Saturday, June 30, 2007

ACF and CV Confused!

We have an update on yesterday's post about the Australian Chess Championships 2007-08. In the ACF's latest newsletter we can read the following line: "There have also been other indications of some interest in the event but none of these has yet led to a formal bid."

Yet Victorian inside man, Trevor Stanning (treasurer of the Box Hill CC), assures me that Chess Victoria did submit such a bid - that is, a formal bid. You can read some postings on the Australian Chess Club Forum about this here.

That just kinda leaves me with a big, "Huh?"

Poms Ply Aussie with Ladies

The best thing about spending time with these old timers is the stories they tell you. Last night I once again had the good fortune of having a few drinks with 1976 Australian Chess Champion, Serge Rubanraut. The year after his fine victory in Australia, Serge flew to England to play in the world famous Hastings tournament. Guess what those poms did to slow down our man?

They sent him women! That's right, women. Unbelievable. Bloody poms!

Friday, June 29, 2007

ACF Offers Cheap Carrot

At long last, the very late issue no. 405 of the ACF newsletter was delivered to subscribers' inboxes this afternoon. If you were wondering if these guys were still breathing, there's your proof. If you were wondering about the Australian Championships, what's happening, when, where, etc - there's not much to learn except that we see a desperately meagre carrot on offer.

As most readers will be aware, the ACF has not yet received a firm and formal bid for the Australian Championships 2007-2008. There is no date or organiser yet appounted for the event. Some negotiations had taken place with interested parties in Sydney but they have to date not been fruitful. There have also been other indications of some interest in the event but none of these has yet led to a formal bid.

I wonder where these other interests have come from. In another state perhaps? Down south maybe? If so, and it miraculously becomes a concrete and ultimately successful bid, Sydneysiders can be understadably miffed after all that excitement about a Championships right smack in their CBD or even by the glorious Bondi Beach. Whatever, wherever - in these desperate times, I suppose we have no choice but just to be happy that something will happen.

The ACF goes on...

The ACF wishes to ensure that the Championships are held – after all the need to have a body to ythat end was the reason why the ACF was formed in 1922.

Oh great, they remembered! So why the Berlin Wall treatment to Peter Parr. It may not have been a formal bid, but it sure was the best thing at the time and all these ACF crew had to do was get off their asses then, pick up the phone, talk and negotiate. Something could have began to happen then. Instead, what we have today, 29 June, just a short 6 months away from the Championships (that's if it ever happens!), is a Hail Mary.

Consequently the ACF Council,on19 June, passed the following motion:

That a final call for bids for the 2007/2008 Australian Championship is placed in the up coming newsletter with a closing date of 20th July and that we offer to cover any losses in the event up to an amount of $2000 with any profits from the event going totally to the organisers.

The purpose of the motion is not to discourage, but rather to encourage, any of those who mayhave been interested in bidding to pursue that couse quickly.

Yes, yes, quickly, quickly! So desperate are these guys that the normally thorough newsletter editor, former lawyer and ACF veep Denis Jessop, even forgot to switch on the spelling checker. With the current decline in tournament participation, I doubt if 2 grand is enough to "encourage" even the most eager organisers. But what the ACF is probably now hoping for is just a no-frills Championships sans sponsors, big prizes, big names or fancy venue. In other words, just a long glorified weekender!

On that note, have a happy weekend.

Pinoy Sharks on Kill Hunt

Tomorrow's rapid event at Rooty Hill is expected to be a tough one for Serbia's GM Dejan Antic with a number of Pinoy sharks entering the event. I've just been informed that Eric Tumanon, a former 2-time Philippine Junior Champion and who also represented his former country in the Asian and World Juniors, as well as Ronald Manila, an expert speedster and himself an ex Young Masters champion of RP, have both entered the event. Familiar names like Camer, Samar and Agulto could also turn up.

There is also Tony Bouchaaya, a former Olympiad player representing Lebanon, who sports a rating of 2181 ACF. I used to see this regularly in the Sydney weekend circuit. These days I think he limits himself to club games.

