Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Invest Like a Grandmaster

Two-time U.S. chess champion Patrick Wolff is forming his own hedge fund Grand Master Capital Management LLC.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 11/28/2010

Playing in the one day schedule of a Swiss tournament, I finished with a score of 3-0-1 yesterday at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round One: Sicilian Defense, Sozin Attack

Jim West (USCF 2216) - Rachel Gologorsky (USCF 1843), Marshall Chess Club 11/28/2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 e5 7.Nf5 Bxf5 8.exf5 Nd4 9.Bg5 Rc8 10.Bb3 h6 11.Bh4 Be7 12.O-O O-O

13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Qh5 Bg5 15.Rad1 Nxf5 16.g3 Nd4 17.f4 Nxb3 18.fxg5 Nd4 19.gxh6 g6 20.Qg4 Kh7 21.Ne4 Nf5 22.Rxf5 gxf5 23.Qg7#.

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

Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

Amir Moazami (USCF 1789) - Jim West (USCF 2216), Marshall Chess Club 11/28/2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 Nf6 9.Qe5+ Kf7 10.Bc4+ Kg7 11.Nxh8 Nc6 12.Qg3+ Kxh8 13.Bg5 Bg7 14.c3 Bf5 15.O-O Bg6 16.Rfe1 Qd7 17.Rad1 Rf8

18.Bb5 a6 19.Ba4 b5 20.Bc2 Re8 21.a4 Na5 22.axb5 axb5 23.Qh4 Qf7 24.Bh6 Bxh6 25.Qxh6 Nc4 26.b3 Na3 27.Qc1 Nxc2 28.Qxc2 e3 29.Qb2 Ng4 30.fxe3 Nxe3 31.Ra1 Nc2 32.Rxe8+ Qxe8 33.Rf1 Bd3 34.Rc1 Qe3+ 35.Kh1 Be4 36.Rg1 Ne1

37.Qa2 Nxg2 38.Qxg2 Bxg2+ 39.Rxg2 Qxc3 40.Rg4 Qxb3 41.Rg3 Qd1+ 42.Kg2 Qxd4 43.Rf3 Qe4 44.Kf2 Qxf3+ 45.Kxf3 b4 46.Ke4 c5 47.Kd3 h5 48.h4 Kg7 49.Kc4 Kf6 50.Kb3 Kf5 51.Kc4 Kg4 52.Kb3 Kxh4 53.Kc4 Kg3 54.Kb3 h4, White resigns.

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

Round Three: Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2216) - Ed Kopiecki (USCF 1963), Marshall Chess Club 11/28/2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O Bg4 6.h3 h5 7.d3 Qf6 8.Nbd2 Ne7 9.Nc4 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Qxf3 11.gxf3 Ng6 12.Kh2 O-O-O 13.Rg1 Bc5 14.Be3 Bd4 15.Rad1 Rd7

16.c3 Bxe3 17.fxe3 c5 18.Rxg6 fxg6 19.Nxe5 Rd6 20.Nf7 Rf8 21.Nxd6+ cxd6 22.f4 Kd7 23.Rg1 Rf6 24.Rg5 Re6 25.c4 b5 26.b3 Kc7 27.Kg3 a5 28.a4 bxc4 29.bxc4 Kd7 30.Kf3 Rf6 31.h4 Kc6 32.d4 Kb6 33.d5 Kc7 34.e5 dxe5 35.Rxe5 Rb6

36.Re7+ Kb8 37.Rxg7 Rb4 38.d6 Kc8 39.Rc7+ Kd8 40.Rc5 Rxa4 41.Ke4 Ra3 42.Rg5 a4 43.Rxg6 Rc3 44.Kd4 Rc1 45.Kc5 a3 46.Rg8+ Kd7 47.Ra8 Rc3 48.Ra7+ Ke6 49.e4 Rd3 50.e5 Kf5 51.Kc6 Kxf4 52.e6 Ke5 53.c5 Kxe6 54.Re7+ Kf5 55.Re2 Kg4 56.d7 Kxh4

57.Kc7 Kg3 58.d8=Q Rxd8 59.Kxd8 h4 60.Re3+, Black resigns.

