Club Championship – Round 5 – final round

The final round of this years club championship took place Tues 21st. Continuing the trend of largely decisive games seen to date, there were some good battling games and no draws.

Nick had to withdraw prior to the evening which meant Aidan won on default and moved to 3.5/5.

The first game to finish on the night was on board two. Sasha blundered on move 14 and it seemed as though Chris would win his queen. Unfortunately he saw the correct move about five secs after making an inferior one and his opportunity was gone. As this left Chris a piece down, the game finished fairly quickly afterwards - an opportunity missed. Sasha moved to 4/5.

Angelo and James had a good tussle on board 6, with Angelo attacking James' king but at the cost of some material. Having secured his king, James overturned the odds and secured a surprise victory.

A see-saw battle between William and Anthony could have gone either way. Antony missed an opportunity to bring both rooks into play down the f-file. Having missed this, he found himself battling to stop Williams advancing pawns. A decisive discovered check meant one of these pawns then captured a rook and queened and William took the point.

There was a very even battle between Joe and Ian on board 7. It seemed at first that the better coordination of Joe's pieces would be crucial. As usual in chess you have to strike when you have the advantage. Having rearranged his pieces, Ian got the upper hand and gathered the full point.

On board 8 Matt played Michael. Clearly Matt is settling into his new Tiger Chess guided system, and was quickly up a bishop and 2 pawns, Michael making a blunder on move 6. Michael fought back well, actually turning the tables early mid-game with a strong queenside attack. Unfortunately Michael blundered again, losing a knight. To be fair though, Michael's temporary positional advantage was not easy to see or play. From there Matt had used up nearly all his time though. Matt was so low on time, he stopped writing down his moves for the last 8 moves. However, once the queens were off Matt's superior material pressed home for a mate, with just 70 seconds left on his clock. Matt moved to 2/5.

Les held the advantage for most of his game with Ray. Establishing a strong knight outpost on d5 that Ray eventually removed at the cost of a pawn. This pawn advantage looked to be crucial in the endgame. Although Ray conjured up some tactical possibilities by advancing his kingside pawns, but may have missed a drawing chance just before the end. Les' determined play won the day however and he moved on to 3.5/5.

That just left the top board to determine the tournament winner. Despite not facing the opening he expected, Sergey established a big advantage in the opening. He won a pawn on move 20. Instead of pressing on with his advantage however he got distracted by a plan to trap the queen. He devoted a fair few moves (and time) in doing so. Ultimately it was the lack of time that proved crucial. Despite being +5 at one point according to Stockfish, he gave the pawn back on move 25 and then succumbed - both over the board and on time. A definite opportunity missed though; John (somewhat fortuitously) moving onto 4.5/5 to win the tournament.

 

Congratulations to John Davenport - Upminster Chess Club's 2022 Champion.

Some pictures from the night:

Sergey looking happy
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