Thursday 15 January 2009

Queenstown Starts

The 2009 Queenstown Chess Classic started today in the New Zealand holiday resort of the same name. Organiser GM Murray Chandler has put together a fantastic tournament with $50,000(NZ) in prizes and a field that includes 9 Grandmasters.
There are a couple of good places for coverage of the event. The most obvious is the tournament website itself, which is carrying the top 3 boards live, as well as a webcam showing the top boards in action. The other place to go is the Closet Grandmasters blog, where he is once again providing live blogging during the round.
As with all big tournaments, the first round has very few upsets, meaning that when they happen, they tend to stand out more than in later rounds.In fact there were only 3 wins by lower rated opponents, and 2 drawn games. Significantly 2 of the upset wins, and one of the draws were by Canberra juniors. On board 10 Andrew Brown, fresh from his 3rd place in the Australian Junior, defeated GM Darryl Johansen, while further down Sherab Guo-Yuthok beat WGM Karolina Smokina of Moldova. Sherab's younger sister drew with the FM Peter Hohler from Switzerland, a set of results which caused TCG to exclaim "STAND UP ACT...STAND UP ACTJCL....STAND UP CANBERRA!!!" on his blog!

Here is the top board clash between GM Victor Mikhalevski and New Zealand Olympiad Captain Hilton Bennett. In part it demonstrates why DGT boards always come with an extra set of queens.

Mikhalevski,V - Bennett,H [E94]
Queenstown Classic Dortmund, 15.01.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Na6 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 10.c5 exd4 11.Nd5 Qxe4 12.Ne7+ Kh8 13.Bc4 d3 14.Bd5 Qe2 15.cxd6 Nc5 16.dxc7 f6 17.Nxc8 fxg5 18.Nd6 Qe7(D)
19.c8Q Raxc8 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21.b4 Rd8 22.bxc5 Rxd5 23.Rb1 Qc7 24.Qb3 Rd7 25.Qe6 Nf6 26.Rxb7 Qxb7 27.c6 Qb5 28.cxd7 Qxd7 29.Nxg5 Qxe6 30.Nxe6 Bh6 31.f4 Ne4 32.Rf3 d2 33.Rd3 Kg8 34.Rd7 g5 35.fxg5 Nxg5 36.Nxg5 Bxg5 37.Kf2 1-0

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