Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Another Record Setting Night at LCCC!

Boring!!! We just keep setting attendance records. And in the summer! After all, it is not exactly chess season.

Twenty-two players, including two new members! We welcome Garyn F. and Steven H. Welcome guys.

The Ladder competition is finally starting to heat up! Four challenge matches were played and another three challenges already posted.

The best way to attack the Ladder, is to get to the club early! See who is within four rungs above you and pick your target.

Challenge someone who is above you that has arrived if you want to play right away.

OR, at 6:30, if NO ONE in the ladder 4 above you is present, you may now challenge the first player up the ladder you see that is present! The challenge is valid even if the player is in a game of puts off your match until another week.

But before starting that game, go ahead and write in your challenge to your choice of the four players above you. That way the challenge is made and they have that week and two more to play you.
Meanwhile, if you win your game against that higher player that was available, your other challenges are cancelled as you flew over those no – shows.

Challenges can be withdrawn by the challenger, but the person challenged must play within 3 weeks of the challenge.

The higher the rung, the bigger the target gets on a player’s back. Such is life on the rough and tumble world of a chess club ladder.

It all may sound a little confusing, but it really isn’t. The main idea is to get everyone having a chess game with everyone else. That’s really all it is for.

A special thanks to Ken L., Terry G. and Andrew K. for the lessons and instruction given to players during their matches with those players. It shows a sportsmanship and friendliness that is the hallmark of LCCC.

Hope to see the same familiar faces and even some more new ones next week! We are open on July 2!
See you then.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rules About Illegal Moves in Time Control

We had a little "issue" last Monday in a Ladder game (see, the Ladder is already making the games mean more!).

Player Gizmo was short on time. Player Widget was behind in material. As Player Gizmo pushed for the win with very little time on his clock, Player Widget made an illegal move by moving his "checked king" to a square where it was still in check.

Player Gizmo told the player that it was illegal and moved Player Widget's king back to it's original square, then hit his clock. In effect, moving his opponent's piece on his own time!

Player Widget then moved his king to a different square that was also an attacked square, so he was still in check!

The first sequence was again repeated, and in another move or two, Player Gizmo's clock fell, giving Player Widget the win. Of course Player Gizmo was not so sure this was "the rules" and he should be awarded the win due to the illegal moves burning time on his clock.

Unbiased discussion by players standing close to that board concluded that "when the flag falls, its over," and Player Gizmo's only recourse was to immediately hit his clock and inform his opponent that his move was illegal. If it persisted, then stop the clock, and ask for a ruling.

Well here are the FIDE rules that cover this very situation. Player Gizmo has a case!

Article 7: Illegal positions
  1. If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall reestablish the correct position on his own time. If necessary the opponent has the right to restart the player's clock without making a move in order to make sure the player reestablishes the correct position on his own time.
  2. If during a game it is found that an illegal move has been made, or that pieces have been displaced from their squares, the position before the irregularity shall be reinstated. If the position immediately before the irregularity cannot be identified the game shall continue from the last identifiable position prior to the irregularity. The clocks shall be adjusted according to Article 6.13 and, in the case of an illegal move, Article 4.3 applies to the move replacing the illegal move. The game shall then continue.

Article 10: Quickplay Finish
  1. A “quickplay finish” is the last phase of a game, when all the remaining moves must be made in a limited time.
  2. If the player has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall stop the clocks and summon the arbiter.
    1. If the arbiter is satisfied the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that it is not possible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision.
    2. If the arbiter postpones his decision, the opponent may be awarded two extra minutes thinking time and the game shall continue in the presence of the arbiter.
    3. Having postponed his decision, the arbiter may subsequently declare the game drawn, even after a flag has fallen.
  3. Illegal moves do not necessarily lose. After the action taken under Article 7.4, for a first illegal move by a player the arbiter shall give two minutes extra time to his opponent; for a second illegal move by the same player the arbiter shall give another two minutes extra time to his opponent; for a third illegal move by the same player, the arbiter shall declare the game lost by the player who played incorrectly..
  4. If both flags have fallen and it is impossible to establish which flag fell first the game is drawn. 
 So, Player Gizmo should have immediately stopped the clock and added two minutes to his own clock. And then another two after the second illegal move.

