Posts Tagged ‘chess championships’

National Elementary Chess Championship: Round 1 Brilliancy

May 7, 2011

Mission San Jose Elementary student Amit Sant destroyed his competition in round 1 of the 2011 USCF National Elementary Chess Championships. I see Amit play every Monday night at the Mission San Jose Elementary Chess Team and his games regularly contain the tactical bravado displayed in the game below.
   Christopher Rovinski made his first mistake on move 8 when he castled allowing Amit to play e5. Black should have played Qc7 instead. When Christopher played his tenth move he dropped his pawn on h6 and lost his king safety. Christpher’s blunder on move 13 gave Amit Sant a mate in two.

[Event “National Elementary Chess Championship”]
[Site “Dallas, Texas”]
[Date “2011.05.06”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Sant, Amit”]
[Black “Rovinski, Christopher”]
[Result “1-0”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bc4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. Qf3 h6 8. O-O
O-O 9. e5 Nh7 10. Qg3 g6 11. Bxh6 Re8 12. Bd3 f5 13. Qxg6+ Kh8 14. Qg7# 1-0


2011 Calchess Scholastic State Championships: Team Champions

April 5, 2011

Mission San Jose Elementary School has, once again, proven itself to be the best school chess team in California. At the 2011 Calchess Scholastic State Championships, MSJE took first place in the k-3 championship and the k-5 championship sections. MSJE also placed second in the k-6 championship section. For those new to the California chess scene, this means that the chess team won the state championship title in two out of three age group sections.
   Excellent job team! I look forward to celebrating your amazing accomplishments.

Mission San Jose Elementary School is located in Fremont, California. The MSJE Chess Team is run under the auspices of the Torres Chess and Music Academy. Joe Lonsdale, Richard Shorman and Chris Torres are the coaches for the MSJE Chess Team.

Come train with MSJE this summer.

2011 Calchess Scholastic State Championship: Opening Trap

April 3, 2011


[Event “Calchess Scholastic State Championship”]
[Site “Santa Clara, California”]
[Date “2011.04.03”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Canafe, Abraham”]
[Black “Li, Steven”]
[Result “0-1”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 Bg4 5. Bxc6+ bxc6 6. dxe5 dxe5 7. Qxd8+
Rxd8 8. Nxe5 Rd1# 0-1

Steven Li teaches a valuable lesson to his opponent. Steven is a fifth grader at Mission San Jose Elementary.

2011 Calchess Scolastic State Championships: Day 1

April 3, 2011

Three Northern California chess prodigies performed extremely well during the first day of the 2011 Calchess Scholastic State Championships.  Kindergartener Milind Maiti scored a perfect 5/5 and became the 2011 Calchess Kindergarten State Champion. First Grader Chenyi Zhao scored 2.5/3 in the k-3 championship. Ben Rood, another first grader, scored a perfect 3/3 on day one in the same section. I am extremely proud to have spent time training all three of these super talents.
   For more information on Milind Maiti, Chenyi Zhao and Ben Rood please see visit “On the Eve of Greatness.”

CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships: Part Three

April 19, 2010

Day two of the 2010 CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships began with a rather contentious coaches meeting. As usual, all the colorful personalities and huge egos resulted in a very heated discussion. The use of electronic devices to keep score and the ability to have unrated players play in the junior varsity sections were the most hotly debated topics. The solutions should be to allow any score keeping method that is allowed by the USCF and also allow schools to move players up from unrated categories into junior varsity sections as long as it is not done so last minute that it puts additional strain on the tournament directing staff. Sadly, coaches were unable to agree on these solutions. Based on my previous experiences at the Calchess Scholastic Chess Championships, even if there had been total agreement at the coaches meeting it would not guarantee, in any way, that whoever happens to run the next Calchess Scholastic Chess Championships would have implemented the changes.

Mission San Jose Elementary School continued to dominate the CalChess State Championships winning both the k-3 and k-5 varsity sections. Had their been a team award for kindergarden we would have also won that.  In the near future I will post detailed information on our top players performances as well as games and pictures from the CalChess State Scholastic Chess Championship.

I advised members of the CalChess board that it would benefit the Northern California scholastic chess community if we could better define and eliminate the superfluous championship events that seem to plague Northern California and water down the competition at the real CalChess Scholastic State Championships. This year there were four different state/regional championship events. I feel there should only be two, the CalChess Grade Level Championship in the fall and the CalChess State Scholastic Chess Championships in the Spring. Having the extra tournaments tends to confuse the  general public and reduces the accomplishments of the real state champions. Why do we have so many Scholastic Chess Championships anyhow? Whether it is greed, ego, or ineptness the results are the same. The CalChess Scholastic Chess Championship is smaller and our state champions accomplishments are being cheapened.

