|L to R: Manca, Quinn, Fitzsimons, Griffiths, Collins, Hebden, Daly, Atlas, Baburin, Moskow, Short, Ansell, Tvarijonas, Lopez, Rochev, Bischoff, Heidenfeld, Cech, Brady, Rodriguez Lopez.|
R1 Sat 21
|Valery Atlas||0-1||Klaus Bischoff||Povilas Tvarijonas||0-1||Eric Moskow|
|Yury Rochev||0-1||Mark Hebden||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez||1-0||Pavel Cech|
|Alex Baburin||0-1||Sam Collins||Philip Short||0-1||David Fitzsimons|
|Mark Heidenfeld||1-0||Mark Quinn||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths||½-½||Colm Daly|
|Alex Lopez||0-1||Federico Manca||Stephen Brady||0-1||Simon Ansell|
Black ruled round 1 at Dun Laoghaire Centenary Masters. Day one of the fantastic Dun Laoghaire Chess Festival began on Saturday, August 21st with flurry of wins for Black. Of the 10 games played, the first seven games to finish were not only all decisive, but were all wins for dark side!
All games were hard fought as is evident from the results, only one draw from 10 games and that went to move 56 Sam Collins (picture right) continued his recent good form by beating Alex Baburin with Black while Simon Ansell did the same to Stephen Brady but not before Stephen had had his chances in a fascinating game. Ryan Griffiths and Colm Daly had the only draw of the day and our sole American visitor, Eric Moskow used his favourite Dragon to good effect against Pavilias Tvarijonas. Klaus Bischoff beat Valery Atlas and Mark Hebden also overcame a very resilient Yury Rochev in 65 moves. Even longer was the game between Rafael Rodriguez Lopez and Pavel Cech, the top seed, however, Rafael upset the odds with a fine victory. Philip Short seemed to be enjoying a nice edge in his game against David Fitzsimons until Philip, uncharacteristically, blundered just after reaching the first time control. The battle of the two Marks, Heidenfeld and Quinn ended with a victory for Mr. Heidenfeld while newly crowned Irish champion Alex Lopez lost to Italian master Federico Manca.
R2 Sun 22
|Klaus Bischoff||½-½||Federico Manca||Eric Moskow||0-1||Simon Ansell|
|Mark Quinn||1-0||Alex Lopez||Colm Daly||1-0||Stephen Brady|
|Sam Collins||½-½||Mark Heidenfeld||David Fitzsimons||1-0||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths|
|Mark Hebden||½-½||Alex Baburin||Pavel Cech||1-0||Philip Short|
|Valery Atlas||½-½||Yury Rochev||Povilas Tvarijonas||½-½||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez|
Round 2 began on Sunday 22nd at 2:00pm as Cork and Dublin were preparing to do battle in the football. Our American visitor, Eric Moskow was very interested in the game and after study the minor game for a short while, declared that this game would go down well in the US, its fast scoring, semi violent and there didnt seem to him to be many rules! A quick draw was agreed between Valery Atlas and Yury Rochev after 15 moves but after a while, the decisive results began to come in. Colm Daly was the first to score a victory today after Stephen Bradys Scandinavian defence did not go to plan while our current Irish Champion, Alex Lopez, followed his defeat yesterday with another today, this time with Black against Mark Quinn.
David Fitzsimons (picture right) seemed to be in trouble against Ryan Griffiths but a serious slip from Ryan left a mate in four on for David, which he didnt miss. Eric Moskow was outplayed by Simon Ansell and the second draw of the day, but certainly not a quick affair, was recorded between Klaus Bischoff and Federico Manca. Pavilas Tvarijonas beat Philip Short in an opposite bishop coloured ending while Mark Hebden and Alex Baburin drew in a furious time scramble where there may have been a win for Alex but time did not allow him to find it (annotated in CT-3577). Sam Collins seemed to be a bit better for most of his game against Mark Heidenfeld but as he pushed for the victory in the rook and pawn ending, the balance seemed to shift in favour of Mark and Sam was quite happy to share the point in the end.
