Friday, 30 December 2011

Australian Reserves Day 4

Today I had a win against ACT junior Joshua Bishop, to put me on 3/4. Joshua played an unusual line of the Trompowsky (allowing 10.Qxb7), which should have been enough to chalk up an early win, but I didn't follow up with 11.Bxc7 & 12.Ba6, which would have won the exchange with a strong position. I overestimated the strength of my passed a-pawn & underestimated the strength of Joshua's counterplay, and particularly the strength of his active king in the middlegame, and only won thanks to Joshua's blunder which allowed me to win a piece & shortly afterwards the game:

Tomorrow I finally have black against a non-junior, Alistair Anderson, however I was next to his round 3 game where he demolished John Dowling, who has a similar opening repetoire to mine.
In the top board clash, Ian Rout emerged victorious in a tactical battle with Tony Davis to take the outright lead on 4/4, which the cream is rising to the top in the Championship, with Zhao & Xie the equal leaders on 3.5/4, with their top board clash being very significant in determining the final standings of the tournament.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Australian Reserves Day 3

Today I managed to butcher the opening & was lucky to snatch a draw from improving junior Max Chew Lee. This time my Modern Defense transposed into an Accelerated Dragon & I played d5 before playing 0-0 & got myself into trouble. I finished up in an ending with a rook against Max's two bishops & an inaccuracy by Max in the ending (47.e5?) allowed me to snatch a perpetual check.

Today I get white against Joshua Bishop, so it looks like my tournament might turn into the battle against the juniors, with another game against a junior!
In terms of the tournament itself, only Tony Davis & Ian Rout are on 3/3 & they face each other in round 4, with the winner (if there is one) taking the outright lead.
In the Championships, there are 5 leaders on 2.5/3, including GM Zhao & many of the IMs in the field.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Australian Reserves Round 2

Today I had a relatively easy win against John Langer.
This game me a chance to put both of my games from the first two rounds into the computer ... with some shocking results!
Here is my round 1 game:

I missed a few good moves, including 17...Nxb2 ... and even played the horrendous 35...Ke8? which allows 36.Qxh3, with the huge threat of 37.Qe6+, with Fritz jumping to -4 or thereabouts! I have to in fact play 35...Kf8 & allow the repetition after 36.Qh8+ Ke7 37.Qh7+ Kf8 etc.
Today's game was somewhat more straightforward, with a fairly routine win:

The early finish allowed me time to take some photos of the venue:
The pairings aren't out yet for round 3, but I'm expecting a tough game, whoever my opponent is.

Australian Reserves Round 1

Today was the first round of the annual (well techincally every two years) Australian Championships, this time held in Geelong, Victoria. I am playing in the reseves division, which has an upper rating limit of 2150. I'm the 7th seed in the 76 player field, so (in theory at least) I'm in with a realistic chance of a good finish in the event. I managed to get a gairly tough first round pairing, playing black against ACT junior Megan Setiabudi, who recently won the Australian Girls Masters even in Adelaide a few weeks ago. I managed to get a reasonable position out of the opening, but allowed Megan's queen to get active in the endgame, so that she had a perpetual check at the end, in spite of my mating threats.
I haven't put the game into my computer (might get around to this tomorrow night), so you'll have to wait to see the game in its entirety. Tomorrow I am paired against John Langer, who I literally know nothing about, so its a quick night for preparation (ie: I'm not doing any). Hopefully the result will be a bit better for me this time around.
In other results, there were a few upsets, the most notable in the reserves being Samuel Dalton's loss at the hands of Colin McKenzie, in what looked like a fairly crushing game from the parts I saw.
The Championship division also got underway, with a few upsets, including Bobby Cheng & Mike Steadman losing, although it is still early days & anything can happen from here!
If you want to follow the results, they are being updated daily on Chess Results, with the Championship & Reserves both online.

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Xmas Update

Its been a few weeks since my last post & quite a bit has happened.
I'm typing this update from Sydney, where I'm visiting family & friends for the Christmas period.
In terms of chess, I've run a few tournaments - The Victorian Lightning Championships & the MCC Xmas Swiss. The links are to the results on Chesschat.
I've also played in the Bob Brooking Round Robin & finished on 1.5/5 in the top division, which sounds OK in theory, but when you consider that I was beating both Dragicevic & Urban, I feel that I could have scored more points. Having said that, I played horribly against Morris (and lost quickly), was worse for most of the game against Penrose (and drew) & was pretty even in the game with Ari Dale until he gave me two pawns and a bishop for my rook.
I'm also playing in the Australian Chess Championships (Reserves Division) in Geelong, which starts on the 27th of December. At present, it looks like I'll be around the 10th seed in the division, which will likely have 70-80 players, so I would consider myself a chance to do well in the event, although putting things together consistently for 11 rounds in such an event is always difficult, particularly given my recent efforts to throw away winning positions!
I'll try to post updates from Geelong, but can't guarantee that I will have internet access while there.
In terms of poker, the Deuces Cracked 50k Challenge has stalled significantly. I've hardly played any online poker this month & have only played around 1000 hands (down around $20 at that!), so when added to the 5000-odd stud hands I played in November, its hardly the schedule to finish off 50000 anytime soon.
Much of the lack of online poker has been the result of playing much more live poker at Crown, where I am up just over $1000 since the start of November, playing $1/2NL. Although its not a huge amount, its reasonable for the stakes & I feel that most of the time I am playing well, although there are still some sessions where I find myself either struggling from the start due to the dynamics of the table (typically when there are multiple aggressive bigger stacks at the table), or midway through sessions, due to either a run of unplayable cards, or some unfortunate results.
I also final tabled the 7-game event at the November Joe Hachem Deepstack Series, placing 5th, although that was the only tournament I have played at Crown of late.
Since heading to Sydney for the holidays, I've managed to win two APL events, both at venues at Ashfield, which has made my recent APL record look much more impressive!
In terms of making videos, I'm midway through preparing the material for episode 2 of the Broken Arrow, which will be largely PowerPoint-based, in a similar format to Episode 1. I've had some positive feedback about the first episode and the PowerPoint format used, & I feel it works well for explaining the basic concepts & ideas of the opening much better than simply using Chessbase, although it does make the preparation of the episodes somewhat more labour-intensive. Having said that, when I get to covering games in detail in future episodes, this will mean that the presentation format will be largely Chessbase-based.
I'd also like to wish my brother Michael a speedy recovery! He broke his leg playing cricket last week & has only just got out of hospital, with multiple pins in his leg, a cast attached to it, as well as crutches & a wheelchair to help him get around! Its put am end to his 2011/12 cricket season, but hopefully he can recover & play even better in the 2012/12 season!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Chess - The Broken Arrow Episode 1

Its here!
The first episode of my series on the Broken Arrow (1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5 4.d5 Bxc3+!).
I've also got the outline for five more episodes to come, so expect to see some more videos in the future on the opening.
As for episode 1, I outline the plans for the series (which requires viewer feedback!) and look at a brief history of the Modern Defense, before examining the game Gurevich-Dzindzichashvili, the first game to feature this variation, in some detail.
The plan for episode 2 is to look at the key ideas, plans & typical piece placements in the opening, so keep an eye out for that in the not-too-distant future.
In the meantime, enojy the first episode of the series & remember to send your comments & feedback about the episode & series as a whole to

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Almost ready ...

