DON’T ANSWER IT!

There are at least two good reasons why cell phones are not allowed in tournaments.

One is that, with the readily available chess programs/engines and texting availability on almost all cell phones, text messages can be sent with computer engineered moves either from the computer or from a co-conspirator (such as “play 10.Rae1, idiot!).

Back around 1990 I was participating in an OTB tournament and had a cassette player with earphones and listening to some inspiring music. I easily won the game.

But immediately after the game my opponent strolled over to the tournament director (TD) and told him that he suspected I was cheating. He complained that I could be listening to pre-recoded moves coming from my cassette player. I looked at my former opponent, and gave him a look that very much suggested, “you’ve got to be kidding”.

In the presence of both the ex-opponent and the TD, I took out the cassette and showed it to the TD. The TD was satisfied about the label on the cassette and was about to rule in favor. But my ever suspicious opponent claimed I could have erased the content of the tape and replaced with my voice saying, “1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 ..”.

I put back the cassette in the player and showed the TD how to play it. He did so and briefly listened to The Grand Illusion album by Styx. The TD smiled and then handed back the player back to me. And while I walked away, cleared of any wrongdoing, I noticed the TD slowly shaking his head.

Now let’s go to the second reason why cell phones are not allowed in tournament halls. The game was played on-line as there is a nasty virus going around.

“Eduardo17ti”-Escalante
Blitz Game
chess.com, Sept. 1 2020
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.d5


(This is Moller Attack. The main line goes 9…Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6, reaching a well-known position. And too drawish in my opinion. I therefore played an offbeat and interesting move and found out after the game there is theory on it.) 9…Na5!? 10.bxc3 Nxc4 11.Re1

(More common is 11.Bd3 or 11.Qd4.

Lehrer-Krah
Nuremberg Open, 1990
11.Qd4 Ncd6 12.Ng5 Nxg5 13.Qxg7 Nge4 14.Qxh8+ Ke7 15.Qe5+ 1-0

Harej-Zivkovic
Nova Gorica, 2001
11.Bd3 Nf6 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bh4 d6 14.Qa4 b6 15.Rfe1 a6 16.Re3 Bd7 17.Qc2 Nb7 18.Rae1 Nc5 19.Bf5 Ba4 20.Qd2 g6 21.Re7 Kg7 22.Bxf6+ Kh7 23.Ng5+ Kg8 24.Ne6 Qxe7 25.Bxe7 fxe6 26.Bxe6+ Nxe6 27.dxe6 Kh7 28.Bxf8 Rxf8 29.e7 Re8 30.Qf4 Bd7 31.Qf7+ Kh8 32.Qf8+ Kh7 33.Qf7+ Kh8 34.Qxg6 h5 35.f4 1-0

Even the text move has a precedent.

Pierre Francois Geronimi-GM Loek Van Wely
European Blitz Ch.
Ajaccio, Oct. 25 2007
11.Re1 Nd6 12.Ng5 O-O 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Rxe4 d6 15.Qf3 Re8 16.Rxe8+ Qxe8 17.Be3 f6 18.Re1 Bd7 19.Qg3 Qe5 20.Qxe5  fxe5 21.c4 b6 22.Bg5 h6 23.Bh4 g5 24.Bg3 Bf5 25.Re2 Bd3 26.Rd2 Bxc4 0-1.)

11…Nd6! [A more-or-less thematic move in this variation. It (temporarily) puts a stop to White’s plans and Black doesn’t mind giving back some material, as long as he stays ahead. Side note: It’s nice while checking the game against a database to find out that a move that you found OTB is identical to one that a GM played. But let’s get back the game – I have yet to win the game.] 12.Qc2 O-O 13.Rxe4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Re8 (White has a lead in development for some material. But he wastes tempi in his next few moves by trying for a quick mate.) 15.Qg4?! d6 16.Qg3 Qf6 17.Bb2 Bd7 18.Rb1 (Attempting to gain the momentum after 19.c4. But Black is ahead of him.) 18…Qg6 19.Qxg6 hxg6 20.c4 Re2 21.Kf1 Rc2 22.c5 Rxc5 23.Rc1 Rxc1+ 24.Bxc1 Re8 25.Be3 Bb5+ 26.Ke1 (I’m contemplating about White’s possibility of taking the a6-pawn. Oh wait! Is the bishop pinned? I don’t think I need to worry about my a-pawn just yet. Is there a good move for Black here?)


(Ring!! The cell phone goes off!! Do I need to check the phone?  And I know I must make a move as this is a speed game. I quickly figure that any move that doesn’t immediately lose should be OK.) 26…a6? (And I fell back into thinking my a-pawn is under attack. Black has the much better 26…Bc4! 27.Kd2 Bxd5 28.Bxa7? b6, which might let me finish the game and answer the call at the same time. But I missed this golden opportunity. So I decided to say, “hello”, keep my eye on the game, and tell the caller I will call her back in a few minutes – but not tell her I’m playing blitz chess.) 27.Kd2 Bf1 28.g3 Bg2 29.Nd4 (Back on track and everything going good so far. Then my caller asks me a question.)

 29…Bh3? (Eek! Loss of concentration and loss of a free pawn and a tempo. Black has the better and obvious 29.Bxd5! I tell myself that at least I took some squares away from the knight, but I know that’s not the reason or issue. I had let my concentration drift again.) 30.Nc2 Bg2 31.Nb4 a5 32.Nc2 Bxd5 (Finally! Now White is lost. And I realize I have more time. Maybe Black also has a phone call??) 33.a4 Bc6 0-1

Pet Peeves

With the corona virus in full swing many chess players are staying home. Some are playing chess on the Internet, some are studying, and some are writing chess blogs.

 

Many of the newer blogs are good examples of amateurs showing off their games and writing talents.

 

But, on occasion, there are some errors that appear on these sites, just enough to bug me. You can call them my list of 5 Pet Peeves of Personal and Professional Blogs (PPPB).

 

 
1) Misspelled Words – There should be no excuse for any misspelled words! Run your written words through a word processor before you even think about posting! Any error in spelling, esp. ones that require simple spelling, renders your professional blog into a personal one, and a personal one into a poor one.

 

Some egregious examples: “playing the Too Knights Defense”, “Fisher was world champion in 1973” and one from the pre-Internet era, “Murphy was the best player of the 19th century”.

 

 
2) Incorrect and Bad Grammar. I admit, English is a difficult language to learn. And you get a break if your native tongue is not English. But you might know someone who knows the language better than you. Use that person! And if you still have problems with understanding or following the rules of grammar, then why not write your blog in your native language? You’ll do a better job at transmitting your thoughts, ideas, and insights.

 

 
3) Errors in game scores. A cardinal error. Even a person who cannot read your notes in English, or any other language you choose to write your masterpiece, he or she might get still something out of your blog, even if it is just a game score. Otherwise, they become totally lost and befuddled and are not likely to follow or promote your blog.

