Saturday, December 30, 2017

World Rapid and Blitz Championship in host country Saudi Arabia is over

If there's going to be an exclusion of players from certain nations, that should be the decision of FIDE - not the decision of the host country. I hope they don't ever again do this.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy Birthday, Evgenij Miroshnichenko

There are some people you don't even know but it's a joy to see their face.

 Photo by David Llada.

Some games from 2017, Part I

I threw away games this year like a drunken rummy, and that was no more true than in this years’ CCCR Championship, which was my worst ever. In this game from round four, give all the credit to my opponent, Dan Burnside. He never faltered in his management of the Black pieces.

Trowbridge-Burnside     0-1 
Championship of the Community Chess Club of Rochester
October 25, 2017
Slav Defense

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. g3
      3. g3 This was a spontaneous decision, I’ve never played it or even thought of it before. I normally don’t play openings spontaneously, I usually try to have an opening plan going into the game. But I suddenly realized that I had faced a Slav Defense against Dan earlier this year, and though I won I didn’t know the line at all well and hadn’t done any homework on it. And I began to wonder if he had. So I went for this crazy 3. g3 line. After the beating I took in this game though I’m not sure I’d recommend anyone try it at home or at the club.

3...Nf6 4. Nf3

      4. Nf3   3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 is the usual move order for this particular variation.
After 4. Bg2 Bf5 5. Qb3 Qb6 6. Nc3 e6 7. c5 Qxb3 8. axb3 e5 9. Nf3 e4 Black eventually won in Alburt-Short, Foxboro 1985.

4...e6 5. cxd5 

     5. cxd5 As I don’t have any idea where this is going with White’s fianchettoed position, I decide to steer this to the usually tepid waters of the Slav Exchange. It might not have been the best idea.

5...cxd5 6. Bg2 Nc6 7. O-O Bd6 8. Nc3 O-O

     8...O-O There are a number of games you can find in databases with this position but very few if any with grandmasters.

9. Bd2

     9. Bd2 This is a pretty lame move, isn’t it? 9. Bg5 or 9. a3 are much more to the point.

9...Bd7 10. Re1 Rc8 11. Rc1 Re8 12. a3 Na5 

     12...Na5  A good, enterprising move. 

13. Na2

     13. Na2? This is a clunker. My thinking was really quite confused during most of this game, but I assure you, unlike several of my games this year I was thinking and trying very hard.


     13…Nc4 There does not seem to be any hope of ever getting the knight off this comfy outpost square.

14. Bc3 Ne4

     14...Ne4! Yikes, two knights converging together in my territory. It was like watching Twister at the point where the tornado splits in two.

15. e3 Qe7 16. Re2 Rc7 17. Nd2

     17. Nd2?  Black can now pick up a full pawn thanks to those outposted knights.

17...Nexd2 18. Bxd2 Nxb2 19. Qb3 Nc4 20. Bb4 Rec8 21. Bxd6 Qxd6 22. Rec2 Nb6 23. Rxc7 Rxc7 24. Rxc7 Qxc7 25. Bf1 Nc4 26. Qc3 b5 27. Bd3 Qa5 28. Nb4 Qxa3 

     28...Qxa3 And now two pawns down White will just be driven into extinction. 
29. Qxa3 Nxa3 30. Kf1 a5 31. Na2 Nc4 32. Ke1 b4 33. Kd1 Nb2+ 34. Kc2 Nxd3 35. Kxd3 Bb5+ 36. Kc2 Bc4 37. Nc1 a4 

     37...a4   It’s maddening that those two knuckleheads on a4 and b4 are having the times of their lives while my king and knight can do nothing.

38. Kb2 Kf8 

     38...Kf8    Dan has played an excellent game and from here he knows just exactly what to do.
39. f3 Ke7 40. e4 Kd6 41. e5+ Kc6 42. f4 a3+ 43. Kb1 b3 44. g4 b2 45. h4 bxc1=Q+ 46. Kxc1
a2 47. Kb2 Kb5 48. f5 exf5 49. gxf5 Kc6 50. Ka1 Kd7 51. Kb2 Ke7 52. h5 a1=Q+ 53. Kxa1 Bd3 54. f6+ gxf6 55. exf6+ Kxf6 White resigns.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

New logo for 2018 World Chess Championship unveiled

" everyone sending this to me. I'll answer with a line from the great Tim Rice musical, Chess: 'I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine!'"
Garry Kasparov

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Nakamura advances to speed chess championship finals

Hikaru Nakamura soundly defeated Sergey Karjakin yesterday in the semi-final round of’s Speed Chess Championship. He qualified to meet the reigning Speed Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the final on January 3, 2018 (

Online commentator Jennifer Shahade has often said that she thinks it’s instructive to play over speed games from grandmasters – you get a chance to see how mistakes are exploited more often than you might in classical games.

With that in mind I’m playing over some bullet games from yesterday’s match, and I came across this position:

Black to move after 33. Qe2?
With a nice lead in material in this 1m 1s bullet game Karjakin suddenly fell for a tactic by 33. Qe2? that allowed Hikaru to even the material and eventually draw this lost game.

I’m putting this in my “Pins” tactics file. It’s not complicated or hard to find, Sergey would certainly never have fallen for it in anything other a bullet game or a blitz endgame. But it’s still instructive for us intermediate and beginning players.

When he played 33. Qe2? Sergey failed to see or remember that his f2 pawn was pinned by black’s bishop, allowing black to play 33...Ng3, forking his rook and queen, leading to a sudden and unpleasant reevaluation of the position.

Here’s the .png file for those of you wanting to add this into your own Pins (or Forks) file. Email me if you would like a copy of the nine bullet games in .png format played by these guys yesterday.

[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2017.12.16"]
[Round "?"]
[White "SergeyKarjakin"]
[Black "Hikaru"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2946"]
[BlackElo "3116"]
[PlyCount "132"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[TimeControl "60+1"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 b6 3. Nc3 Bb7 4. Bd3 Bb4 5. Nge2 Nf6 6. a3 Be7 7. O-O d5 8. exd5
Nxd5 9. Ne4 Nd7 10. c4 N5f6 11. Qc2 Bxe4 12. Bxe4 Nxe4 13. Qxe4 O-O 14. Rd1 Nf6
15. Qc2 Qd7 16. Bf4 Bd6 17. Bg5 Be7 18. h3 h6 19. Be3 Rad8 20. Rd3 c5 21. Rad1
cxd4 22. Nxd4 Qc8 23. Qa4 Rd7 24. Nc6 Rb7 25. b4 Rc7 26. b5 Qb7 27. Bf4 Bc5 28.
Bxc7 Qxc7 29. Qc2 Ne4 30. Rf3 Ng5 31. Rfd3 Ne4 32. Rf1 Qf4 33. Qe2 Ng3 34. Qf3
Qxf3 35. gxf3 Nxf1 36. Kxf1 Ra8 37. a4 a6 38. Rd8+ Rxd8 39. Nxd8 axb5 40. cxb5
Kf8 41. Nc6 f6 42. a5 bxa5 43. Nxa5 Ke8 44. Nc4 Kd7 45. Kg2 e5 46. Kg3 Ke6 47.
f4 exf4+ 48. Kxf4 Bxf2 49. Kf3 Bc5 50. h4 h5 51. b6 Bd6 52. b7 Bc7 53. Ne3 g5
54. hxg5 fxg5 55. Ke4 Bb8 56. Nf5 Kf6 57. Nd4 g4 58. Nc6 Bc7 59. b8=Q Bxb8 60.
Nxb8 Kg5 61. Ke3 Kh4 62. Kf2 Kh3 63. Kg1 h4 64. Nc6 Kg3 65. Nd4 h3 66. Nf5+ Kf4

Saturday, December 2, 2017

London Classic Round One: All games drawn

All five games of yesterday's round one of The London Chess Classic ended in draws yesterday. An unusual but not unprecedented rest day was scheduled for today before round two.

