Sunday, December 29, 2019

LCCC Closed Until January 6th, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the chess players out there.

Our location is closed until the school sessions resume in January. Until then, here is an interesting game to look at:

White to make move 21
Black has just played 20. …..b6 when Bd6 was a better idea. Let us take stock of the situation:
The material is even and the remaining minor piece bishops are of the same color. Opposite color bishops make for a more draw-ish game as each side has the exact same power over half the squares on the board.
But in this situation, the side with more space and the more active pieces will have the advantage.
White has active rooks and a better placed Queen. Igor3000, my laptop Grandmaster agrees by giving White a full 1 pawn advantage here.
But how to convert that to a win?

21. Rd7        Qe8
22. Rcd1 ?!   …….
Igor was not a fan of this, sighting that 22. Qd5 not only guarded the rook at d7, but still attacked the rook at a8, and now attacks the bishop at e5 and X-rays the King on g8. White's advantage slips slightly to +.8.

22.  …..         h6
23. Qg4         Qe6
24. Qxe6       fxe6
25. Re7         Rfe8
26. Rdd7       Kf8?
Black needed to break up White's battery on the seventh rank with 26. ….Rxe7 27. Rxe7, Bf6 28. Rxe6, Rc8 and a draw was still possible. Instead White is now up 2 pawns!

27. Rf7+        Kg8
28. Rxa7        Rxa7
29. Rxa7        Rd8
30. g3             b5
31. Kg2          Kh7 ?!
Black needed to trade his less effective bishop for White's with 31. …..Bd4. White up +2.2

32. Ra6          Rd6??
Black lost his nerve, which is understandable when you consider how bad his situation was. White is +5.

33. Rxd6        Bxd6
34. a4             bax4
35. bxa4         Bc7
36. Bd2          Black resigns
Black knows he cannot simultaneous guard his isolated e-pawn and watch White's a-passed pawn.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Kids Night 120919 Was a Great Night of Chess!

Chess is always fun......but it makes winter evenings much better!
There was another good crowd at the chess club this Monday for Kid's Night.
But, so far this fall/winter - the crowds have always been good.

We had 17 players this night and we have been averaging 13 players! So if you are looking for some friendly games of chess …..or even a chess lesson, LCCC is the place to be.'

We have only one more week left in 2019 and that is next Monday night. We will re-open on January 6th. 
We will have another Kid's Night on Monday January 13th.

Then we will have the first round of the LCCC Club Championship on January 20. This tournament will run every other week - skipping any Kid's Night that might come up.
The number of rounds will be 3 to 5 rounds depending on the number of entries. Stay tuned for details as the date gets closer.

Now for a very good chess lesson by International Master,  Larry D. Evans;

The correct plan for Black in the following position is to attack White on the king-side as soon as possible.
Black to move!

Why you may ask? Black has several reasons to justify this course of action:
  • > Black has a lead in development. But if not used quickly before White catches up - this advantage will evaporate away.
  • > Black is two pawns down and a defensive strategy would be difficult to maintain on the queen-side with that big a dis-advantage.
  • > Black's Queen is on the king-side and his bishop is already pointing that way. 
  • > White's King is on the king-side
  • > White's under-developed pieces are hibernating on the queen-side. So why would you try to attack there?
Does all this mean that Black's attack is a guaranteed success? Of course not!

Picture a battle between a sheet of newspaper laying flat on the ground versus the sun. The sun is infinitely more powerful but it's rays are spread too thin by the time they reach the earth to set the paper on fire. But, use a magnifying glass to FOCUS the sun's rays just to the paper and it burns almost instantly!
It's the same in chess. The first step in mounting a successful attack against a king is to select a target square - and FOCUS your forces there!
You usually pick one close to the enemy king that your forces can gang up on.

Looking at the position you can readily see that f1 and h1 are out, and h2 is defended twice. It is even worse for f2 as it is defended three times and not under even an X-ray attack by any Black pieces.

That logically leaves g2, who is under a one-to-one attack with a bonus X-ray attack from Black's bishop on b7 (so 1.5 to 1 advantage). No more call's - we have a winner! Anytime you have opposite bishop situations, obviously picking squares matching your bishop is a wise decision.
In addition, the other Black forces can easily join in the fun!

