Monday, July 31, 2006

Richard Farleigh Launches Book

Here's a name that many in the NSW chess circle will surely remember: Richard Farleigh. He was joint winner of the 1978 NSW junior chess championship with Steven Kerr.

But Farleigh made his name, not in chess, but in financial investments. Today he enjoys legend status in the financial community. At age 34, he made enough money to retire in Monaco.

For those of you wanting to follow in Farleigh's footsteps, the great man has put his ideas to paper. You can learn all about them in the new book "Taming the Lion - 100 Secret Strategies for Investing Success".

In this brief profile appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald, chess gets a mention.

It was only years later when he discovered an aptitude for chess that he gained some confidence in his intellectual ability and went on to gain honours at the University of NSW and a Reserve Bank scholarship. Eventually he was to represent Monaco in international chess.

Mr Farleigh also has website.

Rogers Win July Tourney

Details are yet to be confirmed but we've been informed that GM Rogers was victorious in the NSWCA July Weekender held at the Parramatta RSL. He scored 6.5/7 points. His only draw was against IM-elect George Xie who reportedly came very close to winning their individual encounter.

Xie settled for 5.5 points along with a group of other players.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cebuano IM Takes First

This is a piece of news that I've been meaning to post. Being from the island provice of Cebu, I am very glad to share this news of international master Joseph Sanchez.

Paris-based Sanchez last week finished in shared first place at the 5th International Open in Condom, France. He collected 7 points out of 9 games.

Condom Open
Sanchez, Joseph
Cioara, A.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Ba5 6. b4 cxd4 7. Nb5 Bc7 8. f4 Bd7 9. Nf3 Bxb5 10. Bxb5+ Nc6 11. O-O Nge7 12. Bd3 a6 13. Kh1 Bb6 14. Qe2 Rc8 15. Bd2 g6 16. a4 Nf5 17. a5 Ba7 18. Rfb1 O-O 19. b5 axb5 20. Rxb5 Qe7 21. Bxf5 exf5 22. Rab1 Rc7 23. Rxd5 Rd8 24. Rdb5 Rdd7 25. Be1 h6 26. Bh4 Qe6 27. Bf6 Ne7 28. Qe1 Kf8 29. a6 Qc6 30. e6 1-0

Here is a report from Marlon Bernardino.

ACF Shuns New Forum

Score one to the Australian Chess Federation. The national chess body has just denied Matthew Sweeney's request to have his new initiative, the Australian Chess Club Forum, to be advertised in the ACF's weekly newsletter.

Sweeney's small band of followers, so far numbering a dozen or so registered users, have adopted a pragmatic approach in response to the ACF's denial.

One poster from the state of Victoria said, "ACCF does not [yet] have a track record that demonstrates its value to the chess community. Rather than calling for [the ACF] to endorse this board, I would recommend we focus on our knitting and let the kudos fall where they may."

So far at least the new forum seems to be in a, shall we say, sane state of affairs. The Australian Chess Federation's forum of choice, Chess Chat, on other hand, is currently plagued by constant bickering, discussions of Mid-east politics, beer and Jesus Christ and TV scheduling. There is even a thread devoted to mild pornography* called "Cute Girls". The thread contains images of scantily clad women.

At least three ACF officials are regulars of Chess Chat including no less than ACF boss Denis Jessop.

NOTE: * As pointed out by our anonymous friend, there are no naked pictures in the aforementioned thread. But I still characterise it as "mild pornography".

Confusion Over Jessie's Death

There seems to be confusion over Jessie Gilbert's death. Quoted by the UK's The Independent, Susan Lalic discounts suicide:

I don't believe that it could have been suicide. Even if the claims are true, there is no way it is something Jessie would do.

She had her whole life before her. Jessie was a real fighter. She was bubbly, clever and considerate. I don't think she would have done this to her family on purpose.

However, a report in The Guardian still maintains the suicide angle. The paper is relying on statements made by Czech police. A local police inspector was quoted:

We found quite a lot of medication, a lot of vitamins and then things we could not tell what it was until they were examined by medical people and they found they were antidepressants. They were in her name. We think she may have had psychological problems. It could have been an accident. But there are several factors which suggest she probably jumped.

Aside from the main story of Jessie Gilbert's death, there has also been the occassional mention of Jessie's drinking spree with her 14-year old room-mate Amisha Parmar. I wonder, is this sort of thing common amongst under-age chess players, especially those who travel overseas, away from the supervision of their parents?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

July Chess in Parramatta

Fifty players turned up this morning at the Parramatta RSL club to compete for the $500 first prize. Top seed is GM Ian Rogers followed by IM-elect George Xie. They were joined by a group of 2000+ rated players: Tomek Rej (2209), N. Wright (2108), Andrew Bird (2099), ex-Aussie Junior Champion Paul Broekhuyse (2058) and Ronald Yu (2043).

Not an impressive turn-out. Maybe that's why the first round was nearly an hour late. It seemed to me that the organisers were trying to wait for more players to turn up. Even I was asked if I was playing. Nope, sorry, I had to say. Sadly, I have to do some work on Sunday.

The venue. Poor lighting.

After 4 rounds of play, GM Rogers leads on 4 points. In round 3, Rogers essayed his Benko Gambit against Broekhuyse. It is an opening that the Aussie number one trots out every now and then against weaker opposition.

The event concludes tomorrow.

There was a time when I hated going to the Sydney suburb of Parramatta. The train station was ugly and its immediate surroundings were hardly inviting. You walk around the place and you think, any moment now someone will mug you.

But this morning, I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. What have they done to the place, I wondered.

The train station is freshly renovated and it all looks very world class. Gone is that horribly gloomy all-brick 50's style architecture and replaced with a more airy and modern approach that is reminiscent of today's airports. Everything is very well done.

The Parramatta main street. Looking good!

There is now an underground walkway that connects the station to the main Westfields shopping centre - just perfect for those rainy days. And naturally, businesses have also come flocking. Fancy restaurants now line the main street leading up to Wesfields. I had lunch here: risotto accompanied with a nice Saltram Shiraz.

All this bodes rather well for Brian Jones'Sydney International Open in 2007. Parramatta is the perfect venue. Like most Sydney chessers, I can't wait. Let's hope that Mr. Jones finds a sponsor soon.

Chess, cappucino and cake

Jessie's Story Worsens

UK papers are reporting that Jessie Gilbert's father may have sexually abused her. This from the Daily Mail:

But her life had been thrown into turmoil after her father was charged with raping her. Czech police captain David Krkada said: 'She was afraid and had bad feelings about it.' As part of the police inquiry, she will have been interviewed by detectives in a 'rape suite' and given them a statement - probably videotaped - in connection with the allegation.

I was at the NSWCA July Weekender today and this very sad story of Jessie's death was the topic of conversation. It appears that she had plans to visit Australia earlier in the year for both the Australian champs as well as the Queenstown event in New Zealand. Those plans fell through apparently due to family reasons.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Chess Prodigy Falls to Death

Tragedy has struck the Czech Open. Nineteen-year old Jessie Gilbert reportedly fell off the window of her hotel in Pardubice. Her body was found by the police the next morning.