Former world champion Garri Kasparov said he had made a "generous" but losing bet that at least one of the games yesterday would be decisive. Nevertheless he indicated he was satisfied with the fighting spirit of the players in spite of the bloodless outcome.  He mentioned the Magnus Carlsen vs. Fabiano Caruana game (below) in particular.

One of the striking features of that game for me came early on with Carlsen's offer of a pawn sacrifice with 11. Be3. From what I can tell this is a new position, although I wouldn't be surprised if both players had looked at it before.

Caruana declined the proffered e-pawn with 11...Bc5 but I found it interesting to explore a line (with the help of Stockfish) where black accepts the pawn. What was of interest for myself at my strength was being able to recognize the possibility of offering such a sacrifice. Of course 11...Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Bxe4 is not hard to visualize, but what makes it attractive for white is that he gets so far ahead in development in exchange for the pawn, particularly after a natural move such as 13. Rc1.

The online annotator agadmator noted the variation 13. Bf3 Bxf3 14. Qxf3 Bc5 15. Nc6 Qc7 16. Rc1 a5 17. a3 Rc8 18. Nxa5 bxa5 19. Bxc5 Nxc5 20. b4 axb4 21. axb4 O-O 22. Rxc5 Qd7 23. Rfc1 and "Okay, black does have an advantage on the queenside, four pawns to three but white does have a passed b-pawn. This is better for white."

A line after 13. Rc1 that I think is pretty cute is 13...Bc5 14. b4 Bxb4 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Qd4 O-O 17. Qe4 Qe7 18. Rc6 Nf6 19. Qxe6+ Qxe6 20. Rxe6  which looks pretty equal.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The London Chess Classic, Round One Underway

To follow coverage from Yasir Seirawan, Jennifer Shahade, Maurice Ashley, and Cristian Chirila click here.

This years' participants in London - which is the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour are:

Magnus Carlsen (2837)
Levon Aronian (2805)
Fabiano Caruana (2799)
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2789)
Wesley So (2788)
Viswanathan Anand (2782)
Hikaru Nakamura (2781)
Sergey Karjakin (2760)
Ian Nepomniachtchi (2729)
Michael Adams (2715)

Magnus has been a beast lately so he's probably the favorite in most people's minds. Levon Aronian has also been on a tear. It's great to see the three Americans (So, Naka and Caruana) participating.

The schedule for the nine-round event is:

Friday, December 1 Round 1
Saturday, December 2 Rest Day 1
Sunday, December 3 Round 2
Monday, December 4 Round 3
Tuesday, December 5 Round 4
Wednesday, December 6 Round 5
Thursday, December 7 Rest Day 2
Friday, December 8 Round 6
Saturday, December 9 Round 7
Sunday, December 10 Round 8
Monday, December 11 Round 9

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bob Dylan playing chess 1964

With Victor Maymudes. Photo by Daniel Kramer. 
In ceremonies of the horsemen even the pawn must hold a grudge.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition - or Randy MacKenzie's openings

Sorry to say I've missed the last few weeks of chess - but be afraid, for I am returning.

In the meantime thanks to Randy MacKenzie for sending his game from last Wednesday's CCCR Game in 80 (+5sD) tournament. Randy goes his own way in the opening, and from what I can tell it usually leads to a lot of tactical and risky positions. In my two rated games against him I haven't even come close.

Here Randy's opponent finds himself already looking at a weird Sicilian at move two. Later black commits a costly mistake with 14...axb5 leading to a shock and awe assault on the kingside in which black finds no defense.

Send your games to for inclusion. This is a blog for all Rochester chess players.

MacKenzie-Kleene, 1-0
Community Chess Club of Rochester Wednesday Trnmt
November 22, 2017
Sicilian Defense

Notes by Randy MacKenzie:

12. Re1    12. Bxh7+ Kxh7 13. Ng5+ Kg6 14. Qg4 Nxe5 15. Qg3

20...Bd8    20...Qxh5 21. Rxf8+ Ng8 22. Nf7+


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ron Lohrman - TD for the CCCR Championship for 21 straight years

I asked Ron Lohrman how he felt having been tournament director with Mike Lionti for the CCCR Championship tournament for 21 consecutive years now. He was disbelieving at first, flat out said I was mistaken, but I told him Mike assured me it was so.

These guys have truly done a great job year after year, and this one was no exception. If there was ever a hitch or a glitch, I never saw it.

Thanks to all the TDs and Assistant TDs for this years championship: Ron, Mike L., Ken McBride, and Mike Runnells.

And I don't know how many years' running Mike Runnell's wife has fueled all of our efforts with her chocolate chip cookies, but they were again absolutely sensational.

Lev Paciorkowski wins his second CCCR Championship

So for the second year running Lev Paciorkowski won the Rochester Community Chess Club of Rochester championship tournament. In the final round last Wednesday, four players were tied for first with 3.5 points apiece, and they were all battling it out on the top two boards. As most were predicting, Lev prevailed.

Lev may have been helped a bit this year as so many strong players of recent CCCR championships were absent: Daniel Johnston, Matt Slomski, Webster Kehoe, and David Campbell were all unfortunately not playing. Clif Kharroubi, the 2015 champion was second-seeded again this year and considered by many to have the most serious chance of stealing the tournament from Lev in an upset. 

Even before the final four squared off at the top two boards the word the official word circulated among the thirty-two participants: Lev could lose first place only if he lost this match with the white pieces against Randy MacKenzie on board one, as the tiebreaks went his way in all possible outcomes where he was able to tie. On board two, Kharroubi enjoyed white against Dave Phelps, who managed an exciting draw against Lev in round four but who has never managed to defeat Clif in a rated game.

The drama for first place didn’t last long: just about an hour and ten minutes after the games had started Lev and Randy were the first players of the evening to settle their differences, with Randy tipping his king in resignation. “[Randy] sacked a piece [17...Bxg4] but I didn’t have to take it,” Lev told me after the game. “Instead I attacked on the other side of the board and he couldn’t defend.” The players contested a Kings Indian Defense which lasted only twenty moves. “Randy and I have played the exact same position countless times,” Lev said.

Clif won his game against Dave on board two, matching Lev’s final 4.5 score. Clif’s only blemish was a draw at the hands of Tony Badamo in round two, while Phelps managed to nick Lev for a draw in round four.

