Atticus Open: Report on Round 7

Atticus Open: start of Round 7

  Round 7 of the Atticus Open kicked  off    in sweltering conditions one might expect   of the World Cup when it eventually reaches Qatar. No fatalities yet, and even after 90 minutes of play there was just a few games where a solitary pawn separated the players.

 

 

Tom Bimpson`s opening took perhaps an unexpected turn when, under attack from David Lawson, his king fled to f7, but as the position became more unbalanced who actually stood better? Steve Carr set about attacking Mark Wadsworth`s kingside but breeching Helms Deep (see Lord of the Rings) looked easier.

One also had the feeling that some games were simply destined to be draws, perhaps betrayed by a frown or a shrug of the shoulders or a look of puzzlement from the players. Brian Ewart versus John Lambert and Steve Winstanley versus Phil Taylor had the bet-in-play chap from the advert suspending all bets on draws..

There were however, boards in which players took it upon themselves to try to forge their own destiny. Mike Coffey sacced a pawn for some space, but would it be the final frontier? Jeremy crashed through on Rob Greaves` queenside to gain a pawn as the queens were exchanged to quickly reach endgame territory. Nigel Hobro also snatched a pawn and created pawn structural weaknesses in Neil Tabor`s position for future mining.

Chris Wentworth looked to have steered his game against Josh to gain an advantage in tempo and pawn structure but the latter kept things solid and protected his weaknesses to gain a good draw and a feature in our Game of the Day.

 

Another fine performance saw Natasha establish a commanding position against Steve Philp, as one pawn up became two and then three (but this last one was poisoned by the wicked witch) and tragically Natasha`s knight fell to a pin to save the day for Steve.

 

 

Brian Caulfield lost his bishop to a fork against Ben Ellington but he did have two pawns for it and the potential to get his queenside pawns rolling for counterplay, but not castling didn`t help matters. Ben eventually winning out with a massive 20 seconds left – or one would have thought so by the deliberately casual way he went about delivering checkmate!

 

The mist on Board 1 then cleared and we saw Tom, an exchange down holding on to the cliffs edge by his fingernails, David returning the exchange to send Tom plumetting to defeat. `Who can stop Mr Lawson now?` we all pondered.

 

 

David Odunaiya considered that he had gained an edge against Mike Coffey, and as great minds think alike, also thought he had an edge. What became clear though was that an attempted zwischenzug (I`m going to ask you to spell that next week for homework) – Mike threatening mate before recapturing went horribly wrong as David gleefully did a zwischenzug of his own to emerge a clear piece up for the win.

Steve Carr basically gave up trying to breech Mark`s kingside and had laid plans for a draw by perpetual when suddenly the opportunity to sac a rook for a mating attack unexpectedly arrived and Helms Deep finally fell.

Jeremy and Nigel both saw their positional and material advantages through to win, whilst the games between Brian Ewart v John Lambert and Steve Winstanley v Phil Taylor finished the draws they always seemed destined to be.

Next week is `catch up week`, an opportunity to play the adjourned matches while some players are away playing in the British Seniors. Well good luck to them and see some of you next week.

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