Friday, August 16, 2019

LCCC Kid's Night 081219 Had Three New Players - and a Chess Life - Semen 'Sam' Doroshko

Semen (Sam) Doroshko - chess player/teacher/organizer
Chess lost another one of it's best advocates, teacher and friend this year to Father Time at age 96.
Semen (Sam) Doroshko was a Jackson, Michigan resident since he immigrated from the Ukraine in 1950 at the age of 27.
Six years later, "Sam" founded the Jackson Chess Club in 1956, which he led for twelve years as their president. That was where Mr. Doroshko liked to play his chess. He did play USCF tournament chess, in 2004 and 2005
But at age 81, he 'retired' from tournament chess, but still was a weekly visitor to HIS club.
For Doroshko, chess isn't just a game, its a way of life. "In my view, you have to patient to play chess. It teaches you how to control your nerves and not be jumpy. It is interesting to outsmart your opponent."
In a spiral bound notebook, Doroshko keeps yellowed newspaper clippings as far back as 1950. Some show the young Doroshko showing the same concentration he gave the game of chess all his life.
The Jackson Chess Club used to meet in the old City Hall and then later to the Jackson YMCA.
Doroshko would help run chess tournaments there and would play young chess players - sometimes 10 at a time, handing out lessons as he played them. "I like to see young people enjoy the game," he would say.
Semen Doroshko grew up under the iron fist of Josef Stalin. At 19. Sam immigrated to the USA by way of Germany - where he had been taken to work as forced labor for the Nazis during WWII. Leaving his home at the time meant leaving his family and also put a stop to his training to be an electrical technician.
After the war, Sam met his future wife Anna (Staruchina) in a displaced person's camp. He then was able to take his wife and 1st child Luba to the USA to work at an Indiana farm. They were there for a year before moving to Jackson, Michigan.
Sam found some construction work before opening Doro Window Cleaning Company. With his wife's assistance, the company grew into the largest window cleaning/janitorial service company's in the Jackson area.
Sam leaves behind his wife Anna, daughter's Luba, Lucy, Anna and Irene, son-in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even two great-great grandchildren!
LCCC heard about this fine man and chess legend thru his daughter Irene, who stopped by LCCC and donated two of Sam's chess sets. She knew her father would want those sets to be in the hands of other fellow chess players who love the game as much as he did.
Thank you Irene, the entire Doroshko family and of course ….Sam. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

LCCC Preparing for Chess Season 2019-2020

Freddie Bartholomew and Judy Garland play chess in between takes.
The Club has been running every week this summer. We are averaging 10 players a night, so there is always a game to be found.

We had another new player - John M. join the club this week. Welcome John.

We have open chess every Monday night and Kid's Night on every second Monday of the month.

Starting in September, we plan either a Club Chess League or a free tournament of some kind.

We also have a continuous running "Ladder" tournament you can join.
Hope to see you at the Club!

Here is an EVEN endgame where one side thinks he can push thru a win. Sometimes a draw is the best you can do.

38. g3            g4
39. Kd3         Kd5
40. Ke3??      .......
White thinks his c and d-pawns will keep the Black king from moving forward on the queen-side or defending on the king-side. So he goes for the win, which is not there.

40. .......        e5
41. dxe5       Kxe5
42. c6           Kd6
43. Kf4         a4
44. Kg5        b3
45. axb3       axb3
46. Kxh5      b2
47. Kxg4      b1 = Q
48. h4          Kxc6
49. Kg5       Qh7
50. White resigns

Friday, June 28, 2019

LCCC Closed on July 1, 2019 - Back on July 8th for Kids Night

Hello chess lovers. LCCC will be closed on Monday July 1 due to maintenance on our building and parking lot upgrades.

But we will be back on Monday July 8th at 6 pm for Kids Night!

In the meantime, here is an entertaining game ending:


Black has just played 15. .....Na5 attacking White's queen.

16. Qa4          .......
Black doesn't dare take White's d5 pawn with his Queen 16......Qxd5, as White could play 17. Rad1, b6  18. Bb5, Qe6 19. Bd7 and Black loses the exchange of a bishop for his rook (+2). The next text move only leaves White with his small opening advantage of (+.3).