Guardian: Leading young chess player falls to death
BBC News: Chess prodigy, 19, falls to death
English Chess Federation announcement

Wojtkiewicz and the Pinoy Connection

Filipino chess columnist Bobby Ang pays a tribute to GM Aleksander Wojtkiewicz who died earlier this month.

Sweeney: Bolens and Xie Happy

An anonymous poster accused Sydney chess organiser Matthew Sweeney of being dishonest. The charge is to do with allegedly unpaid advertised prize money. This is Mr Sweeney's response:

There were our own local club players and two Sydney players (one an IM) who turned up to the two-day swiss with a $500 first prize – one of the Sydney players arriving after close of entries.

The club president and I decided that under the circumstances, that the two day event should be *cancelled* and a new 8 player, one day rapid round robin should replace it. I put my hand in *my* pocket and gave a total of $300 cash as appearance money to the two Sydney players. Both were very happy with that. They went on to win 1st $100 and 2nd $50 Both Bollens and Xie were happy with the outcome for their 4 hours of chess and the cancellation of second drive to and from Sydney for day two. In fact, Xie said to me he would love to come back next year, as did Bollens. Xie also posted a thanks on Chess Chat.

If anon with the half and slurs wants to be a man, and not like a particular backstabbing maggot we all know, let him say these things to me in person, in public, so people can see him get a dressing down fit for filth.

Matthew Sweeney

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Naiditsch and Arianne

We have to thank our Irish friend James O'Fee (Ray Keene's co-blogger) for this tip. On the 2006 Chess Classic Mainz 2006 site, there is an interview with Arkadij Naiditsch. When asked if he has "a love affair with this beautiful Australian girl" - the answer is a little coy.

We often met during various chess world championships in the past ten years. We already met in Bad Wiessee, when I was thirteen and she was twelve. We like each other and there is a certain mutual sympathy, of course.

Scientific American on Expert Minds

Michael Goeller of The Kenilworthian has an interesting post on "Expert Minds" - article in well respected publication, Scientific American.

On this (by the Scientific American):

These experiments corroborated earlier studies that had demonstrated convincingly that ability in one area tends not to transfer to another. American psychologist Edward Thorndike first noted this lack of transference over a century ago, when he showed that the study of Latin, for instance, did not improve command of English and that geometric proofs do not teach the use of logic in daily life.

Michael Goeller says:

That conclusion seems a bit unwarranted and runs counter to many other studies I've seen showing that when kids learn and improve at chess they gain many benefits which transfer to other areas of learning (see, for instance, Dr. Robert C. Ferguson's website for a good summary). After all, the idea that studying chess improves children's abilities to study generally is one of the basic premises of "chess in the schools" programs worldwide.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Poker vs Chess

Earlier, we posted this item about computers, chess and poker. The post provoked a couple of exchanges with a contribution by former chess player Bradley Loh. But now another poster has waded in and he has some interesting things to say. We think it worthwhile to give that a response a post of its own.

If poker is easier than chess, can you tell me why it takes chess players so much longer to become elite players than it does poker players? There are poker players who only began to play seriously several years ago that now dominate the tournament circuit. The Grinder comes to mind. Can you name a single top level chess player that did it in five years? Such a thing is *IMPOSSIBLE* in chess. What about in ten years? In fifteen? In 20? A rare breed can do it in 20. A true prodigy in fifteen. The best chess players without exception begin to seriously study the game before age ten and the vast majority do not reach grandmaster level until in their 20's on average. Another few years to reach the very top (there are about 1000 grandmasters in the world).

The idea that because a computer can play chess better than poker means chess is easier is utter stupidity. Computers can do differential equations too. Does that mean poker is harder than a career in math? Computers also don't experience emotion. Does that say something about the difficulty of humans to feel emotion? Is it "difficult" to feel emotions? Some effort involved? No, it's just something we have innately that computers do not possess. There are elements of poker that require abilities beyond that of a computer. This says nothing about how "difficult" it is master poker.

The amount of time and effort it becomes to be a world-class chess player dwarfs that required to become a world-class poker player which is easily proven and does indicate that for humans, chess is far more difficult than poker.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Chess Bashing

Alan Mascarenhas (rated 1527) recently played in the NSW Rapid tournament apparently to mount his professional comeback. He finished on 3 points. But he was really there to gather some dirt.

The glamorous side of chess isn't immediately apparent at the NSW Rapid Play championship where I mount my professional comeback. The auditorium of the Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club is predominantly filled with older men and a few chubby prodigies, while nearby, wizened pensioners jangle coins into pokie slots and inhale the stale, smoky air. Only a handful of people are female, including someone's mother, two entrants and the tournament director. What did I expect? Opponents saying "grr" instead of "check"? Cheerleaders dressed as rooks?

More in Bashing the Bishop.

In case you missed it, here is an earlier chess item in the SMH's Radar section.

Monday, July 24, 2006

New Aussie Chess Forum

Matthew Sweeney, considered by many in the chess officialdom as a big troublemaker, has launched a new chess forum. Says he: "Its purpose is to initiate a movement to fill a few holes in Australian chess."

This is not the first time that Mr Sweeney has tried a chess forum. Last year his so called Uber Chess Jehad (UCJ) site attracted some attention. However, it quickly fell victim to a hack attack and came in for some heavy criticism particularly from officials in the New South Wales Chess Association and the ACF. In fact, Sweeney's current ban from NSWCA events is largely due to certain pronouncements he made on the UCJ site.

But Sweeney has apparently learned a lesson.

Unlike his former rough and tumble Uber Chess Jehad site, his new board is an up market challenger to the monopoly dominance of the Chess Chat bulletin board - Australia's most popular chess forum.

Sweeney says, "The new board will only approve contributers (sic) who are interested in growing chess in Australia. Incumbent administrators advocating a status quo may find themselves at odds with the ethos of the new site." The new board is the "Australian Chess Club Forum".

While anyone may read the board, Mr Sweeney insists that we should all be prepared to peddle our bono fide positions before being permitted to post.

I've had a quick look at the site and my first feedback is, ease up on that harsh blue colour. It's terrible on my eyes. Other than that, good luck.

Queensland Chess Newsletter

We've posted about this excellent chess newsletter previously, but we'd like to tell our readers that the July issue is out. It's definitely one of the better publications (offline or online) coming out of an Australian chess organisation. I especially like the chatty and relaxed tone:

A new attitude is needed to lift Queensland Chess. It has always amazed me that in the main (there are a few great exceptions) most chess players can sit down at a board and view the game from all different angles and see twists vnd turns that the common man would miss. However come to organisation, voluntary help, common sense loyalty and paying up of the very cheap CAQ fee of $10 they have tunnel vision, self interest and an apathetic approach to chess organisation and organisers. This makes it hard to lift Queensland

Yes I know I have just upset another batch of people. But hey guys just have a look at a few facts.

