Saturday, July 16, 2005

Fairfield Winter Cup - First Impressions

Some sixty-seven players are presently contesting the Fairfield Winter Cup and $3,250 in prize money. This year appears to be the strongest ever since the tournament's inception in 2001. At the start of play, there were 15 players rated over 2000. Seed one is Igor Bjeblork (2399), followed by Xie (2367), Pinoy visitor, Sales (2340), Vladimir Smirnov (2296) and Victor Berezin (2274).

Vladimir Smirnov brought along his 4-year old son. Bad idea. The kid was a handful and made a lot of noise. Even Ingela Eriksson had to be roped in as babysitter. Sadly, it was all too much and Vlady had to withdraw.

An interesting addition to the local scene is one Aina Musaeva (rated 2094). She hails from Russia and will be living here permanently. If I listen any more to her melodious accent, I think I might just ask her to marry me.

In round 1, Norm Greenwood pulled off an almost unbelievable upset. He downed the young 2000+ rated Ilya Zvedeniouk. Here is the game.

2005 Fairfield Winter Cup
Greenwood, N.
Zvedeniouk, I.
ECO "D04"

1. d4 g6 2. Nf3 Bg7 3. e3 Nf6 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nbd2 O-O 6. Ne5 Nfd7 7. f4 f6 8. Nef3 e5 9. Bb5 c6 10. Ba4 exf4 11. exf4 Re8+ 12. Kf2 Nb6 13. Bb3 Qd6 (13... Be6 14. Re1 N8d7) 14. Re1 Rxe1 15. Qxe1 Qxf4 16. Qe8+ Bf8 17. Ne4

17 . . . Qxe4 (17... Qf5 18. Bh6 N8d7 19. Nd6) (17... Bd7 18. Bxf4 Bxe8 19. Nxf6+ Kf7 20. Nxh7) 18. Qxe4

In the third round, the Pinoy player and Australian Masters champ, Sales, dropped a piece early against Bolens. Lucky for him, Bolens - a usually reliable trickster himself - played a bit nervously. Sales managed to simplify leaving himself with a Rook versus Bolens' Bishop and Knight combo. Sales eventually won. He summarised the encounter as, "Shit, tough game!"

I'll try to bring you that game later, but for now, here is Sales against 1817 rated Watson, in round 2.

2005 Fairfield Winter Cup
Sales, J.
Watson, J.
ECO "A31"

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. g3 d6 7. Bg2 Qc7 8. Bg5 e5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 Qa5+ 11. b4 Nxb4 12. Nb3 Nc2+ 13. Kf1 Ne3+ 14. fxe3 Qd8 15. Nd2 f5 16. Qb3 1-0

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