Archive for May, 2011

It was a good weekend for Chess Kids students.

William Maligin moved into the ranks of “professional chess players” by winning $50 for 2nd best Junior in the Geelong Open. Being only his second Open event he still didn’t recognise the faces of “famous” players and so casually challenged IM Stephen Solomon to a practice match before the games started. Stephen very kindly obliged and showed William a few tips during the game. Then in his first tournament game he came up against another International Master, Leonid Sandler and lasted a credible 62 moves! It’s not often that 9 year olds get a chance to play against 2 International Masters in one day!

William with his $50 cheque and tournament sponsor Westpac


Also Sandeep Pushparaj was lucky enough to win an iPod shuffle at the RJ Shield in Clayton!

Archive for May, 2011

It’s not often that a chess player wins a “beauty prize”, particularly one as ugly as me.  But, back in 1977, at a chess tournament in Holland, this is exactly what happened!   Actually, I shared the “beauty prize” with my opponent IM Juan Bellon from Spain as we had, so the judges claimed, played the “most beautiful” game in the tournament.  The game was drawn so we shared the prize.

Senor Bellon was a colourful player, famous for his innovative attacks as well as his flouro coloured scoresheets which he coloured in with texta pens before each game.   He stars in today’s puzzle from his game against GM Garcia in 1976.  Bellon, playing Black has R+N+P for a queen so material is even but both sides seem to be attacking.  Can you help the Spanish IM finish off his opponent in a colourful fashion?

[fen caption=”Black to Play”]6k1/7p/4p3/1p1n1Pp1/8/7K/Pr5P/3Q4 b KQkq – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for May, 2011

There has been a lot of interest in Tornelo around Australia and certainly the recent interschool event at Tucker Rd Primary was no exception.

To get players more involved in the tournament we purchased a LaunchPad Kiosk to hold the iPad securely so players were able to add results, check scores and monitor rating changes during the  event.

The best example of how Tornelo benefits players was about 2 minutes after one of the players won his game (on board 1) he received a phone call from his dad, congratulating him on the win. His dad had been following the results online and knew the moment an important victory was won… not quite the same as being in the room, but the next best thing.

Spr0cket (who created the LaunchPad hardware) were so interested when we told them what we were doing that they came to watch, subsequently adding a blog post to their website.

Here are some photos of the day.

Archive for May, 2011

One of the schools where I coach has their big Interschool Competition coming up next week so I’m pondering what advice I can give the team that will help them achieve the best result in the competition.   I think probably the best advice I can give is that if you can avoid blundering you will probably win.

You avoid blunders by not rushing moves, even obvious ones, and when you have decided on your move you ask yourself “what will my opponent reply” and then do a quick check for surprise replies.  As part of this process you would probably have a quick look at all checks and captures (good advice from Cecil Purdy).

Let me show you how this should work.   In today’s puzzle super Grandmaster  Alexander Beliavsky is trying to win as White against a lesser opponent.   Indeed he is a bit better as Black has a weak pawn on c6 and White’s King is closer to the action than Black’s.   Now Beliavsky should start off by determining his candidate moves.   He has three to look at.  1.f6 to lock the Black King in, 1.fxg6+ to open up the Black King to future checks or 1.Kf4 to get White’s King into the action.   Which move would you choose?

[fen caption=”What move should White play?”]8/5p1k/2p3p1/3p1PQp/3P3P/4PPK1/8/1q6 w KQkq – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for May, 2011

I have a number of eBooks on my iPad but only one chess book “Chess History & Reminiscences” by H.E.Bird.

Henry Edward Bird had a impressive CV.  He played in the first International Chess Tournament (London 1851) as well as most of the other great tournaments of the 19th Century such as Vienna 1873, Hastings 1895 and London 1899.  He even play a short match against Paul Morphy (“The Pride & Sorrow of Chess”) plus games against World Champions Anderssen, Steinitz and Lasker.

In Bird’s time the aim was not so much to win your game but rather to create a brilliant sacrificial attack which would then bring credit on you and perhaps end up as a famous chess masterpiece.

In today’s puzzle Bird is playing White against the World Champion, Steinitz, in 1867 and he is well on the way to creating a famous chess game.  Steinitz has to choose between 17…Kf8 which allows mate in 1; 17…Re7 which allows mate in 1; 17…Be7 which allows a very pretty mate in 2 (as in the game) or 17…Qe7 which allows mate in 6.

Your puzzle today is to find the mate in 6 moves after 17…Qe7.

[fen caption=”After 17…Qe7 find mate in 6 moves”]1rbqk3/p1pp1rpQ/1p3P2/1Bb5/8/8/PPP3PP/nNB1R2K b – – 1 17[/fen]

Archive for May, 2011

Being an older chap I find it hard to think of India as a great chess nation.  Back in my day they had only one International Master, Manuel Aaron, who was their leading player for many years, but in the last few weeks in Australia a player from India has just won the Sydney International Open in a very strong field containing grandmasters from around the world.

The best Indian player of all of course is Vishy Anand, the world champion.  Apparently he owes his success to solving chess puzzles as he stated “I started when I was six. My mother taught me how to play. In fact, my mother used to do a lot for my chess. We moved to the Philippines shortly afterward. I joined the club in India and we moved to the Philippines for a year. And there they had a TV program that was on in the afternoon, one to two or something like that, when I was in school. So she would write down all the games that they showed and the puzzles, and in the evening we solved them together.”

In today’s position Anand uses his puzzle solving skills to good effect to finish off the strong Russian GM Lev Polugaevsky (Monte Carlo 1993).   Can you find his winning line?

[fen caption=”Black to Play and Win”]8/1r3k2/6p1/p4bP1/8/B7/P2qp3/K1R3Q1 b KQ – 0 1[/fen]