March 20, 2021
By Abel Talamantez
Table of Contents
- Think, Move, Play
- March TNM
- March 2021 Blitz Championship
- FIDE Chess in Education
- Reciprocity Partnership with Marshall
- Twitch Arena
- Weekly Classes
- Online Events Schedule
- Scholastic Corner
- FM Paul Whitehead's Column
- GM Nick de Firmian's Column
- Solutions to FM Paul Whitehead's Column
- Submit your piece or feedback
The Thompson Family Foundation and the Mechanics' Institute came came together in support of the power and benefits of chess to children by offering a free 5-round, non-rated scholastic swiss tournament, which was followed by a G/5+2, 60 minute arena with special guests participating. In total, 158 players participated in the tournament, with player strengths ranging from new learner to master playing in one open-section event. In the end, three players finished with perfect scores, with NM Sriram Krishnakumar, Rohan Rajaram, and Callaghan McCarty-Snead finishing in this tiebreak order with 5/5. Congratulations to them and to all the participants!
The Thompason Family Foundation, founded by Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson and his family, has a mission of enriching the lives of youth through sport and fitness. It was an honor for us to partner with them and combine our goal of bringing communities together through chess. All participants will receive a free chessboard with the Thompson Family Foundation logo on it and chess set. In addition, the first 90 participants will receive a free Think, Move, Play t-shirt, subject to size availability.
We also received support from the Golden State Warriors Foundation's e-sports department, as we had Golden Guardian streamer Zain and Bay Area Super Smash Brothers streamer Toph join us for the event. Toph joined us on the broadcast for the arena coverage with Zain as one of the guest players playing. Also participating in the arena were former professional basketball player Mychel Thompson (Klay Thompson's older brother), Seth Tarver (Director of Programs and Partnerships with the Thompson Family Foundation), Adam Cheyer (co-founder of Siri), and local talents IM Josiah Stearman and WCM Allyson Wong.
In the arena, as in the tournament, NM Sriram Krishakumar put in a dominant performance, including a sharp win against Stearman to take first. It was fun to watch our local kids, especially our developing young players play against these top juniors and adults. These young players have, as they really took it to the celebs showing no fear on the chessboard. Win or lose, they played with passion and determination, all with fun. Here are some of the games from the tournament and arena, annotated by GM Nick de Firmian.
(5) NM Sriram Krishnakumar (2008king) (2297) - IM Josiah Stearman (josiwales) (2579) [B01]
Live Chess Chess.com, 14.03.2021
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Be3!? Slightly unusual development. White has a small edge after the more normal [6.Bd3] 6...Be7 7.Qd2 0-0 8.0-0-0 b6 9.Be2 [9.h4 Bb7 10.h5 as White plays in the Petrov's would be a good plan] 9...Bb7 10.h4 Nbd7 11.h5 Bb4 12.a3? getting into trouble [12.Qd3 would keep a slight edge] 12...Ne4!
13.Nxe4!? The queen sacrifice may be the best practical chance [13.Qd3 Nxc3 14.axb4 Nxd1 15.Bxd1 would be a little play for the exchange in a still complex game] 13...Bxd2+ 14.Nexd2 Nf6?! [Josiah has won the queen and gets careless, allowing White serious play. He should close down the kingside with 14...h6 15.g4 f6] 15.h6! g6? [15...Ng4 16.hxg7 Kxg7 17.Rh3 f6 18.Rdh1 Rh8 19.Ne5 fxe5 20.Bxg4 Bxg2 21.Bh6+ Kg6 22.Bxe6 Bxh3 23.Rxh3 exd4 looks scary but would be winning for Black with accurate play] 16.Bg5!
The pin is really annoying, The game is even again now. 16...Re8? [needed was 16...Bxf3 17.gxf3 Qxd4 18.Ne4 Nxe4 19.Rxd4 Nxg5 20.f4 e5! 21.fxe5 Rad8 with even material] 17.Nc4?! [17.Rh4! c5 18.Ne5 cxd4 19.Ng4 would win the knight and give White a huge advantage] 17...Ba6?! [17...b5 18.Nce5 b4 19.axb4 a5 20.b5 a4 21.Ng4 Nxg4 22.Bxd8 Rexd8 23.Rdf1 is a nice pawn up for White but Black would still be in the game] 18.Rhe1? [18.Nfe5 Bxc4 19.Bxc4 b5 20.Be2 and White will win the knight on f6 (after Rh3-f3) with a winning game. The three minor pieces are much more powerful than the black queen in that position] 18...Kf8? [missing the chance to get out of the pin with 18...Bxc4 19.Bxc4 Qd6! as 20.Bxf6 Qf4+ wins the bishop back on f6] 19.Nce5 Now Black is in a bind again with no way out 19...Bxe2 20.Rxe2 Qe7?! [20...Kg8 21.Nd2 Qxd4 22.Ndc4 Qxd1+ (22...Qc5 23.Bxf6 is a completely winning bind for White) 23.Kxd1 Nd5 24.Ne3 is still a huge edge for White] 21.Bxf6 Qd6 [21...Qxf6 22.Nd7+] 22.Ng5
2008king won by resignation. A great comeback and a very entertaining battle. [22.Ng5 Kg8 23.Ne4 Qf8 24.Bg7 and Nf6 is the end] 1-0
(6) Adam Cheyer (acheyer) (1279) - Gogosf (1621) [A00]
Live Chess Chess.com, 14.03.2021
The Orangutan. An unusual opening that's not so bad. White offers the b-pawn to get a center pawn. 1.b4 e5 2.Bb2 Bxb4 3.Bxe5 Nf6 4.e3 0-0 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bb2 Bg4 7.Be2 Nbd7 8.h3 Bxf3?! [8...Bh5] 9.Bxf3
This is the kind of position Orangutan players should be seeking when they play this opening. 9...Ne5 10.Bxb7 risky. White would have the two bishops and some edge after the simple retreat 10 Be2 10...Rb8
11.Bd5?? Oh no! [11.Ba6 Bxd2+ 12.Nxd2 Rxb2 is equal] 11...Nxd5 12.0-0 Bc5 13.d4 Rxb2 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Nd2
15...Bxe3!? [15...Nc3 16.Qe1 Rxc2 is the most straightforward win] 16.Nf3 [16.fxe3 Nxe3 17.Qe1 Nxf1 18.Nxf1 Qd4+ would be an easy win with the extra material] 16...Bb6 17.Re1 Nf4 18.Nxe5 Qxd1 19.Raxd1 Rxc2 20.a4?! [20.Rf1 Rxa2 is quite lost anyway] 20...Bxf2+ 0-1
(7) jwiejoo (862) - Mychel Thompson (TrygaMyke) (544) [C20]
Live Chess Chess.com, 14.03.2021
1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 h6? [2...Nc6 3.Bc4 g6] 3.Bc4 [3.Qxe5+ is a clear pawn ahead] 3...g6?
[3...Qe7 4.Nc3 Nf6 stops the threatened checkmate and drives White back] 4.Qxe5+ Be7 [4...Qe7 is a little better, but 5.Qxh8 Qxe4+ 6.Be2 Qxg2 7.Bf3 wouldn't save material for Black] 5.Qxh8 a whole rook! This trap that has been played thousands of times. 5...d6? [5...Kf8 guards the knight] 6.Qxg8+ Kd7 7.Bb5+ c6 8.Bxc6+?! Still winning but there is no reason to give the piece back. [8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Be2 is nine points ahead] 8...Nxc6 9.Qxf7 Ne5 10.Qd5 a6 11.Ne2 Qc7 12.Nd4 b5!? One may as well mix it up when you are losing. 13.Qe6+ [13.Qxa8 Bb7 14.Qh8 Bxe4 gives Black a little play before the huge amount of material takes its toll] 13...Kd8 14.Qg8+ Kd7 15.0-0 Nc4 16.Qe6+ Ke8 17.Qxg6+ Kd7 18.Qg4+ Kd8 19.Ne6+ Bxe6 20.Qxe6 Ne5 21.d4 Qxc2 22.Bxh6?! [22.dxe5] 22...Qxe4 23.Nc3??
