Wednesday, 27 September 2023

The ten threat rule?

 Garry Kasparov once said if you make ten threats in a row, your bound to win as your opponent will eventually make a mistake. But I've now seen a different version attributed to Boris Spassky.

"It takes 10 threats to beat the World Champion". But it also mentions that you should beat a beginner with 1 threat, and lowly rated player with 2 threats, and average player with 3 threats, a strong club player with 4 threats etc

Now the only place I have seen this is in a facebook post (which flashed past my eyes too quickly), and haven't been able to find it anywhere else.

Tuesday, 26 September 2023

2023 ACT Junior Championships Under14/12

 The first event in the 2023 ACT Junior Championship was completed today, with Owen MacMullin winning the Under 14 title. He did so after defeating Masaki Horikawa in a playoff game, after they had tied for 1st on 5/6. Having drawn there tournament game, they played each other in a single rapidplay game (G/15m), with MacMullin taking advantage of an opening mistake by Horikawa to win quite quickly. 

The winner of the Under 12 titles was Sanat Hegde, who was the youngest player in the 29 player field. He scored 4.5/6 to finish ahead of Rohan Jain and Ethan Li, who both scored 4.

The main event, the ACT Junior Championship starts tomorrow and will be played over 3 days. Alongside this event will be the Under 8 championship and the Under 10 championship, which will both be single day events.

Results for the Under 14/12 tournament can be found here

Sunday, 24 September 2023

Almost the Olympics (Asian games)

 Chess is once again featuring at the Asian Games. And looking at the team lists, a lot of countries are taking it very seriously. In both the Men's and Women's events, at last half the fields are GM/WGM, with the Men's tournament having the bottom half starting at 2383 (GM Raymond Song).

I'm not sure if there is any live coverage of the games, as a quick check of the official games website did not having links to it. But you can at least see the results at

It is a 9 round event (over 4 days) and will be followed by a team event (Men's and Women's)

Friday, 22 September 2023

2023 World Junior

 The 2023 World Junior Championship has started in Mexico City. Top see is GM Hans Neimann and there are 153 players in the Open section, and 85 in the Girls section. Australia has 3 representatives taking part (plus one arbiter). IM Cameron McGowan and FM Albert Winkelman are both seeded in the top half of the Open, while WCM Jody Middleton is playing in the Girls section.

The first round has been played (wins for McGowan and Winkelman, loss for Middleton) with the 2nd round starting in a few hours. Results can be found via although the live coverage seems to be missing at this stage.

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Games that are real, but are unreal

 I am trawling through the latest collection of games from The Week in chess, looking for some quick finishes/opening traps. However, with a enormous amount of chess now being played online, sudden ends to games have less to do with players overlooking threats, and more to do with misclicks and failed pre-moves. But even OTB games aren't immune to a version of this. Some blunders can only be explained by a player touching the wrong piece and being forced to play the losing move (well, that's the most charitable explanation I can think off). Here are a few examples

Khanin,S (2570) - Schitco,Ivan (2533) [D20]
Texas Collegiate Finals Brownsville USA (3.6), 17.09.2023
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 b5 4.a4 a6? 5.axb5 axb5?? 6.Rxa8 1-0

Gronkowski,Dariusz - Kubicka,Anna (2284) [A03]
Szansa Open Rapid 2023 Warsaw POL (1.16), 17.09.2023
1.f4 d5 2.c4 Nf6 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.d3 e5 5.fxe5 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Ne3 7.Qa4+ b5 8.Qxb5+ c6 9.Qa4 Qh4+ 0-1

Varga,Gabor (1911) - Kozak,Antoni (2427) [B06]
10th POL-HUN Rapid 2023 Katowice POL (5.23), 09.09.2023
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.f4 d5 4.e5 Bf5 5.Bd3 e6 6.Bxf5 gxf5 7.Nf3 Bf8 8.0-0 Ne7 9.c3 Ng6 10.Ng5 h6 11.Qh5 hxg5 0-1

Kiss,Rebeka Anna (1754) - Navara,D (2688) [B25]
10th POL-HUN Rapid 2023 Katowice POL (1.1), 09.09.2023
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.f4 Nc6 6.d3 Rb8 7.a4 e6 8.Nf3 Nge7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Be3 b6 11.Qc1 Nd4 12.Nb5 Ne2+ 0-1

Monday, 18 September 2023

2023 ACT Junior Chess Championship - Coming up

 2023 ACT Junior Championship and Age Championships

When: Monday 25th September – Friday 29th September

Schedule: Monday 25th Under 14/Under 12 Day 1

Tuesday 26th Under 14/Under 12 Day 2

Wednesday 27th Under 18 Day 1, Under 8 (Only day)

Thursday 28th Under 18 Day 2, Under 10 (Only day)

Friday 29th Under 18 Day 3

Tournament Format and Entry Fee

Under 18 9 rounds Wed-Fri FIDE Rated $90 60m+30s TC

Under 14 6 rounds Mon-Tue ACF Rated $60 60m+30s TC

Under 12 6 rounds Mon-Tue ACF Rated $60 60m+30s TC (May be combined with Under 14)

Under 10 6 rounds Thu ACF Rated $30 30m+30s TC

Under 8 6 rounds Wed ACF Rated $30 30m+30s TC

Players may play multiple events if age and schedule allows (eg Under 8’s can play Under 10’s as well, and even Under 14/12)

$10 discount for ACTJCL members

$20 discount if playing all 5 days (ie $130 for entry in Under 18 and Under 14)

Third and subsequent child from one family are free

Enter @


Monday 25 September 2023 9:00 AM - Friday 29 September 2023 5:00 PM (UTC+10)


Campbell High School Hall

Trelaor Cres, Campbell ACT 2612

Friday, 15 September 2023

Congratulations FM Rupert Jones

 FM Rupert Jones has been recognised by the English Chess Federation for his many contributions to chess. Although resident in The Peoples Republic of Yorkshire, he has represented both Botswana (where he worked in the 80's and 90's) and Papua New Guinea (where he was born). To get an idea of all the things he has achieved you can read the citation at Also recognised was IA Alex McFarlane, who I have had the pleasure of working with on a number of occasions.

Well done Rupert and Alex