Sunday, 8 July 2012

Thomson Open - by Junior Tay

With 4 events stashed together on the same weekend, it is inevitable that the entries for this event would suffer. However, the quality of the players in the Thomson Gold Section is certainly impressive, with GM Julio Catalino Sadorra, GM Eldar Gasanov, IM Terry Toh, Nelson Mariano III, Jarred Neubronnner and Tan Weiliang as the top seeds. In Round 2, the upsets began as Cyrus Low held GM Gasanov to a draw. FM Lim Hoon Cheng opined that Cyrus could have played for more, having eschewed a Queen move which would have led to an extremely advantageous position. Nelson Mariano III, essaying a Benko Gambit against GM Sadorra, gambled on a Queen Sacrifice (for Rook and Knight) rather than to give up the initiative. It paid dividends as Sadorra missed 31...a4!
Meanwhile, IM Terry Toh demonstrated why Black should not give up his d pawn for White's c pawn in the Reti System.
With Sadorra and Gasanov bounced down to Bd 3 (Sadorra won) in the 3rd Round, the following games occured on Board 1 and 2.

So after 3 rds, Terry is the sole leader with 3/3. It will be a stern test for him as he has yet to meet any of the other big guns. Terry's attempt to win his 4th consecutive game was stymied when Jarred Neubronner drew against him.

Meanwhile, GM Sadorra accounted for Limono, Nelson outplayed Weiliang in the endgame and GM Gasanov took out Reinhard Sellmair. In the battle of the Indians, Srinivasaraghvan Raghuramann beat Anoop Jayaraj to set up a top board meeting with Terry.

An interesting fight between Sadorra and Jarred had the GM demonstrating his tactical prowess.
The tactical melee about to break out.

 Meanwhile, GM Gasanov could not make headway against an ultra solid Weiliang,
Round 6 saw the much awaited encounter between Terry and Sadorra. Terry attempted to bludgeon the opponent in the opening and was impressively repelled.
This virtually decided the tournament as in Round 7, Sadorra defeated Srinivasaraghvan after slowly but surely converting a pawn advantage with great accuracy. Terry 'smoked Weiliang' to finish 2nd and finally, Nelson Mariano and Jarred Neubronner drew a hard fought game to emerge 3rd and 4th respectively. All in all, an impressively organized event, with a decent prize fund (2nd only to Cairnhill Open, I think), excellent venue (air-conditioning too!) and free lunch(!). The newly wed Sadorra will thus travel back to the Phillipines to compete in the gruelling 17 rounds Olympiad qualifier with 300 dollars (for his bride?). Also, IM Terry Toh, who has not played a tourney for more than 4 years, showed that he is still a force to be reckoned with.

Final results here.


  1. Against Jarred, I din play 10 d4 because 10 ... ed 11 cd cd 12 Nd4 Nd4 13 Rd4 Qc8 wins a pawn

    Against Srini, I din play 33 ... Bd4+ because 34 Rd4 Re5+ 35 Kf4 and I am forced to repeat move Rf5+ and draw


  2. Terry,

    The line we analysed after the Srini game was with a knight on h2. Hence in the game above, you can go Rf5+ Ke3 Rxd4 followed by Rxf3. :)

    Wei Ming

  3. Haha, the rustiness is clearly showing in the calculation. Luckily for me, last round game against Weiliang was a totally closed position where little calculation was needed and I could play all kinds of mysterious moves and walk around with the King!

    Round 7 Tan Wei Liang vs Terry Toh
    1.e4 e6 2.d4 b6 3.Nf3 Bb7 4.Bd3 c5 5.c3 Nf6 6.Qe2 Be7 7.0-0 d5 8.e5 Nfd7 9.a3 Qc8 10.Bg5 Ba6 11.Be7 Bd3 12.Qd3 Ke7 13.Nbd2 c4 14. Qe3 Nc6 15. Nh4 Qf8 16. f4 g6 17. Rael Kd8 18.Qf3 Qe7 19.g3 Kc7 20.a4 a6 21.Ng2 b5 22.b3 cb 23.ab ab 24.Nb3 Na5 25.Na5 Ra5 26.Rb1 Nb6 27.Qa3 Nc4 28.Rb4 Rb8 29. Rfb1 Ra2! 30.Qd1 Rg2+ 31.Kh1 Ra2 32.Qb3 Ra3 33. Qc2 Kc6 34.Qc1 Qa7 35.Kg2 Ra2 36.Kh3 Nd2 37.Rb2 Rb2 38.Rb2 Nc4 39.Rb1 Ra8 40.f5 gf 41.Qg5 Qa2 42.Re1 Qd2 43.Qe7 Qh6+ 0-1

    White must be better here out of the opening, but Black's position looked quite resilient. I am not sure what is the best way for White to play for a win. Anyone or the computer can help point out the best way to play for White? It is interesting to know if there is any breakthrough plan for White in the position.

    I was planning to just watch out for White's tricks of (1) pushing c4 (2) sacrifice on f5 or d5 and (3) f5 pawn push, and then just move the King around until the opponent runs out of time. I vaguely remember a famous game where Tigran Petrosian employed a similar strategy to beat Kasparov, playing also the highly provocative move Kc6.


  4. Playing percentage point chess again, Terry ?

  5. Oi..Terry...27.Qa3 not possible...The Queen is on f3 and there's a c pawn blocking the rank.

  6. wow, Terry Toh coming back to play chess.

  7. Hah, back when we were 15 year olds terry claimed that his king in the middle was strong... We had many fun games proving him wrong but looks like he's up to his old tricks again...

    - malcolm