Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ballarat Begonia Open

So I finally decided to play a chess tournament ... and hopefully I will play a few more this year than I have in recent years (Doeberl Cup & Sydney International are the next big weekender-type events I'm planning to play in). 
This year the Begonia Open moved from its previous home of the School of Mines, with its infamous 'pit' to Ballarat Clarendon College to accommodate for the growing number of entrants to the tournament. I found the new playing hall to be generally very nice, although the lack of air conditioning (albeit with a 'passive cooling' system being used in the building) still being a little issue. It was also a bit out of town compared to the previous venue, however when travelling that far from Melbourne, an extra kilometre or two isn't that much of a big deal (although it does make a car more desirable during the tournament).
 A few different views of the new playing hall
Overall the tournament finished in a tie for first between FM Chris Wallis & FM Kanan Izzat from Azerbaijan with 6/7. I finished further back in the field on 4/7, scoring 3 wins, 2 draws & 2 losses. Although I felt I played OK, the loss to Russell Murray in round 6 was particularly disappointing, as I felt that the position was very good for me (later confirmed by various engines), but I couldn't find the knockout blow to finish the game off!
Anyway, easing my way into looking at my round 6 game, can you find the finish to my round 4 game against Geoffrey Barber?
The game finished 25. Rg1+ Kh8 (25... Kf7 26. Qxh7+ Ke8 27. Bh5+ Rf7 28. Qxf7#) 26. Qxh7+ 1-0 (26... Kxh7 27. Rh3#)

In round 6 I played the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit against Russell Murray & he played the tricky Ziegler Defense, which has many similarities to the Caro-Kann & is considered to be one of the toughest variations against the BDG. I played the Alchemy variation & Russell played what should have been a losing move, but I didn't find the best follow-up & went on to lose rather quickly!

1. d4 Nf6 2. f3 d5 3. e4 dxe4 4. Nc3 exf3 5. Nxf3 c6 6. Bc4 Bf5 7. O-O e6 8. Ng5 (The Alchemy Variation)
8... Bxc2 (Apparently a losing move according to Scheerer) 9. Qe2 (9. Nxf7 Bxd1 (9... Kxf7 10. Qxc2 Qxd4+ 11. Be3 Qxe3+ (11... Qxc4 12. Rf4 Qa6 13. Ra4) 12. Kh1) 10. Nxd8 Kxd8 11. Rxd1 Nd5 12. Re1 with an endgame edge for white) 9... Qxd4+ 10. Be3 Qg4 (10... Qe5 11. Nf3 Qf5 12. Nd4 is the line given by Scheerer)
11. Rf3?! (11. Qxc2! Qxc4 12. Rf4 & black's queen is trapped! Best is to get a few pieces for it ... 12 ... Bc5 (12... Qa6 13. Ra4) 13. Rxc4 Bxe3+ 14. Kh1 Bxg5) I think I simply didn't calculate the position at all, stopping things after seeing the bishop exchanges & thinking that it would not be favourable to exchange pieces, rather than looking at the resulting position & seeing I could trap the queen! 11... Bc5 12. Bxc5 (12. Nxf7 Bxe3+ (12... Kxf7 13. Bxc5) 13. Kh1 Rf8 14. Ne5 Qh5 15. Qxe3) 12... Qxg5
13. Bd6? This move looks natural, but it leaves the bishop vulnerable & this was ultimately the final nail in the coffin! (13. Ba3 Bf5 14. Qe5) (13. Be3 Qe5 14. Qxc2 Ng4 15. Qe4 Qxh2+ 16. Kf1 Qh1+ 17. Ke2 Qxg2+ (17... Qxa1 18. Rxf7) 18. Bf2 Nxf2 19. Rxf2 Qxe4+ 20. Nxe4 O-O with a rather unique endgame!) 13... Bf5 14. Rxf5 (14. Bf4 & 14. Rg3 were the main alternatives I considered, but I couldn't see anything positive in either line 14... Qh4 15. Rd1 Nbd7 (15... Bg4 16. Qe3 Qh6 (16... Bxd1 17. Bxe6) (16... Nbd7 17. Rd4))) 14... Qxf5 15. Rf1 Qg4
16. Rf3? (16. Qd3 Nbd7 17. Rf4 Qg5 18. h4 Qa5 looks promising, but soon runs out of steam, but is better than the game) 16... Qd4+ 0-1

 Maybe I can do better in 2015 ...

1 comment:

  1. Splendid. That's a really magnificent tourney right there, with a fine, smart sport. Too bad for the airconditioning, though. Maybe the facilitators of the event could get to the bottom of the matter, and built in newer ones across the entire area so that it will not only be pleasant to the present players ( who are likely to return ), but to also be accommodating to newer ones who are bound to show up in the future.

    Levi @ Capital Plumbing