Thursday, 26 April 2007

Papua New Guinea Chess

Due to my father serving in the Australian Army, my place of birth was Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Now at the time I didn't think this was important, but in later years this turned out to be quite useful. Especially when the PNG Chess Federation were looking to send a team to the 2000 Istanbul Olympiad.
I happily volunteered my services (despite not having lived there since 1977), and as the team only had 3 players at the time, my offer was accepted.
Since then PNG has sent a team to all subsequent Olympiads, and is planning to do so for Dresden 2008.
Due to the fact that we only have a small group of players to draw from, and for resident PNG players the travel expenses can be prohibitive, we often languish towards the rear of the tournament. Nonetheless playing is an enjoyable experience and as a team we look for victories over traditional rivals such as Fiji or Bermuda. As individuals we are also on the lookout for title opportunities (such as Rupert Jones earning an FM title in 2004), or just to play some good chess.
As an example PNG Board 1 Stuart Fancy (Olympiad Medalist in 1982 and 1992), scores a neat win over Octavio Croes from Aruba

Fancy, Stuart v Croes, Octavio
Turin Olympiad, 2006
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nf6 5. e5 Nc6 6. Qa4 Nd5 7. Qe4 Ndb4 8. Bb5 Bg7 9. a3 Qa5 10. Nc3 O-O 11. axb4 Qxa1 12. O-O d5 13. Qh4 Bf5 14. Nxd5 a6 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. Nxe7+ Kh8 17. Bh6 Qxb2 18. Bxg7+ Kxg7 19. Qf6+ Kh6 20. Nxf5+ 1-0

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