(1) Prizes:

Best fight – Smthdeedog778 v dmh6:
Best game – Zigger88
Brilliancy prize – jonmill
On the naughty step - Winwick & Swanonch

(2) Games:

All games can be found with light annotations by Aidan on the Lichess study:

(3) Round report by Aidan:

Well boo and hiss! We’d made it all the way to round 5 with all games being played, but all good things come to an end, and Winwick & Swanonch failed to play their game. Furthermore, neither emailed us about it. In all rights it should be a 0-0 default, but as this is a nice and friendly tournament and the first such incident, we’ll give half a point each, and express our severe disapprobation (and yes, I have been looking for an opportunity to use that word). In addition we award a special ‘on the naughty step’ award!

Best fight goes to Smthdeedog778 v dmh6 – not a game for technical purists, but both sides played aggressively and the twists and turns last to the end.

jonmill gets this week’s brilliancy prize. Admittedly 24.Rxd8 is not the hardest tactic in the world to find, but it is suitably crunching and wins the game on the spot.

Best game prize goes to Zigger88 – his opponent had a bit of an off day failing to engage in the centre and allowing White to develop smoothly. Even so, White is winning by move 8, without Black having made an especially bad blunder, White simply plays good moves, and guess what good moves are what win games! I’d strongly recommend less experienced players look over the opening to see how to punish passive play, and also how to close out a game when you’re a piece up.

Onto the games!

  • szveltz v Alienmove22:

A Queen’s Gambit Chigorin variation. White gains a great pawn centre, a two to one pawn in the centre pawn majority, and more space. However, a slightly artificial plan of play Be2 to Bd2, and Qe2 allows Black to use a nice tactical resource to equalise. White then pulls ahead using a nice Queen manoeuvre to have pressure across all areas of the board, with Black still cramped. White misses a couple of tactical changes to win the game, and the game moves to a difficult position to evaluation in which White presses down the Queenside where White has two pawns vs one, Black should be fine, but White makes good progress and 42.c6! would have yielded a big advantage, however instead Black regroups successfully and the innocuous looking 43…Qc7! forces a win of a pawn or checkmate, and White misses the checkmate.

  • verybadchess v BehindBluEyes:

A fianchetto Modern Benoni. These are horrifically complicated and give me headaches. Black opts for the dangerous 9…Re8, and avoids …a6, which is often helpful for White. Both sides play subtle Queen moves, although probably only Black’s is any good. It looks as if Black might have prospered with the cunning …b6, planning a Queenside initiative with …Nb4 and …Ba6, but instead forced through the …b5 break with 13…Nc7 and 14…b5. The problem of this is that it allows 17.Nc4, which is a thematic and powerful move. Black decides to go on the attack rather than on the defence, and it should have worked as both sides fail to spot a fantastic tactical resource in Black’s position (20…Bxf2 21.Kh1 Bh3!!) and instead 20…Rxf2 allows White a checkmating attack.

  • forknskewer64 v Riff-Art:

An illustrative e3 KID. White’s 7.dxc5 and 8.Qxd8 don’t look like horrible moves, but they result in a position where Black’s pieces (especially the Bishops and Rooks) are far better placed than White’s. The result is White getting tangled up, and not being able to complete development, and this results in Black being able to pick up a pawn. White defends well, and gets good King activity, but a pawn is a pawn and Black is able to escort it down the board until it decides the game.

  • Jamie_K v snowDeath:

An f3 Nimzo-Indian. Black hits back in the centre with …d5, and White gains the bishop pair in return for a messy pawn structure. Both sides seems well extremely well prepared following down routes played before. I really like the move 16.Ra2, a surprising an elegant resource that enables White to surprisingly take control of the e-file. This idea turns out to be completely fatal as Black tries to combat the e-file pressure with 18…Kf8, when White has 19.Ne6+ forcing resignation due to critical loss of material.

  • Calcina v harrison4:

A Smith-Morra Gambit. At the highest level it felt that White doesn’t get quite enough for the pawn, but at club level we often have a situation where one mistake by Black and White can win, and one mistake by White and Black’s only a pawn up. Black plays a good system, but with 9…Na5 makes a small mistake putting the Knight offside, and on a vulnerable square. Both sides complete development and a mistake by Black allows White to play b4 attacking the a5 knight, and forcing the win of a piece. Once the tactics have played out Black resigns.

