Friday, December 31, 2010

"Endgame" Book Review

Here is a review of Frank Brady's book Endgame by a person who is not a chess player.

Blogger Mark Weeks warns us to get ready for a Bobby Fischer media blitz.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Professional World Record Attempt

On April 9, 2011, international master Dean Ippolito will attempt to set a professional world record in a new category created by Guinness for simultaneous exhibitions, requiring all players to have USCF or FIDE ratings between 1200 and 1800.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Charges Dismissed in Inwood Hill Park Cases

On Tuesday, charges were dismissed against five of the Inwood Hill Park chess players. Two other players opted for civil trials next week.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Jersey Triplets Win National Chess Title

Earlier this month, seven-year-old fraternal triplets from East Windsor won the first-grade section at the national scholastics.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Empire City Open, Day 2

Today I won this game in the Empire City Open.

Round Three: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Leif Pressman (FIDE 2140) - Jim West (FIDE 2110), Empire City Open 12/27/2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd3 b5 11.Rhe1 Bb7

12.Nd5 Nxd5 13.exd5 Bxg5 14.Rxe6+ fxe6 15.Nxe6 Qb6 16.Qh5+ g6 17.Bxg6+ Ke7 18.Qxg5+ Nf6 19.Bh5 Qe3+ 20.Kb1 Rhg8 21.Ng7 Bc8 22.Qh4 Rxg7 23.Re1 Qxe1+ 24.Qxe1+ Kf8 25.Bf3 Bf5

26.Qc3 Ne8 27.Kc1 Rc8 28.Qa3 Rxc2+ 29.Kd1 Rgc7 30.Ke1 Re7+ 31.Kd1 Rc4 32.Be2 Rd4+ 33.Ke1 Rde4 34.Qxa6 Rxe2+ 35.Kf1 Rxb2 36.h3 Bd3+ 37.Kg1 Ree2 38.Qc8 Rxg2+ 39.Kh1 Rh2+ 40.Kg1 Rbg2#.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Empire City Open, Day 1

Earlier today, I drew this game in the Empire City Open at the New Yorker Hotel.

Round One: Philidor Defense

Jim West (FIDE 2110) - IM Jay Bonin (FIDE 2322), Empire City Open 12/26/2010

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.h3 Bh5 5.Be2 Bxf3 6.Bxf3 Nd7 7.O-O e5 8.a4 Be7 9.Be3 Bg5 10.Re1 Bxe3 11.Rxe3 Ngf6 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.Qd6 Qe7 14.Qxe7+ Kxe7 15.Nc3 a5 16.Rd1 Nc5

17.Re2 Rhd8 18.Red2 Rxd2 19.Rxd2 Ra6 20.b3 Rb6 21.Kf1 Rb4 22.Re2 b5 23.axb5 cxb5 24.Rd2 a4 25.Rd5 axb3 26.cxb3 Ncd7 27.Rxb5 Rxb5 28.Nxb5 Nc5 29.Nc3 Nxb3 30.Ke2 Kd6 31.Ke3 Kc5 32.Na4+ Kb4 33.Nb2 Nc5 34.Nd3+ Nxd3 35.Kxd3 Nd7

36.Be2 Nc5+ 37.Ke3 Kc3 38.Bb5 Ne6 39.g3 Nd4 40.Ba4 Nc2+ 41.Bxc2 Kxc2 42.h4 Kd1 43.f4 f6 44.fxe5 fxe5 45.Kd3 Ke1 46.Kc4 Kf2 47.Kd5 Kxg3 48.Kxe5 Kxh4 49.Kd6 g5 50.e5 g4 51.e6 g3 52.e7 g2 53.e8=Q g1=Q 54.Qe7+, draw.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Definitive Book on Bobby Fischer

The holiday season has given me the time to read the uncorrected proof of Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness by Frank Frady, the definitive book on the life of Bobby Fischer. Endgame is a page turner, like a detective novel except the mystery never gets solved because Fischer's life is stranger than fiction.

If you read Endgame, you will find everything you wanted to know about Fischer's enigmatic life, and a few things you really didn't! I learned that, when his older sister Joan bought their first chess set, Bobby was living in Manhattan because the family had not yet moved to Brooklyn. And, until reading Endgame, I had never realized how upset Fischer became after losing to Mikhail Tal at the 1959 candidates tournament.

For me, the most memorable scene occurs when Fischer and Brady are dining at the same Greenwich Village restaurant as Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. What little humor there is takes place on Bobby Fischer Day in 1972 when Fischer says to the audience, "It is not true that Henry Kissinger phoned me during the night to tell me the moves."

