Round 2 report

A few details. We have 10 women competing in the Masters, nearly 10%. There are 28 federations represented.

I hadn’t realised Chris Ward’s commentaries had come onstream until nearly the end of the broadcast. So my remarks lack substance. I came across the Round 1 encounter between Peter Sowray and Ian Snape today. It was a ferociously complex draw that ended up with rook and knight v rook.

This round saw some very lively encounters indeed and several favourites fell by the wayside. But, it was not all good, clean knockabout fun. Miklos Galyas and Sebstian Bogner had an utterly boring draw.

I haven’t met the 15 year old Hungarian 2450 IM, Benjamin Gledura but I presumed he would be a force to be reckoned with. Indeed he triumphed over the third seed Aleksander Mista of Poland.

I felt yesterday’s hero, Patrick Reinwald, resigned somewhat prematurely against Mark Hebden, although he was a pawn down with no compensation. The late Bent Larsen once said that you should never resigned until all the spectators understand why. That still conjures up visions for me of the player going around the auditorium, asking the spectators if they understand why he is about to resign.

There was an all grandmaster clash as early as round 2. Flear-Rodshtein was a solid, well-crafted draw.

Adam Taylor blundered as early as move 5 against his very experienced, now US IM opponent, Vladimir Prosviriakov.

Jun Zhao against Richard Bates was a spirited encounter. The last moves recorded though were an obvious glitch. That needs to be corrected, otherwise it will haunt ChessBase forever.

Alexandr Fier against Adam Hunt culminated in an unusual, but perfectly legitimate repetition.

I was puzzled by Danny Gormally’s handling of the white pieces in a Slav against John Anderson. Black gained a pawn and then continued to make progress. So John’s win was the upset of the day. That would be my nomination for game of  round 2 BEST GAME PRIZE offered by CHESS.COM for: The best game, played by a player who is neither a GM, nor IM each round of a 3-month subscription (worth €17.49) to the digital magazine, ‘The Master’s Bulletin. The overall winner from the 9 rounds will receive a year’s subscription.  At the conclusion of each round, the player, when handing in his scoresheet, will need to mark it as a Best Game Prize entry. But I only saw a handful of the games. Don’t forget to put in your entry for later rounds. I now understand my tendency will be to look for a big upset by a player who is neither a GM, nor IM.

Apparently James Jackson had a golden opportunity against Jonathan Hawkins, but it all drifted away.

I thought I had concluded my report, but my curiosity got the better of me and I looked up the game that 12 year old, Zhen Yu Cyrus Low (Singapore won against Dave Ledger. I remain very confused and the child meets GM Alexandr Fier BRA in  the third round. There are 14 players with 2/2, 4 of them supposed to be due to be chopped down by the Accelerated Pairings. I like the idea that lower rated players can get to meet GMs, chess is all very democratic. But I like it still more if they have earned the right, as applies here.