Two Simuls and a Lecture

Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world! I discovered this with my first visit in 2010 and this year decided to spend more time on the continent.
I took an extra week after the tournaments in Canberra and Sydney that I have played with the intention to have a lot of time for sight-seeing. Still, the time was filled with chess. I first gave a lecture at the Sydney Academy of Chess (thank you for the invitation, Brett!) The material was based on the most interesting games of both open tournaments. Some strong players presented, like Rej Tomek, who is rated around 2350.
Two simultaneous exhibitions followed. One was at the Norths Chess Club, where I won 12 games, and lost one, to Jason Hu, rated 2190. While the simul took place, half of the members of the club competed in their club championship.
The second one was not planned initicially and took place in Golden Cost, a beautiful town near Brisbane. There I won 12 games and drew 3. One of those draws was against the Australian under 12 champion. Before the simul there was also a small blitz tournament, where I won all the five games. I want to thank the organizers Shane Burgess, and Amir Karibasic for making these events possible, as well to all the participants in both the events.
Now I can proudly say that I have conducted simultaneous exhibitions on four continents.
Australia is an extremely beautiful country, and I wish everyone the chance to see it, and experience the taste of the Australian nature.


SIO Winner's Best Game

The following game was probably SIO's winner best achievement:
Akshat,Kh (2328) - Solomon,SJ (2398) [E30]
Sydney International Open Sydney AUS (4), 28.04.2011
[Dejan Bojkov]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bg5 The Leningrad System. 4...c5 5.d5 h6 6.Bh4 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 d6 8.e3 Qe7 9.Nf3 e5 10.Nd2 Nbd7 11.Qc2

11...Kd8 Somewhat more common are the moves: [11...g5 or; 11...e4] 12.Bd3 Kc7 13.0–0–0 g5 14.Bg3 Nh5 15.h3

15...Nxg3 This move is a novelty. The only predecessor saw Black letting this bishop alive: [15...Ndf6 16.Bh2 Ng7?! 17.f4 Nd7?! 18.Rhf1 Rf8 19.g4 h5 20.Ne4 gxf4 21.exf4 f6 22.g5 1–0 Gordin,A (2275)-Soltanici,R (2389)/Bucharest 2003/CBM 093 ext (40) and White opened the position for his bishops to win a good game.] 16.fxg3 e4?! An interesting, but dubious idea. Solomon decided to award his knight with the e5 square. The price for it is though a bit expensive-a healthy central pawn. Both: [16...Nf6 17.Rhf1 (17.Bf5 Nh5!) 17...g4; Or: 16...Nb6 17.g4 (17.Bf5!? e4!? 18.Qxe4 Qf6 19.Bxc8 Qxc3+ 20.Qc2 Qa1+ 21.Qb1 Qc3+=) 17...Bd7 18.Rdf1 Raf8 would have been more to the point.] 17.Bxe4 Ne5 18.Bf5 Bxf5 19.Qxf5 a6?! Solomon is true to his active style. However, it was advisable to stick to the passive defense with: [19...g4 20.h4 (20.hxg4?! Rag8 21.Rdf1 Rxg4 is already better for Black.) 20...Rhf8 when it is hard to see how White will make progress.] 20.Rhf1 b5 21.Qf6 Now White firmly seizes the initiative. 21...Qd7 The endgame after: [21...Qxf6 22.Rxf6 is difficult for Black due to the many weaknesses that he has- 22...bxc4 (22...Rae8 23.g4 is probably Black's best chance, although he will have to sit, stay and pray for his position to be solid enough to survive.) 23.Ne4 Rab8 Playing for mate, but White can sacrifice the exchange. Alternatives are no better: (23...Rad8 24.Kc2 Rd7 25.Rb1 followed by g3-g4 leads to a comfortable advantage for White.; 23...Nd3+ 24.Kc2 Rab8 25.Rxf7+) 24.Rxd6 Nd3+

