Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mysterious Rook Move

Did a mysterious rook move by Deep Blue cause Garry Kasparov to lose his match against the computer?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review of "Brooklyn Castle" in "NY Post"

The documentary film Brooklyn Castle is reviewed in the New York Post.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shopping "Pawn Sacrifice"

Lionsgate International will begin shopping Pawn Sacrifice, starring Tobey Maguire [pictured] as Bobby Fischer, to foreign buyers.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recap of Chess Class 10/27/2012

Yesterday morning, in the class at Caldwell College conducted by Columbia Academy, the students handed in their homework assignments. Everyone solved the chess problem correctly.

Next I presented, at the demonstration board, a game between Tigran Petrosian and Bobby Fischer where Fischer as Black played the King's Indian Defense (KID). Fischer allowed Petrosian's pawns to occupy the center squares, only to immobilize and attack the pawns. Think of the center squares as a bridge. The two armies fight for control of the bridge. The army that gains control of the bridge can invade into enemy territory. In the KID, Black lets the white pawns occupy the bridge but does not allow the pawns to cross the bridge. Fischer's pawns attacked Petrosian's pawns on e4, d5, and c4 from the f5, c6, and b5 squares respectively.

Then I began teaching simple endgames. In king and pawn endings, having the opposition is the difference between a win and a draw. The defending player's king must oppose the attacking player's king to keep it away from the queening square. In rook and pawn endings, the defending player should aim for the Philidor drawing position with king in front of the pawn and rook guarding the defender's third rank.

Finally I showed checkmates involving king and queen versus king, king and rook versus king, king and two bishops versus king, and king and bishop and knight versus king. The winning technique is always the same: drive the enemy king into the corner. The ending of king and two knights versus king is not a forced win, if the defender keeps his king away from the corner. When driving the king into the corner, beware of stalemates. Make sure that the king has at least one legal move. 

Next class, I will discuss endgames that are more complicated.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hulse Lecture Canceled Due to Hurricane

Last night, the Marshall Chess Club sent an e-mail advising that the lecture by FM Brian Hulse, scheduled for October 30th, has been "canceled and postponed to another date to be announced due to Hurricane Sandy which is expected to peak in the NYC area on Tuesday."

Friday, October 26, 2012

FM Brian Hulse to Lecture at Marshall CC

The Marshall Chess Club proudly presents

 “Psychology and Chess: a Short History”

 A lecture by FIDE master Brian Hulse.

USCF life master Brian Hulse has been a fixture on the U.S. chess circuit for five decades. A highly successful tournament player (Brian won the Marshall Chess Club championship in 1978), sought after coach, and brilliant lecturer, Brian will present a review of the psychological approach to chess, from Reuben Fine versus the Soviet school of chess to present day.

 Is chess a disease, a job, or something else? A game, perhaps? We will discuss the problem of thinking about how we think about chess.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Members free; $10 for non-members

Refreshments will be served. 

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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kingfishers - Knockouts Match is Rare Bird

In week eight of the United States Chess League, the match between the Baltimore Kingfishers and the New Jersey Knockouts was a rare bird.

Black won every game on boards one, two, three, and four!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Time" Review of "Brooklyn Castle"

Kayla Webley reviews Brooklyn Castle.

Marty Markowitz approves this movie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Marshall CC Amateur Team 10/21/2012

On Sunday, I drew this game at the Marshall Chess Club in the team tournament.

