2nd Annual Seneca Lake Open 11/12/16

October 22, 2016

Geneva Events Center  35 Lakefront Drive,  Geneva, NY 14456

USCF-event. Four Round Swiss:  2 Sections- Open and Under 1500 USCF rating;  Adult Entry fee: $40; Youth under 18 is $25. ($5 more at door so sign up early) plus USCF membership dues required or show membership card.

Cash Prizes Guaranteed:  $1025  Open: $350, 200, 100; Under 1500 Section  $150; 100. 75. Best under 1000 $50. Round Times: 9:30 am,  12 noon, 2:15 pm, 5:30 pm.

Entries to:  Jonathan Porschet, 191 White Springs Road, Geneva, NY 14456.  Checks to Geneva Chess.  Questions:  jporschet@gmail.com/  (315) 719-5942

Chess Offers a Historic Treasure of Life

October 21, 2016

The long history of chess and the enormity of literature written on and about chess and it’s personalities featuring many dramatic photographs is rarely discussed or recognized as having a value beyond the vast majority of folks who endeavor to play and enjoy the game of kings as it has been described.

Great books and magazines on the game have appeared over a period of two centuries.  It had more or less been removed from the everyday chess personage to be housed in the mind and shelves of it’s devotees who cherish this element of chess thought.  With the development of computer technology which the game itself has contributed in the hands of technicians fuller understanding of both chess and electronic devices, pushed the game from mothball to a modern revolution of a  30-50 year to closing the gap for the average enthusiast to enjoy improved tournament conditions and timely pairings regardless the number of entries.  This expanse has led to multiple increases in turnout and participation at all levels from school age to adult.

In Chess Life’s magazine article written by Jerry Nash, “Benefits of Chess as an Education Tool”, October 2016 issue, you find contributions by school officials, to wit:

Chess helps our students increase the opportunities of being successful in the academic arena and develops their concentration and communication skills.  In addition, chess enhances student teacher relationships and increases parental involvement.

We have trained over 250 teachers in three years.  Many walked into the workshop on day one not even knowing the names of the pieces.  At the end of the week, they had the necessary skills to incorporate chess into their curriculum, as well as to start chess clubs.

When I visited the Marchand Open which is held at the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY, I saw children and adults engaged in chess play.  Kids love to play chess and I found many crammed in the halls chatting and playing chess on the floor between rounds.  Kids coming from other towns , cities, and states as well as our neighbor to the north, Canada. I can see chess as a building block for greater understanding and friendships among the group gathered for such events as this.

This game of war is also a game for better relations and friendships among peoples of all races and creeds.  Chess tends to bind those to better tolerance and behavior.

My Dog and Chess

October 21, 2016

I loved my dog.  You must understand this from the beginning.  I had four in my life. But the one that I got as a stray so-to-speak was trouble, adorable, and a real pain in the butt as well as gentle and loving despite the pranks he seemed to pull whenever the opportunity permitted…like not giving him enough attention.

Maybe it had something to do with naming him Schultzie after the German guard in the TV series Hogan’s Heroes.  He was at least part dachshund and spaniel.  I won’t embarrass his looks because, after all, he was not privy to how he would turn out in this world. If I did not want to cast him out in the cold, I had to take him as he was.  What I didn’t know was how his personality would contribute to my own sanity for loving animals as contributing to my life.  He was a one-man dog.  To him, my mom was just in the family tree.

He could be a pain in the neck with his playing of pranks and tricks.  For example, during our nightly walks he would suddenly disappear.  He would not come when called.  In the beginning it was not obvious what his doing this meant.  Call; no answer–no dog.  Yet, more often than not, I think it was to reinforce our love for him in his doggy mind.  He would hide for example under one of several bushes in our yard.  His favorite was the snowball bush that sat somewhat opposite our porch.  At dusk I would turn on our outside light and eventually find him under it; then as I called and called, he would come bounding out over those crazy looking legs and seem delighted to have fooled me again.  That became his favorite game.

You know my love for the game of chess.  This attraction made him jealous perhaps because during a position I’d set up or play with my girlfriend, he would grab one of the captured pieces and run with me on his tail. He’d run, drop it, and as I caught up, he would scoop it up in his mouth and dash off again to repeat again and again before I could finally corral him where he could not escape.