“I won my game,” Clif said after the tournament concluded. “It was complete magic. I had my lucky scoresheet," he said joking. "I’m four and oh with it.” He went on to explain how he had a basically won game by move eight and then let his guard down and found himself in a seriously critical position. He said he fought his way back and the advantage changed yet again. “It was a little tricky but I managed to keep the pressure on. I wouldn’t be able to do that against Lev. ”

Jamshed Ahmed and Don Stubblebine managed to overtake Dave Phelps for third and fourth places respectively. Brian Jesse rated 1674 going into the event managed to win the Under 2000 category by defeating Chris Brown and David Stearns and drawing Ken McBride – a great performance that drove his rating up nearly 100 points to 1760. Aidan Kharroubi, rated 1563, also had a terrific event, winning the Under 1800 prize ahead of several higher-rated players.

Dan Burnside
(U1600), Joshua Stephens (U1400), Richard Warmus (U1200) and Mike Connelly (U1000) also won prizes in their categories.

Paciorkowski-MacKenzie   1-0
21st Community Chess Club of Rochester Championship Rd. 5
Kings Indian Defense
November 1, 2017

Brian Jesse sent Smoke the Pawn his exciting final round win which was decisive in bringing him the Under 2000 trophy and prize. Brian writes, "Noteworthy on the final move, my opponent attempted to play Rd4 to fork my bishop and pawn. He did not notice he was in check and I called him out on it. He resigned because of touch move on his rook. That being said, my position is winning regardless. Quick Analysis on my phone shows evaluation of -7.0. My pawn is too strong."

Stearns-Jesse,    0-1
21st Community Chess Club of Rochester Championship Rd. 5
Dutch Defense
November 1, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A draw in Round 4 leads to a four-way tie for first going into the CCCR Championship final tonight

Even with the white pieces Dave Phelps was a deep underdog going his fourth-round match last Wednesday against Lev Paciorkowski, the reigning champ and top-seed in the CCCR Championship. Undeterred Dave hung on for a draw in a game where both players missed chances that could have left either one the clear tournament leader going into tonight's final round [see the game replayer below].

As it is, with the 2015 champion Clif Kharroubi defeating Ken McBride with the white pieces on board two, and Randy MacKenzie as black quickly dispatching underdog Brian Jesse on board three, four players are now tied for first place with three and a half points, heading into a deciding showdown fifth round. Paciorkowski will have white against MacKenzie on board one, and Kharroubi will have white against Phelps.

Paciorkowski and Phelps relaxed and comfortable before the start of the fourth round.

According to the tournament directors, in the event of a tie for first, the championship will be decided by the Median system, by which the final scores of each tying player’s opponents are totaled while discarding their lowest opponent’s score. If a tie still results after summing up opponent scores, there is a series of further tie-breaks that will be used to determine the tournament’s champion, as shown on the CCCR blog site here. All the sections are subject to the same tie breakers.

In the drawn game on board one, it looked like Lev was gaining some momentum as the players traversed a known path through the English Opening which is statistically a little worse for white. But in a sudden and uncharacteristic mistake Black recaptured after the apparently benign 20. Bxc6 with 20…bxc6 rather than 20...Qxc6 allowing Dave back into the game with winning chances after 21. Ba5, skewering black’s queen and rook.

“I do something like that maybe once a year,” Lev said after the game. “It just happened against [Dave] this time.”

Underterred, Lev was able to win back some but not all of his material from the mishap while also pushing his unopposed e-pawn to the seventh rank to create real problems for his opponent. In the final position black was down a bit in material but it didn’t seem clear how either player could progress. In time trouble Dave took the draw.

“I got a little lucky,” Dave said. “He overlooked losing the exchange, and from there he bluffed. I had a win. But I got in time pressure and took the draw. You only get a shot at winning against Lev every twenty games or so, and this was my shot.”

Going into the tournament Lev, the top seed, had a USCF rating of 2368. Dave, seeded fifth had a rating of 1930 – over 400 points difference.

Having lost to MacKenzie, Brian Jesse remains at three points tied behind the leaders with Chris Brown, Don Stubblebine, Jamshed Ahmed and Hanan Dery.

Looking ahead to tonight’s match against Kharoubbi, Phelps said he five losses and only one draw against Clif. Over the summer MacKenzie lost twice to Paciorkowsi in the Rawle Farley Memorial. It remains to be seen if Randy or Dave can overcome the odds and earn their first championship trophy.

Dave Phelps-Lev Paciorkowski  1/2 - 1/2
English Opening
21st Community Chess Club of Rochester Championship Rd 4
Rochester Chess Center        October 25, 2017

PGN format for your browser:

[Event "21st CCCR Championship"]
[Site "Rochester, NY"]
[Date "2017.10.25"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Phelps, David"]
[Black "Paciorkowski, Lev"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A23"]
[PlyCount "63"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. d4 cxd4 7. Qxd4 Nc6 8.
Qa4 d4 9. Ne4 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Bb4+ 11. Kf1 Qb6 12. Kg2 O-O 13. Nf3 Re8 14. Bd3
Be6 15. Bf4 Be7 16. Bd2 a6 17. e3 Rad8 18. Rhd1 Bg4 19. Be4 Bc5 20. Bxc6 bxc6
21. Ba5 Qxb2 22. Bxd8 Bxf3+ 23. Kxf3 dxe3 24. Qxc6 Qxf2+ 25. Kg4 Re5 26. Kh3 e2
27. Re1 h5 28. Rac1 Bb4 29. Bb6 Qf5+ 30. Kg2 Bxe1 31. Rxe1 Re6 32. Qa8+ 1/2-1/2

Still in the hunt for the Under 1600 trophy

Going into the final round Blaze Veljovski is one of six players leading the rated under 1600 category with two points.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Preliminary pairings for the final round of CCCR Championship

Ugh, I haven't had time or energy to post a report on round four yet. Big game with David Phelps drawing Lev Paciorkowsi to keep the drama alive with a four-way tie going into the final round! Well, I will get to that game a little bit later. In the meantime here is the preliminary pairing sheet for round five. Top boards are sure to stay the same.

Who are you betting on? I ran into Brian Jesse yesterday at Wegmans and he told me, "of course" Lev would take first place and Brian's coach Clif Kharroubi would finish second.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Brian Jesse v Ken McBride, 2017 CCCR Ch

As promised, here are Brian Jesse's annotations of his outstanding draw against Ken McBride in the 3rd round of this years' CCCR Championship tournament. Brian carries a 1674 rating going into the tourney versus McBrides' 1951 rating.

This game keeps Ken and Brian both in a four-way tie at 2.5 points for second place behind the leaders, Lev Paciorkowski and David Phelps, who each have 3 points. Clif Kharroubi and Randy MacKenzie also have 2.5 points. This was a big game for all the leaders, sure to have an impact on the final standings.

According to the preliminary pairings for round four, Ken will have the black pieces against Clif on board two in the next round, and Brian will have white against Randy on board three.

Jesse-McBride   1/2 - 1/2
21st CCCR Championship
QGD Exchange Var.

9. Nge2 I choose Nge2 instead of Nf3 because my plan is to play f3 and e4
and grab complete center control.

11. Qc2 This move does a
few things. It completes development and supports the e4 advance. But this
also takes away the g6 square. With black's last move, he is clearly looking
for Nf8 into g6.

12... c5 Can't take c5 because Bxc5 and e3 is weak.

17. Nf4    d5 is a target.
And if the d5 pawn can't hold on, the c4 pawn will also become weak and will
soon fall

18. a4 I plan on playing a5 to remove the defender. If black
chooses to stop me by playing a5 himself, I will also be happy in that
position as I am fixing his pawn on a dark square, which favors me in a bishop
end game.

20. Ng3 I support e4 again and possibly take
advantage of the weak light squared because of black playing g5.

23. h3   It's okay to exchange my bishop because my d4 pawn
no longer needs protection because I can always push to d5 if I need to. I
decided if he takes my bishop, I can get double rooks on the F file quickly.
If he doesn't take it, I just put another pawn on a light square, heading into
a dark square bishop endgame.

27. Nf6+?    This is my biggest mistake in the game. I got greedy for pawns
instead of improving my position. I should have played Nf5 followed by e5.
However I went after the h6 pawn and lost my advantage as black gets
counterplay on the queenside.

31. Nf5   I decide to go for a draw. Black's C pawn can get out of control fast
if I'm not careful. The threat is Ne7+ Kg7 Nf5+ Kg8. Perpetual check.

34. b3    Another mistake by me. I thought he was forced
to move his knight.

36. Nxd6   From here, I know I can
comfortably draw this. Even though black is up 1 pawn, once I trade off all
pawns, I can sac my knight for the last pawn for a draw.

51. Kc5    My knight can keep going from f1 to e3. It can never be chased

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Games from Round 3 of CCCR 2017 Championship

Here's a handful of games from Round 3 of the CCCR 2017 Championship tournament.  Maybe I will post the PGN formats later for anyone who wants to paste them into their engine. Email me and I'll send them to you if you don't want to wait. Send me a game or two of yours while you are at it!

Lev Paciorkowski-Don Stubblebine 1-0
21st CCCR Championship Rd 3
Bird’s Opening
Lev opens with 1. f4 which he hasn’t played in a rated game before. “I wanted to play something that was different but wasn’t actually bad,” he said.

Randy MacKenzie-Tony Badamo 1-0
21st CCCR Championship Rd 3
Polish Opening
About a year or so ago Tony was telling me about playing opponents at the 1900+ level "You just can't make a mistake with these guys. They don't give you a second chance." In this game Tony can trap Randy's queen with 25...Rh5 and go home early with the win. Unfortunately he missed it, and Randy never gave him a second chance.

Brian Jesse-Ken McBride ½- ½
21st CCCR Championship Rd 3
Queen’s Gambit, Exchange Var
Ken was a coach of Brian's. So this is Teacher vs. Student in a very well-played game with minimal mistakes on either side. 

James Attaya-Hanan Dery 0-1
21st CCCR Championship Rd 3
Benoni Defense
The exchange sac with 23. Rxh7 Rxh7 was a mistake.

Howard Decker-Jim Trowbridge ½- ½
21st CCCR Championship Rd 3
Queens Gambit Dec
I let my queen get trapped for the second time in the tournament. Howard accepted my desperado offer of a draw.

Steve Blazak-Bob Talbot 0-1

21st CCCR Championship Rd 3
Queen’s Gambit Dec
White throws down a piece with 34. Bxg7+? and never recovers.

CCCR Blog Coverage of Round 3

The Community Chess Club of Rochester has put up photos and results for Round 3 AND the preliminary pairings for Round 4 of the 21st CCCR championship.

One important question about Board One is answered: Dave Phelps has white against Lev Paciorkowski.

I'll be posting the games I have from round three in a game replayer on this site ASAP. Also we have Brian Jesse's annotations in his game with Ken McBride (I saw it - it's a great game, very well played).

Mike Runnells warming up for Round 3

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Round 3 is in the books

I have some good games from Round 3 of the CCCR Championship - including Brian Jesse's draw against his erstwhile chess coach, Ken McBride with annotations from Brian.  I'll post them as soon as I can. It was an exciting night and next Wednesday we play the penultimate round of the tournament. My own personal disappointment in my game continues. But there have to be winners and losers.

And the business to be concluded in rounds 4 and 5: will Lev Paciorkowski score a perfect 5-0-0 for a second year in a row? Will he take first place even if he doesn't go perfect? Or can Dave Phelps (or somebody else) keep the LP Express in check?

Okay, more later. It's been a couple of busy days and tomorrow's gonna be another. Here's the results from Round 3.

Note that Stevens and Runnells drew, which finished last and too late for the photo.

Through the glass dimly...

Monday, October 16, 2017

This documentary on the 1978 World Chess Championship match between Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi looks like it's going to be great. If anyone hears of it coming to Rochester let me know. I do likewise.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Naka's on a roll with Twitter

Some games from Round 2 of the CCCR Championship

Here are some of the games from Round Two of the 21st Community Chess Club of Rochester Championship. Send your games to me if you'd like at

H. DERY-PHELPS, CCCR Championship Rd. 2    0-1

The text of this game is incomplete. The players were in a time scramble at the end, which was the
last game to finish. So will Dave be fighting for second or third place in this tournament? Nah! He's 
fighting for first, and don't forget it.

BROWN-JESSE, CCCR Championship Rd. 2      0-1 Another good upset. Brian lost a pawn early but he hung on and managed to out-maneuver Chris in an endgame with just the major pieces on board.

POLLIFRONE-STEARNS, CCCR Championship Rd. 2 1-0
This game is a few moves incomplete also. Hopefully we’ll be able to get the full text of this terrific game. A big win for Bill.


TROWBRIDGE-CONNELLY, CCCR Championship Rd. 2 ½-½
Mike played a terrific game against the English, an opening which he says he doesn’t usually feel comfortable. I went completely wrong in the final minutes but diverted him from a won game with a timely draw offer.

TALBOT-ATTAYA, CCCR Championship Rd. 2 0-1
Jim’s knight sac at move 14 uncovers a hanging bishop backed with the threat of mate at f2. That’s all she wrote.

Brian Jesse after swallowing a canary Wednesday. “I think I'm underrated,” Jesse emailed me in response to a request for comment on his game with Chris Brown. “I feel like my real rating is somewhere in the 1800s. I took a few months off from playing rated games but I continued to receive lessons and training from my coach on a weekly basis. I took a break because my mom had cancer. She made a full recovery and is back home. I'm ready to focus on chess again and plan to play a lot more."

I'm just going to add that could be real trouble for some of us...

An earlier version of this post incorrectly had the players in the Dery-Phelps game reversed. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

CCCR Championship Rd 2 Results

There were a few upsets in round 2 of the 21st CCCR Championship last evening: Brian Jesse defeated Chris Brown in a well-played game (we'll post that and some other games a little later - stay tuned!); Bill Pollifrone took down David Stearns; Richard Motroni drew with Randy MacKenzie; Mike Connelly drew (and nearly defeated) myself; and Dan Burnside won off of Toby Rizzo.

Before the games Dan told me he was suffering from a cold so he had an excuse for losing. Turns out he didn't need one.

The players who are undefeated at 2-0-0 are top seed Lev Paciorkowski, David Phelps, Ken McBride, Don Stubblebine, Brian Jesse, and Bill Pollifrone.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

CCCR Results for Wednesday September 13 2017

Late result: David Stearns defeated Chris King.

It was a great evening, and a lot of excitement spilling over from Lev Paciorkowski's earlier lecture and presentation, which unfortunately I missed. A number of people who were there said it was very interesting: Lev went over his games in the recent New York State Championship at Albany.

