The very last game to finish between CY Chong and David Or (1-0) officially concluded the Finals. From the beginning until the end it remained crowded at the top. Four people ended with a total of 8 points, closely followed by a mid-range group of again 4 people scoring between 5.5 to 7 points. The bottom four players remained at a modest but significant distance from the rest of the crowd: next year gentlemen!
Congratulations to HK Tsang with his championship title and a special proficiat to Bryan Lee and Andrew Koenigsberg who managed to score the highest increase in their rating points due to very strong tournament rating performance!
On what started as a rainy Saturday 26 May 2012, the Hong Kong Chess Federation organized its first youth Blitz tournament in three age groups: under 18, under 11 and under 8 years old.
In the category under 8 Caissa’s Miguel Angel Garceran Wang played an excellent tournament and pushed the competition, including top seed like Marco King Buet Ching, Peter Daiyang Zhao and Ben Jabal, off the board after 6 rounds and 6 wins. Perhaps the knowledge he was already number 1 and champion no matter the result of the last round took away the necessary adrenaline to beat his last opponent as well – but with 6 out of 7 Miguel Angel proved to be a special talent!
The Hong Kong chess team ended after 9 rounds of chess battle on the 13th place. Unfortunately Hysan lost all his 9 games, Cyrus scored 0.5 out of 9, Sunny 1 out of 9, Adrian 2 out of 5 and David 2 out of 4.
Here are all the results of the Hong Kong team in the 2012 Asian Nations Cup.
In “experience points” this team obviously gained a lot more meddling among players who play chess for a living and this year’s baseline of 13th is the target to beat next year.
Today’s win against Taipei city of China (as Taiwan is called for this occasion) was anticipated – as was the taste of beers we promised ourselves upon a win.
Hysan on board 4 did not take the initiative in time. David on board 3, played with black again a Philidor but this time white opted for queens exchange on d8. David won an early pawn and played it all up after exchanging the rest of the pieces towards promotion and win.
Sunny, quickly a piece up after a stormy Scandinavian, decided to go for the best composition prize, sacrificing his bishop back close to black’s king and rendered black further helpless.
A draw for Cyrus on board 1 would have been enough for the team win and that is how the game ended, despite a pawn up and probably having had the opportunity to win on several occasions.
Hong Kong team getting ready for Taipei, from front to back: Cyrus, Sunny, David and Hysan.
The third round against S-Korea Hysan on board 4 came well out of the opening but did not put his pieces on the active squares that were available and was consequently pushed off the board.
On Board 3, David tried out again 1.b4 against FM Chogdov who avoided all main lines with a quick 4. … d6 in the exchange variation. White achieving an ideal set-up was fooled into closing the diagonal of his Bb2 and he did not pay enough attention to the attacking potential of cramped-looking black pieces positioned all the way back in the black queen wing.
On board 1, Cyrus who faced FM Camacho Collados, played a very attacking variation with his white queen controlling the entire board on d6 from move 10 on. Camacho did not free himself properly even when the queens were traded off and the first casualty on S-Korean side seemed a fact, until a wrong move order by white changed the natural course of events.
The last to finish was Sunny on board 2, the most unfortunate loss. Sunny punished an inaccuracy of his opponent CM Lee and was a piece up until close to time-up Sunny gave back a piece and had an endgame with black rook against his opponent’s bishop and knight and both four pawns. With little time on the clock it is very difficult to stay precise.
Asian Nations Cup 2012 Round 3 Hong Kong - Iran
The 4-0 loss looks worse than the games actually played and this Hong Kong team is about to get to the next plateau and in matches like those of today, score better.
In the second round against Indonesia it went a little better.
Asian Nations Cup 2012 Round 2 Hong Kong - Indonesia
Hysan’s early loss on board 4 did not take away the steam from the other three games.
Cyrus on board 1 faced GM Megaranto, Indonesia’s current number 1. Cyrus locked in his white bishop via e6, which turned out to be enough positional advantage for the grand master to convert in a win.
