Sunday, November 25, 2007

#228 French Lecture - Part 4

I've uploaded the java-replay & PGN of all the games from FM Steve Stoyko's lecture on the Winawer Variation, which took place at Kenilworth on November 8th.

The Tarrasch Variation segment, which was to have taken place the same night, will be on Thursday, December 6th. (8:00 p.m.; $5.00 admission).

Saturday, November 24, 2007

#227 French Lecture - Part 3

FM Steve Stoyko's 3rd lecture on the French Defense, which was given at the Kenilworth CC on November 1st, covered the Steinitz Variation, Classical Variation and Alekhine-Chatard Attack. Here are the java-replay & PGN of all the games from that lesson.

Perhaps the most interesting segment that night was Steve's good N vs. bad B ending illustration & recommendations. I have taken the liberty of modifying the diagram from his text to even out the tempi & try to match it to an actual game.

Good N vs. Bad B ending

example derived from
Minic-Sofreski : Skopje/Ohrid 1968

Black to move
  • Black has no steed or dark-squared B to challenge White's Nd4 & his light-squared B can't attack anything.
  • White can expand on the K-side with f4-f5 or replace the Nd4 with his K and try to provoke weaknesses that would allow his monarch to penetrate.
  • Notice that ...a7-a6 by Black would help the enemy K infiltrate. Treat that little move with respect. Many Black players make it automatically but it can turn out to be fatal!
  • A plan for Black is to play ...Bd7, ...f6, ...Be8 and ...Bh5/Bg6; repositioning the bad QB. Another is to play ...a6, ...b5, ...b4, ...a5 and ...Ba6.
  • Although the White position is better, it is hard to play since milking the position requires him to beware of all the plans Black can try.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

#226 Massey Lecture Tonight

NM Scott Massey is scheduled to give a lecture at the Kenilworth Chess Club tonight, starting at 8:00.

I'm not sure about the admission fee or topic but the lectures are usually $5.00 & the KCC calendar indicates Polish GM Akiba Rubinstein may be the subject.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

#225 French Lecture - Part 2

FM Steve Stoyko's 2nd lecture on the French Defense covered lines with ...dxe4, 3.Be3 & 3.Bd3. The notes below are derived from his accompanying text.

...dxe4 Ideas & Plans
  • ...dxe4 gives White has a space advantage but it lessens as pieces are exchanged. So, after White recaptures...
  • Black challenges the piece on e4, to either force an exchange or time-wasting retreat.
  • With development completed (at least K into safety), Black will nullify the center with either ...c5 or ...e5.

The biggest problem is getting the QB (Bc8) developed. In this system, it comes out via ...b6 & ...Bb7 or (if possible) ...a6 & ...b5.

If all of this can be accomplished, Black will have equal middlegame and endgame chances.

Patience is needed when playing this way with Black. He cannot really attack anything and has to wait for White to do something rash or over-aggressive.

How does White make progress?
  • Develop super-fast
  • Try to get in 0-0-0 if you want to attack
  • If 0-0, try Ne5 + f4, Rf3, Rh3, and g2-g4-g5
  • In general, avoid c2-c4 since this tends to weaken the d-pawn

...dxe4 Summary

All of these lines (Rubinstein, Purdy, Fort Knox, Burn) are interesting and require both sides to play well. Black often has to defend against K-side attack but, if he accurately does so, he has every prospect of winning since the White player tends to go "all-in". The attacking side is NOT easy to play. I have been on both sides of these positions and have always seen White get into severe time-trouble!

Here's are the java-replay & PGN of all the games from the lesson.

The last part of the lecture series, which will cover the Tarrasch & Winawer Variations, is tonight at 8:00 p.m. ($5.00 admission)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

#224 Grand Prix Games

I have annotated my games from the Labate Grand Prix where I scored 2.0/5, upset expert Maurico Camejo (who, at 2093, is the strongest player I've ever beaten in a USCF OTB tourney) & had a 2010 performance despite...
  • blowing an easy win in time-trouble against NM V. Shen
  • missing an Exchange sac at move 27 vs. FM Volovich that would've given me equal chances
  • overlooking a mate-in-1 swindle with 2 seconds left against expert Vladimir Polyakin

Here they are in Java-replay & zipped PGN.

after 14...h5??

White to win

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

#223 Better Late Than Never

I've finally gotten around to annotating my Kenilworth G/30 loss to FM Steve Stoyko (it was promised in post #208!) & adding it to the tourney's replay page & zipped PGN file.

To see who gained & lost rating points in the event, check out the official USCF crosstable.

#222 Kernighan Miniature

Two Sundays ago, at the Westfield Quads, NM Mark Kernighan won a 15-move miniature against Tim Hall's Nimzo-Indian Defense. The variation? ...his favorite 4.Bd2, which some (not me!) have criticized.

after 12...Na6

White to win

Here's the full game, with annotations, in java-replay & PGN.

Monday, November 05, 2007

#221 GM Kudrin wins Labate Grand Prix

GM Sergey Kudrin won the Ernesto Labate Grand Prix yesterday in Westfield, with 4.5-0.5 score. Tying for 2nd (at 4.0) were FM Mikhail Belorusov, NM Evan Ju & IM Bryan Smith. There was a 5-way knot for 5th place (3.5) between FM Tom Bartell, IM Guillermo Estevez, NM Peter Radomskyj, NM Victor Shen & FM Anatoly Volovich.

Class prizes went to Andrew Ng (U2200, 3.5), Kevin Dresher (U2000, 3.0), Paul Shepel & Eve Zhurbinskiy (U1800, both 2.5), Mark Powell & Kelvin Yao (U1500, both 1.5)

Jennie Liu received the best game prize.

The event drew 12 titled players and a total of 38 entries.

Fellow blogger Jim West, who finished at 3-2, has already posted his best effort as Black. My games, which you'll laugh & shake your head at, will follow ASAP.