Australia's newest international master, Melburnian James Morris, isn't exactly having a national championship to remember. Today he lost to another one of his contemporaries (after losing the first game there to Andrew Brown), someone who seems to be emerging as his nemeris, Sydney's very powerful and supersharp Max Illingworth.
In the Canterbury Summer Swiss held in Victoria's Box Hill Chess Club last month the Sydneysider prevailed over Morris while handling the black pieces. Today, with the colours reversed, Illingworth was again victorious.
2009 Australian Chess Ch.
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 Enter, The Dragon - an opening championed by no less than current world numero uno Magnus Carlsen. The system has even also reappeared in the repertoire of a couple of guys at the Town Hall/Hyde Park chess club. But they have no idea what they're doing! 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Ne5 11. Bb3 a5 12. a4 Rc8 13. Kb1 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. b3 Rc8 16. h4 Qc7 17. Ndb5 Bxb5 18. Nxb5 Qd7 19. Qxa5 Ra8 20. Qb4 Rfc8 21. e5 Ne8 22. exd6 Nxd6 23. Nxd6 exd6 24. Qxd6 Rxa4 25. bxa4 Qxa4 26. Qd8+ Rxd8 27. Rxd8+ Bf8 28. Bd4 28. Bh6 Qb4+ 29. Kc1 Qa3+ 30. Kd1 Qa1+ 31. Ke2 Qa6+ 32. Kd1... The King cannot step onto a dark square along either a5-e1 or a7-g1, so the game would be a draw. 28... Qa5 29. Rc8 Qf5 30. Ra8 b5? The engines reckon the position is "=", but after this move, it's downhill. Recommended by F12 was 30... f6 to give some luft. 31. Rd1 f6 32. Bb2 b4? A sort of Hail Mary, playing for tricks. But there ain't none and no one is answering the prayer. James was probably just in time trouble, again. 33. Rdd8 b3 34. Rxf8+ Kg7 35. Bxf6+ Kh6 36. Bg5+ Kg7 37. Rxf5 1-0
After four games in the main event, GM Zhao and the GM norm hunter international master George Xie lead on 4 points apiece. They face each other tomorrow.