Reviewed by P.P.O. Kane
First Anglo-Pacific Invitational Chess Championship
By Erik Osbun
Caissa Editions, 2003, 187pp.
The First Anglo-Pacific Invitational Chess Championship was a correspondence chess tournament that began in 1985 and was won by Roger Chapman of New Zealand, with the fine score of 12 and a half points out of 16. This book contains all 135 games from the event, arranged by opening.
Virtually all the games are annotated, courtesy of Erik Osbun. As an annotator, Osbun is engaging, erudite and unfailingly enlightening; and he provides especially full notes to the opening stage of the game. It is clear also that he has had access to at least some of the players’ analysis, and he makes astute use of this information too.
There are some duds among the games. Two of the original seventeen players withdrew and a sizable portion of these players’ games were unfinished and forfeited. (Steven Tennant in particular was a big loss to the tournament, I feel.) Also, there are the occasional clerical errors and oversights. Yet the vast majority of the games are fascinating substantial affairs.
Perhaps my favourite game is Mori-Pare (31), which was a real thriller. It has lots of unexpected twists and breakneck turns and is exciting and eventful right up to the last: a wild, lovely, fluctuating struggle. The winner of the tournament, Roger Chapman, has many attractive efforts to his credit, of which I’ll single out his victory over Muir (18). This game is noteworthy for Chapman’s supple defence; rarely can a king have been so elusive.
Overall, this is an excellent tournament book that I will continue to revisit and refer to in the future for two reasons. First, because it is a great source of opening information and ideas. Second, because the eventful games and insightful notes and analysis provide excellent material for analytical work.
There is full tournament table and an index of openings and an index of players to end. My only serious gripe is the absences of dates: in particular, there is no indication (as far as I can see) as to when the tournament ended.
For readers in the USA, this book can be ordered directly from the publisher:
P.O. Box 151
Yorklyn, DE 19736
For readers in the UK, this book can be ordered from the following outlets:
Chess & Bridge Ltd.
369 Euston Rd.
London NW1 3AR
British Chess Magazine
44 Baker Street
London W1U 7RT
The Chess Player
About the reviewer: P.P.O. Kane lives and works in Manchester, England. He welcomes responses to his reviews and you can reach him at email@example.com