Saturday, August 16, 2014

So you want to be a grandmaster?

So you want to be a grandmaster? Just remember that when Magnus Carlsen offers you a pawn or two to exchange queens and go into an endgame, you will lose that endgame. White has his king on a2, queen on g1, a rook on d1, a knight on d2 and pawns on h6, g5, d4, c5, and b3. Black has his king on g8, queen on e2, bishop on d3, rook on d8, and pawns on a3, b5, g7, and h7. Carlsen-Solak 8/11/14 World Chess Olympiad round nine 1-0 1.Qe1 Rxd4 2.c6 Rd6 3.c7 Rc6 4.Qxe2 Bxe2 5.Re1 Bg4 6.Re7 gxh6 7.gxh6 Rxh6 8.Re4 Bf5? +2.53/24 8...Bh3 +1.17/24 9.Re3 Bf5 10.Rg3+ Kh8 11.Rf3 Bg4 12.Rf4 Bh3 13.Nf3 Kg7 14.Re4 Ra6 15.Re7+ Kg6 16.Re3 Kf6 17.Nd4 Bd7 18.Nxb5 Ra8 19.Nd6 h5 9.Nf3 Bh3?! +3.25/25 9...Ra6 +2.56/24 10.Nd4 Bd7 11.Re8+ Kf7 12.c8=Q Bxc8 13.Rxc8 Ra5 14.Rc5 Kg6 15.Nxb5 h5 16.b4 Ra4 17.Rc4 Kg5 18.Nxa3 h4 19.Kb3 Ra7 20.Nb5 Rh7 21.Nd4 h3 22.Nf3+ Kf5 23.Nh2 Ke5 24.b5 10.Ng5 Bf5 11.Re5 Bg4 12.Ne6 Rh2+ 13.Kxa3 Rc2 14.Rg5+ Kf7 15.Nd4 Rxc7 16.Rxg4 Rb7 17.Kb4 Kf6 18.Nf3 h5?! +4.03/29 18...Kf5 +3.35/25 19.Rh4 Kg6 20.Kc5 Rc7+ 21.Kxb5 19.Rf4+ Kg6 20.Kc5 b4 21.Rxb4 Rxb4 22.Kxb4 Kf5 23.Kc3 Kf4 24.Nh4 Kg4 25.b4 1-0 [Event "2014 World Chess Olympiad"] [Site "Tromso, Norway"] [Date "2014.08.11"] [Round "9"] [White "Magnus Carlsen"] [Black "Dragan Solak"] [Result "1-0"] [FEN "3r2k1/6pp/7P/1pP3P1/3P4/pP1b4/K2Nq3/3R2Q1 w - - 0 1"] [SetUp "1"] 1.Qe1 Rxd4 2.c6 Rd6 3.c7 Rc6 4.Qxe2 Bxe2 5.Re1 Bg4 6.Re7 gxh6 7.gxh6 Rxh6 8.Re4 Bf5 $2 { +2.53/24 } ( 8...Bh3 { +1.17/24 } 9.Re3 Bf5 10.Rg3+ Kh8 11.Rf3 Bg4 12.Rf4 Bh3 13.Nf3 Kg7 14.Re4 Ra6 15.Re7+ Kg6 16.Re3 Kf6 17.Nd4 Bd7 18.Nxb5 Ra8 19.Nd6 h5 ) 9.Nf3 Bh3 $6 { +3.25/25 } ( 9...Ra6 { +2.56/24 } 10.Nd4 Bd7 11.Re8+ Kf7 12.c8=Q Bxc8 13.Rxc8 Ra5 14.Rc5 Kg6 15.Nxb5 h5 16.b4 Ra4 17.Rc4 Kg5 18.Nxa3 h4 19.Kb3 Ra7 20.Nb5 Rh7 21.Nd4 h3 22.Nf3+ Kf5 23.Nh2 Ke5 24.b5 ) 10.Ng5 Bf5 11.Re5 Bg4 12.Ne6 Rh2+ 13.Kxa3 Rc2 14.Rg5+ Kf7 15.Nd4 Rxc7 16.Rxg4 Rb7 17.Kb4 Kf6 18.Nf3 h5 $6 { +4.03/29 } ( 18...Kf5 { +3.35/25 } 19.Rh4 Kg6 20.Kc5 Rc7+ 21.Kxb5 ) 19.Rf4+ Kg6 20.Kc5 b4 21.Rxb4 Rxb4 22.Kxb4 Kf5 23.Kc3 Kf4 24.Nh4 Kg4 25.b4 1-0 Alan Lasser web site:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Zmartfun Chess Clock

