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  • Writer's pictureJames Neal

Thunder Quick VIII

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

Thunder Quick VIII fields 25 players.

This event started off like any other tournament but as we approached the starting time, it appeared as though our previous tournament winner (Max) would not make an appearance.

Our usual players were in attendance, I had the pleasure of listening to the trash talk between Aryan and Nirvan based on their hypothetical matchup. I figured if they were to play, it would be round 3 based on their rating difference.

I normally don't post ROUND 1 but there was a noteworthy upset between Amy and Leon.

Amy was behind in development and had a messy pawn structure early in the game, but Leon overlooked an unprotected piece during his kingside attack. Leon had decided to advance the f-pawn here and immediately lost the h3-bishop. The position got worse from there when Leon decided to sacrifice his rook for the bishop (probably an accident). Amy went on to convert the position and win a critical game that would put her into great position to win the event.

ROUND 2 featured a faceoff between Aydan & Saifan. I thought it was a little early for this matchup, but it would eventually happen. This would be the best player from Borlaug playing one of the best players from Wickham.

The game started off interesting, but it looked like Aydan was a little rusty since he missed an early tactic that would have allowed him to pick up a pawn while forking the king and rook (Bc3). Saifan took a shot at the h7-square early this game and it paid off with Aydan overlooking the threat of checkmate. Aydan decided to bring the knight to b4 attacking the queen and bishop instead of playing g6 to prevent the checkmate.

ROUND 3 we had another critical matchup between Samanyu and Kevin. The game looked like it would be a clean victory from Kevin (Sillyyoda) but white had decided to recapture the pawn with the bishop. There were two threats being made: 1. The bishop would be attacking the unprotected queen 2. The bishop supports the checkmate threat on g7. The only save I can see after Bxc3 it is sacrificing the bishop on f2. This move would attack the queen and king and give the black queen enough time to escape and defend the g7-square. Unfortunately, the move was not found and Samanyu secured the checkmate.

Going into ROUND 4, Saifan was expected to play Farhan. We got a king’s pawn defense from Saifan and Saifan appeared to have a lot of pressure on the kingside. He played the clever move Nd4 attacking the e2-rook a provoking the f3-knight the trick happened after Farhan mistakenly captured the knight. Saifan recaptured the knight with the pawn unveiling a double attack on the c3-knight and the h2-square. Farhan would need to save one, but he underestimated the potential loss of letting Saifan capture the h2-pawn. The game ended after the queen took the pawn and checkmated the king on the back rank (Qh1#).

The other key result was between Samanyu and Aryan. Samanyu was getting beaten badly and it looked as though he would be checkmated with a Queen & King against his lone king. Aryan was in good position to seal the deal by eliminating squares with the Queen & King and slowly pushing him towards one of the corners. Unfortunately, he overdid the removal part and stalemated him before he had the chance to deliver checkmate.

* Stalemate is when it is your turn to move, you are not in check and have NO legal moves to make.

ROUND 5, the final round, would have the clear first Saifan (4/4) playing Samanyu (3.5/4); Samanyu held clear second. Over the last month, Samanyu had been gaining a lot of strength and had taken down a few of the top players from Wickham. This is probably a first that the final round matchup was between two players from Borlaug.

The current position is a bit misleading since it appears Saifan is materially behind (1 Pawn). Saifan has a great position due to his protected passed a-pawn. Black also has three pawn weaknesses (c-pawn, e-pawn, and g-pawn) that will be easy targets for the king and rooks.

Samanyu went on to lose 2 of the 3 weak pawns and was later checkmated.

Nice Job Saifan for winning this week’s Thunder Quick with a perfect score!

See you at the next event.


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