Archive for January, 2011

Kindred’s Special: The Ruy Lopez Bishop is the Hallmark of Chess

January 29, 2011

When I think of the Ruy Lopez Opening it reminds me of looking down a deep dark well or multitude of cornstalks in a cornfield.  In 1948 the famous Chess Review writer, Hans Kmoch, referred to it as The Inexhaustible Fountain. In some respects our comparisons mirror but his done in a few brilliant words! That, too, can mirror the intricacies of charm that embody the soul of the “King of Openings” as I once coined it. Dr. Emmanuel Lasker is not to be denied, noting in one of his lectures, “The most logical of all the openings.” Not to be outdone, Anatoly Karpov wrote in his Chess is My Life that the Ruy Lopez is one of the oldest of openings, but to this day it is constantly practiced and fully retains it’s attractiveness.  Some of it’s variations have been studied thoroughly, while others require further research and practical testing. It has been said that it does not deserve much attention, that it has been analyzed through and through by many generations of chess players, and that it is impossible to find anything new in it. Even more mistaken are those who think that after reading through and learning by heart the variations given in the books, they can successfully employ them in tournament games. Grandmasters have a very serious approach to the study of this complex opening and it is no accident that the great Capablanca considered the Ruy Lopez to be the test for understanding position play.” The loose cannon in Russian chess, GM David Bronstein, in his Two Hundred Open Games concluded in writing: “After four centuries, the fundamental question, ‘What is the best defense?’ has still not been decided.

What drives me is chess history.  I love to read and study many topics and almost in every case I covet the joy of historical background that draws me to the, in this case, the chessnuts that make up the chessworld.  Chess stars and writers like Steinitz, Lasker and Tarrasch, generally seemed to like less the modern day joys experienced coming from ‘putting the question’ to the Ruy bishop by 3…a6, known as the Morphy Defense. The early world champions–Steinitz and Lasker–preferred the quiet 3…d6 or the stronger 3…Nf6  4. O-O d6.  Another contrast between then world champion Karpov and Steinitz, Lasker and Capablanca reflects the changing attitude toward the approach of chess play; there exhibited much more adventure in their games whereas Karpov displays a strictly correct approach to solving the mysteries of this board game, much the way a mathematician views a problem.

Reflecting on my ‘square count’ one might assume that placing the Bishop on c4 would be superior to playing it to b5 as it strikes across the center squares and attacks the f7 point I once named the inherent weak point since it was guarded only by the King. This leads to an entirely different game plan usually and nothing is wrong with it. But remember what Capablanca said about getting the bishop into the guts of the enemy position. The real secret of the Bb5 ploy is to entice Black to chase it from it’s perch via a4 and later b3. This pawn expansion on the Q-wing by Black of playing a6>b5 is known to produce some weakness in the Black Q-side pawn structure. Remember that once pawns advance, they cannot retreat!

Dr. Lasker often essayed the Exchange variation 3…a6 4. Bxc6 because dxc6 5. d4  exd4  6. Qxd4 Qxd4 7. Nxd4 gives White a pawn majority on the King-side while the pawns on a2,b2 and c2 is sufficient to hold back the 4-pawns on the Q-side due to the fact that double pawns exist in that mass. Most modern authorities today suggest this was Lasker’s patented idea. However, he also essayed often what might be superior 5. Nc3.  A bit of history here. Capablanca played this at the 1914 St. Petersburg Tournament against Janowski and won a brilliant game. Capablanca wrote in his notes that he had in fact discussed this move with Alekhine who said he felt it superior to 5. d4. Lets take a look at this splendid game.  For historical reasons, I decided to use the English Discriptive notation commonly used prior to making algebraic forced on players world-wide.

1. P-K4  P-K4  2. N-KB3  N-QB3  3. B-N5  P-QR3  4. BxN  QPxB  5. N-B3  B-QB4 (f7-f6 is interesting) 6. P-Q3  B-KN5  7. B-K3  BxB (this opens the f-file) 8. PxB  Q-K2 9. O-O  O-O-O (bold play typical of the attacking player Janowski) 10. Q-K1  N-R3 11. R-N1  P-B3 12. P-N4  N-B2  13. P-QR4  BxN 14. RxB  P-QN3 15. P-N5  BPxP 16. PxP  P-QR4 17. N-Q5  Q-B4 18. P-B4 N-N4 19.R-B2 N-K3  20. Q-B3  R-Q2  21. R-Q1  K-N2  22. P-Q4  Q-Q3  23. R-B2  PxP  24. PxP  N-B5  25. P-B5  NxN  26. PxN  QxQP 27. P-B6ch K-N1 28. PxR  QxP/Q2 29. P-Q5  R-K1 30. P-Q6 PxP 31.Q-B6 Resigns.

