Archive for October, 2013

The Crosstable So Far

Posted: 29/10/2013 by Ian in Club News

After 6 rounds of our 10 round tournament Michael is in the lead with an unbeaten 6. Competition is tight in the minor placings with a fourway tie for second, and then two players tied in third place. The crosstable follows. Four rounds to go …

1 Michael   Freeman 6.0 +B13 +W14 +B2 +B8 +W6 +W3
2 William   Lynn 4.0 +B10 +W13 -W1 +B7 +W8 -B5
3 Murray   Tuatini 4.0 +B19 +W9 -W8 +B5 +W15 -B1
4 Stefan   Wagner 4.0 +W11 -B12 +W18 -B6 +W9 +B8
5 Sivoram   Manoharan 4.0 -B9 +W10 +B14 -W3 +B13 +W2
6 Matt   Crombie 3.5 +W20 -B8 +B9 +W4 -B1 =W7
7 Richard   Jackson 3.5 -W12 +B11 +W15 -W2 +B10 =B6
8 Daniel   Davis 3.0 +B16 +W6 +B3 -W1 -B2 -W4
9 Gary   Judkins 3.0 +W5 -B3 -W6 +W14 -B4 +B19
10 Ian   Kennedy 3.0 -W2 -B5 +W11 +B21 -W7 +B15
11 Graham   Nolan 3.0 -B4 -W7 -B10 +B18 +W19 +W17
12 Eddie   Tan 2.0 +B7 +W4
13 Darius   Hasan-Stein 2.0 -W1 -B2 +W21 -B15 -W5 +B18
14 Adam   Hasan-Stein 2.0 +W15 -B1 -W5 -B9 -B17 +W21
15 Joel   Crombie 2.0 -B14 +W19 -B7 +W13 -B3 -W10
16 Mike   Absolam 2.0 -W8 -B20 +BYE +W19
17 Sam   Kim 2.0 -B19 +BYE +W14 -B11
18 Finlay   Buckel 1.0 -B4 -W11 +B21 -W13
19 Elijah   Dewit 1.0 -W3 -B15 +W17 -B16 -B11 -W9
20 Brandon   Cuellar 1.0 -B6 +W16
21 Josh   Posa 0.0 -B13 -W10 -W18 -B14

Spassky_PetrosianGame 6

Petrosian vs Spassky 1969 Moscow. Boris Vasilievich Spassky, born January 30, 1937 was the tenth World Chess Champion, holding the title from 1969 to 1972. He is known as one of the greatest living chess players, and is the oldest living world champion. Spassky won the Soviet Chess Championship twice outright (1961, 1973), and twice lost in playoffs (1956, 1963), after tying for first place during the event proper. He was a World Chess Championship candidate on seven occasions (1956, 1965, 1968, 1974, 1977, 1980, and 1985).Spassky defeated Tigran Petrosian in 1969 to become World Champion, then lost the title in the Fischer–Spassky match in 1972. Spassky learned to play chess at the age of 5 on a train evacuating from Leningrad during World War II. He first drew wide attention in 1947 at age 10, when he defeated Soviet champion Mikhail Botvinnik in a simultaneous exhibition in Leningrad.  His early coach was Vladimir Zak, a respected master and trainer. During his youth, from the age of 10, Spassky often worked on chess for several hours a day with master-level coaches. He set records as the youngest Soviet player to achieve first category rank (age 10), candidate master rank (age 11), and Soviet Master rank (age 15). In 1952, at fifteen, Spassky scored 50 percent in the Soviet Championship semifinal at Riga, and placed second in the Leningrad Championship that same year, being highly praised by Botvinnik. Spassky qualified for the 1956 Candidates’ Tournament, held in Amsterdam, automatically gaining the grandmaster title, and was then the youngest to hold the title. Spassky finished ahead of Petrosian and a super-class field at Santa Monica 1966 (the Piatigorsky Cup), with 11½/18, half a point ahead of Bobby Fischer, as he overcame the American grandmaster’s challenge after Fischer had scored 3½/9 in the first cycle of the event. In 1968, he faced Geller again, this time at Sukhumi, and won by the same margin as in 1965 (5½–2½, +3 −0 =5) He next met Bent Larsen at Malmö, and again won by the score of 5½–2½ after winning the first three games. The final was against his Leningrad rival Korchnoi at Kiev, and Spassky triumphed (+4 −1 =5,  which earned him another match with Petrosian.  Spassky’s flexibility of style was the key to victory over Petrosian, by 12½–10½. The match took place in Moscow between April 14 and June 17, 1969. After 23 games, Boris Spassky was crowned the 10th World Chess Champion. The game score follows (more…)

