Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat for NJKO

With a win tonight against the New York Knights in the final week of the regular season, the New Jersey Knockouts would be guaranteed of a playoff spot in the U.S. Chess League. Even a drawn match would keep NJKO's playoff hopes alive, but they would need help from other teams.

Earlier this season when these same two teams met, New Jersey emerged victorious over New York.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Susan Polgar Responds

In a previous blog post, I mentioned allegations by Sam Sloan that Susan Polgar and Paul Truong used electronic means to harass him, thus calling into question Sloan's defeat in the recent USCF executive board election.

At her blog, Susan Polgar has responded.

By the way, I wonder why the Polgar Chess Center's events calendar has not been updated since approximately the same time that Sloan filed his lawsuit. Although October is nearly over, the September schedule still shows on Polgar's website.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Kasparov on MSNBC's "Hardball"

In case you missed it, former world champion Garry Kasparov was interviewed last Wednesday by Chris Matthews on MSNBC's program Hardball.

Here is a transcript of the entire broadcast.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 10/28/2007

My best games were played as Black in today's game/30 Swiss at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round One: English Opening

Kevin Dresher (USCF 1964) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 10/28/2007

1.c4 f5 2.g3 e5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bc5 5.e3 O-O 6.Nge2 e4 7.d4 exd3 8.Qxd3 d6 9.O-O Nc6 10.a3 a5 11.b3 Bd7 12.Bb2 Qe8

13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.cxd5 Ne5 15.Qc2 Bb5 16.Rfd1 Bxe2 17.Qxe2 Qg6 18.Rac1 Rae8 19.Bxe5 Rxe5 20.Qb5 Bb6 21.Qd3 h5 22.Rc4 Rfe8 23.Re1 Qf6 24.Qd1 g6 25.Qf3 Kg7 26.h4 R5e7

27.Qf4 Qb2 28.b4 Qxa3 29.bxa5 Qxa5 30.Rec1 Rxe3 31.Ra4 Qd2 32.Qc4 Qxc1+ 33.Qxc1 Re1+ 34.Qxe1 Rxe1+ 35.Kh2 Bxf2 36.Ra3 Re3 37.Rxe3 Bxe3

38.Bf1 c6 39.dxc6 bxc6 40.Kg2 Kf6 41.Kf3 Bd4 42.Ba6 Ke5 43.Bb7 c5 44.Ba6 d5 45.Bb5 c4 46.Be8 c3 47.Ke2 Bf2 48.Bxg6 Bxg3 49.Bxh5 Bxh4 50.Kd3 d4

51.Bd1 Bf2 52.Ke2 Be3 53.Bc2 Kf4 54.Bd3 Kg4 55.Bc2 f4 56.Be4 Kg3 57.Kf1 f3 58.Bd3 Bd2 59.Bf5 Kf4 60.Bc2 Ke3, White resigns.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Round Three: Philidor Counter Gambit

Justin Karp (USCF 1975) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 10/28/2007

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Neg5 exd4 7.Nxd4 Qe7+ 8.Be2 h6 9.Ngf3 c6 10.O-O Qf6 11.Re1 Bb4 12.c3 Bd6 13.Bd3+ Ne7 14.Bc2 O-O 15.Qe2 Na6

16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.Qxe6+ Qxe6 18.Rxe6 Rad8 19.Nd4 Nc7 20.Re2 Rf6 21.b3 Rdf8 22.Bb2 c5 23.Nf3 Ng6 24.c4 d4 25.Be4 Nf4 26.Rd2 b6

27.g3 Ng6 28.Kg2 Ne5 29.Nxe5 Bxe5 30.f4, draw.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Round Four: Budapest Gambit, Fajarowicz Variation

Boris Privman (USCF 2231) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 10/28/2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Qc2 Bb4+ 5.Nd2 d5 6.exd6 Bf5 7.Qa4+ Nc6 8.Ngf3 Qxd6 9.a3 Bxd2+ 10.Nxd2 O-O-O

11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Be3 Qf6 13.Qb3 Nd4 14.Bxd4 Rxd4 15.e3 Rd7 16.f3 Rhd8

17.Qc3 Qxc3+ 18.bxc3 Bd3 19.O-O-O Bxf1 20.Rhxf1 Rd3 21.Kc2 Rxe3 22.Rxd8+ Kxd8 23.Rd1+ Ke7 24.Kd2 Re6 25.Rb1 b6 26.h4 Rd6+ 27.Ke3 Re6+ 28.Kf2 Rd6 29.Re1+ Kf6 30.c5 Rd2+