R3 Mon 23
|Yury Rochev||0-1||Klaus Bischoff||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez||1-0||Eric Moskow|
|Alex Baburin||1-0||Valery Atlas||Philip Short||½-½||Povilas Tvarijonas|
|Mark Heidenfeld||½-½||Mark Hebden||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths||½-½||Pavel Cech|
|Alex Lopez||1-0||Sam Collins||Stephen Brady||½-½||David Fitzsimons|
|Federico Manca||½-½||Mark Quinn||Simon Ansell||½-½||Colm Daly|
While we are only three rounds into the tournament, round three saw some critical encounters for Irish players who are seeking norms. In the GM group there was a showdown between Dubliner Sam Collins and Cork's Alex Lopez, the day after Cork beat Dublin by a single point in the All-Ireland Gaelic Football semi-final. Once again, spectators were not disappointed as Lopez played a smooth positional game in an off-beat Philidor to take the full point. Three losses in a row would have signalled the end to any realistic chances of an IM norm, but now the Corkman is back in business. Had Collins won today, he would have been well placed to take his third and final GM norm. Now he must dig deep and score 5/6. There were also impressive displays by Alexander Baburin who managed to break through Valeri Atlass robust Czech Benoni, after a complex positional play. The most beautiful finish of the day has to go to Klaus Bischoff who produced an elegant mate against Yuri Rochev after a long tussle in a 3.b3 Sicilian. As Mark Heidenfeld sardonically noted: It's hard to defend against three bischoffs.
Elsewhere Mark Heidenfeld was unlucky not to get the full point against Mark Hebden after surprising his opponent with the Ponziani, a relative rarity at this level. In the IM section, Rafael Lopez scored a quick win after Erik Moscow (picture right), a Dragon expert, who lost his way early on, presumably misremembering the theory. Play through the game and see if you can work out the mate in seven for yourself. If you need a hint, it involves a spectacular queen sacrifice! Surprisingly after Blacks impressive performance in R1, all the other matches in the IM group were drawn. Brady and Fitzsimons had perhaps the most interesting struggle in a Tarrasch French which was finely balanced right to the end. Colm Daly surprised Simon Ansell with an early 3...b5 and neutralised with Black with ease. Povilas Tvarijonas had his chances against Philip Short in the late middle-game but the Corkman held his own in the ending. Ryan Griffiths had a creditable draw with white against Pavel Cech, playing a solid English against one of the tournament favourites. Tomorrows round may be critical for many players seeking norms and it is expected that many risks will be taken by players seeking to remain in contention.
R4 Tue 24
|Klaus Bischoff||0-1||Mark Quinn||Eric Moskow||1-0||Colm Daly|
|Sam Collins||0-1||Federico Manca||David Fitzsimons||0-1||Simon Ansell|
|Mark Hebden||½-½||Alex Lopez||Pavel Cech||½-½||Stephen Brady|
|Valery Atlas||½-½||Mark Heidenfeld||Povilas Tvarijonas||1-0||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths|
|Yury Rochev||½-½||Alex Baburin||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez||1-0||Philip Short|
The sensational result of this round was a magnificent win by Mark Quinn (picture right) over Klaus Bischoff in a game in which Mark made a number of sacrifices. On the black side of a Maroczy bind, Mark certainly wasn't afraid to go into a tactical melee against the German grandmaster and he made the 40th move time control with only 15 seconds to spare. Indeed, when Klaus resigned, Mark was in his last 4 minutes.
Sam Collins was on the White side of a Ruy Lopez today but got into difficulties against an in-form Federico Manca, who won the game with a neat finish. Mark Hebden employed one of his patented, off beat 1.d4 systems against Alex Lopez's Kings Indian and eventually, a king and pawn ending appeared which was the topic of some debate. Some players offered the opinion that Mark's 44th f5 may have been a winning move but Alex proved them wrong and easily held the half point. However, Mark probably did have a win after 40.h5 rather than his Kf6?
Valery Atlas vs Mark Heidenfeld was a Rubenstein French defence in which the queens were exchanged early and at move 31, Valery had an opportunity to penetrate Mark position with Ra8+, followed by Rg8 which the players agreed afterwards was very strong for white. However, after 31.Rc1, the draw was agreed 3 moves later.
Yury Rochev played a quick enough draw with Alex Baburin while Eric Moskow didn't even get to play any moves after his first 1.Nf3 as his opponent, Colm Daly, didnt show at the board until 2:25, by which time, of course, he had defaulted the game.
Philip Short was on the Black side of a French Winawer and had an edge which disappeared on him fairly sharply and he succumbed to a defeat at the hands of Rafael Lopez. David Fitzsimons built up an imposing looking position early against Simon Ansell but Black improved his position as the game progressed. After the queens were exchanged, Black's g-file pressure proved more effective than White's queenside pawn majority and Simon won on move 45.
Pavel Cech and Stephen Brady played a relatively peaceful draw while Pavel Tvarijonas won against Ryan Griffiths on the White side of a Sicilian Kan by winning a pawn on move 29 which he eventually converted to a win on move 74.
