Monday, November 30, 2009

Parr and Sandler Win Elections

Why did the NSWCA have its AGM out in the middle of nowhere in Rooty Hill? Could it be because they like to stop as many people attending and ensure that only friends turn up? Who knows?

But the far distance certainly didn't stop regular ACF and NSWCA critic Peter Parr from getting himself voted in as next year's NSWCA boss. He did so, according to Aussie chess big wig Brian Jones, by bringing along a number of his loyal mates and signing them up as members on the day of the AGM. This is amazing stuff. That's democracy for ya - New South Wales style.

Meanwhile, down south in Victoria, the chess businessman David Cordover, who talks like a Harvard MBA and Anthony Robbins in one, failed in his bid to become Chess Victoria president. The huff and puff of his much hyped PR campaign turned out to be pointless. What probably didn't help his cause were some unexpected salvos from up north across the border!

So, congrats to my mate IM Leonid Sandler for bagging the presidency and to GM Daryl Johansen the veep position. As to what these guys have in mind for 2010, well, that's for our southern friends to worry about.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kamsky Goes Home

Last night GM So sent another superstar, this time Kamsky, back to the comforts of home. It's quite evident that one reason for their demise at the hands of Wesley So is that they've simply underestimated the young Filipino.

Kamsky on his defeat: "Everything is clear: my opponent was better prepared and I was always choosing the wrong openings. In the first game I played recklessly and got a problematic position. I thought I could manage to beat this fellow on class. But he turned out to be very serious chess player."

In a must-win situation, the American managed just a draw. With that, So proceeds to the next phase of the World Cup.

World Cup 2009
So, Wesley
Kamsky, Gata

1. c4 f5 2. d4 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Nf3 d6 7. O-O Qe8 8. Re1 e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. e4 f4 11. gxf4 Bg4 12. Nd5 Na6 13. Nxf6+ Bxf6 14. Qd5+ Be6 15. Qxb7 Nc5 16. Qb5 Nd3 17. Qxe8 Raxe8 18. Rd1 Nxf4 19. Bxf4 exf4 20. e5 Bg7 21. Nd4 Kh8 22. Bc6 Re7 23. Bd5 Bh3 24. Rd3 Rxe5 25. Rxh3 Rg5+ 26. Kf1 Bxd4 27. Re1 Bc5 28. Re6 Bd6 29. Rb3 Rh5 30. h3 Kg7 31. Rb7 Kh6 32. Bf3 Rxh3 33. Kg2 Rh4 34. Rb5 Rf7 35. Rd5 Bf8 36. c5 Bg7 37. b4 Bc3 38. a3 Bb2 39. Ra6 Re7 40. Rxa7 Re1 41. Rd1 Rxd1 42. Bxd1 1/2-1/2

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ivanchuk Sulks

Meanwhile, GM Ivanchuk cries like a baby. Chessbase quotes him: "To my mind I should leave professional chess now. Chess will become hobby for me from now on. As for the signed contracts, yes, I will play in all tournaments which I have to. Perhaps I will even participate in a tournament before the new year. I should win something! And that will be the end. No serious plans, no professional goals."

He's still one my fave players around, but Jeez, man up man. This is just hopeless. So you lost to some kid who, by the way, is not so unknown.

Now you know! It's Wesley So.

Kamsky - So, 0-1

Yesterday's talk among the Pinoys in Town Hall was, of course, none other than Wesley So. He might never be as rich as another of our other heroes, Manny Pacquiao, but Wesley already deserves to be as equally venerated, I think. Whatever happens now in the ongoing World Cup, the young Pinoy's accomplishments are just wonderful and amazing.

Last night I left his game against American powerhouse super GM Gata Kamsky after 24...f6 and thought, well, this should at least be a draw, although according to my engines he had a slight plus. I wake up this morning and it's, it's, yes, Wesley won!

