'Australia's Newest IM: Junta Ikeda'

Wed, 2014-05-14 19:17 -- IM Max Illingworth
[Event "O2C Doeberl Cup 2014"]
[Site "Canberra AUS"]
[Date "2014.04.19"]
[Round "6.5"]
[White "Ikeda, J."]
[Black "Dive, RJ."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A09"]
[WhiteElo "2338"]
[BlackElo "2357"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2014.04.17"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.04.21"]

{We've already examined Moulthun's successful SIO, but another Australian who
excelled in the Doeberl Cup and SIO was our newest IM, Junta Ikeda, who scored
IM norms and was playing for a GM norm in the last round of both tournaments.
Let's look at his best games from those events. First of all, Junta's win
against Russell Dive is one move too long to be a miniature, but is a striking
game nonetheless.} 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Qc2 Be7 (5... Nbd7
{is a preferable move order, to avoid a favourable transposition to the
Anti-Meran with 6.d4 (where Black's dark-squared bishop belongs on d6).}) 6. b3
a5 $6 {This and Black's next move waste time and misplace his pieces.} (6...
Nbd7 7. Bb2 O-O 8. Be2 {would be a more normal continuation; sometimes White
goes for Rg1/g4 as in the game to start a kingside attack (and then the bishop
on b2 is not obstructed by a pawn on d4, thereby supporting the kingside
attack directly), but if Black pre-empts that with} e5 {,} 9. O-O a6 10. d4 e4
11. Nd2 {gives White a fairly good Reversed French position - he will play} Re8
12. f3 exf3 13. Bxf3 {to eliminate Black's central space and take the
initiative with a later e3-e4 break.}) 7. Bb2 Na6 8. a3 O-O 9. Rg1 (9. d4 {
would be a normal continuation, leaving the a6-knight out of play (amusingly
enough the engine suggests} Nb8 {and ...Nbd7 to bring the knight into the game)
.}) 9... Nc5 10. d4 ({If} 10. g4 Qb6 {.}) 10... Nce4 11. Bd3 Nxc3 12. Bxc3 {
Now Black should be fine as White's attack is a lot less effective with the
pawn on d4 (instead of d2). But Black curiously decides to re-open the
diagonal.} c5 $6 (12... b6 13. g4 a4 14. b4 dxc4 15. Bxc4 Bb7 16. g5 Nd5 17.
Bb2 Bd6 {would be a more proper continuation - Black doesn't have to fear} 18.
e4 Nf4 {when the knight is the glue holding the kingside together.}) 13. dxc5
dxc4 14. bxc4 $1 (14. Bxc4 {seems more natural, but Ikeda, true to the
position, emphasises the initiative over structural considerations.}) 14... g6
(14... Bxc5 15. g4 g6 16. h4 {and h5 gives White a nearly winning attack
already.}) 15. g4 (15. Ke2 Qc7 16. Rgd1 Nd7 17. Kf1 Nxc5 18. Be5 {and Nd4-b5
is a positional way of exploiting White's lead in development.}) 15... Nd7 16.
Rd1 Qc7 17. g5 Qxc5 (17... Nxc5 {followed by ...Bd7-c6 to get the pieces
developed is more pointed.}) 18. Bb2 a4 19. h4 $1 {Even without Black's
useless last move he would be under strong pressure, but now the White
initiative is nearly decisive. Black really suffers from half his army being
out of the game.} Qa5+ (19... Qb6 20. h5 Qb3 {at least makes it to an ending,
though Black's unlikely to hold after} 21. Rh1 Qxc2 22. Bxc2 Ra6 23. Ke2 {.})
20. Bc3 Qc7 21. h5 Nc5 (21... e5 22. hxg6 fxg6 23. Bxg6 Rxf3 24. Rh1 $1 Nf8 25.
Bxh7+ Kf7 26. Qe4 $1 {decimates Black's castled position.}) 22. Bxg6 (22. hxg6
Nxd3+ 23. Qxd3 fxg6 24. Qd4 $1 {was another way to decide the game.}) 22...
hxg6 23. hxg6 f6 24. g7 {Black can't take the pawn due to gxf6 double check!}
Rf7 25. gxf6 Bxf6 26. Qh7+ $1 {Not a hard move to spot, but very beautiful all
the same. Black resigned as it's mate in two:} (26. Qh7+ Kxh7 27. g8=Q+ Kh6 28.
Qg6#) 1-0
[Event "O2C Doeberl Cup 2014"]
[Site "Canberra AUS"]
[Date "2014.04.20"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Van Wely, L."]
