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.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

LCCC Closed for Labor Day 2019 - Re-opens September 9, 2019

FM Seth Homa wearing LCCC bling!
The Club is rolling along but have to take a break on Labor Day. We will be back on Monday September 9, 2019 at 6pm. AND that will be Kid's Night also, so bring the kids to give them a break from the shock of starting school again.

If you love chess and have some free time, the Michigan Open will be going on in Lansing at the Marriot Hotel. Stop by and watch the chess tournament, just to see what it is like. If you want to play, you have the option of the Friday thru Monday or Saturday thru Monday schedule.

2019 Michigan Open: Open & Reserve

SITE Radisson Hotel Lansing, 111 N. Grand Avenue (near the State Capitol in Downtown Lansing)
Same Hotel as Michigan Class
From East: I-496 to Grand Ave (Exit 7A), Right on Grand Ave. 
From West: I-496 to Pine/Walnut Streets (Exit 6), Left on Grand Ave.

$99 + tax by August 16, 2019, after if space available.
Valet Parking: $10/night for hotel guests
(517) 482-0188 - Promotion Code: MCAOT9
7 round -Swiss System:  Open (1800+ or with Play Up Fee), Reserve (under 1800)
4-day and 3-day schedules available for Open & Reserve sections
Open Section FIDE Rated (4-day Time Control Games Only)

Up to 2 Half-Points Byes in all rounds but the final round
Time Control
Open/Reserve 4-day: 40moves /120 minutes ;delay 5 seconds, Sudden Death /30minutes;delay 5sec.
Open/Reserve 3-day: Rounds 1&2, G/75 minutes;d5 then merge

Rounds4-day: Rd 1: 8/30 7:00pm, Rd 2: 8/31 10:00am
3-day: Rd 2: 8/31 9:30am, Rd 2: 8/31 12:30pm
Combined: Rd 3: 
8/31 7:00pm, Rd 4: 9/1 10:00am, Rd 5: 9/1 6:00pm, Rd 6: 9/2 9:30am, Rd 7: 9/2 3:00pm

Entry Fee
Advanced Entries must be received and paid by Tues, Aug 27.
Open: $55 for 4-day, $56 for 3-day, $70 after 8/27.
Reserve: $45 for 4-day, $46 for 3-day, $60 after 8/27. 
Open Section Play Up Fee: Players U1800 in Open section, add $15

U18: $5 discount. Online pays lowest advanced rate. Re-entry allowed for online advance price.
Free Entry to GM/IM/FM/2200+ when registering by 8/27, $55 EF deducted from prize.
Payment in advance by check made payable to MCA or by Credit Card/PayPal via PayPal. Be sure to specify schedule, and select correct entry fee!

Jeff Aldrich, P.O. Box 40, Flint, MI 48501, 810-955-7271,
On-Site: Fri 6:00-6:29pm, Sat 8:30-8:59am

$3150 GUARANTEED PRIZE FUND: Trophies for all Place-Winners
OPEN: 1st $500, 2nd $300, 3rd $250. (20 Grand Prix Points); U2200: $200; U2100: $200; U2000:$200; U1900: $200.
RESERVE: 1st $300, 2nd $225, 3rd $150; U1600: $125; U1500: $125; U1400: $125; U1300: $125; U1200: $125
​Jeff Aldrich
P.O. Box 40, Flint, MI 48501
Now a great attacking game:
The game is even at this point, but White is going to now take advantage of Black's slightly cramped position.

14. Kb1           Rd8
15. Rhg1         Nxh5 ?!
Black missed 15. …..Nd5 16. Be5, a5 and the game stays even. White is positionally up almost a pawn now.

16. Bxh6          Nf6
17. Rh1?!          ……..
White missed 17. Be3, b5 18. Rh1, c4 and White is up 1.5 pawns.

17. …..              cxd4
18. Bxg7           Kxg7??
The final error. 18. ….dxc3 19. bxc3, Qxc3 was needed.

19. Qd2             Ng8
20. Rh7+           Kf8
21. Ne5            Black resigns

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