We will all know the rule for next time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Advantages of an On-going Club Ladder Tournament

Attempting to climb has it's own rewards.
In a ladder tournament, each competitor receives a seed, or ranking in the event. This tournament format does not include predetermined matchups. Instead, competitors challenge higher ranked opponents on the ladder.

If the competitor with the lower rank upsets the higher seeded player, he moves up the ladder to one spot above the player he defeated. Individual events provide the most suitable candidates for the ladder tournament format.

Ongoing –
Most tournaments occupy a short period of time. The ladder tournament, however, invites continuous competition. It never ends!.
The ongoing competition provides a challenge to everyone involved. In a playoff structure, each competitor experiences elimination until only one winner prevails. In a ladder, everyone remains in the tournament and stays motivated to continue climbing up the ladder.

Flexible –
Most tournament formats require a specific schedule format to run a successful event. In a round robin, for example, each team must play the other in a predetermined time frame. The ladder, however, allows for flexible scheduling. The lower ranked competitors challenge those with a better ranking to a match. The two competitors work out the best time and place for the scheduled match within the Ladder Rule guidelines.

Incentive –
In most tournament formats, only one competitor prevails. Everyone else finishes with a disappointing loss that keeps her from the ultimate goal of winning the championship. In a ladder, however, each competitor has something worthwhile to play for. Each experiences the satisfaction of testing his skills against a competitor of grater skill. Each victory secures a higher ranking on the ladder. This way, everyone that competes maintains interest in the tournament and in improving his position.

Parity –
Most tournament and league formats force one-sided blowouts. In a ladder, once it matures, the best and worst players all experience parity. The lower ranked players challenge someone slightly higher on the ladder in order to move up in the rankings. This way, every player has an opportunity to improve his skill without getting embarrassed by an opposing player with a much higher level of skill.

Camaraderie –
The format increases camaraderie among opponents by encouraging continuous play against one another. With the random draw seeding especially, everyone will be playing everyone at the start. And any new entrant to the ladder starts at the bottom ensuring they will get to know the older members quickly.

Ladder challenges encourage (and even forces) players to play others they may have not faced yet.

Faldo hopes this gets everyone in the spirit of working on the “Ladder” soon. You will soon agree that it is great fun navigating up the ladder.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday Moanin’ – Ten Players and a Room Change

Things did not go as smoothly as Faldo had hoped this Monday night.
Players were greeted with a much longer than usual walk to our playing quarters. Ousted from our usual spot due to a dance competition, LCCC was moved to the other side of the building. The room was fine and adequate for us, and play commenced after a slight delay to find the place.

We expect to be in our usual room next week.
On a positive note we welcome a new player to LCCC – Andrew K. Andrew has a rating of over 2000 and we are glad to add him to the LCCC team. His arrival gave us a total of ten players on this hot ‘soon to be summer’ night, and 33 active members of our 55 members.
Our Ladder Challenge began with a whimper, rather than a bang. Two challenges were completed. One resulted in a ladder move of one spot with a tight and lightly disputed time clock forfeit – which we will discuss in the next post.

Tom H. def. Ken L
The other challenge was decided quickly on a challenge decline – with the win automatically going to the challenger.

Mike N. def. Terry G. (DQ)
No other challenges were issued or recorded. So a rather slow start to our new ladder initiative, but Faldo believes it will get rolling. Just the strategy in deciding challenges is fun in itself. And, so you drop in the ladder. Get someone next challenge!
Two new rules will be added to the Ladder Challenge rules. One will state that, “If no legal challenge can be made for that night’s play after 6:30 pm, a player may challenge the next player up the ladder that is available for play that night. Of course the challenged player still has two weeks to accept (ladder strategy?).”
And, “Should a player successfully jump over previously challenged opponents, those challenges are made null and void.” Obviously you cannot challenge a player that is under you on the ladder.
There will probably be more ‘tweaking’ to the Ladder Rules, but we promise to keep it to one page - in standard type. Rule sheets will be available at every meeting.

