Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas - two columns by Alan Lasser

  My 25…Ra6 got me in a lot of trouble.  The rook should have been placed in front of the opponent’s passed pawns.  Instead I tried to defend from the side, hoping my rook could combine defense against the g-pawn with offensive support for the a and b-pawns.  I had a another chance to get the rook in front of the g-pawn on move twenty-seven;  eventually, when I played 28…Bd6 to protect the e-pawn, it blocked the rook on a-file from stopping the passed pawns. 

James Skinner-Alan Lasser


Lilly Library Chess Club


1.e4 Nc6 

2.Nc3 d6 

3.d4 e5 

4.Nf3 Bg4 

5.d5 Nd4 

6.Be2 Nxe2 

7.Qxe2 Qd7 

8.h3 Bh5?! +1.13/25


8...Bxf3 +0.63/21 9.Qxf3 c6 10.Qd3 Nf6 11.Be3 Be7 12.O-O-O O-O 13.Kb1 Rfc8 14.f3 a6 15.g4 cxd5 16.Nxd5Nxd5 17.Qxd5 b5 18.f4 b4 19.fxe5 Qa4 20.Rhf1 Qxc2+ 21.Ka1

9.g4?! +0.61/26

9.Nxe5 +1.13/25 9...Bxe2 10.Nxd7 Kxd7 11.Nxe2 Re8 12.Nc3 Be7 13.Bd2 Bf6 14.O-O-O Ne7 15.f3 Kc8 16.g4Ng6 17.Ne2 h6 18.Rhf1 Ne5 19.Bc3 Nd7 20.Bxf6 Nxf6


10.Nh4 Be7 

11.Nxg6 hxg6 

12.Be3 Nf6 

13.O-O-O a6 

14.Kb1 b5 

15.Qd3 b4 

16.Ne2 a5 

17.f4 exf4?! +1.06/22

17...a4 +0.71/20 18.Bd2 18. g5 Nh5 19. f5 O-O 20. Bd2 Rab8 21. fxg6 fxg6 22. Rdf1 +0.48 Stockfish 18...a318... Rb8 19. g5 Nh5 20. h4 c5 21. Rhf1 O-O 22. c4 f5 23. Qh3 Rbd8 24. Ng3 fxe4 25. Qxd7 Rxd7 26. Nxh5 gxh5 27. Rde1 exf4 28. Rxf4 e3 29. Bxe3 Bd8 +0.34 Stockfish 19.b3 Rb8 20.Rdf1 Qb5

17...Rb8 18.g5 Nh5 19.h4 a4 20.Rhf1 Qb5 21.Rc1 f6 +0.36 Stockfish

18.Nxf4 Nh7?! +1.62/21

18...a4 +1.10/21 19.g5 Nh5 20.Nxh5 Rxh5 21.h4 Rb8 22.Rdf1 Qb5 23.Qd1 b3 24.cxb3 axb3

18...O-O 19.g5 Nh5 20.h4 a4 21.Bd2 c5 22.dxc6 Nxf4 23.Bxf4 Qxc6 24.h5 b3 25.cxb3 axb3 26.a3 Ra4 27.hxg6Qxe4 28.Bxd6 Qxd3+ 29.Rxd3 Bxd6 30.gxf7+ Kxf7 31.Rxd6 Rg4 +1.02 Stockfish

19.e5?! +0.83/22

19.h4 +1.62/21 19...Nf6 20.g5 Ng4 20...Nh5 21. Bc1 Nxf4 22. Bxf4 Kf8 23. Qf3 Kg8 24. h5 gxh5 25. Rxh5 Rxh5 26. Qxh5 g6 +1.29 Stockfish 21.Bd4


20.Nxg6 fxg6 

21.Qxg6+ Kd8 

22.Qxg7 Bf6 


23.Qg6 +0.84/21 23...Be7 24.g5 Nf8 24...Qd6 25. Qf5 a4 26. h4 b3 27. cxb3 axb3 28. a3 Ra6 29. h5 Qd7 30. Qxd7+ Kxd7 +1.38 Stockfish 25.Qe4 Qd6 25...Rb8 26. h4 b3 27. h5 bxc2+ 28. Qxc2 a4 29. d6 cxd6 30. g6 a3 31. b3 Rc8 +1.80 Stockfish 26.h4 Rg8 27.h5 a4 28.g6 a3 29.Bc5


24.h4 Be7 

25.g5 Ra6-0.07/21

25...Rag8 -1.20/23 26.Bd2 26. Rdg1 Kd6 27. Bd2 Kxd5 28. c4+ Kxc4 29. Rc1+ Kd5 30. Rxc7 Bd8 31. Rc8 Bb6 32. Rxg8 Rxg8 -1.75 Stockfish 26...Nf8 27.Rde1 Rh5 28.Rxe5 Rgh8 29.d6 29. Re4 Bxg5 30. Be1 Ng6 31. a3 bxa3 32. Bxa5 axb2 -1.92 Stockfish 29...Bxd6

26.Rdg1 Rg8 

27.Rf1 Ke8+1.14/24

27...Rag6 -0.14/21 28.Rf7 28. c4 bxc3 29. Rf7 R6g7 30. Rxg7 Rxg7 31. bxc3 c6 32. dxc6+ Kxc6 -0.08 Stockfish 28...R6g7 29.Rxg7 Rxg7 30.c4 bxc3 31.bxc3 Rg8 32.c4 Nf8 33.Bd2 a4 34.Kc2 Kd8 35.Rg1

28.Rf5 Bd6?! +1.49/25

28...e4 +1.07/21 29.Re5 Kd7 29...Rag6 30. Rxe4 Kd7 31. c4 bxc3 32. bxc3 Nxg5 33. hxg5 Bxg5 34. Bd4 Bd8 35. Rh7+ Kc8 +0.67 Stockfish 30.Rxe4 Raa8 31.c4 bxc3 32.bxc3 Raf8 33.Bd4 Ba3 34.Kc2 Rf5 35.c4 Bb436.Rh3 c6 37.dxc6+ Kxc6 38.Rb3 Rg6

