Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Could you win this?

White to play
Taken from a game played at the ANU Chess Club earlier this evening. It looks pretty straight forward, but could you win this position, taking only 10 seconds per move?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Normally I'm black here

Having gone undefeated for the first 8 months of the year, I've been roughed up quite a bit since (Rupert Jones calls it 'The Curse of the FM Title'). Tonight saw my third loss in the space of a month, in a game where I was facing an opening I normally use myself.
Kishore Sreetheran surprised me a little with 1. ... e5 and after briefly considering 2.f4 I played 2.Nf3 instead, assuming I would be seeing the Marshall Gambit after a few minutes. This is exactly what happened, and we both followed theory until move 20. Turns out my recapture with the rook on a4 was not the best. After 20. ... f5 I exchanged on d5 and had planned to follow this up with f4. In the nick of time I realised that this failed to Qe8! (a trap that at least 15 other players walked into), but faced with a number of unappealing alternatives went for the material grab which lost in short order.
At the end of the game I remarked that I'm usually Black in these positions, and a little home research proved this point. Checking the game into my database I wondered if anyone else had reached the position around move 19, and what move they chose. It turned out I had myself, 16 years ago, having the Black pieces against Brian Butler. But rather than take on a4 I tried the immediate 19. ... f5, which didn't work so well as the game ended in a draw, albeit an exciting one.

Press,Shaun - Sreetheran,Kishore [C89]
Belconnen Dark Knights (7), 30.10.2012

Monday, 29 October 2012

Pawn Sacrifice

Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer? I'm not seeing it myself, but if he gives a performance like he did in Satan's Alley, then maybe he can pull it off.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


While I'm hopeless at solving Studies and Problems I still enjoy looking at them, especially ones that are visually appealing. An example if the study shown here. It is White to play and win, and what attracted to me to this problem was the fact that despite the 'equal' nature of the position, White still has a win.
As with most studies it is the first few moves that are hard to find, before it resolves itself into something more familiar. Even if you can't find the exact solution, at least attempting it may help you reinforce some important K+P concepts.
BTW I came across this problem in the recently revamped British Chess Magazine. As part of editorial/ownership changes, the magazine now has a slightly different look, which to my eyes, is an improvement over the last few years. It isn't a radical departure from the previous format, but is does look more professional. A thumbs up from me!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Zombies and Chess

Zombie Bride and Groom

Today saw a quick 'up-and-back' trip to Sydney for the Correspondence Chess League of Australia (CCLA) council meeting, where amongst other things I've taken on the role of CCLA President. The meeting was a fairly straight forward one, although there were some discussions on an expanded role for the CCLA in the area of online chess. Everything was wrapped up within 3 hours which gave me time to do a bit of sight seeing with the family.
One of the sights was the 2012 Zombie Walk, which happened to be taking place in Hyde Park. Not only was this a stones throw from the meeting venue, it was also located in the vicinity of the Hyde Park giant chess board. Now I haven't been to the board in Hyde Park for a while so I was a little surprised that it was out and being used on a Saturday. Certainly when I was younger it was just a work day thing.
So I was able to watch some chess being played in the outdoors, while the surrounds were being overrun by the shambling dead. Curiously the players at the board either did not think anything unusual about this, or more likely, were so engrossed in their game that they failed to notice. Eventually the zombies wandered off to a food festival somewhere, leaving the chess players in peace.

Friday, 26 October 2012

A model hack

While looking through some of the content at the Ultimate Chess Course website, I came across the following game by the sites owner, Roy Phillips. It was played at the 2002 Chess Olympiad, and it is almost a model game for players looking to use 1.d4 as an attacking weapon. He based his attacking plan on a game played by Capablanca some ninety year earlier, and it turned out to be just as effective. After aiming to mate on h7 out of the opening, Phillips then took advantage of the weaknesses created by Black in blocking the threat. Finally, after seizing control of the dark squares, he returned to the theme of mating the Black king, finishing off the game with a nice queen sac.

