We’re excited to congratulate our team member Kye Walls who took out third place at the 2023 Dubbo Chess Open. Kye joined Roberts + Morrow as a finance officer in 2022. Prior to this Kye was awarded Dux of Guyra Central School in his final year. He is a hardworking and intelligent young man, and we’re excited to see what his future holds as he begins his first corporate job at R+M.
We asked him a few questions about his interests in chess….
What do you enjoy the most during a game of chess?
There is so much to the world of chess that interests me. The opening and endgame phases of chess are what interests me the most in the game itself. The opening gives the game its flavour, with many very strong players and chess engines developing theoretical lines that stretch 10, 15, 20 and occasionally even more moves for so many different openings. The endgame, on the other hand, is where games are won, drawn, or lost. Chess players must know their endgames, to not often results in drawing winning positions or losing drawn/winning positions.
However, the thing about chess that interests me above all else is that it is a game devoid of luck. What this means for players is that if you lose a game, it is entirely your own fault. This may seem harsh, but it is great in the way that you can always improve. Especially with engine analysis, you can check each move of a game and see whether it was a good move or a bad one and why it was either. From analysis you can learn from your mistakes and get better. You must lose to learn is something chess players often have to remind themselves of.
What is my best move/strategy?
It’s hard to pinpoint my best strategy, as for both White and Black I need to be prepared for a range of responses from my opponent. Generally as White I aim for the Spanish opening, also known as the Ruy Lopez. This is one of the oldest and theoretically dense openings in all of chess so lots to think about, but my knowledge of this opening has been built up over lots of studying and playing lots of games. As Black my favourite ways to play are the Semi-Slav Defence, which is very closed, positional and thematic and the Spanish, which is also very closed, positional and thematic.
For a best move, a recent Candidate came from Game 5 in Dubbo, against the second-highest rated opponent in the field. This position arose from a Petrov, which I played as I knew from a previous game in the tournament that my opponent played the Italian, an opening I dislike playing as Black. My opponent played somewhat inaccurately, which led to me winning a pawn and playing to the current position. At this point I have a significant edge and a clear path to conversion, but the position still required calculation and a clinical finisher.