Posts Tagged ‘chess lesson’

#Chess Lesson Worth Sharing: Carlsen vs. Xiangzhi 2017 FIDE World Cup

September 14, 2017

One of my favorite jazz artists, Charles Mingus once said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” In chess, it is quite common for the more confident player to add complications to the position in order to allow him/her more opportunities to prove superior skill. In general, this is a good strategy and oftentimes the resulting victories are praised by chess aficionados. Of course, another result is also quite possible.

In the 2017 FIDE World Cup match between Bu Xiangzhi and World Champion Magnus Carlsen, Magnus’ over complicated style with the white pieces was dealt a devastating blow by Bu’s straight forward approach as black. Magnus chose a slow developing line of the Giuoco Piano which included several slow pawn moves and piece redeployments. Bu Xiangzhi on the other hand played a fairly straight forward opening with only one cryptic move (9… Rab8.) The result of the game clearly demonstrated the dangers of being too fancy as Magnus’ 11. h3 was severely punished by a common bishop sacrifice and a very creative early advancement of the h-pawn.

As a fan of Magnus Carlsen this game was painful to watch. As a chess educator, this game is a golden opportunity to demonstrate important lessons. For this reason I am sharing my lesson plans on this game. Try pairing the moves with Charles Mingus’ “Music Written for Monterey.”

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 1

 

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 2

 

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 3

 

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 4

 

Carlsen – Xiangzhi page 5

 

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New Chess Project

June 4, 2015

Six-Seconds-Creative-Commons

 

Today I launched a new chess project using Medium and Vine. The concept is simple… just visit my Medium Page to improve your chess in just six seconds a day!

Carlsen vs Anand 2014 World Chess Championship: Game 7 Analysis

November 20, 2014

The best chess education available comes from attempting to grasp the work of the greatest masters. In game 7 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand, students of the game are treated to a battle between the great master of maneuvering and the great master of the fortress.

 

 

The key move of this game belongs to Viswanathan Anand. On move 31, Vishy sacrificed his bishop to eliminate the threat of Carlsen’s passed pawns. Magnus, who was left with an extra knight, tried every trick in the book but was unable to break Anand’s super fortress.

 

[Event “FIDE World Chess Championship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.17”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ RUY LOPEZ. BERLIN def.,C67]}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bb5 Nf6

4.O-O {For 4. d3, see Game 2 from the Carlsen-Anand World Championship Match of 2014 or Game 6 and Game 7 from their 2013 World Championship Match.}

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen castles on move 4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen castles on move 4.

 

4… Nxe4

5.d4 Nd6 {5… Be7 was Lasker’s favorite:}
( 5…Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Nc3 Nc5
11.Re1 Ne6 12.Nf5 f6 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qg6 16.c3
d6 17.Ng3 Bd7 18.Be3 Rae8 19.Qc4 Kh8 20.Rad1 c5 21.Qh4 Bc6 22.Qb4
{1/2-1/2, Mason James (ENG) – Lasker Emanuel (GER), London 1892 Match})

6.Bxc6 dxc6 {It is best for black to take back with the queen’s pawn to open up lines for his pieces.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 6... dxc6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 6… dxc6.

7.dxe5 Nf5

8.Qxd8+ Kxd8

9.h3 {Of course, Nc3 is also very playable as demonstrated by Tal:}
( 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.Ne2 Be7 11.Re1 Nh4 12.Ng5 Ng6 13.Ng3 h6 14.Nf3
c5 15.h3 h5 16.Ne4 Be6 17.Nfg5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 b6 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Rd3
Rd8 21.Bf6 Rxd3 22.Bxg7 Rd4 23.Bxh8 h4 24.Bf6 Ng6 25.f3 Kd7 26.Kf2
Kc6 27.Ke3 Ra4 28.a3 Rd4 29.Re2 Rd1 30.Nc3 Rg1 31.Kf2 Rh1 32.Rd2
Bf5 33.Ne2 Ra1 34.Ke3 a5 35.Nf4 c4 36.Nxg6 fxg6 37.c3 Bd3 38.Bxh4
Kd5 39.Kf4 b5 40.Bd8 Kc6 41.e6 Re1 42.e7 Kd7 43.b4 {1-0, Tal Mikhail N (LAT) 2660 – Shamkovich Leonid (USA) 2540 , Dubna 1973 It})

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9. h3.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 9. h3.

 

 

9… Ke8 {For 9… Bd7, see Game 4 from the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013.}

10.Nc3 h5

11.Bf4 ( 11.Bg5 Be6 12.b3 Be7 13.Rad1 h4
14.Rfe1 Rd8 15.Rxd8+ Kxd8 16.Ne4 b6 17.Bf4 Kc8 18.Neg5 Bxg5 19.Bxg5
Bd5 20.Nh2 c5 21.Rd1 Bc6 22.c3 a5 23.Ng4 Bd7 24.f3 a4 25.Kf2
{1/2-1/2, Aronian Levon (ARM) 2805 – Kramnik Vladimir (RUS) 2801 , Zuerich 4/25/2012 Match})

11… Be7

12.Rad1 ( 12.Ne4 Nh4 13.Nxh4 Bxh4 14.Ng5 Bf5 15.c3 Bxg5
16.Bxg5 Kd7 17.Rad1+ Kc8 18.Rd2 b6 19.Rfd1 Kb7 20.Rd8 Raxd8 21.Rxd8
Rxd8 22.Bxd8 Bg6 {1/2-1/2, Bacrot Etienne (FRA) 2721 – Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS) 2760 , Dortmund 7/ 4/2009 It (cat.20)})

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 12. Rad1.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 12. Rad1.

 

 

12… Be6

13.Ng5 Rh6

14.g3 ( 14.Nxe6 Rxe6 15.Rfe1 Rd8 16.Rxd8+ Kxd8
17.Ne4 c5 18.Ng5 Bxg5 19.Bxg5+ Kd7 20.c3 Kc6 21.Kh2 Nd6 22.f4
f6 23.Bh4 fxe5 24.fxe5 Nc4 25.b3 Nb6 26.Kg3 c4 27.Re4 cxb3 28.axb3
g6 29.Kf4 Nd5+ 30.Kg5 b5 31.c4 bxc4 32.Rxc4+ Kd7 33.Kh6 Ne3 {…1-0, Dominguez Lenier (CUB) 2734 – Alekseev Evgeny (RUS) 2683 , St. Petersburg 10/ 7/2012 Cup St. Petersburg (active)})

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14. g3.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 14. g3.

