Saturday, November 30, 2019

Trash Talk

In this video, international master Miodrag Perunovic calls the Philidor Counter Gambit "complete trash."  

He adds to the litany of other such negative comments about the PCG including "absolutely unsound", "busted", "junk", "execrable", "dilapidated", "unprincipled", "coffeehouse", and (my personal favorite) "wild West chess."

Instead of, after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.Ng5 Nh6 6.d5 playing the move 6...Ne7, Steinitz gave 6...Nb8 7.Nc3 fxe4 8.Ncxe4 Bf5=.

Fabiano Caruana improved on 7.Nc3 with 7.f4.

So Black should interpolate 6...f4 7.h4 before 7...Nb8.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Newark CC to Celebrate Tenth Anniversary

[photo by M. E. Cagnassola]

The Newark Chess Club will celebrate its tenth anniversary on December 10th.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

E-mail from FM Jacob Chudnovsky

Hi Jim,

I came across your blog the other day, with a guest post from candidate master Lev Zilbermintz showing a win against me with Black in the Philidor Counter Gambit in a correspondence game.

For the sake of fairness and accuracy, I would like to point out that this game was an anomaly.  Lev chose to share this game while neglecting to show the games in which I beat him easily in the same opening.  He is a big proponent of this variation, which I consider highly dubious.  My attempt to "refute" this line with 7.Bd3 was misguided.  The natural 7.Nxd4 instead leads to a positionally winning endgame for White.  To avoid misleading your readers, I'd like to see the White wins published as well.

[Event "Let's Play!"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2019.10.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "chuddog"]
[Black "BrilliantONe"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C41"]
[WhiteElo "2296"]
[BlackElo "1847"]
[TimeControl "1/259200"]
[EndDate "2019.10.22"]
[Termination "chuddog won by resignation"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Neg5 exd4 7.Nxd4 Qe7+ 8.Qe2 h6 9.Nge6 Bxe6 10.Nxe6 Kf7 11.Nxf8 Qxe2+ 12.Bxe2 Nf6 13.Bf4 Rxf8 14.Bxc7 Nc6 15.O-O-O Rac8 16.Bg3 Rfe8 17.Rhe1 Re6 18.Bd3 Rxe1 19.Rxe1 g6 20.a3 a6 21.Bf4 g5 22.Bf5 Rd8 23.Bc7 Re8 24.Rxe8 Nxe8 25.Bg3 Ke7 26.Bc8 Nd8 27.Kd2 Nd6 28.Bxd6+ Kxd6 29.Ke3 Kc7 30.Bf5 Kd6 31.f4 b6 32.fxg5 hxg5 33.g3 Ke5 34.Bc8 a5 35.h4 gxh4 36.gxh4 Nf7 37.h5 Nh6 38.Kd3 Nf7 39.Kc3 d4+ 40.Kd3 Kd5 41.Bb7+ Ke5 42.Bf3 Ng5 43.Be2 Nf7 44.Bf3 Ng5 45.h6 Kf6 46.Be4 Ke5 47.h7 Nf7 48.a4 Nh8 49.Bf3 Ng6 50.Bh5 Nh8 51.Kc4 Kf6 52.Kxd4 Kg5 53.Be8 Kh6 54.Kd5 Kxh7 55.Kc6, 1-0.

