2011 Open Classic Round 1
The first of six rounds of the Open Classic officially commenced on Wednesday, 5 January 2011, though the first game was scheduled for Friday the 7th. Historically there had been very few first round upsets due to the large rating differences between the players -- this year for the first time there was no clean sweep for the top 16, as hanzack beat Harren. It was not a shocker however, as hanzack was widely credited as being stronger than his current rating in the pre-tournament forecasts.
Round 1 Standings
|Rank||Participant||Name||WHR [Seed]||Rd. 1||Wins||SoS|
|1||chessandgo||Jean Daligault||2689 ||G 19 W||1||0.0140|
|2||Fritzlein||Karl Juhnke||2550 ||S 20 W||1||0.0140|
|3||Adanac||Greg Magne||2437 ||G 21 W||1||0.0140|
|4||99of9||Toby Hudson||2262 ||G 22 W||1||0.0140|
|5||Tuks||Louis-Daniel Scott||2233 ||G 23 W||1||0.0140|
|6||The_Jeh||John Herr||2170 ||G 24 W||1||0.0140|
|7||rabbits||Gregory Clark||2140 ||S 25 W||1||0.0140|
|8||jdb||Jeff Bacher||2112 ||S 26 W||1||0.0140|
|9||Nombril||Eric Momsen||2057 ||G 27 W||1||0.0140|
|10||Hippo||Vladan Majerech||2037 ||G 28 W||1||0.0140|
|11||omar||Omar Syed||2025 ||S 29 W||1||0.0140|
|12||woh||Hervé D'Hondt||1966 ||S 30 W||1||0.0140|
|13||ocmiente||Thomas Foy||1942 ||S 31 W||1||0.0140|
|14||Nevermind||Antti Laine||1927 ||S 32 W||1||0.0140|
|15||Sconibulus||Trevor Page||1925 ||G 33 W||1||0.0140|
|16||hanzack||1546 ||S 18 W||1||0.0140|
|17||Rad||Michele Nesci||1265 ||Bye W||1||0.0140|
|18||Harren||Daniel Worm||1956 ||G 16 L||0||0.9860|
|19||megamau||Maurizio De Leo||1904 ||S 1 L||0||0.9860|
|20||ChrisB||Christopher Bovee||1898 ||G 2 L||0||0.9860|
|21||knarl||Neil Stephens||1851 ||S 3 L||0||0.9860|
|22||Heyckie||Heikki Rantalaiho||1815 ||S 4 L||0||0.9860|
|23||qswanger||Quinn Swanger||1797 ||S 5 L||0||0.9860|
|24||ginrunner||Chase Todd||1790 ||S 6 L||0||0.9860|
|25||naveed||Naveed Siddiqui||1778 ||G 7 L||0||0.9860|
|26||ArifSyed||Arifuddin Syed||1772 ||G 8 L||0||0.9860|
|27||beancrisp||James Mabry||1690 ||S 9 L||0||0.9860|
|28||oali||Osman Ali||1626 ||S 10 L||0||0.9860|
|29||Belteshazzar||Charles Daniel Martin||1597 ||G 11 L||0||0.9860|
|30||722caasi||Isaac Grosof||1596 ||G 12 L||0||0.9860|
|31||b599||1480 ||G 13 L||0||0.9860|
|32||Labradorboy||Gannon Lawlor||1435 ||G 14 L||0||0.9860|
|33||ddyer||Dave Dyer||1387 ||S 15 L||0||0.9860|
This game featured live commentary by Greg Magne (Adanac) and Omar Syed. It's difficult to hear the commentary near the beginning, but it improves later in the file.
The original game was won by gold after just 2 moves due to a timeout by Silver. Tournament director Ned Bent (RonWeasley) ruled that any game lost prior to the completion of move 3g will be re-played (after 3g a timeout counts as a loss, except in the event of a server problem). The game was re-started 1 hour after the original start time and this time around Fritzlein was able to build an opening advantage with threats on both side of the board followed by a rabbit capture on 21s. A horse frame on 24s built a huge advantage for Silver and the lead was cemented after the gold camel was frozen at b5 on 26s. The loss of the 2nd gold horse on 33s led to a large gap in the southeast defense followed by a goal on move 38s to complete the textbook victory in the tournament's opening game.
