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

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Farley Memorial League Team Standings

Here are the team standings and individual point scores for the summer league after three week:

TEAM 2                  5  pts.  (1 game to be made up)       
    Bd  1 - Lev Paciorkowski        3 pts.
          2 - Roei Dery                   2
          3 - Haroon Hussain          0

TEAM 3                  5  pts.  (2 games to be made up)
    Bd   2 - John Manning             2 pts.
           3 - Jim Trowbridge           2
           1 - Jamshed Ahmed         1

TEAM 5                   4.5 pts. (1 game to be made up)
    Bd   1 - Don Stubblebine         2.5 pt s.
           2 - Patrick Chernjavsky    2
           3 - Ibrahim Hussain          0

TEAM 4                    3.5 pts.  (0 games to be made up)
    Bd    3 - T. J.  Weaver              2 pts.
            1 - Randy MacKenzie      1.5
            2 - Hanan Dery                0

TEAM 1                     3 pts.     (1 game to be made up)
    Bd    3 - Joshua Stevens          2 pts.
            1 - Daniel Johnston          1
            2 - Benjamin Chernjavsky   0

TEAM 6                     2            (3 games to be made up)
    Bd    3 - Mike Lionti               2 pts.
            1 - Rolando Scrubb         0
            2 - Edwin Rosenberg      0

The XXVII Farley Memorial League

The XXVII Farley Memorial League has played three rounds so far. This season there are six teams and each team has three players. They are:

    There are six teams in this league with three players on each time.

    1 - Daniel Johnston
    2 - Benjamin Chernjavsky
    3 - Joshua Stevens

    1 - Lev Paciorkowski
    2 - Roei Dery
    3 - Haroon Hussain

    1 - Jamshed Ahmed
    2 - John Manning
    3 - Jim Trowbridge

    1 - Randy MacKenzie
    2 - Hanan Dery
    3 - T. J.  Weaver

    1 - Don Stubblebine
    2 - Patrick Chernjavsky
    3 - Ibrahim Hussain

    1 - Rolando Scrubb
    2 - Edwin Rosenberg
    3 - Mike Lionti

Dave Phelps is Chief Tournament Director for the summer league

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Top Ten Countdown: Quotes from Clifton Kahrroubi's book "I Teach Chess"

An anonymous source close to the two parties (okay, Clif) submitted the following from the observant mind of Tom Sheehan. (Try to imagine the Late Night drum rolls).

Tonight, from our home office in the Finger Lakes, New York, The Top Ten Quotes from Clifton Kharroubi's book, "I Teach Chess":  

#10  Oh, so you think now that White doesn't have serious problems?

# 9  Oh, so you think now that Black doesn't have serious problems?


# 7  So, what do you think your chances are now...?

# 6  Let me see...okay, everything about your position sucks.

# 5  I have one hundred fifty-nine soccer team shirts...hey now wait just a minute...

# 4  And this, you think, is a sensible move..?

# 3  What possessed you - in this position - to not resign?

# 2  The move would not be considered, even by Tom Sheehan.

And the number 1  quote from Clifton Kharroubi's book, "I Teach Chess":

#  1  Shut up and listen!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Big win for MacKenzie in the Farley Memorial Summer League

Randy MacKenzie upset Daniel Johnston Monday Night in round two of the Rawle Farley Memorial League playing the white side of an unusual (2. a3!?) Sicilian Defense in which he proffered a true gambit pawn with 3. b4 cxb4 4. axb4 Nxb4.

Already a pawn down, White met 14...Na5 with an exchange sac. Black had extra material but his position was fragile and his pieces were disorganized. With 30. Rc1 and then 31. Re1 White further discoordinated Black's pieces. 33. e6 was crushing, winning back material and opening the Black king to a final assault. Unable to mount a defense Black soon resigned.

Notes in the text are from Randy MacKenzie. PGN file follows at end of blog for copying and pasting. 

 MacKenzie getting loose with some speed chess vs. Hanan Dery.  

Also on board one Lev Paciorkowski defeated Rolando Scrubb in a Queen's Gambit Declined.

