Australian Junior Chess Championships 2014

Tue, 2014-02-04 09:31 -- IM Max Illingworth
[Event "Wahroonga AUS U/18 Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.01.16"]
[Round "10.1"]
[White "Perera, Pasan"]
[Black "Smirnov, Anton"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B22"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2014.01.??"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[SourceDate "2014.01.11"]

{In this week's post I will examine some more games from the Australian
Juniors. First up we have a good win by Anton Smirnov against fellow Sydney
junior Pasan Perera.} 1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d4 Bg4 {
This is one of the main lines, developing the bishop actively before playing ..
.e6.} (5... e6 {is the most important of Black's other options.}) 6. Be2 (6.
dxc5 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 Nc6 {followed by ...e5 or ...e6 gives Black quite good
compensation for the pawn (better development, safer king).}) 6... e6 7. O-O
Be7 (7... Nc6 {has also been seen.}) 8. Qa4+ {It is hard to believe in this
check which only helps Black develop.} (8. h3 Bh5 9. c4 Qd8 10. dxc5 Qxd1 11.
Rxd1 Bxc5 12. Nc3 {for instance is a slightly better endgame for White, who is
ready to play a3/b4 and keep a nice initiative.}) 8... Nbd7 (8... Nc6 {is a
more active square for the knight, after which} 9. Rd1 O-O 10. dxc5 Qe4 11.
Qxe4 Nxe4 12. b4 Bf6 {is a nice continuation for Black.}) 9. Bc4 {Another one
move threat that doesn't seem to have much purpose.} (9. h3 Bh5 10. c4 {again
is more logical, when the black knight may prove misplaced on d7, though} Qc6
11. Qxc6 bxc6 12. dxc5 Bxc5 {must still be OK for Black.}) 9... Qd6 10. Ne5 O-O
{White has wasted time moving his developed pieces while Black has responded
with logical developing moves. So it is not a surprise that Black is just
better.} (10... cxd4 11. cxd4 Qxd4 12. Nxg4 Qxg4 {grabbing a pawn also wasn't
bad.}) 11. Bf4 (11. Nxd7 Nxd7 {is better for Black but at least avoids an
immediate loss of material.}) 11... cxd4 {Black has nothing to fear from the
discovered attacks.} 12. Ng6 {This loses, but} (12. Nxd7 Qxd7 13. Qxd7 Nxd7 14.
cxd4 Rfd8 {was still a very nice endgame for Black, who is ahead in
development and has a weak IQP to target.}) 12... e5 13. Nxf8 Nb6 {Perhaps
White overlooked this intermediate move.} 14. Qb3 Nxc4 15. Qxc4 exf4 16. Nxh7
Kxh7 17. cxd4 {The smoke has cleared and Black has two bishops for a rook and
pawn plus the initiative and a lead in development. So winning this is not too
difficult for Black.} Qd5 18. Qd3+ Bf5 19. Qd2 Bxb1 (19... f3 {weakening
White's king was technically even better.}) 20. Raxb1 Bd6 21. Rfe1 g6 (21...
Qxa2 {was a fairly safe pawn grab, but Black is winning regardless.}) 22. f3
Qxa2 23. Ra1 Qd5 24. Ra5 Qb3 25. Qe2 Qb4 26. Rb5 Qxd4+ 27. Qf2 Qxf2+ 28. Kxf2
b6 29. Rd1 Bc5+ 30. Kf1 a5 31. Rb3 Kg7 32. g3 fxg3 33. hxg3 Nh5 34. f4 Nf6 35.
Rbd3 Ng4 0-1
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.01.17"]
[Round "15.1"]
[White "Xuan, Thomas"]
[Black "Smirnov, Anton"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D90"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "134"]
[EventDate "2014.01.??"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[SourceDate "2014.01.11"]

{I was going to analyse the last-round game between Anton Smirnov and Bernard
Chau, but unfortunately the game isn't available. So I have instead covered a
game where Anton came very close to defeat but eventually scrambled a draw.} 1.
