Monday, September 18, 2023

LCCC Action Tournament for 2023 Starts Tonight - and "A Visitor"

The Livingston County Chess Club meets every Monday night between 4pm and 10pm

at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Green Oak Mall in Brighton, MI. 

Stop in for some friendly chess, good food and 'refreshments'.

Everyone of all ages and playing strength are welcome to attend. And free lessons to all beginners!

We delayed it a week due to the Labor Day holiday hangover. So tonight starts our free to enter Action Tournament will begin. The time limit is 25 minutes for the game with no delay or increment.

We will probably start it around 6:30 - 7pm. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Now for a short story that happened in a chess club far far away. Or maybe it was near-by. Whatever.

He was standing near our tables before we even noticed him. What we noticed first was his black suit and a tie that was a wild polka dot affair, with a matching handkerchief in the breast pocket. Some of us introduced ourselves to the stranger with a German accent. He said he has played throughout Europe with much success, even winning a game against a player that lost to a man, that drew a man that gave Magnus Carlsen a tough game. Naturally, we were in awe of this man's stated chess prowess.

He stated that he would be interested in playing one game at 2 hours per player, against our best player and he would play White and would not be giving time or piece odds, since he was tired from his travels earlier this day. 

Well, we were excited a chance to witness chess greatness, but who would represent the Club against this obviously very strong adversary? The best we had in attendance this evening was Pete, and he decided he would volunteer to fall on the sword for us.

While we were deciding who would play for the Club and before the game could start, the distinguished visitor had set up a very complex "mate in four" on Pete's chess board. As we crowded around the table trying to solve it, our visiting adversary chuckled softly at our failed attempts to solve this puzzle he said he created himself. After fifteen minutes of failure, he quickly rattled off the solution, leaving us amazed and impressed.

Finally, the match began with Pete looking a little nervous. Excitement ran high when the visitor said in a calm voice, "I have a specific variation in mind that I am sure you have not seen before."

His first move was 1. Nf3, while stating off-handedly "This opening is wrongly credited to Reti, but of course you all know Zukertort was the inventor." We spectators could only nod in awe.

Pete played 1. .....Nf6 and our visitor raised an eyebrow with a smirk and said, "Ok, but you know Anand says 1. ...e6 is best here."

This expert played 2. c4 to which Pete responded with 2. ...g6. "The Grunfeld Defense," the expert commented. "Good, but not good enough against this modern treatment I have devised." We could not wait to witness it!

The stranger took 15 minutes for his next move. The game progressed along with fairly expected moves until the expert proclaimed, "So, it is a positional battle you wish for, eh? Well I will have to disappoint you." Pete didn't look worried, but we all were.

After a few more moves, Pete played Nb8 and all of us were surprised. Our visitor stated, "A Nimzowitch move. Quite bizarre and bad and I will refute it in a vigorous manner," as he developed his queen into the fray. 

At move 16 the visitor castled queenside stating, "Most GM's favor castling kingside here, but you will all see the subtle point this move contains very soon." We were all positive that Pete was being set up for the surprise of his chess life and an entertaining defeat.

The game continued for another eight moves until the expert triumphantly leered in an assured tone, "You will now see the fruits of my fine play. My combination begins!"

The visitor's knight snatched a well-guarded pawn in Pete's camp. Pete studied the board for 10 minutes and accepted the sacrifice. We were sure now he was doomed. 

The visiting expert did not hesitate to play BxN and continuing the assault in front of Pete's king. Pete thought for only a minute as he played BxB and the expert instantly recaptured with QXB with a hard thud on the board landing the Lady on her new square.

"See what good play an accomplish? All this was figured out in advance. Concentration is the prime factor in the game of chess. Always remember that."

Pete, who had not said a word in this hour and 40-minute struggle, frowned at his opponent and said quietly, "Did you figure this out too?", and played QxP+. 

The expert said calmly, "Just a spite check," and played Kb8. Pete then played Ra1 mate.

The expert got up from his chair, and started to leave, but looked back at us and sneered, "Anand still says 1. ...e6 is best!", and out the door he went.

We shall never forget this traveling Grandmaster----------of-Conversation.

Monday, September 11, 2023

LCCC Resumes Today! Action Tournament to Start. Ladder Tournament Always Going!

This is NOT our location. But as soon as a rich person donates $5 million to the Club, it will be built!   