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

Round Four: Sicilian Defense

Asa Hoffmann (USCF 2296) - Jim West (USCF 2216), Marshall Chess Club 11/28/2010

1.Nc3 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.e4 a6 4.a4 Nc6 5.h3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.d3 e6 8.Be3 Nge7 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 O-O 11.O-O Qc7 12.Ba2 Bd7 13.Nde2 Rad8 14.Qd2 Bc8

15.Bh6 Qb6 16.Rab1 d5 17.exd5 Nb4 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Bb3 Nbxd5 20.Ne4 Qb4 21.Qxb4 Nxb4 22.Rfd1 Nbd5 23.Kf1 Nf6 24.Nd6 Ned5 25.Nc4 Nd7 26.c3 Nc5 27.Bc2 Bd7 28.a5 Bb5 29.Na3 Be2+ 30.Kxe2 Rc8 31.Rd4 Nf6 32.Rbd1 Rc7 33.b4 e5

34.Rc4 Ne6 35.Rxc7 Nxc7 36.Bb3 Re8 37.f3 Ne6 38.g3 h5 39.h4 e4 40.f4 Rc8 41.c4 Rd8 42.Rxd8 Nxd8 43.Ke3 Nc6 44.Nc2 Kf8 45.Ba4 Ne7 46.Nd4 Nf5+ 47.Nxf5 gxf5 48.Kd4 Ke7 49.Bd1 Kd6 50.c5+ Kc6 51.Ba4+ Kc7 52.Bb3 Kc6

53.Bc4 e3 54.Kxe3 Ne4 55.Bxf7 Nxg3 56.Kf3 Ne4 57.Bxh5 Kb5 58.Bg6 Kxb4 59.Bxf5 Nf6 60.Bc8 Kxa5 61.Bxb7 Kb5 62.Ke3 Kxc5 63.Bxa6 Kd6 64.Bc4 Ke7 65.Kd4 Nh5 66.Ke5 Nxf4 67.Kf5 Ng2 68.h5 Ne3+ 69.Kg6 Nxc4 70.Kg7 Nd6, draw.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mr. Wojo Risin'

National master Jonathan Hilton and international master Dean Ippolito have collaborated on volume one of Wojo's Weapons: Winning with White [Mongoose Press, 2010, 408 pages], which is an alliterative title to their book on the late grandmaster Aleksander Wojtkiewicz's favorite Catalan Opening.

In the introduction, the reader is informed that " 'Wojo', as he was affectionately called by his fans, was arguably the most successful tournament player in the United States, winning the Grand Prix six years in a row from 1999 to 2004." The mojo of Wojo can be found in his pragmatic approach to tournament chess, enabling him to defeat more than a thousand master-level players in the U.S. between 1998 and his death in 2006.

This book is divided into four parts: Closed Catalan, Open Catalan, Slav Defense, and Black's Other Defenses.

The idea behind the Catalan is quite simple: White's fianchettoed king bishop controls the long diagonal and is better than Black's queen bishop. In their recent world championship match, Viswanathan Anand used the Catalan successfully against Veselin Topalov.

My experience with Wojo's Weapons has been mostly a favorable one, in that my positional play is better as a result. Needless to say, there is no resemblance between the Catalan and the Philidor Counter Gambit! The latter is extremely tactical in nature. During many years of playing the PCG, I have neglected the simple chess that is exemplified by the Catalan, especially Wojo's handling of it which avoids sharp tactical variations in favor of lines that give White slightly the better game.

An oversight by the authors is their failure to mention that Bobby Fischer once played the Catalan, winning with it against Attilio Di Camillo at the U.S. Championship in 1957. The game would have transposed into the Chigorin variation if Fischer had allowed 3.c4 Bg4.

My one criticism of Wojo's Weapons is that the in-depth analysis at times reminds me of the saying that "less is more." The reading can become tedious, at approximately the rate of five pages per hour if you study all the subvariations. I might have enjoyed the book more had there been less analysis. But this is a minor quibble from someone who prefers king pawn openings over queen pawn openings!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Author Garry Kasparov at Google

In ths video, Garry Kasparov discusses chess, Russian politics, and the role of intuition in our risk averse society.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Inwood Hill Park on "YouTube"

Here is a video on the NYPD's chess bust at Inwood Hill Park.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey on Thanksgiving Day

Turkey is in the news on Thanksgiving Day, but not the one on your dinner table!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

BYOB at Inwood Hill Park

Bring your own board!

