Monday, 30 July 2012

Malitis Memorial Round 3

Round 3 of the tournament saw an outright leader emerge, with Garry Lycett being the only player to move to 3/3 after beating Richard Voon. Sylvester Urban beat David Lacey to stay within half a point of the leader, while John Dowling also stayed in contention with a victory over Sarah Anton. Peter Fry held Ari Dale to a draw, while the Jager-Penrose clash is to be played later in the week. The other boards mostly went according to rating, although Richard McCart managed to beat Paul Kovacevic in a minor upset.
As usual, results are on ChessChat.
This week's game sees Sylvester Urban demonstrate what can happen to black when things don't go to plan in the Sicilian.


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Malitis Memorial Round 2

Round 2 of the Malitis Memorial saw the first major upset of the tournament, with Ari Dale joining the infamous 'Richard Voon club' (yes, it even has its own Facebook group!), after going astray in a position where he appeared to have a clear edge. David Lacey & Garry Lycett also had wins to lead the tournament with Voon on 2/2. These players are followed by a large group of players on 1.5/2, which includes top seed Jesse Jager, as well as Sylvester Urban, John Dowling & Justin Penrose among others.
Richard McCart won the battle of brothers over Roger, even with Roger's birthday the following day!
As usual, results are available on ChessChat.
This week's game is Richard Voon's win over Ari Dale. After misplaying the opening, Ari obtains a clear edge, but Richard missed an golden opportunity to turn the tables with 33...Bg6. Ari then miscalculated the tactics, giving up his queen in the mistaken belief that he would promote a pawn & get a queen back. Richard then slowly pushed his advantage, finally checkmating Ari to seal the win.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Victorian Championship & Reserves

The 2012 Victorian Championship had a very exciting conclusion, although perhaps not in the way one would normally expect an exciting finish to occur. James Morris had already wrapped the tournament up coming into the last round, so the interest was not in regards to who would win the tournament, but rather it was in who would fill the minor places. Any of five players could tie for second coming into the final round, so this made for a number of critical matchups.
Leonid Sandler appeared to be making an early charge towards a possible podium finish by picking up first one, then two pawns in the opening against Domagoj Dragicevic. Domagoj continued to fight on, and an errant move by Leonid saw Domagoj take the initiative and win a pawn back. Just when it appeared that Leonid had regained the initiative in a knight against bishop ending, he again made a poor move, which saw him lose his extra pawn and a draw was agreed soon afterwards. This pushed Domagoj to 7 points & left Leonid on 6.5. Tristan Stevens managed to avoid the wooden spoon with a win over Eddy Levi to finish on 3 points, with Eddy finishing on 4. Bobby Cheng managed to win against Dusan Stojic after Dusan mucked up a tricky knight ending where queening his passed pawn first actually lost him the game! This moved Bobby up to finish on 7 points, while Dusan finished on 4. The battle of the David's saw an interesting opening lead to a series of exchanges, before Garner found a double piece sacrifice that lead to a forced draw. This left David Garner on 3 points, while David Hacche finished with 2.5. James Morris continued his demolition of the field with a nice win against Igor Goldenberg, gaining an edge out of the opening & converting it to a win in a rook & knight v rook & bishop ending. This left James in first place on 9.5/11, while Igor remained on 7/11. This left the Guy West with everything to play for against  Karl Zelesco. After a fairly quiet opening, things appeared to be headed towards a peaceful resolution until the queenside opened up & Karl found his queen in tremendous danger! Ultimately Guy won Karl's queen for a rook and bishop & then successfully converted this material advantage into a win. This took Guy to 7.5/11, enough to take second place outright, while Karl finished on 5/11.

Final results:
James Morris 9.5/11
Guy West 7.5/11
Domagoj Dragicevic, Bobby Cheng & Igor Goldenberg 7/11
Sandler 6.5/11
Zelesco 5/11
Stojic, Levi 4/11
Stevens, Garner 3/11
Hacche 2.5/11

A PGN file of all games from the tournament is available on the FIDE web site.

The 'game of the round' is Guy West's victory over Karl Zelesco, which catapulted him to second place!

The Victorian Reserves had an equally dramatic finish, with Pano Skiotis, who had lead the tournament from round 1, losing his final round to Laurent Michaille. This allowed Ari Dale to win the tournament outright after beating David Beaumont. Ari now qualifies to play inthe 2013 Victorian Championship.

