Thursday, January 31, 2008

SMH on Grandmaster Zhao

This is quick reporting by the SMH and they even placed the story on their homepage. With contributions by Sydney academic Dr Jonathan Paxman.

Read more in At 21, he's our new chess grandmaster blaster.

Organiser is New NZCF Boss

Well-known Kiwi chess tournament organiser Paul Spiller is the new NZCF president. The news even hits the home page of New Zealand's Times Online.

Zhao Wins and Bags GM Title

It looks like IM Zong Yuan Zhao will become Australia's next grandmaster after winning his penultimate game in Gibraltar against Frenchman Gildas Goldzstein a couple of hours ago. According to the Monroi site, the game ended abruptly with Goldzstein's blunder 30...Rf6?? and dropping a piece.

The win will mean a third GM norm and therefore also the title.

There was also good news by the other two Australians. In a typically exciting King's Gambit - Moulthun Ly drew, by repetition, with the powerful 2632-rated Viktor Mikhalevski of Israel and Ben Lazarus defeated Line Jin Jorgensen of Norway.

Gibtelecom Chess Festival 2008
Ly, Moulthun
Mikhalevski, Victor

1. e4 e5 2. f4 Bc5 3. Nf3 d6 4. c3 Nf6 5. fxe5 dxe5 6. Nxe5 O-O 7. d4 Nxe4 8. Qd3 Bf5 9. Qf3 g6 10. Bc4 Bd6 11. g4 Qh4+ 12. Kf1 Bxe5 13. gxf5 Nd6 14. Bb3 Bg7 15. fxg6 hxg6 16. Rg1 Re8 17. Be3 Kf8 18. Bf2 Qh6 19. Na3 Nd7 20. Nb5 Nf6 21. Nxc7 Re4 22. Bg3 Nf5 23. Nxa8 Ne3+ 24. Ke2 Nc4+ 25. Qxe4 Qd2+ 26. Kf1 Nxe4 27. Bxc4 Qxb2 28. Rd1 Nd2+ 29. Rxd2 Qxd2 30. Bd6+ Kg8 31. Rg3 b5 32. Bb3 b4 33. Bxb4 Qxh2 34. Rf3 Qh1+ 35. Kf2 Bf6 36. Bd5 Kg7 37. Ke2 Qh5 38. Bc6 g5 39. Kd3 g4 40. Re3 Qf5+ 41. Kc4 Qf2 42. Re4 Qf1+ 43. Kb3 Qd1+ 44. Kc4 Qf1+ 45. Kd5 Qf5+ 46. Kd6 g3 47. Re2 Qg4 48. Rg2 Bd8 49. Bd5 Kf6 50. Rg1 Qf5 51. Rxg3 Qf4+ 52. Kd7 Qf5+ 53. Kd6 Qf4+ 54. Kd7 1/2-1/2

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chess and Business

The Financial Times' John Kay writes:

Yet the rules of chess are well-defined and uncomplicated, there is a single opponent and rarely more than a handful of legal moves. Compared with fighting the war in Iraq, mapping the future of the telecommunications industry, or planning the economic development of China, chess is simple and predictable. But chess is still too subtle to be defined by a single narrative and too complex for models to be more than illustrative. People who hold to a single idea, or a fixed design, generally lose in chess, as they lose in battle, in business and in economics. Great chess players apply a variety of principles, they sense patterns, they hold a formidable range of models and analyses in their mind without being a slave to any of them.

From Business lessons from chess grand masters.

Zhao Suffers First Setback

IM Zong Yuan Zhao has just dropped his first game in Gibraltar. Playing the black side of a Queen's Gambit Declined, Zhao lost to the 2606-rated Yuriy Kuzubov of Ukraine.

Gibtelecom Chess Festival 2008
Kuzubov, Yuriy
Zhao, Zong-Yuan

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 e6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Nbd2 Ne4 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Qc2 f5 9. Bb2 b6 10. O-O Bb7 11. a3 Bd6 12. b4 Nd7 13. Rad1 Qe7 14. Nb3 a5 15. bxa5 bxa5 16. c5 Bc7 17. a4 Ba6 18. Ne5 Bxe5 19. dxe5 Rfb8 20. Bxa6 Rxa6 21. Bd4 Rb4 22. f3 Rc4 23. Qe2

Position after 23. Qe2

23...Ndxc5 24. Nxc5 Nxc5 25. Rc1 Nd7 26. Rxc4 dxc4 27. Qxc4 Nb8 28. Bc5 Qd7 29. Qb3 Ra8 30. Rd1 Qc8 31. Bb6 Kf7 32. Rd8 Qa6 33. Bc5 1-0

Ben Lazarus has also just posted a loss to Denmark's FM Tim Jaksland. Ben has 3.5 points. Sadly, Moulthun Ly's round 8 game doesn't seem to be available on the site so I've no idea of his own result.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chessers Are Worth Dying For

You'll never hear ACF boss Gary Wastell talk like this. The Australian's newly re-elected NCFP counterpart, Butch Pichay, reportedly said last week, "I am willing to go to jail for the sake of Philippine Chess".

Then he apparently later added, "Filipino chess players are worth dying for". Quite dramatic and we, of course, expect nothing less from my countrymen.

Pichay was speaking in response to a contempt suit filed by his rivals Sammy Estimo and Matt Defensor. These latter two claimed that Pichay's faction toyed with the law when they ignored a temporary restraining order issued by a Manila judge.

A court hearing took place last week to hear those contempt charges but Pichay's faction failed to appear. A second hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

Longest Running Chess Column

The Guardian's Leonard Barden is set to break a record. According to Stephen Moss, who writes for the same paper, Barden, British chess champion in 1954, will next week set the "new all-time record for the longest-running continuous chess column". One thing to also note is that Barden once defeated the great Bobby Fischer!

From the Grand Master of Chess Journalism.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bobby Fischer - A Heartless Son

From The Times, a brief and insightful look at Fischer's relationship with his mother, Regina Fischer. Very interesting reading in Bobby Fischer, chess genius, heartless son:

Regina Fischer, rejected by her son and filled with anguish at their separation, continued to follow his meteoric career, turning up in Iceland disguised in a blonde wig to witness his finest hour, in defiance of his orders to stay away.

For three years between 1957 and 1960 Regina wrote regularly to Joan Rodker, now a retired journalist, photographer and film-maker, disclosing some of the hurt felt by a mother disowned by an extraordinary son. The two women had met as idealistic communists living in Moscow in the 1930s and remained friends.

Better Looking Chess Websites

And now for something different.

Thanks to WebWorkerDaily, I've just discovered 3 services that will hopefully usher in new and better looking chess websites. I think we can all agree that this, this and this (ugh, frames) definitely need a few enhancements. Although, to be fair, all these have had minor improvements. CV's site, for instance, is now actually over here.

Still, we can do better. For FREE! No techie skills needed; just a little time, some content and commitment.

Over the last few days, I've been test driving Weebly, SiteKreator and Synthasite. Here are the results: the Sydney Chess Society, Test Chess Website and Chess Society.

(Note that the Sydney Chess Society is just an imaginary organisation).

Each one took me about an hour or so to set up. If you can use Microsoft Word, you should manage just fine. Creating pages, editing and publishing are very easy to do. Literally, "point and click". And while you can opt to have your pages hosted by these 3 services, it's also possible to download your page files and host them somewhere else.

The free package offered by these guys are perfectly OK for modest needs. On the other hand, if you have larger requirements (depending on what you want to do), then you can upgrade for a fee.

My preference? After a few days of use, my pick is Weebly. Weebly's user experience is the easiest and most intuitive to handle. Plus, their available templates were certainly the most appealing.

If you're a state body or a chess club, then all these are worth a look.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Igor Bjelobrk Wins Oz Day

FM Igor Bjelobrk has recovered some of his form and today won the NSWCA Australia Day Weekender with a score of 6.5 from seven games. En route to first prize, Igor defeated GM Dejan Antic and IM George Xie.

In outright second place and scoring 6 points was IM Xie. He, too, defeated GM Antic in an exciting last round encounter. With less than a minute left on his clock, Antic lost a vital piece but opted to hang on hoping no doubt for some trickery to bless his way. But Xie was careful and having none of it forcing the GM to finally capitulate.

"Finally, I get some my money to fill up my petrol," said Xie later.

I don't have all the results but here are some preliminary top standings that I quickly jotted down.

6.5 Bjelobrk
6.0 Xie
5.5 Hu, Rej, Sales
5.0 Broekhuyse, Norman, Bolens

Canberra's Mos Ali won the U1800 first prize. Lucky guy. He turned up late to the fifth round apparently because he'd taken the wrong turn somewhere and got lost! Upon arrival at the venue, he had only 6 minutes left. He managed to draw that game.

As for TCG, well, I scored an OK 4 points. It was enough to take home $36, a portion of my money back, so I can't really complain.

NSWCA Australia Day Weekender

Shaun Press is wondering why some tournaments are successful. Well, some of us, and I'm talking players here, do wish that some of these tournaments are not so successful. That is especially if the venue is pretty limited in space, like the North Sydney Leagues Club, for example, where the NSWCA Australia Day Weekender is currently taking place.

Thankfully, only about 60 players are competing. It's a good manageable number. I can recall one state championships here years ago, and there was barely room to move! So, maybe bad for the organisers, but good for players' comfort.

GM Dejan Antic is the top seed here followed by Bjelobrk, IM Xie, Sales and a few other 2000+ rated guys. And yes, yours truly is also playing. I thought I might as well put in some warm-up time for Doeberl (and possibly the SIO). After 4 games, I've managed 50%. Not bad really, losing only to two strong fellows and against whom I played what I felt to be questionable moves, just for a bit of fun.

