Friday, October 31, 2014

Remembering The Editor in Chief - David Moody

David Moody - Always on the job as the Editor of the MI Chess Mag
This game was played at the Cadillac Open in early November of 1996. It was published in the Michigan Chess magazine in December of that year. The game was annotated by state chess legend and Michigan Chess Hall of Fame member David Moody.

Mr. Moody tirelessly and selfishly work as the Editor for Michigan Chess for many years and spent countless hours going over games played at every Michigan tournament and tournaments groups of Michigan players attended – such as a US Open or Midwest Class Championship.
David always did a great job commentating and analyzing the games – all without the aid of chess software I have to cheat with today. I miss his great writing style to this day. I had the thrill of having him annotate and publish a little over a half dozen of my games. They were mostly losses - but at least he deemed them print worthy, and that was a compliment in itself I felt.
I will let Mr. Moody take over the commentary on this game. Any comments I add will be in [brackets]. Enjoy.

“With a rating difference in the 700-800 point range, you wouldn’t expect much out of the games in round 1 or a Swiss Open tournament. There were some moments of interest in this one however:
Mike Nikitin (1528)  vs Eric Ronneberg (2252) – Grunfeld Defense – D93
1.      d4   Nf6
2.      c4   g6
3.      Nc3   Bg7
4.      Nf3    O-O
5.      Bf4    d5
6.      e3    c5
7.      Nb5   Na6
Forcing the Black knight to a bad square, but not really a move in the spirit of the position, as it releases a lot of pressure on Black’s somewhat rickity center. And of course there are the usual clich├ęs about not moving a piece twice in the opening.
8.      a3    Bg4
9.      Be2    dxc4
10.  Bxc4    cxd4
11.  Nbxd4    Nd5
With pressure on the long diagonal [a1-h8], not to mention the threatened advance of the e-pawn.
12.  Bg3    e5[?] 
White to move......and blunder on lucky #13.
[The position was (-.3) but is now EVEN. Igor3000 says 12…..Rc8! 13. Rc1, Bxf3 14.gxf3 is better for Black (-.9). But White blunders right back. 13. Nb5, e4  14. Qxd5, exf3  15. O-O  fxg2 16. Qxg2 was the correct way to relieve the pin. Instead of (=) it’s now Black (-2) after the next move.
  13.  Qb3?    Nc5
  [The game is slipping away from White.]
  14.  Qa2    exd4
  15.  Bxd5    Nd3+
  16.  Kf1     Rc8
  Threatening 17. ….Nc1, driving
   the queen away from supporting
   the bishop.[(-3)]
   17.  Bxb7   Nc1?
   [Black is getting cute, but will get away with it. The simple 17. …Be6 continues to build Black’s advantage (to -5.2). But the Master correctly predicts White will try and trap the knight.]
18.  Bxc8?   Qxc8!
For White, not all that bad was 18. Qd5 [(-3)]. He apparently hopes to trap the knight after 18….Nxa2 19. Bxg4, but Black has something better. [(-9.3)]
19.  Qd5     Qa6!+
Whaddya know. It’s our old friend; the smothered mate – after 20. Kg1, Ne2+ 21.Kf1, Nxg3+ 22. Kg1, Qf1+! 23. Rxf1, Ne2++. Now tell the truth – did you see that coming?
[Of course 20. Ke1, Qe2++]
            White Resigns
The Swiss System has various functions, outside of the obvious one of allowing a tournament to accommodate a large group of players in a small number of rounds.
Journalists who must decipher score sheets for publication have long noted that a Swiss System always seems to pair ‘good handwriting’ players together and ‘bad handwriting’ players together, ensuring that we never get to see all of the good games – only half.
Another traditional function of the Swiss System seems to take players that traveled together a long distance to attend the tournament - and play each other frequently at home – and pair them in the 1st round. The farther away you live from the tournament site, the more likely it is that this will happen.”
[I miss your talented writing sir.]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

League Night 102714 – and Teekos Thursdays Start Again!

Studying is not only good for's fun!
It was another great night of League play.
The Tigers defeated the 49’ers 3 – 1 and the Thunder ‘slipped’ by the Oilers 2.5 – 1.5.

Get that? Slipped? By the Oilers? .......I kill me!