[23.dxe5 is way ahead] 23...Qxd4?? [Black could have gotten right back in the game with 23...Nf3+! 24.gxf3 Qxe6 winning the queen with roughly even material] 24.Qg8+ Kd7 25.Qxa8 Now there's no coming back 25...Ke6 26.Qc8+ Kf7 27.Rfd1 Qh4 28.Qf5+ Bf6 29.Qh7+ Ke6 30.Ne4 Qh5 31.Nxf6 [31.Rxd6#] 31...Qe2 32.Bg5 Nf7 33.Qg8 Kf5 34.Rd5+ Ne5 35.h3 Qf3 36.Qh7+ jwiejoo won on time, though mate would be soon anyway 1-0
(11) Luke Widjaja (lukewidjaja) (1893) - NM Sriram Krishnakumar (2008king) (2175) [C54]
Live Chess Chess.com, 14.03.2021
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.a4
Threatening to trap the black bishop. This modern move keeps play on both sides of the board. 6...a5 7.0-0 Bg4 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.h3 Be6 the other retreat would also give White a small edge after [9...Bh5 10.Re1 h6 11.Nf1 Bb6 12.Ng3] 10.Re1 Qd7 11.Bxe6 [11.Bb5! Bxh3 12.gxh3 Qxh3 13.Nf1 Qg4+ 14.Kh1 Bxf2 15.N1h2 Qh3 16.Re2 Ng4 17.Qf1 is quite good for White] 11...fxe6 12.Nc4 Ba7 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.Nxe3 h6 15.Rc1 Qf7 16.Qc2?! [16.Rc2] 16...Nh5 17.d4?! [17.Ng4] 17...exd4?! allowing White the opportunity to capture on d4 with the knight. White declines this generous offer which would have kept the disadvantage small. [17...Nf4! 18.dxe5 Nxh3+ is a big advantage for Black] 18.cxd4?
18...Nf4! Black has many threats such as ...Nxg2 and ...Nxh3+. If White moves the Nf3 then d4 hangs. 19.d5 [19.Kf1 Nxg2] 19...exd5 20.exd5 Nb4 21.Qxc7 Nbd3 22.Qxf7+ Rxf7 23.Nc4? losing a whole rook. After [23.Rcd1 Nxe1 24.Nxe1 White is down the exchange for a pawn, but it would be a very hard ending as the black rooks have good, active lines.] 23...Nxc1 24.Nxd6 [24.Rxc1 Ne2+] 24...Rd7 25.Nf5 Ncd3 26.Rd1 Rf8! 2008king plays accurately, avoiding the tricky white knights. There is no hope for White without a black blunder. [26...Rxd5? 27.Ne7+ would give back the whole rook] 27.Ne3 Nxb2 28.Rb1 Nxa4 29.Ne5 Re7 30.N3c4 Nc3 31.Ra1 b5 32.d6 Re6 33.Nd7 bxc4 34.Nxf8 Kxf8 35.d7 Rd6 36.Rxa5 Rxd7 37.Rf5+ Rf7 38.Rc5 Nce2+ 39.Kf1 Ra7 40.Rf5+ Kg8 0-1
We would like to thank the Thompson Family Foundation for sponsoring this event. Special thanks to Seth Tarver from the Thompson Family Foundation for working with us to organize the event, Christina Pederson and Daniel Biery from the Golden State Warriors, and streamers Zain and Toph for coming on the broadcast. Thanks also to our special guests who joined us on the commentary including Adisa Banjoko, GM Patrick Wolff, WCM Allyson Wong, and Mechanics' Institute CEO Kimberly Scrafano. Lastly, thank you to the chess team at the Mechanics' Institute - Dr. Judit Sztaray as Chief TD and running the Zoom HelpDesk, along with commentators GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead. It was a fun free event for the kids, and we hope this event will help continue to inspire the kids playing and learning and promote more interest in chess.
To watch the broadcast of the tournament and arena, please follow this link: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/948404161
You can also click to our YouTube channel for the video and past videos HERE
Full results from the tournament are here: https://www.chess.com/tournament/live/think-move-play---g10-tournament-2143507
Full arena results here: https://www.chess.com/tournament/live/arena/think-move-play---g52-1007570
Fireworks were abound in rounds 3&4 of the Tuesday Night Marathon, as there was plenty of action to entertain viewers, two of these games provided by IM Josiah Stearman. Stearman won an incredibly sharp game against Nicholas Weng in round 3, where Weng's king marched to the b5 square by move 14. Stearman then went on to win another action game in round 4 against IM Elliott Winslow. GM Jim Tarjan survived a scare in round 3 against Abhinav Penagalapati, taking advantage of time pressure to come back from the brink of defeat. He was not so fortunate in round 4 against GM Gadir Guseinov. Tarjan appeared to be in a losing endgame, then found a resourceful continuation to get the position to his 2 rooks, bishop and pawns against Guseinov's queen, rook and pawns where it appeared even. But one miscaluclation opene the position enough for Guseinov to convert the win. IM Brian Escalante also had some great games, including a nice positional win against FM Eric Li.
After 4 rounds, GM Guseinov, IM Escalante and IM Stearman are the only perfect scores at 4/4, with FM Kyron Griffith and NM Mike Walder at 3.5/4.
Watch the broadcast by clicking here:
Here are some games from a great Tuesday night, annotated by GM Nick de Frimian.
(1) IM Josiah Stearman (josiwales) (2598) - Nicholas Weng (ninjaforce) (1984) [A34]
MI March TNMO Chess.com (3.3), 16.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.c4 Nf6 The "symmetrical" English opening is a transpositional jungle, with plenty of opportunities for both sides to inject asymmetry into the battle. [1...c5 is the immediate mirror move, but don't think that means it's boring. The most famous example of symmetry gone wild was R.Byrne-R.Fischer, 1963 U.S. Championship, which you must know if you have learned the moves. NOT Donald Byrne (as in New York 1956, "The Game of the Century") but his brother Robert. The story of what happened after the last move can easily be found online or in books. 2.Nf3 (2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 (3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nc7 is Rubinstein's Variation, when it could be Black setting up what was later known as the Maroczy Bind with ...e5) 3...d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5) 2...Nf6 3.Nc3 d5] 2.Nc3 d5 This has a sort of flaw, see below. [2...c5 3.Nf3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 is the more common move order.] 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.Nf3 Not trying to take advantage of Black's early central play. [4.g3!? picks on the knight before Black is ready to do something with it. The idea is if Black plays ...Nxc3 then bxc3 and a bishop on g2 and a rook on b1 will make Black's development difficult.; 4.e4!? also might set up a big center before Black is ready to oppose it. 4...Nxc3 5.bxc3 g6 It's curious to watch the game count jump from a few hundred... (5...c5 6.d4 g6) 6.d4 ...to over 33,000 -- transposition! (into the Gruenfeld Variation)] 4...c5 On the other hand, with this knight on f3 blocking the long diagonal, there has been a proliferation of interest in this position. To be fair, most of the recent games (involving Wesley So, Giri, Nepomniatchi, Dubov, Radjabov as White, Vachier Lagrave, Caruana, Mamedyarov, Fedoseev as Black) have started: 1.Nf3. Worth noting. 