2012 World Championship, Rounds 6 & 7
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|Seed||Participant||Name||WHRE||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Rd. 5||Rd. 6||Rd. 7|
|1||chessandgo||Jean Daligault||2607||bye||S 3 W||G 7 L||S 2 L||S 4 W||G 5 W||G 2 W|
|2||Fritzlein||Karl Juhnke||2517||G 11 W||bye||S 6 W||G 1 W||S 5 L||S 7 L||S 1 L|
|3||Nombril||Eric Momsen||2270||S 10 W||G 1 L||G 4 W||G 8 W||S 6 W||bye||S 5 L|
|4||Tuks||Louis-Daniel Scott||2270||S 9 W||G 5 L||S 3 L||S 11 W||G 1 L|
|5||Adanac||Greg Magne||2231||S 8 W||S 4 W||bye||G 7 L||G 2 W||S 1 L||G 3 W|
|6||rabbits||Gregory Clark||2172||S 7 L||S 11 W||G 2 L||G 9 W||G 3 L|
|7||hanzack||1995||G 6 W||S 8 W||S 1 W||S 5 W||bye||G 2 W||bye|
|8||ocmiente||Thomas Foy||1929||G 5 L||G 7 L||G 10 W||S 3 L|
|9||Simon||Simon Lambert||1921||G 4 L||S 10 W||G 11 L||S 6 L|
|10||woh||Hervé D’Hondt||1903||G 3 L||G 9 L||S 8 L|
|11||Harren||Daniel Worm||1765||S 2 L||G 6 L||S 9 W||G 4 L|
Each side opened with camels on opposite wings and then pursued a horse advance & rabbit pull on the “strong” wing. By the 8th turn each player had pulled a rabbit onto the 4th rank, on the mirror squares of b5 and g4. The opportunity for a rabbit trade existed on the 11th turn: while chessandgo took the rabbit on 12g, Adanac declined the gold rabbit capture in order to use it as an obstacle against the gold elephant while attacking the f3 trap. This set the motif for upcoming struggle. A frame of the g3 gold hose was threatened after 15s and the gold elephant could save the day by abandoning the f5 rabbit. Instead, chessandgo used blockades on 16g and 17g to hold back the silver attack and keep the gold rabbit alive in the north. Unable to break through the blockade directly, Adanac moved his attacking horse west then south around the f3 trap. After 23s another gold horse frame loomed, except this time with the silver horse on f2 rather than f4. However, the gold camel was able to break up the threat in time. Unable to gain full control of f3, Adanac switched plans to a direct goal attack along the eastern side of the board. Chessandgo anticipated the danger and used his 26th move to shift more defenders to the east. Silver’s 26s was intended to place an extra defender on the h-file to prevent the gold f5 rabbit from having an open path to the east. However, this move was likely pre-mature as the slower plan of shifting the a8 rabbit east to e8 before transferring the other rabbit east, would have kept the key e7 square blockaded. On the 28th turn (see the Diagram), with the silver rabbit advance to g3 imminent (along with a dog advance from g5 to g4), the gold elephant turned the tables with a very powerful 28g that delayed the rabbit advance with a threat to the silver cat in the f6 trap followed by another elephant maneuver on 29g that froze the silver dog at g5, thus halting a key piece in the silver plan. It was a positional error on 30s to leave the d6 square unoccupied and thus the gold cat was able to take possession of d6, and the gold horse immediately occupied c7 on 31g. Now it was Gold that had the much stronger position and rabbit-advancing prospects, plus he still had the material lead due to the lone rabbit capture in the opening. Silver spent the rest of the game on the defensive and never achieved the rabbit advance in the east. Beginning with 34g, and after inaccurate defending by Adanac, Gold made two more quick captures in the northeast followed by an unstoppable goal advance on the 37th turn. Chessandgo survived his second straight elimination match and now both players advance to the 7th round with a 3-2 record.
The opening phase was fairly well balanced through 9 turns with each player having a camel on opposite wings and a horse ready to pull rabbits. Fritzlein made the first rabbit capture on 12s and he threatened the f3 gold camel on the same move to deter a camel flip from d6 to d4. Hanzack counter-threatened the silver horse on 13g to distract the gold elephant and allow a rabbit capture in the f3 trap on 14g. Though the material was even, Silver built a small positional advantage by freeing the horse that had been frozen at b4 and turning it into an attacker. While Gold pursued another rabbit pull in the east, the silver elephant & horse worked together for a possible attack around the c3 trap. The gold camel took a step west on 15g to slightly deter a silver E+H attack in the southwest and then the gold elephant occupied c4 on 16g to completely take that possibility away. However, Silver still maintained the advantage by flipping a rabbit north on 17s and taking the material lead on the 18th turn. The elephant was productive on the b4 square, flipping yet another piece on 19s; this time a horse. Hanzack had the option of moving his camel west on 20g to potentially trade horses, but he chose instead to protect his western horse while the eastern counterpart continued the rabbit pull.