16. ......          b6
17. Bb5         Re7
18. Rad1       f5?
Too aggressive too soon for Black. White is starting to add pressure in the center and counter attacking on the wing is sometimes a good strategy. But 18......Nb7 was needed to get that knight back into the game. Remember, a knight on the rim is usually GRIM! White is up (+1) positionally.

19. d6               cxd6
20. Nxd6          Qc7
21. b4               Nb7
22. Ne8            Qxc3
23. Qxa7          Rbxe8?
The best line for Black was 23. .....Qc8 24. Rc1, Qd8  White is now up (+2.5).

24. Bxe8          Qxf3?
Black has a better response with 24. .....Qxb4 but when a game starts to crumble and the clock is ticking, mistakes often are followed by more mistakes. White is up (+3.2).

25. Bb5           f4???
26. Bc4+         Kf8
27. Qb8+         Re8
28. Qc7            fxg3
29. fxg3           Re7
30. Rd8+!        Re8
31. Rxf3+        Bf6
32. Rxf6 mate

Monday, June 10, 2019

LCCC 2019 Fischer Randon 960 Tournament Has Co-Champions!

Chess is great fun outdoors also.
Our Fischer Random 960 tournament ended in a tie with Ken Tack and Pete Bruder sharing the title with 3 points out of four!
Don Mason and Charlie Shoulders finished tied for 3rd with 2.5 points out of four.
Obviously, it was a tight tournament the entire way and lots of fun!
For those of you that have never played "960" chess, stop on by for a free lesson.

A late reminder that we offer a Kid's Night at the Club on the second Monday of the month - which just so happens to be the same day as this posting! See you there hopefully.

Here is an entertaining endgame.

White is up a pawn but has to deal with Black's threat of ......Rh2+.



1. Bh6!          .....
This is the best move believe it or not! 1. Qb5+? only leads to a draw with 1. ...Kg4 2. d7, Rg2+, 3. Rh6, Rxh6+ 4. Bxh6, Qe7 5. Qg5+, Qxg5 6. Bxg5, Ne6 7. Be7, Kf5 and White cannot evict the Black knight from e6.
Also, the variation of 3. Kg8 is also a draw with correct play from Black.

1. .....          Kxh6
2. d7+         Ng6+
3. Rxg6+!   ........
This exchange sacrifice is MANDATORY as White is checkmated after 3. Kg8, Rc8 4. Qe6+ 5. Qf7, Rxc8+ 6. d8=Q, Qxc8 7. Qe8, Qxe8 mate!

3. ......            Kxg6
4. Qb1+         Rc2!
Also mandatory as 4. ...Kf7 leads to a forced mate in 17 moves. With this move, Black has a chance - believe it or not!

5. Qxc2+          Kf7
6. Qh7+            Ke6
Now we see that Black's sacrifice of the rook was setting a trap that many a player would fall for. 7. d8=Q, Qd4+ 8. Qxd4 stalemate!

7. d8=R!           Qe5+
8. Qg7              Qh5+
Also 8. ...Qf6 is better but just prolongs the same losing game for Black.

9. Kg8              Qa5
10. Qg6+          Ke5
11. Qg5+         Resigns

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Club Busy as Kid's Night and the Annual 960 Tournament Continues for 2019

Excuse the long time between posts as life gets in the way sometimes (work and golf!).
But LCCC had a successful Kid's Night on May 13th and also is running our annual Fischer Random 960 tournament. To learn more about this type of chess, search Fischer Random 960 on this blog search engine. It has been covered many times before.
Right now Don Mason is alone in 1st place with 2 points out of 2. Ken Tack and Charlie Shoulders are tied for second with 1.5 points.
The 3rd round will be this Monday. Stop by the club to watch the action, or play as we have several players that attend that did not get in the tournament.


Here is an interesting game from the British Championship in 1964!
Haygarth, playing Black trails Littlewood, playing White by a full point here in Round 5 of the tournament. Littlewood to this point has blitzed a very tough tournament field with a 4 - 0 score!
Haygarth goes on to win this tournament and this game was the pivotal moment.
Littlewood finds a beautiful combination to secure a winning position in this game. But having done the heavy lifting to get to that point, he inexplicably threw it all away.
All I can say is .....been there ......done that!

