Posts Tagged ‘Chess.COM’

The Fabulous 00s: Gentlemen, Test your Engines

December 4, 2009

Perplexing Sidelined Knight!

This highly perplexing ending just surfaced on ChessToday.Net (Mikhail Golubev commenting).  Thanks to chess enthusiast Kurt Stein for bringing this intricate ending, and the problems computer engines have with it, to my attention.

GM Viktor Laznicka (CZE) – GM Viktor Bologan (Moldavia)

World Cup  Khantiy-Mansiysk

As a preamble, I enjoyed GM Josh Friedel’s Chess Life Online narrative of the trials and tribulations just to get to this Siberian way-station. And then, to be eliminated practically as soon as one arrives is truly agonizing!

I thought it was bad enough to venture up to Toronto for a David Lavin tournament from New York City (taking People’s Express to Buffalo, then transferring to a bus across Niagara Falls and being faced with hostile customs questions) – this is worse. 🙂

Here’s the action after Laznicka launched a clever combination to put Bologan in quasi-zugzwang.

It’s a good position to test chess engines, because most scenarios are well beyond the engine horizon, even for the big names such as Rybka.

Position after 55. Kg2

Black to play.  Is this real zugzwang or quasi-zugzwang or pseudo-zugzwang?

Golubev indicates white is playing for a win, and that he surely is, but what’s the correct result?  A great computer test!

Black played 55…d4 here and lost slowly.  White’s king *carefully* approached the pawn and never allowed black knight fork tricks.

It is my contention that 55…Nb7!, shuttling between b7 and d6, draws if black leaves the pawn on d5 for the time being.  The point is, when white tries to approach the p/d5, THEN black gets fork tricks.

Example:

55…Nb7! 56. Kf2 Nd6 57. Ke1 Nb7 58. Kd2 Nd6 59. Kc3 Kxh4! – only now! and black is saved due to a fork.

Or, 59. Kd3 Kg4! 60. Kd4! is the only way for white to draw.  If 60. f6? Kf5! 61. Kd4 Ke6! wins for black.

In fact, there are some pure fantasy variations here with DOUBLE fork tricks!

Here is a really nice line from the start position:

55…Nb7 56. Kf1 Nd6 57. Ke1 Nb7 58. Kd1 Nd6 59. Kc1 Nb7 60. Kb2 Nd6 61. Kc3 Kxh4! (well-timed!)  62. Kd4! (not 62. f6? Ne4+ 63. Kd4 Nxf6 64. b7 Nd7) and look at this position:

Black to play. What's the best move?

Unbelievable analysis position.  It turns out black actually has two moves.

But NOT 62…Nxf5+?? 63. Kxd5 Ne7 64. Kc5! and the pawn queens – a common beginner’s error to snatch a poison pawn like this.  The mundane line is 62…Kg5 63. Kxd5 Nb7 and draws.  Hidden, though, is something much prettier.

62…Nc4!! Wow!!!  63. b7 Na5!! (Fork Trick #1) 64. f6? (64. b8=N! draws!) 64…Nxb7 65. f7 Nd8!! (Fork Trick #2!!)  and now forced is 66. f8=N (another under-promotion on a different square) 66…Kg5 and black has an edge (but not a forced win) in the resulting ending after 67. Kxd5 Kf5!  Wow!!    The multiple fork tricks and the multiple under-promotion defenses are really something special.

Conclusion: I don’t see any win for white if black just hangs tight with Nd6-b7-d6 shuttle, waiting for WK to approach.  Readers?

Thinking Your Way To Chess Mastery – 2nd Installment

The second installment of my live Internet-TV show has been postponsed to Monday, December 14th, at 2 PM PDT (5 PM EST). Register for free at Chess.Com and tune in (under the “Fun” tab on the right, you see the “TV” link).  This is different from most chess videos online because here you get people and chessboards, imagine that.  And live Q&A throughout.

Chess Today

I just started subscribing to GM Alex Baburin’s excellent, regular, chess periodical (emailed to the readers with PGN and CBV attached).   Good stuff!

In “CT”, I noticed GM Nakamura missed many chances to put long-suffering Ni Hua away, starting with the crunching 35. Rxh6 winning – for example 35…Ke4 36. e6! and fini.

My Laznicka-Bologan analysis (above) made it into CT Issue #3319.

