Sunday, February 25, 2007

Canfells on Board 1, Hu's on board 2?

The City of Sydney Championships started yesterday (24 February) and continues today and next weekend in it's new weekender format of 2 rounds per day over the first weekend and second saturday and one round on the second Sunday with the City of Sydney Lightning to follow afterwards. The time control is 90 minutes + 30 seconds a move

This years turnout was once again disappointing with approximately 21 players in the open section and 22 in the under 17 section. The Open section is extremely strong with 11 players rated over 2000.

Round 1 almost had a false start when the pairings had to be changed for both the Open and u1700. Play got under way a little bit late. On board one of the Open division Greg Canfell, being top seed, defeated Max illingworth where Max's shattered queenside pawns could not all be defended. Meanwhile on board two, second seed Tomek Rej disposed of The Closet Grandmaster : Amiel Rosario. Upsets of the round were: Dariusz Swiercz (2231) drawing with Hamish Selnes (1770) and Michael Dunn (1878) Defeating Ilia Ilic(2150).

In the Under 1700 division the first round brought about a number of upsets. Phil Willis (1323) defeated Mark Baterowicz (1623), Supergranny Mary Wilkie (1281) defeated Dennis Wan (1525), Horst Bleicher (1489) lost to Kinto Wan (847), Michael Tracey (1486) drew with C Zhang (777).

In round 2 Zirdum could not hold Canfells King from infiltrating the position in a 5 pawns + Bishop each with the bishops being of the same colour. Meanwhile on board two Jason Hu did not get enough compensation, getting only a Rook and Bishop for the loss of his Queen. When asked how he lost it he said: "i just lost it" Did we leave a queen en prise Jason? lol Just kidding mate.Upsets included Hamish selnes draw against Ilia Ilic.
Leaders on 2/2:Canfell, Rej, Bolens Yu.

In the u1700 Division, top seed Herman Rachmadi defeated Terence Wall. On board two Kinto Wan had an upset draw with David Evans and on board three another upset: Parramatta chess club member Thai Pham defeated Norm Greenwood. No other upsets occured except for the possibility that Michael Tracey defeated Mark Baterowicz which that game was the only game going when i left (at that time it was already a marathon....)
Leaders on 2/2: Herman Rachmadi, Trent Parker, Mary Wilkie and Thai Pham.

I'm going to take my camera tomorrow. Expect photos either tomorrow night or Monday.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Broekhuyse, Hu not quite up to speed for the fast Lane version 2

I woke up at 3.15 on saturday morning to get ready for the journey up North to a tournament that i thoroughly enjoy participating in year after year (although i might have missed one year). The 2001 Newcastle Open was my very first tournament. The people i played in my very first Newcastle Open were: Mal Murrell, Arthur Huynh (1480), Goran stankovic, Bruce Parr (1066), David Behne Smith (789) , Andrew Robinson, Fergus Ly (1093). In that tournament I scored a grand total of 0 points. disappointingly out of these players only one played this year (David Behne Smith) and one (Bruce Parr) assisted with the organisation. [EDIT: David Behne Smith did not particpate this year. His Brother and sisters did however.]

Anyhow back to this year...I left home at 3.45 for the hour walk to Picton station to catch the 4.53 train from Picton to Campbelltown, then had to change at campbelltown for a city service then had to change at Central for a Newcastle train (exquisite views between Cowan and Gosford) to finally arrive at Civic Station at 10.00, the train was a couple of minutes late, but to my surprise (not) when i arrived at Newcastle Panthers the tournament had not started yet, but i dont think anyone really cared much for the lateness..... Its a fairly laid back tournament.

The tournament attracted 37 players from as wide as Melbourne, Canberra, Armidale, Laurieton and of course Sydney. There were 5 players rated over 2000: International Master Gary Lane, Former Newcastle Open winner R0n Scott, Johny Bolens, Jason Hu and Paul Broekhuyse. There was also last years Coal City Open winner James Morris. I was on the top half of the draw! A strange occurance. Even the blind were attraceted to this tournament (visually blind, not drunk!)

Round One saw no upsets according to rating however apparently unrated player Emil Nomat defeated Michael Weltner (1394).
On Board one it was the battle of the Lanes. Laurieton's Endel Lane had the task of playing against Gary Lane (no relation).

Round two saw Richard Eccles (1589) defeat Johny Bolens (2106). I nearly caused an upset against Paul Broekhuyse when my knight sac evenually won me a pawn and my piece back and stopped him from castling. There was one draw for the round; Unfortunately the O'rourkes had to play each other and agreed to a draw. Johnathan Behne Smith (1211) defeated former Newcastle (now Orange?) resident Colin Parsons (1371).

Round 3 saw what could have been an attempt at a swiss gambit by some of the over 2000 rated players when James Morris drew with Ronald Scott, Ben Harris drew with Jason Hu and Paul Broekhuyse drew with Robert Hvistendahl, leaving Gary Lane as the sole leader after 3 rounds.
Upsets for round 3 included Ryan O'Rourke (938) defeating Colin Parsons (1375) and Emil Nomat hammered Me! Mary Wilkie (1281) drew against Ian Dickson (1575).

