Winter Cup 2017 – Round 1

The Winter Cup is over 7 rounds during September and October. This year it is two 8-player Round-Robin Grades and a 55-player C Grade Swiss. Due to lack of space some players who failed to enter in advance were unable to play.


PNG file of Winter Cup Round 1 by Tim Ha, except for Paul Macdonald’s game which was annotated by Paul.

A Grade

Ang vs Steadman – This was a sideline prepared by Black with 5..c5 being a novelty (Bg7 or Nc5 are more common). White took an aggressive approach to punish the line, however he quickly ran into trouble. 13 Bxf6 gave black a serious of threats and  he was a piece up a few moves later and checkmated on move 30. Result: 0-1

Morrell vs Kulashko – A fairly boring looking game but White found a nice tactic (see diagram) that eventually left him a pawn up after several pieces were swapped. However he chose to settle for an immediate draw.

Morrell vs Kulashko. White to play after 19.. f4

Gong vs Watson – 6. Bd3 seemed to be a dubious move in the opening but it got worse a few move later when White lost a piece to a simple fork. Even when Black gave a piece back for 2 pawns his advantage was overwhelming & White resigned. 0-1

Hague vs Fan – Black’s 5…b6 instead of the universal c5 doesn’t appear likely to become popular. However he survived White’s early attack to equalise. An interesting exchange left Black with an extra Knight but this was completely trapped while White had two very mobile Rooks (see diagram). However White was unable to get better than a draw.

Hague vs Fan after 30…Nxh5

B Grade

Ward vs Yan – Black’s opening innovations left her worse. But things went back in force for the next 30 moves until the players swapped down to a Rook, piece and 3 pawns each.  No progress for another 20 moves except swaps into a Draw.

Goodhue vs Seabrook – White played his usual Flank opening an ended up with 2 Knights against Black’s 2 Bishops. Black then tried a direct attack against White’s king but was unable to get momentum. White then gained enough material to force a win. 1-0

Nagorski vs Brimble – A very standard opening followed by an even open position. After swaps the opening appeared drawn until Black blundered to allow White a passed pawn. 1-0

Macdonald vs Eade – See the PGN for detailed annotation by Paul MacDonald. White was well ahead from as early as move 13 kept pressing his advantage to win. 1-0

C Grade

Renae Ghadiali vs Everett Bishop – A passive start by the higher-rated Black. However White wasted some tempo and lost a piece allowing Black to Swap his way to a Win. 0-1

Peak vs Barry – Black survived his dubious opening to get close to even. But a couple of bad moves later he was losing a piece to prevent mate. 1-0

Winston Weng vs Tim Ha – Fresh from a good North Shore opening Winston Weng is much better than his rating would suggest. Black emerged better from the opening but white then swapped away Black’s better pieces. The players agreed on a draw in a fairly blocked position. Draw

Aaron Wang vs Erica Hu – White had a good start but got greedy and got his Queen almost trapped. Black was able to develop while she harassed it. A slip-up left white a piece down for a pawn. Black had some chances to go further ahead but missed the lines. She eventually got lost in the endgame and allowed White a passed pawn. 1-0

Rosa Ryu vs Ying Wang –  Black blundered a piece in the opening. Around move 20 she gave up another piece.  However over the next 22 moves white gave up 3 pieces to convert a winning position into a loss. 0-1

The first round saw rating differences between players of between 200 and 500 rating points. However there were 5 draws and 4 loses by the higher rated player. Major upsets included:

Samuel Sajch beat Eric Liang ( 558 rating point difference)
Paul Yu beat Andrew Michael
Silei Wang beat John Liu
Kelvin Xiao beat Hugh Gao