October 17, 2020
By Abel Talamantez
Table of Contents
- Coaching and Tournament Directing
- Ray Conway Tuesday Night Marathon Online
- US Amateur Team West
- TD Corner
- John Donaldson's New Book
- Twitch Arena
- Weekly Classes
- Scholastic Online Offerings
- Online Events Schedule
- FM Paul Whitehead's Column
- GM Nick de Firmian's Column
- Submit your piece or feedback
I wrote last week about what I feel is a distinction between coaching and teaching, which seemed well received from the feedback I got. I wrote it because I personally experienced the difference between the two, and it more or less reflects what I think coaching should be. Looking deeper into it, I see that this thinking for me touches on many other areas, including as the title indicates, tournament directing. While on the surface it seems the two cannot exist together by definition, I do think there is a way to blend the two so as to educate players (and parents) while maintaining objectivity.
As a tournament director, fair play and adherence to the rules is the most important thing, but there is also an opportunity for tournament directors to set an example of the type of environment they want to create in an event, and for their organization. Nothing has driven me more crazy more than to see the type of tournament director that passively sits at a computer the whole time during a tournament, waiting for something to happen or to wait for players to post results. While one can argue there isn't much to do while games are playing and there is no controversy, the passivity does not go unnoticed by the players.
It is important to create an atmosphere of professionalism, or at the very least, the expectation that subtle aggressions will be spotted and handled. Here is an example: during a TNM at Mechanics' Institute, an older gentleman crowded his table area, extending his elbows to the natural space of the player seated next to him, who happened to be very young player. A player noticed this and infomed me, and then I let the player at the table know to please respect the space of the player seated next to him. About 10 minutes later, while walking around the room, I noticed this player again migrating his arms to to the space of the player seated next to him, at which point I paused the clock and told that player if I had to warn him again, I would have to assess a penalty. If I had not been proactive in following up on this player, the transgression would have continued.
Another thing that a TD often has to deal with are players or parents that want exceptions to rules, be it allowance of listening to music or allowing a player to play up a section for which they are not qualified for. I have even had a player, who happens to also be a tournament director, ask if he could read a book while he was playing an active USCF rated game. I have had a player bring who he said was a service dog into the chess room at Mechanics' Institute, only to learn later in the evening that it was the service animal of someone not in the building, not their own, and he was taking care of the animal. This was during a TNM, and there has to be a few reading this that were there that evening. I had to inform the player that someone had to come and take the dog out of the building or he would have to forfeit the game. After a few calls, he resigned his game to take the dog out of the building.
While a tournament director can sometimes not predict what will be asked of them or what might occur, maintaining a professional demeanor and clearly laying out the expectations is something that seldom diminishes the quality of the event. People may be upset at first, or a little frustrated, but they come to appreciate and accept that the rules are applied to everyone and everything is meant to maintain the highest standards. I'm not saying we are always perfect in this regard, but the mindset of being active in creating a fair environment and responsing to player concerns is always present.
How does this relate to coaching? I think it is also our duty to run a chess club activities and chess events that represent the values we want to reflect as a club, and therfore, an organization. This starts with us, the tournament directors. If we want to be top quality, we have to live and represent it in what we do. This is especially important in our scholastic events, where players learn tournament etiquette from their experience in a live tournament. If we let players talk and disturb others, they will do it at other events. So we correct that behavior when it happens, explain why it is wrong, and let them know there are consequences for not following the rules. This may be something as simple as not allowing them in the playing room while games are going so they cannot watch games, but something this simple does convey a consequence, and kids have been pretty good at learning the right way to participate in a tournament. We teach players how close they can stand to observe games, remind them not to tip off information about a game in progress or discuss live games, and showing good sportsmanship among many other things. During these scholastic events, it is not uncommon for me to let players know we are there to help them learn and understand, to play tournaments the right way and that we can be proud they learned that at Mechanics' Institute. We tell them they represent the club with their actions, and we expect best efforts. We have engaged parents in helping explain to their kids tournament etiquette and they have overwhelmingly been supportive of these efforts.
This may sound a little dramatic, but this works. As a former coach, I'm proud when students and players of our events, go to other events and do things the right way, especially players we know started learning tournament chess through us. Tournament directors can coach players, but as with any coaching, the intent must be to teach something more than just the rules, but teaching the right way to do things.
Rounds 3 & 4 of the Ray Conway Memorial Tuesday Night Marathon certainly provided any chess enthusiast their fair share of action, as dramatic moments, surprise moves, and unlikely heroes dominated the broadcast. Due to the late entry of GM Gadir Guseinov and a draw from IM Prasanna Rao in round 2 last week, we got the dream matchup of the top two players in the TNM in round 4. The cagey veteran IM Elliott Winslow stayed in sharp form, defeating the young Nicholas Weng in an exciting game. NM Michael Walder found an absolue shot of a move against the very formidable Patrick Liu, who drew Prasanna Rao last week. Chelsea Zhou, a 1900+ player has been crusing through the TNM, beating opponents en route to a 4/4 perfomance thus far.
GM Gadir Guseinov (pictured here) and IM Prasanna Rao played an exciting round 4 game worthy of further analysis
Here are some games from an action packed rounds 3 & 4, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.
(1) GM Gadir Guseinov (GGuseinov) (2639) - IM Prasanna Rao (Praschess) (2198) [C63]
Conway mem TNM Online Chess.com, 13.10.2020
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.d3 This modest reply to the sharp Schleimann Variation is underrated. 4...fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 d6 [snatching the pawn with 6...Nxe4?! 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Nxe5 leaves Black with serious difficulties to get developed] 7.Nc3 Be7 8.Be3 0-0 This natural move leads to a position where Black must trade away his light-squared bishop for a knight. Other plans for Black have been played, but White seems to keep some edge there too. 9.Bc4+ Kh8 10.Ng5! Qe8 11.Ne6 Bxe6 [11...Qf7 12.Nxc7 Qxc4 13.Nxa8 Nd4 14.Qd3 favors White] 12.Bxe6 Qg6 13.Bf5
The opening battle has gone White's way. This bishop gives White more light-square control. 13...Qf7 14.Bh3 Qg6 15.Bf5 Qf7 16.a3 Rad8 17.Bh3 Qg6 18.Qd3 d5 It's very tempting for Black to try for a break out, but White is able to keep control here. 19.Bf5! Qh5 20.exd5 e4?! [20...Nd4 21.Be4 Bc5 may give more chances for Black, though the position is still difficult] 21.Bxe4 Ne5 22.Qd4?! [22.Qd1! Neg4 23.h3 would be two pawns up where Black has no decent compensation] 22...Bd6! Now White has to be careful. 23.h3 Nxe4 24.Qxe4 Rde8
25.f4! This courageous move solves the tactical problems and White keeps a material edge. 25...Nc4 26.Qxc4 Rxe3 27.Rf2 Rfe8 28.Raf1 Qg6 29.Kh1 a6 30.Qd4 b6 31.Qd2 Qg3 32.Ne2 Qh4?! [Better to retreat all the way with 32...Qg6 33.Nd4 Qe4 34.Ne6 Rxh3+ 35.Kg1 Re3 36.c4] 33.Nd4 now White is just two pawns ahead, The knight gets to the fine e6 square and White can unravel. 33...R8e4 34.Ne6 h6 35.c4 [35.Rf3! Re2 36.Qd3] 35...Qg3 36.b4 Rxc4 37.Rf3 Rxf3 38.Rxf3 Qg6 39.Rc3 Qb1+ 40.Kh2 Re4 41.Rf3 Re1?!
aggressive but allowing White to counter attack. 41...Rc4 was only a pawn down. 42.Qc3! Rh1+ 43.Kg3 Qa1 44.Qxa1 Rxa1 45.Kg4! a5 [45...Rd1 46.Kf5 Rxd5+ 47.Kg6 a5 48.Nxg7] 46.Kf5 Kh7 Black stops the white king from becoming a force on g6. The white rook and knight take up the charge. 47.Rg3 g5 48.Rc3 axb4 49.axb4 gxf4 50.Nxc7 Bxb4 51.Rc6 Bc5 52.Ne6 pawns are even but all the white pieces are extremely active. The white d-pawn is also a threat, so there is no way out for Black. 52...Rg1 53.Rc7+ Kg8 54.Nxc5 bxc5 55.d6 Black resigned as the d-pawn wins the rook. 55...Rd1 56. d7 Kf8 57. Ke6 etc. 1-0
(4) Patrick Liu (katechen77) (1696) - NM Michael Walder (FlightsOfFancy) (1874) [B92]
Conway mem TNM Online Chess.com, 13.10.2020
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Be2 Be7 9.Qd3!? [9.Nd5!? Nbd7 10.Qd3 is the sensible order, avoiding the game continuation.] 9...Nc6!? 10.a3 [10.Nd5? Nxd5 11.exd5 Nb4] 10...Na5!? [10...d5?! 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.0-0-0 ½-½ (42) Anand,V (2816)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2731) Saint Louis 2015 when Black was never really completely equal.; 10...Rc8 11.Nd5] 11.Nxa5N [A couple recent games have gone 11.Nd2 b5 12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.exd5 Bd7] 11...Qxa5 12.b4?! [12.0-0 0-0 13.Rfd1+/=] 12...Qc7 13.Nd5?
