Sunday, November 28, 2010

Congratulations to the New England Nor'Easters, the 2010 US Chess League Champions

I had a little time and thought I should do a congratulatory post. My coverage of the US Chess League was pretty poor, but it wasnt all my fault! My computer broke down for a couple of weeks. All in all, though, I had a good time covering the league. I look forward to next year, and will try and keep tabs on any big Philadelphia Inventors off season moves. I like the bottom heavy approach they have, but a couple of star GMs would be pretty cool too. In about two weeks, I may try and kick start this blog a bit, and get some sort of new series going. I have no idea what it would be though. If you have any suggestions feel free to leave me some comments. Otherwise, I will just try and rack my brain a bit and get something going.

Well, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Philadelphia Inventors eliminated from the Playoffs

Well, it is not much of a shock that they wouldnt make the playoffs, but it is too bad that they are now actually mathematically eliminated. They lost 2.5-1.5 to Baltimore. They still have 2 more matches, though, and can maybe try and build up something going into next year.

Taking a look at the standings, one very interest stat just jumps out of the page at me. The Philadelphia Inventors have a 41% winning percentage games wise, but are dead last in match standings. Yep, there were a lot of close but losing matches over the course of this season. The Inventors game wise are tied with Manhattan, which is currently in 5th place with 3.5-4.5 and fighting for a playoff spot. That is just the way match chess goes, the team has to click at the right times.

Looking forward, though, this is pretty promising. Depending on roster moves, I dont think anyone can count out the Inventors from the get go next year. They are much closer to a playoff spot then their match record indicates, and that is nice silver lining.

I am not sure if they actually have team MVPs in the US Chess League, but my nominee would be Tom Bartell. He has an 4 out of 7 (2 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss), was undefeated up until this past week, and has fairly consistently been playing higher rated players. Indeed, his only loss of the year was against GM Sergey Erenburg, who is rated 200 points higher than him. His memorable win over GM Boris Gulko was a great way to start the season for the Inventors. It has been a bit of an unfortunate year for the Inventors, but Bartell has done a great job holding his own on the top boards, often against higher rated opponents. Unless I am missing something, the only game Bartell had against a lower rated opponent was his draw against Chicago's IM Angelo Young. That makes his 4 out of 7 pretty impressive, in my opinion. Nice work, Tom Bartell!

There are still two more matches, though, so maybe another Inventor will make a case for himself.

For Week 9, the Philadelphia Inventors will play the Manhattan Applesauce. I like the name by the way. Good luck to the Inventors!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fight Tonight!!! Baltimore vs. Philadelphia

Well, my blogging has gone way down! Truth be told, I am a bit busier now then I expected to be. Also, to be frank, I enjoy doing Blitz commentary videos more. They are easier to do. Writing can be kind of a pain. Rambling is always a joy!

IM Jay Bonin has joined the Philadelphia Inventors mid season. He has replaced the Piano Man, Matthew Bengston. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe we had the privilege of seeing Mr. Bengston play this year. That is too bad, and it is too bad to lose him from the team.

As far as Jay Bonin goes, he is I believe a staple around the Marshall Chess Club in New York City. He is a very good IM. I am not sure if he has moved to Philadelphia, welcome if he has. He has played for the New York Knights since 2005, so while he is new to the Philadelphia Inventors he is not new to the US Chess League.

Well, here is a link that I think explains what a great addition Jay Bonin is to the team. This season is kind of over for the Philadelphia Inventors, but if Jay Bonin sticks around, the Inventors could have a very good thing going next year. A line up of Panchanathan, Smith, Bartell, and Bonin looks extremely promising to me. Panchanathan can try and get as many draws as possible against the top GMs from other teams, Smith can hold his own on board 2, and Bartell and Bonin would be extremely strong for boards 3 and 4. I am not sure if this line up is actually legal, because I dont know exactly what the average rating has to be. Anyway, I should probably get back to the present a bit.

Welcome Jay Bonin and Good Luck!

The Inventors have a good chance of beating Baltimore this go around. The tied the last time they met. Basically, and somewhat typically this year, the Inventors have a bit of a disadvantage on the top board and a pretty decent advantage on the bottom boards. Well, at least rating wise. One thing that might be an issue is that Baltimore is still very much in the race for a playoff spot. Well, they are actually currently in 4th, which would give them the last playoff spot. They might have a little extra oomph, today, as the Inventors are playing for pride. I am going to go ahead and predict a 3 to 1 win for the Inventors.

