Monday, December 30, 2013

Seth Homa Game from the LCCC Simil - Game 1

FIDE Master Seth Homa played white against 13 LCCC players on thirteen different boards. Here is one of the best games. The BEST game will be posted soon.

White: FM Seth Homa
Black: Matt Trujillo
Matt's notes are in ( ) - the editor's notes are not.

1.  d4 Nf6
2.  c4 g6
3. Nc3 Bg7
4.  e4 d6
5.  f3 0-0
6. Be3 c5
7. Nge2 cxd4
8. Nxd4 Nc6
9. Be2 Qb6
(This move seemed obvious to me because I play a very similar line in the hyper-accelerated dragon, but surprisingly my database has only 2 games from this position…both wins for black.)

10. Nxc6 Qxc6
11. 0-0 Be6
(I left book theory with this move, b6 and Nd7 has been tried previously)

12. Nd5 Bxd5
13.  cxd5 Qd7
14. Rc1
Taking open files. Matt says, “Not so fast pilgrim.”
14.  …..    Rfc8
15. Qb3 Rxc1
16. Rxc1 Rc8
17. Rc4 Rc7
18. Qc2 Ne8
Trading for equality is not a bad strategy against a superior player, but Matt is following the old adage “To take is a mistake”. If Black takes first, Seth (White) has control of the c-file. Both are angling for pawn steals (b3 and a7).

19.  b3 Rxc4
20. Qxc4 b6
21.  a4 Qc7
22. Qb5 Nf6
Black has the c-file but White’s bishops together like that almost act like another Queen, keeping Matt’s queen out of nice squares on the c-file.

23.  b4 h5
24. Qc6 Qb8

Obviously trading queens gives white a passed pawn on the c-file. But Seth still plans on getting it done. The pieces are even but White’s space and piece activity difference is all the edge Seth needs. This is the work of a master chess player.

25. Ba6 Ne8
26.  b5 Nc7
27.  h3 Kf8
28. Kh1 Ne8
29. Bb7 Qc7
30. Bc8 Qb8
31. Bd7 Nc7
32. Qc1 Qd8
33. Bc6

Mission accomplished. Bishop posted in Black’s camp. You want it out? Well it only costs you a passed pawn on the 6th rank!

33.  …..     e6
34.  a5 exd5
35.  axb6 axb6
36.  exd5 Qb8
37. Qg1 Na8
(You know your position sucks when the knight ends up here). White is using the fact that Black’s bishop is not participating. It’s like Black is missing a piece and Seth weakens the Black squares on the side of the board Black’s dark squared bishop can’t reach.

38.  f4 Bc3
39. Qf2 Qd8
40.  f5 g5
41. Qa2 Ba5
White is “overloading” Black’s queen with defensive duties. Talk about an overworked housewife – guarding a8, b6, d6 and g5!

42. Bxa8 Qe8
43. Qa3 Qxa8
44. Qxd6+ Kg8
(It is very interesting the line Seth chose because obviously he could have won a piece but he was more concerned about simplifying and not letting me have any counter play whatsoever. Now he has an easily won endgame.) Never letting your opponent from getting back in the game is the important lesson here. If you get him down, don’t let him up!

45. Bxg5 Qe8
46. Qd8 Qxd8
47. Bxd8 Kf8
48. Bf6 Be1
49. Bd4 Ba5
50. Kh2 Ke7
51. Be5 Bb4
52. Kg3 Be1+
53. Kf4 Bd2+
54. Ke4 Kd7
55. Bd4 Kc7
56. Ke5 Bg5
57.  d6+ Kb7
58.  g4  hxg4
Taking off the rest of Black’s pawns, giving him no chance to come back.

59.  hxg4 Bd8
60. Be3 Kc8
61.  g5  
This pawn can queen on g8 – a white square Black’s bishop can’t touch. Another consideration in an endgame. What color is that queening square and does your opponent have a bishop for that? No? Then that’s a good thing.

Thanks Matt for the notes and the well played game.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week Six of the 2013 League Was Big!

More pictures from the Seth Homa simul.
 LCCC set another record for attendance in a single night as twenty-eight players were in attendance. Thanks to everyone who participated in this new benchmark.
Our record at Teekos Coffee and Tea on Thursday night is still at eleven but we are averaging eight players there, so anyone interested can find a chess opponent either night.

The league leading Rabid Squirrels are tied in their match with the Sonics 1.5 – 1.5, with one game to play. If the Sonics can get the upset on Board Two, the league will tighten up and put the Squirrels back within striking distance of pursuers – the Tigers and Flames.

The Tigers drew their match with the Thunder. That will drop them into a tie for second with the Flames, who beat the 49’ers 3 – 1. Here are the current standings:
Rabid Squirrels -  9 points
Tigers - 7 points
Flames - 7 points
Sonics - 4 points - (match 6 currently tied with the Squirrels)
49'ers - 4 points
Thunder - 3 points
The next league night is not until January 27, 2014.

Open chess will be available at LCCC on Mondays – January 6, 13 and possibly the 20th – if the Hartland Senior Center is open on Martin Luther King Day. We will see.