31.Kg3 Ra2 32.Rd1 Rxa3 33.Rd7 Rxc3 34.Rxc7 Rxc5 35.Rxa7 h5 36.Rb7 Rb5 37.Kf4 Rb4+ 38.Ke3 g6 39.g3 Ke6 40.Rb8 Kf5 41.Rb7 Rb3+ 42.Kf2 f6 43.Rb8 b5 44.Rb6 g5

45.hxg5 fxg5 46.Rh6 Rb2+ 47.Kg1 h4 48.gxh4 gxh4 49.Rxh4
b4 50.Kf1, draw.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mount Arlington Quads 10/27/2007

At today's Viking Quads in Mount Arlington, I won this game in an unusual variation.

Round Three: Falkbeer Counter Gambit

Sandi Hutama (USCF 2203) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Mount Arlington NJ 10/27/2007

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.Nc3 d4 4.Nce2 Nc6 5.d3 Bg4 6.Nf3 Bxf3 7.gxf3 Qh4+ 8.Kd2 O-O-O

9.f5 g6 10.Ng3 Nge7 11.Qe2 gxf5 12.exf5 Bh6+ 13.Kd1 Bxc1 14.Rxc1 Nd5 15.Qe4 Ne3+ 16.Ke2 Qh6 17.c4 Rhg8 18.Kf2 Ng4+ 19.fxg4 Qxc1

20.Qe2 Qf4+ 21.Qf3 Rxg4 22.Bh3 Qxf3+ 23.Kxf3 Rf4+ 24.Ke2 Rh4 25.Bg2 Rg8 26.Be4 f6 27.Bd5 Rg7 28.Ne4 Rh6 29.h4 Nd8 30.Nf2 Rh5 31.Be4 Kb8

32.Kf3 Nc6 33.Ng4 Rf7 34.Kg3 Ne7 35.Rf1 c6 36.Kh3 Kc7 37.Nh2 Rg7 38.Ng4 Ng8 39.Rf2 Kd6 40.b4 a6 41.a4 Ke7 42.Rb2 Rgg5

43.b5 axb5 44.axb5 Rxf5 45.bxc6 bxc6 46.Rb7+ Kd6 47.Bxf5 Rxf5 48.Kg3 Rf1 49.Nf2 f5 50.Rxh7 Nf6 51.Rh6 Ke7 52.Rh8 e4

53.Kg2 Rc1 54.dxe4 fxe4 55.h5 Rxc4 56.h6 Kf7 57.Nh3 Rc5 58.h7 Kg7 59.Rd8 Kxh7 60.Rxd4 Kg6 61.Nf2 Rc2 62.Kf1 Kf5 63.Nd1 Rc1 64.Ke2 Nd5 65.Kd2 Ra1 66.Rc4 Rxd1+, White resigns.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Another Draw for NJKO

For the second week in a row, the New Jersey Knockouts drew a match in the United States Chess League.

In week 8, their match against the Boston Blitz ended in a tie.

On Wednesday night, in week 9, the NJKO fought to a 2-2-0 draw versus the Baltimore Kingfishers.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Atomic Patzer" Returns

On Monday, I received this e-mail:

Hi, Jim West:

I found Atomic Patzer (Master?) chess blog interesting, but as of October 20, 2007 his blog is off line . I know Atomic Patzer got shut out in quad 5, at Hamilton chess quads on Saturday Oct. 20, 2007 with zero points.
Do you know if Thomas's chess blog will ever come back on line, or is he on temporary hiatus and regrouping his efforts?

signed Diamondback

I am glad to report that Atomic Patzer is back. Unfortunately, all of his previous posts have been lost.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kasparov on CNN's "Late Edition"

On Sunday morning, Garry Kasparov was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN's Late Edition.

Here is a transcript of the entire program, as well as excerpts from the Kasparov interview.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kasparov on HBO's "Real Time"

Former world champion Garry Kasparov made an appearance Friday night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. Although I missed the original broadcast, HBO re-aired the program last night and I watched it.