R5 Wed 25
|Alex Baburin||½-½||Klaus Bischoff||Philip Short||1-0||Eric Moskow|
|Mark Heidenfeld||½-½||Yury Rochev||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths||½-½||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez|
|Alex Lopez||½-½||Valery Atlas||Stephen Brady||1-0||Povilas Tvarijonas|
|Federico Manca||½-½||Mark Hebden||Simon Ansell||½-½||Pavel Cech|
|Mark Quinn||1-0||Sam Collins||Colm Daly||1-0||David Fitzsimons|
Round 5 produced four more draws today in the grandmaster event, only one of which was a short affair. Alex Baburin drew in only 10 moves but the draw between Mark Heidenfeld and Yury Rochev took 44 moves of a Sicilian game. Alex Lopez took even longer to share the point with Valery Atlas, 52 moves while Mark Hebden was in a lot of trouble on the Black side of a wild Ruy Lopez against Federico Manco. Manco had a significant advantage even in the final position but his clock was a major influence in the decision to repeat the position andshare the point.
Colm Daly vs David Fitzsimons was the longest game of the day, lasting over 80 moves, not all recorded. Although David was a pawn up for a long time, the position was really equal. David pushed hard for a win in his opponent's time trouble and these efforts rebounded, Colm taking the full point in the scramble. David did have a chance to win the game on move 22, which you might like to search for yourself, if not, your engine will find it for you.
Philip Short (picture right, with Rafael Rodriguez Lopez on the left) scored his first victory as White against Eric Moskow. The 1.d4 game transposed into a Benoni where black sacrificed a pawn for control of the c file however, a mistake on move 27 allowed Philip to set up a snap mating attack. Stephen Brady also recorded his first victory of the event on the white side of a 2.c3 Sicilian when Tvarijonas allowed his rook to be embarrassed on f6, forcing him to give up the exchange which cost him the game. Simon Ansell drew with Pavel Cech in a theoretical battle of a topical line in the Slav while Ryan Griffiths held the in-form Rafael Lopez to a draw in an un-theoretical Semi-Slav type game where he was a pawn down for a most of the game and Rafael continued the game right down to the stalemate!
R6 Thu 26
|Klaus Bischoff||1-0||Sam Collins||Eric Moskow||1-0||David Fitzsimons|
|Mark Hebden||1-0||Mark Quinn||Pavel Cech||1-0||Colm Daly|
|Valery Atlas||½-½||Federico Manca||Povilas Tvarijonas||0-1||Simon Ansell|
|Yury Rochev||0-1||Alex Lopez||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez||½-½||Stephen Brady|
|Alex Baburin||½-½||Mark Heidenfeld||Philip Short||1-0||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths|
Klaus Bischoff was gifted a pawn early on the White side of Tarrasch Defence by Sam and gradually squeezed Sam off the board. Mark Hebden faced Mark Quinns QGD in which Hebden played his trademark Nbd2 and eventually a Knight and pawn ending was reached which a lot of the watching players thought that our Mark should be able to hold, but alas, it was not to be, a suspect 58th ...Nd6 was probably the culprit, maybe the immediate 58th ...a5 was the way.
Alex Baburin and Mark Heidenfeld was our quick draw today while Valery Atlas vs Federico Manca was a g3 Sicilian Dragon which eventually petered out to a fascinating king and pawn ending which was drawn in 68 moves. Meanwhile, Alex Lopez, who started the event very badly, improved his standing today with a smooth win over Yury Rochev. Yury, with White, repeated the opening he'd used in round 4 against Alex Baburin and Alex Lopez avoided the most popular mainline with 6....a6 instead of 6....g6 causing Yury to use up a lot of time and allowing the new Irish Championship a fine win.
Eric Moskow had white today against David Fitzsimons and our young International was doing quite well on the black side of a Hedgehog up until move 25 when a blunder allowed Eric to exploit David's weak back rank. Pavel Cech developed an early advantage against Colm Daly and broke through for a decisive king side attack. Pavilas Tvarijonas performed below his usual form today and Simon Ansell took sole lead with a victory with Black against him today. This puts Simon (picture right) in a strong position to win this event.
Stephen Brady looked to be under a small bit of pressure against Rafael Rodriguez Lopez on the Black side of his beloved Caro Kan but his two bishops gave him enough compensation to hold the draw. Philip Short is a master of the white side of the Nimzo Indian, his opponent sac'ed a pawn for counterplay but lost a pawn to a nice tactic on move 33. Philip smoothly converted this pawn to a win.
