Wednesday, December 31, 2008

35 Years ago...

some future blogger won a chess tournament. How time flies !

From the Winnipeg Free Press, December 31, 1973

I was quite fortunate that the best player that year, Jeff Babb, was upset by Chris Cooley sometime in a middle round. Thus I didn't have to play Jeff, and I beat Cooley in the 8th and final round. I scored 6.5 -1.5 (3 draws) and if I recall correctly I won the trophy on tiebreak over Cooley and Babb. I also seem to recall there were over 80 players, but I may be wrong.
If anybody knows - please leave a comment.
According to my recopied scoresheets there were 3 rounds on each of the 27th and 28th, 2 rounds on the 29th. The draws were with the still active John Remillard and Richard Lindsay, and J. Bradford.
I do remember Eric Jefferson giving me a ride from Tec Voc to the Free Press (which was on Carlton) for the photos.

Students, create your own future nostalgia February 19, 2009 !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - December 20, 2008

From the Winnipeg Free Press

White to Mate in 3 (Jacobs)

My intial impulse was 1. Qd5+ cd5 2.Bc3 mate, but it is not mate. But that little exercise highlighted that White's c4 is the weak spot.
I tried several moves - Qf6, Qe6 but didn't get too far. I should have thought more about c4.
The answer is 1. Qf4 !
I'll post a few of the lines in a few days.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grand Prix - Round 6

Khedkar-Kernetsky 1-0
Black goes downhill starting with 42...Rf6. White rejects 43. Nh5 winning the exchange but converts to won ending.

Kong- Wierda DRAW
Black would have had a good chance at the full point if he had played 33...Qd4.
In the final position, Black has to find Qd7 to survive- perhaps Kong offered the draw knowing that was enough to win his Section.

Green - Greenberg 1-0
Green confirms that in the game score 20. Bxa7 should be 20. Bxh6. If Black responds Rd8, the position is level.

Arie Wasserman - Evans 0-1
White has no compensation for the lost exchange.

Aaron Green - Wiebe 0-1
White suddenly fins himself in a mating net.

Gibbons - Letain 0-1
Lorne loves the king walks.

Leor Wasserman - Swift 0-1
Black was up a pawn, but would have to work to convert it into a win, but his task is made easier after 31. h4

Repa-Lauritson 0-1
In the final position, Black is two pawns up and tricks involvng 22...Nf2+ are in the air.

Ott-Trueman 0-1

Campbell-Crawford 0-1
White loses the exchange and Black converts.

Mandusic - Pottinger 0-1

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Grand Prix - Round 5

White has a perfect score in games in Round 5 !

Kernetsky-Mundwiler 1-0

Black's unusual opening gets him in trouble.
Not sure why 22. f3 was rejected, but White wins an exchange anyway.
Black does his best to mass his pieces for a potential winning attack, but Les doesn't find anything and neither did I. But the silicon beast suggests 36...Nxg2 37. Bxg2 h3 ! and Black may have drawing chances.
Later, did both players miss the relative simple 41...Qxe3, winning for Black! So I am going to speculate that time trouble was a factor

Green-Kong 1-0
Black grabs a tainted pawn with 29...Qxb4. He may missed that White has 32. Qxg6 which nets him a piece.

Greenberg- Wierda 1-0
The knight on e5 is a monster.

Aaron Green - Arie Wasserman 1-0

Wiebe - Evans 1-0
White sheds a piece with 27. Bxa6? thinking he can win the knight pinned on the g file. But Black doesn't find 29...h5 preserving the knight at the cost of a pawn.
In the game, the resulting king and pawn ending may be holdable by Black, but he takes his king away from White's queening square.

Leor Wasserman - Gibbons 1-0

Swift- Letain 1-0
Campbell - Mandusic 1-0
Lauritson-Ott 1-0
Black sacs a bishop with 17...Bxg2, but had 17...Nxh4 winning a clear pawn

Trueman - Crawford 1-0
Black missed many opportunities
23...Nd4 would have caused headaches for White
35...Rdd2, 42...Nd5

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - December 6, 2008

From the Winnipeg Free Press
White to mate in 3 (Wainwright)

Diabolical ! First move is 1. Qe2 !
For the answer, please play through some lines below. Some very nice lines.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Grand Prix - Round 4

Mundwiler - Khedkar 1-0
White plays the interesting exchange sacrifice 24. Rxe5 !? and crashes through. Great intuition.

Kong - Greenberg DRAW
White wins a pawn but needs to squeeze the maximum out of the position due to the opposite coloured bishops. Therefore, 19. Rb1 and taking on b7 with the rook is much stronger than taking on b7 with the bishop.

Wierda - Jim Green 1-0
Black missed a chance..
30...dxe4 31.fxe4 Qc6 wins a pawn - if 32. Rxb5 ...Rc2 and it is all but over.

In the game, 38...Bxe4 would get him out of impending trouble as 39. Bxe4 is met by ...Qh3+ winning. White's best is 39. Kh2; Black will still have to contend with the passed b pawn.

Arie Wasserman - Daniel Wiebe 0-1
White has some trouble with knight placement.

Evans - Aaron Green 0-1
White is unsure where to put his king in the endgame and he hands Black three tempo by my count starting with 43. Ke3. 43. h3 looks like it secures a draw and also gives Black chances to go wrong.

Gibbons - Swift 0-1
White spoils a good position by playing a move that he must have thought mated.

Letain - Leor Wasserman 0-1
An extreme case of castling into it.

Ott - Pottinger 0-1
White sets up a clever trap - but did not realize it.
After 14... Qxa3, play could continue (with logical moves for Black) 15. Bd6 Rfe8 16. Rb1 b6 17. Rb3 Qa5 18. Ra3 and the queen is trapped.

Repa- Mandusic 1-0

Crawford - Lauritson DRAW
Upset of the night. Solid play on both sides.

Trueman - Campbell 1-0
Another upset

Grand Prix - Round 3

Khedkar - Mundwiler 1-0
Black plays the rare 3...Ne7 and never gets coordinated for attack or defence.