Link: CAQ July Newsletter

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rogers Wins ANU Open

GM Rogers scored 6.5/7 points to secure victory in the 2006 ANU Open. Final standings are available here. Our Pinoy-Aussie chess fans will be glad to see that last year's visitor FM Jesse Sales is back on Aussie soil.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Sevillano Special

Pinoy international master Enrico Sevillano, who now lives in sunny California, USA, recently won the 2006 SCCF State Championships held in LA scoring 5.5 points. Sevillano hails from Cebu, where yours truly also spent his childhood.

Prior to that SCCF event, Sevillano participated in the World Open where he collected 6 points. Australian junior Moulthun Ly, by the way, also scored 6 points in that event thereby securing an IM norm.

Our friend in Manila Raul J. Sol Cruz is apparently a fan of Sevillano and so here he is again annotating one of the IM's games at the World Open.

Annotations by Raul J. Sol Cruz
34th World Open
Philadelphia, USA
July 2006

1.e4 Fine in The Ideas Behind The Chess Openings, “Open with either the e-pawn or the d-pawn.” 1... c6 This is known in opening theories as the Caro-Kann Defence in honor of the analytical efforts of Horatio Caro of Berlin and Marcus Kann of Vienna who adopted the opening towards the end of the 19th century.

De Firmian in Modern Chess Openings, “The positive attributes of the Caro-Kann are that Black succeeds in developing all his pieces without weaknesses or making other positional concessions.”

2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Jose Raul Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “The beginner would do well to remember this, bring out knights before bringing out bishops.”

White’s sharpest option is the Panov-Botvinnik Attack; 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4, made famous by Mikhail Botvinnik, the 6th World Champion. 3... dxe4 Nimzovich in My System, "A center pawn should always be taken if this can be done without too great danger.”

In the 2004 World Open, Sevillano faced the 3... g6 of Dougherty that led to a 2nd round KO; 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.h3 Nf6 6.Bd3 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Bf5 9.Bxf5 Qa5+ 10.c3 Qxf5 11.O-O O-O 12.Qb3 b5 13.Re1 Bf6 14.Ne5 Qc8 15.Bh6 Bg7 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.d5 a6 18.dxc6 Ra7 19.a4 bxa4 20.Qxa4 Rd8 21.Qc4 Qf5 22.c7 1-0

4.Nxe4 A World Champion’s move! This continuation was seen in three (3) World Championships; Tal-Botvinnik in 1960, Spassky-Petrosian in 1966 and Kasparov-Karpov in 1987. 4... Nf6 Mason in The Art of Chess, “Instead of suffering his Queen bishop to be chased about as in the Classical Variation, Black attacks the centrally posted knight with his own knight.”

A solid alternative is 4. .. Bf5 which is known in opening theories as the Classical Variation. Enrico has a sad experience vs Kujovic as Black in Minneapolis 2005; 4... Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Ngf6 11.Bd2 e6 12.Qe2 c5 13.O-O-O Qb6 14.Be3 cxd4 15.Bxd4 Bc5 16.Ne4 Bxd4 17.Rxd4 O-O 18.g4 Nxe4 19.Rxe4 Nf6 20.Rd4 Rfd8 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Rg1 Qb4 23.g5 Qf4+ 24.Qe3 Nd5 25.Qxf4 Nxf4 26.Re1 hxg5 27.Nxg5 Nxh5 28.c4 Nf4 29.Kc2 f6 30.Ne4 Kf7 31.Re3 f5 32.Nd2 g5 33.b4 g4 34.c5 Nh3 35.Re2 Rd4 36.b5 Rb4 37.Nb3 Rxb5 38.Kc3 Nf4 39.Re1 Nd5+ 40.Kd4 Kf6 41.Rh1 Rb4+ 42.Kd3 Rf4 43.Rh6+ Ke5 44.Rh7 Rxf2 45.Rxb7 Rxa2 46.c6 Ra6 0-1

5.Nxf6 Another World Champion’s move! It was played by Alexander Khalifman, who won the title in Las Vegas in 1999 where our compatriot Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, Jr. was one of the select 128 competitors, vs Seirawan in Wijk aan Zee 1991.

Did you know that GM Joey’s second was Bobby Ang of BW’s Chess Piece?

5... exf6 The Tartakower Variation, named after Savielly Tartakower who popularized the line, though it was first played by Caro as Black vs Pillsbury in Vienna 1898; 5... exf6 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.h3 Bh5 9.g4 Bg6 10.Nh4 Nd7 11.Nf5 Bxf5 12.Bxf5 g6 13.Qe2+ Qe7 14.Bxd7+ Kxd7 15.Be3 Rae8 16.d5 c5 17.Qb5+ Kc8 18.O-O-O Qc7 19.Rd3 Re4 20.Rc3 a6 21.Qd3 Rhe8 22.Bxc5 Kd7 23.Be3 Qa5 24.a3 b5 25.Rc6 Bf4 26.Kb1 Bxe3 27.fxe3 Rxe3 28.Qd4 Re1+ 29.Ka2 Rxh1 30.Qa7+ 1-0

Kasparov and Keene in Batsford Chess Openings, “For the more peacefully inclined, 5... exf6 offers chances of a solid equality.”

De Firmian in Modern Chess Openings, “Black’s doubled f-pawn provides him extra protection on the King’s wing but the Queen-side majority allows White a small edge.”

This position was also seen in the following games of Rogelio Antonio Jr as Black vs:
a) Hort of Germany in the 1990 Olympiad; 5... exf6 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bd3 O-O 8.Qc2 h6 9.Ne2 Qc7 10.Be3 Nd7 11.h3 Nb6 12.c4 c5 13.O-O Re8 14.b3 Nd7 15.Rad1 Nf8 16.Nc3 Bd7 17.Nd5 Qc8 18.dxc5 Bxc5 19.Bxc5 Qxc5 20.b4 Qc8 21.c5 Re5 22.Be4 f5 23.Bf3 Ng6 24.Qc3 Kh8 25.Nf4 Re7 26.Nxg6+ fxg6 27.Rde1 Re8 28.Rxe8+ Bxe8 29.Qe5 Kh7 30.Qe7 Rb8 31.Rd1 a5 32.a3 axb4 33.axb4 Bb5 34.Bd5 Ra8 35.Bf7 Be8 36.Be6 Qb8 37.Kh1 Bc6 38.Bf7 Be8 39.Bd5 Bc6 40.Bf7 Be8 41.Bxe8 Qxe8 42.Qxe8 Rxe8 43.Rd6 Re7 1-0

b) Ye of China in the 1990 Zonal; 5... exf6 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bd3 O-O 8.Ne2 Qc7 9.Qc2 h6 10.Be3 Be6 11.h3 Nd7 12.O-O c5 13.Rad1 Nb6 14.dxc5 Bxc5 15.Bf4 Qc8 16.Be4 f5 17.Bf3 g5 18.Be5 Nd7 19.Bd4 Bd6 20.Ng3 Ne5 21.Bd5 Nc6 22.Bxc6 Bxg3 23.Bxb7 Bxf2+ 24.Rxf2 Qxb7 25.Re1 Rfe8 26.Rfe2 Qd7 27.b3 a6 28.Bf6 Qc6 29.c4 Qc5+ 30.Kh1 Bd7 31.Bb2 f6 32.Qc3 Qd6 33.c5 Qc6 34.Re7 Rxe7 35.Rxe7 Re8 36.Qc4+ Be6 37.Rxe8+ Qxe8 38.Qxa6 Kf7 39.c6 Bc8 40.Qa7+ Kg6 41.Qc5 Qe2 42.Qd5 Qe1+ 43.Kh2 Qe6 44.Qd8 h5 45.h4 g4 46.b4 1/2-1/2

