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ER
09-10-2006, 07:43 AM
Thread Index added by moderator from May 2009 (scroll down for Michael Baron interview)

Interviewees are ordered alphabetically by surname except where posters are best known here by chesschat handles, in which case they are ordered by chesschat handles. Interviews are by JaK except where noted. Interviews by JaK on other threads will also be included.

Addamo, Michael, August 2010 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=287343#post287343)
Adams, Jonathan (Adamski), April 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=276427#post276427)
Anderson-Smith, William, May 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=279403#post279403)
Antolis, Cedric, July 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=248337#post248337)
Axiom, May 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=156381#post156381)
Axiom (part II), June 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=157631#post157631)
Baron, Michael (FM), Oct 2006 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=126393#post126393)
Bretag, Warren, Oct 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=258795#post258795)
Bolens, Johny. July 2011 [chesscrazytalk] (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=313449&postcount=595)
Bonham, Kevin, June 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=157936#post157936)
Bonham, Kevin, April 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=238510#post238510)
Boris (Brian Thomas), June 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=158571#post158571)
Chibnall, Alana, May 2009 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=239718#post239718) and short addendum here (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=241788&postcount=210)
Cordover, David (ChessGuru), September 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=256179#post256179)
Cordover, David (ChessGuru), June 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=281379#post281379)
Dembo, Yelena (IM/WGM), September 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=289249#post289249)
Deviatkin, Andrei (GM), May 2011 [chesscrazytalk] (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=309297#post309297)
Dragicevic, Domagoj, May 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=154606#post154606)
Duggan, Gunner (Howard), Aug 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=164445#post164445)
eclectic, Aug 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=166118#post166118)
Gray, Garvin (FA) Apr 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=150970#post150970)
Grivas, GM Efstratios, April 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=276662#post276662)
Goldenberg, Igor (FM, IM-elect), Feb 2008 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=183625#post183625)
Gorka, Carl (fireeater), Mar 2009 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=235188#post235188)
Hamilton, Doug (FM), Feb 2014 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?5069-An-interview-Added-IM-Max-Illingworth&p=374687&viewfull=1#post374687)
Hardegen, Kathryn (WFM), Dec 2018 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?5069-An-interview-Added-WFM-Kathryn-Hardegen&p=442978&viewfull=1#post442978) (and scroll down for further parts)
Hartland, Gerrit, July 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=160855#post160855)
Hjorth, Greg (IM), July 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=283182#post283182)
Howard, George, March-April 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=274503#post274503)
Illingworth, Max (FM), May 2011 [chesscrazytalk] (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=309687#post309687)
Illingworth, Max (IM), Dec 2013 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?5069-An-interview-Added-GM-Peter-Heine-Nielsen&p=371705&viewfull=1#post371705) (and scroll down)
Jamieson, Robert (IM), June 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=281673#post281673)
Johansen, Darryl (GM), June 2011 [chesscrazytalk] (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=311859#post311859)
Jono (Dr Jonathan Sarfati (FM)), June 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=159051#post159051)
Jordan, Bill (FM), July 2007 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=159783#post159783)
Kenmure, Jamie (lost), May 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=277300#post277300)
Liu, Gladys, November 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=293474#post293474)
Nielsen, Peter Heine (GM), July 2013 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=363502#post363502)
Power, Paul, Sep 2011 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=319003#post319003)
Pyke, Malcolm (macavity), Apr 2008 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=192160#post192160)
Sandler, Leonid (IM), November 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=262654#post262654)
Simmonds, Tania, November 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=261112#post261112) and part two, December 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=264496#post264496)
Smerdon, David (GM-elect), July 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=246309#post246309)
Smerdon, David (GM), April 2017 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?5069-An-interview-Added-GM-David-Smerdon&p=423153&viewfull=1#post423153)
Smirnov, Anton (GM-Elect), October 2017 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?5069-An-interview-Added-GM-David-Smerdon&p=430707&viewfull=1#post430707)
Smith, Libby, September 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=255294#post255294)
Solomon, Stephen (IM), June 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=280244#post280244) and part two here (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=280487#post280487)
Solomon, Stephen (IM) mini interview, April 2011 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=308795#post308795)
Szuveges, Grant (FM), Feb 2009 - in five posts through to #31 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=231328#post231328)
Svuveges, Grant (FM), July 2010 (followup to IM Hjorth's interview} (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=283621#post283621)
Teichmann, Erik (FM), September 2010 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=289642#post289642)
Warren, Elizabeth, February 2017 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?5069-An-interview-Added-FM-Doug-Hamilton&p=421908&viewfull=1#post421908)
West, Guy (IM) (gattaca), Apr 2009 - in five posts through to #153 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=239081#post239081)
Yu, Sally, Apr 2009 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=237035#post237035)
Yung, Pearl, October 2010 (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=292254#post292254)
Zhao Zong-Yuan (GM), August 2011 [chesscrazytalk] (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=315859#post315859)

Note that index hits may not go directly to post - may need to scroll down a little [-mod]




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The idea of this interview, was conceived while Michael Baron was talking in the room, analysing the final stages of the 10th game of the WCM between Topalov and Kramnik. A very strong and knowledgable Chess player and always an interesting person to have a conversation with, I believe he has always something new and something important to say... A few hints here a few links there the discussion continued in earnest Some of the other posters participated in the interview providing a special colour…

Michael Baron (talking with other chatters) : btw...I never played Topa..but I played in the same tourney as him...against his team. Seriously...1989 I played same tourney as Topalov...Petrosian Memorial... he played board 1 for Bulgaria

Heaviest Knight: Even as a junior?

Michael Baron: yep ..it was a junior event Sadler was playing for England

Heaviest Knight: and you represented USSR Michael?

Michael Baron: nope i was playing for Moscow palace of pioneers team board 5 i think i was from Moscow alone..we had 5 teams or so in that event

Heaviest Knight: So you must have seen all those legends from close yeah?

Michael Baron: lol at the time they were not legends...but ya i played in junior events with Svidler Morozevich etc Zviagintsev who is now 2670 or something used to share hotel rooms with me at tourneys

Heaviest Knight: but I mean being around the Moscow scene at the time you must have seen Kasparov and Karpov?

Michael Baron: Karpov's lectures i attended 6 times or so

Howard Duggan: Lectures would have been in Russian what’s the use? :)

Michael Baron: Howard,they could have been in english...in Russia (unlike in aus) people do learn foreign languages at uni hehe


Heaviest Knight: what is he (karpov) like as a lecturer?

Michael Baron: heh he is great out of the top GMs the one i saw most of was Bareev cause me and him had the same coach

Heaviest Knight: are you the same age group as Bareev? I thought he must have been older than you!

Michael Baron: Bareev is much older10 years or so but same coach so i saw him alot at chess club even played some blitz

WhiteElephant Michael, at what age did you come to Aus? Did coming here stop you becoming GM?

I was 15 when i got here lol...i gave up chess many years ago...i am sure i will never be an IM even

WhiteElephant Hard to get titles once you come here


Heaviest Knight: Have you ever visited the Moscow Chess Club?

Michael Baron: lol of course i played a lot of tourneys there you mean central chess club?

Heaviest Knight: the one Botvinnik and other World Champions frequented

Michael Baron: yes i have played there alot i never saw botvinnik there apparently his office was based in the club..but i never saw him but Smyslov i Saw...and Averbakh i saw nearly every week


Heaviest Knight: I presume they have special rooms with trophies and photographs of the greats?


Michael Baron: they do..they even had some kind of museum with all the trophies displayed

Heaviest Knight: Michael is there any chance you will concentrate on Chess alone for some time in the immediate future? In order to get some IM norms?

Michael Baron: i may get an IM title one day..if i play in the Zonal otherwise..no chance

Heaviest Knight: so you don't think that we are able to organise some highly rated tournaments in Australia? for the sake of our strong players and juniors

Michael Baron: 1)I am not strong enough and 2) i will not get stronger since i do not study....my only "studying" now takes place when i give lessons to others see....the problem is...in australia..chess scene is boring Rujevic, solomon, west, goldenberg etc...how boring

Heaviest Knight: but you are still amongst the strongest and still in your very early 30s

Michael Baron: well here...i am but its a joke...cause i am quite weak by any standard its ok...my chess students can become IMs i would rather be a professor one day hehe and if i can help organise some tourneys improve chess in aus...i will be happy

Heaviest Knight: you are a Dr already yeah?

Michael Baron: Dr.title is pending hehe

Heaviest Knight: Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? who are your favourite players now?

Michael Baron: Andersson has always been my favorite along with Petrosian lol sounds like a serious question session

Heaviest Knight: well it's like an interview isnt' it? I think people in the Chess community would benefit from reading stuff like that

Michael Baron: some Petrosian's games are unbelievable even though some of his moves are too amazing for me to understand fully have a look at Petrosian's game with reshevsky from 1953 just amazing..he gives exchange...apparently for nothing..yet his position starts improving with every move

Heaviest Knight: obviously Tigran Petrosian is one of your favourite grandmasters

Michael Baron: these days..i am trying to play like andersson..cause i forgot all my openings but few people in aus know how to play endgames hehe

Heaviest Knight: You are well known for your King's Indian knowledge

Michael Baron: me? really? Lol when i just arrived here...may be... i do not know any openings any more


Heaviest Knight: Well thanks for the very pleasant discussion

Michael Baron: night..i am off to my evening yoga session

Heaviest Knight: Careful with those Yoga positions good night

As you can obviously observe, most of the interview was conducted in a internet chat room manner and there were no serious attempts to correct it. Please, contribute with criticism, or additional questions for Michael Baron.

It would have been an unacceptable omission, not to include Kevin Bonham's technical assistance for the completion of this project HK

Also my apologies for initially posting this interview to a thread dedicated to the Kramnik vs Topalov World Championship Match. I hope I haven't caused any serious inconvenience and thanks to dk transform for notifying me about it.

Cheers and good luck to all

fianchetto
09-10-2006, 01:56 PM
Hey, heaviestknight, I happened to be in the chat room just after the 10th match, when I noticed your interesting chat with Michael Baron... I said interesting cause, not too many chatters can strike out a right conversation. I didn't realized that Michael have an interesting personality...I think had Michael stick to his chess, we could be watching him against Topalov instead… Great midnight interview heaviestknight, it was such a new and wonderful concept..

ER
09-10-2006, 03:23 PM
Hey, heaviestknight, I happened to be in the chat room just after the 10th match, when I noticed your interesting chat with Michael Baron... I said interesting cause, not too many chatters can strike out a right conversation. I didn't realized that Michael have an interesting personality...I think had Michael stick to his chess, we could be watching him against Topalov instead… Great midnight interview heaviestknight, it was such a new and wonderful concept..

Many thanks for the encouragement fianchetto, I am planning a few other interviews with some well known Chess personalities as well as players from all strength levels on various Chess topics. Also the idea is to make these interviews as interractive as possible, ie chatters can ask their own questions as well and add questions during the interviews or at later stages.
Thanks again, cheers and good luck!

likesforests
09-10-2006, 05:43 PM
I didn't realize Michael Baron was such a strong player. According to FIDE, his rating increased at the 2005 Elwood Championship, so he's being modest about his skills when he says they've deteriorated.

http://www.fide.com/ratings/card.phtml?event=3202283

An interesting intrerview, Heaviestknight. I look forward to the next.

ER
09-10-2006, 10:27 PM
I didn't realize Michael Baron was such a strong player. According to FIDE, his rating increased at the 2005 Elwood Championship, so he's being modest about his skills when he says they've deteriorated.

http://www.fide.com/ratings/card.phtml?event=3202283

An interesting intrerview, Heaviestknight. I look forward to the next.

thanks LF, I have already booked another strong player as my second interviewee. He is also very interesting as a person, I hope you will all like the interview. :)

Cheers and good luck!

ER
09-10-2006, 10:30 PM
I didn't realize Michael Baron was such a strong player. According to FIDE, his rating increased at the 2005 Elwood Championship, so he's being modest about his skills when he says they've deteriorated.

http://www.fide.com/ratings/card.phtml?event=3202283

An interesting intrerview, Heaviestknight. I look forward to the next.
As we are talking (I am at the MCC at present) I think a third interviewee is lined up! :)
I don't want to overkill the interview thing though. Maybe after some improvement though!
Cheers and good luck

ER
09-10-2006, 10:37 PM
By the way one thing with Michael, is that he is a rare exponent of the Soviet School of Chess in this country. I don't think we have many teachers (apart from the well known and respected ones of course) who could teatch in such a depth.
I do not see Michael teaching beginners or people whom he doesn't consider to have real potential though. However, I think that one day he will come back to play in strong tournaments!
Cheers and good luck!

ER
16-04-2007, 09:15 PM
Garvin Gray, or ggray_ggray or simply GG as he is known amongst the chatters of this forum was one of the officials of the recently completed SIO tournament. We asked him a few questions about the tournament and his involvement in it. He politely obliged and here follows our discussion (minus some emoticons) :)

First, congratulations for your role in the tremendous success of the SIO...

Thanks.

Is it possible to have a short interview re SIO? I want to publish it in my thread ... Here are the questions:
You officiated in arguably the strongest tournament ever held in Australia.... How challenging was it, and what's your greatest experience from it?

The tournament was well run and there were no major incidents, so I think I got off lightly from that aspect.

Greatest experience- Just being involved was a great experience and I really want to be part of the event again next year.

In your opinion what was (were) the highlight(s) of the tournament?

If I had to choose just one, of course it would be Gareth Oliver's IM norm.

Is there a possibility of having this tournament held on a parmanent basis?

It is my understanding that the SIO will definetely be held next year. After that, well lets just see how next year goes first.

Do you think that younger talented Australian players have gained from their participation in the SIO?

Of course they have in many ways.
Opportunities of playing strong opposition day in day out is quite rare in Australian conditions. Normally the stronger Aus players have to travel to Europe or Asia to get similar experiences to those at the SIO.

Quite a few of the stronger players came straight from Doeberl, so that would have been 16 days of hard fought chess against very strong opposition.

Another new and valuable experience for some of the juniors was dealing with the pressure of being so close to an IM norm
Cheers,

Garvin


Thank you too for your time Garvin and let's hope that either as an official or a player, you will again be present at the 2008 SIO!

Cheers and good luck

Basil
16-04-2007, 09:58 PM
Garvin Gray, or ggray_ggray or simply GG as he is known
Actually it's the 'Garvinator' now!

ER
16-04-2007, 10:03 PM
Actually it's the 'Garvinator' now!

thanks for the inclusion Howie:) I hope Garvin doesn't mind! :)
Cheers and good luck! By the way can yours be translit(t)erated to Garbonator as well ;) :))
Cheers and good luck!

Axiom
17-04-2007, 12:23 AM
btw hk, my agent instructs me ,that im currently available for interviews.

ER
17-04-2007, 04:55 PM
btw hk, my agent instructs me ,that im currently available for interviews.

You are more than welcome Ax as soon as you finish your sentence, I will contact you. The content, however, will be strictly chess related!
Cheers and good luck!

Basil
17-04-2007, 05:04 PM
You are more than welcome Ax as soon as you finish your sentense
He never really finishes his sentence. He just keeps going!


The content, however, will be strictly chess related!
:uhoh:

ER
17-04-2007, 05:35 PM
He never really finishes his sentence. He just keeps going!


:uhoh:

did he get life?:hmm:

Cheers and good luck

littlesprout85
17-04-2007, 06:05 PM
Heyy Heavys :D

Looks like Heavys has got some characters to open up on this thread here :eek:

Sprouty is just wondering what its going to take to get an exclusive with Heavys. Maybe if sprout brings the Ale :whistle:

-Sprout :)

ER
17-04-2007, 06:45 PM
Heyy Heavys :D

Looks like Heavys has got some characters to open up on this thread here :eek:

Sprouty is just wondering what its going to take to get an exclusive with Heavys. Maybe if sprout brings the Ale :whistle:

-Sprout :)

at your disposal at any time sprouty! :)
Cheers and good luck

ER
19-05-2007, 07:28 PM
Despite his young age, Domagoj Dragicevic is already a well known and well respected personality in the Chess circles of Victoria as well as in the whole of Australia. Apart from his chessic achievenents (he is actually one of the few Aussie players who have managed to beat GM Ian Rogers - "I was just lucky and he made a blunder he says") Domagoj is respected because of his good manners, his frank no nonsense approach and his hard work particularly his participation in the formation, establishment and success of the Noble Park Chess Club. Domagoj, politely obliged in our request for an interview. Let's see how he responded to our questions.

Less than a year after a formation of Noble Park Chess Club, the Victorian Chess Community has reacted very positively toward the Club. How do you rate its performance?

While we know that Noble Park Chess Club has a long way to go to become fully established, the club is pretty happy with its start. Whilst we would like to have more numbers, we are delighted with the strength of our tournaments. We believe that in the future we will get more numbers and keep the strength high. The seriousness and ambitions by the club was shown last year when it organized Dandenong International Chess Festival which featured Australian Masters and Reserves and it only had something like 3 months to organize it. We are also delighted with the number of FIDE rated players that play in Noble Park Chess Club which gives the club an opportunity to have its tournaments FIDE rated. The response from the players has been positive as well. One of the things people have been impressed with is the venue. The venue, a community centre which recently celebrated its one year of existence is really fantastic, and I urge anyone who hasn’t visited the club to come and see the venue. The players also appreciated the fact that the pairings for Noble Park Open were published out on Saturday straight after the round was completed. The pairings were published on our website www.nobleparkchess.org.au , Chess Chat Forum and they were emailed to players.


Noble Park Chess Club’s success is obviously the result of a collective effort. Tell us a few things about the team!

The team of Noble Park Chess Club works very hard even though sometimes it is difficult when there are other things that we are doing. The idea of a new chess club came from Mehmedalija Dizdarevic, sometime ago. After seeing his plans and visions for the club, I decided to join in the adventure of forming as new chess club, something that I didn’t think I ever do. While this was all happening, Carl Gorka had the idea of trying to organise Australian Masters and was looking someone to help him organise it. That’s when the two came together. All of us were keen to do both. After this, everything started flowing along. Jamie Kenmure was very keen to help out, and decided to join in and in the same time he brought his arbitering experience to the club. After planning and in the same time talking to different players about joining the club, the club began its operations on September 30, 2006. The club had its first AGM on December 9 where the full committee was formed. Everyone in the club administration worked very hard to achieve goals of the clubs.

How do you interpret the fact that the Club attracts so many strong players coming from places far from its area just to participate?

The reason the club attracts so many strong players is good prizemoney. Like in every tournament, strong players will look at the prizemoney to decide if they will play, especially if they have to travel far to play. Also, another fact that players take into account is that we guarantee that we will pay back 80% of the entry fees, and in the allegros that figure jumps to 90%.

What are the Club’s plans for the immediate future?

The club has some plans for the immediate future. The club plans to have a junior school and it is again organizing Dandenong International Chess Festival, once again featuring Australian Masters and Reserves. It also hopes to build up the numbers.

Coming to your individual Chess performance now. How has it been affected from your involvement with the Club’s administration?

That is an interesting question and the one that I am not 100% sure about. It has probably had a bit of an effect, but not too big of an effect. At the start organizing was affecting my chess, especially prior to Dandenong International Chess Festival where I didn’t want to play in the Reserves. At the end, circumstances forced me to play and I ended up winning the tournament (it shows what a funny game chess is). I have to say that my performance is not as good as what I would like it to be, but I don’t believe it has much to do with organizing. For example, in both Doeberl Cup and Sydney International I didn’t do as well as I would have liked, at Dandenong Chess Club I won Dandenong Summer Swiss and did shockingly at Dandenong Easter Club. At Noble Park Chess Club, in Noble Park Open I ended up doing ok, but the start wasn’t great and recently I came equal first in a very strong allegro. So from this, I can say that my performances are all over the place, so being involved in Chess Administration is not the problem. Bigger problem for me is that I don’t really study chess as I used to, my only training is playing 3 minute blitz on the internet. The main thing for me is that I am still enjoying playing chess.

SIO was run successfully and it has been hailed as the most successful tournament ever held in Australia. Do you think that one day we will be able to organize such important events in Victoria?

I believe that one day there will be a tournament like that in Victoria even though it is hard to say when that might be.

That's how the interview ended and we thank Domagoj for his excellent response.

For those who don't know, Noble Park is a rather remote suburb located in the outskirts of the Metropolitan Area of Melbourne, about halfway between the swimming and fishing beaches of Port Phillip Bay and the scenic wonderland of the Dandenong Ranges.

When Domagoj and his friends begun their efforts to establish the Club not many people believed that the Noble Park Chess Club would achieve so much in such a short time. Amazing is the fact that players come to play in the NPCC tournaments from the other side of the city and people who know Melbourne know that we are talking about a long distance here.

Mehmedalija Dizdarevic, whose name is referred to in Domagoj's interview, always talked about the importance of respecting chess players and offer them the best conditions, prizes etc if you want to attract them in your tournaments. He would talk with passion to everyone that listened about these ideas. The Noble Park Chess Club experiment has proved him right.

littlesprout85
21-05-2007, 01:22 AM
RawR !!!!

Sprouty is totaly impressed by Heavys interviwing skillz :clap:

These heavy interviews are fast becoming sprouty top reasons to keep up with chesschats.Along with the Classic Arcade & ShoutBox.(sproutys universe) Chesschats is on the fast track setting the pace for the future in onlinechess sites.

Truly with members like Heavys on board for the Long Haul, this aussie site really Rocks !!!!! Keep up ^ The Great work Heavys- We Truly Enjoy the Interviews :D

-Sprout :)

ER
27-05-2007, 08:43 PM
RawR !!!!

Sprouty is totaly impressed by Heavys interviwing skillz :clap:

These heavy interviews are fast becoming sprouty top reasons to keep up with chesschats.Along with the Classic Arcade & ShoutBox.(sproutys universe) Chesschats is on the fast track setting the pace for the future in onlinechess sites.

Truly with members like Heavys on board for the Long Haul, this aussie site really Rocks !!!!! Keep up ^ The Great work Heavys- We Truly Enjoy the Interviews :D

-Sprout :)

thanks for the kind words and encouragement Sprouty, there will be more interviews soon! :)
Cheers and good luck!

Axiom
30-05-2007, 06:54 PM
Hi Ax Hi HK and a big hello to all readers.




Obviously, Chess has been an important part of your life, even when you had to go through very adverse circumstances in order to function as a chess player. Tell us how it all started? Who taught you the moves, and when did you first felt that you loved the game?
Like many,my father taught me the moves at 6-7 yrs old.I was fascinated by the game very early on,and love for it soon followed. A love that continued to flourish and grow along with the changing years and times of my life.
Chess was a chance to prove yourself,to control the uncontrollable,to find certainty in an uncertain world,to fight fair,to create ,to freely express one's primal spirit.

Yes many adverse circumstances were experienced, and chess was always the constant,the loyal friend that kept on giving and supporting.Chess allowed me to lead an exciting life and meet fascinating characters. Experiences and people that i would have missed,had it not been for that fateful day when i was plucked from school to study chess at the Krasnoyarsk Chess Camp.
It was having to function as a chessplayer ,that enabled me to function through any adversity.It was the stabiliser,the solace,the sanity.


By your postings on the board, I understand that you were a top chess player at school How, and under what conditions were you selected to play Chess in the “official” learning centres in Krasnoyarsk? Did your parents have any say on that decision that obviously was going to affect your future? I actually was not so strong,but i scored very high on the following tests:- logic,intuition , analysis,investigation and curiousity.It was by way of these test results that i was honoured with selection, the camp officials were looking for the raw talent, the right stuff, if you will.They thought they could mould me to good use.
My parents had little or no say.It was generally accepted in the community, that if you are offered a camp place, you DON'T turn it down! My parents were extremely proud, they could not stop bragging to neighbours ,friends and family.


Without wanting to be offensive, Krasno sounds very much like a Chess concentration Camp to me. How were you expected to perform and create under such oppressive circumstances?Look, i wont pretend it was all beer and nuts! :) , far from it ,in fact. But we all knew we were working together for a better brighter future. We knew that a few at the camp would be selected to join some of the elite training squads. One of these groups were known as the Siberian Chess Tigers. Perhaps the most feared group of chess researchers in the soviet union at the time.
I was very fortunate to be chosen to join the Tigers, as our coach was the brilliant and humourous chess rebel Bresislan Gorkiananov. He allowed us to develop in a far freer and natural way compared to many of the hard line almost military precision of other groups(for more history and details of the time please see Siberian Chess Tigers Revisited http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6076 )


What about schooling? Were you given enough opportunities, and of course time let alone the appropriate institutions to have some satisfactory education? I am asking this question, because of your postings here, it comes through that you are a well read and educated person. Additionally, I do not believe that you were waiting until your arrival in the West to get some education....
Fortunately Gorkiananov believed in a well rounded education, he could both see AND think outside the box. Even when there was nothing there!
Taken from the *** revisited thread ,link above :-
"Firstly,the training recieved by ***,was second to none in history of chess.
We studied budhism,eastern mysticism,socrates,plato,euclid,martial arts, assertive behaviour,freud, jung,sun tsu,and more controversially- mind control. This all designed to fully prepare our mind, body and soul for the battle."

Later i read h.p thoreau,t.paine,js mill,nietsche, mk ultra, tavistock institute,history of piracy,slavery and false flag operations.

I have long standing double agent inside contacts in cia,mi5,mi6,kgb,mossad,33 degree freemasons,globalist bankers,bilderberg group,bohemian grove, the CFR,and the NWO Iluminati .
These contacts were made through chess and the ***! and in this interview i will release earth shattering conspiracy theory as to why chess has been surpressed!(stay tuned!)
I heard and saw things that would make your hair curl! So yes, i have a broad ranging education you might say!
My latest interest (not unlike Kasparov)as many of you know is in the field of politics,focusing on human information retrieval and dissemination (suddenly im reminded of that great film 'Brazil'!)



According to your postings in the Krasno years you “learned the value of freedom of expression through chess, you could create, be master of your destiny, you did not have to rely on any authority. you could be like a god, in a way....you actually became one of the much feared” Does that mean that you became a part of an admittedly bullish regime? Someone who terrified his hapless opponents to the point of surrendering the battle before it even started?

No not at all, the only fear derived from the ***, was from their awesome chess skill. Now thats not to say we did not have to defend ourselves from time to time ,as competition was fierce. But as Bresislan used to say, "let your pieces do the talking"(which reminds me of one team mate,who mysteriously disappeared after proclaiming that his knights were ACTUALLY talking to him!)
So no not a bullish regime , but we were trained in the martial arts.
I know much has been speculated about the *** tattoo on the back of the playing hand........and sometimes in tournaments you would get the odd young opponent crying off to mama at the mere sight of it. But in general there was just tremendous respect.




Did you leave Siberia under normal circumstances, or did you have to find some drastic ways, ie escaping to get out of there?I am trying to be as open as possible here in this interview, but i will ask you to forgive me, if i do not relay the details of exactly how i was to leave Siberia.
Suffice to say it involved the chess community from as far afield as vodka distillers,to taxi drivers, to govt officials,to KGB, to call girls, to truck drivers.




Back to Chess now… how strong were you, say in ACF ratings strength when you first came to Australia? Did you play for any clubs and participated in tournaments?

around 2200 acf when i first arrived.
my playing strength has waned over the years, partly due to age and partly due to a brain operation in 1986.(again i cannot detail this, only to say it was a high level psy op program,involving implants)
yes certain tournaments were played, but mainly as cover for undercover 'reunion' meetings with old secret service contacts.
yes i have visited 3 clubs in my time




Maybe you are, or maybe you are not a strong Chess player, I mean as strong as to be say amongst the best 20 or even 50 players in Australia… Some say or imply that you actually have had a strong impact in the Australian Chess in early 70s and that you have actually represented Australia in an Olympiad. I am not going to ask you to confirm or deny this, but on the other hand someone who was selected to participate in a program that would decide future Chess directions in the powerful USSR, had to be good. Did you try to play a major role in the Australian Chess?i need to clarify here, i was not an overly strong chessplayer( 2300 fide peak/2200 acf) these days perhaps 2000 fide ,1800 acf.
My work with the *** in the early days involved synthesising masses of data, i had a peculiar skill in summarising,condensing,finding the key,or the axiomatic driving principa amongst the seemingly chaotic mass of information. Gorkiananov dubbed me 'Axiom' in light of this.
My work was almost exclusively with opening theory.
Many here would recognise the Possum opening here,so dubbed ,with Mr I.Goldenberg's input. But based on my work in the 50s on a line known then as XX9.(again refer here http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6076 )
So i guess im a distorted lopsided chessplayer, once very strong at openings(2500 standard) but apallingly weak at endings (even as low as 1200 standard!)....as many could im sure testify to here!


Part 2 coming shortly , where Axiom will talk about the great chess conspiracy!,australian chess and the media!......also will reproduce an annotated illustrative game.

Kevin Bonham
30-05-2007, 10:02 PM
I have long standing double agent inside contacts in cia,mi5,mi6,kgb,mossad,33 degree freemasons,globalist bankers,bilderberg group,bohemian grove, the CFR,and the NWO Iluminati .

I am one of these. I am in all these organisations except the Freemasons. My work there was but a training ground for the real world of chess politics.

That was good fun, Ax. I'm quite a fan of self-interviews as a literary form.

ER
30-05-2007, 10:55 PM
That was good fun, Ax. I'm quite a fan of self-interviews as a literary form.

lol excuse me, literary or not literary form, it was definitely not a sefl interview, Ax answered the questions I sent him! And, BTW, Kevin you are my next targeted interviewee, followed by Jono and Boris!
Cheers and good luck

Kevin Bonham
30-05-2007, 11:02 PM
lol excuse me, literary or not literary form, it was definitely not a sefl interview, Ax answered the questions I sent him!

:eek: I assumed he had made them up himself as a kind of surreal parody of the thread, just because he had posted them.

My apologies! :doh:

ER
30-05-2007, 11:11 PM
:eek: I assumed he had made them up himself as a kind of surreal parody of the thread, just because he had posted them.

My apologies! :doh:

lol no probs, Kevin! Actually, that would be a great idea to have a thread with posters interviewing themselves! Maybe they 'd come out with self questions and answers, that I wouldn't have thought, or I wouldn't have dared to ask them! :)
Cheers and good luck!

Kevin Bonham
31-05-2007, 12:32 AM
I interviewed Bonham in a student magazine about a decade ago. My interview subject said some very offensive things that drew numerous letters of complaint, but not many of the comments had anything to do with chess. At one point he revealed that he'd been reading "Exploiting Small Advantages" by Gufeld, and at another one when asked "Do you have any advice for all those young lovers on campus?" , or something of the sort, he responded "Never castle before move 30".

Axiom
31-05-2007, 12:51 AM
I interviewed Bonham in a student magazine about a decade ago. My interview subject said some very offensive things that drew numerous letters of complaint, but not many of the comments had anything to do with chess. At one point he revealed that he'd been reading "Exploiting Small Advantages" by Gufeld, and at another one when asked "Do you have any advice for all those young lovers on campus?" , or something of the sort, he responded "Never castle before move 30".
and when asked about advice on the french opening position , did he answer- "use a condom, you never know what you could catch"?

eclectic
31-05-2007, 12:53 AM
"Never castle before move 30".

Is there some connection between this and the recent trend of being told not to lower the "draw" bridge until move 30?

;)

Axiom
31-05-2007, 12:56 AM
btw, post interview i would be happy to field supplementary questions from any quarter.
Thankyou,
Axiom.

Kevin Bonham
31-05-2007, 01:10 AM
Is there some connection between this and the recent trend of being told not to lower the "draw" bridge until move 30?

It's something I saw ages and ages ago as a report of something some great player had supposedly said. I have no idea of the source of it, and would really like to know, if anyone ever sees it.

Axiom
10-06-2007, 04:47 PM
[CONT.]Some say or imply that you actually have had a strong impact in the Australian Chess in early 70s and that you have actually represented Australia in an Olympiad. I am not going to ask you to confirm or deny this, but on the other hand someone who was selected to participate in a program that would decide future Chess directions in the powerful USSR, had to be good. Did you try to play a major role in the Australian Chess?
My work for Australian Chess has largely been 'behind the scenes'. I cannot go into details here, only to say ,that i am part of an underground worldwide chess network, seeking to re assert chess on the culture-map in the west.During my work for the last 30 odd years, i have uncovered a most sinister plot against chess itself! :-
The Great Chess Conspiracy
We all know the early seventies was the height of chess popularity in the west.This was a threat to the chess powers in the east. It was also a threat to the global ruling elite. So at a clandestine meeting(in late 1973) within the Bilderberg Group,between FIDE officials,secret service, and members of the Rockerfeller and Rothschild families, it was agreed to stymie and hamper any attempts by chess to gain a firm stable foothold in both the public psyche and popular culture itself.
Why you may ask. Well,basically,the global ruling elite(GRE),are threatened by thinking people, their whole programming paradigm is based on 'dumbing down' the population,through the education system,the media,popular culture and psy ops.
Chess is an escape from this paradigm, and brain scan experiments show,that the brain operates at different wavelength frequencies when playing chess,sometimes going into a high order meditative state. It is in this state ,that lateral thinking or 'outside the box' thinking is greatly facilitated. Chess also excercises the brain in pure objective,rational analysis, so this combination of effects presented a potent cocktail with the potential to free the brain from its programming.This of course was highly threatening to the GRE, so along with corrupt FIDE officials and the help of clandestine agents, a plot was hatched to keep chess 'underground'.
The effects of this ghastly attack on chess can be seen in the last 30 odd years :- Fischer was the victim of mk ultra and tavistockian mind control, they knew if they could destroy our figurehead,they could destroy the upswell of popularity in chess.
Note the lack of govt funding for chess,despite the most powerful of arguments supporting it!
Note how major corporations blatently prostitute the image of chess in tv and print commercials, yet rarely give a dime in sponsorship!
Chess has been deliberately shunned because it threatened to exalt the virtues of thinking ,challanging the programmed culture.A culture designed to keep the 'slaves' in their 'boxes'.
So when we wonder why chess has struggled so much since the heady days of c1972, we now know the reason.
However we have had some victories along the way, the 'English chess explosion' of the 1980s,was a success,due to some imaginative management and hard work of uk chess officials at the time,......im proud to say an ex *** member was a part of the behind the scenes work there.Also recently new laws in the uk, open the door for chess funding(again,this was done through our contact in mi6 and a british parliamentarian),but they have new tricks to keep us at bay,which have been leaked and picked up by our agents in london. We fight on!

So to answer your question, my role in Australian chess,has and is one of behind the scenes work,constantly monitoring chess officials,the health of Australian chess,liasing ,cooperating and sharing information around the world with other 'chess agents' with the goal of furthering the cause of chess ,in australia and world wide.


[Another theory suggests that you came to Australia in the early 80s as a FIDE master, that you lived in Sydney after having won a few tournaments in your way to Australia, but on your arrival here you got very disappointed by the existing state of affairs here, and after a while you gave up keeping only a few select students. Again without asking you to confirm or deny this, what is your opinion about Australian Chess, its strengths, weaknesses, aspirations?HK, there are many stories surrounding Axiom, and most are not true.
It is not true that i was disappointed by the existing state here, i was well briefed before taking up my post here and it was as expected.
Yes some students have been given the information to continue my work when im gone.
I chose the posting in Australia as it was well known for imaginative opening theory(my specialist area!), this is its strength.
Its weakness is only one that befalls most countries ,lack of public profile ,exposure,professionalism, ie. money.
The fact that the australian govt does not fund chess to the tune of at least a million dollars a year, should be met with absolute raging anger by the chess community......we need to become more agressive on this issue.
We shoud aspire to prestigious govt funded tournaments ,and to blow away the artificial impediments that stand in the way of chess progress.

"CHESS FOR ONE,AND ALL FOR CHESS"


Games of Axiom i) v M.Baron (FM) 1-0 (although some maintain the conspiracy theory that i was in fact playing MB's cat Vassia!, but i'll let you make up your own mind!)
1.e4 c5 2.d3 d5 3.f3 g6 4.g3 Bg75.Bg2 Nc6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Nge2 dxe4 8.fxe4 0-0 9.0-0 Nd4 10.h3 e5 11.Bg5 h6 12.Be3 Be6 13.b3 Rc8 14.a4 Qd7 15.Kh2 Kh7 16.Rc1 b6 17.Qe1 Rfd8 18.Ng1 a6 19.g4 Qe7 20.Qg3 b5 21.axb5 axb5 22. Nce2 Nxe2 23. Nxe2 c4 24.bxc4 bxc4 25.g5 Nh5 26. Qh4 cxd3 27.cxd3 Rxd3 28.Rxc8 Bxc8 29.Rf3 Ba6 30.Qf2 Rd7 31. Ng3 hxg5 32.Nxh5 gxh5 33. Rf5 f6 34.h4 gxh4 35.Rxh5+ Kg8 36. Qa2+ Qf7 37.Qxa6 Qxh5 38. Qc8+ Rd8 39.Qxd8 Kh7 40.Qd7 Resigns 1-0


ii)v Boris 1/2 (KB described this game as "a ripper,fantastic to watch,superb entertainment"!)
1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. f3 c5 4. g3 Nf6 5. Bg2 Be7 6. Ne2 Nc6 7. 0-0 Qc7 8. Nd2 b5 9. c3 Bb7 10. f4 0-0 11. e5 Ng4 12. Nf3 c4 13. d4 b4 14. h3 Nh6 15. g4 Kh8 16. Ng3 bxc3 17. bxc3 Qa5 18. Bd2 Rab8 19. f5 Ng8 20. g5 exf5 21. Nxf5 Bc8 22. N3h4 Be6 23. Nxg7 Kxg7 24. Qh5 Nxd4 25. Rf6 Nb3 26. g6 fxg6 27. Bh6+ Nxh6 28. Rxg6+ hxg6 29. Qxg6+ Kh8 30. Qxh6+ Kg8 31. Qxe6+ Rf7 32. Bxd5 Qxd5 33. Qxd5 Nxa1 34. Ng6 Kg7 35. e6 Kxg6 36. exf7 Rf8 37. Qe6+ Bf6 38. Qe1 Nb3 39. axb3 cxb3 40. Qb1+ Kg7 41. Qxb3 Rxf7 42. Kg2 Rc7 43. c4 Be5 44. Kf3 Bd4 45. Ke4 Bb6 46. Kd5 Kh6 47. Kd6 Rc5 48. Qd3 Rh5 49. Qe4 Bc5+ 50. Kc6 Bb6 51. Qe6+ Kg7 52. Qg4+ Kh6 53. Qg8 Rc5+ 54. Kd6 Rh5 55. Ke6 Rc5 56. Kf6 Rc6+ 57. Kf5 Rc5+ 58. Kg4 Rc7 59. Qe6+ Kg7 60. h4 Rc5 61. h5 Rc7 62. h6+ Kh7 63. Kf4 Rc5 64. Kg4 Rc7 65. Kf5 Rc5+ 66. Ke4 Rh5
67.Qf7+ 1/2
and
iii)v K.Bonham 1/2 (and KB should have been ripped apart in this one! :) ) http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=4502&page=10


[Ax, thank you very much for your time!
Cheers and good luck!Thankyou and youre most very welcome.
and i would like to leave you all with this,

"The sun doesnt come up in the morning,we turn to face it" - Axiom (c) (9/6/07)

littlesprout85
13-06-2007, 12:42 AM
RawR !!!!

Heavys is still going strong here on his interview thread.

Hats off to Heavys for going ten rounds in that interview with axioms.
Knew if you put the weight on em- he would soon run outta gas- LOLOL

Still think an esclusive sitdownz with da sprout might put this thread into extra innings ;)

-sprout :)

MichaelBaron
13-06-2007, 12:51 AM
Games of Axiom i) v M.Baron (FM) 1-0 (although some maintain the conspiracy theory that i was in fact playing MB's cat Vassia!, but i'll let you make up your own mind!)
1.e4 c5 2.d3 d5 3.f3 g6 4.g3 Bg75.Bg2 Nc6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Nge2 dxe4 8.fxe4 0-0 9.0-0 Nd4 10.h3 e5 11.Bg5 h6 12.Be3 Be6 13.b3 Rc8 14.a4 Qd7 15.Kh2 Kh7 16.Rc1 b6 17.Qe1 Rfd8 18.Ng1 a6 19.g4 Qe7 20.Qg3 b5 21.axb5 axb5 22. Nce2 Nxe2 23. Nxe2 c4 24.bxc4 bxc4 25.g5 Nh5 26. Qh4 cxd3 27.cxd3 Rxd3 28.Rxc8 Bxc8 29.Rf3 Ba6 30.Qf2 Rd7 31. Ng3 hxg5 32.Nxh5 gxh5 33. Rf5 f6 34.h4 gxh4 35.Rxh5+ Kg8 36. Qa2+ Qf7 37.Qxa6 Qxh5 38. Qc8+ Rd8 39.Qxd8 Kh7 40.Qd7 Resigns 1-0

My cat tells me Axiom also took a move back claiming a "typing error"

eclectic
13-06-2007, 01:01 AM
When will Vassia be interviewed?

:cool:

Igor_Goldenberg
13-06-2007, 10:34 AM
Games of Axiom i) v M.Baron (FM) 1-0 (although some maintain the conspiracy theory that i was in fact playing MB's cat Vassia!, but i'll let you make up your own mind!)
One of my friends once commented on a particular low rated player winning against much stronger opponent: "We'll never hear an end of it". I guess it applies to this case as well.

Capablanca-Fan
13-06-2007, 10:41 AM
My cat tells me Axiom also took a move back claiming a "typing error"
It seems that the cat took over in the last few moves, because before that, Black was much better. Maybe the cat also played dxe4 which seems to free White's game a bit, instead of leaving that rotten possum pawn on f3.

ER
13-06-2007, 04:06 PM
RawR !!!!



Still think an esclusive sitdownz with da sprout might put this thread into extra innings ;)

-sprout :)

Hi Sprouty, your name is in line for an interview... the order of appearance is now, (after Kevin) Boris, Jono, Hartland, Hacche, Gunner Duggan, Watto, Jordan, Sprouty, Mischa (others to follow). I am still waiting for responses from Gletsos (the first whom I approached and asked for an interview) and Macavity.
If posters do not mind I would like to give priority to the President of CV Gerry Hartland due to the first Vic Open held under his presidenship.

Cheers and good luck

PS
The order of appearance of all interviewees has been decided by drawing pieces of paper carrying the names of Chess Chat Forum personalities. Exceptions, when I first begun the thread were Bill Gletsos and Michael Baron.

ER
13-06-2007, 06:38 PM
When will Vassia be interviewed?

:cool:

hmm when he helps Michael to beat Ax!
Cheers and good luck!

Axiom
13-06-2007, 06:59 PM
hmm when he helps Michael to beat Ax!
Cheers and good luck!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

MichaelBaron
13-06-2007, 07:15 PM
When will Vassia be interviewed?

:cool:

after he goes to zonal and get FM title:hmm:

Axiom
13-06-2007, 07:48 PM
after he goes to zonal and get FM title:hmm:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Axiom
13-06-2007, 07:57 PM
One of my friends once commented on a particular low rated player winning against much stronger opponent: "We'll never hear an end of it". I guess it applies to this case as well.
Igor, with respect, in my prime i would beat 10 Barons in a simul 10-0,after 2 bottles of vodka.........but that was before my brain operation................but nonetheless i cordially invite michael to a re- match. Although he seems to exhibit an almost unnatural fear of the possum, im sure it would be a thrill for all chesschatters to see a rematch of the famous game that gave birth to the possum opening in Australian chess!

Kevin Bonham
13-06-2007, 08:44 PM
Although he seems to exhibit an almost unnatural fear of the possum, im sure it would be a thrill for all chesschatters to see a rematch of the famous game that gave birth to the possum opening in Australian chess!

Perhaps you should play Jono as well. His opinion of the Possum should be demonstrated on the board for all to see! :D

Axiom
13-06-2007, 10:18 PM
Perhaps you should play Jono as well. His opinion of the Possum should be demonstrated on the board for all to see! :D
Quite right too.......Jono- please consider yourself, formally challenged.


(For those desperate for a possum fix,i alert you to a current possum game v P.Knight in corr. thread)

ER
13-06-2007, 10:22 PM
Could we please have an official announcement of time and place the games are going to by played?
Cheers and good luck!

Axiom
13-06-2007, 10:47 PM
Could we please have an official announcement of time and place the games are going to by played?
Cheers and good luck!
Certainly HK..............Just waiting on official possum challenge acceptances.
This will be a 1 year anniversary of the birth of the possum special challenge!


****NEWS FLASH******

2 further possum challenges have been issued ,one to Mr. K.Bonham and one to Mangafranga.

All challenges to be accepted by June 22nd.
Thankyou,
Axiom

Kevin Bonham
13-06-2007, 10:50 PM
I am willing to take on the possum again when I have finished losing most of my remaining games in the freestyle tournament.

Aaron Guthrie
13-06-2007, 10:50 PM
Certainly HK..............Just waiting on official possum challenge acceptances.
This will be a 1 year anniversary of the birth of the possum special challenge!


****NEWS FLASH******

2 further possum challenges have been issued ,one to Mr. K.Bonham and one to Mangafranga.

All challenges to be accepted by June 22nd.
Thankyou,
AxiomAccepting the challenge would conflict with my commitment not to be cruel to native animals.

Axiom
13-06-2007, 10:58 PM
Accepting the challenge would conflict with my commitment not to be cruel to native animals.
so you accept?! ;)

Axiom
13-06-2007, 10:59 PM
I am willing to take on the possum again when I have finished losing most of my remaining games in the freestyle tournament.
thats the spirit! :) ,cool KB :cool:

Kevin Bonham
13-06-2007, 11:10 PM
Well with such a big train of interviewees to come I'd better not hold it up any longer!


When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a major part in your life?

Does it? :lol: I never really thought about these things in advance - it was one of many interests that I had (and still have) as a teenager, and at some point in the mid-1990s I started getting involved in the administration side of things. From that point my involvement has gradually increased, but it is still just one of a number of interests and hardly the centre of my life.


Who was your first Chess mentor?

I never really had one, as such. I've never had a coach. In the early days I got stronger mainly just from competing, and my opening repertoire and so on I have always worked out by myself. But you need a competitive environment to do that in, and Michael Bailey, who was the co-principal of my high school, did a lot to support that environment. He had a great rapport with all of us who played there and respected our various skills as players.


Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

Yes and no. Everyone in my family could play the game, and my brother and I played a lot when we were very young children. But I did not have access to any kind of competitive chess until I was about twelve. Also at a certain point I became confused about the rules; having read somewhere that a gambit involved giving up a pawn which you would get back later, I assumed this meant you could take it off the board and put it back! It was rather hard for my brother and I to work out exactly how this could be implemented, so for a while we became more interested in other things.


How much support did you have by your family?

A useful amount, but nothing as intensive (or expensive) as many juniors have these days. Lifts to tournaments, an airfare to an Australian Junior (where I played abysmally) and so on - in adult life, places to stay and looking after my house while I'm away.


What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career?

A few breakthrough moments stand out:

- In 1988 I played board four for a Hobart Interclub team comprised of the best players from that wave of juniors. On ratings we were the weakest team on paper by far, but we won the thing with a week to spare, and I scored 8/9 for the season, losing only after the title was ours.

- In 1995 I played in a rather strong Hobart International Club Championships double round robin and won it with a very grandmasterly scoreline: +15=5-0. I had won a couple of Sandy Bay events a few years earlier but this was the first time I realised I could become one of the state's best players.

- My first state title in 2001. Not because I played well but because I won it dramatically and against a very strong field. Won a drawish ending in round two, beaten in audacious fashion by Premilovac in three, swindled a hopelessly lost game (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=112237#post112237) in four, drew a game I was losing in five. Then in seven I won two pawns against Sakov with great opening play only to lose them both back and only won because of a terrible endgame blunder by Sakov. My last round game could have gone either way too, and suddenly the smoke had cleared and I'd won by a whole point!

But by this stage it's the cumulative record of vaguely consistent success that becomes most important - all kinds of players win one rated tournament, but not too many at any level win forty-one. I'll never touch Otto Weber's record for the most Tasmanian Championships, but I'm proud of my record for the most Tasmanian Opens (five now), and hope to push that further in the future.


Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

Kasparov. I would say that the dominant mood in world chess is a certain brand of aggressive universalism (founded in deep theoretical study) that Kasparov was primarily responsible for, meaning that the up-and-coming players often seem to me like mini-Kasparovs.


The strongest?

Kasparov at his peak may or may not have been the strongest ever. But today it is a difficult question as several are quite close. If strength is the ability to massacre run-of-the-mill SGMs in double round robins then it is Topalov, but if it is the ability to win a match no matter what then it is Kramnik.


The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

I have at times studied a lot of games by both Shirov and Kramnik (an odd mix, yes, I know) but I do not consciously try to rip off any top player's style. There is no point doing so; I am not a good enough player to do it justice. Sometimes I might do something and think it is a Shirov move, a Kramnik move or even a Smerdon or Solomon move, but I do not set out to imitate those of whom I would be at best a third-rate copy!


The one that you always wanted to meet?

I'm not really into going out of my way to meet famous people, even in fields I operate in. Perhaps that's because I have at times had a degree of local celebrity status (largely for reasons unrelated to chess - campus politics and writing and so on) and through that I realise that there is nothing so special or mysterious about being famous for something, and no reason to go out of one's way to meet someone just on that account, unless you in turn have something to offer. Like, I met three members of my favourite band (The Church) this year, but it was sensible for me to do so as a very long-term fan who has actually done a few things to promote and circulate their music. But if I'm just another random fan of someone, why would I even cross the road to get their autograph? I don't get it.

That said I do form personal opinions about some of the players. I find Kramnik likeable, and put a note of support on his website during the last match when Danailov was being [a bit of a troll].


Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?

That would be the little girl who one day, in a tournament I was running, put up her hand and softly and calmly said "I don't know what move to make". The way she said it ... it pops up in my mind now and then, even in situations utterly unrelated to chess. And all you can do when it happens is just sit there calmly until you think of a move to make, and then make it, which was exactly what I told her. She just said "OK" and went back to her game. I think she won it.

I'd like to give an answer that related to strong players of course, but as I am Selection Co-Ordinator that would not be appropriate. Perhaps my favourite Australian player is anyone who is doing well on the world stage at any time.


Who is Australia’s most aspiring and hopeful young player?

I assume by "hopeful" you mean "promising". Objectively it would still be Raymond Song just because he is so strong so young - but there are many other excellent prospects.


What’s the future of chess in your state (Tasmania) in terms of participation and strength? How do you compare it with the rest of the country?

Participation is booming and I hope it will continue to do so. It was on the improve anyway after the doldrums of the early 90s but has taken off especially since the advent of Chess Kids teams tournaments in the state. We had 32 players in each of the Championships and Open this year. Possibly tournaments of 40 are not out of the question now, and at that stage higher Grand Prix categories start to become viable. Eventually, we want to host a major event here. It's been a while!

Tasmania always struggles for strength per head of capita because when the best locals are around 2000 strength, or sometimes a bit better, no-one's likely to become an IM-strength player playing them. That is something we may always face, or maybe the current generation of juniors may set a higher standard with the access to coaches and strong players that is becoming more and more possible.


How difficult have you found it combining study, work, Chess and of course being a moderator in a busy Chess Chat Forum?

When I was a student (up til 2003), study was always a very low priority for me, although I did miss one state title (1994) because of a clash with an exam. My work commitments tend to be quite flexible, and usually are not a problem for my chess. What I find really difficult is juggling chess with other spare-time interests, of which I have a number. Some weekends there may be three or four things on I'd like to do.

Time constraints are rarely a problem with modding, though I do find a small number of posters will continue to send me requests even when I have clearly said that I am busy, and one or two people expect things to always be done for them on a platter straightaway.


Like other moderators of this board, you have been a subject of (sometimes vicious) attacks a plethora of times. How seriously are you taking those attacks?

Not at all! In my far-off campus days I used to sometimes heckle rallies that I disagreed with, one person versus three or four hundred, and I didn't find that intimidating at all, so a bunch of weedy little internet trolls who are fun to wallop in debates will hardly get me down. I thrive on being in the public arena and hosing down criticism, it's what I have done much of my life in a range of different areas.

There are, of course, some lines I will not allow people to cross, and I have zero tolerance for violence threats and professional defamation and not very much more for people who drag irrelevant personal matters into debates or take out their grievances with me on other people. But while I may ensure that those involved are rounded up and vigorously thwacked, I still regard them as too ludicrous to lose much sleep over.


There are questions about the degree of democracy, fairness, equal treatment, just to name a few, exercised by the Administration of this board. What’s your response to those who believe that the Forum’s function is undemocratic and dictatorial?

It's hard to tell what people really believe and what they pretend to believe because it advances their cause. If people really believe a forum should be democratic then why are they not pushing the same case as vigorously on other forums they post on that are at least equally undemocratic but where they are chummier with the owners? I suggest that the reason some bring up the democracy argument is not that they are committed to forum democracy, but that they would like to use it as a tool to try to get rid of whoever they do not like from the Squad.

That said - of course it's not a democracy! At least a facade of democracy is important in Western government because that's the only system that gives everyone the sort of say that protects society from periodic civil wars, unrest and revolutions, but on an internet forum if you don't like the government of a forum you can go away and start your own "society". Furthermore, trying to implement real democracy on a forum where you can't even identify all the hydras properly would be a total practical nightmare. I say this as one with much experience in areas related to electoral system design.

As for dictatorship, the site is essentially a rather liberal oligarchy with a generally passive sovereign, which is quite different from a dictatorship. Actually those who throw around political terms in their criticisms are generally very ignorant about what those terms really mean.


Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?

I think it is vaguely important, especially in the exchange of ideas and the flow of information, but at the same time we need to bear in mind that many players have no interest in the online environment.


Are you satisfied with the numbers of the Forum’s membership?

Definitely. The forum is healthy and continuing to attract new members, almost weekly there will be new names in the who's online list who turn out to be real members and not spammers. Quite often we have 20-30 members online at once and this has not become any less common that I can see despite a few posters becoming inactive (voluntarily or otherwise).


Are you happy with the members general behaviour?

What is your opinion about their general attitude, participation and respect toward one another and the Forum?

Generally I think it's fine, and much like any other forum - wherever you have lots of people posting on a forum some degree of competitiveness and conflict will always develop. Actually lately it has been especially good, because the habitual troublemakers are either banned or fairly quiet, and so those conflicts that do develop are more natural ones that tend to go away more easily.


Are there any further plans for the Forum’s improvement?

I am not aware of any at this stage. It is really a high-class forum functionally compared to many others I have posted on, to the point that upgrades coming out are not worth adding on because of the hassle of recoding everything.

Basil
13-06-2007, 11:37 PM
... but that they would like to use it as a tool to try to get rid of whoever they do not like from the Squad.
Copyright Duggan acknowledgement, please. Otherwise a most enjoyable post.
Good work, Bruce and Bruce. Thanks.

eclectic
19-06-2007, 10:41 AM
To HeavyKnight


My PM and email options are off for the foreseeable future.

Please forward on to me the questions you would like to ask via Rincewind.

He will email them onto me.

That's assuming you would still like to interview me.

If I get them sooner rather than later I can properly prepare my answers.


eclectic

ER
20-06-2007, 05:05 AM
To HeavyKnight


My PM and email options are off for the foreseeable future.

Please forward on to me the questions you would like to ask via Rincewind.

He will email them onto me.

That's assuming you would still like to interview me.

If I get them sooner rather than later I can properly prepare my answers.


eclectic

Hi Eclectic
My godson draws lots of two names a week Eclecticus. Your name has not been drawn yet. The ones following are: Hartland, Hacche, Duggan, Watto, Jordan, Sprouty and Mischa!
Boris and Jono have already been PMed with the interview questions sent to them.
Cheers and good luck!

PS If you want to prepare about the core of the questionnaire have a look at some of the already published interviews... I try to combine general types of questions with some of a more personal content given that the interviewee wishes to talk about and other posters would be interested to read!
CAGL ;)

ER
20-06-2007, 07:22 PM
One of the most well known and respected personalities of the Chess Chat Forum is Boris. His strength as a Chess Player and his achievents in his professional career are unquestionably of a very high level. Today, we present the unaltered text of the interview he so kindly accepted to give us for the benefit of the members of the Chess Chat Forum and other readers of the thread.

Ok let’s now start from the beginning…When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?

I suppose it happened while I was busy making other plans.


Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? who are your favourite players now?