Round Three: Center Counter Defense

Jim West (USCF 2209) - Andrew Ryba (USCF 2267), Marshall Chess Club 10/21/2012

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Bd2 e6 8.Bb3 Qc7 9.Qe2 Nbd7 10.O-O-O O-O-O 11.Ne5 Nb6 12.Be3 Bb4

13.g4 Bg6 14.f3 Nfd5 15.Nxd5 exd5 16.h4 f6 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Qd3 Rde8 19.c3 Bd6 20.Bd2 Qf7 21.Bc2 Nc4 22.Qxg6 Qxg6 23.Bxg6 Re2 24.Bd3 Rf2 25.Bxc4 dxc4 26.Rhf1 Rxf1 27.Rxf1 Rxh4 28.Be3 a5 29.a4 Rh2

30.Rf2 Rh1+ 31.Kc2 Ra1 32.Rg2 Kd7 33.Rg1 Rxa4 34.Rh1 Ke7 35.Kb1 Kf7 36.Rh8 Bf8 37.g5 fxg5 38.Bxg5 b5 39.Bd2 b4 40.Rh5 b3 41.Rf5+ Ke8 42.d5 cxd5 43.Rxd5 Be7 44.Bg5, draw.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Marshall CC Amateur Team 10/20/2012

The team, of myself on board one and Ed Kopiecki on board two, called ourselves Occupy West 10th Street at the Marshall Chess Club Amateur Team Championship this past weekend.

We won the tournament with a score of 3-0-1.

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Kadhir Pillai (USCF 2133) - Jim West (USCF 2209), Marshall Chess Club 10/20/2012

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Be3 Be6 9.O-O O-O 10.f3 Nbd7 11.a4 Rc8 12.a5 Qc7 13.Re1 Rfd8

14.Bd3 d5 15.exd5 Nxd5 16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.Bxh7+ Kxh7 18.Qxd5 Nf6 19.Qxf7 Qd7 20.Nd2 Rxc2 21.Ne4 Nxe4 22.Qh5+ Kg8 23.fxe4 Qb5 24.Rf1 Qe2 25.Qxe2 Rxe2 26.Rfe1 Rxb2 27.Rab1 Rb5

28.Rxb5 axb5 29.Rc1 Rd3 30.Kf2 Ra3 31.Rc7 Bb4 32.Rxb7 Rxa5 33.Kf3 Bc3 34.Kg4 b4 35.Kf5 Kh7 36.g4 Ra6 37.g5 Kg8 38.Rb8+ Kh7 39.Bb6 g6+ 40.Kf6 Bd4 41.Rb7+, draw.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Recap of Chess Class 10/20/2012

In yesterday's class, conducted by Columbia Academy, students handed in their homework assignment which was to solve a mate in two for White. All worksheets were correct, except that two students forgot to write + for check and # for checkmate in their algebraic notation.

Continuing with my teaching of middlegame strategy, at the demonstration board I showed a game between grandmasters Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov from their world championship match in 1993. White's strategy was to create what chess players refer to as "a square" - a center of operations for his pieces. First the white bishop, then the white knights, and finally the white rook all occupied the d5 square.
Students should think of such a square like Room 107 in Aquinas Hall at Caldwell College where we have our chess class on Saturday mornings. All of us go to Room 107 in the same way that Nigel Short's pieces went to d5.

Then I analyzed a couple of games that were played last week by the students. The class concluded with a practical session during which new games were played and adjourned at 10 o'clock, to be resumed next week after I present another example of middlegame strategy.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nathan Resika to Lecture at Marshall CC

The Marshall Chess Club proudly presents 

“Becoming a Master at an Advanced Age” 

A lecture by FIDE master Nathan Resika. 

FIDE master Nathan Resika played his first tournament at age 24, became a USCF master at 31, and FIDE master (official FIDE rating 2315) at age 40. 

A winner of numerous tournaments both in the U.S. and Europe and with wins over many grandmasters and international masters on his resume, Nathan will present and analyze some of his most interesting games and share his secrets of mastering chess without the advantage of starting young. 

Nathan teaches chess in the New York City area and is also a professional opera singer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Members free; $10 for non-members

Refreshments will be served. 

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

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Knockouts Use Draw Play Against Blitz

In week seven of the U.S. Chess League, the New Jersey Knockouts took a page from football's book, twice using the draw play against the Boston Blitz to tie their match.

View the game film on boards one, two, three, and four!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

FIDE Mondays 10/15/2012

On Monday evening, I tried a new move 19...Rxh2 against Ed Kopiecki at the Marshall Chess Club, in the final round of the FIDE Mondays tournament.  

