6th NY International
All Other Sections: June 21-23 or June 22-23, 6 rounds, Swiss System, 30/90, SD/1 hour, 5 seconds delay (2-day schedule: rounds 1-2 G/30, 5 second delay).
Byes: Limit 2, commit before round 3.
All Other Sections: June 21-23 or June 22-23, 6 rounds, Swiss System, 30/90, SD/1 hour, 5 seconds delay (2-day schedule: rounds 1-2 G/30, 5 second delay).
This Wednesday I decided to go play some chess for a change, together with 37 other people who entered the Wednesday night U2000 at the Marshall Chess Club. If you’re not in it already, you should come register for round two with a first round bye! In round one, I managed to win my game, which I’ve included below. Marcus and Jermaine also won their games, though Jermaine did so in grand style with an interesting theoretical novelty! When alex asked him after the game why he played the mind bending 16.Ndb5, he said “because I didn’t see any other move.” When I asked him about it afterwards, he said that he had looked at some other moves, but decided that this one was crushing because he couldn’t find a way for Black to save both his knight and rook.
I apologize for not updating more frequently, I have been very busy lately and what time I do have for chess I am spending working on my Czech Benoni studies. Accordingly, the following game caught me eye recently. This game between Yury Shulman and Ivan Cheparinov was played at the 2013 Reykjavik Open, and while Black lost in a very complicated position, he achieved equality with chances using our favorite defense.
Tonight in the farthest corner of Queens, Pavel and I both beat our opponents in interesting games. His was an English Attack in the Najdorf, which I will post later, while mine was a Sicilian that turned rather Frenchy.
My opponent was a really nice guy I have to say it. I showed up about 20 minutes late, but he let me start with the full time control anyway. While I do tend to be a fast player, this gesture was nonetheless appreciated. Looking at the game now with my computer, many of the moves that both me and my opponent made were either the first or second choice with only a few exceptions, and one particularly bad blunder at the end. Some slightly better tries for me were 15…Nc4! an interesting move that leads to dead equality, but at least it is more dynamic than the massive exchange of pieces as in the game. I’m not sure if I would have the guts to play a move like 15…Nc4 in the heat of battle, but looking at it now I almost wish I had tried it. 20…h5 would have lead to a clear edge for Black, and this move I actually did consider, though I didn’t play it until later when it lacked the bite that it has in the current position. Finally, 21…Rf5 is apparently not the best move as it allows white to solve his problems. Once again, best is now 21…h5! 25…g6 is the most accurate way to hold the edge, but what can I say for myself? Patzer sees check patzer plays check. 32…Qg3 is a major error, as i should have played Rd2 with the idea of scooping up some central pawns. However, I was so focused on the idea that bishops of opposite color favor the attacker in middlegames that I thought pawns were more or less irrelevant at this point as I was convinced I had a mating attack. While this is what ultimately unfolded, it required a blunder on the part of my opponent to materialize. 34.Rb8 was a game losing blunder, as now the dark square mating attack becomes possible. After 34.Qb3 my opponent would be holding everything on the Kingside while maintaining an advantage due to his pawns, though even here the evaluation shows +.34 and it isn’t entirely straightforward. In case anyone is curious, 35.Qg1 loses to 35…Rf1! Finally, his surprise Queen sacrifice on move 36 sets up a checkmate trap for me to fall into! While it would have been an elegant mate and an incredible save, I have to say I’m thrilled I didn’t allow this embarrassing swindle because it really would have ruined my night to lose in such a position. In the final position after Qxh5, it’s mate in 2 after either 37.Rxh5 Rf1# or 37.Kg1 Bh2+ 38.Kh1 Rf1#.
I apologize for not posting more frequently, I’ve been working a lot recently and just too tired to focus much on chess. However, when Alex King sent me the following annotated game, I had to stop and put it up on the blog. This was played by one of his students recently, who has a current USCF rating of 900. The game’s sophistication is probably a thousand points stronger at least- what do you think?