World Cup 2009
Kamsky, Gata
So, Wesley

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 Qb6 8. a3 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bc5 10. Na4 Qa5+ 11. c3 Bxd4 12. Bxd4 Nxd4 13. Qxd4 b6 14. Be2 Ba6 15. Bd1 Qb5 16. b4 Rc8 17. Nb2 Qc6 18. Rc1 O-O 19. a4 Bc4 20. Bg4 Bb3 21. O-O Bxa4 22. f5 Bb5 23. Rfe1 Rfe8 24. Re3

Position after 24. Re3

24...f6 25. fxe6 Nxe5 26. Bf5 g6 27. Bh3 Qd6 28. Rd1 Rcd8 29. Rd2 Qe7 30. Rf2 Nc6 31. Qd2 d4 32. Re4 dxc3 33. Qxc3 Rf8 34. g4 Rd6 35. Bg2 Ne5 36. g5 Rxe6 37. gxf6 Rfxf6 38. Rxf6 Qxf6 39. Re3 Bc6 40. Nd1 Qg5 41. Rg3 Qf4 42. Nf2 Bxg2 43. Kxg2 Nc4 44. Qd3 Ne3+ 45. Kg1 Nf5 46. Qd5 Qc1+ 47. Nd1 Kf7 48. Rc3 Qg5+ 49. Kf2 Qf4+ 50. Kg2 Qg4+ 51. Kf2 Qe2+ 52. Kg1 Qe1+ 53. Kg2 Kg7 0-1

In this interview on the official site, Wesley is quoted as saying, "I am 16 and the greatest achievement for me so far is the second place in one tournament with average rating about 2700. At the moment my rating is 2640. I dream that sooner or later I will come to the magical point 2700. I don't know how much time I will need for that."

Oh, he'll get there. No doubt about it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Where's the NSWCA AGM?

According to the NSWCA website, the AGM and the state lightning championships will be held tomorrow. Unlike the Victorian AGM, the NSWCA version looks to be a fairly boring affair this year. Probably the only gossip I can share that is midly interesting is that Peter Parr may attempt another try at forming some sort of ticket. I got that from an old mate of mine whom I ran into a couple of days ago. We'll see.

Now if you're wondering where this AGM will be, I can't tell you. The NSWCA website still says 'TBA'.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ivanchuk Falls to Pinoy

And GM Ivanchuk bombs out.

World Cup 2009
So, Wesley
Ivanchuk, Vassily

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 a6 7. Rc1 Bf5 8. e3 e6 9. Qb3 Ra7 10. Ne5 Nxe5 11. Bxe5 Nd7 12. Bg3 Be7 13. Be2 O-O 14. O-O Qa8 15. Nb1 Rc8 16. Bd3 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 Rc6 18. Rc2 Nb6 19. Rfc1 Nc4 20. Nd2 Nxd2 21. Qxd2 a5 22. Qd3 a4 23. f3 Raa6 24. e4 Qd8 25. Rxc6 Rxc6 26. Rxc6 bxc6 27. Bf2 h5 28. Be3 Qa5 29. Kf2 h4 30. g4 h3 31. Kg3 Qe1+ 32. Kxh3 dxe4 33. Qxe4 Qf1+ Chessvibes reckons that 33...Qe2 would have given Ivanchuk some hopes. 34. Kg3 Bd6+ 35. Bf4 Bb4 36. g5 Be1+ 37. Kg4 Qg2+ 38. Bg3 Bxg3 39. hxg3 Qxb2 40. Qxc6 Qxd4+ 41. f4 g6 42. Qc2 a3 43. Kf3 e5 44. fxe5 Qxe5 45. Qd3 Qb2 46. Qd5 1/2-1/2

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wesley So Beats Chukky

As is only natural, the Philippines, unlike Australia, still has hopes in the World Cup. It is none other than in the powerful GM Wesley So. Smerdon was very lucky not to have faced the young Pinoy in the first round, I have to say. Otherwise, the Australian might have had to come home much sooner.

Not surprisingly, GM So has made it into the next stage of the World Cup. He accounted for GM Gadir Guseinov in the first round, dropping just a single game and winning 4-1.

In the second round, then, So had to face off against the very powerful superstar of world chess, GM Ivanchuk. A walk in the park for the Ukrainian, you reckon? No bloody way!

World Cup 2009
Ivanchuk, Vassily
So, Wesley

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. exd5 exd5 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. Nge2 O-O 7. O-O Bg4 8. f3 Bh5 9. Nf4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. Bg5 c6 12. f4 Qb6 13. Na4 Qxd4+ 14. Kh1 Ne4 15. c3 Nf2+ 16. Rxf2 Qxf2 17. cxb4 f6 18. Qg4 fxg5 19. Qe6+ Kh8 20. Nc5 Qxb2 21. Qh3+ Kg8 22. Qe6+ Kh8 23. Rf1 Qf6 24. Qh3+ Kg8 25. g3 Re8 26. Nxb7 gxf4 27. Rxf4 Re1+ 28. Kg2 Qe6 29. Qxe6+ Rxe6 30. Nc5 Re7 31. b5 Nd7 32. Nxd7 Rxd7 33. bxc6 Rd6 34. Bb5 Re8 35. Rd4 Kf7 36. Rf4+ Ke6 37. Rg4 Ke5 38. Kf3 Rf6+ 39. Ke3 0-1

