Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Ruth Coxhill Memorial round 9 (brought forward)

Sam is one of the Gold coasts young talents and has been introducing many kids to chess with the Gardiner Chess Academy. Today it was Sam who learned a lesson. I would formulate the "rule" like this.

If you swap a bishop for a knight unprovoked in the opening, have a good reason.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Ruth Coxhill Memorial Round 5

I have now played chess against two generations of Mullers. Jonas father played regularly more than a decade ago. Will I be around to play the next generation in 20 years time? A bit optimistic perhaps but not totally out of the question.

Jonas played well for most of the game and it is hard to pinpoint his errors but I felt that playing 19......c3 closed the position too much and cost him too much of his counterplay for one potential mate-threat. Meanwhile whites attack continued.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Ruth Coxhill Memorial Round 4 and Mullum music festival.

I am a bit late with this game. The Mullum Music Festival was on this weekend and between visits to the beach, checking out the bands and a few after parties there was little time left.

The venues are spread across town but the Magic bus will take you there....or..

the "Free Buddha Bus". I had no idea he was incarcerated! The whole town was a stage as seen in this ...street-theatre?

Anyway, back to the game. My opponent fell for a beginners trap and lost quickly. It is good to beat these kids while one still can because in a few years time Kevin will not be so careless. I believe he is currently 10! 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Ruth Coxhill Memorial Round 3. Proof there is no God.

If there were a God or any form of universe governing intelligence or in fact any logic or justice then surely I would have lost today. Slowly and painfully. I feel reluctant to even post this game, that's how unfair and undeserved my victory was.

Instead I will bury it at the end of the post with the idea of exceeding your attention span. When I last presented you with a game I was fasting. That lasted until Saturday. It was a busy day considering I was fasting but when not eating or smoking I need to distract myself a little so I visited the Mullum markets

Mullumbimby hosts the markets once a month and it one of the nicer markets, not nearly as big as the Byron markets but shady and relaxed like everything in Mullum.

I was surprised that on such a fine day so few people were out. The reason as I found out when I phoned a local chessplayer/friend was that the Bangalow show was on. I just had to see it!

The first exhibit I saw brought a smile to my face. The translation is necessary in Australia.

The farm animals were very popular with the little kids

while the horses were very popular with the bigger kids.

The Cattle were the highlight.

After the show I went body surfing for about an hour and then drove up to Brisbane for a birthday party and what a party it was. Connie Pizzato was celebrating her 22nd 39th birthday and let me tell you, Italians know how to throw a party. A guest not eating is seen as a challenge. A few glasses of champagne and my resolve weakened. When the home made Spelt pizza arrived I gave in to temptation. Then came skewered garlic get the picture.

As soon as I started eating again the Nicotine withdrawals arrived with a vengeance.  I seem to be restless, short tempered and scatterbrained. Well that is my excuse for today and I am sticking to it :-)

After the previous success with a 19th century opening I thought I might try something even older. The Ponziani opening has been known since 1497 according to the link. It is hardly ever played anymore but it is not clear to me why.

Alex Ruddy did not appear to be flummoxed by my choice. He played a good line but then lost a little ground and by the early middlegame was a bit worse.  By move 25 I was no longer taking the game seriously and played the impulsive 25: c5?? allowing Qg5, blacks only trick. Instead 25: Qh7 check followed by c5 ends the game quickly. After my brain-melt I am just a pawn down in a difficult (to say the least) ending. And now a tragedy happened. Alex left a piece unprotected ending the game immediately.  

I fully deserved to lose this game for my flippant and arrogant attitude to this game. See? No Justice, therefore no God. The Bull put it best when he said....

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Ruth Coxhill Memorial Round 2

                              In the mountains behind Mullumbimby we have a secret training base

and the last few sessions we had discussed a line of the Scotch opening. After the introductory moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 ed4 4. Nd4 black rarely plays Qh4 but this move just wins a pawn! It is true that a well prepared player will get plenty of compensation for that pawn. My opponent today was not prepared and just lost a pawn. Again my junior opponent played until mate. 

In case you did bother playing through this game and are now wondering why I promoted to a knight instead of a queen, no you are not missing anything, I was just playing with my food. We both used hardly any time for the game and under-promotion is always nice.

Some gratuitous advice. If you play the Scotch, learn the 4........Qh4 line and if you face it as black you may want to call your opponents bluff at least once.

So 4 days of fasting and nicotine abstinence are over. I am down to 105kg and starting to breathe normally again. Got to get healthy before the Australian Championship in Geelong at the end of the year. A friend encouraged me yesterday to go down there and retrieve MY title :-)  

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Ruth Coxhill Memorial

Finally a chess game! Since returning to Australia I had not played any rated tournament games to I enjoyed my short outing today. Graeme Gardiner of the Gardiner Chess Academy  organizes many events and one of them is the Ruth Coxhill Memorial. It is not every son who honours the memory of his mother with a tournament.

We play 2 games a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays in the evening. A very relaxed format. The venue is the Gardiners spacious home.

My young opponent played the opening quite well, then started to use all his time for no good reason....and then panicked. I guess the point of the tournament was fulfilled. Most of the field is made up of talented juniors getting in some practice before the Australian Junior Championships.

On another front, I am fasting again. My last food intake was on Sunday lunchtime. Last cigarette Sunday afternoon. As usual quitting is easy and three days in I am feeling good. The challenge will be to retain the motivation. Also in the past my nicotine cravings return when I start eating again.

So apart from playing two games a week and going to the markets on the weekends to listen to some drums

I am not doing anything exciting enough to blog about. Well you be the judge :-) I read somewhere on the internet that drinking small amounts of seawater is supposed to have a beneficial effect. Since it is well known that all information on the internet is reliable I thought I might give it a try. Now every time I go swimming I swallow a glassful or two of saltwater. So far so good :-)