18 November 2020

Lichess on Wednesday – another mad bash for anyone from the Leeds clubs who wants to link up with Alwoodley for the evening. Tonight the format was 5 minutes apiece plus 10 sec increment. Surprisingly. perhaps, this gave more time to think than last week’s 10 minutes dead and some games lasted well over the previous limit.

At the end of round 5, with one round still to go, the standings were Paul May and Holi heading the table with 4 points apiece, closely pursued by another player on 3½ and Ian Carrigan and 2 others on 3. So all was still to play for.

Spice was added to the final round with Paul and Holi being drawn against each other. Whoever won would take Gold position. Whoever lost might conceivably be booted off the winners’ podium altogether.

All other games finished and Paul and Holi were still playing. On completion of move 15 Paul had been a knight up in exchange for 2 pawns. But there was still a long way to go.

At move 30 Holi had a pawn advantage. 20 moves later Holi still had a pawn advantage and Paul was down to 16 seconds on the clock. Paul just loves to live dangerously.

By move 65 Holi had the only pawn left on the board and it was only 2 squares from queening.

With White’s move 77 Paul’s lonely king was bottled up in the corner and the result was …….. stalemate!

You can play through their game at:

That left 3 players with 4½ points and the tiebreak criteria put Paul on Gold with Holi on Bronze.

Ian Carrigan took 6th place with 4 points. He finished in fine style, beating two much higher-rated players in his last 2 games. The blitz format leads to a wealth of mistakes and bizarre game profiles as advantage swings wildly from one side to another. Here is the profile of Ian’s win against David Pedro:

You can lay through that game at:

In all, 22 players took part, 8 of them from Limewood.

Next week’s event looks, by way of further variety, to be in Lichess’s ‘Arena’ format.