The 6th edition of the ChessAgainstCovid Simul with Young Masters series took place yesterday! FM Ashvin Sivakumar and Ethan Poh fought it out against 13 and 16 players respectively on the 25th April at 2pm on the licehss.org server. Both young masters and their opponents fought commendably over the duration fo the simul, which lasted about 1.5-2 hours.
FM Ashvin Sivakumar finished with a score of 11-2, dropping 2 losses to Edric Yap Bao Rui and Ho Yoong Tze Clarence. Edric Yap’s game went into a Carlsbad structure: however, he made a calculation error on the 15th move that led to the master going a pawn up after a tactical combination. Ashvin’s strong passed c-pawn led to him eventually going another pawn up after a forced exchange of Queens, leading to a rook endgame with 5 pawns vs 3 pawns on the same side. However, an unfortunate mouse slip on the last move led to the FM giving away his rook for free and gifting a point to Edric. Clarence Ho played the Sicilian Alapin, and his logical play, moving his rooks to the centre and centralising his pieces, soon posed problems to the master, whose unconventional move order led to an awkward, exposed queen placement. The master erred on his 16th move, giving Clarence a weakness to attack: an isolated c6 pawn. He brought his pieces down to bear, forcing an error from the FM on the 23rd move, which left the c-file wide open for Clarence to charge his c-pawn down the board. By the 30th move, the game was over, and Clarence duly converted his position with a piece up, shortly forcing resignation. Well done! Final score 11-2 to Ashvin.
Ethan Poh finished with a score of 12-2, dropping 2 draws to Charlene Mak and Jayden Chua, and losing to Suryavarman Chandrasekar. Charlene and Ethan duked it out in a Sicilian defence with a speculative 3.b4?! from Ethan. Charlene defended well, and eventually reached a position where she was 3 pawns up by the 23rd move! However, she miscalculated a tactical sequence on the 26th move, failing to find the lethal shot for Black, and allowed Ethan to snatch back 2 pawns. Ethan then provided a powerful showcase of his defensive muscle, setting up a mini-fortress on the Queenside that eventually forced Charlene to concede a draw with a threefold repetition. Jayden and Ethan played a 113-move hard fought game that eventually ended in a draw with just 2 kings left, testament to the fantastic fighting spirit of our junior players. Jayden won a pawn early on ,on the 11th move, likely due to a mouse slip from Ethan. He held on to this advantage, converting to a superior endgame where he had a dominant knight on d6 crushing Black’s position. Soon after, the players traded into a rook endgame, where Siegbert Tarrasch’s tongue-in-cheek idiom “All rook endings are drawn” came to fruition. Jayden began a mammoth 70-move fight to try to convert his extra pawn (which was by then a doubled pawn), but Ethan managed to defend resolutely, forcing a draw. Suryavarman’s principled response to Ethan’s 1…g6, by grabbing the centre, soon led to him winning a pawn in a neat tactical combination that exploited Ethan’s weak king. Suryavarman then showed deft handling of the endgame, squeezing Ethan’s pieces onto the back ranks while forcing his king into perilous territory. This eventually forced the win of a piece, after which Ethan’s position soon collapsed. Final score 12-2 to Ethan
Overall, a scintillating 6th round of the Young Masters Simul Series and to Singaporean players (under Elo 2000) , do sign up as well as if possible, donate to the Chess Against Covid fund at https://tinyurl.com/chessagainstCOVID
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