Monday, June 30, 2008

Russian Edges Wohl for Vinos

Russian IM Eduard Fomichenko took out the 11th International des Vins du Médoc Open with 8 points in total. He pulled that one off on account of a superior tiebreak over Alex Wohl who also tallied the same number of points. For Wohl, his solid performance there (drawing against two international masters and beating all others over 9 games) should give Australian selectors some extra consideration for the upcoming Olympiad.

On that note, the number of women putting their names in for the Olympiad selections has increased dramatically since our last posting. Ex-dance star WIM Arianne Caoili, and who is presently Australia's leading woman player, has decided to apply along with seasoned weekend warrior WIM Narelle Szuveges and Queensland talent WIM Alexandra Jule. Who will I pick, you ask. Here goes:

IM Irina Berezina
WIM Arianne Caoili
WIM Laura Moylan
Giang Nguyen
WIM Alexandra Jule

Giang is good. She scored 5.5 and 5.0 points in this year's SIO and Doeberl Cup respectively, in both cases finishing above more fancied players. As for Jule, well, there's a giant killer right there. On her day, the Queenslander can be quite dangerous. Who can forget this?

2006 Queenstown Chess Classic
Jule, Alexandra
Dive, RJ.

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3. c3 b6 4. Bf4 Bb7 5. e3 d6 6. Be2 Nbd7 7. Nbd2 Qc7 8. h3 e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. Bh2 Nd5 11. Nc4 f6 12. a4 Be7 13. Qb3 a6 14. Rd1 Rd8 15. O-O Bc6 16. Ncd2 Qb7 17. e4 Nc7 18. Nh4 Bxe4 19. Nxe4 Qxe4 20. Bg4 c4 21. Bxd7+ Rxd7 22. Qxb6 Nd5 23. Qc6 Kd8 24. Qa8+ Kc7 25. Qxh8 Qxh4 26. Qa8 Nb6 27. Qa7+ Kc6 28. Rxd7 Nxd7 29. Qxa6+ Kc7 30. Rd1 Bc5 31. Qa5+ Kc8 32. Qa8+ Kc7 33. Qf3 h5 34. Rd2 Qg5 35. Qd5 Qf5 36. a5 Qb1+ 37. Rd1 Qf5 38. Kh1 g5 39. Qxc4 g4 40. b4 gxh3 41. bxc5 Qxf2 42. Qd5 hxg2+ 43. Qxg2 Qxc5 44. Qd5 Qe7 45. a6 Nc5 46. a7 1-0

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Grandmasters Sign Up for Queenstown

Just received an update from the 2009 Queenstown Chess Classic organisers. Thirteen grandmasters have now confirmed their entries along with international masters Stanislaw Zawadzki, of Poland, and Australia's Alex Wohl. There are also a couple of women grandmasters including the elegant Slovenian Jana Krivec (pictured left) who was in this part of the world last April for the JAPFA WGM tournament in Indonesia where she finished in fourth place.

Now in their press release, the kiwis took the trouble of sending us a photo of German GM Klaus Bischoff. I think, however, that our readers will prefer our selection, which I found courtesy of

Ex-RP Captain for Intchess

My post last week, Campo: Outsourcing Is Insulting, has made it to the mainstream in the RP press. Ex-Olympiad captain and now prominent columnist Bobby Ang has a rejoinder on the whole matter in his "Chess Piece" article for Business World.

Responding to Campo and others who have criticised the NCFP's move to outsource, Bobby writes:

Gosh, I am so sorry, but I have to disagree with all this criticism. It smacks of what President Manuel L. Quezon used to say: “I’d prefer a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos, rather than one run like heaven by the Americans.” All this is nice to hear, but the truth of the matter is whoever runs the organization like heaven is the one we all have to support.

The Managing Director of Intchess Asia is Mr. Ignatius Leong, the Secretary General of FIDE and an esteemed professional manager. Together with some partners he started Intchess in 1996 and now they handle the chess education of more than 70 schools in Singapore. If the national chess organization was as good as the Singaporeans then how come so many of our players have transplanted themselves (in many cases together with their families) to the Lion City? Look at all these names: International Masters Luis Chiong, Lito Maninang, Rico Mascarinas, Enrique Paciencia, Domingo Ramos, National Master Eric Gloria, and Arbiters/Trainers Louie Polistico, Lincoln Yap and Joey Moseros. And the exodus has not yet stopped.

