A Certain Failure of Technique

November 12, 2012

2012 USCL Action

(295) Ginsburg-ARZ (2400) – Jones-CAR (2249) [E14]
ICC 60 15 u Internet Chess Club, November 5, 2012

 

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Nbd2 b6 5.e3 Bb7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 c5 8.Nb3 cxd4 9.exd4 d5 10.c5 bxc5 11.dxc5 Nbd7?

Black needed to play Qe7.

12.Qd4!  A very strong centralization.

a5 13.a3 e5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.axb4!  Black just emerges with a terrible game.

Nc6 16.Qh4 axb4

17.Bg5 Re8 18.Rxa8 Bxa8 19.Bxf6 Qxf6 20.Qxf6 gxf6 21.Bb5

With a decisive advantage.

Rc8 22.Bxc6! Rxc6 23.Ra1 Bb7 24.f3 d4 25.Kf2 Bc8 26.Rc1

If you wanted 26. Ra5, you’d be right!  Black would have to resign shortly.

d3 27.Ke3 Re6+ 28.Kxd3 Ba6+  This flurry of checks was black’s last chance, but he is off by a few tempi.

29.Kd4 Re2 30.Ra1 Rxb2 31.Rxa6!

I correctly go for the rook ending which is winning with least fuss.

Rxb3 32.Kd5 Kf8 33.c6 Rc3 34.Rb6 b3 35.Kd6 Rd3+ 36.Kc7 Ke7

The winning maneuver now is to place the King on c8, then the pawn on c7, then the rook on b7, then the king on b8, and wins.  I had missed in this formation that black cannot defend with the King on d7 as c8=Q is discovered check!  Embarrassingly, I have the chance on all the subsequent moves to set up this winning plan.

37.Kb7 Rc3 38.Rb4 Kd6 39.Rb6 Ke7 40.f4 h5 41.g3 Kd6 42.h3 Ke7 43.g4 hxg4 44.hxg4 Kd6 45.g5

Only now does the above-mentioned winning plan not work anymore.  45. f5! still did the trick as black’s king must give way then I can proceed with Kc8, c7, Rb7, and Kb8.

f5 46.c7+ Kd7 47.c8Q+ Rxc8 48.Rxb3 Rc4 49.Rb6 Rxf4 50.Rf6 Ke7 51.Kc6 Rd4 52.Rxf5 Game drawn by mutual agreement 1/2-1/2

At least Arizona won the match 2.5 to 1.5  We are now in the playoffs against the St Louis Archbishops.   My record during the regular 2012 season:  +3 -1 = 2,  4 out of 6.  Should have been 4.5 if I had known this elementary rook ending!

The Fabulous 10s: Amanov vs Amanov Tangle in the USCL

October 3, 2011

Modern Benoni Debate

In the US Chess League, two Amanovs recently played one another.   They have the same last name, but are not related.  Mesgen playing white  is from Turkmenistan and Zhanibek playing black  is from Kazakhstan.

From the Chicago Blaze team’s blog, this entry by the winner, Chicago’s GM Mesgen Amanov.  He defeated IM Zhanibek Amanov (LA).  My comments in purple.

See this Stuff on an iPhone or iPad

My expanded comments are part of an iPhone/iPad app called “Chess U”.  It’s available from iTunes. 

Chess U is a free publishing platform and the Amanov battle is part of the “USCL 2011 – Volume 1″ course.  This app also contains courses by guest authors such as Levon Altounian and Marcel Martinez.

M. Amanov (CHC) – Z. Amanov (LA)  USCL 2011   notes by M Amanov

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. g3  I like Bishop fianchetto against Benoni

On the other hand the g2-g3 move is not one most aggressive lines; white has also e4, Bd3, Nf3, h3 (central strategy) which theory likes although GM Gashimov has upheld the black side a few times.

g6 7. Bg2 Bg7 8. Nf3 O-O 9. O-O

Here we reached a tabiya of Benoni with a bishop fianchetto. Black has 3 options here:

a6

[9... Nbd7 ;9... Re8 ]

It’s funny that Mesgen does not mention the weak 9… Na6? played by no less than ex-World Champ GM Mikhail Tal vs GM Korchnoi.  Korchnoi was rightfully critical of the move in his Best Games with White Volume.  Korchnoi rolled over Tal in a rather one-sided rout, but 9… Na6 still deserves a place in the list as the fourth move.

10. a4 Nbd7

[10... Re8 ]

11. Nd2 This position remind me a pleasant moment in my life when GM N. De Firmian played: Rb8?

Re8 [11… Rb8? 12. Nc4 Nb6?? Simply enough mistake, my opponent forgot to play Re8, let’s see what could happen if you do forget. 13. Nxd6! After this move game is over, due 13…Qxd6 14. Bf4 and the absence of Re8 doesn’t give black chance to block diagonal. But this is another story.  Ouch ]

12. h3 Rb8 13. Nc4 Ne5 This is what is considered the main line. Another option is Nb6 which leads to an absolutely different position where both sides playing on the queen side, black is preparing b5 and white is preventing it, if white knows what they are going they ended up in a better position. I recommend the “The Grandmaster Repertoire 1. d4 Volume 2″ book by GM Boris Avrukh to see other variations.

14. Na3

This opening is a classic battle of chess ideas.  White moves his knight far aside in order to drive black’s knight back and then reoccupy the center with his knight.  The only question becomes, can black do anything with this gain of time before white realizes his plan and achieves total strategic domination?

14… Nh5 15. e4 f5   This variation leads to a temporary piece sacrifice.

The move f7-f5 is not necessary as black has non-sacrificial alternatives but a good choice at the USCL time control.

16. exf5 Bxf5 17. g4 Bxg4 18. hxg4 Qh4 19. gxh5 Now black sacrificed already 2 pieces, but soon white will be the one who will sacrifice something and black will remain balanced material

Rf8

Sharp stuff

20. h6! This move is known and without it white would be simply lost

This is an interesting moment.  White is up two minor pieces and has the option here of 20. Bg5!? Qxg5 21. Ne4 Qh4 with further complications. I am not sure if white is lost here.  However, 20. h6!? may be the best move, but don’t rule out 20. Bg5 just yet until we check it further.  I’ll leave this placeholder to remind us to check 20. Bg5 more.  

20… Bh8 21. Ne4   We have followed a main line of the Benoni and only here in afore-mentioned book Avrukh volume 2, author recommends Nc4 with a little trap 21…Nxc4? 22.Qd3! White’s Queen transfers to h3 and kills Black’s attack. I could do that but was pretty sure my opponent would play the same move and position simply transposes to the main line.

Ng4 22. Qxg4 There is no other way of stopping checkmate; white has to give up the Queen.

Qxg4 23. Nc4 This moment is the first point when my opponent decided to take a serious thought, but I was sure he knows the position. The only question I had was “Did he analyze this position very deep over the board with a book say another 10-15 moves or he just looked at another 3-4 moves and checked with computer” As I knew computer gives advantage to black by -0.54 Houdini. Silicon brain does not understand this position. It is well known that engines are bad with a material imbalance like here with the Queen for 3 minor pieces.

There’s another factor here:  in the fast USCL time control, an active queen can wreak havoc in conjunction with other active pieces, even when faced by an army of three minor pieces.  This position may well be practically easier for black, keeping in mind the improvement on the next move.  The conclusion may be that this opening is a good choice by black in the USCL!

Key moment

23…b5   (?) It’s funny that Mesgen passed by this move without comment, but it’s a terrible move for black.   And as we see from Mesgen’s prior note, this was the first moment that Zhanibek had paused to think! This was one of the key moments.

23…b6! is much stronger to deny the a-file to white’s queen rook!  Take a look, black has excellent play!  White’s king is still not entirely comfortable. I will return to this in more depth soon.

24. axb5 axb5 25. Ncxd6 So far, I had played quick. I had analyzed this position maybe 6 monthes ago or more and did not exactly remember what would I do next

It’s funny that Mesgen had analyzed this position because it involves a black blunder, 23… b5?   Although it “seems normal” for black to expand with the typical b5 move, in this situation it’s weak because it gives white queen rook key perspectives to attack the black king.  Take that chance away, and black’s chances are significantly improved.

25…Be5 I kinda remembered what I shoud do here because I remembered that my King goes for a little walk to g3 in the main line and the only way to do so is to play f4.

26. f4 Bd4+ 27. Kh2 Rb6  This move was payed in a correspondence game.