5.e4 Everything under the sun has been tried: [5.g3; 5.d4; 5.e3; Even 5.Qa4+] 5...Nc7?! This relinquishes the opening initiative to White. [The Big Move is 5...Nb4 when in the early 1980s Yasser Seirawan had quite a run with 6.Bc4!? Nd3+ (6...Be6!? 7.Bxe6 Nd3+ 8.Kf1 fxe6 9.Ng5 Qb6 10.Qe2 c4 11.b3 h6 12.Nf3 Nc6 13.bxc4 0-0-0 with just the sort of wild position the Black player revels in: 0-1 (28) Polugaevsky,L (2625)-Tal,M (2615) Riga 1979 -- but Seirawan and everyone since must have a good line here.) 7.Ke2 Nf4+ (7...Nxc1+ isn't so bad after all) 8.Kf1! Ne6 (8...Nd3!? 9.Qe2 Nxc1 was, among others, played by So in 2016: 10.Rxc1 e6 11.h4 a6 12.e5 Nc6 13.Rh3 b5 14.Bd3 Bb7 15.Be4 Qd7 ½-½ (37) Aronian,L (2785)-So,W (2794) London 2016) 9.b4!? was the old move, still seen; (9.h4!? the new move, not only as a reaction to ...g6 but here preempting it!) ] 6.d4! cxd4 7.Nxd4 [7.Qxd4!? is just as good] 7...e5!? Very challenging! And actually first seen on move 8 (that is, with e2-e3 and ...e7-e6!). 8.Bb5+!? [The computer confirms what has been known for almost forty years: 8.Ndb5! is the way to go. 8...Nxb5 (8...Qxd1+ 9.Kxd1 Nxb5 10.Nxb5 Na6 11.Be3 and White has the jump on Black.) 9.Bxb5+ Nc6 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.Be3 Be6 12.0-0-0+ 1-0 (37), Tregubov,P (2612) -Flear,G (2503) France 2003.] 8...Nxb5N [Perhaps 8...Bd7 as played in a game between a couple B players (!) is best.] 9.Ndxb5 Qxd1+? Maybe Black was too concerned with who could castle and who couldn't. [Equality was to be had with 9...a6 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.Na3 Be6 12.0-0 Nd7] 10.Kxd1 Na6 11.Nd5 Kd8 So now Black's king is center-bound as well -- and White's knights are most uncomfortable. 12.Bg5++/= Kd7? [Black had to see 12...f6! 13.Be3 (13.Nxf6?? h6 14.Bh4 Be7-+ turns it completely around) 13...Bd7 14.a4 Nb4 (or 14...Bc5 trading off a bishop to smooth the way for the errant knight. White has some advantage but Black is in it.) 15.Nbc3!] 13.Ke2 White is winning. 13...Kc6 14.Rhc1+?! Flashy but sometimes a quiet move is even better: [14.a4! is attacking the king: 14...b6 15.Rhc1+ Kb7 16.Nbc7 Rb8 17.a5! Nc5 18.b4! Nxe4? 19.a6#] 14...Kxb5 15.a4+ Ka5 16.Bd2+ Nb4 17.Nxb4 Bxb4 18.Rc5+ Kb6 [18...Ka6 19.Bxb4 b6 is a little better, clear advantage for White but it's not over.] 19.Rb5+ Kc7? [19...Ka6 20.Bxb4 Re8 21.Ra5+ Kb6 22.Rd5 Ka6 refuses to go under!] 20.Rc1+ Kd8?! [20...Kb8 21.Bxb4 Rd8 22.Be7 wins the pawn and Black's king still is a liability.] 21.Bxb4 but this is even worse. 21...Be6 22.Rxb7 Re8? (♔ Mate in 1) 23.Ba5# A fun win for Josiah -- and for Nick, a reminder that even the flank openings can get sharp and require theoretical preparation! 1-0
(2) IM Elliott Winslow (ecwinslow) (2249) - IM Josiah Stearman (josiwales) (2604) [E15]
MI March TNMO Chess.com (4.3), 16.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 The Queen's Indian Defense. 4.g3 Not quite the oldest reply but close. And first played by the great Akiva Rubinstein. One hundred and one years ago! 4...Bb7 [4...Ba6 is much more the modern move, although Nimzovich made it his own starting in 1925. It's hard for White to be happy with any defense of c4. And no, the first game with this exaggerated fianchetto, his opponent did not play 5.Bg2?? Bxc4 -- but a sleepy opponent did fall for that against Nimzovich in 1934.] 5.Bg2 d5!? A favorite of Moiseenko, who scores quite well with it, but it seems a bit heavy with e4 already well controlled. 6.Ne5
So the text move might seem counter to principles of development, but this was the big move, putting on the pressure right away now, a hundred years ago! The first game in the database is Alekhine-Vajda, and many of the greats of the era also found themselves playing it. Gruenfeld. Botvinnik. Saemisch. Najdorf. [The late Ljubomir Kavalek simply played 6.0-0 against Ljubo Ljubojevic in Montreal 1979, and after 6...Be7 7.Ne5 0-0 8.Nc3 Na6!? 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Nd3 c5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Bg5 with textbook pressure against the hanging pawns.1-0 (39) Kavalek,L (2590)-Ljubojevic,L (2590) Montreal 1979.; But in all likelihood Josiah would play, as Moiseenko is fond of, 6.0-0 dxc4! and the bishop is back in light. He's shown himself in similar positions to be at home.; 6.cxd5!? could well be the best way of dealing with Black's blunt pawn move, when any recapture has its problems.] 6...c6?! [6...Nbd7 was Moise's move the one time anyone played the old 6.Ne5 against him: 7.Qa4 Bd6 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Nxd7 Qxd7 10.Qxd7 Nxd7 11.cxd5 Bb4! 12.0-0 Bxc3 13.dxe6 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Bxd4 15.exd7 Rad8 16.Rd1 Be5 17.Bf4 Bxf4 18.gxf4 f5 19.Rd5 Rf7 20.Rad1 g6 and Black somehow kept White from that one little last pawn move to the eighth. ½-½ (36), Fridman,D (2633)-Moiseenko,V (2501) St Petersburg 2018; 6...c5!? was the choice of the first British grandmaster and brief American player Tony Miles, with success: 7.Qa4+ Nbd7 8.cxd5 Bxd5 9.Bxd5 Nxd5 10.Nc3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Bd6 12.0-0 cxd4 13.cxd4 Bxe5 14.dxe5 0-0 and it was good knight bad bishop: 0-1 (45) Goodman,D (2230)-Miles,A (2510) Portsmouth (Southsea) 1976] 7.cxd5 cxd5 Best, keeping the bishop less indirectly controlling e4 than after ...exd5. But now ...c5 has gone away. 8.0-0 Bd6 [8...Nfd7!? 9.f4 Nxe5 10.fxe5 Nc6 had Black building up nicely on the queenside, French-style: 0-1 (42) Demina,J (2355)-Eismont,O (2470) Novosibirsk 1998] 9.Nc3
9...0-0N [9...Nbd7 10.Bf4 Qe7 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.Rc1 went horribly wrong in Otte,M (2173)-Suligoy,A (1818) Munich 2006:1-0 (33).] 10.Bf4 Nc6 11.e3?! [11.e4!? tries to take advantage of the moment to make something of the long diagonal. But 11...Nxe4 12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.Bxe4 Rc8 14.Rc1 Bxe5 15.dxe5 is about even whether either side trades queens or not.; 11.Nb5!? Bb8 12.Rc1 Nxe5 13.Bxe5 tries to take over c7, so 13...Ne8! denies White.] 11...Bxe5 [11...Rc8!? 12.Rc1 Qe7 continues with development (with b8 for the bishop if need be)] 12.Bxe5 White has to return the bishop pair, to have f2-f4 guarding the pawn. 12...Nxe5 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.f4 Ba6?! This could have started going bad. [14...Rc8; 14...Nc5] 15.Rf2 b5?!
Now it's White fumbling his development. [15...Qe7 16.e4 d4 17.Qxd4 Rfd8 18.Rd1 is some advantage still for White] 16.Rd2? [16.Qd4!+/- covers a lot of dark squares; 16...Qb6 17.a3 and White is ready to think about f5.] 16...Qb6! 17.Rd4 Rac8 Black has solved his problems and is thinking about going forward. 18.Qd2? [18.a4 is Stockfish's best move, pretty much keeping it equal. 18...b4 19.a5 Qc5 20.Na4! Qxa5 21.e4 with a sharp forcing line: 21...Nb6 22.exd5 Nxd5 23.Bxd5 exd5 24.Nc3 Qc5 25.Rxa6 bxc3 26.bxc3 Qxc3=] 18...Nb8!
