Tuesday, February 19, 2008

IM Mas Won 2007 Coffs Harbour Open !

I found that our GM hope - IM Mashafizul played in Australia last year at the 2007 Coffs Harbour Open. Surprisingly there's no local media (blog,website) noticed about it including me.

Actually Mas (left) emerged as the co champion with GM Dejan Antic (right) and IM George Xie with 6 points from 7 round. Mas had a marvelous start when he won 6 game in a row but in the final round he lost to the top seed GM Dejan Antic. A draw would ensure a clear first for Mas.

Below are the report from Charles Zworestine in Coffs Harbour Chess Club Website

Prize List

= 1st $667 each GM Dejan Antic, IM Mas Hafizulhelmi, IM George Xie 6/7
= 4th $150 each IM Peter Froehlich, Gene Nakauchi 5/7

Under 1700 1st $200 Alex Stahnke 4.5/7
= 2nd $34 each Joshua Christensen, Bill Egan, Ted Wong 4/7

Also in this group on 4/7 but winning $50 each as =1st Junior Under 16 were Sam Grigg and Jonas Muller.

Under 1500 1st $200 Trent Parker 4/7
2nd $100 Aurel-John Buciu 3.5/7

Under 1200 1st $200 Morgan Hely 3.5/7

= 2nd $50 each Helen Aylwin, Martin Jack 3/7

Forty’s Fine For Fourth Coffs Harbour Open

by DOP Charles Zworestine

Fewer players, but even stronger – the tale was very similar to last year for the fourth Coffs Harbour Open! Not only did this year’s event attract a grandmaster, top seeded Dejan Antic, for the third time in its history; but three IMs were there to challenge him too, in the form of George Xie, Mas Hafizulhelmi (a young visitor from Malaysia) and Peter Froehlich. When you added evergreen FM Brian Jones and the ever-dangerous Johny Bolens, we knew we were in for an intriguing event – even with only 40 players in total. And then there were those Queensland juniors, ever improving under Graeme Gardiner’s astute guidance: Gene Nakauchi, Jonas Muller, Sam Grigg and Alex Stahnke. Add for the first time a player from the ACT (Bill Egan) and the usual one hour plus 10 seconds per move time limit (Fischer), and we knew the ingredients were there for some fun right from the start…

It seemed Round 1 would be predictable – the top five seeds all won comfortably, although Dejan Antic arrived late and took a little while before crashing his attack through to beat Trent Parker. But just when we thought that all the top board games would be like that, Jason Goodson achieved a strong positional bind against Johny Bolens, eventually converting it into a win of Bolens’ trapped knight and a stunning upset win on time in a crushingly won ending! Apart from that only Mike Canfell struggled, eventually agreeing to a draw in a difficult endgame against Axel Stahnke after deciding it would be too risky to play for a win.

More shocks greeted us in Round 2, although again the GM and IMs won quite convincingly. But Brian Jones walked right into Jonas Muller’s opening preparation, admitting later that the Gold Coast junior knew more of that line of the Sveshnikov than he did; in the end, he was lucky to draw an ending a pawn down. Bill Egan struck a blow for the older generation by upsetting Gene Nakauchi, who pushed too hard to win a drawish ending and lost instead! Another upset draw was scored by 11 year old Alex Stahnke, who missed winning chances against Tony Weller and then was lucky to get a draw offer in a lost position from a Tony sympathetic to a tearful Alex; while lower down some juniors scored upset wins, in the form of Daniel Lapitan beating Alf Klinkby and Martin Jack defeating Mary Wilkie. At least eighth seed James Watson dodged a similar bullet, winning a wild and woolly tactical position in the end after this opponent, 14 year old Sam Grigg, missed some real winning chances.

The titled players were meeting already in Round 3, with Dejan Antic winning an exciting game as Black against Peter Froehlich. After a standard Rxc3 exchange sacrifice the layman may have thought Peter was better; but Dejan always had enough resources, won pawns for the exchange and then got a passed h pawn through to queen and win (see game below). (In Dejan’s own words, his passed h-pawn at the end was “Speedy Gonzalez” – it was totally unstoppable…). George Xie beat Alan Tankel rather more easily; while Mas Hafizulhelmi had to fight much harder in his locked position (his knight and bishop better than his opponent’s two bishops) against James Watson, until the latter generously miscalculated a tactic costing him piece and game! Alex Stahnke forked rooks to upset Ted Wong, while local junior Matthew Stevens turned his beautiful position into an upset win over Stephen Myers.

Froehlich, P (2365) - Antic, D (2486), 2007 Coffs Harbour Open Round 3, Board 1, 10/11/07
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 a6 6.Be2 b6 7.Ne5 Bb7 8.h4 h5 9.Bf3 Nbd7 10.Qe2 c5 11.0–0–0 cxd4 12.exd4 Rc8 13.Rhe1 b5 14.Kb1 Nb6 15.Nd3 Rxc3 16.bxc3 Na4 17.Bd2 Ne4 18.Bxe4 dxe4 19.Nc5 Nxc5 20.dxc5 Qc7 21.Be3 Bxc3 22.Bd4 Bxd4 23.Rxd4 Qxc5 24.Qe3 Qe5 25.Red1 0–0 26.Rd8 Rxd8 27.Rxd8+ Kg7 28.Qb6 e3 29.fxe3 Bxg2 30.Rd2 Be4 31.Qd4 Qxd4 32.Rxd4 f5 33.Kc1 g5 34.hxg5 h4 35.a4 h3 36.axb5 axb5 37.Rd7 h2 38.Rxe7+ Kg6 0–1

