Sunday, 7 September 2014

First Sunday @ Churchie

Tom Maguire scored a picket fence 7/7 on Sunday. Apparently he was a bit lucky in some of the games but the good player is always lucky. For his "luck" he got to take home $150

Second place was a tie between Hughston Parle and Alexander Au on 5.5/7. They took home $75 each.

Best Girl was won by Brigitte Watkins with 4/7.  This a remarkable performance by the Somerville house girl against a very strong field especially considering she had a splitting headache for most of the event.

 Second place was won by Isabel Stevens with 2.5/7 and for her fine effort she was rewarded with Kevin Casey's " Australian Chess Brilliancies "

The U800 division was won by Churchie boy Reece Cameron Lyons who's rating of  547 only shows that this talented youngster doesn't get the opportunity to play many tournaments. Reece took home a wooden chess set.

Second U800 was taken out by  Ben Stevens of Grammar. He also took home a copy of "Australian Chess Brilliancies ".

Isabel also showed a remarkable ability to guess the amount of lollies in a jar.

Below the final standings.

First Sunday Junior Rapid - Round 7


Place Name                 Feder Rtg Loc  Score M-Buch. Buch. Progr.

  1   Maguire, Tom         B         1732 7        21.5  30.5   28.0
 2-3  Parle, Hughston      B         1162 5.5      21.0  28.5   21.5
      Au, Alex             B         1147 5.5      19.0  26.5   20.5
 4-9  Wang, Jason          B         1306 4        21.0  30.0   18.0
      Cameron-Lyons, Reece B         547  4        19.0  27.0   15.0
      Ostapenko, Michael   B         1491 4        18.5  27.5   16.0
      Stephens, Ben (ACGS) B         709  4        16.0  23.5   14.0
      Shresth, Aryan       B         826  4        15.0  21.5   15.0
      Watkins, Bridgette   B         760  4        15.0  21.5   15.0
 10   Liu, David (GC)      GC        1408 3.5      22.5  32.0   17.5
11-12 Lupari, Isaac                       2.5      17.0  21.5   12.5
      Stephens, Isabel                    2.5      13.0  17.5    9.5
13-14 Watkins, Rachel      B         541  2        18.5  23.5   10.0
      Khagram, Aaryan                     2        14.0  20.0    7.5
 15   Chappell, Georgina                  1        14.5  19.0    3.0
 16   Khagram, Ayesha                     0.5      16.5  23.0    1.0

Cross Table

No Name                 Feder Rtg Loc  Total  1    2    3    4    5    6    7  

1  Maguire, Tom         B         1732 7      7:W  3:W  2:W 10:W  6:W  5:W  4:W
2  Parle, Hughston      B         1162 5.5   16:W  9:W  1:L  4:W  3:D  7:W 10:W
3  Au, Alex             B         1147 5.5   14:W  1:L  5:W  8:W  2:D 10:W 16:W
4  Wang, Jason          B         1306 4     13:W  8:W 10:L  2:L  9:W  6:W  1:L
5  Cameron-Lyons, Reece B         547  4      6:W 10:L  3:L 15:W  8:W  1:L 14:W
6  Ostapenko, Michael   B         1491 4      5:L 11:W  7:W  9:W  1:L  4:L 13:W
7  Stephens, Ben (ACGS) B         709  4      1:L 14:W  6:L 16:W 13:W  2:L 12:W
8  Shresth, Aryan       B         826  4     15:W  4:L 12:W  3:L  5:L 13:W 11:W
9  Watkins, Bridgette   B         760  4     12:W  2:L 13:W  6:L  4:L 11:W 15:W
10 Liu, David (GC)      GC        1408 3.5    0:D  5:W  4:W  1:L 11:W  3:L  2:L
11 Lupari, Isaac                       2.5    0:D  6:L 16:W 14:W 10:L  9:L  8:L
12 Stephens, Isabel                    2.5    9:L 16:W  8:L 13:L 14:D 15:W  7:L
13 Watkins, Rachel      B         541  2      4:L 15:W  9:L 12:W  7:L  8:L  6:L
14 Khagram, Aaryan                     2      3:L  7:L 15:W 11:L 12:D 16:D  5:L
15 Chappell, Georgina                  1      8:L 13:L 14:L  5:L 16:W 12:L  9:L
16 Khagram, Ayesha                     .5     2:L 12:L 11:L  7:L 15:L 14:D  3:L
by Swiss Perfect (TM)

Special thanks must go to our Arbiter Tyson Walker. It is a pleasure to have a consummate professional running a tournament. 

The Master of Chess at Churchie Max Condon put in the most work of anyone, organising and setting up the excellent venue and grilling sausages for lunch. Thanks also to Max's daughter, Grace Condon, ran the canteen all day long.

Churchie has a long tradition of supporting Chess an this weekender continues this. Thanks for making the Brene Pavillion available to us. It is a roomy quiet venue next to the main oval and the tuckshop. Waiting parents were able to use the free wi-fi provided.

Summing up I believe all had a great Sunday. We did not have as many entries as hoped but this may have had a few contributing factors. We announced the tournament very late and clashed with fathers day and another junior event on the Gold Coast. As a "proof of concept" event however it was a success. All aspects of the tournament ran smoothly so we know the next one will be even better. 

The next Sunday rapid is scheduled for the 26th of October.
 I hope to see you all there :-)    

Sunday, 27 July 2014

End of Leiden and the journey home.

I must work on my planning. Immediately after the last round I drove 900km to Vendenesse sur Arroux, then the next day, my 51st birthday (21/7) I continued on to Munich, another 700km, and the next day I boarded a flight for Brisbane, a mere 30 hours. Am too old for this ****.

Only now did I look at the final results from Leiden and noticed that IM Das, Arghyadip had won with 7/9! A great result especially considering the strength of the field.

As for my last round game, it was pretty boring. I decided not to be a wimp (offer an early draw) but then played without any real conviction or interest. Going through the motions. 13...Ne4 was too impatient (...e6 is better) and after some more badly thought out winning attempts I was a bit lucky to draw.

Now I am back in Australia. At the moment I am still wondering why. Travelling around Europe with the family playing in chess tournaments was a lot more fun. Instead I was met by a whole pile of letters from government departments which is never good. I'll spare you the details, at least in this post.

Anyway in a few hours my lessons start up again and teaching my students always (almost) cheers me up.

See you soon :-)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Leiden Open round 8

Todays game started at the unusually early time of 1pm. Not much time for tourism so the ladies spent the day at Katwijk beach while I played quite an interesting game. I missed a chance to take a serious advantage with 17.Nbd6 according to stockfish. Then everything was balanced until I played the "winning" 39.Qd5??

What I had missed was that I can't answer 42....Rb6 with Nc3 because black just takes the knight and queens. Oh well, last round tomorrow, 11.00am :-) That's another thing I like about the Dutch. They aren't really morning people either.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Leiden Open round 7

After yesterdays somewhat lame expedition to Corpus we decided to just go for a walk in town today. As we were walking past the Windmill museum " De Falk " curiosity finally got the better of us so we decided to have a look. Good move! 

There is a video explaining the history and the importance of Windmills in Holland on the first floor in many languages including French and English. 

Here we have some millstones.

The Millar and his family lived in the mill. Like the living room?

Old equipment is everywhere. No indication of what it is though.

The view from the top is quite spectacular.

Now we are in the guts of the mill.

Bench full of gears, weights etc...

Guts again.

And a little window half way down.

The Molenmuseum De Falk gets my seal of approval. The stairs are a bit scary and there are lots of them but the view is worth the effort if nothing else.

Ok, on to my game. We returned home around 6pm so I had about an hour to come up with something. I noticed very quickly that my opponent doesn't play open Sicilians. In my long career I have tried all kinds of ways to avoid playing 3.d4 but have come to the sad conclusion that they all suck. Therefore whenever I see someone not playing the open, I play 1.c5 :-)

My opponent was well prepared and had played the variation in the game many times. Still, he got nothing from the opening and his position imperceptibly went from equal to slightly worse then clearly worse, then hopeless. I have played the same game from the other side. Trust me youngsters, the anti-sicilians all suck.

As my reward I am back on board 3, white against GM Predrag Nikolic 2605! Scary :-)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Leiden round 6

Our sightseeing today had a curious start. A group of us put on headphones in the desired language and took an escalator into the human digestive tract...through the most convenient orifice.

We were visiting Corpus, an educational attraction that takes you on a journey through the human body. I must admit that it was not the highlight of our holiday. Strangely enough there were lots of senior citizens taking the tour which seems mainly suited to 8-12 year olds. They all queued at some "well being" machine in the interactive section.

Meanwhile Nina burned off 70 calories on the exercise bike provided.

At the reception they keep an eye on you :-)

Comprehensive anatomical posters can be found on the walls throughout the complex.

Well today was one for the spectators. I thought it was a good day to go all out for a win and I got close but when it was time to play 25.c5 I changed my mind and played the philosophical 25.0-0. Not fatal but I followed up with the horrible 26.Qa7. I had a feeling it was a bit decentralising but played it anyway, against my better judgement.
Annoying actually but tomorrow is another round. 

I am still clinging onto the live boards actually, board 8, so if you are really bored......:-)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Leiden Open round 5

Todays game was a bit more exciting than yesterdays so I'll start with chess. I'm quite happy with todays game although I'll have to take a closer look before repeating the experiment. Instead of 10.Qb3, just Bb2 might be good getting ready to play d5. If black plays 10.....d5 11.b5 looks fast.

Finally 18.Nc4 allowing f4! makes whites position untenable.

Anyway, we have a day off and then back to the liv boards with white against GM Ikonnikov.

Leiden round 4 + Hortus Botanicus

One of the outstanding attractions in Leiden is the Hortus Botanicus. It is Hollands oldest, founded in 1590 so it has one of my favourite things, old trees.
They also have different exhibits and this summer it is ancient plants. 

The gardens are not huge but well thought out with a map at the entrance so you don't get lost but since you can see the border from nearly everywhere.....

Nina posing with the founder, Clusius I think, or something similar.

The greenhouses have a great collection of carnivorous plants. These are in the rafters three storeys up. 

I tried to dissuade Nina from touching them by telling her that they will snap her fingers off but she needed to verify.

Next floor down is a cactus collection. This was a particularly weird looking one. 

Lots of info about fossilised ferns with the actual fossils, some hundreds of millions of years old.

Flowers everywhere. 

Not sure what this is. An artwork or fossils?

These water plants were huge! They were in the prehistoric section.

My new favourite tree in Leiden.

More flowers. No explanatory signs so they must be purely decorative.

And another amazing tree. It's branches formed a natural tipi.
You may notice that I uploaded more pictures than usual. This is to compensate for the lack of chess content :-)

We did play 13 interesting moves but when my 200 point higher rated grandmaster opponent offered me a draw in a more or less equal position I whimped out. I blame our horticultural excursion.
 ( excuse number 345 ) 

So now I have black against a lower rated opponent. If I win then the draw was a brilliant stratagem, if not it was a severe error in judgement. Stay tuned :D