[Black "Ikeda, J."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E15"]
[WhiteElo "2685"]
[BlackElo "2338"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "141"]
[EventDate "2014.04.17"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.04.21"]

{In this game Junta was very close to upsetting the top Dutch GM, but in the
end had to settle for a draw. I'll limit my comments to the most interesting
moments of the game.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qa4 Bb7 6. Bg2
c5 7. dxc5 bxc5 {This structure is very concrete in nature - if White can keep
the pressure on Black's d-pawn he will have a nice initiative (and then b4 is
a typical way to break through on the queenside), but if Black ever gets his
central majority moving, White will have real problems.} (7... Bxc5 {leads to
a Hedgehog type of position.}) 8. O-O Be7 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Bf4 Qb6 11. Rfd1 Rd8
12. Rd2 d6 13. Rad1 h6 14. Qb5 Ne8 15. e4 Bc6 16. Qxb6 axb6 17. e5 $1 {A
strong move, opening the position before Black completes his development.} d5 (
17... Nd7 18. exd6 Bf6 {is an interesting idea, sacrificing a pawn to take the
initiative with} 19. Re2 Bxc3 20. bxc3 g5 21. Bc1 Ra4 {, but White didn't have
to grab with 18.exd6.}) 18. cxd5 exd5 19. Nxd5 Bxd5 20. Rxd5 Rxd5 21. Rxd5 Rxa2
{The exchange of pawns has been in Black's favour as his pieces are active and
his knight will find a comfy perch on e6. It's quite hard for White to use his
bishop pair because the position, despite its seeming open nature, is pretty
locked up - it is not easy to suggest a quick and good pawn break for either
side.} 22. b3 Nc7 23. Rd3 Ne6 24. Be3 Nc6 25. Rd7 Kf8 (25... Bg5 26. Nxg5 Ra1+
27. Bf1 hxg5 {would also be fine for Black - it's interesting to see the
knights hold their own against the bishops after} 28. Rd6 Nxe5 29. Rxb6 Nf3+
30. Kg2 g4 {.}) 26. h4 Ra3 27. Rb7 Bd8 28. Bh3 Na5 29. Rb8 $6 {Only this move
leads to problems for White.} (29. Rd7 {was the correct retort, when} Be7 30.
Nd2 Nxb3 31. Nc4 Ra1+ 32. Kg2 b5 33. Nd6 Rd1 34. Bg4 Rd5 35. Bf3 Rxe5 36. Nxb5
{peters out to equality in the end as Black can't keep his extra pawn.}) 29...
Ke7 30. b4 $2 {And this should have lost.} (30. Nd2 {was correct, though Black
remains on top after} Bc7 31. Ra8 Ra1+ 32. Kg2 Nxb3 33. Bxe6 Rxa8 34. Bxb3 Bxe5
{as with two connected passed pawns, only Black can realistically promote a
pawn. Still, White should be able to draw.}) 30... cxb4 31. Nd4 (31. Nd2 Bc7
32. Rc8 Bxe5 33. Bxb6 Nb7 {should also win for Black, but naturally requires
more technique.}) 31... Bc7 32. Rc8 Bxe5 33. Nc2 {White has to try to grab a
pawn, as being down two pawns won't help one bit, and also Black was intending
...b3-b2-b1=Q.} Rc3 34. Rxc3 Bxc3 35. Bxb6 Nc4 36. Ba7 b3 37. Ne3 Nxe3 38. Bxe3
Nc7 {Black's technique has been great so far, and} (38... Kf6 39. Bf1 Bd4 40.
Bd2 Nc5 41. Bc4 b2 42. Ba2 Ne4 {would have been the simplest way to convert.})
39. Bf5 Bb4 $2 {A strange error that seems based on a hallucination.} (39...
Kd6 40. Kf1 (40. Bf4+ Be5) 40... b2 41. Ke2 Nb5 42. Bc2 Na3 43. Kd3 Bf6 {wins
a piece and the game.}) 40. Kf1 Nb5 41. Bc1 Bc3 {Black's still winning, but
life is not so simple anymore.} 42. Bd3 Nd4 43. Be3 Nc6 44. Bc5+ Kf6 45. Be4
Ne5 46. Ke2 Nc4 (46... Ke6) 47. Bd3 (47. f3 {would be a better defence, as} b2
48. Bc2 Nd2 {enters the trick} 49. Bd4+ Bxd4 50. Kxd2 {.}) 47... b2 48. Kd1 Nd2
49. Be3 b1=Q+ 50. Bxb1 Nxb1 51. Kc2 Ke5 52. f3 (52. Kxb1 Bd4 53. Bxd4+ Kxd4 {
is a won pawn endgame:} 54. Kc2 Ke4 55. Kd2 Kf3 56. Ke1 g5 57. hxg5 hxg5 58.
