Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rahway Swiss 9/29/2012

Yesterday I drew this game in the game/45 Swiss tournament at Chess Mates.

Round One: Budapest Gambit, Fajarowicz Variation

Sergio Flores (USCF 1957) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Rahway NJ 9/29/2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Nf3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Nxd2 6.Nbxd2 Nc6 7.a3 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 Qe7 9.g3 Nxe5 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Bg2 O-O 12.O-O d6 13.e3 a5 14.Rfd1 a4 15.Qb4 Ra6 16.Rd5 Qf6 17.Rad1 b6 18.R5d3 Be6

19.Bc6 Bg4 20.Re1 Ra5 21.Bxa4 Rc5 22.Bd1 Be6 23.b3 h5 24.Rd4 Rf5 25.Qd2 Bc8 26.b4 Bb7 27.e4 Re5 28.f4 Re6 29.Bxh5 c5 30.Rd3 Bxe4 31.Rde3 Rfe8 32.Bg4 Bf5 33.Bf3 Rxe3 34.Rxe3 Rxe3 35.Qxe3 Be6

36.Be2 Qa1+ 37.Kf2 Qh1 38.h4 g6 39.Qf3 Qc1 40.Qd3 cxb4 41.axb4 Qb2 42.h5 Kg7 43.hxg6 Qxb4 44.Qd4+ Kxg6 45.Bd3+ f5 46.Ke2 Qc5 47.Ke3 Qxd4+ 48.Kxd4 Kh5 49.Be2+ Kg6 50.Bd3 Kh5 51.Be2+, draw.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Review of "Chess Variants & Games"

The book Chess Variants & Games for Intellectual Development and Amusement by A.V. Murali has nothing to do with the game of chess as we know it.  Rather, it is an imaginative attempt to create chess variants with triagonals instead of diagonals, and to use chess in education to teach language, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and more.  

There are sports related games involving chess for basketball, table tennis, squash, cricket, and volleyball.

Would you like to solve a chess crossword puzzle or a chess sudoku? 

In the preface, the author explains "how the idea of writing this book occurred to me.  It all started when I happened to walk along a pavement tiled with stones in the shape of a hexagon."  This inspired him to wonder whether chess can be played on a hexagonal board and to consider various other geometries, as well.

Time and again, I was impressed by the amount of independent thinking and research in this book.

Friday, September 28, 2012

September Game/90, Round 4

On Wednesday, Mauricio Camejo won the September Game/90 tournament at Chess Mates.

Round Four: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Jim West (USCF 2210) - Art Macaspac (USCF 2176), Rahway NJ 9/26/2012

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 Nxe4 12.f5 d5 13.fxe6 fxe6 14.Nf5 Nc6

15.Nb6 Rxf5 16.Rxf5 Nc5 17.Nxa8 Nxb3 18.axb3 exf5 19.Nb6 d4 20.Nxc8 Qxc8 21.Bf2 Bf6 22.Qd3 Ne5 23.Qxa6 Qxc2 24.Qe6+, Black resigns.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

FIDE Mondays 9/24/2012

On Monday evening, I played this game at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Three: French Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (FIDE 2116) - Payam Parhami (FIDE 2037), Marshall Chess Club 9/24/2012

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Bg4 6.O-O Be7 7.Re1 O-O 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.Nbd2 c5 10.h3 Bh5 11.Qe2 Bd6 12.c3 cxd4 13.cxd4 Qb6

14.g4 Bg6 15.Bxg6 hxg6 16.Qd3 Rfe8 17.Qb3 Qxb3 18.Nxb3 Ne4 19.Be3 Re7 20.a3 Rae8 21.Nbd2 Nb6 22.Nxe4 Rxe4 23.Nd2 R4e7 24.Kf1 Na4 25.b3 Nb2 26.b4 Nd3 27.Reb1 Bf4 28.Rb3 Bxe3 29.Rxd3 Bf4

