Round 3 report – Stewart Reuben

As I didn’t have time to attend the Commentary by Chris Ward at the beginning, I don’t know when the game between Jahongir and Qun ceased to be theory. Black had a great deal of piece play in exchange for a sacrificed pawn. Perhaps 19 Bxa6 could have been considered. Anyway it was a well-fought draw.

After the tactical turmoil commencing move 18, Danny Gormally netted a pawn against the young Ravi Haria. That must have required accurate analysis. There is a pleasing combination at the end of the game on move 51.

Glenn Flear has greater mental fortitude than I possess, playing 12…Rc8 then 16…Ra8 and 20…Rc8. He was at it again with 19…Nd7, 21…Nb6 and 22…Nd7. Perhaps he had it all under control and the Minority Attack White had available wasn’t enough. 23 Bxa6 resulted in a heterogeneous set-up. I am a great fan of the power of bishop and knight against rook and two pawns, but here White had an awesome passed pawn. Why not 30…Ba3; he played it a couple of move later anyway. After that it resulted in a standoff.

I doubt Tom Stonehouse has ever played on a demonstration board before. He took the fight to his experienced GM opponent. 17 Bxb5 was an interesting idea and, had 19…Nxd6 been tried, he would have still been in the game.

Constantin Mueller of Germany was another low rated player, typically thrown up by the Accelerated Pairing System in the third round. He resisted manfully. 55 Rg6 was an ingenious concept by the young Pole, but could Black have continued to sit tight as he had done for so long?

Nicholas Pert put in his first appearance at the congress, having been unwell for the first two rounds. He had it by no means easy against his young English opponent Adam Taylor. In fact 64 moves were not just what the doctor ordered!

So Danny Gormally has taken the sole lead with 3/3 followed by 8 strong players with 2½/3. Our two front-runners for a GM norm, Jonathan Hawkins and Jahongir Vakhidov remain on track being both in the group on 2½/3.