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Round 2 Winter Cup (9-7-2019)

Here are three games from round 2 of the Winter Cup played on 9 July 2019. The time format is 75 + 30.

The first features a game from our junior members, Hamish Lester playing white against Mark Summers. Mark tries a modern defense 1… with g6, then Bg7, and comes away with the advantage after the opening phase. While Hamish tries some nice counter play with his rook and knight honing in on the king, he is still in a pretty lost position around move 17. However, Mark lets him off the hook with 17… Rab8, leaving his bishop to be taken for free. Ten moves later, it is Hamish who is a completely winning position, but fails to find the killing blow (29. h4! and if 29 …Rxc2 then it’s Rg7 mate), and  then drops his knight, allowing Mark to pounce back and eventually promote his d pawn and trap Hamish’s king on move 37.

The second game features another tight battle between Guy Burns and David Scott. Guy played his standard d4 and the game played tight and uneventfully  until David mishandled a queen-exchange tactic, doubling his pawns on move 23, instead of leaving the pawn on f6 and moving g5. He struggled into an endgame, which was the most interesting part of the game, in terms whether a draw could be salvaged or not. However  some further inaccuracies with allowing the trade of rooks, in particular  32…Rg5, and with Guy not making any errors, eventually saw Guy take it out.

The third game features an interesting game from top club players Gordon Lyall (playing white) against Alistair McGowan.

With 5.Nxd4 White is playing to exchange the knight for Black’s dark-squared bishop. 7…Qxd4? is a mistake, Black should play Nc6 when he has nothing to worry about. After 8.Bb2 White is clearly better, when Black has dark-square weaknesses on the kingside and a lack of development. 17.Bf3 threatens to win with Nc5. White opens up the game with the sacrifice 23.Nxf6±, however 23.c5 is more deadly, strongly threatening d6+. After a series of exchanges White emerges with a two pawn advantage and winning endgame.