Sunday, October 28, 2018

What is Chess? World Champions Try to Answer that Question

Chess is fun for everyone!
Monday night is chess night in Livingston County. Stop on by our friendly chess club for a game or lessons.

What is Chess? This question is always followed up with "Is it a sport, a game, an art or a science?"

It's been called one or the other or any combination of those four by thousands of people.

So let us see what some of the best players that have ever lived thought the game of chess actually was. They should know as they came closer to mastering it than any of us mere mortals.

William Steinitz: “Chess is intellectual gymnastics.”

Emmanuel Lasker: “Chess is a struggle on 64 squares.”

Jose Capablanca: “Chess is an intellectual diversion which has artistic qualities and scientific elements."

Alexander Alekhine: “Chess for me is not a game, it is art.”

Dr. Max Euwe: “Chess is none of those, It’s a struggle.

Mikhail Botvinnik: “Chess is an art which expresses the science of logic.”

Vassily Smyslov: “I consider chess an art.”

Mikhail Tal: “Chess is first of all art.”

Tigran Petrosian: “Chess is a game by its form, and art by its content and a science by the difficulty of gaining mastery to it.”

Boris Spassky: “The place of chess in the society is closely related to the attitude of young people towards our game.”

Bobby Fischer: “I feel that chess….is a science in the form of a game.”

Anatoly Karpov: “Chess is a very tough game. It is art, science and sport.”

Gary Kasparov: “For me, chess is a language….and it’s not my native tongue.”

Viswanathan Anand: “Chess is a sport requires a lot of mental stamina.”

Vladimir Krannik” “Chess is an infinitely complex game.”

My favorite: Bobby Fischer (again): “Chess is life.”

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Monday Night is Chess Night! 101518

Of course every night should be chess night!

Another fun night of chess and game reviews. Studying your games - especially your losses - with other players really helps you improve. We do an awful lot of that at LCCC.

Here is an entertaining game played by a LCCC'er for you to follow along on:

Position after Black's 21st move   21......... cxd5

The game is even to this point. This is a complex position with strengths and weaknesses on both sides. Who's position will crack first?

22.  Qf2          Nce4!
Black sets a trap that your humble scribe probably would have fell for. For if 23. fxe4, Ng4  24. Qd2, Rxe4  25. Nb5, Nxe3 and Black is up a pawn.

23. Qc2          Nc3
24. Bf2?         ...........
White cracks first. 24. Nb5 opening some space and counter-play was the correct line. Black is up over a pawn positionally (-1.3) according to Igor3000.

24. .......          Bh6
25. g3             dxc4
26. bxc4?        .........
White missed a chance to wake his sleeping bishop with 26. Bxc4. Black's lead widens to (-1.7).

26. .....           Nd7
27. Bh3         f5
28. Nb5         Nxb5
29. axb5        Nc5
30. Rxe8       Rxe8
31. Bg2         a4
32. Rd1         a3
33. Qd2?       .........
Another mis-step in an interesting position. Both sides have doubled passed pawns. However Black's are more advanced and therefore more dangerous. White had to stop their advance with 33. Qa2 before proceeding with any offense. Black is ahead (-3.3), which is definitely a winning margin.

33. ......           b3!
Passed pawns MUST be pushed!

34. Qb4           a2
35. Bxc5         Qxc5 !
The death sentence for White! Black's lead zooms to (-4.4). Sacrificing his Queen, but will get a new one shortly.

36.  Qxc5        b2
37.  Qf2           b1 = Q
38.  Qf1           Qxd1 !!
39.  Qxd1        Ra8
40.   c5            a1 = Q
White playing 40. Qa1 fails because of 40. ..... Bg7!

41. Qxa1         Rxa1
42.  Kf2           Bxf4
   White  resigns

Monday, October 1, 2018

October Means Chess Season - and a Nice Win by an LCCC'er

As the weather takes away some outside sports, it allows time for some indoor competitions. Chess gives you all the drama and excitement that any other sport gives you - without the noise!

The Chess Club is open every Monday night from 6pm to at least 8:30pm, on every day that school is in session.

Stop by for casual play or free lessons if that is what you are looking for.

Now for a blitz game played on line by one of LCCC's best players. It is a fine attacking game and shows how being able to see small errors in positional play by your opponent sets up attacking and tactical chances.

With the help of Igor3000, your humble scribe will attempt to break it down for you (us). Our man Jason M is playing the White pieces.

1. c4           e5
2. Nc3        Nf6
3. e4           Bc5
4. Nf3        d6
5. d4          exd4
6. Nxd4      O-O
7. Be2        Nc6
Igor3000 says the game is EVEN here.

8. Be3              Bxd4
9. Bxd4            Nxd4
10. Qxd4          Be6

The villain's first little mis-step. The game is played in the center and this cramps Black in that area. Igor suggests 10. ….Re8 to build strength down the middle. (+.5).

11. O-O           Nd7
Again 11. ….Rd8 or Qe7 is called for here. Jason jumps on the opportunity to seize center control.

12. f4              Nc5?
The first real blunder for Black. Sure Black needs to give his bishop an escape square, but he also need to start challenging White's grip on the center with 12. …...f6. Black probably did not want to disrupt the pawn structure in front of his King, but the alternative plan moves his pieces away from his King. Jason notices that shortcoming nicely. (+1.8)

13. f5?!          ……
Not the best move, but remember this is a blitz game. High rated players but still a blitz game. 13. b4 advances White's queen side at Black's expense as the knight is chased. 13. ….Na6 14. f5, Nxb4 15. fxe6, fxe6 16. Rxf8+

13. ……         Bd7
14. f6             g6?!
As time dwindle in this blitz game, the errors multiply as Black tries to defend a worsening position.

15. Rad1         Kh8?
16. e5             Ne6
17. Qd2          Bc6
18. Qh6          Qe8??
19. Rd4!!       Rg8
20. Qxh7+     Resigns

A very exciting finish!