Saturday, September 30, 2006


This is FM Greg Canfell's version of the laughable fiasco currently happening in Elista. But too bad that it's based on an Aussie slang. Anyway, Greg asked me if the news from Elista had hit the mainstream. Well it has, actually. Here is a short list.

Note that some of these may require registration.

New York Times: Bathroom Dispute Halts Chess Championship
Telegraph UK: Loo Row Threatens Chess Championships
The Times: Chess Challenge Falls to Pieces
Guardian Unlimited: Kramnik's carry on over his own convenience
India Times: Will this prove to be Chess Waterloo?"
BBC: Toilet breaks trigger chess row

Here's an idea. Why don't these two guys just settle the whole thing with chess boxing? Stop behaving like a couple of tootsies and get it over and done with.

And where is the FIDE boss in all this? The man's in Sochi attending some government meeting of the Heads of the Regions of the South Russian Regions. He can do no more than send an open letter. You can read it here.

Ironically, in that letter addressed to Kramnik, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov says:

Millions of chess fans in the whole world are following this match with great interest and are looking forward for the just outcome produced over the chess board and not from exchanging open letters which we are receiving from both teams.

You know, is there any other sport in the world that is so plagued by open letters? That's part of the problem, I think. Instead of just talking, these guys fire off an open letter at the first opportunity thus escalating rapidly an issue that may very well have been easily solved in a face-to-face confrontation. At the risk of sounding like Oprah, or worse, Dr Phil - boys, sit down and talk it over. Take a deep breath and talk. Good for you, good for us, good for the sport.

2006 Ryde-Eastwood Open

It is a number that must surely warm the heart of NSWCA head Bill Gletsos. Seventy-two players fronted up today to compete in the 3-day long Ryde-Eastwood Open. And to round off a successful turnout, no less than Aussie numero uno GM Ian Rogers leads the field as the number 1 seed.

The field is quite impressive. Support cast to Rogers includes visiting international master Andras Toth, of Hungary, FMs George Xie, Igor Bjelobrk and Greg Canfell; WIM Laura Moylan is also in attendance and a cabal of 2000+ rated players such as Ayvazyan, O'Chee and former New South Wales junior champion Paul Broekhuyse.

John Slidziunas is here all the way from Tasmania as well as a couple of Victorians. The largest visiting crowd came from the ACT - mostly juniors.

Jason Lyons, recently back from his overseas vacation is the arbiter. He looked very well dressed I must say. One wonders if he'll take another shot at the NSWCA presidency at the end of this year.

For your entertainment here are a couple of games from the second round. Victorian junior James Morris scores a victory that surprised even him, I think. He was rather worried, he said, that Narelle Szuveges closed the position. Then, out of nowhere, his position turned into a dangerous attack. It was over very quickly.

2006 Ryde-Eastwood Open
Morris, James
Szuveges, Narelle

1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. e4 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 e6 6. Nge2 Nge7 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 d6 9. f4 b6 10. Be3 Nd4 11. f5 Nec6 12. g4 Rb8 13. Ng3 e5 14. Nd5 f6 15. Qd2 g5 16. h4 h6 17. hxg5 hxg5

After 17. hxg5

18. Kf2 Kf7 19. Rh1 Bb7 (19... Rh8) 20. Rh7 Kg8 (20...Rg8 21. Nh5) 21. Rah1 Ne7 22. Nh5 Rf7 23. Nxg7 Nxd5 24. Rh8+ 1-0

In the next game, FM Greg Canfell defeats Ahmed Faris. Canfell informs me that he could probably have win this encounter much sooner.

Ryde-Eastwood Open
Canfell, Greg
Faris, Ahmed

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Bb7 9. Nc3 b4 10. Nd5 d6 11. a5 Nb8 12. Nxe7+ Qxe7 13. d3 h6 14. Nh4 Bc8? missing White's next move. 15. Ng6 Qd7 16. Nxf8 Kxf8 17. f4 c5 18. fxe5 dxe5 19. Be3 Qc7 20. Qf3 Bg4 21. Qg3 Nbd7 22. Rf1 Qd6 23. Rf2 Bh5 24. Raf1 Bg6 25. Qh4 Ke7 26. h3 Rf8 27. g4 Ke8 28. Qg3 Qc7 29. Ba4 Kd8 30. Bxd7 Nxd7 31. h4 f6

After 31...f6

32. g5 hxg5 33. hxg5 Bf7 34. Rh2 Bg8 35. Qg4 (Fritz is suggesting 35. Rh8) 35... Qd6 36. b3 Be6 37. Qh5 Kc7 38. Rg2 Qe7 39. Qh7 Qf7 40. gxf6 Nxf6 41. Qh2 Kd6 42. Rg5 1-0

And here is a game from the top seed. Michael Dunn's 18. Qf8 wasn't best. Rogers apparently suggested 18. Qc7 instead.

Ryde-Eastwood Open
Rogers, Ian
Dunn, Michael

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 Nbd7 6. O-O Bd6 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Qc2 Re8 9. e4 dxe4 10. Ng5 e5 11. Ndxe4 Bc7 12. dxe5 Bxe5 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. Be3 h6 15. Nxf6+ Nxf6 16. Nf3 Bg4 17. Re1 Bxf3 18. Bxf3 Qf8 19. Qb3 a5 20. Qxb7 Rab8 21. Qxc6 Bxb2 22. Rab1 Rec8 23. Qa6 Bc3 24. Rxb8 Rxb8 25. Rd1 Bb4 26. Bxh6 Qc8 27. Qxc8+ Rxc8 28. Bg5 Nh7 29. Rd8+ Rxd8 30. Bxd8 1-0

I actually missed most of round 2, too busy watching the grand final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Sydney Swans. I tell you something folks, Australian Rules Football has got to be worst form of football there is. It looks to be just a glorified random kick-around the park. There is no structure to the game, none that I can see at least. But no other sport, outside of soccer (the real football), can drive spectators crazy in this country. It was awesome! I might just convert.

Queensland Teams Planned

There are plans in Australian state of Queensland to conduct a teams event, the local CAQ newsletter reports. The objectives are quite ambitious but, the proper motivation and will-power, definitely attainable.

1.To give Queensland chess a professionally organised teams event similar to those of other sporting bodies.
2.To retain teenagers in the game during and after high school.
3.To give all a professional team structure with a yearly chess season.

You can read all this in the CAQ's October newsletter.

In other Queensland news, Howard Duggan last week resigned from his position as boss of the CAQ. Todate, we have no idea of his reasons for doing so but did come as a surprise. We invite insiders of Queensland politics to shed some light on this.

We head on over across the continent to Western Australia and pick up that state's very excellent and well-assembled monthly newsletter. There are games from the recent state chess championships as well as a sad bit news regarding a local player's passing.

Finally, Dion Sampson has released a follow up podcast to his excellent first effort. If you can manage to find it, the second MP3 file can be download from this page. It's a bit of a hassle but for now, we're stuck with this. I could load that second file to my TCG Odeo stream but, so far, Dion hasn't provided his sign off on that. Here's hoping that our friend can soon find a better podcast host.

Pichay Opens Chess Building

Here is a photo of NCFP boss Prospero "Butch" Pichay during the opening ceremony of the Chess Institutes Building that is located within the Bulacan State University. Journalist Marlon Bernardino says that, "The chess institute building will provide chess players from Bulacan and nearby provinces to spend their free time and keep them away from drugs and other illegal activities."

From Left: Father Pablo Legaspi, Bulacan congressman Pedro Pancho, NCFP president and Surigao del Sur representative Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr., Bulacan Chess Federation president Richard Dela Cruz and Dr. Rosario Pimentel, president of Bulacan State University.

Friday, September 29, 2006

World Championship Whinging

A few moments ago, grandmaster Susan Polgar, while observing the (non) events in Elista said, "Unbelievable! This is really sad!" Some 20 minutes after the scheduled start of play, there are still no moves.

Proving once again what I have long believed that the chess world should really abandon the concept of a "World Champion", our two combatants Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov are behaving like a couple of whinging tootsies.

Mig in the Daily Dirt calls this ridiculous fiasco "Bladdergate" and surely there is no more apt a label (I prefer it to Chessbase's "toiletgate"). What is there to be expected but for the two highest exponents of our game embarassing their sport right in front of the entire world?

First, the Bulgarian side (Topalov) accused the opposition, the Russian Kramnik, of excusing himself to the toilet far too frequently. Not, say, 2 or 3 times, as might be reasonably normal - but 50 times in every game! I suppose, after losing the first two games, it was only natural for the Bulgarians to imagine all sorts of fairytales. To remedy the situation, the Bulgarians demanded, among other things, that "When the two players need to go to the bathroom, they should be accompanied by an assistant arbiter."

That was later followed by a meeting of the FIDE Appeals Committee which eventually decided, among other things, that "In the [Bulgarian] appeal there is an exaggeration of the number of times that Mr. Kramnik visited the toilet. Despite there being an unusual number of visits, this is insufficient on its own to come to a conclusion."

Further, FIDE suggested closing "both the toilets in the players' rest rooms and to open another toilet that will be available only to the two players." It was to this that the Russians expressed some unhappiness. This was a portion of their official reply: "With such a decision the WCC Committee is clearly violating both the rules and regulations of the WCC match and the rights of Mr. Kramnik."

And so, here we are. At 3:15PM local time in Elista, various online sources are reporting that Topalov is actually sitting at the board apparently ready to play. While Kramnik is, well, waiting for some damn toilet door to open. Just hilarious! This is the World Championship and these guys are squabbling over toilets!

Ladies and gentlemen - this is chess. And that is how it is at the highest levels of our game.

Mini Checkmate

I know a certain volunteer chess official who drives around from chess event to chess event in a $250,000 Jag. Well, your humble TCG, dear readers, will never drive a $250,000 car but I think I'll happily settle for one of these.

I walked past one of these yesterday and immediately fell in love. You can find out more about this gorgeous beauty here.

Kiwi Still the Jamaican Champ

Now Pablo Williams has actually made it to the mainstream press. He is still calling himself the number one player in Jamaica. Speaking to Canada's National Post, Williams says, "People really like the show...Music draws the crowds."


