Thursday, December 28, 2017

American GM Walter Browne Interview - LCCC Returns Jan 8 with Kid's Night

GM Walter Browne - USA in 1972
We start our friendly chess club action on January 8, 2018 at 6pm. Stop on by with all the chess equipment Santa brought you and put it to use.

With all the technology out there for chess today, being able to play over games and puzzles is easy to do. You don't need a blog to do that. So this year your humble scribe is going to be doing more writing (and 'borrowing' articles) and less game and puzzle review.

Of course some great wins and interesting games from our members will still be presented. And true gems that I spot will also be reviewed. But a more article based blog will be done this year.

With that in mind, I wanted to present an interview done with GM Walter Browne in 2014. We lost this great chess player in June of 2015 at the age of 66. Much too young!

Your humble scribe does have some connection with GM Browne. First off I played him in a simultaneous exhibition at the height of his career in 1975. This must explain why I lost!

After all, GM Browne only had played in three interzonals to qualify for the World Championship, had 5 Olympic Chess Bronze medals, two time US Open Champion, three time World Open Champion, seven time American Open Champion and eleven time National Open Champion.

In addition, GM  Browne was also a serious poker player - which I also try to be. He finished second in a World Series of Poker event against 2000 entrants in 2007. And I finished second once in an online poker tournament of 9 players for play chips. So we draw there......right?

After reading GM Browne's autobiography The Stress of Chess and it's Infinite Finesse, Macauley Peterson interviewed the author for Chess Life. I present some highlights now:

WB: I learned chess from my father at the age of 8 years old (1957).  My first tournament was in September of 1962 at the Manhattan Chess Club. I did not do so well in school because I was studying chess around the clock. I would consume whole books in a matter of days. But as I got older I found poker and learned I could make money doing that. And even though I still worked hard at chess, poker did take time away from it. Bobby (Fischer) was chess, chess, chess all the time. But I still spent hours at the Manhattan Chess Club and the seedy Flea House. There were always people at both places playing chess at all hours. Some guys would play for 3 or 4 days straight.

MP: Can you describe your style?

WB: I think I have different styles. I play positional chess. I love chasing tactics, but I won't make unsound sacrifices just for the attack.

MP: You played Bobby Fischer in Zagreb in 1970, and you wrote you lost because you were "too much of an artist." What did you mean by that?

WB: The key move was around number 88 or 90. I saw the winning move and didn't play it. I wanted to win more beautifully and it cost me the game. He found a miracle defense and we drew.

MP: Did you and Fischer socialize?

WB: Yeah, we went out to dinner a few times. I wish I would have been more in touch with him, but he was really a recluse. I wish I would have offered to be his second in Reykjavik. And when he was negotiating with Karpov in 1975, I should have offered to help him then, Maybe I could have persuaded him to bend a little and play. I think Fischer would have blown Karpov away!

MP: How did you get on with Karpov?

WB: Quite well. I played a lot of tournaments with him. I wish I would have taken more risks to beat him. I never did. He used to play so fast too. (Walter seemed to always get in time trouble). I remember watching Karpov play [Svetozar] Gligoric one time and he reeled off the first 25 moves in a minute!

MP: [Victor] Korchnoi comes up many times in your book. He seems to be sort of an idol. I was curious about your relationship with him - sometimes friendly, sometimes not. You wrote that when you beat him in the last round at Wijk ann Zee in 1989 he didn't shake your hand.

WB: Well, he didn't like to lose. He was a very competitive guy. Even at bridge! He was a serious guy, but easy to talk to. He would share his thoughts about a game and was not standoffish. He was willing to share his thoughts with you more than the other Soviet players - like Petrosian and even Karpov.

MP: And your career over all?

WB: I was not a professional chess player after 1984. I focused on poker. But in 1988 I came back to chess and worked hard. I got my FIDE rating back up to 2560 so I was almost as good, but I didn't play internationally. Then the there was tremendous competition from European players coming over to play in our Swisses (tournaments) and it became very tough. But I still managed some moderate successes.

Scribe: GM Browne stopped playing competitive chess by 1998.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Round 2 of 2017 Action Tournament Played - Next Big Michigan Tournament Listed!

Make sure you have a nice place to study chess at home.
We had nine players brave the cold and the snow to make it to the warm and comfy confines of the LCCC.

We had an inpromptu Speed Tournament tonight, which was a lot of fun and won by our Tournament Director, Ken T. Ken went undefeated - Nice job!

Here are the details for next tournament which you humble scribe will attend and hopefully many of the LCCC members also. See you there!