d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 {Anton used to play the Slav a lot but has recently
switched to the Grunfeld. I used this fact to my advantage when I played the
English against him in the last round of the Australian Championship.} 4. Nf3
Bg7 5. h4 {This h-pawn thrust has been quite trendy lately, but having
analysed it thoroughly myself I'm not convinced that it can pose Black
problems.} dxc4 (5... c6 {is the solid continuation, which makes White's h4
look a bit out of place. At the same time, White normally doesn't get Bf4/Bg5
options in the normal Schlechter positions with e3/...c6.}) 6. e4 c5 7. d5 b5
8. h5 Nxh5 9. Nxb5 Bg4 (9... O-O {was Vachier Lagrave's choice in this
position, while}) (9... Qa5+ 10. Nc3 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Qxc3+ 12. Bd2 Qa3 13. Bxc4
{looks completely untrustworthy for Black.}) 10. Bxc4 a6 {White is quite happy
to retreat the knight anyway, so I'm not convinced this was the most accurate.}
(10... O-O 11. O-O Nd7 {is better as} 12. d6 Ne5 {only plays into Black's
hands.}) 11. Nc3 Nd7 12. Be2 Qc7 13. Rh4 {A creative and strong idea.} Bxf3 (
13... Nhf6 {would still look nice for White, but Black can later play ...e6 to
challenge the centre.}) 14. Bxf3 Rb8 (14... Bf6 15. Rh1 Bxc3+ 16. bxc3 Nhf6 17.
Bh6 {was also ugly for Black whose king is stuck in the centre. But perhaps he
can survive with} Qe5 {and ...g5, though I do not trust it at all.}) 15. Bxh5
gxh5 16. Qxh5 {This position is horrible for Black, who is down a pawn and has
lost the battle for the centre.} Qa5 17. Rh3 Ne5 18. Bf4 Qc7 19. d6 ({The
simple} 19. Kf1 {was winning, as} Rxb2 20. Rg3 Bf6 21. d6 $1 Qxd6 22. Rd1 {is
curtains.}) 19... exd6 20. Nd5 Qa5+ 21. Bd2 Qa4 22. Qf5 {Even this should be
winning, though.} Qd7 23. Qg5 Ng6 24. Nf6+ (24. Bc3 Bxc3+ 25. bxc3 {eliminates
Black's last good piece and would have made White's task much easier.}) 24...
Bxf6 25. Qxf6 Qe6 26. Bg5 {This slip lets Black back in.} (26. Bc3 Qxf6 27.
Bxf6 O-O 28. O-O-O {would still probably win for White.}) 26... O-O 27. f3 d5
28. O-O-O d4 {Now Black has generated counterplay and in the end he held the
draw.} 29. b3 Rb6 30. Qxe6 fxe6 31. Rdh1 Rb7 32. Kd2 a5 33. Rc1 Rb5 34. f4 Nxf4
35. Bxf4 Rxf4 36. a4 Rb8 37. Rg3+ Kh8 38. Rxc5 Rxe4 39. Rxa5 e5 40. Rb5 Re8 41.
a5 Rf4 42. Rd5 e4 43. a6 d3 44. Ke3 Rf1 45. Rd7 Re1+ 46. Kd2 Re2+ 47. Kc3 Rc2+
48. Kb4 Rb8+ 49. Rb7 Rcc8 50. Rxb8 Rxb8+ 51. Kc3 Rc8+ 52. Kd2 Rc2+ 53. Kd1 Ra2
54. Re3 Ra1+ 55. Kd2 Ra2+ 56. Kd1 Rxa6 57. Rxe4 Ra3 58. b4 Rb3 59. Kd2 Kg7 60.
Rd4 Kg6 61. Rxd3 Rxb4 62. Ke3 h5 63. Kf3 Rb5 64. Re3 Kg5 65. Kg3 h4+ 66. Kh2
Rb4 67. Re8 Rb6 1/2-1/2
[Event "Wahroonga AUS U/18 Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.01.17"]
[Round "15.2"]
[White "Zelesco, Karl"]
[Black "Chau, Bernard"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B06"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "157"]
[EventDate "2014.01.??"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[SourceDate "2014.01.11"]

{The following game was a quite exciting one where White missed a lot of
chances before the game ended in a draw.} 1. d4 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c5 {This
system, 'The Sniper', is not very trustworthy and the game demonstrates why.}
4. dxc5 Qa5 (4... Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 Qa5 6. Qd4 Nf6 7. Qb4 Qc7 {is probably Black's
best try, but still very pleasant for White after} 8. f3 {and Be3.}) 5. Bd2
Qxc5 6. Nd5 {After this accurate move Black is nearly lost.} b6 (6... Bxb2 7.
