Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Picking the Game Up in the Middle

White: FM Donny Ariel
Black: FM Levon Altounian

A move is made that I just had to show you! But first, the build up.

33. cxd4 Bxf3
34. dxc5 Bc6
35. Bxf6 Rxf6
36. a5 h5
37. Kg1 h4
38. g4 hxg3
39. hxg3 Kh6
40. g4 Kg5
41. Be2 Kf4
42. Kf2 Rh6
43. Rf1 …..

Also 43. Rg1 is a thought, ready to give a check on g3 should the Black king ever advance to the 3rd rank.

43. ….. Nd5
44. Ke1+ Kg5
45. Kd2 Rh2
46. c4 Nf4

This looks good, but it loses! Correct is Nf6 to keep the blockade.

47. Rxf4! Kxf4
48. f6 Rh8
49. f7 Rf8
50. Bf3!! …..

A double deflection sacrifice! If Bxf3, then 51. e7 wins immediately, while if Kxf3, then 51. g5. The three pawns make their way thru.

50. ….. Be8
51. fxe8=Q Rxe8
52. Bxb7 Rxe6
53. c6 Re7
54. Bxa6 Ke5
55. Bb7 Resigns

That 50th move was sweet!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Great Night of Chess Action!

Twelve players in the house on Monday, including two new members;
Steve F.
Tom H.

Along with the usual suspects;
Ken L.
Ken T.
Mike K.
Mike N.
Jason M.
Aaron J.
Scott M
Terry G.
Don J.
Jim G.

Jason brought some much appreciated cookies, coffee and tea.

This of course took away my usual excuses for playing poorly; low sugar and dying of thirst. Thanks a lot Jason!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Puzzle Screw Up - But Fixed Here

If you think I come up with these puzzles on my own.....well, I think you may have "fianchettoed" a few too many bishops!

This one was in Chess Life incorrectly as White to play, with the object to find the fastest win or the move that wins the most material.

The only problem is, the solution was actually BLACK to move!

So, try it now, as Black to find the best move.

These puzzles are tough enough without trying to find wins in a losing position. I get enough of that kind of practice in my own games!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Twelve Players Monday. Come Join the Fun!

We are the chess club with everything!

A clean, open and well lit playing area, with perfect chess tables and padded chairs for your "thinking" pleasure. There are bathrooms close by also.

We offer free chess lessons to new players or beginning players.

We also offer free game analysis from one of our LCCC Chess masters!

We have LCCC members of all playing strengths, so stop by and check us out!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

How to Buy a Chess Set

I am a chess set lover, so I own a few. Or is eleven more than a “few?”

But the style, material, size, color and piece weight are all a matter of preference.

Chess sets are often highly decorative and can be displayed as a beautiful ornamental piece in the home as well as having a practical and entertaining use. You can easily pay a lot of money for an exquisite set and keep it as an heirloom.

The most important thing you need to do before buying your board and pieces is to identify its purpose. Is it for heavy use, travel, tournaments, study or just for show, or a combination of uses? There are sets that can handle most of these functions, but no set can handle all of them perfectly.

Consider whether you just like the look of a chess set and would like one as a decorative piece. Or will the set be used for studying, or will it actually be used for games. Tournament directors usually demand a standard "Staunton" set – 3” to 4’ size with “2 to 2 1/2” squares – for serious chess play.

If it’s to be used on a regular basis then invest in a set that is practical and durable, and easy enough to carry around if need be. And it should be inexpensive enough so if the set is lost of stolen, it is not the end of the world.

Saying that, I think it is essential to invest in at least one quality product as it can last a lifetime and a beautifully crafted set will be admired and even encourage you to play more than a cheaper version might.

Look carefully at what the board and pieces are made from. If you intend on taking it to tournaments or chess clubs then you need something substantial that won’t show the wear and tear too much, but not too heavy as you will get fed up carrying such a weight around!

A portable set is advisable for trips and whilst traveling around as they’re compact, manufactured from lightweight materials and often magnetic so you can play in the car, on the plane or practically anywhere you like. Smaller size sets are perfect for studying.

There are plenty of great choices of quality plastic and wooden chess sets available online that are reasonably priced too. We have links to some great online chess supplier sellers on the side of the blog that all have an extensive range of chess sets, boards and travel bags, that can be bought separately or as a set.

