Friday, 28 May 2010

18th Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament (2010)

From the Nordic coolness of Malmo, third city in Sweden which I visited last year with my family comes the 18th annual Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament. Dylan and I also visited Limhamn Chess Club and Dylan played in a junior tournament organised by Limhamns (and Connie Holst) where he came second in his age group. Here is the website for Sigemans and here for Limhams SK and here for the tournament Dylan played in.
The Limhamn Chess Club is proud to invite the players, the chess audience, the media and the sponsors to the 18th annual Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament. The tournament will take place at the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo, for the thirteenth time. As in the previous year, six players play each other in a round-robin tournament.

This year's tournament is, to a large extent, a Nordic competition, with only one player from outside the Nordic region. Once again, the home team contains Tiger Hillarp Persson, one of Sweden's best chess players, and the most interesting young Swedish player, the 16-year-old Nils Grandelius. Add to that Pia Cramling, who has not played in the Sigeman Chess Tournament since 2001, and Jonny Hector, who probably has never been better than now. The Swedish players face young Norwegian Jon Ludvig Hammer, who has made a name for himself, despite having to compete with his fellow countryman Magnus Carlsen, with a number of impressive results during the last two years. Last, but not least, we have Holland's latest chess star and the world's youngest grandmaster, 15-year-old Anish Giri, who, in addition to being the youngest, is the tournament's highest rated player.

Tournament Schedule
Round 1 Wednesday 26 May 14.00-21.00
Round 2 Thursday 27 May 14.00-21.00
Round 3 Friday 28 May 14.00-21.00
Round 4 Saturday 29 May 14.00-21.00
Round 5 Sunday 30 May 12.00-19.00

From Round 1, here is an interesting game with the Slav Defence and it seems an important theoretical novelty by White on move 12 (pawn sacrifice).

Monday, 24 May 2010

Games from the 2010 US Championships

From Round 2 of the Quad Final, here is an interesting game with a nice combination/mating net involving an exchange sacrifice. I think this means Nakamura's chances of retaining his US Chess Champion title has just been sunk!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Games from the 2010 US Championships

The 2010 US Chess Championship is 24 palyer Closed Swiss event with defending champion GM Hikaru Naklamura back to defend his title. The other two top (>2700 Elo) players are GM Gata Kamsky and GM Alexander Onischuk. Teenage boy wonder, GM Ray Robson is also in as the 2009 US Junior Champion. The sole female player is IM Irina Krush.

Irina Krush began well defeating GM Gregory Kaidonaov in Rd 1. In Rd 3, Irina missed a win in the endgame epic game of 113 moves against GM Varuzhan Akobian (no stranger to Australia).

Here is the game for you to replay. Can you find where Irina went wrong?

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Krush’s king march was a carbon copy of the most famous king march in history, Short-Timman, Tilburg, 1991. Here is that game:

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Then in Rd 4, Irina (with Black pieces) played Ray Robson and had this position after Ray played 66 Rc5. Firstly, do you think a Rook + Bishop vs a Rook is winning? What would you play as Black?

Here is the entire game for you to replay. I think the endgame is instructive. Irina missed the win and allowed Ray to escape with a cute swindle of a stalemate.

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She has now played 12 hours and 206 chess moves in the last two rounds.

After her loss yesterday, Krush said she received lots of thoughtful emails from chess friends. She said she wanted to fight hard today to validate her support group. After the game Krush reminisced about her missed chances and how a few different moves could have allowed her to win all four games. “I still love chess,” she said without any hint of insincerity.
Also from Rd 3, here is a game featuring GM Onischuk with the Black pieces. When GM Sergey Kudrin played 16 Bd7, can you find the continuation as did Onischuk, allowing the exchange sacrifice?

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Finally, here is Nakamura on his mission to rehabilitate old and ancient openings:

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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

RECCC_2010 Club Championship Preliminaries


Round 11

Mlinaric - Maldonado 0.5-0.5
Damaschino - Burgess postponed
Hickey - Escalante 1-0
Beveridge - Gletsos 0-1
Edwards - Zee 0-1
Valenzuela - Gong, N 0-1
Mikolajczyk - Grbin 0-1
Marton - Hale 0-1
Gunn - Christensen 0-1
Kirillov - Yum 0.5-0.5
Aspin - Arumugan 0-1
Eyres - Siow 0-1
Watson - Amin 1-0
Irmler - Galwey postponed
Chiara - Gluvchinsky 0-1
Mere - Kuru 0-1
Cardenas - Dennis 1-0
Reich - Gong, S 0-1

NSWCA InterClub Grade Matches 2010

It is that time of the year again, the cold winter evenings and you are stuck in a car with three other chess players on the long drive to Rooty Hill and you are definitely examining your sanity in agreeing to play in the Grade Matches again this year. Or you just lost to someone rated 100 point lower than you after winning for most of the game and the game lasted 3 hours. Now you face a long drive home from the southern depths Greater Sydney, namely St George, all the way back to civilisation near Ryde.

