Friday, 23 July 2010

2010 ANU Chess Festival - GM Simul

Grandmaster David Smerdon kicked off the 2010 ANU Chess Festival with the traditional simul in Canberra City. Normally this simul is held outdoors, in the middle of the Canberra Winter, as a test to both Master and players. However this year saw a slight venue change, with the simul being moved indoors to King O'Malley's pub. While this move was appreciated by all who took part (although it wasn't that cold this year), the event did lose a little in terms of colour and movement, with the usual crowd of curious passers by being absent.
As for the chess GM Smerdon was in his usual ruthless form, at least in the second hour. He confessed he had handicapped himself by watching the Tour de France until 2 in the morning, so for the first hour of the simul he was just trying to hang on. In one game he played the seemingly strong Qd1-b3, overlooking the fact that a pawn was still on c2. "I thought I'd sac'd that one" he said sheepishly.
But having survived the first hour he began to rack up a few wins, and as the number of remaining players dropped, he was able to devote more energy to converting a number of endings. The whole thing finished in slightly under 2 hours, with 15 wins and a single draw to Mos Ali.

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