Throughout the tournament the big question was: Who can stop Larry Stevens? Round 5 gave us the answer.
Larry had a great tournament and he made things look quite easy. After round 4 he was in the sole lead, one point ahead of Gerald Luiz and Kyan Hsu. Larry had the white pieces against Gerald in the last round and a draw would have been sufficient to win the tournament. A great spot to be in, but how should you play in a situation like this? Gerald’s task was more difficult but also less complicated. All he needed to do was to win with the black pieces. Answering Larry’s e4 with the Philidor Defense let to a complex position with a lot of pieces on the board. Black eventually equalized and had the easier game. Larry, however, skillfully neutralized black’s pressure and stirred the game into a very very equal rook ending. It was here where things went wrong. Instead of stopping black’s attempts to rock the boat Larry engaged in a race and found himself in a lost queen ending. Gerald had been playing on his increment for quite a while by this time and missed a tactic that would have let to an instant draw, but it seemed that Larry had already come to terms with his loss and missed this chance.
Kyan was the only other person to be able to catch up with Larry. He went all in with the Schliemann Defense versus Lisa Willis’ Ruy Lopez. Shortly after the queens came off Kyan won a pawn and the extra material combined with the bishop pair guaranteed a smooth conversion.
Arturo Armagnac and David Faulkner reached this position after Arturo’s 54. f3-f4. David’s position had been pretty hopeless for a while and it seemed he was just going through the motions here and missed a golden opportunity here. What should he have played?
You can play through all the games here:
As usual, you can find the results and standings here:
So, what happens next?
On Friday, 12/04/2020 at 7pm we will have a 2h arena blitz tournament. Everybody is welcome to join. The games will be G6+1 and the final standings will be used to break any ties. So Larry, Kyan, and Gerald only have to worry about their relative standings, whoever does best wins the tournament. The same applies to all the other ties. If Kyan finishes in the top two he will get this prize and not the prize for the under 1800 category. So, if you are rated under 1800 you know who to root for.
Please sign up here
for the tournament. The password is:
Please also take the time to read the instructions on the tournament website. I recommend to pay some attention to the Arena Beserk, how scores are calculated, and how a winner is decided.
I hope to see you all at the Steinitz Arena. Players who haven’t participated in the Open are also welcome to join.