 

 

14… Bxg5

15.Bxg5 Rg6

16.h4 ( 16.Bf4 Nh4 17.Kh1 Nf3 18.Kg2 Nh4+ 19.Kh1 Nf3 20.Kg2 {1/2-1/2, Grischuk Alexander (RUS) 2757 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2817 , Monaco 3/15/2011 It “Amber” (blindfold)})

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16. h4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 16. h4.

 

 

16… f6

17.exf6 gxf6

18.Bf4 Nxh4

19.f3 Rd8 ( 19…Rg7 20.Ne4 Kf7
21.Kf2 Nxf3 22.Kxf3 Bg4+ 23.Kf2 Bxd1 24.Rxd1 Kg6 25.Nc5 Re7 26.Kf3
Rae8 27.Bd2 Kf7 28.Nd3 b6 29.Re1 Rxe1 30.Bxe1 c5 31.Bc3 Rh8 32.Be1
Re8 33.b3 c6 34.Bf2 Rd8 35.Be3 Rh8 36.Bf2 Rd8 37.a4 Rd7 38.Be3
Rd8 39.Nf4 {…0-1, Efimenko Zahar (UKR) 2703 – Bacrot Etienne (FRA) 2705 , Poikovsky 10/13/2011 It (cat.19)})

 

Position after Anand plays 19... Rd8.

Position after Anand plays 19… Rd8.

 

 

20.Kf2 ( 20.Rxd8+ Kxd8 21.Kf2 Nf5 22.Rh1 Ng7 23.Bd2 Bf5 24.Nd1
Bxc2 25.Ne3 Bd3 26.Ng2 Ne6 27.Rxh5 Rg7 28.Bc3 Ke7 29.Rh6 Rf7
30.g4 Bb1 31.a3 f5 32.g5 Nxg5 33.Nf4 Ke8 34.Rg6 Nh7 35.Rg8+ Rf8
36.Rg7 Rf7 {1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2817 – Nakamura Hikaru (USA) 2753 , Sao Paulo 10/ 7/2011 It (cat.20)})

20… Rxd1 {I am sure that Magnus Carlsen and especially Viswanathan Anand have studied this line as it is a major possibility stemming from the above Anand-Nakamura game.}

21.Nxd1 {White shouldn’t recapture with the rook or else:}
( 21.Rxd1 {?} Nxf3 22.Kxf3 Bg4+ )

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21. Nxd1.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 21. Nxd1.

 

 

21… Nf5

22.Rh1 Bxa2 {I’d be surprised if this was not all part of Anand and Carlsen’s preparation.}
23.Rxh5 Be6 24.g4 Nd6 25.Rh7 Nf7 {The first original move of this game is an improvement over:
{ 25… f5 26. g5 Nf7 27. Rh5 Rg8 28. Kg3 Rh8 29. Rxh8+ Nxh8 30. Bxc7 Ng6 31.
Nc3 Kd7 32. Bb8 a5 33. Na4 Kc8 34. Bf4 b5 35. Nc5 Ba2 36. c3 a4 37.Bd6 Bd5 38.
f4 Kd8 39. Kf2 Nh4 40. Ke3 Ke8 41. Nd3 Be4 42. Nf2 Bd5 43. Ba3 Kf7 44. Kd4 Ke6
45. Nd3 Ng6 46. Nc5+ Kf7 47. Na6 Nxf4 48. Ke5 Nd3+ 49. Kxf5 c5 50. g6+ Kg8 51.
Nxc5 Nxc5 52. Bxc5 1/2-1/2, Giri, Anish 2768 – Radjabov, Teimour 2726, Tashkent UZB 2014.10.20}
26.Ne3 Kd8 {Anand must defend the pawn on c7 from Carlsen’s bishop.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 26... Kd8.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 26… Kd8.

 

27.Nf5 c5 {The first move of the game that is not a computer suggestion. Houdini showed
27… a6 as black’s number one choice. Obviously not 27… Bxf5 because:}
( 27…Bxf5 28.gxf5 {just loses for black.} )

28.Ng3 {Carlsen is threatening to move his knight to h5 where it can attack Anand’s isolated pawn.}

28… Ne5 {Anand’s knight improves but not without presenting Carlsen with two good moves (Bxe5 or Rh8+.)}

29.Rh8+ {Carlsen’s other plan would have been to capture Anand’s knight straight away:}
( 29.Bxe5 fxe5 30.Rh8+ Rg8 31.Rh5 Rf8 32.Ke3 Bd5 33.Ne4 Bxe4
34.Kxe4 Rf4+ 35.Ke3 Rb4 36.b3 c4 37.Rxe5 cxb3 38.cxb3 Rxb3+ 39.Kf4
Rd3 40.g5 {and Carlsen’s advanced passed pawns are quite dangerous.} )

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 29. Rh8+.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 29. Rh8+.

 

29… Rg8 {Vishy would like to trade as Carlsen’s rook has been a monster.}

30.Bxe5 {The move order is different but the result is the same as in the notes after move 29.}

30… fxe5

31.Rh5 Bxg4 {!} {This has nothing to do with calculation and everything to do with the instincts of one of the greatest chess masters ever!}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 31... Bxg4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 31… Bxg4.

 

32.fxg4 Rxg4

33.Rxe5 b6 {Anand wisely defends a pawn with a pawn rather than relegating his last piece to its defence.}

34.Ne4 Rh4 {Anand wants his rook free to defend the pawns from any rank and that means distancing it from white’s pieces.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 34... Rh4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 34… Rh4.

 

35.Ke2 Rh6

36.b3 Kd7

37.Kd2 Kc6 {Anand is setting up a fortress against white’s offensive. Vishy has proven many times over that he is likely the world’s best defender in positions requiring a fortress strategy.}

38.Nc3 a6 {There will be much debate as to whether Anand’s fortress can withstand perfect play from white.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 38... a6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 38… a6.

