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.