Sunday, December 12, 2010

Australasian Masters: the finish

Round 8 of the Australasian Masters was played at Box Hill Chess Club and 2 players, Erik Teichmann and Bobby Cheng, were still in the hunt for an IM norm. But alas it was not to be as Bobby came up against a solid and in form Stephen Solomon, while Erik seemed to falter and took an eternity to try to find the right plan. It seems with the extra pressure of needing a result to score a norm has been too much for the FM's in this tournament, and I'm sure this has been the case to hundreds of players over the years. However, I believe that the future will be bright for these talented players, and I'm sure that at least one will become an IM in the not too distant future. It was good to See Guy West and Jean Watson among the spectators today.

Pairings and Results:
Solomon-Cheng 1-0
Illingworth-Steadman 1-0
Morris-Teichmann 1-0
Smirnov-Rujevic 0-1
Levi-Gorka Draw

And the Standings:
7. Solomon
5. Cheng, Teichmann, Illingworth
4. Smirnov, Morris, Rujevic
3.5 Gorka
2. Steadman
.5 Levi

So Stephen Solomon wraps the tournament up with a round to spare. James holds fast against Erik Teichmann, and there are good wins for Rujevic and Illingworth. It was also good to see Eddy Levi get off the mark, even if it was against me. The final position might be slightly better for me, but not by much.

Round 9

Sometimes at the end of tournaments there is a lack of fighting spirit, and we get a few quick draws. No such thing today as everyone was trying to squeeze the last bit from the tournament. My game against Stephen Solomon lasted over 4 hours and there was still a game going on then.

Pairings and Results:
Gorka-Solomon 0-1
Rujevic-Levi 1-0
Teichmann-Smirnov 0-1
Steadman-Morris 0-1
Cheng-Illingworth 1-0

Stephen ground me down in typical gritty fashion. Both Mirko Rujevic, and James Morris have come alive in the second half of the tournament and both finished with nice wins today. Smirnov beat Teichmann to catch the group in third place. But outright second place goes to Bobby Cheng after his victory against Max Illingworth today. Bobby was agonisingly close to a master norm missing by just half a point, but at just 13 he has time on his side.

Final Standings:
1st Solomon 8/9
2nd Cheng 6
=3rd Morris, Rujevic, Illingworth, Teichmann, Smirnov 5
8th Gorka 3.5
9th Steadman 2
10th Levi .5

All the results will be on the CV website.

More analysis of the tournament to follow in the next few days

 FM Mike Steadman visiting from New Zealand
Stephen Solomon against Bobby Cheng from round 8. Tournament organiser Leonid Sandler is in the background.
The Australian Masters Perpetual Trophy which will have Stephen Solomon's name engraved on it for 2010

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