Friday, May 31, 2013

An Instructive Game Played at LCCC at

Here is a chess game played on Chess .com with lots of lessons. Chess is a life-long learning process, and many times it’s a little painful.
Both players made errors, but hey, that is the game is really - at least at the "mere mortal" most of us play at.
He who makes the least or the smaller errors wins.
1.      e4    d5
2.      exd5  Qxd5
3.      Nc3   Qa5
4.      Nf3   Nf6
5.      Bc4   Bf5
6.      Nd5??   Nxd5
White loses a piece.
7.      Nd4   Bd7?
7.....Nf6 holds on to it. The text move doesn't.
8.      Nb3   Qb6
9.      Bxd5   c6
10.   Bc4   Bf5
White has won the opening with the more developed minor pieces. Black is totally on the defensive and seems to be winging it. White pounces on that!
11.   d3   e5
12.  Qf3   Bg6
13.  h4   h5
14.  Be3   Qc7
15.  O-O-O   Nd7
16.  d4   Bd6
17.  Rhe1   O-O
White has played very well to this point. His pieces are developed and lots of power in the center. Black realizes he is in trouble here as his King needs support.
18.  g4   hxg4
19.  Qxg4   Nf6??
A reflex rote move played quickly without looking! Uh......never do that! Black didn’t look to see that the bishop was hanging. Bh7 was the only move, and that was not so good as White’s rook returning to the g – file looked ugly for Black. Black is lost at this point, but battle on he does.
20.  Qxg6   Nd5
21.  Bxd5   cxd5
22.  Qg5  Rac8
Black tries to counter-attack, hoping White will miss something, but he doesn’t!
23.  c3   exd4
24.  Rg1    f6
25.  Qxd5   Kh8
26.  Nxd4   Qe7
It is looking worse and worse for Black. But he decides to fight on and disrupt White’s King’s home and maybe get a perpetual check chance.
This is a huge long shot, but it is impossible to draw or win a game after you resign. Always remember that!
What White needs to see in this position is that he is a piece and a pawn up and your opponent’s king is basically alone. Black is completely weak on the white squares around his king. Throw a rook to g6, then bring the other rook to g1, bring your Queen to g2, bring the knight to f5, and push the h-pawn. Basically any order of these moves and Black is toast. And White starts to do that.
27.  Nf5  Rxc3
28.   bxc3   Ba3+
29.   Kb1   Qc7
30.   Qf2?!   …..
This is an error to some extent. Threatening mate in one is almost never wrong, but it is here. But the simple 30. Bd4 holds White’s position together. What we have now is a battle of the exposed White King versus a semi-exposed Black King, with White a Rook and Knight up! If White plays simple defense, then trade pieces the win will just happen. No need to try and win quickly.
    30…....    Rf7
31.  Kc2?  b5
Overtaxing the c-pawn which Black goes after immediately. Meanwhile White’s bishop is doing nothing to help his king.
32.  Bxa7??   Qxa7
Just a pure unforced blunder here by White.
33.  Rd8+   Rf8
34.  Rxf8   Bxf8
White obviously mis-calculated and didn’t play thru the moves or didn’t play thru them thoroughly. But the trading of pieces still helps White and he is still a rook up. All White has to do is continue to TRADE! Notice in this position, if you took all the pieces off the board leaving just the Kings and pawns, White’s a-pawn  or c-pawn queen easily! That is what White needed to see. Hide the White king and force trades. Black’s King is actually quite safe for the time being, allowing his Queen to be a complete pest.
35.  Ne3?  Qxa2+
What was wrong with 35. Qd5 for White here? The White King needs help against the opposing queen. Meanwhile, the White Knight and Rook can gang up on the pinned bishop. But watch how hard it is to start an attack when your King is not protected.
36.  Kd3   Qa6
37.  Qd5   b4+
38.  Nc4   b3
39.  Rb1   Qa2
40.  Rb2   Qa4
41.  Qa5?   Qd7+
Right idea with Qa5, but wrong execution. Na5! Dooms the Black b-pawn and there are no checks for Black to be had! If Qa3, then Rxb3, rook protected by the knight. Wjhite correctly has pieces around the White King, but he didn’t use them all. Black cannot trade queens or he loses immediately, so Black has to bail with the only check he’s got.
42.  Ke3   Qe6+
43.  Kd3   Qd7+
44.  Ke4   Qe6+
45.  Kd3   Qd7+
46.  Ke2   Qg4+
47.  Kd3   Qd7+
Here Chess .com asks Black if he wants to claim the draw by move repetition. Black turned it down because he wanted White to get the practice of closing a won game out. White was asked the same question and of course turned it down since he is winning. But,
Move 41. Qa5 took White’s Queen out of the game and she is the only one who can handle the Black Queen in the open space. The plan has to be to get the White King back to his lady friend for protection.
48.  Ke4   Qe6+
49.  Ne5   fxe5
This is the right idea for White, if staying in the middle of the board. Running the King into the arms of his army on the queen-side of the board is better. It was almost painful for Black to take the knight as it weakens his King’s protection, but being down so much material of course taking the knight is forced. But now Black must stay away from a forced trade of queens, or he is lost.
50.  Qxe5    Qc6+
51.  Kd3    Qa6+
52.   c4     Qa4
“Passed pawns must be pushed.” White makes a move that tells Black the comeback ends now. Pushing any pawn is just deadly for Black. Black does not have the pieces to defend against advancing pawns.
53.  Qb8?    Qd7+
Right idea but again the White Queen wanders too far away from her mate. 53. Qd4 protects all pawns and can shield the King from annoying checks. Black would then have trouble finding moves.
54.  Ke2    Qe6+
55.  Kd3?   Qh3+
56.  Qg3    Qf1+
57.  Kd4   Qd1+
58.  Qd3   Bc5+
Obviously 59. Kxc5 allows Qxd3 and White loses. But keep this theme in mind. Black will,  as the Black Queen now has assistance from the  church.
59.  Ke4   Qg4+
60.  Kd5   Qd7+
The bishop still cannot be captured.
61.  Ke4   Qg4+
62.  Ke5   Qh5+
63.  Qf5??  Bd4+!
Now the exchange of queens is forced and a won endgame for Black has now materialized.
64.  Ke4   Qxf5+
65.  Kxf5   Bxb2
66.  Ke4   Kg8
Black’s King hurries to get “in the box” (explained in a minute) with White’s passed c-pawn, White’s only threat left. Always remember, safety first.
67.   c5   Kf8
Black made it! He is inside the box of c5-f5-f8-c8 so now the c-pawn cannot win the race to the queening square without assistance. And White’s king has to worry about Black’s b-pawn, so no help is arriving.
68.  Kd3   Bf6
69.  Resigns
An interesting game showing how weak an exposed King truly is and why it is important for the player behind in material to keep his Queen on the board.
Of course I hope other NPP’ers will chime in with notes and comments with other variations.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Eleven Players Tonight at LCCC