I'll hopefully have more details tonight after the event. Meanwhile, here's a crazy game from round 3 yesterday.

NSWCA Australia Day WE 2008
Bjelobrk, Igor
Atzmon-Simon, Barak

1. f4 e5 2. fxe5 d6 3. exd6 Bxd6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d4 Ng4 6. Qd3 c5 7. Qe4+ Be6 8. Ng5 Nxh2 9. Nxe6 Bg3+ 10. Kd1 fxe6 11. Qxe6+ Qe7 12. Qc8+ Qd8 13. Qxc5 Rf8 14. Nd2 g6 15. e4 Nd7 16. Bb5 a6 17. Bxd7+ Qxd7 18. Nf3 Qg4 19. Bh6 Rf7 20. Qg5 Rxf3 21. Qxg4 Nxg4 22. gxf3 Nf2+ 23. Ke2 Nxh1 24. Rxh1 Kf7 25. f4 1-0

Nakamura Shocked by Zhao

I was going to write a quick post about the Australia Day Weekender, but just woke up this minute to absolutely sensation news that IM Zong-Yuan Zhao has defeated American superstar GM Hikaru Nakamura in the Gibraltar Chess Festival tournament.

Gibtelecom Chess Festival 2008
Zhao, Zong Yuan
Nakamura, Hikaru

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. exd6 exd6 6. Nc3 Be7 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. Nge2 Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. Be3 O-O 11. d5 Ne5 12. b3 Bf6 13. Rc1 Bg5 14. f4 Bh4+ 15. Bf2 Bxe2 16. Bxe2 Bxf2+ 17. Kxf2 Qf6 18. g3 Rae8 19. Re1 Ned7 20. Bf3 Nc5 21. Qd2 a6 22. Kg2 Qf5 23. Re3 Rxe3 24. Qxe3 Qd3 25. Qxd3 Nxd3 26. Rd1 Nc5 27. Re1 Rd8 28. Re7 Ncd7 29. Be2 Kf8 30. Re3 Nb8 31. Bd3 h6 32. g4 a5 33. Nb5 Na6 34. a3 g5 35. Kf3 Nc5 36. Bc2 Na6 37. Bd3 Nc5 38. Bc2 gxf4 39. Kxf4 a4 40. Nxc7 axb3 41. Bxb3 Nbd7 42. Nb5 Ne5 43. Ba2 Ncd3+ 44. Kf5 Nc1

Position after 44...Nc1

45. Nxd6 Ng6 46. Nxb7 Rb8 47. c5 Rxb7 48. Bc4 Rb2 49. Ke4 Ke7 50. Kd4+ Kd8 51. c6 Nf4 52. d6 Rd2+ 53. Kc5 Ncd3+ 54. Kb6 Rc2 55. Bxf7 1-0

The win puts Zhao on 4 points after fives games. At this time of writing, I don't know how the other Aussies, Ly and Lazarus, are doing. Their games don't seem to be available in the live streams. Also, it looks like FM Manuel Weeks may have pulled out.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Salvador Dali Chess Set

One from the weird and wonderful vault. The chess-obsessed Marcel Duchamp once asked the artist Salvador Dali to design a chess set for the then American Chess Federation. Below was the end result. The most notable aspect of the chess pieces is that, except for the queens and rooks, they were all modeled after Dali's fingers.

The set was sold at auction recently for $23,400. More from

Gibraltar Chess Videos

Just found this on the Gibraltar Chess Festival's video page. There are a couple of Aussies, with GM Ian Rogers doing a piece-to-camera, and a few familiar faces. Rogers looks quite natural on-camera and may have found his next calling! Frankly, I hope he takes it seriously. There are far too many possibilities with chess coverage using the simplest and cheapest technologies!

One Last Fischer Controversy

A final controversy looks set to be written into the life and death of Bobby Fischer. Britain's Telegraph is reporting that Fischer's burial may not have been completely legal!

The grave was dug in secret as darkness descended over the white frozen landscape around the village of Hraungerdi, ready for Bobby Fischer's last getaway. Not even the minister whose churchyard it was knew of the funeral planned for the following morning.

From Bobby Fischer's final bizarre act. I suppose the bastard just couldn't help himself.

Zhao Wins 3rd Game

International master Zhao is inching closer to his GM norm as he yesterday scored his second win in Gibraltar. So far he has 2.5 points.

2008 GibTelecom International Chess Tour
Zhao, Zong Yuan
Bates, Caspar

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 cxd4 13. cxd4 Bb7 14. d5 Rac8 15. Bd3 Nd7 16. Nf1 Nc5 17. Bb1 Nc4 18. b3 Nb6 19. Ne3 a5 20. Nf5 b4 21. Be3 Bf6 22. Nh2 Nbd7 23. Ng4 Kh8 24. Qf3 Rce8 25. Nxf6 gxf6 26. Qh5 Rg8 27. Qxf7 Ref8 28. Qe7 Rg6 29. Qxd6 Qxd6 30. Nxd6 Ba6 31. Bc2 Rfg8 32. g3 Nd3 33. Bxd3 Bxd3 34. Rad1 Ba6 35. Rc1 1-0

The two other Aussies, on the other hand, suffered losses with Moulthun Ly going down to Chanda Sandipan and Ben Lazarus losing horribly to Mark Hebden.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

FIDE Newsletter

FIDE is initiating a bi-weekly newsletter service. The idea is to "to provide timely information from the chess world". They must just be talking about FIDE-related business because there's no way they could hope to be "timely" if it's a bi-weekly exercise. Not in this day and age. When I think "timely" I'm thinking about all the popular chess news sites out there (i.e., and my fellow bloggers.

In any case my curiosity got the better of me, so I did sign up. They asked for "affiliation" and "phone number". I didn't bother putting those in but apparently my sign-up worked anyway.

Chess is An Enigma

Finished lunch. On the way back to my desk, in the lift, a colleague of mine asked how I spent my Christmas/New Year vacation. Indulging in my hobby, I said. Played chess. As expected, that immediately provoked a conversation.

Then he observed: "Chess is an enigma, isn't it?"

I must say, I've heard many "chess is..." statements, but certainly not that one.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger, A Chess Player

It was pretty shocking news to me this morning. At about 11AM, my email inbox beeped with the latest message and the subject line read something like "Heath Ledger, Dead at 28". Quickly I went to a news site and sure enough, there it was. Just awful.

Tonight, late TV news is reporting that Mr Ledger was also an avid chess player. Australia's Channel Nine News claims that he had once finished third in the Western Australian State Chess Championships. I've yet to confirmed that but a quick search on Google reveals other citations of Heath and chess. Here's one on MTV:

MTV: I hear you play a lot of chess in Washington Square Park.

Heath Ledger: Yeah. I've played since I was a kid. I play at least one game a day.

MTV: That's dedication.

Ledger: Yeah, or obsession.

MTV: Smoking and chess?

Ledger: Yeah, they go hand in hand.

And another one in the UK's Telegraph paper: "At the same time he showed promise in other areas, as a junior go-kart racing champion and, aged only 10, as Western Australia’s junior chess champion; he also represented Western Australia at hockey."

Trio of Aussies in Gibraltar

The Gibtelecom Chess Festival began yesterday. It's one of these tournaments that I definitely must visit some time in the future. During the recent Australian Chess Championships, Malcolm Tredinnick just couldn't stop talking about the whole Gibraltar experience. So now, I have to go.

Aussie chess fans will be keeping an eye on three guys: Ben Lazarus, Moulthun Ly and IM Zong Yuan Zhao. Zhao, of course, is chasing his third GM norm, while Queensland powerhouse Ly will be gunning for his third IM norm. Good luck to all three.

Our Pinoy readers might also be interested to know that there is one Pinoy rep in the Masters section. He is FM Antonio Molina.

Murray Chandler Wins NZ Champs

GM Murray Chandler today won the 115th New Zealand Chess Championships with a score of 9 points from eleven games. He won his last five matches to eventually haul in the title. Chandler's run included two draws and a single loss to FM Stephen Lukey, a game that saw both players try out the currently popular Anti-Moscow Gambit.

115th New Zealand Chess Championships
Lukey, Stephen
Chandler, Murray

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5 9. Be2 Bb7 10. h4 g4 11. Ne5 h5 12. f3 Nbd7 13. fxg4 hxg4 14. O-O Nxe5 15. Bxe5 Rh6 16. Qd2 b4 17. Na4 Nxe4 18. Qf4 f5 19. g3 Rg6 20. Qe3 Qd5 21. h5 Rg5 22. Rac1 Rxh5 23. Bxc4 Qd7 24. Bd3 Ng5 25. Kf2 Nf3 26. Rh1 Rxh1 27. Rxh1 Nxe5 28. Qxe5 O-O-O 29. Bc4 Qxd4+ 30. Qxd4 Rxd4 31. Bxe6+ Kd8 32. Rh8 Ke7 33. Nc5 Rd2+ 34. Ke3 Rxb2 35. Bxf5 Bg7 36. Rb8 Bh6+ 37. Kd3 Kd6 38. Kc4 Ba6+ 39. Nxa6 Rxa2 40. Nxb4 Rg2 41. Rc8 Ke5 42. Bxg4 Rxg3 43. Be2 Bd2 44. Nxc6+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Kxc6 46. Rxd2 Re3 47. Bd3 Re5 48. Rh2 Re6 49. Rh5 a6 50. Rh7 Kb6 51. Kd5 Rf6 52. Rh1 Kc7 53. Be4 Kb6 54. Rb1+ Kc7 55. Kc5 a5 56. Rb7+ Kd8 57. Ra7 a4 58. Rxa4 Kd7 59. Bd5 Ke7 60. Ra7+ Kf8 61. Kd4 Rf2 62. Ke5 Re2+ 63. Kd6 Re7 64. Ra8+ Re8 65. Ra7 Re7 66. Ra1 1-0

The winner made some brief interesting comments over at Chess Chat.

