Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bird Pecks on Top Seeds

OK, that's a bad one. But hey, I'm blaming junior Max Illingworth for that. This afternoon, he hopped around the playing hall looking for DOP Charles Zworestine as he had a suggestion for a title to this story. Max's idea was "Bird Flies Over Top Seeds in Australia Day Weekender". Too long, I think - so here I've shortened it a bit. Thanks for the idea anyway Max.

NSW Champion (2005) Andrew Bird today won the Australia Day Weekender tournament. He was undefeated throughout scoring 6.5/7 points, only conceding a draw in the last round to Jason Hu. Andrew's scalps included a string of powerful opponents including FM Xie, Kuan-Kuan Tian and Vladimir Smirnov. This result as well as the $500 first prize, I'm sure, should more than compensate for his less than stellar showing in the Aussie Championships a few weeks ago in Brisbane.

While Bird can celebrate his fine victory, Igor Bjelobrk, on the other hand, must be wondering what in the world happened. My guess is, he's just plain exhausted. Just a few days from Queenstown and playing some strong opposition there, Bjelobrk's energies were nowhere with him over the whole weekend. Today, he lost another game - this time to Kevin O'chee.

NSWCA Australia Day Weekender
O'chee, Kevin
Bjelobrk, Igor

1. e4 e6 2. d4 c5 3. Nf3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Qc7 6. c4 Nf6 7. O-O Nc6 8. Nxc6 dxc6 9. Nd2 e5 10. b3 Bc5 11. Bb2 Bg4 12. Be2 h5 13. h3 Rd8 14. hxg4 hxg4 15. Bxg4 Qa5 16. Bh3 Rxd2 17. Qe1 Bb6 18. b4 Qxb4 19. Bxe5 Qa5 20. Rb1 Qxe5 21. Qxd2

After 21. Qxd2

After the game, Kevin and Igor examined the following line 21...Rxh3!! 22. Rfd1 Qh2+ 23. Kf1 Qh1+ 24. Ke2 Qxg2 25. Qf4 Re3+ 26. Kd2 Nxe4+ 27. Kc2 Rc3+ 28. Kb2 Qxf2+ 29. Qxf2 Bxf2 22. Rfd1 Qh2+ 23. Kf1 Rxh3 24. Qd7+ Kf8 25. Qc8+ Ke7 26. Qxg4 Rd3 27. Qg5+ Ke8 28. Rxd3 Qh1+ 29. Ke2 Qxb1 30. Qe5+ Kf8 31. Qb8+ Ke7 32. Qxb7+ Kf8 33. Rd8+ 1-0

Chess really is a tough game. FM George Xie, who finished equal second, asked: "How come chess is so hard? Only 32 pieces!"

Overall, I was satisfied with my own performance - finishing on 4/7. I lost only to Rej and Neil Wright (in the final round).

NSWCA Australia Day Weekender
Rosario, Amiel
Rej, Tomek

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. g4 dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nd5 9. a3 Nxc3 10. Qxc3 Nf6 11. Bd2 b5 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. e4 a6 14. Qc2 c5 15. dxc5 Bxc5 16. Bc3 (16. Qxc5 Qxd3 17. Bb4 Qxe4+ 18. Kf1 Nd5) 16... Rc8 17. Rd1 Qe7 18. h3 h6 19. Rg1 Qc7! 20. g5 hxg5 21. Nxg5 Qh2 22. Kf1 Rh5 23. Qe2 (Tomek had the idea of 23. Rg2 Qxg2+ 24. Kxg2 Rxg5+ 25. Kf1 Ke7 26. Qd2 Rh5 but it seems to me that White is better.) 23... Rxg5 24. Rxg5 Nxe4 25. Rg2?? (25. Bxe4 Bxe4 26. Ke1! is the move I missed Qh1+ 27. Kd2 Rd8+ 28. Kc1 Rxd1+ 29. Qxd1 Qxh3) 25... Qh1+ 26. Rg1 Ng3+!! 0-1

Top scorers were: Bird, 6.5; Xie, Hu 6; Smirnov, Tian, Illingworth, Wright, Dunn, Atzmon-Simon, Bolens, Chek 5.

The 5-pointers I think went home with $10 each.

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