Actually, I just did some calculations and the Inventors are not mathematically eliminated yet. If they can go 3-0 the next three matches, they will finish with a score of 4.5-5.5 So long as Baltimore goes 1-2 the next three matches, and neither New Jersey, Manhatten or Carolina jump up too much, the Inventors would tie for 4th place with Baltimore.

So, as hope springs eternal, maybe this is the match that starts off the Inventors on a crazy season ending playoff getting tear. Good luck to them!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hi I am back.

Well, I finally got my computer all sorted out so I will be able to post regularly again. I have decided on a few things.

First, I wont be doing the Chess Tactics of the Day anymore, at least for a while. They were pretty fun for me to do, but there are tons of tactics all over the place on the internet, so it is kind of redundant for me to put one up everyday. I mean, I have three gadgets with Chess Tactics of the Day at the bottom of my page!

Second, I am not going to make any sort of post about the Philadelphia Inventors past few matches. People have already read about this stuff elsewhere, so I will just say, in case you havent been following them at all, that they are doing pretty well, but things could be better. They have had a lot of ties and close lost matches and that type of thing. I think they still have a chance of pulling off some a solid ending to the season and sneaking into the playoffs. It is going to be pretty tough though. If you look at the bottom 4 teams in the East, though, the Inventors have the highest game winning percentage, at 44%. The other teams are all around 35%. 44% is not good, but the Inventors could easily be at something like 2-4, or even 2.5-3.5 if they had a little bit of luck.

Finally, the Inventors next match is on Wednesday October 6th against the New England Nor'easters. Maybe the Inventors can start a massive comeback! Good luck to them!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Double Bad News!

Well, the Inventors lost last night to the New York Knights 3 to 1. The Inventors did not get a win, but Bartell and Costigan got draws. Costigan was rated higher than his opponent, but Bartell's draw against GM Fedorowicz is impressive. I dont know for sure, but looking at the game, it seems like Bartell was content with a draw and got it. He was never under much pressure throughout, so that is pretty cool.

The other bad news is that my Computer is having some problems right now and I basically cant use it. I can use friends' computers every now and then, but I will only be able to blog lightly for the next 2 weeks or so. I will try and give brief updates like this one. I will also try and get a bunch of stuff ready so when my computer is fixed I can put up a whole lot of stuff to make up for the absence.

By the by, here is some good analysis from the Boston Blitz site of Bartell's win over Shmelov. Thanks for the analysis!

As a final thing, the Inventors will play the Baltimore Kingfishers on Monday, September 13th. Baltimore has been impressive so far this year, but hopefully the Inventors can defeat them. Good luck to the Inventors!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Philadelphia Inventors vs. New York Knights Week 3

The Philadelphia Inventors take on the New York Knights this Tuesday. A preview from the New York Knights blog can be found here. This will be a tough match up, but the Inventors are putting out their winning Week 1 line up.

Good luck to them!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #90

Black to move.

Chess Tactic of the Day #89 (September 3rd)

White to move.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day Answers #56 to #62

Tactic #56:

1. Qd5+ Kxa7 2. Qb7#

Tactic #57:

White's pieces are very close to the Black King, but White's King is the one in more danger. Note that on move 22...Rf2 would have been better, as the Rook on the f file makes the defense Rag1 less good. Maybe best play would be 22...Rf2 23. Bg7+ Kg8 (this blocks the g file which gives White's King some breathing room) 24. Ne4 Rxg2 25. Kxg2 Kxg7. Black is two pieces up.

Tactic #58:

The position after 32...Ne4 is screaming for a positional exchange sacrifice. Here, though, White has pawn pushing bishop pinning tactics he can follow the exchange sacrifice up with to get two far advanced center passed pawns.

Tactic #59:

Here I missed

Tactic #60:

And here I missed

Tactic #61:

In the same game, this theme reappeared.

Well, it is kind of a funny thing to look back at games you won and point out all the tactics you missed. It is much less funny to go back at games you lost and point out all the tactics you missed!

Tactic #62:

Krush actually won her next and last game to become the US Womens Champion but that game wasnt good for a tactic of the day, so here is Krush's penultimate win on her way to becoming the 2010 US Womens Championship! Unfortunately, I seemed to have bungled this tactic anyway, as I have White to move. Well, I will edit it now, and hopefully no one spent too much time trying to find a win for White. I will say I did this for pedagogical purposes, so that you do not always assume there is an answer!