Or you could be the Fantastic Four who came joint first in the U1400 last year making all those trips worthwhile. What/whichever it is, the NSWCA Interclub Grade Matches are on again (actually it begins next week). This year we have the same Four Amigos (***) (with a name change from Ryde-Eastwood Checks to ...... is it enough?!) attempting to go one better (?) than last year and win the U1400 outright! (see here)

[Of course I claim to have actually contribute to the Checks success last year even though I never did receive the recognition (sob! sob!). After all I, playing as reserve, took a half-point off a Rooty Hill player rated 300 points above me! HiYah!! C'mon guys, that was a valuable half-point! ]

We also welcome back some former club members (***) and new members (one from the barren landscape that is Canberra!).***

Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club Chess Club have 3 teams in the Grade matches this year. They are (drum rolllllllllll):

U1400 Knights
Vince Chiara (El Capitan)
Alan Marton
Mark Aspin
Greig Edwards

U1400 Hawks
Doug Eyres (le Capitain)
Jothan Gunn
Tereza Grbin
Egon Cardenas

U1400 Reserves
Bruce Williams
Ricardo Maldonado
Stephen Dennis
James Hickey
Les Mikolajczyk

Les Mikolajczyk (Der Kaptein)
Lorenzo Escalante
Rob Watson
James Hickey

U1600 Reserves
David French
Vince Chiara
Tereza Grbin

Note: The U1600 team has no name. C'mon, you cannot seriously play without a catchy name. Otherwise how are you going to distract your opponent! But seriously folks, we (ie club members) need to come up with a name for the U1600 team. Let's have a name competition. Send your entries to

For the first week, the Knights are playing the Hawks. Huh?! Well, I guess at least it is good to get this friendly game out of the way! the un-named U1600 (see how awkward it is without a name!) is playing away to Norths Brown Bears.

For club members not playing in the Grade Matches, casual games (and postponed games from the Club Championships Preliminaries, namely moi!) are the order of the day.

*** Guess who?

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Long Live the Champion!

In case you have not heard, GM Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand, World Champion has successfully defended his title by defeating the challenger, GM Veselin Topalov from Bulgaria.

A lot were expected from the Championship Match especially after the debacle of Topalov's last tilt at the World title against then World Champion (one of two Champions) GM Vladimir Kramink from Russia. Hence the birth of the term, "toiletgate" which forever soiled the image of chess. Grave fears abound after the eruption of the Icelandic volcano wreaking havoc around Europe and severely disrupting the travel plans of Anand and his team from Frankfurt, Germany to Sofia, Germany.

However, the Match itself got off to a great start, with Topalov landing the first blow, totally demolishing with the White pieces Anand in a Gruenfeld Defence to 1 d4. Anand hit back with two victories in two successive Whites and two Catalans. Then the momentum swung back to Topalov (or rather his longtime second (sidekick and wannabe clone), GM Cheparinov) who found a clever way to a neutralise Anand's Catalan. (But sales of Israeli GM Boris Avrukh's GM Repertoire vols 1 and 2 (Quality Press)) are sure to skyrocket!) Topalov equalised in Game 8 and both players missed wins in their respective White games. Play were also a bit sloppy but nonetheless exciting as the World Champion and World No 2 (on ratings) proved to mere patzers the world over that they were also human after all! Anand had his last White game in Game 11 but could not win with a surprise English Opening 1 c4.

Then it was the last game with Topalov playing White. Anand resorted to the defence of World Champions, namely the Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) and signalled his intention of seeking a draw with the very quiet variation known as the Lasker Defence of the QGD (named after World Champion Emmanuel Lasker).

Then we reached the middle game, and after Anand played 29. Nc4 e5 30. e4 f5! surprising Topalov and seeking the initiative. After ...e5 is played, would you have seen ...f5 coming? In any event, if you are White, what would you play (diagrammed position below)?

Do not look below.

After Topalov played his 31st move (?!), Anand played ...e4. And we reach the diagrammed position below. What would you play as White?

Here is the link to the whole game playable online.

Monday, 10 May 2010

RECCC_2010 Club Championship Preliminaries


Round 10

Maldonado - Valenzuela 1-0
Gong, N - Edwards 0-1
Zee - Beveridge 0-1
Gletsos - Hickey 1-0
Escalante - Damaschino 0.5-0.5
Burgess - Mlinaric 1-0
Grbin - Eyres 1-0
Siow - Aspin 0-1
Arumugan - Kirillov 0-1
Yum - Gunn 0-1
Christensen - Marton 1-0
Hale - Mikolajczyk 0-1
Amin - Reich 1-0
Gong, S - Cardenas 1-0
Dennis - Mere 1-0
Kuru - Chiara 1-0
Gluvchinsky - Irmler 0-1
Galwey - Watson 0-1

Saturday, 1 May 2010

RECCC_2010 Club Championship Preliminaries


Round 9

Burgess - Maldonado 1-0
Mlinaric - Escalante 0-1
Damaschino - Gletsos 0-1
Hickey - Zee 1-0
Beveridge - Gong, N 1-0
Edwards - Valenzuela 1-0
Hale - Grbin 1-0
Mikolajczyk - Christensen 0-1
Marton - Yum 0-1
Gunn - Arumugan 1-0
Kirillov - Siow postponed
Aspin - Eyres 1-0
Galwey -Amin 1F-0F
Watson - Gluvchinsky 1-0
Irmler - Kuru 0-1
Chiara - Dennis 1-0
Mere - Gong, S 0-1
Cardenas - Reich 1-0