PGN File:

[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"]
[PlyCount "87"]

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

Friday, July 7, 2017

Lionti 1/2 - Trowbridge 1/2

Mike Lionti and I played a Grunfeld Defense on Wednesday. There was a little activity in the middle-game during which I may have had a small advantage but I must have misplayed it and it came to nothing. We ended up in a bishops-of-opposite-color ending and played on for many moves, neither of us willing to make a draw offer in spite of the position. Eventually a perpetual all but forced itself on us.

Mike played good chess, I thought 14. Ne4 and 18. f4 were particularly well played. I have to be more aggressive and take more chances.

Lionti-Trowbridge, CCCR Wednesday Trnmt., July 5, 2017
G/80 5sD     Grunfeld Opening


2...g6 After 2...e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 O-O 6.Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 d6 8.Qc2 Nd7 = though white went on to win Lionti-Trowbridge, CCCR Wed May 2016.

7...Nb6 7...Nxc3 8. bxc3 c5 9. O-O Bg4?! 10. h3 Bf5 += Lionti-Trowbridge, CCCR Wed June 2015

8...e6? Many moves have been tried here before, but you don't usually see 8...e6. Its sole accomplishment is to keep black's c8 bishop from developing.

10. Bd2     This also is a little inaccurate. The bishop doesn't do anything here although it does get in the way of its own queen. Our eighth and tenth moves seem to have cancelled themselves out.

13...Bg4! A good move. Black has improved his lot in life over the last few moves.

14. Ne4! I was more worried about 14. Bc1 but this is a good response.

14...Bxf3 I could not decide on 14...Bxf3 or Nxe5. After a long think they both seemed to leave  Black with good chances so I made a random decision. It was the wrong decision however.

18. f4! It's evident that black has squandered his opportunities and now only the smallest of advantages, if that, remain.

20...Nc3 The potential path of white's knight through c5-b7 or -e6 gave me a lot of fear so I rather incorrectly assumed it was best to trade it off. Afterwards the game is just very drawish.

26. Bxd1   Apparently our strategy is to hope the other player blundered as that's the only way to make anything of this other than a draw.

41. Kxf4 White has casually thrown a pawn away but in this ending that's still nothing. It's totally drawn.

45. Kd5 White will now go on to regain the pawn he lost.

53...Bb4   The white king is stalemated but of course black can't make any progress either.


Sergei Karjakin meets with Putin

World chess championship challenger Sergei Karjakin blogged and tweeted re his meeting with Vladimir Putin today about the development of chess in Russia. The United States falls furthers behind, sigh. I really want to know what those books are on the desk he apparently brought with him.

Look up the word "jejune".

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Trowbridge 0 - Nesci 1

Here's my recent loss to Matt Nesci. I told Cliff Kharoubbi that if I keep losing to his students I'm going to have to take lessons from him myself.


5...a6 The Sicilian Taimanov.

6. Nxc6  6. Nb3 Nf6 7. Bd3 d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 Qxd5 10. O-O = Trowbridge-Phillips, CCCR Championship Trnmt 2013. 6. Be2 and 6. Be3 are the more usual moves.

7...Bb4 7...Qc7 is more common. For example 8. Qe2 Rb8 9. g3 Ne7 10. Ne4, Svidler-Cossin, FRA ChT 2009.

8. Bd2 The computer likes 8. Qg4! and 8...Bxc3+ 9. bxc3 Ne7 (or 9...g6 10. Bd3+-) 10. Qf6+-.

9. a3 I seem to throw away pawns very early in the game. It might be because chess comes at the end of the day and I'm tired. On the other hand maybe I'm just undisciplined. During the post-mortem Kharroubi was completely unconcerned. "So? Grandmasters gambit pawns away all the time!" That, my friends, is chess wisdom.

12. Be3? Another oversight. 12. Bxg5 wins the pawn back as 12...Qxg5 and either 13. Qxd6 or 13. Ne4.

17. Bd3 to prevent the forced exchange of another piece by ...Ne4.

23. Qe3? A final and decisive mistake. I missed 23. Rxe6+! fxe6 24. Qg7+ Kd8 (24...Ke8 25. Bg6+ is lost for Black) 25. Qxh8+ with a strong advantage for white. 23. Rxe6 is a difficult sacrifice to find, although probably easy for 1900+ players.