Philips,Roy - Medina,Ricardo [D46]
Olympiad Bled SLO (9), 04.11.2002

2012 CCLA Council Meeting

The Correspondence Chess League of Australia (CCLA) is having their 2012 Council Meeting this Saturday (27 October 2012) in Sydney. Full details of the meeting are at the CCLA website ( All members are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Turtle-ing in Chess

As the father of a teenage son I do learn new expressions from the gaming world, usually hearing them shouted at the TV after a particularly disastrous outcome. One expression that is both common, and reasonably self explanatory is 'turtleing'. This involves setting up a defensive structure or system and inviting your opponent to come at you. Done right it can result in a kind of victory, especially if annoying your opponent is an acceptable outcome.
Fortunately for chess, such a strategy is usually doomed to failure. Some players have attempted to build a career out of such a strategy (Karl Galli being a local example), but in the long run it doesn't offer much. The Hedgehog is probably the closest mainstream opening system that embodies this strategy, but you have to have a special kind of patience to make this really work.
But such a strategy is enticing to new comers, especially those who have been hacked to bits more times than they are comfortable with. Often moves like a6, e6,d6, b6 and g6 get played, and the rest of the pieces huddle along the third rank, trying to avoid trouble. Nonetheless sometimes this does result in a positive outcome, especially if the opponent overreaches.
A famous example of this was the following win by Tony Miles over Anatoly Karpov in 1980. To be fair to both players Miles had no intention of cowering in his half of the board, although White did start of with more space. But a couple of well timed breaks by Black gave him better board control, and technique did the rest.

Karpov,Anatoly (2725) - Miles,Anthony John (2545) [B00]
EU-chT (Men) Skara (1), 1980

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Licence to ... rule?

While the proposal to mandate payments for Arbiters was shot down at the 2012 FIDE congress, the new licence fee system remained. As of 1 January 2013, all tournaments that are to be submitted for FIDE rating will require a licensed arbiter to run them. For this to happen, Federations need to submit a list of arbiters to FIDE, who will then charge the Federations the licence amounts, which are calculated on the arbiters level (A to D for IA's, C to D for FA's). The licenses are for life but if an arbiter moves up a level, then a new license fee is charged. As well as that, the application fee for an Arbiters title remains.
Now this may seem like another FIDE grab for cash, and I'm not going to argue that it isn't. However the money that is raised will be spent by the Arbiters commission, on things like training and education, as well as the production of an official FIDE Arbiters Manual.
One side effect of the system is the creation of an extra arbiter classification. As there will be occasions when neither an IA of FA is available to run a FIDE rated event, the tournament can be run by a licensed National Arbiter. Now some Federations do have a National Arbiter designation (eg USA, Italy), but a lot do not. So essentially Federations that do not have an arbiters management system will have to create one, even if it is just a hand written sheet in an office somewhere.
So if you are interested in getting even the most basic Arbiter accreditation I suggest you get  in touch with your local Federation and ask to be added to the list of NA's. It is only 20 euro's and you can carry the title for life.

Monday, 22 October 2012

A big metal box

Chessvibes is reporting on an alleged cheating incident from the first weekend of the German Bundesliga. German GM Falko Bindrich was defaulted by the arbiter after confessing that he had a smart phone on his person, and then refusing to allow the arbiter to examine it. Suspicion was aroused after Bindrich was observed going to the toilet, when it was his move, on a number of occasions.
I've commented on this issue previously, including offering up a number of solutions, including the not so serious morph suit/nude chess tournament. But it is a serious problem, requiring a serious solution. For me the most obvious one is that organisers should create a storage area or container for all electronic devices. Players would then be required to hand over their phones etc before each round, and only receive them back when permanently leaving the playing venue. This would not only deal with the issue described above, but would also reduce the chance of move signalling, as seen in the Feller case.
I will endeavor to try this system at the up coming Vikings weekender, although ironically, we don't default players for mobile phone offences at this event (as it is not FIDE rated). I instead give the opponent a time bonus. However, this may be an advantage in this case, as the risk in trying any new system is that confusion, rather than deceit, may be the main reason why players forget to hand their phones in.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Blitz Brilliancies

