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  • Writer's pictureJames Neal

Thunder Quick IX

There were 17 students participating in this week’s Thunder Quick.

This week we were a little light which could have had a lot to do with the weather (nice), but many of the stars were still present.

The top players from each school were: Leon (Wickham), Saifan (Borlaug), and Kevin (Weber).

There was a new player (Jason) from Borlaug this week. He participated in the in-person event that took place in the Ped Mall last Saturday. Round 2 he was paired against Leon and more than held his own.

Currently, material is even but the significant difference is black’s king. Black’s kingside pawns were too advanced, and Leon let one of the two pawns dropped after Jason applied pressure to another pawn weakness. The result was a collapse of the kingside with the Queen and Rook invading and delivering a checkmate along the 8th rank.

There were no big matchups in round 3, Jason got his opportunity to take on Saifan and he was overpowered. The 4th round had the two unbeaten players Farhan and Saifan matching up. This year they are playing on opposing teams but next year they will be playing on the same team. Borlaug might have one overpowered roster in Fall of 2021.

Saifan had taken out Kevin in round 2 and Jason in round 3 so I was expecting him to put Farhan under serious pressure. However, Saifan had over pressed the queenside early and fell victim to a pin that resulted in the loss of a bishop. Farhan had taken that advantage and never looked back. Farhan is one of the few players that open with a queen’s pawn advance. It has worked on well for him.

The final round had Farhan in clear first, but Leon was facing him and was storming back from his upset round 2. He seemed very motivated to get the win this round. He told me he spent a lot of time working on lichess tactics before the event and he also plays games between rounds (#motivation).

Leon’s defensive choice to Farhan’s Queen’s Pawn opening was a little shaky but it was not properly punished. Farhan was able to grab full control of the center, but it lasted for only a move after Leon won the d-pawn. Farhan was down a pawn for most of the game but had the hope of activity to compensate the material disadvantage.

It was then than Farhan went for a move that could only be classified as Positional suicide. Farhan advanced the c-pawn and closed the diagonal of his hopeful bishop. This was clearly a reactive move after the rook came to the 3rd rank to create some manageable pressure. The overreaction left white with a terrible bishop and Leon invaded via the d-file with his rooks.

The end of the tournament resulted in a 4-way tie for 1st: Farhan – Leon – Saifan – Kevin.

However, Farhan had the best tiebreaks, so he won the tournament outright and Leon got great tiebreaks after his final round win.

Nice Job everyone and see you at the next Thunder Quick!


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