Saturday, December 22, 2007

Chess Game Preparation

What does a chessplayer concentrate on when coming up to a big tournament? I generally like to go over some Opening theory if I'm playing a new Opening or study tactics or study endgame.

Also physical training could be a good Idea for improving ones chess game. In an article by an Argentinian Nutritionist Roberto Baglione with the assistance of German GM Helmut Pfleger's survey it was found that "the elite chess players have comparable physiological parameters in competition as those who practice sports such as shooting, car racing and golf; consequently, chess could be classified as the same category of sport as those according to these criteria"

the article also gives recommendations for nutritional ways to be at your optimum performance and concentration at the board in important games:
  • "Avoiding “heavy foods” or foods of difficult digestion before games must be
    adopted as a regular habit for chess players. The last “main” meal before a game
    has to be had at least three hours in advance. If a player wishes to have
    something to eat nearer the time of the beginning of a competition (one or two
    hours before, e.g.) he/she should choose among fruits (whole ones, fruit salad
    or juices, raisins), cereal bars, pretzels, cookies, low fat yogurt with fruit
    or cereals, sports drinks.

  • During the games, it is recommended fluid ingestion, and, if the chess
    player wants it (or when the game becomes long), solid foods. Mineral water,
    fruit juices, tea, coffee, sports drinks, cereal bars, fruits, raisins, dry
    fruits (almonds, e.g.), chocolate, cereal cookies, can be chosen. In all cases,
    moderate quantities should be taken.
    The best strategy to hydration is to drink small quantities at regular intervals, instead of greater quantities at a few intervals, and avoid being thirsty. The same indication should be followed during board training and physical activity. It is also important to begin the activity properly hydrated.
  • It would be good for chess players “to train” the quantity of fluid to be
    drunk while playing training games in situations similar to the tournament’s; in
    order to determine if the options and quantities are well tolerated (and to
    become familiarized with them) and then, avoid drinking quantities during an
    important game which may result in concentration loss. The same routine should be taken into account for solid foods.
  • Some characteristics of the urine can show the state of hydration, which
    gives players a very good reference. If at any moment of the day the color of
    the urine is dark yellow, it is small in volume and has a strong smell, then all
    these signs could be showing that the chess player might not be properly
    hydrated and, consequently, should drink plenty of water or fluids containing
    water in considerable proportion.
  • It would be advisable for the elite chess players to count on scientific
    nutritional consultancy in order to cope with all the requirements that
    top-level chess entails, because nutrition plays a significant role in the sport
  • The improper use of dietary supplements, mainly under self-supervision or
    non-professional supervision, can cause health problems and may result in a
    positive anti-doping control. It is advisable that chess players take dietary
    supplements only if these are prescribed by a medical doctor after a complete
    general check, and, in the case of top players, only those ones which are not on
    the list of the banned substances and methods for chess. The players must be
    informed about the current World Anti-Doping Code.
  • Physical activities should be considered as an important component of the
    chess player training. It is necessary to attend clinical- cardiologic tests
    before starting doing this type of activity and this program must be designed by a doctor or a physical trainer."

I might have to start using some of these strategies in the lead up to the Australian Minor. :D I've been having a healthy eating period recently with lots of salad Items and leaving out a lot of crap that I used to eat. I'm using low fat milk and the low GI Bergen bread for my sandwiches which keep me full for ages. I've got to work on the hydration however. I have been only drinking when thirsty which is a sign of dehydration.

In recent times there has been a bit of discussion on chesschat on how unhealthy chessplayers are (except for the children). see this post here and subsequent discussion here. Maybe to get a healthier chess standard we need a healthier chess community?! Bring on the treadmills - pump out those GM's! lol

Friday, December 21, 2007

12 more sleeps

The Final field of the Australian Championships have been decided with a field of 36 players. Entry into the Major and Minor are still being taken so if you want to get into a great tournament its not too late.

I've prepared my new arsenal for the Australian minor. As for those Koreans in the Major and the Minor apparently the Koreans in the Major are adults and in the minor they are young 10 year olds.

Its time for me to start preparing my lines.... :D

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Getting Excited? Less than a month to go!

Its almost that time of year again! yeah its christmas but thats not what i'm talking about.

Its almost time for the Australian Championships! My count makes 31 entering the Championship division , 49 in the Major division and 31 in the minor division. So it should be a good tournament. Top seeds in the Championship division are GM Dejan Antic and GM Darryl Johansen. with 4 other IM's (including one from Brazil!). Other visitors include: Felix Klein from Germany. and a host of South Korean players playing in the Major and the Minor. The Question is: how good are these Korean players?

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Club Liason officer - for city and country

At the NSWCA AGM I was voted in as the Club Liason Officer. It was not a role I was expecting to get. However, now that I now have that position I am going to try my best to be a clubs Liason person to the NSWCA for both city and country clubs.

I will listen to what people say about issues in their club, issues about the NSWCA Grade Matches and the like. But I want to know whats happening with Country Clubs as well. I want to find out how I can make the affiliation fee even more worthwhile for them to pay.

