Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 16

April 21, 2018

White to move and mate in 7! (Edward Lasker vs. George Thomas, City of London Chess Club, 1912)

White to move and mate in 7! (Edward Lasker vs. George Thomas, City of London Chess Club, 1912)

“The following game I consider the most beautiful I ever played  … though it was not a tournament game and can, therefore, hardly be classed among the best games.” – Edward Lasker

“A year later, Alekhine called my attention to the fact, discovered in Moscow, where he went over the game with Bernstein, that I could have mated in seven instead of eight moves by playing 16 Kf1 or O-O, as then Black would have been unable to prevent mate by 17 Nh2.”– Edward Lasker

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#HolocaustRemembrance and #Chess

April 13, 2018

A beautiful chess piece carved in the Hersbruck concentration camp, 1945 (source @SteveJakubowski).

#Chess Puzzle Worth Sharing 96

April 12, 2018

An exciting position from a recent blitz game. Black to move and mate in 4.

Black to move and mate in 4.

New Chess Club Starting in Fremont

April 12, 2018

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New Chess Club Starting in Fremont

Where: Nurture Kids, 160 Fremont Hub Courtyard, Fremont, CA 94538

When: April 14th through June 16th

Saturdays 11:00 AM – 1: 00 PM

Who: Open to all youth tournament chess players.

Instructor is Chris Torres!

Click on the application below to register online.

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Mission San Jose Elementary School Shines at the Calchess Scholastic Chess Championships

April 11, 2018

Coach Joe’ Report on the 2018 Calchess Scholastic State Championships (Photography by Hui Wang):

The 2018 Northern California Scholastic Chess Championships were held the weekend of April 7th & 8th at the Santa Clara convention center. Over 1200 students and more the 50 schools competed in these championships.  Mission San Jose Elementary school (MSJE) of Fremont was the big winner in the Elementary School Division. The MSJE Chess Team won two of the three major elementary school sections (K-3 & K-6) and Kevin Pan won the overall individual elementary school championship.

The top elementary school section at these championships is the K-6 Championship Division. Kevin Pan scored five wins in six rounds and took the first-place trophy. Other members of the MSJE team were Stephen He (4/6), Nicholas Jiang (4/6), Aidan Chen (3.5/6), and Nivedha Maniv (3/6). In the fourth round Aidan Chen won a critical game versus Weibel. This was the eighth straight year that MSJE has taken home the first place trophy in K-6.

The K-5 Championship section is the second highest elementary school section at the State Scholastic Chess Championships. This section was created in 2007 to give elementary schools without a grade 6 a fair chance to win a championship section. MSJE has won this section every year since it was created. Both MSJE and Weibel entered strong teams in the K5 Championship section. The MSJE team was led by Aghilan Nachiappan (5/6 2nd place) and Allyson Wong (4.5/6 8th place). The Weibel team scored 17 points and beat the MSJE team (16.5) by the smallest possible margin. Other top scorers on the MSJE K-5 team were Viabhav Wudaru (3.5/6 #19), Siddharth Arulta (3.5/6 #21) Arnav Lingannagari (3.5/6 #24), and Ayaan Kassamali (3.5/6 #27).  Jolene Liu, Saidivy Tunguturu, Aditya Sujay, Vividh Goenka, Mihit Puvvula, and Arna Gupta also competed for our K-5 team.

The K-3 Championship section is often called the primary school championship.  MSJE won the first-place team trophy in this section every year since 2008. In 2018 MSJE once again took home the first-place trophy in K-3 Championship.  Our K-3 team was led by first grader Lucas Jiang (4.5/6 #4), third grader Kayden jiang (4/6 #9) Jason Liu (3.5/6 #14) and Aditya Arulta (3.5/6 #19).  First graders Artham Pawar and Arnam Pawar also competed for our championship K-3 team.

MSJE also did very well in the other sections.  Isha Vanungare, Sarvesh Maniv, and Aditya Vanungare competed in the Kindergarten section and took home the third-place team trophy.  Neil Kumar, Prisha Agarwal, Pranav Rajit, Ranga Ramanujam, Edward Zeng, Dhritee Desia, Ashwin Jagan, Ruthvik Arumalla, SHreeya Hule, Shrihan Bolla, Kerrthana Gudi, and Aaditya Bisht competed in the K-3 beginner section.  Allen Yang, Swagatha Selvam, Pratyush Hule,  Ashwin Marimuthu, Zahaan Kassamali, Avkash Panwar, and Meghana Satish competed in the K-3 JV section.  Ardash Swamy, Nityasri Kolta, Maurya Arumalla and Pratyush Hule competed in the K-6 JV  section.

Congratulations to the Chess team for a great showing at the State championships.

Chess Coaches: Joe Lonsdale, Terry & Cathy Liu, Meiyaps Sathappan, Nachi Aghilan, and Chris Torres

#Chess Puzzle Worth Sharing 95

April 4, 2018

From my game tonight. What is black’s best move?

What is black’s best move?