6.Bc4 Bd6 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “Bishops should be developed to active diagonals during opening play.” 7.Qh5 A “walang ka-kupas-kupas” move is 7.Qe2+ played in Bogoljubov-Alekhine in 1942, Matulovic-Smyslov in 1970 and Gurevich-Dlugy in 1993.

7... O-O Fine in The Ideas Behind The Chess Openings, “Castle as soon as possible, preferably on the King’s side.” 8.Be3 Nd7 9.Nf3 Qc7 HIARCS suggests 9... Nb6 10.Bd3 g6 11.Qh6 Na4 12.Rb1 Qa5+ 13.Bd2 Re8+ 14.Kf1 Qc7 15.b3 Nb6 16.c4” with a slight advantage for White.

SHREDDER points to 9... f5 10.O-O Nf6.

10.O-O c5 11. Rad1 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “In the opening, rooks may have no open files, yet they will usually stand better on the central files since there is the potential of pawn exchanges which open a file.” 11... b6 12.Rd2 Bb7 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “Placed on the long diagonal, the bishop is posted for its maximum potential control of the central squares as well as eyeing the opposite wing of the enemy’s camp.”

13.Rfd1 Rad8? Suicide since White’s rooks are already set like the Twin Towers!

HIARCS recommends 13... Bxf3 14.gxf3 cxd4 15.Rxd4 Ne5 16.Bd5 Rad8 17.f4 Ng6 18.Rc4 Qb8” with equality. 14.dxc5 Nimzovich in My System, “We exchange in order to seize or open a file or diagonal without loss of time.”

14... Bxc5 SHREDDER gives 14... Nxc5 15.Bxc5 bxc5 16.Bd5 Bxd5. 15.Bxc5 Lasker in Manual of Chess, "Search for the combination which brings home your advantage.”

15... g6? HIARCS suggests either 15... Bxf3 or 15... bxc5. 16.Bd6 Qxc4 17.Qh4 Soltis in Turning Advantage Into Victory in Chess, “A Queen trade not only ends the prospect of middle game shocks such as enemy counter-attacks, it considerably increases the ways of converting an edge in the endgame.”

17... Qxh4 HIARCS recommends 17... Ne5 18.Qxf6 Nxf3+ 19.gxf3 Qc6 20.Kg2 Rfe8 21.c4 Bc8” with just a slight advantage for White. 18.Nxh4 Rfe8 19.Bc7 Rc8 20.Rxd7+- Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “Rooks are very dangerous when they reach the 7th rank.”

20... Bc6 21.Nf3! Lasker in Manual of Chess, “It is a good policy to assign the defense to a threat to an inactive piece.” 21... Bxd7 22.Rxd7 Re2 23.h4 This move is called a “pasingaw” in the Philippines.

23... Rxc2 24.Bd8 Emanuel Lasker in Manual of Chess, “The target for the attack has to be a weakness in the hostile position.” 24... Rxb2 25.Bxf6 Rxa2 26.Ne5 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “The student should note in all these middle game positions that once the opportunity is offered, all the pieces are thrown into action en masse when necessary; and that all the pieces coordinate their action with machine-like precision.”

26... Rf8? Black is already singing Neil Young’s Helpless without the harmonica.

27.Ng4! h5 28.Nh6+ Kh7 29.Nxf7 Rb8 SHREDDER proposes 29... Rxf7 to get a chance for a “suntok sa buwan” counter-play. 30.Ng5+ 1-0

Kamsky scored 7 points in 9 games, and won on tie-breaks over 8 other GMs; Milov, Ibragimov, Ehlvest, Yudasin, Ivanov, Kacheishvili, Wojtkiewicz and Benjamin. IM Sevillano scored 6 points and tied for 20th to 40th with GMs Fresinet, Stripunsky, Akobian, Vescovi, Sadvakasov, Perelshteyn, Gangunashvili, Fishbein, Sharavdorj and Brown. After the tie-breaks, he placed 30th in a field of 46 GMs! He should be in the RP Team!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Congrats to Lanes

International Master Gary Lane and wife WIM Nancy Lane have just had another baby, their dad Sydney chess businessman Brian Jones has announced.

Jasmine Lane was born in the early hours of yesterday morning weighing in at 3.4kg.

Aussie Junior Website

In case you didn't know, the ACT Junior Chess League will be hosting the Australian Junior Chess Championships 2007. The event will run from 14-26 January 2007. What really impressed me about this event was their website.

The site was a joint effort between a local ACT player Tor Lattimore, Libby Smith's husband and their 16-year old daughter. Libby is the tournament director.

Australian Chess Federation officials please take note: that's how you do a website. Are you listening? Do you care? Where are you?

Formula 1 Chess Set

I'm not an F1 fan but at least it's a helluvalot more exciting to watch than local motorsport events - like V8 races. If you like F1 and the Renault team, especially, then you can now also take home a chess set made from parts of your favourite machine.

Courtesy of Jalopnik.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New South Australian Site

The South Australian Chess Association has launched a new website. There's a little bit more work to do, however. I spot a broken link.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Maniac with Arianne

The Chess Maniac scores an exclusive interview with the gorgeous Arianne Caoili. She gives her readers a few tidbits about chess and some of that 19 year old wisdom. But a few feminazis won't be happy with this, "Men are definately (sic) stronger" when asked about the differences in play between men and women.


But when discussing non practical issues - not schedules, how much you drink, sleep or eat and socialize or be distracted (as calculating the correct behaviour in order to reach a goal, like studying for an exam) - when discussing issues of the heart, like love, for instance, no line can be drawn. For if we assume that chess is an art, or as you say, any type of "life" that you pursue, as long as it is an art, subjectivity is always at play and thus from the heart springs motivation and inspiration to be an artist, and from the imagination comes artistic ideas of which logic plays no part. So you could say that for singing or any art form, personal life plays a huge role and this influence is mostly invited and no line is drawn; for without it, the artist cannot create. The impressionist Oscar Wilde and even Franz Kafka are examples - their writing, however praised their technique, would be nothing without the ideas they wrote about. They looked at material subjectively and thus impressioned what the artist inside them felt, and in this there are no seperations.

