Monday, February 28, 2011

Random Game #17 - Gajdos vs. Loewy, Sr - Barmen, Germany 1905

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.


Opernhaus Barmen, Wuppertal, Germany 1905


Today's game took place in Germany in 1905 between Janos Gajdos and Leopold Loewy, Sr. In his Decisive Games in Chess History, Pachman says "The International Barmen Congress, 1905, brought together a greater number of masters and strong amateurs than any other event of that time."

After 40 moves the game seems pretty drawn. But the game isn't over yet. Probably too instructive for my own efforts, you'll want to look this over closely yourself.



If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Find all of the Random Games posted on the Pied Chessman here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Random Game #16 - Benaddi vs. Tamimi - Gibraltar Masters 2005

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

Today's game between Mohsine Benaddi and Hamad Al Tamimi was played in the 4th round of the Gibraltar Masters tournament in 2005. Neither player is FIDE titled, though Al Tamimi earned an IM norm at this event. It was a five-way tie for first that year. This game is a good example to show that 15 moves of opening theory gets you nothing but maybe a chance. Even at the expert and master levels of FIDE play, a straight tactic, a checkmate pattern decides the whole game. The two players expertly contest an interesting line in the Caro-Kann, but after a single move without checking to make sure of safety, White loses the game in an instant. Definitely material for a Dan Heisman lesson.



If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Find all of the Random Games posted on the Pied Chessman here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Endgame Study #12 - S.M. Birnov 1939


Irving Chernev delights us with this whimsical composition which he included in Chessboard Magic! Created by S.M. Birnov, this study is reminiscent of a keyboard exercise for the student pianist. There may be no great endgame principles to discover here, but what a treasure!




Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Random Game #15 - Larsen vs. Sumar - Mar del Plata 1958


The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.


symbol of Mar del Plata (photo by Erik Stattin)


Today's game between Denmark's Bent Larsen and Julio Sumar of Peru took place at the Mar del Plata tournament in 1958. Larsen went on to win the event with 12 points in 15 rounds suffering only a single loss to Oscar Panno, the local favorite from Buenos Aires.

The chess world lost Bent last year. He and his wife had been living in Buenos Aires, just 250 miles north of where he earned his victory at Mar del Plata.


If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Find all of the Random Games posted on the Pied Chessman here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Timely Tactics #5 - Deviatkin vs. Kosteniuk

Alexandra Kosteniuk

Violent, forcing moves should be at the top of the list when looking for candidates. Here we see a position from Andrei Deviatkin vs. Alexandra Kosteniuk from the 2nd round of the recent Aeroflot Open 2011. White has just played 51.Bxg3 and no doubt is looking forward to trading down into an even endgame against the former women's world champion. Alexandra finds the move that sets up the win, though the actual game was eventually drawn. Can you see the right way to go in this position?

See if you can spot the move, then play over the whole game score after the break.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Timely Tactics #4 - Alsina Leal vs. Kobalia

In this game between Daniel Alsina Leal and Mikhail Kobalia from the 3rd round of the Aeroflot Open 2011, Black actually played the liquidating 37... Qxe1 and went on to get White's resignation in a few moves. But Black has a move that though it may look quieter than the game continuation, will seal the deal. Can you find a better move that would be sure to end the contest?

See if you can spot the move, then play over the whole game score after the break.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Timely Tactics #3 - Cheparinov vs. Papin

Ivan Cheparinov


This position is from the first round game of Ivan Cheparinov and Vasily Papin in the recently completed Aeroflot Open 2011. Black has just played 18... h6 to push the pesky bishop away. Is the frocked one out of a job? How would you play as White?


See if you can spot the move, then play over the whole game score after the break.


Book Review - The Alterman Gambit Guide by Boris Alterman

If you want to learn how to be a swashbuckling chess player, you need to get The Alterman Gambit Guide by GM Boris Alterman. As the subtitle informs, this book is written from the point of view of the risk taking White player. This isn't a repertoire book. It doesn't claim that on the cover of the book, but you might assume so nevertheless. What it covers is very thorough, but what it omits is something you certainly have to deal with.