Bobby's article should be available online by next week over at IndoChess. Meanwhile, you can read his past articles, just look on the right side-bar of that site.

And one more thing. Mr Ang refers to yours truly as a "Filipino engineer now based in Sydney". Well, of course, I'm no engineer!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Malaysian Attracts FIDE's Fire

Quah Seng Sun took aim at FIDE. And he got no less than Ignatius Leong firing back.

I wonder if the local ACF has had problems with that FIDE Ratings Server.

Martian Chess

Fancy a game of Martian chess?

Image courtesy of io9

The key difference between Martian Chess and Earth Chess is the fact that you don't own or control the pieces you begin the game with. Whenever a piece moves into your quadrant (or quintrant or whatever), you gain control of it. Capturing a piece is worth points: 3 points for Queens, 2 for Drones and 1 for Pawns. Queens move like Earth Chess Queens, Drones move laterally one or two spaces, and Pawns move diagonally one space. The game ends when any player's quadrant is empty of pieces.
From io9.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wohl Leads in Wine Open

Alex co-leads with IM Fomichenko on 4.5 points after five games in the 11th Open International des Vins du Médoc tournament in France. They drew against each other in round 4. Here's a photo of the Australian playing against WGM Svetlana Fomichenko in round 2.

Victorian on Euro Tour

Victoria's Sarah Anton is on a tour around Europe playing in a number of events including the World Youth U20 Girls in Gaziantep, Turkey later in August.

But first stop for Sarah is the Paris International Open (28 June - 6 July), followed by the Saint Lo Chess Festival from 8 to 16 July. From there, her next assignment is scheduled to be the U2100 division over at Biel. Good luck and all the best!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

AusJCL Council Announced

From Jenni Oliver's AusJCL June newsletter, the following were the applications received for the new body's council positions.

President: IA Charles Zworestine
Vice-President: GM Ian Rogers
Treasurer: Tania Simmonds
Secretary: Tracy Gray
Junior Development Co-ordinator: Kerry Lyall
Events Coordinator: Jenni Oliver
Selections Administrator: Shannon Oliver
General Council positions: WGM Daniela Nut-Gajic

All of the above have now been elected, although it looks like there are still positions open for general council. Part of the application process was also to answer the following question, "What do you want to achieve on the council?" Dr Zworestine's answer was interesting. He said: "I feel the control of junior chess at the national level should be in the hands of a national junior body, not the ACF. There have been some problems with the ACF’s handling of junior matters in the past. I would like to see the AusJCL take control, in the interests of furthering the future of junior chess in this country."

Monday, June 23, 2008

ChessBase 10

It looks like a new version of the popular database Chessbase is about to be released (expected date is 21 July, 2008). American firm Chess Central is already advertising ChessBase 10. I can't find any info about this update on the ChessBase site and an email I sent to CB a couple of days ago is so far unanswered.

There's no mention of CB10 on the CB website either. That's a bit odd since you'd think that CB would spruik their own product before anyone else gets to sell them. Still, I'm sure there's some perfectly understandable business strategy here.

Wohl in Wine Open

It's on again for Alex in his favourite tournament, the so-called "wine open". This year he is third seed behind international masters Eduard Fomichenko (2492) and Sebastian Siebrecht (2490). One point so far for the Australian after the first game and he'll face Svetlana Fomichenko next in the second round.

Follow Alex's progress here.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ian Rogers Launches New Venture

While scrolling through my RSS feeds, the following headline suddenly grabbed my attention but also leaving yours truly just a tad confused: Ex-Yahoo Music GM Ian Rogers Launches Topspin Media.

What...? Who...? When...?

