by Ian Rogers Halfway through the Australian Open in Brisbane it was already evident that Anton Smirnov’s ambitious quest to become a Grandmaster before his 16th birthday will not succeed. Smirnov, a near-unanimous choice for Australian Player of the Year in 2016, has over the past 12 months achieved threequarters of the legs needed to earn the GM title, raising his world ranking to the requisite level and now needing just one of the three required GM ‘norms’. However, the Open in Brisbane has proven a nightmare for third seeded Smirnov. In the second round he misplayed an advantageous position against Tatiana Kasparova of Belarus, rated 350 points below him, and fell to defeat. He then ran into two of Brisbane’s most promising juniors, Hughston Parle and Tom Maguire, and was lucky to emerge with a point and a half. In the diagrammed position, Smirnov (Black to move) against Parle has achieved his aim of a random position but his move
27...Ba8? turned out to allow a nasty trick in response. 28.Qg4+! Kc7 29.g6! Rxd5 30.cxd5 Qxd5 31.Ne6+! 31.g7 was also good, though Black can hang on with 31...h3 32.Qxh3 f5, which led Parle to this inspired idea to block the d5-g8 diagonal. 31...fxe6 32.g7 h3! 33.Qxh3 Qd8 34.Rc1+ Kb6 35.Qxe6+? The most obvious move on the board, but it turns out not to win. After 35.Qh8, Smirnov would have to resign soon. 35...Ka7 36.Qf7+?! Bb7 37.Qh5 Qd5 38.Qg4 Qd6 39.Qg5 Qe6 40.Kh2 Qg8 41.Qg6 Bb6 42.Rc3? Finally losing control. After 42.a4! anything could happen. 42...e4! 43.a4 f3 44.gxf3 exf3 45.a5 Bd4 46.Rd3 Qa2+ 47.Kh3 f2 48.Rd1 Qb3+ 49.Kh4 Qxd1 50.g8Q Qh1+ 51.Kg5 Qg1+ 52.Kh6 Qxg6+ 53.Qxg6 f1Q 54.Qd6 Qf6+ 55.Qxf6 Bxf6 0-1
With the return to school in February, Australia will have to wait a while longer for our youngest-ever Grandmaster, though few doubt he will achieve the feat within the next 12 months.
g n i g n i r b E V O L E W YOU The Echo!
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Flying too close to the sun Story & image S Sorrensen
Bruce Highway near Caboolture. Monday, 7am. I have managed to get on the highway before the traffic has got too intense. There’s already a lot of cars moving south, but I’m trucking along smoothly. I packed up my Woodford Folk Festival camp last night when the temperature dropped to almost comfortable. Still simmering above 30 degrees, after sunset I was able to fold chairs, dismantle cookers, recycle bottles, and pack grimy clothes without feeling faint. I wanted to hit the road early today to avoid the traffic and – this really inspired me to prompt packing – to enjoy the car’s airconditioning. Bliss. I turn it up to full. In my centre rearview mirror I see only the little caravan. I love this van. It saved me from a slow bake in the Woodford oven. Constructed in Lismore in 1958 by students at the Lismore Technical College, its wooden roof (as opposed to, say, nylon) made my stay at the festival bearable. Otherwise, like the tent campers, when the sun popped like a fireball above the Glasshouse Mountains at 5am, I would’ve had to take refuge in a shady bar, continued from page 10
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FLAWED LAWS NSW forestry regulations are out of date Are NSW forests and the species that inhabit them protected enough from logging and destruction? The Echo recently ran a story where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed to be undertaking ‘a substantial investigation’ into claims by environmentalists that irreplaceable ancient forests had been destroyed in the Cherry Tree State Forest, near Casino. The body responsible is the Forestry Corporation NSW, which is a government department which acts as, you guessed it, a corporation. So far, this species and habitat killing machine has been issued with a official caution, which is like being slapped by a wet lettuce. EPA director forestry, Michael Hood, told The Echo that, ‘The NSW government has recognised that the current forestry regulations are out of date. The government is in the process of undertaking a review of the Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOA) for coastal areas and a draft IFOA is expected to go on public exhibition next year, where members of the community will be encouraged to provide their input and feedback.’