A follow-up on the Zmartfun Chess Clock. The manufacturer claimed that the old Model One (they sell the more affordable Model Two now) got 1600 hours of life on the four C batteries. The factory-issued batteries in my clock died this week somewhat short of 600 hours. Either that original number was a misprint, or it was intentionally misleading, or maybe power will last longer with regular commercial batteries. || My opponent made a common speed-chess opening blunder, but it doesn’t cost him material, just the chance to castle. As you may have noticed from the computer analysis of the previous games in this letter, I miss a lot of the really long mates. When his king wandered out to e6, the moves were easy enough for me to find. || Al Lasser-Chris Lamerson 6/11/14 game/10 Rosendale CC 1-0 1.Nc3 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.d4 c6 4.Bc4 d6 5.Nf3 Bg4? +2.23/22 5...Nf6 +0.92/19 6.Bb3 Na6 7.O-O Nc7 8.Qe2 O-O 9.Re1 Ne6 10.e5 Ng4 11.h3 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Ng5+ Ke8 8.Qxg4 Bxd4 9.Qf3?! +1.28/20 9.Ne2 +2.18/20 9...Bb6 10.Qe6 Nh6 11.Nxh7 Rxh7 12.Qxg6+ Rf7 13.O-O Nd7 14.Bxh6 Ne5 15.Qh5 Kd7 16.Bf4 Qh8 17.Qxh8 Rxh8 18.Bxe5 dxe5 19.Rad1+ 9…Nf6 10.Ne6 Qb6 11.O-O Bxc3?! +1.55/18 11...Nbd7 +1.18/18 12.Na4 Qa5 13.Qb3 b5 14.Nxd4 Qxa4 15.Qxa4 bxa4 16.f3 c5 17.Ne2 Kf7 18.Nc3 Nb6 19.Rd1 Rhb8 20.b3 a6 21.Be3 axb3 22.axb3 Nbd7 23.Bf4 Rf8 24.Nd5 Nxd5 25.exd5 Kg7 12.bxc3?! +1.26/19 12.Qxc3 +1.55/18 12...Nbd7 13.Be3 c5 14.Bh6 Rg8 15.Rae1 Qc6 16.Qh3 Rc8 12…Nbd7 13.Be3?! +0.92/19 13.Bh6 +1.27/18 13...Qa5 14.Qh3 Kf7 15.Ng5+ Ke8 16.Rfb1 b6 17.Ne6 13…Qa5 14.Bd4?! +0.18/22 14.Qh3 +1.10/17 14...Kf7 15.Ng5+ Ke8 16.c4 b6 17.Rfd1 Nf8 18.c5 bxc5 19.e5 dxe5 20.Qf3 Rc8 21.Bd2 Qa4 14...c5? +2.50/19 14...Kf7 +0.18/22 15.Qh3 Qh5 16.Qxh5 gxh5 17.Ng5+ Kg6 18.f4 e5 19.fxe5 dxe5 20.Be3 Ng4 21.Bc1 Ngf6 22.c4 Rae8 23.Rb1 b6 24.Nf3 Nxe4 25.Bb2 Rhf8 26.Bxe5 Nd2 27.Nxd2 Nxe5 15.Bxf6 Nxf6? +7.96/20 15...exf6 +2.15/15 16.e5 Ke7 17.Rad1 fxe5 18.Qd5 Qb6 19.Ng7 16.Rab1? +2.16/21 16.e5 +7.96/20 16...Kd7 17.exf6 Rab8 18.Rfe1 exf6 19.Qxf6 16...Rb8 17.Rfd1? +0.51/20 17.e5 +2.14/21 17...dxe5 18.Rxb7 Rxb7 19.Qxb7 Qxa2 20.Ng5 Kf8 21.Rd1 Ne8 22.Qe4 Qa6 23.Qxe5 Qf6 24.Qxc5 Nd6 25.Re1 a6 26.Qa5 Kg7 27.Ne6+ Kf7 28.Qxa6 Qxc3 29.Ng5+ Kg7 30.Re3 Qf6 17...Kd7?? +5.92/22 17...Qxa2 +0.51/20 18.c4 Qxc2 19.e5 dxe5 20.Rbc1 Qb2 21.Qe3 e4 22.Qxc5 Qb6 23.Qxb6 axb6 24.Rb1 Kf7 25.Rxb6 Rhc8 26.c5 h6 27.h3 e3 28.fxe3 Ne4 29.Rd5 Nf6 30.Re5 18.e5 Kxe6 19.exf6 exf6? +10.90/20 19...Kd7 +5.40/21 20.Re1 e5 21.Qd5 Kc7 22.f4 Qxc3 23.fxe5 Qd4+ 24.Qxd4 cxd4 25.e6 Rbf8 26.e7 Rxf6 27.e8=Q Rxe8 28.Rxe8 Rf7 29.Rd1 Kd7 30.Re4 20.Qd5+ Ke7 21.Qxd6+ Kf7 22.Qd7+ Kf8 23.Rxb7 Rxb7 24.Qxb7 Qb6 25.Qc8+ Kg7 26.Qd7+ Kh6 27.Qh3+ Kg7 28.Rd7+ Kg8 29.Qf3 Qb8 Defending against 30.Qa8 mate 30.Qd5+ 1-0

Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14 Alan Lasser

The broadcast of the games of the National Open can be found at Rounds are at 12 and 6:30 today and tomorrow. I see the games are also on I'm hoping that this is the year that they finally start broadcasting the NY International held at the Marshall. Check at 7 pm on the 18th for clues, but so far the Marshall tournaments have yet to be seen by internet chess fans. || Our old bughouse pal and former tournament director of the Orange Bughouse Club won last Saturday’s game/45 Quads at the Fairfield County Chess Club thanks to this last round victory. Patrick Zhur-Ryan Young 6/7/14 FCCC Sat G/45 Quads 0-1 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Bd2 Ne7 6.a3 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 cxd4 8.Bxd4 Nbc6 9.c3 Ng6 10.Nf3 Qc7 11.Bb5 Bd7 12.Qe2 a6 13.Ba4?! -0.61/19 13.Bxc6 +0.01/20 13...Bxc6 14.Qc2 O-O 13...O-O?! -0.07/21 13...Ncxe5 -0.61/19 14.Nxe5 Bxa4 15.Nxg6 hxg6 16.Be5 Qe7 17.Qd2 f6 18.Bg3 O-O 19.O-O Bb3 20.f4 e5 21.Rfe1 e4 22.Bf2 Qe6 23.Bd4 Qf5 14.Bc2?! -0.57/22 14.Bxc6 -0.07/21 14...Bxc6 15.Qe3 Ba4 16.O-O Rfc8 17.Rfc1 Qe7 18.Rab1 Bb5 19.Bb6 a5 20.Nd4 Bd7 14...Rac8?! -0.03/23 14...Nxd4 -0.57/22 15.cxd4 Rfc8 16.Bxg6 fxg6 17.Qd2 Qc4 18.b3 Qxb3 19.O-O Rc2 15.Bxg6 fxg6 16.O-O Na5 17.Rfe1 Bb5 18.Qc2?! -0.46/20 18.Qd1 -0.20/21 18...Rf5 19.a4 Bd7 20.b3 Rcf8 21.Rc1 Rxf3 22.gxf3 18...Qe7?! -0.20/19 18...Rxf3 -0.46/20 19.gxf3 Rf8 20.b3 Be8 21.Rad1 g5 22.Re3 Bh5 23.Rd2 Bxf3 24.c4 dxc4 25.b4 Nc6 26.Qxc4 Bd5 27.Qc1 Qf7 28.Bc5 Rd8 29.Bb6 Rd7 30.Qd1 Qf4 31.Qe2 Bf3 19.b4?! -0.60/22 19.a4 -0.20/19 19...Bd7 20.Qd3 Rf5 21.Nd2 Qh4 22.b3 Nc6 23.Nf3 Qh5 24.h3 Rf4 19…Rxf3 20.gxf3 Qg5+ 21.Kh1 Nc6?! -0.02/24 21...Nc4 -0.35/23 22.a4 Bd7 23.Rg1 Qh5 24.Qe2 Rf8 25.Rg3 b6 22.Qc1 Qh5 23.Qe3?! -0.31/25 23.Qf4 +0.23/22 23...g5 24.Qg4 Qf7 25.a4 Bc4 26.Bc5 h6 27.a5 Bd3 28.Qg3 Bc2 29.Rec1 Bg6 30.Kg2 Bh5 31.Re1 23…Rf8 24.f4 g5 25.f5? -2.35/24 25.fxg5 -0.90/23 25...Rf3 26.Qd2 Qh4 27.Rg1 Bd3 28.Rg2 Be4 29.Kg1 Rh3 30.f4 Bxg2 31.Qxg2 Nxd4 32.cxd4 Rd3 33.Rf1 Rxd4 34.Qf3 Rc4 35.Rf2 Rc1+ 36.Rf1 Rc2 25…Rxf5 26.Rg1 Ne7 27.Qg3? -6.07/27 27.Rg3 -2.25/22 27...Be2 28.Rag1 h6 29.Kg2 Ng6 30.h3 Nh4+ 31.Kh2 Nf3+ 32.Kg2 Nxg1 33.Kxg1 Bf3 34.Qd3 g4 35.Qf1 Rf4 36.Qc1 Re4 27…Be2 28.h3? -11.53/26 28.Rg2 -6.07/26 28...Bf3 29.Re1 Rf4 30.Re3 Bxg2+ 31.Qxg2 Nf5 32.Rh3 Qd1+ 33.Qg1 Qe2 34.Rg3 g4 35.a4 Nxg3+ 28...Rf3 0-1 PHOTO: Steve Jobs

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Stephen Dann - June 8

