Sunday, 18 March 2012

2012 Dubbo Open - Xie Wins

IM George Xie scored a picket fence in winning the 2012 Dubbo Open.  Xie had to work a little harder on the second day, playing seeds 2 (Michael Wei) and 3 (Don Keast) in successive rounds. Wei felt he missed a chance to draw in his 4th round game, while in the 5th round Keast was up a piece at one point.
There was a curious incident in this game when Keast started a combination that should have left him with a winning position. Having played the first move he left the board to get a drink, while Xie sunk into thought. When Keast returned, he mistakenly believed that Xie had played a move, so sitting down he played the next move of the combination. There was a kerfuffle as Xie wanted to know what was happening, and I (the arbiter) intervened. Keast apologised for the misunderstanding, I added 2 minutes to Xie's clock, and the game continued. While the combination proved sound (and Keast was a piece up), the advantage was only temporary as he returned the piece a few moves later, when he played the wrong defensive move. After that Xie went on to win, and finished the tournament with a win over Neil Clark in the final round.
Wei and Keast met in the 6th round, with Wei winning to take a share of second, alongside Fritz Van der Wal, who benefited from a Col Parson's blunder.
Apart from the Open, the club also held a lightning event the previous evening, with Don Keast winning for the second year in a row. As it was a time handicap event, Keast needed to bet Jingming Chow in the final round, and despite starting with 1m v 5m on the clock, did it with 5 seconds to spare!

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