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Poly2020-II-2

Choppy second round leaves Scott and Jallal in front

Poly2020-II-2 got underway on Thursday 2 Nov:

Top match featured Dairena, fresh from first-round bye, against top-seed Jalal. A classic exchange Gruenfield ensued. Jonathan Rowson says (s)he who breaks the tension in such positions falters, and Dairena blinked first, playing e5, the d/e pawns stifling Jalal’s Kingside fianchetto. But this opens up his other fiancetto line and an overprotective f3 gave away White’s edge. The often-seen Bh6 to swap off white’s (now stifled) King Bishop left White’s Queen out of the game long enough for Black’s Rook to claim the second rank. An unnecessary fleeing Knight left a central pawn unguarded to a Queen check and Black’s position crumbled. 0-1

Next up was the shock of the tournament so far (I haven’t met Jalal yet). Scott and Danny played a routine Queen’s pawn until Danny’s knight sortie (they are so risky) lost its support to a two-move combination on Black’s Queen. A piece down, Danny tried to blitz the Kingside, but counter-measures cost him the exchange, his own King now exposed, and after a brief flurry, he resigned. 1-0

Andy’s idiosyncratic approach to his Queenside pawns against Eric’s hesitant QueenPawn opening let Eric play a reverse Queen’s Gambit Accepted, a protected pawn up with an extra move. A tremendously complex middle game followed with various pins and other tricks appearing and disappearing, but Eric’s stranglehold eventually left Andy’s choice between losing a piece or allowing protected connected passed pawns on 5th and 6th. He chose the former and resignation. 1-0

Delayed:

Craig had White against Michael Matar. Black produced his usual “Dutch (…f5 described immediately as an “inaccuracy” by the engine) against d4, but seemed unsettled by Craig’s e4 (“Staunton”) reply. After a misplaced 4…d5, White’s Queen went waltzing via checks through Black pawns, leaving him a pawn up, with Black unable to Castle (though, Queens off). White also appeared to have the better position, but Black regrouped, pushed his King pawns, and gradually cramped his opponent for space. A Knight retreat on move 23 (when a Knight sortie was called for!) left Black clear  compensation for the Pawn. His rooks pressed down on White’s KIngside while an established Knight held the centre, and a draw was agreed.  .5-.5

Richard again achieved a good position against strong opposition, this time Lewis’ early English edge dissolving as Black locked up the centre. Richard then embarked on a long, counter-intuitive (even to engines…Nd7-b8, …Bb7-c8) rearrangement to allow castling Queen side. Lewis also regrouped patchily, persistently eschewing the breakout f4… until move 21, by which time it seemed too late. Rooks on g8 and h8 bore down through the kingside pawns at Lewis’ frail King position -accompanied by Q and both bishops in good central spots. But it was complicated. Black had to exchange White’s one attacking piece and force exchange of f and g pawns, busting White’s Kingside wide open… but he opted to advance …g4. Immediately allowing Lewis to lock up the Kingside, and now his central break was crucial. Pressure down the e file won a piece, and Richard was lost. 1-0

Alistair and Brian fought out a ding-dong battle. No suggestion of this as Brian’s Sicilian looked Berlinesque as he allowed a Queen exchange on d8, but retook with his knight -which came back to c6 to be exchanged, leaving awful isolated c pawns which appeared likely to settle a long match. Pressure grew from central doubled rooks as he was presumably oblivious to witty engine suggestions  -including castling behind the broken Q-side, or retreating his King Knight to h8. But a thinly veiled attack as he sacrificed one of the doubled pawns won him White’s important e-pawn, and perhaps aftershock induced Alistair not to retreat his attacked f3Knight but protect it with Kg2. The self-inflicted pin could have cost him the game, but Black did not find the quickest route to take advantage (Nh8!!). Indeed he soon swapped Bishop for frozen knight and White was back ahead. However, he declined chance of an aggressive King position, swapped his doubled rooks and we were left with a totally even position – though with N+6ps v B+6ps anything could happen. Small advantages came and went until Brian, with <3 minutes on clock, exchanged N for B, not realising this led to a distant outside passed pawn that his King could not defend against. 1-0

