Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Game of the Year?

I had not seen this until SMH chess columnist Peter Parr showed it to me yesterday. Could this be the 2007 game of the year (if there was such an award)?

Here is American superstar Hikaru Nakamura producing a truly stunning attacking masterpiece. The sacrifice just came out of nowhere. Just imagine yourself playing like this! If I could play like this, I would die happy.

Magistral D'Escacs in Barcelona
Krasenkow, M.
Nakamura, H.

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 a5 7. Nc3 c6 8. d4 Nbd7 9. Qc2 b6 10. e4 Ba6 11. Nd2 c5 12. exd5 cxd4 13. Nb5 exd5 14. Nxd4 Rc8 15. Re1 b5 16. Bb2 Re8 17. Qd1 bxc4 18. bxc4 Qb6 19. Rb1 dxc4 20. Nc6 Rxc6 21. Bxf6 Krasenkow must now be feeling good about himself! He was about to be shocked.

Position after 21. Bxf6

21...Qxf2+ 22. Kxf2 Bc5+ 23. Kf3 Rxf6+ 24. Kg4 Ne5+ 25. Kg5 Rg6+ 26. Kh5 f6 27. Rxe5 Rxe5+ 28. Kh4 Bc8 0-1 There is no stopping Rg6-h6 mate.

Kavalek has an annotated version of the above game here. Fittingly, Nakamura won the Magistral D'Escacs tournament in Barcelona with a score of 7 from nine.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Aagard Wins Arco

IM Alex Wohl drew his last round game against GM Igor Naumkin to end his Arco tournament on 7 points from nine rounds. It was a 4-way finish at the top, but Scot GM Jacob Aagard was declared winner on tiebreak.

On the other hand, last year's champion IM Roland Salvador pulled off a win in the last game to settle with 6.5 points.

And by the way, I just noticed that there is another Filipino player in Arco. It is FM Virgilio Vuelban who also totalled the same tally as his compatriot.

Top finishers in Arco:

7.0 - Aagard, Serafimov, Wohl, Naumkin
6.5 - Salvador, Vezzosi, Lazic, Vuelban, De Santis

Back home, the Surfers Paradise Open was won on the weekend by GM Dejan Antic. Scoring 6 points from seven games, Dejan finished above both GM Roland Schmaltz and Moulthun Ly who each totalled 5.5 points. Surely, though, the highlight of this event must be the disastrous run of one IM Gary Lane. The popular author could manage only 4.5 points. His weekend included this terrible loss to Victorian player Dromagoj Dragicevic.

Surfers Paradise Open
Dragicevic, D.
Lane, IM Gary

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 d6 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.dxe5 Bb6 9.Nbd2 Na5 10.Qc2 Nxc4 11.Nxc4 Qe6 12.Nxb6 The first new move, according to my database. 12...axb6 13.exd6 Qxd6 14.0–0 Ne7 15.Rd1 Qg6 16.Bf4 Bg4 17.Qd3 And now, as if forgetting the lessons in his own popular books on tactics and mates, IM Lane commits a most terrible error. 17...Bxf3?? 18.Qd7+ 1–0

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wohl Leads in Arco

With one round to play, IM Alex Wohl shares the lead on 6.5 points alongside GM Igor Naumkin in Arco. Alex's last game was somewhat unfortunate for our Pinoy readers as the Australian defeated IM Roland Salvador.

