Friday, September 7, 2012

"An Evening with Magnus Carlsen"

Interview at Business Insider.
You'll find the following video there, too.

China 2½ - USA 1½

Photo Tony Rich of STL Chess Club
Ouch! Look for the report at Chess Life Online.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

USA 2 1/2 - Russia 1 1/2

Russia vs USA Round 9
Photo ©
Congratulations to US coach Yury Shulman, to John Donalson, and the whole team!  Get the story at Chess Lilfe Online; also see Mark Crowther's recap at The Week in Chess.

Hikaru Nakamura moved to number 4 in the world with this win over former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik:
Gata Kamsky kept pressing in a position that seemed hopelessly drawn. With no pawns on the baord, rook and bishop versus rook is a theoretical draw, but it's difficult for grandmasters to defend if they can't reach one of the standard defensive setups.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Evanston Chess: $5 tournament on Saturday the 22nd!

The traditional email cut-and-paste follows.


Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave., Evanston, IL 60202
Evanston Chess Presents:
September 15,22 2012, 9:00am-5:00pm

Three x Three, 3SS G/65 delay 5
Three Sections, USCF Regular Rated
Our guest master will be
FM Kevin "Caveman" Bachler

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.

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.

Pre-registration is encouraged: Help us start on time. 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.

"What Makes a Good Teacher"

Vera Titunik writes:
New York City children start school this week, and, like many parents, I hope that each of my kids will get the perfect teacher. The new book from Paul Tough, “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character,” has given me a new sort of perfection to hope for: someone like Elizabeth Spiegel, the chess teacher at I.S. 318 in Brooklyn.
Paul Tough on Elizabeth Spiegel and her ability to channel Mike Ditka: "She does not hug." But hey, Elizabeth hugged me a couple months ago! (And I'm really not a hugger.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mitkov, Gurevich share Illinois Open title

Congratulations to Grandmasters Nikola Mitkov and Dmitry Gurevich, the 2012 Illinois state champions!

Grandmaster in motion: GM Nikola Mitkov (vs. NM Sam Schmakel)
Not the first time: GM Dmitry Gurevich took down Tam Nguyen in the last round
 I'll expand this blog post this evening:-)  soon—I'm waiting for Chess Life Online to publish my report, then I'll use what they didn't....

Here are the final standings.

World news noted

Here's a sad commentary on human nature.  Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Hungary are all among the top teams in the ongoing Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, which means we may see some "interesting" pairings in the coming days.

Personally, I prefer chess to war.

A bizarre ending

One of those games that demonstrates why Grandmasters are Grandmasters. I think there was a double blunder on move 44, but please don't trust this analysis. (If you're looking at this with a computer, please keep the horizon effect in mind: the engine's initial evaluation of the pawn ending may be wildly inaccurate.)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mitkov, Gurevich win Illinois Open

Congratulations to Grandmasters Nikola Mitkov and Dmitry Gurevich, the 2012 Illinois state champions!

Much more tomorrow.

Ken Marshall in action

The longtime editor of the Illinois Chess Bulletin can push pawns, too, as he proved earlier today at the Illinois Open: