Archive for the ‘chess lessons’ Category

#Chess Position Worth Sharing 111

October 6, 2019

I especially enjoy chess puzzles that are more complicated than they seem at first. Here is a simple looking mate in 2. Not so simple.

White to move and mate in 2.

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Dorian vs Fish: Hurricane on the Chessboard

September 3, 2019

img_9074

Hurricanes are one of my favorite metaphors to use while teaching chess. These massive storms arise from well known openings and thus have a predictable path for a certain amount of time. However, the path of certainty slowly gives way to uncertainty where even master meteorologists armed with powerful computers make errors in their evaluations. As with chess, the hurricane’s endgame is usually predictable based on a smaller number of variables and experience referencing similar circumstances.

Below I present a chess game analyzed as a storm. I hope you enjoy today’s lesson and consider donating to the Red Cross for hurricane relief.

[Event “Bundesliga 2012/13”]
[Site “Emsdetten GER”]
[Date “2012.12.09”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Dorian Rogozenco”]
[Black “Gennadij Lvovich Fish”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2475”]
[ECO “E20”]
[Opening “Nimzo-Indian”]
[Variation “Romanishin, 4…c5 5.Nf3 Ne4”]
[WhiteElo “2503”]

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 e6

3. Nc3 Bb4

4. Nf3 c5

5. g3 Ne4

6. Qc2 Qa5 

Dorian1

6… Qa5: Fish swarms early on c3.

7. Bg2 Nxc3

8. O-O cxd4

9. Nxd4 Nc6

10. bxc3 Bxc3

11. Nb3 Nd4

Dorian2

11. Nb3: Dorian becomes organized and then starts disrupting Fish’s movement.

12. Nxd4 Bxd4

13. Rb1 O-O

14. Rd1 Bc5

15. Rb5 Qc7

Dorian3

15. Rb5: The tide has turned as Dorian surges.

16. Bf4 e5

17. Rxc5 Qxc5

18. Rd5 Qb4

19. Bxe5 h6

20. Rd1 d5

21. Bxd5 Re8

Dorian4

21. Bxd5: This creates the perfect conditions for Dorian’s landfall.

22. Qg6 Qf8

23. Bxg7 Re6

24. Bxe6 Bxe6

25. Qxe6 1-0

Dorian5

22. Qg6: Finally, Dorian’s sheer force devastates the last shelter for fish. The endgame is predictably bad so Fish resigns

 

Full animation of Dorian’s hurricane on the chessboard:

imb_z2bldm

Benko’s Great Sacrifice

August 29, 2019

Chess has a rich history full of stories that I share with my students to add extra colour to our lesson material. Below is the tale of Pal Benko’s incredible life’s journey and his great sacrifice which allowed Bobby Fischer to make history.

Pal Benko was born while his Hungarian parents were vacationing in Amiens, France, on July 15, 1928. After learning how to play chess from his father at the age of eight, Pal improved quickly and impressed many during a time when the horrors of war and famine came to Hungary. At the age of twenty, Pal Benko became the Hungarian National Champion and with his chess success came the opportunity to eat and travel. At the 1952 chess tournament, Pal made his attempt to escape the suffering and defect to the West. However, Pal Benko escape was unsuccessful and he was imprisoned in a concentration camp for a grueling 16 months. After Joseph Stalin’s death, Benko was offered clemency and immediately returned to competitive chess as a means to earn food. At the 1957 Reykjavik World Student Chess Championship, Benko made his second attempt at defecting to the United States and this time he was successful.

Pal Benko in 1964.

In the decades that followed, the name Pal Benko was synonymous with chess creativity both in his opening discoveries and his artful puzzles. During the height of his career he was, easily, the most successful open tournament player in the United States winning the U.S. Open Chess Championship a record 8 times! Ironically, the most famous sacrificial move in Pal Benko’s chess career didn’t destroy his adversary but rather elevated him.

In 1970 Benko placed third in the US Championship which guaranteed him a seat in the Interzonal tournament. (Interzonal chess tournaments were tournaments organized by FIDE from the 1950s to the 1990s as a qualifying stage for the World Chess Championship.) Bobby Fischer, who at the time was taking a break from tournament chess, suddenly decided that he wanted to make a serious attempt at the World Championship. However, because of his absence from the US Championship he did not qualify for the Interzonal. In order for Fischer to enter the World Championship cycle, someone else who qualified from the United States would have to give up his seat. The US Chess Federation asked Pal Benko if he would be willing to make this sacrifice for Bobby. Pal Benko realistically knew that Fischer had much better chances than he did at the Interzonal and thus gave up his spot for the benefit of American chess. Bobby Fischer went on to win the Interzonal, the Candidates and the 1972 World Championship Match. None of this would have been possible without Pal Benko’s Great Sacrifice.

