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?

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