Friday, February 29, 2008

Photo & Article from 1990 Match

Speaking of the two K's, here is the photograph that I took of their chess board at the Hudson Theater in 1990.

It appeared in the February 1991 issue of Chess Life with this caption: "The 'Intelligent Chess Board' awaits the first move. Wire coils in each piece and sensors in the board report each move instantly to the spectators."

In the same issue, my article "On the Sidelines" was published.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Two K's in "Men's Vogue"

Garry Kasparov versus Anatoly Karpov is #7 on the list of "The Ten Best Sports Rivalries" in Men's Vogue.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cavett on Fischer

At his blog with The New York Times, Dick Cavett thanks the many readers who commented on his tribute to Bobby Fischer.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rank and File Amateurs

The controversy regarding the GGGg winning team at the USATE continues. Here are blog posts and articles by The New York Times chess columnists Joel Benjamin and Dylan McClain, as well as a column by David Sands in the The Washington Times.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Photos from Marshall Chess Club

Between rounds in yesterday's Swiss tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, I snapped these photographs.

Here you see tournament director Steve Immitt.

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Asa Hoffmann did not participate in the tournament but paid a visit.

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Boris Privman and Yefim Treger analyze a chess game.

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The bust of Frank Marshall keeps a watchful eye.

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This is the upstairs room at the Marshall Chess Club.

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The walls at the Marshall Chess Club are adorned with pictures of famous players.

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The next two pix show plaques on the renowned Capablanca table.

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That's Fischer with a C!

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The game on board two was one of the last to finish in round three.

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Ken Cohen, in the red shirt, battles his third round opponent.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 2/24/2008

In the one-day schedule of today's Swiss tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, the first two games were played at game/30. The sudden death time control explains many of the mistakes in the following game. It also explains why I claimed a draw in a winning position to avoid a time forfeit.

Round Two: Philidor Defense

Nagib Gebran (USCF 2064) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 2/24/2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Bd3 g6 5.h3 Bg7 6.Bc2 O-O 7.O-O a5 8.d4 Re8 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Qxd8 Rxd8 11.Nxe5 Re8 12.f4 Nh5 13.Nf3 Ng3 14.Re1 Na6 15.Kh2 Nh5 16.Be3 Nb4

17.cxb4 Bxb2 18.Nbd2 Bxa1 19.Rxa1 axb4 20.Bb3 Be6 21.e5 Bxb3 22.Nxb3 b6 23.g4 Ng7 24.Nbd2 Ra3 25.Bd4 Rea8 26.Re1 Rxa2

27.Kg3 R8a3 28.Ne4 Ne6 29.Bf2 Rd3 30.f5 Raa3 31.fxe6 Rxf3+ 32.Kg2 fxe6 33.Nf6+ and drawn in ? moves.

Above is the final position.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Viking Quads 2/23/2008

Earlier today, at the Viking Quads in Somerset, I won with the Philidor Counter Gambit in a game that featured mistakes by both sides.

Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

Anna Matlin (USCF 1843) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Somerset NJ 2/23/2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d3 c6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.a4 Be7 7.O-O d5 8.exd5 cxd5 9.Bb5+ Kf8

Black threatens to win a piece by 10...a6.

10.d4 e4 11.Ne5 a6 12.Be2 Nc6 13.f3 Be6

I could have saved myself a lot of trouble by playing 13...Kg8 instead.

14.fxe4 dxe4 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.g4 Bd6 17.g5 Qc7

Black will get only two pawns for the minor piece, which is not enough.

18.gxf6 Bxh2+ 19.Kh1 gxf6 20.Bh6+

The winning line for White is 20.d5 Rad8 21.Qd4 Be5 22.Qc5+ Bd6 23.Bf4.

20...Ke7 21.d5 Rad8 22.Bc4 Be5 23.Rg1 Rhg8 24.Rxg8 Bxg8 25.Qg1 cxd5


White could have tried 26.Qg7+ Kd6 27.Qxc7+ Kxc7 28.Bxa6 d4 29.Ne2 Kb6 30.Bb5 Rc8 31.Rc1, but 31...Bd5 favors Black.

