Wednesday, April 30, 2008

NSW Junior Hits Paper

Another local chess talent is hitting the papers, and this time it's New South Wales junior Jamie Boyce. The Campbelltown Advertiser reports of Jamie's killer performance of 11/11 at the Summer Two-Day event held last January. What the paper overlooked is that Jamie also won the Autumn Two-Day event held just last week with a score of 9 points from 10 games. Pretty damn good!

Seventeen year old Jamie tells the paper: "Even though I like chess, I'll probably have it there as a hobby and maybe I'll start training other children later on". He's also hoping to attend university and study physiotherapy.

Read more in the Campbelltown Advertiser. And more details of the abovementioned tournaments are available via the NSWJCL website.

World Smallest Chess Set

The UK's Times paper reports on what might possibly be the world's smallest chess set. It measures just 3.5mm x 2.5mm. Russian microminiaturist Vladimir Aniskin created this amazing item and you can also see more of his work via his website.

To get an idea of just how small the chess pieces are, take a look at them standing atop a poppy seed!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ryan Sam - New WA Junior Champ

Western Australia has a new junior champion. It is 10 year old Ryan Sam who scored 5 points from six games. He lost just one to John Moritz. Here's an article on Ryan in the local paper.

More details of the event are available here.

Musical Chess

I was just walking right along King St, in Sydney, today, in front of the Theatre Royal when I spotted an ad for Chess, the musical. The performance season will start from next week, 8 May.

Musicals aren't really my thing, as I can't see what's so artistic about ripping off other people's music, but I'm sure some of you will be interested just out of curiosity. So go and check it out and let us know your take on it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

So Continues Winning Run

Featuring the country's top 12 men and women, The Philippines' Battle of the Grandmasters tournament opened last Friday and will finish this week on 3 May. After three games, Wesley So is continuing his amazing run of fine performances by leading outright on 3 points. On the women's side, Shercila Cua, sister of recent Sydney visitor Sherily, leads with a similar score.

Last Saturday, Wesley downed local legend GM Antonio in their second round duel over Antonio's fave Caro Kann system.

Battle of Grandmasters
So, Wesley
Antonio, Rogelio Jr

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bf4 (11. Bd2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Nf6 15. Qe2 Qd5 16. c4 Qe4 17. Qxe4 Nxe4 18. Be3 {1/2-1/2 Megaranto,S (2551)-Antonio,R (2539)/Cebu City PHI 2007/The Week in Chess 673}) 11... Qa5+ 12. Bd2 Qc7 13. O-O-O Ngf6 14. Ne4 O-O-O 15. g3 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Nf6 17. Qe2 Bd6 18. c4 c5 19. Bc3 cxd4 20. Nxd4 a6 21. Kb1 Rd7 22. Rc1 Kb8 23. Nb3 Qc6 24. c5 Bc7 25. Rh4 Rhd8 26. Rc4 Rd3 (26... Ka8 27. Ka1 e5 28. Bxe5 Bxe5 29. Qxe5 Rd1 30. a3 Qf3 31. Ka2 Rxc1 32. Rxc1 Qd5 33. Qc7 Qd7 34. Qa5 Rc8 35. Rc4 Qe6 36. Rd4 Ne4 37. Rd8 g6 38. Qc7 Rxd8 39. Qxd8+ Ka7 40. Qd4 Kb8 41. Qh8+ Ka7 42. Qxh6 gxh5 43. Qxh5 Nxf2 44. c6 Qxc6 45. Qxf7 Nd3 46. Qg7 Nb4+ 47. axb4 Qa4+ 48. Kb1 Qxb3 49. Qd4+ Ka8 50. g4 Qe6 51. Qf4 Qd7 52. Kc2 Qc6+ 53. Kd3 Qd5+ 54. Kc3 Qc6+ 55. Kd4 Qg2 56. g5 Qxb2+ 57. Kd5 a5 58. Qf6 {1/2-1/2 Kotronias, V (2572) - Jobava, B (2650) /Moscow RUS 2007/The Week in Chess 641}) 27. Nd4 Qe4 28. Qxe4 Nxe4 29. Kc2 Nxf2 30. Rf1 Bxg3 31. c6 Rd6 32. Ne2 Nd1 33. Rxd1 Rxd1 34. Nxg3 b5 35. Rc5 Kc8 36. Ne4 R6d5 37. Bxg7 R1d2+ 38. Kb3 R2d3+ 39. Kb4 R3d4+ 40. Bxd4 Rxd4+ 41. Ka5 Rxe4 42. Kb6 f5 43. Rc3 e5 44. Rc5 f4 45. Rc1

After 45. Rc1

45...Rc4 46. Rg1 Kd8 47. b3 Rc2 48. Rg7 Ke8 49. Rg6 Ke7 50. c7 Rxc7 51. Kxc7 f3 52. Rg3 e4 53. Rg4 Kf6 54. Rxe4 Kg5 55. Re5+ 1-0

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Aussie Olympiad Selections Open

Selections for the 2008 Australian Olympiad teams are now officially open. Actually, the selections were apparently officially opened more than a week ago but I've only just received the email containing the notice today (via the ACF's newsletter, Issue No. 417, April 27, 2008)! That's the ACF for you.

Anyway, here are the crucial dates:

14 April Applications Open
20 June Applications Close
1 July Deadline for Corrections / Material to Selectors
15 July Deadline for Selectors' Votes - provisional selection results advised ASAP to all applicants and published.

A full copy of the notice is available here.

A Novel and a Painting

In today's Sun Herald, Grandmaster Ian Rogers writes a brief review of David Lovejoy's latest book, Moral Victories - The Story of Savielly Tartakower. The book was officially launched last month during the Sydney International Open in Parramatta. Photos are available here.

Rogers ends his article with, "The great Australian chess novel has not yet been written but 'Moral Victories' is a worthy aspirant; more remarkably a well-written and entertaining novel about a top level chess player".

And while I'm posting on Rogers, I should mention that yesterday I was at the Art Gallery of NSW to take a peek at this year's Archibald Prize. As I was walking around I just couldn't help thinking that the Australian chess maestro would make a pretty interesting subject!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cheerleaders Not for Chess

In a form of "reverse outsourcing", Indian cricket bosses have brought in cheerleading teams from around the world to the currently ongoing Indian Premiere League of 20/20 cricket. A squad of girls from the Washington Redskins, for example, are there to shake their booties for the Bangalore Royal Challengers.

