Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gone awry: instructive loss in the Rossolimo Sicilian


My first chess coach, FM John Curdo, liked to call this variation the "Awry Lopez."


Position after 6...Nd5

To open analysis board with game score move by move, click here.

Niro, Frank (2240) – Phillips, Paul (2381) [B31]
Gameknot.com, September 17, 2010 to October 8, 2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0–0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5

[see diagram above]

7.c3

More popular and less risky is 7.Nc3!?

7...0–0 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 d6 10.Nc3 Be6


11.exd6

The stem game, with 11...exd6, is Gabor Kadar (2280) vs. Lajos Seres (2430), Hungarian Championship 1994/95: 11...exd6 12. Ne4 Qb6 13. Bxc6 Qxc6 14. Bg5 Qb6 15. Qd3 Rfe8 16. Nfd2 h6 17. Bh4 f5 18. Nc3 Nb4 19. Qb1 Qxd4 20. Nf3 Qc4 21. Bg3 Nd3 22. Re3 f4 23. Bxf4 Bf5 24. Bg3 Rxe3 25. fxe3 Qc5 26. Qd1 Qxe3+ 27. Kh1 Kh8 28. Qb3 Nxb2 29. Qxb7 Rc8 30. Qxb2 Bxc3 31. Qc1 Qxc1+ 32. Rxc1 Bb4 33. Rd1 Kg8 34. h3 a6 35. Nh4 Be4 36. Bxd6 Rd8 37. Rd4 Rxd6 38. Rxb4 Bc6 1/2-1/2. To play over the game, go here.

A new attempt by Julian Estrada Nieto (2285) vs. Misa Pap (2512) Budapest, May 5, 2011, continued 11.Bg5 (instead of 11.exd6) 11...dxe5 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Nxe5 Rc8 14.Nf3 Re8 15.h3 Nxc3 16.bxc3 c5 17.Be3 Bd5 18.Ne5 Qa5 19.Nd3 cxd4 20.Bxd4 Rxc3 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Nf4 Bc6 23.Qd2 Ra3 24.Qb2+ Qc3 25.Qe2 Qf6 26.Qg4 Kh8 27.Rac1 Rxa2 28.Qg3 Ra4 29.Nd3 Ra3 30.Re3 Ra1 31.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 32.Kh2 Bd5 33.Qc7 Qf6 34.Qxa7 Qd6+ 35.Kg1 f6 36.Qd4 e5 37.Qc3 Rb8 38.Qc2 Kg7 39.Re1 Be6 40.Ra1 Rb3 41.Ra7+ Kf8 42.Ra8+ Rb8 43.Qc5 Qxc5 44.Rxb8+ Qc8 45.Rxc8+ Bxc8 46.f3 g5 47.g4 Ke7 48.Kg2 Kd6 49.Nf2 f5 50.gxf5 Bxf5 51.h4 gxh4 52.Nh3 Ke7 53.Ng5 0-1. To play over the game, go here.

11...Qxd6N 12.Bg5


Nieto's novelty delayed a move. I wasn't aware of the Nieto-Pap game, of course, since it was played seven months after this encounter. I believe the game is still playable at this point, although I will probably choose 7.Nc3 from now on.

12...h6 13.Nxd5

The proper follow-up is 13.Bh4 keeping the tension in the position. I did not fare well after the upcoming exchanges.

12...hxg5 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.Nc3 Bg4 16.Ne4= Bxf3 17.Qxf3 Qxd4 18.Nxg5 Qxb2 19.Qxc6 Qf6 20.Qb5 Rab8 21.Qa5 Qc3 =/+ 22.Qa6 Qc5 23.Ne4 Qc8 24.Qxc8 Rfxc8 25.Rac1 Rxc1 26.Rxc1 Bh6 27.Ra1 f5 28.Nc3 Rb2 29.Rb1

If 29.Nd5 Kf7 (29...e6 30.Ne7+ Kf7 31.Nc6 Kf6 32.g3 and black is better) 30.Kf1 e6 31.Ne3 Bg7 32.Rc1 favoring black.

29...Rd2 30.Rd1 Rc2 31.Nd5 Kf7 32.Nb4


The material is even, but the a-pawn is vulnerable and will soon be lost. With an open board and pawns on both wings, the bishop supported by the more active rook is much more effective. My opponent will not give me any chances for counterplay.

32...Rb2 33.a3 Rb3 34.Nc6 Rxa3 35.g3 Bg5 36.Rd7 a6 37.Rd5 Bf6 38.Kg2 Rb3 39.Nd8+ Ke8 40.Ne6 Rb6 41.Nc5 e6 42.Rd2 Be7 43.Na4 Rb4 44.Ra2 a5 45.f4 Kd7 46.Kf3 Kc6 47.Rc2+ Kd5 48.Nc3+ Kd6 0-1


The position is hopeless due to the outside passed pawn. Black can also make the e-pawn a passer without allowing my g- and h-pawns to safely advance, so I resigned rather than wait for the inevitable. Since this was a correspondence game, I spent a couple of days looking for tricks. The following line took away all of my optimism: 49.Ke2 g5 50.fxg5 Bxg5 51.Ra2 Bf6 52.Na4 Rb3 53.Rd2+ Kc6 54.Rc2+ Kb5 55.Nc5 Rb4 56.Nd3 Rc4 57.Ra2 a4 58.Kd2 Bc3+ 59.Kc1 Bd4+ 60.Kb1 e5 61.Rg2 a3 62.Ka2 Rc3 63.Ne1 Kc4 64.Nc2 Bc5 65.Ne1 f4 66.gxf4 exf4 67.Rg4 Be3 -+.

As a result of this game I undertook a serious study of rook and minor piece endgames, not only to learn how to play them better, but more importantly to understand when the position may devolve into an inferior endgame of this type. Such positions are more common than I previously understood. Knowing when to steer away from materially equal but theoretically inferior lines, or encourage an unaware opponent to drift into the kind of superficial liquidation that I demonstrated in this game, is critical to overall chess improvement. It will require work, but will be worth the time invested.


Additonal games in this variation:

Niro,F (2154) - nyctalop {Romania} (1961) [B31]
Gameknot.com, March 26, 2010 to June 27, 2010

Play along on the analysis board for this game
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.c3 0-0 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 Nc7 10.Nc3 Nxb5 11.Nxb5 a6 12.Nc3 d6 13.exd6 exd6 14.Bg5 Qb6 15.Nd5 Qa5 16.Nf6+ Bxf6 17.Bxf6 Be6 18.d5 Qxd5 19.Qxd5 Bxd5 20.Ng5 h6 21.Rad1

Even in Internet based correspondence games, notation errors still happen. Here I played 21.Red1! on my board at home intending 21...Bxa2 22.Rxa2 hxg5 23.Rxd6 Rae8 24.Kf1. Instead, I moved the a-rook rather than the e-rook and has to struggle to hold the draw.

21...Rae8 22.Rxe8 Rxe8 23.f3 Bxa2 24.Ne4 d5 25.Nc5 b6 26.Nxa6 Re6 27.Bh4 g5 28.Bf2 Re2 29.Bxb6 Bc4 30.Rc1 Rxb2 31.Be3 f6 32.h3 Kf7 33.Nc5 Kg6 34.Bf2 h5 35.h4 gxh4 36.Ne6 h3 37.gxh3 Ne5 38.Rc3 Rd2 39.Nd4 h4 40.f4 Nd3 41.f5+ Kh5 42.Be3 Rd1+ 43.Kh2 Re1 44.Bg1 Re4 45.Ra3 Ne1 46.Bf2 Rxd4 47.Bxd4 Nc2 48.Bc5 Nxa3 49.Bxa3 d4 50.Bc5 d3 51.Be3 Bd5 52.Bd2 Be4 53.Bf4 Bxf5 54.Kg2 Be6 55.Bd2 Kg6 56.Be1 Kg5 57.Bd2+ Kh5 58.Be1 Bg4 59.Bd2 Bc8 60.Bf4 Kg6 61.Bd2 Kh5 62.Bf4 Bg4 63.Bd2 f5 64.Bf4 Kg6 65.Bd2 Kf6 66.Bf4 Ke6 67.Bg5 Ke5 68.Kf2 f4 69.Ke1 Ke4 70.Bxh4 Bxh3 71.Kd2 Bf5 72.Bf2 Kf3 73.Ba7 Be4 74.Ke1 Kg2 75.Bb8 f3 76.Ba7 Kg3 77.Bf2+ Kf4 78.Kd2 Kg4 79.Bc5 Kg3 80.Ke1 Kg2 81.Ba7 ½-½


