Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April TNT Round 4

Web page with light annotations for Rds 3 AND 4 here

Mundwiler - Liu DRAW

Weixi won a good pawn , but put his knight in danger with 29...Nf3 , instead of the safer 29...Ng5 intending Nf6 or cheapos with Rb2, Rxg2, Ne3+. 32...g5 looks suspicious, instead Ng5 again looks safe with a two pawn advantage. 33...g4 looks a bit strange also, and the players drew. I am going to guess that time trouble was a factor.

Wierda - Rutter 0-1
Positional maneuvering game. Black slowly grabbed more and more space.
28. Na5 does not make a good impression. Eventually, White wins a pawn but see ghosts and
plays 47. f3 which loses the knight which had made its way to c6.

Xue-Kernetsky 0-1
I think I prefer 13...ed4, but White may have compensation. 19. Ne6 is a nice idea, but doesn't accomplish anything. A little later, White misses mate on f1.

Rumpel - Jim Green DRAW
Even game right until the end.

Gibson - Evans 1-0
Black could have tried 15...Qxd6, but he ends up fine especially after White sacrifices a bishop on g7, only to falter against White's attack.

Kong - Lauritson 1-0
I am not sure of the score - as 28. Ba3 just hangs the bishop, but Black didn't take it. If Jim sees this, please let me know.

Aaron Green - Silva 0-1
White unsoundly sacs a piece, andBlack converts his advantage.

Arie Wasserman - Kalk 1-0
Black missed that his rook was en prise.

Greenberg - Lawrence Klusa 1-0
5...Be6 looks odd and as the game shows, it was not truly threatening the c4 pawn. Black is ok, however he allows White to win a rook a few moves later. He did however have a good chance of counterplay based on trapping the queen starting with 11...c6. Please see the playable file for some sample lines.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - April 26, 2008

White to mate in 4 Breuer
Hmm, mate in 4.
I personally am not going to spend much time on this one, so I set an engine on it.

The first move is 1. Ba7, Black must reply 1...f6
so 1. Ba7 is now a clue to the second move, as otherwise 1. Bb6 would be just as good.
2.Nb6 - the point of Ba7 - Black's only move is 2...Ke3,
then 3.Nc4+ and 4. Nd2 #

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April TNT Round 3

Looks like a round of upsets and semi-upsets - let's take a look.
Lots of very interesting games.
Play through the games with some playable variations here

Kernetsky - Mundwiler 0-1
Wow. These guys were playing book moves for many moves. 17. Qd3 may be a novelty, Qd2 is the most common move. White ended up playing Qd2 a few moves later. In the meantime, Black played Qd8 to e8 to d8.
Black gave up an important pawn with 27...Ne8 instead of Ne6.
30. Re6 suggests itself and looks absolutely crushing, but White played 30.Bc4 ? instead and the initiative instantly turns over to Black.
42.gh4 opens up too many lines against White's king - but White must have been feeling the pressure of time trouble as he lost on time a few moves later although he is lost anyway in the final position. There is no good way to prevent ...Kg3, Rh2 mate.

Jim Green - Liu 0-1

White plays a King's Indian Attack against the French - no doubt inspired by Fischer as I was.

I don't understand 17...Nxd3, cleaning up White's pawn structure, but perhaps Weixi just wanted to get on with cracking open the h file.

White gets passive and decides to try to defend the kingside instead of drumming up counterplay on the queenside starting with a4.

I going to speculate that White was in time trouble when he played 33.Rfg1 ??
33. Kc2 and Black still has work to do.

Lauritson - Wierda 0-1
This must be considered an upset.
Black's three knight moves to snap off the bad White bishop looks suspect to me, but I gave up the Benoni a long time ago, so what do I know. I guess it paid off as Black went on a dangerous looking pawn raid with the queen and got away with it ! The queen sits on b4 trapped, but White can't hit it ! Then the knight wreaks havoc on the c4 square ! Time to get desparado perhaps with 23. hxg7 hoping for Kxg7, then 24. Bh6+ Kg8 25. Qg5 (which later an engine told me is a mate in 11 !)
Nice game by John.

Silva - Rutter 0-1
Blair sent me email about some his thoughts on this game, so I will address them as well as what I find.
White's position is hanging by a thread after 29. Qc2 ?

