Monday, 28 March 2016

Caesar Conquers Doeberl

James Morris, aka Caesar, giving his victory speech at the Doeberl cup. Veni vidi vici? Not really, Caesar seemed a bit stunned himself. His play was solid with an artistic streak. The final position in his game against GM Hrant Melkumyan could be the basis of an endgame study. Also worth viewing is his game against Max Illingworth. The final position has that comedy noir factor going for it. If you don't know what I mean try finding a move for white.

For full results and games go the the official site.

Second on 7 points were our two visiting GM's, Anton Smirnov took 4th place and the best junior title for the second year running and Heather Richard the best female prize. 

The Major section was won by David Cannon with 6/7 followed in second and third by Churchie boys Jarryd Luis and Tony Zhong.

Mark stokes took gold for Queensland in the minor and was all grins.

As for yours truly, I finished with 6.5/9 in fifth place. Much better than I expected.
My last game was my best of the tournament against a traditionally difficult opponent for me. Today he just played a bad opening variation and I did not panic when short on time.

Thanks for reading, see you soon :D

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Doeberl Cup rounds 7&8

Yesterday the morning started badly and the game went well, this morning I was informed that I had won the "lucky door prize" which was a $50 voucher for chess books and the game went badly. I had many easy wins and ended up blundering into a draw.

Round 7

I don't know how I talked myself out of 25.Na6 which wins the house. Checks and captures again. Groan.

In this game I should have lost. Dusan refuted my clumsy plan comprehensively but then got his attacking pieces stuck in my position and I finally got the e5 pawn. Yay! more luck than I deserve but I'll take it.

Round 8

We also had a little incident today. Izzat Kanan, the reigning Australian champion spat the dummy after losing last night to Heather Richards and withdrew from the tournament. He was not Ill, just disappointed. The question I put to my readers is this,

 Is Izzat Kanan a pussy?

 I don't know as I have not had the chance to speak to him. You be the judge dear reader. Here is the game for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Doeberl Cup, rounds 5&6

The dreaded morning rounds started today  and it started with me missing the exit to the Uni, then misreading "maps" causing the need for another correction and arriving 5 minutes late.

Round 5

My opening was uninspiring and black was more than fine had he sacked a piece with 24....Nf2. It is a positional piece sack which neither seriously considered I guess. Swapping queens was not the way to go and now I felt I was just playing for one result. Blacks pawns fall like Autumn leaves. Even quicker had I noticed the blindingly obvious 31.Nd5. Checks and Captures, how many times do I have to remind myself. Maybe a tattoo on the forehead?

Round 6

I'm not going to waste your time, dear reader, by showing you the 10 moves of my afternoon game. I must say that I was surprised by the offer as I was expecting the black side of a long Maroczy squeeze, something Grandmaster Darryl Johansen is known for. Maybe the two rounds a day had tired him out.

Anyway, home straight now, a few good games will put a $mile on my face.

Hasta manjana amigoes.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Doeberl Cup rounds 3&4

University house is a nice venue. I was less impressed with yesterdays playing hall, not that it wasn't perfectly acceptable, clean quiet etc, but it did not have the class befitting a grand event. But the main hall definitely does. It was booked for a function on the first day.

One of the reasons I decided to play was that I had not seen some friends for years and all and sundry come to Canberra for this traditional tournament. They even leave the hills of the Shire for this annual pilgrimage.

Round 3

I have no reason to complain about this result. My opponent just played well and Stockfish agrees. I guess I do need to update my openings.