But not everyone, it seems, is happy.

Observing the negative reaction, FIDE has now decided to withdraw similar plans to feature scantily clad women from the upcoming World Championships between Anand and Kramnik. Bad luck for chess fans. More details from The Spoof.

Anand and Kramnik Not Great Friends

Vishy Anand gives an interview to India's Daily News & Analysis. He tells the paper that he and Vladimir Kramnik "are not great friends". On his chances in the upcoming match, the Indian says:

I will try my best. I wish it was not this year after the tournament in Mexico last year. You are known to be a good tournament player and Kramnik is a good match player. It will be a match-play in the Unification match. So is that advantage Kramnik? That is a fact. Vladimir is a good match player. But I cannot brood over it and get worried about it. You should get on to the chair and get on with the business. I will give my best shot. Too much analysis will not take you anywhere.

Read more in DNA.

A 10 Year Old Victory

I've just been going through some of my old games and spotted this one. Played nearly ten years ago, this game still stands out in my memory mainly because, well, it's a win and I still remember that feeling of sweet nervousness especially after white's 26. Nxa8. At that moment I'm not only a piece down, but a whole Rook down!

The nerves set in when you're just not sure about a plan or a move, but you take a little risk anyway and hope for the best.

1998 NSW State ch
Kordahi, Nicholas
The Closet Grandmaster

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 Nge7 7. O-O Nxd4 8. Qxd4 Nc6 9. Qd1 Qc7 10. Kh1 b5 11. Bb3 Bb7 12. a3 Bc5 13. f4 O-O 14. f5 Nd4 15. Qg4 Nxb3 16. f6 g6 17. Qg5 Rfc8 18. cxb3 Bf8 19. Bf4 Qc5 20. Qh4 I think it s around about this time that I suddenly began to see the possibility of attacking g2 with Rook, Bishop and h-pawn. So I played 20...Qh5 21. Qxh5 gxh5 22. Rf3 b4 23. Rg3+ Kh8 24. Na4 Rc2 25. Nb6 Bxe4 26. Nxa8

After 26. Nxa8

26...h4 27. Rg5 Bh6 28. Rg4 Bxf4 29. Rxf4 Bxa8 30. Rc4
(30. Rg4 bxa3 (30... h3? 31. axb4 (31. Rxb4 Rxg2 32. Rb8+ Rg8+ 33. Rxa8 Rxa8 is similar to the game.) 31... hxg2+ 32. Kg1 Bd5 33. Rg7) 31. bxa3 h3 and Fritz calls it even. See diagram).

Analysis diagram

30... Rxg2 31. Rc8+ Rg8+ 32. Rxa8 Rxa8 33. axb4 h5 34. b5 a5 35. Kg2 (35. Ra4 Rb8 36. Rxa5 (36. Rxh4 Rxb5) 36... d5) 35... Rg8+ 36. Kf3 Rg4 37. Rxa5 Rb4 38. Ke3 Rxb3+ 39. Kf4 Kh7 40. b6 Kg6 41. Rg5+ Kxf6 42. Rxh5 Rxb6 43. Rxh4 Rxb2 44. Rh6+ Kg7 45. Rh5 Rb4+ 46. Ke3 Kg6 47. Ra5 d5 48. Ra1 Re4+ 49. Kf3 Kf5 50. Ra5 Rb4 51. Ke3 Kg4 52. Ra7 f6 53. Ra6 Kf5 54. Ra2 Rb3+ 55. Kf2 e5 56. Ra5 d4 57. Ra2 Kf4 58. Ra6 f5 59. Ra2 e4 60. Ra1 Rb2+ 0-1

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Patzers Are Optimists

The Science and Super Models blog is a little bit behind with this paper, but this observation did catch my attention: "That brings us to chess. Chess, like science, is the kiss of death for optimists. Only the most naive rookie feels optimistic in Chess."

Note that the same paper, Chess Masters' Hypothesis Testing, was already featured in Chessbase way back in 2004.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Daily Chess Habit

When things get busy at work, we're really busy. Hardly time to catch up on news, to read the blogs, or to write posts. When I'm busy my normal chess routine is severely disrupted. Which got me asking: what's your own chess routine?

Ordinarily I'm up early to catch up on regular news. After that, I take a few minutes to scan the usual big chess sites: Chessbase and TWIC, of course, and lately I've been heading over to ChessVibes and ChessDom almost without fail. Then I check out the blogs to see what people are talking about. Being a blogger, this habit is kind of important. Then I also take the time to log onto Google News and search for "chess". Most times, nothing special comes up, but that's essentially how I get those articles you read about.

At night, it's play time. It's ICC for me, although I head over to when I can be bothered to remember. I knock off about 10 or so 1-minute games over a span of 30 minutes and that's about it. It's either off to work after that (I log in remotely) or write a quick post like this one.

Also, about once or twice a week I check my account for the latest updates. ChessPublishing is about my only other paid chess subscription, only recently signed up and I thoroughly recommend it. GM Ruslan Scherbakov's "d4-d5" section is a must read.

Monday, April 21, 2008

RP Tournaments in May

I've just had an email from an Aussie regarding the upcoming PIO in May. In case any other Australians are interested, details of the event are available via the FIDE website. There's also a Manila phone number there which I've tried to ring, but no one seems to answer. Maybe they're just out.

So Beats Indon, 4-2

GM Wesley So was victorious over GM Susanto Megaranto with a score of four points to 2 in their match in the JAPFA Festival in Jakarta. The now RP numero uno blitzed his Indon rival three-love in the first 3 games before Susanto managed to stave off a looming whitewash with a draw in the fourth. But by then, of course, it was too late.

The Indonesian followed-up with a nice win in the fifth while handling the black side of a Nimzovitch Defense. He won in 28. The sixth game ended a draw, a 67-mover Sicilian duel, their longest game in the event.

Games are available here courtesy of Kristianus Liem.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Old Boy Chess Club

So today I was at a Newtown poker joint to catch up with a friend of mine. He's sort of just an above average player chess-wise, but there they call this guy, "Vassily". Grandmaster Vassily to be exact.

Surrounded by gamblers, our wily friend Vassily once suckered a near total beginner into a $200-a-game bet. As you might expect, Vassily cleaned up!

