Monday, 23 July 2012

Victorian Championship & Reserves

The 2012 Victorian Championship had a very exciting conclusion, although perhaps not in the way one would normally expect an exciting finish to occur. James Morris had already wrapped the tournament up coming into the last round, so the interest was not in regards to who would win the tournament, but rather it was in who would fill the minor places. Any of five players could tie for second coming into the final round, so this made for a number of critical matchups.
Leonid Sandler appeared to be making an early charge towards a possible podium finish by picking up first one, then two pawns in the opening against Domagoj Dragicevic. Domagoj continued to fight on, and an errant move by Leonid saw Domagoj take the initiative and win a pawn back. Just when it appeared that Leonid had regained the initiative in a knight against bishop ending, he again made a poor move, which saw him lose his extra pawn and a draw was agreed soon afterwards. This pushed Domagoj to 7 points & left Leonid on 6.5. Tristan Stevens managed to avoid the wooden spoon with a win over Eddy Levi to finish on 3 points, with Eddy finishing on 4. Bobby Cheng managed to win against Dusan Stojic after Dusan mucked up a tricky knight ending where queening his passed pawn first actually lost him the game! This moved Bobby up to finish on 7 points, while Dusan finished on 4. The battle of the David's saw an interesting opening lead to a series of exchanges, before Garner found a double piece sacrifice that lead to a forced draw. This left David Garner on 3 points, while David Hacche finished with 2.5. James Morris continued his demolition of the field with a nice win against Igor Goldenberg, gaining an edge out of the opening & converting it to a win in a rook & knight v rook & bishop ending. This left James in first place on 9.5/11, while Igor remained on 7/11. This left the Guy West with everything to play for against  Karl Zelesco. After a fairly quiet opening, things appeared to be headed towards a peaceful resolution until the queenside opened up & Karl found his queen in tremendous danger! Ultimately Guy won Karl's queen for a rook and bishop & then successfully converted this material advantage into a win. This took Guy to 7.5/11, enough to take second place outright, while Karl finished on 5/11.

Final results:
James Morris 9.5/11
Guy West 7.5/11
Domagoj Dragicevic, Bobby Cheng & Igor Goldenberg 7/11
Sandler 6.5/11
Zelesco 5/11
Stojic, Levi 4/11
Stevens, Garner 3/11
Hacche 2.5/11

A PGN file of all games from the tournament is available on the FIDE web site.

The 'game of the round' is Guy West's victory over Karl Zelesco, which catapulted him to second place!

The Victorian Reserves had an equally dramatic finish, with Pano Skiotis, who had lead the tournament from round 1, losing his final round to Laurent Michaille. This allowed Ari Dale to win the tournament outright after beating David Beaumont. Ari now qualifies to play inthe 2013 Victorian Championship.

Final results:

Ari Dale 7.5/9     
Jack Puccini, Pano Skiotis, Laurent Michaille 6.5/9
Justin Penrose, John Dowling 5.5/9  
Sylvester Urban, Max Chew Lee, Richard Voon, David Lacey, Dean Hogg 5/9
David Beaumont, Omar Khaled, Finley Dale 4.5/9 
Svetosar Stojic, Peter Wolf, Sarah Anton 4/9
Roger Beattie 3.5/9
John Beckman, Tanya Kolak 3/9
Victor Kildisas 1/9
Elizabeth Warren 0.5/9

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