Monday, February 25, 2019

LCCC Newsletter and Events - 022519

Easy on the eyes - but too much green for me.
Livingston County Chess Club Events
March 4th  - Club Speed Tournament
Two 5 minute games against the same opponent – one game with White and one with Black.
Win both or win and draw and win the match. Split the two games and you draw the match.
We will play 3 or 4 rounds that night, depending on the number of entries.
This is a fun and quick event so be sure to be here on March 4th

Casual chess on February 25th.                                               
 Kid’s Night on March 11th.

Also, the Club President is starting the Ladder Tournament again!
You simply look at who is in attendance that is above you on the Ladder and challenge them to a game! If you win, you move to the space above them. If you draw, you move to the space below them. If you lose, you stay where you are! It’s just a fun little motivation to have when playing your casual games! Ladder Rules will be available at the Club!

Upcoming Local Tournaments
See the Michigan Chess Association website and/or the USCF website for more details.
March 2 – Thinkers Challenge 5 – University Prep Sci& Math High School, Detroit
March 3 – Lansing Mini-Swiss
March 17 – TYASCC Quads – Troy Public Library
March 19 – Genesee County Chess Club Action Quads – East Side Senior Center, Flint
March 23-24 – 2019 Michigan Junior Chess Championship – Oakland University
April 6 – 7 – 2019 Michigan Senior Championship
June 8 – 9 – 2019 Michigan Amateur – Lansing

Club News
Dues to be a Regular Member and/or an Officer of the Club are due April 1.
Elections for Club office are April 15. So any Regular Member can be on the ballot to run for any office in the Club – President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary or Tournament Director.
Voting and Club Meeting attendance is allowed by Regular Members only.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Another Fun Night 021819 - And a Anatoly Karpov Masterpiece Anotated

Michigan chess legend Norman Haygood (L) takes on our own Sam Thompson
We had 11 players this night and a fun night it was.
We have quite a few fun events lined up in the coming weeks so the Club is where you want to be.
A newsletter will be published in the next few days and posted on the website - so stay tuned.

Here is a game well annotated by none other than Anatoly Karpov.  He is the ex-World Champion and one that many said had a fighting chance to defeat Bobby Fischer if Fischer would have played him. 
Your scribe’s computer Igor3000 will comment in bold italics.

Dos Hermanos, Spain 1995
White: GM Joel Lautier – Black: GM Anatoly Karpov – Catatlan Defense
1.      d4              Nf6
2.      c4              e6
3.      g3              d5
4.      Bg2            Be7
5.      Nf3            O-O
6.      O-O           dxc4
7.      Nc3            Nc6
8.      e3               Bd6
9.      Nd2            e5
While White spends time to recover the c4 pawn, Black must strike at the White center. Igor3000 has White up (+.24).
10.  Nxc4          exd4
Black is slightly better after 10. d5, Na5 11. Qa4, b6 as White cannot recover the c4 pawn with 12. Nxc4 due to 12. …..Bd7 – driving the Queen away from protection of c4.
11.  Exd4           Bg4
12.  Qb3             Nxd4
Notice that 12. f3 closes the Catalan bishop on g2 and weakens White’s kingside. (+.1)
13.  Qxb7           Bf3
White expected  13. …..Rb8 14. Qxa7, Ne2 15. Kh1, Nxc3 16. Nxd6, giving White the advantage. The game is EVEN.
14.  Qa6?            Bb4
It was necessary for White to play Bxf3 and holding for a draw. Now Black threatens to remove the c3 knight, which is protecting the important light squares d5, e4 and c2.
Igor agrees with GM Karpov’s analysis. Black now up (-.2).
15.  Be3!             Bxg2

This exchange is necessary now as 15. …… Bxc3 16. Bxc4!, Bxg2 allows 17. Bxf6! and White’s problems are solved as 17. ….Qd5? 18. Ne3 is available.
Igor has a problem with the exclamation point given by Karpov to White as Black is now up (-.6). White needed 15. Ne3 to maintain.
16.  Rfd1!                    c5
Move 16 was White’s only move as 16. Kxg2, Bxc3 17. bxc3,  Qd5+ 18. F3, Nc2 19. Rfd1, Qxc4! 20. Qxc4, Nxe3+ and that forks the entire White family. Black’s move simply reinforces his centralized knight.
17.  Bxd4                     cxd4
18.  Kxg2                     Rc8!
19.  Kg1                       Re8
The White pieces (the knights in particular) lack the coordination to form a blockade in front of the passed d-pawn. In addition, White’s Queen on a6 is out of play. (-.7)
20.  Rac1                      Qd7!
21.  Nb5?                     d3!
White misses 21. Ne3 which holds by opening up the a6-f1 diagonal for the White Queen, while also closing the e-file. (-2.5)
Now it is downhill for White as Karpov now continues to increase his advantage.
22.  Ne3                       Rxc1
23.  Rxc1                      d2
24.  Rd1                       Nd5!
The simplest way to eliminate the blockaders and open the e-file. (-4.1)
Igor says 24. ….Ng4 was a shorter path to victory – 25. Rxd2, Qxd2 26. Nxg4, Re1+ 27. Kg2, Qd5+ 28. Kh3, Qh5+ 29. Kg2, Qxg4 (-5.4) but the game is over in any event.
25.  Qa4                       a6!
This gains a critical tempo while the b4 bishop is still protected. (-5.8)
Igor3000 says 25. ……Nxe3 is better after 26. fxe3, Qd3 but I am splitting hairs at this point. (-6.8)
26.  Qxa6                     Nxe3
27.  Fxe3                      qd3!
28.  Qc6                       Qxe3+
29.  Kg2                       Qe2+
30.  Kh3                       Qh5+
White Resigns

