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Alex Goss has been playing in the 2020 Caplin British Online Championships

Alex Goss representing the UCU at the British has completed the 9 games today January 3rd 2021. How has the competition gone?

Details of the event are available from the website: https://www.englishchess.org.uk/caplin-british-online-championship-finals/ there is an excellent commentary channel during the matches : Game Changer - hosted by GM Matthew Sadler and WIM Natasha Regan https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkK8M0dMhAX8JinU-6aD7xA. Very enjoyable. Full results can be found at: http://chess-results.com/tnr543516.aspx?lan=1&art=4&fed=ENG&flag=30 and the first 2 rounds of games at https://www.englishchess.org.uk/caplin-british-online-chess-championships-replay/ and the remaining at: https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2020-british-online-championship

Alex is ceded 29th out of 37 top players including Grandmasters Michael Adams, Matthew Turner, and Mark Hebden. Heres the top 12 players:

No. Name FideID FED Rtg
1
GM Adams Michael 400041 ENG 2716
2
GM Turner Matthew J 402893 SCO 2509
3
IM Ghasi Ameet K 409200 ENG 2485
4
GM Gormally Daniel W 406465 ENG 2479
5
GM Fernandez Daniel H 5801605 ENG 2466
6
GM Hebden Mark L 400084 ENG 2453
7
IM Wadsworth Matthew J 415804 ENG 2416
8
GM Lalic Bogdan 409081 CRO 2402
9
FM O'gorman Tom 2508249 IRL 2368
10
FM Grieve Harry 426520 ENG 2351
11
FM Tate Alan 2401878 SCO 2342
12
FM Claridge-Hansen William 422509 ENG 2290
13
WGM Toma Katarzyna 1119907 ENG 228

I have added positions from each of Alex's games. Just to give an idea of the games. Alex did brilliantly in a very tough competition.

Alex started round 1 with a tough match against player: FM Grieve Harry 2351. Playing to a Knight v Bishop endgame and obtaining a draw - a brilliant start to the tournament.

rd1-a

White has just played Bc2. Black plays d5 with swaps in the center.

rd1-1

White plays Rd6 Black defends with Re6 then Rd7+ and Re7 and RxR

rd1-2

Black has just played Nd3

rd1-3

Now the plan to swap the Knight for the Pawn. Which is what Alex succeeds todo on move 53.

At the end of the tournament FM Harry Grieve went on to come joint 5th on 5.5 points. The full game can be played through : Rd1 British 2020 - Grieve, Harry (2351) -- Goss, Alex (1833)

So with 1/2 point after round 1 an upset for the ceded matches. Alex was to get another tough match in round 2.the teenager Ismail Mohammed Aayan 1719 ENG.

rd2-1

Just before the Queens come off.

rd2-2

The final position - draw agreed.

Mohammed Aayan Ismail ended in joint 5th position with 5.5. points. The full game can be played through : Rd2 Goss, Alex (1833) -- Ismail, Mohammed Aayan (1719)

So having not yet lost a game Alex went into his third round and was drawn against : FM Blackburn Jonathan Lb 2235 WLS.

rd3-1

Alex pushes 11. ... c5 offering this pawn for the e4 pawn. Jonathan doesnt take the offer and retreats the Bishop 12. Bc2

rd3-2

Alex builds up his forces on the Kingside. This continues with 16. ... Qe7 sacrificing the Pawn on c4. White takes this 17. Nxc4 Nxc4 18. Qxc4 Whites Queen is drawn away from the Kingside.

rd3-3

Black continues bringing the Black Bishop into the fray. White has played Be3 and then Bf1. Blacks last move 20. ... g5 Continues the attack. White forces the issue with 21. g3 and Alex attacks 21. ... Nxg3 22. fxg3 Qxg3+ 23. Bg2 Bxh3 24. Qe2 Qh2+ 25. Kf1 Qh1+ and we are on the next diagram

rd3-4

Alex swaps off and wins a piece. 26. Bg1 Bd4 27. Q3 Qxg1+ 28. Ke2 Qxg2+ 29. Qxg2 Bxg2

rd3-5

Alex has won - White doesnt have anything for the piece and the 2 Pawns.

