When I have nothing better to do I often log on to “Chess Chat Forum” to catch up with the latest news and gossip.  For those of you who don’t know it, it is an Australian Forum for chess and other topics and is a good way to see the latest Australian chess results.  Sometimes you find some really good stuff there, such as links to the “Hjorth Lectures” by Ian Rogers and Guy West who talk about the Australian IM Greg Hjorth who passed away a couple of years ago and show some of his games.

Unfortunately the forum also attracts its share of people who hold strange (usually religious) beliefs and want to start an argument, or people who just waste everyone’s time by wishing others “happy birthday” or “good luck in the tournament” just to get their post count up.  Indeed there are those who, for reasons which escape me, are incredibly interested in “forum statistics and oddities” such as “A daily postcount of 70 has happened three times in the last four days, the second time the same post total has happened three times out of four.”  Why they care about such trivia I don’t know.  Perhaps they are encouraged by the guy who administers the forum who seems to spend his life compiling such data and who feels it necessary to express his views on just about every debate going on.  I guess the forum is his own little world that he rules with an iron hand and terrible crimes such as posting “off topic” are punished with suspension or threats of same.

Indeed, just the other day I found myself banned from posting to the thread “great swindles of the 21st century.”  My crime?  Well I originally had a look at the thread as judging by the title it might contain some good material for my chess lessons, e.g. “grandmaster swindles Kasparov” but instead I found that the most recent “great swindle” was one of the moderator’s own games posted by him where his opponent had simply blundered in a winning position.  There was no element of “trap” or “cleverness” that I could detect so I posted a witty comment about the poster of that game having to be careful lest the moderator ban him for posting off-topic as the game was clearly not a “great swindle of the 21st century.”  Of course the humourless moderator did not read this as a comment on his game but rather as a post on “moderation complaints” which was thus clearly in the wrong thread …. and so I was banned.   I could go on to express my thoughts on such overly officious bureaucrats but perhaps I am biased.  Why don’t you be the judge.

Firstly, here is the position posted on Chess Chat” as a “great swindle”.  See if you agree.

[iframe width=”500″ height=”685″ src=”http://chessmicrobase.com/microbases/1565/games/110830?token=k33bvd7t&embedded=1#hcp-” frameborder=”0″>]


By way of comparison, I was watching a game last night in the Box Hill Open which I thought was a nice swindle.  See if you can find how Black won the game from here in only two moves!

[iframe width=”500″ height=”685″ src=”http://chessmicrobase.com/microbases/1565/games/110831?token=s5ruucik&embedded=1#hcp-” frameborder=”0″>]