Round 7 report

The game between Mark Hebden and the tournament leader Zhao Jun was a spirited one, but ended in a fair enough draw. Thus the Chinese player remains a point ahead of the field.

Maxim Rhodshtein against Keith Arkell. I would have thought 21 Qxc5 would have been the easier way to play, keeping pressure on the weak e6 pawn. 26 Na4 looks like an error to me. A complex rook and pawn endgame resulted and the European 50+ Champion won against the top seed.

Edouard against the very young Hungarian, Gledura was an extraordinary battle of the weak pawns. But eventually white’s pawn on c7 proved decisive.

Sengupta v Fier. You don’t often see Ra2 as early as move 10. The move moved away and then returned to a2. It became entombed and Black had few problems securing the win.

Mista and Kjartansson played on for a long time, before eventually agreeing what looked like an inevitable draw.

Possibly Adam Hunt should have done better against the Swiss U21 GM Sebastian Bogner. But it was a fair draw.

I’ll issue a platitude. ‘All good things come to an end.’ Thus it was for Tereza Olsarova, with the black pieces, against another GM, Maxime Lagarde. Did Maxime really have to go to such lengths to secure the win? Anyway, another excellent game.

The U21 Uzbek GM hasn’t often featured in these commentaries. Joachim Wallner seemed OK with the black pieces. He was a pawn up, but then had a rush of blood tp his head and played 26…Qxg2+.

It is interesting to look at some of the TPR. Zhao Jun is showing 2910, having dropped back to a draw in this round. The 15 year old Hungarian IM, Benjamin Gledura, is still on a Tournament Performance rating of 2562. Tereza Olsarova is on 2434. It is not too late for the youngster to get a GM norm, his has to be a 2600+ performance. Tereza, despite her loss today, still has a TPR of 2434. Is she continues at that rate, she should get a WGM norm, or even an IM norm.

I received two nominations for the CHESS.COM Best Game Prize of the round for a player who is neither a GM, nor IM. Nino Maisuradze demostrated that two bishops, when they combine together, can be a very powerful force. She won with black against Tsogbayar Baterdene.

I am not sure how sound Francis Rayner’s combination starting 15 Nd5 was. It certainly proved effective. 31 Rf5 is certainly publishable, even if fairly obvious. The chess press is always hungry for positions, so that this is one of the better ways of getting publicity.

Thus Francis Rayner wins the Round 7 CHESS.COM prize.