But LCCC will be at the Teekos Coffee Shop in Howell on December 26, January 2, 9, 16, 24 and 31.

To our faithful readers, I just want to say – sorry – for the lack of posts lately. Sometimes life gets in the way of chess. Hate when that happens.

But there will be some great games posted, along with more chess news and updates from LCCC headquarters. So keep us in your holiday read list.

Merry Christmas to everyone and have a very happy holiday.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Seth Homa Gives Chess Exhibition at LCCC!

FIDE Master Seth Homa
FIDE Master and Michigan Open Champion Seth Homa stopped by LCCC to give a simultaneous chess exhibition – taking on all interested players - at the same time!
A lucky thirteen players lined up to face Seth, and in the end, only Vince Valente was able to get a draw. The rest of us….well, at least we have a score sheet showing we played a FIDE Master. Seth went 12-0-1.
Everyone had a great time and Seth was a friendly and gracious guest. It was such a fun event, LCCC will do something like this again. Maybe a Seth Homa lecture next time. Stay tuned.
Let’s hear from Don Jones, participant in the simil for his take of the event:
Seth Homa complimented our club, saying that we have a lot of extremely tough players. He said that most club exhibitions are done in about an hour and a half, but most of our players were still going at 2 hours and 3 games lasted almost 3 hours (when we had to be out of the building).
I lasted 30 moves but that is misleading. I used a chess engine called Houdini that is rated at over 3000 (the current world champion is rated around 2850) to analyze my game. At move 29 it said I had an equal game with Seth, meaning that neither of us had an advantage (in the opinion of Houdini, but I liked Seth's position better).
But the rules of the exhibition say we have to move immediately when he comes around to our board and I was in the middle of analyzing a very difficult and complex position when he arrived. I was considering a plan that looked promising but very risky so I quickly picked a move that seemed harmless.
But immediately after I moved I realized it was actually a blunder that resulted in me losing a rook so I resigned. To add insult to injury, Houdini says the best way to continue the game would have been the plan that I was considering when he arrived at my board.

Seth and Don Jones in the background.
I should have trusted my instincts rather than wimping out and trying to play a 'safe' move.
Of course, losing the rook didn't require ending the game immediately but I felt that continuing the game against a player of his strength would have been pointless and an insult to him.
Considering that Seth is rated at around 2430 or so I was quite pleased that my game didn't collapse by move 10, especially since he played a very aggressive attack.
Seth is very young and could be a grandmaster in a few years if he can raise money to play in more international tournaments.
The guy who drew Seth asked him to sign his game sheet, and plans to frame it and hang it on his wall, because he says otherwise nobody will ever believe that he had a draw against a world class player. Of course, Seth was essentially playing 14 simultaneous games of speed chess while we only had one game to worry about and could think the whole time he was looking at other games.

We invited Seth back for another exhibition in the spring and he agreed. Hopefully we can find a date that works for everyone. I will definitely play again. It was a very amazing experience and I learned a lot.
Thanks Don!
Our event did bring us three new members of LCCC – Dan C, Geoff O, and Will S. Welcome to LCCC gentlemen.

Seth continues the loop around the players.
Dan and Geoff played in the simil. Don’t worry guys. For your information, the rest of the players at LCCC are not as strong as Seth! Although, some are a lot closer to Seth’s strength than others. The fun part is to come and play chess at LCCC - and find out who those players are on your own.
Just a reminder: League night is next Monday, December 16th. It will be our last regular meeting for the year at the Hartland Senior Center, as the Center will be closed for the Christmas Holidays. We will return there on January 6, 2014.
The Club will still meet at the Teekos Coffee and Tea Shop in Howell at Grand River and Latson Road on Thursday nights – December 12, 19, 26, Jan 2, 9, etc.
Be sure to stop by, have a coffee and play some chess.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Seth Homa Visits LCCC Monday - Dec 9 - and a League Leader has Emerged

Seth Homa will be giving a chess exhibition at LCCC this coming Monday.
He will be taking on up to 40 chess players at the same time!
Stop on by and grab a seat in the match.
The cost has been reduced to $15 and $10 for children under 18.
Be there by 6pm to lock up your seat as there is a limit of both spaces and time to get registered.
Nothing like an exciting League game on a cold winter night.

Meanwhile the LCCC Chess League completed Week 5, which means we are half way thru. December 16th will be the start of the 2nd half. It took a while, but after the classic 1 vs 2 match up this week, some space for the clear cut leader has been created.

Rabid Squirrels - 9 League points and 13 Team Points
Tigers 6 - 10.5
Flames 5 - 10
Sonics 4 - 9.5
49'ers 4 - 8
Thunder 2 - 6

The second half of the round robin starts December 16 and here are the Team pairings:
Sonics vs Rabid Squirrels
Thunder vs Tigers
Flames vs 49'ers
During League action, lessons are given and casual games are played.

Dec. 16 will be our last official club meeting of the year. But we hope to still meet at Teekos Coffee Shop in Howell over the holidays on Thursdays - or any other day.