The Board 6 pairing should look a little strange to you. Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson was due to play black on that board, but is unwell. Bernard Cafferty’s opponent also couldn’t play so he was promoted to board 6. The stomach bug has been sweeping Hastings, but Daniele Vocaturo has, instead, a throat infection. I seem to be over the worst of my cold, contracted long before coming to Hastings. Anyway, it is pleasing that there is at least one English player on each of the top 7 boards.
Glenn Flear was short of time when he played 28 Bd3-e2 29 Bd3 30 Ke2 31 Be4 on consecutive moves instead of 28 Ke2 29 Be4. But the two moves wasted were perhaps not critical and a draw was agreed.
Keith Arkell v Kaido Kulaots was a good game. Keith had a little something in a weak d6 pawn he could gnaw at. But the Estonian jettisoned the pawn in exchange for dynamic piece play. 24…Rb8 was a fun trap, but it was hardly likely to be successful.
Sarunas Sulskis against Jonathan Hawkins was an engrossing encounter. In this case the bishop outranked black’s 4 extra pawns as the minor piece was so active. Did the Lithuanian really assess the material balance that way when he started the sequence on move 14? It looked all very hairy.
Now continuing my notes in 2013 – HAPPY NEW YEAR
The Gudmundur Kajartasson v Nicholas Pert game was satisfyingly mysterious. Nick paid scant attention to the principles of rapid development in the opening. The young Icelandic player sacced the exchange for a big centre, but then seemed reluctant to push his passed pawns. They gave very good value for money, only having a draw when the only pieces left on the board were the two kings.
Daniele Vocatura is in poor health but didn’t want to take a half point bye. He played very provocatively in the opening against his much lower rated opponent. Jason provided stout opposition and the game was full of interesting points.
The king and pawn endgame between Rufus Duff and Bernard Cafferty must have been drawn until quite late in the game. Perhaps the youngster wore down the much older local resident.
Dave Ledger took the fight to his GM opponent, Daniel Alsina Leal. Had it been the GM who had given up rook for bishop and pawn, would I have preferred black’s position? Eventually black’s position drifted downhill and he lost.
Thus four players have 3½/4, only one of them English – and he goes to school in France.