Max Leskiewicz, David Smerdon, Charles Pizatto (three prodigies near to my own age when I started playing in tournaments)
Stephen Solomon, Wohl, Dihn Duc Trong, David Stephson and other Qld players over 2000 seemed like untouchables at the time.



Who was your first Chess mentor?

Probably my uncle Larry. I could beat all my siblings and parents at quite a young age (maybe 7, can't remember clearly), but could not beat my Uncle Larry. He gave me a chess book (Purdy), and reading it was something like someone switching on a light.

Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

No, my family refused to play with me any more (a sad but probably not uncommon scenario) and it wasn't until high school that I had access to a chess club.



How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?

General ambivalence, but my wife is very supportive.


What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career?

Probably coming outright 2nd in the Australian Major earlier this year. I am also very proud of my lightning record against Solo - 1.5-.5 in tournaments.

Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

To me there is not question that it is Kasparov.

The strongest?

Kasparov.


The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

Probably Karpov, as well as Petrosian, Spassky, Capablanca, Yusupov, Timman, Short, I could go on.



The one that you always wanted to meet?

Meeting them has never been an ambition for me.

Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?

I'm not really sure how to answer this question, but I admire Mark Stokes for his infatigueable enthusiasm at getting people to sit down at chessboards.


Who is Australia’s most promising young player?

Moulthun Ly


Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?

I would say probably somewhere in the middle. I think it is often overestimated by it's regular visitors and/or permanent inhabitants. From what I can gather, most people at club level have never heard of it and couldn't really care either way.
I think this site has a lot of good uses, especially tournament news and info. Also, the generosity of some strong players (notably Sarfati and Goldenberg) to offer their analysis is difficult to over-state or over-applaud.


Boris, thank you very much for your time, cheers and good luck!

Always a pleasure HK.
By the way, did you used to be HeaviestKnight, or is my memory playing tricks on me?

No Boris, you are quite correct! The change of name has to do with a "titled" reward of my successful effort to shed some of my extra weight. According to Guy West the ultimate achievenent would be to reach the "Light Knight" category! :) Cheers!!!

ER
24-06-2007, 12:04 AM
Dr Jonathan D.Sarfati (Jono in the Chess Chat Forum) is our guest today. He promptly answered our interview questions with clarity and frankness and we thank him for allowing us some of his invaluable time. HK

Hi Jono, these are the interview questions for the “An interview” thread:

I'm honoured

Let’s start with a question that I always wanted to ask in detail… For those who do not know, you are one of the few players who not only has played against an ex-World Champion but managed to get a draw against him…


Yes, here is the game. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1129514


What were your first thoughts when you sat opposite the great Boris Spassky?


To give the background, this was The Plaza Hotel International tournament in Wellington, 1988, with invited celebrities and leading New Zealand players (as cannon fodder, basically, although a great opportunity). I happened to be drawn to play Boris Spassky in the first round, so this was in the papers of that morning. And as the reigning NZ Champion, there was added pressure.

In the game, Spassky misplayed the opening and I gained the advantage. But given that it was the first round, and I was moderately short of time, we repeated the position and drew. Most thought it was an achievement, but the late GM Eduard Gufeld, one of the leading experts in the King's Indian, berated me in his inimitable broken English, “You had complete win position.” In a chess seminar in Sukhumi (now Georgia, then part of the USSR) later that year, GM Platonov also said (through the now quite famous translator Lev Khariton) that there was nothing to lose by playing on. But GM Keene thinks that it is still hard to break down Black's position, and that I was right to accept.


What was he like as a person? Before, during and after the game?


Spassky is widely known as a perfect gentleman, and I totally agree with this impression. He was completely friendly in the after-game analysis, not angry that he had drawn with a much weaker opponent.


Did you have a chat apart from Chess matters with him?


Not too much actually. At the time he was spending a lot of time with fellow famous emigrés who were in town, the pianist and conductor Maxim Shostakovich and the recently deceased cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich playing in the concerts. My parents saw Spassky moved to tears at one of them.


What is your greatest memory from that meeting?


Probably shaking hands at the conclusion. Or maybe the post-mortem with lots of onlookers, who would not dare contradict Spassky!


Did you at some stage think “ok I drew with the ex World Champion! What else is there? Do I continue my life as I did before, or do I forget everything about my academic and professional career etc in order to become a full time Chess player”?


That wasn't really an option. Even at the World Junior Champs in Belfort, 1983, there were too many who outclassed me (Salov, Short, Bareev). All the same, some other contemporaries whom I battled to draw, e.g. Lars Schandorff and Suat Atalik, and even defeated, like Julio Granda-Zuniga (see http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1450679game), have become GMs.


On the other hand, you seem to have excelled in whatever field you have chosen. Your doctorate title, your Chess FM title, your writings and thoughts achieving international recognition having caused widespread acceptance as well as passionate controversy; how much all those situations have changed you?


Thank you for the kind words. It's an interesting question. I have no regrets about not adopting the uncertain life of a chess pro.
What I am best known for certainly changed: in NZ, it was for chess; in Australia, probably for my writings, (and possibly for blindfold simuls).

My first book sold almost half a million copies. Interestingly, there were some proposals from our then sister organization in America to make me second-author behind a big name in the area, on the grounds that an unknown author like me would not sell well. Fortunately, my Australian boss strongly backed authorship rights, and now my book has outsold the big name's.



Ok let’s now start from the beginning…When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?


I think when I was 11 and was second in the Wellington schoolpupils champs. Or becoming the only New Zealand junior apart from Chandler to win (1st=) the Aussie Junior, given that Aussies had (and still have) a definite edge.

Certainly, players are becoming stronger at a younger age than when I played in the world junior, and it's hard to keep up with who's who. GM Benjamin is just a few years older than I am, and in a lecture a few years ago, he noted that in his junior days, when he was one of the top few in the world, there were no 14-year-old GMs. For reasons why this may be, check out this Scientific American article, The Expert Mind: Studies of the mental processes of chess grandmasters have revealed clues to how people become experts in other fields as well, July 2006. Also interesting is Homeschooling is a viable alternative to public schools by Richard Sousa, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 June 2007 : "In 2005, a 16-year-old homeschooled child won the U.S. Chess Championship, making him the youngest player to claim the title since 14-year-old Bobby Fischer won it in 1958" (i.e. GM Hikaru Nakamura).


Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?


Not really. The NZ stereotype is rugby, racing and beer, and I don't like any of them.


How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?


My parents were greatly supportive, and also sometimes helped in the chess community. E.g. my father was listed as consultant physician for the players in the Burroughs International Tourney in 1978, and my mother ran the entrance ticket booth (and was on friendly terms with Zsuzsa Polgár and her mother who accompanied her).


What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career? (Apart from the Spassky game and your FM title of course)


Probably winning the NZ title convincingly, and also winning an international tournament in Sukhumi, all in 1988.


Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?


Today, Kasparov, because he showed that sacrifices for initiative were possible in a much wider range of position. We should not underestimate Karpov either, who demonstrated so often that "slight" advantages were enough to win. An unfortunate side-effect of the latter was people trying to copy him, but without his superb technique they became drawish (including me at various stages).


The strongest?


Kramnik today. He might lose some tournament games, but no-one at present seems capable of defeating him in a match. It's a shame that Kasparov has retired and Karpov well past his brilliant best.



The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

I've liked Capablanca from a young age, having read Chess Fundamentals early on, and appreciate Karpov and Smyslov. However, I have loads of game collections, because only by studing the greats can one really improve, and just because the games are a pleasure to play through. The collections of Keres, Alekhine, Fine, Botvinnik and Tarrasch have been most informative. It seems too hard to follow players like Tal and Shirov — they can play like that, but it seems too hard for lesser mortals.
Chess history is fascinating as well.


The one that you always wanted to meet?


Tartakover.


Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?


Ian Rogers has clearly gained the highest achievements, and has dominated Australian chess for an impressive >20 years.


Who is Australia’s most promising young player?


David Smerdon seems to have the best chance of becoming Australia's next GM, and was an IM at 14.



Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?


I've not been involved for that long, really. I hope it will be a forum to help players improve, arbiters achieve consistent and accurate rulings, and publicise the chess clubs around.


Jono, thank you very much for your time, cheers good luck!


Thank you too.

Basil
24-06-2007, 12:30 AM
Good one, gents. Thanks again for an enjoyable read, Elliott.

ER
24-06-2007, 12:50 AM
Good one, gents. Thanks again for an enjoyable read, Elliott.
It's a pleasure, Howie. Your turn will not be long now! :)

Basil
24-06-2007, 12:53 AM
It's a pleasure, Howie. Your turn will not be long now! :)
No hurry. As with everything to do with me, it's over-hyped and under-delivered (except the personality - that really is a darling!)

Capablanca-Fan
24-06-2007, 10:56 AM
For some reason, links and formatting didn't come through, so here is the version with links. Looking forward to President Duggan's soon ;)


These are the interview questions for the “An interview” thread:

I'm honoured :)


Let’s start with a question that I always wanted to ask in detail… For those who do not know, you are one of the few players who not only has played against an ex-World Champion but managed to get a draw against him…

Yes, here is the game (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1129514).


What were your first thoughts when you sat opposite the great Boris Spassky?

To give the background, this was The Plaza Hotel International tournament in Wellington, 1988, with invited celebrities and leading New Zealand players (as cannon fodder, basically, although a great opportunity). I happened to be drawn to play Boris Spassky in the first round, so this was in the papers of that morning. And as the reigning NZ Champion, there was added pressure.

In the game, Spassky misplayed the opening and I gained the advantage. But given that it was the first round, and I was moderately short of time, we repeated the position and drew. Most thought it was an achievement, but the late GM Eduard Gufeld (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10156), one of the leading experts in the King's Indian, berated me in his inimitable broken English, “You had complete win position.” In a chess seminar in Sukhumi (now Georgia, then part of the USSR) later that year, GM Platonov (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=37396) also said (through the now quite famous translator Lev Khariton (http://www.chessbase.com/columns/index.asp?cat=Lev+Khariton)) that there was nothing to lose by playing on. But GM Keene (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=15438) thinks that it is still hard to break down Black's position, and that I was right to accept.


What was he like as a person? Before, during and after the game?

Spassky is widely known as a perfect gentleman, and I totally agree with this impression. He was completely friendly in the after-game analysis, not angry that he had drawn with a much weaker opponent.


Did you have a chat apart from Chess matters with him?

Not too much actually. At the time he was spending a lot of time with fellow famous emigrés who were in town, the pianist and conductor Maxim Shostakovich and the recently deceased cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich playing in the concerts. My parents saw Spassky moved to tears at one of them.


What is your greatest memory from that meeting?

Probably shaking hands at the conclusion. Or maybe the post-mortem with lots of onlookers, who would not dare contradict Spassky!


Did you at some stage think “ok I drew with the ex World Champion! What else is there? Do I continue my life as I did before, or do I forget everything about my academic and professional career etc in order to become a full time Chess player”?

That wasn't really an option. Even at the World Junior Champs in Belfort, 1983, there were too many who outclassed me (Salov (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=13983), Short (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=12181), Bareev (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16299)). All the same, some other contemporaries whom I battled to draw, e.g. Lars Schandorff (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=14319) and Suat Atalik, (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=17359) and even defeated, like Julio Granda-Zuniga (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=47009) (see http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1450679game), have become GMs.


On the other hand, you seem to have excelled in whatever field you have chosen. Your doctorate title, your Chess FM title, your writings and thoughts achieving international recognition having caused widespread acceptance as well as passionate controversy; how much all those situations have changed you?

Thank you for the kind words. It's an interesting question. I have no regrets about not adopting the uncertain life of a chess pro.
What I am best known for certainly changed: in NZ, it was for chess; in Australia, probably for my writings (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/3547), (and possibly for blindfold simuls).

My first book (http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/4014/) sold almost half a million copies. Interestingly, there were some proposals from our then sister organization in America to make me second-author behind a big name in the area, on the grounds that an unknown author like me would not sell well. Fortunately, my Australian boss strongly backed authorship rights, and now my book has outsold the big name's.


Ok let’s now start from the beginning…When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?

I think when I was 11 and was second in the Wellington schoolpupils champs. Or becoming the only New Zealand junior apart from Chandler to win (1st=) the Aussie Junior, given that Aussies had (and still have) a definite edge.

Certainly, players are becoming stronger at a younger age than when I played in the world junior, and it's hard to keep up with who's who. GM Benjamin (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=42951)is just a few years older than I am, and in a lecture a few years ago, he noted that in his junior days, when he was one of the top few in the world, there were no 14-year-old GMs. For reasons why this may be, check out this Scientific American article, The Expert Mind: Studies of the mental processes of chess grandmasters have revealed clues to how people become experts in other fields as well (http://scientificamerican.com/print_version.cfm?articleID=00010347-101C-14C1-8F9E83414B7F4945), July 2006. Also interesting is Homeschooling is a viable alternative to public schools (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/11/EDGKOP3DE31.DTL) by Richard Sousa, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 June 2007 : "In 2005, a 16-year-old homeschooled child won the U.S. Chess Championship, making him the youngest player to claim the title since 14-year-old Bobby Fischer (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=19233) won it in 1958" (i.e. GM Hikaru Nakamura (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10084)).


Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

Not really. The NZ stereotype is rugby, racing and beer, and I don't like any of them.


How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?

My parents were greatly supportive, and also sometimes helped in the chess community. E.g. my father was listed as consultant physician for the players in the Burroughs International Tourney in 1978, and my mother ran the entrance ticket booth [edit: forgot to say this was the Plaza 1988 tourney] (and was on friendly terms with Zsuzsa Polgár (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=15162)and her mother who accompanied her).


What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career? (Apart from the Spassky game and your FM title of course)

Probably winning the NZ title convincingly, and also winning an international tournament in Sukhumi, all in 1988.


Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

Today, Kasparov (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=15940), because he showed that sacrifices for initiative were possible in a much wider range of position. We should not underestimate Karpov (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=20719)either, who demonstrated so often that "slight" advantages were enough to win. An unfortunate side-effect of the latter was people trying to copy him, but without his superb technique they became drawish (including me at various stages).


The strongest?

Kramnik (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=12295)today. He might lose some tournament games, but no-one at present seems capable of defeating him in a match. It's a shame that Kasparov has retired and Karpov well past his brilliant best.


The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

I've liked Capablanca (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=47544)from a young age, having read Chess Fundamentals early on, and appreciate Karpov and Smyslov (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=14676). However, I have loads of game collections, because only by studing the greats can one really improve, and just because the games are a pleasure to play through. The collections of Keres (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=21922), Alekhine (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10240), Fine (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=20102), Botvinnik (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=11207)and Tarrasch (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10510)have been most informative. It seems too hard to follow players like Tal (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=14380)and Shirov (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=15809)— they can play like that, but it seems too hard for lesser mortals.

Chess history is fascinating as well.


The one that you always wanted to meet?

Tartakover (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=10247).


Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?

Ian Rogers (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=15797) has clearly gained the highest achievements, and has dominated Australian chess for an impressive >20 years.


Who is Australia’s most promising young player?

David Smerdon (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=58830) seems to have the best chance of becoming Australia's next GM, and was an IM at 14.


Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?

I've not been involved for that long, really. I hope it will be a forum to help players improve, arbiters achieve consistent and accurate rulings, and publicise the chess clubs around.


Jono, thank you very much for your time, cheers good luck!

Thank you too.

ER
24-06-2007, 11:39 AM
Thanks very much Jono! Sorry you had to do extra work, to make this text presentable and functional! :)
Cheers and good luck!

Axiom
24-06-2007, 09:30 PM
No hurry. As with everything to do with me, it's over-hyped and under-delivered (except the personality - that really is a darling!)
back in the *** days, we had certain names for this type, none very flattering ,im afraid.......so decline to comment further, except to say the names involved pumpkins,fruit jelly and hysterectomies.

ER
29-06-2007, 11:45 AM
Ax, in your interview you gave special emphasis on Krasno and its various contributions to Chess. However, as it was pointed out by one of my friends who read your writings, you fail to even acknowledge the Novorsibirsk boys who (according to his claims) did as good if not better on that field.
He gave me as an example the development of the great Siberian Trap in the Sicilian, and he wants you to make a fairer assessment on the Novos if you can.
Cheers and good luck!

ER
29-06-2007, 11:52 AM
Publishing of interviews in this thread is pending upon receiving answers to questions I have already sent and waiting for response from interviewees, before my departure for Adelaide for the Lindums.
Deadline is Monday 2nd of July 2007 at 10:00 pm
Publishing of interviews conducted and sending of interview questions to other personalities of this Forum, will continue as normal after my return from Adelaide, the date of which I cannot state yet, since I may decide to expand my staying there after the tournament.
Cheers and good luck to all!

ER
01-07-2007, 01:33 PM
Undoubtly one of the strongest players in Australia, particularly in his heyday, either as a player, coach and now President of the most historic Chess Club in Australia, - the Melbourne CC, is always, upproachable, friendly and popular.
The following is the interview he gave me for the thread.

It looks as though your decision to participate in the administration of the Melbourne Chess Club as the new President, has helped your Chess as well.
In the latest Melbourne Chess Club tournament you played and scored well! Are you coming back to competative chess on a more frequent basis?

Probably not owing to my slightly complicated life situation.


Ok let's now start from the beginning.When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?

I learnt when i was 7, but when i was ten I made a conscious decision to take up something that was pure skill i could get really good at.


Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? who are your favourite players now?


Very early on i saw Fischers game of the century and he was one of my first idols. Later idols were Botvinnik and Alekhine.


Who was your first Chess mentor?

I originally learnt from books. I was fortunate that my school (Scotch) had a complete set of chess world magazines so Purdy had a big influence on me. Jamieson was my first live mentor, but keep in mind I was already about 1800 when the Waverley chess club (where RJ was) started.


Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

When i went to Scotch the chessclub there was open every day.


How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?

Not enough. My parents wouldn't let me go interstate to play until i was 14 and discouraged me from playing in junior tournaments "to give someone else a chance of winning."



What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career? (Apart from your FM title of course)

Winning the possibly strongest ever Australian correspondence championship with 12.5/13 perhaps.


Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

Karpov


The strongest?
A year ago i would have said Topalov

Now I would say Anand


The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

As a junior I tried to play like Botvinnik or Fischer. Since then I had my own style which was basically trying to play the objectively strongest move.


The one that you always wanted to meet?

I have met Euwue, Karpov and Spassky but Fischer was the one I really wanted to meet.


Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?

I don't have one.


Who is Australia's most promising young player?

Moulton Ly i think.


Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum's importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?

Average


Apart from being a very successful Chess player, you are also a very capable coach. What is the best advice you give to your students?

Play moves you think a very strong player would play.
Be honest.


Let's conclude this interview with some of the challenges you face as the President of the most historic Chess Club in Australia about six months since your election. Was it difficult to adjust to your new duties?

It was easier than I thought. The treasurer has been very helpful.


What are the plans of the Melbourne Chess Club for the near future?

Just keep everything running. It seems when the plans are too grand things start falling apart.


Greg Gatto has left his mark on the Club as the President who worked hard for its improvement in terms of facilities and general condition of the premises. He also,managed to keep the finances of the Club in a very stable situation with great help of course from Angelo Tsagarakis as the Treasurer! How would you like to be remembered when you decide to terminate your contribution?

I am also aiming to keep the finances healthy and would like to see
significantly more members than when I started.


Bill Jordan thanks for your time!

Axiom
04-07-2007, 04:23 PM
Ax, in your interview you gave special emphasis on Krasno and its various contributions to Chess. However, as it was pointed out by one of my friends who read your writings, you fail to even acknowledge the Novorsibirsk boys who (according to his claims) did as good if not better on that field.
He gave me as an example the development of the great Siberian Trap in the Sicilian, and he wants you to make a fairer assessment on the Novos if you can.
Cheers and good luck!
We rarely acknowledge even the existence of the Novosibirsk chess scene.
We hear the term 'Novosibirsk boys' banded about with such reverence, it makes me sick.
They were an extremely over rated bunch,strictly state controlled, and heavily infiltrated by the 'chess-control' wing of the KGB.
I, like all *** have little time for them.
However one instance stands out in my memory.........
In early 1958 i played in a team called 'The Omegans' (*** connected) against The Novosibirsk Knights (or the Novos Boys, as we called them).
It was an 'away' game, so we travelled by train,with our team coach Sal Ibikinov,well supplied with vodka and smoked deer meat. He sternly warned us that the novos boys can become extremely violent ,if the games did not exactly go there way.I thought he was making silly joke, he did have a very strange sense of humour, and besides we were all martial art trained anyway.
I played on board 3 against one of their young stars, i played line XX9 (known now as the possum opening ie. 1.e4 2.f3).This nearly drove the young kid insane, i remember him frothing at the mouth and making odd jerking motions.As his position was finally being dismantled he grabbed his Queen and suddenly from its base out popped a steel blade! He made incoherent threatening noises, and i just kicked it from his hand ,and told him in no uncertain terms that this behaviour was totally unacceptable.The game continued, he resigned 4 moves later.
I was to learn that this was not an uncommon practice in Novosibirsk,and was informed that there were many flick knives hidden in chess pieces there, and occasionaly a small explosive device placed in a rook !(known as the original siberian chess trap,the term later used by boris shipov to describe the sicilian trap you refer to. We were told, never play anyone wearing a motorcycle helmet in Novosibirsk)

I heard at the time, and cannot confirm this, but an old novos training technique for players moving too quickly was to have sharp blades that would randomly emerge from all the pieces , cutting the hand of the holder.The players would be forced to play lightning chess. You can imagine the bloodied board,and cries of pain .
Although the standard of play was poor, the theory was that it made you more cautious at the board.
As i said ,i have little time for the maniacs from Novosibirsk.

Igor_Goldenberg
04-07-2007, 04:51 PM
We rarely acknowledge even the existence of the Novosibirsk chess scene.
We hear the term 'Novosibirsk boys' banded about with such reverence, it makes me sick.
They were an extremely over rated bunch,strictly state controlled, and heavily infiltrated by the 'chess-control' wing of the KGB.
I, like all *** have little time for them.
However one instance stands out in my memory.........
In early 1958 i played in a team called 'The Omegans' (*** connected) against The Novosibirsk Knights (or the Novos Boys, as we called them).
It was an 'away' game, so we travelled by train,with our team coach Sal Ibikinov,well supplied with vodka and smoked deer meat. He sternly warned us that the novos boys can become extremely violent ,if the games did not exactly go there way.I thought he was making silly joke, he did have a very strange sense of humour, and besides we were all martial art trained anyway.
I played on board 3 against one of their young stars, i played line XX9 (known now as the possum opening ie. 1.e4 2.f3).This nearly drove the young kid insane, i remember him frothing at the mouth and making odd jerking motions.As his position was finally being dismantled he grabbed his Queen and suddenly from its base out popped a steel blade! He made incoherent threatening noises, and i just kicked it from his hand ,and told him in no uncertain terms that this behaviour was totally unacceptable.The game continued, he resigned 4 moves later.
I was to learn that this was not an uncommon practice in Novosibirsk,and was informed that there were many flick knives hidden in chess pieces there, and occasionaly a small explosive device placed in a rook !(known as the original siberian chess trap,the term later used by boris shipov to describe the sicilian trap you refer to)

I heard at the time, and cannot confirm this, but an old novos training technique for players moving too quickly was to have sharp blades that would randomly emerge from all the pieces , cutting the hand of the holder.The players would be forced to play lightning chess. You can imagine the bloodied board,and cries of pain .
Although the standard of play was poor, the theory was that it made you more cautious at the board.
As i said ,i have little time for the maniacs from Novosibirsk.

This story makes an interesting reading. However, I find very hard to believe it.

Axiom
04-07-2007, 05:30 PM
This story makes an interesting reading. However, I find very hard to believe it.
They do say "Fact is stranger than fiction" ;)

ER
04-07-2007, 07:21 PM
As i said ,i have little time for the maniacs from Novosibirsk.
Sorry I brought back traumatic memories Ax, but the question had to be asked. thanks for answering it!
Cheers and good luck! :)

Axiom
04-07-2007, 08:25 PM
Sorry I brought back traumatic memories Ax, but the question had to be asked. thanks for answering it!
Cheers and good luck! :)
Thats ok HK, I had to submit myself to heavy hypnosis driven regression sessions, to get that out. I thus apologise for the delay in responding.
Yours sincerely,
Axiom.

ER
13-07-2007, 11:43 AM
If one wants to personify Chess Leadership in Victoria, one's thoughts must definitely include Gerrit Hartland as the most likely candidate.
He commands respect as well as admiration, he is popular, he is active and most importantly he is there!
Well, he is there, he leads the State's chessic affairs from the position of the president of CV as well as being the Captain of the Box Hill / Canterbury Juniors Chess Club. So, let's start...

Captain, how long have you been involved with the administration part of Chess?

Since the late 60s when I joined the Box Hill Chess Club.

What was the reason you actually were involved in the first place?

I remember I was made a club delegate for the Box Hill Chess Club for a VCA meeting in Latrobe Street [where the MCC was then] where there was some controversy involving the club the details of which I have long forgotten and I was savaged by John Hanks and Eddy Malitis so when election time came my fellow club delegate held up my hand on the assumption that I had to put my money where my mouth was.


Judging from my own experience, you are a strong player, and definitely underrated. Have your administrational duties affected your playing in terms of strength as well as participation?


They have indeed. I have always believed administrators should be given bonus rating points say 100 points every time they get denigrated on chess chat

You are a well-respected personality in the Victorian as well as in the Australian Chess Community… You are working very hard! I mean apart from your duties as President of Chess Victoria, you are the Captain of the Box Hill / Canterbury Juniors Chess Club, a remarkable artist, and a keen traveller! In between you manage to win medals in All Australian Veteran swimming events!!! How do you do it?

Well the swimming is easy in the over 75s. You dive in one end and if and when you get out the far end they give you a medal. In my case 3 bronze ones.

OK let’s go back to Chess and your duties. You undertook the responsibility of becoming the President of CV at a (for some turbulent, for some others stagnated) stage of affairs. What are your first experiences during that approximately half year since you were elected?

I am discouraged by the lack of interest I have encountered.

Do you think that everything is ok and under control now, or are there still things that need change?

Only a relative small part of our program has been been carried out and that has hardly set the world on fire There are many changes that need to be made and many more people who need to become involved

What are your immediate plans for the future as far as the direction of CV is concerned?

My personal ambitions go no further than the next general meeting
It would have been nice to have had some more people involved

Now, let’s get back to your other involvement and, I presume, one of the loves of your life, and I am talking about the Box Hill / Canterbury Junior Chess Club. Has the Club recovered yet from the tremendous blow of being in effect “kicked out” from its old base?

The junior club has more than recovered. We have twice as many members twice as many coaching opportunities and twice as many parents in our support group. The Box Hill Chess Club is still in recovery mode, but with our new active committee led by an active and supportive president I think we are getting there.

Are you happy with the new venue?

I am happy with the way the venue is shaping up. However we still struggle with access and the kitchen facilities. I am also satisfied with the use Chess Victoria has been able to make of the premises

Many members of the Victorian Chess Community are simply astounded by the success of certain activities of the Club. We see organised adult coaching, ever-increasing junior classes, people filling the Club’ s rooms in every public function, parents actively participating! What is the secret of making the Club so successful in these regards?

It is no secret. It is the drive of our new president who has the ability to work outside the square or should I say outside the 64 squares

Yet, there are claims that the membership has not yet recovered in numbers since the Club left its original well-known base at Box Hill. People are also saying that the Club’s tournaments are not that successful as they used to be! What is your opinion?

That is quite true, although your question should perhaps have read ‘not as successful’ The figures tell their own story The Box Hill open for example since 2004 has attracted these numbers
2004 / 118, 2005 / 104, 2006 / 88 the lowest figure since 2002 when there were 86 entrants.

When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?

Never thought about it

Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? Who are your favourite players now?

I liked Euwe, fellow countryman, phlegmatic, gracious, [offered me a draw in a simul], dutch jokes,

Who was your first Chess mentor?

Did not have one

Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

Certainly not. But I do remember taking a slight interest in Euwe’s battle to regain his world championship title in 1948 was it? Where the poor chap forever seem to be a pawn down at the adjournment

How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?

As far as chess is concerned we are ships that pass in the night, although my grand son seems to take an interest. He is however somewhat handicapped by his insistence on putting the white pieces on the white squares and the black pieces on the black squares

What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career?

My draw against Ian Rogers when he was 8

Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

I would say Fischer for the way he changed the way people thought about chess

The strongest?

