Saturday, August 18, 2012

Best in the West

The Hobson's Bay Chess Club annual weekender is currently at the end of round 1 with a record entry of 49 players. This is the 30th edition of this event that started in 1982. The majority of these are young players but there are some very strong players at the top headed by the 3 FM's Canfell, Stojic and Dragicevic. The tournament is a 5 round swiss event which might make it difficult to find a clear winner. All the results and games can be found on tornelo, the tournament management software that is being used.

It's perfect weather for playing chess, cold and windy with some pretty heavy showers. The venue is near the seafront in Altona and walks in between rounds certainly blow the cobwebs away!. The only casualty of the first round was Max Chew Lee who lost to local junior Edwin Zou. Max has been a great giant killer recently, but found himself on the other side of the coin in the first round. So the second round started with Voon-Canfell on the top board, still a sizable difference in the ratings but getting closer than the 1000+ point difference from the first round.

Second round is complete and the third is now underway. Local man Steve Hogan was the hero of the round drawing with Ari Dale. Playing black, Steve chose a Benko Gambit which was declined by Ari. The resulting positions were very unbalanced which always gives the lower rated player chances. The final position is a typical hypermodern victory, with white's central pawns drawn forward to a position where they seem very vulnerable.

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