Monday, May 31, 2010

NY May Open, Day 2

Both sides had winning chances in this game, played yesterday in the New York May Open, at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Four: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Jim West (FIDE 2096) - Alena Kats (FIDE 2041), Marshall Chess Club 5/30/2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.f4 Qc7 9.Qf3 Nc6 10.Be3 Bd7 11.O-O O-O 12.f5 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 exf5 14.exf5 Bc6 15.Qh3 Nd7

16.g4 Ne5 17.Qg3 Kh8 18.g5 f6 19.g6 h6 20.Be3 Rfd8 21.Qh3 Bf8 22.Rad1 Re8 23.Bd4 Rad8 24.Rd2 Qa5 25.a3 b5 26.Bf7 Nxf7 27.gxf7 Re7 28.Qh5 Qc7 29.Re2 Rxf7 30.Rfe1 Kg8 31.Qg6 Rdd7 32.Re6 Rde7 33.R1e3 Bb7 34.Re2 Kh8

35.Qg3 Rxe6 36.fxe6 Re7 37.Qg4 Re8 38.Nxe4 Bxe4 39.Qxe4 d5 40.Qg4 Bc5 41.c3 Bxd4+ 42.Qxd4 Qc4 43.Qxc4 dxc4 44.e7 Kg8 45.Re6 Kf7 46.Rxa6 Rxe7 47.a4 bxa4 48.Rxa4 Rb7 49.Rxc4 Rxb2 50.h4 Rc2 51.Rc7+ Kg6 52.h5+ Kxh5 53.Rxg7 Rxc3

54.Kf2 Rc5 55.Rf7 Kg5 56.Rg7+ Kf4 57.Rg6 Rf5 58.Ke2 h5 59.Rg8 Re5+ 60.Kf2 f5 61.Ra8 Rb5 62.Ra2 Kg4 63.Kg2 f4 64.Rc2 h4 65.Ra2 Re5 66.Rb2 Re3 67.Ra2 Rg3+ 68.Kh2 Re3 69.Rb2 Kf3 70.Kh3 Re2 71.Rb3+ Kf2 72.Kxh4 f3 73.Kg4 Re4+ 74.Kh3 Re3 75.Rb2+ Kf1

76.Rb1+ Re1 77.Rb2 f2 78.Kg3 Re3+ 79.Kh2 Rd3 80.Rb1+ Ke2 81.Kg2 Rd2 82.Rf1 Ke3 83.Ra1 Kf4 84.Rf1 Ke3 85.Ra1, draw.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

NY May Open, Day 1

These games were played by me on Saturday, in the New York May Open, at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round One: English Opening

George Tom (FIDE 2055) - Jim West (FIDE 2096), Marshall Chess Club 5/29/2010

1.c4 f5 2.Nf3 b6 3.b3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bb2 e6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nc3 a5 9.e3 Ne4 10.d3 Nxc3 11.Bxc3 Bf6 12.Qc2 Bxc3 13.Qxc3 Qf6 14.Rac1 d6 15.Nd2 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Qxc3 17.Rxc3 e5 18.f4 Nd7

19.Kf3 Rae8 20.Rf2 Nc5 21.fxe5 dxe5 22.Ke2 f4 23.gxf4 exf4 24.d4 Ne4 25.Nxe4 Rxe4 26.d5 Rfe8 27.Kf3 fxe3 28.Re2 Kf7 29.Rcxe3 Rxe3+ 30.Rxe3 Rxe3+ 31.Kxe3 Kf6

32.Kd4 g5 33.Ke4 h5 34.a3 h4 35.b4 g4 36.c5 g3 37.hxg3 hxg3 38.Kf3 axb4 39.d6 Ke6 40.dxc7 Kd7 41.axb4 bxc5 42.bxc5 Kxc7 43.Kxg3 Kc6 44.Kf4 Kxc5, draw.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Round Two: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Jehron Bryant (USCF 2042), Marshall Chess Club 5/29/2010

