Sunday, May 31, 2020

Michael O'Connor versus Lev Zilbermintz

Bobby Fischer described Paul Morphy as "perhaps the most accurate player who ever lived."  Which may explain why Morphy never lost with the Philidor Counter Gambit, an opening that requires pinpoint accuracy.  One false move can lead to disaster.  The following game is a good example of what happens when Black plays inaccurately.  His 4...c6 was not the best move.  Better would have been 4...Nc6, prepared to answer 5.d4 with 5...Be7.

Philidor Counter Gambit

[Event "Rated Correspondence game"]
[Site ""] 
[Date "2020.05.29"] [Round "-"] 
[White "Smithmorra994"] 
[Black "BrilliantGambiteer"] [Result "1-0"] 
[UTCDate "2020.05.29"] 
[UTCTime "21:37:43"] 
[WhiteElo "1500"]
[BlackElo "1500"]
[WhiteRatingDiff "+162"] 
[BlackRatingDiff "-163"] 
[Variant "Standard"] 
[TimeControl "-"] 
[ECO "C41"] 
[Opening "Philidor Defense"] 
[Termination "Normal"] 
[Annotator ""] 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 f5 4.Bc4 c6 5.d4 fxe4 6.Nxe5 dxe5 7.Qh5+ Kd7 8.dxe5 Kc7 9.Bf4 g6 

10.e6+ Bd6 11.Qc5 Bxe6 12.Nb5+ Kc8 13.Bxe6+ Nd7 14.Nxd6+ Kc7 15.Nb5+ Kc8 16.Nxa7+ Rxa7 17.Qxa7, Black resigns.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Golden Age of Access

The chess landscape has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Chess Friction

Dan Bernstein reports on friction among grandmasters.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

"NY Times" Article on GM Irina Krush

[photo by Christiano Marini]

Grandmaster Irina Krush [pictured] had a long recovery from COVID-19.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Marshall Sunday Game/50, 5/24/2020

Although advertised as game/50, this Marshall Chess Club on-line tournament was actually played at game/10.

King's Indian Defense, Makagonov Variation

busygin ( 1729) - JimWest ( 1988), 5/24/2020

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.Be3 Nc5 10.Nd2 Ne8 11.h4 f5 12.gxf5 gxf5 13.Qe2 Nxe4 14.Ndxe4 fxe4 15.Nxe4 Nf6 

16.Ng5 Ng4 17.Bh3 Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Bxh3 19.Rxh3 Bh6 20.O-O-O Qf6 21.f3 Qf4 22.Qxf4 Rxf4 23.Kb1 Bxg5 24.hxg5 Raf8 25.Rdh1 Rxf3 26.Rxh7 Rf1+ 27.Kc2 Rxh1 28.Rxh1 Kg7 

29.Rh6 b6 30.Re6 Rf5 31.Re7+ Rf7 32.Re6 Rf5 33.Re7+ Rf7 34.Re6 Rf5, draw.

Monday, May 25, 2020

National Master for 40 Years

40 years ago today, I became a national master.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Chess Against COVID Charity Tournament
#ChessAgainstCovid, a Singapore-based charity drive which is headed by GM Kevin Goh Wei Ming and American GM Elshan Moradiabadi are glad to announce an International Friendly Match to be played between Singapore and a USA select team.

The purpose of this event is to raise awareness and help struggling families affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the name of charity, as well as to connect chess players of both nations with the friendly exchange of chess ideas.

Even though this is a friendly match, the Singapore selection is very rigorous, and they are fielding 4 GMs, 6 IMs and 1 WGM not to mention numerous FMs and CMs comprising top local juniors.

The match will commence at 10:15 am NYC time on Sunday, May 31.

The match will consist of two G/15 +10 games (alternating colors), played between 36 players per side:

- 2 Veterans
- 7 Male Adults, 3 Female Adults
- 5 U20 Boys, 3 U20 Girls
- 5 U15 Boys, 3 U15 Girls
- 5 U12 Boys, 3 U12 Girls

Match points will be used to decide the winning team. has kindly offered to host the event on their excellent server!

The event will be featured with live commentary on the official Chess24 twitch channel.

If you'd like to represent the USA team, register your interest here: USA Select vs. Singapore!