In the Danish Gambit, he doesn't cover the vastly most popular Declined Variation with 3... d5 (except to mention that it is best in the Theoretical Overview). Now this omission exactly suits the purpose of the book, how to play gambits, not so much how to deal with those players so unchivalrous as to decline a popular 19th century gambit. But if your expectations are different when you buy the book, you'll surely be disappointed the first time you try out your new gambit and your opponent introduces you to something you've never read about on the 3rd move. Alterman assumes that you can sew up your own repertoire. But he doesn't assume you know that a lead in development is a reason to offer the Danish Gambit, and he mentions it the first time by page 9. As we learn, a gambit is a great laboratory for discovering the general principles of openings.

In the Urusov Gambit, he doesn't cover what to do if you are move ordered into the Two Knights Defense. He clearly reminds you more than once that this is in fact the most common idea that you'll meet. So get yourself a book about that before trying this gambit on for size. But if your opponent accepts the gambit you'll have every tool you need to slaughter the guy.

There aren't many books around on the Evans Gambit. It is arguably the most sound of any popularly reached gambit. If you are interested in giving that a try, I'd call this book absolutely essential reading. But of course, you'd better make yourself ready for everyday things like Italian Game positions before giving it a try. A book such as the Italian Game and the Evans Gambit by Pinski can help fill in those gaps.

You will find a section on the Panov Attack, though I certainly didn't expect it. It's really not a gambit, but as Alterman explains it's a line that certainly must be played in the spirit and honoring the principles of a gambit. And it is popular stuff nowadays which is reached by a few different move orders.

There is also a chapter on the Cochrane Gambit! I'll admit it. I'd never heard of it until I saw it in this book. I dare you to find me another book with a whole chapter on the Cochrane Gambit! Ok, you can probably come up with one, but if it isn't already on your bookshelf then I'm sure it's going to take you a lot of research to find it.

Other opening lines included are the Philidor, the Morphy Attack, the Max Lange Attack, the Morra Gambit, and the Milner-Barry Gambit.

Of particular value are the What We Have Learned lists. Here you'll find things like a summary of a proper middlegame plan for the gambit, or mention of a common trap that you'd best not forget. Also, many chapters include a theory section that summarizes much of what is otherwise spread among the many games analyzed. And here you'll often find mention of transpositions that are possible and may not have been noted elsewhere.

Like me, I'm sure that the majority of potential buyers will be attracted to the book based on the author's great videos about gambits for the ICC. And they really are great videos. They are great to use alongside the book and many more gambits are covered by the videos. But I must tell you that some of the book is really a transcript of his videos. That's certainly good news if you aren't an ICC member. But even where this is true, he has added to the text with games he has played on the ICC which are not in the videos. So I don't see this myself as an issue at all, but again it is important to set your expectations.

In a few words, this book is great! Just at a glance, this book contains more words than chess notation, and it reads all the better for it. Boris strongly believes that learning to play the material and development tradeoffs of gambits is essential to the development of a player, and this book gives you plenty of that. And who can argue with the Russian school of chess? (Though Boris now lives in Israel, he first learned what every Ukranian schoolboy knows.)

Read an excerpt from the publisher here.

Find all of the book reviews on this blog here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Endgame Study #11 - A A Kotov 1945


Returning to 1357 End-Game Studies by Harold Lommer we find this study apparently attributable to Alexander Alexandrovich Kotov, the only example of his work in the book. Of course, he was well known as a player, but even more so as the author of books such as Think Like a Grandmaster.

Here White has two pawns, but a draw is certain (or even a loss!) unless he plays accurately. Find the right move to begin and visualize the right plan. A walk in the park will be called for.



Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Timely Tactics #2 - Luka Lenic vs. Le Quang Liem

Hotel Izmailovo, site of the Aeroflot Open 2011
Some moves are harder to see than others. All chessplayers depend on patterns they recognize to shortcut their way to the correct move. But some moves just hide from our attempts to visualize. Moving a piece back to it's original square or sacrificing a queen are examples.

Here we see Le Quang Liem play a move that must have come as a shock to his opponent Luka Lenic in this position from the 3rd round of the recently completed Aeroflot Open in Moscow. Le Quang Liem was the winner of the tournament, defending his win from last year. Lenic has just played 42.Rxb7. What did he miss?

See if you can spot the move, then play over the whole game score after the break.


Random Game #14 - Zukertort vs Schmidt - Berlin 1868

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

der Spittelmarkt, Berlin 1868
Today's game is a chance to look at an opening not so often seen, From's Gambit in Bird's Opening. The line is named for England's Henry Edward Bird who may have first played his opening against Ernst Falkbeer, and Denmark's Martin Severin From who is credited with the gambit in this game. Here we see Johannes Zukertort against the little-known Schmidt in a game played in Berlin in 1868. There's plenty of action, so be sure to read the game notes and make some of your own.



If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Find all of the Random Games posted on the Pied Chessman here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Le Quang Liem Repeats Performance


Le Quang Liem of Vietnam successfully defended the title which he also won last year at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow. Tiebreaks brought him victory over Nikita Vitiugov and Evgeny Tomashevsky both of Russia on 6.5 points in 9 rounds. The win qualifies him for the only non-invitational spot at Dortmund. Gata Kamsky recovered from two losses to win his last and finish at 6th with 6.0 for the USA. And our Robert Hess went to the 108th move to earn a draw with Black against the higher rated Alexander Riazantsev and finish 34th. Check out the 9th round scores from Gata and Robert below:



Endgame Study #10 - H. Rinck 1935



This study by Henri Rinck was mined from Secrets of Spectacular Chess by Jonathan Levitt and David Friedgood.


White seems to have the material needed to win, but then Black seems placed to gobble the White pawns. The solution demonstrates a complete domination of the Black bishop by White's knight (with a little help from his king). How do you begin?




Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Random Game #13 - Onischuk vs. Aleksandrov - Poikovsky, Russia 2004

Poikovsky, Russia
The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

Today's game is from the 5th Karpov Invitational held in Poikovsky, Russia in 2004. Alexander Onischuk and Alexey Aleksandrov sat across from each other in the 3rd round. Onischuk was born in what was then called the Crimea (now Ukraine), but by the time of this tournament was living in and playing for the U.S. He won the U.S. championship in 2006. Aleksandrov is from Belarus and played in the FIDE world championship knockout in the same year this game was played. They began with the Ragozin Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined, a pet variation of Alexey's.




If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Find all of the Random Games posted on the Pied Chessman here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Endgame Study #9 - T. Herlin 1861



This study is from A.J. Roycroft's labor of love: The Chess Endgame Study.

You can find another study by Herlin at Chesscafe.

A quick count of the material makes a draw seem certain. But the exact placement of Black's king allows a White win. Can you find it?





Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Random Game # 12 - Blackburne vs. Steinitz - London 1870

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

Today's game was played in London in 1870 (the price of the Illustrated London News that year was sixpence). Joseph Henry "The Black Death" Blackburne faced Wilhelm Steinitz who had already defeated Adolf Anderssen in match play but was not yet officially recognized as the world champion. Though the game begins with the Ruy Lopez, Steinitz doesn't play his namesake defense, but rather tries his hand at the Cozio Variation. Just when Steinitz seemingly has the game in hand, Blackburne swindles him into a draw!



If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Find all of the Random Games posted on the Pied Chessman here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nakamura Declines Invitation

Hikaru Nakamura has declined the invitation to repeat his appearance at the U.S. Chess Championship being held April 13-28, 2011 at the St. Louis Chess Club. Hikaru moved last year from Seattle to St. Louis to represent the city's club and is a two time winner of the U.S. Championship. He scored his first so-called super-tournament win this year at Wijk aan Zee.