25.Rxd3 (25.Kd2?? Rb2#) 25...cxd3 26.Rc6+ Kd8 27.Nxc5±] 22.Rf5 Rhe8 23.Rdf1 Rab8 24.Qg7! Black's counter-chances should not be underestimated: [24.Qxh6 bxc4 25.Qxg5 Nd3+ 26.Kd1 Qa4+ 27.Ke2 Rb2 28.Rxf7+ Kb6 29.Rd1 (29.Qf6 Rxd2+ 30.Kxd2 Qxa2+ 31.Kd1 Qb3+ 32.Ke2 (32.Kd2?? Qb2+ 33.Kd1 Qc1+ 34.Ke2 Rxe3#) 32...Qc2+ 33.Kf3 Ne5+ 34.Kf4 Nxf7 35.Qxf7 Qe4+ 36.Kg5 Qxe3+ 37.Kg4 Re4+ 38.Rf4 Qe2+ 39.Kg5 Re5+ 40.Kh4 Qxg2 should end in a draw as both kings are a way too exposed.) 29...Qc2 and Black has a secured draw due to the resource Nd3-c1–d3.] 24...Re7 There is no time to capture the c pawn: [24...bxc4 25.Rxf7 Nxf7 26.Rxf7; However, the only move would have been: 24...f6 25.Qxd7+ Nxd7 26.e4 with comfortable advantage for White.] 25.Rxe5!

Akshat shows excellent understanding of the position and removes Black's best piece from the board. 25...dxe5 26.Rf6 The simple threat d5-d6 is hard to meet. Black's position falls appart. 26...Rb6 27.Ne4! Rxf6 28.Qxf6 And it is the white knight now that dominates the position. 28...Re8 29.Qxa6 Rb8 30.Nxc5 [30.d6+ Kd8 31.Nxc5 Qf5 32.Qc6 Qc8 33.cxb5 would be even faster.] 30...Qd6 31.Qa7+ Kd8 [31...Kc8 32.Na6 Rb6 33.Qa8+ Kd7 34.c5 Rxa6 35.Qb7+ wins the rook anyway.] 32.Nb7+ Rxb7 33.Qxb7 bxc4

The rest is a demonstration of good technique. 34.Kb2 Qc5 35.Qa8+ Kc7 36.Qc6+ Qxc6 37.dxc6 Kxc6 38.a4 f5 39.g4 f4 40.exf4 exf4 41.Ka3 Kc5 42.a5 Kb5 43.a6 Kxa6 44.Kb4 Kb6 45.Kxc4 Kc6 46.Kd4 Kd6 1–0


Surprising Winner in Sydney

Sydney International open took place 27.04-01.05 immediately after the Canberra open. These two events represent best Australia, and give a chance for the foreign players to visit this beautiful continent.
There was a great danger that the SIO will not take place this year. The previous organizer FM Brian Jones announced at the closing ceremony in 2010 that he quits doing the event; GM Murray Chandler also withdrew his support. Yes, financial crisis had reached this continent too. Still, due to the efforts and dedication of some chess men the tournament took place. Some of those need to be mentioned- Shaun Press and Charles Zworestine (the arbiters of the event) and Shane Burgess, the new organizer. All of them dedicated lots of their time and efforts to keep the open alive.
Sixty-nine players took part in the open sections, and fifty two competed in the Challengers tournament.
The tournament took place in the city hall of Parramatta, a district of Sydney. It is a lovely place, with many shops and restaurants, delicious food, and a river which can take you to the heart of Sydney. Parramatta becomes especially lively on Saturdays when an open market is placed on its main street.
My last year’s experience told me that Sydney’s open is somewhat more promising for the foreigners who get adjusted to the Australian time after the jet-lag. I also hoped that I can defend my title from the previous year. Alas, this time Lady Luck had a new favourite.
FM Akshat Khamparia started fiercely with 5/5. On his triumphal way he grounded down the experienced GM Daryl Johansen, and yet another local surprise- FM Chris Wallis. He then kept his own by drawing against GMs Deviatkin, Arutinian, and IM Goh, and managed to keep his lead till the final round. Still, his task seemed very difficult as he needed to hold in the final round as Black against the Aussies’ top rated Zhang Zong-Yuan. On second and third board respectively four players on six points were fighting to join the leader but none of them succeeded and all the games were drawn. The peace treaty was also signed soon on the top board, thus Akshat triumphed with a clear first, scoring 7/9. This is by far his best achievement ever as he confessed. In addition to the four grant price that he was afforded for his efforts, the Indian flies back home as an IM, as the result achieved on both Canberra and Sydney let him overcome the 2400 elo barrier. “I come completely unprepared here, and did not have any expectations”, said he, “as I had too much to study. The computer that I brought with me was recently bought, and the only thing that I had on it was the chessbase program. I downloaded the bases in the process of the events. I will repeat this system though”, said the lucky winner.
There was a big group sharing the second place and David Arutnian took second on tiebreak, while Angrei Deviatkin was declared third. The Georgian GM also won the lightning tournament.
The last day was also the twenty-seventh anniversary of the chess couple Cathy and Ian Rogers who were once more entertaining the chess auditorium.
I can only wish these nice people to see them here again doing the great job on their platinum wedding anniversary.


