Monday, 5 January 2015

Australian Open - Day 4

Yesterday was another double round day, though it is the final one for the tournament.
In round 5 I was paired against Marcus Porter & decided to bring out an 'old favourite', the Elephant Gambit, figuring it could do no worse than my previous attempts to find a decent opening against 1. e4 so far this tournament. I was happy with the position I got out of the opening & managed to recover my pawn sacrificed in the opening, plus with the bishop pair I thought I would hold a slight advantage. Of course as with most of my other games this tournament, I managed to go astray at some point & rather than trying to maintain control of the position, I headed for an endgame where I could win a piece ... but the problem was that the resulting position with rook, bishop & pawn against rook & three pawns was in fact better for the rook & pawns because of a better king & my own passive pieces. I managed to survive a potentially dangerous situation & then found myself with some sort of advantage in the endgame, being a piece for a pawn ahead, but with only a single pawn left on the board, it was still difficult to convert to a win. Ultimately my opponent managed to gain a passed pawn, which I had to sacrifice my rook to stop, but in the meantime I had lost all of my pawns, so with king & bishop against king, we were left with no choice but to agree to a draw.

The second game of the day saw me playing white against Robert Beeman from Sydney. Knowing Robert's aggressive style, I tried to stifle his play before it got going & this game me the advantage out of the opening. Unsurprisingly, Robert decided to sacrifice material to try to find a way to attack my king, but I was able to exchange queens & remove the danger from the position. I then consolidated my advantage & faced with a significant material disadvantage, Robert resigned.

This leaves me on 3/6 with a 'rest' day ahead. The term rest usually implies some form of relaxation or break, but tomorrow I have the ACF National Conference in the morning, with an ACF Council meeting in the evening. The Australian Blitz is also held in between these two events, but I doubt I'll play in the event this year.

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