28...Kd7 29.c4 bxc3 30.bxc3 Rag6 31.Rxe5 Nxg5 32.hxg5 Bxg5 33.Rh7+ Kd6 34.Bd4 +0.66 Stockfish

29.h5 Rf8?! +2.21/26

29...a4 +1.51/23 30.g6 Nf8 31.Rg5 Be7 32.Rxe5 Nd7 33.Rf5 Rf6 34.Rhf1 Rxf5 35.Rxf5 Nf6 36.c3 bxc337.bxc3 Kd7 38.c4 Ne4 39.h6 Rxg6 40.h7 Nc3+ 41.Kc2 Rg2+ 42.Kxc3 Rh2 43.Rf7 Ke8 44.Rf4 Rxh7 45.Re4Kd7

29...Nf8 30.Rf6 Ra8 31.g6 Ke7 32.Rf7+ Ke8 33.Rf5 a4 34.Rg5 Kd7 35.b3 axb3 36.cxb3 Nxg6 37.hxg6 Raf838.Rh7+ Ke8 +1.62 Stockfish

30.Rhf1 e4+9.57/25

30...Rg8 +2.24/23 31.g6 Nf8 32.Rg1 32. Rf6 Ra8 33. c4 bxc3 34. bxc3 Rb8+ 35. Kc2 e4 36. R1f5 +3.05 Stockfish 32...Kd7 33.Rf7+ Kd8 34.Rf6 Ke7 35.Bg5 Ke8 36.Rg3 Rb6 37.h6 Be7 38.Rxb6 cxb6

31.g6 Be7 I resigned a few moves after my scoresheet ends. 1-0

[Event "game/15"]

[Site "Lilly Library Chess Club"]

[Date "2017.12.16"]

[Round "?"]

[White "James Skinner"]

[Black "Alan Lasser"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "B00"]

