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Best in chess and in life in 2007!

I wish everyone health, happiness, and an increase in chess knowledge (if not rating points) this coming new year.

Hanging Pieces? Quiz for 12/29

This was from a recent game I had online. I'm not too proud on how I played many parts of the game, but was happy to get to this position.
The last two moves prior to this position were 22... Rd2 23. h4
I am black and it is my turn to move? I didn't play the best move, but was fortunate to win the game. What is black's best move here?

Cannot relax once you have the advantage

The above position occurred in my game where I am black and my opponent white at ICC. Question 1: Black to move: Find a good move that gives Black a decisive advantage. If you have found it...Read further. In the game, I did play the correct move here and a few moves later Black had an advantage where I had two pieces for a rook. White played 15.Qb5 and we reached the position as shown in the second diagram where White threatens my c5 Bishop as well as the b7 pawn to fork my knight and rook. Question 2: Can you find Black's move that will keep his advantage. If you have found it read further.. Once again I was able to continue correctly and white blundered in the next move giving rise to the position shown in the third diagram a few moves down the line. But here I was unable to find the strongest continuation. The game continued with 17...Nb4+ 18.Kb3 Qd5+ forcing queen cancellation and in the end I only managed to draw the game though Black should still be better. Question 3: Can you find Black's move at the position shown in diagram 3 (move 17...), that wins for black within a few moves. (comp. eval of -9.00).

There will be Wednesday Night Chess on 12/27 after all.

After this Saturday's Wegman's session, those there agreed to meet this Wednesday 12/27 @ 630 again at Wegman's as the NCCC site is closed. We invite all who can come to this special Holiday session at Wegman's. Hope to see you there!

Merry Christmas to all! Puzzle for 12/25

Black to move. Find the quickest mate.

Another Chess Quote

I found this quote: “Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time” -George Bernard Shaw Well, I like this wasting of time. I am sure we will waste some more... Merry Christmas to all, and happy hunting fore some points... Marijan

My best game ever?

This is one of those games for me that I reference in my "Chess Musings" entry. Definitely a game I was proud of (until you guys review it and point out all the flaws, lol) because after I played 25... Rfd8 (see diagram), I believe (more like hope) that I could allow white to achieve connected passed queenside pawns, because I felt I could generate a decisive kingside attack first. The thing that made this so noteworthy was that it was based soley on intuition - the trait that separates the men from the machines. Note that the board is shown from my perspective (black at bottom) instead of the usual white on bottom. The game is as follows: [Event "January 2006 Open Fast #2 Tournament"] [Site ""] [Date "2006.01.24"] [Round "1"] [White "Safin"] [Black "bulldog_bone"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Nxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 c6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Be2 e6 8. O-O Be7 9. h3 Bh5 10. Be3 O-O 11. g4 Bg6 12. Ne5 Nbd7 13. Nxg6 hxg6 14. Bf3 Nh7 15. Ne4 Ng5 16. Nxg5 Bxg5 17. Qb3 Rb8 18. Rad1 Bxe3 19. Qxe3 Qh4 20. Bg2 Nf6 21. b4 Rbd8 22. a4 Nh7 23. b5 cxb5 24. axb5 Rd7 25. Ra1 Rfd8 (see diagram) 26. Rxa7 Rxd4 27. c5 Rd3 28. Qf4 Ng5 29. Rxb7 Rxh3 30. Qc7 Nf3+ 31. Bxf3 Rxf3 32. Qh2 Qxg4+ 33. Qg2 Qh5 34. c6 Rc3 35. c7 Rd4 36. f3 Rdc4 37. Rb8+ Kh7 38. b6 Rc2 39. Qg3 Rh4 40. Rf2 Rh1+ 41. Kg2 Rcc1 42. Re2 Rhg1+ 43. Kf2 Qc5+ 44. Re3 Rcf1+ 45. Ke2 Qc2# 0-1 Your comments welcome.

Win, Lose, or Draw? Quiz for 12/21

White to move. Can you find the drawing move? How about the winning move?

Help I'm Under Attack! Quiz for 12/19

Black to move, how can black save his skin?

Last chess fix in 2006

Just a reminder that chess club will not be meeting next Wed. Dec. 27 at NCCC, therefore, this Wed. Dec. 20 is your last fix for 2006. We will re-convene the following Wed. Jan. 3 in the new year. Hopefully everyone can attend, but for those who don't make it, I wish you all a healthy, happy and safe Christmas and New Year's.