Those of us who missed Part I still have a chance to see Part II on Wednesday, September 27 at 5:00 pm.

Other announcements: The Rawle Farley Memorial Summer League is winding down and it's time to sign up for the Fall League. There are seven sign-ups so far. Also the CCCR Championship begins October 4.

Today's great chess find is from the Pittsford Central Library

You can do the math but I just like saying it so much: that's only $2.50 for some nice books (one or two are arguable). They're in great shape, too; pretty sure they haven't been read.

I'm especially looking forward to the Andy Soltis book. I enjoy playing defense almost as much as I like to attack. Of course when you make a lot of errors you have to get used to defending. 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pairings and some results from Wednesday Night, Aug 30, 2017

Two winners from last night: Bob Talbot (left) and Bill Pollifrone.

Pretty good turnout last night at the CCCR Wednesday night tournament with 15 boards in play. One last-minute addition to the results: Bill Pollifrone defeated Jim Attaya.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

SakredKow's first Saturday Tournament at the Rochester Chess Center

I played in my first Saturday Tournament at the Rochester Chess Center ever this past weekend. Although I scored only 1/3 I had a great time and my games weren't too bad.

Randy MacKenzie beat me up pretty good in the first round, but my game against Jamshed Ahmed indicated to me that I should be keeping up with these 1600+-1800+ fighters. Well, time will tell.

As Black, I tried out a variant of the English Defense in both my games against Randy and Jamshed. They both got a better opening against me but nothing too terrible for Black. However, Randy kept the pressure on from start to finish, and I never really got a counterattack going. He beat me handily. You might say I made a number unforced errors.

Jamshed also pressed from the beginning, even netting a pawn advantage early. Still, at a scary point for me I found a nice bishop sac that tipped the game my way. From that position we both made some very good moves, although I maintained a material advantage. My position advantage also seemed strong but it was complicated. Unfortunately I made a serious miscalculation from from there ended up losing.

Yes, it was discouraging. That isn't the only time Jamshed's gotten away from me either, and now my record against him is 0-5.

The overall winner of the Saturday Tournament was Lev Paciorkowski who had a perfect 3-0-0 score with wins against David Stearns, Jamshed, and Randy. Pranav Kumar and Arjun Ganesh both scored two wins with one draw.

Saturday Tournament Rd. 3
Rochester Chess Center
August 26, 2019
English Opening 

6. Bg5         In round one Randy MacKenzie played 6. e3 against me and won pretty easily 6...O-O 7. Nge2 d6 8. O-O Be6 9. Nd5 a5 10. a3 Bc5 11. Rb1 Bf7 12. Bd2 Nxd5 (.pgn format of that game below).

7. e3            7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Qe8 9. Nh3 f4 10. Bxf6 Rxf6 11. Ng5 d6 += Rosenberg-Bachmann Schiavo, PanAm Intercollegiate-chT 2009.

9...a6          This is kind of a clunker. 9...f4 10. exf4 exf4 11. Nxf4 g5 12. Nh3 Bxc3+ 13. bxc3 Qxc3+ 14. Kf1 d6 and White's position looks very difficult, though there could be improvements.

14...e4         I misjudged the security of my queenside, apparently believing it worse than it was I thought sacrificing a pawn would help, but 14...Be6 is fine. (Heh, unless my opinions during the game were right).

19. e4          I'm down a pawn but I thought I was hanging on okay.

22. e5?        A mistake. 22. exd5 cxd5? 23. Bxd5+-. 22...Nd6 23. dxc6 Bxf5 24. gxf5 Nxf5 25. Qc5+-. Both lines should win for White.

22...Bxf5!    The bishop pseudo-sacrifice doesn't just win back material, it sheds Black of the underachieving bishop. I'm reminded of William Shakespeare's Macbeth: "Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it."

31...Rxf8?   The losing move. The (nearly) winning move for Black is any move with the king. I miscalculated however.

Good game for Jamshed.

Saturday Tournament Rd. 3
Rochester Chess Center
August 26, 2019
English Openings


[Event "Saturday Tournament"]
[Site "Rochester Chess Center"]
[Date "2017.08.26"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Ahmed, Jamshed"]
[Black "Trowbridge, Jim"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A25"]
[PlyCount "71"]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 f5 4. d3 Nf6 5. Bg2 Bb4 6. Bg5 O-O 7. e3 h6 8. Bxf6
Qxf6 9. Nge2 a6 10. O-O d6 11. Nd5 Qf7 12. Nxb4 Nxb4 13. a3 Nc6 14. b4 e4 15.
Nf4 Ne5 16. dxe4 Nxc4 17. exf5 c6 18. g4 d5 19. e4 g5 20. Ng6 Re8 21. Qd4 Kh7
22. e5 Bxf5 23. gxf5 Qxf5 24. f4 Kxg6 25. fxg5 Qxg5 26. Rf6+ Kg7 27. Raf1 Rxe5
28. Rf7+ Kg8 29. R7f3 Re4 30. Qc5 Ne3 31. Rf8+ Rxf8 32. Qxf8+ Kh7 33. Rf7+ Kg6
34. Rg7+ Kh5 35. Rxg5+ hxg5 36. Bxe4 1-0

[Event "Saturday Tournament"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.08.26"]
[Round "1"]
[White "MacKenzie, Randolf"]
[Black "Trowbridge, Jim"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A25"]
[WhiteElo "2005"]
[BlackElo "1571"]
[PlyCount "55"]

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 f5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. d3 Bb4 6. e3 O-O 7. Nge2 d6 8. O-O
Be6 9. Nd5 a5 10. a3 Bc5 11. Rb1 Bf7 12. Bd2 Nxd5 13. cxd5 Ne7 14. Nc3 c6 15.
b4 axb4 16. axb4 Bb6 17. dxc6 bxc6 18. b5 Qc7 19. Qc2 Rfc8 20. Rfc1 Qd7 21.
bxc6 Rxc6 22. Rxb6 Ra2 23. Nxa2 Rxc2 24. Rxc2 Qa4 25. Rc8+ Be8 26. Rc7 Kf8 27.
Bb4 Qb3 28. Rbb7 1-0

Rochester chess veteran Rick Motroni won one and lost one in the Saturday Tournament.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Lionti-Trowbridge - A draw in the Farley League

Going into round seven of the Farley Memorial League Mike Lionti and I were tied for first place on board three.

As it turned out both of our opponents postponed and we had a make-up from round one to play against one another. We had just played round six against each other the week before and Mike absolutely crushed me. So I was very disappointed not to get a little revenge from this game. It's good to remember that Mike is a very tenacious defender.

The text is incomplete as the final few moves did not get recorded by either of us. I stopped recording moves as soon as I fell to five minutes remaining on my clock, and Mike stopped recording soon after that. In the time scrabble I allowed Mike to capture my a-pawn with his queen, but then he inadvertanly left his a-pawn en prise to my bishop. As I snapped his pawn off I offered him a draw. He played on a few more moves then agreed.

PGN format of the game is at the bottom of this post. 