Arco Open A
Salvador, Roland
Wohl, Aleksandar

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4 Bg7 5. e3 O-O 6. Be2 c5 7. Ne5 Nc6 8. O-O cxd4 9. exd4 Bf5 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Na4 Nd7 12. g4 Be6 13. Qd2 f6 14. Bg3 a5 15. Qc3 Qc8 16. Rae1 Bf7 17. f4 Re8 18. Bd3 Qb7 19. b3 e6 20. f5 e5 21. dxe5 fxe5 22. fxg6 Bxg6 23. Bxg6 hxg6 24. Qd2 Qb4 25. Qg5 Re6 26. c4

After 26. c4

26...d4 27. h4 e4 28. c5 d3 29. Bf4 Qd4+ 30. Be3 Qe5 31. Kg2 Qxg5 32. hxg5 Ne5 33. Nb6 Rd8 34. Nc4 Nxc4 35. bxc4 Rb8 36. Rb1 Rb4 37. a3 Rxb1 38. Rxb1 Re8 39. Re1 a4 40. Bd2 Bd4 41. Bb4 e3 42. Kf3

After 42. Kf3

42...Bxc5 43. Bc3 Re7 44. Rh1 Rh7 45. Rb1 Rh2 46. Ke4 d2 47. Ke5 Rf2 48. Ke6 Rf7 49. Rh1 Re7+ 50. Kf6 Rd7 51. Kxg6 Bd4 52. Bb4 Bg7 0-1

A great win by Alex. He will now face GM Naumkin in the final round.

Indians Dominate Chess in Asian Indoors

The 2nd Asian Indoor Games opened in Macau on Friday and already the first gold medals in the chess event have been won and secured. Team India are absolutely killing everybody as they bagged the gold in the Team Rapid, Women's Individual Rapid and Men's Individual Rapid events.

On the other hand, RP has so far only managed to win a bronze in the Women's Individual Rapid section and that medal came courtesy of Catherina Perena.

See here for a detailed medal tally of all sections in chess.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Feature in Blogger

I've been waiting for Google to build this into their blogging service for some time. And it's finally here. It is now possible for you to be notified of any follow-up comments in any one of my posts. All you have to do is tick the box ("Email follow-up..") as shown. Just one catch! You'll need to sign up for a Google account. This stops anyone from using someone else's email address.

Hopefully, some of our regular commenters will find this new feature useful. It should help you keep a track of new comments to old posts.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Salvador Leads Arco

Thank God for online chess, especially bullet chess. You see, the long hours at work isn't doing my usual post-work rounds of blitz any good these days. Last Wednesday we finished in the office at midnight! Not exactly conducive to a healthy lifestyle. But thanks to ICC, I can log-in when I get home and put in a few rounds of bullet chess before hitting the sac. I get through about dozen games in no time, which is enough, then off straight to bed. And I'm even managing to improve my flagging technique. Walloped the same GM twice recently.

Speaking of online chess, now's an even better time for Australians to sign up or renew that online chess subscription. The Aussie dollar yesterday hit a 23-year high against the greenback and ICC (or whatever is your preferred service) is cheaper than ever! And here I was a couple of months ago thinking that US$0.84 was high.

Anyway, our friends over in Rooty Hill CC have asked me to put up a little something about their upcoming 2nd "Saturday Rapidplay" Chess Tournament to be held on 3 November next month. My old friend Leo Tenorio tells me that, "[t]his is now the biggest one day chess tournament in Australia in terms of cash & prizes". Sounds like a good one.

Over in Arco, IM Roland Salvador leads with 5.5 points after six rounds. It will be recalled that it was here in this same event that Roland secured his third IM norm last year. Alex Wohl is on 4.5 points.

Time to sign off. Have a good weekend all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Anand in Time Magazine

From Time magazine: India's Great Chess Hope.

