Monday, June 22, 2015

LCCC 2015 Fischer 960 Tournament Started Tonight

We had 7 players tonight and two tournament games played.

We have several entries who could not make it tonight, so they will play next week. This means it is not too late for you to get into one of the most exciting chess events we host.

Fischer Random or Chess 960 is regular chess, but with the pieces on the back rank ‘mixed up’. Positions have been randomly selected and printed. So you and your opponent ‘draw’ your board set up right before the round. The advantage of better players knowing some prepared openings is GONE! It’s fresh chess from the first move!

Come join us next week and get into the action!

Your humble scribe’s life made him too busy to prepare a game for review this week. Instead I leave you with a preview of a movie that comes out in September, 2015. We expect the LCCC to get a lot busier in September!

"Pawn Sacrifice" - the Bobby Fischer story......more or less.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Best Move of GM Kayden Troff

Chess is food for the mind and soul.
We had a low turnout tonight at LCCC. It's bad weather, its summer - and people need a little time off before our Fischer Random 960 tournament that starts next week!

It will be four rounds. One round a week. If you need to miss a week due to vacations - or whatever - you can still enter late or take a bye later in the tournament. A bye earns a draw score (1/2).

Be here next week for the action.

One of my study methods (not that it has made me a threat to Magnus Carlsen or anything) is to play over games of Master chess players - and above
The theory for doing this is to pick up patterns of play – such as good opening moves, development of pieces, good squares for your pieces and attacking patterns.

It is even better if the game is annotated with notes from the players, or at least one of the players. Those notes will give insight into what they were thinking and worrying about during the game, which are hints as to how you should think during a game.

Other study exercises I do is to cover up the last six or more moves of the game, and try to guess the winning moves (peek to find the winner before hand) from that point forward. Then, when you guess incorrectly, try to figure out what you missed that the Master player saw. This exercise is designed to help your ‘chess thinking’. 

You might want to start off covering up only the last 3 moves, until you are getting 2 out of 3 right or more all of the time.

You will be shocked on how hard it is to find the right moves! Even though you are looking at the position without a chess clock running and under no tournament pressure, it’s not that easy to think along with a great chess player.

My estimation is that a “C” player will average only about 55% correct, and that includes the occasional easy correct moves - like obvious and forced re-captures.
But no matter how well you do, the idea is to evaluate what you are missing in your analysis and what you are ‘tunnel visioning’ on.

For instance, I have a bad habit of focusing on a specific plan, and fail to take a fresh look at the position after each move. After all, chess masters play at a higher level and their moves have greater scope.

If you start with an entirely new look at the position after each move - as best you can – you might see something else.

And this is something WHICH is the same thing you should do in your own games!! Sometimes new opportunities – or threats – appear out of nowhere after just two half moves.

Here is a game in which I embarrassingly only got two out of seven of the last moves correct – and they were Moves 28 and 29, with 29 being an obvious capture.

This is bad because as you will see – the entire game is in the balance in these last seven moves – and I would have not played the most accurate moves and would have lost a won position.

This game showed me I need to work on my defensive skills – big time! As well as re-setting my analysis after each move – as I locked on a bad plan and stubbornly stayed with it instead of looking more.

 Now a very exciting, educational and interesting game - with notes from the winner – which includes GM Kayden Troff’s “best move I ever played.” Kayden Troff was a FM and only 14 years old at the time! Re-printed from Chess Life – May 2015, with added notes from Igor3000.

Pavlo Vorontsov – Ukraine vs FM Kayden Troff - USA
       1.      e4                    c5
       2.      Nf3                  d6
       3.      c3                    Nf6
       4.      Be2                  Nc6
       5.      d4                    cxd4
       6.      cxd4                d5
       7.      e5                    Ne4
       8.      Nc3                 Nxc3
       9.      bxc3                e6
     10.  O-O                 Be7
     11.  c4                    dxc4
     12.  Bxc4                O-O
     13.  Rb1                 b6
     14.  d5                    Na5
     15.  d6                    Bxd6

(.2) Also possible is 15. ….Nxc4. [Not only possible – but much better (-.7).
     16.  exd5                Nxc4
     17.  Rb4?                Ba6

(-.5) No better is 17. Qd3, Nxd6 18. Ba3, Nb7 19. Qe4
[Actually, Qd3 is much better. The game is EVEN with the Qd3 line. And Igor3000 actually likes 17…..b5! (-.8). I will let you follow that line on your own software.]
     18.  Ra4                  Bb5
     19.  Rb4                 Nxd6
     20.  Re1                  Bc6
Correct was 20. Rd4! (Now -1.7)
     21.  Ne5                 Bd5
Up two pawns. Clearly I should win from here. [Igor puts Black ahead only -1.8 pawns because White has the more active pieces positionally. Now watch White decide not to try and defend his weakness, but rather attack using his strength (better piece placement).]
     22.  Qh5                 Nf5
     23.  Ng4                 a5
     24.  Rf4?                Rc8?
[Neither player makes the optimum move. But at least White is staying with his plan of aggression – hoping for just one Black mis-step. Probably the same mis-steps I took when I was getting my guessing attempts incorrect.]
     25.  Ba3                  Re8
     26.  Bb2                  Rc2?
White to move after 26. ......Rc2?