That's the new rule for chessplaying adults at Inwood Hill Park, where the New York City parks department installed two picnic tables on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Roger E. Pedersen, Author and TD

The tournament director for Sunday's grand prix tournament at Chess Mates was Roger E. Pedersen, whose T-shirt promotes the second edition of his book Game Design Foundations.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rahway Grand Prix 11/21/2010

On Sunday, I won this game at Chess Mates in the game/45 Swiss tournament.

Round Two: Larsen's Opening

Jim West (USCF 2216) - Mauricio Camejo (USCF 2005), Rahway NJ 11/21/2010

1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.c4 Bc5 4.e3 Qe7 5.a3 a5 6.d3 f5 7.Nf3 Nf6 8.Be2 Bb6 9.O-O d5 10.cxd5 Nxd5

11.Nbd2 Bxe3 12.fxe3 Nxe3 13.Qc1 Nxf1 14.Bxf1 O-O 15.Qc3 Re8 16.Re1 Qd6 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.Rxe5 Rxe5 19.Qxe5 Qxe5 20.Bxe5 c6

21.d4 Be6 22.Bc4 Bxc4 23.Nxc4 g6 24.Bc7 a4 25.b4 Re8 26.Kf2 Kf7 27.Nd6+, Black resigns.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Marshall November Grand Prix

The following game was played yesterday at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round One: Sicilian Defense, Closed Variation

Darrian Robinson (FIDE 1917) - Jim West (FIDE 2110), Marshall Chess Club 11/20/2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 g6 5.d3 Bg7 6.f4 Qd7 7.Nf3 b6 8.f5 Bb7 9.O-O O-O-O

10.Bh3 gxf5 11.Ng5 Bd4+ 12.Kg2 e6 13.Rxf5 Nf6 14.Ne2 Qe7 15.Nxd4 Nxd4 16.Rf2 h6 17.c3 hxg5 18.Bxg5 Nxe4 19.Bxe7 Nxc3+ 20.Kf1 Nxd1 21.Rxd1 Rd7 22.Bh4 Nf3 23.Rxf3 Bxf3 24.Rc1 f5 25.Re1 Bd5 26.a3 Rf7 27.Kg1 Kc7 28.b4 e5 29.Bf1 f4

30.Rc1 Kb7 31.b5 Rfh7 32.Kf2 fxg3+ 33.Bxg3 Rxh2+ 34.Bxh2 Rxh2+ 35.Ke3 Rb2 36.a4 Ra2 37.Bh3 Rh2 38.Bf5 Rh8 39.Rg1 Rg8 40.Rh1 Bxh1, White resigns.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Photos from "Chess Mates" 11/14/2010

On Sunday, I took these pictures during the game/45 Swiss tournament at Chess Mates.

Here are two tournament directors, Zigmant Bliznikas (Rahway) and William Cohen (Westfield).

Todd Jobson has White against Anthony Norris.

Praveen Balakrishnan writes in his scorebook.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rook 'em, Danno!

On October 20th, a squad of cops in bulletproof vests swooped into an upper Manhattan park and charged seven men with the "crime" of playing chess in an area off-limits to adults.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chess Lessons with GM Leonid Yudasin

Chess lessons with grandmaster Leonid Yudasin are available Monday - Thursday at Chess Mates in Rahway. These are the fees and schedules.

Below 1600: $15/day, $40/week, $120/month.
Advanced 1600+: $15/day, $25/week, $80/month.

Below 1600 (10 years old & under): Monday - Thursday, 3:15pm- 4:45pm.
Below 1600 (11 years old & above): Monday - Thursday, 3:40pm - 6:20pm.
Advanced 1600+: Monday and Thursday, 6:25pm - 7:55pm.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pix from Marshall CC Swiss 11/13/2010

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GM Larry Evans 1932-2010

5-time U.S. chess champion GM Larry Evans [pictured right, with Bobby Fischer] passed away yesterday in Reno, Nevada.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Peter Lalic on Fajarowicz Variation

In this video, Peter Lalic (with FIDE rating 1951, not to be confused with FM Dragan Lalic) analyzes the Fajarowicz Variation in the Budapest Defense.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rahway Game/45 Swiss 11/14/2010

Today's game/45 Swiss tournament at Chess Mates was a three-round event, ending in a tie for first place between Anthony Norris and me with identical scores of 2-0-1.

