This week has been a big chess week for me as the Victorian Youth Chess Championships have been on at Parkdale.

On Monday the U/7 Championships were played and won with 7/7 by the boy with the impressive named of Tiger Zhao.

The U/9 Championships were won by Liam Flanagan with 6/7 and one of my students, Gavyn Sanusi-Goh also scored 6/7 to win the U/11 title.  It was fun giving a lecture to the kids about Australia’s next grandmaster, Anton Smirnov, aged only 16 years, and showing one of Anton’s games where he crushes his opponent just by demonstrating a better understanding of where to place his pieces.

The great thing about this event is that we have 4 titled players (three IMs and one WGM) on hand to go over the kids’ games after they have finished playing.  Hopefully it’s a great learning experience for them and today also we have Kanan Izzat giving them a lecture at lunchtime.

Daniel, Gavyn and Alistair with their trophies.

All the players had the opportunity to go over their games with a coach and hopefully pick up some useful tips.   There were quite a few really interesting tactical games and the coaches were often able to point out tactical ideas that the players hadn’t considered.   I found a forced mate in 5 moves for Daniel Gusain, the U13 Champion, that he missed for example, and Kanan found a nice idea that Shawn Zillmann missed in the position below.  Black played Bf7 how should White reply ….. can you see it?

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