Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Singapore 60th National Championships 2008

The Singapore 60th National Championships 2008 is being held from 29th December 2007 to 5th January 2008. It is a 9 rounds event that have attract few Singapore top players such as GM Dr. Wong Meng Kong (2445), IM Goh Wei Ming (2396), IM Jason Goh Koon Jong (2384), IM Chan Peng Kong (2287) and other lesser title player. Singapore “import” player such as GM Zhang Zhong and GM Wu Shaobin didn’t play in this events probably because they are too strong for the tournaments.

After 7 rounds, IM Goh Wei Ming (2396) (photo right) is leading with 6 points. He win all the games except in round 5 and round 7 when he draw against Timothy Chan (2231) and IM Chan Peng Kong(2287). Top seed GM Wong Meng Kong (2445) was beaten by FM Daniel Howard Fernandez (2102) in the 1st round and FM Graham Chua (2) in the 4th rounds. He now collect only 4.5 points after 7 rounds. GM Dr. Wong Meng Kong (photo left) has been the top Singaporean player for more than a decade, during which time he also managed to finish his medical studies and set up a successful practice in Hongkong. He does not play so often, but is often coaxed out to represent his country in the olympiads and regional championships.

GM Wong Meng Kong - FM Graham Chua
60th Singapore National Championship (Round 4), 2007

So far black has a pleasant position due to his active and well position of his pieces but white made it more difficult to himself by playing ...

19.Qb4?! This move cause difficulty to white later. 19...e4 Probably GM Meng Kong is hoping for [19...Qxg2 20.Rg1 Qh3 21.Nxe5 Qxh2 22.Nf3 Qh3 23.Rxd6 Where he will have good initiative ] 20.Nh4 Qf6 21.g3 The knight needs square to turn back. If not 21...g5 will trap the "offside" knight! 21...Bh3 22.Rg1 Now white king will have difficult time in the center. 22...g5 23.Ng2 Ng6 Heading for the strong post at e5! 24.Qb1 Qc3+ 25.Kf1

Rxc4! an excellent sacrifice. Black offer to exchange white light square bishop which cover the f3 and d3 square that is threaten to be occupied by black knight with Ne5 and Nd3 or Nf3 ! 26.f4? [26.Bxc4 Qxc4+ 27.Ke1 Ne5! with mate and fork threat at f3; 26.Qa2 is lesser evil. 26...Ra4] 26...exf3 27.Bxf3 Qf6 28.Ke2 Ne5 29.Ne1 Bf5 30.Qa1 Rdc8 31.Rf1 Rc2+ 32.Nxc2 Rxc2+ [Not 32...Bxc2 33.Bxb7 Bxd1+±] 33.Rd2 Bd3+ 34.Kd1 Rxd2+ [34...Nxf3?! succumbs to 35.Qxf6 Rxd2+ 36.Kc1 Rc2+ 37.Kd1 Rd2+ 38.Kc1 Rc2+ 39.Kd1 Rd2+=] 35.Kxd2 Bxf1 [35...Nxf3+?! is a bad alternative 36.Kxd3 Qg6+ 37.Ke2³] 36.Qxf1 Qxf3 37.Qxf3 [37.Qe2 doesn't get the cat off the tree 37...Qe4–+] 37...Nxf3+ 38.Kd3 [38.Ke2 does not help much 38...Nxh2 39.Kf2 f5–+] 38...Nxh2 39.Ke4 Kf8 0–1

IM Goh Wei Ming – IM Chan Peng Kong

60th Singapore National Championship (Round 7), 2008

Position after black 48 moves.

White two pawns advantage is almost meaningless because it is (i) double pawns (ii) rook pawns (iii) white has the "wrong" square bishop (light square) which doesn't cover the promotion square (h8) of his pawns (iv) black king is controlling the promotion square (h8). White only chance is by avoiding the rook exchange because if the rook was trade black doesn't even have to use his knight because his king can control the important h8 square and white can't do anything to chase black king from that square.

49.Kf4? [49.Kg2 Nd3 50.h5 Ne1+ 51.Kf1 (51.Kf2 Nd3+) 51...Nd3 52.Rd7+ Kh8] 49...Rb4! This force the draw immediately 50.Rxb4 Nd3+ 51.Ke4 Nxb4

Black could even play without his knight because his king will safely reside at h8. ½–½

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