Below is a puzzle that Pal Benko stumped Bobby Fischer with in 1968. Can you solve it?

White to move and mate in 3! (Puzzle by Pal Benko)

Fastest Queen Trap Ever?

June 20, 2019

Poor Kusin managed to have his queen trapped after only four moves! This game holds the record for fastest queen trap in the history of chess and is also a really great example to show young chess players when explaining the dangers of bringing the queen out to early.

[Event "Rjasan"]
[Site "Rjasan"]
[Date "1973.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Kusin"]
[Black "Warfalamejew"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "8"]

1.e3 e5 2.d4 d5 3.Qf3 e4 4.Qf4 Bd6 0-1

Playing Blindfold Chess

May 19, 2019

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a photographic memory to be proficient at blindfold chess. The basic visualization required is really not all that different from the kind of mental exercise chess players commonly experience while calculating long endgame variations. In fact, if you’ve ever had a vivid chess dream while sleeping (quite common among my friends), you have already played blindfold chess!

Playing a chess game blindfolded (or at least facing opposite the chess board) against a class of young chess players is a sure fire way to raise the excitement level of the classroom or camp. Generally, I save such exhibitions for midway through a long camp or series of difficult lessons to add a little spice to the curriculum. In addition to adding energy to the room, a blindfold chess performance might just inspire a student to pick up the skill for his/herself which will greatly benefit their chess in the long run.

Below is my best ever such game played during the Fremont Summer Chess Camp in 2016. Enjoy…

 

[Event “Blindfold Game”]
[Site “Fremont, California (USA)”]
[Date “2016.7.13”]
[Round “”]
[White “Chris Torres”]
[Black “Intermediate Students”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C50”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C50] [ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C50]}
1.e4 {I practice what I preach: “Open With a Center Pawn.”} e5
2.Nf3 {Knights Before Bishops.} Nc6 3.Bc4 {For a blindfold game, I chose my most comfortable structure (The Italian.)}
Qe7 {Perhaps my opponents were trying to confuse me by choosing the rare Qe7 sideline.}
4.Nc3 Nd4 {
My students have already broken two opening rules. They brought their queen out
early and now they have moved the same piece twice. Normally punishing these
mistakes wouldn’t be too difficult. But playing foreign positions with no view of the board is stressful.}
( 4…Nf6 5.Ng5 d5 6.exd5 Na5 7.d6 cxd6 8.Bxf7+ Kd8 9.Bb3 Nxb3
10.axb3 d5 11.O-O h6 12.Nf3 Bg4 13.d3 a6 14.Re1 Rc8 15.Bf4 Nd7
16.h3 Bh5 17.g4 Bf7 18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.Bxe5 Qh4 20.Qf3 Bg8 21.Qxf8+
{1-0, Zhotev Jasen (BUL) 2086 – Ivanov Oleg (RUS) 2425 , Sofia 8/ 8/2009 It “Hemus Open” (3)}
) 5.Nd5 {In order to punish mistakes you must attack. Here, I know that their queen must
retreat to d8 in order to stop the knight from capturing on c7 with a fork.}
Qc5 {?!} {Honestly, I did not anticipate this move at all and was forced to repeat all the moves to myself outloud and calculate.}
6.Nxe5 {!} {“Whenever you’re aggressive, you’re at the edge of mistakes.”-Mario Andretti}
d6 {I hear excited chatter from my students about “winning a piece.”}
7.b4 {!} {Even when blindfolded, it’s hard to miss this obvious threat!}
Nxc2+ {Black had no choice that did not involve losing a piece or more.}
8.Qxc2 {I gain a knight without losing the initiative.} Qd4 {The queen may look threatening, but, really, she is all alone against an army.}
9.Bb5+ {At this point I couldn’t quite see the forced mate in 4 but this check seemed very promising.}
c6 10.Bxc6+ {!} {Looks impressive but really it is just the result of analyzing checks, captures and threats.}
bxc6 11.Qxc6+ {Forcing black’s king to d8 and a nice finish.}
Kd8 12.Nxf7# 1-0

Chris Torres Offers Online Chess Lessons

April 23, 2019

and would love to help your child play better chess now!