A close to decisive redeployment. 19.Bxd5?! Desperation or oversight, in any case a dreadful attempt to change the direction of the game. 19...exd5 20.Nxd5 Qe6 [20...Qb7 was also a big plus.] 21.f5?! Now this is definitely desperate. 21...Qxe5 If it was any consolation, this was the only move. 22.f6 Nc6 There were other defenses; every attempt to attack falls flat. 23.Rg4 g6 [Even 23...g5 works, when after 24.h4 Kh8 25.Rxg5 Qe4 the g-file could just end up leading to checkmate -- by Black!] 24.Rd1 [When the computer recommends 24.e4 Qd4+ you know it's over.] 24...h5 25.Rf4 Rcd8 26.e4 Kh7 27.Qe3 Nb4 When ahead: trade. 28.Rf5!? Nxd5?! [28...Qe6! and White has nothing.] 29.Rxd5 Rxd5 30.Rxe5 Rxe5 31.Qa3 White was quite short on time but still fires a bullet or two. But objectively the rooks are going to run over the queen. 31...Rfe8?! [31...Kg8 32.Qxa6 Rxe4 33.Qxa7 Re2 Once the rooks start threatening mate, it will be done.] 32.Qxa6 R8e6 33.Qxa7 Stockfish only gives it minus over plus, but with the time disadvantage White just won't put up resistance for long. 33...Rxf6 34.Qd4? [34.Qb7] 34...Rfe6 Back to -+ 35.Kf2 Rxe4 36.Qd3 R4e5 37.a3 Kh6 38.b3 Rf5+ 39.Kg2 Kh7 40.a4 bxa4 41.bxa4 Rfe5 42.Kf2 Re4 43.a5?! R4e5 44.a6 Ra5 45.Qd7 Rf6+ 46.Ke3 Raxa6 47.h3 Ra3+ 48.Ke4 Rxg3 0-1
(3) GM Jim Tarjan (Tirantes) (2443) - GM Gadir Guseinov (GGuseinov) (2621) [E60]
MI March TNMO Chess.com (4.1), 16.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 c5 with Panno or Benoni a possibility, but they "agree" to head for a popular line with no clear name, a sort of fianchetto Maroczy Bind (White hasn't played e4, but the control of the light squares is there.). 6.Nf3 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6 8.0-0 Qa5 [8...Nxd4 9.Qxd4 d6 was for years the main way to play. There is even a Fischer-Spassky game from their world championship match in this line: 10.Bg5 (10.Qd3 was up til then the main line) 10...Be6 11.Qf4 1-0 37, Fischer,R. - Spassky,B., Reykjavik (8) 1972; 8...d6 is a gambit that's not so easy to crack, but it seems to have had its day.] 9.Nc2 [9.Nb3; and 9.e3 are two major alternatives.] 9...Qh5 10.e4 Qxd1 White has done quite well here, but it's still anyone's game. And Guseinov seems to handle these typical positions quite well. [10...d6 is another way to go, but note the White player's name: 11.Qxh5 Nxh5 12.Nd5 Bd7 13.Bg5 f6 14.Bd2 1-0 (37) Guseynov,A (2399)-Ozgur,I (1930) Kesan 2017] 11.Rxd1
11...d6 12.h3 A bit sluggish, but the computer is okay with it. White has various more pointed moves: [12.Rb1; 12.b3; 12.Ne3] 12...Be6 13.b3
[13.Nd5!? Rac8 14.Rb1 Rfe8 15.b3 Nd7 16.Nf4 catches the bishop for knight: 1-0 (48) Arkell,K (2424)-Pleasants,A (2103) Cardiff 2017; 13.Ne3 Rac8 14.Rb1 Nd7 15.Ne2 Nc5 16.b3 a6 17.Bb2 regroups and neutralizes Black on the long diagonal: 17...Bxb2 18.Rxb2 b5 19.Nf4 g5 20.Nfd5 1-0 (42) Ragnarsson,D (2391)-Duong,T (2230) Montreal 2019] 13...Nd7N [Previously played was 13...Rfc8 14.Rb1 Nd7 15.Ne2 (15.Nd5!?+/=) 15...Nc5 (15...a6=; 15...a5=) 16.Bb2 (16.Nf4+/=) 16...Bxb2 (16...a5=; 16...Rab8) 17.Rxb2 a5 18.a4?! (18.f4) 18...Kg7=/+ 1-0 (31) Arnold,F (2583)-Krivoshey,S (2434) Eupen 2000] 14.Bb2 [14.Bd2 Perhaps just moving off the long diagonal is a better plan, when Black's dark-squared bishop could become ineffective.] 14...Nc5 15.Rab1 a5 Black's standard queenside counterplay is often a real problem for White. 16.Nd5?! [16.Ne3] 16...Bxd5 17.Rxd5 The pawn captures turn in Black's favor. 17...Nb4 18.Nxb4 axb4 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 And somehow Black has come up with good knight bad bishop, a frequent motif in the Maroczy bind positions, only made worse with the bishop doing not a lot on g2. 20.e5 a calculation that doesn't quite work out. [Perhaps it's time to go into a defensive mode with 20.Rb2] 20...Rxa2 21.exd6 exd6 22.Rxd6
22...Ra6! Still with some minor initiative. 23.Rbd1 Offering to trade b-pawn for b-pawn, but Gadir looks for his own terms. 23...Rc8 24.h4 Ra3 25.Rb6 Rxb3 26.Rb5 Rc7-/+ 27.Rd5? [27.Bd5 is still a hard nut to crack.] 27...Na4! Black is winning -- he's going to try to escort the passed pawn to queening. 28.Rd2 Rb1+ [28...b6! intending ...Rc5, cleaning up his extra pawn and squelching counterplay.] 29.Kh2 b3 30.Bxb7 b2? Too soon. [Perhaps 30...Rxc4 31.Bd5 Rc2 32.Rd4 Nc5!? (32...Nc3 33.Rxb3 Rxf2+ 34.Kh3 Rxb3 35.Bxb3 Ne2 is good chances as well.) 33.Kg2 b2 34.Be4 Nxe4 35.Rxe4 Rd1 36.Reb4 Rdd2 37.Rf4 h5 Can Black win this? Perhaps there is no way to queen after all.] 31.Bd5 Re7 32.Rb4 h6?! [32...Rbe1 33.Rdxb2 Nxb2 34.Rxb2 R1e2 35.Rxe2 Rxe2 36.Kg2 Kf6 Of course Black is better, but the win might not be there.] 33.Rxa4 Rh1+ 34.Bxh1 b1Q Here the clocks read: 9:17 10:40. White is close to equality, what with the bishop stronghold on d5. 35.Raa2 [35.Bd5] 35...g5
36.hxg5? It's not clear why this is a disaster for White yet, but Stockfish is adamant. [36.Bd5 lets Black split White's pawns, but there's no way in to them.] 36...hxg5 37.Rac2? Tarjan used half his time but didn't see the point. [He had to try 37.Re2 but it's still lost: 37...Re6! (Black had to find this) 38.Rxe6 Qxa2 39.Rd6 Qxf2+ 40.Bg2 f5] 37...Re8 Guseinov had let the rope slip almost completely, but he snared Tarjan anyway. 0-1
(4) FM Eric Li (kingandqueen2017) (2135) - IM Brian Escalante (BrianEscalante) (2401) [D31]
MI March TNMO Chess.com (4.2), 16.03.2021
[de Firmian, Nick]
1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 c6 The Noteboom? 4.e3 Invitation to a Meran 4...f5 A Stonewall! 5.f4 A Double Stonewall!! 5...Nf6 6.Nf3 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0
8...dxc4!?N Taking a page from the Noteboom notebook: the Stonewall looks like it wants to maintain, what else, a stone wall, but at any moment it could come crashing down. Black expects to get in ...c5 when he'd be no worse than White. [8...b6 9.Bd2 Ba6 10.Qe2 Nbd7 11.cxd5 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Nxd5 13.Rac1 N7f6 14.Be1 Qd7 15.Bh4 Rac8 16.Bxf6 Nxf6 17.Rfd1 b5 18.Ne5 Qb7 19.Qe2 a6 20.Nd3 c5 21.dxc5 Bxc5 22.Na4 Ba7 23.Nac5 Qe7 24.b4 Ne4 25.Qc2 Rfd8 26.Qb3 Nxc5 27.Nxc5 Rxd1+ 28.Rxd1 Bxc5 29.bxc5 Rc6 30.Rc1 Rxc5 31.Rxc5 Qxc5 32.Qxe6+ 1/2-1/2 (32) Berkes,F (2665)-Bartel,M (2641) Budapest 2014] 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Bb3 a5 Queenside expansion "for free" (since White's bishop has to keep moving) 11.a4 b4 12.Ne2 Nd5 13.Bd2 Nd7 14.Rc1 Bb7 15.Qe1 Rc8
In the Stonewall Black's key square is e4 -- but here it's as if he doesn't care about that square at all. But neither does White it seems. 16.Qf2? [16.Ng3= Square e4!] 16...Qe7 17.Ne5 c5 18.Nd3? Now Black plays a winning sequence, leaving White's position in ruins. [18.Nxd7 Qxd7 19.dxc5=/+] 18...Ba6! 19.Bc4 Bxc4 20.Rxc4 N7b6 21.Rcc1 c4
Any questions? 22.Ne5 Bxe5 23.fxe5 Nxa4 24.Ra1 Nxb2 25.Rxa5 c3
Curiously it looks like a Noteboom again, gone very right. 26.Bc1 Nc4 27.Ra6 b3 28.Nf4 Nxf4 29.exf4 b2 Who could blame Eric if he switches to 1.e4 after this! 0-1
(10) Abhinav Penagalapati (qing29) (2113) - GM Jim Tarjan (Tirantes) (2455) [A80]
MI March TNMO Chess.com (3.4), 16.03.2021
This was a complicated game! Once the fireworks started, the players kept making sure they didn't stop. 1.d4 f5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.Bd3 The old adage "Knights before Bishops" is often ignored by todays London System practitioners. [Even another game: 4.Be2 Nc6 5.Nf3 Ne7 6.0-0 Ng6 7.c4 And then there's the one about bishops being worth a bit more than knights? 7...b6 8.Nc3 Bb4 9.Rc1 Bb7 10.Nb5 Nxf4 11.exf4 a6 12.Nc3 0-0 13.Ne5 d6 14.Nf3 Bxc3 15.Rxc3 Ne4 1/2-1/2 33, Ni,H (2668)-Maghsoodloo,P (2656) Abu Dhabi 2019] 4...g6N This move seems to invite White to use his lead in development to either develop an initiative or grab space.