Jonathan resigns,

 

This game Alex won and undefeated with 2 out of 3 points entered round 4.

The full game can be played through : Rd3 FM Blackburn Jonathan Lb (2235) -- Goss, Alex (1833)

Alex's full score to round 8.

Rd. Bo. SNo Name Rtg FED Pts. Res. w-we
1 10 10 FM Grieve Harry 2351 ENG 5,5 s ½ 0,42
2 10 33 Ismail Mohammed Aayan 1719 ENG 5,5 w ½ -0,16
3 10 16 FM Blackburn Jonathan Lb 2235 WLS 5,0 s 1 0,92
4 8 12 FM Claridge-Hansen William 2290 ENG 3,0 w 0 -0,08
5 10 22 Evans Harry G 1985 ENG 4,5 s 0 -0,30
6 12 26 Gordon Sean 1909 ENG 2,5 w ½ 0,10
7 10 6 GM Hebden Mark L 2453 ENG 5,5 s 0 -0,08
8 13 35 Shearsby Jude 1673 ENG 3.0 w 1 0,29
9 12 25 Varney Zoe 1917 ENG 4.0 ½ 0,12

Game 4 saw Alex's first defeat. Against FM William Claridge-Hansen 2290.

rd4-1

Is the Black isolated pawn on a6 going to be weak?

rd4-2

Black leverages the Pin of the Rook on b1 and has pushed the a pawn.  In this position Alex does the fatal move of Nc2 which allows 30. ... Rxb3

 

rd4-3

The game has gone - 30. ... Rxb3 31. Rbxb3 axb3 and Alex resigns. Possibly the only move earlier would be not to take on b3. 30. ... Rxb3 31. Rba1 but the a pawn can be defended with the Bishop on d7,. So still problematic,

 

 

The full game can be played through: Rd4 Goss, Alex (1833) -- FM Claridge-Hansen, William (2290)

Round 5 saw Alex paired a Black against Harry G Evans (1985).

rd5-1

Alex plays 6. ... h6 then 7. dxc5 White takes and the tries to hold

onto the pawn. 7. ... e6 8. b4 Ne4 9. Nxe4 dxe4 10. Qxd8 Rxd8

11. Nd4

rd5-2

White swaps off. 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Be5 Rg8 14. Ba6

rd5-3

White threatens to win a pawn. Alex swaps the exchange to get two

centred pawns, one passed.

rd5-4

Harry castles Long and brings the rooks into the centre. Can Alex make

advantage of the centre pawns. Although his Rook is out of play.

rd5-5

After gaining a passed pawn c5. Harry attacks the Pawn line. 24. gxf5

Bh5 25. Rxe4 Bxd1 26. Rxe5 Bg4 and Black has got his exchange back

But is 2 pawns down.

rd5-6

Harry pushes the f pawn and gets his Rook onto the seventh Rank.

27. f3 Bh3 28. f6 Rf8 29. Re7+ Kd8 30. Rg7 Rxf6 31. c6 and things

dont look good for Alex.

rd5-7

Harry gives Check with the Rook and faces the Rooks off.

37. ... Kf8 38. Re8+ Kf7 39. Rb8 Next diagram.

rd5-8

Alex resigns.

