Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Caption Contest from the 2011 Mass Open

Channeling Glickman's original version of the chess blog, I present the following photo caption contest. The photo is of Carissa Shiwe Yip at this weekend's 2011 Mass Open Championship. The photo was taken by Tony Cortizas, Jr. and is my favorite of the bunch he took from this event. More photos to come in a follow-up report on the tournament.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Weaver Adams -- U1800 Boylston Chess Club Championship -- Mon June 6

It's Adams time again -- Weaver Adams 2011

The Weaver Adams Qualifer is the first part of the Boylston Chess Club championship cycle.

You may play if you are rated under 1800 in the June 2011 supplement and a BCF member (you can join or renew at the start of the tournament.) The prize is the championship title and entry into the Reubens Landey

Players rated between 1800 and 2200 in the June supplement may play in the Reubens Landey (U2200 championship) in July. The prize is the U2200 championship title and entry into the BCC Championship.

Players rated 2200 and above
in the June supplement will be invited to play in the BCC Championship.
The winner of the Weaver Adams tournament will have his name added to the trophy Mike Griffin created:



Weaver Warren Adam
was born on April 28, 1901 in Dedham, Massachusetts. An American chess master, he participated in the U.S. Championship in 1936, 1940, 1944, 1946 and 1948. He won the Massachusetts State Championship in 1937, 1938, 1941 and 1945. In 1939, he wrote a book entitled "White to Play and Win." After publication he played in the U.S. Open at Dallas. He did not win a single game as White (3 losses and 1 draw) and won all his games (4 games) as Black! Weaver Adams won the 49th U.S. Open, held in Baltimore, in 1948. He also wrote "Simple Chess", "How to Play Chess", and "Absolute Chess." He passed away in Cedar Grove, New Jersey in 1963.

Below is a photograph taken in Hastings on 28 December 1950. Lord Dunsany (standing on the right) is watching the first-round game between Alan Phillips and Weaver Adams.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chess Fever and The Great Chess Movie

The Boylston Chess Club library has recently acquired a DVD transfer of Chess Fever, a 1920s silent film starring Capablanca, and The Great Chess Movie, a documentary that interviews Fischer, Korchnoi, Karpov, etc.

While the Great Chess Movie is fine and interesting, the real gem is Chess Fever. This silent film is hilarious, and a "chess widow's" chance encounter with the World Champion Capablanca ends the film with a funny surprise.

Read more about chess fever here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0015673/

and more about the Great Chess Movie here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Chess_Movie

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I share a birthday with Karpov, May 23rd

Clearly, this explains nothing. However, the day I was born, Karpov was celebrating his first birthday as the World Champion.....


Thursday, May 19, 2011

$10 Open Advanced Entries

The following players have already paid their $10 to play in this weekend's $10 Open. Have you? Prepare for the Mass Open Championships by playing at the Boylston!

Player Rating
Steve Winer 2435
Christopher Gu 2205
Henry Terrie 2200
Patrick Sciacca 2160
Michelle Chen 1944
Steven Stepak 1642
Rohan Shankar 1547
John Swartz 1420
Sean Barkowsky 1351
Sandeep Shankar 1180
Arthur Tang 1073
Pho Vo 789
Sang Nguyen Unr

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Without playing a single game, Hikaru #6.....

Hikaru Nakamura has leapt into the #6 spot in the FIDE live rankings. Kamsky's defeat of Topalov pushed Hikaru into the #7 spot. Now, Ivanchuk's stumble at the Capa Memorial in Cuba has allowed Hikaru to slip into the #6 spot.

This week will be a major determinant of Hikaru's place in the top 10, as he plays an important match with Ponomariov in Saint Louis. Even a small plus score should propel Hikaru into the #5 spot. If he can gain 8 rating points, he would roll ahead of Krammnik (!) for the #4 spot in the world. A absolultely horrible result could drop him back to #9-10.

Stay tuned. The Saint Louis Chess Club is covering this important match, certainly the strongest top 10 GM matchup on US soil with a serious time control in a very long time. Should be exciting, as both these players are known for uncompromising chess (unlike the dullsville Grischuk-Krammnik Candidates Match this week.)

Please support the innovative Saint Louis Chess Club! Check out the action here (the live game link is on the right):


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grand Prix-- Current Leaderboard

The 5th Grand Prix ended this weekend with 30 players taking advantage of the cheap, high quality chess. Some of the leaders cemented their lead, while other players have jumped into the lead for the first time (Click to view a larger version).

Current leaderboard (not all players in the running are shown to make a slightly easier read.)

