Archive for August, 2012

RJ & William Maligin

Last Sunday we had the RJ Shield Tournaments at Doncaster and Bentleigh. I attended the Bentleigh event which had a very good turn-out of 63 players and was won by William Maligin with 6.5/7. William was probably the only player who took my advice to move slowly and carefully and as a result was only in trouble in one game where he made a small mistake. Some of the other players moved like it was a 1 minute blitz tournament, paying no attention to what I had said. I berated one of my students afterwards asking “so why did you play so fast and blunder a winning position.” He did however have an unexpected excuse! “I wanted to go to the toilet” he replied!

Other than that, I hope everyone is following the Australian Olympiad teams and our 16U Olympiad teams playing in Turkey at the moment. The 16U live games are at http://live1.tsf.org.tr and the Olympiad games are at http://www.chessolympiadistanbul.com/livegames/.   A good strategy, if you can watch the games live, is to try to guess the players’ moves and then compare your move with the move that they actually make.  That way you can compare your ideas with the plans of our top players.

The Boys team started well with a 4-0 victory over Singapore and a 2.5-1.5 over Greece, but lost 1-3 against the second seeds, Iran in round 3.  Justin Tan is the team hero so far with 3-0.

In the adult Olympiad Australia beat Namibia 3-1 then drew with Norway 2-2 but lost to Mongolia 1.5-2.5 in round 3.

For today’s puzzle I have a position from the RJ Shield game between Lachlan Martin and Sam Trewin, both members of the Chess Kids Training Squad.  It’s Black’s move … can you find a winning line for him?

Archive for August, 2012

Archive for August, 2012

Archive for August, 2012

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s always nice to hear when these words are put to practice! Kendenup Primary (WA) were lucky enough to receive funds  from Bendigo Bank to help cover the costs of travelling to Melbourne for the National Interschool Chess Championships last year. We wish all schools the best in your fundraising efforts for this years competition and we can’t wait to see Kendenup Primary again!

Read the full story here.

For more information about the National Interschool Chess Championships, visit www.chessfinals.com.au

Archive for August, 2012

Being a very keen chess player in your younger years is important if you wish to become a strong player. I’ve heard rumours lately that a couple of Victoria’s top juniors are losing their enthusiasm for chess so it was pleasing last night to see a keen junior, Sam Trewin, travel 5 hours from Yarrawonga to Melbourne to be my guest student for our Thursday night on-line chess lesson. Sam is staying in Melbourne for a few days to get some more coaching and to play in The RJ Shield on Sunday.

Last night we went through some of Sam’s games from the Australian Junior and the Tasmania Chess Camp and it is apparent that he, like most juniors, misses some tactical opportunities in his games. “Examine all checks and captures!” I keep saying to my students but it doesn’t always sink in. Young minds tend to see something good and play it without necessarily carefully working through all the consequences or other possibilities. Another thing that I tell my student’s to do (in the opening) is to “move each piece only once and place it on the best square.”

Today therefore I’d like to show you a position from one of Sam’s games in the Australian Junior. Sam’s opponent (Black) is considering playing 1…Nh5. This move clearly is moving a piece twice in the opening (breaking my rule) and h5 is generally a worse square than f6, so what’s Black up to? It’s OK to break the rules to take advantage of an opportunity in the position, so can you please advise Black. Should he play 1…Nh5 or not, and why?

Archive for August, 2012

Archive for August, 2012

I was browsing “The Week in Chess” on the internet last night and came across a new chess book “The Stress of Chess,” a biography of GM Walter Browne.  I must have a copy!  Australians of my vintage will remember Walter Browne as Australia’s first grandmaster in 1970 and indeed he was my boyhood hero.

I think it was in 1968 that the chess column in the Weekly Times newspaper reported that an “Australian” had won the US Chess Open.  “I bet he’s never even seen a sheep” commented the columnist, who had never heard of Walter Browne.  The following year however we had all heard of Browne as he came to Australia to win the Australian Chess Championship then represented us in the Zonal where he secured the IM title.

In 1970 FIDE awarded only two new grandmaster titles.  Browne was one and the other was some unknown Russian guy named Karpov.   Browne played also in Adelaide 1971, perhaps Australia’s first real International tournament, and amazed everyone with his fighting spirit and ability to beat all-comers at lightning chess for $1 per game.  He played for Australia in two Chess Olympiads, 1970 and 1972, before switching to the USA where he was US Champion 6 times.  It is not surprising that Browne is also a top poker player, which I guess is sort of how he played chess as well.   I’ve just been playing through a great game where he had Bobby Fischer on the ropes but Fischer secured a draw with some ingenious defence.

It is appropriate therefore that today’s puzzle is from one of Browne’s games at the Skopje Olympiad in 1972.  His opponent is the very solid NZ IM Ortvin Sarapu.   Material is level but Browne’s pieces are poised to attack.  Can you find Black’s second move from the diagram which wins the game?

Archive for August, 2012

Archive for August, 2012

It’s been ideal weather for chess this week in Melbourne, cold, wet and miserable. At least chess is an indoors sport so, given a heater, a cup of coffee and a few chocolates, playing chess can be quite pleasant even in such weather. I like playing at chesskids on-line if I want a game; chess tempo if I want to test my tactics against a series of puzzles or, if I want to follow some live grandmaster games, I go to “The Week in Chess” and see what’s on at the moment. Of course if there are live games going on in Australia I try to watch them also. Last night for instance there was the play-off between Guy West and Dusan Stojic for the MCC Championship which is being broadcast on the Melbourne Chess Club site. We discuss the game in progress at chesskids on-line and try to pick the players’ next moves. Dusan is 1.5 to 0.5 up at the moment with two games to play.

On Sunday, weather permitting, I’m planning to venture out away from my computer and drop in to Box Hill Chess Club and watch the “Super Rookies” Allegro tournament. This is a special event, starting at 12.30, with 15 minute games and is to raise money for the Australian team to the World Under 16 Championship being held in Turkey in a couple of weeks time. Three of Box Hill’s members are in the U16 team and the club is also holding a big raffle (with chess coaching and equipment as prizes) to help support them. The field is very strong, with Victorian Champion James Morris only coming in at 7th seed, and over 100 players are expected to compete. So, if you have nothing on this Sunday, why not pop down to Box Hill for a game? I’ll bring the coffee and chocolates so it’ll be just like being at home!

For today’s puzzle see if you can match Capablanca’s performance in a simul game. He’d probably have about 10 seconds to find a winning move. Can you do as well?