Unfortunately Ulysses could not make it today (resulting in an automatic win for Andy) but apart from that we had action on all other boards in round 6.
This was a round with highs and dramatic lows. To start with, on board 1 Teddy could have freed himself up to pole position for round 7 by beating James. His ferocious attack led to win of a piece and just-not-check-mate. However, possibly Teddy forgot that he was a piece up when he accepted James’ draw offer when his immediate check mate didn’t work.
On table 2 even more drama. Given the above, by winning from Ronald, Richard could have pushed himself up to first place instead of Teddy. But at the end of a long pawn endgame battle Richie let his completely winning position of King + Queen against Ronald’s King + pawn end in a draw. Tension and pressure must be high in this event as we all know Richard’s qualities to be way above this to happen – and similar things were to happen on other boards too…
These results were definitely useful to Miguel Angel who beat Harsh by timing his king-side attack well enough to gain some pawns for free. It was also calmer and more straightforward to winning routes on the boards where Marco beat Toby and Mei Jing beat Harold after both Toby and Harold had made some early mistakes.
Samuel came with lots of advantage out of the opening with white against Anika but the excitement of having a good position could work against you if you lose patience and that is what might explain why Samuel lost the game.
Finally, the most impressive game seen in a while on any chess board was between Steven and Pak. Steven had developed his white pieces in such a harmonious way that when he lost his queen through a knight double attack check, he managed to create immediate counterplay. Allowing pins, creating new ones, trading few pieces in the way of several checks he wanted to give with his combined bishops, Steven suddenly had pushed the black king back to the middle of the board where it was checkmated by a combination of 3 minor pieces and a rook. Pak probably could have done something about it 10 moves earlier, e.g., by sacrificing something back, but the last 5 moves were already part of a forced win.
As can be seen from below ranking tables in the coming last round, anything can happen.