Greenberg- Kong 0-1

Jim Green - Wierda 0-1
Looks like White lost on time three moves short of a draw of K vs. K, although just a few moves earlier he was lost if Black plays 71...h4

In the game, Black has just played 23...e5 with an obvious threat.
However, White can win material with 24. Rxc6 ! and if 24...e4 25. Rxd6.
White played 24. dxe5 with a roughly level game.

Aaron Green - Evans DRAW

Swift - Gibbons 1-0

Leor Wasserman - Letain 0-1
An idea for White to hold is 22. Rf3 (to cover the N on c3) ...Nc4 23. b3 Na3 24, Rc1

Campbell - Repa 0-1
White misses a few good chances - 26. c5 is very good when Black has to play accurately to survive.

Mandusic -Ott 0-1
White had the old French defence tactic available - 17.Nxd4 but he would still be suffering positionally. White has to chop the strong knight with 19. Bxf4

Crawford - Pottinger 0-1
White blunders a bishop to a 'backwards' knight move. Instead 31. Ne2 was a good alternative and Black's knight has no moves.

Lauritson - Trueman 1-0
Good example of the benefits of a space advantage.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Robert Wade 1921-2008

TWIC reports that Bob Wade, International Master, arbiter, journalist, coach, organiser, writer, editor, chess archivist, friend to chess , died 29th November 2008 at 3am from pneumonia.

Hugh Brodie, at chesstalk has compiled a list of his connections to Canada.

Although he was a Kiwi/Brit, I will add that he played 2nd board for Manitoba in the "Manitoba-Minnesota match" of September 3, 1947 !

Wade travelled with Abe Yanofsky to several tournaments in that era and often joined with him in holding tandem simuls. John Enns, at this year's AY, told that he was present for this or a similar exhibition (I recall we spoke about a tandem, but I can't recall if Wade was involved). I also recall Jack Woodbury mentioning Wade.

Some wonderful tributes here

Audio with Speelman and Pein below:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - November 22, 2008

From the Winnipeg Free Press

White to move and Mate in 3 (Branton)

I tried a few quick lines and decided that the g4 square has to be covered immediately. So 1.Nf2
Then I have ideas of playing Bg7 to cover h6 (if the R moves, Black may be able to run over there, moving the bishop also vacates f4 for Qf4 mating ideas. What do you think ?

Oh, I forgot one of the 'issues' I encountered early - 1...Bg8 and Black has a nuisance check.

So, I had to put the engine on this one... the answer is 1. Bh8.
So I looked at some lines and couldn't figure out why 1.Bg7 isn't just as good.
For the answer, please play through some lines below. Some very nice lines.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grand Prix - Round 2

Mundwiler - Kernetsky DRAW
There must be a tactic after 31.Kf1

how about 31...Bxf4 32. Nxe4 Qe4 winning easily. Black doesn't find that but eventually
gets a winning position anyway. I only guess that Black was in severe time pressure otherwise he would have found Bc7 starting around move 45 that easily preserves the win.

Kong - Jim Green 1-0
I was surprised by 23. Qxc5 - I thought dxc5 would leave Black grovelling with a really bad bishop. But Kong makes great use of the c5 square and mops up.

Wierda- Greenberg 0-1
18...Nxf2 is a nice winning shot.

Arie Wasserman - Aaron Green 0-1
White had chances to save the ending with 28. Nd2.

Evans - Wiebe 0-1
White initiates some tactics with 18. Qb3 that backfire, but he had an interesting alternative in 18. Rxf5 !

Letain - Swift DRAW
A quiet opening transforms into dangerous attacks on the g and h files. White blunders the exchange on move 28, but in the complications Black can not find the winning move 30...Rxe3
The players eventually enter an equal ending where Black misses a win after 45. Kc5
Black played ...Ke4 - but the winning line is 45...Kd3 46. Kxc6 Kc4 ! 47.Kb6 b4! and wins easily.

Repa -Crawford 1-0
Black played well, but after missing 27...Qf4+, White was able to coordinate his pieces for a mating attack

Pottinger - Lauritson 0-1
White wins a pawn in the ending, but Black's knights fight back until White blunders into a fork (as did Ari in the first round). [Was this another time scramble - game score shows 40...Nc3 which drops a knight ? or perhaps this was Nf6 which is logical and lets us continue with the game score.]

Ott - Campbell 0-1
White sacs a knight but doesn't get enough for it.

Mandusic - Trueman 0-1

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - November 8, 2008

From the Winnipeg Free Press

White to move and mate in three (Shinkman)

My first try is 1. Kd5 to open up some black diagonals, e.g. 1...Kd5 2. Qd4#
However, 1...Ne2 and I don't have mate in another 2.

The solution is 1. Rg2

Friday, November 7, 2008

Grand Prix - Round 1

Comments on some games:

Mundwiler - Lipnowski DRAW
Black could have won a pawn with 13...cb4 followed by Qb6+.
31.Qf2 instead of Qf3 allowed Black some activity. Black appeared to be on his way to grinding out a win, but he played 42...e4 which exposes his king. 43...ed3 is apparently winning, but Black decided to play for the perpetual.

Kernetsky - Khedkar 1-0
Black falters with 35...Bd5; Be8 may have provided some chances to hold.

Greenberg- Green 0-1
White sacs a pawn with 13. f4, Black gives up the exchange, and then
I don't know what is going on. Apparently 26. Qd2 gives White chances to hold.

Evans - Wasserman
25...Bf8 is a mistake, but it is not obvious. White should respond with 26. Ne5 and
White looks like he has a dangerous initiative. White later allows a rook exchange; it is doubtful if he can hold the pawn endgame.

Wiebe - Aaron Green
White finds 29. e6 which should be good enough to grind out a win, but uncharacteristically misses 34. Rxe7+ and then blunders back the exchange with 35. Rd3.
Black returns the favour with 38...Nc3 when instead 38...gxf5 apparently forces a passer.

Swift - Leor Wasserman DRAW
17...c4 is a bit curious when the natural 18...d4 is available, however his idea was to get the knight to e4 via c5.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

October TNT Round 4

Bince - Kernetsky 1-0
I don't understand 22...Kd8. Black's counterplay on the queenside goes nowhere; White mates the bare king.

