Saturday, January 02, 2010

Aussie Champs Begin

The downside to predictions is that the characters in question are never always so cooperative. Today's first round of the major section in the Aussie Chess Championships, my pick Jason Chan suffered a surprise defeat to Victorian resident Vineetha Wijesuriya.

2009 Australian Chess C
Chan, Jason
Wijesunga, Vineetha

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Bd7 7. c3 e5 8. a3 Nge7 9. b4 O-O 10. Be3 b6 11. Nbd2 cxb4 12. axb4 Kh8 13. b5 Na5 14. Rb1 Rc8 15. c4 Nb7 16. Ra1 Na5 17. Nb3 Nxb3 18. Qxb3 Rc7 19. Ra3 Bg4 20. Nd2 Qd7 21. Rfa1 Nc8 22. f3 Be6 23. Nb1 f5 24. Bf2 f4 25. g4 g5 26. Qd1 Qf7 You go that way, I go this way. Black now begins her K-side counter. 27. Nc3 h5 28. h3 Kh7 29. Na2 Rh8 30. Nb4 Kg8 31. Ra6 Bf6 32. Nc6 hxg4 33. hxg4 Rh7 34. R1a4 Kg7 35. Be1 Kg6 36. Qa1 Qg7 37. Qa3 Qh8 38. Nxa7?? And with this move, white is suddenly in big, big trouble. It's all the tempo that Vineetha needed to usher in a fine victory.
Position after 38. Nxa7

38...Rh2-+ 39. Nxc8 Rxg2+!
Fritz 11 reckons that it's mate in 12 moves. Who can argue with that? (39... Rch7!! would have led to a faster win.) 40. Kxg2 Rh7 41. Kf1 Rh2 42. Bf2 Qh3+ 43. Ke1 Qxf3 44. Qb2 Qxd3 44...Rh1+ 45. Kd2 Rd1+ 46. Kc3 Qxd3+ 47. Kb4 Qxc4+ 48. Ka3 Ra1+ 49. Qxa1 Qb3 mate 0-1

Ah, well, at least there's still a long, long way to go for Jason. Vineetha, by the way, is two-time Olympiad player, appearing for the Sri Lankan women's team in Manila 1992 and Yerevan 1996.

My pick for the main section, GM Gawain Jones, looked a tad shaky this afternoon against Chris Wallis but thankfully managed to pull off the win.

Among the other games Morris - Brown attracted particular attention. That was partly because the game was the subject of GM Ian Rogers' commentary. Also, it's always interesting to watch two talented young guns - one a newly minted IM, the other a proven giant killer - go pound for pound OTB. But the contest held interest mainly because it was quite fascinating! We'll have to wait for the PGN to see that one.

Sadly for Morris, Canberra's Andrew Brown was the winner on this occasion.

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