For Flag and Country

Three Pinoy hopefuls are setting off on an overseas trek in search of glory. National master John-Paul Gomez is heading for the World Juniors Championships in Yerevan, Armenia. Marlon Bernardino quotes Gomez as saying, "For flag and country I will do my very best". Accompanying the 20-year old Gomez is Oliver Dimakiling who will apparently act as Gomez's second.

From Yerevan, the two Filipinos are slated to participate in the Calvia Chess Festival in Spain followed by an appearance at the 2006 Offene Internationale Bayerishe Schuch Meisterschaft in Bad Wiessee, Germany.

Another Pinoy who is on the hunt for his third GM norm is IM Jayson Gonzales. Marlon Bernardino just emailed me to say that Gonzales had already left RP shores last Wednesday to head off for Europe. It looks like Gonzales will hook up with his compatriots in the same two tournaments above. But while Gomez and Dimakiling will be back in RP by Christmas, Gonzales will apparently prolong his European stint and compete in the legendary Hastings event in England.

We pray (at least to that goddess of chess, Caissa) and wish the very best for our Pinoy warriors. That's just so cheesy, isn't it? But hey, we're Pinoys! And we're "OE".

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bring Back Ian Rogers

A couple of days ago I posted about an exciting new blog by GM Ian Rogers. I swear I saw some content in there. It was GM Rogers' coverage of the currently running match-up between Kramnik and Topalov.

But within hours, the blog disappeared! No explanation, nothing from the host, the SMH. A slap in the face for Aussie chess fans especially after all that excitement of seeing the nation's top chess dog finally making an appearance on the blogosphere (yeah, welcome to Web 2.0 Ian). If you click on this link, you can still even see the title, "Checkmate with Ian Rogers".

Sydney chess fan Dr Jonathan Paxman wasn't very happy about this and promptly fired off a note to the SMH. He shared the response which was, "Thank you for your comments about the article, Due to copyright restrictions, the Chess blog has been removed."

What? Without additional info we can't really say very much about this. There may be legit grounds on the part of the SMH. But Dr Paxman is keen for Aussie chessers to lobby the SMH and bring back Ian! And we think that this is a worthy cause. So, Aussie chessers, click on this link and demand that the SMH bring back our grandmaster Ian Rogers to the blogosphere.

We want Ian! We want Ian!

Terry Tao on 7.30 Report

Last night Terry Tao, dubbed as the "Mozart of Maths" by the Sydney Morning Herald, appeared on the ABC's 7.30 Report. Terry's appearance was prompted by his receipt a month ago of the world's most prestigious prize in mathematics - the Fields Medal. He is also currently in Sydney to attend the 50th anniversary conference of the Australian Mathematical Society.

If you missed it, here is the transcript of his interview.

The Australian newspaper also featured Dr Tao in their Higher Education Supplement yesterday wherein the former South Australian expressed a concern for mathematics education in Australia.

NZ Masters Update

For a while, IM Stephen Solomon looked like he was about to suffer his first loss at the hands of local Kiwi player Nicholas Croad in the George Trundle NZ Masters event. But as is typical of Solo, and possibly aided by Croad's waivering nerves, the Australian held out to draw the game.

Relying on his favourite Morra Gambit, local player Graeme Spain, playing against Australia-based German IM Peter Froehlich, treated online spectators to an exciting encounter yesterday.

Auckland IM Tournament (NZ)
Spain, Graeme
Froehlich, Peter

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Nxc3 e6 5. Bc4 a6 6. Nf3 b5 7. Bb3 Bb7 8. O-O b4 9. Nd5 exd5 10. exd5 Bd6 11. Re1+ Kf8 12. Bg5 f6 13. Bd2 Ne7 14. Nd4 Qb6 15. Be3 Qa5 16. Rc1 h5 17. Qf3 Be5 18. Bf4 Bxd5 19. Bxd5 Qxd5 20. Qxd5 Nxd5 21. Bxe5 Kf7 22. Bd6 Nc6 1/2-1/2

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ilyumzhinov for IOC Presidency

Interfax is reporting that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is considering running for the IOC presidency. The aim is apparently just to publicise chess and not to win the elections.

Read the Interfax article here.

Topalov Draws

Personally, I prefer to see this Bulgarian Veselin Topalov eventually win his match against Vladimir Kramnik. I mean who wants to see another Russian as World Champion? But losing the first 2 games wasn't exactly a good start.

Last night Topalov managed to bring his campaign back on course by drawing the third game. Excellent commentary can be found in Susan Polgar's blog site or over at "Chess in St Petersburg".

And Peter Svidler has an overview of game 2 here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Scorching Arianne Takes Lead

Tonight, Australian chess fans were fixed to their TV sets as Arianne Caoili appeared for the first time in Dancing with the Stars.

She and partner Carmelo Pizzino danced the cha-cha and opened the performance with the 2 of them seated at the chessboard (pretending to play). It was, to an uniniated dance critic like me, quite awesome! The theme was no doubt the fighting incident in Turin. She'd pull away from him, he'd chase, she'd run away again. Good stuff, sexy.

The judges were equally impressed. Said Helen Richey to Arianne, "I think you're going to do very well".

A nice opening for our favourite chess star. I must admit, I was a tad nervous. You know, you just have this thought, "Please don't make a mistake. Please don't make a mistake".

At the first dance mark, Arianne and her partner are in the lead on 32 points.

GM Ian Rogers Blog

The blogosphere welcomes grandmaster Ian Rogers. The Australian number one is writing a blog for the Sydney Morning Herald. I wonder what motivated the paper to feature a chess blog. And they've even categorised chess right where it belongs - under "Sport"!

This appears to be just a special blog to cover the currently running contest between Kramnik and Topalov. If it does end when the match ends, then we hope that Rogers continues to blog anyway using the many free available sites out there.

Check out Rogers' Checkmate blog.

EDIT: As at 8PM AEST, the Sydney Morning Herald appears to have temporarily removed the blog so it won't come up at all.

The Talented GM Agdestein

Norwegian Simon Agdestein is known for a number of things. First, he is a chess grandmaster and, secondly, once played representative football for his country. And, until recently, he took up duties as the coach of wunderkind Magnus Carlsen.

Grandmaster Agdestein now has another ambition: to be a ballroom dancer! Well, that's what Mark Rivlin informs us.

And speaking of chess players dancing, a quickie reminder that tonight's the night when Arianne Caoili will appear, for the first time, in Dancing with the Stars. Don't forget to tune in or set your video recorders. You don't want to miss it.

Nadera Wins by Candlelight

IM Barlo Nadera, who hails from the same province of Cebue as yours truly, topped the NCFP Prospero Pichay mixed master rapid event. For his efforts the Cebuano IM went home with P10,000.

There was apparently a funny incident in the last round that reminded me of my childhood. Electric power was cut off in the tournament venue thus forcing play to be conducted by candlelight! Absolutely hilarious. When I was a kid, "brownouts" (as we call them) were so common that they basically became part of normal life. We made the most of such circumstances. For we kids, brownouts were a time for games like "hide and seek" or listening to scary stories; for the adults, well, they went and did their thing.

Here are the top placings.

M Barlo Nadera (P10,000) 6.0 points; FM Wesley So (P6,000), IM Oliver Dimakiling (P6,000) 5.5 points; IM Richard Bitoon (3,000) 5.0 points; NM John Paul Gomez (P1,600), NM Rolando Nolte (P1,600), Rhobel Legaspi (P1,600), IM Jayson Gonzales (P1,600), NM Arlan Cabe (P1,600) 4.5 points.

(Womens division)
WIM Beverly Mendoza (P5,000), WNM Enerose Magno (P5,000) 3.5 points; WNM Sherily Cua (P2,150), WIM Cristine Rose Mariano (P2,150), WNM Jedara Docena (P2,150) 3.0 points.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Chess Podcast by Dion Sampson

In May this year, we did what I think may have been the first podcast in Aussie chess. Not much has followed since then - more out of laziness. However, another chess fan, Dion Sampson, of Queensland has produced his own podcast of the Australian chess scene. He covers quite a bit of territory, basically a review of what's been happening over the past week both here and abroad. We even get a mention! Thanks Dion.

To listen, just click on the "play" symbol of the Odeo player below. Dion's podcast is presently in the TCG stream. This is for demonstration purposes only and we do have Dion's permission to do this. Hopefully, Dion can soon set up his own Odeo stream.

The recording spans about 11 minutes.

powered by ODEO

By the way, if you'd like to drop me a line, you can do so by leaving me an "odeo". Just look down my right side bar and click on the cutesy pink Odeo button.

Pronouncing "Caoili"

We have a special request from an avid reader. How do you pronounce Arianne's surname? TCG teaches you folks the only way he knows how. Click on the 'play' button below.

powered by ODEO

Remember it's like Kah-We-Lee.

Topalov Distracted by Water

I think I read somewhere that Kramnik will win this reunification match against Topalov because the Russian has more experienced in matches. Well, after going up 2-0 it looks like the Vladimir Kramnik is well on his victory.

In the first game, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov blundered and lost. Overnight, in the second encounter, Chessbase reports that Kramnik blundered but was left unpunished by Topalov. Could something be Topalov's mind? Distracted?

According to this report the world number one may have been distracted by a water leak!

This morning, I noticed that GM Ian Rogers is reporting on the match. It would be quite odd if both he and regular SMH chess columnist Peter Parr covered the same event. Let's see what happens.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Smerdon Draws Super-GM

Playing a sort of simul with their web browsers, with the World Champs in one browser, last night Aussie chess fans were also treated an entertaining game between Aussie IM David Smerdon versus super-GM Vassily Ivanchuk.

The Australian, playing White against the Caro-Kann, held the titan Ivanchuk to a draw! Here's is the game score.

Smerdon, D.
Ivanchuk, V.

