Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 2009 TNT Round 4

Lauritson - Mundwiler 0-1
The first 14. moves had been played before in Shtanko-Savchenko, Lvov 2001. In that game White played 15.h3 (but lost).
I thought this game was headed for a draw, but White broke open the position only to have it backfire. It is hard to see an obvious mistake. but White probably underestimated the weakness of his d-pawn after 32. e4. Note that 37...cxb3 also wins.

Wierda-Kernetsky DRAW
Black was better, but makes a subtle error in the endgame. After 32.Kf3
play continued 32...Kd6? 33. Ke4 e5 34.f4 DRAW
but 32...e5 33.Ke4 Ke6 with an eventual f5 provides winning chances.

Einarsson-Boron 0-1
Surprisingly, the first 11 moves had been played before in a master game, Prods-Depasquale, Melbourne, 1982. In that game, White responded with 12.Rc1, which I expected Ken to play.
In the game after 12...e5, White's pawns are suddenly very weak. White doesn't find the way to create counterplay (19.Kc3) and soon is faced with a grim endgame.

Khedkar-Rutter 1-0
White blunders a pawn to a stock sacrifice, 15. Nxd5. Black defends tenaciously while White misses several knockout blows; 25. Rac1, 29.Qf3.
Black never plays Ke6 although he could have done so as early as move 37 with a potential draw, instead another White passed pawn is created.

Lipic - Jim Green 0-1
White blunders the b2 pawns and with it, the game.

Wiebe-Milord 1-0
Black spoils a nice effort by sacrificing the exchange hoping to queen a pawn, but White has enough resources to stop the pawn.

Aaron Green - Ott 1-0
Black puzzles me again. After 26...fxe3 he has promising counterplay if not the advantage, after e2, Bd3+ and Rxg2, Rf2, which are unstoppable.

Greenberg - Magnusson DRAW
This game followed GM battle Ponomariov - Fressinet (won by White in 22 moves) , Batumi 1999 for the first 13 moves !
Pono played 14. Bd2, while Harley played 14. Qe2

After 18...b4
White has 19. Ba4 which should be decisive.

White instead played, 19. Rae1 - later the players agreed to a draw after 24. Qe5 with White having a winning advantage.

Campbell - Trueman 1-0
White wins the critical d6 pawn, the rest is easy.

Trinidad-Leor Wasserman 1-0
The kids are having a rough time this tournament. Black drops a rook early.

Ari Wasserman - Swift 1-0
With White uncastled, 13...Qd7 gives White the green light for a mating attack.

Evans - Menard 1-0
13...Bxc6 instead of bc6 is much preferred. Black drops a rook soon after.

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - March 28, 2009

from the Winnipeg Free Press - March 28, 2009
White to mate in 2 (Meredith)

The king has very few moves as is, so this should be easy.
Let's try 1.Bc5+
1...Nxc5 is one of two moves
2.Qh8+ is mate
but 1...Ke5 and I can't mate in one.

Black is in zugszwang, so we need to just make a clever waiting move. The knight at a1 can't move because Nc2 is mate. The knight at d3 can't move any place because of Qh8 mate or Bc5 mate. The pawns can't move.
White's bishop is needed on the b8-h2 diagonal to keep on eye on e5, so let's try
1. Bc7 - that works except for 1...Nxb4 and Black king has c5 available.

Well, I knew that the Q had to stay on the h file in order to deliver mate on h8, but I gave up before considering 1. Qh5!! - missing that after 1...Kxe3 2. Bc5# is possible due to the new pin.
Very nice !

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 2009 TNT Round 3

Lipic - Lauritson 0-1
White could have coordinated his position with 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Rae1.
Stephen asks about alternatives to 19. g5. White's king position is precarious, I think White should clarify in centre first. 19. c4 looks reasonable. In the game White opens up lines that Black uses for a mating attack.

