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!

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