Friday, December 21, 2018

Chess Club Still Busy 121718 - Timing is Everything!

Former World Champion - Gary Kasparov

The Club has been a busy place the last few weeks and we thank everyone for their attendance. We had 18 players – two weeks in a row
We will try to run a Speed tournament on January 7 or 21st – or both days! Hope to see you there. As always, it’s a fun event and prizes for the young players.
Now for a little chess coaching advice:
I teach and coach chess to children – usually from ages 5 to 12 years old. Sometimes I get early teens that I coach. 
One of my older students asked a very good question – “When does a good chess player stop thinking of making just general good moves and start thinking of calculating an attack?”
My first knee-jerk reaction was to answer with, “Well, we have to go find a good chess player and ask him or her.” But since that would tarnish my coaching status, I had to have a better answer.
 The answer is, “When you can predict and limit your opponent’s responses to your forcing moves and you are pretty sure of the best time to start the attack. And the timing of the start of the attack is the most important part of the calculation!”
The more powerful a move is, the more important it is to time it correctly. Don’t make it too soon and don’t make it too late.
Let’s consider other situations. A poker player wants his “Ace” in the hole and not on the table. That way, he can “raise” at the correct time to trap his opponent. Raise too early and you lose profit. Raise too late and maybe you get re-raised because you gave time (cards) to your opponent that allowed him to make his hand better than yours.
A billiard player doesn’t knock in the easy balls close to the pocket first. He saves them to set up his next shot when all other shots are difficult. That way he remains in control of the table.
So the timing of your “check”, “fork”, “pin” or “sacrifice” move is usually the most important part of the move. The calculations must be done to determine how ‘forced’ your opponent’s next moves are and have you covered his limited responses correctly.
Black to move. Is it the correct time?

Let’s look at an example:
Black has a king-side attack, while White has a queen-side attack. It is the old race to see who gets there first. Black to move.
Black is considering either the attacking move of ...fxe4, a developing move …Rf7 or Rac8, or a simplification move of …a6. He throws out …a6 and Rac8 because he feel …a6 liquidates material to a bigger advantage to White and …Rac8 is too slow and leaves the a-pawn under siege without helping out in the king-side attack.
(Note: Igor liked both …a6 and …Rac8 slightly better than Rf7 [1.1 and 1.3 vs 1.4, and White with the advantage], but that is not important here).
All three of those move require little calculation as they are improvement moves that must wait for White’s response. So with …Rf7 as a fall-back plan, now Black has to calculate whether the timing of opening up of his opponent’s King-side in now.
Black calculates that;
     1.      ……..          fxe4!
     2.      fxe4             Nxh3
     3.      Bxh3           Rf3
And White’s position is in ruins. After Black played
     1.      ……..          fxe4!
White quickly realized it was his turn to calculate. He saw that 2. fxe4 was no good. It was time to get to work and try and find something else. After a half hour, White found this variation;
      2.      Qd1 ?         Nxh3
      3.      Bxh3          Rxf3
      4.      Qf1             ……..
Rather than capturing with fxe4. (Note: the ugly and hard for a human to find, 2. Kg1 was what Igor says keeps the game at only a (-.8) for Black).
But Black still had;
      5.      ………       Raf8
      6.      Qg2            Rxf7
      7.      Bxf2           Rxf2
      8.      Rxa7           Rxg2+
      9.      Kxg2           Qg5+

Friday, December 7, 2018

Chess Club Busy 120318 - and Kid's Night This Coming Monday!

Always record your games for analysis later!
The chess action is on right now each Monday night! We had 17 players this Monday - including seven of the school aged variety - and it was not even Kids Night!
But we are fixing that this coming Monday as Kid's night is this week.
Hope to see you there - even if you are an 'older' kid.

Here is a game between two GM's - Ravinsky vs Panov, Moscow 1943.
It's the old story at that level. Do you take material, and lose time and some positional strength - or do you hold steady?
Panov - with the Black pieces - goes out of his way to steal a pawn. Ravinsky with White tries to find compensation for the lost soldier with gaining time, development and starting his attack faster.
Such situations are found often in the Sicilian Defense lines. My computer Igor3000 tells me this happens to be the Scheveninggen line of the Sicilian Defense. Ok, like I care!
For you e4 players and Sicilian Defense lovers, I'll start at the beginning.

1. e4            c5
2. Nf3          e6
3. d4            cxd4
4. Nxd4       Nf6
5. Nc3         d6
6. g3            Nc6
7. Bg2         Bd7
8. O-O         a6
9. Be3         Rc8
10. Qe2       b5
11. a3          Ne5
12. Rad1     Nc4
White to make move 13

Black is now threatening to win material. But is it the correct plan? Igor says no and Black will win the pawn and actually be a pawn down due to positional issues (+1.1). Ravinsky would not have calculated to that extreme, but did sense and see that he would have counter play for his pawn he lost. Such is the nature of top level chess. Panov was thinking "I'm a pawn up! Now to first fortify my position, then grind out my win."
Who will be right?

13. Bc1         Nxa3?
Hard to find but Igor suggests 13. ....h5 to gain space and give White something to worry about on the King side. A human probably never plays this move. (+1.1)

14. e5           dxe5

15. Nc6         Qc7
16. Nxe5       Nc4
17. Nxd7       Nxd7
18. Nd5         Qa7?
Correct was 18. .....Qe5, 19. Qf3, Qb8 - staying a pawn down. Now Black is down almost two pawns positionally (+1.8) according to Igor.

19. Nf4         Nce5
20. Rxd7      Nxd7?
Black is slipping into the abyss. This happens when defending. It is hard to find the right defensive line every move. 20. .....Qxd7 21. Qxe5, Rxc2 was better. (+2.2).

21. Nxe6         fxe6
22. Qxe6+       Be7
23. Re1           Qc5
24. b4              Nf8
Black correctly stayed away from 24. ......Qxb4?? as 25. Bf4, Qxe1+ 26. Qxe1 is bad for Black.

25. Qg4           Qc3??
The final mistake in a bad position. 25. .....Qc4 was best. Now White leads (+13).

26. Rxe7!         Kxe7
27. Bg5+          Kd6
28. Qd1+          Kc7
29. Bf4+           Kb6
30. Qd6+          Ka7
31. Qe7+          Rc7
32. Bxc7          Qa1+
33. Bf1             Ng6
34. Qc5+          Kb7
35. Ba5            Rf8
36. Qb6+          Resigns

Monday, December 3, 2018

Linden Michigan Opens a Chess Club!

Boris Spassky (left) and Bobby Fischer - two of the best ever
The Linden Chess Club is officially open!
They are open 5:45pm - 8:30pm on Tuesday night.
Located at 4518 Silver Lake Road, Linden Michigan, 48451
Contact Gus Samaniego with an email oc203998 at gmail dot com or
call 810-923-3847
They also have a Facebook page - Linden Chess Club

The Livingston Chess Club, located here in Hartland/Howell Michgan, now has a little "competition" just to the north of us.

Of course chess clubs usually don't actually compete for members. It's all about promoting chess. We welcome them to the Chess Club community and wish them success!

They have challenged us to a match and we will take them up on that soon. It will be a home and home match!