Rogers wins the Australian Championship

2/6/2006 – Ian Rogers has been Australia's top player for over 25 years and represented his country at 13 chess Olympiads. The 45-year-old grandmaster recently completed Xstrata Australian Chess Championships with a score of 9/11, and a performance rating of nearly 2700. This is Rogers' fourth Australian Championship, the first being back in 1980. A belated report.

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Ian Rogers wins the Australian Championship

By Jonathan Paxman

The Australian Championships was one of 11 events held at the Carlton Crest Hotel in Brisbane between December 27th and January 9th, including the Australian Junior Championship and the Australian Rapidplay Championship.


Australian Champion: GM Ian Rogers

The Championship event, a 30 player Swiss, featured 19 titled players, including GMs Lubomir Ftacnik, Murray Chandler, Roland Schmaltz, and Darryl Johansen. Chandler took the early lead, until he was felled by Rogers in round 7.

One of the standout performers was young Australian IM David Smerdon. David shared the lead for most of the tournament, until an ambitious sacrifice against Igor Goldenberg in the final round failed to deliver the full point required for a share of first place. His score of 8/11 (equal second with Chandler) was still an outstanding result, and his first GM norm (and the first GM norm in Australia for many years).


IM David Smerdon

One of the talking points during the event was the performance of some of the young guns. 11-year-old Raymond Song scored an outstanding 6/11, with a performance rating of 2300. Raymond played Ian Rogers on board one in the final round, and was ground down in 58 moves.


Raymond Song, 11 years old

13 year old Moulthun Ly scored a sensational victory in the Australian Rapid Championship. Moulthun was the Ironman of the Brisbane events, competing in the in the Australian Championship (scoring a very solid 6/11), the Australian Junior Championship (finishing in third place), and the Australian Lightning Championship (finishing equal third).


Moulthun Ly, 13

History was made in the Australian Junior Championship, where 13 year old WFM Angela Song (sister of Raymond) became the first female winner of the Junior title in the 58 year history of the event. She won in a playoff from Justin Huang.

Australian Championship final standings

Rank
Name State FIDE ACF
Score
1
GM Rogers, Ian NSW 2556 2631
9
2
IM Smerdon, David VIC 2421 2405
8
3
GM Chandler, Murray ENG 2537 2
8
4
GM Schmaltz, Roland GER 2544 2530
7.5
5
GM Ftacnik, Lubomir SVK 2612 2690
7
6
IM Lane, Gary NSW 2445 2484
7
7
FM Goldenberg, Igor VIC 2335 2315
6.5
8
IM Solomon, Stephen QLD 2415 2391
6
9
GM Johansen, Darryl VIC 2462 2453
6
10
IM Zhao, Zong-Yuan NSW 2461 2475
6
11
Ly, Moulthun QLD 2162 2148
6
12
Song, Raymond NSW 2051 2073
6
13
IM Wohl, Alex NSW 2439 2538
5.5
14
FM Xie, George NSW 2340 2324
5.5
15
FM Bjelobrk, Igor VIC 2399 2408
5.5
16
Smirnov, Vladimir NSW 2235 2237
5.5
17
FM Humphrey, Jonathan QLD 2254 2189
5.5
18
WIM Moylan, Laura NSW 2112 2093
5.5
19
FM Guthrie, Aaron SA 2251 2120
5.5
20
FM Canfell, Greg NSW 2354 2296
5
21
Pyke, Malcolm VIC 2126 2079
5
22
Bird, Andrew NSW 2146 2105
5
23
Wallis, Christopher VIC 2114 2055
5
24
Booth, Stewart VIC 2179 2184
4.5
25
Lakner, Jay WA 2207 2145
4.5
26
Obst, James SA 2012 2054
4
27
WIM Caoili, Arianne QLD 2207 2293
4
28
FM Dougherty, Michael CAN 2223 0
4
29
Frame, Nigel TAS 0 1850
1.5
30
FM Levi, Eddy VIC 2241 2235
1

The Champions:
Australian Championship: Ian Rogers
Australian Major (under 2150): Neil Wright
Australian Minor (under 1800): Andrew Fitzpatrick
Australian Rapid: Moulthun Ly
Australian Lightning: Zong-Yuan Zhao
Australian Junior Under 18: Angela Song
Australian Junior Under 16: Junta Ikeda
Australian Junior Under 14: Edwin Wu
Australian Junior Under 12: Kelvin Finke
Australian Junior Under 10: Laurence Matheson
Australian Girls Under 18: Alexandra Jule
Australian Girls Under 16: Sally Yu
Australian Girls Under 14: Kayleigh Smith
Australian Girls Under 12: Emma Guo
Australian Girls Under 10: Megan Setiabudi
Australian Junior Rapid: Junta Ikeda
Australian Junior Lightning: James Obst

Chandler,Murray (2537) - Rogers,Ian (2556)
Xstrata Australian Championship 2006 Brisbane (7.1), 2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 Nb8 9.Be3 a6 10.Na3 Nd7 11.Qd2 Be7 12.Nc4 0-0 13.a4 f5 14.g3 b6. The opening has worked well for black: pawns on e5 and f5 promise sufficient counter-play and the potentially weak Pb6 and Pd6 are well-covered. Unhappy with this outcome, Chandler sank into deep thought, but could not find a way to unsettle Black’s position. 15.Bg2 Rb8 16.0-0 Qc7 17.b3 a5 18.f4 Ba6 19.fxe5 Nxe5 20.Nxe5 dxe5 21.c4 Bc5

White’s plan of playing f2-f4 and liquidating on e5 has not turned out well, and is the cause of more grief to follow. White’s queenside pawn majority is completely immobile and he is reduced to passive defence against Ian’s strong initiative on the kingside, not a joyous prospect. 22.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 23.Kh1 Rbe8 24.Rae1 Bc8 25.Qc3 e4 26.Re3 Bd7 27.Rfe1 Rf6 28.R3e2 Rh6. In order to make the f5-f4 advance harder white focuses on Pe4, so Ian manoeuvres to ensure that every piece is in its optimal position before pawn-storming his opponent’s king. 29.Re3 Re7 30.Rf1 Rg6 31.Re2 h5 32.Rf4 Rd6 33.Re3 g5 34.Rf1 Rg6 35.Ree1 Rh6 36.Qc1 Rg7 37.Qc3 Qd6 38.Rf2 Re7 39.Qe3 Rg6 40.Qd4 Qc5 41.Qb2 Rh7 42.Ref1

A computer might have been able to put up a more determined defence, but for humans it is hard to sustain prolonged passivity without the possibility of counter-play. The preparation is over, and Ian moves to the final, decisive phase of the attack, crunching down any obstacles in his way. 42...h4 43.g4 h3 44.gxf5 hxg2+ 45.Rxg2 Rf7 46.Qe5 Qe3 47.Rg3 Qe2 48.Rgg1 g4 49.Qb8+ Rf8 50.Qg3 Rxf5 51.Qb8+ Kh7 52.Qd8 Rxf1 0-1. [Annotations by IM Alex Davidovic]


Australian Chess Federation Deputy President Gary Wastell (left) speaks with
Chief Organiser (and former ACF President) Graeme Gardiner


WIM Arianne Caoili, competing in the Australian Championship


Australia's Grand Dame of chess, IA Evelyn Kosnitsky


David Soul, of Byron Bay busks between rounds at the Museum of Brisbane


A view of Brisbane and the river

All photos are courtesy of Amiel Rosario.


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