Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hinsdale Central vs. Niles North for the title!

UPDATE: Niles North wins a sqeaker with Hinsdale Central for the IHSA title, 35½-32½.

Other round seven results on the top boards of this 125-team event (these are finals):

Whitney Young 46 - Naperville North 22
Northside Prep 48½ - Nequa Valley 19½
Evanston Township 47 - Illinois Math and Science Academy 21
University 42 - Benet Academy 26
Stevenson 51 - Prospect 17
Glenbrook South 58 - Downers Grove North 10

Round six results:

Hinsdale Central 35 - Whitney Young 33
Niles North 37 - Lincolnshire 31
Northside Prep 68 - Riverside Brookfield 0
Evanston Township 58½ - Downers Grove 9½
University (Urbana) 36 - New Trier 32
Glenbrook South 65 - Glenbard North 3
Neuqua Valley 54½ - Marengo 13½

All results are here!

Brad Rosen sends a mobile message from the front lines:
Round 7 just kicked off with Niles North facing off against Hinsdale Central. To get there, Hinsdale Central beat Whitney Young in a wild scramble at the end.  Aakash [Meduri] held Sam [Schmakel] to a draw on board 1 and edged out the Dolphins 35-33. Meanwhile, Niles North eked one out against Stevenson: David Paykin won a dead lost position on board 3 against Matthew Wang with drama and panache . And I do mean drama. A short respite and then they were back at it again... a bit of a fight club, warriors, cage match feel down here at the big dance. 

IHSA Team Championship update

After five rounds, four perfect scores remain: Niles North, Whitney Young, Stevenson, and Hinsdale Central.  Looks like one team may go 7-0, after all!

In the first clashes of pre-tournament favorites, Linconshire knocked off CPS powerhouse Northside Prep 44-24, and Whitney Young trounced Glenbrook South 52-16.  Niles North had a tough time with Naperville North, but won 44-24.  Hinsdale Central beat upstart Neuqua Valley 35½-34½.

Round 6 (which should be wrapping up soon) features Hinsdale Central - Whitney Young and Stevenson - Niles North on the top two boards.

Friday, February 10, 2012

March of the Grandmasters

GM Kaidanov is at the North Shore Chess Center tomorrow!

My friend Noureddine Ziane (founder of USA Chess, Inc.)  took online lessons with Kaidanov some years ago.  He said that Kaidanov is a wonderful teacher, and passed along this bit of advice:
  • Take your last ten losses
  • Identify the final critical moment (the moment where you made the losing move)
  • Look for similarities: you will find them!  

I did this once, and I was amazed to find that in three of my last ten losses, I had automatically rejected a move that allowed a double check.  Maybe your results won't be quite that specific.   Anyway, tomorrow's session is highly recommended!

Candidates 2012 in London?

That's the well-sourced rumor. Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan would be the wild card.

A final installment of games from TJWO well as the crucial game from December's Illinois Class, in which Dr. Tansel Turgut beats eight-year-old Awonder Liang (whose name makes him a Wünderkind in more than one sense).

Dr. Turgut annotates his game (only the introduction was written by me).  I annotate my game with Patrice Connelly, in which two reasonably competent players each cram their share of mistakes into a short game: the Marshall Attack demands precise play.  All other annotations are by FM Albert Chow, who's covering the games of the 2012 Illinois Tour.

Other featured players include Dean Arond, Avinash Rahendra, NM Greg Bungo, Jiahua Zhang, Andy Applebaum, and NM Ken Wallach,

Games are here!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Adventures in the Botvinnik Variation

 Losing a won position in the first round of a Swiss System event is never fun.  But Akshay Indusekhar found an extremely cool tactical shot.  Such is chess.

I came up with a "better" move in the post mortem, but that move throws away the win, too.

Here's the critical position: can you do better than me?

Tim Just's Winter Open, 2012
White to play and win

Also, the position after move 18 is a theoretical tabiya: some of the famous games I'd forgotten are included in the notes below.

IHSA finals in Peoria tomorrow and Saturday!!

The Illinois High School Association's team championship will be held tomorrow and Saturday in the Peoria Civic Center.  More info here!

Here are the round 1 pairings (oops, I'd omitted the link this a.m.): two Chicago selective enrollment schools, Whitney Young and Northside Prep, are the top seeds.  FM Eric Rosen is playing in his last state event for third seed Niles North.  Realistically, I think any of the top eight teams have a chance to win (FM Gauri [Shankar] Manoj and Gavin McClanahan both play for #8 seed Glenbrook South!), and it's going to be very hard for any team to go through this event with a clean score. 

More games from Tim Just's Winter Open

TJWO part three games are here: featured players include tournament winner NM Tenzing Shaw, NM Alexander Velikanov, David Peng, Dean Arond, Vince Hart, NM Sam Schmakel, and Avinash Rajendra.

2012 Illinois Tour commentary is provided by FM Albert Chow.