IM Jeremy Silman summarizes Endgame well when he writes, "Fischer is America's greatest antihero. This fascinating biography is filled with hope, Cold War intrigue, the fulfillment of genius, and an explosive fall from grace that is both deeply moving and, ultimately, profoundly sad."

I will add that Endgame is more than the story of an eccentric genius. It is a commentary on the sorry world that we live in, which treated the Mozart of chess so disrespectfully.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chess Blog Carnival on January 3rd

Blogger Blue Devil Knight is holding a Carnival of Chess Improvement, scheduled for January 3rd.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gutierrez - West @ "Contre Gambit Philidor"

Frederic Fournier provides a link, at Contre Gambit Philidor, to my game as Black against Michael Gutierrez.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Photos from Marshall December Grand Prix

These photos were snapped by me on Sunday at the Marshall Chess Club.

You will see candidate master Nick Conticello, international master Renato Naranja, and FIDE master Asa Hoffmann, as well as the final round game between Ed Kopiecki and Jason Margiotta.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brooklyn Castle

Filmmaker Katie Dellamaggiore has found a name for her untitled Chess Movie, a documentary about the chess program at Intermediate School 318.

The title is Brooklyn Castle.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Marshall December Grand Prix, Day 2

Yesterday I drew this game in the Marshall December Grand Prix tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Four: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Jim West (FIDE 2110) - George Berg (FIDE 2088), Marshall Chess Club 12/19/2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.O-O Be7 9.Be3 O-O 10.f4 b4 11.Na4 Bb7

12.e5 dxe5 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.Bxe6+ Kh8 15.Qxd8 Rxd8 16.fxe5 Ng8 17.Nb6 Ra7 18.Nc4 Ra8 19.Nb6 Ra7 20.Rad1 Nc6 21.Rxd8 Nxd8 22.Bxg8 Kxg8 23.Nc8 Bxc8 24.Bxa7 Nc6 25.Bb6 Nxe5 26.Re1 Nc6

27.Re3 Kf7 28.c3 Be6 29.cxb4 Bxb4 30.a3 Bd6 31.h3 Bd5 32.Kf2 Bf4 33.Rd3 Ke6 34.Be3 Ne5 35.Rc3 Bxe3+ 36.Rxe3 Kd6 37.b4 Nc4 38.Rg3 g6 39.h4 Be4 40.a4 Bc6 41.h5 Ne5 42.hxg6 hxg6 43.b5 axb5 44.axb5 Bxb5 45.Ke3, draw.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Marshall December Grand Prix, Day 1

On Saturday, I won this game in the Marshall December Grand Prix event at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Two: Philidor Counter Gambit

Michael Gutierrez (USCF 1733) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 12/18/2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 f5 4.d4 Nc6 5.exf5 Bxf5 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Qe2 Bd6 8.Bxg8 Rxg8 9.Qc4 Rf8 10.Bg5 Qd7 11.O-O h6 12.Be3 O-O-O 13.c3 g5 14.Qa4 a6 15.Na3 Nb8

16.Qxd7+ Nxd7 17.Rfe1 Bxa3 18.bxa3 Bg4 19.Nd2 Rfe8 20.f3 Bf5 21.Bf2 Nb8 22.Ne4 Bxe4 23.Rxe4 Nc6 24.Re2 Rd3 25.Rc1 Red8 26.h3 Rd1+ 27.Re1 Rxc1 28.Rxc1 Rd2 29.Ra1 Rc2 30.Be1 Kd7

31.Rd1+ Ke6 32.Rd2 Rxc3 33.Rd6+ cxd6 34.Bxc3 d5 35.Kf2 d4 36.Bb2 Kd5 37.g4 e4 38.fxe4+ Kxe4 39.a4 Nb4 40.Ba3 Nd3+ 41.Ke2 Nf4+ 42.Kd2 Nxh3 43.Bf8 Nf4 44.Bxh6 Ne6 45.Ke2 b5 46.axb5 axb5 47.a3 Kf4 48.Kd3 Kxg4, White resigns.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pix from ICA Early Winter 2010 Open

During Sunday's ICA Early Winter 2010 Open in Hackensack, I snapped these photos.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sparta Chess Club and Scholastics

The Sparta Chess Club is opening its ninth season. Teams from the Sparta schools have scored well in recent scholastic tournaments.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Endgame" by Frank Brady

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Frank Brady's soon-to-be-released book Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall - from America's Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Psychological Autopsy in "Miller-McCune"

Did Bobby Fischer suffer from a genetically predisposed paranoid personality disorder?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Norowitz Simul Tomorrow at Marshall CC

The Marshall Chess Club presents a simultaneous exhibition with senior master Yaacov Norowitz.