Chess boards can be made from plastic, plastic, rubber, glass, wood or even finer materials like stone or metal casting, be aware that the finer crafted they are, the more fragile they’ll be. Some fold up or roll up for easy transport.

If you decide to go for a wood board, the longer it lasts, the more beautiful it looks! They are particularly solid and wood always improves with age.

My recommendation is a triple weighted standard plastic set (3¾ inch king) with a vinyl board (2" to 2 ¼” squares) for tournaments. The chess set's base diameter of the king should be close to 75% of the size of the squares on the board. The 3 3/4 standard set usually has a 1.75" inch base. Perfect for the 2" squares, but maybe you will like the look of the 2 1/4" squares.

I prefer a similar size standard wood set for home use. Boards are totally a matter of preference and practicality.

I have no preference of wood over plastic chess pieces. I love them both. I think a wood set classes up a vinyl board, and a high quality plastic set looks just fine on a wood board, and matching plastic with vinyl and wood with wood works too of course.

Again, feel free to go with your own tastes as budget allows.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pins are Tough to Deal With, But You Can....Sometimes

Menchik – Alatortsev, Moscow, 1935

1. Nf3 d5
2. d4 Nf6
3. c4 c6
4. cd cd
5. Nc3 Nc6
6. Bf4 a6
7. e3 Bf5
8. Rc1 Rc1
9. Bd3 Bxd3
10. Qd3 e6
11. O-O Be7
12. h3 O-O
13. Rfd1 Na5
14. Ne5 Nb5
15. Qe2 Qa5
16. Nd3 b5
17. Nc5 Bxc5
18. dc Rxc5
19. b3 Rfc8
20. bc Rxc4
Black has established a pin on White’s knight. If it moves, White loses a rook.

If there was no a2 pawn, White could defend with Na2.

If there was no e3 pawn, White could play Nb1, and the bishop picks up the defense of the rook.

White has to find the ingenious idea to defend against this pin. See if you can find it. Answer at the bottom of this article.

Meanwhile, the rest of the game went like this:

21. e4? Rxc3
22. Bd2? Qxa2

Walking into yet another pin! White resigns after 23. Rxc3, Rxc3 24. ed, Nxd5 25. Qg4, Rc4 26. Qg3, Rc8 27. Be3, Qb3! Setting pin #3.

Ok, did you find the proper defense?

Here it is:
21. Be5 Nd7
22. Nxd5 Rxc1
23. Ne7+ Kf8
24. Nxc8 Rxc8
25. Bb2
21. Be5 Nd7
22. Nxd5 ed
23. Qg4 Nxe5
24. Qxc8+!

So, again - the message is - NEVER give up!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Great Turn Out at the LCCC!

Fourteen players tonight, some old acquaintances re-kindled, some past acquaintances remembered, and some current acquaintances found out they had a similar passion. Some players returned….to the new location. It was a very interesting evening.

Let’s keep it rolling. The more the merrier! Plenty of room for more.

The players were;

Aaron J.
Don J.
Jim G.
Ken L.
Ken T.
Kevin O.
Matt O.
Mike K.
Mike N.
Scott M.
Terry G.
Vince V.

And a special welcome to two new players;

John D.
Yves N.

Just a reminder to all chess players and chess playing wanna-bes; several members of this chess club are ready, willing and able to provide free chess instruction or lessons on Monday night too. So stop on by.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Endgame Test - Black to Move

Black to move and DRAW!!!!

This move corrects an error in the Reuben Fine's book on page 29, #41C where it claims an easy win for White. But this is not so.

No cheating, but be sure to correct your copy if you have one.

Here are your four choices of moves for Black:

A. Kh8
B. Kh7
C. Kf8
D. g6

For the answer and a detailed description, you can write me at lcchess at yahoo dot com. - Mike

Hat tip to Larry Crum of Louisville, KY and the Chess Life magazine.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

LCCC Update for Jan 30 Meeting

We had a great session of chess on Monday with eight players. By the way, we have room for FOUR times that many players, so stop on by.

We also welcomed a new member - Jason M.

Jason did not need to be taught how to play chess, nor did he ask for chess lessons, but both are available to people who want to give chess a try - or want to improve.

Just stop by and ask for Mike.

See you all next Monday.