Pavlo finds a great opportunity to make it more complicated. [The simple 26….Bxa6 gives Black an even bigger advantage (-2.8).]
     27.  Bf6!                 ……

Now I was afraid of losing – and I am – except for one move! [White truly has a lot of threats possible.]
27.   …..                 Re2!!

An unusual move, but the only one that wins! (-1.8)
     28.  Rxe2                Qc7

Now I have duel threats of Qc1 mating or Qxc7 taking the rook back.
     29.  Rfe4                Bxe4
     30.  Qg5                 Rc8
     31.  Bb2                 Qd8
     32.  Nf6+               Kh8
     33.  Rd2                 Qxf6
[The White bishop cannot take the Black queen because of 34. Bxf6, Rc1+ and mate the next move. And after the exchange of queens, Black is a full minor piece up in material (-3.4). ]

White resigns.
This game gave Kayden the Under 14 World Championship title!
Games to review like this is why you need to be a member of the US Chess Federation.
And of course - LCCC!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sherlock Holmes Chess Mystery - Are You a Detective?

Chess is for the ages. All ages. All times.
We had eight players tonight at LCCC. Lots of casual chess and one serious Ladder game.
The game was played as a Fischer Random 960 game, and ended in a hard fought draw.

Time control was a Bronstein 20 min/G with a 10 second add on.

That means for every move played, 10 seconds is added to the player's time. So, if White moves with exactly 7 minutes and 50 seconds left on his clock, he will have 8 minutes when it is his move again.

A very interesting time control, which of course you need a digital clock programmed to do this. It was a different spin on the game.

But, I'm old fashioned and like the straight 15, 20, 30, 45, 60. 90 or 120 min time controls. But that is me - old......but fashioned.

The game was very interesting and will appear here soon.

Now for a story {which I should not tell - because all of you will now do what I do - and leave me with nothing to find when I do what I do!}.

I was wandering thru a used book store looking at their poker and chess book selection. I found an amazing book! "The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes - 50 Tantalizing Problems of Chess Detection." By Professor Raymond Smullyan.

Tantalizing? More like Demoralizing! I only have attempted the first two, and I am ready to return the book to the used book store and PAY THEM to take it from me!

The author is a philosopher/logician/puzzlemaster and a professor of Math Logic and Philosophy at CUNY-Lehman College. This guy is so far out there (in a genius way), the Ivy League is scared of him.

Anyway, the puzzle on the cover of the book is not one of the fifty puzzles inside the book. But it was simple enough that even my peanut brain figured it a half hour of brain racking torture!

White's move - but that is not the question asked.

I give you that puzzle now.  And don't be a hater because I decided to torture you!

Situation: "Black moved last. What was his last move, and what was White's last move?

As a matter of fact, you can reverse the sides of the board (so let's say the Black King is actually on h1and White King on f1) and have a totally different...but correct solution.

It's elementary, my dear Watson. "

Answer to appear in the comments.........someday.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Chess Playing / Analyzing Software - Update

Jimmy Steward (r) and Grace Kelly (standing)
A few posts back, I did a review of chess software currently available – either for sale or free to download. Here is an update.

To repeat, there are quite a few choices when picking a chess software program.

A chess program is invaluable to a learning chess player. It can act as a teacher, game reviewer – or as an opponent who will not make fun of you when you make a mistake, will let you take back moves, and will even let you set it up where he can’t play very well – so you can win!
What a great chess friend, right? All my chess friends try to ‘crush’ me when we play a game. Of course, they are suppose to try and do that.

But before you invest your money in a software, let me give you some information.

There is an established point system - called the Elo System - for determining a chess player’s strength in relation to other players. The higher the rating number, the better the chess player is.

Magnus Carlsen, the current World Champion is also the world’s highest rated player. He once reached the incredible ELO rating of 2882! That is the highest rating a human being has ever reached.

With that rating in mind, I will list the chess ratings of some chess programs, from high to low – with some comments thrown in. The programs I have are in [ ]:

3325 – Komodo 9 – available at USchess sales for $100. Make sure you have a computer good enough to handle this program’s multi-core capabilities, so you get the most out of it!

3310 – [Stockfish 6 – available on line for free by downloading the updated Droidfish phone app, I just did! First I had to delete my current Droidfish app - and replace it with the new one.

Now I have the 2nd best program there is on my tablet and phone. Whether it plays at a 3310 level on the processors on my tablet and phone is the big question. Komodo 9 needs a fast computer to run at optimum strength.]

3250 – Houdini 4 – available at USchess sales for $100

3219 – Komodo 8 – available at Amazon for $80. This program surpassed the Fritz line of programs from the same company. The price on this version may start to drop until the supply runs out. Timing is the key for picking up this program on the cheap. Are you really going to miss the extra 106 ELO points between Komodo 8 and 9?

