Monday, January 13, 2014

After the Australian Chess Championship

It's time to think about me. I've rejoined the English Chess Federation and have paid the fee to restore my FIDE rating. I should be relisted in the FIDE list by the end of the week. Which means I can play chess again! I didn't really play much during the Australian Championship, but rather was looking at games and analysing. Anyway, I'm pretty bad at blitz chess. Saying that I did manage to win a blitz game against IM Guy West. I won't say how many games I lost :D

IM Guy West
What's it like to start playing again after a year? I guess my calculation will be a bit slow for a while, though it probably wasn't my strongest point anyway. Openings I'm not too bothered about as no one seems to know enough about them anyway. I have a secret plan to do with opening preparation anyway which I'll mention on this blog once I've discovered the secret. As for middlegame planning and endgame technique, that's what I've spent the last year looking at anyway, so I guess I won't be too weak in that department either. I'm hoping that once the rust falls off, I won't be too different in strength to what I was before, and am even hoping to jump back to 2200+. I intend to start playing chess again at the start of February at the MCC Championship.

I'm also helping to start a new club near to where I live. I will write more about Glen Eira Chess Club in this blog in the future, but for now I'll say that we are seeking affiliation with the state body, and are looking to run our first rated event starting at the end of January

I'm also following the World of chess again. I have to say that I found the World Championship a let down, but generally speaking I enjoy tournaments more than matches. After the Anand-Carlsen match I was quite busy and not particularly motivated to follow international chess events, and funnily enough, it has been the local Championship in Melbourne that has reawakened the desire to follow top class events. Currently the annual super tournament in Holland is being played, and I will be following this closely. Like the Australian Championship it is a relatively young field and it is interesting to see how things will go, especially as the Candidates tournament for the World Championship isn't too far away.

Here in Australia, the summer season of chess goes on. Currently the Australian Junior Championships are being held in Sydney. There was a ridiculous timing clash with the Senior Championship that meant the 2 events overlapped. Anyway, the Under 18's, 16's, 10's and 8's are all under way and I'm glad to see a boy I've helped coach leading the under 8's. For a 7 year old, Jay Landau has a pretty good tactical eye, and he is a rare child who likes to checkmate rather than take material (though he can be pretty greedy too!)

Jay as black saw a mating pattern that his opponent didn't see, winning after 1..Rh5 2.Ne5 [Hoping for the greedy 2..R8xe5 3.Rc8+ Re8 4.Rxe8#] 2..Ng3# Next time I see Jay, I'll have to tell him that he could have been even more forceful by reversing his move order: 1..Ng3+ 2.hxg3 Rh5#

I was very saddened to see the death of 27 year old Grand Master Vugar Gashimov. It is tragic when people are taken so young. He had to cope with epilepsy (which I have quite some knowledge of) and eventually a brain tumour. Peter Doggers article about Gashimov on the Chessvibes site is possibly the best I've read.

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