Good luck to all who are playing in this event. If I'm not too drunk tonight, err, actually tomorrow morning - I'll probably just manage to drag my butt out of bed and enter myself.

Strong AUD For Cheap Books

Peter and Brian will so kill me for this.

With the Aussie dollar being as high as $0.84 (as at 29 Jun, 12.46 AEST) against the greenback, I thought it an opportune time to puchase some books from Amazon. So a couple of days ago, I bought "Art of Project Management" (Scott Berkun) and "Cascading Style Sheets - The Definitive Guide, 2nd Ed." (Eric Meyer). Work related stuff, if you're curious. Total price in AUD including shipping costs? $110.00! That's a saving of about $40.00 off the normal retail price in a joint like Dymocks.

I'm telling you this because I reckon there's a similar sort of savings on chess books. I've just checked some titles by Kasparov and they are cheap! The MGP series, for instance, are currently discounted by about USD$10.00 or so. Right, I'm off shopping!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

On Again in Queenstown

News just in! It looks like we're heading back down to Queenstown. I've just received this press release from Helen Milligan of Gambit Books.

The organisers of the Queenstown Chess Classic are delighted to announce that the 2009 international tournament is formally confirmed. The main event will take place January 15th-24th January 2009 in the Grand Ballroom of the Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, New Zealand.

The prizefund is now NZ $50,000 (equivalent to Australian $45,000), a New Zealand record. The first prize is $10,000. A player finishing in 15th position will take home $1400.

The 2009 Queenstown Classic is open to players of any strength, and any nationality.

In association with the New Zealand Chess Federation, the event will also incorporate the official 116th New Zealand Chess Championships. This event has a famous history, being the oldest continuously staged national championship in the world.

For more information and updates, visit With an increased prize fund as well as a very nice chess holiday, I reckon this 2009 edition will break all records. Start saving up!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wohl Undefeated

Alex Wohl remains undefeated after 4 games in the 10ème Open des Vins du Médoc tournament in France. He will play the top seed international master Thal Abergel of France in the fifth.

Antic in Rooty Hill Rapid

My old friend Leo Tenorio has just emailed me to say that GM Dejan Antic will be a participant in the Rooty Hill CC Rapid tournament this coming Saturday, 30 June. Those with ambition to score a GM scalp for the sake of bragging rights should enter this tournament. If this terrible weather continues, that should be a good excuse to stay indoors and have a good day of chess.

The event, by the way, is sponsored by Attorney Jess Diaz, founder of an NGO, and was the first Pinoy to be admitted as Barrister in this country.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kasparov: I have no life

If he's not careful, the guy could very well make that statement a physical reality. Well, the high powers forbid and all that. Speaking to Jordan Timm, Kasparov once again gives another of his many interviews covering his anti-Putin activities, his vision of a new Russia and, of course, takes time to briefly talk about his latest book.

I have no life. It’s terrible, it affects my family. Daria [Kasparov’s wife] is from St. Petersburg and if she goes there for a few days, I have to send bodyguards. In Russia we’re always under this stress. We know that bodyguards won’t save you from state assault, but there’s so many provocations, we have to be vigilant all the time. That’s why we decided that [having Daria] give birth in Moscow might not be a good idea. I can’t put a bodyguard in the hospital.

Read more in Macleans.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Winning Start for Wohl

The 10ème Open des Vins du Médoc began yesterday and Alex Wohl is off to a winning start beating Claude Maruejols. Next up is Eva-Maria Zickelbein.

Over in the Pula Open, Canberran Shannon Oliver did well enough to secure her second straight draw to put herself on 1 point. Shannon plays Valter Pregarac next.

What does the NSWCA Council think?

When I posted the NSW Rapid play news yesterday, I must admit I did not intend another bout of "NSWCA this" or "ACF that" or "Bill this" or "Bill that" discussion. I know, I know, that's hard to believe - but honest! Still, I'll just go with this flow for the time being.

All this discussion about how to improve the state of chess is nothing new. By coincidence, at yesterday's tournament, I saw an old copy of the July/August 2004 issue of Brian Jones' Australian Chess magazine. On page 43 is a letter from Eddy Katnic. Eddy has been around for yonks! This is what he had to say:

I wish to give some comments in regard to present chess activities in NSW.

