Sunday, July 31, 2011

Boylston Chess Club's "getting to 2000" students publish in Chess Horizons

In the winter of 2010, Carey Theil led a Tuesday night "Making it to Expert" course for A-level players.

One of the instructive problems discussed led to some of the participants to write an article. That article is now available in the latest issue of Chess Horizons.

Check out this article by Ross Eldridge, Gregory Koch, Jason Rihel, and Carey Theil, entitled "Heroic King, Super Bishop", about an interesting endgame from the 2010 US Chess League Championships.

Early Bird Quad/Regular Quad This week!

The Boylston Chess Club has several events planned this week!

Early Bird Quad, Wednesday, August 3rd

Players organized into 4-player sections
3 Rounds (everyone in the quad plays everyone else)
Time Control: Game in 30 minutes
Entry fee $17 for Boylston Chess Foundation members, others $27
Prizes: $50 First place (guaranteed) for each quad
Registration: 5:45 to 6:00 Rounds: 6:00, rest ASAP

Thursday Night Swiss Starts Thursday, August 4th

4 Rounds (Swiss System Pairings)
2 Sections: Open and Under 1800 (Minimum 6 players to have an Open section.
Time Control: 40 moves in 90 minutes, then 20 minutes for the rest of the game
Entry fee: $17 to Boylston Chess Foundation members, others $27
Prizes: $240 based on 20 entries. Both sections $80 for 1st, $40 for 2nd
Registration: 6:30 to 6:55PM
Round 1 begins at 7PM

Quads, August 6th
Players organized into 4-player quads

3 Rounds (everyone in the quad plays everyone else)
Time Control: Game in 60 minutes
Entry fee $17 for Boylston Chess Foundation members, others $27
Prizes: $50 First place (guaranteed) for each quad
Registration: 9:15 to 9:55
Rounds: 10:00, 12:40, 3:00

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

$10 Open on Saturday

For those concerned about the typo in the $10 calendar notice:

If you want the $10 rate for the $10 Open on Saturday 7/30, you have until Thursday night to pay in advance by Paypal or by mail (we must get it before the event).

Sign up now and sign up often! The $10 Open is one of the cheapest and most popular chess events in New England.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

US Chess League schedule announced!

Breaking news-- the USCL is back with the 2011 schedule.

This schedule is a special treat for local fans, as the Boston Blitz play the 2010 Champion New England Nor'easters on Opening Day, August 29th! They play a second time on 9/26.

Fans of the USCL will remember the dramatic conclusion the last time the Blitz and Nor'easters squared off. After an undefeated season, New England was on the verge of elimination in the Semi-Finals when Jorge Sammour-Hasbun blundered into Robert Hungaski's middle-of-the-board checkmate, securing the drawn match. Draw odds were in New England's favor, and they went on to win over Miami in the Final.

In fact, New England went undefeated all season, but in two matches they could not overcome the Boston Blitz, earning only a draw. This re-match will be one to watch.

Stay tuned for more details. Rumors are swirling that the Boston Blitz will actually be playing in Rhode Island this year, but no confirmation yet. The New England Nor'easters are likely to play again here at the Boylston Chess Club, but the details still need worked out.

Also not finalized-- the team rosters for both the Blitz and the Nor'easters are still in the works and are not due for a few weeks yet.

See the schedule here:

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Esserman- Dispatch from Spain

IM Marc Esserman sends us this entertaining game from his recent tournament in Spain.

[Site "Montcada, Spain"]
[White "Esserman"]
[Black "Capellades"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C64"]
[WhiteElo "2439"]
[BlackElo "2222"]
[EventDate "2011.06.27"]
[SourceDate "2011.06.27"]

Annotations by IM Esserman
1. e4 e5

Hello everyone from Barcelona, Spain. I have been hoping to send a
Morra Gambit game back home but unfortunately, my opponents have played 1...
e5 seven games in a row! However, the opportunity finally presented itself to
play a Morra Gambit like gambit in this last game. After seven straight e5's,
you have to take your chances.