The winners for the Tigers were Vince V, Paul M and Luigi M. For the 49’ers it was Marcello M winning

The winners for the Thunder were Luke S and Zack R. Ted G won for the Oilers. Tim R and Gene M drew their match.
The standings are:

Thunder - 2 team points – 5.5 match points
Tigers – 1 point – 4.5 points
Oilers – 1 point – 4 points
49’ers – 0 points – 2 points

Next week is still a league night! Don’t forget.

The schedule for November 3 and line up is:

49’ers vs Oilers
W) Mike N 0 vs Tim R 1 (already played)
B) Dave S vs Sam T
W) Americo M 1 vs Tom H 0 (forfeit)
B) Marcello vs Ted G
Tigers vs Thunder
W) Vince V vs Gene M
B) Paul M vs Luke S
W) Luigi M vs Zach R
B) Luca M vs Zach K
It will be another fun night of chess action. As you can see, there will be a few players with no opponents and besides, there are usually a few players there for casual chess. Stop on by to watch the action or play yourself. We open at 6pm and the league starts at 7pm.

And it looks like there is interest in starting our Thursday night chess at Teekos Tea and Coffee House at the northeast corner of Latson Rd and Grand River in Howell. We will see if our private room is still available. If not or if not the first week, there is still plenty of space in the main coffee shop. Stop on by.

White to move
Here is a tactical shot from the 103rd US Open. Paul Shannon vs Alex Lewis – White to play and win material …or more. Find the best move or moves.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monday 102014 Had Games and Lessons - And a Game to Review!

We help you get better LCCC!
Another fun night at LCCC. Some chess lessons were given and alot of friendly games played. We had nine in attendance on this rainy Monday night.

A reminder, our league night returns next week starting at 7pm. But we will be there at 6pm to welcome new players and play some warm up games!

Even if you are not in the league, stop on by to play the players not in the league (we have some) or watch the action and get a game after the league is over. Someone will be glad to play! We are a friendly group.

Here is game from our league's top boards. A very interesting back and forth battle. Proof that we are all just a friendly club, this League Game was played early - on an off night - just so one of the players would not forfiet because of work travel.

Not only that - both players were willing to re-hash the game and share their good move AND blunders - in order to help teach other players in the club. Thank you both Tim and Gene for your effort and sportsmanship. On to the action!

Gene M vs Tim R
{   } = Editor notes
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5
last book move


Gene - Tim informed me after the game this is the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit.

…dxe4 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6

Gene - "Modern Chess Openings"  gives 5…Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.Be3 e6 9.Bd3 Nbd7=/+

6.Bd3 Bb4?!

Gene - This bishop would’ve helped defend my castled King.  Rybka gives Nc6 or Be7.

Tim – Yes, this move typically is a waste of tempo, since most of the time it is retreated to support  Bf6.

7.0-0 Bxc3?! 8.bxc3 0-0 9.Qe1Nbd7 [Igor3000 says White has the lead (1.3)

Gene - I saw only g3 as the next square for White’s Queen, with the threat of Bh6, and I’d answer Qg3 with Kh8.  I played Nbd7 to support my f6 Knight.

Tim – Bxc3 allows my attack to prosper, really not a good move for black.

10.Qh4! b6?!

Gene - Rybka gives c5 or h5.

11.Bg5 Qe8 12.Ne5 {?!}

Gene - White is much better +-4.1. I’d underestimated the added pressure his Rook on the f file exerted on my f6 Knight.
{Igor3000 says White is up (8.3) with 12. Bxf6, h6 13. Bxg7, Kxg7 14. Qg4+, Kh8 15. Qe4, f5 16. Qxa8}

…h6 13.Nxd7?

[13.Bxf6 ends the debate Nxf6 14.Rxf6+- ]

Tim – There is a consistent theme in the match to recognize critical positions, and in this one I played hastily, afterwards realizing that N can recapture, I immediately recognize the mistake.  Rook or bishop capture is significant and most likely fatal.  The lesson for young players is to forget about the past position and play the one you have!

13...Nxd7 14.Bxh6! Mate threat

…gxh6?? the pressure is too much, Black crumbles

[ 14...gxh6 15.Rf3 Combination ]

[ 14...-- 15.Bh7+ Mate threat ]

Gene - Rybka gives 14…f5, still losing for Black.

15.Rf3 f5 16.Qxh6 Kf7

Gene - The end might be near.  White is way up +-10.2.

