Archive for the ‘Blitz Chess’ Category

Velocity Chess Makes it Fun to be at Odds with One Another

August 27, 2014
Velocity Chess

Velocity Chess

Velocity Chess is a revolutionary new online chess platform that is making playing chess “at odds” cool again. Want to play a game against a chess master where he/she spots you a rook or a few minutes in a blitz game? Velocity Chess is the place for you. Setting up a game at odds has never been easier and you can even wager virtual coins on the outcome. By harnessing the power of Bitcoin, Velocity Chess seems poised to become the online leader in handicapping on internet speed chess. Coupled with with the best anti-cheat technology in the industry, Velocity Chess is adding a new dynamic to online chess in much the same way that poker was transformed by Planet Poker in 1998.

 

Setting up "at odds" chess games on Velocity Chess is easy.

Setting up “at odds” chess games on Velocity Chess is easy.

Below is my best example of a chess game played at odds on Velocity Chess:

[Event “blitz game at rook and time odds”]
[Site “www.VelocityChess.com”]
[Date “2014.8.2”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Chris Torres”]
[Black “Msrmsr”]
[Result “1-0”]
[TimeControl “White 5:00, Black 10:00”]
[SetUp “1”]
[FEN “rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBN1 w Qkq – 0 1”]

The starting position. White had 5 minutes while black has 10.

The starting position. White had 5 minutes while black has 10.

{I enjoy playing games at odds. Many of my chess heroes played in a time
that this was common. Now, it’s rare but I am keeping the torch burning both in classrooms and on Velocity Chess .}

1. a3 {I am convinced that the main reason
Anderssen’s Opening has a bad reputation is the fault of the players
playing white rather than the opening itself. It is actually a very
flexible way to start the game as white. In addition, the white player can
play his favorite black opening with the bonus of starting with the a-pawn one square forward.}

1… g6 {My opponent’s plan is to immediately make it
hard for me to play a “b4” pawn push.}

"I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:	 Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—	 I took the one less traveled by,	 And that has made all the difference."-Robert Frost

“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”-Robert Frost

 

2. d4 {I grab the center while placing an obstacle on the a1-h8 diagonal.}

2… d5

3. e4 {When you are playing at rook’s odds, it is imperative to attack quickly because most early attacks are not reliant rooks and you are unlikely to win an endgame down a rook anyways.}

dxe4

4. Nc3 Bf5 {My opponent makes his first strategic mistake. Generally
speaking, you do not want to bring a bishop out to the side of the board
you are preparing a fianchetto for your other bishop. Now his bishop is
limited in the direction it can retreat.}

5. f3 Bg7 {This is a seriously
interesting opening position. However, an early tactical brawl favors the
player who is a stronger tactician.}

The position after 5...Bg7.

The position after 5…Bg7.

6. fxe4 Qxd4 {I really don’t want to
trade queens as I am already down a rook. Unfortunately, my opponent definitely understands the value of trading when ahead pieces.}

7. Nb5 {Rather than trade queens, I throw more tactics into the mix.}

The position after 7. Nb5.

The position after 7. Nb5.

 

Qxe4+ 8. Be2 {I avoid trading queens and am hoping for a combination with Nxc7+ followed by Qd8#.}

Be5 {My opponent defends “c7” and thus stops my mating idea.}

The position after 8...Be5.

The position after 8…Be5.

 

 

9. Nf3 {I develop with a threat against the “guard.”}

h6? {Black stops my knight from jumping to “g5” but that is not what I was planning. Thus, he just
wasted time.}

10. Nxe5 Qxe5 {The queen takes the place of the bishop in
guarding “c7.”}

The position after 10... Qxe5.

The position after 10… Qxe5.

 

11. Be3 {I am tempting the queen to leave d5 in order to capture my bishop. Either way, the position retains just enough tactics.}

a6? {My offer confuses my opponent. Really, he should have just taken my bishop.}

12. Bd4 {Lots of tactics now.}

The position after 12. Bd4. "Lots of Tactics now!"

The position after 12. Bd4. “Lots of Tactics now!”

