Tuesday, 30 September 2014

World Youth - under 18 team

Kenyon Padayachee scored 5 pts

Randall Varden scored 4 pts

World Youth - under 16 team

Kyran Appanna scored 4 pts
Caitlin Chetty scored 4 pts

Duncan Podmore scored 4 pts

Genevieve Pillay scored 4.5 pts

Keyana Padayachee scored 4.5 pts

Saiyuri Naidoo scored 5 pts

Yashkar Balmakhun scored 4 pts

World Youth - under 14 team

Ananta Reddy scored 4 pts

Liam Moodley scored 4.5 pts

Shivar Gopaulsingh scored 5.5 pts

Tarendra Moodley scored 4 pts

World Youth - under 12 team

Aaron Jude Naidu scored 3.5 points

Dayaan Parthiephal scored 4.5 pts

Chad Millard scored 4.5 pts

Cailin Chetty scored 5 pts

Santham Moodley scored 4 pts

Sachin Reddy scored 4 pts

Rahul Heeralall scored 3.5 pts

Naseem Ahmed Essa scored 5.5 pts

Mayilan Chetty scored 4 pts

Eli-Jordan Govender scored 4 pts

World Youth - under 10 team

Joshua Bezuidenhout scored 5 pts

Jaedon Naidu scored 4.5 pts

Priyasha Naidoo scored 5 pts

World Youth - under 8 team

Aarti Datharam scored 5.5 pts

Charlotte Millard scored 6 pts

Saturday, 27 September 2014

World Youth - stalemate discussion

There has been some discussion on the ChessBase website about the unfairness of stalemate resulting in a draw. I cannot agree with that sentiment. Stalemate should remain a draw! Centuries of endgame theory would be overturned if stalemate was not a draw, as the basic position of K+P versus K with the defending King in front of the pawn would no longer be drawn.

Consider the following diagram, from round 8 of the World Youth under 14 boys, with White to move. White has been defending a Bishop ending a pawn down, and has just swapped the dark squared Bishops, because he knows the pawn ending is drawn:

This is drawn because of the variations 1.Kc4 b3 2.axb3 axb3 3.Kxb3 Ke5 4.Kc4 Kf4 5.Kd5! f5 6.Ke6 swapping all the pawns, or else 4... f5 5.Kd3 Kf4 6.Ke2 Kg3 7.f4 Kxf4 8.Kf2 is a book draw, because of stalemate at the end. Yes, I know that 7.Ke3 also works.

Stalemate usually occurs through carelessness, or through a very clever defence. I saw an example of each case in round 8. In a game on one of the lower boards they had K+R vs K. The final position was wKh1 vs bKh3, with bRg3 causing a stalemate draw. That was extremely careless.

Here is an example of a very clever defence, with Black to move:

Here Black played 1... Re8 threatening Rh8# so 2.Qc7+ is forced, met by 2... Kg6 renewing the mate threat. However, after 2... Kg6 we see that the Kh4 has no legal moves, so White can sacrifice his Queen to achieve stalemate. Unfortunately White blundered and played 3.Qh7+?? Kxh7 4.Kh5 Re1 and had to resign.

Notice that any one of 3.Qb8, 3.Qc8 or 3.Qd8 would be a very clever defence to the mate threat! For example, 3.Qc8! Kf7 (3... Rxc8 is stalemate) 4.Qb7+ Kg6 5.Qxe4+ Rxe4 results in a pretty stalemate.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

World Youth - at the half-way mark

So far we have completed 6 of the 11 rounds, with today being a welcome rest day for the players and officials. At the half-way mark, our leading KZN player is Shivar Gopaulsingh (from Chatsworth) who is playing in the under 14 boys section. Shivar reached 3.5 points from 6 games with a win over Endre Machlik, rated 1902 (from Norway). In the Durban GM open, being held alongside the World Youth championships, we have 5 players on 3 out of 6, namely Qobo, Subke, Xulu, Moodley and Zuma. I will give some photos and games from the boys under 14 section, where I am an arbiter.

Birds eye view of boards 11 to 49 in the under 14 boys section
Kevin Schroeder (2250) from Germany, he lost this Bishop ending
 in round 6 vs his Lithuanian opponent Paulus Pultinevicius (2026)
but won this position with the White pieces in round 4. Black is forced to play
42... Kb6 after which 43. Qd8+ Kc5 44. Qc8+ clinched the game (of course,
he saw the simple trap 43. Rb2 "winning the Queen" is met by Qxb2+ here)
Paulius Pultinevicius of Lithuania, successful vs Schroeder, but this
photo is from his loss against Aram Hakobyan (Armenia) in round 4

Adham Fawzy (2119) from Egypt had a 70-move battle versus fellow Egyptian
Adham Kandil (1927) in round 6, with Kandil winning in the end
Top seed Roven Vogel (2434) from Germany has been battling to beat his lower rated opponents
Carlos Dias (deputy chief arbiter) and Giuseppe Buonocore (section arbiter, boys under 14)
meet about a defective clock, Salikh Ayupov (1489) from Kazakhstan just ignores them
To end off this report, here is an exciting game from round 6:

Monday, 22 September 2014

World Youth - a marathon day

Day 2 was an exhausting double round marathon. The time control for this event is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 30 minutes to complete the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1. Many games took almost 5 hours to complete, with one round 2 game going almost 6 hours after the players got into the notorious Rook and Bishop versus Rook ending (drawn after about 125 moves because of the 50-move rule).

