English Chess Championship 2022, Round 7
The 7th and final round of this event was played on the fourth day, Sunday 22nd May.
Open Round 7
White’s 28th move was pivotal in both games.
Oskar Hackner of Sheffield, standing in equal 8th to 14th place on 3½ out of 6, had White against Shabir Okhai who on ratings looks a somewhat weaker player; the two are however probably of comparable strength. On move 28, Oskar sacrificed a rook for bishop and knight, with a view to outplaying his opponent in the ending, which took a further 17 moves and produced another aesthetically pleasing final position.
Peter Hepworth of Huddersfield, standing more modestly at equal 19th to 28th on 2½ out of 6, was paired against an opponent to whom “on paper” he was unlikely to lose, but whose rating seems lower than his performance suggests. At move 28, Peter defended against a threat against his a-pawn, apparently overlooking that his opponent was also threatening to win a piece! Losing a piece tends to concentrate the mind, and Peter (White) engineered his c-pawn reaching c7, but he ran out of steam, and Black then could start pushing his own passed pawns which was the beginning of the end, and Peter eventually had to resign.
Arkle received the 4th prize after application of tie-break. The event was sponsored by Chessable.
The overall entry might not have seemed strong, by standards, for an event called the “English Chess Championship”, yet those finishing below Oskar Hackner included 1 GM, 2 IMs and 6 FMs!