Sunday, August 31, 2008

NJ Open in Progress

The 62nd annual New Jersey Open is taking place, this Labor Day weekend, at the Ramada Somerset.

Here are pictures taken yesterday. You will see tournament director Ken Thomas making announcements before the start of round one, from many different angles, while players listen or analyze. The last photo shows the rook-and-pawn ending to the first round game between Steve Himel and Ron Groseibl.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

An Advantage in Space

How's this for getting paired against a higher opponent?

Astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, aboard the International Space Station, is playing six simultaneous games of chess against different Ground Stations.

Friday, August 29, 2008

NJKO Hook Kingfishers

On Wednesday night, the New Jersey Knockouts opened their 2008 season in the United States Chess League with a 3-1-0 victory over the Baltimore Kingfishers.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Underpromotion Holds Draw

Yesterday I received this e-mail.

Dear Sir,

Contrary to what you wrote on your post about the Marshall CC Swiss, you didn't miss a win in the game against Kelleher after 52.b6, because this position is drawn with accurate play from White.

After 52...Ke6 53.Kc6 Rc8+, we arrive at the critical position.

I agree that 54.Kb7? Kd7 55.a4 Rc5! is winning for Black.

That's why White must absolutely play 54.Kb5! with the threat of 55.b7 winning a tempo on the rook. After normal moves like 54...Kd6 (or 54...Kd7, or 54...Rh8), there follows 55.b7 and 56.Kb6.

Such are the joy and pain of rook endings.

On a personal note, I take great pleasure in reading your chess blog. Keep up the good work!


Laurent Milesi

The e-mailer is correct. During the post mortem analysis, my opponent and I were under the mistaken impression that 54.Kb5 would lose to 54...Kd7 55.b7 Rc1. What we overlooked is that White draws by underpromoting to a knight with 55.b8=N+!.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gulko Joins NJKO

Tonight at 7:15, the New Jersey Knockouts open their 2008 season in the United States Chess League by taking on the Baltimore Kingfishers at Chapel Hill Academy in Lincoln Park.

Since last season, grandmaster Boris Gulko and FIDE master Aviv Friedman have been added to the roster of the NJKO.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pix fom Marshall CC August Grand Prix

These photos were taken by me on Sunday during the August Grand Prix at the Marshall Chess Club.

You will see photos of round one, from inside the downstairs room and the corridor. There are pix of Vladimir Polyakin playing Tony Blum, from inside and outside. Finally you will see players relaxing between rounds in the courtyard behind the club.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 8/24/2008

Yesterday I participated in a Swiss tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, finishing with a record of 1-0-3. In the last round, I missed a win by 52...Ke6 53.Kc6 Rc8+ 54.Kb7 Kd7 55.a4 Rc5.

Round One: English Opening

Loren Weiss (USCF 1855) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 8/24/2008

1.c4 f5 2.Nc3 e5 3.d3 Nf6 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 Bc5 6.e4 d6 7.Nge2 O-O 8.O-O Qe8 9.Bg5 Qh5 10.Bxf6 Rxf6 11.Nd5 Rh6 12.h4 f4

13.d4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Bxd4 15.Qxh5 Rxh5 16.Kh2 c6 17.Nc7 Rb8 18.Bh3 Rh6, White resigns.

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Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Tony Blum (USCF 1940), Marshall Chess Club 8/24/2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.O-O-O Nc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 14.h5 Nxh5 15.g4 Nf6 16.Nde2 Re8

17.e5 Nxg4 18.fxg4 Bxg4 19.e6 Bxe6 20.Bd4 h5 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Rxh5 Rh8 23.Rxh8 Qxh8 24.Nd4 Bd7 25.Qe2 b5 26.Qxe7 Bg4 27.Nde2 Qh2 28.Rf1 Bf5, draw.

