Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Review of "Chess" at Generic Theater

Frank Connelly reviews the musical Chess at the Generic Theater.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Chess in "Tesla Arcade" App

Watch the video of chess in the "Tesla Arcade" app.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Edison Quads, Round 3, 7/27/2019

On Saturday, I finished with a score of 1-1-1 at the quads in Edison.

Round Three: Queen Pawn Opening

Aarush Tippa (USCF 1457) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Edison NJ 7/27/2019

1.Nf3 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nxd4 g6 4.e3 Bg7 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.O-O O-O 7.Nd2 Nc6 8.N2f3 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 d6 10.Re1 a6 11.a4 Bd7 12.c3 Rc8 13.Qb3 Qc7

14.Bd5 Nxd5 15.Qxd5 e5 16.Nc2 Bc6 17.Qd3 f5 18.Nb4 Be4 19.Qd2 Kh8 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.Qxd5 Qc6 22.Rd1 Qxd5 23.Rxd5 Rfd8 24.Ra3 Rc5 25.Rd1 d5 26.g3 Rdc8 27.Rb3 b5 28.axb5 axb5 29.Ra3 b4

30.Rb3 bxc3 31.bxc3 Rxc3 32.Rxc3 Rxc3 33.Bb2 Rc5 34.Ra1 Rc8 35.Ra7 Rd8 36.f4 d4 37.exd4 exf4 38.Ra4 fxg3 39.hxg3 h5 40.Kf2 Kh7 41.Ra7 Kh6 42.Bc1+ g5 43.Ra6+ Kh7 44.Bxg5 Rxd4 45.Ra7 Rg4 46.Bf6 Rg6

47.Bxg7 Rxg7 48.Rxg7+ Kxg7 49.Kf3 Kg6 50.Kf4 Kf6 51.Kf3 Kg5 52.Kf2 Kg4 53.Kg2 h4 54.gxh4 Kxh4 55.Kf3 Kg5 56.Kg3 f4+ 57.Kf3 Kf5 58.Kf2 Ke4 59.Ke2 f3+ 60.Kf2 Kf4 61.Kf1 Ke3 62.Ke1 f2+ 63.Kf1 Kf3, stalemate.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Edison Quads, Round 2, 7/27/2019

On Saturday, I won this game at the quads in Edison.

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Closed Variation

Mauricio Camejo (USCF 2002) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Edison NJ 7/27/2019

1.Nf3 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.d3 Bg4 7.Be3 e6 8.Qd2 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Nge7 10.Bg2 Nd4 11.Ne2 Nxe2 12.Kxe2 Rb8

13.f4 Bxb2 14.Rab1 Bd4 15.Bxd4 cxd4 16.Rb4 Nc6 17.Rb3 Qa5 18.Qc1 h5 19.Qb2 Qc7 20.f5 e5 21.fxg6 fxg6 22.Bh3 O-O 23.Be6+ Kg7 24.Qa3 Qe7 25.Bd5 Qf6

26.Kd2 Qg5+ 27.Kd1 Rf2 28.Qc1 Qg4+, White resigns.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Chess Simul by Washington State AG

National master Bobby Ferguson [pictured], attorney general of Washington State, is giving a chess simul to raise funds for his re-election campaign.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Chess Footnote in Mueller Report

Eric Felten examines the footnotes in the Mueller report, including one on chess.

To get insight into Mueller’s method and intent – his penchant for building edifices of insinuation on the smallest of citations - it is worth unpacking one of the shortest footnotes in his report. Footnote 1024 on page 150 of the report’s first volume simply reads: “Nader 1/22/18 302 at 3.” It is a reference to the FBI’s memo – known as a 302 -- of its January 2018 interview with George Nader, identified in the Mueller report as “Advisor to the United Arab Emirates’s Crown Prince.” Nader had spoken with a Russian who was attending the 2016 World Chess Championship in New York and who had expressed an interest in meeting Trump. Nader also told the FBI that an unnamed chess federation official had “recalled hearing” from an unknown attendee that Trump “had stopped by the tournament.” 

The footnote tells us just how thin the sourcing was for this fantastical scenario. And it tells us just how little in the way of plausible proof the Mueller team needed to go off on an investigative tangent. The special counsel even used one of his precious few written questions for the president (question V. a. to be exact) to ask whether Trump had been invited “to attend the World Chess Championship gala on November 10, 2016” and whether he had attended “any part of the event.” Trump responded that he had learned in “the course of preparing to respond to these questions” that early in 2016 the chess federation had inquired, fruitlessly, about using Trump Tower for the championship match. But in any case, Trump said in his written testimony that he “did not attend the event.” 

It’s worth pointing out that Nov. 10, 2016, was just two days after Trump’s election and a day the president-elect spent in Washington — it was even in the newspapers — meeting with President Obama. 

As for the other days of the tournament, how plausible is it that Donald Trump just happened to pop over to the World Chess Championship? This is not just because Trump is more a WWE than a WCC sort of guy. Rather, it is a matter of common sense. Trump was the most famous person in the world, hated and loved and surrounded by unprecedented levels of security. Trump Tower, for example, was encircled by dump-trucks loaded with sand. And with such precautions being hastily imposed, Mueller entertains as a possibility worth inquiring into that the president-elect was able to slip away from his Trump Tower penthouse, travel some six miles to the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, take in some chess, schmooze with some Russians, and return to midtown — all without being seen? 

This is where one would hope to find a more robust citation, because without a more compelling predicate than the sad little footnote provided, the special counsel’s pursuit of Chessgate comes across as naive and foolish. And yet, Mueller’s team finds it hard to let go. Back in the main text, Mueller uses his favorite grudging formulation of innocence: “the investigation did not establish that Trump or any Campaign or Transition Team official attended the event.” 

For those in the Trump transition team who were unable to sneak out to catch the end of the contest, Mueller might have added that the Russian challenger lost. 

He could even have footnoted it.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

"Fortune" Article on Chess Forum

Read Anna Ben Yehuda Rahmanan's article on Chess Forum.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

GM Molner Simul 7/30/2019 at WOCC

Event: NJ chess grandmaster MacKenzie Molner [pictured] faces all challengers on July 30th

Date: July 30, 2019

Time: 8:15pm

Event Location: Toby Katz Community Center

Event Address: 650 Pleasant Valley Way West Orange, NJ


Event Contact: John Hagerty

Event Contact Phone: 973-736-3433

Event Contact Email:

Event Cost: $10


West Orange Chess Club, West Orange, NJ

Grandmaster "Mac" MacKenzie Molner (USCF 2545) will play all challengers at a timed simultaneous exhibition at the West Orange Toby Katz Community Center starting at 8pm, Tuesday, 30 July 2019. With fewer than 1,750 grandmasters in the world, and but a handful in NJ, playing GM "Mac" Molner is an outstanding opportunity to experience chess on an extraordinary level.  It is rare that any chess player gets an opportunity to see a grandmaster play live, let alone compete with him.

Entry fee is $10.  Please bring exact change, or personal check.  No credit cards or debit cards, please.  Players should bring their own sets and competition chess clock as this is a timed event.

See below for directions.  However, please note that the Katz Community Center is on Alisa Drive (650 Pleasant Valley Way) all the way at the end behind the lake.  Parking at the Community Center is limited, but there is ample parking in the West Orange High School parking lots near the tennis courts.  It is a short walk from the lots to the Community Center through the playground along the ball park fence.  Good luck to all! 

More information on Grandmaster "Mac":

Directions to the Katz Community Center:,-74.2637158,657m/data=!3m2!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c3aaf9b61a8303:0xeb44d765d2d5ad4b!m2!3d40.802887!4d-74.2615271?hl=en

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Sunday Game/50, Round 2, 7/21/2019

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

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Jehlan Eustache (USCF 1478), Marshall Chess Club 7/21/2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.N5c3 Qb6 10.b3 Be6 11.Be2 Rg8 12.Bf3 Rc8 13.O-O Nd4

14.Na4 Qa5 15.c3 Nxf3+ 16.Qxf3 b5 17.Nb2 Ke7 18.b4 Qb6 19.a4 Bg4 20.Qd3 h5 21.axb5 axb5 22.Ra5 Bd7 23.Na3 Rc5 24.Rd1 Ke8 25.Ra8+ Rc8 26.Rxc8+ Bxc8 27.Qxb5+ Qxb5 28.Nxb5 Kd7

29.Nc4 Ba6 30.Nbxd6 Ke6 31.b5 Bxd6 32.Rxd6+, Black resigns.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Sunday Game/50, Round 1, 7/212019

