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Australian Chess Federation
No. 595 - 17 October 2020
Editor: Keong Ang
Published in the Second Week of Each Month
Content Contributions are Most Welcome
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by IA Keong Ang

Welcome to the October 2020 newsletter. In order to make referencing easier, each edition of the newsletter is being numbered with this edition being number 595. Another addition is a "News from the States / Territories" section where each state or territory chess association can have their news published. Being a new section, information where available from the chess associations websites has been used.

Enjoy edition number 595 of the Australian Chess Federation Newsletter.

ACF Notices


The Asian Chess Federation’s 2020 Nations Cup, which began on 10 October, is being held as an online event, with team members playing from home bases via internet connections.
Australia’s teams, in board order, comprise:

Open Team (Captain Leonid Sandler)
1. GM Anton Smirnov
2. GM Timur Kuybokarov
3. GM Max Illingworth
4. GM Moulthun Ly
5. IM James Morris

Women’s Team (Captain Peter Tsai)
1. WGM Julia Ryjanova
2. WGM Jilin Zhang
3. WIM Heather Richards
4. WFM Thu Giang Nguyen
5. IM Irina Berezina

Results from the first two days’ play (on Oct 10 and 11) may be found elsewhere in this issue.
The schedule provides for the remaining games to begin at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm (Australian Eastern Summer Time) on the following dates:
Fri Oct 16
Sat Oct 17
Sun Oct 18
Mon Oct 19
Fri Oct 23
Sat Oct 24
Sun Oct 25
Open Teams Rounds 4 to 6
Women’s Teams Rounds 4 to 6
Open Teams Rounds 7 to 9
Women’s Teams Rounds 7 to 9
Open & Women’s Teams Quarter Finals
Open & Women’s Teams Semi-finals
Open & Women’s Teams Finals
During the opening rounds, there were some problems with links to internet sites for live coverage of the games via the platform. Hopefully, this will improve for subsequent rounds. It now appears that spectators will not be able to access the games without first completing the “Sign Up” form that should be visible upon connection via the following links:

Open Teams matches:
Women’s Teams matches:

The opening window might invite you to Sign Up. If not, go to the vertical menu of icons down the left margin of the screen and click the right-pointing arrow.
After Log In (and registering as a first-time visitor, if necessary), look in the bottom-right corner for links to games.
Access might also be possible via with a list of all teams links and viewing instructions for Open and Women's.

Pairings and results may be seen at:
Open Teams:
Women’s Teams:
INTERNATIONAL EVENTS 2020-2021 – Inquiries & Applications

Previously published deadlines for applications from players seeking to represent Australia in the events listed hereunder have been withdrawn with the intention of publishing revised selection schedules for each postponed event when new arrangements have been confirmed by the respective organisers.
In some cases, new details may be found via the hyperlinks in the names of the events or by linking to the FIDE Calendar at
Please note that, if an event is to be rescheduled, the originally intended location listed below might also be changed.
Previously listed events that are no longer being promoted and for which no provision for postponement has been made have been delisted.

World Youth u14 to u18 Rapid & Blitz Championships (Heraklion, Crete, Greece)
– ○ Manager: Mr Jarod Li. email phone 0488 470 888
World Cadets u8 to u12 Rapid & Blitz Championships (Heraklion, Crete, Greece)
– ○ Manager: Mr Jarod Li. email phone 0488 470 888
World Youth u14 to u18 (Classic-rate) Championships (Mamaia, Romania)
FISU World University Mind Sports Championships (Bydgoszcz, Poland) 11 to 16 Sep
FIDE On-line Olympiad for Disabled 20 Nov to 3 Dec
1st FIDE World Corporate Championship (Barcelona, Spain) new dates 11 to 13 Dec 2020
27th Abu Dhabi International Chess Festival (Abu Dhabi, UAE) 13 to 23 Dec 2020

FIDE Events Now Listed for 2021

World Amateur Championship (Heraklion, Crete, Greece) postponed to Apr/May 2021
World Seniors Championship (Assisi, Italy)
World Cadet u8 to u12 (Classic-rate) Championships (Batumi, Georgia)
World Youth u16 Olympiad (Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan)
44th FIDE Olympiad (Moscow, Russia) (NB:minimum 30 rated games requirement will not apply)

● denotes events for which a volunteer Manager would normally be appointed. Applications for appointment as Manager will be invited as dates and location for each event are confirmed. Responsibilities include registration of participants, compliance with ACF behavioural guidelines and regulations that event organisers may refer or assign to Trainer, Coach, Chief, Head or Leader of Delegation. Please email inquiries concerning Manager appointments to with cc to and phone 0409 525 963 or (03) 9787 7974 if an inquiry is not acknowledged within two days.

