chess

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Mind Games - PaulBroekhuyse paulbroekhuyse@gmail.com

SO you’re a keen am­a­teur player, but never played in an of­fi­cial tour­na­ment. You’re all dressed up and ready to go, but how do you get in­volved?

As with most things th­ese days, head to the in­ter­net and do a Google search.

You’ll find a wealth of re­sources, in­clud­ing some that might sur­prise you.

A log­i­cal place to start is the Aus­tralian Chess Fed­er­a­tion web­site at auschess.org.au. Here you’ll find links to the state web­sites and com­pre­hen­sive player rat­ings, and you can sign up for the reg­u­lar email news­let­ter. There’s also in­for­ma­tion about the “Grand Prix” se­ries of lo­cal chess tour­na­ments.

The state sites will link you to clubs in your area. There are lots in the big ci­ties where play­ers of all stan­dards meet reg­u­larly for friendly com­pe­ti­tions, and also some in the larger coun­try towns.

Don’t have time for that? Per­haps you’d like to play on­line – and again, the choices are le­gion. Sites like chess.com or game­knot.com are prob­a­bly the sim­plest, but if you don’t mind down­load­ing and in­stalling some soft­ware, the big chess “servers” like ICC host thou­sands of play­ers at any tick of the day or night, in­clud­ing oo­dles of grand­mas­ters.

If you pre­fer a slower pace, “cor­re­spon­dence chess” may be your thing, although it’s all done on the net rather than the post th­ese days. Check out ccla.net.au.

And if you like tack­ling chess prob­lems, Peter Wong’s site at ozprob­lems.com is out­stand­ing. Not only does he present hun­dreds of chal­leng­ing puz­zles, but he ex­plains the in­tri­ca­cies of this art­form, which can be chal­leng­ing for the unini­ti­ated.

For chess news, two sites stand out: The Week In Chess, which also of­fers files of down­load­able games from top tour­na­ments, and Chess­base, which has well-il­lus­trated re­ports from around the world.

Chess blogs are now also very common, and some of them are very good. The ACF has a list in its news­let­ter.

Another in­ter­est­ing re­source on the web is chess pro­grams. There are data­base pro­grams (some of them free) that al­low you to store and play through games (your own or oth­ers), or sharpen up your open­ing reper­toire. And if you’re brave enough, you can also down­load a host of chess “en­gines” (pro­grams) to play against. But a word of warn­ing: they’ll beat you ev­ery time, and you may need some IT knowhow to in­stall them in the first place.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nb3 Bb6

6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Qe2 a5 8.e5 O-O!? (The fire­works start early, but the al­ter­na­tive 8...Ng8 was not at­trac­tive) 9.exf6 a4! (The point is that now if 10.Nd2 Re8 11.Nde4 d5 and black re­gains his piece) 10.Nd5 Re8 11.Be3 axb3 12.Qg4 g6

13.Bc4 Nb4!! (See di­a­gram. Another bolt from the blue in a com­plex po­si­tion) 14.Nxb4 d5 (The dou­ble at­tack on g4 and d5 en­sures black again re­gains his piece) 15.Qf4 dxc4

16.O-O bxc2 17.Nd5!? Re6 (If 17...Qxd5 18.Qh6 and 19.Qg7) 18.Qxc4 Bxe3 19.fxe3 b5 20.Qc5 Bb7 21.Ne7+ Kh8 22.Qxc2 Raa6 23.Rac1 Rxf6 24.Rxf6 Rxf6 25.Qxc7 Qd2!? (Dar­ing to the end. Black threat­ens mate in var­i­ous ways, but it’s white’s move...) 26.Qb8+ Kg7 27.Qg8+ Kh6 28.Qf8+ Kh5 29.Rc5+ g5 30.Rxg5+!! Kxg5 31.Qg7+ Rg6 32.Qe5+ f5 33.h4+ Kh5 34.Qxf5+ Kh6 35.Qf8+ Kh5 36.

Qf5+ Kh6 37.Qf8+ Kh5 38.Qf5+ 1/2-1/2

Maxime Vachier-La­grave – Mag­nus Carlsen, Sin­que­field Cup 2014, Saint Louis US

To­day’s prob­lem: Joseph Hey­don, 1920. Mate in 2

Last week’s so­lu­tion: 1.Qc8!, threat­en­ing 2.Rxb5. If 1...Nf6+ 2.Nexf6, or 1...d3 2.Nc3, or 1...Nb any­where 2.Qd7.

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