 

Use a PGN recorder. They are too many of them to go into detail, but most are free to download off the Internet. And they all make less mistakes than you!

 

BTW, my personal favorite, being concise and very user-friendly, is written in Spanish.

 

 
4) Mistakes in Diagrams. Even a blog reader who cannot read your blog due to spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, ignorance (of the language), and cannot follow a game because of errors there too, might still salvage something from the time invested in reading your blog. Give your reader something to appreciate!

 
Here’s an example (I’ve made some changes to the diagram and notes for brevity and to avoid identifying the blogger).

 
…after a tactical tussle, which both sides are threatening mate, White comes out ahead and while he (White) will eventually mate Black; Black can’t mate White.

 

2020_05_14_A

BLACK TO MOVE

 

 

There is an element of truth to what this blogger wrote. But it is misleading.

 

 
5) Gross errors in geography and other simple things. Every now and then I read about a game played in 2004 or so, in Czechoslovakia. The only problem is that Czechoslovakia stopped being a country in at the end of 1992. One might write, “Czech Republic”.

 

The same goes for Yugoslavia, which also broke up in 1992.

 
And here is one I’m still scratching my head; “the usual time control is 120 minutes or 2 hours, whichever comes first.”

ROB’S NOT-SO-BASIC CHESS QUIZ (AKA Is There a Problem?)

For the “basic”, and maybe easier, chess quiz, please go to: “Back to School!” (August 29, 2019), and scroll down to “ROB’S BASIC CHESS QUIZ”.

 

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I like quizzes. They can be tough but enjoyable. Sort of like watching a magic act and trying to figure out how it’s down.

 

This quiz is slightly different than the previous one. There are two complete games and two game fragments.

 

Your job is to figure out if there is anything wrong with these four selections. They can be illegal, impossible or a have a dose of too much imagination.

 

There is at least one selection which has at least one thing wrong with it, and at least one selection that has no problems.

 

Each correct answer is worth 10 points. Half correct answers gain half credit (5 points) and totally unexpected answers, that also answer the question, will gain an additional 10 points.

 
Let’s play “Is There a Problem?

 

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This tournament game was apparently played between two Masters.

 

Is there a problem here?

 

Heidenfeld-Kerins
Dublin 1973
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 Nf6!? [The Alapin variation in the French Defense. Theory considers 3.Be3 dxe4, and now either 4.f3 (the gambit line) or 4.Nd2.] 4.e5 (The obvious move.) 4…Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.c3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Qb6!? (Alapin-Von Gottschall, Dresden 1892, continued with 7…Be7 8.Bd3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Qb6 10.Qd2 Nb4 11.Be2 O-O 12.Nc3 f6 13.O-O Nc6 14.Bd3 Nb4 15.Be2 Nc6 16.Rac1 f5 17.Kh1 Qd8 18.Bd3 Nb6 19.b3 Bd7 20.Rg1 Ba3 21.Rcf1 Bb4 22.Qe1 Bc8 23.g4 Ne7 24.gxf5 Nxf5 25.Bxf5 Rxf5 26.Qg3 Qf8 27.Ne2 Be7 28.Qh3 1/2-1/2. The text move seems stronger.) 8.Qd2 c4 9.Be2 Na5 10.O-O f5 11.Ng5 Be7 12.g4 Bxg5 13.fxg5 Nf8 14.gxf5 exf5 15.Bf3 Be6 16.Qg2 O-O-O 17.Na3 Ng6 18.Qd2 f4 19.Bf2 Bh3 20.Rfb1 Bf5 21.Nc2 h6 22.gxh6 Rxh6 23.Nb4 Qe6 24.Qe2 Ne7 25.b3 Qg6+ 26.Kf1 Bxb1 27.bxc4 dxc4 28.Qb2 Bd3+ 29.Ke1 Be4 30.Qe2 Bxf3 31.Qxf3 Rxh2 32.d5 Qf5 33.O-O-O Rh3 34.Qe2 Rxc3+ 35.Kb2 Rh3 36.d6 Nec6 37.Nxc6 Nxc6 38.e6 Qe5+ 39.Qxe5 Nxe5 40.d7+ Nxd7 0-1

 

***************

This game fragment is from an Internet game.

 

I don’t know the names of these two beginners. But they play with imagination!

 

Is there a problem here?

 

 

N.N.-“ChessIsEasy”
Internet Game, 1997

2020_03_04_A

 

White played 1.Rh1 to activate his rook and to threaten 2.h5. But Black responded with 1…Nh5, trapping the queen in the middle of the board!

 

***************

 

Capablanca was known for many great things in chess. Among them was his play in simuls.

 

Is there a problem here?

 

 

McIntyre-Capablanca
Simul
England, Date Unknown

2020_03_04_B

 

On the previous move Black played 1…d4, attacking the knight that was on e3. White then erred with 2.Ng4? to reach the diagrammed position.

 

Capablanca obviously has the advantage in material. He simplifies with 2…Nxg4! and his opponent responded with 3.hxg4 to undouble his pawns. But it is only a temporary positional improvement as the great Cuban continued with 3…Bxg3 to again double his opponent’s pawns.

 

Black later wins by attacking and then capturing White’s weak d3-pawn. And Black’s d4-pawn subsequently transforms into a strong and healthy passer.

 

***************

 

Irina Krush is one of my favorite American female players. Here she is at an important game.

 

Is there a problem here?

 

