Archive for January, 2009

KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: World Chess Live

January 31, 2009

World Chess Live, a family-friendly chess service, is sponsor of the 2008 World Chess Live Junior Grand Prix (JGP).  The November issue of CHESS LIFE, page 53, listing shows as of October 1, 2008, events received and processed being unofficial and subject to change during the year through year-end has tallied 4,469 players with JGP points with 363 JGP events held. Top prize includes free entry and $1000 in expense money to the 2009 U.S. Open and a handsome plaque.  Additional prizes for the top 20 and each top state representative will round out the winners.

Jumping into a tie for the lead by coming from behind with 90 was New Yorker Jack Hutton who amassed a total of 135 points, shared by Peter Giannatos, NC; Shicheng Zhao, VA; Joel Anthony Pena, NJ;

For details, go to www.worldchesslive.com/uscf

Those interested can write to USCF, P.O. Box 3967, Crossville, TN 38557-3967.

DON’T HAVE A CHESS CLUB IN YOUR AREA OR KNOW IF ONE EXISTS NEARBY, OR IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PLAYING TOURNAMENT CHESS, the USCF can help you. Most tournament listings show upcoming tournaments in CHESS LIFE and whom to contact.

USCF NATIONAL EVENTS SCHEDULED FOR 2009

39th US Team East and World Amateur Team  2/14-16/09 held in Parsippany, NJ

2009 Super Nationals IV — 4/3-4/09  Nashville, TN

2009 US Amateur Team – North  2/14-15/09 Waukesha, WI

2009 US Amateur Team – South 2/13-15/09 Orlando, FL

2009 US Junior Chess Congress 2/28-3/1/09 Anderson, Indiana

2009 US Amateur – West May 23-25 Tucson, Arizona

Participants must be or become USCF members.

                            DID YOU KNOW?

Who are the two K’s that have been instrumental in developing school chess programs ?

(No, I am not going to tell you!)

Just received the February issue of CHESS LIFE and want to add my congratulations to our two Olympiad teams (Men and Women) who equaled a 3rd place finish to win respective Bronze Medals. The men’s team was composed of GM Gata Kamsky, GM Hikaru Nakamura,  GM Alexander Onischuk, GM Yury Shulman, and GM Varuzhan Akobian.  The team scored 29 – 15.

The US Women team: IM Irina Krush, IM Anna Zatonskih, WGM Rusudan Goletiani, WGM Katerina Rohonyan, WFM Tatev Abrahamyan.

The team scored 30.5 – 13.5.

THE MATCH IS ON BETWEEN OUR GATA KAMSKY AND TOPALOV and will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria from February 16-28, 2009. The winner will then meet World Champion Anand for a title match.

               ***                                     ***                                              ***

The Benoni Defense has its ups and downs; here, Mike Blechar hands Rudolf Katzl a short lesson in how not to play it.

                             White: Mike Blechar  vs. Black: R. Katzl

1.d4  c5  2.d5  e6  3.e4  exd5  4.exd5  d6  5.Nc3  g6  6.Nf3  a6  7.a4  Nd7  8.Qe2+  Qe7  9.Ne4  Kd8  10.Bf4  Ngf6  11.Nfg5  h6  12.Bxd6  Qe8  13.Nxf6  Qxe2  14.Bxe2  hxg5  15.Bxf8  Rxf8  16.Nh7  Re8  17.Nxg5  f6  18.Ne6+  Resigns (1-0).

Participate!  Submit your analysis  and I will publish the best and most interesting one received.

Advertisements

KindredSpirit’s Special: Evil of self-discouragement

January 29, 2009

How often have we felt discouraged and inadequate when meeting complex or simple problems in our daily lives that seem to become initially a school age experience among the student body.  Very young and pre-school kids often express with differing degrees of imagination and creativity with overflowing  enthusiasm. Teaching methods may be the root cause of such variations in development.

Brainstorming sessions where problems, ideas, and solutions are solicited and freely expressed most often achieve greater reward than inhibitive scholastic habit oft times witnessed especially in the public school systems. Such freedom as expressed in Fritz Kahn’s DESIGN OF THE UNIVERSE is more difficult for the highly educated than for the less educated citing none other than Albert Einstein’s observation about Faraday’s idea as an audacious mental creation which we owe chiefly to the fact that Faraday never went to school and hence preserved the rare gift of thinking freely.

Whatever happened to American ingenuity, inventiveness, of self confidence, of self achievement? Parents tend to discourage conversation with children drawing out their ideas rather than encouraging them.  And this is true for adult to adult relationships as well where some marriages find one spouse dominating the interests and thoughts for the family and the other submits passively and contributes little to planning and sharing creative ideas by freely expressing views whether alike or different. Such timid behavior stiffles  joint effort and ideas.  It seems children should be seen and not heard but in reality this old saying is justification for my topic: “Evil of self-discouragement”.

Anyone wishing to master the elements of chess has numerous training methods to achieve this. The extent one applies to solving this problem or goal today is presented with a wide range of choices. High tech innovative programs, text books on learning the game, soliciting help of trusted experienced players to coach and learn how to approach preparation for entry into tournaments has given the modern student of today much greater exposure to all aspects of chess enjoyment than previously possible.  The idea of self discouragement given this enlightenment seems contradictory and yet how frequently does the budding player who dreams of great things–goals achieved during levels of learning and training finds doubt and fear of failure encroaching on purpose.

