Wednesday, June 3, 2020

GSCL Presidential Directive

To all captains and organizers:

As you all well know, the country is convulsing with the greatest social upheaval since 1968.  The brutal murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis served as a sort of catalyst for people to release pent-up frustration.  It is understandable that there would be civil but noisy protests in New Jersey and other states.

What is not acceptable is the looting, burning and smashing that everyone sees on television, the Internet and social media.  That sort of thing is to be condemned.  Police and the relevant authorities will arrest anyone involved in vandalism, looting, burning and the like.  Such despicable activities do nothing but dishonor the memory of George Floyd and numerous other victims of police brutality.

Having said that, I, Lev Zilbermintz, president of the Garden State Chess League, do direct that all league members and teams follow the law when engaging in protests.  New Jersey has seen its share of peaceful protests over the past weekend.  That is an example of how people can express their disagreement in an acceptable way while avoiding disgusting scenes that we see on TV and Internet.

We can use chess as a way to channel our creative energies and get away from negative issues.  As you all know, chess is seeing a huge increase in online use because of the coronavirus.  John Moldovan is running tournaments online. The United States Chess Federation and FIDE are also running online events, with many grandmasters participating.  I urge GSCL members to play in these events.  There is Internet Chess Club,,, to name a few.

It goes without saying that we must still use face masks, gloves and practice social distancing.  At the same time, if you see anyone engaging in looting, vandalizing, etc., call police immediately!!  The Garden State Chess League roundly condemns looting, vandalism, burning as seen in various media.  Our society is better than this.

Lev Zilbermintz
Garden State Chess League

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Lev Zilbermintz versus Michael O'Connor

Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

[Event "Rated Correspondence game"]
[Site ""] 
[Date "2020.05.30"] 
[Round "-"] 
[White "BrilliantGambiteer"] 
[Black "Smithmorra994"]
[Result "1-0"] 
[UTCDate "2020.05.30"] 
[UTCTime "23:29:08"] 
[WhiteElo "1461"] 
[BlackElo "1538"] 
[WhiteRatingDiff "+112"] 
[BlackRatingDiff "-112"] 
[Variant "Standard"]
[TimeControl "-"] 
[ECO "D00"]
[Opening "Blackmar-Diemer Gambit: Ziegler Defense"]
[Termination "Normal"] 

1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.O-O e6 8.Ng5 Bg6 9.Ne2 Nbd7 10.Nf4 Nd5 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Nxf7 Qh4 13.Nxh8 Qxh8 14.Qg4 O-O-O

15.Qxe6 Kb8 16.Bxd5 cxd5 17.Bf4+ Ka8 18.Bc7, Black resigns.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Marshall Sunday Game/50, 5/31/2020

On Sunday, I drew this game in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Philidor Counter Gambit

BestBunny ( 1721) - JimWest ( 1829), 5/31/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ c6 4.Ba4 f5 5.exf5 Bxf5 6.d3 Nf6 7.O-O Be7 8.Re1 O-O 9.h3 Na6 10.Bb3+ Kh8 11.a3 h6 12.Nc3 Bh7 13.Bd2 Nc5 14.Ba2 e4

15.dxe4 Ncxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Be3 d5 18.c3 Bf6 19.Bb1 a6 20.Nd2 Nxd2 21.Qxd2 Bxb1 22.Raxb1 Qd7 23.Re2 Rae8 24.Rbe1 Qf7 

25.Bc5 Rxe2 26.Rxe2 Re8 27.Rxe8+ Qxe8 28.Qe3 Qxe3 29.Bxe3 Kg8, draw.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Michael O'Connor versus Lev Zilbermintz

Bobby Fischer described Paul Morphy as "perhaps the most accurate player who ever lived."  Which may explain why Morphy never lost with the Philidor Counter Gambit, an opening that requires pinpoint accuracy.  One false move can lead to disaster.  The following game is a good example of what happens when Black plays inaccurately.  His 4...c6 was not the best move.  Better would have been 4...Nc6, prepared to answer 5.d4 with 5...Be7.