1.e4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.exd5 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Nf3 e6 7.Qb3 a6 8.d4 Nc6 9.Bg5 Qb6 10.Bc4 Qxb3 11.Bxb3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Na5 13.Ba4+ b5 14.Bc2 Bb7 15.0-0 f6 16.Bf4 g5 17.Nxg5 fxg5 18.Be5 Rg8 19.Bxh7 Rg7 20.Bxg7 Bxg7 21.Rae1 Kd7 22.f4 gxf4 23.Rxf4 Rf8 24.Rxf8 Bxf8 25.h4 Bh6 26.Re2 Nc4 27.Be4 Bxe4 28.Rxe4 Nd6 29.Re2 Nf5 30.a4 Nxh4 31.axb5 axb5 32.Re5 1/2-1/2

Commentating on the game IM Tea Lanchava, of the Netherlands, said, "And indeed...not too much happened, although we ended up with a rook against bishop plus knight endgame...The big man from Lvov couldn't win this and that is a real sensation. No win OK, but not even advantage anywhere along the line. Our congratulations go to Smerdon."

(I'll just slip this in as it's another good news. The Aussie women's basketball squad, "The Opals", has just won the women's World Championship titles by beating the Russians in the gold medal match. Final score was 91-74. Good hunting for the Australians then!)

Kramnik - Topalov, 1-0

In the first of their 12-game "reunification" match, Russia's Vladimir Kramnik drew first blood by defeating Bulgarian and world number one Veselin Topalov.

There were signs of an early draw in the game but the Bulgarian pressed and sadly blundered. Quoted by The Associated Press, Topalov said:

Actually it was a dream position for any chess player...Black was clearly better, although I had significant technical difficulties in converting the advantage. Vlad (Kramnik) defended well, and I eventually made a blunder.

Readers can, of course, download PGNs from the usual sources like CB and TWIC. Chessbase has some brief analysis available. But a couple of bloggers have already posted some extensive examination of game one. See for example Chess Vault and e3 e5.

And don't forget to pop into the high quality - mostly in Russian but there is English coverage. These guys set the standard for the San Luis online analysis last year.

Sydney readers should note that the match will be covered by Peter Parr in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald. The SMH will publish special match reports by Parr on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Aussies To Battle

It's a chess bonanza for Aussie chess fans with a number of their compatriots doing battle on opposites ends of the globe. Over in next door neighbour New Zealand, international masters West and Solomon plus FM Tim Reilly and Melbourne resident IM Peter Froehlich are competing against Kiwi locals in the Auckland Chess Centre IM Norm Tournament.

The games are broadcast live via DGT at midday AEST. Today, Aussies were treated to a very nice game by IM Guy West who won against FM Robert Smith.

Auckland IM Tournament (NZ)
Smith, Robert
West, Guy

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Bg4 4. f3 Bf5 5. c4 e6 6. dxe6 Nc6 7. Be3 fxe6 8. Nc3 Nb4 9. Rc1 c5 10. d5 exd5 11. cxd5 a6 12. Bg5 Be7 13. d6 Bxd6 14. a3 Qe7+ 15. Kf2 Be5 16. Bc4 Rd8 17. Bd2 Bd4+ 18. Kf1 Nd3 19. Bxd3 Bxd3+ 20. Nge2 O-O 21. Bg5 c4 22. Qd2 h6 23. Bxf6 Rxf6 24. Re1

After 24. Re1

24...Rxf3+ 25. gxf3 Qh4 0-1

Auckland IM Tournament (NZ)
Solomon, Stephen
Froehlich, Peter

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. c4 d6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 b6 6. Nc3 Bb7 7. g3 e6 8. Bg2 Qc7 9. Be3 Nf6 10. O-O Nbd7 11. Rc1 Nc5 12. f4 h5 13. b4 Ncxe4 14. Nxe4 Bxe4 15. Bxe4 Nxe4 16. f5 e5 17. Qf3 Qb7 18. Nb3 Rb8 19. a4 h4 20. g4 Be7 21. a5 bxa5 22. Nxa5 Qa8 23. b5 axb5 24. cxb5 Qxa5 25. Qxe4 Qa8 26. Qxa8 Rxa8 27. Rc7 Ra3 28. b6 Bd8 29. Rc8 Rb3 30. Ra1 Kd7 31. Raa8 h3 32. Kf1 f6 33. Rc2 Bxb6 34. Rxh8 Rxe3 35. Rh7 Rf3+ 36. Ke1 d5 37. Rxg7+ Kd6 38. Rf7 Ba5+ 39. Ke2 e4 40. Rxf6+ Ke5 41. Re6+ Kf4 42. Rc5 Re3+ 43. Kd1 Rd3+ 44. Kc2 Rd2+ 45. Kb3 Rd3+ 46. Ka4 Bc3 47. f6 Rd4+ 48. Kb3 Bb4 49. Rc8 e3 50. f7 Kf3 51. Rce8 Kg2 52. Rxe3 Kxh2 53. Rh8 Rf4 54. Rhxh3+ Kg2 55. Rhg3+ Kf2 56. Rgf3+ 1-0

Sydneysider FM Tim Reilly completed the Aussie trifecta by defeating local player Michael Steadman.

Auckland IM Tournament (NZ)
Reilly, Tim
Steadman, Michael

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bf4 c6 6. Qc2 Na6 7. e3 Qa5 8. f3 Nf6 9. g4 Be6 10. Nge2 Rc8 11. Ng3 g6 12. Bh6 Nd7 13. Bg2 Qc7 14. Qe2 Bd6 15. f4 f6 16. O-O Bf8 17. Bxf8 Kxf8 18. Rac1 Qd6 19. f5 Bf7 20. g5 Kg7 21. gxf6+ Nxf6 22. fxg6 hxg6 23. Rf4 Rcf8 24. Rcf1 Be8 25. Qd2 Nc7 26. e4 dxe4 27. Ncxe4 Nxe4 28. Nxe4 Qe7 29. Rxf8 Rxf8 30. Rxf8 Qxf8 31. Qg5 Nd5 32. Qe5+ Kg8 33. Nd6 Bf7 34. Bh3 Qe7 35. Qxe7 Nxe7 36. Nxf7 Kxf7 37. Kf2 Kf6 38. Ke3 Nf5+ 39. Ke4 Nd6+ 40. Kd3 Kg5 41. b4 Kf4 42. Bg2 g5 43. a4 Nf5 44. a5 Ne7 45. Kc4 Nf5 46. Kc5 Ne3 47. a6 b6+ 48. Kxc6 Nxg2 49. Kb7 1-0

While all that is happening just across the Tasman, there is a lone Australian doing battle against one of the world's best. As I am writing these words, IM David Smerdon is facing against super-GM Vassily Ivanchuk! This is a team match in The Netherlands. You can follow the event here.

Buddhism and Chess

That Kirsan is a funny guy. Back in 1995, he apparently said this: "Irrespective of what I tell people...I give them instructions on a subconscious level. I am creating around the republic a kind of extrasensory field." That's according to Lawrence Booth, writing for the Mail & Guardian Online - a South African paper.

Read the complete article here.

Arianne Caoili: Everyone Can Play Chess

Yesterday, woman international master Arianne Caoili was back in Queensland to do some promotional work. There was a brief stop at the ABC's Coast FM Studios to whom Arianne gave a quick interview. I quite like this little effort for at least we do get to read something more than the usual reruns of "that" incident.

In Australia it’s definitely becoming more popular. In Europe it’s already done. Turn over to the sports pages in any Germany newspaper, it’s all about chess...Everyone can play chess, that’s what is beautiful about it. It’s like a universal language.

Read: Arianne Caoili: on the joys of chess and dancing

Whatever comes out of her apperance on DWTS, it seems that Arianne is still very much passionate about chess. She informed the Gold Coast Weekend Bulletin that, "I can't keep my hands off the chess board".

Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Reading - King of Kalmykia

One of the best chess bloggers around, Michael Goeller of New Jersey, responsible for The Kenilworthian, is taking a break. It will be a very long break as he won't be back, he says, til 2007.

For those of you with a slightly more high-brow taste in chess blogging, Michael's your man. Take a note to peruse his right side bar under "Best of..."

Also, in the spirit of the upcoming FIDE World Championships, the Guardian Weekly has this long article on the King of Kalmyk. That is none other than FIDE boss Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. From the article:

Kalmykia's murky finances have raised as many eyebrows as his eccentric public statements. Chess City - the $50m complex that he built on the edge of his sleepy capital - turned out to be a white elephant of Millennium Dome proportions: its foundations are subsiding and few of its luxury homes are inhabited. The match this week could not be held there because although the complex has a swimming pool, a hotel and a grocery store, it does not have a hall large enough for a big chess match.

Ilyumzhinov's re-election as head of Fide in June followed a harshly fought campaign that saw opponents accuse him of dragging chess into disrepute. Nigel Short, the British grandmaster who was in the camp that opposed Ilyumzhinov, warned before the vote that "either Fide stays a cowboy organisation mired in sleaze and shunned by corporate sponsors, or it becomes a modern, professional sporting body". Yet Ilyumzhinov's survival suggests that not everyone finds his notoriety off-putting.

Read more of the King of Kalmykia from The Guardian.

It's times like a World Chess Championship when some mainstream heavies like the NY Times devotes a column or two in its pages to chess. Yesterday, The Grey Lady featured an article by Dylan Loeb McClain who quotes GM Yasser Seirawan: "The title has been cheapened...It really affected sponsors much to the detriment of the game. If Mercedes- Benz or General Motors wanted to sponsor the world chess championship and there is another one going on down the street, then they end up asking, 'What am I sponsoring?'"

From the New York Times: Chess world awaits true champion (The link goes to IHT, actually, but the content is originally from NYT. IHT is an NY Times company).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Javier Gil Launches eBook

Spanish international master Javier Gil, who is presently residing in Sydney, has just released an eBook. It is called "Learn Chess or Call Me an Idiot".

From Javier's site, he says that the book "is a FREE book for people who don't know anything about chess and for beginners as well. I have also created a support section for readers who want to ask questions about the book and the things that I explain in it. Support is completely free also."

The book can be downloaded from here.

Arianne Wins Car

It could possibly be the biggest prize she's ever won - a car! Arianne Caoili tonight appeared in a special episode of Deal or No Deal. Actually, Arianne was playing on behalf of home viewers and the lucky winner, who will soon be driving a brand new Peugeot, is a Nola Hammond of victoria.