From TechCrunch.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Campo: Outsourcing Is Insulting

In response to plans by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) to outsource its events management to Singapore-based Intchess Asia (which we posted about yesterday), chess supremo Florencio Campomanes says: "It is insulting. We have successfully organized the Olympiad, World Chess championship, Interzonals and two world juniors championships, to name a few. So there is no reason for us not be able to stage such RP Opens".'

News report courtesy of RP's ABS-CBN.

Where did chess begin?

Time magazine's "Games People Play" special section features current world number one, GM Vishy Anand. Here he writes about the origins of chess:

It would take me 17 years to find that route, and along the way I've had hundreds of conversations about the origins of chess — with players, fans, officials, taxi drivers, barbers and who knows how many people who sat next to me on a plane. I've heard the ownership of chess being claimed by Russians, Chinese, Ukrainians, Arabs, Iranians, Turks, Spaniards and Greeks. My own view is that the sport belongs to everybody who plays it, but the question of its origins is easy enough to answer: chess comes from India.

Read more in The Indian Defence.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ASEAN Chess Board Meeting

Peter Long reports on the ASEAN Chess Confederation Board Meeting that took place last weekend. Here's a bit that should make Pinoys particularly happy:

Reports were made on the successful Grand Prix - the meeting noted in particular the enormous contribution of the Philippines with 4 Opens and also the commitment to have 4 Opens each year for the next two years. Deputy President Pichay, also the NCFP President informed the meeting that NCFP had entered into a contract with Intchess Asia to be signed at the close of the meeting to outsource Event Management of all its International Competitions in this period so as to free the NCFP to concentrate on popularising and the game and developing talent throughout the Philippines while of course also nurturing and supporting their grandmasters and national team members.

Note also that the ASEAN Age Group Chess Championships ended yesterday in Danang, Vietnam. The home team outpointed the opposition with an emphatic haul of 134 medals, just over double that of next best, RP, followed by Singapore with 21. Here come the Vietnamese!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Liveblogging for Oceania Zonal

20 to 29 June next year will be the next edition of the Oceania Zonal Chess tournament. It will be held at the Outrigger Twin Towns Resort, in the Gold Coast. I suppose for TCG the event is a sort of milestone. It will be our first "official" gig. Basically, I'll be your friendly live blogger! I really must thank ex-ACF boss Graeme Gardiner for that.

More info about the upcoming zonal is available here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Humpy Koneru to Miss Olympiad

The Press Trust of India is reporting that the world's second highest ranking woman, India's GM Humpy Koneru, will give the Dresden Olympiad a miss due to prior commitments.

Wohl Applies for Olympiad

IM Alex Wohl and FM Igor Goldenberg are the latest to throw their names in for the Australian Men's Olympiad team thereby pushing the number of applicants to nine. For both these guys, chances of being selected have suddenly shot up after IM George Xie's and FM Igor Bjelobrk's poor outing in the NSW Open last weekend.

The 5-Olympiad veteran Alex Wohl, especially, will be hoping that selectors will look to his solid experience despite recent setbacks in Europe. On the other hand, Goldenberg can point to his performances in this year's Doeberl and SIO as well as his recent joint first finish (with Domagoj Dragicevic) in the Victorian Open.

On the distaff side, three other women have joined medical student Shannon Oliver. These are IM Irina Berezina, WIM Biljana Dekic and Giang Nguyen. There is no sign of current Aussie women's number one, WIM Arianne Caoili. Arianne did tell our readers, "Anyway, as I said to Gary [Wastell] and Ian [Rogers], I will not bother applying if I cannot see that I will have time before November to work on my chess". Well, let's hope she makes the time; she has a super-GM beau after all!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The already crowded online chess scene will see yet another entrant in the form of I honestly don't know too much about the site as I only just heard about them via this press release which proclaims optimistically that "[] will be the hottest chess server on the internet". We'll have to wait and see about that.

So new is ChessHere that a couple of features right on the homepage haven't actually been enabled yet (Guest Players and Top Players). And when I sent an email via the Contact Us page, a mainly empty page with the message "Do NOT try that!!" appeared. Not a clue if my message got through.

I'll hope to do a more thorough review of the site in the next few days.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Zatonskih on Armageddon Controversy

So far, it's all been by Irina Krush about "that" final game. At last - we now have Anna Zatonskih's take on the whole thing.