The two other Pinoy reps, GMs Antonio and Laylo, are en route back to RP after both lost to Kamsky and Navara respectively.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Smerdon Bows Out of Siberia

GM David Smerdon bows out of the World Cup, but not before giving Cuban maestro Leinier Dominguez one hec of a big scare. The Australian held the 2719-rated Cuban, who won the World Blitz championship last year, to draws in the two long games and three rapids, a pretty wonderful feat!

Then this happened:

World Cup 2009
Dominguez Perez, Leinier
Smerdon, David

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. Qd2 Bd7 10. Rfd1 Rc8 11. f3 a6 12. a4 Ne5 13. Nd5 e6 14. Nxf6+ Bxf6 15. b3 d5 16. f4 Nc6 17. e5 Bg7 18. Nxc6 Bxc6 19. Bd4 f6 20. exf6 Bxf6 21. Qe3 Bxd4 22. Rxd4 Qf6 23. Re1 Kg7 24. Bd3 Rce8 25. g3 Kg8 26. Qe5 Qxe5 27. Rxe5 Kf7 28. h4 h5 29. Kf2 Kf6 30. Ke3 a5 31. c3 Rb8 32. c4 b6 33. cxd5 Bxd5 34. Bc4 Bxc4 35. bxc4 Rfd8 36. Rb5 Rxd4 37. Kxd4 Rd8+ 38. Kc3 Rd6 39. c5 bxc5 40. Rxc5 Rd1 41. Rxa5 Ra1 42. Kb2 Rg1 43. Rg5 Rg2+ 44. Kb3 Rg1 45. a5 Ra1 46. Kb4 Rb1+ 47. Kc5 Ke7 48. a6 1-0

In his latest blog entry, Smerdon says, "Well folks, I write to you on our last night in Khanty-Mansiysk. My dream run has come to an end, after I lost the final rapid game to go down in the tie-break 2.5-1.5. Painfully, the loss was due to a brain explosion right at the death, while the ‘obvious’ move would have seen a probable draw and progression into the blitz play-offs. And wouldn’t that have been something – blitz tiebreaks against the former world blitz champion!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Melburnian Bags World Title

Ex-Kiwi Bobby Cheng has just become a world champ. Cheng, who now plays under the Aussie flag, scored 9 points and topped outright the field of 142 players in the U12 section of the World Youth Chess Championships. Among his wins were these two nice ones.

Cheng, Bobby
Mousavi, Seyed Khalil

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 d6 4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. h3 O-O 7. Bd3 e6 8. Nf3 exd5 9. cxd5 b5 10. Bxb5 Nxe4 11. Nxe4 Qa5+ 12. Nfd2 Qxb5 13. Nxd6 Qa6 14. N2c4 Rd8 15. Bf4 Bf8 16. Qe2 Bb7 opting to follow Schandorff - Berg, 0-1, Politiken Cup 2007. 17. Nxb7 Qxb7 18. O-O Here, Schandorff castled long and his king quickly came under pressure. 18...Rxd5 19. Rad1 Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Nc6 21. Qf3 Rd8 22. Rxd8 Nxd8 23. Qxb7 Nxb7 24. Kf1 f6 25. Ke2 Kf7 26. Kd3 Ke6 27. b3 g5 28. Bd2 Be7 29. g4 f5 30. Ne3 fxg4 31. hxg4 Nd6 32. Nc4 Ne8 33. Bc3 Bd8 34. Be5 Kd5 35. Bc3 Ke6 36. Be5 Kd5 37. Bb8 a6 38. Ne3+ Kc6 39. Ke4 Be7 40. Be5 Bd8 41. Kf5 Nd6+ 42. Bxd6 Kxd6 43. Nc4+ Kd5 44. Ne5 Be7 45. Nf7 Kd4 46. Nxg5 h6 47. Nf7 Kc3 48. Ke4 Kb2 49. Kd3 Kxa2 50. Kc2 Bf8 51. f4 Ka3 52. Kc3 Bg7+ 53. Kc4 Kb2 54. Ne5 Kc2 55. Nd7 Kd2 56. f5 Ke3 57. f6 Bh8 58. f7 Bg7 59. Nxc5 Bf8 60. Ne6 Be7 61. g5 hxg5 62. Nxg5 Kd2 63. Ne6 Kc2 64. f8=Q Bxf8 65. Nxf8 Kb2 66. Kb4 a5+ 67. Ka4 1-0

The next is from the eleventh round and how fitting that Cheng should front up against the top seed, the 2344-rated, Suri Vaibhav of India.