R7 Fri 27
|Mark Heidenfeld||½-½||Klaus Bischoff||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths||½-½||Eric Moskow|
|Alex Lopez||½-½||Alex Baburin||Stephen Brady||1-0||Philip Short|
|Federico Manca||½-½||Yury Rochev||Simon Ansell||0-1||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez|
|Mark Quinn||½-½||Valery Atlas||Colm Daly||0-1||Povilas Tvarijonas|
|Sam Collins||½-½||Mark Hebden||David Fitzsimons||1-0||Pavel Cech|
Today Mark Heidenfeld had White against Klaus Bischoff and they played a Sicilian, Mark was the first to leave theory with 11.f3 but they agreed to share the point at move 19 at Bischoff's proposal. A draw was also recorded between the two Alex's after 23 moves of an Alekhine's Defence.
The other three games in the Grandmaster Group all went down to the wire. Mark Hebden (pictured right) tortured a short of time Sam Collins in the notorious ending of rook and bishop versus rook, but Sam demonstrated masterly technique in securing the draw with only 32 seconds left on the clock, by the simple expedient of pointing out that over fifty moves had elapsed since the last capture. The other two games went even longer, as Mark Quinn claimed a draw against Valery Atlas in the slightly less notorious ending of rook and knight versus rook (Valery having the extra piece), while Federico Manca and Yury Rochev played a long manoeuvring game where the threat of a queen perpetual by either player ensured a drawn result.
In the IM Group, leader Simon Ansell blundered a rook against Rafael Rodriguez Lopez, who has emerged as the new group leader with 5½ points. Stephen Brady beat Philip Short in a game where Black took some strategic risks but when he went wrong his more exposed king proved the decisive factor. David Fitzsimons beat Pavel Cech in a sharp tactical encounter where White's king seemed to be in more peril than it really was. Colm Daly ran out of time against Povilas Tvarijonas as he faced an attack of queen and bishop and rook's pawn against his king. The afternoon of carnage was interrupted by a draw between Ryan Griffiths and Eric Moskow.
R8 Sat 28
|Klaus Bischoff||0-1||Mark Hebden||Eric Moskow||0-1||Pavel Cech|
|Valery Atlas||½-½||Sam Collins||Povilas Tvarijonas||1-0||David Fitzsimons|
|Yury Rochev||0-1||Mark Quinn||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez||0-1||Colm Daly|
|Alex Baburin||1-0||Federico Manca||Philip Short||0-1||Simon Ansell|
|Mark Heidenfeld||½-½||Alex Lopez||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths||½-½||Stephen Brady|
There were no quick draws in either of the events today, indeed 3 hours into play, all games were still in progress. Today saw the start of the real business end of the tournaments and Mark Quinn certainly meant business against Yury Rochev, having refused an early draw, Mark had already secured a significant advantage by move 16 and went on to score an impressive win against Yury. Valery Atlas vs Sam Collins was another Italian Game where Black certainly came out of the opening a bit better but this small pull seemed to evaporate and a draw was agreed on move 27.
The eagerly awaited clash of the titans happened today as Klaus Bischoff (picture right) had white against Mark Hebden. Because these two were jointly leading the event (along with Fererico Manca) this really was a key game. Mark played the Kings Indian Defence and the first new move to Megabase 2010 didnt happen until Black's 21st move. By move 30, White seemed to have a significantly better position but this Hebden guy is hard to put away. According to Fritz, Klaus's mistake was move 37.Nxe5, the silicon monster prefers 37.hxg4 hxg4 38.fxg4 with a plus 1.07 for White. However, this just lost him his significant advantage, he made an uncharacteristic blunder a few moves later with 42.Qd1, a move which Mark punished severely to take a clear lead in the event.
Alex Baburin was never really in any trouble against Federico Manca's Benoni but he played the game well enough to take the full point, ending his chances for a norm in this event. Mark Heidenfeld vs Alex Lopez was a hard fought draw, the players sharing the point on move 45 at Alex's proposal. In the IM event, Pavilas Tvarijonas and David Fitzsimons essayed a Sicilian Dragon and a wild game developed where David was under increasing pressure until White's 32.Rd6 caused havoc for Black and David resigned a few moves later. In the MoskowCech encounter, Black effectively offered White a draw by offering to repeat moves as early as move 9 (which Eric declined) but the increasing pressure of Black's kingside attack produced a mistake from Eric on move 37 and it was all over very quickly after that.
