Archive for July, 2012

Well done to everyone who competed in the RJ Shield last Sunday. Don’t forget that to qualify for the RJ Shield Finals you must earn a total of 15 points at RJ Shield tournaments throughout the year.

Lost count of your points? That’s ok! Check your current score here… RJ Shield Points Tally.

Congratulations to following competitors who have already qualified for the finals:

  1. Harry Phillips (19 points)
  2. Liam Harrison (17.5 points)
  3. Zoe Harrison (15.5 points)

If you haven’t qualified already, make sure you come to the next RJ Shield on 26 of August.

RJ Shield Bentleigh  |  RJ Shield Doncaster  | RJ Shield Mildura (September 23)

Archive for July, 2012

Archive for July, 2012

I’m doing something a little unusual for a chess player these days – I’m reading a chess book!   “Bobby Fischer goes to war” to be precise.  For the very young players who may not know what a book is, it’s sort of like an old-fashioned iPad made of paper.

Was Bobby Fischer the best chess player ever?  I had a vigorous debate with “CheckNorris” on Chess Kids On-line last night about how Fischer compares with Magnus Carlson, the highest rated player in the world at the moment.  Carlsen is rated at 2837 compared with Fischer’s best rating of 2785 in 1972.   Indeed there are four players in the world at the moment who are rated higher than Fischer ever was.   At 2788 we have someone named Teimour Radjabov, who I’ve never heard of, so basing standard solely on ratings would seem to be invalid.  The problem is that ratings have inflated over the years, probably by 100-120 points since 1972 so this would place Fischer well above Carlsen.   The Fischer book I’m reading notes also that, on his way to qualifying to play Spassky, Fischer won 20 games in a row against top class grandmasters like Taimanov, Larsen and Petrosian – an amazing record.

Carlsen is a great player, and playing standards may have risen particularly with the advent of chess computers to help players, but stronger than Bobby Fischer?   I doubt it.   By way of example here is how Fischer finished off Rueben Fine in 1963.   White to play and win.


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Archive for July, 2012

Congratulations to all the schools who have qualified for the State Finals! Full list of schools that have already qualified can be found below.

VIC:  Junior Primary  |  Primary  |  Middle Years  |  Open Secondary  |  Girls Only

TAS:  State Finals – TAS

WA:  State Finals –  WA

If you haven’t qualified yet, don’t worry.  There are still plenty more Zone Tournaments that you can enter to earn a place at State Finals.

Make sure you school stays on track for victory by booking an Intensive Training Session. Our coaches will show your players checkmate tactics as well as common blunders and how to avoid them. For bookings call 1300 424 377.

If you’re a student looking for some practice outside of school, make sure you come to one of our RJ Shield Tournaments this Sunday. Click the links below to enter.

Bentleigh  |  Doncaster  |  Mildura

Archive for July, 2012

The winning team at the Chess Champ

I’m exhausted!   Four days of chess camp in Hobart with up to six hours coaching per day is hard work …. but also good fun, particularly our trip to Richmond Zoo and a chess simul at Salamanca Market.   The kids and parents all seem to have had a good time so well done to the Chess Guru for this new venture.   I’m looking forward to next year’s camp which could be at a resort on the Great Barrier Reef!

I inflicted my favourite lecture on how to “play boring chess” on most of the kids and it had the desired effect on some of the younger ones, who fell asleep after about 5 minutes, but fortunately there were prizes for those who managed to stay awake for the whole lesson.  This however left me feeling a bit guilty as I should be trying to inspire kids to play chess, not putting them to sleep.  As compensation, today I have picked a really fantastic composed problem which should inspire everyone.  I showed it to Tony Wright a few minutes ago when he dropped into the chess shop, and he burst out laughing when he saw the solution, so that’s a good sign.

It’s quite hard so let me give you a few hints.  Firstly you need to know that two knights alone against a King should be a draw.  For Black to win he needs to either get a Queen without giving stalemate or promote to a Knight and win White’s lone Knight.   The solution is 7 moves deep.  Good luck, it’s worth playing through to the solution even if you don’t solve it.

White to play and draw; A. Herbstmann & L. Kubbel, 1st Prize, Troitzky-Tourney, 1937

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Archive for July, 2012

International Chess Day tomorrow! If you know someone who doesn’t know how to play chess then send them a link to this page – tomorrow is the day to learn!
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Now you know how to move the chess pieces – start playing some chess games!

Archive for July, 2012

The final 2 days of the camp just went from good to great!

Monday we had a Blitz Tournament (results) at the Zoo – won by Zoe Harrison. Then lollies from historic Richmond and an intense coaching session in the late afternoon.

Tuesday was our last day and finished with a big Teams’ Tournament (results). The “Awesomes” (Sean, Rebecca, Eliza, Harry and Oliver) came out victorious with 15.5 points ahead of Kidz with 14.5. Lots of really close, great games.

Top Board prizes as follows: Board 1 – William Maligin (3/4), Board 2 – Liam Harrison (3/4), Board 3 – Eliza Mapili (4/4), Board 4 – Daniel Poberezovsky (3.5/4), Board 5 – Ethan Hooi, Oliver Cordover and Oliver Pridmore (4/6).

Pictures on our FaceBook Page (like us!)

Archive for July, 2012

Only half-way through the camp and I’m already hearing comments like “This is the best trip ever!” and “Oh, only 2 days to go… can’t we stay longer?”

Saturday morning everyone was up early to fly down to Hobart and then straight into Salamanca Market for a bit of shopping and a simul. All the kids got a chance to be on both sides of the simul table – either playing against IM Robert Jamieson, or giving a simul of 4-6 games each!

The Mercury again ran a story – with a nice picture of Yuvini! Check it out.

Today was a huge day of coaching, but as one child said “we trained for 6 hours today, but Grandmasters train for 9 each day!”

Archive for July, 2012

I’ve been popping into the Victorian Junior Championships this week whenever I can to follow the play and check out our up-coming chess prospects.   At the time of writing IM James Morris, looking like a giant among pygmies, is dominating the Under 18 Championships with 7/7 with everyone else fighting hard for second place.

There has been some good chess played, plus a couple of shocking swindles.  Second seed Cedric Antolis sacrificed his only piece (a rook) for a tricky stalemate against unsuspecting Jason Chew whilst Joseph Wong, playing against Max Chew-Lee on board 3, was so intent on taking his opponent’s last piece that he failed to notice that it too was stalemate.  These sort of incidents make it very hard for me as I’ve been trying to explain to some of the juniors that good players don’t play on to mate but resign when the game is lost.   “A gentleman would resign” is a favourite saying that I remember from my Uni. days, but with all these stalemates going around it’s hard to persuade the kids to play like gentlemen.

Tomorrow all we “Chess Kids” are off to Hobart for a 4-day chess training camp starting off with some simuls at Salamanca Market on Saturday morning.   The big issue for me is can I give a 2 hour chess lesson to 4 year-old Oliver Cordover without him falling asleep?   Must remember to take a few chocolates as an incentive for him to stay awake.  I’ll have a full report for you next week.

Enoch Fan - U/12 Champion

Today’s puzzle features a very interesting position from the Victorian Under 12 Championships played last week.   Black is the tournament winner, Enoch Fan, a very studious young man with a keen eye for combinations.   He has just played the spectacular move …Qc3 leaving his B en prise.   I was standing beside the board watching this game unfold, trying to work my way through the combinations, but my brain was too slow and after a quick flurry of moves the game was all over.  This puzzle is was …Qc3 a brilliant move which wins or a spectacular bluff which fails?  You decide.

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