 

 

12… Qxh2

13. Nxc7+ {For the moment, I am threatening both of his rooks and checking his king. These are the types of positions that tend to confuse weaker players.}

13… Kf8 {And black is definitely confused. He should have simply captured the knight on “c7” with his queen.}

The position after 13... Kf8.

The position after 13… Kf8.

 

 

14. Nxa8 {Now we are even in pieces although my opponent maintains a material advantage because of his extra pawns. Still, white is catching up.}

14… Nf6

15. Bxf6 {I am attempting to expose his king further at the cost of trading pieces when I am down in material.}

15… Qh1+ {My opponent should hold off on the check until after he recaptures on f6.}

The position after 15... Qxh1+.

The position after 15… Qxh1+.

 

16. Kd2 Qxd1+

17. Rxd1 {He finally trades queens but it is not nearly as advantageous of a plan as it used to be.}

17… exf6

18. Bf3 Nc6 19. Nc7 {My knight exits from a dangerous corner while
threatening to win a pawn after the bishop grabs the knight on “c6.”}

The position after 19. Nc7.

The position after 19. Nc7.

 

 

19… Kg7{Black could have saved a pawn by playing “a5.”}

20. Bxc6 Rd8+ {My opponent is still trying to trade pieces even though the position no longer calls for it.}

21. Kc1 Rxd1+

22. Kxd1 bxc6

23. Nxa6 {At this point, my oppnent’s
clock reads “6:18” and my time left is just “1:36.” No worries.}

23… Be4 

24. Nc5 {Rather than save my pawn on “g2,” I elect to blockade his pawn on “c6” with my knight in order to facilitate my a-pawn queening on “a8.”}

24… Bxg2

The position after 24... Bxg2.

The position after 24… Bxg2.

25. a4 Bf1

26. a5  f5? {I am not sure why my opponent decided that the
f-pawn is more of a threat than the a-pawn because it is not.}

27. b3 {Now
my plan is to place a pawn on “c4” and then my a-pawn will be home free.}

27… f4

28. c4 f3

The position after 28... f3.

The position after 28… f3.

29. Ke1 Bg2

30. Kf2 {This move was really not necessary but I was playing purely by instinct. It certainly doesn’t hurt my cause at all.}
31… h5

31. a6 h4

32. a7 h3

The position after 32... h3.

The position after 32… h3.

33. Kg1 {This move wasn’t necessary but just
“felt correct.” Again, it doesn’t hurt my cause.}

33… Bh1

34. a8=Q  h2+

35. Kxh1 f2 {This looks like trouble but all my pieces and pawns have been perfectly placed for victory. To quote John “Hannibal” Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.”(A-Team reference)}

The position after 35... f2. "I love it when a plan comes together."- John Hannibal Smith

The position after 35… f2. “I love it when a plan comes together.”- John “Hannibal” Smith

 

36. Qa1+ f6

37. Qf1 g5

38. Qxf2 Kg6

39. Kxh2 {I have just 7.4 seconds left on the clock. No worries!}

The position after 39, Kxh2. "I have just 7.4 seconds left on the clock. No worries!"

The position after 39. Kxh2. “I have just 7.4 seconds left on the clock. No worries!”

 

 

39… f5

40. Nd7 g4

41. Qd4 Kg5

42. Qf6+ Kf4

43. Kg2 g3

44. Qe5+ Kg4

45. Qxg3+ Kh5

46. Qe5 Kg4

47. Nf8 f4

48. Nh7 f3+

49. Kf2 Kh3

50. Qg3#
1-0

Victory Achieved with 2.8 seconds to spare.

Victory Achieved with 2.8 seconds to spare.

 

For more info on Velocity Chess, please read:

My First Impressions of Velocity Chess 

and

Velocity Chess

For more info on Bitcoin, I recommend reading:

Why Bitcoin Matters by Marc Andreessen 

Advertisements

22 Wins, 12 Draws, and 2 Losses

June 22, 2014
A Triumphant Magnus Carlsen holding the trophies for the Worl;d Blitz and Rapid Chess Championships. source:http://dubai2014wrb.com/en/

A triumphant Magnus Carlsen holding the trophies for the World Blitz and Rapid Chess Championships. source:http://dubai2014wrb.com/en/

That’s Magnus Carlsen’s combined record at the 2014 World Rapid Chess Championship and World Blitz Chess Championship. Magnus is also the current number 1 rated chess player in the world and the current World Chess Champion.

Magnus Carlsen is now a member of the most exclusive chess club of them all. That is to say that he is the winner of Chess’ Triple Crown(World Chess Champion at Classical time controls, World Rapid Chess Champion and World Blitz Chess Champion.) The only other chess player to hold all three titles simultaneously was Susan Polgar in 1996.

20140621-222358-80638058.jpg

Magnus Carlsen with Susan Polgar. source: http://www.SusanPolgar.blogspot.com

Before Carlsen, the chess analysts all said that a “Morphy-esque” style domination would never occur again in top level chess. To those analysts, I say, “Welcome to the Carlsen Age!”

 

Don’t forget to sign your child up for California’s best summer chess camp and the opportunity to train with Susan Polgar!

Once upon a time in Mexico: A Chess Adventure Retold by Francisco Anchondo

April 22, 2014

My friend Francisco Anchondo sent me a story from one of his recent chess adventures in Mexico. The story is fantastic and the game is even better. Enjoy!

 

 

7-11 /Pemex service station in Mexico

7-11 /Pemex service station in Mexico

 

From Francisco:

On my way to Ensenada at 2:30 AM my vehicle was having some electrical problems. l waited at 7/11 /Pemex service station  right before the Rosarito Caseta (Toll gate.) l  took a siesta till 5:15 AM awoke to see 2 mexicans engaged in a chess game. I saw one who was clearly better than the other and he was just cannon fodder. I checked it out while an electrician checked my van. He came back stated my pedal stop switch was out along with several fuses and gave me a decent estimate of 350 to400 pesos( $23.40 / $30 US) compared to $60 US just for a diagnostic. l saw the winner boast as to how he could whoop up on everyone seated at the small cafe inside 7/11 for 200 pesos a game. Jose Manuel Ruelas Alvarez boasted no one wants to lose their hard earned pesos.

“Ja ! Ja! Ja!,”  I interrupted.

 l saw the winner boast as to how he could whoop up on everyone seated at the small cafe inside 7-11 for 200 pesos a game.

l saw the winner boast as to how he could whoop up on everyone seated at the small cafe inside 7-11 for 200 pesos a game.

“Ok l stated look let’s do this for 300 pesos since l am bound to lose”, I said.

“Ok ! On one condition l play white Jose stated.”

1. e4 e5, 2.Nf3 Nc6,3. Bc4 Nf6, 4. d3 Bc5, 5. O+O,  d6  6. Bg5 h6, 7.Bh4 g5, 8.Bg3 pondered my next move. I played 8….h5?! Jose couldn’t resist. He snapped it off and hollered now l got some $ to take my girl to the movies. What you gonna do Americano?  9.Nxg5 h4!, 10. Nxf7 hxg3,11. NxQd8 Jose jeered, talked trash, and said, “If l lose this game l will buy y’all 5 rounds of Tecate.”

 

11. NxQd8 Jose jeered, talked trash, and said, “If l lose this game l will buy y'all 5 rounds of Tecate.”

11. NxQd8 Jose jeered, talked trash, and said, “If l lose this game l will buy y’all 5 rounds of Tecate.”

 

I said,  “does that include me?”

“Yeah, yeah. Just resign and get over it.”

11…..Bg4, 12.Qe1 Nd4!, 13. c3?? Nf3+!,14.gxf3 Bxf3, Jose looked and looked to no avail. At that moment the mechanic walked in and said 350 pesos Senor. Your van is ready. I looked at Jose, pay the man and my coffee.

14.gxf3 Bxf3, Jose looked and looked to no avail.

14.gxf3 Bxf3, Jose looked and looked to no avail.

 

As l left with my coffee l could hear everyone laugh and cheer that Jose the swindler had been manhandled by an unknown and everyone was happy and saying thanks. Jose did not look to happy since everyone cheered,” beers are on Jose tonight. Ha! Ha! Ha! ”

 

As l left with my coffee l could hear everyone laugh and cheer that Jose the swindler had been manhandled by an unknown...

As l left with my coffee l could hear everyone laugh and cheer that Jose the swindler had been manhandled by an unknown…

 

Francisco Anchondo is a regular chess teacher at Torres Chess and Music Academy Camps. He will be joining Susan Polgar and Chris Torres for the 2014 Fremont Summer Chess Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Don’t miss out on the best summer camp in Norcal, sign your child up today.

April’s Chess Combination of the Month

April 18, 2014

This month’s chess combination comes from a nice win I had over “Flash,” the number two ranked player on VelocityChess.com. Each Month I will select one combination that I played in a real game to examine in detail for the benefit of my students and readers.

Black to move

Black to move

 

When it is your turn, the first thing you should do is examine all checks, captures and threats. In this position, we have one check-capture, four checks, three captures and several more threatening moves. If you take the time to identify all these possibilities and run through any automatic or nearly automatic replies, you will automatically begin to spot brilliant tactical combinations. It’s that easy!

 

I chose to play Nc4+!

I chose to play Nc4+!

 

This is precisely the kind of move you might miss if you do not force yourself to examine all checks without regard to how silly the move may seem at first glance.

 

Flash plays dxc4?

Flash plays dxc4?

 

If this wasn’t a blitz game I am sure Flash would have played something like: Kd2-d1 Qf6xc3 Re1xe8+ Ra8xe8 Ra1-a2 Bh7xd3 c2xd3 Qc3xd3+ Ra2-d2 Qd3-b3+ Rd2-c2 Nc4xa3 Nf3-d2 Re8-d8 Bg2-e4 Qb3xh3 Kd1-e1 Na3xc2+ Qc1xc2 c7-c6 Qc2-d1 Qh3-c3 Qd1-c2 Qc3xc2 Be4xc2 a7-a5 Ke1-d1 b7-b5 Kd1-c1 a5-a4 Nd2-b1 Rd8-e8 Bc2-d3 b5-b4 Nb1-d2 Kg8-f8 Nd2-c4 a4-a3 Kc1-b1 Kf8-e7 Kb1-a2 Ke7-e6 Ka2-b3 c6-c5 Nc4-a5 f7-f6 Bd3-c4+ Ke6-d6 Na5-b7+ Kd6-c6 Nb7-a5+ Kc6-b6

But as you can see, Black is still crushing white. So, in a sense, Flash did us a little favor by simplifying the result into a nice and neat mating attack.

 

I played Ra-d8+. This develops the unemployed rook with a threat.

I played Ra-d8+. This develops the unemployed rook with a threat.

 

White's move of Nd4 is forced.

White’s move of Nd4 is forced.

 

Now examine all of the checks, captures and threats again.

 

Correct is Rxd4+!

Correct is Rxd4+!

 

cxd4 is a forced response.

cxd4 is a forced response.

 

and Qxd4 is mate.

and Qxd4 is mate.

 

I hope you enjoyed April’s Chess Combination of the Month. If you missed it, feel free to check out March’s Chess Combination of the Month. On a side note, I must say that www.VelocityChess.com is evolving into a great online chess site. You can see my original review of Velocity Chess from this link. Right now if you open an account, they will deposit 2,500 vChips in your bank– redeemable for giftcards! bit.ly/1gCnVPp

Below is the entire game so that you can see the combination in context:

[Event “Blitz”]
[Site “VelocityChess.com”]
[Date “2014.04.16”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Flash”]
[Black “Chris.Torres.524596”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1917”]
[ECO “C40”]
[Opening “Elephant Gambit”]
[Variation “Maroczy”]
[WhiteElo “2610”]
[TimeControl “5+0”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 Bd6 4. Qe2 Nf6 5. Nc3 O-O 6. d3 h6 7. Be3 Bb4 8.
a3 Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Nxd5 10. Bd2 Bg4 11. h3 Bf5 12. g3 Re8 13. g4 Nf4 14. Qd1
Bh7 15. Bxf4 exf4+ 16. Kd2 Nc6 17. Bg2 Qf6 18. Re1 Na5 19. Qc1 Nc4+ 20.
dxc4 Rad8+ 21. Nd4 Rxd4+ 22. cxd4 Qxd4# 0-1

 

Chris Torres is NorCal's most popular chess coach.

Chris Torres is NorCal’s most popular chess coach.

Chris Torres will be teaching with Susan Polgar and many other great instructors at the 2014 Fremont Summer Chess Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Sign up today!

 

 

 

Its Deja Vu Mr. Petroff

October 21, 2012

In French the phrase Deja Vu means “already seen.” Not only have I already posted an article on my clever new system against the Nimzowitsch Attack in the Petroff Defense, I did so in my last post. However, the real reason for a sense of Deja Vu is that I  played this game following a chess lesson for Ben Rood just has I had two days prior. What are the odds that after two successive lessons for Ben Rood I would come home and play nearly identical games in the Petroff?

Because the games are so similar, I have not added any new analysis other than the final note.

[Event “Blitz 3 and 0”]

[Site “FICS”]

[Date “2012.10.20”]

[White “veralazcano”]

[Black “chessmusings”]

[Result “0-1”]

[ECO “C42”]

[Opening “Russian Game”]

[Time “17:14”]

[Variation “Nimzowitsch Attack”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nd7 8. Bd3 Nf6 9. Qd2 Be6 10. O-O-O Bxa2 11. b3 a5 12. Kb2 a4 13. Kxa2 axb3+ 14. Kxb3 O-O 15. Ra1 c5 16. Rxa8 Qb6+ {White resigns as black has a mate in 2. Do you see it?} 0-1

Teaching Chess Improves Chess Creativity

October 18, 2012

Last night after a long day teaching chess which culminated with a private lesson for chess prodigy Ben Rood, I came home and decided to relax by playing a couple blitz games on FICS. As usual, I won a couple and lost a couple. In the past I have noticed that I have more creative ways of handling routine positions after I teach Ben. Last night was no exception. As proof, I offer a fun new approach for black in the Nimzowitsch Attack of Petroff’s Defense.

 

[Event “3 Minute Blitz Game”]

[Site “FICS”]

[Date “2012.10.17”]

[Round “?”]

[White “istvanka”]

[Black “chessmusings”]

[Result “0-1”]

[ECO “C42”]

[Opening “Russian Game”]

[Time “22:11”]

[Variation “Nimzowitsch Attack”]

[TimeControl “3 and 0”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {This is Petroff’s Defense which can also be called the Russian game. As an opening, it is fairly easy to learn and a very solid choice against 1 e4.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 {The Nimzowitsch Attack is one of white’s more aggressive choices in the Petroff. After the exchange of knights white is left with plenty of open lines with which to attack black.} Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Bd3 Nd7 8. Be3 Nf6 {If white’s bishop was on f4 I might have tried Nc5. In our current position, 0-0 for black is quite sensible.} 9. Qd2 Be6 10. O-O-O {At this point, white’s pieces are more organized for attack than black’s. It’s a little surprising how quickly I change that.} Bxa2!? {This looks like a mistake but I have a unique plan involving the loss of my Bishop. My move is an invention for this position. Previously, black has tried Qd7 with mixed results.} 11. b3 a5! {The little “a” pawn needs to be taken very seriously.} 12. Kb2 a4 13. Kxa2? {Rda1 would have taken some of the sting out of my attack. White’s choice plays right into my hands.} axb3+ 14. Kb2? {14 Kxc3 needed to be played. Kb2 looks safe but Black has a surprise.} Ra2+ 15. Kxb3 Qa8 {This threatens mate with Qa4.} 16. Bb5+ c6 17. Kc4 {My opponent found the only way of extending the life of his king.} cxb5+ 18. Kd3 Qa6?! {Apparently, Qa4 was the much better choice because it threatens Qc4#.} 19. Ke2 b4+ 20. Ke1 b3 {18…Qa6 seems to be working out as well. Had white played 20 Kd3 I was ready with Rxc2+!} 21. Rc1? {When a player is under pressure they are more likely to make mistakes like this.} b2 22. Rb1 Ra1 23. Qd1 Ne4 {I am threatening Nxc3 which would be devastating.} 24. Bd4 Bf6 {and white resigned.} 0-1


%d bloggers like this: