Yes, finally back to the blog ... and yes, there's plenty of things to catch up on - I'll try to get around to them eventually ... but first its current events & the annual Doeberl Cup in Canberra.
Although my rating is slowly heading south, it seems as though it has not gone quite far enough to allow me to enter the Major (my ACF rating is still just over 2000, although my FIDE is now unfortunately in the high 1900s), so once again I am playing in the Premier.
This year sees another change in venue, with University House at ANU playing host to the tournament this year. Its an older building which looks nice & has some interesting artworks on the walls, however it is still a step down from the Hellenic Club where the event was held up until a few years ago.
Round one saw me paired as black against 2014's giant killer Mu Ke & I played a Sniper in Benko Gambit fashion, however I simply didn't get enough play on the queenside & was slowly outplayed before missing a tactic that finished off the game.
I was one of the lucky ones who managed to not only still be in the bottom half of the score group, but also managed to get my second black in a row, this time against fellow Melbournian Pano Skiotis. This time I tried to head for a Czech Benoni, but Pano played 4. dxe6 & tried to create a bind on the d6 square early on in the game. I managed to untangle myself & was better after 17... Qf6, however I could not find a way to bring home the point & drifted trying to maintain an advantage rather than trading into a better endgame. Ultimately I missed a tactic that allowed Pano to take the initiative & I defended inaccurately, and found myself on the wrong end of a mating attack, even though I had a forced checkmate ready to play myself.