There are two exciting things happening in Australian chess at the moment.

One of course is the Chess Olympiad which is in progress as I write in Tromso, Norway.  This event is fantastic for armchair chess followers like myself as you can follow all the games live including such details as time taken on each move and computer analysis of the best 3 moves in each position.  The Australian Team had the thrill of playing defending champions, Armenia, in the second round, losing 1-3.  Our top board, David Smerdon, was the hero of that match in drawing with world #2, Lev Aronian.

Meanwhile, on board 4, young Anton Smirnov, has been doing well also and is working on getting his rating to 2400 so that he can qualify for the IM title.  I’ve been using one of his nice wins in my lessons this week.  He had a particularly fine win against the Danish Champion the week before in an Olympiad warm-up event to achieve his third IM norm.

The other exciting event is the launching of a new chess magazine named “50 Moves”.   Strange name, and a “different” magazine in that it is only available electronically.  Alas, it seems that the days of printed magazines are numbered.  I’ve enjoyed reading and collecting chess magazines all my life, and it must be said that “50 Moves” is a large magazine, very attractively presented with articles by some very eminent Australian players.  It’s a good read for only $8 per issue.  Alas, being shocking pedant, I proof-read the magazine and found a number of corrections, including several wrong diagrams, but such trivial things are easily fixed next time.  Actually it should be virtually impossible to get a diagram wrong these days – it only takes a second or two to extract one from your chess programme.  In Cecil Purdy’s day diagrams were an expensive edition to a chess magazine and had to be set up using letterpress in a printer’s “block.”  In my day it took me 20 minutes to do a diagram by cutting out each piece and pasting it on the appropriate square.  Later there was letraset, which was like transfers where you used a pencil to rub the pieces onto the diagram.  Things are so easy now, but you can still put diagrams in the wrong place or use the wrong diagram!

Please treat yourself to a subscription.  Perhaps I can encourage you with a nice puzzle from the magazine?

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