IM Irina Krush (2437)-WIM Viktoria Baškite (2205)
Women’s Ol.
Turin, 2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 (Black also has 4…d5, 4…O-O-O, 4…Nc6 and even 4…b6.) 5.dxc5 Qc7 6.a3 Bxc5 7.b4 [7.Bg5? lead to White’s grief after 7…Bxf2+! 8.Kxf2 Qc5+ 9.Ke1 Qxg5 10.Nb5 O-O 11.Nf3 Qh5 12.e4 Nc6 13.Nd6 Ne8 14.Qd2 b6 15.Rd1 Nxd6 16.Qxd6 f6 17.b4 Ne5 18.Be2 Nf7 19.Qf4 Rd8 20.Kf2 Bb7 21.Rhe1 Qh6 22.Qe3 Rac8 23.h3 Kf8 24.Qxh6 Nxh6 25.Bd3 Nf7 26.Rc1 d6 27.Ke3 Ke7 28.Rc2 g6 29.Rec1 f5 30.g4 Rf8 31.exf5 Bxf3 32.Kxf3 Ne5+ 33.Ke3 gxf5 34.Be2 Rg8 35.gxf5 Rcf8 36.c5 Rg3+ 37.Kf2 Rxa3 38.cxd6 Kxd6 39.Rd1+ Ke7 40.Rc7+ Kf6 41.Rxh7 Kxf5 42.Kg1 Kg6 43.Re7 Rg3+ 44.Kh2 Re3 45.Bg4 Nxg4+ 46.hxg4 Rf2+ 47.Kg1 Rf4 48.Rxa7 Rxg4+ 49.Kf2 Re5 50.Rd8 Rf5+ 51.Ke3 Rxb4 52.Rb7 Rfb5 53.Rf8 Rb3+ 54.Ke4 R3b4+ 55.Kd3 Rf5 56.Rg8+ Kf6 57.Rf8+ Ke5 58.Rfb8 Rf3+ 59.Ke2 Rfb3 60.Kd2 Rb2+ 61.Kc1 R4b3 62.Re8 Rh2 63.Rc8 Kd6 64.Rd8+ Kc6 65.Rdd7 Re3 66.Rbc7+ Kb5+ 67.Rd1 Kb4 68.Kb1 Rhe2 0-1 (Bagirov-Csom, Frunze, 1983).] 7…Be7 8.Nb5 (Leading to complications.) 8…Qc6 9.Nf3 a6 10.Nfd4 Qb6 11.c5 Qd8 12.Nd6+ Bxd6 13.cxd6 Nc6 14.Bb2 O-O 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.e4 a5 17.Bd3 Ba6 18.O-O h6 19.Rfe1 Bxd3 20.Qxd3 Nh5 21.Qf3 Qg5 22.Rac1 axb4 23.axb4 Qg6 24.Rc5 Nf6 25.Ra5 Rfb8 26.Bxf6! (Simplifying into a won endgame.) 26…Rxa5 27.bxa5 gxf6

2020_03_04_C
28.a6 +- (The passed pawn ties down Black’s rook, allowing White to create more problems for Black.) 28…Ra8 29.Ra1 f5 30.e5 f4 31.h3 Qf5 32.Ra5 Qb1+ 33.Kh2 Qb6 34.Ra4 Qb5 35.Qg4+ Kh7 36.Qxf4 Rg8 37.a7 1-0

 

 
Answers next week!

STOP BRAGGING!

There must be something between large egos and chess players. They, the players, are known for bragging and boasting for the prowess in the game, sometimes even justified. But really, do we need all this boasting, bragging, arrogance, crowing, cockiness, after every game?? What ever happened to just being a gentleman? Isn’t that what tutors and teachers of the game (try to) install into their students?

 
But such attitudes go at least far back as the 19th century. Morphy faced some pretty big egos and when he traveled to Europe and some American players were apparently doing the same in the states.

 
Maybe it’s now just part of the game.

 

It was back in the 1980’s when I was first started to study and learn chess, as opposed to just playing the game. Labate’s Chess Centre held a blitz tournament every Friday night and I took part in many of these tournaments.

 

During this particular Friday night there was an expert chess player. He was slightly tall, and slightly skinny lad in his 20s. He had dark hair and walked around the room with an air of arrogance. He was also my first-round opponent.

 
We walked to the table and even before we shook hands he said he was better than me and was going to beat me. I remembered replying, “Shall I resign now?”

 

He didn’t expect that. But we still had a game to play.

1.e4 c5 2.f4 (The Grand Prix attack. It was very popular in the latter part of the 1980s. Black has a number of ways to combat this King’s Gambit version of the Sicilian, including 2…d5. Which is the main reason I gave up on this Sicilian sideline.) 2…d6 3.Nf3 Bg4?! (This is not the best as the game now mirrors the Kings’ Gambit more closely; a opening I knew- and still know – very well.) 4.Bc4 Nc6 5.e5!? (I am guessing my opponent would have difficulty with this move as he was playing very, very fast, trying to be beat me on time as well as position. All is fair in a 5 minute game.) 5…dxe5 (My opponent actually laughed at this point. He whispered to me, “I’ve won a pawn.” Then he looked at me before continuing, “Now what?”) 6.Nxe5 (I remember thinking, and maybe I did respond to him with, “But I’ve won a piece”. He looked at the free queen and smiled and smiled and excitedly asked me, “How are going to win without your queen?” He grabbed it quickly.) 6…Bxd1 (I just sat there for a little while as my opponent basked in his glory and gluttony. Have to admit it, but I did enjoy savoring the moment before playing my move.) 7.Bxf7# 1-0

 

And my opponent stood up and walked away without saying a word or shaking my hand. What did all his boasting do for him? Nothing but a source of a amusement for his opponent.

 

 

It was in 1991 that the US Open was last held in Los Angeles, CA. I played in that tournament and remembered playing chess morning, noon, and night. I know I shipped at least a few meals during that tournament.
Anyway…

 

One of my opponent was slightly drunk when he and I sat down to play in the Open. Unfortunately, he slightly squiffy. He walked with a off-balance gait, spoke in a slurred speech and I smelled alcohol on his breath when he sat down. Yup, he was drunk.

 

Gomez Baillo-Escalante
US Open
Los Angeles, Aug. 6 1991
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5 (We’ve reached the Marshall Attack. This Black defence was more popular in the early 1990s and I was keen to try it out in this Open.) 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.d4 (More common is 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5.) 10…exd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.cxd4 (12.Qxd4 is better.) 12…Be6 13.Nc3 c6 14.Qh5 Qd7 15.Nxd5 cxd5 16.Bc2 g6 17.Qe5 Bd6 18.Qg5 Be7 19.Qh6 Bf6 20.Bg5 Bg7 21.Qh4 Bf5 22.Rac1 Rac8 23.Bxf5? Rxc1! 24.Rxc1 Qxf5 25.g4? Qe4 26.Be3 Bxd4 -+ 27.Bh6 Re8 28.Bg5 Bxb2 29.Qh6 Bxc1 30.Bxc1 Qxg4+ 31.Kf1 Qe2+ (with the idea of Re4) 0-1

 

Now, it was good game. But I didn’t feel right about getting it published. After all, I beat someone who was clearly not at his best. I wanted to be humble.

 

Well, two years later, a CD collection of chess games titled, Déjà vu, had this game in it. To this day, I don’t know how it ended up in there.

 

So much for being humble. I didn’t brag, but still, somehow, it got published.

 
But does such a thing as misplaced bragging happen in Master chess? I found this game in Chernev’s excellent “The Fireside Book of Chess”.]

 
Frank Marshall – Duz-Hotimirsky
Carlsbad, 1911
[D30]
[Chernev spelled “Carlsbad” as “Karlsbad”, a more popular form of spelling the city name in the 1940’s. All other notes by Chernev.]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 dxc4 4.e3 a6 5.Ne5 Nd7 6.Nxd7 Bxd7 7.Bxc4 Bc6 8.O-O Bd6 9.Nc3 Qh4 10.f4 Nf6 11.Bd2 Ng4 12.h3 Qg3

2020_01_16

(Black threats are 13…Qh2# and 13…Qxg2#. Dus had already run into the next room, exclaiming excitedly in his broken German, “Poor Marshall dead! Must be mate!” …) 13.Qxg4 (… One minute later he returned with “I am dead”.) 1-0

An Introduction to Chess Poetry

Book_Chess_Poems

 

Many poems and the like have been written about chess. They range from the simple to the epic, from the silly to the serious, and can include the profound and philosophical.