Last game was between Robert Gibb and myself. Despite realising that opening preparation ruins my game (I get anxious when I get past the prep) I had worked on Robert’s consistent set-up with White… which he abandoned on move 2! A mundane semi-Tarrasch ensued where my inaccuracy allowed major pressure on Black’s obligatory isolated d-pawn. Deciding further protective measures would tie me in knots, I went for the “smooth” castling, hoping for counterplay. Both this and Robert’s refusal to take the pawn later proved top choices for Stockfish. Further Queenside pressure ensued, but I felt I had wangled out of this towards equality (and had clock advantage!) by the time both of us decided our best move was blocked by opp’s best move, and a repetition-draw resulted. .5-.5


Results:

D Gaffney            0-1          J Shaheen

S Blackwell          1-0          D Breslin

R Gibb                 .5-.5         J Larkin

C Fay                    .5-.5        M Matar

L Brookens          1-0         R Hall

E Martin               1-0          A Heron

A McIntyre           1-0          B Fitzpatrick

A Marshall   Bye


Table:

2        Shahin        Blackwell

1.5     Brookens   Gibb              Larkin        Fay

1         Breslin        Martin          McIntyre    Gaffney                  Matar          Marshall

0         Fitzpatrick  Heron           Hall

© 2018-22 Glasgow Polytechnic Chess Club

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Poly2020-II-2

Choppy second round leaves Scott and Jallal in front

Poly2020-II-2 got underway on Thursday 2 Nov:

Top match featured Dairena, fresh from first-round bye, against top-seed Jalal. A classic exchange Gruenfield ensued. Jonathan Rowson says (s)he who breaks the tension in such positions falters, and Dairena blinked first, playing e5, the d/e pawns stifling Jalal’s Kingside fianchetto. But this opens up his other fiancetto line and an overprotective f3 gave away White’s edge. The often-seen Bh6 to swap off white’s (now stifled) King Bishop left White’s Queen out of the game long enough for Black’s Rook to claim the second rank. An unnecessary fleeing Knight left a central pawn unguarded to a Queen check and Black’s position crumbled. 0-1

Next up was the shock of the tournament so far (I haven’t met Jalal yet). Scott and Danny played a routine Queen’s pawn until Danny’s knight sortie (they are so risky) lost its support to a two-move combination on Black’s Queen. A piece down, Danny tried to blitz the Kingside, but counter-measures cost him the exchange, his own King now exposed, and after a brief flurry, he resigned. 1-0

Andy’s idiosyncratic approach to his Queenside pawns against Eric’s hesitant QueenPawn opening let Eric play a reverse Queen’s Gambit Accepted, a protected pawn up with an extra move. A tremendously complex middle game followed with various pins and other tricks appearing and disappearing, but Eric’s stranglehold eventually left Andy’s choice between losing a piece or allowing protected connected passed pawns on 5th and 6th. He chose the former and resignation. 1-0

Delayed:

Craig had White against Michael Matar. Black produced his usual “Dutch (…f5 described immediately as an “inaccuracy” by the engine) against d4, but seemed unsettled by Craig’s e4 (“Staunton”) reply. After a misplaced 4…d5, White’s Queen went waltzing via checks through Black pawns, leaving him a pawn up, with Black unable to Castle (though, Queens off). White also appeared to have the better position, but Black regrouped, pushed his King pawns, and gradually cramped his opponent for space. A Knight retreat on move 23 (when a Knight sortie was called for!) left Black clear  compensation for the Pawn. His rooks pressed down on White’s KIngside while an established Knight held the centre, and a draw was agreed.  .5-.5

Richard again achieved a good position against strong opposition, this time Lewis’ early English edge dissolving as Black locked up the centre. Richard then embarked on a long, counter-intuitive (even to engines…Nd7-b8, …Bb7-c8) rearrangement to allow castling Queen side. Lewis also regrouped patchily, persistently eschewing the breakout f4… until move 21, by which time it seemed too late. Rooks on g8 and h8 bore down through the kingside pawns at Lewis’ frail King position -accompanied by Q and both bishops in good central spots. But it was complicated. Black had to exchange White’s one attacking piece and force exchange of f and g pawns, busting White’s Kingside wide open… but he opted to advance …g4. Immediately allowing Lewis to lock up the Kingside, and now his central break was crucial. Pressure down the e file won a piece, and Richard was lost. 1-0