Don't forget the upcoming Rochester events. There will be monthly Grand Prix tournaments at the Rochester Chess Center on the second Saturday of each month beginning in January and also the Marchand date has been announced. Rochester Monthly Grand Prix GPP: 10 Enhanced New York 2nd Saturdays of each month beginning January 13, continuing 2/10, 3/10, 4/14, 5/12 4SS RDS 1&2 G/60 RDS 3&4 G/90 @RCC $150-90-60 Class $80 Reg 8:30-9:15 RDS 9:30-12-2:15-5:30 EF $30 Adv Ent/Info: Rochester Chess Center 221 Norris Drive, Rochester NY 14610 (585)442-2430 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Heritage Event! Mar 31 - Apr 1 2007 Marchand Open - 27th Annual GPP: 50 Enhanced New York Dr. Erich Marchand "requested that his friends play chess in his memory." 5SS, 30/60, SD/60. St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave, Rochester, NY.$$5375 Gtd. Open: (all) $1000-550-300-175, U2200 & U2000 each $300-175. EF: $55. Under 1800: $350-240-130, U1600 $230-150. EF: $50. Under 1400: $240-160-100, U1200 $150-100. EF: $45. U1000: $150-110-75-40, U800 $85-55-35. EF: $43. Unrated players in the U1800 section can only win $125, in U1400 & U1000 $55. All EF: $5 less HS, $10 less pre-HS, $5 less if rec'd by 3/15. IM and GM's free is registered by 3/20. Great food available at site. Reg: 8-9:15 am. Rds: 10-2:15-6:30, 10-2:15. One ½ point bye available in rd. 3 or 4 if requested at entry. Info: 585-442-2430. Ent: Rochester Chess Center, 221 Norris Drive, Rochester, NY 14610. W.

The Revenge of the Caro-Kann- Quiz for 12/17

I thought it might be time to show the Caro-Kann in a good light. In this position it is black to play.How can the Caro-Kanner garner position or material?

A particular trap against the Caro-Kann 4...Nd7 variation - Chess video demostration.

This is a chess video . The video is about 10 min. long and it has audio as well, so turn up your speakers volume. The video illustrates an important trap that Black players playing the 4...Nd7 variation might fall for. Video link You can either download it your computer and then play it or just click on the above video link and the video should start playing. And I apologize for the possibly poor audio quality. My next attempt will be better.

Wrong move followed by wrong move = Win for White: Quiz for 12/16

This was from a game I played online today on Chessmaster. It illustrates the principle of who ever makes the last wrong move often loses. I was white and it was my turn to move. I made an error and played 1.Bf2?. Fortunately, for me, my opponent was in time trouble and played incorrectly. Can you find the best continuation for black? (Hint: It is not 1...Nf5 which was played by black.) As a bonus, can you figure out what I played after those moves 1.Bf2? Nf5?? For double bonus: What should I have played instead of 1. Bf2?

Chess Action this Saturday 12/16

Title: HOLIDAY CHESS TOURNAMENT Date: Saturday December 16, 2006 Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm Location: FRANK E MERRIWEATHER LIBRARY on Jefferson Ave. in Buffalo. If you take the Kensington expressway west into Buffalo, you exit the Best street exit and go west on Best st. It will run into Jefferson Description: THREE ROUND, SWISS FORMAT, UNRATED OPEN CHESS, GAMES START PROMPTLY AT 1PM TILL 4PM More over the board chess playing is available this and every Saturday night at the food court of the Niagara Falls Wegman's on Military Road from 630 PM until you feel the need to go home. The following is a link to get directions: Hope to see you there!

Quiz for 12/15

White to move. Can you find mate in 2?

chess contemplation...

...I like to compare life to a game – game of chess. We all have our own space to move around, there are rules to follow, there are aims to achieve, and there are possibilities, which transcend all understanding. For me white and black sides in chess are not the opposite. They are rather complimentary. There should not be any hurt in loosing. Result does not matter. It is all rejoicing for beautifully conducted game. If our side wins, we win for the Lord, who is our King, in whom we abandon ourselves. We mate him so He has to take us under his protection, and He willingly does so. He is the One who allows us to seek Him and force Him to consider us his brothers and sisters. If we lose, the Lord wins, and He takes us under his protection, and we willingly submit, recognizing that we are in need of Him conducting our life. If we draw, we show the peaceful intention and our friendship with the Lord, who is the best friend, who never abandons us, who stays with us forever. We try to formulate the plan how to rich favorable ending. We can play tactically. Moving here and there and always try to strengthen our position to bring us closer to the end of the game which symbolizes eternal life. We can sacrifice and force the matters in our favor. The Lord gave everything for us, and we gladly do likewise. We are pieces in this game of life and the Mighty One is conducting the movements, outlining strategy and pointing to the tactics. The pawn is the smallest piece, but it often proves indispensable for a masterpiece. We all are indispensable. Once we are called for life, we have things to do that noone else can. It was said that God cannot make Stradivarius’s violin without Stradivarius. It is beautiful thought, which points to the purpose of our own life. It is Lord’smasterpiece...

A position after the Caro-Kann 4...Bf5 variation

White to move -- Can white win a pawn? A very similar position came up in a game of mine against Malcom in the chess club (except then, the white(my) king was at c1 instead of b1) and hence the same combination that I tried to win a pawn was a blunder!!

Chess musings

Try and explain your passion for our beloved pastime to a casual player or a non-player. “How can you expend so much time on a stupid game?” they wonder. I’ve been confronted with this question so much that I began to wonder myself – what exactly is it about chess that is so enrapturing? To me, it is the creative aspect of chess. I view chess as part art, game, and sport - in that order. Every once in a while you play a game that you’re really proud of. Maybe in hindsight it wasn’t a flawless game. But at the moment it was a game that just flowed naturally and logically and overwhelmed the opponent. Or a game that’s very even, but you nurse the tiniest advantage into a win. That is what makes it so addicting for me. Every game is so engrossing, that the outside world is not even a distraction. When hours fly by without notice while I’m in the center of my own little creative universe. And in the end is my own creation - something that I made from scratch. I can only imagine that it is akin to the satisfaction a composer feels listening to a song he has written, or an artist enjoys looking at his own painting, or an author after he has penned the final period… There are serious chess players and casual chess players. Serious chess players are those who belong to a chess club, play in tournaments, study the game, buy chess books, etc. Most can probably relate to the narrative above. Casual players play once in a while against their neighbors, friends or relatives. Sometimes they get so good that they can beat everyone they play. Some will finally make their way to a chess club. But there is a large disparity between a very good casual player and even an “average” serious player. My lament is when the casual player cannot accept this discovery, and never returns again. This is my invitation to all the casual players wanting to see how good they are. Come, persevere, and see how good you can become. Find the creative enthrallment that is chess.

More than just a board game....

There are those who like to compete, but don't like to think. They are drawn to sports. There are those who like to think, but don't like to compete. They are drawn to the arts and sciences. Then there are those who like to think and compete. They are drawn to chess.

Knight vs Queen

White to move - Evaluate position
This problem was given by my coach GM Petr Kiriakov.

Recent Visiting Scholastic Players Excel at the 2006 Nationals in Florida

Tom Shutzman-Polgar, the recent winner of the Second Annual Stella Niagara-Excelsior Scholastic in May 2006 just won the 2nd Grade section of the US Scholastic Nationals while two strong players of the Open section of the Jeff White Memorial-Excelsior tournament held this past April Thomas Ricardi and Matthew Parry finished first in the 9th grade and 10 grade sections respectively. Way to go boys! The big question now is when will Rael Dolan parlay the first place in the recent Alliance for Education victory into a national title?

Saturday Night is Alright for Fighting- Over the Board too!

More over the board chess playing is available on Saturday nights at the food court of the Niagara Falls Wegman's on Military Road from 630 PM until you feel the need to go home. Hope to see you there. The following is a link to get directions: Best in chess and in life, Dr. Mark Mieth


Welcome to Buffalo Niagara Chess Corner. If you are looking to play over the board chess games every week, then it is here. Currently we meet at the Niagara Community College Room G244 (map) on Wednesdays 6:30-10:30 p.m. Please email Dr.Mark Meith or Harish Srinivasan for more information. In brief the current goals/activities of the chess meet are the following
  1. Increase over the board playing experience.
  2. Games are played with time control to keep up the environment of rated tournament games.
  3. On some days, we self organize round robin tournaments.
  4. Analysis of other chess games, opening repertoires, endgame/tactial puzzle solving.
  5. Information shared on USCF events and tournaments.
  6. Offer help for new beginners to get interested and play more.