Monday, April 30, 2012

Marshall April Grand Prix, Day 1

On Saturday, I swindled a draw at the Marshall Chess Club when my opponent scrambled to make the time control of 30/90 followed by game/60.

Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

Paul Rachlin (USCF 1936) - Jim West (USCF 2210), Marshall Chess Club 4/28/2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.Be2 Bc5 7.c4 c6 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.O-O O-O 10.Kh1 h6 11.Nh3 Bf5 12.Nf4 d4 13.g4 Na6

14.Na4 d3 15.gxf5 dxe2 16.Qxe2 Rxf5 17.Ne6 Qa5 18.Naxc5 Nxc5 19.Bd2 Qb6 20.Be3 Rxe5 21.Nxc5 Rxc5 22.Bxc5 Qxc5 23.Qxe4 Rf8 24.f4 Nf5 25.b3 Rf6 26.Rad1 Qe3 27.Rfe1 Qf2 28.Re2 Qh4 29.Qg2 Qxf4 30.Rf2 Qe5

31.Rd7 Qe1+ 32.Qg1 Ng3+ 33.hxg3 Qxf2 34.Qxf2 Rxf2 35.Rxb7 Rxa2 36.Rc7 Rb2 37.Rxc6 Rxb3 38.Kg2 Rc3 39.Ra6 Rxc4 40.Rxa7 Kh7 41.Kf3 Kg6 42.Ra6+ Kh5 43.Ra5+ g5 44.Ra3 g4+ 45.Kg2 Rc2+ 46.Kg1 Rc5 47.Kg2 Kg5 48.Rb3 h5

49.Rb2 Kf5 50.Kf2 Ke4 51.Rb4+ Kd3 52.Rf4 Re5 53.Kf1 Re3 54.Kf2 Re2+ 55.Kf1 Rd2 56.Rf5 Ke4 57.Rf8 Rd5 58.Kg2 Rf5 59.Re8+ Re5 60.Rf8 Ke3 61.Rf7 Ke2 62.Rf2+ Ke1 63.Rf1+ Kd2 64.Rf7 Re2+ 65.Kf1 Re5 66.Kf2 Kd3 67.Rf8 Re2+ 68.Kf1 Ra2 69.Rf4 Ke3 70.Rf7 Rb2

71.Rf8 h4 72.gxh4 Rh2 73.Kg1 Rxh4 74.Kg2 Rh3 75.Rg8 Kf4 76.Rf8+ Kg5 77.Rg8+ Kf5 78.Rf8+ Kg6 79.Rg8+ Kf5 80.Rf8+, draw.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

"A Psychobiography of Bobby Fischer"

Dear Jim,

I have enjoyed your chess website....I thought you might be interested in my new psychobiography of Bobby Fischer titled: "A Psychobiography of Bobby Fischer: Understanding the Genius, Mystery, and Psychological Decline of a World Chess Champion." This psychobiography attempts to answer some of the deeper psychological questions left unanswered in Brady's Endgame or the HBO (Liz Garbus) documentary, Bobby Fischer Against the World....You may have read my brief profile on Bobby Fischer in the Jan/Feb issue of Miller-McCune magazine....


Joseph G. Ponterotto, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Mental Health Counseling Program
Division of Psychological & Educational Services
Graduate School of Education
Room 1008
Fordham University - Lincoln Center Campus
113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023-7478