 

We’ll start with the simple, and sometimes, silly limerick.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

The first two are from NM Bill Wall.

 

(1)

There once was a player from Maine,
Who played chess on a fast train.
He took a move back
And was thrown off the track,
And he never played chess again.

 

(2)

Postal chess is still played today
And no reason why I shouldn’t play.
It is nice and slow,
And I can use my ECO,
It’s the postage I can’t afford to pay.

 

With the Internet now, you don’t have to pay postage.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
Here’s an old classic, first appearing in Chess Potpourri by Alfred C. Klahre (Middletown, 1931). It’s titled, “The Solver’s Plight

 

There was a man from Vancouver
Who tried to solve a two-mover;
But the boob, he said, ‘“Gee”,
I can’t find the “Kee”,
No matter HOW I manouvre.’

 
Like most people, I also prefer original material, always searching for something new.

 
A short poem that perfectly illustrates the frustrations of that search.
Some Editors – pretend to edit –
Use scissors and paste and give no credit.

(Columbia Chess Chronicle, 20 August 1887, page 66.)

 

 
Another short one. This one is slightly whimsical and yet, very accurate.

 

Chess is such a noble game,
How it does the soul inflame!
Ever brilliant, ever new,
Surely chess has not its due;
Sad to say, ’tis known to few!

 

Poem written by W. Harris and printed in the book, “A Complete Guide to the Game of Chess”(1882).

 

By The Way (or BTW in Internet lingo), the poem is also an acrostic. We’ll let you figure it out! =)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
For another poem that is simply a delight, here is one by Alan Hall and printed in CHESS POST, Volume 33, No. 3 (or the June 1995 issue).

 

The Game of Chess

 

A poem about chess? Well, there’s an idea.
Hopefully this one will be one to hear.
What of the pieces? I’ll take them in turn.
And try to tell how each it’s living does earn.
The pawns can move straight or diagonally
Depending on whether it’s taking, you see.
Next comes the bishop – it moves across,
Of diagonals it is the boss.
Then there is the knight – some call it a horse
From its siblings it pursues a quite different
course.
One square diagonally, then one straight.
It’s so crafty, you start to hate
It when you’ve lost to its smothered mate.
Stronger still than all these is rook.
If you’ve got two of them, you’re in luck.
The you may even beat the might queen.
A rook and bishop combined, she reigns
supreme.

 
Last, but not least, is the humble king.
When you’ve mated him, you can sing.
Well, that’s all the pieces that make this game
of chess.

 

The playing of which can bring happiness.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

We’ll end here with an appropriate form of poetry; the epitaph.

 

Surprisingly, chess epitaphs are more common than you might believe. Here is the best on I could find. It was written by Lord Dunsany (who was a chess player among many other inspired pursuits) and it was for Capablanca, first published in the June 1942 issue of CHESS (pg. 131).

 

Now rests a mind as keen,
A vision bright and clear
As any that has been
And who is it lies here?
One that, erstwhile, no less
Than Hindenburg could plan,
But played his game of chess
And did no harm to man.

 

If we could only aspire to be so talented and noble.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
Here’s two games related to the poems, or rather the poets that created them.

 

Jim Murray (1876)-Alan Hall (1746)
Isle of Man Open – Major
Chess.com, Sept. 26 2017
[A52]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5!? (The Budapest is a surprising response for Mr. Hall, who regularly employs more solid and safe openings such as the London System. Nevertheless, he makes a fair attempt at winning the game.) 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e3 Ngxe5 6.Be2 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 d6?! (Black usually plays either 8…O-O or 8…Nxf3+. The text move allows White to simplify with 9.Nxe5!? dxe5 10.Qxd8+.) 9.O-O Be6 10.b3 O-O 11.Nc3 h6 12.Rad1 Qd7 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.f4 Ng6 15.e4 f5 16.e5 Rfd8 17.Qe3 Qe7 18.Bh5 Nh8 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.cxd5 g6 21.Be2 a6 22.g4 Rf8 23.Kh1 Rae8 24.e6 c6 25.gxf5 Rxf5 26.dxc6 bxc6 27.Bg4 Rf6 28.Qd3 Ref8 29.Qxd6 Qxd6 30.Rxd6 g5 31.Rd7 Ng6 32.f5 Ne5 33.Rd4 Nxg4 34.Rxg4 Rxf5 35.Rxf5 Rxf5 36.Rc4 c5 37.Ra4 Kf8 38.Rxa6 Ke7 39.Kg2 h5 40.a4 Re5 41.Kf2 g4 42.Rc6 h4 43.a5 Rf5+ 44.Kg2 Rd5 45.a6 Rd2+ 46.Kg1 Rd1+ 47.Kf2 Rd2+ 48.Kg1 1/2-1/2

 

Capablanca-Lord Dunsany
Simul
Selfridges, London, Apr. 12 1929
[C70]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.Ng5 d5 7.exd5

[After 7…Nxd5 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Ke6 10.Nc3 Nce7 11.d4, we reach a position very similar to the Fried Liver Attack. Capablanca decided not to play into it. Apparently he remembered this game:

Capablanca-Pagliano & Elias
Consultation Game
Buenos Aires, June 1911
7.exd5 Nxd5 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.Qf3+ Ke6 10.Nc3 Nce7 11.d4 Bb7 12.Bg5 c6 13.O-O-O h6 14.Ne4 Qc7 15.Nc5+ Kd6 16.dxe5+ Kxc5 17.Be3+ Kb4 18.Bd2+ Kc5 19.Bxd5 Nxd5 20.Be3+ Kb4 21.Bd2+ Kc5 22.Be3+ Kb4 23.a3+ Ka4 24.b3+ Kxa3 25.Bd2 Bb4 26.c3 Qxe5 27.Kc2 Bxc3 28.Bxc3 Nxc3 29.Rhe1 Qc5 30.Qxc3 Qxf2+ 31.Rd2 Qf5+ 32.Kc1 Qf6 33.Qa5+ Kxb3 34.Re3+ Kc4 35.Rc2+ Kd5 36.Qd2+ Qd4 37.Rd3 c5 38.Rxd4+ cxd4 39.Qd3 Rab8 40.Qf5+ Kd6 41.Qc5+ Ke6 42.Re2+ Kf7 43.Re7+ Kg8 44.Rxb7 Rxb7 45.Qd5+ Kh7 46.Qe4+ Kg8 47.Qxb7 Kh7 48.Qe4+ Kg8 49.Qxd4 Kh7 50.Qe4+ Kg8 51.Qa8+ 1-0.]

