Trinity Grammar School
119 Prospect Rd, Summer Hill NSW 2130
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Walking distance (20 minutes)
The competition will be run in accordance with the FIDE Laws of Chess, which can be found on the FIDE website here. Note that these rules include a requirement to write down the moves of the game as they are played on the score sheets provided by the organisers.
The Swiss System will be used for the pairings, which means that players are paired against opponents on a similar score. Smaller divisions may instead be run as a round robin, which means that each player plays every other player in the tournament. All competitions will be played over 9 rounds, except for the Under 10 & 8 Girls which will comprise 8 rounds.
For the U18 and U16 Open, players each have 90 minutes to make all their moves, with 30 seconds automatically added each time they make a move and press the clock. The longest games will take about 4 hours.
For the U14 and U12 Open, as well as the U18, U16, U14 and U12 Girls, players each have 60 minutes to make all their moves, with 30 seconds added each time they make a move and press the clock. The longest games will take about 3 hours.
For the U10 and U8 Open and Girls events, players each have 60 minutes to make all their moves, with 10 seconds added each time they make a move and press the clock. The longest games will last about 2 hours. For most players in these events, this is much more time than they need and most games will be over in less than an hour, so players are encouraged to take their time!
One half-point bye may be taken except in the last 2 rounds of the tournament. You must lodge your bye request with the Chief Arbiter before the pairings are prepared for the following round.
The U18 & U16 Open and U18 Girls divisions will be FIDE and ACF rated, while all other divisions will be ACF rated.
If there are ties, playoffs will be held in accordance with the ACF by-law (see below).
The chief arbiter of the event is Charles Zworestine.
The Organiser shall nominate the Chairman of Appeals. The Committee shall consist of three members. A protest against a decision of an Arbiter must be submitted in writing to the Chief Arbiter within 15 minutes after the end of the relevant playing session. In submitting a protest, a protest fee of $100.00 shall be paid to the Organiser, which is refundable if the protest is upheld.
The Lightning Championship will be held on 17 January 2019 from 3pm.
Entries will close at 2pm.
Lightning, also known as blitz chess, means that players have five minutes each to make all their moves in the game. This allows many games to be played in only a couple of hours. The quick-paced nature of the game means that it is very popular with young players!
This event will be divided into two tournaments, an Under 18 tournament and an Under 12 tournament. Titles and minor medals/awards will be given out for all age categories (Open and Girls) as per main tournament breakdowns.
Enter the Lightning Championships!
The Australian Junior Problem Solving Competition will take on 17th January, 2019 at 11am as per the schedule.
The Problem Solving will go for 2 hours with participants set a series of problems they need to solve.
Trophies will be awarded in each age group, along with some cash prizes.
Enter the Problem Solving Championships!
BY-LAW NO. 3
ACF JUNIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP
1. The Australian Junior Championships, incorporating both open and girls' titles, may be run as one tournament or as separate tournaments for different age groups and/or genders at the discretion of the ACF Council.
a. A player shall only be awarded one title and any associated trophy from each tournament, that being the highest title he/she is eligible for, on the understanding that first in an older age group is higher than first in a younger age group.
b. Notwithstanding 2a, a female player may be awarded one girl's title as well as one open title.
3. Non-monetary prizes, including trophies not associated with the awarding of a title, shall be awarded as follows:
A player shall receive only one under-age non-monetary prize, being the highest non monetary prize he/she is eligible for, on the understanding that first in any age group is higher than second in any age group which is higher than third in any age group, etc.
4. Monetary prizes are in no way related to titles/non-monetary prizes. A player shall receive only one monetary prize, being the largest monetary prize he/she is eligible for.
Resolution of Ties
5. The Play-off Procedures prescribed in By-law 7 of the By-laws for ACF Tournaments do not apply to the ACF Junior Chess Championships, the overriding principle in Junior Championships being to resolve any ties quickly so that prize presentations may be made at a pre-arranged time.
5.1 Ties shall be resolved in the first instance by applying the Sum of Progressive Scores System (SPS) including the Sum of Progressive Score Cuts (SPSC), if necessary. A player's SPS involves use of the score that a player has after the end of each round. These scores are added to form the SPS. SPSC is the player's final SPS reduced by the tournament score of one or more rounds starting with the first round.
5.2.1 If more than two players are tied for first place, paragraph 5.1 shall be applied to reduce the number of tied players to two.
