John’s Bericht

Hi all,

    I dont want to dwell too much on the week as Thomas has already given most of the results. Round 5 ended with a stunning win by André to complete our 4.5 – 1.5 victory against DFE.

Notable were Yasin's heart stopping win, there was never much more than a single tempo in the game. Then Nanning's marathon 84 move win. With only 7 minutes left on his clock after move 53 when his opponent offered a draw he played the next 31 moves using up only 2 minutes of clock time.

André treated the audience to another exposition of Blackmar Diemer Gambit. Perhaps the comments of audience is the best way to describe what happened. One of the other Captains who has obviously come across André before said, 5 minutes before André arrived in Room 1. "Where is that pawn sacrificing monster". At move 21 when André started his final checkmating attack with a pawn push in the h file. Jeff (AspiringPatzer) said to me, "21.h5 looks risky" 8 moves later his opponent resigned with no way to stop the checkmate next move! There was simply a stunned silence amongst the audience! Blackmar Diemer is not for the faint hearted … it is sharp and complex most of the themes having been developed in postal chess, if anyone wants a copy of the game please let me know.

Zala played the first game of round 6 and her first game in this format. I must congratulate her for choosing the Berlin defence much used by the Masters of a past era, like Paul Morphy and other great attacking players. To the uninitiated, it is an ugly opening where, you voluntarily leave your King stranded in the middle of the board. My book says the opening is cramped but playable. Krammnic used it very successfully in his match against Kasparov in 2000. I thought strategy wise she chose the wrong move at 27 …Bf4 the other bishop to f5 might have succeeded in locking up one of the opponents knights or allowing her to win at least one of the pawns blocking her pawns on the queenside, however I am not qualified to comment. Overall I thought it a good game played by a strong player and as Reinhold said to me "Pity she lost".