Sunday, November 3, 2013

Writer's Block

I apologise for not updating this blog recently. Since coming back from my roadtrip to the USA I've had a lethargy, a kind of post-holiday blues. The whole experience was so amazing that I've found it difficult to readjust to everyday life. However, I think I'm finally getting there and with under a week before the World Chess Championship it's none too soon. But I've also decided that this blog will not be as concentrated on chess as it has been. It's still going to have a fair deal of chess content, and there'll still be a heavy emphasis on the local scene in Melbourne and Australia. But chess isn't everything, and I thoroughly enjoyed relating my travels in the USA, so expect more non chess posts from now on. Though maybe chess will take centre stage during the upcoming Anand-Carlsen match.

Recently my tips have been pretty good with Svidler winning the Russian Championships, so I'll take a shot at the upcoming match. I'm going to choose Carlsen to win the match with at least a game to spare. I have nothing against either of the players, and would like to see a great competitive match, but I think that Anand will struggle to maintain his strength of play for the full match. If it is a close match, then it will be interesting to see how Carlsen copes with the nerves towards the end, and should the match be decided on tie break, then anything could happen.

As for me, I'm still defying FIDE and their events. I did wonder whether I should pay off FIDE and just start playing again, but it won't be happening this year. Without serious competition I'm a bit directionless when it comes to studying the game. It seems rather pointless to work on repertoire and technique when I'm not going to be using it anytime soon. I've hardly looked at any chess, though I have been playing a load of games on Some of these have been in thematic tournaments, so I'll try to post some ideas from these openings in the near future.

In the meantime the Melbourne Chess Club was the last place I played and there are currently 2 big events in progress. The regular Monday night event is currently the MCC Open, and I tipped IM Mirko Rujevic to win this. Mirko then went down to Justin Penrose and it looked like my tipping curse might remain intact. However, since then Mirko has bounced back and with just one round to go, he leads David Hacche by half a point. Both have black in the final game, and Hacche's draw seems a bit tougher as he plays Penrose (half a point behind Hacche, so theoretically can still catch Mirko), while Mirko has Tom Kalisch who has had a pretty respectable event up to now. Tom sits on a group of players half a point shy of third. This long weekend sees the MCC staging their annual Cup Weekender. The 9 round swiss started Friday night and has 2 games per day over the holiday weekend including the Monday which is not officially a public holiday. This year the tournament has attracted a decent sized field with a strong top end. Among the 64 players are 5 IM's and after 5 rounds the tournament is being led by local Master James Morris on 5/5. Should he win, James will be an incredibly popular winner, but he is facing tough competition with FM's Luke Li and Bill Jordan half a point back, and IM Max Illingworth, FM Dusan Stojic, Karl Zelesco and Jack Puccini on 4/5. And with another 4 rounds still to go, players further down the field will still fancy their chances.

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