Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nine Players Make Casual Chess Night on 112315

Winter is chess time!!
A nice mix of casual chess, lessons and chess discussion. A nice night of friendly banter and chess on the first snowy Monday of the new chess season.

We welcome a new member to LCCC tonight......Steve P. Steve mentioned he has been away from chess for a while. Well, he has found the right home at LCCC.

Next week is league play. The schedule is posted on the previous post. Be sure to stop by to watch some great league action - or play some of the LCCC regulars who are not in the league. Either way, its a great night of chess.

Now a treat for my readers - another game by Boris Spassky. Here is plays White against the East German Champion - Lothar Zinn in the Student Olympiade in 1961. Notes by Anthony Soltis.... way before computers. [Notes by Igor3000 and your humble scribe]

1. d4          d5
2. c4          c6
3. Nf3        e6
4. g3          dxc
5. Bg2       b5
6. O-O       Bb7
7. b3!        .........
A fine positional sacrifice which offers Spassky strong pressure against the now exposed b5 pawn and backward c-pawn. [Well, Igor3000 puts that last move as no big deal as the advantage is the same as the start of the game for White (.3).

7. .....           cxb
8. Qxb3       Nf6
9. Nc3         Be7
10. Ne5        a3!
11. Be3?!     O-O
12. Ne4       Nd5
13. Rfc1      a5
14. Bd2       Qb6
15. Qb2!      ......
Very deep. With Black's pieces asleep on the Queen flank, White aims at Nc5. Black will eventually be forced to capture with his Bishop - allowing dxc5. This grants White strong play on the Queen file, an outpost on d6 and chances on the long diagonal he now occupies.
[All that may be true, but it is still an even game if Black stays strong and correctly counters these potential advantages. (Even)]

15. .....         Rc8?!
16. Nc6        Ra7?
Simpler was 16. ....Bxc5.
[Igor3000 gives 16. ....Na6 or Qc7 as only slightly worse. The last two moves in tandem give White his first real edge. This is a great example of how slow and steady pressure on someone forces mistakes (+.5).]

17. e4        Nf6
18. Be3!     .......
Threatens d5 (with a discovered threat to the Queen to follow) and it vacates the Queen file.
[Igor3000 says 18. Nc4 is better (1.4) than the text "good" move (.6).

18. ......       Bxc5
19. dxc       Qc7
20. Rd1       Ne8
That Spassky wins this game is not remarkable, as Black is playing without three pieces. Now White aims at Black's two weak points - e6 and f7 [.9].

21. Bh3 [?!]     ......
[Igor3000 says 21. Rd6 is better because of 21. ...Nxd6 22. cxd, Qxd6 23. Bxa7 (1)]

21. ......         Qe7
22. Rd6!       .......
[22. Rd2 is just as effective, just not as flashy.]

22. ......        Ba6?
[(.9) Igor3000 says 22. ......Rc7 is much better at (1.4). But Black is crumbling under Spassky's constant pressure.]

23. Rad1       Rb7?
[(2.9)] Black needed 23. ....Qf6 to pin the knight to the unguarded Queen at b2.
White to move after Black's 23. .....Rb7?

24. Nxf7!       ........
Once you realize that f7 is the key target, the preparation for and completion of this sacrifice is almost routine. On 24. .....Nxd6, 25. Nxd6, Rd8 26. Qe5 threatening Qxe6 and Bg5 is a winning line. [(3.7) But this is better than the line chooses [+7].

24. ......           Kxf7
25. Bxe6+      Qxe6
26. Rxe6        Kxe6
27. Qb3+       Ke7
28. Qg8!        ..........
Given some time (maybe 10 moves) Black's material might mean something in this game. But the entrance of the White Queen and another sacrifice gives Black no chance. The current threat is Bg5+.
[Igor3000 doesn't believe Black has any chance as White is up (+9). Watch how methodically Spassky brings home the point - giving Zinn no shot to get any counter-play.]

28. ......         h6
29. Rd6!       Nxd6
30. cxd+       Kd7
31. Qxg7+     Kxd6
32. Qxh6+     Kd7
33. Qg7+      Kd6
34. Qf6+      Kc7
35. Qe5+      Kd7
36. Qf5+      Kc7
37. Bf4+       Kb3
A quick mate would follow with 37. ...Kd8 38. Qf8+, Kd7 39. Qf7++

38. Qxc8      Ka7
39. e5           Resigns

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fourteen Players Make Week 4 of the 2015 League

For everyone and anyone who thinks league night is just for league players, well you could not be more wrong. We had two members available for games while the league went on, and even some chess after the league games.

Plus, watching the league action is always entertaining.

