Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODFUN -

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.

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