Monday, September 12, 2011

City of Melbourne Open

I was so looking forward to coming into the Melbourne Chess Club tonight as a spectator and possible blogger, with no intention of playing in the City of Melbourne Open or having no duties as arbiter. I knew that I may have to help out a bit, but that goes with being a member of a club. The tournament itself didn't get underway until about half an hour after the due start time of 7.15pm, due an influx of late entries, and the fact that the ACF master list which holds all players data has not been updated for the September listings yet, and so we had to do a lot of manual cross checking work. However, the players were very tolerant and with a field of over 40 the event has now started.

At the top it is very competitive. Top seed is IM James Morris, who drew the black pieces in the first round and has been paired with Jim Papadinis. There is also IM Mirko Rujevic, 2010 Victorian Champion, Dusan Stojic, Domagoj Dragicevic and Malcolm Pyke rounding off the top 5 places. We see a welcome return to Sylvester Urban who is now the 6th seed on the night (David Garner has had to take a first round bye, along with a number of other players) and there are over 20 players in the event rated above 1800. However, there is a good demographic of ages and ratings playing in the event, and it is particularly pleasing to see so many juniors in the tournament.

First results:

As always in a decent size swiss tournament, there are some rating gaps in the first round. At the top end, Jim Papapdinis 1785 is playing James Morris 2309 so there is a difference of over 500 points there. At the other end, Shaun Hose has the best part of 1000 rating points more than James Brennan. Saying that, there are usually some first round upsets, or at least, some nearly upsets. First winner of the night is Richard Voon who was rated more than 600 points above Ruben Nowak. Ari Dale is another early winner of the 18 boards in play tonight.

The closest game in terms of rating difference is between James Martin and John Dowling with only 250 points between them! Saying that, there are some giant killers around, and some players who are doing well in the MCC's Monday night Grand Prix. Players like Kerry Stead, John Dowling, Roger McCart and Anthony Hain will be trying to rack up the points keeping their high positions in their Grand Prix sections.

Time for some games....

Board 2 opening:

Stojic, and Penrose look to be solid pawns to the good in their games. Pyke looks as if he has just won a piece to a nice tactic, but my eyes might just be deceiving me. Hose, Fry and our visitor form Western Australia, Gyula Plaganyi are all heavy material ahead, while Peter Wolf is having a struggle to get anything against Charlotte Dilnutt.

However, there looks to be a real upset happening in the game between Alex Kaplan and Frank Lekkas. Alex is an exchange ahead and it doesn't look to me as if Frank has much to show for that....if anything.

Board 4 is a very messy position between Dragicevic and Kovacevic:


I will only be staying at the club for about another hour at the most tonight. However, I believe I will see James Morris convert against Jim Papadinis as he is a piece up at the moment.

Right, that is me off for the night but I leave the following still happening:

Mirko is a pawn up against Zachary Loh, while Dusan is 2 pawns up. John Dowling is also a pawn up, while Alex Kaplan has retained his exchange advantage against Frank Lekkas. Justin Penrose is a piece up. The other games are quite tense. Beaumont has a great centre against John beckman, while the Ogden-Stead and Urban-Chmiel games are totally unclear to me. Dragicevic has 2 pieces for a rook in the following position against Paul Kovacevic:


  1. You do a great job with these reports. It's a lot of fun to read your commentary. Party on!