Niro,F (2165) - Aleksei V. (1924) {Ukraine} [B31]
Gameknot.com, April 8, 2010 to June 10, 2010

Analysis board for this game
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.c3 Nc7 8.Bf1 0-0 9.d3 d6 10.exd6 exd6 11.Bf4 Nd5 12.Bg3 Qb6 13.Qb3 Qxb3 14.axb3 Rd8 15.Nbd2 Bg4 16.Ng5 Bh6 17.Bh4 f6 18.Nge4 Bxd2 19.Nxd2 g5 20.Bg3 f5 21.h3 Bh5 22.Bh2 Rd7 23.Be2 Bxe2 24.Rxe2 Rad8 25.Nf3 Rg7 26.Re6 f4 27.h4 gxh4 28.Nxh4 Rf7 29.Nf3 b6 30.Re4 Rdd7 31.Rae1 Rfe7 32.Bxf4 Nxf4 33.Rxf4 Rxe1+ 34.Nxe1± Rf7 35.Rxf7 Kxf7 36.Kf1 Na5 37.b4 cxb4 38.cxb4 Nc6 39.Nc2 a6 40.Ke2 h5 41.Ke3 d5 42.b5 axb5 43.Nd4 Nxd4 44.Kxd4 Ke6 45.Kc3 Ke5 46.Kb4 Kd6 47.g3 Ke5 48.Kxb5 1-0


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Games with 7.Nc3 instead of 7.c3
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Niro,F (2205) - Ghezzi, C {Italy} (1794) [B31]
Gameknot.com, March 26, 2010 to May 17, 2010

Analysis board for this game
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Re1 Bg7 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nc3 Nc7 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Ne4 Ne6 10.d3 0-0 11.Be3 b6 12.Qd2 Nd4 13.Nxd4 cxd4 14.Bh6 c5 15.Qf4 Bb7 16.h4 Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Qd5 18.f3 Qxe5 19.Ng5 Qg7 20.Qxg7+ Kxg7 21.Rxe7 Bd5 22.Rae1 Rfb8 23.a4 h6 24.Ne6+ Bxe6 25.R1xe6 Kf8 26.Re4 a5 27.Kh2 b5 28.axb5 a4

28...Rxb5 29.b3 a4 30.bxa4 Rxa4 31.Rc7

29.Rc7 Rxb5 30.Ree7 Rxb2 31.Rxf7+ Kg8 32.Rg7+ Kh8 33.Rxg6 a3

If 33...Rxc2 34.Rxh6+ Kg8 35.f4 a3 (35...Rf8 36.Rg6+ Kh8 37.Ra6) 36.Rg6+ Kh8 (36...Kf8 37.f5) 37.f5 Rf2 38.f6 a2 39.Rh6+ Kg8 40.Rg7+ Kf8 41.Rh8#

34.Rxh6+ Kg8 35.f4 a2 36.f5 a1Q 37.f6 Qa2 38.Rg7+ Kf8 39.Rh8+ Qg8 40.Rhxg8# 1-0


Niro,F (2200) - artal (1855) [B31]
Gameknot.com, February 1, 2011 to February 11, 2011

Analysis board for this game
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nc3 Nb6 8.a4 a6 9.Bxc6 dxc6 10.Ne4 Nd7

10...c4 11.a5 Nd5 12.d4 cxd3 13.Qxd3 0-0 14.h3 b5 15.axb6 Qxb6 16.Bd2

11.e6± fxe6 12.Nfg5 Ne5 13.Nxc5 Qd5 14.d4 0-0

14...b6 15.Nce4

15.a5 h6 16.f4 Nd3

16...Nd7 17.Ngxe6 Nxc5 18.Nxg7 Rd8 19.Re5± Qxd4+ 20.Qxd4 Rxd4 21.Be3 Re4 22.Bxc5 Rxe5 23.fxe5 Kxg7 24.Bxe7 Bf5 25.c4

17.Qxd3 Bxd4+

17...Qxd4+ 18.Qxd4 Bxd4+ 19.Be3 Bxe3+ 20.Rxe3 hxg5 21.fxg5 Rf5 22.Nd3± (22.Ne4 Bd7±) 22...Rxg5 23.Ne5+-;
17...hxg5 18.Re5 Bxe5 (18...Qd8 19.Qxg6) 19.fxe5 Kg7 20.Bxg5±

18.Be3 Bxc5

18...Bxe3+ 19.Rxe3 Qxd3 (19...Qxc5? 20.Qxg6+ Kh8 21.Qh7#) 20.Rxd3 hxg5 21.fxg5

19.Qxg6+ Black resigned Kh8 20.Qh7# 1-0


Niro,F (2207) - wwgia (1772) {Italy} [B31]
Gameknot.com, August 16, 2011 to August 30, 2011

Analysis board for this game
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nc3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 0-0 9.d4 cxd4 10.cxd4 d5 11.exd6 Qxd6 12.c3 Bg4 13.h3 Bf5 14.a4 Rac8 15.Ba3 Qf4 16.Re3 Bf6 17.Qe1 a6 18.Bxc6 Rxc6 19.Bxe7 Bxe7 20.Rxe7 Rxc3 21.Qxc3 1-0


Niro,F (2247) - blacklab {Trumbull, CT} (2315) [B31]
Gameknot.com, August 28, 2013 to August 31, 2013

Analyis board for this game
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nc3 Nc7 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Ne4 Ne6 10.d3 b6 11.Be3 Qc7 12.a3 0-0 13.Qd2 Rd8 14.b4 Nd4 15.Bxd4 cxd4 16.Qf4 h6 17.h4 Be6 18.h5 g5 19.Nexg5 hxg5 20.Nxg5 Qd7 21.Nf3 Bf8

21...a5 22.h6 Bf8 23.Re4 c5 24.bxc5 bxc5 25.Qh4=

22.h6 a5 23.Re4 axb4

23...c5 24.bxc5 bxc5 25.Qh4=

24.Rxd4 Qc7 25.Rxb4 c5 26.Qg3+ Kh8 27.Rf4= Qc6 28.Re1 Ra4 29.Re3 Rxf4 30.Qxf4 Bd5

30...c4 31.Ng5 cxd3 32.cxd3 Ra8 33.Rg3 Rc8 34.Nxf7+ Bxf7 35.Qxf7 Bxh6 36.Kh2 Rf8 37.Qxe7 Qa4 38.Rf3 Rxf3 39.gxf3 Qd4 40.Kg2 Qxd3 41.Qf6+ Bg7 42.Qxb6 Bxe5 43.Qh6+ Qh7 44.Qxh7+ Kxh7=

31.Ng5 f6 32.e6 fxg5 33.Qe5+ Kh7

33...Kg8? 34.h7+ Kxh7 35.Qf5+ Kh8 36.Rh3+ Bh6 37.Rxh6+ Kg7 38.Qxg5+ Kf8 39.Rh8#

34.Qf5+ Kh8 35.Qe5+ Kh7 36.Qf5+ Kh8 37.Qe5+ ½-½


Niro,F (2247) - guardiao {Portugal} (2497) [B31]
Gameknot.com, August 13, 2013 to September 24, 2013

Analysis board for this game
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. Re1 Nf6 6. e5 Nd5 7. Nc3 Nc7 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. d3 O-O 10. h3 Ne6 11. Ne2 Nd4 12. Nexd4 cxd4 13. Bd2 c5 14. Qc1 b6 15. Bh6 Bb7 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qf4 Qd7 18. Ng5 Qf5 19. Qxf5 gxf5 20. h4 Rac8 21. b3 Rg8 22. Nh3 Kh6 23. Nf4 Rg4 24. g3 Rxf4 25. gxf4 Rg8+ 26. Kf1 Bf3 27. Rec1 Rg4 28. Ke1 Rxf4 29. Kd2 Rxh4 30. c3 Rh2 31. cxd4 cxd4 32. Rf1 Kg5 33. Rac1 Kf4 34. Rc7 e6 35. Rxa7 h5 36. Rxf7 Bg2 37. Re1 Bf3 38. Rf1 Bg2 39. Re1 1/2-1/2