In the Philip Short vs Simon Ansell game, Philip developed an equal looking position but after 32.Ne1, he came under severe pressure and this produced results when Philip blundered in a difficult position on move 47. Ryan Rhys Griffiths went wrong in his game against Stephen Brady but defended really well for a long time to secure the draw on move 60. The crucial game Rodreguez Lopez vs Daly ended rather unfortunately for the Spaniard, he had possibly a winning position after 51.Rf7 but instead chose 51.Bxc2? which swapped into a lost ending which Colm won efficiently.
R9 Sun 29
|Alex Lopez||1-0||Klaus Bischoff||Stephen Brady||1-0||Eric Moskow|
|Federico Manca||½-½||Mark Heidenfeld||Simon Ansell||1-0||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths|
|Mark Quinn||½-½||Alex Baburin||Colm Daly||½-½||Philip Short|
|Sam Collins||½-½||Yury Rochev||David Fitzsimons||1-0||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez|
|Mark Hebden||½-½||Valery Atlas||Pavel Cech||½-½||Povilas Tvarijonas|
An exciting day at the Dun Laoghaire Centenary International Chess Festival as both events came to a climax. Mark Hebden decided to offer a quick draw to Valery Atlas which he was happy to accept, which assured Mark of at least a share of first place. Indeed, the only player who could tie with him was Mark Quinn, who had white against Alex Baburin. Despite refusing an early middlegame draw offer from Mark, Alex agreed to share the point on move 53, thereby assuring Mark Hebden of clear first. Fererico Manca and Mark Heidenfeld also drew, as did Sam Collins and Yury Rochev but neither were short games and the point was competed for in each. Our only norm chance still available at the start of today's session was Alex Lopez (picture right), but he had to win against the German GM Klaus Bischoff. From the white side of a 3.Bb5+ anti Sicilian, Alex built up pressure on his higher rated opponent and at the first time control, Klaus's king looked a little exposed than he'd maybe like. Indeed, Klaus's position was fine on move 56, but a blunder on move 57 ended the game immediately and so Alex scored his second IM norm.
The IM event had a very low draw percentage and this continued today. We did have one quick draw as Cech and Tvarijonas halted proceedings as early as move 15. Colm Daly and Philip short also agreed a draw but on move 39 in a rook and pawn ending that Fritz evaluates as 0.00. Stephen Brady reached a better endgame against Eric Moskow which he probed precisely and his persistence paid off with our US visitor having to resign on move 54. David Fitzsimons, who was recently added to the Irish Olympiad team, after Alex Baburin had to pull out, took advantage of an off-form Rodriguez Lopez to clinch a nice (for him) victory to end on 4½/9, a 2319 performance. Simon Ansell went into this round with a ½ point lead and showed his dominance of the event with a nice win over Ryan Rhys Griffiths to win by 1½ points.
The team that put this event together deserve a huge amount of credit as it required an enormous amount of work to do so, and this team included Michael Crowe, Mark Quinn and Una O'Boyle but the team leader, and the man without whom this event would not have taken place was Eamon Keogh. The main sponsor of the event was the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Co. Co. and the hosts were the Dun Laoghaire Club and there would have been no event without them and we all owe them our thanks.
|1||Mark Hebden||ENG||2556||6||1||Simon Ansell||ENG||2398||7|
|2||Mark Quinn||IRL||2377||5½||2||Rafael Rodriguez Lopez||ESP||2312||5½|
|3-6||Alexander Baburin||IRL||2549||5||3-4||Pavel Cech||CZE||2410||5|
|Mark Heidenfeld||IRL||2360||5||Stephen Brady||IRL||2376||5|
|Federico Manca||ITA||2356||5||5-7||Colm Daly||IRL||2322||4½|
|Alex Lopez||IRL||2367||5||David Fitzsimons||IRL||2263||4½|
|7||Klaus Bischoff||GER||2553||4½||Povilas Tvarijonas||LTU||2370||4½|
|8||Valery Atlas||AUT||2440||3½||8||Eric Moskow||USA||2198||3½|
|9||Sam Collins||IRL||2408||3||9||Philip Short||IRL||2296||3|
|10||Yury Rochev||RUS||2395||2½||10||Ryan-Rhys Griffiths||IRL||2249||2½|
|Mark Hebden, Lettie McCarthy (the Cathaoiuleach of Dun Laoghaire), Michael Crowe.|
|Simon Ansell, Lettie McCarthy, Michael Crowe.|
|Eamon Keogh, Mark Quinn, Michael Crowe.|