Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Local Chess News

I haven't played at my local club for a few weeks and I feel a bit out of the loop as to what has been happening around Melbourne in chess terms. So it's time to have a look! The best place for general news is the forums Chesschat and Ozchess which both act as places where clubs can publicise and report on their events. Of course, most of the clubs and organisations have their own websites, but the forums have all conveniently blocked in one place. As an aside, I have to admit that I used to spend far too much time looking at these sites which can become addictive, but I've overcome it and hardly go to the forums at all.

MCC. This is my chess club, and there is currently a couple of interesting events happening (actually, the reason I thought about local news was a call to arms yesterday for people wanting to learn to operate DGT boards at our club, which I put my hand up to). The regular Monday night FIDE rated event is the Malitis Memorial, a seven round swiss tournement. Time flies, because this event has just crossed the half way mark and is being led by Gary Lycett on a perfect 4/4. However he will have a tough game against Sylvester Urban in the next round. Sylvester is half a point behind along with David Beaumont, Richard Voon and David Lacey (who again is having a big tournament). Top seed is Ari Dale who is a further half point back along with 4 other players. There is good coverage of this event on Kerry Stead's blog.

But perhaps the biggest event is the play off match for the Club Championship between IM Guy West and FM Dusan Stojic. These 2 dominated the MCC Championship earlier this year scoring 8/9. It is a 4 game match that has already started with a draw. The next game is tomorrow night and there will be games on the following 2 Wednesdays. I might have to make an effort to get along to one of these sessions, and I encourage anyone else to do so, both to support these 2 great players, and to learn from the first hand experience of watching and kibitzing.

Other clubs. While all the clubs in Melbourne seem active, there are some events that really stick out in my mind. Box Hill Chess Club are holding a 15 minute tournament this Sunday to raise funds for some talented juniors who are going to the Youth Olympiad. The tournament has attracted a number of strong players including GM Darryl Johansen and much corporate sponsorship, including from clubs and coaching organisations. Anyway, the tournament will be rated in FIDE's rapid rating list and all proceeds go to the players, so great work by Box Hill Chess Club! (ps, I like the new look website as well).

A couple of weekend tournaments are coming up, with Hobson's Bay Chess Club hosting the 'Best in the West' in Altona. This tournament seems to be getting bigger each year, and with Sydney's FM Greg Canfell a starter, the big names from Melbourne are likely to show up. In fact FM's Stojic and Dragicevic have already entered. These 2 young FM's are part of the success story behind Noble Park Chess Club, a club I have a great fondness for as I was a member around the time of it's inception. I remember the hard work of Mehmedalija Dizdarevic and Domagoj Dragicevic in creating a venue for 'serious' chess events. Well, a few years have passed and Noble Park Chess Club are holding their first weekend event in September and I intend to show my support to this great club by playing (and no doubt passing a few rating points on to their talented juniors!).

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I can honestly say that chess in Melbourne is flourishing and it is an exciting time to be involved in the game.

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Yesterday's answers:

 1.Rd8+! [a typical distraction] 1..Nf8 [1..Rxd8 loses the queen] 2.Qxc5 Rxc5 3.Rxb8 winning a rook
 1.Qf8 [1.Qd8 leads to the same thing] 1..Ng8 2.Qxg8+! [a typical sacrifice removing the defender] 2..Kxg8 3.Rd8#
 1..Qe5! [threatening mate on b2 and e1, and the queen cannot be taken as then Rd1 would be mate]
1.Qxd8+! Nxd8 [1..Kh7 2.Qh8#] 2.Re8+ Kh7 3.Rh8# This mate with a bishop on the long diagonal is important to understand and adds another theme to the back rank mate

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