Gata Kamsky will be defending his win from last year and Yasser Seirawan (himself a 4 time winner) has accepted a wildcard invitation. Irina Krush declined her invitation, instead deciding to defend her title in the concurrent women's championship. Read all about it at these links to the news:

http://www.chess.com/news/nakamura-passes-on-2011-us-champs-2785

http://main.uschess.org/content/view/11038/621/

 http://saintlouischessclub.org/news/2011-02-15/two-spots-remain-2011-us-championship-women%E2%80%99s-field-set

Endgame Study #8 - Guliaev 1929



This study by A.P. Guliaev (or Gulyaev) is from Endgame Magic by John Beasley and Timothy Whitworth.

It looks like a simple queening race, but White is stuck in a corner. A win just isn't in the cards for White, but can he find a way to hold a draw?


Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Random Game #11 - Cochrane vs. Mohishunder - Calcutta 1850


Calcutta in 1850
 The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

Today's game was played in Calcutta in 1850. John Cochrane, a Scottish lawyer and White in this game, lent his name to the Cochrane Gambit in the Petroff Defense, a line these two played many times. Bonnerjee Mohishunder served as Black in this game, but eludes my efforts to find his history except that he was described as a Brahmin and favored the fiianchetto. Our score begins with the Center Game.

Try to solve this puzzle from the game first, before reviewing the game score below.


If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Endgame Study #7 - White to Move



This study by Ivanov comes from 200 Brilliant Endgames by Irving Chernev. Though most who push the wood know of Chernev's prolific writing, did you know that he was also a player?


Once you find the right plan, can you see it through all the way and find the clever 6th move that makes it work?



Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Random Game #10 - Maroczy vs. Von Popiel - Munich 1900

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

Today's game was played in Munich in 1900 between Geza Maroczy and Ignatz Von Popiel and features the Dutch Variation of the Bird Opening. Of course, Geza is the father of the Maroczy Bind pawn formation in the Sicilian Defense, thought to have originated in this game from 1904. Ignatz beat Emanuel Lasker in this game from 1889, but is probably not related to anyone on TV who sells chess pieces that will chop the board 64 different ways and still be sharp enough to slice a tomato.

If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Insecure Chess Set

Very funny stuff by Grant Snider.

Timely Tactics #1 - Sokolov vs. Valguarnera

Everyone knows that practicing tactics is one of the best ways for a class player to improve her results. But sometimes it's hard to find new puzzles, not just the same old exercises passed from one book to the next.

The Pied Chessman's solution is to collect brand new tactical positions from games as recent as just a few days old. This puzzle is from the first round of the 1st Cento Open with GM Ivan Sokolov vs. Girolamo Valguarnera.



See the complete game score after the break.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Book Review - Studying Chess Made Easy by Andrew Soltis

Studying Chess Made Easy is made for the chess player's nightstand. It's an engrossing read that for the most part doesn't require a chessboard. I finished it myself in 3 or 4 sessions except for some parts that included positions with deeper analysis.

Soltis' writing is simply very readable. It's the first reason that so many of his books are so popular. I know that I was only able to kick and scratch my way into my first tournaments by carrying along a copy of his A Black Defensive System for the Rest of Your Chess Career. And what made that book so valuable was that it was written with the understanding that the new tournament player was petrified of sitting down at the board and meeting opening moves that he had no idea how to deal with. Soltis' book calmed your fears by showing that a couple of thematic ideas could essentially help you wade through any opening move White offered first without getting into too much trouble. Push your pawn to c6 and you'll be fine. (I'm not sellin' that book, so don't send me offers.) This newest book obviously comes from that same understanding of the concerns of club players, an empathy for those concerns, and some ideas that show promise of helping.

A particularly interesting chapter is the 3rd: The biggest study myth. I don't know where else you are going to find a discussion of thinking methods, pattern recognition, and priyomes that is so accessible to class players at all levels. I honestly thought it was worth my time to read the whole book just to discover Soltis' insights in this chapter.

Another example of truly revealing information for me was a segment in chapter 6: Overcoming endgame phobia where he discusses exact vs. inexact endgames and even relates the priyome concept to it. He makes it simple: exact endgames are ratings proof. Then he explains that claim. Beautiful! I understand that. Now let me at Silman's Complete Endgame Course, find me an A-player, and show me an exact endgame. I'm good to go now.

There are two things missing which I thought I'd find in the book. There is no discussion of the difference between studying and training (and both are covered to some degree, regardless of the book's title) and there is no helpful list to prod you along your way to developing a study plan. Aside from these omissions, I would heartily recommend this book to everyone.

You know, maybe I should pull that out and read it again.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Endgame Study #6 - White to Move



Here's another endgame study by the composer Alexey Troitzky from 1935. It was found in the pages of 1234 Modern End-Game Studies by M.A. Sutherland and H.M. Lommer.

Black has all the pawns which might lead you to believe that he has all the winning chances. But it is White to move and Black will never get his chance if White plays correctly. Can you find the winning plan?



Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Random Game #9 - Sepp vs. Kovaljov - Estonia 2008

Ice Festival in Estonia
The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

Today's game was played in Estonia between IM Olav Sepp and Denis Kovaljov and features the French Defense Advance Variation. Kovaljov seemed to have the edge in the endgame but played to a draw.

If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Endgame Study #5 - White to Move


Here is perhaps the most well-known of endgame studies, a 1921 composition by Richard Reti. The Reti Opening / System is named after him, though I could only find 6 games in that line that he played on chessgames.com. And he actually played with the black pieces in the first game I found that might be classified that way!

The solution to this study contains what is called "the Reti idea". In Silman's Complete Endgame Course, he regards it as required knowledge for an A-player.

See if you can find out how White can possibly prevent Black from queening. For more examples of studies with the same idea see this.

Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Random Game #8 - Velimirovic vs. Vadasz - Tallinn 1977

Town Hall Square, Tallinn, Estonia
The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

Today's game is between Dragoljub Velimirovic and Laszlo Vadasz. If you aren't familiar with the names, these players are both grandmasters (though Vadasz died in 2005). Both gained their titles in the 70's before this game, so you might expect that they were near the height of their chess powers.

Of special interest in this game is an opening that is not often seen, the Symmmetrical Variation of the Hungarian Opening. If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Think Like a Grandmaster


On the same day that this blog has featured an endgame study by Alexey Troitzky, GM Julio Becerra has written a blog post on Chess.com about Alexander Ilyin-Zhenevsky, the influential Russian player who also met his end at the seige of Leningrad. Be sure to check out the puzzles presented in that post.

As evidence of his competent play, his win over Capablanca is presented below. Falling behind in the endgame, the champion uncharacteristically lost the flow with 37. Qa7 and Alexander pressed Capablanca to resign with 37... c3. Premium members of chessgames.com can play Guess the Move with this game score here. Or, read what Michael Goeller thinks about this game here at the Kenilworthian.

Endgame Study #4 - White to Move

This study was composed by Alexey Troitzky and appears in his book 360 Brilliant and Instructive End Games. It was first published in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution.

Troitzky is regarded as one of the great composers and he is especially well remembered for his Troitzky line. Tragically, he is said to have died of starvation during the seige of Leningrad in 1942.

Not the only great chess talent to die in such dire circumstances, both of his contemporaries Alexander Ilyin-Genevsky, credited as one of the founders of the Soviet School, and Leonid Kubbel, also an endgame composer, died during the same seige. Notable dutch player Salo Landau died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1943 and Vera Menchik, the first women's world chess champion, died along with her family in a V-1 rocket attack on London in 1944.

There's just one move that will put Black in such a bind that he'll soon have to give up his queen. Can you find it?



Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Dvirnyy vs. Pierangeli - Which Is Best?

More than one move can win here, but which is best?


See the complete games score after the break.

Random Game #7 - Black vs. Chajes - New York 1918

West Room of the Manhattan Chess Club circa 1890s

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted.

Today's game is a slugfest with Roy Turnbull Black conducting the white pieces and Oscar Chajes playing the black ones at the Manhattan Chess Club. Roy was no pushover having beaten Jose Raul Capablanca with the black pieces in this game in New York in 1911! But being no slouch himself, Oscar had matched the feat with the white pieces in this game in New York in 1916! The opening is the classic Ruy Lopez, Closed Variation. If you find this line of the Ruy Lopez interesting you can see this game featuring Vassily Ivanchuk having no better luck with the white pieces from 2004. If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tactics at the Top

Gata Kamsky, top seed in the tournament and awaiting May's candidates matches, scored a win with the black pieces against Venezuela's GM Eduardo Iturrizaga in the 1st round of the Aeroflot Open in Moscow. Gata chose a Grunfeld Setup against an English Opening. The game started to slip with Eduardo's 45. Ra7+ and then 50. Rxe5 left Black's passed pawn unguarded. Kamsky struck with 50... Rxe3, removing the remaining defender of the queening square and going on to win in 64 moves. The USA last scored wins in this tournament with Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Shabalov in 2002.


Endgame Study #3 - White to Move


Studies are an entertaining way to learn the principles of endgame play. The carefully arranged positions allow the composer to isolate and emphasize the ideas at work.

This study was published in 1357 End-Game Studies by Harold Lommer and was composed by A. Hall. Mr. Hall's biography is unknown to me, but Mr. Lommer also published 1234 Modern End-Game Studies with M.A. Sutherland.

Black has the biggest gun and White might easily be swindled into resigning. Can you find a way out of this mess for White?


Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Korneev vs. La Bella - Look For a Better Move

No doubt Black realized after hitting his clock that White could now just play 36. Re5+ and win Black's queen for a rook. (And the game actually ended here with a resignation.) But when you find a good move, look for a better one.


See the complete game score after the break.

Random Game #6 - Marshall vs. Isaacs - Chicago 1926

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted. Today's game matches America's champion Frank James Marshall against fellow American (born in Lithuania) Lewis J. Isaacs. The contest was played in Chicago in 1926, the same year that the assistant State's Attorney Billy McSwiggin was gunned down in that town (in the suburb of Cicero), probably by the Capone mob. The opening was the Semi-Slav Defense. (Not a Sicilian?) Not surprisingly, Marshall won, but Isaacs held out for 70 moves! Could you have done better? We will never know, but premium members can try their hand against Marshall's talents with chessgames.com's Guess the Move feature. If you enjoy the random game idea you can try it yourself here.



Find all of the Random Game features posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Endgame Study #2 - White to Move

Studies are an entertaining way to learn the principles of endgame play. The carefully arranged positions allow the composer to isolate and emphasize the ideas at work.

The satisfying study below can be found in Chessboard Magic! by Irving Chernev. The composer is the Russian chessmaster Alexey S. Selezniev. As with most study composers, Selezniev was also a proficient player. A contemporary of Efim Bogoljubov, he defeated him in this game in 1923.

In this study, White's situation looks hopeless, but a clever drawing idea can be found. Can you work it out?



Find all of the endgame studies posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Random Game #5 - Ward vs. Teichmann - London 1900

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted. This game took place in London in 1900 and pitted a virtually unknown William Ward against the successful Richard Teichmann. The latter defeated the likes of Schlechter, Nimzowitsch, and Rubinstein. The opening that day was a Semi-Slav Defense (in the Queen's Gambit Declined). You can also try the random game idea yourself here.



