Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Defeating Damiano's Defense

Saw this great preview video on YouTube from GM Boris Alterman on how to defeat Damiano's Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6?) It reminded me that I have noticed a number of other good sites:
  • Chess (Washington Post, May 25, 2009) by Lubomir Kavalek
    Perhaps the most useful and extensive GM commentary on 2...f6? ever recorded.
  • Life on the Edge (Gambit Cartel #12 at ChessCafe, August 2003) by Tim McGrew
    Returns to the Damiano and discusses some other problematic gambit ideas.
  • Tactics of Mistake (Gambit Cartel #11 at ChessCafe, July 2003) by Tim McGrew
    Considers the Black side of Damiano's 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6!?? with the idea of either challenging White to prove he knows the refutation or meeting 3.Nxe5 with 3...Qe7.
  • Damiano Defense by schnarre
    Useful games collection at
  • Naming and Contingency by Dennis Monokroussos
    Discusses the inaccurate name of the line (since Damiano analyzed how to defeat it and did not play it as the name implies) and demonstrates White's win after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6? 3.Nxe5 fxe5?
  • Bobby Fischer and Damiano's Defense by Dennis Monokroussos
    Analyzes a Fischer game as White that ended in a draw after 3...Qe7.
  • Damiano's Defense by Jim West
    Discusses a game he played against Sam Sloan.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Surprising Start to U.S. Junior Championship

I had figured the U.S. Junior Closed Championship would be a cakewalk for GM Ray Robson, with only IM Sam Shankland (playing in one of his last tournaments) to challenge him.  But Shankland has dropped to the bottom of the table while Robson just narrowly saved a lost game in Round One against the ever-dangerous NM Eric Rosen (see diagram).  
Rosen - Robson, US Junior 2010
White to play and win most 
decisively after 39...Kh6
See my notes to the game Rosen - Robson, US Junior Closed 2010 for the solution and more details.  

Rosen lost his Round Four game to tournament leader Parker Zhao (see "Zhao Leads Junior Closed..." at US Chess Online) while Shankland and Robson drew their game.  I look forward to more interesting play today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

ChessCube Reviewed at Chessville

I was surprised to find Chessville still alive after a very long hiatus.  Seems they have been publishing again since June.  This week's installment is quite good, with  NM Bill McGeary posting a review of one of my favorite play sites, ChessCube (which has a great interface and some good players, though not as good as ICC -- I have broken the 2000 barrier several times there playing as "kenilworthian.")

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Master Game Final: Short vs. Miles 1980-1981

I am very impressed by the historical video materials that SearchBucket and others have been posting on YouTube, especially from British television's "Master Game" series.  The games from the "Master Game" series were played at fast time controls and required the players to comment on their thinking as they played, so they are inevitably full of errors.  But it is fascinating to listen to the players' thinking.  I especially liked the Short-Kasparov game (in three parts), where Short pulled out a lucky win after practically dropping a piece.  SearchBucket's latest effort is a reconstruction of the television broadcast of Nigel Short - Tony Miles, "Master Game" final 1980-1981 based on audio only.  As usual, there are errors by both players, but that makes it all the more interesting to watch.