23...Bc6 The computer prefers 23...Qc6 with a strong advantage but black has to find some "only" moves or he may allow white to equalize, e.g. 24. Be4 and now A) 24...Qxa4 25. Bxb7 Rb8 and 26. Bd5 or 26. Bg2 equalize; B) 24...Qxe4 25. Qxe4 Bxe4 26. Rxe4 d5 27. Re2 and black keeps his pawn advantage but white has chances; and C) 24...d5 is probably best but it's tough to find. 25. Bg2 Qxa4 and now white has to find 26. fxg5. If then 26...hxg5 white has 27. Rxf7+! Kxf7? 28. Qxe6+. The line is beautiful but it's not likely either of us would have found those moves.

25...Qb6! The forced exchange of queens practically wins for black. 29. f6+ I spent a long time on 29. fxe6 deciding which one might give white more opportunity for "tricks". They both looked losing however, and indeed the rest of the game is lost for white.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kasparov Redux!

Big news. Former world champion - arguably the greatest player ever - will return to competitive rated play this August as a wildcard player in the St. Louis leg of the Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz tournament.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Big result for Howard Decker

Howard Decker

Here's the game Howard Decker won in a Saturday tournament against Rick Motroni. Howard was swinging up over 600 points. Nice game Howard!

 A couple of opening notes: 3. Nf3 I have one of these big databases that has over 50 games with this line. A lot of the white players are 1800-2100. This actually looks like it could be a fun opening - at least worth a try once or twice for surprise effect. If you want to try it, I'll help with the research!

3...e6 a portent of how wild and messy this game is going to get. . 3...dxe4 straight up and White has to show some real magic or at least a little bluff.

4. Nc3 (reached by transposition: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3) 4...Bb4 5. Bd3 dxe4 6. Bxe4 Nf6 7. Bd3 Steinitz-Czarnowski, Paris 1867.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tomorrow is the final day of the Leuven leg of the Grand Chess Tour. Today was a very exciting day of blitz as Magnus Carlsen caught up to the American Wesley So in spite of having lost his game to Anish Giri when he dropped an entire rook.

Nine more rounds of blitz tomorrow.

The games start at 8am EST.

Follow the action live here

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dan Johnston defeats GM Blatny; Decker-Lionti, CCCR May 2017

At Wednesday night CCCR chess, TD Mike Lionti made note of a couple of recent big victories. USCF National Master Dan Johnston, playing at the Wisconsin International Chess Festival earlier this month, defeated grandmaster Pavel Blatny. Very exciting! I hope we can get Dan to share the game with us.

Howard Decker also had a big win, defeating Rick Motroni in the Saturday Tournament at the Rochester Chess Center. The deal is Howard came into the tournament rated 1139, and Rick was rated 1778! Howard allowed it was his biggest victory to date. Look for that game here soon. Congratulations to both Dan and Howard.

In the meanwhile, here's a game Howard shared from May, before his win over Rick. With the white pieces Howard manages to seize control of an off-beat Kings Indian against Mike Lionti, and never looks back. Great game!


20...cxd5, finally blood is drawn.

22...Bb5 is probably a little better.

24. Qc7 would be quite strong. 24...Bb5 25. Qc1 Nd7 and Black's b-pawn is a lost cause, and probably the game as well.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

White to Move (Not a problem - a combination)

Position after 15...Qf5

This is from a recent CCCR game in which I had White. Within the first ten moves I had already dropped a pawn so already I'm in some trouble. From this position I played 16. Qc6 with no idea other than crudely attacking Black's sole weakness, the c7 pawn. Black responded with 16...Qd7, covering his c-pawn and offering an exchange of the queens. Why not if he's a pawn up?

Position after 16...Qd7

From this position I found a combination that would win back a pawn for me and perhaps more. I don't think this is so deep an 1800 or 1900 player wouldn't find it, but it was deep enough for me and probably one of the best combinations I've found - at the very least it saved my game.

White continues 17. Qxd7 Nxd7 18. Nd5! and Black's c7 pawn is threatened yet again. Of course 18...c6 is out of the question because of the rook fork. And 18...Rac8 is no good because of 19. Bxc5! exposing a double attack on the bishop at e7. Black's best move (which my opponent played) is 18...Bd8.

Position after 18...Bd8

I played the bishop sacrifice 19. Bxc5! Rxe1+ 20. Rxe1. Black could play 20...Kf8 here covering his e8 square and I guess the position would be roughly equal. Considering the position I started out at move 16 I'd certainly have nothing to complain about, having restored material equality and being left with a slightly better pawn structure. My opponent, however, decided to grab the bishop by 20...dxc5?! Unfortunately that will leave him a pawn down with a worse position.

