Round 5

For the first time since the start of the tournament, the top 3 boards all ended in draws yesterday.

The board 1 encounter between Vachier-Lagrave and Fridman was an interesting Petroff which ended in a draw by repetition on move 31. The balance was never really disrupted on board 2 either, where Marin and Tiviakov were manoeuvring it out in a Symmetrical English opening.


Board 3, where Mickey Adams was facing Avital Boruchovsky with the white pieces, was a totally different affair. The English number one didn’t really get any advantage out of the opening and it wasn’t until move 55, when he won a pawn in a rook endgame, that he got any winning chances. But the young Israeli player defended well and the players finally shook hands at around 8pm, after a 79-move battle.


Another outstanding result for 17-year old Avital Boruchovsky

Facing Keith Arkell on board 5, Gawain Jones came well prepared and this ensured him an initiative he eventually converted into a full point after an interesting tactical battle.

In what was one of the two only games to go on for even longer than Adams-Boruchovsky, Kobo Ori held David Howell to a draw on board 5 and thus remains unbeaten and well on course for both a GM and an IM norm.


Kobo Ori’s impressive result after 5 rounds, earning him a fine 2623 performance


                                              A look into the playing hall shortly before 8pm

The English duel between Nigel Short and Jonathan Hawkins on board 7 was an interesting draw in the Evans Gambit, a game which Nigel later assessed as having been “quite accurate, in fact” on his official Facebook page.


Yuliya Shvayger (2306) is on 3/5 and performing at 2480 after drawing with Mark Hebden

Down on board 15, 5th seed Granda Zuniga (2674) suffered yet another defeat, this time at the hands of Simon Ansell (2370). This is definitely not the tournament of the legendary Peruvian grandmaster, who in fact resigned in a drawn position.


This is the final position in which Black has just resigned after 21...Qxb3. However, Simon Ansell pointed out that after 22.Bxe1 White is just ok because of 22...Bxc4 (Black has to play 22...Qxd1 23.Rxd1 Ra8 if he wants to maintain a slight advantage) 23.Qxb3 24.Rb1!

Simon opined that his opponent was probably so disgusted at missing 22.Qxb3 Nf3+ that he failed to take the time to check the variations thoroughly, and therefore overestimated the severity of his position.


                       Simon Ansell deep in concentration

Last but not least there was some local cheer yesterday as adoptive Manxman Henrik Fabri (1948) overcame a rating difference of over 350 points to defeat WIM Marsel Efroimski (2316). A strong reminder (as if we needed it!) that there are hard fought games taking place in all sections of the tournament.


                Local hero Henrik Fabri during an earlier round

So after 5 rounds Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is still leading the tournament with 4.5/5, but there are now no less than 6 players within striking distance of him on 4/5: Tiviakov, Marin, Fridman, Sargissian, Jones and Vaisser.

Today Tiviakov will challenge Vachier-Lagrave on the top board, while Sargissian faces Marin and Vaisser plays Jones. On board 5 we find the interesting clash between England’s number 1 and 4, as David Howell takes on Mickey Adams with the white pieces.

As usual, the games start at 1.30pm and you can follow them live here:

Fiona Steil-Antoni (Press Officer)

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