Friday, February 24, 2012

The Kamikaze Rook

Few things are more frustrating in chess than to outplay an opponent for an entire game only to fall for a stalemate trick. This postion occurred on 6th Board at the recent IHSA State Tournament.

After Black played 52...c2 rather than 52...Rf1#, White uncorked 53.Rxg6+! and Black cannot capture the kamikaze rook without allowing stalemate. Black's first thought is to maneuver the White rook to a square where one of the pieces confining the White king can capture it, but the White king is too thoroughly trapped. Can Black still gain the full point? The solution can be found here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deerfield Park District news and classes

Info in the Deerfield Review.

CCA Tournament Location Survey

Want to see more CCA events in the locations you prefer?  Take this survey!

"Chess X-Men Win USAT North"

Two smilers and three tough guys

Maret Thorpe reports on the ICA website.

Credit where credit is due for this great event: "The tournament was organized by Tim Just and Glenn Panner, directors were Just, Panner, Maret Thorpe and Keith Ammann. Bookseller was Checkmate Chess Supply and sets and clocks for the event were supplied by North Shore Chess Center."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

May 7-20 in St. Louis: U.S. Chess Championship

Press release at Chess Life Online: time for a road trip!

The field is incredibly strong: our own Yury Shulman is seeded tenth, and GMs like Shankland, Christiansen, Benjamin, and Shabalov did not make the cut (don't know whether GM Jaan Ehlvest declined an invitation or missed the cut).

 The women's field is equally impressive. It's nice to see the U.S. Championship return to an élite event!

March 3: Evanston Tri-Level

Another email cut-and-paste.  ($5, such a deal.)

Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave., Evanston, IL 60202

Evanston Chess Presents:
March 3, 2012 9:00am-5:00pm
Tri-Level: 4SS G/40 d5
Three Sections, USCF Dual Rated
Guest master: NM Jon Burgess
 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 determines 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.

Monday, February 20, 2012

An astounding tactical resource recently named Invisible Moves by Yochanan Afek and Emmanuel Neiman its 2011 Book of the Year. Invisible Moves beat out very tough competition, including fellow finalists How to Reassess Your Chess (4th edition) by Jeremy Silman and Lessons With a Grandmaster by Boris Gulko and Dr. Joel R. Sneed.

Here is a remarkable position from that book. In the diagrammed position, White's position looks hopeless, with his poor king under siege. Unsurprisingly, White immediately succumbed with 36.Qxg3? Qh1#. White missed an amazing resource that would have saved the game! Can you see it?

US Amateur Team North - well, that was fun!

It's tax season, so this post is going to be far shorter than it deserves to be.  

171 players on 39 teams had a lot of fun this weekend!  GM Alexander Shabalov played for a team from Pittsburgh: GM Dmitry Gurevich (who won Saturday night's Illinois Blitz Championship) was a constant spectator.
GM Dmitry Gurevich 
2012 Illinois Blitz Champion
(swiped from Brad Rosen's Facebook page)

Full team results are here.  The event is already rated: MSA reports here.
Congratulations to the Chess X-Men (NM Mariano Acosta, MN Tenzing Shaw, NM Scott Allsbrook, and Dmitri Sergatskov) for keeping the USAT North title in Chicagoland!

Maret Thorpe was both an assistant TD and the sponsor of two Evanston Chess Club teams: her report is here. If you friend the South Suburban Chess Club of Greater Chicago, you can see lots of cool event photos! Thanks to TDs and organizers (who I'm not naming only because I'm afraid I'll leave a key person out!) for a very smooth and enjoyable event!