Friday, June 25, 2010

Quad in Downers Grove!

Maybe one or two of you will see this in time...always happy to plug events!

Hi friends,

I am running a quad at downers grove tomorrow.

3-round quad, G/61 plus 5 sec delay. Fairview Village, 200 Village Drive, Downers Grove, IL 60516. Entries: Entry fee is $5, pay cash (no checks) at the door. Prize: $10 for first and $5 for second in each quad. First Round: 9:30am.  Onsite registration: 9:00 to 9:20 am . Clocks and sets provided. Free parking, but park only in a space marked for visitors. "200 Village Drive" is the "Village Apartments" building. Enter its main entrance, and tell receptionist you are there for the chess tournament. USCF rated, USCF membership required.

I hope to see you there.


Hey, it's summertime!

Back to normal posting schedule in a few days!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Bill mentioned in an earlier post that Chicago FM Andrew Karklins has beaten about 20 grandmasters. Here is one of those wins, against the super-solid American GM Maxim Dlugy. (Is he one of those "Maxims of Chess" John Collins wrote a book about?) Note that Karklins' offbeat 5.Bg5!? already set the trap 5...h6?? 6.Nd6+! winning the queen. Dlugy blundered on move 10, falling into another unusual queen trap. After winning the queen, Karklins was not content to quietly exploit his material advantage, but continued to play the most incisive move at every turn. I like how in the final position, Black could play 21...Rxd1 mate - if only it were legal!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chess in Translation

Here's a nice addition to the blogroll: mishanp (the handle of a popular commenter at The Daily Dirt) translates interesting articles and interviews from the Russian chess press.

Where to begin?  Misha translates a wonderful interview with Boris Gelfand: Part 1 and Part 2.

Gaddiel Tan wins MCA FIDE Futurity XI

Congratulations to Gaddiel Tan!

Mark Robledo Jr., George Stone, and yours truly tied for second; a good time was had by all.  Thanks to organizer Chris Baumgartner and arbiter Sevan Muradian.

And here's the crosstable....

A trap in the Wing Gambit

Lest you think from my earlier post on the 5-move Shirazi-Peters game that the Wing Gambit against the Sicilian is a complete joke, here is a cautionary tale. I fell into the same trap myself on the Internet a few months ago. After 3.Bb2, the immediate 3...d5 is most accurate, rather than 3...Nc6, which encourages White to kick the knight with d4-d5. On move 7, Black should have retreated with 7...Qd8 8.Nf3 e6. After 7...Qxd4?? 8.Nd5! Black was busted, since 8...Qxb2 9.Nc7 is mate. Even after the game continuation 8...Qxd1+ 9.Rxd1, White again threatened mate, which Black could not stop without losing the rook on a8.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Magnus Carlsen breaks 2820

The #1 ranked player in the world is putting some distance between himself and the Topalov / Anand / Kramnik / Aronian quartet.

As of today, Carlsen is provisionally rated 2821, and numbers 2-5 are bunched at 2783-2803.

You can follow the Super-GM event in Bazna, Romania at the official siteChessBase and The Week in Chess also have regular updates.

Andrew Karklins available for lessons at reasonable rates

In the early 1970s, Life Master Andrew Karklins was one of the top 400 players in the world.  He has about twenty wins against grandmasters, including one against five-time Russian champion Peter Svidler.  A few months ago, Andrew beat GM Jaan Ehlvest, who peaked at #3 in the world rankings.

If Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood (not too far from Sheridan and Diversey) is convenient for you, you couldn't go wrong by taking lessons from Andrew!  His rates are ridiculously reasonable....  Drop me an email if you're interested and I'd be happy to pass along his contact info.

Stamnov wins US Game/15

Crosstable here!

En passant mate

It's very rare to checkmate by capturing a pawn en passant. Chess historian Edward Winter observed in Chess Facts and Fables (p. 99), "As far as we are aware, there is still only one game in chess literature that ended in an en passant capture which administered mate: Gunnar Gundersen v A.H. Faul (Melbourne Christmas Tourney, 1928-29)." A few years ago, a second such game, played on the Free Internet Chess Server, was published in Chess Life. (Coincidentally, I was on FICS that night and saw the game shortly after it was played.) Last month, I played a third such game. My 37.h5! threatened Rh8#, which Black could only stop by moving the g-pawn, leading to the historic denouement. (Thank goodness he didn't play 37...g6!)