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How far can you see??

I came across this position in my database when I was searching for whites 12th move alternative in the line 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bf4 Qa5+. I have played 12.Bd2 against Josh Rofrano in a tournament which is the main line and ended up losing the game (not due to the 12th move :) ). But I found 12.Nd2 has been played and only by this strong player Hector. After several moves in a game played in 2005 between Hector and Iordachescu (both players above 2500 level), Black out smarted himself by playing ...Nxb4? here trying to win back the pawn. Of course he has a tactic in mind, but unfortunately he did not see far enough. Can you spot the tactic and also see one move further ?

New Format in Sardinia!

After a 2 month layoff the Sardinia first Saturday of the month tournaments are back starting this Sat. Aug 1st, with a new format. The adult section will now be G/60 instead of G/29. Hopefully this will attract more adults from the Buffalo and Bradford-Olean area. The specifics are: Adults: 3SS, G/60, Rounds 10:30am,1:00,3:00pm, EF: $20, Prizes based on entries. Late entries will have to take a half point bye in Rd 1 Scholastic: 1-4pm RR, EF $10, Trophy for 1st, everyone gets a prize!(Same as before) To register or for more info: Tom Warner 716-496-5230,

Best game of the decade - Morozevich vs Lagrave Biel 2009

The game Morozevich vs Vachier-Lagrave played yesterday (07/28) is now arguably called by most websites the best game of the decade. Truly fascinating game. 27...Rh7! was spectacular. With acknowledgements to ChessToday (Daily email chess newspaper pdf+pgn with annotated games - GM Alexander Baburin), I am posting the game with analysis and variations here. Morozevich earlier played a brilliant game and had a won position, but he blundered after which Lagrave took over.

Michael Jackson Memorial Results

The Michael Jackson Memorial held July 25 was won by Barry Davis with a perfect 4-0 score. Second was taken by Marijan Procyk, class prize winners were Riyath Mallahi (class B) , Ferdinand Supsup and Matthew Peck tied for (class C) and Joe Covley (class D) . Thank you all that participated, Douglas Dubose


Crosstable now available
In the Willie Hutch Jones Scholastic Section had seven players participate and had two divisions: Starters and Advanced.

We were happy to see two players came in from Erie PA. We welcomed Christopher and Susan Dunsworth who drove in that morning with older brother Joshua and Dad Raymond Dunsworth. Susan is our first female from the state of Pennslvania. This was her first "emotional" medal, earned while playing King v King & Queen under time pressure. Thanks for joining us and we hope you return with your new smile and please bring a friend next time, Susan. We

The winners from the Starter "STARS" Section: 1st Place - Raemell C. Johnson, Urban Knights Chess Club member, 2nd Place - Miles A. James, Urban Knights Chess Club, and Susan Dunsworth, Erie,PA. A Scholastic USCF One year membership was awarded to Spencer R. Ryhans (the donor doesn't wish for her GIFT to be acknowleged at this time). Spencer is a new, competitor and "STAR" member of the Urban Knights Chess Club and is our first awarded "STAR" Chess Scholar! In the Advanced Section; Tied for 1st Place were Alexander W. Regan(the son of proud dad IM Ken Regan), Trevor D. Cohn, new Urban Knights member and former member of the Kenmore Knights, and Christopher Dunsworth, from Erie, PA.

This scholastic section was named in honor of Willie Hutch Jones, a former NBA player who resides in Buffalo and hosts "FREE" Educational and Sports Clinics in the WNY area during the summer months. This will be our second year of coaching Chess basics to 64 players at the Edward Saunders Community Center. We also participated in Presdent Obama's "Day of Learning" program in July.

Twenty Two players supported the July Grand Prix. First off, we want to say GOOD LUCK & GOOD BYE to National Master Lionel L. Davis, who is moving to New Jersey. As such this was his last tournament in Buffalo. Secondly we wish to welcome International master Kenneth W. Regan back from Montreal, Quebec where he was the UNDEFEATED CHAMPION, in the Grand Prix Open Section Tournamnet there. The top four rated players were, IM Kenneth W. Regan 2414, NM Lionel L. Davis 2267, newcomer and Torontonian Erwin Casareno, 2252, and NM Barry Davis 2125. This tournament had only one section to encourage others to play against higher rated players. Tying for the U1900 class prize were Harish Srinivasan(1776), Matt Slomski (1800) from the Rochester Chess Center, Ferdinand Supsup(1532) fromToronto, and Riyath Mallahi(1609).

The UPSET Leaders were:Ferdinand Supsup, Toronto (1532)with 849 points, Harish Srinvasan(1776)840 points, Meghesh Pansari, Rochester Chess Center(1606)327 points, Robert P. Simpson(1281)377 pts, Daniel F Johnston, Rochester Chess Center(1485)192 pts, Steve L Baer(1128)178 pts, Joshua P. Dunsworth, Erie PA(1347)35 pts.

We want to say "THANKS" for all the wanted and all that participated in our monthly chess events.

