Monday, 21 October 2013

Queensland Inter-schools Chess Final

After many years of coming second, Churchie finally won the Inter-schools and goes through to the final. As usual the competition was quite tense and was not clear until the final round. In the end Churchie cruised home with a two point margin. Full results here.

The Junior competition was just as hard fought with Robertson State School and Somerset college fighting it out for the title and a spot in the nationals. Robertson squeaked home by half a point.

Above Kevin Song faces his former student David Liu who now represents TSS. Kevin beat Leon Lee, board one of Robertson earlier in the event but lost this crucial game. Moral of the story, don't teach anyone how to play chess :-)

Jakob Chan, board one for Kings. They came third and are a team to watch out for in the future.
Pictured below is Jason Wang, collecting his gold for best performance on board two.

Earlier in the week Morningside state school had their first chess competition and it was a roaring success. Not only did the home team win but a lot of their fellow GLC learning schools turned up and had a great time by all reports.

I teach at Morningside once a week so was allowed to stand in the group photo.

Alex Rohweder, pictured below, is the highest rated player at MSS and his parents are instrumental in promoting chess at the school. Here they were busy in the tuck-shop feeding the ravenous hordes. 

Tyson Walker,the D.O.P, patiently explaining that since both sides have many legal moves it cannot be stalemate.  

More to come folks, I have just been a bit busy since my New Zealand "holiday" and in 75 minutes my next class starts... at Morningside :-)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

South Island Championship/Nelson Open 2013 Final report.

Just a quick report today, the Internet is painfully slow and some stupid automatic update stole most of my remaining data. 

The players below won some section prizes. The ceremony started early as some people had to get to the airport.

Quentin "bony chicken" Johnson, who won the upset prize by beating yours truly, got the South Island champions title as well. Deservedly I may add.

Puchen "Pooch" Wang took first prize with a picket fence 9/9.

Ok, so with the formalities out of the way we got to do some tourism. Here we are at the local brewery.

The Cafe was great inside. There was a selection of different ales all made on the premises. We started with a Three Berries Cider and moved to a Vanilla and Coconut Dark Ale. The first one was better.

While we were drinking a musician called something like "typhoon panda" was playing in the background. He was quite good. Perhaps he'll play in Mullumbimby one day. He would fit right in :-)

So then Pooch needed to catch a flight and I was the only one left interested in seeing the sights! Chess-players! Sometimes I am ashamed to be one of them. Tell me if I am exaggerating but is this not one of the most beautiful places on earth? Is resting, checking  your emails or analysing your games really the best thing to do on a sunny day in this area?

Mapua got settled by Europeans in the 1840's.

The pier has a long history, detailed on a noticeboard. Come and read it yourself.

There are several places to eat and/or drink. Tourism is the major industry here now.

We chose this place for some fish and chips. My recommendation, buy the fish and eat it raw or cook it yourself. New Zealand fish is the best...until New Zealanders batter and deep fry it.

Now a few words about my last round game before data runs out. Not much to say. Bruce was not on form this morning and gave me all his pieces. Maybe he also is not a morning person.

I'm back in OZ tomorrow, so I'll try to fix remaining issues and post some more pics if I take any nice ones. Thanks for following and a special thanks to former Kiwi Jonathan Sarfati for proofreading and informing me of errors :-)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

South Island Championship/Nelson Open Rounds 7+8

Today was a nice sunny day for a change. Nelson, I am told is the sunniest town in New Zealand but I guess they are getting all their rainfall this week. I went for a long walk to recover from my morning round but more about that later. This is the Maitai river. I always thought a Maitai was some sort of alcoholic beverage.

At the end of the river and the town lies a nice cove. It probably has a name too :-)

A nice statue, titled something like "dreaming about endless time"

A view back to town from the mouth of the Maitai.

Anzac park. We are back in town.

Ok, now to the horror story. My opponents 5th move, d5 is already a serious error that I have put away before. There are many ways to get a nice advantage. Probably just castles and Na6-c5 is the easiest. I knew that, had played it before but....

