Wednesday 28 February 2007


One of the reasons why Canberra Chess punches well above its weight compared to the rest of the country is the hard work put in by a small bunch of dedicated volunteers.
One such hard worker is Paul Dunn, who a few years ago established Ozbase, a web site devoted to archiving Australian games of chess. The aim of the site is to "hold games of Australian Chessplayers and games played in chess events held in Australia".
Paul is especially interested in getting games played by Australian players overseas, as such games played pre-1980 are often hard to track down.
If you have any games or tournaments that you can provide (and aren't already there), Paul would appreciate your input. Just click on the link to Ozbase and check out the treasure trove he has created.

Tuesday 27 February 2007

Old Street Chess Game

Mainly to test the format features of blogger I dug up an old Street Chess game.

Hoole,J - Press,S [C31]
Street Chess, 24.05.2003

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 c6 4.dxc6 Nxc6 5.Bb5 Bd6 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.Nf3 exf4 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.0-0 0-0 10.d3 Bg4 11.Kh1 Re8 12.Ne2 Nh5 13.h3 Rxe2 14.hxg4 Ng3+ 15.Kg1 Qf6 16.Rf2 Rae8 [16...Bc5 17.d4 Bxd4!! 18.Nxd4 Qxd4] 17.g5 Qxg5

18.Nxg5 [18.Rxe2 Nxe2+ 19.Qxe2!=] 18...Re1+ 19.Qxe1 Rxe1+ 20.Kh2 Rh1#

Correspondence Chess

About 18 months ago I took on the job of editing the Australian Correspondence Chess Quarterly. This is the official magazine of the Correspondence Chess League of Australia (CCLA). Every CCLA member recieves a copy of the magazine, which come out 4 times a year.
At the moment the membership level of the CCLA is hovering around the 400 mark. As with most things in chess, it would be nice if more people would join. However one of the obstacles to joining is finding out how to do it. In the case of the CCLA it is fairly straightforward.
Yearly membership is $20 ($10 for juniors). Simply send this amount (cheque or money order will do) to

PO Box 29
New Lambton
NSW 2305.

along with your contact details and an estimate of your playing strength (eg ACF rating).
Or you can visit the newly updated CCLA Website and follow the joining instructions.
While there are many reasons to try correspondence chess I will simply repeat a conversation I had with Boris Spassky a number of years ago. I asked him for some advice about how to improve my chess and he replied "This is a question that a middle aged friend asked me a few years ago. I told him to take up correspondence chess and learn about pawn structures. Soon he will be an International Master"

Monday 26 February 2007

Bargain Books

Canberra is blessed with a number of good new and second hand bookshops, but the real gem is Academic Remainders bookshop & warehouse. The bookshop is located in Garema Place in Canberra City (just across from where Street Chess is held) while the warehouse is located in the suburb of Fyshwick at 28 Kembla St.
Over the years I have picked up a large number of new chess books, usually at second hand prices. Here is list of chess books that I recently added to my collection, all costing me less than $10 each. Modern Endgame Practice Beliavsky & Mikhalchishin, The Modern Benoni Revealed Richard Palliser, Bobby Fischer Rediscovered Andrew Solitis (the pick of the bunch!), The Controversial Samisch Kings Indian Chris Ward. There are plenty of other books to buy at around the same price, especially at the warehouse.

(Disclaimer: I have no commercial relationship with Academic Remainders, apart from being a regular customer)

Sunday 25 February 2007

Street Chess

Street Chess is a weekly outdoor chess tournament that has been run in Canberra every Saturday for the last 15 years. It has always been run using the same format of a 7 round swiss with each player having 15 minutes per game (Allegro time limit). This has meant that the tournament lasts no longer than 3 1/2 to 4 hours, which seems to suit most players, whether they be casual or serious.
The tournament starts at 11 in the morning which allows plenty of time for late sleepers to get down and enter, while early risers can enjoy a nice outdoor breakfast and coffee before getting down to business.
When the tournament first started the prize pool was funded out of the entry fees but due to its longevity as part of the activities in the main shopping district of Canberra, it now attracts sponsorship from King O'Malley's Bar and Chicken Gourmet Restaraunt, allowing $100 in prizes to be paid out each week. The organisers were also pleased when the ACT Government provided storage facilities for tournament equipment when they redeveloped the Garema Place area of Canberra a number of years ago.

So next time you are in Canberra you are most welcome to drop in on Saturday mornings in City Walk, Canberra City from 11am for some enjoyable chess under the trees.
Complete information here

Saturday 24 February 2007

Canberra Chess Scene

A little background on the Canberra Chess scene.
For a city of 300,000 people Canberra has a lively and succesful chess scene, especially compared to the rest of Australia. There are 4 chess clubs that meet on a weekly basis. They are located at Belconnen, Tuggeranong, Canberra City, and the Australian National University. Click on the Canberra Chess Calendar link to find the meeting times and location of each of these clubs.
Canberra also has 4 junior chess clubs which are located in Belconnen, Gungahlin, Woden, and Tuggeranong. Again details of these clubs can be found on the Canberra Chess Calendar.
There is a weekly Street Chess tournament which offers $100 in prizes every Saturday. This is usually played outdoors in City Walk, Canberra City. Further details are available via the Street Chess link.
Throughout the year Canberra hosts a number of weekend events. The O2C Doeberl Cup is Australias most popular weekender, with the Australian National University Chess Festival and the Tuggeranong Vikings Weekender also popular with local and interstate players.


Welecome to the Chessexpress blog. This blog will mainly cover issues related to playing, coaching, studying, organising, and enjoying chess. At various times it may stray into other areas that interest me such as robotics, publishing and editing, software development and even politics.
As this blog is produced in Canberra, Australia, obviously a lot of material will relate to local Canberra chess news. However when I have the opportunity to write on broader chess topics, I'll endevour to do so.