Players will be contacted ASAP if they can be accommodated as part of the team.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

ESPN Article on Tani Adewumi

The 9-year-old dreams of becoming the youngest grandmaster.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Book on Morphy by Lyudmil Tsvetkov

Dear chess friends,

I just released a book on Paul Morphy, available on Amazon here:

In case you have missed it, my other book, The Fine Art of Chess, is a collection of scrupulously annotated instructive games:

Hopefully, you will find some of the stuff covered useful.

I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this message of mine could have caused.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Chess Playing Cornerback

[photo by Seth Makowsky]

Read another article about New York Giants draft pick Darnay Holmes [pictured].

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Wrath of Sultan Khan

Sultan Khan [pictured] won against Capablanca and drew against Alekhine.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Marshall Sunday Game/50 5/17/2020

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

French Defense, Exchange Variation

JimWest ( 1830) - Divijd2 ( 1210), 5/17/2020

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Bd6 6.O-O O-O 7.Nc3 h6 8.Nb5 c6 9.Nxd6 Qxd6

10.Ne5 Be6 11.h3 Nbd7 12.Bf4 Kh8 13.Ng6+, Black resigns.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Marshall Saturday Game/50 5/16/2020

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

Philidor Counter Gambit

suvanbaranwal ( 1494) - JimWest ( 1832), 5/16/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.exf4 e4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.Bg5 exf3 7.Bxe7 fxe2 8.Bxf8 exf1=Q+ 9.Rxf1 Kxf8 10.Nc3 Bxf5 11.Nd5 Na6 12.c3 c6 13.Ne3 Bd3 14.Rg1 Nf6 15.O-O-O Bg6 16.Nc4 Rd8

17.Rge1 Bf7 18.Na5 Rd7 19.b3 d5 20.b4 Bg6 21.Re2 Kf7 22.Rde1 Re8 23.Rxe8 Nxe8 24.Kb2 Nd6 25.Re2 Bd3 26.Rd2 Nc4+ 27.Nxc4 Bxc4 28.a3 Re7 29.Kc1 Re2 30.Rd1 Rxf2 31.a4 Rf1 32.Rxf1 Bxf1 33.Kd2 Bxg2

34.b5 Nb8 35.bxc6 Nxc6 36.Ke3 a5 37.Kf2 Be4 38.h4 h5 39.Kg3 Bc2 40.Kf4 Bxa4 41.Kg5 g6 42.Kf4 b5 43.Ke3 b4 44.cxb4 axb4 45.Kd2 Nxd4 46.Kc1 Nf5 47.Kb2 Nxh4 48.Kb1 Nf3 49.Kb2 h4 50.Kb1 h3

51.Kc1 h2 52.Kb2 h1=Q 53.Ka2 Qg2+ 54.Kb1 Nd4 55.Ka1 Bb3 56.Kb1 Qc2+ 57.Ka1 Qa2#.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Me versus Strong Players

Recently I registered at and was surprised to find this.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Call to Action

Current USCF president W. Allen Priest and one past president Steve Doyle [pictured] share news about an important "Call to Action!" from all of our living past presidents.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Efficient Thoughts for Pro Cornerback

[photo by AP]

New York Giants draft pick Darnay Holmes [pictured] plays chess to get his mind "in a state of being efficient."

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Book: "My Name Is Tani"

The story of chess prodigy Tani Adewumi will be published in September 2020.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Marshall Sunday Game/50 5/10/2020

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

Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

JimWest ( 1851) - King_of_Checkmates ( 1553), 5/10/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.Bc4 Ne5 10.Bb3 Bd7 11.h4 h5 12.O-O-O a5 13.a4 Rc8 14.Bg5 Nc4 15.Qe2 Qc7

16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nd5 Qc5 18.Nxf6+ exf6 19.Bxc4 Qxc4 20.Qxc4 Rxc4 21.b3 Rc5 22.Kb2 d5 23.exd5 Rxd5 24.Nb5 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Bc6 26.Rd6 Re8 27.Nd4 Re1 28.Nxc6 bxc6 29.Rxf6 Rg1 30.Rxc6 Rxg2

31.b4 g5 32.bxa5 gxh4 33.a6 Re2 34.Rh6 Re7 35.Rxh5 Ra7 36.Rxh4 Rxa6 37.Kb3 Rf6 38.f4 Kf8 39.a5 Ke7 40.Kb4 Kd6 41.Kb5 Kc7 42.c4 Rf5+ 43.c5 Kb7 44.Rg4 Ka7 45.a6 Rh5 46.Rg5 Rh1 47.Rf5 Rb1+ 48.Kc6 Kxa6 49.Rxf7 Rb8