Position after 20...dxc5

21. Re8+! and now Black's next two moves are forced. 21...Nf8 22. Ne7+ Bxe7 23. Rxa8 f6 24. Rxa7.

I'm not sure if this position is winning for White but with the material advantage and the a-pawn set to run down the board it looks pretty good. After several more moves my opponent dropped a piece which sealed the deal.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Grand Chess Tour - Paris Rapid and Blitz Starts Wednesday

There was a preliminary Pro-Am mini-tournament today that was not won by Garry Kasparov. The real excitement starts tomorrow however, with ten of the world's strongest competing for a piece of the $1.2 million 2017 Grand Chess Tour prize fund.

The players are Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Sergei Karjakin, Fabiano Caruana, and wildcards Alexander Grischuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Veselin Topalov, and Etienne Bacrot.

Apart from the American who I always root for, it would be nice to see Topalov on form and hopefully Carlsen will give us some exciting chess. Even though the world champion was uncharacteristically blown out of Norway Chess in the classical section, he did take first place in the blitz tournament.

In case you are wondering what exactly the Grand Chess Tour is there's an excellent write-up here at Chess24.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

CCCR Wednesday Night Tournament Results

Kharoroubi-Paciorkowski was played at G/30. My game against Thomas McElmurry was the last to finish. Jim Attaya was still hanging out playing Chris Brown in speed games. Always accommodating, Jim let me copy his game with Hanan Dery, which is below.

Game Notes: 

Hanan played a Sicilian Najdorf variation (5...a6) against Jim. White has a lot of choices but Jim chose 6. Be3 one of the more usual lines.

Instead of 6...Nc6 the usual moves are 6...e6 or 6...e5, but Hanan's move looks okay to me.

20. Bg3 I think White places the Bishop here to support a break with f4 but it's too slow, he never gets the opportunity. Notice White still hasn't castled.

26...Rbc5 Black has a great queenside setup. Can White get something concrete going on the kingside?

28...f6 Black's strength is on the queenside, White's is on the kingside. So this break seems to help White more.

30...Rh8 busting up the awesome duo that controlled the c-file.

39. Rd1 would finally get White's rook out with a tempo.

45...Rcc2 It's all over but the crying.


[Event "CCCR Wednesday Night Trnmt"]
[Site "Rochester Chess Center"]
[Date "2017.06.14"]
[White "Attaya, James"]
[Black "Dery, Hanan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B57"]
[WhiteElo "1533"]
[BlackElo "1627"]
[PlyCount "98"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Nc6 7. Bc4 Nxd4 8.
Bxd4 b5 9. Bb3 Bb7 10. f3 e5 11. Bf2 Be7 12. Qd2 O-O 13. g4 Nd7 14. h4 Nc5 15.
Bd5 Rb8 16. g5 b4 17. Nd1 Bxd5 18. Qxd5 g6 19. Ne3 Ne6 20. Bg3 Rb5 21. Qd2 Nd4
22. O-O Qb6 23. Kh1 Rc8 24. Qh2 Ne6 25. Ng4 Kg7 26. Rf2 Rbc5 27. Ne3 Qb7 28. b3
f6 29. gxf6+ Bxf6 30. h5 Rh8 31. Qh3 Nf4 32. Qg4 Nxh5 33. Nf5+ Kf8 34. Nxd6
Nxg3+ 35. Qxg3 Qc7 36. Nc4 Rg8 37. Ne3 Rg7 38. a4 Qd8 39. Qg2 Bg5 40. Ng4 Bf4
41. Qh3 h5 42. Nh2 Rd7 43. Qf1 Rc6 44. Qe1 Rd2 45. a5 Rcxc2 46. Rxd2 Rxd2 47.
Nf1 Rc2 48. Qxb4+ Kg7 49. Qe1 Qg5 0-1

Interview with Garry Kasparov at The Economic Times

Former World Champion Garry Kasparov is promoting his most recent book Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins, which covers his matches in 1996 and 1997 against IBM's Deep Blue computer.