[Event "Let's Play!"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2019.10.22"]
[Round "?"]
[White "chuddog"]
[Black "BrilliantONe"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C41"]
[WhiteElo "2328"]
[BlackElo "1847"]
[TimeControl "1/259200"]
[EndDate "2019.10.31"]
[Termination "chuddog won by resignation"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Neg5 exd4 7.Nxd4 Qe7+ 8.Qe2 h6 9.Nge6 Bxe6 10.Nxe6 Kf7 11.Nxf8 Qxe2+ 12.Bxe2 Kxf8 13.Bf4 c6 14.O-O-O Kf7 15.c4 Nf6 16.cxd5 Nxd5 17.Bc4 Rd8 18.Rd2 b5 19.Bxd5+ Rxd5 20.Rxd5 cxd5 21.Kd2 Nc6 22.Rc1 Ne7 23.Rc7 Ke6 24.Be3 d4 25.Bf4 Rf8 26.Bg3 Nf5 27.f3 a6 28.Kd3 g5 29.Bf2 Nh4 30.Bxh4 gxh4 31.Rc6+ Kd5 32.Rxh6 Rg8 33.Rxh4 Rxg2 34.Rxd4+ Ke5 35.Re4+ Kf5 36.Re2 Rg1 37.Kc3 Rf1 38.Kb4 Rxf3 39.Ka5 Rf4 40.Kxa6 Ra4+ 41.Kxb5 Rxa2 42.h4 Kg4 43.Re4+ Kh5 44.b4 Ra8 45.Kc6 Rc8+ 46.Kb7 Rc2 47.b5 Rb2 48.b6 Kg6 49.Ra4 Kf6 50.Ka7 Ke7 51.b7 Kd7 52.b8=Q Rxb8 53.Kxb8, 1-0.


          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

 Years ago, I played 7....Qe7+.  But now I prefer 7....Bb4+.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

1,300-Year-Old Chess Piece

[photo by John Peter Oleson]

A small object made of sandstone might be the oldest chess piece ever found.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Kasparov: Tucker Carlson is "Buffoon"

Garry Kasparov criticizes the Fox News Channel host.

Monday, November 25, 2019

November Under 2400 11/24/2019

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

Round Four: King's Indian Defense, Exchange Variation

Christopher Chou (USCF 1779) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 11/24/2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 O-O 5.e4 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bg5 Re8 10.O-O c6 11.Rfd1 Bg4 12.Rd6 Nbd7 13.h3 Be6 14.Rad1 Bf8 15.R6d2 Bb4

16.Nxe5 Bxc3 17.Nxd7 Nxe4 18.bxc3 Bxd7 19.Rxd7 Nxg5 20.Bf3 Nxf3+ 21.gxf3 Re2 22.Rxb7 Rxa2 23.Rdd7 Rf8 24.Rxa7 Rc2 25.Rac7 Rxc3 26.Rxc6 Rxf3 27.Kg2 Rf5, draw.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

November Under 2400 11/23/2019

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

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Kyle Phan (USCF 1933), Marshall Chess Club 11/23/2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Na5 11.Bb3 Qc7 12.O-O-O Nc4 13.Bxc4 Qxc4 14.Kb1 Rfc8

15.h5 b5 16.hxg6 hxg6 17.Bh6 Bh8 18.Bg5 Bg7 19.Bh6 Bh8 20.Bg5 Bg7, draw.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

GM Khamrakulov is 2019 Marshall CC Champ

Grandmaster Djurabek Khamrakulov [pictured, right] won the 2019 Marshall Chess Club championship in a blitz playoff.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Teacher at Global Charter School

For the remainder of the fall 2019 session at Premier Chess, on Fridays I will teach the after school enrichment class at Jersey City Global Charter School.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Westfield Grand Prix, Round 4, 11/17/2019

On Sunday, I finished with a score of 2-1-0 plus a half point bye in the tournament at Westfield.

Round Four: Philidor Counter Gambit

Eric Levin (USCF 1855) - Jim West (USCF 2203), Westfield NJ 11/17/2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nc3 e4 7.Ne5 Nf6 8.Bg5 Bb4 9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 O-O 11.Be2 c6 12.O-O Nbd7 13.Nxd7 Bxd7 14.c4 Qe8 15.cxd5 cxd5 16.f3 Bc6

17.Bxf6 Rxf6 18.fxe4 Rxf1+ 19.Bxf1 Qxe4 20.Qd2 Re8 21.a4 Qe3+ 22.Qxe3 Rxe3 23.Bd3 a5 24.Kf2 Re7 25.c3 g5 26.h3 Kg7 27.Ra3 h5 28.Be2 h4 29.Ra1 Kh6 30.Ra3 Rc7 31.Bf3 Rf7 32.Ke3 Re7+ 33.Kd2 Kg6 34.Bg4 Rf7