And Readers Deserve to See

Maria Yurenok (photo from John Saunders London Press Release)

London Calling

The Fabulous 00s: New-Age Chess Programming

November 19, 2009

New-Age Chess TV Programming at Chess.Com

Chess.Com is using an interesting technology to beam chess “TV shows” on the Internet.  Not just a board with a voice that you replay from an archive; this is a live person, a board and a voice…. chatting with viewers…. like a simultaneous lesson…all live – can you handle it?  🙂

Viewers can chat in a separate window to interact with the lecturer in real-time which helps learning.

Already, IM David Pruess (the Content Manager for Chess.Com) has some nice TV shows there.

On Monday, November 23, at 2 PM Pacific Time (5 PM Eastern) I will inaugurate a live show on “Thinking your Way to Chess Mastery”.

This multi-part show will have me analyzing especially complicated GM struggles from recent events and leave every episode with a “cliffhanger” where the viewer is challenged to come up with a plan.  Often times, there are more than one correct plans, depending on taste and style!  The games will all feature tough, double-edged struggles between top players.  In the following week episode, I will “solve” the cliffhanger and hopefully this will prove to be very instructional.

And today if anyone is quick on the draw, Thursday, Nov 19, 5pm PDT we have:
Your Games, Analyzed – w/ IM David Pruess.

To see it, simply get an ID at chess.com, then tune into Chess.Com/TV.  If you forget this web address, the TV broadcast is located under the “Fun” tab at chess.com on the far right.

You will see this broadcast screen:

We Control the Vertical; We Control the Horizontal

But instead of a blank “OFFLINE” screen, you will be watching and learning with titled players, live.  😀


In Other Chess.Com News: Smart Phone “postal” chess

Chess.Com has also come out with a mobile application for smart phones (most brands supported).  It hosts “asynchronous” games between members where one player starts the game, then the other player can respond using a smart phone, and so on.

Here are the supported brands:

Nokia Samsung Motorola LG Blackberry
Sanyo Siemens Audiovox Treo SonyEricsson

HOW IT WORKS:
Once you download the mobile application on your phone it will add a Chess.com icon to your menu. You can then launch the program. You will need to login with your member name and password (you can choose to save your login info). Once you login you will see a list of the games where it is your move only. You can then view that game and make your move, offer/accept draws, resign, etc.

There’s also a similar app for the iPhone.  Consult the mobile chess.com information page for more details.

I don’t want to cause information overload, but….

Here is David Pruess’s short blurb about the same topic at the Chess.Com blogsite.

Week 1’s Chess.Com TV Exercise

Here is the exercise I gave the viewers in Week One (11/23/09).  We’ll solve it in Week 2 (11/30/09) and give a new exercise.

In the Becerra-Ramirez game (USCL 09),

(257) Becerra,Julio (2615) – Ramirez,Alejandro (2601) [B04]
USCL Miami vs Arizona Internet Chess Club (10), 04.11.2009

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 c6 6.Be2 Nd7 7.Nf3 g6 8.c4 Nc7 9.Nc3 Bg7 10.Be3 0-0 11.0-0 Ne8 12.Qd2 Nd6 13.Bh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Nf6 15.h3 Nf5 16.Qd2 Qc7 17.Bd3 Ng7 18.Rfe1 Rd8 19.Qe3 Bf5 20.Bf1 Be6 21.Rad1 Nf5 22.Qc1 Qb6 23.Na4 Qa5 24.Nc5 Nxd4 25.Nxd4 Qxc5 26.Nxe6 fxe6 27.Rxe6 Rxd1 28.Qxd1 Rf8 29.Qe1 Rf7 30.b4 Qd4 31.Rxe7 Rxe7 32.Qxe7 Ne4 33.Qe8+ Kg7 34.Qe7+ Game drawn by mutual agreement 1/2-1/2

We went over in week one’s broadcat (11/23/09) how white can play for a win with 31. Qe3!?.

Your task is to identify another plan for white on move 31 that retains winning chances (but is entirely different; a question of style).

Add comments/ideas to my chess.com Week 1 Solution blog entry (no heavy analysis, just ideas).  You need to register to get a free Chess.COM ID if you don’t have one already.

-IM Mark Ginsburg 11/23/09 7 pm