Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sacking the house

The following game is a bit sloppy, but the conclusion is entertaining. I'm now 149-0-0 on GameKnot. The streak will end very soon. Seriously.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Register today for $4 parking at CCC Preview Open

Just a reminder to Chicago Chess Center supporters about this Saturday's Preview Open at the Illinois Institute of Technology: Today is the last day to reserve $4 all-day visitor parking on campus! (Parking is $12 without a visitor pass.) To get this rate, you must send your entry to by midnight tonight.

The CCC Preview Open is 4/SS, G/45 + d5. Rounds will begin at 10 AM and 12:15, 2 and 3:45 PM. Entry is $25, $15 for CCC members, and the prize fund is $300 based on 30 entries. On-site registration and check-in will be open from 9 to 9:55 AM in the Faculty Club Lounge, lower level of Hermann Hall, 3241 S. Federal St., Chicago. Parking is across Federal Street in visitor lot B5. (If you have reserved parking, ignore the pay station in the parking lot: we'll give you a pass to put on your dashboard at registration.) Sets and duplicate scoresheets will be provided; please bring clocks.

If you'd rather leave your car at home, Hermann Hall is a convenient seven-minute walk from the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT Green Line 'L' station (exit at north end of platform) and just five minutes from the 35th Street Rock Island Line Metra station. Inbound Metra trains arrive at 9:39 AM -- how's that for timing? It's a great option if you're coming from Auburn-Gresham, Beverly or Morgan Park. (Remember to tell your conductor you're going to 35th -- it's a flag stop.)

See you Saturday!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A trap in the Ruy Lopez, Open Variation

The following game illustrates an unusual line against the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.Re1!? Objectively, it gives White no advantage. But after a couple of seemingly minor inaccuracies Black, a player of near FIDE Master strength, found herself on the wrong end of a miniature. Note that a similar line is possible as a means of avoiding the "Berlin Wall": 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1. That line has a little more bite, and was recommended by Larry Kaufman in his 2004 book The Chess Advantage in Black and White.

ADDENDUM: For essentially the same trap against the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez, see Collins-Spanton, Hastings 2009. But see Valenti-Lanzani, Milan 2004, where Black successfully deviated and drew.