Rb1 Bd4 8. Bb4 {is annihilation.}) (6... Na6 7. Nf3 e6 8. b4 Qf8 9. Nc3 {is
also a big problem for Black, who has no piece coordination and can't get away
with} Qxb4 10. e5 {and Nb5.}) 7. Bb4 Qc6 8. Bb5 Qb7 9. Qf3 Bxb2 {Objectively
not the best defence, but practically forced as otherwise Black has nothing to
show for his atrocious position.} 10. Bc3 Bxa1 11. Bxa1 f6 12. e5 {It won't
come as a surprise that White is dead won here.} e6 13. exf6 Nh6 14. Qa3 Nc6
15. Ba6 (15. Nf3 {would force resignation as} exd5 16. Qe3+ Kd8 17. Qxh6 {
gives White a crushing attack and Black doesn't really have a move if he
refuses the offered knight.}) 15... Qb8 16. Ne7 {Even this should win for
White, but he's given Black some unneeded hope.} Nf5 (16... Qc7 17. Nxc8 Rxc8
18. Bxc8 Qxc8 19. Nf3 Rf8 20. Ne5 {should also be winning for White, but at
least Black can pray for a miracle here.}) 17. Nxc8 Qf4 18. f7+ Kxf7 19. Bxh8
Nb4 20. Qc3 {This is quite an incredible blunder.} (20. Ne2 Nxc2+ (20... Qe4)
21. Kd1 Qe4 22. Ng3 {was a simple way to end all resistance.}) 20... Qc1+ (
20... Nxa6 {in turn would leave White with absolutely nothing. Suddenly White
is the one with the exposed king and bad piece coordination.}) 21. Ke2 Nd5 22.
Qc4 (22. Qb2 Nf4+ 23. Kf3 {was simple and good.}) 22... Nf4+ 23. Kf3 g5 {As
entertaining as the rest of this blunderfest is, I'll be kind to the two
players and stop my analyses here.} 24. Nh3 Qxh1 25. Nxg5+ Kg6 26. Qxf4 Qd1+
27. Be2 Qd5+ 28. Ne4 Rxc8 29. c4 Qa8 30. Bf6 Rg8 31. Qg5+ Kf7 32. Qh5+ Kf8 33.
Qxh7 d5 34. cxd5 Qxd5 35. Qxa7 Rg6 36. Qb8+ Kf7 37. Qc7+ Kf8 38. Qc3 Kf7 39.
Bc4 Qc6 40. g4 Rxg4 41. Kxg4 Qxe4+ 42. Kh3 Nd6 43. Bf1 Qf5+ 44. Kg2 Ne4 45. Qf3
Kxf6 46. Qxf5+ exf5 47. f4 Kg6 48. Bc4 Nf6 49. Kf3 Nh5 50. Bb5 Kf6 51. Ke3 Ke6
52. Bc4+ Kd6 53. Bd3 Ke6 54. Be2 Nf6 55. Bf3 Ne8 56. Kd4 Kd6 57. h4 Ng7 58. h5
Ne6+ 59. Ke3 Ke7 60. Bd5 Nf8 61. Kd4 Kf6 62. a4 Nd7 63. Bb3 Nc5 64. Bc2 Ne6+
65. Ke3 Nc5 66. Bd1 Ne6 67. Bf3 Nc5 68. Bc6 Ne6 69. Bf3 Nc5 70. Bd1 Ne6 71. Bc2
Nc5 72. h6 Kg6 73. Bxf5+ Kxh6 74. Bc2 Kg7 75. Kd4 Kf6 76. Kd5 Nxa4 77. Bxa4 Kf5
78. Kd4 Kxf4 79. Bc6 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.01.17"]
[Round "15.5"]
[White "Yung, Cameron"]
[Black "Carolin Unkovich, George"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B91"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2014.01.??"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[SourceDate "2014.01.11"]

{At one reader's suggestion I have included another game by George
Carolin-Unkovich, who in this game won convincingly against Cameron Yung.} 1.
