Sunday, 23 March 2014

2014 ACT Championship - Day 3

The third day of the 2014 ACT Championship stated with the clash of the top two seeds, IM Andrew Brown and FM Junta Ikeda. Both players came well prepared, with Ikeda choosing a line previously tried by Andreikin. However Brown was also aware of this line, and seemed quite happy to face it over the board. It turned out the line wasn't as dubious as it first looked, and Ikeda got a playable position, at the cost of the exchange. He then built up pressure in the centre, and as Brown ran short of time, was able to break the position open. Brown failed to protect all the squares around his king, and an invasion of heavy pieces was enough for Brown to tip his king over.
This handed the lead to Ikeda, and he maintained his half point advantage with a win over Adrian De Noskowski in round 5. Brown recovered from his round 4 loss with a win over third seed Andrey Bliznyuk. Joining Brown in second place was Harry Press, who survived a strong attack against Alana Chibnall. They are followed by a large group of players on 3.5 points.
The final 4 rounds of this tournament will be played next weekend. At this stage Ikeda should be the favourite to win the title, but as recent championships have shown, it is one thing to take the lead, but another thing to hold on to it.

Brown,Andrew (2245) - Ikeda,Junta (2338) [E16]
2014 ACT Championship Canberra, Australia (4.1), 23.03.2014

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