The full game can be played through: Rd5 Evans Harry G (1985) -- Goss, Alex (1833)

Round 6 and Alex faces Sean Gordon (1985)

rd6-1

Both sides castled Queen-side and have centred Rooks.

rd6-2

Black has pressure on the c4 pawn. 24. c5 Qxe2 25. Nxe2 bNd7

26. Bd4 e6 27. Be3 Ng4 and finally Alex gives up the c pawn with

28. c6 bxc6

rd6-3

Alex brings his Rook to the centre after Sean blocks the f-file with f6

31. Rfd1 Na5 and Alex pokes at the isolated c-pawn. 32. Na5

rd6-4

Alex brings the second Knight over to the b-file 36. Nb5 Sean swaps Rooks

and attacks the two Knights. 36. ... Rxd1 37. Rxd1 Rc5 38. a4 and then Sean

hits the Knight with the a-pawn - looks difficult for Alex. 38. ... a6

39, b4 attacks the Rook and saves the Knight.

rd6-5

So to unscramble the Knights we have had 39. ... Rc8 40. Nd6 Rd8

41. Nab7 (diagram above) Black wins the two Knights for the Rook.

41. ... Rd7 42. Kc2 Rxb7 43. Nxb7 Kxb7.

rd6-6

Some swaps off Pawns and Sean has a passed Pawns on a3 and e5 Whilst

Alex has one on h4. A challenging endgame.

rd6-7

An exciting end - Both players having Pawns on the seventh Ranks.

Sean sacrifices his Bishop to enable his Pawn to Queen. His last move

68. ... f5 69. Rxh8 Ne2+ 70. Ke3 a1=Q 71. Rd8+ Kc4 72. h8=Q Qa3+

73. Kxe2 Qf3+

 

rd6-8

Sean has perpectual check and the game is drawn.

 

The full game can be played through: Rd 6 Goss, Alex (1833) -- Gordon, Sean (1985)

Round 7 saw Alex playing GM Mark Hebden.

rd7-1

Alex pushes 6. ... e5  Already a Pawn down this allows White to

put pressure on the d5 pawn. 7. Bg5 d4 8. exd4 exd4 9. Ne4 Qd5

rd7-2

Mark now swaps the Knights 10. Nxef6+ gxf6 11. Bxf6 gaining another Pawn

Alex has space and a Rook on a Half open file that could end up facing the King

and White has no Rooks in play and the Kingside untouched. But does Alex

have time or will White consolidate and win with his two pawns advantage?

rd7-3

Both sides castled. White has built a Kings fortress. 18. Kh1 just plated

then 18. ... f4 19. Bh4 Alex plays the Rook to safety 19. ... Rde8 - one

thought was 19. ... Ne5 looks quite threatening.

rd7-4

Queens exchanged and Pawns pushed. 27. ... Ref8 28, Bg4 Rhg8

29. h4 Bxa3 A fascinating position.30. Rfd1 Ne5 31. Rd4 Alex played

31. ... b5 but how about 31. ... Nxg4 32. fxg4 and 32. ... Rxg5 33. hxg5 Rc8

I dont quite think it works - but looks fun. 34. Rdd1 f3

rd7-5

I wonder perhaps with the White Rook on f4 we can now do.

33. ... Rc8 threatening Rc1+

Alex played 33. ... Kb7 34. Rxf8 Rxf8 35. Kg2 Kc6 36. h5 Kd5 and its

difficult to stop the White Pawns. Interesting choice of Blacks next move

37. h6 Kc4 heading to protect the Pawn on b2. Alex could have

alternatively played 37. ... Ke6 38, h7 Kf7 and used the King to stop

the h-pawn.

rd7-6

Alex pushes his King to support the Black Pawn.

The game went: 38. h7 Kb3 39. Bf6 Kc2 What follows is an excellent

lesson in endgame play 40. Rxb2+ Bxb2 41. Bxb2 Kxb2 Next diagram.

rd7-7

White just gave up Rook for a won endgame.

42. g5 a5 43. g6 a4 44. g7 Re8  next diagram.

rd7-8

Black cant stop White from Queening.

45. h8=Q Rxh8 46. gxh8=Q+ Kb1 47. Qc3 Ka2 48. Kf1 a3 49. Ke2 Alex Resigned.

What a brilliant game.