The Decisive Game in Canberra

This game defined the winner of the tournament:
Arutinian,D (2575) - Deviatkin,A (2566) [B10]
Doeberl Cup Premier Canberra AUS (9), 25.04.2011
[Dejan Bojkov]
1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.cxd5 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nxd5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bb5 Curiously, Arutinian had the very same position on board two around ago, with the black pieces. The Georgian GM likes to play against both sides of the isolani. 7...e6 8.0–0 Be7 9.d4 0–0 10.Re1 Qd6 11.a3 Rd8 12.Qc2

White usually starts with the move: [12.Bd3 which is a bit more flexible, here are a couple of examples: 12...Nf6 (12...Bd7 13.Bc2 Be8 14.Qd3 g6 15.h4 Rac8 16.Bh6 Nxc3 17.bxc3 e5 18.Bb3 Bf6 (18...exd4 19.cxd4) 19.Ng5 Bxg5 20.Bxg5 Rd7 21.Re4 Rdc7 22.Qe2 Na5 23.Ba2 Nc4 24.dxe5 Qxa3 25.Re1 b5 26.h5 Rc6 27.Bf6 Qxc3 28.Qg4 Qa3 29.Qg5 Qf8 30.Rh4 Re6 31.Ree4 h6 32.hxg6 Rxf6 33.Qxf6 fxg6 34.Rxc4 bxc4 35.Rxc4 1–0 Nevednichy,2538)-Kallai,G (2500)/ Hungary 2004/EXT 2011) 13.Be3 b6 14.Qc2 Bb7 15.Rad1 Rac8 16.d5!

A thematic breakthrough, which Black should always be aware of! 16...Nxd5 (16...exd5 17.Bf5 Ra8 18.Ne4 Nxe4 19.Bxe4 g6 (19...h6 20.Rxd5 Qb8 (20...Qf6 21.Bh7+ Kh8 (21...Kf8 22.Rf5 Qd6 23.Qb3+-) 22.Rf5+-) ) 20.Bxd5 Qc7 (20...Nb4 21.Bxf7+ Kxf7 22.axb4 Qxb4 23.Ne5+ Kg8 24.Nc6 Bxc6 25.Qxc6 Qb3 26.Bd4‚) 21.Bxf7+ Kxf7 22.Bh6 Kg8 23.Qb3+ Kh8 24.Qf7 Rg8 25.Ng5+-) 17.Nxd5 exd5 18.Bxh7+‚ Kf8 19.Qf5 d4 20.Bf4 Qf6 21.Qg4 g6 22.Bh6+ Ke8 23.Bg5 Qd6 24.h4 Qd7 25.Qg3 Qd6 26.Ne5 Rc7 27.Bf4 Qd5 28.Nxf7 d3 29.Bxg6 1–0 Matamoros Franco,C (2540) -Dias,P (2425)/Campillos 2007/CBM 117 ext] 12...Bd7 13.Bd3 h6 Now Black's position is much more solid than with the g7-g6 set-up. 14.Bd2 Rac8 15.Nxd5 exd5 Deviatkin plays solidly. In case of: [15...Qxd5 The d4-d5 breakthrough idea will still irritate Black- 16.Bc3 Bf6 17.Bh7+ Kh8 18.Be4 Qb5 19.Rad1 and White is already threatening d4-d5.] 16.Bc3 Bg4= Or else White will play h2-h3. It seems as Black had already equalized. 17.Ne5 [17.Bh7+ Kh8 18.Bf5 Bxf5 19.Qxf5 Qf6= (19...Kg8=) ] 17...Nxe5 18.dxe5 Qb6 19.Qa4 Bd7 [19...Be6? 20.Ba5] 20.Qf4 Be6