While the gold horse was saved in the west, the western silver horse jumped into attack mode. Silver had a significant positional advantage by the 22nd turn thanks to an E+H attack against the c3 trap plus a one rabbit advantage because Gold was still pulling the second eastern silver rabbit down. On 23g hanzack realized that a silver camel attack in the west would create enormous problems, including long-term goal chances along the a-file. So he decided to sacrifice a rabbit (the implication of his 23g) and then charged ahead on the subsequent move with his cat to a4 in order to slow down the silver attack while he tried to capture a rabbit and then reorganize his forces. Each player captured a rabbit on the 25th turn, but while Gold remained a rabbit behind in the material race, his delaying tactics on the turns 23 & 24 were sufficient to allow his gold camel to arrive in the southwest on 28g, just as the silver camel was also arriving on the scene. After 29g (see the Diagram), Silver had a definite space advantage in the west (along with the one-rabbit piece advantage) but his c1 horse was frozen and the b3 camel could potentially be taken hostage. Both of these factors would play a major role in the later course of events. A rabbit advance from b4 to b2 may have been Silver's strongest move on 29s in order to amplify the goal pressure but Fritzlein still had a considerable advantage, nonetheless, after a general advance of his western army on the 29th turn. Hanzack pursued the logical course of action from moves 30-32 by taking the silver camel hostage at b2 while trying to produce an additional threats in the east with his own camel. The silver elephant was able to rotate away from the c3 trap on 32s, being replaced on the d3 square by a silver dog. The free silver elephant was a big positional advantage, of course, but the fact that there was only time to place a silver dog, rather than the g5 silver horse, on the d3 square would also play a role in Silver's later difficulties.
Hanzack made two clever piece rotations on his 34th & 35th turns: on 34g the d2 rabbit and e2 dog switched places followed by a swap of the d2 dog and c2 horse on 35g. This allowed the gold dog to keep the silver dog bottled on the c3 trap while the other silver dog on d3 would be vulnerable to the d2 gold horse. While Gold was reorganizing his forces along the 2nd row, the silver elephant had rotated to the f4 square in order to threaten the g4 gold horse. On the 35th turn (see the Diagram), Fritzlein had a difficult decision to make: he could win a horse-for-dog trade immediately, though it would involve losing control of the c3 trap; or he could move his cat from b5 to d4 in order to create a phalanx at d3 and block in the gold horse. Fritz opted for the first choice but while he gained material he opened the door for additional counter-play by Gold. After the trade of pieces the silver elephant returned to defend the c3 trap on 37s but this move was an inaccuracy that allowed the gold horse the option of framing the silver dog on c3; alternatives would have been 37s dd4e ed5ss Hd3s which would have given the gold cat some difficulties in capturing the e3 silver rabbit while also pushing the gold horse further away from the action or 37s dd4ee ed5ws which protecs the e3 rabbit more directly. While Gold had opted to frame the silver dog on 38g, the unresolved question was whether the frame was valuable enough to allow the gold cat to be flipped up to f5 on 38s. As it turned out, hanzack was able to frame and eventually capture the e3 silver rabbit while the gold cat survived to the end of the game. On 42s the silver elephant returned to the east side but Gold had built up a huge positional advantage by this point. With latent goal threats along the east side plus hostages on both wings and the possibility of pushing the c2 gold dog north to regain full control of the c3 trap, Silver was in major difficulty despite having the slight material advantage of horse-for-dog. Gold created a goal-in-one threat on 44g and he was also threatening to push a dog up to the c4 square. Fritzlein tried to stop both threats by placing a rabbit on h6 and by shifting his horse west to d4. However, he had overlooked a forced goal-in-two beginning with 45g. With the impressive come-from-behind victory, hanzack improves to a perfect 5-0 and has earned his second bye of the tournament for the upcoming 7th round! Because of the loss, Fritzlein must now face chessandgo in the next round with the certain elimination of one of the previous World Champions.