Kernetsky - Greenberg 1-0
13. Nxd6 has been played at tleast three times before, but 13...Qa6 is a novelty. I walked by the board while Black was contemplating his 13th- 13...Qxb2 seems logical and is the move played in the other three games in my database. Black later get the a-pawn, but at the cost of a piece.

Wierda - Strehlow 1-0
The game score gets muddled just as the position gets interesting.

Jim Green - Einarsson 0-1
I was watching this game up until around move 16, and when saw the players in the post-mortem I assumed White had won.

What I didn't see was that in the following position, White played

18. Bxf8 (18. dxc4 is better) and Black uncorked 18...Nce3 !, and soon hoovered up some more pawns before White resigned after 25 moves.

Boron - Aaron Green 1-0
Black's king's knight gets kicked around the board, allowing White to build up a winning attack.
15...Nd4 had to be tried. 18. hxg6 is an inaccuracy - 18. Qh6 which I noted immediately in the post-mortem, wins easily.

Swift-Khedkar 0-1
White allows himself to be saddled with double isolated f-pawns; as a result he is doomed in the ending.

Campbell - Rutter 0-1
White is absolutely in control; by move 30, he is a up a solid advanced passed pawn (and could have won another with 30.Qxe5) - but he eventually lost on time.

Ott - Wiebe DRAW
White missed a few moves that are probably winning 31. Re8+ leads to a Queen vs R and B ending, but converting it to a win would take some effort.
But in the final position, Black will to give up his Q for a R. I don't understand how a draw was agreed.

Ari Wasserman - de Groot 0-1
Another game with double isolated f-pawns.

Wood - Magnusson DRAW
Gibbons-Milord 0-1
Leah Green - Trinidad DRAW
Leor Wasserman - Evans 1-0

all games have muddled gamescores

Menard - Trueman 0-1
White misses that his fianchettoed Q will be attacked by discovered check.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 2009 TNT Round 2

Boron - Lauritson 0-1
White never recovers his "gambited" pawn.

Rutter - Mundwiler 0-1
White drops an exchange; Black has everything under control culminating in giving back the exchange for a mating attack.

Khedkar-Atem 0-1
White could have grabbed a pawn with 24. Nxe6. White has everything under control until Black plays his only plan - pushing his passed a-pawn. White makes the final error with 44.Qe1. Instead 44. f3 and Black must still show how he is going to win.

Aaron Green - Kernetsky DRAW
I had a sense Black missed something - 27...Qc2 looks strong - perhaps winning a pawn, with threats of Rd3 or Rxf2 !

Wiebe-Lipic 0-1
Black is hopelessly lost (well almost) , until White forgets about a back rank mate.

Magnusson - Jim Green 0-1
White drops the exchange; Black has no problems converting.

Leo Wasserman - Campbell 0-1
35. Kf1 and it is likely a draw. The game's 35.Kh1 results in mate.

Milord - Trinidad DRAW
Black throws away winning chances with 42...e3. White salvages half a point after being on the brink of losing.

de Groot - Menard 1-0
White exploits the black sqaure weaknesses.

Evans - Swift 0-1
White retreats at a critical stage. He should play 23. Bxc5 Rxc5 24. Qe3
If 24...Nb7, then 25. Nd7 wins material. Instead, White loses a piece. Note that in the game 25. Bxc1 does not allow Black to win a piece.

Strehlow - Leah Green 1-0
I am thinking something is wrong with the game score - White didn't hang a rook on move 25 ?
Les tells me it wil be corrected.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Golden Raspberry

In the new book, 'The Greatest Ever chess opening ideas',
the author, Christoph Scheerer, "looks back through chess history and at modern times to create a list of his own favourites. Selecting from hundreds of candidates, Scheerer examines factors such as creativity, shock value, effectiveness and endurance in order to decide which ideas are most worthy of inclusion."

Chapter 47 (! the book has 368 pages !) is titled 'The Golden Raspberry' and discusses the infamous Gothenburg Variation of the Najdorf. As many of you know, local master Dale Kirton did some ground-breaking work on this variation a few years ago that was published in New in Chess. So I wondered if Dale's work would be mentioned.

Sure enough, on pag 344; "It was left to the relatively unknown Canadian master Dale Kirton to present what seems to be the ultimate refutation of the Gothenburg variation." Scheerer then gives a game and incorporates Dale's analysis.

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - March 14, 2009

from the Saturday Winnipeg Free Press
White to mate in 4 (Planck)
Ok - I will give a hint - the first move !
1. Qa7! 1...g3 is forced.
What is White's second move ?
2. Bb6 ! with ideas of ... Kh2 3. Bg1+ or
2...Kg4 3. Qd7+

March 2009 TNT Round 1

Arie Wasserman-Boron 0-1
White should keep the rooks on - Black will have to work hard to win.

Mundwiler-Goodman 1-0
Black is doing alright in a very unclear position until he misses 29...Kb7

Campbell- Khedkar 0-1
15...Ne6 is apparently new. White should continue his plan with 16. b5.
Black plays a nice combination starting with 25...R2xd5 and it is all over.

Kernetsky-de Groot 1-0
In a seemingly innocent position, Black is suddenly mated after 21...dxe4

Wood -Wiebe 0-1
Scoresheet is missing 3 moves - the result is in doubt after 34 moves.

Lauritson - Milord 1-0
Black does not play 16...g6, which would have prevented White's mating attack.

Trinidad-Rutter 0-1
White puts himself in defensive mode for the rest of the game with 18.fxe4

Atem- Evans 1-0
Black misses the small tactic 17.Bxe6 and his game collapses.

Trueman- Aaron Green 0-1
White owns this game throughout until his flag falls.

Greenberg -Leor Wasserman 1-0
Greenberg plays a speculative piece sacrifice 14. Nb5 and it works beautifully - but it shouldn't.
14...axb5 15.Nxb5 Qa5 and Black is fine.

Ott-Wierda 0-1
25...f5 may have won material as Bg5 is threatened.
Later - White to move and win..
29. Bxf5 !
29...gxf5 30. Qe6 and it's over. But alas, it was not played.
Later, after Black has survived the worst of it, a roughly equal ending results, with Black winning in what I suspect was a time scramble.

Swift-Magnusson 0-1
Somehow Black won this. The game score after move 25 has White with a large advantage.

Menard, T.-Lipic, S., 0-1
Look at the position after Black's 11th. 14 of the 16 squares from f3 to c6 are occupied !
By move 18, only 6 of those squares are occupied as White blunders.

Gibbons-Strehlow draw
White won a piece, but could not convert to a win.

March 19 Blitz in Portage Place Sponsors

New High Ratings

The February TNT has been rated; Congratulations to
Leor Wasserman
Ryne Swift
Arie Wasserman
Cory Letain

for new personal rating highs.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Cecil's Saturday Puzzle - February 28, 2009

From the Saturday Winnipeg Free Press

White to Move and Mate in 3 (Wainwright)

Well, White has most squares covered , but how to deliver mate. Bd3 is an idea, but needs support.
Let's try 1. Rd8 but 1 ...Kf5 and the king runs away. 2. Bd3 Ke6 3. Qxg4+ Ke7 4. Qd7#

I tried several other moves, but no go.

Ok, the answer is 1. Ka2 - but I must confess I still didn't see the idea
1...Bb8 2.Qh1 what ? oh ! 2...Ba7 3.Qb1#
1...Kf5 2. Qxg4 Kxg4 3. Be6#

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

February TNT Round 4

Kernetsky - Oberton 0-1
Black still has some work to do if White plays 40.Qxh6+

Mundwiler - Swift 1-0
Teacher and student battle. Teacher wins exchange (23...Ne7 was required) and the rest is easy.