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Round Three: Center Counter Defense

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Mitch Fitzko (USCF 2082), Marshall Chess Club 8/28/2008

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 a6 6.h3 b5 7.a3 Bb7 8.Be2 Nbd7 9.O-O e6 10.Be3 Be7 11.Qc1 O-O 12.Bf4 Qb6 13.Rd1 c5

14.Be3 Qc7 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Bxc5 Nxc5 17.Qe3 Rfd8 18.Qe5 Qxe5 19.Nxe5 Kf8 20.Bf3 Bxf3 21.Nxf3 Rac8 22.Ne5 Nfd7 23.Nxd7+ Rxd7 24.Rxd7 Nxd7 25.Rd1 Ke7 26.Rd4 Nb6 27.Rb4 Rd8

28.a4 Nxa4 29.Nxa4 Rd1+ 30.Kh2 bxa4 31.Kg3 Ra1 32.Rb7+ Kf6 33.Rb6 Rc1 34.Rxa6 Rxc2 35.Rxa4 Rxb2 36.h4 h5, draw.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Round Four: Philidor Counter Gambit

Jeff Kelleher (USCF 2030) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 8/28/2008

1.e4 e5 2.d4 d6 3.dxe5 dxe5 4.Qxd8+ Kxd8 5.Bc4 f5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Nc3 Bd6 8.exf5 Bxf5 9.Bg5+ Kd7 10.O-O-O Re8 11.Nh4 Be6 12.Bxe6+ Kxe6 13.Ne4 Nf6 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.g4 Ne7 16.Ng3 Rhg8 17.h3 Bc5 18.Rd2 Rd8

19.Ne4 Bb6 20.Rhd1 Rxd2 21.Rxd2 f5 22.gxf5+ Nxf5 23.Nf3 Nd4 24.Nfg5+ Kf5 25.c3 h6 26.cxd4 Bxd4 27.h4 hxg5 28.Nxg5 Rh8 29.Nf3 c5 30.Kc2 Kg4 31.Nxd4 cxd4 32.Kd3 Kf5 33.Rc2 Rh7 34.Rc8 Rd7 35.f3 Rf7

36.Rh8 Kf4 37.Re8 a6 38.a3 Rf5 39.Re7 b5 40.b4 Kxf3 41.Re6 Kf4 42.Rxa6 Rh5 43.Rf6+ Kg4 44.Ke4 Kxh4 45.Rb6 Kg3 46.Rxb5 Rh4+ 47.Kxe5 Rh5+ 48.Kxd4 Rxb5 49.Kc4 Rb8 50.b5 Kf4 51.Kc5 Ke5

52.b6 Rc8+ 53.Kb5 Kd6 54.b7 Kc7 55.bxc8=Q+ Kxc8, draw.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hamilton Pix

I took these pictures at yesterday's Hamilton quads.

Diamondback is the one wearing a Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap. Why not an Arizona Diamondbacks cap?

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NM Dragan Milovanovic ponders his move, while David Hua looks on.

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Here is play from quad two.

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National masters Dragan Milovanovic and Mark Kernighan battle in round three.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hamilton Quads 8/23/2008

At today's Hamilton quads, I won my last round game against David Hua. It was the only loss for Hua who drew against two national masters in his prior rounds.

Round Three: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - David Hua (USCF 1946), Hamilton NJ 8/23/2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Qc7 9.Be3 Nc6 10.f4 Bb7 11.a3 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Nxe4

13.f5 Nxc3 14.Bxc3 e5 15.f6 d5 16.Bxe5 Qb6+ 17.Kh1 g6 18.Bd4 Bc5 19.Qe2+ Kd7 20.Qg4+ Kc6 21.c3 Rad8 22.Rae1 Bc8 23.Qf4 Bxd4 24.cxd4 Be6 25.Rc1+ Kb7 26.Rc5 h5 27.Rfc1 Rd7 28.a4 Ra8

29.h3 Rd6 30.Qe5 Rad8 31.axb5 axb5 32.Qe2 Bd7 33.Bxd5+ Rxd5 34.Rxd5 Bg4 35.Qe7+, Black resigns.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dong - Liu

On Sunday, my student Ziping Liu tied for first, at 2-1-0, with Alice Dong in his quad at Westfield. Here is their game from the second round.