[The other classical development got a rough treatment: 4...Be7 5.c4 0-0 6.Nc3 d6 7.h3 Qe8 8.Nf3 Bd8 9.g4 Nc6 10.Bg3 e5 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Bxf5 Bxf5 13.gxf5 e4 14.Ng5 Ne7 15.Ne6 Rf7 16.Ng5 Rf8 17.Qb3 Nxf5 18.c5+ Kh8 19.Ne6 Nxg3 20.fxg3 Rg8 21.Qxb7 Qxe6 22.Qxa8 Qa6 23.c6 Be7 24.Qb7 Qd3 25.Qxa7 Bd6 26.Rg1 Qc2 27.Qd4 Qxb2 28.Ne2 Qa3 29.Kf1 Qa5 30.Rb1 Qxa2 31.Qb2 Qf7 32.Nf4 Qc4+ 33.Kg2 Qxc6 34.Rgc1 Volkov,S (2627)-Esipenko,A (2523) Sochi 2017 1-0 (67)] 5.c3 White chooses to play his solid set-up before engaging his opponent's forces. [5.Nc3 Nc6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.e4 d6 9.Qd2|^; 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.c4 d6 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Re1+/=] 5...Bg7 6.Nd2 d6 7.Qc2 Nc6 8.0-0-0 White could still go the other way: [8.Ngf3 Qe7!? (8...0-0 9.0-0) 9.e4 e5 but Black is already causing some trouble in the center.] 8...Qe7 9.f3 Bd7 10.h4 h6 White is all set up to play in the center... 11.g4?! ...but then launches the g-pawn! Perhaps he thought Black was castling queenside, perhaps he wanted to encourage Black to castle queenside! [11.Ne2 0-0-0 12.e4=] 11...0-0-0 12.gxf5 gxf5 13.Ne2
13...Nh5?! [Black had an opportunity to take the initiative right now with 13...e5! 14.dxe5 (14.Bh2 Nd5 15.Nf1 exd4 16.exd4 Qxh4; 14.Bg3 Nd5 15.Nf1 f4) 14...dxe5 15.Bg3 Nd5-/+ 16.Nc4 Ncb4! 17.cxb4 Nxb4 18.Qb3 Be6 when it's not certain Black quickly recovers the piece, but there are problems with White's king as well; in any case computers like Black.] 14.e4?!
[14.Bh2 keeps a tenuous balance.] 14...e5!? initiating mass confusion! [Simply 14...fxe4 15.fxe4 (15.Bxe4 d5 16.Bd3 e5) 15...e5 achieves an advantage without the complications.] 15.dxe5 fxe4! 16.exd6 Qf8! 17.dxc7 exd3? [Better was 17...Re8 with a plus -- something will be coming back to Black shortly. 18.Bxe4 Nxf4 19.Nc4 Re7 20.Ng3 Kxc7 21.Qb3 Kb8 22.Nd6 Be6 23.Qb5 Nd8 24.Ngf5 Rc7 25.Kb1 Bxf5 26.Nxf5] 18.cxd8Q+ Kxd8 The only move to keep the balance. [18...Nxd8? 19.Qxd3 Nxf4 20.Qc4+] 19.Bg5+?! Maybe too tricky. [19.Qxd3 Nxf4 20.Nxf4 Qxf4 21.Rhg1 and Rg4 (the bishop can't take), White would stand no worse.] 19...hxg5 20.Qxd3 Ne5 [20...Nf4!? 21.Nxf4 Qxf4 is more sensible] 21.Qe3 (on the a-pawn) [21.Qd5!? (on the b-pawn!?)] 21...Nf4 [21...g4!?] 22.Nxf4 [or 22.hxg5] 22...Qxf4 23.Qxa7
23...Nd3+? This goes nowhere and just turns the plus over to White. A lot of other moves kept the balance, [while Stockfish is adamant that 23...Kc8! is the only path to any advantage for Black.] 24.Kb1!+/- Rxh4?! [24...Nxb2? 25.Qa5+! (25.Kxb2?? Qb4+) ; 24...Kc8 is still the best shot, but now White has 25.Qa8+ Kc7 26.Qa5+ and 27.Qxg5.] 25.Rxh4 [More was offered by 25.Rhg1 Kc8 26.Qa8+ Qb8 27.Qxb8+ Kxb8 28.Ne4+/-] 25...gxh4 26.Ne4 Finally White gets the d-file going! 26...Ne5 The biggest think of the game (seven minutes), and the grandmaster finally admits he had to regroup. 27.Qb8+ Ke7 v 6:58 28.Nc5= White thought for three minutes and stayed calm; [28.Rxd7+!? could send it into an interesting ending: 28...Kxd7 29.Qxb7+ Kd8 (29...Ke6!? 30.Qxg7 Nxf3) 30.Qxg7 Qxf3 31.Qf6+ Qxf6 32.Nxf6 h3= it's looking like Black's mighty h-pawn compensates for White three connected passed pawns. (Quality vs. Quantity!)] 28...Bf5+? [28...Qxf3 doesn't lose material, and in fact was the equalizer. 29.Qd6+ Ke8 30.Nxd7 Qf5+ 31.Ka1 Nxd7 achieves the run of "0.00" on White's best moves.] 29.Ka1 v 4:39 29...Qxf3? This should lose. Various king or bishop moves still favor White but less so. 30.Qd8+? [30.Qc7+ was a winner. 30...Bd7 (30...Kf6 31.Rd6+) 31.Qd6+ (no longer a check on f5 -- it's already been taken!)] 30...Kf7 31.Qc7+ Everything has gone from roses to ruin; [31.Rg1 Ng6 32.Qc7+ Kg8 33.Qxb7 Qxb7 34.Nxb7 Be5 and the h-pawn is well escorted.] 31...Kg6! 32.Qd6+ [32.Rg1+ Ng4] 32...Kh7 33.Qd2 It's hard to suggest a plan for White now 33...Nc4 [33...h3 is an easy to suggest plan!] 34.Qd8 Qf2 vs. 2:05 35.Nd3 Qh2?! getting in the way of the h-pawn? [35...Qg3] 36.Rf1 0:17.9 vs. 1:45 36...Ne3??
