Monday, April 29, 2019

Nezhmetdinov's Queen Sacrifice

Its the finals season now, so I'm terribly hard pressed to write any decent articles. The rest of my NTU games -- and one recent QCD game -- are still waiting to be analysed, and they'll have to wait till after finals are over.

In the meantime, I found this annotated game that was analyzed in one of NUS IGC's training sessions quite some time ago. It is an outrageous looking queen sacrifice by the great attacking player Rashid Nezhmetdinov. While not as well known as Tal or Fischer, he is no less aggressive in his play, as his game beautifully demonstrates:

Monday, April 1, 2019

Brexit Memorial to be held on 12 April 2019

Gashimov Memorial, Tal Memorial, what's next? In a momentous announcement today morning, FIDE has announced the Brexit Memorial.

Yes, you read that right. In what FIDE officials described as a "tribute to the death of common sense in Great Britain", the Brexit Memorial was officially announced today. The opening ceremony is scheduled to be held on April 12, 2019, which coincides with Britain's departure from the European Union.

"We have been floating ideas of a Brexit tournament, ever since May's first deal was struck down in Parliament, " a FIDE spokesperson said. "That was when we realized that rationality was something that's going to be more and more precious in this world. Therefore, it is only right to hold a tournament in its memory."

However, it is unclear on who will be participating in the tournament. Many of the world's top players are competing in the ongoing Gashimov Memorial, and the unfortunate timing of the Brexit tournament means that the former's participants will likely be too exhausted to compete in another tournament so soon.

Or maybe they're just tired of all the BS going on in politics right now

However, the English Chess Federation has revealed that many of its top players have expressed their desire to participate in the tournament. "We keep trying to persuade them not to waste their time, and that we will organise bigger and better tournaments in Britain that will outshine anything else in Europe. But they won't listen." An ECF official lamented.

The players, however, gave their side of the story: "We want to play in an European tournament for free, one last time. Next time, we will have to pay taxes to even get past the border."

"They have warned that they will not invite us to the London Chess Classic should we participate. But we told them bull. As chess players, we should have the freedom to participate in whatever tournaments we want!"

Never mind the tension within UK's chess body. FIDE has other things to worry about, namely the handling of logistics for the tournament. Agon, the organization notorious for mishandling the FIDE Candidates 2018, has declined to take charge, lest they botch things up again. And obviously, the English Chess Federation has flat out refused to provide any sponsorship. With the tournament being mere weeks away, it remains to be seen who will be brave enough to take up the mantle of planning such a challenging event.

Or perhaps, if the UK government chooses to remain the EU on May 12, then FIDE's worries will be for nothing, as the Brexit Memorial will no longer hold any significance.

How will the battle among the politicians play out, and what impact will they make on FIDE's decisions as well as chess in general? As chess players, our one concern should be to play chess and not give a damn about politics... which is why you should not believe a word of what was said in this article. Have a happy April Fools, everyone.