17.Bxf5! {?}
{Igor3000 says "way better was 17. Qh7+!!, Kf6  18. Rg3, Rg8  19. Rxg8, Qxg8  20. Qxg8  (+16.0)}

Mate threat …Ke7

[ 17...exf5 18.Rxf5+ Nf6 ( 18...Ke7

19.Re1+ Decoy ; 18...Kg8 19.Rg5+

Mate attack ) 19.Qxf6+ Mate attack ]

[ 17...-- 18.Qh7+ Mate threat ]


[ 18.Bg6 secures victory …Rxf3 19.Bxe8+- ]

Gene - Tim thought for 20 minutes before playing 18.Re3.  He said after the game he was trying to keep my King from escaping.

Tim – All the natural moves were bad.  Qxp has no good follow, and I thought a long time, trying to find a solution to either position.  My first instinct was Bg6 but I thought I couldn’t calculate the queen move or R pin (and eventual bishop escape) and it just looked like chaos and I’m a piece for 2 pawns down.  As I said before I was irritated that I overlooked the win, and failed to come up with a sufficient “next” plan.
{Igor says "We computers have no such handicap."}

18...Nf6 19.Qh4? White is ruining his position

Tim – no good ideas.  I have 4 minutes now.  Some bad hasty moves to follow!
19.Bxe6 a pity that White didn't try this …Bxe6 20.d5+

19...Qh5! 20.Qxh5 Nxh5

Gene - Tables have turned – Rybka has Black is up -+1.2.


[ 21.Be4 Rb8 22.c4 ]


[ 21...Nf6!? 22.Rae1 Kd6-+ ]

22.Be4 Rb8 23.Rae1 Bb7

[ 23...Rf4 24.h3 ]

24.Bxb7 Rxb7 25.d5

[ 25.Kg2 c5 26.h4 Rc7 ]


[ 25...Rf4 26.Re4 Rxe4 27.Rxe4 ]

26.Kg2 Kd6 27.c4

[ 27.dxe6!? Nxe6 28.h4 ]

27...exd5 28.Rd1 c6 29.cxd5 cxd5 30.c4 Rbf7?!

{Igor has Black with a slight lead (-.9)}
[ 30...Re6!? 31.Rxd5+ Ke7-+ ]

31.Rxd5+ Here comes the goal-getter

…Kc7 32.Kg3 Rg6 33.Ra3?

Tim – Ra3 was ONLY to create complications

[ 33.Rf3 Rxf3+ 34.Kxf3 Rf6+ 35.Kg3 Rf1 ]


[ 33...Nf5+! 34.Kf3 Nd4+ 35.Kg3 Ne2+ 36.Kh4-+ ]


[ 34.Rf3!? should not be overlooked Rxf3+ 35.Kxf3 ]

34...Kc6 35.Re5? solves nothing

[ 35.Rd6+ Rxd6 36.cxd6 Kxd6 37.h4 ]


[35...Nf5+! and Black has prevailed
{Igor says "Yep"}

36.Rxf5 Rxf5 37.cxb6 Rf1-+ ]

Gene - I considered Nf5+ but only looked at the follow up Rook checks to see if I could maneuver his King into a Knight fork with his Rook.  I didn’t consider that I’d win a pawn, or that trading Rooks would lead to an unfavorable end game.  This is an example of the adage “Take what the position gives you”.  Rybka also gives 35…Nf5+, 36.Kf2 Nh6+, 37.Ke1 Nxg4, 38.Re2 Kxc5 -+3.6, or 36.Kh3 Rh737.Kg2 Rxg4+ -+5.9.

Tim – After the game, I mentioned that Nf5 was a forced win since it either leaves me with 4 disconnected pawns or an exchange, neither leaves me with anything.  This was BLACK’s winning position that he missed.


[ 36.Rxe6+!? Nxe6 37.cxb6 Kxb6 38.h4 ]


[ 36...b5!? looks like a viable alternative 37.Rxa5 b4 ]

37.cxb6= Rfe7

[ 37...a4!?= and Black has air to breathe]

38.Rgxa5± Re3+

[ 38...Nf6!?± ]

39.Rxe3+- Rxe3+ 40.Kf4 Kxb6?

simply worsens the situation.

Tim – Was happy you went down this path.

[40...Re1 41.Re5 Rf1+ 42.Kg5 Nd6± ]


[ 41.Kxe3 and White has reached his goal Kxa5 42.h4+- ]


[ 41...Rh3 is still a small chance

42.Rxe8 Rxh2+- ]

42.Kxe5     Draw agreed

Gene - Tim had a winning position (+-6.8 here) but under a minute on his clock.  The game ended after about 55 moves with his Queen and King pushing my lone King into a corner before his time expired.