[36...Qg3 and other win] 37.Rc1?? A final mistake, Black now drives home the point. [37.Qg5! draws! There's always some perpetual.] 37...Qg3 and that's that. Tarjan thought for half a minute on this and saw it through from there. 38.a3 h3 39.Rh1 h2-+ 40.Ka2 Be6+ 41.b3 Qg2+ 42.Nb2 Qxh1 43.Qh4+ Kg6 44.Qg3+ Ng4 45.Qd3+ Kh6 46.Qh3+ Kg6 47.Qd3+ Kf7 48.Qe2 Qg1 49.Qf3+ Ke7 50.Qxb7+ Kf6 51.Qf3+ Kg5 52.Qe4 h1Q As so often, the grandmaster ends up being the tougher fighter in the crunch. 0-1
Current standings after 4 rounds are here:
SwissSys Standings. March 2021 TNM: Open
|#||Name||Handle||ID||Rating||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Rd 6||Total||Prize|
|1||GM Gadir Guseinov||gguseinov||17343590||2738||W40||W32||W10||W6||4.0|
|2||IM Brian Escalante||BrianEscalante||16836558||2544||W29||W16||W11||W7||4.0|
|3||IM Josiah Stearman||josiwales||14006506||2505||W30||W22||W18||W8||4.0|
|4||FM Kyron Wa Griffith||KyronGriffith||12860484||2500||H---||W65||W21||W9||3.5|
|5||NM Michael Walder||FlightsOfFancy||10345120||2127||W44||D36||W23||W31||3.5|
|6||GM James Edwa Tarjan||tirantes||10991820||2469||W57||W17||W31||L1||3.0|
|7||FM Eric Yuhan Li||kingandqueen2017||15688436||2344||W41||W24||W12||L2||3.0|
|8||IM Elliott Winslow||ecwinslow||10363365||2278||W51||W33||W20||L3||3.0|
|9||Austin R Mei||TitanChess666||16090452||2149||W42||W25||W14||L4||3.0|
|10||FM Max Gedajlovic||MMSanchez||14947382||2141||W43||W34||L1||W35||3.0|
|15||Cailen J Melville||Mangonel||14006141||1940||L60||W58||W57||W50||3.0|
|16||Thomas F Maser||talenuf||10490936||1900||W62||L2||W42||W46||3.0|
|18||Nicholas Ruo Weng||ninjaforce||15499404||2055||W53||W39||L3||D29||2.5|
|24||Aaron Mic Nicoski||KingSmasher35||12797931||1789||W71||L7||W43||D19||2.5|
|25||Kevin M Fong||chessappeals||17254586||1783||W67||L9||D53||W51||2.5|
|33||Ranen A Lardent||dashrndrx||12614986||1815||W66||L8||L46||W59||2.0|
|38||John R Hartmann||john_hartmann||12552251||1765||H---||H---||L45||W61||2.0|
|44||Ethan R Mei||erm999||16090467||1482||L5||W75||L17||W68||2.0|
|52||Nicholas M Brown||nmbrown2||12446259||1495||H---||L19||W55||L23||1.5|
|57||Kenneth S Wells||shoshonte||14960218||1626||L6||W64||L15||L49||1.0|
|61||Leon Diaz Herrera||Aeqetes||17355661||1175||L21||W37||L34||L38||1.0|
|65||Adam For Stafford||aanval22||14257838||1014||W72||L4||L26||L42||1.0|
|67||Samuel Tsen Brown||ComfyQueso||16380615||739||L25||L41||L59||B---||1.0|
|71||Sean Han Wu||dum2020arEEEWS||16802870||952||L24||D30||L37||L54||0.5|
|73||Cleveland W Lee||Vincitore51745||12814843||826||L34||L43||L47||L64||0.0|
After 4 rounds of the Thursday Night Marathon, GM Gadir Guseinov remains as the sole perfect score, a half point ahead of IM Elliott Winslow and NM Mike Walder. Gadir was victorious in round 4 from the challenge of Theo Biyiasas. Here are the current standings heading into next weeks final round.
SwissSys Standings. Feb-Mar 2021 Thursday Night Marathon: Open (Standings (no tiebrk))
|#||Name||Handle||ID||Rating||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Total|
|1||GM Gadir Guseinov||gguseinov||17343590||2680||W13||W16||W5||W4||4.0|
|2||IM Elliott Winslow||ecwinslow||10363365||2278||W20||W9||W15||H---||3.5|
|3||NM Michael Walder||FlightsOfFancy||10345120||2107||W22||W17||W26||H---||3.5|
|9||Robert Smith III||maturner||12463327||1853||W32||L2||D13||W23||2.5|
|13||Jeff C Andersen||zenwabi||11296106||1643||L1||W35||D9||W28||2.5|
|15||Adam For Stafford||aanval22||14257838||831||W19||W7||L2||D12||2.5|
|17||Aaron Mic Nicoski||KingSmasher35||12797931||1789||W25||L3||L24||W35||2.0|
|18||Roger V V Shi||1-h4-1-0||16191192||1776||W43||L5||L22||W36||2.0|
|25||Katherine Sunn Lu||2Nf31-0||16425316||938||L17||D31||D19||W42||2.0|
|28||NM Thomas F Maser||talenuf||10490936||1900||D24||L14||W32||L13||1.5|
|30||Jacob S Wang||jacobchess857||17083655||1629||L4||D36||W39||L16||1.5|
|37||Kevin M Chui||Kchui999||16998580||1290||L8||L22||W43||L19||1.0|
|43||Jake Chi Hang Li||TanFlatPupet||17144246||866||L18||L21||L37||F33||0.0|
The Mechanics' Institute held its monthly blitz championship last Saturday, with a very tough field joining the action. 29 players in total participated in this 8 round USCF rated G/5+2 battle, which was won by IM Christopher Yoo with a perfect score of 8/8. Congratulations to him and thanks to all the players for partivipating! Here is a victory by Christopher against Austin Mei.
(9) IM Christopher Yoo (ChristopherYoo) (2923) - Austin Mei (TitanChess666) (2306) [A53]
MI March Blitz Chess.com (3.1), 13.03.2021
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.c4 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e4 h6 7.Be3 e6 8.Be2 b6 9.d5 [9.h3 Bb7 10.Qc2 Is a little edge due to more space.] 9...Nc5 10.Nd2 a5 11.0-0 0-0 12.Qc2 Re8 13.h3 Qe7 14.Rfe1 Bb7 15.Bf1 An interesting King's Indian . White has a small edge with more space, but the black pieces are active. 15...Rad8 16.a3 Ra8 17.b4?!
[17.b3] 17...axb4?! [Black had the nice shot 17...Ncxe4! 18.Ncxe4 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 axb4 with an edge. He will get at least one more pawn and the black bishops are excellent.] 18.axb4 Rxa1 19.Rxa1 Ncxe4
20.Ra7! Not falling for trouble on the long black diagonal. White gains the pawn back with advantage. 20...Nxd2 21.Qxd2 Rb8 22.dxe6 Qxe6 23.Bxh6 Ne4 24.Nxe4 Qxe4 25.Bxg7 Kxg7 26.Qc3+ Kg8 27.c5 [27.Qf6!] 27...bxc5 28.bxc5 Bd5?! losing a pawn. Black would stay equal after [28...Qc6!] 29.Rxc7 dxc5 30.Rxc5 Ba8?! [30...Be6 is a better defensive square] 31.Rc4?! [31.h4! Kh7 32.Rh5+ gxh5 33.Bd3 should win for White] 31...Qd5?! [31...Qe7!] 32.h4?! [32.Rh4! Threatening mate on h8 is a knockout blow] 32...Kh7 33.h5 Qxh5
34.Qg3! Qb5?! Black loses material in any case. 35.Rh4+ Kg8 36.Bxb5 Rxb5 37.Qc3 Rb2 38.Rh8# 1-0
Final standings are here:
Mechanics Montly Blitz Championship - March 2021
|#||Name||Handle||ID||Rating||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 4||Rd 5||Rd 6||Rd 7||Rd 8||Total||Prizes|
|1||IM Christopher W Yoo||ChristopherYoo||15244943||2592||W11||W12||W6||W5||W2||W4||W7||W14||8.0||1st Place: $68|
|2||FM Jason Liang||Marty435||16041488||2425||W16||W8||W26||W3||L1||L5||W14||W7||6.0||2nd Place: $45;
3rd Place: $45;
3-way split of $90: $30 each
|3||NM Eric Hon||microbear||13778105||2202||W17||W7||W4||L2||D6||W12||D5||W16||6.0|
|5||FM Eric Yuhan Li||kingandqueen2017||15688436||2344||W15||W13||W19||L1||W26||W2||D3||L4||5.5|
|6||Austin R Mei||TitanChess666||16090452||2149||W23||W21||L1||W14||D3||L7||W9||W12||5.5|
|7||NM Michael Aigner||fpawn||12595730||2207||W9||L3||D16||W10||W20||W6||L1||L2||4.5|
|9||Davi Flores Gomez||PlayerCreate1||14799653||1812||L7||D25||W17||L20||W21||W8||L6||W19||4.5||1st u2000: $45;
1st u1800: $45;
1st u1600: $23;
3-way split of $113: $38 each
|11||Ethan R Mei||erm999||16090467||1482||L1||L18||W27||W25||D19||W13||L12||W20||4.5|
|12||NM Michael Lei Wang||coalescenet||13605850||2098||W27||L1||W18||W19||L4||L3||W11||L6||4.0|
|14||Javier Silva III||J3Chess24||16089208||1889||W22||L4||W28||L6||W24||W15||L2||L1||4.0|
|18||Roger V V Shi||1-h4-1-0||16191192||1782||L26||W11||L12||W29||L10||D25||W17||L8||3.5|
|24||Daniel Robert Perlov||Daniel_Perlov||16465203||1567||L4||D17||D25||W28||L14||W19||L8||L13||3.0|
|26||IM Elliott* Winslow||ecwinslow||10363365||2278||W18||W29||L2||W15||L5||U---||U---||U---||3.0|
|27||Clarence E Lehman||FrankJamesMarshall||10497272||1904||L12||L16||L11||B---||W28||L20||D23||L22||2.5|
by Abel Talamantez
I had the privilege of participating in a pilot program by FIDE, which was designed to train elementary school teachers to use chess as a learning tool in their classrooms. There were 20 people selected from many different countries, and I was one of two Americans, Jonathan Lee Singler from Alaska being the other. It was a three-day seminar, held 5am-10am Friday-Sunday. In many countries around the world, chess is taught in schools and used as a tool in teaching critical thinking. This is very different from teaching chess specifically for improvement or for competition. It involves teaching the rules of chess to a teacher, using the language of educators, who will then teach their students who do not yet know the game. This involves a slightly different skill set, one more focused on theories of learning combined with instruction in chess. It is an exciting initiative and while it will be a challenge expanding this on a broader level in the United States, it is nonetheless a tool that can be used by educators to teach learning and decision making on a new, fun level.