1.e4 Nc6 2.Nc3 d6 3.d4 e5 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.d5 Nd4 6.Be2 Nxe2 7.Qxe2 Qd7 8.h3 Bh5 $6 { +1.13/25 } ( 8...Bxf3 { +0.63/21 } 9.Qxf3 c6 10.Qd3 Nf6 11.Be3 Be7 12.O-O-O O-O 13.Kb1 Rfc8 14.f3 a6 15.g4 cxd5 16.Nxd5 Nxd5 17.Qxd5 b5 18.f4 b4 19.fxe5 Qa4 20.Rhf1 Qxc2+ 21.Ka1 ) 9.g4 $6 { +0.61/26 } ( 9.Nxe5 { +1.13/25 } 9...Bxe2 10.Nxd7 Kxd7 11.Nxe2 Re8 12.Nc3 Be7 13.Bd2 Bf6 14.O-O-O Ne7 15.f3 Kc8 16.g4 Ng6 17.Ne2 h6 18.Rhf1 Ne5 19.Bc3 Nd7 20.Bxf6 Nxf6 ) 9...Bg6 10.Nh4 Be7 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Be3 Nf6 13.O-O-O a6 14.Kb1 b5 15.Qd3 b4 16.Ne2 a5 17.f4 exf4 $6 { +1.06/22 } ( 17...a4 { +0.71/20 } 18.Bd2 { 18. g5 Nh5 19. f5 O-O 20. Bd2 Rab8 21. fxg6 fxg6 22. Rdf1   +0.48  Stockfish } 18...a3 { 18... Rb8 19. g5 Nh5 20. h4 c5 21. Rhf1 O-O 22. c4 f5 23. Qh3 Rbd8 24. Ng3 fxe4 25. Qxd7 Rxd7 26. Nxh5 gxh5 27. Rde1 exf4 28. Rxf4 e3 29. Bxe3 Bd8  +0.34   Stockfish } 19.b3 Rb8 20.Rdf1 Qb5 ) ( 17...Rb8 18.g5 Nh5 19.h4 a4 20.Rhf1 Qb5 21.Rc1 f6 { +0.36   Stockfish } ) 18.Nxf4 Nh7 $6 { +1.62/21 } ( 18...a4 { +1.10/21 } 19.g5 Nh5 20.Nxh5 Rxh5 21.h4 Rb8 22.Rdf1 Qb5 23.Qd1 b3 24.cxb3 axb3 ) ( 18...O-O 19.g5 Nh5 20.h4 a4 21.Bd2 c5 22.dxc6 Nxf4 23.Bxf4 Qxc6 24.h5 b3 25.cxb3 axb3 26.a3 Ra4 27.hxg6 Qxe4 28.Bxd6 Qxd3+ 29.Rxd3 Bxd6 30.gxf7+ Kxf7 31.Rxd6 Rg4 { +1.02   Stockfish } ) 19.e5 $6 { +0.83/22 } ( 19.h4 { +1.62/21 } 19...Nf6 20.g5 Ng4 20...Nh5 21. Bc1 Nxf4 22. Bxf4 Kf8 23. Qf3 Kg8 24. h5 gxh5 25. Rxh5 Rxh5 26. Qxh5 g6  +1.29   Stockfish } 21.Bd4 ) 19...dxe5 20.Nxg6 fxg6 21.Qxg6+ Kd8 22.Qxg7 Bf6 23.Qxd7+ $2 { -1.21/14 } ( 23.Qg6 { +0.84/21 } 23...Be7 24.g5 Nf8 { 24...Qd6 25. Qf5 a4 26. h4 b3 27. cxb3 axb3 28. a3 Ra6 29. h5 Qd7 30. Qxd7+ Kxd7  +1.38   Stockfish } 25.Qe4 Qd6 { 25...Rb8 26. h4 b3 27. h5 bxc2+ 28. Qxc2 a4 29. d6 cxd6 30. g6 a3 31. b3 Rc8   +1.80   Stockfish } 26.h4 Rg8 27.h5 a4 28.g6 a3 29.Bc5 ) 23...Kxd7 24.h4 Be7 25.g5 Ra6 $2 { -0.07/21 } ( 25...Rag8 { -1.20/23 } 26.Bd2 { 26. Rdg1 Kd6 27. Bd2 Kxd5 28. c4+ Kxc4 29. Rc1+ Kd5 30. Rxc7 Bd8 31. Rc8 Bb6 32. Rxg8 Rxg8   -1.75   Stockfish } 26...Nf8 27.Rde1 Rh5 28.Rxe5 Rgh8 29.d6 { 29. Re4 Bxg5 30. Be1 Ng6 31. a3 bxa3 32. Bxa5 axb2   -1.92   Stockfish } 29...Bxd6 ) 26.Rdg1 Rg8 27.Rf1 Ke8 $2 { +1.14/24 } ( 27...Rag6 { -0.14/21 } 28.Rf7 { 28. c4 bxc3 29. Rf7 R6g7 30. Rxg7 Rxg7 31. bxc3 c6 32. dxc6+ Kxc6  -0.08  Stockfish } 28...R6g7 29.Rxg7 Rxg7 30.c4 bxc3 31.bxc3 Rg8 32.c4 Nf8 33.Bd2 a4 34.Kc2 Kd8 35.Rg1 ) 28.Rf5 Bd6 $6 { +1.49/25 } ( 28...e4 { +1.07/21 } 29.Re5 Kd7 { 29...Rag6 30. Rxe4 Kd7 31. c4 bxc3 32. bxc3 Nxg5 33. hxg5 Bxg5 34. Bd4 Bd8 35. Rh7+ Kc8   +0.67   Stockfish } 30.Rxe4 Raa8 31.c4 bxc3 32.bxc3 Raf8 33.Bd4 Ba3 34.Kc2 Rf5 35.c4 Bb4 36.Rh3 c6 37.dxc6+ Kxc6 38.Rb3 Rg6 ) ( 28...Kd7 29.c4 bxc3 30.bxc3 Rag6 31.Rxe5 Nxg5 32.hxg5 Bxg5 33.Rh7+ Kd6 34.Bd4 { +0.66   Stockfish } ) 29.h5 Rf8 $6 { +2.21/26 } ( 29...a4 {1.51/23 } 30.g6 Nf8 31.Rg5 Be7 32.Rxe5 Nd7 33.Rf5 Rf6 34.Rhf1 Rxf5 35.Rxf5 Nf6 36.c3 bxc3 37.bxc3 Kd7 38.c4 Ne4 39.h6 Rxg6 40.h7 Nc3+ 41.Kc2 Rg2+ 42.Kxc3 Rh2 43.Rf7 Ke8 44.Rf4 Rxh7 45.Re4 Kd7 ) ( 29...Nf8 30.Rf6 Ra8 31.g6 Ke7 32.Rf7+ Ke8 33.Rf5 a4 34.Rg5 Kd7 35.b3 axb3 36.cxb3 Nxg6 37.hxg6 Raf8 38.Rh7+ Ke8 { +1.62   Stockfish } ) 30.Rhf1 e4 $2 { +9.57/25 } ( 30...Rg8 { +2.24/23 } 31.g6 Nf8 32.Rg1 { 32. Rf6 Ra8 33. c4 bxc3 34. bxc3 Rb8+ 35. Kc2 e4 36. R1f5   +3.05  Stockfish } 32...Kd7 33.Rf7+ Kd8 34.Rf6 Ke7 35.Bg5 Ke8 36.Rg3 Rb6 37.h6 Be7 38.Rxb6 cxb6 ) 31.g6 Be7 { I resigned a few moves after my scoresheet ends. }


