Monday, August 14, 2006

August quads report

I didn't have time to play in the quads on Saturday, but I stopped by the club for the last round, and was pleasantly surprised to see seven full sections playing. (For a quad tournament, the players are divided into groups of four by rating, and each group plays a three-round round robin.)

Some highlights from the top few sections:

FM Chris Chase had Scott Didham on the defensive but wasn't able to make his initiative count, and ended up worse in a knight-vs-bishop ending, until Scott miscalculated on a sac-a-piece-to-promote-the-pawn tactic and realized a second later that the pawn could still be stopped (Bd4xb2?? Nd3xb2 and if e3-e2 then Nb3-d3 gets back in time). Chris won the section ahead of Patrick Sciacca, who lost a piece to Lawyer Times (...Re8-Re1+ Kg1-g2 Re1xBc1 Rxc1 Qg5+) but got a mating attack in return, with Lawyer's king trapped behind a Black pawn on g7 and White pawn on g6 and facing a marauding queen.

In the second section, Kyle Clayton and Jason Rihel engaged in a slow maneuvering battle until Jason suddenly dropped a piece (...d7-d5?? Qd1-a4+ and Qa4xBa6). The position was too closed for Kyle to immediately take advantage of it, though, and when Jason in desperation sacked a pawn to create a passed b-pawn, it looked like he might be able to swindle a draw if not more. With minutes left on the clock, Kyle gave back the piece to emerge two pawns ahead, and converted the victory in a time scramble to take clear first place. Meanwhile William Smirnov played a stylish double sac (Rf1xNf6 g7xf6 Bd3xh7+) against Evan Sonkin to gain an irresistible mating attack, which certainly inspired me to go make sure I know what to do against the Veresov.

In the third section, Natasha Christiansen fended off a dangerous h-pawn push from Jake Garbarino and secured a draw, while Kevin Croxen beat Edmund Staples to join the two of them for a three-way tie for first place.

And that's not even half of the games! It was great to see the club so active, and I hope next week's tournament is so well attended.

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