Friday, May 13, 2011

CICL Playoffs Saturday!

Round 1 has already been played (results here).  Downers Grove Chess Club, Hedgehogs, Motorola Knights, and St. Charles Chess Club won their opening matches.

Rounds 2 & 3 will determine the 2011 Chicago Industrial Chess League Champion: if you're playing in Evanston, stop by the North Shore Chess Center afterwards to find out who wins!

Gelfand-Kamsky game 2 drawn

A very close call for Kamsky, and a very interesting fight!

Shipov annotates.  (Not a permalink.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kamsky-Gelfand game 1 drawn

I'm glad to see that Kamsky has decided to do battle in current theoretical positions: the line after 20.Qa5 has been played several times before at the GM level. Didn't work today; might work on Saturday!

In the other Candidates Grischuk was surprised by a Kramnik novelty

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TWIC is back up

Grave of the greatest attacking genius (no, not Tal) ever?
Photo © Alex McFarlane.

Evanston CC Tri-Level this Saturday - only $5

Levy Senior Center
300 Dodge Ave
Evanston, IL 60202
Evanston Chess Presents:
4SS G/45
Three Sections
USCF Dual Rated

May 14, 2011
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.

Four rounds. Digital clocks are required and will be set to G/40 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. 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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Queen to Play"

I had a blog entry sixteen months or so ago about the French film Joueuse.  It's being released here as Queen to PlayRoger Ebert reviews.

Kramnik-Radjabov press conference

As you may have read on ChessBase, at one point in the Kramnik-Radjabov tiebreaks, there was a moment when Radjabov was literally seconds away from winning the Candidates quarterfinal match: all he had to do was draw a tricky (but objectively drawn) rook plus opposite-color bishop ending.  After move sixty, there was a clock malfunction, and the arbiters took thirteen minutes (!!) to restart the blitz game.  Kramnik managed to win and force yet another two-game blitz tiebreaker, which he also won, and with it, the match.

Interview here: congratulations to Teimour Radjabov for acting in such a sporting fashion after such a heartbreaking turn of events.

Incidentally, interest in the match was so high (and English-language real-time coverage so wanting) that The Week in Chess crashed: the TWIC live site is still offline.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Candidates quarterfinals complete

Grischuk upsets top seed Aronian, and Kramnik somehow survives against Radjabov.  English-language coverage is spotty at best: I'll add links later today.  In the meantime, here's an English translation of Shipov's commentary on yesterday's Topalov-Kamsky game.

Semifinals pairings: Kamsky (USA) vs. Gelfand (Israel), and Kramnik (Russia) vs. Grischuk (Russia).  Play begins this Thursday.  The survivor will challenge Vishy Anand for the world title next year.

"Niles North teen is U.S. chess king"

From this morning's Sun-Times.  Don't take the headline too literally, as Kamsky and Nakamura might object.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Frogs, Chessboards and Grids"

Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Grid Dynamics
Copyright The New York Times

An entrepreneuer explains how chess contributed to her success.

Daniel Wright JHS wins National Elementary Title

Good news from Dallas this weekend makes Illinois moms proud.  Congratulations to Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire, which just won the National Elementary Title (K-6th grade) by two full points!

             BIAN, Alex (5.0,1839)             
             WEI, James (5.0,1856)             
             YU, Haoyang (5.0,1595)            
             HOLECEK, Zachary (4.5,1907)       
             OBERHAUS, Conrad (4.5,1888)
You can find the full results here.  More to follow, I'm sure. 

Unnaturally tough resistance brings Kamsky victory

In annotating the final game of the Kamsky-Topalov match for ChessBase, Alejandro Ramirez wisely writes, "In most cases in chess, the position is as natural as it seems."  In other words, most of the time, natural moves are sufficient to win a won game.  Only the strongest players have the fighting spirit to offer maximum resistance even when the game is objectively lost. 

Acccording to the computers, Gata Kamsky was hopelessly lost.  But Kamsky drew convincingly, without an obvious blunder by Topalov.

Veselin Topalov-Gata Kamsky
2011 Candidates Match, Kazan, Round 4
After 42...Ke8: White to play

What would you play as White?  How deeply would you calculate?

Veselin Topalov-Gata Kamsky
2011 Candidates Match, Kazan, Round 4
After 49.Qd8: Black to play

Black has several reasonable tries here (and perhaps more than one way not to lose), but only one move is clearly best.  Can you find it?

Congratulations to Gata Kamsky!  Later this week, he'll be facing Boris Gelfand, who has many friends in Chicago himself.