Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hamilton Quads 2/27/2010

NM Dragan Milovanovic and I tied for first place in quad one, at yesterday's Hamilton quads, with identical scores of 1-0-2.

Round One: Budapest Gambit, Fajarowicz Variation

Dragan Milovanovic (USCF 2256) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Hamilton NJ 2/27/2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Nf3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Nxd2 6.Nbxd2 Nc6 7.g3 Qe7 8.Bg2 Nxe5 9.O-O O-O 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.a3 Bxd2 12.Qxd2 a5 13.b3 Ra6 14.Rfd1 Rd6 15.Qc2 Rxd1+ 16.Rxd1 b6 17.b4 axb4 18.axb4 d6 19.e4 Bb7

20.f4 Qe8 21.Ra1 f5 22.exf5 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 Qc6+ 24.Kg1 b5 25.Rc1 bxc4 26.Qxc4+ Qxc4 27.Rxc4 Rb8 28.Rxc7 Rxb4 29.Rd7 Rb5 30.f6 gxf6 31.Rxd6 Kg7 32.Kg2 h5 33.Kh3 Rb2 34.Rd7+ Kg6

35.g4 hxg4+ 36.Kxg4 Rg2+ 37.Kh3 Rg1 38.Rd5 f5 39.Rd3 Kf6 40.Rd6+ Kg7 41.Rd2 Kf6 42.Rg2 Ra1 43.Rf2 Ra3+ 44.Kh4 Ra8 45.Rb2 Rh8+ 46.Kg3 Rg8+ 47.Kf3 Rh8 48.Rb6+ Kf7 49.Kg3, draw.

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Round Two: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Steve Stoyko (USCF 2253), Hamilton NJ 2/27/2010

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.c3 Bd6 7.O-O Nge7 8.Re1 Qd7 9.Nbd2 O-O 10.h3 Bf5 11.Nf1 Rae8 12.Bg5 f6 13.Bh4 Ng6

14.Bxf5 Qxf5 15.Bg3 Rxe1 16.Nxe1 Nf4 17.Qf3 Qe4 18.Bxf4 Bxf4 19.g3 Qxf3 20.Nxf3 Bd6 21.Re1 Kf7 22.Ne3 Ne7 23.a4 a5 24.Kf1 Rb8 25.Re2 g6 26.Ne1 c6 27.Nd3 b5 28.axb5 cxb5 29.Kg2 a4 30.h4 Ra8

31.Nc2 a3 32.bxa3 Bxa3 33.Ncb4 Bxb4 34.Nxb4 Ra3 35.g4 Ra8 36.f4 Rd8 37.Kf2 Rd6 38.Ra2 h5 39.gxh5 gxh5 40.Ra8 Rd7 41.Rb8 Rc7 42.Rxb5 Rxc3 43.Nxd5 Rc2+ 44.Kg1 Nxd5 45.Rxd5 Rd2 46.Rxh5 Rxd4, draw.

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

Round Three: Petroff Defense

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Mark Kernighan (USCF 2200), Hamilton NJ 2/27/2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Bg5 Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2 Be7 9.Nc3 h6 10.Bh4 Nc6 11.O-O-O Bf5 12.d4 O-O

13.d5 Ne5 14.Nxe5 dxe5 15.Bg3 Bd6 16.Bd3 Bxd3 17.Rxd3 Nh5 18.Ne4 f5 19.Nxd6 cxd6 20.f3 Rfc8 21.Rhd1 g5 22.R3d2 Rc7 23.Bf2 Nf4 24,Be3 b6 25.Bxf4 gxf4 26,g3 fxg3 27.hxg3 Rg7 28.Rg2 f4 29.g4 h5 30.Rdg1 hxg4 31.Rxg4 Rxg4 32.Rxg4+ Kf7

33.Rh4 Kg6 34.Rg4+ Kf6 35.Rh4 Rg8 36.Rh6+ Kf5 37.Rh5+ Kg6 38.Rh4 Rc8 39.Rg4+ Kf6 40.Rh4 Kg6 41.Rg4+ Kf5 42.Rg7 Rc5 43.Rf7+ Kg5 44.Rxa7 Rxd5 45.a4 Kh4 46.Rg7 Rd4 47.b3 Kh3 48.Rg4 Re4 49.Rg6 Re3 50.Rxd6 Rxf3 51.Rxb6 e4