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Bd3 Ne7 6.O-O O-O 7.Re1 Bf5 8.Bg5 Bxd3 9.Qxd3 f6 10.Bh4 c6 11.Nbd2 Ng6 12.Bg3 Na6 13.c3 Bxg3 14.hxg3 Qd7

15.Re3 Rae8 16.Rae1 Nc7 17.Nh4 Nxh4 18.gxh4 Rxe3 19.Rxe3 Re8 20.Rxe8+ Qxe8 21.Kf1 Qe6 22.a4 Ne8 23.Qe2 Qxe2+ 24.Kxe2 Nd6 25.Kd3 Kf7 26.a5 Ke6 27.b3 b6 28.axb6 axb6 29.g4 c5 30.dxc5 bxc5 31.f3 Ke5 32.Ke3 Nb5 33.f4+ Ke6 34.Kd3 Nd6

35.c4 dxc4+ 36.bxc4 g6 37.Nb3 Nb7 38.Ke3 h6 39.Kd3 f5 40.g5 h5 41.Nd2 Nd8 42.Nf3 Nc6 43.Kc3 Kd6 44.Ne1 Nd4 45.Kd3 Ke6 46.Ke3 Kd6 47.Nd3 Nc6 48.Kd2 Ne7 49.Ne5 Kc7 50.Kc3 Kb6 51.Kb3 Ka5 52.Ka3 Ka6

53.Nd7 Kb7 54.Nxc5+ Kc6 55.Nd3 Kd6 56.Kb3 Nc6 57.Kc3 Ke6 58.Nb4 Na5 59.c5 Kd7 60.Kd4 Nb3+ 61.Kd5 Nd2 62.Nd3, Black resigns.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chess at Greeley Square

Besides Washington Square, you can also play chess at Greeley Square in Manhattan.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Orrin Hudson in "Lexus Magazine"

[photo by Kevin Garrett]

Recently, Lexus Magazine ran a story on Orrin Hudson [pictured, seated right], who teaches chess through a non-profit educational program and owns a 2009 Lexus ES 350.

I'm still driving a Chevy with over 200,000 miles on it!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Analysis of Sivakumar - West

At Contre Gambit Philidor, Frederic Fournier analyzes my game as Black against Kavinayan Sivakumar.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Sports Illustrated" on FIDE Presidency

Here is an article, in the South Africa edition of Sports Illustrated, on the battle for the FIDE presidency, between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Anatoly Karpov.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

30 Years Ago Today

While reading an article yesterday in The New York Times about the 30th anniversary of the New York Islanders winning their first Stanley Cup, I was reminded that today is the 30th anniversary of my attaining the title of national master.

Growing up, I followed the New York Rangers. I had little choice. Back then, there were just six teams in the National Hockey League. The Rangers were the only local team.

In October 1972, two big events occurred. I joined the United States Chess Federation (one month after Fischer took the world championship crown from Spassky), and the expansion Islanders joined the NHL. From day one, there was a special affinity between me and the Islanders. We both started off weakly, gradually improved, and ran into a psychological barrier. For me, I could not achieve a master's rating of 2200. For the Islanders, they could not win the Stanley Cup.

I had an additional problem. To the best of my knowledge, no one from my town had ever become a chess master, although one player nearly made it. When he quit playing chess, his final rating was 2199! He even petitioned the USCF to award him one rating point, so that he could retire as a master. But his request was denied. I started wondering if the same fate awaited me. Time and again, I tried to crack the 2200 barrier, all to no avail.

Then, on a Saturday afternoon in May 1980, I watched on television as the Islanders won the Stanley Cup. Seeing them hoist their trophy in celebration, I said to myself, "If after eight years of trying, the Islanders can win the Stanley Cup, then after eight years of trying, I can become a national master!"

The next day, with new-found determination, I played in a quad at the Marshall Chess Club. Looking at my opponents' ratings and doing mental arithmetic, I figured that if I won all three games my post-tournament rating would be 2201. But my third round opponent was going to be difficult. His rating was above 2300.

