Today, I faced one of the biggest challenges in my role as a chess coach. Over the past 8 years of teaching chess for chesskids in Melbourne, I have experienced all sorts of problems, some caused by myself and some incidental. Over time I have arrived at classes without a demo board (minor inconvenience), with a demo board but no pieces (minor inconvenience), with a demo board and some pieces (frustrating), with a demo board and pieces but no normal playing boards (panic!!). I have been sent to the wrong school, the right school, but wrong campus, a school with no rooms to teach in, and best of all was a outdoors simul given in what can only be described as a blizzard!
Today the new challenge came through a lack of voice. I think that I caught a chill when running a few days ago. I had started out in sunshine, and then the temperature dropped and it started raining heavily. I was probably under dressed for the conditions, and caught a chill on my chest. The upshot is that I now have no voice and the making of a cough. Well, at least I got through it, and I now know that I can control a class without raising my voice :)
I wasn't feeling too great on Monday, but it was no excuse for my play against Ari Dale. I had intended to continue our theoretical duel in the main line of the Caro Kann. However, on Monday I didn't have the energy to finally prepare, so I decided to just play 1.d4 and stodge it. But a blood of rush to the head saw me throw in an early g4 in a Queen's Gambit Declined. To be honest, it was quite an interesting game up to a point, but I lost the plot and Ari put me away relatively easily. The tournament remains in the hands of Dusan Stojic who won against Mehmedalija Dizdarevic to go to 5/5. The board 2 game between Guy West and Malcolm Pyke was postponed due to Malcolm being ill, but the big sensation was young Jason Chew beating MCC stalwart IM Mirko Rujevic. Mirko castled queenside riskily on the white side of a French and was punished in no uncertain terms. These results mean that Dusan is followed by Ari and Jason who are a point behind (of course, Guy or Malcolm could join the leaders), with the rest of us trailing behind.