Sunday, October 30, 2011

Palmy Players Dominate NZ Chess

Over the past few months it is clear Palmerston North Chess has had a certain chess explosion.
All results are in more detail here
Palmerston North Players are in bold.

September 24th-25th 2011 - Interschools Finals, Mount Maunganui.
1st Auckland Grammar (26) Hans Gao (6/7) Daniel Shen (7/7), Luke Li (7/7), Alex Huang (6/7) 2nd Macleans College (18) Leo Zhu (3/7) Alan Chen (4.5) Henry Jiang (6/7) Bill Li (4.5)
3rd Palmerston North Boys High (16.5) Jack James (3) Michael Yuan (4.5) Daniel Yuan (3.5) Sam Li (5.5)
A great achievement for Palmy Boys High considering the level of competition faced

Special mention to James, Jack who is NZ under-14 Rapid Champion

October 8th 2011 - Kapiti Rapid, Kapiti.
1st Ben Hague (2292) 5½/6
2nd= Mark Noble
& Anthony Ker 4½
1st= Michael Yuan & Daniel Yuan 4½
3rd= David Paul, Jack James & Itay Ben-Dom 4
1st= Henry Li & Layla Timergazi
3rd= Robert List, John Gillespie, Dylan Frater & Nicholas Moore

October 16th 2011 - Hamilton Chess Club Mooving Rapid, Hamilton.
1st Ben Hague with 6/6.

October 29th - 30th 2011 - Merv Morrison, Auckland. Open:
1st= John Duneas and Ben Hague 5½/7

This latest win for FM Ben Hague at the Merv Morrison was a fine achievement. Coming into the final round Ben needed a win against one of New Zealand's most active FM's Michael Steadman to guarantee first prize. Here is the result.

Hague,B (2292) - Steadman,M (2269) [A80]
Merv Morrison (7), 30.10.2011

1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.d5!?
Not a very popular move which seems to take the game away from normal Dutch type positions. FM Steadman seemed surprised by this move judging by his play over the next few moves.


It seems many moves are possible here but Be7 I don't think is best.3...exd5 4.Qxd5 d6 5.g3 Nf6 6.Qb3 Na6 7.Be3 d5 8.Bg2 c6 9.c4 dxc4 10.Qxc4 Bb4+ 11.Nbd2 Qd5 12.0-0 Qxc4 13.Nxc4 Bc5 14.Rfd1 Bxe3 15.Nxe3 Ke7 16.Nd4 g6 17.Nc4 Nc5 18.Na5 Ne6 19.Nxe6 Kxe6 20.Rd3 Re8 21.Rad1 Kf7 22.Kf1 Re5 23.Nc4 Rc5 24.b3 Nd5 25.Bxd5+ cxd5 26.Rxd5 Rxd5 27.Rxd5 Be6 28.Rd4 Kf6 29.Ke1 b5 30.Na3 Rb8 31.Rd6 a5 32.Nc2 Ke7 33.Ra6 a4 34.Nd4 Bd7 35.Kd2 Rc8 36.Rb6 Rc5 37.e3 axb3 38.axb3 Kf7 39.b4 Rd5 40.h4 Kg7 41.Ke2 Kh6 42.Nb3 Re5 43.Nc5 Be8 44.Re6 Rxe6 45.Nxe6 Bf7 46.Nf4 Bc4+ 47.Kd2 g5 48.hxg5+ Kxg5 49.Ng2 Kf6 50.f4 Ke6 51.Nh4 Bf1 52.Kc3 Bh3 53.Kd4 Kd6 54.Nf3 Bg2 55.Ng5 h5 56.Nf7+ Ke6 57.Ne5 Kd6 58.Nd3 Bf3 59.Nc1 Bg2 60.Ne2 Bf3 61.Nc3 Bc6 62.Kd3 Ke6 63.Kd4 Kd6 64.Nb1 Bf3 65.Nd2 Bc6 66.Kd3 Ke6 67.Nb3 Kd5 68.Nc5 Kd6 69.Kd4 Bg2 70.e4 fxe4 71.Nxe4+ Ke6 72.Nc3 Kf5 73.Nd5 Bf3 74.Ne3+ Kf6 75.Kc5 Be2 76.Nc2 Bf1 77.Nd4 Bd3 78.Nxb5 Kf5 79.Nd6+ 1-0 Vachier Lagrave,M-Vaisser,A/Mulhouse FRA 2011