30.Nb3 b6 31.Rdd1 Rc8 32.Nc1 Rc2 33.Nd3 Re4 34.Ne1 Rc4 35.Nf3 g5 36.Rd3 f6 37.Rad1 Kf7 38.Nd2 Bxd2 39.R1xd2 Rc1+ 40.Rd1 Rxd1+ 41.Rxd1 Ke6 42.Rd3 g6 43.f3 Rf4 44.Ke2 f5 45.Ke3 fxg4 46.hxg4 Rf7

47.Rc3 Kd7 48.b5 Re7+ 49.Kf2 Re6 50.Re3 Rxe3 51.Kxe3 Ke7, draw.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Brooklyn Castle" Trailer

Watch the official trailer for Brooklyn Castle.
Help bring Brooklyn Castle to the people.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Snake Eyes for Cobras vs. Knockouts

In week four of the U.S. Chess League, the roll of the dice came out snake eyes for the Carolina Cobras, losing last night's match versus the New Jersey Knockouts.

The moves to the games (boards one, two, three, and four) can be seen here.

Read 'em and weep!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Marshall Chess Club Swiss 9/23/2012

On Sunday, I finished with a score of 2-0-2 in the game/45 Swiss tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Two: Budapest Gambit, Fajarowicz Variation

Matthew Lim (USCF 1976) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 9/23/2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Nf3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Nxd2 6.Nbxd2 Nc6 7.e3 Qe7 8.a3 Bxd2+ 9.Qxd2 Nxe5 10.Be2 d6 11.O-O Nxf3+ 12.Bxf3 O-O 13.Rad1 a5 14.Qc3 a4 15.Rd2 Ra7 16.Rfd1 b6 17.Rd4 Bf5

18.Bc6 Ra5 19.Rd5 Rxd5 20.cxd5 Bd7 21.Rd4 b5 22.Rb4 Rb8 23.Qc2 Bxc6 24.Qxc6 Rb6 25.Qa8+ Qf8 26.Qa7 Qb8 27.Qxb8+ Rxb8 28.Kf1, draw.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rahway Grand Prix 9/22/2012

There were 20 players in yesterday's grand prix tournament at Chess Mates.

Round One: Vienna Game

Matt Boxer (USCF 1900) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Rahway NJ 9/22/2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bc5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bc4 d6 5.d3 Nf6 6.Be3 Bb6 7.Qe2 Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Nd4 10.Qd1 c6 11.Ne2 O-O 12.O-O d5

13.exd5 cxd5 14.Bb3 Nxb3 15.Bxb6 Qxb6 16.axb3 d4 17.Qd2 Rac8 18.Rfc1 a6 19.Qa5 Qxa5 20.Rxa5 Rfe8 21.Ng3 g6 22.Kf1 h5 23.Ke2 h4 24.Ne4 Nxe4 25.dxe4 f6 26.Rd5 Red8 27.Rxd8+ Rxd8 28.Kd3 Kf7 29.Ra1 Ke6 30.f3 f5

31.Ra4 fxe4+ 32.Kxe4 Rf8 33.Rc4 Kd6 34.Ra4 Rf5 35.Ra1 Rf4+ 36.Kd3 Rf7 37.c3 Rf4 38.Ra4 dxc3 39.bxc3 Rxa4 40.bxa4 b5 41.axb5 axb5 42.Ke4 Kc5 43.Kxe5 Kc4 44.Kf6 Kxc3 45.Kxg6 b4 46.Kg7 b3 47.f4 b2 48.f5 b1=Q

49.f6 Qf1 50.f7 Qxg2+ 51.Kh8 Qf3 52.Kg7 Qg3+ 53.Kh7 Qf4 54.Kg7 Kd3 55.f8=Q Qxf8+ 56.Kxf8 Ke4 57.Kf7 Kf4 58.Kf6 Kg3 59.Kg5 Kxh3 60.Kf4 Kg2, White resigns.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Happened to "Atlantic Chess News"?

 The latest issue of Atlantic Chess News was published in 2010!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Saturday Chess Class at Caldwell College

Tomorrow morning, I am scheduled to teach my inaugural class for Columbia Academy.  The chess lesson will take place at Caldwell College in Room 107 of Aquinas Hall, from 9:30am to 10:30am.