14...Bd7? [14...Bxd5! wins a key pawn (White can't take as ...Qc3+ works pretty well) and should be able to handle the technical problems.; 14...Bf5!! wins a better pawn; the d5-pawn is as much in White's way as anything, and Black can handle any trouble on the c-file.] 15.0-0 0-0 16.c4 b5?! 17.c5 dxc5?! 18.bxc5 This is too fast for Black to handle. 18...Bf6 19.Rac1 Rfd8 20.d6 [White could gather the fuel with 20.Rfd1 and Bf3 before making a crucial push.] 20...Qc8 21.Bf3 Bc6 22.Bd2 Qb7
White has a lot of crunchers; trade, a rook to e1, move the queen somewhere. All devastating. 23.Ba5?? Going from a big advantage to losing in one move. This fails even worse than it looks at first. 23...e4! 24.Qc2 exf3 25.Bxd8
25...Qd7! Recapturing was fine; this is a finely calculated finish. 26.Rfd1 Qg4 27.Kf1 Qxg2+ 28.Ke1 Qg1+ 29.Kd2 Qxf2+ 30.Kd3 Qd4# Patrick is still a little rough when it comes to the knockout, but what with this game and his earlier draw with Rao, we can only expect better things in the near future. As for Mike -- well, he's still up and down, moments of brilliance combined with gross oversights; he still hopes to recapture the magic. 0-1
(5) Ethan Sun (sfdeals) (1523) - Ethan Boldi (etvat) (1902) [C02]
Conway mem TNM Online Chess.com, 13.10.2020
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 The Advance Variation of the French. Could its recent resurgence at high levels be related to the ongoing popularity of the Advance Caro Kann? 3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.Bd3 Usually played with the intention to gambit the d-pawn. 6...Bd7 [6...cxd4 7.cxd4 (7.0-0!? has been played quite a few times by Swedish GM Jonny Hector, who often goes his own way. If you're going to give up a pawn, why not do it immediately!?) 7...Bd7 the usual move order. (The old trap: 7...Nxd4?? 8.Nxd4 Qxd4 9.Bb5+) ] 7.Bc2? Over-optimistically defending d4, but now there are other problems. [7.dxc5!? Bxc5 8.0-0 (8.b4 Bxf2+ 9.Ke2 Nxb4!? (9...Nh6!?) ) 8...a5; 7.0-0! when there are still a few ways to play for play for the pawn besides the oldest 7...cxd4 8.cxd4 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Nc3 a) 10.Re1; b) 10.Qe2 Ne7 (10...a6 11.Rd1) 11.Rd1 Nc6; 10...a6 (10...Qxe5!? 11.Re1 Qb8! 12.Nxd5 Bd6) 11.Qe2 Ne7 12.Rd1 Nc6 13.Bxa6 Qxe5 White gets the pawn back; Black gets the somewhat better game.] 7...cxd4 8.cxd4 Nb4! "Don't move the same piece twice in the opening." (Except when it's good.) 9.Nc3 [Most seen is 9.0-0 while they can.] 9...Nxc2+ Some players really miss their light-square bishop in this pawn structure. [9...Qa6!?] 10.Qxc2 Bb5
Rare; you mostly see one of [10...Ne7; or 10...Rc8; or 10...Qa6; Something new: 10...a5 11.0-0 Ne7 12.Be3 Qa6 13.a4 Nf5 14.Qb3 Bb4 15.Na2 Be7 16.Nc3 Bb4 17.Na2 Be7 18.Nc3 ½-½ Lajthajm,B (2433)-Kovacevic,B (2456) Gradiste 2019] 11.Nxb5N [11.Qb3 Bc4 12.Qxb6 axb6 13.b3 Ba6 14.Bb2 Ne7 15.0-0-0 Nc6 16.a3 Be7 17.Kb1 Kd7 18.Na4 Kc7 19.Rd2 b5 20.Nc5 b6 21.Nd3 b4 22.Nxb4 Nxb4 23.axb4 Bxb4 24.Rc1+ Kd7 25.Bc3 Ba3 26.Bb2 Bb4 27.Bc3 Be7 28.Ra2 Bd3+ 29.Rac2 Rhc8 30.Bb2 Rxc2 31.Rxc2 Bb4 32.Kc1 Bxc2 33.Kxc2 Ke7 0-1 (33) Fleischer,B (1900)-Fleischer,F (2212) Neumarkt am Wallersee 2013] 11...Qxb5 12.Qe2 Bb4+ A hard decision. It's bad good bishop vs. good bad bishop. (!) 13.Bd2?! [13.Kf1! when White can gain time with a3-b4 and try to control the queenside.] 13...Bxd2+ 14.Qxd2=/+ Ne7 15.Qe2 Qb4+ [15...Qa4!?] 16.Qd2 Qxd2+ [16...Qc4!?] 17.Kxd2