Plans for the 2020 ACF national finals to be presented by the Chess Association of Queensland in Brisbane in December have been changed due to the lingering uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ACF Council has approved an arrangement whereby teams selected to represent each participating State (or Territory) will assemble in a local State venue and compete via on-line connections under the supervision of ACF-appointed arbiters at each venue.

The dates currently under consideration are Saturday and Sunday 5 and 6 December 2020.

Although details remain to be formalised, it is suggested that team organisers and coordinators ensure that likely participants are acquainted with the ways in which games are played using on-line terminals.

State Associations requiring further information and FIDE-titled arbiters who might wish to register interest should contact ACF Junior Chess Coordinator, Hughston Parle, via or on 0478 124 136.

Persons willing to assist with the organisation of their State’s teams may contact the relevant State Association via the contact information in the list of ACF Councillors at the end of this newsletter.


Bids to present the 2021 Australian Open and associated events on behalf of the ACF may be lodged by email addressed to

Although usually presented over approximately 10 days during early January, dates and number of rounds may be varied to avoid clashes with other major events and to accommodate organisers who may be obliged to vary from normal practice due to current circumstances.

Australian Women’s and Australian Seniors Championship titles, if not awarded in separate tournaments at other times, may be awarded to the highest scoring eligible players in the Australian Open.

Associated events include the Australian Blitz Championship and may include a shorter, limited-rating tournament.

Nominations are invited for potential winners of the following Player-of-the-Year medals to be presented in early 2021.

Player-of-the-Year 2020 nominations must be in respect of achievements during the period from 1 January to 31 December 2020.
Steiner Medal – Australian Player of the Year 2020

The Steiner medal is to be awarded to the Australian player who has made the greatest impact, not necessarily the highest-rated –for the most notable achievement(s) during 2020.
There is no limit to the number of times the Steiner medal may be won by the same person.

Arlauskas Medal & Award – Australian Under-16 Player of the Year 2020

The Arlauskas medal is awarded on the same basis as the Steiner medal.
For the medal for 2020, nominees’ year of birth must be 2004 or later.
The winner of the Arlauskas medal will be offered a grant by the ACF – the Romanas Arlauskas Award – to assist with costs related to her or his participation in a significant international or Australian chess event likely to begin within two years of the announcement of the winner of the award.
The Arlauskas medal cannot be won by the same person more than twice.

Viner Medal & Award – Australian Senior Player of the Year 2020

The Viner medal is also awarded on the same basis as the Steiner medal.
For the medal for 2020, nominees’ year of birth must be 1970 or earlier.
The winner of the Viner medal will be offered a grant by the ACF – the Phil Viner Award – on terms similar to those governing the Romanas Arlauskas Award.
There is no limit to the number of times the Viner medal may be won by the same person.

Nominations are also invited for potential recipients of the following medals in recognition of services to Australian chess.

Being lifetime achievement awards, citations are not limited to services during a particular period and previous recipients of a particular service medal cannot be nominated for the same medal. Links to lists of other Purdy and Koshnitsky medal recipients may be found under ACF Awards at Recipient of the previous Purdy medal was this newsletter’s former editor, Frank Low.
Koshnitsky Medal

This is a lifetime achievement award for an outstanding contribution to Australian chess administration at a national or a state level.

Purdy Medal

The Purdy medal is awarded every two years for an outstanding contribution to Australian chess as a journalist at a national or state level.
For the purposes of the Purdy medal, achievements can include services as a writer, editor, publisher, columnist, presenter or distributor of chess-related material published, transmitted or otherwise distributed in printed or electronic form.

Nominations need not be from among a State's own members or residents.
A separate document or message containing the following should be provided in respect of each nominee:
• name in full (correctly spelt);
• contact details (phone, email, postal address);
• a citation describing relevant achievements, suitable for publishing or reading at time of presentation;
• anything else relevant to the nomination.
A person submitting a nomination must retain a complete copy of every document submitted as part of the nomination and must phone 0409 525 963 or (03) 9787 7974 to confirm that it has been received if delivery has not been acknowledged 24 hours after expected delivery time.

Please address nominations comprising email messages and/or attachments to to be received on or before:

   Koshnitsky & Purdy medals – 1 December 2020
   Steiner, Arlauskas & Viner medals – 5 January 2021

If a nomination includes printed documents, it must be mailed to:
ACF Medals, 22 Bruarong Crescent, Frankston South 3199, to be received in the normal course of post five days before the above deadline.

Due to the disruption to normal scheduling, the ACF Council at its next meeting will be invited to consider applications in respect of activities commencing before March 2021. Such applications should be submitted by 1 November 2020.
Applications for activities commencing in March through August 2021 should be submitted by 31 December 2020.

