Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Marshall Sunday Game/50, 3/29/2020

On Sunday, I played this game in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

JimWest (Chess.com 1859) - danilattack (Chess.com 1605), Chess.com 3/29/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 d6 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 a5 11.a4 Rc8 12.h4 Ne5

13.h5 Nxh5 14.g4 Nf6 15.Bh6 Qb6 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Qh6+ Kg8 18.Nd5, Black resigns.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Marshall Saturday Game/50, 3/28/2020

On Saturday, I won this game in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Sicilian Defense, Paulsen Variation

JimWest (Chess.com 1909) - XiaoMoMo (Chess.com 1221), Chess.com 3/28/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.O-O Be7 7.c4 d6 8.Nc3 Nbd7 9.Be3 O-O 10.Rc1 Ne5 11.Be2 Qc7 12.b3 b6 13.f3 Bb7 14.Qd2 Rac8 15.Rfd1 Rfd8 16.Bf1 d5

17.cxd5 exd5 18.Nxd5 Qd6 19.Rxc8 Bxc8 20.Nxe7+ Qxe7 21.Nf5 Qd7 22.Qxd7 Rxd7 23.Rxd7 Bxd7 24.Bxb6 Bb5 25.Bxb5 axb5 26.a4 b4 27.a5 Ned7 28.Ne7+ Kf8 29.Nc6 Ke8 30.Nxb4 Nxb6 31.axb6 Kd7

32.Kf2 Kc8 33.Ke3 Kb7 34.Kd4 Nd7 35.Nd5 Kc6 36.h4 h5 37.g4 g6 38.gxh5 gxh5 39.f4 f6 40.e5 fxe5+ 41.fxe5 Nc5 42.Kc4 Ne6 43.b4 Kb7 44.b5 Kc8 45.Nf6 Kb7 46.Nxh5 Kxb6 47.Nf6 Nc7 48.Nd5+ Kb7 49.Nxc7 Kxc7

50.h5 Kd7 51.Kd5 Ke7 52.b6 Kd8 53.Kc6 Kc8 54.h6 Kb8 55.h7 Ka8 56.h8=Q#.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

GM Krush Diagnosed with COVID-19

Grandmaster Irina Krush [pictured] is taking hydroxychloroquine tablets.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

GM Overlooks Back Rank Mate

Michael O'Connor [pictured, third from left] sends this on-line game which Joe Salvatore [pictured, fourth from left] won against a grandmaster.

Colle System

Kosanovic (2289) - JoJo61 (1536) [D05] Rated game, 3 min Main Playing Hall, 26.03.2020 

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 e6 4.Nbd2 Bd6 5.Bd3 O-O 6.O-O c6 7.b3 Nbd7 8.Bb2 b5 9.c4 bxc4 10.bxc4 Ba6 11.Qc2 Rb8 

12.Rfb1 Bc7 13.Ne5 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Ne4 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Bxe4 g6 17.Bxc6 Qg5 18.f4 Qg4 19.Bf3 Qh4 20.Bd4 Rxb1+ 21.Rxb1 Rb8

22.Rb3 Bb6 23.c5 Qe1#.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Thursday Night Action, 3/26/2020

On Thursday, this game was played in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Pirc Defense

che8642 (Chess.com 1477) - JimWest (Chess.com 1907), Chess.com 3/26/2020

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 c6 5.Qd2 b5 6.h4 h5 7.f3 Nbd7 8.Be2 Nb6 9.Nh3 b4 10.Nd1 a5 11.Nhf2 Bg7 12.g4 hxg4 13.fxg4 d5 14.e5 Ne4

15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.h5 Nd5 17.Bg5 f6 18.exf6 exf6 19.Bh4 gxh5 20.gxh5 Bh6 21.Ne3 Nxe3 22.Bd1 Nxd1 23.Qxd1 Be6 24.Rf1 Rf8 25.c3 Qe7 26.Qe2 Bd5 27.Rf2 e3 28.Rh2 Qe6 29.a3 bxc3 30.bxc3 Bf4