Chess has become a younger man's game over the past couple of decades. The average age in tournaments used to be in the mid-30s but now "with computers and the nature of the game itself, the average age is probably down in the early 20s," says Anand, who at 37 predicts he'll play competitively only for another eight years or so. "I've always managed to stay motivated and I work hard at it," says the champion, who divides his time between India and a small village outside Madrid. Just as with other top Indian sportsmen, Anand's endorsement is sought after by marketers, who use his image to advertise cookies and a malted hot drink. He is also a "brand ambassador" for NIIT, a corporate training company that has taken chess into more than 5,000 schools across India. "I'm very optimistic about the next generation of Indian players," he says. "You're already seeing that in women's chess, where some of the highest rated women in the world are Indian."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wohl and Salvador Relax in Arco

IM Alex Wohl and RP's IM Roland Salvador are together again in the 29th Festival Scacchistico Internazionale Open in the Italian town of Arco. The 9-round tournament began last Saturday and will end this coming weekend. With only 700 euros (plus a cup) on offer as first prize, this event isn't exactly one of the richer events in Europe. But who cares about the money? Just check out the location. Absolutely gorgeous!

As far as the games are concerned, two rounds have been played and our two faves are on 2/2. Also playing in the event, by the way, is Scotland's GM Jacob Aagaard.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Surviving the Holocaust

From the UK's Daily Mail. There is a chessic bit to this one.

[I]n 1944, the Nazis invaded Hungary and began deporting Jews. Roman was taken to a Gestapo officer for interrogation, but when he arrived, he noticed the officer had a chess set in his room and asked him if he played.

"Roman's brother had been a Polish chess champion before the war, and the German had once played in a competition against his brother.

"The officer asked Roman if he played too, and when the Pole said he did, but not particularly well, the German replied, 'OK, let's have a game. And if you win, I will save your life.'"

Read on: Revealed - The extraordinary family who defied Hitler - and survived the Holocaust.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Pinoy Chess Club

Apologies for having been no updates yesterday, but when things go wrong at work, they really go wrong! So anyway, just a few quick updates then.

It looks like another Filipino chess club has just been formed in Sydney. This time, SBS Pinoy Radio executive producer Ronald Manila is involved. We don't have too many details about this outfit yet but we do wish them luck. Not really the first time that a Pinoy chess club has been tried. About two years ago, I was involved with the last one and like any new group, we had some serious ambitions. Unfortunately, I think we seemed a bit lost long before we got down to some serious business! I hope Ronald's crew will do better.

Over in the Essent Open, Australia's three reps must surely have few complaints; all are going well. Jule has 5.5 points, one point behind leader Andries Mellema with one round to play. While in the Open section, Smerdon and Humphrey have 5 and 4.5 points respectively.

Lastly, the preliminary list of entrants to the upcoming Commonwealth Chess Championships in India has just been released. Alex Wohl's name is there and it looks like he'll soon be joined by IM David Smerdon as well as Shannon and Gareth Oliver.

That's all for now. Back to work for me!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Egyptian Wins World Juniors

The Egyptian grandmaster Adly Ahmed is this year's World Junior champion, scoring 10 points overall after thirteen games. He edged out the Russian Ivan Popov who finished with 9.5 points in total. In the final game, Ahmed defeated Germany's GM Georg Meier while Popov could only manage a draw against fellow Russian GM Dmitry Andreikin.

Top standings are as follows:

10 - Ahmed
9.5 - Popov
9.0 - Hao, Andreikin
8.5 - Meier, Pashikian, Rodshtein, Negi, Jones

RP's Wesley So closed his long campaign positively with a win over IM Giorgi Margvelashvili. The Filipino, who celebrated his fourteenth birthday during the tournament and a second GM norm, scored 7.5 points in total.

On the other hand, Aussie Vincent Suttor ended the event exactly as he opened it: with a loss. He went down to Thibaur Vandenbussche to finish with 4 points.

In the Girls section, Russian WIM Vera Nebolsina is the champion as she, too, posted 10 points overall. But unlike Ahmed, Vera only needed a safe draw in the last round to secure victory.

More details, including photos, are available from the official site.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Essent's Triple Aussie Treat

In fact, contrary to yesterday’s post, there are actually three Australians playing in Essent. In addition to Smerdon and Humphrey, Queenslander Alexandra Jule is also there playing in the Amateur 1 group. She’s going quite well with a score of 2.5 points out of three games.

