Archive for December, 2016

Last week was a very big one in chess.  We had the world Championship play-off between Carlsen and Karjakin where they had to play 4 rapid games (25 minutes  each) after the match had been tied 6 games all.  Carlsen was clearly better at the fast time control and, although the first two games were drawn Carlsen comfortably won the 3rd game.  This meant that everything was on the line in the fourth game.  I was watching live with Carlsen having 2 minutes left to Karjakin’s one minute and Carlsen was up the exchange.   He thought for about 30 seconds then sacrificed his queen in spectacular fashion for a 2 move checkmate.  It was one of the prettiest finishes ever to a World Championship.

Back home on Sunday 27 November we had the finals of the RJ Shield with 151 players participating.  I was very pleased that some of my students did very well in this event with the RJ Shield Super Champion being Gavyn Sanusi-Goh from Serpell Primary School.  The next two days we had the Chess Kids National Finals with teams from across the country competing.   It was great to see 350 players competing across the divisions of Primary, Middle Years and Secondary.  After their games players would come to the coaching lounge to go through their games.  We had 10 coaches on site including myself and IMs James Morris and Ari Dale.

RJ Finals

I had two amusing situations occur as I went through the players’ games.   I was playing through one little boy’s game and he checkmated his opponent.  I said  “well done” then glanced at his scoresheet to see another 20 moves written down!  “Isn’t this checkmate” I queried to which he replied “Yes, but we didn’t notice so I took his rook instead of his King!”  The most amusing incident however was when I was playing through the game of one of the older players.   They reached the position below with Black to move.  White has a strong attack but is down the exchange.