Friday, August 13, 2010

Russ Makofsky, Chess Instructor

Russ Makofsky, who teaches chess at the Village Chess Shop, which he also helps manage, is featured in Channel Thirteen's "New York on the Clock" series.  Hat tip Susan Polgar.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

2010 US Open, Round 8 Update

GM Alejandro Ramirez continued his dominating performance at the 111th U.S. Open and Jerry Hanken Memorial in Irvine by beating GM Alexander Shabalov last night in a wildly tactical 8th round game.

With the victory, Ramirez has the best chance of winning the tournament.  For a comprehensive report written before the 8th round, see "Ramirez & Shabalov Lead in Irvine" at the USCF site. Among the more interesting news it mentions: former Kenilworth Chess Club president and founding member Mike Wojcio won the golf tournament (which he also directs). 

There are a number of bloggers reporting from the scene, including Dana MacKenzie, Mark Ginsburg, and Polly Wright.  You can see today's final round online at Monroi.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Lasker's Defense to the Queen's Gambit Webliography

GM Ronen Har-Zvi's five-part series at ICC on Lasker's Defense to the Queen's Gambit Declined (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Ne4) inspired me to take a look around the net to see if there are any good online resources

General Articles and Videos

Lasker's Defense to the Queen's Gambit Declined at the Kenilworth CC website
Based on a series of lectures by FM Steve Stoyko at the Kenilworth Chess Club, this article presents a complete Queen's Gambit repertoire for Black centered on Lasker's Defense.  This may be the most complete article on the Lasker's Defense available on the web and it includes an extensive bibliography of print sources.  Recommended lines often diverge from standard theory to make the Lasker's Defense into more of an active weapon than a drawing line.  This article is a condensed version of several other articles which can be found on the Articles page of the Kenilworth Chess Club website under "Queen's Gambit."  

Annotated Games

Topalov - Anand, World's Championship, Game 12

Topalov - Anand, Queen's Gambit Declined, Lasker Defense (D56)0-1This game, with which Anand retained the world title, is surely a major reason for resurgent interest in Lasker's Defense.  It is now widely annotated.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Melekhina's Milner-Barry Gambit

Melekhina - Forestier

Position after 9.Nbd2!?

I have annotated the game Melekhina - Forestier, which features an unusual variation of the Milner-Barry Gambit against the French Defense.  WIM Alisa Melekhina has demonstrated some excellent preparation in her games at the World Junior and Girls under-20 Chess Championship in Poland, where she has started with a perfect 2-0 score.  Let's hope she can maintain her stamina through this grueling 13-round tournament.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

2010 U.S. Inter-service Chess Championship

Local players Donald Carrelli (Kenilworth Chess Club president and a Marine Sergeant) and Arthur Macaspac (owner of Chess Mates of Rahway and an Army Captain) are playing in the 2010 U.S. Interservice Chess Championship at the Naval Station in Great Lakes, Illinois. Macaspac, who has twice won the All Army Championship, won both of his early round games--including a nice victory over Darwin Nyberg where he forced mate in a double Rook ending. The best chess players in the service are participating, including Air Force champion, Lt. Col. Douglas Taffinder.  You can follow the games and results at Monroi (requires free login).  The top finishers get to represent the U.S. at the NATO chess championship in Denmark come October.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Mad Dog Bites Hippo

I have annotated the game Esserman - Benjamin, 3rd NY International 2010 played last month at the Marshall Chess Club (tournament details here).  I have a fondness for the "mad dog" approach to the Pirc and Modern, with an early Bc4 pointing like a sharp canine tooth toward Black's jugular at f7.  But ever since Colin McNab's article on "Blunting the Bishop at c4" in Dangerous Weapons: The Pirc and Modern, I've been seeing a lot of hippopotamus set-ups against the line 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4, when Black often plays 4...e6!? (see diagram above).  I was almost ready to give up on this aggressive approach, until I saw IM Marc Esserman's brilliant victory over GM Joel Benjamin--one of many upsets at the NY International.