Monday, August 27, 2007

Drats and Damnation

I haven't been working much. Not as much as i would like. And I'm down to work on the Saturday of the Blayney Tournament so I'll probably miss that tournament.

I recieved an email from Amir Karibasic. He wanted me to advertise the Surfer's Paridise Open which will boast the likes of GM Schmaltz, GM Antic, WGM Gajic, WIM Dekic, IM Froehlich,IM Solomon,WIM Jule, FM Sales, FM Sarfati, FM Humprey, FM Nakauchi.

Details from the website
SURFERS PARADISE OPEN Tournament 27/28 October 2007

First Prize
$2,000 Limited
seats for 80 Players only

now and secure your

Stay tuned up for more information about our new tournament: "Surfers
Paradise Open" on 27/28 October 2007 with a huge list of different prizes,
organised by Kings of Chess. This tournament is included in the Myer Tan Grand
Prix List 2007 as Category 5.The First prize under 1600 ratings is $500
and Main prize for best Kid under 1000 rating
players will be the game console XBOX 360 .

WIMs have free entry)GM Roland Schmaltz (GER) 2547, GM Dejan
Antic(Ser)2471, WGM Danijela Nutu-Gajic 2350 IM Stephen Solomon
2476,IM Gary Lane 2410, IM Peter Froehlich (GER)2378, WIM
Biljana Novakovic Dekic 2075 FM Jesse Sales (Ph)2340, FM Moulthun
Ly 2267, FM Gene Nakauchi 2019

For more information see our News page or to
register contact: Amir or Margot Karibasic, on Ph (0061) 7 5578 5872,
Mobile (0061) 0414 786 852 or send emil to: .
Tournament will be held at Broadbeach Surf Club (, at the Corner
of Chelsea Avenue and Broadbeach Boulevard, with a beautiful view of the beach,
nice park for relaxation, and nice soccerfield and playground for the
children. Plan your Holiday on this weekend, play chess, surf, or walk
along the beach to the heart of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
* Please
Note: We expecting delays for the first round start up to 30 minutes.

Who Deserves to be World Champ?

This little article by Andy Soltis got my attention recently.

I personally think that the Classical World Championship should be the only world championship. It is preferably a fight between two people. Like a boxer in the ring. Parrying this threat, preparing for that bout.

It will be interesting to see who comes out of Mexico on top to battle Kramnik. In my eyes Kramnik will be the world Champ until he is defeated in a match

This Tournament in Mexico I feel is just a Qualification tournament.

Soltis Argues that whoever wins the Mexico Tournament deserves such status as tal and Smyslov as they only had the championship for one year. But i put to this arguement that they defeated the world champion for the crown. The winner in mexico wouldn't have defeated the World Champ and thus Not be in the same heir as the other world championships although they might be worthy of the title. Another Arguement might be that tournaments have decided the world championship in the past eg. when Alekhine died Botvinnik becasme world champion from a tournament. I would argue that at that point in time there was no champion so a champion could not defend his title. That tournament would have been seen as determining the top player most worthy of the world championship title. Botvinnik proved this as he kept the title and defended and lost and regained the title in matchplay.

Anyhow what does everyone else think?

NSW Championships: Canfell as expected sets pace

There is no longer a bye in the Championship division of the State Championships. Adrian Rose has filled in the Bye void. He could only muster a draw in an apparently winning position against Arthur Huynh It was a tricky position with Arthur sacrificing a rook for a Bishop and two pawns.
Bolens and Angelito Camer played on Thursday night to become leader before todays round. Canfell joined Bolens by beating Brendan Norman.

The other game of the day was Andrew Furst going down to Gareth Charles in a Queens gambit accepted. I was watching Arbiter Nick Chernih entering the game onto the computer. It was Quite a wild game resulting in an endgame with Rooks Bishops and pawns on each side. Gareth's king eventually infiltrated Andrew's position and was able to get a passed pawn through.

Standings in the championship division after 2 rounds: Canfell, Bolens 2, Charles 1.5, Norman, Huynh, Rose .5 Camer, Furst 0.

In the Major division, Lloyd S Fell (Gotta get the initial right :D ) lost to Paul Glisson, Joshua Christensen caused an upset by defeating Nick Kordahi. Nick apparently sacrificed the exchange expecting to trap the Queen but missed a flight square for the Queen. Nearing the end Josh ended up being the exchange plus pawns up which when Nick attempted to wipe out some pawns one of Josh's pawns became unstoppable, Nick resigned. Rachmadi defeated Javor and the New Zealand Beauty Evguenia Charamova lost her second game in a row, Mark Baterowicz defeated her this time. And wrapping up the round of upsets, it was a battle of the grey hair on bottom board when Tom Thomas lost to Bob Sewell in a long game. According to Bob the game lasted 80 moves, at move 40 Bob won a pawn, and on move 69 Bob Queened his extra pawn. This was a battle indeed!