Niro,F (2207) - wwgia (1772) {Italy} [B31]
Gameknot.com, April 2, 2013 to April 16, 2013

Analysis board for this game
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. Re1 Nf6 6. e5 Nd5 7. Nc3 Nc7 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. Ne4 b6 10. Nf6+ exf6 11. exf6+ Kf8 12. fxg7+ Kxg7 13. b3 Ne6 14. Rxe6 Bxe6 15. Bb2+ f6 16. Ng5 Qd5 17. Qe1 Rae8 18. Ne4 Rhf8 19. Qe3 Bd7 20. d3 Kg8 21. Qf4 Bf5 22. Nxf6+ Rxf6 23. Bxf6 Qe6 24. Bc3 b5 25. h3 Rf8 26. Re1 Qd5 27. Re7 1-0


Niro,F (2207) - wwgia (1772) {Italy} [B31]
Gameknot.com, October 6, 2013 to October 9, 2013

Analysis board for this game
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. Re1 Nf6 6. e5 Nd5 7. Nc3 Nc7 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. Ne4 b6 10. Nf6+ exf6 11. exf6+ Kf8 12. fxg7+ Kxg7 13. b3 Ne6 14. Re4 Re8 15. Bb2+ f6 16. d3 Bd7 17. Qd2 Qc7 18. Rae1 Rad8 19. Qc3 Nd4 20. Nxd4 cxd4 21. Qxd4
1-0


And finally, one that ends with the "Philidor Position."

Niro,F (2235) - Todorov,D {Bulgaria} (1905) [B31]
Gameknot.com, May 18, 2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nc3 Nc7 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Ne4 Ne6 10.d3 0-0 11.Be3 b6 12.Qd2 Nd4 13.Nxd4 cxd4 14.Bh6 c5 15.Qf4 Bb7 16.h4 Qd5 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.f3 h6

18...Rae8 19.Nf6 Lutz 19...exf6 20.exf6+ Kh8 21.Qh6; 18...Rad8 19.h5 Timman

19.Nf2=

19.Nf6? exf6 20.exf6+ Kh7!-+

19...Qe6 20.a4 Rad8 21.a5 b5 22.Ng4 Rh8 23.a6 Bd5 24.b3 Qc6 25.Qg3 Be6 26.Nf2 Kh7 27.Ne4 Rb8 28.Qf2 Rhc8 29.f4 Bd5 30.f5 gxf5 31.Qxf5+ Qg6 32.Qxg6+ fxg6 33.Ng3 Be6 34.Rf1 Rc6 35.h5 Rg8 36.Ra5 Rb6 37.hxg6+ Rxg6 38.Ne4 Bd5 39.Rf8 h5 40.Kf2 Kg7 41.Rd8 Bxe4 42.dxe4 Rg4 43.Rd7 Kf7 44.g3 h4 45.gxh4 Rxe4 46.Rxa7 Rg6 47.Rxe7+ Kxe7 48.a7 Rf4+ 49.Ke2 Rg2+ 50.Ke1 Rxh4 51.Kf1 Rg8 52.a8Q Rxa8 53.Rxa8 Kd7 54.b4 c4 55.Ra6 Ke7 56.Rd6 Rh2 57.Rxd4 Ke6 58.c3 Rc2 59.Rd8 Kxe5 60.Re8+ Kf4 61.Ke1 Rxc3 62.Rb8 Re3+ 63.Kd2 Re5 64.Kc3 Ke4 65.Rc8 Rd5 66.Re8+ Kf5 67.Re3 Rd1 68.Kc2 Rf1 69.Re8 Rh1 70.Rb8 Ke4 71.Rxb5 Kd4 72.Rg5 Rh2+ 73.Kc1 Kc3 74.Rg3+ Kxb4


75.Rf3 (position above) Philidor ½-½

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Here's what can happen if Black plays 5...e5 instead of Nf6 (from coach Curdo's games):
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Curdo,John - Wolk,Elliot [B31]
Wethersfield, CT, July 25, 1981

Notes by FM John Curdo (originally published in the Boston Globe)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 e5 6.c3 Nge7 7.d4!? exd4 8.cxd4 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Bxd4? 10.Nc3 0-0 11.Bg5 f6

11...Bg7 12.e5!; 11...d6!?

12.Bh6 Re8 13.Ne2! Nc6 14.Qb3+ Kh8 15.Qf7 Rg8 16.Bxc6 dxc6 17.Nxd4 Qxd4

17...cxd4 18.e5

18.Rad1 Qe5


19.Rd8!

Black resigned 19...Be6 20.Bg7# 1-0

Curdo,J - Mishkin,P [B31]
Tewksbury, MA, October 6, 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 e5 6.c3 Nge7 7.d4 cxd4 8.cxd4 exd4 9.e5 0-0 10.Bg5 Qb6 11.Na3 Nf5 12.Qd2 d5 13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.g4 Ne3 15.fxe3 Bxg4 16.Rf1 Bxf3 17.Rxf3 Bxe5 18.Rb1 dxe3 19.Bxe3 Qc7 20.Nc2 Qd7 21.Rf2 f5 22.Bc5 Rf7 23.Nd4 Bc7 24.Re1 Bb6 25.Qc3 Re8 26.Rxe8+ Qxe8 27.Re2 Qd7 28.Bxb6 axb6 29.Qxc6 Qxc6 30.Nxc6 Rd7 31.Kf2 Kf8 32.Kf3 Rc7 33.Re6 b5 34.Kf4 b4 35.Ke5 b3 36.axb3 d4 37.Nxd4 Kf7 38.b4 Rc1 39.Rf6+ Ke7 40.Rc6 Re1+ 41.Kd5 Rd1 42.b5 Kd7 43.Rf6 Ke7 44.Ra6 f4 45.b6 f3 46.b7 f2 47.b8Q f1Q 48.Qc7+ 1-0

Curdo,John - Mishkin,Paul [B31]
Natick, MA, November 5, 2002
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 e5 6.c3 Nge7 7.d4 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 exd4 10.e5 0-0 11.Bg5 Qe8 12.Nd2 Nc6 13.Ne4 Qe6 14.f4 d5 15.exd6 Qf5 16.Bd3 Qg4 17.Qd2 f6 18.Bc4+ Kh8 19.Nxf6 Bxf6 20.Bxf6+ Rxf6 21.Re8+ Kg7 22.Rg8+ Kh6 23.f5+ g5 24.Rf1 Ne5 25.Be2 Rxf5 26.Bxg4 Rxf1+ 27.Kxf1 1-0


John Curdo lives in Massachusetts and will turn 83 on November 14.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

One Month to go for new Journal Launch

Above: Frank Niro, Managing Editor of the Journal of Chess Research, reviews the manuscript, specifications and pricing of the special preview issue of the new journal with Misti Drury, customer service representative for the printing company.

Article courtesy of the International Society for Chess Research

The new Journal of Chess Research will be released at a special ceremony in St. Louis on October 26, 2014. The date coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dutch psychologist, Dr. Adriaan de Groot, who is considered around the world as the “father of chess research.” Approximately 40 guests will attend the ceremony, including at least a dozen members of the journal’s prestigious editorial board, as well as representatives of the world governing body of chess (FIDE), educators, and chess leaders from around the United States.

The Journal of Chess Research is the first international scholarly journal that focuses on research related to the game of chess across all academic disciplines. In a recent interview concerning the new journal, managing editor Frank Niro, speaking for the entire editorial team stated, “We are pleased and honored to be selected by the Board of Directors of the International Society for Chess Research to spearhead the launch of this new scholarly publication. We sincerely believe that the journal will appeal to an international audience and will fill a niche in the academic marketplace.”

The new journal plans to publish original theoretical and empirical research based on a variety of perspectives and disciplines - offering a platform for exploring a wide range of chess-related topics including education, psychology, computers, aging issues, cheating, social capital, business strategy, cognitive development, intergenerational awareness, leadership, and statistics. “Beyond that,” Niro said, “it is our hope to work as a stimulus for interest and resources that will trigger further research into health-related topics such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism and Alzheimer’s Disease.”