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

Round One: Philidor Counter Gambit

Nathaniel Mullodzhanov (USCF 1868) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 7/21/2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Neg5 exd4 7.Nxd4 Bb4+ 8.c3 Qe7+ 9.Be2 Bc5 10.O-O Bxd4 11.Qxd4 Nf6 12.Bf4 O-O 13.Bf3 c6 14.Rfe1 Qd8

15.Bxb8 Rxb8 16.Qxa7 Bd7 17.Qd4 h6 18.Ne6 Bxe6 19.Rxe6 Qd7 20.Rae1 Rbe8 21.Bg4 Nxg4 22.Qxg4 Rxe6 23.Qxe6+ Qxe6 24.Rxe6 Ra8 25.a3 Kf7 26.Re3 Ra4 27.Kf1 b5 28.Ke2 g5 29.Rf3+ Kg7 30.Re3 Kf7

31.g3 g4 32.f3 gxf3+ 33.Rxf3+ Kg7 34.Rf4 Ra7 35.Kd3 Re7 36.a4 bxa4 37.Rxa4 Rb7 38.b4 Rf7 39.Ra6 Rf6 40.Rb6 h5 41.Kd4 h4 42.gxh4 Rf4+ 43.Kc5 Rc4+ 44.Kd6 Rxc3 45.Rxc6 Rxc6+ 46.Kxc6 d4

47.b5 d3 48.b6 d2 49.b7 d1=Q 50.b8=Q Qc2+ 51.Kd5 Qg2+ 52.Kd4 Qg4+ 53.Ke3 Qxh4 54.Kf3 Qf6+, draw.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Thursday Action, Round 4, 7/18/2019

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

Round Four: Caro-Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

Wesley Hellner (USCF 1881) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 7/18/2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 O-O 5.Be2 c5 6.c3 cxd4 7.exd4 d5 8.Nbd2 Nc6 9.O-O Bf5 10.Nh4 Bd7 11.Nhf3 Qb6 12.Qb3 Qxb3 13.Nxb3 Bg4 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 b6 16.Rfe1 e6 17.Rac1 Rac8

18.Re2 Rfe8 19.Rce1 Nd7 20.Bxd5 b5 21.Bf3 Nf6 22.Bd6 Bf8 23.Bxf8 Kxf8 24.Nc5 Re7 25.Nd3 Rec7 26.Nc5 Re7 27.Ne4 Nxe4 28.Bxe4 Rec7 29.Bd3 a6 30.Re3 Ne7 31.Rf3 Kg7 32.Re5 Nd5 33.h4 Nb6 34.h5 Nc4

35.Re2 Nd6 36.hxg6 hxg6 37.Re5 Nc4 38.Re2 Nd6 39.Rg3 a5 40.Re5 b4 41.Rxa5 bxc3 42.bxc3 Rxc3 43.Ra6 Rc1+ 44.Kh2 Rd8 45.Ra7 Nf5 46.Bxf5 exf5 47.Rd3 Rd5 48.Kg3 Rc4 49.a4 Rdxd4 50.Rxd4 Rxd4

51.f3 Rd2 52.Rc7 f4+ 53.Kh2 Ra2 54.Rc4 g5 55.Kh3 Kg6 56.Rc6+ f6 57.Rc4 Kh5 58.Rc6 Rxa4 59.Rxf6 Ra8 60.Kh2 Ra5 61.Rf8 Kg6 62.Kh3 Ra2 63.g3 fxg3 64.Kxg3 Ra4 65.Rd8 Rf4 66.Rg8+ Kh6 67.Kf2 Ra4, draw.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Thursday Action, Round 2, 7/18/2019

On Thursday, I won this game in the tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Two: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Peter McQuillan (USCF 1920), Marshall Chess Club 7/18/2019

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.c3 Qd7 7.O-O Bd6 8.Re1+ Nge7 9.Nbd2 O-O-O 10.b4 Ng6 11.Qa4 Kb8 12.b5 Nce7 13.Ba3 Nf4 14.Bf1 Neg6

15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Re3 Rhe8 17.Rxe8 Rxe8 18.b6 Qc6 19.Bb5, Black resigns.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Thursday Action, Round 1, 7/18/2019

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

Round One: Pirc Defense

Liam Murphy (USCF 1796) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 7/18/2019

1.e4 d6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 g6 4.d4 Bg7 5.f4 O-O 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nc6 9.Be3 e5 10.fxe5 dxe5 11.d5 Nd4

12.Bxd4 exd4 13.Ne2 Qe7 14.Nxd4 Qb4+ 15.Qc3 Qxc3+ 16.bxc3 Nxe4 17.Nb5 Nxc3 18.Nxc7 Rac8 19.d6 Ne4 20.Rd1 Nxd6 21.Rxd6 Rxc7 22.Bb3 Be5 23.Rd3 Kg7 24.Rf1 f5 25.Ke2 Bf6

26.Rfd1 Re8+ 27.Kf3 a6 28.a4, draw.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Shankland 28-0-2 in Marshall CC Simul

At, William Guskind [pictured] has posted games from Sam Shankland's simul at the Marshall Chess Club, including his own.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Edison Quads, Round 3, 7/13/2019

On Saturday, I finished with a score of 1-0-2 at the quads in Edison.

Round Three: King's Fianchetto Opening

Mina Awad (USCF 1330) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Edison NJ 7/13/2019

1.g3 c5 2.Bg2 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.e3 Bg7 5.Nge2 e5 6.O-O Nge7 7.a3 O-O 8.b3 d5 9.Rb1 d4 10.exd4 cxd4 11.Na2 Rb8 12.Bb2 Be6 13.Nac1 Bd5

14.f3 f5 15.Nd3 b6 16.c4 Bf7 17.Nf2 Kh8 18.d3 a5 19.Qc1 Qd7 20.Kh1 b5 21.Ba1 bxc4 22.bxc4 Rxb1 23.Qxb1 Rb8 24.Qc1 Kg8 25.Qd2 Rb3 26.Qc2 Rxa3 27.Rb1 Nb4 28.Qc1 Ra2 29.Rb2 Qa4 30.Rxa2 Qxa2 31.Bb2 Qb3

32.Qd2 Qc2 33.Bc1 Qxd2 34.Bxd2 Nec6 35.Nc1 a4 36.Bf1 a3 37.Nb3 Nc2 38.Nc1 Bf8 39.Be2 Bb4 40.Bxb4 N6xb4 41.Bd1 Ne3 42.Bb3 Kf8 43.h4 Ke7 44.Kg1 Kd7 45.Nh3 h6 46.Nf2 Kc6 47.Nh3 Kc5

48.Nf2 Be6 49.Nh3 f4 50.g4 Bd7 51.Nf2 Bc6 52.g5 hxg5 53.hxg5 Bxf3 54.Kh2 Nf1+ 55.Kg1 Nd2 56.Kh2, White forfeits.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Edison Quads, Round 2, 7/13/2019

On Saturday, I drew this game at the quads in Edison.

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Errol Singh (USCF 1965) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Edison NJ 7/13/2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.f3 O-O 9.Qd2 Be6 10.O-O-O Nbd7 11.Kb1 b5 12.a3 Nb6 13.Bxb6 Qxb6 14.g4 Rfc8 15.h4 b4 16.axb4 Qxb4 17.g5 Nh5

18.Nd5 Qxd2 19.Nxe7+ Kf8 20.Ng6+ hxg6 21.Rxd2 Ng3 22.Rg1 Nxf1 23.Rxf1 Bxb3 24.cxb3 Ke7 25.Rfd1 Rc6 26.f4 exf4 27.Rf1 Rb6 28.Rd3 Rb4 29.Rxf4 f5 30.gxf6 gxf6 31.Rg3 Rg8 32.Rfg4 Kf7

33.Kc2 Rb5 34.Rc3 Ke6 35.Rcg3 Rh5 36.Kd3 g5 37.hxg5 Rhxg5 38.Rxg5 Rxg5 39.Rf3 Rg2 40.Kc3 Re2 41.Rf4 Re3+ 42.Kc4 Re2 43.Kc3 a5 44.Rh4 Re3+ 45.Kd4 Rxb3 46.Rh5 Rb4+ 47.Kd3 a4

48.Ra5 Kd7 49.Rf5 Rxb2 50.Rxf6 a3 51.Rf7+ Ke6 52.Ra7 a2 53.Kd4 Rh2 54.Ra6 Rg2 55.Ra7 Rb2 56.Ra6 Rb4+ 57.Kd3 Ke5 58.Ra5+ Kf4 59.Rxa2 Rxe4 60.Rf2+ Ke5 61.Rf8 Rh4 62.Re8+ Kd5 63.Rd8 Rh3+ 64.Kd2 Ke5

65.Re8+ Kd4 66.Re2 Ra3 67.Re8 Ra2+ 68.Kd1 d5 69.Rh8 Kc4 70.Rh7 d4 71.Rh8 Kc3 72.Rd8 Kd3 73.Ke1 Ra1+ 74.Kf2, and drawn in ? moves.

