Friday, January 29, 2016

Chess Swindle of a Chess Career

Keep fighting until the end!
I use my chess losses as chess lessons on this blog. I figure if I review enough to analyze it, and then write about it, hopefully the lesson will stick with me.

I don't usually publish any wins I have playing chess, however. As I said before, you don't really win chess games - your opponent loses one. But I have to share this game because it is both!

As you will see, I am losing......badly. But I did not quit. I kept looking for anything in the position that could give me hope. And I found it!!

I am proud of myself for finding it - even if my opponent had not fallen for it. The lesson here is: NEVER EVER GIVE UP!

If my opponent would have made any of three or four different moves, I could have resigned as there was no more fight in the position. But at the time, there was a slim chance at saving the game, so I hung in there.

Michigan Class Championships – 2016 – Jan 16, 2016

Section B – Round 3 – Board 23 – Time control G/155 – 5 sec delay
White: Mike Nikitin – 1613
Black: JP Pegeron – 1756

The game is even but I am about to go wrong. 12. Qh5 is correct here. After all, Black is forced to prevent the mate at h7.
      12. Nf3            Bxe5
      13. dxe5           f6
      14. Qc2            f5
15. Bb5            Qe7 
      16. O-O-O        a6
      17. Qa4             c4
My fast way to get to the kingside is now blocked. I made the mistake of playing “hope chess” here, and JP saw it all the way.

18.      Bxd7               Bxd7
19.     Qc2                  b5
This is a slight lead for Black due to his space advantage and more advanced pawns. I try to get my attack going on the kingside, but Black can and does get there faster on the queenside. (-.5)

20.      Rd4?               a5 
I did not calculate this move for some reason and now will lose the race to the king. (-1)

21.  Qe2                  b4
22.  g4?                   bxc
23.  gxf                   cxb+
24.  Kb1                 exf?
25.  Rxd5               Rfc8
26.  Rhd1?             Be6?
27.  Rd6                  c3
28.  Qc2                 Qf7
There it is! Black has a mate in one with 29. ….Bxa2++. I have no option but to capture the bishop and lose the exchange. (-4)

29.  Rxe6               Qxe6
30.  Rd6?!              Qc4
Lots of threats available for Black. The simple 31. Rd4, Qf1+ 32. Rd1, Qxd1+ 33. Qxd1, c2+ 34. Qxc2, Rxc2 35. Kxc2  (-3.9) and Black has an easy to win endgame.

Even 31. Rd4, Rd8 wins as White has no counterplay or hope.

But I kept looking for something else - since my best move got me nothing but a fast resignation. Then, I found it! But will it work?

       31.  Ng5?               ……..
This move leads to a mate in ten (-20) Igor3000 says - starting with 31. …..Rab8 or a mate in thirteen with 31. …..Rd8. Black is correct to think the game is won with almost any move….except –

       31.   …….              Qxh4???
Study carefully and see if you can find the end of the biggest swindle in my chess career.
(+ infinity - White cannot lose with proper play).

       32.  Rd8+!!              Rxd8
       33.  Qb3+                Resigns

White has a forced mate in 1 to 4 moves!

If 33. …Kf8 then 34. Qf7 mate.

If 33. ….Rd5, then 34. Qxd5+ and the same mate is available.

If 33. ….Qc4 then 34. Qxc4 and then 34. …… Rd5 move just slows White down an extra move.
Then 35. Qxd5, Kh1 36 Qxa8 mate.

Then there is the really pretty:
If 33. …..                    Kh8   then
34. Nf7+                     Kg8 
35. Nh6 double check     Kh8
36. Qg8+!!                      Rxg8 
37. Nf7 mate

I know this was heartbreaking loss for my opponent who outplayed me right until the end. But the lesson here is - never, EVER give up!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Twenty-Four Chess Players for League Night – 012516

Just another great night of chess at LCCC.

We had a full house of players tonight! Thank you to everyone who made it out on a cold rainy January evening. But it was a perfect temperature and lighting indoors for the chess action!

We had four league games played, plenty of casual games and even some chess lessons.

We welcomed four new players to the club tonight. 
It was great to have Owen, Hunter, Martin and Bill join us for chess this evening. Now don’t any of you be strangers.

In league action, The Owls were able to slow down the 49’ers freight train and held the match to a draw. - 1.5 - 1.5.

The other match between the Flyers and the Tigers will have to be concluded next week, but the Tigers are winning 1 - 0, and need to win to stay on the 49'ers tail.

Congratulations to Mike N, Tom H and Nick D on their victories, while Don J and Paul M drew their game.
White to move and win!

