Round 3 report

Most games were quite long today. Perhaps people felt they should give it their all in the last game of the year. This was the last round players from the bottom half of the pairings expect to be chopped up by the Accelerated Swiss System. But, if you look at the games on boards 6, 7, 8 and 9, although all four players under 2030 lost, they were by no means routed. Chess really is a very democratic sport.

The draw between the young Uzbek, Jahongir Vakhidov, and Romain Edouard was well worth the price of admission. And yet it is all available free, including Chris Ward’s scintillating commentary.

Keith Arkell and Jun Zhao embarked on an unusual opening. Perhaps 9 Nd5 is inaccurate. But wouldn’t it have been better to play 12 exf5? Later it was as if Keith acquiesced in reaching a lost rook and pawn endgame.

Maxime Lagarde against Mark Hebden was fairly even until he grabbed a pawn with 28…f4. Was that a miscalculation?

After beating a GM it is quite nomal to feel let down the following day. But John Anderson made all the running against the Indian Commonwealth Champion. Perhaps 26 f4, which was answered by f5 resulting in a rigid pawn structure was wrong for white. John must have had winning chances earlier on.

The very young Hungarian, Benjamin Gledura, seemed to have no problem drawing with the British champion with the black pieces.

Bellin – Flear was a draw. Played with little ambition.

Bernard Cafferty was fine against Adam Hunt, but was not 31…Qxd7 an error? 35 Bxh6! Is a publishable combination that will find its way into anthologies.

Richard Bates against Matthew Wadsworth was a game full of ideas. Richard is an IM, so he already receives CHESS.COM free. Thus Matthew is awarded the Round 3 prize of a three month subscription to the online magazine.