British OTB Championship, 2021, Round 5
Round 5 was played on 06/10/2021.
In the Championship, in sole lead after 4 rounds was Mark Hebden on 3˝ out of 4, with Andrew Ledger 2nd equal with three others on 3 out of 4. The up-float, to play Hebden, fell to Andrew Ledger who thus had a chance to make the headlines by winning, and thereby possibly go into the sole lead himself, if the others on 3 out of 4 only drew. The last sentence was written at the start of the round. The writer then went shopping, returned, fell asleep, woke up, and found the hypothesised possibility had indeed materialised!
Thus Andrew Ledger won, and went into the sole lead with 4 out of 5, but hotly pursued by six players on 3˝.
Robert Starley and Svetlana Sučikova both entered round 5 with the score of 2 out of 4, the former losing and the latter winning.
Andrew Ledger played the Saemisch variation, with Bg5, against Hebden’s King’s Indian. Black seemed to be getting promising play on the Queen’s side, but White meanwhile engineered the pawn advance f4 to support the traditional e5 pawn push typical of White‘s play in the Modern Benoni, creating a passed white d-pawn which formed the basis of a win for White!
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Robert Starley had Black against Keith Arkell, and so potentially faced a steep uphill struggle. He initiated an attack against White’s king and as part of that entered a complicated series of exchanges which left him the minor exchange down for a pawn. This proved sufficient for Arkell to win.
Svetlana Sučikova had Black again, this time against Frederick Gordon, who was next to the bottom of the initial tournament ranking list. White set up a sort of attack against Black’s king, though it seemed not to be going anywhere. Then White allowed Queen’s side pawns to drop off in the hope the getting a rook to b7 would help his cause, but in so doing gave Black a passed a-pawn. Then White carelessly lost a bishop, and Black cruised to a win.