But in the passing years, that piece held a special place for the tiny bite marks left.

Huge Democrat Scandal Exposed

October 19, 2016

The news media will not be able to explain or delete the happenings on FOX NEWS this date of October 18, 2016.


October 18, 2016

I send a message to fools;  I send a message to the uncorseted  pop culture.

Facts, ladies–just the facts.  Is it a play in chess that leaves me senseless like being naught but pawn chowder?  There is left nothing for me but a maze of youth lost by the elite  pandering garbage of hateful contempt, corruption and greed. And for those who don’t grasp what I am saying, I bid you ado.

With this brief, I axe my thoughts from my brain. Before you grow weary with my humor, I leave you with these tidbits to go with your coffee break.

Aries:  You let nothing stop you from learning–everyone loves this about you, how you are constantly evolving, stretching and growing  into a person of your own creation.

Blondie:  Dear, would you like to go to the symphony tomorrow night with the Harrisons?
Blondie holds the phone with her hand over the speaker directing her question to Dagwood.  No!  We’d love to.  Dagwood is taken aback so retreats to his favorite lounge chair.  Oh, stop pouting sweetheart!  I thought you would appreciate being asked before I said yes.

Pickles:  Pearl,  you haven’t been answering my phone calls.  Are you mad at me about something?  No, Opal.  Things have just been going kind of lousy for me recently. Oh! Thank goodness!  What?!!

Doonesbury Classics :  Hi!  You are watching cable 2 TV, and this is ‘Ask Dr. Whoopee’ Tonight’s topic: TEENS IN TURMOIL.  By the age of promiscuity, what do your kids really know about the risks?  We’re getting answers from some actual teens like Andrea here.  Andrea?  Well, like, I know aids is a totally bad thing to get. But my parents are like so paranoid, and it’s like my life, you know?  Also, like I don’t know but I’ve heard sex is totally excellent. My friend Jennifer…Remember, these are actual teenagers!

Shoe:  Says here NASA ‘s developed a new breakfast drink for Astronauts who like country music. What’s it called?  TWANG.

The Family Circle:  It’s reading time to his little brother.  Once upon a time…Didn’t anybody ever look at the clock in those days?  Nobody ever knows what time it is in these stories you read me. 

Sins of Not Castling

October 15, 2016

The importance of castling that my lessons through the years harp on regularly as new examples pop up to tweak the noses of even the greats of the game illustrate that omitting the art to castling early is a sin that bites the chess artist whose idea, I guess, is to use that neutral type move to hurry some aggressive action.  One of the great things I learned from a study of Petrosian, once referred to as “the tiger,” is the value of patience.

The 44th Annual World Open, Philadelphia 2016 saw FM William Morrison (2375) and GM Irina Krush (2525) in a dueling battle coming out of a Sicilian Defense.

l. e4  c5  2. Nf3  e6  3. c3  Nf6  4. Bd3  This idea reminds me of a Danny Kopec venture he was noted for.  Here, it seems a bit awkward.  Black was unable to call it spades or hearts.

4. … Nc6  5. O-O  d5  6. e5  This pawn will come to be like a bone in the throat.

6. … Ng4  Known to Morrison’s database is 6….Nfd7.  In these open events, winning and risk taking is all important if you hope for a cash prize.

7. Bb5  Bd7  8. B:c6  B:c6  9. d4  h5 Trying to reach a type of French position and follows because of the Ng4 sally.

10. Na3 Optimistically dreaming about working the Knight to c2.  Black could try 10… c:d4!11. c:d4  Be7 12. Nc2  Rc8; or 11. Q:d4 B:a3 12. b:a3.  Both seem a bit unclear.

10. … Nh6  Trading is not always a good policy.  Krush’s objective is the two-bishops with the f5 square outpost for the Knight.

11. Nc2  Nf5  12. d:c5  Why?  I would prefer continuing with square count agenda like 12. Bg5.

12. … B:c5  13. Ncd4  Following his Na/c/d4 jump idea but 13. …N:d4  seems unlikely to create a lasting initiative for either side.

14. Be3  Bb6  15. Qd3  Qd7  16. Rfe1  Overprotecting the strong e5 pawn ala Nimzowitsch.

16. … Bc7  17. Bg5  Ng6  18. h4  Ne7  Going backwards on square count seems negative and perhaps the beginning of White making progress.