January 13 and 14, 2018
2018 Michigan Master/Expert & Class Championships

Radisson Hotel Lansing
111 N. Grand River Ave, Lansing, MI 48933       517-482-0188
$111 + tax by 1/2/18 – after if space still available. Be sure to mention MCA.
Visit www. Radissson .com/lansingmi       Promo code CHES18

5 Rounds – Swiss System–8 sections, 8 State Championship Titles available.
Master/Expert, A, B, C, D, E, (under 1200)
Time Limit: Game in 115 minutes with a 5 second delay
Rounds: Saturday 10am, 2:30pm and 7pm, Sunday 10am and 2:30 pm

Also the Novice (unrated ONLY) Tournament
Novice is Saturday only with a Fun Swiss Sunday
Rounds (10am, 11:30, 1:30 and 4:30)
Time Limit: Game in 30 minutes with 5 second delay

Enter/Information: Jeff Aldrich, PO Box 40, Flint, MI 48501
Email:           810-955-7271
Registration on-line at
Or On – site Saturday Jan 13 from 8 to 9 am,
Fun Swiss Sunday Jan 14 8:30am to 9:30am

EntryFee:Master/Expert $45 by 1/11-$10 more after(under 18 $5 off)Free to GM, IM,FM
               A, B, C, D, E   $42 by  1/11-$10 more after(under 18 $5 off)
               Novice $25  by 1/11 - $10 more after  
               Fun Swiss  $15

United States Chess Federation membership and Michigan Chess Association membership also required. You can purchase that when you register on line or at the tournament registration.

Prizes Guaranteed Amount (could be more):
M/X: $300 – 200
X: $230
U2100 $120
Plus trophies

A, B, C, D, E: $180 - $120
U1900, U1700, U1500, U1300, U1100 - $100
Plus trophies

Trophy to top 5.
Top U800, top U700, top U600 trophy
1st Unrated - Trophy

Friday, December 1, 2017

Eleven Players on 112717 as LCCC Action Tourney Rd 1 Completes

White to move and get a big advantage.

Black to move and get a big advantage.
We had eleven players this evening as we welcomed back Tim R! He stopped by to get some casual chess in.

Tim moved to the north east side of town for work and the commute stops his regular participation. Welcome back Tim.

Round 2 of the LCCC Action Tournaments begins next Monday. Casual play and lessons will be moved to the round tables until the 'action' is complete.

The round will begin no later than 7pm and probably 6:30  is the real start time. Players can always start early if both decide to play.

Our Kid's Night will be on December 11th and we hope to see more youngsters make an appearance.

Check out the local Chess Tournament action listed on the Michigan Chess Calendar website listed on the right side of the blog. Here is a partial list:

Dec. 2 - Michigan Action Championship, Ann Arbor

Dec. 8 - Aspen Knights Quads, Ann Arbor

Dec. 9 - K-12 Championship, All the Kings Men, Roseville
Dec. 9 - Canton Quads, Canton

Dec 19 - Genessee Action Quads, Flint

And the event your scribe will be attending for sure -

Jan 13-14 - The 2018 Michigan Master/Expert and Class Championship, Lansing, Radisson Hotel

Here are a couple of puzzles for your enjoyment.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Eight Players in LCCC Action Championship - 112017

Chess is the perfect game to play while on the mend.
Eight players entered our 30 minute championship. We will play probably 3 rounds - one every other week - skipping of course Kid's night on December 11.

Hopefully some players will share their games with us.

In the meantime, here is a slug-fest from the 2000 US Championship.

White was GM Alex Yermolinski and Black was GM Gregory Kaidanov.

The players play for victory as the clocks tick down - and the errors by both - go back and forth.
But this is what makes chess so exciting, as the game can turn on every move.

D27: Queen's Gambit Accepted - Classical Main Line
1. d4          d5
2. c4           dxc4
3. Nf3         a6
4. e3           e6
5. Bxc4      Nf6
6. O-O        c5
7. Bb3        Nc6
8. Nc3        cxd4
9. exd4       Be7
10. Re1       O-O
11. h4 !?      ........
From what I have read, this move is a GM Vladimir Kramnik idea. But what would he know? This pawn gets to h6 in a hurry. White's position is very active but no advantage yet.

11. ......        Na5
12. Bc2        b5
13. Qd3       Bb7
14. h5?         Bxf3
15. Qxf3      Qxd4
16. Bf4         b4
White has the appearance of good activity, but the computer Igor3000 - who has no emotional components has Black with a slight lead in the position at (-.4).

17. Rad1      Qc5
18. Re5        Qb6
19. Qg3        bxc3?
20. Bh6        g6?

Position after Black moves 20. ...... g6?

Forced was 20. .....Ne8 21. Bxg7, Nxg7 to keep the game at (+1) for White instead of (+2).

21. hxg6      fxg6?
Igor finds a mate in in 15 for White after the BETTER 21. ....hxg6. As it is White is now up (+3.3). Black is walking a tightrope as one wrong move forces mate. Even correct ones do eventually.

22. Bxg6      Kh8
23. Bxh7      Rf7
24. Bg6        Rg8
25. Be3         c2
26. Rf1         Qxb2?
It was no salvation but 26. ...Qd8 was better. White now up (+3.6).

27. Rxa5?       Nh7?
White's turn to play less than perfect as the clock ticks down. 27. Qh2+ was the move. (+1.6) Now that pinned bishop is a little annoying for White, and Black had better with 27. ....Rh7, 28. Rg5, Rh6. So now White is back to a (+3.7) lead. As I said earlier, this game goes back and forth!

28. Qg4??     .......
Now White has serious problems! 28. Rh5, Bf6 29. Qg4 kept the lead. Now, just like that, White is losing (-1).

28. .......        Rfg7??
Black gives White new hope immediately. Under time pressure, even GM's get rattled. 28. ....Qg7, 29. Rc1, Qxg6 30. Qxg6, Rxg6 was better.

29. Qd4        Qxd4
The game is back to EVEN here. Who offered a draw? Nobody!

30. Bxd4       Bf6
31. Bxf6       Nxf6
32. Rxa6??   .........  
The final error and White makes it. (-7.7) 32. Bxc2 was required.

32. ......         Rxg6
33. g3           Rc8
34. Rc1         Nd5
35. Ra4         Rg7
36. Kf1         Rb7
37. Ke1         Rb1
38. Kd2        Nb4
White resigns    
An exciting game.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Kid's Night (111317) and NPP Action Tournament Starts Next Week

Chess is fun for all.
We had eight players tonight for our Kid's Night.
We welcome two new players to the LCCC family - Olivia and her dad Jacob.

Our Action (30 minute games) start next Monday. Not sure if we will play one or two rounds, but our TD Ken will let us know. Join us for this free tournament. It is a great way to play some semi-serious chess and practice your tournament chops.

LCCC opens at 6pm and the tournament will probably start at 6:30 or 7pm. Get there before 6:30 to be sure to get a seat.

Meanwhile, Don M. gave us another game to review. Don is playing Black and his notes will be in [brackets]. The computer Igor3000 will make comments without brackets.

 Opening: Open Catalan
1. d4          d5
2. Nf3        Nf6
3. c4          e6
4. g3          dxc4
5. Qa4+      Bd7
6. Qxc4      Bc6
7. Bg2        Nbd7
8. O-O        Nb6?
Don threatens to win material with Nb6xc4, but 8. ....Bd6 was better for him. White has a (+.6) lead.

9. Qc2        Be7
10. Nc3      Nbd5
11. a3         Nxc3
12. bxc3     O-O
13. Ne5      Bxg2
14. Kxg2    c5
15. e3?       .........
The first serious error of the game and White makes it. Needed was 15. Qd3, Qd5+ 16. f3, Rfd8 and it is an even game. Instead Black has a (-.4) lead.
[Not the best move for Black. I liked that all of his pawns were on the same color as his bishop.]

15. .......       Rc8
16. Qb2       Qc7
[I don't like his knight and want to exchange it or dislodge it. Plus I was looking at getting on his white squares on his king-side.]

17. a4          b6
18. h3?        .......
Position after White's 18th move. A slight blunder.

Diagram here:

18. .......       Rfd8?
[White's move really weakens his king-side, and his bishop is still bad.]

Correct Don. After White's move Black leads by (-1.2). But Don's response was not the best either. 18. .....Bd6 keeps the full advantage. Instead Black's lead drops to (-.8).
19. Rd1?       Nd7?
[Another piece leaves the king side.] Correct Don (-1.5). Better was 19. a5, Bd6 20. Nf3
But your follow up was not good. Needed was 19. .....Bd6, 20. Nf3, cxd4 21. exd4, Ne4. Instead the lead is only (-.5).

20. Nxd7     Rxd7
21. Bd2       Rcd8
22. Qb5       h6
[I notice his Queen is leaving his king-side]. White intends to play a5.

23. a5          bxa5?
Don falls for it. He needed 23. ....Qb7+. The game is even now.

24. Qxa5      Qc6+
25. Kg1        Qf3
26. Be1        Rd5
27. Qxa7??  ........     
White throws away a close game and Don finishes him off easily.

27.  .......       Rh5
28. h4          Bxh4
29. Qc7        Be7
White resigns
Nice game and thank you Don!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kids Night This Monday on 11-13-17 at 6pm

White to move and win!

Black to move and win!
This coming Monday is the LCCC Kid's night. Come on by with your little chess players for either lessons with our coaches or casual games with other little chess players. Its fun and it's free!
Come on by.

Meanwhile, here are two puzzles for your practice and enjoyment:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Nice Chess Night 110617 - Kid's Night Next Week!

We had seven players and rotated thru casual chess and position studies. A great time had by all.

Kid's Night is next Monday - November 13 - from 6pm to 8pm. Stop on by.

Now a game from one of our members - Don M (1850), playing Black in this game. He supplies his notes and Igor 3000 also adds his 2 gigabytes of comment on the strength of the positions.


        1.      d4                         d5
        2.      c4                          e6
        3.      Nc3                       Nf6
        4.      cxd5                      exd5
        5.      Bg5                       Be7
        6.      e3                          O-O
        7.      Bd3                       Nbd7
         8.      Nge2                     c6
         9.      O-O                       Re8
        10.  Qc2                       h6
11.  Bh4                       Nf8
12.  h3                         Ne4
Black is positionally down a pawn (+1). Better was 12. …Nh5, 13. Bxe7, Qxe7 (+.5).

13.  Bxe7                      Qxe7
14.  Bxe4                      dxe4
15.  Ng3                       f5
The Villian - White - to make move 16.

    16.  Rae1 ?!      Be6
White misses 16. d5!, which threatens the knight getting to attack the c7 square and forking Black’s rooks after 16. …cxd5, 17. Nxd5 or if 16. ....c5, 17 Nb5! (+1.7). Instead (+.2).

   17.  a3                          g6
   18.  f3                          Nge2
   19.  Nge2                     exf3
   20.  Rxf3                      Bd5?
Black missed 20. …Ne6! Which gives Black a slight lead (-.2).  Instead, White now has a (+.8) lead. 
[Don says that at this juncture, “It seems my problem with this game is with my white squared bishop. I decided not to hide it on d7, and instead try to prevent White from playing e4. I think White is better here as he will focus on my d-pawn.”]

21.  Nxd5                     cxd5
22.  Nf4                        Qf7
23.  Qb3                       Rad8
24.  Rc1?                      ……..
The wrong plan. Re-routing the knight via 24. Nd3 then Ne5 was correct. Instead, the game is back to even!

  24…..                         Rd6?
       Black returns the error as 24. …Ne6 25. Nxe6, Rxe6 keeps the game even. (+1).

         25.  Rc5                        Ne6
        [Don adds: "Here is my effort to   release some of the pressure on my d-pawn.]

          26.  Nxe6                     Rexe6
        [Don: "I still feel under pressure!"]
        Igor says; You should as you are  positionally still down a pawn. (+1).

          27.  Rc8+                     Kg7
          28.  g4                          Re7
          29.  gxf5                       gxf5
          30.  Rg3+??                  Rg6
This check hurts White. Needed was 30. Qc2 to stop the loss of advantage and keep the game even. Instead Black takes over at this point. (-.7) and White falls apart after losing the thread of the game and his advantage.

31.  Rxg6+                   Qxg6+
32.  Kh2??                    f4!
33.  Rc3                        Qg3+
34.  Kh1                       f3
35.  White resigns

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Beginner's Tournament This Weekend! - And Chess Night 103017

 It was a Devilish good night of chess at LCCC on Monday. We had 8 players for casual chess and a couple lessons thrown in. See you next Monday - AFTER you attend:

All the King’s Men Chess Supplies and Brain Games             Home of the Universal Chess Club
An Unrated Beginners’ Open Chess Tournament
WHEN:     Saturday, November 4, 2017, starting at NOON. 
รจ        PARENT & PLAYER ORIENTATION AT 11:45     
WHERE:         All The King’s Men Chess and Brain Games
                        26640 Gratiot Avenue
                        Roseville, Michigan 48066
Take EAST to Gratiot EXIT 27 and go South [Right] to the FIRST turn-around.           OR
Take to West [exit 229] to Gratiot EXIT 27 & go South [Left] to the FIRST turn-around

Entry Fee: $20.00 in advance OR at the door.
Registration/Check-in: 10:00 – 11:15.  Registration is considered LATE after 11:15.


Round Times: 12:00, 1:45, 3:00, 4:15. [all times PM]
Time Control: G/25; d5.  OR  G/30; With No Time Delay.
Format:         4-Round, Swiss Style, in TWO Sections: OPEN & RESERVE           
RESERVE Section is open to age 12 and under only.

Qualifications: ALL entrants must be UNRATED or have a rating LESS THAN 800 [U800] according to the latest USCF listings. ALSO, if you have previously won in a section, you may NOT play again in that section. Current MEMBERSHIPS in USCF [United States Chess Federation] or MCA [Michigan Chess Association] are not required. This is a WONDERFUL opportunity to WIN your membership in the USCF or the MCA. See prize list below.

                                                            1st = USCF Membership;
2nd  &  3rd = MCA Membership.
Equivalent alternative prizes for  currently active members.

ENTRIES and Additional Information:

Marcie @ 586-558-4790     OR     248-890-9039

Patsy:   Jack: