Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cherry Street Open Today at "Chess Mates"

The Cherry Street Open, originally scheduled for last Saturday but canceled due to the snowstorm, will take place today at Chess Mates.

Friday, January 30, 2015

2 USCL Games at "Inside Jersey"

Two games from the U.S. Chess League, won by GM Alexander Stripunsky and IM Alexander Katz, are analyzed at Inside Jersey.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Mikell's Plot" Ranked #7 at ReverbNation

My USATE 2015 teammate Michael O'Connor [pictured] is the lead singer and songwriter for Mikell's Plot, currently ranked #7 at ReverbNation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"BootChess" in 487 Bytes

A computer chess program called BootChess, in 487 bytes, has broken a 32-year-old record.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

FM Privman Wins Snowy Day Swiss

On Saturday, FM Boris Privman [pictured, right] won the Snowy Day Swiss at Chess Mates.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Elberling Team at USATE Needs Board One

A team honoring Thomas Elberling [pictured] at the USATE 2015 needs a board one player rated 1832 or higher.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Preview of "Pushing Wood"

Watch a preview of the chess documentary Pushing Wood.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pix from January Grand Prix 1/17/2015

During last Saturday's tournament at the Marshall Chess Club, I photographed the players.

Friday, January 23, 2015

e-mail from Jamal Munshi

After the opening moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6Jamal Munshi [pictured] asks: "Do you think 6.a4 is a drawish game?  This is what I am finding with engine analysis.  By the way, is there something wrong with 6...e5?" 

          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          * 

When I play the Najdorf variation, after 6.a4 I avoid 6...e5 because White can play an eventual h3 followed by g4, saving a tempo on the 6.g3 line.  Bobby Fischer answered 6.a4 with 6...Qc7.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Boston Globe" Chess Column Redux

The Boston Globe has reconsidered and brought back the chess column written by Harold Dondis and Chris Chase.  

As in the past, it will be run two days a week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2 PCG Wins at Liberty Bell Open

Sandy Breon won both of the Philidor Counter Gambits that he played, in the under 1900 section of this year's Liberty Bell Open.

Round One: Philidor Counter Gambit

Vanita Young (USCF 1809) - Sandy Breon (USCF 1720), Liberty Bell Open 1/16/2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.exf5 e4 5.Ng5 Bxf5 6.g4 h6 7.Nc3 hxg5 8.gxf5 d5 9.Be2 Nf6 10.Bxg5 Qd7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Bh5+ Kd8 13.Qg4 Nc6 14.Qg6 Kc8 15.Qxf6 Bg7 16.Qf7 Qxf7 17.Bxf7 Nxd4 18.O-O-O c6

19.Rhg1 Be5 20.h4 Kc7 21.h5 Nxf5 22.Kb1 Nd6 23.Bg6 Raf8 24.Rgf1 Rf6 25.Na4 b6 26.b3 Rhf8 27.Nb2 Rxf2 28.Rxf2 Rxf2 29.Rh1 Nb5 30.a4 Na3+ 31.Ka2 Nxc2 32.Nd1 Nb4+ 33.Ka3 Ra2+ 34.Kxb4 a5#.

          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Round Three: Philidor Counter Gambit

L. Dillon Holder (USCF 1809) - Sandy Breon (USCF 1720), Liberty Bell Open 1/17/2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nc3 e4 7.Ne5 Nf6 8.Bg5 Bb4 9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 O-O 11.c4 c6 12.c3 Qa5 13.Qb3 Nbd7 14.Nxd7 Bxd7 15.Rc1 Kh8

16.h3 dxc4 17.Bxc4 Qxg5 18.Ke2 b5 19.Be6 Rae8 20.Bxd7 Nxd7 21.g4 Nb6 22.Rcg1 Nc4 23.Qa2 Qf4 24.Kd1 e3 25.fxe3 Nxe3+ 26.Kc1 Nf1+ 27.Kb1 Re1+ 28.Kb2 Re2+, White resigns.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Queen's Indian Defense at "Inside Jersey"

The game between grandmasters Joel Benjamin [pictured, left] and Holden Hernandez [pictured, right] is analyzed at Inside Jersey.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Marshall January Grand Prix 1/17/2015

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

Round Three: Sicilian Defense, Closed Variation

Victor Chen (USCF 1800) - Jim West (USCF 2200), Marshall Chess Club 1/17/2015

1.Nf3 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.d3 Bg7 5.O-O d6 6.e4 Nf6 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Nh4 e5 9.f4 exf4 10.Bxf4 Ng4

