Thursday, 24 March 2016

Doeberl Cup 2016, rounds one and two. Checks and captures

For the first time in many years I've decided to play in the Doeberl Cup, the jewel in the crown of Australian open tournaments. It has been going since 1963 and my first time was in my teens. The venue and format has changed many times over the years but it still manages to attract many of Australia's top players.

This year the Byron Bluesfest has an unimpressive lineup, many of my students are playing in Canberra and I felt like going for a long drive with my new car so here I am, trying to move pieces. As my first two rounds showed me, I have some cobwebs to eliminate.

My first round opponent was a talented junior who had somehow managed to prepare before the first round and blitzed out his opening moves. It looked all wrong to me, allowing an open H file, but apparently that's how Karpov played the position. But it doesn't take much to go wrong in such a double edged position and 20...Rc8, allowing me to switch the a3 bishop to h6 was too much. Then there was 26. Qh8 Look out for checks!  

Playing against a professional like GM Ganguly is never easy and I got a rush of blood to the head on move 17. I should of course take on d4, opening the position for the two bishops as intended instead of trying to mate. Still, the position was tenable if I did not miss 26.Nf7+. Checks and captures.

Anyway, all good, had a good sleep, now to see if I can remember how to play at least entertaining chess and avoid junior preparation.

Checks and captures,
Checks and captures,
Checks and captures.

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