Standings after two rounds:
Glissen and 8th seed Joshua Christensen lead on 2/2, Kordahi, Fell, Javor, Rachmadi, Baterowicz and Sewell 1, Tomas and Charamova 0.

In the Minor Division:
OMG!!! Oh My Freakin' GOD!!! How did Michael Ngo lose that position????? Michael Ngo played Anthony Villaneuva on top board with the traditional Qa5 Scandinavian being the order of the day. Michael allowed Anthony to pinch the b2 pawn but in exchange got basically every single piece out whilst Anthony's pieces were still at home base. And Michael Lost this game??? Why Michael Why?? Why?? Why???? Ok i'll ease of the poor kid now. :D

I was on board 2 playing Michael Tracey. Michael and I almost always have games that go into the endgame. And this game was no different. I won a pawn early but Michael played a clever little combo that i mishandled and eventually gave the pawn back. In a very tight endgame with both of us having 3-2 minorities on each side of the board. I was able to break through before Michaels were able to Queen his pawn.

On Board three Valsalan Karayi played out a draw, KNP v KNP to end up in a draw with Heinrich Korbe. Other results included Alexander Papp over Bruce Harris, Mick waters lost to Norm Greenwood, Tom Accola lost to Michael Courtney, Tony Spirov and Beahan played but I did not get a result. I think tony might have won.

Standings after two rounds:
Villanueva, Parker 2, Korbe, Karayi, Greenwood, Papp 1.5, Ngo, Tracey, Bruce Harris, Courtney, Spirov, Davis 1, waters, Accola, Behan 0

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blayney Open - In a couple of weeks

One tournament I'm going to play in next month is the Blayney Open.

Care of the Website:

When: September 8th - 9th 2007
Where: Blayney Bowling Club
Blayney is in the heart of the Central West. Sixty kms from Cowra and approx forty kms from both Bathurst and Orange. For those further afield, Blayney is approx 2.5-3hrs drive from Sydney, Canberra and Dubbo. There is a Railway Station, about a 5 min walk from the playing venue, with regular Countrylink services. Unfortunately, no airport, but plenty of room to parachute in.
Why? Because you enjoy chess!
and spending time among like minded people.
For further incentive, there is....
Premier Division
Major Division
Best Local Player
Best Junior Player

There will also be 3 lucky draws.
Wall clock for an eligible local player.
Car care kit for an eligible player from outside the 100km radius for local players.
Book, "Re-Assess Your Chess" by Jeremy Silman for an eligible junior

Prizemoney is subject to change and is based on 20 players Phil Bourke has stated that about 36 players have shown interest in the tournemant.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Championship's a Farce

well. I didnt get to that little internet cafe at Parramatta Station but i'm here now to give you the lowdown on what happened today at the NSW Champs

At first it seemed that there might not be a Championship division with only 4 entries into the open. A few others were talked into playing the tournament and we now have a 7 player round robin. The Championship Division Players are: FM Greg Canfell, Gareth Charles, Johny Bolens, Angelito Camer, Brendan Norman, Arthur Huynh and Andrew Furst. Greg Canfell is by far the favorite to win the NSW Championships. He wielded his chess powers by slicing a pawn off of Arthur Huynh early which he then converted into a two pawn advantage going into the endgame and Canfell was not going to let this advantage slip Canfell 1 Huynh 0

The longest game of the afternoon went to the game Brendan Norman against Gareth Charles. Brendan won the exchange however Gareth Liquidated into what seemed to be a drawn endgame. It was a B+h5 pawn v Rvh6 pawn. Brendan could not conjure up a win. .5-.5

Johnny Bolens defeated Andrew Furst in todays other game.

The Major Tournament was going to be a 8 player round robin until Lloyd Fell rocked up late and Herman Rachmadi was not playing so the addition to these two players late will make for an interesting tournament. It will now be a 7 round swiss
Results in the Major :
Paul Glisson 1-0 Bob Sewell
Kordahi1-0 Baterowicz
Evguena Charamova 0-1 (This was the second last game to finish. Evguena should have won but Joshua took home the point)
Steve Javor - Tom Tomas
Fell 1 - 0 Rachmadi

Results in the Minor:
Villanueva 1-0 Waters
Courtney 0-1 Parker
Korbe 1-0 Spirov
Davis 0-1 Ngo
Tracey 1-0 Accola
Behan 0-1 Karayi
Bruce Harris 1-0 Franca Edis
Norm Greenwood took the .5 point bye.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

NSW Champs start today

Hi peoples the Integra NSW CHampionships start today. There appears to be no list of entries anywhere but i'm currently at the internet cafe inside one of the convenience stores near Parramatta station.. I'll report from here after all the games have been completed! BTW I'll be playing too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Downturn in numbers - Whats the cause?

