Saturday, March 29, 2008

March TNT Round 4

Play over the games at chessmanitoba or on this link

Lipnowski - Mundwiler 0-1
Sam did not react well to Les' surprise use of Bird defence to the Ruy Lopez. 11. h4 must be too commital. 13...Bxg3 ! blows the position open and Black obtained a winning material superiority.

Lauritson - Khedkar DRAW
A solid Cambridge Springs Variation resulted in an uneventful draw.

Rutter - Silva 1-0
The weak dark squares around Black's king led to doom.

Goodman - Schulz 0-1
It appears that White resigned before waiting for 25...Ne2+

Xue - Kong 0-1
In an equal position, White played the interesting, but faulty 23. Ng6

Rumpel - Liu 0-1
12. g4 in front of the castled king is suspect. Eventually White's weak e and f pawns contributed to his loss.

Kernetsky - Aaron Green DRAW
Aaron get another draw witha higher rated opponent.

Wiebe-Mark Klusa 1-0

Leor Wasserman - Jim Green DRAW
Black is a good pawn up and could have pressed for the win, but I suspect he was short of time.

Letain - Campbell 0-1
White missed tactics involving the g4 square.

Evans - Trueman 0-1
I am at loss for words. Rip-snorting chess !

Lawrence Kusla-Lorne Gibbons 1-0
Balck got his pieces tangled up on the queenside and soon loses a piece.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

McPhillips Street Station casino Saturday, March 29

An active tournament (20 minutes per player per game) will be held at the McPhillips Street Station casino on Saturday, March 29 starting at 7:00 p.m.

5 round Swiss.

Entry fee of $20.00.

Prize fund of $500.

Register on-site from 6:00 to 6:50.

Must be age 18 or over, due to casino admittance restrictions.

All players, including first-time tournament players are welcome to participate.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

March TNT Round 3

Kong- Lipnowski 0-1
Black gets the two bishops and gives White an isolated d-pawn.
White could have liquidated his weak d pawn by tactical means by 27.d5 !
Doesn't 30. Nc5 (Bb6) trade pawns with at least equality for White ?
Black's aggressive king moves win the isolated pawn and the game.

Schulz -Mundwiler DRAW
A doubled-edged Benoni resulted in some fighting chess.
29. Qf1 (inspired by the Saturday puzzle move) looks like it would win back the sacrificed pawn, but White plays something else.
White must be winning after 36. Rxf5.
46. b7 may have been the last chance for an easy win; it gets murky after the game's 46.Rxg6+, and I suspect mutual time-trouble.

Liu - Lauritson 0-1
Can White really castle queenside and live ? Somehow, a lot of pieces get exchanged and White can breathe for a few moves. But after 30. f5, Black calculates a winning a king and pawn endgame and exchanges the remaining pieces to win.

Khedkar - Weibe 1-0
Defending a King's Gambit, Black played 18...Qd7, missing the nice shot to follow:

19. Nxg7! <----roll over this area to see move.

Silva - Oberton 1-0
22...c5 locking the centre, gives White the green light to blow open the kingside.

Kernetsky-Rumpel DRAW
The players swapped most of their pieces by move 24 and agreed to a draw.

Rutter- Arie Wasserman 1-0
6...Be6 loses a piece to a classic theme.

Proulx - Goodman 0-1
White refused to move his queen off the f-file and the pin, and paid for it.

Li - Evans 1-0
30...f5 appears to drop the e pawn, but White doesn't take it (perhaps there is a notation error somewhere) 40. ...Re3 would have been very strong and probably wins easily. Black rejects the draw by perpetual on move 43, and loses soon after.

Campbell - Lawrence Klusa 1-0
Every player at some time or another has made the same error as Black in this game at move 10.

Letain - Trueman 1-0
11..Qb6 gives White a target with tempo, he shortly wins a critical pawn and converts to a win.

Lorne Gibbons - Leor Wasserman 0-1
Somehow White survives his early problems and even achieves an advantage until he plays the bizarre 39. Kh4 and soon loses.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Magnus Smith

Very interesting article on this former Manitoban at Chesscafe.

"Magnus Smith won the Canadian championship every time it was held from 1899 to 1906. He dominated Canadian chess as no one would for a generation. When Canada could no longer contain him, Smith moved to New York and rubbed shoulders with the world class of chess – Lasker, Marshall and Capablanca."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - March 15, 2008

from the Winnipeg Free Press, March 15, 2008

White to mate in 3 - Healey

It's been a long time since I last tried these mate in 3 composed problems. The Saturday problem has a long tradition in the Winnipeg Free Press; the first one I attempted was in 1971.
But they go way back.

