Sunday, 4 August 2019

Joshua fails to qualify for the British Championship (part 8)

Only one medal placing to report on today, a disappointing halving of the club's achievements from yesterday's heights.

Team Sprog

As discussed yesterday, David started today in third place 1 point behind the tournament leader, and was playing him with black. A tough assignment on paper, but in what looked to me like a very well played game David managed to grind out a win and move level with him on points. Unfortunately the person in second place also managed to win so David only finished in second place, but still an excellent result that means we deserve one more of these - 🥈

Team PAYE

With Ben having departed to return to the dubious delights of the West Midlands, we and Andy were left to hold the team together, and both ended the day with draws. The similarity ends at that point though, with Andy holding a very impressive draw in a queen endgame a pawn down, whilst I managed to swindle a perpetual check draw in a completely lost position, save only by my opponent's lack of time. Still, the scoresheets say the same thing so in the long-term no-one will remember that difference.

Team Charlemagne

Roy wisely decided not to play any more chess after yesterday's zero move triumph, so the only interest today was in the senior event. Bernard's opponent attempted some what appeared to me to be very unsound hacking against his king in the opening, which I presumed meant Bernard must have at least a small advantage. However, it may never have been anything substantial, since the next time I looked the position had changed to something that looked incredibly drawish, and so it ultimately finished.

Mark on the other hand finally decided to play a sensible opening (see below), so unsurprisingly to me it appeared he had an excellent position. His opponent decided to never capture the lurching g pawn and thus consequently it remained on g5 for a large proportion of the game, seemingly putting an unpleasant cramp pon black's position. Apparently Mark feels the game was decide by blunders in the endgame, but a more strategic player like me can see it was essentially already over from move 5.

Team Eclectic

With Bruce's tournament over, it was left to David Howell to carry the flag alone, and he could only manage a draw with the black pieces against Ravi Haria. This means he goes in to the final round half a point behind Michael Adams, but he does have the white pieces so it should be an exciting conclusion to the championship.

Current standings:

Team Sprog: 74% (14/19)
Team PAYE: 59% (17/29)
Team Charlemagne: 67% (18/27)
Team Eclectic: 48% (11.5/24)

Obviously we need to look at Mark's excellent opening. I confess I'm not sure the move order is completely correct, but the position is the important thing. I'm convinced if I'd come up with moves like this there would be some unkind commentary about it's soundness.

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