The tactic is supposed to be that Krush can ignore the attack on her Knight and push her center pawns with devastating effect.

Well aside from that last little foible, I hope you enjoyed these!

Chess Tactic of the Day #88

Black to move.

Larry Christiansen vs. Magesh Panchanathan

hey everyone, Magesh Pancahanthan has annotated his game on!

EDIT: Magesh Panchanathan has actually been making posts for for a while now. Oddly, and unfortunately, these posts dont come up very high on a Google search of "Magesh Panchanathan"., you should really figure out some way to get these posts higher on his Google search!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Philadelphia Inventors vs. Boston Blitz Week 2 Recap

Well, they lost. They didnt get 4-0ed though! My prediction of 2.5 in favor of Philly wasnt all that off, as in the end Boston beat Philly 2.5 to 1.5.

Considering Panchanathan had Black against an opponent rated about 100 points higher than him, this is actually a good result.

Smith played hard and well, but in the end his structural problems proved to be too much. As expected, though, and happily, it was certainly an exciting game!

If the Inventors were only going to get one win in a match, you would want it to look something like this. An excellent use of position and tactics by Bartell. It will be interesting to analyze what other possibilities Shmelov had other than returning the exchange sacrifice. Also interesting to note that all 3 games so far have come down to some form of Knight vs Bishop in the ending.

Well, to be honest I dont understand the pawn sacrifice on move 24. It will be interesting to analyze that a bit. Like Smith, Sivakamur fought hard for the draw, but he couldnt hold back the Queen side pawns.

All in all, it is disappointing that the Inventors lost, but there is a lot of good stuff in this match to look at as well. Both the Inventor's losses were close to draws, and if just one of them had been able to hold the match would be drawn as well. Magesh Panchanathan looked good, and Bartell got another win. This match perhaps solidifies what may have been initially thought about the Inventors: they would be a tough team that could give any other team troubles.

I want to do some more in depth stuff with something from this match, but as the vagueness of the previous part of this sentence may indicate, I have no idea yet what that will be! Maybe endgames? Anyway, next week the Inventors are going to be playing a very good New York Knights team. Good luck to the Inventors!

Chess Tactic of the Day #87

Black to move.

Schwog's Blog

Hey everyone, just wanted to direct Philadelphia Inventor fans to Schwog's Blog. Its a pretty cool looking blog so check it out!

Philadelphia Inventors vs. Boston Blitz Week 2 Preview

Well, the Philadelphia Inventors take on the Boston Blitz tomorrow. It is going to be a tough match for both sides. Lets check out each of the match ups.

Board 1

Larry Christiansen vs. Magesh Panchanathan

As far as I can tell, this will be the first time these two Grandmasters play. [Edit: I found a nice write up here, thanks to the Boylston Chess Club. Apparently, Panchanathan will be looking for revenge tonight!] Christiansen has about a 100 point rating edge on Panchanathan. At my level, which is Class A, 100 points honestly doesnt mean a whole lot. At the Grandmaster level, and perhaps at any high level it may mean more. The idea is that it is much harder to gain rating points at the highest levels, so the ratings are more accurate. Also, Grandmasters will be more wary of giving up rating points, whereas players at my level can show up to tournaments, play terribly and lose in 20 moves. Well, at least I do that sometimes!

The main point is that Panchanathan has his work cut out for him. However, I would in no way be surprised if he was able to come away with the win. A draw would also be an excellent result, considering the circumstances.

Board 2

Bryan Smith vs. Eugene Perelshteyn

Perhaps this is the most interesting match up to preview because these two players have met twice before in the US Chess League and both have been mainstays with their respective teams for years now. The first game, Perelshteyn was able to get the better of Smith.

However, Smith has had the last laugh.

One common factor between both these games is that they were exciting. Hopefully tonight's game swings this mini rivalry to Smith's favor!

Board 3

Denys Shmelov vs. Thomas Bartell

Well, again if there are games between these two I cant find them. These two are basically the same rating, though Shmelov has a 50 point edge on Bartell. As Bartell proved last week, though, he is not averse to upsetting his opponent.

