Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Kids Night 120919 Was a Great Night of Chess!

Chess is always fun......but it makes winter evenings much better!
There was another good crowd at the chess club this Monday for Kid's Night.
But, so far this fall/winter - the crowds have always been good.

We had 17 players this night and we have been averaging 13 players! So if you are looking for some friendly games of chess …..or even a chess lesson, LCCC is the place to be.'

We have only one more week left in 2019 and that is next Monday night. We will re-open on January 6th. 
We will have another Kid's Night on Monday January 13th.

Then we will have the first round of the LCCC Club Championship on January 20. This tournament will run every other week - skipping any Kid's Night that might come up.
The number of rounds will be 3 to 5 rounds depending on the number of entries. Stay tuned for details as the date gets closer.

Now for a very good chess lesson by International Master,  Larry D. Evans;

The correct plan for Black in the following position is to attack White on the king-side as soon as possible.
Black to move!

Why you may ask? Black has several reasons to justify this course of action:
  • > Black has a lead in development. But if not used quickly before White catches up - this advantage will evaporate away.
  • > Black is two pawns down and a defensive strategy would be difficult to maintain on the queen-side with that big a dis-advantage.
  • > Black's Queen is on the king-side and his bishop is already pointing that way. 
  • > White's King is on the king-side
  • > White's under-developed pieces are hibernating on the queen-side. So why would you try to attack there?
Does all this mean that Black's attack is a guaranteed success? Of course not!

Picture a battle between a sheet of newspaper laying flat on the ground versus the sun. The sun is infinitely more powerful but it's rays are spread too thin by the time they reach the earth to set the paper on fire. But, use a magnifying glass to FOCUS the sun's rays just to the paper and it burns almost instantly!
It's the same in chess. The first step in mounting a successful attack against a king is to select a target square - and FOCUS your forces there!
You usually pick one close to the enemy king that your forces can gang up on.

Looking at the position you can readily see that f1 and h1 are out, and h2 is defended twice. It is even worse for f2 as it is defended three times and not under even an X-ray attack by any Black pieces.

That logically leaves g2, who is under a one-to-one attack with a bonus X-ray attack from Black's bishop on b7 (so 1.5 to 1 advantage). No more call's - we have a winner! Anytime you have opposite bishop situations, obviously picking squares matching your bishop is a wise decision.
In addition, the other Black forces can easily join in the fun!

1. .......            Rg4!
2. g3               Qc6
3. Kg2            Ne5
Black never takes his eyes off g2.

4. Qxe5           Qxf3+
5. Kh3             h5!
Threatening 6. …...Qg2 checkmate!

6. Rg1             Rh4+
7. Kxh4           Qg4 checkmate.

Any other move is just as useless.
White resigns!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Chess Club Open This Monday - 111809

The weather did not cooperate with Kid's Night last week. But that is ok. It won't be Kid's Night, but it will still be a Chess Night - and all are invited to play!

So hopefully everyone will stop by this Monday night at 6pm. See you there.

Now for an interesting game I found. White makes one little mis-calcuation and his world crumbles. Ah, such is chess!

1. e4            e5
2. Nf3          d6
3. d4            f5
4. Bc4          exd4
5. Ng5          Nh6
6. O-O          Nc6
7. Nxh7?      ........
Not the best. 7. exf5, Qf6  8. Qh5+, g6  9. Re1+ is more in the spirit of the opening.

7. ……         Ng4
8. Nxf8         Kxf8
9. h3             Nge5
10. Bd5         fxe4
11. Bxe4       d5
12. Bg5         Qd6
13. Bd3         Bxh3
14. gxh3        Rxh3
Position after Black's 14th move. White to move.

It is at this point that White starts to drift. But moving the only pawn near his King to f4 is the play. It protects the bishop, gives space to his rook, give cover for the queen when she moves and takes control of a key square (e5). But de-nuding your King really looks right at first blush.

15. Kg2 ?!        …….
Now Black has 15. …...Nf3 and the King is in trouble!

15. …....            Ng4?!
16. Kxh3??       ……..
Again 16. f4 is needed. White is expecting 16. ……Nce5, 17. Be2, Qg6  18. Bxg4 with a BIG advantage for White (+6). But instead, he actually walked into a mate in 12. Now Black did not see this mate necessarily, but he doesn't have to. He only needs to see that he can now chase the king, and a mate will show up eventually.

