Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chess in Melbourne 3/9/2012-16/9/2012

My posts about weekly events have previously just been lists, but these can be seen easily on the Calendar so I am changing to more of a commentary based weekly report.

We are coming to the end of a school term and both Chess Victoria and Chesskids are conducting a number of interschool tournaments around the state. School chess in Victoria is flourishing though the clubs are only seeing a small minority of these players going through their doors.

The clubs are active with Melbourne Chess Club's Open tournament about to start on Mondays nights starting on the 10th. Big events at Box Hill and Noble Park are coming to a conclusion. Box Hill Club Championship is arguably the premier event at this moment in Victoria. It is a tournament affected by the Olympiad as top seed, FM Bobby Cheng is representing Australia U-16 in Turkey (he is not the only player from this tournament). I'm not too sure what is happening with the postponements as it seems that Bobby, and Ari Dale, Savithri Narenthran and Jack Puccini will all be absent for 2 rounds. Though not a club championship, Noble Park's Masters and Challengers tournaments bring an elite group in round robin format. This had also been affected by the Olympiad, but the round robin format has allowed the players the flexibility of playing their games in advance. Justin Tan, who is on duty in Turkey currently leads the tournament, though he can be caught and overtaken by Dusan Stojic if he wins his outstanding games. The Challengers event is great as a qualifier for the following year's Masters. This year, Jimmy Ying moved up into the Masters and would have gained invaluable experience. This year's Challenger's is currently being led by a comeback player, Anurag Sannidhanam.

Box Hill Chess Club is also running its Masters round robin event on Tuesdays, with this event also nearing its conclusion. The details of this event are a bit sketchy, but I'm guessing that field was assembled but someone dropped out. Organiser David Flude jumped in to fill up the spots, and is having to play some catch up games. I'm not sure of the exact scores, but it looks as if top seeds FM Bill Jordan, Marcus Raine and Max Chew Lee are fighting it out for top place.

Croydon Chess Club runs a varied and interesting Calendar in the Eastern suburbs. After their Frost tournament which is being led by Franz Oswald, they have a chess 960 allegro. For those of you that have never played this variant of chess, the major pieces are mixed up on the back rank to start a game, bringing a random element into each game. Openings experts don't get their favourite positions in chess 960!

On a Tuesday evening in the Western suburbs, Hobson's Bay Chess Club meet (my first club in Australia!). They are currently coming to the end of their 5 round swiss, the 'Koshnitsky'. Tony Davis won his forst 3 games to take the lead, though I haven't seen the results from last night. The tournament finishes next week, and on September 18th they have an allegro night, which would be a great time for new players, or old players looking for a new venue, to check the club out.

Of course, if it's blitz that you are interested in then probably the MCC is the place to be every Saturday! Or Box Hill on Sunday for their Rookies cup!

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