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Kevin Bonham
19-08-2007, 06:53 PM
Russell Horton's excellent report on the very strong North-West Junior Champs can be downloaded here (PDF LINK) (http://members.dodo.com.au/~phild707/NW_junior07/NWJCC2007report.pdf).

This year's southern junior champs held today attracted a field of 30 players, of whom 26 contested the U12 tournament and four contested the Open division.

The turnout in the Open division was affected by an unavoidable date change to the southern highschool interschool qualifier due to a venue cancellation. The interschool qualifier is now tomorrow and some players may have been reluctant to play two days in a row.

The four Open division players played a double round-robin. The Jamie Briant - Owen Short match could have resulted in either player winning the tournament. However in the first game, Briant was easily winning but it all slipped away in mutual time trouble - eventually he reached a drawn ending with king, rook and doubled f-pawns vs king and rook, which then reduced to a drawn king and pawn vs king finish. In the complex second game, Short had queen and some dangerous pawns for rook and knight but allowed a perpetual check by doubled rooks on the seventh rank that could have been avoided, although some lines were rather tricky. Thus Owen and Jamie tied. In the match that decided third place Joel Reynolds beat Joshua Davis in the first game, but Joshua made it onto the scoreboard in the second when Joel was unable to convert KBN vs K.

5 Owen Short (U16 Southern Champion), James Briant (U14 Southern Champion)
1.5 Joel Reynolds (U14 Runner-Up Boy)
0.5 Joshua Davis

The under 12 tournament was very closely contested all day and also finished in a tie. The first upset came in the opening round when Joseph Griggs beat the only rated player in the tournament, Harry Briant. In round two, Sebastian Krasnicki almost defeated his sister Alina, which he has never got close to doing before. Sebastian had rook and three pawns for knight and pawn, but Alina managed to get a queen. Sebastian also queened, but Alina, moving first, was soon able to win the rook and one pawn. With queen and knight against queen and a rather dangerous rook's pawn, Alina appeared to have won when she skewered Sebastian's king and queen - but there was a catch, queen takes queen was stalemate! As any other move returned the initiative to the side with the dangerous pawn, that was exactly what was played.

After four rounds, home-schooled Mason Carter led the event on 4/4 from Alina Krasnicki 3.5 and Ella Thain, Harry Briant, Luke Robertson, Bradley Vince, Louis Mazur and five-year-old Shuqi Yu all on 3. The game between Alina and Mason featured opposite-sides castling with pawn storms by both players. Alina blundered a rook but opened the h-file and forced checkmate anyway to take the outright lead. Harry beat Ella very quickly after a defensive move that threatened mate was overlooked, and Shuqi played very well against Luke and was two pawns up at one stage ... until he overlooked a basic mate Luke had set up on the long diagonal.

In the round 6 top board game between Harry and Alina, Harry won a piece early, and could have gone a rook ahead in one position where both queens were en prise, but errors enabled Alina to fight back until she was the exchange in front. Just when it looked like Alina would pull off yet another comeback (she also won a few games from losing positions in getting 7/7 in a recent girls-only interschool) she too overlooked mate in one and Harry prevailed.

Mason beat Luke and so into the final round Mason and Harry were tied for the lead, and playing off for the tournament and the Under 10 title. After each player had made one blunder, the game was agreed drawn in the middlegame with Harry clearly better but both players content to share the title.

Mason Carter (unr) - Harry Briant (367)

1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.d4 c5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Bb5 d4 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Na4 Bb6 (Any of ...Qe7+, ...Qa5+ or ...Bb4+ instead would save the pawn) 10.Nxb6 axb6 11.Nxd4 Qd6 12.Qe2+ Ne7 13.Nf5?? Bxf5 14.0-0 0-0 15.Bg5 Nd5 16.Bd2 Rfe8 17.Qh5 Bxc2 18.Qg4 Re4 19.Qg5 Ra5?? 20.Bxa5 bxa5 21.Rfe1 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 Nf6 Taking on a5 is stronger 23.Qe3 h6 24.h3 Draw Agreed.

This resulted in a four-way tie for the tournament after Alina and Louis defeated Bradley and Luke, thus tying for the under-12 title. Rather than use tiebreaks for first, extra medals were on hand so that the ties could stand.

5.5/7 Louis Mazur, Alina Krasnicki (= Southern U12 Champions), Harry Briant, Mason Carter (= Southern U10 Champions)
4.5 Bradley Vince (Southern U8 Champion), Bethany Davey (U12 Girl Runner-up), Ted Jeanneret (U10 Boy Runner-up)
4 Luke Robertson (U12 Boy Runner-up on tiebreak), Erica Davis (U10 Girl Runner-up), Shuqi Yu (U8 Boy Runner-up), Haki George, Ella Thain, Joseph Griggs, James Hogue
3 Olivia Deconinck, Jem Thain, Mark Robertson, Jack Riddock, Ben James, Sebastian Krasnicki
2.5 William Hinds, Zac Kalimnios
2 Morgan Baker (U8 Girl Runner-up), Nelson Hinds
1.5 Madison Bryson
1 Sophie Hinds

Event run by Ross George, Mellissa Harvey and Nigel Frame for the HIJCC with some arbiting assistance from Glen Gibbs and myself. The whole tournament had a very friendly and relaxed feel and many of the players got excellent experience in playing under tournament conditions (including scoring).

More games may appear shortly at http://www.chess.org.au/

Kevin Bonham
19-08-2007, 11:17 PM
By the way there was a fair bit of discussion of this line which arose in one game:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d3 d6 5.Ng5 Qf6

and here White played 6.Nxf7 which has a slight technical drawback.

The question is does 6.Bxf7+ refute 5...Qf6 ? Now, I initially thought it did, but after 6.Bxf7+ Kf8 7.0-0 h6 8.Bxg8 hxg5! black has a big attack down the h-file which is more than sufficient compensation for the pawn.

I got curious and found to my interest that Tim McGrew wrote an article on this very line which he himself played in a junior game! It can be found at http://www.chesscafe.com/text/mcgrew32.pdf .

Kevin Bonham
13-09-2007, 01:49 PM
State junior championships were held in Launceston last weekend. I wasn't there but hear there were about 18 players in the U12 tournament and 11 in the U18 and that Alastair Dyer and Vincent Horton retained their U18 and U12 titles respectively from last year.