HI all. Sorry it is late but here is the report for round 5.As usual I will give the games in reverse order.

Board 12

Mike O'Halloran vs Rob Greaves

Most of this game I missed, I hope I can do it justice. Rob played the Dutch and had the makings of a Kingside attack early on. The centre was blocked and Mike had no Queenside play to compensate for the kingside pressure. This meant Mike had to purely defend. Such situations nearly always favour the attacker and so it proved. Rob notched up the point.

Board 11

James Rigby vs John Lawton

Apologies to both players I completely missed the critical point in this game and by the time I saw it James was the exchange and pawn up with a better position to boot. James went on to win.

Board 10

Steve Burge vs Steve Winstanley

In an off beat Kings Gambit Steve B was soon a pawn up. Whether it was a sac or blunder I do not know but the next time I saw the position it looked like Steve W was regaining the pawn. Peace was agreed soon after. My apologies for not doing this game justice.

Board 9

Ben Ellington vs Robert Owens

In an accelerated Dragon Robert made the mistake of moving his e-pawn which left d6 critically weak. Ben attacked the weakness straight away and when the dust settled Ben was a pawn up with the better position. Play reached a technical phase in a rook and bishop vs rook and knight Ben was still a pawn up. After a hard fight from both players Ben was technically winning and notched up the point.

Board 8

Sanjoy Bannerjee vs Peter Mellor

In an Austrian attack vs a Pirc the play looked to be going a long normal lines, The next time I Looked at the position Sanjoy had the makings of an attack in the centre but I did not count the pieces. Apparently Sanjoy had blundered a piece early on and the attack he had was insufficient compensation for the piece. When the attack fizzled out Sanjoy resigned.

Board 7

Mike Clarke vs Alastair Bond

In an offbeat opening by white Alastair made the mistake of developing routinely. This allowed Mike to execute a trap and already had a winning position on move 7 or 8. Alastair had a long think and decided the best form of defence is attack choosing to sacrifice more material to get at Mike's king. Mike could have defended simply and remain a rook up but he chose to take the second piece which resulted in his king being the wrong side of his kingside pawns. In this tactically rich position Alastair's king was also in the middle and in the critical stage of the game Alastair, after having fought back so bravely, blundered and allowed the loss of yet more material with queens off to boot. Alastair resigned.

Board 6

Giorgous Christodoulou vs Peter Jenner.

This game started off as a Caro-Kann with Giorgous playing an off-beat variation. The game in many ways reminded me of Morphy's famous Opera game and Peters king was caught in the centre. Giorgous had to play very accurately to maintain the advantage and to his credit he did. However the game was still very much in the balance due to Time pressure and if Peter had chosen to castle queenside it would have caused Giorgous more trouble. Giorgous finished the game with a neat combination. One of the few games I cannot find an improvement on from whites point of view.

Board 5

Tom Webb vs Sean Kane

This game was essentially decided by two tactical strokes. Not for the first time this week in an off beat opening Sean developed routinely allowing Tom a mini combination winning a pawn and misplacing Sean's king gaining the 2 bishops to boot. Those 2 bishops were later to trap Sean's queens rook leaving Tom an exchange and pawn up. This was too much for Sean and he resigned shortly after.

Board 4

Phil Brine vs Phil Davies

In what I believe was a Ragozin Variation of the Queens gambit declined both sides battled for the centre with pawns. Phil D looked to have equalised once he established a hold on e4. In compensation Phil B gave his opponent an isolated pawn. I did not really understand the position which resulted. The presence of opposite colured bishops heralded the draw as more pieces were exchanged. Phil B was taking no risks and exchanged off queens leaving a fairly barren position. A draw was soon agreed.

Board 3

Gerald Cohen vs Daniel Rowlandson

For good reason Daniel was a no show and poor Gerald proved that lightning strikes twice by not having an opponent again. If Steve Kee does not turn up next week I will be convinced Gerry is jinxed.

Board 2

Steve Kee vs Nick Martin

I did not see much of this game. In a Grunfeld type opening Nick equalised quickly and then outplayed Steve to be a pawn up in the ending. Nick then blundered a knight handing the win to Steve.

Board 1

Mike Coffey vs Roger Williamson

I only really saw the end of this game. Roger was a piece for a couple of pawns up but his king was exposed and he was short of time. The winning plan for Roger looked to be to exchange off as many pieces as possible and win the resulting endgame. This was easier said than done and Mike kept up hurling obstacles in his way. A lesser player like me would blunder with 2 minutes on the clock but Roger was able to reduce the position to rook pawn knight and rook vs rook and 2 pawns. If Mike had managed to win Rogers last pawn he would draw but that was a big if. Roger coordinated his pieces well to secure promotion to a queen. The resulting position Roger a rook and knight vs 2 pawns was simple for Roger to win even with less than a minute on the clock. Mike gave up the ghost.

I apologise once again for the disparity in my report on the games. I try to give everyone an equal amount of attention but sometimes I cannot be accurate over all the games.

I look forward to Monday see you then.

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