It is no coincidence that the journal is launching with a “preview issue” on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Adriaan de Groot. Not only was he the chess research pioneer who analyzed how chess players approach problem solving in the 1930s; he was a key member of the IBM project team in the 1990s that developed the chess playing algorithm for Deep Blue, the multi-processer computer that defeated World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. And for the 60 years in between, he continued to refine his research, publish his results, study, teach, play chess, and even produce his own CD of piano improvisations.

The Journal of Chess Research is the official publication of the International Society for Chess Research. For more information, please consult the journal website: http://www.chessresearch.org/
Mailing address: Journal of Chess Research, 3735 Palomar Centre Drive, Suite 150, Lexington, KY 40513

Membership and subscription information is on the Society for Chess Research website: http://www.chessresearchsociety.org/
Mailing address: Society for Chess Research, P.O. Box 93, Wellston, Ohio 45692

JOURNAL OF CHESS RESEARCH EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS

William M. Bart, PhD, University of Minnesota
Jana M. Bellin, MD/WGM, Sandwell General Hospital (England)
Arthur Bowman, PhD, Norfolk State University
Ian Brooks, PhD/ICCF GM, University of Illinois
Christopher Chabris, PhD, Union College
George A. Dean, MD, University of Michigan
Robert Ferguson, PhD, American Chess School
Fernand Gobet, PhD, University of Liverpool (England)
Guillermo Isidron, MD, University of Havana (Cuba)
Gyorgy Kende, DMS, National University of Public Service (Hungary)
Kenneth A. Kiewra, PhD, University of Nebraska
Danny Kopec, PhD/IM, Brooklyn College
Tamara V. Korenman, PhD, Saint Xavier University
Yona Kosashvili, MD/GM, University of Tel Aviv (Israel)
Peter Maher, PhD, Webster University
Alexander Matros, PhD/IM, University of South Carolina
Joseph G. Ponterotto, PhD, Fordham University
Kenneth W. Regan, PhD/IM, SUNY Buffalo
Alexey Root, PhD/WIM, University of Texas at Dallas
Graham D. Rowles, PhD, University of Kentucky
Loren Schmidt, PhD/FM, Heritage University
Julian Z. Schuster, PhD, Webster University
Balint Sztaray, PhD, University of the Pacific
Martha Underwood, PhD, University of Arizona
Ravi Varadhan, PhD, Johns Hopkins University

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Grandmaster Lev Alburt, New York, NY, author, chess teacher, former U.S. Champion
Ms. Amy Bowllan, Concordia University, NYC, Emmy winning journalist
Dr. Neil Charness, Florida State University, active researcher on chess and aging issues
FIDE Master Leontxo Garcia, Madrid, Spain, international chess journalist
Grandmaster Efstratios Grivas, Athens, Greece, FIDE Trainer’s Commission
Prof. Manuel Guillermo Nieto, Colombia (SA) Sch. of Engineering, International Arbiter
Grandmaster Susan Polgar, Webster University, former women’s World Champion
Grandmaster Ken Rogoff, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, former U.S. Champion

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Northwest well represented in 2014 SPFGI


View of the stage from above at 2014 Susan Polgar Girls Invitational

A portion of the following article by the author of this blog will appear in the October, 2014 issue of Northwest Chess magazine.

Four girls from the Pacific Northwest region participated in this year’s Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational held on the campus of Webster University in suburban St. Louis. Olga Cheraphkin of Washington finished with four points to finish in a 7th place tie in the six round 56-player event. Olga lost only to top scholarship winner Kimberly Ding of New Jersey and rising star Natassja Matus of Minnesota. Olga teamed with Katya Davis of New York to tie for first place in the bughouse side event.


Olga Cherepakhin of Washington (left) makes her first move against Kimberly Ding of New Jersey at the start of their blitz match

Carmen Pemsler of Idaho also finished with a plus score (3.5 – 2.5) while Lauren Mei Calora of Oregon, playing in her first USCF-rated event, scored two points. The other Oregon resident, Andrea Botez, officially represented Canada and finished with an even score. Carmen played solidly throughout, losing only one game in the main event. She was one of the top finishers in the blitz tourney with 8-2, only a point out of clear first and good enough for a second place tie. All for NWC girls fared well in the blitz, finishing with a combined 24.5 – 15.5 record.

Andrea Botez of Happy Valley, OR, was actually the Oregon state girls champion, but accepted her invitation as Canadian rep (since her family has duel citizenship) so that another Oregon girl could participate. State scholastic coordinator Carl Haessler selected Lauren Mei Calora to fill the Oregon vacancy.

Additionally, Savanna Nacarrato of Sandpoint, ID, was selected for the special TD exemption this year. Due to schoolwork and other activities she has not had much time to practice chess this past year, so she graciously deferred rather than take up a spot in the field that could go to someone better prepared. As a result, Savanna is the first girl invited to attend the SPFGI in 2015.

Carmen Pemsler of Idaho

Selected games from the 2014 SPFGI:

Pemsler, Carmen – Buxbaum, Talia [D55]
2014 SPFGI (Rd. 1), July 12, 2014


1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.e3 b6 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.0–0 Nbd7 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Qc2 c5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Rfd1 c4 13.Be2 Nb6 14.Nd4 Rc8 15.Bf3 h6 16.Bh4 Re8 17.Rd2 Qd7 18.Bg3 Rcd8 19.Rad1 Bc5 20.a3 Bxd4 21.Rxd4 a6


22.e4 Qc6 23.e5 Nh7 24.Qd2 Re7 25.Nxd5 Nxd5 26.Bxd5 Rxd5 27.Rxd5 Qxd5 28.Qxd5 Bxd5 29.Rxd5 Kf8 30.h4 f6 31.Rc5 fxe5 32.Bxe5 Nf6 33.Bd6 Kf7 34.Bxe7 Kxe7 35.Rxc4 Kd7 36.Kf1 g5 37.hxg5 hxg5 38.Ke2 Kd6 39.Ra4 Kc5 40.Rxa6 Ne4 41.f3 Ng3+ 42.Kf2 Nh1+ 43.Kg1 Ng3 44.Ra5+ Kc4 45.Rxg5 Ne2+ 46.Kf2 Nc1 47.Ke3 Kb3 48.Rb5+ Ka2 49.Kd2 Nb3+ 50.Rxb3 Kxb3 51.f4 Kc4 52.a4 Kb4 53.f5 Kxa4 54.f6 Kb4 55.f7 Ka4 56.f8Q Kb5 57.Qc8 Kb4 58.Kd3 Kb5 59.Kd4 Kb4 60.Qc4+ Ka5 61.Qb3 Ka6 62.Kc5 Ka7 63.Kc6 Ka8 64.Qb7# 1–0

Cherepakhin, Olga - Pandey, Ritika [C89]
2014 SPFGI (Rd. 6), July 15, 2014


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.d3 Bg4 10.h3 Bh5 11.Nbd2 dxe4 12.dxe4 Na5 13.Bc2 Bd6 14.Nf1 Qe7 15.Ng3 Bg6 16.Nh4 Rfd8 17.Nhf5 Qe6 18.Qf3 Bf8 19.Bg5 Kh8 20.h4 h6


21.Nxh6 Nc4 22.Bb3 Kh7 23.Bxf6 Qxf6 24.Qxf6 gxf6 25.Bxc4 Bxh6 26.Bd5 Rac8 27.h5 c6 28.hxg6+ fxg6 29.Bb3 Rd2 30.Re2 Rcd8 31.Rxd2 Rxd2 32.Rd1 Rxb2 33.Rd7+ Bg7 34.Rd3 a5 35.Bf7 c5 36.Nf1 c4 37.Rd2 Rb1 38.g3 Bh6 39.Rc2 Kg7 40.Bd5 f5 41.Kg2 Kf6 42.Nd2 Bxd2 43.Rxd2 Kg5 44.Re2 Kf6 45.f4 fxe4 46.fxe5+ Kxe5 47.Bxe4 Rc1 48.Bxg6+ Kf6 49.Rc2 Re1 50.Bh5 Kg5 51.g4 b4 52.cxb4 axb4 53.Rxc4 Re2+ 54.Kf3 Rxa2 55.Rxb4 Ra3+ 56.Ke4 Ra5 57.Rd4 Kf6 58.Rd6+ Ke7 59.Rd5 Ra4+ 60.Kf5 Ra1 61.g5 Rf1+ 62.Kg6 Rh1 63.Rf5 Ke6 64.Rf2 Ke7 65.Kh6 Rc1 66.g6 Rc6 67.Rf5 Ke8 68.Kh7 Rc7+ 69.Rf7 Rxf7+ 70.gxf7+ Kf8 71.Kg6 Ke7 72.Kg7 Ke6 73.f8Q Ke5 74.Qd8 Ke4 75.Qd6 Kf5 76.Bf3 Kg5 77.Qf6# 1–0