 

39.Re4 Rh2+ {The rook can always move back to h6 and defend.}

40.Kc1 Rh1+

41.Kb2 Rh6

42.Nd1 Rg6 {Anand just needs to hold his present formation and not trade rooks. If the rooks leave the board, Carlsen will likely win.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 42... Rg6.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 42… Rg6.

 

43.Ne3 {So we have a great master of maneuvering vs a great master of the fortress!}

43… Rh6

44.Re7 Rh2 {The rook can dance a little but the pawns should not be moved unless necessary because once a pawn moves forward, it is a permanent commitment.}

45.Re6+ Kb7

46.Kc3 Rh4

47.Kb2 Rh2

48.Nd5 Rd2 {The faithful rook defends its master when the knight gets to close for comfort.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 42... Rd2.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 42… Rd2.

 

49.Nf6 Rf2

50.Kc3 Rf4

51.Ne4 Rh4

52.Nf2 Rh2

53.Rf6 Rh7

54.Nd3 Rh3

55.Kd2 {Carlsen has made no progress against Anand’s fortress.}

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 55. Kd2.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 55. Kd2.

 

55… Rh2+

56.Rf2 Rh4

57.c4 {Magnus must add a pawn into the mix if he plans on breaching Anand’s defenses.}

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 57. c4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 57. c4.

 

57… Rh3

58.Kc2 Rh7

59.Nb2 Rh5

60.Re2 Rg5 {Anand’s rook is currently guarding a strong pawn on c5 because he plans to
start moving pawns forward which will make c5 a target.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 60... Rg5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 60… Rg5.

 

 

61.Nd1 {Magnus wants his knight to get to d5.}

61… b5 {Again, Anand is trusting his instincts and changing his pawn formation.}

62.Nc3 c6 {Anand takes d5 from the knight.}

63.Ne4 Rh5

64.Nf6 Rg5 {Anand’s rook refuses to be distracted by Carlsen’s knight and continues to guard the weak pawn on c5.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 64... Rg5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 64… Rg5.

 

65.Re7+ Kb6

66.Nd7+ Ka5

67.Re4 {Moves such as Re5 won’t force the exchange of rooks because Carlsen’s king is an easy target:}
( 67.Re5 Rg2+ 68.Kd3 Rg3+ 69.Kd2 Rg2+ {and black is fine.} )

 

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 67. Re4.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 67. Re4.

 

67… Rg2+

68.Kc1 Rg1+

69.Kd2 Rg2+

70.Ke1 bxc4 {With white’s king far away, now is the perfect time for Anand to play this exchange and force this game into a draw.}

71.Rxc4 ( 71.bxc4 Kb4 72.Ne5 Ra2 73.Re3 a5 74.Kd1 a4 75.Kc1 Rg2
76.Nd3+ Kxc4 77.Ne1 Rf2 78.Nc2 Rg2 79.Kb2 Rd2 {Also leads to a draw.} )

71.. Rg3 {It is no accident that Anand always seems to have his rook on the perfect rank and safely away from trouble.}

 

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 71... Rg3.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 71… Rg3.

 

72.Nxc5 Kb5

73.Rc2 a5

74.Kf2 Rh3

75.Rc1 Kb4 {The pawn on b3 is Carlsen’s last hope for a victory and it is doomed.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 75... Kb4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 75… Kb4.

 

76.Ke2 Rc3

77.Nd3+ {Carlsen escapes trading rooks but will lose his pawn on b3.}

77… Kxb3

78.Ra1 {At this point, Carlsen’s only hope is for Anand to blunder his rook. But his name is Magnus and he will play on!}

 

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 78. Ra1.

The position after Magnus Carlsen plays 78. Ra1.

 

78… Kc4

79.Nf2 Kb5

80.Rb1+ Kc4 {The game is a draw unless an epic blunder occurs. Many chess players who are not world champions questioned Carlsen’s motives for playing on. Not giving up the fight is a huge part of what makes Magnus “Magnus!” and why he has been able to achieve so much in his young career. Perhaps rather than questioning Magnus Carlsen’s tenacity at the chess board, we should be enjoying it.}

 

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 80... Kc4.

The position after Viswanathan Anand plays 80… Kc4.

 

81.Ne4 Ra3

82.Nd2+ Kd5

83.Rh1 a4

84.Rh5+ Kd4

85.Rh4+ Kc5

86.Kd1 Kb5

87.Kc2 Rg3

88.Ne4 Rg2+

89.Kd3 a3

90.Nc3+ Kb6

91.Ra4 a2

92.Nxa2 Rg3+

93.Kc2 Rg2+

94.Kb3 Rg3+

95.Nc3 Rh3

96.Rb4+ Kc7

97.Rg4 Rh7

98.Kc4 Rf7

99.Rg5 Kb6

 

slide_58

 

100.Na4+ Kc7

101.Kc5 Kd7

102.Kb6 Rf1

103.Nc5+ Ke7

104.Kxc6 Rd1

105.Rg6 Kf7

106.Rh6 Rg1

107.Kd5 Rg5+

108.Kd4 Rg6

109.Rh1 Rg2

110.Ne4 Ra2

 

f9f885f8-2092-4552-a37d-031e4abfa4c7

 

111.Rf1+ Ke7

112.Nc3 Rh2

113.Nd5+ Kd6

114.Rf6+ Kd7

115.Nf4 Rh1

116.Rg6 Rd1+

117.Nd3 Ke7

118.Ra6 Kd7

119.Ke4 Ke7

120.Rc6 Kd7

121.Rc1 Rxc1

122.Nxc1 1/2-1/2 

 

Finally a draw by  Insufficient Material (http://www.leninimports.com/lovis_corinth.html)

With only one old knight left, this game is finally a draw by insufficient material (http://www.leninimports.com/lovis_corinth.html)

 

If you thought this lessons was useful, please check out my analysis of:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

 

and the official site for the 2014 Fide World Chess Championship Match in Sochi, Russia.

Happy Halloween (Gambit)

October 31, 2014
scaryqueen
There is a unique horror the players with the black pieces feel when the Four Knights Opening takes a dark turn into the Halloween Gambit. As white, remember to make black’s Knights run… Should black do something unexpected, just grin like it is all part of your Halloween fun!