Anyway, we're walking up King St when, suddenly, Vassily tells me about a special kind of chess club that holds their meets on the first Thursday of each month somewhere in Newtown. A quick search on Google pointed me to this: the Old Boy Chess Club. And here are a few pics I found courtesy of Nosey in Newtown blog. Might check that out.

The Times on Fischer

London's Times paper has a long article today on Bobby Fischer: Bobby Fischer's final manoeuvre.

Fridrik Olafsson, who first met 15-year-old Fischer at an international chess championship in Slovenia, tells an unsettling story about how, at breakfast one morning, Fischer took his knife and started slicing up wasps crawling across the table, saying: “That’s how I’m going to squeeze my opponents.” In the years that followed, Fischer did not just defeat opponents; he crushed them. By the time of the 1972 world championship, he was described as “the most individualistic, intransigent, uncommunicative, uncooperative, solitary… champion in the world”. But also “the strongest player who ever lived”.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gulf News on Wesley

A nice report in Gulf News on Wesley So. Too bad, that's not Wesley in the photo!

When I participated in this tournament in 2006, I did not perform well and managed just five points. Today, I am so delighted because I must have added another 15 points to my rating. This tournament will always remain special for me and I will return again next year to defend my title.


Every day, members of the Flipino Chess Club in Dubai came to cheer me up. I am so thankful to them for their tremendous support that gave me confidence. In fact, they also sponsored my hotel stay here and I am happy that I could make make them proud.

From Gulf News.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

JAPFA Chess Festival

By special request, I'm posting something on the ongoing JAPFA Chess Festival in Indonesia. There are two sections here: one is a WGM event, and the second will be a match between RP's recent Dubai Cup winner grandmaster Wesley So and local GM Susanto Megaranto.

If you can read Bahasa, then it's possible to follow the progress over at or over at this blog.

How about that draw between WGM Li Ruofan and Catherine Perena? Good start for RP.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Malcolm Pyke Wins MCC

Congratulations to Malcolm Pyke for winning this year's Melbourne Chess Club Championships. He topped the event on 8 points, just ahead of IM Guy West, who finished on 7.5, Carl Gorka on 6 points, as well as a few others who all ended their run with 5 points.

I requested the champ for an annotated game and he gladly agreed. Here is his win over local legend Douglas Hamilton in the penultimate round. I hope you all enjoy this one. Thank you Malcolm!

Annotations by Malcolm Pyke
2008 Melbourne Chess Club Championships
Pyke, Malcolm
Hamilton, Douglas

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 a6 9. O-O c5 10. a4

After 10. a4

10...b4 11. Nb1 Bb7 12. Nbd2 Be7 13. Qe2 O-O 14. Rd1 Qc7 15. Nc4
(15. b3 cxd4 16. Nxd4 Nc5 17. Bc4 Qe5 18. Bb2 Qh5 19. Qxh5 Nxh5 20. f3 Nf6 21. e4 Rfd8 22. Nf1 Nfd7 23. Ne3 Ne5 24. Be2 Nc6 25. Nxc6 Bxc6 26. Bc4 a5 27. Rxd8+ Rxd8 28. Rd1 Rxd1+ 29. Nxd1 Kf8 30. Kf2 f6 31. Ne3 Bd6 32. h3 Ke7 33. Ke2 h5 1/2-1/2 Teichmann,R-Berger,J / Karlsbad 1907/HCL) 15... Rfd8 (15... Be4 16. Bd2 Bxd3 17. Qxd3 cxd4 18. exd4 Nb6 19. Rdc1 Nxc4 20. Rxc4 Qb7 21. Rac1 Nd5 22. b3 Bf6 23. Qe4 Qb6 24. h3 Rfd8 25. Rc5 h6 26. R1c4 Rab8 27. Qg4 Kf8 28. Be3 Qb7 29. Bd2 Qb6 30. Qh5 Kg8 31. h4 Qb7 32. Qg4 Kh8 33. Kh1 Qb6 34. Qh5 Kg8 35. Ne5 Bxe5 36. dxe5 Ne7 37. Be3 Ng6 38. Qg4 Kh8 39. h5 Nf8 40. Rc7 Qa5 41. R4c5 Qb6 {1-0 Pinter,J-Luther,T/Recklinghausen 1998/CBM 067) 16. a5 Qc6 (16... Be4 17. b3 1/2-1/2 Kharitonov,A-Khalifman,A/Moscow 1992/EXT 1997) 17. Bd2 (17. b3 Nd5 18. Bb2 cxd4 19. exd4 Nc3 20. Bxc3 bxc3 21. Rac1 Bb4) 17... Ne4 18. Nce5 (18.Nfe5 Qd5 (18... Nxe5 19. Nxe5 Qc7) 19. Be1 (19. f3 Nxd2 20. Rxd2 cxd4 21. exd4 Qxd4+ 22. Kh1 Qh4) 19... Nc3 20. Qf1 Nxd1) 18... Nxe5 19. Nxe5 Qc7 (19... Qd6) 20. Be1

After 20. Be1

This can't be right, and was also the product of about 15+ minutes thought (20... cxd4 21. exd4 Rxd4 22. Nf3) 21. Nf3 Qc6 22. Qf1 Rac8 23. Rdc1 (23. Rac1 Qa4) 23... Qd6 24. Bc4 probably Doug should play king to h8 around here somewhere Qc6 25. Bb3 Qd7 26. Rd1 Bd6 27. Rac1 Doug has now used up most of his time, I have about 30 minutes Qe7 28. Bc4 Ra8 29. dxc5 Bxc5 (29... Nxc5 30. Bxb4 Bxf3 31. gxf3 Qb7 32. Rxd6) 30. Rxd8+ was this cashing in too early? it is hard to say, but it felt good to win that pawn, and to now have a passed pawn 30...Rxd8 31. Bxa6 Ba8 32. Bc4 g5 strongly threatening to embarass my knight and my king 33. Qe2 to enable the move Nd2 33...Kg7 to avoid Bxe6 being check 34. Nd2 all the same, making preparations for the coming attack on g2 Qb7 35. Ba6 a hard move to play because of a bit of nerves about the checkmating ideas, it does however open the Rc1 against the Bc5 though which now requires care in a move or so 35...Qd5 (35... Nc3 36. Qf1 was essential to see, this was not the first time this theme had cropped up. though) 36. Nxe4 Qxe4 37. Qf1 retreating again but still holding nicely..... and the pawn too ! 37...Be7 (37...Bxe3 38. fxe3 Qxe3+ comes unstuck against 39. Bf2 and Black seems to just be a piece down) 38. Be2 to cover d1 and aiming for both Bf3 and Rc4, aiming to get rid of the Ba8 or the b4 pawn 38...g4 this gifts me another pawn 39. Rc4 Qd5 40. Rxg4+ seems ok to take this with check and defend g2 again 40...Kh8 maybe the king would have fared better on f7

