Monday 28 July 2008

ANU Open - Notable performances

There were a number of notable performances at the 2008 ANU Open, especially in regards to the Australian Womens Olympiad Team. The Open attracted quite a strong group of female players with WIM Arianne Caoili, WIM Heather Richards and WIM Narelle Szuveges outnumbering their male counterparts, IM's Smerdon and Toth.
However the best performed Women player was Giang Nguyen (Board 3 for Australia) who finished in 3rd place overall with 5/7. She score 3/4 on the first day and 2/3 on the second with her last round win over FM Brian Jones putting her into the prizes.
Also notable was the performance of Luthien Russell. After her first round win over Dizdarevic she also defeated Leon Kempen and WIM Heather Richards to reach 3.5/5 and a chair at Board 3 in round 6. Two tough defeats in rounds 6 & 7 left her on a score that didn't reflect her performance.
As was to be expected the play of WIM Arianne Caoili attracted a lot of interest. It was her game against Milan Grcic that was a real talking point of the event. Going into a rook and pawn ending 2 pawns up, she made it 3 pawns when Grcic blundered his last pawn during the 10s per move stage of the game. But the pawns were a h pawn and doubled f pawns, and there are positions with R+f+h v R which are drawn. And by the time the game reached the diagrammed position this game was one of them. By pushing the Black king into the corner, Caoili allowed Grcic a stalemate trick based on offering the rook. Caoili refused the offer, but the following occurred.
1...Re6+ 2.Kf4 Re4+ 3.Kg5 Rg4+ 4.Kf6 Rg6+ At this point Arianne tried one last idea to win the game, but it turned the draw into a loss. 5.Ke7?? Rg7+ 6.Ke8 Rxb7 7.f6 Kxh7 8.f7 Rb8+ 9.Ke7 Kg7 0-1

WIM Heather Richards finished alongside on Arianne with 4/7. She started the tournament strongly (including taking the only half point off Smerdon) but a couple of mid tournament losses slowed her down. Hopefully we'll see a lot more of Heather on the Australian tournament scene, as she hopes to be here for the next 4 years while completing an Engineering degree.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not a comment on the chess itself but, as you alluded to in your closing speech, Shaun, the running of the tournament was greatly assisted by those in the background.

Jenny Mason, chief cook, who kept on serving up the curry's, pumpkin soup, hot dogs, etc. She was on her feet for the two days, with help from Emma Dunstone's mum.

Mirabelle Guo, always cheerful, taking food orders, whipping up toasted sandwiches and serving up drinks.

Agus Setiabudi being everywhere when needed.

Without that assistance you simply do not have a tournament of such a high standard.

Give them a round of applause folks.