Applications and reports must be endorsed by the ACF-affiliated State Association concerned and provide the information specified in the relevant form, including the schedule for the activity and statements of expected and actual income and expenditure.

Given present circumstances, the Council will take into account the exceptional uncertainties being faced by organisers and will consider applications based upon reasonable estimations and expectations.

Email for further information and forms.


An updated list of ACF Councillors and office-bearers with email addresses is normally found on the final page of each newsletter. The list includes vacant positions which the Council has sought to fill in recent times. Inquiries from volunteers who might be interested in serving in one the positions listed or assisting a current appointee may be addressed to Inquiries may also be made by phone to 0409 525 963.

News from the States / Territories

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory Chess Association Inc (ACTCA)

New South Wales
New South Wales Chess Association Inc (NSWCA)


Chess Association of Queensland Inc (CAQ)

South Australia

South Australian Chess Association Inc (SACA)


The Covid-19 virus has placed a huge financial strain on the South Australian Chess Association (SACA) as we were forced to close the Chess Centre on 15th March 2020 due to both the Federal and State Governments' virus legislation. This closure, with the loss of  income for  SACA due to no entry fees  from over-the-board tournaments,  inter-club or  inter-school matches at the  Chess Centre, is expected to continue for some months. However we must still pay the monthly rent under our 5-year lease and despite a helpful rent reduction from our landlord, we anticipate the shortfall for the year will be around the $8,000 mark. The Chess Centre has been operated by SACA in Ranelagh Street for over 30 years and it is an essential component of chess in South Australia for hosting both Adult and Junior events.

We are therefore appealing to YOU as a player and/or supporter of Adult and Junior Chess in South Australia to help reduce this gap financially and secure the long-term viability of SACA and the Chess Centre for current and future chess players.

To show your support for the Chess Centre, South Australian Chess Association and South Australian Junior Chess League in these challenging times please donate today whatever you are able to. All donations will be appreciated and acknowledged by name or anonymously if you prefer.

Enquiries to Alan Goldsmith   0401 672 481

  • Cheques payable to South Australian Chess Association posted to SAJCL PO Box 343, Findon S.A. 5023
  • Direct Payment (bank transfer) to South Australian Chess Association  BSB number 105-093 Account number  355153640
  • By Phone (Visa or Master Card) please ring  Julie Boyd, Treasurer of SAJCL  Mob  0414 766 264

Tasmanian Chess Association Inc (TCA)

As of Monday September 7:
  • The Burnie Chess Club has resumed normal playing evenings on Wednesdays;
  • The Devonport Chess Club remains closed awaiting approval from the its regular venue;
  • The Hobart Chess Club has resumed normal playing evenings on Mondays at a new location; and
  • The Launceston Chess Club has resumed normal playing evenings on Wednesdays
The Tasmanian Chess Association is aware that Interschool chess remains suspended. For more information on Interschool chess, contact your school.


Chess Victoria Inc (CV)

2020 Victorian Schools Finals by IM Leonid Sandler
It is well documented that my State Victoria suffered and continues to suffer badly in this COVID-19 year. A few months ago we decided to organise and run the 2020 Victorian Schools Finals online using platform.

Thanks to the tireless work of Chess Victoria VP Dr.Peter Tsai we have created a virtual chess community of nearly 500 students. With great enthusiasm they competed for their respective schools.

Two seconds before the start
Two seconds before the start

Full schedule can be seen on Chess Victoria website here and the results here

PLC just won another title
Team from PLC just won another title

Our winners are looking forward to representing Victoria at the forthcoming Australian Schools Finals in December. Once again Victorian Teams are looking to win!!

Western Australia

Chess Association of Western Australia Inc (CAWA)

The 2020 WA Junior Allegro Chess Championship was held as a one day 9 round swiss on Thursday, 1st October at Leeming Primary School with 53 players participating. A significant improvement in numbers on the previous year. This tournament being an open one gave some of our younger players a chance to play against our stronger older players, although generally the older and more experienced players prevailed. The winner with a perfect score of 9/9 was Yihe Fu (Rebo). Second was Oscar Gao with 7/9 (1st Under 14). Third equal with 6.5/9 were Jamie Laubbacher and Chas Underwood.

Asian Nations Cup from Afar and Near

by IM Leonid Sandler, AUS Open team captain.

For some years now Australia has been part of the Asian Chess Federation. Our players have participated in many events in Asia and enjoyed cultural experience and hospitality in this vast continent. Unfortunately in a horrible COVID year we are unable to travel and are forced to play online. Thanks to the Asian Chess Federation with headquarters in the United Arab Emirates for organising the Asian Nations Online Cup 2020.