I'm pretty sure we've all played a 'blitz brilliancy' or two in our time. A fast time limit game where you decide to play a sacrifice 'to see if it works', only to find that it succeeds beyond all expectations, at which point you claim that you had planned it all along. Apart from your innate brilliance, the other contributing factors are the fact that blitz chess is played more frequently than serious games, defending at 5s a move is harder, and if you fail to win the game, the result is soon forgotten.
This of course applies to club players, as blitz games played by more famous players tend to be remembered a lot longer. Of course the 'filtering factor' still occurs, with the spectacular wins remembered, while the more mundane games becoming part of a players overall reputation. Here is an example from early on in Mikhail Tal's career. Played during (but not part of) the 1956 World Under 26 Teams Championship, Tal plays a series of sacrifices to destroy his opponent in 20 moves. Of course the first few sacrifices are unsound (moves 11, 12 and partially 13), but White mis-defends (at 5s a move), and after that Tal wins in fine style. If White had found 13. O-O-O (or 13.cxb7) then the game would have been soon forgotten, but he didn't, so here it is.

Szukszta,Janusz - Tal,Mihail [E86]
WchT U26 03th Upsala, 1956

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Mate early, mate often.

Today was Election Day here in Canberra, with for seats in the local assembly. As I often do, I was at the polls early in the morning, before grabbing an egg and bacon roll outside the polling station, and then heading off to Street Chess.
And I might not have been to only one, as there was a very large field today. 25 players rolled up, which makes me wonder if the inability to get out of bed on Saturday morning is the real reason why more people don't play. Of course the fact that was a wonderful Canberra spring day (blue skies, not too warm weather) might have also been a factor.
Not only was the field large, but it was also very competitive. The bulk of the top half of the field were all rated within the 1700 to 1800 range, while the bottom half wasn't to shabby either. And in a result that mirrored some previous local elections, there were a couple of runaway winners (Yijun Zhang 6/7, Victor Braguine 5.5/7) and then a 6 way tie for third place on 4.5/7.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Writers block

I haven't been able to come up with a topic for this evenings blog post, so talk among yourselves for now.

(But if you do want a topic of discussion try - Is "amongst" really a word? Every time I try and use it, various spell checkers tell me it does not exist!)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The turnover of players

While plenty of people know how to play chess, and some of those also play organised/tournament chess, it is only a small percentage that keep playing chess. There is always a large turnover of players, even at the club level, where over a two year period there may be 50% new players, replacing the 50% who are 'having a break'.
This thought re-occurred to me with the return of local Canberra player Ian Hosking, who has been abroad for the last 2 years. As with lots of players of  a certain age, his break was longer than that, due to time constraints of marriage and family. But even so, at my local club, there would have been only about 4 or 5 players (out of 25), who new who he was. This indicates that 80% of players really only started playing seriously in the last 5 or so years. Now this isn't a bad thing, as without new players we would have less players overall. But it does indicate that player retention is an issue that could do with some work.
(NB The point of this post is only partly about player numbers. It is also gives me an opportunity to welcome Ian back by showing this game).

Hosking,Ian - Press,Shaun [C57]
Belconnen, 1986

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A proposal for a new tie-break system

GM David Smerdon has been a busy boy lately. Apart from holding down Board 1 for Australia at the last Olympiad, he is also working towards his PhD in Economics. As part of his studies he has been looking at the fairness and accuracy of various tie-break systems, and is proposing an alternative system.
His proposal is based in the concept of  'indirect wins' which relies on a transitive set of results (ie If A beats B, and B beats C, then you can assume that A would have beaten C). . So a tiebreak score would be the number of direct wins, plus the result of a function of 'indirect wins'. In the case of 'indirect wins', there would be a scaling factor applied, as assumed results aren't as good as real ones. At this stage part of his proposal is to investigate tournament data to see what would be the best estimate for a scaling factor (shades of Duckworth-Lewis!).
David has posted a link to his proposal paper, as well as some thoughts on the topic, in this article at Chessvibes.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Can you really retire from chess?

Francisco Vallejo Pons did not have a good time of it in the Grand Slam Masters tournament. While his finishing position was to be expected, as he was the bottom seed, he seemed somewhat upset by the nature of his play. Clearly he had a number of good positions during the event, but he was unable to convert these into wins, often blowing up in time trouble.
So he has followed the lead of a couple of other leading players, and announced his 'retirement' from chess. Most famously, Vassily Ivanchuk had done this after being knocked out of the World Cup in 2009. However Ivanchuk soon calmed down, and reversed his decision. As the circumstances leading up to Vallejo's retirement are similar, it would not be surprising if this decision is reversed as well.
But can you really retire from chess? Certainly you can cut back your playing schedule, or even stop playing, but is this a retirement or just an extended break. I'm sure that players who say they are giving up the game still think about it, still analyse, and still try and find ways of being a better player. So even if you aren't playing, are you still a chess player? I would answer yes, especially as you can usually come back at any time. But of course I am basing my observations on the fact that the longest break I've had from chess in the last 25 years has been about 3 months. Maybe those who have stepped away from the game have a different opinion on the matter.

