Thursday 25 July 2024

They must do things differently in Canberra

 Another year of interschool chess, another set of weird rule interpretations.

At yesterdays interschool event I 9and the other arbiters) were overwhelmed by a hug number of illegal move issues. This in part is caused by our '3 strikes' policy, in which the first illegal move receives a warning, rather than a penalty, thereby increasing the number of illegal moves we have to handle by 50%. In on case a player tried to castle through check and when told that this was not allowed simply said "They must do things differently in Canberra". And apart from the use "both kings in check" situations, one case involved a player dealing with a check by moving their king 5(!) squares away, although this was only to another square where the king was still in check.

The other strange situation involved the non reporting of a result. Due to the tight schedule, if a player did not report a result they ran the risk of receiving a double forfeit. This happened in 3 separate rounds. But in one case this led to a bizarre situation. Having always recorded such results a double forfeit (0F-0F) the pairing program simply paired the same opponents against each other in the next round (this is allowed under the Swiss Pairing Rules, as it assumed the game had not been played). To heap further pain on the player who had one the previous round, he then lost the return bout, thereby scoring 0/2 against the same opponent. Of course my mistake was recording the game as a forfeit, when I should have used 0-0.

Tuesday 23 July 2024

World Record washup

 If the numbers quoted on various news feeds are correct, there were 5.4 million games of chess were played in a 24 hour period on July 20 2024. I suspect the vast majority of these were played online although a significant contribution did com from the 820+ OTB events that were also held on that day. In this part of the world there were events held in most capital cities, while Auckland also put on a couple of quite  large tournaments. I was asked what the pervious record was, and while I don't know for sure, I assumed it was 0. Not because no games of chess have ever been played, but because I think this is the first time it has been officially counted.

By all reports everyone (worldwide) seemed to really enjoy being part of something global, and so I suspect this will become an annual event.

Sunday 21 July 2024

Street Chess - In the news

 As part of yesterdays International Chess Day, Street Chess Canberra contributed to setting a record for the most number of recorded games of chess played in a day. The regular Saturday event attracted 55 players, which was one of our biggest fields evet. As a special event, we even attracted a large amount of media interest with coverage on local and national radio, newspaper interviews and even a live cross on Australia's national news network (ABC). 

There was a larger story broadcast on ABC in the evening, which you can see here

Saturday 20 July 2024

Off to set a World Record

 Today is International Chess Day. As part of the 100th anniversary of the founding of FIDE, there will be an attempt to set a record for the most number of games of chess officially recorded in a 24 hour period. Street Chess is part of this attempt, so if you wish to be in it, just get along to Street Chess at 10:45am at King O'Malley's City Walk, Canberra City. It runs until 3pm ad open to anyone who wants to take part (NB $10/$5/$1 entry fees)

Thursday 18 July 2024

2024 Olympiad Team Lists

 The first set of team lists for the 2024 Olympiad have been posted. You can see who is currently registered at (and there is a link to the Women's event as well) 

Points of interest - USA is seeded 1st in the Open, and Georgia is seeded 1st in the Women's Olympiad. China makes a return after missing Chennai, but Russia and Belarus are still excluded. Australia is 40th in the Open and 44th in the Women's.

However, as there is a possibility of late team changes, these seedings may change. 

Tuesday 16 July 2024

Biel 2024

 The Biel Chess Festival starts this evening (Canberra time) with a number of large events. Apart from the 2 GM events right at the top, there is a couple of big swisses, for amateur players and for aspiring masters. A couple of Australian players are in the entry lists for these events. FM Albert Winkelman is in the Masters Open, seeded 62nd out of 128 players. Walter Wolffs is in the Amateur section, seeded 100th out of 129 players. 

You can follow all the action at (Just as I clicked on the link, it looks like the games in the GM event have just started!)

Monday 15 July 2024

2024 World Rapid and Blitz Teams Championship

 In a couple of weeks I will be of to Astana for the 2024 World Rapid and Blitz Teams Championship. This 4 day event has already attracted some pretty strong teams from around the world (listed here). Indeed, although it is designed as a kind of Rapid Olympiad for all sorts of teams, the large prize pool seems to have left the event rather top heavy. Great news for he spectators, but a little tough on teams at the lower end. 

If I'm not involved next year as an official, I may even try and get a Street Chess team organised (depending on the venue of course!)