Tim – The last 20 moves were in severe time pressure, I was trying to create complications till he mistook the b pawn push and allowed the Rook exchange, then I knew I was winning, however, had no time to convert.  Fun Game.  ½-½

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 101314 a Good Time – LCCC League Resumes Oct. 29 – and a Game

Chess is a game for the entire family!
We had fifteen players on this Monday night. Two league games played and the first round closed out. The standings are on the right side of the blog.
Also a lot of friendly games were played. It was a nice evening of chess.
The next round of the league on October 29, 7pm features these match-ups (first name listed has White):
49’ers vs Tigers
Mike N – Vince V
Paul M – Dave S
Americo M – Luigi M
Luca M – Marcello M

Oilers vs Thunder
Tim R – Gene M (postponed)
Luke S – Sam T
Tom H – Zach R
Zach K – Ted G

Below is a Ladder Tournament game – played as a Fischer Random 960 set up. There are some good lessons here. Fischer960 Ladder Tournament Game – G/55 min with 5 sec delay
Set up from left to right on the back rank - RBKNRQBN
1.      e4    e5
2.      Ng3    Ne6
3.      f3    f6
4.      Nc3   Ng6
5.      a3    c6
6.      Ba2   Bc7
7.      Nge2    Bb6
8.      Bxb6    ab
9.      Qf2    Qc5
10.  O-O    Bf7
11.  Ng3    O-O
Because this is a Fischer Random or Chess 960 game, both players are following solid opening principles, rather than relying on their “Opening Book” knowledge. Some of the opening principles on display here are:
1) Usually develop your knights before your bishops,
2) Restrict your opponent’s development by attacking the good squares for his pieces,
3) Trade your under-developed pieces for your opponent’s developed pieces – even better if he moved them a couple times as you pick up tempos (moves).
4) Doubling your opponent’s pawns is usually a good thing,
5) Castle early!
12.  Nf5    Nd4?
Black is eyeing White’s unguarded c-pawn and having his knight create havoc on the queen-side. The only problem is that after 13. b4! Black’s Queen has no escape squares. Check it out!
Black is left with 13. ….Nxf3  14. gf, Qxf2+  15. Rxf2 and White is up the exchange (+2.5). White - unfortunately for him - sees only the smaller prize of a pawn (+1.3), and doesn’t look deeper. 
13.  Bxf7?!    Rxf7
14.  b4!      ........
After White's 14. b4!
14. .......      Qf8
15.  Nxd4    ed
16.  Qxd4    Ne5
Igor3000 actually liked better for Black 14. ….Qc4  15. Nd6, Qe6  16. Nxf2, Qxf2 – with Black keeping both knights on the king-side and thus having a lesser deficit (+.8) due to his better position and attacking possibilities. But that is deep-thinking a computer can do a lot faster and with much greater accuracy than humans can.
Not only that, but the computer doesn’t feel the emotion of having just lost an exchange. So this suggestion made by Igor3000 is the type of move order a human would not even consider.
17.  Qxb6?   Nc4
White gets the lead and immediately gets sloppy!
Look for that response from your opponent right after you make a blunder. Often your opponent will go on auto pilot for a while - basking in his advantage. If you are diligent, often you can counter-strike during his mental vacation.
The simple 17.f4 drives the knight from the center of the board and eliminates all of the counter-play Black now enjoys.
18.  Qf2    Nxa3
19.  Qc5    Qxc5?!
The axiom “to take is a mistake” applies here (+1.7). Better is 19. …..  d6 (+1). The army that is behind usually does better with the more firepower it keeps. When ahead, trade pieces – when behind, trade pawns – is another chess axiom.
20.  bc      Rff8
21.  Rfc1    Nc4
22.  d4    Ra3
23.  Rxc3    Nxc3
24.  Na4    Rd8?
A wasted move expanding White’s lead (+2.7). 24. ….   Nb5, getting his Knight back to the center of the board was the best plan. Chess axiom: “A knight on the rim (of the board) is grim.”
25.  Nb6   d6
26.  cd    Rxd6
27.  c3    Nb5
28.  Na4?    Na3
White gives away ground (+2). Centralizing his king with Kf2 to help those strong center pawns is the proper plan.
29.  Nb2    Rd7
30.  Kf2!    Kf7
31.  Ke3     b5
32.  Kd3?   c5?
White’s Knight belonged on d3 as knights right behind passed pawns are a good thing. Black’s best idea is to lock up the kingside with g6, h5, etc.
33.  d5    c4+?
Black opens lanes for the White King to infiltrate – while entombing his own Knight! Black is basically down a knight (+3).
34.  Kd4    Ke7
35.  Nd1    Kd6
36.  Ne3    g6
37.  Ng4    f5?
Black admitted he somehow missed White’s following response, and now allows two enemy passed pawns (+5.5). The rest is matter of technique. This was not the fastest technique. But it still has some “endgame advantage pushed to victory” help for less experienced players.
38.  e5+     Ke7
39.  Nf6    Ra7
40.  Kc5   Ra7
41.  Kb4    Ra7
42.  d6+    Ke6
43.  f4    g5
44.  g3   gf
45.  gf    h5
46.  d7    Rh8
47.  Kc5    h4
48.  Kc6    h3
49.  Kb7    Rd8
50.  Kc7    Ra8
51.  d8=Q    Rxd8
52.  Kxd8     Resigns

