Round 4 report

Possibly under the influence of their New Year’s Celebrations, the games were shorter today, but still hard-fought.

On board 1 the game Zhao – Lagarde was highly complex. Black went badly wrong. At one stage he had a complex fantasy variation which Chris Ward explained, but I didn’t understand. Why, oh why do people phone me at critical moments?

Oh dear, I didn’t at all understand 5… Qe7 by Maxim Rodshtein, the highest rated player in the Hastings Masters. Surely 15…e4 was a serious error, deserving punishment? The older Hungarian, Galyas, then played what may be the game of the tournament – at least so far.

Adam Hunt probably went wrong with 19…Qc8. I am unclear why he couldn’t play 31…Kh6. The young Frenchman then mopped things up efficiently.

My understanding of endgames is inadequate to comprehend the Fier Vakhidov game.

Gledura – Bogner was a fairly passive draw.

Sengupta – Soray was and interesting opening where both the Commonwealth Champion and the experienced Londoner possibly flouted the basic principles. To compensate, they also ignored endgame rules. Surely 41…d1=Q would have drawn, in albeit, a dry position.

John Anderson continues to be a force. Did he go wrong on move 28 against the British Champion? Perhaps 31 Rxe5 would have been easier to play. Then it went pear-shaped and Jonathan won.

When I first introduced these types of tournaments, I would have avoided the pairing Glenn v Christine Flear. Husband and wife seldom like to play properly against each other. Similarly Nicholas and Richard Pert had a one move draw in the 2014 British Championship (twins never want to play each other). Would it have so distorted the pairings to separate the couple? FIDE commission members disagree with me and such adjustments haven’t been allowed for many years. They aren’t wrong, Swiss Pairings are a perfect example of Chaos Theory. Change one pairing and the whole tournament will be affected. But are chessplayers really like butterflies in the Amazon jungle?

I am not receiving input regarding entries for the CHESS.COM Best Game Prize each round for a player who is neither a GM nor IM. Tereza Olsareva with the black pieces won a long Ruy Lopez Closed Variation game against Tsogbayar Batardene.  The patience required in such positions is considerable, so the prize goes to her.