Anyway, on to this one. Let's look at the basic features.
The Black king has no squares, it just needs to be checked without block or capture.
Black's knight can't move because of the mate on d6.
The Bishop has to cover the mate on c6, so only Bd7 and Be8 avoid immediate checkmate if it was Black to move.
The knight on b6 is protecting the pawn on d5, otherwise I would like to try moving the knight and delivering mate on b6.
The bishop on a1 is bothering me - what is the relevance of this piece ?

My first try is
1. Rxf4 threating Rxc4+ and then Qc6 mate
then 1...Bd7 2. Nxd7+ Kxd5 3. Rd4 mate, but 1...Be8 is ok
2. Rxc4+ Kb5 and the king runs away via the square vacated by the bishop.
Then I spent half an hour trying other ideas that didn't get too far; I ran out of moves. Then I gave up.
I checked the position with an engine that just happened to be handy and it did not find a mate in 3, but a few mates in 4 which I had already discovered on my own. Concerned, I checked with the author of the column; he suggested 1. Rh1. Sure enough , if I show this to those engines, they say, yes, that would be a mate in 3.
So I tried it with some other engines; Shredder 10 and the old Fritz 5.32 both find 1.Rh1 instantly.
I would like to hear from anyone whose engine does not find 1.Rh1.

Anyway, the point of 1. Rh1 is that White will play 2. Qb1 threatening mate on b4 or 3. Qg1 mate. If you saw this "triangulation" idea without assistance you are quite clever !

So what about the bishop on a1 ? Well, if you remove it, Rg1 still mates in three. But the bishop's absence would introduce a "cook", or alternate solution, in this case 1. Ra1. Note the bishop is the only piece that can be placed on a1 !

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March TNT Round 2

[After I posted my notes below Nigel Hanrahan indicated (in the comments)that
several games were marred by time trouble]

Lipnowski - Kernetsky 1-0
I don't know why Black opened White's f-file with 17...Bxg5
White neglected his queenside; I don't know who stands better after 37...Nxb2
White sacrifices a piece and decides to try to run a passed h pawn in
for a touchdown, but the computer thinks Black is winning easily.

The natural 40...Nc4 would have been an interesting move,
with White having to make some difficult decisions.

The ending blunder 49...Ng6 is a shame, as after
49...Qxf4 50. Bxf4 Ng6 Black may still be able to hold.

Mundwiler - Rutter 1-0
Blair throws caution to the wind with 10...g5, and White,
without having to do anything special, annihilates him.

Oberton - Kong 0-1
Very nice game by young Kong.
White could have opted for the stock knight "sacrifice" for 3 pawns with 13. Ncxb5,
but what he played keeps a tiny plus.

White appears to gets in trouble on the queenside and ends up with isolated doubled b pawns.
Shredder suggests Bd7 on move 34 and for several moves after,
hitting the weak e6 pawn. Eventually Daniel plays Bd7 and wins the pawn.
But given the chance to undouble his b pawns with 40. bxc4, White chooses 40. Bxc4

Black meanwhile gets connected passed d and e pawns, that prove decisive.

Silva - Liu DRAW
Black had an extra pawn in the ending, but decided it was too difficult to convert to the full point.

Wiebe - Proulx 1-0
White's pieces were all tangled up, but then Black started exchanging them, giving White room to breathe. Not sure what happened at the end of the game score, The position is roughly equal.

Leor Wasserman - Lauritson 0-1

These two continued the theoretical battle in this variation started in the February TNT Round 2.
Leor varies first with 8. f4.
Alas, the same theme of a weak b2 square repeated. But Shredder (I think a player could find this based on the logic below) finds an interesting resource for White.

After 13...Bxa3

White has 14. Be3 which hits the queen, but more importantly allows White to castle, after which Black is in danger of being embarassed. If Black responds 14...Qb4+ . White plays 15. c3 and everything is hanging ! (Notice the b1 square is now covered by the bishop !) And Nd6+ is playable some lines as a zwichenzug !
14... c5 15. Nd6+ and Nc4.
Best apparently is 14...Qb8 15. 0-0 and now the almost forced 15...Ra2 16. Qd1 Rxa1 17. Qxa1 Bb4 18. Rb1 And White is still alive and doing ok despite being 2 pawns down temporarily

Evans - Khedkar 0-1
I am no expert in the 6. a4 line against the Najdorf, but I don't think castling long is advised for White in that line. Jay demonstrates some of the pitfalls. However, Black's unnecessary rook sacrifice on c2 gives White the edge with proper defence. 29. Rd3 leaves Black to demonstrate that he didn't get carried away.