Arianne's first TV appearance was a success. She was chatty and giggly. Typical of her style, in the last crucial moment she went for broke declining a bank offer of $11,500. It was worth it.

You can see photos of the special episode here.

As you know, next week will be the opening episode of DWTS. Here's what executive producer Peter Beck had to say about Arianne:

Here's this person we've never heard of, she's beautiful. You think chess player, you think nerdy, but you take one look at this girl in a latin outfit...She speaks five languages. If she can entice the world's numbers one and three, as long as the audience members don't start hitting one another . . .

I'm not sure that she actually speaks 5 languages. I think it's only English and maybe some phrases of everything else. Read the The Age report.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Campo: NCFP is doing well

That great old man of RP chess, Florencio Campomanes, has given his blessing to the current leadership of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines. Quoted by ABS-CBN, Campo says, "Pichay’s firm leadership and clear-cut policies are what we need right now to boost local chess, which stagnated in the past few years".

In this longish report, Campomanes even takes a little swipe at the trio of Paragua, Torre and Antonio who missed the Doha Eliminations event in an apparent protest against the use of the Swiss system.

We also learn that a book is due out. It will be called The FIDE Years: Now It’s My Turn.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Matthew Sweeney Attacks

Matthew Sweeney seems completely serious with his ambition to revolutionise chess in Australia. Now he's actually founded a real chess company - Chess Attack Pty Ltd! And how does a young business announce itself to the world? Sponsor an event, of course!

Chess Attack, a name very much in keeping with the founder's personal style, has just secured the bronze sponsors package for the upcoming Sydney International Open.

Here is a statement from Mr Sweeney:

Chess Attack will conduct the highest quality chess courses in the world. It aims to be the quality chess education provider of choice in its field. Chess Attack will also play an important part in a national drive for exponential growth in chess participation.

I think chess is a noble pastime with significant benefits for society. It deserves and needs better administration than has been the case in recent decades. Chess Attack will provide services in those areas where the volunteer system of Australian chess administration is in chronic failure.

At the very least, Mr Sweeney sounds like he means business. Just how he's supposed to achieve all that remains unclear. To deliver the highest quality chess courses in the world, for instance, suggests the employment of some pretty strong masters. I'd like to see this venture succeed, if only to have the satisfaction of seeing Matthew Sweeney laugh down at his current enemies, the New South Wales Chess Association and their friends in the Australian Chess Federation. That would be something.

Chess in Australia, May 1974

Last week I bought a bunch of old Chess in Australia magazines from Peter Parr. It's always fun reading these old publications. The experience is both educational and informative. I also have some old Chess Worlds going back to the '30's I think. I must have read them over and over again a hundred times now since I bought them.

Today, I'd like to share the front cover of the May 1974 issue of CIA. This one is especially for our Pinoy readers.

The CIA cover features, as you can see, Eugene Torre for proving victorious in that year's Philippines Championships. Torre scored 15.5 points, above such memorable names as Cardoso, Balinas, Naranjas, Maninang and many others.

Chess in Australia had the following write-up on the event.

This is Torre's second successive win of the title and, not yet 23 years of age, appears to be on the threshold of a brilliant chess career and may well become Zone 10's first resident Grandmaster.

From now on, Chess in Australia will be showing great interest in chess activity in the Philippines for two important reasons. Firstly because they are one of our nearer neighbours and a fellow member of FIDE's Zone 10. More importantly though, they are now starting to read and subscribe to Chess in Australia. This closer liaison with Australia should result in mutual benefit even if only to ensure closer relationship and understanding.

A month later, at the Nice Olympiad, RP's greatest chess hero, then age just 22-years old, won the silver medal on board 1. And with that achievement Torre also became Asia's first ever grandmaster.

Today, the Filipino-Australian connection continues. Many masters from RP have visited. Last year, for instance, there was Jesse Sales (and who is now residing temporarily in Melbourne). In 2007, we hope to see a whole contingent of Pinoys paying a visit to the Sydney International Open. My goodness, I just cannot wait for that!

Monday, September 18, 2006

New Love for Arianne?

We can now reveal Arianne Caoili's partner in the next season of Dancing with the Stars. He is Carmelo Pizzino, a 26-year old professional dancer and teacher at the Sydney Dance Company.

In the last season, Carmelo was paired with the oldest competitor, Noeline Brown. It seems that the producers have felt sorry for Carmelo and this time paired him with the show's youngest.

In the current issue of TV Week, there is a nice little photo of Arianne and her dance partner. The magazine asks our our chess starlet if there might be a chance of romance. Her response: "He's a wonderful guy...I don't think so, but you can never tell."

Well if there is to be romance then Mr Pizzino better get a move one. Another competitor in the show, Tom Waterhouse (the son of a famous Australian horse trainer), according to the magazine said, "Arianne, the chess player, is very cute" (apparently with a glint in his eye).

And what does Arianne think of Tom? She thinks he's very cute too.

Let's just start counting, shall we? There's Lev, Danny, Arkadij, now Tom and Carmelo. And isn't I better stop; I might get in trouble - what with our fave chess starlet now posting on this blog.

Carrascal Team Win Inter-cities

Team Carrascal of Surigao del Sur is the 2006 winner of the RP Inter-cities championships. Led by national master Emmanuel Senador, a Philippine Airforce enlistedman, Carrascal defeated Alabang over two games. The results were 2.5 - 1.5 and 3 - 1.

Here are the board results courtesy of our contributor Marlon Bernardino.

Finals: Game One - Alabang-Carrascal (1.5-2.5)
Board 1 IM Darwin Laylo vs NM Emmanuel Senador, draw
Board 2 IM Ronald Dableo vs FM Adrian Ros Pacis, draw
Board 3 Rhobel Legaspi vs Marlon Ricafort, 0-1
Board 4 Noel Dela Cruz vs Bengt Largo, draw

Finals: Game Two - Alabang-Carrascal (1-3)
Board 1 IM Darwin Laylo vs NM Emmanuel Senador, draw
Board 2 IM Ronald Dableo vs FM Adrian Ros Pacis, 0-1
Board 3 Rhobel Legaspi vs Marlon Ricafort, draw
Board 4 Rolenson Loyola vs Bengt Largo, 0-1

2005 winner Tagaytay City secured third placing by routing the Philippine National Police team from Quezon city. Scores over two games were 4 - 0 and 2.5 - 1.5.

Bradley Loh on SBS

Former chess player Bradley Loh will be featured in the SBS documentary, "Here Comes the Neighborhood" on Saturday, 30 September. The program will air at 6PM (Sydney time).

From the SBS site:

This series will once again have a look over the fence, have a chat with a mate and take pleasure in the colourful events that celebrate living in multicultural Australia. In the final episode of this series, we meet recent immigrants who have joined a group of bushwalkers, to help appreciate the harsh beauty of the Australian landscape. In a sea of suits, you wouldn't pick quantitative analyst, Chinese-Malay, Bradley Loh, as a salsa dancer. This week Sulaiman shows us what a chief or ‘big man' might wear in Sierra Leone and we visit Homebush Public School where 98.6% of the students are from a non-English speaking background.

Yes, that's right, our friend Bradley is an avid salsero. Two years ago he even won the Best Male Performer Salsa "Saturday Night Fever" award at the Latin Dance Australia club. Outside of dancing, Bradley is into poker and marathon running.

I once saw this guy perform at last year's Latin festival in Sydney. With all those chicks around him, I reckon he might have done something right. I have got to get myself into dance school.

Times on World Championships

Speaking to the Times, FIDE head Kirsan Ilyumzhinov says: "This is very important for me as president of Fide but also as a player and chess lover. After this, there will be only one champion and chess will be whole again."

Read more in The Times Online.

And, of course, Chessbase is also covering this event. As we can see, Team Topalov is travelling to the event with a whole army. But five of their crew don't appear to have a clear work assignment, being simply labelled, "Team". Perhaps they want us to play spot the sorcerer?

Alabang vs Carrascal

It's a Barangay Alabang versus Carrascal (Surigao del Sur) showdown at the 2006 RP Inter-cities finals. Team Alabang's victory over Tagaytay City, last year's champions, was off the fine efforts of recent Doha Elims champs Darwin Laylo and Ronald Dableo who downed GM Rogelio Antonio and Jayson Gonzales respectively in the semis.

Carrascal, on the other hand, edged out PNP-Quezon City in the other semis thanks mainly to Carrascal's board one NM Emmanuel Senador. Senador defeated fellow national master Ruel Filipinas 1.5 - 0.5 in their individual match up.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pablo Williams in Montreal

Calling himself the Jamaican Chess Champion (but he's not really), Pablo Williams basically makes a living by playing chess on the streets. I first met him in Peter Parr's shop here in Sydney. Then at the ANU Open, in 2004 I think, the organisers busted his ass. It turns out that Pablo was from New Zealand and had a rating there of about 1400+.

From Sydney, Pablo flew over to Europe where he was spotted in places like Madrid and Berlin. Then in July 2006, a reader in the UK sent me a tip to say that Pablo was in Brighton.

Last week, courtesy of the Canadian chess forum Chess Talk, we discovered that our mate is now in Montreal. Photos are available here.

Smerdon Wins Rapid Tourney

We have GM Ian Rogers' column in Sydney's Sun Herald to thank for this information. And a hat tip also to Goran Urosevic for the online sources.

IM David Smerdon, currently on university exchange in The Netherlands, won the one-day OGD Rapid event with a whopping 6.5/7 points. Excellent result for the Australian!

Position Wanted

Philippines FIDE master Jesse Sales appears to have severed ties with Chess Kids. The reasons for this separation are a little unclear but our information is that it was because Jesse didn't have a driver's license.

Now currently residing in Melbourne, the Pinoy player is seeking employment either as a chess coach or in his area of electronics. Jesse is an experienced trainer and is the author of Improve Your Child's IQ by Solving Chess and Math Problems (2004).

Any interested parties can email TCG and we'll get you in contact with our friend Jesse Sales.

Agreement Signed for Big Event

Our source in RP reports that a memorandum of agreement was signed between NCFP boss Prospero "Butch" Pichay Jr. and Misamis Oriental governor Oscar Moreno to stage the so-called 2006 National Inter Provincial Chess Team Championships in Cagayan de Oro City.

The total prize fund is P550,000.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Parramatta RSL CC

I've just discovered that the Parramatta RSL chess club maintains a fairly well-assembled website. But we are unhappy that the link to TCG is labelled "Chess Cafe".

I'm pretty sure the folks over at Chess Cafe aren't too glad about that either.

Caoili in Daily Tele

One reader of this blog seems to be suffering from selective reading. They ask, "has this blog become a star watch site, instead of chess related matters?" Mmm...well my friend, start a random poll of our posts and figure it out.

Anyway, because we just love to rub it in, here is another Arianne Caoili, oh-so-non-chess-related post. Today, the Aussie chess star is featured in the Daily Telegraph's celebrity section called Confidential. Here is the link.

The print version is even better and features this photo below.

Missing from the online version are these closing lines:

Caoili still won't admit to being romantically involved with Aronian - who is yet to patch things up with Gormally - but says he's supportive of her television move.

But will Caoili's sexy moves evoke the same passionate response in DWTS viewers?

"We'll see - I enjoy dancing incredibly so I hope so," she said.

If anything, at least "chess" is getting some publicity. Sort of. And what is so wrong with that?

Davao Fails to Qualify

Despite enjoying the services of the country's highest rated player, Mark Paragua, the team of Davao City "A" failed to enter the semi-final phase of the 2006 Philippines Inter-cities event.

But Paragua can console himself for having secured the individual gold medal on board 1 on account of his 6.5/7 points performance. Pinoy journo Marlon Bernardino informs me that the grandmaster's only draw was against national master (NM) Cedric Magno. Below is a game by RP's number one.

2006 Philippines Inter-cities
White: GM Mark Paragua (Davao City "A")
Black: NM Rodrigo Atotubo (Escalante City)
Opening: Scotch Opening

1.e4-e5 2.Nf3-Nc6 3.d4-ed4 4.Nd4-Nf6 5.Nc6-bc6 6.e5-Qe7 7.Qe2-Nd5 8.c4-Ba6 9.b3-Qh4 10.a3-Bc5 11.g3-Bf2 12.Qf2-Qe4 13.Kd2-Qh1 14.Bb2-Rb8 15.b4-Nb6 16.Nc3-c5 17.Nd5-Nd5 18.Bd3-Qa1 19.Ba1-Ne7 20.Qc5-Rb6 21.Qc7-Rc6 22.Qa7-Bc4 23.Be4-Rc8 24.Bb7-Rd8 25.Qc5-Be6 26.b5-h5 27.Bc3-d6 28.ed6 1-0

Teams to compete in the semi-finals are:

Barangay Alabang (Muntinlupa “V”) 6.5 points
PNP-Quezon City 6.0 points
Carrascal (Surigao del Sur) 5.5 points
Tagaytay City 5.0 points

Defending champs Tagaytay City and bannered by GM Rogelio Antonio actually finised on a similar score of 5 match points with the Madrid team from Surigao del Sur. However, Tagaytay had the superior game points score of 19 to Surigao's 17 points overall.

IM Darwin Laylo, Pic courtesy of Marlon Bernardino

Friday, September 15, 2006

Gormally's Resurgence

While Arianne has always remained largely unaffected by "Gormallygate", the man who sparked the whole wild ride, GM Danny Gormally, is himself on the comeback trail. Last June he told Melbourne's The Age paper, "The chess world now … I've just lost interest in it."

Evidently, it didn't take him long to recover that interest. Thanks to James O'Fee we've just learned that GM Gormally has just won the Hereford International tournament in the UK. Gormally scored 6/9 points.

Gormally is currently playing in the European Chess Championship held at the Liverpool World Museum. After 9 rounds, he has 6 points - just a half point behind the leaders.

It is good to see that Danny Gormally is finally getting his chess together again. Back in June, there was some talk that he may be somewhat badly affected by all that attention even to the point of self harm. We say all power to GM Gormally.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Deal with Arianne

You may not be able to dance with Arianne Caoili but here's your chance to play and win with the chess starlet. Next Thursday, on 21 September, the 19-year old will appear in Channel 7's Dancing with the Deals program.

This either leaves you thrilled, bemused, dazed or all three conditions. Just a few weeks ago, Arianne Caoili was just, well, a chess player. Now this! Unbelievable.

By the way, she was apparently spotted at Sydney's Hyde Park today doing some sort of a photo shoot and even took the time to wipe out one of the regulars off the chess board.

Paragua in Inter-cities

Relying on the services of RP's number one, the hosts Davao City blanked out Holy Cross 4-0 in their first round encounter of the 2006 National Inter-cities competition. Board 4 for Davao is Dr Jenny Mayor. Aussie chess fans should note that Dr Mayor is apparently organising a group of Pinoy chess players comprising 11 men and 4 women to travel to Sydney next year to compete in the Sydney International Open.

2006 Philippines Inter-cities
White: Mohamad Sacar (Holy Cross Davao City)
Black: GM Mark Paragua (Davao City "A")

1.e4-c5 2.Nf3-d6 3.d4-cd4 4.Nd4-Nf6 5.Nc3-a6 6.a4-e6 7.Be2-Be7 8.g4-d5 9.ed5-Nd5 10.Nd5-Qd5 11.Bf3-Qe5 12.Kf1-Qc7 13.Be3-h5 14.gh5-e5 15.Ne2-Bh3+ 16.Kg1 17.Nc3-Be6 18.Nd5-Bd5 19.Qd5-Rd8 20.Qc4-0-0 21.h6-g6 22.h4-Kh8 23.h5-g5 24.Kg2-f5 25.Bc6-bc6 26. Rh-e1-f4 27.Bc5-f3+ 28.Kg1-Rf4 29.Qc3-Bc5 30. Qc5-Rd5 31.Qc3-Qd7 White resigns 0-1

GM Mark Paragua, Davao City 'A' (Pic: Boy Lim)

Journo Marlon Bernardino, who is our principal source, reported that IMs Oliver Dimakiling and Darwin Laylo are playing in this tournament only because their visa applications for Europe struck a problem. The two IMs are here representing the Barangay Alabang team of Muntinlupa City.

Action shots courtesy of Mr Boy Lim. Thanks mate.

GM Rogelio Antonio, Tagaytay City (Pic: Boy Lim)

Albury District Chess News

From the Border Mail:

IT was a battle until the end as students from around the district carefully planned their moves in this year’s Junior Chess League competition yesterday.

Read more here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

RP Inter-cities Tournament

It is an absolute chess fest in the Philippines at the moment, with tournaments just about every week. Tomorrow, the 2006 National Inter-cities Championships will begin in Davao City. Some 50 teams are participating.

According to Marlon Bernardino, RP's top player, super GM Mark Paragua will banner Davao A team.

Last year's winner, Tagaytay City, will feature GM Joey Antonio. International master Jayson Gonzales, Edmundo Gatus, Allan Macala plus team skipper Willy Abalos complete their outfit.

Thanks also to Marlon Bernardino, we have a picture of the opening ceremonies. NCFP executive director Samuel Estimo made the traditional ceremonial moves with SK president April Dayap. Standing are NCFP XI Director James Infiesto, secretariat Gogo Alba, NCFP Grassroots Development for Mindanao Engr. Allan Diez, City Sports Coordinator Bong Go, GM Mark Paragua, GM Joey Antonio, City Councilor Leo Avila III and NCFP director Dr. Jenny Mayor, Assemblyman Dr. Bongarsa Tomawis Jr. of ARMM

Running a Chess Tourney 101

Finding these sorts of treasures online still leaves me gobsmacked. Courtesy of what is increasingly becoming Australia's one and only true chess forum, Matt Sweeney's Australian Chess Club Forum, we found this absolutely wonderful "Survivor's Guide" to running a chess tournament.

Melbourne chess personality and treasurer of the Box Hill Chess Club Trevor Stanning calls this little publication "a resource of wonder".

While the guide maybe aimed at chess folks in the Australian Capital Territory, it is is very useful to all chess organisers - novices and experts alike the world over. We are walked through some pretty simple stuff like roles and responsibilities of an organising team, "Setting Up on the day" and "Running the day".

There is also a section on "Odering Lunch" - just perfect for those who have to deal with a couple of hundred (sometimes a couple of thousand) hungry children!

But the one prescription that really brought a smile was this: "Do not leave until all children are collected!"

The guide was created by Canberra chess organiser Libby Smith who, in a posting on Mr Sweeney's board, has this lesson for would-be chess organisers, "I believe the effort and expertise required to run an event is grossly overstated and that the actual skill most required and least exhibited is simple administrative, organisational and time management abilities".

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Shall We Dance?

Back in June, at the height of "Gormallygate", Irishman Colm Daly created a tribute site for Arianne Caoili. Visit (WARNING: Accompanying music may drive you nuts). Colm did the world a little favour by posting a scanned copy of The Times article that began this surreal and fascinating story.

And so, for those who are frantically searching for "arianne caoili photos" in Google - here's a scanned image of the New Idea magazine in which our favourite chess player appears. She is pictured alongside the other "stars" who will soon compete in the next edition of Channel 7's Dancing with the Stars program. Looking at the list of participants, we can only hope that Arianne avoids the "curse of the pretty chick".

Today, this story by AAP was widely featured in Australian print media.

By the way, I notice a few surfers who are searching for "arianne caoili nude photos" in Google. Well boys, good luck with that.

Rolly Martinez Victorious

Grazie to our Italian chess blogger Stefano Bellincampi for this information. He informs me that last week, Pinoy Rolly Martinez won the "Città di Crema" tournament with 5.5 points out of six.

Rolly's compatriot, Roland Salvador managed only 5 points partly owing to an accident in round 2 when Salvador lost to a 13-year old. You can view the game online in Stefano's blog.

More power to these two Pinoys.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bobby Ang on Selections Controversy

Some of you may have missed the fun and action in our final post on the Doha Elims in the Philippines. We are lucky to have former RP men's Olympiad team captain and chess columnist Bobby Ang making some insightful comments.

