Before the tournament I asked some of the senior members of the club what they remembered of the man who this tournament is named after. Besides being a former club champion of the MCC, Edwin Malitis was a dedicated committee member and long time treasurer of the Melbourne Chess Club. A group of current members including current President Grant Szuveges, and former Preisdents Bill Jordan, Greg Gatto and David Beaumont all reminisced about a man who was first and foremost devoted to the Melbourne Chess Club, and along with another former President Bob Brooking steered the club through some difficult times and brought the club to its current premises at Leicester Street. He is remembered as being tight with the financial reigns of the club, a necessity of any good treasurer, and a man who didn't allow reputations to cloud his judgement. As part of the group of Latvians who emigrated to Australia after the Second World War he made his life in Australia and was a successful businessman. But the reason his name is commemorated in this tournament is that he devoted so much time and effort to working at and for the Melbourne Chess Club.
I would love to hear any more stories or anecdotes that would shed further light on Mr Edwin Malitis.
We have a number of strong players hanging around the club tonight so I'll try to get some kibitzing from the likes of Bill Jordan, James Morris, Frank Lekkas and David Beaumont. There have been no early casualties. It looks as if Jesse Jager is a comfortable pawn up on board 1, and John Dowling is a pawn up against Ari Dale on board 2 but it is a bit more complicated. The board 3 game game is a young guns Najdorf between Hain and Drew which is yet to really get started. On board 4, according to FM Bill Jordan, Kerry Stead ahs a promising position against Thai Ly. Board 5 is a typical Dragon with Richard Voon as black with Rad Chmiel playing a quiet line castling king side. Michael Addamo seems to have a space advantage on board 6, but whether he can convert it is another matter.
In the main room, Gary Bekker is an exchange up against Richard McCart, and Paul Kovacevic is a piece up against Charlotte Dilnutt. The other games are all tight, with the notable interest for me being how long Ian stone is taking over his moves. He is already down to 37 minutes. The bottom board between Ruben Nowak and Tritan Rayson Hill has already hit the following tricky endgame. Who will be the master of the heavy pieces?
2 hours gone:
Bill Jordan was a little surprised by Jesse Jager's decision to sacrifice the exchange. Bill, and myself, would have preferred a slower approach to the position. The resulting ending may still be won for white, but we are not certain. Follow it live to see the conclusion. Dowling-Dale is an interesting material imbalance with Ari having a queen for rook, piece, and pawn.
Anthony Hain is a pawn up, with double rooks and opposite bishops on the board against a cold ridden Phillip Drew. Stead-Ly is beginning to build into a tough game. Chmiel-Voon is a tough queenside battle. Michael Addamo seems to have a comfortable position with some space and the bishop pair. It is the sort of position that he would convert if he was in good form, but I'm not sure how much chess he has played recently. Gary Bekker has won, the first winner of the evening, and Michael Hain and Paul Kovacevic (who was actually only a pawn up, I miscounted) soon followed. The M. Hain-Martin game had an interesting position.
Michael as white solved his problems by playing Qg4, which at least wins a pawn by force. Our endgame from earlier has moved forward a little with Ruben Nowak's rook getting amongst black's pawns, and it is advantage to Ruben.
Jack Shanks has a clear pawn advantage against Ian Stone.
And the kibitzing is liking Penrose on the top board at the moment, bringing into question Jager's earlier exchange sac. Beaumont thinks black is winning....hold on, he is wondering about a mating net in the corner..."it wins for white" D. Beaumont
The top board game is causing big headaches. Jordan and Morris are unsure, Beaumont wavers between white win, black win and draw, and I am playing devil's advocate. Frank Lekkas with the help of Rybka 4 thinks the position is technically a draw.
Black here played 1..Rc6. We were wondering about 1..c4?
Dowling seems to be in control against Dale and is now picking off pawns. Ari needed to create some king side counterplay and it never happened. Actually, I was just called to this game as John complained about his opponent adjusting one of his pieces away from the centre of his square. I told Ari to readjust his piece, and the game continued, but I'm not exactly sure of the rules here.
On board 3, the game has levelled out with 5 pawns each and opposite bishops. I expect a draw here relatively soon.
Jager looks absolutely gutted. We have the theoretically drawn ending or king and rook versus king and knight. Will Justin play it out? John still looks good against Ari, and Hain-Drew looks dead drawn now. Thai Ly has a mterial advantage against Kerry stead, an exchange, but time is getting short. Richard Voon has just won, and Michael Addamo is showing his lack of match practice as he is now very low on time and his 2 bishops have gone. The only other game is between Jack Puccini and Alex Kaplan where the young Jack looks good, but again he is low on time.
There are some vigorous and interesting post mortem analysis going on at the moment, so with just a couple of games left I will leave you with Richard Voon's efficient victory against Rad Chmiel tonight. The rest of the games will be published soon, and I will try to include some post mortem analysis ideas. Thanks for following this blog :)