Trueman - Rumpel 0-1

Jim Green - Letain 1-0
White plays an interesting exchange sacrifice and Black does the same to bail himself out of trouble. But moving his center pawns which were shutting out the White bishop proved to be fatal.

Mark Klusa - Campbell 1-0
A novelty on move 2 ! I have never seen this before ...1. e4 c5 2. Bb5?!
Gary sacrificied a rook for a mating attack , but there was no mate.

Lorne Gibbons - Arie Wasserman 0-1
Goodman - Lawrence Klusa 1-0
Black was doing ok until he blundered a rook at move 35. If someone throws
you a gift pawn, you have to check to see why.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - March 1, 2008

from the Winnipeg Free Press, March 1, 2008

White to move and mate in 2 (Larsson)

At first glance, this looks trivial.
If the rook stands pat, Black has to move either pawn, then will be suspectible to a check on a black diagonal.
We don't know which pawn Black will move, so we must be prepared for both.
1. Qg1 looks like a good try - as mate on g5 or b6 follows. Except if Black plays 1...c5.
1. Qa1 doesn't work because 1...e5 blocks the check on f6.
So we need another square that gives the Q access to both diagonals.
1. Qh5 is thwarted by 1...c5
1. Qa4 does the trick with mate on h4 or a5 to follow.

If the Rook is at d5 , the result is the same.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March TNT Round 1

March TNT Round 1

Rumpel - Lipnowski 0-1
White had a good position and even wins a pawn on move 27, and another next move. But he returns the favour and more by allowing the fatal opening of the d file with 29.d5 when instead 29. Rxc8 gives White a big plus.

Schulz - Jim Green 1-0
Waldemar outplays Jim from an equal, material reduced position initiating a minority attack of sorts. Jim loses a pawn to simple tactic, and loses a second pawn in the Rook ending to end it.

Campbell- Mundwiler 0-1
14. g4 is suspect. 21.Qf2 is an attempt to relieve the pressure but unfortunately a pin on the f-file will soon be revealed.

Lauritson - Aaron Green DRAW
20. Bb6 seems to give White only two results to play for. The computer gives Black roughly a three point advantage, but that looks a bit generous. I don't understand why Black delayed in capturing the pawn on e6, but it didn't appear to matter. Black established an impenetrable fortress and could have perhaps tried for win, but he liquidated further to an ending that he assessed White could not win. Before 52...Nxb3, Shredder gives Black a 5 point advantage ! But what is the winning plan for Black ? I may come back to this game. In the meantime readers, any ideas ?

Arie Wasserman - Oberton 0-1
there is an apparent error in the score move 22.Qg4 (likely Qg3).
White should perhaps castle long on moves 11,13, or 15. White is fine until 17.Kd2 results in the loss of pawns; 17. Rb1 is ok. Even Black missed a tactic---19...Qxc1+

Liu-Goodman 1-0
Black blew open his own castled kingside and couldn't survive the pins.

Trueman - Kernetsky 0-1
White faltered around move 30 when he couldn't coordinate his pieces and and fell to a pin on the d3 pawn.

Khedkar - Leor Wasserman DRAW
I think Jay would have preferred to preserve his rook on move 22 instead of playing 22.Nd5.
After 20. Rd4 almost all of young Leor's moves were forced, although good enough for a 2 rooks vs. queen draw.

Letain - Rutter 0-1
I said I wouldn't comment on the openings, but in the interest of instruction I will make some comments. 9. Bxf6 gives a slight advantage to Black after only 9 moves.. The pin is annoying to Black, and White should at least wait until Black plays the weakening h6 before exchanging, if at all.
13. Nc7 should fail immediately to 13...Qf4+, but Black played Rad8, which allows White back in the game somewhat with 14. Nxd5 (but was not played), and Black saw Qf4+ on the next move

Kong - Mark Klusa 1-0
Black had a roughly equal game until he blundered his f pawn on move 21. (note White's previous move 26.was probably Qc4 and not Qc2).

Lawrence Klusa - Silva 0-1
17. c5 would have saved the loss of the d-pawn.

Proulx - Gibbons 1-0
White did not play 16. Bxd6 winning a pawn. I guess he was setting up to play b4 and win the knight on a5. But given the chance next move, White doesn't play it. Perhaps the gamescore is incorrect.