Firstly, Sydney Grade Matches could have more teams participating if travel could be reduced. Perhaps the competition should divided into zones as in Melbourne. Perhaps the time limit should be changed as in the Western Suburbs competition.

Secondly, to make weekend tournaments more popular, entry fees should be reduced and there should be more rating divisions.

What are the opinions of other players?

What does the NSWCA Council think?

Very good questions, indeed, by Eddy that truly deserve some answers. That just reminded me to finally get off my gluteus maximus and organise that interview I promised with a political heavy. And perhaps, in the process, we can urge our local chess polies to learn a lesson from their ECF counterparts.

Oh, our friend Matthew Sweeney made a suggestion that NSWCA events should be ran at a loss for the next 3 years. Just for the record, we do not take this suggestion very seriously.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

George Xie Wins NSW Rapid

International master George Xie has won today's NSW Rapid play event with an undefeated 7 points. Congrats George. Other leading scores are as follows:

7.0 Xie
5.5 Lewski
5.0 Chan, Berezovski, Faris, Bolens
4.5 Broekhuyse, Ilic, Huynh

Yours truly managed only 3 points. The last game was truly disappointing! I missed a simple enough trick that would have netted a piece. Anyhow, I was just happy to play despite being a whole hour late thereby missing the first round. I was in no rush in the morning actually - just going about my usual routine, reading my paper, drinking coffee, etc. I just knew that the tournament would be late in starting, as usual! Sure enough, it was. Apparently they had to manually enter all the players into Swiss Perfect because the autosearch function didn't work. Consequently there was no lunch break and that still allowed us to finish on time.

Continuing with recent trends, a bad turnout of just 33 players attended the event. This poor number reduced the prize money to about 80% of what was originally advertised.

What can we do to get these attendance numbers back up?

Shannon Oliver in Pula Open

The Pula Open, in Croatia, kicked off last night and will run to 30 June. Shannon Oliver who, last time I checked, was on exchange at the University of Manchester in England, is the lone Australian representative. In the first round she played and drew against 2257-rated Ziga Zvan of Slovenia.

Shannon has WFM Borka Franciskovic, rated 2227, in the second round.

Coverage is available here with downloadable and a handful of live games.

Topalov to Match World Cup Winner

ChessDom is claiming exclusivity on this latest development in the chess world championships. There will also be a new championship cycle involving a grand prix (in America, Asia and Europe), a match with the World Cup winner, and finally the match against the World Champion.

After presenting its evaluation of the situation that former world champion GM Veselin Topalov was unable to participate in the ongoing WCCh cycle anymore and may lose such an opportunity for two years, the Bulgarian delegation accepted the proposal of the FIDE Presidential Board. In accordance with the decision, GM Topalov will have an eight-game Challenger Match against the winner of the 2007 World Cup in the year 2008 as part of the new WCCh cycle.


I realise that we have only scant details so far but I wonder where Oceania countries will fit within the grand prix structure. In Asia?

Interestingly, there is a news report of the ASEAN Chess Confederation agreeing to jointly hold "an ASEAN chess grand prix and regional circuit tournament". Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia will be the hosts.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Australian World Youth Teams

From 4 to 12 August, the Singapore Chess Federation will host the World Youth U16 Olympiad. And Australia is this year sending a large contingent having endorsed a total of 17 players. The boys' squad, a "Dream Team", will consist of Moulthun Ly, Junta Ikeda, Zhigen Lin, Raymond Song and Max Illingworth.

The girls will be represented by Angela Song, Jessica Kinder, Emma Guo and Tamzin Oliver. Sydneysiders will have noticed Angela Song's appearances in a couple of tournaments. This was apparently part of scheme to prepare for Singapore but her 3.5 points score at the recent NSW Open was a tad rusty.

In an effort to provide them with much-needed international tests, the ACF has also further endorsed 8 juniors. These are: Andrew Brown, Derek Yu, Fedja Zulfic, Joshua Lau, Alana Chibnall, Isaac Ng, Abbie Kanagarajah and Satya Chitturi .