Winning and losing or drawing a chess fight is a fact of life. Yes, chess is a war game; it is a fight in the truest sense of what former World Champion Emmanuel Lasker termed it and which was his mindset each time he sat down at the board. Success comes from hard work. I am reminded of the story about A. Rubinstein who was crushed when joining a club and was shamed with many losses having considered himself to be a good player. He disappeared for some period of time and upon returning, soundly exhibited the skills that propelled him to the top of the chessworld of his day. No, this was not done by wishful thinking or dreaming but by an earnest effort to master the complexity of endgames, of openings and middlegame features. He is considered among the best endgame players ever to take up the game of chess.  If he had found self discouragement to feel bitter and dislike for chess to prevail, then he would have never achieved his dream.  And had Bobby Fischer let some losses and early failures to instill  discouragement to give up instead of using it as did Rubinstein to master the game elements, strategies and tactics, his life goal from age 12 to win the World Championship and bring the title back to America would have been a loss to him but also to the American people who came to embrace the values of chess resulting from interest in the title match with Boris Spassky in 1972.

It is not possible to harness our thoughts evolving from environmental experiences, of self appraisal, of physical and mental stimuli that affords all mankind to share a common bond that differentiates us as individuals.  The building blocks of constructing for oneself with tools available a foundation of character traits that hopefully protracts scholastic ineptitude to achieve full potential as seen by inhibitive collective reasoning while decrying the sense of imaginative and creative endeavor that ignites a promise from that simpliest of terms, “IDEA”.  Shooting down individualism and the human spirit that lusts to expand in wisdom and qualities of leadership will only make our world less exciting.

Kindred’s Special: Chess & Politics–A crucial analysis

January 24, 2009

Differences of opinion governing the elements upon which we strive to live our lives can either enrich or decay the spirit within us that is sometimes conveyed as character beliefs. We read or listen with agreement or readiness to debate issues propositioned to sway us and cast a vote up or down, accept or decline, many touching on the tags of liberalism, conservatism or other “isms” that might define the topic of the moment.

Let me cite what parental concern vibrates when voiced or written that reflects upon our noble game of chess in a purely divisive and disillusioned fashion. A mother in defense of raising her children has called chess a “war game” not fit for kids because it teaches competition, factional strife, killing symbolically those forces in the two camps and denegrating the poorest among them–the Pawn as sacrificial lambs to be led to the slaughter just to achieve victory and kill masses along the way. For others, chess might be seen as a good activity for kids to develop good traits in study, determined goal setting, exercising brainpower in terms of decisions needing to be made, judgments in analzying situations met, pattern recognition so beneficial in various occupations, and most important–the wise use of  time. Both of these arguments for and against contain a bit of truth and the game pieces themselves,  because they are mute objects symbolic of such power that in minature may equal enormous destructive force on the battlefield of 64 squares, cannot voice any dissent either way.

Thus I look elsewhere to determine what sources and personages might give sway on the subject. In the 20th Century, the liberal Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis made this point: “It is not good for us that we should lose the fighting quality, the courage and power to protect our rights. We shall have lost something vital and beyond price on the day when the State denies us the right to resort to force…”  Sarah Brady, a voice for gun control, noted that to her the only reason for guns in civilian hands is for sporting purposes. Jim Brady, her husband shot in the attack on President Reagan stated: “For the defense of the home; that is why we have police departments.” Is he for real? Police can defend families in their homes when under invasion by criminals? Criminals applaud such statements. In chess we have the aggressor and the defender. The right and duty as I see boils down to the right to protect our love of self, family, and to this act of defense relates directly to chess as well as life in the preservation of one’s own life or family and the blunting of such attack or killing of the aggressor bent on murder of your household. In basketball as well as many other sports, we find that the best defense is a strong offense especially if coupled with good defense to bring victory. Such victory might be achieved by either or by both. The famous chess teacher and player, Dr. S. Tarrasch, once noted that chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy.

There exists in the above statement by the parental concern of shielding her family from even the thought of a symbolic war game of stifling the qualities that make chess the game it is and to curtail or destroy because of ignorance and narrowmindedness of the subject shortchanging loved ones from experiencing those values that practical results have tended to support over time.

KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope Special:Purpose

January 24, 2009

Well, I must say that I was chastised by GM Davies for comments meant to assist and inform concerning his query directed I assume to those who view his excellent site TIGERCHESS. The somewhat put down made me sad and proceeded to mend my failure and include TIGERCHESS as a link.

At first I was planning to make this short and sweet but now that my fingers are limbered up felt maybe it was time to tell you why I write this blog, offer no advertising, and try to provide for the average guy and gal a light look at the world of chess from the view of the novice, amateur, and for those of the general public who want to know something about the game but not interested in a serious workout of spending months and years honing their skills. I have my blog available to WCL members, the USO and other military organizations like Help Hospitalized Veterans, Soldiers’ Angels, and various other military support groups and have financially supported them.

As a retiree with over 63 years experience in American chess life, I wanted to provide newcomers and those having just a smattering of interest for the game of chess who might hit on my blog a sort of light side look at chess. As a former editor of THE CHESS CORRESPONDENT I had the opportunity to correspond with former World Correspondence Champion, C.J.S. Purdy whose biography and collection of writings taken from CHESS WORLD was highly recommended by me. I have done book reviews of chess books but have never attempted to make money from such reviews leaving that to others who profess some professionalism as chess writers and stars of our noble game. As I said, this was not my purpose as I leave that area to those who desire to profit from its pursuit. My only interest to writing my blog is my interest in chess, and hoping that those who venture across it might find some enjoyment, some helpful hints, some humor and tidbits to shake the tummy like a bowl of  jelly.