Close to the end of the game Irina knocked her rook over and never put it back. The USCF rules say: "If, during the course of a move, a player inadvertently knocks over one or more pieces, that player must not press the clock until the position has been reestablished."

I remember my very fast thoughts at this point: If I will press ‘pause’ and claim win or extra-time based on illegal actions… I will lose on time! The “Pause” button is a very small one on the front of the clock. So I only had 2 seconds and I didn’t have a time to do it! I know Irina didn’t do it on purpose but I had to move my rook as fast as I could. I didn’t see any other choice for me.

Irina pointed out (in her Open Letter) that I started couple of my moves before she pressed her clock. I’ve always liked to watch on YouTube how strong chess players play blitz. I was amazed how they can make good decisions in just a fraction of a second. During those games players with a 2600-2800 ratings and even world champions occasionally moved before their opponents pressed the clock. This is a common thing in blitz games.

Read more of Anna Zatonskih's view about this and many more, including aspects of her family life, in this interview for Chess Life magazine with Tom Braunlich.

NZ Stalwart Passes Away

While checking out some New Zealand news this morning, I was quite shock to find out about the passing of Gordon Hoskyn, one of his country's chess stalwarts. I first met him way back in 2005 when I visited NZ for the 112th Congress in Wanganui. He was a gentleman, always willing to help. According to this site, Mr Hoskyn died after "a long battle with cancer".

Here are a couple of games from the 112th Congress, major section.

NZL-ch Major op 112th
King, Matthew
Hoskyn, Gordon A

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb3 Be7 8. f4 O-O 9. Qf3 Nc6 10. Be3 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Qa5 12. O-O-O e5 13. Be3 Bg4 14. Qg3 Bxd1 15. Rxd1 Nh5 16. Qf3 exf4 17. Rd5 Qd8 18. Rxh5 fxe3 19. Qh3 Bg5 20. Ne2 Qf6 21. g3 Qf2 22. Kd1 h6 23. Qf5 Rae8 24. g4 Re5 25. Qxf2 exf2 26. Ng3 Rxe4 0-1

NZL-ch Major op 112th
Hoskyn, Gordon A
Rosario, Amiel

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Nc6 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. e5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. fxg5 Nd5 12. Nxd5 cxd5 13. Qh5 Qa5+ 14. Kd1 Qb4 15. g6 Qxb2 16. gxf7+ Kd7 17. Rc1 dxe5 18. Bf6 Ba3 19. Bd3 Qxc1+ 20. Ke2 Qxh1 21. Bxh8 Qxg2+ 22. Kd1 Qg5 23. f8=N+ Bxf8 24. Qf7+ Be7 0-1

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Krush Challenges Zatonskih

Irina Krush just doesn't know when to stop or when a tournament is over. After her first open letter to Chess Life Online regarding her controversial Armageddon match final with Anna Zatonskih for the US Women's Championships, she has again sent another one outlining her "final thoughts".

The reality is, chess players prepare for tournaments by studying the Sicilian, not by updating themselves on the latest wrinkles in the USCF/FIDE handbook. Thus, I sat down to play the final game intending to follow the only rules I know well- “chess” rules. These are the rules I have learned from watching how people behave at chess tournaments over my eighteen years of playing, and these are the rules I instinctively adhere to using my own common sense and judgment. FIDE or USCF rules might need to be referred to once in a while, but for the most part, people do just fine relying on “chess” rules.

My understanding of “chess” rules tells me that it’s wrong to have your hand over or on the pieces while your opponent's time is running and they are executing their move, just like it would be wrong to pull a piece out of your pocket and place it on the board. Whether on the board or on the clock, both these actions have the effect of creating an unfair advantage for one side, and I reject them on those grounds.

Does anyone know what these "'chess' rules" are that she's talking about? Somebody please provide me with a link. Thank you.

And don't we just love this? "In my opinion, everyone should give more weight to 'what is right?' than to 'what does the rule say?' You should not disregard your moral judgments based on a line in a USCF handbook".

