Posts Tagged ‘blitz chess’

#Chess Puzzle Worth Sharing 61

August 18, 2017

What is white’s best move?

What is white’s best move? (Fabiano Caruana – David Navara, Blitz, St Louis 8/18/2017)

The Thrilling Conclusion of the 2015 Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys

March 30, 2015

After the final round of the 2015 Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys, there remained two-way ties for first place in four different sections. Rather than use computer generated tiebreaker scores, we let the children decide the matter themselves over a five minute game of blitz chess. Depending on the section, these finalists were playing for a seat in the FIDE World Youth Chess Championship, a seat in the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Invitational for Girls and a $50,000 college scholarship to Webster University. All four blitz games games commenced simultaneously and each board had its own tournament director watching every move. Below is the unedited footage from the thrilling conclusion to the 2015 SPFNO.

2015 Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open for Girls and Boys: Blitz Championship Results

March 28, 2015
2015 SPFNO Blitz Championship Results(Photo by Paul Truong)

2015 SPFNO Blitz Championship Results(Photo by Paul Truong)



# Name Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Tot Prize
1 Cameron Wheeler 2383 W25 W3 W17 W16 W2 W4 6.0 1st Place
2 Aaron Grabinsky 2318 W29 W12 W5 W10 L1 W13 5.0 2nd Place
3 Joshua Grabinsky 1644 W33 L1 W43 W9 W14 W16 5.0 3rd Place
4 Vikram Ramasamy 1900 W36 W21 D18 W11 W10 L1 4.5 4th Place
5 Benja Friedlander 1648 W26 W39 L2 W19 W11 D6 4.5 5th Place
6 Christopher W Yoo 1749 W35 L9 W34 W22 W8 D5 4.5 6th Place
7 Gabriel Sam 2093 W43 L8 W25 D18 W12 W17 4.5 7th Place
8 Satvik Singireddy 1594 W45 W7 L10 W15 L6 W19 4.0 8th Place
9 Jaisu Kaleeswaran 1322 W30 W6 L11 L3 W27 W24 4.0 9th Place
10 Josiah P Stearman 2195 W32 W24 W8 L2 L4 W22 4.0 10th Place
11 Ganesh Murugappan 1897 W38 W20 W9 L4 L5 W28 4.0
12 Josiah Perkins 1638 W37 L2 W27 W26 L7 W20 4.0
13 Justi Friedlander 1732 W23 L16 W31 W21 W18 L2 4.0
14 Gloria Friedman 1759 W34 L18 W23 W24 L3 W21 4.0
15 Dmitri V Dobrynin 1744 W47 W19 L16 L8 W32 W18 4.0
16 Andrea Botez unr. W22 W13 W15 L1 D17 L3 3.5
17 Nastassja A Matus 1735 W31 W46 L1 W20 D16 L7 3.5
18 Hersh Singh 1426 W42 W14 D4 D7 L13 L15 3.0
19 Kaitlyn Chu 1406 W28 L15 W40 L5 W31 L8 3.0
20 Reagan Pearl 1410 W27 L11 W30 L17 W35 L12 3.0
21 Daniel H Hwang 1499 W40 L4 W46 L13 W29 L14 3.0
22 Enkhj Gomboluudev 1432 L16 W47 W39 L6 W34 L10 3.0
23 Pranav Sairam 700 L13 W29 L14 W42 W43 L25 3.0
24 Ishan Dutta 1621 W44 L10 W45 L14 W25 L9 3.0
25 Daniel Cheng 1237 L1 W44 L7 W45 L24 W23 3.0
26 Anthony Sc Faulks 1345 L5 W33 W42 L12 L28 W34 3.0
27 Sunny Kahlan unr. L20 W38 L12 W43 L9 W36 3.0
28 Raymond Muller unr. L19 L34 W36 W37 W26 L11 3.0
29 Ioana Murgulet 1218 L2 L23 W47 W44 L21 W35 3.0
30 Cassandra Maria Roshu unr. L9 W35 L20 L31 W44 W38 3.0
31 Anav Mehta 722 L17 W41 L13 W30 L19 D32 2.5
32 Ruthvi Singireddy 1198 L10 L40 W33 W46 L15 D31 2.5
33 Netr Thirumuruhan 673 L3 L26 L32 B— D42 W37 2.5
34 Minda Chen 882 L14 W28 L6 W39 L22 L26 2.0
35 Meghana Kancharla 807 L6 L30 W41 W40 L20 L29 2.0
36 Micah Si Stearman 935 L4 L42 L28 W41 W45 L27 2.0
37 El Karis-sconyers 527 L12 L43 W38 L28 W39 L33 2.0
38 Prathul Ganesh 919 L11 L27 L37 X47 W40 L30 2.0
39 Pranav Bellannagari unr. W41 L5 L22 L34 L37 W45 2.0
40 Sai Chilckapati unr. L21 W32 L19 L35 L38 W44 2.0
41 Hailey Riley 1364 L39 L31 L35 L36 W46 W42 2.0
42 Aradh Kaur unr. L18 W36 L26 L23 D33 L41 1.5
43 Anchul Schmidt 949 L7 W37 L3 L27 L23 F46 1.0
44 David Roshu 507 L24 L25 B— L29 L30 L40 1.0
45 Daniyal Virk 485 L8 B— L24 L25 L36 L39 1.0
46 Owen Xuan 395 B— L17 L21 L32 L41 F43 1.0
47 Nivedha Maniv 763 L15 L22 L29 F38 U— U— 0.0

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 “”]
[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.}


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#

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 


Velocity Chess

For more info on Bitcoin, I recommend reading:

Why Bitcoin Matters by Marc Andreessen 

Velocity Chess

August 9, 2014


Are you tired of the suspicious lag and disconnects on Don’t want to pay to play like on the ICC? Has FICS not been stable enough to meet your needs? There is a new contender for the title of best online chess server. Meet Velocity Chess!

On Velocity Chess you won’t have to worry about any of the problems listed above. Until recently, Velocity Chess’ only weakness was the lack of a large enough player pool to allow the die-hard chess players(like me) the ability to get a game of chess on at any hour. Apparently, the word has gotten out about the advantages of playing on VC and now it is full of players!

Velocity Chess has a state-of-the-art interface.

Velocity Chess has a state-of-the-art interface.


Velocity Chess offers several options that blow its competition out of the water. Below is a list of some of my favorite reasons for playing on Velocity Chess:


  • Free chess play for everyone who signs up
  • Being able to use Virtual Chips to wager on your games
  • The ability to cash-out Virtual Chips for cool prizes and gift cards
  • Honest game play
  • A stable platform
  • Velocity Chess is its own social network
  • Sharing games across multiple platforms is easy
  • The highest level of customer service I have ever experienced on a chess server.



No wonder so many top chess players are upgrading to Velocity Chess.


*I am not employed by or receiving any payment from Velocity Chess for this review. I simply want to share the best online chess server with my friends and fans.


Crime and Punishment on the Chessboard (Tijuana Style!)

March 12, 2014
Francisco Anchondo is the most feared chess player south of the border.

Francisco Anchondo is the most feared chess player south of the border.


Francisco Anchondo showed me another example of why players throughout Mexico revere his chess skills.


[Event “Blitz”]
[Site “Tijuana, Mexico”]
[Date “14.1.26”]
[Round “”]
[White “Anchondo, Francisco”]
[Black “Morales, Juan”]
[Result “”]
[Eco “D00”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[Blackmar-Diemer Gambit,D00]}

1.d4 d5 2.e4 {!} {Francisco is usually happy to gambit a couple pawns to gain a developmental edge.}

dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 {The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit is a fun system to employ. White’s extra piece and
control of the center provide adequate compensation for the gambited pawn.}

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit.

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit.

c5 {Black attacks white’s center with a pawn of his own. The problem is, Francisco is not obligated to accept the pawn. Perhaps Juan should have played something like this:}

( 5…Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.Be3 e6 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.O-O-O Bb4
11.Ne4 Qa5 12.Kb1 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 Nf6 14.Qf3 O-O-O 15.c3 Bd6 16.Rhf1
Rd7 17.g4 h6 18.h4 Qc7 19.g5 hxg5 20.Bxg5 Nd5 21.Rde1 a6 22.Rg1
c5 23.dxc5 Bxc5 24.Rg4 Kb8 25.Be4 {…0-1, Diaz Rodriguez Francisco Javier (ESP) 2179 – Iturrizaga Eduardo (VEN) 2640 , Jaen 2/ 6/2011 It (open) (active)}

6.d5 h6 {?} {This slow pawn move does not develop a piece. Now it is white’s duty to punish black’s play.}
( 6…Bg4 7.Bf4 a6 8.h3 Bh5 9.Be2 b5 10.g4 Bg6 11.Ne5 b4 12.g5
bxc3 13.gxf6 cxb2 14.fxg7 Bxg7 15.Rb1 e6 16.dxe6 Qh4+ {0-1, Boe A H – Pedersen Steffen (DEN) 2431 , Gausdal 1990 Cup Arnold}

7.Bf4 {Francisco now has three against one with a pawn in the center.}
g6 {?} {Another slow pawn move? Juan is asking for trouble.}
8.Nb5 {!} {Punishment for black’s crimes.}

White initiates a dangerous attack.