Alistair and Brian fought out a ding-dong battle. No suggestion of this as Brian’s Sicilian looked Berlinesque as he allowed a Queen exchange on d8, but retook with his knight -which came back to c6 to be exchanged, leaving awful isolated c pawns which appeared likely to settle a long match. Pressure grew from central doubled rooks as he was presumably oblivious to witty engine suggestions  -including castling behind the broken Q-side, or retreating his King Knight to h8. But a thinly veiled attack as he sacrificed one of the doubled pawns won him White’s important e-pawn, and perhaps aftershock induced Alistair not to retreat his attacked f3Knight but protect it with Kg2. The self-inflicted pin could have cost him the game, but Black did not find the quickest route to take advantage (Nh8!!). Indeed he soon swapped Bishop for frozen knight and White was back ahead. However, he declined chance of an aggressive King position, swapped his doubled rooks and we were left with a totally even position – though with N+6ps v B+6ps anything could happen. Small advantages came and went until Brian, with <3 minutes on clock, exchanged N for B, not realising this led to a distant outside passed pawn that his King could not defend against. 1-0

Last game was between Robert Gibb and myself. Despite realising that opening preparation ruins my game (I get anxious when I get past the prep) I had worked on Robert’s consistent set-up with White… which he abandoned on move 2! A mundane semi-Tarrasch ensued where my inaccuracy allowed major pressure on Black’s obligatory isolated d-pawn. Deciding further protective measures would tie me in knots, I went for the “smooth” castling, hoping for counterplay. Both this and Robert’s refusal to take the pawn later proved top choices for Stockfish. Further Queenside pressure ensued, but I felt I had wangled out of this towards equality (and had clock advantage!) by the time both of us decided our best move was blocked by opp’s best move, and a repetition-draw resulted. .5-.5


Results:

D Gaffney            0-1          J Shaheen

S Blackwell          1-0          D Breslin

R Gibb                 .5-.5         J Larkin

C Fay                    .5-.5        M Matar

L Brookens          1-0         R Hall

E Martin               1-0          A Heron

A McIntyre           1-0          B Fitzpatrick

A Marshall   Bye


Table:

2        Shahin        Blackwell

1.5     Brookens   Gibb              Larkin        Fay

1         Breslin        Martin          McIntyre    Gaffney                  Matar          Marshall

0         Fitzpatrick  Heron           Hall

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Poly2020-II-2

Choppy second round leaves Scott and Jallal in front

Poly2020-II-2 got underway on Thursday 2 Nov:

Top match featured Dairena, fresh from first-round bye, against top-seed Jalal. A classic exchange Gruenfield ensued. Jonathan Rowson says (s)he who breaks the tension in such positions falters, and Dairena blinked first, playing e5, the d/e pawns stifling Jalal’s Kingside fianchetto. But this opens up his other fiancetto line and an overprotective f3 gave away White’s edge. The often-seen Bh6 to swap off white’s (now stifled) King Bishop left White’s Queen out of the game long enough for Black’s Rook to claim the second rank. An unnecessary fleeing Knight left a central pawn unguarded to a Queen check and Black’s position crumbled. 0-1

Next up was the shock of the tournament so far (I haven’t met Jalal yet). Scott and Danny played a routine Queen’s pawn until Danny’s knight sortie (they are so risky) lost its support to a two-move combination on Black’s Queen. A piece down, Danny tried to blitz the Kingside, but counter-measures cost him the exchange, his own King now exposed, and after a brief flurry, he resigned. 1-0