We look forward to a similar format with an ADVANCED ENTRY FEE of $20 or $30 ONSITE for The PULASKI DAY GRAND PRIX on Saturday August 15, 2009, Two Sections - Open Grand Prix and U1500 Game 50, Four Rounds, Swiss. Scholastic will be another RATED BEGINNERS OPEN! Entry fee $5.00. Advance entries deadline is Wednesday, August 12, 2009, please make and mail checks payable to: Archangel 8 Chess Academy, "Pulaski Day", 60F Guilford Lane, Buffalo New York, 14221. Please include your full name, USCF ID Number, Section of play and telephone number. For more information and or questions, please reply to Help us grow the chess events by telling and bringing a friend to our next tournament.

Canadian Open Tactic - Is ...Bxd6 possible ?

The position shown was reached in the game GM Ganguly vs FM Hommeles in the round 6 of the Canadian Open Championship yesterday (07/16/2009). Black to move. White is up a pawn. Whites knight on c3 is hanging, but currently cannot be taken due to mate in two. I suppose you can spot that. But can black win back the pawn with first ...Bxd6 ? In the game, ...Bxd6 was played and Black resigned 3 moves later. Can you find out the variation?

JULY GRAND PRIX Advanced Registration

  1. IM Ken Regan (2414)
  2. NM Lionel Davis (2247)
  3. Erwin Casareno (CFC 2151)
  4. Raymond Dunsworth Erie Pa - 1788
  5. Harish Srinivasan 1765
  6. Riyath Mallahi 1600
  7. Ferdinannd Supsup (CFC 1544)
  8. Erik Lubas 1565
  9. Joshua Dunsworth, 1347
  10. Partho Bhattacharya 1292
  11. Robert Simpson (1281p)
  12. Timothy Pierce 1276
  13. Alexander Regan (544p)
  14. Edward Willet
  15. Vic Bahl 762
  16. Christopher Dunsworth 689
  17. Susan Dunsworth 372

Saturday, July 18, 2009 Main Place Mall, 390 Main Street, Buffalo, NY FREE PARKING UNDER MALL! FOOD COURT OPEN DURING TOURNAMENT!

For those that wish to pay the REDUCED ADVANCE FEE OF $20, on Wednesday evening I will be at The Frank Merriweather Jr Library from 6pm until 8pm, or at Spot Coffee from 9pm until 10pm Wednesday night.CASH ONLY! Remember paid entries are guaranteed advanced entries, all others pay $30 and if late, must take a one half point bye. So please RSVP if you plan to participate and meet me to pay your reduced entry fee. Please include your current USCF ID number and full name.

Thanks for your continued support! Mc Duffie, Chess Ambassador

Instructive Rook Endgame

The position shown was reached yesterday (Round 7 of the San Sebastian) between GM Granda and GM Nakamura. There is a very instructive winning solution posted at the Daily Dirt Chessninja by Mig Greengard. With his acknowledgement, I would like to post it here for our readers with some extra notes. More than the variations the ideas to win are very nice. Lets study this in a top down approach breaking it from highest level ideas to broad techniques and then concrete variations. Here are the broad themes about the position.
  1. Restriction of black rook . If the black rook were not on the a file (or if it were to leave without giving a check), then white wins by moving his own rook along the 8th rank (say Rb8), protecting the queening square a8 and promoting a8=Q next move.
  2. Restriction of black king . If the black king were to move to a checkable square on the 6th rank (f6 or h6 -- not possible in this position though), then white wins by checking Rf8+ or Rh6+ or similar, and then queening a8=Q next move.
  3. Exchanging to winning pawn endgame. White is currently up a pawn, but imagine an equal material king and pawn endgame shown in next figure. This pawn endgame is winning as white can win the e4 pawn. The reason is white can attack e4 from two squares d5 and d4, but black can defend only from f5 and will fall into zugszwang (...Kf6 Kd6 Kf5 Kd5 g5 Kd4 g4 Kd5 Zugswang). Also the black king is too slow to abandon the e4 pawn and win the h2 pawn. Hence it is critically important that the white pawn remains on h2.
  4. Making the h pawn a passer From the first initial position, if white king can win the e4 pawn, then he can exchange his f pawn for black's g pawn. After this, white has a second passed pawn on the h file.
So with the above themes, it turns out that black cannot prevent all of these. Now we can note that, without themes 3 and 4, it is difficult for white to win since black rook will never leave the a file and if white king tries to come for support of the a pawn, then the black rook gives infinite checks and goes back to a file. So lets look at some techniques to achieve themes 3 or 4 (keeping in mind black has the key restrictions of 1 and 2 that he cannot fall out of).
  1. If the white king can come to e6, then pawn e7 is lost as it cannot be defended.
  2. The only way to reach e6 is through Kf4-e5-e6. But Kf4 leads to Rxf2+ (with check). But we know from the second figure that this is OK as long as white can win e7 and exchange rooks. So this gives us the first concrete variation 40. Kf4 Rxf2+ 41. Ke5! (aim is to win e7 by going Ke6) Ra2 42. Ke6 Ra6+ 43. Kxe7 Ra1 44. Kd7 Ra2 45. Kc6! . It is good to note here that without the e7 pawn, the blacks king is forced to remain at h7 and g7. If it leaves the 7th rank, we have theme 2 in play. If it remains on 7th rank but goes to f7 then we have tactic (Rh8! threatening to promote Rxa7 and Rh7+ skewer and black rook on a7 is lost). So continuing after 45.Kc6! Ra1 (...Rc1+ Kd5 and white picks up e4 after which two passers will win. White has made great progress and will leave it to reader to figure remaining out) 46. Rc8 (Idea is to exchange rooks) Rxa7 47. Rc7+ Rxc7+ 48. Kxc7 * and we have reached position 2.
  3. If black does not take pawn on f2 and tries to stop white kings march to e6, then e4 will fall. This gives us second variation 40. Kf4 Ra4 41. Ke5 Ra6 (cutting of king and stopping Ke6, but cant defend e4) 42. Kxe4. Now we have achieved theme 4. Now white will advance his f pawn up, trade f for g pawn and have the h2 passer. Atleast white has made significant progress since the initial position. I shall leave it to the reader to win that position.
  4. The last variation is if black tries to defend e6 with the King. 40.Kf4 Ra4 41.Ke5 Kf7 (instead of previous ...Ra6 attempt). The difference here is black has not captured on f2 and hence now he can play 42.h4! (Zugzwang). If black moves rook somewhere else on a file, he loses e4. If black moves king, he allows Ke6 after which similar king and pawn end game is reached (see last figure) after taking on e7 and exchanging rooks. And here although white pawn is on h4 and black can win it, BUT, white still has f2 pawn and hence he wins. Will leave it to the reader to solve the variations.
In the game GM Granda missed Kf4 and went for h4 instead trying to reach theme 3, but for that his pawn must be at h2. So he only obtained a draw.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Main Place Mall - Upper Level