Please remember to check the Torres Chess and Music Academy;s web page for detailed information on how young chess players can attend our many camps and classes this summer. The Torres Chess and Music Academy’s web page is

World Computer Chess Championships 2008

October 3, 2008

Kasparov vs. Deep Blue

   On 9/28/2008 the 16’th World Computer Chess Championships began in Beijing, China. The IGCA has scheduled an eleven round accelerated swiss tournament format for the top  chess engines in the world to compete for the the title of World Computer Chess Champion 2008. The accelerated swiss structure strikes me as odd being that there are only ten competing chess programs.  The principle of a Swiss tournament is that each player will be pitted against another player who has done as well (or as poorly) as him or herself. The first round is seeded according to rating. Players who win receive a point, those who draw receive half a point and losers receive no points. Win, lose, or draw, all players proceed to the next round where winners are pitted against winners, losers are pitted against losers, and so on. In subsequent rounds, players face opponents with the same (or almost the same) score. No player is paired up against the same opponent twice however. This is where the organizers of the 16’th World Computer Chess Championships are going to run into trouble. With only ten competitors and eleven rounds, it will be impossible to follow a swiss format. The schedule of the chess events have been taken off the the IGCA website and I expect them to alter the pairings and tournament schedule. Obviously this should have been done before the tournament started.

   My criticism of the tournament structure aside, this event should, once again, demonstrate that computers are now playing much better chess than humans ever will. Case and point: When Viswanathan Anand faces off against Vladimir Kramnik in eleven days, it will be computer chess engines that will provide humans with the most definative analysis as to who won the championship and why. I doubt we will see any humans evaluating Rybka’s games with out the help of a chess engine.

   Speaking of Rybka… After five rounds the reigning 2007 champion is tied with Hiarcs at 4.5/5. The two leading engines have yet to play each other. Below is the cross-table and a nice game played by Rybka.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1
1 Rybka       =   1 1 1 1  
2 Hiarcs       = 1     1 1 1
3 Junior       1   =   1 = 1
4 Cluster Toga = = 0     = 1      
5 Sjeng   0         = 0 1 1
6 Shredder 0   = =     = =    
7 The Baron 0     0 = =       1
8 Jonny 0 0 0   1 =        
9 Falcon 0 0 =   0         1
10 Mobile Chess   0 0   0   0   0  
    = = = = = = = = = =


[Event “16th World Computer Chess Championship”]
[Site “Beijing, China”]
[Date “2008.09.28”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Rybka”]
[Black “The Baron”]
[Result “1-0”]

1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nc4 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.bxc3 g6 7.d4 Bg7 8.Bd3 o-o
9.o-o Nc6 10.Qf3 Re8 11.Bf4 Bd7 12.Ne3 Na5 13.Qg3 Bc6 14.h4 Be4 15.h5 Qd7 16.Rae1 Qc6
17.h6 Bxd3 18.cxd3 Bf6 19.c4 Bxd4 20.Nd5 Rxe1 21.Rxe1 Qc5 22.Re7 Nc6 23. Rxc7 Qa5 24.Qh4 Qxa2
25.Nf6 Kh8 26.Rxf7 Qa1 27.Kh2 Bxf6 28.Qxf6 Qxf6 29.Rxf6 Kg8 30.Rxd6 Rf8 31.Kg3 a5 32.Bc1 a4
33.f3 Rd8 34.Rxd8 Nxd8 35.Kf4 Kf7 36.d4 g5 37.Ke4 Ne6 38.Kd3 Kg6 39.d5 Nc5 40.Kc3 Kxh6
41.Be3 Nd7 42.Kb4 a3 43.Kxa3 Kg6 44.Bd4 Kf7 45.Ka4 Ke8 46.g4 Nf8 47.Ka5 Kd7 48.Kb6 Kc8
49.Kc5 Kc7 50.Be5 Kd7 51.Bf6 h6 52.Bg7 Ng6 53.Bxh6 Ne5 54.Bxg5 Nxf3 1-0

Can Kramnik Win With The Black Pieces? Will It Matter?

September 30, 2008
Vladimir Kramnik playing for a win.

Vladimir Kramnik playing for a win.

   Between 1989 and 2008 Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik played 51 head-to-head games under classical conditions. The results below show that Kramnik has yet to win a game as black when up against Anand. This is a remarkable statistic based on the number of match-ups these two chess players have had. Vladimir Kramnik’s win with white and draw with black strategy can hurt his tournament results but is exceptionally difficult to crack in match play. Unless he should find himself in danger of loosing the match, I would be very surprised if Kramnik changes his goal for the black pieces.

