Ok, the early news is a no-show by Frank Lekkas and there has been a lot of talk about mutual blunders on board 2, though I haven't seen the game yet. We have seen quite a few visitors to the club tonight. Ben kersten of Geelong Chess Club was here to promote the 2012 Australian Championships, David Cordover and Thai Ly are also are also around the club, and even the President Grant Szuveges has shown up to support the long play game!
Right, off to get some interesting positions and updates of the action as it happens.
There's a lot of stodge across the boards, so we could be in for a long night. Saying that, there have been a few shockers so far. Stephen Jago, by his own admission, missed a one move threat. Jim Papadinis completely underestimated his young opponent, lost a piece, and soon found himself 2 exchanges down....except both exchanges were rook for queen! But perhaps the biggest shocker came on board 2 in the following position:
So early winners tonight include Gary Bekker, Rad Chmiel and Anthony Hain. In the top room, perhaps the most interesting game is between the 2 talented juniors, Ari Dale and Karl Zelesco. They are showing their strategic class playing a Carlsbad type structure.
Meanwhile, Beaumont has spotted tactics against Rujevic and finds himself 2 pawns up but with Mirko as black to move:
2 hours gone and board 1 is a stodge. James has a sort of Stonewall formation against Justin and it is difficult at the moment to see where either will make progress. Beaumont looks good against Rujevic, though he may have to give a pawn back at some stage. The board 3 game between Dragicevic-Levi is an interesting struggle between 2 fairly unorthodox players. Domagoj has chosen to play with an IQP, while Eddy has given up the 2 bishops.
There are many more dour battles across the boards, but the following move caught my eye. In the following position, Paul Cavezza, as black saw a tactical try:
Black played 24..Nxd5 and Alex Kaplan went into a fairly long think before replying 25.Ne6
Finally, the quality of our juniors is well known. Justin Tan and James Morris are battling it out on board 1, while Dale and Zelesco fight out on board 6. But Jack Puccini is also very talented, and is showing his endgame talent against Endre Simon. Jack as white completely dominates here:
First game to finish on the top boards was a fairly quiet affair between Malcolm Pyke and John Dowling. Malcolm is not feeling too well, and John was busy with his chess poster collection. In fact, if anyone has any interesting chess posters, then please contact John Dowling as he is an avid collector.
The top board game has Justin a pawn down, but James under pressure.
Beaumont is a clear 2 pawns up on board 2 and looks good for the point. The big Junior clash has taken a new twist with Ari Dale gaining 2 rooks for a queen and looking confident. Karl as ever, looks calm.
An interesting opposite coloured bishop ending is taking place between Roger McCart and Ben Frayle.
Games are beginning to wind up. Paul Kovacevic defended heroically from early on against Mario Palma and came away with a draw. Congratulations to Damien Feiane who finally wins his first game at this level. I doubt that there will be a happier person leaving the club tonight! The Kaplan-Cavezza game finished abruptly after the last diagram I showed. Alex's king side collapsed under the pressure of black's attack.
There are only 6 games left, 5 in the back room on the top boards, and the game between Durani and Anton. Sarah has an extra piece, but is down to a minute on the clock. Abdullah is making her find good moves. On the top boards, Justin has 2 rooks for James queen, but James has the initiative and some pawns. They both have less than 5 minutes, but I'd expect a win for the master. Beaumont is finding the final hurdle hard to pass against Rujevic. David gave back a pawn to activate his king, but seems to be having trouble getting to the finish line. David garner has 2 connected passed pawns over half way down the board against Kerry stead, and this should guarantee a win for the Englishman. Ari Dale has finally activated his rooks against Karl Zelesco, but the position remains unclear to me. Finally, the Dragicevic-Levi game is anybody's guess!
So time pressure tells. Sarah finally blunders in time pressure and loses from a winning position. James Morris wins! A picket fence looks on the cards for the young master. David beaumont is still finding the going heavy against Mirko on board 2. Domagoj has just won a same coloured bishop ending against Eddy Levi. And the game between Dale and Zelesco continues with Karl very short of time and defending a difficult position. Games to follow soon hopefully.
More games to follow later in the week. Thanks for watching....and unbelievably.....Mirko Rujevic wins!!!