Vaibhav, Suri
Cheng, Bobby

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. Ndf3 cxd4 8. cxd4 a5 9. Bd3 a4 10. a3 Nb6 11. Ne2 Na5 12. O-O g6 13. Qc2 Nb3 14. Rb1 Bd7 15. g4 Rc8 16. Nc3 Nc4 17. f5 Nxd4? What is this? This is just bluff I reckon. 18. Nxd4 Bc5

Position after 18...Bc5

19. fxg6?
Why not 19. Qf2? 19...Bxd4+ 20. Kh1 hxg6 21. Bxg6 Nxe5 22. Bh5 Bc6 23. Qe2 Bxc3 24. bxc3 d4+ 25. Kg1 Qd5 26. cxd4 Rxh5 27. gxh5 Nd3 0-1

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Smerdon Draws in World Cup

Unlike the singularly most useless group of Australian sportsmen, the Wallabies, GM David Smerdon is giving some local chess fans plenty of reason to be jolly. The Canberra resident drew his first game in the ongoing World Cup against Leinier Dominguez. With black no less!

The return match will see Smerdon hold the white pieces, so hopes are high that he can cause an upset. Here's the first round encounter.

World Cup 2009
Dominguez Perez, Leinier
Smerdon, David

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd4 Nxc3 13. Qxc3 Bh6+ 14. Be3 Bxe3+ 15. Qxe3 Qb6 16. Qxe7 Be6 17. Bd3 Qe3+ 18. Rd2 Rfe8 (18... c5) 19. Qh4 Bxa2 20. Qf2 Qe5 21. Be4 Rab8 22. Qd4 Qa5 23. Rd3 Qg5+ 24. Rd2 Red8 25. Qc3 Rxd2 26. Qxd2 Qf6 27. c3 Rd8 28. Qe3 Qe5 29. g3 Bb3 30. Re1 Qa5 31. Bb1 Qa1 32. Qe7 Qa5 33. Qe3 Qa1 34. Qe7 Qa5 1/2-1/2

As an added bonus to his fans, GM Smerdon actually has a blog. Head over to to follow his adventures!

Play Smarter Opponents

So I'm back from Tokyo. The Qantas pilot lied. He said it'd be a nice 24 degrees celsius today in Sydney. It's actually 41 degrees! Here I am, then, stuck indoors - but not before a quick trip to the video rental store to grab a couple of DVDs. If I'm going to be inside all day, I might as well have some movies.

And it's there that I spot something that I hadn't seen before. Guy Ritchie's 2005 movie, Revolver. The film features chess.

Quote: "Rule one of any game or con: you can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent." And here, director Guy Ritchie explains how the scene was made.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chess in Chrome

Last day in Tokyo. Finally after a few days here I've been able to unravel this labyrinth that is Shinjuku station. What a crazy place. Hec, even the locals get lost around here. And, of course, I found myself a sort of temporary "local". It's an English pub! God save the poms.

It's just on 5.26AM as I type. And the first chess-related news I spot is about the much-awaited release of the new Chrome operating system. Check out what it has in store for chess fans.

ZDNet News has some screenshots and other details of the upcoming release.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Magnus is Number One

No one but the Japanese can transform the grand old tradition of the English breakfast into a performance art with all the precision and delicacy of a tea ceremony. For that reason alone, it's worth spending at least a night in Tokyo's Hyatt Regency hotel. Sure you'll drop a few thousand yen, but those carrying Aussie dollars will find it pretty affordable, thanks to the Aussie's rising strength.

Anyway, as I sat down this morning to that impressive brekky experience, I flipped my copy of the IHT to page two and what did I find but chess news. Yes, right on page 2 was news of super GM Magnus Carlsen becoming the world's youngest ever number one chess player. The news came courtesy of Dylan McClain in the NYT (The NYT Co. also owns the IHT).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Off to Tokyo, Japan

It's that time of year again when I ship myself off somewhere. This time I'm heading for that hi-tech metropolis, Tokyo! I'll be there for a week. So that means that there could be some disruption to normal programming over the next 7 days or so. And that's not because I expect problems with internet connectivity (which, in Japan, is ahecofalot more advanced and faster than backward Australia), but because I expect to be quite busy with work.