My theory of Square Count (Sq/Ct) originated as I said as a means using a bar graph to map the ups and downs of a chess battle. At the same time I had wondered as a child what made players like Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker and Reshevsky able to seemingly pinpoint the needs of a position at hand especially in exhibition play. Hence, I used the counting of squares within the enemy camp for each side to achieve this. The more I examined it, the more I came realize that it was directly associated with spatial concerns and most effected from the build up of tempi. The fact that an exchange likely gives away a tempo or leads to a jump in tempi in some cases often is seen in use of my Sq/Ct theory. There is also the idea of Sq/Ct that says that squares, files or diagonals might be blunted from its use. An example is where a square is blunted by a pawn guard against infiltration by the enemy. Take for example the f2, f7 squares being guarded in the initial start of a game by the Kings. Likewise the c2,c7 squares are guarded only by the Queens. It is easy to see therefore that the quickest approach to those weaknesses is through the central complex. And when you examine the types of openings that have become standard over time, it sheds light on this whole concept. In some cases, one can sac a pawn or even a piece that will lay bare the square enabling an attack but more likely there will be a concentrated buildup of forces eventually pinpointing those squares as the key inroads to the enemy camp and subsequent win of material or leading to checkmate. Often times one sees such games and wonderfully attacking play resulting from Bronstein, Tal, Spassky, Keres, Geller, Fischer, Karpov, Kramnik, Kasparov and Anand–many examples of individual styles of attack but with a common theme throughout just to name a handful of superstars from past and present.

As a former TD, organizer, official, and club program director and treasurer of the Rochester Chess Club; a NYSCA, USCF, CCLA, official and captain of the New York State Beavers chess team (CCLA) I had occasion to meet many wonderful chess personages and players both in talks and across the board. I have had many friends including family who said I should develop my talent for the game and play in national tournaments where I could hone my skills. I simply did not see it that way. I loved the role as a servant to the club as my being has always tended towards helping others more than myself. Maybe it came as a result of really poor conditions seen in the chess arena at the time–USCF had only about 1200 members whereas the national picture magazine CHESS REVIEW had a huge readership of 11000-14000 it was estimated at different times. Most clubs existed with little or no real ties to a national organization, no national chess rating system where TDs and organizers of any Swiss type event had difficulty determining the skill level of participants other than by reputation if at all known. Most events in those days were round robin type events and mostly at club level often featuring club invitations to big names for simultaneous exhibitions or where two clubs might meet in a team match.

Well, this is getting away from main purpose of my column today. I hope it will give you some reflection on the conditions long past with those of today. We are blessed with high-tech solutions for record keeping, updating of ratings, of many more opportunities to play. But we have one thing tied with the past: we, regardless of the times, meet and play and still appreciate the aesthetic lure of a remarkable game. I just hope we keep it pure and free of vice and corruption and the character of our people around the world who cherish the joy of solving mysteries and playing will ever hold it in highest honor.

KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope Special: GM Isaac Kashdan

January 20, 2009

I first became familiar with Isaac Kashdan by the match he played against Samuel Reshevsky, New York, 1942. I was most impressed by his 2nd and 4th games, both wins, and despite losing to the former Boy Prodigy in total his results and skill shown in both games impressed me greatly. Years later I was privileged to work with Isaac when he assumed the editorship of THE CHESS CORRESPONDENT, the Correspondence Chess League of America (CCLA) magazine. He asked me to write a column and I accepted. Later on I challenged him to play me a two game match by post where we would as editor and former editor would meet to do battle and provide notes by each of us on the game play as it progressed. Unfortunately, Isaac said he would not risk his prestige playing me as he knew I was a strong club and cc player (I had sent him a few of my otb games as well as cc games). I certainly doubt I would have defeated him, maybe draw one but I think we missed the boat to entertain the CCLA membership had we played.

GM Isaac Kashdan was world famous and had been one of the top players, achieving considerable success in various menus. I present here the 2nd and 4th match games and hope my analysis and commentary does the battles justice.

White: Isaac Kashdan
Black: Samuel Reshevsky
Opening: Ruy Lopez
Match: 2nd Game

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6.

This is called Steinitz Defense Deferred and part of the idea is to avoid the usual …b5 that some players feel actually weakens the Q-side Pawn Structure.

5. c3

As you will see, in the 4th game, Kashdan essays 5. c4 which is called the Duras variation. The object of the text is to build and support a strong pawn center.

5…Bd7 6.d4 Nge7

The main difficulty for Black is to face a White force that can mobilize without too much of a counteraction early on by Black, his task being to slowly develop with some mobility problems.

7. Bb3! h6 8. Be3 Ng6

Varying from a Rubinstein game from 1930 that went 8…g5? 9.Bxg5!! hxg5 10.Nxg5, or; 8..g6 9.Na3 Bg7 10. Qd2 making Black’s solution for his King’s safety to be a worry.

9. Nbd2 Qf6!

A good square count decision because the Queen seems well placed here. In fact, as the next sequence shows, he begans to outplay Kashdan with a sharp and clear plan of operations.