This game featured live commentary by Eric Momsen (Nombril), Toby Hudson (99of9) and Omar Syed. Fast-forward to the 1:55 mark of the audio file to hear the beginning of the broadcast.
This game featured a prolific bot basher (ArifSyed) vs. one of the top bot developers (jdb). Arif won the initial rabbit pulling contest, achieving a strong rabbit frame at c3 on move 9g. Jdb immediately let the rabbit go and tried pulling Rabbits on both sides to even the material count. In response, Arif attacked c6 with the caMel, trying to turn the exposed Rabbits into an advantage. After some wrestling around the c6 trap, the gold caMel was split from the Rabbits and hostaged at d7. An alternate (see diagaram 1) 25s ed6s Md7s x x would have forked the caMel, but would have given up a horse in exchange. The actual 25s ended up moving the hostage one square over. A daring pair of gold horses attacked at c6, but this was quickly defused since one attacker had to be on d6 next to the enemy elephant. After a horse exchange, jdb was able to clean up some of the leftover swarm around c6, giving him the material advantage of a captured Cat. Silver also had the caMel and Horse hostaged, but gold was able to free both heavy pieces with some nice tactics around f6 and the loss of a Rabbit. The remaining horses were exchanged on move 50, leaving gold's c3 defenses too thin to stop the silver rabbits.
Adanac established a Camel + Horse attack against the f6 trap on 14g but failed to follow-up with a rabbit pull to e7 which would have blocked off the silver camel from the east side. The attack disintegrated but Gold still won a rabbit on move 21. The game took an unusual twist on the 23rd turn as the gold elephant intentionally exposed itself to a semi-blockade to freeze the silver camel at h6. A tactical error on 24s led to the loss of the f7 silver cat. Another blunder on 42s lost the silver camel and left an open path for a gold rabbit advance up the h-file – it marched straight up to victory on 45g.
Hanzack played very aggressively in the opening but made a serious oversight on 5s that could have cost him a rabbit if the elephant had fled to e2 and the silver horse to h3. Instead, Silver tried to save the rabbit by keeping the elephant on f2 which led to its entrapment on the square. With the silver elephant completely removed from play Harren seemed poised for an easy victory by move 14. The silver camel was threatened and only a single silver horse could hope to save it. But hanzack refused to concede defeat and he used every tactic at his disposal to win a gold dog. He lost his camel in exchange, but most significantly the silver elephant escaped on 19s after the silver camel was captured on 19g (diagram 2). In hindsight, the silver camel was premature as there was absolutely no need to rush the capture. Gold should have cleaned up by capturing the c5 silver rabbit and then flipping a silver rabbit onto the f3 trap before allowing the elephant to escape after the camel capture.
In the actual game, hanzack was down by a camel for a dog and his rabbits were vulnerable. Silver's material deficit increased after a rabbit was captured on 25g. But hanzack turned the tables with an ingenious but subtle 27s. The obvious threat was against the b5 gold dog but the real game-changer was the rabbit shift from h5 to g5 which allowed a crushing horse push to f5 on 28s. After the horse was taken on 30s the material position was close to even with a gold horse + dog having been exchanged for camel + rabbit. But the goal threats in the southeast quadrant gave hanzack the lead for the first time in the game. Another inaccuracy was committed by gold on 36g: the cat rather than the camel should have moved to f1 for the purpose of defending against goal threats. With the gold camel out of the play, combined with the goal pressure from silver, hanzack was able to win a dog for rabbit exchange on move 39. Move 41s was an attempt by hanzack to create space for his stalled goal attacks. There were two reasonable defences: the gold camel could have moved to g1 or, alternatively, 42g Re3w Rf3w Ef4ss would have cut off the silver elephant's access to g2. But the actual 42g was the final error that allowed a forced goal on 43s, completing the comeback that had seemed so improbable on move 14.