Board 4

Grant Xu vs. Kavinayan Sivakumar

This is Philly's best match up of the night. Sivakumar has about a 50 rating point edge over Xu. As noted in the other Boards, I dont think that is so much of an advantage, but I think Sivakumar has a great chance of coming away with the win here. This will also be Sivakumar's 2010 debut.

Well, that pretty much wraps it up. I am not really a predicting kind of guy for this kind of thing, but I saw that Boston foolishly predicted they will 4-0 the Inventors. I think 2.5 in favor of Philly is much more likely.

Well, the match is about to begin, sorry this preview is so late. Hopefully it holds you over for hour or so before the match begins. Good luck to the Inventors!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #86

Black to move.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thomas Bartell's Analysis of his Gulko Game and other Links

Hey everybody, just wanted to add a few links about the Philadelphia Inventors. First off, congratulations to Tom Bartell for winning the the 1st Week Upset Prize. Here is his analysis of the game.

As a reminder, the Philadelphia Inventors play this Wednesday against the Boston Blitz.

It is going to be a very interesting match. Neither side has much of an edge rating wise, though the Blitz have about a 40 rating point advantage total. For the Inventors, Magesh Panchanathan and Kavinayan Sivakumar will be making their 2010 debuts. Bryan Smith will be playing this week on Board two, and Tom Bartell will be playing on Board three.

I will post a more in depth preview of this match tomorrow.

Also thanks to PK Sivakumar for a nice write up of my blog. It should be an exciting season for the Inventors and I am glad to be covering it! Hopefully I will learn a thing or two as well ;)

EDIT: Bartell won 3rd Place for the Game of the Week!

Chess Tactic of the Day #85

White to move.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #84

White to move.

Chess Tactic of the Day #83

White to move.

Chess Tactic of the Day #82

White to move.

Chess Endgame Problem of the Week #7

White to move.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #81

Black to move.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Philadelphia Inventors Link

An excellent post with some good analysis has been posted on the Philadelphia Inventors Official Blog. Just wanted to post the link here.

Chess Tactic of the Day #80

White to move.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #79

White to move.

2010 Philadelphia Inventors 8/23 Match Recap

Well, this is pretty cool. The Philadelphia Inventors won their first match with a score of 3 to 1. The Inventors played Smith, Bartell, Dehmelt and Costigan. This line up was very strong on the bottom boards, and as it turned out, the Inventors secured 2 points from the lower boards. Karl Dehmelt beat Arthur Shen and Richard Costigan beat Sean Finn. Unfortunately, Bryan Smith lost to Joel Benjamin on the top board, but the Tom Bartell was able to beat Boris Gulko. Judging from the Philadelphia Inventor's line up, this type of victory may be common this year. The Inventors dont have the highest rated players in the league on their roster, but this allows them to have more depth on the bottom. I am not sure if it is strategy or just chance, but it could definitely work out well for the Inventors.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves though ;)

Here, I am just going to post up the games with a few comments after each of them. Depending on how the rest of my week goes, I may or may not do some in depth analysis of these games.

Well, at least this game was interesting. The c6 followed almost immediately by c5 is a very interesting idea in the Caro-Kann. 14. g5 was another interesting idea, as Black greatly restrains White's position, especially those doubled f pawns!

Here is a very cool game. White takes central control and better piece activity for Black's better presence on the Queen side. Black is able to neutralize White's activity, and then his Queen side pawn majority wins the game.

White gets a grip on the light squares, especially d5, and Black cannot contend with this. Well, it was a little more complicated than that, but that is part of it!

Black gets some nice piece activity out of the opening and is able to slowly convert his advantage into a win.

Well, that is a wrap for the recap. Maybe some more in depth analysis will be coming soon. If you want to check out the other games, you can find them here. The next match is Wednesday, September 1. The Inventors play the Boston Blitz, who incidentally got 4-0ed this week! It should be an interesting match.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day Answers #49 to #55

Tactic #49:

Unfortunately for me, White did not actually play the move 15. Qxb7. After the move 15. Qxb7, though, White gets mated by 15...gxf2+ 16. Kxf2 Qe3+ 17. Kg3 Bd6#

Tactic #50:

Ahhhhh, now that is much better ;) The relatively simple under promotion f8=N+ wins allows for Checkmate in 2.

