The last two days of the 2018 NZ Chess Champs have been a mixed bag for our two entrants. Round 3 Saw Ross gain his first win. Playing White against Nicole Qin of Auckland. Though Miss Qin put up a good fight, Ross seemed to have control of the game.
A good Round for Alan who was drawn against one of the two Australians in the tournament, Bevan Clouston. Alan didn’t disappoint and came away with a good win. Playing black with the Sicilian Defence he had a little luck when his opponent missed a good sacrifice on f7 and shortly after made an error in trying the move when Alan was in a better position to defend, by exchanging his Queen for two Rooks.
Round 4 Saw Ross also playing an overseas visitor playing White against a German WFM Manuetta Schmitz. Unfortunately the tournament has not published this game. From viewing the Board it was a fairly even contest and eventually both agreed to a draw. This result gave Ross 2 pts from 4 and places him =17th. Not a good Round for Alan who was drawn against one of the top seeds in the tournament, Martin Post of Wanganui. With both players on 3 pts, the winner would lead the tournament outright. Playing his Favourite London System opening, Alan got off to a good start and held the initiative all through the game, culminating in a break through after 23 moves. However, after all his hard work, and in a complete control of the game, made one of the most basic errors in chess. Moving on impulse without considering his opponents reply he lost a piece to check.!! The game is shown below to highlight that even when you believe you have control of the game, you still have to keep your discipline and think about every move.