Thursday, February 26, 2015

Local Chess Calendar


Here is a list of the upcoming chess tournaments in the local vicinity during the next several months. The events that I am planning to play in are in bold. Thanks to Robert Chenault of Cincinnati as well as the Kentucky Chess Association for the source information.

FEB. 27 - (Friday/Columbus) 3 Rounds - G/45;d5 - www.buckeyechess.com

Next Cincy Tornado
Saturday, Feb. 28th Cincy Tornado Chess Tournament "Pawn Gambits"
New!! 2 Sections. OPEN SECTION and Under 1600
Last Saturday of the month...every month. www.chessearth.com


FEB. 28 - (Saturday/Columbus) Chess-N-Chili - all Pre-Registered players get a FREE bowl of Chili!!! www.buckeyechess.com

MAR. 1 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun's "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAR. 6 - Friday Nite Quick/DCC - 7:30pm - www.daytonchessclub.com

MAR. 7 - Arnold Schwarzenegger Scholastic Chess Classic - www.buckeyechess.com

MAR. 7 - (Saturday) Sycamore High School - 7400 Cornell Rd. Montgomery, OH 45242 www.chesscincinnati.com

MAR. 7 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

MAR. 8 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun's "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAR. 13 - Friday Nite Quick/DCC - 7:30pm - www.daytonchessclub.com

MAR. 13-15 OR 14-15 19th annual Mid-America Open
TROPHIES PLUS GRAND PRIX POINTS: 120 (ENHANCED)
5SS, 40/110, SD/30 d10 (2-day option, rds. 1-2 G/60 d10). Crowne Plaza Hotel St. Louis-Clayton, 7750 Carondelet Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105 (I-64 W/US 40-W Exit 32B, 1.2 miles north on Hanley Rd). $$ 20,000 GUARANTEED PRIZE FUND. In 7 sections: Open: $2000-1000-500-300, clear winner or 1st on tiebreak $100 bonus, top U2300/Unr $800-400. Under 2100: $1400-700-400-200. Under 1900: $1400-700-400-200. Under 1700: $1400-700-400-200. Under 1500: $1200-600-300-200. Under 1300: $1000-500-300-200. Under 1000: $500-300-200-100, plaques to first 3, top U800, U600, Unrated Prize limits: Unrated may not win over $200 in U1000, $400 U1300, $600 U1500, or $800 U1700. Mixed doubles bonus prizes: best male/female 2-player “team” combined score among all sections: $800-400-200. Team average must be under 2200; teammates may play in different sections; teams must register at site (no extra fee) before 2 pm 3/14; teammate pairings avoided but possible. Top 6 sections EF: $109 online at chessaction.com by 3/11, $115 phoned to 406-896-2038 by 3/9 (entry only, no questions), 3-day $113.50, 2-day $112.50 mailed by 3/4, $130 online until 2 hours before game or at site. GMs free; $90 deducted from prize. U1000 Section EF: all $50 less than above. Online EF $3 less to MCA members. No checks at site, credit cards OK. Unofficial uschess.org ratings usually used if otherwise unrated. Special 1 yr USCF dues with magazine if paid with entry: Online at chessaction.com, Adult $30, Young Adult $20, Scholastic $15. Mailed, phoned or paid at site, Adult $40, Young Adult $30, Scholastic $20. Re-entry $60; not available in Open Section. 3-day schedule: Reg ends Fri 6 pm, rds. Fri 7 pm, Sat 11 & 5, Sun 10 & 3:30. 2-day schedule: Reg ends Sat 10 am, rds. Sat 11, 2 & 5, Sun 10 & 3:30. Byes: OK all, limit 2; Open must commit before rd. 2, others before rd. 3. HR: $95-98, includes free full hot buffet breakfast and free parking, 888-303-1746, 314-726-5400, request chess rate, reserve by 3/6 or rate may increase. Car rental: Avis, 800-331-1600, use AWD #D657633, or reserve car online through chesstour.com. Ent: chessaction.com or Continental Chess, Box 8482, Pelham, NY 10803. Questions: DirectorAtChess.US, chesstour.com, chesstour.info, 347-201-2269. $15 service charge for refunds. Advance entries posted at chessaction.com (online entries posted instantly). Blitz tournament Saturday 9:30 pm, enter by 9:16pm.