With a USCF rating of 2550, senior master Yaacov Norowitz is America’s strongest chess player without an international title. His highly original style has also made him one of the world’s strongest blitz players with an ICC rating of 3400+. Yaacov will exhibit his talent at the Marshall Chess Club by taking on up to 50 players simultaneously. Come join us for a fun and exciting evening of chess and a chance to win a free Marshall Chess Club membership!

One year Marshall Chess Club membership for a win!

Six month Marshall Chess Club membership for a draw!

Trophies and three month Marshall Chess Club memberships for the last player and the last junior under the age of 18 to finish!

Wednesday, December 12, 2010


Entry fee: members $15, non-members $20

Marshall Chess Club
23 West 10th Street
(between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011
Phone 212-477-3716
Fax 212-995-9281

Monday, December 13, 2010

ICA Early Winter 2010 Open

Yesterday I won this game at the ICA Early Winter 2010 Open tournament in Hackensack.

Round One: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2211) - Lazar Vilotijevic (USCF 1732), Hackensack NJ 12/12/2010

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.O-O Bg4 7.Bg5 Nc6 8.c3 O-O 9.Re1 Re8 10.Nbd2 Qd7 11.Qc2 g6 12.Re3 Kg7 13.Rae1 Bd6

14.b4 Rxe3 15.Rxe3 Re8 16.b5 Na5 17.Ne5 Bxe5 18.dxe5 Ng8 19.Qa4 b6 20.Qd4 Be6 21.Bf6+ Nxf6 22.exf6+ Kh8 23.Bxg6 fxg6 24.f7#.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 12/11/2010

In Saturday's game/60 Swiss at the Marshall Chess Club, I drew this game in the final round.

Round Four: Alekhine Defense

Jim West (USCF 2235) - Peter McQuillan (USCF 1849), Marshall Chess Club 12/11/2010

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 exd6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Bd3 O-O 8.Nge2 Re8 9.O-O Bf6 10.Be3 Bg4 11.Qd2 Nc6 12.b3 Bxe2 13.Nxe2 d5 14.c5 Nc8 15.Rac1 N8e7 16.b4 b6 17.b5 Na5 18.c6 Nc8 19.Rfe1 Nd6

20.Qc2 Nac4 21.Nc3 Nxe3 22.fxe3 Bg5 23.Nxd5 Nxb5 24.Bxh7+ Kh8 25.Be4 Qd6 26.Qd3 Rad8 27.Bf3 a6 28.a4 Na7 29.Qf5 Bh6 30.Rc3 Nxc6 31.Nxc7 Nxd4 32.Nxe8 Rxe8 33.Qd3 Nxf3+ 34.gxf3 Qf6 35.e4 g6 36.Rd1 Bf4 37.Rc2 Kg7 38.Rg2 Rc8 39.Rf1 a5

40.Kh1 Rc3 41.Qd7 Rc7 42.Qf5 Qxf5 43.exf5 g5 44.h4 f6 45.hxg5 fxg5 46.Rb1 Rc6 47.Rgb2 Be3 48.Rb3 Bc5 49.Kg2 Kf6 50.Rh1 Kxf5 51.Rh7 Bd4 52.Rb5+ Kg6 53.Rd7 Rc2+ 54.Kh3 Bc5 55.Rxb6+ Bxb6 56.Rd6+ Kf5 57.Rxb6 Rc5 58.Kg3 Rd5 59.Ra6 Ke5

60.Rg6 Kd4 61.Kg4 Ke3 62.Rxg5 Rxg5+ 63.Kxg5 Kxf3 64.Kf5 Ke3 65.Ke5 Kf3 66.Kd5 Kf4 67.Kc5 Ke5 68.Kb5 Kd5 69.Kxa5 Kc5 70.Ka6 Kc6 71.a5 Kc7 72.Kb5 Kb7 73.a6+ Ka7 74.Ka5 Ka8 75.Kb6 Kb8 76.a7+ Ka8 77.Ka6, stalemate.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Photos from Rahway Grand Prix 12/5/2010

These are pictures taken by me during Sunday's grand prix event at Chess Mates.

In round one, Roger Pedersen lost to IM Justin Sarkar.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Polyakin and SM Yaacov Norowitz played to a draw.

In round two, Gregory Rotsenmar was defeated by Roger Pedersen.

IM Justin Sarkar and GM Michael Rohde drew their second round game.

The fifth round game between IM Justin Sarkar and SM Yaacov Norowitz ended in a draw.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Carlsen Interview in "The Telegraph"

Magnus Carlsen describes his perfect weekend in The Telegraph.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chess and Alzheimer's Disease

[photo by Reuters]

On Tuesday, a seniors chess tournament took place on the Internet as part of a scientific experiment to determine if intellectual activity can prevent Alzheimer's disease.