Monday, June 27, 2011

MCC Open Round 8 live

The penultimate round of the MCC Open has just started, with much resting on the last 2 games. There are 3 games not starting tonight. Justin tan has called in sick against Ari Dale, and they have agreed to play on Thursday. Jim Papadinis couldn't get his car to start, and has forfeited against Abdullah Durani. Sarah Anton is interstate and her game with Riley Lenard has not been rearranged yet but will hopefully be played later in the weekend. As the arbiter, I thank the players for their understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Most games are underway. Eddy Levi has just arrived, so it must be about 10 minutes into the round, and we are just waiting for Gary Bekker and Alex Kaplan to make up a full complement. On a point of law, I have had to remind a player that writing moves down before they are played is against the rules.

Already, we have a visitor from the Yarra Chess Club. Dan Zoraja is currently blitzing with Elie Beranjia until the games start to get interesting.

Beranjia (left) vs Zoraja (right)

1 Hour into the games

Early news from the top boards. Board 1 is a Sicilian Kan with Domagoj having double pawns on the a-file but some piece activity for this. David Garner has pushed forward int he centre against Rujevic's Closed Sicilian. Dowling and Beaumont have both castled long in a Reti, a game that looks set for the night. Shane Lawson doesn't find himself in the backroom often, and is making the most of it, taking on Malcolm Pyke's French with the Wing Gambit, b4. Eddy Levi is doing his utmost to liven up a typically stodgy Peter Fry Caro Kann.

First game of the night to finish is Rad Chmiel winning against Ben Frayle, a one move blunder by all accounts.

Paul Cavezza has Richard Voon tutting and shaking his head. Cavezza prepared a line against Voon's Najdorf, and Richard has played into it. Further down, Felix Wyss is a pawn to the good against Roger McCart, Endre Simon is a piece to the good against Damien Feaine, Michael Hain is 2 pawns to the good against James Brennan, and Ganesh Krishnan is a piece down against Stephen Jago, but Stephen has some defending to do.

Positions to follow soon:

 This mad position is the board 13 game between Marcus Ogden and Richard McCart. I prefer white, but that d5 knight looks good.
 On board 2 Mirko as white to play here is facing a Maroczy Bind against the white pieces. David garner seems pretty happy at the moment.
On board 1, James Morris does not seem happy. He has just gone a pawn down against Domagoj Dragicevic and is in deep thought trying to work out how to compensate for this deficit.

Wonderboy Karl Zelesco doesn't even give me a chance to have a decent look at his game before he has won! The opening to the Krishnan-Jago game was interesting

Into the second hour:

 Puccini-Beattie is a difficult endgame. Opposite coloured bishops means a draw doesn't it? Both players look as if they are trying to win!
 James Morris as white, is under immense pressure from Dragicevic here.
Kevin Brown must be happy with 2 bishops, and a pawn, but Alex Kaplan is fighting on.

Across the boards, Rujevic is under great pressure, and is fighting doggedly. Beaumont has a shot pawn structure so is trying to make something happen against Dowling. Malcolm Pyke has retained his pawn advantage, but is under some pressure from a frontal attack with his king in the centre. Paul Cavezza is a piece up against Richard Voon, but only has 15 minutes for the game, while the Kovacevic-Hain game is an interesting struggle of opposite side attacks with both having castled king side!

Stop Press!!

*** James Morris has made chances for himself exchanging his queen for 2 rooks and some pawns, but he has an advanced central passed pawn that is going to give Domagoj some headaches. Added to this, Domagoj has less than 10 minutes.

*** Paul Cavezza has an exchange and a pawn lead against Richard Voon and possibly has Richard in a maitng net. But he has only 5 minutes to finish Richard off!

*** Kaplan has fought well and has exchanged all but 2 pawns of Kevin Brown. The game is still probably winning for the bishop pair, but with every pawn exchange, the win looks harder.

Board 1 has simplified to this position. Domagoj as black played 1..Qf3 which forced Morris into a fit of tutting and head shaking. But the young master is not leading the tournament for nothing, gritted his teeth and fights on with, 2.Rhe8 Kf5 3.Ra2, leaving Domagoj with some issues and only 6 minutes left to sort the game out.

