Saturday, October 31, 2020

Beth Harmon and Bobby Fischer

[photo credit: Netflix]

Like Bobby Fischer, the fictional Beth Harmon was a "tortured genius." 

Friday, October 30, 2020

10/5 PCG 10/29/2020

Philidor Counter Gambit

ma9090 (lichess 2185) - JimWest (lichess 2194), lichess 10/29/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d3 c6 5.Ng5 d5 6.exd5 cxd5 7.Bb5+ Nc6 8.O-O Nf6 9.Re1 Bd6 10.f4 e4 11.dxe4 dxe4 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Be3 h6 14.Nh3 O-O 15.Nc3 Be6 16.Bd4 Qe7 17.Qe2 Rab8

18.Rad1 Rxb2 19.Nd5 cxd5 20.Bxb2 Rb8 21.Bd4 Bc5 22.Qe3 Bxd4 23.Qxd4 Rb4 24.Qe5 Ng4 25.Qc3 Rc4 26.Qa5 Rxc2 27.Rc1 Rc4 28.Rxc4 dxc4 29.Nf2 Nxf2 30.Kxf2 Qh4+ 31.Kg1 Qxf4 32.Qxa7 Qd2 33.Qf2 c3

34.a4 Qd5 35.Ra1 Qc4 36.a5 c2 37.Qe3 f4 38.Qc1 f3 39.a6 Qc5+ 40.Kh1 fxg2+ 41.Kxg2 e3 42.a7 Bd5+ 43.Kh3 Ba8 44.Ra2 Qh5+ 45.Kg3 Qg6+ 46.Kf4 Qf6+ 47.Kg3 Qf3+ 48.Kh4 g5#.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

15/10 Center Counter 10/28/2020

Center Counter Defense

JimWest ( 1900) - rej25 ( 1859), 10/28/2020

1.e4 d5 2.d3 dxe4 3.dxe4 Qxd1+ 4.Kxd1 Nf6 5.Bd3 Ng4 6.Ke2 Nc6 7.Nf3 e5 8.h3 Nf6 9.Re1 Bc5 10.Kf1 O-O 11.Be3 Nd4 12.Nbd2 Re8 13.c3 Nxf3+ 14.Nxf3 Bxe3 15.Rxe3 Bd7 16.Bc2 Bc6 17.Rd1 h6 18.Kg1 a5

19.Nh2 Rad8 20.Rxd8 Rxd8 21.Nf1 Rd6 22.f3 Nd7 23.Rd3 Nc5 24.Rxd6 cxd6 25.Ne3 b5 26.Nf5 Kf8 27.Nxd6 Ke7 28.Nf5+ Kf6 29.Kf2 a4 30.a3 h5 31.g4 hxg4 32.hxg4 g6 33.Ne3 Ke6 34.Ke2 Kd6 35.Kd2 f6

36.c4 bxc4 37.Nxc4+ Ke6 38.Kc3 Bb5 39.Kb4 Bxc4 40.Kxc4 Nb3 41.Bxb3 axb3 42.Kxb3 f5 43.gxf5+ gxf5 44.Kc4 fxe4 45.fxe4, Black resigns.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

10/5 Alekhine 10/27/2020

Alekhine Defense, King's Indian Attack

JimWest (lichess 2199) - Jaimegutierrez1 (lichess 2133), lichess 10/27/2020

1.e4 Nf6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 e5 4.Ngf3 Nc6 5.g3 h6 6.Bg2 Be6 7.O-O Qd7 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Nc4 f6 10.a4 Bh3

11.Nfxe5 Nxe5 12.Nxe5 fxe5 13.Qh5+ g6 14.Qxe5+, Black resigns.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

PCG with 6...Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Qxg5

Philidor Counter Gambit

vyprd ( 2399) - ArnieChipmunk ( 2291), 10/26/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.c4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Qxg5

8.Bxb4 d4 9.Qxd4 Nc6 10.Qc3 Nxb4 11.Qxb4 Qc1+ 12.Ke2 Bg4+ 13.f3 exf3+ 14.gxf3 O-O-O 15.fxg4 Qd1+ 16.Kf2 Nh6 17.h3 Rhf8+ 18.Kg3 Qf3+ 19.Kh4 Qf2+ 20.Kh5 Qe3

21.Qc3 g6+ 22.Kh4 Nf5+ 23.gxf5 Qf2+ 24.Kg5 Qxf5+ 25.Kh4 Qf4#.