Other top finishers are as follows:

7.5 Dive, Steadman
6.5 Van Riemsdijk, McLaren, Spain, Hart

Australia's FM Tim Reilly completed the event with 6 points.

Complete details of the event, including downloadable games, are available at the Auckland Chess Centre's webpage.

Don't Miss Post Mortems

I think you'll all agree with me that the ChessVibes crew have truly outdone themselves in their coverage of this year's Corus tournament. We love the videos.

For a little more grandmaster guidance, I've been enjoying Mihail Marin over at Chessbase. His dissection of round three's Radjabov - van Wely was particularly outstanding.

But the official event website, surprisingly, also has some excellent content. I don't know why, but I didn't check that site's own daily reports until this morning! Take round 9 and read especially that part about Ljubojevic - Kortchnoi. Discussing a certain moment in their game, this is what apparently ensued:

Kortchnoi: Looks like black is better
Ljubo: I was afraid you’d just lose
Kortchnoi: But I’m stubborn, and I’ll always be stubborn

It kinda makes me wish I was there. That's why I always love postmortems, especially by some colourful characters. Do you have a favourite postmortem moment?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bobby Fischer's Favourite Bookstore

Drexel University's The Smart Set - which, by the way, is a must-read - has a nice little piece on Bobby Fischer. Sara Blask, a writer based in Reykjavik, recounts Fischer's time in a little joint called Bókin, a bookstore. Worth a read. From: "Bobby Fischer Read Here".

The last time Fischer visited Bókin was in early October, before he became sick. In many ways, Bókin was the deeply rooted giving tree Fischer so desperately needed, a place where he could either fuel — or seek shelter from — the storms brewing in his head. He remained obstinate until his dying day, refusing Western treatment for what would ultimately lead to kidney failure, a move he could not outsmart with any amount of intellect or logic. Bobby Fischer may have been able to defy his opponents but in the end, he couldn’t triumph over his own tired body.

Fischer Buried in Iceland

Robert James Fischer was buried yesterday in Iceland apparently near Reykjavik. It was a Catholic ceremony and attended only by a small number of people including his companion, Miyoko Watai.

From Reuters: Chess champion Bobby Fischer buried in Iceland.

Quote of the Day

Amidst all those shenanigans the other day in Wijk aan Zee, there was important news that we've nearly overlooked. Anand beat Topalov. In fact, it was the only decisive game in Group A. But it was in his post-game press conference that the Indian produced what must surely have been a fitting quote of the day. Said he:

I was a bit disoriented because of what was going on with Short and Cheparinov so I kind of decided to make a safe move and go there and have a look.

You'll see it at about 1:45 in the first video on this page.

Anyway, Short - Cheparinov was played last night and, perhaps with some degree of justice, the Englishman achieved victory. We can just imagine diehard English fans and those who've not forgiven the Bulgarian camp for their antics in "Toiletgate" collectively raise their middle finger at Ivan Cheparinov with a, "You got stuffed!" (Well I actually have in mind something a little more vigorous than that, but we're a family-friendly blog after all).

Once again, has the game and, on this occasion, a music video.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Estimo: Pichay Camp Toyed with Law

It looks like my last post was a little too soon! Fresh in my inbox is a press release from Sammy Estimo, the man who filed a petition for a "temporary restraining order" (TRO) to stop his NCFP rivals, led by Prospero Pichay, from holding their elections on 19 January. This press release is addressed to various RP media and including this blog. It's rather lengthy, with a carefully bulleted list of statements and rebuttals. Here are some tidbits:

NCFP executive director lawyer Sammy Estimo said that the NCFP 8-man majority group which includes NCFP chair Congressman Man Defensor and Gov. Rocky Molintas, will file contempt charges against NCFP President Prospero Pichay, Mayor Abraham Tolentino and their five (5) co-respondents before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court for violating the TRO issued on January 16, 2008.

“NCFP President Prospero Pichay Jr., Mayor Abraham Tolentino and their co-respondents in the TRO case toyed with the rule of law. What they could not do directly, they did it indirectly. Their lawyers appeared in the TRO proceedings and when they lost and Quezon City Judge Reynaldo Daway issued the TRO, they brazenly defied it and toyed with the TRO,” Estimo said.

It is not true that the NCFP does not have a Constitution and By-laws. We have in our possession the original copies of the NCFP Articles of Incorporation (S.E.C. Reg. No.A2 00012818, October 16,2000) and the By-laws. We even submitted them to the court as documentary proofs that the Constitution and By-laws are registered with SEC contrary to the claim of Pichay and Mayor Tolentino,” Estimo said.
Even Mr. Florencio Campomanes, who attended the electoral process, knows about the existence of the NCFP Constitution and By-laws and their SEC regulations because it was he, GM Eugene Torre and I who jointly prepared and helped each other to give juridical and legal personality to NCFP,” Estimo explained.
The press release ends with:
The unlawful Tagaytay NCFP polls disenfranchised hundreds of voting chess clubs nationwide. I understand only thirty six (36) clubs participated and certainly, this number does not represent the majority of chess voters in this country,” Estimo concluded.
It's a sort of yin and yang for RP chess. After outstanding news last week of Paragua's triumph in the "B" section of the 1st Leg ASEAN Circuit event and Gonzales' final GM norm, now we have this: a step forward, then several steps back! We'll be closely watching developments from here.

Pichay Gets New Term in Philippines

Our thanks to Pinoy journo Ignacio Dee for bringing this to my attention. The NCFP released the following statement: "Pichay, Tolentino get fresh mandate in NCFP".

In a rare show of force, the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) General Assembly voted to ratify its first real constitution and by-laws and then unanimously elected former Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero "Butch" Pichay and 14 others to a new, four-year term.

In a well-attended general assembly held at the Tagaytay International Convention Center (TICC) over the weekend, officers and representatives of various chess clubs and association from all over the country drafted and then approved the NCFP constitution and by-laws and proceeded to give Pichay with "one of the most resounding victories in a Philippine Olympic Committee (POC)-supervised election of a national sports association.

Pichay, whose able leadership in local chess produced three of the country's nine grandmasters in a span of only than five months since September 2007, garnered a perfect 175 votes in the election of 15 board of directors.

I think I'm not the only one who'll feel quite relieved.

Give That Point Back

Just checked the Corus results. Oh dear, a new scandal! There seems to be a new one every couple of weeks these days.

It all seems to be down to some new law of chess that we posted about last year. It's there in black and white. But is it now a law? Well, apparently not. It's certainly not in the Laws as currently published. And see this letter concerning the recent Anna Rudolf case.

Cheparinov has lodged an appeal. We think he deserves at least a rematch. Decide the point over the board!

Murray Chandler Grabs Lead

Grandmaster Murray Chandler has taken the lead in the NZ Chess Championships. The ex-champ has 6 points, just a slim half-point lead going into the ninth round. Michael Steadman is presently in sole second place on 5.5, followed by a half dozen players with five. Chandler will play FM Robert Smith in the next round.

In the second round, Smith lost out to IM Herman Van Riemsdijk. A fine win by the visiting Brazilian.

115th New Zealand Chess Championships
Van Riemsdijk, Herman
Smith, Robert

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Qc7 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. Nde2 Bc5 9. h3 h6 10. O-O d6 11. Bf4 Bd7 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. a3 Ne5 14. Qd2 g5 15. Bh2 g4 16. h4 Qd8 17. Nf4 Ng8 18. Bg3 h5 19. Be2 a5 20. Nb5 Bxb5 21. cxb5 Nf6 22. Bd3 a4 23. Qe2 Ke7 24. Rfe1 Qa5 25. Rcd1 Rhd8 26. Bb1 Ba7 27. Ba2 Rc5 28. Nd3 Rxb5 29. Nxe5 dxe5 30. Rxd8 Kxd8 31. Rd1+ Ke7 32. Bc4 Rc5 33. Qd3 Bb8 34. f3 b5 35. Ba2 Rc6 36. Be1 Qa7+ 37. Kh2 Qd7 38. Qe2 Qb7 39. Bd2 gxf3 40. Qxf3 Ng4+ 41. Kg3 f6 42. Rf1 Rc8

Position after 42...Rc8

43. Bxe6!! Rf8 43... Kxe6 44. Qf5+ Kd6 (44... Ke7 45. Qh7+) 45. Bb4+ Kc7 46. Ba5+ Kd6 47. Rd1+ will lead to mate 44. Bxg4 hxg4 45. Qxg4 Bd6 46. h5 Qc8 47. Qxc8 Rxc8 48. Rc1 Rg8+ 49. Kf3 Kd7 50. Bb4 Bc7 51. h6 Rh8 52. Rh1 Ke6 53. Bd2 Bb6 54. Be3 Bxe3 55. Kxe3 Kf7 56. h7 Kg7 57. Kf3 Rxh7 58. Rxh7+ Kxh7 59. Kg4 Kg6 60. g3 Kg7 61. Kf5 Kf7 62. g4 Ke7 63. g5 fxg5 64. Kxe5 Kd7 65. Kf5 Kd6 66. e5+ 1-0

Links to round updates and live coverage are available here.

ACF Snubs Victoria, Again!

Last night I received an email from Box Hill Chess Club treasurer Trevor Stanning regarding a failed bid by Chess Victoria (CV) for the 2009 Australian Junior Chess Championships. It was submitted on 10th September last year and received its rejection notice only last week. At this time, we've no idea as to why the Australian Chess Federation rejected that bid or if there were other bids on the table.