I will try to assist country clubs to hold their weekender tournaments, whether it be to be in a role of player or maybe Director Of Play or even in another form. I have already agreed with Gary Losh to arrange car pooling arrangements for Toukley Open (even knowing that, sadly, The White Knights Chess Club has folded) as the public transport to and from Toukley can be a pain (as I experienced last year).

Next year I would like to work with Keith Farrell in improving the Country Clubs Championships. These Championships are always fun to play at.

I hope that I can make a positive impact on the clubs in NSW in 2008.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Election Update:: Incumbents stay in!

On the 24th of November the nation went to the polls to vote for the person who they believe would serve them best as Prime Minister of Australia. Chess Players had to vote and then go to the NSW Lightning and or the NSWCA AGM.... If they cared. The Incumbents were largely voted in to their positions again with a few shuffling around in the back benches.

Brett Tindal moves from Tournaments Officer to Member without portfolio, Shane Burgess fills Brett's spot as Tournaments officer after a year's stint as Clubs Liason Officer. After a year and a half I decided to come back on to council. I was voted in as Clubs Liason Officer. Peter Parr took over the vacant Publicity Officer role and Martin Van Elmpt replaced Rick Keuning as Webmaster.

It was also decided to increase the membership fee to $30 and to charge a non voting rights fee of $10 if a player wishes to play rated games. A tournament will not be rated unless all players have paid this membership. The Country Membership remains at $10.

In relation to the compulsory membership to get a players games rated, I had an interesting conversation with Mr Gary Losh and he was concerned about the extra $10 that must be paid/player if games are to be rated. His arguement was that the Club affiliation fee was supposed to cover advertisment of their tournaments and the rating of these tournaments. I argued that Individuals are members of the NSWCA and thus the individual players should pay for having their games rated. At the end we agreed to disagree. He felt that the additional $10 per person may have detrimental effects on small tournaments like Laurieton. We will see if this is founded or not next year.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Changes: for the better!?

Hello peoples
Sorry about going missing for a long time. I’ve had a bit of an up/down time of it lately.

I’ve started to get some chess Coaching GM Dejan Antic in order to improve my chess. In my Chess Career I’ve gone from an aggressive, Sac happy type of person and I’m looking to turn myself into a more positional, maybe prophylactic style of play. Rather than play like a cobra trying to strike fast at a mongoose before it strikes back, I want to play more like a boa Constrictor – I want to squeeze my opponent’s position until it’s choked to death. The coaching is paying off dividends at the moment. Had some successful games in the Western Suburbs Rapid-play Challenge where I scored 1.5/2 and Parramatta and Rooty Hill Tied for the night but Parramatta won due to winning the Rooty Hill leg.

I have had some problems in my personal life. My work dried up so was looking for work a lot of the time. In an effort to start getting in shape I decided to go see a doctor to get a check up. I haven’t really done that before and have never really had my own GP. Anyhow he sent me to get a blood test done and it came back not good. My Cholesterol was a bit higher than what it’s supposed to be and I now have type two diabetes. Add to that High Blood pressure and the obvious fact that I’m obese means I got to get in shape to lose this heart attack material…

So I got a couple of action plans in happening at the moment: for my health, for my chess, and to earn a living (which I intend to start my own bookkeeping business in the new year). With a bit of effective time management I should be able to blog regularly as well. (Maybe a little bit of Déjà vu?)

So what has happened in chess since I last blogged?

Surfer’s Paradise
My apologies for not completing the Surfers Paradise tournament blog entry.

GM Dejan Antic won the tournament on a score of 6/7 and GM Roland Schmaltz and Mouthun Ly ended up equal second on 5.5/7. The under 1600 division ended up being won by Craig Stewart on 6/7. Shayne Hunter scored 5.5/7 to grab second prize and there were 4 players on 5 points for equal third, including Mike Duffin who took my second place in the GP standings after this tournament.

Coffs Harbour Open – Incorporating the NSW Country Championships.

On the tenth and 11th of November the 4th Coffs Harbour Open was held at the Coffs Harbour Catholic Club. The joint winners of this event were: GM Dejan Antic, visiting Malaysian Mas Hafizulhelmi and IM George Xie all on a score of 6/7. Coffs Harbour local Alan Tankel won the NSW Country Champion title with a score of 4.5/7. Congrats to the Coffs Harbour Crew on another great tournament! GM Ian Rogers gave lectures on the top two games. (Which embarrassingly I had to play top seed Antic in the first round and my game got cut to shreds!!).

Gosford Open

Chris Morrison, a Scottish player who is currently working in Singapore who decided to holiday in Australia and enter the tournament after several years out of chess, won the Gosford Open! Anyhow he won from Johny Bolens and Paul Broekhuyse who came second and third respectively.
For more information….

And a few weeks later….

Country Teams Championship – Gosford

Once again the Central Coast Leagues club hosted the Country Teams Championship, which was won by Gosford 1 over 11 other teams from Ettalong, Newcastle, Hamilton, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, Blayney and Bathurst, Tumbi Umbi (Mingara of course!) and Gosford.

Also there was a little meeting called the NSW AGM, which I’ll come to in another post.