Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Twelve Players on Open Chess Night 033015 – Next LCCC Event Set

Chess is for everyone!
It was a nice night of open chess and some lessons given.

The exciting news was the announcement of our next event on April 13th!
Pre-register by email or stop by the club for casual chess on April 6th.  

On April 13th – with a 6pm to 6:30pm registration – it will be a One – Night tournament – all games in 15 minutes per side. 4 rounds!

This means the most any game can take is a half hour (30 minutes). This is the perfect opportunity for players of any strength to get into a chess tournament and have some fun.

This is a ONE NIGHT tournament open to all that show up and want to play. It will be a Swiss System format – which means – if you win your first round, you will play someone else who won in the first round in the next round. If you lost, you play someone else who lost.

In the later rounds, you will be playing players within the same strength category you are. So have no fear, you will have fun every step of the way; either learning by losing or something or teaching something by winning.

Rounds will be (close to this anyway):

Round 1: 6:30 pm
Round 2: 7:15 pm
Round 3: 8:00 pm
Round 4: 8:45 pm

White to move and win!
The tournament will definitely be over by 9:30. So, this is a chance to get a lot of exciting chess in one night! Get registered as soon as possible!

And now a puzzle to solve. White to play and either win or get a nice advantage. You tell me which it is!

Friday, March 27, 2015

LCCC Back Monday - But First Another Spassky Masterpiece

Be at the club on Monday for a fun night of casual chess!
But until then, we bring you another outstanding game by Boris Spassky.

Spassky vs Vasiukov, Moscow International, 1959

Human analysis by Andrew Soltis and [Igor 3000’s comments in brackets].

The way in which Spassky obtains clear positional superiority with seemingly tame opening setups never fails to amaze!

1. d4                Nf6
2. c4                d6
3. Nc3             e5
One of Spassky’s favorite openings is played against him!

4. Nf3              Nbd7?
[The simple ….ed 5. Nxd4, Be7 is better…from (+.3 to +.6 for White). But White’s next move cancels that gain.]

5. Bg5              Be7
6. e3                O-O
Spassky is working for a development similar to his anti-Nimzo line with its concentration on squares e4 and f5.

7. Bd3              Re8
[Black should be challenging the bishop with …..h6. Instead (+.6)]

8. Qc2             exd4
The alternative 7. ….. e4 is tactically unsound. Vasiukov’s plan of using the f-file offers him equal play.

9. exd4             Nf8
Perhaps with the intention ……Bg4-Bh5-Bg6.

10. h3              Nd5!?

My little brother, Igor2800 and my friend F. Stock5 agree with me that 10. …d5 frees Black’s position better than the text by (+.7 to +.5)]

11. cxd5!         Bxg5+
White’s move seems to give up the initiative, the two bishops and an equal pawn structure for nothing. Yet, Black never quite equalizes after this very strong idea.

[Actually 11. O-O, Nb4  12. Bxe7, Rxe7  13. Qd2, Nxd3 14. Qxd3 is stronger (keeps the +.5 instead of the text of +.3). So the exclamation point is a little over kill. (?!) is closer to the truth. But Soltis is only human. What does he know?]

12. Kf1            Bd7
[Black is preparing ….c6 but then never plays it. The move here was Ng6 or c6 to gain space. Now (+.6)]

13. g3              Rc8
White has ‘built a house’ for his King and is about to regain the initiative. The trouble with Black’s game is the lack of breathing space, a weakness he should try to overcome wth …..c6. But Vasiukov rejects that and soon runs out of moves.

14. Kg2           a6?
[Again 14. ….c6 is the move. (+1)]

15. Rae1          Rxe1
White’s superiority in space has come out of nowhere. He next trades off bishops to exploit the White squares.

16. Rxe1          Bh6
17. Bf5 g6
18. Bxd7          Nxd7
19. Qb3!          Rb8
White eyes the next weak point. From now until desperation time, Black can only try to defend one move at a time.

20. a4              Nf6
21. g4!             Qd7?
Even Black’s only good piece, the f6 knight, will be denied its best squares. Vasiukov sees a strong  sacrifice idea and must have been surprised to see Spassky accept the gift.

[Spassky accepts because it is the losing idea. 21. …. Bg7 was needed. Now it’s (+2.1)]

22. g5              Nh5?
[Following his plan, but 22. …. Bxg5 lessens the damage. Now (+3.1)]

23. gxh6           Nf4+
24. Kg3!          g5
A forced King move, but very powerful. White regains the attack now. There is nothing holding up this pawn, but White has a better move than to take it.

25. Ng1           Qf5
26. Qxb7!        Rf8
Spassky’s familiar active defense against the threatened 26. ….Nd3.[(+5.3)]

27. Qxc7          Qd3+
28. Kh2           Qd2
29. Ne4           Resigns

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ten Players on Monday 032315

Black to move. Answer to show in the Comment Section soon.
We had ten players on this casual chess night. It was a great night of chess and conversation.
We have another tournament of some kind starting soon. Stop on by for details.

April is a busy month at LCCC. We have our membership drive, then the nominations for officers and then the elections. Feel free to stop by the club and volunteer to get involved. A club is only as good as it's members.