Round Two: Pirc Defense

Alice Dong (USCF 1504) - Ziping Liu (USCF 1536), Westfield NJ 8/17/2008

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 O-O 6.Nge2 e5 7.O-O Nc6

Instead Benko-Fischer, Curacao 1962 continued 7...c6 8.a4 Nbd7 9.a5 exd4 10.Nxd4 Nc5 11.h3 Re8 12.Re1 Nfd7 13.Be3 Qc7 14.f4 Rb8 15.Qd2 b5 16.axb6 axb6 17.b4 Ne6 18.b5 Nxd4 19.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 20.Qxd4 c5 21.Qd2 Bb7 22.Rad1 Re6 23.e5 Bxg2 24.Kxg2 Qb7+ 25.Kf2 Rd8 26.exd6, and White won in 40 moves.

8.d5 Ne7 9.h3 Nd7 10.f4 f5 11.Be3 Kh8 12.fxe5 Nxe5 13.Bd4 Bd7 14.Nf4 Qc8 15.Kh2 a6

The game is equal and remains so, until White blunders on move 19 when she should have played 19.Rae1.

16.Qe2 Nf3+ 17.Bxf3 Bxd4 18.Qd2 Be5 19.Kg2 fxe4 20.Nxe4 Bxf4 21.gxf4 Bxh3+ 22.Kf2 Bxf1 23.Rxf1 Qf5

Black has a winning position, and 0-1 in 33 moves.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Photos from Marshall CC Saturday Game/60

During round one of Saturday's game/60 Swiss at the Marshall Chess Club, I snapped these photos.

NM Adam Maltese was held to a draw by Kapil Chandran. Maltese won his next three games to finish in a three-way tie for first place with IM Jay Bonin and NM Yefim Treger.

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Kadhir Pillai lost to candidate master Michael Ellenbogen.

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In the background, Reva Singh was defeated by my fourth-round opponent Anna Ginzburg.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

U.S. Chess School in NJ

Last week, the U.S. Chess School met at the Dean of Chess Academy in Branchburg, New Jersey.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Polgar Sues for Slander

Susan Polgar has filed a lawsuit, claiming libel and slander, against Sam Sloan and the United States Chess Federation.

Here are Bill Goichberg's comments on Polgar's suit.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nimzo-Indian/Dutch Defense

After the opening moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Bd3 Bb7 6.Nf3 Ne4 7.Qc2 f5, what began as a Nimzo-Indian Defense in the Rubinstein Variation has transposed into a position that could have been reached via the Dutch Defense.

Following 8.O-O Bxc3 9.bxc3 O-O 10.Nd2 Qh4 11.f3 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 Nc6, the game has arrived at a well-known position.

Let's take a look at how world champions Alekhine and Fischer won from it, playing the black pieces.

In Rabinovich-Alekhine, Moscow 1920, White tried 13.e4 fxe4 14.Bxe4 Na5 15.Rae1 Bxe4 16.Rxe4 Qh5 17.Qa4 Nxc4

Black has won a pawn. Alekhine wrapped up the victory by sacrificing material to penetrate White's position.

18.Re2 b5 19.Qb3 Qf5 20.Rfe1 Rab8 21.Bc1 a5 22.Re4 a4 23.Qd1 Rbe8 24.Qe2 c5 25.Be3 cxd4 26.Bxd4 e5 27.f4 d6 28.h3 Re6 29.fxe5 dxe5 30.Bc5 Rf7 31.Rb1 h6 32.Rxb5 Nd2 33.Rxa4 Qc2 34.Rb8+ Kh7 35.Kh1 Rf1+ 36.Bg1 Rxg1+ 37.Kxg1 Qc1+ 38.Kf2 Rf6+ 39.Ke3 Nb1+, White resigns.

