Friday, December 21, 2007

Mike Shpan Final Round

Mundwiler - Atem 0-1

White was in big trouble for a long time until James went pawn grubbing with 47...Nxf5.
But it was still tricky for White. As severe time trouble neared, White blundered.

Les and James ended up sharing first place with 5-1

Greenberg - Schulz 0-1

14. Nd2 can't be correct (I think Nxe5 is required), but Black somewhat returned the favour by not playing 16...Nxc5. White eventually stepped into a mate in a roughly equal position.

Kwiatek - Fromme 0-1

In the position below

Black played the startling 11...Bxa3 ! Move of the night !
After 12. Rxa3 Nb4 Black will end up material ! Black went on to win.

Schulz and Fromme finished 3rd-4th with 4.5 points.

Kong - Kaptsan 0-1
Perhaps a historic moment in recent Manitoba chess - I don't think Aron has ever played anyone 70 years younger than him ! But the burning question is, how old is Costales ?

Hanrahan - Oberton 0-1
White initiated a dubious combination that led to an interesting material imbalance. From then on both players played well, but White eventually lost on time. Nigel has some commentary at his Exclam ! blog.

Rutter - Campbell 1-0
Black left his e5 pawn en prise, which was the beginning of the end.

Green, Jim - Wasserman, Arie 0-1
White lost the thread in the endgame and got his Rook locked in on the queenside. White is lost after 35. d5. Note that after the game's 36. Rc3, a quick end could be obtained by 36...Rxc3 37. bc3 b4 ! and White's king is too far away to prevent a queen.

Kernetsky - Trueman 1-0
Due to a forfeit and a bye, neither player had an opponent. So they decided to have a game !

Swift- Weirda 0-1

I observed some of this game; it looked interesting. Unfortunately, I could not reconstruct it from the scoresheet

Grand Prix Final Round

Group A
No games. Boron wins the tourney, Sam Lipnowski second, Jay Khedkar third.

Group B

Van Wyk - Lauritson 0-1 Lauritom win tourney with 5.0 - Van Wyk second with 4.5

White had a large advantage after 22...Re6. Black looks to be overloaded.

23. Nc4 should win decisive material. Eventually Black untangled himself, but the game ended abruptly om move 39 perhaps because of White flagging ? Does anybody know ?

Pottinger - Silva 0-1

White lost a knight early.

Group C

Booth - Wiebe 0-1

Did White miss a mate in two starting with 17. Qxg6 +, or is the game score wrong ?
After that Black defended well and won.
So Wiebe won the tourney with an undefeated 4 wins and 2 draws. Weixi Liu was second with 4 points.

Gannon - Liu - DRAW

White held a definitive advantage when a draw was agreed.

Group D

Magnusson - Gibbons 1-0

Lorne likes to toy with his opponents before giving away the point. He could have won this group.

Green, Aaron - Gibson 1-0
White converted the large advantage he obtained in the opening, and also won the tourney with 4.5. Magnusson was second with 4.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mike Shpan Memorial Round 5

Les is more (likely to win the tournament than any one else !)

Fromme- Les Mundwiler 0-1

I must confess that originally I didn't know what was going on in this game. 25 moves and White's queenside is still undeveloped.

The turning point may have come after 25...Bf5

White played 26. Ne1, but 26. a5 is very interesting with variations where White is probably not worse.
28...Re6! is a nice move, "sacrificing" a knight, to build a mating net, and/or win the exchange. Nice finish by Les.

Schulz - Kaptsan 1-0

Kaptsan trotted out the Blumenfeld gambit, but never got counterplay.

Atem - Jim Green 0-1

I didn't like the maneuovre 18...Nd3 and 19..Nc5, trading a good knight for a knight on the rim, and ending up with weak c and b pawns.

Greenberg - Kernetsky 1-0

White converted his space advantage into material gain.

Crawford - Kong 0-1

They shoot horses, don't they ? White's knight on the rim had no way back.

Wood - Hanrahan 0-1

When I looked at this game, I liked 25. h5+, followed by Qf5+ and Bxh6. See the Exclam ! blog for full notes from Nigel. White had an absolutely won game, but couldn't find 30. Rf7. One of those games where the winner did nothing and won !

Campbell - Trueman 1-0

They shoot horses don't they, part 2. Francis dropped a knight.

Leor Wasserman - John Weirda 0-1

Grand Prix Round 5

Group A
Sam Lipnowski - Khedkar 1-0

Black had to play 21...g6 to stop the f5 push. After that came e6 and Black's pieces were too far from his king to provide support.

Group B
Van Wyk- Pottinger 1-0

Black castled queenside into impending trouble. White had an interesting shot 17. Ba7+! which concludes things a bit quicker, but it didn't matter in the end.

Group C

Lui- Weibe 0-1

Several of us analyzed the position below and other earlier alternatives and concluded that Weixi had blundered with 9. Nxb5.

However, the real blunder may have come later...after 10...axb5

White played 11. Bxb5+ , but after 11...Qxb5, 12. Rxa8 Bb4+ wins big material.

11. Rxa8 holds, but in our analysis we thought it was very uncomfortable for White.

Gannon - Booth 1-0

It looked like Black was making progress in the knights and pawns ending, but found his king cut off from White's passer and ended up one tempo short.

Group D

Gibson - Gibbons 1-0

Lorne snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. But if truth be told, 2...f6 and 4...Bc5 deserved to be punished earlier.

Aaron Green - Magnusson

The ending was played well by Saul to gain the full point.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chess book auction

ChessManitoba Fall 2007 Silent Auction

The Manitoba Chess Association received a donation of numerous chess books and chess publications from a local chess fan.

To allow the local chess community to have a fair chance to purchase any of the items, we have decided to implement a Silent Auction format. The items will be auctioned over the next 4 weeks at the Grand Prix finals and concurrent Mike Shpan Memorial tournament. There are 36 player playing in these events, who are present to bid on these items. In addition, internet bids will be accepted by emailing

Each week a new batch of items will be offered.

Week 3 items listed...closing date Tuesday, December 4

See a list of items and other details.