This is from the interview:

On challenging current players
They are very strong, with Magnus Carlsen still a step above everyone else. But I haven't been gone so long! I played many games against several of the players still near the top, especially Kramnik and Anand. Of the young generation, they are often very good technically and still need to show their fire and dedication. One reason I'm impressed with Wesley So is how hard he works. He has other chessboard talents as well, but his ability to focus and prepare is tremendous. I have no interest in big chess challenges. Top-level chess, especially classical chess, requires concentration and dedication. I have a million other things in my life today, from young children to books and politics. It's not compatible with professional chess and I'm quite happy with my life.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Two League Games versus Don Stubblebine

Don Stubblebine in 2014

Last night was the scheduled final round of the Rawle Farley Memorial Spring League at the Rochester Chess Center. This is the first league I've participated in in the last few years. I was very surprised and happy to be given a Board 2 because I get to play against a lot of strong players - twice!

I finished overall with a 2-8-0 score - I was the lowest rated on Board 2. I can't report on the league, I confess I wasn't paying close attention, and as there are still a number of games to be made up and I don't know how the team scores will end.

So I'll just do some posts on my games for a bit. In the final round last night I was able to defeat Don Stubblebine. Don played an inferior variation of a probably already inferior gambit opening - the Englund Gambit. After the game he said he shouldn't have played that opening. It seemed to me that it gave me a free pawn and a much superior position almost from the beginning. I did not play really great chess or anything. I was lucky but at least I didn't muck it up and it seemed like a clean win to me. 

CCCR Spring League May 12, 2017

1. d4 Nf6 2 Nc3!? c5 3. d5 There's no preparing for Don - his opening game is very unconventional and he plays a lot of different stuff. I decided to treat this as I would a Benoni.

By move 15 I was clearly on the defensive, and after 17...Re8 it looked to me a lot like a Sicilian game gone very wrong. This was really unpleasant to play.

25...Nc6 26. Nf6+ is obviously bad for black - he's almost lost here. He might have stayed in the game though with 25...Bg7 26. Bh3 Rcd8 27. Nc7 with chances for both sides. Good win for Don.

CCCR Spring Leauge June 12, 2017 

Lucky for me Don played a bad opening, gambiting a pawn without compensation. This was an Englund Gambit with 1. d4 e5 2. dxe5. It's not played too often by grandmasters but I get the feeling Black has a lot of fun catching opponents who are unprepared. In this particular case, however, black never got in the game.

Practitioners of 1. d4 should be ready for 1...e5 - don't get caught without a plan. There are some famous Alekhine simuls and Tony Miles' games with 2. dxe5 that are worth going over.

2...Nc6 could just transpose with 2...Nc6 3. Nf3 d6.

Another good line for White is 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Bxe7 Ngxe7 6. exd6 cxd6 7. Nc3 with the better game.

6. e4 is a good move.

The exchanges White initiates on moves 7-9 may seem a little passive but Black is left a pawn down and saddled with a weak IQP. White is playing for a win.

18. c4 This is another good move.
I thought the longest over 21. c5. 21. Rf5 axb4 22. Rxf7+ Rd7 23. Rxd7+ Kxd7 24. axb4 Nxb4 chill for White.

After 27...Rd3 White has a nice position. 28...Nd8 makes for a passive knight.
29...Ka6? 30. Be2 is winning.
37. Kb4 white can push that a-pawn with check.