Our players are scattered all over Australia and thousands of kilometres apart. From Western Australia (GM Temur Kuybokarov) to Queensland (GM Moulthun Ly) with GM Anton Smirnov (ACT) and IM James Morris (VIC) in between. Interestingly, one member of the Australian Team, GM Max Illingworth, is based in Vietnam at the moment. Sometimes we play matches from four time zones!

The Asian Nations Online Cup 2020 playing model is based on the FIDE Online Olympiad being held a few months ago. Once again the platform is used plus Zoom rooms with arbiters virtually present. We are sharing our Zoom room with our nearest neighbours' teams from New Zealand, with IA Shaun Press representing PNG serving as an arbiter.

view from Australian men's team laptop
Asian Cup from afar and near (view from Australian Open team Captain's laptop)

In the Open section, 38 countries are competing for the eight top positions and a place in the Quarterfinals. Australia started this exciting event being sixth seeded team here. So our first goal is to qualify for the Quarterfinals.

One of Arbiters attentive listening instructions
WCM Azumi Sakai (JPN) listening to arbiters instructions attentively

In the first round which started nearly one hour later than scheduled because of various technical issues our team won with a perfect score 4-0 against Malaysia. With Anton resting, on board one we played Australian Champion Temur Kuybokarov. He won like all others - Max, Moulthun and James.

Following round 2 games in the Zoom room on my computer screen I could not believe my eyes! All our players were playing with black pieces against Lebanon. In a few minutes my other colleagues who are captains of other teams reported a similar story. The organisers quickly abandoned all games and Round 2 started again with correct colour allocation (it took some time). Once again Anton was resting (the experts saying not to change the winning team!) and we won a hard fought match 3-1 where Moulthun overpressed and instead of delivering perpetual check he blundered into a two move checkmate.

Australian Chess Federation President Gary Wastell makes a brief appearance in our Zoom Room
Australian Chess Federation President Gary Wastell makes a brief appearance in our Zoom Room

In Round 3 our opponents were the third-seeded all GM team from Iran. It was a very exciting match with chances for both teams. Finally Anton made his first appearance and won in fantastic style with black pieces in a Russian game. The game lasted only 30 moves. Temur tried to break the Berlin Defence against the strong Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo. I am sure that chess fans remember how 20 years ago Garry Kasparov failed to break this defence against Vladimir Kramnik and lost his World Champion title. Temur drew his game, but Max and James lost in really tough games. We narrowly lost to Iran with a score 1.5-2.5.

In Round 4 we were against a strong and experienced  team from Bangladesh (they are seeded just one place above us).

Arbiter in charge of our Zoom room, IA Shaun Press

Yesterday was a very long and enjoyable day for Australia's Open Team captain. It started at about 2.40 am when I got a very worrying message from Max Illingworth who hit his head! Our plans with team composition for rounds 4-6 were in jeopardy but thankfully Max in spite of his injury was prepared to help the team. Thanks Max for your dedication and a wonderful team spirit!

AUS Open Team Captain, IM Leonid Sandler

In Round 4 we fielded our top four players (Anton, Temur, Max and Moulthun). The final score against Bangladesh was 3.5-0.5 in our favour... But our win was not an easy walk in a park like the scoreboard suggests. Temur gave me a few grey hairs by preparing a very risky opening that allowed his opponent to attack his black monarch. Luckily Temur the classy player prevailed at the end. Our leading player Anton Smirnov showed why the dark squared bishop is such a powerful piece in the French Defence. Moulthun outplayed his opponent in a sharp Sicilian Defence and Max drew quickly with white pieces.

L-R: GM Anton Smirnov, GM Temur Kuybokarov

L-R: GM Max Illingworth, GM Moulthun Ly

Australia's next opponent for round 5 was the Sri Lanka team who despite being out rated on every board put up serious resistance. In some stages of the match our positions were very suspect. Once again a strong willed and high class display by Anton Smirnov and Moulthun Ly carried us to a narrow 2.5-1.5 victory (Temur drew and James unfortunately lost).

IM James Morris

Asian chess super power, Philippines with a very strong team are waiting for us in round 6. A few months ago we beat them at the 2020 FIDE Online Olympiad and they are hoping for revenge. But once again Australia won in emphatic style! The hero of the day was magical Moulthun, who showed why a passed "d" pawn is so powerful in many positions. Temur won an excellent positional game in a topical Sicilian defence line. This opening gave us another point thanks to the Max masterclass on how to play in simple positions. Anton nearly equalised against GM Mark Paragua but perhaps was a bit complacent by allowing his tactically gifted opponent to win a pawn. Smirnov was fighting till the very end but to no avail. The final score was 3-1 in Australia's favour! When I was leaving the virtual Zoom room, Executive Director of Asian Chess Federation, Casto Abundo (PHI) congratulated me. The Australian open team was mentioned in this article.