Friday, June 15, 2012

LCCC Shirts, Hats, T-Shirts, etc – and Where to Order Them

The blog master was strutting around the chess club last Monday in an LCCC logoed golf shirt.
The reaction was favorable to the design and the layout of the shirt.
There is a chess king with LCCC over the top of the crown in the left shirt pocket area is (no pocket however), and “Livingston County Chess Club” sewn subtlety, yet distinctly on the right sleeve.
Here is where Faldo ordered the shirt:
LogoSportswear dot com
The Saved Design number is #3873847
Just pick your golf shirt brand, style and color and give them that Design Number and it will match what Faldo had on Monday.
You can order on line or call them. It is a nice website and it lets you design your own shirt - right on line!
Faldo is considering ordering some ball caps, with just the pocket emblem on the bill. Let me know if anyone else would like one and we can get a volume and shipping discount.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

LCC Blog Comment Section is Fixed

The comment section was a little difficult or evasive to use we found out. It asked you for a Google (gmail) account or told you to make one. Or it asked for your registration at some internet destination. As blog-master, I of course had no such issue – so how would I know?

Faldo is sure it was there to stop auto-commenting by spammers. Well, I took that protection off, so commenting is easy now.

Faldo would like to encourage the LCCC members to use the blog comment section to do exactly that! Comment!

It doesn’t have to be on the subject posted necessarily. If you have something you want to tell your Chess Club, this is the place to do it.

Like for instance, let’s say you wanted to praise the fine work of the blog master. That’s fine. But you don’t have to stop there!

You could also;

Show admiration for the blog
Commend the blog master
Extol the virtues of the blog master
Honor the blog master
Eulogize the blog master
Congratulate the blog master
Pay tribute to the blog master
Go into rapture over the blog and it’s master
Applaud the blog master
Shower acclaim on the blog and it’s master
Glorify the blog master
Thank the blog master.

Well, Faldo could go on - and should - but Faldo hopes you get the idea.

Also, if you can think of anything else you want to mention to your Chess Club,
(Faldo certainly can’t think of anything), 
you can comment on what ever THAT is.

Comments may serve as a launching pad for posts - which by the way all members can DO! 
Simply email what you want posted to the lcchess at yahoo email, and it will be posted on the blog. It is that simple! 

Remember, this is the club member's blog - not the blog masters.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nineteen Make it This Monday – And Possible Ladder Challenge

New friends made, progress on the future website made, and chess was played!
We welcome new players Tom H., Dale K. and Elliot K. Glad to meet all three of you. Welcome to LCCC.
Discussions were held concerning a possible Ladder Challenge enhancement to our weekly chess games. Here are some rules that other clubs use to run their matches.
Take a look and comment with any improvements, inclusions, subtractions or suggestions to this possible weekly challenge. Remember, this is only a DRAFT!

Chess Ladder Rules

1.     The Ladder Director (LD) is responsible for the updating the Ladder at the end of each week.

2.     The decision of the LD on all Ladder games and issues is final.

3.     All club players will be put in the ladder. New players are automatically placed at the bottom of the ladder. Members are NOT required to play in the Ladder Challenges.

4.     Time Controls for Ladder games; - G/10 minute to G/60 are acceptable time limits for ladder games. If the two players cannot agree on a time limit, then G/30 is the standard. Using clocks is optional if both players agree to not use them.

5.     For Ladder matches, touch-move is in effect.
6.     CHALLENGES:- You may challenge any player above you within 3 rungs,

a)     You cannot play consecutive matches against the same opponent.
b)     All valid challenges (listed with date and time of challenge) must be accepted and played within two weeks (the week of the challenge and the next 2 weeks) or a forfeit of the higher rated player is declared. If multiple challenges are made to a player on the same day, a week is added for each additional challenge. Players are not required to play multiple challenges on the same night.
c)     If this is the first time you have played each other, colour will be determined by lot. If you have played the opponent before, colours should be alternated.
d)     If the challenger wins the match, the players swap ladder rungs.
e)     If the challenger loses or draws, there is no change in the ladder positions.
f)      If a match has been arranged in advance, players must notify the LD of the date and time.
g)     If a player cannot find a player in the next three rungs, he may challenge the next player up that is available.