35.Ke2 b5 36.axb5 Bxb5+ 37.Ke3 Ra7 38.Kd2 Bc4 39.Be2 Bxe2 40.Kxe2 Kf5 41.Kf3 a4 42.Ke3 g4 43.hxg4+ Kxg4 44.Kf2 Kf4 45.Ke2 Ke4 46.Kd2 Rg7 47.Rxa4 Rxg2+ 48.Ke1 h3 49.Kf1 Rc2 50.Ra8 h2

51.Re8+ Kd3 52.Rh8 Kxc3 53.Rh3+ Kxd4 54.Rh4+ Kc3 55.Rh3+ Kc4 56.Rh4+ d4 57.Rh8 h1=Q+ 58.Rxh1 Rc1+ 59.Kg2 Rxh1, White resigns.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Westfield Grand Prix, Round 1, 11/17/2019

On Sunday, I won this game in the tournament at Westfield.

Round One: King's Indian Defense, Fianchetto Variation

Kevin Dresher (USCF 1939) - Jim West (USCF 2203), Westfield NJ 11/17/2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.c4 d6 6.O-O Nc6 7.Nc3 Bf5 8.Ne1 e5 9.e4 Bg4 10.f3 exd4 11.Ne2 Be6 12.Nxd4 Bxc4 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Rf2 Be6 15.Bg5 h6 16.Be3 Nd7 

17.Qc2 Ne5 18.Bf1 c5 19.Rd1 Qe7 20.b3 a5 21.Nd3 Nc6 22.Nf4 Nd4 23.Qd2 Kh7 24.Nd5 Bxd5 25.exd5 Nf5 26.Re2 Nxe3 27.Qxe3 Qxe3+ 28.Rxe3 Bd4 29.Rxd4 cxd4 30.Re7 Ra7 31.a4 Kg7 32.Kf2 Kf6 33.Re4 Rb7 34.Bc4 Rfb8

35.Rxd4 Rxb3 36.Bxb3 Rxb3 37.Rc4 Rd3 38.Rxc7 Rxd5 39.Ke3 h5 40.h4 Ke6 41.Ra7 Rc5 42.Kd4 f6 43.g4 hxg4 44.fxg4 f5 45.gxf5+ Rxf5 46.Ke4 Rh5 47.Kf3 Rc5 48.Ra6 Ke5 49.Ke3 Rd5 50.Kf3 Kd4

51.Rc6 Rf5+ 52.Kg4 Kd5 53.Rb6 Ke6 54.Ra6 Rc5 55.Kg3 Rc3+ 56.Kg2 Rc4 57.Rxa5 Rxh4 58.Ra8 d5  59.a5 Ra4 60.Kf3 Ke5 61.a6 Ra3+ 62.Ke2 Kd4 63.a7 Ra2+ 64.Kf3 Ra6 65.Ke2 g5 66.Rg8 Rxa7 67.Rxg5 Ra2+ 68.Kd1 Kc4

69.Rg4+ d4 70.Rg8 Kc3 71.Rc8+ Kd3, and Black wins in ? moves.

                                      Final Position

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Lev Khariton 1945-2019

Lev Khariton [pictured], who interviewed Boris Spassky and gave English lessons to Mikhail Botvinnik, passed away yesterday.

He was my co-worker at Premier Chess, teaching an after school enrichment class at Jersey City Global Charter School.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Abhimanyu Mishra is Youngest Ever IM

[photo by Swati Hemant Mishra]

Abhimanyu Mishra [pictured] of New Jersey is the youngest international master in history.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Substitute Teacher at "Chess Mates"

Tomorrow afternoon, FM Stanislav Garber will teach the over 1500 class at Chess Mates for GM Leonid Yudasin who is playing in the Marshall Chess Club championship.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Marshall CC Championship Starts Today

Today begins the 103rd Edward Lasker Memorial/Marshall Chess Club Championship.

The illustrious title of Marshall champion has been held by greats such as Reuben Fine, Andy Soltis, and Frank Marshall himself, just to name a few.

You can find the full list here:

This year, to ensure that the competition is contested by the absolute strongest members of the club, the Board approved a plan to hold the event as a closed round robin.