3206 – [Stockfish 5 – available for FREE on your phone as part of the free ‘Analyze This’ chess app. I have this app on my phone and it works great!

I also loaded it on my Pad Notebook. I like it better than the Droidfish app because I can make it analyze and  tell me the 2nd and 3rd best moves also. Droidfish only shows the best line.]

3185 – Houdini 4 Extreme - available at USchess sales for $65

3175 – [Critter 1.6a – is available for FREE on your notebook or tablet as part of the ‘Analyze This’ chess app, which I have.  Critter no longer works on Android 5 phones however.

This program’s claim to fame is that it is better at endgames than most programs rated higher. Komodo 8 an d 9 now both have claimed to be better than Critter in this area now.]

3090 – Rybka 4 - available at USchess sales for $50

3088 – Deep Fritz 14 – available at USchess sales for $90

3045 – Deep Rybka 4 – available at USchess sales for $110. Lower than Rybka 4??

3041 – Deep Junior 13.8 - available at USchess sales for $100

2996 – Deep Hiarcs 13 - available at USchess sales for $110

2968 – [Fritz 13 – Who I call Igor3000 –which is the software on this computer, and the one I usually use to analyze games I publish for you. Paid $100 for it 2 years ago. But obviously there are better options available now.]

2736 – [Aquarium 13 – I have this program also. Picked it up at a clearance sale for $15. I don’t like the interface as well as the Fritz one. I believe the Houdini software is similar to the Aquarium style.]

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Six Players on Monday 060115 - And a See-Saw Battle

     We had six players tonight. Casual chess was played at all time controls.
      LCCC welcome new player Nick D to the club.

     Our TD is deciding whether we have a Summer League or a Summer Tournament starting soon. Stay tuned for details.

      Here is a game with a lot of twists and turns. White plays loose in the opening and falls behind early. Then often.

      1.      e4                    e6
      2.      Be2                  d5
      3.      exd5                exd5
      4.      Bf3                  c6
      5.      b3                    Nf6
      6.      Bb2                 Be7?
White could have received question marks for all of his opening moves after e4, but the first official one goes to Black for squandering most of his opening advantage.  6. ……Be6 is much more aggressive to take advantage of White’s piece development issues. After all, the best square for one of the White knights is taken up by a bishop (f3) and the other best square for a White knight (c3) blocks a bishop. (-.3) White will have knight placement issues for most of this game.

     7.      Ne2                 Bf5
     8.      d3                    O-O
     9.      O-O                 Nbd7
   10.  Ng3                 Bg6
   11.  Re1                  Bd6
   12.  Nf1                  Qc7
Instead 12. Nbd2 was better for the development of the knight as to not block the bishop. (-1)

   13.  Nc3                 d4?
White to move after 13. ....d4?

This is the wrong plan for Black. Moving either one of the rooks to e8 to challenge for the center was better. White also gets a free move as Black must waste one to protect this advanced d-pawn. (-.3)
   14.  Ne2?!              c5
   15.  Neg3               Ne5
   16.  Bh5?                Nxh5
Bad judgement by White as now 17. Nxh5, f5! 18. Bc1, Ng4 19. Nhg3, Rae8 20. Rxe8, Rxe8 21. Nd2, Qe7 22. Qf1, Qf6 23. Nf1, Bh5 (-2)

   17.  Nxh5               f6?
   18.  Nhg3               Bf7
   19.  Nf5!                Bd5
White stops ….f5 for now, and gets his other minor pieces back into the game. (-.3)
   20.  c4                    dxc3
   21.  Bxc3                Rae8?
This natural looking move for Black is actually wrong. 21. ….Ng6 makes White have to think about defense as the Black bishops and queen are pointed at the White king simultaneously. (-.5) Now White is winning slightly. ( +.6)
   22.  Nxd6?             Qxd6
White misses 22. d4! - which trades off his isolated pawn weakness (+1). Instead, now the game is even.
   23.  Ne3                 Bc6
   24.  Bxe5?              Rxe5
White trades off a good active piece and opens the center for Black to attack the d-pawn. (-1) Ah, the ebb and flow of a chess game!
   25.  Nc4                 Rxe1
   26.  Qxe1               Qxd3
   27.  Qe6+               Kh8
   28.  Nd6                 Qd5?
After Black's error of 28. ......Qd5?
Black keeps his ever growing lead (-1.5) with 28. ….h6.

Instead, the game is even again and White can secure a draw with a perpetual check using the knight and a discovered check by the queen (followed by Nf7+, then Nh6 double +, and then Nf7+, etc. But Black blunders the draw away thinking his queen is protecting the rook!
   29.  Nf7+               Rxf7??
   30.  Qc8+!              Rf8
   31.  Qxf8+             Qg8
   32.  Qxc5               Qd5?
   33.  Qxd5               Bxd5
   34.  Rd1                 Bg8
   35.  Rd7                 Resigns