For those of you who don’t recognize the “bo nu s?” graphic, it’s from this forgotten alternate reality game which I was obsessed with years ago. After scanning the forums, it seems the trail has gone cold.
I’ve been annotating a high-level Sicilian game for a new post for a while now, but I got jealous seeing everyone else’s winning games being blogged about in the meantime, while I had a disastrous score in my recent games, so I couldn’t show anything- neither the annotated game was ready nor my own game was available…that is, until last week, when I finally won a game in the Commercial Chess League, and it was quite a nice one, especially the finish of it- it’s Black to play and force a win!
The thing with all these puzzles is, they may be not that hard when someone tells you that this actually is a puzzle and you’re winning and you have to find that one move in a given position. But during the game there’s nobody standing right by you to tell you that! So it is often possible to miss these chances, especially when the moves aren’t obvious , ‘natural’ reactions (captures etc.), or moves contradicting your common sense which works 99% of the time. So I was glad to spot the winning move here and was stunned for a second- could it really work? After a minute or two I decided it was winning because of the geometry of all the open lines. What helped me was that I had actually been looking at lots of tactics with my students prior to this game, so it was easier ‘to see the light’ .Solving tactics daily helps, listen to your chess doctor! If you’re not seeing it yet, check the game below- no annotations today, just a plain game to replay.
Last night, Pavel and I trekked out to the Queens Chess Club to check it out. The club meets in the basement of a church every Friday night, where they have tons of space. There were 8 teams registered to play, though their space could easily hold twice as many. Pairings are done by hand, and the round started more than half an hour late, but no one seemed to notice or complain and overall everyone seemed to know each other.
My game ended in a draw, though I had several simple winning plans that I missed, I’m just too much of a wimp to allow my opponent’s rook to start capturing pawns on the kingside of the board, though my engine shows it’s winning. Meh… Pavel won his again against Dolly Teasley, so as a team we won our round. Obviously, I want nothing more than to win the Queens Chess Club Team Championship and take the title home to Brooklyn where it belongs. Wish us luck in the next three rounds.
Cameron Hull pulled in a cool $1,079.75 for his 5.5/7 performance in the Philly Open U1800 section last weekend. In case you’re curious what it takes to put together such a performance, I’ve included his games below. That same weekend, the Northeast High School Girls Volleyball championship was being held in Philly as well, and our hotel was packed with dorky chess players and 17 year old high school volley ball girls. The record for the most awkward elevator ride ever was broken three times. Cameron decided to scope out the hotel pool “just in case,” but decided to retire back to the hotel room after swimming two laps next to screaming children playing marco polo.
Back to chess, the move 39.b5 in his third round game against Vladimir Gramugin was likely the star move of the tournament for him, and for the next two rounds Cameron was in clear first until his odd loss in round 6 on Sunday Morning.
On the way back to Brooklyn, his car broke down on the Verrazano bridge and we coasted into a gas station in Bay ridge around 1 in the morning. This was rather unpleasant as I had to be up at 6 in the morning to teach the next morning, though I have to admit I was not surprised as I had predicted that this would happen. Luckily, we were at least back in New York City (technically), and I was able to jump into a cab that was trying to get gas before the driver knew what was what we were on our way back to williamsburg. All in all, I’d have to say that the trip was a success, even if a portion of his winnings will be eaten by up the cost of a new fan belt.
This weekend I ventured down to Philadelphia to do battle in the Philly Open, U2000 section. My overall performance wasn’t stellar, I managed to lose two games in which I was winning quite simply, but such is chess. I did gain a bunch of rating points though, bringing my live rating to 1834, just 166 points shy of 2000!
Obviously, I trekked out to south philly to visit pat’s king of steaks to see what the big deal is with philly cheesesteaks. Honestly, it tastes like it looks. Depending on your penchants, it’s a perfect example what’s wonderful/disgusting about American sensibilities when it comes to food. My personal conclusion more or less mirrors what I imagine Edouardo Raspelli might say if he tasted a cheesesteak, though more noteworthy about this corner of town are the people. My friend and I stood out like sore thumbs due to our combined number of neck tatoos: zero. All in all I’d say avoid south Philly if possible.