Monday, 15 October 2012

2012 Vikings Weekender

The Tuggeranong Vikings Chess Club is once again pleased to host the 2012 Vikings Weekender. For the first time this event will be split into 2 sections, with an Open and Under 1600 event. The details are

2012 Vikings Weekender
17th and 18th November
Venue: Tuggeranong Rugby Union Club, Ricardo St, Wanniassa ACT
Entry fees: $65 Concessions/Juniors $45
Prizes: Open 1st $1000 U/1600 1st $500 (other prizes based on entries)
Time control: 60m+10s (Fischer)
Round Times

  1. Sat 10:30am
  2. Sat 1:30pm
  3. Sat 4:00pm
  4. Sat 7:00pm
  5. Sun 10:30am
  6. Sun 1:30pm
  7. Sun 3:45pm
Registration (before 6pm Friday 16th November): 
Entries accepted after this time will be paired separately for round 1
Byes: The usual policy for half point byes will be in force (Maximum of 2 on request, up until round 5)

(Disclaimer: I will be a paid official at this event)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Should have pushed harder

Magnus Carlsen has won the 2012 Grand Slam Masters, beating Fabiano Caruana 2-0 in a playoff, after the two players tied for first. Going into the last round it looked as though Caruana had the easier task, playing last placed Vallejo Pons, but there game was drawn quite quickly, after Caruana chose the Zaitsev variation of the Ruy Lopez, and Vallejo went for a well known draw-by-repetition line. This gave Carlsen a chance to win the tournament outright, but he only drew with Aronian, meaning a blitz playoff was next on the agenda.
Carlsen won this without too much trouble, beating Caruana in both games. Given the outcome, there were questions after the tournament about Caruana's choice of opening line. While he said he was just looking to reach a normal position, the fact that White (Vallejo) can force a draw if he wishes, casts some doubt over the wisdom of this particular choice.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Exciting finish in store

Three decisive games in the 9th round of the Grand Slam Masters has set up an exciting final round. Carlsen continued his good second half form with a crushing win over World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Anand equalised out of the opening, but one wrong move was enough for Carlsen to put him under pressure, and second poor move left him in a hopeless position.
Caruana kept his share of first place after accepting an interesting piece sacrifice from Aronian, who failed to find the correct followup. Karjakin was the third of the victors, beating tail-ender Vallejo after his oppoentn ruined a good position while short of time.

Carlsen,Magnus (2843) - Anand,Viswanathan (2780) [B52]
5th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (9), 12.10.2012

Friday, 12 October 2012

2012 European Club Championship

The 2012 European Club Championship began yesterday evening in Eilat, Israel. Although the numbers are down this year (possibly due to travel distances from western Europe), it is as usual, very strong. The top seeded team, SOCAR, has an average rating of 2747, while 4 other teams average 2700+.
At the other end are the weaker teams but even then, a team like White Rose (29th seed) is still 2260.
As it is a short event (7 rounds only), the pairings have been accelerated, meaning that round 1 saw a couple of tougher than usual match ups. This was evident in the board 1 match, where SOCAR lost to 9th seeded Ashdod 2.5-3.5. The key game from that match was the following exciting effort.

Volokitin,Andrei (2724) - Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar (2748) [B94]
28th European Club Cup Eilat (1.1), 11.10.2012

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Valuing Bishop's above all else

Chessdom is reporting the results of the Clericus International Chess Championship, held in Rome over the last weekend. This was an event open to members of the various religious orders recognised by the Holy See (Catholic Priests, Brothers, Nuns or Seminarians).
The tournament was won by Brother Marcello Bonforte (Italy) ahead of Father Drazek (Poland). The event organisers are also looking into the feasibility of setting up a Vatican chess federation, which may end up with a reasonably strong membership, if they can extend membership to all those around the world who have taken holy vows.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Games that make an impression

