Canberra Times, September 2 2001

The West Athens municipality of Peristeri rarely registers on international consciousness. 

The population of 140,000 are employed principally in small industry and handicraft and the biggest sporting event of the year is the annual marathon run around Peristeri. 

However for the past fortnight Peristeri has hosted the most important junior chess tournaments in the world - the World U/20 Open and Girls' Championships. 

In an era of teenage Grandmasters, it is not surprising that some of the world's top juniors do not feel the need to participate. 

In the recent past Peter Leko, now 21, could probably have become the first multiple winner of the World Junior Championship but, since he was closing in on the world's top 5, there seemed little point in playing for junior honours. 

Leko's compatriot Peter Acs has taken a different path. 

Acs has represented Hungary in various world age championships for the past decade and this week he was rewarded with the world U/20 title. 

Acs' win is another feather in the cap of Laszlo Hazai, the trainer took on Acs after ending his work as main coach of the three Polgar sisters. 

However Hazai does not see Acs, now 20, as a future World Champion; merely a talented player who will probably go on to become a top 50 Grandmaster. 

In contrast, the sky appears to be the limit for Humpy Koneru, the 14-year-old Indian who captured the World Girls' title. 

Koneru's victory in Peristeri may have been due to a sizeable slice of luck in the final round but the Indian has already proved herself in adult open events, earning a Grandmaster result earlier this year. (Three such results are needed for the GM title.) 

Australia's representatives in Peristeri started well but eventually faded to mid-field, nonetheless scoring our best overall result for many years. 

Coffs Harbour 15-year-old Zhao Zong Yuan finished on a respectable 7/13 while Sydney's Catherine Lip, also 15, while creating more chances than she converted, managed to produce the following fine game. 

Athens 2001 
White: P.Delai 
Black: C.Lip 
Opening: Sicilian Defence 
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 a5!? 

A Lip speciality, avoiding the main lines of the Dragon which arise after 8...d6 

9.f3. 9.f3 d5!? 10.exd5 Nb4 11.Ndb5 

11.Nde2 is another critical line. 

11...a4! 12.Bc4 Bf5 13.Rc1 Rc8 14.Na3? 

14.b3 Qa5 15.0-0 Rfd8 would give Black active play but now Black runs riot. 


A gutsy choice by Lip, although 14...Nfxd5! 15.Nxd5 Bxb2! is also strong. 

15.Ncxb5 Nfxd5 16.Bd2? 

The final, fatal, error. 16.Bxd5 Nxd5 17.Bd4 keeps White afloat. 

16...Bxb2 17.Rb1 Bxa3 18.Nxa3 Rxc4! 19.Nxc4 Bxc2 0-1 

The ACT Junior Championships will be held next weekend at St Monica's Primary School in Evatt. The tournament, open to all players born 1983 or later, begins at 9am on Saturday. Contact: Jenny Moylan 62581070 (H) or