He's done it! IM David Smerdon has finally earned the GM title after just 5 rounds in the 7-round NSW Open this long weekend. He posted enough wins, including one over IM Gary Lane, to gain the required number of FIDE rating points and reach the magic 2500.
To add that little cherry on top of his grandmastership, David then also went on to actually win the event and go home with the $1,250 winner's cheque. His total tally was 6.5 points from seven games.
Top placers were as follows:
5.5 Lane, Bjelobrk, Canfell
5.0 Rej, Ayvazyan, Ambrus, Illingworth, Xie, Charles
In the final round Smerdon led the field with 5.5 points while four of his nearest pursuers were on 5. Therefore, a win in the last round against Tomek Rej was vital. Sydneysider Tomek, however, had other ideas. Tomek pressed and pressed, eventually even causing Australia's latest GM into severe time trouble.
I suppose feeling the extra pressure over-the-board and annoyed by the ridiculously loud chatter that emanated from the arbiters' desk, Smerdon had just about enough. He let loose with a thundering, "Ssshhh....Oi, shut up!"
NSW Op 2009
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Be3 Qf6 6. c3 Nge7 7. Qd2 a6 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O b5 10. Be2 Bb7 11. f4 d6 12. Kh1 Rad8 13. b4 Ba7 14. Bf3 h6 15. a4 Ne5 16. axb5 Nc4 17. Qe2 Nxe3 18. Qxe3 Rfe8 19. Qd2 Ng6 20. Nc6 Bxc6 21. bxc6 Qxf4 22. Qxf4 Nxf4 23. Rxa6 Bb6 24. g3 Nd3 25. Nd2 Ne5 26. Be2 Ra8 27. Rfa1 Rxa6 28. Rxa6 Kf8 29. Nb3 Nxc6 30. Bb5 Nb8 31. Ra8 Nd7 32. Ra6 Nb8 33. Ra8 Nd7 34. Ra1 Rd8 35. Bxd7 Rxd7 36. c4 c6 37. Ra6 Rb7 38. Na5 Bxa5 39. bxa5 Ke7 40. Rxc6 Ra7 41. c5 Rxa5 42. Rc7+ Ke6 43. cxd6 Re5 44. Kg2 Kxd6 45. Rxf7 Rxe4 46. Rxg7 Re6 47. g4 Ke5 48. Rf7 Ra6 49. Kg3 Rg6 50. Kh4 Ke4 51. h3 Ke5 52. Kh5 Ra6 53. Rh7 Kf4 54. Rxh6 At this moment Rej became visibly upset and actually lightly banged the table with a clinched fist. He tried one more move, but it was pointless. 54...Ra5+ 55. Kh4 1-0
Exactly a week ago I posted the classic game Viner - Crakanthorp, a game that involved a piece sac on the square g5. FM Greg Canfell must have surely paid attention to that one. Witness what he did to Pinoy-Aussie Raul Samar.
NSW Op 2009
1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Ngf3 c5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. e5 Nd7 9. Re1 Qc7 10. Qe2 b5 11. h4 a5 12. Nf1 b4 13. Bf4 Ba6 14. Ne3 Nb6 15. Ng5 h6 16. Qh5 hxg5 17. hxg5 g6 18. Qh6 Rfc8 19. Ng4 Nd7 20. Nf6+ Nxf6 21. exf6 Bf8 22. Qh3 e5 23. Bf3 Nd4 24. Kg2 Nf5 25. Rh1 Nh6 26. Qxh6 1-0
For his efforts, Canfell gets a cheque for $510 (along with Lane and Bjelobrk) while the 6 playes with 5 points received $75 apiece. Pinoy readers will be interested to know that Kimberley Cunanan was also in the event and she finished with 4.5 points, enough for $135.