Mr Ang gives his readers advance viewing of his column to be published on September 15. He writes:

[W]hichever way you form the team, you can be sure that if the formula is not working – if our team continues to perform badly, then they will change it. When players start meddling in the selection process, in the seeding process, in the governing process, then that is the time to pack up your bags and go get a “real” job.

Amen to that.

Arianne Caoili in New Idea

I think we hinted at this last week but now we can confirm that WIM Arianne Caoili, Australia's number 1 female chess player, is featured in the current issue of New Idea magazine.

There is a scripted one-question interview. "Will your intellect give you an advantage on the show?" asks the magazine.

Arianne's reply -

Maybe with memorising things - there are so many things to remember, such as my head, hands, posture, but it's not just about that. It's also about expressing emotions and there are still those nerves there.

The Dancing with the Stars show will soon commence shortly on channel 7. Our international readers will be able to keep a track of progress via the official website.

NSW Champs - Round 4

FIDE master Greg Canfell is on course to win yet another NSW state championships title. The 4-time winner (his last was in 2001), yesterday defeated Simon Quick to remain undefeated in the currently running event.

Results in the top division, courtesy of current champ Andrew Bird's posting on Chess Chat:

Quick - Canfell, 0-1
Bird - Safarian, 1-0
Nanavati - Halpin, 0-1
Charles - Kolln, 0-1
Ilic - Illingworth, draw

Andrew Bird sent me this game between Sydneysider Gareth Charles and German visitor Rasmus Kolln. (I am at work now so I can't provide nice diagrams).

NSW Ch 2006
Charles, Gareth
Kolln, Rasmus

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 Nf6 5. Qd2 Nc6 6. Nf3 Ng4 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 O-O 9. h3 Nf6 10. O-O-O a6 11. g4 Nd7 12. Kb1 b5 13. Nd5 Nb6 14. Nxb6 cxb6 15. d5 Na5 16. Nd4 Qc7 17. f4 Bd7 18. Bf2 Rfc8 19. Be2 Nc4 20. Bxc4 bxc4 21. c3 b5 22. Rdg1 Rab8 23. h4 e5 24. fxe5 dxe5 25. Nf3 b4 26. Be3 Qa5 27. Ka1 Ba4 28. cxb4 Rxb4 29. a3 c3 30. axb4 Qxb4 31. Qc1 Bb3 0-1

In the major division, ex-Pinoy Angelito Camer leads on 3.5 points after yesterday drawing with another ex-Pinoy, Romeo Capilitan. Romeo is second overall at the round four mark on 3 points.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Kirsan The Circus Master

Citing this interview with FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov Aussie GM Ian Rogers, in his column for the Sun Herald today, makes an amusing observation. He writes:

Chess fans had been hoping for a serious match between the two world champions, both approaching peak form. However, Kalmyk and [FIDE] president Iljumzhinov seem[s] determined to turn the event into a circus.

We agree with Ian Rogers.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Chess Excluded from SEAG

The Manila Bulletin Online reports that chess will not be part of the 24th SEAG in Thailand. To make things worse, arnis, a form of Pinoy martial arts, has also been struck off the list.

Final Results - Doha Elims

Final results are in. On behalf of myself and from readers who are followers of Pinoy chess, we must thank our good friend, Pinoy journo Ignacio Dee. Mr Dee provided daily updates from RP on the progress of this tournament. I think this is the first time that we've been able to blog a major Philippine event virtually on a daily basis as the results were completed.

9- Laylo
8.5- Dableo Bucholz, Dimakiling, Nolte, Ranola, Branzuela

Laylo-Nolte, 1-0
Dimakiling-Ranola 0-1
Dableo-Bitoon 1-0
Legaspi-Mariano, 1/2-1-2
Branzuela-Cae, 1-0

7- Docena, Mendoza, Cunanan

Mendoza-Magno, 1-0
Salvador-Cunanan, 0-1
Mariano-Docena, 0-1

Meanwhile, yesterday's breaking news about a mutinous group of 8 NCFP board members has now hit the mainstream media in RP. The Philippine Daily Inquirer has a rather scathing piece aimed particularly at GMs Torre, Antonio and Paragua. We can now also name the leader of that group of eight: Matt Defensor.

I am left absolutely stunned that this idea of holding a rival tournament with the same aim (i.e. Doha rep selection) as a currently running event was even considered. The stupidity and arrogance is unbelievable. Sadly, this uncaring attitude towards the greater good reflects the wider political climate in my beloved RP. Some guys are just out to pursue their own selfish interests. It's one reason why the country is known as the "sick man of Asia". And if this attitude were to continue in the higher echelons of our chess officialdom, then Philippine chess, too, will continue to slide into the lower rungs of Asian chess.

Let's pray that these mutinous bastards can manage to pull their heads in.

Friday, September 08, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Confusion in RP Chess

A few moments ago, a tip reached my inbox to say that 8 board members of the NCFP secretly met last night in a hotel in Quezon City to discuss the idea of an 8-man round robin tournament to select the two men and one woman who will represent the Phillipines at the Asian Games in Doha later this year.

This is confusing because, as I write these words, the 11th round of the qualifications tournament, in Swiss format, is being contested in the Mall of Asia shopping centre. The purpose of this tournament was exactly to select RP's representives in Doha!

Also present in that meeting were grandmasters Torre and Antonio. GM Mark Paragua was represented by his father, Ric.

The proposal to hold the RR event was put forward to the grandmasters. However, sanity prevailed. The GMs apparently just thanked the board members and said that they will abide by the results of the ongoing tournament.

So much drama. So Pinoy!

Doha Elims - One More Round

Today's 11th round will commence at 1PM local time. After 10 rounds, here are the standings and some results. Thanks Iggy Dee, as always.

Bitoon-Dimakiling, 0-1
Laylo- Villanueva, 1-0

8-1/2: O. Dimakiling, D. Laylo
8: R. Nolte
7-1/2: Y. Ranola, R. Dableo, R. Bitoon, R. Legaspi, N. Mariano, A.
Branzuela, H. Pascua, A.Cabe

Final round pairings:

Dimakiling picks up two points by beating IM Barlo Nadera and Bitoon Thursday to tie for the lead. Laylo drew with Mariano and beat Villanueva to tie for the lead. Dimakiling and Laylo need draws to qualify for the Asian Games.

Leading women
6-1/2: E.Magno
6: C. Mariano, B. Mendoza, J.Docena, Kimberly Cunanan
5-/2: A. Salvador
Magno got two points from two defaults. Mariano beat Leoncio Mauleon, Mendoza defeated 12 year old Franz Grafil, who at 6 points is having a good show. Cunanan came from the bottom.

ACF Boss Steps Down

Following Paul Broekhuyse's resignation last week as the Australian Chess Federation's webmaster, Denis Jessop announced earlier this week that he will not be seeking re-election as ACF boss at the upcoming National Conference in January 2007.

In his official statement, the ex-lawyer said:

My experience as President has been that there is so much work of an administrative kind to be done that it I found very little time to formulate, or to concentrate on, policy matters. I should like in the future to concentrate on policy and planning matters as well as revision of the ACF By-laws which need attention and in which I have some expertise. I have generally enjoyed the office despite my setback last year and look forward to a suitable applicant coming forward to take over.

I can remember Mr Jessop for his support of the national banning rule. Anyone else remember anything?

Mr Jessop's closing sentence above does provoke a question: what might be the qualities of a "suitable applicant"? I tend to think that it has to be someone with some leadership experience. I don't care for candidates who might be well-educated and bright, but if they've never led - they cannot be good candidates and will likely fail in the job.

Given the ACF's constant struggle for corporate sponsorship, a bonus would be someone who has extensive experience dealing with the high-end of town.

OK, dear readers, add your ideal qualities to the list. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

RP Chess Update: Doha Elims


Leading Round 9 results

Laylo-Mariano, 1/2-1/2
Nolte-Bitoon, 1/2-1/2
Dimakiling-Nadera, 1/2-1/2 (This result is to be confirmed)
Dableo-Cabe, 1-0
Bancod-Senador, 1-0
Ranola-Agagon, 1/2-1/2
Perez-Maga, 1-0
Legaspi-Salubre, 1-0
Gomez-Ricana, 1/2-1/2

Balitaon-Mendoza, 1-0
Magno-Ballecer, 1-0 (default)
Docena-Wong, 1-0
Salvador-P. Medina, 1-0

71/2- Laylo, Bitoon
7- Mariano, Nolte, Dimakiling, Nadera, Dableo, Bancod, Perez

5-1/2: Magno, Docena, Salvador
5: Mendoza, Mariano

Ergas Squad Website

Canberra chess organiser Jenni Oliver sent me this link for the 2006 Ergas Australian Elite Junior Training Squad. This training squad has been running for a couple of years now and was previously known under the name NECG.

Mr Henry Ergas works for CRA International - "an economics, finance, and business consulting firm".

History of Chess

Michael Goeller has a post on a new book by David Shenk. There are links to a couple of reviews plus an interview with Mr Shenk on NPR.

Bucharest Open

After first withdrawing from the event, Melbourne's Nur Yachou decided to rejoin the Bucharest Open in round 2. Unfortunately for Nur, he immediately faced the 2416-rated player international master Vlad Victor Barnaure and lost.

Going into round 4, Nur has 1.5 points.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

NCFP Responds to GMs

The following press release from the National Chess Federation of the Philippines has just been sent out to various media agencies in the country. It is a reaction to yesterday's open letter by grandmasters Paragua, Antonio and Torre that set about clarifiying their decision to avoid the currently running Doha Qualifications tournament.

Some parts of this are in Tagalog. Sadly, my Tagalog is rather poor but I think the literal translations I've provided are sufficient. If any Pinoy readers believe I've mistranslated, please advise me immediately. Thanks and thank you again to Iggy Dee for the tip.


“THE players have no right to dictate on their association.” Thus said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Congressman Prospero “Butch’ Pichay in response to the joint statement made by the country’s top three grandmasters – Eugene Torre, Mark Paragua and Rogelio Antonio Jr. -- yesterday.