And now an endgame puzzle. 

White to move and win!

This is from an actual game played in a tournament in Buenos Aires in 1960 where a little known player - IM Robert Wade defeats the great Grand Master Victor Korchnoi with a shot out of nowhere!

Answer to be published upon request.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016 Michigan Class Championship Results for LCCC – and League Results

Marcello M holds is Champion's Trophy!
Here are the results from the 2016 Michigan Class Championship held this weekend in Lansing.

LCCC had a nice showing of players, but not as many as in the past. Sometimes life gets in the way of chess and we hate when that happens.

In the Novice Tournament, the four – M brothers – Luigi, Americo, Luca and Marcello participated in the Saturday only event.

Marcello finished in 1st place in the Under 800 category. Congratulations Marcello!

In the two-day main event:

Nick D scored a 3 – 2 – 0 in the Class E tournament.
Mike N scored a 2 – 2 – 1 in the Class B tournament.
Paul M scored a 2 – 3 – 0 in the Class D tournament.

Games from the event will be published as soon as the players send them in. We will also have selected games from league action, for the same reason.

Speaking of the LCCC League:

No chance for make-up games due to the snow cancellation last week. This WAS the make-up game week. So the results had to be – what they were.

The Owls defeated the Flyers 2 – 1. Dan W and Mike N won their games, and Don J won on a forfeit, to give the Owls the victory.

The 49’ers runaway train was finally slowed a little and held to a drawn match as Gene M won his game for the Thunder. Paul M won his game on a forfeit for the 49’ers. In the other match it was a double forfeit, so the match tied at 1 – 1.

The standings are now as follows:

49’ers – 11 Match points – 12 Team points
Tigers – 6 – 8.5
Thunder – 4  – 7.5
Owls – 4 – 6
Flyers – 3 – 7

Next week, the Thunder has a bye. The match pairing look like this:
Tigers vs Flyers
Tim R (W) vs Vince V (B)
Nick D (B) vs John R (W)
Sam T (W) vs Dan W (B)

Owls vs 49’ers
Mike N (W) vs Ken T (B)
Don J (B) vs Paul M (W)
Jay S (W) vs Tom H (B)

A win by the 49’ers next week would clinch the league title for them, and we would then move on to the Livingston County Championship. This may be a United States Chess Federation rated event and - open to the Public! So stay tuned!

Monday, January 11, 2016

LCCC Closed Tonight Due to Weather - But Some Chess Analysis

The Hartland Senior Center is closed because the Hartland Schools are closed - due to poor road conditions.

So we will move our League Night to next week - unless the weather says otherwise again.

But to keep you chess company until the Club meets again, take a look at this:

Now let us take a look at this position:

Black plays the correct, but very hard to see move of
17. …….             Be6!

(-1.7) If Black plays any other move, White will hold the advantage - and one ranging from small to getting bigger.
For instance, with 17. …...Nb5, White’s advantage is (+.3) of a pawn.
With 17. …..Bxf3, White’s advantage is (+.4).
With 17. …..Nb1, White’s advantage grows to (+.6). You get the idea. The move played by Black was the best by at least 2 pawns - one positionally and one materially!

The game could, would or should have continued this way:
18. Qxc3               Qxc5
19. dxc5               Bxc3
20. Bxe6               Rxe6
21. g3                   Bb4
22. Rd7                 Bxc5
23. Rxb7               Rae8
And Black maintains a small positional advantage, but a possible draw result still looms.

But that is not what happened in this case. The continuation just shown is the work of my Igor3000 chess program. It is another example of computers ruining everything for the chess romantic.
The position shown was from a game – romantically dubbed -  “The Game of the Century.”
Donald Byrne played the White pieces and Bobby Fischer played Black.

Analysts at the time did not have computers and viewed White’s reply 18. Bxb6 as practically forced. 

But today’s computers quickly give it a “red” error notation and score that this move drives Black’s advantage up to an insurmountable (-6.3).

So the “Game of the Century” actually was nothing more than a panic blunder by a player that should have known better. But the ‘shock’ of the move Fischer made did Mr. Byrne in.
So, the Game of the Century closed like this:
18. Bxb6??            Bxc4+
19. Kg1                 Ne2+
20. Kf1                  Nxd4+
21. Kg1                 Ne2+
22. Kf1                  Nc3+
23. Kg1                 axb6+
24. Qg4                 Ra4
25. Qxb6               Nxd1

Several of the ‘classic’ games are getting scrutinized by computers and the machines are finding that many a great and picturesque wins, are really a by-product of less than proper defense.

Sometimes progress doesn’t make us happier.