Kf1 f5 59. Ke1 Kg2 60. Ke2 f4) 52... Be1 53. Bf4+ Kd4 54. Kxb1 Kd3 {This also
should have been an easy win, but Black let it slip.} 55. h5 Ke2 56. Be5 Kxf3
$2 {A strange oversight, as in general one shouldn't exchange pawns when ahead.
} (56... g5 57. Bg7 Kxf3 58. Bxh6 Kg4 {traps the bishop and wins both of
White's pawns, after which it's a simple win.}) 57. Bxg7 Bd2 58. Kc2 Bg5 59.
Be5 Kg4 60. Kd3 Kxh5 61. Ke2 Kg4 62. Kf2 {Now it's just a draw.} Kh3 63. Kf3 h5
64. Bd4 Be7 65. Be5 Bd8 66. Kf2 Bb6+ 67. Kf3 Bg1 68. Bc3 Bh2 69. Be1 Bg1 70.
Bc3 Bh2 71. Ke4 1/2-1/2 
[Event "Sydney Open 2014"]
[Site "Sydney AUS"]
[Date "2014.04.24"]
[Round "4.5"]
[White "Lane, G."]
[Black "Ikeda, J."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B42"]
[WhiteElo "2362"]
[BlackElo "2338"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2014.04.23"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.04.28"]

{Moving forward to the SIO, Junta started strongly with a win over a local IM
who can be quite dangerous with the White pieces.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4
cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Bc5 6. Be3 (6. Nb3 {followed by exploiting the bishop's
development with Qg4 is considered the critical way to play as White.}) 6... d6
(6... Qb6 7. c3 Qxb2 8. Nd2 {is not a particularly good gambit for Black, who
gifts White far too much development.}) 7. Nd2 Nf6 8. c3 O-O (8... e5 9. Nc2
Bxe3 10. Nxe3 Be6 {is a way to turn these positions into a solid Boleslavsky
structure without the bad dark-squared bishop, but Junta understands the
Hedgehog formations quite well and goes for one.}) 9. O-O Nbd7 10. h3 Qc7 11.
b4 Ba7 12. Rc1 b6 $5 {Personally I'd find it hard to justify trapping in the
a7-bishop like this, but it's not as bad as it looks.} (12... Ne5 13. Bb1 Bd7 {
would be a more conventional way to play the position.}) 13. c4 Bb7 14. Bb1
Rac8 {Normally White should play for c5 in these positions, but the bishop on
a7 does a good job of stopping that, so I'd seek kingside play instead.} 15.
Ne2 (15. f4 Rfe8 16. Qe2 Bb8 17. N4f3 {followed by g4-g5 might look like
overextending, but I don't see a way for Black to exploit it.}) 15... Qb8 16.
Nc3 Rfe8 {The next several moves feature manoeuvring with Black waiting for
White to overextend before he hits back with ...b5, ...d5 or ...g5.} 17. Bd4
Rc7 18. Qb3 Qd8 19. Rfe1 Qe7 20. a4 Ba8 21. Be3 Rec8 22. f4 h6 23. Kh2 Kh8 24.
Qc2 Rg8 25. Rf1 (25. Bd4 {would prevent ...g5, and} e5 $2 26. Nd5 Bxd5 27. exd5
{is not a good transaction for Black.}) 25... g5 {Objectively this move is
dubious, but it works a treat in the game (perhaps White was already short of
time as that's hardly an unusual phenomenon when facing the Hedgehog).} 26. Ne2
$1 {A good move, bringing the knight to bear on the weakened kingside squares.}
gxf4 27. Bxf4 (27. Nxf4 Qf8 28. Qc3 Qg7 {is a strong queen dance to make the
kingside very safe, and}) (27. Rxf4 {was the best move as} Ne5 28. Qc3 Nh5 29.
Rf2 f5 30. Kh1 $16 {sees White hold off Black's attack and be favoured by the
opening of the centre.}) 27... b5 $1 28. Qc3 (28. axb5 axb5 29. Qd3 e5 30. Bg3
bxc4 31. Nxc4 d5 32. exd5 Bxd5 33. Ne3 {is an improvement for White, after
which a knight jump to f5 will be quite strong.}) 28... bxc4 29. Bg3 e5 $1 {
Even with White's last prophylaxis, taking the centre in this way is quite
strong.} 30. Qf3 Qe6 31. Nc3 (31. Bh4 {was a better defence.}) 31... Rcc8 32.
Ba2 Rg6 {It turns out that this proffers the c4-pawn.} (32... Bd4 $1 {was
stronger as} 33. Bxc4 Rxc4 34. Nxc4 Bxc3 35. Rxc3 Nxe4 36. Qxf7 Qxf7 37. Rxf7
Nxc3 38. Rxd7 Ne2 $1 {forces White to give up a piece, though he might still
hold the ending by a whisker.}) 33. Bh4 (33. Bxc4 $1 Rxc4 34. Nxc4 Qxc4 35. Nd5
Bxd5 36. Rxc4 Bxc4 37. Rc1 d5 {is totally unclear, though I'd go with the
three pieces if I had to pick a side.}) 33... d5 $1 {Once Black achieves this
break in the Hedgehog he's normally doing pretty well, and here it seems close
to winning.} 34. Bxf6+ {This accelerates White's defeat, but} (34. g4 Nxg4+ 35.
hxg4 Rxg4 36. Qh3 Rcg8 {is also unsalvageable for White.}) 34... Nxf6 35. exd5
Nxd5 36. Nce4 (36. Qxf7 Rxg2+ $1) 36... f5 37. Qxf5 {Now Black finishes off
with a cute tactic.} Rxg2+ 38. Kxg2 Ne3+ 0-1
[Event "Sydney Open 2014"]
[Site "Sydney AUS"]
[Date "2014.04.25"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Morris, J."]
[Black "Ikeda, J."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A46"]
[WhiteElo "2377"]
[BlackElo "2338"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "62"]
[EventDate "2014.04.23"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.04.28"]

{This game wasn't too interesting as James played below his usual level in
this game, but it was a good win by Junta all the same.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3.
g3 b6 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. O-O c5 {James likes to combine a queenside fianchetto with
some unusual plan on moves 6-9, so the next moves aren't a big surprise.} 6. c3
Be7 7. a3 {White wants to play b4, but I don't see how the queenside space
helps him.} (7. Bg5 O-O 8. Nbd2 {plays for e4 and would seem more normal,
though admittedly I find it difficult to understand what White is doing in
general after 6...Be7.}) 7... O-O 8. Nbd2 d5 9. b4 a5 (9... Nbd7 10. bxc5 bxc5
{with a small edge (due to White's bad c1-bishop and weak c4-square) would be
more natural.}) 10. dxc5 $6 axb4 11. cxb4 bxc5 12. b5 c4 $1 {Black's centre is
far better than White's queenside passers and already White's position is much
worse as the passed pawns are easy to blockade.} 13. a4 Nbd7 14. Bb2 Bb4 $1 {
A very accurate move, both preparing ...c3 and stopping any a5 move from
occurring.} 15. Qc2 Qa5 16. Rfc1 Rfc8 17. Bc3 (17. Bd4 {is supposedly more
accurate, but don't ask me why.}) 17... Bxc3 18. Qxc3 Nc5 19. Ne5 (19. Qc2 {is
more tenacious, though after} Nfd7 20. Ra3 Nxa4 21. Rca1 Ndb6 {White's still
down a pawn for nothing.}) 19... Qxc3 20. Rxc3 Rxa4 21. Rca3 c3 (21... Rxa3 22.
Rxa3 Ne8 {was a simpler way to win.}) 22. Rxa4 Nxa4 23. Ndc4 {This is just a
blunder, but} (23. Nb3 Nc5 24. Nd4 Kf8 {should also be winning for Black.})
23... c2 24. Rc1 dxc4 25. Bxb7 Rc5 26. Rxc2 Rxe5 27. Rxc4 Nb6 28. Rd4 Kf8 29.
Bc6 Rxe2 30. Rd8+ Ke7 31. Rb8 Nfd7 0-1
[Event "Sydney Open 2014"]
[Site "Sydney AUS"]
[Date "2014.04.26"]
[Round "8.2"]
[White "Ikeda, J."]