The video series I am going to be producing on the 'Broken Arrow' is almost ready to be released ... or at least the first episode! I've got the first six episodes planned out (yes, I want to do things that 'in depth'), but I would still like some feedback on how to finish off the series (and in fact the plan has the final episodes to be feedback-driven). I'm hoping to have the first episode uploaded within the next few days, with the plan at present to be roughly one video per week, although I'll see how things go around the New Year, so that schedule might change.

As for the other series of though patterns that I mentioned in my last post, I've since found out that something similar was done over 50 years ago (1946 in fact, in the Netherlands), with the results (what was at the time a university thesis) published as 'Thought & Choice in Chess' by Adriaan de Groot. I've managed to locate a PDF of the book, although at over 450 pages, I suspect it might take some time to get through it all. Although my aim is not quite the same as de Groots would appear to have been (I've read the Preface & skimmed parts of the book), it would be interesting to find out what impact computers have had in terms of evaluating positions. Do players now think in 'concrete' numerical values (similar to a computer assessment of say +0.8), or do they still think in terms of ideas & advantages (eg: I have a queenside pawn mojority & a good white squared bishop)? I have a feeling that this idea of mine may become more than simply a handful of videos, but I'll see how things develop over time.

I'm also going to be running the Victorian Lightning Championship on the weekend. I'm not sure exactly what extend I'll be able to provide coverage here, but I'll try and record a few videos of the action, similar to what I did for the MCC Allegro Championships.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Volunteer call ... and an update

The title of this latest blog post relates to an idea I have had regarding a potential video (or even audio) series. Basically my idea is to try to get players of various levels of rating & experience & have them explain their thought processes when analysing positions. At present the plan was to do this by recording what would essentially be an interview with the player, where they would verbalise their thought processes about a particular position, possibly with specific questions asked by myself. I could then turn the recorded audio into a youtube video, or series of videos, and potentially do some analysis on the idea of thinking processes in chess generally.
However, in order to do this, I need volunteers! My initial thoughts about this were that I might be able to do this at Melbourne Chess Club, particularly with the current Monday night event being structured the way it is. The plan is to try to get people to spend the 15 or so minutes after they have finished their tournament game for the evening, to do the 'thought process' interview, although this is of course only possiblE IF I have finished my own game, and other players have an extra 15 or so minutes to stay around after they have finished their own games.
Another possibility with this is to delay things until sometime next year, when I will be running most of the Monday night events at MCC throughout the year, which would potentially make it much easier to find the time to do the interviews - I  would simply need people who have 15 minutes spare for the interview after their game & hope that the tournament would run dispute-free, at least while I was conducting the interview!

As for the update, I've started working on the upcoming 'Broken Arrow' series, but still need to figure out the 'grand scheme' of how the series will be presented & developed. At present I have a number of ideas & approaches, as well as some content for the series already developed, but I would prefer to have a plan for the series as a whole, so that one episode can follow logically into the next and maintain a sense of continuity throughout, before I start producing & releasing the videos for the series.

If you have any suggestions about the 'Broken Arrow' series, or are interested in participating in the planned 'thought process' series, feel free to get in touch with me

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Championships - Day 2

Day 2 started with some minor technical difficulties, with a Spanish Festival leaving many streets near the Chess Club closed or blocked off, as well as making parking anywhere near the club almost impossible! Perhaps this had an affect on overnight leader James Morris, as he lost his first round of the day to Jesse Jager. This allowed Simon Rutherford (who beat Ari Dale) to take the outright lead by a clear point! In other results, Palma, Yu & Krstevski all recorded upset wins, while Finley Dale held Deniz Tuncer to a draw. Round 9 saw Rutherford turn back the challenge of Jager to solidify his one-point lead over Morris, while Lawless scored the only major upset of the round by defeating Ilic. Rutherford continued his winning ways in round 10, defeating top seed Michael Baron, while Ari Dale, Anthony Harris, Bobby Yu & Vishal Bhat all held their higher-rated opponents to draws, while the mother-son battle between Tristan Krstevski & Tanya Krstevska ended in a hard-fought draw.
Round 11 saw the gap between Rutherford, Morris & the field widen, while Voon made a late charge with a win over Beaumont. Krstevski & Archie Beaumont also held their higher-rated opponents to draws. Before round 12 began, James Morris was heard to lament 'Oh dear, Voon is my only hope now!', referring to the upcoming top board clash between Simon Rutherford & Richard Voon! However, Morris need not have worried, as Voon scored the upset win of the tournament, defeating Rutherford, which allowed Morris to join him in a share of first place after defeating Addamo. Urban scored a controversial upset win over Baron, after a frantic time scramble with knight against knight & pawn, to take third place, while most other results went according to seeding.
The final round saw both Rutherford & Morris win their games, to both finish on the impressive score of 11.5/13, and split first prize between themselves! Ari Dale defeated Sylvester Urban to snatch third place, while Jager & Baron both won their final round games to share 5th place. Thai Ly finished with a draw against David Garner, to take out first in rating group A with 7.5/13, while Frank Lekkas, Deniz Tuncer & Tony Tosevski all finished on 7/13 to share 2nd place in the rating group. Giant-killer Richard Voon took out rating group B with 7.5/13, while second place was shared between Finley Dale, Anthony Harris & Tanya Kolac, who all scored 6.5/13. Vishal Bhat scored some good results towards the end of the tournament to finish on 6/13, which was enough to take out rating group C, while second in the group was shared by Tristan Krstevski & Bobby Yu on 5.5/13.