52.Re6 Rf1+ 53.Kd2 e3+ 54.Ke2 Rf2+ 55.Kd3 Kg4 56.a5 Kf5 57.Re8 Rd2+ 58.Kc3 Rd6 59.b4 Rc6+ 60.Kb3 Re6 61.Rxe6 Kxe6 62.Kc3 f3 63.Kd3 f2 64.Ke2 Kd5 65.a6 Kc6 66.c4 Kc7 67.b5 Kb6 68.c5+ Kc7 69.a7 Kb7 70.b6 Ka8 71.Kf1 Kb7 72.c6+ Ka8 73.c7, Black resigns.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Photos from Westfield Quads 2/21/2010

These photos were snapped by me on Sunday at the Westfield quads.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Actor Tobey Maguire may play the role of Bobby Fischer in the film Pawn Sacrifice.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kasparov Article in "Guardian"

In a Guardian article, Garry Kasparov warns Europe against getting cozy with Russia.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pix from NY February Action

These pictures were taken by me on Saturday during the New York February Action tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

IM Jay Bonin and Larry Tamarkin get set to play round one.

NM Oliver Chernin prepares for the first round, while TD Steve Immitt makes an announcement.

On the left is Miguel Garcia, my opponent in the opening round; on the right, FM Boris Privman.

Here is blogger Polly Wright, between rounds one and two.

Meanwhile, Ilan Kreitner analyzes a position.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

E-mail from Dave Fulton

On Friday, I received this e-mail from Dave Fulton. He was my editor at The Castled King, which was superseded by Atlantic Chess News in the 1980's.


Thanks for posting the bit about the Montclair Chess Club from Stewart White.

As you will remember, I was fairly active in the Montclair Chess Club and started helping Mel Benson run things after Al Greuter moved to Maryland.

Anyway, I do enjoy reading your blog which helps me keep up with chess happenings now that I live in Oregon (not quite as remote as Montana but still more than an hour to the nearest chess club). The stories and pictures, not just the games, are of interest. I hope you keep up the good work for a long time.

Dave Fulton

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

Not only were you active in the Montclair Chess Club, you founded the Greater Somerset County Chess Club as well!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Westfield Quads 2/21/2010

At yesterday's quads in Westfield, I drew the following game.

Round One: Sicilian Defense, Paulsen Variation

Peter Radomskyj (USCF 2258) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Westfield NJ 2/21/2010

1.d4 e6 2.e4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.c4 Qc7 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Nf3 b6 9.Qe2 d6 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Rc1 Ne5 12.Nxe5 dxe5 13.O-O O-O 14.a3 Bb7

15.b4 Rfd8 16.Rfd1 h6 17.Be3 Nh7 18.c5 bxc5 19.Na4 Bc6 20.Nxc5 Bxc5 21.Rxc5 Qb7 22.Rxe5 Nf8 23.f3 Bb5 24.Bxb5 Rxd1+ 25.Qxd1 axb5 26.Qd3 Rb8 27.Rc5 Nd7 28.Rc3 Ne5 29.Qd4 Nc4

30.Bc1 e5 31.Qd5 Qb6+ 32.Qc5 Qd8 33.Qd5 Qb6+ 34.Qc5 Qd8 35.Qd5, draw.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

E-mail from Matt Phelps

On Thursday, I received this e-mail from Matt Phelps, who lost to my teammate Ziping Liu in the final round of the USATE 2010.


Thanks for posting my last round game with Ziping (really!). I can't remember if I explicitly congratulated him for the cleverness of the mating attack. Please convey that to him if you get the chance. Let's hope we all meet again next year, but this time on board 1 for all the marbles!

Thanks again,


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

As Ziping's chess teacher, I can tell you that it is the best game he has ever played!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 2/20/2010

In today's game/30 Swiss at the Marshall Chess Club, my final score was 2-1-2.

Round Three: Vienna Game

Pieter Bierkens (USCF 2133) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 2/20/2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.d3 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nd5 Nxd5 9.Bxd5 Rb8 10.c3 exf4 11.Bxf4 Ne5

12.d4 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3 Bh3 14.Rf2 Bh4 15.Bg3 c6 16.Bb3 Qg5 17.Qd2 Qxd2 18.Rxd2 Bxg3 19.hxg3 Be6 20.Kf2 Bxb3 21.axb3 a6 22.f4 f6 23.c4 Rbe8 24.Re1 Re7 25.c5 dxc5 26.dxc5 Rfe8 27.Rd4 Kf7 28.Kf3 h6

