Round 5 report from Simon Metcalfe
Round 5 saw Lavanya, Kian and Charlie bounce back. Lavanya had another strong opponent who quickly gained advantage in the opening and won a pawn on the Queens-side. However, this was not followed up with a suitable strategy resulting in some misplaced pieces. Lavanya launched a King-side offensive and delivered a beautiful checkmate on the 'H file' by sacrificing her Queen!
Kian had a painful wait for his victory as his opponent spent what must have felt like an eternity pouring over the board trying to find a way out of a mate in two. Eventually, having explored the possibilities, he admitted defeat and allowed Kian to play out the winning moves.
Charlie had a closed position where all 8 pawns were still on the board. He came up with a good middle game strategy but at some point lost tempo. Fortunately his opponent did not take advantage and having outpost squares Charlie slowly ground his Azerbaijani opponent down in the endgame and delivered a checkmate through a mating net by his Rook and Knight.
An interesting game for Ravi. He misplayed the opening giving his opponent had a slight edge. In his words 'a dubious attack on his King almost worked' but Ravi admitted to missing a tactical win and eventually this all led to a drawn ending.
Elliot was playing black against a very cautious opponent and came out of the opening with a slight advantage. His opponent played solidly thereafter giving Elliott few opportunities to attack. Reflecting on the game he had hoped his opponent would have been more ambitious but nonetheless solid play to take into round 6 and another half point.
Alex had a slightly frustrating day. He was feeling better but having been ahead out of the opening, he allowed a strong position to slip which allowed his opponent the opportunity to defend and force a draw.
Shyam's opponent surprised him in the opening. The position became tricky but Shyam managed to win a pawn in the complications and maintained this small advantage in the end game to win.
Finally, the Shrez and Shlok keep coming up with the goods. Shreyas played an excellent game, as those watching on line have already observed. He started comfortably using well prepared opening theory, continued to progress before easily converted the Rook endgame by storming his passed pawns. His 5/5 has him leading the event with four to play.
Shlok also executed his preparation perfectly and showed great tenacity against the top seed. Shlok slowly outplayed his strong Ukrainian opponent, one of the worlds best under 8s, to edge an advantage. Although a pawn up in the end game, Shlok just couldn't find a way through and he had to settle for a draw but nonetheless he had played a great game.
Another good tally from Team England; 5 wins and 4 draws. A rest day on Sunday (all the players and the coaches have worked very hard) and then the last 4 games with plenty to play for.
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