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The chessdoctor's thoughts from this past weekend's New York State Chess Championship

Here's some things I learned from this past weekend's 129th NYS Chess Championships in Albany, NY: 1. GM's sometimes do say hello back to you when you kindly greet them first. ( There were 6 GMs there-Nakamura, Benjamin, Ibragimov, Ivanov, Kudrin, and Yudashin. I, however, will not tell you which ones do not respond nicely or at all. Actually there were 7 GMs who played as there was a single game in the third round played by GM Ronen Har-Zvi. Strange why only one game by him in the middle of the event?) 2. Marijan actually can wear a shirt that is not black! (The confirmatory picture by Wiliam Rich in which the good Rev. was sporting a light blue buttondown is seen above.) 3. A game in the open section can actually end in about 7 moves! (Mr. Mark Clark did submit his miniature win over the current NYS High School Champion for verification. You can replay it at the following link.) 4. I did not win one of the "honorary" upstate directorships for NYSCA. There were a grand total of 20 votes cast from the entire NYS membership. I received 7 votes and finished 7th of 8. When asked why there was such a small number of votes cast, Bill Goichberg, NYSCA president said, " It is not surprising since the delegates to the USCF are chosen in a different way than it was before when the directors were also the NYS delegates to the USCF. And also there has been no meetings of the directorship for the past three years." It kind of makes me wonder what the value of NYSCA is, if the directors and officers are not actively doing things to promote over the board chess in NYS and what value is NYSCA membership other than receiving the quarterly Empire Chess and the ability to play in a few select tournaments? 5. Never ever play tournament chess when you have other things on your mind! I had no patience this weekend for 6 hour games. I moved too quickly and often did not care how I was playing. (There were a few interesting positions though from my games and I promise to post them as quizzes in the near future.) 6. The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile can really move fast! I saw it exceeding the speed limit on the NYS Thruway on the way back home. 7. Lastly how do you break the 5 way tie for the title of New York State Chess Champion from the 5 New Yorkers who finished in third place with 4.5/6 (Nakamura, Yudasin, Bonin, Benjamin, and Rochester Chess Center's Ben Dean-Kawamura)? The top two places were shared by Ibragimov and Ivanov with 5/6 but since they are from CT and from MA they are ineligible to the title. The full cross table is at
Note that Ron Lohrman of the Rochester Chess Center won the U2000 section and was undefeated.

My games: Jennifer Woods Grand Prix

I was asked to put my games on the blog, so I will oblige.
It was nice to take part in this tournament. It, indeed, was fighting chess time. Many mistakes were made, particularly when I tried to save time by playing fast in the crucial positions, but at the end I was lucky. This was true especially in the 4th game, where I had better position, then blundered into a losing position, then it was a drawing position but then finally my opponent both blundered and was running out of time.
I had no time to rest before each of the last 2 games. They followed one after another. It seemed that my games always were the last to finish and then it was time to start another.
Here is the link to the ratings report of the Jennifer Woods Grand Prix in Rochester August 18, 2007.
I played the following players:
1. Daniel F. Johnston 1338->1371 Game lasted only 17 moves. Losing tempi and a lack of development did my opponent in in this game.
2. Master Laszlo B. Tapaszto 2297->2298 The final move was unnecessary. The move to play was 36.Nf5 and then it is an immediate draw because of the wrong colored bishop. Why I am mentioning that? The reason is: I played it to fast (in time trouble) to reach h1 with my K. But there was a danger. To my horror, I discovered later that if I played 36.Kf4??, I simplywould lose the game. We need to be careful even if everything looks simple.
3. Fide Master Isay Golyak 2222->2200 Final position is a complete win (figure it out after 49.Ka1 or 49.Kxa3.), but this was not the end of the game. We were in big time trouble and white played 49.Kb1 (impossible move), which I did not notice at the time, and we continued. We did not write the moves at that time. Near the end, I had 20 sec. while white had just 2. This was a 5 sec. time delay, however. I had K, Q, and P, while white had just the K. We played fast to the mate. Notice how 47.Qxb4 was a mistake, although looked strong.
4. Master Ben Dean-Kawamura 2156->2147 The last game. It was so tiring. My opponent just finished game with FM Igor A. Nikolayev who was the highest rated in the tournament 2409->2412. I was fine in our game until a big blunder on move 34.Kg2??. I had intended to play 34.Rd1 (maybe even better was 34.Nd4), but I was already in time trouble. Once I made this move I realized what I have done. It was too late. I had considered resigning, but as we all know, nobody won anything by resigning, so I played the best I could until move 51...Ba6?? Now I had my chance. On 54.Nd8+ black made impossible move 54...Nb4. He was already in big time trouble. We just continued. On 64.Kc6 black resigned in a completely drawing position but was in serious time trouble. So in the end, this game was pure luck for me to win.
All in all many blunders, but it was fighting chess.