Graeme Gardiner, of the Gardiner Chess Centre, informs me that Alex is presently in doing her gap year. After Essent, she'll be competing for Australia in the World Youth Olympiad in Turkey.

Yesterday’s results in the Open section were good for the Aussies as Smerdon drew against Nijboer while Humphrey, holding the black pieces, posted a win over Tom Meurs. Smerdon, on 2.5 points, must now play GM Jan Smeets and Humphrey, who is on two, will face FM Rasmussen.

KID's Good Little Wife

There are many reasons why we choose a particular opening. It could be that a system suits our style of play, or we like certain kinds of positions that arise from them; or maybe we just like to emulate our heroes. But last Friday night, during the regular blitz and beer with friends, I heard of a whole new but never expected reason.

My friend said to me: "You know I play the King's Indian, right? Well King's Indian has to have a wife. So I play the Queen's Indian, too!”

We just about fell off our seats in laughter.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Aussies in Essent Open

My thanks to Goran of ChessDom for prompting me about this year's Essent Chess Tournament. In the Open section are two Australians, IM David Smerdon and FM Jonathan Humphrey. Two rounds have been played so far and Smerdon is on 2/2 while Humphrey has one point.

Follow the event via the official site.

NCFP Website Disappears

For the last couple of days I've not been able to view neither the NCFP official site nor their forum pages. The body's domain name, www.ncfphilippines.org, is currently pointing to an unrelated page. See below.

Checking the WHOIS database tells us that at least the domain still belongs to the NCFP. The registrant's postal address is located in the House of Reps in Quezon City.

Let's hope that these guys can get themselves back online soon. This situation is really not a good look.

Suttor Wins One in Juniors

Losses over the last 4 rounds have pegged Wesley So back to six points after ten games in the World Juniors. He is 1.5 points behind current leaders IM Avetik Grigoryan of Armenia and grandmasters Wang Hao, China, as well as Ivan Popov of Russia.

So lost rounds 7 and eight to Adly and Wang Hao respectively, but managed to pull one back in the ninth by beating IM Sasha Kaplan. But in the last game finished overnight, So suffered his third loss in the tournament, this time going down to GM Abhijeet Gupta.

The good news for RP chess fans is that So has now earned his second GM norm as reported by the Manila Times.

Aussie Vincent Suttor is now on 3 points with three more games to play. After benefiting from a 1-point bye plus his two draws, including one against FM Victor Nithander, Vincent finally won a game in the ninth round against Haik Vardanian.

India's international master Dronavalli Harika leads the girls section with 8.5.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wanted for Simul

My post the other day on getalife.com.au overlooked an important detail. I forgot to add that Jelle is looking for "anyone who'd be interested to take on 20+ average to less-than-average chess players, mostly single, good looking girls". FIDE masters or better preferred. No joke, he's serious! If you're interested, just drop me a line.

Of course, currently out of work WIMs, particularly ex temporary celebrities, are also welcome . Just to even the crowd.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kasparov with Fox News

The ex-Champion's publicity keeps rolling on. Last Sunday, he appeared on Australia's channel 9. Now, he's just recently spoken to James Rosen of Fox News.

Here's Rosen: "Now you said earlier today that there is a dangerous misconception that the Russian people are too immature for democracy. But are there not some national characteristics of the Russian people that inhibit them from making strides toward democracy, and that cannot be blamed exclusively on Putin, such as continuing anti-Semitism?"

And Kasparov:

I think that trying to find natural characteristics that might inhibit the nation from joining democratic club could lead us nowhere. I'm sure if, if, if the same characteristic were applied in 1945, Germany and Japan would never, would never make it to the club of the democratic nations. As for anti-Semitism, I think that Germany or Austria, and even France, they could easily compete with Russia on this very sad, sad record. I also think that the current history of democratic development on the global scale proves that there are no nations that are immune from democracy or nations that are doomed to stay under dictatorships. Korea: the same country, divided by two. One is the most brutal dictatorship, another one is flourishing democracy and market economy. China! You have China and Taiwan. So, in my view, you know, if you look around, so — we understand that it's not about traditions. It's about the willingness of the ruling elite and also the international situation and pressure that helps countries and nations move in the right direction.