21.h4?! Black's active pieces will keep the balance in case of: [21.Bd4 Bc5 22.Bxc5 Rxc5 23.Qb4 (23.b4 Rc3 24.Red1 Rdc8) 23...Rc6 24.Rac1 Qxb4 25.axb4 Rb6 26.b5 a6= but this should have been preferred. Now Black will use his main trump.] 21...d4! 22.Bd2 Qb3 Of course not: [22...Qxb2?? 23.Reb1 and the queen is trapped.] 23.Be4?! One mistake leads to another. Arutinian should have preferred: [23.Qe4 g6 24.Qe2 h5 25.Bg5 Bxg5 26.hxg5 Rc5 although Black already has a pull here.] 23...d3 24.Qg3 Kh8 25.Bc3 d2 26.Red1 Rc4

Consistently following his plan. However, he is missing a strong tactical blow: [26...Bxa3! 27.Rxd2 (27.bxa3 Rxc3 28.Qf4 Qc4–+; 27.Rxa3 Qxd1+) 27...Rxd2 28.Bxd2 Qxg3 29.fxg3 Bxb2–+ 30.Rxa7 Bd4+] 27.Qf3 Bxh4 28.Ba5 Qxf3 Once more safe play by the Russian GM. The reason for this is understandable. A draw secures tie for the first place, while a possible loss will bring home nothing but peanuts. [28...Qxb2 29.Bxd8 Bxd8 30.Rab1 Qxe5 31.Bxb7 Bg5–+] 29.Bxf3 b6 30.Bxd2 Rc2 31.Be3 Rxb2 32.a4 Rxd1+ 33.Rxd1 Bg5 34.Bd4 Rb4 35.Bc6 Bg4 [35...Bf5!? with the idea Bf5-c2 was better, and Black should win. Now Arutinian seizes his chance.] 36.f3!? Sacrificing a pawn to liquidate into an opposite-coloured bishop endgame, which is famous for the drawing tendencies. 36...Bxf3 37.Bxf3 Rxd4 38.Rxd4 Be3+ 39.Kf1 Bxd4 40.Bd5 Kg8 41.e6 fxe6 42.Bxe6+ Kf8 43.Ke2 Ke7 44.Bh3 Kd6 45.Kd3 Kc5 46.Bd7 Bf6 47.Be6?! This move lets Black create a passed pawn. The further the distance is between the pawns, the less chances the defender has, as it is easier "to stretch" his defensive forces. [47.g4! was much better. White needs to keep the zone with his king, and not let the counterpart approach his king's side pawns, or help the b passer win the bishop. An important detail is that the promotional square of the h pawn is at the opposite colour of the bishop that Black has. 47...a6 48.Be8 b5 A b pawn is less harmful. 49.axb5 axb5 50.Bg6 Kd5! This is the only way to make progress: (50...b4 51.Bf7 Kd6 52.Ke4 Ke7 53.Bb3 g6 54.Bg8 h5? Once that the h pawn is moved, White will have an additional fortress resource. 55.gxh5 gxh5 56.Kf3=

