I think Ian Rogers is the n. 1 chess globetrotter nowadays. You can find him playing in Europe one day and writing reports from a tournament in Asia a week later. Sometimes I think he has the ubiquity gift, or perhaps he just has a twin brother :-).
Quoting Wikipedia, “Ian Rogers (born June 24, 1960 Hobart Tasmania) was the first Australian to become a GM. He achieved this title in 1985, after first becoming an IM in 1980. He has been Australia's highest rated player for over twenty years, and has represented Australia at 13 chess olympiads (11 of them as 1st board). Before turning professional Ian completed a BSc (Meteorology) from the University of Melbourne. Ian has been a 4 times winner of the Australian Chess Championship, in 1980, 1986, 1998, and 2006. Among his career highlights are three consecutive victories from 1988 to 1990 in the grandmaster tournament in Groningen (outright by a clear point in 1988 and 1989, joint in 1990). Ian is married to Cathy Rogers, herself an International Arbiter, Woman FIDE Master, and a lawyer”.
Ian writes several reports for “Torre & Cavallo – Scacco!”, the older (and paper) brother of “Messaggero Scacchi”. You can also find some of his reports on www.messaggeroscacchi.it/rogers/index.html: I’m sorry, only Italian translations at this address. Ian’s stories are always interesting and fresh, as his wife's pictorial coverages are always fascinating (I thought she was a professional photographer before reading, right this evening, she is a lawyer!).
I don’t know Ian and Kathy: I met them only once, last year in Turin, during the Chess Olympiads (I stayed there a couple of nights thanks to Roberto Messa, TCS and MS editor). The next time I see them, anyway, I’ll ask if they intend to write a book about their experiences around the (chess) world. I think it would be very interesting :-).
Ian's last report speaks about Carlsen’s win in Gausdal Troll Masters (in the picture you can see him with Kamsky, last year in Sofia). And, as usual, he writes something you can’t read elsewhere: the young Norwegian prodigy couldn’t use his own computer during the whole competition, because it was broken! But he won anyway, and in a very convincing way!
Here is “Rogers’ report n. 54”: you can read the Italian translation at www.messaggeroscacchi.it/rogers/rogers54.html: “16-year-old Magnus Carlsen added another title to his glittering collection with victory at the Gausdal Troll Masters last week. Gausdal, a small mountain village four hours north of Oslo, has been the spiritual home of Norwegian chess for decades but, with a minimal prize fund, the strength of the tournaments has usually been modest. However this year the organisers spent big on appearances fees, luring the local prodigy and other top players.
Making a rare appearance on his home turf, Carlsen finshed a point and a half ahead of a classy field which included Russian GM Alexey Dreev and 70-year-old legend Lajos Portisch. Carlsen's achievement was even more creditable when it was revealed after the event that Carlsen's computer had broken down the day before the event began. As a result, Carlsen felt obliged to avoid sharp opening lines - yet his results certainly did not suffer despite this handicap.
Portisch, who some believed had retired from top level play until he emerged to draw an exhibition match against Boris Spassky earlier in April, battled near the lead for much of the tournament but a seventh round humiliation by Carlsen ended the Hungarian's challenge. That left Carslen and Polish GM Mikhail Krasenkow matched in the final round on April 26 with first place, 1,300 Euros and a miniature troll at stake. Youth comfortably trimphed over experience with Krasenkow going astray during crazy complications.
Carlsen's win in Gausdal will move him into the world's top 20 but the teenager will have no time to rest on his laurels - a World Championship Candidates Match in Elista against Levon Aronian awaits at the end of May”.
So Ian is a (very) good chess journalist, but he is also a strong chess player: he dominated the 45th Doeberl Cup in Canberra last month and you can find some really brilliant games played by him on www.chessgames.com. Here are two old and very nice wins from his collection.
Rogers,I – Klaric,Z [D15], Nuoro (ITA) 1984
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 f5?
7…e6 is the most common alternative at this point. This move just weakens Black’s position.
8.axb5 Nxc3 9.bxc3 cxb5 10.Ng5 e6 11.g4! a6?!
11…Qb6 looked a bit better.
12.Bg2 Ra7 13.gxf5 exf5 14.d5 Re7
A good defence is not easy to find.
15.f4 g6 16.d6 Rg7 17.Qd5 Qd7
White threatened Ne6.
19.Bc6+ Kd8 20.Qxa7 Rxa7 21.Bxb5 h6 22.Be3 Rb7?
22…axb5 was the only way to survive, but after 23.Rxa7 White is winning anyway.
An impressive win! Just one mistake costed Black the whole point!
Rogers,I – Seberry,R [C10], Sydney (AUS) 1987
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Be7 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Nxf6+ Nxf6 8.Ne5 c5 9.O-O O-O 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Qe2 Qc7 13.Rad1 Rd8 14.Rfe1
14.c3 is a more frequent move nowadays.
14…h6?! 15.Bc1!? b6?! 16.Bxh6!!
An intuitive and powerful piece sacrifice.
16…gxh6 17.Qf3 Qb7?!
17…Qb8 was a bit better, even if after 18.Qg3+ Kf8 19.Qf4 Kg7 20.Re3 Rh8 21.Be4 White would have had a strong attack anyway (but Black wouldn’t have lost a tempo).
18.Qg3+ Kf8 19.Qf4 Kg7 20.Re3 Rh8 21.Be4 Qb8 22.Rg3+ Kf8 23.Rf3 a5?
23…Kg7 was the only way to survive some more moves, but here 24.g4 (idea g5) is still winning for White.
Black has no defence, e.g.: 24…Ra7 25.Rxe7 Rxe7 26.Ng6+ fxg6 27.Qxf6+ Kd8 28.Rd3! and White mates in a few moves.