Happy Holidays friends! I hope you have all spent Christmas day with family, friends and loved ones. I took advantage of the cheap flights and flew to Sydney on an almost empty plane. I spent the night at the Ingram family Manor and jumped into Ben's luxurious Saab the next morning for the drive down to Geelong.
Ben obscuring the Sphinx. This is the Venue.
Geelong is composed of many lane highways, housing estates and industrial areas. Luckily it also has a historic old town and a beautiful bay.
We will be here for two weeks and I hope we will have time to do some tourism between rounds so that I can show you some pictures of the area as well as games.
The tournament got underway at 2pm. Ben and I got "lost" and unfortunately missed the opening ceremony and the undoubtedly riveting speeches. You can find all the information on the tournament at the Geelong chess clubs website and if you are clever enough you can also find the link to the five live boards. The top seed GM Zong Yuan Zhao proved that e4 is the best move as he needed no other to win the first round. Another strange result was Darryl Johansen's 14 move draw with white. Another mystery is the participation of an Indian International master. I assume we must now have a reciprocal arrangement with India and will therefore be applying for the next Indian closed Championship.
My game today started well but I lost the thread a bit in the middle-game. I did enjoy the exchange sacrifice. Black has no material for it but I cannot find a way to defend white's position.