Thursday, February 25, 2016

LCCC Week 022216 - League Week 10 - And Then They Were Tied!

Boyer, Blanc, Bacall and Bogart playing chess. (l to r)
Well, this is the reason we play the games. This is the reason it is never over til it's over.

This is why the LCCC is the best place to play chess!

We had sixteen players show up this week for League night. We welcome a new member also - Joe K. 

The league leading 49'ers had the bye week and could only root for the Owls to at least draw the Tigers to give the 49'ers the league title. Alas, the Tigers were up to the challenge and won the match 2 -1!

This put the Tigers within 2 match points of the 49'ers! This sets up the Position Round for the title! A victory would give the Tigers a tie for match points but give them more Team Points - and thus the title! A drawn match would give the 2016 League Title to the 49'ers by match points 14 to 12.

This will make this match very exciting!

How we will decide colors is the top boards will draw and then the colors will alternate from there.

Here are the line ups for the 2016 LCCC League Position night on Monday March 7 at 7pm!

Board 1 - 49'ers - Ken T vs Tim R - Tigers
Board 2 - 49'ers - Paul M vs Nick D - Tigers
Board 3 - 49'ers - Tom H vs Sam T - Tigers

Good luck to both teams.

In the other match, the Thunder and the Flyers drew their match 1.5 - 1.5. This gave the Thunder sole possession of 3rd place.

The game winners this night were Tim R, Gene M, Don J, Sam T and Dan W. Luke S and John R fought to a draw. Congratulations players.

Final Standings
49'ers - 13 match points - 15 team points
Tigers  - 11 and 15

3rd - Thunder - 7 and 11
4th - Owls - 5 and 9.5
5th - Flyers - 4 and 8.5

Next week - Feb 29th - is open, casual chess. It is a good night to bring the youngsters as other young players will be attending. Also the more 'experienced' players will be around to offer advice.

Come on by for a great night of chess. We open at 6pm.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

LCCC Team Milani 3rd at Tournament - and 2016 LCCC League Marches On

The Milani brothers (left) - the pride of LCCC!
First the big news! LCCC's own Milani brothers played in the 2016 Scholastic Club Championship, held at Oakland University over this past weekend.

Under the Milani Home School - LCCC banner, they finished in 3rd place in their division!

On board 1 - Luigi had a 4 - 1 record (Silver Medal)
On board 2 - Marcello had a 2 - 2 - 1 record
On board 3 - Americo had a 5 - 0 record (Gold Medal)
On board 4 - Luca had a 3 - 1 - 1 record. (Bronze Medal)

This is a fantastic result to post, especially since these boys are heavy into wrestling, baseball and other activities besides playing chess.

Congratulations to Team Milani and we hope to post some games from the tournament here.

Seth Homa (right) helping the next generation - that is what it is all about!
We would also like to give our thanks to FIDE master Seth Homa for taking time to review games with the boys! That had to be a thrill for them. Thank you Seth!

Now on to the league. Tim R of the Tigers won his game to draw the match with the first place 49'ers. This clinches at least a co-championship for the 49'ers.

The standings are as follows:
49'ers - 13 points
Tigers - 9 points
Thunder - 6 points
Owls - 5 points
Flyers - 3 points

Now the 49'ers have played all their regular season rounds and have a bye in week ten.
The Tigers play the Owls and the Thunder play the Flyers.

If the Tigers can defeat the Owls, they will move to only two points away from the 49'ers and could tie for the league title with a win in the position round!

Whooooooo - on the Owls can play spoiler next week?

Owls vs Tigers
Board 1 - Mike N (W) vs Tim R (B)
Board 2 - Don J (B) vs Nick D (W)
Board 3 - Jay S (W) vs Sam T (B)

Thunder vs Flyers
Board 4 - Gene M (W) vs Vince V (B)
Board 5 - Luke S (B) vs John R (W)
Board 6 - Zach R (W) vs Dan W (B)

Can the Tigers win two straight matches to tie for the title?  Stop by LCCC Monday and find out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

LCCC Week 9 League 020816 and a Master Error

League action at LCCC
Week Nine of league play happened this Monday - along with some casual chess and some chess lessons. Pretty much a typical night of great chess action at the club.

First of all, the Thunder defeated the Owls 2 - 1. Congratulations to the winners in this match: Gene M, Luke S and Jay S.

In the match to see if the league even needs to continue - DID NOT settle the matter yet! The 49'ers need two match points to clinch the league.

Paul M got one win for the 49'ers, but Tom H and Sam T drew their game. So, it is up to the featured Board 1 match between Ken T - 49'ers (W) vs Tim R - Tigers (B). This game had to be postponed until next Monday due to work schedule conflicts.