Initially, I thought Black should have played 33...Nxg2 winning a piece and it should be over, but my engine tells me Blair's move is slightly better - White can't prevent the loss of the piece.

Silva tries the obvious 35. d7 and Black misses Red8!

The point is 36. dxc8(Q) Qh1+ 37. Ke2 Nf4#

But, Black played 35...Qh1+ and after 36. Ke2 almost all of Black's pieces are hanging in some manner. But Black has a few checks and exchanges with check and we end up with a material imbalance and unclear position.
Black tosses a piece with 43...Kf8? (Ne6 is solid)
White eventually improves to a winning endgame but doesn't play 54 Nd5+ which wins easily, instead stepping his king into the only harm that could befall him, a skewer winning the queen.

Aaron Green - Kris Gibson DRAW
The ever dangerous Gibson essays the Sicilian Pin variation against the highest rated member of the Green household.

I thought Black should have played 16...fe4 opening the f-file. Anyway, Black had a huge advantage and White decided to try 25. Qxc8 +, winning a bishop and two rooks for the queen.

After a number of forced exchanges, the following postition occurred with Black to play.

My engine finds
27...Qe4 ! which wins.

Rumple - Leor Wasserman 1-0
The game simplifies down to a tricky king and pawn ending. 36...g4 is apparently losing, but White returns the favour with 37. a5 when Black is winning. The last mistake is 39...Kf5 which takes the king out of the squares of the a and b pawns.

Evans - Greenberg 1-0
Deja vu all over again - Evans beats Greenberg again.
7...d5 must be played..if you can get d5 in safely in the Sicilian then do so. But Black equalizes early anyways. My engine finds the mysterious 17...Qg5, the point being after something like 18.Rhd1..Nd4 is a killer.
Harley later loses (or sacrifices) his e-pawn and follows up with 23. Bxa2 which reminded me of Spassky- Fischer Game 1 - 1972

Xue- Letain 1-0
I am not sure 12. O-O-O is correct , but White ends up with a powerful attack that smashes through.

Lawrence Klusa - Leah Green 1-0
Highly original opening. Black's queen goes on a fishing expedition, picks up a few pawns, but can't get back to defend the king. 26...f6? leaves the white squares very weak and it is quickly exploited.

Peter Martens - Mark Klusa 0-1
Black loses a pawn, but misses the win of a knight with 19...Qg5+
He gets it much later though after white loses his way.

Kalk -James Martens
Another original opening by Black. An Alekhine's defence goes out of book on move 3.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - April 12, 2008

Berger - White to mate in three

Let's try the obvious idea, although I can easily see it mates in 4, not 3.
1. Qd3+ Kb4 2. Rb1+ Ka4 3. Qc2+ Ka3 4. Qb3 mate.

So let's cut off the king.
1. Rb1 e5 2. Qd3 mate
1. Rb1 Kd4 2. Qd3+ Ke5 3. e3 c4 4. f4 mate

So that doesn't work, perhaps we don't need the rook to the b file immediately.
Let's try
1. Rg1 Kxb5 2.Rb1+ Ka4 3. Qa8 mate
1. Rg1 Kd4 2. Qd3+ Ke5 3. Rg5+ Kf4 4. Qe3 mate

Hmm, let's look back at the line where we had to play 3.e3 to support 4.f4 mate.
What if we played 1.Rf1 to support a potential f4.

1.Rf1 e5 (takes away the square from its own king) 2.Rb1 Kd4 3. Qd3 mate
1.Rf1 Kxb5 2. Rb1+ Ka5 3. Qa8 mate
1.Rf1 Kd4 2.Qd3+ Ke5 3. f4 mate (and the point of Rf1 !)

Note: In the absolutely strange coincidences department - a few hours after posting the above - I was browsing through En Passant # 82 from December 1986 - and this problem is in there.

Also, here is the updated link to the Magnus Smith article.

Friday, April 11, 2008

April TNT Round 2

Mundwiler -Rumpel 1-0
Black found himself without any counterplay and his pieces too far away to help against White;s kingside aggression. Two suggestions:
17...Bd3 (which Black plays much later) right away instead of Qb7
and 21...Nh7 keeping the knight closer to assist in the defence, instead of Nd7.

