When Australia's two Grandmasters headed to Bali for the Japfa Open last week, combining work with a holiday was the obvious attraction. By the time the tournament, Asia's largest and strongest international open, concluded on Thursday, the holiday plans had taken a back seat.
The 230 player field featured a dozen other Grandmasters, from Europe and Asia, yet Rogers and Johansen, seeded fourth and twelfth respectively, had only themselves to blame for missing chances which could have given either of them the $US5,000 first prize.
Both Australian GMs started the tournament with four straight wins but in the sixth round Johansen fell back by losing to unheralded Bandung amateur Cecep Kosasih - one of many local players who starred when given a rare opportunity to compete against the international stars.
This writer stayed with the leading pack until near the finish but dropped off the pace by drawing the final two rounds, eventually finishing equal with a fast-finishing Johansen in a tie for fifth place.
The tournament winner on tie-break was Darmen Sadvakasov, the former World Junior Champion from Kazakhstan, whose exceptionally short victory speech "I like Bali - no, I love Bali!" was echoed by most of the competitors. While organiser GM Utut Adianto felt the need to apologise for the voluble nature of the Indonesian crowds, for most players the presence of fans centimetres from the games only added to the tournament atmosphere and Adianto's announcement that he indeed to make the Japfa Open was greeted with general acclaim.
Bali Open 2000
Opening: Sicilian Defence
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6!? 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 e6 7.Nc3 Bb4 8.Bd3 Nf6 9.0-0 Qd6 10.a3 Ba5!?
The start of a convoluted bishop manoeuvre. 10...Bxc3 was simpler.
11.Ne5 Bc7 12.Bf4 Qd8 13.Qf3!? Nbd7
13...Qxd4 14.Rad1 Bxe5 15.Bb5+ axb5 16.Rxd4 Bxd4 17.Nxb5 is too risky for Black.
14.Rac1 Bb8 15.Ne4 h6 16.Rc2! 0-0 17.Rfc1 Bxe5 18.dxe5 Ne8 19.Qg3 Kh8 20.Bg5! hxg5
Black has little choice, since 20...Qa5 loses to 21.Be7 Rg8 22.Ng5! Nxe5 23.Qxe5! and 20...f6 21.exf6 hxg5 (21...Nexf6! is the best try) 22.f7! Rxf7 23.Nxg5 is even worse.
21.Nxg5 Kg8 22.Bh7+ Kh8 23.Qh4 Ndf6 24.exf6 Nxf6 (Diagram) 25.Bg6+
25.Rc3 is also very strong, although 25...Qd2 hangs on.
25...Kg8 26.Bxf7+! Rxf7 27.Qh8+! Kxh8 28.Nxf7+ Kg8 29.Nxd8 Bd7 30.Nxb7
The rest is easy for White.
30...e5 31.b4 Kh7 32.f3 Ba4 33.Re2 Re8 34.Rce1 e4 35.Nd6 Rd8 36.Nxe4 Nh5 37.g3 Bb5 38.Rd2 Rf8 39.Rd5 1-0
Japfa Open, Bali
1eq. Sadvakasov(Kaz), Villamayor(Phi), Miezes(Lat), Ehlvest(Est) 7.5/9;
5eq. Rogers(Aus), Johansen(Aus), Sashikiran(India), Beshukov(Rus), Kosasih,
Barus, Handoko, Gunawan(all Ina) 7.
Former Novocastrian Ian Wright completed a club double last week, taking
out the Southside and Belconnen club championships, in ties with Laura
Moylan and Milan Grcic respectively.
Southside Chess Centre Championships
Leading final scores:
1eq. I.Wright, L.Moylan 6/7;
3eq. G.Butler, D.Stojic 4.5.
Belconnen Club Championship
Leading final scores:
1eq. I.Wright, M.Grcic 6/7;
3eq. I.Rout, R.McCart, G.Ramakrishna 5.