31.O-O-O Bxh2 32.Qxh2 e2 33.Re1 Qe3+ 34.Kc2 Be4+ 35.Kb2 Qd2+ 36.Ka1 Qxc3+ 37.Ka2 Kd7 38.Qxe2 Bd5+ 39.Kb1 Rab8+ 40.Qb2 Qxb2#.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

"NY Post" Article on Park Chess Players

[photo by Rashid Umar Abbasi]

How is COVID-19 affecting chess players at Washington Square Park and Union Square Park?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Marshall Sunday Game/50, 3/22/2020

On Sunday, I won this game in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Philidor Counter Gambit

aditeyadas (Chess.com 1149) - JimWest (Chess.com 1876), Chess.com 3/22/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.exf5 Bxf5 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.d3 c6 7.O-O d5 8.Bb3 Bd6 9.Bg5 O-O 10.Re1 Bg4 11.Ne4 Kh8 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Nxd6 Qxd6 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Nd7

16.Rad1 Nc5 17.d4 Nxb3 18.axb3 e4 19.Qg3 Qxg3 20.fxg3 f5 21.Rf1 Kg7 22.Rf4 Rf6 23.Rdf1 Raf8 24.c4 a6 25.c5 h5 26.h4 Kg6 27.b4 Kh6 28.b3 Rg8 29.Kh2 Rfg6 30.Rxf5 Rxg3 31.Rf6+ R3g6 32.Rxg6+ Rxg6

33.Rf7 Rg7 34.Rf6+ Kh7 35.Rf5 Kg6 36.Rg5+ Kh6 37.Rf5 Re7 38.Rf2 e3 39.Re2 Re4 40.g3 Rxd4 41.Rxe3 Rxb4 42.Re6+ Kg7 43.Re5 Kg6 44.Re6+ Kf5 45.Rh6 Rxb3 46.Rxh5+ Kg6 47.Rg5+ Kh6 48.Re5 a5

49.Re7 a4 50.Re8 a3 51.Ra8 Rc3 52.Ra7 Rxc5 53.Rxa3 c5 54.Rb3 d4 55.Rd3 Rd5 56.g4 b5 57.Kg3 c4 58.g5+ Kh5 59.Rd2 d3 60.Kf3 c3 61.Rd1 d2 62.Ke2 b4 63.Rg1 c2 64.g6 d1=Q+ 65.Rxd1 cxd1=Q+, White resigns.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Marshall Saturday Game/50, 3/21/2020

On Saturday, I played this game in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

French Defense, Exchange Variation

JimWest (Chess.com 1861) - tiger1420 (Chess.com 1113), Chess.com 3/21/2020

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 c5 6.O-O Nc6 7.Re1+ Be6 8.Bf5 Qd7 9.c3 Bd6 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Bf4 O-O-O 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.Nbd2 Rhe8 14.Bg3 Bd6

15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Qc7 17.Nf3 Re7 18.Qd4 Rde8 19.Qxa7 Ng4 20.Qa8+ Kd7 21.Qa4+ Kd8 22.Qxg4 Bxe5 23.Nxe5, Black resigns.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Grandmaster COVID-19

A former student of mine once asked, "What's it like to play against a grandmaster?"

I replied, "Imagine you're in a dark alley with someone who's trying to kill you.  And all you want to do is get out of that dark alley alive."

That's how I feel about the COVID-19 virus.  Literally, not figuratively.

It reminds me of the time I drew a game against a grandmaster on the stage at a tournament.

When I handed in my score sheet, the tournament director was incredulous.

TD: "You didn't get a draw against the grandmaster, did you?"

Me: "Yes, I did."

TD: "How did you manage to do that?"

Me: "I was too scared to lose."

There's nothing wrong with being afraid, as long as you keep it within reason.

Just don't let your fear get the upper hand.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

"NY Times" Article on Cheating in Chess

Think Cheating in Baseball Is Bad? Try Chess

Smartphones, buzzers, even yogurt — chess has nearly seen it all in both live and online tournaments. And just as in baseball, technology only makes it harder to root out.