With three rounds to go we are coming second (after Iran) and are looking forward to finish in the top eight in order to qualify for the quarterfinals. The current standings are here. It looks like we would eventually be playing against tournament favourites India. We are paired against tournament second seeds Kazakhstan in round 7 where we have white on boards 1 and 3.

Go Australia!!!

FIDE Trainer Seminar for ASEAN, East Asia & Oceania
25-27 September 2020

In 2015, I attended a FIDE Trainers’ Commission Seminar in Auckland, where the lecturer was the entertaining and inspiring Bulgarian grandmaster, Dejan Bojkov. I managed to achieve the FI title, on the basis of points awarded for experience, publications, attendance, and performance in an exam of questionable validity. GM/FST Bojkov presented the material with his usual verve and flair, but was restricted to the official list of topics. I did not come out of the experience feeling that I had been educated on how to be a chess teacher.

In 2018, North Shore CC’s list of nominees for the New Zealand Chess Federation (NZCF) Council lost the election, and I found myself with a lot more free time to invest in chess coaching. I had to come up with a constructive plan for sequences of lessons at various levels, in schools and one-on-one. I was unprepared! What was I? Not a strong player, but not a weak player either. Not a brand-new coach, but not very experienced either. Not a product of a coaching program that I could utilise, but not completely self-taught either (North Shore CC later made use of the Scottish Junior Chess Association’s tournament-with-trainers idea, in our 2019 PSM Training Tourney – my attempt to replicate some excellent early experiences!).

So…I set out on a new career (rather late in life!) to be a chess coach, with little experience, no structured courses, and precisely zero knowledge of child psychology. Fortunately, advice from friends led me to the Dutch Step System course (for post-beginners) and the first 3 Yusupov books (‘The Fundamentals’) for Interschools team players, but I was still lacking education on how to teach. Some of my university classmates managed to fit the 2-year teacher training qualification in between their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, but I was advised not to. In Scotland, the qualification relied heavily on classroom experience. At the time, I talked to an experienced Head Teacher of Physics at a large school in my region – a keen chessplayer himself. He pointed out (in the kindest possible terms!) that I could not control a class of pot-plants, let alone teenagers. I decided to concentrate on research!

It is rather surprising to find that parents, in general, seek out coaches with the highest titles/ratings possible. Only chess, it seems, has this peculiarity. Parents don’t require world-class athletes to teach sports to their under-10s, or distinguished soloists to teach musical instruments – they appreciate that teachers specialise in different levels. Likewise, you don’t expect Gold Medallists of the Royal Astronomical Society to be conducting the science projects at primary school, though you might be fortunate enough to have one as a lecturer at university. This makes chess a coach-eat-coach business, where the results of your students are critical to your continued employment. There’s always a coach with a higher rating or better title, offering to step in…

Then along came 2020, and most of the strong players on the planet found themselves short of opportunities for prizes or appearance fees. Naturally, they turned to online coaching, and the competition became even fiercer. The need to improve my teaching skills (or at least, to reassure myself that I do have teaching skills) became acute. Fortunately, the FIDE Trainers’ Commission has had some thorough revision in recent years. The course that I attended in 2015 has been thrown out of the window. Seminars have gone online – a development that seems to have been considered earlier but then implemented urgently as a response to the virus. The course guidelines have been rewritten (with a lot of input from GM/FST Bojkov), with much more emphasis on coaching skills, and very welcome respect for all levels of chess training. Still, it was hard to find an opportunity to attend a Seminar. These 3-day events tend to include weekends, which is when I am working full-time, and there are very few that match the waking hours of participants Down Under.

This Seminar, organised by the Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence and sponsored by the Asian Chess Federation, happily coincided with the NZ National Interschool Finals. With at least half a dozen of my students away for the weekend, I could attend! Already having a trainer title, I just wanted to listen to the lectures rather than sit the exam, and for that the organisers kindly allowed me a discount on the usual Seminar fee. I signed up and paid rather too promptly in fact, as subsequently NZCF announced that there would be a free place available! This was later extended to two places; Ceferino Isaac and WCM Eva Lourenco (both North Shore CC members) took them up (the free places were sponsored by the Asian Chess Federation).