Find all of the Random Game features posted on The Pied Chessman here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

An Upsetting Family?


Sabino wasn't the only member of the Brunello family scoring a win in the 1st round of the Cento Open. His sister WIM Marina Brunello 2155 showed her mastery of the Sicilian Defense in upsetting Lithuanian GM Eduardas Rozentalis 2588!

Check out the score and watch her go for the win with 28... Re1+ and then bravely play 40... d3 before putting the game in the bag.

The La Bourdo.....What?

Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais (1795–1840)
The La Bourdonnais-McDonnell Attack ..... what the heck is that? Well, it's a name that Michael Goeller has given to the 1.e4 e6 2.f4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 opening line suggested by Igor Glek in SOS (Secrets of Opening Surprises) #8 by Jeroen Bosch. He feels that Alexander McDonnell most deserves credit for the innovation in this game played in 1834, but Louis Charles Mahe De La Bourdonnais has already been credited for this game in 1837 by others. And of course, Louis certainly has the coolest name. If you are a French Defense aficionado you have to know it and how to spell it if only for how it rolls off the tongue. If you haven't read Michael Goeller at the Kenilworthian, you are very much missing a good time. Check out this recent article on his game and an earlier article on the opening. If you find this sort of skullduggery interesting and have also tried the random games, try looking for the "find similar games" link on the 1834 game and you'll see this interesting material.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Imagine

"Giuseppe Borgatti" Theatre in Cento
Imagine you are in Italy, about to begin your journey into the first round of the very first Cento Open near Bologna. You check the pairings and see you are playing up as expected against a strong IM player ..... oops, make that a recently titled GM. Looking closer, you see that you've drawn the white pieces. Hmmm. Which way to steer the game? Maybe something classic .... a Ruy Lopez maybe.

And just then your dream is interrupted by your study partner who points out that your opponent just happens to have written the recent book Attacking the Spanish: Marshall, Schliemann and Gajewski! You're playing Sabino Brunello? Well, maybe not a Ruy Lopez. What about a King's Gambit? And you can get kinda tricky with the move order. Well, not so much for Giuseppe Valenti, who actually lived something like this dream today.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ivanchuk Wins at Gibraltar

Vassily Ivanchuk (photo by John Saunders)
 Nigel Short scored an impressive win with the Black pieces against the higher rated Viktor Bologan, but it wasn't enough to keep Vassily Ivanchuk from defeating Daniel Fridman to win the 2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Masters. The final winning record was an exciting 9 points in 10 rounds!

Varuzhan Akobian and Alexander Onischuk scored well for the U.S. securing 25th and 26th place finishes with 6.5 points. Anna Zatonskih matched their performance to finish 31st for our team. Ray Robson scored 6, Irina Krush scored 5.5, Andrie Zaremba and Paul Szuper scored 5, and Justin Sarkar and Hana Itkis scored 4.5 in fine performances for the American team.

A fine performance by Viktor Korchnoi was spoiled when he missed a win at move 29 of the 10th round against Francisco Vallejo Pons. See analysis of that game in the daily tournament media release here (MS Word document). Check out the crosstables here.





Random Game #4 - Perlis vs. Spielmann - Vienna 1913

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted. This game took place in Vienna in 1913 between Dr. Julius Perlis and the formidable and entertaining Rudolf Spielmann and features a Classical French Defense. Tragically, Dr. Perlis died climbing mountains in the Alps later that same year. You can also try the random game idea yourself here.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Opposite Colored Bishops Favor the Attacker

I've seen this chess saying a few times and have recently been discussing it with a couple of my chess friends. Patrick Wolf explains it in The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess. Rustam Kasimdzhanov points it out in his DVD Attacking the King for Experts. Karsten Mueller includes the advice in his book (with Dieter Meyer) and DVD, The Magic of Chess Tactics. In his book The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess, Andy Soltis attributes a variation of the saying generally to the Soviet School of chess. Mark Dvoretsky and Artur Yusupov make a whole chapter out of the significance in their Secrets of Positional Play, even adding more specific guidelines to the advice.