Final Crosstables & a list of all the Prizewinners can be seen at ChessChat.

The final round underway:
Round 9 action ... or should that be inaction:
The finish of the round 11 clash between MCC regulars Voon & Beaumont:

Presentation to the winners James Morris & Simon Rutherford, followed by a short speech from Simon:

Friday, 18 November 2011

Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Championships - Day 1

This weekend I am the arbiter for the Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Championships. This is an annual event that attracts some of the best allegro (15 minute chess) players in Melbourne! This year there were 35 starters for the event, which meant that the main tournament room at MCC was almost full!
There have been a few upsets already, with FM Michael Baron held to a draw in round 1 by Marcus Raine, while round 2 saw upset wins for Milan Ilic & Tristan Krstevski. Round 3 saw upset wins for Garner, Voon, Palma & Wildes, while round 4 saw Morris & Rutherford emegre as equal leaders on 4/4, with upset wins for Jager, Palma, Sumargo & Krstevska.
Round 5 saw Rutherford & Morris share the point, to remain tied in equal first place. Upset results were recorded by Antolis, Archie Beaumont & Yu, while Ly & Palma held their higher rated opponents to draws. Round 6 saw Bhat claim a higher-rated scalp, while Ly & Yu held their higher rated opponents to draws. The final round for the day saw Morris & Rutherford solidify their lead over the field, with wins over Baron & Urban respectively. Upset wins were recorded by Tosevski & Krstevska, while most other results went according to seeding.

Full crosstables after day 1 can be seen at ChessChat.

Tomorrow will see the final 6 rounds of play, starting at 2pm. Will Morris & Rutherford continue their dominance over the field? Will a challenger emerge from the pack? What will develop for the divisional prizes, with a number of players already scoring multiple upset results?

Spectators are welcome at Melbourne Chess Club, or you can follow the tournament progress online either on the blog, or on Chesschat.

I have also recorded a few short (roughly 1 minute in length) video clips during the tournament, which you can see below.

Round 5 action!

Round 6 action!

Round 7 action!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Chess - Ticket to Ryde episode 7

Its FINALLY time for the last episode of the Ticket to Ryde series! This is my round 7 game (as white)against NSW Junior Peng Yu Chen (2156 ACF; 2094 FIDE). This time what starts out as another Trompowsky turns into an unusual Modern Benoni-like position ... yes, transpositions are something I seem to do quite a bit!
Hopefully you enjoy the video!

The final crosstable is available on ChessChat, where you can see that I finished in a nine-way tie for 7th, which meant I left with the massive prize of $15 for the tournament!

As far as future videos are concerned, the next series I plan to record is going to be somewhat theoretical, looking at the 'Broken Arrow'/Dzindzi-Indian opening, which is something I play as black when the opportunity presents itself.
I'm also running the MCC Allegro Championships this weekend, as well as the Victorian Blitz Championships a few weeks after that, so expect to see coverage of that, in one form or another, here.
I'll also try to do another video or two in relation to the Deuces Cracked 50k hands challenge, so you can expect a few more of the multi-table Seven Card Stud videos in the not-too-distant future.
As far as my recent chess is concerned, I finished on 5/9 in the City of Melbourne Open at MCC, losing to Marcus Ogden, David Beaumont & James Morris, holding Malcolm Pyke to a draw & beating James Martin, Zachary Loh, Michael Addamo & Gary Bekker (I also took a half-point bye in one round), which was a reasonable, although slightly below my expected result.
If you have any other suggestions for content, whether it is chess, poker or something else, please feel free to let me know

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Deuces Cracked 50,000 hand challenge

Enough of the chess stuff!

Its that time of year, when the (now annual) Deuces Cracked 50k hands challenge is on! I attempted this last year & managed about 35,000 hands before going 'busto' (you started the challenge with $100), largely playing limit holdem, with the occasional session of no limit thrown in.

This year the challenge is largely the same, although rather than being a total bankroll, the $100 is now a 'stop-loss' figure, meaning you can play whatever tables you want, but as soon as you lose $100, you are out. Of course I'm being the odd one out this year, as I'm planning to make my 50,000 hands up by playing various forms of Seven Card Stud.

Hopefully I'll be able to record some of the sessions I play and upload them to YouTube, simalar to a previous session I posted on here. I doubt I'll win the most money in the challenge, however it will be good to try to get through that amount of hands, and hopefully at the same time improve my game!
I was also asked a question recently about the previous Stud multitabling video, in terms of how I managed to keep track of all the dead cards, different games, etc when playing. I have to admit that I don't keep a full eye on everything that is going on at all tables, however when I have a playable hand, I try to take note of the relevant door cards (so if I have [9h8h]Th in Stud high, I am most interested in the cards 6 through Queen, as well as any hearts that are out & I will try to remember them. If an opponent folds the 4d, its not going to make much difference to my hand, so keeping an accurate mental note of it is less important), but realise that I can not keep track of ALL the information at the table all of the time. Another thing to keep in mind is that I am playing relatively low stakes ($1/2 or lower & typically 25/50c or 50c/$1), so the quality of play is generally not of the level that you need to be paying attention to that sort of stuff in minute detail.

I'll try to post updates of my progress (or otherwise) here, though you can also keep a track of the challenge itself on the Deuces Cracked thread.

As for the 'enough of the chess stuff', I do still have at least one more episode of the Ticket to Ryde series to complete, as well as making a start on the 'Broken Arrow' theory series, so there will definitely be more chess content to come in the not-too-distant future.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Melbourne Chess Club Melbourne Cup Weekender Day 5

Well the 2011 Melbourne Cup weekender has been run and won, though it was nowhere near as close as the horse race which gives the tournament its name.

Round 8 results on Chesschat, as well as the round 9 results.

Round 8 saw both George Xie and Bobby Cheng win their games, while Justin Tan's late charge continued with a win over tournament overperformer Max Chew Lee. Andrew Brown got the better of Justin Penrose in a tense endgame that was the last to finish for the round, while all other boards were decisive, with most going pretty much according to rating.

The final round saw George Xie clinch outright first with another win, this time over Justin Tan. Bobby Cheng wore down Andrew Brown to take outright second, but this left a six-way tie for equal thrid between IM's Solomon, Morris, Brown & Rujevic, along with Garner & Tan. Both Tony Davis & Max Chew Lee won their last round games to finish on 5.5/9 and secure outright first in their respective rating groups, which left a five-way tie for =2nd in rating group 1 (on 5/9) between Hamish Selnes, Zachary Loh, Justin Penrose, Enoch Fan & Ari Dale, while Jack Puccini, who also finished on 5/9, was outright 2nd in rating group 2.