The whole transcript can be read here.

No Rugby for These Boys

From New Zealand's Hawkes Bay Today: Chess is choice for these boys.

Chess is cool. Honest. Just ask Lee Kire, captain of Peterhead School's intermediate chess team. "I like it because it makes you think," the 13-year-old said.

"The best part is saying checkmate."

Lee was a member of the school's intermediate team that, along with the primary group, came third representing the region at the National Interschool Teams Chess Tournament in Palmerston North late last month.

It is believed to be the first time a school has had two podium finishes, and continues the school's formiddable chess reputation - the primary team placed second at the same competition last year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chess and a Booze Up

Sooner or later those regular weekend tournaments will tire you out. Same bunch of guys and stressful. One day the bell rings in your head and you realise, "Hec! I want out". If you've had enough of that scene or just want a little break from tournaments - then consider this.

A couple of years ago, avid chesser and entrepreneur Jelle Marechal (the name's Belgian), and who currently lives in Sydney, launched his venture, www.getalife.com.au. It's a site that basically connects people who want to organise and participate in many forms of social activities - from sailing, moonlight walks, lunches, touch rugby and, of course, play chess!

These days there is a group dedicated to our game, but with a little twist. Calling themselves the Social Chess Explorers of Sydney, the group explores and experiences the city via the chess board.

Jelle: "We play chess to inject a purpose into public parks, on beaches, pubs and streets. A pleasant way to enjoy the outdoors, discover new places, meet folks and have a chat. Chess is a social game. Our idea of a perfect activity is a couple of chess boards, a bottle of red or Belgian Trappist, a Miles Davis tune and a ray of sunshine."

Some past venues have included the Lord Dudley (Woollahra), Carrington Hotel (Surry Hills), Chelsea Bar (Chatswood) and Hyde Park.

I was curious about the demographics of these little chess get-togethers, so I asked. Jelle assures me that it's a "pretty" group, with a typically 50/50 split between men and women, ranging in age from 25 - 44. In fact, at that Lord Dudley do there were 8 girls and two boys. Well, I'm signing up!

The next chess-related event will be the Chezz, Jazz 'n Boozz, in Kings Cross. Details here. Note that www.getalife.com.au does charge a subscription fee. Make sure that you check the terms and conditions.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Oh No! Another Loss

The gods are really not smiling upon Vincent Suttor. Whatever it is, he must have absolutely pissed them off. Time to make amends, I say. But seriously, it was yet another setback in round 6 that leaves the lone Aussie on 1 point courtesy of a bye. And it's not about to get easier as Vince must play the Swedish FIDE master Victor Nithander, rated 2367.

After drawing with GM Georg Meier, Wesley So now shares the lead on 5 points with Egyptian GM Ahmed Adly. These two will face each other in round 7.

If you happen to read French - then check out this analysis of the round 5 encounter between Wesley and England's David Howell. Thanks to a reader for pointing us to that site.

By the way, happy birthday to Wesley. He turned 14 today.

Boyd Grabs WA Title

Tristan Boyd was undefeated over the 9-round WA Championships to take out this year's state title event. Boyd's total score was 8 points, a half point ahead of second placer Jay Lakner.

Complete tournament info is available here and PGN is here.

In other Western Australian news, the state's chess body is having a hard time finding volunteers. An "interim council" is running the show for CAWA when "no one would stand for each major executive position" at the AGM late last month. A special meeting is planned to address future direction. We'll be closely watching.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Wohl on 6.5 Points in Munich

Two losses pushed IM Alex Wohl down to just 6.5 points along with two other players in the Offenes Internationales Schachturnier in Munich, Germany. GM Cyril Marcelin won the event with 7.5 points out of nine games.