Botez, Andrea (1551) - Calora, Lauren Mei [D02]
2014 SPFGI (Rd. 6), July 15, 2014


1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.e3 Bg4 4.h3 Bh5 5.c4 e6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.0–0 Qd7 9.a3 0–0 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Be2 Qe6 12.Ng5 Qf5 13.Bxh5 Qxg5 14.Bf3 Qf5 15.Qb3 Rfd8 16.Qxb7 Qd7 17.Qb3 Na5 18.Qb5 Qxb5 19.Nxb5 Bd6 20.Nxd6 cxd6 21.b4 Nb3 22.Rb1 Nxc1 23.Rfxc1 h5 24.a4 g5 25.b5 g4 26.hxg4 hxg4 27.Be2 Ne4 28.Bxg4 Nd2 29.Rb4 a5 30.bxa6 Rxa6 31.Rc2 Nc4 32.Bf3 Na3 33.Rc3 Kg7 34.Rxa3 Rc6 35.Ra1 Kf6 36.Bxd5 Rc2 37.a5 Kf5 38.a6 Rdc8 39.a7 Rc1+ 40.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 41.Kh2 Rc2 42.a8Q Rxf2 43.e4+ Kf4 44.Rb3 Rd2 45.Rf3+ Kg4 46.Qg8+ Kh4 47.Rh3# 1–0

More than $200,000 in scholarships and other prizes were awarded to competitors in the tournament, bringing the total value of college scholarships sponsored by the Susan Polgar Foundation over the past twelve years to more than 3.5 million dollars. Both the main event and the blitz tournament were FIDE rated for the first time this year thanks to the participation of FIDE Arbiter Andre Botez. The Chief Arbiter was former NWC member Frank Niro, assisted again this year by Alise Pemsler of Idaho.

Tournament director Alise Pemsler observes a game between Andrea Botez (left) and Sheena Zeng.

GM Susan Polgar plays an obvious relative of Northwest’s Morgan the dog.

TD Staff, l. to r., Andre Botez, Frank Niro, Martha Underwood, Susan Polgar, Jack Scheible, Alise Pemsler

Thursday, July 17, 2014

2014 SPFGI Final report

The co-champions include top-seeded Kimberly Ding of New Jersey, Natasha Morales Santos of Puerto Rico and Neeshmy Nunez Gonzales of Costa Rica, pictured here between GM Susan Polgar (left) and Webster University President, Beth Stroble (right).

FIDE Commission for Women's Chess report is located here.

The preliminary report is here.

The 11th Annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational chess tournament, held July 10-15 at Webster University, wrapped up on Tuesday, July 15, in an unprecedented three-way tie.

The co-champions include top-seeded Kimberly Ding of New Jersey, Natasha Morales Santos of Puerto Rico and Neeshmy Nunez Gonzales of Costa Rica.

Ultimately, rules of FIDE, the International Chess Federation, determined the SPGI winning order. Therefore Ding took first place, wining a four-year all-tuition-and-fees scholarship to Webster, worth $100,000.

Morales Santos, who has played chess for only three years and also is legally blind, won second place, earning a four-year, $14,000 per year scholarship to Webster. Nunez Gonzales came in third, winning a four-year, $12,000 per year Webster scholarship.

Morales Santos will represent her home country of Puerto Rico at the 41st World Chess Olympiad, to be held Aug. 1 through 15 in Tromso, Norway.

Organized by Webster chess coach Susan Polgar, the tournament drew 56 girls from states across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico and Canada.The six-day event is considered the most prestigious all-girls chess event in the U.S.

A partnership between Webster University and the Susan Polgar Foundation, the six-round championship tournament awards more than $200,000 in chess scholarships and prizes.

Co-Champions (Scholarships to Webster U)

Kimberly Ding - $100,000 scholarship
Natasha Morales Santos (PUR) - $56,000 scholarship
Neeshmy Nunez Gonzales (CRC) -$48,000 scholarship

Under Age 10 Champion ($1,000 toward the World Youth)
$1,000
Nastassja Matus - 4.5 points

Under Age 12 Co-Champions ($1,000 toward the World Youth)
$333.33 each
Serafina Show - 4.0
Shreya Mangalam - 4.0
Thalia Cevantes Landiero (Cuba) - 4.0

Under Age 14 Co-Champions ($1,000 toward the World Youth)
$500 each
Katya Davis - 4.0
Naomi Santiago - 4.0

Under Age 16 Co-Champions ($1,000 toward the World Youth)
$500 each
Kimberly Ding - 5
Natasha Morales Santos (Puerto Rico) - 5

SPFGI Blitz Champion

Katya Davis 9/10

SPFGI Puzzle Solving Champion

Kimberly Ding 19.5/20

Bughouse Co-Champions

Diana Pereyra & Neeshmy Gonzales (won playoff)
Katya Davis & Olga Cherepakhin

More photos from the SPFGI

Webster University blog

Click on images below to enlarge

Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 SPFGI set to start

Aerial view of downtown St. Louis, Missouri, July, 2014

Rules & Conditions for the 11th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational
(Over $200K in prizes and scholarships)
July 10 – 15, 2014 at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri)

Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus for all qualifiers!

The annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational, in its 11th year, is the most prestigious all-girls event in the United States. It will once again be held at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri).

• There will be an intense training session with Susan Polgar and members of the SPICE team, followed by a 6 round (g/90+30) FIDE rated championship tournament.

• The traditional Blitz, Puzzle Solving, Bughouse events will stay the same as in previous years.

• There will be many chess prizes awarded, as well as scholarships to Webster University.

Each state is allowed one representative to be nominated by May 20, 2014. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than June 15. (Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow the host state to enter an additional qualified player.) Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow exceptions to the May 20 entry/alternate deadline. Should the state affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may determine the candidate from that state.

Players must have been enrolled in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state they represent, also of the year in which the tournament is held. Home-schooled students who are under the age of 19 on July 10th of the year in which the event is held or students who have never attended college on a full time basis prior to June 1 of the year in which the tournament is held, are eligible to represent the state in which they reside.

Exception: If a player graduates from high school early and is already attending college, she may still represent her state if nominated. This is the decision of each state affiliate.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The participants of the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational DO NOT have to be high school students. Any qualifier under the age of 19 (by July 10th of the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!

2014 SPFGI participants pictured outside of the World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum before the start of the tournament

Special invitation for this year only: All past participants of the SPNI and SPFGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2004-2013) are invited to participate in the 2014 SPFGI. The idea is to have the past participants learn my method of training so they can go back home and share their knowledge with the younger players. However, registration MUST be made ASAP since space is limited. There will be mutual training sessions for all, however separate section & prizes for alumni participants over the age of 19.

Players are required to furnish the organizer an emergency phone number and the e-mail address of a parent/guardian.

There is no entry fee to participate in the 2014 SPFGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel. For all state representatives, and qualifiers from the SPNO or SPWO, Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus.

For alumni participants, wild card/special invites, coaches, parents, or other family members, inexpensive accommodations are available for housing and dining on Webster’s campus. Please note that all reservations and registrations MUST be made (and accommodation expenses prepaid) no later than June 15, 2014.

Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, and the SPFGI Championship. Co-champions are recognized in the case of a tie, with each champion receiving a Champion’s Plaque or Trophy.

The Champion (or Co-Champions) of the main event will automatically be invited to defend her/their title (must meet age requirement).

Champion: Webster University scholarship* (approximately $24,000+ per year x 4 years) Champion's Cup. (In case of a tie, a playoff will used to determine the level of scholarships)

2nd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $14,000+ per year x 4 years)

3rd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $12,000+ per year x 4 years)

Brand new additional prizes this year!