A big crowd is surrounding board 1 as Domagoj is down to the last minute. The tension is amazing! Right behind them, Mirko is also struggling....could it be a night where both our IM's lose? Eddy Levi finally breaks through against Peter Fry, and Alex Kaplan fought bravely to hold that difficult endgame to a draw! Paul Cavezza had a great result, with a win against Richard Voon. He still got into some time trouble but never dropped below 5 minutes, perhaps learning from the last few weeks.

The Final Dash:

Mirko Rujevic has won! In a difficult position he worked out the tactics better than his opponent, as David Garner's time started to run short. James Morris is putting up a terrific fight on the top board and has reduced the position to R+R+P v Q+2P, and Domagoj is still down to a minute. Malcolm Pyke has just won, though there were some scares along the way. And in the other room, the only 2 games left involve the father and son Hain team, and it looks as if they are both doing well!

Morris-Dragicevic draw! According to James, the game was "full of both sides". At the other end of the table, it's good to see Michael Hain score his first win on his return to chess after a 20+ years absence. Malcolm Pyke admits that he was a bit lucky in his game against Shane Lawson, but was very happy with the move 29..a5. Only 3 games remain. David Beaumont is fighting in a worse position against John Dowling, Gary Bekker has played above his weight again, and is holding Kerry Stead, whileAnthony hain looks to be taking another scalp in Paul Kovacevic.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Chess Free Day

I love chess, but coaching for 6 days a week, acting as arbiter for a tournament once a week, spending another night at my chess club, trying to organise a chess league, playing in a league online, volunteering as a helper for various chess related causes (eg. Australian Junior Championships 2012), and sometimes even just playing a bit of chess leaves me a bit sick of chess every once in a while. So it was great to be able to get away from it all with Caroline today. In just an hour you can be out of the city and into beautiful hills or along stunning coastlines. We managed to get away a few weeks ago (with Caroline working as a nurse, doing shift work, we don't get too much time together) and we headed off to Sassafras for a walk in the forests.

Tropical tree ferns dominate the forests in the Dandenongs

Today, Caroline and I headed to Phillip Island, famous for the Motocycling Grand Prix, and penguin tours. But there is plenty to see and do there. We headed to the amazing surf beach at Woolamai which was in great shape today, probably due to the windy conditions.
Strong surf at Woolamai

Walks around the Cape Woolamai offer some great views. There is the unusual wildlife, such as muttonbirds, though if I ever get to see one, then sheep will fly! Then there are spectacular geological sights such as the Pinnacles created about 360 million years ago! Who says Australia has limited historical interest?

The Pinnacles at Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island

On the drive back home, it is just too easy to jump on the South Gippsland Highway, look straight ahead and drive directly to Melbourne and home. But you'd be missing out on some other great sights along the way. For instance, Westernport Bay can be extremely beautiful and is full of interesting natural features such as mangroves and saltmarsh areas. Caroline was reminiscing of her trips to Coronet Bay, Tenby Point and suchlike, so we took a random turn off the South Gippsland Highway towards the coastal village of Jam Jerrup. The mangrove beach environment approaching dusk was magical, and can't really be done credit in a photo from my phone...

Mangroves at Jam Jerrup.

Caroline is a much better photographer than me.

Victoria has such beautiful surroundings....note to self: make more trips to our amazing countryside.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

MCC Openings Group 22/6/2011

The subject of the evening's discussions concerned whether it is better to play something that you understand, or a move which is considered better but is beyond your understanding. As an example, we took positions with a king side fianchetto for black and looked at some possibilities of an early h4. Certainly this kind of plan lacks the subtlety that Opening Theory books would recommend most of us to employ, but are most of us really good enough to exploit a minor queen side advantage, when deep down in our veins, we want to throw the h-pawn up the board and checkmate our opponent brilliantly? The point I am trying to make is that players need to know their own capabilities, and develop through stages of opening understanding. It is only by trying to hammer your opponent on the h-file when they fianchetto that you learn:

a) how and when it will work.
b) your opponent's defensive resources, and when it is unlikely to work.

So after this, you can try to employ more subtle methods of developing your game....or just remain a mad attacking player all your life!

All this was inspired by something I noticed last week. I went to one of my favourite websites, the chess cafe, and they have a list of anniversaries. I noticed last Wednesday was the birthday of Alexander Zaitsev and I wondered who this player was, so I looked him up. I noticed there was a gambit named after him, which started with the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.h4.

