By Surin Bhawsar
Almere Chess Club – Youth Chess Competition Championship Match for 2021-2022
Ashwath and Thomas played the championship decider on Monday, 20th Feb 2023. It was a best of 2 games and Thomas began the first game with the white pieces.
In the first game, Thomas started with the London system and Ashwath responded with the Kings Indian defense. Early on, Ashwath forked Thomas’ knight and bishop with his pawn chain and was up a bishop. It was an intense game till move 24, when Ashwath unintentionally put the queen in front of his king and Thomas could pin the queen with his bishop, eventually leading to Ashwath losing his queen. So Ashwath was a queen down for a knight and a bishop and it seemed like Thomas could drive the advantage home. However, Ashwath rallied back with his remaining pieces and took control of the game, eventually checkmating Thomas with his rook and bishop pair.
Game 2 began with Ashwath having the white pieces and proceeding with the English opening. This time Thomas was well prepared for the opponent and was in an attacking mindframe moving his queen out in the battlefield as early as move 4. In the ensuing attack, Ashwath was able to fork Thomas’ queen and bishop with his knight and as early as move 6 was a bishop up. From then onwards, the game pretty much swung in Ashwath’s favour as he was able to capitalize on his early gain and attack Thomas’ king side which also resulted in Thomas losing his rook in the middle game. After a few exchanges and game play, the second game also ended in a similar fashion with Ashwath check mating Thomas with his rook and bishop pair.
It was an evenly fought contest and eventually the stronger player took the cup home. Kudos to Ashwath and Thomas for being the 2 contenders to vie for the championship and congratulations to Ashwath for winning the title.