[Black "Nisipeanu, LD."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A15"]
[WhiteElo "2338"]
[BlackElo "2686"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "40"]
[EventDate "2014.04.23"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.04.28"]

{I saw the post-mortem to the game and so my brief notes are based partly on
the players' reflections of the game.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 d6
(4... d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nc3 Nc7 {is another main line - essentially we have a
reversed Maroczy Bind.}) 5. Nc3 g6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 {Now we see the
logic behind delaying ...g6 and ...Bg7.} 8. O-O Bg7 9. e4 {Not a very common
move as it obstructs the g2-bishop's pressure on the queenside.} (9. Nc2 O-O
10. b3 {is one of the main lines, which has scored very well for White but is
hardly a theoretical problem for Black.}) 9... O-O 10. Nde2 a6 11. a4 Bg4 {
Played to provoke a weakening of the g1-a7 diagonal with White's next.} (11...
Nb4 12. b3 Ng4 {and ...Ne5-d3 is suggested by the computer, but most people
would think of preparing some sort of pawn break.}) 12. f3 Be6 13. b3 Qb6+ {In
hindsight, this check just leaves the queen vulnerable (including to Nd5 moves
later).} (13... Nd7 {and then ...Nc5 followed by ...f5 or ...Nb4 would be more
sensible as Be3 isn't such a problem for Black.}) 14. Kh1 Nd7 15. Rb1 {A
strong move, after which White's position somehow makes more sense than
Black's.} Nb4 (15... Nc5 {would be more consistent, while}) (15... Rfc8 16. Bd2
Qd8 {was an idea I had during the game, but on further thought it looks wrong:}
17. Nf4 Nc5 18. b4 Nd7 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Bh3 {and the doubled e-pawns are a
big issue.}) 16. Bg5 {A strong move, exploiting the defect of 15...Nb4 - the
e7-pawn is now unprotected.} Bf6 17. Bh6 Bg7 18. Bg5 (18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Qd2 {
followed by Nf4 and Nd5 would be very good for White. In the structure arising
from} Qc5 20. Nf4 Ne5 21. Nfd5 Bxd5 22. exd5 {(for instance), White has the
easy plan of f4-f5 and h4-h5 to generate a very strong kingside attack, while
Black has no counterplay at all (the b4-knight is merely a leftover Easter
decoration).}) 18... f6 $6 {This is quite weakening, but if you're playing for
a win you sometimes have to take such liberties. Soon Nisipeanu realised that
might not be the best idea and offered a draw (as this would secure Junta the
IM title).} 19. Bf4 g5 20. Bc1 (20. Nd4 Bf7 21. Be3 Qd8 22. Bh3 Nc5 23. Nf5 {
is completely winning for White.}) 20... Nc6 {A sensible draw offer, as White
is clearly better after either 21.Nd5 or 21.f4. But you can't blame Junta for
accepting the draw, which made him an IM-elect.} 1/2-1/2 
[Event "Sydney Open 2014"]
[Site "Sydney AUS"]
[Date "2014.04.27"]
[Round "9.4"]
[White "Johansen, D."]
[Black "Ikeda, J."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A37"]
[WhiteElo "2400"]
[BlackElo "2338"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "90"]
[EventDate "2014.04.23"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2014.04.28"]

{I've left this game, where Junta needed a win to attain his maiden GM norm,
unannotated, but it is clear that Junta was pressing for the whole game and
had good winning chances, even though there wasn't a completely forced win at
any point.} 1. g3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Nf3 e6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nb5
d5 8. cxd5 Qa5+ 9. Qd2 Qxb5 10. dxc6 e5 11. O-O Ne7 12. a4 Qb6 13. a5 Qb5 14.
e3 dxe3 15. cxb7 Bxb7 16. Qxe3 O-O 17. a6 Bd5 18. Qa3 Nc6 19. Qa4 Rab8 20. Qxb5
Rxb5 21. Ng5 Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Nd4 23. Ra4 Rc8 24. Ne4 Rb6 25. Nc3 Rcc6 26. Nd5
Rxa6 27. Rb4 Bf8 28. Rb8 Kg7 29. Nb4 Bxb4 30. Rxb4 Rcb6 31. Bd2 Nc6 32. Rxb6
Rxb6 33. Bc3 Kf8 34. Re1 Rb5 35. g4 h6 36. Re3 f6 37. Rh3 Kg7 38. Rd3 Rb7 39.
Rd6 Rc7 40. f4 Kf7 41. fxe5 Nxe5 42. Kg3 Re7 43. Ra6 Rd7 44. h3 Kg7 45. Kg2 Kf7
{and a draw was agreed as Black can't make progress (White's pieces are too
active). Thanks for reading!} 1/2-1/2