Report for round 2 of the Atticus Open

An event filled round

I will give my account in reverse board order,

Board 9

Ronald Ledgard vs Tom Webb

A relatively peaceful game saw Ronald with a passed d-pawn going into the ending. However Ronald had his structure damaged and could not avoid the blockade of the now weak d pawn. Tom could have exchanged into a pawn ending, where he would have a winning queenside majority. Not certain of the pawn ending Tom went to mopp up Ronald weak kingside  pawns. A good practical decision and Ronald soon resigned.

Board 8

Nigel Holbros opponent did not turn up. My apologies to him and I hope this will not happen again. Nigel did not want the full point so I gave him a half and defaulted his opponent.

Board 7

Mark Wadsworth vs MIke Coffey

This was probably the game of the week and was certainly the biggest upset.

Mark had slightly the better opening with greater control of the centre. When Mike retreated his knight to e8 Mark correctly decided to open up the centre. This led to material gain and an attack for Mark which he pursued for more material gain and eventual mate.

Board 6

Colin Horton vs Steve Philp

The first I saw of the game Steve was already in trouble. Colin was a pawn up and  steves king was badly exposed.Steve battled on but his opponent was not going to let the advantage slip and though the game lasted several more  moves the result was never really in doubt.

Board 5

Tom Bimpson vs Sanjoy Banerjee

This had the makings of an upset from the opening with Sanjoy having at least equality and I think more. Sanjoy had to play the position actively however and he allowed Tom an advanced pawn on a6. Although not in itself terminal this gave Tom a clear plan and I am not sure whther Sanjoy couold prevent it. The next I saw Sanjoy was in a bind and with the a6 pawn now passed and protected there was  only going to be 1 result. A tough game but a win for Tom.

Board 4

This saw Brian Ewart vs Sean Kane

In a benko gambit Brian played originally. No doubt he had prepared this at home. However there is probably a good reson why Brians system is not book. When i next saw it Brian had castled queen side with the queens off and backward development on the KIngside. To my mind Sean was clearly better if not winning. However they both got into time trouble and after what must have been a scramble they agreed a draw. A great result for Sean except he must continue to play tough opponents after the draw for the next round!


Board 3

Saw Ali Amin play Ben Ellington.

In an accepted Morra Gambit Ben did not feel comfortable. Even though at one point Ben was winning if he had played correctly it looked to me that the game was mainly one way traffic in Alis favour. Ben got his pieces in a tangle on the queen side and after a forced weakening of Bens kingside there was  only going to be one result from then. Ali duly won.

Board 2

This saw JIm Wiseman vs Phil Davies.

JIm played a mainline Tarrasch versus Phils French and Phil was the first to deviate. Phil managed to engineer the exchange of his bad bishop but at a cost. His knights were out of the game. Phil returned the favour so to speak after JIm had engineered the exchange of his bad bishop. The game was evenly balanced although Phils Knights were passive his rooks were well coordinated and threatening. Jim uncharacteristically did not pursue his kingsode attack with the required vigour and instead chose to try and exchange rooks. This turned out to be a blunder dropping a pieceand Jim resigned immediately.

Board 1

This saw Steve Kee vs John Lambert.

After an opening that I did not understand it looked to me that John had at least equalised. At one point John missed a win and the game had reached equality when I was called over. John was down to seconds and I was requested to make a ruling on the game. Not having the experience of an arbiter I felt on the spot. There was never any doubt that the position was a draw and I made the decision that it was a draw pending a competent arbiters decision.

The rules are now clearer to me. To claim the win 2 things must be demonstrated. The first is that the player claiming the win must demonstrate that he is trying to win the game irrespective of the quality of their moves. The second is that the final position is not a totally drawn position in that it is not possible for the defender to lose irrespective of the quality of either players. So to put it simply Steve could demanstrate both requirements and wins the game. Thankyou to John for accepting the decision and I hope it does not happen again!

I will keep you posted regarding the next round. This will be the first time in my life that I want england to lose!

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