Monday, October 26, 2020

10/5 PCG 10/25/2020

Philidor Counter Gambit

Ken_Maynard (lichess 2121) - JimWest (lichess 2193), lichess 10/25/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.Bxg8 Rxg8

5.d4 fxe4 6.Ng5 h6 7.Qh5+ g6, White resigns.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

More Reviews of "The Queen's Gambit"

The Netflix limited series is reviewed at the Los Angeles TimesEntertainment, Vulture, and Salon.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

"CLO" Article on "The Queen's Gambit"

At Chess Life Online, read John Hartmann's article on The Queen's Gambit.

Friday, October 23, 2020

10/5 PCG 10/22/2020

Philidor Counter Gambit

an49g (lichess 2169) - JimWest (lichess 2180), lichess 10/22/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 f5 4.d4 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 Nf6 9.Qe5+ Kf7 10.Nxh8+ Kg7 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Nf7 Kxf7 13.Bc4+ Kg7 14.O-O-O Bd6 15.Bxf6+ Qxf6 16.Qxe4 Nc6

17.Bd3 Qh6+ 18.Kb1 Bd7 19.d5 Ne5 20.f4 Nxd3 21.Rxd3 Qxf4 22.Rg3+ Kh8 23.Qxf4 Bxf4 24.Rf3 Bd6 25.h3 Re8 26.Rf7 Bc8 27.c4 a5 28.c5 Bxc5 29.Rxc7 Bf5+ 30.Ka1 b6 31.Rf1 Bg6 32.Rd1 Rd8 33.a3 Be4

34.b4 axb4 35.axb4 Bxb4 36.Rc4 Ra8+ 37.Kb2 Ba3+ 38.Kb3 Bxg2 39.h4 Bc5 40.d6 Rd8 41.Rd2 Bh3 42.Re4 Rxd6 43.Rxd6 Bxd6 44.Re3 Bf5 45.Rf3 Be6+ 46.Kc3 Kg7 47.Re3 Bg4 48.Re4 h5 49.Kc4 Kf6

50.Kb5 Bc5 51.Re8 Bd7+, White resigns.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Chess Paranoia

"Paranoia has become the culture" in cyber chess.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

15/10 Sicilian 10/20/2020

Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

JimWest ( 1895) - Sean090203 ( 1875), 10/20/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.f4 b5 9.e5 dxe5 10.fxe5 Nd5 11.Nxd5 exd5 12.O-O O-O 13.Be3 Bb7 14.e6 fxe6 15.Nxe6 Rxf1+ 16.Qxf1 Qd6 17.Nd4 Bf6 18.c3 Nd7

19.Rd1 Re8 20.Bf4 Ne5 21.Nf5 Qe6 22.Nd4 Qd6 23.Nf5 Qc5+ 24.Be3 Qf8 25.Bxd5+ Bxd5 26.Rxd5 Nc4 27.Bc5 Qf7 28.Rd3 Qc7 29.Bd4 Nxb2 30.Rg3 Bxd4+ 31.cxd4 Nc4 32.Rxg7+ Qxg7 33.Nxg7 Kxg7 

34.Qf4 Re1+ 35.Kf2 Re7 36.Qg5+ Kf7 37.a4 Nd6 38.Qf4+ Ke6 39.Qg4+ Kf7 40.axb5 axb5 41.Qh5+ Kg7 42.g3 b4 43.Qg5+ Kf7 44.Qd5+ Re6 45.Qb3 Ne4+ 46.Kg2 Ng5 47.h4 Ne4 48.Qxb4, Black resigns.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

