2009 Open Classic Round 2
Round 2 of the 2009 Open Classic
|Seed||Participant||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Wins||SoS|
|1||chessandgo||S 10 W||G 5 W||2||1|
|2||Fritzlein||G 11 W||G 6 W||2||2|
|3||Adanac||S 12 W||G 7 W||2||1|
|4||99of9||G 13 W||S 8 W||2||1|
|5||The_Jeh||G 14 W||S 1 L||1||2|
|6||arimaa_master||G 15 W||S 2 L||1||2|
|7||naveed||S 16 W||S 3 L||1||3|
|8||omar||S 17 W||G 4 L||1||3|
|9||camelback||G 18 W||G 10 W||2||0|
|10||Tuks||G 1 L||S 9 L||0||4|
|11||woh||S 2 L||G 15 W||1||2|
|12||thefrankinator||G 3 L||Wthdr||0||2|
|13||Bildstein||S 4 L||G 16 L||0||3|
|14||Amina||S 5 L||Wthdr||0||1|
|15||LevB||S 6 L||S 11 L||0||2|
|16||soldier||G 7 L||S 13 W||1||1|
|17||Sana||G 8 L||Bye W||1||1|
|18||Emaad||S 9 L||Wthdr||0||2|
The new "One Forfeit and You're Out" rule takes effect this year. None of the 3 forfeiting players from round 1 appealed to re-enter the tournament, and so only 15 players remain in the tournament. It's still possible that nine players will finish with a record of 3-2 or better, but with the reduced number of players it's now conceivable that only eight will finish with that record.
With an odd number of players remaining in the tournament, the lowest ranked played receives a bye. Sana receives the bye this round, worth 1 Win but 0 Strength of Schedule in the standings.
Just as in the 2008 Open Classic, all the favoured players won their opening round game, making it a perfect 22 out of 22 since the new format was introduced. Thus, all of the four 1-0 vs. 1-0 matchups this week will feature the top eight-seeded players. Camelback (1-0) faces Tuks (0-1) in a very crucial matchup for both players in their drive for the top eight. The other two games are 0-1 vs. 0-1 matchups and the four players involved will need to win three of their next four if they hope to advance to the World Championship. (GM)
During the setup phase all 16 rabbits were placed on the back row, which is fairly unusual these days. Each elephant opened the game by pulling a central rabbit, though both rabbits escaped from danger when the focus shifted to a multi-piece attack in the northeast. On move 13, Adanac pulled the silver horse to g5 to clear the g6 square for his horse. Naveed pulled the gold horse to f6 to reclaim the g6 square for his horse. After the gold horse pushed its way to f7, Naveed then flipped the gold dog onto the f6 square. Adanac then advanced two rabbits and a camel into the northeast, clogging up the entire quadrant. After Naveed flipped the gold camel over to e5, it then proceeded over to the west side. The silver horse then marched south towards the poorly defended southeast quadrant, though that allowed the gold pieces to strengthen their hold around the f6 trap and then frame a silver cat on move 19.
With his 20th move, Naveed’s horse took control of the g3 square and he advanced a rabbit towards the lightly-defended area. The gold camel returned to the east side to threaten the silver horse and a dog and they both scattered away on move 22s. By move 24 the silver dog was held hostage on the h3 square while Naveed built a new counter-attack with a camel and dog in the southwest. Move 25 was a crucial move as Gold had to decide whether to return his elephant to the southwest (thus endangering his attackers around f6) or whether to simply capture the silver dog and use his other pieces to defend the c3 trap. Adanac chose the former option, which opened all four quadrants up to some complicated tactical play. On the 26th move, the silver camel was taken hostage at a3 while the gold dog was immobilized on e7. By move 29, both silver dogs had been captured while the gold pieces were able to evade capture due to tactical considerations.
On moves 30s and 31g the two sides exchanged horse for camel. Naveed could have then won dog for cat on the next move but it would have critically weakened his western goal defences, and he declined the opportunity. The game then entered a manoeuvring phase where Naveed threatened pieces in each of his home traps and Adanac advanced his army to avoid losses. On move 39 the gold army was finally able to secure a stable position in the west with a rabbit frame. Silver continued to put up a long fight until a gold rabbit was able to break through on move 50. With the victory, Adanac is one win away from qualifying for the finals while Naveed seeks at least 2 wins during the next 3 weeks. (GM)
Bildstein vs. soldier
Soldier won by forfeit when Bildstein failed to show up.
woh vs. LevB
The game was delayed a half hour as LevB had some unexpected things come up and was late making it to the game. LevB also only had a short time to play before he needed to leave for work.