A few games from round 8:

Some games from the final round:

This tournament was the George Xie show & he clearly demonstrated why he was top seed, with a final score of 8.5/9 & a performance rating of roughly 2680! He also added around 16 points to his FIDE rating, which puts him that little bit closer to the 2500 mark needed to secure his grandmaster title. His only real scare came in his clash with tournament runner-up Bobby Cheng & he always seemed to be in control in his games, or at the very least ready with resources to deal with whatever his opponents could throw at him.
Bobby Cheng's 7.5/9 would in most circumstances be enough to win the tournament, however on this occasion it was only good enough for second, though he was 1.5 points clear of the rest of the field. Bobby played some fantastic chess during the event & showed a range of skills, from tactical brilliance to tenacious defence.
The players who tied for third could all feel both a little disappointed and a little lucky with their results. The four IMs all had a game or two they would rather forget, while David Garner was always near the top of the pack and Justin Tan made a great recovery after a poor start to the tournament.
Max Chew Lee had a standout performance, winning his rating division with a score of 5.5/9 & only conceeding one loss throughout the event. Zachary Loh also showed strong form early, before some losses to the top seeds in the later rounds brought him back to the pack. Justin Penrose shared a similar story, with a strong tournament being soured by losses to two IMs on the final day. Both John Wildes & Savithri Narenthran also had good tournaments, claiming a few scalps along the way to a final 50% score.

Overall I felt that the tournament was a success in terms of how it was run & organised, even if the numbers were a bit lower than anticipated. The venue at the Fitzroy Town Hall was magnificent, and player (and spectator) feedback is always welcomed in order to improve the event for future years. Personally I would like to thank everyone at Melbourne Chess Club involved in putting the event on, particularly Grant Szuveges, Elizabeth Warren & Jack Hughes, who all played their own roles in ensuring the weekend ran smoothly and largely hassle-free.

Hopefully you have enjoyed following my daily reports on the tournament ... and take the time to have a look at the blog every now & then ... at least until the next chess tournament I arbit & report on comes around!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Melbourne Chess Club Melbourne Cup Weekender Day 4

We have a clear leader, with George Xie now having a one point lead over the field after two wins on day 4 of the event.

As usual, the results and cross table are posted on Chesschat.

Round 6 saw George Xie take control of the tournament with a win over Max Illingworth. Although Max seemed to have the better of the opening, George slowly turned the tables before finally securing the full point. Juniors Zachary Loh & Max Chew Lee continued their excellent tournaments with draws against much higher rated opponents, while Shannon Aguimbag won the battle of the Filipinos by beating Jose Beredo.

Round 7 saw George turn back the challenge of Andrew Brown, while David Garner held Bobby Cheng to a draw. Tricky queen and pawn endings were won by Rujevic (over Solomon) & Morris (over Loh), while Justin Penrose & Max Chew Lee took the lead in their respective rating divisions.

Some games from today's play:

The decisive top board games from round 6

George Xie's win over Andrew Brown in round 7

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Melbourne Chess Club Melbourne Cup Weekender Day 3

Lots of decisive games on the top boards today, so it seems as though the top players are either in a fighting mood, or they simply blunder at an inappropriate time!

Results are online as previously at Chesschat

Currently there are two leaders: IM George Xie & FM Bobby Cheng both on 4.5/5, followed by FM Max Illingworth, IM James Morris & IM Andrew Brown on 4/5.
Bobby & George have played each other ... and Bobby has the complication of school tomorrow, so is taking a half-point bye for the morning round ... so I'm sure there will be plenty of drama tomorrow!

Given the early start in the morning (combined with the late finish for me tonight), I'm going to skip the commentary & go straight to the games ...

Round 4 games:

Max grinds out an endgame win against Solomon!

Mirko hangs a piece against George

Bobby finishes his game against Hamish off in style

Round 5:

Bobby finds a fantastic endgame zugzwang to beat Max

Morris plays a smooth attack against Garner

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Melbourne Chess Club Melbourne Cup Weekender Day 2

Another day ... more games & more drama!

The results for rounds 2 & 3, as well as the provisional draw for round 4 is available at ChessChat.

Again its a daily summary rather than a live blog, but nevertheless, there were plenty of interesting games & happenings to keep everyone on their toes!

Round 2 notes:
Xie is a pawn up with an advantage in a Sicilian

Penrose has traded into an ending with Solomon, which seems to favour Solo slightly.

Brown has somehow picked up a piece in the opening & seems to be winning comfortably.

An interesting middlegame has developed with Tan having two minor pieces for a rook. 

The almost but not quite award goes to the last game finished in the round between Damien Feaine & John Beckman. This game was very hard fought, in spite of the apparent mismatch (Damien being unrated and fairly new to chess & John being rated in the 1700s) & the ended up with an ending of bishop, knight & 3 pawns v 2 kinghts & 3 pawns. Damien blundered a pawn & then gave up a piece for two of John's pawns, leaving John with a bishop (white-squared), knight & a-pawn against Damien's knight & a-pawn. There was a position where Damien could have exchanged knights & potentially got into a bishop & wrong-coloured rook pawn v king ending, but he missed this chance & John eventually won Damien's a-pawn, promoted his own a-pawn & eventually checkmated Damien ... but a good fighting game by both players!

Not sure which of the top board games gets the nod for best game, so I'll put two games up.
The first is Solomon-Penrose, which sees Solomon's endgame technique being as good as ever:

The second game is Davis-Illingworth, where Davis looked to have a good position, and maybe even a slight edge in the early middlegame, but eventually Max got his bishop pair working as Tony ran low on time, before finally blundering a piece:

Round 3 notes:

Xie has used an unusual move order to get into a quiet Semi-Slav, which is something I haven't seen Bobby play too often.

Morris has 2 pieces for a rook, but his pieces appear to be tied up & Solomon has active pieces ... could be anyone's game!

Looks like a theoretical Sveshnikov Sicilian.