Final results:

Ari Dale 7.5/9     
Jack Puccini, Pano Skiotis, Laurent Michaille 6.5/9
Justin Penrose, John Dowling 5.5/9  
Sylvester Urban, Max Chew Lee, Richard Voon, David Lacey, Dean Hogg 5/9
David Beaumont, Omar Khaled, Finley Dale 4.5/9 
Svetosar Stojic, Peter Wolf, Sarah Anton 4/9
Roger Beattie 3.5/9
John Beckman, Tanya Kolak 3/9
Victor Kildisas 1/9
Elizabeth Warren 0.5/9

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Malitis Memorial Round 1

The first round of the next Monday night tournament at Melbourne Chess Club got underway last Monday, with 21 players in attendance, with quite a large number of players unable to make it to the first evening (and taking half-point byes as a result). The top seeds for the event are Jesse Jager, Ari Dale, Sylvester Urban & John Dowling.
Ari is looking to continue his recent run of good results, as well as extending his lead in the MCC Grand Prix (he plans to head overseas later in the year, so will miss some events), but Jesse will be leading the charge to try to stop Ari from winning another event!
As usual, results from round 1 are available on ChessChat.
This week's game is between Sylvester Urban & Jack Puccini, which sees Jack win a pawn in the early middlegame, but Sylvester plays the rook ending actively to turn the tables, with multiple exchanges leading the players to agree to a draw.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Back to blogging ...

I've almost finished moving house ... and with that almost over, I can get back to relatively regular blogging about events.
Quite a bit has happened since my last regular blog post - this post will cover the 'quick summary', with more detail to come in future posts ...
Victorian Championships - finished with James Morris winning with 9.5/11 ahead of Guy West on 7.5/11, with Domagoj Dragicevic, Bobby Cheng & Igor Goldenberg tying for third with 7/11.
A PGN file of the games is available on the FIDE web site.
Victorian Reserves - finished with Ari Dale winning with 7.5/9. Pano Skiotis, Laurent Michaille & Jack Puccini tied for second on 6.5/9
City of Melbourne Open - finished with Ari Dale winning with 7/9. Justin Penrose & Anthony Hain tied for 2nd with 6.5/9.
A PGN file of the top board games is available on the FIDE web site.
FIDE Arbiter Application - With the completion of the Victorian Championships, I have now submitted my application for the FIDE Arbiter title. The events I ran that I included in the application were the MCC Club Championship, MCC ANZAC Day Weekender, Doeberl Cup & Victorian Championship, as well as the arbiters seminar from Box Hill near then end of 2011. Although it is not online yet, I would expect it to appear on the FIDE web site, along with other applications to be approved at the upcoming FIDE Congress (held during the Olympiad). If all goes to plan, this means that I should be an official FIDE Arbiter by September!
Interview - I was recently involved in an email interview by Grant Szuveges for the Melbourne Chess Club website. The interview covers a bit about my background, but focuses on the differences between chess in Sydney & Melbourne (where I grew up & where I am living now). Feel free to let me know what you think of it.
Chess Victoria Teams Competition - Has started for another year. This time I'm the arbiter for the event (with Grant Szuveges being the main organiser). I hope to have a page up in the next few days with up-to-date standing & results for both divisions. This should also make things easier for players & those intertested to follow the event, rather than having to follow the relevant thread on ChessChat, or find things on the Chess Victoria website.
Victorian Junior Championships - I was the arbiter for the Under 18 event which was held last week. This was convincingly won by James Morris with 9/9 ahead of Karl Zelesco on 7/9 & Ari Dale & Ian Choi on 6.5/9.
Expect quite a few posts here int he next few days covering the events mentioned here in more detail.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Moving House

Some of you may have noticed a lack of posting over the last week from me. This can be explained by the fact that I have been in the process of moving house.
Although you realise that you have a habit of accumulating extra things (DVDs, books, etc), you never fully realise just how much you have accumulated until you have to put it all in boxes & move it!
I recall my first few moves were fairly uneventful - Sydney to Melbourne was a long car trip with a TV, some CDs & some clothes packed in the car ... and soon after I arrived in Melbourne I purchased a bed, a desk & some shelves ... and that was all I needed for a while (I was sharing a house with 3 other chess friends).
The next move involved taking these things to a new home (this time sharing with my girlfriend), where I managed to accumulate more CDs & DVDs, some more books, as well as a few 'household' items like a vacuum cleaner & various plates & utensils. Another move, this time to a place by myself, meant that the accumulated bots & pieces kept growing & soon included things like a fridge, washing machine & dryer. These moved with me to my last place, where I again accumulated more DVDs, books, etc until my most recent move ... this time to Oak Park, in the north western suburbs of Melbourne.
The accumulated boxes meant that a nice, neat & brand new apartment that looked like this:
Has now transformed into this: 
Hopefully I'll get things sorted out (at least to the point of having most things roughly 'in place') in the next few days & I'll then return to regular blogging of various chess & poker related events.