First cracks in ‘Opposition’ as Barrish draws with GM – Moja Chess Extravaganza 2022 Day 6

In the first really important result of this section FM Daniel Barrish managed to hold grandmaster opposition after they have been consistently hammering all comers with decisive results.

This is a significant step to motivate the other participants that it can be done! If you play well enough you can make it. Since this is a norm event it will always be high rated vs lower rated and untitled.

What is a ‘Norm’?

I think it is very important to not assume that everyone understands the significance of this norm section. A norm is a high level chess performance by a chess player in a strong tournament. Since ‘strong’, ‘high performance’ etc. are all relative terms, there is obviously a prescribed criteria that needs to be met in order to receive a chess title.

One of the requirements for GM norms is that the tournament needs to be composed of at least 3 GM opponents from different countries. In Africa it is not easy to get a norm event and allow players the needed exposure to high level opponents because Africa does not have many grandmasters. This is why this event is so important to us.

GM/IM norm section Round 6

GM Sahaj Grover vs FM Daniel Barrish

If the great Garry Kasparov failed to crack the Berlin defense when Kramnik first introduced us to it in their match, who are we as mere mortals? Barrish wisely employed this ultra solid defensive weapon and actually had significant advantage a few times in the game but Grover brought him down from his high horse and forced him to sign a peace treaty. Draw!

FM Barrish drew his game against GM Grover | Image by Cosmos Chipepo for ACM

Christiaan Acho vs Alessandro Parodi

Christiaan Acho beat Alessandro Parodi with the white pieces by employing the aggressive Pseudo Austrian attack against the Modern. White ended up in a superior structure that never looked to be in any significant danger.

Kela Siame Kaulele vs CM Keith Khumalo

Kela Siame Kaulele psychologically maneuvered into Stonewall structures, a staple early childhood chess development diet of his opponent CM Keith Khumalo and proceeded to outplay him. It cannot be a coincidence. The last parts of this game have transmission errors but Kela won the game.

Kela administers a psychological blow | Image by Cosmos Chipepo for ACM

GM Nigel Short vs Banele Mhango

Banele in his usual grinding style was holding up very well against the experienced GM Short when he inexplicably and uncharacteristically caved in to pressure.

GM Abdelrahman Hesham vs GM Amir Zaibi

GM Zaibi never found his feet in a King’s Indian and was drubbed with polished technique by GM Hesham.

Standings

GM Short leads the group on 5.5 points followed by GM Grover with 5 points. GM Zaibi has by this point already played all GM opposition and has not won a game against a fellow GM so he will be focused on wrapping up the upcoming encounters for a decent finish. In fact all the GMs have played each other already in this round robin so the remaining rounds are for the underdogs.

Ranking crosstable after Round 6

There are still 3 more mouthwatering rounds to go in the tournament starting with round 7.

Upcoming pairings GM-IM Norm

The Moja Chess Extravaganza is a chess event organized by the Moja Chess Club, under the auspices of Frances Baard Chess, Northern Cape Chess and the Northern Cape Tourism board. Chess players both local and international have been invited to participate in Over-The-Board chess activities to be held at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre which is situated in Kimberley, Northern Cape on 18 – 22 March 2022. A GM/IM norm event is also scheduled to run concurrently between 18 – 27 March 2022.

Prizes for the event are:

GM/IM Norm event – PRIZE FUND: R87,000-00
Prestige Section – PRIZE FUND: R28,500-00
Ladies Section – PRIZE FUND: R18,250-00
B Section – U1600 – PRIZE FUND: R8,550-00
C – Section – U1100 – PRIZE FUND: R3,950-00
D – Section – U900 (Born 2011 or later )- PRIZE FUND: R1,750-00

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