No idea

The one whose playing styles you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

Always followed the sound of my own drum, but I do have pet openings like the Morra gambit, The Nimzo indian, the centre counter

The one that you always wanted to meet?

I might let that one go through to the keeper

Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?

Cecil Purdy; I knew him well


Who is Australia’s most promising young player?

I am looking for another Denis Bourmistrov

Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?

Elliott don’t get me started on this. Let us just say I find it amusing.

Captain, thank you very much for your time!

You’re welcome

ER
05-08-2007, 02:42 PM
Conducting of interviews has restarted.
Duggan has been sent his questions, Eclectic is next!
Cheers and good luck!

ER
07-08-2007, 07:21 PM
to be published here soon!
Cheers and good luck!!! :)

Axiom
07-08-2007, 07:24 PM
to be published here soon!
Cheers and good luck!!! :)
******PREMIER SCREENING SOON ******
the queues are lined up around the block!

ER
07-08-2007, 07:30 PM
******PREMIER SCREENING SOON ******
the queues are lined up around the block!
well he deserves the queues! :)

ER
07-08-2007, 08:05 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, as it was previously announced, here is the interview with the very charismatic Mr Howard Duggan.

When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part in your life?

Who was your first Chess mentor?

Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?

For me 'playing a part in my life' is a matter of degrees. When I was 6 or so, Dad taught me the moves. I might have played a handful of games against him. The quality would have been awful. That interaction could only be described as a father/ son bonding experience. Certainly no coaching involved. I recall liking the game. I think he might have bought me a small plastic chess set, but I had noone to play against. My brother didn’t play. Another brother was born when I was 8 and he doesn’t play either.

Aged 9, I changed schools, joined its after hours chess club and would have played my first games against non-family. I left after two terms and only played a handful of games there. All social. No coaching. I don’t recall too much about it apart from the jam sandwiches they laid on - quaint English prep school.

When we emigrated (to Australia) in grade 10, joined the school chess club. They made me captain! Our team won! I can assure readers the standard was pitiful. In grade 12, Mark Robertson joined the school. They made him captain. He won the Queensland Open that year.

My chess to date probably consisted of all but social games - I had never read a chess book or received any coaching.

A summary of my school years would be that chess is something I did sporadically and casually, like one might go for a walk. I enjoyed it. Is that when chess played a part in my life? Probably not.

I don’t think I played another game until 13 years later in 1996, I opened a (promotional, high profile, high exposure 24 hour) café as part of other business activity. It was a multi faceted cafe (internet, concert tickets, live performances, art displays and so forth) and I bought some chess sets. I had some chess mats built into a couple of the tables and played when I was meant to be at the newspaper! And didn’t the chess players of Brisbane roll in ... ?

In late 1999 I recall one night some of the players said they were off to the Brisbane Chess Club. “What? Brisbane has a chess club?” And off I went. Loved it. Joined. Started playing comps.

That is the point at which I could answer you question and say that chess played some part of my life.

One night at the club, early 2002, CAQ Secretary/ Treasurer, Ian Murray appeared at the club on a mission! He was recruiting for the CAQ. Press-ganging might be a more appropriate term. They were looking for a president!

A good friend of mine had his name put forward. He declined. He has 3 autistic school-age children, and a fourth had died from a degenerative condition. I don’t think he could spare the time or the energy. I was second cab off the rank and I accepted and said I would do my best. I think it’s fair to say I did a bang up job. I was certainly active and I’d like to think I made a big contribution. That was the feedback I got both from within and outside of the Council. I established many acquaintances throughout the Qld chess community. That is probably the defining time in answer to your question.

Unfortunately, it was only 12 months later when my business activity in Melbourne, the premature birth and subsequent diagnosis of my son’s cerebral palsy, reduced my contribution, energy and passion for chess administration by about 90%. At the request of Council and in the absence of other candidates I stayed on, but rather limited to chairing meeting and producing the newsletter (I might have snipped the odd pointy head off, too).

Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? Who are your favourite players now?

Apart from a fascination with the complexity of the human headline that is Bobby Fischer; my idols, for want of a better word would be local administrators. I’d suggest this is not unusual given my singular lack of chess exposure as a child and even as an emerging adult.

In my early days on CAQ, I developed an immense admiration for Ian Murray, Graeme Gardiner, Gail Young and Patrick Byrom. More recently, I have had an opportunity to read some Australian chess literature dating back 30 years or so. I have respect for all those administrators and players who have contributed to the development of the game in this country. There are too many to mention, but being a Queensland lad and regarding players, Stepehen Solomon’s name is a name deserving of note.

What is your greatest chess related experience so far?
What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career?

Difficult. None? Meeting Evelyn Koshnitsky? First ever weekender playing (and being crushed by) Carig Laird, board 1, round 1? Accepting the honour of being CAQ president? Creating an annual teams event that grew and attracted 100 players? Winning Liddums U/1600?

Meeting you personally I discovered a fascinating personality combined with a very impressive physical appearance. Obviously, you are likeable, popular (amongst those who count anyway) and in a class of your own. Have you ever given a thought to join politics?

Whoaa! Ahem. Thanks. Perhaps we should start with the “impressive physical appearance”. I am a bald, pale 40 year old man and I think I detect the onset of a lazy eye!

Your words are very kind and perhaps you are referring to related qualities such as some leadership attributes. If so, then you may be on to something. I am certainly at ease running my own company(ies). Adminstration, leadership, people skills and so forth are all part of that.

Yes, I have thought of politics as a career. I do believe I would have much to offer (I hold the same opinion regarding a career as a barrister and as a loathed TV personality/ social commentator!). I feel I would become disenfranchised with politics too quickly - there are a lot of planks out there and they all get a vote! Seriously, I think many aspects of the role would be rewarding, but with my life as it is at the moment, I can only say ‘perhaps later’. One thing’s for sure, I would be an open book - skeletons out, guns at dawn - none of this tight, correct dribble of the current era.

Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

I am not well-versed on this topic. I say Fischer because for 3 months he single handedly put chess on the front page of every newspaper in the eastern and western world.

The strongest?

I can’t go past Kasparov.

The most fascinating? – as a character as well as a Chess player?

Fischer.

The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

I have never tried to adopt anyone’s playing style. I’m not sure I’m even aware of them. Lock in ‘loose canon’ please Eddy. So is that a combination between Hodgson, Smerdon and Tal?

The one that you always wanted to meet?

I’d love to (have) meet Fischer. I reckon he could have learned a lot from me!

Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?

I don’t know many (any). I think Ian Rogers on the strength of his acievement in relative isolation.

Who is Australia’s most promising young player?

Ly / Smerdon

Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in Australia as major, minor, average?

Now? Minor. This is not a criticism. It’s a fact. That could change. It’s no-one’s job to make it change. It probably will change.

Your online persona seems to be more complex and sometimes diametrically different to the real-life one. In the short time that I met you, I got the impression of a very cool, calm and collected character, and at the same time someone who commands absolute respect.

Here, you seem to often blow your top, use bad language, being argumentative, insulting and sometimes even vindictive.

On the other hand you can be extremely charming, and popular as well as being able to get away with murder. Your command of the English language has incredibly profound ranges and can easily reach divine literal heights or, without warning, slide down to the grottiest South Brisbane drunkard patois. Additionally, your sense of humour is irresistible as well as bone crushing!

I am sure you, occasionally, intrigue even Bill Gletsos who sometimes seems that he is about to cut you down to size but then lets you go off the hook as some sort of an irremediable case! Where does the truth lay? Who really is Howard Duggan?

Okaaaaay! I think it’s best we do this by the numbers. That’s not an insignificant amount of territory you’ve covered there. I hope you’ll appreciate that it’s quite a difficult thing to keep perspective on these matters. I’m a big believer in the truth of being ultimately judged by one’s peers and not the publicity or beliefs that one holds (or in my case trumpets) about oneself.

Online persona

I’ve often said on the BB that one can’t know someone well from their online persona. There are certainly degrees of variance depending on the extent to which any individual wishes to disguise or otherwise. I am very much a wear the heart on the sleeve kind of bloke, so my online persona, while an exaggerated version of Howard is probably still a true reflection of him, but perhaps through a cracked mirror. I’m also a big believer in judging a person from their actions not their dialogue (or in my case diatribe).

Complex online persona v real life

I’ve been told that I am complex IRL. I know I am complex IRL. But not tortured, and that’s an important difference to me.

Cool, calm and collected character who commands respect.

I believe that’s what my family, friends and colleagues would say about me, yes.

Here, you seem to often blow your top, use bad language, being argumentative, insulting and sometimes even vindictive.

I don’t blow my top and lose my temper IRL.I do get very animated, however! There’s a difference. I’m quite surprised that you have suggested I blow my top on the BB and you’re not the first person to have said so. But as I have said earlier, there is more to be learned from my listening to others assessments of me, than my own.

Bad language?

Yes. Sorry! I’m trying to do better.

Argumentative?

I do not under any circumstances suffer fools - and never have. I think you’d have to go the the people IRL for some legendary examples of that.

Insulting?

Yes. To those that deserve it - it’s wonderful, isn’t it? To those that don’t, I hope I am quick to apologise and do so in a genuine fashion. It is also clear that I am the poorer as a person for it, when I get it wrong.

Vindictive?

Again, the second time someone from the BB has suggested that. Again, I have to take that on board and contemplate. Vindictiveness has connotations I’m not enamored with. However, I think it is true that that in the few times IRL where someone has overstepped the mark considerably with malice aforethought and not taken the one chance offered at redress, they have ... ummm ... developed a more acute awareness of their transgression and have a permanent regret for the errors of their ways. I’m not really certain how I’ve been vindictive on athe BB. I’m just Howard and I just type! I have no sway over people’s life and their well-being.

Can be extremely charming and popular

See my BB profile which hasn’t changed in a year.

Get away with murder.

I don’t know about that. Context is everything. If a posting doesn’t overstep the mark, and the powers that be have run the ruler of the context, then perhaps my style (and others) only adds flavour and doesn’t commit a crime. I think AC would fall into the same category. I also note that I have been modded in my time. Posts have been deleted. I have spent time in the cooler. I have had privileges taken away. I have been allowed to voice my opinion over the few times I believe The Squad have got it wrong with me. I think the mods do an excellent job under trying conditions. I’d defy anyone to do a better one. They a good team with a diverse range of skills.

Your command of the English language has incredibly profound ranges and can easily reach divine literal heights or, without warning, slide down to the grottiest South Brisbane drunkard patois. Additionally, your sense of humour is irresistible as well as bone crushing!

Guilty.

I am sure you, occasionally, intrigue even Bill Gletsos who sometimes seems that he is about to cut you down to size but then lets you go off the hook as some sort of an irremediable case!

I’d like to think I intrigue everybody. As I have said, Bill and the others don’t miss me when it’s called for.

Where does the truth lay? Who really is Howard Duggan?

I think we’ve just covered it. One of the more worldly sales staff says of me “It’s a fine line between pleasure and pain”. On the balance of evidence, I can’t disagree!

How would you treat your various on-line enemies if you met them in real life?

They’re not enemies. I don’t believe I have any enemies in this world, thank goodness. However, there is one chap we can all think of and it is probably best to not to talk about him.

What about the Pom vs Aussie theme? You obviously adore Arsenal and everything English and at the same time you exhibit traits of a very Aussie passion as in e.g. hating to lose the State of Origin Honours to NSW. You also show love and support for most things Aussie and a very deep knowledge and appreciation of the Australian history and culture. How and in which arithmetical order would you rate the concepts of Australia, England, UK, Queensland?

I am an Englishman first and foremost. A deep sense of loyalty pervades every sinue of my body and is relevant to most facets of my life. Just typing this and I can smell England! How my father can switch loyalties with the wind and an airfare is beyond me!

There is much I love about Australia and Australians. To innumerate them as you have suggested is beyond me at the moment - I want to have an early mark and go and do some physio with Andrew; God I love him! - so I’ll pass on that (for now) if you don’t mind.

Coming back to Chess now! Your tour de force in Adelaide proved that you are good enough for better things to come! Are you ready for it?

What I wish for in my chess is some stability. It is quite apparent where I belong on the food chain, but what irritates me are extremes in my play. Winning against an 1800 and losing to a 1000 is not my idea of middle age fun! Prior to my testing annus horribilis (2004) I was trundling north and reached 1600. Thereafter was an instantaneous 200 point drop. I took almost a year off in preparation for the birth of my second son, Anthony and I have been clawing my way up the vege ladder ever since. I’d consider it an achievement to settle at around 1700 before senility sets in!

Howard, thanks for your time. My best wishes for you and the rest of the lovely Duggan family!

Elliott, you’re most welcome. Thanks for the penetrating questions and the flattery.

littlesprout85
07-08-2007, 08:56 PM
Wohoooo, Wat an interview heavys :hmm:

Do you realize if you keep this good work up^ sprouty might have to make concessions (Imao)

lol- This thread is fast becoming one of sproutys favorite stops on the net for info. Your interviewing skills are supurb heavys. :whistle:

-Sprout :)

melina
07-08-2007, 10:49 PM
Good heavens ppl, why on earth would anyone want to know about Howards favourite subject - himself.
And Howard how you do dribble on and yet you seem to say nothing. He's a bit like a Seinfeld episode, a show about nothing.

Basil
08-08-2007, 09:36 AM
Good heavens ppl, why on earth would anyone want to know about Howards favourite subject - himself.
And Howard how you do dribble on and yet you seem to say nothing. He's a bit like a Seinfeld episode, a show about nothing.
I like this girl - I should marry her methinks.

bergil
08-08-2007, 01:15 PM
I like this girl - I should marry her methinks.If she'll have you? :P

Basil
08-08-2007, 01:16 PM
If she'll have you? :P
fg reckons we're one and the same :rolleyes:

littlesprout85
08-08-2007, 11:05 PM
Wohooo- a strange thought just passed thru sproutys peanut sized brain. - Wat If heavys interviewed Melina - This could just be the break heavys needs to get to the title match- IMFAO :eh:

-Sprout :)

ER
10-08-2007, 02:35 AM
Wohooo- a strange thought just passed thru sproutys peanut sized brain. - Wat If heavys interviewed Melina - This could just be the break heavys needs to get to the title match- IMFAO :eh:

-Sprout :)

Thanks for the thought Sprouty, this might indeed be the break I needed! :) However, Melina has not been included in the original draw of lots as far as the order of BB personalities (future interviewees) is concerned. Maybe in the next round!
However we have quite a lot of names (yours included) in the list with Eclectic, Igor, Bergil, Mischa, Elevator Escapee amongst others to follow. One exception, a person not included in the original list but whom I will try to interview, is Trevor Stanning.
I must also note that I am going e-mail IM Guy West presenting him with the questionnaire and asking him if he is available for an interview. The reason why I have not contacted him yet is that I still have not completed the questions to cover successfully such an exceptional career and a great personality such as Guy's.
The second round of interviews, after this stage is completed will include a different approach as in it its content and field.
I am thinking of starting that second round with a series of interviews with international Chess personalities some of whom I have already notified about my intentions to interview them. However, before I proceed into the stage of sending questions etc, I am going to ask permission from the moderators. In fact the moderators will know from the start the exact content of questions and answers.
I think that detail is very important since e.g. it might sound quite normal to chat about Chess Cheats and methods of Chess Cheating online, but is a very different kettle of fish being sued by the manager of that particular person isn't it?
Cheers, good luck and cagles to all! :)

ER
14-08-2007, 08:29 PM
Questions have been sent! Interview will appear here as soon as I receive the answers! Cheers and good luck!

ER
23-08-2007, 12:22 AM
Answers have been received. Interview will be published sortly! A really worthy response by Eclectic, thanks mate! :)

ER
23-08-2007, 12:54 AM
Eclectic sent me the answers for this Interview from a net cafe in Adelaide after having seen bob Dylan's concert. As he added he could do more but he might have ended up talking too much about things,
Here is the whole uncut interview:

Your online ID definitely corresponds to the quality of your input on
shoutbox, threads, postings… I have many times admired your knowledge on
various topics; however, I am of the opinion that, apart from Chess, you
must be excelling in at least one more artistic form. Am I correct?

I am an artist by qualification though I have not pursued my studio practice as diligently as I would have like these past few years. My preference is for oils though I will try any medium. That can include digital art and photography. One off shoot of the digital side of things is that I use a large Wacom tablet with sensor pen. I have incidentally carried the use of this over into online chess; much ergonomically better than a mouse I find!

Without actually wanting (although I am tempted) to work out who you
actually are in real life, I also understand that your knowledge of
things Victorian classifies you as a veritable or at least as a
honorary Melburnian. But then again, you are quite cluey about the
N.S.W Chess scene. Have we ever met in real life; this or a previous one?

Our score is 1F 0F in my favour. We have been within less than a metre of each other. I’ve lived in Melbourne on and off over the last few years and I have been a member of four clubs there though presently I only belong to one, namely, the Melbourne Chess Club

You seem to be a person with a very sharp, acute, almost to the point of
being penetrating sense of humour! Sometimes provocative, sometimes
bitter, sometimes caustic! Yet you almost always come back with a good
word or a “c’mon it was only a joke” kind of statement. How does your
real life personality relate to the one here?

Let’s put the shift between the humorous wit and the caustic sarcasm to the mood swings I suffer; the latter often being a case where I ought not to be posting at all.

Judging from your knowledge on music matters alone you seem to have an
extensive knowledge from the “inside” of things (not having a go at your
avatar here). What intrigues me though is your ability to comment with
apparent ease about topics like e.g. Charlie’s (R.S) drumming style to
Stravinsky’s atonal progressions. In one of your threads you used a
heading based on an ancient Beatles number. What role has Music played
in your life?

I was taught piano for seven years until mid secondary school but I having an extremely nervous constitution I found I did not the calmness required for practice and also I simply couldn’t cope with performance anxiety. I had dreams of being a concert pianist but you later find it’s not the life it’s cracked up to be. I like listening to Alfred Brendel play. The late Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is another favorite. Had I succeeded in becoming a concert pianist I would have model myself on him by giving rare concert appearances.

I also had an excellent soprano voice such that I am thankful I was not born in previous centuries where I might have been duped into having a very hot bath laced with spices and waking up later feeling, well, incomplete … gulp!

And a last psychoanalytical (or just psycho?) effort: You seem to have
been a member of this board like forever as my godson would say… Who is
the poster that you would easily share a drink and a quiet yarn with and
on the other hand who is the one you wouldn’t really like to be seen
with even if it was to save your life?

Kaitlin wins hands down as the one I would most like to meet in real life. I’ve known her online for just under three years. She persists in shrouding herself in enigma but in reality I’ve come to the conclusion she is merely a legal fiction! Recently we have had Justice Kiefel become appointed to the High Court of Australia. She returned to studies after leaving school at 15. I know there a few here who have been perplexed by Kaitlin’s dada oracle utterances from the shoutbox and by quite a few of here posts but when I saw the abovementioned appointment I immediately thought of Kaitlin and imagined her being a future High Court judge with legal commentators wondering what bizarre pronouncements might next leave her lips.

I don’t wish to nominate anyone I don’t wish to meet; why give any such person publicity?

Ok let’s now continue with the standard but very important
questions…When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a part
in your life?

I was introduced to chess when Fischer was pursuing the world chess title and learnt the moves at ten after being given at half price set by a news agent because that model wasn’t moving for him. There was plenty of interest at my school due to the Fischer phenomenon but my town had no formal club.

I did not play any competitive chess until 1994. I’ve found that I haven’t really coped with tournament chess at all. The traveling is tedious plus I find I can’t tolerate sharing accommodation with people after a while so I tend to seek solitary accommodation which most times increases my outlays. I’ve rarely won prizes at such tournaments. I was the subject of an article in Chris Depasquale’s Age Chess column in October 1998 when he commented on how in Swiss events the first round was usually a case of lambs to the slaughter except on this occasion I bucked the trend and beat my high rated opponent. You will probably understand from this why I detest the Box Hill split Swiss system with a vengeance.


Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? Who
are your favourite players now?

Fischer was my favourite when I was young and oddly enough even back then I found Korchnoi intriguing.

Who was your first Chess mentor?

I have had no mentor; my mentors as such would be what I glean from chess books, the internet, and chessbase. I can’t see the point of approaching mentors as I am too far away plus I sense that if you are not a junior most coaches simply are not interested in you. I perhaps should say that I am my own worst mentor in that I assign capabilities to myself which most likely I simply I don’t have

Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

There was no chess in the town where I grew up

How much support did you have by your family for your Chess activities?

I grew up in a family where learning was encouraged and where hobbies could be pursued so long as it wasn’t to the detriment of our studies

What are the greatest achievements of your Chess career?

My greatest (non) achievement was to participate at the Monarch Assurance Masters Isle of Man in September 2005 and fail to score a single point. If you Google the tournament and go to the rd 6 page you will see in under the Manx flag in the picture about the Laxey Wheel. OK people will now work out who I am if they don’t already know but I’ve come to a point where I don’t care. Besides four people have leaked or half leaked my identity. I probably entered such a tournament as a reaction to the lack of decent competition that comes to Australia. I had wanted to do some decent preparation and do well but I had wanted to stay in Europe for a year and found dealing with bureaucracy in an attempt to get the proper visas left me a mental wreck. I am thankful at least that at the time the world championships were one and no one was looking at me. I then went to Winterthur in Switzerland where I scored 2 1/2 out of 9. I then abandoned playing chess and headed to Ireland where I was given a green card. I had wanted to settle and have some peace of mind. The constant traveling and the tense atmosphere resulting from post 911 were taking its toll on me I was planning to go to the Gibraltar masters in 2006. All such insane plans came to an end when my father was diagnosed with colon cancer thus necessitating my return home. For those kind enough to ask he is presently convalescing.

Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

I’ll say four just to be greedy – Fischer Kasparov Karpov Korchnoi

The strongest?

May I name the above four once more?

The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to
adopt?

I would wish that it was based on Petrosian and Karpov in that I have similar results. I feel that closed play is better for my nerves but at other times I wish I was more aggressive and went in for the kill instead of dragging games out.

Who is the one that you always wanted to meet?

May I name the above four yet again?

Who is your favourite Australian Chess player?

There are many I like but if I have to choose I shall say Stephen Solomon especially for his seemingly intuitive endgame skills. I hope his time is not past and that we might yet see a GM in front of his name.

Who is Australia’s most promising young player?

I am not especially qualified to comment as I don’t do coaching or move frequently these days in real world chess circles. However if cornered the two I wish to nominate as having impressed me most with their attitude towards the game are Fedja Zulfic and Sally Yu.


Would you describe the Chess Chat Forum’s importance for Chess in
Australia as major, minor, average?

It was probably meant to be an unofficial channel for people to air grievances but it’s taken on a life of its own. It can be dangerous especially if you post in the shout box when no moderator is present. I found it frustrating that being anonymous meant that often no one took you seriously and so I came on with another username I’m sure most people know what handle it is, I got tired of the split personality and I’ve noticed myself becoming more moody and irritable especially once my brother in law tragically took his life last year. Anyway I told that my lesser persona give off bad vibes and that it should basically F off …. I granted that person’s wish.

Eclectic, thank you very much for your time, cheers and good luck! (No
cagles this time and – since Ax is in the sinbin at present, no
caglaters either!

You’re welcome Helium Knight! (I’m assuming you have lost more weight )[/SIZE]

Basil
23-08-2007, 01:30 AM
Thank you, both.

Watto
23-08-2007, 08:57 AM
A very interesting interview- thanks hk and thank you eclectic. Must confess I didn’t realise who you were eclectic. It’s nice to know (I should have put two and two together by now!) Anyway, I’m glad you didn’t disappear from chesschat as I thought you had (I even admired your willpower in leaving! ;)) as I have wondered how you were going.

Sunshine
23-08-2007, 11:58 AM
Good stuff - I could really feel the angst of being Eclectic in the responses.

I found it a really interesting take to describe Kaitlin as a "legal fiction" and a "dada oracle". I have my own take on what is meant - but I'm pretty sure it is different from what is intended.

Kevin Bonham
23-08-2007, 11:40 PM
Another good read - and I commend hk on the effort he goes to to come up with the questions.

eclectic
27-08-2007, 12:15 PM
Thank you to Kevin Bonham, Sunshine, Watto, and Gunner Duggan for their responses.

Thank you also to all others who took the trouble to read my "interview" with heavyknight.

As a tidbit I have decided to post a game I played at the Dos Hermanas internet tournament in 2004. I was rated 1300 odd playing someone rated 2100. It was at about this time that I first used this handle.

I am playing using a mouse and dialup modem but my opponent is probably thinking I am cheating as I am putting quite a fight. However I end up using too much time such that when my opponent takes his time later in the game I feel like I am being made to stand still the way cyclists stand still on a veladrome holding up their opposition.

Another compounding factor is that at this ICC patronised tournament there is a fear that should you win unexpectedly you will be shown the door as a suspected computer cheat.

Perhaps because of this and because of my nerves I over eagerly promote my second queen which allows my opponent to capture my first. I simply could have finished matters off by capturing my opponents remaining queen instead.

Thank you once again HeavyKnight for the interview series.

Event: Internet Section 10B g/8'+2"
Site: Dos Hermanas
Date: 2004.03.10
Round: 1
White: eclectic
Black: osten
Result: 0-1
ECO: B08
PlyCount: 152
EventDate: 2004.03.11
EventType: swiss (blitz)
EventRounds: 9
EventCountry: ESP
Source: ChessBase
SourceDate: 2004.11.15

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. h3 Nf6 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Bc4 Nxe4 7. Bxf7+ Rxf7 8.
Nxe4 h6 9. O-O Nc6 10. c3 Qf8 11. Nh4 Bf5 12. Ng3 Kh7 13. Nhxf5 gxf5 14. Bf4 e5
15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Bc1 Rd8 17. Qa4 f4 18. Qc2+ Kh8 19. Ne4 f3 20. g3 Qe8 21. Be3
Qe6 22. Kh2 b6 23. b3 Rf5 24. g4 Rf7 25. Rad1 Rdf8 26. g5 Ne7 27. Qd2 Nf5 28.
gxh6 Nxh6 29. Ng5 Qf5 30. Nxf7+ Nxf7 31. Rg1 Nd6 32. Rg5 Qf7 33. Rdg1 Bf6 34.
R5g3 Ne4 35. Qe1 Nxg3 36. Rxg3 Qh5 37. Qg1 e4 38. Rg6 Be5+ 39. Rg3 Bxg3+ 40.
Qxg3 Rg8 41. Bd4+ Kh7 42. Qxc7+ Kh6 43. Be3+ Rg5 44. Qd6+ Qg6 45. Qxg6+ Kxg6
46. Bxg5 Kxg5 47. Kg3 b5 48. c4 bxc4 49. bxc4 a5 50. c5 Kf5 51. c6 Ke5 52. c7
Kd6 53. c8=Q Kd5 54. Qd8+ Ke5 55. h4 e3 56. h5 e2 57. Qd2 Ke4 58. h6 Kf5 59. h7
e1=Q 60. h8=Q Qxd2 61. Qf8+ Ke4 62. Qe7+ Kf5 63. Qf7+ Kg5 64. Qg7+ Kf5 65. Qf7+
Ke5 66. Qe7+ Kf5 67. Qh7+ Ke6 68. Qg8+ Kd7 69. Qh7+ Kc6 70. Qg6+ Kb5 71. Qf5+
Kb4 72. Qe4+ Ka3 73. Qe7+ Kxa2 74. Qe6+ Kb2 75. Qe5+ Qc3 76. Qb5+ Qb4 0-1

Basil
27-08-2007, 12:47 PM
Eccles, that end game was painful to watch! Welcome ;)

ER
30-08-2007, 02:53 AM
Eccles, that end game was painful to watch! Welcome ;)

No carry on? :))
Cheers and good luck!

ER
16-02-2008, 12:01 AM
I am still preparing the format of this thread so it can include some well known international chess personalities as well as Australian eminent players, administrators, coaches etc.
However, due to the immediacy of the oncoming Victorian Championship Play Offs, iinvolving two of the finest current players as well as all time greats of Australian Chess, I approached one of the participants namely Igor Goldenberg and asked for an interview. Igor, always polite and helpful, agreed and here is the outcome:

If I am not mistaken you have been involved in other play off matches. How do they differ to "normal" tournament games?

It's going to be my 3rd play-off, but I am still not sure how they differ from the tournament. Not having to win every game (as oppose to the tournament) might be one of the differences.

Do you prepare differently than your normal tournament preparation?

