Saturday, 30 April 2011
Friday, 29 April 2011
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Monday, 25 April 2011
Sunday, 24 April 2011
A quick win from the lower boards in round 7 of the 2011 O2C Premier.
Saturday, 23 April 2011
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Instead I often treat demonstration games as little 'morality plays', where the loser did something 'bad' (in chess terms) and that is why they lost. For example the following game from the current US Championship shows Black being punished for (a) pawn hunting with the queen, (b) leaving the king in the centre, and (c) falling behind in development. But if I used this as an example game I would simply pose the question 'Which side moved the least number of pieces?'. Of course this is an over simplification (and I could find plenty of counter examples where the less developed side eventually won), but it at least drives home the message that trying to win with one or two pieces only helps your opponent.
Christiansen,Larry M (2586) - Seirawan,Yasser (2636) [B12]
ch-USA GpB Saint Louis USA (2), 16.04.2011
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5 6.Be3 Qb6 7.Nc3 Qxb2 8.Qb1 Qxc2 9.Qb5+ Nd7 10.Rc1 a6 11.Qxb7 Rb8 12.Qxa6 Qb2 13.Bb5 c4 14.0-0 Qa3 (D)
15.Ba4 Be7 16.Nb5 Qb2 17.Bd2 Be4 18.Bc3 Qe2 19.Rfe1 Bxf3 20.Rxe2 Bxe2 21.Nd6+ Bxd6 22.Qxd6 Rb7 23.Bc6 1-0
Monday, 18 April 2011
If one player takes a big lead by the middle stages, the final rounds may be filled with quick draws at the top, and non-significant games at the bottom. This not only happens in chess of course, and is part of the reason why Australian (and US) sports have play-offs after the end of the regular season.
Therefore it makes sense (kind of) that the US Chess Championship has once again used a divisional round robin system to guarantee an exciting finish. Instead of one big RR, there are 2 8 player groups, with the top 2 finishers from each group qualifying for the play off stage. This way the final games will be the ones to determine the champion. Of course the drawback of this system is that it shifts the problem of 'nothing' games to the start of the tournament. It also increases the risks of quick draws in the preliminary rounds as players concentrate on qualifying, rather than winning.
So far 3 rounds have been played in this event, with Group A (headed by Kamsky) being fairly tight, while Group B (Sam Shankland leading this one) being a little more open. Full coverage can be found at the always excellent St Louis Chess Club site.
Sunday, 17 April 2011
Saturday, 16 April 2011
Friday, 15 April 2011
Full coverage of the event can be found at Bangkokchess, and the results can be found at chess-results.com
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Bemrose, Trevor - Farrell, Keith [C50]
2011 Dubbo Open
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Be7 4.d4 exd4 5.c3 dxc3? 6.Qd5 1-0
As the arbiters desk was located outside the playing hall, I didn't see the game played, but relied upon the winner to describe it to me. He finished his description with "and after Qd5 he realised that Nh6 lost a piece to Bxh6, as he couldn't take back as he was getting mated on f7".
"Hang on" I said, "after you take on h6, he can castle and you still have to deal with cxb2." "Bc1" came the reply. "Not so fast, I'm pretty sure Black has something against that"
And indeed Black does. After 6. ... Nh6 7.Bxh6 O-O 8.Bc1? Nb4! Black is fact better, as 9.Qd1 c2! wins back the piece, while Q anywhere else allows Nc2+.
But Black shouldn't feel so bad about resigning. He is in quite good company, including the game Mitjford v Scharf from the 1974 Olympiad. In fact of the 95 games I found in Hugebase, 12 of them ended with Black resigning after Qd5! But of the remaining games the results still favour White, even if he doesn't try and hang on to the piece with Bc1. Probably best is the direct 8.Bxg7 as after 8. ... Kxg7 9.Nxc3 White has a safer king and a lead in development.
Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Monday, 11 April 2011
Sunday, 10 April 2011
Saturday, 9 April 2011
Friday, 8 April 2011
Thursday, 7 April 2011
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Monday, 4 April 2011
Sunday, 3 April 2011
There probably isn't such a thing as a perfect tie-break system. Some work better than others in certain circumstances, but fail in others. However, to at least try and make it work, an organisers should be (a) consistent and (b) publicise it well in advance.
For example, the junior event I directed last week used what is the 'standard' tie-break system for ACT Junior events. In the event of a tie for first (or a title), the two highest players on countback (Bukhholz, Median Bukhholz, Progressive) first compare head to head, and if they either did not play, or drew, play a G/15m single game, with draw odds going to the player with the highest tie-break. While that loads the odds in favour of the player with the best tie-break, it does give the other player a fighting chance of winning the title (as indeed happened last weekend). This system has been in place for a number of years, and is reasonably well know (at least amongst players who have been involved in such ties).
In contrast, the organisers of the European Championship sprung a new tie-break system on the players, one which the majority of players seemed to be unaware of until just before the closing ceremony. The tie-break (to decide qualification spots for the World Cup) had Tournament Performance Rating (TPR) as the first method. However this was modified to drop the lowest (probably good) and highest (probably bad) rated opponents from the calculations (including any points scored). This had the effect of dragging down some TPR's of players who defeated their highest rated opponent (eg Gawain Jones against David Navarra). In the confusion it appears that some players believed they were off to Russia for the World Cup, only to find out later they weren't. I guess the European Chess Union will eventually be the final arbiter of the results.