Farley Memorial League XXVII (Summer) August 21, 2017
WHITE: Jim Trowbridge BLACK: Mike Lionti   G/90 +5sD
French Tarrasch Defense

6....Qg5 Wow! I didn't expect this. 6...Nc6 is the main line, and I have notes showing I looked at 6...b6, 6...Qb6, and 6...b5. 6...Nc6 7. Ndf3 Qb6?! 8. Ne2 cxd4 9. cxd4 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Qa5 11. O-O += Trowbridge-World, 39th Marchand Op 2017.

7. Qf3 In the past Mike has played 6...Nc6 against me, so I couldn't rule out the possibility he'd actually prepared this variation. I was a little uncomfortable then sacrificing the g-pawn with 7. Ne4 or 7. Ne2. I hated taking the f3 square away from my knight(s) but under the circumstances it seemed like the most logical move to me.

8...Bb4 This seemed pretty strong to me.

10...Qh6 This is dangerous for Black.10...Qd8 is the right move.

11. Nc3 This knight is usually earmarked for f4 in the Tarrasch, so I wondered if I was doing the right thing by sending it over to the queenside for purely tactical reasons (to break the pin on d2).

12. Nb3 I was frustrated being unable to find a direct way to exploit the discovered attack on black's queen. 12. Nc4 f4 13. Nd6 Nc6! and White cannot defend the d4 pawn and his position from here is critical.

13. Bd2 I missed 13. g3 which raises even more uncomfortable questions for Black. The f-pawn is pinned as 13...fxg3 14. Qxf8+ Kxf8 15. Bxh6 gxh6 looks pretty close to winning.

16. Qg4? Black's response, 16...Nxe5! is brilliant. And I never saw it coming.

18. Qe2 18. Kf1 or 18. Kd1 were both extremely scary - I couldn't decide which was least worse. If Black gets to keep his queen on the board the king is going to be very insecure whichever side it leans towards.

18... Qd6? Black should have played 18...Qxe2+ 19. Bxe2 f3 20. Bd1 Nc6 21. Rh3 Ne5 and after 22. Nd4 or 22. a3 Black might still hold.

24. Qf3 Missing 24. Nxc6! Qxc6 25. Qe5 Ra7 26. Qh8+ Kf7 27. Qxh7+ Ke8 28. Qxa7.

25....Qb8 We've both made some bad moves in this game. But Mike finds the moves he needs when he needs them.

27. Qxb7 I looked at 27. Qe5 Qxh1+ 28. Rd1 Qxd1+ 29. Kxd1 thinking that Black had a draw with 29...Rf7. But the computer showed 30. Qg7+ Ke8 31. Bb4! I was already behind on time and I just didn't have the ability to work it all out.

28...Rf7 28...Bxh1? loses to 29. Rg7+ Kh8 30. Rxg6+! e5 31. Bxe5+ and mate next move.

30...Kf8 White's advantages have all disappeared. He's outplayed me.

39. Kc3 From here we both fell into blitz mode as I had less than 5 minutes on my clock. Eventually we settled on the draw. As if the game wasn't dramatic enough for us at this stage I threw away a pawn by letting his king out-triangulate me but he immediately hung his own pawn so no harm was done.

 [Event "Farley Memorial League XXVII"]
[Site "Rochester Chess Center"]
[Date "2017.08.21"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Trowbridge, Jim"]
[Black "Lionti, Michael"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C06"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. Bd3 c5 6. c3 Qg5 7. Qf3 cxd4
8. cxd4 Bb4 9. Ne2 O-O 10. h4 Qh6 11. Nc3 f5 12. Nb3 f4 13. Bd2 a6
14. g4 g6 15. g5 Qg7 16. Qg4 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Qxe5+ 18. Qe2 Qd6 19. a3
Bxc3 20. Bxc3 Nc6 21. O-O-O d4 22. Bc4 b5 23. Nxd4 bxc4 24. Qf3 Nxd4
25. Rxd4 Qb8 26. Qe4 Qb7 27. Qxb7 Bxb7 28. Rd7 Rf7 29. Rhd1 Bd5 30.
Rd6 Kf8 31. Bf6 Ke8 32. Rd2 Rd7 33. Be5 Rxd6 34. Bxd6 Rc8 35. Bxf4 c3
36. Rc2 cxb2+ 37. Kxb2 Rxc2+ 38. Kxc2 Kd7 39. Kc3 1/2-1/2

Monday, August 21, 2017

Good advice from the novelist Haruki Murakami

    As I've said, I'm not a very competitive type of person. To a certain extent, I figured it's sometimes hard to avoid losing. Nobody's going to win all the time. On the highway of life you can't always be in the fast lane. Still, I certainly don't want to keep making the same mistakes over and over. Best to learn from my mistakes and put that lesson into practice the next time around. While I still have the ability to do that.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A loss with White vs. the Czech Benoni

Here's a recent Wednesday night CCCR game in which I lost to John-John Lambropoulos. It was the first time we met over the board. Both of us were looking for a quick game so we agreed with TD to Game in 30 mins, and as I recall there was no delay.

I've never played a rated game against the Czech Benoni, but I've played the Benoni proper so I felt comfortable with the opening. I went a little crazy with a counterattack that wasn't quite sufficient however, so...

The PGN format is at the bottom of the post.

 If you want to play along on your engine, copy and paste the PGN format into your text editor (Word, Notebook, etc.) and save it as a text (.txt) file. Using Explorer, find the file in the folder where you saved it, and manually change the .txt extension to .pgn. You may be asked to supply a name for your file as well. Open your chess engine and find the feature that lets you open a new game or file (apart from the database that may be included with your engine). For instance, in Fritz you click the main menu icon which gives you a directory to your computer. Using that dialog box, find the file and click on it, the game should appear in your engines main window. 

Feel free to contact me if you need help. 

Trowbridge (1580)-Lambropolous (1798)
CCCR Wednesday Trnmt
August 2, 2017       
Benoni Czech      


3. d5 If all other things are equal, I feel like there's no reason why white should not have great winning chances from this position. 4. dxe6 ep fxe6 5. Bg5 Be7 6. Nc3 O-O 7. e3 b6 8. Nf3 Bb7 = Kotov-Casas, Mar del Plata 1957.

6. g3 Nbd7 7. Bg2 a6 8. Nge2 O-O 9. O-O b5 10. cxb5 axb5+- Ivanchuk-Biu Xiangzhi, FIDE World Cup 2011.

7...a6 8. a4 O-O 9. Be3 Ne8 10. Qd2 g6 11. Be2 Ng7 drew in Potkin-Vitiugov, Aeroflot 2009.

9. Qc2 O-O = Garprindashvili-Nishimura, Aosta 1990

9...O-O This position seems slightly in white's favor.

10...a6 11. a4 Bd7 12. O-O Nh5 += Torman-Finegold, Detroit Ch 1992

11. Ne2 White wants to fight for f4.

14. g4 I looked at 14. O-O-O Nhf4 15. Nxf4 exf4 and I didn't like it for white. As I looked at it, I understood that 14. g4 may not have been the best but it was nevertheless irresistible. First, this was a 30-minute game so "correct" and "incorrect" moves have somewhat less importance. Second I figured my opponent wouldn't expect it. Finally, even though I sensed it was not correct, I liked that it was aggressive.

15...Nh4  I overlooked this. While considering 14. g4, I looked at 15...Nf5, and 15...Nf8. 15...Nh4 not so much.

