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.