Find out more about flawed laws at: flawedlaws.org and facebook.com/flawedlaws Brought to you by The Echo in the interest of people, not corporations or a police state
12 January 11, 2017 The Byron Shire Echo
This model of business is what is needed to change the world from rampant greed and capitalism gone to its worst extreme, where the very rich are prospering and everyone else is floundering. Thank you, Enova, for giving us the chance to make powerful choices that directly influence our families. This enables us get the power back into the right hands and ensures a prosperous community. Let’s hope one day this model is incorporated everywhere and money, the power-god of our times, is more equitably spread. Magenta Appel-Pye Mullumbimby
Why is it possible to be able to visit Lismore, Ballina, Murwillumbah and Tweed in a motor vehicle and not have to avoid potholes? Could it be that their council staff drive around with their eyes open and do something to have potholes repaired and are aware that their residents don’t want to drive around and spend most of their time avoiding possible disasters?
listening to hot fiddle players and drinking cold beer. That’s a dangerous coping tactic if you have to do a gig that night. (Though it seems standard practice for players of traditional Irish music.) Woodford Folk Festival is a world of celebration. But sometimes it felt like a world happily celebrating while sailing too close to the sun. Like Icarus, the thrill of flying ever higher on the wings of mass consumption is melting the very fabric of our society. The temperature range in which humans can survive is a narrow one. This is the biggest danger we face. Presidents and prime ministers may chuck around threats of monetary collapse if corporations aren’t subsidised; they may warn, with furrowed brows and fake concern, of lifestyle change if capital-
ism is constrained; but they don’t face the big issue. Flying high is addictive. And privilege clouds your judgment. (There are dark clouds on the horizon.) I spent most daylight hours lying in a wet sarong on the bed in my caravan with a fan blowing directly onto me. (That sounds strange…) At least there was no shortage of solar power for the little van. It was an enforced rest, an imposed meditation. The rest was good after the preChristmas busyness. And the meditation emptied my mind – except for occasional fantasies of hiking in the Swiss Alps, dogsledding across the last snows of Alaska, and living in a beer-carton igloo inside the Caboolture bottleshop coolroom. Only when the sun set over the parched hill behind
BSC’s plan to solve their problems is to tax property owners and with a bag of money then repair the roads (and toilets and parks, if they remember!) BSC infers that plan 1 and plan 2 are a waste of money and plan 3 might see a slight improvement. What happens when the dollars run out? Some of the road chaos may be reduced but continuing repairs etc will be needed to be implemented immediately. BSC does not have the population to 1. repair existing problems, and 2. keep up the maintenance. The solution is as ugly as it may sound: ‘increase our population’, and the easiest and quickest way to do this is to amalgamate local government areas, eg join BSC with Ballina or Lismore or Tweed or Murwillumbah. Not just keep taxing local property owners, most of whom get zero benefits. At this stage BSC can’t even fix their own street (Station Street in Mullumbimby) and just to name a few other streets: Poplar Avenue, Pine Avenue, Fern Street, Main Arm Road, Coolamon Sce-
nic Avenue. I have noticed regravelling of the odd laneway – what about fixing the roads first and the lanes later? BSC has the hide to then tell us that a large number of suburban streets will never be fixed. I am sure many ratepayers would like to know the streets you intend to ignore so please advise the names of the public roads/streets that you have selected to be included in the ‘never to be repaired’ category. Malcolm Murray Mullumbimby
Richard Hil, Ngara Institute, Echo, December 28, tries to engage by having a conversation with the population about developing new narratives and political solutions to the growing right-wing, populist trend today on a global scale. Let us face it, mainstream politics is rapidly losing credibility and appeal. In an age of neoliberalism, unbridled individualism is undermining political collectivism, as self-interest further permeates our culture and way of life. Meanwhile, right wing
me was I able to peel myself from the mattress, shower, put pants on, sweat, shower again, put drier pants on, and participate in the festival activities. On the road, it’s easy to identify the vehicles that have been at Woodford Folk Festival. They’re covered in dust. (I couldn’t locate my car in the festival carpark after seven days of festival. The Superman logo on the bonnet that helps me identify it from the many other silver Subarus – a car favoured by the alt-chic – was hidden under a thick layer of dust.) A sprinkle of rain near the Caboolture turnoff has merely added a streaky patina to the dusty duco. The streaked Woodford cars, windows saronged against the sun, are filled with camping gear, sleeping kids and sunburnt people wearing soon-to-be-retired festival hats. Yes, we have flown too close to the sun. But ahead, across the eight lanes of shimmering bitumen, squats a storm cloud as dark as the science, as heavy as the news, as wet as hope. Hot and dusty, we rush towards it. Q See more of S’s work at
governments of all persuasions are dismantling and destroying the social fabric of a just and civil society. Skyrocketing inequality, attacks on the public sector, in the name of privatisations, and an orchestrated onslaught by the conservative media are behind these draconian changes. Public opinion is being carefully managed by politicians to deceive us into believing everything is fine, when in reality, the contrary. The public broadcaster ABC is a classic example, as the Turnbull government oversees a steady reduction of programs and services to the public in providing critical analysis and quality material. In order to better understand what this entirely means in all its complexity requires understanding how ‘power’ functions in the current economic, political system. This power does not operate in a vacuum, and needs a means to assert to continue and grow and expand. Political agency is frequently overlooked, and requires constant reevaluating and democratising in order to re build and reenergise the
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Free, independent weekly newspaper from the Byron Shire in northern NSW, Australia.