28. Ra7 And here I am on my own. It took me 10 min to find this move, it turned out to be the best move! c4 29. Rc7N This move is novelty, but I woudn’t say a brilliant one. On the human level it’s a probably the best one, because if I play like in the correspondence game

when players can

check their analysis on the computer I should calculate next: [29. Bh3 Qe2+ 30. Rf2 Qh5 (30... Bxf2 31. Be6+ Kh8 32. Nf7+ Kg8 33. Nf6# ) 31. Rd2 Be3 32. Rg7+ Kh8 33. Nf7+ Rxf7 34. Rxf7 Kg8 35. Re7! only move, which impossible to find without computer on the deep depth. (35. Rg7+ Kf8 36. Rxh7 Bxf4+ 37. Kg2 Bxd2 38. Rh8+ Ke7 39. Bxd2 Qe2+ 40. Kg1 Qxe4 41. Bb4+ Rd6 42. Rh7+ Kf6 43. Bxd6 Qd4+ 44. Kh2 Qf2+ Leads to a preputual check! ) 35... Bxf4+ 36. Kg2 Kf8 37. Ra7 Bxd2 38. Bxd2 Qe2+ 39. Kg1 Qd1+ 40. Bf1 Qg4+ 41. Bg2 Qd1+ 42. Kh2 Qh5+ 43. Kg3+- Maybe next I'll play it )) ]

29… Rd8? I felt this is a mistake, but for a long time, I could not find a refutation. I spent about 15 minutes before I found the best move! [29... Qh5+ 30. Bh3 (30. Kg3 g5 31. fxg5 Rxd6 32. Nxd6 Be5+ 33. Bf4 Qxg5+ ) 30... Rxd6 31. Nxd6 Be5 32. Rd7 g5 33. Nf7 g4 34. Nxe5 Qxh3+ 35. Kg1 with a prepetual Qg3+ ]

Black also has the immediate 29… Rxd6!? with interesting play.  Many tactical motifs involving g5 break and Be5 trick.   Black appears to be equal in both situations either checking with queen right away or taking on d6 first.

30. Bh3! Qh5 [30... Qh4 31. Nc8 Ra6 32. Ng5 Bf6 33. Ne7+ Bxe7 34. Rxe7 Qxh6 35. Rfe1 Qh4 36. Re8+ Rxe8 37. Rxe8+ Kg7 38. Be3 Rf6 39. Re7+ Kf8 40. Rxh7 Qe1 41. Bc5+ Kg8 42. Be6+ Rxe6 43. dxe6 c3 44. Rb7 Qh4+ 45. Nh3 c2 46. Rb8+ Kh7 47. Bd4 g5 48. Rh8+ Kg6 49. Rxh4 c1=Q 50. Rg4 Qd2+ 51. Nf2 Qxd4 52. f5+ Of Course I saw it ;30... Qe2+ 31. Rf2!! ]

31. Be3!! Very strong move! After this black is losing.

This was a nice shot and probably what Zhanibek missed.  Otherwise he would have thought again and found one of the drawing moves on move 29.

Qe2+ What else to do? Bxe3? Nf6+

32. Rf2 Qxe3 33. Be6+ Kh8 34. Nf7+ Kg8 35. Nfd6+ Pretending that I’am a professoinal. Before go any further I’am gaining some time.

Kh8 36. Nf7+ Kg8 I guess my opponent’s heart was squezed here with a hope of me playing Nd6+ with a 3 fold repetition.

37. Nxd8+ Kf8 38. Rf7+ Ke8 39. d6! If I wouldn’t see this move while playing Be3 or if I would not have this move position is equal according to a computer Qxf2+ probably desperation, but there is nothing left, as you can see in the following line: [39... Qxe4 40. d7+ Kxd8 41. Rf8+ Kc7 42. d8=Q+ Kb7 43. Qa8+ Kc7 44. Qc8+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Ke7 46. Qd7+ Kf6 47. Rf8# ]

40. Nxf2 Rxd6 41. Ne4 Now it looks like I’m a simply piece up, but it is not true,

I’m threatening checkmate which is almost impossible to stop. Rxd8 42. Rb7 Bxb2 43. Bf7+ Here I premoved Ng5 with unstoppable checkmate,

but my opponent resigned. 1-0

Conclusion

This is a very interesting opening variation.  The way Mesgen played, with 20. h6!?, is not at all convincing, and after my improvement 23… b6! for black (instead of b5)I believe black has great play.  Check it out for yourselves!  Come back to this spot soon, I will provide additional lines.

The Fabulous 10′s: A TN Discovered on the 8th Move

July 4, 2011

Fortuitous TN Discovery

I think I discovered a TN looking at the game Laznicka-Morozevich, Pamploma 2006.

Laznicka (2596) – Morozevich (2747)  Pamplona  2006 Sicilian Defense

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 Qc7 5. O-O Nd4 6. Re1 a6 7. Bf1 Ng4

Position after 7...Ng4

So far, normal enough.  Nobody’s going to fall for 8. Nxd4 Qxh2 mate.

In my database, 8. g2-g3 was played 35 times previously and 8. d2-d3 was played one time previously.  Humorously, although 8. d3 allows mate in 2, that game example went 8. d3 Nxf3+ (so far, so good) 9. Qxf3 and now black uncorked 9… Ne5 eventually drawing instead of 9… Qh2 mate.  (Brakus (2077) – Markovic (1662) Belgrade Spring Open 2009.)   Trying to get away from that 8. d3 “story”, let’s return to these two top GMs.

Laznicka played the rather ugly looking  8. g3 Nxf3+ 9. Qxf3 Ne5 and went on to lose this balanced position after further miscues.

However, 8. e5!! TN seems to be strong.

Examine:

A. 8. e5!! Nxf3+ 9. Qxf3 Nxe5 10. Qh5 d6 11. f4 Nc6 12. Nd5 Qd8 13. f5 Nd4 14. Bd3 e5 15. fxe6 Bxe6 16. Nf4 and white is better.

B. 8. e5!! Nxf3+ 9.  Qxf3 Nxe5 10. Qh5 Ng6 11. Nd5 Qd8 12. d4 cxd4 13. Bd2! e6 14. Ba5!! Qxa5 15. Nf6+ gxf6 16. Qxa5 and through sly play white has won the queen.

There are other lines, but white has great compensation in all of them.  Never before seen?

Chess U News

The iPhone/iPad app Chess U continues to grow.  We have new authors in July 2011.

July 2011 Author Contingent

We have Frank Johnson authoring Chess-Coach 101, 102, and 103 to support his chess camps, Gabby Kay just finished Classics 101 (10 famous games such as the Evergreen Game Anderssen-Kieseritsky, and Morphy’s Opera Box Game and Fischer’s Game of the Century, D. Byrne-Fischer), and Marcel Martinez just finished Middlegame 201 (10 of his instructive efforts vs. such luminaries as Robert Hess and Julian Hodgson).  Coming soon we have Jones Murphy, in collaboration with IM Kamran Shirazi, present ten recent Shirazi efforts.  Later this summer we expect to have GM Eugene Perelshteyn author a first effort on the Accelerated Dragon.

Middlegame 201 Lessons List

The Fabulous 10s: Learning Tactics via ICC Blitz

June 19, 2011

Here are three very interesting 5 minute games I contested recently on ICC.

Use them as tactical training devices.

Game 1.

Impitoyable (Unforgiven) vs Aries2  Game/5  Keres Attack

Here’s more information about the Frenchman Impitoyable from his ICC finger notes:

Information about Impitoyable (Last disconnected Sun Jun 19 2011 15:10):

              rating [need] win  loss  draw total   best
Wild            2206  [1]   645   143    31   819   2301 (03-Jan-2011)
Loser’s         2037  [4]  1360   529    55  1944   2232 (10-Jul-2008)
Bughouse        1915  [6]    23    15     0    38   2011 (30-Nov-2006)
Crazyhouse      2244  [6]   863   307     0  1170   2307 (16-Feb-2008)
Bullet          2516  [8]  1229   543    83  1855   2706 (27-May-2008)
Blitz           3091  [8]   750   459   133  1342   3175 (29-Sep-2009)
Standard        2657  [6]   184    29    12   225   2682 (19-Nov-2010)
5-minute        2614       1237   445   181  1863   2726 (14-Oct-2009)
1-minute        2570  [8]  1493   945   121  2559   2570 (27-Jun-2010)
15-minute       2475         89     5     2    96   2475 (19-Jun-2011)
3-minute        2356        433   183    56   672   2519 (17-Apr-2011)
45-minute       1692  [4]     1     0     0     1                      
Chess960        2093        457   130    31   618   2213 (14-Jul-2010)

 1: “Impitoyable” : french title for the film “Unforgiven”, by and with C.
  Eastwood (and G. Hackman, R. Harris, M. Freeman …) ; but “impitoyable”
  means rather “pityless” or “mercyless” ; I will nevertheless accept takebacks
  for obvious mouseslips and ask for them … only in that case of course.
 2: International Master since 1996 ; maths teacher since 2001.
 3: Can you queen your f-pawn as early as move 18 playing black ? See my
  liblist, game Index 4 !
 4: You may improve your play in knights endings by analysing my defeat versus
  Vidocq, game numbre 16.
 5: You don’t get a chance each day to play as Morphy did at the Sevilla Opera.
  Egor Geroev-2 had this chance, see my  lybrary game number 18 (after 15 …
  Qxb5 16 Nc7+! ; Rxc7 17 Rd8 it’s exactly the same mate !)

He has a very good score against me overall.  I was looking to improve my statistics by following an obscure recommendation of Kasparov and Nikitin versus the popular Keres Attack.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. g4 Nc6 7. g5 Nd7 8. Be3 Be7 9. h4 O-O 10. Qd2

Often times white likes to put his queen out on the aggressive h5 square.  Then, black can follow the same plan as in the game!

10…Nxd4  Part of a sequence that gives black freedom of movement.

11. Qxd4 e5 12. Qd1 Nb6!?

The interesting proposal of Kasparov and Nikitin from an ancient book on the Scheveningen.   White can opt to eat this horse with Be3xb6 to gain control of d5 but that move is definitely not on most attacking players’ radar screens.  They just want to give mate.