10. Qe2 Be7 11. O-O-O?

Rarely would I give castles a ? but he needs to stop the Knight infiltration by 11.g3 no matter what happens thereafter.

11…Nf4! 12. Bxf4 Qxf4 13.Kb1 Na5

A deeply thought out maneuver that seems to be meant to counter such White jump moves as Bc2, Nf1, Ne3 eying d5.

14. Bc2 O-O 15.Nf1 Bb5 16. Bd3 f5!

This counterattack on the White e4 and Pawn assures equality at least with the idea of meeting 17.dxe5 Bxd3+18.Qxd3 with Qxe4 protecting the d5 square.

17. dxe5 Bxd3+ 18.Qxd3 fxe4??

Wowser! Anything can happen in chess and here is a perfect example. The former child wizzard inexplicably loses his way. Most likely he considered only the Queen capturing the Knight on a5 whereby ..exf3 would leave White likely losing. Best was…Qxe4 and after 19.Ng3 Qxd3+ 20.Rxd3 Nc6 is about=.

19. Qd5+ Kh8

The King here is quite safe for the time being.

20. Rd4 dxe4?

This loses a valuable tempo that is desperately needed and again square count value is shown here by retreating the Knight to c6 where it can provide chances for an active role in the game.

21. Nxe5 Rf6 22.Rxe4 Qxf2 23.Qxa5 Rb6 24. Nd3 Qxg2 25.Ng3 Bd6 26. Re2 Qc6 27.Ne5 Qe8 28. Qd5

Centralization of the Queen increases Black’s problems and later on White begins the King walk up the board that forces Black to resign on the 47th turn.

White: Isaac Kashdan
Black: Samuel Reshevsky
Opening: Ruy Lopez/Steinitz DD featuring the Duras variation.

5. c4 Bd7 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. d4 exd4 8.Nxd4 Nxd4?

Nimzowitsch gave excellent conditions for exchanges and this desire to exchange is counterproductive as it gives White a spacial edge and increases his square count. I think a good computer program would concentrate on developing by …Be7 and O-O.

9. Bxd7+ Qxd7 10. Qxd4 Be7 11. O-O O-O 12. b3

The Bishop fianchetto is going to pressure the King position from afar as well as the center dark squares. Here is another point about use of square count. Had Black thought wisely he would see by use of square count that now 12…c6 was more correct than the choice Reshevsky makes. It protects d5 against Nd5 and despite its appearance of weakening d6 and Pawn, can White readily take advantage of that at least for the moment, if ever?

12. … Rfe8 13.Bb2 Bf8 14. Rad1 Re6?!

I never understood this because again square count suggests use of defense on d6 by Rad8 and Black can still consider …c6.

15. Rfe1 Rae8 16. f3 Kh8

Black has gotten himself in hot water (why can’t GMs play like this against me? is a thought I bet a lot of you think here abouts!) Obviously no good is ..g6 because of 17.Nd5! Bg7 18.Qa7 Qc8 19.Nf4 pointing to the flaw in Re6 so White gains tempi and gets his Knight closer to the enemy position!

17. Ne2 Qc8

As an afterthought this might have been tried instead of Kh8.

18. Qf2 Nd7

Earlier I suggested combinations can be visualized frequently by what is called jump moves to attain a desired position. A perfect example shows itself I believe here with thoughts of Nd4, Qg3, Nf5, h4 with a King hunt in the offering. That is what happens.

19. Nd4 R6e7 20. Qg3 f6 21. Nf5 Re6 22. h4!

This secures the Knight on f5 and adds flavor towards participation in a coming Kingside operation.

22. …b5

This attempt at counteraction on the Queenside often seen as an offset of a Kingside demonstration lacks real purpose because of the poor placement of the Rooks.

23. cxb5 axb5 24. h5 Qa6 25, a3 c5 26. Rd5 Ne5 27. Red1

Having the simple Rxd6 threat forces Black to defend.

27. … Nf7 28. Qh4 Ne5

This allows the Pawn storm but on 28…h6 29.Qg4 is not pleasant.

29. f4 Nf7 30. h6 g6 31. Bxf6+ Kg8 32. Ng3 Bxh6 33. Bb2 Bg7 34. f5 Bxb2

Kashdan aims to meet 34…gxf5 35.Bxg7 Kxg7 36.Nh5+ winning.

35. fxe6 Rxe6 36. Qg4! Re8 37. Qd7 Rd8 38. Qe7 Rf8 39. Rf1 Be5 40. Rd3 Qc8 41. Rdf3 Qe8 42. Rxf7 Qxe7 43. Rxe7 Bxg3 44. Rxf8+ Kxf8 45. Rb7 c4 46. bxc4 Resigns (1-0).

These two games illustrate what John Nunn had to say in his excellent treatise, UNDERSTANDING CHESS MOVE BY MOVE: “The modern outlook on the game is far more flexible than that which persisted for the bulk of the 20th Century. General principles have their place, but their limitations are more clearly recognized. Much greater emphasis is placed on the concrete requirements of a given position than on obeying abstract principles.”

Kindred’s Special: An Opening Strategic Thought on Regrouping

January 16, 2009

Historical Kecskemet Variation of the Steinitz Defense Deferred 9…Be8 where Black usually went on with …Nfd7, or; after …Kh8 continues with Ng8 and f6 that fit into the Black strategy and examined by no one better than the former World Champion Alexander Alekhine.

