Thunder Quick IV fields 29 players.
I was expecting a top player from Central to be present at this event. Wyatt had competed with a few of the players from previous events so the group knew this event’s difficulty level had taken a jump. I checked the roster and was surprised to see Austin in the registrations. Austin attended Wickham the previous year but had since moved to the Chicago area over the summer. This event would feature last year’s top player from Wickham and the top player from Central.
ROUND 2 [KSBorlaug versus IA_GoodKnight]
There were no surprises the first round, but the second round was Kohtaro playing white against Leon. Kohtaro had finished this event well but this game was the start of tough matchups.
The material is even but the black rooks are doubled on the open d-file and threatening Rd2 which will separate the queen from protecting the f2-pawn. This is a tough problem and unfortunately Kohtaro seriously miscalculated here. White brought a rook to the d1-square to challenge the file and was checkmated on the 1st rank.
ROUND 3 [IA_GoodKnight versus WCCAustin]
After the second round, Leon had the opportunity to play his former teammate. Leon is currently doing a good job building an advantage on the queenside but Austin’s pressure on the d-pawn proved too hot for Leon to handle. He lost the d-pawn (after…Qd2) and his position collapsed.
After round 3 there were 3 players with a perfect score:
Austin (3.0), Wyatt (3.0), and Max (3.0). Austin played against Max which was a one-sided win for Austin while Wyatt played white versus Farhan (2.5).
ROUND 4 [CC_Wyatt versus FarhanAbdul]
Black’s last move was bringing the knight to a6 out of concern for the bishop capturing the knight on c6. When you are challenged with a problem, the tendency is to solve the problem with the first solution that meets their eyes. Bringing the knight to e7 was a much better solution since it attacks the unprotected f-pawn but knight a5 was punished with b4. Black never recovered.
The final round was expected to be an epic matchup between Austin (4.0) and Wyatt (4.0) but both Austin & Wyatt were in the zoom meeting and Austin mentioned he would be up for a quick draw. Wyatt and Austin drew their match in about 3 moves so the key game was Shreethan playing white against Kohtaro.
ROUND 5 [Roblowkickoff934 versus KSBorlaug]
The final game had Kohtaro getting a key win against Shreethan. He had advanced the pawn to e4 revealing an attack on the h2-pawn (Qxh2#) with the queen & bishop. It appeared white recognized just the pawn coming to a square it could be captured.
Learning point: Understand your opponent before choosing a path.
Nice Job Austin & Wyatt for your performance at this week's tournament.
1st Place: Austin (Illinois) 4.5 / 5.0 [16.25 tb]
2nd Place: Wyatt (Central) 4.5 / 5.0 [12.75 tb]
3rd Place: Leon (Wickham) 4.0 / 5.0