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Cotswold Open 2015 by Asen Asenov

27.5.15 - A few words on Pavel's really top performance at the 47th Cotswold Chess Congress.



To start with Pavel was looking for a FIDE rated tournament somewhere close by and didn’t even consider this congress until Alan (special thanks as he also gave him a lift to the venue the first two days!) mentioned it at the Witney Chess Club annual dinner.




After little consideration we decided to enter very last minute and it turn out to be a very good decision – Pavel went on to win it out-right! What a top performance and everyone at the event was impressed by the way he took challenge after challenge.


This was Pavel’s first OPEN tournament title since he started playing in open tournaments some less than year and a half ago – I hope it is just the beginning! Please join me in wishing him more success in his future endeavours!


Here is a brief report Pavel wrote himself:


1. Russell Campbell-160-black-first round of tournament just trying to start of well.


2. Carl Gartside-162-white-he beat a 190 first round, but outplayed him.


3. Ian Robson-white-195-strong player, I was playing on board one as the two top seeds were on one and a half and the third seed on 1. So it was me and the fourth seed. I had a double white and managed to outplay him in a long but interesting game finishing in a nice attack and queen trap.


4. Michael Ashworth-186-black, strong junior, only a year or two older than me and very solid. He deviated from a precious sharp encounter and chose a slow kings Indian attack formation as white. I eventually managed to outplay him in a slightly better endgame.



5. Joey Stewart-208-white, interestingly I was on 4/4 and one point clear of the field. If I won this game it would secure me first place in the tournament although I wasn't trying to win the game from the very start. I just decided to play my best and see what happens. In an uncommon variation of the modern defence we reached an original position where I had the positional upper edge dominating the whole queenside and D file stopping development of his QB and QR. By attacking on the kingside he was too vulnerable to open the position and closed the kingside off. In a semi-closed position he decided to give up an exchange for nothing thinking it would be hard for me to break through. The game finished with a decisive attack against the black king winning a piece and ending a rook up, he lost on time.


6. Chris Beaumont-218-black, top seed and also 2300 IM. He had drawn the previous round and was on 3 and a half points. Me being on five I had already secured clear first place so as far as the tournament went I had nothing to play for although 6/6 would have been nice. It seemed unlikely to win with black against such a strong player and early into the middle game my opponent had to trade off all the minor pieces to stop my attack. With me dominating the E file my opponent tried to threaten some pawns on the queenside. Instead of defending them I countered on the kingside attacking a weak f2 pawn. He had to a rook on the second file to protect and I missed a nice queen sacrifice that would lead to mate. My opponent relieved that he didn't lose traded off another pair of rooks and we agreed a draw in a symmetrical dead drawn position. :


Some photos from the venue and the tournament | Cotswold Congress website


- Asen Asenov


Photos provided by Asen Asenov



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