Round 4 saw Gary Lane and Ron Scott battle it out well into their time allocation for the International master to break through and rack up his 4th win to complete the day. On other top boards: Jason Hu drew with Paul Broekhuyse, and Robert Hvistendahl defeated James Morris after apparently being a piece down. Whilst Ben Harris defeated Alex Mendes Da Costa to join Hvistendahl on equal second. Upsets for round 4 included Ryan O'Rourke (938) defeating Michael Weltner (1394), Ben Ryan (1460) holding Vaness Reid (1629) to a draw and Mary Wilkie (1281) using her granny gambit against Gary Losh (1462).

So at the end of the first days play we have the following leaderboard:
1st Lane 4/4 \
2nd Hvistendahl, Harris 3.5/4
4th Bolens, Hu, Broekhuyse, Guo-Yuthok, Nomat on 3/4

Round 5 saw Hvistendahl lose to Lane, Bolens Lose to Ben Harris
Sherab Guo-Yuthok lose to Jason Hu, Broekhuyse defeat Nomat. The only game that resembles an upset on the lower boards was Michael Weltner drawing with Rebecca Harris.

It was a battle of Master and apprentice on the top board in round 6. Gary Lane defeated his student Ben Harris to clinch the 2006 Newcastle Open outright. Paul Broekhuyse defeated Scott to take equal second with Jason Hu . Broekhuyse and Hu did not have the opportunity to play Lane. Upsets for round 6 include: Weltner defeating losh and Luthien Russell drawing with Ben Ryan.

After a short presentation it was time to head off back to Picton. I look forward to the 2007 Newcastle Open.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fide Presidential Board Meeting

On the 29th of January Fide released a press statement outlining what had been discussed over the past three days.

There had been many Items outlined:

1. The goals and tasks of FIDE in the year 2007.
Apart from the change in the management style of FIDE introduced last year in the Elista Board meeting and the fruitful results of which can be already seen, President Kirsan N. Ilyumzhinov gave a positive summary of the work of FIDE of the last year. He emphasized that the President and the Board members should be more active in connection with the national federations. Since his re-election, he has visited more than 20 chess events and 12 national federations and in the year of 2007, he will visit and consult around 25 national federations, particularly in Latin America and Africa for exchanging views and collecting suggestions....

Good on him! But what is in it for Australia? Sure he has lots on his plate but..... I would like to see Fide push chess to be recognised as a sport in countries which chess is not currently recognised as such. Below i believe is an excellent step in the right direction.

Among the important practical tasks for FIDE, he mentioned the amendment of the Statutes, the revision of the membership, the increased activity of the work of the Commissions and Committees, more intense consulting with the professional players on playing conditions etc., and a more efficient communication of FIDE toward and with the chess players, international sport organizations, global chess audience and IOC. In the last respect, he emphasized the importance of the forthcoming meeting with Mr. J. Rogge, President of IOC. A special part of his speech was devoted to the most important chess events of the year, the World Chess Championship process, which will culminate in Mexico City in September-October this year.

Will Chess become an olympic sport in the future??? Oviously the possibility would have been talked about with Mr Rogge. It will be interesting whether he believes that chess deserves a place in the Olympic games or not. I would like to see chess recognised as a sport in this country; Getting chess in the olympic games would really help this.

2. World Championship Match proposal (separate announcement)

I believe this is the proposal that Topalov and Danilov suggested which was rejected by FIDE

3. World Chess Championship Tournament in Mexico City
The Presidential Board listened to and approved the report of the Organizer regarding the preparation for the World Chess Championship tournament to be held on September 11 – October 1st, 2007 in Mexico City. All the key conditions in the contract have been fulfilled, the website of the event is: Presidential Board gladly took note of the announcement that current World Chess Champion, Mr. Vladimir Kramnik will play in the Mexico City tournament. A special committee has been established for reviewing the processes of the world chess championship system. The committee will forward its report on the options of improving and stabilizing the system as well as its recommendation to the President for decision after gaining the views of about 160 top chess players and the national federations. The decision will come in due course that all the players be prepared for the next WCCh cycle.

Chess Championships in Mexico City. Good.. A change of scenery (although Argentina did hold them not long ago....). It would be nice to see this event somewhere in Asia.... just to spread it around...... (and have similar time frames to watch the games....)

4. World Cup 2007

The final contract between FIDE and the Organizer of the World Cup 2007 to be held in Khanty-Mansiysk region has been signed. The preparation for the 2007 event has been made in the proper manner and the Cup will take place at November 23-December 14th, 2007 in Ugra, Siberia, Russia. The website of the 2007 World Cup is:

Ha!! well i hope the participants have fun in this cold region.... lol

5. Candidate Matches
The Candidate Matches will be held on May 26-June 14th, 2007 in Elista and sponsored jointly by the President and FIDE. The Presidential Board reviewed the Rules and Regulations of the Matches, the process of the preparation and the media plan for the event. The Internet communication channel can be found on the FIDE official website:

Elista, Elista FiretrUCKing Elista. Why Elista??? What a stingy place to play the candidates. doesnt Elista get enoughtournaments as it is? How about sharing the tournaments around.... give Asia or Africa the Candidates matches...

