Thursday, August 16, 2018

Kids Night 081318 Had Six Attendees

Ladies can play chess very well also.
A very nice evening of chess, even though attendance was down. But with a beautiful summer night outside, it is to be expected sometimes. But the air conditioned LCCC chess hall was comfortable also.

Here is a game played by Don M with Black and on line. Don has a conservative style that lulls his opponent into a false sense that there is no danger in the position. Then....the trap springs with one misstep.

1. d4              d5
2. c4              e6
3. Nc3           Nf6
4. Bg5           Be7
5. Nf3            O-O
6. e3              Nbd7
7. Bd3           dxc4
8. Bxc4          c5
9. O-O           a6
The last opening book move. White has a half pawn advantage says Igor3000. It looks even to us mere mortals.

10. Rc1           b5
11. Bb3           Bb7
Don just continues normal development. White is up (.4).

12. dxc5          Nxc5
13. Bc2           Qxd1
14. Rfxd1        Rfd8
15. Nd4           h6
16. Bh4           Rd7
17. Rd2?         ........
It was time for White to do something with this sleepy bishop. Trading it off was the best option. Re-routing would be too slow, so 17. Bxf6 was the play. Black now has a slight advantage (-.3).

17. ......            Rad8?
18. Rcd1?        .........
Igor3000 sees the error of their ways. White could have equalized with 18. Rdd1, g5 19. Bg3, Nd5 20. Nxd5, Bxd5 for an even game.

18. ........          g5
19. Bg3           b4

 Don threatens to win material here, as you will soon see (if you don't already). White apparently just accepted to lose an exchange and didn't work to find the saving reply:
20. Na4, Nce4 21. Nb6, Nxd2
22. Nxd7, Rxd7 23. Rxd2 and White is only down a half pawn (-.5). Instead,

20. Nce2??        Nfe4
21. Bxe4           Nxe4
22. Rd3             Nxg3
23. Nxg3           e5
24. Ndf5?          Rxd3
White is accepting his fate. 24. Ngf5, Bf8 25. f3 and White is down (-3) instead of (-6). Don finishes it easily.

25. Nxe7           Kf8
26. Rxd3           Rxd3
27. Nef5            Rd1+
28. Nf1              Be4
29, N5g3?         Bd3
30. f3                Rb1
31. Kf2             Rxb2
32. Ke1            Bxf1

Come on down to the Chess Club on Monday nights!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Chess Club Rolling Along and How to Analyze a Chess Position

The player on the right is working on a plan!

The Chess Club is still rolling along. Sorry for the delay in posting. 
Join us for our Kid's Night this evening!

Now for some practical advice:

The question facing us in a chess game is “what shall I do in this position”?
To answer this question, we have to first ask, “How do you evaluate a position”? There are three fundamental principles in analyzing a position; force, mobility and King safety.
Mobility is broken into two parts; pawn structure and freedom of pieces.
Add the tactical situation at any moment and we have five basic questions:
1.      Who is ahead in material?
2.      Are my pawns well placed compared to my opponent?
3.      How much freedom of action do my pieces have and is my mobility better than my opponent?
4.      Are the Kings safe or exposed to attack?
5.      What are the threats for me and my opponent?
Once these questions are answered, we can evaluate the position as superior, equal, or inferior, form plans and proceed accordingly.
Advantages are either permanent or temporary. A permanent advantage is usually in pawn structure, but they can change with incorrect play.  
A mobility advantage is usually more temporary.
A player must often decide if he wants to stay in a middle game or go into an endgame (usually by trading queens).
Who has what advantages and how strong or permanent those advantages are, will make your decision on which road to take.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Kids Night 070918 was a Fun Night - and an Expert's Game

Kid's night was a fun night of chess with 14 players in attendance on a very hot night outside. But it was cool in the LCCC chess club.

Stop by for the chess action this summer.

Here is a a tactics filled Expert level game played at a 5 minute time limit and submitted by our hero - playing White - Jason Morris.

1. e4            c5
2. Nf3          d6
3. Bb5+       Nd7
4. O-O         e6
5. d4            cxd4
6. Nxd4        a6
7. Bd3           Ngf6
8. c4             Be7
9. Nc3           Qc7
10. Qe2         O-O
11. Kh1          b6
Here is the first little mis-step by Black. 11. ...Ne5 12. f4, Nxd3 13. Qxd3, Nd7 was slightly better. Black is now a little cramped.

12. f4            Bb7
13. f5            Nc5
14. Bg5?!      .......
Not the best, but this is a speed game remember? 14. fxe6, fxe6 15. Bc2 was better as Black will now equalize.

14. .......          e5
15. Bxf6         Bxf6
The game is positionally even here at the diagram below:

16. Nc2          Bc6
17. Ne3          Qb7
18. Ncd5        Bxd5
19. Nxd5        Nxd3?
Better was 19. ....Nd7 with only a half-point disadvantage instead of the (+1.1) lead for White.

