Thursday, November 29, 2007

November Chess Round 4

Another roundup of hi-lights and observations

Grand Prix - Group A

Khedkar - Boron 0-1

I thought I (Boron) had played a blunder free game, but my illusions were shattered when I looked at it yesterday.

I was setting up the possibility of a discovered attack on the knight, but after 33. Qe8,

I didn't play the obvious 33...Nf6, which just wins the knight Don't ask me why, I must have had a hallucination. I played 33...Re7 instead. Jay replied 34. Qc6. I in turn played the howler, 34...Qd4 ?? which fails to 35. Qc2+ followed by 36. Nc6 winning an exchange. Jay was very short of time however and did not see it and played 35. Qd6. I shortly won the b pawn and White eventually ran out of time.

Grand Prix - Group B

Pottinger - Lauritson 0-1

Black got a terrific position out of the opening and was piling on the pressure. Carl resisted and after 19...Rc4 had an interesting move available.

20. Qe7+ ,however it is objectively not much better than the move played, 20. Qb3.
White lost a piece after 24. Qb3 (Qd1 apparently holds..covering the rook and also threatening Ra1.) and soon the game.

Silva - Van Wyk 0-1

Black declined a shot to win a pawn 15...Bxh2+ 16. Kxh2 Qc7+.
Black eventually won the a pawn and a classic extra outside passer endgame arose that still gives White a chance to draw. Position after 44. ... Rb2+.

White played 43. Kd3 and after ...Rxf2
White has a challenge to draw. If 43. Kf3, Black has to exhibit a lot of technique to win.

Grand Prix - Section C

Booth- Liu 0-1
25. g4 was the last mistake, 25. Kg1 may hold some chances for drawing.

Wiebe - Gannon 1-0
Black got into early opening problems and never recovered.

Grand Prix - Section D
Magnusson -Gibson 1-0
Black missed a chance to gain an advantage with 17...Nxb3 or 17...Bxc3.

Lorne Gibbons - Aaron Green 0-1
Nimzovich talked about jumping off squares (I'll replace this with his terminology when I find my copy of 'My System"). Check out the e3 square in this game.

Mike Shpan Memorial

Mundwiler - Schulz 1-0

I think Black should have exchanged bishops on d4 on his terms instead of allowing White to exchange on c5. 22...Qh6 looks strange and is in fact a blunder. After Les' 24. Qf5 it's all over.

Fromme - Greenberg 1-0
I think the strategic error here was Blacktrading his knight for the bad bishop on e2, although if followed up with 24...Qe8 instead of 24...Qc8, there are some interesting tactical possibilities.

Kaptsan - Hanrahan 1-0

I thought this game had drawn written all over it, but Black started to drift with 21...Ba8. I would think that taking possession of the e-file was mandatory. White soon after played Re7 and won.

Rutter - Atem 0-1

My computer engine was screaming for White to play d5 on moves 9 to 14 and then it was too late as Black played it ! The position eventually bust open in Black's favour and

After 29...Nxc3
Blair missed a big chance with the zwichenzug (in-between move) 30. Rf1 (no exclam) and White wins easily. Instead Blair played Qxc3 and fell into a mating net.

Kwiatek - Kong 1-0

Very nice combination by Jordan. See Exclam ! site for full details.

Jim Green-Kernetsky DRAW

The King's Indian Attack didn't. Both players proved they have seen this before.

Oberton - Swift 1-0
Arie Wasserman - Campbell DRAW
Wood-Trueman 1-0
Wierda-Letain 0-1
Rating upset of the night. White imprisoned his own rook on b4 and Cory grabbed it free.

Leor Wasserman - Crawford 0-1

Black had a large endgame advantage, but it dissipated to the point where Leor could
draw with 56.Bxf5

Thursday, November 22, 2007

November Round 3

Grand Prix Group A

Boron- Khedkar 1-0
Black had a crushing position, when White decided to bail out, going down an exchange, but avoiding immediate danger. Jay gave back the exchange for a pawn, but White now had good drawing chances. Later, Jay blundered an exchange and resigned, although White has some work to do in the final position.

Grand Prix Group B

Lauritson - Pottinger 1-0
Black dropped the exchange and had no chances for counterplay after swapping queens.

Van Wyk - Silva 1-0
Black self-pinned his knight was was indefensible.

Grand Prix Group C

Gannon - Wiebe DRAW
Black was up a passed b pawn , but was reluctant to push it forward until it was too late.
White eventually infiltrated deep into the Black position and after move 56 ...

Missed the win with 57. Qf6+. He played 57. Qa8+ Qc8 58. Qa5+ Ke7, but did not play Nc7+ and Nxb5. Perhaps time trouble was a factor.