Success in Rochester Grand Prix

The three of us who participated in the Jenifer Woods Memorial Grand Prix at the Rochesster Chess Center Saturday had a good time in a field of only 25 but one that was extremely top heavy. See the ratings report at
Buffalo's very own Rev. Marijan Procyk finished in a four way tie for 1st place with an undefeated 3.5/4 and his rating is now nearing the 2100 level. (Hopefully he will update this post with his games.)
John Dolan got to play three players rated over 2000 including one FM. Both he and I even raised our ratings slightly despite each of us winning only one of four games. The following is my one win. Although he was rated higher than me, it is an example about the pitfalls of bringing out the queen too early, moving the same piece too often,being slow in developement, not castling early, and the power of absolute pins:

Would you like to meet GM Maurice Ashley?

The McDuffie's are planning on driving down to Baltimore this upcoming weekend and offered the following:
"Would anyone like to .... participate in a chess exhibition with GM Maurice Ashley? [We] would like to drive down on Friday, and return on Sunday. Maybe we could convince Maurice to come to Buffalo."
If interested email the WNY "chess ambassador"- Mr. Michael McDuffie at


A large and eager field of chess players in the U1600 section brought up the total to 32 players in this Saturday's Main Place Mall "August Alliance for Quality Education-New York State Minorities in Criminal Justice Tournament". The ratings report is at Winners in the Mayor Brown Open section were: 1st- MARK J CLARK of Jamestown, 2nd place went to DAVID "Pawnmaster" MC DUFFIE, Baltimore MD and THOMAS A WARNER, Southtowns. Kudos also go out to Mr. Clark for bringing 3 new chess players all of whom participated in the U1600 section and to Mr. Warner who brought scholastic Ryan Madden-who competed for his first time in an U1600 section.
Most remarkable, however, may have been "The Pawnmaster's" performance. He remains in town while recovering from injuries- suffered when thugs attacked him with 2 x 4s and knives then stole his money and left him for dead on the sidewalk in Baltimore. Despite this recent tragic event, he bettered his performance from the 2007 Mayors Cup by defeating James Davis, David Miller, and Harish Srinsan. His only loss was to this month's undefeated winner Mark Clark and in that back and forth game he was up a whole piece for quite some time. Click the following link to replay that game :
Upsets in this section were Thomas Warner (1753) defeating 2007 Mayors Cup Champion NM Eddie Mark (2121) (Click the link to play the game Play through Tom Warner Vs Eddie Mark), James Davis (1309) defeating David Miller (1610), and Mark Clark (2084)also defeating NM Eddie Mark (long live the king). U1600 Senator Antoine M Thompson section winners were as follows: 1st- EVAN ASHTON, Clarence NY, who followed up his U1400- 2007 Mayors Cup Championship with an undefeated performance, 2nd Place-JAMES J PAUL, tied for 3rd place were JOHN L JOHNSON of Rochester, DAVID M BIDDLE of Tonawanda and MICHAEL D HILLERY. Upsets were Evan Ashton (1372) defeating David Biddle (1446) and Steven Baer (1110) defeating Lucas Seybold (1202) of Jameston. Special mention goes out to Mr. William Rich who convinced a number of his Amherst Senior's Center friends to play tournament chess-some of them for the first time. Well done! Scholastic "Criminal Justice" section winners were:1st-RICKY N MC ARTHUR of Ft. Erie, Canada with an undeafeted score, 2nd place- BEN HUGHES also from Ft. Erie, Canada (and was invited by Ricky to come play here in the States) and 3rd Place-VICTORIA A STAUFFIGER of 66 Street School in Niagara Falls. This was her first chess trophy! Congratulations to all.
A special thanks goes out to George Barton, who presented the Archangel 8 Chess Academy with a new sign "Chess Tournament Today." The chess graphics were donated by employees at his company. It will be updated with the ARCHANGEL 8 CHESS ACADEMY on both sides for display. The upcoming Main Place Mall tournaments on September 15th, October 20th, November 10th and December 8th will all be Chess Cafe Grand Prix events. These will be listed as the Buffalo Monthly Open 10 point (enhanced) Grand Prixs. Cash prizes Open section $250-$150-$100, Class prizes for U1900 and U1750 $75 each. U1600 Cash prizes $150-$90-$60. Advanced registrations are always greatly appreciated via email, and confirmation with checks mailed to Archangel 8 Chess Academy, 60F Guilford Lane, Buffalo NY 14221. Don't forget to check the September Chess Life, this blogspot, as well as Empire Chess for more updates. USCF rated chess tournaments are back in Buffalo-Niagara region! Our numbers will continue to grow. So bring a friend, or two, and maybe you will be rewarded as a section champion as well.
I will try to get the ratings report to the USCF this week.
Thanks to all who participated and to those who were thinking of attending but couldn't, you really missed out this month!