Jim Green - Lauritson 0-1
Did White lose this on time ? He has a slight advantage in the final position.
(Update: Jim Green tells me the game entered a time scramble; he estimates another 15-20 moves were played)

Evans - Wierda 0-1
White can't find a way to utilize his rooks and Black found a way to have his peices support each other. 29. Ra5 apparently would win the d5 pawn as 29...Ke6
30. g4 g6 31. a4 and Black is approaching zugszwang.

Prince - Aaron Green DRAW

Leah Green - Swift 0-1
Both players make huge blunders early. 8..Bxf2 ?? doesn't work because 9. Kxf2 Ng4+ 10. Qxg4
and Black is down a piece. (I noticed this immediately as a few years ago, John Katona tried something similar against me on f7). But White played 10. Ke2, and Black is up a pawn which he quickly converts in an endgame.

Gibson - Gibbons 0-1
"Tank" outplays his opponent in the ending.

October TNT Round 3

Lauritson - Bince 0-1
This game is worth looking at.
Black sacrifices the exchange, but eventally gets 2 pawns for it.
White tries to hang on with 41. Bc2 (Bxd5 lead to perpetual check by Black).
52. Rf8 would have given him some chances (if Ke7, then Rh8). Also, 55. a5 looks good keeping Black out of b6.

Kernetsky-Prince 1-0
24...f5 spells the end.

Aaron Green -Evans DRAW
I am not sure why Black wouldn't play this out unless he was in time trouble. 54...Kc3 may also be a winning try, but it requires precise calculation.

Daase - Mandusic 1-0

Leah Green - Gibson 1-0

Wierda - Ott 1-0
White exploited his opponent's weak pawn structure.

Swift - Jim Green 0-1
Again, not sure White resigned so early, he has some faint hope after something like 36.Rxh3 Qxc1 37.Rxc1 Rxb2 38.Rb3 Raa2 39.Rxb2 Rxb2 40.c4 Bf4 41.Rd1 bxc4 42. Bxc4

Friday, October 31, 2008

October TNT Round 2

Bince - Aaron Green 1-0
Black's remaining minor is on the wrong side of the board when White breaks through for a mating attack.

Jim Green - Kernetsky DRAW
White was lost several times in the late middlegame - 32...Qc3+ for example.
Jim showed me the pawn ending in Fargo - but I think Black still wins after 44...e5

White to move - Can he hold the draw ?

October TNT Round 1

Swift - Bince 0-1
Black saddles White with two sets of doubled pawns. And a bad bishop.
I had a sense that White missed something while chasing the knight on the queenside, but I couldn't find anything. Well perhaps White should forget about the queenside and play to use the forward f pawn as a lever. Also key is playing a4 before Black can get it in. 34.Bxd5 probably dooms White.

Daase-Lauritson 0-1
White should have played 14. e5 with a playable game.

A. Green - Gibson 1-0
Black obtains counterplay and had the mysterious 30...Bd1! available- for example after a 'nothing move' such as 31. h4 - the point is apparent - 31...Rd2+ 32. Bxd2 Qxd2+ 33.Kb1 Bxb3 and Black wins. Incredible ! So 31. Rxd1 is forced with play for both sides.

Mandusic - Jim Green 0-1
Black wins a piece when the tactics get sharp. White had several chance to exchange knight for bishop on e6, but ultimately got his knight on d4 pinned against his queen.

Wierda - L. Gibbons 1-0
Black resigns prematurely in a slightly worse position.

Leah Green - Evans 0-1
Black plays the shot 8...Nxe4 which should be diffused by the simple 9. Nxe4 or 9. de4 and White is better. Instead, Black wins a pawn which he converts in the endgame.

September TNT Round 5

Yes, I am far behind - but I hope to catch up within the next two weeks

Van Wyk - Bince 1-0
Black allows 10. e5 and gets a miserable position. A small point, just because there is no puzzle this week, 24. Qxh6+ is a mate in 3.

Khedkar - Rutter 1-0
Black should play 9...g6 and he is fine. And 11..exf5. Even with the game lines he is ok if he plays 13...h6 instead of the piece-losing 13...Be6.

Kernetsky - Greenberg 1-0
Black gets impatient and plays 27...Nxe3, which isn't critical, but leaves the exchange hanging on the next move.

Liu - Pang 1-0
Black to protect his a-pawn played 17...a5, but he can protect it indirectly with 17...Ne4.
The c6 pawn falls, and soon the game.

Milord - Kong 0-1
I think White should have retained his black squared bishop with 22.Bg3.
31. Bxf5 is interesting, with complications.
White tries the sacrifice 34. Ne4 , but it is insufficient.

D. Wiebe - Trueman 1-0
Black equalizes when White doesn't play 10. e6. Black later blunders a bishop.

Monday, October 27, 2008

U of M Chess Club

Kane Anderson writes "I've started up a U of M chess club,
the club is free to join and
open to anyone (students, faculty, staff and otherwise).
The games are casual (clocks
optional, choose your own opponent).
University Centre main floor cafeteria
(near Tim Hortons or Subway)
We meet Thursdays at 2:30 and Fridays at 4:00.
Anyone interested can email me at"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Manitoba wins match with Minnesota

Brian Thompson tabulates the results at 6.5-5.5 !

Here is MCA president Blair Rutter with Aron Kaptsan holding the Challenge Cup

Saturday, October 25, 2008

ThankGibbons Results

Aron Kaptsan won the top section with 4-1
followed by Jay Khedkar with 3.5

Ryne Swift and Nathan Wood shared first in the second section with 4-1

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fargo-Moorhead ChessNuts Challenge Results

Pictures up now

Aron Kaptsan tied for first !

More details and pictures later, but the crosstables are available.

Friday night speed tournament

ChessNuts Challenge Open

ChessNuts Challenge U1900

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - October 11, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - October 11, 2008 from the Winnipeg Free Press
White to mate in 3 (Jokisch)

Not much time for discussion this time, but we must restrain the king for the first move in order to force a pawn to a square that will later block the king.

1. Qa8 g3 2. Qg2 e4 3.Qxg3#
1. Qa8 e4 2. Qa3 e3 3. Qxe3#
1. Qa8 e4 2. Qa3 Ke5 3. Qd6#

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Grand Prix Standings

Peter Magyar has calculated the current Grand Prix Standings:

Monday, October 6, 2008

September TNT Round 4

several interesting games in this round.

Bince - Lipnowski 1-0
White goes down a pawn, but finds 12. c5 was a nice move to bind up Black.
Black loses time shuffling his king, then his pieces and White wins with simple moves.

Van Wyk - Rutter DRAW
White sets up and plays 18. c5 but does not follow up with 20. cxd6 which should win easily.
21. Qd3 is also better than Qd4 as the pawn on c5 will not attack the queen.
Even so, 22. Qxf6 wins a piece. After these missed opportunities, White emerges a pawn down, but holds the draw.

Kong - Khedkar 0-1
It would appear that White lost on time in an interesting ending.

Trueman - Kernetsky 0-1
12. Re3 does not make a good impression; Black starts kicking White's pieces until he wins
material. Black missed a mate in three...
I'll let the readers find it, it's not too tough.

Pang - Aaron Green 1-0

The turning point was 18...Rxc3 ? 18...hxg6 was required and the game is still sharp with chances for both sides.
Does 20...Nxe4 21 .fe4 Bxc3 work ? No , 22. Rxh7+ Ke8 23. Qxc3

Greenberg - Ott 1-0
Black should probably play 9...dxc3. but it is not critical. But certainly 25...fe6.
27...or 28...Bxe4 looks fine.

But at the end of it all, I think Black missed a draw.

35...h6 26. h4 hxg5 27. hxg5 a5 and White can't prevent the Black king from playing Kg6 and Kxg5

Daase - Milord 0-1
Mandusic - Daniel Wiebe 0-1

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - September 27, 2008

White to move and mate in 3 (Jacobs)

A most unusual position.
I immediately saw a mate in 5 with

1.Qd1 axb1(Q) 2.Nc2+ Ka2 3.Nb4+ Ka1 4.Qa4+

1. Nc2+ Kxb1 2. Na3+ Ka1 obviously doesn't work.

I tried a line (which I forgot now except that the Q was mating on e4 except for the pawn on d5.
So, let's try something nonintuitive (like some of the other problems we have looked at). With the idea of Q having access to the h7-b2 diagonal.
1. Qe8
one line ...axb1(Q) 2. Nb3+ Ka2 3.Qa4#

1.Qe8 Kxc1 2. Qb3+ Ka1 3. Nb3#

so the bishop must move 1. Qe8 Bc3 2. Nb3+ Kxb1 3. Qg6#

Is that it ?

Two questions to answer. What is the difference between Qe8 and Qd7 ?
Both give access to the same diagonal even after e6. And what if Black plays the bishop to b4 and block a mate by Ba3. Because otherwise the bishop is rather useless as all the mating lines involve white squares. But that doesn't appear to be a factor.

Speaking of blocking...what if instead of axb1(Q), Black tries axb1(N) to block on a3 - I think that ruins all my efforts.

But 1. Qd7 axb1(N) 2. Nxc2+ Ka2 3. Qxd5# works !
and the other lines work with the Q going to f5 or h7 instead of g6.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

September TNT Round 3

Rutter - Bince DRAW
When initially going through the early part of the game I thought the players must have missed a tactic, but I couldn't find anything substantial.
However later 41 (or 42)...Rd3 looks good for an advantage. After missing this, White is able to drum up sufficient play to draw.

Lipnowski - Greenberg 1-0
Black equalizes early and then gradually increases his advantage.
Harley tries to win a pawn with a tactic - but it is a trap that loses a piece. Apparently.
But 28...f5 with the idea 28. Qxf5 Rf8, or 28. Qh4 Qd6 with the idea Qxd5 + and Black may have enough pawns for the piece.

Trueman - Van Wyk 0-1

Khedkar - Liu DRAW
Black could try to win the a pawn by exchanging on d4 and threatening mate on g2, by something like 18...Nxd4 19. Nxd4 Be5.
Black sets a trap as 26. Qxb2 is answered by ....Qd1+ 27. Kg2 Ne5.
There is still lots of play in the position when the draw was agreed.

Kernetsky - Kong DRAW
Black plays a nice tactic 19...Nxe3 ! but white reacts well and may be slightly better when the draw was agreed.

Aaron Green - D. Wiebe 1-0
Aaron receives a gift.

Daase - Mandusic 1-0

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

September TNT Round 2

Liu-Lipnowski DRAW
For the second time within 2 weeks, these two draw.
Black had an advantage, but took time out for 28...h5 which may be wasting a precious tempo.
In the game, Black will draw with 34...c4+ and then Qc3+

VanWyk-Khedkar DRAW
White offers a pawn early, but it can dangerous to accept after
6...Nxe4 7.Qa4+ Nc6 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7.

Bince - Kernetsky 1-0
14...Ra7 is rather strange and it comes back to bite Black.

D. Wiebe - Rutter 0-1
White seemed unprepared to face the French.

Greenberg - Aaron Green 1-0
White dominates the queenside before Black can get rolling. 18...Rxa7 must be a mistake.

Milord - Ott 0-1
White misses 19. Bf3 with a winning advantage.

Truman - Mandusic 1-0
Black get in big trouble by neglecting defence of his kingside.

Pang- Dasse 1-0
White wins a pawn with a standard tactic (but it turns out to be a full piece after Black responds incorrectly; he had to bail out with something like 12...Ng6)

George Anderson Tribute Tournament photos

Rolando Bince tied for first, but captured the "trophy" (a black T-shirt, a George Anderson trademark)

Jim Green very happy to win the U1750 prize.

John Remillard also won a U1750 prize

Blair Rutter tied for first and won the thematic prize.

Rutter - Schulz

Alex Nikouline making pairings

Alex and Sam

Jim Green gave Schulz and other higher rated players headaches all day.

TD Lorne Gibbons assesses a position.

Last round action

Crowds gather around the last games to complete

Jim Green - Michael Pang, with one second remaining on the clock.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - September 13, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - September 13, 2008 from the Winnipeg Free Press

White to mate in 3 (Eugene Cook)

Well, we can rule out 1. e8(Q) as it is stalemate.

We can rule out 1. f8(Q) and the king runs away to c6 and White needs 3 more moves to mate.
I tried underpromoting with knights but that didn't lead anywhere quick enough.

I think the key is keeping the king out of c6.
1. e8(B) Ke6 2.Ke4 (to keep the K from running to f5) Kd6 3. f1(Q) and mate in a total of 4
1. e8(B) Ke6 2.f8(Q) stalemate

1. e8(B) Ke6 2.f8(B) (avoids stalemate, but keeps the K out of d6) Kf5 3. Bd7 mate
(ha, we didn't have to fear the king going to f5)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dwight Vincent on Slotin

Not chess related, but Dwight Vincent quoted today in a article about Louis Slotin.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

September TNT Round 1

As Alex indicates at there is still time to join the tournament next week (with a first round half point bye)

Lipnowski - Milord 1-0

It looked like White dominated throughout, but the silicon beast finds a a surprising shot after 19. Qe2
19...Rxd4 ! 20. Bxd4 Nxd4 21. Qe4 Qxd2
but 20. Nb3 Qxe5 21. Nxd4 Nxd4 is somewhat unclear.

Magnusson - Van Wyk 0-1
White could have been only a pawn down with 9. Bxc6+, or 11. Bc3, or 12. Nxd7 Kxd7 13. Bc3

Kernetsky - Pang 1-0
White had the shot 27. Nxg6 available, but decided to go slower with his advantage.
37...d4+ would have required White to play very accurately.

Khedkar - Mandusic 1-0

Lorne Gibbons - Bince 0-1

Rutter - Deese 1-0
White blunders the exchange with 13. Qc2 but can not convert into a huge upset. 20...Rde8 was one way to stay even.

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - August 30, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - August 30, 2008 from the Winnipeg Free Press

White to move and mate in 3
Louis Rothstein

I'll try 1. Bf4+ Kxf4 2. Qxd6+ Ke3 3. Qd2# ..but 2...Kg5 and no mate
How about 1. c5 Kd4 2. Qxd6+ Kc4 3. and the K runs away.
how about 1. b3 to prevent Kc4
1. b3 Ba4 2.c5 Bxb3 3. Qxd6#
but 1...Kd4 2. Kc2 Kc5 and no mate. This is more frustrating than trying to beat Sasha Nikouline in an endgame.

As reader Zarko points out in the comments - 1. Qc7 is the move.

Matveeva (and Shipov) in Nalchik

Former Yanofsky participants Svetlana Matveeva and Sergei Shipov are in Nalchik.
View a video at chessbase
Scroll to near the bottom and select the Matveeva (Eng) video on the right.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August TNT Round 4

Mundwiler - Nikouline 0-1
Alex indicated on that he was lucky.
Yes, he was. White missed 28. Qxh5 winning a full rook.
In the game White could have played 32. Rxg4 fxg4 33. Rxe1 and is fine.
After the queens come off, Black starts winning pawns.

Greenberg - Rutter 0-1
Black offers a sacrifice with 28...Nxf4, but White declines. It must have been a difficult decision. White lost on time soon after he obtained equality.

Babb - Jim Green 1-0
White wins the h pawn and converts the ending.

Kernetsky - Aaron Green DRAW
The players were content to shuffle pieces.

Khedkar - Bince 1-0
Black miscalculates after 29.Ba3, when ...b6 is fine, or as he played but
with 30...Ne3 first, before Rxd1, to not lose the knight.

Evans - Woods 0-1
It goes for wrong White after 26.Bf3 and Black carefully converts.

Leah Green - Leor Wasserman 0-1

Swift - Pang 1-0
31...Bh4 would have won the exchange. Black loses a piece a few moves later, but fights back to obtain drawing chances. His last misstep appears to be 51...Kd7; ke7 may hold the draw.

Kyle Vincent - Mandusic 1-0
Black was doing fine until 15...Qd7. (15...Na5 followed by c6 is preferred.)
However, after 16.c4 Black had 16... Nxd4 with a resultant long forcing sequence where Black wins a pawn. And Black could have played 17...Nxd4 with a similar sequence, but it does not gain a pawn.

Friday, August 22, 2008

US Open 2008 Dallas

Waldemar Schulz and I (Tony Boron) travelled to Dallas in early August to play in the 109th US Open. The tournament surprisingly had few GMs or IMs, but I was hoping that there were enough FIDE rated players amongst the 379 in attendance to enable me to get my final three required games (and a result) in order to have a FIDE rating on the next list (Oct 1, 2008).

I started out by playing the eventual winner,

IM Enrico Sevillano, in round 1. No points for guessing the result. In typical big swiss fashion, I alternated beating a lower rating player with losing to a higher rated player. I interrupted the pattern in rds 4 and 6 by drawing with a lower rated player and drawing a master, who happened to have a FIDE rating ! So, that was my third FIDE player and now I had a result. So, I should have a FIDE rating on Oct 1, but it will be terribly mediocre. I ended up with 5 points from 9 rounds; my 8th round opponent (who beat me) pointed out that all three of my losses were to Filipinos.

Waldemar lost to a master and expert, but finished strong with 5.5, which appeared to be .5 short of the prizes.

The tournament site was a Westin in the middle of a corporate park, with nothing especially interesting nearby. However, we did see the one must-see in Dallas (at least for folks of our generation) the site of President Kennedy's assassination. Very interesting, and although I already knew a lot about the assassination and the conspiracies and controversies surrounding it; actually having seen the site adds another perspective.

The Dallas World Aquarium was also nearby.
After seeing the fellow below, we joked that if we play something novel in the remaining rounds, it must be called 'the Penguin' a la Tartakower.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August TNT Round 3

Nikouline - Kernetsky 1-0

It look likes Black could have solved his problems with 26...Bxh5 (or on move 28) and Qe8 .
Surprisingly, Black may have drawing chances with 38...Qe4 with the idea of Rh8 in many lines.

Einarsson - Greenberg 0-1

Black plays a model Benoni (with White's cooperation - 10. a4 is played more than 99% of the time).
17...Nxb2 turns out better than it should - 18. Rb1 Nc4 19. Bxc4 bxc4 20. Na4 regains the pawn.