In terms of preparation I don't see any difference.

What's your individual score against Mirko?

I have even score against Mirco +1-1=2(or 3).

What do you think of him as a chess player? I mean his style as in technical, strategic, tactical abilities combined with his theoretical knowledge?

IMHO he is a universal player, equally dangerous in any circumstances.


Any predictions about the outcome of the match?

I cannot predict the result, can go any way, but I am certainly going to win

Thanks and good luck to both of you. May the best man win and may the games be interesting and well fought!

I am trying to find Mirko and ask him for an interview. I don't know if he comes online or if he has an e-mail address or website. It is very difficult for me to go to the MCC on Mondays where I know he plays.


Cheers and good luck!

ER
16-02-2008, 12:24 AM
I would appreciate it if someone of the mods, corrected the answer to question 3 (score against Mirko) to font size 4 please.
Cheers and good luck!

Kevin Bonham
16-02-2008, 01:05 AM
I would appreciate it if someone of the mods, corrected the answer to question 3 (score against Mirko) to font size 4 please.
Cheers and good luck!

Done. You had the opening tag repeated where the closing tag should be for that line.

ER
16-02-2008, 01:33 AM
Done. You had the opening tag repeated where the closing tag should be for that line.

Thanks Kevin, I appreciate the help!
Cheers and good luck!

WBA
20-04-2008, 10:39 AM
Good interview. The thing that surprised me most was his idolising of Anderssen. I must admit in many many many games with Michael I felt the only way to ever make him feel uncomfortable was to play "wild chess" against him. The strange thing is it was not uncommon for this crazy game to end up going to an end game. It is very nice to hear you have moved away from stodgy chess Michael :P

MichaelBaron
20-04-2008, 11:20 AM
Actually,
My idol is not Anderssen (great germant tactician) but Ulf Andersson - great Swedish endgame-player :).

So ya, i still love 'boring"chess ;)

WBA
20-04-2008, 11:16 PM
Actually,
My idol is not Anderssen (great germant tactician) but Ulf Andersson - great Swedish endgame-player :).

So ya, i still love 'boring"chess ;)

ahh Michael you had me thinking you had done a complete U-Turn :lol:

ER
23-04-2008, 11:23 AM
The final moments of the game that decided the outcome of the MCC championship, were dramatic. Both players under time pressure were trying to find their way out of a very difficult position. Then Domagoj blundered a piece, Malcolm captured it in a split second, his opponent extended his hand and the spectators burst into a spontaneous round of applause befitting the popularity of the new champion of the Melbourne Chess Club. Malcolm Pyke’s name will be inscripted on the Club’s famous Board of Champions in the main hall. A new era for Malcolm and his Chess career has begun.
The new champion gladly obliged to the following interview:

Malcolm, first of all congratulations for your fantastic performance at the MCC Championship and consequently the prestigious title of the Champion of the Melbourne Chess Club!

Thank you Tasso. I have yet to meet anyone who has wished me anything but the best over this achievement, but all compliments are well received. I have received calls from people who I have not spoken to in a while and from others who I never expected to hear from.


How do you describe your feelings now that your name is included amongst those of other great chess players who have won the Melbourne Chess Club Championship throughout the years?

I have to say that the expression “pinching yourself” may be appropriate in the circumstances. This is not to say that I am surprised that I won, but that I am delighted of course to be included in among the many outstanding players that have played in the club, and I felt a real sense of achievement. I had a somewhat tumultuous week after Monday 14th, but when all seemed glum, the thought of the title brought a smile to my face. I also think that the vast majority of the previous title holders went on to much greater things. I reckon I might think on that a bit when working on my game, as a focal point on the path forward.

Would you consider this remarkable victory as the greatest highlight of your Chess career so far?

I think that to say anything else would be equivalent would be very unlikely, though I have had many happy moments in competitions before. I also in my vanity would like to consider it to not be a “remarkable” victory as you have expressed but as a sign of better yet to come, not merely a flash in the pan.


Did you prepare especially for the Championship Tournament, or did you just play your natural game regardless of strength of opponents?

Rather than say that I prepared for the tournament overall, it would be more accurate that I prepared for specific opponents as I played them. Notwithstanding, I also tried not to stray too far afield from things that I already played. Otherwise I would be at a risk of being miles away from where I hoped to be, and all the preparation would be for naught. All that being said several of my games were in a no man’s land of my knowledge and I had to wing it as best I could.


If you did prepare, could you share with us some of the secrets of your preparation, or the general strategy you followed?

All players have different habits and modes of play. Some are good with time, some are deeply theoretically prepared. I would generally give thought to what I expected from my opponents, and would refer to a reference database, such as Mega Database from Chess Base, to do my preparation. Some of the games went a long way to where I thought that they would, others, not anywhere near really. But this use of databases was more extensive in this event than in some of my previous events. I also tried to do various positive things within my thoughts in general, some of which are described in Jacob Aagaard’s book: Excelling at Chess.

Which stage of the tournament would you describe as the turning point of your final triumph?

When I won in Round 6 on Board 1 against Jesse Jager, that result felt pretty significant, as I had only many years ago won a game board 1, and had never done so in the championships. Then when I seemed to keep winning it seemed that it was all going to come true like a dream. But almost didn’t! ( see next answer )


Which was the hardest opponent during the tournament?

Though each one of my opponents in the event were quality players, the hardest game during the whole event was against Domagoj, in the last round. Primarily this was because I was a little nervous, yet still optimistic about the game. It was a game that really mattered to me.

Domagoj is a very dangerous opponent, and we have about 50% each from our encounters, I think. I had not dismissed that he wanted to win just because he was on a lower score than others in contention.

I was leading Guy West by 0.5, and he was to play black against Mirko Rujevic, who as the previous year’s champion, was a worthy last round opponent. I played the early part of the opening fairly reasonably, but through some careless play on my behalf, and some good play on Domagoj’s part, I was in a markedly inferior position. And Guy managed to win very quickly as black against Mirko to finish on 7.5/9, meaning that I must win to take the title. I was at several points prone to moves from Domagoj that I would be completely lost after, yet none of them happened, and some of the finesses in those losses I did not know about during the game, nor even afterwards, until I spoke with Domagoj at Noble Park on Saturday afterwards.

As context to my next statement, I must digress a little. During the day from about 2pm, I had been reading St Paul’s letters to various early church communities, and the word that seemed to catch my eye the whole way throughout, was the word “patience”. So even though my position was on a serious downhill slide during the game, I determined to be patient. There was one distinct moment where the urge to play an indescribably horrible move ( think Self Destruct- But oooh - it just might work in such a clever way - If I was Fritz! ) was so strong within me that only continual reminders about being patient were able to restrain me.

In the end Domagoj made a blunder, when we were both down to not much time, but I still had 5-6 minutes to Domagoj’s 2 minutes. I have yet to ask him, and am unsure how concrete my recall is of the moment, but it may be that the blunder may have been aided by a very fleeting thought that my move had “blundered” the pawn, which may have shown on my face, because in all truth it was not a planned stratagem that the game might end that way. And the rest is history as they might say!


Last year you took the decision to minimise your administrational responsibilities, particularly those at the Melbourne Chess Club, in order to concentrate on Chess. Did that help your performance at the MCC Championship as well as other tournaments so far?

It was an awkward decision to have to stand down from the committee at
MCC, after being a part of it since about 1997, or 1998. I had grown to have a very strong sense of ownership of the outcomes that the club produced regarding events, or membership numbers. Not an exclusive ownership, but rather a shared responsibility with my co-committee members, but as the longest serving of them when I stepped down, it was still a big change.

I had spent quite a few of those years playing virtually no events at the club, but merely directing all of them and not getting the playing experience I needed at the strongest club in the country.

The main change is that I have less to worry about, and I have the added advantage of being, for now, “just” a member.

I think that in answer to did it help, I guess the answer must be yes, but as far as the severing of the role as Secretary, that was also a very hard thing….so overall a difficult question to answer.

Within the context of this question, it was also a big aid to reduce my tournament games each week from 4 down to 2, as at this stage I am no longer playing at Frankston or Dandenong, but instead spending that time studying, or socializing, which at times I had not allocated enough time for. It also meant that I had less games to think about, and allowed for more focus on the remaining games.


Do you feel that at this very moment you play the best Chess of your career?

Again if the question were rephrased to not be a continuous one, eg Do you feel that at this very moment you play the best Chess of your career (to Date)?, then the answer is ….. I don’t know! lol , but it seems hard to argue otherwise, doesn’t it? I do feel that I am playing well, and feel that I can play better even given that statement, which is often the case, as I am a hard judge of myself. Maybe if I said that I have definitely played worse, and might have played a couple of better games at some point, but that overall my standard is improving, we may be beginning to approach the outer boundaries of whatever the true situation is!


What are your immediate plans for the future in regards to Chess? How far are you planning to go?

As far as how far will I go, I still believe that I am going to get a title that requires an achievement of a certain rating, and norms. As for how far I am planning to go, I guess “all the way” is as good as a definition as possible.

I have set myself an interim target of reaching 2300 or as close as possible by the end of the year. The next couple of years will depend on how close I get to that by year’s end, but I have a good feeling about that too. Travel may feature but we will see, possibly Europe.

I also plan to study even more now, as all that happens whenever I achieve a new success is the striving for something greater. This form of progress has worked well to date, and God willing, will continue in this manner.

Apart from the title of the MCC's Champion, which would you consider as other major achievements during your Chess playing years!

Winning my first Tournament in the Budapest Gambit thematic tournament ( 4.5/5 ) at Frankston, was a huge thing when it happened. It is a special memory, the first tournament won.

Winning my first Frankston championships in 1996 was special ( I have won 9, 2 of them shared ), as was my 7/7 in the MCC under 1600 that year. To win the Dandenong Championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007, becoming only the second player to win it three times in a row ( the other was Don Maciulaitis ) was also a very good feeling.

Exceeding 2000 ACF was also a huge thing, and seemed to be forever arriving in a way.

Playing my first Victorian championships (6/10, 4th) and then my first Australian Championships (5/11, middle of the field) were also very good. Winning the Geelong open (5.5/6) whilst staying with my Nanna ( RIP), and being spoiled by her large serves of food – really miss her still.

Winning the Victorian Country Championship ( 5.5/6 ) was also a great win, as it was the first state title I have won.

And of course it would be obvious that to get to mix with all those people who love chess in the chess community, and have been my companions and adversaries.


Who are your favourite International and Australian Players?

Botvinnik, Smyslov, Karpov and Larsen have always been favourites. Keres was great too. Of the modern players, Kramnik is a favourite, and have a fair bit of time for Topalov too, irrespective of the controversy. I love Jonathon Rowson’s books and feel a great respect for him as a player on those grounds.

Of Australian players, Naum Kagan, CJS Purdy, Darryl Johansen, Alex Wohl, Stephen Solomon, Zong Yuan Zhao, Peter Froehlich and Robert Jamieson. They are the players who have had the greatest effect on me as a player

The other favourites are also given as a mark of respect: Narelle Szuveges, for continuing to play long after most of our generation stopped, and succeeding in gaining the WIM title. Edwin Malitis ( RIP ), as a former MCC champion, also had a profound effect on me, both on and off the board. Others will be mentioned below under people who have helped me.


How would you describe your playing style?

My playing style is not particularly well rounded and I seem to enjoy technical positions more. I am a fairly practical player, and seldom get in shocking time trouble any more, though it does happen. I am also still finding that I can blunder which frustrates me. I guess positional is one of those great holdall descriptions, which notwithstanding may be the most accurate way to describe my play. I am said to seem calm at the board, or else to be always smiling by many people.

Is there a special person or people in your life that always supported you and believed in your abilities to succeed?

My parents, after early shocks at my devotion to chess over High school, have always been the most wonderful supporters of me in chess and in innumerable other ways. I have always been given love and discipline from them in the measures deserved, and have a wonderful extended family who have had nothing but praise for my achievements.

My coach Naum Kagan, has helped me and believed in me in so many ways that it is also difficult to talk about them all. He has painstakingly gone through my games, and shared the joys and disappointments of my performances. He has answered phone calls at unreasonable times, and he has always strived to help me. He has given me the tools to look at things straight.

He has also been merciless in not letting me skimp and deny the truth. He has said the tough but fair things to me. He has also at times said the hard things to me. But it has all been done in order that I improve. Naum is the most significant source in this world for my chess improvement. And there is no thanks great enough I can give him.

My wonderful friend John Lavery has helped me no end in encouragement, including getting me to play at MCC in the first place, and in constant good advice. And others omitted for the good of the nation ….lol

David Carter has been instrumental in making sure I got told things by him, whether I wanted to or not, sort of the source of the vegetables for my thoughts that I didn’t like the taste of. And all served to me with the greatest of care and the best of intentions. With a 6 Iron in a sand trap.

Pranas Silas, for constant friendship and great laughs and crap jokes, well really for great jokes, and lots of them. And big steaks. And Samogitia. And lawn bowls. And a life less ordinary, and much more meaningful than most. And St George. And lots of reports regarding GAGF Letters, from people he has never heard of, nor written to. And more than a few hangovers. And a LOT of Blitz.

And of course all of my MCC supporters, which is all of them it seems, but especially Elie Beranjia, Greg Gatto, Bob Krstic, Eddie Wyskida, Alex Kaplan, David Beaumont, and Francis Kocur

Also from MCC, Marcus Raine who has been very generous with his support, his concern, and his sales of reasonably priced chess books!!

The wonderful people at Frankston Chess Club, those with us now, and those who are now gone, have always and at all times been wonderful nurturers of me, and without their guidance, the road would have been much longer I am sure. Special thanks to Jim Duncan, Sally Evins and Ron Macdonald ( RIP ). Also to Val Deren ( RIP ), who stopped me stalemating with King and Rook ( and boy I was getting good at that !! lol)

Thank you to Father Alistair, who has been a great source of spiritual guidance when I needed someone to shine a light, or help me remove my blinkers.

And in the most correct sense, of sequence, ( the last shall be first and the first shall be last ), I must give my eternal praise to God, and his Son Jesus Christ, through who I am saved, and the grace of the Holy Spirit that they have poured out on me. The Love given by God without count and the hope inspired by the Grace that they allow for me, through Them, is boundless.

All I am,
And all I do,
I do for You.

Remember, God loves you All into forgiveness; Why not let Him?

Take care and May God grant his rich blessings to you all.

Malcolm, once again congratulations and thank you for your time!



Ladies and gentlemen, this is Malcolm Pyke. The new Champion of one of the greatest if not the greatest (definitely the most historic) Chess Clubs in Australia: The Melbourne Chess Club. Obviously, he loves the game, he is very enthusiastic about it, he helps people whenever they approach him for advice, and in general he is one of the most popular champion players not only at the Melbourne Chess Club, but in the Chess community as a whole. Let us all join our cheers for Malcolm Pyke and let us wish him a great future and a brilliant continuation of his Chess career.

Garrett
23-04-2008, 11:37 AM
Good interview, thanks Knight.

ER
23-04-2008, 11:52 AM
Good interview, thanks Knight.

Always a pleasure, you are welcome Garrett
Cheers and good luck!

Adamski
23-04-2008, 02:40 PM
...As context to my next statement, I must digress a little. During the day from about 2pm, I had been reading St Paul’s letters to various early church communities, and the word that seemed to catch my eye the whole way throughout, was the word “patience”. So even though my position was on a serious downhill slide during the game, I determined to be patient. There was one distinct moment where the urge to play an indescribably horrible move ( think Self Destruct- But oooh - it just might work in such a clever way - If I was Fritz! ) was so strong within me that only continual reminders about being patient were able to restrain me.

In the end Domagoj made a blunder, when we were both down to not much time, but I still had 5-6 minutes to Domagoj’s 2 minutes. I have yet to ask him, and am unsure how concrete my recall is of the moment, but it may be that the blunder may have been aided by a very fleeting thought that my move had “blundered” the pawn, which may have shown on my face, because in all truth it was not a planned stratagem that the game might end that way. And the rest is history as they might say!

...And in the most correct sense, of sequence, ( the last shall be first and the first shall be last ), I must give my eternal praise to God, and his Son Jesus Christ, through who I am saved, and the grace of the Holy Spirit that they have poured out on me. The Love given by God without count and the hope inspired by the Grace that they allow for me, through Them, is boundless.

All I am,
And all I do,
I do for You.

Remember, God loves you All into forgiveness; Why not let Him?

Take care and May God grant his rich blessings to you all.

Malcolm, once again congratulations and thank you for your time!



[I]Ladies and gentlemen, this is Malcolm Pyke. The new Champion of one of the greatest if not the greatest (definitely the most historic) Chess Clubs in Australia: The Melbourne Chess Club. Obviously, he loves the game, he is very enthusiastic about it, he helps people whenever they approach him for advice, and in general he is one of the most popular champion players not only at the Melbourne Chess Club, but in the Chess community as a whole. Let us all join our cheers for Malcolm Pyke and let us wish him a great future and a brilliant continuation of his Chess career.Great stuff, Malcolm and JAK. All God's best to you both!

ER
23-04-2008, 03:17 PM
Thanks and all the best to you and your loved ones Adamski, cheers and good luck!

eclectic
23-04-2008, 03:20 PM
:hmm: is this guy trying to become the next bishop of the diocese in which i live or what? :P

ER
23-04-2008, 03:45 PM
Eclecticus I didn't know you were ecclesiasticus too!!!:eek: :owned: :hmm: :D

ER
12-10-2008, 09:25 PM
Dear All

http://www20.sbs.com.au/podcasting/index.php?action=feeddetails&feedid=21&catid=1
Click on the above, and listen to interesting comments of chessplayers on the "Is Chess A Sport Question"! Please rate the segment as your participation contributes to SBS getting interested about Chess! CAGLES.... It's the top segment with the carved Chess pieces illustration! Cheers!!!

ER
07-04-2009, 03:32 PM
Sally Yu, current Girls U18 Australian Chess Champion, winner of many competitions and titles, with an ever increasing collection of trophies is a tough competitor whose playing style is characterised by what could be described as artisticly aggressive. “I make up my own things!” was her comment when I once asked her how she approaches each phase of the game. Sally, despite her very young age is a popular personality at the Box Hill / Canterbury Juniors Chess Club where, apart from her playing in competitions, she participates in various other activities including coaching and administration. The following is an exclusive interview with Sally for the Chess Chat Forum.

Sally, welcome and thanks for accepting to do this interview! Last week you were very busy with your school work, how did it go?

It was okay :) I managed to get it done in time so i can enjoy the holidays now.

Apparently, you are one of the best students at school! Is academic excellence part of your personal goals?

Who said i was a good student ? Yeah, i am trying to do well at school and get the best grades i can! :)

Is your school performance a factor in deciding how much time you spend on chess, sports and other hobbies?

Not really to me... but to my mum, yes.

How difficult do you find it to combine Chess playing at a high level with studying at school?

It's not too bad yet, as im only in year 10 and there isnt much work. Im planning to go to quite a few tournaments this year before year 11 and 12, where i wont be able to go to as many.


What is it like to have the president of a Chess Club as a mum?

hahahahahaha hmmm... it was pretty embarrassing at times, but im glad that, despite not being able to play chess, she still takes interest in what I like to do.

Sally, you have already represented Australia, Victoria and of course Box Hill /Canterbury Juniors Chess Club in numerous occasions . Tell us a few things about your international career.

It's great to have to opportunity to represent Australia. I love to travel and on top of being a great experience, international tournaments are always a lot of fun :)

My best tournament overseas would either be the World Youth Championships 2006 in Georgia, where i came =15th in the Girls u12, or the same tournament a year later in Turkey where i came =23rd but beat a lot of higher rated opponents.

How many times have you travelled overseas for chess related occasions?

I have travelled overseas 6 times for chess tournaments. I've been to France, Georgia, Turkey, Vietnam, Dubai and New Zealand.

Which country is connected with your best experience and memories?

Every country that i went to, i had amazing experiences. The best was probably New Zealand, but the others are certainly up there as well!

How many languages do you speak or understand?

I can speak and understand English and Cantonese. I can also understand a bit of Mandarin. I'm learning German at school and I'll be going to Germany at the end of the year :)

Who was your first Chess mentor?

My dad and my brother (Ed. Derek Yu who due to his VCE studies plays very little, if any, chess this year) taught me how to move the pieces and i would sit in and listen while David Cordover coached my brother. I can't remember exactly who my first private chess mentor was :S

Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

Definitely! Both my brother and my dad loved to play chess, so i would watch and play against them. Striving to beat my brother was always my reason and motivator to play chess when i was little.

How much support did you have by your family?

I had a lot of support from my family. My parents drove me to chess tournaments everywhere and let me play chess interstate. They always encouraged me to do my best


Who, according to your opinion is Australia’s most promising young player? (yourself not included here! :)

Maybe Bobby Cheng or Laurence Matheson?


What’s the future of chess in Victoria in terms of participation and strength? How do you compare it with the rest of the country?

I think Victoria is one of the strongest Junior States in Australia! Many other states underestimate us, but we have a large group of strong juniors such as Bobby Cheng, Chris Wallis, Eugene Schon, Cedric Antolis (the recent u18 Australian Champion), James Morris, Laurence Matheson, Justin Tan, Isaac Ng, and Anurag Sannidhanam. We also have a few good girl players now, as Luthien Russell has moved to Victoria! :)
I think that Victoria is definitely a strong state. In my opinion, Victoria has the 2 strongest chess schools in Australia: Scotch College - Zhigen Lin, Eugene Schon, Derek Yu, Nicholas Liu and Richard Owen; and Balwyn High - Chris Wallis, Bobby Cheng, Samuel Dalton, Josh Dalton and Zhong Hao Gan.

Would you also be kind enough to share with us your favourite game? The one you really enjoyed playing from the beginning to the end? (make sure it isn’t our Ballarat encounter

I had many enjoyable games at my World Youth Championships as the stakes were higher, so winning a game felt great :)
However, I think my favourite game was against George Zuprudsky a few years ago. My rating was only around 1200. I sacked my queen for a nice mate with only a bishop and knight. To avoid the mate, he had to lose his rook and he resigned when i trapped his bishop on f8. I think it was the first time i had ever beaten a player over 2000.

Is your present rating representative of your real strength?

Maybe, but i hope not. I hope i can keep improving :)

How important was (and still is) Box Hill / Canterbury Juniors Chess Club in the development of your chess career?

Box Hill Chess Club was and is the only chess club i have ever played at. It is a great club and without it, i may not have started playing chess at all.

Favourite writer(s)

Matthew Reilly

Favourite sport

Waterpolo, Hockey, Netball and Athletics


Favourite film

Death at a Funeral :lol:

favourite tv show

Family Guy! by far the best tv show ever

Sally Yu, thanks for your time!

MichaelBaron
07-04-2009, 04:00 PM
Death is Funeral is indeed a great movie

Alexrules01
07-04-2009, 08:14 PM
Family Guy is the best show ever :D

Giggity

ER
21-04-2009, 11:58 AM
Sally's interview was proved to be very successful!
Movements on my current list of interviewees:
Cedric and Alana have not yet responded.
Lawrence Matheson politely declined due to his overload of school work
the next interview will be with one of the greatest players Australia has ever produced!

Kevin Bonham
21-04-2009, 08:11 PM
the next interview will be with one of the greatest players Australia has ever produced!

Me! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :P

Sorry; I couldn't resist! The background to this is that jak sent me interview questions about the Aus Junior about two months ago. I was a little surprised by this as there was no indication it was coming, and it took me a while to get around to answering, but finally here it is!


The general chess community has been pleasantly surprised that Tasmania will be the host state for the Australian Junior 2010 in Hobart. Did Tassie authorities, interested parties etc have this decision pending for a long time?

The TCA has been looking at trying to host a national event for several years now, and we have frequently been encouraged by various ACF and now AUSJCL figures to do so. We started serious planning for putting a bid together for this event specifically at the start of 2008.


What were the main pro and against factors in making the decision?

We didn't really frame it in terms of "what are the arguments for and against doing this now?" It was more in the form of "we know we want to do this, is it practical and can we really commit to doing it?" In several previous years, when the TCA got to that question, the answer was always "not sure" so we didn't go ahead, because there's no point putting in a bid that's not a proper effort. Now we strongly believe that hosting the event will be viable and we know we have the people to do it.


As you state in your announcement in the official Chess Chat thread it has been a very long time since the State undertook such a huge responsibility. What makes you guys think that you can be as successful as other states after such a long gap?

We are not aiming to compete with other states but to do the best job we can, and hopefully it will be judged a success, and also because of where it is it will be something a bit different. Having said that, Russell Horton and Mellissa Harvey have both been to multiple recent Australian Juniors so they have an excellent idea of what to expect, what works, what we should try doing differently, what should be added. Of course, we are bound by the AUSJCL's requirements for the tournament format, and we know the AUSJCL believes it is too early to roll out a new format yet (with this probably the last such event in the current format), so we won't be doing anything radically different. And we are all in contact with AUSJCL people who have worked very hard on previous Australian Juniors, so the repository of experience is there to help us as we need it (and for that we're very grateful!)

As a location, we have the advantage that Hobart is a small and compact city that is much easier and cheaper to get about in than some. Also there is the novelty of the location and the strengths of Tasmania as a tourism destination - we hope that accompanying parents will see it as not just chess for their children, but also as something of a holiday for them. I'm already aware that at least one delegation intends coming down a few days early to travel around the state a bit.

We know that just getting from the venue to accommodation has been a major headache in some previous Australian Juniors, but in Hobart this will be very much easier. With relatively cheap accommodation, we are hoping all these factors will outweigh the extra cost of getting down here and mean that we can attract a field that's comparable in size and strength to other recent Australian Juniors generally.


What's Tasmania's history in understaking major (international, and national) Chess Events?

Tasmania hosted the 1952-3 and 1958-9 Australian Championships (both won by Steiner), the 1964-5 Australian Championship (won by Doug Hamilton in a one-sided playoff against CJS Purdy), and the 1975 Australian Junior (tournament won by Chandler who was ineligible; David Dick was the champion). Tasmania also hosted the 1986 Australian Girls in the days when that was still a separate event, attracting a then-record field for the event. As far as I'm aware, that's it! Hopefully after this one it won't be decades before there is another, but let's make sure this one is successful first!


To what extent do you think that the national Junior Championship 2010 in Tassie would affect the fast growing number of talented juniors in your State?

What we're hoping is that this tournament will give more of the juniors here an opportunity to play against class opposition, to see what it is like to take chess seriously, and to build their playing strength and passion for the game. We don't expect it to affect the number who are playing overall, since those who play in rated tournaments are just the tip of the interschool iceberg, but we're hoping more will cross the line into serious play and start showing up in weekenders and at clubs.


As you clearly state in the official announcement the initial post is just to give some preliminary basic details, however, there must be some indications about expressions of sponsorship interests etc. Can you give us a clue?

We have had some interest from one possible industry sponsor and are also applying for some government-run event grants. We also placed an open call for expressions of interest in in-kind sponsorship from chess businesses in the ACF Newsletter, primarily to make certain that we have enough equipment without further outlays, especially if numbers are larger than we are currently expecting.


The accommodation arrangements you have made seem absolutely great! I mean "$30/person/night in very roomy student villas at a nearby student college,for a 6-person share" is absolutely enticing! Parents at BHCC have already reacted possitively and I presume you will have a good number of entries. What's the number of participants you are aiming for?

Note that those figures I quoted for accommodation were just approximate and provisional - the exact figures will be available soon. There are so many unknowns in terms of the size of field we will have, but we are aiming for, and believe we can get, 150 entries.


What have you done so far in regards to the website and other advertising details?

The website is being designed by Ross George, who is a professional web designer and TCA Webmaster, and who recently designed the new TCA website (http://www.chesstasmania.org.au/). Basic details are up there already; entry forms and accommodation booking forms will be up very soon (it has taken a little longer than expected because some of the details took a while to finalise). I believe we have TV publicity coming up in a few weeks' time, and press releases will be sent out to local media from time to time.


Do you think the Media in Tassie will give this major event the promotion it deserves?

Absolutely! We have frequently been able to obtain good coverage for chess in the past here and have some excellent mainstream and alternative media connections. It's notable to have an event of this kind here after so long and we have the recent tournament successes of local juniors such as Alastair Dyer (joint State Champion) and Vincent Horton (=1st in last Tas Open) to build interest.


You are signing the official announcement (apart from other organising responsibilities provided in the text) as the director of play! Have you had experience in the field on that level before? Don't you think that the work schedule as one of the organisers plus DOP duties will result to quite an overloaded amount of work?