Here is an example from one of my legendary Halloween Gambit Simuls to get you started:
[Event “Halloween Gambit Simul”]
[Site “Cupertino, California”]
[Date “2008.10.31”]
[Round “”]
[White “Torres, Chris”]
[Black “Student”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C47”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]{[ Halloween Gambit]}

1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Nc3 Nf6
4.Nxe5
{Welcome to the Halloween Gambit! “Where there is no imagination there is no horror.” ~Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.}
Welcome to the Halloween Gambit!

Welcome to the Halloween Gambit!

Nxe5 5.d4{After sacrificing his horse, White gains unimaginable powers.}
Nc6 {White should not let their heart be troubled by the game below. I know some
Halloween secrets that give white plenty of treats in the Ng6 lines!}
( 5…Ng6 6.e5 Bb4 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.Qe2+ Qe7 9.Be3 d5 10.h4 Nxh4
11.g4 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 g5 13.Rb1 h6 14.c4 Qe4 15.Rxh4 gxh4 16.f3
Qe7 17.cxd5 h5 18.g5 b6 19.Kd2 Bb7 20.c4 O-O-O 21.Rb3 Qd7 22.Qh2
Qa4 23.Kc1 Kb8 24.Bf4 Rd7 25.Be5 {…0-1, Goldsmith Alan (AUS) 2247 – Tao Trevor (AUS) 2390 , Adelaide 2002 It (open)})
6.d5 Ne5 {Again, I have some tricks up my sleave for Black’s other ideas as well.}
( 6…Bb4 7.dxc6 Nxe4 8.Qd4 Qe7 9.Be3 f5 10.cxd7+ Bxd7 11.Be2
Bc5 12.Bh5+ Kd8 13.Qd3 Bxe3 14.Qxe3 Nxc3 15.Qxe7+ Kxe7 16.bxc3
Bc6 17.O-O-O g6 18.Rhe1+ Kf6 19.Be2 Bxg2 20.Rd7 Rhe8 21.Rxh7
Rad8 22.Rd1 Rh8 23.Rxc7 Rxd1+ 24.Kxd1 Bc6 25.Ke1 Rxh2 26.Ba6
{…0-1, Sigfusson Sigurdur (ISL) 2320 – Bellin Robert (ENG) 2400 , Reykjavik 4/ 6/2007 It (cat.3)})
7.f4 {Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen.Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween!”~Dexter Kozen}
Position after 7. f4

Position after 7. f4

Neg4 {This is where I laughed an evil laugh and exclaimed that, “It is all part of my master plan!”}
8.e5 {Bring forth the pawns and the nuts.Tonight All-Hallows’ Spectre struts. Along the moonlit way.}
Bc5 {The Black Bishop and Dark Knight make merry on this last of dear October’s days.}
9.exf6 {“Tis now the very witching time of night…”~ William Shakespeare}
Position after 9. exf6

Position after 9. exf6

Bf2+ {The Black Bishop informs the White King that it is indeed time to come out and play.}

10.Ke2 {So much for king safety!}
Bb6 {“Double, double toil and trouble…”}
11.fxg7 Rg8
12.d6 {The best-known method of slaying the Vampire is to drive a wooden stake through its heart.}
Position after 12. d6

Position after 12. d6

Qh4 {?} {Wasting time on Halloween is not a good plan. Rxg7 was quite superior.}
13.g3 {Be gone evil one!!!}
Qf6 14.Kf3 {Perhaps not the best but impressively ambitious.}
Position after 14. Kf3

Position after 14. Kf3

Rxg7

15.Bh3 h5 {Now who’s king is in more danger?}
16.Re1+ {Black’s king is now existing only in a nightmare.}
Position after 16. Re1+

Position after 16. Re1+

Kd8

17.Ne4 Qg6 18.c4{If dxc7+ is natural, then c4 is supernatural!}
f5 {Precisely what white was expecting.}
19.Ng5 Rg8 {?} {Black does not have time to relocate the rook to e8. Better was Bc5.}
20.Qd5 {Trick or Threats!}
20. Qd5 Trick or Threats!

20. Qd5 Trick or Threats!

Rf8
21.dxc7+
Position after 21. dxc7+

Position after 21. dxc7+

Kxc7 {If Bxc7, then:} ( 21…Bxc7 22.Ne6+ Qxe6 23.Rxe6 )
22.c5 {Each monster is forced to dance.}
Ba5 23.Ne6+ {And now my knight exclaims, “Trick or Treat.”}
dxe6 {And it is the bewildered Black King who is finally tricked on Halloween.}
24.Qd6# {Happy Halloween.} 1-0
24. Qd6# Happy Halloween (Gambit)

24. Qd6# Happy Halloween (Gambit)

Attacking Chess: Move by Move

June 18, 2014

Obviously, the ultimate goal in chess is a checkmate and therefor it stands to reason that good technique for attacking an opponent’s king  is one the most important skills a young chess player should study. However, because understanding the tactics and strategies of attacking is also a necessary skill for a successful defensive chess player, studying attacking masterpieces may also save a young player from unnecessary losses. As much as possible, I try to teach my students proper attacking techniques as well as encourage them to use openings that result in  sharp positions.

In the game below, I examine an attacking masterpiece played by Susan Polgar at the age of eight. In the style of Irving Chernev’s Logical Chess: Move by Move,” I comment on every move that was played in the game. I hope that readers of this blog will take some extra time to help a younger chess player understand some of the pure attacking motifs employed by Susan Polgar at the start of her chess career. Also, please consider signing your child up for the Fremont Summer Chess Camp at Mission San Jose Elementary School to expose them to more lessons like this one and to allow your child to actually meet GM Susan Polgar in person.

 

[Site “Budapest (Hungary)”]
[Date “1977”]
[White “Polgar Zsuzsa (Susan)”]
[Black “Sirko”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B21”]
[Opening “Sicilian”]
[Variation “Smith-Morra, 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 a6”]

1. e4

An eight year old Susan Polgar preferred the dynamic possibilities of playing "1. e4." Several years prior to this game, Bobby Fischer declared the move, "best by test" on one of his score sheets.