It is important for you to acquaint yourself with different forms of notation as old books are printed using the above ED notation.

In the Exchange variation, Black has the two-bishops as a trade off for the weakened Q-side Pawn Structure depending upon the strategies employed by both sides into the middle game. The concept was re-popularized by Bobby Fischer who used it in many of his games and usually played 5. O-O.  A study of his games will enrich your being and suggests that there is more than one or two ways to skin a cat!

Personally I like to refrain from 3…a6 and prefer 3…Nf6 following the idea of Lasker’s principle, ‘Knights before Bishops’.

Your personal style is important. What makes the Ruy Lopez appealing to me is the fact that both sides can have room to explore.

The idea of USCF ratings always had a plus and negative effect on the body soul. Players who play for the rating have their reward. Players who play to create beauty have their reward. Players who simply want to enjoy chess play with friends in the home or at a local club have their reward. Players who travel to distant tournaments and cram into a weekend up to several games likewise have their reward and perhaps a headache or miserable trip home thinking about the darn blunder made in the last game! My site is for each and all as well as the general public who rarely ever considered chess anything but a game. Visit here and be enlightened.

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Kindred’s Special: In Self-Defense of 1. … e5 and Chess History

January 28, 2011

The road to success in defense is paved with patience.  Avoid weakening moves is, of course, more easily said than done.  But one must obstruct the attack. The black defense requires delicate handling where the advice of Capablanca, Karpov and Lasker who share the philosophy that the second player devote energy to achieve approximate equality with enough imbalance to launch counter actions that offer some good chances. Often the first player is suddenly thrust into a defensive role when everything seemed to make for happiness and silent congratulations on achieving a good game by making a second-rate move that the adversary spotted and could take advantage.  In contrast the defender recognizes his role in the opening being one of detering initiative by white  and setting up a counter-attack. Players who lack patience when confronting positional challenges rarely possess good defensive fortitude and lack thereof leads to impetuous folly.  One of the assets of a good defensive player is an iron will and with control over his or her human inclinations is the one who is likely to weather every storm and to launch a sucessful counter-attack.

My previous article touched upon one of the Ruy Lopez variations and illustrated the abundance of positional energies in the system for both sides examined. Let us examine another defense between amateurs but is likewise very entertaining and skillfully played.  After 1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  Nf6 The Berlin Defense (..Nxe4) or the Steinitz Defense (4…d6). The move 3…Nf6 is very important for the defender. Why? The answer lies in the almost automatic move 4. O-O.  If Black had chosen the Steinitz Defense at 3…d6, then White could proceed with 4. d4 Bd7  5. Nc3  Be7 and not having castled keeps Black in the dark as to how White will eventually castle. Black must avoid the tempting 4. d4 Bg4 5. d5 a6  6. Ba4  b5  7. dxc6 bxa4 8. c4 and White’s grip on the position is hard to counter.

Many events feature the Berlin Defense after 4. O-O  Nxe4 and less so with 4…d6 adopting the Steinitz Defense. For this article lets take a look at 4…d6 variation.

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  Nf6  4. O-O  d6  Here, the well trod Tarrasch line goes 5. d4  Bd7  6. Nc3  Be7  7. Re1 which forces Black to play 7. … exd4 as 7. … O-O would fall into the famous Tarrasch trap 8. Bxc6 Bxc6 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. Qxd8 Raxd8 11. Nxe5 Bxe4  12. Nxe4  Nxe4 13. Nd3 f5 14. f3  Bc5+ 15. Nxc5  Nxc5 16. Bg5  Rd7 17. Be7 wins the Exchange.  If Black plays 10….Rfxd8 11. Nxe5 Bxe4  12. Nxe4  Nxe4 13. Nd3  f5  14. f3  Bc5+ 15. Kf1 Rf8  16. Ke2  Rae8 17. fxe4 wins.

5. Bxc6+  bxc6  6. d4  Nxe4.   Now on   7. Re1  exd4  8. Nxd4  O-O  9. Nf5  Played by Alekhine vs. Capablanca at St. Petersburg 19149. … Bxf5  10. exf5  Nd7  11. Nd5  Bf6  12. c3  Nb6 13. Nxf6+ Qxf6 14. Bxb6 axb6 15. Qf3.  However, I personally like the immediate 14. Qc2.