Tal_BotvinnikGame 5 was drawn from Tal vs Botvinnik 1960 Moscow

No sooner did Mikhail Botvinnik regain his title, the chess world became entranced by charismatic young Latvian named Mikhail Tal. Tal won the 1958 interzonal tournament at Portoroz, then helped the Soviet Union to retain the Chess Olympiad; before going on to win the 1959 Candidates Tournament with 20 out of 28 points–a point and a half ahead of second place Paul Keres. Tal often sacrificed material in search for the initiative in chess. With such intuitive sacrifices, he created vast complications, and many masters found it impossible to solve all the problems he created over the board, though deeper post-game analysis found flaws in some of his conceptions. Although this playing style was scorned by ex-World Champion Vasily Smyslov as nothing more than “tricks”, Tal convincingly beat every notable grandmaster with his trademark aggression.Lev Khariton relates the electricity of the match: (more…)

Alekhine_CapablancaThe second game of the night was from a clash of the titans: Capablanca vs Alekhine 1927, Buenos Aires

From 1921 to 1927, Alexander Alekhine laboured to become José Raúl Capablanca’s logical challenger, winning or sharing first prize in 12 of 20 tournaments (he also won or shared six second prizes during this period). He also began a minute study of Capablanca’s games, searching for weaknesses.1 In the age of luminaries such as Rubinstein, Bogoljubow, and Nimzowitsch, Alekhine was not the only legitimate contender to the crown. He was, however, the only leading player able to secure the necessary finances to allow the match to take place. In 1927 the two giants met over the chessboard in Buenos Aires with the World Championship title at stake. Capablanca was, of course, a heavy favorite in this match. In addition to his own record, his heads-up record against Alekhine was far superior. They had met in four previous tournaments, and in each case Capablanca had placed higher. Their head-to-head record was an exceptional +5 -0 =7 for Capablanca. Grandmaster predictions were heavily in his favor. Rudolf Spielmann predicted that Alekhine would not win a single game, while the optimistic Bogolubov thought that he might perhaps win 2 games. In Argentina, from September 16 through November 29, 1927, the world witnessed the longest World Championship Match in the history of chess. The conditions for the match was the first to win 6 games. The star opening of this match was the Orthodox Defense to the Queen’s Gambit which appeared in every game but two. After a titanic struggle of 34 games, Alekhine achieved the impossible: he defeated Capablanca 6 to 3, and became the 4th World Chess Champion. The game score, and the crosstable for our own tournament so far, appears here (more…)

CapablancaRounds 3 and 4 saw an impressive turnout of 19 players, almost a record for a club night. Encouraging to see a lot of new Junior members coming along. First up was Lasker vs Capablanca, 1921 Havana. (game 10 of the actual tournament).

In 1911, José Raúl Capablanca first challenged Emanuel Lasker for the world championship. Lasker had this to say in his newspaper column:  Capablanca’s compatriots have a desire to see him contest the world’s championship. Today (February 28th) I received a letter from Senor Paredes of the Habana Chess Club, asking me to play with Capablanca in the Cuban city a match of ten games up, draws not to count. This proposition is not acceptable. In the present period of draw-making, such a match might last half a year and longer. I am, of course, deliberating upon my reply, but I do not think that I shall care to play in a semi-tropical climate more than a few games. Several months later, Dr. Lasker countered with a list of his own terms, but Capablanca disputed many of them, most notably a 2-wins victory requirement. And so, the negotations broke down over differences of the match conditions.  In the decade that followed, Capablanca took the chess world by storm, getting the best of nearly every top player of that period.  By 1920, Lasker recognized Capablanca’s prowess, and resigned the title to him, saying, “You have earned the title not by the formality of a challenge, but by your brilliant mastery.”  Capablanca, having felt robbed of his chance to win the title in the traditional fashion, convinced Lasker to play, but Lasker did so only on condition that his resignation be accepted, and he be regarded as the challenger. Lasker’s resignation was not widely recognized at the time, nor today, therefore this match is generally regarded as the one in which the title changed hands.  In Havana, from March 15 to April 28, 1921, the match took place. Whomever you regard as the challenger, the winner was Capablanca, who prevailed without a single loss, +4 -0 =10. Four games down, with at most 10 more to play, Lasker resigned the match prematurely after Game 14, citing ill health, and Capablanca became the third World Chess Champion. The games score, with notes by Capablanca, can be found here (more…)