An eight year old Susan Polgar preferred the dynamic possibilities of playing “1. e4.” Several years prior to this game, Bobby Fischer declared the move, “best by test” on one of his score sheets.

1… c5

Remuneratively for the authors of opening books, the Sicilian Defense is a popular reply to "1. e4" which requires extensive preparation.

Remuneratively for the authors of opening books, the Sicilian Defense is a popular reply to “1. e4” which requires extensive preparation.

2. d4

Rather than play into her opponent's opening preparation, Susan Polgar challenges the "c5" pawn on move two. At age eight Susan Polgar, is already a predator at the chess board.

Rather than play into her opponent’s opening preparation, Susan Polgar challenges the “c5” pawn on move two. At age eight, Susan Polgar is already a predator at the chess board.

2…cxd4

"What do you do after 2. d4 in the Sicilian?" You take it, of course!

“What do you do after 2. d4 in the Sicilian?” You take it, of course!

3. c3

The Smith-Morra Gambit is a delightfully hostile way to crush black's Sicilian dreams.

The Smith-Morra Gambit is a delightfully hostile way to crush black’s Sicilian dreams.

3… dxc3

Again, black's best plan is to simply take the pawn offering.

Again, black’s best plan is to simply take the pawn offering.

4. Nxc3

For the price of a pawn, Susan Polgar is leading in time, space and force.

For the price of a pawn, Susan Polgar is leading in time, space and force.

4… Nc6

Black wisely develops a piece.

Black wisely develops a piece.

5. Bc4

Susan Polgar develops her bishop to where it is attacking the "belly button."

Susan Polgar develops her bishop to where it is attacking the “belly button.”

5… e6

This is a good choice for black as it blocks white's bishop from the weak f7 square. Obviously, in "1) e4 e5" openings black does not have this luxury.

This is a good choice for black as it blocks white’s bishop from the weak f7 square. Obviously, in “1) e4 e5” openings black does not have this luxury.

6. Nf3

As a young gambiteer should, Susan Polgar keeps developing her pieces.

As a young gambiteer should, Susan Polgar keeps developing her pieces.

6… a6

This is the first sign that Susan Polgar's opponent has seen the Smith-Morra Gambit before. Decades after this game was played, IM Tim Taylor recomended this line of defence in a very well researched and popular book. Black's idea with the "Taylor System" is to simply prevent white's knight from creating problems by advancing to b5. Objectively speaking, this seems to be black's best scoring line.

This is the first sign that Susan Polgar’s opponent has seen the Smith-Morra Gambit before. Decades after this game was played, IM Tim Taylor recomended this line of defence in a very well researched and popular book. Black’s idea with the “Taylor System” is to simply prevent white’s knight from creating problems by advancing to b5. Objectively speaking, this seems to be black’s best scoring line.

7. 0-0

Susan Polgar is castled, has a three on one piece advantage and controls the center. Even when black employs the Taylor System, white has a lot to write home about.

Susan Polgar is castled, has a three on one piece advantage and controls the center. Even when black employs the Taylor System, white has a lot to write home about.

7… d6?

I don't like the idea of black playing another slow pawn move here. A better plan is to develop pieces in a way similar to this: 7...Qc7 8.Qe2 Bc5 9.Rd1 Nge7

I don’t like the idea of black playing another slow pawn move here. A better
plan is to develop pieces in a way similar to this:
7…Qc7 8.Qe2 Bc5 9.Rd1 Nge7

8. Bf4

Susan Polgar brings in another piece and now has a 4 to 1 advantage in development. Dimitrov Pavel of Bulgaria had a very nice win against a 2600 rated opponent by means of a different path.

Susan Polgar brings in another piece and now has a 4 to 1 advantage in development. Dimitrov Pavel of Bulgaria had a very nice win against a 2600 rated opponent by means of a different path.

( 8.Qe2 b5 9.Bb3 Ra7 10.Rd1 Rd7 11.Bf4 Be7 12.Rac1 Bb7 13.e5
Nh6 14.exd6 Bxd6 15.Bxd6 Rxd6 16.Ne4 Rxd1+ 17.Rxd1 Qe7 18.Nd6+
Kf8 19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.Qxe5 Bd5 21.Rc1 Qf6 22.Nf5 {1-0, Dimitrov Pavel (BUL) 2350 – Parligras Mircea (ROM) 2601 , Varna 6/19/2010 It (open)} )

8… Be7

The more aggressive 8...b5 was good enough for a draw in Kim Yap - Marat Dzhumaev, 2012.

The more aggressive 8…b5 was good enough for a draw in Kim Yap – Marat Dzhumaev, 2012.

( 8…b5 9.Bb3 Bb7 10.Qe2 Nge7 11.Rad1 Ng6 12.Bg3 Qc7 13.Rd2
Be7 14.Rfd1 Rd8 15.Kh1 O-O 16.Nd4 Nxd4 17.Rxd4 Ne5 18.R4d2 Nc6
19.a3 Rfe8 20.h3 h6 21.Bf4 Bf8 22.Qg4 Ne5 23.Qg3 Kh8 24.Rd4 g5
25.Be3 Ng6 26.a4 Bc6 27.axb5 axb5 28.f3 {
…1/2-1/2, Yap Kim Steven (PHI) 2405 – Dzhumaev Marat (UZB) 2481 , Bandar
Seri Begawan 4/10/2012 Memorial F.Campomanes (open)} )

9. Qe2

Pavel Anisimov elected to play "9. a4" in order to stop Vladimir Shipov from playing b5 in a strong victory for white.

Pavel Anisimov elected to play “9. a4” in order to stop Vladimir Shipov from playing b5 in a strong victory for white.

( 9.a4 Nf6 10.Qe2 e5 11.Bg5 Bg4 12.Qe3 h6 13.Bh4 O-O 14.h3 Bh5
15.g4 Bg6 16.Bg3 Nb4 17.Rac1 Rc8 18.b3 Rc5 19.Rfd1 Qc7 20.Nh4
Kh7 21.Nf5 Rc8 22.Nxe7 Qxe7 23.f3 Ne8 24.Bf2 f6 25.Qd2 R5c7 26.Bb6
Rd7 27.Nd5 Nxd5 28.Bxd5 Rxc1 {…1-0, Anisimov Pavel (RUS) 2518 – Shipov Vladimir, Samara 4/24/2009 Ch City} )

9… Na5?