13. g6?!  This has to be too soon.

13…hxg6 14. h5 g5 15. Qf3 g4 16. Qg3 Be6 17. O-O-O Rc8 18. Be2 Rxc3! 19. bxc3

Black to play. Who's winning?

19…d5 20. Bxg4 Ba3+ 21. Kd2 Nc4+ 22. Ke2 Nxe3 23. fxe3 Qc8 24. Rhg1 Qxc3 25. Bxe6 Qxc2+ 26. Rd2 Qc4+ 27. Kd1 Qa4+ 28. Rc2 {Black resigns} 1-0

Why do I award black’s 18th move an exclamation point and then go on to lose in short order?  That’s the puzzle for you – identify the beautiful missed black win!  Immediately after the game I had the feeling I had blown a promising position but I didn’t know how promising until I checked with Rybka 4.  Embarrassing, black was totally winning!

Game 2

Let’s follow this embarrassing blown win with another embarrassing blown win, shall we?  This time we are dominating and crushing Logofet.

Some more information about Logofet:

Information about Logofet (Last disconnected Sun Jun 19 2011 12:08):

              rating [need] win  loss  draw total   best
Crazyhouse      1798  [6]     0     2     0     2                      
Bullet          2252  [8]   155   203    30   388   2433 (30-Jan-2006)
Blitz           2749       1404  1703   342  3449   3022 (21-Mar-2008)
Standard        2637  [6]     4     2     0     6                      
5-minute        2588       2563  1459   410  4432   2624 (30-Mar-2009)
1-minute        2250       4538  3640   525  8703   2508 (21-Aug-2009)
15-minute       1953  [4]     3     0     0     3                      
3-minute        1873  [8]     1     0     0     1         

I seem to remember that Logofet is GM Alex Lenderman.  Let’s see the game.

1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 b6 3. Nc3 Bb7 4. e4 d6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Nf6 7. Bd3 e6 8.
O-O Be7 9. Qe2 Nbd7 10. b3 O-O 11. Bb2

I love this attacking set up vs. the Hedgehog.  GM Nunn extolled its virtues way back in the early 1980s in a Philips & Drew tournament book.

I always show campers a forced win I missed vs GM Yudasin as well as a one-sided win over Teddy Coleman in the exact same line.  White’s pieces are all supremely active and pointed at black’s king.

Nc5 12. Bc2 Rc8 13. Rad1 Qc7 14. f4 a6 15. Rf3! g6 16. Rh3 Rfe8

It’s time to act and roll up Logofet.

17. e5! dxe5 18. fxe5 Nfd7 19. b4! Qxe5

19...Qxe5 Black's last gasp, or is it?

A forced sacrifice.  Dismal, but true.   Now I go nuts and hand my hand on a silver platter.

20. bxc5 Bxc5 21. Qxe5 Nxe5 22. Ne4 Nxc4 23. Nf6+ Kf8 24. Ba1 Red8 25. Rf1 Rxd4 26.
Bxd4 Bxd4+ 27. Kh1 Bxf6 28. Rxf6 Kg7 29. Rf2 Bd5 {White forfeits on time}
0-1

Challenge for the readers – point out the several wins I missed.  As a bonus, point out the easiest and most crushing of all the missed wins.

Game 3

Lest we get the impression I am always blowing winning positions, here is one where a nice tactic emerged and I also got the point.

FM Drunkenight – IM Aries2   Benoni

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. Nc3 g6 4. d4 Bg7 5. e4 O-O 6. Be2 c5 7. O-O Bg4 8. d5 a6 9. Be3 Nbd7 10. Nd2 Bxe2 11. Qxe2 Qc7 12. Kh1 Rae8 13. f4 e6

This basic setup with a-rook on e8 I got from some obscure Spassky games dating back to the 1960s.

14. Rae1 exd5 15. exd5 Qb6 16. b3 Qb4 17. Ncb1 Ne4 18. Qd3 Ndf6 19. f5 Nxd2 20. Bxd2 Qb6 21. Nc3 Ng4 22. Ne4 Qd8 23. Bg5

Time to Strike

23…Rxe4!  A comprehensive refutation of white’s pin operation.

24. Bxd8 Rxe1 25. Bh4 Ne5!

Coup de Grace

This was a very pleasing move to play at the end of the combination!  A very unusual overloading where white’s queen cannot stay in touch with the rook.  Of course, White can resign now.  He played on, since it is blitz.

26. Rxe1 Nxd3 27. Re7 gxf5 28. Rxb7 Nc1 29. Rb6 Nxa2 30. Rxd6 Nb4 31. Rd7 Be5 32. Be7 Rc8 33. d6 Nc6 34. Rb7 Nxe7 35. dxe7 Re8 36. Ra7 Kg7 37. Rxa6 Rxe7 38. Rc6 Bd4 39. g3 Rb7 40. Kg2 Rxb3 41. Kh3 Rc3 42. Rc7 Rxc4 43. Rd7 Bf6 44. Rd6 Rd4
45. Rc6 c4 46. Rc7 Re4 47. Rc8 c3 48. Rc6 Re2 49. Rc5 c2 50. Rc4 Bb2
{White resigns}
0-1

Good times!  Well in Game 3.  Not in Games 1 or 2.

Shindig Chess

On June 14, an online tournament was held.  These GM players won in a five-round game/15 event:

Robert Hess 4.5
Giorgi Kacheishvili 4.5
Alex Lenderman4.5
Baadur Jobava 4.5
Bartosz Socko  4.5
There were 15 players in all.  I don’t know how the pairings were done, but guess how many of the winners I played?  1?  2?   No  3?  4?  No.
I played all the winner!  Every round, I was playing one of the above-mentioned guys!  A world record?  Never before seen in tournament play?  I think so!  Instead of dwelling on my bad result, here’s a great blitz game I played:
IM Aries2 – GM Baadur Jobava (GEO)
Mark Baadur
1 ♘f3 ♞f6
2 ♙c4 ♟g6
3 ♘c3 ♝g7
4 ♙e4 ♟d6
5 ♙d4 ♚0-0
6 ♗e2 ♞a6
7 ♔0-0 ♟e5
8 ♖e1 ♟c6
9 ♖b1 ♞c7
10 ♙d5 ♟cxd5
11 ♙cxd5 ♞h5
12 ♙g3 ♟f5
13 ♘d2 ♞f6
14 ♙f3 ♟h5
15 ♙a4 ♟h4
16 ♘c4 ♟hxg3
17 ♙hxg3 ♞h5
18 ♔g2 ♞e8
19 ♖h1 ♟f4
20 ♙g4 ♞g3
21 ♖h3 ♞f6
22 ♖xg3 ♟fxg3
23 ♔xg3 ♞e8
24 ♗e3 ♜f7
25 ♕g1 ♝f6
26 ♗xa7 ♜xa7
27 ♕xa7 ♟b5
28 ♕xf7+ ♚xf7
29 ♘xb5 ♝g5
30 ♖h1 ♚g7
31 ♙b4 ♝a6
32 ♘ba3 ♝xc4
33 ♘xc4 ♞f6
34 ♙b5 ♞d7
35 ♙a5 ♞c5
36 ♙a6 ♛b8
37 ♖a1 ♞b3
38 ♙a7 ♛h8
39 ♙a8Q ♝f4+
40 ♔f2 ♛h4+
41 ♔f1 ♛h1+
42 ♔f2 ♞xa1
43 ♘xd6 ♛h2+
44 ♔f1 ♛h3+
45 ♔f2 ♛h2+
46 ♔f1 ♛h1+
47 ♔f2 ♛h2+
48 ♔f1 ♛h3+
49 ♔f2 ♛g3+
50 ♔f1 ♛h3+
51 ♔f2 ♛g3+
52 ♔f1 ♛h3+
Time Remaining: 00:46 Time Remaining: 00:04

Draw  (this is the way Shindig outputted the game and emailed it to me).

Chess U News

Chess U on iTunes

Recent developments:
  • Frank Johnson will author Chess-Coach 101, 102, and 103 for his chess schools and beyond.
  • Kamran Shirazi’s paper bag of recent scoresheets has been located and Jones Murphy and Kamran will select 10 good recent Shirazis for packaging into Shirazi 201.
  • I am working on Tal 301, a labyrinth of complications as one might expect.
  • Mountaindog is working on Classics 101, the ten most famous games of all time.
  • Marcel Martinez is working on Middlegame 201, 10 of his interesting efforts vs. luminaries such as Conquest, Hess, etc.

The Fabulous 10s: Chess Today, a daily chess newspaper

June 4, 2011

Chess Today – an Inbox Chess Tidbit Every Day!

I want to make sure everyone is aware of Chess Today, a daily electronic chess bulletin.  GM Baburin founded it, and GM Golubev also contributes analysis many times.  For a very low subscription price, people can follow current news and also get chess biographies.

An excellent daily treat in the inbox!  In addition, every month, a ChessBase archive file is sent out with all the games for the month, so readers can import them easily into ChessBase or some other database.

Here’s a brief sample from today’s newsletter.  GM Leonid Yurtaev passed away recently (1959 – 2011) and here is a very interesting win of his in the King’s Indian. GM Mikhail Golubev supplies the notes in the Chess Today edition but I removed them and just added a few of my own.