Chess in this state has had a downturn in numbers this year.

What could be the problem?

Could it be due to the phenomenon that is poker?

Could it be that Chess Tournaments have not been advertised enough?

One other possibility in regards to the NSW Tournaments is the fact that in order to get the early entry fee you must pay the fee before the closing date or pay an exuberant fee? For this point I want to do a bit of a study. The first tournament to hold this policy was the Ralph Seberry Memorial tournament in November last year. Lets compare all the NSWCA weekenders and see what the difference in numbers has been:

2005 Ralph seberry memorial attracted 56 players

2006 Australia Day Weekender attracted 76 players

2006 May Weekender attracted 54 players

2006 July Weekender attracted 51 players

2006 Ryde Eastwood Open attracted 72 players

2006 Ralph Sebery memorial Open attracted 40 players

2007 Australia Day Weekender attracted 62 players

2007 John Kellner Memorial attracted 30 players

2007 July Weekender attracted 38 players

So what do we have here? We have a steady decrease in numbers Does it have to do with the fact that early entry has to be paid?

I'll just say now that I've been against early paid entries from the start.

Lets compare the tournaments

2005-2006 Ralph Seberry Memorial - A drop of 16 players from 56-40

2006-2007 Australia Day Weekender - A drop of 14 players from 76-62

2006 May weekender - 2007 John Kellner Memorial: a drop of 24 players from 54-30.

2006 July weekender - 2007 July Weekender: A drop of 13 players

An assumption could be made that the change of policy may have affected numbers. the minimal downturn in this comparison is 13 players!

The NSWCA made a large loss last year. How big will the loss be this year given the low numbers that might have been caused by this policy change?

Now I have not included the NSW Open or the City of Sydney or the NSW Open in this study because these tournaments are supposed to be NSW's premier tournaments. But I would still like these to go back to pre register to get early entry rather than pre pay.

Furthermore I dont think there would be many people willing to pay $75 for a weekender tournament where they didnt get their payment in on time. I surely wouldnt. Not for a normal weekender. Its just too expensive for a vast number of people. And people are busy. Things happen. Eg I had intended to go to Australia Post yesterday to buy a money order to send off but the train was late and it was raining so I had no time to go to the Post office before going to work. Now I'll have to ring Australian Chess Enterprises and make a credit card payment over the phone with my mothers credit card. I don't like doing this but i'll have to do it to get early entery for the NSW Championships.

Ok there's my view on this. People can make their own view up. I'm done.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

US and British Championships

The United States Open Chess Championships have been played and won...... by seven people! GM Alex Shabalov was one of the players to come equal first. The others were:Boris Gulko, Sergey Kudrin, Benjamin Finegold, Michael Rohde, Michael Mulyar and Anton Del Mundo.

Meanwhile accross the Atlantic in Britain. Scotish IM Jacob Aargaard defeated a field of 68 players to win the British championship in front of Scotish GM Jonathan Rowson and English IM Stephen Gordon.

India the Victors, Australia 1 comes 5th

The second seeds of the World Youth (under 16) Olympiad have performed to exceed expectations by winning the event. The Indians won with a score of 28 out of a possible 40. Second was Hungary who were the favorites with a score of 27.5. Hungary hit a bit of a lean patch in the early middle stages but came home like a flying freight train, mauling Switzerland and Uzbekistan 4-0 in rounds 8 and 9. 3rd was the Philippines and 4th was Uzbekistan.

There were 4 Aussie teams in this event.
Australia 1 came 5th with 24 points
Australia 2 came 21st with 19 points
Australia 3 came 24th-26th with 18 points
Australia 4 came 23rd with 18.5 points

Australia 1 was Australia's strongest team and Australia 2 consisted of Australian Girls.

To Europ or Asia?

In Susan Polgars Recent Saturday Open Post she posts about how Americas Newest and Youngest ever GM won a tournament in Europe and asks a question "Can a player reach his / her true potential by playing mainly in the United States? What is your take?" This is a similar position for Australia although the answer for Australian players might be a bit different. Its almost a certainty that an Australian Player must go overseas to reach their potential.