1. .......            Rg4!
2. g3               Qc6
3. Kg2            Ne5
Black never takes his eyes off g2.

4. Qxe5           Qxf3+
5. Kh3             h5!
Threatening 6. …...Qg2 checkmate!

6. Rg1             Rh4+
7. Kxh4           Qg4 checkmate.

Any other move is just as useless.
White resigns!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Chess Club Open This Monday - 111809

The weather did not cooperate with Kid's Night last week. But that is ok. It won't be Kid's Night, but it will still be a Chess Night - and all are invited to play!

So hopefully everyone will stop by this Monday night at 6pm. See you there.

Now for an interesting game I found. White makes one little mis-calcuation and his world crumbles. Ah, such is chess!

1. e4            e5
2. Nf3          d6
3. d4            f5
4. Bc4          exd4
5. Ng5          Nh6
6. O-O          Nc6
7. Nxh7?      ........
Not the best. 7. exf5, Qf6  8. Qh5+, g6  9. Re1+ is more in the spirit of the opening.

7. ……         Ng4
8. Nxf8         Kxf8
9. h3             Nge5
10. Bd5         fxe4
11. Bxe4       d5
12. Bg5         Qd6
13. Bd3         Bxh3
14. gxh3        Rxh3
Position after Black's 14th move. White to move.

It is at this point that White starts to drift. But moving the only pawn near his King to f4 is the play. It protects the bishop, gives space to his rook, give cover for the queen when she moves and takes control of a key square (e5). But de-nuding your King really looks right at first blush.

15. Kg2 ?!        …….
Now Black has 15. …...Nf3 and the King is in trouble!

15. …....            Ng4?!
16. Kxh3??       ……..
Again 16. f4 is needed. White is expecting 16. ……Nce5, 17. Be2, Qg6  18. Bxg4 with a BIG advantage for White (+6). But instead, he actually walked into a mate in 12. Now Black did not see this mate necessarily, but he doesn't have to. He only needs to see that he can now chase the king, and a mate will show up eventually.

16. ……          Qh2+
17. Kxg4         Ne5+
18. Kf5            Re8
19. Bd8           Qh6
20. Rg1           Rxd8
21. Rxg7         Rd6
Here White resigned in the face of :

22. Rg8+          Ke7
23. Rg7+          Qxg7
24. Kf4             Qh6+
25. Kg3            Qg5+
26. Kh2            Rh6+
27. Qh5            Rxh5  mate

Monday, November 11, 2019

Kids Night 11/11/2019 Cancelled Due to Snow!

LCCC closed tonight! See you next week!

Stay warm and safe at home and play chess tonight!
We are cancelling Kid's Night due to poor weather and poor driving conditions!
See you next week!

Mike Nikitin
President, LCCC

Friday, November 8, 2019

Kids Night This Monday! 110819

Paul Morphy - The pride and sorrow of chess masters.
We are having nice crowds at the chess club and we hope to see a return of our younger members for this month's addition of Kid's Night.
Games, lessons or even the ever present Ladder Tournament will be available for the young players. Also a free chess magazine to take home. So come on out to the Club this Monday Night.

Now for an international tournament postal game played in the early 1990's - Tener vs McLellan. Black demonstrates how the best way to answer an attack on the wing is to counter attack in the center!

1. d4          Nf6
2. c4          g6
3. Nc3       Bg7
4. e4          d6
5. f3           O-O
6. Be3        Nc6
7. Nge2      Rb8
8. a3           a6
9. b4           Bd7
10. Qd2      Re8
11. g4?!       .…...
Position after White played 11. g4?! White's King may have too much space!

All book until Black's last move. And White wants to use is board space advantage right away. But Black finds the correct response.

11. ……        b5
12. cxb5        axb5
13. Ng3 ?
White needed 13. Bg2 in order to keep his strong center, develop his last piece and be able to castle to either wing. Now Black pushes back in the center! (-.6) of an advantage for Black now.

13. …..          e5
14. Nxb5        exd4
15. Nxd4        Nxd4
16. Bxd4        Bxg4!
17. Be2 ?!       …….
Black regains the pawn with a slightly larger advantage as the bishop is immune. After 17. fxg4, Nxe4 18. Nxe4, Rxe4 and Black regains his piece with a big plus! The same move 17. Bg2 is still better for White here. Black is now up (-.8).

17. ……         Bh3
18. Kf2 ?      
White's major problem is that his King has no safe haven. Castling king side is now prohibited and castling queen side is castling into air. Staying in the center has a rook and queen X-raying him. Hard to see but 18. Rd1 was the best move. Now Black's advantage is up to (-1.7 pawns).

18. …..           h5
19. Bc4           h4
20. Nf5!?        gxf5
21. Rag1        Ng4+!
McLellan, playing Black, is a teacher of poetry, no accounting. By immediately returning the piece, the Black pieces are left in control of the board, and any hope of counter play by White is a pipe dream. Black is up (-2.1).

22. fxg4         fxg4
23. Bd5          Bxd4+
24. Qxd4        c5!
25. Qc3          Kh7
26. Ra1           …….
White tries hard to keep the Black rooks inactive but McLellan finds a way. 26. Ke2 was better here, as Black is now up (-3.3).

26. …..           Re5
27. Rhe1         Qf6+
28. Kg1           g3!
29. hxg3          Rg8
30. Rf1           Bxf1
31. Rxf1         Qh6
32. Rxf7+       Kh8
33. Rf3 ??       …….
The final blunder in a bad position. As ugly of a move as it is, 33. g4 was needed.

33. ……          hxg3
34. Qb2            g2
White Resigns

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Monday Nights are Full of Chess - Averaging 14 Players 102119

Fall Time is Chess Time!
Fall is chess season! Chess Nights at LCCC have been averaging 14 players for the last five weeks! Our junior members (the kids!) are averaging 4 players a week. So if you have a young chess player, be sure to bring him or her to the Club on Monday Nights.

And don't forget about our special Kid's Night on the second Monday of every month. The next one is November 11th, but of course any Monday night - any player or wanna learner is welcome any night!

Now here is a French Defense miniature. 

The game is called a miniature because it wraps up in less than 25 moves.

White to make move #18
In this position, Igor3000, the chess computer Grandmaster, gives Black a (-.4) of a pawn lead. Now don't get excited. White starts the game with a (+.3) advantage every time. In other words, it is not enough for a forced win. With the correct series of moves, White is still fine.

Black has the lead in development and space. But White can fight back with a little consolidation with 18. Be3 to block Black's dark squared bishop from X-raying White's king. 

Black's mate threat of 18. ….Qh3 is repelled easily with 19. Bf1 and the game is dead EVEN.

But White is oblivious to the threats and trades off his best piece for one of Black's worst ones. There is an old chess adage "to take is a mistake." It applies here.

18. Nxc6          bxc6
19. Be5??         …….

White is completely oblivious to how strong Black's bishop pair is. 19. Nd2 had to be played to avoid defeat.

19. ......             Qh3
20. Bf1             Bxf2+!
21. Kxf2           Ng4+
22. Ke2            Qxh2+
23. Bg2            Qxg2++

Friday, October 11, 2019

Chess Move Checklist, and Kids Night a Success!

And no, your humble scribe did not draw this.
Another successful Kid's Night at the Club. Fourteen players, that included four 'less aged' people that the night is designed for.
Chess games, lessons and free chess magazines were available.
Remember, anyone is welcome any Monday to the Club, but we set aside the 2nd Monday of each month as Kid's Night. The Club makes sure that the younger chess players have an opponent or chess lessons - or both if they prefer.
Stop on by.

Now for a chess lesson for all: Chess Move Checklist

What was the reason for my opponent's last move?
What is the best way to counter my opponent's threat while still continuing my plans?
Am I playing with a plan (even if it is just to develop all my pieces) or do I have no plan at all?

Was my opponent's move a mistake? Can I take advantage of the squares he left uncovered?

If I make the move I want to make, what is my opponent's best response?
Now that I think I have a good move, is there a better one?
Is my brain and hand that move the pieces functioning together? In other words, if I change my mind on a move, can I make sure my hand doesn't go off on it's own and move the piece before I went thru my checklist again?

How am I feeling and thinking? Am I confident or cocky? Do I still care or am I demoralized or don't care?
Am I fighting as hard as I should be? Do I need to walk away from the board and re-focus?

Monday, September 23, 2019

LCCC Ready for Chess Season 2019-2020

Fischer vs Spassky in a tournament years before their Championship match. 
Chess is a year round activity, but winter seems to be chess 'season'. Especially in Michigan and other northern climate places.
LCCC is open to take care of your chess playing or chess learning needs. Our club averages a ten player attendance, practically guaranteeing you an opponent for a friendly over the board game.
Our continuous running 'Ladder' tournament give every game some meaning as you can move up or defend your position on the ladder with every game you play.
We are at the Hartland Senior Center every Monday night from 6pm to 8:30pm.
Looking forward to seeing you there.

Now let's take a look at a game played on line by a LCCC player, Don M. These 'one attacks on one side and the other attacks on the other' games are fun to look at because it is a 'race to victory' or a 'who will flinch first?' scenario.
Don is playing White.
Kings Indian - Samisch Variation (very popular these days)
1. d4          Nf6
2. c4          g6
3. Nc3       Bg7
4. e4          d6
5. f3           O-O
6. Be3        Nbd7
7. Qd2       c5
8. Nge2      b6
9. O-O-O     Ba6
The start of the double edged game.

10. b3          Qc8
11. Kb1        Ne8?
A backwards move is rarely good as it is too slow to work with this many pieces on the board. The computer Grandmaster Igor3000 suggests 11. ….cxd4 or even 11. ...h5 to maintain an even game. White is positionally up 2.5 pawns at this point, but does not capitalize ….yet.

12. g4          Nc7
13. h4          b5
Position after Black played 13. ……    b5

14. Bh6?      bxc4

The game is even here. White's best try was 14. cxb5 to keep the lead after ….Nxb5 15. Nxb5, Bxb5 and 16. Nc3.

15. Bxg7        Kxg7
16. h5             Rh8
17. hxg6?       hxg6
18. Bg2?        ……

It is hard to find the right play here. White wants to keep some control of the file he opened, but his opponent defended well and it was time to cut bait and trade with 18. Rxh8, Qxh8 19. dxc5, Nxc5 and 20. bxc4.
But it all works out for Don as Black also fails to find 18. ….Qb7 to give him a two pawn positional advantage. Instead he gives Don a three pawn advantage with....

18. …..          cxb3??
19. Rxh8        bxa2+
20. Ka1          Qxh8
21. Rh1          Qd8??
Don doesn't miss this easy checkmate!
22. Qh6+        Kf6
23. g5+           Ke6
24. Nf4++
Double edged games! First one to slip and get caught slipping - loses.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

LCCC Closed for Labor Day 2019 - Re-opens September 9, 2019

FM Seth Homa wearing LCCC bling!
The Club is rolling along but have to take a break on Labor Day. We will be back on Monday September 9, 2019 at 6pm. AND that will be Kid's Night also, so bring the kids to give them a break from the shock of starting school again.

If you love chess and have some free time, the Michigan Open will be going on in Lansing at the Marriot Hotel. Stop by and watch the chess tournament, just to see what it is like. If you want to play, you have the option of the Friday thru Monday or Saturday thru Monday schedule.

2019 Michigan Open: Open & Reserve

SITE Radisson Hotel Lansing, 111 N. Grand Avenue (near the State Capitol in Downtown Lansing)
Same Hotel as Michigan Class
From East: I-496 to Grand Ave (Exit 7A), Right on Grand Ave. 
From West: I-496 to Pine/Walnut Streets (Exit 6), Left on Grand Ave.

$99 + tax by August 16, 2019, after if space available.
Valet Parking: $10/night for hotel guests
(517) 482-0188 - Promotion Code: MCAOT9
7 round -Swiss System:  Open (1800+ or with Play Up Fee), Reserve (under 1800)
4-day and 3-day schedules available for Open & Reserve sections
Open Section FIDE Rated (4-day Time Control Games Only)

Up to 2 Half-Points Byes in all rounds but the final round
Time Control
Open/Reserve 4-day: 40moves /120 minutes ;delay 5 seconds, Sudden Death /30minutes;delay 5sec.
Open/Reserve 3-day: Rounds 1&2, G/75 minutes;d5 then merge

Rounds4-day: Rd 1: 8/30 7:00pm, Rd 2: 8/31 10:00am
3-day: Rd 2: 8/31 9:30am, Rd 2: 8/31 12:30pm
Combined: Rd 3: 
8/31 7:00pm, Rd 4: 9/1 10:00am, Rd 5: 9/1 6:00pm, Rd 6: 9/2 9:30am, Rd 7: 9/2 3:00pm

Entry Fee
Advanced Entries must be received and paid by Tues, Aug 27.
Open: $55 for 4-day, $56 for 3-day, $70 after 8/27.
Reserve: $45 for 4-day, $46 for 3-day, $60 after 8/27. 
Open Section Play Up Fee: Players U1800 in Open section, add $15

U18: $5 discount. Online pays lowest advanced rate. Re-entry allowed for online advance price.
Free Entry to GM/IM/FM/2200+ when registering by 8/27, $55 EF deducted from prize.
Payment in advance by check made payable to MCA or by Credit Card/PayPal via PayPal. Be sure to specify schedule, and select correct entry fee!

Jeff Aldrich, P.O. Box 40, Flint, MI 48501, 810-955-7271,
On-Site: Fri 6:00-6:29pm, Sat 8:30-8:59am

$3150 GUARANTEED PRIZE FUND: Trophies for all Place-Winners
OPEN: 1st $500, 2nd $300, 3rd $250. (20 Grand Prix Points); U2200: $200; U2100: $200; U2000:$200; U1900: $200.
RESERVE: 1st $300, 2nd $225, 3rd $150; U1600: $125; U1500: $125; U1400: $125; U1300: $125; U1200: $125
​Jeff Aldrich
P.O. Box 40, Flint, MI 48501
Now a great attacking game:
The game is even at this point, but White is going to now take advantage of Black's slightly cramped position.

14. Kb1           Rd8
15. Rhg1         Nxh5 ?!
Black missed 15. …..Nd5 16. Be5, a5 and the game stays even. White is positionally up almost a pawn now.

16. Bxh6          Nf6
17. Rh1?!          ……..
White missed 17. Be3, b5 18. Rh1, c4 and White is up 1.5 pawns.

17. …..              cxd4
18. Bxg7           Kxg7??
The final error. 18. ….dxc3 19. bxc3, Qxc3 was needed.

19. Qd2             Ng8
20. Rh7+           Kf8
21. Ne5            Black resigns

Friday, August 16, 2019

LCCC Kid's Night 081219 Had Three New Players - and a Chess Life - Semen 'Sam' Doroshko

Semen (Sam) Doroshko - chess player/teacher/organizer
Chess lost another one of it's best advocates, teacher and friend this year to Father Time at age 96.
Semen (Sam) Doroshko was a Jackson, Michigan resident since he immigrated from the Ukraine in 1950 at the age of 27.
Six years later, "Sam" founded the Jackson Chess Club in 1956, which he led for twelve years as their president. That was where Mr. Doroshko liked to play his chess. He did play USCF tournament chess, in 2004 and 2005
But at age 81, he 'retired' from tournament chess, but still was a weekly visitor to HIS club.
For Doroshko, chess isn't just a game, its a way of life. "In my view, you have to patient to play chess. It teaches you how to control your nerves and not be jumpy. It is interesting to outsmart your opponent."
In a spiral bound notebook, Doroshko keeps yellowed newspaper clippings as far back as 1950. Some show the young Doroshko showing the same concentration he gave the game of chess all his life.
The Jackson Chess Club used to meet in the old City Hall and then later to the Jackson YMCA.
Doroshko would help run chess tournaments there and would play young chess players - sometimes 10 at a time, handing out lessons as he played them. "I like to see young people enjoy the game," he would say.
Semen Doroshko grew up under the iron fist of Josef Stalin. At 19. Sam immigrated to the USA by way of Germany - where he had been taken to work as forced labor for the Nazis during WWII. Leaving his home at the time meant leaving his family and also put a stop to his training to be an electrical technician.
After the war, Sam met his future wife Anna (Staruchina) in a displaced person's camp. He then was able to take his wife and 1st child Luba to the USA to work at an Indiana farm. They were there for a year before moving to Jackson, Michigan.
Sam found some construction work before opening Doro Window Cleaning Company. With his wife's assistance, the company grew into the largest window cleaning/janitorial service company's in the Jackson area.
Sam leaves behind his wife Anna, daughter's Luba, Lucy, Anna and Irene, son-in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even two great-great grandchildren!
LCCC heard about this fine man and chess legend thru his daughter Irene, who stopped by LCCC and donated two of Sam's chess sets. She knew her father would want those sets to be in the hands of other fellow chess players who love the game as much as he did.
Thank you Irene, the entire Doroshko family and of course ….Sam. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

