Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Chess

What a great first round at Wijk aan Zee. The top section saw some solid chess, some inspired chess, and the odd blunder, while the b-tournament had no draws. My favourite player at the top is currently Karjakin, but he had to work very hard to hold a draw against Yifan Hou. However, a draw with black at this level is a good result. That is what Carlsen will be saying, as he drew with the black pieces versus Navara. Of course, Navara is no slouch ranked 25 in the world. The winners of the round were Caruana, So and Ding Liren, but it's a long way to go.

More immediate to us here is the Australian Junior Championships in Adelaide. A double round in the under 18 cleared some matters up with the top 2 seeds meeting. Ari Dale proved too good for Patrick Gong this time round, and Ari now sits on 3/3. Also on 3/3 is Tom Maguire, and these 2 meet tomorrow. In the under 16, top seed David Cannon has moved to 3/3. David Cannon has already been a national age group winner taking the under 10 title in 2011. Funnily enough, the second seed in this tournament, Kevin Willathgamuwa, won the under 8 title in 2011. Kevin had something of a disaster in the third round in Adelaide, going down to Victorian junior Heath Gooch. Heath is one of a number of talented players from the country Victorian centre of Mildura. Heath and his sister Aryn, as well as Liam and Zoe Harrison are the cream of the crop from Mildura at the moment, and it is great to see so many talented players from outside the main metropolitan areas. Heath now faces David tomorrow in the top board clash.

The first champions will be decided tomorrow in the under 10 and under 8 categories. The under 10 is tight, but IM Robert Jamieson's charge, Shawn Zillman, leads by half a point with 3 rounds to go. In the under 8's 3 players are on 5/6 and the title is wide open.

In the Willathgamuwa-Gooch game the following position was reached from an Advanced French.

Heath as black had just played 12..0-0, a novelty in the position, but not one likely to be repeated as black has castled into an absolute onslaught. However, Kevin couldn't find the way through and it was the white king that was checkmated in 9 moves! The obvious move is 13.h5, but white decided to transfer his queen to h5 to checkmate his opponent. A brilliant counter attack by Heath!

No comments:

Post a Comment