After 40...Kh8

41. a6 and this pawn becomes even stronger (41. Bxb4 Bxb4 42. Rxb4 Qxa5 and I am still two pawns up but the a pawn being captured complicates things) 41... Qb3 after my initial nerves about losing the b-pawn and Doug's b-pawn being passed, I realised that there were checkmating ideas around g8, which I now set out to explore 42. Bc4 Qxb2 43. Bxe6 the point was that I had intially been quite concerned about my rubbish bishop on e1 and ideas of say Rd1 and then either pinning it more or shifting back to checkmating ideas on g2 and planning to decoy my queen via Rxe1 43...Qe5 Doug was determined to attack my position throughout the game, and again he comes back for another wave 44. Bb3 blockading the pawn, allowing for Qf1-c4 44...Bd6 threatening mate on h2. g2-g3 to stop it seems rubbish.....I hadn't seen Rh4 to guard for some reason I now find hard to understand, but as letting the pawn go only got Doug a couple of checks and then I was back in the driver's seat well and truly made the decision easy 45. Qc4 Qxh2+ 46. Kf1 Qh1+ 47. Ke2 Qh5 48. f3 All this was seen when I gave up the pawn, and I was pretty sure that it had to be all engines back now for Doug 48...Qe8 49. Bxb4 I was still glad to see that one disappear 49...Be5 (49... Rc8 50. Bxd6 (50. Qxc8 Qxc8 51. Bxd6 Qxa6+ 52. Bc4 is also over) 50... Rxc4 51. Bxc4 is similar to the game) (49... Bd5 50. Qxd5 Bxb4 51. Rxb4 Rxd5 52. Bxd5 and I was pretty sure I was winning) 50. Bc3 Bd5 (50... Rc8 51. Bxe5 fxe5 (51... Rxc4 52. Bxf6#) 52. Qe6 seems clearly winning) 51. Qb4 given that her of us had a lot of time left, the play was quite scrappy over the proceeding moves 51...Rb8

After 51. ...Rb8

52. Bxd5
out of necessity I had to play this but it was all good, as it was the best moves anyway and it also shortened the game, well finished it really Rxb4 53. Bxb4 Bb8 (53... Qb5+ 54. Bc4 Qe8 55. a7 and I win instantly) 54. Rg8+ (54. Bc3 h5 55. Rg8+ Qxg8 56. Bxg8 Kxg8 57. Bxf6 is to all extents and purposes what all endgames will be like from here, but it would have won the pawn sooner, but after a grueling game, it felt good to take the simple path and exchange down to a completely won endgame, without worrying about finesses such as this} 54... Qxg8 55. Bxg8 Kxg8 56. Bc3 the bishop goes to d4, and then a6-a7 wins the Bb8, and there is no chance of a draw with the pawns in any way really. 1-0

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Getting the Ish

I've always thought that the "ish" was a recent phenomenon - emerging, say, in the last 10 years. You know what I mean. It is quite common these days to hear people say such phrases as: "meet you around 2'ish"; or "kinda bluish in colour"; or "a bearish market". I'm sure you've heard of even worse examples.

Yet just tonight, I was very surprised to find in an issue of Chess World the following headline: "Only Slightly Botvinnikish". That was way back in 1 January, 1947! The magazine was referring to the following game annotated also by one C.J.S Purdy. (Note that I have deliberately only included a couple of Purdy's remarks and also transformed the notation into the algebraic format).

Sydney Inter-club
Purdy, CJS. (University CC)
Koshnitsy, G. (Bondi CC)

As a sequel to the "Botvinnik Twins" published recently, the following game is not out of place, though played in the Sydney inter-club competition, in which the time limit of 28 moves an hour militates against serious chess. 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 c5 8. cxd5 exd5 This is the Botvinnik-Capablanca and Botvinnik-Alexander position. Botvinnik played 9. N-K2, followed by P-QR4 (on move 13 against Capa and on move 10 against Alexander). I thought I would try P-QR4 earlier still. 9. a4 Re8 10. Ne2 c4 11. Bc2 Bg4 12. Rb1 b6 13. O-O Nc6 14. f3 Bd7 15. Ng3 Na5 16. e4 dxe4 17. fxe4 Bg4 18. Qd2 Qd7 19. h3 Nh5 20. Nh1! Bxh3 21. gxh3 Qxh3 22. Qh2! Qxc3 23. Qxh5 Qxc2 24. Qxf7+ Kh8 25. Ng3! An easily calculated Rook sacrifice, but spectacular. The Knight at R1 did not look a killer, but he is. Black could have made some resistance by declining the highly Greek gift, but was in a devil-may-care mood, as the whole game indicates. 25...Qxb1 26. Bh6 Qxf1+ 27. Kxf1 1-0

Also in the same issue, on page 10, was the following ad.

Unobtrusive, attractive, lapel badge; identifies you as a chess player to other players, and brings you new opponents, especially when travelling; passes unnoticed by non-players. Metal, enamel; simple knight design. Price 2/9, postage 3d.

Wesley So Wins Dubai

GM Wesley So, presently the world's youngest GM, has won the 10th Dubai Open Chess Championships. His final score is seven points from 9 games, the same as 3 other players but Wesley wins the Cup on account of a superior tie-break. Top finishers are as follows:

7.0 So, Gagunashvili, Ghaem-Maghami, Li
6.5 Gupta, Drozdovskij, Laxman, Neverov, Arutinian, Ibrhahimov, Guseinov, Guliev, Salem

Filipino player IM Sadorra could manage only 5 points from a tough field that included 3 grandmasters, while Malaysia's IM Mas Hafizulhelmi collected just 4.5 points. The Malaysian will have to wait for another event to secure that elusive GM norm.