e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 {This variation isn't
very popular nowadays; most potential fianchettoers play} (6. h3 {in order to
play g4 and effectively save a tempo on the g3 variation.}) 6... e5 7. Nde2 Be6
8. Bg2 h5 ({It is more precise to wait for h3 before playing ...h5, such as
after} 8... Nbd7 9. h3 h5 {, but Black opts for the text to try and confuse
his opponent.}) 9. Bg5 Nbd7 10. h3 {This is a waste of time with ...h5 thrown
in; better is} (10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 {though Black is still completely fine
in this structure, even with ...h5 thrown in.}) 10... b5 {Quite an interesting
novelty; normally Black plays ...Be7 instead.} 11. Qd2 (11. a4 b4 12. Nd5 Bxd5
13. exd5 Be7 {is generally a nice structure for Black as White's queenside
pawn majority has been lamed.}) 11... Be7 12. Bxf6 {This exchange gives Black
everything he could want as both knights wanted to go to f6, and White's
position will be creaky without the dark-squared bishop when things open up.} (
12. a3 Rc8 13. f4 Bc4 {however is already more pleasant for Black.}) 12... Nxf6
13. f4 Nd7 {The knight was well placed on f6 to cover d5, so there was no need
to move it.} (13... Rc8 14. a3 Qb6 {for instance keeps a clear advantage;
Black will play ...a5 and ...b4 and it's hard to see what White might do about
it. His position has no potential at all.}) 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. Qxd5 Rc8 16. c3 (
16. O-O-O {would leave White very much OK.}) 16... Qb6 {This move stops White
castling and is very annoying indeed.} 17. a3 (17. O-O-O Qf2 {forces the
pathetic} 18. Bf1 {.}) 17... exf4 18. Rf1 Nf6 {This slip could have thrown
away all of Black's advantage.} (18... Ne5 {was already winning for Black as
after} 19. Rxf4 ({or} 19. gxf4 Bh4+ 20. Kd1 Nc4) 19... O-O {followed by ...Bg5,
and the White king will soon be slaughtered in the middle. The problem is he
can't challenge Black on the dark squares at all.}) 19. Qf5 Rc5 20. Qxf4 O-O
21. Nd4 (21. Qe3 {first would be a rather annoying pin on the queen, and it's
not easy for Black to exploit the centralised position of White's king here.})
21... g6 22. h4 {This does at least prepare to give the bishop some air with
Bh3 later, but Black's plan in the game is quite effective.} (22. O-O-O a5 23.
Qf2 b4 24. Nb3 bxa3 25. Nxc5 dxc5 26. Kb1 {seems to hold for White.}) 22... a5
23. Qd2 Re5 24. Rf4 d5 {Now White is getting killed in the centre, and
castling queenside only runs into the fire.} 25. O-O-O dxe4 26. Re1 b4 27. axb4
axb4 {White is almost always destroyed in the Najdorf when his king loses all
of its pawn cover.} 28. Bxe4 bxc3 29. bxc3 Ba3+ 30. Kd1 Nxe4 0-1
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.01.16"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Guo, Zhi Lin"]
[Black "Gu, Shirley"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A40"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2014.01.??"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[SourceDate "2014.01.11"]

{In the Girls division, Shirley Gu convincingly won the Under 18 title. I've
chosen to analyse her first game with her main contender, Victoria's Zhi Lin
Guo. I would have picked the second game but unfortunately this game is
unavailable.} 1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c5 4. d5 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 f5 {This
variation is known as the Dzindzi Indian. It is quite an interesting line - in
return for a slight instability in the position, Black damages White's pawns
and has a clear plan of attacking the doubled c-pawns in the future. Meanwhile
White should try to open up the position for her bishop pair.} 6. g3 (6. e4
fxe4 7. f3 {would be my choice, but refusing to open things up by playing} e5
8. Qc2 d6 9. fxe4 Nf6 {is fairly solid, though the computer loves White's game
for some weird reason.}) 6... Qa5 7. Qc2 d6 8. Bg2 Nf6 9. Nh3 {The knight is
more active here than on f3 because White can play either Nf4 or Ng5 to later
jump into e6, but she also has to be careful about the c4-pawn's future.} Nbd7
10. Qb3 Qb6 (10... Nb6 11. Nf4 Qa6 {just grabbing c4 is the ambitious
continuation and indeed this has to be very promising for Black.}) 11. O-O (11.
