It is a number that must surely warm the heart of NSWCA head Bill Gletsos. Seventy-two players fronted up today to compete in the 3-day long Ryde-Eastwood Open. And to round off a successful turnout, no less than Aussie numero uno GM Ian Rogers leads the field as the number 1 seed.
The field is quite impressive. Support cast to Rogers includes visiting international master Andras Toth, of Hungary, FMs George Xie, Igor Bjelobrk and Greg Canfell; WIM Laura Moylan is also in attendance and a cabal of 2000+ rated players such as Ayvazyan, O'Chee and former New South Wales junior champion Paul Broekhuyse.
John Slidziunas is here all the way from Tasmania as well as a couple of Victorians. The largest visiting crowd came from the ACT - mostly juniors.
Jason Lyons, recently back from his overseas vacation is the arbiter. He looked very well dressed I must say. One wonders if he'll take another shot at the NSWCA presidency at the end of this year.
For your entertainment here are a couple of games from the second round. Victorian junior James Morris scores a victory that surprised even him, I think. He was rather worried, he said, that Narelle Szuveges closed the position. Then, out of nowhere, his position turned into a dangerous attack. It was over very quickly.
2006 Ryde-Eastwood Open
1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. e4 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 e6 6. Nge2 Nge7 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 d6 9. f4 b6 10. Be3 Nd4 11. f5 Nec6 12. g4 Rb8 13. Ng3 e5 14. Nd5 f6 15. Qd2 g5 16. h4 h6 17. hxg5 hxg5
18. Kf2 Kf7 19. Rh1 Bb7 (19... Rh8) 20. Rh7 Kg8 (20...Rg8 21. Nh5) 21. Rah1 Ne7 22. Nh5 Rf7 23. Nxg7 Nxd5 24. Rh8+ 1-0
In the next game, FM Greg Canfell defeats Ahmed Faris. Canfell informs me that he could probably have win this encounter much sooner.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Bb7 9. Nc3 b4 10. Nd5 d6 11. a5 Nb8 12. Nxe7+ Qxe7 13. d3 h6 14. Nh4 Bc8? missing White's next move. 15. Ng6 Qd7 16. Nxf8 Kxf8 17. f4 c5 18. fxe5 dxe5 19. Be3 Qc7 20. Qf3 Bg4 21. Qg3 Nbd7 22. Rf1 Qd6 23. Rf2 Bh5 24. Raf1 Bg6 25. Qh4 Ke7 26. h3 Rf8 27. g4 Ke8 28. Qg3 Qc7 29. Ba4 Kd8 30. Bxd7 Nxd7 31. h4 f6
32. g5 hxg5 33. hxg5 Bf7 34. Rh2 Bg8 35. Qg4 (Fritz is suggesting 35. Rh8) 35... Qd6 36. b3 Be6 37. Qh5 Kc7 38. Rg2 Qe7 39. Qh7 Qf7 40. gxf6 Nxf6 41. Qh2 Kd6 42. Rg5 1-0
And here is a game from the top seed. Michael Dunn's 18. Qf8 wasn't best. Rogers apparently suggested 18. Qc7 instead.
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 Nbd7 6. O-O Bd6 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Qc2 Re8 9. e4 dxe4 10. Ng5 e5 11. Ndxe4 Bc7 12. dxe5 Bxe5 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. Be3 h6 15. Nxf6+ Nxf6 16. Nf3 Bg4 17. Re1 Bxf3 18. Bxf3 Qf8 19. Qb3 a5 20. Qxb7 Rab8 21. Qxc6 Bxb2 22. Rab1 Rec8 23. Qa6 Bc3 24. Rxb8 Rxb8 25. Rd1 Bb4 26. Bxh6 Qc8 27. Qxc8+ Rxc8 28. Bg5 Nh7 29. Rd8+ Rxd8 30. Bxd8 1-0
I actually missed most of round 2, too busy watching the grand final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Sydney Swans. I tell you something folks, Australian Rules Football has got to be worst form of football there is. It looks to be just a glorified random kick-around the park. There is no structure to the game, none that I can see at least. But no other sport, outside of soccer (the real football), can drive spectators crazy in this country. It was awesome! I might just convert.