19. b3! White’s aim is to grab space on the Q-side.

19. … a6  20.  a4  Rc8  21. Ra2  Bb8  22. g3  Ng8  23. Rae2!  Nh6  24. Nh2  Ba7  25. Nhf3  Ng4  26. Kg2  Bb8  27. Nh2  N:h2  28. K:h2  Ba7  Black’s forces are in shambles.

29. Nf5!! Crushing.

29. …e:f5?  Black’s only chance as I see it would be the radical 29…Kf8 using my square count thoughts if given half a chance for a …b5 pawn break on the Q-side.  The Knight is simply immune to capture on f5.

30. e6! Here the idea of overprotection come mightily to it’s secret.

30….  f:e6  31. R:e6+  Kf8  32. Re7  Again, Nimzowitsch’s play on the 7th!

32. … Re8  33. R:d7 B:d7 34. Re8+  Black resigns.


Stars of Chess

October 15, 2016

In the world of chess which encompasses journalism, tournaments, matches, and bios of the famous and not so famous devotees that attract enthusiasts through the written word or over the internet which, in the broadest sense, makes it an international language and community that share in the joy of this ancient and widely played game.

One such devotee is today’s feature star, Richard Pointe, who is a scholastic director for the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, just recently returning to the Singuefield Cup action after addressing 300 student teachers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Richard says it was a great opportunity to talk about the value of chess for kids.  One of his messages: “Chess is so powerful that you can interest even the troublemakers.”  It was all in a busy day’s work. In just two years, the club school outreach grew from 40 to 150 programs in a range of schools from private academies to orphanages.  We see the most advantaged and least advantaged kids come out to share the joys of chess.

A proud native St. Louisan, Richard has a master of arts in Russian politics and studied for his doctorate, spending 2003 in St. Petersburg which has a rich history of chess.  My Russian studies and chess went together. Now he finds working with school children an unexpected reward. “I’m lucky to have chess around me all the time.  But it is not just about the chess.  It’s about the values every kid can learn.”

The State of New York has a number of regional schools taking part in the Chess in the Schools Program as do other states and or localities.

Don’s Comic Delights

October 14, 2016

Aries:   You know fate can be cruel. you’ve seen your share of it, up close and personal. You are the only one who can play out your hand.  Today, you have to bluff in order to play the position well.

Garfield:  I had a busy day today.  Oh, so did we. What did you do? Uhhh…Garfield puts up both paws and thinks, “Sorry. No follow-up questions.”

Blondie:  Mr. Ditthers: There’s a rumor going ariound that I have unpredictable mood swings, Bumstead.  He chuckles and continues, Isn’t that about the craziest thing you ever heard?  Yessir. WHAT’S  THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN, BUMSTEAD??!!

Pickles:  Anything good in the news, Earl? No, I’m just reading the obituaries. I find it kind of amazing.  What’s that?  That people seem to die in alphabetical order.

Hagar:  RIP Sven Larsson.  At the grave site, his wife asks in belligerent tone to the Monk, Do you think my pathetic, inadequate, weak, idiot husband is in HELL??  Hagar who is in the waiting line of mourners, says to his right-hand man, Not anymore!!

Beetle Bailey:  It’s past your curfew! I was on a date with Miss Buxley. It’s hard to get mad at Beetle when he smells of Miss Buxley’s perfume and her lipstick shows the nature of their affection for each other.

Chess, Science, and Football

October 14, 2016

John Urschel of the Baltimore Ravens offensive line usually protects his quarterback.  On May 20th, at the Liberty Science Center’s (LSC) Genius Gala 5.0, he was found protecting his chess king.

An accomplished mathematician, he faced off against USA Chess Champion, Fabiano Caruana, in the first “LSC World Blitz Chess Title Bout.”  Urschel had a time advantage, getting 3-minutes against Caruana’s 2-minute time limit for the game result.  Urschel’s king was tackled over with Caruana’s clock still having 39- seconds to use.  Urschel’s clock showed 61- seconds.

In chess, weight doesn’t mean much.  Fabiano checked in at 5’7″, 125 lbs. and Urschel much bigger at 6’3″, 308 lbs.  But where Fabiano was lacking in size, he made up for with his 2870 USCF chess rating, third highest of all time, to John’s rating of 1601.