When I met Glen Shields in the CCLA Championship I decided to go backwards in time and play a variation that I developed but probably will be lost as dependable and playable because it requires in a sense going backwards inorder to move forward.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Qe8 10.d4 Bd8 11.a4 Rb8 12.axb5 axb5 13.Nbd2 Kh8 14.Bc2 Ng8 15.Nb3 f6 16.Qe2.

At this point the game was discontinued as I had to have surgery and was not certain of when I would be able to play on.

But not to leave you in the dark, I provide this Ruy Lopez opening from Levenfish vs. Alekhine, 1912:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2 Be7 6.c3 d6 7.h3 Bd7 8.d3 O-O 9.Bc2 Kh8 10.O-O Ng8 11.Re1 Qe8 12.d4 f6 13.Nbd2 g5 14.d5 Nd8.

In 1933, the strong master Steiner took White in this Ruy Lopez and the same opponent, Alexander Alekhine, adopted this same concept.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 Bd7 6.d4 Nf6 7.Qe2 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.Bb3!

This seems superior to Bc2 played earlier as it takes up a square count position hitting f7.

9…Qe8 10.Nbd2 Kh8 preparing once again the key idea of …Ng8 and …f6.

A number of similar plans utilizing the concept of regrouping exist in the Ruy Lopez: the Smyslov variation, the Breyer System idea of…Nb8, the Keres variation …Nfd7, the Karpov line …Re8, …Bf8 and …Qd7 idea with fianchettoing the Bishop to b7.

There are a number of opening ideas that feature regrouping as an opening ploy. One important point is that the play must be most exact in most cases so that careful preparation is essential when employing such adventures.

Kindred’s Special: Brilliancy Prize Award

January 10, 2009

Robert Byrne was for many years one of the top players not only in the USA for which he was most noted but a world class player of the first order. He was a regular chess columnist for the New York Times where his expertise and skillful writing drew the attention of many readers until it was discontinued by what I think was an unwise chess move by the powers-that-be at the Times. GM Byrne participated in numerous US Championships always finishing well and was oft times member of the US team in the World Chess Olympics. Perhaps he made his mark best in international play when he nearly qualified as a challenger for the world chess title.

Here he meets Larry Evans in the 1966 US Championship and is awarded the brilliancy prize for the best game.

The 1966 USA Championship won again by Robert Fischer saw many exciting games among the participants. The results were as follows: lst Fischer (8.5) R. Byrne (7.5) Reshevsky (7.5) Addison (6.5) Zuckerman (6.5) Rossolimo (6) Benko (5) Evans (5) Saidy (5) Bisguier (3) Burger (3) Suttles (2.5).

Bobby’s start was not exactly what he wanted because Addison held him to a draw where in adjournment Addison held a slight edge in a Bishops of opposit color ending. At the time speculation was that Fischer’s lack of tournament play may have weakened his concentration but he went on to axe the title again although not as impressive as his previous 11-0 finish.

So set up your pieces and return to those golden years of the past.

             White: Robert Byrne          Black: Larry Evans

                                        Sicilian Defense

1.e4  c5  2.Nf3  a6  3.Nc3  d6  4.d4  cxd4  5.Nxd4  Nf6  6.Bg5  e6  7.f4  Qb6

This idea championed and made viable by Fischer has been widely analyzed and many otb and cc games have been played with mixed results that proves it to be a risk but decent attempt to win with the Black forces. Up to this game evidence had been taken as proof of the playability since the Tringov-Fischer battle in 1965.

8.Qd2  Qxb2 9.Rb1  Qa3  10.e5

Fischer also met from Parma in that same event 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Be2 Bg7 12.O-O f5 13.Rfd1 Nc6 14.Nxc6 Bxc3 15.Qe3 bxc6 16.Rb3 Qc5 17.Qxc5 dxc5 18.Rxc3 fxe4 19.Rxc5 Bd7 20.Re5 f5 21.g4+= eventually drawn.

10…dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 12.Bc4  Bb4

If you were thinking …Nxe5 here, you would be shocked with the smashing 13.Nxe6! with a winning attack. As I said, playing the Sicilian Defense requires a lot of study and hard work just because of the nature of the beast.

13.Rb3  Qa5  14.O-O  O-O

So far as Tringov-Fischer where White now employed the Knight sac 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Bxe6+ Kh8 17.Rxf8+ Bxf8 18.Qc4 threatening the very powerhouse 19.Qf7 only Fischer using development and I add here to note that again square count theory applies with 18…Nc6 meeting 19.Qf7 with Qc5+ 20.Kh1 Nf6 and White resigned a few moves later.

15.Bf6!

This is Byrne’s improvement and shows the dangers of playing previous game play, there always being an opportunity to come up with improvements.

15…gxf6

Byrne says he intended if 15…Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Bxc3 17.Qe3 with good attacking prospects.

16.Qh6 Qxe5?!

Better was to exchange with 16…Bxc3. Here again sharp tactics and combined motifs arise from vision of using my square count theory.

17.Nf5!  exf5  18.Ne4!  Bd2

After the Knight capture either by pawn or Queen, White hustles his Rook to the K-side and Black is up a hard place to find an adequate defense.

19.Nxd2 Qd4+  20.Kh1

Disaster would meet 20.Rf2?? Qxf2+ 21.Kxf2 Ng4+ forking the King and Queen.