722caasi played the whole game at Blitz speed even though one minute of time was given on each turn. woh also played rather fast talking less than the one minute on most of the moves. Both players started with variants of the 99of9 setup. 722caasi lunged out of the setup with an agressive elephant-horse attack on the east wing and a camel advance on the west. woh refused to take the horse hostage and instead pulled out rabbits to choke up the attacking horse. 722caasi offered a horse frame in exchange for control of woh’s western trap. Although woh initially accepted the positional exchange, he back out in time to prevent any material damage on the west. 722caasi was now very much committed to an away game with most of his major pieces on woh’s side of the board. woh strategically regained the horse frame while his elephant worked it’s way to the west to protect the western trap. After move 13s (diagram 3) 722caasi was now at a positional disadvantage by having given a horse frame without gaining control of woh’s western trap. Realizing a dire situation 722caasi began advancing rabbits on the west to assist his major pieces in anticipation of the upcoming fight for control of woh’s western trap. woh’s centrally positioned camel relinquished the horse frame on the east to break 722caasi’s hold on the western trap and create capture threats. 722cassi tried to scatter, but blundered by not moving the camel far enough. woh immediately captured the camel followed by a horse and gained a significant material advantage. 722caasi was able to capture a cat that had wandered too far out, but in the process lost more material and was not able to get any kind of serious threats going. woh continued gaining more material and eventually goaled on move 53s. Even at Blitz speed 722caasi is a fairly strong player capable of defeating many Blitz bots. Although top players make playing a highly aggressive opening seem easy, this game illustrates that unless executed properly an agressive attack can backfire and lead to a devastating disadvantage.
Beancrisp tried to get an early advantage with threats on both wings: a horse pull up the west side along with a frozen gold horse and camel in the east. Nombril used his elephant to fight off the first threat and maintain a small positional lead. Gold gained a material advantage on turn 14 and his swarm against the f6 trap that gave him a decisive positional edge. By rotating his elephant out to d6 and freeing his horse to c7 he had a strong foothold on both sides of the board. Nombril then used his free elephant to capture the silver camel on 28s, ending any hopes of a comeback by beancrisp. The eastern swarm found a hole in the silver defense and a rabbit saw the daylight of the 8th rank on 33g.
An interesting position was reached after just 6 turns: Hippo initially seemed to have a large positional advantage with a piece swarm against the silver elephant. But when that turned into a double-horse hostage suddenly his advantage wasn't so clear anymore. However, some ill-advised piece rotations by oali in the northeast quadrant led to a silver horse frame on its own trap square on 11g. Once the gold camel replaced the elephant on the e6 square, the winner was practically determined. The framed silver horse was abandoned on 21s and for the rest of the game the powerful gold trio captured a few pieces around f6, clearing an open path for a goal on move 28.
B599 was active with his 2 strongest pieces on each wing early in the game. However, his elephant got deadlocked in the southeast quadrant against a silver Elephant + Horse attack while the gold camel found itself blockaded on the a7 square after an alert rabbit pull by the silver camel. Ocmiente captured a gold cat, advanced a rabbit to h2 and then rotated his camel away from the gold camel blockade. These 3 factors gave silver a very dominant position. Silver used his space and mobility advantage to capture 5 more gold pieces before forcing a goal-in-two on the 41st turn.
Labradorboy (Gannon Lawlor) 1435 vs. Nevermind (Antti Laine) 1927 0-1F
Nevermind won by default because his opponent failed to show up within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time.
Sconibulus had a small positional advantage after his 9th move, thanks to a frozen offside silver dog at h3 and a mobile camel that had the freedom to attack in the west. A strong 9s by ddyer neutralized the gold camel with the silver counterpart. However, a huge blunder on 12s gave gold the material advantage of an extra horse. A sharp 16th move extended gold's material advantage as the framed silver horse couldn't be saved and Silver's need to protect the camel gave Gold the needed time to fortify f6. Another tactical error on 18s allowed the gold camel to escape and even capture a silver cat on 19g. Two goal-in-one threats were generated on 21g and the eastern rabbit scored unopposed on turn 22.
