Sun-Herald Chess Column for January 30

New South Wales juniors took out the plum prizes at the Australian Junior Championships which concluded in Churchill, Victoria, last week. Justin Tan edged out hot favourite Zhao Zong Yuan to take the Open title and confirm that his top ten finish in the world U/14 Championships in Spain last year was no fluke.

Zhao, the Coffs Harbour 13-year-old who finished second in the recent Australian Championship, kept pace with Tan for most of the Churchill tournament only to blunder horribly in the ninth round, ground which he was unable to recover in the two remaining rounds. With the ACT's Laura Moylan trying her luck in the open event - she finished second in 1999 but had less success this year - the Australian Girls' Championship was won easily by Sydney 14-year-old Catherine Lip.
Lip, who has already represented Australia in many overseas events, was a class above her rivals, winning the U/18 national girls' title by a two point margin.

Australian Junior 2000
Leading final scores:
U/18 Open
1.Tan(N) 9/11; 2.Zhao(N) 8.5; 3eq.Xie(N), Rafizedah(ACT) 8.
U/18 Girls
1.Lip(N) 10/11; 2.Zivanovic(V) 8; 3.Ju.Lauer-Smith(SA) 7.5.
U/12 Open
1.Oliver(ACT) 7.5/9; 2eq.Stojic(ACT), Lugo(V) 7.
U/12 Girls
1.Lee(V)9/9; 2.Sharamova(N) 7; 3.Huddleston(N) 6.5.

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Dutch GM Jan Timman produced one of the most spectacular games of the year so far on Thursday at the elite Corus tournament in the Netherlands.

Wijk aan Zee 2000
White: J.Timman
Black: L. Van Wely
Opening: Sicilian Defence

#1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.f3 b5 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 h6 10.0-0-0 Bb7 11.Bd3 Ne5 12.Rhe1 Rc8 13.Kb1 Nfd7 14.f4 Nc4 15.Qe2 Nxe3 16.Qxe3 Qb6#

Van Wely had used this move to draw with Anand two rounds earlier but Timman had done his homework and improves decisively on Anand's 17.f5.

#(Diagram) 17.Nd5!! exd5 18.exd5+ Kd8 19.Bxb5!! axb5 20.Qe8+ Kc7 21.Qxf7 g5 22.Ne6+ Kb8 23.Qxd7 gxf4 24.Rf1?! f3!#

Exploiting Timman's poor follow-up to the sacrifices; 25.Rxf3 will be met by 25...Bxd5!.

#25.a3 Qe3 26.Rfe1 Qb6 27.Rf1 Qe3 28.Rfe1 Qb6 29.Re4 Rc4 30.Nd4 Rc5?#

30...f2 offered real survival chances whereas now the win is easy for Timman.

#31.Re8+ Ka7 32.Nc6+! Rxc6 33.dxc6 Qxc6 34.Qd8! Qc4 35.Qb8+ Ka6 36.Rxf8 Rxf8 37.Qxf8 1-0#

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The Henry Greenfield Cup begins tomorrow night at the Hakoah Club in Bondi. Details V.Feldman 041498503.