2009 Open Classic Round 4
Round 4 of the 2009 Open Classic
|Seed||Participant||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Wins||SoS|
|1||chessandgo||S 10 W||G 5 W||S 4 W||G 2 W||4||10|
|2||Fritzlein||G 11 W||G 6 W||S 3 W||S 1 L||3||12|
|3||Adanac||S 12 W||G 7 W||G 2 L||G 8 W||3||7|
|4||99of9||G 13 W||S 8 W||G 1 L||S 9 W||3||10|
|5||The_Jeh||G 14 W||S 1 L||G 16 W||G 6 L||2||8|
|6||arimaa_master||G 15 W||S 2 L||G 17 W||S 5 W||3||7|
|7||naveed||S 16 W||S 3 L||G 9 L||G 17 W||2||8|
|8||omar||S 17 W||G 4 L||G 11 W||S 3 L||2||9|
|9||camelback||G 18 W||G 10 W||S 7 W||G 4 L||3||7|
|10||Tuks||G 1 L||S 9 L||G 13 W||S 15 W||2||9|
|11||woh||S 2 L||G 15 W||S 8 L||S 16 W||2||7|
|12||thefrankinator||G 3 L||Wthdr||Wthdr||Wthdr||0||3|
|13||Bildstein||S 4 L||G 16 L||S 10 L||Bye W||1||6|
|14||Amina||S 5 L||Wthdr||Wthdr||Wthdr||0||2|
|15||LevB||S 6 L||S 11 L||Bye W||G 10 L||1||7|
|16||soldier||G 7 L||S 13 W||S 5 L||G 11 L||1||7|
|17||Sana||G 8 L||Bye W||S 6 L||S 7 L||1||7|
|18||Emaad||S 9 L||Wthdr||Wthdr||Wthdr||0||3|
Fourteen of the fifteen remaining participants will be competing in the fourth round, and of those, all 14 still have a mathematical chance of advancing to the Championship Finals! The much-anticipated showdown between the top two seeds, Chessandgo and Fritzlein, will take place this round and the winner will have the inside track for the top position in the finals. Camelback is the third undefeated player and he must defeat 99of9 (2-1) to get a shot at the #1 seed. Two games will feature opposing 2-1 players, with both winners guaranteed to advance to the finals. There are also three crucial showdowns between players with 1-2 records. All six of those players need to win both of their remaining games in their quest to grab one of the last remaining spots in the championship.
Naveed got the ball rolling with an Elephant + Camel attack in the northwest on move 3g. Sana counter-attacked in the southeast and the players quickly exchanged pieces: A gold dog, cat & rabbit for silver horse, camel & rabbit. Each player then advanced rabbits towards the opposing side’s denuded trap. The gold elephant retreated to the southeast in order to halt the silver rabbit, leaving the gold camel in charge of the northwest. After the camel captured a silver dog on 13g, a gold rabbit advanced to the powerful b6 square. Silver attempted to counter-attack in the southeast but the gold elephant was able to neutralize the threat. A gold rabbit advanced to victory on move 19, putting an end to the short but very action-packed game.
camelback vs. 99of9
Silver quickly advanced a horse to b3 and then immediately retreated (pulling a rabbit along the way) after the gold camel shifted to the west. Another gold rabbit was pulled to d4 on move 8s. Both sides then voluntarily advanced their h-file rabbits 2 steps as the gold camel was menacing the silver horse. Silver probably had a small advantage on move 11 as there was an exposed gold rabbit on d5 and an opportunity for an Elephant + Horse attack in the southwest. The game took an interesting turn, however, when 99of9 decided to exchange both of his dogs for the gold camel.
During the next phase of the game Camelback used his advanced rabbit and elephant to create both goal and material threats in the north half of the board. The silver elephant was able to slow the gold threats while gradually shifting a cat west to where the dog defenders had been. The advanced gold rabbit was eventually framed in the northwest trap on move 18s, freeing the silver elephant to move down south once again. Because a gold dog and horse tried to free the framed rabbit from c6 the silver elephant and horse retreated home to stop the threat and freeze the gold elephant. Gold then advanced two rabbits on move 22g, creating a large traffic jam on the western half of the board. The action quickly shifted to the east, however, as the gold elephant abandoned its framed rabbit on the 24th move in order to create threats in the northeast. Although many gold pieces were in danger in the west, 99of9 had no opportunities to capture them as he needed to secure his f6 trap.