In round 2, Wohl fell to his first setback with a loss to Winfried Basener (2210) then later in round 5 to Markus Lammers (2335).

Aussie Slump, Pinoy Triumph

It really has been a tough campaign for Aussie junior Vincent Suttor in the World Juniors in Armenia. Our optimism for him in round 4 wasn't quite realised as Vincent once again slumped to his fourth straight loss. He went down to Slovak Martin Zvarik. The only reprieve came in fifth round thanks to a 1-point bye. Better than nothing.

Vincent's next assignment will be the Iranian player Ibrahim Momeni who hit the news in round 2 for refusing to play against his Israeli opponent. My bet is still on Vincent to win this game.

For Pinoy chess fans, however, it's all been good news as they follow the steady progress of IM Wesley So. After five games, Wesley leads the field on 4.5 points. His run so far has included a win against English super talent GM David Howell in round 5. That game moved volunteer newsletter publisher Manny Benitez to release an extra issue over the weekend with the headline, "Wesley Whips British GM, Takes Solo Lead".

After white's 37. h4+, it won't be long before he delivers checkmate.

I should also mention a rather distressing news about our friend Mr Benitez. On Saturday, he was involved in a road accident in RP. Said Manny, "[M]y car was hit by a truck that dragged it for nearly two meters. I was the only one in the car and I thought it was the end of me." Thank the heavens Manny's OK! And if you don't already subscribe to his free newsletter, then you should do so very quickly. This humble little publication is worth a good read.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

African Chess Ambitions

From Newsweek: Dreaming of Checkmate. A good article on the advance of chess in the African continent. There's also a top quote in the article by the Malawian player, Alfred Chimathere.

Chess in America has typically been the reserve of the geeky eccentric, or the rich and effete. But in many parts of Africa, where the game is seen as a powerful tool for intellectual strength and self-improvement, it has developed a broad following. And because chess is so cheap, it is luring players who are just as likely to come from a rural village in Botswana or a South African township as from a European boarding school. Now two homegrown stars—Simutowe and Zimbabwean Robert Gwaze, who won the African Individual Championships last month and is heading toward becoming a grandmaster—are leading the way for other African players to break into the ranks of the world's best.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Suttor Facing High Mountain

It's a pretty tough going for Vincent Suttor in the World Juniors. Three games in and he's on zero points. All his opponents so far have been titled players - an IM in the first round followed by two FIDE masters. Vincent will face Martin Zvarik next. At least a draw or hopefully a win there should bring a boost to the Sydneysider's confidence.

An Iranian player, on the other hand, had politics on his mind in round two. Ibrahim Momeni was paired against Israeli player IM Leonid Gerzhoy. However, apparently in an act of support for the Palestinians, Momeni refrained from playing against his opponent. A smart move you think?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Crowd Chess

Here's something new. And my thanks to TechCrunch for the info. A new website called CrowdChess will let you play with up to thousands of people against another team made up of fewer or equally as many people!

Of course, we've all heard of something like 1 vs many (via the net). And in my office, too, the Tech guys play something they call "community chess". It's not strictly a team vs team or 1 vs team. But basically it's a game between mostly anonymous players. You come to the board at any time you like, as many times you wish, pick a colour and make a move. Once you've picked a colour, you stay with it until the game ends.

The Crowd Chess concept could have legs. From first thoughts it sounds fun. Perhaps useful for those occasional moments when you've got nothing better to do. I just don't know, however, if it will ever be accepted as being more "fun" than playing for yourself. After all, the concept does strike me as being a bit counter to the very essence of chess: individual triumph. Hence, I think we can safely assuage Erick Schonfeld's fears that Crowd Chess could destroy the game. People will play Crowd Chess, or some other variant, but will always, by instinct almost, go back to the original form. That of 1 vs 1, either via the net, correspondence or OTB.