          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Robert (Bobby) James Fischer was one of the world’s most mysterious and exciting personalities of the middle 20th century. He single handedly ended a 35 year span of Russian domination of elite chess when he defeated Boris Spassky for the World Chess Championship in 1972 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Fischer’s dynamic victory ignited in Americans a passion for the game of chess and a deep pride in being American during the height of the Cold War. The world knows the story of Fischer’s ascent to the pinnacle of chess genius and brilliance, and it knows of his psychological decline into social isolation, paranoia, and likely mental illness. Now, for the first time, through “A Psychobiography of Bobby Fischer: Understanding the Genius, Mystery, and Psychological Decline of a World Chess Champion,” we come to understand the inner workings of Fischer’s mind – the genetic, personal, family, cultural, and political factors that collectively provide a penetrating window into the “why” of Bobby Fischer’s genius and bizarre behavior. Renowned counseling psychologist and author Dr. Joseph G. Ponterotto deconstructs almost every aspect of Fischer’s personal and career life to sculpt an integrative psychological profile of this enigmatic world personality. Though there have been many articles, books, and films on Bobby Fischer, this text represents the first scholarly psychological assessment of the world’s most famous chess champion. Among the topics addressed in the current volume are Bobby’s early family environment and his natural intellectual gifts that predisposed him to genius in chess. Critical to understanding Bobby’s personality development is his relationship with his mother Regina Fischer and his sister Joan Fischer, as well as his relationship to his likely biological father, Paul Felix Nemenyi. These topics are explored in-depth and the impact of these relationships on Bobby’s psychological development is highlighted. Bobby’s later-life internal mental state -- his mistrust, anger, and hatred of Jews –- is explored and the origins of this affective state are closely examined. Dr. Ponterotto also provides the first, carefully and cautiously sculpted psychological autopsy of Bobby Fischer relying on modern psychological assessment procedures. Of interest to readers will be a full chapter comparing the genius and mental health challenges of the United States’ two greatest chess champions who lived a century apart, Paul Morphy and Bobby Fischer. This book also explores the topic of the prevalence of mental illness among elite chess players, and provides a critical review of the research on the potential relationship between creativity (a hallmark of chess genius) and vulnerability to mental illness. Finally, Dr. Ponterotto outlines counseling and psychotherapy interventions that very likely could have helped Bobby throughout his life. Though there are numerous biographies on the life of Bobby Fischer, this text represents the first scholarly, systematically derived psychobiography of this great chess champion and enigmatic world personality. The book includes 10 content chapters and select Tables, Figures, and Family Genograms, as well as Appendices providing extensive detail on the life of Bobby Fischer and family. Finally, the book includes some original family photos never before published.

"The era of the amateur psychologizing about Bobby Fischer is coming to a close. Now we heed a professional. Dr. Joseph Ponterotto has applied the scientific principles of his discipline to a personality that so long perplexed the world. The controversies will not end, but any further hypotheses will need to take Ponterotto's work as a starting point." - Anthony Saidy, M.D., international chess master

"Dr. Ponterotto's pioneering research on Bobby Fischer clears up many of the myths and misperceptions that have long surrounded one of the world's most enigmatic personalities. This book is a unique blend of psychology and reporting that will fascinate anyone who has ever wondered what explains such self-destructive brilliance." - Clea Benson and Peter Nicholas, investigative journalists and the first to uncover and summarize the Fischer family FBI files  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What Happened to NJSCF Website?

When I try to access the website of the New Jersey State Chess Federation, I get a message saying "This account has been suspended."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dick Clark and Bobby Fischer

The late Dick Clark quizzes Bobby Fischer on I've Got a Secret.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April Game/90, Round 4

On Wednesday evening, I won this game at Chess Mates in Rahway.

Round Four: King's Indian Defense

Robert Vinson (USCF 1239) - Jim West (USCF 2234), Rahway NJ 4/25/2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.e3 g6 4.c4 Bg7 5.Nc3 O-O 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.O-O e5 8.b4 e4 9.Nd2 Re8 10.a4 Nf8 11.Qc2 Bf5 12.Nd5 h5 13.Ra3 N8h7 14.Qa2 c6 15.Nxf6+ Nxf6 16.Rc3 h4 17.h3 Nh7 18.Ba3 Ng5

19.Bg4 Bxg4 20.hxg4 h3 21.f4 hxg2 22.Kxg2 Nh7 23.Qb1 Qh4 24.Nxe4 Qxg4+ 25.Kf2 Bxd4 26.exd4 Qxf4+ 27.Rf3 Qxe4 28.Qxe4 Rxe4 29.Bb2 Rae8 30.Kg3 f5 31.c5 d5 32.b5 Nf6 33.bxc6 bxc6