16. O-O-O The open g-file and the h-pawn show some promise for White but in the following play they weren't enough.

17. Rdg1 17. Kb1 might be better. 17...Nxe3 18. fxe3 Bg5 19. Rhf1 Bxe3

18...Bg5 That's the killer right there. The consequences of 14. g4 settle in.

20. Kd1 after the game my opponent asked me why I played this rather than 20. Kb1. And I did look at 20. Kb1 but it seemed to me from there my king was going to die in the queenside corner for sure. So I chose for him to die on Kd1.

22. Rg4 to keep the black queen coming in to h5.

23. Ng3 defending against 24. Re3+ but... A very nice win for John-John.

PGN File:

[Event "CCCR Wednesday Trnmt g/60"]
[Site "Rochester Chess Center Upstairs"]
[Date "2017.08.02"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Trowbridge, Jim"]
[Black "Lambropoulos, John-John"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A56"]
[WhiteElo "1580"]
[BlackElo "1798"]
[PlyCount "50"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e5 4. Nc3 d6 5. e4 Be7 6. h3 Nbd7 7. Nf3 Nf8 8. Be3
Ng6 9. Qd2 O-O 10. Bd3 Nh5 11. Ne2 f5 12. exf5 Bxf5 13. Bxf5 Rxf5 14. g4 Rxf3
15. gxh5 Nh4 16. O-O-O Nf5 17. Rdg1 Nxe3 18. fxe3 Bg5 19. Qe1 Bxe3+ 20. Kd1
Bxg1 21. Rxg1 Rxh3 22. Rg4 Qf6 23. Ng3 Qf3+ 24. Qe2 Rxg3 25. Rxg7+ Kxg7 0-1

Friday, August 4, 2017

All draws today at the 2017 Sinquefield

After three rounds the standings are:

Carlsen            2                
Caruana            2         
Vachier-Lagrave    2     
Nakamura           1.5
Anand              1.5
Karjakin           1.5
Aronian            1.5
So                 1.5
Svidler            1
Nepomniachtchi      .5

Games begin tomorrow at 2pm EST. No rest day until Monday - that's five straight days of chess without a rest day, almost unheard of in today's tournaments schedules. There is $300,000 of prize money to be distributed, including $75,000 to the winner, so I guess the grandmasters will suck it up. 


Doug Spencer, d. July 31, 2017

I'm so sad to hear of the passing of Doug Spencer, CCCR club officer, tournament director, strong player, and to me just a delightful person. Word came through the CCCR that Doug suffered a sudden stroke last Sunday while in the company of his brother Dave (also a strong player).

Mike Lionti informed the club at the club meeting on Wednesday. Mike picked out a card for the club to send to Doug's brother Dave. Mike also invited anyone to speak about Doug or the loss we felt. Steve Blazak remembered his friend with warmth, Clif Kharoubbi spoke about Doug's even  temperament.

 "Any one who knows me knows I have my good days and bad days, I don't think Doug did though. I never saw him have anything other than a good day." Dave Phelps remembered his French Defense and his chronic time trouble. We all shared a minute or so of silence, after which Mike dedicated the evenings games to Doug's memory.

An obituary went around but said little other than he was predeceased by his parents and, in addition to Dave, he was survived by several cousins. There will be a graveside service with interment following in Irondequoit Cemetery (3671 Culver Road) tomorrow, August 4, at 1:00 pm.

To me, David was a most welcoming gatekeeper, a real gentleman. I didn't know him well, and some people recalled he was a fairly private person. I always respected that, apart from one time we both a little surprised to run into each other at a bakery on East Ridge Rd. He seemed to get a kick out of it but we just exchanged simple greetings.

Some of us recall seeing him back at the club a month or so ago after a long absence. I heard since then that he had been ill but he looked fine to me and I wouldn't have suspected.

I played a few games of rated chess against Doug and found him to be a gracious winner. His post-mortems were instructive and objective.

A few games follow. Thanks to Randy MacKenzie for passing on a great game in which Doug holds National Master Stephen Capp to a hard-fought draw. Following that is the first game I ever played him, in which I learned about a pet of his, the Two Knights Tango. (How's that for a whimsical name to an opening? I thought he had to be putting me on when he told me that.) I played him as tough as I could but it wasn't enough. He beat me again with the Tango, even easier, and when I switched up with 1. e4, he beat me with the French. The final game here however, is my draw against Doug and one of my all-time favorite swindles. Doug almost had me, but I found a knight sac leading to a forced perpetual. I remember when it was over he gave me a big, somewhat rueful smile and a handshake, entirely in keeping with all my experience of the man's sportsmanship.

We're gonna miss you, Doug.

Syracuse July Open 2002
Scotch Gambit

 Community Chess Club of Rochester Championship 2009
Two Knights Tango

CCCR Wednesday Tournament 2013
Sicilian Defense, Closed Var.

The Obituary: 
Spencer, Douglas R. Irondequoit: Passed away on July 31st, 2017, at the age of 63. Predeceased by his Parents, Robert & Betty Spencer. He is survived by his Brother, David R. Spencer; and several cousins. A graveside service with interment following in Irondequoit Cemetery (3671 Culver Road, Rochester, NY 14622) on Friday August 4 at 1:00pm. There is also a place at the legacy website to leave a memory, light a candle, etc.

Results from Saturday Tournament - A crush from Arjun Ganesh

Wow, Saturday tournaments are getting really crowded. Once again the field was split into three sections, Youth (3 participants, won by T.J. Weaver), Under (13 participants, won  by Junjie Deng with a 3-0-0 score), and the Open section (16 players, won by Lev Paciorkowski with a 3-0-0).

Arjun Ganesh annotates his very nice win against Frederic Harris from the event. Hat tip to Randy MacKenzie for passing this along.

Note the game replayer has a .pgn button you can click to get the .pgn format of the game. You can copy and paste this into your text editor (e.g., Word or NotePad) and save as a text file (.txt extension). You can then change the .txt extension to .pgn and your chess engine will be able to open the file.

Douglas, Frederic (1900)-Ganesh, Arjun (1698)
Rochester Chess Center Saturday Trnm Open Section
Benko Gambit
Arjun's notes are below the game replayer.

Notes from Arjun Ganesh:

3...b5   The Benko Gambit, sacrificing a pawn for a queenside attack.

12...Ng4   This move secures e5 so I can play Nge5 next move. A great square for the knight.

13. h3   Kicking the knight where it wants to go.

14. Qc2   Allowing ...Nd3 or ...Bd3, but I decided to prepare these moves by playing 14...Rfb8.

16. Nxe5   This trade doesn't help him whatsoever.
17. Rd1   The first move that begins the onslaught.

18. Qb3   The only move that saves the knight. 18. Rxd3 Nxd3 19. Qxd3 Rxa4

19...axb3 Most people would instinctively play Rxb3 but after a minute, I found a move that secures the advantage.

20. Bd2      20. Bg5 Bxd1 21. Rxd1 Rxb3 22. Nc3 Rxb2 23. Bxe7 may have been  slightly better since it attacked my weak e7 pawn.

23...Ra3   Bringing my last piece into the attack.

24. f4   My next move was going to be Nc4 anyways. And he opens up his king even further for my rooks and bishop.

