Monday, December 6, 2010

Australasian Masters Round 2

The second round of the Australasian Masters went ahead without top seed Stephen Solomon who arrived in Melbourne after the games finished and will have to play 2 games a day on Monday and Tuesday to catch up. With no easy games, this will be tough, even for him. The second round started at 4.30pm at Box Hill Chess Club and at least 3 players are under the weather. Erik Teichmann had a nasty cough, Eddy Levi is not feeling great and I've had a nasty gastro which still hasn't cleared up.

The games and results today were:

Solomon-Rujevic (postponed until Monday)
Teichmann-Gorka 1-0
Steadman-Levi 1-0
Cheng-Smirnov 1-0
Illingworth-Morris 1-0

Leaving my game until last, the round was a great day for the white pieces. Bobby Cheng won a pawn against Vladimir Smirnov and allowed no counterplay. A very efficient win for the 13 year old. Eddy Levi used the Budapest against Mike Steadman but white managed to get through the complications with the 2 bishops and some hopes for an advantage. As the board opened, Mike got his queen and a bishop active and won a pawn. In the end, black was nicely cornered in a mating net. The game between Illingworth and Morris seemed strange. James seemed to get a great position in the early middle game but somehow allowed Max to unwind and then Max won an exchange and never looked back from then.

So on to my game. First, I was expecting Erik to play 1.b4 and he didn't disappoint. I chose a fairly safe line to play against him and it worked well as I got into a very playable middlegame. In fact, I'd be happy to play 1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 d6 again, and even Erik, an expert on Sokolsky's opening said it was quite a good choice. I then threw ..g5 down the board too early, before my opponent had committed his king, and Erik mixed it across the whole board. However, I was still in the game as Erik had left his king in the centre and he didn't look that comfortable in the position either. Anyway, I needed to keep control of the d5 square or else his bishop on b2 would come to life, but unfortunately I didn't do this. The game finished with a queen sacrifice which forces mate.

In the position below, I played ..g5 and got into trouble. White has not committed his king so my move didn't threaten his king so much as weakening my own.

Black has just taken a knight on c3. I was prepared for a simple recapture, and also for axb6, but Erik Teichmann blew me off the board with the line opening d5!! and I now have dire threats against my king along the long diagonal. I took on d5 with my b6 knight and Erik cooly played Qxc3 winning.

It was a pleasant analysis after the game with Eirk Teichmann who cheered me up by reminding me that I am already on more points than the player who finished last in the tournament last year! Thanks Erik, good luck in the rest of the tournament and hope you are feeling better soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment