Marathon tournament ends in a tie!

Back in April and shortly after lock down 14 members embarked on an online tournament on which completed yesterday with an inconclusive conclusion!

The format involved four blocks of three or four players playing a double round all play all with the winners going through to what was expected to be a final group with similar arrangement. Time control was 3 days per move (quasi correspondence chess) though in practice it rarely stretched that far and there were bursts of activity sometimes akin to live chess.

Anyway, three of the groups produced a clear winner (Monika after an impressive series of games, Nick and me). The other group involved two epic battles between Anthony and Alex which failed to separate them and hence five players progressed which, because of the way it had been set up, meant that there had to be a second round of two groups, one with just two players and one with three.

Confirming the randomness of the draw, Alex and Anthony were again paired together alongside Monika with Nick and I making up the smaller group.

Somewhat fortuitously in my first game against Nick my positional treatment of his Sicilian resulted in an end game where my pawn structure proved the better. In the return match, my Dutch defence seemed under pressure from a very early stage but I just managed to cling on and to our joint surprise afterwards the silicon beast suggested there had never been much between us.

In the other group Anthony and Alex continued where they had left off and watching from time to time I confess I had little or no idea what was going on in a highly complex and high quality game which Alex eventually won. In the return, Anthony went for broke which Alex calmly countered to set up a final group of he and me.

In game 1, I failed miserably to adequately counter a novelty against my French defence and was swept from the board in just 30 moves. Game 2 saw my early h4 and h5 thrust against his dragon create a modest initiative which eventually told in a much longer game, in part down to an unusual/amusing occurrence occasioned by the extended time control and the ability to 'chat' during the game. At one point I mentioned that I had been half expecting another move and indicated that I had been undecided between options A and B. In turn Alex explained his reasons for rejecting my anticipated move in terms of his concern with option B. Several moves later the same theme arose and I was able to follow his advice with option B which ultimately proved decisive...thanks, Alex!

Also thanks to Alex and Richard for setting this up.


Thanks Anthony and Chris for some tough games. It was a great correspondence tournament.