Friday, 11 January 2013

Ikeda makes 2nd IM Norm

Congratulations to FM Junta Ikeda on making his 2nd IM norm. In the 9th round of the Australian Open he was up against fellow Canberra player, and friend, IM Andrew Brown. While a draw would have been enough for the norm (and I result I predicted prior to the game), a very sharp line against the Sicilian meant that a draw was looking like the least likely outcome. Ikeda offered a pawn in the opening, in return for greater board control. A temporary exchange sacrifice increased his advantage, forcing Brown to return material with interest. After that it was a matter of navigating time trouble, before Ikeda found a nice win, with the game finishing with both his queens(!) en pris.
FM Bobby Cheng continues to lead the tournament after beating FM Gene Nakauchi on the top board. The win for Cheng also earned him an IM norm although he has to go through the formality of playing Ikeda tomorrow (even a loss will still give him a norm). IM Moulthun Ly shares second place with Ikeda, after he escaped from a lost position against GM Igor Khenkin. Khenkin built up a crushing attack but missed an important tactic, and let his advantage dissipate, eventually taking a perpetual in a position where he had a small edge.

Ikeda,Junta - Brown,Andrew [B31]
Australian Open Sydney, 11.01.2013

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