Liu - Booth 1-0
Looked like an interesting endgame, but the game score fails me at move 18. If either player reads this please submit the game score to Alex Nikouline.

Grand Prix Group D

Gibson - Magnusson 0-1
The players took turns winning pieces.

Aaron Green - Lorne Gibbons DRAW
If the game score is correct (there are some moves missing), White is winning.

Mike Shpan Memorial
Schulz - Fromme DRAW
In the final position, it looks like White has chances for a win. Perhaps time was a factor.

Kong - Mundwiler 0-1
These players went 37 consecutive move pairs in the middlegame without any captures. Black finally broke through (although the computer prefers 67. ...e4) just as White lost on time.

Greenberg - Green DRAW
Last mistake Draws !

Oberton - Kwiatek 0-1
27. h3 appears to hold for White, see Nigel's Exclam! blog for more commentary.

Campbell - Lior Wasserman 1-0
Gary won a pawn and won the rook endgame

Atem - Swift 1-0
James exploited weak squares around Black's king.

Arie Wasserman - Kaptsan 0-1

Hanrahan - Crawford 1-0

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mike Shpan Memorial - Round Two

Kaptsan - Greenberg 0-1
Aron hung a knight. Harley recounted the old chess maxim, "It is better to be lucky than good."

Kwiatek - Schulz 0-1

While not an outright mistake, 12. f4 does not make a good impression in the long run. Black exploited the weak squares around White's king.

Mundwiler - Arie Wasserman 1-0

The position was dynamically equal until Arie cut off his Q with 18...f6. The Q was trapped a few moves later.

Jim Green - Oberton DRAW

The computer identifies the interesting try 15...c4, with 16.dc4 Nc3 or 16. Nd2 c3

Swift - Kong 0-1
I can not make sense of the game score after move 12.

Fromme - Kernetsky 1-0

Black got one of those French positions where anything White does, wins.

Rutter- Wood 1-0

White rejected 8. Qxb7 which looks winning. Much later Black gave up an exchange and White won.

Leor Wasserman - Hanrahan 0-1

Very even game until White lost tempii with 29. Re3, 30. Ree1 which gavel Nigel a chance to win a pawn. Soon after he won a second pawn and the endgame.

Letain - Atem 0-1

The computer finds an interesting shot with 12.Bxf6, but realistically that is too deep for most players. Cory later lost a piece and the game.

Wierda - Trueman 0-1

John self-trapped his Bishop and lost.

Crawford - Campbell

Even game until Black blundered an exchange 1-0

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November Round 2

Grand Prix Group A
Khedkar - Sam Lipnowski 0-1
Black won on time - According to the gamescore, White is winning easily.
Either the game score is incorrect, or Black played a move like 33...h5 knowing White only had seconds left.

Grand Prix Group B
Pottinger - Van Wyk DRAW
When I left the U, I thought Carl had a clear edge, despite the opposite colour bishops.

After 30...g5

I like the idea the of exchanging on g5 and ending up with two passers. The key in this type of position for White is not to exchange rooks. However, the rooks were exchanged on f4 and Joseph held the draw.

Silva - Lauritson 0- 1

White missed a golden opportunity after 15...Be7 (it was on d6)
When White moves the queen, there will be a discovered attack on the black queen.
Where to move the queen?

Silva played 16. Qc3 which is harmless, and Black can play Qc7.
What move would have taken that square away ? 16. Qe5 wins material. If 16...Qe8 or Bd7 then 17. Bb5... note that the Knight on f6 is pinned as there is a mate on g7.

Later, Black untangled his pieces, and with 29. Rxd5 White needlessly sacrificed a full rook.

Grand Prix Group C

Wiebe - Liu DRAW

I was quite impressed(I was standing by the board when it was played) with Black's move after 20. Nxa5

20...Be2 !

In the resultant R and P ending, Black had all the chances but missed the winning move below

36...Rd1+ 37. Kc5 Kd2 38.Kd4 c5+! 39. bc5 Kc2+ mating !

Grand Prix Group D

Magnusson - Aaron Green 0-1

Saul lost a pawn early, but could have won it back with 25. Bxb6, but perhaps saw ghosts after 25...Rc2, however 26. Bf2 holds. Soon after Aaron simplified to a winning R and P ending.

"Tank" Gibbons - Fred Gibson 0-1

Lorne won a piece early but gave back that material and more later.

Shpan memorial comments tomorrow.

Friday, November 9, 2007

2007 Grand Prix Finals - Round 1

I am not going to comment too heavily on the Grand Prix games while the tournament is in progress as the pairings are known and I may inadvertently provide hints to weaknesses.

Group A

Khedkar - Gentes 1- F
Kevin did not appear.

Sam Lipnowski - Boron DRAW
A lot of manoeuvring; Black was better when the draw was agreed.

