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.