Read more of the interview by The ChessManiac. Arianne tells me that she "had a nice cup of Indian chai with soya milk and honey while answering them".

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Computers: Duds at Poker

From the Austin American Statesman (free registration required):

It may surprise you to learn that it's more difficult for a computer to play poker, perhaps the world's most popular card game, than chess, the pastime of deep thinkers.

The Cost of Alcohol

I suppose we've all now heard about what happened to US grandmaster Aleksander Wojtkiewicz - dead at just 43 years of age. There were some chatter on the net that his death was due to alcohol. That's a real pity.

I hope that we can learn a lesson from this. Alcohol is quite deadly. It's a tired lesson but one certainly worth repeating.

Funny, for within a day of the grandmaster's death, this news item came out in the Australian media.

In closing, we would like to quote Australian international master Leonid Sandler. He served as the Aussie women's team skipper at the recent Turin Olympiad. He was also a friend of Aleksander Wojtkiewicz.

I have just learned terrible news of sudden death of my dear friend for some 36 years Alexander(Alex,Sasha) Wojtkiewicz.

We have started to attend chess section of Pioneer Palace in Riga (Latvia) in 1970.Very soon he showed his exceptional talent quickly becoming one of the best junior in the country which he always represented with great pleasure and distinction.These days in Latvia were an exciting times Mikhail Tal,Vladimir Bagirov,Aivars Gipslis,Alvis Vitolinsh,Alexander Koblenc (all deciased) and many others were always happy to help us when juniors playing friendly games ,analising different positions or just talking about game of chess.

Wojtkiewicz always played a lot of games often beating the best representatives of our generation,many of them are top world grandmasters.Unfortunatelly his chess carier come to a stand still because of historical curcumstances.Ethnic pole,Sasha had been always person with free spirit and independent views.In eighties of the last century he become involved with Polish trade union movement Solidarnost and Soviet military authority put him to jail for refusing to serve in army.Only years later when he emigre to his native Poland and later on to USA he was able to continue his chess carier.,and he played,played,played...He won a lot of tournament s,the last one World Open only a few weeks ago.Only about a month ago he rung me telling about his desire to see Chess Olympiad of 2010 in our native Riga,Alex mum still lives there.He was full of plans,ideas and desire to play...And now these terrible news.

Please rest in piece my dear friend Sasha,you will be remembered in chess community around the world.My condolencies goes to Alexanders mum Tamara and his young son and his mother.

IM Sandler made the above announcement in Australia's liveliest chess forum, Chess Chat.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Jamaican Champ in Brighton UK

Pablo Williams, the now world famous "Jamaican Champ" (or rather, wannabe Jamaican Champion) has been spotted in Brighton. We have this tip:

This guy was challenging allcomers to play 3 0 chess on Brighton seafront yesterday. I played him with the white pieces in a queen's gambit declined and drew - I'm only around 1700-1800 at blitz. He's still advertising himself as Jamaica's number one, and still claims that he needs money to visit his dying father.

Here he is.

Ray Keene on Chessville

Raymond Keene, who was recently visiting the South Seas, has just began a column for Chessville. Here is his first effort, An All-Purpose Black Defence.

Sponsor Wanted for Chess

Sydney's Brian Jones is organising a tournament to be called the Sydney International Open tournament. Looks like everything is set including support from a local government. All Mr Jones needs now is a sponsor with at least AUD$10,000.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Schiller Suffers Stroke

Fellow blogger Irishman James O'Fee reports. that famous writer Eric Schiller has suffered a stroke.

Arianne Takes Cover

The UK's Chess magazine features Aussie chess player Arianne Caoili on their July cover. In fact, our own Australian Chess Magazine, published by Brian Jones, also features Arianne on the cover of its most recent issue.

By the way, the last we heard of the young starlet was that she will be playing in a tournament in Dortmund.

Best in June 2006

Thanks to my mate DG, I found out about these kinds words from Mark Weeks who writes for New York Times'

Mr Weeks considers our coverage of Gormallygate, The Turin Olympiad and FIDE presidential election the best on the blogosphere. I'm not sure that we deserve such an accolade for the last bit but hey, we'll take these points where we can get them.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Blogger Milestones

What a busy week! And today was particularly important. Yours truly made a trip to that small city down south of Sydney, Wollongong, to receive my masters diploma in business. My goodness, things have really changed quite a bit in academic speeches. The university chancellor delivered the most boring of talks. It was more about advertising his institution than a rousing call for his students to conquer the world. He went on and on with irrelevant statistics. I suppose I should have expected it, after all, the ceremony began with a Power Point presentation. Graduation ceremonies have really changed.

Then came a guest speaker. I tell you dear readers, I think people should be forced to take out a license before they are allowed to quote Martin Luther King. Same old, same old message about having a dream.

And, of course, this weekend is the first year anniversay of this blog. Actually, it all began over at the MSN Spaces. Here is the July 2005 archive. That's a happy birthday to TCG!

I should, however, that you dear readers, and especially the regulars, have had a lot to do with this blog's success over the past 12 months. Many thanks also to fellow bloggers who link to this blog. As a consequence of these inbound links, TCG is ranked fifth by Technorati. I was also quite glad when ranked TCG as one of their top choices! Big thank you also to our contributors - some of whose work can be found on our right side bar.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ex-Chess King Goads Putin

After the earlier items in the NY Times and Moscow Times, the UK's Telegraph has written a follow-up piece.

Adrian Blomfield writes:

Mr Kasparov, ranked as the world's leading chess player for 20 years, is no longer feted as he once was. He has been pelted with eggs and an elderly woman once cracked a chessboard over his head. Having an Armenian mother and a Jewish father is also seen as a serious impediment for anyone harbouring presidential ambitions.

Read: Chess king Kasparov goads Putin with 'alternative summit'Chess king Kasparov goads Putin with 'alternative summit'

Raul Cruz Annotates

This one is for our Pinoy readers and, especially, for fans of Oliver Dimakiling. Meralco staffer Raul Cruz annotates Oliver's game against Fred Berend (LUX) in the second round of the Turin Olympiad.

Raul is 45 years old - a graduate of UST with a BS Industrial Engineering. He presently works for MERALCO, the Philippines biggest electric utility. His workplace hosts the Meralco CC which holds regular practices for employees, retirees and dependents, conducting goodwill matches with other companies and giving chess clinics for dependents.

Says Raul, "I have swindled now GM Villamayor in a blitz game in our training session where Bong was our trainer and also now IM Martinez, in Clean-up Chess Club. I just love the game!"

36th Olympiad 2006
Berend, Fred
Oliver “D-Mc” Dimakiling

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 The Ruy Lopez Opening. It is one of the oldest opening on record which was named after Ruy Lopez de Segura who authored Libro del Ajedrez in 1561.

Lasker in Manual of Chess, “The most logical of all Openings arising from the double step of the two King pawns. Fine in The Ideas Behind The Chess Openings, “One reason why the Ruy Lopez is so strong is that the most natural sequence of moves leads to an ideal position for White.”