If Ken T wins or draws, the league is over as no one can catch the 49'ers. If Tim wins, then the Tigers earn a match draw and can decide their own fate in the league!

You see the 49'ers have a bye in week 10. So if the Tigers can draw this week 9 match with a Tim R win, then beat the Owls in week 10, then beat the 49'ers in the Position Round - the Tigers will be co-champions with the 49'ers!

Ken T and Tim R will play next Monday at the club. Stop on by and watch this one, while playing some casual chess yourself.

White to move and win .....except he RESIGNED instead!
In  keeping with the 'Never Ever Give Up' theme I had a post or two ago, I found a doozy from a game between an International Master playing White and a Grandmaster playing Black.

Egos and reputations sometimes get in the way of our thinking.
In this situation, an IM did not want to appear rude and make a GM continue to play when it was 'obvious' the game was over.

This type of situation and attitude happens on the international chess stage, the regular Joe weekend tournaments and even in casual games at the club.

Some 'winners' give of the attitude that the 'loser' should accept defeat and quit already. The 'loser' feels this pressure and often does resign - when he should not have yet.

Here is a perfect example as obviously this IM is certainly good enough to spot the saving move IF he had on his battle armor instead of his Peace Sign t-shirt.

White sees:
43. Qxg3          Rxf1+
44. Kh2            hxg3+
45. Kxg3          Nd3 (-10 pawns for White)
and an easy endgame win for Black. Or:

43. Ne6+          Nxe6
and the same endgame lose ensues.

There was the better:
43. Qg1         Nxh3
44. Nf5+       gxf5
45. gxh3        Rxf1+
46. Qxf1       Kg6
and Black's extra pawn and better pawn structure is enough to win (-4.9).

But White has a shocker at his disposal:
43. Nf5+ !
This saves the game and gives White the win!

43. ........          gxf5
44. Qxg3+       hxg3
45. Rxc1       
with the winning endgame on White's side of the board (+3.1 for White).

Never feel pressure to resign your game. If your opponent is all that sure he is going to win, then he should enjoy the process of crushing you as you continue to play. Take any sign that your opponent is trying to get you to "resign already" as a show of weakness that he is not that sure he can actually finish you off. So, play on!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Monday 020116 Closes Week 8 of the 2016 LCCC League

Chess is a great way to spend time on a cold night. Or day.
We had nine players at the club on a balmy night for February.

The Tigers made up their games in impressive fashion going 2 - 0 to beat the Flyers 3 - 0!
This win tightens up the league race and leave a chance of a playoff on position night.
Congratulations to Tim R and Sam T on their wins.

Here are the standings:

49'ers - 12 points
Tigers - 8 points
Owls - 5 points
Thunder - 4 points
Flyers - 3 points

There are two regular season weeks left. If the Tigers can sweep and the 49'er lose both, we will have a playoff!

The schedule next week may decide the issue as the matches are:

49'ers vs Tigers!!!
1. Ken T (W) vs Tim R (B)
2. Paul M (B) vs Nick D (W)
3. Tom H (W) vs Sam T (B)

Thunder vs Owls
4. Gene M (W) vs Mike N (B)
5. Luke S (B) vs Don J (W)
6. Zach R (W) vs Jay S (B)

Flyers (Bye)

Be here for the exciting action. You can have a casual game and keep an eye on the Main Event, or simply pull up a chair and watch the gripping drama unfold on Boards 1, 2 and 3!
Position after White's move 18. Rae1. Black to move.

Meanwhile, I found an interesting endgame in Chess Life 2003. Harry Simon, with White, beats a player over 150 rating points above him with some sharp play after his opponent error.

We pick the game up with White holding a little better than a pawn advantage (+1.2). Black needs to shore up his knight with 18. ........Qd8.

18. .........                     h5?
White seizes the moment and accurately dismantles Black's defenses piece by piece to a won endgame (+3.5).

19. Bg6          Kg8
20. Rxf6         gxf6
21. Qxf6        Qc7
22. Qe6+        Kf8
23. Bc3          Rh6
24. Qf6+        Kg8
25. Qg5          Bf8
26. Bxh5+      Kh7?
Under the pressure, Black mis-steps. Correct was 26. .......Bg7 by over a pawn positionally. Now White's lead is (+5.4).

27. Qf5+         Kg8
28. Qg5+        Kh7
29. Re6           Be8
30. Rxh6+       Bxh6
31. Qf5+         Kg8
32. Qe6+         Kh7
33. Bxe8         Rxe8
34. Qxe8         Bg7?
The final error. Black missed 34. .......d4! with at least winning the White bishop after losing his. Now (+9.4).

35. Qh5+         Kg8
36. Qxd5+       Kh7
37. Qh5+         Kg8
38.  Qg6          Qd7
39.  Qxg7+      Resigns
White correctly traded down to a won endgame.