More results are available from

Monday, April 14, 2008

Appeal Balance Growing

Exactly seven months out from this year's Olympiad in Dresden, the local Olympiad Appeal is steadily growing a healthy balance. The Appeal site was only set up in March but already donations received to date amount to AUD$4885 - apparently already in excess of previous years' appeals and enough to cover two airfares! Of course, there's still a long way to go with a target set at $26,292. I'm sure it's possible to make it, but even hitting 50% would be pretty outstanding!

Pay day is tomorrow for many, including for yours truly, so hopefully there should be a healthy boost by end of week.

For the time being, kudos go to our friends in Queensland. These guys are presently leading with total donations received from that state at nearly over two G's so far, way in excess that of funds received from New South Wales. Hec, even the NSWCA hasn't yet bothered. Although after having been hit with financial setbacks in the last 2 years running, their extra frugality this year may be forgiven.

And by the way - while most state associations have promoted the Appeal via the banner below, the NSWCA can't be bothered with that either. I mean, what's their problem?

Just right-click on the image above, then select "Save image as" from the context menu. Place the thing on your website - blog, homepage, anywhere - then link to here.

Let's donate folks!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Live Blog of Dutch Champs

It's very nice to teach the big guns something new. The boys over at ChessVibes are live blogging the ongoing Dutch Championships. Their execution, however, is actually a lot better than mine because of that integration of the live games console into the same web page. I love that. The only problem is CV's live blog is only in Dutch.

Another chess blogger who will likely use the Cover It Live widget is Andrew Ooi. Look out for his live blog of the Malaysian Chess Festival later this year.

Dubbo Draw King

I was quite amused by this post by Shaun Press earlier today. Just teasing his critics, perhaps? On that note, I do wish he'd hurry up with that The application of the 'Gibraltar' Rule at the 2008 O2C Doeberl Cup report. Should be rivetting reading.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gagunashvili Defeats So

Recent visitor to Australia, GM Merab Gagunashvili of Georgia has just defeated GM Wesley So in their sixth round encounter in the 10th Dubai Open. This game ended just a few minutes ago.

10th Dubai Open
Gagunashvili Merab
So Wesley

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Nbd2 Bb4 6. Qc2 Bb7 7. Bg2 Be4 8. Qb3 Bxd2+ 9. Bxd2 O-O 10. O-O d6 11. Rfd1 Nbd7 12. Rac1 Qe7 13. Qa3 [13.Bh3 h6 14.Be3 a5 15.Nd2 Bb7 16.Nf1 a4 17.Qc2 Rfe8 18.f3 e5 19.d5 Nf8 20.Bf2 Bc8 21.Bxc8 Rexc8 22.e4 N8h7 23.Be3 Nd7 24.Kg2 Ndf8 25.Ra1 Qd7 26.b4 Ng6 27.Rac1 Rf8 28.c5 Rac8 29.cxb6 cxb6 30.Qd3 b5 31.Rxc8 Rxc8 32.Rc1 Rxc1 33.Bxc1 Ne7 34.Ne3 f5 35.Nd1 fxe4 36.fxe4 Nf6 37.Nc3 Qg4 38.Qxb5 Ng6 39.Qe2 Qxe2+ 40.Nxe2 Nxe4 41.b5 Ne7 42.b6 Nc5 43.Be3 Nb7 44.Nc3 Kf7 45.Kf3 Ke8 46.Ke4 a3 47.Nb5 Kd7 48.Nxa3 Ng8 49.Kd3 Nf6 50.Kc4 Na5+ 51.Kb5 Nb7 52.Nc4 Nxd5 53.Bd2 Ne7 54.a4 Nc6 55.Bc3 e4 56.a5 d5 57.a6 dxc4 58.a7 Nd6+ 59.Ka6 e3 60.a8Q e2 1–0 Lemos,D (2371)-Cordova,E (2482)/Pinamar ARG 2006/The Week in Chess 629] 13...a5 14. Be1 c5 15. Nh4 Bxg2 16. Nxg2 Rac8 17. Ne3 Rfe8 18. Rd3 d5 19. cxd5 exd5 20. dxc5 Nxc5 21. Rdd1 Qe6 22. Bc3 Ng4 23. Bd4 h5 24. Ng2 g5 25. h3 Ne5 26. h4 gxh4 27. Nxh4 Ng6 28. Nxg6 fxg6 29. Qe3 Qxe3 30. Bxe3 Red8 31. Rd4 Kf7 32. Rcd1 Ke6 33. f3 Rd7 34. Kf2 Na6

After 34...Na6

35. Rf4 b5 36. Bd4 Rf7 37. Rxf7 Kxf7 38. Bb6 Ke6 39. Bxa5 b4 40. Bb6 Rc2 41. Rb1 Rc6 42. Bd4 Nc7 43. a4 Kd6 44. Ke3 Ne6 45. Bf6 Rc2 46. Rd1 Nc5 47. a5 Kc6 48. Be7 b3 49. Rd2 Rc4 50. Bxc5 Kxc5 51. Rd3 d4+ 52. Kf2 Rb4 53. f4 Kc4 54. Kf3 Rb8 55. Rd1 Ra8 56. Ra1 Ra6 57. Ra3 Kb4 58. Ke4 Kc5 59. Kd3 Kd5 60. Ra4 Kc5 61. Rc4+ Kb5 62. Rxd4 Rc6 63. Rd5+ Kb4 64. a6 Rxa6 65. Rd4+ Kc5 66. Kc3 Ra1 67. Rd3 g5 68. fxg5 Ra4 69. Kxb3 Rg4 70. Kc3 Rxg5 71. b4+ Kc6 72. e4 Rg8 73. Kd4 Kb5 74. e5 Kc6 75. Ke4 1-0

With that win Merab grabs the solo lead by a half point ahead of So and GM Abhijeet Gupta who are both on 5 points. So and Gupta will fight it out in the 7th round tomorrow.

Down on board 13, Malaysia's IM Mas Hafizulhelmi settled for a draw today against GM Rahul Ibrahimov in a 35-move Najdorf. Mas has so far collected four points - 3 wins, 2 draws and a loss.

