This year the SA Junior Chess Championships was held in Durban, for the first
time since 2001. The venue was the magnificent International Convention Centre,
thanks to sponsorship from Ethekwini Municipality. About 2 100 players arrived
from all over South Africa for the team events. Further details can be found
on the CHESS SA website. Congratulations to our many junior members who received
their provincial colours.
After the teams event, there was a Wild Card championships, and also an Inter-Union teams championship. Here are the games from the 2013 Inter-Union (all 196 games played).
The club's 120th AGM took place on 21st November. Here are the minutes of the last AGM
and also a list of prize winners. The club is now in recess until 2 January 2014.
The activities planned for next year can be found in the Club Calendar.
Here are the final results after round 6. I had an interesting game against Danisa
in the last round, when he correctly grabbed my b2 pawn, but left the Queen there for too long, allowing me to
trap and win it for a couple of pieces. On board 2 Sayen Naidu defeated Bruce Medway and on board 3 Henry Oliver
defeated Shivar Gopaulsingh to share second place. Interestingly, Henry took second place in all of our three
Swiss events this year - a consistent improvement.
The club's annual blitz championships took place on 19th September and was won by visiting blitz maestro
Mbongeni Sithole. Mbongeni defeated Erick Takawira 2-0 in the semis and then Keith Rust 2-1 in the final.
This tournament started on 25th July and here are the final results after round 7.
The last round saw the top board pairings Subke vs Rust and Danisa vs Mgaga, with Rust and Mgaga
leading the field by a full point. As the evening drew to a close, Subke blew a winning position
in time trouble, letting his wily opponent off with a draw, whereas Mgaga tried too hard to win
and ended up losing, after allowing Danisa's King to run from b1 to g2, escaping his Q-side attack.
All of which left Rust in 1st place, with Mgaga, Danisa and Oliver tied for 2nd place.
The Durban Chess Club was founded in August 1893, so we turned 120 this month. Members met to
enjoy some birthday cake and some not so serious chess on Thursday 15th August. Former club president
Louis Courtois donated two boxes of chess books to the club, and members were able to acquire
some very good books, free of charge. Thanks Louis!
It is fairly well known that computers can play six man endgames perfectly, as they have access to
tablebases which contain every possible position with that material. So for example, King, Rook and
one pawn each will be played perfectly. Any 6-man position can be looked up on the Shredder website
and you can see the result for each legal move. Currently 7-man tablebases are not available as the
tables are enormous - one estimate being 100 terabytes for all the tables. So I was fascinated by the
FinalGen software, which claimed to generate tablebases for all chess endgames, with a maximum of one
piece on each side and any number of pawns.
Naturally I had to put this claim to the test! One position that I tried was:
Here Moss played 61.Rd3? and after the swap 61...Rxd3 62.Bxd3 we reach our test position, with 8 chess
men on the board. The game ended 62...Kg7 63.g5 Bd8 64.f6+ Bxf6 draw agreed. I always felt that 61.Rd3
let me off the hook (61.Bd3 was winning) as the opposite Bishop ending was drawn. The two key factors
are the wrong RP and the lack of open files for the white King on the right.
So after using 148GB and 274 minutes FinalGen has confirmed that the position after the Rook swap was drawn!
This was played at two games per week (Black and White vs the same opponent). We started
on 20th June and these are the final results after 8 rounds.
The club championships started on 14th March, and we now know all the section winners.
Section A kept us guessing until the very end! Bongani Mgaga, who was on fire with 6 out of 7,
lost his 8th game to Nashlen Govindasamy, bringing them level on 6 out of 8, with one postponed
game each left to play. Jason Subke was already on 6 points from 9 games and Keith Rust overtook
him in his last game to reach 6½ points. So we knew that 7 points was the target for first place.
In a dramatic last round, Bongani won quickly vs Sivuyile Mgobhozi, then had to wait for the game
between Nashlen and Desmond Rooplal to finish.
This position was reached around 11.15 pm. Earlier Desmond had blundered the exchange for a pawn,
and Nashlen has just finished shuffling his pieces to support the g4 pawn break. By now Bongani
couldn't bear to watch, but Jason and myself were fascinated. Play continued with:
60.g4 hxg4 61.hxg4 Qh3! (The best move, which involves
a piece sacrifice. Taking by 61...fxg4 62.Bxg4+ Nxg4 63.Rxg4 Qh3+ 64.Kf2! favours White)
62.g5! Qxe3! (Wow - now he will be a Rook down! Does he have a perpetual?)
63.gxf6 Qxf4+ 64.Rf2 Rxg1+ 65.Kxg1 Qg3+ 66.Rg2 Qe3+ 67.Kf1 Qf4+ 68.Rf2 Qh6
(I was expecting 68...Qh4! here, as 69.Bh5 is now a possible defence against Qh1+)
69.Kg1 Qg5+ 70. Kh1 Bd6! 71. Rxf5?? (Nashlen grabbed the pawn, based on the Bg4 pin,
but this should lose. By now he was down to his last minute, whilst Desmond had a little bit
more time. Both sides missed winning chances in what followed next.)
71...Qh4+ 72. Kg2 Qg3+ 73. Kf1 Qh3+ 74. Kg1 e3??
(afterwards Nashlen pointed out the forced mate starting with 74...Bh2+ eg.
75. Kh1 Bg3+ 76. Kg1 Qh2+ 77.Kf1 Qh1# or 75. Kf2 e3+ 76. Ke1 Bg3+ 77. Rf2 Bxf2#)
75. Rh5 Qg3+ 76. Kh1 Qf4 77.Bg4+ Kc7 78. Rh7+ Kb8 79. Qf3 Qxd4 80. f7 Qa1+ 81. Kg2 Qb2+
82. Qe2 Qf6? 83. Rh3? (83.Qxe3 was spotted by Jason) 83...d4 84. Qf3 Qg7 85. Rh1 d3
86. Rf1?? (overlooking a long move by the Queen, probably 86.Rb1 should win here)
86...Qb2+ 87. Rf2 exf2? (better was 87...Qxf2+ 88.Qxf2 exf2 89.Kxf2 although the
opposite Bishop ending looks drawish) 88. f8=Q+ Bxf8 89. Qxf8+ ½-½
This dramatic marathon ended just after midnight!
So congratulations go to Bongani Mgaga for winning the Durban title for a third time. Here is the cross table for section A.
Section B was won by Jonathan Kupis, who won his last two games vs Rahul Beekrum and Alphonse Msomi, to end with 8 out of 10. He was defeated by both of the players who shared 2nd place, namely Paul Curry and Denver White, who finished with 6½ out of 10. Denver had the distinction of defeating both of the leaders (Paul Curry and then Jonathan Kupis) in his last two games. Travis Chetty finished in 4th place on 6 points. The cross table for section B is here.
Section C has ended with Ampie Niehaus a convincing winner on 8½ out of 9, a full 2 points ahead of Nadean Gopaulsingh in 2nd place on 6½ points. The cross table for section C is here.
Section D was won by James Naidoo with a full house 9 out of 9! James had some trouble in his last game vs Rajendra Moodley, which went down to the last minute of play. Going into the event James was unrated, so it will be interesting to see his new Chessa rating. Mondli Ngcongo finished in second place on 7 points. These are the final results for section D.
Durban Chess Club celebrates its 120th birthday this year ... so we decided to go BIG
and increased this year's prize fund by R8 200, for a total of R23 700.
These are the results after the final 7th round for section A and section B.
LATEST DOWNLOAD: 2013 KZN Open (games played on top 10 boards).
A large number of our junior members took part in the SA Junior Closed event held in
Benoni. I was particularly impressed by the under 12 boys
where Ananta Reddy finished 1st with Cailin Chetty in 2nd place. Well done to them!
The KZN Chess Union had a record 164 entries to this event, although this was reduced by
a number of player defaults. The first round saw a few big upsets, the biggest being on
table 13 (unlucky for some), where Thirushan Pather scored a 780-point upset!
Quite a lot of players ended day 2 on 4 out of 4, including young Marques Hansen, who
registered wins over Bongani Mgaga and Henco Marais. The final 3 rounds saw a number of draws,
which left several players in the running for the top places. We got the much anticipated
battle between visiting stars Daniel Cawdery and Rodwell Makoto in the last round, with
Daniel winning this one to secure 1st place. In the last few minutes of play, errors by Durban players
Nashlen Govindasamy and Jason Subke let their opponents through to tie with Daniel on 6½ points.
These are the final results.
Robert James Fischer (9 March 1943 -17 January 2008) is considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time.
Durban Chess Club hosted a one day rapid tournament to commemorate Fischer's 70th birthday at Glenwood High School. In
a tournament full of upsets, the biggest shock came in the last round, when top seed Erick Takawira blundered a piece
against Marius Botha and lost. This led to first prize being shared between Nashlen Govindasamy and Marius Botha, both
with 6 out of 7. A large group followed, just half a point behind them.
Here are the final results after round 7.
The club's first tournament of the year started on 10th January and is now finished.
Here are the final results after round 8.
Thanks to Jonathan Bentham for organising the Glenwood open. After 6 rounds top seed Nashlen Govindasamy
was leading by half a point, but he could only draw his last round game, which let Keith Rust, Desmond Rooplal
and Travis Chetty catch him on 6 out of 7. Here are the final results after round 7.