34.Rb3 Re3+ 35.Rf3 Ne4+ 36.Kf4 Rxf3+ 37.Rxf3 Rb8 38.Ba3 Kg7 39.a5 a6 40.Ke5 Re8+ 41.Kf4 Kf6 42.Rb3 g5+ 43.Ke3 Nxc5+, White resigns.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Magnus Carlsen on "The Colbert Report"

Watch Magnus Carlsen defeat Stephen Colbert at rock-paper-scissors.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

micaman994 - NM JimWest @

Last night, during a chess lesson at, I played this PCG against my student Michael O'Connor [pictured].

Philidor Counter Gambit

micaman994 (CC 1685) - NM JimWest (CC 1676), 4/23/2012

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.Bh6+ Kxh6 12.Nxh8 Bb4+ 13.c3 Qxh8 14.h4 Kg7 15.Qxc7+ Bd7 16.Rh3 Qf8

17.Rg3+ Kh8 18.Qe5 Bg4 19.cxb4 Nbd7 20.Qb5 a6 21.Qxb7 Rb8 22.Qxa6 Qxb4+ 23.Kf1 Qxb2 24.Re1 Qxd4 25.Rb3 Rf8 26.Rb7 Nh5 27.Qa7, White resigns.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Marshall CC April Under 2300

Playing in the one day schedule on Sunday, I finished with a score of 2-0-2 in the under 2300 Swiss tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Three: Sicilian Defense, Accelerated Fianchetto

Jim West (USCF 2236) - Stuart Chagrin (USCF 1908), Marshall Chess Club 4/22/2012

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bg7 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.O-O O-O 9.Nb3 Qe5 10.f4 Qb8 11.e5 Ne8 12.Ne4 d6 13.exd6 Nxd6 14.Nxd6 exd6 15.c3 Be6 16.Be2 Qc7 17.Qd2 Rad8 18.Nd4 a6

19.Nxc6 Qxc6 20.Bf3 Qb5 21.a4 Qd7 22.Bd4 Rfe8 23.Bxg7 Kxg7 24.Qd4+ Kg8 25.Rfe1 Rc8 26.Bd5 Bxd5 27.Qxd5 Qc6 28.Qxc6 bxc6 29.b4 d5 30.Kf2 Kf8 31.g4 f6 32.Rxe8+ Rxe8 33.Re1 Rxe1 34.Kxe1 Ke7 35.Ke2 Kd6 36.Kd3 c5 37.h4 f5 38.gxf5 gxf5 39.h5 h6

40.bxc5+ Kxc5 41.a5 Kb5 42.Kd4 Kxa5 43.Kc5 Ka4 44.Kxd5 Kb5 45.c4+ Kb6 46.Kd6 Kb7 47.c5 Kc8 48.Kc6 a5 49.Kb5 Kc7 50.Kxa5 Kc6 51.Kb4, Black resigns.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rahway Swiss 4/21/2012

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

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

William Graif (USCF 2043) - Jim West (USCF 2226), Rahway NJ 4/21/2012

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.g4 b5 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Nd7 13.Bd3 Bb7 14.h4 O-O-O 

15.Qe2 Nc5 16.Nb3 d5 17.e5 g6 18.h5 Kb8 19.Nd4 b4 20.Nb1 Qa5 21.a3 bxa3 22.Nxa3 Qa4 23.Qe3Rc8 24.Kb1 Ne4 25.Bxe4 dxe4 26.Rh3 Rhd8 27.Qg1 Bc5 28.c4 e3, White forfeits.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Intermediate School 318 on MSNBC

[photo by Susan Watts/New York Daily News]

Pictured above, members of the chess team from Intermediate School 318 are congratulated by mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall in New York.

Take a look at this video from The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Break Camp II at "Chess Mates"

Last week, nine students attended Spring Break Camp I at Chess Mates in Rahway. 

