Yesterday's round 6 all-ACT match between Gareth Oliver and Andrew Brown saw what must be one of the most fascinating games so far in this event. Essaying the Bayonet Attack against Brown's KID, Oliver pursued the usual plan of Q-side advance. But he ill-timed his thrust, losing his Lady to the neat counter 18...c5. Oliver opted to press on anyway thanks mainly to Brown's inactive army. According to Fritz 11 Oliver's cause was simply pointless. Thanks to Oliver's doggedness we are treated to a wonderful specimen of combative chess, one that is full of optimism, patience and determination!
2009 Sydney International Open
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 Nd7 10. Qb3 a5 11. Be3 axb4 12. Qxb4 b6 13. Nd2 f5 14. f3 f4 15. Bf2 g5 16. a4 Rf6 17. a5 bxa5 18. Rxa5 c5 19. Rxa8 cxb4 20. Nb5 Nc5 21. Rfa1 Qb6 22. R1a7 Bf8 23. Nb3 Qd8 24. Nxc5 dxc5 25. Rc7 Ra6 26. Rb8 Ra1+ 27. Be1 Ra5 28. Rxc5 b3 29. Bc3 Ra8 30. Rxa8 Qb6 31. Bb4 Nxd5 32. Raxc8 Nxb4 33. Kf1 b2 34. Nc3 Qxc5 35. Rxc5 Bxc5 36. Bd1 White offers draw. 36...Bd4 37. Nb1 Kf7 38. Ke2 Ke7 39. Kd2 Kd6 40. Be2 Kc5 41. Bf1 Na6 42. Kc2 Kb4 43. Be2 Nc5 44. Bf1 Nb3 45. Be2 Na1+ 46. Kd2 Be3+ 47. Kd1 Nb3 48. Bf1 Nd4 49. Bd3 Bc1 50. Bf1 Kb3 51. Bd3 h5 52. Bf1 Ne6 53. h3 Nc5 54. Be2 h4 55. Bf1 Na6 56. Bd3 Nb4 57. Ke2 Nxd3 58. Kxd3 Be3 59. Nc3 Bc5 60. Nb1 Bd4 0-1
One fellow who, I suppose like most of us, ought to take a closer look at the position is FM Smirnov. In the following position, he whispers to me, "Have a look at my position."
Position after 26...Qxf3
Yes, it does look scary. But Cheng now simply and calmly replies with 27. Qd2. His intention is pretty clear to anyone watching the game, except for his opponent! Smirnov returns to his seat and himself, almost without any extra thought, plays just as calmly, 27...Qxh3(?). To which Cheng replies with the staggering 28. Qxg5. I can only imagine what FM Smirnov must have felt inside.
Cheng won the game some moves later after Smirnov was forced to surrender the second rook to prevent white from queening. With that win, Cheng, formerly of New Zealand now living in Melbourne, is on the verge of becoming the youngest ever Aussie to score an IM norm!