Alan Lasser
  The highest rated player in the UMass Chess Club graduates this semester, so at his last college chess club meeting, I offered up the usual suggestion I give to chess player graduates.  It has been many years since the advice has appeared on this page, so for the benefit of new subscribers who could use a little help with their future prospects, here it is once again.
   “As you advance your career, as you climb the ladder of life, if you want to stay out of trouble, just remember the story of the rook, the knight, and the pawn." 
    A rook, a knight, and a pawn walk into a bar.  Sounds funny already doesn't it?  They are playing at a tournament in New York City, their games have finished early, there is some time before the start of the next round, so they go out to get a drink at the nearest bar, what's so unusual about that?  The place is packed, the big rook is in front as they push their way in, and the rook can see that most of the people in the bar are wearing penny loafers and white socks, bow-ties and pocket protectors, and he turns to the knight and says, "there must be sixty-four squares in here".  The squares are drunk, the squares are really drunk, the squares are really rip-roaring drunk; and the reason they're so drunk is that the queen is at the bar buying them drinks.  The first time she buys a round, she gives each of the squares a kiss. The next time she buys a round she gives them wet, slurpy kisses.  The next round of drinks she does lap-dances and the round of drinks after that comes with slurpy kisses and lap dances!  So the squares are drinking as fast as they can, the queen is buying drinks left and right, the squares are going mad with lust and alcohol;  and the queen, she’s the drunkest one of all.  She is standing in the middle of the bar with a mug in each hand.  The queen chugs down one mug and the crowd roars, then she chugs down the other and the crowd goes wild, so the queen hikes up her skirt, rips open her blouse, jumps up on top of the bar and starts to dance.  The  knight turns to the pawn and says, "you better not act like that when you get promoted”.
   Fabiano Caruana had the tripled pawns on the board for a period of sixteen moves at the recent London Chess Classic.  Unlike the other tripled pawn games I have featured in this column, they did not cause his victory, but when his opponent allowed their transformation, the tide turned.
GM Fabiano Caruana-GM Michael Adams
2017 London Chess Classic
[Event "2017 London Classic"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.12.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "GM Fabiano Caruana"]
[Black "GM Michael Adams"]
[Result "1-0"]
[BlackElo "2715"]
[ECO "A29"]
[WhiteElo "2799"]
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Bc5 7.O-O O-O 8.d3 Re8 9.Ng5 Nf6 10.Qb3 Qe7 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.Bxd5 Nd8 13.Qc4 Bd4 14.Bg2 h6 15.Nf3 Nc6 16.Be3 Bxe3 $6 { -0.07/20 } ( 16...Be6 { -0.49/20 } 17.Qc1 Rad8
{ 17...Qd7 18. Bxd4 exd4 19. Re1 Bd5 20. Qc5 Re7 21. a3 Rae8 22. b4 b6 23.
Qc2 Ne5 24. Qd2 g5 25. Nxe5 Rxe5 26. Bxd5 Qxd5   -0.18   Stockfish } 18.Re1
{ 18. Bxd4 exd4 19. Re1 a6 20. Qd2 Bd5 21. a3 Ne5 22. Rac1 c6 23. b4 Qf6
24. Nxe5 Rxe5  -0.11   Stockfish } 18...Bd5 19.Bxd4 exd4 20.Qd2 a5 21.a3 Qc5
22.Rac1 Qb6 23.Qc2 Qb5 24.Nd2 Bxg2 25.Kxg2 ) 17.fxe3 e4 18.dxe4 a5 19.a3 Ra6 20.Rac1 Rb6 21.Rc2 Be6 22.Qc3 Rb3 23.Qd2 Rd8 24.Qc1 a4 25.Rc5 Rd7 26.h3 Qd8 27.g4 g6 $6 { +0.08/21 } ( 27...Qe7 { -0.19/21 } 28.Rc3
{ 28. g5 h5 29. Kf2 g6 30. Rh1 Rd8 31. Rg1 Kg7 32. Rf1 Kg8 33. Rg1   =  
Stockfish } 28...Rd8 29.Qc2 Rb6 ) 28.Kh1 Kg7 29.e5 Bd5 30.Kg1 Be6 31.Kf2 Qe7
32.Kg1 Rd5 33.Rc4 Ra5 34.Rc2 Bd5 $6 { +0.64/23 } ( 34...Rb6 { +0.36/21 }
35.Qd2 Rc5 { 35...Rd5 36. Nd4 Rxe5 37. Bxc6 bxc6 38. Nxc6 Qh4 39. Rf3 Rd5 40. Qc3+ Kg8 41. Nd4 Bxg4 42. hxg4 c5 43. Qa5 Rg5 44. Qa8+ Kg7 45. Rxf7+ Kxf7 46. Qa7+ Kg8 47. Qa8+ Kh7 48. Qa7+ Kg8    =   Stockfish } 36.Rfc1 Rxc2 37.Rxc2 Bb3 38.Rc3 Nxe5 39.Nxe5 Qxe5 40.Qd4 Qxd4 41.exd4 Rd6 42.e3 c6 43.Be4 Re6 44.Bb1 f6 45.Kg2 Re7 46.Kf2 Rd7 47.Ke1 Bd5 48.Bc2 b5 ) 35.Nd4 Nxd4 36.exd4 Rg3 37.Rf3 Bxf3 38.exf3 c6 39.Kh2 Rxg2+ 40.Kxg2 Rd5 41.Rc4 c5 42.Rxc5 Rxd4 43.Qc3 Qd8 $6 { +1.57/26 } ( 43...Rd3 { +0.98/23 } 44.Qxd3 Qxc5 45.Qc3 Qb5 { 45...Qb6 46. e6+ f6 47. Qb4 Qxe6 48. Qxb7+ Kf8 49. Qe4 Qd7 50. h4 Qd2+ 51. Kg3 Qc1   +0.50   Stockfish } 46.e6+ Kf8 47.exf7 Kxf7 48.f4 Qe2+ 49.Kg3 Qb5 50.Kf2 Qd5 51.Qc7+ Kf6 52.Qc1 Qd4+ 53.Kg3 Qd3+ ) 44.Rc8 Qb6 45.Re8 $6 { +1.03/22 } ( 45.Kg3 { +1.53/24 } 45...g5 46.Qc5 Qxc5 47.Rxc5 Rd2 48.Rb5 Re2 49.h4 Kf8 50.h5 Kg7 51.Rxb7 { 51. Rb4 Rxe5 52. Rxa4 Kf6 53. Ra7 Rb5 54. b4 Ke6 55. Ra8 Rb6 56. Rh8  +1.79   Stockfish } 51...Rxe5 52.Ra7 Rb5 53.Rxa4 Rxb2 54.Ra7 Rb1 55.a4 Rg1+ 56.Kf2 Rd1 57.a5 Rd2+ 58.Kg3 ) 45...g5 46.Re7 Kg8 47.e6 fxe6 48.Qc2 Kf8 49.Rh7 Qc6 50.Qxc6 bxc6 51.Rxh6 Kf7 52.Kg3 Rd2 53.Rh7+ Kf6 54.Rb7 Ke5 $6 { +1.59/28 } ( 54...e5 { +1.23/29 } 55.Rb6 Rc2 56.h4 gxh4+ 57.Kxh4 Ke6 58.Rb7 Rg2 59.Kh3 Rc2 60.Kg3 Kf6 61.Rb4 Ke6 62.Rb6 Kf7 63.Rb8 Ke7 64.Rb4 Ke6 { Stockfish also plays 54...Ke5  +0.88 } ) 55.h4 ( 55.Rg7 Kf6 56.Ra7 Rxb2 57.Rxa4 Rb3 58.Ra5 e5 59.a4 Ra3 60.Rc5 Rxa4 61.Rxc6+ Kf7 62.Rc5 Ke6 63.h4
gxh4+ 64.Kxh4 Ra3 65.Kg3 { +1.02   Stockfish } ) 55...gxh4+ 56.Kxh4 Kf4
57.Rf7+ Ke3 58.Kg3 Rd1 $6 { +2.32/29 } ( 58...Rxb2 { +1.49/25 } 59.Re7 Ra2
60.Rxe6+ Kd3 61.Rxc6 { Hiarcs is not evaluating this position correctly,  Stockfish has it as +14.37 } ) ( 58...c5 59.Re7 Rxb2 60.Rxe6+ Kd4 61.Rd6+ Ke5 62.Rc6 Rc2 63.g5 Kf5 64.g6 Rc1 65.Kf2 Rc2+ 66.Ke3 Rc3+ 67.Ke2 Rc2+ 68.Kd3 Rg2 69.Rxc5+ Kxg6 70.Ra5 Rb2 71.Rxa4 { +4.07   Stockfish } ) 59.g5 Rg1+ $2 { +3.93/27 } ( 59...c5 { +2.08/26 } 60.Kg4 { 60. Rf6 e5 61. g6 Rb1 62. Kh4 Rxb2 63. Rf5 Rb8 64. Kg5 c4 65. Rxe5+ Kd4 66. Re6 Rc8 67. f4 c3 68. Re1 c2 69. f5 c1=Q+ 70. Rxc1 Rxc1   +8.47  Stockfish } 60...Rd2 61.g6 Rxb2 62.Kg5 Rg2+ 63.Kf6 Rg3 64.f4 Kxf4 65.Ra7 e5 ) 60.Kh4 Rg2 61.Rf6 $6 { +2.64/25 } ( 61.Kh5 { +4.23/27 } 61...e5 62.g6 e4 63.fxe4 Kxe4 64.g7 { 64. Rf6 c5 65. Rb6 c4 66. Kh6 Rh2+ 67. Kg5 Rg2+ 68. Kf6 Rf2+ 69. Ke7 Rg2 70. Kf7 Rf2+ 71. Rf6 Rxb2 72. g7 Rb8 73. Kg6 Rg8 74. Rf8 Rxg7+ 75. Kxg7  +93.75   Stockfish } 64...Ke5 65.Kh6 Rh2+ 66.Kg6 Rg2+ 67.Kh7 Rh2+ 68.Kg8 Rxb2 69.Re7+ Kf6 70.Rc7 Rb1 71.Rxc6+ Kg5 72.Ra6 Rb3 73.Rxa4 Kf5 74.Ra6 Kg5 75.a4 ) 61...e5 62.g6 Rxb2 63.Kg5 Rg2+ 64.Kh6 Rh2+ 65.Kg7 c5 66.Kf7 c4 67.g7 Rh7 68.Ra6 { The quicker end is 68. Kf8 Rxg7 69. Kxg7 c3 70. Re6 c2 71. Rxe5+ Kd4 72. Re1 Kc3 73. f4 Kd2 74. Rg1 c1=R 75. Rxc1 Kxc1 76. f5 Kb2 77. f6 Kxa3 78. f7 Kb3 79. f8=Q a3 80. Qc5 a2 81. Qc1 Ka4 82. Kf6 Kb4 83. Ke5 a1=R 84. Qxa1 Kc4 85. Qa4+ Kd3 86. Kf4 Kd2 87. Qc4 Ke1 88. Qc2 Kf1 89. Kf3 Kg1 90. Qg2# 
The game move is only mate in 29   68... c3 69. Rxa4 Kd3 70. Ra6 c2 71. Rc6 Kd2 72. Kf8 c1=Q 73. Rxc1 Kxc1 74. g8=Q Rh5 75. Qg4 Rh8+ 76. Kg7 Rb8 77. Qc4+ Kd2 78. Qd5+ Kc2 79. Qxe5 Rb7+ 80. Kf8 Rb3 81. f4 Rxa3 82. Qc5+ Rc3 83. Qxc3+ Kxc3 84. f5 Kd3 85. f6 Ke2 86. f7 Kf3 87. Ke7 Ke3 88. f8=Q Ke4 89.
Kf6 Kd4 90. Qb4+ Ke3 91. Kf5 Kf3 92. Qe4+ Kf2 93. Kf4 Kg1 94. Qb1+ Kf2 95. Qc2+ Kg1 96. Kf3 Kh1 97. Qg2# }