WCM Eva Lourenco at the 2018 Waikato Open
WCM Eva Lourenco at the 2018 Waikato Open

GM Dejan Bojkov and Ceferino Isaac at North Shore CC

GM Dejan Bojkov and Ceferino Isaac at North Shore CC

Early on, it was made clear that the Trainers’ Commission now promotes every level of chess education as equally important. That was especially heartening for me – there is no way I can help to turn a strong player into an IM, but I can provide the basic groundwork that is required. There were about 50 participants, from over 20 countries, and at all levels from unrated to experienced IM. All of us were made to feel that we had a place in the grand scheme of things: a structured chess education from beginner to GM.

A highlight of the Seminar for me was the presentation on Didactic Method in Chess Training by IM/FST Jesper Hall. This covered initiatives in coaching methods in Sweden and Norway, where he works with the most talented juniors. Again, it was heartening to find that some of the approaches I have been using match up to best practice – repetition of topics, and directed questioning, in particular. A point which struck home was the idea that students should be encouraged to try and perhaps fail, rather than stay in the comfort zone. Hall explained that negative feedback, from the coach or from parents, discourages kids from trying out new ideas, and leads to solid but unenterprising play.

Everyone is aware that calculation is key to strong play, but how do you persuade students to put in the work to improve their calculation? IM/FST Vishal Sareen gave us an excellent suggestion – the endgame studies of Wotawa. Here is an example, which might illustrate why Wotawa is the ideal composer to use!

Wotawa 1936; White to move and win

Wotawa 1936; White to move and win

And finally – the exam! I didn’t have to sit it, of course, but I was pleased to hear that the exam is marked blind (the person doing the marking does not know whose paper it is). The final results are not affected in any way by the prestige of the participant. The system has become fair, and objective; the course has become invaluable for aspiring coaches at any level. All that remains is to persuade my federation to integrate national training with this excellent system…

Australasian results:
NZL: NI WCM Eva Lourenco; DI Ceferino Isaac
AUS: FI Jamie Kenmure, Doug Williams, Shaun Curtis, CM Craig Duxbury, Kai Zhou; DI Effram Wei

Problem of the Month - No.53

Selected by Peter Wong

Hans Klauser
Schweizerische Schachzeitung 1942

White to play and mate in 2

Visit for an introduction to chess composition (including a Glossary) and more problem examples.

Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Online

by Hans Gao

(5th, 12th, 19th, 26th of September) Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Online

The Melbourne Chess Club Allegro Online is a weekly online 7-round Allegro tournament on Saturdays from 2-6 pm, with a time control of 13+2, open to all Australian players. There are three divisions based on rating: Premier, Challengers, and Minor. Congratulations to the following players that have won their Allegro division in the September Allegros:

Premier (1600+): Ari Dale (twice), Eugene Schon (twice), James Morris

Challengers (1200-1600): Ankith Arun Aswath, Oliver Pearl, Rheyansh Annapureddy, Sarah Anton, Adeeb Keshtiar

Minor (below 1200): Elizabeth Warren, Venkatesh Kolli, Juztyn Starc, Max Tsipris, Aiden Power, Gopal Rajulapaty

For more information and to register for the Allegro, click here.

The arbiter of the Allegro, IM Alexei Khamatgaleev, releases a weekly game analysis. A selection of the September analyses is presented here. Please see here to see all analysed games.

Who has the Largest Chess Library in New Zealand?

by Bob Meadley

When the late John van Manen published his first edition of ‘The Chess Literature of Australia and New Zealand’ in 1978 there were only 35 titles dealing with NZ Chess literature and almost all were listed in the Anderson Chess Collection in the State Library of Victoria.

When the fourth edition came out in 2011 the number had risen to 72 but in this 30 year period the internet arrived and e-books. This edition had a very small video collection, an even smaller oral collection and only 1 CD-ROM.

E-Books should now be included as this is the way of the future for any collection on any subject. An e-book is a paperless book that is easily corrected and sadly easily deleted if you hit the wrong button. But one gets a warning before the final act is committed. Most of my chess problem books on the ozproblems website are e-books and gone are the days when one has a stack of ’unsold musty tomes’ that will never be sold in a cupboard. Late last year and early this year I had a request from two Canadians for books I had written in 1979. The beauty of having ‘unsold musty tomes’ is that you can pull them out, clean off the dust and send them off after some repairs and that is exactly what happened. There has been some sad destruction in the past of books and one of the saddest was the pulping of the unbound first edition of Murray’s “A History of Chess” 1913. Some of you may have a copy with the gilt knight on the cover. If you do, that is the genuine first edition from the first binding. I have an ungilt knight on my copy indicating a first edition second binding. The gilt knight covers look great, mine is dull.