16. ……          Qh2+
17. Kxg4         Ne5+
18. Kf5            Re8
19. Bd8           Qh6
20. Rg1           Rxd8
21. Rxg7         Rd6
Here White resigned in the face of :

22. Rg8+          Ke7
23. Rg7+          Qxg7
24. Kf4             Qh6+
25. Kg3            Qg5+
26. Kh2            Rh6+
27. Qh5            Rxh5  mate

Monday, November 11, 2019

Kids Night 11/11/2019 Cancelled Due to Snow!

LCCC closed tonight! See you next week!

Stay warm and safe at home and play chess tonight!
We are cancelling Kid's Night due to poor weather and poor driving conditions!
See you next week!

Mike Nikitin
President, LCCC

Friday, November 8, 2019

Kids Night This Monday! 110819

Paul Morphy - The pride and sorrow of chess masters.
We are having nice crowds at the chess club and we hope to see a return of our younger members for this month's addition of Kid's Night.
Games, lessons or even the ever present Ladder Tournament will be available for the young players. Also a free chess magazine to take home. So come on out to the Club this Monday Night.

Now for an international tournament postal game played in the early 1990's - Tener vs McLellan. Black demonstrates how the best way to answer an attack on the wing is to counter attack in the center!

1. d4          Nf6
2. c4          g6
3. Nc3       Bg7
4. e4          d6
5. f3           O-O
6. Be3        Nc6
7. Nge2      Rb8
8. a3           a6
9. b4           Bd7
10. Qd2      Re8
11. g4?!       .…...
Position after White played 11. g4?! White's King may have too much space!

All book until Black's last move. And White wants to use is board space advantage right away. But Black finds the correct response.

11. ……        b5
12. cxb5        axb5
13. Ng3 ?
White needed 13. Bg2 in order to keep his strong center, develop his last piece and be able to castle to either wing. Now Black pushes back in the center! (-.6) of an advantage for Black now.

13. …..          e5
14. Nxb5        exd4
15. Nxd4        Nxd4
16. Bxd4        Bxg4!
17. Be2 ?!       …….
Black regains the pawn with a slightly larger advantage as the bishop is immune. After 17. fxg4, Nxe4 18. Nxe4, Rxe4 and Black regains his piece with a big plus! The same move 17. Bg2 is still better for White here. Black is now up (-.8).

17. ……         Bh3
18. Kf2 ?      
White's major problem is that his King has no safe haven. Castling king side is now prohibited and castling queen side is castling into air. Staying in the center has a rook and queen X-raying him. Hard to see but 18. Rd1 was the best move. Now Black's advantage is up to (-1.7 pawns).

18. …..           h5
19. Bc4           h4
20. Nf5!?        gxf5
21. Rag1        Ng4+!
McLellan, playing Black, is a teacher of poetry, no accounting. By immediately returning the piece, the Black pieces are left in control of the board, and any hope of counter play by White is a pipe dream. Black is up (-2.1).

22. fxg4         fxg4
23. Bd5          Bxd4+
24. Qxd4        c5!
25. Qc3          Kh7
26. Ra1           …….
White tries hard to keep the Black rooks inactive but McLellan finds a way. 26. Ke2 was better here, as Black is now up (-3.3).

26. …..           Re5
27. Rhe1         Qf6+
28. Kg1           g3!
29. hxg3          Rg8
30. Rf1           Bxf1
31. Rxf1         Qh6
32. Rxf7+       Kh8
33. Rf3 ??       …….
The final blunder in a bad position. As ugly of a move as it is, 33. g4 was needed.

33. ……          hxg3
34. Qb2            g2
White Resigns

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Monday Nights are Full of Chess - Averaging 14 Players 102119

Fall Time is Chess Time!
Fall is chess season! Chess Nights at LCCC have been averaging 14 players for the last five weeks! Our junior members (the kids!) are averaging 4 players a week. So if you have a young chess player, be sure to bring him or her to the Club on Monday Nights.

And don't forget about our special Kid's Night on the second Monday of every month. The next one is November 11th, but of course any Monday night - any player or wanna learner is welcome any night!

Now here is a French Defense miniature. 

The game is called a miniature because it wraps up in less than 25 moves.

White to make move #18
In this position, Igor3000, the chess computer Grandmaster, gives Black a (-.4) of a pawn lead. Now don't get excited. White starts the game with a (+.3) advantage every time. In other words, it is not enough for a forced win. With the correct series of moves, White is still fine.

Black has the lead in development and space. But White can fight back with a little consolidation with 18. Be3 to block Black's dark squared bishop from X-raying White's king. 

Black's mate threat of 18. ….Qh3 is repelled easily with 19. Bf1 and the game is dead EVEN.

But White is oblivious to the threats and trades off his best piece for one of Black's worst ones. There is an old chess adage "to take is a mistake." It applies here.

18. Nxc6          bxc6
19. Be5??         …….

White is completely oblivious to how strong Black's bishop pair is. 19. Nd2 had to be played to avoid defeat.

19. ......             Qh3
20. Bf1             Bxf2+!
21. Kxf2           Ng4+
22. Ke2            Qxh2+
23. Bg2            Qxg2++

Friday, October 11, 2019

Chess Move Checklist, and Kids Night a Success!

And no, your humble scribe did not draw this.
Another successful Kid's Night at the Club. Fourteen players, that included four 'less aged' people that the night is designed for.
Chess games, lessons and free chess magazines were available.
Remember, anyone is welcome any Monday to the Club, but we set aside the 2nd Monday of each month as Kid's Night. The Club makes sure that the younger chess players have an opponent or chess lessons - or both if they prefer.
Stop on by.

Now for a chess lesson for all: Chess Move Checklist

What was the reason for my opponent's last move?
What is the best way to counter my opponent's threat while still continuing my plans?
Am I playing with a plan (even if it is just to develop all my pieces) or do I have no plan at all?

Was my opponent's move a mistake? Can I take advantage of the squares he left uncovered?

If I make the move I want to make, what is my opponent's best response?
Now that I think I have a good move, is there a better one?
Is my brain and hand that move the pieces functioning together? In other words, if I change my mind on a move, can I make sure my hand doesn't go off on it's own and move the piece before I went thru my checklist again?

How am I feeling and thinking? Am I confident or cocky? Do I still care or am I demoralized or don't care?
Am I fighting as hard as I should be? Do I need to walk away from the board and re-focus?

Monday, September 23, 2019

LCCC Ready for Chess Season 2019-2020

Fischer vs Spassky in a tournament years before their Championship match. 
Chess is a year round activity, but winter seems to be chess 'season'. Especially in Michigan and other northern climate places.
LCCC is open to take care of your chess playing or chess learning needs. Our club averages a ten player attendance, practically guaranteeing you an opponent for a friendly over the board game.
Our continuous running 'Ladder' tournament give every game some meaning as you can move up or defend your position on the ladder with every game you play.
We are at the Hartland Senior Center every Monday night from 6pm to 8:30pm.
Looking forward to seeing you there.

Now let's take a look at a game played on line by a LCCC player, Don M. These 'one attacks on one side and the other attacks on the other' games are fun to look at because it is a 'race to victory' or a 'who will flinch first?' scenario.
Don is playing White.
Kings Indian - Samisch Variation (very popular these days)
1. d4          Nf6
2. c4          g6
3. Nc3       Bg7
4. e4          d6
5. f3           O-O
6. Be3        Nbd7
7. Qd2       c5
8. Nge2      b6
9. O-O-O     Ba6
The start of the double edged game.

10. b3          Qc8
11. Kb1        Ne8?
A backwards move is rarely good as it is too slow to work with this many pieces on the board. The computer Grandmaster Igor3000 suggests 11. ….cxd4 or even 11. ...h5 to maintain an even game. White is positionally up 2.5 pawns at this point, but does not capitalize ….yet.

12. g4          Nc7
13. h4          b5
Position after Black played 13. ……    b5

14. Bh6?      bxc4

The game is even here. White's best try was 14. cxb5 to keep the lead after ….Nxb5 15. Nxb5, Bxb5 and 16. Nc3.

15. Bxg7        Kxg7
16. h5             Rh8
17. hxg6?       hxg6
18. Bg2?        ……

It is hard to find the right play here. White wants to keep some control of the file he opened, but his opponent defended well and it was time to cut bait and trade with 18. Rxh8, Qxh8 19. dxc5, Nxc5 and 20. bxc4.
But it all works out for Don as Black also fails to find 18. ….Qb7 to give him a two pawn positional advantage. Instead he gives Don a three pawn advantage with....

18. …..          cxb3??
19. Rxh8        bxa2+
20. Ka1          Qxh8
21. Rh1          Qd8??
Don doesn't miss this easy checkmate!
22. Qh6+        Kf6
23. g5+           Ke6
24. Nf4++
Double edged games! First one to slip and get caught slipping - loses.