The second round of the Victorian Championship was another one of carnage, with all games once again being decisive!
Guy West made a conscious decision to play a complicated tactical game against David Garner & sacrificed a piece on move 12 (after a different piece sacrifice was declined on move 11!) to launch a kingside attack. Although the computers suggested that Garner may have been able to hold with precise play, he blundered with 14...N7f6 & allowed West to go on a king hunt, forcing it to d5 before a pseudo Queen sacrifice wrapped up the game for West when Garner was faced with a hopeless endgame position.
Karl Zelesco & James Morris began with a fairly tame looking Maroczy bind-like position in their game after Morris played the unusual 3...Na5 in response to Zelesco's Rossolimo. However, once the tactics began with 17.Qxd6, Morris found a way to press home an advantage, ultimately winning material & shortly afterwards the game.
The game between defending champion Bobby Cheng & Chess Victoria President Leonid Sandler appeared for a long time to be headed towards a draw. The position was fairly level out of the opening, but Cheng managed to create a weakness on the Queenside after some middlegame exchanges & appeared to have a slight edge. Sandler managed to trade more pieces & found himself in a rook ending that was fairly level, however rather than being content with a draw, Cheng pushed for more & unfortunately missed a nice tactic Sandler had once the final rook was exchanged, leaving Bobby in a lost king & pawn ending.
In a battle of past champions, Igor Goldenberg & Dusan Stojic had another interesting battle, where Dusan won a pawn in the opening for seemingly little compensation. Goldenberg responded by launching a kingside attack & ultimately it was a loose rook on d7 that decided the game when Goldenberg found the clever 30.Qh3, which saw Stojic make a fatal blunder & Goldenberg crashed through shortly afterwards.
David Hacche once again found himself on the wrong end of the last game to finish & another losing rook endgame. After a quiet opening, some tactics developed in the middlegame, before Levi managed to win a pawn. A number of pieces were exchanged & just when it looked like Hacche might have the queen & rook ending under control, he made the mistake of allowing the queens to be traded & Levi eventually used the extra pawn to his advantage to secure the full point.
The game between Domagoj Dragicevic & Tristan Stevens is to be played at a later date.
As usual, results are available on ChessChat