Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday 042715 Had 13 Players and a Beginner's Corner

There is nothing better than chess with friends.
We had an 'average' crowd at the club tonight. We had some casual games, a small speed Ladder tournament, a 960 match and some chess lessons. We do it all at LCCC.
We had three new players and a past player return tonight. Welcome Ted H, Gavin S and Dawson S and hello to the returning Swen S.

Here is a game submitted by a chess student of LCCC - and a fellow classmate of Ted H. It’s not important which side Trevor played. What is important are the lessons within. Enjoy.
1.  b3                               d5
Not the best opening move for White unless White knows what he is doing. Although three of White’s next four moves are correct for following up this first move by correctly fighting for the center of the board.
2.  c4                                e6
3.  Na3     ?                      c5
“A knight on the rim if grim”. Knights belong in the center where they control more squares.
4.  Bb2                             f5?
Black opens up his King side for no reason. Developing a knight to either c6 or f6 keeps Black in the lead positionally.
5.  Qc2                             dxc4
6.  O-O-O?                      h5?
Castling is normally a good idea, but not here for three reasons. 1) White is castling where he has advanced his pawns so the king is not as protected. Those big pieces around him will be leaving to do battle and he will be all alone. 2) Black just took a pawn and White needed to recover it with Nxc4. (3) Now Black can capture another pawn and really strip away the cover from in front of White’s king with 6. …..cxb3, but Black missed that move.
Black is making the mistake of making silly pawn moves instead of developing his pieces or winning material.
7.  Nxc4!                  e5  
8.  Nf3                              g5?
More weakening Black pawn moves. White is way ahead positionally! His king is safer, his pieces are better developed and Black’s pawns are easy targets if White concentrates on attacking them.
9.          Nfxe5!                Bg7
10.       g3?                 Nc6?
White missed 10. d4! Where Black’s queen is indirectly under attack from White’s nicely developed rook on d1.
Black’s 10th move was to prevent that strong pawn move, but he left himself open to a loss of material after 11. Nxc6, bxc6 12. Bxg7!  But White missed this.
11.       Ng6                 Rh6
12.       Nge5               Be6
13.       Nxc6               bxc6?
White wins a free bishop with 14. Bxg7!
14.       d4                   cxd4
15.       Rxd4??           Bxd4
White was winning the position battle until that move that lost material. White has wasted moves and allowed Black to develop his pieces by capturing White’s better developed pieces. Now Black is ahead material (a bishop for a rook) and has the better position.
16.       e3                    Bf6
17.       Qd1                h4
18.       Nd6+              Ke7?
White to make move #19.
 White has a great pin with 19. Ba3! Then White might get to play 20. Nb7+!! Winning Black’s queen because the king is in check by the bishop. If Black moves his king, the knight takes the queen. If Black blocks with his queen, the bishop simply takes the queen.

19.       Bc3?              hxg3
White moved his bishop to a square where it is unprotected and Black sweeps it up two moves later. White is down the equivalent of a queen right now between material and position.
20.       fxg3                 Bxc3
21.       Nb7                 Qc7
22.       Ba6 ?              Rh7
White places another piece in danger to protect his knight that was in danger.
23.       Qc2?               Ba1?
24.       Re1 ?              Qb6!
Finally Black wins the material. White needed to let the knight escape with Nc5 in any of his last three moves.
25.       Bc4                 Qxb7
26.       Bxe6               Kxe6
27.       e4                    fxe4
28.       Rxe4+             Kd7
29.       Kb1                 a5??
Black just gives up his bishop.
30.       Kxa1               a4
31.       bxa4               Ra5
32.       Qd2+              Rd5!
Black correctly counters aggression with aggression!
33.       Qe2 ??            g4?
Black keeps allowing White counter attacks that luckily for him White keeps missing. 34. Qxg4+ gives White some fighting possibilities to win material or check Black’s king all over the board.
And Black missed the crushing 33. ….Rxh2!! If 34. Qxh2 then Rd1++!
34.       Qe1 ?              Rxh2
35.       Rb4                 Qc7
36.       Qg1                 Rhd2
37.       Rxg4               Qe5+
White is completely lost.
38.       Kb1                 Rd1+??
What was wrong with 38…..Qb2++
39.       Kc2                  Rxg1
40.       Rxg8               Rgd1
41.       Kb3                 R5d4
42.       g4                    Qe3+
43.       Kc2                  Qd3+
44.       Kb2                 Rb4++

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Club Nominations Closed - Elections Over for 2015 – and Beginners Corner

Club Secretary Don (L) and TD Ken paly a casual game at the Club.
This is proof positive that no one wants to be around people running for office!

Of course some of the people running for office were missing tonight also – which is proof positive that people running for office  - don’t like to be around other people running for office either!

We had six players tonight for casual chess. And even a friendly Bughouse game broke out.

And THANK YOU to everyone who donated to the Club to become Full Members. All funds will be used for the main purpose of growing the number of chess players and the Club in general.

To work on that goal, we will have four officers for next year. Elections are a mere formality as all four ran unopposed, and your humble scribe is voting for all of them – so that ends the election excitement.
Your officers for the Livingston County Chess Club for 2015 are:
Mike Nikitin – President
Vince Valente – Vice President/Treasurer
Secretary – Don Jones
Tournament Director – Ken Tack

Next year hopefully we get more nominees and we can at least separate the VP and Treasurer into two positions again.
The President will be calling a meeting of his ‘new’ cabinet soon to discuss plans and actions for the Club in 2015.

Now back to chess!
This is a game from late in a small Michigan tournament in 2002 where some of the lower rated players are now playing each other. It may not be ‘perfect’ chess, but it is hard fought, entertaining and fun chess!  Thanks to Tim McGrew for most of the notes – although your [humble scribe] contributes also.