Round Three: Sicilian Defense, Accelerated Fianchetto

Jim West (USCF 2216) - Anthony Norris (USCF 1958), Rahway NJ 11/14/2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 a5 9.f3 d5 10.exd5 Nb4 11.Nde2 a4 12.Nxa4 Nfxd5 13.Bf2 b5 14.Nac3 Nxc3 15.Nxc3 Bf5 16.O-O Qxd1 17.Rfxd1 Bxc2 18.Bxc2 Nxc2 19.Rac1 Bxc3 20.Rxc2 Be5

21.Rd5 Bd6 22.Rxb5 Rxa2 23.g4 Rd8 24.Kg2 Kg7 25.Bb6 Rd7 26.Ra5 Rxa5 27.Bxa5 Rb7 28.Bc3+ f6 29.h4 Kf7 30.Re2 e5 31.h5 gxh5 32.gxh5 Rb5 33.Kh3 Bb4 34.Re4 Bxc3 35.bxc3 f5 36.Rc4 Kf6 37.Kh4 Rb6 38.Rc7 e4

39.Rxh7 Rb3 40.Rh6+ Kf7 41.fxe4 fxe4 42.Rc6 Rb2 43.Kg4 e3 44.Kf3 e2 45.Kf2 Kg7 46.Ke1 Rc2 47.c4 Ra2 48.c5 Kh7 49.Re6 Rc2 50.c6 Kg7 51.h6+ Kh7 52.Kf2 Kh8, draw.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 11/13/2010

In today's game/60 Swiss tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, I finished with a score of 3-1-0.

Round One: Philidor Counter Gambit

Jermaine Cooper (USCF 1694) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 11/13/2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d3 c6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.O-O f4 7.d4 Qc7 8.Re1 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Nbd7 11.Ne2 O-O-O 12.Bd2 g5 13.Bb4 Kb8 14.Rad1 h5

15.Be6 g4 16.hxg4 hxg4 17.Bxg4 Nxg4 18.Qxg4 Nf6 19.Qf5 Be7 20.dxe5 dxe5 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Bc3 Nd7 23.Rd1 Bd6 24.Qg5 Kc8 25.Rd3 b5 26.b3 Nc5 27.Rh3 Kb7 28.f3 Rd7 29.Rh5 Re7 30.Kf1 Nd7 31.Rh6 b4 32.Bb2 Nb6 33.Nc1 Rh7

34.Qg6 Rxh6 35.Qxh6 c5 36.a3 c4 37.axb4 Bxb4 38.c3 Bc5 39.b4 Be3 40.Qe6 Na4 41.Qd5+ Qc6 42.Qf7+ Kb6 43.Ba3 Qd6 44.Qd5 Qxd5 45.exd5 Nxc3 46.Ne2 Nxd5 47.g4 fxg3 48.Nxg3 Bf4 49.Ne2 Kb5 50.Ke1 c3

51.Kd1 Ne3+ 52.Kc1 Nc4+ 53.Nxf4 exf4 54.Kc2 Nxa3+ 55.Kxc3 Nc4 56.Kb3 Ne5 57.Kc3 Nxf3 58.Kb3 Nd4+ 59.Kc3 Nc6 60.Kd3 Nxb4+ 61.Ke4 a5 62.Kxf4 Kc4 63.Ke3 Kc3 64.Ke2 Kc2 65.Ke3 a4 66.Kd4 a3 67.Kc4 a2 68.Kxb4 a1=Q

69.Kc4 Qa5 70.Kd4 Qb5 71.Ke3 Qc4 72.Kf3 Qd4 73.Kg2 Qf4 74.Kh3 Qg5 75.Kh2 Kd2 76.Kh3 Ke2 77.Kh2 Kf2 78.Kh1 Qg2#.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Recap of Marshall CC Championship 2010

Here is a recap of the Marshall Chess Club Championship 2010 from Chess Life Online.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Officials Bent Rules to Break Simul Record

[photo by Reuters]

A special investigative report has revealed that Israeli officials bent the rules to ensure that grandmaster Alik Gershon [pictured] would break the Guinness world record for simultaneous exhibitions.

As a result, Guinness will review its rules for breaking the record.

International master Dean Ippolito has postponed his world record attempt until possibly April 2011.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pix from Rahway Grand Prix 11/7/2010

On Sunday, I took these pictures during the game/45 grand prix tournament at Chess Mates in Rahway.