Friday, March 4, 2011

Soap opera not involving Charlie Sheen

Bobby Fischer's estate has been awarded to Miyoko Watai, pending appeal to the Icelandic Supreme Court.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Chess Without Borders Help Build Future for Meher "

Rishi Sethi gives us an update at Chess Life Online.

But doesn't every 501(c)(3) need a PayPal link?   :-)

"Watson Still Can't Think"

Hubert Dreyfus himself contributes to the discussion on Stanley Fish's blog at the New York Times. The philosopher who famously marked the limits of artificial intelligence forty years ago observes that computers still lag humans in understanding contexts.

And human beginners are capable of understanding the position below (recycled yet again!) far better than the best chess computer programs.

Here's another example from the 2006 World Computer Championship: check out Black's horrible 71st move, a move that no human master would ever allow.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Yet another silly Internet game

This game has an unusual concluding move. Equally good was 17.Nh6! - but no points for 17.Nxd8?, which would have let Black play on for a few moves.

February 2011 CICL Bulletin

Here it is!

Greater Chicago K-12 Championships

Jeff Caveney reports!

Another game from the DRW-AMARS match

Steve Goredetskiy and Rob Eaman finished just after Hayhurst-Brock was agreed drawn, and the match was drawn 3-3....but not for want of trying on both sides!

Blood on the board, redux

On my way to last Tuesday's Chicago Industrial Chess League match (DRW Trading Group vs. the AMA Rogue Squadron), I was carelessly crossing Wacker Drive (under construction) while checking my iPhone for DRW's address. Just south of the Lyric Opera on Madison, I tripped on the curb and hit the sidewalk hard. It was fortunate that I only bloodied an elbow and not my noggin.

When I told my wise wife that I'd tripped, she said that I needed to spend more time in the real world. I strategically "forgot" to confess the part about not looking where I was going. Fortunately for me, she does not read this blog.

The hospitable folks at DRW help me dress my wound and had Lou Malnati's pizza waiting for us. My clumsiness carried over to the game. After I made my 23rd move, I realized I'd dug a strange little trap for myself, which Lyle Hayhurst of DRW quickly found. The tactic is memorable for being an immediate killer that takes several moves to come to fruition--is that a contradiction?

I sacked a piece in desperation, after which the cool 30.Ng5! would have won immediately. The ending after 41.Nxd2 should also be won for White, but it's nontrivial. Your computer will mislead you if you don't have a tablebase installed: remember that king plus bishop plus rook pawn of the wrong color vs. king is a draw. But if Black sacks the knight for White's g3 pawn, White can blockade the pawns, win them, and then win the KBN vs. K ending (not as hard as it sounds). One idea for White, therefore, is to play h4-h5 an an opportune moment. However undeservedly, I escaped with a draw.

In other February 2011 blood-on-the-chess-board-in-Chicagoland news, NM Pete Karagianis led a his students into battle at the U.S. Amateur Team North. One of his young teammates lost a tooth, and Pete had to render first aid during play.

P.S. White still had a win as late as move 71.  Can you find it?

After 70...g5
White to play and win

Former USCF President Harold Winston, Chairman/CEO of the U.S. Chess Trust

You can read a bit about Harold here.  His office is a few blocks away from my office.....

And you can donate to the U.S. Chess Trust here!  It's a 501(c)(3) organization, and money donated to the Trust goes to good use!

March 5: $5 event at Evanston Chess

Yet another email cut-and-paste:
Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
Evanston Chess Presents:
Mar 05, 2011, 9:00am-5:00pm
Three x Three
3SS G/65
Three Sections, USCF Regular Rated
Section Gold: 1700 and over
Section Silver: 1200 - 1699
Section Bronze: Under 1200 and Unrated

1600 - 1699 may play up to Gold.
1100 - 1199 may play up to Silver.
Published USCF Regular Rating determins eligibility.
Unrated players may be placed up at TD discretion.

From time to time Evanston Chess pays one or more titled players to play in our events. We usually do not pair them against each other. Even if they should lose (it does happen) we may pair them with the highest score groups.

Three rounds. Digital clocks are required and will be set to G/65 plus 5 seconds delay. Accelerated or decelerated pairings at TD discretion. Sections may be combined at TD discretion.

Registration from 9:00 to 9:30 AM. Players must check in by 9:30 am; players who arrive late will receive a half-point bye for the first round. First Round 9:45 am, last round over roughly 5:00 pm. No Lunch Break: We need to be finished by 5:00 PM, so there will be no extra time between rounds for lunch.

You may take one half-point bye in any round but the last.

Entry fee is $5, please pay cash (no checks) at the door. Masters and Experts play free.

Send name, USCF number, and telephone number to

Junior players (under fourteen years) rated 900+ are welcome. Sorry, but we do not accept junior players rated under 900. Must be accompanied by a parent throughout the event.

Bring clocks. -- Wheelchair accessible. No Smoking.