Sunny on board 2 played an aggressive line in the Aljechin opening against FM Hamdani. Sunny sacrificed a pawn for attack and he might have had some chances to further pursue adventures near black’s king, if he only had more time.
On board 3 the game between David and CM Muhammad let to a Philidor Defense in which black’s pressure on the queen side made the candidate master do some inaccuracies which led to a rook win by David. With both players less than a minute on the clock left, it was white who lost his cool and maneuvered himself in a checkmate position.
The honor is saved – now let’s see if we can get something more tomorrow in round 3 against South Korea.
Hysan on board 4 could not stop grand master Golizadeh from winning material and creating havoc deep behind the black defense lines.
David tried against international master Porya his Sokolsky 1.b4 club-level favorite but in the exchange line, move 10. Qc1 probably can be improved (1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bb4: 3. Be5: Nf6 4. c4 Nc6 5. Bb2 010 6. a3 Be7 7. Nf3 d5 8. cd5: Nd5: 9. e3 Bf6) because after 10 Qc1 Re8 11. Be2 Bg4 12. 0-0 Nf4 remained cramped for white. Or maybe instead of 6. a3 first focus on short castling as with 4. …Nc6 the move a3 becomes less urgent.
Cyrus on board 1 played a kind of modern defense against grand master Ghaem Maghani, the number 1 of Iran, who nurtured a small positional advantage all the way to a win.
Sunny on board 2 led his Dutch opening against international master Seyedjavad to a drawish end position until the end of the time, when he forgot to press the clock and his time was up…
Tomorrow another day. Hong Kong is paired against Indonesia who lost 3-1 against Kazakhstan in round 1.
On Sunday May 6, Grand Master Alfonso Romero visited Hong Kong after a good tournament result (shared 2nd place) in Melaka and a subsequent visit to the chess community in Macao. Savoring the local cuisine at lunch somewhere in Western market area we reflected on how to get from a plateau of a rating of some 2,000 or 2,100 towards that GM level of around 2,500. What is it that you do differently?
There seemed to be no straightforward answer. Yes, you put your pieces on better squares on the board, you are faster in pattern recognition and perhaps you pick your small battles on the board wiser. But does this all really add up to good chess? Or, chess being a mix of art, science and mental endurance, simply doesn’t allow for a one-off answer to what is good chess?
But interestingly, Alfonso said that once you get to your IM (International Master) norm, you have broken through the most significant plateau and you are ready for a slow ascent. So, that’s it … just get your IM norm …
From left to right: Jackson Li (president HKCF), GM Alfonso Romero, David Garceran Nieuwenburg, Miguel-Angel Garceran Wang, KK Chan (photo taken by Hysan Wong)
After an all or nothing night it has gotten tense at the top. Bryan Lee with little time left on the clock converted his better position in win against CM Chan. HK Tsang freed himself from CY Chong, for now, by defeating him. Andrew Koenigsberg kept refusing a draw against David Garceran Nieuwenburg, unrelated to the complete draw position on the board, until all players were summoned to leave the building after 11pm. It was David who did not have the time to continue elsewhere, around midnight at McDonalds or so as Andrew suggested; hence Andrew could climb to second position. Next week we look forward to the battle of the titans, between Bryan and HK Tsang!
The winner of the Asian Nations Cup, held from 17-26 May 2012 in Zao Zhuang, China PRC, will represent Asia on the World Team Championship in 2013. The stakes are high and the following team to represent Hong Kong has been selected by the Hong Kong Chess Federation (HKFC):
Cyrus Lai (HKCF)
Sunny Lo (HKCF)
Adrian Cronan (HKCF)
David Garceran Nieuwenburg (HKCF & Caissa)
We wish them good luck in their daunting task in a tournament with a rather high density of GMs, IMs and other talents per square meter … stay tuned …