SA Open Report Round Seven by Dr Lyndon Bouah
Tonight I took an early draw as I felt that the fatigue was hitting me. Playing in an event and working during the day is perhaps not ideal! I was happy with my draw as GM Strikovic had drawn with IM Cawdery so it means the leaders are not totally out in front. Cawdery and Strikovic drew which means that GM Strikovic now has 6/7 with Daniel on 5.5.
Before we get to the chess lets chat about a few other matters. Watu was playing Robert De Abreu on board two last night. So when the game commences Robert wishes well good luck for the game. Watu then chuckles and says you can’t be serious! Why are you wishing me good luck! So what do you say to your opponent at the start of the game. I tend to say nothing!
I have also noticed that many players have routines before they start to play. I have a habit of adjusting each piece on the board to sit squarely in the centre of the board. Once this has been completed I can then start playing knowing that everything is secure and has been checked. By the way did you notice that the knights on the wooden boards have nostrils. Yes two flaring nostrils. I never noticed it before but well yeah interesting. I wonder if these wooden pieces are carved or if they are moulded. Playing with wooden pieces always makes feel special. At my high school in Port Elizabeth the board one was allowed to play with the wooden pieces on match days. No plastic Staunton pieces like the rest of cattle class. No sirree. Real wooden pieces. And we knew we had to treat the pieces gently. It was rumoured that the wooden pieces didn’t lose a single match for a period of ten years. In the three years in played with the wooden pieces at Bethelsdorp, I didn’t lose a single game so I upheld the legend. Of course if you lose badly playing with the wooden pieces then everyone will simply conclude that you were in any event a woodpusher as they stated in the ancient times.
Preceding round seven a blitz event was held. 77 players competed and at the end GM Strikovic won with a full house of 7/7! A surprise second was Heinrich Basson from Stellenbosch chess club with six points. He was joined by IM Daniel Jere. Following them closely was FM Shabier Bhawoodien and CM Lyndon Bouah.
Minister Anroux Marais visited the blitz event this afternoon to lend her support to the event. This week she has also already handed out chess tables in Riversdal and George. The roll out of the chesstables across the provinces has been a huge success with various libraries receiving equipment.
Back to the chess. So did you know that the first SA Open was held from 30 April to 11 May in 1962. In 1964 the German Grandmaster Lothar Schmid won the event with a clean score of 11/11.Thus far he has been the only one to accomplish this magnificent score.Sharp readers will note that in 1964 a certain Robert James Fischer also won the 1964 US Open with 11/11! I have noticed that in 1976 the joint SA Champions were GM Miguel Najdorf and GM Micheal Stean.
The last fifteen years have produced the following winners :
2000 : Alberton won by Amon Simutowe with 10.5/11
2001 : Cape Town won by Mark Levitt and Jonathan Gluckman with 9.5
2002 : Port Elizabeth won by Ronnie Van Tonder and Jonathan Gluckman with 9/11
2003: Centurion won by Stanley Chumfwa with 10.5
2004 : Cape Town won by Watu Kobese and Jacques Ophoff with 10/11
2005 : Bloemfontein won by Kenny Solomon and Watu Kobese
2006 : Port Elizabeth won by Gawain Jones with 10.5
2007 : Cape Town won by Kenny Solomon with 9.5
2008 : Centurion won by Watu Kobese with 9.5
2009 : Cape Town won by Amon Simutowe with 9.5
2010 : Pretoria won by R. Gwaze, K. Mosethle, D. Moyo and R. Makoto with 7.5/9
2011 : Johannesburg won by Gawain Jones and Nigel Short with 9.5/11
2012 : Cape Town won by Makoto, Mabusela, Adly and Cawdery with 9/11
2013 : Port Elizabeth won by A. Gupta, S. Fedorchuk adn S. Tiviakov with 9/11
2014 Bloemfontein won By M. Gagunashvili
2015 : Cape Town won by Short, Strikovic and A. Kunte with 9
The above analysis was compiled by Keith Rust. Thanks Keith. According to Rust the player with the most overall wins including tied first is Mark Levitt who was first or equal first on 4 occasions, with Kenny Solomon, Watu Kobese and Amon Simutowe on three each. There are seven players with two wins each
Oh yes there were some chess games as well and the reason why you reading the report!IM Watu Kobese beat Robert De Abreu. Watu played against an interesting French. He reduced De Abreu to the backrank and then prepared the pawn sacrifice f5. He then sacrificed the exchange on f5 and effected the breakthrough after five hours of play. So patience is the key! IM Donovan Van Den Heever beat CM Richard Mbedza. IM Daniel Jere had a difficult game against the Boss Ewan Kromhout. Ewan however couldn’t breakthrough and then the third seed took his chance when Ewan presented the chance. FM Calvin Klaasen drew with Dr Baloyi. Nashlen Govindasamy beat Athon Willenberg. I watched an interesting encounter between Ananta Reddy and Paul Gluckman. These two young players are definitely prospects for the future. Reddy won after some interesting play by both sides.
I am off to bed now at 12h05am! See you at 18h30pm at UWC tomorrow night!