On a beautiful and hot late spring night, LCCC had eleven players show up at our beautiful air conditioned and spacious club location.
We welcome another new member, Sam T to our club. He immediately found a few games and even got some instruction from our resident chess instructor, Terry G.
Meanwhile, some casual games were played and then Jason M went over some tournament games from the big tournament in Norway. It was very instructive. Thanks Jason!
On a sadder note, at least for your humble reporter, the LCCC Ladder Tournament has folded and collapsed (puns intended).
There just was not enough interest - as the true regulars attendees to the club did not join the Ladder en mass - and the part timers were not showing up or playing enough to sustain it. I will keep this old “step stool” in archives and if the Ladder is ever needed, it will be there. “Alas, poor Ladder…..I knew it well!”
Besides our Monday meetings, there are scheduled chess tournaments to enter nearby:
June 7 – Friday Knight Action (G/30 min) Quads – 2200 Fuller Court, Ann Arbor, Garden Market CafĂ©. 3 rounds, $10 EF $10. Registration 6:30 – 7pm, Rounds 7pm, 8pm, 9pm. Contact Jennifer Skidmore 734-678-0463 or jmscamelot @gmail .com
June 11 – Genessee County CC Free Rated Action (G/30 min) Swiss – Eastside Senior Center, 3065 N. Genessee Rd., Flint – 3 rounds, Registration 6pm – 6:30, Rounds 6:30-7:30-8:30. Free entry fee! Contact Jeff Aldrich 810-955-7271 and jeffchess
June 22-23 – 2013 Michigan Bottom Half Championship – Comstock Park, Grand Rapids, Comfort Suites Grand Rapids North, 350 Dodge Street, Comstock Park, MI. Rooms $86 per night – chess rate if reserved by 6/7. 616-785-7899. Entry Fee: $40 - Five rounds – Six Sections, over 1900, under 1900, U1700, U1500, U1300, U1100. Reg: Sat 8:30-9:30am – Rounds Sat 10-2:30-7pm, Sun 10 – 2:30 – Time Limit G/120 Contact Mike Smith 734-625-5057 or redwing_85, PO Box 8064, Ann Arbor, MI 48107.
June 23 – Canton Sunday Action (G/30 min) Quads – Canton Public Library, 1200 South Canton Center Rd., Canton, MI – 3 rounds,  1pm – 2:30pm – 4pm, EF: $6, pay with Pay Pal only! – Registration: 12:30 – 1pm.  Contact Tim Heller – chessclub or Manmohan Das – mrwiz.usa
LCCC will be CLOSED Memorial Day Monday May 27, 2013. But we will be back on June 3!
See you at LCCC on June 3.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sixteen Players on a Chilly May Monday

A nice turnout this evening for some chess and chess lessons.

