Bas thinks his way through to a win
Anna Yates and Caitlin Barnett shared equal first in the Reserves division - which was to be the first of two shared prizes in 2016!
Bas van Riel, after Kevin Perrin missed an early opportunity for a better game (diagram - can you see it? Black to move..), held off an interesting Bishop sacrifice by Kevin which ultimately proved to be unsound, and with careful play negated the threat, leaving no play left for Kevin who resigned.
On the 2nd board of players on 4.5, Rod Jacobs, when faced with the imminent loss of a pawn with no compensation, sacrificed a Bishop for a pawn (diagram), leaving two passed pawns. Unfortunately, Rob Loveband gave back a Knight for three pawns and was able to put a deadly Bishop in the middle of the board stymying any chances of Rod of getting back into the game.
James Watson faced Rauri Coffey and was lucky not to be put on the spot at one stage of the game, when Rauri missed the chance of taking an empty file with his Rook (diagram) and forcing James' King away from protecting his Bishop, which was awkwardly placed on the edge, to be taken by a Knight. This however, did not come to pass and Rauri swapped off pieces to an inferior Rook and pawns position which James converted into a mate with an active King.
Ben Naughton let his opponent Caitlin Barnett off the hook after carelessly taking Black's only piece able to move, leaving Caitlin who had set up the situation nicely, with a draw!
In contrast to Michael Tausz and Patrick Cook's somewhat lacklustre game which ended in a draw, Jamie Brotheridge had to work hard well into the night countering a well fought game by Chris Segrave to garner the full point.
So, after 7 hard fought rounds, on 6.5 points, the winner of the 2016 Arthur Teters Memorial is Bas van Riel, for the second year running. Most of Bas' games are annotated and definitely worth a look if we are to have a chance at challenging our highest rated player for the points! Rob Loveband came second a full point behind Bas. The stand out performance was from a player initially ranked 32nd who ended up coming equal fifth on 4 points - Caitlin Barnett. Cassandra, Caitlin and Rauri were all juniors who achieved 4 points, a great result for them, as they took some scalps on the way!
A pivotal round to the outcome with Bas putting distance between himself and the field. It's now up to Kevin to win for a potential 2-3 way tie for first with the winner of the Rob L vs Rod J game. James Eyre once again fell victim to the quickly improving Barnetts with Caitlin Barnett winning a nice tactical game against him.
The points generally went to the higher rated player this round. However, Cassandra and Chantelle both had a good night, Cassandra taking the point from the more experienced James Eyre, and Chantelle beating Andre in a game showing her improving technique. Rod and Rob B fought a hard draw, and Rob L was lucky to turn a loss into a win against Michael T in the twilight of their game. Possibly the most interesting game of the night was Harrison vs Bas, where Harrison, instead of choosing to be slowly worn down after a weaker opening game, sacrificed a piece for some fireworks and chance. Microbase Games here.
The latest: Harrison defeated James to hit the lead with 4 out of 4 points. James Eyre held the higher rated Jamie Brotheridge to a draw.
A night of upsets - primarily James Watson's stomach, which forced an adjournment of his and Harrison's game at about 9:30pm!
Another upset was Patrick losing to Rob L after failing to instigate 'Patrick's Curse'. He didn't offer a single draw!
Round 5 pairings waiting for 2 postponed games - please get your results to James Eyre or Rob as soon as completed so they can update the website. Microbase Games here.
James, Harrison and Rod all went on to win their games and are on the full 3 points, a 1/2 point ahead of Bas who drew his game against Patrick. No surprises this week but some good games played. See them here.
Another cold night failed to deter 35 players from the promise of a challenging game of tournament chess at the library on Thursday night. We also had a few casual players enjoying a quick game or two which took total attendance to near record levels. After the dust settled, most games went to the higher rated player, the exception being Cassandra who defeated Tom using what she'd learned about keeping the opposition earlier in the week. The Vega pairing system, after some adjustments, is now producing acceptable pairings and next week will see the 8 players on 2 points all play each other which should give us some interesting games. For this week's games see Chess Microbase.
Record numbers braved the Ballarat cold to turn out for our mid-winter standard play tournament - the sixth Arthur Teters Memorial Tournament.
Serious chess was the order of the day, half of the field of 32 being juniors, who after a Harrison special 'pick-me-up' snack and some blitzing with him and others, sat down to delve into chess at a deeper level. Seeing such young minds so well focussed kept the old guard on their toes, and although there was only one upset, with young Caitlin Barnett holding the more experienced Tom Oppenheim to a draw, some interesting games ensued.