Trying to understand my pre-noon thought process is an exercise in futility. Instead I spent 3 moves chasing a weak pawn. If one of my students played like that I would give them a stern taking to. The game is worth playing through for the final combination. Quentin did polish me off nicely. 

I was still seething at my weakness by the time the next game rolled around. Out came the Doubleroo. It was now the afternoon and I was paying attention. White did not make any huge blunders, just small ones and blacks pieces just snuck in.

Later we went to a restaurant, waited an hour and a half for food and had a few drinks.

One more round and its over. Nine rounds in five days is not enjoyable for me. Fanatics only can stand that kind of pace. Anyway, only one round tomorrow and then back work :-)

Friday, 11 October 2013

South Island Championship/Nelson Open Rounds 5+6

Before we get to the games I would like to announce that Doubleroo is going to be presenting a new award. It will be called the "Wonderful Human Being" award for incredible kindness to me. Instead of useless tin medals, wine or chocolate will be presented.

The first winner is Kaye Duncan, co-owner of the Carmel Court Motel. Because of the tight schedule, long games and rainy weather I had trouble finding the time to do my washing. Kaye kindly offered to help. I put it in the machine before leaving and when I got back it was in our flat, all dry. Thanks Kaye, your wine is on its way :-)

So, on to the games. The match of the day was Steven Solomons game against Puchen Wang. It was a Gruenfeld where black snaffles the a2 pawn. White seemed to get all his pieces on perfect squares but black somehow managed to defend. Unfortunately the game is not available. I am curious what happened.

As for me, I played the other Rains brother, Edward. These boys have a lot of talent and great concentration but it seems they are not getting the training they need in Christchurch. I won a pawn in the opening and despite blundering it back white was always well on top. One funny moment occurred on move 26, where I had intended and nearly played Ra6, only noticing just before moving that Rb1 wins a rook instead of a pawn. That might have saved at least an hour!

So now it was time to again meet my "eternal opponent" as Kasparov once described Karpov. I was still smarting from the thrashing Steven gave me in Auckland and was eager for revenge. Be that as it may, I got nothing or slightly less from the opening but got a nice tactical shot in with 28.Bg4. The ending was played awfully by both sides according to my engine { Stockfish } and I agree completely. But we are mere humans playing our second game of the day with little time on the clock. I made the second last mistake. The last one was 48...Bd4. Bc3 draws easily.

So one more double round day to go. I am too old for this ****  :-(

Thursday, 10 October 2013

South Island Championship/Nelson Open Rounds 3+4

Today was the first sunny morning in Nelson so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures for you. The venue is directly across the road from our Motel, the Carmel Court, at the Hampden street school. This is the entrance,

then we walk a few minutes along this park

past a playground

and the entrance is just behind this tree.

The view from the outdoor analysis area. Planning this location cost Hilton Bennett his d pawn in the first round. It was worth it...for us :-)

The Arbiters throne.

Children's artwork decorates the walls.

A closer look

The kitchen and the aforementioned Hilton Bennett { left }

The players gather for the start of round three.

On to the games. I was not able to get the game re-player today because the site I use,  seems to be down today. I will edit this post when it is back up. Meanwhile, for the really keen follower I have pasted the pgn.

I got what I deserved in the morning for a half-hearted effort. I got a good position but spent hardly any time at the board, making a few superficial moves, in particular 15.Nc5. As Puchen pointed out, 15.e3 makes life unpleasant for black. Blacks extra pawn was not so great but I misplayed the ending badly culminating in 42.Rb7, forgetting that the knight covers the rook on a5.  