We had our first league night where all the combatants made it to the league night and this round was completed.

Lets congratulate the winners; Ken T, Mike N, Nick D, Zack R and Tom H.

Don J. and Luke S drew their game.

Now for the Match results:

The league leading 49’ers won again, beating the Tigers 2 – 1. This gives the 49’ers a BIG lead already in the league race.

The Owls and the Thunder drew their match 1.5 – 1.5.

Now the 49’ers have the bye next week (Nov 30), but they won’t be caught for the league lead….yet.

49’ers – 8 points
Flyers – 3 points
Tigers – 2 points
Owls – 2 points
Thunder – 1 point

The pairings for next week (Week 5) are:
 Tigers vs Owls
(W) Tim R vs (B) Mike N
(B) Nick D vs (W) Don J
(W) Sam T vs (B) Jay S

Flyers vs Thunder
(W) Vince V vs (B) Gene M
(B) John R vs (W) Luke S
(W) Dan W vs (B) Zach R

Bye week – 49’ers

Now for a puzzle:

White to move and win!

There is one really really good move for White!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ten Players Make Casual Chess Night 110215

It was a fun night of chess. Some casual chess, some lessons, a in depth review of some unusual options in the French Defense and some friendly chat. A good evening

One league game was left to be played – and it was. Congratulations to Dan W on his win.

This gave the Flyers a 2 – 1 win over the Tigers. Here are the standing – but keep in mind - some teams have not played every round and some have not had their bye week yet.

49’ers – 6pts
Flyers – 3 pts
Tigers – 2 pts
Owls – 1 pt
Thunder 0 pts

The matches for next week are:

Owls vs Thunder
(W) Mike N – (B) Gene M
(B) Don J – (W) Luke S
(W) Jay S – (B) Zack R

Tigers vs 49’ers
(W) Tim R – (B) Ken T
(B) Nick D – (W) Paul M
(W) Sam T – Tom H

It will be another exciting night of chess action. Come on by and watch or play a casual game against others either not in the league or have the bye week.

Black to move and win!
And now, another tough puzzle:

Black to move and win.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Any Chess Game is an Event to Cherish

As you sit to play a chess game, you extend your hand to your opponent. But this handshake is more than a greeting. It is an acknowledgement from both of you - of a thank you to the chess gods - for this opportunity to create something artistic - from these figures of wood or plastic - on sixty-four squares of canvas.

The clock is started. It is a subtle reminder to all of us that we have only so much time, and we must use it wisely.

The game begins when the Leader of the White army’s hand reaches forward and unites a single member under his command and advances him towards the enemy.

This soldier is placed into position - really not by the hands of the player - but by his mind.  The mind which must stay focused on the target of the opposing King, but must weigh the risk to his own safety at the same time.

Tempo is everything; perfection unobtainable. There is always a slight nod, a tiny shake of the head, or a rubbing of the forehead by all players. This is an acknowledgement to the chess gods is we - as mere players of this game - are fallible.

And now the battle is on with advantage usually shifting back and forth, pulled by the powers in heaven and even the powers from inside the earth

The chessmen are alive. This chess game is a living sculpture with a unique characteristic – all its own.

A tuning fork goes off in your heart and your mind. It is such a pure feeling when that well-conceived strategy we developed all alone is somehow going undetected by our always worthy and noble adversary. That feeling is the reason the game keeps us in it's grasp.

Now to the conclusion of the game. It is usually sudden, and is always emotional at some level.  The finish is sometimes due to a player temporarily granted a tiny bit of the the creativeness of Morphy, the positional strength of Browne, the tactics of Tal, the mental brawn of Petrosian, or the pure genius of Fischer.

But usually it is due to the fact that someone has strayed a little too far away from the unattainable….and can no longer achieve the ultimate goal of victory.

Win, lose or draw, we once again extend our hand. This time it is a warm thank you to the person who granted you the honor of the opportunity to create a unique work of art.  And one that will never -  ever - be re-created exactly the same way again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Round Three Almost Concluded on Monday 110215

We had only one player unaccounted for tonight. And that game may be made up next week – or it may not. We will see. We had 17 players attend the action.

One match had all the players present and it was the 49’ers extending their lead with a 2 – 1 victory over the Owls.

Congratulations to Ken T, Don J and Tom H – who won their games.

In the other match, due to business travel Vince V has to take the forfeit win for the Flyers. Nick D delivered a victory for the Tigers. So, 1 – 1.

That leaves one game to play. Your humble scribe will let you know as soon as we have a final decision.

Next week is Open Chess so stop on by! There will be casual chess and free lessons available.
White to move and Win!

Now for a puzzle and it’s a tough one!

White to move and win!