Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday 112414 – Twelve Players on a Windy Night

"The seal on your 'sealed move' looks tampered with!"
The temperature is dropping. The wind is howling. Time for a warm drink and chess with friends!
The league finished tonight and the new standings are posted on the right side of the blog.

Here is the schedule for December 1:

Tigers vs 49’ers
W- Vince V – B – Mike N
B – Paul M – W – Dave S
W – Luigi M – B – Americo M
B – Luca M – W – Marcello M
Thunder vs Oilers
W - Gene M – B – Tim R
B – Luke S – W – Sam T
W – Zach R – B – Tom H
B – Forfeit – W – Ted G
Now for a game with some interesting twists at the end.
Chess 960 Game (my favorite chess!) – Set up from left to right – BRKBNNQR
1.      b4        Nf6
2.      Bxf6     gxf6
3.      f4         b6
4.      Ng3     e6
5.      d3?      d5?!
The last moves were not optimal for either side. White is weak on the dark squares and not helping the White knight a g3 find good squares. Black had 5. …..h5 and then h4, gaining space and leaving that poor knight on g3 with little to do but retreat.
6.      e4        Nd7
7.      exd5     Bxd5
8.      c4        Bb7
9.      a4?       Be7  (-.8 which means Black has a .8 of a pawn lead)
White is exposing his king before developing all his pieces and maybe trading queens. Black now has easy, over-extended targets to go after – as well as an uncovered king.
10.  Bf3       f5?!      (-.3)
Black should have got started against White’s weak queen-side with 10. …..Qf8.
11.  Bxb7    Rxb7
12.  Nf3      Qg7
13.  Ne2?    Qf8      (-.7)
Now the right idea.
14.  Ned4   Bxb4
White is not supporting his king quickly enough. Now his pawn wall has a hole in it (-1.8).
15.  Nc6     a5
16.  Nxb4   axb4
17.  Qe1     Nc5

White to make the 18th move.
Clever indeed. The b4 pawn is of course poison because after 18. Rxb4?? or Qxb4??, Black has the killer Royal Fork with 18. ….Nxd3+!
18.  Ne5     f6
19.  d4        fxe5
20.  dxc5     Qxc5
21.  Rxb4?  Rd8      (-3.1)
That move was still not so good for White. Better was 21. Qxe5 (-2.5). 
22.  fxe5      Rd4
23.  Qc3     Qxe5
24.  Qe1?    Qf4+?  (-3.9)
The game is going downhill for White anyway. But Black had the killer 24. …..Re4, 25. Qg3, Qa1+ (-5.3). If 26. Rb1 then Rxc4+ or if 26. Kc2, Qxh1.
25.  Kb2     Re4? 
Losing ground (-3.2). 25. …..Rd2+ keeps the same lead.
26.  Qc3     c5?
This gives White a chance at counter-play with 27. Qh8+!, Kc7 28. Rd1, Re2+ 29. Kb1, Qe4+ 30. Ka1, Qe5+ 31. Qxe5+, Rxe5 32. Rb2 and White has some life again at (-2.2).
27.  Rb3      Rxc4
28.  Qh8+? Kc7    (-6)
This move is too late now. 28. Qe3 was needed to get Black’s powerful Queen off the board (-3.7). But there really isn’t too much hope for White anyway.
29.  Rd1      Rd4?
Well with moves like that, White has another chance to get back to (-3). 30. Rbd3, e5 31. R1d2, Rb4+ 32. Kc2, Qc4+ 33. Rc3, Qe6 34. Rcd3, Rd4 35. Rxd4
30.  Rbd3    Rb4+?
Another error that would pull the game close to even! In chess, you can’t let your guard down for a second! 31. Kc3, Qc4+ 32. Kd2, Qa2+ 33. Ke1, Re4+ 34. Kf1, Rf4+ 35. Rf3, Qc4+, Kg1 (-1).
31.  Rb3?    Qf2+   (-3.9)
Trading pieces when behind is rarely a good idea, unless forced to by eliminating a very powerful piece of your opponents. As shown in the moves in the last paragraph, simply moving the king and keeping those powerful rooks connected, kept White competitive.
32.  Ka3?    Rxa4+!!
33.  Resigns
That error set up a pretty sacrifice ending for Black; 33. Kxa4, Qa2+ 34. Kb5 (of course 34. Ra3, Qc4++), Qxb3+ 35. Ka6, Qa4 mate
IF however – Black had missed this mate finish and played instead to get the rook back; 34. ….Ra7+, 35. Kb5, Qxa3, 36. Qd8+, Kb7 37. Rd7mate!
This is the beauty of chess. Complete reversals of fortune are only one move away. In other words, in chess - it is always possible to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

League Night 111714 Had Some Surprises

The early days of LCCC.....well, it could have been!
We had a fun night of chess with eighteen players in attendance. The surprises were in the results and the attendance. It was actually the missing attendees that were a surprise. But there were plenty of fun casual games played as well as the League Games.

The league results would be classified as “Upset Week” if there can be one in such an evenly match league. But the 3rd and 4th place teams have the lead on the 1st and 2nd place teams in their matches for this week. It will be completed next week for sure.