Nf4 Ne5 12. Nd3 Nxd3+ 13. exd3 Qxb3 14. axb3 {would be a pretty cool pawn
structure! White is a bit better.}) 11... a5 {This move is a bit hard to
explain; I can see that Black wants to play ...a4 but it is difficult to
believe.} 12. Rb1 {Now everything goes Black's way.} (12. Nf4 Qxb3 13. axb3 Nb6
14. Ne6 Bxe6 15. dxe6 {leaves White with chances with her bishop pair.}) 12...
Qxb3 13. axb3 a4 14. Ra1 Nb6 {The lifespan of the c4-pawn is greatly limited.}
15. Bg5 Kf7 (15... axb3 16. Rxa8 Nxa8 17. Rb1 Nb6 18. Rxb3 Nxc4 {is simple and
very strong.}) 16. Bxf6 exf6 17. Rfb1 g5 18. e3 (18. f3 {to free the misplaced
knight was a better try.}) 18... Ke7 (18... f4 19. exf4 g4 {would have been a
neat trick.}) 19. Bf1 Kd8 20. b4 {Now things would be quite normal after ...
Nd7, but Black blunders.} Kc7 21. b5 (21. bxc5 dxc5 22. d6+ Kc6 23. Bg2+ {wins
a piece. So Black can't take back on c5, but then she's blundered a pawn for
nothing.}) 21... Bd7 22. Ra3 Rhe8 23. Kg2 Re4 24. Bd3 Ree8 (24... Nxc4 {just
won a pawn; I don't know why Black rejected this.}) 25. Ng1 Re7 26. Nf3 h6 27.
h4 Rg7 (27... f4 28. exf4 gxf4 29. gxf4 Rg8+ 30. Kh2 Rg4 {was very strong.})
28. Rh1 f4 {Finally Black gets in this strong break, but now White has
consolidated things a little.} 29. hxg5 hxg5 30. Rh6 f5 31. Rh5 fxe3 32. Rxg5
Rxg5 33. Nxg5 exf2 34. Kxf2 Rh8 35. Ne6+ Kb8 36. Bxf5 {Black should have kept
playing with 36...Nxc4 with decent winning chances, but instead a draw was
agreed.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.01.16"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Chew Lee, Alanna"]
[Black "Gu, Theresa"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C21"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "82"]
[EventDate "2014.01.??"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[SourceDate "2014.01.11"]

{To finish I'll show a game from the Under 14 Girls by Shirley's sister
Theresa. Alanna Chew Lee came back from this loss to defeat Theresa in a
playoff and win the Under 14 Girls title.} 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4.
Nxc3 Nc6 5. Bc4 d5 {A very strange move; just} (5... Bb4 6. Nf3 d6 {would be a
sensible way to develop, for instance.}) 6. Qxd5 (6. exd5 {with a big
advantage was much better.}) 6... Qxd5 7. Bxd5 Nge7 8. Bxc6+ (8. Nb5 Nxd5 9.
exd5 Nb4 10. Nxc7+ Kd8 11. Nxa8 Nc2+ 12. Ke2 Nxa1 13. Bf4 {would be a very
interesting position! But I think White is doing very well here.}) 8... Nxc6 9.
Nb5 Bd6 10. Nxd6+ cxd6 11. Ne2 O-O 12. Bf4 Re8 13. f3 d5 {A strong move, as
taking on d5 fails to ...Nd4.} 14. Nc3 dxe4 15. fxe4 Bf5 16. O-O Bxe4 {Black
is up a pawn and while the opposite coloured bishops offer White decent
drawing chances, Black goes on to win.} 17. Nb5 Bd3 18. Nc7 Bxf1 19. Kxf1 Rac8
(19... Re4 20. Nxa8 Rxf4+ 21. Ke1 Rb4 {was more clinical.}) 20. Nxe8 Rxe8 21.
Rd1 g6 22. Rd7 Re7 {White shouldn't exchange rooks here as in general one pair
of rooks improve your drawing chances in an endgame when you are worse.} 23.
Rd3 Ne5 24. Bxe5 Rxe5 25. Rd7 Rb5 26. b3 Kf8 27. Ke2 Ke8 28. Rc7 Re5+ 29. Kd3
Re7 30. Rxe7+ {This is suicide; retreating the rook still probably draws with
best play, though there's a lot of things Black can try before White gets her
half point.} Kxe7 31. Kc4 Kd6 32. Kb5 f5 33. a4 Kd5 34. a5 g5 35. a6 b6 36. Kb4
f4 37. Kc3 Ke4 38. Kc4 g4 39. Kb5 Kd5 40. Kb4 f3 41. gxf3 gxf3 0-1