Understandably, those luckless Victorians aren't exactly too happy about that. It's the second time in less than a year that their fine state has failed to win a major chess tournament!

If you're interested, details of that bid are now available for everyone else's scrutiny.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fischer's Philippine Connections

Yet another Fischer post, but this one, dear readers, has a particularly unique angle. It's about Fischer and his Filipino connection, but most especially a romantic one!

In one of the "reactions" (to Fischer's death) videos on Chessvibes, GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic suddenly said that Fischer has an offspring in the Philippines. That just too me aback! I only quarter-remembered this bit of detail and was no longer certain if it was true. But a quick email from our friend Manny Benitez confirmed that Ljubojevic's statement is, indeed, correct. And now, this morning, I saw this:

Fischer played tennis at the Baguio Country Club and had a romance with a 30-year-old woman from Davao named Marilyn Young in Baguio City before he went on exile to Iceland.

Fischer’s certified Filipino heir, 7-year-old Jinky, was born in 2002 at the Saint Louis University Sacred Heart Hospital here.

The girl’s birth certificate bears the name "Robert James Fischer" as her father, but she kept her mother’s maiden name, "Young."

It's quite remarkable. Read more in Why Bobby Fischer loved RP, Filipinos. (Thanks again to Manny for pointing me to this article).

And we're a little late with these but here are obits from The Times and in The Guardian (by L. Barden).

"Fischer Remembered"

Macauley Peterson, from ICC, sent me this video ("Fischer Remembered") via my comments field.

More videos from Macauley are available here.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Zhang, Paragua and Sadikin Top ASEAN

As expected, Singaporean-registered grandmaster Zhang Zong and the Philippines' GM Mark Paragua topped their respective events in the 1st Leg ASEAN Circuit tournament in Indonesia. Both had 9 points. International master Irwanto Sadikin of Indonesia, also ending with 9 points, was the winner in the WIM section with 10 points.

Top finishers are as follows:

Grandmaster "A"
9.0 Zhang Zong
8.0 Tirto
7.5 Megaranto
7.0 Wesley So

Grandmaster "B"
9.0 Paragua
7.5 Nadanian, Gonzales
7.0 Nolte

WIM Tournament
10.0 Sadikin
8.5 Handoko
7.5 Chua

For complete details, visit

Our contact in PERCASI (Indonesian Chess Federation) tells us that six players scored norms from the event. RP's Rolando Nolte secured an IM norm, while Jayson Gonzales apparently also scored the GM version. That last is important news because it means that Jayson now has all three norms in the bag and all he has to do is reach a rating of 2500 to become a full GM! An outstanding result for Philippine chess.

EDIT: Final scores for the WIM section have been corrected as per advise from Sebastian Simanjuntak. Results for the last round were unintentionally omitted.

Gary Kasparov on Bobby Fischer

The National Public Radio has a couple of special reports on Bobby Fischer. In this one, Gary Kasparov describes Fischer's chess as "very refreshing" and attributes to the American legend a new style of chess.

And in Fischer Inspired Chess Boom in Pop Culture, the NPR talks about the so-called "Fischer Boom" which raged not only in the US but across the world.

Elsewhere on the Net:
The Independent - Bobby Fischer: The greatest chess player of them all?
National Post - Colby Cosh: Fischer's three lives
National Post - Colby Cosh on Bobby Fischer
National Post - Fischer tried to marry to escape deportation
Daily News - Finding Bobby Fischer
Guardian Unlimited - A self-sacrificed pawn
Guardian Unlimited - Death of a madman driven sane by chess
Slate - The Kingmaker
Guardian Unlimited - A beknighted genius
New York Times - Fischer Versus the World: A Chess Giant’s Endgame
Chicago Tribune - Chess legend, Cold War hero

Zhang and Paragua Set to Win ASEAN

There is one more round to go in the 1st Leg ASEAN Chess Circuit currently being played in Tarakan, Indonesia. Here we have round 10 results thanks to PERCASI's Sebastian Simanjuntak who's been sending me results and games daily.

Grandmaster "A"

Nadera - Zhang, draw
Torre - Kosasih, draw
Megaranto - Hamed, 1-0
Tirto - Situru, 1-0
So - Hafizulhemi, draw
Ginting - Purnama, 0-1

Grandmaster "B"
Nolte - Mahmud, 0-1
Gonzales - Nadanian, 0-1
Sukandar - Barbosa, 0-1
Prayitno - Barus, 1-0
Paragua - Mok, 1-0
Ardiansyah - Sitanggang, draw

WIM Tournament
Thi May - Sadikin, 0-1
Citra - Lindiawati, 0-1
Chua - Bernales, 1-0
Tay - Handayani, 1-0
Mendoza - Handoko, 0-1
Chan - Verdiana, draw

Zhang, Paragua and Sadikin will go into the last game as leaders and should also emerge as the eventual winners.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bobby Fischer Dead at 64

I've just literally walked back in to my house and the first thing that I heard is that Robert James Fischer has just passed away aged 64. This is fresh news so I'm just dumping here the first few items on Google News.

(Note that some of these may be identical in content as they basically use the same source) - Bobby Fischer látinn (in Icelandic)
New York Times - Bobby Fischer, Chess Master, Dies at 64
BBC - Chess legend Fischer dies at 64
MSNBC - Former chess champ Bobby Fischer dead at 64
The Canadian Press - Former chess champion Bobby Fischer dead at 64
Reuters - Former chess champion Bobby Fischer dies
Bloomberg - Bobby Fischer, First U.S. World Chess Champion, Dies
CNN - Cold War icon Fischer passes away
Times Online - Bobby Fischer, flawed chess genius, dies in Iceland
The Guardian - Chess champion Bobby Fischer dies
Reuters Factbox on Fischer - Key facts about former chess champion Bobby Fischer - Obituary: Bobby Fischer
Times Online - Raymond Keene: Bobby Fischer was 'pride and sorrow of chess'
Sports Illustrated - SI Flashback: Bobby Fischer
Iceland Review Online - Bobby Fischer Passes Away
New York Times - Reacting to Bobby Fischer’s Death
The Associated Press - Timeline of Fischer's Career
Time Magazine - Bobby Fischer - Chess Prodigy

Other interesting links (I'll update these over the next few hours)
My 60 Memorable Games in PGN -
My 60 Memorable Games/Fischer -
Bobby Fischer in Wikipedia
The game that shook the world - from
Interview with Bobby Fischer - (Also available on YouTube is an audio recording of that infamous interview that Fischer gave to a Philippine journalist post 9/11. You can find other Bobby Fischer related entries in YT here.)
Fischer Fury - by Edward Winter (with thanks to Dr Kevin Bonham)
Robert James (Bobby) Fischer, by Bill Wall
Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy (via Google Book Search. You might need a Google account to view this)
Federal Grand Jury Indictment of Bobby Fischer
The Bobby Fischer Unofficial Homepage (Very comprehensive)
Bobby Fischer dies in Iceland - Chessbase
The Battle of the Brains Time Magazine - (first published on 31 July, 1972)

Chess: Poor View of History

Last November I posted a review by David Edmonds of Daniel Johnson's book, White King and Red Queen. Edmonds' review was largely favorable but in today's Australian Financial Review paper, I spotted another review written by Erik Tarloff that was a little more critical.


Johnson makes extravagant and ultimately unconvincing claims for the significance of the role played by the game of chess during the Cold War. "Chess provided a mega-metaphor," he says and later in the same paragraph tells us, "By providing the safety valve that kept the lid on the Cold War, chess helped save civilisations from itself." Really?

And he closes with:

Finally, though, the book is guilty of the same flaw that mars writing from the Soviet time, about chess and so much else. It views the world through an ideological prism, and slots messy complexity into neat ideological categories. It isn't always wrong, but a lot of nuance gets trampled along the way.

The review first appeared in Prospect magazine. I tried looking for a full version online, but I'm afraid that only this stub is available (unless you're a subscriber).

In any case, while performing this quick research I stumbled upon another, but related, essay by Daniel Johnson on chess and the Cold War. This one was written back in 2005, also for Prospect. Read: Cold War Chess.

GM Wesley So in Thriller

Mark Paragua scored a quick win in round 8 of the 1st Leg ASEAN Chess Circuit over GM Haji Ardiansyah to hold on to his lead in the Grandmaster "B" section. The ex Pinoy numero uno has 7 points followed by IM Gonzales, with six, then FM Nolte and IM Nadanian, both on 5.

The rest:

4.5 Mahmud
4.0 Barbosa, Sitanggang
3.5 Prayitno
3.0 Barus, Ardiansyah
2.5 Mok
0.5 Sukandar

GM Zhang Zong meanwhile is looking good to win the "A" event as he posted yet another win in the 8th round over RP's Hamed Nouri. Wesley So also won and played what was definitely the eighth round's most exiting game.

AMCC 2008 1st Leg - GM Tournament A
So Wesley
Ginting Nasib

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 O-O 10. f4 Qa5 11. h4 Rd8 12. Qe3 h6

Position after 12...h6

13. Be2 Bd7 14. Qg3 Kh8 15. e5 dxe5 16. fxe5 Ng8 17. Qf4 Be8 18. Bd3 f6 19. exf6 Bxf6 20. Bxf6 Nxf6 21. g4 e5 22. Qf1 Bc6 23. g5 Ng8 24. Rg1 e4 25. gxh6 Nxh6 26. Qg2 Nf5 27. Bxe4 Rxd1+ 28. Rxd1 Ne3 29. Qg6 Bxe4 30. Nxe4 Rc8 31. c3 Nxd1

Position after 31...Nxd1

32. Ng5 Rxc3+ 33. Kb1 Rc1+ 34. Kxc1 Qc5+ 35. Kb1 Nc3+ 36. bxc3 Qb5+ 37. Ka1 1-0

Standings after round 8:

7.0 Zhang Zong
5.5 So
5.0 Tirto
4.5 Megaranto, Torre
4.0 Hafizulhemi, Hamed
3.5 Purnama
3.0 Ginting, Kosasih, Situru
1.0 Nadera

Brazilian Crush Kiwi's French

Brazil's IM Herman Van Riemsdijk yesterday defeated local FM Stephen Lukey. Quick and painful. If anything, this is a nice demo of how not to play the French.