Imagine that! So folks, if you don't like an arbiter's ruling, all you have to do is disagree based on moral judgements. Basically, just come up with anything.

And then this: "I am satisfied with my play and shared first in this event, and am quite willing to play Anna Zatonskih in a match if she’d like a chance to demonstrate her chess superiority over me". Whoa! That's what we like to see! Will Zatonskih accept the challenge?

Read more of Irina's final letter here on the CLO website.

Myanmar Chess Federation Appeal

ASEAN Chess Confederation executive director Peter Long sent me an email yesterday to ask if I can help with the Myanmar Chess Federation Appeal for victims of Cyclone Nargis. Honestly, there's probably nothing more I can add to what Mr Long himself says about this tragedy over on his blog. I leave it to you to decide if you want to help.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Be on time, or else

Our Olympiad players will now need to complete their pre-game rituals in good time if they want to avoid a penalty. According to this news item on

[T]he most important change is, however, that all players have to be at their table exactly at the beginning of play to shake hands, just like in any other sports, or else they will lose the match. Chess players have yet allowed themselves the luxury of being late up to one hour.

(Note that these rules announced by Ignatius Leong last week are in addition to other Olympiad Rule changes announced in December last year).

Or else they will lose the match? Scary stuff! Fortunately, with a start time per round of 3PM, it shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

German Blogger Affirms So's Talent

German blogger Stefan Löffler has a post today regarding Filipino wunderkind, GM Wesley So. Obviously the post is in German, but the basic gist is that Mr Löffler is now totally convinced of So's abilities and also repudiating some rumour which he'd apparently heard that the 14 year old may have received computer assistance in some tournament. Löffler even mentions Australia's GM Ian Rogers:

Ian Rogers teilte mir mit, dass auch er Gelegenheit hatte, So bei einigen Turnieren zu beobachten, wo er eine Partie nach der anderen gewann und ganz sicher keine elektronische Hilfe von außen möglich gewesen sei. Rogers ist von Sos außergewöhnlichen Talent überzeugt.

Read more in Erstaunliche Initiative. For our non-German readers, I suggest popping the text into Babel Fish.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Six Way Finish in NSW Open

Six players tied for equal first in the NSW Open this evening as top players fall to upsets. Olympiad aspirants IM George Xie and FM Igor Bjelobrk failed to shine while untitled players Jason Hu, the ACT's Andrew Brown and the powerful Tomek Rej occupy top places. Here are the top finishers (preliminary results, check NSWCA for complete details).

5.5 Rej, Brown, Antic, Solomon, Sales, Hu
5.0 Redgrave
4.5 Kizov, Bjelobrk, Furst, Azyvazyan, Chernih, Dunn

I arrived at the tournament hall just after the round 7 began to be greeted by some enthusiastic news from the officials. The big news was that Andrew Brown beat IM George Xie (who continued his less than stellar play here by drawing the last game against Michael Dunn) and Jason Hu drew, as black, against no less than GM Antic!

2008 NSW Open
Antic, Dejan
Hu, Jason

1. d4 c6 2. c4 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nh4 Bg4 7. Qb3 Qc7 8. h3 Bh5 9. g4 Bg6 10. g5 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Nd5 12. Nxg6 hxg6 13. h4 Be7 14. e4 Nxc3 15. bxc3 b5 16. Be2 a6 17. a4 b4 18. cxb4 Qd6 19. Be3 Qxb4+ 20. Qxb4 Bxb4+ 21. Kf1 Ke7 22. Kg2 Rc8 23. h5 gxh5 24. Rxh5 g6 25. Rh7 Nd7 26. Rc1 a5 27. Bg4 Rab8 28. f4 Nf8 29. Rhh1 Ba3 30. Rb1 Rb4 31. Rxb4 axb4 32. Rb1 Ra8 33. Bd1 Nd7 34. Bb3 Rc8 35. Kf3 c5 36. dxc5 Nxc5 37. Bd4 Nxb3 38. Rxb3 Kd6 39. Ke2 Ra8 40. Kd3 Rxa4 41. Kc4 Kc6 42. Rd3 Bc1 43. Be5 b3+ 44. Kxb3 Ra3+ 45. Kc2 1/2-1/2

In the U1600 section, Vaness Reid secured an unlikely victory finishing outright first by defeating Pinoy-Aussie Anthony Villanueva in an exciting last round contest. The final position had Reid holding 3 pawns plus King versus Villanueva's K and N combo. The pawns won.