[Event "Riga"]
[Site "Riga URS"]
[Date "1988.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Tukmakov, Vladimir"]
[Black "Yurtaev, Leonid"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E68"]
[WhiteElo "2590"]
[BlackElo "2485"]
[Annotator "Mikhail Golubev (www.chesstoday.net)"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "1988.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "16"]
[EventCountry "URS"]
[Source "Chess Today"]
[SourceDate "2011.06.03"]

{Leonid Yurtaev was an exceptionally gifted tactician who defeated many
world-famous players in individual games such as Tal, Ivanchuk, Morozevich,
the very young Kasparov and Aronian. He developed many special lines in the
openings.}

{MG : I never met him, but I met his opponent this game Vladimir Tukmakov in Lenk, Switzerland 2000 and he is a very pleasant fellow full of chess anecdotes.  In particular, Tukmakov recounted some howlingly funny episodes involving classic chess character Yaakov Yukhtman. }

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Nbd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. e4 exd4 9. Nxd4 Re8 10. h3 Nc5 11. Re1 Bd7

Golubev points out an interesting alternative: 11… h6  12. Rb1 Ne6 13. Nxe6 Bxe6 14. b3 Qc8!  {
(Kharitonov-Yurtaev, Sverdlovsk 1987)  and if white reacts with 15. Kh2 then black has the equalizing trick 15… Ng4+! 16. hxg4 Bxc3

{MG: I would be inclined as white not to trade on e6 (as in Kharitonov-Yurtaev), as the simplifying and equalizing
trick that occurred is fantastic!}

12.Rb1 h6  MG:  !? 

MG:  I never played Bd7 or h6 in this position, so I am definitely learning things.

Golubev points out the amazing Yurtaev idea  12… Qc8!? 13. Kh2 Re5 {, preparing …Rh5.}, as in Aseev-Yurtaev, 1988.

MG: I love this Yurtaev idea! (Re8-e5-h5)! It appears coffee-house, but it’s quite dangerous!

13. Kh2 a5 14. f4?!   Golubev prefers 14. b3.

14… a4 15. b4  axb3 16. axb3 h5 17. Bb2 c6

 18. b4 Na6 19. b5?!  Golubev points out white should throw in e4-e5 first.

19… Nc5 20. e5 dxe5 21. fxe5 h4 !!

{ MG: a great idea by Yurtaev!  He had as much in this game as I did in the game Yoos – MG, Pan Ams 1992! } 

 22. exf6  hxg3+ 23. Kh1 Qxf6

Black has a huge attack and white collapses under the strain.

 24. Rxe8+ Rxe8 25. Nf3?  Golubev points out 25. bxc6 is stronger and the last chance.
 25…Qf5!   26. Bf1  Re3 0-1

MG: A very creative accomplishment by Yurtaev! Too often, these strong grandmasters go virtually unnoticed in the west. Chess Today always sheds light on their best games.

Chess U News

The mobile Quiz application Chess U continues to gain traction.  We have signed up guest author Marcel Martinez to write about Middlegames for us.  Attack 101 is out, Rook 101 is out, Anand 201 is out coming within the next few days, and i expect Martinez’s Middlegames to be ready a little after that.    Right now it’s only on the iPhone/iPad, but we will go forward with Facebook native app and hopefully Android also.

 

Chess U

Update: on June 8, 2011, Anand 201 was released.

Here’s a screenshot of a quiz during the game Anand-Karpov Las Palmas 1996 (Lesson 6, Anand 201).

Quiz Time - Anand-Karpov

The Fabulous 10s: Liberties with Fischer

June 2, 2011

I chortled and guffawed through a recent piece of semi-fiction regarding the famous game Donald Byrne-Bobby Fischer, “The Game of the Century”, played at the Marshall CC in New York City in 1956, as recounted by ChessBase online.

This excerpt is Chapter 3 from the book “Endgame” by Frank Brady.  I put sections in bold that are particularly comment-worthy.

Let’s take a look at some of the writing in this chapter with my own comments in color.

“The club – which was located on Tenth Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, one of Manhattan’s most attractive neighborhoods – had been quartered in this venerable brownstone (built in 1832) since 1931, when a group of wealthy patrons, including one of the Roosevelts, bought the building so that their beloved Frank J. Marshall, the reigning U.S. Champion, who would hold the title for 27 years, would always have a place to live with his family, and to play, teach, and conduct tournaments. Walking down the street with its rows of stately brownstones festooned with window boxes of flowers, and a private boarding stable on the same block, Bobby could have easily felt he was transported back to the Gas Light or Silk Stocking era of the 19th century.”

GM Kavalek has said the most dangerous thing to do for an analyst is place himself inside the head of the player.  I doubt Fischer felt anything like this, but I am certain Brady did, or does!

“Certainly, there was a sense of decorum that permeated the Club, even when it came to dress. Bobby’s habitual mufti of tee shirt, wrinkled pants, and sneakers was considered an outrage by Caroline Marshall, Frank Marshall’s widow and the longstanding manager of the Club, and on several occasions she informed him of his sartorial indiscretion, once even threatening to bar him from the premises if he didn’t dress more appropriately. Bobby ignored her.”

Mufti?  Geez.  What is this, 1830 Calcutta?   On a more humorous note, many years later Leslie Braun took on the role of fashion and manners police, physically booting young Maxim Dlugy out of the club for over-boisterous behavior.  I was booted simply because I was near young Maxim.    To give the readers a clearer sense of what was going on, Bobby had on crummy outfits.  Similar to outfits favored by future champions Fedorowicz and Rohde.    What do we expect, ascots and lace? 

A kibitzing GM here said that Black was simply lost in this position.”

Out with it, man!  Name this GM!  The only person I can think of is the late GM Larry Evans.  I don’t see the point of not naming the individual. 

““What is he doing?” said someone to no one in particular. “Is this a blunder or a sacrifice?””

Am I the only one who finds the above rather ludicrous?   Someone says to no one?   Maybe it was Jackie Beers talking to Asa Hoffmann.  And where are they located?  Near the restrooms? Near the coke machine?  Near the pay phones?  Right next to the players? 

“Bobby’s opponent that night was the urbane college professor Donald Byrne, an International Master, former U.S. Open Champion, and a fiercely aggressive player. Dark-haired, elegant in speech and dress, the 25-year-old Byrne invariably held a cigarette between two fingers, his hand high in the air, his elbow resting on the table, in a pose that gave him an aristocratic demeanor.”

Eh?  Byrne played quiet, passive openings, favoring long drawn-out English opening type positional battles.  This was no Tal.  Brady might be thinking of Robert Byrne (Donald’s brother), a much more aggressive player.   As for the cigarette, imagine a lot of smoking going on with no a/c and you can get a sense of how difficult it was to play in the summer there.    Again with the dress in this passage?   The dress would be more interesting if we were talking about Hastings 1895.

““The onlookers were invited to sit right next to you and if you asked them to leave or be quiet they were highly insulted,” Bobby recalled”

No criticism here, just a hearty laugh because there still are a bunch of the same type of people at the club!  (and also at the Manhattan Club while it existed).

“A whisper of spectators could be heard: “Impossible! Byrne is losing to a 13-year old nobody.”

What are the odds someone said this bizarre sentence?  Not very good.  And what is the plural spectators about, are we to imagine some kind of Greek chorus calling out this inane patter?   I can easily see instead some C-player babbling “Byrne’s losing to a freakin’ kid” near the Coke machine (curse words deleted).    It does sound accurate if this was Hastings 1895, for example:  “Balderdash!  Lasker is losing to an erstwhile Pillsbury Dough Boy!” 

“On the 41st move, after five hours of play, with his heart slightly pounding, Bobby lifted his rook with his trembling right hand, quietly lowered the piece to the board, and said, “Mate!” His friendly opponent stood up, and they shook hands.”

No criticism here, just another hearty laugh because many years later Tom Davidoff slowly executed a move with a trembling hand against veteran club member Alex Kevitz (I will wait for confirmation from Davidoff that this was, in fact, the Marshall CC – there is a chance it  may have been at the Manhattan CC which does not lessen the humor) and Kevitz barked out “Just move the piece, ya trembly-handed schmuck!”  Good times.

The Fabulous 10′s: iPhone Chess Educational Software “Chess U” Gains Momentum

May 25, 2011

Chess U on the iTunes Store

Our product Chess U has gained traction on the iTunes store.    It’s a way to take guided quizzes to increase chess knowledge on openings, endgames, and classic games by famous grandmasters.  As some readers have noticed, at its foundation it is simply an advanced PGN reader.  Then we add on the quiz elements and competition elements such as ratings, quiz scores, and graduation diplomas.

The free course is called Attack 101.  This comes with the product.  It goes over basic attacking techniques by examining and taking quizzes based on tussles I’ve had with strong players such as Petursson, Dzindzihashvili, and others.  The first paid course we put together is Rook Endgames 101.  It costs $0.99.  Apple gets some of that. :)   The Rook Endgames is 16 classic positions ranging from Rook versus Pawn or two pawns to Rook and Pawn versus Rook.  All the classic themes are in there:  the Philidor Defense, stalemate tricks, the Saavedra study, building a bridge, cutting off the king, and so on.  The Rook Endgames course is currently available in our most recent product build, which is Version 1.0.1.    In Apple jargon, it is an “in-app purchase.”  The user downloads the free Chess U and the free course Attack 101 and then has the opportunity to buy Rook Endgames 101.   Hot on its heels is Play Like Anand 101.  Here, we have taken 10 of World Champion Vishy Anand’s most spectacular games and built quizzes based on the key moments.  It’s surprising how many difficult defenses the opponents missed in even the seemingly most one-sided of victories.   We will also canvass guest strong player authors for their own selection of instructive quizzes.   The basic course themes are:

  • Openings
  • Endgames
  • Famous Players

Sample Course Walkthrough:  Rook Endgames 101

The user sees this welcome screen to start with (going over the various topics):

Welcome Screen, Rook Endgames 101

Starting the course reveals 16 Lessons.

16 Lessons in Rook Endgames 101

The next screen shows a quiz decision point for the user.  This is one of the early lessons covering the decision (from the inferior side’s point of view) of whether or not to trade down into a pure King and Pawn endgame starting from a Rook and Pawn versus Rook ending.
Quiz Decision point in a Rook Endgames 101 Lesson
The user proceeds through the 16 Lessons and at the end has the option of generating a diploma upon successful graduation.
Here’s our banner ad if you would like to use it on your own web page.

Here’s a magazine print ad.

Banner Ad

Future Plans

Before talking about porting to other platforms, the first things are:

  • Create a custom iPad build to use the full iPad screen real estate. Currently it runs on the iPad but in “2X” magnification mode – that is to say, twice the zoom of the standard iPhone view.
  • More Courses
  • More User Testing
Astute users have already noticed it works quite well as a native PGN reader sans quizzes.  This means it would do quite well at processing regular Internet chess game feeds.  More on this later.

For More Information and Social Media Activity

To see more, and to “Facebook Like” it, or to “Twitter Follow” us, go to our web site.  This also has our most recent “tweets” (product/course announcements and advance news on new features).

The Fabulous 10s: Wildcats 3.5 – Sun Devils 2.5

May 21, 2011

I just received a news communique about the first-ever U of Arizona – ASU chess match!   This was a face-to-face match at ASU (not online). And as you can see, it was a close one.  The U of Arizona Wildcats prevailed, much like their basketball team got further in the NCAA’s. Nevertheless the Sun Devils pulled off some victories in the 6-board G/60 match.

The Sun Devil Heartbreak

Dear Chess Fans,

Arizona State University invited University of Arizona to a chess match that coincided with the Master Trek tournament on April 23, 2011.  As far as I know, this is the first time ASU and U of A have ever played each other in a team match.

The time control was set at G/60.  U of A beat ASU 3.5 – 2.5, but given the players were closely matched and given the topsy-turvy nature of the games, no one could foresee the result until the final seconds (when I blew a won position against Ben Marmont).

Attached are all 6 games along with my annotations and variations.  I invited everyone from both teams to comment as well, but received no responses.  Please feel free to post and comment on the games and annotations how you see fit.

Sincerely,

Expert Jeff Green

President, Chess Club @ ASU”

From the ASU President Emeritus

This school year has been the first in a decade that ASU has organized a competitive chess team. Since the Pan-American Intercollegiate Championship is held over winter break, I needed something to spark the interest of the team in the “off-season.” The University of Arizona is not only our school’s rival, but also fields a formidable chess team, headed by FM Warren Harper and Experts Amanda Mateer and Ben Marmont. The gauntlet was thrown down and we agreed to meet on April 23rd at IM Danny Rensch’s Master Trek tournament on the ASU campus. Despite having the home board advantage, we lost a very close match to the Wildcats (3.5-2.5).

The time control was 55 minutes with a 5 second delay, and the match was a six board, single game match. On board one FM Saeed Mohammad played FM Warren Harper. Both of these guys have taken a bit of a break from chess to focus on school, so it was interesting to see how prepared they were. I believe that Saeed did a bit of pre-game preparation, which appeared to pay off, this match went in our favor 1-0. On board two Expert Amanda Mateer played Expert Andrew Widener. This game was the second to last to finish and ended in a drawn endgame, 1/2-1/2. On board three Expert Jeff Green played Expert Ben Marmont. This was the last game to finish, and was a heartbreak for the Sun Devils. Jeff, in time trouble, blew a won game against his former high school teammate, 0-1. The fourth board saw the match up of Ray Tan and Dean Cullen. Ray has improved very much in the last year, and will probably be an Expert soon. Dean is also a member of the Hayden Library staff and the club advisor. Ray won this match, 1-0. On board five the match up was myself, Jeff Semmens, and Matthew Noble. At the time of this game, I was the President of the Chess Club @ ASU, and I wasn’t expecting to play, but we had two no-shows, and I had to jump in at the last minute. Despite being a 140 point underdog, I pulled off the upset and earned the point for my team, 1-0. On the last board Rex Tan, brother of Ray Tan faced off against Aaron Beavor, another last minute replacement. I played on the same high school team as Rex, and I can attest that he is a better chess player than his rating suggests. Despite being slightly lower rated, Rex won the game, 1-0.
All the games were closely contested, and despite losing, all of us felt good about getting to play the match. We look forward to a rematch with the Wildcats next year, especially since we will be adding NM Nick Thompson to our team. We intend on bringing the “Territorial Cup of Chess” to Tempe in 2012.
Jeff Semmens
President Emeritus — Chess Club @ ASU

Ivy League Digression

Here’s an article in “Chess Life Online” on an online Ivy League chess championship that occurred recently.

The Games

[Event "5th Board"]
[Site "Tempe, AZ"]
[Date "2011.04.23"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Semmens, Jeff"]
[Black "Noble, Matt"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E12"]
[WhiteElo "1785"]
[BlackElo "1886"]
[Annotator "Green,Jeff"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2011.04.23"]
[WhiteTeam "ASU"]
[BlackTeam "U of A"]

1. d4 e6 {Tempting white to enter a French game with 2. e4. Matt seems to
prefer that opening. -JG} 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 b6 4. Bg5 {White should keep his
bishop on c1 and later free it with e4. In similar structures, black gives up
the dark bishop and puts his pawns on the dark squares. Because of Bg5, black
is able to play for the same plan but without giving up the bishop pair. -JG}

{MG: 4. Bg5 is OK (well, usually Nb1-c3 and then Bc1-g5) and has been seen lots of times. There is a certain appeal to getting out first and then establishing a pawn chain behind it
with e2-e3. }

Bb7 5. e3 Be7 6. Nc3 h6 7. Bh4 Ne4

Decision Time

8. Bxe7
{ MG:  Not testing. Here, strangely enough, 8. Bg3!? is very interesting. If black wants to take on g3, white can operate on the h-file. The text move leaves black near-equality.}
Qxe7 9. Nxe4 Bxe4 10. a3 d6 11. Bd3
Bb7  {MG: just taking on d3 is OK }

12. O-O Nd7 13. Re1?! {If the point of this move was to prepare e4, he
should have played it right away. -JG} g5!? {Initiating the attack
immediately. Black should probably castle kingside and worry about getting a
presence in the center first. -JG} 14. e4 e5?!  {?} {Allowing white to barracade
black’s bishop.} (14… g4 $142 15. Nd2 Qf6 {Going for piece activity. -JG})

{MG: just 14…g4 15. Nd2 h5 to gain space.   The text leaves a horrible hole on f5 and white can get there with the knight going from Nd2 to f1 to e3.}

15. d5 $16 g4 16. Nd2 h5 17. Nf1?! {White was better off going for b4 and c5.
It is not clear that the knight belongs here. -JG}  {MG : this move is OK.  White has both the pawn advances and the knight regrouping, he can do them in any order. }

Bc8?! {A bit premature.
The bishop will probably go there anyway, but at this point all of black’s
pieces are inactive and discoordinated. -JG}  {MG : black has to cover f5 but it’s a bad position. }

18. Qa4 {I feel that this queen
is misplaced here. The idea is to invade c6, but even here it has less scope
than it did on d1, and it will have difficulty influencing the kingside later.}

{ MG:  18. b4! will pry open lines quickly. }
Kd8 $5 {Curious and strangely logical. I doubt if it is best though. -JG} 19.
b4 h4 20. Ne3 Nf6 21. Nf5 $6 {Black immediately gets rid of his inactive
bishop for the hyperactive knight, and he loosens white’s grip on the center
at the same time. c5 will be a little harder to play now that d5 is less
secure. -JG}

{MG:  Leave the knight on e3.  It’s good there. 21. c5! opening lines quickly to the black king. }

Bxf5 22. exf5 g3 23. fxg3 hxg3 24. h3 Ng4 25. Qd1 (25. Qb3 {Does
the same thing white does in the game, but in 1 less move. -JG} Nf2 26. Bf1 Qh4
{-JG}) (25. c5 bxc5 26. bxc5 {/\Qxg4} Nf2 27. Qc6 Rc8 (27… Rb8 28. Rab1) 28.
Bb5 {/\f6} f6 29. Ba6 {-Fritz})

25… Nf2 26. Qf3 Qh4 27. Re3?  Qd4 -+ (27…Nxd3 28. Rxd3 e4 -+ {-Fritz} MG – indeed, that just ends the game.)