In three previous games against the same opponent, I played 19...Nd7 20.Qxb6 Nxb6 and lost the endgame each time.

Round Six:  Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Ed Kopiecki (FIDE 1959) - Jim West (FIDE 2091), Marshall Chess Club 10/15/2012

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.Bd3 b5 11.Rhe1 Bb7 12.Qg3 O-O-O 13.Bxb5 axb5 14.Ndxb5 Qb6 15.e5 Nc5 16.exf6 gxf6 17.Bh4 Rhg8 18.Qe3 Rxg2 19.Kb1 Rxh2

20.Bf2 Qa6 21.Qd4 f5 22.b4 Bc6 23.Bg1 Rg2 24.Qc4 Bxb5 25.Nxb5 d5 26.Qf1 Rxg1 27.Qxg1 Qxb5 28.Qd4 Ne4 29.Rd3 Qxb4+ 30.Qxb4 Bxb4 31.Rg1 Bc3 32.Rh1 Kd7 33.Rxh7 Rb8+ 34.Kc1 Bb2+ 35.Kd1 Nf2+ 36.Kd2 Nxd3 37.cxd3 Ke7

38.Kc2 Rh8 39.Rxh8 Bxh8 40.Kb3 Bd4 41.a4 Kd7 42.Kb4 Kc6 43.a5 Be3 44.a6 Kb6, White resigns.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Marshall October Under 2300 10/14/2012

On Sunday, I finished with a score of 2-1-1 in the under 2300 tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Three: Dutch Defense

Vladimir Polyakin (USCF 2100) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 10/14/2012

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Nd2 a5 6.Ngf3 b6 7.O-O Bb7 8.Qc2 O-O 9.b3 Bxd2 10.Nxd2 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 d6 12.Bb2 Nbd7

13.e4 fxe4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Qe7 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.f4 Rf7 18.Qc6 Nb8 19.Qb7 Qd7 20.Qf3 Qc6 21.Re2 Qxf3+ 22.Rxf3 Rfe7 23.Rfe3 Kf7 24.g4 Nd7 25.Bc3 h5 26.h3 hxg4 27.hxg4 Nf6 28.Kg3 d5 29.Rh2 Ne4+ 30.Kf3 Nxc3 31.Rxc3 dxc4 32.bxc4 Rd7 33.Ke4 Rdd8 34.a4 Rh8

35.Rch3 Rxh3 36.Rxh3 c5 37.d5 exd5+ 38.cxd5 Re8+ 39.Kf5 Re1 40.Rb3 g6+ 41.Kg5 Rd1 42.Rxb6 Rxd5+ 43.Kh6 Rd4 44.Rb7+ Ke6 45.Kg5 c4 46.f5+ gxf5 47.gxf5+ Kd6 48.f6 Rd1 49.Rb6+ Kc5 50.f7 Rg1+ 51.Kh4 Rf1 52.Rb7 c3 53.Kg5 Kc6 54.Rb3 Rxf7 55.Rxc3+ Kd5

56.Rb3 Rc7 57.Kf4 Rc4+ 58.Ke3 Rxa4 59.Kd3 Ra2 60.Kc3 Kc5 61.Rb2 Ra1 62.Kc2 Rh1 63.Rb8 a4 64.Kb2, draw.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Marshall October Under 2300 10/13/2012

On Saturday, I won this game at the Marshall Chess Club in the under 2300 tournament.