Earlier in the show, former U.S. senator John Edwards was interviewed by Bill Maher and gave all the politically correct answers. By comparison, Kasparov was frank and candid in his responses, as you can see in this segment.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Asa Hoffmann in Newspaper Ads

In addition to his appearance in a television commercial for HIP (Health Plan of New York), Asa Hoffmann is also featured in their newspaper advertisements as well. Yesterday, at the Marshall Chess Club, one such ad was hanging on the bulletin board. Players told me that the ads can be found in the Daily News and the Post.

One player mentioned that he saw Asa Hoffmann's TV commercial during the 5 o'clock news on Channel 7. In that commercial, the position on the chess board is one that occurred in analysis to Hoffmann's victory against Bobby Fischer in blitz chess. The moves of the game can be found in Hoffmann's book Chess Gladiator, which also contains one of his wins against me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 10/21/2007

In today's 4-round Swiss at the Marshall Chess Club, I finished with a score of 2-1-1. Here is my best game, which is also the shortest!

Round Three: Budapest Gambit, Fajarowicz Variation

Paulo Santanna (USCF 2046) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 10/21/2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.a3 d6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.e3 dxe5 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8

8.Nfd2 Nxd2 9.Bxd2 a5 10.b3?! Bf5! 11.Be2 Bxb1 12.Rxb1 Bxa3 13.Bf3 Bb4 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.Ra1 Ke7 16.Ra4 Rhd8 17.Ra2?? Rxd2!, White resigns.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hamilton Quads 10/20/2007

I just got home from today's Hamilton Quads where I played this game in the final round.

Round Three: Caro-Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Mark Kernighan (USCF 2208), Hamilton NJ Quad 10/20/2007

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.c3 Bg4 6.Qb3 Qc8 7.Bf4 g6 8.Nd2 Bg7 9.Ngf3 O-O 10.O-O Bf5 11.Bxf5 gxf5 12.Rae1 e6 13.h3 Kh8 14.Ne5 Nbd7 15.Ndf3 Nh5 16.Bh2 Bh6

17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.Ne5 Qe7 19.Nf3 Rae8 20.Qd1 Rg8 21.Be5+ f6 22.Nh4 Bd2 23.Qxh5 fxe5 24.Rxe5 Bf4 25.Nxf5 Qf8 26.Ng3 Bxe5 27.Qxe5+ Qg7 28.Re1 Qxe5 29.Rxe5 Rgf8 30.f3 Kg8

31.Kf2 Kf7 32.Nh5 Rd8 33.g4 Rd6 34.Nf4 b5 35.a3 a5 36.Nd3 Rb8 37.f4 Rbd8 38.Kg3 Re8 39.h4 h6 40.g5 h5 41.Kf3 Ra8 42.f5 exf5 43.Rxf5+ Kg8 44.Nf4 Rf8 45.Rxf8+ Kxf8 46.Nxh5 b4 47.axb4 axb4 48.cxb4 Rb6 49.Kf4 Rxb4 50.Ke5 Rxb2 51.Nf4 Rb1 52.Kxd5 Re1 53.h5 Kf7 54.h6 Rh1 55.Ke5 Re1+ 56.Kf5 Rh1

57.g6+ Kg8 58.h7+ Kg7 59.d5 Rd1 60.Nh5+ Kh8 61.Nf4 Kg7 62.Ne6+ Kh8 63.Nc7 Rf1+ 64.Ke5 Re1+ 65.Kf6 Rg1

66.Ne6 Rxg6+ 67.Ke5 Rg1 68.d6 Rd1 69.Nd4 Re1+ 70.Kd5 Re8 71.Nc6 Kxh7 72.d7 Rg8 73.Kc5 Kg7 74.Kd6 Kf6 75.d8=Q+ Rxd8+ 76.Nxd8, draw.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kasparov on "The Colbert Report"

For those of you who missed Garry Kasparov's appearance on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report on Wednesday night (I caught the re-run on Thursday morning), you can find it here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chigorin Defense at

Of all my posts at Jim West Talks Chess, this entry on the Chigorin Defense seems to have been viewed at a faster rate than any other.