Missed opportunity of the round goes to Bobby Cheng, who missed an amazing move near the end of his game against George Xie. He has been worse for much of the game & has just begun to turn the tables in his favour (after his 32...Bxf3!) & they reached the following position after George's move 35.g4

Here Bobby missed the spectacular 35...g5!! which leads to a winning position for black after both 36.Qxh5+ Rh6 when the queen is trapped ... or a queen retreat (to g3, f2 or anywhere on the h-file) which runs into 36...Re1+ followed by 37...R7e2 & again the queen is lost!

The Xie-Cheng clash is well worth playing through, both for the opening play by George, the enterprising middlegame play by both players & in particular the fight back from Bobby, which ultimately ended in a perpetual check:

Friday, 28 October 2011

Melbourne Chess Club Melbourne Cup Weekender Day 1

The first round of the event eventually got off to a start, largely due to Melbourne's untimely bad weather & traffic, with a number of players walking in the door as I was about to announce the pairings. Eventually we had 37 players for the day, meaning 18 boards of action ... and there was definitely some action!

The full results for round 1 & provisional draw for round 2 can be seen on Chesschat

Although I was unable to blog live from MCC as I had initially hoped, I will share some of my notes on some of the games as they were in progress:
Hain has grabbed the b2 pawn in a Sicilian, although Xie seems to have plenty of compensation for the pawn. Eventually Xie managed to plant a knight on d6 & the game was over not too long afterwards.
Loh has played a passive (e3) line against the Semi-Slav & Solomon now has good piece play against Loh's IQP.
Morris has planted a knight on e6 & appears to have an overwhelming position.
Something has gone horribly wrong for Kenmure in a Rubinstein French ... first f7 fell & not long after the game was over!
Narenthran is a pawn up out of the opening & Rujevic is deep in thought trying to get some play.
Garner-Chew Lee
A very unusual symmetrical position has arrisen from a Queen's Gambit Declined!
Gluzman has somehow won a piece after playing the King's Indian Defense.

Strange position of the round ... Garner-Chew Lee ...

Yes, it did start out as a Queen's Gambit Declined!

And a game from the top boards to finish ... this time James Morris' quick win over Jack Puccini, who goes astray rather quickly in the opening.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Poker - Reviewing my Play Episode 4

A return to poker, albeit breifly before the weekend of chess, this time with a multi-table session of Seven Card Stud games on Pokerstars.
This time I am playing 6 tables - 2 of Stud hi, 2 of Razz & 2 of Stud hi-lo - which are either 10/20c or 25/50c, with commentary on the hands as I play them.
There are a few interesting spots which I think I will post on the Deuces Cracked forums, as well as some hands I know I played poorly, paying off when I shouldn't have been in the hand at that stage.
I would also appreciate comments about the video quality. Given that it is 6 tables, it is probably best viewed in full screen, but I am not sure if the video quality will be high enough to view properly. If need be I can re-record the video & utilise the 'pan & zoom' feature I used on my previous poker video to make the table in question more easy to view.
Of course comments about the video itself would also be appreciated, as well as any comments on the various situations I found myself in throughout.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Chess - Ticket to Ryde Episode 6

Time for the next episode in the Ticket to Ryde series, my round 6 game against Canberra WIM Emma Guo. Yes, Emma is the older sister of Jamie-Lee, my first round opponent, but I'm not sure if family homour was on her mind when playing the game. The game itself is another Modern Defence, where I am black & I again play inaccurately in the opening & find myself in a slightly worse position. I'll let you watch the video rather than giving away the result of the game! Hope you enjoy!
I've also had a suggestion to include Pineapple in a video for future poker content, however i think this is probably unlikley. As far as I'm aware, its only played online on Ultimate Bet & although I do have an account there, I haven't played there for quite a while, nor do i really know that much about playing Pineapple (other than treating it like Limit Holdem with a bonus card pre-flop). In short, don't expect a Pineapple video, but keep the suggestions for future videos coming!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Chess - Ticket to Ryde Episode 5

Finally, we're back to the ticket to Ryde series & my round 5 game (as white) against Armen Ayvazyan (FIDE 2199, ACF 2227). The opening is another one of my unusual ways to avoid main lines, the Trompowsky, where I play an idea used by players such as Kramnik & Stefanova without realising it! Yes, i need to know more theory about my dodgy sidelines too!
Hope you enjoy the video (its one of my longer ones at just over 30 minutes!)

Friday, 21 October 2011

MCC Melbourne Cup Weekender & some live poker observations

Next weekend is the Melbourne Cup Weekender, to be held at Melbourne Chess Club (and Fitzroy Town Hall). I will be the arbiter for the event, which will be my first FIDE rated event as arbiter, and another step towards the FIDE Arbiter title.
The event starts on Friday night & has two rounds per day over the next four days, finishing on the Melbourne Cup public holiday Tuesday. Jack Hughes is the assistant arbiter for the event (he was another who passed the arbiter's seminar earlier in the year). The time control for the event is 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move (Fischer time control), and there is the potential for norms (although I think it will be unlikley in a large single-division swiss). At present there are a few IMs entered - Sydney's George Xie, Brisbane's Stephen Solomon & Canberra's Andrew Brown, as well as some strong players from Melbourne & interstate.
Depending on the availability of an internet connection at the venue (MCC should be fine, but I'm not so sure about the final day at Fitzroy Town Hall), I hope to provide some sort of coverage of the event on the blog. Ideally, this would take a form similar to what Carl Gorka has done for some of the Monday MCC events, with hourly updates, possibly including interesting positions. Something else that I may consider is daily video updates (possibly following the model of the Doeberl Cup), but again I think much of that will depend on how much time I have available, both during the event as well as at the end of the day after the games have finished.

In other news, the Ticket to Ryde series will be continuing in the coming days, and will hopefully be finished before next weekend. I had even recorded episode 5, but had some problems with the audio, so will need to record it again. In the last week I've helped run two interschools finals (the Secondary & Girls finals), as well as getting back into playing some live poker, in the absence of teaching work (casual work is generally reduced at this time of year as year 12 teachers are available to cover absent teachers & this makes more financial sense than hiring a casual teacher for the day).

