Round 7 report – Stewart Reuben

Babu Lalith (5) v Yue Wang (5½) was not the most exciting of games, but extremely professional. The young Indian didn’t seem particularly ambitious in his play and the Chinese player could make no progress.

Deep Sengupta (5) v Sundar Shyam (5) – an all-Indian derby. Deep again came into the Commentary Room to discuss his game. 10 N3h2 is an interesting concept. 12 g4 would perhaps have been better. 14 Bxh6 might have been the way to go. It seems odd to sacrifice a piece and immediately offer a draw, but Deep felt Black stood better. To draw in 16 moves in such a lively position seems utterly absurd.

Romain Edouard (4½) v David Haydon (4½) – Chris feels that playing a Isolated Queen’s Pawn game a tempo behind is unwise. White achieved dream positions for his knights and Black’s position became untenable.

Jovica Radovanovic (4) v Yuri Vovk (4) – Yuri was proud of this encounter and has entered it for the Best Game Prize. It escaped Chris’s eye, but I spent some time in the Travelodge late at night discussing it and other matters with the brothers. One interesting story will have to suffice. Their father worked in Israel as part of the Peace-keeping Force of the time. Their mother and 6- month-old Andre joined him. But Yuri refused to go and had forgotten his baby brother when they returned nearly two years later. Yuri was 4 years old(!) and stayed with his grandparents. 14…b5 was very provocative. 15 Ncxb5 Qb6 16 Nxd6 Qxd4 17 Nxe8 Nxe8 and 2 pieces are often better than a rook and 2 pawns. 17 Nb3 followed by Na5 was dubious because, as we all know, a knight on the rim is dim. 21…Nh6 would have given Black a greater advantage than the text 21…Nxf2, but this was more fun. 24 Rh1 led to a poor position for Black. 28…Rxe4 would have been an easy win for Black. Later allowing White to promote with check is unusual. Black couldn’t be prevented promoting later.

Andrey Vovk (4½) v Frank Holzke (4½) – it would have been an imposition to analyse the younger brother’s game as well. Also I hadn’t realised how interesting it was. I think White should have been able to draw quite late into the game. I will leave you to write your own notes.

Simon Williams (4½) v Mark Hebden (4½) – these two met twice the previous evening in the blitz. A fascinating encounter that was only agreed a draw on move 97. Black sacked a pawn as early s move 18. 22 fxg4 felt unusual. 28 h3 instead of Bc4 may have been better. 28…Nxd5 runs into Bc4. 43 Ne5ch looked inviting, but bxa6 would have been better. After that it was a fair draw.

Jack Rudd (3) v Paul Helbig (3) – Jack came in to show us his good, clear game.

Glenn Flear (4) v Alexander Longson (4) – this caught Chris’s eye as a swashbuckling encounter. Unfortunately the wireless board played up and we couldn’t follow the game. 15 Nxf7 was an engrossing sacrifice. The Black king never reached safety. The closing sacrifice was unnecessary – but fun.