Alekhine recommended here at move 7. Qe2  f5  8. Nbd2  Nxd2 9. Nxd2 Be7  10. dxe5  dxe5 11. Nc4.

Now I continue cc game Copping vs  Warburton 1955 …  Ba6  12. Rd1  Qc8 13. Qh5+ g6  14. Qf3  e4  15. Qc3  O-O 16. Ne5  Qe6  17. Bh6  Bf6!

Warburton sacrifices the Rook for position. A mistake would be 17…Rd8 18. Nd7  Qf7  19. Qxc6 with all the pressure.

18.Bxf8  Bxc4  19. Qa3  Be5 20. Bc5  f4  21. Bd4  Bd6.  The 2-Bishops and powerful K-side Pawn majority are compensation for the Exchange. The sequel is a psychological: having won the Exchange by a series of moves White feels compelled to play for a win while declining the draw by repeat moves. But in so doing, the time between moves gives Warburton a brilliant concept.

22. Bc5  Be5  23. Bd4  Bd3  24. Qc3?!  Rf8!! 25. Re1 Bd5  26. f3  e6  27. b3.  On 27. Qd3 Rf5 28. Bc3 Rg5 29. Qd4 Be5 30. Qxa7 Rxg2+! 31. Kxg2 Qg4+ followed by mate.

27. … Qe7  28. Qd3  Qh4  29. Qf1 Rf5  30. Re2  Rh5 31. h3 Qg5! With a mating attack, White resigns.

The Steinitz variation is not frequently seen today and little gets published regarding it. But it seems out of favor. Perhaps so among the elite players but it should be something to have in your pocket for occasional airing. More coming!

Kindred’s Special: The Importance of King Pawn Openings

January 25, 2011

The ever popular Ruy Lopez is an excellent training tool for the serious student who wishes to improve. The King Pawn double opening 1. e4..e5 of course can result in a number of openings that range from positional struggles to fire and brimstone of gambit systems. Getting exposure to such variety and gaining practice will provide you ample opportunity to investigate not only your games played but working with friends or use of your home computer chess program.  Such analysis of positional middlegames and endgames that arise in the current example lend themselves to a fuller understanding of the opening mechanics of strategies to test and or employ.  Lets examine one of the possibilities from the game, Judit Polgar versus Michael Adams.

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  a6  Probably the most popular choice for decades. In recent years the Berlin Defense 3….Nf6 has gained quite a reputation due to the world championship match in which Kramnik tied the hands of Kasparov who could not quite solve the intricate problems of avoiding drawish positions while feeling the stress of this complex defense system. It gained for Kramnik the world championship title.

4. Ba4  Another popular choice has seen through the years 4. Bxc6  dxc6 in order to meet 5. Nxe5 with Qd4 regaining the pawn.

4. … Nf6  Another popular sideline is the Steinitz Deferred 4. … d6 which can be found in either MCO editions or NCO or Standard Openings.

5. O-O  Be7  An equally vigorous defense is 5. … Nxe4 that was in the repertoire of many like Dr. S. Tarrasch, Dr. Max Euwe, Victor Korchnoi and has remained a weapon for variety if nothing else.

6. Re1  b5  7. Bb3  O-O This move keeps open the possible option of playing the Marshall Attack  8…d5 if White plays 8. c3. Just as good here is 7. … d6.

8. h3  Bb7 9. d3 h6  With the idea of keeping g5 under wraps but it weakens the light squares.  A bit safer is 9…d6 guarding the e-pawn. This seems a favorite idea of Adams and has appeal in that Black can now keep options open. Now, on 10. Nbd2 Re8  11. c3  Bf8 12. a3  d6 13. Ba2  Nb8  14. Nh4  d5 15. Qf3 pressuring f5 and light squares as played by Topalov in a 1999 game against Adams.

10. Nc3!  I like this move as it increases square count hitting the 5th rank squares b5/d5. It can also transfer to the K-side via e2>g3.

10. … Re8  11. a3  This allows the Bishop to retreat to a2 if attacked by Na5.

11. … Bf8  This redeployment of the Bishop to f8 eyes possibly g6 and Bg7 to strengthen the King defense. More energetic possibly is …Bc5.

12. Nd5!  Na5  13. Ba2  Bxd5?? This logical looking move is bad but understandable as Black wants to find a way to activate the Knight on a5 and getting rid of the Knight on d5. The flaw in the oinment is the pawn structure resulting. The only alternative would be …c5.