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They are not governmental initiatives nor are they business endeavors.

They are private initiatives by Rob Roy, for the public good, focusing on quality of life, and on chess in Connecticut.

They should never be misconstrued to represent the State of Connecticut, the Town of Coventry Connecticut, nor with any other chess associations.

The monthly tournaments in Coventry are conducted by Rob Roy acting as an independent organizer, and not by any chess club, state chapter, nor federation.

I have never written for, nor spoken for, anyone besides myself, Rob Roy, acting as an independent chess journalist.


Upcoming USCF Tournaments in and near Connecticut



Great game from 25 years ago

John A Curdo vs Michael Casella
Greater Boston open (1993), Framingham MA, Oct-03 
Sicilian Defense: Nezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack (B30)  ·  1-0 





Before we bid a fond farewell with the NBCC highlights from the first half of 2018,
I am proud to recognize Rob Roy once again for his continual efforts to promote our
club and chess throughout our state. As many of you know, Rob has worked on
numerous chess projects for our state for over four decades, during which time he
has been the editor of Connecticut Chess magazine. Since May 2016, Rob has been
hosting monthly events at his house in Coventry. On June 23, ten players competed
in Rob’s annual summer chess tournament there. After round 1, Rob transitioned his
role from tournament director to chef, serving hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob,
watermelon, and beverages. There was a good representation from the NBCC at
Rob’s event. Two of our veteran members, FM Richard Bauer and USCF NM Derek
Meredith, tied for first place, with their final match being a hard-fought draw. Kudos
to Rob for hosting another fantastic event! Starting in July, Rob’s monthly
tournaments will be hosted at Mill Brook Place in Coventry. This site is a brand-new
meeting hall that can accommodate as many as seventy people. In order to make this transition possible, Rob will work with officials from the local library, schools, and
the parks and recreation department. We thank Rob for his lifetime of service and
devotion to Connecticut chess !






