1 Jan 2009

HASTINGS round 5

The oldest tournament in the world in Hastings, is still going strong.

Since its inception in 1885, it has seen all chess world champions participate, bar Kasparov and Fischer.

In spite of being a low prize affair, it still manages to throw up the odd surprise. This year is no exception.

Yesterday the young Irish player Karl Mcphillips, rated 2222, and only just out of youth circles, managed to hold his own against GM Hebden, rated nearly 300 points higher. He had winning chances as White, spurned a few rep draw chances, but in the end had to settle for a draw. Not bad, against a 2515 rated player.

It was a sad day for him, being the anniversary of the tragic death of one of his friends early this morning. Maybe that was the reason he turned up late for his game this morning. Possibly he felt he had to imbibe for two last night. And who could blame him. The loss of a young gifted chess player, Phil *, is a sad thing for us all and my thoughts are with his parents.

The game I am following is GM Pavlovic (2524) against Mcphillips (2222). They both have a score of 3 out of 5 so far.

They are playing an A13 English.By playing 8...Nbd7, Karl has left the only two games still in my db and his opponent is having a long think.
Pavlovic has a choice of several good moves, one being 9.Qc2.

I guessed right and White does play Qc2.
Probably planning to get his DSB on =g5= before long.

They both have about 1 hour left.

I reckon Black has fallen asleep: he has been sitting there for more than 20 minutes now thinking on a move that doesn't have much choice.

If this keeps up, I am out of here.

Thank goodness, they are getting a spurt on:

After move 11.Ng5 Bb7.

Black is now reaping the bitter harvest of not pushing up his c-pawn far enough on move 7.Nc3 c5 would have been more helpful. In fact, that should have come a move earlier, 6.0-0 c5 would have been better for Black.

His heart doesn't seem in it today: he is not as meticulous at picking his lines as he was yesterday. I can't see this ending in a draw, now that White has a foot in the door.

Black now has the option of starting a QS pawn attack with c5 and then, after the Knight swap on =e4= and Qd8 from Black, then an exchange on =b6=, White can finally place his DSB on =g5=.
We shall see.

White is tucking into his 43 mins at present and Black still has 35 mins left.

It takes him almost 20 mins to come up with another line. Still good, but not quite as favourable as 14.c5 *

White plays 14.Bf4 instead. Not wanting to wait for the chance to play Bg5 it seems.
Now the DSB will end up in the centre: a totally different tack.

Now they have about 1/2 hr for 25 moves. A little tight.

After a few inaccuracies from both sides, the position is as follows:

reached after 14.Bf4 h6 15.Nxf6+ Nxf6 16.Ne4 *

and the following position a few moves later:

after 16...Rd8 17.c5 Nxe4 18.Bxe4 *

Black now has 1 min per move and is about 1 pawn down in eval. Not promising.

Black has just played the move 20...Qd8, which throws up the possibility of many replies, such as Be5 or Be3, several Rook moves, a4 or a3, Bxc6 etc.
This will cost White some time. They have about 15 mins each.

White goes for the exchanges on =c6=, but time pressure is nibbling away at his advantage, which by now is only slight unless he finds the continuation 23.Qf3 *.

White has 9 mins left vs Black with 16 mins. This could be crucial.

He does find 23.Qf3 and the time is now 7 mins vs 13 mins.

Even though Karl has plenty of time, he rushes and blunders and plays 27...Rc6

I now know how footie fans feel when their team loses.

What a pity. And today, of all days.
I so hope he won't let it influence the remaining games.
It was a good game.


0 comment: