Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pinoy Pride

Alex Betaneli recaps the victory of Pinoy from Chicago (IM Angelo Young, NM Camilo Pangan, Florentino Inumerable, Rene Ancheta and Virgilio Forro) in Chess Life Online.

Camilo Pangan is an incredibly creative player: it's great to see he's in action again!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Linares midpoint

Topalov is +2 after beating Grischuk today; nobody else is above breakeven.  Details at TWIC.

Anish Giri annotates the epic Topalov-Grischuk battle on ChessBase.

North Shore Chess Club

From the listing in Wilmette Life:
The North Shore Chess Club meets from 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesdays, at Starbucks, 347 Park Ave., Glencoe. The club has a relaxed, drop-in atmosphere and is open to players, adults and teenagers, at all skill levels. The club doesn't offer any formal classes but advanced players are always willing to help those who are less experienced. There are no tournaments and no fee. Members need only bring their own chess sets. E-mail:

Hunkering down....

"Trio Wins Bid for November 2010 All-Grade Tournament at Whitney Young"

Garrett Scott reports:
The ICA Bid Committee recently went through its initial trial, reviewing two bids for the 2010 Illinois All Grade Championship. Six committee members had input on the bid and participated in a thorough and lively email discussion of the options before us. The committee ultimately recommended to the Executive Board that it approve the bid submitted by Paul Kash (Whitney Young), Zack Fishman (Chess Education Partners) and Michael Cardinale (Youth Chess Foundation of Chicago). The Executive Board unanimously approved our recommendation at its February 11th meeting.

The tournament will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2010. The site will be the Whitney Young Magnet High School in the West Loop area of Chicago. Entry fees will be waived for anyone enrolled in a school’s free or reduced fee lunch program.
The second bid was submitted by Glenn Panner and Tim Just of Bubbacat Chess. We were pleased that each bid was well thought through and of very good quality. All committee members felt both bids were more than acceptable and would have created a good tournament well worthy of being an ICA state title event [...]
Read all about it at the Illinois Chess Association website.

I had a chance to assist in this process.  It was a pleasure to be able to choose between two such attractive bids, and to work with such a cordial committee chaired by the cordial Garrett Scott.

One question about the Auger-Rosen game....

You'll find the players' annotations at Chess Life Online. I do have one question:

White to play: can Black still draw?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Matthew Wilber - Eric Rosen, round 3 of IHSA Championships

I've had the pleasure of playing against both these talented young gentlemen.  They'll be facing off again at the Illinois Denker Qualifier, the ICA's invitational championship for high school players.

the eternal duel of bishop vs. knight

I think it was Dmitry Gurevich who compared bishops to dogs and knights to cats....

White to play

Anyway, Chicago's Jeff Caveney and GM Karsten Müller analyze an interesting ending at Chess Cafe. (This link will expire in a month or so, but you should be able to find it in the archives.)

Chicago Blaze shines at US Amateur Teams

Daniel Parmet reports on the Chicago Blaze blog.

IHSA coverage in Chess Life Online

Great article by my neighbor Betsy Dynako.

P.S.  Betsy's photo of Palatine HS first board Shiny Kaur is now on the USCF home page.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pioneer Press coverage of IHSA championships

The Niles North Vikings chess team dominated the competition during the weekend's state chess tournament, coasting to a well-deserved championship. 
 Article continues here.

Good players are lucky

Eric Rosen (Niles North) - Nic Nogulich (Glenbard West)
Black to play

This time, White has two pawns for the Exchange: that's rough material equality.

What's Black's best move?

P.S.  As in the previous game, the horsie was triumphant.  Niles North beat Glenbard West 41.5 to 26.5.  This first board game was worth 12 points.  Hmm.
Light notes to the game are here.

Losing the Exchange

Matthew Wilber (Buffalo Grove) - Eric Rosen (Niles North)
White to play

So bishops and knights are worth 3 pawns or so and rooks are worth 5 pawns or so.  So if you lose a rook for a knight plus a pawn, you've lost one point, right?

Losing a rook for a knight or bishop is called "losing the Exchange".   In the above position, Black is down the Exchange for a pawn.  (We capitalize "the Exchange" to distinguish it from plain old exchanges of pieces, I suppose.)

If you've lost the Exchange for a pawn, don't fret!  Your extra pawn can hope to become a queen, but your opponent's rook is trapped in its body!  Knights are more fun than rooks!  And you now have one more piece than your opponent!

Check out the above position.  Black's knights are getting frisky, the center pawns look scary, and the White rooks don't have enough room to come out and play.  What's White's best move?

P.S.  If you haven't figured out the answer already, enjoy the full game.

catching up on Linares

The big news: Carlsen, who's taking a breather this year, will play in 2011! (Somehow, Carlsen is beginning to make a Fischeresque imprint on the game: he's the biggest presence even when he's not playing.)

The Ciudad de Linares tournament has been the unofficial tournament championship for over two decades. This year's event is shorter and somewhat weaker, but any event with Aronian, Topalov, Gashimov, Grischuk, Gelfand, and Vallejo is still incredibly strong. Topalov and Grischuk lead with +1 after 3 rounds. Let's catch up via ChessBase:

Round 3
Round 2
Round 1

Monday, February 15, 2010

Magness - Yermolinsky, US Amateur Team North

Please send me your games, even if they're not quite as good as this one!

Auger - Rosen from the IHSA Championships

Scotch Gambit? Mr. Auger is advised not to try such weak (ahem) stuff against yours truly.

But seriously...this is a fun game to watch. The advantage changes hands a couple times until Black loses the thread in time pressure. (Is the piece-down ending salvageable?)

Trevor Magness earns Master title

Congratulations to Illinois's newest master and to his family.  Mom's (Cheryl's) blog entry is here.

Trevor beat GM Alex Yermolinsky this weekend at the US Amateur Team Championships in Milwaukee. (That's Trevor in the upper left, playing White.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chicago Public League perspective on states

Lane Tech was the top finisher among Chicago public schools, at 7th.

 Read all about it on the Chicago Public League Sports Blog.

Niles North wins IHSA State Championship

Niles North High School
2010 State Chess Champions
(swiped from Eric Rosen's Facebook album)

Led by coach Harry Kyriazes, Skokie's Niles North High School won the 2010 state title in impressive style.  Their perfect match score of 7-0 included three 68-0 shutouts.  Stevenson HS of Lincolnshire and Hinsdale Central HS took second and third.
Michael Auger of Whitney Young and Zachary Kasiurak of Barrington were two of the four (!) perfect scores on Board 1.  Gauri Manoj of Glenbrook South and Curtis VanPetten of St. Charles North also scored 7-0.