390 Main Street, Buffalo NY 14201

Presented by Willie Hutch Jones Sports Clinic and The Archangel 8 Chess Academy.

In response to the survey of active chess players we have reduced the entry fees for both open and scholastic players, increased the time controls and we have combined the sections to help us all have access to play higher rated players. You do learn more when you play higher rated players.

REDUCED ADVANCE ENTRY FEE $20 OR $30 CASH ON SITE, NO CHECKS OR REFUNDS! Advance entry fees to be received no later than Friday, July 17, 2009. Advance entries may be paid on Monday @ Clarence Library from 6pm - 8pm, Tuesday @ Gloria J Parks Community Center from 6pm until 8pm, Wednesday @ Frank Merriweather Jr Library from 6pm until 8pm, or at Spot Coffee from 9pm until 10pm Wednesday.

NEW REGISTRATION TIME: 9AM UNTIL 9:30AM. Rounds start at 9:45am, 11:30am, 1:15pm and 3:00pm. A single half point BYE available.

US Chess Federation Open Rated Chess Tournament, Four Rounds, Swiss System, Game/50. USCF membership REQUIRED to participate. Also you must bring chess set, chess board, and chess clock.

NEW PAYOUT! With a combined format everyone will play all entries based upon performannce. CASH PRIZES BASED UPON 17 TOTAL ENTRIES! BREAKDOWN:OPEN $140, U1900 $80 & 50, U1400 $70.00.

WILLIE HUTCH JONES SCHOLASTIC SECTION (K - 8TH GRADES) USCF RATED! ENTRY FEE $5.00. MEDALS TO THE TOP THREE WINNERS IN EACH LEVEL. U600 AND U1200. Registration closes at 9:30am, Rounds start at 10am, 11am, Noon, 1pm and 2pm. Awards to follow immediately. FOOD COURT OPEN DURING TOURNAMENT PLAY!

Please mail checks payable to Archangel 8 Chess Academy, July GP to 60F Guilford Lane, Buffalo, NY 14221. All must be received no later than Friday, July 17, 2009. Please include full name, USCF ID number, expiration date, section of play and telephone number.

Thank you in advance for your continued support. This format will be used for the August Grand Prix, held on Saturday August, 15, 2009. Questions can be directed to or

Poll Results

A reasonable number of votes were received (34 in all) and the result is below.
  • Reduce EF to $20 for all tournaments (22 votes)
  • Have U1600 instead in Main Place Mall tournaments replacing previous class section (1 vote)
  • Merge all section to one open section with class prizes U 1800, 1600 and 1400 (9 votes)
  • No change (2 votes)
Majority in favor of reducing the EF to $20 (Votes shown on graph on left). Thanks for voting, will pass on the results to the TDs.

World Open Update

July 4, 2009 12:33 PM
Josh Rofrano said... Hey guys, some local Western NY players are playing in the World Open:
  • Glenn Westcott 4 points in the U1800 section
  • Evan Ashton 3 points in the U1800 section (losing to Glenn which is wild because they are both from Buffalo)
  • Igor Nikolayev 4 points in the U2400 section, and
  • Matt parry 2.5 in the U2400 section.

If there is anyone I'm missing, please feel free to add them.

For the standings go to