Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sometimes, people can't leave a good thing alone. Some players try to get fancy and end up throwing a good game away. I had misplayed my ending, giving my opponent in blitz a tremendous advantage. All he had to do here was 40...Qa1 and game over. But no, he had to play 40...Qf4+. I suspect he expected me to play 41. g3 and then he could harrass my king further on the second rank. Great. He can pick up my pawn on a7 on the way out. Unfortunately, 40...Qf4+ put his queen out of the way after 41. Rg3! There was no tempo-gaining move for black. The A pawn promoted to a queen and the game went to white.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Bergen Chess Mates had its annual holiday party last night at one of the function rooms of Ridgewood's United Methodist Church on Dayton Street, across from the park. Not everyone attended but those who were receiving a trophy and a cash prize did. It was also awards night for the just concluded 5-round, club championship. I won the U-1800 section with a score of 4 ( 2 draws and 3 wins ) edging out another member for first place via tie breaks.

A 4-round, G10 blitz tournament immediately followed the party, and that took us to almost midnight before all the rounds were done. Once again, good fortune was upon me and I managed to win first place in the non-master section with a score of 3.5 ( 3 wins, 1 draw ). I must be doing something right nowadays, but I don't know what it is. Above is a good faith reconstruction of a position that occurred in one of my games, just to show the winning idea. My opponent moved his rook to f3 to load up on my pawn on f2 and get his rooks connected somehow, but that allowed me to go for 1. Qf3 taking advantage of black's weak back rank. Play continued a bit more, but black could not recover from being a rook down. Nothing brilliant, but it was the winning move.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

It was Round 4 of the Bergen Chess Mates club championship held in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The club used to be known as the Dumont Chess Mates, but after it moved from Dumont to Ridgewood a name-change was necessary. The club met on Monday nights for forty years at the cafeteria of the Dumont High School, but it only took an unsympathetic school official to kick us out of there. We're quite happy at our new site, the United Methodist Church. The church offered their basement area for our purposes, and now we have a tournament room, a skittles room, a receiving room, and a living room that doubles as the local AA meeting room. We're just dandy!

Anyway, at this point of the game, I could either take the pawn at a5 and get my opponent's knight at the edge. That would cost him another tempo just to get his knight back into the frey. Or, I could advance my queenside pawns, and move up my king in support. The black knight would spend several tempi just to get at my pawn on a2 before black could make threats over in that area. So, I thought for a while and settled on a move my opponent didn't see coming... from the position above, 1. f5+ . Fritz9 advised to take the pawn on a5, like 1. ba Na5 2. g6 Nc4 3. Nd6... Anyway, I thought my move was good as well. Play continued 1...Kf5 ( making life easier for me )2.Nd6+ Kg5 3. Nc4 bc4 4.ab and black resigned.