Top under 16: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2014 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 14: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2014 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 12: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2014 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 10: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2014 World Youth (if participating**)

* The scholarships to Webster University must be exercised no later than Fall of 2017, and are not transferable. In addition, these scholarships cannot be combined with other academic scholarships, or stacked. If players won scholarships in past events, they can choose to exercise the highest one.

** After flight ticket has been purchased, a $1,000 reimbursement check will be sent to the winners.

The Polgar Committee’s goal is to have all 50 states (including two representatives for California, two for Texas, and two for Missouri) and the District of Columbia represented. We strongly encourage each state and the District of Columbia affiliate to hold a scholastic championship tournament to determine each state’s champion and representative. Failing this, rating criteria may be acceptable. A scholastic girls’ champion or the highest rated girls’ scholastic player in a state who has no state affiliate of the USCF should contact the Polgar Committee as soon as possible.

Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee and its members may elect to award a limited number of wild cards each year for the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational.

Special qualifying events: The Polgar Committee will award automatic qualifying spots to the reigning winners in each section of the annual Susan Polgar NO for Girls (New Orleans) and the Susan Polgar World Open for Girls (Chicago).

The SPFGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ).

NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com).

Contact info: Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com)

The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-281-7424 or through info@PolgarFoundation.org.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Info on PrimeTime Backgammon and USBF


Click here and go to the bottom of article to download or print: PrimeTime Backgammon May-June 2014 Issue

This content-packed issue of PrimeTime Backgammon shines the spotlight on strong new players – Saba Bejanishvili, Julius High, and David Presser. Marty Storer provides an analysis of a match between shooting star Saba Bejanishvili of Marietta, Georgia (who also hails from the Republic of Georgia) and Giant of Backgammon Matt Cohn-Geier (MCG) in the Dual-Duel event at the Texas Backgammon Championships. Saba stunned the online audience by winning on performance rating and score against MCG. Recently, Saba won the Tournament of Champions at the Chicago Open.

Ray Fogerlund reports on the Atlanta tournament, highlighting Julius High’s amazing trifecta: the Championship division, the Atlanta Cup jackpot, and the Seniors event. Ray also pays his respects to Frank Talbot, who captured the Bob Wilensky Memorial Masters.

See especially the profile of David Presser, the winner of the February and March 2014 USBGF Online Circuit and another of the young lions making their early mark in the backgammon world. David had the second highest score (after Falafel) on Mochy’s 4thProficiency Exam administered at the Chicago Open.

Washington DC has emerged as a backgammon powerhouse. The Beltway Backgammon Club, under the directorship of Barry Silliman, has dominated the USBGF National Club Team Championship, with a second place finish in the inaugural event in 2011, first and second in 2012, and first in 2013. Frank Raposa, Jason Lee, and Bob Koca (the FrankLee Unflappable team) each provide commentary on the 2013 finals matches with the Jersey Boys (Jeff Acierno, Alan Grunwald, and Artie Sutton). Frank Raposa just won the Championship division of the Chicago Open, taking the lead in the ABT points race for the year.

Bill Davis shares with us his impressions of the Central States Invitational at the beginning of March, and I report, in prose and photos, on the 20th anniversary of the Ohio State Backgammon Championships in Cleveland in late March.

USBGF President Bill Riles explains the new USBGF policy on Legal Moves – a stance that was adopted by players voting at the Las Vegas U.S. Open tournament in April.

There’s much more – Jason Pack, with a breakthrough year himself, continues with his analysis of the World Backgammon Championship match between Slava and Lars. Paul Weaver analyzes a match between #1 Giant Mochy and #2 Giant Michy at the 2013 Las Vegas Open.

Congratulations to our latest USBGF Prime Clubs: Dallas Backgammon League, Arizona Backgammon Club, Las Vegas Backgammon Club, and Colorado Backgammon Club!

Check out the live and online tournament rankings, and as Bill Riles says: Get in the Game!

Karen Davis
Managing Editor
PrimeTime Backgammon
U.S. Backgammon Federation


Thursday, May 22, 2014

The chess world loses one of its most popular Grandmasters

Quote of the Day - "One mile. One true sentence. You go on from there." - Rachel Toor

GM Dragoljub Velimirovic of Serbia

“Not only have the floods in Serbia had their tolls, but also very sad news came today: GM Dragoljub Velimirovic passed away on May 22, 2014 at the age of 72. I hope it is the last bad news coming from that direction for some time.” These halting words of Turkish Grandmaster Suat Atalik were what I saw when I opened my Facebook page this evening. Serbian GM Velimirovic, known for his attacking style and the variation of the Sicilian Defense bearing his name, was a popular player among chess fans as well as his peers throughout his 65-year playing career.

Velimirovic was the son of Yugoslavian Women's chess champion Jovanka Velimirović, who started taking him to chess tournaments at the age of 7. Despite the shift in government politics in his home country, he lived in Belgrade since 1960 and died a citizen of the Republic of Serbia.

He won the Yugoslavian chess championship on three occasions and was awarded the Grandmaster title in 1973. He won two silver medals at the Nice Olympiad of 1974 (individual and team) and participated in three Interzonal tournaments as part of the world championship cycle.

His first recorded use of the Velimirovic Attack in the Sicilian Defense was in the 1962 Yugoslavian championship against Aleksander Bradvarevic, but it was not until 1965 that he first employed his trademark 9.0-0-0 against Peter Dely. As seen in the latter game starting with 27.Rxd4, his endgame play could also be impressive.

Velimirovic, D - Bradvarevic, Aleksander [B89]
YUG-ch Vrnjacka Banja (5), 1962
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2


8…a6 9.Bb3 Na5 10.0–0 b5 11.Rad1 Qc7 12.f4 Nxb3 13.cxb3 Bb7 14.f5 e5 15.Nf3 Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Bxe4 17.Ng5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 d5 19.f6 0–0 20.Qg4 Qc5+ 21.Rf2 Rfe8 22.Be3 Qf8 23.Bc5 h5 24.Qg5 1–0

Velimirovic, D - Dely, Peter [B89]
Belgrade (2), 1965
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 0–0 9.0–0–0 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Qa5 11.e5 dxe5 12.Qxe5 Qxe5 13.Bxe5 b6 14.f3 Bb7 15.Nb5 a6 16.Nd6 Bc6 17.Bd3 Nd7 18.Bg3 Nc5 19.c4 f5 20.Bc2 f4 21.Bf2 Rad8 22.Bxc5 bxc5 23.Ne4 Bxe4 24.Bxe4 Bf6 25.Kc2 Rb8 26.b3 Bd4


27.Rxd4 cxd4 28.Kd3 Rfd8 29.Rc1 a5 30.c5 Rb4 31.c6 Kf7 32.Rc5 Ra8 33.a4 Rxb3+ 34.Kxd4 Rb4+ 35.Ke5 Ke7 36.Bd3 Rd8 37.Bc4 Rc8 38.Bxe6 Rc7 39.Rxa5 Rb2 40.Bd5 Rxg2 41.h4 g5 42.hxg5 Rxg5+ 43.Kxf4 Kf6 44.Rb5 Re7 45.Be4 Rgg7 46.Bf5 Ra7 47.a5 Rgc7 48.Be4 Ra6 49.Rh5 Rca7 50.Rh6+ Ke7 51.c7 1–0

The Velimirovic attack remains fashionable today and has been utilized by many top players including former World Champion Viswanathan Anand. It has been a staple among the world’s elite correspondence masters for decades because of its many sharp lines and double-edged variations.

U.S. National Master Dennis Monokroussos, a frequent lecturer on chess openings, described a topical line in the Velimirovic Attack as follows: “In the Velimirovic Attack against the Classical Sicilian, White launches his pieces into the center and turns to a kingside attack, seemingly without caring how many of them are en prise at any given moment. White’s characteristic set-up makes a strong aesthetic impression, and often his concluding attack does as well, yet time after time Black has proven to have sufficient resources to hold the balance – even if they are found after a painful loss.”

Following are three positions from GM Dragoljub Velimirovic’s games displaying his tactical prowess. Rest in peace, Grandmaster Velimirovic.