17...0-0?! [17...Kd7!? (king to the center!) sets up ...f6 when e6 is already defended.] 18.Rac1 Nc6 19.a3?! Na5 [19...f6!] 20.Kd3 Here the endgame is roughly equal. 20...Rfc8 [20...Nc4 21.Rc2 Rac8] 21.Nd2 f6 22.f4 Kf7 23.g4 [23.b4!] 23...a6 [23...b5] 24.h4! White gets something going on the kingside. 24...b5 25.b4?! [25.h5!] 25...Nc4 26.Nxc4 [White's no worse after 26.Nb3] 26...bxc4+ 27.Kc3
27...Rcb8?! [27...h5!] 28.a4! Rb6 [28...h5] 29.Rb1 [29.h5!] 29...Rab8 30.h5 Kg8 31.h6 [31.Rhe1! Kf7 32.f5! could get dangerous for Black. (Stockfish thinks White is even winning already!)] 31...fxe5 32.fxe5 Rf8 33.hxg7? [33.Rhf1! stops the black rook from becoming active] 33...Rf3+! White is pushed back, and Black is now no worse. 34.Kc2 Kxg7 35.Rh4?! Rb8?! [35...Rg3 36.Rbh1?! Rxb4-+] 36.b5!? axb5 37.axb5 Rf7 [37...Kg6!?] 38.g5 Rfb7 39.Rh6 It slogs into a dead drawn position now. Well, almost dead. 39...Rb6 40.Rf6 R8b7 41.Rb4 Kg8
42.g6? Rg7? [42...h5! will be a very annoying passed pawn. (The g6 pawn isn't going anywhere.)] 43.gxh7+ Kxh7 44.Rf3 Back to 0.00 everywhere. 44...Rg2+ 45.Kc3 Ra2! The only move to draw!? Black has to be careful that a sudden Rb1 by White doesn't checkmate him. 46.Rf6 Ra3+ 47.Kc2 Kg7 48.Rb1 Ra2+?? [48...Rg3 and nine other moves held the draw.] 49.Kc3 50.Kb4-c5 is a deadly new threat, on top of 50.Rg1+. 49...Rg2 50.Rb4?? [50.Kb4 is crushing. The b-pawn runs; the c-pawn is stopped as an afterthought.] 50...Rg3+ 51.Kc2 Rg4 52.Kc3 Rg1?? [52...Rg3+=] 53.Kc2? [53.Rb2! reopens the path!] 53...Rg3 54.Rb1 Kg8 55.Rb4 Rg7 56.Rb1 Rg4? 57.Kc3 Kg7 58.Rb4? Rg1? 59.Kc2? Rh1 60.Kd2 Kh7 61.Rf7+ Kg6
62.Rc7?? A path for Black! It'd be a smooth win now except they each have three minutes left. 62...Kf5-+ 63.Rc6 Rb8 64.b6 Rg8! Everything is winning, but this is the best. 65.Rb5 Rh3 [Smoothest and swiftest is 65...Rg3 66.Ke2 Ke4! 67.Kf2 Rhg1!] 66.Ke2 Rg2+ 67.Kf1 Ra2 [67...Rhg3!] 68.Kg1 Rg3+ 69.Kf1 Rd3 [69...Ke4!] 70.Rb1 Rf3+ 71.Kg1 Rg3+ 72.Kf1 Rh3! 73.Kg1 Rah2 74.b7 Rh1+ [74...Kf4! mates shortly] 75.Kf2 Rxb1 76.Rc7 Rhb3 77.Rf7+ Ke4 78.Rf6 R3b2+ 79.Kg3 Rxb7 80.Rxe6 Rg7+ 81.Kf2 Rb2+ 82.Kf1 Ke3 83.Rf6 Rb1# A typically tense double-rook "end"-game. 0-1
(6) Nicholas Weng (ninjaforce) (1915) - IM Elliott Winslow (ecwinslow) (2001) [B89]
Conway mem TNM Online Chess.com, 13.10.2020
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.Be3 a6 9.Qe2 Qc7 10.0-0-0 A super sharp Siclian Velimirovic Attack. 10...Na5 11.g4 b5 12.g5 Nxb3+ 13.axb3 Nd7 14.h4 b4 15.Na4 Nc5 16.h5 [It's been known for quite a while that 16.f3 is too slow. 16...Bd7 17.Kb1 g6!?N 0-1 (32) Nisipeanu,L (2647)-Popov,I (2599) Moscow 2012] 16...Nxe4!? Vigorito in his 2020 Najdorf book mentions this almost in passing [before heading for the well-trodden lines with 16...Bd7] As always in the Velimirovic, hesitation should be fatal. 17.Qg4?! [17.g6!? is the main move, also as per practice (every game in the databases!). Vigorito suggests 17...0-0!? (17...f5?!; while most games have seen 17...Bf6!? 18.gxf7+ Kxf7 with a still quite complicated and unclear mess. Is Black still up a pawn?) 18.Qg4!? f5 (18...Nf6!? is given by Vigorito but no games yet; Stockfish somehow gives it 0.00 as well.) 19.gxh7+ Kh8 20.Qg6 Rf6 21.Qe8+ Rf8=; 17.Bf4 Bb7 18.Rhg1 e5; 17.Rh4 d5 18.Kb1 0-0] 17...d5!-/+