26...Qxc4 27.Qxh7+ Ke6 28.Qg6 Bxc3 29.bxc3 Qxc3 30.Rf1 Qh3+ 31.Kg1 Qg4+ 32.Qxg4 fxg4

33.Kg2 f5 34.Rb1 d4 35.Rb6+ Rd6 36.a5 Rxb6

This careless move throws away the win. Correct is 36...Kd5 37.Bf8 Rc6.

37.axb6 Kd7 38.Kg3

White misses a draw by 38.Bf8 Kc6 39.Bc5 d3 40.cxd3 exd3 41.Kf2 f4 42.Ke1 f3 43.Kd2 Kxc5 44.b7 f2 45.b8=Q f1=Q 46.Qe5+ with perpetual check.

38...Kc6 39.Kf4 e3 40.Kg3 Kxb6 41.c3 Kc5 42.cxd4+ Kxd4 43.Kg2 Kd3 44.Kf1 a5 45.Ke1 a4 46.Bf4 a3 47.Be5 a2 48.Kd1 e2+ 49.Ke1 g3 50.Ba1 g2 51.Kf2 g1=Q+ 52.Kxg1 e1=Q+ 53.Kg2 Qxa1, White resigns.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ferrero - Dimitrijevic

In the final round of the USATE 2008, the captain of my team Insufficient Losing Chances needed one more victory for a perfect 6-0 score. Here is how Steve Ferrero accomplished it.

Round Six: Larsen's Opening

Steve Ferrero (USCF 1898) - Vesna Dimitrijevic (USCF 1916), USATE 2/18/2008

1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 c5 3.e3 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bb5+ Nc6 6.O-O Nf6 7.Ne5 Rc8 8.d3 Bd6 9.Nd2 O-O 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.Ndf3 Qc7 12.h3 h6 13.Rc1 a5 14.a4 Rb8

15.Bc3 Ra8 16.Kh1 Ne8 17.d4

This move is strategically incorrect for two reasons. First, it creates more light-squared weaknesses for White, who is already minus his king bishop. Second, it enables Black to exchange her doubled c-pawns.

17...cxd4 18.exd4 c5 19.dxc5 Bxc5 20.Bb2 Nf6 21.Nd3 Bb6 22.Nd4 Bg6 23.Nb5 Qd8 24.Qf3 Ne4 25.Qf4 Qg5 26.Qxg5 hxg5

Instead, Black should play 26...Nxg5 with an equal game.

27.Bd4 Bxd4 28.Nxd4 Rfc8

29.Ne5 Bh7 30.Nef3 Nc3 31.Nxg5 Bg6 32.f4 Rc5 33.Rf2 Ne4 34.Nxe4 Bxe4 35.Rd2 Rac8 36.Kg1 Kf8 37.Kf2 Ke7 38.Ke3 Rc3+ 39.Kf2 f6 40.Ne2 R3c5 41.c3 e5 42.g3 d4 43.c4 Rb8 44.Re1 f5 45.Nc1 Rd8 46.fxe5 d3

47.Re3 Rc7 48.Nxd3 Rcd7 49.Ke2 g6 50.g4 Rd4 51.gxf5 gxf5 52.Rd1 f4 53.Nxf4 Rxd1 54.Rxe4 R8d2+ 55.Kf3 Rf1+ 56.Kg4 Rg1+ 57.Kf5 Rf2 58.c5 Rg3 59.b4 Rc3 60.Kg4 Rd2 61.h4 axb4 62.Rxb4 Rxc5

63.e6 Rd8 64.Rb7+ Kd6 65.Rb4 Rg8+ 66.Kf3 Re5 67.h5 Rf5 68.Rb6+ Kc7 69.Rb4 Kd6 70.Rd4+ Ke7 71.Ke4 Rf6 72.Nd5+ Kxe6 73.Nxf6 Kxf6 74.Rd6+ Ke7 75.Ra6 Rg5 76.h6 Rh5

77.h7 Kd7 78.Ra7+

A quicker way to win is 78.Ra8.

78...Kc6 79.Kf4 Kb6 80.Kg4 Rh1 81.Re7 Ka5 82.Re5+, Black resigns.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ziping Liu - Emma Pierson

In round two of the USATE 2008, Ziping Liu drew his game against Emma Pierson. Actually Ziping missed a win, discovered later by Fritz9, on his final move.