By David Waldstein
Published March 15, 2020 Updated March 16, 2020

Until the sports world ground to a halt last week over the coronavirus outbreak, perhaps the biggest issue looming over professional sports in the United States was the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal. The revelations of their scheme led Major League Baseball’s commissioner, Rob Manfred, to deliver a stern warning to all 30 club owners that there was a “culture of cheating” in the game.

But baseball’s malfeasance — sign-stealing or otherwise — has nothing on chess. At prestigious live tournaments and among thousands of others playing daily online, cheating is a scourge.

Whether it’s a secret buzzer planted in a shoe, a smartphone smuggled into the bathroom, a particular flavor of yogurt delivered at a key moment — or just online players using computerized chess programs — chess has perhaps more cheating than any other game in the world.

“Of course it is a problem,” said Leinier Domínguez, the Cuban-born player currently ranked No. 3 in the United States. “Because with all the advances in technology, it’s always a possibility. People have more chances and opportunities to do this sort of thing.”

In both chess and baseball, both real and rumored instances of cheating have been around for decades, but an explosion in technology and data over the past 10 to 15 years has made the problem much harder to curb for both.

The Astros’ scheme, which helped propel them to the 2017 World Series title, involved illegally deciphering the signs of opposing catchers via a live video feed and then banging on a trash can to signal the next pitch to the batter. M.L.B. is now grappling with how to prevent similar electronic-based schemes in the future.

In chess, players at live tournaments are now required to leave their phones behind and pass through metal detectors before entering the playing area. Some have even been asked to remove clothing and been searched. And some tournaments now put players behind one-way mirrors to limit visual communication.

But, like the Astros, many chess players still try.

Just last year, a grandmaster named Igors Rausis was caught examining a smartphone in a bathroom stall at a tournament in France. In 2015, Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia was barred for three years by FIDE, chess’s global governing body, and had his grandmaster status revoked for the same offense.

FIDE’s anti-cheating commission has recently stepped up its efforts to combat the problem. The group met last month and resolved to give financial support to national federations that need it to help them root out cheating, and will share detection techniques with online chess platforms. They are currently investigating 20 cases.

“The cheaters have been winning for a long time,” Arkady Dvorkovich, the president of FIDE, said in a telephone interview from Moscow. “But in the last few months we showed our determination to fight it and I think people realize it is serious.”

In 2013, Borislav Ivanov, a young player from Bulgaria, was essentially forced into retirement after he refused to take off his shoes to be searched for an electronic device that might be used to transmit signals to him. A device was never found — Ivanov reportedly refused to remove his shoes because, he claimed, his socks were too smelly — but he retired shortly after the tournament.

Dominguez said he did not think the top 20 players in the world cheat: It would be too risky to their reputations, he said. But he was at the 2012 chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, when accusations flew that the French team had used an elaborate cheating scheme. The French team was accused of sending text messages to teammates, who would then stand in prearranged spots in the gallery. Their location was supposedly the signal to a young, unproven player, Sébastien Feller, for the next move.

Feller denied the accusations but was suspended by the French chess federation, which said it discovered numerous suspicious texts. That penalty was later overruled by a French court.

Dominguez was not playing Feller, but saw the furor at the time and its effects even on clean players.

“One of the dangers is that you get a bit paranoid about these things,” Dominguez said. “Maybe in baseball as well. You feel insecure and lose focus on your game.”

There are players who cheat by sandbagging — intentionally playing poorly in order to qualify for a lower tournament and win the prize money. There are some who create fake accounts online, build up the stature of that account, and then beat it in order to improve their own ranking. Sometimes opponents agree to an outcome and share meager prize money.

In 1978, Viktor Korchnoi accused Anatoly Karpov of cheating with blueberry yogurt. After Karpov received purple yogurt from a waiter during the game, Korchnoi worried that the flavor was a signal from someone on the outside.

