Atticus Open report round 1

Hi all

A pleasant start to the Atticus Open.

I will give my report in  board order.

Board 1 saw Roger Williamson facing John Lambert.

I didnt see all of this game so forgive me if I dont do it justice. It seemed to me that Roger very quickly got a big positional advantage which he converted to a material advantage. John had some counterplay but never had enough compensation and Roger netted the full point.

Board 2 saw Michael Williams facing John Redmond.

Forgive me if I dont give Johns position a favourable assessment but it seems to me Michael had a positional edge from early days with John having a compromised pawn structure and an exposed king. Though never winning I would have taken Michaels side every time. In a fairly closed positon a log jam occurred on the king side with neither side managing a killer blow. Both players got to under 5 minutes and here the difference in experience showed with Michael making small mistakes and ending up blundering material. John had less than 3 minutes when Michael resigned. This was close to being the biggest upset of the night.

Board 3 saw Domenic Foord play NIck Hawkins.

In a catalan vs Bogo-indian opening Domenic managed a small but pleasant and stable plus. With Nicks position by no means losing ,but with little counterplay ,NIck had an unpleasant task. After some pressure Dominic won material and the end was near for Nick.

In the post mortem it was clear how in control Dominic was and i was impressed with his understanding of the position. He looks to be a  tough opponent .

Board 4 saw Jim Wiseman playing Steve Kee.

Jim played the open against Steves sicilian but unlike his style chose a fairly quiet set up. With Jim needing a plan Steve slowly took advantage of the time he was given to build up a lot of pressure on Jims Queenside. JIm then lashed out with the b pawn leaving structural weaknesses which Steve converted to material gains. The endgame that resulted was won for Steve iin spite of the opposite coloured Bishops.

Board 5

Tom Bimpson Versus Steve Philp.

In Toms Standard opening Tom had structural advantages to make up for Steves two bishops. Both sides headed for an endgame where initially I would rather be black. Unfortunately for Steve he didnt play actively enough and found himself on the back foot.

Tom won a little material but still had a difficult technical task ahead of him had steve elected to suffer in a minor piece ending. However in avoiding such an ending Steve blundered a full piece and soon resigned.

Board 6

Sanjoy Banerjee vs David Odunaiya

This was my favourite of the day with Sanjoy allowing a main line dragon a tempo down.

With this resulting in a structural advantage I expected david to exchange queens and grind out his small but persistent advantage. However David kept the queens on and soon showed how porspectless a defence Sanjoy had ahead of him.

A neat combination finished Sanjoy off.

Board 7

Ian Campbell vs Ronald Ledgard

In a quiet opening it looked for a long time that Ronald was ok. Perhaps lacking a plan Ronald fell for a small tactic from Ian losing an exchange. Ian then showed good technique opening up a file and dominatiing the position . Ronald resigned rather than face any more torture.

Board 8

Steve Winstanley vs Mike Coffey

This was a wild affair . Both sides played a theoretical side of an italian game and Steve had a big initiiative. However Mikes pawns and centralised pieces were enough compensation for Steves initiative and when the smoke settled Mike was a pawn up with a positional advantage to boot. Mike was able to convert.

Board 9

Natasha May vs Ben Ellington

This was the closest game of the night. Ben playing a benko style pawn sacrifice which Natasha declined. Play became orrientated round the open b file with the heavy material coming off. When the endgame was reached a very drawish opposite coloured Bishop postion was reached. Natasha had a big advantage in time but unobjectively turned down the draw. Natasha dropped a pawn and Bens position played itself with Ben having a massive 30 seconds left it was Natasha who lost on time.

So there were no upsets tonight  with the higher graded player winning in each game but most of the games were close fought in  good nature. I hope everyone continues to enjoy the tournament when it returns in a fortnight.

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