White’s sequence of development follows Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “The beginner would do well to remember this, bring out knights before bringing out bishops.”

Mason in The Art of Chess, “The Ruy Lopez is astonishingly complicated, embodying as it does a perpetual intertwining of grandiose strategical planning with an alarming maze of difficult tactical finesses and combinative motifs.”

Its first Finals appearance was in the Steinitz vs Zukertort World Championship Match of 1886.

3... a6 The Morphy Defence, the most popular line of Ruy Lopez, whose idea is to immediately challenge the intentions of the White bishop. As Viggo Mortensen in Young Guns II said, “Well, it’s a start.” 4. Ba4 Lasker in Manual of Chess, “White might reply Bc4 or Be2 without getting into peril. And Bxc6 is quite playable. But the above move is the most aggressive one, since it preserves the Bishop for future action against the King besides maintaining the pressure on the square e5.”

4... Nf6 5. O-O Fine in The Ideas Behind The Chess Openings, “Castle as soon as possible, preferably on the King’s side.”

Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “White could choose to defend the e-pawn with the simple 5.d3, but the best attempt to keep the initiative is 5.O-O.”

5... b5 This early pawn-roller is known as the Arkhangelsk Variation, a sharp counter-attacking system. 6. Bb3 Be7 This bishop placement transforms the opening to what is known in theory as the Closed Variation.

De Firmian in Modern Chess Openings, “This is the start of a fascinating opening struggle where both sides are able to develop and build their positions toward a tense and dynamic middle game.”

Consistent with the Arkhangelsk is 6... Bc5 as in Anand-Tkachiev in Moscow 2001 where The Vishy coded the move 14.Ra3 - voted the Most Important Novelty of Informant Volume 83. Unknown to many, the 2000 World Champion was tutored by the late NM Cabrido of Finance when he was studying here in the Philippines.

7. Re1 O-O D-Mc is aiming for the speculative Marshall Attack, one of the most significant ideas introduced in the 20th century. I myself have two encounters against the Marshall; the first was vs Domingo of San Juan in the Agora Open in the 1980’s and the second was vs Nabos in the MERALCO-LRT Goodwill Match last November.

8. h3 Mason in The Art of Chess, “Refrain from pushing any Rook pawn merely to prevent Bishop attacking Knights or pinning, as it is called. Let the Bishop come on, if he will; then attack him with pawn, if advisable.”

Berend ended the Marshall plan (8. c3 d5; the gambit pawn) of D-Mc. Other Anti-Marshall alternatives are:
a) 8.a4 played by 2002 World Champion Ruslan “Super” Ponomariov against Bacrot in the MTel Masters 2006.
b) 8.d4 played by 2004 World Champion Rustam “The Dream” Kasimdzhanov against Adams in their 2004 World Championship.

8... Bb7 Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “Placed on the long diagonal, the bishop is posted for its maximum potential control of the central squares as well as eyeing the opposite wing of the enemy’s camp.”

This is in the repertoire of The Vishy; Polgar-Anand in Match 2003, Leko-Anand in Dortmund 2004, Svidler-Anand in Dortmund 2004, Ivanchuk-Anand in Amber Blindfold 2004, Shirov-Anand in Amber Rapid 2004, Kramnik-Anand in Dortmund 2004, Topalov-Anand in MTel Masters 2006 and Svidler-Anand in MTel Masters 2006.

9. d3 d6 10. a3 Reigning World Champion Topalov preferred the move 10.a4; vs Grischuk in Corus 2005 and vs 2002 World Champion Ponomariov in Mtel Masters 2006. 10... Qd7 For Black, the opening phase is over. Knights and bishops are out, King has castled and rooks are connected. This is the ideal position!

This Queen Caoili move is a favorite of Levon Aronian, World No. 3 and who is treated like a god in Armenia – the 2006 Olympiad Champion; Movsesian-Aronian in Bundesliga 2004, Charbonneau-Aronian in 2004 Olympiad, Bologan-Aronian in Karabakh 2005, Karjakin-Aronian in European Championship 2005, Galkin-Aronian in Aeroflot 2005 and Efimenko-Aronian in Aeroflot 2005.

11. Nc3 Nd8 Up to this point, D-Mc is moving on a the path of GMs; Ivanchuk-Grischuk in Russian Club Cup 2006, Dominguez-Ponomariov in Cuernavaca 2006, Ponomariov-Kamsky in Mtel Masters 2006 and Svidler-Kamsky in MTel Masters 2006. 12. Ba2 Topalov pushed 12.d4 in the 2005 World Championship.

12... Ne6 13. Be3 c5 14. Nh2 Nc7 15. Bg5 b4 SHREDDER recommends, “[15...Ne6!? 16.Bxf6 Bxf6= (‹16...gxf6 17.Ng4±) ].”

16. axb4 cxb4 17. Na4 Rab8 18. Nb6 Qd8 19. Nc4 Ne6 20. Be3 Kh8

Byrne in Great Chess Victories and Defeats, “One of the paradoxes of chess is that the stodgy, passive move is so often the key to the launching of the most violent attacks.”

21. Bb3 Nd7 22. Na5 Ba8 23. Bd5 Why exchange the active bishop? White should have listened to Salma Hayek in Bandidas, “We need to consider the consequences, the implications.”

23... Qc7 24. Qd2 Rb5 25. Bxa8 Rxa8 26. Nc4 a5 27. b3 Rf8 28. Ra2 Nb8? SHREDDER recommends, “[28... f5 29.Qd1 d5 30.exd5 Rxd5=].” 29. Rxa5 White gets a pawn for nothing. As Gene Hackman in The Quick and The Dead warned, “It’s a neat trick.”

29. .. Rb7 30. Rea1 Nimzovich in My System, “The ideal which lies at the root of every operation in a file is the ultimate penetration by way of this file into the enemy's game, that is to say to our 7th or 8th rank.”

30... Nc6 31. Ra8 Rbb8 Wolff in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess, “Trading pieces is the first strategy you can adopt when your position is cramped.” 32. Rxb8 SHREDDER recommends, “[R8a6+-].” 32... Rxb8 33. Qd1 g6 34. Nf1 f5 Byrne in Great Chess Victories and Defeats, “A wing attack is best met by a counter in the center.”

35. exf5 gxf5 Nimzovich in My System, “We exchange in order to seize or open a file or diagonal without loss of time.” 36. Bh6 f4 37. Nh2 d5 38. Nd2 Ncd4 A “Tarrasch Knight” is a knight centrally posted in the enemy camp, supported by a pawn and cannot be attacked by an enemy pawn. 39. Ng4 There is a general principle that you should not leave a piece where it ties up another piece to its defense.

39... Nf5 40. Ra6 Nc5 41. Ra2 Rg8! The point of opening the g-file 7 moves earlier. 42. Qa1 Rxg4 43. hxg4 Nxh6 D-Mc gets 2 minor pieces for his rook. 44. Ra8+ Ng8 SHREDDER recommends, “[44...Kg7 45.d4 Ne4 46.Nxe4 dxe4=].”

