Monday, January 16, 2012

One for the Road

I played a really fantastic chess epic before heading home on Monday in round 6 at the LBO 2012. ( I took a bye for round 7 b/c I did not want to drive back late as I would be doing this by myself potentially in bad weather. )

The final sequence is something worthy of a Batsford Chess endings or the like. Did I miss a win in there somewhere? Probably. No matter. This is the game I will remember when I look back on the Liberty Bell Open 2012.

If anyone wants to learn fighting spirit go talk to one Dwayne Wilson.

Round 3 at Devon Seafood Grill

My friend Tony Strauss and I made a draw with the Devon Seafood Bar and Grill in RittenHouse Square, Philadelphia during round 3 of the 2012 Liberty Bell Open at the expense of a bye at the board. A fully rewarding exchange.

Here's Tony evaluating his beer.

And here's my Weyerbacher

I'm willing to hazard that the Belgian beers really are the best. Devon was a delightful experience. Fully worth the somewhat pricey menu.

Schacher in Round 2

Here's one of my candidates for my upcoming book "My 100 Greatest Losses":

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Round 1 game from Liberty Bell Open

I'm playing tournament chess after 2 years! Here's my first round game from the Liberty Bell Open. Apologies for the small board size. I wrote extensive comments to the game and the pgn4web controller cannot handle the resulting long url.

My round 2 game was a real shocker. I won all the battles and then made some really horrible moves at the end and lost the war. Credit to my opponent also for making things tough. I will post that game later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A line vs. Bf4 in the Kings Indian

Recently GM Fabiano Caruana won on the black side of a Bf4 ( I believe this may be called the Keres line ) King's Indian. I have always struggled vs the Bf4 King's Indian mostly due to a lack of understanding of the ideas. The line is played fairly infrequently and I have never been able to get in enough practical experience in the line to understand the ideas for both sides.

In the game Ivanchuk self destructed and lost quite badly. I'm interested in the game more for the opening and middle game ideas upto about move 20.

Ivanchuk - Caruana Reggio Emilia 2011

I plan to study this game in detail and make this a model game in my opening repertory vs a Bf4 King's Indian system.

I actually have an interesting story to share about GM Caruana. I had the fortune of playing a few games vs Fabiano when he was about a 2300 player at the Marshall and Manhattan Chess Clubs in New York. He won most of the games but I did manage to draw with the black pieces in one game. In that game I was actually winning at some point and hung perpetual check. After the game I ended up somehow in a discussion with Fabiano about the game and he commented, in forgivably youthful bravado, something to the effect that I can never beat him. I was rather chagrined and did manage to retort that there's atleast one way that I can beat him and that is if he failed to show up to play the game that I would win by TKO. Strangely, some months later, I was paired with Fabiano in the first round of that year's Bruce Bowyer memorial tournament. Fabiano took ill and did not attend and I won by TKO!

So that's my story about Fabiano. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to have played him when I even remotely represented competition. And now I get to improve by studying his games at the pinnacle of chess. The universe is a most interesting place.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I played an interesting game vs. KingsCrusher on ICC. He annotated the game live on youtube. I was doing ok until I was forced to start playing faster. Then I blundered although in the final position the computer analysis is that I'm a bit worse but the position is defensible.

Take a look at:
Kubiyak vs KingsCrusher

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Hi All. All the best for continued chess enjoyment in this year of the end of the Mayan calendar. My 2012 chess resolution is to study the end of games in this year of the end of times. My plan is to go through the practical examples in the chess volumes I've accumulated.

Here's a quick list of the material I plan to work through:

Batsford Chess Endings:
When I got this years ago I understood this to be an encyclopedia of chess positions. Now that I take a closer look I see that there are lots of practical examples from actual play. It's quite a tome to get through in one year. I plan to focus on the sections on rook endings and one of my more esoteric interests, the queen vs rook positions.

How To Play Chess Endgames:
A great book which I just have not had much time to go through. I've had it for several years and now I'm resolving to work through this. Here's an example of a position I find really enlightening from this book:

White obtains a clear advantage w/ 1. Bxc5! I'm sure I've played in similar positions and never believed seriously that this type of sacrifice could really work. I've a lot to learn it seems. I'm looking forward to discovering more endgame gold in this volume.

I really enjoy pure king and pawn endings. They are so rich in maneuvers and present so many surprises. We learn so often that the connected pawns are better than the split pawns. In pure pawn endings the split pawns can often win vs the connected pawns. I'm really hoping to find the time to work through and really understand Secrets Of Pawn Endings.

I hope to present some interesting findings from my study on my blog throughout the year. Best wishes to all of you in your chess and other endeavours in 2012.