After his 29th move, gold had a powerful rabbit on e5 and another latent threat on g5. But silver also had strong rabbits on e4 and h5, and they both had much more freedom of movement than their gold counterparts. With his 30g move, camelback might have played Ra4e Cc4e plus two more steps to halt the threat of the silver rabbits. Camelback attempted a more aggressive line of attack by threatening the silver horse at g6 trap while shifting his cat to f4 to slow down the e4 rabbit. Though gold had very powerful threats in the northeast, 99of9 was able to ignore that quadrant by advancing a rabbit straight up the middle to e2 and threatening an immediate victory. Gold’s only opportunity to stop the silver rabbit on the 31st move may have been an elephant retreat to e3. However, as that would have caused significant material loss, Camelback instead attempted to slow down the e2 rabbit with his cat while making one last-ditch effort to score himself. After the gold rabbit was stopped, the h5 silver rabbit began its advance and it reached the goal line on move 32s. This has been one of the most exciting games of the tournament to date, and with the silver victory both players are now guaranteed to qualify for the Finals.
LevB vs. Tuks
Tuks took an early positional lead when he obtained a gold horse frame on his c6 trap on move 8s. The silver elephant was awkwardly positioned on b6 but it was able to rotate out on move 11 and then shifted east to threaten the gold camel with immediate capture. With his 13th move, LevB sacrificed his framed horse in order to save the camel. Silver continued to apply the pressure by threatening the c3 trap with a horse and camel in addition to controlling the southeast with a horse and rabbit. The gold elephant abandoned the gold camel in order to wrest control of the f3 trap from the silver horse. With both of his home traps under siege, and facing a large material deficit, LevB decided to try a bull-rush along the eastern edge with elephant and rabbit. Silver was able to stop the attack, and then gold ran out of time on 27th move facing a hopeless situation.
Adanac vs. omar
Gold opened the game with an aggressive Elephant + Double Horse attack in the northwest while Omar was content to sit back and wait to see how things unfolded. Unable to make progress, Adanac shifted his camel west on move 6g to assist against the strong silver defenders. With all the strong gold pieces on the west side, the silver army began to creep forward for a counter-attack in the southeast. Gold finally acquired the b6 square for his horse on move 14g but the silver camel also occupied the g3 square a couple of moves later. The first concrete material threat of the game occurred on move 18g when a silver cat was pulled down to b5, thought he gold cat on f4 was also in a very vulnerable position. Adanac drew first blood by pushing the silver cat onto the c3 trap on move 20. Omar flipped a rabbit onto the c6 trap on move 20s, leaving it awkwardly placed, but the gold horse missed a great opportunity to seize the d6 square on gold’s follow-up move.
The position became more difficult after that as the middle started to get plugged up and each side tried to manoeuvre through the traffic. Omar reduced his material deficit on move 29 by capturing a rabbit in the northwest while Adanac tried to fight through the crowd to create threats against the silver camel that still stood on g3. The silver army gradually built a stronger and stronger position over the next several moves and by move 35 the gold elephant was pinned to the f4 square with a cat framed on f3. The silver elephant was also holding a framed piece, but only a rabbit in this case. The race was on with the newly freed silver camel attempting to return all the way back to the northwest while the gold horses and a rabbit were trying to quickly build an attack. Gold captured one more silver rabbit on move 39g, extending his material advantage to a full cat but with a very awkward position and with both sides running low on time. With the silver camel and cat about to regain control of the northwest trap, a gold rabbit charged forward on move 40g to create a new threat on the east side. Unfortunately, Omar then lost on time in a very difficult and unclear position.
soldier vs. woh
Shortly after the game commenced there was a problem with the server, causing everyone in the gameroom to lose their connection. As it was woh's move at the time, he was the one to technically lose when his clock ticked away. However, because the disconnection was beyond the control of either player the tournament director, RonWeasley, ruled that the game should be restarted from the beginning. But it was later decided that woh should be awarded the victory as soldier had conceded defeat and was not able to re-schedule the game. Thus, woh improves his record to 2-2 and needs one more victory in the final round.
chessandgo vs. Fritzlein
Chessandgo inadvertently setup using the default “V1 version”, while Fritzlein used his familiar 4 rabbits forward with a wing camel. Silver achieved the first rabbit pull of the game on the 10th move with a horse in the southeast corner. The eastern gold horse then advanced leading to a crowd of very strong pieces along the east side of the board by move 12. Fritzlein grabbed the opportunity to advance his camel to b4 on 12s threatening the gold horse. The gold elephant took a step west to challenge the silver camel but that allowed the silver elephant to occupy the f5 square on 14s and set up an eventual gold horse frame. The gold horse could have been framed on the trap square as early as move 15, but silver elected to retreat his dog to safety first. Chessandgo then decided to advance his other horse into the northeast in order to attack the trap from behind, before the piece could be framed. The silver camel then pursued it, freezing the horse on the f8 square.