115th NZ Chess Championships
Van Riemsdijk, Herman
Lukey, Stephen

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. h4 Nbc6 8. h5 Qa5 9. Bd2 Bd7 10. Rb1 O-O-O 11. Qc1 Qc7 12. Nf3 f6 13. Bf4

Position after 13. Bf4

13...fxe5 14. Nxe5 cxd4 15. cxd4 Nxd4 16. Nc4 Nxc2+ 17. Qxc2 1-0

International master Russell Dive of New Zealand continues to lead the 115th NZ Championships with 3.5, ahead of four players on 3 points. Top seed Murray Chandler has 2.5 points so far.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shots Fired in Philippine Chess War

The first shots have just been fired in what is set to be a war of attrition between two opposing camps within the National Chess Federation of the Philippines. The country's Inquirer paper reports that a Manila judged signed a "temporary restraining order" stopping an NCFP group headed by Congressman Prospero Pichay from holding their elections scheduled for this coming Saturday.

As is only to be expected, this latest conflict already has one of its first negative side-effects. In his latest email newsletter that's just hit my inbox, the tireless Filipino chess aficionado Manny Benitez writes:

I have not included the news report that a court judge has issued a temporary restraining order stopping the NCFP's election set for Saturday. This is because I just read it in my favorite newspaper. I am waiting for word from Atty Samuel Estimo who is one of my readers who used to send me press releases about the Saturday series of Executives and Challengers tournaments. Surprisingly, however, since I made known my stand against a possible schism within the NCFP, he has stopped sending me his press releases.

For the record, my objection to any moves that tend to split the federation into factions is based on the principle that squabbles between chess leaders are not only self-destructive but also are a hindrance to our efforts in propagating the game we all love. A house divided against itself will collapse, so says the Good Book. Personalities come and go, but chess lives on as one of the most wonderful gifts of God to mankind!

Knowing Sammy as a devout Christian, I firmly believe that he will take steps to mend fences and to desist from taling any action that could further destroy what most of us are trying to build: a strong and united chess community that will produce champions, not a disunited chess community that keeps fighting itself and producing patzers when not squabbling among themselves, often about petty matters.

Gens una sumus! We are one family!

I may now just be a lapsed Catholic, but we still humbly agree with Mr Benitez.

Susan Polgar: Board Members Misrepresented Facts

While her sister Judit is busily making news where it matters, Susan, on the other hand, is in the middle of some ugly chess politics. Here she is responding to that NY Times article:

This is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. Answers and evidence were submitted to the USCF attorney. I was on the phone with the USCF attorney for a considerable length of time to discuss this matter and to answer his questions. If additional information was needed, we should have been asked. No one asked. I have an email from the USCF attorney confirming that he received the evidence. We were under the impression that everything was fine until last night after the statement has already been submitted to the NY Times. I can clearly document the time line step by step.

A whole thread can be found on Susan's Chess Discussion Forums.

Murray Chandler in NZ Champs

Grandmaster Murray Chandler is back in action in New Zealand for that country's 115th Chess Championships. The now managing director of Gambit Books is seeded first ahead of familiar names like Ker, Dive, Smith and Garbett. Our readers might recall that Chandler last won this event two years ago in the unforgettable Queenstown Chess Classic where he finished on 8.5 points from 10 games.

After two rounds - Chandler has won one, lost one. In round 2, he lost to the affable FIDE master Stephen Lukey.

A couple of overseas players are also there: Aussie FM Tim Reilly, Denmark's FM Ove Hartvig and, flying off to New Zealand straight after the Aussie Championships, Brazilian IM Herman Van Riemsdijk.

Live games are available here and the usual tournament data can be found here.

I should also take this chance to remind our foreign readers, especially, that the 116th New Zealand Chess Championships will once again be held in Queenstown. Visit for more info. So if you missed out on the 2006 edition, believe me you won't want to miss the next one.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"A Special Mind"

Tonight's episode of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's The 7.30 Report had a special segment on Gene Nakauchi. Gene is currently playing in the Australian Juniors where he has 3 points from five rounds.

A transcript of that report should also soon be available.

Paragua and Zhang Zong Lead ASEAN

GM Zhang Zong is surging way ahead in the Grandmaster "A" section of the 1st Leg ASEAN Chess Circuit tournament in Indonesia. Zhang defeated Indonesia's IM Nathaniel Situru in the seventh round to raise his tally to 6 points. Currently running closest is 14-year old GM Wesley So who has 4.5 points. Yesterday, the world's youngest grandmaster defeated his countryman IM Barlo Nadera.

Other scores are as follows:

4.0 Hafizulhemi, Tirto and Hamed.
3.5 Purnama, Megaranto, Torre
3.0 Ginting, Situru
2.0 Kosasih
1.0 Nadera

Here's a round 6 win by Eugene Torre over FM Tirta, of Indonesia, where the Pinoy legend tries out the rare Larsen's Opening. A very smooth win by Torre, his dancing steeds dominating!

AMCC 2008 1st Leg - GM Tournament A
Torre Eugenio
Purnama Tirta Chandra

1. b3 c5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e3 d5 4. Bb5 Qb6 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. Nf3 a6 7. Bxc6+ Qxc6 8. Ne2 g6 9. Ne5 Qc7 10. d4 Bg7 11. O-O O-O 12. Nf4 cxd4 13. exd4 Bf5 14. c3 Rfd8 15. f3 Ne8 16. Re1 Bh6 17. Ne2 Bg7 18. Ng3 Nd6 19. Nf1 Rac8 20. Ne3 Be6 21. Nd3 Nb5 22. Nc5 Qc6 23. a4 Nc7 24. a5 f6 25. Nc2 Bf5 26. Nb4 Qb5 27. Qe2 e5 28. Qxb5 Nxb5 29. Nxb7 Rd7 30. Nc5 Rd6 31. Nbxa6 Bh6 32. Re2 Bg7 33. Nb4 Bd7 34. a6 exd4 35. cxd4 f5 36. Re7 Be8 37. a7 1-0

Meanwhile, in the "B" section, Paragua leads with 6 points, but chased very closely by fellow Pinoys IM Jayson Gonzales who has 5.5 and FM Rolando Nolte with five.

In the WIM tournament, IM Irwanto Sadikin leads the field on 6.5 points altogether.

For more information, visit PERCASI's site at We do also thank Sebastian Simanjuntak of PERCASI for sending us daily updates.

Polgar Hubby Is Asked to Step Down

Some interesting movements within the USCF. The New York Times' Dylan Loeb McLain reports:

A majority on the executive board of the United States Chess Federation plans to formally ask a member to resign amid allegations that he had posted messages under other people’s names to Internet bulletin boards to get elected to the board.

The call by four of the board’s seven members for Paul Truong’s resignation came in the wake of a lawsuit filed last year by a former board member. The resignation request was made in a statement to be released on Tuesday, which was sent to The New York Times on Monday.

The suit by the former member, Samuel H. Sloan, claims that Mr. Truong and his wife, Susan Polgar, another board member, posted comments about candidates in the name of Mr. Sloan and others. Many of the comments were sexual in nature.

Read more in "Member of U.S. Chess Federation’s Board Is Asked to Resign in Dispute Over an Election". (NOTE: Registration is required on the NYT site).

DG over at Boylston CC is covering this and see also ChessUSA.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Video: "Chess Me Out"

It's always very nice to wake up to a nice surprise. While chatting to international master Alex Wohl this morning on Google Chat, he suddenly ask me if I'd heard of the so-called "Turin video". At first I thought it might have been some secret footage of THAT famous Turin incident that made world headlines. You can understand my thinking as we, after all, happened to be talking about the Olympiad at that moment.

However, it turned out that the video is entirely unrelated, yet more interesting! Italian film maker Davide Fasolo has produced a must-watch 43-minute documentary on this most beautiful game. Specifically, the video features 12 chess pros who talk about their "childhood to the feelings on board during the game". I don't know some of the chess players featured (there are 12 altogether), but Karpov, Aronian, Kosteniuk and Aussie IM Alex Wohl are in it.

You may download the video from Mr Fasolo's site, , or you can check out a Flash version as well as a Quicktime one. (Thanks to Alexandra Kosteniuk's site for those latter two versions).

Aussie Olympiad Selections Announced

The Australian Chess Federation's email newsletter is finally back and with a new editor, Joe Tanti. For those interested in subscribing just pop your email addy in that enrolment field that you'll see on the federation's homepage.

Aussie chess players interested in Olympiad duties should especially take note of this latest edition. The deadline for Olympiad selections is currently expected to be about Friday, 20 June, 2008.

And this:

The 20 games rule, adopted a few years ago but only now coming into effect, requires each applicant for the Australian Olympiad teams to have played 20 rated games in the previous year by the selection deadline (ie 20 June 2007 - 20 June 2008). The definition of a rated game includes any game rated by the ACF and/or FIDE that is not a rapid play game. A game rated by another federation (eg BCF) will also count where requested, provided that an adequate formula for converting that federation's ratings to either ACF or FIDE ratings exists. Of course, any game can only be counted once.