Definitely a cool idea though.

Twin Disasters for State Champ

You might have seen last weekend's final cross table of the NSWCA Ryde Open wherein our good friend FM Greg Canfell didn't exactly turn out a positive performance. Well, after this post, I don't reckon he'll consider us a friend for much longer. Greg, sadly, suffered a twin catastrophe going down to IM Andras Toth and Sydney junior Max Illingworth. Disastrous!

Curious, I asked Greg for the PGN of his game against Max. No response, which is fine as I know he's busy.

So I asked Max (while on ICC). No joy there either. Apparently, Max has a tight lid on this game. It seems that the line took some time to develop and would preferably remain unseen until at least the upcoming Australian Championships! Perfectly understandable.

Anyway, just as I was giving up, this morning Greg came to the rescue and kindly sent me the PGN. Actually it's incomplete because he was down to his 10-second increment as the game entered its final moments. As we see, after 15. Ng4, black's position is way better. But Greg lost on time. Which is why this one's probably one of those that he'd prefer to wipe off the mental record very quickly.

2007 Ryde-Eastwood Open

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0–0 6.Nge2 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Ng3 exd5 9.cxd5 Nbd7 10.Be2 a6 11.a4 Qc7 12.Be3 Rb8 [which is, according to my database, the first new move - TCG]. 13.0–0 c4 14.b4? cxb3 15.Qxb3 Ng4! 16.fxg4 Qxc3 17.Qxc3 Bxc3 18.Rac1 Be5 19.Nh1 Nc5 20.Rxc5! [was an excellent practical choice by him and for the next 15 moves or so I made mistake after mistake as I got shorter and shorter of time - Greg Canfell]. 20...dxc5 21.Bxc5 Re8 22.Nf2 Bd7 23.a5 Rbc8 24.Bb6 Rc2 25.Bf3 Bb5 26.Rd1 Rec8 27.Be3 Ra2 28.g5 Ra1 29.Rxa1 Bxa1 30.Ng4 Rc3 31.Kf2 Rc2+ 32.Kg3 Kg7 etc., and Black lost on time. 1–0

Canberran junior Junta Ikeda won the tournament on 6 points from seven games. The only blemish was his loss to Igor Bjelobrk.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sydney Junior Drops First Game

The World Juniors began yesterday with a loss to Sydney's Vincent Suttor. He went down to IM Sasha Kaplan. This is one of those very long, 13 rounds actually, events so Vincent will have plenty of time to recover and hopefully posts some wins.

Also stepping up in this event are recent Asian Individual Chess Championships participants Wang Hao and Wesley So. With 15 grandmasters, the event is very strong and, more importantly, offers chances for Wesley to aim for a GM norm.

Good luck to Wesley and Vincent.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Waking Up to Kasparov

This morning, I woke up to the ABC's Newsradio announcing Garry Kasparov's candidacy for the 2008 Russian presidential elections. I thought nothing of it as Chessbase already featured the same last week.

Then, much later while enjoying my morning caffeine fix and as I was reading my first ever copy of Portfolio, on page 174, completely unexpectedly, I came upon Roger Lowenstein's review of How Life Imitates Chess.

If retired jocks can write inspirational books, I see no reason to ­exclude ­retired chess luminaries from the field of management advice, and perhaps ­executives will find Kasparov’s prescriptions useful. He has plenty of combat experience to draw on, such as his single most humbling moment at the chessboard, when he lost his title to Vladimir Kramnik. Kasparov blames the loss on his overconfidence; he warns executives against believing they can do no wrong and, especially, against surrounding themselves with lackeys to validate their opinions.

From Portfolio, an interesting business magazine from the Conde Nast stable. See also this story on the Eclipse 500 - one former tech exec's vision of affordable jet aircraft. But for now, I think I'll stick to my current obsession of one day buying one of these.