Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Melbourne Chess Club Open

I've been playing in this tournament, though as I'm on holiday it doesn't really seem that much has been happening. In fact, the tournament has settled into a pattern resembling the Club Championship. Dusan Stojic has raced to 4/4 and leads a pack of players of which Guy West is the top seed. Guy and Dusan are yet to play, and that may once again be the clincher for this tournament, though as we've only had 4 rounds it is a bit early to be predicting things like that.

Dusan has beaten myself and IM Mirko Rujevic in consecutive rounds to lead the field. In my game, I thought the position was dead level, and then realised I was virtually in zugzwang after about 15 moves, took about 30 minutes to come up with a bad move and was slaughtered about 10 moves later.

Here, Dusan as black coolly played 15..b6, reinforcing his queen side and I spent 30 minutes realising that my position was bad. I had many ways to lose material, but I decided to maintain a material balance and give my opponent a quick win on the dark squares. I have to admit, his knights in this game were absolutely awesome.

I bounced back this week with a long, hard, struggle against Paul Kovacevic on the black side of a Queen's Gambit Exchange. Paul made the same mistake as I did against Dusan, playing a little passively at the end of the opening. But it puts me on 3/4 which I'm pretty happy with. I'm alongside some very good players, IM's West and Rujevic, Malcolm Pyke, Ari Dale and surprise package Jason Chew who had a great victory last week against David Beaumont.

Dusan is one point clear of all of us, but in the middle is M. Dizdarevic on 3.5. It's good to see Mehmedalija at the club, as this is his first tournament here this year. The tournament is getting good coverage on Kerry Stead's blog, and Kerry is as ever doing a great job as arbiter!

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