It seems that the past month has flown past for me, and I can barely credit what has happened with chess. From a personal point of view, the chess club that I helped to start has been a great success, but more of that in a future post. I have nearly finished my term's worth of coaching, and am preparing for an endgame camp that we are running in the holiday period. This is very exciting for me, as the challenge of teaching endgames has always been appealing to me, and seeing how weak young players usually are in this department of their game, we are hoping that the camp will pay big dividends in the rising strength of our group of young players. Personally, I haven't played any tournament chess, but I am hoping to get to a few tournaments in the second half of the year.
Nevertheless, chess has been happening and Melbourne is as active as ever. The Victorian Championship has just finished with a convincing victory for teenager, Bobby Cheng. There is still a round to go, but Bobby cannot be caught with a score of 9/10. Next come 2 more young guns, Ari Dale and Justin Tan who are on 6.5 which shows that the new generation have found their place among the elite of Victorian chess. There is also a Reserves event taking place and this is being headed, not surprisingly, by Pano Skiotis. Pano's rating makes him eligible for the Championship so I'm not sure why is playing in the Reserves event. He is currently 1 point clear of young MCC player Jack Puccini, and I'm not sure what will happen if Pano wins the event as the winner qualifies to play in the 2014 Championship, though Pano shouldn't really be playing in the Reserves, so perhaps that part of the prize will go to the next player?
While I now am dedicated to making the new club in Glen Eira a success, I still like to follow the events at the Melbourne Chess Club. Currently, the City of Melbourne Open is reaching the business end of the tournament Mirko Rujevic has the tournament wrapped up with a round to spare. Malcolm Pyke and Bosko Mijatovic are his closest rivals on an otherwise excellent score of 6/8, but this is still too far behind Mirko's 7.5/8. I'm sure that there are a number of happy players with their performances, but the name that stands out for me is Daniel Dobos who has scored 4.5/8 despite being the second lowest rated player in the tournament.
The MCC also had an unsavoury moment with the banning of ex-President, David Beaumont. I am not sure about all the details of this incident, but I have seen David who is very unhappy about the whole episode and who feels he has been unfairly treated. Of course, the banning of anyone from a small organisation such as the Melbourne Chess Club is not to be taken lightly. The MCC committee followed a rigorous procedure, and the eventual decision was held at an EGM. I'm still unsure of what David did to warrant the ban, or what he was officially banned for but it would appear that he will not be playing at the MCC again.
This weekend sees the start of the Victorian Junior Championship, held at Canterbury Chess Club. As a coach I have urged my students to play, and hope to see them achieve their potential.