Round Two: Larsen's Opening

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Johannes Gudmundsson (USCF 1746), Marshall Chess Club 10/13/2012

1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 Bg4 3.d3 e6 4.Nd2 Nd7 5.Ngf3 Ngf6 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Nxf3 Bd6 8.e3 Qe7 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O e5 11.Nd2 Rfe8 12.e4 c6 13.Bf3 Bc5 14.a4 a5 15.Qc1 Qd6 16.Ba3 b5

17.exd5 Bxa3 18.Rxa3 b4 19.Nc4 Qc5 20.dxc6 Nb6 21.Nxb6 Qxb6 22.Ra1 Qd4 23.Qe3 Rad8 24.Qxd4 Rxd4 25.Rfe1 Kf8 26.Rac1 Nd5 27.Bxd5 Rxd5 28.Re4 f6 29.Rc4 Rc8 30.c3 bxc3 31.R1xc3 Ke7 32.Kf1 Kd6 33.c7, Black resigns.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recap of Chess Class 10/13/2012

In yesterday morning's chess class, conducted by Columbia Academy at Caldwell College,  I taught the students how to keep score using algebraic notation. I also showed the symbols used in chess notation for equal, White is better, Black is better, check, checkmate, good move, bad move, winning move, losing move, risky move, and dubious move.

Then I discussed strategy, which is another word for planning. Because there are more possible moves in a game of chess than there are atoms in the universe, the human brain can not cope with such a high number. Playing an intelligent game of chess becomes impossible for us. But if we have a plan and follow it, chess is not only possible for us, it can be simple.

To illustrate one strategy out of dozens, at the demonstration board I presented a game by Anatoly Karpov as White where Karpov's simple strategy was to obtain a better king bishop than his opponent's queen bishop, because Karpov's bishop actively controlled the long diagonal while his opponent's bishop was passively placed.

For the last half hour, the students played chess while keeping score.

Next class, the students will bring their scoresheets. I will analyze their games at the demonstration board.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

National Chess Day 2012

By a resolution of the 112th Congress, today is National Chess Day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Preview Screening of "Brooklyn Castle"

Click here to buy tickets to a preview screening of the documentary film Brooklyn Castle.

View this update from producer Nelson Dellamaggiore, asking for your support.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Knockouts Lose to Arch Rivals

In week six of the USCL, the Saint Louis Arch Bishops had these words for the New Jersey Knockouts: "Show me!"

The Knockouts drew the game on board one.  But the Bishops were too strong on boards two, three, and four.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Support "Brooklyn Castle"

Matthew Lillard says support Brooklyn Castle.

          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Help us fund screenings of Brooklyn Castle for the communities, schools, parents, and kids affected by after school programs!

It's finally here!!!!! After many long hours of filming, editing, and appearances at countless film festivals (including our debut at SXSW this past March), Brooklyn Castle is now coming to theaters nationwide starting this October 19th!! It has been an absolutely incredible journey so far, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Kickstarter community for helping fund our early creative vision and then turning it into reality. That's why we're turning to you again! We need your support more than ever, now that we're coming to theaters.

Brooklyn Castle is a film that has sparked discussions about the important role after school programs play in the lives and development of school kids across the country. While the film is coming to theaters, we also need to ensure our film reaches the audiences that have the most at stake in this issue: the communities, schools, teachers, and of course the kids who have the most to gain (and lose) from after school programs. Towards that end, we intend to use your funding to help us realize additional community screenings of Brooklyn Castle. This includes:
•Rental of movie theaters/screening locations for special community screening events in cities across the U.S.
•Transportation to get viewers to the screening, shipping costs for prints and travel costs, so the filmmakers and Brooklyn Castle's subjects can attend.

In addition to helping fund a larger rollout of the film to communities across the U.S. that might not otherwise see it, your funding support also plays another role - spreading the word. Through regular campaign updates that we plan to distribute to Kickstarter supporters, we hope to find partners and supporters across the U.S. who not only care about the critical issues of after school programs in their communities, but who can help us spread the word so that as many people see Brooklyn Castle as possible. Join us! Go see Brooklyn Castle on 10/19 and, in the meantime, donate whatever you can afford to make sure the film gets seen by as many people as possible. Whatever the amount, please know that your support will play a critical role in helping us spread the word about this amazing film to the people that need to see it.

Thanks so much!