Silva - Lauritson DRAW
Alex Nikouline indicates there is a problem with the game score after move 23.

Greenberg - Kernetsky 0-1
A rare 1. e4 from Harley...7.Nb5 doesn't look like the correct idea.

Jim Green - Kong 1-0
White won a pawn and ground out the endgame.

Rutter - Letain 1-0
17...f5 may have been a subtle positional error that came back later to haunt Black.
I am not sure why White did not play 18. g4 winning a piece for two pawns. Perhaps to kee things under control and not allow any counterplay.

Leah Green - Wierda 0-1
A few too many pawns, then a piece fell to small combinations. White should have tried 8. Nd1 to defend the early threats, then regroup.

Gibbons - Kuropatwa 1-0
White dodged a bullet when Black didn't play 20...Ne4+

Gibson - Lawrence Klusa 1-0
Black just couldn't get developed properly with his Modern Defence while facing a devastating attack.

Mark Klusa - Aaron Green 0-1
Black accumulated small advantages.

Arie Wasserman - Peter Martens 1-0
White made this much more difficult than it should have been. He dominated early, ending up a rook up, then sacrificed the rook to eventually enter an unclear rook and pawn endgame at move 50, that Black could probably hold with best play.

James Martens - Evans 0-1
8. d4 should be considered before playing Qd3.

Leo Wasserman - Kalk 1-0
Black is doing fine, but overestimates the strength of White's d pawn and gives up a rook for it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April TNT Round 1

Aaron Green - Mundwiler 0-1
Black slowly outplayed Black from near equality.

Lauritson - Arie Wasserman 1-0
White's superior development led to material gain.

Evans - Liu 0-1
White couldn't hold his isolated d pawn.

Kernetsky-Leor Wasserman 1-0

White was in some trouble after 33.Rxb8

Black played 33... Qh1+, but there is no decisive followup. 33...f4! should win, with the threat of fxg3 leading to mate. If 34. ef4 Bxd4+ 35. Be3 Bxe3+ 36. Qxe3 Qh1+ 37. Kf2 Rh2 leads to mate.

Letain - Gibson 1-0
White sacrifices a piece for a couple of pawns and a winning attack.

Kong - Mark Klusa 1-0
Kong varies from his usual 1.c4
Black should have considered 15...f5, and also 17...c4 - I give one interesting sample line in the link above. Black blunders when he grabs a pawn; when a player of Kong's caliber 'hangs' a pawn, one must take a look and see why.

Lawrence Klusa - Silva 0-1
White entered a long, forced variation with 15. f3 after which Black wins two pawns. But 15. Bg2
Rxe1+ 16. Qxe1 Bxd4 17. Rd1 appears to hold material equality.

Rumpel - Gibbons 1-0

Peter Martens - Greenberg 0-1
Black won a pawn and kept control of the position.

Xue - James Martens 1-0
Black would have fine with the natural 14...e6.

Kalk - Jim Green 0-1
Black played a classic poison-pawn blunder with 8...Qxb2 ??, but neither player realized it.

White's answer in this position should be 9.a3 and how does Black save the queen, short of sacrificing a piece ?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

McPhillips Street Station Casino Saturday, March 29

It was nice to get out and play some active chess, and meet some folks including John Enns and Lawrence Kusla.
The tournament itself resulted in a rare 5-way tie for first with Rolando Bince, Jaroslav Czypinski, Michael Gibbons, Sam Lipnowski, Waldemar Schulz all with 4 points.

Bella Iomdina upset favorite Sam Lipnowski in the first round, but
Sam worked his way back to the top defeating Tony Boron, and Jason Repa along the way. Tony drew with Michael Gibbons and Jason drew with Waldemar Schulz; but 3.5 points was not going to be enough.
Schulz and Gibbons drew in the last round after Waldemar missed a relatively easy win in the knight and pawn endgame.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - Winnipeg Free Press - March 29, 2008

Pacioli - Da Vinci (?) - Keene
Black to move, White then to demonstrate a mating attack.

I took a stab at this and guessed it was a mate in many. My engine indicates that after Black's best resistance it is a mate in 9. Here are some lines.