18.g6? There is a problem, which goes unnoticed. [Lc0 and Stockfish 12 both jump into 18.Kb1 e5 (18...0-0!? 19.Rhg1 Re8!? (19...Rb8!?) 20.g6 fxg6 21.hxg6 h6) 19.Nf5 g6 20.Ng7+ Kf8 and eventually Stockfish (which sees mate until it doesn't) admits it's not a Black win, and Lc0 (which thinks everything is defensible (if it's not playing) admits that Black might actually have something.] 18...Bf6?! The standard response [but 18...f5! 19.Qg2 h6 20.f3 Nf6-+ (stockfish, =/+ Lc0 on a slow computer. 21.Nb6!?] 19.f3N This position actually has occurred before, via some sort of move-adding transposition. Here are the adjusted moves for comparison: [19.gxf7+ Kxf7 (19...Qxf7?) 20.f3 Qg3 21.Rhg1 Qxg4 22.fxg4 e5 23.Nc6 Bd7 24.Nxb4 Bxa4 25.g5 Bb5 26.gxf6 gxf6 27.Rxd5 Rhg8 28.Re1 Rac8 29.c4 Ke6 30.Nc2 Rg2 31.Bd2 Nc5 32.Rxc5 Rxc5 33.cxb5 axb5 34.b4 Rc8 35.Bc3 Rcg8 36.Nd4+ Kd5 37.Nf5 Ke6 38.Nd4+ Kd7 39.Nf3 R8g3 40.Rf1 Ke6 41.h6 Rh3 42.Nd2 Rxh6 43.Kc2 Rhh2 44.Rd1 h5 45.Kb3 Re2 46.Nb1 h4 47.Na3 h3 48.Nxb5 Rhg2 0-1 (69), Chuprov,D (2411)-Kalugin,S (2455) St Petersburg 1999.] 19...e5! Both players appear to be heading down the rabbit hole. 20.Nf5 Bxf5 21.Qxf5 Ng3 22.Qg4! [22.Qd3 Nxh1 23.Qxd5 Rc8 (Last chance for 23...0-0!?) 24.Bc5 hxg6 (24...Ng3 25.Nb6 (25.gxf7+ Qxf7 26.Qd6 Ne2+ 27.Kb1 Nd4) ) 25.hxg6 (25.Rxh1 Be7 26.Re1 Bxc5) 25...Ng3-+] 22...Nxh1 23.Nb6! d4?!
Overlooking or not giving enough credit to White's 25th move. [23...hxg6! 24.Nxa8 Qc6 25.hxg6 Rh2!? 26.Rd2 Rxd2 27.Bxd2 a5 28.gxf7+ Kxf7 29.Qh5+ Ke7 30.Qxh1 Qxa8=/+ Lc0 (probably one of those won positions for Black that Lc0 would hold for White); 23...0-0!? could well be the way as well.] 24.Nxa8 Qc6
25.Bxd4! Reminding Black that this came out of a Velimirovic Attack! 25...0-0!? A practical move, with a long-ago echo of the game Bilek-Fischer, Stockholm Interzonal, 1962. With pieces hanging right and left RJF just castled out of it. (The computers of today let us know it was the only move.) [25...exd4!? when the computers love the long variation 26.Re1+ Kd8 27.Qf4! (27.gxf7 d3 28.Qc4 Qxc4 29.bxc4 Nf2) 27...Kc8 (27...Qxa8? 28.Qd6+ Kc8 29.gxf7+/-) 28.gxf7 Kb7 29.Qc7+! Qxc7 30.Nxc7 Rf8! 31.Ne6 Rxf7 32.Rxh1 = Lc0 -0.13/0 ] 26.Be3 Rxa8 27.Rxh1 Rc8 28.gxh7+ [28.gxf7+!? Kxf7 29.Rh2 e4!?] 28...Kxh7 [Times: 11:43 vs. 10:53] Now for a few moves neither player can decide if they want the queens off or not. 29.Qf5+ [29.Qe4+ Qxe4 30.fxe4 Be7=; 29.Rh2!?] 29...Kg8 30.h6?! [30.Qe4!? Qb5 (30...Qxe4 31.fxe4 Be7 and is Black's king better off on g8 or h7?) ] 30...g6 31.h7+ [31.Qe4] 31...Kh8 32.Qe4 a5 [Stockfish 12 likes 32...Qb5 quite a bit (clear advantage Black),; while Lc0 seems to favor 32...Bg7 to get the f-pawn going.] 33.Kb1?! [33.Qxc6 Rxc6 34.Kd2 Rd6+ 35.Ke2 e4 36.fxe4 Bxb2 37.Rd1 Re6] 33...Qb5?! [33...Bg7! 34.Qxc6 Rxc6 35.Rd1 Kxh7 36.Rd5 Rf6 37.Rxa5 Rxf3-+] 34.Bc1?! White went from 9:33 to 7:12 here. It's not easy to find a way forward. Nicholas Weng was showing clearheaded opening play but now he's showing the inexperience that the best of the scholastic players shake off and master. In time. [Perhaps if he'd found the bailout 34.Rd1! Kxh7 35.Rd6 Kg7!? 36.Rxf6! (36.Bh6+ Kxh6 37.Rxf6 Kg7 38.Rd6 Qc5 (38...Rh8) ) 36...Kxf6 37.Qh4+ Ke6 38.Qg4+ f5 39.Qxg6+ Kd7 40.Qxf5+ Kc7=] 34...Bg7 [34...Qa6 35.Qd5 Qa7 36.Qd6 Bg7 37.Bh6 Bxh6 38.Rxh6 Qg1+ 39.Ka2 Qg5 First = sf12, then = Lc0; 34...Qc6; 34...Rd8] 35.Bd2? [35.Bh6 Bf6 36.Bd2] 35...f5-/+ (on the verge of winning (Stockfish), up half a pawn (Lc0)) 36.Qh4 Qc6?! [36...f4! breaks White's ability to transfer.] 37.c3?! [37.Bh6!? Bxh6 38.Qxh6 Qxf3 (38...Qxc2+ 39.Ka2 f4=) 39.Rg1 Qh5 40.Rxg6 (40.Qd2 f4 =/+ Lc0 d10, -+ sf12 d22 41.Qd6 Qf5 42.Rxg6 a4-/+ Lc0) 40...Qxh6 41.Rxh6 e4 42.Kc1 Rd8-+] 37...Qxf3 When even Lc0 gives it -+ you can pretty sure the game has tipped. 38.Qe1? Qd3+ 39.Ka2