14. exd5 d6 This purely defensive plan to shut down square count of the Bishop on a2 making it’s role for the near future of little import gives Black some breathing room but the black Knight on a5 is vulnerable and presents White with increasing square count with a pawn demonstration on the Q-side.

15. b4  Nb7  16. c4  Qd7 17. Be3  Nd8  18. Rc1  c6  19. Nd2 cxd5  20. cxd5  Nh7 21. Bb6!  Rc8 22. Rxc8  Qxc8  23. Qc1  Qb7  Black’s hope is to play f5 >Nf7>Rc8. White closes the door on that idea.

24. Qc7  Qxc7  If Black tries the jump move series, White plays 25. Qc6 and on Nxc6, then 26. dxc6+! wins.

25. Bxc7  Nb7  26. Rc1  Rc8  27. Rc6  Nd8  28. Bxd8  Rxd8 29. Rxa6 Rc8  30. Rc6  Ra8 31. Nb1 The King’s Knight takes up the home post of it’s partner!

31. …Nf6  32. Kf1  The King must play an active role in endgame play.

32. …Be7  33. Ke2  e4  34.Bb3  exd3+  35. Kxd3  Nd7  36. f4  g5  37. Rc7  Rd8 38. Nc3  gxf4  39. Nxb5  Ne5+  40. Ke4  Re8  41. Ba4 Adams resigned.

This is a wonderful game to study on your own, with a computer, or friend. Such battles played on the field of 64-squares illustrates the aesthetic beauty that true Grandmasters can paint with imagination and valor.  Such games bring out the classic style as rich and rewarding.  For the amateur enthusiasts who participate in our walk together in the battlefields of chessplay, it is hoped that each will get benefit from the experience.

Kindred’s Special: A Sofia Polgar Gem

January 20, 2011

Recently I wrote about Judit Polgar’s triumph in Mexico City, Mexico.  Here I shall write about the sister who Susan said the family thought was the strongest–Sofia!  As a chess player Sofia was very talented but enjoyed a broad range of interests besides chess. In her book Breaking Through Susan writes about their early life, and developing skill. Probably Sofia is less known to Americans due to the great successes of both Susan and Judit. Still, Sofia while playing serious chess like the Olympics, demonstrated a record to be most proud. In her first Olympiad, she was an alternate but scored an impressive 4.5/7.

With each Olympiad she moved up a board. In Novi Sad (1990), bd. 3, 11.5/13; Moscow (1994) bd. 2, 12.5/14 going undefeated. She won the board 2 gold medal.  After Susan’s retirement Sofia took over bd. 1 for the Hungarian Women’s team and at the 1996 Olympiad in Yerevan she scored the highest point total of 10/14 for over 70%. In her last 3 Olympiads she scored nearly 83%.

In 1995, Reykjavik, Iceland she met Bent Larsen and I present the game here to illustrate her enormous talent.

White: Sofia Polgar   vs   Black:  Bent Larsen   Opening:  Sicilian Defense

1. e4  c5  2. Nf3  d6  3. d4  Nf6 The Grandmaster attempts to throw off Sofia but she is up to the occasion. For example, if she plays 4. dxc5 black choose between …Qa5+ or perhaps better …Nxe4 5.cxd6 Nc6 with the trap 6. dxe7 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 Nxf2+.

4. Nc3  cxd4  5. Nxd4  Correspondence game I saw played tried 5. Qxd4  Nc6 6. Bb5 between amateurs.  But it’s safer to stay in the main stream of action.

5. … Nbd7  6. f4  As I said in an earlier writing that style plays a big role in chess.  Alternatives are obviously good, too.  Bishop moves like c4, e2, e3 or g5 are likewise feasible. But I like Sofia’s move it expands square count with an eye later on for a plan to include f5 that actually occurs.

6. … a6  7. Nf3  Qc7 Adding protection of the e5 square.

8. a4!  Perhaps showing some positional finese as it stops …b5 and makes it more difficult for Larsen to develop the Q-wing.

8. … g6 9. Bd3! Bg7  10. O-O  O-O  White is already better here and now prepares to bring the Queen to the K-side.

11. Qe1  e6  12. Kh1  Nc5?!  A better choice would be line Judit played against Anand 12… b6  13. Qh4 Bb7 14.f5  Rae8 which completes development.

13. Qh4  b6  14.f5!  A perfect illustation of my square count theory put into practice. The QB is given the long diagonal and pawn exchanges will open lines.

