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.

[iframe width=”500″ height=”685″ src=”http://chessmicrobase.com/microbases/11/games/6339?token=tnc406c3&embedded=1#hcp-” frameborder=”0″>]

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