7…Ne7 8.d6 Ned5 9.dxc7 Qxc7 10.Nc3 Bb7 11.a4 b4 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Bxd5 Nxd5 14.O-O Be7 15.d4 O-O 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.Re1 Qd6 18.Ne4 Qc6 19.Bg5 Bxg5 20.Nxg5 Rac8 21.Qf3 Nf6 22.Re2 h6 23.Qxc6 Rxc6 24.Nf3 a5 25.Nd4 Rc5 26.Nb3 Rd5 27.Rae1 Nd7 28.Re4 Nb6 29.Re5 Rfd8 30.Rxd5 Rxd5 31.Kf1 Nxa4 1/2-1/2

 

A Chess Player’s Favorite Word

No matter if it is a miniature, a King-Hunt, a long endgame, or even a casual game, there is a word that every chess player would love to speak, and conversely, hate hearing it.

 

That word, so much loved and feared, is MATE.

 

But if it is a word much beloved in the chess world, why don’t we speak it more in normal conversations?

 

Well, it turns out that four letters, arranged in a M-A-T-E sequence, do not occur often in English, and even less in other languages.

 

Let’s look at words with the letters M-A-T-E in them.

 

ACCLIMATE
ACOELOMATE
AGEMATE [n. one who is about the same age as another.]
AMALGAMATE
AMATE [n. a Central American timber tree with lustrous foliage and edible fruits.]
AMATEUR
ANIMATE
ANTEPENULTIMATE
APPROXIMATE
AUTOMATE
BANDMATE
BEDMATE
BICHROMATE
BREGMATE [n. a junction point of the skull.]
BROMATE
BUNKMATE
CABINMATE
CARBAMATE
CASEMATE
CHECKMATE
CHROMATE
CLASSMATE
CLIMATE
COELOMATE [adj. having a coelom (the main body cavity in most animals).]
COINMATE
COLLIMATE
COMATE
CONSUMMATE
COPEMATE
CREMATE
CREWMATE
CYCLAMATE [n. a salt of cyclamic acid formerly used as an artificial sweetener.]
CYCLOSTOMATE
DECIMATE
DEPHLEGMATE
DESPUMATE [v. to clarify or purify a liquid by skimming a scum from its surface.]
DESQUAMATE
DICHROMATE
DIPLOMATE
DISANIMATE
DITHIOCARBAMATE [n. any salt or ester of dithiocarbamic acid, commonly used as fungicides.]
ECOCLIMATE
ESTIMATE
EXANIMATE
EXHUMATE
FERMATE
FISSIPALMATE [adj. having lobed or partially webbed separated toes, as in the feet of certain birds.]
FLATMATE
FORMATE
GEMMATE [adj. (1) having buds, (2) adorned with gems or jewels.]
GLUTAMATE
GUESSTIMATE
GUESTIMATE
HAMATE [n. a bone on the inner side of the second row of the carpus in mammals.]
HELPMATE
HIEROGRAMMATE [n. a writer of hierograms (sacred symbols or records, esp. hieroglyphics).]
HOUSEMATE
HUMATE
ILLEGITIMATE
IMAMATE [n. the office of an imam]
IMPOSTHUMATE
IMPOSTUMATE
INANIMATE [adj. not alive.]
INCREMATE [v. to cremate]
INHUMATE
INMATE
INTIMATE
LEGITIMATE
LITTERMATE
MACROCLIMATE
MAMMATE
MATE [n. a companion ; v. (1) to checkmate an opponent in chess, (2) to produce offspring.]
MATELOTE [n. a fish stew that is cooked in a wine sauce.]
MATER [n. an informal use of the Latin word for mother; adj. not reflecting light; not glossy.]
MATERIAL [n. the elements, constituents, or substances of which something is composed or can be made.]
MATERNAL [adj. relating to or characteristic of a mother or motherhood.]
MEPROBAMATE [n. a bitter-tasting drug used as a mild tranquilizer.]
MESSMATE
MICROCLIMATE
MIDSHIPMATE
MISESTIMATE
MISESTIMATE
MISMATE
MONOCHROMATE
NIZAMATE
OPTIMATE
OSMATE
OSTOMATE
OVERESTIMATE
PALAEOCLIMATE
PALAMATE
PALMATE
PENULTIMATE
PLAYMATE
PLUMATE
PRIMATE [n. any mammal of the order Primates (defined as having an up-right appearance, large brains relative to body size, body hair, and giving live birth). This group, with over 300 mammals, includes lemurs, lorises, gibbons, tarsiers, gorillas, monkeys, apes, and humans.]
PROXIMATE
PSEUDOCOELOMATE
RACEMATE
RAMATE [adj. having branches; branched.]
REANIMATE
REESTIMATE
REFORMATE
REMATE
ROOMMATE
SCHOOLMATE
SEATMATE
SEMIPALMATE
SHIPMATE
SIGMATE
SOULMATE
SQUAMATE
STABLEMATE
STALEMATE
STEARSMATE [n. same as STEERSMATE.]
STEERSMATE [n. one who steers; steersman.]
STOMATE [n. a minute opening in the epidermis of a plant organ.]
SUBLIMATE
SUBPRIMATE
SUMMATE
TABLEMATE
TEAMMATE
TOTIPALMATE [adj. having webbing that connects each of the four anterior toes, as in water birds.]
ULTIMATE
UNDERESTIMATE
WORKMATE
YOKEMATE

 

It doesn’t seem fair that we can mostly say MATE in the chess world. So, what to do if we want to say MATE more often? It’s easy! Play more chess!
Meanwhile, let’s indulge in a few more MATES.