20…  Ne5  21.Rg3+ Ng4

Do you see what White plays if Ng6 instead?

22.h3  Qe5  23,Rf4  Qe1+  24. Nf1 Qxg3

Evans puts up a gallant defense and threatens White’s Queen on h6.

25.Rxg4+  Qxg4  26.hxg4

Evans manages to put up a gallant defense and has restored materially approximate equality but White is positioned  so his K-side attack continues with visionary jump moves of Ng3 to Nh5 when the exposure of the Black King has choked any hope of salvation lest White make a blunder.

26….Nd7  27.Ng3  Kh8 28.Bd3  Rg8  29.Bxf5  Rg6 30.Bxg6 fxg6  31.Ne4 b5  32.g5  Bb7

At least superior to 32…fxg5 33.Nxg5  Nf6 34.Qf8+ Ng8 35.Nf7#

33.Nxf6 Nf8 34.Qh2  Bc8  35.Qe5  Ne6  36.Nd7disch Resigns (1-0).

Lessons to learn from this remarkable battle on the 64:

  1. The Sicilian Defense requires deep study inorder to fend your way through the many pitfalls and moves that fall short of giving to the defender a playable game;
  2. One should always be careful in adopting another’s plan previously tried because there is a good chance that improvements have been found since then;
  3. This example shows the value and importance of tempi noted in the opening where White achieved several pieces developed with Black being sadly behind. This is due largely to the enticement of giving up the b-pawn to gain time for development;
  4. White correctly blasted away at the center giving up central pawns inorder to open lines leading to the enemy King position;
  5. Several motifs present themselves in the multi-combinations that take place or are present in analysis;
  6. Jump moves are employed by Byrne featuring the Knight  toward setting up a winning position;
  7. A great lead in tempi moves and where square count is visible toward finding the right plan or move series taking advantage of a spacial edge often enables the aggressor to sac pieces and pawns with abandon if the attack has excellent potential of total success either winning material or mating the King.

This game illustrates that chess games never grow old or is interest in the aesthetic beauty tarnished due to age. That is one of the great blessings of our noble game.

Kindred’s Special: Chess Madness or Did Tal Inspire Me

January 5, 2009

Oh, do I remember those days of old when I first came across from European friends the name and a few games from a new TERROR who flaunt the title master in opponents’ faces with his often risky and brilliant tactical motifs that seemed to find them swept off the board with regularity. I do not believe I have the talent of Tahl or Tal as his name changed maybe to save a penny or two on typesetting but his play inspired me whereas after these two titanic fights (for me anyway) I must question my own sanity at times! Ah, for the days of original thought and free of those pesky machines to come and tarnish our beloved game.

            White: O. J. Cowles                Black:  Donald P. Reithel

                                        King’s Gambit Declined

1.e4  e5  2.f4  Qh4+

When I first got into chess I had a hard time meeting the KG because I had very little knowledge about chess openings. And as a child I liked the power of the Queen and hence thought she ought to be put into action as quick as possible. Since, I have played this odd move a few times even against experts with success. It certainly smacks against what coaches and teachers have expressed or written about but out of the mouth of babes or maybe the term “little children will lead” expresses some optimism that youth even in ignorance can sometimes confound the wisest among us!

3.g3  Qe7 4.fxe5  d6 5.Nc3  dxe5 6.d3  Nc6 7.Bg2  Nf6 8.Nf3 Be6 9.Be3  Ng4  10.Bd2  Qc5

As a result of rapid development of forces, my square count has caused White some difficulty in forming a good plan.

11.Rf1  Ne3  12.Bxe3  Qxe3+  13.Qe2  Qxe2+ 14. Nxe2 f6 15. a3 O-O-O 16. O-O-O Be7  17.Nh4 Rhe8 18.Nf5 Bf8

Naturally avoiding further captures and this retreat solidifies the Kingside pawn structure and any attack will bite on granite.

19.Kb1  Nd4  20.Nfxd4 exd4 21. Nf4  Bg8

The Bishop-pair are effective from this rank.

22.Rf2  Rd6  23.Ne2  c5  24.Rdf1 Re5  25.Nf4  Be7 26.Nd5  Kd8  27.h4 Bxd5 28.exd5  g6  29.g4  b5 30.Rd1  a5 31.Ka2 a4  32.Bf3 f5 33.g5  Re3  34.Rdd2  Rd7  35.Bg2 Bd6  36.Rf1  Rde7  37.h5  Rg3  38.hxg6 hxg6  39.Rf3 Rxf3  40.Bxf3  Re3  41.Bh1  Bg3  42.Rg2  f4  43.Rg1 f3  44.Rf1  f2  45.Bg2 Re1  46.Bh3  c4  47.d6  Bh4 48.d7  Bg3 White Resigns (0-1)

White could have resigned earlier as he seems to be suffering that old problem of being in a zugswang ‘s black hole.

        ***     ****              ****              ****                     ****         ****

Another battle with the same opponent left my mind thinking I must be insane to play against what is only to be assumed as madness.

               White: Donald P. Reithel             Black: O.J. Cowles

                                            Caro Kann Defense

1.e4  c6  2.d4  d5  3.Nd2

Normally I played  3.exd5 during this period but wanted to test this relative new idea that some favored as slightly more accurate than putting the Knight on c3 but it goes into the regular line anyway.

