Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
White had a drawn position earlier in the game, but Ponomariov pressed on for a win. What usually happens when a player forces a win out of a drawn position you already know! In positions like the one above, it is the incessant checking from the defending queen that has to stop. It is through those annoying checks, mobility in another sense, that the opponent drums up some counterplay. Rublevsky tried a neat maneuver with 91... Qf3+. If 92. Kh4, then 92... Qg3+ 93. Kh5 Qh3+ and the queens are exchanged. The F pawn promotes. So, 92. Kh6 Qg2 forces Ponomariov to vacate the f1 square and there are no tempo-gaining checks in sight. 0-1
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Chessbase was praising a rook sacrifice by Aronian on move 26, but it wasn't accepted anyway. Don't get me wrong. It was a great move, a move that is surprising even at the GM level. Here is where, I feel, Carlsen's position came apart. You can already hear it creak, timbers at their maximum tolerance, just a little nudge will make the ship keel over. Carlsen moved 34. Ra2. He's the one making defensive moves while Aronian was turning the screw. Now, Aronian hits the weak E pawn with 34... Ra4. It can't be defended by the F pawn, and so Carlsen had to move his already stretched resources over to defend it with 35. Re2. Aronian, of course, pushed through with 35... Ra3 36. Qd1 Ra8 to defend against any counterplay on the eight rank. 0-1.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Aside from the Chicago Open, this weekend's big event is the 16-player Candidate Matches to be held at Elista, hometown of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. The first round will be on Sunday, May 27th. Out of this group of sixteen, four will move on to Mexico for the World Chess Championships. That's going to be held from September 11 to October 1, 2007. In Mexico, these four players will be joined by WC Kramnik, V. Anand, A. Morozevich, and P. Svidler who qualified from the previous World Chess Championship.
The sixteen players are : Levon Aronian (ARM), Peter Leko (HUN), Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR), Boris Gelfand (ISR), Etienne Bacrot (FRA), Alexander Grischuk (RUS), Judith Polgar (HUN), Alexei Shirov (ESP), Michael Adams (ENG), Evgeny Bareev (RUS), Vladimir Malakhov (RUS), Gata Kamsky (USA), Rustam Kasimjanov (UZB), Sergei Rublevsky (RUS), Mikhail Gurevich (TUR), Magnus Carlsen (NOR). I will be perusing the games, and presenting the big moments here on this blog. Aren't you excited?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Well, actually, it's the New York State Open chess tournament at Lake George. I have never attended this event, and maybe it is time. Hey, while I am 50-yrs young! The time control will be a very easy G/150, lotsa time really. Over the years, I've gotten the impression that this tournament has low attendance. I could be wrong, and I will surely see for myself. First round will be at 7pm Friday. It would also be the first time my wife is coming along. No, she's not a chessplayer but she loves antiques and shopping. I think there is enough up there to keep her busy for saturday and sunday. Warrensburg, a town approximately 5-mins away by car, is known as the antiques capital of the Adirondacks. That kinda energized her interest plus there is a town-wide sale at Athol, another few minutes from Warrensburg. This town-wide sale boasts of 100 sellers. Ok, you will find a lot of junk in garage sales but it is the hunt for that item that rings your bell that matters. Then, there are the clothing outlets. Actually, Lake George is not a bad area to hold a tournament for married people! I play while she shops.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Looking over this game, it struck me as a surprisingly easy way to win the exchange from GM Adams. Surely, I must be missing something. Anyway, here we are after GM Sasikiran's 18. Nc5. Adams opted to play his knight to 18... Nd5. I think with this move Adams placed himself in a no-win situation. Fritz4 suggested 18... Bc5 19. dc Nd7. Play continued with 19. Na6 Nc3. Now, isn't this asking for trouble? It is quite obvious that white can capture on c4 and then both rook and knight will be under attack. Sasikiran went on with 20. Qc4 Nb5 and then finally the rook fell with 21. Nb8. We have to consider the continuation 19... Rb6, attacking the knight. But, after 20. Qc4 Nc3, white can go ahead and capture the knight with 21. Qc3 and the knight on a6 is defended by the bishop on f1.