I'll be back Down Under next Sunday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fischer: Brilliant & Idiotic

Writing for the Skeptical Inquirer, Martin Gardner counts chess genius Bobby Fischer among those whom he considers both "extremely intelligent" as well as being "simple minded". Take, for example, Isaac Newton and A. C. Doyle. The former, being a Christian, apparently tried to calculate the exact date of the Second Coming; while the latter, wait for this, believed in fairies!

Martin Gardner:

Aside from chess, Fischer came close to being a moron. I once thought his refusal to play chess on Saturday was because he was Jewish. No, it was because he had become a convert to the Worldwide Church of God, a strange sect founded by former Seventh-day Adventist Herbert W. Armstrong. Like the Adventists, Armstrong believed that Saturday is still the God-appointed Sabbath. In 1972 Bobby gave $61,000 to Armstrong, part of the prize money he had won by defeating Spassky.

More in Bobby Fischer: Genius and Idiot.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Smerdon To Face Super GM

As I mentioned last week, there is a large group of young Aussies headed for Turkey to participate in the World Youth Chess Championships. Canberra's Alana Chibnall has posted some photos on Facebook of a few Aussie team members, while ChessDom has an album with just a handful of images so far. Let's hope that they'll keep adding a few more from here on end.

Also en route to OTB action in the upcoming World Cup, in far away Khanty-Mansiysk, is GM David Smerdon. For such a terribly long trip I hope he'll manage to survive his first round opponent who is none other than Cuban numero uno, super GM Leinier Dominguez.

Someone with probably slightly better chances to move beyond the first round is Pinoy GM Wesley So. He has the advantageous white bits against GM Gadir Guseinov. But fellow Pinoy grandmasters Laylo and Antonio will hold the black pieces against no less than Navara and Kamsky, respectively.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Piss Off Tal

The very strong Tal Memorial tournament is on right now and it is in that light that GM Ian Rogers related a story, an encounter he had with the great man, in his column last Sunday for the Sun Herald. Actually, he first shared this story with me back in Dresden. It amused me then and it amuses me now.

While analysing with his opponent post game, Rogers saw "a bony hand from an old codger" reach for a central pawn with the idea of apparently sacking it. The Australian shooed the hand away, but the hand keeps on reaching, Rogers turns and, whoops(!), it's Tal! Naturally the pawn sac was a "powerful" one.

It makes me wonder how many wonderful stories GM Rogers has in his memories. When is his autobiography coming out?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Setting Up a Breakaway Fed

Talk of a breakaway national chess body that will replace the Australian Chess Federation pop up now and then, mostly these days in local online chess forums. But they are mostly that: talk and more talking. This is because a breakaway is, quite frankly, unrealistic.

For a rival body (to the ACF) to succeed, it would require popular support. Plus, the conditions that make a breakway popular simply do not exist, other than perhaps in the minds of a handful of disgruntled chessers. They know who they are.

Well, if anyone out there wants to set up a new Australian national chess fed, you could take a few tips from the so-called Chess Association of India. The CAI isn't recognised at any level, but they know exactly how to attract attention: lure people with money.

There's more from the Hindustan Times.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Not a Real Chess Champ?

If you missed it, there is still some action happening in my earlier post "Not a Real Geek". Thanks to Dr Kevin Bonham, perhaps we should be asking if Jeremy Reading is actually a real "chess champion".

This from the official website:

"Some people consider chess a sport. You need to be strong mentally – I’ve played for up to 4.5 hours – and to be able to concentrate for that long I would consider it a sport. My chess playing is probably my geekiest attribute. I’m the ACT champion – it’s really annoying not being able to say state champion."

But according to research done by Dr Bonham, there's absolutely no record of this bloke having won the ACT Championships!

To be fair to Mr Reading, who now looks like he's been deep fried in a vat of tanning solution, that claim of him being state champion is probably the work of some PR hack in Channel 7. Reading was ACT Junior champ in 2004 and he also won the ACT Rapid championship 2 years later.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Filipino Defence

There's a new system doing the rounds of blitz games in Sydney. It's called the "Filipino Defence", so named because its main exponent is, of course, a Pinoy ("Johny from Manila"). The big idea is apparently to win games on time, especially when the position is hopelessly lost.

