Saturday, July 25, 2015

Glen Eira Last Chance Tournament

Glen Eira's Third 7-round swiss tournament of the year has started with the strongest field so far. Each of the 3 qualifying tournaments through the year yield 3 places for the end of year championship. Our qualifiers from the first 2 tournaments were:

Carl Gorka
FM Domagoj Dragicevic
Avto Frodiashvili
WCM Sarah Anton
Rebecca Strickland
Daniel Poberezovsky

This is already a nice mix of players with some experienced and some wanting to try their hand at taking on strong players. When I created the Glen Eira Chess Club, this was exactly the idea I had in mind. In this area there are a lot of players, and a lot of young players who need experienced competition to improve. so we run tournament games rated on the Australian rating system with a time rate of 60 minutes + 10 seconds increment to push these kids to extra focus time.

The current tournament saw IM James Morris come along. James is a local living 10-15 minutes walk from the venue and he is the defending champion, being a supporter of our local club from its start. But James won't have things all his own way, as John Nemeth who more usually plays at Noble Park Chess Club has come along for the tournament. John is a 2200 strength player at least, and will add that extra experience that our young players need to compete against. I think he found his game tougher than he expected last night as he had to work a little to overcome talented junior Amit Ben Harim.

There were a lot of first round byes last night but of the games that actually happened 3 started with Dragon type formations. I played a Ponziani as white. I like the Ponziani and have pretty good results with it, though it doesn't really promise white anything. At least it gets my opponent's away from their extensive knowledge of main line Spanish or Italian games. My young opponent last night fell for a very typical trap that's worth knowing about.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 [This move supports a d4 push, but also allows white's queen out to b3 or a4, something my opponent forgot] 3..d6 4.d4 Nf6 5.h3!? Not the best, but not the worst, but it might lure the unsuspecting into a trap.
So the question an inexperienced player might be asking is "Why can't I just take the e4 pawn?" This is exactly what happened and my opponent found out soon enough! 5..Nxe4? 6.d5 Ne7 7.Qa4+ forking black's knight on e4.

To be fair, I've fallen into this type of trap when I was young, and I would guess many other players have. My experience came from the move order 1.e4 c5 [I was a young, aggressive Sicilian player back then] 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Be2
As the e-pawn is guarded by the a4 queen fork, I played 4..Nc6 5.d4. Excellent, now the e-pawn isn't guarded I can just take it! 5..Nxe4?? 6.d5
Black will lose a piece, as after the Nc6 moves, Qa4+ again forks the e4 knight.

What's worse, I remember falling for this type of trap more than once!

There is still time to join the tournament which has 6 rounds left! Just turn up next Friday at Carnegie Library, entry is just $10 and it is $5 per night to play. Everyone is welcome :)

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