Saturday, 17 May 2014

Not as easy as it seems

by Andrew

This position was produced by one of the other Canberra chess coaches, Peter Simpson, on a demo board at Norths Junior Chess Club yesterday.

White to play and win.

A number of coaches including myself and a certain Armenian Grand Master found this one quite difficult; in fact, none of us were able to solve it before the end of the session. See how you go. (Highlightable solution below.)

1.Bd7!! Ke3 (...Kf3 2.Kd4 Kf4 3.h4) 2.h4 Ke4 (...Kf4 3.Kd4) 3.h5 Ke5 4.h6 Kf6 5.Be8 White wins. 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

IM Max Illingworth annotates

by Junta

Thanks Max for annotating some of my Doeberl Cup and Sydney International Open games on his blog! It's very nice to have strong players looking at your games, as you can observe a difference in style and learn from their thoughts and evaluations. Max is a very good annotator. You can also check out his posts from the previous two weeks where he annotated Moulthun's games from the SIO.

Max Illingworth's blog

Morozevich in 2014

by Junta

Alexander Morozevich hasn't been active in 2014 - his first appearance was in April at the Russian Teams Championships where he played six games with an average result. I was excited to see him in the line-up of the 15th Karpov Poikovsky tournament (running May 11th-20th), and as the tournament began, I immediately discovered that he still holds the highest place in my heart for chess players - he is the only player I feel like a 'fan' of.

When he wins, I feel like I've won a game myself, playing through the game, marvelling at his play, the world is going in the right direction, Caissa is doing a good job - I might return later in the day to play through the game again over the board. When he loses, I feel an injustice has occurred - I play through the game much quicker this time, frowning, seeing what went wrong, feeling an irrational enmity towards the opponent - how could this happen?!

You can imagine how I felt following the 2012 Tal Memorial (With a field comprising of Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik, Caruana, Nakamura, Grischuk, Radjabov, Tomashevsky and McShane, he surged forward with an emphatic 4/5, only to lose to Nakamura, Tomashevsky and McShane in succession and finish on 50%).

Nevertheless, it feels much more engaging and fulfilling to have such a player you admire and want to emulate, than to have no such 'heroes'. Moro is currently sharing the lead with 2.5/3, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he plays for the rest of the event.

And as I just went to check over his two wins on, I saw he won in Round 4 as well. I'd say this was a good day.

Edit: Yes, this was another fantastic game. How can he play like this!?

You can see games from the event here.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Doeberl Cup & Sydney International Open 2014

Australia's two biggest open tournaments of 2014 are now over, and it was a good fortnight for FIGJAM, with Moulthun winning the Sydney International Open and achieving his first GM norm, and Junta achieving his IM title by scoring his third (and fourth) IM norm and surpassing 2400. Andrew had a great Doeberl but couldn't maintain the same level of play for the SIO, while Fedja wasn't in his best form with fatigue being a major factor, going into these events right after the KL Open.

Doeberl Cup final crosstable
Sydney International Open final crosstable

Although we've been writing as rarely as ever this year, Andrew plans to write a couple of posts every week, starting June. See you again soon!

Doeberl Cup winner GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu with guest Garry Kasparov
Our own shot with the 13th World Champion
Sydney International Open, =2nd-6th place: from left, Mu Ke (CHN), GM van Wely (NED),
Junta, GM Vajda (ROU) and GM Nisipeanu (GER) with GM Rogers and IA Zworestine
Moulthun giving his winner's speech