The only reason why I don't play it more often is that many players as White answer 1.d4 d5 with 2.Nf3 instead of 2.c4, probably to avoid the Slav Defense (2...c6) which is scoring well for Black these days at the grandmaster level.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Preview of NJKO vs. Blitz

Michael Goeller of The Kenilworthian previews tonight's match in the USCL between the New Jersey Knockouts and the Boston Blitz.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kasparov at World Business Forum

Last Thursday, former world champion Garry Kasparov gave a speech at the World Business Forum in New York City.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Safire's "Zugzwang" Article

In a previous post regarding the origin of "patsy", I mentioned that language maven William Safire had written about chess expressions such as "zugzwang" and "sandbagging" in his On Language column. Here is the article on "zugzwang" from The New York Times Sunday magazine of December 8, 1985.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sloan versus Polgar and Truong

Unfortunately, the title of this post does not refer to a game of chess between Sam Sloan and the consultation team of Susan Polgar and Paul Truong. It pertains to a lawsuit filed by Sloan against Polgar and Truong in federal court, alleging that they used electronic means to harass and annoy him.

In this year's USCF executive board election, Sloan was ousted from his seat while Polgar and Truong were elected. Sloan is seeking a new election, as well as punitive damages.

That's the bad news! Mark Weeks of thinks that there is a silver lining inside the cloud.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cherry Hill Swiss 10/13/2007

In a field that included 4 masters and 2 experts, I finished first today with a score of 4-1-0 in a game/30 Swiss at Cherry Hill.

Here are my winning efforts.

Round One: Philidor Counter Gambit

Joseph Abner (USCF 1579) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Cherry Hill NJ 10/13/2007

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Ng3 e4 7.Ne5 Nf6 8.Bg5 Bd6 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O Qe8 11.f4 c5 12.c4 Nc6 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Qb3 Rb8 15.Qc3 cxd4 16.Qxd4 c5 17.Qd2 d4 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19.Bh5 Qe7 20.Qf2 f5 21.Bd1 Qh4 22.Nxe4 Qxf2+ 23.Nxf2 Bxf4 24.Nd3 Bd6 25.b3 Bb7 26.Bf3 Be4 27.Rad1 Rbe8

28.h3 Kh8 29.Bh5 Re7 30.Nf4 Rg8 31.g4 fxg4 32.hxg4 Reg7 33.Ne6 Rxg4+ 34.Bxg4 Rxg4+ 35.Kf2 Rg2+ 36.Ke1 Bg3+ 37.Rf2 Bxf2+ 38.Kf1 Rg1+ 39.Kxf2 Rxd1 40.Nxc5 Bb1 41.a3 d3 42.Ke3 Re1+ 43.Kd2 Re2+ 44.Kd1 Bc2+ 45.Kc1 Re5 46.Nd7 Re7 47.Nc5 h5 48.b4 h4 49.Kd2 h3 50.a4 h2 51.b5 h1=Q 52.Kc3 Qe1+, White resigns.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Round Two: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Jim Gwyn (USCF 2200), Cherry Hill NJ 10/13/2007

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Bg5 Bg4 8.Nbd2 Nbd7 9.Re1 Re8 10.c3 c6 11.Qc2 Bh5 12.Ne5 Bg6 13.Ndf3 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Nxe5 15.Ne5 Ne4 16.Bxe7 Rxe7 17.f3 Nf6 18.Qd2 Qc7 19.Nd3 Rae8

20.Rxe7 Rxe7 21.Re1 Kf8 22.Rxe7 Qxe7 23.Kf2 h6 24.Qe3 Qxe3+ 25.Kxe3 Ke7 26.a4 Ne8 27.b3 Nd6 28.g4 g5 29.Nc5 b6 30.Nd3 a5 31.Ne5 f6 32.Nxc6+ Kd7 33.Na7 f5 34.Nb5 Nxb5 35.axb5 f4+ 36.Kd3 Kc7 37.c4 Kd6 38.cxd5 Kxd5 39.Kc3 Ke6 40.Kc4 Kd6 41.d5 Ke5 42.h3 Kd6 43.Kd4 Ke7 44.Ke5 Kd7 45.d6 Kd8 46.Ke6 Ke8 47.d7+ Kd8 48.Kd6 h5 49.gxh5 g4 50.h6 gxh3 51.h7, Black resigns.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Round Four: Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Shaun Pilkington (USCF 1874), Cherry Hill NJ 10/13/2007

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Qc7 11.Bb3 Na5 12.O-O-O Nc4 13.Bxc4 Qxc4 14.h5 Rfc8 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.Kb1 b5 17.Qd3 Qb4 18.a3 Qa5 19.Nb3 Qd8

20.Nd5 Rc4 21.Nxf6+ Bxf6 22.Qd5+ Kg7 23.Rxh7+ Kxh7 24.Qf7+, Black resigns.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Round Five: Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Sam Barsky (USCF 2100), Cherry Hill NJ 10/13/2007