6.5 Reid
6.0 Griffin
5.5 Villanueva, Ruan
5.0 Chau, Parker, Wan K., Wan D., Miranda, Satrapa

2008 NSW Open
Rej, Tomek
Solomon, Stephen

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 c5 8. dxc5 Nc6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Nf3 Bf5 11. b4 O-O 12. Bb2 b6 13. b5 bxc5 14. bxc6 Qa5+ 15. Nd2 Rab8 16. c7 Rb3 (16... Rb6 17. O-O-O Ng3 18. e4 Nxh1 19. exf5 Nxf2 20. Re1 d4 21. Re5 Rc6 22. Nc4 1-0 De Jong,J (2426)-Dutreeuw,M (2401)/Antwerp BEL 2007/The Week in Chess 661) 17. Rd1 c4

Position after 17...c4

18. g4 (18. e3 is given by my database as the normal move. Ng3 19. Qxb3 cxb3 20. hxg3 Bc2 21. Rc1 d4 22. Bd3 Rc8 23. Bxc2 bxc2 24. Rxc2 dxe3 25. fxe3 Rxc7 26. Rh5 Qxh5 27. Rxc7 h6 28. Bd4 a6 29. Nf3 Qd5 30. Rc3 Qa2 31. Kf1 Qb1+ 32. Kf2 Kh7 33. Ne5 f6 34. Nd3 Qa2+ 35. Kg1 Kg6 36. Nf4+ Kf5 37. Kh2 Kg4 38. e4 Qd2 39. Rd3 Qc2 40. Re3 a5 41. e5 fxe5 42. Rxe5 a4 43. Nd5 1-0 Kasparov,G (2775)-Renet,O (2480)/Evry 1989/EXT 1997) 18... Bg6 19. Bg2 Nxf2 20. Qxb3 cxb3 21. Kxf2 Qxc7 22. Nf3 Be4 23. Nd4 Re8 24. Bf3 Qf4 25. h4 h6 26. h5 Rc8 27. Rc1 Rc2 28. Nxc2 bxc2 29. Kg2 Qxg4+ 30. Kf2 Qf4 31. Rhg1 f6 32. Rg4 Qh2+ 33. Ke3 Qb8 34. Bxe4 Qxb2 35. Bxd5+ Kf8 36. Kd2 Qxa3 37. Bf3 Qa5+ 38. Kxc2 Qxh5 39. Kb3 Qe5 40. Re4 Qd6 41. Rc8+ Kf7 42. Rec4 Qd1+ 43. Kc3 Qa1+ 44. Kd3 f5 45. R4c6 Qd1+ 46. Kc4 Qa4+ 47. Kd5 Qa5+ 48. Kd4 Qa1+ 49. Ke3 Qg1+ 50. Kd2 Qd4+ 51. Kc2 Qa4+ 52. Kb2 Qb4+ 53. Kc1 Qa3+ 54. Kd2 Qa5+ 55. Ke3 Qe5+ 56. Kf2 f4 57. R6c7+ Kg6 58. Rc6+ Kf7 59. Rc5 Qd4+ 60. Kg2 g6 61. R8c7+ Kf6 62. Rd5 Qb6 63. Rdc5 Qb1 64. Rxa7 h5 65. Ra6+ Kg7 66. Rcc6 h4 67. Rxg6+ Kh7 68. Rgb6 h3+ 69. Kh2 1-0