[39.Kc1 bxc3 (39...f4; 39...e4) ] 39...a4! 40.bxa4 b3+! 41.Ka3 [41.Kxb3 Rb8+ 42.Ka2 Qc2 43.Qc1 (43.Bc1 Ra8) 43...Qxa4+ 44.Kb1 Qe4+ 45.Ka2 (45.Qc2 Qxh1+) 45...Ra8+ 46.Kb3 Qa4#] 41...Qc4 [41...Rb8! 42.c4 Qxc4 43.Bb4 e4] 42.Rh4 [42.Bh6!? Bf6 43.Bg5 Qc5+ 44.Kxb3 Bxg5] 42...e4 [42...Bf8#!] 43.Qd1 Bf8# A game of theoretical interest with quite a few thorny problems, and a flash ending. Another dangerous youngster is on the loose! But the old masters can still give it out as well as take it. 0-1
(7) Chelsea Zhou (mwncklmann) (1896) - Kristian Clemens (kclemens) (1782) [E12]
Conway mem TNM Online Chess.com, 13.10.2020
1.c4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Be7 Not seen so often anymore, as everyone is getting into [3...Nf6 4.Nf3 -- (4...c5 The Semi-Tarrasch; 4...c6 (The Meran and Semi-Meran); 4...Bb4 (The Ragozin),; 4...a6 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bf4 Bd6 The "Carlsen"?; 4...h6 The Caruana!) ] 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 But Kristian has been going Orthodox for quite a while. [5...0-0 6.e3 1-0 (24) Botvinnik,M-Vidmar,M Nottingham 1936] 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 A very old line, Botvinnik was fond of it: Botvinnik-Vidmar! What a game! [The main line seen in many world championshp matches was 7.Rc1 c6 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.0-0 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 e5; 7.Qc2 keeps options open but 7...c5 is the standard antidote. Now queenside castling is maybe too risky.; 7.cxd5 does at least put a big question to Black: 7...exd5 (or 7...Nxd5 with at least some trades leading to a more relaxed game.) 8.Bd3 c6 9.Qc2 Re8 On the one hand Black is mostly committed to the conservative deployment, but then again, White has his knight on f3 and can't so easily play for f3 and e4. There are still Minority Attack options, including 10.0-0 Nf8 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.b4 getting it going right away.] 7...dxc4 [7...c5 8.0-0 cxd4 9.exd4 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nb6 11.Bb3 Bd7 12.Qd3 Nbd5 13.Ne5 Bc6 14.Rad1 Nb4 15.Qh3 Bd5 16.Nxd5 Nbxd5 17.f4 Rc8 18.f5 exf5 19.Rxf5 Qd620.Nxf7! Rxf7 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Rxd5 Qc6 23.Rd6 Qe8 24.Rd7 1-0 Botvinnik,M-Vidmar,M Nottingham 1936] 8.Bxc4 b6!? Less played than the c-pawn, but it is more to the point when it comes to that last minor piece, the queen bishop. [8...c5 is most common, but seriously, how does it help to solve Black's development? The pawn itself wasn't particularly threatened. Trading on d4 might give White an isolated pawn, but that's at best double-edged.] 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Bf4 Hardly ever played! But not absolutely bad. Is this piece so better placed here that it's worth burning a tempo? [Most common, best scoring, and following classic development patterns (minor pieces, castle, queen, rooks) is 10.Qe2!?] 10...a6 11.Rc1 Rc8?! [Stockfish would have Black leap into action: 11...b5! 12.Bb3 Nh5! 13.Be5 c5 with Black starting to get the better of it.] 12.Qe2?!
