No regrets though as I've made a great life here, and enjoy the chess scene in Australia. In fact, it is likely that I'll play in the upcoming Australian Championships being held in January 2016 in Melbourne. The tournament is being run by my club, the Melbourne Chess Club. Currently, the tournament in progress on a Monday night is the Malitis Memorial. Monday night events are longplay FIDE rated events, which is my preference. After an absence from the long game for a couple of years, my rating took a pounding on my return and dropped to a low of about 2080. I seem to have got it back together again, and my rating has jumped back up to 2161, and hopefully will jump more. Although saying that, my start in the Round Robin section of the Malitis Memorial, with 2 losses was not particularly inspiring.
The Malitis Memorial is split into 2 divisions, an 8 player Round Robin and a swiss for everyone else. This format seems to have drawn more players in (though that might just be a general upturn in chess club attendance) but I think I'd like to see a slightly different format, that I once played at the OHRA tournament in Amsterdam in the early 1990's. There they had small swiss events, 16 players, 24 players, or 32 players in rating groups. I think a 16 player, 7-round swiss would be an excellent format, and would basically split the top half and bottom half players. As I remember, the prize fund was also interesting. You earned prize money for every half point above half points. So instead of a set prize fund for the tournament, the prize fund depended on how many points you scored. This sort of system discourages players trying for draws, and rewards performance. It also spreads the prize fund out.
The Round Robin section is being dominated by IM Mirko Rujevic who has won all 3 of his games and sits a point clear already. David Cannon has 2/3, and the rest of us are floundering below. The swiss event also has a clear leader in Mehmedalija Dizdarevic who is the only player on 3/3. He is half a point ahead of Tristan Krstevski (who he plays) and Eamonn O'Molloy and then there is a big group of players on 2/3. The second tournament saw a number of late entries, and the number of players in the event has swelled to 35. Seeing the 7 round winter event has had considerably less players than that in the past, the MCC must be commended at attracting players through the door.
I was able to win my game against Simon Schmidt. Simon is a much improved player as is seen by his jump up the ratings. However, he misjudged an endgame against me and turned a draw into a loss.
a. 50.Rh5? d2 51.Rh1 Rc1 wins for black
b. 50. Rg8!
c. 50.Kf2? This was the move that Simon played, and really my main hope of an endgame swindle.
This is an important practical ending for club players to understand. This type of ending is quite frequent in games, and understanding the mechanics of it will maximise your results.