Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Australian Championship Day 2

Day 2 of the Australian Championship didn't really help to sort out the pecking order. There are a few players at the top, a few at the bottom, and the majority in between. In fact, the table looks more like a round robin after 2 rounds, which I suppose reflects the fact that there are only 30 players and many are evenly matched. This is an 11 round event and it's already looking like a plus score will be a good effort for most players. Those who are on 2/2 are GM Zhou, IM's Ly, Morris, Smirnov and Wohl. Half a point behind is IM George Xie and everyone else is on half points or less. The top pairings are:


For us locals, the interesting pairing of these is the bottom one as Victorian IM James Morris takes on number 2 seed George Xie. Now I know I said that I am supporting George to win this tournament. However, I will be loyal to my fellow Victorian, and friend James Morris, who lives just up the road from me and plays at the same club, the Melbourne Chess Club. James has had his supporters and some detractors over the years, which I've thought pretty unfair as he's only young. Ok, if a junior plays a bad game, then it's a fair enough to tell them, and junior's are generally sturdy enough to take constructive criticism. But James has copped it for a number of things, the most notable in my mind being when he became an IM. James won his title at a zonal tournament, rather than gaining norms and reaching 2400. However, becoming an IM at 15, most of us who knew James realised it was only a matter of time before he worked his strength up to 2400. (coincidentally, Bobby Cheng gained the FM title at the same zonal before reaching 2300, but has also fulfilled this potential!). This year has seen James reaching heights he has not previously achieved, and his win today against 3rd seed IM A. Khamparia of India is another confirmation of his great potential.

The organisation of the tournament seems to be well in hand, and the website is regularly updated. One thing I have not been able to find, is the results of the previous rounds, though that is probably more due to my ineptitude than the website. A pgn of the first round games was put up today, and there was a very nice attack pulled off by 2010 Victorian Champion, Dusan Stojic.

 In the above position, Dusan Stojic as white played 24.Bh6 against Jonas Muller. The game continued 24..Rc8 25.fxg6 hxg6 to reach the following position where, Dusan tore black's defences apart.
 26.Rxf7!! Kxf7 27.Rf1 Ke7
 28.Qxg6 [28.Bg5 is preferred by Stockfish, but the text is certainly good enough] 28..Ne8 29.Bg5+ Nef6
and to finish things off in style, 30.Rxf6! Nxf6 31.Qxf6+ Kd7 32.Qe7+ 1-0

No comments:

Post a Comment