29.g4 g5 30.Rh1 Kg7 31.Rb4 Rd8 32.fxg5 hxg5 33.e5 fxe5 34.Ke4 Rf8 35.Ke3 Rf4 36.Re4 Kg6 37.Rh8 Rf1 38.Rg8+ Kh6 39.Rh8+ Kg7 40.Rh2 Rd1 41.Rd2 Re1+ 42.Re2 Rc1 43.b4 a5 44.bxa5 Rxc5 45.b4 Rb5 46.Rf2 c5 47.bxc5 Rxc5 48.Ra4 Rec7

49.Ra3 Rc4 50.a6 bxa6 51.Rxa6 Rxg4 52.Rff6 Rf4 53.Rg6+ Kf7 54.Rxg5, draw.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Long Cool WIM

Here is a video of the simul in Pitman NJ by WIM Alisa Melekhina on January 31st.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

E-mail from Stewart White

Last Friday, I received an e-mail from Stewart White. Here it is, slightly edited, along with my response.

Hello, James:

My name is Stewart White. I met you back in the mid-1970's at the YMCA in Montclair NJ. It was at a tournament run by the Montclair Chess Club when the late Mel Benson was in charge. Al Greuter was the tournament director.

I always remember how kind you were to me. Being a lower rated player, I was having a bad time there. I played in one game a Giuoco Piano and didn't know what went wrong. You came along and analyzed the game with me. You were so helpful! I never thanked you, but I thank you now.

I saw you at some other tournaments, but you were playing. So I never got the chance to talk to you. I see that you live in Kearny NJ. I lived there many years ago. I moved to Bloomfield NJ some time later. My brother Earl White still lives in Kearny on Chestnut Street.

I live out west in Montana. Needless to say, there are no chess clubs where I'm living, and I haven't played in years. I used to play at the Bloomfield chess club during the 1970's, 1980's, and early 1990's. That was when Dave Kilbourn, Ed Koss, Bob Szendroi, and Larry Schwartz were there.

Well, thank you for everything.

Stewart White

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

I can't honestly say that I recall analyzing with you, but I do remember playing chess in Montclair at Saturday quads and at the North Jersey Chess League on Thursday nights.

Seemingly all the time at tournaments, people tell me that they played against me years ago, and my mind draws a blank. My favorite story along these lines happened in 2001. The Manhattan Chess Club was in its final year of existence on the 15th floor at the New Yorker Hotel. After a tournament, I was in the underground garage across the street retrieving my car when a faraway voice called to me. Here is our conversation, hollered from one end of the garage to the other.

Guy in garage: "Hey, Jim West! Are you still playing chess?"

West: "Yeah, I just finished playing at the Manhattan Chess Club."

Guy in garage: "Do you remember the game that we played twenty years ago?"

West: "Who won?"

Guy in garage: "You did. I sacrificed a pawn, but it was unsound."

West: "Yeah, now I remember."

To tell you the truth, I have no idea who the guy was. And I was getting strange looks from the other people in the garage!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

USATE 2010 Recap

My team Insufficient Losing Chances made it to table 10 for the last round of the USATE 2010, with a record of 4-1-0. But, in the final match, we lost on our top three boards. Playing Black on board one, I missed a good move in my game against Denys Shmelov [USCF 2468], pictured above.

In this position, I should have played 22...Bd3! 23.Rxd3 Bc7 24.Bd4 Qd6 25.g3 Bb6 with a slight advantage.

Our only victory happened on board 4 where Ziping Liu won with a mating attack that involved two knights and a pawn.

Round Six: King's Indian Attack

Ziping Liu (USCF 1797) - Matt Phelps (USCF 1698), USATE 2/15/2010

1.e4 c5 2.d3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.c3 d6 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.O-O O-O 8.Bg5 Qb6 9.Qc2 Bd7 10.Nbd2 a6 11.Nc4 Qc7 12.a4 b5 13.axb5 axb5 14.Ne3 b4

15.Bxf6 exf6 16.Nd2 Rxa1 17.Rxa1 bxc3 18.bxc3 Ne7 19.Ndc4 f5 20.Ra3 fxe4 21.dxe4 Re8 22.Qd2 Rb8 23.Qxd6 Qxd6 24.Nxd6 Nc6 25.f4 Rb1+ 26.Kf2 Rc1 27.Ra8+ Bf8 28.Nd5 Kg7 29.e5 Rc2+ 30.Kf3 Nd4+ 31.cxd4 Bc6

32.Ne8+ Kh6 33.Kg4 Bxa8 34.Ndf6 g5 35.Ng8+ Kg6 36.f5#.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pix from USATE 2010, Day 3

On Monday, these pictures were taken by me during day three of the USATE.