There is a difference for large events between the terms "Director of Play" and "Arbiter". I intend to be the former but not the latter to any real degree; we expect to have IAs for that rather than a mere local circuit arbiter like me! So my main role during the tournament will be overseeing the event, making announcements, making sure everything is running smoothly, and also being free to help in whatever capacity is needed at short notice. This is not a very large workload and I will also be writing much of the non-game content for the bulletins. There will be several people working hard on the tournament so it is not like any one person is going to have more on their plate than they can handle.

I am very much accustomed to running large junior tournaments; for instance, it is fairly common for me to run interschool qualifiers with several dozen players, often singlehandedly or with one assistant and under very intense time pressure.

Indeed while people reading this BB and seeing announcements from me might assume that I will be the main organiser, in reality Russell and Mellissa are the ones doing the most work and who will deserve much of the credit, and there will be many other people involved.


Well, Kevin thanks for the interview and I am sure the Chess Community wishes you and the the other members of the organising committee every success in such a difficult but commendable effort!


Thankyou!

------------------------------------------------------------

OK, having thus cheekily hijak-ed jak's thread I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming ... I have a fair idea who "one of the greatest players Australia has ever produced!" really is, and am very much looking forward to it!

Alana
25-04-2009, 08:24 PM
Yes I am intrigued to see the list of upcoming people you will also embarrass :P

ER
25-04-2009, 08:35 PM
Alana has confirmed her acceptance of doing an interview based upon her recent success in Doeberl where she won outright the Minor Category! :clap: :clap: :clap: Questions will be sent to her shortly!

Oepty
25-04-2009, 09:11 PM
Alana has confirmed her acceptance of doing an interview based upon her recent success in Doeberl where she won outright the Minor Category! :clap: :clap: :clap: Questions will be sent to her shortly!

Should be interesting, looking forward to it.
Scott

ER
25-04-2009, 09:23 PM
Should be interesting, looking forward to it.
Scott

Yeah Scott, I agree, apart from being a champion player, Alana seems to be very popular in Canberra, plus she has a fantastic sense of humour! I look forward to interview her as well!

Mischa
25-04-2009, 11:55 PM
I used to be on the interview list............not news anymore I guess

ER
26-04-2009, 12:15 AM
Hi Mischa, long time no see! :)

Alana
26-04-2009, 12:33 AM
I have a fantastic sense of humour???

Alana
26-04-2009, 12:37 AM
Death is Funeral is indeed a great movie

Agree :)

Mischa
26-04-2009, 01:25 AM
um where you been?

Mischa
26-04-2009, 01:28 AM
hmmpf don wanna do no interview thingy anyways no way no how

ER
26-04-2009, 02:49 AM
I have a fantastic sense of humour???
we 'll discuss that in the interview, or is it a promotional spot? :lol:

Alana
26-04-2009, 11:10 AM
...hahaha...

littlesprout85
26-04-2009, 11:17 AM
:doh:

-Sprout85 =)

ER
26-04-2009, 11:46 PM
Sometime tomorrow, I will be publishing an interview with one of the strongest players Australia has ever produced! The following is an extract...

I really only got into chess when I went to secondary school and my friends .... (who later won ...) and .... (now a ... in ...) were relatively strong players. At age 13 I was below 1000 strength, but I was an obsessive perfectionist and improved rapidly. We played all the time and ... and I used to infuriate our parents by monopolising the telephone for hours on end playing long-distance games. By great good fortune I lived in ... at the time and the closest chess club proved to be ..., where ... was already recognised as a potential prodigy and there was a very supportive infrastructure.
More details soon!

eclectic
26-04-2009, 11:48 PM
does his surname not quite begin with j? :whistle:

ER
26-04-2009, 11:57 PM
does his surname not quite begin with j? :whistle:

hmm that's a tricky one, the "not quite" bit in the middle confuses my otherwise logical way of thinking!:doh: Hold on I 'll check on my logic text book! I think it's got a related chapter on iff (if and only if) situations where there are some examples of what makes a question (or an answer) iffy!

ER
27-04-2009, 12:08 AM
lol nop, no comment you tried to trick me! :P all u get is another clue!!!:owned:

My favourite player now is Topalov, for his refusal to play boring 'correct' openings all the time, his attacking genius and because I have a natural stubbornness and tend to support players who attract lynch mobs.

eclectic
27-04-2009, 12:37 AM
:hmm: i need to think of someone who complains about his opponent taking frequent restroom breaks :rolleyes:

ER
27-04-2009, 12:42 AM
lol I like the way you skillfully avoided the lynch mobs part! :P

Saragossa
27-04-2009, 12:44 AM
If it is on Robert Jamieson then there is some massive hype. I like his games and he has done soooooo much for Aussie chess thats going to be my one guess but this is an uneducated guess as I don't know anything about his history or anything.

Basil
27-04-2009, 12:46 AM
Is it Mr Stevens, head of catering?

ER
27-04-2009, 12:54 AM
If it is on Robert Jamieson then there is some massive hype. I like his games and he has done soooooo much for Aussie chess thats going to be my one guess but this is an uneducated guess as I don't know anything about his history or anything.
hmmm, there is some correlation, but I can't really tell! :)

ER
27-04-2009, 12:56 AM
Is it Mr Stevens, head of catering?
lol hi Howie, how are you? :)

Watto
27-04-2009, 03:55 AM
does his surname not quite begin with j? :whistle:
I think JAK's love for drama and a recent event might have led you (and Kevin?) down the garden path. Personally, I think there's no need for this sort of suspenseful build up when the interviewee is known to many. So I'm breaking the news that the interviewee is Guy West - it's a wonderful interview, congrats JAK.

ER
27-04-2009, 04:14 AM
Good moring Jean, what are you doing up this early? Actually I am waiting for an important phone call from my cousin in Brussels! Have a nice day and say hi to Guy as well, don't wake him up though! :)

ER
27-04-2009, 10:36 AM
Guy West is one of the best chess players Australia has
ever produced! He has represented our national colours in many Olympiads and numerous
other team and individual occasions.
In the local scene he has won many titles as well as the respect and
appreciation of his fellow chess players and the chess loving public.
An extremely popular personality, Guy has made many friends throughout his
career; people admire his talent as well as his friendly approach. He is
always there to give advice whenever he is asked for it and he gladly
provides his services for many functions.

In a musical sense, Guy conducts his chess pieces more in the style of a
Caissaic Modest Mussorsgy: Abundant in harmonious mysteries fascinating
colours and wonderful surprises, rather than the explosive and violently
revolutionary approach of Leonard Bernstein!

Here is a typical example of Guy West's style and execution. This
aesthetically pleasing masterpiece, so much similar in its chessic
inventiveness and charm to any of the famous Pictures at an Exhibition
wonderful themes:

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. Nge2 dxe4 6. a3 Be7 7. Bxf6 Bxf6 8. Nxe4 Nc6 9. c3 O-O 10. N2g3 Be7 11. Bc4 e5 12. d5 Na5 13. Ba2 b6 14. Qh5 Kh8 15. h4 f6 16. d6 cxd6 17. Ng5 fxg5 18. hxg5 h6 19. Qxh6+
1-0

This charming and delightfully creative effort was recorded by Guy
about a quarter of a century ago, playing against a (then and now) very strong Australian player.

But without any further ado, let's start the clock for the interview!


Guy, first of all thanks for your time and congratulations for your recent
success in again becoming MCC Champion!

Thanks, Elliot. You've been very supportive of my chess and I appreciate
that. Actually a number of Melbourne Chess Club members, whom I won't
embarrass by naming, have been very supportive of me over the years and I'm
glad to have a chance to acknowledge that.

Ten times Champion of the Melbourne Chess Club, that must be an all time record!
What does this title represent to you?

It does mean something, for a few reasons I guess. Firstly, all records
that require longevity are to be treasured because they involve a dedication
that can't be duplicated by a single good performance. You have to maintain
your efforts over the decades. Secondly, as you get older and realise that
your powers may soon begin to wane, even smaller successes can start to mean a great deal
as you look back and reflect on how much of yourself you have devoted to your particular art.

In this case I was especially motivated to do well because of my
disappointment in not winning last year, when Malcolm Pyke had an
unbelievable performance. You'll recall he won a long series of games in
succession at the end to score 8/9 and pip me by half a point. Perhaps there
was unfair intervention from above? :)


You won the title some days ago, then Darryl followed your example and won the SIO!
What's up with you guys, are you up to prove a point or two to the youngsters?

Darryl and I still want to win tournaments just for the satisfaction of
playing good chess. Proving any point is a bonus! Darryl should have nothing
to prove to the younger generation. In his late 40s he still made
Khasimdjanov grovel for a draw! I feel that on my day I can still play my
best chess, and I'm sure Darryl does too. We are not as good at calculating
as we once were, we make more blunders, and perhaps our level of motivation has dropped
a bit, but in terms of understanding I feel I have never been stronger and I suspect Darryl is the same.

By the way what was your reaction to the news that your old comrade in arms IM Greg Hjorth is back,
joining Melbourne Chess Club and participating in the current tournament?

It's very exciting, though maybe tinged with a slight wistfulness when I
look back and think of the chess potential we had back in the eighties! Greg
and I obviously made the decision that professional chess was not for us and
pursued other interests. It was a nice feeling though to look across and see
Greg playing next to me after, what, 30 years?

It spun my mind back down the decades to an A Grade interclub match where a teenaged Greg
didn't know he was meant to be playing that night (against Australian Master John Hanks.)
Our captain finally managed to put through a frantic phone call to Greg, who I think was in his
pyjamas at the time, with 15 minutes left to forfeit time. Greg sprang into action and somehow
made it to the club with about 20 seconds to spare before forfeiting, but only half an hour on his
clock against Hanks' 90 minutes. He whipped out the Belgrade Gambit and smashed
Hanks to a quivering pulp, using about 10 minutes on the clock.

One thing I would caution is that we should respect Greg's desire to play if
and when he wants to, and not characterise this as a 'comeback' just yet.
It's his call. It also wouldn't be sensible to place huge expectations on
Greg, as he won't be tournament conditioned and prepared in the way he was
at his most active. He is a good chance to win this tournament, but we
shouldn't expect him to start knocking off the Zhaos and Smerdons and
playing in Olympiads. It would be like expecting Fischer to come back when
he hadn't played for a long time and still be at his best level. Oh, hang
on, he pretty much did! By the way, credit to Jean, Elie and any others
concerned for encouraging Greg and Erik to play in the City or Melbourne
instead of just playing blitz as they'd planned!

Basil
27-04-2009, 10:49 AM
More!

ER
27-04-2009, 10:53 AM
More!

hang on!

ER
27-04-2009, 04:16 PM
Australian Chess is lucky to have so many and so strong representatives
of all generations still playing. This must be working miracles for the younger players.
Actually thinking about it, with IM Greg Hjorth's comeback, only GM Ian Rogers and IM Robert Jamieson
are not competing anymore! The other members of your golden generation and many older ones are still there
producing the goods, what are your thoughts about that?[/B]

Wrong! You've forgotten such good and even great players as Dimitri
Gedevani, Mikhail Gluzman, Naum Levin, Naum Kagan, Nick Speck, Alex
Davidovic, Daniella Nutu Gajic, Mikhail Kontorovich, Alex Kanikevich, John
Curtis, Trevor Hay, John Purdy, Nick Vass, Colin Morris, Phil Brown and
others I can't remember off the top of my head.

Let's go back to where it all started. When pieces, boards and the whole
Chess thing were what they really meant to be: A mysterious, magical world, dominated
by mythical monarchs, queens, and various other mighty and fascinating elements as well as
extraordinarily tricky, fiendish yet interesting and profoundly scheming creatures!
What was young Guy West's attitude toward all these exciting phenomena?
How did he get involved in this journey that still continues and apparently will continue successfully
for many years to come?

Haha! What a lovely description of chess as it first strikes us!

Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

Not really. My father died when I was six, long before I discovered chess.
My Mum, who has no interest in competitive games at all, taught me the rules
(after a fashion) as a 12 year old. My father did, however, leave behind a
horribly unstable set he'd carved himself, where the King and Queen were
always falling over and the paint was flaking off. Mum told me later that he
was good at all games and really liked chess. He was Fijian Snooker Champion
and a published author of several novels with good chess playing titles like,
"The Cruel Field" and "That Men Should Fear". Nothing to do with
chess, though!

I really only got into chess when I went to secondary school and my friends
Jon Cook (who later won Sale of the Century) and Daniel Reiss (now a
magistrate in NSW) were relatively strong players. At age 13 I was below
1000 strength, but I was an obsessive perfectionist and improved rapidly. We
played all the time and Jon and I used to infuriate our parents by
monopolising the telephone for hours on end playing long-distance games. By
great good fortune I lived in Bundoora at the time and the closest chess
club proved to be Heidelberg, where Ian Rogers was already recognised as a
potential prodigy and there was a very supportive infrastructure.

How much support did you have from your family?

Mum has always been extremely supportive, even though it's as remote from
her type of interests as you could possibly get. She still takes a lively
interest in my tournament results and was logging in during the Doeberl Cup
and chiding me for having a bad one :lol: Mum is one of that admirable group of
oldies (she's almost 80 now) who have taken to the internet like ducks to water.
Jean's mother is the same. She follows our results on the web and is always
happy when we do well and passes the news on to Jean's father.

My brother Lee Naish could have been a top chessplayer, he used to play on
almost level terms with me when we were young and he has a very high IQ. I'm afraid
that I wasn't as encouraging as I could have been as an older sibling. But at least he has
done extremely well in his chosen field so I can live with the guilt! He wrote a
computer program that plays perfect Reversi. It cannot be beaten.

When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a major part in your life?

That question reminds me of a wonderful chess quote (of which I have quite a
few!)

"To some of us it comes as a blinding flash, to others it comes as a
creeping doubt that changes slowly to certainty, but to most of us at some
time or another comes the revelation that we will never be World Champion
at chess!"

To answer your question, probably when I got selected for the World Student
Olympiad in Mexico and the World Junior in Austria at age 18, my first
overseas trip purely to play chess. I was a shocking patzer then, but very
keen. After being destroyed in the World Junior, which featured Seirawan,
Jusupov and the winner Dolmatov amongst others, I stayed on in Europe for a
couple of months, playing chess until my meagre financial resources ran out
and I had to start living exclusively on bags of roast chestnuts at a cost
equal to 3 Australian cents per bag. (Luckily the Australian embassy in
Belgrade lent me $50 to survive the last few days to my flight.)

But you don't couch it in those terms at that age. you have no real
conception of 'the rest of your life', or even the next 10 years. (Why else
would kids take up smoking?) I just knew I loved playing chess and wanted
to do it as much as possible, I never really thought about its place in
the context of my ongoing life.


How did you manage school studies and Chess playing and training?

Hahaha! You obviously haven't heard about the school I went to. It was
called ERA and it had practically no rules. A "hippy school" some people
call it nowadays. The radical Maoist, Albert Langer, was supposedly my maths teacher,
though I didn't attend. You could do what you liked and you didn't have to go to classes.
I didn't. My brother did. That's why he's a PhD and I'm not! But I'm happy with how
my life has panned out. You have to follow your own star.

Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess? who are your favourite players now?

I wasn't a very studied player, and I'm still not, relative to my peers. So
I didn't know as much about the top players' styles. But Fischer's charisma
made an impact on me. I also liked hearing about the great Romantic players
from my friend Jonathon Cook, how the fans would shower gold coins on the
board after a brilliant Morphy or Anderssen victory, the great feats of
memory by Harry Nelson Pillsbury, the lazyness of the fat, brilliant,
Teichmann, the unluckyness of Carl Schlecter not to become World Champion, etc.
I was impressed by Jon's knowledge of all the great masters and how he could pronounce
their names the proper way, like Hozay Rouool Capablanca eee Growpiyera. (Jose Raoul Capablanca y Graupera)
I still like the way exotic chessplayer names sound and enjoy it when people
get them wrong, like David Hacche's hero Nizmowitsch.

My favourite player of all time is probably Fischer. surely there will never
be another match like Reykjavik 1972? Kids playing chess now couldn't
imagine chess being front page news every day in the major newspapers. Heady times!
I also appreciate, but on a less emotional level, the dominant reign of Kasparov and how he
reinvigorated and changed the game. My favourite player now is Topalov, for his refusal to play
boring 'correct' openings all the time, his attacking genius and because I have a natural stubbornness
and tend to support players who attract lynch mobs. To me it is possible to separate
a person from their art. I also like Carlsen because his stylistic clarity reminds me of Fischer,
and Anand for being a such a personable World Champion, which is not easy given the competitive pressures.

Who was your first Chess mentor?

Grant Crocker. He was the person from Heidelberg Chess Club who carted us
around everywhere to tournaments. As an aside, these days he is a genius at
restoration and turning ordinary objects into beautiful works of art. Also
Frank Meerback was very good to me. There is a myth that Ian Rogers and
myself were products of Robert Jamieson's mentoring. Robert was a great
influence on me later on, but more in non chess ways because of the force of
his personality and charisma. This can be gleaned from the pen portrait I
wrote about him in "Australian Chess Into the 80's". Robert had very strong
ideas about behaviour and the professional conduct of chess as a sport and I
think we sometimes miss his guidance in that area now that he is less
involved. I did improve my chess a lot though whilst at Robert's Waverley
Chess Club. By the way, you may not be aware, but Robert and I played a lot
of competitive doubles tennis together in later years before my shoulders
packed up. He was a very good tennis player.

Alana
27-04-2009, 04:43 PM
more! XD

ER
27-04-2009, 04:59 PM
more! XD
You wait! :lol:

ER
27-04-2009, 05:05 PM
Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

How modern? I hate to be predictable, but Fischer or Kasparov, depending on
your definition of modern. (Here, I did not elaborate further because
I consider as “modern” the era spanning from Fischer’s dominance in the early ‘70s
until the present time, and not as in the use of “modern” and “hypermodern” schools
as applied mainly in openings and strategic approaches by Reti, Nimzowitsch,etc
so I let Guy’s flow of responses, uninterrupted. Ed. )

The strongest?

Again, Fischer or Kasparov. Objectively Kasparov, but one should compare
apples with apples. Fischer's dominance over his peers was unparalleled.
Chess gets noticeably stronger with each passing generation and has been
revolutionised in recent decades by computer programs.

The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to
adopt?

No-one. I try to be an eclectic player. Perhaps that is Fischer's influence?
I should probably be more accurate and say that many have inspired me,
including some Australian players, but I have my own style.

The one that you always wanted to meet?

I've never really thought about that. In chess, the art seems a bit removed
from the person. I guess it would be fascinating to have dinner with Paul
Morphy, and yet such an occasion might prove to be strangely uncomfortable
as he'd probably want to talk about law, rather than tell me whether The
Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard were one person or two and other such
nuggets of gold. :) I love physics, and Einstein is one of my intellectual
heroes, so perhaps Emmanual Lasker, so that I could quiz him about his
friendship with Einstein. I might also complain about the poor positions
gained from his defence to the Queen's Gambit on the rare occasions I've
tried it!

Of the Chess personalities you have met, and they are many, who impressed you most?

Well. I could write a book on a question like that! It's complicated by the
fact that people can impress you in one way or another even if you have
reservations about them overall. I've met charismatic figures like Kirsan
Illjumzhinov and Florencio Campomanes, (beat Campo at tennis, even!) and
they are impressive individuals in certain ways, but I wouldn't vote for
them (like the ACF routinely did!)

It's easier to invent categories, like at the Oscars.
Most impressive at doing mental arithmetic. Eddy levi. (Also rather
impressive in other areas, such as his generosity.)
Most impressive public speaker. Gary Wastell or Robert Jamieson.
Most impressive chessplaying disco dancer. Yasser Seirawan or Arianne
Caoili.
Most impressive at kicking the backsides of corporate crooks. Robert
Brooking.
Most impressive disregard for chess material and results. Alan Goldsmith.
Most impressive genealogical lineage. David Hacche. (Admits to being
the last descendant of the Royal House of Plantagenet. Also an impressively
amusing and interesting person.)
Most impressive conman. Paul Dosza.
Most impressive ability to be underestimated. Nathan Stirling.
(Nathan is remarkable for the amount of influence he is able to generate without ever
speaking much above a whisper. Once I came back to the room I was sharing
with him at an Olympiad and he was priming Garry Kasparov and some other
heavy hitters on a strategy for taking control of FIDE. He later became CEO
of Open Family Australia.)
Most impressive general knowledge. Jon Cook, who bankrupted the
"Double Your Dollars" telephone quiz over a single weekend, then Suri Rodericks,
the British chessplayer who made his fortune beating the quiz machines in pubs.
Most impressive fightback from serious injury. Alex Wohl,
who has already outlived his doctor's prediction by many years and stayed at
the top of Australian chess whilst doing it.
Most impressive ability to make over $100 million very quickly. Richard
Farleigh.
Actually, I must stop. There are just too many impressive and talented
individuals in chess, more than I have met in business or any other area I
am involved in, by far. I'd be doing too many an injustice by not including
them. I'm very impressed that my girlfriend, Jean Watson, who only learnt
how to play chess from me as an adult a few years ago, is now a respectable
tournament player.That takes courage in my opinion.

Member of the Aus Olympic team in a series of Olympiads, Australian
Champion, in 95-96, Open Aus Champion, numerous times Victorian Champion,
Ten times MCC Champion, Steiner Medal winner, Aus Masters Winner just to name
a few of your triumphs! Which one of those remarkable achievements
do you consider as the greatest of your Chess career so far?



Probably the most satisfying for me was winning the Australian Championship in '95/96.
I had to beat players like Johansen and Gedevanishvili at the height of their powers along the way.
Having my friend Jon Cook win the u/1600 tournament was a wonderful bonus, and having him
and my other old sparring partner from school Daniel Reiss there at the closing ceremony
inspired me to make quite an emotional acceptance speech.



Who, according to your opinion is Australia's most promising young player?

I would not presume to make such a pronouncement. Have you noticed my
nickname Gattaca on Chesschat? That is a reference to the film Gattaca,
which explores the idea that it's not the person with the best pedigree or
all the natural advantages that necessarily succeeds, but the one with the
fire in their belly and the never say die determination. People jump on the
bandwagon of certain young players, whilst others are unfashionable at any
given time. I watch with some bemusement the excessive promotion (no fault
of their own) of particular juniors at any given time, knowing that in many
cases it will ultimately backfire. I could name 20 hugely hyped Australian
juniors from the past who were supposed to be the next big thing and a
certainty to be Grandmasters by now, none of whom achieved such status.

Of course it seems inevitable that very talented young players like Anton
Smirnov, Bobby Cheng, James Morris, and others will make a big impact in
Australian chess in years to come. But you can never tell. Reaching the top
of your environment in chess requires more than just talent and a coterie of
vocal supporters. A lot of the personality requirements to excel only become
evident over time and people forget that dealing with the distractions of
the teen years and the disappointments, frustrations and pressures of high
level competition and the expectations of others is part of the deal. People
talented at chess are often talented in other areas too, so a deep love of
the game can be as important as talent.

Whilst players like Rogers, Hjorth and Smerdon learned chess young and made every
post a winner, other players like Johansen, Wohl and myself came late to the game
and for a long time played second fiddle to other more
'credentialled' juniors being pushed at the time. This probably didn't hurt
us though, as we had to be self motivators and create our own self belief.
Players like Andrew Brown who fly under the radar can turn out to be just as
formidable as the more fashionable juniors who get most of the limelight.

Having said that, the quality of play of some of the micro juniors like
Anton Smirnov, Sean Gu, Bobby Cheng and Justin Tan is amazing compared to back in my day.
Tan's rate of improvement has been meteoric and all these
kids have extraordinary levels of concentration and gravitas for their age.
But always remember the quote from the leader of the street gang "The
Wongs", from the B grade movie "The Warriors". It used to be my favourite!
"The Wongs ... wait and see."


Who is your favourite Australian Chess player ever?

Sorry, there are just too many great and interesting players to single one
out.

What's the future of chess in Victoria in terms of participation and
strength? How do you compare it with the rest of the country?

Victoria is benefitting from all the coaching in schools nowadays, but we
are not alone in that. Strength won't be an issue, but participation might
because of the poor conversion from the now brimming catchment of junior
chess into senior ranks. Chess administration and organisation in Victoria
hasn't been anything special over the years, but that's typical of chess and
many other minority sports almost everywhere. Every now and then you get a
new and enthusiastic organiser who makes a difference for a while, but until
the whole culture of chess changes it will never attract mainstream numbers.
The question is whether that is a good or a bad thing. Maybe it is good.

Suppose you had the absolute power of control in the Australian Chess
scene for one year. Name two of the most important things that you would change!

Well, I did once, when I was ACF President for a short stint. The main thing
I wanted to do back then was fix, upgrade and get more leverage out of the
main asset that chess had of value, the rating system. I wanted a whizz-bang
booklet with all sorts of colourful commentary and lists in it, one that
could attract advertising and be used for all sorts of purposes.
Unfortunately the ratings officer at the time was a law unto himself and
made it impossible to fully achieve my goal. Still, some of my ideas like
the top 20 lists, with categories like biggest improver, still exist. The
internet has changed a lot of things though. Booklets are almost redundant
now.

These days, one of the things I would like to do is get a regular chess
program on TV. Chess is very exciting when packaged properly and programs
like Master Game and Speed Chess Challenge did very well on UK television.
Many countries have chess programs on TV that rate well. Chess is the best
indoor game in the world and only needs the right packaging. It's not
difficult. Just like the hole-card cam suddenly transformed poker into a
huge TV hit, getting into the minds of the players makes chess riveting
viewing. The personalities have to be brought out, as people can understand
rivalries and emotions even if they can't understand all the strategies.
Commentary can be pitched at the appropriate level to make chess accessible
to everyone. Remember that chess is a relatively lucrative sport at the top
level, with a World Championship match winner routinely making well over $1 million US.
Okay, it's not Golf or Formula 1 yet, but it's not Penuncle
either. Chess remains one of the most widely played sports in the world too,
even though it's easy to forget that, living here in Australia.

My main gripe with Australian chess at the moment apart from preferring the
old rating system to the Glicko, is that we slavishly follow some bad ideas
from FIDE, such as drastically cutting time limits in a vain attempt to make
chess more interesting for spectators. Chess is not primarily a spectator
sport, it's a readership or replay sport. You wouldn't make artists paint
faster to try and make art more popular. We should ignore some FIDE
pronouncements, like the absurd requirement to be there at the start of the
game or forfeit. That should only apply to televised games. Losing time on
the clock, with forfeit after an hour, is an appropriate penalty for being
late in a normal game. Often lateness is unavoidable. If FIDE won't rate
tournaments not held under their rules then simply don't enforce stupid
rules and let the players know that you won't be enforcing them. FIDE don't
have to know.


And two of those you would leave as they are!

It's mostly pretty good.

Kevin Bonham
27-04-2009, 05:08 PM
The radical Maoist, Albert Langer, was supposedly my maths teacher,
though I didn't attend.

Guy missed out on learning to count Langer style: 1,2,3,3,3 ... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langer_vote)

Nice interview; lots of colourful experiences.

ER
27-04-2009, 05:11 PM
Guy missed out on learning to count Langer style: 1,2,3,3,3 ... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langer_vote)

Nice interview; lots of colourful experiences.

More to come! :)

eclectic
27-04-2009, 05:11 PM
Guy missed out on learning to count Langer style: 1,2,3,3,3 ... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langer_vote)

is that known as the Informacci Sequence? :owned:

Alana
27-04-2009, 05:15 PM
More to come! :)

GOOD!

Kevin Bonham
27-04-2009, 05:21 PM
is that known as the Informacci Sequence? :owned:

It is since it was banned in the year 3.

ER
27-04-2009, 05:26 PM
[B]Share with us one of your favourite chess games, one that you really enjoyed
from the beginning to the end;
Anderssen - Lange is my favorite game by the old Masters. Andersson was a
brilliant player, perpetrator of the "Evergreen Partie" and the "Immortal
Game", but after a few seemingly innocuous opening errors by White, Lange
unleashes a completely forcing sacrificial attack that still ranks as one of
the prettiest ever concieved.
Favourite sport (apart from Chess of course)
Well. Australian Rules football would be one. I used to play for Melbourne
Uni once. I played competitive tennis and table tennis at various times and
did 6 years of full time Chinese Kung Fu if you count that as a sport. I
actually had an article published in "Black Belt", an international Martial
Arts magazine, on the similar strategic theories informing Chess and Wing
Chun.
Favourite team (s)

In AFL footy, Hawthorn.