Fischer Commemoration

As many of you know, Bobby Fischer would have been 65 today. (Sunday, March 9, 2008)
A special event is being held at the Marshall Chess Club in New York.

I have been to the Marshall Chess Club, but not IN the Marshall Club. It was closed the afternoon I visited in September 2005. Yes, it was a very sunny day.

Friday, March 7, 2008

February TNT Round 4

February TNT Round 4

Lipnowski - Liu 1-0
Sam refutes the French ! Weixi, please study the Karpov-Korchnoi matches.

Mundwiler - Kernetsky DRAW
These guys probably played each other back in the 70s !
White gets a very strange pawn structure out of the opening.
Black misses a few chance early e.g. 14...Bxd3 should just be winning as 15. Nxe7 is met by Bc2.
In the game 15...Bxg5 would White with an uphill battle, but he got one anyway. Great resilience by Les to get the draw, although the final position looks like a win for Black. Perhaps Myron was in time trouble.

Wierda- Fromme DRAW
Scoresheet looks suspicious. The moves 27. Rf2 Qg5 don't make sense with the knight hanging on c5.

Wiebe - Tang DRAW
By move 16, each player had reduced down to 2R and 8P !

Aaron Green - Khedkar 0-1
Jay took advantage of a dubious exchange sacrifice.

Evans - Greenberg 1-0
Harley found out why e6 is usually played before Qc7. Ouch ! He was still fine if he played 7...dxc6 instead of 7...Qxe4??

Lauritson - Letain 1-0
Black allowed a decisive kingside attack.

Campbell - Arie Wasserman 1-0
Black found himself defending in a passive position and missed a tactic.

Leor Wasserman - Lawrence Klusa 1-0
Black missed a knight fork.

Lorne Gibbons - Mark Klusa 1-0
White wins an exchange. White give back a piece. Black is winning.Is the game score correct ? Because 27...c1(Q)+ would win. Anyway, last mistake loses.

Gibson - Crawford 0-1
White fell victim to a common fork tactic.

February TNT Round 3

February TNT Round 3

Tang - Lipnowski 0-1

A flurry of tactics resulted in the following position after 18...Kd8

White has a lot of choice here and played 19. Qxg7. 19.Qb3 is also interesting with threats of Nf7 and Qb7. Eventually Black was able to consolidate, with his bishop and rook forming a formidable battery.

Liu- Mundwiler 1-0
Black missed a golden opportunity with 16...Bxe4 17. Bxe4 g5 winning a piece.
25...g5 or Be7 was required to prevent the fatal fracturing of the pawn structure. Weixi finished it off with a nice shot.

Kernetsky - Weibe 1-0
8...Bb7 dropped a piece.

Fromme - Greenberg 1-0
The game is roughly equal until Harley delays capturing on f5 and plays 23...Qe7 instead. He also sacrificed a rook on d5 a few moves later. I can only guessed that he missed something in his calculations.

Khedkar - Campbell 1-0
8...Nb8 is the preferred way to play this variation.

Silva - Aaron Green 0-1
Aaron picks up some more rating points. White could have won the c pawn with 16.Rxd8+ and 17. Na4, instead Black won the exchange a couple of moves later and converted the endgame.

Arie Wasserman - Evans 0-1
White got into a heap of trouble with 14. Qc3 - his poorly coordinated pieces were not able to defend each other.

Wierda - Mark Klusa 1-0
Black lost several tempi with his early knight tour and never recovered.

Letain - Lorne Gibbons 1-0
Blac appears to have resigned a little early.
Interesting tactic I didn't see until Shredder starting going crazy...after 14...Rd8, White has a winner

15. Ne5+ !<- to see the answer roll your mouse over the area to the left

Crawford - Leor Wasserman 0-1
White left a piece en prise

Lawrence Klusa - Gibson 1-0
Black got too ambitious with 22...Na3 and lost the knight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

February TNT Round 2

February TNT Round 2

Lipnowski - Khedkar 1-0
White's position got better every time Black intiated an exchange. Eventually the remaining pieces got overloaded protecting each other.

Wiebe - Fromme 1-0
White lost a pawn on move 16, but just over ten moves later has an extra pawn and a won endgame !
Black didn't make any major errors, but a series of small inaccuracies, the biggest being 22...Ne7, probably underestimating the power of 24. Nc7.

Mundwiler-Silva 1-0

White wins a pawn on move 9, but relaxes a bit and after 15.Nh4, Black has a knockout punch available.