First off, the 49’ers have a 2.5 to .5 lead over the Thunder with one round to play. A forfeit on Board 4 by a very reliable player, and a draw on top board locked up a win for the 49’ers. But Team points are still up for grabs so we should get the Board 2 game of this match played next week.

The Oilers won their match over the Tiger 3 - 1. This win for the Oilers gives them the league lead! From 3rd to 1st place – alone - in one week! Nice job Oilers.

The winners were Tim R, Tom H, Luca M, Americo M, Paul M and Marcello M.
Mike N and Gene M drew their game.
So the only league game left from the November 3 round is:

49ers – Thunder
B – Dave S – Luke S – W

Maybe Thursday at Teekos?

White to move and win!
It may be the Monday before Thanksgiving, but there will be a feast of chess at LCCC this coming Monday! Most of the players that are in our league have played, so they will be available for casual games or lessons if you so desire. Plus we have two exciting league games to watch.

Stop on by for the action. And here is a puzzle for you. White to play and win material or more. Find the best move.

PS: Stop by Teekos Coffee and Tea in Howell this Thursday also - for LCCC action!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Beginners Corner: Always Look for a Better Move

This game was played in our league recently. There are some lessons here for the beginner player.

1. d4        d5
2. Bf4      Nc6
3.Nc3     g7
Good developing moves by both players so far.

4. Nb5     e6??
Black is playing his opening rote (not considering what his opponent is doing). 4. ….e5 was needed to stop the text attack.

5. Nxc7+ Ke7
6. Nxa8   Bd7
7. Nc7     Bg7
8. Bg5+? Nf6

A worthless check by White as it allows Black to develop his piece by White’s move. The game is not over yet and White is not developing his pieces to maximize his advantage. 8. e3 opens the bishop and protects the knight.

9. Nb5     h6
10. Bh4?    g5

Needed was 10. Bxf6 to save the knight at b5. 10. …Qa5+, 11. Nc3, g5 12. Bg3, Ne4 13. Nf3, Nxc3 and White is no longer a huge favorite (+2).

11. Bg3     a6??

Correct for Black was to counter attack with the previously mentioned 11. …. Qa5+. White now has Black totally destroyed (+16) with 12. Bd6+!, Ke8 13. Nc7+ forcing the loss of Black’s queen.

12. Nc7?   ……..

Trapping the knight, but no matter. White went on to win with his advantage, but he made it much harder than it needed to be.
The lessons to learn from this game are;

1. Don’t play openings by rote.
2. When you do get an advantage, keep playing hard and don’t expect the game to win itself.
3. When you see a good move – wait and look around. You just may find a better one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

League Night 3 2014 – and Twenty One Players!

Chess is the fairest game!
League nights always seem to bring out the crowds. Well you are in luck.

Next week is another league night.

Stop on by – to watch the action - or get a game or two in yourself.

We welcomed new member Roger D to LCCC. He got in a few games after watching league action for a while.
Both before and during the league action, casual games were played and lessons given. A typical night at LCCC.
Now on to the league results:
The Tigers took full advantage of the schedule as they defeated the Thunder 3.5 - .5 to tie for the league lead in Team Points– and actually take the lead due to their Match Point lead and heads up win.
In the other match, the 49’ers earned their first league points of the year with a drawn match 2 – 2 against the Oilers.
The winners of the games tonight were; Sam T, Luigi M, Americo M, Marcello M, and Luca M.
That’s right – a Milani sweep! Nice job guys.
The new league standings are posted on the right side of the blog.
Now for next week’s matches:
Oilers – Tigers
W - Tim R – B - Vince V
B - Sam T – W - Paul M
W - Tom H – B - Luigi M
B - Ted G – W - Luca M

49ers – Thunder
W - Mike N – B - Gene M
B - Dave S – W - Luke S
W - Americo M – B - Zach R
B - Marcello M – W - Zach K

Black to move and win!
Now for this week’s puzzle.
Black to move and win…….either material or ….more!
Find Black’s best move.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

League Night 110314 and Casual Chess

Chess is a game that is timeless.
What a great night of chess at LCCC. Fifteen players – including a new player Swen S – were on hand. Welcome Swen.

Actually only two league games were actually played tonight. And one was played earlier. Tim R and Paul Mills were winners, while Gene M and Vince V drew their game.

So as of right now, the Oilers have a 1 – 0 lead on the 49’ers and the Tigers have a 1.5 - .5 lead. The schedule for next week is:

49’ers – Oilers
[B] - Dave S – Sam T [W]
[W] – Americo M – Tom H [B]
[B] – Marcello M – Ted G [W]

Tigers – Thunder
[W] - Luigi M – Zach R [B]
[B] - Luca M – Zach K [W]

So next week is a League Night also. But that does not mean there are not players around for some casual games and some lessons if so desired. After all, we had eleven non-league players at the club this night!
Stop on by!

White to move.
Now to tide you over until Teekos on Thursday night or next Monday night, here is another puzzle.

Answer to follow later. Again the move should win material…..or more! Good luck.