Next weekend, Victoria enjoys a holiday all because of a horse race! And to make things even better, the extra day off is a Tuesday, so most people take the Monday off or throw a sickie, making it a 4 day holiday. So it looks very much like I'm going to take the opportunity to play in one of Victoria's prime weekend chess events at the Melbourne Chess Club over that long weekend. The MCC Cup Weekender has already attracted a field of about 50 players, with IM Stephen Solomon the highest ranked player. However, I'm sure with a week to go there will be a bunch of late entries, including some high rated contenders.
I'm looking forward to playing. I haven't played much this year, and feel pretty rusty though I've got a whole week to find some form! The main things I'll do this week will be some tactical exercises on either the chess tactics server, or chesstempo. I also like watching games played at the top level so I'll be tuning in to the games played at Nanjing (in fact, I'm watching games live now on ICC) where the top 3 in the World are all in action. The official site is in Chinese and English, but there are other places to watch the games live such as TWIC. The tournament has so far, to my mind, produced some very interesting chess and today's games are turning into rich middlegame positions in classical openings, the Spanish and the Slav. I'll also try to analyse some positions this week and get my calculation head back into gear. The last time I actually played a serious game over the board was in the Victorian Championships nearly 2 months ago. But then again, a break can freshen a player up.....can't it?
Croydon Chess Club and I can speak for everyone on the committee of MCC when we say thankyou to Jean for the work she did here, and also congratulations to both Jean and another MCC member Guy West on their recent marriage.