2008 NSW Open
Solomon, Stephen
Antic, Dejan

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Nbd7 6. Nf3 h6 7. Bxf6 Nxf6 8. Bd3 c6 9. Qd2 Qc7 10. O-O-O b6 11. Rhe1 Be7 12. Ne5 Bb7 13. f4 O-O 14. Qe3 c5 15. Nxf6+ Bxf6 16. dxc5 bxc5 17. Bc4 Bxe5 18. Qxe5 Qxe5 19. Rxe5 Bxg2 20. f5 exf5 21. Rd7 Bf3 22. Rxc5 f4 23. h4 Bg4 24. Re7 Rad8 25. b4 Rd1+ 26. Kb2 Rd7 27. Re4 Kh7 28. Rxf4 f5 29. Be6 Rb7 30. Kb3 g6 31. b5 Kg7 32. c4 Re7 33. Rc6 Rf6 34. Bd5 g5 35. hxg5 hxg5 36. Rf1 Be2 37. Rg1 g4 38. a4 f4 39. a5 Rxc6 40. Bxc6 Re6 41. Bd5 Re3+ 42. Kb4 Rg3 43. Ra1 f3 44. b6 axb6 45. axb6 Rh3 46. b7 Rh8 47. Ra8 f2 48. Rxh8 1-0

And here are the last few moves of Solomon - Bjelobrk. Solo had well over 15 minutes left at this point, while Bjelobrk only had less than 5 minutes.

Solomon - Bjelobrk, 1-0

Play now continued 1. h5+ Kf6 2. b4 Rh3+ 3. Kd4 Rh4+ 4. Kc3 Ke6 5. Kb3 Rh1 6. Rg5 Kd6 7. Rc5 Rh4 8. Ka4 Kd7 9. Ka5 Kd6 10. Rf5 Rh1 11. b5 Ra1+ 12. Kb6 Rh1 13. Kb7 Rh2 14. b6 Rh1 15. Kb8 1-0

Some last round results are as follows:

Brown - Rej, draw
Dunn - Xie, draw
Kizov - Antic, 0-1
Bolens - Christensen, draw
Chan - Redgrave, 0-1
Sales - Furst, 1-0
Hu - McNamara, 1-0

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Life is Like a Chess Game

Just picked this story up from Digg. It's the story of American boy Marte Garner for whom life is a bit like a chess game.

His life has become a chess game, and he has become a piece on its board. Chess has helped him frame his world. Chess is like life, the teachers at the rec center keep telling him. Chess, they tell him, is a mental game of transformation and survival. A game in which the weak could become strong and the strong could end up alone. All pieces on the board and in life, no matter how small, are significant, have their own power. Just because you may think you are a pawn, they tell him, doesn't mean you can't one day be king.

Read more in the Washington Post.

2008 Surfers Paradise Open

From time to time, we do receive requests to publicise chess tournaments here at TCG central. A few come from Europe and only very recently there was one from the Marshall CC in New York! However - while I'll be mostly happy to give some free airtime, I'm afraid that we have to restrict the activity to mainly Australian and, to a lesser extent, events in the AsiaPac region. It's just a matter practicality, after all most of my audience are here.

The latest tournament notice to hit my inbox came courtesy of Amir Karibasic, current president of the King of Chess, a club up in the Gold Coast in Queensland. If you've got nothing better to do in the last weekend of August, why not head on up there for the 2008 Surfers Paradise Open? There will be 3 sections: a Paradise section (FIDE rated over three days), a Surfing section (ACF rated over just two days) and a Fun section (no clocks, for parents and novices).

Quite apart from the generous prizemoney, these guys are also giving away game consoles and a mobile phone. That seems to me to be good innovation right there and quite frankly, I'd rather be gunning for something like an Xbox than money! But hang on a sec. Is that really a mobile phone prize award for the U700 junior section?

If you can possibly stand a psychedelically coloured website and a scary talking avatar, then find out more over at the KoC website.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

UK Chess Clubs Become Charities

The UK's Charities Act 2006 has been extended to now include the advancement of amateur sports. It means that chess clubs now qualify as charities. News from the English Chess Federation.

Xie Draws First Game

Just got back from Parramatta RSL, this year's venue for the NSW Open. The event boasts a total of 110 players, with 50 in the Open section and 60 in the U1600. GM Dejan Antic is top seed followed by IMs Stephen Solomon, Kizov and Olympiad hopefuls IM George Xie and FM Igor Bjelobrk.

