Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Quick Australian Junior 2013 Post

Ok, it's late, and I'm exhausted so this will be brief. First the weather has taken a turn for the worse here, which is great for chess enthusiasts!

That large white block of cloud above the North East of Australia is Tropical Cyclone Oswald which is heading South towards where we are on the Gold Coast about half way up the eastern coast. Today there was plenty of grey clouds, and a fair amount of showers though nothing particularly heavy. What we get over the next few days is anybodies guess!

Anyway, with this weather there's no excuse to go outside and play, so chess is the order of the day. So, starting with the oldest, a draw on top board secured Gene Nakauchi's overall lead in the tournament, but helped the rest to close up. Yi Yuan and Yi Liu are half a point back and Thomas Pinnock (who is the next to tackle Nakauchi) a further half point down. Top seed Oscar Wang has finally taken the lead in the under 16 section. He is a point clear of 3 players, Punala Kiripitige, Martin Jack and the still impressive Clint Therakam who must really go down as the man of the whole Australian Juniors. Today Clint notched up another upset win against George Carolin-Unkovitch who is rated about 550 points above Therakam!

The under 14's might well be the closest of the lot, and it is unbelievably competitive. No one has reached 4/4 and a group of 4 players sit at the top on 3.5. However, there are a further 10 players within a point of these, so anyone that starts to accumulate points from now is going to be close to the top at the end of the tournament. To be honest, no one player has particularly stood out for me yet, so tomorrow might be a big day in establishing an order for this event. There is an outright leader in the under 12 in Kevin Song of Queensland. He is closely followed by a group of 5 players headed by top seed David Cannon. However, David hasn't played the most convincing chess and will hopefully find his full strength over the next full days.
From round 3, David had gotten into a horrible mess as black. If Max Phillips with white had played 43.Rxf7 Kxf7 44.Qc5, the game would probably have not lasted much longer and we would have had an upset. However, White played a blunder, 43.Ne2? and David took his chance with 43..Rxf2 44.Kxf2 Rf6+ and white's king has no good squares and black wins the knight and soon after went on to win the game. David has been pushed hard in most of his games, which I suppose comes with the territory of being top seed!

The girls under 18 event has a clear leader in Rebecca Strickland who has convincingly moved to 4/4. She is half a point ahead of Nicole Chin who is half a point ahead of 3 more players. This field is spreading out, but I'm not sure of the sections that the girls are qualified for, so it's difficult to know who is leading which event as the under 18's, 16's and 14's are all together. I'll try to get to grips with this and work out who is trying to win which section tomorrow. The younger girls are also bunched together in under 10's and 8's. These start tomorrow and have the onerous schedule of 3 games tomorrow, 4 on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday. There are going to be some very tired girls on Saturday evening!

And finally here are the winners from the lightning events!

Under 12's champion was Kris Chan from Victoria who scored an amazing 10/11, while the under 18 championship was won by Yi Liu of Queensland with a perfect 11/11. Congratulations to these 2 speed specialists. Full results can be found on the tournament website.

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