Paul at the British, rounds 4-7

Unfortunately, communications broke down after round 3 so I’m presenting the rest of Paul’s competition in one chunk. Its still interesting to hear his contemporaneous thoughts though. I thought Fritz played particularly well in round 4 which obviously inspired Paul’s creativity in round 5!

Very well done on the final outcome and thanks for sharing with us – Ed.

“In Round 4 I got the opening I wanted and won a pawn, but White seemed to have compensation. However, he allowed me one big winning chance (move 26) and I wasn’t alert enough to see it. It was all downhill from there so I am back to my appointed place on 2.5/4 which is =9th/20th out of 50. No one has 4/4, three leaders on 3.5/4, five on 3/4.

Suddenly from an inferior opening position in round 5, I found a piece sacrifice which seemed to play itself. The win puts me on 3.5/5 with five others. Ahead are Ken Notman on 4.5 and three others on 4. Two rounds to go.

I played an uneventful draw today(round 6) to reach 4 out of 6. i was offered a draw at move 19 and didn’t feel optimistic enough to refuse. Two leaders on 5, two on 4.5, so I have a faint chance of a share of third prize if I win in Sunday’s final round.

My final round opponent was the same as last year when a win for either of us would have gained a share of first place. This time there was only an outside chance of =3rd, but, as it transpired, even a decisive game would not have put the winner in the prize money. White was better for most of the game, but I missed my best chance at move 18 and the game was eventually drawn when I chickened out in time trouble. So 4.5/7 and a share of 5th place was the limit this year, though it’s always nice to get a plus score and my TPR was 2151. Three players tied for the title on 5.5/7 (no play-off): David Friedgood (former South African champion), Mark Page and Brian Hewson.