3…dxe4  4.Nxe4  Bf5

As I recall I spent some time debating my good and bad side to whether I should try the tricky 5.Qd3 but most likely wise not to risk losing rating points. It was once played Reti against Tarkatower and as I remember Reti won with a brilliant and insightful mate at d8!

5.Ng3  Bg6  6.h4  h5

Normal is the move 6…h6 but Larsen if I recall gave this some practice.

7. Nh3  e5  8.dxe5  Qa5+  9.Bd2  Qxe5+ 10.Be2  Qxb2

So my opponent starts gobbling up pawns and by the time move 13 comes along I was wondering why I ever took up this game!

11.O-O  Qxc2

Another pawn bites the dust.

12.Qe1  Be7 13.Rc1  Qxa2

Another pawn goes in the box. This crazy game we call chess!

14.Bc4  Qa3  15.Bg5  Nd7  16.Nf4  Ngf6  17.Nxg6  fxg6  18.Qe6  O-O-O  19.Ba6  Qxa6  20.Qxe7  Rde8  21.Qxg7  Rhg8  22.Qf7  c5  23.Rfe1  Ref8  24.Qe7 Re8 25.Qf7 Ref8 26.Qe7  Qb6

My opponent must have been thinking: “No draw, Baby!”

27.Ne4  Nd5 28.Qh7  Re8  29.Qf7  Nc7  30.Red1 Ne5  31.Qf4  Rgf8  32.Nd6+ Qxd6 33.Rxd6  Rxf4  34.Bxf4  b6  35.Be5  Re5 36.Rxg6  Kb7 37.Rg5  Rd5  38.Rxd5 Nxd5  39.g4  hxg4  40.Rc4  a5  41.h5 Kc6  42.h6 Nf6 43.Rf4  Nh7  44.Rf7  Ng5  45.Rg7  c4  46.Rxg5  c3  47.Rxg4 b5 48.Kh2 c2 49.Rg1 b4 50.h7 b3 51.h(Q) Black Resigns (1-0).

Now I know why I got prematurely gray!

Kindred’s Special: Club Team Play

January 5, 2009

Going through my files, I came across several issues of Chess Life & Review from the 1960s-70s when it was a truly great magazine for the American audience as well as attractive to the international scene. It was a period of great chess expansion in the United States in part because of rise of our young champion Robert “Bobby” Fischer. During the 70s a team league started featuring a number of cities across America with players rated from high expert to Grandmaster and many splendid battles waged across the wires. The experiment, if you can call it that, was hotly contested with a lot riding on bragging rights but with a spirit of togetherness in such a menu.

One of the club members from the Rochester Chess Club played for the Washington team and gave a good account of himself. Together we played many games in practice, tournament and a match that I  lost.  Many of our club stars were experts in Rochester and eventually moved away and ratings leaped to match their true strength. There was a strong group of teenagers, Rogoff, Eberlein, Joynt, Jr., Rosenbloom, Rosenthal, Rosenstein, Maynard Nedvid; the Plutzik brothers, the Lanze brothers, and several others joined them in the classes A-C.

Today I present two games from one such star that gained from venturing out into the world and new horizons.

                                      The National Chess League

          White: Gonzalez                      Black: Robert Eberlein

                                    English Opening

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.d4 c5 5.Nf3 O-O 6.O-O cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6 8.Nc3 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 d6.

An interesting position has arisen  The English is noted for its longterm edge where Black has to play under those conditions waiting for a slight miscue or he can achieve some imbalance in the position that keeps the fight and result unclear. According to NCO now 10.Qd3 is most common and maintains a small plus (see pg 59). White chooses what might have been the popular idea at the time this game was played. Black I feel improved the sequence somewhat.

10.Qh4 Be6! 11.Bg5 Qa5 12.Rac1 Rfc8 13.b3 Rab8 14.Bd2 a6!

I like this move. Black seeks to sharpen the play and hopes to wrest the initative and little space edge from White.

15.Rfd1 Qd8

This strong move, returning the Queen to its home base is not a wasted move. Black has his sights on Queenside play and hopes to challenge the white forces in that sector. Here is an interesting observation: both players seem well prepared in this opening system but Black has, with some finese movement, created the type of position that stirs the juices of the strategist and tactician. White chooses a course now to bring about exchanges that he hopes maybe will challenge such Black strategy.

16.Ne4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 b5 18.Bd5 Bxd5 19.cxd5 Bb2 20.Rc6 Rxc6 21.dxc6 Rc8 22.Bg5 f6!

White might have been provoking this and Bob obliges him.

23.Bc1 Be5 24.Qe4 Qb6 25.Qd5+ Kg7 26.Qe6

Perhaps thinking jump moves to achieve a type of position that offers good attacking chances. The rest of the game is given without comment but worth a close study for its skilled play and should provide excellent training for those who want to hone their endgame skill.

26…Rc7 27.Be3 Qxc6 28.f4  Bb2 29.f5 Ba3 30.fxg6 hxg6 31.Kf2 Bc5 32.Rd3 Qh1 33.h4 Bxe3+ 34.Rxe3 Qh2+ 35.Kf3 Qg1 36.Kg4 Qa1 37.h5 Qd4+ 38.Kf3 gxh5 39.Qf5 Qg4+ 40.Qxg4+ hxg4 41.Kxg4 Kf7 42.Kf4 b4 43.Ke4 Rc2 44.Kd5 Rxa2 45.Kc6 Ke8 46.g4 a5 47.Kb5 Kd7 48.Re4 d5 49.Rd4 Kd6 50.e4 e6 51.exd5 exd5 52.Rf4 Ke5 53.Rf5+ Ke6 54.Rf1 Ra3 55.Rb1 Kd6 56.Rb2 Ke5 57.Kc5 Kf4 58.Kxd5 Kxg4 59.Ke6 f5 60.Ke5 f4 61.Ke4 f3 White Resigns (0-1).