10/5 PCG 10/19/2020

Philidor Counter Gambit

ordulublackburne (lichess 2093) - JimWest (lichess 2168), lichess 10/19/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 Nf6 9.Qe5+ Kf7 10.Nxh8+ Kg7 11.Nf7 Kxf7 12.Bc4+ Kg7 13.Qg5+ Kh8 14.Bf4 Bg7 15.O-O-O Nc6

16.d5 Na5 17.Be2 b6 18.f3 Bd7 19.d6 c5 20.Rhe1 Qg8 21.Kb1 Re8 22.fxe4 Nxe4 23.Qd5 Be6 24.Qd3 Bxa2+ 25.Kc1 Bc4 26.Qa3 Bxe2 27.Rxe2 Nc4 28.Rxe4 Rxe4 29.d7 Nxa3 30.d8=Q Rxf4 31.Qc7 Rd4 32.Rxd4 Bxd4 33.bxa3 Qxg2

34.Qd8+ Qg8 35.Qd7 Qg1+ 36.Kd2 Qxh2+ 37.Kd3 Qg3+ 38.Kc4 Qg8+ 39.Kb5 h6 40.Qxa7 Qe8+ 41.Kc4 b5+ 42.Kd5 Qd8+ 43.Kc6 b4 44.axb4 cxb4 45.Qd7 Qxd7+ 46.Kxd7 Kg7 47.Kd6 Bc3 48.Kd5 Kf6

49.Ke4 Kg5 50.Kf3 h5 51.Kg2 Kg4 52.Kh2 h4 53.Kh1 Kf3 54.Kh2 Ke2 55.Kh3 Be1 56.Kg2 Kd1 57.Kf1 Bg3 58.Kg2 Kxc2 59.Kh3 b3 60.Kg4 b2 61.Kh3 b1=Q 62.Kg2 Qb7+ 63.Kh3 Qd7+ 64.Kg2 Kd2 65.Kf3 Qf5+ 66.Kg2 Ke2 67.Kg1 Qf1#.

Monday, October 19, 2020

GM John Burke Wins 2020 U.S. Junior

Grandmaster John Michael Burke of New Jersey has won the 2020 U.S. Junior chess championship.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

"NY Times" Review of "The Queen's Gambit"

Alexis Soloski reviews the Netflix limited series.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

PCG with 6.c4 Bb4+

Philidor Counter Gambit

Try_Something_New (lichess 2463) - ArnieChipmunk (lichess 2369), lichess 10/14/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.c4 Bb4+

7.Nc3 d4 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 e3 10.Bxe3 dxe3 11.Qxd8+ Kxd8 12.Nf7+ Ke7 13.Nxh8 exf2+ 14.Kxf2 Nh6 15.Bd3 Bf5 16.Bxf5 Nxf5 17.g4 Nh6 18.g5 Ng4+ 19.Kg3 Nxe5 20.Rhe1 Nbc6 21.Rab1 b6 22.Rb5 Rxh8

23.Rbxe5+ Nxe5 24.Rxe5+ Kd6 25.Rd5+ Kc6 26.Rf5 Rd8 27.Kg4 Rd2 28.h4 Rg2+ 29.Kh3 Rc2 30.Rf7 Rxc3+ 31.Kg4 Rxc4+ 32.Kg3 g6 33.Rg7 Rc3+ 34.Kg4 Rxa3 35.Rxh7 Ra4+ 36.Kg3 Rd4 37.Rg7 Rd6 38.Kf4 a5

39.Ke5 a4 40.h5 gxh5 41.g6 a3 42.Rxc7+ Kxc7 43.g7 Rg6, White resigns.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Note on Marshall CC Closure

October 15, 2020 

Dear Marshall Member, 

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting next Tuesday (10/20). In preparation for the meeting, I wanted to write to you about the topic that is on everyone's mind: the ongoing Club closure. 