Bince - Babb DRAW
Black wins a pawn, but a knight ending results where ambition could lose.

Rutter- Evans 1-0
Black looks like he was out of ideas as the knight goes on a tour from a reasonable outpost at b4 to d8. Meanwhile White builds up a decisive pawn push.

Aaron Green - Swift 1-0
Black loses his c7 pawn, White has an easy time after that as Black allows the trading of pieces.

Jim Green - Leor Wasserman 1-0
White wins a rook after 16...exf5

Wood - Kyle Vincent 1-0
The power of the pin.

Goodman - Mandusic 1-0
I don't know why Black didn't play 19...Kxh6 (or on several opportunites after that) and then he can operate on the h-file.

Pang -Letain DRAW
A game of missed chances.
13. cxd5 looks like it wins a pawn.
Black misses 22...h6 23. Ne6 Nf3 winning and after say 24. Qf2 Nxe1 25.Qxe1 Qg3+ 26. Kg1 Rxe6 with Bc5 on tap, White can resign.
Black kept up his resistance in the lost ending until White faltered with 66.g7.
66. Rg3 or Kb2 win easily.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

George Anderson

Blair Rutter broke the sad news August 7 that George Anderson had passed away:

"The Manitoba chess community is saddened to learn of the passing of George Anderson earlier this week . George's colourful character was matched by his colourful play. He was especially known for his unconventional opening play, particularly the Orangutan (b4) opening. I was among many who fell victim at least once to this unusual attack.

George will also be remembered for opening his home to out-of-towners who came to play chess in Winnipeg. His last rated tournament appears to have been the Abe Yanofsky Memorial in 2007 in which he scored a respectable 3.0 out of 5.0 including a win over Jim Green and a draw against Jordan Kwiatek. Thank you George for adding considerable flair to Manitoba chess. You will be missed. "

I took a look at George's tournament record.
It appears that he played in his first rated event in the Manitoba Open of
2002, achieving a very respectable provisional rating of 1542. He was one of Winnipeg's most
active players, participating in close to 80 rated events up to his last
event the Abe Yanofsky Memorial of 2007.

He was a dangerous opponent - his victims included:
Gannon, Plocek, Reimer, Shome, Lange, Lorne Gibbons, Wasney, Trueman, Pottinger, Gibson, Proulx, Kohalmi, Tetrault, a young Zaczek, Hoogeveen-Rutter, Rutter, de Groot, Silva, Czarny, Rumpel, Mcpherson, Bist, Cheyne, Jim Green, Wood, the Wassermans, Crawford, Booth, Khedkar, Prince, amongst many others.

He had upset draws with Greenberg, Van Wyk, Joven, Kwiatek.

Personally, he gave me a huge scare in the first round of the 2004 Icelandic Invasion
I was able to squeeze out a draw in the ending, after George had outplayed me earlier.

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - August 16, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - August 16, 2008 from the Winnipeg Free Press

White to move and mate in 3 (Wurzburg)

I tried 1. Nge5+, but after 1...Ke4 I don't see how white can stop the K from escaping to numerous squares on the third rank.

I tried the spectacular 1. Qe6+ but Black escapes through e7

I tried 1.Qxg6 Kxg6 2.Nge5+ Kg5 3.Nf3 Kg6

Well, I gave up and put the engine on it. I'll give you a hint - the first move is not a check.

The key move is 1.Qb6 !
if 1...Kg5 2. Qd8+ Kf5 3. Nf2#
if 1...Ke4 2. Qe3 fe3 3. Nge5#
if 1...Qd3 2. Ne3+ Ke4 3. Bg2#

Saturday, August 16, 2008

August TNT Round 2

Babb - Oberton DRAW

Both players had weak pawns, the game reduced to rooks and opposite colour
bishops. It looks like White had winning chances however with 59.Ra8 +
and c5. I will guess that time trouble was a factor.
62..Ke8 looks simply winning for Black.

Khedkar - Nikouline 0-1
White plays the very speculative 30.Bxb6; his resulting passed pawns were stopped by Black.

Mundwiler - Rutter 1-0
White sacrifices pieces for an attack with great practical chances.
16...Bxg5 returning some material apparently saves Black. So does the mysterious 18...Ng4, perhaps a move only a computer would find.

Bince - Wiebe 0-1
Black survives early pressure, but is able to simply into a winning ending.

Greenberg - Wood 1-0
It's over quickly, but instructive. The preferred move on Black's sixth is Bb7 and now we know why.

Swift - Jim Green DRAW
23. Rf2? should have been decisive. Just before the end 53...Re3 was simple and strong. but I am going to guess that Black was in time trouble and gave back the exchange to enter what he thought was a winning ending. I believe it is winning if Black plants his knight on d4 watching the f3 square. Then he marches his king to the queenside. White looks quite helpless.

Einarsson - Leah Green 1-0

Leor Wasserman - Goodman 1-0
17. Qxd5? loses a piece for 2 pawns, but Black plays differently and decides to play against White's weak pawns. 19...Nd7 should lose immediately to 20. Rad1.
In the game, 20...Qxe3+ may have given Black a chance to hang on.

Mandusic - Arie Wasserman 0-1
White hangs the e pawn with 17. d4 and soon after he can't protect his king.

Evans-Pang 1-0
Black would have a nice edge with 21...bxc3, but delays one move allowing to White to consolidate. 30...Ba1? just drops the d pawn (although White doesn't take it)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

August TNT Round 1

Aaron Green - Babb 0-1
White must have surprised to learn that 18. Ne1 loses a pawn.

Nikouline - Goodman 1-0
A short burst of tactics earns White the point

Ari Wasserman - Mundwiler 0-1
12. Bxh6 would have been interesting.
27.g4 blunders a rook in a roughly equal position.

Kernetsky - Evans 1-0
White's Bxa6 was executable as soon as move 20.
White didn't play the nice deflection move 31. Rxc7; he had a big advantage already

Letain - Bince 0-1

White has a big advantage by move 13, but let's it slip away with 24.Nxd7.
Preferred was 24.Qd2 and with the threat of Na6 winning material. The last mistake was 29.Ra6. The struggle continues after Rd1

Oberton - Leor Wasserman 1-0
Pawn races on both wings. Black plays 31...Rxf3 one move too late.