[Event "South Island Championship/Nelson Open 2013"]
[Site "Nelson"]
[Date "2013.10.10"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Wohl, Aleksandar"]
[Black "Wang, Puchen"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2364"]
[BlackElo "2436"]
[ECO "D30i"]
[EventDate "2013.10.09"]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 c5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.d4 Nc6 7.O-O Be7 8.
dxc5 Bxc5 9.a3 O-O 10.b4 Bb6 11.Nc3 Re8 12.Bb2 a6 13.Rc1 Ba7 14.Na4
Qe7 15.Nc5 a5 16.Nd4 axb4 17.axb4 Nxb4 18.Ncb3 Be6 19.Nb5 Bb6 20.Bxf6
Qxf6 21.Nc7 Bxc7 22.Rxc7 Bg4 23.Qd4 Qxd4 24.Nxd4 Nc6 25.e3 Re7 26.
Rxe7 Nxe7 27.Rb1 Rb8 28.Rb6 Bd7 29.f4 Kf8 30.Bf3 Ke8 31.e4 Nc8 32.Rb2
dxe4 33.Bxe4 Nd6 34.Bxh7 g6 35.h4 Bg4 36.Nc6 Ra8 37.Ne5 Be6 38.g4 Ke7
39.f5 gxf5 40.Bxf5 Bxf5 41.gxf5 Ra5 42.Rxb7+ Nxb7 0-1

 And again I get to take on f3 and am allowed to play 6....Nc6! Rick didn't want to suffer a backward d pawn so he just gave it to me, hoping to get counterplay for it. 15.g4 just makes a bad position hopeless. GM Rogozenko seems to have quite a following :-) To long time followers this must seem like another action replay.

[Event "South Island Championship/Nelson Open 2013"]
[Site "Nelson"]
[Date "2013.10.10"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Hothersall, Rick"]
[Black "Wohl, Aleksandar"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1947"]
[BlackElo "2364"]
[ECO "A10"]
[EventDate "2013.10.09"]

1.c4 b6 2.Nf3 Bb7 3.Nc3 e6 4.g3 Bxf3 5.exf3 c5 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.O-O Nge7
8.f4 Nf5 9.b3 Be7 10.Bb2 O-O 11.Ne2 Bf6 12.d4 Nfxd4 13.Nxd4 Bxd4 14.
Bxd4 cxd4 15.g4 Qh4 16.Kh1 f5 17.f3 Rad8 18.Qe2 Qe7 19.Rae1 Qd6 20.
Qd2 a5 21.Rg1 fxg4 22.Re4 gxf3 23.Bxf3 Rf6 24.Bd1 Rdf8 25.Bc2 d3 26.
Re3 Qxf4 27.Qxd3 Rg6 28.Rxg6 hxg6 29.Rg3 Qf1+ 30.Qxf1 Rxf1+ 31.Kg2
Ra1 32.Bxg6 Rxa2+ 33.Kh3 Rb2 34.Be8 Ne5 35.Re3 Kf8 36.Rxe5 Rxb3+ 0-1

Thanks to Jonathan Sarfati and Jeff MacWain for pointing out the error in the second game yesterday. I cannot correct it until is up again. As for Trevor Tao's suggestion that I was testing my audience, thanks for ascribing cleverness to my incompetence but the latter is and will usually be the case :-)

A demain mes amis :-)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

South Island Championship / Nelson Open 2013

There was no rest for the wicked after the George Trundle Masters. After a few hours of sleep I was booked to try to teach New Zealand's best and brightest something about chess. The main theme was a tabia most famous from Karpov - Browne 1972. Naturally I showed off with my games featuring similar positions, like Rogozenko - Wohl  and a few others that regular readers will be familiar with. I then made up the rest of the time with a quick overview of the English defense.

Since the audience was very strong  I was not able to bluff my way through and had to answer some probing questions.

A few hours late I played the toughest Simultaneous exhibition ever. Several participants from the challengers tournament were playing and I scored 2/3 against them! The smiling Hans Gao, pictured below took all the pawns I offered and was one of the first to fall. He walked into one of my "landmines" and never stood a chance. Nathan Goodhue took all the material I blundered and Alpheaus Ang got squeezed in a French variation he didn't know.

Of the others Caroline Yan comprehensively outplayed me in an ending while her younger sister Sarah held a draw without too much trouble.

As you see we had a full house.

"Top Seed" Nathan Goodhue.

The results.

The last one to finish was Simon Lyall who hit me with .....Rg6!! in the position below.

We finished about 11.20pm so again, not much sleep and the next morning it was off to the airport for the one hour flight to Nelson. This part was nice. No identity check, no luggage screening, just like hopping on a bus. Those that enjoy a good grope will be disappointed. And the aircraft?

