Monday, 16 February 2009

Newcastle Open 2009

The 2009 Newcastle Open just concluded and the following club members were playing (and their results):

FM Vladimir Smirnov 5/7
Arthur Huynh 4.5/7
Anton Smirnov 3/7
Dylan Siow-Lee 3/7

Crosstable is at:

Arthur had a horrible R3 (draw against Norm Greenwood) and R4 (loss to Dutch player, Nathalie Eimers) but he told he was very tired for those two rounds. Competing in Newcastle was a last minute decision and he took a very early train to Newcastle, arriving at 4 am! Round 3 was at 4 pm and R4 started at 7 pm. After a good night's rest, he recovered to win the last three games. I saw his R2 game with Ronald Scott and Arthur played a very brave Rc2 (when Ronald had the initiative and attack) and immediately the rook was trapped by Bc3. Arthur resigned soon after.

Dylan had a fantastic start to the tournament managing to defeat ex junior Novacastrian, David Behne-Smith (1775). After that, he lost to stronger players and only managed to win the last two games against much weaker opponents.

Vladimir Smirnov was joint 4th-7th after losing his last round to Max Illingworth (who won the tournament outright). He was joint leader with FM Jesse Sales going into 6th round but could only managed a draw with Sales in that round. He did have an easy win in R4 against fellow FM James Morris. Vladimir said he set a well-known opening trap in the Sicilian Opening (White's Queen Rook is placed on c1, White's Knight goes to c7 to fork Black's King and Queen Rook) and unfortunately for James Morris, he fell for it.

Anton did well, managing two draws against stronger opponents, Ron Groenhout (1706) and Michael McGuirk (1701).

Interestingly both father and son played the same opponent in the tournament, Andrew Bird (2118). Andrew can say he is undefeated against the Smirnovs since he beat Anton and drew with Vladimir. And he ended up with a successful tournament with 5.5/7, good enough for joint second (and defeating IM Gary Lane who lost on time).

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