White is just placing his hing to h1, and then can sacrifice the bishop for the b pawn- it is a fortress.; 50...Kb4 51.Be8 harassing the pawn, and not letting the black king move freely. 51...Ka5 52.Bf7 b4 53.Kc2 Ka4 54.Bb3+ Ka3 55.Bf7 and Black cannot make progress.) 51.Bf7+ Ke5 52.Ke3 Bg5+! 53.Kf3 (53.Kd3 Kf4 54.Be6 Bf6 55.Ke2 b4 56.Kf2 Kg5 followed by h6-h5. Once that a second passed pawn is created Black should be winning, although there are still technical difficulties.) 53...Kd4 followed by Kd4-c3, pawn is marching to b2, and once the White king comes to deal with the b pawn, his counterpart goes to the king's flank and wins the bishop. Still, White has more defensive resources than in the game. For example if Black prematurely advances the pawn to b2 White places the bishop on the b1–h7 diagonal, and this is a draw!] 47...b5! Now Black wins. 48.axb5 Kxb5 49.Bf7 a5 50.Ke4 Kb4 51.Kd3 a4 52.Bg8 h5 53.Bf7 h4 54.Bg8 a3 55.Bf7 g5 56.Be6 g4 57.Ke4 Kc3 58.Kf4 g3 0–1
Deviatkin is the proud winner of Doeberl Cup 2011.


Deviatkin Successful in Canberra

This year’s edition of the Doeberl cup appeared somewhat weaker than the previous one. The usual Indian flock was missing. Still four GMs from abroad took part in the event, as well as half of the Aussies’ GMs- Smerdon and Johansen. The third one, Zhao will represent them on the coming Sydney International open, while the last, but not least Ian Rogers was once again providing his excellent commentaries throughout the event. Those annotations attracted a great share of attention. Due to his work commitments Smerdon started with a half point bye at the start. So did Australia’s highest rated female Arianne Caoili who took two. Byes are allowed in Canberra for the first couple of rounds.
The tournament was once again hosted by the Hellenic club and started smoothly for the titled players. With two rounds per day we quickly passed the tournament equator when Andrey Deviatkin was most successful, with 5.5/6 score.
Seventh round appeared to be the longest, as Daryl Johanson pushed hard to overcome the young Mountlyn Ly. The game lasted more than 150 moves, and he finally managed to convert the tricky rook and bishop versus rook endgame. Eight’ round was postponed for half an hour, while they finish the game. That feast came too much for both the opponents and they both lost in the next round.
Remarkably, there were many long full-blooded games. Part of them is due to the price fund which Doeberl Cup provides. To claim it, a player is not allowed to make a draw before move thirty throughout the event, and to win their final game with a score equal to the lowest player’s score on board four in the final round.
The situation before the final round promised suspense. Two players on 6.5 were facing two GMs on 6 points with the white pieces. A third pair on six points was playing on board three where the top seeded Sune Berg Hansen managed to ground down the local surprise Eugene Schon. I totally messed the opening against David Smerdon on board two. The danger to get in the basic textbook of how not to play in the opening was there, but the Aussie was also nervous. He made a few inaccuracies and offered a draw, which I gladly accepted. In vain, the position was already much better for me.
Fortune favours the brave. In the meanwhile Andrei Deviakin showed guts by rejecting a similar draw offer against the Georgian GM David Arutinian. He won a pawn, then second, and converted it into the opposite coloured bishop endgame. Thus, the Russian took clear first place, scoring 7.5/9. This win also granted him a share of the thousand dollar fighting price fund. The other two who took a bite were Max Illingworth and Akshat Khamparia. They both made a performance over 2450 but for technical reasons could not fulfill the IM norm requirements.
While we were dealing with the price fund, the locals enjoyed themselves in the lobby of the hall with a game called “two up”. It is a rather simple gambling game, which the Australian soldiers used to play during the First World War, and which is repeated each year in their memories.
This year’s slogan for the Doeberl cup shirts was “It’s been a hard day’s knight.” But one other slogan attracts the attention- “Lost your bishop? Better start praying now…” It could be seen on the shirt that a two meter man wore. His name is Charles Bishop and he is the organizer of the event. It might really be trouble if Doeberl Cup loses their Bishop. The organization stuff that he does vary to wide ranges. His children played in the tournaments, and his wife Lara is involved in the organization as well. Charles was also our guide in the Australian life, showed us the wild kangaroos, and invited us to a delicious dinner. In previous years he even drove the bus from Canberra to Sydney to personally bring the guest players to their second event.
The next year is the 50-th jubilee edition of the tournament. We are looking forward for it.