Both are active at the Liberty Science Center.  Fabiano serves as the visiting grandmaster and ambassador for the Center’s scholastic Chess Works program.

John Urschel also has impressive background, graduating from Penn State with a 4.0 in mathematics; he published two important mathematical results in academic literature. Off the field, he is pursuing his Ph.D. at MIT in the fields of spectral graph theory, numerical linear algebra, and machine learning.

LSC President Paul Hoffman spoke of this unique event as a magical night of science and creativity we look forward to every year at the Center.  Hoffman was joined by two-time chess champion of Canada and  New Jersey hedge-fund trader extraordinaire GM Pascal Charbonneau to officiate the unique competition.

Dancing With The French

October 10, 2016

The French Defense has a long history and one that intrigued me as a child when studying MCO6.  The game Kramnik vs. Buhmann, Dortmund 2016, was a slugfest and one which Vladimir Kramnik  contributed to NEW IN CHESS.

The subject of grandmaster draws arose years ago with a number of essays suggesting ways to remedy the number of Grandmaster draws.  Many suggestions were made without any being practical.  The vast improvement in chess clock technology largely solved the problem.  Games are still won, lost or drawn but the fighting spirit to find victory the ultimate reward for a well played game, often cherished by both players, can be seen in this Dortmund chess struggle.

White:  V. Kramnik  vs.  Black:  R. Buhmann  French Defense

l. e4  e6  2. d4  d5  3. Nc3  Nf6  4. e5  Nfd7  5. f4  c5  6. Nf3  Be7  7. Be3  b6 8. Qd2  O-O 9. h4!  With anticipation that if 9….c:d4  10. N:d4 B:h4+? 11. g3! leaves Black castled position in hoc.

9. … Nc6  10. Bb5  Qc7  11. O-O-O  a6 12. Bd3  f5  Needed to stop B:h7+ = mating attack.

13. g4  c4  14. g:f5  Best was 14. B:f5! e:f5  15. Qg2 a computer find leading to a won game.

14. … c:d3  15. f:e6  Ndb8 16. N:d5  Qd8  17. N:e7+ N:e7  18. Ng5  h6  19. Q:d3  Black has been finding the best defense at each turn.  As often happens with me (VK) optimism got the best of me and justifiably so with the looks of White’s attack.

19. … h:g5  20.  h:g5  B:e6  21. Qh7+ Kf7  22. d5  This move is not bad but puts VK in a state of expecting a resignation at any moment. In combination with  …

22. … Bf5  23. e6?  Played without thinking.  White misses 23. g6+ Ke8  24. Q:g7 Qc7 Rd2 N:d5 26. Qh6! Qc6  27. g7  Rg8  28. e6 Q:e6  29. Qh5+ Ke7 30. B:b6! and White is winning.  Now, VK misses a neat trick.

23. …Ke8  24. Q:g7 Qc7  25. Rh2  N:d5  26. Q:f8+ K:f8  27. R:d5  Bh7  28. b3!  Ke8  29. g6 B:g6 30. Rh8+ Ke7  31. f5  B:f5  32. R:f5  Qc3!  33. Bg5+  Ke6  34. Rf6+ Q:f6  35. B:f6 K:f6  36. Rh6+ Ke5  37. R:b6 Kd5  38. Kb2  Nc6  39. a3  Kc5  40. Rb7 Rg8  41. Rh7  Rg2 42. Rh5+ Kd6 43. Kc3 43…Rg3+ 44. Kb2  Rg2  Draw agreed.

“A fascinating game that I quite enjoyed. I had wanted to win, of course, but I was not all that disappointed that it ended in a draw,  because to play such an incredibly sharp and crazy game is always a joy. There were a lot of spectators, and they rose for an ovation at the end. I only regretted playing  29. g6, because if I had played 29. Kb2 stopping Qc3 and won, sacrificing a queen for a piece and a slow attack,  would have been like a Tal game played at his peak.”–Vladimir Kramnik.

Such are webs weaved by human intelligence.

The text of VK’s personal notes to the game can be found in NEW IN CHESS, pages 86-91, 2016#6.

The complexity of this game and crucial decisions to create a plan, and seeing ideas put into the struggle by both players, exists in every chess battle and is a part of game enrichment.