Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Chess Free Week

Earlier this year, my wife and I worked out a plan to go away for a week around the time of our anniversary. So for the past week I have been spending time on a houseboat in Mildura, travelling a few miles down the Murray river, eating, drinking and generally forgetting what living in a city is like. It was a great chance to relax and recharge. I came back to Melbourne on Saturday (via a side trip to the Grampians) and found it really hard to get going again. But of course all good things come to an end and work eventually returned. Luckily I love my work of teaching chess and was eased into it a little with a game at the Melbourne Chess Club last night.

Relaxation on the Murray River

It was the last round of the MCC Open and with 2 players on 7/8 and unable to be caught, a grandstand finish was in order. The tension in the back room of the MCC where the top 5 games of the tournament was being held was palpable. On board 1, IM Guy West was facing a well known foe in IM Mirko Rujevic, while on board 2, FM Dusan Stojic was playing David Beaumont. I didn't get to see too much of these games as I was being put under the pump by giant killer Jason Chew. Jason, however got a bit passive at some critical moments and I managed to pull through. The excitement was on the top boards, though. Guy looked to be building some pressure against a vulnerable c6 pawn in a Semi Slav/Meran type structure. And in the meantime a big crowd was building around board 2 as David Beaumont went a piece up. So it looked like Guy West was taking the tournament outright but in a huge turn around, Guy dropped a piece and Dusan  managed to work miracles in an endgame where David blundered and Dusan actually took the full point. A remarkable finish leaving Dusan first on 8/9, Guy second on 7/9 and a group of players equal third on 6.