MAR. 15 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun's "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAR. 14-15 MOTCF: Midwest Open Team Chess Festival - www.daytonchessclub.com

MAR. 14-15 2015 Ohio High School Middle School Championship - www.progresswithchess.org

MAR. 14 (Saturday) Toledo March Swiss (University of Toledo) James Jagodzinski 419-367-9450. (see Chess Life)

MAR. 20 - Friday Nite Quick/DCC - 7:30pm - www.daytonchessclub.com

MAR. 21 - 14th Annual Queen City Classic Chess Tournament - www.queencityclassic.org

MAR. 21 (Saturday/Cleveland) CWRU March Magnus; Free Pizza & Drinks for players! www.progresswithchess.org

MAR. 22 (Sunday/Columbus) - North Market Swiss - www.centralchessclub.com

MAR. 22 - Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun's "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAR. 27 - Friday Nite Quick/DCC - Games Start at 7:30pm - www.daytonchessclub.com

MAR. 28 (Last Saturday of Month) Cincy Tornado - "Zugzwang"
2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 - www.chessearth.com

MAR. 29 - Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun's "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF www.chessearth.com

APR. 3 - Friday Nite Quick/DCC - Games Start at 7:30pm - www.daytonchessclub.com

APR. 4 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

APR. 5 - Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

APR. 10 - Friday Nite Quick/DCC - Games Start at 7:30pm - www.daytonchessclub.com

APR. 10-12 (In Columbus) 2015 National High School (K-12) Championship -www.uschess.org/tournaments/2015/hs/

APR. 12 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

APR. 11 (Saturday) “Diamonds Forever” Pawn Storm XXX - www.daytonchessclub.com

APR. 11 (Saturday) Toledo April Swiss (University of Toledo) James Jagodzinski 419-367-9450. (see Chess Life)

APR. 11 (Saturday) Parma Open - email:grubber@adelphia.net or www.parmachessclub.org/

APR. 12 (Sunday/Columbus) - North Market Swiss - www.centralchessclub.com

APR. 17 - Friday Nite Quick/DCC - 7:30pm - www.daytonchessclub.com

APR. 17-19 - 51st Cincinnati Open and 2nd Cincinnati Open Scholastic - www.chesscincinnati.com

APR. 25 (Last Saturday of Month) Cincy Tornado "En Passant"
2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 - www.chessearth.com

APR. 24-25 & May 1-2 Dayton Chess Club Championship - www.daytonchessclub.com

APR. 26 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAY 2 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

MAY 3 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAY 8 - Friday Nite Quick/DCC - 7:30pm - www.daytonchessclub.com

MAY 9 - Toledo May Swiss (University of Toledo) James Jagodzinski 419-367-9450 (see Chess Life)

MAY 10 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAY 15 - World A Fair. Pay Entry Fee at Dayton Chess Club and receive ticket to the World Affair. Walk 1/2 block
and play Friday Nite Quick chess tournament at the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention Center. Games start 7:30pm

MAY 17 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAY 21-25 - 24th Chicago Open - www.chesstour.com/chio15.htm

MAY 24 Sunday Blitz Weekly & Chess at Cancun "casual play and chess matches"
- 1:00pm blitz tournament; $20EF - www.chessearth.com

MAY 29-31 - 2015 Gem City Open - www.daytonchessclub.com

MAY 30 - Cincy Tornado CANCELLED FOR GEM CITY being held at Dayton Chess Club

June 6 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

June 13 - (Saturday) Toledo June Swiss (University of Toledo) James Jagodzinski 419-367-9450. (see Chess Life)

June 27 - (Last Saturday of Month) Cincy Tornado "Emotional Chess"
2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 - www.chessearth.com

JUNE 30-JULY 5 - 43rd Annual World Open - www.chesstour.com

July 11 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

July 17 - 19 - Columbus Open Chess Tournament - www.centralchessclub.com

July 25 - (Last Saturday of Month) Cincy Tornado "Fluid Moves"
2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 - www.chessearth.com

AUG. 1 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

AUG. 7-9 - Cleveland Open - www.chesstour.com

AUG. 28-30 - Indianapolis Open - www.chesstour.com

AUG. 29 - (Last Saturday of Month) Cincy Tornado "Unorthodox Chess" 2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 -www.chessearth.com

SEPT. 5 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

SEPT. 26 - (Last Saturday of Month) Cincy Tornado "Positional By Nature" 2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 -www.chessearth.com

OCT. 2-5 - Wright Brothers Open - www.daytonchessclub.com

OCT. 3 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

OCT. 8-12 - Millionaire Open Chess Tournament - www.millionairechess.com

OCT. 24 - Cincy Tornado "As Chess As In Life" 2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 - www.chessearth.com

NOV. 7 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

NOV. 13-15 - King's Island Open - www.chesstour.com

NOV. 28 - (Last Saturday of Month) Cincy Tornado "Thanksgiving Chess" 2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 -www.chessearth.com

DEC. 5 - (Saturday) Lexington 1st Saturday G/60 - lexchess.com

DEC. 19 - Cincy Tornado "6 Days Til Christmas" 2 Sections: OPEN & Under 1600 - www.chessearth.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

USCF to open second office in St. Louis; core functions will remain in Crossville, TN


The U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) has announced that it has opened a corporate office in St. Louis, Missouri, effective February 18, 2015. The USCF St. Louis office, currently located in the CIC St. Louis Building in the Cortex Innovation Community, will immediately serve to support the organization's marketing and development efforts, while the USCF's customer and membership services departments will continue to operate out of its office in Crossville, Tennessee.

"St Louis' central location and vibrant chess community make it an ideal location for the USCF to launch new initiatives as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization," says USCF Executive Director Jean Hoffman. The City's broad-based support for chess was highlighted by USCF President Ruth Haring, explaining that "it is important for the USCF to develop a presence here given the impressive extent of the support and commitment the entire community has exhibited towards promoting chess."

Over the past few years, St. Louis has emerged as both a national and international center for chess. In May of 2014, the United States Senate passed an official resolution recognizing St. Louis as the National Chess Capital. Last September, the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center hosted the Sinquefield Cup, the strongest chess tournament in the history of chess. For the seventh consecutive year, in April, St. Louis will host the United States Chess Championship.

The USCF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people through chess one move at a time. The USCF serves as the organizing body for chess in the United States for over 80,000 members.

Source: USCF Press release dated February 18, 2015 via Chess Life Online.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Hunter!


Happy 17th birthday to my son, Hunter, a Yankee fan at heart, but very tolerant of his dad's proclivities (or so it seems). Photo taken at Fenway Park, April 2013.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Peek Ahead at 2015 March Madness



I don't usually get caught up in NCAA basketball's March Madness. But, living in Kentucky this year, I can't escape. So here's an estimate of what the tourney lineup would look like if the selections were made today. Source: my own interpretation of the statistics found here as of this evening (2/23/15, 11:00 PM). Note that the source data will change as more games are played. The teams will be announced on March 15 and the round of 64 begins on March 19.

League and overall records are shown
#1 seeds
Kentucky (1) 14-0 27-0
Virginia (2) 13-1 25-1
Gonzaga (3) 16-0 28-1
Duke (4) 11-3 24-3

#2 seeds
Wisconsin (5) 13-1 25-2
Villanova (6) 12-2 25-2
Arizona (7) 12-2 24-3
Kansas (8) 11-3 22-5

#3 seeds
Notre Dame (9) 12-3 24-4
N. Iowa (10) 15-1 26-2
Wichita St(11) 15-1 25-3
Iowa St. (12) 10-4 20-6

#4 seeds
Utah (13) 11-3 21-5
Maryland (14) 10-4 22-5
N.Carolina (15) 9-5 19-8
Oklahoma (16) 10-5 19-8

#5 seeds
Louisville (17) 9-5 21-6
Arkansas (18) 11-3 22-5
Baylor (19) 8-6 20-7
W.Virginia (20) 9-5 21-6

#6 seeds
SMU (21) 13-2 22-5
VCU (22) 11-3 21-6
Butler (23) 9-5 19-8
S.Diego St(24) 12-3 22-6

# 7 & 8 seeds
Providence (25) 9-5 19-8
Valparaiso* 12-2 25-4
Murray St.* 14-0 24-4
S.F. Austin 12-1 22-4
UC Davis* 11-1 21-4
Colorado St. 10-5 23-5
Sam Houston* 13-1 22-5
Cent.Michigan* 10-4 20-5

Lower seeds #9 thru #16 and play-ins
Harvard* 9-1 19-5
Iona* 16-2 23-6
Wofford* 14-2 23-6
N.C. Central* 13-0 21-6
Wyoming 10-4 21-6
Dayton 10-4 20-6
Rhode Island 11-3 19-6
Davidson 10-4 19-6
Georgia So.* 12-4 19-6
Fla Gulf Coast*11-1 21-7
High Point* 12-4 21-7
Louisiana Tech*12-3 21-7
St. Mary's 12-4 20-7
Boise St. 10-4 20-7
Tulsa 12-2 19-7
Texas A&M 10-4 19-7
UTEP 11-3 19-7
Alabama St.* 11-2 15-7
BYU 11-5 21-8
S. Dakota St.* 12-3 21-8
Oregon 10-5 20-8
N. Dakota St. 12-3 20-8
Mississippi 10-4 19-8
Albany* 13-1 19-8
LSU 8-6 19-8
Michigan St. 10-4 19-8
Ohio St. 8-6 19-8
Georgetown 10-5 18-8
Sacramento St.*12-3 18-8
St.Francis(NY)*14-2 20-9
Chattanooga 13-3 20-9
Indiana 9-6 19-9
Purdue 10-4 18-9
Northeastern* 11-5 19-10
N. Mex. St.* 11-1 19-10
Bucknell* 12-4 17-12