5.2.2 Those players shall participate in a play-off to resolve the tie consistent with the principles in paragraph 5.3.
5.2.3 If, upon the application of paragraph 5.1 it is not possible to reduce the number of players to two, the arbiter shall arrange a play-off among the smallest number of players possible exceeding two, the play-off to be consistent, as far as possible with the principles in paragraph 5.3.
5.3 Play-off Principles
5.3.1 The tied players shall play two games in which each player has 15 minutes for the whole game in each game. Colours for the first game shall be drawn by lot and shall be the opposite for the second game
5.3.2 If the players are still tied, two games shall be played in which each player has 5 minutes for the whole game in each game. Colours for each game shall be consistent with those in paragraph 5.3.1.
This introduction is written for the problem-solving competition in the Australian Junior Chess Championships.
[A] Chess problems: White to play and mate in two moves.
In this type of problem, a position is set up and the solver has to find White's first move (called the key, or key move). Whatever move Black then plays, White must have a move (his second move) that gives check-mate. In some competitions, the solver is asked to write out all the variations (such as if 1...KxN, 2.Rd7 mate), but in this competition you will only need to write down the key. However, you will need to work through all Black's possible defences to make sure your key move is correct. Here is an example:
(1) White to play and mate in two moves.
The solution is: 1.Nf6. Let us check that it is correct: after the key move White is threatening 2.N6d7 mate. How can Black defend against that?
1...KxN, 2.Rd7 mate
1...QxN, 2.f4 mate
1...f4, 2.Rd5 mate
If Black tried any other defence, the threat would still work.
How could we have solved that problem? One method is to try each possible White key move one by one and see whether it is the solution. That could be called a "brute force" method. It will certainly work, but requires a lot of care to avoid missing something along the way, because we tend to assume things that aren't so; it is also a boring method, because it doesn't reveal any interesting relationships in the position. Another method is to study the position to see what is important in it; that is what the composer intended that we do. After a good deal of familiarising ourselves with the position, we might see that 1.Nd7ch would give mate except that Black has the defence 1...Ke6 and then there is no mate to follow on White's second move. Next, we might think that the other N could mate on d7, because then e6 would still be guarded by the N on f8. That suggests 1.Nf6. We might not think of that move in a game of chess at all, because the N can be captured on f6, in fact in two ways. But this is not a game of chess; in problems we throw away all the principles we learned in playing the game, and we only need to know how the men move. The reason is that in a game of chess it usually doesn't matter how many moves it takes to win, but in this problem we have to do it in just two moves. So moves can arise in problems that would seem strange and unnatural in a chess game. They may be described as "paradoxical" or "counter-intuitive". Examples are withdrawing a man from an apparently strong position, freeing a Black man that was pinned, making a move that at first sight seems to have no purpose, or allowing your King to be checked. In fact, it is almost certain that the key will not be an obvious or strong-looking one. Whichever of the two methods you use (or a combination of them), you will need to be aware of all the possible moves for both sides, so a good "sight of the board" is needed.
In this problem the key move had a threat (2.Nd7), but in some other problems White makes no threat but just waits. Whatever move Black makes, White has a move that gives mate. Here is an example; the solution will be given later, together with some discussion, so that you can try it yourself first:
(2) White to play and mate in two moves.
You might wonder why people are interested in chess problems, because they are different from a game of chess. The main answer is that problems are artistic; that means they are beautiful, neat, satisfying, surprising, subtle, and so on. In that way, they are a bit like music, painting, poetry or other arts. Apart from that, they are a good mental challenge, and can free you up from routine thinking and from assuming things that seem obvious at first but might not be so obvious after all.
In many problems you have to be careful because there are some good "tries". A try is a move that would be a key, but it doesn't quite work because there is a successful defence, which may be well hidden.
You might have wondered whether there are any other solutions to (1). The answer is no, and it would be good to check that by looking briefly at all the other possible key moves. If there had been two or more solutions, the problem would be called "unsound" or "cooked", and the other solutions would be called "cooks" (apparently no one knows why that word is used, although there are some theories about the word). Unsound problems are not wanted, and there won't be any in this competition.
A problem is composed by someone, in this case A. Munck in 1901. Composing a sound and beautiful problem is generally quite hard work, but very satisfying if you succeed. There are thousands of problem composers in the world, and millions of solvers (if we include readers of daily newspapers); there has been great interest in it for hundreds of years. It is natural to learn to play the game of chess first, but after you've done that you might like problems as well.