Velimirovic, D - Ciric, Dragoljub
Belgrade, 1963


White mates in 2 moves

Velimirovic, D - Matulovic, Milan
Titograd, 1965


White mates in 4 moves

Velimirovic, D – Sofrevski, Jovan
Titograd, 1965


White mates in 8 moves

Same article in Susan Polgar's Chess Daily News and Information.

Monday, April 28, 2014

"Journal of Chess Research" launches this fall


Quote of the Day - "All too often in the international chess community many benefits of chess are assumed without any empirical research to support such claims. The problem is that there is a definite need to collect data systematically to determine what all of the benefits of chess are. The international chess community is in the enviable position to foster much needed research on chess and its many benefits." - William M. Bart, PhD, University of Minnesota


A new peer-reviewed academic magazine known as the Journal of Chess Research will be begin publication later this year with support from the Susan Polgar Foundation. As a result, empirical research that tests, extends or explores current theory concerning the benefits and scientific implications of the game of chess will be available in a single location.

Presently, there are no scholarly journals that relate specifically to chess research. Previous articles concerning chess research have appeared sporadically in other disciplines and many of these important articles have not been translated into English. Some researchers have remarked that little has been accomplished with respect to scientific research in chess, and what has been done is difficult to identify and retrieve. The articles that do exist continue to be fragmented, poorly cross-referenced and are not centrally indexed to facilitate review and further research. The Journal of Chess Research will bridge that gap.

William M. Bart, PhD, professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota, is known in the chess world as co-author of the 2003 “Functional MRI study of high-level cognition. I. The game of chess,” published in Cognitive Brain Research, 16, 26-31. Currently, Dr. Bart teaches a college level course entitled “Chess and Critical Thinking.” In accepting his appointment to the 20-member Editorial Board of the new Journal, he remarked:
"All too often in the international chess community many benefits of chess are assumed without any empirical research to support such claims. The problem is that there is a definite need to collect data systematically to determine what all of the benefits of chess are. The international chess community is in the enviable position to foster much needed research on chess and its many benefits."

As a result of these factors, a new world-wide organization known as the International Society for Chess Research (ISCR) has been formed. The
Journal of Chess Research has been designated as the official publication of the new group and will be available to all ISCR members as part of the annual membership fee.

The Journal of Chess Research will be published quarterly in Lexington, Kentucky, and distributed to university libraries, academicians, chess players, researchers and other interested parties both in printed and electronic formats. Each issue is intended to contribute broadly to awareness and understanding of the impact of chess on human development, psychology, cognition, philosophy, sociology, aging, business strategy, education and technology. Manuscripts that make strong empirical and theoretical contributions to the field of chess-related research will be solicited from scholars throughout the academic community, both in the United States and abroad, and will not be tied to any particular discipline, level of analysis or national context.

The Editorial Board, consisting of distinguished educators and physicians from five different countries, will review all articles in advance in order to ensure that contributions to the field meet rigorous academic standards, exhibit technical competence by researchers and topical relevance. Literature reviews will be accepted, at least initially, to generate a meaningful overview of the current status of chess research on a variety of topics such as chess in education, chess and mathematics, chess and cognitive development, chess and self esteem, chess and Alzheimer’s Disease, etc. Articles not previously available in English may also be accepted, if appropriate.

According to Dr. Joseph Ponterotto of Fordham University, also a member of the Journal’s Editorial Board, “The Journal of Chess Research will be open to multiple methodologies, including qualitative research, field and case studies, life story analysis and so forth, in addition to traditional quantitative and experimental research in various combinations. Many chess studies previously published in cognitive and experimental psychology journals are difficult to understand for the average student and scholar of chess research. The articles in the new journal will be published with the goal of being accessible and reader-friendly, to the extent possible, to a wide audience."

In addition, the Journal of Chess Research will provide an information and referral network to connect researchers and learners and to assist those seeking results and interpretations of research findings. This network will be supported by an interactive and engaging web site, scheduled to be unveiled in June, where profiles of personalities involved with chess research and links to copies of articles from all over the world will be available for examination and download.

Frank Niro, President of Chess Journalists of America, will serve as the Managing Editor of the new publication. Mr. Niro is a member of the adjunct faculty at Cornell University where he teaches Strategic and Business Planning in the Graduate Health Administration program. He is former President of the U.S. Chess Trust and is an award winning writer and editor.

Relevant articles between eight and twenty-five pages that conform to the style guidelines contained in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (APA-6) will be accepted on an ongoing basis. For articles written in a language other than English, abstracts that are translated into English may be submitted. If accepted for publication, the editorial staff will work with the author to get the entire article translated and consistently formatted.

All papers will be reviewed by the Editorial Board and notifications of acceptance will be made to the authors within 30 days of submission. Following acceptance, authors will be given an additional 15 days to submit a final manuscript. Deadlines for receipt of manuscripts for upcoming issues are as follows: Preview Issue – May 9th; Issue #1 – August 8th; Issue #2 - November 7th; Issue #3 – February 6th; Issue #4 – May 8th; Issue #5 – August 7, 2015.

Manuscripts should be attached in a Microsoft Word document and transmitted via e-mail with the subject heading Journal of Chess Research to the Managing Editor: editor@chessresearch.org. Charts and images should be compatible with Adobe Design Standard CS6 software such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. The Journal of Chess Research will be available in both print and digital formats. No fees will be charged to potential contributors.

Inquiries concerning membership in the International Society for Chess Research, proposals, abstracts, web site content and other matters should be mailed to the publication office at: Journal of Chess Research, 3735 Palomar Centre Drive, Suite 150, Lexington, KY 40513.

Click on image to enlarge.

BENEFITS OF CHESS



The Benefits of Playing Chess, according to information collected by the Susan Polgar Foundation are as follows:

Improved test scores and academic achievement
Better mental clarity and overall health
Verbal reasoning skills as well as numerical aptitude
Enhanced creativity, concentration and critical thinking
Increased confidence and self-esteem
Development of memory skills
Ability to patiently plan ahead
Understanding the consequences of actions taken
Perceiving a situation from the other person’s perspective


The Cognitive Benefits of Chess are listed below:

Develop analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills, which young people can transfer to real life.

Learn to engage in deep and thorough chess research to help build confidence in their ability to do academic research.

Help children gain insights into the nature of competition which will help them in any competitive endeavor.

When youngsters play chess they must call upon higher-order thinking skills, analyze actions and consequences, and visualize future possibilities.

In countries where chess is offered widely in schools, students exhibit excellence in the ability to recognize complex patterns and consequently excel in math and science.

The above information concerning the benefits of chess was presented at the SPF fundraiser at the Hungarian Consulate in New York City, May 2013.

Journal of Chess Research web site

International Society for Chess Research web site

Announcement on Susan Polgar Daily News and Information

Chess Benefits in all areas!

regator.com backlink

LIST OF EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Upcoming Ohio Valley Chess Tournaments


Pictured above is the 3-D Sculpture in wood of Poseidon's Quake and Poseidon's Phantom by Professor James D. Mellick of Cedarville University in Southern Ohio. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

I received a note from Robert Chenault of Cincinnati concerning upcoming tournaments in Central and Southern Ohio, some of which are not advertised in Chess Life. I am planning to attend the one this weekend, so please stop by and say hello.

APRIL

This coming Saturday, April 26th - Chess Earth will host the highly anticipated:
Cincy Tornado “Kibitizers” chess tournament (Game in 60 with 5 second delay)
Register online - Entry Fee $25 www.chessearth.com or pay $30 at site. Visa, MasterCard, Amex accepted at site. First Baptist Church (corner of Winton Rd. and Sharon Rd.)