Korchnoi later claimed his accusation was a joke, but officials took it seriously, ultimately mandating that the same snack would be delivered to both players at a predetermined time.

“It sounds crazy,” said Gerard Le-Marechal, a full-time monitor and anti-cheating detective for Chess.com, one of the world’s largest online chess platforms. “But it’s a legitimate concern because there are so many ways to help a player.”

Le-Marechal is one of six people employed by the website to combat cheating. They rely on sophisticated algorithms of statistical data, and Le-Marechal says he gets ping alerts throughout the day about cheaters — many amateurs, some professionals and even the occasional grandmaster.

During a 40-minute telephone interview, at least three pings could be heard in the background, and Le-Marechal said all were alerts for cheating.

Daniel Rensch, a former junior champion and one of the owners of Chess.com, said his cheat-detection team had consulted for live tournaments to help stop cheating. There is little doubt, he said, that haptic buzzers have already been used.

The idea is that, while one person plays, another watches from a remote location and simultaneously pores over potential moves on a computerized chess engine. Then the accomplice would signal the best upcoming moves to the player via the haptic device that taps (or buzzes) a coded signal for the player.

A top player does not necessarily need to be told the exact move. In some cases, the prearranged signal could simply be: There is a winning move here. Grandmasters are skilled enough to find it.

Buzzers have also fueled plenty of speculation in the Astros scandal. Though they were found only to have cheated in the 2017 season, many suspected they continued beyond then — in part because of a video that showed second baseman Jose Altuve telling teammates not to rip off his shirt after hitting a home run during the 2019 postseason.

Altuve and the Astros denied the accusations, but it has done little to quell rumors and questions: Could baseball players effectively use haptic devices?

“One hundred percent,” Rensch said, “and it would not even be that complicated.”

During his team’s investigations, Rensch said, a knowledgeable source indicated that tiny electronic earpiece receivers, the size of a peppercorn, were being used to cheat in chess. The insidious miniature earbuds, which are marketed online to students for the expressed purpose of cheating on exams, are so small that they cannot be detected.

But Rensch is more concerned with the scourge of online cheating on his platform. Ever since the IBM computer Deep Blue beat the world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, increasingly powerful chess engines have made cheating easy.

“It’s so much worse now,” Le-Marechal said. “You have this almighty god that can tell you everything. It’s so tempting for everybody.”

About 10 years ago, as rank amateurs were beating grandmasters and rampant cheating threatened the legitimacy of online chess, Rensch and his fellow owners of the site held a meeting on the topic. At that point they were hosting a million games a day — now it is 3.5 million — and someone suggested there might be nothing they could do to stem the rolling tide of deception.

“Just saying it out loud was enough to make us kind of vomit in the back of our throats,” Rensch said. “We were like, ‘No, we have to do something.’ We have a responsibility as a steward of the game to try to solve this problem, that everybody and their cousin with a free freaking program was suddenly the best chess player in the world.”

The website also hosts tournaments for money, making cheat-detection even more critical. So the team developed computer programs that mine statistical data to prove cheating, which they say has saved the online game. They often do not even know how someone is cheating, but they can prove it is happening based on irregularities in the moves over time.

Rensch said they shut down sometimes tens of thousands of accounts a month, including some of professionals and grandmasters.

They can also spot irregularities in live matches. According to Le-Marechal, they knew about Rausis months before he was busted in the bathroom in France last year. Even some professionals — whom Rensch’s team does not name publicly — have confessed, apologized and wondered how they were caught.

“I don’t care how you are doing it,” Rensch said. “All I’m saying is, what you are doing is not reasonably possible based on the data I have, and I would win in court.”

Rensch and Le-Marechal believe that other sports, particularly baseball with its wide use of statistical data, can adopt their approach to catching cheaters. Dvorkovich, the head of FIDE, added that just as the cheaters benefit from technology, the authorities can, too.

“No matter what the game is,” Dvorkovich said, “when there are benefits from winning, you have cheating.”