Philidor Counter Gambit

[Event "Rated Correspondence game"]
[Site ""] 
[Date "2020.05.29"] [Round "-"] 
[White "Smithmorra994"] 
[Black "BrilliantGambiteer"] [Result "1-0"] 
[UTCDate "2020.05.29"] 
[UTCTime "21:37:43"] 
[WhiteElo "1500"]
[BlackElo "1500"]
[WhiteRatingDiff "+162"] 
[BlackRatingDiff "-163"] 
[Variant "Standard"] 
[TimeControl "-"] 
[ECO "C41"] 
[Opening "Philidor Defense"] 
[Termination "Normal"] 
[Annotator ""] 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 f5 4.Bc4 c6 5.d4 fxe4 6.Nxe5 dxe5 7.Qh5+ Kd7 8.dxe5 Kc7 9.Bf4 g6 

10.e6+ Bd6 11.Qc5 Bxe6 12.Nb5+ Kc8 13.Bxe6+ Nd7 14.Nxd6+ Kc7 15.Nb5+ Kc8 16.Nxa7+ Rxa7 17.Qxa7, Black resigns.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Golden Age of Access

The chess landscape has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Chess Friction

Dan Bernstein reports on friction among grandmasters.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

"NY Times" Article on GM Irina Krush

[photo by Christiano Marini]

Grandmaster Irina Krush [pictured] had a long recovery from COVID-19.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Marshall Sunday Game/50, 5/24/2020

Although advertised as game/50, this Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament was actually played at game/10.

King's Indian Defense, Makagonov Variation

busygin ( 1729) - JimWest ( 1988), 5/24/2020

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.Be3 Nc5 10.Nd2 Ne8 11.h4 f5 12.gxf5 gxf5 13.Qe2 Nxe4 14.Ndxe4 fxe4 15.Nxe4 Nf6 

16.Ng5 Ng4 17.Bh3 Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Bxh3 19.Rxh3 Bh6 20.O-O-O Qf6 21.f3 Qf4 22.Qxf4 Rxf4 23.Kb1 Bxg5 24.hxg5 Raf8 25.Rdh1 Rxf3 26.Rxh7 Rf1+ 27.Kc2 Rxh1 28.Rxh1 Kg7 

29.Rh6 b6 30.Re6 Rf5 31.Re7+ Rf7 32.Re6 Rf5 33.Re7+ Rf7 34.Re6 Rf5, draw.

Monday, May 25, 2020

National Master for 40 Years

40 years ago today, I became a national master.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Chess Against COVID Charity Tournament
#ChessAgainstCovid, a Singapore-based charity drive which is headed by GM Kevin Goh Wei Ming and American GM Elshan Moradiabadi are glad to announce an International Friendly Match to be played between Singapore and a USA select team.

The purpose of this event is to raise awareness and help struggling families affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the name of charity, as well as to connect chess players of both nations with the friendly exchange of chess ideas.

Even though this is a friendly match, the Singapore selection is very rigorous, and they are fielding 4 GMs, 6 IMs and 1 WGM not to mention numerous FMs and CMs comprising top local juniors.

The match will commence at 10:15 am NYC time on Sunday, May 31.

The match will consist of two G/15 +10 games (alternating colors), played between 36 players per side:

- 2 Veterans
- 7 Male Adults, 3 Female Adults
- 5 U20 Boys, 3 U20 Girls
- 5 U15 Boys, 3 U15 Girls
- 5 U12 Boys, 3 U12 Girls

Match points will be used to decide the winning team. has kindly offered to host the event on their excellent server!

The event will be featured with live commentary on the official Chess24 twitch channel.

If you'd like to represent the USA team, register your interest here: USA Select vs. Singapore!

Players will be contacted ASAP if they can be accommodated as part of the team.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

ESPN Article on Tani Adewumi

The 9-year-old dreams of becoming the youngest grandmaster.