Over the years I've come across games that seem to stick with me. Sometimes it is a particular way of treating an opening, other times it is just a wish to be able to play chess as well as the players involved.
The following game is a little bit of the former, and a lot of the latter. It is between Larsen and Olafsson, from their 1956 match, and from the moment I saw it, I wondered if it was always this easy to take apart 1.Nf3. Of course it isn't, but Olafsson seems to tear apart Larsen's position with moves that seem so natural that I often wonder if I'm missing the secret to how chess should be played!
(BTW I first discovered this game in Leonard Barden's 'How Good is Your Chess', where it served as a challenging but entertaining 'choose the move' exercise)

Larsen,Bent - Olafsson,Fridrik [A99]
Oslo m Oslo (7), 1955

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Carlsen comes back

In a win that has some more excitable commentators proclaiming Magnus Carlsen as the new Capablanca,  or even Karpov++, the world number 1 defeated Fabiano Caruana in the 6th round of the Grand Slam Masters. Reversing the result of their round 1 game, Carlsen again went into an ending, but unlike the first game, Caruana was unable to defend against Carlsen's accurate play. The result closes the gap between Caruana and Carlsen to 2 points, using the 3-1-0 scoring system. In other games Karjakin declined the opportunity to test an Aronian novelty in the Marshall, while Anand drew with Vallejo, keeping my pre-tournament prediction of his performance on track.

Carlsen,Magnus (2843) - Caruana,Fabiano (2773) [C00]
5th Final Masters Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP (6), 08.10.2012

Monday, 8 October 2012

Grand Slam Masters - Part II

The second half of the Grand Slam Masters begins tonight. With the shift to Daylight Savings time in eastern Australia, as well as the move from Brazil to Spain, the rounds start at the less than friendly time of 2:00am Canberra time, making online viewing less attractive.
However if you are a night owl, you can watch the games at the official website. Currently Fabiano Caruana is in the lead (by 4 points or 1 point depending on your preferred scoring system), with Lev Aronian in second place.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

When is a city not a city?

FIDE have announced the details of the 2012 World Cities Championship, although it doesn't seem to have that much to do with cities. The event will be held in Al-Ain, UAE (as in previous years), but the rules seem to have changed to allow national teams to enter, in the guise of representing cities. Qualification to the 32 team event is also based on national performances (at the Olympiad), with Australia being the qualifier for the Oceania zone.
Normally a national federation would be responsible for organising or selecting a team for such an event, but in the case of Australia, the ACF is taking the usual 'hands off' policy, although they are willing to endorse a self organised team. There is talk of a team being organised nonetheless, and with two of the players  mentioned living in the national capital, then a Canberra team may be striding the world stage.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Two big matches

The Correspondence Chess League of Australia (CCLA) often holds friendly matches between Australia and other countries. Sometimes we enlist the help of out friends from New Zealand, and in the past we have played  countries like Scotland, Turkey or The Netherlands. Normally the matches are over 20 to 30 boards, which is normally determined by the size of the respective federations.
However, there are also opportunities to play bigger matches against larger federations. New Director of International Chess, FM Brian Jones, decided that both the USA and Germany would make good opponents. As both of these countries have a large player base, both matches are larger, with the match against Germany over 50 boards, and against the USA, 55 boards. As they are friendly matches the strength of both teams are quite even, so hopefully the matches will be both close and exciting. The match against Germany is scheduled to start on the 1st of November, but as the team lists have been announced, some games are already underway (including my own). You can follow the progress of the match here (NB there may be a delay in transmission of the games). The match against the USA will begin soon after that, and I will try and post the link to that match as well.

**Update: This is the link to the USA match

Friday, 5 October 2012

Willis Lo wins 2012 ACT Junior Championship

Congratulations to Willis Lo, who is this years ACT Junior Champion. Starting the 9 round tournament with 7.5/8, Lo established an unbeatable lead, and could even afford a last round loss to top seed Wenlin Yin, remaining half a point ahead of the field. Harry Press, Michael Kethro and Wenlin Yin finished tied for second on 7/9, while Megan Setiabudi won the ACT Girls title with her score of 6.5.
The tournament attracted 51 players, with most of the leading ACT junior players taking part. There were a number of good performances from lower rated players (as is usually the case in junior events),  with Donghoon Shin scoring the biggest rating increase, while Ryan Turner and Benn Tamsett (in his first tournament) finishing amongst the players on 5/9.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

