Sunday, 30 October 2011

Australia unoccupied?

Last week I noticed that the "Occupy Wall Street" movement had hit the Gold Coast! Since I was heading down to Brunswick Heads anyway I thought I should at least offer a few hours of my time and take a few pictures. Moral support alone is overrated.

When protesting one needs to dress appropriately so that both your fellow protesters, spectators and most importantly the police can identify what group you belong to. Luckily I have a red Che Guevara t-shirt for just such an occasion. Sporting Che you can blend into any left-wing cause seamlessly.

                                                        I saw this Video on YouTube

but when I got down there on Saturday afternoon I saw this.

A public event less well attended than an Australian Chess Tournament!

Meanwhile the beach was well occupied.

 Surely "Occupy Byron Bay" will be different. Off the top of my head I cannot think of a better place to attract a crowd of protesters and when you see the You Tube Video it does indeed look like Byron does it better. Drums, party atmosphere, lots of people with time on their hands...

but when I got down there,

I saw only one person who might be a protester, the guy with the Guitar...maybe? Although slightly disappointing I chose to look on the bright side. Obviously life in Australia is so good for the vast majority  that we don't really have anything to complain about. The Human development index confirms this assessment. Australia is in second place overall, just a fraction behind Norway. Without the winter!

While I was musing on the sweetness of life in OZ a report came on the car radio that Qantas had grounded its entire domestic and international fleet! From what I can gather the CEO Alan Joyce spat the dummy when he couldn't get everything he wanted.   

Doubleroo opinion. Qantas should be instantly re-nationalized and Alan Joyce and any others responsible for the grounding should be arrested and charged with economic terrorism. Nothing is as entertaining as a good show-trial. :-)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Queensland Inter-School Teams Chess Championship

This the best Schools in the state of Queensland battled for titles in Brisbane at Somerville House, a prestigious Girls School with a long and good reputation for encouraging and promoting Chess. Here is a picture of the School with one of the successful teams showing off their trophy.

The tournament was excellently organised and there was a large turnout from many different regions. Some teams were local (Brisbane), others from the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and Bundaberg. Everything was still wide open until the very end but the dominant teams in both the primary and secondary level were from Kings and Grammar.

Brisbane Grammar won a last round nail-biter against Somerville to win the Secondary School division while Kings held 2-2 against Grammar to win the Primary division. Don't quote me on that because I am working from memory. I have not been able to find the exact results on any website.

The Somerville Girls acquitted themselves very well and were fighting for one of the top places going into the last round. Amongst the coaches were International Master Moulthun Ly, a promising younger player, Veteran IM Steven Solomon and WIM Alexandra Jule pictured below going through the game of one of the competitors...and having lunch. No rest for the wicked :-)

Many thousand school children and students play chess in Queensland and there are many events for them to play in. Parents and teachers support these events as does the Queensland Chess Association  and the Gardiner Chess Academy  . This is Graeme Gardiner who spends a lot of his time helping to organise events like these.

As you can see there are a lot of people enthusiastically involved in Junior Chess. So why is it that Junior events look like this

and open tournaments look like this?

IM Steven Solomon receiving first prize at the Wendy Terry memorial a few weeks previously. A solid performance by Steven who out-rated his nearest rival by nearly 300 elo points. Hardly any adults compete anymore and much of the tiny field was made up of juniors. Something is happening in the transition between School and Adult life. Anybody got any ideas?