Now personally, I have had some trouble playing the white side of the Grunfeld so the move 4.h4 grabbed my attention. Then when I realised that Zaitsev was a GM and co-winner of the USSR Championship, I understood that this was not the move of a patzer. In fact, the first game in my database with this move has Zaitsev trying out against none other than ex-World Champion Smyslov! And Zaitsev won!

So as a group we started to analyse some fairly crazy positions, though our examinations were based on black taking the c-pawn with 4..dxc4, whereas the main moves in the position are 4..c5 (as played by Smyslov), or 4..c6 leading into a Schlecter Slav type formation. After 4..dxc4 white would likely play 5.e4 

We had a lot of fun with this position, finding some great attacking ideas, and some interesting defensive and counterattacking ideas for black. The best thing was that I don't think anyone in the group felt out of their depth with the level of the concepts. Everything was tactically motivated and some thematic schemes of attack were developed. Have a look at some of our ideas:

Monday, June 20, 2011

MCC Open Round 7 live

Well at last I get online. I've been having trouble logging into this blog tonight, but finally we're here.

Ok, the early news is a no-show by Frank Lekkas and there has been a lot of talk about mutual blunders on board 2, though I haven't seen the game yet. We have seen quite a few visitors to the club tonight. Ben kersten of Geelong Chess Club was here to promote the 2012 Australian Championships, David Cordover and Thai Ly are also are also around the club, and even the President Grant Szuveges has shown up to support the long play game!

Right, off to get some interesting positions and updates of the action as it happens.

There's a lot of stodge across the boards, so we could be in for a long night. Saying that, there have been a few shockers so far. Stephen Jago, by his own admission, missed a one move threat. Jim Papadinis completely underestimated his young opponent, lost a piece, and soon found himself 2 exchanges down....except both exchanges were rook for queen! But perhaps the biggest shocker came on board 2 in the following position:

Here, Mirko Rujevic as black played 6..d6?? missing White's 7.Qa4+ winning a piece. Luckily for Mirko, David Beaumont missed this as well!!

So early winners tonight include Gary Bekker, Rad Chmiel and Anthony Hain. In the top room, perhaps the most interesting game is between the 2 talented juniors, Ari Dale and Karl Zelesco. They are showing their strategic class playing a Carlsbad type structure.

Meanwhile, Beaumont has spotted tactics against Rujevic and finds himself 2 pawns up but with Mirko as black to move:

2 hours gone and board 1 is a stodge. James has a sort of Stonewall formation against Justin and it is difficult at the moment to see where either will make progress. Beaumont looks good against Rujevic, though he may have to give a pawn back at some stage. The board 3 game between Dragicevic-Levi is an interesting struggle between 2 fairly unorthodox players. Domagoj has chosen to play with an IQP, while Eddy has given up the 2 bishops.
There are many more dour battles across the boards, but the following move caught my eye. In the following position, Paul Cavezza, as black saw a tactical try:
Black played 24..Nxd5 and Alex Kaplan went into a fairly long think before replying 25.Ne6

Finally, the quality of our juniors is well known. Justin Tan and James Morris are battling it out on board 1, while Dale and Zelesco fight out on board 6. But Jack Puccini is also very talented, and is showing his endgame talent against Endre Simon. Jack as white completely dominates here:

First game to finish on the top boards was a fairly quiet affair between Malcolm Pyke and John Dowling. Malcolm is not feeling too well, and John was busy with his chess poster collection. In fact, if anyone has any interesting chess posters, then please contact John Dowling as he is an avid collector.

The top board game has Justin a pawn down, but James under pressure.
James Morris as black is to move here and is taking a long think.

Beaumont is a clear 2 pawns up on board 2 and looks good for the point. The big Junior clash has taken a new twist with Ari Dale gaining 2 rooks for a queen and looking confident. Karl as ever, looks calm.

An interesting opposite coloured bishop ending is taking place between Roger McCart and Ben Frayle.

Black has a n avalanche of king side pawns, but must be a little worried about the white advanced b-pawn.