It is what's on the board that counts

There were a numbering of interesting facets to the just completed London Grand Prix. The good showing by the 'older' generation was one surprise, as was the equally poor showing of Giri and Nakamura. Even with the 'Corsica' rules in place, there were still plenty of drawn games, although almost all of these were hard fought.
As for the winners, Boris Gelfand may have been the most surprising. Despite playing for the World Championship this year, he wasn't considered one of the tournament favourites at the start. Nonetheless he led for most of the tournament, before scoring a clutch win in the final round to share first place with Topalov and Mamedyarov.
The win by Gelfand demonstrated the maxim "it is what's on the board that counts". He sacrificed the exchange for positional compensation, and then slowly increased his advantage, until he regained the material. After that it was a quick finish as Kazimdzahnov walked into a mating net.

Gelfand Boris - Kasimdzhanov Rustam [D43]
London FIDE Grand Prix (11.3), 03.10.2012

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

One in a row

Up until last night I had managed to be undefeated at long time control chess since the start of the year (IIRC). The run came to an end after I got cracked by Chong Wang at the Belconnen Chess Club, in a game where he played a very good attack, and I failed to find the correct defence.
So with my undefeated streak reset to zero, I sat down this evening  to see what I could do. Paired against Ethan Derwent (a strong Canberra junior), I was faced with the Sicilian Dragon. To be honest I don't mind seeing the Dragon in front of me, as at least you have an idea of what you and your opponent are trying to do (eg checkmate the other player). In this case my attack was just a little faster, although I did miss a quicker win involving a rook sac. Nonetheless I do wrap up the point, and extend my winning streak to 1.

Press,Shaun - Derwent,Ethan [B78]
ANU Spring Swiss (1), 03.10.2012

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

FIDE Congress - the outcomes

FIDE have released the updated minutes from the 2012 Congress. This minutes contain decisions made by the various committees, which were then accepted by the General Assembly.
While it is good that FIDE have publicised these decisions as quickly as they have, I can only hope that the changes to the FIDE Handbook are made in the same timely manner. In past years decisions made at various congresses have not been shown in the subsequent editions of the Handbook, leading to a great deal of confusion.
Of interest to players/organisers are the changes to the Laws of Chess (RTRC) and the decisions of the Qualifications Committee (including making Rapidplay/Blitz events free of rating charges until the end of 2013, as well as recommending that Federations do add extra charges to these events as well).
The list of decisions is here.

Monday, 1 October 2012

2012 Ryde-Eastwood Weekender - Illingworth wins for a third time

Illingworth v Ayvazyan
(Soon to be confirmed IM) Max Illingworth has won the 2012 Ryde-Eastwood Weekender, bringing up a hat-trick of victories in this tournament. Going into the final round he was paired against tournament leader Armen Ayvazyan, and needed a win to overtake Ayvazyan. Borrowing a page from the Solomon book of endings, Illingworth pushed hard to win what looked like a drawn ending, first sacrificing an exchange, and then a piece to force a promotion. This resulted in a QvR+P position where Ayvazyan tried to set up a fortress, but more pressure from Illingworth eventually resulted in the rook going to the wrong square, and Illingworth found the zugzwang he needed to take the point, and the tournament.
IM George Xie and FM Igor Bjelobrk both won their final games to overtake Ayvazyan to take equal second on 6/7, while Ayvazyan had to be content with outright 4th. A large number of players finished in a tie for 5th, with Ari Dale and Allen Setiabudi both having impressive tournaments. There were also some interesting finishes further down, with the Willathgamuwa brothers (Kevin and Rowan) both drawing their round 7 games to finish on 4/7, and share the Under 1600 prize.

Know thy classics

From yesterdays play at the 2012 Ryde-Eastwood weekender. Joshua Bishop executed the standard Bxh7 sacrifice against the castled king, and mated his opponent. Of particular interest to those that collect such sacrifices for teaching purposes, Bishop successfully dealt with the Kg6+f5 defence, which is often the toughest nut to crack.

Bishop,Joshua - Dale,Finley [B22]
2012 Ryde-Eastwood (5), 30.09.2012