The Livingston County Chess Club meets every Monday night between 4pm and 10pm

at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Green Oak Mall in Brighton, MI. 

Stop in for some friendly chess, good food and 'refreshments'.

Everyone of all ages and playing strength are welcome to attend. And free lessons to all beginners!

In addition, tonight our free to enter Action Tournament. The time limit is 30 minutes! No delay or increment. So be on your toes! 

And as always, we have our on-going Ladder Tournament where you try to move up the Club Ladder to get a shot at replacing the person at the top. That is currently Curt S!

Hope to see everyone at the Club tonight!

To close, here are some interesting chess facts:

Grandmaster Reuben Fine played 9 consecutive tournaments and only lost one game in that span! His opponents were the Who's-Who of chess at the time;

Capablanca, Botvinik, Alekhine, Dr. Lasker, Euwe, Bogoljubow, Flohr, Spielmann, Tarkower, Vidmar, Marcozy, Kashdan, Keres, Reshevsky and Dake! The game he lost was not to any of these great players!

At the St. 1909 Petersburg tournament, Wilhelm Cohn made 44 conscutive queen moves against Gersz Salwe. But that was nothing, because back in 1882 in the London Championship James Mason made 72 consecutive queen moves against Captain MacKenzie.

A grandmaster who shall go nameless, wrote over 20 books on chess and chess openings, once was checkmated in 11 moves.

Francois-Andre Philidor never played the Philidor's Defense that bears his name. 

Friday, September 1, 2023

LCCC Not Meeting on Sept. 4 - Labor Day

LCCC is officially not meeting. But don't let that stop you.

Who knows who may show anyway? 

We will return in full force on Monday September 11.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

LCCC Back in Full Swing - Be Here for Chess Fun!


The Livingston County Chess Club meets every Monday night between

4pm and 10pm

at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Green Oak Mall in Brighton, MI. 

Stop in for some friendly chess, good food and 'refreshments'.

Everyone of all ages and playing strength are welcome to attend. And free lessons to all beginners!

The road construction – at least on the bridge going to and from the Mall is completed. Of course the rest of the State of Michigan appears to be in a complete “road repair” mode – IN EVERY DIRECTION!

Eh, thank you? But I digress. To lighten the mood because of our travel problems currently, let me give you the chess writings of a true chess player and one of the people with the highest IQ ever recorded.

No, it is not your humble scribe, although it would be an honest assumption by my readers of course. You are forgiven. Now on with the essay:

The Gentle Art of Annoying by Professor Donald MacMurray

“At the very outset let us examine the nature of chess. Chess is the psychological rather than logical battle between two players. Be sure that you never win a game of chess, but rather your opponent loses it. One way or another, the one that blunders least or who’s mistakes are not seen or not as hideous, will emerge victorious.

With this in mind, let us look at ways to make our opponent err.

The chess public needs is a method of winning easily without first mastering the difficult and unnecessary technique of making good moves.

To begin with, you must realize clearly that your principal object is to disturb your opponent as much as possible in order to distract his attention from the game. Of the numerous ways of accomplishing this, the easiest and most common is talking.

Talking to annoy may be done in several ways. You may, for example, talk to your opponent, either pointing out bad moves to him, or making any other misleading remark about the position. If your opponent so much as comes near to touching a piece it is always disconcerting to say sternly 'Touch--move.' If this involves you in an argument with him, so much the better for your chances of upsetting his train of thought.

An example from actual experience will serve to demonstrate the practicability of this piece of advice. Several years ago, in the interscholastic championship tournament in New York, there arose an endgame position where White, who was on the defensive, had only one way of saving the game, to wit, by pushing a certain Pawn. He permitted his hand to hover over the Pawn, without touching it, whereupon Black cried gleefully, 'You touched it!' White denied the charge vigorously, and, when the referee finally decided the fight in his favor, triumphantly proceeded to move another piece, thus losing the game.

You may also talk to the kibitzers, preferably discussing the previous game with them so heatedly that you draw your opponent into the argument, and so take his mind completely off whatever he was considering.

If you like, you may talk to yourself. Every chess club boasts at least one genius of the talk-to-yourself school. Curiously enough, the favorite method of these experts is the recitation of nonsense rhymes. One of the most prominent American professionals has confided to me that about half of his yearly income is derived from the recitation, at critical points in his games, of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’.

