ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The club's annual general meeting took place on 28th November 2019. Here are the minutes of the meeting and some photos of the prize winners taken by Nitesh Seebran:
BLACKBURN MEMORIAL AUGUST/SEPTEMBER
The sixth John Blackburn memorial tournament ended on 19th September 2019. Jason Subke continued his good form in 2019 with another 1st place, conceding just one draw to 2nd place finisher, Cyril Danisa. Here are the final results.
PUZZLE CONTEST FOR 126th BIRTHDAY
A puzzle contest was held to celebrate the club's 126th birthday in August. Thanks go to Desmond for setting the birthday puzzles for those interested in having a go at them.
JASON SUBKE IS NEW CLUB CHAMPION
The club started its annual championships on 14th March 2019. The Championship and Candidates sections were both 10 player round robins, with the time control of 90 minutes each with a 30 second increment. These sections were FIDE rated and I have captured the available game scores, which can be downloaded as noted below.
When I last reported, it was impossible to predict a winner in Section A, as so many games had been postponed. Now the dust has settled, we have a new champion, Jason Subke, with Cyril Danisa taking 2nd place. Here are the final results, with 36 games.
YOUNG SOOJAY WINS SECTION B
Section B was won by Durban's top under 12 player, Jorah Soojay, with 8 out of 9. It will be interesting to see how he fares in section A next year. In joint 2nd place were Riccardo Benedetti and Senzo Msimango. Here are the final results, with 39 games.
MTOBOYI CLEAN SWEEPS SECTION C
The C section of the Club Championships was a 9 round Swiss section. It was won by Sipho Mtoboyi with a clean score of 9 out of 9. Second place was taken by Devon Govender. Here are the final results.
KZN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP (APRIL)
The 2019 KZN open was organised by KZN Chess Association at the last minute at the end of April. Instead of the usual 7 rounds being played over a long weekend, the event was shortened to 6 rounds over 2 days, namely the 27th and 28th April. The other consequence was that the time control was also shortened to 60 minutes each per player, instead of using the FIDE time control of 90 minutes plus 30 second increments as in the previous 2 years. It was a case of fastest fingers first, and the outright winner was Lindokuhle Xulu with 5½ points. Here are the results of section A and of section B.
UMHLANGA INVITATIONAL (APRIL)
The Umhlanga invitational, from the 19th to 21st April, was the strongest event to be held in KZN in 2019. It was won by our former club champion, CM Nashlen Govindasamy, who narrowly pipped the reigning SA champion, IM Johannes Mabusela. The other players were the top 2 under 16 players in SA, namely CM Banele Mhango and club member FM Naseem Essa. Incidentally, both the organiser and the arbiter were former DCC champions. I had an interesting time setting up some new DGT smart boards. The new boards are made of plastic and are much lighter and much cheaper than the previous wooden DGT boards. The DGT software took some getting used to, but I was able to successfully broadcast all the live games. The games and final results can be found here.
NEW SA UNDER 8 CHAMPION
Congratulations to Daaruk Kumarasamy on becoming the South African under 8 champion, with the fine score of 8 out of 9.
MOSS KOLNIK MEMORIAL JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019
The club began its first tournament of the year on 10th January 2019. Jason Subke convincingly won the event, followed closely by Desmond Rooplal. Detailed tournament results can be found on chess-results.
Congratulations go to Riccardo Benedetti and Desmond Rooplal for scoring over 80% on the February 2019 Arbiters exam. They are now qualified as Regional Arbiters. Ryan Kippen also took the exam and passed as Tournament Supervisor.
AN EPIC BATTLE
On the 21st February, I saw the world record for the most moves in a game of chess broken. The top 2 programs, Stockfish and LCZero, just had a 362 move draw in their 86th match game! After 84 games the match was tied at 42 each, the equivalent of 7 human title matches. Those interested in this epic battle can find the games at the TCEC chessdom website.
The main point of interest is that Leela Chess Zero uses search methods that are radically different to the traditional alpha-beta search used by Stockfish 10, the highest rated program. Instead, as explained in this article by Stephan Platz, it is using Monte Carlo techniques, similar to those made famous by the Alpha Zero program. Footnote: Their 100 game match was won by Stockfish 10-9 with 81 draws.
SA JUNIOR CLOSED CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019
Chess SA has announced that their 2019 Junior Closed will take place at Kopanong in Benoni from 16th to 23rd March 2019. Congratulations to our junior members Daaruk Kumarasamy, Jorah Soojay, Keniesha Govender, Lesharn Govender, Charlotte Millard and Naseem Essa, whose names are on the list of qualifiers published by Chess SA on Thursday 10th January.