  • Ped123 v Sundower:

White plays Bf4 vs the Dutch, Black plays with …b6, and follows up with a …Bb4 and …Bxc3. The resulting position is roughly equal, but after a little manoeuvring White is slightly better, and Black then sacrifices a pawn, which does not work at all. White’s bishop on g3 blunts both the half-open f and h-files, and with little realistic chance of an attack, Black’s King position is just horribly weakened with no upside. White presses in the centre, and this results in a big protected passed pawn on d5, and doubled weak Black pawns to target. One drops and then White sets the d-pawn in motion. Black throws everything at the White King, but to no avail and gets checkmated.

  • Aytacoglu v Leilapeymani:

A Queen’s Gambit Declined in which both sides play well, but Black shows a bit more energy. A nice trap bags Black the exchange and a pawn. It should have been enough, if very nearly was enough, but at the last moment Black tricks White into a perpetual check.

  • Kobra666 v Irenge:

A symmetrical English, leading to a sort of reverse Maroczy Bind position. White seems just to get nice position, especially after Black plays 7…Nxc3 allowing White 8.bxc3 strengthening the centre and opening the b-file. An attempt to start Kingside aggression by Black with …f5 backfires and White manages to invade on f7 with a Knight, faced with difficult defensive choices Black can’t find the best and suddenly White’s Queen is in on the action, and a nice smothered checkmate finishes the game.

  • robbo1985 v onlinek:

An odd Colle, Black plays an interesting move with an early …c4 push, but doesn’t follow it up with the critical idea of 8…e5 opening up the position while Black is still a bit cramped. White plays e4 & e5, and it feels like a good French for White. Confusingly White immediately blunders the White Queen and resigns.

  • Zigger88 v Cinek56:

Black plays an odd Caro-Kann system with 3…e5 and 4…Bd7. This is too passive, and White develops naturally and sensibly. By move 7.e5 White is positionally winning, Black’s best move is to retreat the f6 Knight to g8, but rather than defend a cramped position Black plays more ambitiously with 7…Bxc3, but this backfires due to the 8.exf6 and White either shatters Black’s Kingside horribly, or wins a piece. Black opts for the piece and White then swaps everything off and wins the endgame.

  • Steerpike2020 v diegoff29:

An interesting c3-sicilian with 2…d5, 3.exd5 Qxd5. Black tries an uncommon line with an early …Bd6 and a fascinating position arises in which White plays 8.Bg6 and 9.Bxf6. Black’s pawn structure is poor, but the half-open g-file is dangerous and both Black’s bishops are poised waiting a chance. White has good central control, and a good structure and the position is finely balanced. Bizarrely Black agrees to trade Queens, and White almost wins on the spot, finding 19.Nh5! but not the follow up 20.h4! Once the tactics have cleared a level endgame emerges and shortly after a draw is agreed.

  • Winwick v Swanonch:

Not played. Boo!

  • FADEC v ewaawoowaa:

An offbeat Pirc-style game in which White plays 4.Bd2!? This should have been a cunning trap, Black indeed plays 4…Qb6 attacking the two undefended pawns on b2 and d4, White should then play 5.Nf3! getting on with development, and not worried about 5…Qxb2 due 6.Rd1 with a powerful initiative for White. Instead 5.Na4? Qxd4 6.Bd3?? Qxa4 sees White a piece and a pawn down. Black has no trouble converting.

  • straven239 v Johnc75:

An interesting Queen’s Gambit Declined. The opening was well played by both sides, but had a few important subtleties, which both sides could have profited from, however the interest is in the theme that follows. White wins a pawn, which is nice, but often not game defining – however there is an imbalance in the player’s understanding, both side have lightsquared bishops, and only White realises that by putting pawn on darksquares, and trapping the opponent’s pawns on lightsquares that White’s bishop will be mobile and having things to attack, and Black’s bishop will be trapped and immobile. In the final position White has 7 pawns on darksquares only one (next to the White King and far from the centre) on a lightsquare. Black has the four most central pawns on lightsquares. Black is in effect a piece down, and is forced to resign as more material loss becomes imminent.

  • P1nFork v hsk4u:

A slightly offbeat …g6 Slav. Both sides play nicely, but White focuses on Queenside development ahead of getting castled. Black plays aggressively, and this pays off as White proves reluctant to swap Queens. Some nice piece play has White’s King stuck in the centre, but Black lags in development and has a worse pawn structure. The position therefore slides in White’s favour as Black is unable to find enough active follow up moves to keep the initiative, and the structure is favourable to White. White pushes through in the centre and suddenly the White Knights are rampant in the centre of the board, interestingly Black has no good defence, and White sacrifices the knights for a Rook and two pawns, in a position where Black is badly coordinated. White is then unable to find a clear plan, and Black manages to regroup. White’s Queen then goes on an exploratory mission on the Kingside, and Black’s Queen drops in with a perpetual check.

  • Mark2_alias v Mags2020:

A quiet e3 KID. Black chooses the slightly dubious 7…a6, instead of the natural 7…e5, and White picks up a pleasant position doubling Black’s central pawns. Black fails to counter in the centre instead trying to play around White’s pawn centre, and White develops well building an advantage. Black then loses concentration, and a pawn, and then in trying for active counterplay loses a piece. The game then quickly trades down to an endgame where that piece is uncontested, and Black resigns as it starts to hoover up the Black pawns.

  • AdeDoesChess v Bobik98:

A nice Scandinavian Defence. We follow normal 2…Qxd5 3.Nc3 play, and White makes a mistake in castling Kingside and then playing Bxf6. Black has 12…gxf6 and the threat down the g-file is difficult to handle for White. Once Black finally doubles Rooks on the g-file the game is over very quickly.

  • ersZ43T v Damo770:

An interesting 3…Bd6?! Ruy Lopez. Black’s opening moves fail to successfully fight for the centre and White picks up a big advantage. White’s move 12.Qh3 is nice tying Black’s Kingside in knots and eventually Black cracks moving a critical defending and allowing White Nxg6 winning critical material, with mate following surprisingly quickly afterwards.

  • jcruz4 v Dr_MelR:

A Modern defence turns into a Benoni defence. Black ambitiously sacrifices a knight for two central pawns, but isn’t in a position to create any threats afterwards and White is able to consolidate and start picking up pawns. Weight of material then tells.

  • Chalkenstein v NotJudit:

An interesting KID. Both sides play well, but Black’s 10…a6 is a bit passive. Both sides have chances to cause their opponent more trouble, but the game remains balanced for a long time until Black sacrifices a pawn. The pawn sacrifice doesn’t really work and White ends up with a protected passed pawn on e6, Black sacrifices a Knight in the hope of complications, but it doesn’t work, and White simplifies all the way to the win.

  • jonmill v Tilbs_11:

A Vienna Gambit that works perfectly. Tilbs_11 is unaware of the powerful counterstrike 3…d5 and instead plays right into White’s hands. The game is then sharp and much easier for it to go wrong for Black than White, and at move 8 a crucial decision is reached Black plays 8…d5 closing the position, rather than 8…dxe5 opening it. After this White has a huge lead in development and Black is cramped. White succeeds in invading on the f-file and Black’s constricted forces are unable to put up a fight.

  • freddiecrane v bikerpeavey:

A fascinating closed Sicilian. White plays 3.Bb5+ and swaps off bishops, followed by quite slow play. Black gets somewhat tricked into playing 9…e5 a positional mistake due to Black having the ‘wrong’ bishop for the pawn structure. White plays a nice b4 break, and on move 15 has a spectacular tactical shot with 15.Rxe5!! Instead the game moves on and an inaccurate 18.Ng5 gives Black the initiative. Black commits a cardinal sin in assuming that White plays 20.Qh3 only to break the pin on the Knight, and is forced to resign on 21.QxQ.

  • Smthdeedog778 v dmh6:

A fascinating and messy London System game. White wastes time with Bb5 and Qa4, which never really works in the London, and Black develops nicely, cleverly leaving the Knight on c6 to be taken should White wish to go even further behind in development. Some central play with …Ne4 and …Nxd2 sees the White King stranded in the centre, but as Black seems ready to capitalise on this Black instead swaps of Queens and White’s centralised King switches from losing liability, to winning asset in an instant. Both sides play aggressively, but White would have been better doing a little defending, and Black’s attack proves more successful reaching a won position. White counterattacks and tragically Black decides to put the Black King in the corner, where it gets checkmated.

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