Good luck to these guys and thanks to Jenni Oliver for the info.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Chess Photography

Like I said, I'm looking to take photography more seriously. I'm really no good so I look for inspiration. In my search for inspiration I stumbled upon Michael Simon's galleries. Look to the left nav bar and click on "Chess Supernationals!" Now that's chess photography right there!

And how about the size of that chess crowd?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blog Disorder, Me?

I don't suffer from this, do I? From Wired:

This disorder is characterized by the creation of a blog in which the individual consistently denigrates not only the opinions of others, but the very fact that others have opinions, saying things like "nobody cares what some overpaid starlet has to say about global warming" and "nobody cares what some crusty career politician thinks is wrong with society today." Simultaneously, the individual assumes that people do care about what he or she has to say, in spite of the individual's only political or activist experience being watching the movie Dave twice.

But I know a few people who might definitely have a serious case of Pugilistic Discussion Syndrome. They're a worry.

Too Far, Too Good

A mate of mine was telling me this story this avro. He went to Rooty Hill the other night to play a grade match game against the local chess club. He sits down, starts off the game and, after just 6 moves, wins a whole rook. The opponent promptly resigned!

My guy says to his opponent something like: "Listen, don't resign; I didn't drive for one hour to get here and finish quickly".

So you see - this is one problem of the whole grade match competition. Games are played at night in places far and wide. Sometimes, you win or lose so quick that there's almost no point! Or else you play a long game and end up heading home almost to midnight. It's a joke! Why do these people even bother?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Open des Vins du Medoc

Australian IM Alex Wohl is again all set for what he tells me is his favourite event, the so-called wine tournament, Open des Vins du Medoc. The event will run from 24 June to 1 July. He's actually won that more than a couple of times I think. But this year will be even more special! Travelling with Alex is Nina.

Good luck man.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Gorenje 2007 Update

Our friends over at are covering the strong 10-man RR Gorenje 2007 (Valjevo) tournament that features Anatoli Karpov, Suat Atalik and Kiril Georgiev.

Round 5 was especially violent with 4 out of 5 games ending decisively. The Rook endgame in Damljanovic - Pavasovic is worth a look. I must really thank the guys at Chessdom for their daily emails that include games and photos. Here's Karpov in action.

Iordachescu - Karpov, 0-1

At the round 5 mark, three players are in the lead on 3.5 points. They are Atalik, Roiz and Karpov.

Rapid Chess Extravaganza

Too many things to do, books to read, movies to watch, even the occasional visit to the office on weekends - whatever. That's the pace of life these days. At least mine anyway. No time for chess - weekend chess, that is - those that span 2 to 3 days except, of course, for the biggies like Doeberl. All I prefer now are the faster time one-dayers but there's not enough of them. However, the next two weekends is a bonanza for guys like me.

This Sunday is the NSWCA Rapid and followed, in the next weekend, by the Rooty Hill Open Rapid. This second tournament will likely have a lot of Pinoy speedsters so be very, very afraid!

For train travellers, check service changes here.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

From The Twilight Zone

I don't know what to make of this. Waiting for me in my inbox this evening was this email from a "community administrator" of the Australian Chess Club Forum, wannabe rival to Australia's most popular chess bulletin board, Chess Chat. I quote the crucial paragraph without any changes.

I am reminding you all that you need to keep exercising you right to free speech. Since ACCF is the only place in Australin chess where you can escape the tyrany of the Gletsos-Bonham House of Pain, I would ask that you revisit the ACCF and post something that you would not like to have to defend against the Chess Chat bullies. Please remember, dear posters, that we try hard to be civil and decent at at times on ACCF. So, play nice.

Gletsos-Bonham refers to Bill Gletsos, current ACF deputy president and NSWCA president, and Kevin Bonham, one of two serving ACF veeps.

I'm like, wow! So those two tyrants have not only bullied me but apparently also eroded my rights to free speech? I'm just like, wow! I didn't even know that. That's a worry.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Chess Fashion Daaahlings!

