This is a sad day for me.  Not only is my footy team being thrashed as I write this, but my best student is playing his last game in Australia (at Box Hill CC) before his family moves to Japan next week.


Gary Lin

Gary Lin has worked really hard over the last year or two to improve his chess, having a private lesson with me once a week, and has improved his rating from around 1300 to 1859. His recent results have included a few good scalps, such as Karl Zelesco, which I reported on in an earlier blog post and he may well become a very good player if he keeps working hard.  It will however be very hard if he is now based in Japan as they play Go rather than much International Chess.

That said, I think the current Chess Champion of Japan is Junta Ikeda from the Australian Capital Territory, and I guess you can always play on-line chess these days.  I’ve suggested that Gary contact Junta for a chat to see what cross-board chess he can play in Japan.  I can’t actually think of any Japanese chess players, with one exception!  In the 1975 Zonal in Melbourne there was a Japanese player, Hoshino, who was probably the first Japanese player to play overseas.  He was the bottom seed and won only one game … against the top seed, grandmaster Torre from the Philippines!  I had to beat him in the last round to secure the IM title so that’s why I remember him.

Anyway, I’m sure that everyone at Chess Kids wishes Gary well for his time in Japan and hopefully he will be back in Australia in a few year’s time.  Meanwhile I now have to find a new potential chess champion to coach.  Perhaps I shall find one at the chess camp at Philip Island in a couple of weeks time?  The theme of the camp is defence, so today I’ve chosen a REALLY hard chess puzzle where White can draw if he finds the correct defence.  If you can solve it you may be the new student that I’m looking for!  Perhaps I should give you one little hint?  If you can’t work it out through analysis then think about an end result which draws and work your way back from there.   Good luck.

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