                                       Final Position

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Edison Quads, Round 1, 7/13/2019

On Saturday, I played this game at the quads in Edison.

Round One: Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Aleksey Sergeev (USCF 1466), Edison NJ 7/13/2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O d6 5.Re1 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bb3 Bg4 8.c3 Be7 9.d3 O-O 10.Nbd2 Re8 11.h3 Bh5 12.Nf1 d5

13.Ng3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 d4 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nh5 Qd6 18.Nxf6+ Qxf6 19.Qxf6 gxf6 20.Bd5 Ne7 21.Bxa8 Rxa8 22.cxd4 exd4 23.Rac1 Rc8 24.b4 c6 25.Rc5 Ng6 26.e5 Nxe5 27.Rexe5 fxe5 28.Rxe5 Kg7

29.Kf1 Rc7 30.f4 f6 31.Re8 c5 32.bxc5 Rxc5 33.Re2 Rc3 34.Rd2 a5 35.Ke2 b4 36.g4 a4 37.Kf3 b3 38.axb3 axb3 39.Ke4 Rc2 40.Rd1 b2 41.Rb1 Kg6 42.Kxd4 f5 43.Kd5 fxg4 44.hxg4 Kf6 45.d4 Rg2

46.Ke4 Re2+ 47.Kd3 Rg2 48.Ke3 Ke6 49.Ke4 Re2+ 50.Kf3 Rc2 51.g5 hxg5 52.fxg5 Kf5 53.g6 Kxg6 54.Ke4 Kf6 55.Kd3 Rg2 56.Kc3 Ke6 57.Rxb2 Rxb2 58.Kxb2 Kd5 59.Kc3 Kd6 60.Kc4 Kc6

61.d5+ Kd6 62.Kd4 Kd7 63.Ke5 Ke7 64.d6+ Kd7 65.Kd5 Kd8 66.Ke6 Ke8 67.d7+ Kd8 68.Kd6, stalemate.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

FIDE Mondays 7/8/2019

On Monday, I won this game at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Three: Caro-Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

Wesley Hellner (USCF 1879) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 7/8/2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.e3 O-O 5.Be2 c5 6.c3 cxd4 7.exd4 d5 8.O-O Nc6 9.h3 Bf5 10.Bd3 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 e6 12.Nbd2 Rc8 13.Rab1 a6 14.Rfe1 Re8

15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Nd7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Nf3 Qc7 19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.Rxe5 Qc4 21.Qxc4 Rxc4 22.Rbe1 Rb8 23.f4 b5 24.a3 a5 25.g4 b4 26.cxb4 axb4 27.f5 bxa3 28.bxa3 exf5 29.gxf5 Rxd4 30.fxg6 hxg6

31.R1e3 Rb2 32.Rf3 f5 33.Re1 Re4 34.Rc1 Kf6 35.Rc6+ Re6 36.Rxe6+ Kxe6 37.Rg3 Kf6 38.Rd3 Ke5 39.Rg3 Rb6 40.Kf2 d4 41.Ke2 Ke4 42.Kd2 f4 43.Rg4 Rb2+ 44.Kc1 Rb3 45.Rxg6 Rxa3

46.Re6+ Kf5 47.Rd6 Rxh3 48.Rxd4 Re3 49.Kd2 Kg4 50.Rd8 Kf3 51.Rf8 Re7 52.Rg8 Kf2 53.Kd3 f3 54.Rf8 Kg2 55.Kd2 f2 56.Rg8+ Kf1 57.Rh8 Rd7+ 58.Kc1 Rd5 59.Rg8 Ke2 60.Re8+ Kf3 61.Rf8+ Ke3 62.Re8+ Kf4, White resigns.