Round 4 saw the top two seeds met, with last year’s tournament winner George Xie beating Dejan Antic for the second year in a row (see game below). This time George used tactics to convert a positional plus as Black into a won ending of queen vs two rooks – with George having three extra crushing connected passed pawns in the middle of the board! Mas took care of Brian Jones to join George on 4/4, while Alex Stahnke moved to 3.5/4 after recovering from a losing opening to reach a won ending the exchange ahead against Jonas Muller. Peter Froehlich, Johny Bolens, Gene Nakauchi, James Watson and Alan Tankel all reached 3/4 with wins. Lower down, yet another Gold Coast junior scored an upset win when Martin Jack defeated Roy Dennis.

Antic, D (2486) - Xie, G (2406), 2007 Coffs Harbour Open Round 4, Board 1, 10/11/2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e5 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 Be7 6.g3 Nbd7 7.Bg2 a6 8.Nge2 h5 9.h4 0–0 10.Bg5 Ng4 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.Qd2 g6 13.f3 Ngf6 14.a4 Kg7 15.a5 Rb8 16.Kd1 b5 17.axb6 Nxb6 18.b3 Nh7 19.Kc2 f5 20.Bh3 fxe4 21.fxe4 Bxh3 22.Rxh3 Qb7 23.Qd3 Nf6 24.Rhh1 Ng4 25.Rhb1 Nh2 26.Qe3 Rf3 27.Qd2 Rf2 28.Nd1 Rg2 29.Ne3 Nf3 30.Nxg2 Nxd2 31.Kxd2 Rf8 32.Ne3 Rf3 33.Rf1 Nxc4+ 34.bxc4 Qb4+ 35.Nc3 Rxe3 36.Kxe3 Qxc3+ 37.Kf2 Qd4+ 38.Kg2 Qxe4+ 39.Kh2 Qe2+ 40.Kh3 Qxc4 41.Rf2 Qxd5 42.Kh2 Qb7 43.Ra4 d5 44.Rfa2 e4 45.Rxa6 Qb3 46.R6a3 Qb1 47.Rf2 Qb6 48.Rfa2 Qb1 49.Rf2 Qb8 50.Rfa2 d4 51.Ra8 Qb1 52.R2a6 d3 53.R8a7+ Kh6 54.Rd6 Qc2+ 55.Kh3 Qd1 56.Kh2 Qe2+ 57.Kh3 c4 58.Rdd7 Qf1+ 59.Kh2 Qf2+ 60.Kh3 Qxa7 61.Rxa7 c3 0–1

Sunday morning dawned bright and early (8:30 am start!?), with Mas gradually positionally outplaying George in a long game to take the outright lead on 5/5. Poor George found his new opening idea refuted by Mas, who found some very good moves and controlled all the tactics; having lost a pawn, George eventually resigned having lost the exchange as well. Joining George on 4/5 were Antic (beat Alex Stahnke), Froehlich (defeated Gene Nakauchi) and Bolens (recovered from a slightly worse opening to beat James Watson). Alan Tankel missed a chance to join them when he could only draw with Ken Creech. Upsets this round were scored by Matt Stevens (over Josh Christensen) and Mary Wilkie (beat Trent Parker).

Our Malaysian visitor maintained his perfect record in Round 6, defeating Peter Froehlich to reach 6/6 and guarantee himself at least equal first place. This time he triumphed in a position where the players castled on opposite sides, in the end achieving a forced mate… George Xie accounted for Johny Bolens and Dejan Antic was victorious against Brian Jones, making these two the only players who could catch Mas on 5/6… Alex Stahnke continued to startle the field, upsetting Alan Tankel to be alone on 4.5/6. Jonas Muller drew with James Watson, who admitted he was lucky to draw and escape the clutches of yet another Gold Coast junior!

Grandmasters respond well to sudden death pressure, and Dejan Antic is no exception: he played a fine game to defeat Mas in the last round and join him in equal first place. Sadly for Mas he played a line that left Dejan with a deadly passed pawn on a6; and in the end the GM’s technique was more than enough to convert this, cashing in to a won king and pawn ending where his outside passed pawns beat Mas’ central pawn mass. George was a bit luckier to beat Alex Stahnke, who played a good game to keep it even for a long time; but in the end time got him, and George made it a three way tie for first on 6/7. Gene Nakauchi upset Bolens to join Peter Froehlich (who beat Jonas Muller) in a tie for fourth on 5/7, while Alan Tankel was a bit lucky to defeat fellow country player Stephen Myers to finish outright NSW Country Champion on 4.5/7.

Prize List: = 1st Dejan Antic, Mas Hafizulhelmi, George Xie 6/7; = 4th Peter Froehlich, Gene Nakauchi 5. Rating Group A (Under 1700): 1st Alex Stahnke 4.5; = 2nd Joshua Christensen, Bill Egan, Sam Grigg (= 1st Junior Under 16), Jonas Muller (= 1st Junior Under 16), Ted Wong 4. Rating Group B (Under 1500): 1st Trent Parker 4; 2nd Aurel-John Buciu 3.5. Rating Group C (Under 1200): 1st Morgan Hely 3.5; = 2nd Helen Aylwin, Martin Jack 3.
3rd Coffs Harbour Open 2006

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