Sunday, January 26, 2020

Club Championship 2020 Started - and Endgame Book Suggestions

The Club is open and the chess action if fantastic! Join us Monday for casual chess OR join our Club Championship tournament, in which Round 1 will continue. We have one player looking for an opponent.

This tournament runs every other week, so if you cannot make the first night of the round starting, you can make it up on the second week. It is a great way to practice real tournament conditions, without the pressure of a big formal tournament.

The tournament is free so come on in at 6pm and register for the 6:30 start of Round 1 B!

Now for a little example and some advice:

The chess endgame decides many chess games. Here is a case in point from our own Club Championship action last Monday;

Game EVEN. White to move.
The game at this point is dead even. Black has had the advantage but let it slip away. White has been on the defensive for quite a while and still may have that ‘I’m behind’ mentality. Igor3000, the microchip Grandmaster says the position is even. How the two players playing see it could be completely different. Both may think they are losing! Anyway, time pressure is now an issue for both players.

46. Qxc7??          …….

The losing move! There are several issues at play here. White had been down the exchange (a knight for a rook) for most of the game. He just swindled it back and was feeling relieved. With time pressure growing, White sees an opportunity to ‘liquidate’ and limit the power of Black further. The only problem is, the game is even simply because of White’s active queen. Trading off his best piece hands the advantage back to Black. White needed 46. Qe8+, Kh7  47. Rf2 and White holds the draw. Endgames are so delicate to handle.

46. ……..             Rxc7

47.  d5                  Kf6

48. Rd4                Rd7

49. Nd2?              Rdg7

50. Nxc4              Rxg2+

51. Kh1                Rg1+

52. Kh2                R1g4

53. d6                   Rh7++

Luckily there are many chess books written to help you with this part of the game.  These books come in three different varieties;

Theoretical encyclopedias, like Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual

 Manuals dealing with specific material, like Secrets of Pawn Endings by Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht, and

Technique instead of theory books, like Endgame strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky

Here are some other suggestions for Endgame books, not grouped in any order.

First Steps: Fundamental Endings by Cyrus Lakdawala

Mastering Complex Endgames by Adrian Mikhalchishin and Oleg Stetsko

How to Play Chess Endgames by Karsten Muller and Wolfgang Pajeken

Sharp Endgames by Eshen Lund

Chess Calculation Training- Volume 2: Endgames by Romain Edouard 

There are other books available also. I like the updated and corrected version of the old classic:

Basic Chess Endings by Rueben Fine

Friday, January 17, 2020

LCCC Open on MLK Day - Club Championship Starting!

We will be open for chess action on Monday January 20th. In addition to casual chess or chess lessons, we also have a fun event starting.

It is the 2020 LCCC Club Championship!
Entry Fee: FREE

Rounds; Three, four or five - depending on number of entries.
Rounds scheduled - one every TWO weeks! This allows for make-ups, so don't feel it ties you into showing up for up to 10 weeks in a row. You get 2 Mondays to get your round in.

Time Control: Game in 45 minutes/with 5 second delay. Or 50 minutes with no delay. That means each player get 45 minutes to play the game, so each game can last a little over an hour and a half.

Its a fun event and a great opportunity to play real tournament action without the pressure or expense. It is a great way to practice the game management skills needed to play tournament chess. Things like: chess clock management, writing down the moves of the game, the 'touch-move' rule and just general sportsmanship in a competitive - yet laid back - atmosphere.

See you Monday for the sign up and start of the tournament.

Puzzle #2 - Black to move

Here are some puzzles for you to enjoy and to answer. I will put the solutions in the comment section.

Puzzle #1 - White to move and win.

Puzzle #2 -  White has 1. Qb7 and if ….Qxb7 then 2. cxb and White's pawn queen's easily.

A queen is a very expensive defender. And in this position, the Black queen is not able to defend White's threat.

What if you change your thinking and use the queen for what she is really designed for; Attacking the enemy king!