Hi there. Its that time of year again and the Atticus Open starts with many new faces. All are welcome. I will be giving a report each week. I will give results in Reverse Board order.

 

Board 10

This saw two newcomers to the tourney. Alastair Bond was far more experienced than his ungraded opponent Mike O'Halloran and Mike blundered a queen fairly early on. There was no coming back from that, although credit to Mike for fighting on.

Board 9

This saw two new faces again, Sean Frost played Daniel Rowlandson. I am afraid to say I only remember the ending for this one. Daniel was a pawn up in a rook ending but it was theoretically drawn once the queen side pawns had been exchanged however Sean had to defend well. Best defense was to sit on the position but Sean looked for activity. This allowed Daniel to attack a weak pawn and to prevent its loss Sean had to exchange rooks and the pawn ending was lost.

Board 8

This saw newcomer Phil Brine vs Steve Winstanley. The first time I had a look at the game it was a queenless opening . Phil was a pawn up but his king was in the centre and Steve had a lead in development. Already the battle lines were set. Could Steve make use of the positive features of his game or could Phil consolidate and make use of his extra pawn. Phil managed to complete his development without any serious counterplay from Steve and Phil went on to win.

Board 7

This saw a blunder by the controller! Mike Coffey should have been Black and John Lawton should have been White. What's more I am struggling to remember the game!

With Mike Coffey playing white he soon picked up a pawn. There was a battle for the center in the course of which Mike won a piece. This was sufficient for victory.

Board 6

This was an all Atticus affair with Nick Martin White against Tom Webb. The game started in unorthodox fashion and the move order allowed Nick to grab a b pawn early. I thought at the time the pawn was lukewarm rather than hot but it caused a big lead in development for Tom. The lead in development was not decisive but it caused problems for Nick who had to make concessions in order to hold on to the pawn. Tom infiltrated Nicks position but Nick defended and Tom made another attempt to Infiltrate which Nick defended with a repetition. Objectively neither side could avoid the repetition because they would have the worse game.

If anyone is interested Alekhine once won from a similar standoff however both sides agreed the draw.

Board 5

This saw Jim Wiseman vs Phil Davies. In an unorthodox French from both sides, Jim offered a pawn to trouble Phil's castling rights. Ironically in turning down the pawn and castling Phil left his own pawn en-prise .  Jim took the pawn and bolstered it. It looked as though Phil had lost his way and Jim infiltrated with tempo. This allowed Phil to get his pawn back at the cost of facing doubled rooks on the file. The rooks picked up a pawn on the seventh and Phil was clearly worse. Phil lost the thread and blundered material instantly resigning. A great scalp for Jim.

Board 4

Saw Giorgous Christodoulo facing James Rigby

In an Open Sicillian,  Giorgous was the first to improvise/innovate. It was not the best move but it seemed to cause James problems. James grabbed a hot pawn and was immediately put under threat of mate or losing a piece. He stubbornly defended and avoided instant loss of piece however it conceded a big initiative to Giorgous. James had to defend stubbornly and I am not sure if he had a valid defense before he allowed Giorgous to win material. After this there was no turning back and Giorgous won.

Board 3

Steve Burge faced Gerald Cohen. The opening was an unorthodox treatment against the Pirc by Steve. The battle lines were clear from fairly early on: Steve would attack on the king side and Gerald would look for queenside play. For me the first mistake of the game came From Steve. Gerald had pawns on b5 and a5 threatening to trouble Steve's bishop on b3 and knight on c3. The 2 candidate moves were a3 or a4. Steve chose a4 but this allowed b4 hitting the knight followed by nc5 hitting the bishop and a pawn. This meant that Steve had to give up his bishop for the knight and suffer weak q-side pawns as well as a weak d pawn. The game was hardly over but it meant that Steve's attack needed to bear fruit. When we looked at it later Steve had good chances to complicate but he chose the wrong way and Gerald had not only a material advantage but an attack on Steves king. Gerald converted and won.

Board 2

Last year's champion Steve Kee was white against Sanjoy Bannerjee

The opening was full of potential tricks settling down into a Rubinstein variation of the Tarrasch. Both sides held their own but Sanjoy was the first to err allowing a destruction of his king side. Steve was clearly better and close to winning but Sanjoy was in no mood to suffer. I would have played on against such a weak opponent (not) but Sanjoy resigned.

Board 1

Lee Walls v Roger Williamson

My biggest disappointment of the night. Lee didn't turn up so Roger won by default. I hope Roger enjoyed the night anyway in spite of the bye .

Summary

There were only two scalps  in what is always a blood-thirsty round. Toms Draw against Nick and Jim Wisemans win against Phil Davies but plenty of other underdogs nearly got a result.

I hope everyone enjoyed the night irrespective of results and I will see you monday

 

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