Reacting to the open letter by three GMs which was sent to various newspapers yesterday, Pichay said the NCFP has all the right[s] to set the guidelines in the selection of the players it will send to various international competitions abroad.

“As players, they should always follow the rules of the association,” said Pichay, who felt slighted that the three GMs decided to ventilate their grievances directly to the media instead of consulting their officials. Pichay also felt bad that the three GMs decided to boycott the tournament, thus depriving the country’s young players the opportunity to play them in a top-caliber tournament.

“I felt sad for our young players, who missed this opportunity to play against our top-rated players simply because they (GMs) do not agree to the system being used by the NCFP ,” added Pichay. Pichay’s reaction came after Torre, Paragua and Antonio lashed out at the NCFP for choosing the Swiss system of elimination in the selection of the
country’s three representatives to the coming Asian Games in Doha, Qatar scheduled Dec. 1-15.

In their press statement, the three GMs branded the Swiss system as “flawed and demeaning to our stature as the country’s highest-rated GMs.”

The three dramatized their protest [against] the system, adapted by the NCFP, by boycotting the on-going 11-round qualifying tournament to Doha Asiad being held at the SM Mall of Asia.

Also yesterday, GM Nelson Mariano and several international masters came out to defend the NCFP and the system being used to determine the country’s representatives to various international competitions. “Bilang isang player, naniniwala ako na dapat lang na sumunod kami sa mga guidelines na itinalaga ng aming asosasyon, kaya nag-desisyon ako na lumaro na lang sa elims,” (Trans: As a player, I believe that we have to follow the guidelines set out by our association, which is why I decided to play in the eliminations.), said Mariano during a hastily-called press conference at Max’s Restaurant in Quezon Memorial Circle yesterday.

IMs Richard Bitoon, Darwin Laylo, Ronald Dableo, Barlo Nadera, Oliver Dimakiling, John Paul Gomez and Wesley So and veteran NM Mirabeau Maga echoed Mariano’s claim, saying it is only proper that all the players undergo eliminations to prove their worth to the national team. “Kung puro sila na lang na mga GMs, paano naman kaming mga bagong players na mabigyan na pagkakataon,” (Trans: If they are all GMs, then how are we new players to be given a chance?), said Dimakiling, who has already proven his worth by beating Torre in a regular tournament in the past.

Disgusting Chess!

Eww! I tell you, I have seen all manner of things associated with chess - from love to war; from politics to sex. But here, Mr Eric Morrow, writing for the Muskogee Phoenix, finds a truly novel method of conveying a chess lesson.

Morrow writes: "In this week’s position white's knight and pawn at g6 are like tapeworms. Their infestation allows white to mate in four with best play by black."

Link: "Worm’s view of chess"

Doha Qualifications Update

Today is a rest day. Here are the leading results after 8 rounds. There will be two rounds tomorrow. Final battles to occur on Friday. Thanks to Iggy Dee for the info.

D. Laylo-O. Dimakiling 1/2-1/2
R. Bitoon-J. Gomez, 1-0
M. Maga-R. Dableo, 1/2-1/2
R. Bancod-Y. Ranola, 1/2-1/2
B. Nadera-R. Llavanes, 1-0
A. Cabe-A. Milagrosa, 1-0

7: Laylo, Bitoon
6-1/2: Mariano, Nolte, Dimakiling, Nadera, Cabe
6: Dableo, Bancod, Senador, Ranola, Agagon, Perez, Maga, Salubre

Kiwi Wins Palau

New Zealander Hilton Bennett, a regular visitor in Australian tournaments, has won the inaugural Palau International Chess tournament organised by Australian Gary Bekker. Bennett finished on 7 points overall, a half point ahead of second placer Pinoy journo Marlon Bernardino (who is our main provider of these updates).

Here is the final ranking list:

7.0 points-Hilton Bennett (New Zealand)
6.5 points-Almario Marlon BERNARDINO JR. (RP)
6.0 points-Paul Spiller (New Zealand)
4.5 points-Menandro Manuel (Palau)
4.5 points-Gary Bekker (Australia)
3.5 points-Cyril Montel Jr. (Palau)
3.5 points-Gene Pastrana (Palau)
3.5 points-Jose Omega (Palau)
3.0 points Manny Nedic (Palau)
3.0 points-Roberto Hernandez (Palau)

And thanks to Mr Bernardino for taking the time, nearly every day, to email me news from Palau.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Breaking News: GM Trio Respond

For not participating in the currently running qualifications for the Doha Asian Games, Pinoy grandmasters Torre, Antonio and Paragua have apparently copped some flack from certain sections of the RP media.

To remind our readers - the trio have opted not to play in protest against the use of a Swiss system format and, instead, calling for a round robin tournament.

The 3 grandmasters have now found it necessary to respond to some criticisms. We publish below the complete letter signed by our 3 GMs. Thanks to journo Ignacio Dee for this tip.



At the outset, we wish to clarify the erroneous impression that we boycotted the ongoing Swiss System eliminator for the RP team to the 2006 Doha Asian Games,Qatar slated to be held on December 1-15.

We are chess gladiators through and through and we do not run away from a fair fight especially if the country's honor is on the line.

We were willing to earn our slots in the RP team through elimination but not under the Swiss System because it is flawed, dangerous and demeaning to our stature as grandmasters.

Lest we be misunderstood of abandoning flag and country, we are willing to play under any format that is reliable such as Round Robin among others, which we adopted in forming our team that achieved our best ever 7th place finish in the 1988 Thessaloniki World Chess Olympiad, Greece.

In fact, most of the strong federations do not conduct elimination tournaments anymore for members of their national teams. They just seed their grandmasters and top rated players like, China, India, Indonesia, Qatar, Vietnam, the many Russian Republics and practically all countries in the world.

Be that as it may, we welcome the idea of giving a chance to chess upstarts to represent the country via a credible and universally accepted format.

We hope this will clear the air on our decision not to play in the Swiss elimination. But if this will not satisfy the "doubting Thomases", that is their prerogative. We only wish to clear our names because silence usually means admission of guilt.

To us, we earned our GM title the hardest of ways with sweat and blood and, self-respect dictates that we should preserve its dignity.

Rest assured that our decision is not grounded on personal or other selfish considerations.

Thank you very much.


Mark Paragua
Joey Antonio
Eugene Torre

And a quick update on the tournament. After 7 rounds, here are the standings;

1. D. Laylo 6.5 points;
2-5. O. Dimakiling, N. Mariano, R. Nolte, R. Bitoon 6;
6-14 J. Gomez, M. Maga, R. Dableo, R. Bancod, Y. Ranola, B. Nadera, R. Llavanes, A. Cabe, A. Milagrosa 5.5;
15-27 E. Senador , C. Castellano, E. Agagon, J. Aquino, A. Branzuela, R. Portogalera, J. Nodado, N. Villanueva, M. Meneses, R. Perez, J. Salubre, R. Salcedo, R. Nuttal 5.

Complaint Against Box Hill CC

We've just received this comment and we thought it worthy to give it it's own post.

I think the Canterbury Box Hill chess club should put in a bid for one of these events and put their notoriously nobbled semi open swiss concept on the world stage; that's right, the one where the lower half aren't allowed to win, yet can be expected to play upper half entrants. And yes it nobbles improving juniors, too, especially those just under the divisional splicing point.

Daily bulletins would wax lyrical about the sacred "competitive index" and the mystical "metric". An open swiss should mean "open to all" meaning that even the lowest entrant can win, albeit statistically improbable. Also, if the FIDE requirements for a norm in a nine round swiss allow for 2 unrated games then why at club level, in this instance, is the excuse about avoiding junk rounds bandied about so that higher rated players can be wrapped in cotton wool?

So you didn't get a "competitive game" tonight? I can't control my tears boo hoo sob.

Not that anybody in the ACF or CV would ever get off their arse and ban the practice.

(BTW I boycotted the Canterbury Box Hill chess club due to the factors above).

Now where is that Box Hill spokesman and noisy apostle of the so-called competitive index Mr Trevor Stanning?

A short piece on Dimakiling

Rising Pinoy chess star 25-year old Oliver Dimakiling shows typical Filipino insouciance at what may lie ahead, leaving his fate to God:

I am concentrating on my chess career right now. But I’m not sure though on what to do next once I get the GM title. I’ll just go with the flow... whatever plans God has in store for me, I’ll live with it.

I suspect that Dimakiling's fondness for complications and tactics is also influenced by this quality. In RP we have a phrase for it: "Bahala na!"

This is a rather nice little piece by Mabelle Balmoja.

BDO Tournament Update

After 9 rounds of the BDO Premier section, IM David Smerdon collected 5.5 points in total - the same as three other players. Sergey Kasparov is the ultimate victor with 6.5 points overall.

Smerdon's event included 3 losses - one to Michiel Abeln penultimate round.

BDO Haarlem
Abeln, M
Smerdon, D

1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. h3 Bg7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. Nf3 Nh5 10. O-O Nd7 11. Be3 a6 12. a4 b6 13. Be2 Kh8 14. Qd2 Rb8 15. Rab1 Qe7 16. b4 f5 17. exf5 gxf5 18. Bg5 Qf7 19. bxc5 Nxc5 20. Nd4 Nf6 21. Bf3 Bd7 22. Rfe1 Nfe4 23. Bxe4 fxe4 24. Nc6 Rbe8 25. Rxb6 Nd3 26. Rxe4 Rxe4 27. Nxe4 Qxd5 28. Nb4 Qd4 29. Be3 Qa1+ 30. Kh2 Be5+ 31. Ng3 Nf4 32. Rxd6 Ne2 33. Qxe2 Bxd6 34. Qd2 Bxg3+ 35. fxg3 Qxa4 36. Bd4+ Kg8 37. Qg5+ Kf7 38. Qf6+ Ke8 39. Qe5+ Kf7 40. Nd5 Qc6 41. Qe7+ Kg6 42. Qg7+ 1-0

Then in the final round, the Australian bounced back against the 2343 rated Chiel van Oosterom.

BDO Haarlem
Smerdon, D.
Van Oosterom, C.