Sports personality

Takeru Kobayashi, former World Eating Champion. He'll be back! He once
challenged a giant Kodiak Bear to a sausage eating contest, but lost
convincingly. It's on You Tube I think.

Favourite writer (s)

Oh, that's impossible. Okay, John Wyndham (Sci Fi), John Buchan (Thrillers),
Paul Davies (Cosmology).

Favourite music

Classic Rock would be the genre.

Favourite film

Impossible. I could name 50 I've watched at least 4 times!

Favourite tv show

Again, that's too hard. You'd need to add, "currently". Even then there are
too many!

Alana
27-04-2009, 05:29 PM
wow that was fast

Rincewind
27-04-2009, 05:32 PM
It is since it was banned in the year 3.

That was to foil the hidden agenda of extending terms to four years and then counting years in office using the Langer system. :)

ER
27-04-2009, 05:56 PM
And let's finish with an advice that you would give to the junior players
who admire your style and try to play like you!

I doubt there are any! But if there are, stick at it. Always search for
truth and precision. Love the game. Chess is worth the effort you put in. It
helps you in other areas of life and exposes you to beauty that most will
never get to appreciate. For inspiration I'd recommend all the old footage
of Bobby Fischer's 1972 match (on You Tube) and also the film Gattaca, just
to remind yourself to chase your dream and not let anyone put limitations on
you. I especially speak to juniors who are unheralded and not widely
regarded yet as future champions. Prove them wrong! Self belief is a
powerful asset.

It is too sad having to stop this wonderful conversation without another game, one more of your own this time?


White: Robert Jamieson
Black: Guy West
Result: 0-1

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5 4. d3 fxe4 5. dxe4 Nf6 6. Qe2 Bc5 7. O-O
d6 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Qc4+ Kh8 10. Bxc6 bxc6 11. b4{?!11. Nxe5 Qe8 12. Nd3 and Black has to work to justify the pawn sac.} Bb6 12.Qxc6 Bg4 13. Nd2 Bd7 14. Qc4 Ng4 {And White had to resign, in view of} 15. Nf3 Rxf3 16. gxf3 Qh4 17. fxg4 Qxg4 18. Kh1 Qf3+ 19. Kg1 Bh3 {mating.}

The game provided in the introduction of the interview was correct but incomplete! There were some extra moves played which did not appear in the database I copied it from. Guy e-mailed me the complete score which I append here since they constitute a befitting finale to the beauty of the whole work of art!:

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bb4 5. Nge2 dxe4 6. a3 Be7 7. Bxf6 Bxf6 8. Nxe4 Nc6 9. c3 O-O 10. N2g3 Be7 11. Bc4 e5 12. d5 Na5 13. Ba2 b6 14. Qh5 Kh8 15. h4 f6 16. d6 cxd6 17. Ng5 fxg5 18. hxg5 h6 19. Qxh6+ gxh6 20. Rxh6+ Kg7 21. Nh5 {mate}.


IM Guy West, thanks for your time!

I would like to publicly thank Malcolm Pyke for his invaluable assistance in the area of research for the completion of this interview! E.R.

Alana
27-04-2009, 06:07 PM
another great game. :)

Basil
27-04-2009, 06:19 PM
Well done Guy and Elliott. A good interviewer and an interesting subject and out pops ummm... a good interview :eek: I'm leaving now - but thank you boys. Well done.

Capablanca-Fan
27-04-2009, 06:26 PM
My main gripe with Australian chess at the moment apart from preferring the
old rating system to the Glicko, is that we slavishly follow some bad ideas
from FIDE, such as drastically cutting time limits in a vain attempt to make
chess more interesting for spectators. Chess is not primarily a spectator
sport, it's a readership or replay sport. You wouldn't make artists paint
faster to try and make art more popular. We should ignore some FIDE
pronouncements, like the absurd requirement to be there at the start of the
game or forfeit. That should only apply to televised games. Losing time on
the clock, with forfeit after an hour, is an appropriate penalty for being
late in a normal game. Often lateness is unavoidable. If FIDE won't rate
tournaments not held under their rules then simply don't enforce stupid
rules and let the players know that you won't be enforcing them. FIDE don't
have to know.

Very well put! Excellent interview in general.

ER
28-04-2009, 11:27 AM
Thank you all for your nice comments and contribution!
I would like to remind all, particularly those juniors who are doing Media Studes and plan to study journallism on a higher level, to use this thread organising and publishing interviews with Chess personalities they know.
It would help them tremendously in understanding interview techniques and implementing them in practice. Their work may also be included in their CVs as an excellent indication of their abilities to future employers.

Alana
28-04-2009, 11:42 AM
yes nice work JaK for everything you have done for this thread :P

ER
28-04-2009, 11:48 AM
Thank you Alana, BTW your interview shapes up as a very interesting one! It will be the first that I will use the interactive form, a technique (something like not allowing eachother to get a word in :lol:) which will add special dimension to your ultra humouristic and witty way of looking at things!

Alana
28-04-2009, 11:52 AM
Interactive form? I'm intrigued...

ER
28-04-2009, 12:03 PM
Interactive form? I'm intrigued...
Read this more carefully

a technique (something like not allowing eachother to get a word in )

Alana
28-04-2009, 12:12 PM
Ok... should be... interesting.

Gattaca
28-04-2009, 03:44 PM
Thanks, everyone.

While I was excoriating Elliott for a few minor proofing errors which are largely corrected now, I mentioned a funny incident to him which he suggested I share.

I used to write a lot of mostly humorous articles about chess and they would be published in various chess magazines. One of them was published by Robert Jamieson in his Australian Chess Quarterly.

When I picked up my copy to read the piece I'd written my jaw dropped in horror. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to things like spelling and even though I make mistakes, they are fairly rare. Robert, in his infinite wisdom had seen fit to edit my word vultures and replace it with the "correct" spelling, vulchers! The magazine had already gone out to hundreds of chessplayers around Australia and there was no "right of reply". I still haven't got over the trauma!

Elliott has been kind enough to fix a few things that were 'lost in translation' as it were. I think his interviews add a lot of colour to Australian chess. I learnt more about Carl from the Gorka interview than in all the time I have known him, I think.

A couple of things I should mention apropos the interview.

Jean suggested that Langer may have been an Anarchist, not a Maoist. I think that is correct. He may have regarded himself as an Anarchist, whilst the media often portrayed him as a Maoist, or just a Communist.

The reference to a ratings officer who was a law unto himself shouldn't be construed as being anyone from recent times. The person in question has long retired from the scene.

Kevin Bonham
28-04-2009, 04:28 PM
Jean suggested that Langer may have been an Anarchist, not a Maoist. I think that is correct. He may have regarded himself as an Anarchist, whilst the media often portrayed him as a Maoist, or just a Communist.

I think he's all of the above. His own Online Opinion profile describes him as an "unreconstructed Maoist (anarcho-Stalinist)", whatever that is.

Rincewind
28-04-2009, 04:36 PM
I think he's all of the above. His own Online Opinion profile describes him as an "unreconstructed Maoist (anarcho-Stalinist)", whatever that is.

Often in politics, words and meanings have very little to do with one another. Whatever you think it might mean is unlikely to be what the writer (presumably Langer or Langer approved) intended.

Miranda
28-04-2009, 06:32 PM
Often in politics, words and meanings have very little to do with one another. Whatever you think it might mean is unlikely to be what the writer (presumably Langer or Langer approved) intended.
Sort of defeats the point of writing it then, doesn't it? :hmm:

Alana
28-04-2009, 06:51 PM
Sort of defeats the point of writing it then, doesn't it? :hmm:

She has a point... ;)

Rincewind
28-04-2009, 08:30 PM
She has a point... ;)

It's not my place to defend politics.

ER
28-04-2009, 09:34 PM
I would like to publicly express my thanks to Kevin Bonham for (once again) immediately providing his invaluable assistance whenever I ask him for it for this and other threads! :clap: :clap: :clap:
You are a champ mate! thanks!

Alana
29-04-2009, 06:33 PM
I would like to publicly express my thanks to Kevin Bonham for (once again) immediately providing his invaluable assistance whenever I ask him for it for this and other threads! :clap: :clap: :clap:
You are a champ mate! thanks!

:clap: :owned: :whistle: :clap:

ER
29-04-2009, 06:47 PM
Speaking of Alana, her interview shapes up as a really important one! She is the second junior player, after Sally, expressing her views here, and we all have something to learn from those views! Juniors, not only from ACT where she hails from, but from other States as well are encouraged to participate in the discussion that will follow the publication of Alana's interview!

Alana
30-04-2009, 09:30 AM
Yep, even though no juniors (apart from Miranda and occasionally Feng/Sally) actually read this! :lol:

Adamski
30-04-2009, 01:17 PM
yes nice work JaK for everything you have done for this thread :PThirded or fourthed. JaK your interviews are great reads and obviously represent lots of time and effort on your part. Well done and keep it up. Thanks to Gattaca too for giving a not insignificant amount of time for this multi-part interview. (I, too, enjoyed that film.)

Alexrules01
30-04-2009, 03:42 PM
Don't I count as a junior anymore :(

There great interviews, i like them alot.

Alana
30-04-2009, 04:17 PM
haha well I cant exactly remember who you are so I didn't include you...

ER
30-04-2009, 05:49 PM
Thank you Jonathan, and all for your kind responses!
Alana many juniors (Alex amongst them) are reading this thread as I am sure they read and post in many other threads!
The participation of juniors in the Chess Chat is amazing and their contribution apart from inspiring the rest of us to be careful about the language we use and the things we are talking about is immence!
IMO The most important factor of their involvement here is that their own views are heard and discussed and not just implied or just expressed by adults as it happened in the past.
Also by publishing their games here juniors are given the opportunity to have their performance analysed, their efforts praised, and their mistakes corrected by some of the strongest players in Australia.
Keep up the good work!

Alana
30-04-2009, 05:59 PM
OK new point... no ACT juniors (and few ACT players in general) come on.

EDIT: not including myself! XD

ER
30-04-2009, 06:03 PM
OK new point... no ACT juniors (and few ACT players in general) come on.
There you are, organise them so they will! Don't you agree that this Forum here contains useful information about ACT??? Look at the tremendour response and discussion generated from the recent and earlier Doeberls. Also some of the very well known ACT Chess personalities DO post here! :)

Alana
30-04-2009, 06:33 PM
OK I got nothing :P

Igor_Goldenberg
01-05-2009, 03:07 PM
White: Robert Jamieson
Black: Guy West
Result: 0-1


I actually remember this game, it was played 16 years ago in Vic Open (my first tournament in Australia). Guy won outright if front of of all top Melbourne players (including Darryl Johansen, Mikhail Gluzman and Robert Jamieson).

ER
01-05-2009, 04:11 PM
I actually remember this game, it was played 16 years ago in Vic Open (my first tournament in Australia). Guy won outright if front of of all top Melbourne players (including Darryl Johansen, Mikhail Gluzman and Robert Jamieson).

Thanks for this great piece of information Igor, I wonder if IM Jamieson was actually surprised by IM West's 3...f5 in the particular game! Of what I understand they two champions must have had a long history of OTB encounters but I don't know details about the opening lines they chose throughout the years.

Kevin Bonham
01-05-2009, 06:29 PM
There is now an index of links to interviews in the first post of this thread. Please advise me of any interviews other than the Szuveges MCC revival series that are on other threads and that I should add.

ER
02-05-2009, 12:36 AM
There is now an index of links to interviews in the first post of this thread. Please advise me of any interviews other than the Szuveges MCC revival series that are on other threads and that I should add.
Very professional work Kevin :clap: :clap: :clap: and thank you for that! It makes locating the interviews so easy! Actually the only interview that was on another thread was Grant's. So no more relocating is necessary!
Thanks again, I hope that Jean and everyone else interested will now be very happy with the end result!

Basil
02-05-2009, 03:52 AM
Well done, everybody. Carry on!

ER
02-05-2009, 05:32 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the impressive style of Alana Chibnall, a talented junior from Canberra, winner of Doeberl 2009 Minor Championship!

White: Chibnall, Alana
Black: Grcic, Milan
Result: 1-0

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Bc4 c6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Bd2 e6 8.Ne2 Qb6 9.Ne5 Bxe2 10.Qxe2 Qxd4 11.Nxf7 Ne4 12.Nxh8 Nxd2 13.Qxe6 Be7 14.0-0-0 Qxc4 15.Qc8 Bd8 16.Rhe1

JAK: Alana Chibnall is a character! And a very popular character as such! Clear evidence of her popularity, the fact that she got more applause while receiving her prizes at the recent Doeberl Cup closing ceremony than all the other winners put together…

ALANA: Only because I had to go up twice!

JAK: The organisers had quite a few praises for the young Doeberl Minor Champion who apart from playing is also involved in organising chess club events and activities. A self confessed “chess nerd” Alana has a fantastic sense of humour something that radiates through her personality as well as not losing her cool when in serious time trouble having to win her last game at Doeberl to finish clear first!

ALANA: Slight error there – I drew my last game for Doeberl quite quickly, it was the day before where I had the two long games against higher rated players!

JAK: Oh thanks, I gave you a full point for the last round, instead of a half and you are calling it slight error! J Anyway, I give you that one, however your dramatic win vs. Amir in the penultimate round, which I witnessed, was as good as any other final!

However, ladies and gentlemen after this very eventful opening, ops, I mean introduction, let’s proceed with the interview:




JAK: Alana, welcome and thanks for accepting to do this interview! You are obviously a very popular personality! You had a tremendous standing ovation when you received your trophies and prize money check and throughout the tournament other juniors were always around you talking and joking with you! Where does all this popularity come from?

ALANA: I’m not actually sure where all the popularity comes from, and with the other juniors they were mainly the female players and had nothing better to do! The other players I was talking to were mainly players who know me from Street Chess/Club Chess. And the majority happened to be from ACT as well so I knew them.

JAK: You were called on the stage twice to collect your trophies, since apart from the Doeberl Minor you also won the Pooja Cup for best Female Australian Junior in the Minor! Then you declined to make an acceptance speech, why you chickened out?

ALANA: Ok, three reasons: One, because I don’t like speeches (being a chicken and allJ), two, because I didn’t prepare anything to say and don’t like thinking on the spot and three, I thought that not saying a speech would be safer and easier than making one. Which of course as you can see now, it isn’t. Because of questions like this I wish I had just made a speech and got it over and done with.

However, even though I didn’t then, I would like to thank O2C, especially Charles and Lara Bishop, for all the hard work they did to make the tournament such a success, my mum, Margaret, for everything she does for me (taking me to events, letting me go overseas once, paying for everything etc.) even though she’s has no interest in the game, the people at the results table (Jenny Mason and Agus Setiabudi) for taking results, all the arbiters everyone who has given me support and convinced me that this is what I want to do (at least from now), and everyone who came to Canberra and played Doeberl for coming along and (hopefully) having a great time.

And to Mr Baldev Bedi for the sponsorship he has put forward for the Bedi and Pooja Cups. Thanks!

JAK: Your interests seem to revolve a lot about chess “and possibly other stuff” as you once wrote! Do you think it is worth it?

ALANA: Depends which way you look at it. It probably isn’t worth it, unless I choose to continue it professionally for some reason (and you never know what could happen there…), but it gives me something to do in the meantime.

JAK: Laughter obviously plays a major role in your life! What’s the significance of humour for Alana Chibnall?

ALANA: Humour is needed in life and therefore is very significant. If there was no humour there would be no joy, and everyone would be unhappy. That wouldn’t be fun. So therefore I try to make my life as happy and humorous as I can, even if it’s not always possible.

JAK: Let's get back to where it all started! When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a major part in your life?

ALANA: I first learnt chess when I was in year three or four. I had joined a lunchtime chess club at school where I learnt all the basics. But there was a competition that year, we had 13 players in the club and only 12 got selected. I was the 13th because I was the newest and weakest. I gave up chess at that point (which I obviously regret), until my year six teacher made us all play in our breaks. Going along to that first interschool competition (Primary School Girls’) was when I first realised it was going to play a major part in my life.

JAK: Who was your first Chess mentor?

ALANA: The organizer of the lunchtime chess club in year three or four who first taught the interested people how to play was my first mentor, though the one who had a real impact on my chess playing career was WFM Shannon Oliver when I had her as a development squad coach and coach for the Australian Juniors in 2005 (my first Aus Juniors). It was great having a female as a coach as it was sort of inspiring and showed that females could actually get good at chess even though it is dominated by males.

Gattaca
02-05-2009, 06:58 PM
I actually remember this game, it was played 16 years ago in Vic Open (my first tournament in Australia). Guy won outright if front of of all top Melbourne players (including Darryl Johansen, Mikhail Gluzman and Robert Jamieson).

Wow! You've got a good memory, Igor! I remembered the moves, but had no idea what year or tournament it was from, despite it being my own game.

Cheers,

Guy.

ER
02-05-2009, 09:43 PM
JAK: Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

ALANA: Not really. None of my family plays chess and I didn’t have any brothers or sisters to practice with. The only chess I had was with school.

JAK: How much support did you have by your family?

ALANA: Not much at first, as my mum had thought that chess was just another silly little game. But now, though she still thinks chess doesn’t achieve anything she’ll support me anyway by taking me along to tournaments, letting me play in other states (and Singapore in 2007) and paying for entry.

JAK: What is the greatest achievement of your Chess career so far?

ALANA: The greatest achievement of my chess career so far was winning the Doeberl Minor and Pooja Cup this year. This has really been a turning point for me, and is the biggest competition I’ve won to date.

Going overseas to Singapore to play in the 2007 World Youth Olympiad would be another great achievement, as representing Australia made me feel very proud. I’m hoping to play World Youth U18 Girls this year in Turkey as well (when the selections finally come out!) as long as I can fundraise enough to be able to go. Getting selected for the junior elite training squad (previously known as ERGAS) for the last two years and now this year as well is another achievement being able to be coached by some of the best.

JAK: However, you have a couple of ACT champ titles under your belt haven’t you?

ALANA: Yes I won the Women’s and Girls’ Championship in both 2006 and 2007 (lost to Emma Guo last year) and am the current ACT Lightning Champion (and Australian Girls Lightning Champion).

JAK: Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

ALANA: The most influential chess player of modern times would probably have to be Vishy Anand, though Magnus Carlsen is very inspirational for junior players being a GM at such a young age.

JAK: The strongest?

ALANA: There are many strong players of modern chess but the strongest player according to my opinion would be current world champion Vishy Anand.

JAK: The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

ALANA: Judit Polgar is probably the player I have been most inspired by as she is a famous female chess player that is able to play continuously well against the world’s best. I like her aggressive style and have tried to adopt it (pretty unsuccessfully) in my own games.

JAK: The one that you always wanted to meet?

ALANA: Judit Polgar is probably the player I have always wanted to meet for the same reasons as above.

JAK: You obviously are a fan since you also have stated elsewhere that her book Judit Polgar - The Princess of Chess (By Tibor Karolyi) is your favourite chess book, do you still read it?

ALANA: No, I haven’t actually touched it in quite a while (haven’t read much in any other chess books lately either!) but it still is a great book.

JAK: Who, according to your opinion is Australia’s most promising young player? (You can’t name yourself here!) :)

ALANA: Though there are many, I think that Australia’s most promising young player would either have to be Andrew Brown or Emma Guo, because of how they have rapidly increased in strength recently and still continue to. Andrew Brown’s success in Queenstown with gaining his first IM norm as well as managing to beat Stephen Solomon at the recent SIO has been very impressive. Emma is also quite promising – she was the Australian U18 Girls’ Champion at the age of 12, and played in the Premier section of the 2009 Doeberl Cup after winning the Minor section at last year’s event. I know I only said ACT players here but I do believe they have a lot of potential, though many other states all have very strong players as well.

JAK: Who is your favourite Australian Chess player ever?

ALANA: My favourite Australian chess player of all time is GM Ian Rogers because of the success he has had.

JAK: What’s the future of chess in ACT in terms of participation, strength and junior development? How would you compare it with the rest of the country?

ALANA: ACT has a large participation rate compared to the rest of the country. We have many players showing up to tournaments, and there are 4 successful “adult” clubs in the ACT, and 3 junior clubs. There is also street chess, which is an outdoor 7 round allegro tournament that is on every Saturday which Shaun Press, ACTCA President Stephen Mugford and I run. ACT is continuously producing great, strong chess players (especially juniors), e.g. Junta Ikeda, Andrew Brown, and Emma Guo just to name a few. The ACT Junior Chess League is a great organization for promoting junior chess is probably a reason why ACT players are getting stronger. There are many different yearly tournaments and development programs for juniors that are run including Development Squad, Chess Chicks and the four weekly junior clubs. Private coaching is also offered for interested and upcoming players.

In comparison to other states ACT is definitely is strong, and the amount of players here isn’t going to go down anytime soon.

JAK: How difficult do you find it to combine Chess playing, and School studies?

ALANA: I don’t find combining chess with school very difficult – even though I am in year 12 this year I have no plans on going to university which means this is quite an easy year for me and other “accredited” students.

JAK: So what are your plans for a future profession or trade?

ALANA: My plans are to take a gap year next year and do something, then go to the Canberra Institute of Technology (sort of a TAFE) and do web programming. If that doesn’t work, I can always enter university at mature age (or keep my job at Macca’s and move up the ranks there!)

Watto
03-05-2009, 04:24 PM
JAK: The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

ALANA: Judit Polgar is probably the player I have been most inspired by as she is a famous female chess player that is able to play continuously well against the world’s best. I like her aggressive style and have tried to adopt it (pretty unsuccessfully) in my own games.

An interesting interview, thanks JAK and Alana. I've also been pretty impressed by Polgar but you've given me an idea, Alana... I definitely need to become more aggressive in my approach, so I think studying Polgar might be part of the answer. :)

ER
03-05-2009, 04:48 PM
Thanks Jean! Third (final) part of Alana's interview will be published at some stage later tonight!

ER
03-05-2009, 06:03 PM
JAK: Is your present rating representative of your real strength?

ALANA: I hope that it isn’t (1333 for anyone who wishes to know). I believe that it should be higher by now as I have been playing for quite a while. Sometimes I have a really strong game at BCC where I beat an 1800 or so, but then lose to an 1100 or lower the next week meaning it just ends up evening out. I actually went down 4 points on the last ratings list and my success at Doeberl isn’t going to help it much. My main aim is to be at 1400 by Doeberl next year so I can play the major.

JAK: Recently, there has been a discussion about the number of games per day in junior championships! Some parents suggest 2 games a day reduce the expenses since tournaments won't last that long! Others say two games a day will affect the quality of games since players are getting tired! What's your opinion?

ALANA: From previous experience I’ve found the one round per day is much less stressful – two round days you have to prep, actually play the game (and with 90min+60s/m time control for the u18 tournaments can make it last quite long), get it analysed, then having a short amount of time to prep again (or not prep at all!) before another potentially long game. These types of days have the potential to not finish until 5pm if not later which can be very draining, especially for the younger players.

This type of format is fine if this was only once or twice during the tournament like it has been previously, but to have it run that way every day (11 rounds + the usual lightning, rapid and problem solving events reducing the tournament to about 8 days (only really losing 5 days or so)) can be quite stressful for the players. As far as I know, strong junior events overseas (World Youth etc) are run on a one game per day basis with the exception of one or two days so that players can have more time to prepare. For major (not junior) international events, tournaments can be run on a two games per day basis because the players have had a lot more experience using this type of format, and due to the players being generally older, they are able to cope as they don’t get tired as easily.

I see the point that parents have – the majority would prefer it being shorter so that the cost is reduced. However, parents should understand the stress this can put on us juniors – we are the reason why the parents go along in the first place so that we can play and represent our state in the nationals aren’t we?

JAK: Favourite sport (s)

ALANA: Soccer, netball and tennis

JAK: Favourite team (s) sports personality

ALANA: Don’t have one as I don’t follow sport, though I do enjoy watching anyone who can beat Raffael Nadal or Roger Federer at tennis. :D

JAK: Favourite style (s) of music

ALANA: New stuff, or old stuff that’s good!? Pink is currently my favourite singer.

JAK: Favourite film (s)

ALANA: Agreeing with Sally, Death at a Funeral has got to be one, and movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Pirates of the Caribbean are always great for a laugh. I recently saw Monsters vs. Aliens as well, that was also awesome.

JAK: Favourite TV show(s)

ALANA: House, NCIS and Scrubs.

JAK: Alana Chibnall thanks for your time, but we haven’t finished yet! Let’s complete the interview with another favourite of your own games!

White: Chibnall, Alana

Black: Kanagarajah, Abbie

Result: 1-0



1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Qg4
Qc7 8. Qxg7 Rg8 9. Qxh7 cxd4 10. Ne2 dxc3 11. f4 Nbc6 12. Qd3 Bd7 13. Nxc3 Nf5
14. Rb1 b6 15. g4 Nfe7 16. Nb5 Qb8 17. Nd6 Kf8 18. Qh7 Rg7 19. Qh8 Rg8 20.
Qh5 Be8 21. f5 f6 22. Qh6 Rg7 23. exf6 Nxf5 24. gxf5 Qc7 25. Qh8



Alana will be happy to respond to any of your comments, questions etc in regards to the contents of this interview so you are all encouraged to expand this interview in a more interactive form.
That's the case with all other interviewees, they would love to participate in this discussion!

D Dragicevic
03-05-2009, 06:48 PM
Nice, enjoyable interview as they all are. Jak, can you give us an insight of which players you are hoping to interview in the future.

Alexrules01
03-05-2009, 10:13 PM
Sounds exactly like me :lol:

Play really well against people 1800+ then lose to people rated 1400 and lower, its weird.

ER
03-05-2009, 11:32 PM
Nice, enjoyable interview as they all are. Jak, can you give us an insight of which players you are hoping to interview in the future.
Hi Domagoj, how are you? :) thanks for your kind words! What I have in mind now is to at least have one more junior after Sally and Alana! I have three in mind, and that's doesn't include Lawrence Matheson who declined due to heavy workload and Antolis who has not yet responded and I take it that he isn't interested!
So after the Juniors series is finished, I have in mind two personalities who like IM Guy West have already established their presence in the Australian Chess History.
Now for future plans, I have in mind interviews with
a small number of international personalities!
A number of Chess parents in a vox pop form and
with participants, spectators and officials from tournaments while they are taking place! I got this idea by Amiel's excellent blog as well as Eclectic's suggestions but that very much depends on technical support from work. We see how it goes! :)

ER
03-05-2009, 11:39 PM
Sounds exactly like me
Play really well against people 1800+ then lose to people rated 1400 and lower, its weird.
Hi Alex and thanks for the response! I am sure Alana, will be very interested to comment on your thoughts!


An interesting interview, thanks JAK and Alana. I've also been pretty impressed by Polgar but you've given me an idea, Alana... I definitely need to become more aggressive in my approach, so I think studying Polgar might be part of the answer.

Thanks again Jean, that will be fun seeing you including some aggressive gambit openings in your repertoire. Just say the word and Fludey will come up with quite a few suggestions! :lol: I am sure Alana would love to talk to you about this topic too! :)

Mischa
03-05-2009, 11:40 PM
your juniors are selected on the basis of?

ER
03-05-2009, 11:44 PM
your juniors are selected on the basis of?
Hi Mischa long time no see, thanks for visiting!

Mischa
03-05-2009, 11:46 PM
and....

ER
03-05-2009, 11:50 PM
and....
visit again some time! :)

Alana
04-05-2009, 09:18 AM
An interesting interview, thanks JAK and Alana. I've also been pretty impressed by Polgar but you've given me an idea, Alana... I definitely need to become more aggressive in my approach, so I think studying Polgar might be part of the answer. :)

No worries Jean, our pleasure. :)

Yes, Judit is indeed an interesting person to have a look at games of, for example: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1092636&kpage=1#reply17 . It's impressive enough winning a game blindfolded normally, but this game is 108 moves long and ends with Judit mating KBN v K!

Alana
04-05-2009, 09:21 AM
Sounds exactly like me :lol:

Play really well against people 1800+ then lose to people rated 1400 and lower, its weird.

Yes I know what you mean, I had a club game on Friday night against a 600, it went on for about 3 hours and I was probably in a losing position (until I got a cheap fork (he had a choice - be back-rank mated or down a piece, he chose the piece)).