(Edit) As rapidly pointed out by readers (thanks David, Jeff) the game replayer has malfunctioned so here is the pgn for those whose life is meaningless without my games. :-)

[Event "Doeberl Cup Premier 2016"]
[Site "University House"]
[Date "2016.03.25"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Wohl, Aleksandar"]
[Black "Litchfield, Frederick"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2056"]
[BlackElo "2334"]
[ECO "C10c"]
[EventDate "2016.03.24"]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Be3 Bb4 5.Ne2 dxe4 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Nxc3 Nf6
8.Qd2 Bd7 9.h3 h6 10.g4 Ne7 11.Bg2 Bc6 12.O-O-O Qd7 13.Qe2 O-O-O 14.
h4 Kb8 15.g5 hxg5 16.hxg5 Nfd5 17.Nxe4 Nxe3 18.fxe3 b6 19.Nc3 Nf5 20.
Rxh8 Rxh8 21.Bxc6 Qxc6 22.e4 Nd6 23.g6 fxg6 24.Qg4 e5 25.Qxg6 exd4
26.Qxg7 Re8 27.Rxd4 Nxe4 1/2-1/2

Round 4

The Alekhine defense used to be my main defense and I felt the need for familiar territory. The Be3, Rc1, b3 line has been annoying Alekhine's players for decades now. I had this idea of re-routing the b6 knight to f6 for a while and today it worked out ok. Perhaps Jonas should not have allowed ....d5 and his b4 was also suspect.

And tomorrow, the dreaded morning round.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Doeberl Cup 2016, rounds one and two. Checks and captures

For the first time in many years I've decided to play in the Doeberl Cup, the jewel in the crown of Australian open tournaments. It has been going since 1963 and my first time was in my teens. The venue and format has changed many times over the years but it still manages to attract many of Australia's top players.

This year the Byron Bluesfest has an unimpressive lineup, many of my students are playing in Canberra and I felt like going for a long drive with my new car so here I am, trying to move pieces. As my first two rounds showed me, I have some cobwebs to eliminate.

My first round opponent was a talented junior who had somehow managed to prepare before the first round and blitzed out his opening moves. It looked all wrong to me, allowing an open H file, but apparently that's how Karpov played the position. But it doesn't take much to go wrong in such a double edged position and 20...Rc8, allowing me to switch the a3 bishop to h6 was too much. Then there was 26. Qh8 Look out for checks!  

Playing against a professional like GM Ganguly is never easy and I got a rush of blood to the head on move 17. I should of course take on d4, opening the position for the two bishops as intended instead of trying to mate. Still, the position was tenable if I did not miss 26.Nf7+. Checks and captures.

Anyway, all good, had a good sleep, now to see if I can remember how to play at least entertaining chess and avoid junior preparation.

Checks and captures,
Checks and captures,
Checks and captures.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Terra Cup,Human Chess and the Churchie International.

Tom Maguire wins on tiebreak

Junior chess players in Queensland have long been suffering from a dearth of events and have had to go interstate to play. Although some inter-schools events exist they usually cater more to the mass of unambitious part-timers. Playing noobs for ribbons doesn't quite do it for the ambitious competitor.

Churchie has hosted a Doubleroo rapid event every term for quite a while and while very popular and well attended, that is a drop of water on a hot stone.

Hughston Parle, of Gregory Terrace Grammar School, decided to take matters into his own hands and organised a tournament at his school. Congratulations are in order for organising this excellent event.
Tom Maguire, David Liu and Colm Hawkins all finished on 6/7 with Tom taking the Gold.