#Chess Lesson of the Week: Fabiano Caruana vs. Robert Hess II (Argentina, 2001)

April 1, 2018

Big Thanks to Robert Hess for allowing me to share his Facebook post on this blog!

 

After seeing Robert Hess II’s post on Facebook, I became curious about his chess adventures with Fabiano Caruana in Argentina. After a quick search of my database, I found this superb chess game played by the two young chess prodigies. Below is the lesson from the game that I have prepared for my students this week.

[Event “Ch Pan-American”]
[Site “Guaymallen (Argentina)”]
[Date “2001”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Caruana, Fabiano (USA)”]
[Black “Hess, Robert L (USA)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C57”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ TWO KNIGHTS’ def.,C57] Caruana Fabiano +1 =0 -0 Hess Robert L (USA) +0 =0 -1 Caruana Fabiano-Hess Robert L (USA) +1 =0 -0}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bc4 Nf6

4.Ng5 d5

5.exd5 Nd4 {Robert Hess chooses the double-edged Fritz Variation.}

( 5…Nxd5 6.Nxf7 {The original Fried Liver Attack.} Kxf7 7.Qf3+
Ke6 8.Nc3 Nce7 9.d4 c6 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bxe7 Bxe7 12.O-O-O Rf8 13.Qe4
Rxf2 14.dxe5 Bg5+ 15.Kb1 Rd2 16.h4 Rxd1+ 17.Rxd1 Bxh4 18.Nxd5
cxd5 19.Rxd5 Qg5 20.Rd6+ Ke7 21.Rg6 {1-0, Polerio G – Dominiko V, Rome 1602})

Fabi-Hess1

Position after 5… Nd4

6.c3 b5

7.cxd4 {Another American chess prodigy preferred 7. Bf1 which is the main line.}

( 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.cxd4 Qxg5 9.Bxb5+ Kd8 10.Qf3 e4 11.Qxe4 Bd6 12.O-O
Bb7 13.d3 Nf4 14.Bxf4 Qxb5 15.d5 Qxb2 16.Bxd6 cxd6 17.Re1 Qf6
18.Nc3 Rc8 19.Qb4 Re8 20.Qa5+ Kd7 21.Qa4+ {1-0, Fischer Robert J (USA) 2780 – NN (ITA), Montreal 1964 Simultan})

Fabi-Hess2

Position after 7. cxd4

7… bxc4

8.dxe5 Qxd5

9.exf6

( 9.O-O Bb7 10.Nf3 Nd7 11.Re1 O-O-O 12.Nc3 Qd3 13.Re3 Qg6 14.d4 cxd3 15.Rxd3 Bc5
16.Nd5 Qe4 17.Bg5 f6 18.exf6 gxf6 19.Be3 Rhg8 20.Ne1 Ne5 21.Bxc5
Bxd5 22.Rg3 Rxg3 23.hxg3 Bb7 24.Qb3 Nd3 25.Qc2 Nxc5 26.Qxc5 Re8
27.Nf3 Qc6 28.Qxa7 Qc2 {…1-0, Bollek Jan – Godena Michele (ITA) 2527 , Caorle 1982 It (open)})

( 9.Nf3 {?!} {Seems to favor black.} Qe4+ 10.Qe2
( 10.Kf1 Qd3+ 11.Kg1 Nd7 ) Qxe2+ 11.Kxe2 Nd5 )

Fabi-Hess3

Position after 9. exf6

9… Qxg5

10.Qe2+

( 10.Qf3 Rb8 11.O-O Qxf6 12.Re1+ Be7 13.Qxf6 gxf6 14.b3
cxb3 15.axb3 Rxb3 16.Ba3 Be6 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.f4 Kd7 19.Rxa7 Rb2
20.Rc1 Kd6 21.Nc3 f5 22.d4 c6 23.Ra6 Rc8 24.Ra5 Rd2 25.Ra6 Ke7
26.Ra4 Rd8 27.Ra7+ Kf6 28.Ra6 R8xd4 29.g3 Rc4 30.Ra3 Kg6 31.Raa1
Rb4 32.Rd1 Rc2 33.Rac1 Rbb2 34.Rxc2 Rxc2 35.Rd3 Kf6 36.h3 Ke7
37.Nd1 c5 38.Rc3 Rxc3 39.Nxc3 c4 40.Kf2 Kd6 41.Ke3 Kc5 42.Ne2
h5 43.Nc3 Kb4 44.Kd2 Kc5 45.Ke3 Bd5 46.Ne2 Bg2 47.h4 Kb4 48.Kd2
Bf1 49.Nc3 Bd3 50.Nd1 Kc5 51.Ke3 Bc2 52.Nc3 Bd3 53.Nd1 Kb4 54.Kd2
Kb3 55.Nc3 Be4 56.Ne2 Kb4 57.Nc3 Kc5 58.Ke3 Bc2 59.Ne2 Bd3 60.Nc3
Kb4 61.Kd2 Kb3 62.Nd1 Be4 63.Nc3 Bf3 64.Nb1 Kb2 65.Nc3 Kb3 66.Nb1
Kb4 67.Nc3 Bg4 68.Nb1 Kc5 69.Ke3 {1/2-1/2, Paramzina Anastasya (RUS) 1830 – Sunyasakta Satpathy (IND) 1899, Porto Carras (Greece) 2010.10.24})