Ex club member Peter Hulshof has made a started well in a tournament in the Netherlands. In a field of 77 that includes 33 titled players, Peter sits at number 22 after 3 (of 9) rounds. Clearly the practise he got on club nights here in Hamilton has payed off. You can access an English Language summary of the event to date here, and the official website here.

A Grandmaster Died

Posted: 18/10/2013 by Ian in Club News

A Grandmaster died – after a few days, a close friend of his heard a voice; it was him!     “What’s it like, tell me the news?” he asked.     “What do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?”     “Tell me the good news first.”      “Well, it’s really heaven here. There are tournaments and blitz sessions going on all the time and Morphy, Alekhine, Lasker, Tal, Capablanca, Botvinnik, they’re all here, and you can play them.”   “Fantastic!” the friend said, “and what is the bad news?”

“You have Black against Capablanca on Saturday.”


(The webmaster accepts no responsibility for the quality of jokes submitted for publication)

Welcome Matt As Our Newest Member

Posted: 18/10/2013 by Ian in Club News

Club membership now stands at 28 after Matt Crombie  followed the lead of his son, Joel, and became a member. Matt and Joel are the first Father and Son pair to become members of the club. Matt has so far played 6 games eligible for rating for club purposes. He enters the ratings ladder with a rank of knight. With the pace that Juniors improve, it will be interesting to see how long it takes Joel to overtake his dad in the club rankings.

Hilton scored an impressive win at last weeks South Island Champs in Nelson against singaporean IM Chan Peng Kong (born 1956). Peng won the national Singaporean Chess Championship in 1999.  He represented Singapore eight times in Chess Olympiads (1982, 1984, 1986, 1990, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006) His current FIDE rating is 2284. The game score can be accessed here >>> (more…)

Next Weeks Games

Posted: 15/10/2013 by Ian in Club News

Next weeks games will be drawn from the tournaments Lasker vs Capablanca 1921, Havana and Capablanca vs Alekhine 1927,Buenos Aires. It is not too late to join the action. Guests also welcome. Games start 7:20 sharp, so dont be late.

Lasker_SteinitzThe second game of the night was the seventh game from Lasker vs Steinitz 1894 New York / Philadelphia / Montreal

In 1894, defending champion Wilhelm Steinitz was challenged by a fresh 25 year old talent from Prussia by the name of Emanuel Lasker.  After the necessary negotations, the following conditions were agreed upon: The winner of the match was to be the first to win 10 games, draws not counting. The time control was 15 moves per hour. The stakes were $2,000 per side. The match was to be played in New York, Philadelphia and Montreal, in that order.  The match began in New York on March 15, 1894, and was fairly even with two victories to each player in the first six games. However, Lasker then won five consecutive games in Philadelphia. IM Jack Peters attributed this success to Lasker’s ability to convert queenless middlegames into advantageous endings:  Lasker had noticed signs of uncertainty in Steinitz’ handling of “simplified” middlegames, without Queens. Recognizing the champion’s superiority in managing a full army of pieces, Lasker deliberately sought early Queen exchanges. This strategy certainly worked in Philadelphia.  Steinitz was tenacious and managed to respond with back-to-back victories in the 13th game and the 14th game in Montreal, but the score was still heavily in Lasker’s favor, 7 to 4.  On the 19th game, Lasker achieved his 10th win, thereby becoming the 2nd World Chess Champion. It was no great surprise that Steinitz, then 58 years old, was unable to defend against the rising tide of players who had spent years studying his ideas. As Siegbert Tarrasch said,

In my opinion the match with Steinitz does not have the great importance that they themselves attribute to it. For Steinitz has grown old, and the old Steinitz is no longer the Steinitz of old.

Although Lasker was widely respected, few people at the time suspected the impact that he would have on chess during the decades to come, for he was no ordinary challenger–this victory marked the beginning of a reign which was to last 27 years.

The complete game listing, and the crosstable so far is here> (more…)

We kicked off the “Play Like A (Former) World Champion Tournament”  tonight with 18 players.

Zukertort_SteinitzGame 1 was drawn from Zukertort vs Steinitz 1886 New York / St. Louis / New Orleans. The Polish-Jewish master Johannes Zukertort gained worldwide recognition when he won the international tournament in Paris, 1878. In 1883, he won the international tournament in London, defeating nearly every leading player in the world. Steinitz, who placed second, trailed Zukertort by three full points. After such a commanding performance, Zukertort was considered by many to be the unofficial World Champion. In 1886 these two great chess minds sat down to play what is now regarded by most chess historians as the first official World Chess Championship. The conditions were that the first player to achieve 10 wins (draws not counting) would be crowned champion. (This method, “first to 10 wins”, was to become the center of a controversy almost a hundred years later, when Fischer and FIDE came to an impasse over the World Championship format.). Steinitz suffered a series of defeats at the beginning of the match, but soon overcame his deficit. In the 20th game, Steinitz played a combination right out of the opening which netted Zukertort’s queen, forcing him to resign, ending the match with a score of 10 to 5.

The first 8 moves were played out on the board, then it was up to the players to go it alone from there. The game score (with notes by Bobby Fischer) is here> (more…)

Last Week’s Crosstable Now Available

Posted: 15/10/2013 by Ian in Club News

Last weeks crosstable is now posted, below. Club ratings have also been updated to reflect last weeks games

1 Stefan Wagner 5.5 =B2 +W8 +B5 +W3 +B4 +W7
2 Ian Kennedy 4.5 =W1 +B9 +W7 -B6 +W8 +W3
3 Richard Jackson 4.0 +W10 +B7 +W4 -B1 +W6 -B2
4 Daniel Davis 4.0 +B5 +W6 -B3 +W8 -W1 +B9
5 Matt Crombie 4.0 -W4 +B10 -W1 +B7 +B9 +W6
6 Murray Tuatini 3.0 +B8 -B4 +W10 +W2 -B3 -B5
7 Joel Crombie 2.0 +B9 -W3 -B2 -W5 +B10 -B1
8 Darius Hasan-Stein 1.0 -W6 -B1 +W9 -B4 -B2 -W10
9 Adam Hasan-Stein 1.0 -W7 -W2 -B8 +B10 -W5 -W4
10 Elijah Dewit 1.0 -B3 -W5 -B6 -W9 -W7 +B8

In recognition of  the upcoming Anand-Carlsen World chess championship on November 6th we will have a World Champ themed tournament for the next 5 weeks. Each night you get the chance to play like a former world champ!! This will be a ten round Swiss system tournament with two games each night. Similar to our “unusual openings”  tournament of last year the first eight moves (taken from world championship matches) will be played out on the board, but then it is up to you from then on. Time control will be 20 + 0 and guests are welcome to take part. Games will not attract a club rating. For week one the games will come from the Steinitz-Zukertort World Championship Match of 1886 and  the Lasker-Steinitz World Championship match of 1894. Games start 7:20 sharp, so don’t be late

5 + 3 Last Night

Posted: 09/10/2013 by Ian in Club News

We had 10 members for a 5 + 3 blitz last night. Stefan took honours with 5.5 out of 6. Unfortunately the files didnt copy onto my USB drive, so the crosstable wont be posted until next week. Club ratings will be updated then as well.

Four strong players took up the challenge at the inaugaural Hamilton Lake Invitational this past weekend. The time control was 60 + 10 with three games in round robin format. Stefan did well to take a half point off Michael, the eventual winner. The crosstable is below, and club rankings have been updated to reflect the games.

ID Cum          
      1 2 3 4
1 2.5 Michael  Freeman * ½ 1 1
2 2.0 Stefan  Wagner ½ * ½ 1
3 1.5 Caleb  Wright 0 ½ * 1
4 0 William  Lynn 0 0 0 *