I defeated my first two opponents and was lucky enough to pick the white pawn when choosing colors for the final round. The game began uneventfully, when the incredible happened! My opponent blundered a rook, for nothing. Surely now, I would become a master.

There was one last obstacle to overcome. With 45 minutes on his clock and with ten more moves to make before the first time control at move 40, my opponent went into a deep think for 44 minutes. With a minute left, suddenly he started making moves at a furious pace. Foolishly, I did the same. We rattled off half a dozen moves at lightning speed. I reached to touch a piece for my 37th move and took my hand away at the last second. In that instant, I became a chess master!

My opponent had set a clever trap. If I made the obvious move, it would cost me a rook. The likely outcome would be a draw, and I would still not make master. As soon as I played the correct move, the 2300 player resigned immediately. He told me that, as early as move 31, he had seen the trap at move 37. But he felt that I would never fall into it, unless I played too quickly. Since I had plenty of time on my clock, his only chance was that I would blunder in his time pressure. It nearly worked!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Westfield Quads 5/23/2010

At yesterday's Westfield quads, I drew this game with the PCG.

Round Three: Philidor Counter Gambit

Kavinayan Sivakumar (USCF 2103) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Westfield NJ 5/23/2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 6.Nxf6+ gxf6 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Bd3 Rg8 9.Be3 Nc6 10.Qe2 Qe7 11.O-O-O Be6

12.Bb5 Bxa2 13.Bxc6+ bxc6 14.Qa6 Qe6 15.Qb7 Rc8 16.b3 Ba3+ 17.Kd2 Kf7 18.Ra1 Qd6+ 19.Ke2 Rb8 20.Qa6 Bxb3 21.cxb3 Rxb3 22.Qc4+ Qd5 23.Qxd5+ cxd5 24.Nd2 Rxe3+ 25.Kxe3 Bc5+ 26.Ke2 Rxg2 27.Raf1 e4

28.h3 f5 29.Nb3 Bb6 30.Nc1 d4 31.Rhg1 Rh2 32.Rh1 d3+ 33.Kd1 Rg2 34.Rhg1 Rh2 35.Rh1 Rg2 36.Rhg1, draw.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hamilton Quads 5/22/2010

Yesterday, at the Hamilton quads, I drew a couple of games.

Round Two: Caro-Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Boris Privman (USCF 2210), Hamilton NJ 5/22/2010

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 Be7 10.O-O O-O 11.Ne5 Qc8 12.Rae1 Bh5

13.Qc2 Bg6 14.Nxg6 hxg6 15.h3 Qd7 16.Nf3 Bd6 17.Bxd6 Qxd6 18.Ne5 Rac8 19.Qd1 Nd7 20.f4 a6 21.h4 Qe7 22.Nxd7 Qxd7 23.h5 gxh5 24.Qxh5 f5 25.Re3 Rf6 26.Rfe1 Rcf8 27.Qe2 Nd8 28.Rh3 Rg6 29.Qh5 Rh6 30.Qf3 Rxh3 31.Qxh3 Rf6 32.Qe3 Nf7

33.c4 Nd6 34.cxd5 exd5 35.Bc2 Ne4 36.Bb3 Rg6 37.Qh3 Rh6 38.Qf3 Kh7 39.Re2 Rh4 40.g3 Rg4 41.Rh2+ Kg6 42.Rh3 Kf6 43.Kh2 g5 44.Qe3 gxf4 45.gxf4 Qc7 46.Rf3 Ke6 47.Rh3 Qxf4+ 48.Qxf4 Rxf4 49.Rh7 Nd6 50.Rh6+ Kd7 51.Bxd5 Rxd4

52.Rh7+ Kc8 53.Rh8+ Kc7 54.Rh7+ Kb6 55.Bg2 Rd2 56.Rd7 Ka5 57.Kg1 b5 58.Bh3 f4 59.Kf1 Rh2 60.Rxd6 Rxh3 61.Kg2 Rh8 62.a3 Ra8 63.b3 Ra7 64.Kf3 b4 65.Rd5+ Kb6 66.axb4 Rc7