On the bubble (NIT-bound unless they finish strongly or at least one of the teams listed above crashes)
Georgia St. 12-4 19-8
St. John's 7-7 18-9
La. Monroe 12-4 18-9
Georgia 8-6 17-9
Stanford 8-6 17-9
Xavier 8-7 18-10
Pittsburgh 7-7 18-10
Iowa 8-6 17-10
Miami (FL) 7-7 17-10
Oregon St. 8-7 17-10

*denotes probable league champion with automatic bid

Answer to January 29 chess puzzle:
55.Rxa2! Bxa2 56.Bd3+ Bc4 57.Bxf1 Bxf1=


Sunday, February 15, 2015

‘Where Hope Grows’ Set for May 15 Release

Only three more months to wait...

Link to the movie preview

FEBRUARY 12, 2015 | 05:00AM PT
Dave McNary
Film Reporter
@Variety_DMcNary

Roadside Attractions and Godspeed Pictures have set May 15 for the theatrical release of inspirational drama “Where Hope Grows.”

The film won the Heartland Film Festival Audience Choice Award last year.

Kristoffer Polaha stars as a former a professional baseball player sent to an early retirement due to panic attacks. He struggles with the challenge of raising his teenage daughter but finds himself invigorated by a young man with Down syndrome (played by David DeSanctis) who works at the local grocery store.

The film also stars Billy Zabka, Brooke Burns, McKaley Miller, Alan Powell and Danica McKellar. Chris Dowling directed from his own script. Producers are Steve Bagheri, Simran Singh, Jose Pablo Cantillo and Milan Chakraborty.

The film has over 200,000 Likes on its Facebook page. It will open against Warner’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” and Universal’s “Pitch Perfect 2.”

Original source of this article is here.

The Facebook page for this movie is here.

My previous blog posts concerning this movie:

11/13/13 Produce, the Movie
11/21/13 You Never Know Where Hope Grows


Thursday, February 12, 2015

New SPICE training site


I had the honor and privilege of being invited to visit the brand new SPICE Chess Office at Webster University on its first day open to the public February 9, 2015. The training space (pictured) is about 2,095 sq. ft. and the playing hall is 8,847 sq. ft. It is also a FIDE Training Academy and is located in Webster Groves, Missouri. Plans are in the works for the facility to house a special collection of chess research books and papers. Congratulations to Webster University president Beth Strobel, Provost Julian Schuster and all others involved.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Missed opportunity to save the game



White to move and draw. Here's an opportunity I missed last weekend in Columbus, Ohio. It took the computer search engine about a second to find it. How long did it take you? I am sure I would have found it in a correspondence game, but I thought for 22 minutes staring at this position during the tournament and didn't even consider the key move. After all these years, I still don't understand why the difference. Perhaps I was just tired. Sigh.

I will post the answer in February.

Subsequent note: answer is located here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gone awry: instructive loss in the Rossolimo Sicilian


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


Position after 6...Nd5

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

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

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

[see diagram above]

7.c3

More popular and less risky is 7.Nc3!?

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


11.exd6

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

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

11...Qxd6N 12.Bg5


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

12...h6 13.Nxd5

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Additonal games in this variation:

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

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

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

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


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

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


-----------------------------------------------
Games with 7.Nc3 instead of 7.c3
-----------------------------------------------

Niro,F (2205) - Ghezzi, C {Italy} (1794) [B31]
Gameknot.com, March 26, 2010 to May 17, 2010

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

14...b6 15.Nce4

15.a5 h6 16.f4 Nd3

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

17.Qxd3 Bxd4+

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

18.Be3 Bxc5

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

22.h6 a5 23.Re4 axb4

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

19.Nf2=

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

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


75.Rf3 (position above) Philidor ½-½

-----------------------------------------------
Here's what can happen if Black plays 5...e5 instead of Nf6 (from coach Curdo's games):
-----------------------------------------------

Curdo,John - Wolk,Elliot [B31]
Wethersfield, CT, July 25, 1981

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

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

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

17...cxd4 18.e5

18.Rad1 Qe5


19.Rd8!

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

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

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


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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

One Month to go for new Journal Launch

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

Article courtesy of the International Society for Chess Research

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOURNAL OF CHESS RESEARCH EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS

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

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Northwest well represented in 2014 SPFGI


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Carmen Pemsler of Idaho

Selected games from the 2014 SPFGI:

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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