Because some schools have their spring breaks later in the month, Spring Break Camp II will take place during the week of April 23rd through April 27th. The instructors will be grandmaster Leonid Yudasin [pictured below] and owner Art Macaspac.

Fun activities include swimming at the YMCA, a block away from the chess club.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Front Page News

In Wednesday's edition of The New York Times, the chess team from Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn was front page news.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pix from Spring Break Camp

During last week's spring break camp at Chess Mates, I snapped these photos.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Brooklyn Castle" at Montclair Film Festival

A screening of the documentary Brooklyn Castle will take place on Sunday May 6th, during the Montclair Film Festival, at 2:30pm in the Clairidge Cinema.

The film features members of the chess team from Intermediate School 318 who won the National High School Championship this past weekend.

Following the film screening, Brooklyn Castle is hosting a chess event that will include young chess enthusiasts, much like the young people in their film: kids from homes without many monetary resources, but in possession of enormous drive, talent, ambition, and a deep love of chess.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Frederic Fournier Analyzes O'Connor - West

At Contre Gambit Philidor, Frederic Fournier analyzes my game as Black against Michael O'Connor [pictured].

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rahway Quad 4/14/2012

Yesterday at Chess Mates, in the game/45 quad, I won an inferior endgame when my opponent blundered.

Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

William Graif (USCF 2049) - Jim West (USCF 2213), Rahway NJ 4/14/2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d3 c6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Qe2 Be7 7.Ng5 Qc7 8.Bf7+ Kf8 9.Be6 h6 10.Nf7 Rh7 11.exf5 Bxe6 12.fxe6 Qc8 13.f4 Qxe6 14.fxe5 Kxf7 15.exf6 Qxe2+ 16.Kxe2 Bxf6

17.Ne4 Be7 18.Bf4 d5 19.Nd6+ Bxd6 20.Bxd6 Ke6 21.Bg3 Na6 22.Rae1 Kd7 23.Rhf1 Re8+ 24.Kd2 Rxe1 25.Kxe1 g5 26.Kd2 Ke7 27.d4 Rg7 28.Be5 Rg6 29.c3 c5 30.Ke3 b6 31.a3 cxd4+ 32.Kxd4 Nc5 33.Kxd5 Nd3

34.b4 Nxe5 35.Re1 Rd6+ 36.Kxe5 Re6+, White resigns.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nine Students at Spring Break Camp

Nine students attended the spring break camp, instructed by owner Art Macaspac and me, at Chess Mates in Rahway. 

Pictured left to right, in the back row are Ariel Calandri, Gabriel Calandri, Advait Manur, Kai Gardner, and Michael Yin.  In the front row are Angel Munoz-Avila, Lui Gardner, Ashwin Manur, and Hugo Gardner. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

April Game/90, Round Two

This game was played on Wednesday night in the game/90 Swiss tournament at Chess Mates.

Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

Michael O'Connor (USCF 1766) - Jim West (USCF 2210), Rahway NJ 4/11/2012

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.Bh6+ Kxh6 12.Nxh8 Bb4+ 13.c3 Qxh8 14.h4 Kg7 15.Qxc7+ Bd7 16.cxb4 Qf8 17.Qg3+ Kh8 18.a3 Nc6 19.O-O-O Rc8

20.Kb1 Nxb4 21.axb4 Rxc4 22.Rc1 Rxb4 23.Qa3 e3 24.Rc4 Nd5 25.fxe3 Qf5+ 26.Rc2 Ba4 27.Rhc1 Bxc2+ 28.Rxc2 Rc4 29.e4 Qf1+ 30.Ka2 Rxc2 31.exd5 Qc4+ 32.Qb3 Qxb3+ 33.Kxb3 Rc8

34.Kb4 Kg7 35.g4 Kf7 36.g5 Ke7 37.h5 Kd6 38.g6 hxg6 39.hxg6 Kxd5 40.g7 Rg8 41.Kb5 Rxg7 42.b4 Kxd4 43.Ka5 Kc4 44.b5 Rg1, White resigns

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frederic Fournier Analyzes Wu - West

At Contre Gambit Philidor, Frederic Fournier analyzes my game as Black against Leon Wu.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Results of Tournament at Lafayette School

The winter session of the after school chess program, run by Enrich and Grow Academy and taught by me, ended yesterday at Lafayette School in Chatham.