1.       Nf3                         c6
2.       d4                           d5
3.       c4                            Nf6
4.       Bg5                         Nbd7
5.       Nc3                        e6
6.       e3                           Be7
7.       Rc1                         h6
8.       Bh4                        O-O
9.       cxd5                       exd5
10.   Bd3                        Re8
11.   O-O                        g5?
Tarrasch used to call this “the suicide move” because it exposes the king. 11. ….Bd6 would be more natural.
[The Black forces are not only not fully developed, but are cut off from the king by his own and his enemy pawns. This is no time to voluntarily move the king’s only protection forward.]

12.   Bg3                         Nh5?
13.   Qc2                        …….

Position after White move 13. Qc2. Black to move.

There is a more forcing move [although it may be hard to see for beginners] that wins material! 13. Nxd5! Now if 13. ….cxd5?? then 14. Bc7! wins the queen. And if 13. Nxg3 then 14. Nxe7+, Qxe7 15. hxg3. The moral of the story is to always your captures and checks carefully, even if they look weird at first glance.
13…….                        Nxg3
    14.   fxg3?                     Nf8

It is difficult for the beginning player to tell which chess rule of thumb applies when. Here, the “open the file for the rook” rule is over-shadowed by the other rule of “usually capture with pawns towards the center” – and also the weakening of White’s e-pawn – which is now called a ‘backward pawn.” Notice it cannot move without capture and can’t be protected by a pawn. And it is a critical center pawn also!

[Actually, Stockfish 5 gives taking with the f-pawn a (+.5) and taking with the h-pawn a (+.1). But Mr. McGrew was annotating before computers were all the rage. Also, taking with the h-pawn is the safer – more ‘human’ move. A computer or a chess Master may have opted for the ‘better’ f-pawn instead.]

15.   Rce1                      Bd6
16.   e4!                         dxe4
White correctly opens the center, which favors White both because he is better developed and his king is safer.
[If your opponent’s king is exposed or in the center, opening the center and any other lines is the right strategy.]

17.   Nxe4                     Be6
18.   Qc3                        Rc8
19.   Nfxg5!                  hxg5
White’s ‘sacrifice’ works perfectly because White has d5+ to pick up another piece.

20.   Nf6+                      Kg7
Now Black must regret pushing his g-pawn. Tarrasch knows best!

21.   Nxe8+                   Kg8

That move is ok but 21. d5! would set up a crushing discovered check with 21. ….cxd5 22. Nxe8+, Kg8 23. Qg7++. But White gets it done anyway.

22.   Nf6+                      Kg7
23.   d5!                         cxd5
24.   Ne8+                     Kh6
25.   Qh8+                     Nh7
26.   Qxh7++

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ken Tack Wins the LCCC 2015 Action Tournament

Ken Tack (R) in a casual game with Jason Morris
This is why we play the tournament and don’t write it in! The championship match – 
with identical perfect 3 – 0 scores, Luke Sergott took on Ken Tack for the title.

Ken came out the victor!
He finished a perfect 4 – 0, against a field of 18 players. The attendance for the entire evening was 23 players, as some casual chess was played during the tournament.

You can always get a game at LCCC. And congratulations to Ken Tack on his great play this evening.

Unfortunately, I won’t have any of the games from the tournament because – well, the time limit did not really give players enough time to record their games.

White to move and win!
But, I do have this puzzle for you:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chess Beginners Corner: and Nine Players Monday

We all have to start at the beginning.
We had nine players for casual chess.

Remember that next week is the four round LCCC 15 minute game tournament. 

This is a one night tournament. Come ready to play!

Registration is at 6pm and the tournament will start at 6:30pm. See you there for this fun event.

Now for a game from the Beginners Corner. This game features an opportunity for a classical bishop sacrifice. This pattern happens often and one should always be on the lookout for it – whether you are playing White or Black.

1.  e4               e6
2. Nf3              d5
3. Nc3             Bb4
4. e5                Bxc3
5. bxc3             c5
6. d4                Ne7
7. Bd3              O-O
White to move ......incorrectly.

White does not play the correct move and throws away a golden opportunity to look like a chess Grandmaster!

8. Bxh7+!! is the move! If 8. ….Kh8, 9. Ng5 guarantees Black loses a ton of material to prevent mate.

And if 8. …..Kxh7, 9. Ng5+  - all four of Black’s defenses fail. Play thru all of them.

a) 9. …..Kg8, 10. Qh5, Re8 11. Qh7+! 
Because of Black’s knight on e7, White comes in the other way rather than taking the pawn on f7. The reason becomes clear in a moment. 11. …Kf8, 12. Qh8+, Ng8 13. Nh7+   If there was no pawn on f7, Black’s king could go there and continue to defend g7. Now he is smoked out. 13. ….Ke7, 14. Bg5+, f6 15. Qxg7++.

b) 9. …Kh6, 10. Qg4! (Although 10. Nxe6+ merely wins the queen and some pawns for two minor pieces, we want it all!), Nf5 11. Qh3+, Nh4 12. Qxh4+, Kg6 13. Qh7++

c) 9. ….Kg6 10. h4! And there  is no good answer to the coming 11. h5+ forcing the Black king into a fatal discovered check.

d) 9. ….Kh8 10. Qh5+, Kg8 11. Qh7++

Now back to our regularly scheduled game:

8. Bg5?            Nbc6
9. O-O             Bd7
10. Nh4           cxd4
11. cxd4           Nxd4?

Now White has 12. Qg4

12. Bxe7          Qxe7
13. Rb1            b6?

Black had 13. ….Qxh4!

14. g4??           Qxh4

White resigns. Black didn’t miss it a second time.

White had the game handed to him on a silver platter early – IF he knew this well known pattern of the bisho sacrifice. 
Always look for it.