Games are beginning to wind up. Paul Kovacevic defended heroically from early on against Mario Palma and came away with a draw. Congratulations to Damien Feiane who finally wins his first game at this level. I doubt that there will be a happier person leaving the club tonight! The Kaplan-Cavezza game finished abruptly after the last diagram I showed. Alex's king side collapsed under the pressure of black's attack.

There are only 6 games left, 5 in the back room on the top boards, and the game between Durani and Anton. Sarah has an extra piece, but is down to a minute on the clock. Abdullah is making her find good moves. On the top boards, Justin has 2 rooks for James queen, but James has the initiative and some pawns. They both have less than 5 minutes, but I'd expect a win for the master. Beaumont is finding the final hurdle hard to pass against Rujevic. David gave back a pawn to activate his king, but seems to be having trouble getting to the finish line. David garner has 2 connected passed pawns over half way down the board against Kerry stead, and this should guarantee a win for the Englishman. Ari Dale has finally activated his rooks against Karl Zelesco, but the position remains unclear to me. Finally, the Dragicevic-Levi game is anybody's guess!

So time pressure tells. Sarah finally blunders in time pressure and loses from a winning position. James Morris wins! A picket fence looks on the cards for the young master. David beaumont is still  finding the going heavy against Mirko on board 2. Domagoj has just won a same coloured bishop ending against Eddy Levi. And the game between Dale and Zelesco continues with Karl very short of time and defending a difficult position. Games to follow soon hopefully.

More games to follow later in the week. Thanks for watching....and unbelievably.....Mirko Rujevic wins!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Who am I?

I suppose a question that arises in an expat's mind from time to time, is to what extent they consider themselves part of their new country compared to part of their old country. And of course, this will differ for each individual, and even change for individuals at different times of their lives.

I left England in March 2005 and almost immediately felt at home in my new country. I have loved getting to know Australia and, more locally, Melbourne and the more I see the more I like. I must admit that I wasn't initially drawn to Australia, but rather felt the need, along with my wife, to leave the country of my birth. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what the reasons were for deciding to emigrate, and a whole set of rationales could be imagined. But essentially, the fact was that I didn't feel comfortable in England. It just didn't feel right for me, it wasn't my home. And my wife felt pretty much the same way.

So after 6 years in my new country, what exactly do I consider myself? Well I can certainly admit that I feel more at home here than I did in the UK. I actually get homesick for Melbourne when I go on trips. I haven't lost my English accent, and I doubt I ever will, but I now identify with my new country and am losing my memories of the old country. Becoming a citizen of Australia was quite an emotional experience, and gave me a sense of pride in my new country. So all in all, I guess while I might sound English, I feel Australian.

Now the reason this issue has cropped up is because of my international chess affiliation. At the moment I am currently registered as an English player which has some benefits for myself and the local chess community. The main advantage is that I count as a foreign player for tournaments, which may require a certain amount of foreign players to reach a level where players can achieve international titles. As there are a lack of high rated foreign players resident in Australia, or willing to travel to Australia to play chess, I suppose my English affiliation has some importance.

But it doesn't feel right to me. I feel Australian and as such would like to play under the Australian flag. It is a quandary that I have not yet figured out, and if anyone has any advice I would gladly hear it. The question I'm asking is should I change affiliation to my new country, or should I remain affiliated with England?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

MCC Openings Group 8/6/2011

Every second Wednesday the Melbourne Chess Club hosts an evening to discuss issues relating to the opening. The latest night saw a good turnout to look at the ultra sharp Perenyi Gambit in the Sicilian Najdorf. It is a very fun opening where white sacrifices a piece for a huge initiative and usually black's king is struggling to find a safe place. Of course examining an opening such as this brings us to look at a couple of more general questions:

Why do we play chess? To win? To improve? For fun? If winning is our major concern, then should we be taking risks in an opening like the Perenyi?

Why study openings at all? It's hardly the most practical way to employ one's study of the game on an obscure opening that will rarely be played. Surely it is more productive spending time on tactics, or the endgame? Or maybe the time could be spent analysing games, or studying well annotated games?

Well, if we essentially play chess for fun but still would like to reach our full potential, then perhaps there is room for the study of an opening like the Perenyi, as long as it is seen as part of tactical work, and we look at  games that are fully annotated by strong players.