Some of you have asked: Why is the Club not yet open? The short answer is that there are a number of factors the Board has to consider—from the ethical to the legal to the practical—as it weighs this difficult question. 

Scientific literature strongly suggests that COVID-19 spreads most effectively amid the following conditions: 
a. People in close proximity to one another; 
b. Small, enclosed spaces. 

Furthermore, the virus’s R0 factor—the degree of contagiousness—is very high and has been shown to occur in clusters with a single infected individual able to infect multiple others all in one go. The unfortunate reality is that playing chess at the MCC checks all of these boxes. Thus, while we may be legally permitted to reopen now, our duty to ensure the health and safety of our members counteracts our collective impulse and desire to do so. 

This is not to say that the Board hasn't prepared for an eventual reopening. In June we established a Reopening Task Force. This group conducted extensive research and has produced a comprehensive reopening plan in July that covers everything from new measures for safety, policies for the premises, tournament rules, a socially distanced floor plan, and circumstances for re-closure. The board has been continually reviewing and revising this plan to remain ready as the pandemic evolves. 

Yet our continued concern for your well-being, as well as the club's long-term well-being, has kept us from taking that consequential leap. The reality is cases in NYC are again on the rise. Some schools and businesses that opened briefly have been shuttered again. The situation remains fluid, the virus remains dangerous, and giving in to an impulsive urge to play over-the-board chess could very well undermine the MCC’s future. The fact is: The only way to guarantee that the club is not responsible for the infection and illness of its members is to be closed for the time being—though we’d like to point out that in the grand scheme of things the closure will have been relatively short (barring any catastrophic and unforeseeable resurgences). In short, the Board will continue to closely monitor the situation and if/when it looks safe to reopen, we will. Please believe us when we say that we are desperate to reopen. But it must be on the right terms and we want to make sure of a well-informed decision that will benefit the greatest number of our players. 

With regard to the Club’s financial situation, we wish to be completely transparent. The loss in revenue is dramatic—our income derives entirely from tournaments and memberships. Fortunately, over the past few years our solid financial performance has prepared us to weather some rainy days (or even a monsoon!). Coupled with the aid we received from the Small Business Association, we are in a position to safely ride out the storm until it is absolutely safe to play chess again. 

Undoubtedly this message has not addressed all your questions and concerns. The Board will discuss this topic more thoroughly at the Annual Meeting next week and we highly encourage your attendance. If you'd like to share your thoughts and questions on reopening (or any other topic) prior to the meeting, please email them to Bryan Quick at


Noah Chasin 
President, Marshall Chess Club Board of Governors

Thursday, October 15, 2020

NIC Yearbook 136

On October 13th, New In Chess yearbook 136 arrived.

The mailing label showed that the book had been shipped on September 11th, one day after I purchased it.

Why the delay?  Maybe customs.

I have refunded $44.79 to NIC.

Yearbook 136 contains a 10-page article "Living on the Edge", written by Arne Moll [FIDE 2217], on the Philidor Counter Gambit.

For me, the most instructive game in the article, played by two strong chess engines, is given below.

Black plays a pawn down with compensation, enough for a draw, in true counter gambit style.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

15/10 PCG 10/13/2020

Philidor Counter Gambit

galfar1 ( 1906) - JimWest ( 1904), 10/13/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Bc4 Nf6 8.Nf7 Qe7 9.Nxh8 Qb4+ 10.c3 Qxc4 11.Bg5 Nbd7 12.Qd2 Bd6

13.Kd1 Kf8 14.Re1 Kg8 15.f3 Kxh8 16.fxe4 Bf8 17.e5 h6 18.exf6 hxg5 19.Qxg5 Nxf6 20.Kc2 Bd7 21.b3 Qf7 22.Rad1 Qh5 23.Qg3 Bd6 24.Qf2 Re8 25.Rf1 Re2+ 26.Qxe2, White resigns.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