After briefly discussing piece values and the rules, I will move on to the general principles that need to be followed in the opening, middlegame, and endgame.

This first class is free for new students!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Inventors Match Wits with Knockouts

Last night, in week three of the U.S. Chess League, the Philadelphia Inventors played to a tie against the New Jersey Knockouts.

Look at the games on boards one, two, three, and four.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

FIDE Mondays 9/17/2012

After two rounds, here are the standings in the FIDE Mondays tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

# Name Rtng Post Rd 1 Rd 2 Tot .
1 FM CARLOS E MENA 2462 2466 W32 W13 2.0 .
2 FM RAWLE A ALLICOCK 2344 2353 W26 W14 2.0 .
3 YEFIM TREGER 2232 2243 W27 W17 2.0 .
4 JUAN SENA 2226 2237 W21 W15 2.0 .
5 FM NATHAN RESIKA 2226 2235 W22 W20 2.0 .
6 JAMES R WEST 2200 2211 W23 W16 2.0 .
7 BENJAMIN KATZ 2182 2204 W33 W11 2.0 .
8 ARTHUR M MACASPAC 2135 2139 W34 H--- 1.5 .
9 PAYAM PARHAMI 2094 2097 W31 H--- 1.5 .
10 PAUL RACHLIN 1882 1886 H--- W25 1.5 .
11 IM JAY RICHARD BONIN 2420 2409 W19 L7 1.0 .
12 FM CARLOS PUJOL 2385 2364 L20 W30 1.0 .
13 CONRAD HO 2157 2156 W28 L1 1.0 .
14 JOEL JESUS HERNANDEZ 2128 2125 W29 L2 1.0 .
15 SARATHI RAY 2104 2099 W35 L4 1.0 .
16 CHARLES MCMILLAN 2070 2062 W36 L6 1.0 .
17 ZACHARY H COHN 2053 2047 W24 L3 1.0 .
18 FRANK ASHMUN 2052 2029 L25 W33 1.0 .
19 OLEG SHEVELENKO 2039 2043 L11 W34 1.0 .
20 EDWARD P KOPIECKI 2039 2059 W12 L5 1.0 .
21 EDWARD SCHER 1900 1905 L4 W35 1.0 .
22 SZYMON RUDOWSKI 1897 1893 L5 X36 1.0 .
23 ALISHER PODAVONOV 1892 1910 L6 W32 1.0 .
24 ANIL K MARTHI 1598 1599 L17 W37 1.0 .
25 LEONID MYKHAILEVSKYI 1550 1576 W18 L10 1.0 .
26 WCM RACHEL GOLOGORSKY 2027 2023 L2 H--- 0.5 .
27 EDWARD A FRUMKIN 2000 1987 L3 D28 0.5 .
28 HAL DIFEDE RIVES 1842 1844 L13 D27 0.5 .
29 JONATHAN HAINS 1765 1761 L14 H--- 0.5 .
30 TESEO L TORRAS 1682 1681 H--- L12 0.5 .
31 JOSHUA WONG 1668 1665 L9 H--- 0.5 .
32 MICHAEL LAYEVSKIY 2040 2015 L1 L23 0.0 .
33 MULAZIM MUWWAKKIL 1855 1843 L7 L18 0.0 .
34 JERMAINE REID 1828 1816 L8 L19 0.0 .
35 STEPHEN SEUNARINE 1739 1726 L15 L21 0.0 .
36 NADAV BERENSTEIN 1600 1598 L16 F22 0.0 .
37 RUBEN [filler] COTTI-LOWELL unr. 1198 U--- L24 0.0 .

