he can't bring himself not to play. That means there was only one person remaining to let the team down, which I duly managed to do. I matched my teammates with a draw in the morning, albeit in considerably less convincing style than they had managed, but the afternoon was something of an opening catastrophe. It is the first one I've had, which I guess isn't too bad given the whole set of new openings I've been playing, but it still isn't fun to be completely lost after around 15 moves. Perhaps these openings won't survive the end of this tournament.

Team Charlemagne

After yesterday's excellent 4/4 performance, surely the team would come crashing back down to earth, unable to rescale those heady heights. At least this was my initial thought, and I couldn't have been more wrong, with an identical result being achieved again. Bernard slowly ground down his opponent; Mark was slightly more exciting with a pawn sacrifice in the opening to leave his opponent with a chronically weak king, and Roy was undoubtedly the best of the lot with two wins, including an extremely impressive trapping of his opponent's queen in the centre of the board. He assures me this was planned in advance, and I will leave it with our readers to decide if we believe him.

Team Eclectic

A slight improvement over yesterday's performance, with David Howell this time managing a win as black in some slightly drab looking symmetrical English, where the computer interestingly thinks he is better from quite early in the game. Bruce unfortunately could not join his teammate in improving on yesterday's result, so 50% for the team today it was.

Current standings:

Team Sprog: 74% (12.5/17)
Team PAYE: 54% (12.5/23)
Team Charlemagne: 69% (14.5/21)
Team Eclectic: 48% (10/21)

For those of us not in good form, we can at least take solace in the fact that even GMs sometimes have disasters. The game below from the main championship would be a good illustration of this point, where a grandmaster sacrifices a piece (seemingly unsoundly) on move 9, and never really gets in to the game, with white avoiding all the tactics and continuing to grab all the extra material on offer.

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