Our Move in "All of WNY is out to get Marijan!"

As an experiment we are going to play two simultaneous correspondence games, one as white one as black, against the right good Reverend Marijan Procyk. Our moves will be the most popular choice of our readership. Each reader can nominate moves and can use any outside assistance to derive the move-except for the use of a computer engine. Meanwhile Marijan is not allowed to look at the comments. Rather he will email his moves, after I update these boards.
It's our move.
As white we have gone 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Bc4 Ngf6 6. Ng5 e6 7. Qe2 Nb6 8.Bb3 h6 9. N5f3 c5 10. dxc5 Nbd7 11.Be3 Nxc5 12. Bxc5 Qa5+ 13.Nd2 Bxc5 14. 0-0-0 0-0 15.Ngf3 Qc7 16. Rhg1 b5 17.g4 a5 18. g5 hxg5 As black it has been 1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5. f4 c5 6. d5 0-0 7. Nf3 b5 8. cxb5 a6 9.a4 e6 10.Be2 axb5 11. Bxb5 exd5 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Ng4 14. Qxd5 Qxd5 15. Nxd5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17.Bh6 Bg7 (Marijan now initiated all forced moves)18. Ne7+ Kh8 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Nxc8 Rxc8 21. Kd2

Save the dates! Niagara Falls Chess Festival 10/12-14/2007

Clock wise from upper left are 1.Niagara Falls Conference Center 2.First Presbyterian Church 3.Seneca Niagara Casino 4. Quality Hotel & Suites I am pleased to announce that the final arrangements for the 2007 Niagara Falls Chess Festival are being made. The weekend long event will commence on Friday October 12th from 6-10 PM with an exhibition/symposium (and possible simul) entitled "How to Play and Think Like a Chess Master" at the elegant and ultra modern Niagara Falls Conference Center [101 Old Falls Street just off Rainbow Boulevard North]. Scheduled to appear are IM Ken Regan and IM Dr. Danny Kopec. See for more information about this venue. The Second Annual Jeff White Memorial-Excelsior Open 30 point (enhanced) Grand Prix tournament will begin on Saturday October 13th at The First Presbyterian Church of Niagara Falls [311 Rainbow Boulevard North]. See for more information regarding the church.
Day two of the tournament will be at the Quality Hotel & Suites "At The Falls" [240 Rainbow Boulevard North]. A block of rooms at this newly renovated hotel have been reserved for the low rate of $79/night. See for more information about the hotel.
All these sites are located within one block of each other as is the Seneca Niagara Casino! Many nearby restaurants, attractions, and shops not to mention the mighty Niagara Falls itself are all within easy walking distance!