45. d4 Ne6 Purdy in Fine Art of Chess Annotation, “Blockade! The average player thinks an isolated pawn is meant to be won, but that is not till the endgame.”

Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “The knight is the best piece to blockade a passed pawn. Even with this defensive duty, the knight has offensive power.”

46. dxe5 Qxc2 47. Nf3? SHREDDER recommends, “[47.Qa7 Bc5 (‹47...Qxd2 48.Qxe7 Qd1+ 49.Kh2 Qxg4 50.Qf6+ Ng7 51.Qf7=) 48.Qf7 Bxf2+ 49.Kxf2 Qxd2+ 50.Kf1 Qc1+ 51.Kf2 Qd2+ 52.Kf1 Qd1+ 53.Kf2 Qxg4=].” 47... Bc5 Lasker in Manual of Chess, “The target for the attack has to be a weakness in the hostile position.”

Capablanca in Chess Fundamentals, “The advantage of having the bishop lies as much in its ability to command, at long range, both sides of the board from a central position as in its ability to move quickly from one side of the board to the other.”

48. Qf1? SHREDDER recommends, “[48.Qa6 Qb1+ 49.Kh2=].” 48... Kg7 49. Nh4 Ne7 50. Ra6 Nd4 51. Rf6 Qe4

Lasker in Manual of Chess, “The more space you dominate, the less space for the opponent in which to move his pieces about, the more restricted the number of moves with which he may threaten you or guard himself against your threats.”

52. Ra6 Qxe5 53. Nf3 Nxf3+ Kotov in Think Like A Grandmaster, “A GM considers where to move each piece to, what weakening he can thereby induce in his opponent's position and what point in his own position needs strengthening.”

54. gxf3 Ng6 55. Rc6 Qc3 56. Qb5 Qe1+ 57. Qf1 Bxf2+ 0-1

Soltis in Turning Advantage Into Victory In Chess, “Forks, pins, threats of various kinds, these are the bricks and mortar of technique.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kasparov on Putin

Writing in yesterday's New York Times, Garry Kasparov claims that democracy is once again being eroded in Russian under the leadership of Vladimir Putin.

The darkest days of Communist rule are now a generation behind us. Between the end of the Communist dictatorship and the crackdown under President Putin, there was a period of freedom. It was brief and it was flawed, but it could have served as a foundation for a democratic Russia. Since 2000, however, Mr. Putin has done everything possible to dismantle that fragile edifice. In dealing with Russia, please don't confuse what's good for the Putin regime with what's best for the Russian people.

Read: What's Bad for Putin Is Best for Russians

And see also this report from Moscow Times wherein it is reported that some members of A Different Russia, an outfit led by Kasparov, mysteriously fell ill on their way to a conference.

Monday, July 10, 2006

14th ANU Chess Festival

We're not all about complaining. Kudos go to that bunch who organise chess events down in the Australian Capital Territory. These guys really know a thing or two about chess promotion and organisation.

They've obviously got my details from previous visits and have kept it on file. I don't mind this at all for this allows them to inform me of upcoming events. It's all about "direct marketing".

Today, I received my brochure for the 14th ANU Chess Festival. This is a big event comprising several tournaments: the main chess open, a "Go" competition, and the national computer chess championships. The brochure is nothing fancy and has everything I need to know like round times, prizes and accomodation. Very simple but effective.

The venue is in the grounds of the Australian National University - the country's equivalent to Harvard.

For more information, visit Ian Rout's page.

ACF Has Ugly Site

Our post on the USCF's new website seems to have provoked some comments or rather our side comment regarding the ACF's own website. Now let's be clear, ACF webmaster Paul Broekhuyse is a very competent man. He is editor of the weekly ACF newsletter. But we think he and the ACF officials can do a better job at actually managing their website. As Queensland chess personality Garvin Gray observes, content is so old that you'd think the Turin Olympiad was starting tomorrow! That event ended weeks ago.

The ACF website still loudly screams out, "The Olympiad has started in Turin, Italy!" What a joke.

How can anyone, chess players, potential sponsors, media reps, parents, and so on, learn anything about chess in Australia when the national body's official website is so stale? Some links don't even work! Just check out the link to the South Australian Chess Association. What is the point of dreaming big things for Aussie chess when our official national organisation can't even get the basics right?

It is about time that ACF boss Denis Jessop get onto his webmaster and ask him, "hey man, how about you do your job and update our website?"

We don't need a swanky website similar to that of the USCF. But we do need one that is frequently updated and full of information. For the benefit of our ACF folks' check out the NSWJCL online.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Aussies in Dubai Juniors

Four Aussie juniors are currently playing in the 5th Dubai Junior Chess Championships. All young chessers are from Melbourne: Sally Yu, Derek Yu, Eugene Schon and Zhigen Wilson Lin.

After six rounds, Zhigen Wilson Lin is on 5 points. He will face the 2093-rated Uzbek, Rahimov Rahmatjon, in the next round.

The tournament is receiving local coverage in the Gulf such as this one. Regular tournament coverage is available here.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

USCF Launches New Site

The United States Chess Federation has launched a grand spanking new website. This move follows the launch of a new look Chess Life magazine. At this time, it looks like the migration effort is not entirely complete as there are still outbound links to the old website all over the place.

While this USCF's brand new site is impressive in design, it would not be by recommended approach to the Australian Chess Federation (once this mob actually gets around to updating their site to a more professional standard). The US site just smacks too much of being a brochure for the Chess Life magazine. I tend to prefer a "newsy" approach with the latest news, updates, tournament photos right up front on the homepage.

But what the Americans did, they did well. You just have to love the free magazine content. (Why doesn't the Australian Chess Magazine do this?) We can also read bios of America's top players. I wonder, however, why Jennifer Shahade doesn't appear in the top women's list section.

Our good mate over at the Boylston blog has posted a lengthier review. They give the USCF's effort with a grade of B+.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Australian Uni Rapid Event

We've already given this a plug a couple of weeks ago, but Jason Chan has requested another freebie. So here it is.

The main organiser is none other than Jenni Oliver, who of course has successfully run the Australian Junior and Young Masters.

The website for this event can be accessed here.

It is open only to current University students (undergraduate and
postgraduate) and begins next week on Wednesday, continuing on Thursday.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Moulthun Ly at the World Open

Queensland junior Moulthun Ly, (or as I like to call him, "Merciless Ly") participated in the 2006 World Open tournament held recently in Philadelphia. He scored 6 points in total finishing in the top 100! An awesome showing.

Here are a couple of his games where he beat two American FIDE Masters.

34th World Open
Ly, M.
Bartholomew, J.

