Reflections on the Western Cape Closed 2021 by Dr Lyndon Bouah


The Western Cape Closed Chess Championship took place in March 2021. The event took place in Stellenbosch and a number of players decided to play as this was only the second OTB event held in the Western Cape at the time.

The crosstable shows FM Dr Shabier Bhawoodien as the winner of the event. Dr Bhawoodien is a well-liked player who enjoys chess. He has been playing on the South African circuit for a long time and it is rare that players continue to maintain such a high standard of play over a long time. Dr Bhawoodien has been playing since the mid-’70s and he has certainly shown us that tenacity, dedication and imagination are key qualities to maintain longevity within the chess community. Well Done Dr Bhawoodien.

Good publicity was received in all the newspapers, and I also watched the interview that was on channel 263 on DSTV. The decisive game of the event was between Dr Bhawoodien and FM Daniel Barrish who is the reigning SA Champion. Let’s have a look at the game!

Bhawoodien,S – Barrish,D [B42]

WP Closed 2021,

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3

Dr Bhawoodien decides to develop his pieces in this Sicilian. Both players are using subtle move orders.

Nf6 6.0–0 d6 7.Nc3 Qc7 8.Kh1 Nbd7 9.f4 b5

The action has started. In this line white essays, a kingside attack and black go for the queenside. GM John Nunn often asked the question about the Kh1 move. Is it useful?

10.a3 Bb7 11.Qe2 Be7 12.Bd2 0–0 13.Rae1 g6 A key moment has arrived. What would you play as white in this position?

14.Rf3 Rfe8 15.Rh3 e5 16.Nf3 Bf8 17.Qf2 The action has begun. White played his rook to f3 and h3 as the rook is reasonably safe and now he is going for the king. Does black have counterplay?

exf4 18.Bxf4 Ng4 19.Qg3 h5 20.Rh4 Qb6 both players are getting their pieces into the game but white has four pieces on the kingside and black only has his queen and knight. What would you play here as white?

21.h3 Nf2+ 22.Kh2 Nxd3 23.cxd3 Nc5 FM Dr Bhawoodien essayed the pawn push and in that way asking the knight some questions. The knight now exchanged itself for the dormant Bd3. What should he play now?

24.Ng5 putting pressure on the weak f7 pawn. Only the king is currently defending the pawn.

Bg7 25.Rf1 f6 26.Nf3 g5 27.Nxg5 the white knight sacrifices itself to open lines on the kingside.

fxg5 28.Qxg5 Rf8 29.Qxh5 Rf6?

Barrish tries to bring pieces to the kingside but the knight on c3 now comes into play

30.Nd5 Bxd5 Barrish exchanges on d5. But forgets that the Ra8. Is now undefended. 31.Qxd5+ Ne6


Dr Lyndon Bouah


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