Katie and Nelson Dellamaggiore + Brian Schulz

To learn more about the project and join our update list, please visit

In theaters October 19, 2012.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marshall October Grand Prix 10/7/2012

On Sunday, this game was played at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Three: Center Counter Defense

Jim West (FIDE 2091) - Mitch Fitzko (FIDE 2085), Marshall Chess Club 10/7/2012

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Be2 Bf5 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Be3 e6 9.Qd2 Be7 10.Bf4 Qb4 11.a3 Qa5 12.b4 Qd8 13.b5 O-O

14.bxc6 bxc6 15.h3 c5 16.Rfb1 Nb6 17.Rd1 cxd4 18.Nxd4 Bc5 19.Nxf5 exf5 20.Qxd8 Raxd8 21.Be5 Ne4 22.Nxe4 fxe4 23.a4 Rxd1+ 24.Rxd1 Nxa4 25.Ra1 Re8 26.Bxg7 Kxg7, draw.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Marshall October Grand Prix 10/6/2012

On Saturday, I drew this game at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

Ben Goldstein (USCF 1736) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 10/6/2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d3 c6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.O-O f4 7.d4 Qc7 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.h3 a5 10.a3 Na6 11.Qe2 h6 12.Nh4 g5 13.Ng6 Rh7 14.Nxf8 Kxf8

15.b4 g4 16.hxg4 Bxg4 17.f3 Bd7 18.b5 cxb5 19.Nxb5 Bxb5 20.Bxb5 Nh5 21.Rd1 Qb6+ 22.Kh2 Rg7 23.Bb2 Nc7 24.Bxe5 Qxb5 25.Bxg7+ Nxg7 26.Qxb5 Nxb5 27.a4 Nc3 28.Rd7 b5 29.axb5 Nxb5 30.Rd5 Nc7 31.Rdxa5 Rd8 32.Ra7 Nge6

33.R1a5 Kg7 34.Rc5 Nxc5 35.Rxc7+ Nd7 36.c4 Kf6 37.Rc6+ Ke5 38.Rxh6 Nf6 39.g3, draw.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Chess Class at Caldwell College

Here are recaps of my Saturday morning chess class, conducted by Columbia Academy, at Caldwell College.

In the September 22nd class, I explained how each piece moves and gave the value of each piece. A pawn is worth 1, a knight 3, a bishop 3 and a quarter, a rook 5, and a queen 9. The king is priceless. Those are the piece values at the start of the game. Your goal, as the game develops, is to increase the value of your own pieces, while at the same time decreasing the value of your opponent's pieces. The name for this process is positional chess. I also discussed tactics and strategy. Tactics are the weapons that you use to carry out your strategy. Planning ahead is strategy. On the demonstration board, I showed two games: the first by Paul Morphy as Black, illustrating tactics; the second by Bobby Fischer as White, illustrating strategy. 

In the September 29th class, I taught the King's Indian Attack for White and the King's Indian Defense for Black. At the demonstration board, I showed a game won by Bobby Fischer, using the King's Indian Attack and finishing with a brilliant queen sacrifice. Next Saturday, I will start teaching how to play the middlegame, now that students know how to make it past the opening without any disadvantage. If chess is a war game, then the middlegame is when the fighting takes place, usually near the center of the board. To play the middlegame successfully, a player must combine tactics with strategy. I will give examples of tactics involving pins, forks, double attacks, discovered checks, and more. In a future class, I will focus on strategic planning in the middlegame. 

The topic for the October 6th class was tactics, which are the weapons that you use to carry out your strategy. These include pins, forks, skewers, double attacks, and discovered checks. At the demonstration board, I showed a combination by Mikhail Tal involving three different tactics: double attack by the queen, pin by the rook, and fork by the knight. I pointed out how Tal's pieces cooperated with each other in this winning combination. Piece coordination is important in chess. In the next class, I will focus on strategy, which is planning for the future. Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen can see as many as 15 moves ahead! For most chess players, 5 moves ahead is normal, as you aim for positions from which tactics flow naturally.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pix from Westfield Quads 9/30/2012

During Sunday's quads in Westfield, I took these pictures.