May 12, 2017, Stubblebine-Trowbridge and June 12, 2017 Trowbridge-Stubblebine

[Event "CCCR Spring League"]
[Site "Rochester Chess Center"]
[Date "2017.05.12"]
[White "Stubblebine, Don"]
[Black "Trowbridge, Jim"]
[Result "1-0"] [ECO "A43"]
[PlyCount "107"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. d5 d6 4. e4 g6 5. Bg5 Bg7 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. h3 a6 8. a4 O-O 9. Qd2 Nd7 10. g3 Re8 11. f4 e6 12. dxe6 Rxe6 13. Nge2 Nb8 14. O-O-O Be7 15. Bg2 Nc6 16. Nd5 Bf8 17. h4 Re8 18. h5 Be6 19. hxg6 fxg6 20. Ne3 Qa5 21. Qxa5 Nxa5 22. Nc3 Rac8 23. f5 Bf7 24. fxg6 Bxg6 25. Ned5 Nc6 26. Nf6+ Kg7 27. Nxe8+ Rxe8 28. Rhe1 Ne5 29. Nd5 Ng4 30. Nf4 Nf2 31. Rd2 Nxe4 32. Rde2 Nf6 33. Rxe8 Bxe8 34. Ne6+ Kf7 35. Nxf8 Kxf8 36. a5 Bc6 37. Bxc6 bxc6 38. Re6 Ne8 39. Kd2 Kf7 40. Rh6 Nf6 41. Kd3 Kg7 42. Rh1 Kf7 43. Ke3 Kg6 44. c4 Kg5 45. Kf3 h5 46. Re1 Kf5 47. Re7 d5 48. Ra7 Ne4 49. b3 Nd2+ 50. Ke2 Nxb3 51. Rxa6 Ke5 52. Ra8 d4 53. Re8+ Kf5 54. a6 1-0

[Event "CCCR Spring League"]
[Site "Rochester Chess Center"]
[Date "2017.06.12"]
[White "Trowbridge, Jim"]
[Black "Stubblebine, Don"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A40"]
[PlyCount "83"]
1. d4 e5 2. dxe5 d6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bf4 Bf5 5. Nc3 h6 6. e4 Bg4 7. exd6 Bxd6 8. Bxd6 Qxd6 9. Qxd6 cxd6 10. O-O-O O-O-O 11. Bc4 Bxf3 12. gxf3 Ne5 13. Be2 a6 14. Rd2 Ne7 15. Rhd1 Kc7 16. Nd5+ Nxd5 17. Rxd5 g5 18. c4 b6 19. b4 Nc6 20. a3 a5 21. c5 dxc5 22. bxc5 bxc5 23. Rxc5 Rxd1+ 24. Bxd1 Kb6 25. Rf5 Rc8 26. Kb2 Rd8 27. Kc1 Rd3 28. a4 Nd8 29. Rb5+ Kc6 30. Rxa5 Kb7 31. Be2 Rc3+ 32. Kb2 Rc6 33. Rd5 Kc7 34. Bb5 Rd6 35. Kc3 Rxd5 36. exd5 Kb6 37. Kd4 f6 38. d6 Ne6+ 39. Kd5 Nf4+ 40. Ke4 Kc5 41. d7 Ne6 42. Kf5 1-0

Sunday, June 11, 2017

On the break at Norway after Rd. 3

Photo @photochess.

Lev Aronian on defeating Magnus at Norway 2017:

"The difference between my wins against Carlsen and his wins against me: I had to work hard for mine."

Nakamura takes the lead at Norway

Hikaru Nakamura, Lev Aronian, and Anish Giri all won yesterday in round 4 of the super strong 5th Norway chess tournament. Naka, who defeated the French man Maxime Vachier-LaGrave with the white pieces in a Najdor Sicilian, takes a half-point lead over the field with 2 wins and 2 draws. Aronian's victory over world champion Magnus Carlsen puts him in a tie for second with the Russian Vladimir Kramnik who beat Viswanathan Anand with black in round 2.

Today's round 5 pairings:

Magnus Carlsen Anish Giri
Vishy Anand Wesley So
M. Vachier-Lagrave Levon Aronian
Sergey Karjakin Fabiano Caruana
Vladimir Kramnik Hikaru Nakamura

Friday, June 9, 2017

Isn't it time to switch up your response to 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4?

It's June and that means it's time to change up Black's response to 1. d4. If you are a 1...Nf6 player think about your choice after 2. c4. Have you been playing 2...g6 or 2...e6? Then switch to the other. (If you've been playing something other than those two moves simply choose one of them for the next several months).

If you are switching over to 2...g6 (an excellent move) then you have to decide to respond to 3. Nc3 with either the Kings Indian (3...Bg7) or the Grunfeld Defense (3...d5). For people who have been playing 2...g6 right alone just switch to either the KID or Grunfeld, the one you haven't been playing.

Stick with your new opening through the end of the year. If you already have a well-defined system for handling 1. d4 switching it up for six months or so will give your system much more flexibility.

I'll keep you posted how I'm doing with this.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

The truth about defeat

Short of actual blunders, lack of faith in one's position is the chief cause of defeat. To be sure, it is easy to recommend faith and not so easy to practice it.

- Fred Reinfeld