Terra Cup - Round 7


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

 1-3  Maguire, Tom      B         2042 6        24.0  32.5   25.0
      Liu, David (GC)   GC        1703 6        22.0  30.5   26.0
      Hawkins, Colm     B         913  6        22.0  30.0   23.0
 4-6  Therakam, Clint   QLD       1648 5        24.0  31.5   23.0
      Chan, Jacob       GC        1237 5        23.0  33.0   22.0
      Chan, Jordan      GC        682  5        19.0  27.5   19.0
7-15  Zhuang, Raymond   B         869  4        22.0  30.0   19.0
      Ng, Sze-Yong      B         857  4        21.0  30.0   18.0
      Lim, Joseph       GC        736  4        21.0  30.0   17.0
      Houghton, Sam     B         686  4        20.0  28.0   18.0
      Gould, Michael    B         640  4        18.5  26.0   18.0
      Zhang, Yang       B         886  4        18.0  25.5   17.0
      Huang, Aaron      B         643  4        17.5  24.0   17.0
      Dahl, Brandon     QLD       1307 4        16.0  23.0   16.0
      Wong, Ryan                       4        14.0  19.5   14.0
16-23 Zhang, Ben                       3        18.5  25.0   12.0
      Jeyarajah, Justin                3        17.5  24.0   11.0
      Macuga, Charles                  3        17.5  23.0   12.0
      Vivian, Zachary                  3        16.0  22.5   10.0
      Cotter, Tom                      3        16.0  22.0   10.0
      Storey, Argus                    3        16.0  21.5   11.0
      Ooestenbroek, Gus B         500  3        15.0  22.5    7.0
      Sheahan, Denis                   3        14.0  20.0   10.0
24-25 Gerrard, Ben      B         500  2.5      14.0  20.5    8.5
      Alfredson, Joshua                2.5      13.0  17.5    6.5
26-28 Maw, Lachlan                     2        16.5  23.0   11.0
      Tidswell, Dominic                2        14.5  21.5    5.0
      Lalic, George                    2        14.0  18.5    9.0
 29   Farrell, Declan                  1        14.0  19.5    5.0

Cross Table

No Name              Feder Rtg  1    2    3    4    5    6    7  

1  Maguire, Tom      B         24:W  7:W  3:W  4:W  2:L  5:W  9:W
2  Liu, David (GC)   GC        22:W  8:W 12:W  5:W  1:W  4:L  7:W
3  Hawkins, Colm     B         26:W 13:W  1:L  9:W  6:W  7:W  4:W
4  Therakam, Clint   QLD       27:W  9:W 10:W  1:L  8:W  2:W  3:L
5  Chan, Jacob       GC        15:W  6:W 11:W  2:L 10:W  1:L  8:W
6  Chan, Jordan      GC        19:W  5:L 16:W 17:W  3:L 14:W 11:W
7  Zhuang, Raymond   B         18:W  1:L 21:W 26:W 13:W  3:L  2:L
8  Ng, Sze-Yong      B         21:W  2:L 23:W 11:W  4:L 10:W  5:L
9  Lim, Joseph       GC        16:W  4:L 18:W  3:L 21:W 13:W  1:L
10 Houghton, Sam     B         23:W 14:W  4:L 12:W  5:L  8:L 17:W
11 Gould, Michael    B         20:W 24:W  5:L  8:L 16:W 12:W  6:L
12 Zhang, Yang       B         17:W 28:W  2:L 10:L 18:W 11:L 15:W
13 Huang, Aaron      B         29:W  3:L 20:W 14:W  7:L  9:L 18:W
14 Dahl, Brandon     QLD       25:W 10:L 17:W 13:L 26:W  6:L 16:W
15 Wong, Ryan                   5:L 16:L 22:W 29:W 19:W 26:W 12:L
16 Zhang, Ben                   9:L 15:W  6:L 28:W 11:L 24:W 14:L
17 Jeyarajah, Justin           12:L 19:W 14:L  6:L 28:W 21:W 10:L
18 Macuga, Charles              7:L 27:W  9:L 23:W 12:L 19:W 13:L
19 Vivian, Zachary              6:L 17:L 27:W 24:W 15:L 18:L  0:W
20 Cotter, Tom                 11:L  0:W 13:L 21:L 25:D 23:W 24:D
21 Storey, Argus                8:L 22:W  7:L 20:W  9:L 17:L 27:W
22 Ooestenbroek, Gus B          2:L 21:L 15:L 27:W 23:L  0:W 28:W
23 Sheahan, Denis              10:L 25:W  8:L 18:L 22:W 20:L 26:W
24 Gerrard, Ben      B          1:L 11:L 25:W 19:L 29:W 16:L 20:D
25 Alfredson, Joshua           14:L 23:L 24:L  0:W 20:D 27:L 29:W
26 Maw, Lachlan                 3:L 29:W 28:W  7:L 14:L 15:L 23:L
27 Tidswell, Dominic            4:L 18:L 19:L 22:L  0:W 25:W 21:L
28 Lalic, George                0:W 12:L 26:L 16:L 17:L 29:W 22:L
29 Farrell, Declan             13:L 26:L  0:W 15:L 24:L 28:L 25:L
by Swiss Perfect (TM)
Human Chess
Meanwhile back at Churchie we celebrated the end of the term with a few games of human chess. Max Condon, our master of chess, is seen here officiating the game. The program is growing in popularity and more students are signing up every term.

