Sunday, 31 July 2011

2011 ANU Open - Day 2

GM Zong Yuan Zhao completed a pretty smooth victory in the 2011 ANU Open, scoring 2/3 on the second day to finish on 6/7. The key game was his 5th round against IM Andras Toth. After both players bashed out 15 or 16 moves in less than 3 minutes, Toth had a long think in the position, but was unable to find an answer to Zhao's constant pressure. This pressure built up for the rest of the game, until Toth ran short of time and resigned, more from dissatisfaction with his position, rather than any immediate loss.
Zhao then drew with 'almost' IM Vladimir Smirnov, before securing victory with a quick last round draw against Blair Mandla. Mandla was one of three players tied for second, having beaten IM Andras Toth in round 6, before his last round draw against Zhao. He was joined by Vladimir Smirnov (who beat Justin Tan) and IM George Xie, who beat Paul Broekhuyse in the last round.
In the Minor (Under 1600) tournament, Fred Litchfield was streeting the field with 6 wins from the first 6 rounds, before Ethan Derwent stooped him the final round. The win by Derwent allowed him to catch Litchfield on 6/7, and the two shared first place. Tournament newcomer Curtis Perry finished in outright third on 5.5/7.
The organisers (Shun Ikeda, Paul Dunn, Charles Zworestine etc) judged the tournament a success, with a sight increase in numbers over last year, and no problems or major incidents. In terms of odd happenings (apart from world no 3 Lev Aronian being the highest rated spectator the tournament has ever had),the 5th round pairing between Casey Baines and Curtis Perry may have set some sort of Australian record, with Perry's 193cm fame (6ft 5in) being slightly overshadowed by Baines topping out at 198cm (6ft 7in).

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