Whoever said it first, there's no doubt a useful idea in it. Whereas opposite colored bishops tend to be drawish in the endgame, being strong on a color on which your opponent is weak can be a basis for attack, and this is what can happen in a middlegame with opposite colored bishops.

So with all this in mind, it caught my attention when I saw this conclusion in a book I just received today: "Some forms of compensation are: An attack with opposite colored bishops ...". The book is Danish Dynamite by Mueller and Voigt and the situation they are talking about are middlegames that sometimes arise from the Danish Gambit. Here's an example arising from the Queen's Gambit Declined from Chess Strategy for the Tournament Player by Lev Alburt and Sam Palatnik for you to consider:

Random Game #3 - Lutikov vs Mukhitdinov - Voroshilovgrad URS 1955

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted. This game from two players who are less well known (Anatoly Lutikov and Mamadzhan Mukhitdinov) features the equally less well known Queen's Gambit Accepted, Showalter Variation, though it might also be classified as a Grunfeld. Look for references to Showalter's games in the score. You can also try the random game idea yourself here.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random Game #2 - Walker vs. Smith - Oxford 1884

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted. This game features two obscure players with an odd try at the classic Vienna Game. But just as you sometimes learn the most by analyzing your own losses, so can imperfectly played historical games be uniquely instructive. You can also try the random game idea yourself here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Korchnoi Clobbers Caruana

Viktor Korchnoi, former World Championship contender who will be 80 years old in March, defeated 2721 rated super-grandmaster and 18-year-old Fabiano Caruana with the black pieces in the 2nd round of the Gibraltar Masters, avenging their previous meetings. While Korchnoi is said to be the oldest actively playing grandmaster, Caruana was the youngest American (or Italian as he plays under the Italian flag) to achieve grandmaster (at age 14), beating the previous record of Hikaru Nakamura. (Ray Robson has a claim to this title if Caruana is not counted as an American.) Korchnoi was on the black side of a Ruy Lopez, a position he's been in at least 20 times before in his professional chess career. When Fabiano stumbled with 28. Re1 and 29. Re3, Viktor took control with 29... Bxd3!. After 44. g5 it was all but over for the younger player. See the game below as a video from chessworld.net or in the Chess.com game viewer.



Onischuk and a Szuper Performance

Ten Americans are putting themselves to the test at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2011 Masters. Leading the team through 7 rounds is Alexander Grischuk holding the 17th position in the contest. Here we see him turn in a strong performance with the Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation against the Ukraine's Inna Gaponenko, one of many female competitors in the event.



Perhaps the star performer for the USA is Paul Szuper, rated 2174 FIDE / 2208 USCF and the only untitled (FIDE) player in the tournament's top 50 at #28 (England's untitled Philip Wheldon is at #56). Here are two impressive wins against GM Damian Lemos of Argentina (Paul has the black pieces!) and WGM Natalia Pogonina of Russia. Szuper led Lemos into a murky Queen's Pawn Game and charged the grandmaster the full price of a win for his pawn on the 7th rank. He urged Pogonina into a less common line of the English Opening where she put her knight on the rim with 16... Na5 and couldn't get back into the game, losing the pawns she needed to make it a fight and suffering a relentless endgame.




Random Game #1 - Spielmann vs. Samisch - Berlin 1920

The Random Game feature at chessgames.com is a handy way to broaden your chess education. You never know what's going to pop up. You may see a famous classic, or maybe a subtle modernity, or maybe a true obscurity. You might even find a diamond in the rough that nobody else has spotted. This game starts a new series that looks at random games of interest. It features the inventive player Rudolf Spielmann against the opening specialist Friedrich Samisch (2 opening lines are named for him). You can also try the random game idea yourself here.