Monday 11 January 2016

H is for Hack

While just catching up with the final results from the 2016 New Zealand Championship, I came across the following last round game. CM Hilton Bennett decided to finish the tournament as brutally as possible, playing the Centre Game, with the plan of hacking on the kingside. The hack began as early as round 8 with h4, but it wasn't until Black castled short that it really got going. Given the complicated nature of the position, it was no surprise that both players missed stronger lines (my analysis engine kept screaming 'd3 for black' at me), but eventually White's attack paid off with a rook sacrifice on h8.
As for the overall event GM Gawain Jones finished on 7.5/9 after a draw with GM Alexandr Fier (the game finished with KvK) to win the tournament by half a point. A loss by FM Alexei Kulashko to GM Nigel Short gave a number of NZ players and opportunity to claim the NZ Champion title, but in the end only FM Michael Steadman scored the required point and both players tied for the title.

Bennett,Hilton P (1958) - Nicholls,Leighton (1910) [C22]
New Zealand Open 2016 Devonport, Auckland NZL (9.26), 10.01.2016

1 comment:

Graham Clayton said...

As someone who has played the Ponziani opening in ICCF Webserver events, it is nice to see one of the lesser-known King's Pawn openings getting a run in a tournament.