Sunday, April 20, 2014

Doeberl Cup 2014 - Kasparov is in Town

I had intended to write plenty about this tournament, but I had a cold that turned into a bronchial infection that has really knocked me out. To be honest I should have withdrawn after the second day, but I paid my money and wanted to play the games, even though I'm playing terribly. I've played well below my usual standard, and even the games I've won haven't been great. Anyway, rating points lost today are rating points that can be regained tomorrow.

Because of my illness I haven't seen too much of the action, and have barely had the energy to look at friends and students games. The results can be seen on the tournament website or on the chess results server. The tournament is being jointly led by international Grand Masters, Nisipeanu from Germany, and Vajda from Romania on 6.5/8. From an Australian perspective, perhaps the result of the tournament has been that of Junta Ikeda (FM 2338) who has performed at well over 2500 for the event so far, including a draw with Dutch GM Loek van Wely (GM 2658). Ikeda is on 6/8 along with GM's Zhao (Australia 2573), Melkumyan (Armenia 2633) IM's Morris (Australia 2377) and Cheng (Australia 2438) and Chinese untitled player Ke Mu (2325).

There are other events taking place in Canberra. There is a Major tournament (under 2000) and a Minor (under 1600) and an under 1200 tournament that has already finished. All the sections are very competitive, and the first winner was unrated Fraser Young in the under 1200. Mildura teenager Zoe Harrison is currently in the sole lead by half a point in the minor with one round to go, while Andrey Bliznyuk is half a point clear in the Major.

Today, the chess was somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of ex World Champion Garry Kasparov in Canberra. Kasparov is on the FIDE campaign trail, and made a lot of friends with a long book signing and photo shoot. Tomorrow he is apparently giving interviews to local and national media. In the venue there was an absolute buzz of excitement all day, with people on the look out for the great man.

Relaxed looking Kasparov at the book signing
Ignatious Leong was accompanying Kasparov

I also met the President of the Guam Chess Federation at the book signing

World Chess legend Kasparov, with Australian chess legend, Ian Rogers

Having fun, and with hundreds waiting for his autograph, signing quickly!

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