After yesterday's Junior Primary event, today came the turn of the full Primary division at the Victorian State Interschool Championships run by Kids Unlimited. And we witnessed one of the most thrilling finals tournaments that we can remember. Over the 9 rounds the score changed many times with four schools all having the lead at one point. In the end, the 2020 Victorian Interschool Chess Champions are Glen Waverley Primary!
In the final round, the final game to finish was between players from the two leading schools and through the arbiters Zoom meeting, everyone followed the game which decided the tournament!
There were lots of excellent individual performances with players of different levels doing their best for their schools. The game that interested me most was between the tournament's top individual scorer, Rheyansh Annapureddy (Saltwater College 8.5/9) and the third place getter of the event, Malhaar Mehta (Balwyn Primary 7.5/9). Their encounter was a really tough fight that either side could have won with a slight change of moves.
Malhaar as Black has built up a strong position with a good central pawn wall, an excellent rook on the f-file and a bishop that is eyeing up White's king through the centre. Black has a couple of tempting looking moves here: 1..Nc5 hitting the queen and getting ready to advance the central pawns: 1..Rxf3, an exchange sacrifice that brings White's king into the centre. But Malhaar tried 1..d4 which allowed Rheyansh as White to give up his rook for two pieces. 2.Rxe4 Bxe4 3.Qxe4. The game moved on a couple of moves to the next position.
White's pieces are in excellent position and Rheyansh made no mistake in finishing the game off here. 1.Ng5 forking Black's queen and the h7 square. 1..Qh6 2.Qd5+ Kh8 3.Nef7+ forking king and queen and opening the e-file! 3..Kg8 4.Rxe8# Not even bothering to take the queen! See the full game here.