Sunday, 15 July 2018

Ben Hague wins the George Trundle Masters, scores IM norm!

George Trundle Memorial Round 9

Ben Hague lived on a knife's edge all tournament, from the first round on where he survived a deadly attack against Vishal. His last round game had more roundabouts than Canberra, as Daniel was winning, then Ben, then it was a draw, which both sides spurned many times. You can view this game and al the others on the Newzealand Chess News Website

Finally the result all Kiwi's were hoping for but had abandoned many times, actually happened. Ben won the tournament and got his norm. Congratulations are most definitely in order. 

Vishal, after failing to find a one move win in round one against Ben, played, in my opinion, the best chess. As a coach and trainer to many of India's top players, he has a wealth of knowledge and a keen sense of position and the initiative. He never looked in trouble and seemed to be giving lessons instead of playing games.

This was his first tournament in decades and was only lured out of retirement by the opportunity to visit New Zealand. Perhaps this successful outing will inspire him to play again occasionally.

Chris Wallis was heading for an IM norm before coming unstuck in round 7 against Daniel Gong. He works very hard on his chess and I'm sure he'll join the ranks of Australian IM's soon.

I shared 4-5 with Alexei Kulashko on 5/9. The other notable result was the shocker the top seed, Gary Lane had. Often in a tournament, something goes wrong and goes from bad to worse, as I experienced recently in Mumbai. He will be back.

The qualifiers tournament was won by Gord Morrell, a Canadian import, and the organiser, Mike Steadman, who spent his last 10 days ensuring everything runs smoothly while playing excellent chess. Not to mention the year+ of assembling the field and communicating with fickle chessplayers. Thanks for everything, Mike. 

Then there was the Chief Arbiter Keong Ang and His deputy, Helen Milligan, who ran everything with calm professionalism. Helen also found time to take pictures, input games and many other things required in a tournament that I and the players are unaware of.

The one thing that annoyed me a bit is that many people, even prizewinners did not have the good manners to stay for the prizegiving ceremony. May I suggest that if you don't attend the closing, your prize should be considered a "donation" to the after party.

Round 9

I finally managed to win a game again and it was by playing sensibly. Not launching optimistic premature attacks before all the pieces are developed. Actually, by developing, playing central chess and avoiding unnecessary complications, the game did play itself. 

[Event "George Trundle Memorial"]
[Site "Auckland"]
[Date "2018.07.15"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Polishchuk, Kirill"]
[Black "Wohl, Aleksandar"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2128"]
[BlackElo "2335"]
[ECO "C46i"]
[EventDate "2018.07.07"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bc4 Bg7 5.d3 h6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.h3 d6 8.a3
Nd7 9.O-O Nd4 10.Nb5 Nxb5 11.Bxb5 c6 12.Bc4 O-O 13.Nh2 Kh7 14.f4 exf4
15.Bxf4 Nb6 16.Rb1 d5 17.exd5 Nxd5 18.Bd2 Be6 19.Qf3 Qh4 20.Ng4 f5
21.Nh2 b5 22.Bb3 Bxb2 23.Rxb2 Qd4+ 24.Qf2 Qxb2 25.Re1 Qf6 26.Qc5 Bg8
27.Nf3 Rfe8 28.Rxe8 Rxe8 29.Kh1 g5 30.Nd4 f4 31.Nxc6 f3 32.Qxa7+ Kg6
33.Qf2 fxg2+ 34.Qxg2 Qxc6 35.c4 Ne7 36.Qxc6+ Nxc6 37.cxb5 Bxb3 38.
bxc6 Bd5+ 0-1

That's it from me for another tournament. It could have gone better, but it could have gone worse, but playing in New Zealand is always fun :-)

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