Woh started with a 99of9 based setup with one dog back and one cat back. LevB also setup with the 99of9 rabbit layout but chose an unusual asymmetric arrangement for his major pieces. His cats were both back and the two dogs were placed on b7 and g7, the horses were to the west of the elephant on c7 and d7 and the camel was to the east of the elephant on f7. Woh took advantage of only having a dog on b7 to launch an elephant-horse attack against c6 in the first few moves.
By move 15 Woh had captured a horse and dog while letting his camel get taken hostage around f6. After this LevB began working a rabbit down the h-file along with attacking the f3 trap with his camel and remaining horse. At the same time Woh took over c6 with a horse and dog.
By move 24 Woh had captured another two rabbits at c6 and had advanced a rabbit to b4, giving him very strong goal threats. Unfortunately LevB ran out of time to play at this point. Although the game was unable to play out to a natural conclusion at least the eventual result on the board was already fairly evident. (BH)
Fritzlein vs. arimaa_master
Fritzlein was first to commit in the opening, launching a western elephant-horse attack after arimaa_master's camel shifted east. Arimaa_master snuffed any opportunity for Fritzlein to take control of c6 by advancing rabbits to a6 and a7, but was unwilling to take the encroaching horse hostage with his elephant, so Fritzlein's horse escaped with a rabbit pull.
Arimaa_master tried to switch east with his elephant, but made no progress and returned west to save his threatened rabbit. Fritzlein, setting his sights higher than merely winning the exposed rabbit, instead fixed the rabbit on d4 while putting his elephant on c5, semi-blockading arimaa_master's elephant on c4. A few moves later, though, Fritzlein bailed out and released the blockade for no gain other than capturing the rabbit after all.
On 23g Fritzlein made an overly-aggressive dog advance up the middle, threatening to get control of c6 while the elephants were still occupied on the other wing. Arimaa_master correctly brought his second horse to the west, taking the dog hostage. Fritzlein made the mistake of letting arimaa_master's camel also slip from east to west, and compounded the error by advancing his camel in the west.
By move 29 (see diagram) it appeared that arimaa_master would be able to win material in either the east with his camel or the west with his elephant. However 29b rb7w Hh5s ef6s rd8e was weak, and gave Fritzlein just enough time to defend f6 with little pieces and rotate his elephant to defend the east.
Although the game was far from over, Fritzlein's swarm around f6 tied down arimaa_master's elephant a bit more securely than arimaa_master's camel holding horse hostage tied down Fritzlein's elephant. The difference was that Fritzlein's home traps were yet uncontested and thus potential places for him to make a capture, whereas arimaa_master had no trap in which to make a capture. Fritzlein gradually increased his positional advantage until arimaa-master, in order to prevent material loss in the northwest, left the northeast so thinly defended that Fritzlein was able to worm a rabbit to goal on move 49. (KJ)
camelback vs. Tuks
It didn’t take long for the action to begin as Tuks allowed camelback to frame his silver horse on move 7. The gold camel then followed-up by advancing to g6 on move 8. Things got even more interesting when camelback moved his camel to the e6 square in order to push the other silver horse to e5. Tuks probably could have captured the exposed camel, though it likely would have cost him both of his horses in the process. As that cost was too high, the silver camel advanced to f6 to freeze the gold horse on f5. On move 15g, the gold horse took control of the g6 square and then the gold camel rotated to f7 on the next move to frame a silver cat on f6. The silver rabbit on c6 was sacrificed on move 16s in order to break the cat frame and threaten a gold cat in the northwest trap. Camelback returned his camel to e6 to save the cat and on the subsequent move the silver elephant abandoned the framed horse in order to threaten all the exposed gold pieces. The gold elephant responded in kind by threatening the vulnerable silver pieces. In the ensuing two moves, a gold camel and horse were captured in exchange for a silver camel and dog.