1. e4 c5 2. c3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. cxd4 d5 5. exd5 Nf6 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. Bc4 b5 8. Be2 Na6 9. Qb3 Qb6 10. Nf3 Nc7 11. Ne5 Qd6 12. Nc3 b4 13. Nc4 Qa6 14. Bf4 bxc3 15. Bxc7 Ba4 16. Qa3 Bb5 17. Qxa6 Bxa6 18. bxc3 Rc8 19. d6 exd6 20. Nxd6+ Bxd6 21. Bxd6 Bxe2 22. Kxe2 Ne4 23. Bb4 Nxc3+ 24. Bxc3 Rxc3 25. Rhc1 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 Kd7 27. Rc3 a6 28. Ra3 Re8+ 29. Kd3 Re6 30. d5 Rf6 31. f3 h5 32. Kd4 g5 33. Ke5 Rb6 34. Rb3 f6+ 35. Kd4 1-0

Monday, September 04, 2006

Events Open for Bidding

It will be a long time before any of these will come to Australian shores. What with Australia's most well-known chess personalities more busy flaming each other in the country's liveliest chess bulletin board top tournaments are just a distant dream.

Love and a Chess Table

We don't normally share a story unless it is substantially about chess. But, you know, TCG is a bit of a romantic at heart and this one kinda warmed me a touch. I'm really such a sucker for this.

Link: "Childhood love rekindled"

Palau Update

Competing in this event, Marlon Bernardino sends us a quick update. With just one more game to play, New Zealander Hilton Bennett is set to win the inaugural Palau International chess tournament organised by Aussie IA Gary Bekker.

Hilton and Marlon are actually on 6.5 points each, but the former is yet to play his last, 9th round, game against local Cyril Montel Jr. The Kiwi player just needs a draw to secure outright first. If he looses, then both he and Marlon will be equal first. Here are the standings so far:

6.5 points-Hilton Bennett (New Zealand/ with one more game to play)
6.5 points-Marlon Bernardino Jr. (RP)
6.0 points-Paul Spiller (New Zealand)
4.5 points-Gary Bekker (Australia/ with one more game to play)
4.5 points-Menandro Manuel (Palau)
3.5 points-Gene Pastrana (Palau)
3.5 points-Jose Omega (Palau)
3.0 points Manny Nedic (Palau)
3.0 points-Roberto Hernandez (Palau)
2.0 points-Cyril Montel Jr. (Palau/ with two more games to play)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Update: Doha Qualifications

Quick round 4 update from the Philippines on the Doha qualifications tournament held in the Entertainment Hall of the SM Mall of Asia shopping centre.

Pacis-Dableo, draw; Laylo-Bitoon, draw; Gomez-Aquino, 1-0; Senador- Milagrosa, draw; Dimakiling-Rodriguez, 1-0, Nadera-Villanueva 0-1.

Below is a portion of the pooled press release from the event after round 3. Thanks to journalist Ignacio Dee for this information.

INTERNATIONAL Master and no. 2 seed Ronald Dableo forced a queen-less Ildefonso Mantupar Jr. to surrender after a complicated middle game battle to prevail and lead 14 other campaigners to a share of the lead with three points in the third round.

Keeping pace with Dableo are 14 other bidders, led by third seed IM Darwin Laylo, three-time national junior champion NM John Paul Gomez, Raymond Salcedo, NM Emmanuel Senador, IM Oliver Dimakiling, NM Rolando Nolte, IM Barlo Nadera, IM Richard Bitoon and Jose Aquino, among others.

While Laylo and the other top-ranked players breezed past their opponents, 7th seed IM Chito Garma misfired and lost against Raymond Salcedo, who is seeded no. 34 in the tournament.

Woman entry Jedara Docena forced IM Yves Ranola to a draw, while WIM Beverly Mendoza outclassed Ana Paulo Castillo for her second win in three matches.

NCFP Qualifications for Doha

We have been sent an email by Filipino journalist Ignacio Dee to advise that the 2006 National Chess Federation of the Philippines qualification event for the upcoming Doha Asian Games began without grandmasters Paragua, Antonio and Torre. Nelson Mariano II is the only grandmaster in attendance.

As our readers may recall, the trio of Paragua, Antonio and Torre were unhappy about the choice of a Swiss system format for the event.

Arianne Caoili Hurt

Australian chesser Arianne Caoili, who has been slated to appear on Channel 7's Dancing with the Stars program has been reportedly hurt and is in crutches.

Our Aussie readers are advised to keep an eye out on the women's magazines this week (or maybe next) for a special appearance.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Nur's Romania

Our friend Nur Yachou sent TCG a quick update on his travels in Romania. At the Predeal Open, Nur scored only 3.5/9 points but he did admit that his opposition in the latter half of that tournament was very strong.

Later this week, Nur will compete in the 2006 Bucharest Open. Here are some pictures sent in by our friend.

Yachou, N - Gasanov, E (2443)

And here is a view of a Romanian castle. The first one is Sinaia Peles Castle.

Nur also sent a picture of the famous Dracula's Castle. He relates this interesting little story. "Bran Castle is known is Vlad the Impailer (Vlad Dracula) Castle, but the truth is that Vlad never been to that castle. Vlad is a Romanian king from around 1450 A.D and his castle was somewhere else. However, because of the western fasination with Vlad - the Romanians said ok Bran Castle is Vlad's."

Below is a view of the town of Busteni from atop a hill.

Smerdon Magic

Back during the Australian Championships in Brisbane earlier this year, we dubbed IM David Smerdon as an "Atakador". This fellow proved once again worthy of that title. Just take a look at this pounding he gave Roeland Pruijssers.

BDO Haarlem
Smerdon, D
Pruijssers, R

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. h3 c6 6. Be3 b5 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nbd7 9. O-O e5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Ne2 Bb7 12. Ng3 Qe7 13. a4 a6 14. c4 b4 15. c5 a5 16. Qc2 Ne8 17. Bc4 Nc7 18. Rfd1 Na6 19. Bg5 Qe8 20. Rd6 Ndxc5 21. Rad1 Qb8 22. Be7 Re8

After 22. Re8

23. Bxf7+ Kxf7 24. Qc4+ Kxe7 25. Ng5 1-0

After 7 rounds, Sergey Kasparov leads the BDO event on 5.5 points. Smerdon and van der Stricht are the nearest chasers on 4.5 points.

Bendigo Chess News

News from Bendigo, Victoria, "Rising stars of chess gather"

Friday, September 01, 2006

Palau Update - After round 3

Thanks to Pinoy journo Marlon Bernardino, who is a participant in this tournament, we have an update from Palau.

Individual Standings after round 3: (10-man field, single RR format)

2.5- Gary Bekker (Australia)
2.5- Almario Marlon Bernardino JR. (RP)
2.5- Paul Spiller (New Zealand)
2.5- Hilton Bennett (New Zealand)
1.5- Cyril Montel Jr. (Palau)
1.0- Gene Patrana (Palau)
1.0- Manny Nedic (Palau)
1.0- Jose Omega (Palau)
0.5- Roberto Hernandez (Palau)
0.0- Menandro Manuel (Palau)

Yet Another Banning

What a week that was? Last week's post on the Forum Wars was a real hit. Thirty-eight comments! It's always nice to see Chess Chat spokesman Kevin Bonham slug it out against nemesis Matthew Sweeney.

But post of the week in Forum Wars goes to user "Phild707" - a member of both Chess Chat and Matt Sweeney's rival bulletin board. The following was originally posted on CC, later removed, then reappeared on the rival board.

The two dominant moderators have exposed themselves as little more than a deeply insecure couple. Although not siamese in the traditional sense of being joined at the hip, their perfectly choreographed responses are clear evidence of a fusion of the frontal lobes.

You ask a question of one, and the other responds. With their black attire and control freak mentality they cast a shadow, in stark relief, of two comic-tragic characters; the darth vader and obiwankenobi of the Australian Chess scene.

And surprise hit TCG when my friend Nicholas Kordahi, apparently a keen reader of the Daily Telegraph's gossip pages, rang yours truly to relay news about Arianne Caoili's latest career aspirations. If you missed it, she'll appear on Channel 7's Dancing with the Stars program. Yes, yes, we all have questions to ask, and TCG did ask: like, who's the partner? But the 19-year old has remained tight lipped.

There was also this report from India claiming that Australia's GM Ian Rogers will compete in the 2006 Commonwealth Championships. We have since learned that Australia's number one will, in fact, be playing elsewhere.

Finally, Australian chess saw another banning. CAQ's former VP got himself booted out of the Chess Association of Queensland "for conduct considered to be prejudicial to the interests of the Association, notably the tenor of multiple posts on the Australian Chess Chat Forum and Canadian Chess Forum." We have Matt Sweeney's bulletin board to thank for a copy of that letter (signed by CAQ secretary Ian Murray).

Note that this letter makes no mention of specific offences. It only says "tenor of multiple posts". Current CAQ boss Howard Duggan, in what was clearly a preemptive move, several days ago immediately clarified the CAQ's intention. This was the first paragraph of his posting on Chess Chat:

[AT] has been expelled from the CAQ until 31st December, 2006. The reason for his expulsion was the public [global] posting of a privileged e-mail which he recieved while in a privileged position; viz as a CAQ councillor.

To which [AT] responded with: "The ban has everything to do with personal conflict between myself and Howard and has no genuine basis whatsoever."

TCG's view is that [AT] was clearly at fault for having released privileged information. It was quite unwelcome to see Queensland dirty laundry appear on a Canadian forum. The Canadians must have been thinking, "We don't care!"

On the other hand, the CAQ ought to have been clearer. What is with "tenor of multiple posts"? How about avatars featuring a muppet appearing to be in a comprimising positon (I think that's how Kevin Bonham phrased it) with a blonde woman? For such an avatar, CAQ president Howard Duggan suffered a ban from Chess Chat. His language on Chess Chat has also come under scrutiny by Kevin Bonham.

Double Standard?

Oh, one more thing. It's so good to know that my most favourite painting of all time has been recovered. Also, Sydneysiders are advised that the 2006 Spanish Festival will be on this Sunday. That is always an enjoyable event.