Now a puzzle. Fair warning: It's a toughie. Black to move and really improve!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Eight Players on Monday 031615

Tournament chess is for everyone!
A casual chess night with eight players. A little calm after the exciting Club Championship

Casual chess can be a semi-serious practice game, as long as you don’t mind the chatter of the other club members doing other things.

Those can be lessons, reviewing games, discussing openings or endings, playing a real casual game where the game – among other things are discussed during the game.
Conversations about anything could break out, and not even chess related!
We have events planned for later here at LCCC. But in the mean time, come on by for the ‘casual’ chess events – like our continuous Ladder Tournament!
We now present a game played by two 2300+ rated players in the 1930 Toronto Chess Championship.
As you will see, even their play is not always stellar either. They error as do us mere mortal players.

Igor3000 – the LCCC chess program – will do the analysis.
      1.      d4                    Nf6
      2.      c4                    e6
      3.      Nc3                 c5
      4.      d5                    d6
      5.      e4                    e5?!
Black is setting up a type of ‘Stonewall Defense’, but Black is cramped and must counter punch soon or slowly be smothered. White is already positionally up a pawn (+1).
      6.      f4                     g6 ?!
Now (+1.3)
      7.      fxe5                 dxe5
      8.      Nf3                  Bg7
      9.      Bd3?               …….
The bishop has no future there trapped behind two blocked pawns (+1). Be2 was better.
       9…….                  O-O
      10.  O-O                 Ne8?

Na6  looks worse but a) doesn’t move a knight from a good square and b) doesn’t break the chess opening rule of moving the same piece twice in the opening (+1.1).
     11.  b3                    Nd6
     12.  Bb2                 f5
     13.  Qe2                 f4
    14.  Na4?                Nd7
A knight on the rim is grim as it controls half its normal squares and it is about as far away from both kings and the center of the board as it can be (+.5).  
     15.  Kh1                 b6
     16.  Bc3                  g5
     17.  Ng1?               Nf7?
White moves his other Knight away from the center as Nd2 was better (=). But Black gets too aggressive and this move would allow White some queenside activity with 18. B4, cxb4 19. Bxb4 (+.2). Qe7 was safer for Black (=).
     18.  Nb2                 Nf6
     19.  Nd1?               …….. 
Black to move after 19. Nd1?
These dubious knight moves allows Black to get an attack rolling.
            19.……..               g4
            20.  Be1                  Qd6
            21.  g3?                  Nh5
The wrong plan for White as this allowed Black to add an attacker to the g3 square (-2.2). 21. h3 was safer (-.8).
            22.  Nc3                 Qh6
            23.  Qg2                 Ng5
            24.  Rd1?               Bd7
The rook will not arrive in time(-2.6). 24. A3 for counterplay was a better plan. Sometimes the best defense is offense (-1.8).

            25.  Rd2                 Rf7 ?

Much better was 25…..fxg3 26. Bxg3, Nf4 27. Bxf4, exf4 28. Nb5, f3 29. Qg3, Nxe4 30. Bxe4, Qxd2 31. Nxf3, gxf3 (-5.8)!

      26.  Bc2                  Raf8
     27.  d6?                  fxg3
Pointless move by White (-5.5). 27. Rd1 holds on longer (-2.7).
     28.  Rxf7                Rxf7
     29.  Bxg3               Nh3
     30.  Nb1                 N3f4
     31.  Qf2                  Ne2!
     32.  Qe1?                Nhxg3

White had to swallow the bitter pill and take the pesky knight(-5.5). Now a pretty queen sacrifice to end it. Can you find it?

      33.  Kg2                 Qh3+
      34.  Nxh3               gxh3++

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Exciting End to the Club Championship 2015

-Corrected Post-

We have a 2-way tie at the top!
How cool is that?
Scott Marvel and Tim Ritter all finished with 3 1/2 points out of 4 to tie for 1st place.
Congratulations to both of you.
Gene McClure and Paul Mills finished 3-4 with with 3 points each.

We have many exciting events planned here at LCCC.
We still have a 960 tournament and a Speed tournament on tap.
We also are considering a Bughouse tournament!

If you like chess, no matter what your skill level, you have to be here!

Speaking of 960 chess,
960 – Casual Game    -   BNQRKRNB (arrange the pieces on the back row from left to right).

1. Nf3              g6
2. d4                d5
3. Nc3             Nf6
4. Ne5             Nd7
5. f4?               b6
White is a little too aggressive and exposes his King a little early (-.6).

6. g3                Ne4
7. Bxe4            de
8. Qe3             Nf6
9. Rd2              Nd5
10. Nxd5         Bxd5
11. b3              f6
12. Nc4           Qa6
Sorry for the unconventional diagram after 12. .....Qa6.

13. c3?             b5
(-2.1) White buries his bishop in the corner, never to leave home. A better idea was 13. Qc3, then if Bxc4, 14. Qxc4, Qxc4 15. bxc4 and more play available for White.

14. Nb2           Qxa2
15. Kf2            Qxb3
16. Nd1?         a5
(-3) It is against one of the golden rule of chess – namely that the player behind in material should not trade queens – but here White needs to do just that as the Black queen is just too well placed and powerful. 16. c4 was needed. The game is slipping away from White.