28. Ra2 Nxd3 29. Rd2 Qa1+?  ‘unclear’ (29… e4 {-JS})

{MG: 29…e4! is a nice move to completely clarify the situation and give black an easy win.  It liberates the forever square e5 for the black knight. }
30. Rd1 Qxa3 31. Rexd3 Qxb4 32. Qxg3 Qxc4 (32… Kd7 33. Qg7 Raf8  {‘black is better’  - White
has trouble breaking through on either side. -JG})

{MG: in fast time controls, playing for the attack even at the cost of a pawn is always good. 32..Kc8! 33. Qg7 Kb7 34. Qxf7 and now black has his choice of juicy continuations to use his connected rooks and the c5-g1 diagonal with a safe king.}

33. Qg7 (33. Rc3 Qa4 34.
Rdc1 {-JG}) 33… Qh4 34. Qxf7 $16 Qh7 35. Qf6+ Kc8 36. Qe6+ Qd7?  {Kb7 is
necessary to get the other rook into action and to get the king safe. -JG} 37.
f6 Rh6 38. Rf1 c6 39. Rg3 (39. f7 $18 Rxe6 40. dxe6 {-JG}) 39… Kc7 40. Rg7
Rxf6 41. Rxd7+ Kc8 42. Qe8# 1-0

[Event "3rd Board"]
[Site "Tempe, AZ"]
[Date "2011.04.23"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Green, Jeff"]
[Black "Marmont, Ben"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A37"]
[WhiteElo "2013"]
[BlackElo "2146"]
[Annotator "Green,Jeff"]
[PlyCount "70"]
[EventDate "2011.04.23"]
[WhiteTeam "ASU"]
[BlackTeam "U of A"]

1. Nf3 c5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. c4 e5 6. Nc3 Nge7 7. d3 O-O 8. a3
d6 9. Rb1 a5 10. Ne1 Be6 11. Nd5 {Played to prevent black’s d5. -JG} h6 12.
Nc2 a4 13. b4 axb3 14. Rxb3 Rb8 15. Bd2 Nd4 {Black took an awful lot of time
on this move, and I don’t think it’s a good one. Times are now approximately
40 minutes (white) to 20 minutes. -JG} 16. Nxd4 exd4 17. Qc1 {A tempo move to
allow the queen to go to b2 instead of b1. -JG} Kh7 18. Nf4 Bc8 19. Qb2 g5 20.
Nh5 {Heading into complexity with my time advantage.} (20. Nd5 Nc6 21. Nb6 Be6
22. Na4 Qc7 23. Rb1 Bc8 {Each move has the idea of taking the B-pawn, but I
saw no clear way to break through here. -JG}) 20… Bh8 21. Bxb7 Rxb7 $1 {-JG}
22. Rxb7 Bg4 23. Qb5 (23. Nf4 gxf4 24. Bxf4 Ng6 {Hitting the E-pawn and the
bishop. -JG}) 23… Bxh5 24. Rd7 Qe8 25. e3 Be2 $2 {For the idea–the point
was to win a slew of pawns, but it just loses material. -JG} 26. Re1 Bxd3 27.
exd4 Bxc4 28. Qb1+ Kg8 29. Rexe7 Qa8 30. Rxd6 Qxa3 {Now both of us are in
serious time pressure–a minute or so per side. -JG} 31. Qg6+ $2 {I
triumphantly placed the queen there thinking it was forced checkmate for some
reason. Then my opponent casually plays… -JG} (31. dxc5 Qxc5 32. Bb4 $18 {
-JG}) 31… Bg7 (31… fxg6 32. Rxg6+ Bg7 33. Rgxg7+ Kh8 34. Rh7+ Kg8 35. Reg7#
{-JG}) 32. Qc2 cxd4 33. Rdd7 Bd5 $1 {-JG} 34. Ra7 $4 {-JG} Qf3 35. Kf1 d3 {
White resigns.} 0-1

[Event "1st Board"]
[Site "Tempe, AZ"]
[Date "2011.04.23"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Mohammed, FM Saeed"]
[Black "Harper, FM Warren"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D91"]
[WhiteElo "2343"]
[BlackElo "2422"]
[Annotator "Green,Jeff"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2011.04.23"]
[WhiteTeam "ASU"]
[BlackTeam "U of A"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bg5
{ MG: this is the line that anti-Gruenfeld specialists such as Wang Yue use as surprise weapons, for example
Wang Yue-Svidler Baku 2008. Except Wang Yue did Bg5 one move earlier:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Ne4 5. Bh4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 dxc4 7. Qa4+ Qd7 8. Qxc4 b6 9. Bg3 Nc6 10. Nf3 Bg7 11. e3 O-O 12. Be2 Bb7 13. O-O Na5 14. Qb4 Rac8 15. Ne5 Qd6 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 17. Qa4 c5 18. e4 Bxe5 19. Bxe5 Qc6 20. Qxc6 Nxc6 21. Bg4 Ra8 22. Bc7 cxd4 23. Bxd8 Rxd8 24. Be2 e5 25. Rac1 Kf8 26. f3 a6 27. Kf2 Ke7 28. Bc4 Rd7 29. Bd5 dxc3 30. Bxc6 Rxd1 31. Rxd1 Bxc6 32. Rc1 Bd7 33. Rxc3 Kd6 34. Rd3+ Kc6 35. g4 Be6 36. a3 g5 37. Ke3 Kc7 38. Rd1 b5 39. h4 h6 40. Rh1 Kd6 41. hxg5 hxg5 42. Rh5 f6 43. Rh6 Ke7 44. Rh7+ Bf7 45. Rh8 a5 46. Ra8 a4 47. Ra7+ Ke8 48. Rc7 1-0
A very convincing victory over Svidler; black’s dynamic play never materialized. }
Ne4 6. Bh4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. e3
Nc6 9. Be2 dxc4 10. Bxc4 O-O (10… cxd4 11. cxd4 Qa5+ 12. Qd2 O-O 13. Qxa5
Nxa5 14. Bd3 e6 15. Bg3 Bd7 16. Bc7 Nc4 17. Bxc4 Rfc8 18. Be5 {Theoretical
line.}) 11. O-O Bf5 12. Re1 Rc8 13. Rc1 Be4 14. Ng5 Bd5 15. Bxd5 Qxd5 16. c4
Qd7 17. d5 Nb4 18. a3 Na2 19. Rc2 Nc3 20. Qd3 Na4 21. e4 e5 22. f4 h6 23. Nf3
exf4 24. e5 Rfe8 25. Rce2 g5 26. Bxg5 $5 (26. Bf2 a6 27. e6 fxe6 28. Ne5 Qd8
29. Qh3 Nb6 30. dxe6 $16 {-JG}) 26… hxg5 27. Nxg5 Qg4 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. h4 Nc3
30. Rf2 Nd1 {Time pressure must have set in, as the notation is incomplete
here. White won this game.} 1-0

[Event "6th Board"]
[Site "Tempe, AZ"]
[Date "2011.04.23"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Tan, Rex"]
[Black "Beavor, Aaron"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B78"]
[WhiteElo "1546"]
[BlackElo "1638"]
[Annotator "Green,Jeff"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2011.04.23"]
[WhiteTeam "U of A"]
[BlackTeam "ASU"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Bc4
{ MG To get to a Yugoslav attack, White almost always plays 6. Be3 here; maybe there is something wrong with this move order. }

Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Be3
Nc6 9. Bb3 Bd7 10. Qd2 a6
{ MG: This is too slow. Black usually clears the knight from c6 then sacks a pawn with b7-b5 to clear lines quickly.}

(10… Qa5 {While white cannot chase it with Nb3. -JG
} 11. O-O-O Rfc8 12. Kb1 Ne5 13. g4 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. h4 Rac8 {A book line.
Shows improvement for black over what actually occurred in the game. -JG}) 11.
O-O-O Rc8 12. g4 Ne5 (12… Na5 $142 13. h4 h5 14. gxh5 Nxh5 15. Bh6 Nxb3+ 16.
Nxb3 (16. cxb3 e5 17. Nde2 Qf6 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Qxd6 (19. Kb1 Rc6 20. Rdf1
Rfc8 21. f4 Bg4 22. fxe5 Qxe5 $11 {-JG}) 19… Rfd8 20. Qxf6+ Kxf6 $11 {Black
is holding due to white’s inability to create a passer on the queenside and
the fact that black has activity on both sides of the board. -JG}) (16. axb3
Qa5 17. Kb1 Rfd8 18. Rhg1 (18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. f4 (19. Rhg1 Rh8 20. Rg5 Rc5 21.
Rxc5 Qxc5 $13 {-JG}) 19… e5 20. Nf3 (20. f5 exd4 21. Qxd4+ Qe5 $19 {-JG})
20… Nxf4 $11 {-JG}) 18… Bh8 $11 {-JG}) 16… Bxc3 17. bxc3 Re8 {Black is
holding with some winning chances. -JG}) 13. h4 Nc4 (13… h5 14. gxh5 Nxh5 15.
Bh6 Qa5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. f4 Nc4 18. Bxc4 Rxc4 19. f5 Qe5) 14. Bxc4 Rxc4 15. h5
Qc7 16. hxg6 fxg6 17. Bh6 $6 (17. g5 Nh5 (17… Ne8 18. Nd5 Qd8 19. Qh2 $18 {
-JG}) 18. Nd5 Qd8 19. Nf5 $16 {-JG}) 17… Nxe4 $1 18. Nxe4 Rxd4 19. Qh2 Rxd1+
20. Kxd1 Rf7 (20… Bxh6 21. Qxh6 Rf7 22. Ng5 Rg7 23. Nxh7 Qc4 24. Ng5 Kf8 $11
{The queen on c4 protects Rg8 while the king escapes. -JG and AB}) 21. Ng5 Qc5
$2 {-JG} (21… Qc4 22. Nxf7 Qxf7 23. Bxg7 Qxg7 {Reaching the same position,
but with the king more exposed. Still white has an advantage. -JG}) (21…
Be5 {Playing off the fact that white’s pieces interfere with each other. f4
is unplayable due to Bxg4. -JG} 22. Qh3 Qc4 23. Nxf7 Qxf7 $11 {-JG}) 22. Nxf7
Qd5+ 23. Kc1 Qxf7 24. Bxg7 Qxg7 25. Qe2 Qf7 26. Re1 Qf4+ $6 27. Qe3 Qxe3+ $2
$18 {Black’s one hope to hold a draw is piece activity. He cannot afford
exchanges. White wraps up the game cleanly after this move. -JG} 28. Rxe3 Kf7
29. g5 $1 {Excellent technique. This pawn becomes the keystone of white’s
victory. -JG} e5 30. f4 Ke6 31. fxe5 dxe5 32. Rf3 e4 33. Rf6+ Ke5 34. Kd2 Bc6
35. Ke3 Bd5 36. b3 Be6 37. c4 h6 38. Rxg6 hxg5 39. Rxg5+ Kf6 40. Rh5 Bf5 41.
Rh8 {Black resigns.} 1-0