LCCC Preparing for Chess Season 2019-2020

Freddie Bartholomew and Judy Garland play chess in between takes.
The Club has been running every week this summer. We are averaging 10 players a night, so there is always a game to be found.

We had another new player - John M. join the club this week. Welcome John.

We have open chess every Monday night and Kid's Night on every second Monday of the month.

Starting in September, we plan either a Club Chess League or a free tournament of some kind.

We also have a continuous running "Ladder" tournament you can join.
Hope to see you at the Club!

Here is an EVEN endgame where one side thinks he can push thru a win. Sometimes a draw is the best you can do.

38. g3            g4
39. Kd3         Kd5
40. Ke3??      .......
White thinks his c and d-pawns will keep the Black king from moving forward on the queen-side or defending on the king-side. So he goes for the win, which is not there.

40. .......        e5
41. dxe5       Kxe5
42. c6           Kd6
43. Kf4         a4
44. Kg5        b3
45. axb3       axb3
46. Kxh5      b2
47. Kxg4      b1 = Q
48. h4          Kxc6
49. Kg5       Qh7
50. White resigns

Friday, June 28, 2019

LCCC Closed on July 1, 2019 - Back on July 8th for Kids Night

Hello chess lovers. LCCC will be closed on Monday July 1 due to maintenance on our building and parking lot upgrades.

But we will be back on Monday July 8th at 6 pm for Kids Night!

In the meantime, here is an entertaining game ending:

Black has just played 15. .....Na5 attacking White's queen.

16. Qa4          .......
Black doesn't dare take White's d5 pawn with his Queen 16......Qxd5, as White could play 17. Rad1, b6  18. Bb5, Qe6 19. Bd7 and Black loses the exchange of a bishop for his rook (+2). The next text move only leaves White with his small opening advantage of (+.3).

16. ......          b6
17. Bb5         Re7
18. Rad1       f5?
Too aggressive too soon for Black. White is starting to add pressure in the center and counter attacking on the wing is sometimes a good strategy. But 18......Nb7 was needed to get that knight back into the game. Remember, a knight on the rim is usually GRIM! White is up (+1) positionally.

19. d6               cxd6
20. Nxd6          Qc7
21. b4               Nb7
22. Ne8            Qxc3
23. Qxa7          Rbxe8?
The best line for Black was 23. .....Qc8 24. Rc1, Qd8  White is now up (+2.5).

24. Bxe8          Qxf3?
Black has a better response with 24. .....Qxb4 but when a game starts to crumble and the clock is ticking, mistakes often are followed by more mistakes. White is up (+3.2).

25. Bb5           f4???
26. Bc4+         Kf8
27. Qb8+         Re8
28. Qc7            fxg3
29. fxg3           Re7
30. Rd8+!        Re8
31. Rxf3+        Bf6
32. Rxf6 mate

Monday, June 10, 2019

LCCC 2019 Fischer Randon 960 Tournament Has Co-Champions!

Chess is great fun outdoors also.
Our Fischer Random 960 tournament ended in a tie with Ken Tack and Pete Bruder sharing the title with 3 points out of four!
Don Mason and Charlie Shoulders finished tied for 3rd with 2.5 points out of four.
Obviously, it was a tight tournament the entire way and lots of fun!
For those of you that have never played "960" chess, stop on by for a free lesson.

A late reminder that we offer a Kid's Night at the Club on the second Monday of the month - which just so happens to be the same day as this posting! See you there hopefully.

Here is an entertaining endgame.

White is up a pawn but has to deal with Black's threat of ......Rh2+.