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Westfield Could Postpone Through May 10th

On March 15th, the Center for Disease Control recommended that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events consisting of 50 people or more for the next 8 weeks.

This would mean canceling or postponing Westfield Chess Club tournaments through May 10th.

We may have to do that eventually; but, for now, we are taking action incrementally, scratching a few events at a time.

Our tournaments scheduled for March 22nd, March 29th, and April 5th have been canceled.

We will also be closed on April 12th, for Easter.

If we are able to resume meeting in May, it would likely be in a very limited capacity.

Given our large number of contacts and the limitations of this e-mail account, all future notifications will only be posted on our website and in our Facebook group.

I invite you to join the group and keep in touch.

Stay safe and well, everyone!

John Moldovan

Friday, March 20, 2020

Thursday Night Action, 3/19/2020

On Thursday, I won this game in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

pd159 (Chess.com 1456) - JimWest (Chess.com 1844), Chess.com 3/19/2020

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.h4 b4 14.Nce2 Bb7 15.Qe3 Nc5 16.Bg2 O-O-O

17.Kb1 d5 18.exd5 Bxd5 19.Bxd5 Rxd5 20.Nf3 Rhd8 21.Rxd5 Rxd5 22.Ne5 Bd6 23.Nc4 Be7 24.Ne5 f6 25.Nf3 a5 26.Ned4 Qb6 27.Re1 a4 28.c3 b3 29.a3 Qa6

30.Qe2 Qxe2 31.Rxe2 Kd7 32.Re3 Bd6 33.f5 exf5, White resigns.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Marshall Sunday Game/50, 3/15/2020

On Sunday, I played this game against the eventual winner of the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Budapest Gambit, Fajarowicz Variation

EthanKozowerjk (Chess.com 1417) - JimWest (Chess.com 1807), Chess.com 3/15/2020

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.a3 b6 5.Nf3 Bb7 6.Nbd2 d6 7.exd6 Bxd6 8.Qc2 Qe7 9.e3 Nd7 10.Bd3 Nef6 11.b4 a5 12.b5 Nc5 13.Bb2 Nxd3+ 14.Qxd3 O-O-O 15.Qf5+ Kb8 16.O-O Ne4

17.Nxe4 Bxe4 18.Qh3 Rhg8 19.Nd4 g6 20.Rfd1 h5 21.Rd2 Be5 22.Rad1 Bxd4 23.exd4 Bf5 24.Qc3 Rge8 25.h3 Qg5 26.d5 Rd6 27.a4 Be4 28.f3 Bf5 29.Ba3 Rd7 30.c5 Qe3+ 31.Qxe3 Rxe3 32.c6 Rd8

33.d6 Rxa3 34.dxc7+ Kxc7 35.Rxd8 Rxa4 36.Rf8 Be6 37.Re8 Rb4 38.Re7+ Kc8 39.Rc1 Rxb5 40.c7 Rc5 41.Re8+ Kxc7 42.Rxc5+ bxc5 43.Kf2 a4 44.Ra8 Bb3 45.Ke2 Kb7 46.Ra5 Kb6 47.Ra8 Kb7 48.Ra5 Kb6 49.Ra8 Kb7, draw.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Marshall Saturday Game/50, 3/14/2020

On Saturday, I drew this game in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Sicilian Defense, King's Indian Attack

JimWest (Chess.com 1833) - EthanKozowerjk (Chess.com 1326), Chess.com 3/14/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 d5 4.Nbd2 Nc6 5.g3 Nf6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.e5 Nd7 9.Re1 Qc7 10.Qe2 a6 11.Nf1 b5 12.Bf4 Bb7 13.h4 Rfd8 14.h5 h6 15.N1h2 a5 16.Ng4 Bf8

17.Qd2 Nd4 18.Nxd4 cxd4 19.Rac1 Rac8 20.Bxh6 gxh6 21.Nxh6+ Bxh6 22.Qxh6 Nc5 23.Qf6 Nd7 24.Qg5+ Kh7 25.Qf4 Nb6 26.Qxd4 Na4 27.Re3 Rg8 28.Rf3 Rg7, draw.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Thursday Night Action, 3/12/2020

On Thursday, I played this game in the Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament.

