Bobby Cheng added to his growing list of titles by winning the Australian Lightning Championship. GM Tu Huang Thong won the tournament with 9/11 and Anton Smirnov, Brodie McClymont and Bobby Cheng tied for 2-4th with 8.5/11. They then had a playoff which Bobby won by half a point from Brodie with Anton coming third.
|David Liu versus el Presidente|
|Moulthun Ly v Bobby Cheng|
|Brodie McClymont v Greg Canfell|
Shite fight 3, the selection!I was too busy to play as I was busy reading the latest controversy on Australia's premier chess-forum, chesschat. This thread deals with some contentious issues regarding who should and shouldn't be allowed to play in this tournament. FM Eddy Levi drew my attention to it, mainly because he is an admirer of IM Robert Jamieson's writing style, and with good reason.
Going by the de plume Jammo, he bemoaned the exclusion of three time champ and living legend Douglas Hamilton. He was immediately set upon by defender of the realm Kevin Bonham. For those not acquainted with Australian chess history, IM Robert Jamieson was a fearsome force in the pre-Rogers era. His clear strategic play and sharp tactical skills were an inspiration to the juniors of my generation. The same qualities are present in his prose.
My two cents worth. I will use a quote from Mr Kevin Bonham as a guide.
"The Australian Championships exists to determine who is the Australian Champion"
So my questions
1: Why the foreign GM's? How do they help in determining who is the Australian Champion? What other country allows foreigners into their national championship?
2: Twelve of the forty-two are rated below the already low 2150 cut-off. Most well below.
3: Juniors over 2000? This may have been a good idea when ratings came out infrequently but now?
Anyway, I'll keep the rest of my ranting for another occasion, now on to my round 7 game.
So finally I got to play a higher rated opponent. James Morris is one of the future stars of Australian chess and on form he is a truly fearsome player. I spent yesterday studying his games and was impressed.
For the first time in the tournament I got that tingling feeling like when one spots a shark while swimming. One of my weaknesses is that I find it hard to motivate myself against players I feel I should beat. This leads to accidents. No such worries today. I treated the opening phase with respect, just trying to equalise and was constantly on the lookout for hidden tactics.
As luck would have it James was a bit unfamiliar with some of the subtleties of the Philidor defense. 11.a5 was an inaccuracy, allowing black an easy game. Paradoxically leaving the pawn on a4 holds up blacks queenside counterplay better. Then on moves 19 and 20 he decided to throw the kitchen sink at me, not wanting to drift into a worse position. He simply missed a defensive move and when the smoke cleared he had no pieces left.
Not a great game by James but I am quite happy with how I was seeing things. At least I am now clear of the bony chickens :-)
Four rounds to go. All is still possible. To dream, the impossible dream....