Tactic #51:

My opponent lets me off the hook in this game. Instead of 10. Nxd8, 10. Bxf7+ gives White a nice position. The idea is that 10...Kxf7 is not possible because of 11. fxe3+, and Black will simply lose his Queen.

Tactic #52:

A famous game by one of my favorite players. A double bishop sacrifice!

Tactic #53:

Another famous game by another one of my favorite players.

Tactic #54:

Fine, go ahead and laugh. Every time I look at this position it takes me a while to spot that the Queen is attacking the Light Squared Bishop from way down the 5th Rank. Fortunately for me, I didnt miss it and end up losing the game later, as it is actually pretty probable that I would do that.

Tactic #55:

1. Bd6 Rxg7 2. Bf4# or 1. Bd6 Ra8 through Re8 and Rh8 2. Bf4# or 1. Bd6 Rf8+ 2. gxf8=Q#

I hope you enjoyed these.

Chess Tactic of the Day #78

White to move.

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Richard Costigan

Richard Costigan is the Manager of the Philadelphia Inventors. He is in the Philadelphia Chess Hall of Fame.

Lets look at his games!

It was nice of Lawrence Day to play out the checkmate.

Well that wraps up the player profiles for the 2010 Philadelphia Inventors. Many apologies to the last few players for their shorter profiles. Over the course of the season, I will try and post some more stuff about their chess careers.

The first match is tonight. I dont know how I am going to handle coverage of the matches. I actually dont have an ICC account which could make things difficult! I also dont really want an ICC account, but maybe I should get one, I dont know. Regardless, I will do something and it looks like the Philadelphia Inventors have a decent chance of winning the match, or at least getting a draw. Our top boards are a lower rated than New Jersey's top boards, but our lower boards are higher rated. It will be very interesting to see how it all unfolds.

Philadelphia will play Bryan Smith, Thomas Bartell, Karl Dehmelt and Richard Costigan tonight. Good luck to all of them!

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Michael Shahade

Michael Shahade is the Assistant Manager of the Philadelphia Inventors. He is actually the father of Philadelphia Inventor teammate Jennifer Shahade. He also has an interest in poker. He is also in the Philadelphia Chess Hall of Fame.

Lets look at some of his games.

Here is a nice win by Michael Shahade against GM Joel Benjamin. Not all opposite colored bishop endings are drawn!

Again, unfortunately, time requires that this post be short. Hopefully we see some good games though this upcoming year.

Good luck to him!

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith has been doing very well recently and has been a main part of the Philadelphia Inventors team since the beginning. In 2009 he had a performance rating of above 2600 for the Philadelphia Inventors over the course of 7 games. That is really good! As GM Alex Lendermen has moved from the Philadelphia Inventors to the New York Knights, Bryan Smith is going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting on the top boards this year. He looks ready for the challenge!

Lets take a look at some of his games.

This is a pretty amazing game, with some great attacks and sacrifices followed by simplification to a won endgame. Hopefully we see more of this type of chess from Bryan Smith over the course of this year's Chess League.

Good Luck to him!

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Jennifer Shahade

Jennifer Shahade is a Woman Grandmaster. She is very active in promoting chess. She has written the book Chess Bitch and was recently a caster for the 2010 US Chess Championship. She is also a good poker player, achieving some very good results in big tournaments. She came in 33rd out of about 1200 during the Ladies World Series of Poker Tournament. If you have not played much Poker, you can trust me that that is very impressive! She is also in the Philadelphia Chess Hall of Fame.

Lets look at some games.

Here is a very cool Sicilian Dragon game where Jennifer Shahade sacrifices an exchange and gets a good endgame. For anyone who wants to play the Sicilian Dragon, make a special note to yourself about the way Jennifer Shahade is fine going into the endgame. She doesnt try to avoid Queen trades or anything like that, and she plays the classic Rxc3 exchange sacrifice even though White castles King side. This game does a good job of showing the underlying positional justifications for a lot of Black's play. Normally, these things can be hidden underneath all of the tactical justifications, but they are there!

Well, I still have 3 more players to go, so I am going to have to cut these last ones a bit short as far as looking at games goes.

I believe she has two International Master norms. She needs one more and a 2400 rating to become an International Master, which is not an easy task but very possible. I dont think she can get a norm in the US Chess League, but she can certainly get her rating up.

