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.