Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chess only

From now on this blog will be devoted to chess only. Mostly, it will be about chess in Melbourne, and wherever I am, but there will be some other stuff (such as refuting the Petroff).

I've nearly finished work for the year and in retrospect I have to admit I overcommitted myself to chess activities in 2011. At one point I was working about 70 hours a week (coaching chess!), arbitering tournaments one night, running chess groups another night, trying to organise a teams tournament as well as captaining 2 of the teams in the event. I burnt out pretty badly, had to cut out all chess at my club, lost the thread of the teams tournament which luckily others were able to take on, and only just managed to hold the work together, though I was feeling pretty ill or just run down at times. Anyway, my New Year's resolution is to keep my activities to a manageable level, so if you ask me to help out with something and I refuse, please don't feel offended. I will still do what I can, especially around my club, the Melbourne Chess Club.

Around Melbourne there are some events in this lead up to Christmas. Box Hill Chess Club just finished what seemed an extremely successful tournament called the Canterbury Day Nighter. The tournament had a pretty good turn out and was won by popular local player Domagoj Dragicevic. Domagoj has had an active year, and seems to be moving up towards the FM level in strength.

Box Hill Chess Club are also hosting the annual round robin norm event, the Australasian Masters. This tournament has been organised by various individuals over the years (I had a go in 2006!) and is always a tough event to make happen. To qualify as a norm event, there has to be the requisite number of foreign players and the requisite number of titled players. Depending on who happens to be floating around Australia at any given time, this can make organising this a thankless task. This year the organisation has fallen on the head of Chess Victoria President Leonid Sandler. Leonid has taken it upon himself to organise this event for the past couple of years and has done well in the end to assemble a field this year. The tournament runs on a shoestring budget (big thanks must go to Eddy Levi for his continual sponsorship of the event) so it is difficult to pay out too much for titled players. However, IM's Rujevic, Morris and Solomon made up the requisite number for the 10 player round robin. Foreign players proved harder for Leonid, but he came up with the 4 players in the end (recently the Masters has been lucky to have strong foreign players Vladimir Smirnov and Erik Teichmann playing, but neither are in the event this year. I am nowhere near their strength, but I have also found myself in the tournament in years gone by as a foreign player but not this year). The main norm hunters in the event are local FM's Bobby Cheng, Dusan Stojic and Eddy Levi. The tournament finishes at the weekend and I hope to be there for a round at some stage.

Melbourne Chess Club are hosting their traditional Christmas Swiss Weekender this coming weekend, so I might pop in to see how this is going as well.

Leonid Sandler (right) with outgoing CV member David Hacche

Melbourne Chess Club had their AGM over the weekend and I couldn't attend because I was in Tasmania. I don't have the details of the meeting, but the main thing is the election of the office bearers. There has been some continuity and some change:

President: Grant Szuveges

Vice President: Elizabeth Warren

Treasurer: Andrew Saint

Secretary: Anthony Hain

Registrar:Justin Penrose

Assistant Treasurer: Jesse Jager

Committee Member: John Beckman

Anthony Hain and Justin Penrose are the new members on the committee, and there don't seem to be as many members as in the past couple of years. Hopefully this will not put too much strain on their efforts, especially seeing the MCC is organising the Australian Junior Championships in 2012.

Chess Victoria also held their AGM a few weeks ago at the MCC and from my club's point of view the news is that our President, Grant Szuveges has joined the CV committee. Good luck to all these officebearers in their positions for the next year.


  1. It's great that you can recognize that you were over-committing yourself. All that running and dieting is great but when the stress levels get consistently high it is downright dangerous (physically and psychologically).

    The AGM was good. Much of it consisted of Paul Dale beating the drum about the Junior's championship and needing volunteers of all sorts - which I am sure we will all hear more about in the next couple of months!

  2. I guess you mean Simon Dale. He is the chief organiser of the Australian Junior Championship in 2012.

    As for me running, I believe that starting exercising is relieving my stress levels, and I will be continuing wholeheartedly. :)

  3. Sorry I meant the stress levels are dangerous, by themselves or in combination with the physical exertion.

  4. Absolutely. In the winter, around July/August I was like a zombie. I was lethargic, short tempered, a little paranoid and constantly tired. After the school holiday break at the end of September, I eased off and started to feel better :)