1. Bh6!          .....
This is the best move believe it or not! 1. Qb5+? only leads to a draw with 1. ...Kg4 2. d7, Rg2+, 3. Rh6, Rxh6+ 4. Bxh6, Qe7 5. Qg5+, Qxg5 6. Bxg5, Ne6 7. Be7, Kf5 and White cannot evict the Black knight from e6.
Also, the variation of 3. Kg8 is also a draw with correct play from Black.

1. .....          Kxh6
2. d7+         Ng6+
3. Rxg6+!   ........
This exchange sacrifice is MANDATORY as White is checkmated after 3. Kg8, Rc8 4. Qe6+ 5. Qf7, Rxc8+ 6. d8=Q, Qxc8 7. Qe8, Qxe8 mate!

3. ......            Kxg6
4. Qb1+         Rc2!
Also mandatory as 4. ...Kf7 leads to a forced mate in 17 moves. With this move, Black has a chance - believe it or not!

5. Qxc2+          Kf7
6. Qh7+            Ke6
Now we see that Black's sacrifice of the rook was setting a trap that many a player would fall for. 7. d8=Q, Qd4+ 8. Qxd4 stalemate!

7. d8=R!           Qe5+
8. Qg7              Qh5+
Also 8. ...Qf6 is better but just prolongs the same losing game for Black.

9. Kg8              Qa5
10. Qg6+          Ke5
11. Qg5+         Resigns

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Club Busy as Kid's Night and the Annual 960 Tournament Continues for 2019

Excuse the long time between posts as life gets in the way sometimes (work and golf!).
But LCCC had a successful Kid's Night on May 13th and also is running our annual Fischer Random 960 tournament. To learn more about this type of chess, search Fischer Random 960 on this blog search engine. It has been covered many times before.
Right now Don Mason is alone in 1st place with 2 points out of 2. Ken Tack and Charlie Shoulders are tied for second with 1.5 points.
The 3rd round will be this Monday. Stop by the club to watch the action, or play as we have several players that attend that did not get in the tournament.

Here is an interesting game from the British Championship in 1964!
Haygarth, playing Black trails Littlewood, playing White by a full point here in Round 5 of the tournament. Littlewood to this point has blitzed a very tough tournament field with a 4 - 0 score!
Haygarth goes on to win this tournament and this game was the pivotal moment.
Littlewood finds a beautiful combination to secure a winning position in this game. But having done the heavy lifting to get to that point, he inexplicably threw it all away.
All I can say is .....been there ......done that!

Haygarth, in a little bit of a hurry to reach the 1st time control at 40 moves misses 40. ....c4! to keep a very slight edge in the position. The text move give Littlewood a full pawn positional advantage (+1) which he uses wisely. An eye for tactics is a Littlewood specialty, as the two text moves for White are deadly if Black doesn't get his King out of the way of the upcoming pin.
Black to move

40. .....          Ne6?
41. Qd3!       Kh8
42. Ne7        Nf8?
Another slight blunder by Black. 42. .....c4 was still better for Black for a little counter-play.

43. Rd1!       Rxh5??
Again 43. .......c4 is still better than snatching the pawn on h5 (+1.4), but White at this point is probably going to win anyway (now +5.5).

44. Qf3!         Rg5
45. Qa8          .........
White will win a piece and Black is only left with a desperate looking perpetual check trick for a draw.

45. ......           Kh7
46. Qxf8         Rxg2+
47. Kf1 ?        ...........
Littlewood is seeing ghosts and drifting into chess blindness as Haygarth did missing c4 for several moves. Oh the pressure of tournament chess and finishing a win you know is just ahead for you.
There is no perpetual check after 47. Kxg2, Qg4+ 48. Kf2, Qf4+ 49. Ke2 and the King heads to a check-free zone on the Queen-side.

47. .....           Rg1+
48. Kf2          Rg2+
49. Kf3???     .........
Unbelievable! Taking the rook still wins of course. Now Black checkmates!

49. .........         Qg4+
50. Ke3            Qe2+
51. Kf4            g5+
52. Kf5            Rf2 ++
 Littlewood fades after this devastating loss. While Haygarth is unstoppable after this escape in this game and wins the tournament. Luck is also a part of chess success.
Been there - done that on both sides of this tournament equation.