During the final classes, a chess tournament took place.  The winner was Nathan Dean with a perfect score of 3 points.  Brandon Judd took second place.  Finishing third was Michael Chavez Bisch. 

Medals were awarded to all three.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weekly Chess Program at Bogota Library

[photo by Karthik Aggarwal]

The public library in Bogota NJ offers a weekly chess program on Thursday afternoons.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rahway Quads 4/7/2012

On Saturday, I won this PCG in the game/45 quads at Chess Mates.

Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

Leon Wu (USCF 1675) - Jim West (USCF 2210), Rahway NJ 4/7/2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.e6 Bc5 7.Bb5+ c6 8.Be2 Nf6 9.Nf7 Qb6 10.O-O O-O 11.Bg4 Na6 12.Nc3 d4 13.Na4 Qc7 14.Nxc5 Nxc5      

15.Bg5 Nxg4 16.Qxg4 Bxe6 17.Qh4 Rxf7 18.b4 Nd7 19.Qxe4 Bf5 20.Qxd4 Bxc2 21.Rac1 Ba4 22.Rfe1 Qb6 23.Qd2 Raf8 24.Be3 Qc7 25.Qe2 a6 26.Qc4 Bb5 27.Qb3 a5 28.a4 axb4 29.axb5 c5 30.Bd2 Kh8 31.Qg3 Qxg3 32.fxg3 b6 33.Bf4 h6

34.Re6 Ra8 35.Bc7 Ra5 36.Bxb6 Rxb5 37.Bd8, White forfeits.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday Camp 4/7/2012

Yesterday I took this picture during the Saturday camp at Chess Mates in Rahway. 

Lucas Rendina has Black against Anthony Tang [foreground], while Albert Tang plays White against Michael Berrios [background].

The spring break camp takes place from April 9th through April 13th.  Already five students have signed up.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dylan McClain to Lecture at Marshall CC

The Marshall Chess Club invites you to a lecture by The New York Times chess columnist and FIDE master Dylan McClain.

 “The History of Chess”

In this talk, FM McClain will present how the game evolved and spread from its origins in India and how chess sets have often been a form for artistic and even political expression.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Free to members, guest fee $10.

Refreshments will be served.

Marshall Chess Club
23 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10011
Phone 212-477-3716
Fax 212-995-9281

Friday, April 6, 2012

Michael O'Connor @ "Contre Gambit Philidor"

At Contre Gambit Philidor, Frederic Fournier analyzes a PCG played by Michael O'Connor as Black.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Michael O'Connor Plays PCG

Michael O'Connor [pictured] obtained a USCF rating above 1800 by winning his quad at Chess Mates on Saturday.

Since buying my book The Philidor Countergambit, Michael has won a couple of games with the PCG at  Here is one of them.

Philidor Counter Gambit

ricmissy (CC 1597) - micaman994 (CC 1519), 2/27/2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d3 Be7 5.O-O Nc6 6.a3 f4 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.h3 Bh5 9.Nd5 Nf6 10.Bd2 Nxd5 11.Bxd5 Nd4 12.c3 Nxf3+ 13.gxf3 c6 14.Bb3 Bh4 15.Kh2 Qf6 16.Be1 O-O-O 17.Rg1 Rhe8 18.Bc2 Kb8 

19.b4 d5 20.Qe2 dxe4 21.dxe4 Bf7 22.c4 Qh6 23.Rd1 Bf6 24.b5 c5 25.a4 Rxd1 26.Bxd1 Rd8 27.Bb3 Be6 28.Qf1 Qh5 29.Qg2 Rd3 30.Bc2 Rxf3, White resigns.