2019 Coventry Open

Saturday January 12

         $160-1st, $80-2nd.  (Top 2 Prizes Guaranteed.)
         When 12+ players; Top U1600 wins $30 in EF Credit.
         When 14+ players; Top U1600 wins $60 in EF Credit.
         When 16+ players; Top U1600 wins $90 in EF Credit.

Web Site: 






Friday, December 22, 2017

2018 State Scholastic Blitz Champ Kingswood Oxford School

On December 11, 2016, 43 players competed in the 2016-17 Connecticut State
Scholastic Blitz Chess Championships. The tournament was held at the Kingswood
Oxford School, West Hartford, Connecticut.
The event was co-sponsored by the Kingswood Oxford School, Camp KO, the
Connecticut Chess Organization, the Farmington Libraries, allClubs Chess, and the
University of Connecticut Chess Club.
The placement winners were:
Individual Prizes/Awards:
1 – Jack Clayton, Webster Hill (West Hartford)
2 – Carter Clayton, Webster Hill (West Hartford)
3 – Jake Lumelsky, Bugbee (West Hartford)
4 – Punyavrat Upadhyay, West District (Farmington)
5 – Joshua Fernandes, Duffy (West Hartford)
1 – Samuel Lumelsky, King Philip (West Hartford)
2 – Beatrice Low, Greenwich Academy
3 – Danny Hoffman, Addams (Guilford)
1 – Jithu Sajeevan, Bristol Central
2 – Jonathan Aiyathurai, Simsbury
3 – Eric Hilhorst, Simsbury
Team Prizes/Awards:
1 – Bugbee Elementary School (West Hartford)
2 – Webster Hill Elementary School (West Hartford)
3 – Aiken Elementary School (West Hartford)
1  – King Philip Middle School (West Hartford)
1  – Simsbury High School
Congratulations to all!
The Blitz Championships were attended by players from 15 towns and 24 schools.
Competition was directed by IM Jan van de Mortel, assisted by University of Connecticut Chess Club’s Wissam Afyouni.
The tournament was organized as a non-profit fundraiser for scholastic chess
programs by the Connecticut Chess Organization and raised about $500 for Connecticut chess programs.
Also, the self-titled “Dutch Families”—Hilhorst and Kollen families—treated all
players to pizza. Special thanks to Gert Hilhorst and Bart Kollen for their efforts and generosity!
CCO is organizing the 2017 Connecticut Girls’ Scholastic Chess Championship
on January 21, 2017 at the Farmington Main Library.



Friday, December 15, 2017

Jan van de Mortel is new Connecticut State Blitz-Chess Champion

12/12 IM Jan van de Mortel won the CSCA CT State Blitz (G5 d5) Championship organized by NBCC. Photo: Jan playing against Andrew Colwell. Jan scored 8/9 (only Nelson Castaneda won against him), second was Suhas Kodali 7/9, third Nelson CastaƱeda Alvarez 6/9. Crosstable HERE

New Britain Chess Club weekly news:

  • NBCC Christmas Party December 19, 2017 at 6:15 pm

  • Unrated Quads on Tuesday 12/26

  • Grand Master Aleksandr Lenderman @ NBCC Feb.2 & 3, 2018



On Tuesday Dec. 19, the NBCC will be having its

Annual Christmas Party.  It will be catered by Hall’s

Market, in West Hartford.  Please bring desserts and hors’d’oeuvres.  

Following the Party will be a Bullet tournament,

Round Robin, G1/d1.  Trophy to 1st place.    

Entry is free to members plus 1 immediate family member.  Additional family

members $10. $20 for non-members. Dinner will be served starting at 6:15, P.M.

If you can help with setup, come by 6pm, or if you can help with cleanup, stay a few minutes late.  Many hands make light work.  The NBCC has had a great year.  Come and celebrate with us.  Rick Bauer will be handing out the award for the best game of the year contest.

Christmas Party Menu

Roasted vegetables Green Beans Almondine

Swedish meatballs Sausage & spinach lasagna

Cheese lasagna Vegetable lasagna

Classic meat lasagna Cheese and cracker tray

Green Garden Salad Rolls

Mac & cheese


Unrated Quads on Tuesday, 12/26, 2017

Our last meeting of the year will feature a low-key event with G/30 quads and casual play.  There will be no training class this day.

 Unrated Quads Details:
Tuesday, Dec 26, 2017
• 3-RR G/30;d5  
• Entry Fee: $5 members, $10 non-members
• Prizes: $20 to the winner.
• Registration 6:45-7:00 P.M.
• Pairings made at 7:15


Grand Master Aleksandr Lenderman will come to the NBCC Feb. 2 & 3 to conduct Master level training class.

The NBCC is proud to announce that GM Aleksandr Lenderman will be coming to NBCC the weekend of February 2 and 3 (Friday/Saturday) to conduct a Master level training class.  Cost for this will be $25 and will be limited to ~10-15 expert and master level players (members only).   On Saturday Mr. Lenderman will conduct a lecture followed by a simultaneous exhibition.  Cost will be $5 for scholastic players and $10 for adult.  Non-members may participate for $10/$20 more.  These plans are tentative, so be watching for updates.


