|Black to play: what are the best options?|
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
|Peter Falk kibitzes with GM Yasser Seirawan|
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sanjoy Mahajan's "What Chess Tells Us about the Value of Perception" at the ever-interesting Freakonomics blog discusses how GM chess intuition offers insight into the way truly gifted performers are able to grasp their subjects. His main reference is a study of Kasparov's ability in simultaneous play, where researchers discovered surprisingly little loss of playing strength even at the high speeds of simul play:
At 20 seconds per move, Kasparov mostly used his perception and judgment of chess positions rather than his ability to calculate chess variations (the “I take, he takes, I take, etc.” kind of thinking). Thus, simultaneous chess is a real-life laboratory for measuring the value of perception. How well did Kasparov play, in comparison to his normal strength when playing at the usual tournament rate of 3 minutes per move? His normal strength at the time was 2750 on the Elo scale of chess skill. (To give a feel for the Elo scale, a beginner would be rated about 1000, an average tournament player is rated about 1600, a master is rated at 2200 or above, and a grandmaster is usually above 2400.)
The amazing result: At the rapid “simul” pace, Kasparov performed at a rating of 2650: higher than all but half a dozen players in the world! In other words, most of his world-class expertise comes from how he sees and looks at the chess board, not from his calculation ability.In many ways this explains the decision-making power of all experts and managers, who have a broad range of intuitive knowledge to draw upon to help them quickly analyze a situation and decide.
|White to play.|
|White to play.|
Saturday, June 18, 2011
|Chekhover Sicilian, White to play.|
I have annotated the game Goeller - Stoyko, Kenilworth CC Summer Tournament 2011 not because I think it's one of my better games but because I think it exemplifies the problems faced by masters trying to win against weaker opposition from a very equal position. I discussed a similar issue in my article "Winning with a Forced Draw in the Petroff," where Mangion played for a forced draw in the Petroff and NM Kernighan tried to escape the draw at his peril.
In my game with FM Stoyko, we reached a familiar position from the Chekhover Variation of the Sicilian Defense (see above) which I had examined in "Notes on the Chekhover Sicilian." In that article I had annotated a game of mine where I followed Vasiukov and played 11.Kb1 from the diagram. As I indicate in my notes, Black has lots of ideas for counterplay, for example with 11...h6 12.Bh4 Qa5! (which seems clearer than Kasparov's 12...Re8). Rather flummoxed to find a better continuation here over the board, I decided to take the coward's way out and pursue a draw with a line that theory frowns upon: 11.Bxf6?! Bxf6 12.Qxd6 and White temporarily wins a pawn. Of course, Black gets lots of counterplay; however, it seemed to me that the game would simplify to a position I likely could hold by giving back the pawn. That's more or less what happened, except Stoyko, not satisfied with a draw against me, over-reached. And so I won my first game of the event, and my first game ever against Steve.
After the game Steve showed me that the new way of playing this line for White, developed by Judit Polgar, is to keep the Rook at h1. So instead of playing 10.Rhe1 O-O reaching the diagrammed position, White plays 10.Qd3 with the idea of Nd4 and f4-f5. Play typically goes 10.Qd3 O-O 11.Nd4 and now with the Rook on h1 White can meet a Black h6 with h4! inviting him to open the h-file. I vaguely remembered seeing a video that laid out this idea and it is included below.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Chess Mates 1st Anniversary Tournament is being held this coming Sunday. I urge all area chess players to come out to support the tournament and those involved. Here is the full information:
Sunday, June 19, 2011
- G/45 Open Grand Prix Points: 10
- 4-SS, Rds.: 12:30, 2:15, 4:00, 5:45 p.m.
- EF: $50, members $40. GMs Free - $50 deducted from prizes.
- Guaranteed Prizes: 1st -$350, 2nd - $200. Top U2400, U2200, U2000- $100.
- Limit 2 byes, commit by 2:00 p.m. Re-entry $25, counts half, no re-entry after 2nd round.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
The Kenilworth Chess Club's fun, friendly, yet highly competitive Summer Tournament starts tomorrow night at 9:15 p.m. This year we will have 2 sections: Open and U1200. Here are the rules :
- Entry Fee is $5.00.
- The tournament will run from June 9th through August 25th.
- The event is not rated.
- The time control is G/60.
- G/55+5 (delay or increment) may be used if there is mutual agreement between paired players.
- You may play anyone in your section. The first time you play an opponent, the lower rated player has white, in subsequent games against the same opponent you alternate colors.
- You may not play the same opponent more than four times in the tournament.
- You get one point for a win, one half point for a draw, and zero for a loss.
- You may play as many or as few games as you like, but no more than two in one night. The more you play the more points you can win.
- All games are to be played at the Kenilworth Chess Club during normal operating hours.
- The winner is the person who has the most points at the end of the tournament.
- The prizes are 60% for first place, 30% for second, and 10% for third.
- Entries are accepted throughout the summer.
Past winners of this popular, unrated event include NM Scott Massey (2004), NM Mark Kernighan (2005), Greg Tomkovich (2006), John Moldovan (2008), Ian Mangion (2009) and Ari Minkov (2007, 2010).
Please remember that the Kenilworth CC will not have access to the Community Center until 9:15 p.m. tonight because a CPR class is being taught there.
Rounds 2-12 will begin at our usual starting time of 8:00 p.m.
I am going to try to participate this year, which I have not done since 2008 I think. I am sure I will not attend enough to have a shot at winning, but it is a fun event and a great tradition that has helped to sustain the club through the slow summer months (when so many players go on vacation). Here are some reflections from past tournaments in which I participated:
- More Second Chances (2008)
- Chess and Second Chances (2008)
- KST Wrap-up, Part One and Part Two (2006 -- Chess Coroner)
- Summer Tournament Update (2006)
- Summer Tourney Upsets (2006)
- The Same, But Different (2006)
- 2006 KCC Summer Tourney, Round Four (2006)
- 2006 KCC Summer Tourney, Round Three (2006)
- 2006 Summer Tournament, Round Two (2006)
- 10-year-old Anna Matlin Enters Summer Tournament (2006)
- Kernighan - Goeller, KCC Summer Tourney 2005 (2005)
- Goeller - Kernighan, KCC Summer Tourney 2005 (2005)
- The Summer Tournament (2005)
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
|Woolverton - Pritchard|
Black to play.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Michelangelooo tells me there is now no doubt about who is the highest rated player to have tried the Caveman Caro-Kann: it is Alexei Shirov, who trotted out the once surprising rook sac yesterday in his match against World Champion Vishy Anand in Leon, Spain. The game has been widely annotated on the web and shows that Anand had little trouble equalizing by declining White's sacrifice and offering an exchange of queens (following the method shown by Capablanca). Shirov hardly did the opening justice (8.Qh3! was much better), but Anand played a very good game and won a convincing victory.