Black played 15...Ne4, but missed the relatively easy to find 15...Nb3+ when it is unlikely that White can survive. Maybe he rejected it because of 16.Kd1 Rad8 17.Nxf5 Rxd6+ 18. exd6 Qxf5 19. axb3 when material is "equal". But 19...Nb4 ends it soon.

Black lost his way (and the knight) with 23...Ne4.

Tang - Arie Wasserman 1-0
Even game throughout. Did Black resign in a drawn position ?

Aaron Green - Liu 0-1
White lost a pawn on move 24, but gave it up in away that totally destroyed his pawn structure. 25. Nh4 or Nh2 would have given him some chances to fight on.

Kernetsky-Lorne Gibbons 1-0
White had a very small plus going into the endgame, but once the King gets to e5 it is 1-0.

Greenberg-Letain 1-0
Black self-trapped his bishop.

Leor Wasserman - Lauritson 0-1
White missed a tactic early and Black converted.

Gibson- Wierda 0-1
White was doing fine until he missed that the black queen was covering the rook on d8.

Crawford - Campbell 0-1
White lost a pawn early.

Lawrence Klusa - Evans 0-1
White could have played 11.de5with advantage.
He blundered with 20.e4, when 20.c4 would have been absolutely fine.

February TNT Round 1

February TNT Round 1

continuing in catch-up mode...

Wierda - Lipnowski 0-1
Looks like Sam may have won an otherwise drawn endgame on time.
White had a good game but gave up two pieces for a rook with 32. Bc

Fromme - Gary Campbell 1-0
Black has big problems defending his difficult position.

Lipic - Mundwiler 0-1
White allowed Black to take control of the a-file.

Lauritson - Aaron Green 0-1
9...Qe8 seems a bit odd; White did not capitalize as he missed 12. Nb5 which looks fishy at first glance, but probably wins decisive material. White blundered with 24.f3. Black was doing well to convert hsi advantage to a win until the position after 46...Rd1.

White should play 47. Nxe5+ with a likely draw. But White played 47. Nd8+ and went on to win.

Evans - Tang 0-1
White had trouble finding squares for his pieces and succumbed to a fork.

Liu - Leor Wasserman 1-0
Black blundered with 11...Na6 when Ke7 or Kf8 was required.

Letain- Kernetsky DRAW
Both players made safe moves; a nice result for Cory, drawing someone 500 points higher.

Khedkar - Gibson 1-0
9. Bxf7 + was also an option with a decisive advantage.

Crawford-Wiebe 0-1
I think 16.Rxa3 is much better than 16. ab3 holding the pawn structure together, but the bigger problem is with the subsequent moves.

Silva - Mark Klusa 1-0
White won a pawn early.

Lorne Gibbons - Greenberg DRAW
White had a large advantage for most of the game, but lost it all with one careless move.

Arie Wasserman - Lawrence Klusa 1-0

After 33. Qf7, the position below occurred:

Now, either the game score is incorrect, or both players missed something here as Black has a forced mate.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

January TNT Round 4

January TNT Round 4

Lauritson - Lipnowski 0-1
Interesting game. Shredder 10 likes the pawn sac 15.g5, but I don't see the compensation.
16. e4 may have been a mistake; after 16...d4 17.Nb1 White is cramped.
Perhaps White should have eliminated the knight with 26. Bxc5; instead the knight played a key roll in the ensuing tactics and White quickly lost.

Atem- Mundwiler 0-1
I normally don't comment on openings, but if plays 6.Na3, he must play 7. Nc4 if allowed.
Anyway, Black had great pressure, but it mysteriously dissipated to the point that the position is dynamically equal around move 30. But White blundered on moves 33 and 34 and it was all over.

Liu - Tang DRAW

Weirda - Magnusson 0-1

16.Nxf6? is hard to understand.

And now finally a position worthy of a diagram. Black had a big advantage, but played has just played 26...Rde7 instead of the preferred 26...Rhe7. How does White get back in the game ?

27. Bd6 and White wins back the piece he dropped earlier.

An interesting endgame resulted later. After 53...Rf2 White has chances to salvage the game.
After 54. Ke1 White may be winning !
White played 54. g6 instead, but the same position arose later (but with the pawn on g6).
White did play 56. Ke1 and after 56...d2+ , he did not play 57. Kxf2 which at least draws.

Aaron Green - Letain 1-0
Black's big mistake was 20...Nh5 which gave White a passed pawn on d6 for nothing.
Also, could have considered playing 19...d5.

Lorne Gibbons - Crawford 0-1
Initially I thought 9.Kd2 was a a mouseslip...