So back to the opening of the night! The Perenyi Variation of the Najdorf arises after the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.g4, where black now plays 7..e5 and white responds 8.Nf5. Now after the move 8..g6, white has a number of ways of sacrificing a piece, all of which seem pretty dangerous:

This is the position we started some practice games from after having looked at some games in the database. And I intend to run a thematic tournament from this position in 4 weeks time. It should be fun! Basically, white has a choice between the ultra-sharp 9.g5, or the completely insane, 9.Bg2. Here are some games to help inspire, and possibly confuse you, some more.

First the 9.g5 line with a very recent game that starts in typically mad fashion, plenty of tactics flying around, and then reduces to an interesting ending where the queen has the better of 2 rooks.

Next we have the new challenger for the World Championship getting hacked up after grabbing one pawn too many.

We now move to the 9.Bg2 line, and in this game, white shows that even if black does manage to get his king out of the centre, that is no guarantee of survival.

Finally, another game of Gelfand where he has to use all his defensive skills to stay in the game. To be honest, if a defender of the quality of Gelfand struggles with these positions, then I reckon that it is worth a try at club level!

Monday, June 6, 2011

MCC Open Round 6 live

Well, first I'd like to thank the chess community for not pointing out that the original title of my post last week, "MCC Open Round 6 live", was in fact incorrect. It is exactly the niggling little detail that seems to really irritate many chess players. In fact, tonight is the sixth round of the MCC Open, and the last before the long weekend when the tournament will take a break for a week allowing our players to take part in the Victorian Open at Box Hill Chess Club if they wish.

The prize fund for the tournament has been announced as:

1st $400
2nd $250
3rd $150
4th $100
5th $80

There are also 2 rating groups with prizes of $100 for first and $70 for second, as well as junior and senior prizes.

Counter Gambits!!!

We got a couple of interesting games already. Kevin brown has tried the Budapest and Dragicevic has gone for the Latvian against Zelesco!

1 hour update:

 Justin Tan has just grabbed a pawn and is way behind in development, but may just be better.
John Dowling has a great looking position against Jim Papadinis.

Imminent victories seem on the cards for Roger Beattie, Sarah Anton and Jack Puccini. I will try to get Roger's game as it looks like a nice attack. A few players a re a pawn ahead: Kovacevic against Wyss (but the game is a mess), Palma against Brown (and looking good), and Hain against Chmiel (looks like a pawn for nothing). On the top boards in the back room, James Morris and Malcolm Pyke are playing out a French where black has taken on e4 and then played c5, opening the centre a bit more. Personally, I like white a bit better, but I am not much of a fan of the French! Mirko is trying his luck down the king side in a King's Indian, but Ari looks to have things in control....for now. The game Zelesco-Dragicevic has moved on a little. Eddy Levi is pressing on the white side of the Pirc against Richard McCart.  The next few moves will tell.

On board 3, David Garner has taken a big initiative on the queen side against David Beaumont's King's Indian. David doesn't look to have created enough king side play. Shane Lawson has foregone castling to launch an attack on the h-file against a fianchetto. If it works I'll try to get the game. And another update on the Lycett-Tan game sees Justin consolidate his advantage.

On board 1, the game has come down to an endgame. Clocks are White: 1.15, Black: 48

Justin Tan w3as able to convert against Gary Lycett.

2 Hours down:

Unless I'm hallucinating, Eddy Levi looks to be a queen for a knight up. Mirko is a pawn up and is pressing against Ari Dale. David Beaumont is fighting valiantly to hold on to his d6 pawn. Unfortunately, this means his usual king side activity has stalled a bit.  On the top board, I just heard a big sigh from James Morris, who has looked very relaxed all evening. I'm not sure that he's better any more in his game against Malcolm:

In answer to Kai Tan's question, Karl is a pawn up, but the position is anything but clear!

And finally, the game between Kovacevic and Wyss has reduced to this position with white to move. I don't know much about these types of positions, but having the move is pretty crucial

A couple of games have finished in the top room. Mirko powered a typical King's Indian performance, while Karl Zelesco found the defence too hard against Dragicevic's unorthodox opening.

Perhaps the biggest upset of the night has just been reported with Anthony Hain taking out experienced campaigner Rad Chmiel! And again, we get the issue of time trouble looming as Paul Cavezza took almost all his time for his first 20 moves and found himself in time trouble just as the middlegame was getting really interesting. Kerry Stead took advantage of this factor, which is an issue that a number of players will need to look at in their games.


