Saturday, January 28, 2006

"Offer yourself a draw!"

Such was Tomek Rej's response to me when I offered him a draw on the 7th move of our fourth round game today at the Australia Day Weekender in North Sydney. We both couldn't help a good little chuckle. Tomek is some 600 points above my own rating and I thought I'd be a bit cheeky. He went to win what was possibly the sharpest game I have ever played.

After such a horrible outing in Queenstown, I was determined to make amends. At the third round mark, I was on 3/3. This is my best start ever. In round 2, I managed to beat Johny Bolens (2095); and in round 3, I got lucky against Stephen Twigg (2070).

The game against Twigg involved a near-death experience. At some moment, one wrong square for my King and I'd be mated. Lucky for me his time was down to less than 2 minutes. So, when I'd exchanged down to my K+R versus his K+B, I decided to run my clock down to less than 5 minutes in order to blitz him. The trick worked. My opponent immediately blundered away the Bishop and the rest was easy.

But today's news story is Max Illingworth's victory over Igor Bjelobrk. The New Zealander must still be tired from Queenstown. He was nowhere to be seen in the following game. The young Illingworth played beautifully - sacrificing a pawn here and there to optimise his pieces. Good stuff!

NSWCA Australia Day Weekender
Illingworth, Max
Bjelobrk, Igor

1. d4 e6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 d6 4. Nc3 Ne7 5. e4 exd5 6. cxd5 Ng6 7. Nf3 Be7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. h3 Nd7 10. O-O a6 11. a4 Bf6 12. Nd2 Nf4 13. Nc4 Nxd3 14. Qxd3 Ne5 15. Nxe5 Bxe5 16. f4 Bf6 17. e5 dxe5 18. f5 b6 19. Be3 Bb7 20. Rad1 Rc8 21. Ne4 Kh8 22. g4 Be7 23. f6 gxf6 24. Rf5 Rg8 25. Ng3 c4 26. Qe4 c3 27. bxc3 Rxc3 28. Rh5 Rg6 29. Nf5 Bf8 30. g5 Qc8 31. Qh4 h6 32. Nxh6 Bxh6 33. Rxh6+ Rxh6 34. Qxh6+ Kg8 35. gxf6 Qf8 36. Qg5+ Kh8 37. Qh5+ Kg8 38. d6 Rc2 39. Qg5+ Kh8 40. d7 1-0

And here is my game against Bolens.

NSWCA Australia Day Weekender
Rosario, Amiel
Bolens, Johny

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. Nf3 O-O 5. Bf4 d6 6. e3 b6 7. Be2 Bb7 8. Qc2 h6 9. h3 a5 10. O-O Na6 11. a3 c6 12. Rfd1 d5 13. Ne5 Rc8 14. g4 dxc4 15. Bxc4 Nd5 16. Qe2 Nac7 17. Bg3 Nxc3 18. bxc3 b5 19. Ba2 Nd5 20. Qc2 Qe8 21. Bb1 f5 22. e4 fxe4 23. Qxe4 Nf6 24. Qe2 c5 25. Ng6 Rf7 26. Qxe6 Rc6 27. Qe2 c4 28. Ne5 Bf8 29. Bg6 Re6 30. Qc2 Rxe5 31. dxe5 Qc6 32. Bxf7+ Kxf7 33. f3 Qxf3 34. Kh2 Nxg4+ 35. hxg4 Qxg4 36. Qf2+ Kg8 37. Rd8 Qh5+ 38. Bh4 Qxe5+ 39. Kg1 Qe4 40. Rxf8+ Kh7 41. Qf5+ 1-0

Finally, ex New South Wales junior champion Kuan-Kuan Tian ignites his comeback with a pretty Queen sacrifice.

NSWCA Australia Day Weekender
Tian, Kuan-Kuan
Trkulja, Slavko

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 Bb4 4. Bd3 d5 5. e5 Ne4 6. Nge2 c5 7. f3 c4 8. Bxe4 dxe4 9. fxe4 Qh4+ 10. Ng3 Bd7 11. O-O O-O 12. Rf4 Qe7 13. a3 Ba5 14. Qe2 b5 15. Nh5 Bb6 16. Be3 Nc6 17. Qg4 g6 18. Nf6+ Kg7 19. Qh3 Rh8 20. Qh6+ 1-0

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