17. Rb2            Qc4
18. Kg1           b4
19. cxb4           f5
20. Rd2?          …..
(-3.6) Too much protection on the d-pawn and none for the b-pawn.

20. ……          axb4
21. Nb2?         …….
The final mistake. White had to give his bishop some work by protecting that c3 square.

21. …….         Qc3!
22.  Resigns
White is just going to be down too much material.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Nine Players on Yet Another Cold 2015 March Monday Evening

Ken Lambdin (left) and Dave Sybert start a friendly game at Teeko's.
We had nine players tonight – including our former club Vice-President! 

Ken Lambdin stopped by to say hello, and to let us know his surgery went well. God answered our prayers there!

Get well quickly Ken, so you can return to top form at the chess board and on the fishing boat!

One Club Championship game was played early. Tournament Leader Tim Ritter’s wife is having her baby next week. Congratulations Tim on child #3!

Well, I guess that is a good enough reason to play your round early. I will keep the results of the game a secret until next week’s post.

Your author got his first opportunity to play a chess variation called “Bughouse” and wow was that fun and exciting! As Aaron J explained, “It is the only real team chess format.”

It goes like this; two chess boards. Your teammate has the opposite color chess pieces that you do and a different opponent on the other board. But you are sitting next to each other, and can communicate with each other. You cannot suggest moves, but you can tell your partner to speed up or slow down his play, or flat out tell him “I need a knight right now and I win the game!”

Because what happens is when one teammate captures a piece on his board, he gives it to his teammate – who can then add it to his board on his move!
Very exciting and a whole lot of fun!

Now for the game of the week:
This game appeared in Chess Life many years ago. It was a tournament game between two players in the 1500 to 1700 rating range.

The notes are from the winner (RL) with the White pieces. Also some notes as annotated in GM Lev Alburt’s (LA) column from May 2003. Igor3000 (I3) will also make some comments. Enjoy this entertaining and educational game.

1. e4                d5
The Center Counter Game

2. exd5             Qxd5
3. Nc3             Qa5
4. d4                Nf6
5. Nf3              Bg4
6. Be2              ……
LA: Better here is 6. h3 and following up with g4. If Black takes the knight, White still has the slight advantage either way says Danish GM Bent Larsen.

6. …….           Nc6
7. O-O             O-O-O
8. Be3              e5
RL: This move hurt me. [I3: Uh….yeah. Black is winning (-2) by two pawns now.] Well, I can’t take the pawn with the knight or the d-pawn, and re-treating the c3-knight or the e3 bishop only loses the d-pawn, so I decide to attack.
LA: White’s moves and move order hurts him here. The move order of 7 and 8 should have been reversed as the text gives away equality by Black being able to get aggressive. The passive move 6 gave away White’s initial edge in the first place.

9. Ng5             ……
RL: This move threatens many things, such as 10. Bxg4 or Nxf7.
LA: It was your best option.     

9. ……            Bxe2
10. Qxe2          Rd7?!
RL: I don’t know why my opponent played this move. I think 10….exd4 is still good.
LA: You are correct, but you forced your opponent to make both calculations and judgments…and that rattles them sometimes.
I3: The game is back to EVEN.

11. dxe5           Nxe5
12. Rfd1           h6
13. Rxd7          Nfxd7
14. Nf3            Ng4?

RL: This last move has to be bad. [I3: It was (+1.6)] 14. …Bd6 and Black is fine. But right now his bishop and rook are not in the game. And I did see that if I can get my queen to e8, it’s over.
I3: Black could have struck first with the shocking 14. …..Ba3! that would have kept the game EVEN.

15. Bd6!??     ……
RL: This move is not sound but it did shock my opponent. The undefended bishop is attacked by four pieces and only one can capture without the direct threat of mate. [+.8]

LA: Your goal is correct, but your method was faulty. 15. Bxa7 [+1.4] has the same effect and wins a pawn besides. But, shock counts for something…..sometimes.

I3: Even better, but not as shocking was 15. Bd4 (+1.6).

15. ……          cxb6
16. Qe8+         Kc7
17. Rd1?!         …….

I3: The last move looks sound to you humans – even GM’s, who are sort of human – but it is a blunder (-.8). Correct is a powerful alternative but requires a long and accurate calculation; 17. Nd4!, a6 18. Ndb5!, axb5 19. Nd5+, Kc6 20. Rd1, Ne5 21. Qc8+, Kd6 22. Nf6+, Ke6 23. Nxd7, Nxd7 24. Qxd7, Kf6 25. g4 (+2.1).

17. ……          Qf5??
RL: The losing move. My opponent had not recovered his composure from my 15th move. 17. Ngf6 give Black winning chances.
LA: I don’t think Black has winning chances with Ngf6. White gets three pawns for the piece and it is a very complex situation.

18. Nd5?!        ……
I3: This wins too but 18. Nd4!  is so much stronger (+24 compared to the text move at only +5.6). Check it out!

18. ……          Kc6
19. Qc8+         Kb5
20. Nd4+         Resigns