Good luck to her!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Matthew Bengtson

Matthew Bengtson has his own webpage. No, I didnt put the wrong link up there or get the wrong Matthew Bengtson. Matthew Bengtson is an accomplished pianist as well as an accomplished chess player. If you go to the left hand side of his page, go to Interests and then Chess and you can see the chess portion of his web page. If you want to listen to some good music while going over the Philadelphia Inventors chess games, I suggest checking out this. Scriabin is awesome, and his Piano Sonatas are some of his best pieces.

Bengtson actually has a My Best Games section on his page. Rather than post those here, visit his site to check them out. I will try and find some of his other games.

Bengtson doesnt end up getting the win in this game, but it is a very well fought game against Grandmaster Sergey Kudrin. Bengtson was very close to getting a draw, which is an impressive feat.

Here, Bengtson has a nice win against US Chess League opponent Gregory Braylovsky. Bengtson plays calmly and perhaps Braylovsky over presses. In any event, Bengtson is able to win a Dark Squared Bishop vs. Dark Squared Bishop ending.

Hopefully Bengtson will have to add some games to his My Best Games section over the course of this year's Chess League. Good luck to him!

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Elvin Wilson

Elvin Wilson is an accomplished chess player and chess coach. He tied for first at the World Open in the U2000, has won numerous military chess events, and has won numerous State events. Importantly for Philadelphia chess, he helped found the Masterminds Chess Club, which is perhaps the most active chess club in Philadelphia, especially with regard to younger chess players. He hopes to one day become an International Master. Hopefully, his performance during the US Chess League brings him closer to that goal.

Lets look at some games:

Wilson puts up a nice defense against pressure, and finds some very nice tactics in a Queen + Opposite Color Bishop ending.

Here is a really nice game where Wilson does a great job of adding on pressure. I really like how after tons of Queen side build up, White finishes off his attack by a Queen invasion on the King side!

Judging from these two games, we can expect some exciting chess from Elvin Wilson over the course of this year's Chess League. Good luck to him!

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Thomas Bartell

Well, the US Chess League starts tomorrow and I have 7 more of these player profiles to do!

Lets get right to it then.

Thomas Bartell is a Fide Master from Media, Pennsylvania, which is a hop and a skip away from Philadelphia. He teaches chess, and you can get online lessons from him. Going to have to make these short, so that is all for the biography!

Here are some of Bartell's games.

As a 1. Nf3 player, this game makes me pretty excited. This is exactly the type of half tactical half positional games that are so fun to play that come from 1. Nf3. Bartell gets some center passed pawns, and simplifies down to a Knights vs Bishops endgame that he is able to win. Cool stuff!

Here is an e4 game where Bartell is plays against Black's doubled pawns, and then isolated pawns.

Here, Bartell upsets former US Chess Champion Yuri Shulman.

I am not sure if Bartell has an International Master norms at this point, but he is only about 20 points away from the 2400 FIDE rating mark necessary for the International Master title. If he has got the norms, it will be exciting to see if he can get his rating over that 2400 mark.

Good luck to him!

Chess Tactic of the Day #77

Black to move.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #76

White to move and mate in 2.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chess Endgame Problem of the Week #6

Black to move.

Chess Tactic of the Day #75

White to move.

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Kavinayan Sivakumar

Well, now that we have taken a look at the 2010 Philadelphia Inventors top board, lets take a look at their 10th board. Kavinayan Sivakumar currently has a USCF rating of 2183, which is good, but perhaps even more impressive is the fact that in 2006, he had a USCF rating of 569! It has only taken Kavinayan Sivakumar 4 years or so to go from beginner to high level Expert. We shouldnt be surprised, then, if Sivakumar outplays his rating a bit during this Chess League.

Being a younger chess player, he does not have as many games online as some of the other more established players on the Philadelphia Inventors, but he also seems to be very comfortable with blogging and Chess. You can read some blog posts of his here and here. I believe he is also a major contributor for the Philadelphia Inventors official chess blog Of course, the whole League is about chess, but Kavinayan Sivakumar's contributions to the team in the form of blog posts will also be appreciated.

Definately make sure to check out the many games of Sivakumar on the Philadelphia Inventors blog. Lets look at a few of his games that are not featured there.

Here Kavinayan Sivakumar gets an aggressive draw against Expert Ian Harris. Sivakamur is able to get a nice passed a pawn to the 7th Rank, but sadly for him Harris was able to defend his position.