50.f5 Rc8+ 51.Kd6 Kb5 52.Rb7+ Kc4 53.c6 Kd4 54.c7, Black resigns.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Marshall Saturday Game/50 5/9/2020

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

Petroff Defense

JimWest ( 1841) - alexis_pogi ( 1681), 5/9/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d3 Nf6 6.d4 Be7 7.Bd3 O-O 8.O-O Bg4 9.h3 Bh5 10.Bf4 Nc6 11.c3 Qd7 12.Nbd2 Nd5 13.Bh2 Bg5

14.Bxh7+ Kxh7 15.Nxg5+ Kg6 16.Ngf3 Rfe8 17.Qc2+ Kh6 18.Rae1 Bg6 19.Qc1 Kh7 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.Re1 Nf6 22.Rxe8 Qxe8 23.Qe1 Qxe1+ 24.Nxe1 Ne4 25.Nxe4 Bxe4 26.f3 Bb1 27.a3 Na5 28.Bf4 Nc4 29.Bc1 d5

30.Kf2 Kg6 31.Ke2 c6 32.b3 Nd6 33.Kd2 Bf5 34.g4 Bd7 35.Nd3 f6 36.a4 Nf7 37.h4 Nd6 38.Ke2 Kf7 39.h5 g5 40.Ba3 Ne8 41.Kf2 Nc7 42.Kg3 Ne6 43.Bd6 Kg7 44.f4 gxf4+ 45.Bxf4 b6 46.Bb8 a6 47.Ba7 b5 48.axb5 axb5

49.Bc5 Ng5 50.Nf2 Ne4+ 51.Nxe4 dxe4 52.Kf4 e3 53.c4 e2 54.Bb4 bxc4 55.bxc4 Be6 56.c5 Bd5 57.Bd2 Be6 58.Kg3 Kh7 59.Kh4 Kg7 60.g5 fxg5+ 61.Kxg5 Kh7 62.Kh4 Bf7 63.h6 e1=Q+ 64.Bxe1 Kxh6

65.Kg4 Be6+ 66.Kf4 Kg6 67.Ke5 Bd5 68.Bg3, draw.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

"NY Times" Article on Nations Cup

David Waldstein reports on the chess event.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Chess Boom

The pandemic's most surprising counterattack is a modern chess boom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Freddie Trumper vs. Anatoly Sergievsky

[photo by Martha Swope]

Take a look back at the musical Chess.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Poem: "The Chess Player"

[photo by Andrej Cukic]

The poem The Chess Player by Howard Altmann predates the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Paramount Pictures Film on Tani Adewumi

Screenwriter Steve Conrad will pen a film about chess champion Tani Adewumi and his family.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Marshall Saturday Game/50 5/2/2020

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

Sicilian Defense, King's Indian Attack

JimWest ( 1916) - che8642 ( 1448), 5/2/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.Nbd2 Nf6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.e5 Nd7 9.Re1 Qc7 10.Qe2 b6 11.Nf1 Bb7 12.Bf4 h6 13.h4 Rac8 14.h5 Ba6 15.N1h2 c4 16.d4 Ndb8 17.c3 b5

18.a3 Bb7 19.Ng4 a5 20.Qd2 b4 21.axb4 axb4 22.Nf6+ gxf6 23.exf6 Qd8 24.fxe7 Qxe7 25.Bxh6 Rfe8 26.Qg5+ Qxg5 27.Bxg5 bxc3 28.bxc3 Nd7 29.Reb1 Ba8 30.Bf4 Nf6 31.h6 Nh5 32.Bd2 f5 33.Rb6 Rb8

34.Rxa8 Rxa8 35.Rxc6 Nf6 36.Ne5 Ra1+ 37.Kh2 Ra2 38.Bg5 Nh7 39.Be3 Rea8 40.Rxe6 Nf8 41.Rd6 R8a3 42.Bxd5+ Kh7 43.Bxc4 Rb2 44.Bd3 Rxc3 45.Bxf5+ Kg8 46.Kh3 Rb7 47.Rd8 Rb6

48.Rxf8+ Kxf8 49.Nd7+ Kg8 50.Nxb6 Rc6 51.d5 Rd6 52.Nc4 Rf6 53.g4 Kf7 54.Ne5+ Ke8 55.Bg5 Rf8 56.Bd7#.