Regular updates from the ACF can also be read here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

GM Wesley So Vie for Athlete of 2007

Grandmaster Wesley So is in the running for the Philippines' Athlete of the Year award. The 14-year old is up against boxers Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire, current world 8-ball champion Ronnie Alcano and golfer Frankie Miñoza. The award will be decided by the Philippine Sportswriters Association.

Read more in the Inquirer.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

1st Leg ASEAN Chess Circuit

While the elite Corus tournament is currently underway, another tri-section event is taking place closer to home. The Indonesian Chess Fed (PERCASI) is hosting the 1st Leg ASEAN Chess Circuit tournament in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The event is divided into 3 "circuits": a category 9 (Grandmaster "A"), a category 7 (Grandmaster "B") as well as a category 4 WIM event. All are round robins with 12 players (11 rounds). A complete list of participants is available here.

After 5 rounds Singapore's GM Zong Zhang leads the Grandmaster "A" section with 3.5 points, just ahead of Indonesia's IM Situru and and Malaysian IM Hafizulhemi who both have 3 points apiece.

In the Grandmaster "B" field, RP's GM Paragua is the current sole leader with 4 points, just a slim half-point ahead of IM Sitanggang of Indonesia and Armenia's IM Nadanian. While in the WIM section, IM Sadikin and GM Handoko, both Indonesians, have 5 and four points respectively.

Filipino legend GM Eugene Torre isn't exactly having the best of times here. After 5 games, he has collected only 1.5 points. He lost his last game to IM Ginting Nasib.

ASEAN Masters Chess Circuit 2008
IM Ginting, Nasib
GM Torre, Eugenio

1. Nf3 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. g3 Nbd7 4. c4 e5 5. Nc3 c6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. e4 Re8 9. h3 Bf8 10. Re1 a6 11. d5 a5 12. Be3 Qc7 13. Nd2 Nc5 14. Nb3 Nfd7 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 16. a3 Bd7 17. Qc2 Na6 18. Rab1 c5 19. Kh2 g6 20. Re2 Bg7 21. Rbe1 Qd8 22. h4 Nc7 23. Bh3 Bxh3 24. Kxh3 b5 25. cxb5 Nxb5 26. Nxb5 Qd7+ 27. Kg2 Qxb5 28. a4 Qd7 29. h5 Reb8 30. hxg6 hxg6 31. Bd2 Qb7 32. Bc3 Qa6 33. Rh1 Qc4 34. Ra1 Rb7 35. Ree1 f5 36. Qe2 Qxe2 37. Rxe2 Kf7 38. Rh1 Rbb8 39. Ree1 Rh8 40. Rxh8 Bxh8 41. Kf3 Bf6 42. Rh1 Kg7 43. g4 fxe4+ 44. Kxe4 c4 45. Bd2 Rb8 46. Rb1 Bd8 47. Bc3 Bg5 48. Kf3 Rf8+ 49. Ke2 Bd8 50. f3 Rf4 51. Kf2 g5 52. Kg3 Kg6 53. Re1 Bb6 54. Re2 Rf8 55. Rc2 Rc8 56. Be1 Rc7 57. Kg2 Kg7 58. Kf1 Kf6 59. Ke2 Ke7 60. b3 cxb3 61. Rxc7+ Bxc7 62. Kd3 Kf6 63. Bg3 Bb6 64. Kc3 Be3 65. Kxb3 Bf4 66. Be1 e4 67. fxe4 Ke5 68. Bxa5 Kxe4 69. Kc4 Kf3 70. Bc7 Kxg4 71. a5 Be3 72. Bb6 1-0

Torre is slated to play a 12-game match against countryman GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., in March 2008. If he's going to have any chance at the P800,000 winner's cheque (P400,000 will go to the loser), Asia's first GM will have to work much harder. Doubtless, Antonio will be paying close attention.

For regular updates of the 1st Leg ASEAN Chess Circuit, visit

2008 Aussie Junior Chess Championships

Also kicking off today is the 2008 Australian Junior Chess Championships in the Cranbrook School in Sydney. I've just had a quick look at the list of entries and I'm afraid I'm not too familiar with most of those names. I see Wallis, Ikeda, Schon and that's about it. Some other big names I expected to see aren't there. Still, it could be a tough fight.

One name I spotted, though, is Nikita Ayvazyan. The kid was our special guest yesterday at the "Hyde Park Chess Club" in Sydney. Poor Nikita scared most of our members. No one likes to be embarassed by a kid, especially those sporting a Russian accent! But I was game: won 1, drawn one.

Good luck to all players.

Corus 2008 Begins

The first big one of 2008 began last night at 11.30PM Sydney time. It's, of course, the Corus event in Wijk aan Zee. Just one round so far and already we have some gorgeous games and results.

In the A group three games were decisive including Mamedyarov - Carlsen where white's capitulation may have come a wee bit too early. But who knows, maybe these super GM guys saw something? For an explanation we'll have to wait for Carlsen to do the honours. The wonderful site Chessvibes has promised a video interview.

The fighting mood extended to the B group where 4 out of seven games ended decisively. Etienne Bacrot is the second seed there and will hopefully have some interesting analyses of his games on his official blog. I should also urge our readers to tune into WFM Iva Videnova and Milena Stefanova on Chessdom's coverage. Our friend Goran sure knows how to pick 'em!

But how about the C group? It was especially a Christmas Day all over again for the black players. We can only hope that the bloodthirsty attitude will last throughout the tournament.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hungarian Chess Fed to Support Anna

The Chessdom team has been running with the Lippygate story quite a bit and now have this "official statement" from Anna Rudolf:

But I don't understand why did they keep on accusing me and why did they make a complaint to the arbiter about me right before the last game, if my games had been checked after Round 4 and they had not shown any "too often matching with the engine". Saying that I am younger, female, and also "low rated" can't make an evidence for cheating, I think.

Plus this statement from the chief arbiter Eric Delmotte:

The Latvian players have the right to expose some doubts, but they do not have right to act as they did in the last round by accusating her directly just before the game without any proof and after we dealed with it. Everybody must do everything to avoid cheating paranoya because this is not good for the "climate" of the tournaments.

Paranoia may never be avoided these days. But when it comes to accusations or suspicions of cheating, everybody must first and foremost remain discreet until there is ample evidence. Else, the damage to people's reputations could be quite enormous.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Solomon: I'm very happy

After 14 attempts and playing in every Australian championship since 1982, international master Stephen Solomon today finally became an Australian Chess Champion. He finished the event with 8 points.

In his speech, the shy Queenslander thanked his parents whom he rang immediately after it was certain that he'd won the title. "Solo", as he is fondly known, later also added: "I'm very, very happy".

IM Solomon's score (along with Brazilian IM Herman Van Riemsdijk) was actually a half point less than GM Dejan Antic's. But Dejan, who is from Serbia, is ineligible for the national title as he is neither an Australian citizen nor a permanent resident.

While he goes home sans the Australian title, Dejan does receive a cheque for $1,500. He was humble in his speech. Said he: "I was lucky again. What can I say?"

The likable grandmaster also thanked his "great fans" Dr. Vasil Tulevski and his family for helping him stay in Australia. As we reported late last year, Dejan was denied his permanent residency status by the Australian government. His struggle to remain in this country continues.

Today, dozens of local supporters signed a petition on behalf of GM Antic. The petition reads: "We the undersigned players participating in the 2008 Australian Chess Championships call on the Migration Review Tribunal to grant Grand Master Dejan Antic residency in Australia on the basis of his ability to coach and impart his considerable chess knowledge on this and future generations of Australian chess players".

Let's hope that those bureaucrats can wake up and smell the roses!

In the major section, local player James Watson finally prevailed and won the event after 2 rapid and two more hair raising lightning playoff games against Korean visitor Kim Yongtae.

James Watson v Kim Yongtae in the rapid playoff (Photo taken with Nokia 6500 cell phone)

Finishing on 8.5 points apiece out of eleven regulation games, James and Kim played 2 rapid games of 20 min + 10 secs (from move 1). The Korean won the first, but James quickly bounced back and won the second. The lightning phase was all Aussie. James won on time in the first game and forced a resignation by Kim in the second. Well done James.

Newsouthwelshman Bob Liang won the section with 9 points, followed by Howard Duggan on 8.5. Howard, by the way, did a most commendable act. He took to the microphone and thanked the organiser Shane Burgess. That was nice. And in third place is New South Wales Chess Association councilman and fellow blogger Trent Parker who collected 8 points in total.

ACF Medals
During the closing ceremonies, ACF president Gary Wastell announced this year's recipients of both the Koshnitsky and Steiner medals.

The 2008 Player of the Year is international master Zong Yuan-Zhao. Mr Wastell said that it was a close finish between the 3 nominees. Congrats IM Zhao who is, by the way, playing in Sevilla and has 5 points after eight rounds.

I should also thank Mr Wastell and the ACF for selecting yours truly to be a selector for the Steiner.

And the 2008 Koshnitsky medal goes to former ACF boss Denis Jessop. Congrats Mr Jessop.

Note that nominations for the Whyatt Medal (Problem Composition) are still open and will remain so until the Doeberl Cup. Nominations may be submitted directly to the ACF or via your state chess body.

Before we close, many thanks to the organisers for their very open attitude to my activities. I had complete access to games and results. Very professional.

That's about it all. I had fun blogging about this event and hope you had fun reading. I did notice that my traffic has shot up significantly in the past two weeks. I think that this marriage between the net and chess events is just unavoidable. It's essential these days for big tournaments to have live coverage or, failing that, very fast updates. Chess fans seem to be particularly hungry for information. That's certainly been the feedback to me from a few readers.