Magnusson - Khedkar 0-1
An interesting game. 16. Kd2 keeps a slight edge for White.
The engines do not like 19. Ba6, suggesting Be2- I guess Black's B is so bad there is no point in trading it off.

Wiebe-Letain 1-0
15. Bxh6 is a nice move..if gxf6 Black gets mated or loses major material. Black is doing fine until 31...g5 ?

Lipic - Evans 1-0
Black misses something with 10...Qg5 ?

Atem - Menard 1-0
Black is only slightly worse until he snatches a poison pawn.

Gibbons- Trinidad 0-1

Leor Wasserman - Czarny 1-0
Oops, Black is down a piece by move 7. He fought back however, and could have had a least a draw with 22...Nh6, inviting a repetition - if White tries something like 23. Qg2, Black has 23...Qf6.

Lauritson - Arie Wasserman 0-1
A big upset - it looked like Black was going to get crushed, but he found enough counterplay to do the crushing. White's idea of Rg3 is too slow, and leaves his back rank weak.

February TNT Round 3

Khedkar - Mundwiler DRAW
King's Gambit - 10. Bxf4 is not in my database. I normally don't comment on the openings, but
I am curious. The silicon beasts say 10...f6 gives Black an advantage, as several White pieces are in danger of hanging. 11. Qh5 is suggested, but it appears that Black is winning a piece for some pawns and a small initiative. Instead the players swapped off everything but the rooks and called it a draw.

Oberton - Leo Wasserman 1-0
Black plays 17...Rc8 missing White's little tactic.

Kernetsky - Arie Wasserman 1-0
Too many queen moves end in a self-pin.

Swift - Lauritson 1-0
Black is never in trouble until his flag falls in a totally won position.

Rutter - Ott 1-0
The game is quite even throughout until Black loses a piece at move 43. Note that White could have grabbed a pawn with Bxa5 on the 13th or 14th move.

Campbell - Wiebe 0-1
Black crashes through on the kingside.

Czarny-Letain 0-1
Black's knights wreak havoc.

Magnusson - Atem 1-0
White could have pocketed a piece early with 6. Bxg8 Rxg8 7. Qd5
But when I get to move 16 I am wondering if the knight is on a5 as 16. Bxa5 wins a piece for free.

Menard-Lipic 0-1
White is doing fine until he blunders his critical d pawn with 13. c4

Trinidad - Evans 0-1
White plays e5 prematurely, loses a pawn, and falls victim to a mating attack.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February TNT Round 2

Khedkar - Kernetsky DRAW
Black equalized early.

Ari Wasserman - Oberton - DRAW
The position got locked up, and White drew with his higher rated opponent.

Mundwiler-Czarny 1-0
26...Nh3+ would have forced off White's valuable white-squared bishop.
But Black stays in the game, although it is still difficult, until the sequence starting with 33...Qxd4 dropping the b7 pawn.

Lauritson-Ott 1-0
7...h6 is the commonest move at that turn, and this game illustrates why.

Leor Wasserman - Atem 1-0
How does Black not play 24...Qf3 or 29...Bxf3, both winning easily ?

Letain - Rutter DRAW
18. Bxh7+ first nets apawn over the game line. Sacrificing the cleric with 21. Bxg7 is unneccessary, but interesting- White has a tremendous initiative. 29...Bg3 is a mistake that drops that piece. I can only guess that White was in severe time trouble in the final position.

Wiebe - Trinidad 1-0
13. cxb3 is a novelty; opening the c file doesn't look correct. White cracks open the h file and it's all over.

Evans - Campbell 0-1
White could have planted his knight on c5 (via Nb3) around move 29-30 and I think Black would be suffering for a long time. Black suffered anyway, but White flagged in a totally won position.

Lipic - Magnusson 0-1
White is winning for a long time; the game score indicates 41. Kh4 ?? was played instead of 41. Qc5+ which would force resignation.

Swift - Menard 1-0
Black falls victim to an early pin.