14. …exf5 15. exf5  Nxd3  16. cxd3  Bxf5  17. Nd4! Enticing Black to play …Bxd3 when 18. Rxf6 would give White a strong attack on the King due to the dark square weakness of the King position.

17. …Qc5  18. Nxf5  gxf5 19. d4  Qc4  20. Rxf5  Regaining the pawn with the bonus of having a terrific attack on the King position!

20. …Ne8  Allowing White’s entry into the battle but 20. …Qe6 21. Rg5 Rfe8 22.Bd2 is not appetising.

21. Nd5  Ra7 To guard e7 against the Knight if Larsen tried …Qxd4? 22. Ne7+ Kh8 23.Qxh7+ Kxh7 24. Rh5+ Bh6 25.Rxh6+ Kg7 26.Nf5+.

22. Be3 Giving the Rook on a1 defense of the lst rank.

22.  … f6 23. Qe4 Raf7  24. Ne7+ Kh8 25. Rh5 And now on … f5, 26. Rxh7+Kxh7 27. Qh4+ Bh6 28. Qxh6 checkmate!  So, the mighty Dane resigns.

Kindred’s Special: Clash of Style and Theory

January 12, 2011

Former World Champion Emmanuel Lasker held numerous lectures on chess.  One principle in his law of opening advice was, “Knights before Bishops”.  In those days, White was seen employing the “Four Knights Game” and “Ruy Lopez” where it was not uncommon to essay the Nc3 variation.  Black defense against 1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  Nf6, the Berlin Defense, remains popular by both modern day Grandmasters as well as correspondence players.  Former World Champion Jose R. Capablanca wrote his treatise, Chess Fundamentals, where he noted that “combined development” was to be preferred.  Thus, in the advancement of history, the move Bg5 was considered superior to Bf4 as it dug into the enemy position more directly effecting opening play and strategy. Chess is human nature. Tell a child eating too much candy will cause a tummy ache but the child will eat too much candy anyway and suffer the consequences.  So, too, the experimenters of life developed opening systems that said in effect that Bf4, for example, was in some opening systems quite playable and carried considerable weight in opening evaluations where it was employed. Such an opening system was championed by two 19th century players from the British Isles, Joseph H. Blackburn and James Mason which opening name came known as The London System.

How valuable is it to study and play this system?  It is easy to learn but as Capablanca wrote, combining development with threats is the ideal (my interpretation of his remark). Still, it is a system that is employed by many of the leading players today especially in blitz or fast time controls like 25/25 G. Oddly enough, Black has many choices to combat it and can choose setups that have a broad range of possibilities.  In most, the London System featuring Bf4 does not attempt to refute any defense but rather prepare to do battle where fireworks build slowly and tactics abound.  To identify the start of the opening system, the following moves generally are played by White: d4>Bf4><Nf3 >e3 >c3 >Be2>Nbd2. The point is that the Bishop developed to f4 before e3 puts the Bishop outside the pawn wall and adds to square count. Compare the Colle System of d4>Nf3>e3>c3>Bd3>Nbd2>O-O. If the Bishop gets attacked by either Bd6 or Nh5, best is to play probably Bg3 where it’s capture would create a half-open h-file for White’s Rook.

Lets take a look at a classic type London System and how it also shows it can be reached in a variety of ways.

White: Joseph H. Blackburn  vs. Black:  M. Harmonist

1. Nf3  d5  2. d4  Nf6  3. Bf4  e6 4. e3  Be7  5. Bd3  O-O  6. Nbd2  b6  7. Ne5  Bb7  8. Qf3  c5  9. c3  Nbd7  10. Qh3  Re8  11. Ndf3  Note how Black’s logical looking development has led to Blackburn’s tactical threat of Nxf7>Ng5+!

11. … Ne4  12. Nxd7  Qxd7 13. Ne5  Qd8  14. f3  Nf6  15. Ng4 g6  16. Bb5  Nd7  17. Nh6+  Kg7  18. Nxf7  Once again the inherent weakness of the opening position f7 square shows itself. See my column In The Beginning 2007 and additional examples of the f7 square weakness in subsequent articles.  White won in 42 moves.

The question of course is how Black should address the general strategy of the London System. Part of the answer lies in the new book by IM Cyrus Lakdawala titled: play the London system.  If you have a computer chess software like Fritz, play some test games against it to see how a computer handles the defense.  But if you like chess books, you will enjoy the above title put out by EVERYMAN CHESS, Gloucester Publishers plc. The book is entertaining and much meat within it’s 256 pages.  The large variety of games feature both tournament and blitz play and features some of the world’s top stars as well as amatuers and games of Cyrus Lakdawala.  Mr. Lakdawala is a former National Open and American Open Champion and six-time State Champion. He has been teaching chess for 30 years, and coaches some of the top junior players in the USA. Book price is $26.95.