Now we have to find a way to stop the little kids taking pieces apart or moving to speak with friends without request, giving new meaning to the term "illegal move".

Churchie International

Brisbane does not have the population of Sydney and Melbourne, nor the chess culture, so our players are at a disadvantage compared to their southern rivals. Despite this they managed to do very well at the Australian Junior championships. 

Competing at international level is the next step and giving juniors (and adults) the opportunity to acquire a FIDE (international) rating is very important. This is the main idea behind the Churchie International. Below is a bad copy&paste attempt from me but the details are correct.

Friday 29 April to Monday 2 May 2016
Venue: Brennan Pavilion, Anglican Church Grammar School, Oaklands Parade, East Brisbane, QLD, 4169.
Limited to only 80 entrants
Registration: 6-7pm Friday 29 April. Players not present by 7pm will not be paired for the first round.
Opening Ceremony: Friday 29 April at 7pm.
Forfeit Time: 30 minutes from the start of the round.
Chief Arbiter: IA Peter Long
Assistant Arbiter: NA Michael D’Arcy
Chief Organiser: Max Condon

Entry and Payment Details:
........................................... Postcode.....................
I request a half point bye in Round ........
(No half point byes available in the last two rounds)
I agree to abide by the decisions of the Director of Play:
In order to participate in this event you must be a member of a state federation. to join.

Entry Fees:
IM/WIM and GM/WGM: Free Entry
FIDE Rating Over 1800: $90
FIDE Rating Under 1800: $120
FIDE Unrated: $200

90 minutes + 30 seconds per move from the start (Fischer).

Playing times:
Friday 29 April Round 1 7:30PM
Saturday 30 April Round 2 10:00AM
Round 3 3:30PM
Sunday 1 May Round 4 10:00AM
Round 5 3:30PM
Monday 2 May Round 6 9:00AM
Round 7 2:30PM
Prizes will be presented at 7pm on 2 May
1st: $1200
2nd: $800
3rd: $500
3 Rating Groups – 1st: $400 2nd: $200
Additional prizes depending on entries
Please direct all enquires to Max Condon at or 0423033431

Now you may wish to surf over to the Chess association of Queensland website coming events page to double check the details as I did and you could be surprised not to find it there, as I was.

I rang a council member to politely point out the omission and enquire about what is required to have it listed. To my great surprise I was told that some members of the council objected to listing the Churchie International because it clashed with a CAQ "endorsed" event, namely the
 "Queensland Open" 

I must have misunderstood something because that would just be petty and idiotic behaviour unworthy of a state association. All the councillors I know are reasonable people so the mistake must be mine.

Juniors benefit from strong events and interstate/international competition. FIDE ratings are essential for competing overseas and often are essential for participation. I would hope we can all encourage them as much as possible. The Queensland Junior Chess League would be a great help too...if it existed :-(

Enough of my ranting, the Doeberl Cup is starting soon and I have to prepare for my first tournament game in quite a while. Have I still got it? Follow the tournament  on the Live link and my reports on this site.

Toodles :-)