Sicilian Defense, Sozin Attack

JimWest (Chess.com 1902) - xorico (Chess.com 2030), Chess.com 3/12/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 Bd7 7.Bb3 g6 8.f3 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Bg7 10.Be3 O-O 11.Qd2 b5 12.Bh6 b4 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Bxb2 15.O-O Bxa1 16.Rxa1 Re8 17.Bxa8 Qxa8 18.Qxb4 Qc6

19.Qd4 f6 20.Qd5+ Qxd5 21.exd5 g5 22.h4 gxh4 23.Rb1 Bf5 24.Rb7 Bxc2 25.Rxa7 Bd3 26.Ra4 Kf7 27.Rxh4 Ra8 28.Rg4 Rxa2 29.Rg7+ Ke8 30.Rg8+ Kd7 31.Rb8 Ra5 32.Rb7+ Ke8 33.Rb8+ Kf7 34.Rf8+ Kg6 35.Bf4 Rxd5

36.g4 h5 37.gxh5+ Rxh5 38.Kf2 e5 39.Bg3 Rh7 40.Ke3 Bf5 41.Rd8 Rd7 42.Rxd7 Bxd7 43.f4 Kf5 44.fxe5 dxe5 45.Bh2 Kg4 46.Bxe5 fxe5 47.Ke4 Bf5+ 48.Kxe5, draw.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Marshall CC Tournaments On-line

The Marshall Chess Club has created a mirror schedule for club members to play tournaments on-line.

1) Click on the link here: https://www.chess.com/club/marshall-chess-club-official.

2) Click the join button. (If you do not have a chess.com account, you need to create one; it's completely free).

3) Go to the live play arena: https://www.chess.com/live.

4) In the top right hand corner, you will see the a button that says tournaments.  Click it, and (if you are a member of the club on-line) you will see the scheduled events.

5) Entry to the events begins one hour prior to start.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

asdqwezx - JimWest, 15/10, 3/11/2020

Philidor Counter Gambit

asdqwezx (Chess.com 1854) - JimWest (Chess.com 1915), Chess.com 3/11/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.exf5 e4 5.Ng5 Nf6 6.Ne6 Bxe6 7.fxe6 d5 8.c4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Qd6 10.Nc3 c6 11.a3 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Qxe6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Bb5+ Nbd7 15.O-O O-O 

16.Rc1 a6 17.Bxd7 Qxd7 18.Bb4 Rfc8 19.Qd2 Rxc1 20.Rxc1 Rc8 21.Bc5 Qc6 22.Rc3 Qe6 23.h3 b6 24.Bb4 a5 25.Rxc8+ Qxc8 26.Be7 Qe6 27.Bxf6 Qxf6 28.Qc3 h6 29.Kf1 Kh7 30.Ke2 h5 31.Qe3 g6 32.Qc3 Kh6 33.Qe3+ Kh7 34.Qc3 h4 

35.Qc7+ Kh6 36.Qe5 Qxe5 37.dxe5 d4 38.Kd2 Kg5 39.Kc2 Kf5 40.Kb3 Kxe5 41.Kc4 b5+ 42.Kb3 Kd5 43.Kc2 a4 44.b3 axb3+ 45.Kxb3 g5 46.Kb4 e3 47.fxe3 dxe3 48.Kc3 Ke4 49.Kc2 Kd4 50.Kd1 Kd3 51.Ke1 e2 52.Kf2 Kd2 53.Kf3 e1=Q, White resigns.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Westfield Cancels Events March 15th & 22nd

At the request of the YMCA, the Westfield Chess Club will be closed on March 15th and March 22nd.

Tournaments scheduled for those dates have been canceled.

This is a precautionary public health measure.