[Event "2nd Board"]
[Site "Tempe, AZ"]
[Date "2011.04.23"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Mateer, Amanda"]
[Black "Widener, Andrew"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E99"]
[WhiteElo "2133"]
[BlackElo "2098"]
[Annotator "Green,Jeff"]
[PlyCount "68"]
[EventDate "2011.04.23"]
[WhiteTeam "U of A"]
[BlackTeam "ASU"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5
Ne7 9. Ne1
{ MG: there’s something to be said for 9. Nd2 coming to c4 later (after c4-c5).  
White’s play develops quite naturally. Play over Beliavsky-Nakamura, a tour de force for white until he
blundered in the middle game and lost! I analyzed that game elsewhere on this site. Granted, 
9. Ne1 is a main line but the 9. Nd2 positions have white going faster on the queenside. }

Ne8 10. Nd3 f5 11. Bd2 Nf6 12. f3 f4 13. Rc1 g5 14. c5 Ng6 15. Nb5
$5 Rf7 (15… a6 {Kicking the knight is more correct. It defeats the threat
and makes white use up a tempo. -JG}
{ MG: in these lines, on …a6 the knight often reroutes b5-a3-c4 and then pops into b6.
If it can eliminate black’s queen bishop, black has no attack. }

16. cxd6 (16. Na3 g4 17. cxd6 cxd6 18. Nc4
g3 19. Ba5 gxh2+ 20. Kxh2 Qe7 21. Rh1 Nh5 22. Nb6 Ng3 $13) 16… axb5 17. dxc7
Qd7 18. Bb4 Ne8 19. Bxf8 Bxf8 $44 {Black’s pieces are a bit muddled, but he
doesn’t have much difficulty repositioning them.}) 16. Ba5 b6 17. cxb6 (17.
cxd6 $142 cxd6 18. Bb4 Bf8 $13 {-JG}) 17… axb6 18. Be1 g4 19. Qc2 Ba6 (19…
gxf3 20. Bxf3 Ng4 21. Nxc7 Ne3 22. Qc3 Rxa2 $13 {-JG}) 20. Nb4 (20. Nxc7 Bxd3
21. Bxd3 Rc8 22. Ne6 Rxc2 23. Nxd8 Rxc1 24. Nxf7 Kxf7 $19 {-JG}) 20… Bxb5 21.
Bxb5 Bf8 22. Ba6 gxf3 23. gxf3 Nh5 24. Kh1 Qd7 25. Qc6 Qxc6 26. Rxc6 Nf6 27.
Bf2 Ne8 28. Rfc1 Be7 29. a3 Bh4 30. Bg1 Kf8 31. Bf1 Rg7 32. Na2 Bd8 33. Bf2 Nh4
34. Be2 Ng2 {Notation missing due to time pressure.} 1/2-1/2

[Event "4th Board"]
[Site "Tempe, AZ"]
[Date "2011.04.23"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Tan, Ray"]
[Black "Cullen, Dean"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A85"]
[WhiteElo "1929"]
[BlackElo "1748"]
[Annotator "Green,Jeff"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2011.04.23"]
[WhiteTeam "U of A"]
[BlackTeam "ASU"]

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3
{ MG: in a recent SOS article (Secrets of Opening Surprises), an author recommends
2. Qd3!? d5 3. g4!? fxg4 4. h3! and white develops strong compensation on the light squares.
I used this to good effect versus a Bay Area junior a few years ago. }
Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. e3 b6 6. Bd3 Bb7 7. Bd2 O-O 8. a3
Bxc3 (8… Be7 $6 {Not as good–the bishop will find little activity for the
rest of the game, and it will likely get in the way of its own pieces. For
example, d6 is a little harder to play because of Ng5, when Qe8 would be the
normal response, both defending e6 and preparing to move the queen to the
kingside, but e6 would not be defended because of the bishop on e7. -JG}) 9.
Bxc3 Ne4 10. O-O d6 11. Rc1 Nd7 12. Bb1 $6 {This is a bit of a mystery move.
Normally a retreat of this kind is done in preparation for Qd3 or Qc2 in order
to invite black to weaken his kingside pawns to avoid checkmate. However,
this plan would make little sense here since black has a strong presence in
the center. It seems like a wasted tempo. -JG} Kh8 $6 {Black wastes a tempo
in kind. Better moves include Ndf6, Rf6, or Qe8. Even a5 is playable here.}
13. b4 Rf6 (13… Nxc3 {Best to eliminate the bishop before it becomes strong.}
) 14. Bxe4 $1 {Getting rid of his good bishop for the sake of initiative.
This is a correct decision, and not an easy one to make. -JG} Bxe4 15. Ng5 Qe7
(15… Qe8 {Slightly better. This not only gets rid of the ensuing tactic,
but it also transfers the black queen to the light squares where it is better
suited for repositioning on either side of the board. -JG} 16. d5 Rg6 17. Nxe4
fxe4 18. f3 (18. Qc2 exd5 19. cxd5 Rg5 20. Bb2 Rc8 21. Rfd1 Qg6 $11 {-JG})
18… Nf6 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. fxe4 exd5 21. cxd5 Qxe4 22. Qf3 Qe7 $16 {-JG}) (
15… Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Rg6 17. f4 h6 18. h4 $18 {-JG}) (15… Rg6 16. Nf7+ Kg8 17.
f3 $1 (17. Nxd8 $2 Rxg2+ 18. Kh1 Rxf2+ 19. Kg1 Rg2+ 20. Kh1 Rg3+ $1 21. Rf3
Bxf3+ 22. Qxf3 Rxf3 $19) 17… Qe7 18. fxe4 Qxf7 19. exf5 exf5 20. e4 $16 {-JG}
) 16. Qh5 $16 {-JG} (16. d5 Rg6 (16… exd5 17. f3 Rh6 18. Nh3 d4 19. exd4 Bb7
20. d5 $16 {-JG}) (16… e5 17. f3 $18 {-JG}) 17. Nxe4 fxe4 18. f3 Re8 19. fxe4
exd5 20. cxd5 Qxe4 21. Qf3) 16… g6 (16… Nf8 $142 {Preparing to deploy the
rook. -JG}) 17. Qh3 Rg8 {A strange, wasted move. Black has trouble placing
his rooks the whole game. -JG} (17… Bd3 $1 $11 {-JG}) 18. Rfd1 Rff8 19. Qh6
(19. Nxe6 $1 $18 {/\d5 -Fritz}) 19… Nf6 20. f3 (20. d5 $1 {This would have
been playable many times during the game to expose the bishop. The game
equalizes because white misses this move.} e5 21. f3) 20… Bb7 21. Be1 Re8 22.
c5 Rgf8 23. Bh4 $5 {An interesting way to deal with black’s threat. This is a
very neat idea. -JG} Ng8 (23… bxc5 24. bxc5 Rb8 $13 {-JG}) 24. cxd6 cxd6 25.
Qxh7+ Qxh7 26. Nxh7 Bxf3 $6 {Black’s game is lost, but this should make it
worse. -JG} 27. gxf3 $6 (27. Nxf8 $142 Bxd1 28. Nxg6+ Kg7 29. Nf4 e5 (29… Bb3
30. Rc7+ $18 {-JG}) 30. dxe5 dxe5 31. Rxd1 exf4 32. exf4 $18 {-JG}) 27… Kxh7
28. Rc7+ Kh6 29. Rxa7 g5 30. Bf2 Ra8 31. Rb7 Rfb8 32. Rxb8 Rxb8 33. Rc1 {From
this point on, black gives up the game completely. He absolutely must get his
pieces active, but he does not. -JG} Ra8 34. Rc6 Rxa3 35. Rxd6 b5 36. Rxe6+
Kg7 37. Rb6 Ra4 38. Rxb5 Ra1+ 39. Kg2 {Notation is incomplete, but black
resigned soon hereafter.} 1-0

And For Something Completely Different: *NOT* Online Princeton-Yale-Penn 3-Way College Challenge Match

Who’s ready for some 1979 nostalgia?  Way back before online.