Andy’s idiosyncratic approach to his Queenside pawns against Eric’s hesitant QueenPawn opening let Eric play a reverse Queen’s Gambit Accepted, a protected pawn up with an extra move. A tremendously complex middle game followed with various pins and other tricks appearing and disappearing, but Eric’s stranglehold eventually left Andy’s choice between losing a piece or allowing protected connected passed pawns on 5th and 6th. He chose the former and resignation. 1-0

Delayed:

Craig had White against Michael Matar. Black produced his usual “Dutch (…f5 described immediately as an “inaccuracy” by the engine) against d4, but seemed unsettled by Craig’s e4 (“Staunton”) reply. After a misplaced 4…d5, White’s Queen went waltzing via checks through Black pawns, leaving him a pawn up, with Black unable to Castle (though, Queens off). White also appeared to have the better position, but Black regrouped, pushed his King pawns, and gradually cramped his opponent for space. A Knight retreat on move 23 (when a Knight sortie was called for!) left Black clear  compensation for the Pawn. His rooks pressed down on White’s KIngside while an established Knight held the centre, and a draw was agreed.  .5-.5

Richard again achieved a good position against strong opposition, this time Lewis’ early English edge dissolving as Black locked up the centre. Richard then embarked on a long, counter-intuitive (even to engines…Nd7-b8, …Bb7-c8) rearrangement to allow castling Queen side. Lewis also regrouped patchily, persistently eschewing the breakout f4… until move 21, by which time it seemed too late. Rooks on g8 and h8 bore down through the kingside pawns at Lewis’ frail King position -accompanied by Q and both bishops in good central spots. But it was complicated. Black had to exchange White’s one attacking piece and force exchange of f and g pawns, busting White’s Kingside wide open… but he opted to advance …g4. Immediately allowing Lewis to lock up the Kingside, and now his central break was crucial. Pressure down the e file won a piece, and Richard was lost. 1-0

Alistair and Brian fought out a ding-dong battle. No suggestion of this as Brian’s Sicilian looked Berlinesque as he allowed a Queen exchange on d8, but retook with his knight -which came back to c6 to be exchanged, leaving awful isolated c pawns which appeared likely to settle a long match. Pressure grew from central doubled rooks as he was presumably oblivious to witty engine suggestions  -including castling behind the broken Q-side, or retreating his King Knight to h8. But a thinly veiled attack as he sacrificed one of the doubled pawns won him White’s important e-pawn, and perhaps aftershock induced Alistair not to retreat his attacked f3Knight but protect it with Kg2. The self-inflicted pin could have cost him the game, but Black did not find the quickest route to take advantage (Nh8!!). Indeed he soon swapped Bishop for frozen knight and White was back ahead. However, he declined chance of an aggressive King position, swapped his doubled rooks and we were left with a totally even position – though with N+6ps v B+6ps anything could happen. Small advantages came and went until Brian, with <3 minutes on clock, exchanged N for B, not realising this led to a distant outside passed pawn that his King could not defend against. 1-0

Last game was between Robert Gibb and myself. Despite realising that opening preparation ruins my game (I get anxious when I get past the prep) I had worked on Robert’s consistent set-up with White… which he abandoned on move 2! A mundane semi-Tarrasch ensued where my inaccuracy allowed major pressure on Black’s obligatory isolated d-pawn. Deciding further protective measures would tie me in knots, I went for the “smooth” castling, hoping for counterplay. Both this and Robert’s refusal to take the pawn later proved top choices for Stockfish. Further Queenside pressure ensued, but I felt I had wangled out of this towards equality (and had clock advantage!) by the time both of us decided our best move was blocked by opp’s best move, and a repetition-draw resulted. .5-.5


Results:

D Gaffney            0-1          J Shaheen

S Blackwell          1-0          D Breslin

R Gibb                 .5-.5         J Larkin

C Fay                    .5-.5        M Matar

L Brookens          1-0         R Hall

E Martin               1-0          A Heron

A McIntyre           1-0          B Fitzpatrick

A Marshall   Bye


Table:

2        Shahin        Blackwell

1.5     Brookens   Gibb              Larkin        Fay

1         Breslin        Martin          McIntyre    Gaffney                  Matar          Marshall

0         Fitzpatrick  Heron           Hall

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