11.h3 Bd4+ 12.Kh1 Nf2+ 13.Rxf2 Bxf2 14.Bh6 Bxg3 15.Nf3 Be5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Qd2 Be6 18.Rf1 Qh4 19.Bg5 Qh5 20.h4 f6 21.Rxf6 Rxf6 22.Bxf6 Rf8 23.Qg5 Qxg5 24.hxg5 Rxf6 25.gxf6 a6 26.Kg1 Kf7 27.a3 Kxf6

28.Kf2 g5 29.Ne2 b5 30.Ke3 h5 31.Kf2 h4 32.Kg1 Bg4 33.Nc3 Be6 34.Kh2 g4 35.Nd5+ Bxd5 36.exd5 Kg5 37.Kg1 Kf4 38.Kf2 h3 39.Bh1 g3+ 40.Kg1 Nf3+ 41.Kf1 g2+ 42.Bxg2 hxg2+ 43.Kxg2 Ne1+, White resigns.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Marshall CC Seeks Executive Director

Executive Director -- Marshall Chess Club and Marshall Chess Foundation 

About the Marshall 
The Marshall Chess Club, founded in 1915 and incorporated as a not-for-profit in 1922, is the premier chess institution in New York City and is one of the oldest chess clubs in the United States.  It has made its home in a Greenwich Village brownstone since 1931 and is open seven days a week for tournaments, classes, lectures, and casual play.

The Marshall Chess Foundation is a nonprofit educational corporation formed to promote, stimulate, and encourage the study, play, and appreciation of the game of chess as a means of intellectual development and runs a variety of camps, classes, and a lecture series within the Club.

Job Responsibilities
This is a full-time opportunity to manage the daily operations of the Club and Foundation, and reports directly to the Presidents of the Marshall Chess Club and Foundation.

Key responsibilities include:
       ● Managing the club staff and tournament directors
       ● Organizing the scheduling and advertising of tournaments, lectures, events, films, and social events
       ● Promoting club membership, tournaments, camps, classes, and activities
       ● Managing the finances of the Club and Foundation
       ● Overseeing the building superintendent, cleaning personnel, and the maintenance and the infrastructure of the Club including interaction with other tenants.

       ● Experience with not-for-profit management
       ● Experience with bookkeeping software and the maintenance of records for auditing and reporting purposes
       ● Proficiency with office productivity software (e.g. Excel, Access)
       ● Desire to serve as the face of the organization and welcome visitors and members.

The following, in addition, would be desirable:
       ● Experience as a chess tournament player, director, or arbiter
       ● Interest in coordinating with local, national, and international chess organizations
       ● Interest in fundraising to help fulfill the mission of the Marshall Foundation.

Please apply with a cover letter and resume via and see our posting at (

Friday, January 16, 2015


That is the average rating of Ferrero Forever for the USATE 2015.

                                      IM Dean Ippolito
                                      NM Jim West
                                       Steve Hrop
                                      Michael O'Connor

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pix from "Chess Mates" 1/10/2015

At the Chess Mates blog, I have posted pictures that I took during Saturday's tournament.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Grand Prix Attack at "Inside Jersey"

A Grand Prix Attack that ends with a queen sacrifice is analyzed at Inside Jersey.

The players are Novak Cabarkapa [pictured, left] and Mario Muskardin [pictured, right].

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bruce Alberston Memorial at Marshall CC

Bruce Alberston 1942–2014

On November 23, 2014, we lost our dear friend and colleague, Bruce Alberston.  Please join us for an evening honoring Bruce, on January 13, 2015.

Bruce Alberston was a well-known chess teacher, as well as the author of almost two dozen chess books.  He was also a fine player and a chess historian.  The inventor of ground breaking new methods for teaching children, Bruce shined in the classroom - a brilliant and innovative instructor.

As a gifted writer, Bruce had the knack for collecting, organizing, and presenting beautiful examples, in the tradition of America’s great chess writers. The chess world and his family and friends mourn the loss of Bruce Alberston.  Bruce will be long remembered, as will the legacy of his writings and teachings.

January 13, 2015


Refreshments will be served.

Marshall Chess Club
23 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10011
Phone 212-477-3716
Fax 212-995-9281

Monday, January 12, 2015

Westfield Quads 1/11/2015

On Sunday, all four players tied for first in the top quad at Westfield.

Round One: Pirc Defense

Mark Kernighan (USCF 2202) - Jim West (USCF 2209), Westfield NJ 1/11/2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nbd2 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.c3 O-O 6.Bc4 c6 7.O-O Nxe4 8.Nxe4 d5 9.Bd3 dxe4 10.Bxe4 Nd7 11.Bg5 Nf6 12.Bd3 Bg4 13.Re1 Qd5

14.Bh4 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Qxf3 16.gxf3 Nd5 17.Bg5 e6 18.Rad1 Rfe8 19.Bc1 Rad8 20.Bc2 Bf8 21.Re2 Bd6 22.Re4 Nf6 23.Ree1 Nh5 24.Re4 Nf6 25.Ree1 Nh5 26.Re4, draw.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rahway Swiss 1/10/2015

On Saturday, I finished with a score of 2-1-1 in the tournament at Chess Mates.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Komodo vs.Stockfish in "WSJ"

In the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Chabris reports on the championship match between Komodo and Stockfish.