Anyway, one group of Pinoys who might have made use of this new system is the RP team in the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam. Spearheaded by GM Antonio, the boys and girls have so far failed to win a single medal in the chess events. Very disappointing, indeed.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Chess as a Stress Reliever

I like this story from the St Louis Today. It's a surprising benefit (to me, anyway) of playing chess:

"When you play chess have to focus your mind on the game and strategies," said Suzanne Corbett, 56. "It gave him a relief and a quiet space."

It also helped her as his caretaker, she said. "Sometimes we feel so helpless on what we can do to make it better, and a simple game like chess is something you can do with an individual without smothering them."

From Chess helps cancer patients de-stress.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Frenchman Wins World Juniors

Congrats to Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Swaminathan Soumya, of India, for winning this year's World Juniors in the boys and girls sections, respectively. It was not a particularly positive showing by the trio of Australians, but I suppose they can finish their South American stint with plenty of good experience.

Final Aussie scores are as follows:

6.0 Guo, Emma (Girls)
4.5 Guo-Yuthok, Sherab (Boys)
3.5 Anton, Sarah (Girls)

Despite her terrible run, Sarah did pull off this win. It's a good, domineering one.

2009 WJun Girls
De Leon, P.
Anton, S.

1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. c4 d6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O Qe8 8. Qc2 c6 9. b3 Na6 10. a3 e5 11. e3 e4 12. Nd2 Nc7 13. Bb2 d5 14. Rfc1 g5 15. Re1 Qg6 16. f4 gxf4 17. gxf4 Ng4 18. h3 Nxe3 19. Rxe3 Bxd4 20. Nd1 Bxe3+ 21. Nxe3 Be6 22. Be5 Rac8 23. b4 a6 24. c5 Kf7 25. Kf2 Rg8 26. Ndf1 Qh5 27. Qc3 Nb5 28. Qd2 d4 29. Bxd4 Nxd4 30. Qxd4 Rcd8 31. Qc3 Rd3 32. Qc2 Rgd8 33. Re1 Qh4+ 34. Ke2 Rg8 35. Rd1 Rxd1 36. Qxd1 Qxf4 37. Qe1 Rxg2+ 38. Nxg2 Qf3+ 39. Kd2 Qxg2+ 40. Qe2 Qxh3 41. Ne3 f4 42. Nc4 e3+ 43. Kc3 Kf6 44. Nd6 Bd5 45. Nxb7 Qf3 46. Qe1 e2+ 47. Kb2 Qb3+ 0-1

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Aussies in 2009 World Youths

While the Aussie contingent in the currently ongoing World Juniors in Argentina is somewhat anaemic, the group headed for the upcoming World Youths in Turkey will be a far bigger one. No less than 28 people - that includes parents, players and coaches - will turn up under the Australian flag. Lucky for the Aussie boys and girls is that they'll enjoy the services of 2 grandmasters as well as IM Lane and FM Smirnov, so we can expect a good showing particularlly from the likes of Bobby Cheng and Yi Yuan.

The even will run from 11 November until 23 November. Chessdom has a preview (and I thank the guys for bringing this to my attention).

Monday, November 02, 2009

2009 Melbourne Cup

The race that stops the whole nation will be on again tomorrow afternoon, and for chess fans two horses are surely worth a bet. These are last year's winner "Viewed" and "Roman Emperor".

What's so special about these two, you ask. Well, apart from the fact that both horses finished one-two in last month's Caulfield Cup and trained by Cup legend Bart Cummings (who is gunning for his 13th win), the pair are also owned by Malaysian chess stalwart, Datuk Tan Chin Nam.

My tip, however, is Allez Wonder.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bad, Bad Chess Coaches

Chess may be said to be the "gymnasium of the mind", but P.E. grads teaching chess?

Commenting on this piece of news ("Azerbaijani chess schools lacking coaches: deputy education minister") in today's Sun Herald, GM Ian Rogers writes:

While Australian Education Departments are notorious for using humanities teachers to cover for the shortage of maths and science teachers, the Azeri idea of asking physical education teachers to also teach chess is probably a step too far.

Sydney has suffered from a number of under-trained and even bogus chess coaches and it could be argued that the students would have been better off with no coach at all. Certainly the opportunity cost of having phys-ed teachers teach chess rather their speciality would be great.

That's an interesting comment he makes about Sydney chess coaches. Who the hec accredits these people?