And so we enter the debate about hard copy books and digital books. I always smile when I see that word ‘digital’ which means to most people ‘hands on’ but it really means ‘displaying information’. It is impossible to handle a digital book unless one considers touching the computer keys as ‘being digital’. The fourth edition of JvM’s book was limited to 250 copies and edited by the late Ken Whyld Association now called ‘The Chess History and Literature Association’ and it has a nice website for collectors and lovers of our game’s history. It is sad to see Ken’s name gone as he only died in 2003 but we must move on and he has a goodly number of websites and books to remember him by. The fourth edition is a nice book to own in hardcopy but it was expensive for an item that only provides chess book information partly remedied by the book photos all of which can be easily done by e-book. The fourth edition is impossible to correct and mine has many pencil additions as new information arises. One of the most interesting is Allan Fossey’s very recent discovery of a chess column in the Brisbane Telegraph 1920/30 conducted by “Gossip”. Not all that many years ago yet we are struggling to find out who “Gossip” was. A nice find by Allan.

Most Chess Federations if not all are producing their playing and historical records digitally now and this is the way to go for books. There will always be the rare and elusive books of the past. One of them for New Zealanders is Eustace Eighch’s ”Earlier Chess Problems” 1923 published by Dawson Printing Company Auckland. Eustace was a civil engineer and there is a photograph of him in the front of the book after the dedication to his wife Emma. I have tried hard to find out more  about this man who I suspect was a railway engineer. That could be wrong but I base it on the sentence “And I in travels gone far beyond Jerusalem”. How my late chess friend and very strong player Bill Morris of Gosford decided to buy it is a mystery but he gave it to me in 1975 as I like chess problems. In examining it not so long ago I discovered pages 85 to 100 were missing! They have been restored in photocopy and I love the book because of the childrens drawings in the back, probably by Bill’s son. Another is the 1934/5 NZ Ch’ship by H.R. Abbott and C. Purdy 1935. I don’t have it but Michael Clapham does in England. I have asked the Anderson in Melbourne if they do and the interesting thing is it is not mentioned in ACR but could be in a New Zealand publication. This one definitely fits the bill of “rare and elusive” and is not in the fourth edition of JvM either. The NZ 1934/5 tourney features on p. 341 of ACR 1934 and it began 26 Dec and was one of the strongest and biggest held. H.R. Abbott, of Christchurch, one of the authors played (6th). The tourney finished 5 Jan. and was won by J.A. Erskine, undefeated. Cecil Purdy in ACR 1935 p.13 called it “a fine performance”. One may think the NZCA of that period may know of this book or perhaps the NZ chess press. I have a theory that Erskine, a very wealthy man may have financed the book to celebrate his victory. One thing is certain-it is dear at $500. A mystery to be solved.

Rare and elusive items of the past reduce in numbers due to wear and tear, acid paper, getting lost or damaged if only by brittleness of pages. Both my rare Australian items Bignold’s ‘Australian Chess Annual’ 1894 and Charlick’s ‘1887 Adelaide Jubilee Tourney’ are exactly like that and cannot be used. Not much point in owning them really except that I have good photocopies that are used.

And so who has the largest chess library in New Zealand? It seems the NZCF today has a very large collection given by retired players. I think in Australia Robert Jameison has the largest private collection leaving the Anderson out as it is public and holds 14,000 ca. One can never be sure though as rare and elusive mystery men and women exist everywhere. Paul Dunn of the ACF sent me some pages on an 1890’s Queensland chemist who had a truly mighty collection and I had not heard of him. I am always surprised by collections like art that turn up and no-one knows anything about their provenances etc. Can anyone believe that Vicent’s book from the 1490’s turned up in an Italian library just because an enthusiast was looking? It had been lost since the early 19th century and I recall my amusing request to the late Dr. Meindert Niemeijer of the Great Library in The Hague asking him if he had ever seen a copy!

Chess Who's Who 12

contributed by David Turner

The final instalment of great players, writers and theorists past and present, with bios, interviews and games to illustrate what they love doing best: beating each other.  
Many of the quotes and nicknames are true, some may be apocryphal…

GM Mikhail Tal
“The Magician from Riga”
Soviet Union, Latvia: 1936-1992

World champion 1960-61, daring attacking player.  Peak rating 2705 (1980)

There are two types of sacrifices, correct ones and mine.”  
You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.
When I asked Fischer why he had not played a certain move in our game, he replied: ‘Well, you laughed when I wrote it down!' ”

Tal being crowned World Champion, 1960: 45 sec

Botvinnik v Tal, Moscow, 1960, 0-1:

GM Mark Taimanov
Soviet Union, Russia: 1926-2016

USSR Champion 1957, two time World championship Candidate, concert pianist.  Peak rating 2600 (1971)

Fischer…his moves did not make sense - at least to all the rest of us they didn't. We were playing chess, Fischer was playing something else, call it what you will. Naturally, there would come a time when we finally would understand what those moves had been about. But by then it was too late. We were dead.

