One of the more distinctive characters of the Canberra chess scene, Gus Korda, passed away on Sunday evening (20 February 2011). Gus was an almost continuous fixture at the Saturday Street Chess events over the last 20 years, and played his last event the day before his passing (He scored a respectable 4/7). He was very passionate about his chess, would have easily clocked up 6,000+ rapidplay games at Street Chess alone. Sometimes this passion overflowed and it would be fair to say that Gus could sometimes be a handful for any arbiter. However he seemed to mellow with age, and while he would still strongly argue his point of view if he felt he had suffered an injustice, I suspect this was more for show than anything else.
Surprisingly for someone who argued with officialdom so much, he did have a track record as an organiser. He brought the 1974 Australian Championship to Cooma, and was instrumental in the Doeberl Cup's move to the Italo-Australian Club. He also secured sponsorship for Street Chess from a couple of local Canberra businesses, through his friendships with the owners.
While poor health affected his strength in recent years he was strong enough to play in the 1971 Australian Championships, and in the 2000-2001 Australian Open managed to draw his game with Egyptian IM Mohamed Ezat.
Ezat,Mohamed (2348) - Korda,Agustin [D36]
Australian op Canberra (1), 28.12.2000
1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.Qc2 Be7 7.e3 Bg4 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.f3 Bh5 10.Nge2 Bg6 11.0-0 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 0-0 13.Rad1 Ne8 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.e4 Nc7 16.e5 f6 17.f4 fxe5 18.dxe5 Ne6 19.Qe3 g6 20.g4 Ng7 21.Nd4 Rae8 22.g5 Nc5 23.a3 Nce6 24.Nde2 b6 25.b4 Nf5 26.Qf2 Nfg7 27.b5 Nxg5 28.Qg2 Ne4 29.Nxe4 dxe4 30.Qxe4 Qc5+ 31.Kh1 Qxb5 32.Nd4 Qd5 33.Qxd5+ cxd5 34.Nb5 Nf5 35.Rfe1 Ne7 36.Nc7 Rc8 37.Nxd5 Nxd5 38.Rxd5 Rxf4 39.e6 Re8 40.Rd7 Rf6 41.e7 Kf7 42.Rxa7 h5 43.Rb7 g5 44.Re5 Kg6 45.Kg2 g4 46.h3 gxh3+ 47.Kxh3 Rf3+ 48.Kh4 Rf4+ 49.Kg3 Rf7 50.a4 Rf6 51.Rb5 h4+ 52.Kg2 Re6 53.R7xb6 R8xe7 54.a5 Kf7 55.Rxe6 Rxe6 56.Rb7+ Ke8 57.Kh3 Kd8 58.Kxh4 Re4+ 59.Kg3 Ra4 60.Rb5 Kc7 61.Kf3 Kc6 62.Rh5 Kb7 63.Ke3 Ka6 64.Kd3 ½-½