Well daahlings, I just luuuurrve those Kalmykians! They surely know how to dress their women or, at least, their chess women. Have you seen the latest Chessbase pictorial - so full of the CB editor's faves you know: girls, girls, girls? Oh my, I just don't know whether to laugh or cry. Could be that it's a Friday daahlings but I think I spy a nipple. And daaaaahlings - those hats! How about those hats? They surely wouldn't look out of place on Ladies and Champers Day at Flemington. But the chess theme, ugghhh! That just about makes me want to bolt down the racecourse faster than a Makybe Diva.

And speaking of Divas, don't we just luuuuuuurve Arriana? Simple black, elegant daaahlings, topped off with that familiar coquettish smile. Her man, though, could do better than looking like he's the 12th man in the Pakistani cricket team. Oh right, it's the chess theme.

Have a nice weekend daaahlings!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chan - Bjelobrk, 1-0

Finishing on 4 points in last weekend's NSW OPen, Sydney players Jason Chan caused one of the tournament's biggest upsets. In round 3 he defeated the powerful Igor Bjelobrk. The ever humble Mr Chan tells me that he didn't really beat Igor but, rather, that Igor lost the game.

Well, I actually like this game. Put them rooks on central files, open up the centre and go for the kill. Nice!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Conversations With A Chess Parent

Last Saturday, during the NSW Open, I was talking to a parent about her junior's commitments to chess. I have to say I was left completely gobsmacked. Some juniors these days, it seems, are almost like little professionals; it's chess week in, week out. In about a month, the kid will leave for OS to compete in some junior tournament. During this time he'll also have missed some school work. Apparently, it took a little negotiating with the school principal before he finally gave the nod for the kid to take time off school.

There will be no special favours either. When our junior, one of the most talented up and comers in NSW, returns he'll face an exam on topics that he wouldn't have had already covered! After all, it's not as if these guys can play chess during the day and then study at night. Hard life!

So I was thinking, in the middle of this conversation, how do you guys manage it? All those sacrifices - financial, time, school and all that expended energy! Like I said, hard life.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Correct Priorities

Graham Gelineau certainly has his priorities right. After winning CAD$37M in Canada's Lotto, he just wants to buy a chess set!

From the Hamilton Spectator.

I wonder if the Canadian Chess Fed will be onto him and ask for some sponsorship money.

Monday, June 11, 2007

NSW Open Results (Preliminary)

These are only preliminary so far, coming in via SMS, but we've just been advised of the top finishers. It looks like Antic has won the NSW Open.

6.0 - Antic
5.5 - Rogers, Toth
5.0 - Bolens, Bjelobrk, Wright

Antic Leads NSW

Unlike their Victorian cousins, who have a fully dedicated and independent website, our NSWCA guys are solely relying on Chess Chat to provide updates on this tournament. Still, I guess we have to be thankful. In these info-starved times anything will do.

After 4 rounds, the Serbian visitor GM Dejan Antic and Hungarian IM Andras Toth both lead on 4/4 points. GM Ian Rogers had a setback in round 2 when he drew with local Sydney player Jason Hu. Another good result was that of Jason Chan's victory over FM Igor Bjelobrk in round 3 yesterday.

In the Victorian Open, Chris Wallis leads outright on 5 points. Note that GM Daryl Johansen, earlier confirmed as an entry, seems to have withdrawn from the tournament. I wonder why.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

NSW Open Update

GM Ian Rogers is the top seed in the 2007 NSW Open. There are 107 players in all which does seem like a lot but I don't know if that's actually enough to break even. Hopefully it is.

When I left the venue this afternoon the second round was just starting. Not much to report other than to show off this nice little efficient win by the top seed against local player Nick Kordahi. My friend Nick played a terrible move long before the start of round one today. He was one of the guys I was with in the Art House last night and we all had a little too much to drink!

Meanwhile, down in the Victorian Open, Pinoy player FM Jesse Sales had a shocker of an opening round when he lost to 1591 rated John Beckman! That's an awful result of Jesse.

