Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MCC Ch Round 6

The club championship this year has a pretty strong field. That makes it all the more remarkable that one player is able to dominate the standings. Dusan Stojic is undoubtedly a strong player, and has achieved some excellent results in individual encounters and tournaments, including winning the state title for Victoria in 2010. He is currently on 6/6 and a point clear of anyone in the club championship and it doesn't look as if anyone will stop him from taking the title this year. The pairing program floated the lowest rated player in the group up to play Dusan in round 6, not that Sylvester Urban is by any means weak. IM Guy West avoided the float up because he had previously played above his score group, though I'm sure Guy would have preferred to have taken a crack at the tournament leader. He will, no doubt, get his wish in the next round, though he will have to play with black whereas this round he would have had white.

Dusan won fairly comfortably against Sylvester, building a menacing king side attack against a Reversed Dragon (or something very like it, to my simplistic mind). Guy, on the other hand, had a titanic struggle against FM Chris Wallis. The game had it all; castling on opposite sides, central breaks, pawn sacrifices, perpetual offers, and an endgame in time pressure where there were passed pawns on opposite sides of the board. I think a draw would have been a fair result, but it would have done nothing for either player in the tournament, so by some unwritten agreement they seemed to battle it out in a win or lose game. Guy turned out the winner, and he jumps into outright second place, still a full point behind Dusan.

I was playing on board 3 against IM Mirko Rujevic who I always have interesting games against, and ones that I usually lose the plot in at some stage. This game was no different. Mirko chose to play a Grunfeld/Slav mixture keeping a lot of options across the board. I took an initiative on the queen side, but Mirko had options on the king side and in the centre. We both probably made mistakes along the way, but the game ended in a draw after a tactical few moves towards the end.

Our draw left us half a point behind Guy, and one and a half behind Dusan, and allowed us to be caught by Dragicevic and Richard Voon who seemed to have lost some of his former strength recently, but has obviously come back to some form. Next week will be round 7 out of 9, and if Guy doesn't win, then I think we can all congratulate Dusan on an excellent victory. If Guy does win, then probably any of the players mentioned are still in contention, but we will have to score heavily in our last 3 games to take the title. Personally, I'm of the opinion that I'm already too far behind to catch up, so I guess that those players behind me are fighting for the minor places.

The tournament prizes were announced this week which seems a little late to me. The tournament accepted no entries after round 3, so I would have thought that a prize structure could have been announced directly after that. I know that was what I was urging the committee to do when I was an arbiter. Still, the prize fund is not bad, especially seeing that some has to be taken out for the yearly Grand Prix the MCC runs.

1st $500 
2nd $300 
3rd $200 
4th $150 

Division 1 (1800-2000 FIDE) 
1st $125 
2nd $75 

Division 2 (Under 1800 FIDE) 
1st $125 
2nd $75

No comments:

Post a Comment