(1985 - )

Ashley Lewis (photo 2009)

The joint 2006 Durban champion was university student Ashley Lewis, who shared the title with Keith Rust on a score of 7/9, good enough to win the title outright in most years! Ashley went undefeated in this event.

Ashley has also been the runner-up on two occasions, namely in 2004 and again in 2007.


The following complicated game was critical for the 2006 championships:

Lewis,Ashley - Danisa,Cyril
Championship Durban (2), 30.03.2006

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Na4!? 0-0 7.e4 Nb6 8.Nc5 e5 9.Bg5 f6?! (blocking his dark Bishop cannot be right, instead 9...Qd6! looks equal) 10.Be3 Qe7 11.dxe5 fxe5 12.Be2 Nc6 13.0-0 Nd4? (losing a pawn for nothing) 14.Nxd4 exd4 15.Bxd4 Bxd4 16.Qxd4 c6 17.Bd1 h6 18.Bb3+ Kh7 19.a4 Bg4 20.f3 Rad8 21.Qc3 Bc8 22.a5 Na8 23.e5 Nc7 24.Ne4 Nb5 25.Nf6+? (both players missed a trick here, instead 25.Qc5 Qxc5+ 26.Nxc5 was clearly better for White) 25...Kg7? (Cyril was moving quickly, and overlooked 25...Qxf6! 26.exf6 Nxc3 27.bxc3 Rxf6 here) 26.Qe1 Nd4 27.Bd1 Bf5 28.Qg3 Bd3 29.Re1 Nf5 30.Qf2 Qb4 31.Ra4 Qb5 32.Rg4 Ne7 33.Qh4 Qxa5? (objectively 33...Qc5+ 34.Kh1 Nf5 was correct, but recovering his lost pawn looks natural with his opponent in severe time trouble. Have a look at the diagram for a combination.)

34.Nh5+ (Ashley saw the spectacular sacrifice 34.Qxh6+ mating, but lacked enough time to check all the variations. One variation to show that taking the Queen loses by force is 34.Qxh6+!! Kxh6 35.Rh4+ Kg5 (35...Kg7? 36.Rh7#) 36.f4+! Kf5 (36...Kxh4 37.g3+ Kh3 38.Bg4#) 37.Bg4+ Kxf4 38.g3+ Kg5 39.Nh7#) 34...Kh8 35.Nf4 Bf5? (35...h5! 36.Nxd3 Rxd3 was still playable) 36.Qxh6+? (36.Nxg6+! forces the win after 36...Nxg6 37.Qxh6+ Kg8 38.Rxg6+ Bxg6 39.Qxg6+ Kh8 40.Qh6+ Kg8 41.Bb3+ Rd5 42.Re4 etc) 36...Kg8 37.Bb3+ Rd5 38.Bxd5+ cxd5 39.Rc1 Qd2 40.Rf1 Qe3+? (40...Bxg4 41.fxg4 Qd4+ 42.Kh1 Qc4! 43.Kg1 was equal) 41.Kh1 Qxe5 42.Nxg6 (the sealed move; Cyril decided not to play on) 1-0

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