Picking on the a-pawn but it doesn't have to be a problem. [The mass liquidation after 12.d5 leaves some white squares for White and a small advantage.; But first 12.a4! puts Black in a tricky situation. 12...c6!? 13.Qe2 b5 is a radical solution, but there are still liabilities after 14.Bd3] 12...b5! 13.Bd3 c5=/+ 14.dxc5 Nxc5 15.Bc2 Qb6 A comfy square for the queen, ready for the last piece to get into play. [But more to the point is 15...b4!? 16.Na4 (16.Nb1 a5 and ...Ba6 is a nuisance) 16...Nce4!? is solid in the center.] 16.Rfd1 Rfd8 17.h3 Making 'luft' -- White has to be careful not to clue Black in on the danger of the back rank...
17...Nd5? [17...Rxd1+ 18.Rxd1 (18.Qxd1 a5) 18...b4 19.Na4 Nxa4 20.Bxa4 Bd5 Black gets the better of a symmetrical center.] 18.Nxd5! Bxd5 19.Ne5 White grabs the moment! Between kingside danger (Qh5) and a veiled trade-off into a good ending, Black's problems appear. 19...Be4
Times: [Black had to suffer with 19...Ne4 20.Qh5 g6 21.Qh6 and hope to survive. The downside of ...Qb6: that piece isn't helping defend.] Here Zhou took a few minutes and found 20.Bxe4! Nxe4 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 [21...Qxd8 22.Nc6 Kf8 (22...Bh4 23.Qc2!) 23.Nxd8 Rxc1+ 24.Kh2 Luft matters!] 22.Nc6! Rd2 The computers accept and just lose the rook for knight, but then it's just a technical win. Chelsea Zhou might be still pretty young, but with seven years tournament experience that should be well within her skill set. 23.Nxe7+ Kf8 24.Qf3 Nxf2 [24...f5 25.Nc6 Rxf2 26.Bd6+! (26.Qxf2 is the blunt "had enough?" alternative) 26...Nxd6 (26...Ke8 27.Qh5+ leads to mate) 27.Kxf2 is a whole rook.] 25.Nc8 Qd8 26.Nd6 Ke7 27.Bg3 [27.Qb7+ is already mate on the horizon.] 27...f6 28.Nc8+ Kf7 29.Bxf2 Rxb2 30.Qh5+ Kf8?! 31.Nd6 g6 32.Qxh7 Rd2 33.Qf7# An instructive and interesting game. Clemens is probably still scratching his head wondering where it went wrong. Hats off to Zhou for a fine win, placing her tied for first! 1-0
To watch the broadcast, follow this link:
Full standings can be seen below, for more information on the event, please follow this link: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/october-2020-tuesday-night-marathon-online
SwissSys Standings. Conway Memorial TNM Online: Open
|#||Name||ID||Rating||Fed||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Total|
|1||IM Elliott Winslow||10363365||2278||ecwinslow||W29||W19||W8||W9||4.0|
|3||GM Gadir Guseinov||17343590||2600||GGuseinov||H---||H---||W23||W15||3.0|
|4||FM Kyron Griffith||12860484||2470||KyronGriffith||W28||W18||H---||H---||3.0|
|5||NM Michael Walder||10345120||2075||FlightsOfFancy||W43||W39||L9||W17||3.0|
|8||Nicholas Ruo Weng||15499404||1958||ninjaforce||W33||W47||L1||W28||3.0|
|11||Thomas F Maser||10490936||1900||talenuf||H---||H---||W34||W30||3.0|
|12||Javier Silva III||16089208||1869||J3Chess24||L47||W33||W35||W27||3.0|
|13||Davi Flores Gomez||14799653||1812||PlayerCreate1||W55||W20||L7||W29||3.0|
|15||IM Prasanna Ragh Rao||16083805||2508||Praschess||W27||D17||W14||L3||2.5|
|17||Patrick Peiju Liu||16667410||1851||katechen77||W48||D15||W16||L5||2.5|
|18||Mark L Drury||12459313||1843||BirdOrBust||W49||L4||D40||W39||2.5|
|22||Nicholas Ar Boldi||15088356||1883||nicarmt||L36||L32||W46||W47||2.0|
|23||Kevin M Fong||17254586||1783||chessappeals||D53||W50||L3||D36||2.0|
|36||Jacob S Wang||17083655||1287||jacobchess857||W22||L9||D19||D23||2.0|
|42||Cailen J Melville||14006141||1940||Mangonel||L40||L31||W53||L35||1.0|
|47||Ya Dancig Perlman||16280288||1235||noydan100||W12||L8||L24||L22||1.0|
|54||Yuvraj Si Sawhney||17095004||1060||SaintReturns||L19||L29||L45||L46||0.0|
We are excited to announce that US Chess awarded Mechanics' Institute the bid to organize the 2021 US Amateur Team West Championship online! We want to thank US Chess for the opportunity to continue to organize high profile events online, and we will continue to seek more ways to bring quality events to our chess community in 2021. The event will be held the weekend of January 30-31, 2021. This date is a few weeks earlier than when it is normally held, but we decided to choose this date so as not to conflict with Super Bowl Sunday (February 7) as well as the dates for the other regional team championships. It is quite possible, with the team championship events this year being organized online, that many teams will choose to play all four of the regional events. From our standpoint, we are just happy that we will be able to once again organize the Amateur West, which was a success last year in Burlingame. We will of course broadcast the games and provide live commentary on our Twitch channel.