Now here's another for you to try, without any comments; the solution will be given later, so that you can try it yourself first:
(3) White to play and mate in two moves.
And here's another; the solution is not given here:
(4) White to play and mate in two moves.
Some problems ask you to mate not in 2 moves but in 3 moves, or even more moves than that; then they can become quite complicated. In this competition we might have one or more 3-movers, but not very likely more than 3 moves. For 3-movers and more-movers, the brute-force method is less likely to work (unless you are a computer), because there are too many variations to work through. Here's an example:
(5) White to play and mate in three moves.
It soon becomes clear that the key will be a move by the WK, and not to a black square (which would allow a check). But which square will work: h5, h3, f3, or f5? It turns out that it must be 1.Kf5. Then 1...Be5 2.h8=Qch Bxh8 3.f8=Q mate or 2...Bb8 3.Qh1 mate. If we tried 1.K-another white square, then 1...Bd6! and after 2.h8=Qch Bb8 White's Q will not be able to mate on h1.
Many examples of "mate in 2 moves" or "mate in 3 moves", together with well-written solutions, can be found at http://www.ozproblems.com; see the Problem of the Week or previous Problems of the Week with solutions. You could also try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_problem and the links given there. An excellent and charming book (as both e-book and printed book) is Exploration in Chess Beauty by Australia's Andras Toth; the solutions to the many studies and problems are explained in easy-to-read terms (for the purposes of our competition you might see especially the chapter "The Beauty of Compositions: the Joy of Solving"). Another good book, among many, is Solving in Style by John Nunn.
Studies (which usually means end-game studies) are sometimes closely related to what can arise in chess games, but studies are refined and reduced to their essentials. Studies are, like problems, attempts to create something artistic on the basis of the rules of chess. In some studies the artistic element is emphasized, in others the practical element, or anything between those extremes. (Some studies require a good knowledge of endgame theory; we will avoid those studies in this competition, because it takes some years to build up such a knowledge, and the younger solvers will not have done that.)
Problems such as "White to play and mate in two moves" obviously require a definite number of moves, but studies do not require a definite number of moves. A position is set and the challenge is usually either: White to play and win; or: White to play and draw. So finding the first move is not enough; you need to give enough moves to show that it is clearly a win or clearly a draw. Often there will be a main line and side lines, as in the analysis of a chess game. For this competition you will only need to give the main line or lines, not all the minor details. Here is an example:
(6) White to play and draw.
Here it looks as though Black is going to promote to a Q and then win easily simply by his material advantage. In a game, White might mistakenly resign. But the challenge to draw forces White to look for a hidden possibility. The only way to try to prolong the game is 1.Ra1ch Kb8 2.Rb1ch Kc8. Then 3.Re1 would threaten 4.Re8 mate, buf after 3...Kd8 White would have no further way to prolong the game. So 3.Ra1 threatening 4.Ra8 mate. Then Black does not want to draw by repeating moves with 4...Kb8, so he will play 4...Kd8. Now the only attempt is 5.Kd6 again threatening mate. So 5...Ke8 6.Ke6 Kf8 7.Kf6 Kg8. Now White cannot play 8.Kg6 because of 8...g1=Qch, so he must play 8.Ra8ch. The same procedure will now take place with movement in a different direction: 8...Kh7 9.Ra7ch Kh6 10.Ra8 Kh5 11.Kf5 Kh4 12.Kf4 and Black must now retrace his steps with 12...Kh5 (obviously not 12...Kh3 13.Rh8 mate). Black can never get time to promote a pawn, so it is a draw.
To solve a study by a brute-force method is usually not likely to work because there are too many possibilities involved, so we have to reason it out. Here's another example:
(7) White to play and win.
After 1.h8=Q a1=Q 2.QxQ would be stalemate. Instead of 2.QxQ, White will try to bring about a discovered mate along the back rank. The solution is given later, with discussion.
Studies are composed so that it seems at first sight that there could be no solution; therefore you have to look deeply for hidden possibilities.
For more examples you could look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endgame_study (again keeping in mind that the most difficult ones will not generally be set for this competition), and in the book by Andras Toth mentioned earlier.
A number of other types of problem have been composed. Some of them might occasionally be used in our solving competition, although mate in two moves and studies will still be the main types.
