Friday, January 8, 2010

Searching for Jeff Sarwer


Julia and Jeff Sarwer, late 1980s?

Jennifer Shahade interviews Jeff Sarwer in Chess Life Online: a truly wonderful story for those of us who remember the Vanity Fair article.

World Team after 4 rounds

Rank after round 4
Rank
Team


+
=
-
Match Points
Pts.
1
ARMENIA


3
0
1
6
10
2
UNITED STATES


3
0
1
6
10
3
RUSSIA


3
0
1
6

4
ISRAEL


3
0
1
6

5
INDIA


3
0
1
6
9
6
AZERBAIJAN


2
0
2
4

7
GREECE


1
0
3
2
7
8
BRAZIL


1
0
3
2
7
9
EGYPT


1
0
3
2
6
10
TURKIYE


0
0
4
0

Will Tim be wearing the blue shirt?





Come to Oak Brook this weekend to find out!

You can still pregister for Tim Just's Winter Open for another two hours, and there will be registration on site tomorrow as well.  Details here.

Games from USA - Egypt

On Chess Life Online.

Win with White, draw with Black...

is the traditional recipe for success in team events.

USA 3, Egypt 1.  Onischuk and Hess win, Robson and Akobian draw.

GM Mitkov's chess clinic: January 18th in Rockford



Details here!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

" 2010 K-8 Scholastic Championship Awarded"


Here's ICA President Tom Sprandel's post on the Illinois Chess Association forum earlier today:
The ICA Executive Board voted yesterday to permit Illinois Chess Teachers to run its March tournament as the 2010 Illinois State Scholastic Championship and to confer state titles. The vote reflected a recent change in circumstances.

The background has been explained in my previous posts on the Youth Forum. Following the pattern of earlier years, in early 2009, CoChess solicited bids and awarded the 2010 State Scholastic Championship to Illinois Chess Teachers (ICT). The event was to be held on March 13-14, 2010. Shortly thereafter, ICA gave written assurances to FIDE and the USCF that we would fully support the FIDE World Amateur Chess Championship and the FIDE World School Chess Teams Championship, both to be held during late March of 2010.

Problems set in when ICT ran into trouble with their original hotel site and changed not only the tournament site (to the Sheraton Hotel in Arlington Heights) but its date, to March 21-22, 2010, such that the new date coincided with the first of the two FIDE/USCF events.

Because of its commitments to the FIDE/USCF events, ICA decided in July that it would be improper to officially support the re-scheduled CoChess event. When ICT was unable to change its date because of its commitment to the Sheraton, ICA and ICT reached a compromise  in which ICT re-named its tournament the “CoChess 2010 K-8 Scholastic Championship” and ICA agreed not to sanction, support or award a K-8 Illinois State  Championship for the 2009-10 school year.

All of that changed in late December, when the Arlington Heights Sheraton announced it was closing its doors on January 1st. Knowing that ICT would be looking for new space, ICA decided to review the situation. After much internal discussion, we raised the possibility with ICT that if it wished to change its date again, to earlier in March -- which would remove the conflict with the FIDE/USCF events -- ICA would consider restoring the tournament to state championship status. This seemed a sensible solution consistent with our Bylaws, which encourage ICA to sponsor an official state championship, allow us to recognize an event held by another organization, describe the “duty of the Executive Board to determine how to award the title for the year in question,” and impose an obligation on the Board to “construct an event to best suit the interests of Illinois chess.” (Bylaw Article VII).
On January 4th, ICT made a formal request to ICA to sanction its event if it were held on March 13-14 at Pheasant Run. On January 6th, the ICA Executive Board approved the request  subject to the conditions that it be held on that date at Pheasant Run, and that ICT  accept Bill Barton as the ICA’s Bid Liaison as spelled out in the new bid guidelines.