2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. c3 Qf6

5. d4 exd4 6. e5 Qg6 (6... Nxe5 7. Qe2 wins a piece, as defending the knight via d6 loses the king.) 7. O-O

Perhaps if more sicilians had cropped up in Europe, I would have
played the more standard 7. cxd4!

7... dxc3

Not quite dxc3 in the Morra gambit, but it will do!

8. Nxc3 White's attack may be even more serious than in the morra gambit... Nge7 9. Re1 O-O (9... a6 10. Bd3 Qh5 11. Re4 Ng6 12. g4 Qh3 13. Bf1 wins the queen in amusing fashion)

10. Bd3 Qh5 (10... f5 11. exf6 Qxf6 12. Ne4 Qf5 will not save black after 13. Bg5 Kh8 14. Nf6 and the queen is again trapped, this time in the center of the board!)

The movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer" teaches us not to bring our queen out too early, although the boy playing Josh in the park does not listen, much to the chagrin of his serious coach (and neither, for that matter, does Billy Collins, with his famous e4 e5 Qh5!?!?! on move two, or what he likes to call "Queen to Rook Five, how long can you stay alive, catdog!"

11. Ne4 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Qxe5 13. Ng5 (The queen is getting tired.) Qf6 14. Bxh7+ Kh8 15. Bd3

Giving the f2 pawn, but with mate on h7.

15...g6 (15... Bxf2+ 16. Kh1 g6 17. Rf1 Qb6 18. Qf3 Bh4 19. Qh3) (15... Qxf2+ 16. Kh1 Qh4 17. g3 Qh6 18. Nxf7+) 16. Ne4 Qb6 17. Qf3 Kg7 18. Nxc5 Qxc5 19. Be3 Qd5 20. Qf4

Black's dark squares will prove critical, in addition to his lack of development brought about by not watching "Searching For Bobby Fischer".

20...Ng8 21. Rad1

21...f6 22. Bxg6 Qg5 23. Qxg5 fxg5

Finally the queen retires, but her career has been a failure.

24. Bc2 g4 25. Rd5 d6 26. Rg5+ Kf6 27. Rg6+ Kf7 28. Bd4 Bf5 29. Rg7#

Hopefully I will have more entertaining dxc3 games to post! 1-0

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Seacoast Fishing

In the 1980's, the Batsford publishing house used varying numbers of diagonal stripes on the front lower left corner of books to indicate the intended audience. 1 stripe = Popular; 2 stripes = Competitive; 3 stripes = Master (Adidas in German).

For our club, those 3 levels could perhaps similarly loosely be designated as Weaver Adams (under 1800), Reubens-Landey (1800-2199), and Club Championship (2200+). Here's some solidly Weaver Adams category material, so the strong players are forewarned to lace up their Adidas sneakers and run screaming.

In June, I went to Relyea Chess' Seacoast Open in Portsmouth, NH, despite the fast G/65 time control (+5 second delay for digital clocks). Arriving at and leaving from the parking lot alongside eventual tournament co-winner, GM Alexander Ivanov, it was almost as if the Chess Force was with me. Unfortunately, those parking lot coincidences didn't bring me a great tournament result, but I did get into time trouble.

In round one as Black against Mike Parsons, I won a pawn and achieved some pressure, but I felt Mike was providing unexpectedly tough resistance for someone rated 400 points lower than I. He refused to collapse, and we both ended up in time trouble, struggling to avoid losing on time.

We both finished with incomplete scoresheets, and although right after the game I recorded the final position using piece-on-square notes like Kg8, I subsequently discovered that I had been so fried that I'd recorded two pieces on the same square. Anyway, my best reconstruction of events follows, which I am reasonably sure is what actually happened at the end of our game.

