Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A quick post

I've got 20 minutes to write this before the start of the super tournament in Norway with Anand, Carlsen et al. After all the issues over the venue for the World Championship, this event seems to have taken on extra significance, and the clash of Anand and Carlsen is eagerly awaited (it's round 2, tomorrow, with Carlsen white). It's great that we have so much top class chess throughout the year nowadays, as there is plenty for the fans. However it is also a shame that other major events have to take a back seat somewhat.

Currently there are a set of top class events in action. The US Championship has a great field with Gata Kamsky as top seed, and he is currently leading the event. There is also a women's Grand Prix tournament happening in Geneva with Kateryna Lagno (I always thought her last name was Lahno but what do I know) the early leader and Yifan Hou amongst the pack of chasers. And to finish off there is the unbelievably strong European Championships being held in Poland with an abundance of GM's (I lost count at 100) with many above 2700. I will take a moment to be patriotic and congratulate English GM Stephen Gordon on his start of 2.5/3 including a draw with Dmitry Jakovenko.

I was thinking earlier today about this and which events would take priority in certain people's minds. Of course the tournament witht he World Champ and number 1 is important, but so is a titled event such as the US Champs and the European Championship. The women's Grand Prix has ramifications for the Women's World Championship, so that too is a prestigious event. I suppose a lot will depend on whether any of the players are known personally to you. So for me, the Euro Champs is interesting while of course I'll be following the exploits of the top 10 players in Norway. However, I'll also be following local events which mean just as much to me, if not more, then these prestigious super tournaments.

Currently, I have friends playing in tournaments in Melbourne and Fiji and I'd obviously like them to do well. The MCC are holding the second Monday night tournament of the year, the City of Melbourne Open. There have only been 2 rounds so far, and only 3 players have a perfect 2/2, IM Mirko Rujevic, Malcolm Pyke and Bosko Mijatovic. Meanwhile there is a zonal tournament happening in Fiji. There hasn't been great coverage of this event with no live games being broadcast, but the last I heard, young Justin Tan who plays at both Noble Park and the MCC was leading the event. this tournament has great significance for Australian chess and Oceanic chess as titles may be awarded. There is still some play to go yet, though, as there is in the women's section where the class players IM Irina Berezina and WIM Emma Guo lead the field.

But of course, there is nothing like the tournament that you are personally playing in. Unfortunately, I'm not at the moment, though this may change on Friday if we get enough interested players along to Glen Eira Chess Club. The plan is to run a 60 + 10 tournament at the adult club with the tournament to be ACF rated. Saying that, we will see the turn out and gauge the feelings of our members. Whatever the outcome, at least I'll be playing some games :)

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