Atticus Open: Report on the 3rd Round

Round 3 of the Atticus Open saw the pairings starting to settle down and the prospect of some tough drawn-out encounters ahead. Dicing with an early bath, Derek Rooney delayed castling in his game against Luke and mounting threats from the latter meant that when Derek did eventually castle decisive material had been won. David Odunaiya, with his eyes fixed hypnotically on Rob Greaves` king, likewise had the game wrapped up fairly early as he went two pieces up, and although Rob spun it out the outcome was never in doubt. Sometimes just hanging in there can pay dividends however. Neil Tabor skilfully prevented his opponent from castling, and then managed to gain a significant material advantage, but with almost his dying breath Steve Winstanley gleefully pounced on an oversight to snatch a draw by a perpetual.

Josh must have been somewhat taken aback by Brian Caulfield`s unusual queenside pawn Great Wall of China opening system, but Josh kept his eye on the ball and he ensured that the victory party was on Brian`s kingside instead. Meanwhile Natasha was ably holding her own against Mike Coffey in a very close position, but a tactic from Mike saw him gain a piece and with it the game.

Leaving it almost to the last 10 minutes, the position in Ben`s game against Steve Philp still resembled an opening, without a piece taken nor headway from either side in sight. The clock was against Ben however, and he resigned as his time was about to run out – a bit more experience needed in that department. The slayer from the last round, Mark Wadsworth cunningly surveyed Tom`s king from their opposite-sides castling habitats, and he put Tom under pressure, the latter perhaps ought to have sought a perpetual but Tom blundered letting Mark in for a snap mate, and another great win and scalp.

The most arduous game of the evening, and my pick for `Game of the Day` was the battle between Greg Hughes and Steven Carr. A difficult-looking game to work out at times with unusual piece-placements, much deep thought and a late finish. Steven eventually won a tough encounter. This game will follow here shortly.

 

The adjourned game between Nigel Hobro and John Lambert was played last night. It went down to an ending with a rook and knight each side but with John having a 5 to 4 pawn majority on the kingside but in a fairly locked position which may well have ended a draw. However, as his time became short, John managed to convert the win. 

In his other match against Tom Bimpson, John Lambert won a pawn early on and gained a winning position, missing several mating chances (including mate in one!) under severe time pressure. In Tom`s words `John's flag was trembling and I had a huge 3mins left to make my best move of the game and offer a draw. This was immediately accepted!`

 

As results from adjourned games come in (with David Lawson v Brian Ewart`s result still to come) note how the draw for the 4th round is altered slightly.

 

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