20. Qxd3        Kh8??
Black crumbles in time pressure - needing 20. Rfc8. White has a commanding (+3.4) advantage.

21. Rf3 ?        Rad8?
Again, this is a speed game. If White played 21. Nxf6 it was over. Black, given life, needed 21. ...Bg5. Still, White's advantage has shrunk to only (+1.8). But another blunder by Black ends the game quickly.

22. Rh3           Rg8??
23. Rxh7+ !!     Kxh7
24. Qh3+          Bh4
25. Qxh4 mate  

Monday, July 2, 2018

Chess Club Still Open During the 2018 Summer

It may be hot outside, but it is air conditioned in the Chess Club. The only thing hot in the chess action.

We are still open Mondays 6 to 9pm. And Kid's Night is next week. The following week, our speed tournament starts! So be sure to stop by.

Now here is an entertaining game played by two members of a chess club in the United Kingdom.

Opening: B40 - Sicilian Defense

1. e4             c5
2. Nf3           e6
3. c3             d5
4. e5             d4
5. cxd4         cxd4
6. Bb5+        Bd7
7. Nxd4        Bxb5
8. Nxb5        Nc6
9. O-O          a6
10. N5c3      Nge7
11. Re1        Ng6
This was the last "book" move. These UK players take the chess opening books seriously I guess.

12. Na3 !?        Bxa3
13. bxa3           O-O
14. Rb1            b5
15. Qh5 !?       Qd3

With two less than stellar moves out of the last four by White, Black had 15. ….Nf4 16. Qf3, Nd3 17. Re3, Ncxe5 18. Qg3 and Black would have a pawn lead (-1.1), instead of just a near half pawn (-.4).

16. Rb3          …….
Better was 16. Bb2.

16. …….         Nd4
17. Rb2           Rac8
18. h4?           ……..
White's first real blunder as it weakens the king-side. 18. Re3, Qc4 19. Rb1 was better. Black is up (-1.8).

18. ……         Nc2
19. Rf1           Rc4
20. g3??         …….
White falls apart (-3). 20. Qe2, Qxe2 21. Nxe2, Nxe5 was better.

20. …….        Nd4
21. Kg2          Nf5
22. Qe2??      ………
The final nail but there is not much anyway.

23. Kh1         Qf5
24. Kh2         Nf3+
25. Kg2         Ngh4+!
26. Kh1         Qh3#

Monday, June 18, 2018

3 Way Tie for the 2018 LCCC Club Championship – and GM Gareyev Sets World Record

Chess is always classy!

Two huge accomplishments are the content for this article. First the BIG one!

We had a three-way tie for the Club Championship!
Don Mason, Ken Tack and Vince Valente all tied for 1st place with 3 points out of 4.

In the K-12 Division, the top 3 finishers were:
1st – Justin D. (trophy)
2nd – Ethan J. (medal)
3rd – Brandon D. (medal)

Congratulations to all the winners!

The other big accomplishment is that GM Timur Gareyev, an Uzbekistan born GM, set a new chess world record by playing 48 people at the same time – Blindfolded! Timur scored an 80 percent winning percentage. The match took 19 hours to complete!

The event was held at the University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV) and was sponsored by OFF da Rook, a chess organization that runs scholastic chess events and has a chess site – offdarook dot com.
Most of the players came from locals at the Las Vegas Chess Center, but featured players that came from as far away at Tennessee and there were even 4 out of the country players that played via internet.

Over half of the players in the event were rated 1700 or higher. For those who don’t know what that means, it means over half the players were in the top 5% in the world. That is what that means! Congratulations to GM Gareyev on his amazing achievement!

Your humble scribe went back and forth as whether or not to mention this world record. Chess already has the reputation that it is a game for geeks and the super intelligent. I did not want to highlight that stereotype.

The way to look at chess is the same way you look at any other endeavor. Let’s say you don’t try chess because you think you are not smart enough. Let me let you in on a little secret:
I played high school and league baseball when I was never going to be good enough to be in the Major Leagues.

I played very competitive softball, but was not good enough to make the Michigan Softball Hall of Fame like many of my teammates have.

I played high school and league football when I was never going to even get big enough (let alone fast or strong enough) to play in the NFL.

I played league hockey when I was never going to be a good enough skater to be in the NHL.

I played league and tournament golf, and I have no shot of making any Tour of any kind.

I have played poker for serious stakes in casinos and casual stakes at home games, and I have no shot of ever being a professional poker player.

I have been in a target and self-defense shooting league and finished no where near the scores that the sharpshooters there could achieve. 

Other people run in races, bowl, fish, play soccer, tennis, basketball etc., all against others that enjoy that activity also. Others run marathons, even though they will never compete in the Olympics.

I also play chess. Casual and Tournament Chess. But I am never going to be a Grandmaster. Nor will I ever even try to play ONE chess game blindfolded.

Chess is like all the other activities I mentioned. You can learn chess. You may never be the best at it. You may never even be good at it (where ever that “GOOD” line actually is), but you will never be the worst at it and you will still have fun playing it!

Learn to play chess. You will not regret it and your mind will thank you for the exercise. Your eyes will thank you for the beauty you will create with your games. Trust me. You will have some stunners - both winning and losing! No two chess games are ever the same.