Normally the traditional path is to go to Europe as IM David Smerdon has recently done. But is there merit in Australians going to Asia instead of Europe? In recent years there has been a number of strong tournaments around including the Bangkok Open. and The Malaysian Open.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Chess and Blindness

I have come accross this article from the Utica Observer Dispatch which is a little close to me. I like seeing people with vision impairment excel, being vision impaired myself. I am legally blind in my right eye and 6 on 12 to 6 on 18 in my left eye. However I'm thankful for the sight that I have.

Take this guy in this article for example. He is legally blind in both eyes due to a mine explosion when he was working as a Bosnian Soldier. And yet even considering his impairment he still defeated people with sight at the New York State Championships in 2002, a tournament which he won! He recently came second in the US Blind Chess Championships. His Previous best had been in 2005 where he placed third.

In terms of Australian Players. The person I like to see around is Alex Momot. I see him at a lot of Central Coast / Newcastle tournaments and he recently participated in the NSW Open U1600 division. He always has his own board with the peg holes and pegged pieces. I've played him on that board in a friendly game and he spotted some tactics.

I just hope that as I grow older my eyesight won't get any worse and hopefully someday they can fix my Optic Nerve hypoplacia.

"You can play chess for ten hours and still lose"

Of course you can. If you play chess for ten hours there is no guarantee that a game is a draw. So why did Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson make this comment about the Arsenal Premier League team?

I sourced this here.

Does this mean that Arsenal plays a slow build up of pressure in a Positional sense of chess or Do they play an attacking style of football where the right players go to the right positions before mating the opponents between the goalposts? Or that they Just play a slow game?

People will always use this vague determination for chess until they realise the nuances of chess and how dynamic chess can be.

Sponsorship and Promotion of Chess Tournaments

Imagine if someone decided to pump $200,000 into our young chess players or even into any part of chess in Australia. It would go towards boosting the profile of chess in Australia. Advertisements could be made in papers rather than just being mentioned in articles.

Susan Polgar comments on her blog that in the last 3-4 years $650000 US has been pumped into the young players of Chess in the United states by the Susan Polgar Foundation. She also comments that when she took up the challenge of finding sponsors people told her that it was "impossible to find chess sponsors". Sound familiar?

At least in Australia we are starting to get some sponsorship filtering through. Lidmus has been a strong supporter of chess since forever. Recently the Doeberl Cup finally got some sponsorship which added a couple of grand to the Open prize pool.

And Recently the NSWCA found a sponsor in Integra. How they found this sponsor i do not know but..... good on them. But what concerns me with the NSW Championship is that the prize money for the championship division does not seem to be substantial enough to warrant the top players coming out to play. Consider this: The first prize in the State Championships is $600 which is about the same that one might get for winning a NSWCA Weekender tournament. Only that rather than driving to the venue twice in one weekend you have to go for 9 sundays. Is It really worth their money to play. Consider the amount of petrol a player has to use for 9 consecutive Sundays. Is the first prize worth it?.... Of course they could just be enthusiastic and wanting to play the championships just for the fun of it. But I have another Criticism. The Championship division is now open to over 1900 rated players now rather than only over 2000 rated players in previous years. Doesn't this somewhat diminish the Quality of the championship division? As for the Major, It has only a 300 ratings gap to play with (unless there is several committed souls who are rated under 1600 and want to play he Major!?

I think if chess is to become more mainstream it needs to get away from the middle of the papers and start going closer towards the covers even if it is on the very middle of the sports pages. Chess in Australia needs promotion. I dont think that it is enough to have an entry form available on a website.If the NSWCA wants to increase the numbers at their tournaments they need to start a guerilla Marketing strategy or otherwise loss after loss will be incurred. Take the July Weekender for example. They got 38 people at this weekender (which is an increase on the last regular weekender). I believe that if the NSWCA had sent an email reminding people say once a week for a month before the tournament date there would be more people at the tournament. People have busy lives. They Forget about things but if you keep reminding them it sticks.
I draw readers attention to this exchange on chesschat.

Bill, In My Opinion the advert for the tourney being on the NSWCA website is too passive. The NSWCA Needs to get out there and aggressively look for people to attend their tournaments. Mail the clubs some adverts. Mail interstate some adverts. Regularly email people, get in their face.

The NSWCA Mailout Is not a bad idea but people think "That's a month or two away i'll put that to the side" and then they forget about them. If people see the flyers at their local club it reminds them that the tournament is coming up As does the emails i previously mentioned.

Further more the adverts are too far down the NSWCA Webpage. I reckon the NSWCA should rearrange the website so that the upcoming events are up the top followed by news from NSWCA and other events.

I'm Baaaaaack!

Thank you to my mother who decided to move some furniture around and move my computer (which is on dial up) into a different room (which does not have a telephone extention in it) and causing my break from blogging. But Hallelujah! We purchased a 15 Metre cord to link the internet up!

Now back to blogging!