Taimanov v Averbach, Zurich, 1963, 1-0:

GM Savielly Tarkatower
Austria, Poland, France: 1887-1956

2 time Polish Champion, French Champion 1953, published “The Hypermodernist Chess Game” in 1924,

No one ever won a game by resigning.
Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do. Strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.
The winner is the one who makes the next-to-last mistake.
Seize the outpost K5 with your knight, and you can go to sleep. Checkmate will come by itself.

Tarkatower v Rubinstein, Moscow, 1925, 1-0:

Dr Siegbert Tarrasch
Prussia, Germany: 1862-1934

A leading player of his time, prolific writer, openings and endgame variations are named after him.

"To you, Dr Lasker, I have only three words, check and mate."
I have always a slight feeling of pity for the man who has no knowledge of chess, just as I would pity the man who has remained ignorant of love.

Nimzowitsch v Tarrasch, St Petersburg, 1915, 0-1:

GM Jan Timman
Netherlands: 1951-

Several times Dutch Champion, 13 Chess Olympiads, prolific writer.

Half the variations which are calculated in a tournament game turn out to be completely superfluous.  Unfortunately, no one knows which half.

Timman v Kasparov, Hilversum, 1985, 1-0:

GM Veselin Topalov
Bulgaria: 1975-

World Champion 2005, 9 chess Olympiads.  Peak rating 2816 (2015)

Donald Byrne (2006): “I don’t know Topalov’s personality up close, but judging from his title match, he appears to be carrying the weight of a gigantic egotist with him.

Interview 4 min 38 sec:

Kramnik v Topalov, Wijk ann Zee, 2005, 0-1:

GM Eugenio Torre
Philippines: 1951-

20 Chess Olympiads, Fischer’s second in the 1992 match against Spassky.  Peak rating 2580 (1983)

At that time, the Russians dominated world chess. And Bobby demolished them on his own.

Torre v Karpov, London, 1984, 1-0:

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
France: 1990-

3 time French Champion, 7 Chess Olympiads.  World number 4 (November 2019), peak rating 2918 (2016)

I also like poker, but I’m kind of a too bad player: I don’t have the poker face!”  
Interviewer: Do you follow women’s top chess events and the games played there?  
MV-L: “Only under torture.

Interview: 1 min 56 sec

Giri v Vachier-Lagrave, Stavanger, 2016, 0-1:

Szymon Winawer

One of the strongest players of his era, the Winawer variation in the French defence, the Winawer attack in the Ruy Lopez and the Winawer countergambit in the Slav defence were named after him.

Steinitz v Winawer, Vienna, 1882, 0-1:

Johannes Zukertort
Russian Empire, German Empire, England: 1842-1888

A strong player of his day, played Steinitz for the first “World Championship” match in 1886.

Steinitz v Zukertort, New York, 1886, 0-1:

As ever, all comments welcome.
David Turner


Chess Quotes: Confessions

contributed by David Turner

My opponent left a glass of whisky en prise and I took it en passant.
Joseph Blackburne

People ask what my goal is. I don’t have a goal.
“I get more upset at losing at other things than chess. I always get upset when I lose at Monopoly.
Magnus Carlsen

 “Yes, I have played a blitz game once. It was on a train, in 1929.
Mikhail Botvinnik

“Live by the sword and die by the sword. Sometimes I wonder just how many of these games I can play before I die of a heart attack.
Hikamaru Nakamura

I have never in my life played the French Defence, which is the dullest of all openings.
Wilheim Steinitz

I know chess pieces better than people.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Style? I have no style.”  
Anatoly Karpov

When I swim I do backstroke and frontstroke.
Wesley So

David Turner

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Australia Jointly won by Tom Maguire and IM Brodie McClymont with both scoring 5.5/6.
  Michelle Lin is the new Queensland Women’s Champion – winning the tournament with a full 1.5 points over the rest of the field.
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New Zealand Congratulations to Matthew D McNabb, South Island Champion 2020.
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Solution to Problem of the Month - No.53

Hans Klauser
Schweizerische Schachzeitung 1942

White to play and mate in 2

Tries: 1.Nc6/Nd7/Ng4? (waiting) Kf3!, 1.Nc4? (waiting) Kf3 2.Nxd2, but 1…bxc4!
Key: 1.Nf7! (waiting).
1…Kf3 2.Ng5, 1…Kxd3 2.Qc2, 1…Kxf5 2.Nd6, 1…Kxd5 2.Qa8.

Visit for an introduction to chess composition (including a Glossary) and more problem examples.
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