In Maurer-Donaldson, Liechtenstein 1994, White varied with 14.fxe4 e5 15.d5 Ne7 16.c5 Ng6 17.cxb6 axb6 18.c4 c6 19.a4 Qg4 20.a5 Nh4 21.Bc3 Rxf1+ 22.Rxf1 bxa5 23.Qf2 Ng6 24.Bxa5 Nf4 25.Kh1 h6, White resigns.

Instead of 13.e4, the game Aloni-Fischer, Netanya 1968 continued with 13.Rae1 Na5 14.Rb1 d6 15.Be1 Qg5 16.Qe2 e5 17.e4 fxe4 18.fxe4 Rxf1+ 19.Kxf1 c5 20.Kg1 Ba6 21.Bg3 cxd4 22.cxd4 exd4 23.Bxd6 Qe3+ 24.Qxe3 dxe3 25.Re1 Bxc4 26.Rxe3 Bxa2 27.e5 Be6

A pawn up, Fischer now wove a mating net, despite the scarcity of material.

28.Re1 Nb3 29.Ba6 Nc5 30.Be2 a5 31.Bc7 a4 32.Bxb6 Nb3 33.Bd1 Rc8 34.Kf2 Nc1 35.Re3 Rb8 36.Bc5 Rb2+ 37.Kg3 Nb3 38.Bd6 Nd4 39.Bg4 Bxg4 40.Kxg4 Rxg2+ 41.Kh3 Rg1 42.e6 Nf5 43.Rd3 g5 44.Bg3 h5, White resigns.

Rather than waste a tempo with his queen rook by 13.Rae1, White played more economically in Smyslov-Bronstein, Alekhine Memorial 1956. The game was drawn quickly after 13.Rab1 Ne7 14.a4 Ba6 15.a5 Nc6 16.axb6 axb6 17.Ra1 Na5, draw.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Kasparov on Russia's Invasion of Georgia

In The Wall Street Journal, Garry Kasparov opines on Russia's invasion of Georgia.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 8/16/2008

Playing in a game/60 Swiss today, I finished with a record of 1-0-3 at the Marshall Chess Club. My games follow.

Round One: Philidor Counter Gambit

William Graif (USCF 1649) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 8/16/2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d3 c6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxf6 Bxf6 8.O-O f4 9.d4 Qe7 10.Qd3 a5 11.a3 Na6 12.Rad1 Be6 13.Bxe6 Qxe6 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Qd6 Qxd6 16.Rxd6 Ke7 17.Rfd1 Rhd8 18.Rxd8 Rxd8 19.Rxd8 Kxd8

20.Kf1 b5 21.Ke2 Kd7 22.Kd3 Ke6 23.Nd2 Be7 24.Nb3 a4 25.Nc1 Nc5+ 26.Kd2 Nb7 27.N1a2 Na5 28.Nb4 Kd7 29.f3 Nc4+ 30.Kc1 Bc5 31.Ne2 g5 32.Nd3 Be3+ 33.Kd1 Kd6 34.c3 h5 35.g3 Nd2 36.gxf4 exf4 37.Ne1 g4 38.Nd4 gxf3 39.Nexf3 Nxe4 40.Nf5+ Kd5 41.Nxe3 fxe3 42.Ke2 Nd6 43.Ne1 Nc4 44.Nd3 Ke4

45.Nc5+ Kf4 46.Nd3+ Kg4 47.Nb4 Kh3 48.Nxc6 Kxh2 49.Nd4 h4 50.Nxb5 Kg2 51.Nd4 h3 52.Nf3 h2 53.Nxh2 Kxh2 54.Kd3 Kg3 55.Kxc4 e2 56.Kb5 e1=Q 57.Kxa4 Kf4 58.Kb5 Qd2 59.b4 Qxc3 60.a4 Ke5 61.Ka5 Kd6 62.Kb5 Kc7 63.a5 Qc6#.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Tony Blum (USCF 1940), Marshall Chess Club 8/16/2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.O-O-O Nc4 13.Bxc4 Rxc4 14.h5 Nxh5 15.g4 Nf6 16.Nde2 Be6

