Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The best game of chess played by a Japanese player?

by Junta

Kinkakuji (The Golden Pavilion) on Sunday morning (January 19th) , after it snowed overnight

I was planning to show this game a few weeks back before ChessBase beat me to it, posting two articles by GM Peter Heine Nielsen (an avid fan and strong player of Shōgi who I was able to meet back in May). Shōgi master and FM Yoshiharu Habu, who played in his first overseas chess tournament in six years in Poland at the end of 2013, won a beautiful game against GM Peter Wells in the Netherlands in 2005.

Three weeks ago in Poland, he again beat a GM with Black, coincidentally in a game again involving White's queen taking the rook on a8.

It might be some time before he is able to play in an overseas chess tournament again, but I'm sure he has very good chances of scoring his last norm (he is already rated above 2400) and becoming the first Japanese IM. The top active Japanese player, FM Kojima Shinya, achieved his three IM norms from his long run of tournaments in Europe (mostly Hungary) last year, and now needs 39 points to break the 2400 barrier.
The ChessBase articles by Nielsen are here and here.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Happy New Year

by Junta

My time on exchange in Kyōto is approaching its end, and I'll be returning to Canberra in late February. My time here has been an amazing one, but the thing I've maybe missed the most in Japan is playing strong chess tournaments - there were only two FIDE-rated tournaments in Japan in 2013, in May and August. I look forward to playing a lot once I'm back in Australia.

I've been watching some of the games from the current Australian Championships (with three FIGJAM members, Fedja, Andrew and Moulthun playing), and it's been very interesting to follow. With three players in the lead after Round 7 of 11 as below, the finish should be very exciting!

5.5 - Papin, Ly, Cheng
5 - Bjelobrk, Tu
4.5 - Illingworth, Solomon, Johansen, Lane, A. Smirnov, Wohl, Li

Edit: Max Illingworth finished very strongly and became the new Australian Champion.