If black wants to move white's bishop on this move, I prefer pawn to b5 as it doesn't place black's knight on the rim. However, black has no shortage of other ideas to try.

If black wants to move white’s bishop on this move, I prefer pawn to b5 as it doesn’t place black’s knight on the rim. However, black has no shortage of other ideas to try.

( 9…e5 10.Be3 Nf6 11.Rfd1 Bg4 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 O-O 14.Rac1
Rc8 15.Bd5 Qd7 16.g4 h6 17.Kh1 b5 18.Rg1 Nd4 19.Bxd4 exd4 20.g5
hxg5 21.Rxg5 Nxd5 22.Rxg7+ Kxg7 23.Qh5 Nf4 24.Rg1+ Ng6 {0-1, Pedersen Nicolai Vesterbaek (DEN) 2460 – Jakobsen Peter (DEN) 2330 , Aarhus 1991 It} )

( 9…Nf6 10.Rfd1 Qc7 11.b4 O-O 12.Qe3 Ng4 13.Qd2 Nxb4 14.Bb3
e5 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.Bxd5 exf4 17.Qxf4 Ne5 18.Bb3 Nxf3+ 19.Qxf3
Be6 20.Rac1 Qb8 21.Bc2 b5 22.e5 dxe5 23.Qh5 g6 24.Qh6 Rd8 25.Re1
Qb6 26.Rxe5 Rac8 27.Ree1 Bb4 28.Re4 Rxc2 29.h3 {…0-1, Bezivin Joelle – Pile Richard (FRA) 2335 , Montigny 1999 It (open)} )

( 9…Qc7 10.Rfd1 Nf6 11.Rac1 O-O 12.b4 e5 13.Be3 Qb8 14.a3
h6 15.Bb6 Bd8 16.Bxd8 Rxd8 17.Qa2 Rf8 18.h3 b5 19.Bd5 Bb7 20.Qd2
Nd8 21.Qe3 Nxd5 22.Nxd5 Bxd5 23.Rxd5 f6 24.Nh4 Nf7 25.Nf5 Kh7
26.Rcd1 Qc7 27.Qg3 Rg8 28.Nxd6 Nxd6 29.Rxd6 {…1/2-1/2, Daloz Jean-Michel (FRA) 2143 – Etchegaray Patrice (FRA) 2419 , Urcuit 1989 It (open)} )

10. Bd3

The young Susan Polgar already knows not to trade her pieces when planning an attack.

The young Susan Polgar already knows not to trade her pieces when planning an attack.

10… Nf6

This seemingly natural developing move is not as safe as it looks because of "11. e5 dxe5 and then 12. Nxe5." If black's a5 knight was not on the rim, it could defend e5 from a white knight

This seemingly natural developing move is not as safe as it looks because of “11. e5 dxe5 and then 12. Nxe5.” If black’s a5 knight was not on the rim, it could defend e5 from a white knight.

11. Rfd1

Susan Polgar has a rook in the same file as her opponent's queen and a queen in the same file as her opponent's king. Black needs to be very careful to avoid white's tactics.

Susan Polgar has a rook in the same file as her opponent’s queen and a queen in the same file as her opponent’s king. Black needs to be very careful to avoid white’s tactics.

11… e5

Black moves a pawn into the center and seemingly assures that Susan Polgar's white bishop remains blocked by her own pawn on e4.

Black moves a pawn into the center and seemingly assures that Susan Polgar’s white bishop remains blocked by her own pawn on e4.

12. Bg5

Now if black castles, Susan Polgar can play Ra-c1 and thus have all her pieces "in the game."

Now if black castles, Susan Polgar can play Ra-c1 and thus have all her pieces “in the game.”

12… Be6?

Black really should have castled here. Developing the queenside bishop could have waited a move or two.

Black really should have castled here. Developing the queenside bishop could have waited a move or two.

13. Nxe5!

Even at just eight years old, a passion for sacrifices is part of Susan's nature.

Even at just eight years old, a passion for sacrifices is part of Susan’s nature.

13… dxe5

Against an eight year old or an eighty year old, black is correct in taking the knight.

Against an eight year old or an eighty year old, black is correct in taking the knight.

14. Bxf6!

Susan Polgar sets up a neat combination here. Do you see it?

Susan Polgar sets up a neat combination here. Do you see it?

14… 0-0?

Black chooses not to capture back in order to avoid Susan playing Bb5+ and the Rxd8. However, losing the queen for reasonable compensationg seems like the best idea. ( 14...Bxf6 15.Bb5+ axb5 16.Rxd8+ Rxd8 17.Qxb5+ Nc6 18.Qxb7 Nd4) Despite exchanging allowing Susan Polgar to exchange her rook for black's queen, black has a very playable position.

Black chooses not to capture back in order to avoid Susan playing Bb5+ and the
Rxd8. However, losing the queen for reasonable compensationg seems like the best idea.
( 14…Bxf6 15.Bb5+ axb5 16.Rxd8+ Rxd8 17.Qxb5+ Nc6 18.Qxb7 Nd4)
Despite allowing Susan Polgar to exchange her rook for black’s queen, black has a very playable position.

15. Bxe5

Susan Polgar is clearly winning. Now we get to see how good her technique was at age eight.

Susan Polgar is clearly winning. Now we get to see how good her technique was at age eight.

15… Bf6

I believe black's best plan would have been to attack rather than defend. ( 15...Bc5 16.Rac1 Nc6 17.Bf4 )

I believe black’s best plan would have been to attack rather than defend.
( 15…Bc5 16.Rac1 Nc6 17.Bf4 )

16. Bxf6

If Susan Polgar had wanted to win with a better endgame she could have played this instead: ( 16.Bxa6 Qb6 17.Bxf6 Qxa6 18.Qxa6 Rxa6 19.Bh4 )

If Susan Polgar had wanted to win with a better endgame she could have played this instead:
( 16.Bxa6 Qb6 17.Bxf6 Qxa6 18.Qxa6 Rxa6 19.Bh4)

16… Qxf6

A forced recapture which exposes black's queen to white's dagger.