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Monday 100614 Had Nine Players at LCCC

Lots of casual games, a Ladder Tournament game, some lessons and even some Bughouse chess!

If you don’t know what Bughouse Chess is, normal chess rules apply – except pieces captured on one board can be passed to your teammate on another board and vice versa. The teammate has the option to add the piece to his game. The game is usually played at a fast time control to increase the excitement. Try it at LCCC!

Our league will resume on Oct. 27 – so there is open chess on Monday until then.

As promised earlier is the top game of the League play last week. Vince V vs Tim R. Enjoy.

1. d4   Nf6
2. c4    e6
3. Nc3    c5?
Igor3000 (my computer Chess Master) suggests 3….d5 or Nc6 to keep White’s edge to a minimum.

4. d5    exd5
5. Nxd5!?    ……
Better is 5. cxd5 (+.6) with a strangle hold on the center.

5.  …..     Nxd5
6. Qxd5?   …..
The pawn capture is still the best. The text move gives Black a slight edge (-.3).

6.  ……    Be7
7. Nf3   Nc6
8. Ne5?    …..
White keeps trading his developed pieces, while giving Black tempos (moves/time) to develop his. The solid next text move by Black gives him a solid lead (-.7).

8.  …..     O-O!
9. Bf4?    Nb4
10. Qd1   d6
11. Nd3   Be6
12. Nxb4   cxb4
13. e4    Qc7?

Diagram after Black's move 13. .....Qc7
Wasting a move, giving White recovery time. Correct for Black was the eventual Qa5. Correct for White now is 14. Bd3 and the game is virtually even. Instead, Black’s advantage stays at (-.7).

14. Rc1?   Qa5
15. Qd2   Qxa2
16. Qxb4    Bf6
17. Bxd6?   ……
This looks right, but 17. Qa3, Qxb2  18. Qxb2, Bxb2  19. Rb1, Bc3+  20. Ke2, b6  21. Bxd6 and Black’s advantage stays the same. Now it balloons to (-1.3).

17.  …..      Bxb2
18. Qd2    Rad8
19. e5      f6?
Giving away the newly added advantage (-.8). Better was 19. ….b5  20. Be2, bxc4  21. O-O, c3  22. Qe3, Bxc1  23. Rxc1, Rc8  24. Bxf8, Kxf8  25. Bd1, c2  26. Bf3, Qb2 (-1.8).

20. Bd3    Rfe8
21. O-O    fxe5
22. Bxe5   Rxd3
23. Qxd3?   ……
Time pressure is starting to affect both players (-2.3). Better was 23. Qxb2, Qxb2  24. Bxb2 (-1.1).

23.  …….    Bxc1??
This normal looking move brings the game to basically even (.2). To advance the advantage to (-2.3) there is 23…..Bxe5  24. Qe4, Qb2  25. Rb1, Qd4  26. Qxd4, Bxd4  27. Rfd1, Bd6  28. c5, Bxc5  29. Rxb7, a5   30. Rb5, Bb4. Instead, with the text move Black’s weakness on the dark squares and in the center of the board are now exposed.
24. Rxc1    Bf7
25. Qg3     Bg6
26. h4     Qe2
27. f4      Draw agreed (.00)