Monday, October 27, 2014

Glen Eira Chess Club Championship

It's time to post about the club championship of the new club that I've helped to develop this year, Glen Eira Chess Club. In 2014 we've come a long way having established a regular membership, and in creating a structure for our years calendar which fits in with both the serious idea of chess events while keeping things fairly social. We've run a series of tournaments that were pretty successful this year leading to a Championship run in Round Robin format. Alongside the Championship we are running a swiss tournament called the Reserves.

The Championship looked to be a great tournament, but it has been beset by non attendance, and so far only half the games have been played that were scheduled. This is unfortunate, and is giving the event an unreal feel to it, or at least the feel of a tournament in the old days when club tournaments may have been held over several months. I'm hoping that things get back on track in the near future, and there was always going to be a bit of oddness to the event as we have a odd number of players meaning there is a bye each week. In fact, this coming week there is no round due to the Melbourne Chess Club's big Hjorth Open Weekender which a number of our members are playing in.

So far the Championship has seen FM Domagoj Dragicevic win both his games to take an early lead. Domagoj had a bye in the first round. Saying that, most of us have games to make up, so it is difficult to work out exactly who is ahead at the moment. In the next round, in 2 weeks time, the favourites meet as FM Dragicevic plays IM Morris. This may very well be a tournament decider.

FM Domagoj looking relaxed after winning his second game
The Reserves tournament has been much more regular. In some respects, I decided to help start the club in the area because of a crop of strong juniors who needed a place to play. These juniors are dominating the Reserves, with Max Phillips and Daniel Poberezovsky leading the event. Their game last Friday ended in this position.
With time running down, and it getting late on a Friday night anybody can run out of energy. I think that was what happened to Max Phillips here. As black he had a relatively easy win with 1..Bc2 guarding both b3 and b1. 1..Bc4 would win if white had to take as this would leave black a winning pawn endgame with an outside passed pawn as a decoy. . However, white can just drop his bishop back to b1 to hold the position. Max played a very lazy move, 1..b4, and Daniel immediately took his chance with 2.Bb3. The game ended in a draw and the 2 talented juniors are half a point clear in the tournament.

I was very happy with one move in my latest game. My opponent had played some poor moves and left himself dangerously weak on the back rank.

White's problem is how to get a rook to the back rank. I started by thinking about moves such as c4 and b3, but they just didn't seem to make it. I then found 24.b4! with the variaitons:

24..Nxc3 25.Rdc1 Bxb4 26.Rxc3! winning a piece
24..axb4 25.axb4 Nc3 26.Rdc1 Ra3 27.Rb3 when black will feel the lack of his h8 rook in the position.
24..Bf8 25.Bd2 Kg7 [25..axb4 was probably better] 26.b5 Rb6 27.Nc6 Bc5 28.c4 which will win a pawn ont he queen side for white, which is what happened.

Now all I've got to do is continue this good form through the rest of the event.

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