Group B

Silva - Pottinger

Observing this game, I thought 28, f4 would just win, but it is tricky as Black gets 3 pawns for his Knight. Silva played differently and eventually won. Unfortunately, the game score gets undreadable just as an interesting ending occurs. If either player has a proper game score, please submit it to Alex Nikouline.

Lauritson - Van Wyk 0-1
According to the my engine, White would have had a large advantage if he would have played 19.Nxc6+. 23. Rc7 was a big mistake that left pieces hanging all over.

Group C

Liu - Gannon 1-0
Weixi executes a nice minority attack.

Wiebe - Booth 1-0
Kevin uncharacteristically blunders a full bishop.

Group D

"Tank" Gibbons - Saul Magnusson 1-0
Lorne hung onto a sacrificed pawn and played a nice game to bring home the point.

Gibson - Aaron Green 0-1
Aaron quietly transitioned to a won K and pawns ending.

Mike Shpan Memorial - Round One

Atem - Kaptsan 0-1

11. Be3 gives Black a large positional advantage after 11...Nxe3, saddling White with weak doubled isolated e pawns.

Schulz - Weirda 1-0

In an equal position, John self-trapped his bishop with 16...Qe6

Campbell - Mundwiler 0-1

Less made a speculative piece sacrifice for two pawns, but Gary was doing well.

Ah, finally -- a surprising tactical chance !

After - 28...Na5

The computer finds 29. Nxf7 ! If 29...Kxf7 30. Rxe7+ Kg8 31. Qxg6 and it's all over.

Gary played 29. Qb1 which is good also and after 29...Nb3, Nxf7 is still there !

The turning oint was Gary's 36. Bh4; Qd1 would held a large advantage.

After 37. Nxc5

Les, interestingly, opted for 37...Rxc5+, instead of 37...Qxb3 which wins the Q. He probably was concerned with with ramifications of 38. Re8+, but the computer still gives a win to Black (even though it is Q and 2 pawns for R and two minors) after 38...Kh7 39. Rxc8 Qc3+ 40. Kb1 d3 and the d pawn will win one of the pieces. It is easy to see (now) that both the R and N are virtually paralysed.
In the game the outcome was still unclear until Gary blundered his Rook on move 43.

Oberton - Wood 1-0
Black's misplaced pieces quickly turned into material loss.

Arie Wasserman - Rutter 1-0
In this upset of the night, Blair failed to protect his advanced d pawn, lost it and then Arie exploited the d file to win pawn after pawn.

Kong - Lior Wasserman 1-0
Black gave up a pawn unfavourably, and White won.

Greenberg - Letain 1-0

Black allowed White to play de6; Harley exploited the weaknesses.

Crawford - Jim Green 0-1

A near upset. Gary was doing well throughout (although 33...Rxc4 is hard to meet), but lost the thread somewhat starting with with 36. Kh2. But he was still winning if he plays 40. b6.

Hanrahan - Fromme 0-1
Nigel has annotated this game at his blog - Exclam!Online

Friday, November 2, 2007

October TNT Round 5

The final round - let's see what happened.

Van Wyk - Mundwiler 1-0

This turned into a wild game.
I play through the games without computer assistance first, to get some general impressions and work out some of the tactics. I then play through the game again with an engine running to check my assumptions and to catch any interesting tactics or ideas I may have missed.

Les left a gaping hole on f5 that proved to be source of his difficulties.

After 26...Qe7 27. Nf5 Les could resign immediately, but Joseph played 27. Qa3 and won a few moves later anyway.

Liu - Czypinski 1-0

By move 35 Liu had won a pawn and appeared to have everything under control, but he missed black's 41...Rxg2+ shot and the game is unclear. After a few more moves, we arrive at the position below with Black to move and win:

45...Rg6 wins easily. I understand Black was in time trouble, but somehow had time to calculate (and Play) 45...Rh2 46. Qxh2 Qxf3+ 47. Qg2 Qxd1+ and the result is still not clear.
Later, Black also missed 53...Nd3+ and White has to give up his Q to avoid mate. Eventually Black lost on time around move 64.

Oberton - Khedkar 1-0

Jay survived an early cramped position. Daniel could have won the b pawn with 18. Nxb5, but decided to concentrate his efforts in the centre.

In the following position Jay had the right idea, but the wrong move order.

Play continued 24...Qc2+ 25. Ka1 Bxb3 26. Bd3 oops !

But 24... Bxb3 first and Black is perhaps a little better, and much better if White does not play 25. Qxb3.

Kong - Jim Green DRAW

In my eyes, an unusual game; I couldn't predict many of the moves.

Wierda- Silva 1-0

Silva had a very cramped position, and blundered with 19... Nf5. John mopped up efficiently.