Easter is a great time for chess in Australia because 50 years ago a Canberra builder named Eric Doeberl decided to sponsor a chess tournament in Canberra over the Easter break.  The event became the “Doeberl Cup”, Australia’s biggest and strongest adult chess tournament, which of course is celebrating 50 years with the 2012 tournament.   The field boasts 8 GMs, 1 WGM, 13 IMs and 1 WIM in the 78 player “Premier” division.   It’s a great opportunity for our leading players and juniors to test themselves against international opposition and certainly many Victorians juniors are making the trip to Canberra.   Fortunately you’ll be able to follow the games on-line at home also as David Cordover is going to Canberra to use Tornelo to record the results and games (just search under “Tornelo – Australian Trial”).

One Victorian junior making the trip is Laurence Matheson who finds himself paired against GM Czebe Attila 2477 from Hungary in the first round.  Laurence has been training for the big tournament by playing 2 minute games on “Chess Kids On-Line” and blitz games on the ICC website against strong opponents and has kindly sent me one of his victories against “some Spanish IM”.   (See Diagram).  Clearly Laurence as Black is winning comfortably and could just play safely to ensure the win.   Laurence however has other ideas and wants to win quickly even if he has to take risks.  Can you help him to finish the game quickly?

[fen caption=”Black to play and win?” ]2r2rk1/5pp1/3p3p/p2qpP1N/1p2n1P1/4QN2/PPP5/1KR5 w – – 0 1[/fen]


I spent most of my time looking at 1…Nc3+ trying to set up a mate on the “b” file but Laurence found the simple 1…Rc3! 2.Qe2 Rxf3! and it’s all over as 3.Qxf3 allows 3…Nd2+.   Let’s pray that he comes up with similar tactics against Hungarians.   Australia’s most promising junior, Bobby Cheng, is travelling to Canberra with Laurence so let’s hope that he uses his superb chess insight to play like the “Magician from Riga” and create some neat tactical puzzles against those grandmasters for me to show you next week.