Reasons to try an Online Lesson with Chris:

1.  Follow up to in-person chess lessons to check on your child’s understanding.

2.  Live too far away to come often for private instruction.

3.  Preparing for a major tournament with a coach who has taught numerous national champions!

4.  Very cost effective. For $40 per online lesson, you can have your child learn chess from one of California’s most sought after chess coaches.

How it Works

1. Chris Torres harnesses the power of Chess.com and Wyzant to create the ultimate 21st century chess classroom.

2. After each lesson, Chris Torres will provide you with customized feedback and a study plan to take your child’s game to the next level!

3. All of Chris’ students are welcome to play slow paced (1 move per day) games with him during the week at no extra charge.

Sign up today

via https://is.gd/u5bIVd

Or by emailing Chris Torres (chesslessons@aol.com)

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 25

April 22, 2019

How can black win white’s queen?

How can black win white’s queen?

An Eggs-tra Special Easter Chess Lesson

April 21, 2019

happyeasterchess

In today’s chess lesson, we examine GM Julio Becerra Rivero’s egg-citing victory over IM Justin Sarkar played on Easter Sunday, 2009.

[Event “Foxwoods Open”]
[Site “Mashantucket, CT”]
[Date “2009.4.12”]
[Round “9”]
[White “Justin Sarkar”]
[Black “Julio Becerra Rivero”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “D17”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ QUEEN’S gam. SLAV def.,D17]}

1.d4 d5

2.c4 c6 {The Queen Gambit Declined, Slav.}

3.Nf3 Nf6

4.Nc3 dxc4

5.a4 {White interferes with black’s plan to play pawn to b5.}

Easter1

Position after 5. a4

5… Bf5 {The Czech Defence line of the Slav.}

6.Ne5

{Here white had two major choices. 6. e3 is the popular and solid Dutch
Variation. However, Sarkar chose the more egg-streme Krause Attack (6. Ne5).}

Easter2

Position after 6. Ne5

6… e6

7.f3 Bb4

8.e4 Bxe4

9.fxe4 Nxe4

10.Qf3 {?}

{10. Qf3 move is overly ambitious. Better is 10. Bd2.}
( 10.Bd2 Qxd4 11.Nxe4 Qxe4+ 12.Qe2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Qd5+ 14.Kc3
O-O 15.Qe3 b5 16.Be2 Nd7 17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.Rhd1 Qe7 19.Kc2 a5 20.Bf3
Rac8 21.Qe5 g6 22.axb5 cxb5 23.Qxb5 Rc5 24.Qd7 Qg5 25.Qd4 Rfc8
26.Ra3 Rb5 27.Rd2 Rb4 28.Kd1 Rcb8 29.Ke2 Qb5 {…1-0, Bacrot Etienne (FRA) 2716 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 , Nanjing 10/23/2010 It “Pearl Spring” (cat.21)})

Easter3

Position after 10. Qf3

10… Qxd4

11.Qxf7+ Kd8 {What an egg-citing position!}

Easter4

Position after 11… Kd8

12.Qxg7 {??} {For peeps sake!}
( 12.Bg5+ Nxg5 ( 12…Kc8 13.Qxe6+ Nd7 14.Qxd7+ Qxd7 15.Nxd7
Nxc3 16.bxc3 Bxc3+ 17.Kd1 Bxa1 18.Nc5 b6 19.Ne6 b5 20.Be2 Be5
21.Re1 {-0.15 CAP} ) 13.Qxg7 Bxc3+ 14.bxc3 Qxc3+ 15.Ke2 Qc2+
16.Ke1 Qc3+ {1/2-1/2, Ftacnik Lubomir (SVK) 2608 – Khalifman Alexander (RUS) 2667 , Istanbul 2000 Olympiad})

Bxc3+ {!} {Punishing white’s mistake is easy like Sunday Morning}

13.bxc3 Qf2+ {White resigns.}
0-1

 

‪ #DontSpoilTheEndgame‬, Petrosian vs. Korchnoi (Moscow, 1963)

April 17, 2019

This position is from Petrosian vs. Korchnoi, Moscow 1963. Viktor Korchnoi (Black) has just played 34… Rf8.

White to move. Position after 34… Rf8.

Now Tigran Petrosian has serious winning chances and plays 35. Rxh6. Was this a good move?

Position after 35. Rxh6.

Winning Chess Moves: Mayet vs. Anderssen, 1851

April 10, 2019

You are playing the role of the quintessential Romantic, Adolf Anderssen. Karl Mayet has just played the dreadful 12. Qxe4. How does Anderssen (Black) punish his opponents in dramatic fashion?

Black to move and mate in 5 (Mayet – Anderssen, Berlin 1851).


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