  Anand Draws Kramnik
Anand (White) – Kramnik (Black) 2 19 0
Kramnik (White) – Anand (Black) 2 22 6
Total 4 41 6

15 Days Until The World Chess Championships

September 29, 2008

Tonight we look at another brilliancy from the current World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. This game was played before Anand was World Champion and after his opponent Anatoly Karpov had lost his title to Garry Kasparov. Once again we see Anand’s desire to be adventurous in the opening by playing the off-beat line 4. e4 rather than e3. The latter would have lead to traditional Queen’s Gambit Accepted lines. On move 17. Be2 Anand starts a redeployment of his bishop which eventually joins an attack on Karpov’s king with the move 20. Bd3 and then 21. Bxh7! Anatoly Karpov’s fatal inaccuracy occurred when he played 23… Bxe5.  23…f6 would still have left Karpov with plenty of issues but is an improvement. On move 36 Karpov lost on time. 

[Event “?”]
[Site “Las Palmas,ESP”]
[Date “1996.??.??”]
[White “Anand,Viswanathan”]
[Black “Karpov,Anatoly”]
[Round “7”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “A06”]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 e6 3. c4 dxc4 4. e4 b5 5. a4
c6 6. axb5 cxb5 7. b3 Bb7 8. bxc4 Bxe4 9. cxb5
Nf6 10. Be2 Be7 11. O-O O-O 12. Nc3 Bb7 13. Ne5
a6 14. Bf3 Nd5 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Rb1 Qb6 17. Be2
axb5 18. Rxb5 Qc7 19. Bf4 Bd6 20. Bd3 Ba6 21. Bxh7+
Kxh7 22. Qh5+ Kg8 23. Rb3 Bxe5 24. Rh3 f6 25. dxe5
Qe7 26. Qh7+ Kf7 27. Rg3 Ke8 28. Rxg7 Qe6 29. exf6
Nc6 30. Ra1 Kd8 31. h4 Bb7 32. Rc1 Ba6 33. Ra1
Bb7 34. Rd1 Ba6 35. Qb1 Rxf6 36. Bg5 1-0

Vladimir Kramnik in Germany

September 27, 2008

   The upcoming World Championship Chess Match against Viswanathan Anand is not Vladimir Kramnik’s first chess match in Germany. In July of 2000 Kramnik played another high profile match in Deutschland. This time his opponent was the highly touted computer program Deep Junior. Because his opponent was a computer, Kramnik used anti-computer strategy that would not work against someone like Anand. This does not take anything away from Kramnik’s achievement in the game below. His play was nothing short of brilliant.
   Playing 2. e3, Kramnik is obviously playing a slightly inferior move to take the computer out of its opening book. Kramnik’s strategy is to eliminate any opening advantage the computer may have and then lock up the pawns to reduce the computer’s calculation advantage. Kramnik then will use the human advantage of being able to form a long term plan to set up a position that favors the human. Its amazing how coordinated Kramnik’s pieces become after 23. Bd1. His bishop, 2 rooks, queen and knight are all focused on Deep Junior’s king. In contrast, Deep Junior showed little understanding of what was happening when Kramnik played his 12, 15 and 18 move. Becuse of this lack of understanding the aspects of the advancing pawns in a closed position, Deep Junior’s pieces are caught in the wrong locations late in the game. After 25. e4 Kramnik unleashes his dark square bishop thus using all his pieces together in the same attack. The rest of the game Kramnik plays with the great accuracy that is needed to defeat a strong computer opponent.



[Event “SuperGM”]

[Site “Dortmund GER”]

[Date “2000.07.12”]

[EventDate “2000.07.07”]

[Round “5”]

[Result “1-0”]

[White “Vladimir Kramnik”]

[Black “Junior (Computer)”]

[ECO “D00”]

[WhiteElo “2770”]

[BlackElo “?”]

[PlyCount “65”]
1. d4 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 e6 4. f4 Be7 5. Nf3 c5 6. c3 O-O
7. Nbd2 Ng4 8. Qe2 c4 9. Bc2 f5 10. Rg1 Nc6 11. h3 Nf6 12. g4
Ne4 13. Qg2 g6 14. Qh2 Kh8 15. h4 Nxd2 16. Bxd2 fxg4 17. Ng5
Qe8 18. h5 gxh5 19. Rxg4 Rf6 20. Rh4 Rh6 21. O-O-O a5 22. Rh1
b5 23. Bd1 Ra7 24. Bxh5 Qf8 25. e4 Bd8 26. f5 b4 27. Bg6 Rxh4
28. Qxh4 bxc3 29. bxc3 Bf6 30. Qxh7+ Rxh7 31. Rxh7+ Kg8
32. Bf7+ Qxf7 33. Rxf7 1-0

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