Thursday 19 March 2015

2015 ANU Masters - Week 6

Round 6 of the 2015 ANU Masters could be described as one of missed opportunities. Each of the games saw assessments change dramatically with at least one ill judged moved, in some cases turning wins into losses, and then losses into wins.
Fred Litchfield tried an ambitious exchange sacrifice against Adrian De Noskowski, but sensible defence seemed to give D Noskowski a clear advantage. De Noskowski even returned the exchange, but just as he reached an almost winning position, he allowed a perpetual check, which Litchfield immediately took.
Harry Press inflicted Victor Braguine's second loss of the tournament in a game that could well have had a different result. Press won a piece after Braguine's queen ventured too far from home, but then had to fend off Braguine's remaining pieces. In attempting to simplify Press missed a trick from Braguine that should have turned the tables. However Braguine missed the correct followup and Press was able to reach a winning rook and pawn ending.
Alana Chibnall played the offbeat 2.Qe2 against Miles Patterson's French Defence, but ended up with a slightly worse position. However she was able to build a strong attack against Patterson's King and reached a double rook ending where she should have had a big advantage. But missing an obvious pawn recapture restored material equality and a draw was agreed a few moves later. Jeremy Reading defeated Andrey Bliznyuk in yet another game where the result was unclear for quite a while. After a complicated middlegame, the players reached a 2R v R+B+N ending. Advanced pawns helped Reading's rook control a lot of the board, so Bliznuk gave up a knight to eliminate as many pawns as possible. Once a RvB pawnless ending was reached a draw seemed likely, but Bliznyuk's king caught on the edge of the board Reading was eventually able to combine mate threats with attacks on the bishop to bring home the point.
With 1 round to play Braguine and Litchfield lead on 4/6, followed by Patterson on 3.5 and Chibnall on 3. Depending on last round results, the winner could be anyone from this group, and a 4 way tie is even a possibility.

Bliznyuk,Andrey (2004) - Reading,Jeremy (1894)
2015 ANU Masters Canberra AUS (6.2), 18.03.2015

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