Posts Tagged ‘chessmusings’

Chess Musings is Leveling UP

May 6, 2020

Dear readers,

It is with great pleasure that I am announcing a huge upgrade to this blog. For the last dozen years, has allowed me to share my great passions for writing about and teaching chess with a global audience. I’ve covered the local Northern California scholastic chess scene with the same excitement as the many World Championship Matches I wrote about. I’ve met and interviewed a ridiculous number of chess celebrities and enjoyed sharing all these experiences with my readers. But the time has come for chessmusings to level-up to a premium site. From now on, all new content will be posted at I look forward to continuing to serve the chess community and my loyal readers.


Chris Torres

#Chess Puzzle Worth Sharing 30

April 26, 2017

What is black’s best move?

Black to move.

The puzzle above appeared on the board on move 17.

[Event “SocialChess”]

[Site “Internet”]

[Date “2017.04.25”]

[Round “-“]

[White “sgshawn “]

[WhiteElo “”]

[Black “chessmusings “]

[BlackElo “”]

[Result “0-1”]
1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 d5 6.exd5 Nf6 7.Qb3 Bd6 8.Nf3 O-O 9.O-O Nbd7 10.Nbd2 Nc5 11.Qc2 b6 12.Ng5 g6 13.Nde4 Nfxe4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Re8 16.Qf3 Bb7 17.Bb5 Bxd5 18.Bf6 Bxf3 19.Bxd8 Rexd8 20.gxf3 Bc5 21.Bc6 Rab8 22.Rad1 Kg7 23.Rfe1 Rd6 24.Bd5 Rbd8 25.Re7 Rxd5 26.Rde1 Bxe7


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 *



Its Deja Vu Mr. Petroff

October 21, 2012

In French the phrase Deja Vu means “already seen.” Not only have I already posted an article on my clever new system against the Nimzowitsch Attack in the Petroff Defense, I did so in my last post. However, the real reason for a sense of Deja Vu is that I  played this game following a chess lesson for Ben Rood just has I had two days prior. What are the odds that after two successive lessons for Ben Rood I would come home and play nearly identical games in the Petroff?

Because the games are so similar, I have not added any new analysis other than the final note.

[Event “Blitz 3 and 0”]

[Site “FICS”]

[Date “2012.10.20”]

[White “veralazcano”]

[Black “chessmusings”]

[Result “0-1”]

[ECO “C42”]

[Opening “Russian Game”]

[Time “17:14”]

[Variation “Nimzowitsch Attack”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nd7 8. Bd3 Nf6 9. Qd2 Be6 10. O-O-O Bxa2 11. b3 a5 12. Kb2 a4 13. Kxa2 axb3+ 14. Kxb3 O-O 15. Ra1 c5 16. Rxa8 Qb6+ {White resigns as black has a mate in 2. Do you see it?} 0-1

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

1. d4 e5

April 27, 2011

The game below is a fun example of the dynamic Englund Gambit. While nowhere near being 100% sound, black usually gets excellent attacking chances for the pawn. Enjoy!

[Event “Englund Gambit”]
[Site “FICS”]
[Date “2011.04.27”]
[Round “blitz”]
[White “kaye”]
[Black “chessmusings”]
[Result “0-1”]

1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 Nc6 3. Nf3 Qe7 4. g3 f6 5. exf6 Nxf6 6. Bg2 d5 7. O-O Bg4 8.
b3 O-O-O 9. Bb2 h5 10. Nbd2 h4 11. c4 hxg3 12. hxg3 dxc4 13. bxc4 Ne4 14. Qc2
Nxd2 15. Nxd2 Qxe2 16. Bc3 Bc5 17. Rae1 Bxf2+ *
And white resigned.

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