The poker has been going well & I feel as though I am generally playing well, with the number of moments of stupidity & mistakes in general, happening far less often than they had been previously.
Some things I have noticed about the $1/2 no limit holdem games generally at Crown:
* The standard of play varies greatly across the player pool
* A vast majority of players don't like folding when they have put money in the pot, so you can use this to extract value from your big hands
* Conversely, the ability to bet/fold, particularly on the turn & river, is a very useful skill to have. Players generally don't raise the turn or river unless they have a big hand (typically 2 pair+), but will often call with weaker hands, so you can extract value from marginal hands & find out fairly easily when you are behind.
* Assigning hand ranges can often be difficult, as many players will play literally ANY two cards, regardless of position, raise sizing, number of players in the hand, etc. This is useful to keep in mind on later streets ... when you think someone wouldn't call a bet and a raise on a flop of K84 with a 6 in their hand when the board runs out 57, a hand like K6 or 86 (particularly SOOTED), is most definitely in a large number of people's range of holdings.
* Tilt is a major factor influencing winrates. 2 outers happen, people call when they don't have the odds to do so ... but you shouldn't let it affect future hands. If I lose a big hand from a bad beat, I think briefly about what I might have been able to do differently & then get on with the next hand.
* Related to this, if you notice a player at the table who is obviously upset by a hand, you can then use this to your advantage to try to extract money from them when they are playing badly.
Maybe a future poker-related video could be about live play ...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Chess - Ticket to Ryde Episode 4

Time for Episode 4 of the Ticket to Ryde series & my round 4 game (as black) against another ACT player, Matthew Bennett (FIDE 1762, ACF 1758).
The line I played in this round, the 'Broken Arrow' (or Dzindzi-Indian, Beefeater, or whatever other name you want to give the opening) will be the subject of a future video series, so this game can be used as something of an introduction to that.

The blog also got a mention in the latest ACF Bulletin, which should, along with the mention in Shaun Press' blog, boost the reader/viewership of the blog. Hopefully this will also encourage feedback, both about the blog itself & the video content presented, whether positive or negative.
So please leave a comment, or send an email to

Monday, 10 October 2011

Chess - Ticket to Ryde Episode 3

Another day, another video ... or at least that's how it seems!
Below is episode 3 of my Ticket to Ryde series, where I analyse my round 3 game against another player from the ACT, Michael Kethro (ACF 1618). The opening is one of my strange sidelines, the Alapin French & the game shows some of the attacking possibilities that this opening provides (as well as a number of inaccuracies & blunders by both players!).
Hope you enjoy the video!

Also a big thanks to Shaun Press for the mention on his ChessExpress blog. Shaun has been involved in chess in the ACT for well over a decade & was one of the presenters at the first Australian FIDE Arbiters seminar that I attended earlier this year. He definitely knows quite a lot about chess as far as off-the-board activities are concerned, and is quite a handy player himself, having represented Papua New Guinea at the last few Chess Olympiads. One thing that does separate his blog from many others is that he seems to be able to post something (mostly chess related, though occasionally not) on his blog each day ... which means that you will find his blog near the top of my Interesting Blogs list on the side of the page.
The mention on Shaun's blog might also help increase the traffic here, so that there are more than just a handful of readers!

Chess - Ticket to Ryde Episode 2

Episode 2 of the new series awaits you!
This was my round 2 game against International Master George Xie (ACF 2460, FIDE 2440), who was the top seed for the tournament & played on board 3 for the Australian team in the 2010 Chess Olympiad.
Although I was never really on top in the game, I was disappointed by the fact that I played inaccurately in the opening, which left me with a significantly worse position ... and George finished the position off with good technique.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Chess - Ticket to Ryde Episode 1

Time for a new series. In this series I will be reviewing my play from the recent Ryde-Eastwwod Open weekend event, held at the Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club in Sydney.
The event was a 7 round tournament with 84 players, with a time control of 60 minutes + 10 seconds per move (Fischer).
I'm looking to do 7 or 8 videos in this series, with one episode per game, with possibly a summary video to finish. Hopefully you find them interesting!
Round 1 (and therefore episoide 1) was against ACT junior Jamie-Lee Guo, with an ACF rating of 1395.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Poker - Reviewing My Play Episode 3

This time its back to poker, with a session on PokerStars.
In this session I play 2 tables, the first is 25/50c Badugi, while the second is 25/50c Limit Holdem. There is much more action on the Badugi table, so apart from the occasional Limit Holdem hand, its pretty much a Badugi video.
I've also added the new video intro at the start of part 1 ... hope you like it!
I'm also looking for some comments on the video - good or bad & whether you liked the presentation & commentary or not.
Anyway, on to the videos:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ryde Eastwood Open Day 3

I managed to finish with 5/7 after a loss and a win today. The first game was a Modern Defense, where I was slightly worse for the majority of the game, until finally my opponent made a winning pawn break & my position crumbled rather rapidly. In the final round I managed a win on the white side of a Modern Benoni-type of position, which came about from a Trompowsky Attack.
Overall it was a tough tournament for me - 4 opponents over 2000 - so it was good to only lose 2 of these games. My score also managed to win a prize (if you can call it that) ... =7th for $15! Of course my life run-bad continued with there being no under 2000 prize, so I had to settle for a 7-way tie for $120 ... I tried not to spend it all at once, but I got dinner on the way home & I didn't get much change from $15.
I'm hoing to get the games from the tournament up in a video (or multiple videos more likely) in the coming days, so check back shortly to see how my tournament actually happened!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Ryde Eastwood Open Day 2

Today was a good day ... not quite like Ice Cube's, but a good day nevertheless ...
2/2 in chess, including a win with the line I mentioned in yesterday's post - the 'Broken Arrow' - where I managed to win a few pawns in the opening & then exploited the superior pawn structure & pieces to win the ending. The second game was a Trompowsky, where I played an early h4 idea in the 2...d5 3.Bxf6 line & eventually used the h-pawn to create a winning attack in my opponent's time trouble.
I was fairly indifferent about the NRL Grand Final, but would have preferred to see the Warriors win ... mainly because they aren't Manly. It was looking interesting midway through the second half when the Warriors scored two tries, but unfortunately that was where their comeback ended. Being in Sydney, the chess continued through the AFL Grand Final, so I only saw the first quarter (which was very close & entertaining) & the final 10 minutes, by which time Geelong had the game wrapped up. Again, it was something I was fairly indifferent about, though I guess with Collingwood beating StKilda last year, I wasn't unhappy to see a different side win.
Anyway, tomorrow should be two tough games in the last two rounds. Hopefully they turn out well, but I'll see how they go ... and they will both finish up in a video at some stage ...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ryde Eastwood Open Day 1

Today was the first (of three) days of the Ryde Eastwood Open & I scored 2/3, beating Jamie-Lee Guo & Michael Kethro & losing to top seed IM George Xie. I was happy with the finish to my game against Michael Kethro, where I sacrificed a rook for mate, but was disappointed by my opening against George Xie, where I was just worse from early in the game & just gradually dropped pawns as the game progressed.
I think I'll most likely use the games from this tournament for future videos.

In other video-related news, I'm in the process of editing & producing a video of a session of Badugi & Limit Holdem I played recently. You can find the first part on my YouTube page & it will be posted here (with the other parts) when it is complete.

I've also decided to take on something of an ambitious project as far as a future video series is concerned. I want to have a look in some detail at the 'Broken Arrow' variation of the Modern Defense. The line begins 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5 4.d5 Bxc3+ & I've played the black side of the position on quite a number of occasions & enjoy playing it. The plan is to make a series of videos on the theory of the line & attempt to evaluate the various tries for either side. Hopefully I'll get around to it eventually ...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A video introduction ...

In the absence of any other ideas, I have decided to put together a short-ish video introduction, that I plan to use at the start of future videos I will be posting here. Let me know what you think of it!
I've also added a few minor updates to the blog, with some information about me & coaching, which you can find in the tabs at the top of the page.
As for the lack of updates, I've been busy teaching & running some chess tournaments ... but with school holidays starting shortly, expect to see more video content in the coming weeks.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Chess - Reviewing My Play Episode 2

Perhaps a bit longer between videos than I'd hoped, but I have had a busy week (made more busy by the extra travelling to work), so the latest video series is a little later than I would have liked.
This time I decided to record two 3-minute games I played on ICC with live commentary, and then do post-game analysis of each of the games. I manage to play horribly in both games at various times & find myself playing poor moves more often than I would like in the middlegame, with the computer spotting a range of tactical shots that I (and in many cases my opponents) missed.
As for the videos themselves, its another three-parter, with the live commentary games being in the first video & each of the games getting its own video for the analysis.
Hope you enjoy them ... I know I've learnt a few things from playing & reviewing them!
Part 1 - playing the games on ICC
Part 2 - Analysis of game 1
Part 3 - Analysis of game 2

Saturday, 3 September 2011

About a week ...

That's how long the planned video schedule stayed in place! Although I still plan to continue with the schedule posted a few weeks ago, I suspect it will become a little more 'flexible' than first envisaged, with the plan being to stick roughly to the order of the schedule rather than the exact day that each video is scheduled to be released.
On the other side of things, I've had some positive feedback about the Amateur Game of the Week video (or videos), which is good to hear. Hopefully the future videos will also maintain or improve on this early standard. There are also some videos that I am more partial to than others, so this may also effect the order that the videos are released, or at least may rely on some other factors (such as attending the MCC Opening/Endgame group to have theoretical material for the Openings & Endgames videos) in terms of particular videos being released.
As such, I'm not sure when I'll be releasing my next video, but hopefully it won't be too far away!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Monday - Chess - Amateur Game of the Week

Although its a little late, Monday's video is finally online, however it is in three parts because it went for a little longer than I'd planned.
The game itself is between William Naff & Kyle Mayhugh from this year's David Mote Memorial tournament in Illinois. Kyle is a regular poster on the 2+2 chess forum (yes, its a poker forum, but there is a chess sub-forum) & the game was discussed between forum members, so it seemed like a good game to use for the first episode of Amateur Game of the Week. It starts out as a fairly tame exchange Ruy Lopez, but Kyle decides to sacrifice a piece for a kingside attack & suddenly the game is anything but tame!
Anyway, on to the videos:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Hope you find them instructive and somewhat entertaining!

Monday - Chess - Amateur Game of the Week (coming soon)

Today I recorded the first episode of Amateur Game of the Week ... but it went much longer than I had imagined, so the uploading will take a bit longer than I had expected. I am expecting to have the video up (most likely in three parts) sometime tomorrow. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.
In other news, I finished equal thrid in the Malitis Memorial tournament at Melbourne Chess Club. I was somewhat criticised for my decision to accept an early draw offer in the final round, however I was happy enough with the result (a draw against top seed Jesse Jager), and happy to guarantee a share of the prizemoney (I was guaranteed at least equal thrid with a draw). The reason for the criticism was that going into the final round, Jager was on 5.5/6 & myself and two others (playing one another on board 2) were on 4.5/6, meaning if I won that I would finish in equal first on 5.5/7. Some people thought that with the potential of a draw practically always on the table, that I essentially had nothing to lose by playing on. As it turned out, the opening played was very quiet & there was very few obvious ways to make a winning attempt in the position. Ultimately I was happy with the result of the tournament & I'll wear the criticism levelled at me for taking the 'soft' final round draw.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Friday - Chess - Reviewing the Pros

So its Friday ... and its time for a video looking at how the pro's do their thing. This time to kick off the series, I take a look at a game by my favourite player, Swedish Grandmaster Jonny Hector. The game in question is from the 2011 Swedish Championship against GM Emanuel Berg, where Hector plays a crushing opening novelty to steamroll his fellow GM. Hopefully you find my analysis an entertaining, if not educational addition to a fascinating game.
In somewhat related news, I'm also looking to put together a short intro (or perhaps series of intros) to the videos, both to identify them as 'Melbourne Games Coach' videos, as well as to try to develop some sort of design style and image in terms of the videos. I have some of my own ideas & I might try to get these together at some time in the near future if at all possible, but I'm more than happy to look at ideas & submissions from readers/viewers.
So ... if you want to try to put together a brief intro that could be used at the start of some of these videos (either a general intro, or an intro for a specific series), you can either post it on YouTube, or email me at keeping in mind that ideally I'd like something in the 20-60 second range.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Wednesday Poker - Reviewing My Play

So its a day late, but I did record this on Wednesday ... an 8 game session on PokerStars playing 50c/$1 for limit games & 10/25c for big bet games. The session itself went for around 40-45 minute, which was long enough to get through one complete rotation of the games.
I feel I played OK, although I still have difficulties in some games with blind defense & perhaps play a bit too tight in the big bet games. Also excuse the voice & occasional sneezing in the video - I'm not exactly 100% healthy at the moment. Also on this occasion I've recorded the session & added comments afterwards. This is something that I may continue to do, or I may mix it up with some 'live' commentary if doing these sort of videos in the future.