Keep this in mind -- you don't have to play all the Grand Prix events to be among the leaders. Many players have only played in 2 or 3 of the 5 events and are sitting on the first prize. Strong players over 2000+ especially have ample opportunity to rack up points and catch the leaders.

How do you like the Grand Prix format so far?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 18th- Denys Shmelov Lecture at the Boylston

The Boylston Chess Club Presents
The 2011 Master Lecture Series

Wednesday, May 18th, 7PM
Senior Master Denys Shmelov
“Prophylaxis in Chess”

Senior Master Denys Shmelov is one of the strongest players in the area, winning the Massachusetts State title in 2008. His 2500+ rating puts him safely in the top 100 ranked players in the United States. He is also a regular and former all-star on the Boston Blitz, and he recently earned a GM-norm at the 2011 Berkeley International. His lecture will cover the important topic of prophylaxis, providing examples of quiet defensive moves that clamp down on the opponent’s counterplay before pressing a more ambitious attack.

A simultaneous exhibition will promptly follow the lecture, (at least 6 players).

WHERE: Boylston Chess Club, 240 Elm St. Room B9, Somerville (Davis Sq. T stop)
ADMISSION: Lecture: FREE for Boylston members, $10.00 for non-members.
Simul: $5.00 for members, $10.00 for non-members.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grand Prix #5 THIS WEEKEND, May 14

Attention-- Because of the Mass Open State Championships at the end of this month, we have placed our 5th Grand Prix event on this upcoming Saturday. The entry fee is a low, low, low $10 for non-members; $7 for members.

Check out where you are in the standings: (click on chart image below to expand).

As you can see, it is still very close in all of the sections.

Remember, unforced half point byes don't count to your totals, and U1800 sections only count to the U1800 and lower prizes.

If the Grand Prix ended today, here would be the winners in each section:

U2400 -- Eric Godin , 4.5 points
U2200 -- Tian Rossi, 5.5 points
U2000 -- Jason Rihel, 5.5 points
U1800 -- Robert Holmgren, 11 points
U1600 -- Mark Neale, 6.5 points
U1400 -- Vladlen Khachaturyan, 3 points
U1200 -- Thomas Demartino, 8.5 points

Luckily, the Grand Prix doesn't end today -- it ends in December -- so everyone has plenty of time to catch the leaders in all of the sections.

One note about ranking-- all the prizes are equal in value, so the leaders are arranged to maximize winners with the highest possible scores.

For example, Tian Rossi and I are technically in 1st place for the U2400 prize, but we also can receive the U2200 or the U2000 prize. Since Eric Godin, at 4.5 points, is the 3rd highest score, he gets the U2400 prize while we get the lower prizes. If, however, an U2000 player had more points than Eric, say, 5 points, they would be awarded the U2000 prize, and Tian and I would get U2400 and U2000 slots.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Andrew Liu Ties for 2nd in K-6 National Championships

Boylston Chess Club player Andrew Liu visited Texas and gave a strong showing at the K-6 National Championships, tying for 2nd place! With 4 wins and 2 draws, Andrew's rating has soared over the 2000 mark . I played him only a few months ago, when our ratings were more even, and I was happy to make a draw.

With this strong showing at a National tournament, Andrew is clearly making great strides in his chess play in a very short timespan. Great job!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Breaking news-- Kamsky defeats Topalov in 1st Candidate Match

With Kamsky's victory over Topalov, he not only propels himself into the Top 15 FIDE live ratings, he also edges Nakamura into the Number 7 spot, just 2 points shy of being a top 5 player in the world. We are close to having two Americans in the Top 10; any ideas if that has ever happened before (Seriwan and Kamsky, for example?)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Coffee House Chess is Good Too

Steve Stepak offered this example of a coffeehouse Catalan.

[ Editor's note: I tried to scan and insert his comments, but couldn't get a sharp image large enough. Please double-click on each section to read a legible version. ]

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Queen to Play to play at Kendall Square Cinema, May 6th

Yet another chess film coming to the Boston area! "Queen to Play" (originally, 'Joueuse'), will be showing at the Kendall Square Cinema starting May 6th. Starring Kevin Kline ('A Fish Called Wanda')
and the lovely Sandrine Bonnaire ('Vagabond')
'Queen to Play' is about a French maid who learns the game of chess, which transforms her life.

It is rare to have chess treated so seriously by the movie industry, so I highly recommend everyone go see this film. From the trailer, it looks great.

You can watch the trailer here:


(Yes, there are subtitles, get over it and go see and support a thoughtful movie about chess!)