Participants who complete the program will then be assigned by FIDE as lecturers to provide seminars to teachers to earn the title of School Instructor (SI). It was an honor to participate with chess professionals from other countries, many of which have chess more incorporated into the learning culture, and hear about their experiences and persoectives. I'll continue to write on my experience with this program as it develops, as I believe this is a great initiative and opportunity to enhance ways children learn in an actively fun and engaging way.
The Mechanics' Institute and the Marshall Chess Club entered into a partnership last year in which we agreed to recognize each organization's members so that our players can enjoy the benefits our respective clubs. Now that there are so many course offerings and USCF online-rated events, we wanted to let our chess community know again that if you are a member of the Mechanics' Institute (meaning you have a membership card and paid the annual fee), you may enjoy playing at Marshall or taking one of their courses at the Marshall member rate. Marshall has also promoted this reciprocity agreement with Mechanics' Institute in their newsletter the Marshall Spectator. To subscribe to their newsletter, please follow this link: https://marshallchessclub.
To see their list of events, click this link: https://www.
If you are a member and wish to be added to the list of members to participate in Marshall events, please send an email to [email protected] and list your USCF number. We will verify membership and place you on the list.
We look forward to this partnership between our two historic clubs in an effort to continue bringing communities together through chess!
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 extraordinaire FM Paul Whitehead.
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
GM Nick de Firmian/FM Paul Whitehead Arena: Tuesdays 5pm-6pm, 3/23: https://www.chess.com/live#r=1051765
See you in the arena!
Monday's 4:00-5:30PM - Mechanics' Chess Cafe
Ongoing casual meeting to talk about chess, life, and pretty much everything else of interest. Join 3-time US Champion GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead as they give a lecture and class in a fun casual atmosphere where you can discuss games, learn strategy, discuss chess current events and interact in a fun casual atmosphere. Enter our Monday chess café for the pure love of the game. Class suitable for ALL level of players and FREE for MI members.
FREE for Mechanics' members. $5 for non-members.
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/chess-cafe
Monday's 6:30-8:00PM - Game Review Class with FM Paul Whitehead
Course Dates: Starting Feb 1 - Monday and ongoing
Registration Fee: $20/class for Mechanics' member, $25/class for non-member
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/game-review-class-fm-paul-whitehead
Wednesday's 5:00-6:30PM - Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members
New session started on January 27, 2021!
Are you an adult who wants to put learning chess on top of your New Year's resolution? Get a head start with us at the Mechanics' Institute! This virtual class is open to any MI member who has no knowledge of the game or who knows the very basics and wants to improve. Taught by MI Chess Director Abel Talamantez along with other MI staff, we will patiently walk through all the basics at a pace suitable for our class. Our goal is to teach piece movement basics, checkmate patterns, importance of development, and general strategy. We will also show students how to play online so they may practice. The goal of the class is to open a new world of fun and joy through the magic and beauty of chess, from one of the oldest and proudest chess clubs in the world.
Registration: Free for MI members. Members will have to register online to secure their spot and to receive an email confirming the Zoom link.
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/free-adult-beginner-class-mechanics-members
Wednesdays 6:30-8PM -- NEW 6-week Specialty Class: The Art of Defense! with FM Paul Whitehead
Course Dates: March 3 through April 7 (6 classes)
We all want to attack, but to be comfortable and skillful at defense is just as important.
Learn how to safeguard your king and drum up counter play using chapters and examples taken from The Art of Defense in Chess, by Polugaevsky and Damsky (1988).
Stalemate, Blockade, Trench Warfare, Counterattack, Traps: these are just a few of the concepts we will take up in this six-week course.
Be prepared for a little homework - and become a chess player who's hard to beat!
$150 Mechanics' members. $180 for non-members. Few single class registrations are available -- Registration is needed to receive the zoom link.
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess/art-defense-fm-paul-whitehead
The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club will continue to hold regular online events in various forms. Here is the upcoming schedule for players:
Format: 8SS G/35+2
Join Now! Starts February 25: February/March 2021 Thursday Night Marathon
Format: 5SS G/60+5
Any questions? [email protected]
By Judit Sztaray
- All Girls Class with Coach Colin and Coach Abel -- Mondays 4-5PM - Register HERE
- Intermediate Class with Coach Andrew -- Tuesdays 3-4PM - Register HERE
- Intermediate Class with Coach Andy Thursdays 4-5PM - Register HERE
- Advanced Class with Coach Andy Thursdays 5-6PM - Register HERE
- Tactics, Tactics, Tactics with Coach Andrew for players rated 1000+ (ChessKid rating) Friday 3-4PM - Register HERE
Spring Break Virtual Chess Camp
SAVE YOUR SPOT - Sign your child up for some fun virtual chess camp during their spring break!
Monday through Friday,
Two weeks offered: Mar 29 - Apr 2 and Apr 5-9
9AM - 12PM
Last weekend's USCF Online Rated event
While Saturday's free event had close to 200 players, this did not stop many of our regulars to play in Sunday's USCF online rated tournament - 18 players came online to participate in the six rounds, G/15+2 time control tournament.
Congratulations to our winners: Jashith Karthi (CoolPowerulGhoul) and Alex Smirnov (OpenPeskyBird) for the tied first place, with Jashith taking 1st place with a slightly better tiebreak score. Shared third place goes to Eric Japson (SafeRelaxedKite) and Archer Troy (ArcherTBayAreaChess).
Players have to be part of Mechanics' Group on ChessKid. Need help how to join? Watch the tutorial here: https://youtu.be/kEeMKhpecGY
1) Free daily non-rated tournaments on chesskid.com: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/scholastic-online-tournaments-every-day-chesskidcom
Tournaments start at 4PM and players can join the tournaments 30 minutes before the tournament.
- Sunday, Mar 21: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=384731
- Monday, Mar 22: 4SS G/10+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=406742
- Tuesday, Mar 23: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=406743
- Wednesday, Mar 24: 3SS G/20+0: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=406744
- Thursday, Mar 25: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=406745
- Friday, Mar 26: 4SS G/10+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=406746
- Saturday, Mar 27: 5SS G/5+5: https://www.chesskid.com/play/fastchess#t=406747
2) USCF Online Rated Tournaments
3/28 Sunday - Fun, Fast & Furious Blitz: 8SS G/5+2 affecting USCF Online blitz rating.
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/uscf-online-rated-scholastic-tournaments-2021-chesskidcom
Register online: https://mechanics-institute.jumbula.com/2021OnlineTournaments/ScholasticOnlineRatedTournamentMAR28SUN
4/1 - Friday 6:30PM PT: 8SS G/5+2: Monthly Scholastic Blitz Online Championships
Run on Chess.com & LIVE BROADCAST via Twitch.tv/mechanichchess
More information: https://www.milibrary.org/chess-tournaments/mechanics-monthly-online-scholastic-blitz-championship-chesscom
(8) CoolPowerfulGhoul (1572) - OpenPeskyBird (1413) [C42]
Live Chess ChessKid.com
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qe2 Qe7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Qxe7+ Bxe7 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 Re8
Finishing Tactics from the World Championship Matches 6: Lasker – Steinitz 1896.
