Winning Chess Moves

April 1, 2019

Today’s position comes from round 10 of the 2019 U.S. Women’s Chess Championship. IM Anna Zatonskih (White) has just erred with 30. Qe1. How does seventeen-year-old Jennifer Yu (Black) punish Anna’s mistake to win the game and the U.S. Women’s Championship?

Black to move and win. (Zatonskih – Yu, US Women’s Championship, 3/20/2019)


Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 42

April 1, 2019

White to move and mate in 4 (Erich Ernest Zepler, Ostrauer Zeitung, January 1928).

White to move and mate in 4 (Erich Ernest Zepler, Ostrauer Zeitung, January 1928).

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 41

March 29, 2019

White to move and mate in three (Samuel Loyd, 1863).

White to move and mate in three (Samuel Loyd, 1863).

Chess Chat: Q&A with Shelby Lohrman, Chess Entrepreneur

March 25, 2019

Shelby Lohrman was born into a chess family on August 6th, 1972. His Father initially wanted to name him Tigrin, after Petrosian. However, Shelby’s mother didn’t care for the name Tigrin and instead suggested an alternative chess name. At the time, The Fischer – Spassky match game 4 was wrapping up and Shelby Lyman was doing the commentating. Shelby stuck!

If you’ve attend large chess events regularly you’ve probably met Shelby. Mr Lohrman has been travelling the country selling chess equipment to the masses for over 20+ years! He states that it’s his passion for providing great customer service to fellow chess enthusiasts that is the driving force behind his success.

How old were you when you first learned how to play chess? Who taught you?

I learned young…You have t remember that my dad was a US Amateur Champ in the 60’s. But with him being a type A German engineer (and being my dad), made learning from him stressful. It eventually got to the point where I quit and focused on Ice hockey. I picked it back up later on in life. To this day I think about what my life and rating would have been like studying with a mind such as his.

How has chess effected your decision making process off the board?

Chess affects my life decisions on an every day basis. Since I have delved back into chess, I think of things on a more strategic basis. With the advent of Amazon and Ebay, selling chess equipment has become a totally different ballgame. It’s like being at a chessboard. It is not just your plan, you have to accommodate for what your opponent is thinking too. This is why at American Chess Equipment we focus on bringing new products to market. I always have something new in the hopper. Why play an opening everyone else knows? I would much rather have them scramble and chase me.

What do you hope to achieve professionally during the next couple of years?

What do I hope to achieve professionally over the next couple of years? That is a great question. We have been growing American Chess Equipment organically over the last 25+ years. Looking at my industry, I have noticed a top down philosophy with the other vendors. I think that’s wrong. There is no innovation.

That’s why I love being with Wood Expressions! They are my parent company. They allow me the freedom to develop what I need and the tools to do so.

What are some of the products you are most proud of?

Just in the past couple of years I have helped to develop the VTEK300 chess clock, the wood grain mousepad chess boards, and tons of other chess products. The funny thing is the bigger companies out there are now copying me.

What are you working on developing now?

That’s a secret! All I can tell you is we have a couple of ideas formulating that will really rock the chess world. We need to bring chess to the masses.

What is the biggest challenge to achieving that goal?

What’s my biggest barrier to achieving this goal? That’s easy. The mindset of the people in our industry. Chess is a cutthroat business. Talk to any coach out there. They are worried about keeping their students and their schools. We all need to work together building the pie, making each persons share bigger, rather than bickering with ourselves. I have been working with the groups that are out there in the trenches, building their programs, working night and day to bring chess to the masses. I even have one customer that is now doing Skype classes with a group in Alaska.

How would you relate these goals and challenges to the chessboard?

As to relating my goals and challenges to the chess board…to me it is like sitting across from a higher rated player. When you first sit down everyone thinks you are going to lose. With the right preparation, anyone can get beat. Get an advantage and be able to hold it, they might even offer you a draw. To me, that’s fuel for the fire. It makes me work harder for the win.

Could you please leave us with a favorite piece of chess wisdom to conclude this interview?

My favorite piece of chess wisdom is you never truly lose in chess. There is always something to be learned in the game. Even if the turning point was just a blunder, you can still learn by analyzing what caused you to make that mistake.

Please take a moment to stop by these fine purveyors of chess equipment:

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 40

March 25, 2019

White to move and mate in 4! (Wolfgang Pauly, Schweizerische Schachzeitung, September 1920)

White to move and mate in 4! (Wolfgang Pauly, Schweizerische Schachzeitung, September 1920)

Fremont Scholastic Chess Championship a Success

March 25, 2019 held it’s annual Scholastic Chess Championship on March 16th and 17th at the Learning Bee Learning Center in Fremont, California.   Nearly fifty children participated in the event to share their passion for chess while competing for the title of Fremont Chess Champion.

The tournament which was a combined effort between US Chess Mates and the Torres Chess and Music Academy had an entry fee of only $20 thanks to the generous sponsorship of Grace Wong (Director of the Learning Bee Learning Center) and Joe Lonsdale (The Head Coach for Mission San Jose Elementary School Chess Team).

The K-1 section provided Fremont’s newest chess players a stage to show off their impressive skills on. And impress they did! Pranavi Pramod and Suhas Indukuri led the way with 3.5/4. Other players who performed admirably are Karanveer Singh Saran, Davin Lazar Vinod, Eayon Hsu and Emmett Zhao.

The largest and most competitive was grades 2-4. Joshua Huang won first place with 4.5/5 followed closely Dhruv Sheth with 4/5. From a tournament director’s standpoint, this group was a pleasure to watch. There was at least one interesting game to watch every round. It was wonderful to see so much up and coming talent.

The 5-8’th grade featured many excellent players but none played as well as eighth-grader Arjun Ganesan who achieved the only perfect score in the entire tournament. Second place went to Hemanth Kumar Merugu whose only loss was to Arjun. I have no doubt that all of the competitors in this section are destined for great things in Middle School, High School and beyond.

As the organizer for the Fremont Scholastic Chess Championship, I want to take one more moment to thank all the players, chess parents and sponsors for making this tournament possible. As a Fremont native, it was a special privilege for me to serve Fremont’s up and coming chess stars.

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened… 22

March 23, 2019

What is white’s best move?

What is white’s best move?

Fremont Scholastic Chess Championship: Final Call to Register

March 16, 2019

Rated Chess Tournament tomorrow in Fremont. Registration is $20. Register tonight on or tomorrow onsite. Please note that the round times for the g/60 sections have changed.

*Round Times*

K & 1-4 G/30: 3/16 * R 1 @ 9:00am * R 2 @ 10:30am * 3/17 * R 3 @ 9:00am * R 4 @ 10:30am * R 5 @ 12:00pm

5-12 G/60: 3/16 * R 1 @ 9:00am * R 2 @ 11:00am *R 3 @ 1:30pm * 3/17 * R 4 @ 9:00am * R 5 @ 11:00am *R 6 @ 1:30pm

Betcha Can’t Solve This #Chess Puzzle! 39

March 15, 2019

White to move and mate in 4 (Georges Legentil, Le Journal de Rouen, 1910).

White to move and mate in 4 (Georges Legentil, Le Journal de Rouen, 1910).

Coach Joe’s Report on the 2019 Calchess Spring States

March 14, 2019

The 2019 Northern California Scholastic Chess Championships were held the weekend of March 9th & 10th 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 team won two major elementary school sections (K-3 & K-6) and Allyson Wong won the overall individual elementary school championship.

The 2019 Calchess Elementary Chess Champions from MSJE

The top elementary school section at these championships is the K-6 Championship Division.  Allyson scored five wins in six rounds and took the first-place trophy.  Other members of the MSJE team were Lucas Jiang (4.5/6)  (Lucas and Aditya Arutla (3.5/6) are second graders that “played up” in K-6 to help the K-6 team as we correctly felt we could win K-3 without him)   Aghilan Nachiappan  (4/6), Jolene Liu (3.5/6) Aditya Sujay.  This was the ninth straight year that MSJE has taken home the first place trophy in K-6.

K-3 Calchess Championship Chess Team from MSJE

The K-3 Championship section is often called the primary school championship.  MSJE finished in first place in this section every year since 2008.  In 2019 MSJE once again finished in first place in K-3 Championship.  Our K-3 team was led by Jason Liu and Swagatha Selvan, who each scored 4.5/6.  Artham Pawar (3.5/6) and Allen Yang (2.5/6) were also top 4 scorers. Arnam Pawar, Thomas Zhang, and Dev Bhatt also competed for our K-3 championship team.

MSJE also did very well in the other sections. Ashwin Jegan, Chet Jayakrishnan, Zahaan Kassamali, Isha Vanungare, Sarvesh Maniv, and Helen Hong competed in K-3 Junior varsity (under 800 rating) and took home the first place team trophy.  Prisha Agarwal, Shreeya Hule, Jai Panicker, Ranga Ramanujam, Pranav Rajit, Atharv Jha, Shashwa Manjunath, Edward Zeng, Aashi Gupta, Keerthana Gudi, Shriya Thirumalai, Sunay Rao, Aditya Vanungare, Samuel Montesinos, Nathan Jacob, and Cedric Liu competed for MSJE in the K-3 beginner (under 500 rating) section and took home the first place trophy.

Pranavi Pramod, Saambhavi Karthik, and Nick Jiang competed for MSJE in the kindergarten section. Sanskriti Pandey, Edmund Saroufim, and Kevin Pham competed for MSJE in the K-6 rookie section.  Adarsh Swamy, Ashwin Marimuthu, Pratyush Hule, Arnav Gupta, and Dhritee Desai, competed in the K-6 Junior varsity section.

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

MSJE Chess Coaches: Joe Lonsdale, Terry & Cathy Liu, Nachi Aghilan, Chris Torres

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