No TD or player has shown symptoms of illness and, to my knowledge, no one has been exposed to COVID-19.

Stay well, everyone!

John Moldovan

Friday, March 13, 2020

JimWest - awanikumar, 15/10, 3/11/2020

Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

JimWest (Chess.com 1912) - awanikumar (Chess.com 1908), Chess.com 3/11/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 O-O 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.Bc4 Ne5 10.Bb3 Qa5 11.O-O-O Bd7 12.Kb1 Rfc8 13.h4 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15.Nb3 Qa6

16.e5 Ne8 17.exd6 Nxd6 18.Nd5 Kf8 19.Bh6 Bf5 20.Bxg7+ Kxg7 21.Nd4 Rac8 22.Nxf5+ Nxf5 23.c3 e6 24.Ne3 Nxe3 25.Qxe3 Qb5 26.Ka1 h5 27.Rd4 Qc5 28.Re4 Qxe3 29.Rxe3 Rd8 30.Re2 Kf6 31.Kb1 Rd5 32.g3 Rd3 33.Rf1 Rc5 

34.Kc2 Rcd5 35.c4 R5d4 36.b3 Kf5 37.Rff2 Rd1 38.Rd2 R1xd2+ 39.Rxd2 Ke5 40.Re2+ Kd6 41.Rd2 Ke5 42.Re2+ Kd6 43.Rd2 Ke5, draw.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Marshall CC Shuts Down for 1 Month

Marshall Chess Club Wed 3/11/2020 2:29pm

Dear Marshall Chess Club member:

The Board of Governors met last night (via videoconference) for a regularly scheduled meeting.  After a reasoned discussion, we decided to close down the club effective from 12 March 2020 through 12 April 2020.

This is a prophylactic action.  There has been no indication of anyone affiliated with the club who has been infected with or exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus.  Out of an abundance of caution, and given the close conditions under which our beloved games are played, we unanimously agreed that this was the right course of action.

Please be patient as the board and staff work to see what will need to be done as we move forward.  We are taking our cues, and we suspect most are, from city, state, federal, and global authorities.  As I write this, the World Health Organization has just officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic.  How events will play out in the coming days, week, and months is impossible to predict.

Our plan is to proceed in stages.  The board will meet again in the first week of April to assess conditions at that time.  Once we do so we will send out another message to members with an update.

Meanwhile, please be aware that administratively we will be working with a diminished staff, and response time to queries may be delayed.  The premises will be completely closed to everyone until 12 April, and key fobs will be disabled for the duration of the closure.  Please also pay attention to social media (especially Twitter—a good time to follow @ MarshallChessNY!) for breaking news.

Please expect to receive more news in the following days about on-line tournaments, on-line lectures, and other on-line events.  We are actively seeking to provide alternate content and activities for our members while the physical space remains closed.

Noah Chasin
President, Marshall Chess Club

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Zilbermintz on Garden State Chess League

To all team captains and organizers,

In this time of crisis the Garden State Chess League stands at a crossroads.  Some chess players have raised the possibility of suspending the season because of the coronavirus.  They motivate this by saying that we need to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

To this I, Lev Zilbermintz [pictured], president of the Garden State Chess League, say: This season will continue!!  Appropriate safety measures will be taken, but I will not allow the league to be suspended!!  We might have to play some of our matches on-line, which is fine.  However, the Garden State Chess League will continue.  I will also undertake recruiting for the 2020-2021 GSCL season earlier.

We chess players are survivors.  There have been world wars, 9/11, Spanish flu, AIDS, and who knows what else.  Chess has survived these crises and improved.  The United States Chess Federation was formed in 1939, just before World War II began.  Its predecessors survived the Spanish American War, World War I, and other crises.  We will survive the coronavirus!!  Chess will continue!!

I will not allow the coronavirus to disrupt the Garden State Chess League.  Please refer to my previous message about the measures taken to safeguard the health of chess players.  These are the same measures that the West Orange Chess Club is using.