After 35 Kh4

Frustrated by my inability to force capitulation earlier and, as noted, concerned about possibly losing on time, I decided to pull back and try to force issues on my end of the board. I remember thinking that in our mutual time pressure I might be able to bamboozle Mike into exchanging queens, when in the simplified position the 5 second delay should allow an easier conversion of my extra pawn. That is why I played:


bamboozling MYSELF pretty effectively. I'm pretty sure Mike was even more time-pressed than I, so after:

36 g5 Qh7 37 Qe6+? (37 Qc8+ Kf7 38 g6+ forking Black's king and queen wins; 37 Qc8+ being a longer move for the queen, and thus harder to see when you think your flag is imminently going to fall, may explain Mike's choice of 37 Qe6+?) Kh8 38 g6 Qg8 39 Qxg8+ Kxg8 40 Kg5 Kh8

Mike finally lost the thread with:

41 h6?? gxh6 42 Kxh6 e4 0-1

One of the things I dislike about time-crammed tournament schedules is the greatly reduced chances to chat with your opponent after the game. In the Batman movie directed by Tim Burton (bear with me, dear reader), there is a scene where Batman is preparing to raise Vicki Vale and himself up to the top of a building using a hydraulic bat-something-or-other. He asks her how much she weighs, to which she responds, "108." The hydraulic device apparently has more trouble with their combined weight than Batman expected it to, and he remarks, "You weigh a little more than a hundred and eight." (Thanks, IMDb).

Mike, you played a lot better than your rating of 1333!

In round 3 I had Black against unrated Dakota Smith. I once again fell into time pressure, but was pushing forward for checkmate from a position at least like the following with respect to the salient features of the position. It may even have been the exact position, but it just doesn't feel 100% familiar.

Some time earlier I was already watching for stalemate possibilities, but as the clock relentlessly ticked down I had shifted into "If he moves the rook along the 1st rank, I will play h2 mate. If he moves the rook off the 1st rank, I will play 1...Re1 mate."

Clearly 1...h2 is mate regardless of what White plays, but if this really was the position, with my clock ticking down, I might not have noticed that.

So when Dakota played:

1 Rc3!

moving his rook off the first rank, I slammed out:

1...Re1 most-definitely-NOT-mate???

Through my earplugs I eventually became aware that something was wrong, and took back my illegal move. I saw 1...Rxc3 stalemate, so instead played:


before abruptly realizing I had already touched the rook, and immediately offered a draw because of the stalemate described, which was accepted.

Dakota offered to let me make the king move, but I stressed to him that it is touch move. I wasn't sure if, as a new player, he knew that.

While writing this blog entry, I realized that instead of 1...Rxc3?? stalemate, there is actually 1...Rf3!! winning. To avoid 2...h2 mate, White must play 2 Rxf3+, after which 2...Kxf3 3 Kh2 Kf2 4 Kxh3 g1=Q (or g1=R) wins without further ado.

I am sure the Reubens-Landey regulars are quivering in fear at the prospect of facing me, seeing these game fragments of mine.  Vive the Weaver Adams one-stripers!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Weaver Adams winners: Ken Ho, Mike Griffin, and Khikmet Sadydov

Ken Ho, Mike Griffin and Khikmet Sadykov each completed the Weaver Adams tournament with 3 of 4 points and so became BCC U1800 co-champions for 2011.

That means they will have their names added to
the coveted Weaver Adams Trophy designed by Mike Griffin.

And it means they move on to the Reubens Landey, the U2200 championship which begins on Monday, July 11.

There were 10 players in this year's Weaver Adams:
[double click for better legibility]


BCC members who are rated between 1800 and U2200 are invited to play in the Reubens Landey, the winner of which becomes the U2200 club champion, and is invited to play with the masters in the annual BCC championship in September.

  • Mon, July 11, 6:30pm – 11:00pm
  • Boylston Chess Club (map)
  • 4 Rounds Swiss System
  • Time Control 40 moves in 90 minutes, then rest of the game in 20 minutes
  • Open to BCF members rated 1800-2200 (June supplement)
  • Entry fee: $20
  • Winner receives free entry into the BCF Championship beginning on 9/12.
  • Registration: 6:15 to 6:55
  • Round 1 begins at 7:00 PM