 

Rudolf-N.N., 1912
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d4 Qh4+ 5.Kf1 Bb6 6.Nf3 Qd8 7.Bxf4 Ne7 8.Ng5 O-O 9.Qh5 h6 10.Bxf7+ Kh8
2019_10_17_A
11.Qxh6+! gxh6 12.Be5mate 1-0

 

Alekhine-Vasic
Graz, 1931
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Bd3!? Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 h6 6.Ba3 Nd7 7.Qe2 dxe4 8.Bxe4 Ngf6 9.Bd3 b6
2019_10_17_B
10.Qxe6+!! fxe6 11.Bg6mate 1-0

 

Savanto-Molder
Helsinki, 1950
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Bh4+ 5.g3 fxg3 6.O-O gxh2+ (Believe it or not, this is all theory. It is mostly known by the name, “Three Pawns Gambit”.) 7.Kh1 Be7 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Ne5+ Ke6 10.Qg4+ Kxe5 11.Qf5+ Kd6 12.Qd5mate 1-0

 

Joe Ei-Ken Scott
corres.
Golden Knights, USCF, 1982
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 c6 8.Bd2 Qd8 9.Bc4 e6 10.O-O-O Qb6?! 11.Ne4 Qxd4? 12.Ba5 Qxc4
2019_10_17_C
13.Qxf6! gxf6 14.Nxf6+ Ke7 15.Bd8mate 1-0

 

L. Bohne (2025)-J. Adamski (2400)
Hassloch, 1999
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 (Other adequate responses include 4…d5, 4…O-O, and 4…Nc6.) 5.dxc5 Qc7 6.a3 Bxc5 7.Nf3 a6 8.e3 Be7 9.Be2 d6 10.O-O Nbd7 11.b3 b6 12.Bb2 Bb7 13.Rac1 Rc8 14.Nd4 O-O 15.Bf3 Bxf3 16.Nxf3 Qb7 17.Qe2 Rc7 18.Nd2 Rfc8 19.e4 Ne8 20.Rc2 Ne5 21.f4 Nc6 22.Nf3 Na5 23.Nd4 Nc6 24.Nxc6 Rxc6 25.Rcc1 Qb8 26.f5 Nf6 27.g4 Nd7 28.fxe6 fxe6 29.Nd5 Bg5 30.Nf4 Re8 31.Rcd1 Bf6 32.Bxf6 Nxf6 33.h3 b5 34.cxb5 axb5 35.Rc1 Rxc1 36.Rxc1 Qa7+ 37.Kg2 Qxa3 38.Rc7 Qb4 39.Rb7 h6 40.Rxb5 Qd4 41.Rb7 Nxe4 42.Ng6 Kh7 43.Qf3 Kxg6 44.Qf7+ Kh7 45.Qxe8 Qf2+ 46.Kh1 Ng3mate 0-1

Back to School!

Labor Day has traditionally been the last day of summer vacation. It’s a time to go back to school and re-engage the brain.

 

Perhaps you already started school. But whether you did or not, it’s time to exercise more than a suntan. We have to get you ready for your daily quizzes, your tests, and your exams.

 

What better way start than a short, but not-so-easy chess quiz?

 

So……

 

Here it is! You can’t use the Internet, nor books, and no help from your friends. It is a quiz, after all!

 

(well…. ok – you can use friendly help.)

 

Answers and explanations available on PDF file, should you need them (and you will).

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Pub-Quizzes

 

ROB’S BASIC CHESS QUIZ

 

1) Where did the word, CHECKMATE, come from?

 

a) The Australians had morbid, slightly amusing, phrase that was most popular during WWII.  It was, “CHECK ON THE MATE PLEASE. HE’S DEAD”.

b) A term in which a sailing ship would briefly hit (or “checked”) another boat in order to board it, esp. in acts of piracy.

c) A Sanskrit phrase meaning “THE KING IS DEAD”.

d) An ancient Pharaoh’s curse.

 

 

2) Which chess piece is also the name of a GM?

(a) KING

(b) QUEEN

(c) ROOK

(d) KNIGHT

(e) SPRINGER

 

3) Who was not a World Chess Champion from the United States before Bobby Fischer?

(a) STEINITZ

(b) BERLINER

(c) LOMBARDY

(d) Trick Question! – Fischer was the first World Champion from the United States

(e) BELLE

 

 

4) Which word does not belong?

(a) CHECKMATE

(b) STALEMATE

(c) CASTLING

(d) RESIGNATION

(e) DRAW

 

5) Which word does not belong?

(a) KING

(b) QUEEN

(c) KNIGHT

(d) CASTLE

(e) PAWN

(f) ROOK

(g) RESIGN

(h) SACRIFICE

(i) ELO

 

 

6) Which word does not belong?

(a) PARIS

(b) MOSCOW

(c) VIENNA

(d) BERLIN

(e) BUDAPEST

 

7) A “RINGED PIECE” refers to:

 
(a) A pendant that hangs from the neck that is, or features, a chess piece.

(b) A piece of art created by Ringo Starr, who was inspired by Lennon’s chess set that featured two sets of white pieces to indicate harmony.

(c) A piece on the chessboard with a ring around it, indicating that this piece was to be the one to deliver the checkmate.

 

8) What is the definition of SCACCHIC?

(a) [n. the Computer World Champion for 1981.]

(b) [n. a famous correspondence player of the 1950’s who came up with a new move in the Two Knights Defence.]

(c) [adj. of or relating to chess.]

(d) [adj. referring to the queenside in chess.]

(e) [adj. referring to a dive into the ocean by leaping far off the side of a cliff.]

 

 

Answers below : 

Robs_Words_Quiz_Answers

 

I Beat A 2812!

Yes, this is true.

 

And this is the story.

 

In order to gain an established rating, you must play events obviously. During the time you start playing tournament games and your rating more or stabilizes, you are issued a provisional rating. This rating can wildly swing as you win and lose games.

 

In 1988 my correspondence rating was settling into a stable one. My opponent’s rating was still in wild flux before he and I started our game.

 

And this is the game.

 

A.I.-Escalante
corres. 1990
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 (This is the Wilkes-Barre Variation, an extremely tactical and popular opening in the 1980s.  It was my favorite opening at this time as well. And it also seems to have been a favorite of my opponent as he made book move almost to the end of the game. Kenneth Williams’s pamphlet, The Real American Wilkes-Barre, published in 1979, was probably the reason for its popularity.) 5.Nxf7 (An alternate move is 5.Bxf7+. But if tactical is your M.O., then you can’t beat 5.Nxf7 for the pins, forks, checks, and sacrifices.) 5…Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Ke3!? [7.Kg1 is another move. But boldly (or maybe even recklessly) moving one’s king to the center in this variation is stronger than it appears (IMHO) as Black doesn’t have too many pieces developed and White is ahead materially.]

7…Qh4

[Black has the choice of the text move and 7…Qe7. I chose 7…Qh4 as I felt the queen was more active on this square.

Remember I mentioned this was popular opening back in the 1980s? Here two very strong players trying out 7…Qe7!? Notes are from NIC Yearbook #4.