Site of the 2020 US Amateur Team West in Burlingame. We hope to create the same buzz and excitement for next year's online event.
We will also organize a scholastic side event to be held on Sunday January 31, 2021 on Chesskid.
Registration will open soon, please let us know if you have any questions. We can be reached at: [email protected]
For more information, please click on the event page here: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/usatw
What to do in case I get disconnected?
Don’t Panic & Reconnect
By Senior USCF TD and FIDE Arbiter Dr. Judit Sztaray
There are various reasons why a player may get disconnected from an online game. However, it does not mean that you automatically lose that game! Here is some information on what’s happening and some advice on what you can do.
Please note that we are covering chess.com platform, because all of our offerings are on that platform. If you play in any other platform, we encourage everyone to research and find out platform specific settings for optimal use and performance.
When you play an online game on chess.com, there is a connection tab next to each player’s name: four bars that can show up in various colors. This indicates a player’s connectivity. If it’s green, that’s always a good sign. If it’s red or blinking, that’s not so much.
If you click on this connection tab, you can set your own preferences when it comes to Type and Network Options. More information on this can be found here:
If your internet connection is unstable, and your device disconnects from the internet, the system detects that immediately.
If your disconnection happens during your opponents turn, you are in luck, because you don’t lose time.
If the disconnection happens during your turn, your game does not end immediately, and your clock will be running. The time control of the game you are playing determines how much time you have to reconnect: the longer the game is the longer the time you have to reconnect. However, if you disconnect, the chess.com servers evaluate the position and if the player is significantly losing, the game is immediately forfeited. The maximum time to reconnect is 3 minutes, and it’s given to longer time controls, like G/60 or do. The short blitz games, like G/3+2 have 20 seconds to reconnect.
So what should you do when disconnect? Don’t panic!
1. First, take a screenshot or a quick picture of the position. This might come handy later, if the game needs to be restarted from a certain position.
2. Reconnect to the internet by using your phone’s hotspot or reconnecting to the wifi and immediately reload chess.com/live and your game should pop up next to the Games/Tournaments tab. You might have to log in again, depending on your setting, but after logging in go to chess.com/live.
Of course there are certain bugs that none of us are immune to and that we can’t explain. But we hope that this little, quick suggestion might help you next time you experience that painful sign of blinking bars.
Any questions? Our inbox is always open!
Former Mechanics' Institute Chess Director and Captain of the US Olympic team IM John Donaldson will soon be relasing the first of a two-part book on Bobby Fischer titled Bobby Fischer and His World. This new book will have newly uncovered games and interviews and is a must read for any serious fan of history and chess. According to John, "Bobby's 1957 visits to the Mechanics' are covered and his stays in San Francisco in the early 1980s, but not the simul he gave at the MI in 1957 which will be in volume 2."
To pre-order, and for more information, follow this link: https://www.amazon.com/Bobby-Fischer-World-John-Donaldson/dp/1890085197
The chess room staff at the Mechanics' Institute are taking on all comers now weekly, as each of us will live stream an arena tournament where we will commentate our own games! You might be playing 3-time US Champion GM Nick de Firmian, or perhaps our commentator and instructor extraorinaire FM Paul Whitehead. Try to take down Organizer sensation Dr. Judit Sztaray or Chess Director Abel Talamantez. We will all be live on Twitch playing, reviewing about our games, and talking about anything that comes up in the chat. Come hang out with us at the Mechanics' online club, perhaps we may even give out an occasional free prize!
Arenas are an hour long, and the chess staff will be paired against the first available player to play at the conclusion of their games. All other players will be paired with the next available opponent. This will continue for the whole hour. While there is no guarantee you will be paired against a chess staff member, you will have a very good chance at it, depending on the number of players playing. All games will be streamed live on our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/mechanicschess
Check out the times here:
GM Nick de Firmian Arena: Mondays 4pm-5pm, 10/19: https://www.chess.com/live#r=540871
FM Paul Whitehead Arena: Tuesdays 5pm-6pm, 10/20: https://www.chess.com/live#r=540872
MI Chess Director Abel Talamantez, Dr. Judit Sztaray Arena: Fridays 5pm-6:00pm, 10/23:
See you in the arena!