10th Dubai Open
Mas Hafizulhelmi
Ibrahimov Rasul

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. O-O Nbd7 9. Be3 Rc8 10. f3 Be7 11. Qd2 Nb6 12. Kh1 O-O 13. Rfd1 Qc7 14. Qe1 Nc4 15. Bxc4 Bxc4 16. Qf2 b5 17. Bb6 Qb8 18. Na5 Be6 19. Rd2 Nd7 20. Be3 Qc7 21. Nb3 f5 22. exf5 Rxf5 23. a3 Rff8 24. Qe2 h6 25. Re1 Qc4 26. Qd1 Nf6 27. Bf2 Qc7 28. Nc1 g5 29. Nd3 Qb7 30. Nb4 Rf7 31. Rxd6 Bxd6 32. Qxd6 a5 33. Qxe6 axb4 34. axb4 Re8 35. Qf5 Nh5 1/2-1/2


I just found a new online chess site courtesy of the English Chess Federation's homepage. The site is South African based There is also an ECF "branded" site which is accessible here (launched in December 2007), but as soon as you log in there is no sign whatsoever that you're inside the ECF's ChessCube section. Seems a bit odd, though with the site still in beta maybe that's a kink that these guys are still trying to sort out.

After a painless sign-up process, some poking around and a quick game - I'm not too sure that I'll be giving up my ICC and Playchess accounts very soon. I'm just no fan of these browser-based systems. ChessPark (which we first mentioned here, then lately here) at least has a desktop client available.

However, the overall feel of the UI is OK, though I think all that blue won't be to everyone's liking. Everything is within a click or two including news, chat rooms, a friends list and that all-important game seek feature. The game board, too, is good and I particularly like the ability to quickly download the PGN. Another thing on ChessCube's plus side is 3 million+ game database.

For those fond of graphs, your profile includes a standard line graph for your rating plus new additions, two pie charts showing percentage of wins and losses with either black or white pieces.

Easy to use and with the basic features, that's ChessCube. Take a look.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chess Plaza Weekender to Close

You can't always have good news.

In Dubai, Wesley So is now on the staggering score of 5/5 and no doubt fans of this amazing talent and RP chess will celebrate. Personally I'm thinking, wow! But this afternoon I received some bad news. One of those all-important gems in Philippine chess, The Chess Plaza Weekender, is shutting down. The final issue will be published sometime early next week.

Newsletter publisher Manny Benitez has decided "after long and careful thought" to retire for good. For those who eagerly await and read every issue cover to cover, this news, I'm sure, comes as a big surprise. There was no warning. Still - we say, good luck mate and enjoy a well-earned rest.

However, admirers of the man's work need not despair. Manny promises to sit down and get on with a book or two - possibly a memoir and a couple on chess. In his email to subscribers this afternoon, Manny says, "Hopefully, too, I'd like to come up with a book or two on chess based on my serialized features like Pinoy Gems with a History. I feel that time is no longer a luxury for me because of my fading memory and I must start doing what I should have done many, many moons ago."

In his "From My Swivel Chair" column last week, Manny urged his Pinoy readers to "Aim high and hit the mark". The Chess Plaza Weekender did exactly that and then some.

Respecting Your Anonymity

In one of his comments to this post, Kevin Bonham remarks:

By the way, it has been suggested to me that you are probably Alex Toolsie. If this is not the case and you wish me to take your claims seriously then I strongly suggest that you explain who you are and why you are so persistently interested in a matter (the registration question you have now asked twice) that is none of the business of any random anonymous poster.

It should be noted that the suggestion mentioned by Dr Bonham was not made by TCG. This blog respects the anonymity and privacy of its readers and posters and we do not share IP addresses with other parties. In any case, it is not possible for me to pinpoint accurately IP addresses to specific users.

TCG does make the request that readers, when making a comment, maintain some degree of control on their emotions and finger tips.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Forgettable in Russan Teams

Earlier this year Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, rated 2634, topped the powerful Aeroflot Open with a score of 7 points. He was undefeated throughout that whole tournament. The latest issue of the RP-based newsletter, The Chess Plaza Weekender, was even moved to proclaim, "Remember this name: Ian Nepomniachtchi".

But now playing for team "64" in the ongoing Russian Team Championships, GM Nepomniachtchi has so far failed to win a single game. In the five rounds that he's played in, Nepomniachtchi has lost four and drawn just 1. This one below was a shocker and I'm sure it's something that Nepomniachtchi would rather forget.

2008 Russian Team Championships
Mamedyarov, S.
Nepomniachtchi, I.

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. e3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3 Bb7 9. e4 b4 10. Na4 c5 11. e5 Nd5 12. O-O cxd4 13. Nxd4 g6 14. f4 a6 15. f5 Qh4 16. fxe6 Qxd4+ 17. Kh1 O-O-O 18. exd7+ Kb8 19. Bxa6 Qxe5 20. Re1 Qd6 21. Re8 Qxd7 22. Bf4+ Bd6 23. Rxh8 1-0

Meanwhile, over in Dubai - GM Wesley So is on course towards his ambition of Super GM status. Overnight he prevailed over current world junior champ GM Ahmed Adly of Egypt to move up to 4/4. According to our friends in ChessDom, Wesley's performance is a whopping 3104! On the other hand, we're terribly upset that ChessDom refers to Wesley as a mere "IM". We are expecting a speedy correction.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wesley: I want to be a Super GM

He made it to 3/3 last night in the 10th Dubai Open after beating Georgian grandmaster Levan Pantsulaia. Now GM Wesley So of the Philippines is hitting the sports headlines in the Gulf! He tells the local paper there: "I felt very happy when I became a Grandmaster. Maybe I will become a model for my fellow players. My aim now is to become a super Grandmaster".

10th Dubai Open
Pantsulaia Levan
So Wesley

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qc2 c5 6. d5 exd5 7. cxd5 Bb7 8. Bg2 Nxd5 9. O-O Be7 10. Qe4 Bc6 11. Ne5 Nf6 12. Nxc6 Nxc6 13. Qa4 O-O 14. Nc3 a6 15. Bxc6 dxc6 16. Qxc6 b5 17. Bf4 Qc8 18. Qf3 Qe6 19. e4 Rad8 20. Rfe1 Rfe8 21. Rad1 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Bf8 23. e5 Nd7 24. Qb7 Nxe5 25. Bxe5 Qxe5 26. Qxa6 b4 27. Na4 g6 28. Qc4 Qh5 29. Rf1 Qf3 30. Nb6 Rd8 31. Qc2 Bg7 32. Nc4 Bd4 33. Na5 Qa8 34. Nb3 Qxa2 35. Nxd4 cxd4 36. Rd1 d3 37. Qd2 Qc4 38. Rc1 Qe4 39. Re1 Qd4 40. h4 h5 41. Rd1 Re8 42. Qf4 Qxb2 43. Qd6 Re2 44. Qb6 b3 45. Kg2 Qc2 46. Ra1 b2 47. Ra8+ Kh7 48. Rb8 b1=Q 0-1

I wish I played that

Here's a finish that Victorian player Ascaro Pecori was quite happy to show off during this year's Doeberl Cup. Except that he didn't actually win this one. Playing the white side, Ascaro lost the game to Canberra's Endre Ambrus. Far from being upset, Ascaro seemed almost appreciative.