Friday, January 9, 2015

"NY Times" Article on GM Sam Sevian

Grandmaster Sam Sevian [pictured] is featured in this article from The New York Times.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

57 Years Ago Today

[photo by Carl Mamay]

In 1958, Bobby Fischer won his first United States chess championship.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Magnus Carlsen vs. Street Hustlers

In this video, world champion Magnus Carlsen defeats the street hustlers in Washington Square Park.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Marshall January Under 2300 1/4/2015

On Sunday, I won this game in the tournament at the Marshall Chess Club

My opponent is a WCM and a musical prodigy.

Round Four: Sicilian Defense, King's Indian Attack

Jim West (FIDE 2076) - Harmony Zhu (FIDE 1584), Marshall Chess Club 1/4/2015

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 e6 6.O-O Nge7 7.Nbd2 d5 8.Re1 O-O 9.a4 a6 10.c3 Bd7 11.Qc2 b5

12.axb5 axb5 13.Rxa8 Qxa8 14.Nf1 Qb7 15.h4 b4 16.e5 f6 17.exf6 Bxf6 18.Bf4 Ra8 19.Ne5 Nf5 20.Nxc6 b3 21.Qd2 Qxc6 22.Be5 Bg7 23.Bxg7 Kxg7 24.Ne3 Nxe3 25.Qxe3 Qd6 26.d4 c4 27.f4 Kf7 28.Kf2 Ra2 29.Re2 Ra1

30.h5 Ra2 31.hxg6+ hxg6 32.Qf3 Qe7 33.Qg4 Qd6 34.Qh4 Kg7 35.Qg5 Be8 36.f5 Bf7 37.fxg6 Bxg6 38.Bh3 Qf8+ 39.Kg2 Kh7 40.Kh2 Qf7 41.Bxe6 Qg7 42.Qh4+ Qh6 43.Qxh6+ Kxh6 44.Bxd5 Bd3 45.Rd2 Kg5

46.Kg2 Kf5 47.Kf2 Ra1 48.Bg8 Kf6 49.g4 Rf1+ 50.Kg3 Rg1+ 51.Kf3 Rc1 52.Rf2 Rc2 53.Ke3+ Ke7 54.Rxc2 bxc2 55.Kd2 Kf6 56.b3 cxb3 57.Bxb3 c1=Q+ 58.Kxc1 Be2 59.Bd1 Bc4 60.Kd2 Kg5 61.Ke3 Kf6 62.Kf4 Ke6 63.g5 Kd6 64.Kf5 Bd3+ 65.Kf6, Black resigns.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Marshall January Under 2300 1/3/2015

On Saturday, this game was played in the tournament at the Marshall Chess Club.

Round Three: King's Indian Defense

Anita Maksimiuk (USCF 1765) - Jim West (USCF 2216), Marshall Chess Club 1/3/2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nge2 Nbd7 6.f3 c6 7.Ng3 e5 8.d5 cxd5 9.cxd5 O-O 10.Be2 a6 11.a4 h5 12.Bg5 Qb6 13.Qd2 Qd4 14.Qc1 Nc5 15.Ra3 Qb4 16.Qc2 h4 17.Bxh4 Nxd5 18.exd5 Qxh4 19.O-O f5

20.Nd1 Bd7 21.a5 Rac8 22.Rc3 e4 23.Rc4 Bb5 24.Rb4 Nd3 25.Qb3 Nxb4 26.Bxb5 Nd3 27.Bd7 Nc5 28.Be6+ Nxe6 29.dxe6 Qe7 30.fxe4 Bd4+ 31.Kh1 fxe4 32.Re1 Bf2 33.Nxf2 Rxf2 34.Nxe4 Re2 35.Qg3 Rxe1+ 36.Qxe1 Qxe6

37.h4 d5 38.Qd2 Qxe4 39.Qh6 Rc4 40.Qd2 Qxh4+ 41.Kg1 Qd4+ 42.Qxd4 Rxd4 43.Kf2 Rd2+ 44.Ke3 Rxg2 45.Kd4 Rxb2 46.Kxd5 Rb5+ 47.Kd6 Rxa5 48.Kc7 b5 49.Kb6 Ra1 50.Kc5 g5 51.Kb6 b4 52.Ka7 b3 53.Ka8 b2 54.Ka7 b1=Q 55.Ka8 Qe4+ 56.Ka7 Rb1 57.Kxa6 Qa4#.

Sunday, January 4, 2015