Callum Brewer was playing white in round 9, against a Brazilian player not to be underestimated having beaten a Greek 2000+ player in round 7. Since writing these reports they have clearly become known for their arguably overly-descriptive style. That being said after each match Callum clearly tries to feed me as many adjectives as possible in an effort to get them in. At the risk of damaging international relations between England and Brazil, especially with Brexit fast approaching, I am happy on this occasion to oblige. Callum ‘shredded’ his opponent to pieces. He kept good control on the queenside and his attack on the kingside was decisive. Let’s hope Callum keeps his appetite for destruction for round 10. Callum is currently 4/9
Gautam Jain returns after a bye to play another 2000-rated player from Serbia with the white pieces. We were not disappointed. This was an insanely complicated affair and in the words of Gautam the reason he won is that he made one less mistake than his opponent. Never mind Gautam, not every game can be a well-controlled obliteration and one fewer mistake is often the way battles are won in any sporting contest. Gautam is on 3.5/9.
FM Koby Kalavannan returned also as white against another FM from Belgium. Compared to yesterday’s, and indeed the 5-hour opuses played out previously, this game must have come as a welcome relief to Koby, winning in just 22 moves. You can’t win this kind of game without a decisive blunder or two from your opponent. You just have to be ready to pounce when they are offered. Koby was, and he finished the game in a beautiful way. Well worth a watch. Koby is on 5.5/9.
(150) Kalavannan, Koby (2365) – De Waele, Warre (2272) [E04]
After his nice win in round 8, Max French played with white against an FM from Poland who was perhaps not in the best form. Whenever one of our players is up against a higher-rated opponent, our hearts skip a little more, since the hope of a famous win fills us with anticipation. It was not meant to be though in round 9 for Max as he was bested by the Pole on this occasion. Max is on 4/9.
Leif Hafstad had white this time after his aggressive win in round 8 and this time played a lower-rated Scottish player. In this home nations struggle, Leif emerged as the victor and has back-to-back victories. Leif will now have an opportunity against a higher rated opponent in round 10. We hope that he can take it. There’s no point in holding anything back with 2 rounds to go. Leif is on 4/9.
Aditya Munshi, coming off back-to-back wins, had a tough proposition as white against an FM from Azerbaijan. So it proved to be, as Aditya was unable to deal with the complications in a very dangerous position. Though the computer line had Aditya better, perhaps there was only one path in a ridiculously complex maze. Aditya will want to bounce back in the next round after losing this one. 4.5/9
Christopher Tombolis, also with 2 wins in a row, was playing a 2000 rated Greek player with the white pieces. This was a 5 hour rollercoaster. Christopher was slightly worse out of the opening, but this left his opponent with a more comfortable position to play. Christopher sacrificed a pawn in order to give him some play, a decision not liked by the computer, but one that that gave him practical chances later in the game. As the time control neared Christopher was left with 10 more moves to make in 2 minutes. The computer ‘swingometer’ was fluctuating more than in an election campaign involving Donald Trump. As the air cleared, Christopher was left in a worse position after the time control. At this point it was his opponent who found himself in time trouble with the last 20 minutes of the game at least played on the increment. In the end the game was drawn with Christopher holding a position that seemingly couldn’t be held. With the 30-minute delay I thought Christopher was joking when he came in saying he had drawn. An important half point for his competition. 3 of our U14’s are on 4.5 points now and who takes most out of the next two games will have the bragging rights.
(148) Tombolis, Christopher (1882) – Abelakiotis, Stavros (1994) [E46]
Ilya Misyura was black in round 9 and had a difficult proposition playing against an Armenian player who has played games against opposition all over 2000 rating in previous rounds. This was a complex game in which Ilya was unfamiliar with the opening. Ilya went a pawn up in a knight vs bishop endgame. His opponent became too active in a position that he overestimated, and Ilya made him pay and took the win. Rather than adjectives Ilya tries to feed me quotes for the reports. These are quite hilarious, but I can never remember them- I’ll have to write them down rather than rely on my memory. Ilya is back on track with a 50% score. Ilya is on 4.5/9.
Nadia Jaufarally played black against a lower rated Spanish opponent. This was a game that gave Nadia palpitations – but if there’s anything this girl has got, it’s heart. With her opponent playing in the style of Simon Williams, playing h4 on move 7 this was always going to be a messy game that could go one way or the other. Her opponent sacrificed 2 pieces for an attack but the sacrifices were unsound and Nadia saw her way through to win the game. Enjoy this one! Nadia is on 5/9
(151) Hernandez Guerra, Luna Yue (1659) – Jaufarally, Nadia (1810) [B23]
Anita Somton also played black against a lower-rated Norwegian player. This game remained level for most of it but a few misplayed moves by her opponent left Anita with an advantage. A nice tactic at the end of the game to deliver the win. Anita is now on 4.5/9. Great result. Fingers crossed for Anita-this could be a great tournament for her with 2 games to go.
(152) Tryggestad, Linnea Garberg (1604) – Somton, Anita (1787) [D37]
Finally, Nilomi Desai had the white pieces against a player from Macedonia. This was a drawn game and with 2 games to go Nilomi has to fight to reach a 50% score. Nilomi is on 3.5/9.
Well done to all our England players. An excellent day with 7 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses.
We’ll bring them into our lion’s den in round ten! What on earth rhymes with eleven and twelve? I’ll worry about that later!
— Glafcos Tombolis