Our civilization rose from the ashes of imperial Rome and the difficult times of the Dark Ages to the heights it has now.  We are exploring outer space, have major advances in medicine, culture, economy, technology, etc.  We as humans and chess players must band together to fight the coronavirus and defeat it.

We must not allow ourselves to be scared, to freeze everything a civilization stands for.  Yes, we must modify our lives to deal with the coronavirus.  But we must always have the attitude that we will defeat this coronavirus the same way we defeated polio.  Our scientists, our doctors, and we ourselves need to pull ourselves together to fight and win against the coronavirus.

United we stand.  The Garden State Chess League will continue to hold its matches.  It will implement all relevant safety measures as proposed by West Orange Chess Club president John Hagerty and adapted for GSCL by myself.

Stay safe.

Lev Zilbermintz
President of Garden State Chess League

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Safroshkin - JimWest, Game/30 3/8/20

Falkbeer Counter Gambit

Safroshkin (Chess.com 1719) - NM JimWest (Chess.com 1908), Chess.com 3/8/2020

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 Qxd5 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 Ne7 8.Bxg7 Rg8 9.Be5 Nbc6 10.dxe4 Qxe4+ 11.Qe2 Qxe2+ 12.Nxe2 Nxe5 13.fxe5 Nc6 14.O-O-O Nxe5

15.Ng3 Be6 16.Bb5+ c6 17.Ba4 Ng4 18.Rd2 Rd8 19.Ne4 Rxd2 20.Kxd2 Ke7 21.h3 Ne5 22.g4 Bd5 23.Ke3 Nc4+ 24.Kf4 Nd6 25.Re1 Bxe4 26.Rxe4+ Nxe4 27.Kxe4 Kf6, White resigns.

Monday, March 9, 2020

WOCC Hygiene Procedures

This is a message from West Orange Chess Club president John Hagerty regarding hygiene procedures to be followed at the club as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

In view of the concern that many have about the coronavirus possibly even infecting people in "low risk" segments of the population, I am instituting a policy that will hopefully minimize the potential risk of developing an illness from this disease.  In fact, if we follow this protocol, I also think that it will also help participants in our club to avoid getting the flu and the common cold.  I have purchased with club funds a spray-on disinfectant and disposable paper towels.  This will be our procedure from now on even when this coronavirus situation subsides.

1) Tables that are to be used for equipment placement, TD`s papers and the playing of games (rated, offhand or instruction) are to be sprayed with the provided disinfectant and wiped down with the provided paper towels before use.  This applies to the "skittles" room area as well.  I also encourage the wiping of the seat and back support areas of the chairs as well.

2) The club boards should also be wiped down, and I encourage the wiping of the pieces and pawns with a dampened towel before use.

Players who wish to wear latex gloves should feel free to do so, and also avoidance of traditional handshaking will be accepted as a personal choice issue.


John M. Hagerty, president of the West Orange Chess Club

p.s. These procedures should be followed as well for the Garden State Chess League.

Please periodically check here for any updates or changes to this information, which will be posted as additional comments in the forum.

And also just a reminder that the 2020 West Orange Chess Club championship will be getting underway this coming Tuesday March 10th.  Click here for tournament details.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

"CLO" Article on FM Steve Stoyko

Former New Jersey state champion FM Steve Stoyko [pictured] led his team Dangerous Old Men to the Best Senior Team award at the USATE 2020.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

FIDE Mondays 3/2/2020

This game was played on Monday at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round One: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Juan Luis Herrero Estrada (USCF 2000) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 3/2/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Bc4 Qc7 9.Bd5 O-O 10.O-O Nbd7 11.Nd2 Nb6 12.Bxb6 Qxb6 13.Nc4 Qc7 14.Ne3 Rb8 15.Bb3 Be6

16.Ned5 Bxd5 17.Nxd5 Nxd5 18.Qxd5 Rbc8 19.Rad1 Qc6 20.c3 Qxd5 21.Rxd5 Rc7 22.Rfd1 g6, draw.