PHOTO: STEPHEN DANN || Howard Goldowsky of Canton has written one of the longest and most thought-provoking articles on chess cheating in June Chess Life and editor Daniel Lucas of Georgia has posted this cover story for everyone to see. Goldowsky visited Dr. Ken Regan in Buffalo last year to compile this epoch piece that took about a year to finish, and already has dozens of comments online. || Sam Sevian, 13, of Southbridge posted his second grandmaster norm last weekend at the St. Louis Invitational with 6.5 of 9 points in the GM section. It may say at that Sevian is from California, but his parents recently told an Armenian enclave that they hoped to move soon to Worcester, according to George Mirijanian of Fitchburg. One more GM norm, and Sam has the title, his next major opportunity is weeks away at the World Open. || At this writing, Carissa Yip, 10, of Chelmsford is 4-0 in the Wachusett Chess Club Championship, with just three games to go. Winning all seven games would not give her a master rating, but she's not idle on weekends, with just about 50 points to gain that title in record time. Peek at the Wachusett championship and "B" event at and view amateur games at Fitchburg State University all summer on Wednesday evenings at one of the state's friendliest clubs. | One of the greatest video series for amateurs continued live from on June 2, as "Chess Chat" analyzed a game from the recent U.S. Women's championship in St. Louis. The crew are all volunteers from the Wachusett Chess Club, and the show was available on demand two days later. The club has recorded 42 hours of video in the roughly nine years the show has been on Fitchburg Access TV and is a key educational program as well as a sporting and hobby effort. || George Mirijanian and Martin Laine give you analysis that amateurs can understand, using short games that are either recent or historical in American and International chess culture. Learn to pronounce the many names of foreign-born players who make the highest levels of domestic competition so rich in talent from coast to coast. || Muharrem Brahimaj won the Mayte in Five Open at the Greater Worcester Chess Club with John Curdo of Auburn second, and Marc Quevillon and Louis Jacques leading the Under-1700 section. Donna Alarie of Rutland captivates chess fans from near and far with her weekly email newsletter, and you can still visit Thursdays this month and compete in the June Knights and Jolly June Under-1700 events. || Visit to view a variety of upcoming events for young and old — next Sunday, the first Concord-Carlisle rated scholastic from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Just $10 if your family members pre-enter the over-age-11 or age-11-and-under groups at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main St., Concord. ||

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Rosendale Chess Club

The Navarra-Nakamura match starts today at The Norway Chess 2014 tournament with the A-list grandmasters is at The rounds start at 9:30 am and you might want to watch on some other site, such as 2700chess where the board size is larger. The pawn I sacrifice in this game was not a prepared variation, rather it was spur of the moment, over the board, stupidity. The attack that concludes the game was Nimzovitch’s ancient tripling on a file to invade and win; unless the opponent spots the chance to give back the sacrificed material for a drawable rook ending. Al Lasser-Pete Irwin 6/4/14 Rosendale Chess Club game/10 1-0 1.e4 d5 2.e5?! +0.03/22 2.exd5 +0.39/21 2...Nf6 3.d4 Qxd5 4.Nc3 Qa5 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 7.Bd2 Nbd7 8.Bd3 e6 9.O-O Qb6 10.Re1 Be7 2…c5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nf3 Nc6?! +0.04/19 4...Bg4 -0.27/22 5.Nbd2 e6 6.h3 Bxf3 7.Nxf3 Bb4+ 8.Bd2 Bxd2+ 9.Qxd2 Nc6 10.Bd3 Nge7 11.O-O-O O-O 12.Kb1 Rc8 13.Rhe1 Qb6 14.Qg5 Ng6 15.Qg4 Qa5 16.Bxg6 hxg6 5.c3?! -0.38/22 5.Nxd4 +0.04/19 5...Nxe5 6.Nb5 Bf5 7.Qxd5 5…dxc3 6.Nxc3 e6 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.a4?! -0.92/22 8.Bg5 -0.49/19 8...Be7 9.Be3 a6 10.Ba4 Bb4 11.O-O Nge7 12.a3 8…Nge7 9.O-O a6 10.Bd3 Ng6 11.Re1 Qc7 12.Bxg6 hxg6 13.Bg5 Be7 14.Qd2 Rh5 15.Rac1?! -1.08/22 15.Bxe7 -0.67/21 15...Kxe7 16.Qe3 Rah8 17.h3 Ke8 18.Rad1 Kf8 19.Qc5+ Kg8 20.Ne2 b6 21.Qc3 Qb8 22.Ng3 R5h6 23.Rc1 Qf8 24.b3 Qb4 25.Qe3 a5 26.Red1 b5 27.axb5 15…Bxg5 16.Nxg5 Qb6?! -0.50/23 16...Kf8 -0.85/21 17.f4 Kg8 18.Kh1 Rd8 19.Ne2 Qb6 20.Nf3 Qb4 21.Qc2 Rc8 22.Qd1 a5 23.b3 b5 24.axb5 17.Nxd5? -3.06/23 17.Qf4 -0.50/23 17...Nd8 18.b4 Rc8 19.a5 Qa7 20.Qd2 Qb8 21.f4 Rc4 22.Ne2 Qa7+ 17…exd5 18.e6 fxe6 19.Nxe6 Bxe6 20.Rxe6+ Kf7 21.Rce1 Rf5? -1.64/25 21...Qb3 -3.03/22 22.g4 Rh3 23.Qg5 Rf8 24.Rxg6 Qxb2 25.Rd6 Kg8 26.Qxd5+ Kh8 27.Qc5 Qa3 28.Qxa3 Rxa3 29.Rb1 Rxa4 30.h3 Rb4 31.Rxb4 Nxb4 22.Qe2? -3.67/24 22.g4 -1.64/25 22...Rf6 23.Rxf6+ gxf6 24.Qxd5+ Kg7 25.Qd7+ Kh6 26.Qd2+ g5 27.Re6 Rf8 28.h4 Qc5 29.b4 Qxb4 30.hxg5+ Kg6 31.Qd3+ Kxg5 32.Qf5+ Kh6 33.g5+ Kg7 34.Rxf6 Qe1+ 35.Kg2 Qe8 36.a5 Nd4 22...Qc7?? +0.17/25 22...Kg8 -3.67/24 23.Qd2 Raf8 24.R6e2 Qb3 25.Qd1 Qxd1 26.Rxd1 d4 23.Re8 Threatening Qe6 mate. 23...Rxe8?? #6/62 23...Re5 +0.12/23 24.Rxe5 Qxe5 25.Qxe5 Nxe5 26.Rxe5 Rc8 27.f4 Rc1+ 28.Kf2 Rc4 29.Kf3 d4 24.Qxe8+ Kf6 25.Re6+ Kg5 26.Qxg6+ Kf4 If Kh4, 27.g3 Kh3 28.Qf5 mate 27.Qg3# 1-0 PHOTO: ROB ROY'S 3 CATS; Frick, Frack, and Butterscotch

