Thursday, January 03, 2008

IM George Xie Drops Point

As the dark clouds approached Parramatta and brought with them a light sprinkle of rain, players in the main section must have thought it to be a bad omen. For when the third round got under way all of them took it slow and steady. The first finishes were draws. Hacche and James Morris shook hands early and were the first pair to complete their game peacefully. A couple more games ending in draws followed, and then the decisive ones later on.

IM George Xie isn't having the best of starts. Instead, he seems to be finding his bete noire: Canberra juniors. After his shock loss in round 1 to Gareth Oliver, in round 3 this afternoon he fell to yet another boy from the capital, that giant killer, Junta Ikeda. The game is not one for those with weak hearts and it's another demo of why I have pretty much abandoned competitive play. For who knows what crazy lines your opponent can choose and cause so much stress? Games like this used to drive me nuts OTB.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Ikeda, Junta
Xie, George

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 c5 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Ndb5 d5 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Bf4 Bb4 9. Nc7+ Kf8 10. Nxa8 Ne4 11. f3 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Bxc3+ 13. Kf2

Position after 13. Kf2

13...g5 14. Bg3 f5 15. Kg1 f4 16. Bf2 Bxa1 17. Qxa1 d4 18. h4 g4 19. g3 Qd6 20. Kh2 Bd7 21. Bg2 Rg8 22. Rg1 Ke7 23. Qb1 d3

Position after 23...d3

24. exd3 Rxa8 25. d4 Qg6 26. Qb3 Rg8 27. d5 gxf3 28. Qxf3 fxg3+ 29. Bxg3 Nd4 30. Re1+ Kd8 31. Qf4 Qxg3+ 32. Qxg3 Rxg3 33. Kxg3 Kc7 34. Bh3 Nf5+ 35. Bxf5 Bxf5 36. Kf4 Bd3 37. Ke5 b5 38. d6+ Kd7 39. Rg1 Bg6 40. Rc1 a5 41. Rc7+ Kd8 42. Ra7 1-0

However, it wasn't all a success for Canberra players. Michael Wei, white against the powerful Igor Bjelobrk, appeared to be in a safe position with his extra piece. I actually thought it to be won for Michael. I walked away for a bit and the next time I looked, he was already in big trouble and resigned soon after that. Bjelobrk, I think, got lucky.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Wei, Michael
Bjelobrk, Igor

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be2 a6 7. Be3 Nf6 8. O-O Bb4 9. Na4 O-O 10. c4 Bd6 11. g3 Nxe4 12. c5 Be5 13. f3 Nxg3 14. Nxc6 Nxe2+ 15. Qxe2 dxc6 16. Nb6 Rb8 17. Rad1 Qe7 18. f4 Bc7 19. Qf2 e5 20. f5 f6 21. Qh4 Re8 22. Rf3 Bxb6 23. cxb6 e4 24. Rf4 Bd7 25. Qh5 Rbd8 26. Rh4 Bxf5 27. Rxd8 Qxd8 28. Qxf5 Qd1+ 29. Kf2 g6 30. Rg4 Kf7 31. Qf4 Re5 32. Kg3 g5 33. Qf2 h5 0-1

Also disappointed is Gareth Oliver. After excellent performances in the first two rounds, he ran into German player Felix Klein. The foreigner netted Gareth's Queen but the Australian refused to resign til the very end choosing, instead, to fight on. But it wasn't long before the Canberra university student had to finally give it up; Klein had too much firepower aimed at the King. Sadly, I don't have the game score for that encounter.

Some results:

Malik - Capilitan, draw
Booth - Pyke, 1-0
Illingworth - Yadao, 1-0
Bird - Morris, M. 1-0
Wei - Bjelobrk, 0-1
Klein - Oliver, 1-0
Ikeda - Xie, 1-0
Stojic - Rej, 0-1
Broekhuyse - Hamilton, draw
Hacche - Morris, J. draw
Van Riemsdijk - Pecori, 1-0

In the major section, Arthur Huynh's very bad day continued (remember that he forgot this morning's start time which led to his loss on forfeit). His game against Lloyd Fell was the first to finish. Reason? Arthur just simply blundered a piece. "A whole bloody rook", said Lloyd.

I should also mention my old friend Jose Escribano. The guy really needs no introductions. In round 3 he lost to Sherab Guo-Yuthok. I asked Jose what happened and he answered: "Fucked up. Played the wrong move at the wrong time". Yes, I think we all know the feeling!

Partial list of results from the majors:

Waterman - Russell, 1-0
Mejzini - Greenwood, 0-1
Viner - Bleicher, 1-0
Korenevski - Selnes, draw
Hare - Low, 1-0
Egan - Choi, draw
Stojic - Kim, 1-0
Sanghoon - Barisic, 1-0

Finally, let me apologise for not covering the minor section. But I point you to fellow blogger Trent Parker who's playing in that event. His blog, Blog of a Chess Nut, should have regular updates of happenings in the minor throughout the tournament.

See also the official site.

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