The Lasker - Steinitz rematch was a truly lop-sided affair, with an improving Lasker dominating the aging Steinitz +10 -2 =5. Four weeks after declaring Lasker the greatest player who ever lived, Steinitz offered God pawn and move… and was soon admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
1. Lasker – Steinitz, 2nd Match Game 1896.
White moves. Drive the king out.
2. Lasker Steinitz, 6th Match Game 1896.
White moves. Break down the walls.
3. Lasker – Steinitz, 12th Match Game 1896.
Black moves. Win something.
4. Steinitz – Lasker, 13th Match Game 1896.
White moves. Take the knight?
5. Lasker – Steinitz, 16th Match Game 1896.
White moves. Cut to the chase.
6. Steinitz – Lasker, 17th Match Game 1896.
Black moves. Win something.
New World Chess
The US Chess Federation is starting to advertise live chess tournaments. They write “There are several in-person, over the board events coming up that are filling out fast!” One of these is the Texas Golden Open played April 9-11 in Dallas and a second is the Missouri Grand Championship in Columbia Missouri on May 5-9. Certainly we are all looking forward to the live Candidates Tournament in Russia starting April 18. In June, we will likely see the classic National Open in Las Vegas as well as the 2021 US Women’s Open there. August will bring the 121st US Open Chess Championship live to Cherry Hill New Jersey.
Thus, chess players, owning a millennium-old tradition, may think the world will return quite to normal as we enter the late stages of the pandemic. We are not at the end yet, though judging by the late events of the chess world, we may not return to normal as before, even when the pandemic is completely over. Right now we have the online “Magnus Carlsen Invitational.” This is a rapid-play, super-elite event which has become an easier thing to do in the required state of online tournaments. Players don’t have to travel halfway around the world to participate and expenses for the organizers are drastically reduced. Therefore, chess fans get to see more tournaments to entertain themselves. It is true that the events seem to have less gravitas as the players have less time and energy invested in their participation. Also, the time controls are rapid rather than classical and this leads to more mistakes. Yet, the games are still great battles and very entertaining. I predict in the future we will have a new kind of tournament circuit in the world. Half the tournaments will be the classic live events of the last century, and the other half will be the new rapid, online events more like rest of the e-sports world.
We give a couple of entertaining games below from current big online event, the Magnus Carlsen Invitational.
(1) Carlsen,Magnus - Firouzja,Alireza [B23]
Magnus Invitational, 15.03.2021
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 This is the Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian. It was made popular by British players in the 1980s. Their idea was to avoid the complications of the open Sicilian and get into less charted territory (which they had analyzed). This variation is not something Magnus would play in classical time control, but in quick play an opponent can easily go wrong against it. 3...g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.a3 e6 Yound Firouzja plays the classical response to the Grand Prix. Objectively Black is completely equal. 7.0-0 Nge7 8.d3 0-0 9.Ba2
(2) Giri,Anish - Vachier-Lagrave,Maxim [B06]
Magnus Invitational, 15.03.2021
Anish Giri has been playing great chess since the start of 2021. He used to be considered a very solid player who would draw most of his games, yet he is winning a lot lately. 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Be3 a6 5.Nc3 MVL plays the Robatsch Defense. Black has a very flexible position, though White controls more of the center and is objectively better. 5...b5 6.Bd3 Nd7 7.0-0 Bb7 8.a4! Forcing action on the queen side claifys the position 8...b4 9.Nb1 Ngf6 10.Nbd2 c5 11.c3 0-0 12.a5
(3) Nepomniachtchi,Ian - Nakamura,Hikaru [C67]
Magnus Invitational, 14.03.2021
The favorite now to win the Candidates Tournamnet is Ian Nepomniachtichi. Here he plays very sharply against the solid Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.h3 Be6
15.e6! fxe6? This leads to big trouble as it opens the f-file. Black would be ok after the careful retreat 15...Bc8 16.fxe6 Bc8 17.Bg5! gxh3 18.Kh2 White is two pawns down in the endgame but is attacking. Most of the black pieces are on their original squares. 18...Ng6 19.Ne4 Rh5 20.Rg1 a6? This move is too slow. White is able to get the last rook developed with threats. 21.Rad1! looking to get to d8 to deliver mate 21...Ne7 22.Rdf1 c5 23.Rxf8+! Naka resigned, seeing he is destroyed after 23...Kxf8 24.Bxe7+ Kxe7 25.Rxg7+ Kf8 26.Rf7+ Kg8 27.Nf6+ 1-0
1. Lasker – Steinitz, 2nd Match Game 1896.
1.Nec5+! Pulls the black king out from safety like a strong magnet. 1…dxc5 2.Nxc5+ Kd6 3.Bf4+ Kd5 4.Re5+ Kc4 (And 4…Kd6 5.Rxe7+ is also unacceptable.) 5.Rc1+ Kxd4 6.Re4+ Kd5 7.Rd1+! 1-0. It is checkmate after 7…Kxc5 8.Be3#.
2. Lasker – Steinitz, 6th Match Game 1896.
1.Rxf6! is the decisive breakthrough. After 1…Rxf6 2.Rxf6 Qxf6 3.Qxc7 black is helpless, and can only wait for the axe to fall: 3…Qh8 4.Qc6+ Rb7 5.Nb5 Kb8 6.Qxd6+ Kc8 7.Qc6+ 1-0. Which it has. If 7…Kb8 9.Nc5 and mate in a few moves.
3. Lasker – Steinitz, 12th Match Game 1896.
1…Nxe4! wins a pawn in the middle of the board. 2.Bb2 (Not 2.fxe4? Rf2#!) Steinitz wound it up with vigor: 2…Nd6 3.Rf1 Nc4 4.Bc1 Ne7 5.Bg5 Nd5! Black switches to attack. 6.Bxd8 Nf4+ 7.Kd1 Rd7+ 8.Kc2 Ne3+ 9.Kb2 Nxf1 10.Bg5 Ne3 11.Bxf4 exf4 12.Rc1 e5 0-1. It’s hopeless, but Lasker might have played on a move or two here.
4. Steinitz - Lasker, 13th Match Game 1896.
1.Rxc5! called black’s bluff. Lasker gave it the old schoolboy try, but was rebuffed at every turn: 1…Qh4 2.Ne4 f5 3.Ng3 Rxf2+!? Throwing more fuel on the fire. 4.Kxf2 Qh2+ 5.Kf1 Qxg3 6.Rxc3 Qxf3+ 7.Ke1 f4 8.Qd3 Qg3+ 9.Kd2 f3 10.Kc1! f2 11.Qc4+ Kh8 12.Qf4! A nice finish puts Lasker out of his misery. 1-0.
5. Lasker – Steinitz, 16th Match Game 1896.
1.Nbc3! was the move that tripped black up. He loses the exchange, and Lasker’s technique is merciless: 1…bxc3 2.Nxc3 Qxb2 3.Nxe4 Qxc2 4.Nf6+ Kh8 5.Nxd7 dxc5 6.Qf3 Rc8 7.Ne5 Nxe5 8.fxe5 c4 9.bxc4 Qxc4 10.Kh1 a5 11. Rd7 a4 12.Rxf7 Bb4 13.Rf4 Qc5 14. Qg4 Ba3 15.Rxa4 Re8 16. Qf3 Bb2 17.Ra8 1-0.
6. Steinitz – Lasker, 17th Match Game 1896.
1…Bxg2! Wins a pawn and effectively ended the match. Steinitz puzzled the spectators by later playing on a whole rook down before resigning: 2. Kxg2 Qc6+ 3.Re4 (3.Qf3 is hardly better. White plays on with 2 bishops vs Rook + Knight, but it’s not good.) 3…Rxe4 4.Rxe4 Qxe4+ 5.Kg1 Qb7 6.Bc5 Rd8 7.Be2 e4 8.b4 Ne5 9.Be3 Nd3 10.Bb6 Rc8 11.Qd4 h6 12.Kh2 Ne5 13.Qd1 Rc3 14.Qd6 Nf3+ 15.Kg2 Qf7 16.g4 Qa2 17.Bf1 Nh4+ 18.Kg1 Rc1 19.Be3 Nf3+ 20.Kg2 Rxf1! Decisive. If now 21.Kxf1 Qb1+ leads to mate. 21.Qxa6 Rg1+ 22.Kh3 Qd5 23.Qc8+ Kh7 24.a6 Rh1+ 25.Kg2 Rg1+ 26.Kh3 Rh1+ 27.Kg2 Nh4+! Black is tired of fooling around. 28.Kxh1 Qd1+ 29.Kh2 Qf1 0-1
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