Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vasily Smyslov, 1921-2010

Vasily Smyslov, World Chess Champion from 1957 to 1958, died in Moscow today.  Smyslov was a genius, arguably the greatest player of the 1950s, and a decent human being.




Smyslov was also a great composer of endgame studies: here's a page devoted to some of his most beautiful compositions.

Sergey Shipov interviewed Smyslov in 2006: here's the Google translation and the original Russian.

Vasily Smyslov: Endgame Virtuoso  is reasonably priced and still in print.  For a more complete look at Smyslov's career, see the autobiographical Smyslov's 125 Selected Games (unfortunately out of print).  If you don't mind descriptive notation, a used copy of this Dover edition of Smyslov's best games through 1957 is reasonably priced.

And Smyslov was much more than a quiet endgame grinder:

Andrew Hubbard wins World Amateur - continued

Coverage in Chess Life Online.

Masters of the Chicago Chess and Checker Club, 1899

Check out Olimpiu Urcan's article at Chess Cafe.

Chicago Tribune, December 10, 1899
Sidney P. Johnston vs. Frank J. Marshall 
at Chicago Chess and Checker Club 
Chicago Tribune, December 31, 1899

If you're interested in Chicago chess history, but too lazy to go to a proper research library, you can find a lot via Google.

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Chess for Educators" seminar tomorrow

On the odd chance that someone might want to attend at the last minute (I'm always happy to link to folks' stuff in timely fashion, but please ask!)

P.S.  "Where" is one of the 5 W's: I think this event is also at the Holiday Inn, 5300 W. Touhy in Skokie, but please confirm with Dr. Korenman.

Chess in Education Seminar

March 9th, 2010
March 27, 2010
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Professional Seminar
Designed for elementary and secondary school chess coaches, parents, and volunteers
5 CPDUs available for educators!  
Presented by
Dr. Alexander Kostyev, Moscow, Russia
Co-Chair, FIDE Chess Education Committee
Chair, Chess Department, Moscow University
GM Wang Rui, Beijing, China
The High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China
  IM Vyacheslav Styazhkin, St. Petersburg, Russia
         School-Gymnazia #2, St. Petersburg
Dr. Mikhail Korenman
Seminar Facilitator
The seminar includes the following topics:
  • How to design curriculum for elementary and secondary school chess clubs?
  • How to motivate students to study chess themselves?
  • How to improve chess tactics and strategies?
  • How to plan chess activities for the academic year?
Seminar requirements: Participants should be involved in teaching chess at local level.
Tuition: $50; $75 with 5 CPDU’s. One FREE entrée for anyone represents teams participated at the Intercontinental Chess Team Championship!
For more information please contact Dr. Mikhail Korenman, at 785-906-0402 or via e-mail: 

Andrew Hubbard of Illinois wins World Amateur Championship!

Congratulations to Andrew Hubbard!  The world champ gets $3,000 and the FM title, and a scholarship to Texas Tech University!  (Hmm, didn't Andrew graduate from high school five years ago?)

Alybaev Djekshenbek of Kyrgyzstan, Mohammad Shaikh of India, Richard Huang of Canada, and Jeff Dixon (another Illinoisan) tied for second.

You'll find more info in the other winners here: details TK!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Final standings, 25th North American Masters

GM Ben Finegold of St. Louis and Mackenzie Molner of New Jersey tied for first with 6.5 points in 9 games (+4).  Molner simulatneously earned his final IM norm and his first GM norm.  Siddarth Ravichandran of India also earned his final IM norm with a score of 5.5 (+2).

Jon Burgess has a preliminary report on the ICA forum.  (Apologies for falling behind with so many great events going on--it's my busy season!)

Fair and balanced tournament report at ICA website

 Penny Xu

 Eric Rosen
(Photos: Betsy Dynako)

Here's a link to the long-promised writeup.  Reports that the ICA correspondent is related to one of the players remain unconfirmed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eric Rosen wins 2009 Denker Qualfier

Oops! Eric actually won the 2010 title.  As I've left links in a couple places, I'll let the misinformation stand uncorrected in the title to avoid broken links.

 Full report  tomorrow later today: in the meantime, here's a great game played by the tournament winner and Josh Dubin.

Monday, March 22, 2010

tactics quiz

Hartmut Riedel offers yet another tactics quiz based on the 2010 Corus tournament. seen some of these before, perhaps?  But repetition is good....

Congratulations to Penny Xu and Adele Padgett

Penny (who was only 12 years old as of February 2010) and Adele (15 years old as of 2/2010) tied for first in the Illinois Chess Association's Girls Invitational Championship this weekend. Each scored 3 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw. Penny takes the title on tiebreaks.

In the following game, Penny and and her opponent Shayna Provine both display a very mature handling of the Sicilian.  (Chicagoans of a certain age know all about the dangers of the anti-Najdorf system 6.g3, as we all suffered at the hands of Leo Kaushansky.)  As I played through the game score on my iPhone, I found myself wondering who Penny's coach could be.

Then I saw Penny give Tamara Golovey a hug in the hotel lobby.  Aha!

P.S.  What cool shot did Penny miss on White's 24th move?  (I didn't notice it at first: she had to show it to me.)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Denker Qualifier update

Andi Rosen is posting updated results here.

I'm sorry to hear that Zack Kasiurak had to withdraw from the event due to illness (hard to play chess with a 102-degree fever!)

He's a very talented and complete player, as I learned last year:

Kramnik beats Carlsen in their blindfold game

Carlsen's idea is interesting: I have no idea why the promising attack fizzled so quickly.

After 9...O-O: White to move
Is the attack worth a pawn?

"Budget Cuts Could Check-Mate School Chess Programs"

CBS 2 Chicago visits the recent Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation / CPS event and reports on the threat to future years' funding.

Story here.

Video here.