Norman Burtness, President



Saturday, December 9, 2017

Alan Lasser's Game of the Week

  Check out the position after move twenty-nine;  talk about unbalanced material, White’s four pieces are completely different from Black’s three pieces, throw in a couple of extra pawns and try to figure it out.  The computers at the TCEC 10 are certain the position is equal at all times.
Komodo 1970-Houdini 6.03
1.e4 d6 
46.Nc4 Ke6 ½-½

[Event "TCEC 10"]

[Site "?"]

[Date "2017.11.24"]

[Round "?"]

[White "Komodo 1970"]

[Black "Houdini 6.03"]

[Result "1/2-1/2"]

[BlackElo "3185"]

[ECO "C41"]

[WhiteElo "3232"]

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nbd7 4.Nf3 e5 5.Bc4 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.h3 c6 8.a4 Re8 9.a5 Qc7 10.Ba2 h6 11.Re1 Rb8 12.Qe2 exd4 13.Nxd4 b5 14.axb6 Rxb6 15.Be3 Bf8 16.Nf5 Rxb2 17.Bb3 Nc5 18.Bxc5 dxc5 19.Ne3 Nxe4 20.Na4 ( 20.Nxe4 Rxe4 21.Qd3 Qe5 22.Rxa7 Be6 23.Bxe6 Qxe6 24.Ra8 Rb7 25.Qd8 Qe7 26.Rd1 Rd4 27.Rxd4 cxd4 28.Qxd4 Rb1+ 29.Kh2 Rb8 30.Rxb8 Qc7+ 31.g3 Qxb8

{ =   Stockfish } ) 20...Rxb3 21.cxb3 g6 $6 { +0.30/20 } ( 21...Be6

{ -0.14/19 } 22.Qc2

{ 22. Nc4 Nf6 23. Qe5 Qb8 24. Qxb8 Rxb8 25. Nd2 Rd8 26. Red1 g6 27. Nc3 Rd3

28. Rac1 Nd5 29. Ne2 Bf5 30. Ng3 Nc3 31. Re1 Na2 32. Rcd1 Nc3 33. Rc1   =  

Stockfish } 22...Qf4 23.Nc4 Ng5

{ 23...Bxh3 24. gxh3 Qg5+ 25. Kh1 Qf5 26. Kh2 Qf4+ 27. Kg1   =   Stockfish

} 24.Re3 Rb8

{ 24...Bxh3 25. gxh3 Rxe3 26. fxe3 Nxh3+ 27. Kh1 Qf3+ 28. Qg2 Qh5 29. Rf1

Nf2+ 30. Kg1 Nh3+ 31. Kh1    =   Stockfish } 25.Nab2 Bd5 26.Nd3 Qh4 27.Nde5 Ne6 28.Qa2 Nd4 29.Nd7 Rxb3 ) ( 21...Nf6 22.Qc2 Qe5 23.Qc1 Qd4 24.Nc4 Be6 25.Nc3 Qd3 26.Ra2 Nd5 27.Ne4 Bxh3 28.Rd2 Qxb3 29.Rb2 Qd3 30.Rd2 Qb3

{ =   Stockfish } ) 22.Rad1 Bg7 23.Nc2 Be5

24.f4 Bxf4 25.Qf3 Bh2+ 26.Kh1 Qf4 27.Nxc5 Nf2+ 28.Qxf2 Qxf2 29.Rxe8+ Kh7 30.Ne3 Bxh3 31.Kxh2 Bxg2 32.Nxg2 Qxc5 33.Rd7 Qf2 ( 33...Kg7 34.Ree7 Qh5+ 35.Kg3 Qg5+ 36.Kh2 Qh5+ { =    Stockfish } ) 34.Rc7 ( 34.Ree7 Kg7 35.Rxa7 g5 36.b4 h5 37.Rxf7+ Qxf7 38.Rxf7+ Kxf7 39.Ne3 h4 40.Kh3 Ke6 41.Kg4 Ke5 42.Nc4+ Ke4 43.Na5 Kd4 44.Nb7 Kc4 45.Nd8 Kb5 46.Kh3 Kxb4 47.Nxc6+ { =   Stockfish } )

34...h5 35.Rxc6 h4 36.Re3 g5 37.Rc7 a6 38.Ree7 Kg6 39.Rxf7 Qxf7 40.Rxf7 Kxf7 41.Ne3 a5 42.Nc4 Ke6 43.Kh3 Kf6 44.Kg4 Ke6 45.Nd2 Kd5 46.Nc4 Ke6 1/2-1/2

Alan Lasser



Monday, December 4, 2017

Alan Lasser's Game of the Week

Long-time readers have seen my version of the World Champion Lasker’s classic advice, “Four Things to Think About Before You Touch That Chess Piece” in this column many times, lastly in the issue of 7/22/17.  If I may quote myself, “the best chance for laying a successful trap is to place it as close as possible to your opponent’s intentions”.  “How do I do that?”, you might ask.  This game is a good example, 17…Nd5 is an objectively stronger move, but I chose to play 17…g5 in order to lay a trap.  My opponent’s intention is to play Rc1, combining with the bishop to attack my knight on c6, at the very least it will smash up my king’s defensive position.  17…g5 does not appear to prevent that, it looks like the bishop need not be defended because the rook’s attack on my queen will allow his plan to get underway immediately.  Then my intermezzo capture, 18…Re1, springs the trap, because the rook must be recaptured.

Unrelated:  see Magnus Carlsen in a TV commercial at

Eric Harder-Alan Lasser


Forbes Library Chess Club


1.e4 Nc6 

2.d4 d5 

27...Nc3+ 0-1

[Event "game/60"]

[Site "Forbes Library CC"]

[Date "2017.11.29"]

[Round "?"]

