Thursday, December 9, 2010

Australasian Masters Round 5

In round 5 of the Australasian Masters I suffered from an affliction that I guess most of us have been affected by. I had to delay my game for 30 minutes as I had to work until 4.30pm, the usual starting time. My opponent, Max Illingworth, had no problems with this which I thank him for. However, when I turned up I couldn't get focussed for the game and by the time I had settled down I was already worse. I tried a few tricks, but Max was completely up to the task of converting his advantage to a full point. It is an interesting problem for amateur chess players who play their games directly after work, and if anyone has any rituals they follow to get them in the mood for playing, then I would love to hear them.

Round 5 pairings and results:
Smirnov-Solomon Draw
Levi-Morris 0-1
Gorka-Illingworth 0-1
Rujevic-Cheng Draw
Teichmann-Steadman 1-0

Standings after 5 rounds:
4.5 Solomon
4 Teichmann
3. Smirnov, Cheng, Illingworth
2 Gorka, Rujevic, Morris
1.5 Steadman
0 Levi

Vladimir Smirnov put Stephen Solomon under some pressure, but the leader held on to the draw. Eddy Levi continued his horrible tournament, building up a promising looking position only for it all to collapse. Eddy has not been well during this event, and in this sort of company you will be found out if you can't give 100%. I didn't see much of the Rujevic-Cheng draw, but it was a messy sort of French where Bobby looked to have some pressure, but that was with his queen on a5. As the game progressed, the queen started looking more out of play and Mirko's position seemed to get better. Erik Teichmann continued putting pressure on Solomon with a fairly easy win against Mike Steadman who also looked as if he hadn't really got focussed in this game.

Australia has some great young talents, and the Australasian Masters is showcasing some of it, with 13 year old FM Bobby Cheng and 16 year old's IM James Morris and FM Max Illingworth.

 Young IM James Morris
Young FM Max Illingworth


  1. You're already in the minority if you're working and playing competition chess- load yourself up with vitamins, eat low GI foods and try for a decent night's sleep! (I'm enjoying the blog by the way- nice writing on the Euwe autobio)

  2. Thanks Paul. I haven't eaten particularly well this week, but after the gastro of last week, I wasn't really eating anything at the start of the week. I am actually thinking of how to gain focus at the beginning of a game, and if players have methods for this. Sometimes I am totally focussed at the start of a game, but I definitely not yesterday.