Round Two: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Charles McMillan (FIDE 2049) - Jim West (FIDE 2116), Marshall Chess Club 9/17/2012

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.g4 b5 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Nd7 13.f5 Nc5 14.f6 gxf6 15.gxf6 Bf8 16.Rg1 b4

17.Nd5 exd5 18.exd5 Bd7 19.Re1+ Kd8 20.Rg7 Qa5 21.Qe3 Qxa2 22.Ne6+ Bxe6 23.dxe6 Qxe6 24.Qf2 Bxg7 25.Rxe6 Bh6+ 26.Kb1 fxe6 27.Bh3 Kd7 28.Qh4 Bd2 29.Qd4 Bg5 30.f7 Rab8

31.f8=Q Rhxf8 32.Qg7+ Be7 33.Bg4 b3 34.Qxh7 Rf1+, White resigns.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book on Jay Bonin by Larry Tamarkin

Candidate master Larry Tamarkin [pictured, left] is writing a book about international master Jay Bonin [pictured, right], to be published by Ishi Press.

Please send your games against Bonin by e-mail to, or post the games at Tamarkin's Facebook page.

Rumor has it that you will be paid $1 per game.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Marshall September Under 2300 9/15/2012

On Saturday, I won this game with a discovered check, in the under 2300 tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round One: Vienna Game

Daniel Pressa (USCF 1758) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 9/15/2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Bc5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Na4 Be7 5.d4 d6 6.Be2 Nf6 7.Nc3 O-O 8.O-O Bg4 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Nd4 12.Bg5 c6

13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Be2 Qc7 15.Bd3 Rad8 16.Ne2 Ne6 17.Ng3 g6 18.Qe1 Nf4 19.Rd1 Rd7 20.Bc4 Rxd1 21.Qxd1 Rd8 22.Qf3 b5 23.Bb3 a5 24.a4 bxa4 25.Bxa4 Rd4 26.b3 Bg7 27.Ne2 Rd2 28.Nxf4 exf4 29.c4 Bd4

30.e5 Qxe5 31.Bxc6 Rxf2 32.Qd5 Qxd5 33.cxd5 Rf3+ 34.Kh2 Rxf1 35.d6 Bg1+, White resigns.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

WCM Phiona Mutesi

At the Olympiad in Istanbul, Phiona Mutesi attained the FIDE title of woman candidate master.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sluggish Performance by NJKO vs. Seattle

In week two of the U.S. Chess League, the New Jersey Knockouts looked sluggish (with three draws and one loss) in their match against the Seattle Sluggers.

These are the games from boards one, two, three, and four.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September Game/90, Round 2

On Wednesday evening, I played a knight and pawn ending at Chess Mates.

Round Two: Falkbeer Counter Gambit

Ramon Garcia (USCF 1997) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Rahway NJ 9/12/2012

1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 e4 4.d3 Qxd5 5.dxe4 Qxe4+ 6.Qe2 Qxe2+ 7.Bxe2 Bf5 8.c3 Nc6 9.Bf3 Nge7 10.Be3 O-O-O 11.Ne2 h5 12.Nd2 Bg4 13.O-O-O Bxf3 14.Nxf3 Nd5 15.Bf2 Be7 16.g3 Bf6

17.Ned4 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 g6 19.Rde1 Rhe8 20.Nf3 Kb8 21.Bd4 Bxd4 22.Nxd4 Nf6 23.Nf3 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Re8 25.Rxe8+ Nxe8 26.Ne5 Nd6 27.c4 c5 28.Nd7+ Kc7 29.Nxc5 Nxc4 30.Ne4 Nd6 31.Ng5 Kd7 32.b3 Ke7

33.Kc2 Kf6 34.Kd3 Kf5 35.Kd4 f6 36.Nf3 Kg4 37.Ng1 h4 38.Kd5 Nb5 39.Ke6 hxg3 40.hxg3 Kxg3 41.Kxf6 Kxf4 42.Kxg6 Ke3 43.Kf6 Kd3 44.Ke6 Kc3 45.Ne2+ Kb4 46.a4 Nc3 47.Nd4 a5 48.Kd6 b5

49.Nc6+ Kxb3 50.axb5 Nxb5+ 51.Kc5 a4 52.Na5+ Kc3 53.Kxb5 a3 54.Ka4 a2 55.Nb3 Kb2 56.Kb4 a1=Q 57.Nxa1 Kxa1, draw.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stop the Music at Tournaments

For many years now, I have observed a strange pattern of behavior at chess tournaments.  Players wearing earplugs, attached to electronic devices that supposedly are playing music, seem to perform at least 100 points higher than their published ratings.  I have seen this, not only in my own games but in games being played next to mine at tournaments.  