White initiates a dangerous attack.


Na6 {Juan is forced to put a knight on the rim to defend c7.}
9.Qe2 {Now white is threatening to escalate the violence on d6 and is ready to castle.}
Qb6 {?} {Black is oblvious to Francisco’s intentions. A more reasonable continuation would be something like this:}
( 9…Bg7 10.d6 e6 11.Nc7+ Nxc7 12.dxc7 Qd7 13.Rd1 Nd5 )

10.O-O-O {?!} {An inaccuracy. When Francisco showed me this game, I suggested Nd6! which looks to be crushing.}

e6 {Opening up the e-file makes no sense for black. A better move was, obviously, Bg7.}

11.dxe6 {Too many slow pawn moves have left the black King stranded in the middle of the board with no where to hide.}

Bxe6 {Black is finally getting pieces developed but it is too late.}

12.Nd6+ {!} {Francisco’s knight says, “Hola, mi amigo,” to the helpless king.}

Francisco's knight says, "Hola, mi amigo," to the helpless king.

Francisco’s knight says, “Hola, mi amigo,” to the helpless king.

Bxd6 13.Rxd6 {Now the rook says, “Hola,” to the queen.}

Qa5 14.Rxe6+ {!} {The rook may be worth more, but king safety is more important than material gains.}

fxe6 15.Qxe6+ {Francisco and Juan saw the impending mate and black resigned. Had play continued it would have looked something like this:}
Kd8 16.Qxf6+ Kc8 17.Qe6+ Kd8 18.Bb5 Qd2+ 19.Nxd2 Nb8 20.Qd6+
Nd7 21.Qxd7# *


The final position before black resigned.

The final position before black resigned.


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

Chess Disappears from Market Street

June 18, 2010

Chess on Market Street in San Francisco.

Many large cities have a special place for chess enthusiasts to play outdoors. For example in Boston chess players play at Harvard Square. New Yorkers can always find a good chess game at Washington Square Park. For San Francisco, we used to play on Market Street near the Bart Station. Sadly, this San Francisco claim to fame has been shut down by the city. Please see “An Open Letter to Gavin Newsom” for my response to this recent tragedy. Below is a blitz chess game I played against Sam on Market Street in San Francisco.  

[Event “Market Street Chess”]
[Site “San Francisco”]
[Date “2009”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Chris Torres”]
[Black “Sam ?”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Opening “Bishop’s Opening”]
[TimeControl “5 Minutes”]

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d4 {This is a good “street chess opening.”} Nxe4?
{Black needed to play exd4.} 4. dxe5 Bc5 5. Bxf7+! {This is my method for
punishing players who play 3…Nxe4. 5. Qd5 also would have worked fine for
white.} Kf8 {If 5…Kxf7 then I would continue 6. Qd5+ Kf8 and then 7.
Qxe4.} 6. Qf3 d5?? {A terrible blunder. 6…Ng5 would have been black’s
best choice. Of course I would have continued 7. Bxg5 Qxg5 8.Bd5+} 7. Bxd5+
Nf6 {This move looks bad but is objectively best.} 8. exf6 Qxf6 9. Qxf6+
{It is good to trade while ahead.} gxf6 10. Bh6+ Ke7 11. Nf3 Bg4? {11…
Nc6 is better.} 12. Bxb7 Bxf3 13. gxf3 Nd7 14. Bxa8 Rxa8 15. Nc3 Bd4 16.
Nd5+ Kd6 17. O-O-O Kxd5 18. c3 c5 19. cxd4 cxd4 20. Be3 Rc8+ 21. Kb1 Ke6
22. Bxd4 Kf7 23. Rhg1 Rc4 24. Bxa7 Rc7 25. Be3 Ne5 26. Bf4 Ke6 27. Bxe5
fxe5 28. Rg4 Rf7 29. f4 exf4 30. Rd4 Ke5 31. Rgxf4 Rg7 32. Rde4+ Kd5 33.
Rg4 Rf7 34. Rgf4 Rg7 35. Rd4+ Ke5 36. Rfe4+ Kf5 37. f3 Rg1+ 38. Kc2 Rg2+
39. Rd2 Rg1 40. Rd5+ Kf6 41. f4 Rg2+ 42. Rd2 Rg1 43. Re5 Rg4 44. Rd6+ Kf7
45. Rf5+ Ke7 46. Rh6 Rg2+ 47. Kc3 Rg4 48. Rxh7+ Ke6 49. Re5+ Kf6 50. Rh6+
Kf7 51. f5 Rf4 52. f6 Kf8 53. Re7 *

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