With his forth win Larry Stevens secured his first place. He defeated Hamlet Tovmasyan from the black side of a Queen’s Gambit accepted. Hamlet went for an unconventional treatment of the IQP position that arose out of the opening and his aggressive play on the kingside backfired. Larry extinguished white’s initiative with a timely exchange sacrifice and soon started chasing Hamlet’s king across the board. Hamlet returned material and ended up two pawns down in a double minor piece ending. After 43 moves we reached the following position:
How should white proceed? Accept the invitation to enter an opposite colored bishop ending or keep the pair of bishops? Should the white king go for the queenside pawns or should he stay centralized and defend? Difficult questions and with less than 2 minutes on the clock Hamlet went astray.
Gerald Ruiz sacrificed his queenside pawns to install a powerful knight on d3. Soon afterwards his heavy pieces used the open files and forced John Wright’s resignation. Next round Gerald has the chance to catch up with Larry by beating him. I’m sure we will be treated to an exciting battle.
Kyan Hsu played a nice attacking game against Arturo Armagnac and was rewarded with the full point. He too can catch up with Larry if he beats Lisa Willis in the last round.
Randy Hough answered Chris Stychinsky’s with the Caro Kann and got a very promising position. After white’s 14. Qd2 black had to made a decision on how to continue.
Black is better, but what is the right plan? Randy decided to release the tension in the center and play e4. The ensuing simplifications left white’s remaining pieces in very active positions and Chris’ attack was decisive. Randy’s last move was a mouse slip but this didn’t have an impact on the result. As far as mouse slips are concerned, Randy is in good company
Lisa Willis tried her luck with a Hedgehog against Artem Aleksenko. Hedgehog’s are cute little critters, but you can get hurt when you try to go after them. Artem must have regretted throwing his e and f pawns at black’s position. Lisa made excellent use of the weak dark squares and the weak white king and emerged victorious.
David Faulkner chose a quiet setup against Manu Prasad’s King’s Indian Defense. The position soon resembled a Benoni and black was ok but after some inaccuracies in the middle game it was white who took over and David converted successfully.
Russel Keating played his trademark Jobava London against Patrick van Haeren. Patrick picked a strong setup against this system, but after losing a central pawn Russel had no problems winning the game. In the end Patrick allowed Russel a picturesque checkmate with two knights.
Richard Reid volunteered to be the house player for this round. He had the white pieces against me. After a pretty one-sided battle the game ended in a draw. After my poor opening treatment we arrived at the following position:
I just played 16. … b5. How should white react?
You can play through the games with annotations below.
You can find pairings and standings here:
For this round we decided to award prize money to first and second place as well as to the top two players rated under 1800. The prize money is: $60, $40, $40, and $30. Ties will be broken in a 2h arena blitz tournament on December 4th. The games will be G6+1. More details will be posted after the last round is concluded.