29. Rd1   He resigns, not allowing me to land the final blow: Bd4+ 28.Kh1 Raa2. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Farley Memorial League Rd. 4 Results

I must say, Team Ahmed (your blogger's team) is making a pretty serious statement in these early rounds. I think we'll be in first place regardless of the outcome of Paciorkowski-Ahmed when that game is finally played. The question is can we hold on to our lead?

Scrubb - MacKenzie 0-1
Rosenberg-H. Dery 0-1
Lionti-Weaver 0-1

Stubblebine-Johnston 0-1
P.Chernjavsky-B. Chernjavsky 0-1
I. Hussain-Stevens 0-1

Paciorkowski-Ahmed Unplayed
R. Dery-Manning 0-1
H. Hussain-Trowbridge 0-1

2017 Sinquefield on tap today

The 2017 Sinquefield Cup games start today at 2pm EST. The Sinquefield Cup is part of the Grand Chess Tour, and is held in St. Louis, MO - the premier chess event in America. This years' participants are Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Sergey, and So) defending their home turf.

Watch video commentary from GM Yasser Seirawan, WGM Jennifer Shahade, and GM Maurice Ashley at the official site or, if you prefer kibbitzing with a group of chess knuckleheads following along on a board then check out Chessbomb.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Games from recent events

Some games from recent events at the Rochester Chess Center:

Rawle Farley Memorial League XXIV Board One, Round 3 
July 24, 2017 


Rawle Farley Memorial League XXIV, Board One, Round 2
July 18, 2017

Rawle Farley Memorial League XXIV Board Two, Round 3
July 24, 2017

Saturday Tournament, July 1, 2017

CCCR Wednesday Tournament
Time Control: G/60 +5sD


[Event "Farley Memorial League XXVII"]
[Site "Rochester, NY"]
[Date "2017.07.24"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Scrubb, Rolando"]
[Black "Stubblebine, Donald"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C23"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 d6 3. Qh5 g6 4. Qe2 Bg7 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. d3 Nbc6 7. Bg5 h6 8. Be3
Nd4 9. Qd2 Be6 10. O-O-O Qd7 11. Bxe6 Qxe6 12. Nge2 O-O-O 13. Kb1 Kb8 14. Bxd4
exd4 15. Nb5 Nc6 16. Nf4 Qd7 17. Nd5 Rc8 18. f4 a6 19. Na3 Ne7 20. Qa5 Nxd5 21.
exd5 Ka7 22. Rhe1 b6 23. Qb4 Rhe8 24. h3 a5 25. Nb5+ Ka6 26. Qc4 Qxb5 27. Rxe8
Qxc4 28. Rxc8 Qxd5 29. Rxc7 Qe6 30. a4 Bf6 31. g4 Bd8 32. Rc4 Bf6 33. f5 gxf5
34. gxf5 Qd7 35. Rg1 d5 0-1

[Event "Rawle Farley Memorial League XXIV"]
[Site "Rochester, NY"]
[Date "2017.07.18"]
[Round "2"]
[White "MacKenzie, Randy"]
[Black "Johnston, Daniel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B20"]
[WhiteElo "2000"]
[BlackElo "2200"]

1. e4 c5 2. a3 Nc6 3. b4 cxb4 4. axb4 Nxb4 5. c3 Nc6 6. d4 d5 7. Bb5 g6 8. h4
h5 9. c4 e6 10. Nc3 Bb4 11. Nge2 Kf8 12. Qb3 Qe7 13. O-O dxc4 14. Qxc4 Na5 15.
Rxa5 Bxa5 16. Qa4 Bc7 17. Bg5 f6 18. Bc1 a6 19. e5 Kg7 20. Ne4 Rb8 21. Bd3 fxe5
22. Bg5 Qd7 23. Qa1 Bd8 24. f4 exd4 25. Rb1 b5 26. Bxd8 Qxd8 27. Nxd4 Qb6 28.
Kh1 Kf8 29. Ng5 Rb7 30. Rc1 Bd7 31. Re1 e5 32. fxe5 Ne7 33. e6 Be8 34. Nf5 Nxf5
35. Qxh8+ Ke7 36. Bxf5 gxf5 37. Rd1 Bc6 38. Qg7+ Ke8 39. Qg6+ Kf8 40. Nh7+ Rxh7
41. Qxh7 Bxg2+ 42. Kh2 Qb8+ 43. Kxg2 Qe8 44. Rd8 1-0

[Event "Farley Memorial League XXVII"]
[Site "Rochester, NY"]
[Date "2017.07.24"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Manning, John"]
[Black "Chernjavsky, Benjamin"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D46"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 Bd6 6. Bd3 Nbd7 7. a3 O-O 8. Qc2
h6 9. O-O Re8 10. e4 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Bxe4 Nf6 13. Bd3 e5 14. dxe5 Bxe5
15. Nxe5 Rxe5 16. Bf4 Re7 17. Rad1 Be6 18. Bh7+ Nxh7 19. Rxd8+ Rxd8 20. Be3 b6
21. Qc3 Nf6 22. Bxh6 gxh6 23. Qxf6 Red7 24. h3 Bxc4 25. Re1 Rd1 26. Rxd1 Rxd1+
27. Kh2 Bd5 28. Qxh6 Re1 29. Qg5+ Kh7 30. Qh4+ Kg6 31. Qg3+ Kh5 32. f4 0-1

[Event "Saturday Tournament"]
[Site "Rochester, NY"]
[Date "2017.07.01"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Connelly, Michael"]
[Black "Decker, Howard"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D06"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nf6 3. cxd5 Nxd5 4. e4 Nb6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 N8d7 7. O-O e6 8.
Nc3 Be7 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Bxf3 O-O 11. Bf4 Rc8 12. Rc1 Nf6 13. e5 Nfd5 14. Nxd5
Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Qxd5 16. Rc3 c6 17. a3 Rfd8 18. Be3 c5 19. Qc2 cxd4 20. Rxc8 dxe3
21. Rxd8+ Bxd8 22. Rd1 exf2+ 23. Kf1 Qa5 24. Qxf2 g6 25. Rd7 Qb5+ 26. Kg1 Bb6

[Event "CCCR Wednesday Trnmt"]
[Site "Rochester, NY"]
[Date "2017.07.26"]
[White "Chadwick, Daniel"]
[Black "Trowbridge, Jim"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C44"]
[WhiteElo "1464"]
[BlackElo "1566"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. c3 Nf6 3. d3 Nc6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Be3 d5 6. Bg5 dxe4 7. Bxf6 Bxf6 8.
Ng1 Bf5 9. Be2 exd3 10. Bg4 Bg6 11. Qb3 O-O 12. Nf3 e4 13. Nfd2 Re8 14. O-O Ne5
15. Bd1 Qc8 16. Na3 Bg5 17. Nac4 Nxc4 18. Nxc4 Qe6 19. Ne3 Qd6 20. Qb4 c5 21.
Qc4 Rad8 22. Bb3 d2 23. Qd5 Bxe3 24. Qxd6 Bxf2+ 25. Rxf2 Rxd6 26. Re2 e3 27. g3
Bh5 28. Rg2 Bf3 29. Rf1 d1=Q 30. Bxd1 Rxd1 31. Rc2 e2 0-1