There's really not much to report except to mention that George Xie may have just slightly dented his selection for Olympiad duties. In round 1, the 2449-rated Sydneysider was held to a draw by visitor Peter Sanders - a very good effort by the South Australian.

After gaining an advantage in a rook endgame, Xie missed a crucial move. From there, a draw was inevitable.

Now I'm not actually playing in this event. I'm now semi-retired, I said to people. Too many things to see and do this long weekend. So, there will be no coverage of tomorrow's session but we'll aim to cover Monday's rounds six and 7.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Malaysia Gets New Man

Quah Seng Sun reports that the transition from retiring Datuk Tan to new Malaysian Chess boss Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib went smoothly.

Already aged 82, Datuk Tan isn't stopping with chess: "Since I’m still basically a ‘youngster’ in chess, I intend to get better at the game. I may no longer be making moves in the MCF but I shall continue making moves over the chessboard every single day. So farewell MCF, and hello, all my chess friends".

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Making Moves

Here is Gijssen, again, on Article 6.8 in the latest edition of An Arbiter's Notebook for Chess Cafe.

I have mentioned several times that the phrase “made a move” in Article 1.1 is confusing. It is possible to speak of “completing a move” only after the term “chess clock” is introduced, and this happens in Article 6. But this does not provide a sufficient answer to your question: Do you consider the fact that a player may make a move only after the opponent has completed his move (meaning made his move and pressed the clock) as a misinterpretation? My answer is: Yes. This is based on Article 6.8: A player must always be allowed to stop his clock.

In my opinion, this part of Article 6.8 only makes sense if a player makes a move before the opponent has pressed his clock. It means that even when a player is not on move, he is allowed to press the clock in the given situation. The following argument may not be very strong, but suppose a player can only move after the opponent has pressed the clock. Can you imagine how many quarrels we would have in Blitz and Rapid games? And in this case there is no difference between “normal,” Rapid and Blitz games.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

AusJCL to Grab Powers From ACF

The first and last time I posted anything about a newly planned junior body, the so-called "AusJCL", was way back in February 2008. Back then there was still plenty of discussion about the form and purpose of such an organisation. But this afternoon, I've just learnt that the AusJCL is a dead certainty. It's coming.

An overwhelming majority of participants in an online discussion forum (actually performed via email) voted for the creation of the AusJCL. Three people opposed the idea with one vote "withheld".

Our big wig insider tells us that there is at least now a draft constitution currently being voted on and that will be followed by the election of an interim council.

Monday, June 02, 2008

RP Olympian Dies

Fresh in my inbox is sad news from Pinoy journo Marlon Bernardino. Ex-RP Olympiad rep national master Celestino Cain has passed away apparently due to "colon and abdominal complications".

Cain played for the RP men's team in the 1982 Olympiad, in Lucerne as the first reserve player along side the likes of Torre, Mascarinas (who scored the gold medal for board 2) and Maninang . It was Cain's one and only Olympiad assignment where he collected a crucial 5.5 points from nine games. The Philippines finished in 19th place overall.

Olympiad info courtesy of Olimpbase.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Olympiad Applicants Named

There is only just a little under three weeks now before applications for the Australian Olympiad teams will close. Due date is 20 June, 2008. So far seven male players have put forward their names to be selected and, worryingly, only 1 female player - Canberran Shannon Oliver.

Below is the complete list courtesy of the Olympiad Appeal website.

GM Zong-Yuan Zhao (2541)
IM Stephen Solomon (2472)
IM David Smerdon (2462)
GM Darryl Johansen (2453)
IM George Xie (2417)
IM Gary Lane (2382)
FM Igor Bjelobrk (2354)

WFM Shannon Oliver (1961)

Looking at the above list I think the men's team will definitely be competitive. Remember, though, only 5 will go this time around and, for my money, that last spot is a contest between Xie and Lane.

It's the distaff side that is a big worry. ACF supremo Gary Wastell must be asking, "Where are the women?" Too busy maybe? Perhaps they've not made the 20-game requirement? Who knows?