Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's been a while...

I've found it difficult to keep posting on this blog for a number of reasons. Firstly, this is the busiest time of the year for me with work, and I've had a particularly heavy couple of weeks. Secondly, I've not been particularly inspired by anything to write. The Oceanic zonal produced some great results, but it is rather disappointing to see no live games in this day and age. Even without live games, there could have been some games published  after each round. My congratulations go to the winners, Igor Bjelobrk (now an IM) and Irina Berezina, and of course to all who competed. Young Victorian Ari Dale came away with IM title while other youngsters, Justin Tan and Anton Smirnov took FM titles. I have defended these titles in the past from people who claim they are soft by saying that when young players win them, they will eventually grow into them, and we have evidence of this with James Morris now reaching the 2400 level and Bobby Cheng quickly surpassing the 2300 level for the FM title he won.

I liked the finish to this game from 12 year old Anton Smirnov from Sydney. I'm always telling my students that they have to be aware of pawn pushes in the centre, and Anton opened the position to his advantage with 13.d5! Bxd5 [Actually, the really nice variation comes after 13..exd5 when white has 14.Nxg6!! clearing the way for the dark squared bishop to come to g5 and win black's pinned bishop on e7 14..hxg6 15.Bg5+-] 14.Nxd5 which wins a piece as black can't take back 14..Qxd5 15.Be4, and 14..exd5 15.Bg5

Meanwhile at the Melbourne Chess Club, the City of Melbourne tournament rolls on with a small field. It is all quite tightly packed as no one has managed to make it to 3/3 and so 11 out of the 23 players are within half a point of the lead. Unless someone starts to make a run, this could be a very close event. Hopefully someone will take charge as the event nears the half way mark. The MCC has also been hosting the Victorian Championship which started this week. I haven't played the Vic Champs for a few years now, and it is actually a tournament I miss. It is a bizarre event spread over a number of venues with sometimes 3 games a week. This year is a pretty good field (it is always a pretty good field!) and we can only assume the strength of the fields will get better in years to come as a new crop of talented youngsters join the ranks of established top players. Youth is represented by Cheng, Dale, Tan, Zelesco and Zuhao Li, while Dusan Stojic is only in his mid 20's and Domagoj Dragicevic about 30. There were no draws in the first round with wins for Ari Dale against FM Eddy Levi, IM Rujevic against FM Dragicevic, FM Cheng against Tan, Zelesco against Sirota, FM Stojic against FM Hacche and Li against Beaumont. But as they say, there is a long way to go yet!

No comments:

Post a Comment