The opening moves were very sharp as the silver elephant attempted to engineer a horse frame with the 6s move. But the gold elephant protected its horse and then turned the tables with a camel push to e6 on 10g. Heyckie made a serious error by capturing the gold horse rather than protecting his own camel. Silver was persistent in attempting to pull small gold pieces to the north and his strategy could have succeeded on 20s if the silver elephant had framed a gold dog on the f6 square. However, the opportunity was missed and when the move was played on 21s the gold elephant had time to rescue its dog. The gold camel a horse hostage on 25g and the gold elephant rotated away from the northeast on 27g. These 2 factors gave 99of9 a huge advantage and his material lead was extended to an extra camel after 30 turns. Gold dominated the eastern half of the board with his extra pieces and an open path was created for an advancing gold rabbit. The rabbit scored on 39g.
Naveed opened the game with a rabbit pull down the west side while Rabbits used his elephant to work on a gold horse frame. The frame was completed on 18s and the silver elephant rotated down to f4. In return a silver rabbit and cat were captured leaving the situation unclear after 19 moves. Naveed decided to mobilize his elephant on 28g but it came at the cost of a horse + rabbit in return for a cat. Gold gave up a dog on the 33rd move and his compensation was a silver camel hostage. However, the hostage situation didn't produce any tangible benefit as Rabbits swarmed the southwest quadrant. With a superior position and a material advantage, Silver soon gained strong control over the board and then advanced a rabbit to the first rank on turn 52.
Chessandgo came out storming in the opening with an EMHD attack against the f6 trap. Megamau was on his heels in the east but an attacking silver camel tried to pull a western gold rabbit up the b-file for a material lead on 18s (diagram 4) but a gold dog charged up to the rescue. With most of the gold army in an advanced position, a single advanced rabbit on d4 could have been a nuisance for Gold on the 24th turn. But megamau missed his chance to move his horse from f6 to e3 on 24s. The rabbit was captured instead and then chessandgo proceeded to push ahead with a rabbit drive up the a-file. The silver defenders blockaded the a8 square to halt the advance on 30s. However, that opened a crack in the east and a 2nd rabbit pushed ahead along the f-file on 31g. Faced with a looming defeat, but able to just barely survive in the congestion, Silver hung for dear life for 8 more moves. But eventually chessandgo was able to use his elephant and cat to pull away key defenders and open a path to victory at a8.
Ginrunner appeared to have the slight upper-hand in the opening as the gold elephant was tied down to f5 and the silver camel was mobile in the west after just 8 moves. However, The_Jeh quickly turned the tables by pulling a dog down to a4 on 10g. It was imperative for the silver elephant to return to c4 on 10s and when it failed to do so Gold obtained a very strong dog hostage at a3. The gold camel ventured to the east to threaten both silver horses with a flip to g4 and the silver camel was frozen at b2 on 24g. The dual threats on each wing became too much for Silver to handle and The_Jeh built a dangerous goal threat in the northeast quadrant – the goal was scored on 32g
With his 17th move Omar traded away his camel in return for a horse and cat. Soon after each side traded a cat + horse, leaving the board slightly depleted. Belteshazzar worked for a rabbit hostage pull on 28g but Silver immediately created a diversion with a rabbit charge down the h-file on 28s. After the gold pieces retreated to cover the gaps, Omar was able to win the gold camel, leaving him ahead by a cat and horse, and he used his material advantage to maximum effect by creating powerful goal threats on each wing. A silver rabbit slid down the c-file to win on 40s.
Tuks (Louis-Daniel Scott) 2233 vs. qswanger (Quinn Swanger) 1797 1-0F
Tuks won by default because qswanger could not show up at the match time.