Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Unfortunately, something has come up and I've had to withdrawn from the tournament. Next tourney will be in early May.

In an unrated club rapid tourney I scored 4/6, losing only to a 2200 and a 2100 player

Monday, March 06, 2006

First 2006 tourney :)

Finally the first tourney of 2006 approaches and is now just one month away, so its time to dive back into the intensive tactics blitz ;) I have been spending most of my training time on studying chess openings using the very useful Bookup software

So, one month to improve my tactics, and I will again follow the same intensive method I used last time

My goal this time is to get a better performance rating (the one goal that I didnt mage to meet last time). This tourney is a Open Swiss instead of an under 1700 Swiss, which means a tough first round against a high rated opponent, but on the other hand also means a better chance of a good performance rating

Time to get to work!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

IM Herman van Riemsdjik vs Smith-Morra fanatic

After playing at the 2006 Queenstown Class Classic, IM Herman van Riemsdijk gave a simul, which I was lucky to play in .. here is what happened:

[Event "Simul"]
[Date "2006.01.30"]
[White "IM van Riemsdjik, Herman"]
[Black "Smith Morra fanatic"]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 a6 5. Qd2 b5 6. h4 h5 7.
Bd3 Bb7 8. f3 Nf6 9. Nh3 Nbd7 10. Ng5 O-O 11. O-O-O e5 12. d5 Bc8 13. Rdg1 Nb6

van Riemsdjik has a great position, my pieces are passive while his are active, it was instructive to see how he played

14. Qe2 Qd7 15. g4 hxg4 16. fxg4 Nxg4 17. h5 Nxe3 18. Qxe3 Qe8 19. Ne2 Nd7 20.
Ng3 Nf6 21. hxg6 Ng4

Finally I try to get active!

22. gxf7+ Rxf7 23. Qe1 Rf2?

... and blunder a piece

24. Nf5 Bxf5 25. exf5 e4 26. Rxg4 Qe5 27. Qxf2

van Riemsdjik doesnt even bother preventing me from having a bit of a king hunt .. on 27. c3 I would have just resigned

Qxb2+ 28. Kd2 Qc3+ 29. Ke2 exd3+ 30. cxd3 Qc2+ 31. Kf3 Qxd3+
32. Kg2 Qxd5+ 33. Ne4

My king hunt comes to nothing, as he knew it would, and the threat of 34. f6 is deadly


IM Gary Lane vs Smith-Morra fanatic

1 year ago this week, I had the pleasure of playing IM Gary Lane in a simul shortly after he won the 2005 Oceania Zonal.. here is what happened:

[Event "Simul 2005"]
[Date "2005.02.07"]
[White "IM Lane, Gary"]
[Black "Smith Morra fanatic"]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 Nc6 5. Qd2 e5 6. Nge2 f5
7. exf5 gxf5 8. Bg5 Nf6 9. O-O-O Bd7?! 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Ng3 Ne7?! 12. Bc4 c6

Fritz: white is +4.03 already

13. Rhe1 Qc7 14. Qd6 Qxd6 15. Rxd6 Ng4 16. Nh5 Bf8

Fritz: + 2.53

17. Nf6+ Nxf6 18. Bxf6 Ng6!?

After some pretty poor play by myself I am getting smashed in the centre ... and now Lane goes in for the kill, and after all he *is* the IM and I am the fish .. so he doesnt need to work out the mate, all he has to do is push me about some more and the mate will come

19. Rxd7 ?? ... or will it? :)

19. ... Kxd7 20. Bxh8 Bh6+ ! Fritz says: -0.12 .. black is ahead! I had seen this possibility before playing 18. ... Ng6

21. Kb1 Rxh8 22. f3 Rd8 23. a4 Bd2 24. Rd1 Ke7 25. Ne2
Ba5 26. Rf1 Rf8 27. c3 Bc7 28. Ng3 Nf4

Fritz: -1.20, thats a pawn up vs an IM!

29. Rf2 Nd5 30. Bd3 Ke6 31. Bc4 a6 32.Re2 b5 33. axb5 axb5 34. Bb3 Rb8 35. Nh5 Kf7 36. Rd2 Rd8 37. Ng3 Ke6 38. Nf1
Bb6 39. Re2 Rf8 40. Ng3, with a draw offer from an IM .. I accept :)


Monday, December 05, 2005

Rating list finally in...

1 month late, but its good news: I've gained +72 rating points for a new all time highest rating .. but its still just a few points short of 1500, hopefully I can make it in the next rating period :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Drills & multiplication tables

Time to start a new phase of tactics training ... multiplication table style drills.

We learn how to multiply with multiplication tables, but is there an equivalent in tactics? What is the 1 times table, the 2 times? etc... With multiplication we at least know the names of the tables, but how many of us can name all of the tactical themes we should be studying?!

So my plan is to first make a list of tactical themes, and then to learn each one MDLM style. How many themes are there? I have a copy of the Polgar book "Chess Middlegames" which has 77 different tactical themes, and it is probably not the entire list...

But, like multiplication tables, I will start with the easiest and work upwards. Lets say for the sake of argument that back rank mate is our 1 times table. So I went on to google to find examples of back rank mates, and found about 80 .. which is not really enough for any sort of MDLM training!

Does any one know of any good resources that give tactics by theme? Free sources would be a bonus of course! :)

Friday, October 21, 2005

3/6 ... failed

Score 3/6: 2 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses. Not a good result.

Round 1: Easy win over unrated junior. They really should be put in a seperate sub tournament! I had black, so for my remaining 5 real games, I should get 3 whites which is good...

Round 2: White vs #1 seed. He plays french defence, an opening I dont really have a good answer for. I play a gambit, and after a long struggle, we end up in an end game, and I am 1 pawn down. I made my first real mistake of the game and lost another pawn, and resigned.

Round 3: Fairly easy win over a lowly rated junior - my opponents rating was only 800. My hopes of getting a good performance rating dont look good now. Game was harder to win than it should have been, due to still being tired from the previous round.

Round 4: White against another unrated opponent in rd 4. This time its some guy who has just moved here from England, and he is quite good I think. A long hard game where I again had to go into an ending 1 pawn down. This time I was able to get the pawn back, and the game was drawn.

Round 5: An exact repeat of round 5 of my previous tourney: same opponent, same colours, same round! This is the opponent who cracked under pressure in rd 5 in my last tourney. This time we ended up in a kind of mutual stalemate in the middle game where neither could make any progress. Game drawn.

Round 6: White vs lower rated adult player. I need to win this game! In the opening I miscalculate a Bxf7+ sac and simply go a piece down for nothing (not even a pawn). I resign.

Because my only 2 wins were against lowly rated juniors, this tourney will cost me quite a few rating points, and of course my goal of getting a better perfomance rating was not met...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Showtime again

Round 1 of my final tournament for the year starts tonite. 1 game friday, 2 on saturday, 2 on sunday and 1 on monday for 6 rounds total.

The tourney is at the chess club I play for, so I have homeground advantage ;) And since its only a few minutes away from where I live, I should be able to give daily updates...

Last year in this tourney I had 3.5/4 with 2 rounds remaining, and lost them both. I havent done much tactics work in the 2 weeks since the last tourney, so once again I'm not feeling very positive about my chances, I just have to try to play as carefully as possible.

The national rating list will come out a couple of weeks after this tourney. Then I can see if my last 6 months of training effort have made a difference :)