10… Be6

11.Qe4 Rb8

12.O-O Qxf6 {Fabiano Caruana and Robert Hess are dead even in a position with some serious imbalances.}

Fabi-Hess4

Position after 12… Qxf6

13.Qc6+ {Fabiano takes away black’s ability to castle.}

13… Kd8 {Robert Hess has an exposed king but much better development.}

14.Nc3 Bd6

15.g3 {?!} {Fearing black’s tactics on h2, Caruana plays g3 which is dangerously slow in such a sharp position. Better was:}
( 15.Ne4 Qd4 16.Nxd6 Qxd6 17.Qe4 {Which forces black to exchange his dangerous dark bishop.})

15… h5 {!} {Robert Hess launches his h-pawn toward the newly created weakness and in doing so activates his final piece.}

Fabi-Hess5

Position after 15… h5

16.h4 {Fabiano’s best defense creates even more weak squares around his king.}
( 16.Ne4 {??} {No longer works.} Qf3 {!} 17.h4 Bh3 )

16… Qd4 {Threatening Bxg3.}

17.Qe4 {Fabiano’s strongest move which leaves Robert Hess with a complicated choice as to how to continue his attack.}

17… Qf6 {?!} {Placing the queen on the same diagonal as his king was not the best choice. Better was:} ( 17…Bc5 18.d3 {I’m sure Fabiano would’ve been willing to temporarily lose some material to obtain must needed development.}
cxd3 19.Bf4 Rxb2 20.Be5 Qxe4 21.Nxe4 Rc2 22.Bxg7 Rg8 23.Nxc5
Rxc5 24.Bh6 Bg4 {and it’s black who is playing for a win.} )

Fabi-Hess6

Position after 17… Qf6

18.d3 {!} {Fabiano takes the initiative by threatening to play Bg5!}

18… Qe5

19.dxc4 Qxe4

20.Nxe4 Bxc4 {?}

{Hess wins a pawn and attacks Caruana’s rook. However, Caruana can respond by
playing Nxd6! which threatens Nxf7+ forking Hess’ king and rook. An improvement
for black would have been playing 20… Be5 which creates a threat and preserves the bishop pair for the ensuing endgame.}
( 20…Be5 21.Rb1 ( 21.Re1 Re8 22.Rb1 Bxc4 ) Bxc4 )

Fabi-Hess7

Position after 20… Bxc4

21.Nxd6 {!} {Removing the bishop pair and threatening Nxf7+.}

21… cxd6

22.Rd1 {Fabiano develops his rook with a threat.}

22… Kc7 {?}

{Chess can be so brutal. Had Hess played his king to the adjacent square the result of the game would have been much different.}
( 22…Kd7 23.Bf4 Rb6 24.Rd2 Be6 25.Rc1 Ra8 {and black is fine.} )

Fabi-Hess8

Position after 22… Kc7

23.Bf4 {!}

{Developing the bishop to a diagonal that threatens a pawn with a pin to the king and the king with a skewer to the rook.}

23… Rhd8 {?} {Robert Hess tries in vain to hold onto the pawn. Better was abandoning it.}
( 23…Kb7 24.Bxd6 Rbc8 {and black still has trouble, though not nearly as severe.})

24.Rac1 {!} {All of Fabiano’s remaining pieces entered the game in the most brutal fashion.}

Fabi-Hess9

Position after 24. Rac1

24… Rxb2 {Hess might as well take a pawn as there is no way to defend his pinned bishop.}
( 24…Rb4 25.b3 Kb7 26.Rd4 {!} Rd7 27.Bd2 {!} Rb6 28.Rcxc4 )
25.Rxc4+ Kb7

26.Rxd6 Re8

27.Rd7+ Ka6

28.Rcc7 Ree2 {Even with a 99.9% chance of defeat, Robert Hess still manages to create one more threat.}

29.Rxa7+ Kb6

30.Rdb7+ Kc6

31.Rxb2 Rxb2

Fabi-Hess10

Final Position

{Black resigns. Truly a superb chess game played by two incredible young prodigies!}
1-0

 

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 15

March 13, 2018

This nineteenth century chess puzzle has a really fun solution. White to move and mate in 12 (B.S. Barrett, 1874).

White to move and mate in 12 (B.S. Barrett, 1874).

Betcha Can’t Solve This Chess Puzzle! 14

March 11, 2018

White to move and mate in 2.

White to move and mate in 2.

Betcha Can’t Solve This Chess Puzzle! 13

March 3, 2018

A tricky endgame study by the great player/composer Pal Benko. White to move and win.

White to move and win. (GM Pal Benko, 1977)


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