CASTLEHILL JUNIOR CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP 2020-21
Round 2: Mon 4th Jan 21: 6pm
Round 2 proved to be a more exciting night in more ways than one! Haoqi Liu and his mum both forgot he was playing tonight! Luckily for him and his opponent Noah, they did get started which is better for both players as playing is the only way to learn. You learn nothing from winning by default! The night also provided a “Genius” moment or two, something to behold indeed!
Haoqi Liu 2, Noah Dickson 0
This was a strange battle with both players leaving pieces for the taking, but never taking them! Also both players missed checkmates! As we all know Haoqi J9 has his own style of play which can be both “beautiful” and “horrific” to watch! In one game Noah J8 left his Knight for the taking (move 10) but for some reason Haoqi did not take it and after the third offer was spurned, Noah moved the Knight to safety only to return it to the same square the next move! On move 17 Haoqi finally took the Knight! End of game? No! Haoqi being Haoqi does not like to do things the easy way and a few moves later handed the piece back to give Noah the advantage. Players like Haoqi are a nightmare to play against. One minute you are winning but still wondering what is going on. The next you are losing still wondering what is going on! But Noah did not take full advantage of Haoqi`s last mistake on move 28 when he attacked Noah`s Queen!
Noah played 29.Qe3? What should he have played?
After that it was just a comedy of errors from both players whose endgame technique needs some work on it! The bright side is both players have some vision and with a little work and practice, who knows what the future holds for both of them!
Josh Dickson 2, Alexander Barron-Majerik 0
Alexander J9 has more experience than Josh J10 despite his young age, and that showed clearly during the opening faze of both games in which he gained a clear advantage only to throw it all away with moments of madness! Josh has improved since he joined us along with his brother Noah and this showed during the middle and endgames stages where he began to show his dominance over Alexander who under pressure began to make more and more mistakes! Alexander still had opportunities to turn it around but the moves needed were a bit above his knowledge base for the moment (see diagram). Josh had just played 31….g6
Alexander played 32.Rf3? Was there a better move?
This was a good performance by Josh and he deserved the victory and the plaudits for his play. One to watch who might still have a say on who finishes top later on! Both players have what it takes to leap forward with their chess if they are up for the challenge!
Ramit Kanodia 1, Rishi Vijayakumar 1
What a battle this was as the two top players clashed early! Rishi J9 while younger than his opponent is the clear favourite to take the title (He is the defending champion as well!). Ramit J13 his opponent has to be fair stalled a little bit over the past year, but is still a very good player and hopefully will start moving forward again soon! In game one, Rishi seemed to gain an advantage only for him to hand it all back to Ramit by playing 16.Qc2?? (Qb3!).
Unfortunately Ramit missed the opportunity to play 16…..d4(!!) taking advantage of whites undefended Queen on c2 to win the Knight and instead played the safe move 0-0? That turned out to be his only chance as Rishi showed his class and never let him back in the game!
Game two was a belter of a battle and both showed why they are the two best players in the competition by a country mile! Yes a few combinations missed but to be fair, a little above their pay grade for the moment! Rishi found himself under a lot of pressure from Ramit and it was beginning to show in his play! Ramit then took the brave decision to go for it by sacking first his Rook! Was this a mistake, or genius? Well it turned out to be inspired as the pressure mounted on Rishi, Ramit did the unthinkable and sacked his Queen!
Unbelievable play and vision to see that sacrificing your Queen was the right move (did he see this when he sacked his rook?). What a finish to a great game of chess by both players! Ramit did not let his defeat in game one get to him and proved what we all know at Castlehill, that he can indeed play chess! To put our top junior (Rishi) under so much pressure and then finish it off with a rook and then Queen sacrifice was awe inspiring! This was a battle of junior giants and a win a piece was the correct result for both of them. Ramit you can take great pride in the way you played the second game and the way you finished it. Now you have shown you have what it takes to compete with players like Rishi!
I can’t wait for round three on 15th February 21. 6pm!
For all the results, standings and 3rd round draw click the link below. The Rishi v Ramit game is on our Club searchable database of games if you would like to see it in full!