On the weekend of April 14 and April 15, 1979, Princeton University hosted a triangular match between Princeton, Penn, and Yale.  I think I helped organize it!  In an ancient scorepad of mine (specifically #12) I found two treasures that until now had not seen the light of day.  They were unrated games with a time control of 40/100.  There were no increments back then.

In Round 1 here is my game vs. Richard Costigan of Penn.   Round 1 results:  Princeton lost to Penn 3-5 (8 board match!).  Round 2:  Yale beat Penn 5-3.  In the decisive third round, Princeton crushed Yale by a score of 5.5 to 2.5.

Princeton wound up winning the event by half a point!

Historical rating note:  my rating going into this game was 2355 . I think Richard Costigan was in the 2300s too.

[Event "Princeton vs Penn"]
[Site "Princeton Univ"]
[Date "2011.05.22"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Ginsburg , Mark (Princeton)"]
[Black "Costigan, Richard (Penn)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B30"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventType "3-Way College Match)"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. e5 Nxb5 6. Nxb5 Nd5 7. O-O g6 8. d4 Nc7 9. Nxc7+ Qxc7 10. d5 b6 11. Bf4 Bb7 12. Qd2 e6 13. c4 h6 14. a4 O-O-O 15. a5 d6 16. axb6 axb6 17. Qc3 f6 18. exf6 e5 19. Bg3 Qf7 20. Ra7 Kc7 21. Rfa1 Rb8 22. R1a6 Qxf6 23. Rxb6

After this simple blow it’s resignable (23… Kxb6 24. Qa5 mate).

23…Rh7 24. Nxe5 Kc8 25. Nc6 Qf5 26. Qe1 Bxc6 27. Rxc6+ Kd8 28. Rxh7 Rxb2 29. Qa5+ 1-0

That wasn’t pretty from black’s point of view.  I had useful experience going into that game with the 4. Bb5 system.

Here is my third round game with future Grandmaster Jonathan Tisdall of Yale.   Going into this game, his rating was in the 2300′s as well.

[Event "Princeton vs Yale"]
[Site "Princeton U"]
[Date "1979.04.14"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Tisdall, Jonathan"]
[Black "Ginsburg, Mark"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B72"]
[Annotator "Mark Ginsburg"]
[PlyCount "118"]
[EventType "3 way college match"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Bc4 Bd7 7. O-O g6 8. Be3 Bg7 9. h3 O-O 10. Re1 a6 11. f4 b5 12. Bb3 Rc8 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. Bd4 e6!

Black’s already equal.

Black is all right

15. a3 Qd7!  A nice idea in the Sozin, preparing the next move with good counterplay.

16. Qe2 Qb7 17. Rad1 a5 18. e5   Of course not a move white wants to play. The absence of the light square bishop on the kingside will prove to be a serious problem for white.

18…Nh5 19. Qf2 dxe5 20. Bxe5 Rfd8 21. Qh4?

A blunder.

21…Qb6+?  (The computer points out 21… Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Bxe5 23. fxe5 a4 24. Ba2 Bxg2 and black wins)

22. Kh2 Bxe5 23. Rxe5 Rxd1 24. Nxd1 Qd4 (24… Rd8 25. Ne3 Rd2 26. Qg5 Qd4) 25. Ne3 Qxf4+ (25… Nxf4

26. Ng4 Qd2 wins also)

26. Qxf4 Nxf4 27. g3 Nd5 (Stronger is 27… Ne2! 28. Rc5 a4 29. Ba2 Kg7!)

28.Nxd5 Bxd5 29. Bxd5 exd5 30. c3 Rd8 31. Kg2 Kg7 32. Kf3 Kf6 33. Re2 h5 34. Rd2
Ke5 35. Rd4 Rc8 36. h4 Rc4 37. Rd2 Re4 38. Rd3 a4 39. Rd2 f6 40. Rd3 g5 41.
hxg5 fxg5 42. Rd2 g4+!

Now black grinds out a long endgame where his vast superiority in space finally results in a win.

43. Kf2 Kd6 44. Rd1 Kc5 45. Rh1 Re5 46. Rd1 Rf5+ 47. Kg2 Rf3 48. Rd2 Re3 49. Kf2 Re4 50. Rd1 Kc4 51. Rd2 d4 52. cxd4 Rxd4 53. Re2 Kb3 54. Ke3 Rd1 55. Rh2 Rb1 56. Rxh5 Rxb2 57. Rxb5+ Kxa3 58. Rg5 Rb3+ 59. Kd2 Kb2
0-1

Tisdall took revenge a year later, beating me as black in short order in a RATED game in the 1980 GHI International in New York City.

Well, in this event, Princeton wins by half a point, whew!   This game was almost certainly the last one to conclude in the 8 game match.  I must admit it was strange to have only 3 teams (one team having a bye each round); I can only guess that perhaps there was a fourth invited team that could not attend.  Maybe Kenny Regan remembers??

Chess U Banner Ad test (click on me)


The Fabulous 10s: The Rise of the Smart Phone

May 17, 2011

‘Chess U’- an iPhone Educational Chess Quiz Game

With the popularity of the iPhone in mind, my team has developed an instructional chess app called “Chess U”.  It’s available on iTunes.  I have worked with talented programmers from the USA, Australia, Taiwan, and Vietnam in this international effort.  My old college buddy Steve Follmer has all the needed technical contacts from his berth in Taiwan.

A Quiz in Progress

Video Preview

A video of the product can be found here.

The First Courses

The free Course is called Attack 101.    This is basically ten of my interesting games with numerous quiz checkpoints, for example vs. Grandmasters Petursson, Dzindzihashvili, Balinas, and others.

We also offer paid Courses ($0.99 a course, standard pricing fare for an iPhone) on Rook Endgames 101 and soon we will also offer Play Like Anand 101.   Many of the instructive Rook endgames examples I recreated (in some cases with some extra preliminary moves) from the very instructive book “Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual Volume 2.

We will continue to introduce courses along the themes of openings, endgames, and famous players.   “Attack 101″ will always be free and the paid content will continue merrily along at $0.99 per Course.  Each course contains numerous Lessons and Quiz checkpoints.  When the user “graduates” from a course, he or she can request a Diploma from the system.  The happy graduate receives the Dipoma with the course, date, and user information filled out.

Screenshot

Here’s a screenshot.  We want the app to be as simple as possible to operate.  Tap on right side of board to go forward a move; tap on left side of board to go back.

Chess U Screenshot

Future Plans

Besides the iPhone, we also want to populate the content onto the Web, for example via Facebook.  We also want to port to Android.  In the meantime, we’ll focus on increasing the number of Courses and fine-tuning existing Courses so that a significant user base can get a feel for it.  

Try it, It’s on iTunes

To download it for free, just click here.   GIve us your feedback after you’ve tried it out.

Try the free download and let us know what you think.


The Bad News and the Good News

May 2, 2011

The Bad News

Take a look at this diagram.  The play that followed, if it is true, sets chess back centuries.

White to play

It occurred in the 2011 US Women’s Championship according to a e-mail report I received from the always timely and excellent “Chess Today”, edited by GM Baburin.  My first reaction was this was a joke and Baburin must have gotten the position wrong.  I haven’t checked yet, but he goes on to say this was Krush-Zatonskih, a competitively important game, and that white lost the diagrammed position(!).   “How?” Baburin rhetorically asked.  “White moved her bishop twice randomly and allowed black’s king to a2.”

Are there any readers that can shed light some more (for example, time left, other information) light on this bizarre incident?  After all, it would only take a second or less to understand that 1. Bxb4 draws (among other things).  Worse yet, are there any unkind videos of this shipwreck?

The Good News

The iPhone ChessU App is born

After a year of group effort, my Chess “App” (it is called Chess University, or ChessU for short) is about to be approved by Apple and enter the iTunes store.  It is a set of guided quizzes with all the fancy visual interface features you expect in an iPhone.  The users gain “points” and can print out a diploma when they pass a course.  We will offer courses in Attacking, Playing Like Anand, and Basic Rook Endings for starters.

The Settings Screen

Take a look at the main announcement page    or the product page  for more details.

When the product is on iTunes, I will update this post! (hope it is very soon).  So far, we have the app (which you can download for free) along with a starter Course (also free) called Attack 101.  Once inside the App, when you graduate from Attack 101, you will have the opportunity for “in-app” purchase to move on to Rook Endings 101 (Rook 101 for short).  We are also finishing up another paid Course, called Playing Like Anand 101 (Anand 101 for short).  The paid courses will be available directly from iTunes or as an in-app purchase inside the quiz environment.

The target audience is scholastic kids who are used to the iPhone anyway and also people of any ages who wish to improve.   We will port to the Android later; we wanted to get the iPhone version first.  It runs on the iPad too.

This was a true international effort with programmers from Taiwan, Vietnam, and Australia.  The result is a platform that can play over any PGN feed or handle custom PGN marked up with Quizzes and answers.


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