White has just played 42. Bd1. How did Ambrus bring the game to a sudden halt?

Pecori - Ambrus, 0-1

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Chess Blogging Kills

My God! I might have to seriously consider GM Ian Rogers' advice that there's more to life than blogging. I could die from this whole business. Honest! No less than that so-called "paper of record", The New York Times has reported that blogging kills!

They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home.

A growing work force of home-office laborers and entrepreneurs, armed with computers and smartphones and wired to the hilt, are toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment.
Read more: In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop.

Thankfully, of course, TCG is no business, so we're under no pressure. But I can tell you, it can be stressful! Anyway, for all my fellow chess bloggers out there who may be feeling a little stressed, for whatever reason - here are some tips from WWD on Sress-Free Blogging.

10th Dubai Open

Wesley So's back-to-back wins puts him now on 2/2 in the 10th Dubai Open. Last round he beat China's FM Xibin Wu on the white side of a Poisoned Pawn Sicilian.

10th Dubai Open
So Wesley
Wu Xibin

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. e5 h6 11. Bh4 dxe5 12. fxe5 Nfd7 13. Ne4 Qxa2 14. Rd1 Qd5 15. Qe3 Qxe5 16. Be2 Bc5 17. Bg3 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Qa5+ 19. Rd2 O-O 20. Bd6 Nc6 (20... Rd8 21. Qg3 Qf5 22. Be5 Qg6 23. Qh4 Nc6 24. O-O f5 25. Bh5 Qh7 26. Bb2 fxe4 27. Rf7 Rf8 28. Qf2 Rxf7 29. Qxf7+ Kh8 30. Rf2 e5 31. Qd5 Nf6 {0-1 Motylev,A (2647)-Anand,V (2779)/Wijk aan Zee NED 2007/The Week in Chess 636 }) 21. O-O

After 21. 0-0

(21... f5 22. Bxf8 Nxf8 23. Nd6 b5 24. Bf3 Bd7 25. Nxf5 exf5 26. Rxd7 Nxd7 27. Bxc6 Rd8 28. Bxd7 {1-0 Shirov,A (2699)-Guliyev,N (2590)/Canada de Calatrava ESP 2007/The Week in Chess 648}) 22. Bxf8 Nxf8 23. Nd6 Bd7 24. Nxb7 Qb4 25. Nc5 Bb5 26. c3 Ng4 27. cxb4 Nxe3 28. Ra1 Rb8 29. Nxa6 Bxa6 30. Rxa6 Nd5 31. b5 Nd7 32. Ra7 N7b6 33. Rc2 g6 34. Bf3 Kg7 35. g3 h5 36. Bg2 Nc8 37. Rd7 Ncb6 38. Ra7 Nc8 39. Ra5 Nd6 40. Bf1 Rb7 41. Rb2 Nc8 42. Bg2 Ncb6 43. Ra6 Rc7 44. Bxd5 Nxd5 45. Kf2 Rb7 46. Rc6 Kf6 47. Ke2 Nc7 48. b6 Nd5 49. Kd3 Ke7 50. Kd4 Kd7 51. Kc5 Nc3 52. Rd2+ Ke8 53. Rc8+ Ke7 54. Kc6 1-0

I've just also noticed that Malaysia's IM Mas Hafizulhelmi is in the event. The Malaysian beat Pinoy player Robert Arellano in the first round but then lost to GM Levan Pantsulaia in round 2.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hyde Park Chess in News

Thanks to Nick Kordahi for pointing this one out. Jelle Marechal's cause has finally made it to the mainstream paper. Today's issue of The Daily Telegraph features the headline, "Check mate for drunken hobos". The article is basically about the same thing that we've already told you in a couple of posts (the second one can be read here). The journo writes:

In Hyde Park, it's not the ivory Queen that's the biggest danger. It's the self-styled kings of the public chess pit that threaten to destroy the classic game.

Smelling of cheap wine and stale tobacco, a band of drunken homeless people have taken over the arena beneath the trees - and are scaring off chess players and tourists with abusive begging and violent antics.

Look, before this gets out of hand, I have to say that that description stretches it a bit. I go there once or twice a week and I've seen neither "abusive begging" nor "violent antics". Like I said in my first post on this, the complaint is more than a little tad dramatic.

Read: Check mate for drunken hobos.

FIDE Restores RP Ratings

It looks like RP players' FIDE ratings are now back available online. This list, for example, wasn't there late last week when I checked. As you see, GM Wesley So is now in top place with a rating of 2540, followed closely behind by Paragua with 2537. While a couple of the "old guard" still occupy places in the top 10, it is clear that the trend in the Philippines reflects that of the wider chess world. The young guns rule!

Wesley's fans will be keeping a watchful eye on his progress in the $45,000 Dubai Open event which began on Saturday. He won the first round and will play FM Xibin Wu next. Other Filipinos also playing are IM Sadorra, FM Molina, Jobannie Tabada, Ernesto Yap and Robert Arellano.

Regular tournament data are available on

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Chess Chat is Alive

This morning a number of Australian chess fans who are also members of Chess Chat, Australia's most popular chess bulletin board, received the following notice.

Dear Members

Chess Chat is moving to Australian servers effective immediately. Please use the following web address when accessing Chess Chat in the future.

[Domain name deleted]

Basically the only change is adding a dot au at the end of the current address. As a result of the migration to Australian servers, some members may have to re-register but you should be able to do this in a mere 60 seconds. Also, all members who re-register will be entitled to the benefits of premium membership for 3 months for their inconvenience.