 

The full game can be played through: Rd 7 GM Hebden, Mark L (2453) -- Goss, Alex (1833)

Alex went into Round 8 with two and a half points. His next opponent Jude Shearsby 1673.

rd8-1

Last move 13. ... Ne6  followed by 14. Nxe5 Nxg5 15. Qxg5 Nxe4

rd8-2

Queens off 16. Qxd8 Rxd8 17. Bxe4 Bxe5 18. Bxb7 Bxc3

19. bxc3 Bb5 20 Rfe1 White is a pawn up. 20. ... Rxd1

21. Rxd1 Re2 22. Rd8+ Kg7 23. Rc8  next diagram - threatening

to swap a double pawn for a pawn and making a passed pawn.

rd8-3

Black decides now to Swap 23. ... Re7 24. Ra8 threatening a Pawn

24. .... Re6 defending the Pawn 25. Bd5 Re1+ 26. Kh2 Black has alot

of loose Pawns 26. ... c6 27. Bb3 Re4 next diagram

rd8-4

Black's Bishop is lost after 28 f2 as White is threatening  c4.

Black resigns.

The full game can be played through: Rd 8 Goss, Alex (1833) -- Shearsby Jude (1673)

Alex goes into the final round with 3.5 points. an excellent score against tough opposition. His last game is against Zoey Varney 1917

rd9-1

White does some clever moves. Targeting f7.

15. ... Bf5 16. Qc4

rd9-2

White sacrifices the exchange. For an attack on f7.

17. Rxe6 fxe6 18. Qxe6+ Kh8 19. Ne5

rd9-3

Alex's move - he plays accurately. 19. ... Rae8 20. Nf7+ Rxf7

21. Qxf7 Bxc3 22. bxc3 Qa3

rd9-4

A couple of repeated moves and a draw is agreed.

23. Rb1 Qa5 24. Rc1 Qa3 25. Rb1 Draw.

 

The full game can be played through: Rd 9 Varney Zoe (1917) -- Goss, Alex (1833)

The whole competition provided some brilliant chess and some good chess Commentary on :

It was brilliant to see Alex Goss do so well whilst representing the Ulster Chess Union. He ended in joint 20th place.

The end result was a tie on first place between GM Michael Adams and IM Ameet K Ghasi - resulting in a two game play off Won by Michael Adams.