With his cat still exposed on d7, camelback took a gamble by advancing his horse to b6 on move 22 in a bid to maintain his material advantage (an extra dog and rabbit). The next several moves saw an intense battle for the c6 trap, with a few more gold pieces joining the melee and the silver elephant and horse pushing the invaders aside. On move 27g the gold elephant moved to the d6 square, rather than the gold dog, to prevent material loss. However, this came at a steep cost as this gave silver a potential goal-in-two, beginning with 27s dg5s dg4s rg7s rg6s. Tuks played a different 27th move, allowing the gold dog to take control of the crucial g3 square on the 28th move. After that, the momentum quickly returned to the gold side and Silver lost on time facing an unstoppable goal-in-one on move 30. (GM)
chessandgo vs. The_Jeh
Chessandgo opened the action by moving his elephant to d6 and horse to b5 on move 4. When the silver camel shifted towards the west, the gold horse settled for a rabbit pull – the rabbit was continually pulled until it found itself framed on c3 on move 12. With the silver elephant tied down to the c4 square, the gold elephant moved east to harass the eastern silver horse. The Jeh was able to keep his horse on g6, but at the cost of seeing another rabbit pulled and then finally captured on 17g. On move 19 the gold elephant shifted back to b5 creating an interesting logjam. The silver camel wanted to harass the gold horse on b6 but it was blocked by its own rabbit on a6. Thus began a stalemate where the gold horse and elephant were locked into place, as where a silver rabbit, camel and horse. In addition, the silver elephant remained committed to c4, still keeping the rabbit safe.
With many strong pieces clogged up in the west, each side began to build threats in the east. Chessandgo advanced a rabbit to h7 and followed that with a horse on g6. The Jeh responded by using his horse to try to free the framed c3 rabbit and then, unable to achieve that goal, it later attempted to assist with rabbit advances in the east. A silver rabbit was able to advance to g5 on move 29s, and it represented a menacing threat for the remainder of the game, thus tying down the gold horse. However, a gold counter-threat in the northeast caused the silver horse to return to e6, relieving the silver defenders in the south. After that point, the western pieces began a process of disentanglement and many pieces shifted to the east. After a few piece captures gold was able to build multiple threats and then advanced a rabbit to victory on move 39. (GM)
omar vs. 99of9
Omar started the action early in the game by advancing a horse on the east wing to pull a rabbit. 99of9 found a way to position his elephant and horse to prevent omar's horse from escaping and began moving his camel towards omar's horse. Omar tried to stash the vaunrable horse and bring his own elephant and camel towards 99of9's horse. 99of9 was able to put his elephant in position to prevent omar's camel from reaching the horse. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach the horse, omar began shifting his camel to the west wing. 99of9 then positioned his elephant to threaten invasion of omar's eastern trap with the aid of his horse. When omar advanced his pieces to prevent the invasion of his trap, 99of9 started dragging omar's camel to his side. Omar's elephant struggled to free the camel while also protecting the hostaged horse. To prevent repition 99of9 pulled omar's camel to the west wing while also threatening to flip omar's horse. After a few moves the camel and western horse managed to escape the grip of 99of9's elephant. However they were out of position and 99of9 was able to advance his western horse to begin invading omar's western trap. As 99of9 invaded omar's western trap with his elephant and horse, omar shifted the camel over to the eastern wing to go after 99of9's horse. Though omar's camel was now able to drag 99of9's horse to his side, it cost him a rabbit and dog at the western trap. Omar then began trying to drag out 99of9's camel to his side. This caused 99of9 to shift his elephant from the invaded western trap over to the east. Omar switched his elephant to the west and froze 99of9's horse which was alone at omar's western trap. Rather than trying to save the horse 99of9 offered to trade it for omar's eastern horse. After the horse trade 99of9 began dragging out omar's camel to his side. Rather than trying to free the camel and pulling it back to safety omar opted to invade 99of9's western trap. However omar's elephant could not fully devote itself to invading the trap since it also had to protect the camel now threatened to be captured. After a few moves omar managed to win a cat at the partially invaded trap and also advance a rabbit on the west wing. Meanwhile 99of9 was threatening to invade omar's eastern trap while advancing a rabbit on the east wing.
At this point omar decided to abandon the camel and fully devote the elephant to invading 99of9's western trap hoping to win the goal race. However, 99of9 captured the camel and was able to bring his elephant over to the west wing in time to take the wind out of omar's goal race; losing only a rabbit in exchange. With chances of attaining a goal on the west wing unlikely, omar stashed the horse and shifted the attention of his elephant to his invaded eastern trap. 99of9's elephant managed to clean up the abandoned horse and rabbits at his western trap and march a rabbit to goal on the west wing.
An interesting line for omar on 29g might have been to try E↑←Er↓ possibly threatening a faster goal with rH↓R7↑↑. 29s r7↓r2↓eM←*, H→R7→↑R1←, r8←←c←←, Hd→R2←↑. (OS)