It has been said that ICA might have re-bid the event. We could not do that because ICT had  the option to relocate their tournament and run it on their 3/20-21 date. Unless we offered them the state title, they had no motivation to change the date and then we would have remained committed to our previous agreement not to sanction a state title.

There are other reasons we have acted as we have. One was that it removed a conflict with the March elementary school championship held for Chicago’s public schools. More important, many long time ICA and CoChess people have worked to move beyond the difficult events of last year. Our substantial collaborative efforts are detailed in an article in these pages. As of today, more than thirty new people, including many from CoChess, have joined ICA’s new Bid Committee, new Youth Committee, and Board of Directors in an ongoing effort to bring  fairness, strength, and new energy to chess in Illinois.

Working through this situation and making the state championship title available to the young chess players of Illinois was another step along that path.

Games from today's Russia - USA match

Here they are.

It's been over a week since we've featured a Harvard professor on this blog



Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff is a familiar name to Wall Street Journal readers, and he's also a grandmaster.  I played him in a 1977 simultaneous exhibition at MIT: he scored 24 wins and 6 draws against very tough opposition.  (I played the then-obscure gambit line 3...Nxe4?! in the Petroff, based on analysis from a recent Shakmatnaya Biuletyn; he refuted it without thinking.)

Will AI stimulate the economy in the coming decade?  (H/T to David Quinn on the USCF forums.)

Ouch

Russia 3, USA 1

Bargain shopping (and help USCF)

USCF is selling shopworn copies of the following great books here:

Follow this link to see the shopworn books (Below, I've included links to the books on Amazon for comparison purposes):

These great books from the Kasparov series are strongly recommended for serious players:

Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, Part 1
Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, Part 2
Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, Part 3
Garry Kasparov on Fischer: Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, Part 4
Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, Part 5
Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess, Part Two: Kasparov vs Karpov 1975-1985
Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess, Part Three: Kasparov v Karpov 1986-1987

Here are some more classics:

Russians versus Fischer
Attack with Mikhail Tal
Chess Secrets: The Giants of Strategy: Learn from Kramnik, Karpov, Petrosian, Capablanca and Nimzowitsch
Nunn's Chess Openings
Excelling at Chess

And these great beginner books:

Play Winning Chess
Winning Chess Endings
Winning Chess Strategies
Winning Chess Brilliancies
Winning Chess Combinations
Winning Chess Tactics, revised
Modern Chess Self-Tutor (by David Bronstein: strongly recommended!)

There are a bunch of good openings books, too, notably from the Starting Out and Dangerous Weapons series.

If you're on a budget, this is a great way to fill holes in your library

U.S vs. Russia going on right now...

Russia got upset by Greece yesterday; I wouldn't want to play them today.

Live games are here.  Boards 1 through 3 look OK to me, but maybe Akobian is in a little trouble against Vitiugov.  What do I know?

Ray Robson annotates the U.S. - India match

At Chess Life Online.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Hawk Defense



Next year, Santo?

"Minimize your shortcomings": chess players can benefit from Dawson's advice in this article:

2010 World Amateur Chess Championsihp in Skokie!

World Amateur Chess Championships

You'll find more info on the ICA Calendar and at the official website.

Kamsky wins Reggio Emilia


GM Gata Kamsky
(from Chess Life Online; Photo: Betsy Dynako)


Congratulations to Gata Kamsky, who just beat GM Almasi to tie for first at the traditional Reggio Emilia tournament.  Brooklyn did very well in Italy: Fabiano Caruana finished equal third. 

More coverage at Chess Life Online.

USA 3, India 1!

Nakamura & Onischuk both win: 2-0 after two rounds is a very nice start for the USA!

Games are here for the time being.

Here's the Chess Life Online report.


Tim Just's Winter Open

See you this weekend at the DoubleTree in Oak Brook!  More info here.  My understanding (perhaps Tim and Wayne can confim) is that registration online is open until 6 p.m. Friday: it's cheaper to pay in advance, and you can hit the snooze button on Saturday morning.