- Jacques Ophoff 2257 1-0 Sir Philip Cohen 1784
- David Findlay 2150 ½–½ Alastair Dawson 1734
- Ed Spencer 2016 1-0 James Anderson 1577
- Alan Borwell 1883 0-1 Ross Bremner 1565e
Jim and Ed played a 30 move game in 15 minutes! Unheard of in over-the-board play, but it just shows the differences. Jim may be wishing he’d spent a bit more time, as his somewhat passive London play handed a clear initiative to Ed’s Modern Defence. Feeling the squeeze, Jim began dropping pawns all round. Three down and facing the loss of a fourth, he graciously conceded.
David has struggled against Alastair’s Caro Kann before, and again didn’t make much impression in the early running here. Alastair was happy to let David grab a pawn, and even Stockfish could find little better for either side than a draw by repetition, perpetually attacking the White Queen.
Phil and Jacques engaged in a heavyweight manoeuvring battle in the early stages, but Jacques space gaining on the kingside was paving the way to future benefits. Then a slip by Phil allowed Jacques to win a pawn and create a weakness around the white king for a clear edge. Further jockeying followed, till an under pressure Phil snatched a very poisoned pawn, allowing a neat mating attack finish.
There was a very sharp tussle on board 4. An inaccuracy by Alan lost a pawn early on. He was forced into an active assault on the black king, though it never quite seemed to have enough firepower. But both players missed chances in the melee, hardly surprising in such a sharp position in time pressure. Ross was never losing, but Alan might have snatched equality on a couple of occasions. A final slip by Alan allowed Ross to break through to Alan’s own weakened king to claim an impressive win.