Ghasi v Adams play-off game 1 British 2020 score  0  -  1

Adams v Ghasi play-off game 2 British 2020 score 1/2 - 1/2

Final Ranking crosstable after 9 Rounds

Rk. Name Rtg FED 1.Rd 2.Rd 3.Rd 4.Rd 5.Rd 6.Rd 7.Rd 8.Rd 9.Rd Pts.
1
GM Adams Michael 2716 ENG 10b1 28w1 2b1 4w1 11b1 7w½ 5b½ 3w½ 9b½ 7,0
IM Ghasi Ameet K 2485 ENG 19b1 9w1 1w0 13b1 12w1 3b½ 4b½ 10w1 5b1 7,0
3
IM Wadsworth Matthew J 2416 ENG 21b1 18w½ 23b1 11w0 9b1 2w½ 13b1 1b½ 4w1 6,5
4
GM Turner Matthew J 2509 SCO 20w1 17b1 5w1 1b0 28w1 10b1 2w½ 8b½ 3b0 6,0
5
GM Fernandez Daniel H 2466 ENG 33b1 14w1 4b0 9w½ 24b1 11w1 1w½ 12b½ 2w0 5,5
GM Hebden Mark L 2453 ENG 29w1 13b½ 11w0 17b0 23w1 12b0 22w1 21b1 16w1 5,5
GM Lalic Bogdan 2402 CRO 31w1 11b½ 13w½ 18b½ 17w1 1b½ 12w½ 16b½ 8w½ 5,5
FM Grieve Harry 2351 ENG 22w½ 25b1 17w½ 12b0 18w1 16b½ 24w1 4w½ 7b½ 5,5
Chopra Tanmay 2273 IND 27w1 2b0 30w1 5b½ 3w0 20b½ 29w1 14b1 1w½ 5,5
Cox Tristan A 2141 ENG 1w0 15b1 29w1 23b1 16w1 4w0 18b1 2b0 11w½ 5,5
Finn Peter 1959 ENG 35b+ 7w½ 6b1 3b1 1w0 5b0 16w½ 13w1 10b½ 5,5
Ismail Mohammed Aayan 1719 ENG 22b½ 25w1 8w1 2b0 6w1 7b½ 5w½ 15b½ 5,5
13
FM Toczek Grzegorz 2271 WLS 24b1 6w½ 7b½ 2w0 14b1 19w1 3w0 11b0 20w1 5,0
FM Blackburn Jonathan Lb 2235 WLS 30w1 5b0 22w0 31b1 13w0 27b1 20w1 9w0 23b1 5,0
Stubbs Oliver 1905 ENG 28b0 10w0 26b½ 33w1 32b1 18w0 30b1 19w1 12w½ 5,0
16
FM O'gorman Tom 2368 IRL 26b1 23w½ 18b½ 19w1 10b0 8w½ 11b½ 7w½ 6b0 4,5
WGM Toma Katarzyna 2289 ENG 32b1 4w0 8b½ 6w1 7b0 23w½ 18b½ 4,5
CM Villiers Thomas 2161 ENG 37w+ 3b½ 16w½ 7w½ 8b0 15b1 10w0 24b½ 17w½ 4,5
Evans Harry G 1985 ENG 2w0 27b1 20w1 16b0 22w1 13b0 15b0 24w1 4,5
20
Wills Thomas 1994 ENG 4b0 32w½ 19b0 34w1 30b1 9w½ 14b0 27w1 13b0 4,0
Varney Zoe 1917 ENG 3w0 37b+ 28b0 30b½ 27w½ 26b1 6w0 22w½ 4,0
Goss Alex 1833 IRL 8b½ 12w½ 14b1 28w0 19b0 31w½ 6b0 30w1 21b½ 4,0
Gurner Jem 1800 JCI 36w+ 16b½ 3w0 10w0 6b0 25w1 31b1 17b½ 14w0 4,0
Volovich Julia 1674 ENG 13w0 31b½ 34w1 29b1 5w0 -1 8b0 18w½ 19b0 4,0
25
Shafi Declan 2166 SCO 34b1 8w0 12b0 32w0 29w0 23b0 26w1 31b1 27b½ 3,5
Finn Chris 1886 ENG 16w0 29b0 15w½ 27b0 34b1 21w0 25b0 32w1 31w1 3,5
Idle Oscar J 1722 ENG 9b0 19w0 33b½ 26w1 21b½ 14w0 32b1 20b0 25w½ 3,5
28
FM Claridge-Hansen William 2290 ENG 15w1 1b0 21w1 22b1 4b0 -0 -0 -0 -0 3,0
CM Balaji Aaravamudhan 2206 ENG 6b0 26w1 10b0 24w0 25b1 32w1 9b0 -0 -0 3,0
Shearsby Jude 1673 ENG 14b0 33w1 9b0 21w½ 20w0 34b1 15w0 22b0 32b½ 3,0
31
Gordon Sean 1909 ENG 7b0 24w½ 32b½ 14w0 33b+ 22b½ 23w0 25w0 26b0 2,5
Arora Tashika 1744 ENG 17w0 20b½ 31w½ 25b1 15w0 29b0 27w0 26b0 30w½ 2,5
33
Rathbone-Jones Ifan 1941 WLS 5w0 30b0 27w½ 15b0 31w- -0 -0 -0 -0 0,5
Oh Julie 1168 ENG 25w0 24b0 20b0 26w0 30w0 -0 -0 -0 0,5
35
GM Gormally Daniel W 2479 ENG 11w- -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 0,0
FM Tate Alan 2342 SCO 23b- -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 0,0
Greenwood Mark 0 ENG 18b- 21w- -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 -0 0,0
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