Haygarth, in a little bit of a hurry to reach the 1st time control at 40 moves misses 40. ....c4! to keep a very slight edge in the position. The text move give Littlewood a full pawn positional advantage (+1) which he uses wisely. An eye for tactics is a Littlewood specialty, as the two text moves for White are deadly if Black doesn't get his King out of the way of the upcoming pin.
Black to move

40. .....          Ne6?
41. Qd3!       Kh8
42. Ne7        Nf8?
Another slight blunder by Black. 42. .....c4 was still better for Black for a little counter-play.

43. Rd1!       Rxh5??
Again 43. .......c4 is still better than snatching the pawn on h5 (+1.4), but White at this point is probably going to win anyway (now +5.5).

44. Qf3!         Rg5
45. Qa8          .........
White will win a piece and Black is only left with a desperate looking perpetual check trick for a draw.

45. ......           Kh7
46. Qxf8         Rxg2+
47. Kf1 ?        ...........
Littlewood is seeing ghosts and drifting into chess blindness as Haygarth did missing c4 for several moves. Oh the pressure of tournament chess and finishing a win you know is just ahead for you.
There is no perpetual check after 47. Kxg2, Qg4+ 48. Kf2, Qf4+ 49. Ke2 and the King heads to a check-free zone on the Queen-side.

47. .....           Rg1+
48. Kf2          Rg2+
49. Kf3???     .........
Unbelievable! Taking the rook still wins of course. Now Black checkmates!

49. .........         Qg4+
50. Ke3            Qe2+
51. Kf4            g5+
52. Kf5            Rf2 ++
 Littlewood fades after this devastating loss. While Haygarth is unstoppable after this escape in this game and wins the tournament. Luck is also a part of chess success.
Been there - done that on both sides of this tournament equation.





Thursday, April 25, 2019

LCCC News and Events - 042519

Chess is always a great way to spend time with a friend.

Livingston County Chess Club News and Events
  1. Next Event - April 22th  - 960 Tournament – 45 minute game – 5 second delay if possibl.
We will play every other week, for 3 or 4 rounds, depending on the number of entries.
This is a fun and event so be sure to be here on April 29th to get in the tournament. There is still time to enter!

  1. Kid’s Night on May 13thBring the younger chess players on this night as the Club is focused on them on the 2nd Monday of every month! 
  2.  Ladder Tournament – is up and running!  Rules are available by the sign in sheet.
You simply look at who is above you on the Ladder and challenge them to a game!
If you win, you move to the space above them. 
If you draw, you move to the space below them. 
If you lose, you stay where you are

If your opponent does not show or play you for 2 consecutive open nights of chess, you also move above him. HINT: This is a little bit of Ladder Strategy

It’s just a little bit of fun motivation to have when playing your casual games!

Upcoming Local Tournaments
May 5 – Lansing Mini-Swiss
May 18 – Canton Chess Tournament
May 18 – 2nd Annual Grand Rapids Spring Classic
May 19 – TYASCC Quads – Troy Public Library
May 21 – Genessee County CC Blitz Championship – Eastside Senior Center, Flint
June 8 – 9 – 2019 Michigan Amateur – Lansing

Now here is a fine finish by the Club's own Don Mason, playing White in the 2019 Michigan Senior Open. Notes by the chess computer Igor3000.

Don Mason with White has just played 44. Ke3 to Kd4 and the game is EVEN.


As we pick up the action, both players are in a little bit of time trouble. 

Both have about 4 minutes left on their clocks, in a 90 minute Game time limit with a 30 second increment. 

This means each player had 90 minutes to defeat their opponent and after every move 30 seconds was added back on your clock.

Your scribe is not a fan of this type of time control as players will often move their kings back and forth twice - or a similar maneuver to gain a minute on each clock. And this can - and has - happened several times is several games. 
But rules are rules and this was the time limit for this event.