Round Two: King's Indian Attack

Ziping Liu (USCF 1429) - Emma Pierson (USCF 1760), USATE 2/16/2008

1.e4 e5 2.d3 Nc6 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.h3

White should play 6.Ngf3.

6...Be6 7.c3 Qd7 8.a4 a5 9.Ngf3 d5

By playing 9...h6, Black would have the better game, as White would find it difficult to castle kingside.

10.Ng5 O-O-O 11.O-O g6

The purpose behind this move is unknown to both Ziping and me.

12.Nxe6 Qxe6 13.Qb3 Ne7


White misses 14.exd5 with 15.Qb5 to follow.

14...h6 15.d4 exd4 16.cxd4 Bb4

This was still a chance for equality by 16...dxe4 17.Qxe6+ fxe6 18.dxc5 exf3 19.Bxf3 Nf5.

17.Ne5 Nc6 18.Nxc6 Qxc6 19.Bf4 Ne8 20.Rac1 Qb6 21.exd5 Qxd4 22.Rc4 Qb6 23.Rfc1 g5 24.Bxc7 Nxc7 25.Rxc7+ Qxc7 26.Rxc7+ Kxc7 27.Qc4+ Kb8 28.Qe4, draw.

Instead, White wins by 28.d6 Rd7 (28...Bxd6 29 Qb5 or 28...Rxd6 29.Qe4 Rb6 30.Qe5+) 29.Qb5 Kc8 (29...Rhd8 30.Bc6) 30.Bxb7+ Rxb7 31.d7+ Rxd7 (31...Kb8 32.Qe5+ or 31...Kc7 32.Qe5+) 32.Qc6+ Rc7 33.Qa8+ Kd7 34.Qxh8. Only Fritz9 could find such a winning variation!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Photos from USATE 2008

Atlantic Chess News editor Steve Ferrero has been kind enough to share with us these photographs that he took at this year's U.S. Amateur Team East tournament in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Above you see IM Dean Ippolito from round five action.

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Meanwhile NM Dragan Milovanovic plays White in the above photo.

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Next there is a wide-angle view of the ballroom, displaying the NJSCF banner on the wall.

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Outside the ballroom, tournament directors Joe Ippolito and Mike Somers answer a question, with Carol Jarecki in the background.

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This photo shows intense concentration at the chess board by players and spectators alike.

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Here is post mortem analysis from the floor in the corridor!

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The V-signs are for victory!

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Here is another victorious team.

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Above you get a view from the aisle of chess games in progress.

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Finally, you see two opponents, deep in thought.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ferrero 6-0 at USATE

Both I and my team Insufficient Losing Chances finished with records of 4-2-0 at the U.S. Amateur Team East tournament in Parsippany, which ended yesterday. In fact, as I won or lost on board two, so did my team.

But the big story of the USATE was a 6-0 score by Steve Ferrero on board four. In addition to being captain of Insufficient Losing Chances, Ferrero is also editor of Atlantic Chess News. Below you see Ferrero against his final round opponent, with board three teammate Paul Song standing. Mike Shapiro rounded out my team on board one.

Here is my victory from Monday morning, although I should not have allowed White to obtain a passed pawn on e6.

Round Five: Budapest Gambit, Fajarowicz Variation

Byron Hood (USCF 1825) - Jim West (USCF 2200), USATE 2/18/2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Nf3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Nxd2 6.Nbxd2 Nc6 7.a3 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 Qe7 9.Qd5 O-O 10.e3 Re8 11.Bd3 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Qxe5 13.Qxe5 Rxe5 14.O-O-O d6 15.Rhe1 a5 16.b3 b6

17.f4 Re7 18.e4 Bb7 19.Re2 f6 20.g3 Rae8 21.Rde1 h6 22.e5 Bf3 23.Re3 Bh5 24.e6 Rd8 25.Be4 Kf8 26.Bc6 Be8 27.Bxe8 Kxe8 28.Rd1 f5