The coffee situation in Philly, however, is far from hopeless. After suffering through an “espresso” at starbucks the first morning we were there, I managed to find a high end third wave coffee shop on Walnut where one could get a properly pulled cortado from a synesso machine, together with my favorite pastry on Earth: the canelé. Needless to say, if you’re ever in philly you should check this place out. The baristas have hilarious period beards and would fit in with the Williamsburg crowd as well as Nathan Whipple.
I did manage to play some Chess while in town as well, though none of my wins are that interesting and my two losses feature eye-popping blunders, the following is likely the most interesting game that I played. After 15.Bxe4, White will lose a piece no matter what. I think that my opponent likely missed the idea of my queen sortie with the threat of coming to g2- hitting the e4 square as well as the loose rook on h1. The move 16…Rd8 was made so that Rxd6 would be available if the knight were to come to rest there, though 16…0-0-0 would have also been good. After winning the piece, the game continued for some time, though I mostly just sang songs in my head to keep from falling asleep as there was nothing left to think about at the board.
Perhaps my least interesting game was the following, in which my opponent simply blundered after I applied on a little bit of pressure to the kingside.
Recently the Marshall Chess Club has been putting together some huge blitz events on Friday nights at the club. This last Friday, our favorite opening -the Czech Benoni- was assayed against the young pretender Alex King by our fearless hero FM Asa Hoffmann with interesting results. Asa should have plunked his knight in on d3, which is the whole idea of pushing the pawn to c4 and vacating the c5 square for the knight, but for some reason in the heat of battle there was a change of plans. For all of its back and forth violence, the game ended in a draw… or did it.
In the final position, Black is one move away from delivering mate, however, both players agreed to a draw in light of the perpetual check after Kxh7. It seems clear, at least at first glance, that the king cannot escape the queen’s evil checks. So, despite having an extra rook and the threat of mate, Black has to admit that it’s a drawn game.
However, both players overlooked that in fact White has a mating attack after 30…Kxh7 31.Qh4+ Kg6 32. Qxg3+ Kf5 33.Re1! Qa1 34.Qg4+ Kf6 35.Qe6+ Kg5 36.Rxa1 Rg8 37.Qg4+ Kf6 38.Qf4+ Kg6 39.Ra6+
Speaking of big money blitz tournaments, coming up this Tuesday is the Bobby Fischer 70th Birthday Blitz Tournament! And the word on the street is that Nakamura will be there! Gata Kamsky also stopped by the club today, and Asa Hoffmann tried to talk him into attending- so it’s possible that this will be one of the strongest blitz tournaments ever held at the Marshall. See you all there!
Bobby Fischer 70th Birthday Blitz Tournament!
Tue, March 26, 7pm – 10pm
Marshall Chess Club (map)
Mar. 26 Bobby Fischer 70th Birthday Blitz Tournament! (QC)
Trophies Plus Grand Prix Points: 40 (Enhanced)
9-SS, G/5. Marshall CC, 23 W. 10th St., NYC. 212-477-3716. $$G 2025: $600-400-300-200, top U2400/unr, U2200, U2000, U1800: $75 each, Best Senior born in or before 1952: $100-50, Best Junior born in or after 1998: $60 Plus One Year MCC junior membership!-30. EF: $35, members $25. FIDE & USCF Quick-rated, but higher of regular or quick USCF rating used for pairings & prizes. Reg. ends 6:45 pm. Rds.:7-7:30-7:50-8:10-8:40-9-9:20-9:40-10 pm. Three byes available, request at entry. Please bring clocks if possible! www.marshallchessclub.org. This tournament has been made possible through the generosity of Mr. Paul M. Albert Jr.
We had 10 entries to this week’s Brooklyn 64 Swiss event, which was a 3 round G/45 tournament held once again at the lovely residence of messieurs Boris and Michael. Though two people dropped out, we still had a rather large field for such a humble club.