Pang - Khedkar 0-1
White loses a pawn early, fights back, but loses to a tactic.

Rutter - Mandusic 1-0
Black is cramped, but not in immediate trouble until 16...Nfd7, leaving his bishop without an escape square.

Lorne Gibbons - Czypinski 0-1
White was doing fine until he took his king on a strange walk.

Daniel Wiebe - Kyle Vincent 1-0
The power of the pin.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - August 2, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - August 2, 2008 from the Winnipeg Free Press

White to mate in 2 (Funk)

So what is going on here ? White has a discovered double check with the rook available.
But perhaps
1. Rf1+ is better, protecting the bishop from the queen, but
1...Rg2 2.Bxg2 hg2
Who put that pawn there ? I didn't see it. LOL

What is White's problem - can't protect f4 and the queen is useless. How about
1.Kxg5 ...Qxh1 stops all the mates because now the R on f3 is hanging.

It now occurred to me that we have a problem protecting the rook on f3 and applying mate after an unimpeded Qxh1. So from what square can we cover the rook and give check ? Answer: g4 with a knight. How do we get there ?
1.Nxh3 this also has the point that the bishop will cover the escape square d5.
1..Qxh1 ends that.

I take a short break and look at the position fresh. How else can we get to g4 ?

so 1.Nxe6 ! now when we play 2.Nxg5 the queen covers d5.
And the other mate available is 2.Re3 if Black covers g5.

(Note: Cecil indicates in his column of August 16 - that the primary solution given in the original source is 1. Qa8. Yes that does work. When there is an alternate solution (as above), unintended by the composer, it is known as a cook. Problems that have cooks are said to be cooked.)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

July TNT Round 3

Swift - Van Wyk 0-1
An interesting battle until White falters with 24. Nd4 when Bxf6 was required.

Rutter- Kernetsky 1-0
Myron uncharacteristically blunders into a fork.

Lauritson - Arie Wasserman 1-0
White exploits Black's opening. 10...b5 was required with chances to survive.

Mundwiler - Aaron Green DRAW
Another interesting battle. I was curious about a couple of moves that Black rejected.
20...f4 is strong but perhaps double-edged, but 22...Qe5+ is strong and obvious.(and again on move 23)

Letain - Bince 0-1
7. de5 would have blunted Black's black squared bishop for some time.
12. g3 was preferable to Ke2. 20. a4 allows White to defend. 21. Nxb5 loses immediately,Qxb5 does not lead to immediate doom.

Charter- Trueman 1-0
Black loses a pawn with 17...Nb8, and another soon after.

Goodman - Sauddin 1-0
Black should have played 18 or 19... Qh3. 19...d3 provides White with some counterplay which he eventually converts.

Klokow - Wiebe 1-0
21...d5 leads to White's winning 22.Nh5 as the N on f6 is now pinned against the Q on b6.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Anti- Draw Rules Poll

At the AY Memorial blog

I have removed the previous post with the comments.
Let's move forward and decide which rule to use

Monday, July 21, 2008

July TNT Round 2

Vincent - Charter 1-0
White slowly maneouvres to win a pawn. There is an interesting continuation 28...Nf5 that only a compuer could find.

Aaron Green - Lauritson DRAW
The game reduced to an opposite colour bishop ending. Aaron's results can no longer be considered upsets.

Bince - Swift 0-1

White had a strong continuation available in 13. Bc2 g6 14. Qe4 threatening the rook on a8 and 15. Qh4. And a bit later 16. Qe4 would have won material. Nontheless, White is a piece up and Black has no counterplay until he rejects 48. Bg6 in favour of 48. f5. White must must have distraught and/or in time trouble to play 53. Bxe8 when instead 53.Nb4 provides serious resistance.

Arie Wasserman - Rutter DRAW
15. c3 is a nice finesse, but he doesn't play 16.Bxd4 which wins a pawn, but he wins it a few moves later anyway. Black drops another pawn with 23... Kf7. White ends up with what may be a winning advantage in the rook and pawn ending; 29. f4 would have stopped a lot of Black's defensive chances . The ending with f and h pawns is a theoretical draw.

Kernetsky - Campbell 1-0
Black lost an exchange and had trouble drumming up counterplay.

Wiebe - Letain DRAW
8...Neg4 would have been interesting, with ideas of Nxe4.
The immediate 18...Rg6, with White's queen unable to get back to the king's defence, would have been decisive. 20...h5 would have kept up the pressure. Black settles for perpetual check, but 25...Re8 looks winning, but it is difficult to calculate to the end.

Van Wyk - Klokow 1-0
Black may have been able to hold the draw with 28...Rxd2 29. Bxd2 Rf2.
33...Rg8 also keeps the game alive

Pang- Mundwiler 0-1
White may be able to hold with accurate defence starting around move 30, but it would have been very difficult.

Mandusic - Goodman 0-1
13. b4 ?? was the critical error.

Leor Wasserman - Saudin 0-1
White missed Black's 29...Rh2+ shot. Simply 29. Bxd4 wins a pawn.

Lorne Gibbons - Trueman 0-1
The ambitious 15. Nxg6 ? gets refuted.

Chess Workshop for Juniors

Chess Workshop for Juniors

University of Winnipeg
Tuesday, August 5, 2008 -Friday, August 8, 2008
9:00am - 3:30pm

Principal Instructor: David Ross, International Chess Master from Mississippi

There will be two sections:

* Intermediate - $145 - Lorne Gibbons, Tournament Director, Manitoba Chess Association
Players should know all of the rules and, preferably, have some tournament experience.

* Advanced - $185 -
Players must have a Chess & Math Rating close to or above 1000. (David Ross, International Chess Master)

Space is limited in both sections so please register early to avoid disappointment!

For more information or to register call Jim Green at 275-1835 or by email:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - July 19, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - July 19, 2008 from the Winnipeg Free Press

White to mate in 3 (Dobbs)

The king currently has one move - Kxd6 and we also have to keep in mind that Black has a couple of check if White allows it.