One of the other types is called a "self-mate". Here White moves first as usual, but instead of trying to mate Black, he forces Black to mate him! So Black does not want to win, but will be forced to win. Of course we would not normally want to do that in real chess, but it provides a good exercise in manipulating the pieces. Here's an example with an attractive position:
(8) White to play and force Black to give mate in two moves.
If the Black King could be stalemated, he would have to play ...f2# or ...h2#. 1.Rg4 Kh7 2.g8=R would work (the underpromotion to a R instead of a Q was necessary to avoid giving check, which happens to be also mate). But Black could instead play 1...Kf7 and escape to e7. If White tried 1.Rf5 Kh7 2.g8=R then 2...f2+ is not mate. So White instead plays 1.Re5! Kf7 or Kh7 2.g8=R and Black must give mate.
Another of the less common types is called a "proof game". A position is given after a specified move number, and the task is to find all the moves of a game that resulted in the given position after the specified number of moves. (There are also more advanced types of proof game, which we won't deal with here.) This again is not something we have to do as chess-players, but again it is a good exercise in the manipulation of the men. Here's an example:
(9) This position arose after Black's 4th move in a legal (but unusual!) game of chess. What were the moves?
It seems obvious that White's Ng1 will capture Black's two central Ps and also the N that started on g8, and then itself be captured. However, this is a typical case where something that seems obvious turns out to be wrong, for that scheme will not work. The solution is instead 1.Nf3 e5 2.Nxe5 Ne7 3.Nxd7 Nec6 4.Nxb8 Nxb8. So the N on b8 in the final position did not start on b8 but on g8! This may be considered as an exercise in flexible thinking.
(You don't have to follow this advice, of course!)
1. You can solve from the supplied diagram or you can set the position up on your board. If you set it up, make quite sure you've got it right, so as to avoid wasting time on a wrong position. If you set it up and move the men while solving, you'll have to be careful to replace them correctly, so it may be best to avoid moving them unless you find it necessary. It might not be necessary to move the men in "mate in 2" problems, but in other types you might find it necessary.
2. The tasks are ordered from easiest to hardest, insofar as one can estimate the difficulty. It's probably best to attempt them in the printed order, or approximately so. Otherwise, you might spend a lot of time on a harder problem and not solve it, thus not earning any marks.
3. Although any ties would be broken by time taken, ties are very unlikely, so it is best not to rush into it. An attempt to solve a problem quickly might result in your missing the solution altogether, so the time would have been wasted. Calm reasoning is best!
4. Stalemate is often an important factor, particularly in endgame studies. So you need to be ready for it here, even though it doesn't often occur in games of chess. And the same applies to underpromotion (promoting a pawn to a R, B or N instead of to a Q); sometimes underpromotion avoids stalemating the opponent.
5. If you think a problem has no solution or has more than one solution, write that down in your answer, but check carefully first, because it is not intended to set any such problems, so it is extremely unlikely to occur.
(2) In the set position, if it were Black's move, any Black move would be followed by mate (called a "set mate"). Here the set mates are: 1...Bxg3 2.Nxg3#; 1...Bg1 2.Qxf3#; 1...N-any 2.Qxh2#. So if White can find a move that just waits and does no harm to the set mates, he will have succeeded. (If there were no such waiting move, White would have to give up the idea of just waiting, and look for a threat instead.) The try 1.g4? would allow the Bh2 to move out harmlessly. 1.Q-any? or 1.N-any? would upset the mating net (for instance, 1.Qe2? Bxg3!). So White must play a K-move. If he moves his K to a White square, Black can check with his N. 1.Kc5? allows the clever pinning defence 1...Bg1! so that 2.Qxf3# is no longer possible. There is only one move left: 1.Kd6!, which is the key move. Note that White does not mind moving his K into a check by 1...Bxg3+; that is a good feature of a problem because it makes the key move a bit more surprising.
(3) Looking first at Black's possible moves, we see 1...d4? 2.Qh1#. But 1...c3 or 1...b2 do not allow White to mate on his second move. White cannot threaten to mate on his second move, so he will have to find a waiting move. The possibility of mate along the a-file may be noticed: the try 1.Qa4!? could be followed by 1...b2? 2.Kb4# or 1...c3? 2.Kxb3#, but after 1...d4! White no longer has Qh1#. 1.Qa6!? would be no better. So White should combine the idea of mate on the a-file with the Qh1 mate, by playing the correct waiting move 1.Qh8! Note that a key move into a distant corner square, as here, is considered attractive; it does not often occur in a game. Note also that the composer had to place the B on f5, rather than on g6 or h7, to avoid a "cook" by 1.Qf6.