The MCC welcomes back Phillip Drew, who looks as if he's going to be playing some chess here again. The more the merrier! There are only 4 games left, including an ending on the top board where James has a rook and 2 passed pawns against Malcolm's Rook and 1 passed pawn. Unfortunately for Malcolm, his passed pawn isn't advanced enough to cause trouble. James looks as if he's going into the week off with a perfect 6/6.

Garner and Beaumont have had an amazing fight, and it finally looks as if David's king side counterplay is happening. He has defended excellently, frustrating his opponent and is coming into the best form I've seen him in in the past 5 years.

Our American visitor Ganesh Krishnan wins a nice game as I speak and the only other game is that between Lawson and Durani which is down to less than 5 minutes each and in the middle of a complex position. Abdullah has defended excellently and Shane is struggling to find the killing blow.

James Morris wins as I am writing.

Full results for the night and the standings after round 6 can be found on the MCC website

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tournaments and Formats

The recently concluded Candidates Matches should have just set the world alight with top competition, games and matches to remember, and a challenger to the World Champion. But since the finish of the event, all the talk has been about how boring the event was, or how bad the format was. And on a micro level in my home patch of Victoria, Australia, we have just seen a weekender in Geelong have disappointingly low numbers. So what is it with the chess tournament World at the moment?

Speaking from a personal view, and as a spectator, my favourite tournament format is a middle size elite round robin event. I like to see a minimum of 12 players, but probably no more than 16 players. I don't think I'm alone in this as the tournament that seems to pique the most interest worldwide is the annual January event in Wijk aan Zee. This is an elite event with top players competing in a 14 player round robin format. In my opinion, tournaments that are bigger than 16 players don't keep my interest for the whole event, while those with less than 12 players seem to be over too quickly. As an Englishman, I was brought up on the traditional New year's event at Hastings which again was a 14 player round robin event. Hastings organisers played about a bit with the format, first changing things round to an 8 player double round robin, which is also an excellent format. Then in the 1990's, things changed again to a mini-match knock out, which was also tried at other events such as Tilburg.

I never really liked the knock out format for chess, especially over a short number of games. If a match is to be played, then let it be over a reasonable number of games to let players show their creativity, their stamina and their will to win. In the recent mini matches of the World Championship Candidates tournament, the main focus for the players seemed to be to avoid losing. In this respect the tournament produced a high amount of draws, and needed to be settled by rapid and blitz tie breaks, which almost defeats the purpose of having a long play event.

The Candidates didn't retain my attention. I would much prefer to see a candidates tournament, or longer matches. Of course, the pinnacle of chess has been seen in the great World Championship matches such as the epic Kasparov-Karpov struggles, or Fischer-Spassky, Tal-Botvinnik, Capablanca-Alekhine, to name but a few. And even the candidates matches of the 60's and 70's were great...Fischer-Taimanov/Larsen/Petrosian springs to mind. Here the battle went on for long enough to determine the best player, and that's the way it should be. But I would still prefer a tournament format to match format. My preference is based on the fact that back in the 'good old days', there were only a few matches each year. Now, with a proliferation of tournaments, there are lots of matches some of which are more interesting than others. For instance, Anand and Shirov are about to start a match in Leon and Ponomariov and Nakamura have just finished a match in the USA. To me, this makes for too much of a good thing and the prospect of Candidates Matches lessen in the special nature of the World Championship and qualifier matches. So therefore my own preference would be for a Candidates tournament, possibly double rounded with each player having black and white against each of the others.

The issue of too much chess is one that is probably at the heart of why the Geelong Open in Victoria had a rather small turn out. We have here a huge amount of faster rate tournaments (mainly 15 minute tournaments), clubs hold tournaments on their club nights (as averse to social evenings), and there is always the weekend circuit that Geelong is trying to be a part of (we are still chessed out after the Easter serving of chess at Doeberl and Sydney and Queensland and MCC), as well as the teams event that clubs are busily getting involved in. I must say, I find it rather bizarre that players can't find a tournament to their liking in Melbourne at the moment as there is chess 6 days a week and every weekend. Perhaps too much chess?