As my birthday (today) falls on a Friday this year, it coincided with me playing members of the public on the giant chess board in Garema Place, in the Canberra city centre. I had blogged about this before (the giant board that is, not my birthday), and I have a few new observations to add.
Firstly, there is plenty of hidden talent wandering the shopping malls of Canberra. Although I won the 4 games I played, all my opponents (including a 5 year old child) had some idea of what to do. This actually makes for some good chess, as the game usually requires some 'cleverness' to win.
Secondly, once each game started quite a large crowd gathered. I could see various spectators passing on their chess wisdom to their friends and there was a lot of nodding and pointing before and after each move. However,once the game finished the crowd seemed to completely vanish, to be replaced by a different group of people 4 or 5 moves into the next game.
Here is one of the games I played, against an opponent who was probably a little single minded in his attempts to checkmate me. Towards the end of the game he even got as far as to threaten mate in 1, but unfortunately for him it was my move, and got my checkmating attack in first.
Other,A.N. - Press,Shaun [C20]
1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Qf3 Bc5 5.Nh3 d6 6.Qg3 0-0 7.d3 Qd7 8.Bh6 Qg4 9.Bg5 Qxg3 10.hxg3 Nd7 11.Be3 Bb6 12.Ng5 h6 13.Nf3 f5 14.Rh5 Nf6 15.Rh4 fxe4 16.dxe4 Bxe3 17.fxe3 Be6 18.Nbd2 Ng4 19.Bc4 Bxc4 20.Nxc4 Nf6 21.g4 Nxe4 22.b4 Nxc3 23.Kd2 Nd5 24.Rah1 Ncxb4 25.g5 hxg5 (D)
26.Nxg5 Rf2+ 27.Ke1 Nd3+ 28.Kd1 Nc3# 0-1