Kindred’s Special: Is Black Safe Playing Qxb2 in the Benoni Setup When Meeting the London System?

January 11, 2011

1. d4  Nf6  2. Bf4  c5  3. d5  Qb6  4. Nc3  Qxb2  5. Bd2  Qb6  6. e4  d6  7. f4  As I had mentioned earlier, variations of giving up the b2 pawn to lure the Queen to waste time retreating after capturing it boosts the dynamics of the position which has become very unbalanced.  If you are a materiel hog, then you got to bite the bullet and be prepared to undergo a dynamic pressure by White. What makes this favorable for White is the half-open b-file, exposed Queen that retreated to b6 and can be attacked by the Rook and big jump in square count that equals a plus in developmental tactics.

Vaganian vs. Kupreichik continued from this position with 7. … g6  8. e5  dxe5  9. fxe5  Nfd7  10. Nf3  Bg7 11. Rb1 and Black must retreat the Queen.

11. … Qd8  12. e6!  This sharp tactical pawn strike into the enemy’s guts will retard the Queen-side development where White hopes to further tactical opportunities in all sectors.

12. …fxe6 13. Ng5!  This tactic keeps up the pressure and this position illustrates that simple pawn recaptures gives the defense time.  To illustrate this, supposing White recaptures immediately with 13. dxe6, then Black can manuever with 13. … Nb6  14. Bb5+ Nc6 15. Bxc6+ bxc6 and soon Black can O-O with a good game.  Why? Because he has safeguarded his King, has a pawn plus still, and active Bishop-pair.

13. … Nf6  14. Bb5+ Kf8  15. dxe6  a6  16. Be3!  Qa5  17. O-O  h6  Mudding the waters doesn’t seem to help.  The straightforward looking 17. … axb5  18. Rxb5  Qc7 19. Nd5 and the two-Knights tango carries with it total collapse of the Black defense.

18. Qd3  Kg8  19. Qxg6  Bxe6  20. Nxe6  Rh7  21. Rxf61!!  (1-0).  All roads lead to mate.

This game shows a colorful example of pawn power to initiate a discombobulation of opposing forces.

Kindred’s Special: Rapid Chess Queen Delights in the King’s Gambit

January 7, 2011

Chess players need no introduction to Judit Polgar who bravely upheld the valor of all women chess players by entering the exclusive ranks of male competition. Being the youngest daughter of the Polgar clan, headed by Women’s World Champion older sister, Susan, and middle sister Sofia. Judit is both a professional chess player as well as a mother and has found time for many joys in life. She has been somewhat inactive as professionals go but recently returned to do battle in the festival in Mexico City, Mexico celebrating  the centenary of UNAM University. In the rapid chess event, she took apart Vasily Ivanchuk by 2.5-1.5 and smashed world famous and highly popular Viselin Topalov in the finals 3.5-1.5.

In the 4th round, having secured lst, she essayed one of the long time Polgar sisters’ favorite opening choices, The King’s Gambit.

White:  Judit Polgar       Black:  Veselin Topalov    Opening: King’s Gambit

1. e4  e5  2. f4  exf4  3. Bc4  d5  4. exd5  Qh4+  5. Kf1  Bd6  6. Nf3  Qh5

A possible idea I tested with Fritz in an earlier column game played by Ivanchuk was …Qh6 when chased.  In the next series, do you see the effect of square count taking shape?

7. Nc3  Ne7  8. d4  O-O  9.Kf2  Nd7 10. Re1  Nb6  11. Bb3  Nexd5  12. Nxd5  Nxd5  13. c4!  Ne3  14. Bxe3  fxe3+  15. Rxe3  Bf5  16. c5  Forcing the Bishop out of d6 and expanding territory.

16. … Bf4  17. Re7  Bg4  18. Re4  Qf5  19. Bc2  White has a considerable advantage in the form of dynamic position.  The black Queen has some maneuver problems that might add to White’s potential killing field.

19. … Bh5?  The Ghost of Christmas visited Topalov it seems. He simply has no gas in the tank right now to make a run for it.  To leave the Queen in such a diagonal is near suicidal. Perhaps 19. … Qf6 with jump moves like >g6 >Bxf3 >c6 a general plan that might present some obstacles to face.  As is, the move deserves a ? Of course women have the advantage in possessing facial indifference that can hide arsenic.

