Saturday, August 23, 2014

Psychedelic Opening Laboratory by Alan Lasser

The French Championship is being broadcast at nimes2014.ffechecs.org or you can watch the action at other sites such as 2700chess.com Rounds start about 10:00 am. || || Below is the debut of a new variation, courtesy of the psychedelic opening laboratory. You’ve seen me reach this anti-Dragon position before, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cd 4.Qd4 Nf6 where the usual attempt to seize space by 5.e5 is met by Nc6 and the queen goes for a walk. My new idea is 5.Bb5 to capture the knight on c6. The computer agrees that after the obvious 5.Bb5 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bb3 White has an advantage, because the bishop is better placed on b3 than it would be on c4 or e2, and the queen can take up residence on d3 without getting in the way. More testing is required. || Al Lasser-Chris Lamerson, 8/13/14, Rosendale Chess Club, game/10, 1-0 || 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nf6 5.Bb5 Bg7?! +1.07/21 || 5...a6 +0.52/19 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bb3 Nc6 8.Qd3 Bg7 9.Nc3 O-O 10.O-O b4 11.Nd5 a5 12.Bg5 Ba6 13.Bc4 Bxc4 14.Qxc4 Nxd5 15.exd5 Ne5 16.Nxe5 Bxe5 17.Rfe1 f6 || 6.e5 Ng8 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Qe4 e6?! +1.17/18 || 8...a6 +0.89/19 9.Ba4 f6 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.Bf4 Qb6 12.O-O Qxb2 13.Na4 f5 14.Qxc6 dxc6 15.Nxb2 Nh6 16.Rfb1 Nf7 17.Nd3 Be6 18.Nc5 Bd5 19.a4 || 9.Bf4 Nge7 10.O-O-O O-O 11.h4 a6 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.h5 Nf5? +3.40/20 || 13...Nd5 +0.95/18 14.Bd2 Rb8 15.Na4 d6 16.c4 dxe5 17.hxg6 fxg6 18.Ng5 Nb4 19.Rxh7 Rf5 20.Bxb4 Qxg5+ 21.Bd2 Qf6 22.Rhh1 Rxf2 23.Nc5 Qf5 24.Qxc6 e4 || 14.g4?! +2.84/20 || 14.hxg6 +3.40/20 14...fxg6 15.g4 Qe7 16.gxf5 Rxf5 17.Nd4 Rf7 18.Bh6 Bxh6+ 19.Rxh6 || 14...Qb6? +4.93/20 || 14...Ne7 +2.84/20 15.Bg5 h6 16.Be3 Rb8 17.g5 d5 18.exd6 Nd5 19.gxh6 Bxc3 20.h7+ Kh8 21.bxc3 g5 22.Bxg5 Qxd6 23.Qd4+ e5 24.Nxe5 Kxh7 25.Qd3+ f5 26.Nxc6 Qxc6 || 15.hxg6 fxg6 16.gxf5 Rxf5 17.Ng5? +2.90/20 || 17.Nh4 +5.51/19 17...Rxf4 18.Qxf4 Rb8 19.b3 Qc5 20.Nf3 Qa3+ 21.Kb1 Qf8 22.Qxf8+ Bxf8 23.Ne4 Be7 24.Nf6+ Bxf6 25.exf6 Rb5 26.f7+ || 17...h6? +6.90/22 || 17...Rb8 +2.90/20 18.Na4 Qxf2 19.Nf3 a5 20.a3 Ba6 21.Rxd7 Qg2 22.Re1 Rxf4 || 18.Nxe6 dxe6 19.Bxh6 Bxe5?! || +8.64/21 || 19...Rb8 || +7.17/22 20.Bxg7 Qxb2+ 21.Kd2 Rb7 22.Bf6 Rd7+ 23.Ke2 Qxc3 24.Rh8+ Kf7 25.Rxc8 Rd5 26.Rc7+ || 20.Qg4 Kf7? +19.60/20 || 20...Rf6 +8.64/22 21.Qh4 Rb8 22.Rd8+ Qxd8 23.Bg5 Rf5 24.Qh7+ Kf8 25.Bxd8 Rb7 26.Qxg6 Bf4+ 27.Kb1 Be5 28.Na4 Rbf7 29.Bb6 || 21.Be3 Qb8 22.Rh7+ Bg7 23.Bh6 Qe5 24.Bxg7 Qxg7 25.Rxg7+ Kxg7 26.Qd4+ e5 27.Qd8 Bb7 28.Qc7+ Rf7 29.Rd7 1-0 || Subscribe to weekly e-zine (Saturday Mornings EST) GAME OF THE WEEK by Alan Lasser send email to blacklightmazes@icloud.com web site: blacklightmazes.com Currently at 89 Subscribers, Free.