We welcome back Eric W to the club. Eric was with us at our last location - the gracious Barnes and Noble in Brighton - but this was his first time at the Hartland Senior Center. He too was impressed with our excellent club playing facility. Welcome back Eric!

Terry G was hard at work giving pointers to the young players, while many a friendly game - speed, timed and without a clock were played.

One Ladder game was played as Mike N held on in a tough game with Don J. But Don got his revenge in the rematch. Too bad only one Ladder game with an opponent is allowed per night. Mike won the one that counted on the Ladder. But Don will be back to challenge soon.

If you would like to play in a chess tournament this weekend, there is a nice one in Lansing.
It is the 2013 Michigan Amateur Championship.

It is being held at the University Quality Inn, 3121 East Grand Blvd., Lansing, MI 48912
Room rate: $90  - call 517-351-1440

This tournament is open to players under 2000.
 Five rounds of chess. Entry fee: $40
Sat: 10 - 2:30 - 7 and Sun: 10 - 2:30

There is a Saturday only tournament for all Under 800 players also! Sat: 10 - 11:15 - 1 - 2:15 and 3:30. Entry fee is $30. 

Prizes are trophies based on rating section.

We do have some LCCC players attending. I believe Matt T and John R have stated they will be there. So we hope to see you there, even if you just stop by to take in the action.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fourteen Players at LCCC on the First Monday of May

Lots of chess games played tonight. It was a nice night of shuffling of the players too. Games were played with a time limit, at super speed and even without a clock.
We welcomed a new player to LCCC tonight – Pat S from Midland visited us. He was in the area on business and made it a point to stop by. Welcome Pat.
Pat thanked us for our hospitality (that is what LCCC is famous for) and mentioned that he will visit his new chess friends whenever he is in the area. We hope to see Pat at the LCCC on line at Chess. com until he can return in person.
One ladder game was played as Mike N fought off a tough challenge to his perch as the Top Rung. But still - there he is.
Ok, so all you chess players out there – Monday night is LCCC night. Be here!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

LCCC Annual Club Meeting - Results

Thirteen players were on hand for the Annual Meeting.
Some chess was played and lots of teaching went on – as usual – as Terry G worked with our young students and Jason M reviewed games played by members in the Great Lakes Open tournament. Thanks to both of you for your efforts.
The best way to learn is to go over your games. It especially is helpful if you can do it with someone of equal or better experience than yourself. Once the pressure of actually being in a tournament game is behind you, errors and opportunities in the game just seem to jump out at you – or the person you are reviewing the game with. Reviewing your games played is one of the best learning tools!
On to the results of the Annual Club Meeting:
Meeting Minutes from the 2013 LCCC Annual Election / Board / Member Meeting
1.       The by-laws proposed were almost unanimously passed, with some minor modifications that are mentioned below.
2.       Election results were published: President – Mike N., VP – Ken L., Treasurer – Vince V., Secretary – Don J., Member-at-Large – Mike K.
3.       Club expenses deemed necessary were voted on and approved. They were: $60 for the website, $40 for the USCF affiliation dues, $100 for chess supplies for the club and an Advertizing/Marketing budget to be determined in committee later.
4.       Current Club Funds were duly noted into the record. So far, donations equaled $110. $40 was used to pay for the 2013 USCF affiliation, which leaves a balance of $70. This money was turned over to the VP - Ken L., to hold until Treasurer - Vince V. returns from his work – forced absence.
5.       Full Club Member dues were voted on and approved as $20 per year. Full members have voting rights for all proposals and elections concerning the Club.
6.       It was also voted on and approved that a change to the by-laws would state that someone who pays Associate Member dues of $2 per meeting for 20 weeks, becomes a Full Member.
7.       Nightly fees were voted on and approved as follows: 1st visit Free. Full Member pays $1 donation per weekly visit to the Facility. Associate Members are requested to pay $2 per visit; $1 to the Club and $1 donation for the Facility. Non-members are requested to donate a $1 for the Facility.
8.       It was established that the Club’s Annual year is May 1 to April 30.
9.       It was also voted on and established in the by-laws that any player with a rating above 2000 is a Full Member and the dues are waived.
The by-laws and items proposed above are still a work in progress. I want to re-iterate that all club fees are still VOLUNTARY at this time. And there is no pressure at all to feel you have to contribute.
Everyone is still welcome to show up, play chess and get instruction at LCCC!