Civil war (round2 vs Cannes)

Civil war (round2 vs Cannes)

Jan 26, 2018, 1:03 PM |

Round 1 : 2,5-1,5

It's must be a hard job being board 4 for the Migraines, nobody bothered showing up for the first round. This round illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of the Migraines. An invisible board 4 who is only usually there to make up the numbers didn't stop the Migraines taking an early lead. Bacrot finally beat an IM (though she was also a WGM so he has still only ever beat GMs). This result was important for Migraine fans who watched round 1 but the key game of the round was that of Gozzoli. He beat a fellow GM who had a similar rating to him. He gained a pawn in the late middle and won a rook ending after a well timed swap of bishops.

Round 2 : 2,5-1,5

The Migraines got their board 4 back but once again the round was won thanks to the top 3 boards. The Gozzoli Lagarde game petered out, Maze defeated the WGM Cornette and Bacrot won against Gunina. In this round, there were no real surprises or upsets. However, Bacrot's game was the only decisive GM battle and it is notable for the position on move 47, one move before the end, where in a quite  simple looking position there where a lot of tactics.

Round 3 : 3-1

This was the point of no return for Cannes. The top 3 boards coordinated for a whitewash and the game was all but over at 8-4. All those games were impressive and deserved a mention. Gozzoli's past pawn was a killer and Bacrot's game demanded a bunch of precise moves under extreme time pressure including a pseudo sacrifice of a rook. But Maze's game was not only the most important on paper because of the small rating gap but was also the most impressive. He made the London System a weapon of mass destruction with a rapid pawn storm followed up by a piece sacrifice and then a destruction of black's castled position, including a pseudo sacrifice of the queen and then finished off his opponent with a brilliant discovered attack.

Round 4 : 2-2

The final round ended up all equal with two draws by Bacrot and Maze with black a win by Gozzoli and a loss for Maurizzi. Maze's game was interesting with a piece for three pawns exchange but it was cut short by Fontaine's threats that incited Maze to take a repetition (it was going to be a draw anyway). Gozzoli executed an efficient and destructive attack after which he correctly converted his material advantage.

Maurizzi missed a draw under extreme time pressure, can you find it ?

The final position is just about drawn.


To sum it up, our top 3 boards were near perfect but our bottom board hasn't yet got on the score board (though it's not really his fault).