Here are a blog post and article that add to my worst suspicions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fund Screenings of "Brooklyn Castle"

The documentary film Brooklyn Castle needs your financial assistance to fund screenings.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FIDE Mondays 9/10/2012

Last night at the Marshall Chess Club, my opponent sacrificed a pawn in the opening.

Round One: Caro-Kann Defense, Exchange Variation

Jim West (USCF 2200) - Alisher Podavonov (USCF 1892), Marshall Chess Club 9/10/2012

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Ne2 Nf6 7.Bf4 e5 8.dxe5 Nxe5 9.Bb5+ Bd7 10.Bxd7+ Nfxd7 11.Qxd5 Bd6 12.O-O Nb6 13.Qb5+ Nbd7 14.Nd2 O-O

15.Ne4 Be7 16.Rad1 a6 17.Qb3 Nc5 18.Nxc5 Bxc5 19.Bg3 Bd6 20.Nd4 Nc6 21.Nb5 axb5 22.Bxd6 Qa5 23.Bxf8 Kxf8 24.Rd7 Qxa2 25.Rxf7+ Kg8 26.Qxa2 Rxa2 27.Rxb7 Rxb2 28.f4 Na5 29.Ra7 Nc4 30.Re1 Kf8 31.h3 Rc2

32.Rb7 Nd6 33.Rd7 Nf5 34.Ra1 Ke8 35.Rb7 Nd6 36.Ra8+, Black resigns.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Marshall September Grand Prix 9/8/2012

After taking photos at Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse on Saturday afternoon, I drove to the Marshall Chess Club where I played this game.

Round Two: English Opening

David Kantey (FIDE 1800) - Jim West (FIDE 2116), Marshall Chess Club 9/8/2012

1.Nf3 d6 2.g3 e5 3.d3 f5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.c4 O-O 7.Nc3 c6 8.Rb1 a5 9.a3 Kh8 10.b4 axb4 11.axb4 Qe8 12.b5 Qh5 13.bxc6 Nxc6

14.Bg5 Ng4 15.Bxe7 Nxe7 16.h3 Nf6 17.Nh2 Nc6 18.e3 Qf7 19.Nd5 Nxd5 20.Bxd5 Qc7 21.Bg2 Be6 22.f4 exf4 23.gxf4 Rae8 24.Qd2 Bc8 25.Rb2 Qa5 26.Qxa5 Nxa5 27.Kf2 Rf6 28.Rfb1 Nc6

29.Rb6 Nd8 30.Ra1 Kg8 31.Ra8 Bd7 32.Bxb7 Nxb7 33.Rxe8+ Bxe8 34.Rxb7 Rh6 35.Kg3 Rg6+ 36.Kf2 Rh6 37.Kg3, draw.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rock and Roll

Yesterday afternoon, Michael O'Connor [pictured] and his band Mikell's Plot rocked the house during Bandfest 2K12 at Roxy & Dukes Roadhouse in Dunellen, where I snapped these photos.

On Wednesday evening, Michael rolled his higher rated opponent with sharp tactics at Chess Mates.

Round One: Smith-Morra Gambit

Michael O'Connor (USCF 1780) - Art Macaspac (USCF 2135), Rahway NJ 9/5/2012

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 a6 7.O-O Nge7 8.Bg5 f6 9.Be3 b5 10.Bb3 Ng6 11.Nd5 Rb8 12.Rc1 Be7 13.Nxe7 Ngxe7 14.Qd6 O-O 

15.Rfd1 Ra8 16.Nd4 Nxd4 17.Rxd4 Qe8 18.Rc7 Nc6 19.Rd1 Rf7 20.Bc5 Na5 21.Bxe6 dxe6 22.Rxf7 Kxf7 23.Qc7+ Kg6 24.Rd3 Qg8 25.Rg3+ Kh6 26.Qf4+, Black resigns.