17.Bh6 Bh8 18.e5 Nxg4 19.fxg4 Bxe5 20.Bxf8 Qxf8 21.g5 Qg7 22.Kb1 a6 23.Qe1 b5 24.Rh4 Bg4 25.Qh1 Bxc3 26.Nxc3 Bxd1 27.Rxc4 bxc4 28.Nxd1 Qd4 29.c3 Qd2 30.Qg1 d5

31.Ne3 d4 32.cxd4 Qxd4 33.Qc1 Qe4+ 34.Nc2 Qd3 35.a3 f6 36.gxf6 exf6 37.Qe1 Kf7 38.Kc1 h5 39.Nb4 Qd6 40.Qe4 Kg7, draw.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Round Three: Falkbeer Counter Gambit

Alena Kats (USCF 1980) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 8/16/2008

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 Qxd5 5.Qe2 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Bg4 9.dxe4 Bxe2 10.exd5 Bxf1 11.Kxf1 Nxd5 12.Bxg7 Rg8 13.Re1+ Kd7 14.Be5 f6 15.c4 fxe5 16.cxd5 exf4

17.Nh3 Rf8 18.Kf2 Na6 19.Re4 Nc5 20.Rd4 Rae8 21.Nxf4 Rxf4+ 22.Rxf4 Nd3+ 23.Kf3 Nxf4 24.Kxf4 Re2 25.g4 Rxb2 26.Kg5 Rf2 27.Kh6 Rf7 28.g5 Kd6 29.h4 Kxd5 30.h5 c5 31.g6 hxg6 32.hxg6 Rf6 33.Kh7 c4 34.g7 Rf7 35.Kh8 Rxg7 36.Kxg7 c3

37.Kf6 Kd4 38.Ke6 b5 39.Kd6 c2 40.Kc6 a6 41.Kb6 Kc3 42.Kxa6 b4 43.Kb5 b3 44.axb3, draw.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Round Four: Sicilian Defense, Sozin Attack

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Anna Ginzburg (USCF 1900), Marshall Chess Club 8/16/2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.Be3 O-O 9.O-O Na5 10.f4 Nxb3 11.axb3 a6 12.Qf3 Nd7 13.Qh3 e5 14.Nf5 exf4 15.Bxf4 Ne5 16.Nd5 Ng6 17.Be3 Bg5 18.Bb6 Qd7 19.Bd4 Qd8 20.Nb6 Be6 21.Nxa8 Qxa8

22.Bxg7 Bxf5 23.exf5 Kxg7 24.fxg6 hxg6 25.Qc3+ Kg8 26.Rf3 Qa7+ 27.Kh1 Qc5 28.Qxc5 dxc5 29.Raf1 f5 30.g3 Re8 31.h4 Bf6 32.h5 Bxb2 33.hxg6 Kg7 34.Rxf5 b6 35.Rd5 Re6 36.Rfd1 Rxg6 37.Rd7+ Kh6 38.R7d6 Bd4 39.Rxg6+ Kxg6 40.Kg2 a5

41.Kf3 Kf5 42.g4+ Kg5 43.Rh1 Kg6 44.Rh5 b5 45.Ke4 a4 46.bxa4 bxa4 47.Rh3 Bb2 48.g5 a3 49.Rh6+ Kxg5 50.Ra6 c4 51.Kd5 c3 52.Ra4 Kf5 53.Kc4 Ke4 54.Kb3+ Ke3 55.Ra8 Kd2 56.Rd8+ Kc1 57.Rh8 Kd2 58.Rh1 Ke2 59.Rh2+ Kd1 60.Rh3 Kc1

61.Rh1+ Kd2 62.Rg1 Ke2 63.Rh1 Kd2 64.Rh2+ Kc1 65.Ka2 Kd1 66.Kb1 Ke1 67.Rh8 Kd2 68.Rd8+ Ke2 69.Rd3 Ke1 70.Ka2 Kf2 71.Kb3 Ke2 72.Rd8 Ke1 73.Rd7 Kf2 74.Re7 Kf3 75.Re8 Kf2, draw.