29.g4 fxg4 30.f5 Kf8 31.Kc2 Kg8 32.Kc3 Rf8 33.Rf1 Rf6 34.Rf4 h5 35.h3 gxh3 36.Rxh3 R7xe6 37.Rxh5 Re3+ 38.Kc2 a4

39.bxa4 Rxa3 40.Rg5 Kf8 41.Rfg4 Rf7 42.Rh5 Rf3 43.Re4 R7xf5 44.Rh8+ Kf7 45.Ree8 Kg6 46.Re7 Rf7 47.Re6+ R3f6 48.Re4 Rf4 49.Kd3 Rxe4 50.Kxe4 Re7+ 51.Kd5 Re5+ 52.Kd4 Ra5 53.Rc8 Rxa4 54.Rxc7 b5 55.Rb7 Rxc4+ 56.Kd5 Rc5+ 57.Kxd6 Rf5, White resigns.

Monday, February 18, 2008


After two days at the U.S. Amateur Team East tournament in Parsippany, both I and my team Insufficient Losing Chances have records of 3-1-0, going into the last day of the event. Here are yesterday's games.

Round Three: Philidor Counter Gambit

Ron Briggs (USCF 1615) - Jim West (USCF 2200), USATE 2/17/2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 f5 4.exf5 Bxf5 5.d4 e4 6.Qe2 c6 7.g3 Be7 8.Nfd2 Nf6 9.Bg2 d5 10.O-O O-O 11.Re1 Bd6 12.Nf1 Nbd7

13.b4 a5 14.Ba3 axb4 15.Ne3 Be6 16.Bxb4 Bxb4 17.cxb4 Qb6 18.Qb2 Ng4 19.Nd1 Rae8 20.h3 Nh6 21.Na3 Nf5 22.Nc2 Bf7 23.Qc3 Bg6 24.Nde3 Nxe3 25.Rxe3 Rf6 26.a4 Ref8 27.a5 Qd8 28.Re2 Nb8

29.Ne3 h5 30.Rf1 Na6 31.Rb2 Nc7 32.Qb3 Nb5 33.Rd2 R6f7 34.Qb2 h4 35.Ng4 hxg3 36.Ne5 gxf2+ 37.Rdxf2 Rxf2 38.Rxf2 Rxf2 39.Qxf2 Be8 40.Qb2 Qf6 41.Bf1 Nd6 42.a6 bxa6 43.Bxa6 Qh4 44.Qc3 Nf5 45.Bb7 e3, White resigns.

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Round Four: Caro-Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Steve Herx (USCF 1782), USATE 2/17/2008

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nf6 5.c3 Nc6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qc8 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 Be7 10.O-O O-O 11.Ne5 Bh5

12.Qc2 Bd6 13.Rae1 Qc7 14.Bg3 Rac8 15.Qb1 Ne7 16.f4 Bg6 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Rf3 Nf5 19.Ref1 a6 20.a3 b5 21.Qe1 Qe7 22.Bxf5 gxf5 23.Bh4 g6 24.Bg5 Kg7 25.Rh3 Rh8 26.Rff3 Qc7

27.Rxh8 Rxh8 28.Bxf6+ Kxf6 29.g3 Kg7 30.Rf2 Qc8 31.Nf3 f6 32.h4 Kf7 33.Rh2 Qc7 34.Qe3 Qc8 35.Re2 Re8 36.Kg2 Qc7 37.h5 Qd7 38.hxg6+ Kxg6 39.Nh4+ Kf7 40.Qf3 Rh8 41.Re1 Qc8

42.Nxf5 Bb8 43.Nh4 Qg8 44.Kf2 Qg7 45.f5 Re8 46.fxe6+ Rxe6 47.Rxe6 Kxe6 48.Qf5+ Ke7 49.Ng6+ Kf7 50.Nf4 Bxf4 51.Qxd5+ Ke8 52.gxf4 Qg4 53.Qf3 Qh4+ 54.Ke2 Qh2+ 55.Kd3 Kd7 56.Qb7+ Kd8 57.Qd5+ Ke7 58.f5 Qg3+ 59.Kc2 Qf2+ 60.Kb3 Qe2 61.Qe6+ Qxe6+ 62.fxe6, Black resigns.