Friday, May 7, 2010

This weekend's feature event

...even more important than that silly little match in Sofia, is the 26th North American Masters, held in the same location as the MCA FIDE Futurity.  I stopped by the site early and said hello to organizer Sevan Muradian and the nattily-dressed Jon Burgess.

Kibitzers welcome.  Don't forget about Mom!

MCA FIDE Futurity XI begins tonight...

A good chess player always makes his excuses pre-event: I haven't played for months and I'm rusty!

Step by this weekend to say hello and kibitz at the Skokie Holiday Inn. Thanks to Chris Baumgartner and MCA for organizing the event for us fish. Details here.  The format is very cool: it's a 9-round round robin: five games this weekend and four more in June.

Brock, Bill
2007 2009
Tutush, Dusan 1962 2028
Stone, George 1926 1773
Blackman, William 1848 1897
Penway, Mike
Delay, Joe
Vecanski, Dragomir
Cohen, Fredric
Robledo, Mark, Jr.
Tan, Gaddiel

Anish Giri on Game 9

Check it out on ChessBase!

Interactive board.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Game 9 notes at ChessVibes

Good stuff.

Nice positional exchange sac!

Don't miss Vince Hart's annotated game.

Still thinking about Tuesday's game

....and endings with bishops of opposite color.

In his Internet Chess Club commentary, GM Har-Zvi mentioned the famous Flohr-Bothvinnik game from the 1955 Soviet Championship as a wonderful example of the principles behind opposite-color bishop endings.  It's not so important who has more pawns; it's more important to have more than one threat, ideally on opposite sides of the board.

Flohr-Botvinnik, USSR (ch), 1955
Black to play and win

An unpleasant memory

The endgame reached in today's Game 9 of the World Championship was painful for us Anand fans: Anand missed more than one clear win, and had to settle for a trivially drawn two rooks plus f-pawn vs. queen ending.  It was doubly painful for me, as I once had a winning version of the same ending against my friend Tam Nguyen.  I should have lost, but Tam was feeling merciful....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Harikrishna Variation, continued

World Championship, Game 8, May 4, 2010
Black to play resigned

When Anand resigned, many of the spectators were mystified.  Can you figure out how White wins by force?

Many of your questions will be answered by the analysis at ChessVibes (which references Sergey Shipov's analysis session with special guest Garry Kasparov).

A critical position

MrHat notes that after 54.Kg5, Anand could have defended with 54....Bd3 55.g4 Ke8 56.f4 Kd7. 

White to play

How do you evaluate the position after 57.f5?  (The question mark is for you, not for the move.)

The Harikrishna Variation

"TomCruise" on the Internet Chess Club (GM Pentala Harikrishna) analyzed the position after White's 44th move long before it occurred in the game.

World Championship, Game 8, May 4, 2010
After 44.h5: Black to play

Black has two moves that don't lose material immediately: 44....Be8 and 44...gxh5.  Which move would you make?

Anand found the drawing move, but went wrong later.  This position may become a classic in endgame books.

"....just like in the movies"

MrHat opines on Black's best move in the following position:

Topalov-Anand, 2010 World Championship
Game 8, May 4, 2010
Black to play after 41.Bd4+

cute tactical sideline from today's game

Courtesy "MrHat" on ICC (GM Joel Benjamin).

 White to play and win

(There's actually more than one way to win, but there's only one best way.)

"...Anand played the only losing move"

An absolutely stunning blunder by Anand.  Momentum to Topalov!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Future grandmaster?

Congratulations to the Greengard family!

The perils of Pauline

White to play and win

Here's a cute tactic (based on a possible variation from an Anand-Topalov game a few days ago; the same combination was relevant in the Shirov-Dominguez game from this year's Corus).

How Did I Do So Well?

I received a lovely e-mail today (actually a few weeks ago: I overlooked Vince's entry during tax season!--BB) from the Chicago Industrial Chess League which read as follows:


Please join me in congratulating Vince Hart from Excaliburs on being this year's North Division MVP. Vince went 6-0-2 on the season with multiple incredible wins. This resulted in +102 rating points, which is especially impressive at the level Vince is.

Once again... Great job, Vince! Please share your method with the rest of us...

Jim Thomson
North Division Chairman
I really wish I could share my method, but I am not really sure why I beat Robert Morris, Florin Inumerable, and Yuri Fridkin who sport CICL ratings of 2211, 2223, and 2189. I don't really think that I am that good.

One of the things that I think has helped my game a great deal is working with high school students. Several of the players I coach are very aggressive and always want to attack, but I have been trying to explain to them that an attack is much more likely to be successful for the player who has an advantage in development and that they should be wary of opening up a position when their opponent’s pieces are well developed. In my game with Florian Inumerable, I saw the opportunity for an interesting exchange sacrifice and even though I could not calculate all the possibilities, I relied on the fact that Florian had wasted a little too much time in the opening. Neither of us played flawlessly thereafter, but I think I won mostly because my position was easier to play.

Did Anand miss a win?

2010 World Championship, Game 7
White to play

Anand played the sensible 42.Qb7+.  ChessVibes quotes Shipov's cool idea 42.Qa4! (42...d2? 43.Qc2+ wins).  But 42...Qd5+ 43.Kf1 Qe6 44.Qa2! (pinning the c-pawn) and now FireBird suggests 44...Kf7! (relieving the pin: it's important for Black to control the e3 square).

Story & more at ChessVibes.

Chicago Industrial Chess League event this Saturday!

Wow, lots of tournaments this weekend!  (I'm playing in one of two invitational events in Skokie that I haven't even mentioned yet....)  Find out more about the Chicago Industrial Chess League here!
CICL Individual Tournament 
To be played Saturday May 8 starting at 9:00am at the Thai Buddhist Temple, vic. 75th & Harlem in Chicago
Format: 3 round Swiss tournament, with multiple sections as needed 

Time Control: G/60
Time & Date: Arrive by 8:45am sharpon Saturday May 8. Rounds expected to be at 9:10am, 11:10am and 2:10pm.

Location:  Wat Dhammaram (The Thai Buddhist Temple), 7059 W. 75th Street, Chicago, IL  60638-5934

75th St just east of Harlem (Rt. 43). 

Entry Fee: none

Prizes: $30 for 1st place and $20 for 2nd place of each section. (But only for 1st place if the section has less than 7 players). All prizes are only in gift certificates or trophy (your choice).. If the value of a prize is less than $10 due to ties, cash only may be issued. Only members of the CICL are eligible for prizes..
Registration: Please pre-register by sending email to TD Tony Jasaitis with Chess Tournament in the subject line.If unrated, please provide an estimate of rating.

Eligibility: This tourney is open to all CICL members, and also open to all potential, future CICL members. You must be 16 years of age or older to play in this tournament. USCF membership is not required. 

Ratings: Games are rated by the CICL for CICL members. Games add to CICL members' Centurion game count. Games  are not rated by the USCF. Where reasonable, paring of unrated players will be avoided to hep them get ratings quicker. 

Chess equipment: Please bring a chess set and chess clock.. 

Note; the TD's top priority is the Playoffs Tournament.

World Championship: another great game today

Game drawn; Anand leads, 4-3.  Topalov played a known Exchange sac, uncorked a novelty, then increased the sacrifice to a full piece (for a monster d-pawn).  Anand consolidated, but Topalov retained enough counterplay to draw.

Annotations at ChessBase.  

Chess Without Borders on Global Youth Service Day

Kiran Frey reports on Chess Life Online

A famous Capablanca combination

To warm up your brain before watching the World Championship Monday morning! Game 7 begins 7 a.m. Chicago time.

Capablanca-Tanerow, New York 1910
White to play and win