Round 5 report – Stewart Reuben

This was not the finest hour of the Bangladeshi GM. Could it possibly have been New Year’s Day Blues?

I thought at first Danny simply wanted a nice quiet draw today in order to recharge his batteries. But then he played on until move 120 against the German Joerg Wegerle.

Igor Khenkin gained a plus against the US IM Justin Sarkar. But the younger man fought on valiantly. 26…Rb8 was a fine move. Black’s assessment that the position was drawn after 34…Rc2 was excellent. After 41 h5, the rook and pawn endgame position could blow your mind. Why White played on after move 47 is beyond me. It was a totally drawn king and pawn endgame.

Why did Cristina give up a knight for two pawns on move 17 unnecessarily? Why did she then acquiesce in exchanging the major pieces? Why did she play on for so many moves?

Cristina’s husband Ovidiu also went badly wrong, this time with the black pieces. But Jacek Tomczak took advantage of the position clinically.

At least Veronica Foisor managed a draw. I was surprised at the decision by Johannes Kvisla of Norway to give up 2 knights for a rook and pawn on move 25. But, somehow or other he managed to scramble a draw 40 moves later. Certainly the female Romanians got their money’s worth so far this year in terms of number of moves.

The game between Mark Hebden and Daniel Fernandez was a spirited, enterprising one.

Nicholas Pert has clawed himself back into contention after his two half point byes in Round 1 and 2. Jens Kipper may have been as mystified as I was by White’s moves starting with 14 Nfd4. 31 Rxd6! But did Black have to allow this? It took me a few moments to work out why the German player had resigned. I would prefer players to play on until later in the game.

The Jonathan Hawkins – Peter Sowray encounter was a sparkling affair. It ended in a worthy draw.

One thinks of Simon Knott as a solid player. This time he got himself an ‘Irish Centre’ against Glenn Flear. That is triple pawns on the e file. This was another draw which can hardly be described as dull.

Marcus Harvey took his pawns and his points into his hands when he marched his king up the board against Keith Arkell on move 35. The game demonstrated the strength of a queen plus knight.

I am convinced Jahongir Vakhidov enjoys getting into time trouble and feels somewhat thwarted by the 30 second increment. Again he turned up 10 minutes late. He played more than half the game on the increment plus about one minute. This left the audience in the Commentary Room baying for more. But surely he would have done better with a more measured approach?