As your humble scribe blogs from the Club this hot casual chess Monday night, we were glad to see Zade K. back from West Pointe to play tonight and also Sam T.- who also returns after a stay at college.
Welcome back guys!
Zade promises to supply us with an article about his participation in various Armed Forces tournaments!

Casual chess continues next Monday. See you there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2018 LCCC Club Championship Final Round Pairings are Here

The final round pairings are below. It has been another exciting and close competition. We have three players tied at the top and two more players a half point behind.

And the K-12 section of the tournament is also very close. Stop by and watch the exciting last round this Monday Night - May 7.

And don't forget our Kid's Night on May 14th. As the school year ends, many chess programs close for the summer. Not at LCCC! We are here every Monday night (except of course for holidays), and our special Kid's Night is the 2nd Monday of every night. See you at the Club! 

Here are the pairings with the player playing White listed first:

Board 1 - Don M vs Ken T
Board 2 - Mike N vs Vince V
Board 3 - Paul M vs Petro K
Board 4 - Don J vs Justin D
Board 5 - Ethan J vs Josef M
Board 6 - Brandon D vs Joey O

Good luck to all the players!

White to move and get a winning game!

And here is a puzzle for you to solve from the 2007 Isle of Mann International Open tournament. USA GM James Tarjan - playing White - found this winning line.

Can you?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Kid Night 051418 was Fun! 3rd Rd Next Week. Some Computer Chess History

We had ten players this night for casual chess, lessons and reviews of current and past games played. A very nice evening of chess was experienced by all.

Next Monday starts the 3rd round of our Club Championship. Of course there will be non-participants looking for casual chess games also. So stop on by to watch the tournament action or to play some chess yourself.

In honor of our Club Championship, here is a game from the Marshall Chess Club Championship, New York, 1946!

White is soon to be GM Larry Evans and playing Black is soon to be GM Herman Pilnik. But don't think because these player's ratings are sky high, that they don't make mistakes. They do, especially in the face of a possible 1st place finish up for grabs and the inevitable time pressure (which is why chess clocks are used in tournament play).

Besides being a very entertaining, this game was one of the games used to test chess playing computer programs to see if it would see White's 24th move! And if it did find it, how long did it take the program to find it?

The amazing fact is, White was all but lost a few moves prior to this move, IF his opponent had found the best replies prior to that point. Enough build up. Here is the game:
French Defense, Classical System
1. e4             e6
2. d4             d5
3. Nc3          Nf6
4. Bg5          Be7
5. Bxf6         Bxf6
6. e5             Be7
7. Qg4          O-O
8. O-O-O      c5
9. h4?           ........
A little too aggressive, but Mr. Evans is going for a win here. White had 9. Nf3 or dxc5 as better options. Black is up a pawn positionally now (-1).

9. ......                cxd4
10. Nce2           Nce2
11. f4                Qa5
12. Kb1            d3!

Black is threatening a double attack after 13. Rxd3, with Nb4.

13. cxd3           Bd7
14, Rh3?          Rac8
15. Rg3?          ........

Interviews after the game with the players confirmed that BOTH assumed they were winning here! But Pilnik with Black is the one not hallucinating as he has a completely won game (-4.3). Maybe it was Larry's Evan's lack of concern on the other side of the board that made Hermann Pilnik a little too timid - thinking "what am I missing here?"

15. ......             g6
16. d4               b5?

The light came on for White at this point and was thankful Black did not go the proper route with 16. ...Bb4, 17. Ra3, Ba4. Now Larry thinks maybe his attack will work blissfully unaware he is still two pawns behind positionally (-2.1). Hermann, dejected he didn't close the deal, seems to drift and throws away his advantage.

17. h5           Nb4
18. a3           Nc6?
19. hxg6       fxg6
20. Nc3        b4?
The game is back to EVEN here.

21. Bd3         Be8
22. Nf3??      ........
A serious blunder by making what looks to be a logical developing move to get more pieces in the game. However, 22. ....bxc3! 23. Qxe6+, Bf7 24. Bxg6, Qb5 25. Qxf7, Rxf7 26. Bd3+, Kf8 27. Bxb5, c2+ 28. Kxc2, Nxd4+, 29. Kb1, Nxb5 30. Rxb5, Nc7 and Black would have been up FIVE pawns! (-5.3). But Mr. Pilnik, possibly distraught over losing his advantage, decides to also throw away the draw.

22. ......             bxa3??
23. Qxe6+        Bf7
Black completely ruined a winning position, which sets up the historic computer program position! (+3.8) have to be good to see it. Of the earlier computer programs, only the good ones found it after 5 minutes of thinking or so. Some took 10 minutes, others never found it.

Today's weaker programs find it in less than 10 seconds. The best ones - instantly!

24. Bxg6!         axb2
25. Bxh7+!       Kh8
And now Black is in a mating net, but plays on a few more moves.

26. Qh6              Qa1+
27. Kc2              b1=Q+
28. Rxb1            Nb4+
29. Kd1              Resigns