Yet there is really so much more we can do with the net these days. I'm thinking podcasts, even live audio! And all can be done for free. But that will be for next time. Our next big event to cover will be Doeberl. I just hope they have net access from the venue.

Adios from Parramatta.

CAQ Boss Resigns

Bill Gletsos, the Australian Chess Federation's deputy president, recently announced that John Surridge has resigned from his post of president of the Chess Association of Queensland (CAQ). Mr Surridge was only elected to that post last December 2007.

The resignation means that current vice president Garvin Gray will automatically take over as CAQ boss. Mr Gray rose to prominence in Australian chess circles as the staunch spokesman of the highly controversial 2004-05 Australian Chess Open held in Mt Buller, Victoria. He is also an arbiter.

We wish Mr Gray the very best of luck.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Johansen Loses a Drawn Position

Just got to Parramatta in time for the postmortem of Johansen - Sales. Pinoy chess fans will be glad to know that FM Jesse Sales has just defeated Australian grandmaster Daryl Johansen. In an error filled duel, Johansen actually had opportunities to draw, if not to win, the game.

(NOTE: Comments made in this game are based on those in the postmortem session and especially Jesse Sales)
Australian Chess Championships 2008
Johansen, Daryl
Sales, Jesse

1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 e5 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. e5 d5 7. Bb5 Ne4 8. cxd4 Bb6 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Be3 Bg4 11. h3 Bh5 12. g4 Bg6 13. Ne2 a6 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. Rc1 f6 16. Nf4 fxe5 17. Nxe5 Rxf4 18. Bxf4 Qf6 19. Be3 Ba5+ 20. Kf1 Rf8?

Position after 20...Rf8

21. Rxc6? (21. Nd7) 21... Qh4 22. Rh2? Qg3 23. Nxg6 hxg6 24. Qb3 Nd2+ 25. Bxd2 Qxh2 26. Qxd5+ Kh8 27. Be3 Qxh3+ 28. Kg1 Qxg4+ 29. Qg2 Qd1+ 30. Kh2 Rf5 31. Rc1 Rh5+ 32. Kg3 Qd3 33. Rc5 Bb4 34. Rxh5+ gxh5 35. Qd5 Qg6+ 36. Qg5 Bd6+ 37. Kh3 Qxg5 38. Bxg5 Kh7 39. Kh4 Kg6 40. d5 Be5 41. b3 Bd4 42. f4 Bf2+ 43. Kh3 Bc5 44. Kg3 Bd6 45. Kf3 Kf5 46. a4

Position after 46. a4

46...h4? (46... g6! is better and winning according to both players) 47. Bxh4 Bxf4 48. b4 Bd6 49. Bd8 Ke5 50. b5 Kxd5 51. bxa6 Kc6

Position after 51...Kc6

52. Kg4?? (52. a5! would have drawn. Johansen was actually reaching out to play this move but, for whatever reason, changed his mind!) 52... Kb6 53. Kg5 Kxa6 54. Kg6 c5 55. Kxg7 c4 56. Kg6 c3 57. Kf5 c2 58. Bg5 Ka5 59. Ke4 Kxa4 60. Kd3 Kb3 61. Bh6 Kb2 62. Bg5 Kb1 63. Kc3 Ba3 64. Kb3 Bc1 65. Be7 Bd2 66. Ba3 Ba5 67. Kc4 Be1 68. Kb3 Bd2 69. Kc4 Ba5 70. Kb3 Bc7 71. Bb2 Bd6 0-1

Other results:

Hamilton - Rej, 0-1
Lazarus - Boyd, draw
Hacche - Chow, draw
Oliver - Lane, draw
Ikeda - Atzmon-Simon, draw
Bjelobrk - Broekhuyse, 1-0
Booth - Morris, M. 1-0
Pecori - Hu, draw
Bird - Pyke, 1-0
Suttor - Morris, J. 1-0
Charles - Capilitan, 1-0
Stojic - Wei, draw

And just before I left the venue a small argument broke out between Johny Bolens, who is playing in the major section, and the arbiter Charles Zworestine. Bolens seems to believe that the just published round 11 pairings for the major is completely wrong. He also made some rather controversial claims that we're not able to print at this moment.

Fast Juniors

While I'm temporarily stuck here at work, away from the action in Parra, I just thought I'd share these with you. I just can't help myself.

That the playoff in the Australian Blitz championships was eventually fought out between two young guys should come as no surprise. These dudes are just way too fast. Take this little exchange between a couple of juniors, one male and one female. I've removed the names of the guilty in order to protect the innocents.

For whatever reason, I suddenly made the remark that so-and-so female player was a WGM. Here is what happened next.

(Female Junior 1): She's not a WGM; she's only 1900.

(Male Junior 1): Yeah, well, that's a WGM!

Loud laughter all around.

(Female Junior 1): That's OK, he's only a got a small dick!


Less witty and fast but definitely deep is an observation made by Victoria's Richard Voon. Observing the blitz tournament, Mr Voon said, "I don't know why players wish each other luck. There is no luck in chess".

Too true Dick, too true.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Round 9 Update from Parramatta

Ah, the disaster that is City Rail! I was careful to complete my normal daily rituals this morning in order to make it to the venue on time. But, sadly, and as usual, the train system was against me. There was a blackout at Lidcombe and the trains were some 15 minutes late. As a result I couldn't take photos of round 9.

On the other hand I did still arrive at the venue much earlier than Gareth Charles. The poor bloke lost on forfeit after one hour. That was an easy point for his opponent Stewart Booth.

But it wasn't so easy on board 1, Solomon - Illingworth. That game ended a draw, a toughie which had a large crowd entertained. No less than two past Aussie champions were there to watch. Three-time champ Ian Rogers was there accompanied, of course, by Cathy and so was Alfred Flatow who won the title for the first and only time in 1970. Also showing interest was a special visitor, none other than Evelyn Koshnitsky.

Doug Hamilton, twice champion himself (1965 and 1982) might have been interested to watch the stoush on board 1 but he was quite busy against Western Australian powerhouse Tristan Boyd. They drew their game. According to Tristan, he was lost by move 17 but already drawing just eight moves later.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Boyd, Tristan
Hamilton, Douglas

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Bg5 cxd4 10. Nxd4 h6 11. Be3 Re8 12. Qa4 Bd7 13. Rad1 Nb4 14. Qb3 a5 15. Nxd5 Nbxd5 16. Bxd5 Nxd5 17. Qxd5 Bh3 18. Qxb7 Bxf1 19. Rxf1 Bf6 20. Nc6 Qc8 21. Qxc8 Rexc8 22. Rc1 Kf8 23. b4 axb4 24. Nxb4 Rxc1+ 25. Bxc1 Be7 26. Nd3 Rxa2 27. Kf1 Bd6 28. Be3 Ke7 29. f3 h5 30. Kf2 Ke6 31. Nf4+ Bxf4 32. Bxf4 Kd5 33. h4 g6 34. Bg5 Kc4 35. g4 Kc3 36. gxh5 gxh5 37. Ke3 Ra4 38. Kf2 Kd4 39. Bf6+ Kd5 40. e4+ Ke6 41. Bd8 Ke5 42. Bb6 Rb4 43. Bc5 Rc4 44. Ba7 Rc3 45. Kg3 Rb3 46. Bc5 Ke6 47. Kf4 Kd7 48. Bd4 Kc6 49. Bf6 Kc5 50. e5 Kd5 51. Kg5 Rxf3 52. Kxh5 Rg3 53. Kh6 Ke6 54. h5 Rh3 1/2-1/2

Goldenberg - Oliver on board 6 was a win for white. Gareth just wasn't in it, completely misplaying his KID. A total disaster! FM Greg Canfell observed that Gareth's plan of f7-f5 just made the situation worse. Sure enough opening up that a2-g8 diagonal just made Goldenberg's victory that much easier.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Goldenberg, Igor
Oliver, Gareth

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O d6 6. c4 Nbd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. e4 c6 9. h3 Qc7 10. Be3 Rd8 11. Rc1 Ne8 12. b4 f5 13. Qb3 Kf8 14. c5 exd4 15. cxd6
Nxd6 16. Ng5 Nf6 17. e5 dxe3 18. exf6 exf2+ 19. Rxf2 Bh6 20. Nd5 Qd7 21. Ne7 1-0

I also liked this game between Rej and Michael Morris. By the time black captures the passed d-pawn, it was already too late.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Rej, Tomek
Morris, Michael

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nf3 g6 7. Nd2 Nbd7 8. e4 Bg7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O a6 11. a4 Re8 12. f4 Qc7 13. Kh1 Rb8 14. e5 dxe5 15. Nc4 e4 16. f5 Qd8 17. Bf4 Ra8 18. a5 b5 19. axb6 Nxb6 20. fxg6 hxg6 21. Bg5 Nxc4 22. Bxc4 Qd6 23. Qe1 e3 24. Bf4 Qf8 25. Rf3 Bb7 26. Rxe3 Ng4 27. Rxe8 Rxe8 28. Qg3 Ne5 29. Bxa6 Bxa6 30. Rxa6 Qe7 31. Ra1 Qb7 32. Re1 f6 33. Qf2 Rf8 34. Qc2 Nf7 35. h3 f5 36. Qd2 Rd8 37. Re6 Bxc3 38. Qxc3 Qxd5 39. Rxg6+ Kf8 40. Qe3 1-0

Other results are:

Ikeda - Yu, draw
Broekhuyse - Canfell, 0-1
Atzmon-Simon - Hacche, draw
Hu - Lazarus, 0-1
Lane - Pecori, 1-0
Pyke - Bjelobrk, 0-1
Wei - Bird, 0-1
Malik - Suttor, draw

And I might make special mention of that last white player, Hani Malik. I was quite stunned to find out the other day that the guy is a singer-songwriter. We're not talking covers here. He writes his own stuff! Check him out at

UPDATE: Our anonymous correspondent is correct. FM Douglas Hamilton did win the event on 3 occasions: 1965, 1967 and then in 1982. Grandmaster Rogers also won the event four times; the last one was in 2006.

