(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:

[Event "Championship"] [Site "Durban"] [Date "2006.03.30"] [Round "2"] [White "Lewis, Ashley"] [Black "Danisa, Cyril"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "?"] [BlackElo "?"] 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 $6 {blocking his dark Bishop cannot be right} (9...Qd6 $1 {looks equal}) 10.Be3 Qe7 11.dxe5 fxe5 12.Be2 Nc6 13.0-0 Nd4 $2 {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+ $2 {both players missed a trick here} (25.Qc5 Qxc5+ 26.Nxc5 {was clearly better for White}) 25...Kg7 $2 ({Cyril was moving quickly, and overlooked} 25...Qxf6 $1 26.exf6 Nxc3 27.bxc3 Rxf6) 26.Qe1 Nd4 27.Bd1 Bf5 28.Qg3 Bd3 29.Re1 Nf5 30.Qf2 Qb4 31.Ra4 Qb5 32.Rg4 Ne7 33.Qh4 Qxa5 $2 ({objectively} 33...Qc5+ 34.Kh1 Nf5 {was correct, but recovering his lost pawn looks natural with his opponent in severe time trouble}) {Diagram [#]} 34.Nh5+ {Ashley saw the spectacular sacrifice 34.Qxh6+ mating, but lacked enough time to check all the variations.} (34.Qxh6+ $3 Kxh6 {taking the Queen loses by force eg.} 35.Rh4+ Kg5 (35...Kg7 $2 36.Rh7#) 36.f4+ $1 Kf5 (36...Kxh4 37.g3+ Kh3 38.Bg4#) 37.Bg4+ Kxf4 38.g3+ Kg5 39.Nh7#) 34...Kh8 35.Nf4 Bf5 $2 (35...h5 $1 36.Nxd3 Rxd3 {was still playable}) 36.Qxh6+ $2 (36.Nxg6+ $1 {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+ $2 (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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