Ian Rogers' main challenger will be GM Dejan Antic. He is seen here in action against Alex Mendes da Costa in round two.

Open Thread

A couple of big tournaments are happening today - one in Victoria and, of course, there's the NSW Open up here in Sydney. At last we've spotted a list of players for the NSW Open. I think maybe NSWCA boss Bill Gletsos can breathe a sigh of relief. His baby features GM Dejan Antic, IM Andras Toth, Igor Blejobrk and a number of 2000+ rated players.

I won't be playing. This bad weather has got me in the mood for the Sydney Film Festival. I figured, for my $100 I can do art instead! And last night, while out with a couple of chess buddies at the Art House Hotel, somebody made the observation that he could feed himself for a whole week just with the entry fee!

Finally, details of this year's Malaysian Open are now out. DATMO, as our fellow blogger Andrew Ooi calls this event, is slated for 19 to 27 August. As usual I suspect this event will attract a number of Aussies as well as strong Pinoy players.

Have a good long weekend folks.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fantasise Boys, Fantasise

The May issue of the UK's Esquire magazine, that veritable bible of the metrosexual ("Man at his best", it says on the cover), features an extract from Kasparov's latest book, "How Life Imitates Chess".

The last paragraph caught my attention:

Fantasy isn't something you can turn on with a switch. The key is to indulge it as often as you can and to allow your unconventional side to flourish. It's not about just having an odd flash of creativity, but about being innovative in your decision-making process all the time.

Help Elwood CC

I think nowhere else in Australia do chess clubs play such an important role in chess activity than in our southern state of Victoria. Australia's most famous club, and certainly one of the world's oldest, the Melbourne CC is down there. But now one of those clubs is in near trouble.

Earlier this week FM Igor Goldenberg put out an emergency call for volunteers at his beloved Elwood CC.

Igor tells me:

Currently Victor Kildisas and Yuri Kourtchatov do all the job of running the club. We need a tournament director, preferably a treasurer (the role I am filling at the moment). Ideally 5-6 people constantly involved in the running of the club. Other roles might include maintaining a web site [and] helping with organising Elwood Bendigo Bank championship. Once we covered basics we have plenty of things to make it even better. As I mentioned before, we have unique features (time, location) that make it very attractive for children and families.

While membership numbers are remaining steady, according to Igor, that situation could well quickly deteriorate unless extra volunteer hands are found. Help is urgently needed.

To that end, the Elwood guys are holding an emergency meeting of club members and other interested parties. Details are:

23 June at 2PM
87 Tennyson Street, Elwood

Please send enquiries to IgorGoldenberg at MyRealBox dot com.

Established some 13 years ago, Elwood CC has met on Saturdays from noon to 5PM. They have an ideal location: close to the city, the beach, there's ample transport and the premises features an area for a BBQ as well as a playground.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Topalov in Mexico?

A Bulgarian delegation is set to crash the FIDE party in Mexico later this year. Insisting that their boy, Veselin Topalov, should be a participant in the Mexico World Chess Championships - Bulgarian Chess Fed boss Stefan Sergiev (who is ever so careful to tell us that he sports a PhD) wrote in to FIDE last week, near huffing and puffing:

Any argumentation for the non-admission of V. Topalov is deprived of any logic. The second, the third and the forth players from St. Louis will play there but the first one will not! The second in the world ranking list, the chess-player who won 7 super-tournaments during the last 2 years will not be allowed to play there! Why? Only because FIDE has changed its system in the meantime?! is reporting that Mr Sergiev's proposal has since been acknowledged by FIDE who will now consider the matter during their Presidential Board meeting slated for later this month. My bet is that Topalov, after all his Federation's whining, will end up making an appearance in the Mexico event. Then the rest of the participants, or at least a good handful of them, will make counter protests, followed by a Bulgarian response and so on and so on.

Well, let's hope not!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Study: Women Worse Than Men

It's official, women are worse than men at chess. The UK's The Independent paper reported last Sunday of a study which found that "under-performance [by women] is not down to lack of ability, but an awareness that they are expected to do badly".

