Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Scottish Championships 2016 - Day 4 - The Big Guns Face Off!

What an absolute treat we had today as the big guns started to play each other.  No GM draws here, each hard fought and to the bitter end.

For tactical players like myself the game between GM Matthew Turner and IM Stephen Mannion had a beautiful combination finish combining three tactical motifs. It's move 54 and black to move

Matthew plays the Knight sac 54.. Nxg4.  Play continues 55.hxg4 h3+ moving the king away from g2  56.Kg3 Qf1 57.Nh4 Bd4 58.Qd2 Qg2+ 59.Kxh3 Bxf2 beautifully obstructing the queen.  Going to use this position with the kids when the club starts back!

Whilst this was going on Keti was giving a masterclass in endgames.  We join the game on move 77 (yes 77!)  with black to move

h2 and the king is locked in.  All Keti needs to do it get the Knight to f2 and it is mate.  Not an easy task!

Try working it out.  What was played can be seen on todays live games but it was really good to watch.

So here are my 2 star players today.  Take a bow

On the whole, today went really well.  Lets be honest, after yesterday anything was an improvement.  I think the boards heard my threat to bring in an axe and behaved themselves.

There was a moment that I can only describe as OMG!  I happened to look up from the desk and to my utter horror I saw this

The cable had become detached from the table and was sitting across Neils legs!!  To be fair to Neil, he didn't complain but the second he got up from the table to stretch his legs, I was over with masking tape to fasten it back again so it did not annoy him!

Tomorrow sees what could be some cracking games.  I am certainly looking forward to them.

A feature of the Scottish in recent years has been the unbearable heat.  Thankfully it seems to be staying away making playing conditions pleasant.  Long may that continue!

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