Your thoughts & comments are welcome, so feel free to add them either in the comments section, or on my YouTube page itself.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Video Schedule

So I've devised an optimistic schedule for videos that I plan to create (with the caveat that I won't be making videos on days where I am working or have something like a chess tournament on) ... I'll see if I can stick to the schedule.
The plan is to put them on my YouTube site & embed them here ... with the aim of both increasing the audience, as well as providing some entertaining & educational material.

Anyway ... below is the Video Schedule

Monday - Chess - Amateur Game of the Week
This is where I plan to look at games of other people & post some sort of analysis of the game. Yes, this means that you can submit a game that you would like analysed to The other option for finding games to analyse will be from places such as forums at,, & the like.

Tuesday - Chess - My Game of the Week
This is where I plan to look at one (or more) of my own games. Most likley it will be from a recently played event, such as the regular Monday night events at Melborune Chess Club, but might also include games from weekend events & the like, as well as the occasional 'blast from the past' game.

Wednesday - Poker - Reviewing My Play
This is where I will be looking at different aspects of my own poker play. This could be one of a number of formats, including a live play session, a review of a session, a hand history review, or some other format that I might come up with.

Thursday - Chess - Openings & Endgames
This will be a more theoretical look at different openings & endgames. At times it might also coincide with material presented at the MCC Opening/Endgame group run by Carl Gorka, possibly continuing or expanding on what was discussed on Wednesday night at the group, although it will not necessarily always follow this format.

Friday - Chess/Poker - Reviewing the Pros
This will be a review of chess games or poker hands from professionals, ideally rotating between chess and poker on a weekly basis. The plan is to look at poker hands from TV, from events like the World Series of Poker, Poker After Dark, the PokerStars Big Game & the like, or for the chess weeks to look at master games from recent tournaments, or some of my favourite master games played over the years.

Weekends - Other Games - Games Potpourri
This will be a look at games other than chess and poker & will range from 'how to' guides to strategy tips and the like. Games that will likely be part of this series will include Settlers of Catan, Sudoku, Tertis & Snow Bros, amongst others.

Of course being a Wednesday, I'm aiming to post a poker-related video sometime later today ... so hopefully you'll get a two-post day ... if things go to plan!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Time to get blogging!

I've not only come to the realisation ... but have decided to act upon it ... that blogs need to be updated regularly for any sort of regular readership or interest to be generated ... and as such make the blog worth updating ...
Also, given that this blog has a general focus on games & coaching, the PLAN (whether the plan matches reality is another issue) is to try to record & upload one video per day on days where I'm not working as a Casual Relief Teacher in schools. I suppose the true test of the plan will be to see how long I stick to this routine.
The plan is to create videos on some (or all) of the following topics:
* Chess
* Poker
* Other games (Settlers of Catan, Snow Bros, etc)
I suspect most of the videos will be either chess or poker related, but we'll see how things go.

Of course as I'm working tomorrow (Tuesday), the next entry ... and next video ... will be sometime later in the week ... or at least that's the plan!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

FIDE Arbiter's Seminar & Exam

Last weekend I attended a FIDE Arbiter's seminar run by International Arbiters Shaun Press, Gary Bekker & Charles Zworestine. Plenty of information was covered over the four days of the seminar & it finished up with a gruelling 3 hour exam. The pass mark for the exam was 80%, so I was pleased to pass the exam, particularly with only around half of the attendees managed to pass.
One question in particular was a tough one ... and one where I dropped some marks in answering.
The question gave the following position:
The question stated something along the lines of ... White has just played Rf8+ & their flag has fallen. What is the result of the game & why did you come to this decision? In some ways, the correct answer is counter-intuitive, but in others it makes perfect sense.
Ultimately the game is a draw, as there is a forced stalemate sequence. The only way for black to get out of check is to play Qxf8+ ... likewise, white can only get out of check by playing Qxf8+ ... and black can only get out of this check by playing Kxf8, leaving the white king stalemated.
I answered (incorrectly) that the game should be a win for black, but noted that there was the forced stalemate sequence, so received some marks for the question.
In terms of the logic of the decision, it initially seems odd that you can run out of time, with your opponent having mating material on the board, and still not lose the game. However, when you consider the situation in a 'big picture' view, it makes sense, as the general priority is to decide games on the board, rather than by some 'off-board' technicality, like a clock, or arbiter's decision to declare the game lost. An analogous situation to this would be a game where you play a move that checkmates your opponent, however your flag falls before you can press the clock. In this case, the checkmate stands (not simply from the 'board has priority', but the rule that states that checkmate ends the game immediately, so there is no need to press the clock to complete the move).
The exam itself consisted of 20 multiple choice questions, 12 'short answer' questions & a pairing exercise where you needed to manually pair 3 rounds of a tournament where you were only given the number of players (and ratings) and the round results in board order, as well as any other information (such as one round where a player took a half-point bye). Ultimately it was a very tough exam & I barely managed to finish it in the time limit.
This is the first step (for me at least - some of the participants had fulfilled the other requirements) towards the FIDE Arbiter, with the exam counting as one of the requirements for the title, along with 3 'norms', which can be aquired by running a range of FIDE rated tournaments (1 norm per tournament). To use an analogy, I suppose this will be another string to my bow in terms of chess, in addition to my playing & coaching experience.

Monday, 11 July 2011

TV Appearance!

I've made it onto TV, albeit briefly ... and Channel 31 in Melbourne ... but its still a TV appearance. The segment was from a show called Fringe Lane, which looks at different places to visit around Melbourne, and in this case, they did a segment on the Melbourne Chess Club, where I play chess on a reasonably regular basis. The video was recorded late in 2010, during a round of the Victorian Teams Championship & I get a brief appearance (in green) playing against David Beaumont.
I'll try to get the game from the video up at some stage, however the short summary is a 36 move win on the white side of a 150 attack against the Pirc.

Friday, 1 April 2011

ICC 5-minute session ... with commentary!

Something to kick things off here ... 4 games of 5-minute chess played on ICC (, with my comments on the games as they are being played.

It turned out to be a pretty good session, with 3 wins & one draw ... although the games themselves were often less-than-convincing.

You can also go directly to my YouTube page to see future videos, though I will be cross-posting them here as well.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Coaching Blog

I've decided to start another blog related to coaching ... and in particular coaching related to games.
What games you ask?
Primarily chess and poker, although games in general is another area of interest.
I'll eventually get this site fully 'up to speed' & hope to post regular blogs and videos, as well as using it as a place to keep in touch with potential students.