Among our regulars was a newcomer- Mr. Vinh Bui- who has played close to a hundred thousand 3 minute games online, though this was only his second chess tournament ever! He did well, scoring 2.5 out of 3 and gaining some rating points along the way.
I only played 2 games, scoring 1.5 (or 2 if I give myself a half point bye). I was lucky in both instances. In my game against Paul, I found myself under attack early, though luckily he didn’t follow up correctly and I was able to escape with his sacrificed material. The move 15…Nf6 is less accurate than Qf6, because it allows White to sacrifice on f7 when the position is far from clear or easy.
My game against Cameron Hull was pretty level until it turned into a mad blitz dash at the end, with both of us down to only ten seconds and scrambling to survive. It was a draw by insufficient material, when he finally sacrificed his rook for my last pawn leaving only two kings on the vacant board. I can’t say I’m dissapointed with this outcome, given my howler of a blunder on 32 which was also made in extreme time pressure. I contemplated playing 12.Bb7 for a longtime, with the idea that after 12…Rb8 13.Bxd5 Bb2 14.Rb1 Bxb1 15.Qxb1 Bc3 16.Qd3 Bxd2 17.Nxd2 White has plenty of compensation for the exchange, in the form of better pawn structure, an extra pawn, and control over the light squares. However, I was scared away from this line by the idea of Nc5, as in the line 12.Bb7 Rb8 13.Bxd5 Nc5 When my plan was to play e4- though I couldn’t figure out whether this worked or not over the board and so I chickened out and decided to just play 12.Nh4 knocking the light square bishop off from its powerful diagonal.
In the middle game, after 10.cxd5 cxd5 I thought I would have a long term weakness to target with the IQP on d5. My engine suggests that this is not as significant a weakness as I thought.
BROOKLYN64.COM is happy to support Beatriz in her campaign for the upcoming USCF Executive Board Election. There is no question that her election would be a change for the better for New York Chess, and the clubs that we frequently play in. If you are a member of the USCF and have not yet registered to vote, please take a moment to do so now! With so few voting members, every single vote counts in this election.
Beatriz, a member of the Marshall Chess Club, is the current Vice President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE), a former President of the U.S. Chess Federation and a candidate for the upcoming USCF Executive Board elections.
Following a reception from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Beatriz will talk about the difficulty of returning to high-level competitive chess after a long semi-retirement and the challenges she faced when preparing for and competing in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Championship. She will present and analyze some of her most interesting and instructive games played in that event.
We will learn about Beatriz’ work at FIDE and will have the chance to ask questions about world chess politics. Beatriz will also share her vision for the USCF including how she plans to support chess clubs such as the Marshall.
If you are unable to attend tonight’s event but would like to support Beatriz in the upcoming USCF elections you are required to register here by March 30, 2013. It is an easy process – USCF members aged 16 and older only need their USCF ID and date of birth.
I managed to win a friendly quad in Bushwick this evening with 2 out of 3 points, though I only gained 2 rating points for my effort. Below are my games. I have to say my loss to Eric Chang hurts. …Nxg3 is an unnecessary sacrifice in a position where nearly any other move would likely win. However, I played well against my other two opponents, fending off an attack by Whipple that scared me pretty badly though my computer showed his sacrifice to be unsound as well.
Before doing battle, our host offered us some of his homemade pickles and Kombucha- next time I will be taking him up on it. My game against him was pretty straightforward and I managed to win without taking too much risk.
Homemade Kombucha! I’m totes going to try it and see if i can get a piece of the mother next time too.
The number one hipster in kings county duels with the number one maritime lawyer in kings county.
This weekend was the Long Island Open, and while I was home sick in bed for most of the weekend, our fellow Brooklynite and Marshall Chess Club compatriot – Alex King- was doing battle on the Island.
I checked up on his progress just out of curiosity, and was surprised to see in the wall chart that he managed to draw Stripunsky. I asked him for a copy of the game, and was pleased to also receive some of his notes to the game as well.