A Bombardier Q300, twin prop. Very yesterday. Unfortunately there was cloud cover nearly all the way. I was only able to take pictures for about five minutes.

Enough though to be amazed by the fact that the camera can see the propeller while the eye can not. 

Then a change of seats...and then clouds all the way to Nelson.

And here we are!
This is Church hill at the end of Trafalgar street.
It has been raining most of the time since I arrived so nicer photo's will have to wait.

I was picked up at the airport by Dan Dolejs, the driving force of Nelson chess. As it turns out he was also my first round opponent. As I know from personal experience, organising and playing are not the ideal combination and Dan must have had other things on his mind. He dropped a pawn very quickly and then overlooked 22.Rc7, dropping a piece. 

The other organiser, Hilton Bennett's game went 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3Nd2 Nc6 4. e5?? Nd4. He forgot to interpolate 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e5 . Hilton was thinking about where to put the chairs for the analysis area, what to do about the heating, lighting etc, etc... 4.e5 ooops. Anyway, he managed to salvage a draw by making a mencing looking move and offering :-)

I am still not sure what happened in this game. My young opponent totally mishandled the opening and I got a huge advantage which I managed to squander. 14....f5 would probably have been best instead of the too clever 14....Bg4. But credit where its due, he fought like a tiger and might have escaped if he hadn't been so dreadfully short on time near the end. 22.Rfd1 was not great { maybe 22.f5 to scare me}and 23.c5 was terminal. He did have great concentration and fighting spirit and will be a great player one day.

Chesschat has a tread on the tournament
and I will continue to report, time and internet permitting.

Toodles chums :-)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

George Trundle Masters and the winner is....

Me !!!
I must admit it was not a heroic epic struggle that secured this victory but rather an insipid quick draw. I have had too many last round disasters in the past and the round was changed from the civilised time of to before the crack of noon so I took the "professional" {spineless}  approach. After all, Steven still had to win to catch me and he failed to do so. Paul Garbett proved to be a bony chicken today.

Second on 6 points was my countryman Steven Solomon who gave me two points start and nearly caught up, falling just half a point short. 

Third prize was shared by IM Paul "bony chicken" Garbett, FM, Luke Li and Singaporean IM Peng Kong Chan, who wa the only undefeated player. Paul and Luke share the trophy for the best NZ player.

Our Arbiter Keong Ang is worth more than a passing mention . His primary concern throughout the tournament was that things ran smoothly and that everybody was happy.Mission accomplished. His son Alphaeus played in the challengers. What a great name! I have never heard it before but if I have a son I will name him Alphaeus.

All the people involved did their best to make the tournament a success and the visitors feel welcome. My host Bruce Watson opened his home to Steven and I and the Auckland chess club members entertained us and went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

Lastly I would like to mention the contribution of Helen Milligan. A link will tell you more than my rambling

Look! Results, pictures, upcoming events, past events, games, links, etc, etc. This is a website. Now compare that to the Australian chess federation website.
But if you have been in the last few months, don't bother. There is still nothing there. It is better to have nothing than this disgrace. I promised a review a while ago but there is nothing to review! It is even worse than the previous disgrace. I did not think it possible!! Am I being too harsh? Please tell me if I am.

A notice to the ACF. I have been on about this for over two years now. At the Australian Championship in 2012 I even offered to do it myself {with the help of Isage internet}. Gary Wastell consulted with the council and rejected my offer. 
I will increase the frequency, range and volume of  my criticism until something is finally done. As an Australian chess player I am embarrassed by what is up on the web now. You have been warned.

I would like to show you one final picture just as a historical curiosity. Just around the corner on Dominion Road there is a building which housed the Auckland chess club sometime in the 60's

Why am I sharing this with you? No particular reason, I just like the building :-)

Tomorrow morning I am giving lessons at the Auckland Chess Centre to a group of promising juniors, followed by a simultaneous exhibition in the evening. Since several of the players from the qualifiers are playing and even one from the masters has threatened to play { to get revenge } I anticipate a tough evening :-/

Good night folks, thanks for reading and come back for the reports from Nelson.
Ciao Bellas/Bellos