The World Youth is divided by age group and by gender, from under 8 up till under 18. The top 10 boards in each are using DGT boards so that moves played on these boards can be seen by spectators outside the playing hall. Strictly no spectators are allowed inside the playing hall! There is a complicated system of coloured lanyards in place to enforce this. My photo ID has two coloured dots, giving me access to the playing hall and to the arbiters room. If you see somebody with all the colours of the rainbow, then you know they are a numzaan.

In between the rounds I was able to chat to several of the visiting international arbiters. I was shown the following position that was reached in one of the under 8 games, with White to move. White accepted his opponent's draw offer, thinking that stalemate was inevitable:

After the score sheets had been signed, Black confessed that he knew White has a forced win! His winning line went 1.Kf3 g4+ 2.Ke3 g3 3.Kd2 g2 4.Kc2 g1=Q 5.Qb2#. I improved on that with a mate in 3, which you might like to calculate. So, even the under 8's are capable of gamesmanship!

After 3 rounds our local KZN players are struggling to get to grips with players from the rest of the world. Only Aarti Datharam (in the under 8 girls section) still has a plus score (2 points out of 3). Our KZN players seem to be doing better in the Grandmaster open which is being played alongside the World Youth. In the GM open we still have 4 players on a plus score, namely Jason Subke, Lindokuhle Xulu, Joseph Mwale and Jerry Zuma, all with 2 points.

For more information and detailed results, go to the chess-results (RSA) server.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

World Youth - first day impressions

Round 1 got under way a few minutes late but nobody seemed to mind too much after the rousing dancing exhibition. I was present as an arbiter for the under 14 boys division, with boards 11 to 18 being my responsibility. Boards 1 to 10 were played on DGT boards in a separate section of the hall, so I didn't see much of those games. The top seed was rated 2434 and the ratings of the 11th to 18th seeds ranged from 2312 to 2215 on my boards.

Table 11: Burri (France) versus van der Lingen (South Africa)
I watched the board 11 game with great interest. On move 14 Burri sacrificed a Bishop for a strong attack. It seemed to be an intuitive sacrifice, as he played his next 2 moves quickly before starting to think on his 17th move. My computer says both players missed some chances in what followed. Here is the game with light notes:

World Youth opens with dance

Opening ceremonies can be quite boring with all the obligatory speeches, but the organisers livened up their ceremony with a Zulu dancing exhibition. As an arbiter for the under 14 boys group, I was lucky enough to have a front row seat for the dance!

The dancers arrive on stage, creating a buzz
Were they doing the locomotion?
A challenge is laid down as Winston and Gunther look on
I'm not sure how to interpret this look
Dignatories on stage, from left: Lewis Ncube (FIDE Africa), Ravi Govender (Master of Ceremonies),
Emelia Ellapen (FIDE Board), Winston Dalpat (Chessa), Gunther van den Bergh (Chief Arbiter)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Uthungulu Youth champs

After holding a successful trials tournament in August to pick the Uthungulu youth teams, it was decided to hold another rated tournament in September, to sort out the board orders. With only 66 players, a smaller venue at Brackenham Primary was used for the championships. The time control was also increased (to 60/60) so that players could record all their moves, something that was new to a lot of the players. The most common queries were on how to record a promotion. Thanks once again to Lisa Griffiths and her team for inviting me back to Richards Bay for this pleasant event.

Lisa Griffiths gives the "start play" command, the under 14 players are in the foreground
Kabelo Mthethwa vs Lindelwa Nxumalo, behind them is Luyanda Mbambo vs Mxolisi Ncanana,
you can also see Kelvin Aidan and Sandile Mdunge in the picture
u12's Gabriel Gounden, Siyabonga Mqaise and Keane Reddy concentrating on their notation
 u12 players Uvash Harrilall on board 26, Tlhoni Tsotetsi on board 25
Top u14 players, Nikash Baboolal vs Sandile Mdunge, Sandile won yet again
Best under 16, Siyanda Khumalo, deep in thought

The final results were as follows:
under 12 championship
under 14 championship
under 16 championship
under 20 championship

For more information, contact Lisa Griffiths