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 a6 8.Bc4 Qc7 9.Bb3 Nbd7 10.Qd2 Ne5 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxh6 Nc4 13.O-O-O b5 14.Qg7 Rf8 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Bb7 17.Qxh7 Ne3

18.Ne6 fxe6 19.Qxg6+ Kd8 20.Qh6 Bxd5 21.Qxe3 Bxb3 22.Qxb3 Kd7 23.Rd3 Qc5 24.Qc3 Qg5+ 25.Qd2 Qg6 26.Rd1 e5 27.Rd5 Rac8 28.Rxe5 Rc4 29.Re2 Rfc8 30.Qd3 Qg5+ 31.Kb1 R8c5 32.Rdd2 Qf6 33.Qa3 Rc6 34.Qe3 R6c5 35.b3 Rc3 36.Rd3 b4 37.Red2 Re5 38.Rxc3 bxc3 39.Qa7+ Ke6 40.Rd1 Qf4 41.Qxa6 Qd2 42.Qf1 Qe3 43.a4 Kf6 44.Qd3 Qc5 45.f4 Rh5 46.Qd4+ Qxd4 47.Rxd4 Rxh2 48.Rd3 Rxg2 49.Rxc3 Ke6 50.Rf3 Kd7 51.Kb2 Kc6 52.f5 Kc5 53.f6 exf6 54.Rxf6 d5 55.Rf3 Rd2 56.Rd3 Re2 57.Kc3 Re4 58.b4+ Kc6 59.Rd4 Re3+ 60.Kb2 Re2 61.Kb3 Re3+ 62.Rd3 Re4 63.Rc3+ Kb6 64.a5+ Ka6 65.Rc6+ Kb7 66.Rd6 Rd4 67.b5 Kc7 68.Rh6 Rg4 69.a6, Black resigns.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Glenn Petersen Award Ceremony

At the Marshall Chess Club, former Chess Life and Atlantic Chess News editor Glenn Petersen will receive a journalism award from club president Frank Brady. The award ceremony begins at 6:30 this evening.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hip Hooray for Hoffmann

If you think that you see a familiar chess player in an upcoming television commercial for HIP (Health Plan of New York), it may be FIDE Master Asa Hoffmann. Now that's hip!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NJKO Lose to Inventors

The winning streak for the New Jersey Knockouts was stopped at two by the Philadelphia Inventors on Monday night.

And it won't get any easier for the NJKO. Their next opponent in the U.S. Chess League is the first-place Boston Blitz.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Reviews of "King's Gambit"

Paul Hoffman's new book King's Gambit has received favorable reviews, not only in Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, and Newsday, but in The New York Times as well.

I particularly enjoyed reading the excerpt on Kasparov's simultaneous exhibition game against Nelson Farber because I just played Farber this past Sunday at the Marshall Chess Club. It was a 70-move marathon. First I stood better. Then Farber missed a win. I reciprocated by missing a win of my own. Finally the game ended in a draw.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Inventors versus Knockouts

This evening, in the U.S. Chess League, the Philadephia Inventors will try to pass the New Jersey Knockouts in the race for a postseason berth.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"The New Yorker" Article on Kasparov

By reading David Remnick's 12-page article on Garry Kasparov in The New Yorker, I learned more than I needed to know about the upcoming 2008 presidential election in Russia!

My favorite paragraph is the following one, regarding chess instead of politics.

Kasparov is always careful to give Fischer his due as a player (“probably he was second to me”) and avoid the rest. But when Fischer played Spassky again, in 1992, Kasparov could not resist telling New in Chess that Fischer was “like [Bjorn] Borg playing tennis with a wooden racket. . . . Now he’s someone from the past. He doesn’t belong to our world. He’s an alien.”

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Garry Kasparov on "60 Minutes"

On Sunday, September 23rd, CBS aired Garry Kasparov: The Match of His Life on its 60 Minutes program regarding Kasparov's political opposition to the Putin regime in Russia.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mrs. Kasparov in NJ

According to Sarah's Chess Journal, former world champion Garry Kasparov's wife is a resident of New Jersey. So, too, is one of Kasparov's ex-wives.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Two in a Row?

The New Jersey Knockouts of the U.S. Chess League try for their second straight victory tonight against the Carolina Cobras.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007

World Champion Anand

The new world champion of chess is Viswanathan Anand of India, who did not lose a single game in Mexico City.