Last Friday, in the 7th and last round, Long was leading with 5 points but he was not present and David with 4 points on 2nd place was not playing either. Therefore the top 3 positions were not secured until the very last game ended.
That game was between Melvin and Miguel Angel. If Melvin would win he would join Miguel Angel and David with 4 points and depending on the results of James and Henry, this could mean a prize…
However in an endgame with strong queen attack that was en route to be winning for Melvin, Miguel Angel lured Melvin’s white king towards the middle of the board into checkmate.
The other key match that could still change the ranking in the top 3 was between Koji and James. Gradually pieces went off the board until a 2 rooks vs. 5 pawns endgame was left in which Koji managed to stay more precise, winning a few pawns and the game.
Although there were no prizes at stake in the games between Henry and Ray and Conrad and Michel – both boards showed dynamic positions. While Michel with black pressed his h and g pawns far up, supported by a rook, piece and queen, Conrad suffered a piece loss. After this his play through the middle was insufficient to prevent a stampede of the well coordinated black pieces trampling the white king.
In the game between Ray and Henry it was Ray who was slamming on the door of the black king with his pawns pushed up all the way to h5 and g5, supported by queen and pieces. However, Ray chose to break the black protective pawns in front of the black king in peril by playing g6 instead of h6. This made a difference of day and night as Henry freed up his Rh8 after capturing f7xg6 and with his active queen and knight was able to execute a decisive attack on the queen side.
With these results, Long stayed number 1 and became Champion with 5 points. Miguel Angel, single digits in age, ended also with 5 points and collected 2nd prize (and counted and recounted his 750HKD prize money …). David with 4 points ended 3rd. Trophies will be given next week.
Thanks all for the good atmosphere and several fine games played over the board.
Cross table after 7 rounds