20. Re5  Bxf3  Probably he had intended 20. … Qg4 but then Judit has the nice 21. Bf5  Qh4+ 22. g3  Bxf3  23. Kxf3!  Bxg3  24. hxg3  Qf6 25. Kg2 and the King is safely tucked away with a winning advantage.

21. Kxf3  Qf6  22. Rf5!  Qh6  23. Rxf4  Rae8  24. Qd3  f5  25. h4  Re4  26. Qd2  Re7  27. Re1 Black Resigns. The firepower is too great. In rapid chess sometimes it is best to put oneself out of misery to save the fight for another day.

Years ago there were several essays written why women were not up to the caliber of men. They disproved that in a variety of competitive sport menus, in the workplace, in leadership roles, and what is perhaps the last frontier–the world of chess!  To prove a point that the above battle was no fluke, Teresa Olsarova, rated only 2185 and gaining a place in the team match between a young  ladies team fielding Humpy Koneru, Viktoria Cmilyte, Arianne Caoili and Teresa Olsarova when two women stars were preparing for the Women’s World Championship, and the old male guard composed of Lajos Portisch,Vlastimil Hort, Dragoljub Velimirovic and Wolfgang Uhlmann, winning with 18-14! A big upset was Teresa’s triumph over Portisch!! Impossible to believe? It happened.

As an after thought, could it be that female beauty bewitches the male in chess?  When two women meet across the board, fur flies and that is as it should be.

Kindred’s Kaleidoscope Special: Update on New York Politics–What’s My Beef Costs

January 7, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo notes there are tough choices ahead. Really? Kudos to him for starting out reasonably with some sane ideas and plans. But sadly lacking is a proposal to roll back and overhaul something long overdue–that of years of corruption in the labor unions in this state.  Ever see some of these big shot labor bosses? They all look like NFL 280-300 pounders.  Those NFL guys deserve the high salaries and perks they get; not so the union leaders nor the rank and file. Lets face facts. The State does not have the money. People left the region for greener pastures, early retirements, and the chance to wiggle their toes in the warm sand and sunny beaches of coastal America or brave the wilds of the north country. What most citizens fail to appreciate is that the fat purses and financial wizzardry of the shell game is no more. The cupboard is fast emptying and the hype of union demands met in past decades has been blown out of the water for the careless and wasteful behavior exhibited for too long.

What should be done but won’t is a financial reevaluation of the public employee benefit packages, excessive wage formulas, etc. all having to do with perks for union members, mostly their bosses, need scaling back. Sure, hate me but you know I speak the truth fellow reader. It pains to say the truth sometimes. I was never a member of a union thank God because I would have felt guilty as hell for abetting the State crisis we find ourselves as do most across the country. There are two exceptions for this: the firemen and the police. These folks put the their life on the line every time they go out the door to go to work. There is the stress on wives of these men and now to some extent on the husbands where the wife is the professional firefighter or police officer. And in this grouping, I include prison guards and staff.  In all, I am for fair wages for job discriptions and benefits toward retirement for union members but these pension plans should not be in the hands of the unions nor their cronies that far too often have seen their members shortchanged. One example is the truck drivers who, if they change union locations because of moving may well lose their benefits and have to start over. And the poor guys who are forced to contribute toward those on strike makes the American way far too socialistic and deprives both business and union negotiators a fair playing field to address working conditions.

The Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, a much improved news outlet for Rochester and surrounding area features a photo of Cuomo with his left index finger raised in making a point at his State Address on Wednesday. Highlighted is Cash Cap, a wage freeze and spending controls; Tax limits, 2% cap on property taxes; Reform, review ethics and unfunded mandates. He mixed optimism with a  bleak finanical picture picture facing NYS, saying the State can once again serve as a leader of the nation if it makes tough choices about it’s future.  He vowed to consolidate agencies.

But hold on just a minute Governor. What about the milking of the New York taxpayer that includes business enterprises to give balloon gifts to unions, it’s bosses and membership-at-large? Sure, decades of wealth that made New York the Empire State no longer exists. Just look at the state of our parks! for crummy sakes. Yet, the union worker continues to get plush wages in a menu far beyond value rendered. Sure, I can see the flaming cigar chewing bigwigs in unions having eye bulges right about now. Chances are though, these folks are not chessplayers and do not read anything but the Labor Union News. I refuse to criticize any worker who gives his or her best to their job or responsibility. Good wages do not mean golden parachute returns for work done.