The gold elephant could have abandoned the frozen f5 gold horse in exchange for 2 silver rabbits on move 20g but elected to advance his dog into the weakened northwest corner. When the silver camel began pulling the gold horse to the west along the 8th rank, and towards the lone dog attacker, chessandgo decided it was time to exchange a gold horse for the 2 rabbits. During the next sequence of moves, a silver horse moved to the west side to hold the advanced gold dog hostage while the gold camel pursued and trapped a silver rabbit. Thus, three silver rabbits had been captured for the gold horse while the silver army continued to hold both a dog and horse hostage in the north. The situation seemed grim for gold after 27s when the silver camel pushed the gold horse back to the east, creating threats in both of silver’s home traps. However, gold was able to hold his position together with a series of threats and by advancing his camel to the g6 square. Then suddenly, chessandgo gained a huge advantage after Fritzlein blundered away a dog on move 30s. From that point onward, the gold army seized the initiative with 2 rabbit advances into the north. The silver camel moved west on 36s to halt a dangerous rabbit threat and then exposed the gold dog to capture on move 37. But gold ignored the threat to the dog and instead advanced a rabbit onto the f6 square. The gold dog was captured in exchange for a silver rabbit, but more importantly the gold rabbit had advanced to f7 and begun a virtually unstoppable threat. Fritzlein put up a strong defense until move 44 when the gold rabbit found its way to the 8th rank. With the victory chessandgo improves to 4-0 and is in the driver’s seat for first place in the Open Classic.
The_Jeh vs. arimaa_master
Each side used its elephant to attempt various pulls in the opening phase. The Jeh pulled the h7 silver rabbit two squares south on moves 7 and 8. The gold elephant then left the rabbit alone as it had to retreat to its home territory because of a looming Elephant + Horse attack by silver. Though gold thwarted that assault, the silver army began a general advance on both wings, with five participating pieces. On move 12, the silver horse which had previously been stationed at g6 advanced all the way to d2 shielded by its elephant on e2. The brave horse found itself in trouble on move 15 when the gold elephant and camel tried to work together to funnel it into a trap. A long tug-of-war contest ensued between the gold camel and the silver elephant as they fought over the silver horse. Arimaa Master continued to play aggressively advancing his camel on the western front and his other silver horse in the east. Silver missed a chance to capture a silver at on move 24, but then captured it on the next move after gold finally captured the invading silver horse.
The gold elephant moved back to the west on 27g to hold the silver camel hostage. However, the silver elephant was able to protect its camel while also dragging a gold horse to the c5 square. The gold horse was captured and then a few moves later, on 33g, a silver rabbit was flipped into the f3 trap. At this point in the game, silver had a slight advantage of cat for rabbit with a horse removed from each side. However, the key to the game would be the camel hostage situation in the southwest. Over the next five moves Arimaa Master advanced more pieces into the southwest to blockade the gold elephant and rotate his own elephant away from the camel hostage. The Jeh advanced his gold horse into the northeast, where it was the strongest piece. The silver elephant had to retreat home on the 40th move to threaten the intruding gold horse, and the horse promptly fled. With the silver elephant occupied in the north, the gold camel attempted to break the silver position in the south, his only chance to reverse his fortune. Gold succeeded in breaking the elephant out of the blockade on move 44g, though it came at the cost of losing his attacking horse in exchange for a silver rabbit.
Both sides fought for control of both southern traps during the next sequence of play, and Arimaa Master eventually gained an enormous positional advantage around the c3 trap on move 51 when he advanced a rabbit to the b3 square, but he still had to be wary in the northeast where The Jeh had begun a rabbit advance supported by a relatively strong dog. The gold threat was ended after each side captured a rabbit and dog on moves 53 and 54. The Jeh struggled for twelve additional moves, but a significant material deficit and a swarming silver army were impossible to stop and defeat was conceded on 66s. Arimaa Master qualifies for the finals while The Jeh will need a victory in his final game to advance.