The field that was ultimately selected includes six grandmasters and four international masters, including former club champions GM Mark Paragua and GM Leonid Yudasin, seven-time U.S. women's champion GM Irina Krush, and top scholastic player IM Hans Niemann.

Your favorite chess websites will be displaying the event!

So you can follow along in real time on the Marshall homepage, as well as on: (in the live game arena)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Sunday Game/50, Round 2, 11/10/2019

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

Round Two: Caro-Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

Wesley Hellner (USCF 1857) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 11/10/2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 O-O 5.Nbd2 c5 6.c3 cxd4 7.exd4 d5 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.h3 a5 10.O-O Bf5 11.Bxf5 gxf5 12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Nd7 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Qh5 e6 16.f4 Kh8 17.Nf3 Qf6 

18.Ne5 Nxe5 19.fxe5 Qg6 20.Qh4 Rg8 21.Rf2 Qg5 22.Qxg5 Rxg5 23.Re1 b5 24.Rc1 Rgg8 25.a3 Rgc8 26.Rfc2 Rab8 27.b3 Rc7 28.Kf2 Rbc8 29.Ke3 a4 30.b4 Rg8 31.Kf3 Rcc8 32.Rg1 Rg6 33.g3 Rcg8 34.Rcg2 h5

35.g4 fxg4+ 36.hxg4 Rxg4 37.Rxg4 hxg4+ 38.Rxg4 Rc8 39.Rh4+ Kg7 40.Rg4+ Kf8 41.Kf4 Rxc3 42.Rh4 Rxa3 43.Rh8+ Kg7 44.Rb8 Rd3 45.Rxb5 Rxd4+ 46.Kg5 a3 47.Ra5 Rxb4 48.Rxa3 Re4 49.Rg3 d4

50.Rg1 d3 51.Kh5+ Kf8 52.Ra1 Rxe5+ 53.Kg4 d2 54.Rd1 Rd5 55.Kf3 Ke7 56.Ke2 f5 57.Ke3 Kf6 58.Kf3 e5 59.Ke3 f4+ 60.Ke4 Rd4+ 61.Kf3 Kf5 62.Ke2 e4 63.Kf2 e3+ 64.Kf3 Rd8 65.Ke2 Ke4 66.Kf1 f3, White resigns.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Sunday Game/50, Round 1, 11/10/2019

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

Round One: Sicilian Defense

Jim West (USCF 2200) - John Walton (USCF 1600), Marshall Chess Club 11/10/2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Nxc6 dxc6 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8.Be3 Nd7 9.Bc4 Ke8 10.O-O e6 11.a4 Bc5 12.Bxc5 Nxc5 13.a5 Ke7 14.Rfd1 Re8 15.b4 Nd7 16.Na4 Rb8

17.c3 b5 18.axb6 Nxb6 19.Nxb6 Rxb6 20.Ra5 Rd8 21.Rxd8 Kxd8 22.f4 Ke7 23.Kf2 f6 24.Ke3 g6 25.Kd4 Kd6 26.e5+ fxe5+ 27.fxe5+ Kc7 28.Kc5 Rb8 29.Ra2 Bb7 30.Rf2 Rd8 31.Rf7+ Rd7 32.Rxd7+ Kxd7

33.Kb6 Bc8 34.Bxa6 Bxa6 35.Kxa6 Kc7 36.c4 h6 37.h4 g5 38.hxg5 hxg5 39.g4 c5 40.b5, Black resigns.

Monday, November 11, 2019

GM Rowson on Pursuit of Happiness

Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson explains the difference between happiness and joy.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thursday Action, Round 3, 11/7/2019

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

Round Three: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Mark De Dona (USCF 2028), Marshall Chess Club 11/7/2019

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 Ne4 8.Qd3 Nxc3 9.Qxc3 O-O 10.Bd3 b6 11.O-O Ba6 12.Rfe1 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nd7 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.Rxe5 Qd6 16.Rd1 Rad8