So let's try 1. b8(Q) Rxd6+ 2. Ke7 is stalemate !
2. Kc7 Rd7 3. Kxd7 mate
2. Kc7 Rd4 3. Qe8 mate
2. Kc7 Rd8 3. Kxd8 mate

1. b8(Q) Rxd8+ 2. Kxd8 is stalemate
2. Nxd8 Kf5 and I can't mate

So that appears to be the end of 1.b8(Q)

Let's try 1. d7 Re8 2. dxe8(Q) Kd6 3. Qd4 mate but other Black moves stymie White.

I tried 1. b1(B) to try to avoid the stalemate but it is the diagonal coverage that creates the pin above, so that didn't help.

I then tried putting some (several) chess engines on it...they ALL said mate in 4 ! I contacted Cecil who indicated 1. b8(N) ! So what do the engines say now ? Oh, it's a mate in 2 after the first move ! If you have an engine that finds 1. b8(N) unprompted, let me know.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

July TNT Round 1

Goodman - Vincent 0-1
Trevor extends his undefeated string to 183 games (ok, it just seems that long).
White had to develop action on the king side with 17. f4 to stay in the game, but Black owns the queenside regardless.

Mundwiler - Arie Wasserman 0-1
Big upset ! 6.d4 appears to be a novelty, and not a good one. It wasn't over yet, but 16. Ba3 ? allowing16... Ne3 was the beginning of the end.
I thought 29...Kf6 would have been a bit more precise (the position looked like one of Cecil's Saturday puzzles), but Arie's 29...Rxh3 is better (not that it really matters at that point).

Letain - Kernetsky DRAW
A half-upset.

Lauritson - Leor Wasserman 1-0
Here is a Saturday puzzle for you.

If play continues 21. Bxf8 Rxf8, it is mate in 8 after 22. Qh6. White decided instead to win a pawn with the natural 21. Qxf7

Trueman- Bince 0-1
White missed a chance with 43. Re7+ Kf8 44. Rcd8 winning either the c or e pawn.
However as play progressed, Black simplified to an easily won Knight vs. bishop ending.

Rutter - Pang 1-0
Black drops a pawn after 16...b6, with no compensation and he is probably lost at this point as the d pawn falls also. But he fights back and after White does not play the crushing 25. Qf4, he had a chance to survive with 25...Ncd6. But White sees 26. Qf4 and Black has to sacrifice a piece to live for a while.

Swift - Wiebe 1-0
Another upset, although Ryne has been done this before. What's more, he made the opposite colour bishop ending look easy. I will have to look at this ending again when I have more time.

Charter - Andusic 1-0
Bennet returns.

Sauddin - Aaron Green 0-1
White is doing fine until he abandon his e pawn for a speculative attack. Note that the unplayed 27...Rxd2 is possible and White does not mate after 28. Rh3 Qd6.
In the game, if 31. Kf1 , black still has to demonstrate how he will win.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - July 5, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - July 5, 2008 from the Winnipeg Free Press

White to move and mate in three (Wurzburg)

Looks like it should be easy, but I had much difficulty with it. Of course, almost anything mates, but not in three. I tried Kd3, Kc2, bishop moves - nothing worked in time. So I must confess I put the engine on it.

1. Rf5 ! with lots of nice lines
1...Ka2 2. Ra5+ Kb1 3. Qf5 mate
1...Kc2 2. Rb5 Bd2 3. Qb2 mate
1...Ba3 2. Rf1+ Ka2 3. Qxf7 mate

Very nice. I was fooled into thinking the mate would be at close range.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Notre Dame de Lourdes active

A great success by all accounts ! Was this the best attended Manitoba tournament outside Winnipeg ever ?

2nd Annual ChessNuts Open in Fargo

Our friend Brian Thompson from Fargo has announced that there will be a follow up to the first ChessNuts Open ! Mark October 17-19 on your calendar. For details see
There were eight or so Manitobans in attendance last year, and I would expect there will be at least that many this year.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is Garry reviewing my game ?

I hope not !

As readers of the blog will recall, I played young Daniel Naroditsky in Las Vegas 3 weeks ago.

July TNT does not start until July 8

Just a reminder

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June TNT Round 4

Vincent - Lauritson 1-0

A very nice attack starting with 19. Bxh6.
It appears that Black's problems started with 8...Bh4, which gave White several tempo for the attack. My engine indicates that 9...Re8 is preferable to 9...a6, but initially I couldn't see why. The point however is that the bishop is able to escape to e4 if White plays similar to the game with g4, d4, f4.

Babb - Kernetsky 0-1
White's attacking chances dissipate, while Black gets counterplay on the c file.

Nikouline - Bince 0-1
Nice game by Black - White's queenside weaknesses were too much.

Wiebe - Evans 1-0
Black had numerous chances but couldn't find the right moves.

Mundwiler - Greenberg 1-0
Black gets in a heap of trouble along the f-file- perhaps 10...f5 was necessary.

Aaron Green - Klokow DRAW
In an unbalanced position the players repeated the position.

Gibson - Letain DRAW
Black wins a second pawn, but for some reason does not play 16...Bf5 keeping it. He could have regained the two pawn advantage with 23...Qb6+ and 24..Bxa2. And again later with 26...Qxc3
Black's last chance for a clear win was 37...Kf4 instead of Ke4

Gibbons - Kuropatwa 0-1
White helps crack open the queenside

Monday, June 23, 2008

Team Active Tournament

Team Active Tournament

First round action

As Alex Nikouline has mentioned, the Active tournament was a great success with 9 teams comprised of 36 players. Hats off to the TD, Alex, for quick pairings and quick publishing of all results.

After two rounds it already appeared that the Dark Knights and the Juniors would be the class of the field with 6.5 each ahead of Team Rutter which had 4.5. The leaders drew in round 3, while My System swept BOGG to close to within .5 of the leaders.

In round 4, the Dark Knights beat My System 3-1, while the Juniors kept pace. But as Alex reported, in the final game of round 5 Francis Trueman played spoiler and denied the Juniors a share of first.
Congratulations to the Dark Knights.

My System vs. Juniors

Team Rutter vs. Team Lipic

Team Araullo vs. Team Einarsson

Snails vs. Dark Knights

Kaptsan vs. Vincent - Passing the torch

Even TD Alex couldn't avoid being paired against Trevor