MAY

May 9 – CCC Loves Quick Chess Tournament – www.cincinnatichessclub.com

May 10 – Cincinnati vs. Dayton - Chess Match held at the Dayton Chess Club.
www.daytonchessclub.com and www.cincinnatichessclub.com

May 16 – Women’s Championship - www.cincinnatichessclub.com

May 17 – Ohio Elementary State Championship – www.neilley.com/chess

May 17 – Blunders & Hypocrites – Cincy Tornado - www.chessearth.com

May 23-25 – 56th Gem City Open – www.daytonchessclub.com
5-SS, 30/90 d5, SD/60 d5 (2-day schedule, rd. 1 G/90 d5) at Dayton Chess Club, 18 West 5th St., Dayton, OH 45402. PRIZE FUND GUARANTEED 3 sections: OPEN, open to all. GTD $1200, 800, 501, 400, 301; U2000: $500, 300 Premier-U1800. $501, 301; U1600: $500, 300 Reserve-U1400. $501, 301; U1200: $500, 300. EF: 3-day $88, 2-day $89 if mailed or registered online by 5/16, then $98 at site 2 or 3 day. Free to SM & above-($85 deducted from winnings), DCC mbrs $5 disc. Ohio Grand Prix event, OCA members deduct $3 from EF. 3-day schedule: Reg. Fri. 5- 6:30pm, Rds.: Fri 7pm; Sat 2pm, 7:30pm; Sun 9:30am, 3pm. 2-day schedule: Reg. Sat. 8:30- 9:30am. Rd.1 at 10am, then merges with 3-day. Re-entry: $30. Any player who loses Fri night may re-enter for $30 and loss will not count in tournament standings. One 1/2 pt bye available in Rds. 1-4 (request prior to R1). Unrated players may play in any section with prizes limited to 1/3 except in OPEN with balance to next player(s). $25 upset prize each section.
CROWN PLAZA HOTEL “Where Elegance Meets Style in the Heart of Downtown” beautiful 4 star hotel at 33 E 5th St., 1/2 block from playing site, (888)-233-9527, with the incredible rate of only $89/nite (up to 4) plus tax, ask for Gem City Open rate, 9 May cutoff, reserve early (soccer tmt coming to town the same weekend), free parking and a magnificent view of the Miami Valley from the restaurant on the top floor. FREE COFFEE, TEA, & Donuts Saturday and Sunday Mornings at the Dayton Chess Club for players, parents, and spouses. ENTRIES Mail to Dayton Chess Club, 18 West 5th St., Dayton, OH 45402. ONLINE REGISTRATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON. No cks at site.

May 30 – Bug House Championship - www.cincinnatichessclub.com

JUNE

June 6 – Tim Lake Tandem Team Chess Tournament - www.cincinnatichessclub.com

June 14 – Summer Pawn Storm XXIII - www.daytonchessclub.com

June 21 – Emotional Chess – Cincy Tornado - www.chessearth.com

June 27-29 – Columbus Open – www.centralchessclub.com

JULY

July 11 – CCC Quick Chess Championship Day - www.cincinnatichessclub.com

July 12 – Heat Wave Pawn Storm XXIV - www.daytonchessclub.com

July 19 – Unorthodox Openings – Cincy Tornado - www.chessearth.com

July 25-27 – Ohio Masters
www.OhioChessAcademy.com and www.daytonchessclub.com

For further information, contact robert@chessearth.com .

My last visit to the site of this weekend's tournament at First Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH on Nov. 9, 2013

Interesting analysis of R vs. N endgames at The Chess World.com

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Editorial Boards maintain role as "Keystones" in Science and Academia


Photo above courtesy of Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research.

I am in the process of recruiting Editorial Board members for the new Journal of Chess Research and have learned a great deal about the value of Editorial Boards as they relate peer reviewed academic journals as well as the career paths of prospective members. Below are excerpts from an article written by Laure Haak more than a dozen years ago in the Women in Neuroscience newsletter of April 2001. Although her principal audience at the time consisted primarily of female laboratory scientists, I would like to think that the gender equality issues have been substantially resolved in the intervening decade (thinking of my daughter and wife here) and that, otherwise, her words still ring true today.

Serving as a reviewer and editor for a scholarly journal in your field is a key step in the career progression of a research scientist. It is a lot of work, and can take a toll on your lab and the time you can give to students. The payoff comes not from financial compensation, but with the increased visibility being an editor bestows. Indeed, not only do you increase your visibility, but you also increase your knowledge of your field. "You have to get into editing to get to the top of your field," says Lisa Bero, associate professor of clinical pharmacy and health policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. "That's how you know what is going on."

Experience on an editorial board can be a significant contributing factor to career progression in the research sciences. In this article, current and former editors of bioscience journals comment on the editorial review process, describe how editors and reviewers are chosen, and offer concrete suggestions on how to get involved in editorial review.

The Editorial Review Process

The process of review is dependent upon the editorial structure of a given journal. Journals such as Nature, Neuron, and Science have full-time editorial staffs who handle the review process. Editors are generally assigned papers based on areas of specialization and often manage 10 manuscripts per week. These editors have the final say on whether a manuscript is accepted or rejected. Journals with part-time editors handle the review process differently.

Usually a full-time managing editor sends papers to one or more members of the editorial review board, who may either provide reviews or solicit reviewers and then recommend acceptance or rejection based on reviewer comments.

Board members in this model may or may not have final say in the decision to publish.


Carol Barnes, professor of psychology and neurology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, is a reviewing editor at the Journal of Neuroscience, a 3-year appointment for which she receives no compensation. In 2 years Barnes has processed almost 700 papers to peer reviewers. Based on the reviewer comments, she makes a recommendation to the senior editor that each manuscript be accepted, re-reviewed after revisions, or rejected. "Sometimes the senior editor does not agree with my recommendation. There is back-and-forth on this. It is a good process and nobody takes offense." Barnes has received funding from the university to hire an assistant to provide clerical support to assist her with the manuscript review process. She considers herself fortunate, because "without this help, I would have had to decline this position."

The Selection of Editorial Board Member

Cynthia Kuhn, professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, is one of about 15 associate editors at the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET). Like Barnes and Bero, she runs a lab, teaches classes, and serves as an editor part-time. "I was asked to be associate editor when the editor of the journal changed. The editor knew of me by reputation because I often publish in JPET. For at least this journal, the editor personally selects associate editors--there is no 'application' process. I have this position until a new editor comes along or the current one wants to replace me. Remaining an associate editor is directly linked to performance, if we get reviews done in a timely way, and interact positively with authors so they are not calling the editor to yell at him, we keep our positions. The position is an honorific--I get no salary. I am compensated a fixed amount per manuscript for the costs of mailing and the like."

Word-of-mouth was equally important for Barnes and Bero, who were both invited to serve as reviewing editors by an editor-in-chief. Barnes had served as an associate editor for the Journal of Neuroscience and was recommended for the reviewing editor position by the outgoing editor. Her expertise casts a broad net over basic electrophysiology, development, aging, and learning and memory, which gave her an interdisciplinary foundation great for a reviewing editor position. Bero had previously served on the editorial board for the British Medical Journal and was well known by the editor of Tobacco Control. Both Barnes and Bero stress the significance of their prior experience as reviewers who were considered to do complete and timely reviews.

How to Be a Good Reviewer

Journal editors are always looking for good reviewers and a great one is a rare and wonderful commodity. A great reviewer knows a lot about their field and something about the fields outside their own. They understand and can articulate the difference between an incremental advance of interest only to the cognescenti and a major leap forward of interest to the broader community. Furthermore, they are willing to do this frequently."

How do editors find reviewers? Editors seem to tailor their own criteria. Barnes considers three key factors: has the person published in the best journals, do others cite the person's work, and is there evidence the person can review manuscripts quickly and thoroughly?

For other editors, a face-to-face meeting gives a better impression of reviewer quality than papers written. The Nature journals do not maintain an editorial board, and editors find reviewers at meetings and by word of mouth. Aamodt, for example, attends over 10 meetings per year, where she spends much of her time looking for potential reviewers and encouraging people to volunteer. "If you sound sharp and enthusiastic, I'll add you to my list." Nature editors usually calibrate a new reviewer in parallel with two others they know and trust before they are added to the reviewer database.

Dr. Bero summarizes things this way: "Take every opportunity to peer-review when asked. This is how editors find people. Sometimes a senior person will pass a review on to a junior colleague. You can ask the journal editor if it is ok to do a co-peer review. But if you do this, make sure the junior person gets their name on the review letter."

All the editors agreed: The bottom line is that you need to get your name out there.


Laure Haak, pictured left, remains quite active in the scientific community.
Go here
to read her 2014 blog entries. She currently works as Executive Director of ORCID, an open, non-profit, community-based effort to provide a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries and its cooperation with other identifier systems.