THE ANNUAL Presidential Chess tournament was held on December 20 at the Nkandla Municipality Hall, in Kwazulu-natal. The event was organised by Sandile Xulu, in partnership with Lovelife- KZN. The guest of honour was President Jacob Zuma.
Our team managed only two drawn games, which is not to be decried against such tough opposition.
How to improve without sending our players overseas to get a hiding: invite Grandmaster Maurice Ashley to make a second, longer visit to this country.
To start with, get some of his DVDS. Ashley has been a player, an author and a commentator for many years and his quick wit and entertaining style are suited to chess DVDS. He presents amazing blunder after blunder, not by everyday club players, but by strong grandmasters. More important, he explains how these surprising miscues happen, so the rest of us can minimise their occurrence in our own games.
Then introduce them to Corre- spondence Chess. Go to the ICCF website and you will see that entry to many of the tournaments is free. Correspondence is a wonderful opportunity to improve your skills in all aspects of the game, and more useful than blitz and bullet games on the ICC server.
Magnus Carlsen used to be a regular correspondence player, as was Peter Leko. Alexander Alekhine and Paul Keres were avid correspondence players in their youth.
Who is Reinhard Moll from Germany? He is rated 2647 and has not lost a single game in the last four Correspondence World Cup finals (Nos 11-14). He follows a “formula” with a very stable black opening repertoire and aggressive white play. To win a tournament in modern CC chess is difficult. The margins are small between first place and the rest of the pack.
The columnist on Chess Café, Bo Bredenhof, emphasises that your software must be up to date. He says: “Some ‘engines’ make more ‘human’ moves, others are better in sacrificial positions, some are very fast, etc. I use Fritz because it is very fast and the interface suits me. I still use Deep Fritz 11, but will upgrade to Deep Fritz 13 when it becomes available. Sometimes I consult Deep Rybka 4 to get a second opinion. This software also has a unique option: you can let two processors play your position against each other. This can give you a hint on a winning plan!”
Then there are several apps for your smartphone.