3...Bd6!? 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e4 Bb4 8.e5 Qe7 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.bxc3 exd5 12.c4 dxc4 13.Bxc4+ Kh8 14.Re1 Nc6 15.Qd5 a5 16.a4 Nb4 17.Qd2 Qc5 18.Bb3 Ra6 19.h4 Rg6 20.h5 Rg4 21.e6 dxe6 22.Ne5 Rd4 23.Ng6+ Kg8 24.Qe3 Nd5 25.Bxd5 Rxd5 26.Nxf8 Qxe3 27.Rxe3 Kxf8 28.Rd3 Rxd3 29.cxd3 Bd7 30.Rc1 c6 31.f3 Ke7 32.d4 Be8 33.Kf2 Bxh5 34.Rb1 b5 35.axb5 cxb5 36.Rxb5 a4 37.Rb7+ Kf6 38.Rb8 Ke7 39.Ke3 Be8 40.Rb6 g5 41.d5 exd5 42.Kd4 h5 43.Kxd5 f4 44.Ke5 Bd7 45.Rg6 a3 46.Rg7+ Ke8 47.Rxg5 1-0 Yermolinsky,A-Poehlmann,R/San Francisco 2003

4.dxe6 dxe6 5.Qxd8+ Bxd8 6.e4! Nc6

6...fxe4 7.Ng5 Nc6 The computer still gives this position as equal but why give yourself a weak pawn on e6.

7.exf5 exf5 8.Bc4 Nf6 9.0-0


The position looks deceptively drawish,black has certain problems with development and King position he must solve and this move helps neither. Better is 9...Bd7 10.Nc3 Be7 11.Bf4 0-0-0 White has only a small edge.

10.Re1+ Be7 11.Bf4 Kd8 Black is now clearly worse, it is hard to believe Steadman has done anything really wrong to deserve being on the edge of defeat.

12.Nc3 g5?

This is already the losing move! h6 and g5 have done nothing for black's position while white has made clear quiet but forceful moves directly helping his position. Black has huge development problems, note white's rooks are ready to infiltrate black's camp while black's rooks haven't moved and have no clear way to enter the game. [12...Bb4 13.Ne5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Bd7 15.Rad1 Rf8±]

13.Ne5! Nxe5

13...gxf4 14.Nf7++-

14.Bxe5 Rh7

Better is 14...Rf8


This is still winning but white could mop up the game even quicker with... 15.Rad1+ Bd7 16.Be6 White is winning a piece at minimum here.

15...Bd7 16.Bxc7+

16.Rad1 This is stronger again.

16...Ke8 17.Bd6 Rc8 18.Bxe7


White is winning an exchange as well as having an enormous positional advantage.

These comments were made by the arbiter on chess chat about this game.

Steadman looked drained of energy to me after round6 where he had a short draw. Recall he even needed a nap before round7. Probably not helped by warm stuffy conditions in the tournament hall and the neighbour building a garden shed with loud metal grinder noise. Certainly not conducive for a chess tournament.

Quite a pathetic argument. Ben travelled 500+ kilometers to play in this tournament which is in Steadman's back yard and Ben had the same tournament condition's as everyone else. The reality is he got caught out in an opening he didn't really know and simply got crushed by a very Strong opponent. It happens to all of us.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

The palmy champs are slowly moving in the direction of the finish line and at this point Ben Chris and Mark are the favourite's to win. This coming Wednesday will see the two top players Ben and Mark face off where if Ben is able to win would put him firmly in the driver's seat for first.

One of the big upsets of the tournament was Jack James 1784 win over John McDonald 2114
The following position is from their game White(John) to move

John tried 17. d5? and lost after 14 odd moves in a rather unusual game. The position is quite tricky anyway but white's best chance was 17.Ne4!? when 17...Nxd1 runs into Nxd6+ followed by Rb3 when white is better so black's best is 17...Bf8 keeping the position balanced if tricky.

This next position is from last week's game Chris Burns - Mark Noble black to move.

Black with more time on his clock now than at the start of the game played the shocker 41...Rd7? and simply resigned after 42.Rxc5! when black cannot recapture because of the Bb3 threat to pin the Queen to the King. Better is 41...Kh7 or Qe7 and we have a pretty equal endgame.

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Palmerston North Chess Club Championship

Latest Results


FM Mark Noble 2300 - Mathew King 1990 1-0
FM Ben Hague 2292 - James Stewart 1890 1-0
Justin Davis 2082 - Jack James 1784 1-0
John McDonald 2114 - Chris Burns 2119 0-1


FM Mark Noble 2300 - John McDonald 2114 1-0
FM Ben Hague 2292 - Justin Davis 2082 1-0
Chris Burns 2119 - Mathew King 1990 0-1

Current Standings

1. Chris Burns 2119 6/7
Mathew King 1990 4.5/8
FM Mark Noble 2300 4/4
Justin Davis 2082 3.5/8
John McDonald 2114 3/7
6. FM Ben Hague 2292 3/3
Jack James 1784 2/6 2/7
James Stewart 1890 0/8