A forced recapture which exposes black’s queen to white’s dagger.

17. e5

Susan Polgar unlocks the b1-h7 diagonal for her bishop while attacking her opponent's queen and gaining space.

Susan Polgar unlocks the b1-h7 diagonal for her bishop while attacking her opponent’s queen and gaining space.

17… Qg5

Black places the queen in the same file as Susan Polgar's king to create some tactical possibilities.

Black places the queen in the same file as Susan Polgar’s king to create some tactical possibilities.

18. Qe4

Susan Polgar's queen moves to a very active square while threatening checkmate on h7.

Susan Polgar’s queen moves to a very active square while threatening checkmate on h7.

18… Qh6

( 18...g6 19.f4 Qe7) Is another way for black to avoid being checkmated.

( 18…g6 19.f4 Qe7) Is another way for black to avoid being checkmated.

19. Rac1

All of Susan Polgar's pieces are in the game and placed well.

All of Susan Polgar’s pieces are in the game and placed well.

19… Nc6

The Black Knight returns from its voyage to the edge of the world.

The Black Knight returns from its voyage to the edge of the world.

20. Bb1!

It's absolutely incredible that an eight year old discovers a brilliant "backwards" move!

It’s absolutely incredible that an eight year old discovers a brilliant “backwards” move!

20… Rfd8

Black decides to contest Susan Polgar's control of the open d-file.

Black decides to contest Susan Polgar’s control of the open d-file.

21. Ne2!

This reverse knight move is the only path toward position the knight closer to her opponent's king. Even at age eight, we see glimpses of brilliant maneuvering from Susan Polgar.

This reverse knight move is the only path toward position the knight closer to her opponent’s king. Even at age eight, we see glimpses of brilliant maneuvering from Susan Polgar.

21… Rac8?

Now all the black pieces are in the game. However, this underestimates the strength of Susan Polgar's plan. A better idea would have been: ( 21...g6 22.Nf4 ( 22.f4 Bg4 23.Bd3 Qh4 ) Rxd1+ 23.Rxd1 Bg4 )

Now all the black pieces are in the game. However, this underestimates the
strength of Susan Polgar’s plan. A better idea would have been:
( 21…g6 22.Nf4 ( 22.f4 Bg4 23.Bd3 Qh4 ) Rxd1+ 23.Rxd1 Bg4 )

22. Nf4!

Susan Polgar's knight has now joined the party but it still is difficult to see what the eight year old has in mind.

Susan Polgar’s knight has now joined the party but it still is difficult to see what the eight year old has in mind.

22… Bg4

Black's bishop moves to g4 to avoid Nxe6 fxe6 f4 and to attack Susan Polgar's rook on d1.

Black’s bishop moves to g4 to avoid Nxe6 fxe6 f4 and to attack Susan Polgar’s rook on d1.

23. Rd6!

Susan Polgar moves her rook to attack the queen which is defending h7 from her bishop and queen battery. If black trades rooks on d6, Susan will be left with a dangerous passed pawn on d6.

Susan Polgar moves her rook to attack the queen which is defending h7 from her bishop and queen battery. If black trades rooks on d6, Susan will be left with a dangerous passed pawn on that square.

23… f6??

Finally, black crumbles in the face of Susan Polgar's unrelenting attack. Moving the pawn to f6 opens up checking possibilities for the queen on the a2-g8 diagonal.

Finally, black crumbles in the face of Susan Polgar’s unrelenting attack. Moving the pawn to f6 opens up checking possibilities for the queen on the a2-g8 diagonal.

24. Qd5+!

Black committed a crime and Susan Polgar delivers the punishment.

Black committed a crime and Susan Polgar delivers the punishment!

24… Kf8

Black's king moves further into danger in hopes that the eight year old handling the white pieces fails to capitalize on her winning chances.

Black’s king moves further into danger in hopes that the eight year old handling the white pieces fails to capitalize on her winning chances.

25. Rcxc6!

The young Susan Polgar is an unrelenting attacker.

The young Susan Polgar is an unrelenting attacker.

25… Rxd6

All roads lead to defeat for black but now Susan Polgar has a mate in 6. Can you find it?

All roads lead to defeat for black but now Susan Polgar has a mate in 6. Can you find it?

26. Qxd6+

Susan Polgar's queen takes advantage of her adversaries exposed king.

Susan Polgar’s queen takes advantage of her adversaries exposed king.

26… Ke8

It is a sad day when your king is forced to confront your opponent's queen, alone.

It is a sad day when your king is forced to confront your opponent’s queen, alone.

27. Rxc8+

( 27.e6 Rd8 28.Rc8 Qxh2+ 29.Kxh2 Rxc8 30.Qd7+ Kf8 31.Qf7#) Completes the difficult mate in 6.

( 27.e6 Rd8 28.Rc8 Qxh2+ 29.Kxh2 Rxc8 30.Qd7+
Kf8 31.Qf7#) Completes the aforementioned mate in 6.

27… Bxc8

Black does not resign because Polgar's knight is pinned to a checkmate.

Black does not resign because Polgar’s knight is pinned to a checkmate.

28. Ne2

Problem solved and Susan is easily winning. Black resigns.

Problem solved and Susan is easily winning. Black resigns.

 

*All analysis is by Chris Torres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

March’s Chess Combination of the Month

March 17, 2014

“Chess is 99% tactics” – Richard Teichmann

 

Richard Teichmann

Richard Teichmann

Richard Teichmann (24 December 1868 – 15 June 1925) was an excellent chess teacher and a powerful chess player from Germany. This month tactical shot is dedicated to him.

 

White to move and win!

White to move and win!

 

Below is the entire game. The answer to the puzzle is in bold font.

[Event “Training Game”]
[Date “2014.03.16”]
[White “Torres, Chris”]
[Black “Student”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C54”]
[Opening “Giuoco Piano”]
[Variation “Möller (Therkatz) Attack”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Nc3
Nxe4 8. O-O Bxc3 9. d5 Bf6 10. Re1 Ne7 11. Rxe4 O-O 12. Bg5 Ng6 13. Bxf6
Qxf6 14. Qc2 d6 15. Rae1 Bf5 16. Nd4 Bxe4 17. Qxe4 Rfe8 18. Qxe8+ Rxe8 19.
Rxe8+ Nf8 20. Ne6 fxe6 21. dxe6 h6 22. e7+ Kh7 23. exf8=Q Qg5 24. Bd3+ g6
25. Qh8# {Black checkmated} 1-0

 

Chris Torres’ Chess Lessons for Children

February 12, 2013

I have a new blog with free chess lessons. Please take a look at Chess Lessons for Children by Chris Torres to play through the game Alekhine vs Supico.