a)     Failure to accept or play a valid challenge within the rules will constitute a forfeit and result in a win for the challenger.
b)     For every 3 weeks of Ladder inactivity the player will drop down one rung.
c)     After 12 consecutive weeks of inactivity, the player is removed from the ladder.
d)     All infringements of rules as deemed by the LD will result in forfeit of match.
e)     If you will be unable to accept challenges for a period of time, then notify the LD. When doing so please give an estimated return date when requesting a ladder position freeze. The LD may grant ladder “freezes” when deemed necessary.

8.     RECORDING OF RESULTS; Once a match is over, the winning player is responsible for filling in the Results Sheet. Players must be aware of their appropriate change in their rung positions on the ladder.

Blogmaster Note: Suggestions and reactions please!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

By Rook or Crook!

Black to move and win! (go three or four moves)

Two possible White replies.

Find the win for each response.


Solution will be in comments by this weekend, so you will have to suffer til then.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fifteen LCCC’ers This Week

Some competitive games played, some lessons given and all lessons received.
If you want some (free) personal instruction and want to reserve an instructor, email us ahead of time and one will be available. If we don’t know ahead of time, then our instructors may be busy playing!
Just a reminder, LCCC has players at all strengths and welcomes every chess player – from the beginner to the Grandmaster.
Be there for the next meeting Monday, June 11 at 6pm.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Grow Your Chess Club!

There is an article in the January Chess Life about how two guys built their state (North Carolina) Chess Championship from 108 entries to 232, and adding six Grandmasters and ten International Masters to the field! Impressive stuff!
As I read the article, I tried to skim off the methods of how they did it to see if the LCCC could use those methods to build our membership. I figured it was worth a shot. Here goes.

1. Have a guaranteed prize fund. Translate for the club; Have a guaranteed night of chess players.

We have that! We play every Monday except for holidays or city shut down due to bad weather. So far, so good.

2. Low entry fee. We have that! Our club has no dues. For first time visitors, there is no charge. After that – a $1 entry, which goes to the Hartland Senior Center as a donation. One dollar for a first class chess playing area with players of all strengths. A super bargain!

3. Pick a good date. Translation for the club, pick a good day. We did that too! Monday competes with no other chess club close by or events usually. Even Monday Night Football waits until LCCC is nearly closed before starting their game.

4. Pick a good playing site. Our place to play may be our biggest draw, except for the friendliness of our members. We have individual card tables to place our chess sets on, padded chairs, space, private room for a serious game(s), and a clean restroom close by. It’s a dream spot!

5. Network for players. Uh-oh. This needs work and a commitment from every current member.

This is not to say efforts are not being made. The LCCC website is under construction, this blog is operational, and we have conversations with other clubs negotiating home and home matches. And I am sure every member mentions our club every chance we get in every situation possible. All good stuff.

But we need to be creative and pro-active and THINK of other methods too. Anything you can think of to get our club name out there. Publicity – especially FREE publicity is what is needed.

One idea I had (and the motivation to write this article and get more ideas) was this:

Who re-cycles? Just about everyone, right? I know it really doesn’t do any good in reality, but it does make us feel better.
Well, how about re-cycling those chess magazines and books we no longer have any use for, in a different and delayed way?

For instance; how many of us go to the hospital, doctor, dentist, car dealer, car repair place, clinic, etc. Any place with a waiting room with magazines! Take that magazine you were about to throw out/re-cycle, and instead place a label on it stating;

“Compliments of the Livingston County Chess Club”, and putting this blog address on the label also.

Only a chess player or someone who knows a chess player will pick it up and the waiting room staff probably will not get rid of it. Why would they?
Someone will write down the blog address for later use, and a “real” chess player will probably ‘accidentally’ walk off with the magazine! Either way, at least one more person will know about us!

Donate that book to a school or city library with the same label on it.

Anyone else have any ideas on what members can do – EVERY DAY – to get our club name out there?