Monday, May 14, 2007
15th Annual New York State Open
May 18 - 20th
Continental Chess is coming up with its next tournament, and that would be the 15th New York State Open 2007. This one is located in the scenic Lake George area in upstate New York. The venue will be the Howard Johnson Tiki Resort, right at the southern tip of Lake George. I estimate it to be a 3.5-hour drive from the New York City area. I don't consider it one of the big-money chess tournaments, but still $3,000 guaranteed prizes. Sections are Open, Under1900, and Under1600. Registration fee cost $66 online and rooms go for $79 per night. Heck, I might see you there!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Nisipeanu - Kamsky
Today's game was an exciting draw spurned on, perhaps, by the Sofia Rules. I would hazard to suggest that without the Sofia Rules these GMs would have agreed to a draw earlier in what obviously looks like a rook and pawn endgame with an equal number of pawns. Here's the position just before it turned into a draw by repetition. It's white's move after black's 42...Rc1-c4. At this point, you can already envisioned the box in which the white king is corralled by the rook on e4. This is the box that needed to be broken for white to avoid a perpetual check. However, Nisipeanu played 43. rc7, adding pressure on f7 but keeping the box untouched. Any rook move to cover the A, B, or D files would have provided some cover for the white king. Time pressure must be culprit. Kamsky secured a draw by 43... Rcd4+, and the perpetual check is on for as long as black does not move the rook on e4. Fritz recommened 43. rd6.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The cavalry comes to the rescue for GM Nigel Short. The English Chess Federation, much to its credit, will not let any FIDE big shots trample all over one of its most valued members. The message to FIDE is clear. GM Short is not alone in this fight. The ECF sent a letter to FIDE that asked, " Even in the event, that the complaint against GM Short is withdrawn, we reserve the right to ask the Commission to investigate the conduct of Messrs Azmayparashvili and Makropoulos. " The ECF also stated, in reference to GM Short's comments, that " it believes that they were a legitimate response to a series of mistakes and missed opportunities made during the above events which have impacted disastrously on the worldwide image of chess, and made the important work of this federation much more difficult." I love this stuff. Azmayparashvili and Makropoulos will be disappointed. They will not be able to lord it over GM Short as easily as they thought.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
So, FIDE has decided to haul GM Nigel Short in front of an ethics committee to answer charges of libel against GM Azmaiparashvili and Makropoulos, Fide Deputy President and Vice President respectively. Evidently, Short, during his coverage of the tournament at San Luis, declared that " "The Fide Deputy President + Vice President spent more time at the hotel 16 km away despite being paid 1000s of dollars plus considerable expenses to do their job on the Appeals Committee. It came as absolutely no surprise to me that these dumbheads would flunk the first crisis they were presented with (Elista). I might add that Azmai is singularly inappropriate for such work having by his own admission cheated to win the 2003 European Championship." Wow! Those are fighting words but I like people who have strong opinions. According to Short, " "I have nothing to retract and I look forward to humiliating them in any hearing or court." Great stuff! This should be very interesting. More to come...
Monday, May 07, 2007
Bergen County Closed 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Time Magazine has announced its list of the 100 most influential people of our present time. Gary Kasparov made it to the list. Obviously, Kasparov's political efforts in Russia got people's attention. His group, The Other Russia, a coalition of those opposed to the rule of President Vladimir Putin, has become his vehicle for change although Kasparov stressed that he is not the leader but only the moderator. Well, that's all very commendable really. However, how seriously should we take this list? When it is put in terms of " the most influential " people, one would naturally consider the extent by which their work impacts our lives. I am very skeptical when it comes to " lists " of this and that. Okay, perhaps in Kasparov's case, if political and social change occurs in Russia through the efforts of The Other Russia, those changes could impact our lives in the long run since Russia is a player in global politics. This distinction is less clear when it comes to other people on the list like Maher Arar. He is a Syrian-born Canadian arrested in the USA under suspicion of terrorism, and sent to Syria for interrogation. Syrians insisted that Arar was never tortured there. The write-up for Arar in Time Magazine pointed to our ( USA ) willingness to compromise our sacred principles of liberty and freedom for the sake of national security. If you ask me, this is all liberal crap. Anyway, given that Arar's story is sad, how was he judged as one of the 100 most influential people of our time? Is being a victim enough, or does one have to have a body of influential work to make the list? Going through the list, I am more inclined to consider idolatry, hero-worship, and plain old stylishness as the criteria rather than the good effect that a certain person's work has on our lives. Now, to drive my point home, here are several more people on the list: Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, Rosie O' Donnell, and Tyra Banks. Lord have Mercy!