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Massachusetts Chess Champion is Mika Brattain of Lexington

Memorial Day weekend is a major national chess holiday for masters and amateurs, young and old. This year, 252 (225 different players) competed in the 83rd Mass. Open in Marlboro, and the Chicago Open saw 700-plus competitors, including several top ones from Central Mass. || View the rating reports at and the stories at state chapter sites like Technology now captures the games of humans almost instantly around the world in a mind sport that now captivates millions from right in their homes. || The new Massachusetts champion is Mika Brattain of Lexington, a half point ahead of defending champ Alexander Ivanov, Denys Shmelov and Chris Chase. Ten lower sections and side events can also be found, including Andrew Liu of Westboro taking the rated blitz championship, 8-2. || Meanwhile in Chicago, James Rizzitano of Southboro defeated Sam Sevian of Southbridge, both finishing in the top 35, both out of the prize money. But one of the largest prize winners was Qibiao Wang, who topped the Under-2300 group with 6-1. Up until last year Qibiao was attending Clark University, and we had difficulty understanding him, not knowing any Chinese dialects, but this visiting master knows chess theory, and captured $5,000 in Chicago. || Vadim Martirosov of Boston tied with Yi Yang of Shrewsbury in the 32nd Metrowest CC Anniversary Open in Natick over a field of 78. Tuesday action at New England's largest chess club can be found at || For the amateurs among us, Monday on the 83rd episode of "Chess Chat" will stream live at 7 p.m. direct from Fitchburg studios, staffed by Wachusett Chess Club volunteers On demand we found the May 5 show, one of the first without founding host George Mirijanian, who had just lost his oldest sister, Janet Cragin, 79, the spirit of Fitchburg theater. See also "Don't Play Like Me" author David Couture on April 7's production, and view the March 3 captivating portrait of American legend Arnold Denker. Few chess clubs in the world produce a monthly live TV program, even in this age of technology. || A new event begins Thursday at the Greater Worcester Chess Club at 19 Temple St., Worcester || News report courtesy of Stephen Dann, chess columnist for Worcester Telegram