Thursday, December 29, 2011

Australian Championship Pack Mentality

After round 3 of the Australian Championship, the tournament remains as close as ever. the only decisive result on the top boards was George Xie's victory over James Morris. This lets George leapfrog James and join the leaders.

2.5/3: Ly, Smirnov V, Wohl, Xie, Zhao
2/3: Cheng, Dragicevic, Ikeda, Johansen, Khamparia, McClyrmont, Morris, Steadman

This is a big pack separated by just half a point, and still strong players lurk behind these such as Illingworth, Solomon, Stojic and Wallis. It is far too early to tell where the prizes are going to go which keeps the excitement within the Championship.

24 hours can be a long time in chess. This time yesterday, James Morris was celebrating a win over Indian IM Khamparia, while today, he will be trying to regroup after losing to George Xie. However, he has the comfort of knowing that he has 2 of the top players behind him already in this event.

A critical position in the game Morris-Khamparia, where black couldn't find the best continuation. 23..Rac8? allowing white to win a pawn with 24.bxc4 Rxc4 25.Qb3 and here Black tried 25..Rc3
but lost the pawn after 26.Rexd3! Rxb3 27.axb3. James went on to win the ending in good style.

The top fourth round pairings:


Can the deadlock be broken at the top of the tree? And for us locals, can any of the Victorians, Morris, Cheng or Johansen maintain their challenge?


  1. Could you please fix the name of the Australian #1? Thanks.