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MCC Open Round 5 Report

Melbourne Chess Club Open Round 5 report

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Hello everyone,

truly belated in arrival, but nonetheless, here is the Round 5 report


The round 5 board 1 game between Mirko Rujevic and Malcolm Pyke was a
MacCutcheon French. The game went to an endgame of 2 rooks and a knight
for Mirko, and 2 rooks and a bishop for Malcolm by move 20. In the
ensuing endgame Mirko played very accurately and when Malcolm
blundered, he noticed right away. The first blunder cost Malcolm a
pawn, and the second blunder cost a second pawn, and all hopes of
saving the position. A few more moves were made through inertia before
Malcolm accepted the inevitable, and resigned.

The Benko Gambit is often seen as a big enough pest that White players
seek to avoid it. Guy West has long been a practitioner of the black
and white side of this opening. In his game on board 2 against Pano
Skiotis, a slightly unusual move order saw a delayed Benko type opening
occur. Pano chose to meet the advance ...a7-a6 with b5-b6, returning
the pawn. This also ended up allowing Pano to install a cramping pawn
on a5, blocking the a6 pawn and making the black knights need to do
some shifting around to find good squares. Pano had fianchettoed his
bishop on g2, and later advanced e2-e4, and h2-h4. This left the
squares around his king a little vulnerable, and Guy probed for
weaknesses with his Nd7-e5. Later Guy managed to win the d5 pawn, and
exchange queens. Part of the other exchanges must have seen Pano
capture one of Guy's bishops on b5, which helped the a6 pawn to
reconnect with the c5 pawn on b5. It did also make Pano's a5 pawn into
a passed pawn, which he advanced as he could. Meanwhile Guy
concentrated on pushing his b- and c-pawns to create a passed pawn. Guy
eventually won.

The first game finished for the night was between Sarah Anton and Shaun
Hose. In an Alekhine-Chatard Gambit in the French defense, Shaun chose
one of the less recognized responses and played 6...0-0, and quickly
came under a horrendous attack, and by move 13 had the choice of being
mated, or losing his queen and rook for only two minor pieces. He chose
the third option, and resigned.

In the Queen's Gambit accepted, the Bf1 is seldom put on g2. Paul
Kovacevic had planned to do so in his game on board 4 against Peter
Fry, but changed his mind afterward, and also played e3, so that his
bishop could recapture the c4 pawn. However this left the light squares
around Paul's king quite vulnerable, and this fact eventually helped
Peter to win an exchange. Paul then did an admirable job of
complicating, and when I left, he had managed to get a second piece for
his rook, but meanwhile Peter had won at least two more pawns, and I
guess that his mass of queenside pawns won the game for him.

Bobby Fischer was quite fond of the exchange Ruy Lopez, and won many
instructive endings with his kingside pawn majority. In a typical
exchange Lopez on Board 5, Victor Kildisas consistently aimed for
simplification, with good effect. He succeeded in first severely
limiting Rad Chmiel's light square bishop, and at an opportune moment
exchanged it also leaving a single knight ending. Rad's attempts to
break through on the queenside had not proved successful at that stage,
though later on, he managed to render the white a4 pawn isolated, and
then sought to attack it. This game was also still in progress when I
left, and I had thought that it looked like a draw, as I recall it
being Victor with knight and 2 pawns, and Rad with knight and 1 pawn. I
guess I must have miscounted the material, or poorly assessed the position,
as later reports showed that Victor had been victorious.

Milenko Rikalo played his standard Grand Prix attack against the
Sicilian in his game with Felix Wyss on board 6. Through a sequence of
minor piece exchanges in the opening Felix managed to win a pawn and
exchange queens. In the ensuing endgame, Felix had 2 rooks and a
knight, and Milenko Rikalo had 2 rooks and a dark-square bishop. I
didn't think it forced, but Felix chose to sacrifice an Exchange, and
had a strong square for his knight, and had kept his extra pawn.
Milenko managed to activate his rooks significantly in the next few
moves. It seems that the clock may have played a big part after this,
as Milenko seemed to have lost a rook for nothing, and then resigned.

After an early exchange of light squared bishop for Nc6, Bosko
Mijatovic managed to seize a lot of central space in his game with
Richard McCart on Board 7. It seemed that Richard later lost/sacrificed
a pawn, and had a lot of trouble getting it back. Bosko went on to win.

Some people may feel that the laws of chess should be amended to
indicate that all Sicilians should be open Sicilians. If that ever
happened, it would have been a quite different game played on Board 8.
Daryl Prasad played a system involving Bc4, d3, Nb1-d2-f1-g3, which
came to have a Giuoco Piano look to it. Roger MCart placed his pawns on c5,
d6 and e5. Later Daryl played his Nf3 to h4 then f5. Unfortunately for
Daryl, when he later exchanged light squared bishops on e6, it left the
Nf5 stranded. In order to at least open some lines, he captured the
pawn on g7. This turned awry also, as Roger had moved his Ra8 to the
second rank, and it recaptured on g7 being well placed For Roger's
newly formed kingside attack. Roger went on to win.

When I first saw Jim Papadinis position against Endre Simon, he had just
won his second pawn on g6. Later piece exchanges removed the threat of
immediate checkmate, but did not manage to recover the missing pawns.
Jim's later conduct of the game saw him always in control, and the game
duly went his way.

Nikola Ivanov is a good friend of mine, but he does get some most
unusual positions in his games. Whilst playing Andrew Louis in a type
of Queen's Gambit declined, Nikola exchanged his "good" Bf8 for  a
knight, and remained with a most uninspiring position, as Andrew
managed to advance his pawn to e4 alongside the d4 pawn, and Nikola
seemed to have no useful squares for his knights, or for his light
square bishop which was still at home. One of the reasons I like Nikola
is he is always so positive, and this applies to his approach to life
as well as his games of chess. So no doubt he played as though his
position was a good one, and it turned out to be, as he went on to win.

Alex Kaplan and John Beckman played their game later in the week in
order that they could observe Yom Kippur on the Monday. Alex gave the
description to me when he reported the result of the game that John had
attacked him, but when his attack got bogged down, Alex was able to
counter attack effectively and win.

There has been much said about the likelihood of draws in rook endings.
I have also read that this is because lots of rook endings get played,
so they end up being a larger proportion of the drawn games in total.
In what appeared to be an Alekhine's defense, Jake Kostrzewa seemed to
be on top early, but his opponent Tristan Rayson-Hill managed to successfully break
through in the centre, and won a pawn as well. Soon a double rook
ending was reached ( are they "doubly" drawn, I wonder? ), with Tristan
still a solid pawn up. Jake did not have a lot of very useful things to
aim to do, but he managed to to first advance a pawn to a6, which gave
him  a pivot point on the 7th rank on b7. One of the rooks was
exchanged, and it is not a matter of great certainty to me what
happened after that, but Jake managed to go on to win.


Please note that almost all of these are recollections in the absence
of the game scores, so to players of these games who read these
comments, please don't take offense if I have something wrong. I would
welcome any corrections, or game submissions. These can be sent to me
through the email address on this site.

TCAGB, Malcolm Pyke, secretary, MCC

Overall rating