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Ne5 Bf5 7. Bc4 e6 8. g4 Bg6 9. h4 Nbd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. h5 Be4 12. Rh3 Bd5 13. Bd3 c5 14. dxc5 Bc6 15. Bd2 Nxc5 16. Qe2 O-O-O 17. Bc4 Qc7 18. O-O-O Bd6 19. b4 Nd7 20. Nb5 Bxb5 21. Bxb5 Bf4 22. Kb2 Bxd2 23. Rxd2 Ne5 24. Rc3 Nc6 25. Rxd8+ Rxd8 26. Bxc6 bxc6 27. Qe4 Kb7 28. Qxh7 Qe5 29. f4 Qxf4 30. Qxg7 Rd1 31. Qf8 Qc1+ 32. Kb3 Rd7 33. Qc5 Qh1 34. b5 Qd5+ 35. Qxd5 cxd5 36. h6 Kb6 37. h7 Rd8 38. Rf3 f5 39. g5 1-0

34th World Open
Hoekstra, M.
Ly, M.

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 e6 3. e4 h6 4. Bxf6 Qxf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Nf3 d5 7. e5 Qe7 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 c5 10. h4 Nc6 11. Bb5 O-O 12. Rh3 Bd7 13. Bxc6 bxc6 14. Qd2 cxd4 15. cxd4 c5 16. Nh2 f6 17. Nf3 cxd4 18. Qxd4 f5 19. Qb4 Qf7 20. Nd4 f4 21. Rb3 f3 22. Rxf3 Qg6 23. O-O-O Qxg2 24. Rxf8+ Rxf8 25. Qd6 Rf7 26. Nxe6 Rxf2 27. Qb8+ Kf7 28. Nd4 Rf1 29. Qxa7 Rxd1+ 30. Kxd1 Kg8 31. Kc1 Bg4 32. e6 Qe4 33. Qb6 Kh7 34. a4 Qe3+ 35. Kb2 Bxe6 36. a5 Bc8 37. h5 Qe8 38. Ka2 Qxh5 39. a6 Qg6 40. Nb3 Qxc2+ 41. Ka1 0-1

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Negi: God Is Kind

A couple of days ago, we learned that Indian wunderkind Parimarjan Negi became his country's youngest ever grandmaster. Here, speaking to The Hindu, he sounds like a regular Pinoy!

My coaches have always stressed on the importance of staying focused on the job on hand. They have always maintained that if the method and execution are right, the result is bound to be pleasant. I make a sincere effort to follow their instruction. I leave the rest to God. I must say, God has been kind to me.

Read: "The record never crossed my mind: Negi"

Dimakiling Victorious

Continuing his relentless rise in Philippines chess, Oliver Dimakiling has just won the 1st Ozamiz City National Open Chess Tournament. Our Pinoy readers will recall that this man from Davao also secured his IM title requirements in the Turin Olympiad.

Dimakiling scored 8.5 points to win Ozamiz. My fellow Cebuano IM Barlo Nadera took the second spot overall with 8 points.

Mark Paragua settled for just 6.5 points over this nine-round event.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

BCM Blog

John Saunders, editor of the British Chess Magazine, has started a blog.

On the whole Gormallygate story (what, again?) , Saunders asked why it took Chessbase so long to publish the story.

Commenting on Danny Gormally, specifically, who was reported to be on medication, John Saunders makes an interesting point.

Looking at the matter from another angle: the English Chess Federation presumably takes some responsibility for the well-being of its players whilst 'on active service'. It seems logical that they should only pick players who are fully fit and that they should keep a wary eye on their welfare during these stressful and high-profile chess events, both for their own sake and that of their opponents. I'm not making any allegations that the ECF failed in any of these respects, but questions need to be asked - and answered, openly and fairly. Even the Soviet Union finally got round to glasnost - perhaps the English should give it a try.

You can view the blog here:

President Supports Chess

Philippines president Gloria Arroyo has expressed "in principle" suppport for a chess in schools program in the Philippines.

From Sun Star Cebu.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Chess Beauties - The Stars

There seems to be a just a few late drips of the whole "Gormallygate" incident. Lee Honeyball, in The Guardian's Observer section, comments:

[S]ex sells in the chess world as successfully as in every other area of life and with celebrities now seen playing regularly, such as former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, it is more glamorous than ever.

Read: "Pawn Stars".

Sunday, July 02, 2006

CJS Purdy Centenary

The CJS Purdy Centenary tournament, held at the North Sydney Leagues Club over this weekend, was jointly won by IM-elect George Xie and FM Igor Bjelbork. Both scored 6/7 points.

Pat Halpin and Armen Ayvazyan tied for third. The former took home the special prize of $300 "for the best result by a player who has played C.J.S.Purdy".

CJS Purdy's son, John, also played in the event.

Paragua - A New Dad

Filipino number one GM Mark Paragua and wife Christine are the proud parents of one King Joshua. Christine gave birth on June 19. Despite the new baby, Paragua was merciless against 7-year old Ivy Dennis Bucog in the first round of the currently running Ozamiz City National Open Chess Tournament. Mark crushed his opponent in just 13 moves.

However, we have just been informed by pinoy journo Marlon Bernardino that Paragua lost his fourth round game to a certain Jimmy Dano. Funnily, my fellow blogger Goran Urosevic has just emailed me to say that Jimmy apparently appeared on the World Chess Network announcing this stunning win.

After 4 rounds of the Ozamiz event, the following players are on perfect scores: Jimmy Dano, Lindon Lumancas, Oliver Dimakiling, Barlo Nadera, Richard Bitoon, Rustom Tolentino, Levi Martuna and Jose Rojas.

Mr Bernardino also mentioned that Mark Paragua is expected to drop his FIDE rating to 2604.

Negi Becomes GM

Indian wunderkind Parimarjan Negi earned his third and final GM norm requirement by drawing with GM Ruslan Sherbakov at the Chelyabinsk Region Superfinal tournament. Negi finished the tournament on 6/9 points.

From The Hindu.

Meanwhile, at the Asian Youth Chess Championships, Indians dominated by winning gold medals in all categories.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Diplomat on Chess Politics

Australia's best monthly magazine on international relations, The Diplomat, features a tid bit on chess politics. We quote here in full.

In a struggle for control of the World Chess Federation (known by its French acronym FIDE) there have been more gambits, forks and pins than you could point a rook at. The head of the Federation since 1995 is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, also president of the impoverised Russian republic of Kalmykia (the only Buddhist territory in Europe). The immaculately dressed former communist-turned-millionaire businessman uses an executive jet to further his global chess agenda and built a now-crumbling "Chess City" for the 1998 Chess Olympiad, held a few months after a leading Kalmyk journalist Larisa Yudina, who had accused him of corruption, was found dead. Two former Ilyumzhinov aides were convicted of her murder following Moscow's intervention.

ABC journalist Eric Campbell has an illuminating chapter about all this in his highly readable book Absurdistan. Australian grand master Ian Rogers, who refused on principle to play at the 1998 Olympiad, has been lobbying against Ilyumzhinov at the most recent Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy, ahead of a vote for the FIDE presidency. A Google search should produce the results, and plenty of charge and counter charge about alleged inducements and other dirty tactics.

For those interested in world politics and, especially, Australia's role within it - The Diplomat magazine is essental reading.