Archive for December, 2011

Tonight is the Chess Kids Xmas Party!   Yes, all the Chess Kids coaches and staff get together at the Guru’s house for a lavish party with gourmet catering by the Guru’s lovely wife, Kate.   And what do we do at the party?   Play chess of course!   I particularly like catching up with Frank Meerbach, who coaches in the Doncaster area, as Frank always has a few chess puzzles to challenge and enthral his audience.   It’s also good because he is the only person there who is older than me!

This year I’ve been preparing some puzzles of my own to try and catch Frank at his own game.   My method is simple.  I go onto “Chess Tempo” and find the most difficult puzzle that I can’t solve and make that the one that I give to Frank.   I must warn you, the one I have chosen is pretty hard, though not very deep, so you can have a go at solving it yourself if you like.   I only ask one favour.   If you do solve it, please don’t tell Frank!

[fen caption=”Black to play (moving up the board) and win” ]8/1P1RN1PP/3r1PK1/4q3/2P1p3/4bp1Q/1p2kp2/8 b – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for December, 2011

Archive for December, 2011

Some very lucky girls from the Patterson Lakes Primary “Cyber Girls” were given an exclusive tour of Parliament House and morning tea with Donna Bauer MLA! Chess is much more than just a game, it has taken so many people to so many different places. Great to see such recognition given to this outstanding team! Thanks Donna for recognising the efforts that these girls have made.

Archive for December, 2011

Short v Anand

There is a very big chess tournament in progress at the moment – the London Chess Classic 2011 which features four players rated in the 2800s (plus 5 others), namely Carlsen 2826, Anand 2811, Aronian 2802 and Kramnik 2800.   Anand is the World Chess Champion and Kramnik is a former World Champion.   You can follow the games live on the internet but unfortunately they don’t start until about midnight Melbourne time.   One commentator called it the strongest chess tournament ever held in Britain.   I’m not so sure.

In rating terms it may well be the highest rated ever but everyone knows that ratings have inflated over time and there have been a few strong tournaments in Britain before.   Hastings 1895 apparently wasn’t too bad, but it was a bit before my time.   My choice would be Nottingham 1936 which featured Botvinnik, Capablanca, Lasker, Alekhine and Euwe (plus others) who between them held the world title between 1894 and 1957 inclusive!   I think that I’d pick them in a match against the current mob.

There has however been some very interesting chess being played in the current tournament.   Nakamura v Howell in round 5 was a nice tactical skirmish which I may well publish in “On the Move.”   Meanwhile for today’s puzzle place yourself in the shoes of the current World Champion, Anand, as Black to play in the diagram against Short.   He can play 1…Qf4+ to swap off queens but that gives him isolated and doubled pawns.  Would his extra pawn then be enough to win?  You decide.

[fen caption=”Should Black play 1…Qf4+?”]8/5p2/5qk1/6p1/1Q5p/7P/6PK/8 b – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for December, 2011

Archive for December, 2011

Archive for December, 2011

I know some parents find it difficult to get support for chess at their schools. But take a look at this and think how lucky you are – at least your kids aren’t expelled for playing chess!

http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/checkmate-school-tells-champion-boys-to-leave-20111202-1obhb.html

Archive for December, 2011

Allen Yu v Luke Li in the final round

I’ve just come back from an exciting three days of chess at the Campaspe Downs Resort (near Kyneton) including the final of the RJ Shield for 2011 and the National Schools Open featuring teams from all over Australia and New Zealand.

Auckland Grammar brought across a very strong team of players over 2000 rating and ran out easy winners but Glen Waverley Secondary also did well to finish second and be the top Australian Team.  The full scores are available on the tornelo website.

At the other end of the room, on the bottom boards of the Primary Competition, play was not quite at the same level.  I watched one game (which I then included in my lecture on blunders) where, in 13 moves (for White and Black) White missed capture of a rook, a stalemate chance and allowed mate in one.  Black in turn blundered his rook, allowed a stalemate chance, missed mate in one then stalemated his opponent when a rook and pawn ahead.  It’s hard playing chess when you don’t look even one move ahead!

There was some good chess played on the top boards however.  My favourite game was Kingsley Chung v Allen Yu which will be published with Allen’s notes in the next issue of “Knight Times”.    I glanced at the game whilst walking past and ended up standing there for five minutes trying to work out all the complications.  Allen played like Mikhail Tal (fondly dubbed the “Magician from Riga”) to finish on top in the complications.   Here is a position from the game with Black to play.  He is ahead on material but the position is still a bit messy.  What is his next “killer” move that wraps up the game.

[fen caption=”Black to play “]1k1r3r/ppp2ppp/2P5/7B/1b2p1Q1/2P1B2P/PP3PPq/2R1K3 b – – 1 17[/fen]