Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Let’s first start off with the answers from last week’s simple (or maybe not-so simple) problems.

 

 

 

(1)  This one is very easy. White can only make legal moves. So, he must play 1.d4. And Black can only respond with 1… b5. The problem continues with 2.d5 b4 3.axb4 a3 4.c5, and mate cannot be avoided.

 

 

(2) Cook’s problem also can be solved with just making the only legal moves available. 1.c4 leads directly to mate. Incidentally, if it is Black to move in this position, he also mates with legal moves, starting with 1…f5.

 

 

(3) Black threatens promoting and winning with his two pawns on the seventh rank. White must therefore check to have any chances at winning.

 

 

White must play 1.bxc3+. If Black king was to step on a white square, White would immediately have winning endgame after Qb3+. Black then has to stay on the dark squares and plays 1….Kc5. And White continues with 2.cxd4+. If you can see the pattern forming you figure out the rest.

 

 

(4) Since it is White to play and win Black must have made the last legal move. But which one would let White win?

 

 

To save a little time, I’ll just mention that Black’s last move was 1…f7-f5. Now you can figure it out.

 

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There are a number of chess tournaments being held this weekend. Perhaps the best well-known is the American Open, being held in Costa Mesa, California. See website for details:

 

http://www.americanopen.org/

 

 

 

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One thing I enjoy about chess is the endless possibilities for exploration. Here is a recent blitz game, and maybe I’m wrong, but it rapidly goes into new territory.

 

 

Escalante-“GGRap”
Blitz Game
Chess.com, Nov. 23 2019
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Be2?!

 

[Theory recommends Nxc6 on this move or the next. Here is a game showing at least one possibility of the Nxc6.

 

Sadek (2183)-El Ghazali (2362)
Golden Cleopatra
Cairo, Apr. 7 2002
1.c4 c5 2.e4 Nc6 3.Ne2 Nf6 4.Nbc3 e6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bb4 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qa5 10.O-O O-O 11.Be3 Ba6 12.c5 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Ng4 14.Rfd1 Rab8 15.h3 Nxe3 16.Qxe3 Rb5 17.Rxd7 Rxc5 18.Rb1 a6 19.Rbb7 Rxc3 20.Qf4 e5 21.Rxf7 Rc1+ 22.Kh2 1-0.

 

But I didn’t want to play it. Blitz games can help you learn more about your pet opening in two ways. One, it is a good way to try out new ideas, and two, it is a way to find out why a suggested move is usually better than one’s own idea. Here’s a game to try out a different, but not necessarily better, move.]

 

6…Nge7 7.O-O O-O 8.Be3 Bxc3 (8…d5 is better for Black as it opens lines for a possible attack.) 9.bxc3 a6 10.a4?! (OK, this move doesn’t do much other than gain space for White on the queenside. Perhaps better is still Nxc6!?) 10…Qc7 11.Qd2 d6 12.f4 f6?! (Black should keep developing with 12…Bd7. He soon falls behind in development and piece play.) 13.Rab1 e5 14.fxe5 dxe5 15.Bc4+! Kh8 16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.Bxe6 Rad8 18.Qf2 Qd6 19.Ba2 Qa3? (Black gets greedy and being behind in development category is not good for his game.) 20.Bb3!

 

2019_11_28
20…Rd7?? (Black should admit his mistake and move his queen back to d6, with White having an advantage, but not necessarily a winning one.)  21.Bc5!! (Now White has winning advantage as Black’s queen is trapped.) 21…Rfd8 22.Bxa3 Rd2 23.Qe3 Ng6 24.Bd5 Nf4 25.Qxd2 Nxd5 26.exd5 Na5 27.Qd3 1-0

 

A TD Story

To become a Tournament Director (TD) in chess, it is advisable first become an Assistant Tournament Director (ATD). I’ve been both. And while I found the experience to be both interesting and enjoyable, I also knew that I didn’t have time to pursue everything in chess, so I had to concentrate more on writing (which is a BIG reason for this blog).

 

Here is a story from that experience.

 

I was working as an Assistant Tournament Director (ATD) at a National JHS Championship. My job was to walk around the tournament hall and solving small problems on the games as necessary. The players were instructed to raise their hand if they needed some help.

 

young_girl

 

Sure enough, about half-hour after they games had started, I saw a hand go up. I jogged to the board where two kids were playing. To be more accurate, there was only one kid playing; he was ahead a queen, a rook, a bishop, and several pawns. His opponent had his head on the table, and not really doing anything else other than breathing.

 

The kid who was winning said, “My opponent is asleep. Can you help?”. The rules, by the way, forbid anyone disturbing any of the players while the game is still going on. That rule appears to cover players who are awake, asleep, or in deep meditation. And I wasn’t even sure if his opponent was asleep or not (my gut feeling told me he wasn’t).

 

Now, one thing almost all kids in common is impatience. It didn’t seem fair to have the winning player have to sit there until his opponent’s clock run out (the clock indicated it would be at least another hour – they apparently started the game late).

clock_s-l1000

So, the onus was on me to solve the problem.

 

I came up with a unique solution. I spoke to the kid who was winning, and loud enough so his opponent could hear me. I told him (both of them!), “If your opponent does not wake up in the next 10 seconds, I will award the game to you.” And I started counting: “10”, “9”, “8”, and then suddenly, and miraculously, his opponent “woke up”.

 

The kid who was winning had a beaming smile while his opponent feigned waking up.

 

I told them to keep playing and wished them both good luck in their continuing game.

Addressing an Issue

Taking a break from the usual gambits and games to address an plague that is affecting everything, the invasion of religion into a chess competition.

 

Please take a look at the link below. This article has since been published on Facebook and other social news.

 
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/seductive-dress-forces-girl-to-quit-malaysia-chess-tournament-coach-says/ar-BBAAHL2?li=AA4Zpp&ocid=spartanntp

 
Below is an image showing the infamous dress.

Chess-tournament-girl

 

I question how this knee-length dress can be considered seductive or evil. Is this result of an insecure man or religion? Do young woman now have to wear full burqas in chess competitions for the benefit of an oppressive, insecure, and backwards minority?

 

To those people who enacted and enforced such a rule – grow up and out of your irresponsible viewpoints about the human body and just let the kids play chess.

 

Comments from anyone?