Sincerely Yours

Chess Chat

The whole thing is a lie. Chess Chat has not moved; the site remains exactly where it has always been. Just to be sure it is

Now I don't know for a fact as to who exactly sent the false notice, but it seems to be a totally wasted attempt at misdirecting users to a rival web site. Wasted because it really won't take long for anyone to realise that they are, in fact, looking at a completely different bulletin board.

We have no particular allegiance to this or that site, but such practices as the false notice above deserve nothing but our total condemnation. Spamming and misdirection are a no-no.

City of Sydney Rapid 2008

A week after hostilities in the SIO ended - about 40 or so players returned to Parramatta on Saturday to contest the 2008 City of Sydney Rapid tournament. A small turnout but we did have the likes of GM Antic, international masters Swiercz, Xie and Kizov as well as a few FIDE masters including the always smiling Jesse Sales. Plus, never to be discounted is Sydney junior powerhouse Max Illingworth.

For a small event we had almost every imaginable drama. Apart from the usual over-the-board action, there were Irish dancers, an emergency evac, broken equipment, and a pairing program that couldn't quite seem to count correctly! There was even one apparently total novice for whom the "touch move" rule was completely new. You just had to laugh at it all, else you'd go crazy.

After seven rounds, which was nearly cut to 6 thanks to a schedule clash with an over-60's dance ball, four players came out on top with 5.5 points apiece. They were GM Dejan Antic, Max Illingworth, IM Xie and IM Swiercz. Other top finishers were as follows:

5.0 Kizov, Smirnov, Sales
4.5 Mandla, Peters, Jones L., Escalante, Rosario
4.0 Agulto, Tumanon, Bolens, Dunn, Rachmadi, Christensen, Pan

My 4.5 points was good enough for $65. And I must thank our friends in the NSWCA for their decision to pool the U1800 and U2000 prizes together as it meant that I ended up with more cash. I don't exactly understand this new prize system, but I wasn't about to complain.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Mayor Keeps Eye on Chess

Jelle Marechal has finally received an official response from the Mayor's office to his complaint about drunks in Hyde Park. The gist is: they're keeping an eye on the problem and, if there are any more complaints, then call the police. Here's a portion of the Lord Mayor's response:

Hyde Park is an Alcohol Prohibited Area and the City Rangers can issue penalty notices to persons drinking alcohol in the park. I asked Alan Coleman, the Acting Manager of the City Rangers, to increase enforcement patrols in Hyde Park, and he tells me that the Rangers have been visiting Hyde Park regularly and have issued several penalty notices. The Rangers will continue to monitor Hyde Park and you can request extra patrols on 9265 9333.

City Rangers have also contacted the Police in response to the anti-social behaviour. As anti-social behaviour is primarily the responsibility of Police and they direct resources to “hot spots” and “hot times”, I urge you to report anti-social behaviour in Hyde Park to Surry Hills Police on 9265 4144.

My Electorate Office also raised this matter with the City Central Police Commander and informs me that police are regularly patrolling this area and have made contact with some members of the chess groups to inform them of police action.

That should make Jelle and a certain recent visitor from Poland very happy.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pinoy Earns GM Norm

It's not all bad news for Pinoy chess fans. Journalist Marlon Bernardino (who, by the way, played in last year's SIO and beat GM Shipov) has been closely following the progress of three RP chessers in the 3rd Kolkata Open in India. Marlon reports that one of the 3 players, IM Rolando Nolte, has turned in what is possibly the best performances of his life to finish on 7 points and earning himself his first ever GM norm.

The following is IM Nolte's excellent 6th round win over the 2601-rated Smbat Lputian of Armenia.

3rd Kolkata Open
Nolte, Rolando
Lputian Smbat, G.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nc6 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. e5 Nd7 6. Bb5 a6 7. Bxc6 bxc6 8. Nb3 c5 9. Bg5 Be7 10. h4 h6 11. Be3 cxd4 12. Qxd4 c5 13. Qg4 g6 14. c4 d4 15. Bf4 Bb7 16. Nbd2 Qc7 17. O-O-O Bc6 18. Kb1 Rb8 19. Ka1 Qb7 20. Rb1 Bd8 21. Rhd1 Ba5 22. Ne1 Bxd2 23. Rxd2 a5 24. Qg3 a4 25. Rc1 Qa8 26. f3 Kf8 27. Nd3 Kg7 28. Qf2 Rb3 29. Rcc2 Rhb8 30. Nc1 R3b6 31. Nd3 R8b7 32. Rd1 Ra7 33. Qd2 h5 34. Bh6+ Kh7 35. Bg5 Qf8 36. Qf4 Qg7 37. g4 Rb3 38. Re2 Rb8 39. Rg1 Rg8 40. Reg2 Raa8 41. Be7 f5 42. exf6 e5 43. Nxe5 1-0

The two other Pinoy chessers, Oliver Barbosa and IM Chito Garma, ended their event with 5.5 points each.

Pinoy Players Disappeared

It looks like RP may have once again missed their payments to FIDE. Anyway, whatever the reason, RP player ratings have disappeared from the FIDE ratings database. I've checked Paragua, Antonio and Torre and these guys are listed as "not rated". The problem was spotted last night when I checked the country list (RP isn't there), but thought nothing of it then. However, ACF ratings officer Bill Gletsos just gave me a call now and basically confirmed the same.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More Chess for Tragics

Australian chess tragics who just can't get enough will be happy to know that two big events are now taking place and will last during the next fortnight. The stronger of these two is the Russian Club Chess Championships, in Sochi. As I type, there are at least 36 boards being broadcast via the official site. Playchess also has coverage.

If the Russians aren't enough, then there's also the Dutch Championships. Again, games broadcast is available. Just click on "Live partijen" on the left menu.

Fast and Furious Chess

I thought Dragicevic - Akobian in this year's Doeberl Blitz was impressive, but take a look at this video I found of Akobian and the amazingly fast Hikaru Nakamura. It shows them fighting it out in last year's US National Open Blitz Championship. There is a funny moment at around about .58s.

That's what we like: a bit of trash talk in an "official event".

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Masters and Hustlers

I found this (Masters & Hustlers) courtesy of the NY Times chess blog, Gambit. It's a flashy little site that tells the story of the connection between chess and New York City. There's some really good stuff there but the best bit is probably the story of one "Little Daddy". He's a hustler.

SIO Pictures

In case you've not checked out my flickr stream recently, I uploaded more photos that I took from the last few rounds. Here's one of Ganguly.

GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly (IND)

There are more here.