6. Other tournaments and bids for tournaments
The Presidential Board reviewed preparations and decided on bids regarding the following chess tournaments: - Women`s World Team Chess Championship 2007 will be held on May 19-30th, 2007 in Yekaterinburg, Russia- Women`s World Chess Championship 2008 will be held on March 8-25th, 2008 in Prague, Czech Republic- World Junior Chess Championship 2008 will be held on August 2-16th, 2008 in Ankara, Turkey- World Youth U-16 Chess Championship 2008 will be held on August 15-24th, 2008 in Ankara, Turkey- World Amateur Chess Championship 2007 will be held on August 10-19th, 2007 in Predeal, Romania- the Presidential Board set-up a committee to conduct on-site inspection regarding the offers of the 8 bidders for the World Youth Chess Championship 2009 and will present its recommendation to the next Executive Board/General Assembly meeting for final decision- established a June 30th, 2007 deadline for submitting bids for the World Amateur Chess Championship 2008,- established a December 31st, 2007 deadline for submitting bids for the World Junior Chess Championship 2009


Yekaterinberg, Russia

Prague, Czech Rep

Ankara, Turkey

Predeal, Romania

Why are all these tournaments in basically the same area of the world. Fide needs practice to branch out a bit. If Chess wants to Be a popular sport it needs to be played in popular destinations. IMHO

7. Review of the 2006 Turin Chess Olympiad and the preparations for the 2010 Chess Olympiad
The Presidential Board reviewed the Turin 2006 Olympiad and drew conclusions regarding the quality of the organization, accommodation, the participation level, etc. The Board took note of the report that the preparations for the 2010 Chess Olympiad are in line with the time schedule and the contract was signed between FIDE and the organizer.

8. Development of FIDE Chess Academy
The Presidential Board reviewed the development of the Chess Academy and found it satisfactory, emphasizing the excellent work done in Singapore and further encouraged the people involved to extend the activities of the Chess Academy.

It will be Interesting to see how far this chess academy will go.

9. Title Applications
The approved title applications can be seen of the official website:

Wont be long until George Xie is on that list :D

10. Procedure for the Ethics Commission
In order to make the work of the Commission more effective, its chairman Mr. Rivello presented several modifications in the working procedure of the Commission. The Board decided for additional consultations before the changes can be introduced.

11. FIDE 2007 budget and administrative issues
The Board approved the budget for the year 2007 with the request to some Commissions and the PR and Marketing Directorate to modify their needs within the accepted limit.The Presidential Board decided to open a branch FIDE office under the guidance of the General Secretary in Singapore.

So the ACF won't have to go through Elista I presume. A step in the right direction!

12. Tournament regulations
The Presidential Board finalized the changes of the Tournament Regulations and Rules initiated at the Turin General Assembly meeting. The Rules will be in effect after July 1st, 2007 and can be soon downloaded from the FIDE website.

13. Global Chess company
The Presidential Board expressed its satisfaction that the initial meeting and discussion between FIDE and Global Chess company about the marketing and organization of world chess events were successful and that the company has been registered and the share-capital paid. The negotiations will continue between the representatives of FIDE and the company.

14. Greeting Honorary President Florencio Campomanes on his 80th birthday
The Presidential Board warmly greeted Mr. Florencio Campomanes, Honorary President on the occasion of his forthcoming 80th birthday and wished him good health, energy to be able to work for the interest of chess for a long time. A blitz tournament among the Board members has been organized to honor Mr. Campomanes.

As readers of the Closet Grandmaster will know, Florencio Campomanes was involved in a car accident not long after the Presidential board meeting. Recently showed a photo of Campomanes in traction with a head, neck and back brace. We all wish you well Florencio!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Newcastle Open - 17th-18th February.

The next tournament in New South Wales will be the Newcastle Open which will be held at the Newcastle Workers club. This generally is an excellent tournament run by the locals. Director of Play for this tournament will be local George Lithgow.

It is a little bit disappointing though that the Newcastle open will be a six round tournament when it has traditionally been a 7 round tournament. This is due to the room not being available for the sunday afternoon. The format will be 4 games on the sunday and 2 games on the sunday. Oh well looks like i'll get home earlier than usual!

I expect an excellent roll up for this event. I urge all sydney chess players to go!

Details of this tournament can be found here

Friday, February 02, 2007

No Short Draws at Sydney International Open!

In a meeting yesterday it was decided that there would be no short draws without the approval of the arbiter. 30 is the minimum of moves that must be made in the Sydney International Open. Excellent Idea guys!!! Bring the good chess on.

I also like their ruling that no electronic devices are to be brought into the playing hall including mobile phones.

The Sydney International Open currently has 9 Grandmasters, 8 international masters, 4 Fide Masters, 1 Women's Grandmaster, 1 Womens international Master and one Women's Fide Masters currently entered into the tournament. Three months out there are currently 39 players.