Igor must mention that the game is even now, but if Don would have seen 44. d6, White calls the shots the rest of the way. If 44. ....Rb3+, then 45. Kd2 and Black will have a very hard time with that d-pawn. However, time pressure is on and although MAYBE back and forth rook shifts could add time to the clocks, neither player goes that route.

44. .......          Rxh2
Looks the strongest but 44. ....Rd2+  45. Ke5, b3 kept the game even. This line loses Black's only trump - the passed pawn. (+.8)

45.  Rxb4       Kf8
The same 45. ....Rd2+ is needed worse than ever. 46. Ke5, Ra2. Now (+1.4).

46. Ke5           Rd2??
Now it does not work after two lost tempos. 46. ....Ra2 was now the move to try and hold. Now (+4.6).

47. Kf6          Ke8
48. Rb8+       Kd7
49. Rf8          g5?
Better for White was 49. Rb7+ and its over after 49. .....Ke8  50. Rxf7.
And Black is now floundering missing 49. .....h5 giving a slight chance for play. 50. Rxf7+, Ke8  51. Kxg6, Rd3. (+6)

50. Rxf7        Ke8
51. Rh7         Rf2
52. Rxh6       Rxf3+
53. Kxg5       Kd7
54. Rf6          .........
White seals the deal with 54. e5, but Black is lost at this point regardless.

54. ........        Rg3+
55. Kf5          Rg8
56. e5            Rg1
57. Rf7+        Ke8
58. Ke6         Rg6+
59. Rf6          Rg7
60. d6            Black resigns

A nice win in time pressure Don!



Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Casual Chess Night 032519 Had Ten Players - and Club Events Update!

Chess is a fun and sociable game for everyone!

A nice night of chess this evening with ten participants.

The annual Club Officers Meeting will be held this Wednesday Night. The meeting minutes will be shared with the Club on this blog after that meeting.

Without further adieu, here is the latest Club Events update:


Livingston County Chess Club Events and News
  1. Next Event - April 15th  - 960 Tournament – 45 minute game – 5 second delay if possible.
We will play 3 or 4 rounds - depending on the number of entries.
Sorry for the wrong information on the original post. 
Kid’s Night on April 8th.
  1. Ladder Tournament – is up and running!
Rules are available by the sign in sheet.
You simply look at who is in attendance that is above you on the Ladder and challenge them to a game! If you win, you move to the space above them. If you draw, you move to the space below them. If you lose, you stay where you are! It’s just a fun little motivation to have when playing your casual games! Ladder Rules will be available at the Club!
  1. Membership Dues and Election of Officers Time Again – April 1 thru April 22
To become a “Regular” Member of the Club, dues are $20 per year. This entitles the Member to run for any office for the Club (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary or Tournament Director). A Regular Member also can attend any Board Meeting of the Officers. The time and place of any Baord meeting will be given to the Regular Members ahead of time.
All Club dues collected are used for Club supplies, advertising and event hosting – such as simultaneous exhibitions or lectures by Masters or other higher caliber players that may require an appearance fee.
  1. Club Election – April 29
Voting for officers is done by a Regular Member writing their selections on an index card supplied by the Club and placing it in an envelope also supplied by the club. The member simply marks the envelope with a “V” to show it is a vote envelope, and drops it in the Club Senior Center Collection cigar box.
Upcoming Local Tournaments
April 6 – 7 – 2019 Michigan Senior Championship
April 7 – Lansing Mini-Swiss
April 14 – TYASCC Quads – Troy Public Library
April 16 – Genessee County CC Quick Swiss – Eastside Senior Center, Flint
April 20 - Thinkers Challenge - Detroit
April 27 - Canton Chess Tournament - Cherry Hill School, Canton
May 5 -  Lansing Mini-Swiss
May 18 -  Canton Chess Tournament - Cherry Hill School, Canton
May 18 - 2nd Annual Grand Rapids Spring Classic - New City Church, Grand Rapids
May 19 -  TYASCC Quads – Troy Public Library
May 21 -  Genessee County CC Blitz Championship – Eastside Senior Center, Flint
June 8 – 9 – 2019 Michigan Amateur – Lansing
July 20 - 21 - 2019 Michigan Bottom Half Class Championship - Lansing