From Mate check - women play worse against men.

Victorian Open This Weekend

Those Victorians never want to be behind. After our post last night our inbox was immediately struck by an email from a southerner advising me of the upcoming Victorian Open this weekend. This event is often very impressive as it attracts some fairly strong players. For this year's event, the organisers will host GM Johansen and IM David Smerdon.

Of note also will be the 10th seed local junior James Morris. Rated only 1948, James is in line for the FM title owing to his performance in the Fiji Zonal last month.

Current list of entries is available here.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Go Arianne!

I'm kinda over extending a little joke I cracked on ICC the other night. I couldn't help myself. While watching the live broadcast of Aronian v Carlsen, "Go Arianne", I said, "...err..sorry, I meant Aronian".

Uumm..well, OK, at least GM Tigran Petrosian thought it funny.

Anyway, an excellent showing by Aronian in the end by overcoming his Norwegian opponent, though I'm sure the Armenian number one can definitely thank his young gorgeous companion. Under such trying conditions it's always nice to have a woman's encouragement. And we Australians can be truly proud that one of our own played an indubitably crucial role. Surprisingly - even amidst all that tension in Elista - the young lass did find time to email yours truly last week. I won't say what she asked. It's a secret.

(Christ, I must still be hungover from the vino festival yesterday).

Moving on, here's a quick favour to our pals in the state association. This coming weekend is the annual Queen's Birthday NSW Open. If you haven't signed up, make sure you take the time to fill in the form.

So why be so warm to the NSWCA? Well, you know, it's winter and there's that certain Canberra organiser who made me feel a bit nervous. And I don't like these women making me feel nervous. She said:

As a former administrator for more than 20 years across multiple sports I'll just lend my support to those trying to make a move forward as opposed to those who want to throw sh*t for absolutely no good reason other than that they can.

Now I know that wasn't fired at me, but do you think I throw shit? Seriously, c'mon!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Bolens Draws with GM Antic

I've just at this moment received the latest ACF enewsletter. It's only saving feature in this edition, one could say in every edition, is IA Charles Zworestine's long and always exciting blow-by-blow tournament reports.

On the recent 2007 Kellner Memorial event, Charles writes:

The big game between the top two seeds occurred in Round 4; and it did not disappoint! Dejan Antic, playing Black, misplayed some tactics to end up in an inferior position against Johny Bolens; but Johny, content with a draw, liquidated to a drawish ending. Dejan did not want a draw, so he then took some risks to try and win and ended up a pawn down; he outplayed Johny from there, won his pawn back into a superior rook and pawn ending and could indeed have won, but misplayed it in time pressure to end up drawing a marathon in over 100 moves.

You can actually read IA Zworestine's full report here on the NSWCA website. (I never thought to check there first as that dang website is, well, you can fill in the blanks for me).

That's probably our last post for the weekend dear readers. I'm off early to the Manly Food & Wine Festival tomorrow. Other than chess, I like my vino and I most especially love my food!

Telco Giant Backs Vietnam Talents

Oh, OK, I just can't help myself. While Australian chess fans debate over so called Bi Lo titles (you know, those cheap FM titles from the Fiji Zonals), our would-have-been-worthy-Asian-opponents-in-a-serious-Zonal, the Vietnamese, have just acquired a modest but worthwhile sponsor. FPT Telecom is providing USD$15,500 over 3 years to support some of the country's upcoming talents.

From Thanh Nien News.

Persistence Pays Off

Our one-line post yesterday on the Noble Park CC provoked the familiar complaints. "The premises where they meet has all the atmosphere of a surgery" one poster said. You just can't make some folks happy.

As it's a nice crisp Saturday morning, and I'm about to head out to my favourite cafe where I might sit next to a former Gitmo inmate (I'm serious!), I just thought I'd post something a little more encouraging.

Prompted by our Noble Park post, Phil Bourke emailed me to say that he, too, has been doing some local promo of his own. After 18 months of persistence, the local rag at last published one of Mr Bourke's submissions. You can read the article here. More than that, the paper is now encouraging Phil to submit more. Well done indeed!