67.Kxf4 Rc3 68.Ke4 Rxb3 69.Kd4 Rxb4+ 70.Kc3 Rh4 71.Rd3 Kb5 72.Kb3, draw.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Round Three: Budapest Gambit, Fajarowicz Variation

Mark Kernighan (USCF 2200) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Hamilton NJ 5/22/2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.c4 e5 4.dxe5 Ne4 5.Nbd2 Nc5 6.Nb3 Ne6 7.g3 Nc6 8.exd6 Bxd6 9.Bg2 O-O 10.Bd2 a5 11.Bc3 Qe7 12.Nfd4 Nexd4 13.Nxd4 Nxd4 14.Qxd4 f6

15.Bd5+ Kh8 16.Qe4 c6 17.Qxe7 Bxe7 18.Be4 Be6 19.Bd3 Bb4 20.Rc1 Bh3 21.a3 Bxc3+ 22.Rxc3 a4 23.Kd2 Rfd8 24.Ke3 Ra5 25.f3 Re5+ 26.Kf2 h5 27.Rd1 Bf5 28.Bc2 Rxd1 29.Bxd1 Ra5 30.e4 Be6 31.f4 Bf7 32.Ke3 Kg8 33.Kd4 c5+ 34.Ke3 Ra6

35.e5 fxe5 36.fxe5 g5 37.Bf3 Rb6 38.Rc2 Rb3+ 39.Kf2 h4 40.gxh4 gxh4 41.Bg4 Kf8 42.e6 Be8 43.Bf3 Ke7 44.Bd5 Bg6 45.Rd2 Bf5 46.Kg2 h3+ 47.Kf2 Kf6 48.Bf3 Bxe6 49.Bd1 Rb6 50.Bxa4 Bxc4

51.Kg3 Be6 52.Kf4 c4 53.Bd1 Rc6 54.Bf3 Rb6 55.Bd1 Rc6 56.Bf3 Rb6, draw.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Photos from Westfield Quads 5/16/2010

During Sunday's quads in Westfield, I snapped these photos.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kopiecki - West @ "Contre Gambit Philidor"

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Chess Mates" Opening Rescheduled

The grand opening of Chess Mates in Rahway, originally scheduled for March 1st, has been tentatively rescheduled for June 1st.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Two Kens on Computer Chess

In 1980, at the Westfield YMHA, I played in a quad with two other humans and one computer. It was Belle, winner of the 1980 world computer chess championship. Going into the final round of the quad, Belle and I had two points each. I lost the coin toss and played Black. The game ended in a hard-fought draw, with me being down two pawns but I had doubled rooks on the seventh rank. The computer's programmer Ken Thompson offered the draw, and I accepted.

Today I have difficulty drawing against the Fritz8 software program, which tells you that computer chess has advanced a long way since 1980. Here is an article Can We Solve Chess One Day? that features Ken Thompson and IM Ken Regan.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Carlsen - Ippolito at Karpov Fundraiser

During last night's fundraiser for the Karpov 2010 campaign at the Trump SoHo hotel, GM Magnus Carlsen played a blitz game of chess against IM Dean Ippolito of New Jersey, as seen in this video.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Westfield Quads 5/16/2010

In Sunday's quads at Westfield, I drew this game.

Round Three: Caro-Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Mark Kernighan (USCF 2243), Westfield NJ 5/16/2010

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 e6 7.Nd2 Be7 8.h3 O-O 9.Ngf3 Nh5 10.Bh2 Nf6 11.O-O Bd7 12.Re1 Qb6 13.Qb3 Qxb3 14.Nxb3 Bc8

15.Ne5 Nd7 16.Nxc6 bxc6 17.Na5 Bg5 18.Nxc6 Nb6 19.Ne5 Na4 20.Re2 a6 21.Rb1 Re8 22.Bc2 Nb6 23.Rbe1 Bb7 24.f4 Bf6 25.f5 Bc8 26.fxe6 Bxe6 27.Ng4 Bh4 28.Nf2 Rec8 29.Bd3 Na4 30.g3 Bg5 31.g4 Bh4 32.Kg2 g6 33.Rb1 Bd8 34.Be5 Bh4