(7) 1.h8=Q a1=Q 2.Qg8 Qa2 3.Qe8 Qa4 4.Qe5ch! Ka8 5.Qh8. Now 5...Qa1 6.QxQ is not stalemate but leads to mate next move. The effect of moves 2 to 5 was to bring about the same position that had been reached after move 1, with an important difference: the BK is now on a8 rather than on b8. White's Queen moves can be called "triangulation", following the triangle h8-e8-e5-h8. That series of WQ moves makes a satisfying pattern. The way the BQ and WQ match each other's moves is also satisfying. (If White had played 2.Qe8 already, Black would have answered with 2...Qg7, so the slower triangulation was necessary; but not 3.Qf8? Qa3 4.Qe8 Qd6+.)
Great satisfaction is obtained by some people from solving or composing chess problems or studies. The first step is always to solve a lot of them, which is what you'll be doing here. Australia has some of the best solvers, including seniors Ian Rogers and Stephen Solomon. Bobby Cheng, Anton Smirnov and other juniors are pretty good too! Later you might become interested in composing; Australia also has some of the best composers in the world, including Peter Wong and Geoff Foster. For a lot more about problems, see the Australian site http://www.ozproblems.com.
The previous papers and solutions are currently available here, and via the Links section of the ozproblems web site mentioned above (in some cases at the end of the Reports):
2008 (click on the 3 items under Problem Solving Solutions)
2009 (click on the 6 "Solutions..." links)
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To enrol for the competition, please fill in the online entry form and pay by internet banking (or a direct deposit at any branch of the Commonwealth Bank) using the details below. When paying for the tournament, please identify your payment transaction with the name of your child. To assist with identifying your payment, please email a copy of your receipt to email@example.com.
Commonwealth Bank – Town Hall Branch
Number Account: 00904158
Account Name: NSW Junior Chess League
List of registered participants in each tournament.
Any Australian citizen or permanent resident who was born in 2001 or later. Those who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents should contact with Richard Gastineau-Hills - firstname.lastname@example.org as they may be allowed to play at the discretion of the organisers.
Players and their parents enjoy the tournament for any number of reasons. Some see the tournament as a social opportunity that allows them to meet like-minded families from around the country. Some parents see the tournament as an educational opportunity for their child in having them sitting down and concentrating for a long period of time (many will say that playing chess improves a child's exam results!) Some like the life lesson it gives their child in dealing with the highs and lows of victory and defeat. Most importantly, many children enjoy playing chess and will see it as a fun school holiday activity.
The tournament format was changed a few years ago to be more inclusive to players of all strengths. Players should ensure that they are aware of the rules of competition chess (players may ask an arbiter if they have any questions about this) and tournament etiquette (see below), but beyond that there is no minimum limit. Note that the tournament format as described below means that while players new to tournament chess may struggle initially, they will soon come up against players of similar ability.
Divisions with enough players (typically most of the Open divisions and the younger Girls divisions) will be 9 Rounds long with opponents determined by the Swiss System. The Swiss System is a method whereby players are paired with opponents with a similar score. This means that after the first couple of rounds players will find that their opponents are of similar strength to themselves, as well as ensuring that the top players get a chance to play against each other to achieve a fair tournament result.
Smaller divisions may be played in a round robin format where each player plays against every other player in the tournament. Very small tournaments may be merged with other age groups, with titles going to the highest placed player in each age group.
Yes, the U12 and U14 Open are scheduled such that they do not clash with the U8 and U10 Open. For example, a 9-year-old boy may wish to play in the U10 Open from 14-16 January and the U12 Open from 18-22 January.
Recording the moves is a requirement of tournament chess where the time limit is long enough, as it is in all events at the AJCC except the Lightning competition. Don't panic though, it's not difficult. This link should help. Players in the U10 and U8 are allowed to stop recording when they have less than five minutes left on their clock. In other divisions players must record every move. Having 30 seconds added each move allows time to record to the end of the game.
Recording the moves makes it very easy to resolve most disputes, as well as allowing players, coaches and the organisers to have a record of the games. Coaches find it particularly useful to review the recorded games, as it helps them identify where a player may be going wrong.
Players in the tournament should abide by these simple rules:
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