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  • James Neal

Thunder Quick VII

Updated: Apr 27

Thunder Quick 7 fields 27 players.

The interesting start of this event was seeing Austin, former Wickham student, in chess.com trying to get into the event. He jumped into the zoom meeting during the first round and questioned why he could not enter the event. I told him the rating restriction was U1400 and thought he was near that level (he was roughly 1405). In a flash he got himself under the bar and entered the event at 1390.


I had previously set the bar at U1600, but I realized it would need to be lowered to U1400 so that all my elementary students would not get squashed by middle or high schoolers. Austin had won the last event he participated in and everyone knew that he would be a force. I think it was Max that spoke to me about avoiding Austin so he could have the possibility of winning the event. I expected them probably to meet near the end of the tournament but entertained the possibility of him winning the event without facing Austin.

ROUND 2 The highlight game was Leon versus Samanyu. This was a huge upset on by Samanyu, but it seemed like a solid game played to the end. Samanyu had traded off the rook and minor on e3 and mentioned to me his winning idea. He said he would run the b-pawn down the board and when the king chased the b-pawn he would run the g-pawn. Once the king started biting on the b-pawn he would have the deal with the g-pawn. The king could not be in two places at once so one of the pawns would promote and Leon resigned before this happened.




Round 3 This was a key matchup between Max and Kevin. In Thunder Quick V, these players met the final round and Kevin got the win and won the event. This game would be Max’s grudge match.

This key position resulted from a middle game that started with Max having a Bishop and Pawn (+4) compensation for a rook (+5). He made good use of his imbalance and extended it to 4 pawns and a bishop to the rook. This game should be a clear win since the bishop can guard the passed a-pawn and tie down the rook while the king can shepherd the 3 pawns down the board. Unfortunately, Max lost nearly all the pawns and the game was looking to be a drawn Bishop + Pawn versus rook. However, Max was rewarded by a mouse slip resulting in the rook moving to a square it could be captured for no compensation. Max went on the convert the game with a queen and king checkmate.


Round 4 Going into the fourth round there were 2 players with a perfect score (Samanyu & Max). There were many players trailing those two and one of the standouts was Cole.

This was the endgame he achieved in his war with Farhan. Normally they say opposite colored bishops have high draw rates. I have had the fortune of saving quite a few games being 2 or 3 pawns down by preventing the advance of the extra pawns with my opposite-colored bishop and king.


This was not the case; the bishop could be tied down to the passed h-pawn while the king and two passed queenside pawns will be enough to get through the king. Cole went on to win this game and finish strong in the overall event.


Round 5 During the 4th round Max had beaten Samanyu convincingly and went into the 5th round hoping to dodge Austin. Unfortunately for Max, Austin was the highest rating of the chasers and was due his shot.

As would have been expected, Austin was applying the pressure. Austin has a forced mate in the current position after Bg1+, Kg3, Qxd1+ etc. Unfortunately, he reversed the sequence with Qxe1?? And immediately lost his queen with a Discovery Attack (Bb3+ revealing the queen attack on the queen).