15/10 KIA 10/12/2020

Sicilian Defense, King's Indian Attack

JimWest ( 1896) - Northbrew ( 1825), 10/12/2020

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 d5 4.Nbd2 Nc6 5.g3 Bd6 6.Bg2 Nge7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nh4 dxe4 9.Nxe4 Nf5 10.Nxf5 exf5 11.Nxd6 Qxd6 12.Bf4 Qd8 13.c3 Be6 14.h4 Bd5

15.Bf3 Re8 16.Kg2 Ne5 17.Bxe5 Bxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Rxe5 19.Rfe1 Rd5 20.Rad1 Qd7 21.Re7 Qxe7 22.Qxd5 g6 23.Kf1 Rd8 24.Qf3 Qd7 25.d4 Qb5+ 26.Qe2 Qxe2+ 27.Kxe2 cxd4 28.Rxd4 Rxd4 29.cxd4 f6

30.f4 h6 31.Kd3 g5 32.Kc4 Kf7 33.Kd5 Ke7 34.a4 Kd7 35.a5 b6 36.axb6 axb6 37.b3, Black resigns.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Unorthodox Openings Newsletter #36

Unorthodox Openings Newsletter #36 has been issued.

Contact editor Lev Zilbermintz at

Sunday, October 11, 2020

10/5 PCG 10/10/2020

Philidor Counter Gambit

Ken_Maynard (lichess 2125) - JimWest (lichess 2175), lichess 10/10/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.Bxg8 Rxg8 5.d4 Nc6 6.dxe5 fxe4 7.Qd5 Rh8 8.Qxe4 d5 9.Qf4 Be7 10.O-O Be6 11.Nd4 Nxd4 12.Qxd4 c5 13.Qa4+ Bd7 14.Qb3 Bc6 15.Bf4 Rf8 16.Bg3 Kf7 17.Nd2 Kg8

18.f4 Kh8 19.Nf3 d4 20.Rad1 Qb6 21.Qxb6 axb6 22.a3 h6 23.Rde1 g5 24.Nd2 gxf4 25.Bxf4 Kh7 26.Ne4 Bxe4 27.Rxe4 Rae8 28.Rf3 Bg5 29.Bxg5 Rxf3 30.gxf3 hxg5

31.Kf2 Kg6 32.Kg3 Kf5 33.f4 Kxe4, White resigns.

Friday, October 9, 2020

15/10 PCG 10/8/2020

Philidor Counter Gambit

Petrosyan_tr ( 1848) - JimWest ( 1896), 10/8/2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.exf5 e4 5.Ng5 Nf6 6.Nc3 d5 7.Be2 Bxf5 8.O-O h6 9.Nh3 Bb4 10.Nf4 O-O 11.f3 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Re8 13.fxe4 Bxe4 14.Bd3 c6 15.Nh5 Nbd7 16.Bxe4 Rxe4 17.Qf3 Nxh5 18.Qxh5 Qe8

19.Qf5 Qe6 20.Qxe6+ Rxe6 21.Bf4 Nf6 22.Be5 Ne4 23.Rf3 Rf8 24.Raf1 Rxf3 25.Rxf3 b5 26.a3 a5 27.Rd3 a4 28.Kf1 g5 29.g4 Kf7 30.Kg2 Ke7 31.Kf1 Nd6 32.Bxd6+ Kxd6 33.Kf2 Re4 34.Rf3 Re6

35.Rf8 Ke7 36.Rc8 Kd7 37.Rf8 Re4 38.h3 Ke7 39.Rc8 Re6 40.Kf3 Rf6+ 41.Ke3 Kd7 42.Rh8 Ke7 43.Rh7+ Kd6 44.Rh8 Kc7 45.Rh7+ Kb6 46.Ke2 c5 47.Rd7 Kc6 48.Rd8 cxd4 49.cxd4 Rf4 50.c3 Re4+ 51.Kd3 Re1

52.Rh8 Ra1 53.Rxh6+ Kc7 54.Rh7+ Kb6 55.Rh6+ Kc7 56.Rh7+ Kd6 57.Rh6+ Kc7, draw.