Sunday, 9 January 2011

Round 2 round up!

The early stages of round 2 with
Steve Priest vs. Chris Edwards in the foreground
Tomorrow night the Calderdale Individual Championship 2010/11 will reach its third round stage and there will no doubt be some excellent and interesting clashes as 5 players remain on a perfect score and there is also a large chasing pack on 1.5/2.

To whet readers’ appetite for these contests I’ve spent some of the Christmas vacation rooting through some of the most interesting and instructive games from round 2 having already provided you with an express report immediately after that round took place in December. Here is my selection.

I mentioned that Nick Sykes and John Morgan played out an interesting contest and gave the moves of the game in my earlier report. I’ve done a bit more analysis on that game now. It appears that Nick may have missed a couple of opportunities to cement a lasting advantage but John played resourcefully at key moments in order to neutralise the threats. Here is there game.

There were numerous upsets amongst the results in round 2. The foremost of these was probably James Todd’s win against Brian Corner. Brian blundered into a check mate at the end but this was preceded by some interesting and ambitious play from James even if it wasn’t exactly sound.

Steve Priest was also victorious against Chris Edwards in another game where the better player committed an atrocious blunder although I believe in this case that Chris may have been in serious trouble when he dropped a piece for nothing.

For readers who enjoy instructive manoeuvring-type positions I include the game between Robert Sutcliffe and Dave Milton. The early part of the game was relatively quiet but I’ve fast-forwarded to the final stages in the game viewer below and have added in plenty of computer analysis which I think is particularly interesting. Some of the analysis lines are well worth ruminating over.

Leatherbarrow vs. Wedge was the board 1 encounter
The board one encounter between a former champion and the current champion was typically tense and enthralling. Both combatants have a habit of getting into time trouble and I fancy that the last 10 moves or so before time control were played in a great hurry by both players. Andy Leatherbarrow played very well to maintain the better part of the game for a long time against Dave Wedge but sadly, he then threw away all his hard work with a simple miscalculation which led to the loss of a piece and immediate ruin.

Finally, I’d like to present an amusing micro-scrap from the lower reaches of the tournament. The two combatants seem to be playing some kind of hybrid version of the game in which only knights, pawns and queens are permitted to move. The result is an entertaining punch line to our round 2 coverage.

News from round 3 will be brought to you early next week. Ciao for now!

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