ER
04-05-2009, 03:10 PM
(he had a choice - be back-rank mated or down a piece, he chose the piece)).
I would have done the same and I am 1400 (not for long I don't think :() that means he is learning :) :clap: :clap: :clap:

ER
05-05-2009, 02:15 AM
Thanks to Shaun Press for including info about Alana's interview in his prestigious Chess Express Blog! :clap: :clap: :clap:
http://chessexpress.blogspot.com/2009/05/blog-mailbox.html
Also thanks for his kind words about my work, feelings and respect are mutual Shaun, keep up the good work! :)

ER
05-05-2009, 08:20 AM
Nice, enjoyable interview as they all are. Jak, can you give us an insight of which players you are hoping to interview in the future.
Actually Domagoj I think Noble Park is involved in another first! This time it has to do with Australian Chess History since we happen to have for the first time a situation where a brother and a sister are presidents of two different Chess Clubs at the same time in the same City!
That's of course Narelle Szuveges President of Noble Park Chess Club and Grant Szuveges, President of the Melbourne Chess Clun!
Since I have already interviewed Grant, I think it might as well be Narelle's turn this time, so I will message her an invitation to be one of the future interviewees!
That's of course after Alana's interview, which tends to be very successful and popular, reaches its peak! :clap: :clap: :clap: After all it has only been published in its entirety for less than 48 hours!

Having said that let me repeat the most imprortan parts of my original response to you previous posting


What I have in mind now is to at least have one more junior after Sally and Alana! I have three in mind, and that's doesn't include Lawrence Matheson who declined due to heavy workload and Antolis who has not yet responded and I take it that he isn't interested!
So after the Juniors series is finished, I have in mind two personalities who like IM Guy West have already established their presence in the Australian Chess History.
Now for future plans, I have in mind interviews with
a small number of international personalities!
A number of Chess parents in a vox pop form and (maybe some interviews) with participants, spectators and officials from tournaments while they are taking place! I got this idea by Amiel's excellent blog as well as Eclectic's suggestions but that very much depends on technical support (I can get) from work. We see how it goes! Of course first and most important, whatever plans I have are subject to the approval of the Forum's administration which I once again wish to thank for their absolute support, encouragement and provision of assistance everytime is needed!

Watto
12-05-2009, 11:40 PM
And let's finish with an advice that you would give to the junior players
who admire your style and try to play like you!

... Self belief is a powerful asset.

I'm sure this is true. I thought I'd add a short postscript to this as I was very amused when some years ago I came across the scribbled handwritten notes of a disgruntled (junior) Guy West on page 63 of Solitaire Chess by I.A. Horowitz ('Match your wits against the greatest chess masters').

Guy had just scored 50 out of a possible 100 points guessing the moves of a 1908 game where Lasker defeats Tarrasch and was obviously disgusted by the result: “Bastard book! Waste of time. 'Cause as usual my suggestions were as good or better!”

lol, I'm going to have to run the game through Fritz now...
EDIT: I did run it through Fritz and in doing so realised that Guy had actually scored 32/100 but had given himself an extra 18 points to total 50 (:lol:) reasoning that his "suggestions were as good or better!" To be fair to him, several of the moves where he scored zero, Fritz considered them to be the best move. I guess that's the problem with a book where only the moves chosen by the master count.

Desmond
13-05-2009, 01:25 PM
"I guess that's the problem with a book where only the moves chosen by the master count."

That's true, and I recall reading a book that dealt with it a little better. Might have been "Test your chess IQ" or maybe not. There were several moves that might give points in a gven position, maybe something like best move is 7, a move that is almost as good is 5, and moves that don't spoil anything too much get 1 and anything else is 0.

Miranda
13-05-2009, 06:00 PM
“Bastard book! Waste of time. 'Cause as usual my suggestions were as good or better!”
:lol: That's what I always think... but Fritz and I have differing opinions. Perhaps in a few years Fritz will be proven wrong like the book was?

Tony Dowden
13-05-2009, 09:46 PM
:lol: That's what I always think... but Fritz and I have differing opinions. Perhaps in a few years Fritz will be proven wrong like the book was?
Miranda, I reckon the difference is because Fritz has a male silicon chip (I can't say 'Y' chromosome now can I?) :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
13-05-2009, 11:29 PM
Miranda, I reckon the difference is because Fritz has a male silicon chip (I can't say 'Y' chromosome now can I?) :lol:
If a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear it, does it make a sound?
If a man says something with no woman to hear it, is he still wrong? ;) :hmm:

ER
16-05-2009, 07:35 AM
If a man says something with no woman to hear it,
he he, that would never happen!!!

is he still wrong? ;) :hmm:
Yes! :)

ER
20-05-2009, 05:32 PM
Last but not least Alana, first of all other interviewees so far breaks the existing barriers of the Battle of the Sexes… She is not alone; watching over her shoulder was her best friend Genna who also contributed in answering questions alongside Alana. She says she just did it for a laugh, but I thought those responses were very interesting , humorous, and provide another insight to the young Doeberl Minor Champion’s personality here we go:

Do you feel that Chess is still a male sport?

ALANA: I don’t feel that chess is still a male sport (if a sport at all). Though it is mainly dominated by males, there are many females playing all over the world. Hence all the different female programs and tournaments (for example here in ACT there are tournaments such as the Women’s and Girls’ and the Girls Allegro, and a once a year holiday “Chess Chicks” camp) that are run to encourage more girls to play.

GENNA: I was unaware that it was a sport at all. Perhaps it falls into the same category as gardening and cooking? Neither of which are considered male sports. As such I do not consider chess to still be a male sport. However, if it was a male sport, I am sure that Alana would simply dress up as a boy in an attempt to continue playing.

Do you feel that female participants are discriminated against [by] their male opponents?

ALANA: I wouldn’t say we are discriminated against, though it can be weird sometimes turning up and being the only female in a tournament.

GENNA: Yes. However, I am sure the discrimination against Alana and her female peers falls closer to female-inspired awe rather than simple toleration or borderline respect.

Have you [had] any personal case that you or your fellow female chessplayers were discriminated against?

ALANA: Not that I remember.

GENNA: Yes. Alana has always been discriminated against. As a proclaimed chess goddess, she is always worshipped wherever she goes. This is discrimination. However, I have yet to hear any complaints from her about it.

Do you feel that you have something to prove when you play against a male opponent?

ALANA: Not really, I like defeating my opponents no matter whether they are male or female.

GENNA: Yes. Alana feels she has to prove that she is better than them. However, this is a personal thing and has nothing to do with whether she is playing a male opponent or not.

Miranda
20-05-2009, 05:37 PM
ALANA: I wouldn’t say we are discriminated against, though it can be weird sometimes turning up and being the only female in a tournament.
Agreed!

Anyway, very nice interview as usual JaK, and nice responses Alana (and Genna!) ! :clap:

Alana
20-05-2009, 05:39 PM
hahaha thanks. And RESPOND to the other thread!!

ER
20-05-2009, 10:45 PM
And while I was away at the MCC enjoying Carl Gorka's excellent Endgame Lecture, (details in the relevant thread) this thread reached and passed the milestone of 10,000 hits!!! Thank you all for participating either as interviewees and/or commentators or readers! I promise you further improvements as we go!

Desmond
21-05-2009, 08:04 AM
Keep up the good work, mate!

ER
21-05-2009, 10:39 AM
thanks a lot mate! I 'll try! :)

ER
22-05-2009, 01:38 PM
Congratulatory notes as well as a request for a short statement on their selection have been sent to all Junior members of the Chess Chat Forum who will represent Australia in various international competitions! We understand that due to their school work as well as other responsibilities their time is limited so we restricted this contact to one question only!

Miranda Webb-Liddle, the pioneer of the Junior invasion of the Forum, :) and the No 1 infuential personality in terms of youth representation in the Chess Chat was the first to respond!
Here follows her response to our question:

What does this selection mean to you?

Hi Elliott,
Thanks! Of course I"m never too busy to answer a question from you! Hm.... that's a tough question though. I suppose that to me, the selection means a lot, as it's representative of all the work I've put into my chess for the past couple of years. I am just very happy to be able to represent Australia at such a well-known tournament!
Miranda

ER
23-05-2009, 01:44 AM
After Miranda, ladies and gentelmen put your hands together for the always smiling and always popular Thomas Feng! he answers to the question
What does this selection mean to you???

Hi Elliott,
This selection means a lot to me! I am very excited to have been selected for the 3rd time in the last 2 years! It's a great oppurtunity for me to once again experience the high standard of play at an international level! It will also be the first time for me to travel to Singapore and I look forward in 7 months to have a great time!

ER
23-05-2009, 10:23 AM
After Miranda and Thomas, it is now our curren intervieee Alana's turn to tell us what her selection to represent Australia means to her! Here is her statement:

Thanks Elliot! :)
Well I suppose it's my turn now. And you should know that I'm never busy enough to not answer these questions.
Anyhow, selections mean a lot to me as they do to the majority of the players in the team. It's a fantastic opportunity getting to go overseas at our age to represent Australia in an international event. This is the last year I can play as well, so I definatey want to go this time around.

ER
19-06-2009, 05:26 PM
On May 3 2009 (post#193) the following segment was posted in this thread:


(...) What I have in mind now is to at least have one more junior after Sally and Alana! I have three in mind, and that's doesn't include Laurence (*) Matheson who declined due to heavy workload and Antolis who has not yet responded and I take it that he isn't interested! (...)

This is not the case at all. In fact I had approached a group of juniors at BHCC while they were fervently analysing a chess position. I, indeed, addressed one of them (most likely it was Alex Gurevich) and received the above mentioned answer.

We discussed the matter with Laurence in a very friendly way since this incident will in no way affect the respect we have for each other and I assured him that I was going to publicly apologise to him for this honest mistake of mine.

So Laurence, please accept my sincere apology for the above mentioned incident, congratulations for your impressive efforts and achievements in chess tournaments, :clap: and best wishes for your school performance as well. :)

I will see you later tonight at the Club, good luck! :)

(")Spelled Lawrrence in the original

VinayL
20-06-2009, 08:07 PM
Well done JAK! You truly deserve to be commended on your hard work in taking time out to interview juniors and for keeping everyone in the loop of who we may see have the acronym; 'GM' or 'WGM' carved before their names in the future.

Alana
20-06-2009, 10:49 PM
Well done JAK! You truly deserve to be commended on your hard work in taking time out to interview juniors and for keeping everyone in the loop of who we may see have the acronym; 'GM' or 'WGM' carved before their names in the future.
I do agree. Thanks JAK! :clap: :clap: :clap:

ER
20-06-2009, 11:53 PM
Well done JAK! You truly deserve to be commended on your hard work in taking time out to interview juniors and for keeping everyone in the loop of who we may see have the acronym; 'GM' or 'WGM' carved before their names in the future.
Thanks Vinay and all the best to you too for Chess and (of course) studywise! :)

ER
20-06-2009, 11:57 PM
I do agree. Thanks JAK! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Thanks Champ, BTW any chance to have the last questions cluster answered, or shall I go ahead with the next person?
In my opinion your interview was great and it would be nice to have it completed despite the final questions' degree of difficulty!

ER
01-07-2009, 08:55 PM
A very important Chess personality (no more details about his/her identity at present) has agreed to be interviewed for our Forum. The iterview will be published in this ( "An Interview") thread some time in the very near future!
You can speculate about his/her identity here :)

antichrist
01-07-2009, 09:33 PM
A very important Chess personality (no more details about his/her identity at present) has agreed to be interviewed for our Forum. The iterview will be published in this ( "An Interview") thread some time in the very near future!
You can speculate about his/her identity here :)

That Hungarian Senior guy who robbed all the restaurants has risen from the dead and doing an interview just like JC.

ER
02-07-2009, 08:27 AM
Questions have been sent, including aspects of contemporary Australian Chess reality.
I was pleasantly surprised by the immediacy and willingness to respond of our interviewee and I am sure we will all enjoy a very useful discussion.
But, as I previously stated it will take a bit of patience, since I am going interstate this wekend and I might have to fly to LA for a week or so after returning to Melbourne!
(and no, the trip to LA has nothing to do with MJ's funeral. :P Actually my aunty has moved to LA from Portland Oregon and I have to visit her at some stage sooner rather than later!)

Davidflude
02-07-2009, 02:36 PM
(and no, the trip to LA has nothing to do with MJ's funeral. :P Actually my aunty has moved to LA from Portland Oregon and I have to visit her at some stage sooner rather than later!)

LA has got to have better weather than Portland Oregon. While you are there take the ferry to Santa catalina Island

ER
02-07-2009, 02:41 PM
LA has got to have better weather than Portland Oregon. While you are there take the ferry to Santa catalina Island
Yes I will, weather permitting cause the waters there as in Frisco can be very treacherous! :)

ER
02-07-2009, 08:35 PM
Part One of the Interview with GM David Smerdon soon to be published here!

ER
02-07-2009, 08:50 PM
Always smiling, always polite and approachable, always very popular GM David Smerdon is the latest Australian Chess' Jewel of the Crown.
He responded almost immediately to our request for an interview and answered our questions in a most thorough, eloquent and direct way!


The GM David Smerdon Interview Part I

GM David Smerdon, thanks for responding to our questions and welcome to the Chess Forum’s Interview thread…
First of all share with us your feelings and reaction the moment you achieved the GM title!



A huge sense of relief, first and foremost, because I was starting to doubt that I'd ever get there! My style is very attacking, all-systems-go, burn-your-bridges, etc, so my results can vary wildly. However, I've now settled down into a more consistent strength, without losing too much of that style. Secondly, of course, a huge sense of personal satisfaction.

When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a major part in your life?



From when I first learnt the moves at 4. I was immediately captivated, and have never looked back.

Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?



Not at all. Noone in my family knew how to play, and it was more by chance than anything that I learnt. I stumbled across a set that my Dad had won in an architecture contest, and he read the rules from the set and taught me from that. My family is highly artistic, particularly the visual arts such as painting and architecture.

How much support did you have by your family?



Immeasurable amounts. Not just financially, but also time and general encouragement. They allowed me to pursue my chess dreams as far as I wanted, and supported me all the way. But they would have been equally supportive of me, had I chosen a different pursuit.

Who was your first Chess mentor?

Paul Chalupa, a Czech chess coach in Brisbane.

Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess?

Marshall, and Nik Stawski!

Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

Kasparov, of course.

The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

Maybe Morozevich.

The strongest?

Kasparov

The one that you always wanted to meet?

Johnny Hector

Of the top grandmasters you ‘ve met who’s the one that impressed you most not only with his/her Chess talent but with his/her personality as well?

Ivanchuk, for his humility and his passion.

Name three of Australia’s most promising young players?


Bobby Cheng, Emma Guo, Anton Smirnov

ER
03-07-2009, 03:07 PM
Soft FM titles! What’s your view about this controversial topic?

Australia is at a huge disadvantage in nurturing chess talents, not just from a financial level, but also geographical. It's virtually impossible for us to get titles without playing overseas, and most of us don't have these resources nor the time. The 'soft' titles are really more of an equaliser for what is an uneven global playing field.


Now for another controversial topic: While I am sending you these questions, the Vic Junior Championships take place. Of what we have witnessed, clearly some of the best junior players of the State, do not participate. Does that diminish the value of the title?

Yes, very much so. I think top juniors should play; they are role models in themselves, and need to take that responsibility in setting an example for their peers and the younger generation.

Capablanca-Fan
04-07-2009, 02:02 AM
I met Jonny Hector at the World Junior! Very nice bloke. Even scored 1-1 in lightning, which I certainly couldn't now.

ER
06-07-2009, 06:33 PM
This is Part III, (final part) of our interview with GM David Smerdon. It is a verry important part for our junior players since it provides some very important information and advice!

You are a very popular personality, especially amongst young Chess players… What’s a general advice for them?

Play chess because you love it, and for no other reason. If you get sick of it, take a break for a while. I enjoy games the most against people who are passionate about the game, no matter what their strength. And the interesting chess moves usually follow.

Being more specific, please suggest some books for them!

Openings for Juniors, by J. Walker

Attacking the King, by J. Walker

Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge, by Averbahk

Simple Chess, by M. Stean


And what about coaching? Do you suggest systematic, thorough coaching by professionals as a good approach to a youngster’s improvement?



Yes, coaching is very important, but so are different coaching styles. Know what you want when you want coaching, and target coaches accordingly. Also, ask coaches what your weaknesses are, and how you can improve outside of the sessions.

What would you suggest to Chess parents so they can better help their youngsters on the road to improvement?

Give your child freedom, encouragement, and devotion. If they want to quit, present them with all the arguments, but allow them the freedom to know it's their choice. Encourage them to work at their chess, but don't be over-pressuring them. Most of all, nurture their love for the game, choosing coaches and chess friends who display passion for chess themselves.

What are your Chess plans for the future? Are you planning to go overseas to further enhance your strength and rating?

At the moment, I'm very happy with my job, which pays the bills and allows me to keep playing chess for fun. Maybe in the future I'll take some time off for another crack at the European circuit, but I hated playing chess for my next meal, and will never do it again!


Are you happy with Chess the Aussie Way in regards to tournament organisation, junior development programs, and ACF / State Authorities co-operation?

No, of course not, but I blame noone. It's largely a cultural thing in Australia, and while it's a shame, it's nobody's individual fault. But I think Australian chess is getting better, and more professional.

What do they do in Europe or elsewhere, that we should try
to imitate and/or adopt here?

At the moment, there is no realisable dream of becoming a professional chess player here, and no role models to follow in that regard. Getting govt/corporate sponsorship for the top players, allowing them to try their hand at full-time pro chessplaying, is the first step to encouraging juniors and club players to take the game more seriously and possibly with a full-time focus. From that, money flows, and corporate sponsorship and better organisation become easier.

Do you think Chess will ever be recognised as a Sport and obtain some Govt backing in Australia?

I'm not sure. But of course this is the dream!

GM David Smerdon, thanks very much for your time and good luck with your future career!

Watto
06-07-2009, 06:38 PM
An interesting interview! Thanks JaK and David.

ER
06-07-2009, 09:16 PM
Thanks Jean, I appreciate your response! :)

Mischa
06-07-2009, 11:52 PM
Has Jean been interviewed?
(if so I apologise for missing it)

Kevin Bonham
06-07-2009, 11:55 PM
No. First post of this thread now contains a listing of who has been interviewed which I update when I see a new interview added.

Mischa
06-07-2009, 11:57 PM
good idea
thank you

MichaelBaron
07-07-2009, 12:16 AM
Very good interview!!!!:clap:

ER
08-07-2009, 01:14 PM
thanks Michael, glad you enjoyed it!

ER
08-07-2009, 05:43 PM
We conclude our interview with GM David Smerdon with one of his favourite games, annotated by himself
It is his first positive result vs GM Ian Rogers, enjoy it!

White: Rogers,Ian (2562)
Black: Smerdon,David (2257)
Opening: [A01]
Event: Doeberl Cup 38th Canberra
Round: 4
Date: 22.04.2000

I played this when I was 15. This was quite an important game for my
confidence against grandmasters. Before this game, I had 0% against Ian.
Afterwards, he never again beat me with white. DS

1. b3 {Ian, like many grandmasters, occasionally finds that the easiest and safest way to beat'theoryhound' juniors is to steer the game immediately out of conventional channels.} 1 ... e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.e3 Nge7 4.c4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.a3 0-0 7.Nf3 Re8 8.Qc2 d5 {The game moves into some sort of reversed
Taimanov Sicilian. Black is fine, but being a c3-sicilian player
myself, I was a bit on my own.} 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Nxd5 Qxd5 11.Bc4 Qd8
12.h4! Na5?! {Not in itself a bad move, but a bad choice against Ian. I'd
seen white's next move, but I didn't believe he would play it...}
13.Bxf7!? Kxf7 14.b4 Nc6 {The game has radically changed, and enters
'only-move' territory. Black's king is hopelessly exposed, but white has
to keep up the pressure to avoid just being a piece down.} 15.Ng5 Ke7
16.Qc4 Rf8 {16...Qd7!?} 17.b5 h6! {17...Nb8? 18.a4} 18.bxc6 {18.Nh7 Na5
19.Qb4 c5! 20.Qxc5 Qd6 21.Qxd6 Kxd6 22.Nxf8 Bxf8} 18...hxg5 19.hxg5
{19.a4 b5! 20.axb5 Be6} 19...Be6 {19...Qd6!? was a better winning
attempt, and probably the move I would have played in later years. 20.a4
Be6 21.Qc2 Qxc6 22.Qxc6 bxc6 23.Ba3+ Kd7 24.Bxf8 Bxf8} 20.Qc2 {20.Qb4!
leads to an amazing forced variation: 20...Qd6 21.cxb7 Rab8 22.Rh7 Rf7
23.Rxg7 Rxg7 24.Bxe5 Qxb4 25.axb4 Rh7 26.Rxa7 Bd5 27.Bxc7 Rxb7 28.Rxb7
Bxb7 and black should win, but it's a long slog ahead.} 20...Rf5
{20...Qd5!?} 21.f4 Bd5? 22.e4? {I guess in these sorts of positions,
mutual mistakes are to be expected. White could have seized the
initiative with 22.Rh7! Kf8 23.Rxg7 Kxg7 24.e4 Rxf4 25.Bxe5+ Kh7 26.Bxf4
Qh8 27.Rc1 Bxc6 28.Ke2}
The rest of the game will be published after some clarifications by GM Smerdon!

C.Antolis
08-07-2009, 06:27 PM
i dont think 26...Qd5 by black is correct.. . exd5!
in the final position, i dont see how black can draw (especially against rogers)...
i played through it again quickly, spotted another few things that dont make sense..

EDIT: I didnt read "The rest of the game will be published after some clarifications by GM Smerdon!" posted by justaknight so please disregard my comments.

ER
08-07-2009, 06:39 PM
Cedric, as I stated above I am going to ask GM Smerdon for clarification!

ER
08-07-2009, 06:44 PM
further...


Cedric, as I stated above I am going to ask GM Smerdon for clarification! Now if you wish, edit your posting accordingly so we can all make sense! :)

ER
16-07-2009, 05:03 PM
An Interview with Aus u18 Boys Champion Cedric Antolis will be published in this thread later this evening!
I had e-mailed Cedric requesting an interview right after the end of the Championships at the beginning of the year, however due to overloaded study schedule Antolis wasn't able to respond.
To his credit, when he found some free time he responded to the questions gladly revealing interesting parts of his personality as well as a rare (for his age) objectivity and down to earth approach!

ER
16-07-2009, 06:04 PM
The following is Part ONE of Australian U18 Official Boy's Champion Cedric Antolis


Cedric, welcome and thanks for accepting to do this interview! Last time I asked you for an interview you were very busy with your school work, how are things now?

Still quite busy, but a little bit more relaxed as it is now the school holidays

What is it like being a student in a very selective school as University High (and thanks for the correction Cedric ;)! Is academic excellence part of your personal goals?


It is not really my "goal", but i still want to learn stuff and do well in school !

Is your school performance a factor in deciding how much time you spend on chess, sports and other hobbies?

No! it is how much time i need to spend on my school subjects which determines how much time i spend on other things. e.g I have a few essays and a test/SAC due in one week - this means i will probably have less time on non-school related stuff.



How difficult do you find it to combine Chess playing at a high level with studying at school?

Very hard. :(


Who was your first Chess mentor?

Strictly speaking, I didnt really have a first chess mentor as i got to about 1500 strength just by reading books and playing the old men in the state library but then i started going to nick speck's (chess-ed) saturday lessons at MCC(which was quite helpful as Nick is a great chess teacher). but yes, you could call Nick my first chess mentor


Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?

No!


How much support did you have by your family for your Chess playing ?

Not too much... but my mum was kind enough to take me to any tournament I wished to go to(well nearly:)) !

Mischa
16-07-2009, 10:37 PM
Yeah go Cedric...

ER
18-07-2009, 12:42 PM
Aus Junior Champion Cedric Antolis: His thoughts about James Morris, about his victory in the U18 Junior Championships, about his present rating and other topics. Read all about here in PART TWO of his interview when I return from the MCC Allegro later this evening!

ER
18-07-2009, 11:34 PM
You are the current U18 champion! What does this title mean to you?

it doesnt really mean much to me anymore, but it meant a little more at the time.

What were your first thoughts when you won it?

wow, i'm a real cheap ass (after playing to win on time in one of the play-off games with yi- in a completely drawn position )

Did you feel emotional?

no.

At which stage of the tournament you felt that you had a chance to win the title?

at the start. (no joke- i told people at the start of the tournament that i was going to win it-ask zach searle)

You are a very tenacious player and all your opponents regardless of strength expect the unexpected from you. Are you as aggressive and unpredictable in real life?

no, i dont think im like that in real life.

I remember you once getting grounded when instead of somewhere else you were at the MCC playing chess! Were there many cases like this in your chess career?

:P nope.

How serious are you about your future Chess career? Would you at some stage think of going overseas to improve your ability?

not really serious about it, but may go overseas sometime to play chess and holiday!

In the recent Vic Junior Championships yourself along with other top juniors weren't there. Do you think that this situation diminishes the value of the event?

yep, ofcourse. you are no champion if you can't beat the all the other top juniors in the same age group as you during the tournament period (but in this case, jason had a good chance of winning whether many other strong juniors came or not).


Which is your favourite Chess book?

my 60 memorable games - bobby fischer

Your favourite Chess player ever, the one whose style you try to adopt?

my favorite chess player is bobby fischer, but i tend to (try) and also adopt mikhail tals style. a hybrid between tal and fischer could really be menacing ...


Who, according to your opinion is Australia’s most promising young player? (yourself not included here

hmm.. James morris. I've seen him improve amazingly over the years and he has even gotten an IM title! hell probably get a GM title if he ditches school and concentrates on chess (not that i am recommending it). - or may even get it while doing well in school...

What’s the future of chess in Victoria in terms of participation and strength? How do you compare it with the rest of the country?

i am not a fortune teller and cannot predict the future, but I'll tell you what is certain: Victoria will(and has already got) the strongest chess strength in australia. Any chessplayer who isnt from victoria should have the word "PATZER" carved on their forehead. :lol: :P

Would you also be kind enough to share with us your favourite game? The one you really enjoyed playing from the beginning to the end?

i dont really have a favourite game or a game which ive enjoyed playing from beginning to the end (as i ALWAYS blunder somewhere along the way), but i quite like this game i liked my game against doug hamilton, but unfortunately ive thrown out/lost most of my scoresheets so ill just put up a game i can find on the net)

white: Cedric
black: random



1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Be7 5. d4 Nf6 6. Bd3 Nbd7 7. Qe2 Nxe4 8. Bxe4 O-O 9. h4 Nf6 10. Bd3 c5 11. dxc5 Bxc5 12. Bg5 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qb6 14. O-O-O Bxf2 15. Rdf1 Bc5 16. Ng5 e5 17. Rxf6 Qxf6 18. Bxh7 Kh8 19. Qh5 Bg4 20. Qxg4 g6 21. h5 Qf5 22. Qc4 b5 23. Qxc5 Rac8 24. g4 Qxg5 25. Qxf8 Rxf8 26. Bxg5 Kxh7 27. Bf6 Re8 28. h6 g5 29. Bxg5 Rg8 30. Bf6 Rxg4 31. Bxe5 f5 32. Rf1 Rg5 33. Bg7 Kg6 34. Kd2 Rg2 35. Kc3 a5 36. Kb3 Rh2 37. a4 b4 38. Kc4 Kg5 39. Be5 Rxc2 40. Kb3

1-0

Is your present rating representative of your real strength?

2094 is DEFINITELY NOT representative of my current strength, i have not played/studied chess for too many months now... Maybe it was representative of my strength 8 months ago, but i doubt it as i can get very lucky at times.


How important was (and still is) your involvement with Chess Clubs in the development of your chess career?

MCC was quite important. I went there every week to chess class... and the people there were friendly and supportive even though there was not always someone to play chess with on a saturday afternoon.

Favourite writer(s)

dont really have one.

Favourite sport

swimming, although table tennis is also fun.

Favourite film

there are many good movies.. but probably my favorite is pulp fiction.

favourite tv show

i dont watch tv much, but i liked mythbusters on sbs.

Cedric Antolis, thanks for your time!

no problem. :)

ER
18-07-2009, 11:42 PM
And once again many thanks to Kevin Bonham for indexing this interview in the Interview Contents List to be found in Page One of this Project!