Frankly I do not want to report on the content of the Governor’s speech other than to say it seems to be a good beginning to address the woes of New York State. But one paragraph noted that disturbs me just a little as a New York Conservative: “The governor offered many ideas which we will consider carefully,” said Danny Donohue, president of the powerful Civil Service Employees Association. He added (and here is the business as usual clinker folks!), “Where we disagree, there will be healthy debate to find ways to work together.”  The taking will continue; the giving will be debated.

Can that be music to our ears?

Last month the State employee layoff  was 900 workers. Unfortunately, the empty space had to be filled so good union members still employed were granted overtime wages to meet state mandated goals. This amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars–government savings or waste?

Hats off to our wise political economic experts.

Chess politics is no different. It has only become more sophisticatedly corrupt given the greed and high jinks of the establishment.

I am reminded of former President Harry S. Truman who had on his desk the plaque: The Buck Stops Here. The trouble with Harry is that he had no middle initial–it just sounded right!

2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 48 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 223 posts.

The busiest day of the year was April 7th with 43 views. The most popular post that day was KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: Being Intoxicated with the King’s Gambit.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were tigerchess.wordpress.com, onlinemasters.org, chesspub.com, chesscafe.com, and blogsurfer.us.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for kindred’s kaleidoscope, riga variation, ruy lopez riga variation, kindreds kaleidoscope, and zip zap games d3.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: Being Intoxicated with the King’s Gambit May 2009

2

Kindred’s Special: A New Riga Variation View March 2008

3

KindredSpirit’s personal data July 2007
7 comments

4

Kindred’s Special: GM Anatoly Karpov, Chess Professional and Politician September 2010
9 comments

5

Kindred’s Special: Batman and Robin or Zip,Zap, Bang, July 2008

Kindred’s Special: New York Politic Update

January 2, 2011

Fifty-three year old Andrew Cuomo took the oath of office following the oath by Robert Duffy in the presence of his wife as his Lt. Governor.  Governor Cuomo’s family was present and his girlfriend, Food Network personality Sandra Lee held the Bible during his swearing in ceremony conducted by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman. So far it seems to me that Governor Cuomo has made some wise choices in structuring his administration and we have to await particulars on his agenda for which little has been disclosed to the public. 

My earlier comments about keeping an eye on the Governor’s programs bore some fruit when I read that  Sheldon Silver had called for a private meeting with the elected Cuomo. Might I be allowed to suggest that Mr. Silver intended to set the newly elected Governor about who rules New York politics? As I said, Sheldon Silver should retire as the State needs new leadership and ideas to formulate conservative principles to remedy the liberals’ excessive progressive spending in place over the past 50 years or more.  For the moment I feel that Andy is capable of being his own man and his quiet walk into office without a great deal of fanfare and expense is welcome.

The current ‘hot bed’ is the upcoming 2011 Sportsmen & Outdoor Recreation Legislative Awareness Day which takes place on January 25th and should find good attendance at Albany. Stephen Aldstadt, President of SCOPE, addresses this in Firing Lines. He points out that Sheldon Silver is hot for getting after the gun lobby and for passing anti-gun rights legislation. As the result of these efforts by SCOPE and the huge gun owner memberships of a collection of sportsman organizations that traveled to Albany in 2010, only one bill was passed in the House but was defeated in the Senate. Sheldon Silver was not happy as he is used to getting his own way and pushing his own views on the State law making apparatus.

Which goes back to that little private meeting with Cuomo and what plots were hatched during that private meeting.

Are you for limiting the freedoms of New Yorkers and Americans everywhere? Such rhetoric is voiced in schools to children where the commentary delivered is often shaded to give the impression that such laws passed are good for all the citizens and popular. Often, it is just the opposite.  Another group approached are the passive peace advocates that believe that there is no good reason to own or possess weapons of any kind.  Then, there are the sportsmen and hunters who relish the opportunity to bag some game during hunting season that helps control the population of wild animals and birds.  This sets up an ever recurring debate by legislators when more pressing business like deficit and excessive spending policies over the years has put the State in dire straights.

Sheldon Silver has power due to his long standing liberal agendas that assure unions great wages and retirement programs for the public workers in New York. Well, let him stew in his soup bowl of now finding the cupboard is getting ever lower in supplies of Campbell or Progresso soups. When the bowl is empty….might I suggest the State needs to correct course before there is no longer any money left or the population decreases in which case the result is the same.

If this were a chess game, then the pieces have been largely mishandled.

God help us find leaders and the will to turn the tide.