35.Bc2 Nb6 36.Bb3 Nc4 37.Bxc4 Rxc4 38.Nd3 Be7 39.Nf4 Rc6 40.Nxe6 Rxe6 41.Rbe1 Bg5 42.Bg3 Rae8 43.Rxe6 fxe6 44.Be5 Kf7 45.Kg3 Re7 46.h4 Bh6 47.g5 Bg7 48.Rf1+ Ke8 49.Bxg7 Rxg7 50.Rf6 Ke7 51.Kf4 Kd6 52.Ke3 Rb7 53.b3 Ke7

54.h5 gxh5 55.Rh6 Kd6 56.Rxh5 Rf7 57.c4 a5 58.cxd5 exd5 59.Rh6+ Kc7 60.Ra6 Rf5 61.Rxa5 Kb6 62.Ra8 Rxg5 63.Re8 Rg2 64.Re6+ Kb7 65.Re7+ Kb6 66.Rxh7 Rxa2 67.Kf4 Re2 68.Rh6+ Kc7 69.Rh4 Re4+ 70.Kg5 Re3 71.b4 Rb3

72.Kf5 Rxb4 73.Ke5 Kd7 74.Rh7+ Kd8 75.Kxd5 Rb6 76.Ke5 Ra6 77.d5 Rb6 78.d6 Rb1, draw.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 5/15/2010

In Saturday's game/60 Swiss tournament, at the Marshall Chess Club, I finished with a score of 3-1-0.

Round Four: Philidor Counter Gambit

Ed Kopiecki (USCF 1987) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 5/15/2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Bc4 exd4 5.Nxd4 fxe4 6.Bxg8 Rxg8 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Qd5 Rg7 9.O-O c6 10.Qxe4+ Be7 11.Bh6 Rf7 12.Nc3 Qa5 13.Rae1 Bf5 14.Qf4 Na6

15.Qxd6 Rd8 16.Nxf5 Qxf5 17.Qa3 Rd7 18.h4 Kd8 19.Rxe7 Rfxe7 20.Bg5 Ke8 21.Bxe7 Rxe7 22.Qb3 Kf8 23.Rd1 Kg7 24.g3 Qf3 25.Qc4 h5 26.Qd4+ Kh7 27.Qd8 Rf7 28.Rd2 Nc5 29.Qd4 Rd7

30.Qxd7+ Nxd7 31.Rxd7+ Kg8 32.Re7 g5 33.Re3 Qf5 34.hxg5 Qxc2 35.Ne4 Qxb2 36.Nf6+ Kf7 37.Nxh5 Qxa2 38.Nf4 a5 39.g6+ Kf6 40.Kg2 a4 41.Kf3 a3 42.g4 Qa1 43.Re6+ Kg7 44.Re7+ Kf8 45.Rf7+ Ke8

46.Ne6 Qc3+ 47.Kg2 Qe5 48.Ng7+ Kd8 49.Rf8+ Kc7 50.Rf7+ Kb6, White forfeits.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Grandmaster Challenge Cancelled

Tomorrow's Grandmaster Challenge tournament, at the Marshall Chess Club, has been cancelled.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Alejandro Melchor on Latvian Gambit

Alejandro Melchor [pictured above], of Barcelona, discusses a new move in the Latvian Gambit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chocolate Chess Pieces

One way to satisfy your hunger for chess is to use pieces made of chocolate, as seen on the May 4th episode of Little Chocolatiers.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Anand Wins Match and Retains Title

Yesterday, Viswanathan Anand won the twelfth and final game of his world championship match against Veselin Topalov. Anand retains the title, winning the match by one point.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

South Jersey Open 2010 on May 15th

On Saturday, May 15th, the South Jersey Open 2010 will be held at the Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill. Here are the pre-registered players.