[White "Eric Harder"]

[Black "Alan Lasser"]

[Result "0-1"]

[ECO "B00"]

1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Be3 e5

5.c4 Bb4+ 6.Nd2 Qd6 7.a3 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 exd4 9.Bf4 Qe7+ 10.Be2 Be6 $6 { -1.05/21 } ( 

10...Bf5 { -1.31/22 } 11.O-O-O O-O-O

{ 11...Nf6 12. Bd3 Bxd3 13. Qxd3 O-O-O 14. Nf3 Ne4 15. Rhe1 Rhe8    -1.05  

Stockfish } 12.Bd3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Nf6 14.Nf3 Qe4

{ 14...Ne4 15. Rhe1 Rhe8 16. Qc2 f6 17. Nd2 d3 18. Qa4 Qf7 19. Nxe4 Rd4 20.

Nd6+ cxd6 21. Rxe8+ Qxe8   -1.08   Stockfish } 15.Bg5 Qxd3 16.Rxd3 Ne4

17.Bxd8 Nxf2 18.Rd2 Nxh1 19.Bh4 f6 20.Nxd4 Na5 21.Rc2 Rd8 22.Nf5 Nb3+ 23.Kb1

Nd4 24.Nxd4 Rxd4 25.Be1 Rd1+ 26.Rc1 Rxc1+ 27.Kxc1 c5 28.b3 f5 ) 11.O-O-O

O-O-O 12.Nf3 Nf6 13.Ng5 $6 { -1.50/20 } ( 13.Qc2 { -1.15/20 } 13...Kb8

14.Rhe1 Nh5 15.Bd2 Rhe8 16.Kb1 h6 17.Bd3 Qd6 18.h3 g5 19.b4 ) ( 13.Bd3 Nh5

14.Bg3 Rhe8 15.Rhe1 Nxg3 16.hxg3 Qf8 { -0.93   Stockfish } ) 13...Rhe8 $6

{ -1.15/20 } ( 13...Bf5 { -1.50/20 } 14.Rhe1 Nd7 15.Bg4

{ 15. Bd3 Qf6 16. Ne4 Bxe4 17. Bxe4 Nc5 18. Kb1 Nxe4 19. Rxe4 Qg6 20. Qd3

Qxg2   -1.43   Stockfish } 15...Qf6 16.Ne4 Bxe4 ) 14.Rhe1 h6 15.Nxe6 Qxe6

16.Bf3 $2 { -2.16/24 } ( 16.Bd3 { -1.09/22 } 16...Qd7 17.h3 Rxe1 18.Rxe1 Re8

19.Bg3 { 19.b4 Rxe1+ 20. Qxe1 Qe6 21. Qxe6+ fxe6   -0.15   Stockfish }

19...Kb8 20.b4 Re6 21.Kb2 ) 16...Qxc4+ 17.Kb1 g5 ( 17...Nd5 18.Bg3 Qb3

19.Rxe8 Rxe8 20.Re1 Rxe1+ 21.Qxe1 Kd8 { -2.22 Stockfish } ) 18.Rc1 $2

{ -6.13/22 } ( 18.Bg3

{ -1.95/21   The attempt to unhinge the trap by first exchanging rooks

doesn't work,  18.Re8 Re8 19.Rc1 Qb5 20.Bc6 bc 20.Bg3 Re2 } 18...Rxe1 19.Rxe1


{ 19...d3 20. Rc1 Qa4 21. Re1 Rd7 22. h3 Qc4 23. Rc1 Qb5 24. Qe3 d2 25. Rd1

Qf5+ 26. Ka1 Nd4 27. Rxd2 Nc2+ 28. Rxc2 Qxc2 29. Qxa7 Qc1+ -1.85 Stockfish

} 20.h4

{ 20. Qc2 Qxc2+ 21. Kxc2 f5 22. h4 d3+ 23. Kxd3 b5 24. Ke2 Nd4+ 25. Kf1

Nxf3 26. gxf3 -1.43 Stockfish } 20...Kb8 21.Be4 f6 22.Ka1 Qb5 23.Bd3 Qc5

24.Rd1 Rg8 25.hxg5 hxg5 26.Rc1 Qb6 27.Be4 Rd8 28.Qe2 Ne5 29.Qd2 Nc6 )

18...Rxe1 19.Qxe1 $6 { -7.26/22 } ( 19.Rxe1 { -6.17/21 } 19...gxf4 20.Qxf4


{ 20...Qd3+ 21. Ka1 Qg6 22. h4 d3 23. h5 Qg5 24. Qxg5 hxg5 25. Bd1 d2 26.

Re3 Nxh5 27. Bxh5 d1=Q+ 28. Bxd1 Rxd1+    -6.74   Stockfish } 21.Qf5+ Kb8

22.Qc2 Nb6 23.Bxc6 Qxc6 ) 19...Qd3+ 20.Ka1 gxf4 21.Bxc6 bxc6 22.Rxc6 Qe4 23.Qc1 Qe5 24.Qc4 Nd5 $6

{ -5.79/24 } ( 24...d3 { -13.64/24 } 25.Rc5 Qe1+ 26.Ka2 Qe6 27.Rxc7+ Kb8

{ I was afraid of 24...d3 25.Qa6 Kb8 26.Rc6 but 26...d2 wins. } ) 25.Qa6+ Kb8

26.Qb5+ Ka8 27.Ka2 $4 { #-9/28 } ( 27.Rc1 { -5.57/23 } 27...Qe4

{ 27...Rb8 28. Qd3 Rb6 29. h3 Kb7 30. h4 Kb8 31. Rd1 c5 32. Rc1 Nf6 33. f3

Kb7   -7.57   Stockfish } 28.Qc4 Qxg2 29.Qxd4 Qxh2 30.Ka2 Kb7 31.Rc5 c6

32.Qc4 Rd6 33.Qb3+ Kc7 34.Qa4 Kb6 35.Qd4 Kb7 36.Qe5 Kc7 37.Qe2 Kb6 38.Rc2 Qh3

  1. ) 27...Nc3+ 0-1