Christian Bauer: Anna Didn't Cheat

One of Anna Rudolf's opponents in the Vandoeuvre Open has come out in her defense. Chessdom has an interview with Christian Bauer, the tournament top seed and one of Anna's victims, in which the French grandmaster says:

At the end it was failry evident that Anna Rudolf didn't cheat, a general opinion that was expressed at the prize-giving by Gerard Simon, the president of Vandoeuvre chess club. She deserved her norms and result after playing such a good tournament.

For those still with some doubts, you can check Anna's moves yourselves. Here are our all her games from the tournament.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

War Within Philippine Chess

The National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) is headed for a split. As we reported here last month, there were rumours of a rebel faction that, at that time of my post, was still unknown in composition. Now, we can say that this is no longer just a rumour and we can even name the rebels' leader.

The Manila Bulletin has the details:

One faction, headed by NCFP secretary-general Abraham Tolentino, will hold an election on Jan. 19 in Tagaytay City. Tolentino is currently Tagaytay mayor.

Another group, spearheaded by NCFP executive director Sammy Estimo, will hold its own election on Feb. 2 at the multi-purpose hall of the Amoranto sports complex.

The 15-man NCFP board is divided on the issue with Estimo’s group enjoying the support of eight directors.

Read more in Chess War Brewing.

IM Gary Lane Posts Second Straight Loss

Four years ago, world famous author IM Gary Lane was his adopted nation's new national champion. This time, however, in the ongoing championships his campaign has been dogged by upset losses to lesser seeds. Yesterday he lost out to junior Max Illingworth. Today, relying on the same system with the black pieces, he lost to Doug Hamilton.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Hamilton, Douglas
Lane, Gary

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 O-O 6. f3 d5 7. cxd5 exd5 8. e3 Nh5 9. Qc2 f5 10. Bd3 c5 11. Nh3 c4 12. Be2 Qh4+ 13. Nf2 Nc6 14. g3 Qf6 15. O-O Qg6 16. Kg2 Na5 17. Rb1 Nb3 18. Rxb3 cxb3 19. Qxb3 Qf7 20. Nd3 Nf6 21. Ne5 Qc7 22. c4 Be6 23. c5 Nd7 24. Nd3 Bf7 25. Nf4 Nf6 26. Bd2 Rfe8 27. Bb5 Re7 28. Rc1 g5 29. Nd3 a6 30. Ba4 g4 31. Ne5 Rxe5 32. dxe5 gxf3+ 33. Kxf3 Qxe5 34. Qb4 Ne4 35. Bc3 Nxc3 36. Rxc3 Rd8 37. Qd4 Qe4+ 38. Qxe4 fxe4+ 39. Kf4 d4 40. exd4 Rxd4 41. Bc2 Bg6 42. Ke3 Rd7 43. Rc4 Rc7 44. Bxe4 b5 45. cxb6 Rxc4 46. Bd5+ Bf7 47. Bxc4 1-0

Our favourite author, though, can be happy that he's not alone among those whose talents have temporarily escaped them. Take Igor Bjelobrk. At this stage of the event the normally very solid FIDE master has only collected 3 points! Today he was outplayed in the endgame by Jason Hu.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Bjelobrk, Igor
Hu, Jason

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Be4 7. f3 Bg6 8. Qb3 Qc7 9. Bd2 Be7 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. O-O-O dxc4 12. Bxc4 b5 13. Bd3 a6 14. g4 c5 15. dxc5 Nbd7 16. Kb1 Nxc5 17. Qc2 Nxd3 18. Qxd3 Rxh2 19. f4 Rxh1 20. Rxh1 Rd8 21. Qe2 Qd7 22. Rh8+ Bf8 23. Bc1 b4 24. g5 bxc3 25. gxf6 gxf6 26. b3 Qd6 27. Qc4 Kd7 28. Qxc3 Rc8 29. Qd2 Qxd2 30. Bxd2 Bd6 31. Rh1 e5 32. Kb2 Ke6 33. b4 exf4 34. exf4 Rc4 35. Rf1 Rd4 36. f5+ gxf5 37. Bc3 Re4 38. Kb3 Be5 39. Bd2 Rd4 40. Kc2 f4 41. a4 Kd5 42. b5 Rxa4 43. b6 Ra2+ 44. Kd3 Rb2 45. Bxf4 Rxb6 46. Bxe5 fxe5 47. Rxf7 e4+ 48. Kc3 Rc6+ 49. Kd2 Re6 50. Ke3 Kc4 51. Rf1 a5 52. Ra1 Ra6 53. Kxe4 a4 54. Ke3 Kc3 55. Rc1+ Kb2 56. Rc8 a3 57. Rb8+ Kc3 58. Rc8+ Kb3 59. Rb8+ Ka4 0-1

Other results in the open section are as follows.

Illingworth - Rej, 1-0
Canfell - Klein, 0-1
Pecori - Sales, 0-1
Yu - Boyd, draw
Oliver - Broekhuyse, 1-0
Lazarus - Pyke, draw
Charles - Ikeda, 0-1
Hacche - Booth, 1-0
Atzmon-Simon - Stojic, 1-0
Morris - Malik, 1-0
Bird - Suttor, draw
Capilitan - Wei, 0-1

UPDATE: I had it confirmed by the winner this afternoon. Last move was, indeed, 47. Bxc4.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Illingworth Defeats Gary Lane

Of course when I wrote my post earlier today, I had no idea of what was about to happen. But just a couple of hours later, Max Illingworth vanquished international master Gary Lane!

For your enjoyment.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Illingworth, Max
Lane, Gary

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O Nc6 8. a3 Bxc3 9. bxc3 Qc7 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Bb2 Bg4 12. Qe1 Rfe8 13. Nd2 Rad8 14. h3 Bc8 15. Rc1 h6 16. Qe2 Rd7 17. a4 b6 18. Ba3 c4 19. Bc2 Rdd8 20. Rfe1 Ne7 21. f3 Ng6 22. Qf2 Bb7 23. e4 dxe4 24. fxe4 Nf4 25. Re3 a6 26. Rce1 Ng6 27. e5 Nd5 28. Rg3 Ndf4 29. Ne4 Bxe4 30. Rxe4 Nd3 31. Qf5 Qc6 32. e6 Nh8 33. Rxg7+ Kxg7 34. Rg4+ Ng6 35. Qxf7+ Kh8 36. Qf6+ 1-0

And then in a further coincidence, that other player whose name I mentioned earlier today, Ascaro Pecori, then also scored an upset win over the more fancied giant-killer Junta Ikeda. For the Chilean-born Pecori, his performance here is nothing short of amazing especially considering his 7-month layoff until last week.

Other results in the main section at the time of this writing are:

Chow - Lazarus, 1-0
Wei - Charles, 0-1
Yu - Broekhuyse, draw
Hu - Booth, draw
Klein - Bjelobrk, 1-0
Morris, J - Atsmon-Simon, 0-1
Malik - Bird, 1-0
Morris, M - Canfell, 0-1
Suttor - Pyke, 0-1
Rej - Ly, 0-1

On board 4, Xie beat Sales. How often have we seen this? One player, victorious and happy; the other, defeated and morose, remaining seated long after the game's end, still contemplating over his errors. It's torture for the beaten player and for we who bear witness to this scene. That is exactly what transpired after Sales' resignation.

Way down the order on board 13, chess legend Douglas Hamilton posted only his third win in the event, this time against Dusan Stojic.

Australian Chess Championships 2008
Stojic, Dusan
Hamilton, Douglas

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 O-O 12. Nc2 Rb8 13. Be2 Bg5 14. O-O Ne7 15. Ncb4 Nxd5 The first deviation according to my database. 16. Nxd5 Bb7 17. b4 Bxd5 18. Qxd5 Qc7 19. c4 bxc4 20. Bxc4 Rxb4 21. Bxa6 Qa7 22. Bb5 Rc8 23. Rad1 h6 24. a4 Rb2 25. Rd3 Rcc2 26. Rf3 Qc7 27. Be8 Bf6 28. g3 Rc5 29. Qd3 Qd8 30. Bb5 d5 31. Qa3 Rbc2 32. exd5 e4 33. Re3 Qxd5 34. Re2 Rxe2 35. Bxe2 Rc2 36. Qe3 Bg5 37. f4 Be7 38. Rd1 Qc6 39. Bb5 Bc5 40. Bxc6 Bxe3+ 41. Kf1 Rxc6 42. Rd8+ Kh7 43. f5 Ra6 44. Ke2 Bg1 0-1

Below are prelim results of the major.

Watson - Bolens, 1-0
Rose - Cohn, draw
Lee - Mandla, 1-0
Dizdarevic - Sheldrick, 1-0
Fry - Voon, 0-1
Kim - Viswanath, 1-0
Mendes da Costa - Guo-Yuthok, 1-0
Korenveski - Lilly, 0-1
Jule - Lau, 0-1
Eccles - Brockman, draw

Tonight is the Fischerandom event. That might be a little too late for me as it starts at 7PM. Note that tomorrow, TCG will not be covering the championships as I have another engagement. Normal business will resume on Wednesday.

UPDATE: The Illingworth - Lane game above has been slightly adjusted. I changed 2 moves, black's 30th (from 30...Nd5 to 30...Nd3) and white's last (from 36. Qxg6 to 36. Qf6+).