Another ready means of annoying which you have at your disposal is music. There are several different ways of employing music for this purpose. If you are a timid player, you may try humming, which is the most unobtrusive of the lot, and the least likely to call forth rebuke, but which, when raised to high pitch and accompanied by the gestures of a conductor, will throw your opponent entirely off his game.

As your courage waxes, you will find a shrill, piercing whistle more effective than even the most artistic humming. The tune must be one far too difficult to be whistled correctly, so that it will sound at best like an undecided peanut-roaster.

Finally, being carried away by the beauty of your noises, you may break into full song, accompanying yourself as before, with appropriate gestures, or else by tapping in time with your feet.

If you do not happen to be musically inclined, you will still find a big field open to you in drumming and tapping, either with hands or feet. This is one of the best ways known to induce your opponent to make a hasty move and is favored by nearly all of the masters who have no confidence in their singing voices.

Other great resources which you possess are coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose during the progress of the game. These are to be used freely, especially during the wintertime, both as a general distraction and to instill in you adversary the fear of germs.

Similarly, when your opponent does not move quickly enough to suit you (and if you are a right-minded chess-player, this should be nearly all the time), you should first heave a sigh, then yawn and look at your watch, and finally groan mournfully.

A large class of nuisances not yet touched upon comprises those which aim at distracting the visual attention of the enemy. Of these, the one most highly sanctioned for your adoption is the system of blowing smoke rings across the board. This is useful, not only because it obscures the position, but also because it will surely get into your opponent's eyes or choke him, and thus put him completely at your mercy.

Another annoyance of this type is adjusting pieces which you would like your opponent to take, or else pieces which are on the other side of the board from where your threat is.

If you habitually rest your head on your hand, be certain to keep your elbow constantly on the edge of the board, shifting its position from time to time so as to be always concealing under it at least two or three important squares.

As the evening wears on, you may resort to stretching, in doing which you should take care to fling at least one arm all the way across the board.

Whenever you have what you think is a fairly good position, rock your chair back and forth on its hind legs, assuming meanwhile a complacent attitude, with your thumbs in your vest-pockets, as much as to say, 'Why do you not resign, you duffer?'

There is only one more kind of disturbance worth mentioning. Although it is infrequent of occurrence, and, when it does happen, it is entirely accidental, it is as upsetting as anything else.

It is making a strong move."

Saturday, August 5, 2023

LCCC Back from the US Open - 2023: However Our Location May Be Nearly Inaccessible This Week!

Your humble scribe always opens with this:

The Livingston County Chess Club meets every Monday night between 4pm and 10pm at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Green Oak Mall in Brighton, MI. 

Stop in for some friendly chess, good food and 'refreshments'. Everyone of all ages and playing strength are welcome to attend. And free lessons to all beginners!

But this post, I have to warn anyone planning to attend on Monday August 7 of this issue:

FROM: Lee Road bridge over US-23 closed for maintenance beginning Saturday August 5 for EIGHT days. The detour is at Silver Lake Road.

Warning! Traffic will be a nightmare, especially from 3pm until 7pm. They are already working on US-23 in that same area. 

Your humble scribe is currently playing in the US Open.  Although returning home in time to make the Club this Monday, this writer may decide not to attend due to this traffic nightmare. If attendance is low, this is a good reason to miss.

Hope to see everyone back on August 14th!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Still Meeting on Mondays - 2023 US Open is in Grand Rapids, MI This Year!

The Livingston County Chess Club meets every Monday night between 4pm and 10pm at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Green Oak Mall in Brighton, MI. 

Stop in for some friendly chess, good food and 'refreshments'. Everyone of all ages and playing strength are welcome to attend. And free lessons to all beginners!

The US Open is in Grand Rapids this year! Some of LCCC's members will be in attendance. Your humble scribe played in this event in 2013, and if you love chess, you owe it to yourself to at least stop by. The action is intense, the equipment sellers have everything, and the side events meetings can be enjoyed by all.

Saturday July 29 to August 6, 2023

DeVos Place
303 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI, 49503, United States



US Chess Federation


Event run by the United States Chess Federation

Location: DeVos Place
Hotel: Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

The US Open has one section, in which anyone can enter. This event is NOT rated by FIDE.

9 Round Swiss with 3 Schedules
Traditional:       One round daily at 7 p.m. then the final round [8/6] at 3 .p.m.
6-Day Option:   First 6 rounds 8/1 at 7 p.m., 8/2 at noon & 7 p.m., 8/3 at noon & 7p.m., 8/4 at noon. (Then it merges into the traditional schedule for round 7 at 7 p.m. on 84.)
4-Day Option:   First 6 rounds 8/3 at noon, 3 p.m., 7 p.m. & 10 p.m.; 8/4 noon & 3 p.m. (Then it merges into the traditional schedule for round 7 at 7 p.m. on 8/4.)
      All schedules merge after Round 6 and compete for the same prizes.
      Round 7 at 7 p.m. 8/4, Round 8 at 7 p.m. 8/5, & Round 9 at 3 p.m. 8/6.

Time Control:
Traditional and 6-Day Schedules: 40/100, SD/30, inc/30 (30-second increment from move one)
4-Day Schedule: rounds 1-6 at G/60 d5   rounds 7-9 at 40/100, SD/30, inc/30

Half-Point Byes
Must commit before Round 4 pairings are posted; up to 3 half point byes allowed for 2000/up, 2 half point byes for 1400-1999, one half point bye for Under 1400 or unrated. Limit 1 half point bye in last two rounds.
Zero-point byes are always available in any round.
All Byes must be requested at least two hours before the round(s) in question.

Entry Fee:
Online:      $155 by 6/26, $175 by 7/10, $195 after.
By Mail:     $177 postmarked by 7/10, $197 postmarked after 7/10; do not mail after 7/17!
                  U. S. Chess Federation, Attn.: 2023 U. S. Open, P.O. Box 775308, St. Louis, MO 63177.
                  No phone entries!
Contact: with changes or questions about entries.
On Site:     All $200.
GMs and WGMs play free; no deduction from prize. Must email to enter.
All entries must be made at least 2 hours before your first game is played.
Re-entries: $100.


Side Events

Sat-Sun July 29-30   Weekend Swiss   10 US Chess Grand Prix Points 5SS, G/60 d5 $1,150 Guaranteed Prizes: $200-100-50, U2200/Unrated $160, U2000 $150, U1800 $140, U1600 $120, U1400 $100, U1200 $80, Unrated $50. Entry fee $40, Unrated players free if paying US Chess dues. Maximum two half-point byes; must declare before round 3 pairings are posted. On-site Registration 10:00-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Rounds at noon & 3:00 p.m. Saturday, 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. Sunday.

Sat July 29   U. S. Open Bughouse   G/5;d0. Entry fee $20 per team. 80% of entry fees in cash prizes. Registration ends at 10:00 AM, Round 1 begins at 10:30 AM.

Sun July 30   U. S. Open Scholastic   (See Below)

Mon, July 31; Wed, Thu, Fri August 2, 3, 4   U. S. Open Quads (one day events)   G/30;d5. Entry fee $20. Registration 9:30-11:30 a.m., Rounds at noon, 1:30 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. $50 to first in each quad.

Tue August 1   U. S. Open Quads (Tuesday Quads Only)   G/60;d5. Entry fee $20. Registration 9:00-10:00 a.m., Rounds at 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. $50 to first in each quad.

Wed August 2   U. S. National G/15 Championship   5-SS, G/15;d5. Quick rated, higher of regular or quick rating used. Entry fee $40. Registration 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM. Rounds at noon, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00. 80% of entries as returned as cash prizes. 1st 30%, 2nd 15%, U2100 12%, U1800 10%, U1500/Unrated 8%, U1200 5%.

Saturday August 5   U. S. Open National Blitz Championship 15 US Chess Grand Prix Points
7 Double Round (14 games) Swiss, 1 section, G/5;d0.
Blitz rated, higher of regular or Blitz rating used.
Entry fee $40, free to Unrated players if paying US Chess dues.
Registration 9-11:30 a.m, round 1 begins at noon.
$2000 Guaranteed Prizes!: $$400-200-150, U2200 $200-100, U2000 $200-100, U1800 $180-90, U1600/Unrated $140-70, U1400 $100, U1200 $70.


Sunday, July 2, 2023

LCCC Not Meeting on July 3, 2023

LCCC will NOT be meeting on Monday, July 3rd. See you on July 10.

 The Livingston County Chess Club meets every Monday night between 4pm and 10pm at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the Green Oak Mall in Brighton, MI. 

Stop in for some friendly chess, good food and 'refreshments'. Everyone of all ages and playing strength are welcome to attend. And free lessons to all beginners!