Thursday, August 25, 2011

GreenCastleBlock demonstrates the basic checkmates

Another nice YouTube video from Matt Pullin!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Strong Chicago showing in L.A.

I have yet to see games from the 1st Metropolitan Chess Inter,national , a 9-round norm event held August 17-21 in Los Angeles.  But our local players certainly did well.  GM Mesgen Amanov tied for second with a 6½-2½ score.  GM Dmitry Gurevich had a mediocre event, but still scored 5½-3½.  Eric Rosen had an IM norm in his grasp, but lost against IM Mark Ginsberg in the last round.  (Note to Eric: I beat Mark Ginsberg when I was sixteen.)  And NM Adarsh Jayakumar beat up on the locals (including IM Jack Peters) and gained some ELO with his 4½-4½ score.

GM Michael Adams simply outclassed the field: he won with a 7½-1½ score.  One wouldn't want to be playing him in the World Cup!

Changes to the Chicago Blaze lineup!

Tom Panelas reports.

First as tragedy, then as farce

No comment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Rumor has it that there's an organization called the Chess Journalists of America.   (I cannot find a website for "Watching Paint Dry Journalists of America.")

As with the Academy Awards, the CJA occasionally honors someone who richly deserves it.  This is one of those rare moments: congratulations, Maret!

CJA Best [USCF] State Chapter Website Runner-up
Official website of the State of Illinois' USCF chapter
Designed by Maret Thorpe

Top 200 players in Illinois

Check out the list!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

From Chess Cafe to chess in cafés

National Master Vince Berry has a bright thought: we should compile a list of chess-friendly restaurants, cafés, and other businesses that give a home to casual chess.  Chess happens in surprising places.

In the 1980s, Vince and I used to play at the legendary P-K4 barbershop across the street from Holy Name Cathedral, and Vince remembers a resale shop at Roscoe and Damen that supports casual play.  You'd always find Rick Lang and the late Raj Yahya at Ennui (Lunt and Sheridan, in the same building as Papa Dee's Chicago Chess Club); it's closed now!  Memories like these are nice, but tell us where you're playing chess now.

I go to Pressure Billiards & Cafe (6318 N. Clark) to study chess.  It's not a chess hotbed, but it's chess-friendly.  Sometimes a friend will be on ICC, and sometimes I'll get suckered into playing blitz risers.

"The process of elimination"

Sherlock Holmes enjoyed berating Watson for failing to execute this procedure:
"You will not apply my precept," he said, shaking his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?"
Mark Dvoretsky's current column in Chess Cafe has some wonderful examples of applying the principle of excluding possibilities in practical play.  You don't have to calculate why your chosen move is best if you already know that the alternatives lose!

J. Moravec, 1925
White to play

For example, what's White's best move in the above position?

Dvoretsky's The Instructor is the best monthly column on the web for players at or above the advanced intermediate level.  If you print out a couple dozen columns from the Chess Cafe archives, you'll have enough material for a couple dozen afternoons in your favorite café!  (Bring your set.)