17.Rh5 h6 18.Rh3 c5 19.dxc5 Qxc5 20.Qxd8 Rxd8 21.Rxd8+ Kh7 22.c3 Qc4 23.Rd2 Qe4 24.Kf1 Qb1+ 25.Ke2 Qxa2 26.Rhd3 Qc4 27.f3 e5 28.Kf2 Qh4+ 29.Kf1 Qxh2 30.Rd7 Qf4 31.Re2 a5 32.Rd5 f6 33.Rb5 Kg6 34.Rxb6 Kg5

35.Re4 Qc1+ 36.Re1 Qd2 37.Re2 Qd3 38.Kf2 a4 39.Rb4 a3 40.bxa3 Qxc3 41.Rg4+ Kf5 42.Rxg7 Qxa3 43.g4+ Ke6 44.Rc7 Qb4 45.Rec2 Qd4+ 46.Kg2, and drawn in ? moves.

                                      Final Position

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Thursday Action, Round 2, 11/7/2019

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

Round Two: Pirc Defense

Joel Fagliano (USCF 2023) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 11/7/2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bf4 O-O 6.Qd2 Nc6 7.Bh6 e5 8.Bxg7 Kxg7 9.O-O-O Bg4 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Qe3 Qe7 12.Bc4 Bxf3 13.gxf3 Qb4 14.Bb3 Nd4

15.Nd5 Nxb3+ 16.axb3 Nxd5 17.Rxd5 Qe7 18.f4 exf4 19.Qxf4 Rad8 20.Rhd1 Rxd5 21.Rxd5 Rd8 22.Rxd8 Qxd8 23.h4 h5, draw.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Thursday Action, Round 1, 11/7/2019

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

Round One: Petroff Defense

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Prec Syku (USCF 2004), Marshall Chess Club 11/7/2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Qe7 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Nc6 6.d3 Nf6 7.Bg5 Qxe2+ 8.Bxe2 Bc5 9.Nc3 Ng4 10.O-O O-O 11.Nd5 Bd6 12.h3 Nge5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Be7 Bxe7 15.Nxe7+ Kh8 16.f4 Ng6

17.Nxc8 Raxc8 18.d4 Rfe8 19.Bd3 Ne7 20.Rae1 Nd5 21.Rxe8+ Rxe8 22.Bc4 Ne3 23.Re1 Re7 24.Kf2 Nf5 25.Rxe7 Nxe7 26.Bxf7 g6 27.Bb3 Kg7 28.g4 b6 29.Ke3 d5 30.c4 c6 31.cxd5 cxd5 32.a3 Kf6

33.Bc2 Ke6 34.h4 Kf6 35.b4 Ke6 36.g5 Kd6 37.h5 Ke6 38.h6 Kf7 39.Kf3 Ke6 40.Kg4 Kf7 41.b5 Ke6 42.a4 Kf7 43.f5 Nc8 44.fxg6+ hxg6 45.h7 Kg7 46.Bxg6 Nd6 47.Bd3 Kh8 48.g6 Kg7 49.Kf4 Ne8 50.Ke5 Nc7 51.Kd6, Black resigns.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Westfield Quads 11/3/2019

On Sunday, I drew this game at the quads in Westfield.

Round One: King's Indian Attack

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Peter Radomskyj (USCF 2218), Westfield NJ 11/3/2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d3 d6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.O-O Nge7 7.Nbd2 O-O 8.a4 h6 9.c3 Be6 10.Qc2 f5 11.exf5 Nxf5 12.Re1 Qd7 13.Nc4 Qf7 14.b3 Bd5 15.Ncd2 g5 16.h3 a5 17.Rb1 Rae8

18.Ne4 Nb8 19.Nexg5 Qd7 20.Ne4 c5 21.g4 Ne7 22.Be3, draw.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

GM Shankland Lecture Tonight at Marshall CC

Tonight at 7pm, join us as 2018 U.S. champion, grandmaster Sam Shankland, will be at the Marshall Chess Club to lecture from his new book Small Steps 2 Success: Mastering Passed Pawn Play.

It's all about passed pawns!

Signed copies will be available for purchase.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Wesley So: Fischer Random World Champion

[photo by Lennart Ootes]

Grandmaster Wesley So [pictured] is the first Fischer Random world champion.