Monday, February 11, 2019

Club Packed for Kid's Night 021118 - and Advanced Concepts - Part 2

White to move!
We had a crowd of 16 players this night for our monthly Kids Night. A good time was had by all.
Stop by the club on any Monday and you will find friendly people ready to play some casual chess.

Now for Part 2 in our series - Topic - exchange sacrifices.

The computer Igor3000 says that the moves 1. g3 or 1. Ba4 or 1. Be2 are equally as good as what is stated below. But Igor is an unfeeling machine. The adrenaline rush of the attacker and the panic attack for the defender are not measured by Igor.

In the diagram the position is very good for White. He has more space, more active pieces, can work on getting his knight into the hole at e5 and has 3 backwards pawns to play for (a6, c6 and e6). Black has just played …..Rb8 hoping to trade rooks, using the chess rule that the cramped player should trade pieces to free himself.
White knows all this and plays

1. Rb6!            Nxb6
2. cxb6            ……..
White breaks another chess rule. Besides giving up material, he trades pawns AWAY from the center. But White has a good reason for this as he wants the c5 square for his knight and so his dark squared bishop can have access to the a3-f8 diagonal. You see chess is all about controlling squares - and almost always center squares.

2. …….           Qb7
3. Ne5+           Kg8
4. Ba4             …….
White attacks c6 by bringing all his pieces into the battle. Chess is a war and not using your entire army is a waste of resources!

4. ……..         Qe7
This is desperation as 4. …..Bd7 5. Qd6, Be8 6. Bb4 and threatening 7. Qf8+ is hopeless for Black.

5. Bb4             Qf6
6. Qc3             h6
This stops the back rank mate threats but Black's queenside is under-defended.

7. Bd6
This simple bishop attack forces the win of a rook, so Black resigned.

Another example next time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Club Busy 020419 - Be There for Friendly Chess - Now Some Advanced Concepts - Part I

LCCC's Nathan Holland in Michigan Open action
We had 12 players this nice. A nice crowd of friendly people. Come in and play some chess! You won't regret it.

Don't think your wood pushing scribe will be leading these lessons. Chess teacher IM Jeremy Silman will be your guide. I just type and push wood.

JS: When we learn to play chess we are told that the Pawns are worth 1 point, the knights and bishops worth 3 points, the rook 5 points, the queen 9 points and the King is priceless because if you lose him the game is over.

These values are fairly accurate, but they color our vision when it comes down to what pieces may really be worth in a given position.

Grandmasters seem to donate rooks (5) for a knight or bishop (3) all the time while us mere mortals would get cold feet and never consider such a move.

If we are going to ignore the dictates of point count then what should we be looking for?

This diagram shows a very common exchange sacrifice.
A Grandmaster playing Black would play  1. .....Rxc3

 without hesitation. No calculation needed because

2. bxc3        Nxe4

gives Black a knight, a center pawn and a clear structural advantage due to White's doubled pawns. Sure Black is down 5 to 4 in the point count, but he has plenty of compensation in superior play, initiative, space and a better pawn structure.
In addition, Black's extra knight can be a factor in the game before White's extra rook.

By the way, Igor3000 chimed in with his bit-coin two cents. He says yes -

1. ......         Rxc3
2. bxc3       Nxe4 is best at an advantage for Black of almost a half-pawn (-.49), its not the only move that is suitable.

Don't you love chess? This is exactly why. Sometimes there are only fractions of differences between moves. And your scribe as seen Igor claim any of 5 moves in a position were equal before.

1. .....           Ne5
2. Qe2         Nc4  is second best as the advantage for Black 'shrinks' to (-.47). Big whoop. And

1. ......          Re8
2. Nde2       Ne5  is third best with the advantage to Black collapsing all the way to (-.41).

Not exactly the blunders of the century. But the jist of this lesson is that exchange sacrifices should be considered if you have enough compensation for the point or two lost in material.

We will look at another example next article.