The 2009 Sydney International Open is coming to an end, as is 18 rounds of sheer hard work. Both the O2C Doeberl Cup Premier, and the SIO, have seen a lot of up and coming Australian players face a level of competition they would not ordinarily get. Normally a loss in a typical Australian weekender would see a player drop down to an easier game, resulting in an uneven chess playing experience.
Instead what has happened over the last two weeks is that even when a player drops a point, the next game played is often just as hard. However the positive effects of this were evident (at least to me) when a couple of players who had had a sub-optimal Doeberl Cup began to turn it around from round 1 in the SIO.
Even players who had good a good Doeberl Cup, like Yi Yuan, continued with their form, with a win over IM Stephen Solomon in Round 1. Solomon on the other hand had bypassed this years Doeberl, instead choosing to remain in Queensland to win an event where he was the top seed by almost 700 rating points.
Solomon,S (2455) - Yuan,Y (2010) [C80]
Sydney International Open Parramatta, NSW (1.9), 15.04.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 d4 11.cxd4 Nxd4 12.Nxd4 Qxd4 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Nf3 Qd5 15.Bg5 h6 16.Be3 Nd3 17.Qc2 Qc4 18.Qxc4 bxc4 19.Bd4 Bb4 20.Rab1 c5 21.Be3 Rb8 22.Rfd1 0-0 23.Kf1 Ba5 24.b3 g5 25.bxc4 Rxb1 26.Rxb1 g4 27.Rb3 Rd8 28.Nh4 Nxe5 29.g3 Nxc4 30.Bxh6 (D)
30. ... Bd2 31.Be3 Bxe3 32.Rc3 Nd2+ 33.Ke2 Bd4 34.Kxd2 Bxc3+ 35.Kxc3 Rf8 36.Ng6 Rxf2 37.Ne5 Rxh2 38.a4 Rg2 39.Kc4 Rxg3 40.Kxc5 Rg1 41.a5 g3 42.Kb6 Rf1 0-1