Saturday, January 4, 2014

Australian Chess Championships

The 2014 Australian Chess Championships have had great coverage so far. The website is excellent, there is coverage on TWIC and besides this blog, 2 others are writing about tournament: IM Alex Wohl is writing as well as playing, and Chief Arbiter Kerry Stead is also writing about the event as well as working tirelessly arbitering, entering games, and anything else that needs to be done. So an official view, an international chess news view, a competitor's view, an arbiter's view and a spectator's view. What more could you want?

Top seed, Russian GM Vasily Papin
The tournament has begun to take shape, with visiting Russian GM Papin the man to beat. On 3/3 today he was paired with one of Australia's great hopes for the future, IM Bobby Cheng. The game ended in a draw by perpetual after 30 moves, and I guess both players will be satisfied with that result.
IM Bobby Cheng focussed against GM Papin
The draw between the 2 leaders gave others a chance, and it was IM Moulthun Ly who took full advantage with a win against IM Max Illingworth. Behind the 3 leaders there is a group of 6 players just half a point behind, GM's Tu and Johansen, WGM Sukander, IM's Solomon and Bjelobrk and FM Anton Smirnov. Tomorrow should be a big sorting out with another double round, and it will start with some great pairings as Aussie young guns IM's Ly-Cheng face off on board 1, while visiting GM's Papin-Tu play on board 2. This is definitely a round to follow live!

GM Johansen (with his back to us) moves into equal second with a win against IM James Morris

IM Moulthun Ly (right) making an early move in his victory against IM Max Illingworth

Indonesian WGM Irine Kharisma Sukander  also in the group just half a point behind the leaders.
This position made it onto the daily newspaper Chess Today as one of the puzzles of the day! It comes from the first round game between  Jason Tang and Anton Smirnov. Anton as black has an amazing protected passed pawn on b2 but how to take advantage of this? Anton played the fantastic 36..Rb3!! based on the fact that the rook can't be taken and threatening to play Rc3-c1. Jason prevented the rook coming to c3 with 37.Kd4, but Anton then just started taking pawns 37..Kxd6 and the h-pawn will soon fall also.
Future Australian Champion (?) Anton Smirnov
I'm not going to say much about the Reserves and Challengers tournaments until the rest day on Monday. However, it is great to see admininstrators doing well over the board, so congrats to Mark Stokes on leading the Challengers, while it is also good to see a not too frequent player doing well in the Reserves; congrats to Derek Yu who is the only player on 4/4.

The final thought for the day. The hardest thing in chess must be to play a good friend. I've always found it difficult, though thankfully haven't had to play really close friends that often. Imagine what it must be like to play a sibling, or close family relative?
Stojic Brothers Svetozar (left) and FM Dusan in round 4. They are also both on the organising committee for the tournament

1 comment:

  1. Good coverage! The Australian championship is also broadcast at chessbomb with analysis on all games: