October 9, 2014

PINNED: Chess Buff Blog Info

I consider myself a street chess player who love chess so much. I don't have the knowledge of a master, so please expect nothing, haha! This blog is previously hosted at http://chessdigest.gilachess.com. I have copied most of my posting there, leaving those news posting.

December 26, 2007

You are NOT forced to! (2)

After writing the entry about the above topic, i tried to recall anything that somehow can familiarize ourselves with the idea. I’m the one who believes that if one idea is known by heart, the mind will easily, without concious, recognizes and utilizes it during play.

Flipping to my notes and brooding over, i remember what happened during Rapid Merdeka Team 2007 at CitiTel Mid Valley where this position occurred on the board:


            Black to move

I played black. White just moves his Queen to h8, threaten mate in one, Ra8++. I took a long time to think and my mind went something like this: Yes, white has threaten mate, but now, it is my turn to make a move. It is tempting to sacrifice exchange, 1. … Rxd3+ 2. cxd3 Qc1+ but then after King move to d4, what i’m supposed to do? Qa1 and skewer? Ah, that’s of course will fail since rook protects the queen.

I felt pity for myself. Throughout the game, i always felt like “attack! attack! swashbuckling attack!” and now, this?! Time is ticking and in state of immense pressure, i move 1 … b5 which was a big mistake and allows white to execute a mating combination. I was in big shock! (Pls find yourself the little combination ;P)

There were a few spectators who observed the game and when i still felt bad for losing after having a great game throughout, they came and showed to me how i simply missed a mate in the above position. The ironic is that they told me what i had been thinking during the game. 1. … Rxd3+ 2. cxd3 3. Qc1+ Kd4 4. Qa1 and what i was not aware was that, i didn’t have to think about skewer at all. It IS a mate!! I was like — , hmmmm, i guess you know how it was like! I guess, the final position of the unrealized-it-was-a-mate position deserves a diagram.


Back to JB, i told my friend how i missed the mate and he said, before i showed him the position, that that must be a case of mate where king is in the middle. He is right!! Such mate is hard to see, he added. Phew!

And you may ask: “heyy, what is this has to do with the topic we want to talk about?!”

Now i insist you, go and drink some coffee and go back to the initial position above. Visualize what i told you about forcing thingy. Our mind believes what we want to believe! Now look at this, again:


Do you remember that while in check, there are 3 ways of facing it: 1st-By capture the piece giving the check (no, not this one on double check!). 2nd-Block the check with our own piece (yeah, knight check is an exception to this of course). And what is the 3rd 0ne? Yes, simply moves the King from check!

If you find this, you should congratulate yourself: after 1 … Rxe3+, white is not forced to capture the rook! While in check, he has a tempo while the mate threat is still intact! So, 2. Kb2! Then the best thing black can do is to exchange the queen, 2. … Qd4+. After queen exchange and white King takes the black bishop, the position is about equal. [3. Kxa2 Qxh8 4. Rxh8= ]

After all, i learnt my precious lesson!

December 22, 2007

You are NOT forced to!

We are always think at certain position it is forced to capture when the truth is the opposite.

When i was a kid, i made mistake almost like the below example several times before i learnt my lesson (the proof that i was no prodigy of course, haha!):


            Black to move

Let’s say white just move 1.h4 which is a mistake and we reach the above position. In order to hold position, black should think that he is NOT force to capture the pawn given and move his King instead. 1. … Kf6 for example is a good reply instead of 1. … gxh4 which lost immediately. (This is of course not a good example, but i bet, in blitz sometimes we make it unconciously if we never try to tackle the problem conciously. :P)

Next example. During National Closed 2007, i reached the below position:


            White to move

Black just recaptured white’s pawn with his knight: Nxc5. In this situation, we feel forced to take the knight 1. Nxc5 since the other natural option 1. Nc3 is bad in view of 1. … Nd3 2. Rc2 Bf6. However, if we observe more closely and free ourselves from natural “FORCED TO” way of thinking, then we will see 1.Rc3! is a more reliable option. It starts a big pin and threat a3 and b4. One example variation: 1. Rc3! f6 ( 1 … Rc8 2. Rfc1 f6 3. a3! +/=) 2. Rc1 e5 3. f4 ( 3.Nxc5 d4! 4. exd4 exd4 5. Rc4 Rac8=) 3. … exf4 4. exf4 and win.

A Master of course has trained themselves to think properly and consider every option. A strong master calculates forced variations with great accuracy. But, mind you, a stronger one is able to SEE and include the un-forced one in their calculation. Lets see the next example:


            Black to move

Above position is taken from Karpov-Kasparov, 9th game of World Chess Championship 1984/85. Kasparov, playing black, tried to hold the position and create a fortress. He thinks that 1. … gxh4 2. gxh4 will make his life easy in order to reach a drawn position since white’s King is a bit hard to penetrate into black position. Karpov has a different way of thinking. He simply didn’t take back! After 1 … gxh4, white simply moved his knight 2. Ng2 gxh3 3. Kxg3. His King has more power to penetrate into black position (although it is still far from easy and need a perfect technique, the idea is very instructive!).

So, like the intermediate move, always consider this option: sometimes, YOU ARE SIMPLY NOT FORCED TO make the move you are thinking you have to! Reconsider! Reconsider!

December 15, 2007

Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games

Today, I read Susan’s entry: “The real deal or a hoax?” which inform us about new Fischer’s book “My memorable 61 games” being sold at eBay. They are limited edition and people need to bid for the copy.

This entry reminds me of my original copy of Fischer’s My 60 Memorable Games. I bought it during UIAM Rapid tournament from a local seller (and strong player too! - i bet you will find the name familiar), Rizal Ahmad Kamal (read his blog here). I forgot how much it costed me, but to me it is quite bargain considering the book is now out of print and even if i get the second hand copy from internet, it will cost me more.


It is in descriptive notation and i hate reading the descriptive notation! But why i bought it if i despise descriptive notation? I tell you why: it is a masterpiece and since i think such a masterpiece should exist in a decent library of a chess buff, therefore i bought it. Haha!

Anyway, glancing at the pictures at eBay (they put pictures of the cover and pages), i could see that the book is in algebraic format. Long time ago, when i told my friend, Kwan Pin i bought the Fischer’s book and mentioned that it is descriptive notation, Kwan Pin said he has the new copy with algebraic notation (no, not the 61 games, but the new Batsford - edited by John Nunn’s edition). Googling it, i found that Fishcer himself dissaproves the new book and declares the Batsford team as ‘criminals’ and ‘conspirators’ which changed everything in his book - the notation, the format, the pages, the analysis - without paying royalties.

I do not know how bad the algebraic edition is, but reading articles and comments around the World, it looks bad. Kwan Pin on the other hand think the version is quite ok. I guess, algebraic edition is more readable then the descriptive and that is why.

This is one and only alteration made by Nunn in the analysis (at least that was what he claimed!) that triggered Fischer’s fury:


            White to move

This position is from variation given by Fischer’s in his annotation for the 35th game in the book: Fischer vs Julio Bolbochan, Stockholm Interzonal 1962. Fishcer stated that after 39. Qh3+ Kg8 40. Qxf1 leads to a win. However, in the algebraic edition, Nunn “improvised” the analysis since he thought Fischer just missed mate in four in his analysis: 40. Qh7+ Kf8 41. Qh8+ Qg8 42. Qh6+ Qg7 43. Qxg7 mate.

Do you see where Nunn went wrong?

Look again at the position above and visualize. It is no problem if you could not find it as long as you try your hardest since a GM made mistake too in this position. ;)

Actually, there is no mate in four since 42. Qh6+ is an illegal move. Why illegal? Because Qg8 is not only covers the King from check, but it gives a check too!

Back to the auction. I am of course inclined to think that it is a hoax. It is not a pure hoax though. The seller might send a copy to the highest bidder, but the copy is not a legitimate one and it has approval neither from Fischer nor from the publisher. It is a mere reprinted copy, with a change here and there - nice setting, more readable, a lot more diagrams etc - and an additional game of course! ;P

Or so i think. The truth remains to be seen!

Related link:
Edward Winter: Fischer’s Fury

December 13, 2007

Elementary! My Dear Watson!

This is a simple mating pattern where Bishop and Queen create a battery and launch the mating attack. Every beginner will easily find this kind of mating pattern.


During National Closed 2007 in Penang, in the first round with black pieces, i happened to reach at this position against a young opponent:


            Black to move

Remember the simple mating pattern above? How i wish my Bishop and my Queen is swapping squares so i can deliver mate at g2. (Wish! Wish! Wish! Wish! DO NOT stop wishing! Hehe!). In order to swap it, i would surely lost several tempi and in the mean time, my opponent would surely be able to find refutation to the attack since it is easy to see such combination.

However, upon looking at the position closely, i managed to find this: Bh1!. The battery is still intact but it has been reversed. With my bishop at h1, i threaten mate at g2. In the game, black could not do anything but lost pieces and resigned.

By the way, in several years, i’m sure he will catch me up and have his revenge! ;)

December 7, 2007

Banter Chess

World Chess Network is a great chess server. Many of its subscriber think that the merging WCN with Chess Live and using Dasher interface is a downgrade service. To some extent, i agree with that. But life must go on, and i dont want to argue on that point. What i want to say is that the server offers a great place for chess improvement. And one of great service is Banter Chess. (Fortunately, the service has been retained at WCL!)

Banter Chess is a match between two chessplayers play against each other while explaining their thoughts on each move to the audience. It is a very instructive tools for improvement.


This is an example of Banter Chess:

GM Boris Gulko vs WGM Anna Zatonskih
WCL Banter Chess. 1 Oct 2007.
Time Control : 25′ + 5′.

Thanks to my friend Kwan Pin for providing this transcript!
Click Here to replay the game

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I play Dutch defence only in my blitz games
BorisGulko(GM): hi everybody

2. … c6 3. Nc3
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): So I am going to play Slav Defence
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): Sooner or late white will play d4

3 … d5 4. e3
BorisGulko(GM): I’ll try to wait with d2-d4

4. … a6
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): Chebanenko variation in Slav Defence is a pretty popular nowadays

5. b3
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I am thinking about b5 or Bg4

5. … Bg4 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I am thinking about e5
BorisGulko(GM): she has e7-e5
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): or quiet e6 followed by Nbd7

7. … e6
BorisGulko(GM): or simple e6

8. Bb2 Nbd7
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): d4

9. g4
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): almost all my pawns are on white squares
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): like in checkeres
BorisGulko(GM): maybe h6?
BorisGulko(GM): g4-g5 can be unpleasand

9. … h6
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I doubt I will castle my king in short side in this game. Probably I will stay in the middle and I would not exclude long side castling


10. Qg2
BorisGulko(GM): i prepare h4 and g5
BorisGulko(GM): or f4
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I want to move my Queen, Qb6 is one of the options
BorisGulko(GM): or g5 immediately
BorisGulko(GM): after Bb4
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): or Qa5

10. … Qa5
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): so I will keep options
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): Ba3 may be one of the next moves
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): if a3 now, then there is some weaknesses on Queenside and i will try to explore them by playing Qb6
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I have a lot of holes on darksquares so trading darksquared bishops maybe good idea

11. a3
BorisGulko(GM): avoiding ba3
BorisGulko(GM): now Qb6 b4 a5 c5
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): maybe Nc5, b4 - Qb6?
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): or b5

11. … b5 12. b4 Qc7 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. Rc1
BorisGulko(GM): now Be2 and 0-0

14. … Qb6
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I was thinking to reserve b6-square for my Knight but knight can get to c4 through e5


15. h4
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): Nd7-e5-c4 whuld be great to play
BorisGulko(GM): It’s sharper than Be2

15. … Rc8
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): g5-Ng8
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): g5-Ng8, g6-f5

16. g5 Ng8
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I may have weaknesses on dark squares because my bishop on f8 is still alive
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): but having weaknesses on light squares may be de disaster

17. Ne2 Rxc1+
BorisGulko(GM): somethere gxh and bg7

18. Nxc1 Qc7
BorisGulko(GM): now N will move to d3-f4
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): I have to do with my pieces on King side
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): but I can’t move my bishop and I want Boris to c larify situation on King side so My knight from g8 probably will go to f6 in future


19. Kd1
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): of course I am thinking about Qc2
BorisGulko(GM): covering c2
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): oh, I didn’t see this move
BorisGulko(GM): nd3 Qc2 was not good

19. … Nb6 20. Nb3
BorisGulko(GM): not good gxh Hh6 Bg7 Rg8

20. … Na4 21. Ba1
BorisGulko(GM): now e3-e4 can be good

21. … Ne7
AnnaZatonskih(WGM): My Knight on a4 is not the best piece but at least I stopped Nc5

22. Bd3
BorisGulko(GM): somethere Ke2 and Rc1
BorisGulko(GM): e5 is interesting

22. … hxg5 23. hxg5 Rxh1+ 24. Qxh1 Nc6 25. g6 f6 26. f4
BorisGulko(GM): planning f5f

26. … Qd6 27. Qh8
BorisGulko(GM): go to g8

27 . … Kd7


28. Qg8 Kc7
BorisGulko(GM): plan- bd4!

29. Bd4
BorisGulko(GM): go to c5

29. … Nd8 30. Nc5 e5 31. fxe5 fxe5 32. Nxa6+ Kc8 33. Bf5+ Kb7 34. Nc5+ Ka8 35. Bxe5 Qxe5 36. Qxf8 Qc7 37. Nxa4 bxa4 38. Be6 d4 39. exd4 Kb7 40. Bd5+ Kc8 41. Qc5 Kd7 42. Qxc7+ Kxc7 43. Ke2 Kd6 44. Be4 Ne6 45. Ke3 Nc7 46. Bc2 Nb5 47. Bxa4 Nxa3 48. Kd3 Kd5 49. Be8 Kd6 50. Kc3 Ke7 51. Ba4 Nb1+ 52. Kc2 Na3+ 53. Kb2 Nc4+ 54. Kc3 Nb6 55. Bb3 Kd6 56. b5 Nd7 57. Kb4 Nb6 58. Ka5 Kc7 59. Ka6 Nd7 60. Be6 Nb6 61. d3 Na4 62. Ka7 Nb6 63. d5 Na4 64. Bf5 Nb6


65. d6+ 1-0 Black resigns

December 5, 2007

In-Between Move (Zwischenzug)

Wiki of Chess Tactic defines an in-between move or Zwischenzug as “one that is made unexpectedly in the midst of a sequence of moves. But not just any series of moves, one in which the player falling for the Zwischenzug feels the sequence is forced, while his opponent demonstrates to him that it certainly isn’t! Most commonly these fall in between trades where a recapture seems to be the only proper means of play.”

If you happens to have a glance at Patrick Wolff’s “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess” (yeah, i still read it once in a while because it is good!), you will find that this kind of tactics has been put under what he called “Dirtier Trick”!! Why? Because it is often for even a strong GM to overlook In-Between move.

Let’s look several examples:


This is a very famous example because it’s the easiest way to show what In-Between move means. Black has big advantage. So he thinks of simplifying by exchanging rook, 1. … Rxh4? and expects white to take back Qxh4.

Unfortunately white has a better move: 2. Qd8+! An In-between move! So, after 2. … Kh7 3. Qxh4+, white forks King and rook and wins material.

Now, go to the second example:


This position is from Sergei Tiviakov - Daniel Stellwagen, Dutch Championship 2006. Black moves 1. … Bxc4. How to punish?

2. Bxc4 Kc7 3. Bxe6 Nd6 4. Bd7 retains a slight advantage. But, if you do not forget to think that the capture isn’t forced, then you will sure find the better move: 2. Bb6+! and black resigned!

Having seen two examples, now i bet u have become familiar with the idea. So, the third example will be easier to see:


            White to move

This is a position from Wolfgang Unziker - Mikhail Tal, Milan 1975. Rook at a8 is hanging and it is being attacked by white bishop at c6. White cannot take it straightaway since his Queen at g6 is hanging. So, common way is not to waste tempo, so 1. Rxf7+ Qxf7 2. Qxf7+ Kxf7 3. Bxa8 might be a good option.

But Unzicker thought differently. After 1. Rxf7 Qxf7, he didn’t take the Queen but do an Intermediate move: 2. Qxh6 threatening Bxg5 with deadly attack!

So, next time when we do our calculation, do not think that everything is forced. See if we can include In-Between move to surprise our opponent, or to avoid being surprised! ;)