Another exciting draw against Jim West. Thanks to Jim West for posting this game on his blog, Jim West On Chess.

Perhaps Sivakumar will become a National Master over the course of this year's Chess League. That would be great! Good luck to him.

2010 Philadelphia Inventors: Magesh Panchanathan

Well, the good news is that the US Chess League starts this Monday. The bad new is that this came up really quickly, and I have only done one player profile for the 2010 Philadelphia Inventors team!

The rest of the roster is up and can be found here.

I am going to Blitz out a bunch of player profiles for the remaining 9 players then over this weekend. Quality will be non existent! Haha, no quality will be fine. I will just go through one game of each player, and very brief biographical stuff.

The 2010 Philadelphia Inventors top board this year is Magesh Panchanathan. He is an 27 year old Grandmaster who has done well in tournaments in the United States, India, Canada and Scotland. In 2005, he shared 1st place in the 2005 World Open in Philadelphia. Lubomir Kavalek went over one of his games for the Washington Post. This is Magesh Panchanathan's first year with the Philadelphia Inventors, but he has played with the Dallas Destiny before.

Lets look at a few of his games!

A nice tactic with Nxf7 gives Magesh Panchanathan a nice position. In the final position all of White's pieces work well together to form a mating net around Black's King. The White Dark Squared Bishop attacks the c7 and b8 squares. The White Rook holds the Black Rook to the b-file, the Light Squared Bishop attacks the a6 square, and the White Queen prepares to move to a6 checkmating the Black King.

The only way Black can prevent checkmate is through massive loss of material.

Notice that the Black King cannot move out of danger by Kc8.

Unfortunately, I am having difficulty finding games from the 2005 World Open that Magesh Panchanathan tied for first at. It would be nice to see his later round games. Here is his Second Round win, though.

A nice tactic wins the exchange.

One last game from the Second Mumbai Mayor Cup from 2009. Magesh Panchanathan shared 1st through 4th in this tournament.

Well, that will wrap up this post about Magesh Panchanathan. Have fun and Good luck to him!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #74

White to move.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #73

White to move.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Live Standard Chess Game 1 on Youtube

Hey everybody, I have put up a video of a standard game I played and commentated at the same time. Check it out here if that sounds like something you want to do!

Here is the game

A pretty cool game, I got some nice pressure with White and did some nice trading of material to simplify into a easily won King and 2 pawns v King endgame.

Chess Tactic of the Day #72

White to move.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chess Tactic of the Day #71

White to move.

Chess Tactic of the Day Answers #42 to #48

Tactic #42:

This game is from the same tournament as Tactic of the Day #18. The tournament was to qualify for the World Championship match with Kasparov. The tactic is more of a defensive tactic than an offensive tactic. I feel it is good to through these types of problems into the mix. They do a great job of stopping automatic thinking. After 26...Re4 White's attack fails and he ends up material down.

Tactic #43:

Yep, from the same tournament. This tactic is really easy once you see the answer. Before you see it, though, it Rh3 threatening mate idea is not nearly as easy to spot. Even after you spot it, it is a fairly complicated to actually win.

Tactic #44:

Another from the same tournament. It was a pretty cool tournament after all. It is a pity that World Championship qualifier tournaments are less stable these days. I like the World Cup Knock Out tournament as a qualifier though. Anyway, Black is able to win a pawn by playing 19...Bxf4 because a Knight can eventually capture on f4 forking White's Queen and Light Squared Bishop. In some ways, a straight forward Knight fork. On the other hand, it is pretty well disguised!

Tactic #45:

1. Qxh7+ Kxh7 2. Rh4+ Kg8 3. Re8#

Tactic #46:

1. Qxe4+ Kxe4 2. Nc3+ Kf5 3. Rf1#

Tactic #47:

This game is between Philadelphia chess player Bryan Smith and the eventual World Open winner Viktor Laznicka. There is some good analysis of this game on the Huffington Post. It was a very back and forth game that was well fought by both players. In the end, though, Bryan Smith couldnt hold on for the win. Instead of 41. Nc4, 41. Rb7+ and after the King moves 41. Rc8 and White's position is much more comfortable and he remains up material. Hopefully a lot of Philadelphia Inventors games are like this!

Tactic #48:

1. Qa7+ Kxa7 2. Ra2+ Qa4 3. Rxa4#

Hope you enjoyed these!