Kindred’s Special: The Leningrad Variation vs Nimzo-Indian Defense

January 3, 2009

Correspondence chess allows the player to experiment using original thoughts and ideas largely because there is nothing really at stake other than one’s score but risk and enjoyment of a good fight is worth the trouble.

           White:  Donald P. Reithel     Black:  R. Friedenthal

             Opening: Leningrad System vs Nimzo-Indian Def.

1.d4  Nf6  2.c4  e6  3.Nc3  Bb4

White has established a firm central complex formation frequently found in a number of opening systems. Black choses the Nimzo-Indian Defense as a means to combat this with the hopes of sharing a portion of the center and hoping to counterattack White’s central dominance.

4.Bg5

This move was favored by Spassky and decided to give it a try although I knew little about it.

4…h6 5.Bh4 c5  6.d5  b5!?

This move gives the game its appeal and caught me off guard to say the least. It appears in Nunn’s Chess Openings book but I was unfamiliar with it if it indeed even existed when this game was played.

7.Qc2

Not mentioned in Nunn’s book. I could not find a reference to any game where Spassky met …b5. In some ways it might transpose into  4.Qc2 O-O 5.Bg5 c5, 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 as appears on page 477 of Nunn’s book minus the b-pawn move.

7…bxc4 8.O-O-O

To stir the juices and shoot into high gear the tactical elements that make up chess. It is a risk but then Lasker, the great fighter, often employed such so I decided to purely experiment in this game.

8…Bxc3 9.bxc3 exd5 10.e4

To be considered is 10.Rxd5 and if d6, then 11.e4. My idea at the time was to create a dynamic and stressful position requiring alert minds from both players.

10…d6 11.exd5 O-O 12.Bxc4 Nbd7

Material equality has been restored but the position is sharp and dangerous. Strategically White has the Bishop-pair and Black has an open b-file on the Qside where White’s King resides.

13.Bb3

It was hard to decide how to proceed but in retrospect it seems to me that maybe 13.Ne2 Nb6 14.Bd3 was more appropro because I could answer perhaps ..Nxd5 with 15.Be4 or Bh7+.

13…a5!

Gaining square count and this will eventually give Black an inroad into my defensive position hard to meet.

14.a3 Nb6 15.c4  Bg4 16.f3 Bh5 17.Ne2 Bg6! 18.Qd2 Nbd7 19.Bg3 Qb6 20.Ba2 Nh5?!

Not necessarily bad but why take his eye off the Qside? More to the point was 20…Rab8 with things like …a4 and …Qa5 at some point striking into the King’s position.

21.Nc3 Nxg3  22.hxg3  Ne5 23.Qe2 Rfe8 24.Qf1 Re7

With battles going on in several games by post, it was hard to admit that my position looked sick. But here again I had some false hopes that he did not see the interesting plan of jump moves: …Rab8, …a4,…Qa5. With the next, I had dreams of surviving somehow.

25.Nb5 Rae8 26.Bb1 Bxb1 27.Kxb1

I did not like having the King on b1 but what can one do when it is forced there? And now Black finally spots his best chance.

27…a4! 28.Rd2 f6?

This unexplainable shift to the K-side loses important tempi needed for the attack on the King position. Also, it weakens the g6 square which in the end, gives White the endgame victory.

29.Rb2 Qa6?

Black would just as well try 29…Qa5.

30.Ka2 Nf7 31.Qd3 Re3 32.Qb6  R/8-e7 33.f4!

Using my square count theory if I may be so bold as to suggest it as it strongly suggests this pawn advance to stop N going to e5.

33…R/7e4 34.Rc1 Re2

This decision to exchange off Rooks was understandable as he appears to be unable to find a promising plan to improve his own position. The ending resulting of Q+N  is favorable only to me.

35.Rcc2 Rxc2 36.Qxc2 Rxb2+ 37.Kxb2 Kf8

I must say that my guardian Angel must have had something to do with my uplifted spirit! Actually had Black followed up correctly and attacked my King position, he would have a superior and quite possibly a winable endgame himself. Readers might refer back to my column titled: Don’t Give Up the Ship!

38.Qe6 Qb7 39.Kf2 Qb8 40.Qd7 g6 41.Kd2!

I got on my bike and started to peddle away and avoid nips by the Queen.

41…Kg7 42.Ke2 h5  43.Kf2  g5

This reminds me of a Capablanca like ending where he often had his opponent in a dandy Zugswang.

44.Kf3 Kg6 45.Qe7 Kg7 46.Nc7 Qb3+ 47.Kf2 Qb2+ 48.Kg1 h4 49.Ne6+ Kg6 50.g4 Black Resigns (1-0).

Black avoids getting mated.

Again this is an example of keeping a cool head and even in difficult circumstances remaining vigilant for the slightest inaccuracies. As the old saying goes, victory comes usually to the player who makes the next to last mistake! Give cc play a look see and you may find you like it!