The Future of Chess, Not FIDE

Garry Kasparov | The Future of Chess, Not FIDE | When I announced my campaign for FIDE president on October 8 in Tallinn, I stated that my goal was to elevate our game to the very high level in the public mind where I believe it belongs. On August 11 here in Tromsø, I lost the election for FIDE president, but my campaign did a tremendous amount of work around the world to elevate chess. In those 307 days, an incredible team came together, from my FIDE ticket to federation officials to staffers and volunteers around the world. I could not be prouder of their hard work and true passion for chess and for helping others. | If the result of this election threatens to make me lose my optimism for the future of the chess world, thoughts of all these capable and compassionate people will bring it back. I also want to express my appreciation to all the fans who did what they could, from writing to their federations to being active on social media. We may not have changed FIDE but we have changed the world of chess for the better and will continue to do so. My thanks also to my generous sponsors and donors who made this ambitious global campaign possible. | My campaign was about expanding the horizons of the chess and securing its future, our future, in a world with ever-increasing competition for our attention. My themes were bringing sponsorship, education initiatives, and new technology into the game and empowering the national federations. I do not for one moment believe that this election result indicates a problem with this platform, or with the exemplary individuals on my ticket, or with our many successful activities. The sad conclusion is that working hard and having big ideas and investing millions of dollars for the global development of chess all has very little to do with winning a FIDE election today. It was this disastrous situation that my team and I set out to change. | I was never naïve, of course. I knew from the beginning that chess politics, especially in FIDE, had been steadily taken over by people who have little interest in the success of chess and chess players, but only in expanding their own power. I hoped that there was still a chance for a coalition of reform-minded federation leaders and others tired of broken promises and stagnation to reach a winning number of votes. The fact is that we fell far short and the result demonstrates that the rot is even deeper and more widespread than I believed back in October, or even on the morning of the election. | I used my candidate’s speech to the General Assembly to present my vision of a FIDE that supports the federations so that they may grow strong. No one could doubt the sponsorship plans I spoke of were real because they had seen them in action during my campaign. Ilyumzhinov then used his speech to mock me and to mock everyone who cares for chess with outlandish promises everyone in the room knew were lies before his words stopped echoing in the auditorium. I knew at that moment that speeches didn’t matter in this election, just like the promotion of chess doesn’t matter to this FIDE administration. Ilyumzhinov could say anything at all and his supporters would cheer. Their votes had been decided long ago and the well-being of chess was never a significant part of this decision. | I immediately regretted my peaceable and reassuring speech – and that I had spoken before Ilyumzhinov. How I would like those 15 minutes back to instead condemn the corruption that has poisoned our sport for nearly two decades and to heap shame on the delegates who are so eager to vote for their own interests instead of the interests of the chess players in their nations. Such a speech would likely not have earned me any more votes, but it would have been more honest and I would have felt better then and now. | I faced three main challenges in this campaign. First was the FIDE machinery, the abuse of power that made votes disappear and turned commissions into puppets. This was not a surprise, but I believed at the start that I had enough resources to overcome it and I probably did. There were two other factors I badly underestimated. I anticipated the Kremlin’s involvement but couldn’t imagine its extent or how susceptible Europe would be to it. Nor did I anticipate how resistant even many of the biggest federations are to change. They saw it as a threat and looked for excuses to maintain the status quo. | These last two factors in particular eroded the base I thought I had at the start, a base of anti-Kirsan, anti-corruption, pro-growth federations with democratic traditions and substantial numbers of chess players with interests to protect. Perhaps that base still exists, but it is very small now and nearly every federation is eager to do a little business with Ilyumzhinov’s emissaries come election year. I guaranteed money in exchange for effort and sponsorship in exchange for activity and events. It’s clear that many prefer money with no responsibilities and no activities, regardless of what this means for chess. | While Europe is becoming a lost continent, during this campaign I truly discovered Africa. I was so impressed by the players and teachers and leaders I have met from Abuja to Zanzibar! They aren’t afraid of change; they seek it out and fight hard for it at every step. Hard work is never wasted and while we did not win the day here in Tromsø, their passion is already transforming chess in Africa and soon it will transform the world and I will be proud to play a part. Our fight is not over. As Nelson Mandela wrote, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Africa Rising! | It is fitting that the slogan on my posters here in Tromsø was “Kasparov: the future of chess” and not “the future of FIDE.” Eventually, growth and change in the chess world will change FIDE; it is clear that FIDE cannot change itself. More numbers and more effort will be needed at the grassroots level. Lovers of chess must become administrators of chess. I spoke often of building up the base of players to raise up the entire chess world and this is just as true in chess politics. More good people coming in will eventually push more bad people out. You can go and do it! Find a way to fight for chess! People must work in their chess communities and change their federations so that our great game has the representation it deserves. | My thanks again to all my team and supporters, and to our excellent hosts of the last two weeks here in Norway. The summer sun never sets in Tromsø and the sun will never set on the game of chess. | Garry Kasparov | 14 Aug 2014 | Tromsø, Norway |

Friday, August 22, 2014

Local Chess Column Stirs Up Controversy

Alan Lasser is the writer of "Game of the Week". A chess column he sends out via email (89 subscribers) early every Saturday morning. | A chess expert, Mr. Lasser has been an active participant in chess clubs and tournaments in Connecticut and New York States for 40+ years. | Alan usually outlines what is happening with chess for that weekend, whether it be locally, or online. He includes all important world events which are broadcast out on the Internet. | Also Alan writes about a chess game to evaluate and comment on. Most of these are interesting informal games from his club in Rosendale NY. | Click here for the chess game annotated by Lasser that started up a series of exchanges among the subscribers to this e-zine.

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 blacklightmazes@icloud.com web site: www.blacklightmazes@icloud.com

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 www.vegaschessfestival.com Rounds are at 12 and 6:30 today and tomorrow. I see the games are also on monroi.com I'm hoping that this is the year that they finally start broadcasting the NY International held at the Marshall. Check www.marshallchessclub.org 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