Van de Loo-Hesslin
Netherlands, 1985
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Ke3 Qe7 8.c3 Nd4 9.Kxe4 Qh4+ 10.Ke3 Qf4+ 11.Kd3 d5 12.Bxd5 Bf5+ 13.Kc4 b5+ 14.Kc5 Qh4 15.Nxe5 O-O-O 16.c4 Rxd5+ 17.cxd5 Rd8 18.Nc3 Nc6 19.Qa4!! Qe7+ (19…bxa4 20.Nc6 -/+) 20.Kxb5 Qxe5 21.Qc4?! (21.Qa6+!? Kb8 22.Qc6 Bd7) 21…Nd4+ 22.Ka4 Bd7+ 23.Ka5?! (Ka3!?) 23…Nc6+ 24.Ka6? (Ka4) 24…Nb8+ 25.Kxa7 (unclear) c6? (Qd6! -+) 26.Nb5! (with the idea of Kb6, Na7#) 26…Bf5 27.d4 Rd7+ 28.Ka8 (Kb6!) 27…Qe7 29.dxc6 Be4 30.d5 Bxd5 31.Qxd5 Rxd5 32.Na7+ Kd8 33.Kxb8?! (33.Bf4 with the idea of c7) 33…Qc7+? [33…Qe5 34.Kb7 (34.Ka8? Kc6!) Rb5 35.Nxb5 Qxb5=] 34.Ka8 Ra5 (Ke8!?) 35.Bg5+!! Rxg5 (35…Ke8 36.Rae1 Kf7 37.Re7+ -+) 36.Rad1+ Ke8 37.Rhe1+ Kf8 38.Rd7 Qxh2 39.Ree7 Qxg2 40.Rb7 Rc5 41.c7 Qg4 42.Rf7+! Ke8 43.b4 Rc2 44.a4 h5 45.a5 h4 46.b5 h3 47.Nc6! h2 48.Rxg7!! 1-0 Back to the game!]

8.g3 Nxg3 9.hxg3 Qd4+ 10.Kf3 d5!

[Black has the option of 10…O-O, letting his rook into play. However, again IMHO, the text move is stronger as it allows Black’s c8-bishop to come into play AND lay claim to the center.

Oleksenko-Malksirits, corres., 1984, continued with 11.Rh4!? e2+ 12.Kg2 d5 13.Rf4 dxc4 14.Qf1 Rxf7 15.Rxf7 Bg4 16.Nc3 Ne5 17.Qf2! Bf3+ 18.Rxf3 exf3+ 19.Kg1 Qd7 20.d4 cxd3 21.Bf4 Ng6 22.Qxf3 dxc2 23.Rc1 Nxf4 24.Qxf4 Rf8 25.Qc4+ Kh8 26.Rxc2 c6 27.Qc5 Rf5 28.Rf2+ 1-0]

11.Be2

[All this studying for correspondence can pay off. Here is another game by the author.

Escalante-Tym Belanger, US Amateur Team Ch., Feb., 20 2006, 11.Rh4 e4+ 12.Kg2 Rf8 13.Bxd5 Qxd5 14.Qh5 Qxh5 15.Rxh5 Rxf7 16.Rxh7 Nd4 17.Na3 Bg4 -/+ 18.Rh8+ Rf8 19.Rxf8+ Kxf8 20.c3 Bf3+ 21.Kf2 Nf5 22.d3 Rd8 23.dxe4 Bxe4 24.Bg5? (>24.Bf4 c6 25.Nc4) 24…Rd3 25.Bf4 Rf3+ 26.Ke2 Nxg3+ 27.Bxg3 Rxg3 28.Rf1+ Ke7 29.Kd2 Rd3+?! (>29…Rg2+ 30.Ke3 Bc6 31.Nc4? Bb5) 30.Ke2 Rg3 31.Kd2 g5 32.Re1 Kf6 33.Rxe4 Kf5 34.Re2 Kf4 35.Nb5 Kf3 36.Nd4+ Kg4 37.Rf2 Kh3 38.Ke2 Rg4 39.a4 Re4+ 40.Kd3 Re1 41.Rf3+ Kg2 42.Rf7! +- (White wins with a windmill.) 42…g4 43.Rxc7 Kf2 44.Rf7+ Kg1 45.Rxb7 Rf1 46.Rg7 g3 47.Rxg3+ Kh1 48.Rg7 Rb1 49.b4 Rd1+ 50.Kc2 Rf1 51.Rxa7 Rf2+ 52.Kd3 Rf8 53.Rg7 Rf3+ 54.Kc4 (Of course not Nxf3, stalemate!) 54…Rf8 55.b5 Rc8+ 56.Kb4 Rf8 57.a5 Rf3 (Another attempt at stalemate.) 58.a6 Rf2 59.c4 Rf1 60.a7 Ra1 61.b6 Rb1+ 62.Kc5 Ra1 63.b7 Rxa7 64.b8=Q Rc7+ (Yet another try at stalemate; the third of the game. 65.Qxc7 is a draw, so…) 65.Rxc7 1-0]

11…O-O (11…Bxe2 Bg4 12.Kg2 Qe4 13.Bf3! +-) 12.Rf1? (Kg2! – K. Williams)

2019_07_25

12…Bh3!! 0-1 (This is stronger than 12…Qe4+ 13.Kf2 Rxf7+ and either 14.Ke1 or 14.Kg1 and the White king lives. But after 12…Bh3!!, White has a choice between …Rxf7# or losing a massive amount of material with 13.Bd3 Rxf7+ 14.Ke2 Bg4+ 15.Ke1 Rxf1+ 16.Kxf1 Bxd1.)

 

correspondence_AI_1

I played in a Women’s Team Championship.

Just in case you couldn’t figure it out, I’m a male.

  

So how did I play in Women’s Team Championship? This is the story.

 

Back in 1989, the Southern California Chess Federation had a very active women’s group with their own league and some very good players. It was this year they had a  Women’s Team Championship.

  

But let me step back for a moment. It was in 1988 that I started to play correspondence chess. I only mention this because my opponent I was due to play was also a correspondence player. And being a fairly strong one at that (she was a Master in correspondence).

 

 

Back to the story.

 

 

I had several female friends that were playing in this match, so I decided to drive down and watch (and hopefully get a chance to cheer).

 

 

It soon became apparent to all the players that one of the participants had car trouble and couldn’t make to the event. How she made the phone call, I don’t know – this was in the days before cell phones. But news like  this travels fast and soon they were looking for another player.

 

 

After half-heartily looking for another female player (as most of them were already playing in the event), they decided to ask me. I think it was due because of my rating, and the fact that most of the other players personally knew me.  The two games I and my opponent were to play were to be rated but not counting towards the overall score in the match.

 

 

I agreed and my opponent, Dr. Christine Rosenfield drew White for the first game.

 

Now I knew she was a good correspondence player – but I didn’t know how good and I didn’t know a thing about her 1.d4 openings. Remember this is before cell phones, the Internet, and chess web sites.  I played loosely with my response, a little loosely as it turned out. She had a strong d-pawn in the middlegame and I couldn’t do anything about it. I lost the game. Badly.

 

 

So we take a lunch break. And we both chatted about game, as well as other games that were played in the first round.

 

 

After the meal and the chatting, we started the second game. I didn’t know anything about Christine’s openings, and I felt sure she didn’t know too much about mine either. I began with my favorite opening and played 1.e4.

 

 Now I was in my territory.  I have always been good with tactics and this game featured  open lines, control of queenside and two pawns that couldn’t be stopped

 

So we tied with one victory each. A good way to start off any friendship. But, if I remember correctly, she had to move to another state the very next year.

 

 I enjoyed my experience and my games. I enjoyed my company and I got another view into chess. Dr. Christine Rosenfield has my respect. I’ve studied her correspondence games and learned how sometimes it is necessary grind away to victory. And how to use a very strong d-pawn.

 

Oh, that was an experience! 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Here are some correspondence games from the Christine Rosenfield.

 

  

Christine Rosenfield (2205)-Norbert Molzahn (2350)
corres.
ICCF, WT/M/GT/264, 1989
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 d6 (I should mention here that Christine likes strong, advanced queen pawns, so this setup is perfect for her. I should also mention that correspondence players are noted, and notorious, for slowly eroding away any advantage that their opponent might have.) 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Bd3 O-O 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Nbd7 (The game is about even here.) 10.O-O Ne5 11.Qe2 e6 12.Bc2

(Alternate moves include 12.Qd1 and 12.f4. Bibisara Assaubayeva (2287)-Rahneda Fiadosenka (2059), World Youth Girls U18 Ch., Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, Oct. 3 2016, continued with 12.f4 Nxd3 13.Qxd3 exd5 14.exd5 Re8 15.f5 Nd7 16.Bf4 Bd4+ 17.Kh1 Ne5 18.Bxe5 Rxe5 19.Ne4 Qh4 20.Rae1 Rae8 21.fxg6 f5 22.Nxd6 Rxe1 23.Nxe8 Qf2 24.Nf6+ Bxf6 25.gxh7+ Kxh7 26.Qxf5+ Qxf5 27.Rxe1 0-1 The text move seems the best.)

12…exd5 13.cxd5 Qe7 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bh4 g5 16.Bg3 a6 17.f4 gxf4 18.Rxf4 b5 19.Rc1 Rae8 20.Rf5 Ng6 21.Re1 Nd7 22.a4 b4 23.Nd1 a5 24.Kh2 Nde5 25.b3 Qc7 26.Ne3 Rc8 27.Rf2 Ne7 28. Ref1 Kh7 29.Kg1 N7g6 30.h4 f6 31.Ng4 Nxg4 32.Qxg4 Ne5 33.Qf5+ Kh8 34.Bd1 c4 35.Rc2 c3 36.Bh5 Nd3 37.Bf2 Nc5 38.Bg4 Qf7 39.Bxc5 dxc5 40.Rcf2 c4 41. e5 cxb3 42.e6 Qg8 43.e7 Rfe8 44.d6 c2 45.Qxc8 Rxc8 46.Bxc8 Qxc8 47.Re2 c1=Q 48.e8=Q+

2019_07_11

(A game with three queens – a rarity in correspondence. This setup does not last long, as Black’s extra queen disappears almost as fast as she first appears.) 48…Kh7 49.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 50.Kh2 Qf4+ 51.g3 Qxd6 52.Qe4+ f5 53. Qxf5+ Qg6 54.Qd7 h5 55.Rb2 Qe4 56.Rd2 Kg6 57.Qb5 Bf6 58.Rd6 Qc2+ 59.Kg1 1/2-1/2

 

Christine’s forte was playing against the Dutch.

 

 

Christine Rosenfield-J. Orlowski
corres.
USCCC – 15 prem., 2000
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Bf4 Nf6 4.e3 b6 5.Nc3 Bb7 6.Nf3 Bb4 7.Bd3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 d6 9.O-O O-O 10.Re1 Ne4 11.Nd2 Nd7 12.f3 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 e5 14.Bg3 Qf6 15.Bc2 Rad8 16.Rab1 Ba6 17.Bb3 c5 18.Rbd1 f4 19.dxe5 dxe5 20.exf4 exf4 21.Qd5+ Kh8 22.Re6 Qf7 23.Bh4 Bb7 24.Qd6 Bc8 25.Bxd8 Rxd8 26.Re7 Qg6 27.Qxf4 Rg8 28.Rexd7 1-0

 

Christine Rosenfield-James L. Chessing
corres.
14th US CC Ch., P07, 1998
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 b6 6.Bd3 Bb7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Nge2 O-O 9.O-O Nh5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.a3 d6 12.d5 Ne5 13.Nd4 Nxd3 14.Qxd3 e5 15.Nxf5 Qg5 16.g4 g6 17.Ne4 Qd8 18.Nfxd6 cxd6 19.gxh5 g5 20.f4 exf4 21.exf4 g4 22.Ng5 1-0

 

 

 

 

 

A Fun Story and Ending.

A few decades ago, before the invention of laptops and chess engines, I used to study chess on a large tournament-sized set.

 
During the warm summer nights California is known for, I would set up a playing board, along with notes and books, in the backyard.

 
This particular night I had just set up the board when I noticed a bright light zigzagging in the night. My eyes followed it and for some strange reason it noticed me. And it sped towards my backyard.

 

 

UFO_1

 

 
I wasn’t frightened, more curious than anything else. It’s not every day a strange, bright, flying, object settles in my backyard.

 

It was small thing and when the door opened a tiny being emerged. It (it could have been a male, female, or animal, or robot) began to talk with me. Now since I’m not a polyglot, nor do I know any extra-terrestrial languages, I didn’t understand everything this otherly-world being was trying to say.

 

But with some hand movements I got a general idea what this entity wanted to know. It (again, I’m sure what gender this being was or if it had a gender) wanted to know what I was doing with the tablecloth (the chessboard), and the little figurines (the pieces).

 
As I am happy to share the game with others, with adults, children, pets, and now aliens, I started to teach the game to it.

 
But this visitor, like so many other beginners, was impatient, and soon fell behind in material, key squares, position, and was on the wrong end of possible checkmates.

 
So here is the diagram which we eventually reached.

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1.Qa1+ Kxa1 (Obviously not 1…Ka3 due to 2.Qc3+ Ka4 3.Bb5+! Kxb5 4.Qc5+ Ka4 5.a8=Q+. My space-traveling friend, being a quick learner, figured this out and avoided it. Besides, there was another point to his move.)

 

2.Kc2 (with the idea of Bd4#) 2…h1=K!

(Whoa! I started to tell him that was an illegal move. To which he replied, “Didn’t you tell me that a pawn reaching the last rank, could become any piece? And I want another king”.

I had to admit he was right. What to do now? If I leave both kings on the board, it would seem likely I would stalemate one of them, and possibly both. I looked at his smug expression. It knew the problems I faced. But then I had moment of inspiration.)

 
3.a8=K! (Now he had at least one move that didn’t result in stalemate.) 3…Kb8 (forced.)

 
4.h7 Ka8 (again forced.)

5.h8=Q mate, mate, mate!