Useful Junk: The Jerome Gambit

January 2, 2013

Below is another interesting game where I played the Jerome Gambit against my student, Iddo Zohar. The Jerome Gambit is an unsound specialty of mine which I like to categorize as “useful junk.” Iddo Zohar is a very talented junior chess player who you will definitely here more about in future posts.

 

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. Bxf7+ {This is the Jerome Gambit.}

 

The Jerome Gambit

The Jerome Gambit

4…Kxf7

5. Nxe5+ Nxe5 {White is two pieces down but can get one back for sure.} 6.

Qh5+ Ng6 7. Qd5+ {Its better to delay the capture of the bishop for one

move.} Kf8 8. Qxc5+ d6 9. Qe3 Nf6 10. Nc3 Kf7 {Black wants to get his rook

on e8.} 11. d4 Re8 12. O-O {White is down material but controls the center

and has better king safety.} d5 13. f3 {This maintains a pawn grip on the

center and hurts the influence of the knight on f6.} c6 14. e5 Nd7

 

Position after 14...Nd7.

Position after 14…Nd7.

15. Ne4!? {15. f4 would have given white plenty of compensation for his

material disadvantage.} dxe4 16. Qb3+ Kf8 17. fxe4+ Nf6 {This was black’s

best move but it allows white to regain a piece when he chooses.} 18. Be3

Be6 19. Qxb7 Rb8 20. Qxc6 Rxb2 {I definately prefer white here. However,

the position is roughly even.} 21. exf6 gxf6? {Black needed to play Qc8.}

22. d5! {White’s superior pawn center provides the winning advantage.}

22. d5!

22. d5!

22…Bd7 23. Rxf6+ {It’s all about tactics now.} Kg7 24. Rxg6+! hxg6 25. Qc3+ Kh7

26. Qxb2 Rxe4 27. Bf2 Bf5 28. Qb3 Qh8 29. Rd1 Rg4 30. Qh3+ {White has a

winning endgame so it is time to end black’s attack and trade.} Kg8 31.

Qxh8+ Kxh8 32. d6 Rb4 33. Bxa7 Rb2? 34. Bd4+ {After this fork, black

resigns.} 1-0

To learn more on the Jerome Gambit you should visit my friend’s Jerome Gambit blog.

How to Beat Houdini at Chess

November 29, 2012

Houdini chess engine.

Below is a game I played against Houdini 3 on FICS. This version of Houdini is 64 bit running on a Intel Quad Core 2.93Ghz with 6Gigs of Ram. This was my first attempt against this program and I think I did pretty well. In fact, I believe that with an improvement or two I could have won. My apologies in advance for the sloppy pgn work. Hopefully, over the holiday break, I will put all the games on this blog into a chess viewer. In the mean time, you can view it here without my comments.

[Event “FICS rated standard game”]

[White “chessmusings”]

[Black “BlackDemon(C)”]

[WhiteElo “2161”]

[BlackElo “2649”]

[TimeControl “900+0”]

[Date “2012-11-27”]

[Time “20:42:00”]

[Result “0-1”]

1. e4 a6 {Houdini starts with rubbish. That said, I am an expert at playing this kind of “useful junk.”} 2. d4 {When your opponent does not match your first center pawn it is good to add another.} b5 3. c4 {Not intimidated by the reputation of Houdini, I start attacking.} e6 4. Nf3 Bb7 5. e5 Bxf3 {This has been played once before in Murray Chandler vs Wolfgang Schultz, Hamburg, 1980.} 6. Qxf3 Nc6 7. Be3 bxc4 {This is where the game becomes completely original.} 8. Bxc4 Nge7 9. Nc3 Rb8 10. O-O-O {White is winning in King Safety, Space, Time and Force.} Nf5 11. g4 {When you have the advantage you must attack.} Nxe3 12. fxe3 {I was very pleased with my position at this point. Now I just need to be accurate and aggressive} Bb4 13. e4 {This moves looks good because white is taking more of the center. However, I believe this to be my first mistake and it causes me problems shortly.} O-O 14. h4 {I am really in attack mode and did not see my opponent’s counter measures.} Na5 15. Qd3 {Once again this moves looks right. However, when you are playing a very strong computer perfection is necessary. I should have played Bf1.} c5 16. d5 Qc7 17. Na4 {Had I played d6 I could have saved the pawn but I am sure after black played Qb7 I would have had major king safety issues.} Qxe5 18. dxe6 {This opens the d-file for my rook and queen and could possibly cause king safety issues for black.} dxe6 19. Rhf1 Nxc4 20. Qxc4 Ba5 {Black is winning but I have a free move to do whatever I like.} 21. Rd3 {Creative, but this is objectively better:}) ( 21. Qxa6 Bd8 22. Nc3 Bxh4 23. Qd6 Qg5+ 24. Kb1 Qxg4 25. Qxc5 Rfc8 26. Qd6 Bg5 27. Rg1 Qh4 28. b4 )  Rb4 22. Qc2 Rxe4  23. Nc3 {If he takes g4 I will have one less pawn in my way during my assault on his king.} Rxg4 24. h5 {If computers had feelings he might be a little worried.}  Qxh5 {Another pawn out of my way.} 25. Rd2 {Preparing Rh2.}   Rb8  26. Rh2 Qg5+ 27. Kb1 h5  28. Ne4 Qd5 29. Rhf2 Rxe4 30. Rxf7 {Still loosing but at least I am attacking} Qe5 31. Qf2 {I believe I see a way to get at black’s king.} Re2 32. Rxg7+   Kxg7 33. Qf7+ Kh8  {And the black king survives my kamikaze attack. Still, I believe with a couple of improvements I could have been successful.} 0-1 *

 

 


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