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

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Kids Night 031219 a Success with 16 players

Another fun night of chess was had by all. We had seven of the younger chess players and nine older players.

NPP welcomes new members Alex E., Carl S, Dan S and Peter M. Glad you are here.

Casual chess is on the horizon for the next few weeks, so come on in and play in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

Now for a little chess clock history compliments of the late great GM Larry Evans, with some commentary from your humble scribe:

The chess clock did not exist at the first international tournament in 1851. Howard Staunton, who invented the now standard design for chess sets, groused when his opponents took forever thinking about each move.
A year later, in a match between Harrwitz and Lowenthal a time limit of 29 minutes per move was established. Then in 1862, in a match between Anderson and Kolisch, hourglasses were used that gave each player 2 hours for 24 moves.
The now standard double chess clock made its debut in London in 1883. Each side had an hour for 15 moves and clocks then became a fixture for any serious chess match or tournament.
Time limits got tighter and tighter, and today with the better clock designs, we have a bevy of tournament time controls available.
Most serious tournaments have a time limit of around 40 moves in 2 hours. Then 30 moves in an hour and then 30 minutes sudden death. Sometimes the 30 in an hour is removed as a second time control and you go right to a sudden death time control.
The belief is to keep any serious game to 7 hours maximum, as the general rule.
Newer clocks even allow for a "delay" where you maybe set a 5 second interval (although delays can be set for whatever can be agreed upon, but 5 seconds is standard) that runs BEFORE your main time starts running down to at least give you the opportunity to move before losing on time.
There is also something called the "increment" option where a set amount of time is added to your clock after each move. This give a player "credit" for moving. Of course players take advantage of this feature by maybe moving their pieces back and forth twice on the same squares to add a minute to their clocks. GM games have gone over 100 moves with much more frequency now due to that option.
Obviously shorter time controls lowers the quality of the chess game, but idly sitting while a game drags on is no good for the player or any spectator.
Time control for casual games are up to the two players.
For a point of reference, chess games 1 minute to 5 minutes are called Blitz chess. 6 to 15  minutes are called Rapid Chess. 15 minutes to 30 minutes is called Quick Chess.
So now chess has not only it's own special greatness, but you can also play it at any speed you desire - including no clock at all.
But in your scribe's opinion, playing chess with a clock is what makes you a real chess player.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

2019 LCCC Blitz (5 min) Championship was a Success!

There were 15 players at the Club this Monday and 13 players entered the Blitz Tournament!

Our Tournament Director declared a 3 round event. So each player played their opponent 2 games each round. If you split the games - it was a drawn round.

Here are the top three finishers!

1st Place - Scott Marvel
2nd Place - Matt Trujillo
3rd Place - Ken Tack

Congratulations to the winners!

Playing speed chess can lead to some funny games and strange positions. But they can happen in regular chess also.

This strange draw was played from an opening that does not usually end in a draw. It's the type of swashbuckling opening used often in speed chess - the King's Gambit Accepted.
Your humble scribe apologizes for losing the names of the players and the tournament and year the game was played. I got rid of the magazine I found the game in after I ran the game thru Igor3000.
But Igor found a reference to a game with a similar conclusion in 1904!

1. e4            e5
2. f4            exf4
3. Nf3         g5
4. h4           g4
5. Ne5        Nf6
At this point, Black is up the pawn advantage (-1), but he must be able to hold off the White attacking chances on his open king side successfully.

6. Bc4          d5
7. exd5         Bd6
Igor says the game is back to EVEN at this point.

8. O-O         Bxe5
9. Re1          Qe7
10. c3           Nh5
Black takes a half pawn lead here according to Igor (-.4).

11. d4          Nd7
12. dxe5      Nxe5
13. b3          O-O

Position after 13. .......   O-O

What looks like a wild wide open game is back to EVEN and - according to Igor3000 - stays that way the rest of the game! Each player making moves that just keep the game EVEN the rest of the way!

14. Ba3          Nf3+
15. gxf3         Qxh4
16. Re5          Bf5
Igor3000 searched his data base and found this game between Gunsberg-Teichmann in London, 1904 - which finished 16. ....Qg3+ 17. Kh1, Qh3+  Draw agreed. As Igor stated - the position is EVEN. How come it looks so uneven?

17. Nd2          Qg3+
18. Kf1           Qh2
19. Bxf8         g3
20. Bc5           g2+
21. Ke1           Qh4+
22. Ke2           Ng3+
23. Kf2           Ne4+
24. Kxg2        Qg3+
25. Kh1          Qh3+
26. Kg1          Qg3+

Monday, February 25, 2019

LCCC Newsletter and Events - 022519

Easy on the eyes - but too much green for me.
Livingston County Chess Club Events
March 4th  - Club Speed Tournament
Two 5 minute games against the same opponent – one game with White and one with Black.
Win both or win and draw and win the match. Split the two games and you draw the match.
We will play 3 or 4 rounds that night, depending on the number of entries.
This is a fun and quick event so be sure to be here on March 4th

Casual chess on February 25th.                                               
 Kid’s Night on March 11th.

Also, the Club President is starting the Ladder Tournament again!
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!

Upcoming Local Tournaments
See the Michigan Chess Association website and/or the USCF website for more details.
March 2 – Thinkers Challenge 5 – University Prep Sci& Math High School, Detroit
March 3 – Lansing Mini-Swiss
March 17 – TYASCC Quads – Troy Public Library
March 19 – Genesee County Chess Club Action Quads – East Side Senior Center, Flint
March 23-24 – 2019 Michigan Junior Chess Championship – Oakland University
April 6 – 7 – 2019 Michigan Senior Championship
June 8 – 9 – 2019 Michigan Amateur – Lansing

Club News
Dues to be a Regular Member and/or an Officer of the Club are due April 1.
Elections for Club office are April 15. So any Regular Member can be on the ballot to run for any office in the Club – President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary or Tournament Director.
Voting and Club Meeting attendance is allowed by Regular Members only.