Monday, May 30, 2005

Updates and Some Miniatures

I found some time to post new files to our website, including:

The Isolani Lecture by Steve Stoyko
The Apocalypse Attack by Michael Goeller
The Anti-Portuguese by Michael Goeller
Favorite Books by Ari Minkov
Best Game by Pete Cavaliere
Best Game by Mark Kernighan
Best Game by Scott Massey

I hope to get a few additional articles up in the next day or two, including the brilliant History of the Kenilworth Chess Club by Mike Wojcio -- which consumed much of Mike's life for two weeks and now has taken over mine. I will also be completing the move of my links pages to the KCC site.

There was a nice miniature during the five-minute tournament the other night:

[Event "KCC Blitz Tournament"]
[Site "Kenilworth, NJ"]
[Date "2005.05.26"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Cavaliere, Pete"]
[Black "Kernighan, Mark"]
[Result "0-1"]
[PlyCount "16"]
[TimeControl "G5"]
1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. d3 d5 4. Bg5 d4 5.Ne4 Nxe4 6. Qa4+ Bd7 7. Bxd8 Bxa4 8. dxe4 Bb4# 0-1

Scott Massey said the game reminded him of one of his own -- played at regular time controls:

[Event "Westfield Club"]
[Site "Westfield, NJ"]
[Date "1983.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Labate, Ernesto"]
[Black "Massey, Scott"]
[Result "0-1"]
[PlyCount "12"]
[TimeControl "180"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 c5 3. c4 $2 cxd4 4. Nf3$2 e5 $1 5. Nbd2 (5. Nxe5 Qa5+) 5... Nc6 6. Ne4 $4 Nxe4 $1 0-1

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Women and Chess

In his history of the Kenilworth Chess Club (which I'm editing), Mike Wojcio reflects briefly on the absence of female club members:

"We have only rarely had women members throughout the years. Only Pat Tarasco, who also played in many of our simultaneous exhibitions, came more than a few times. Chess has always attracted more men than women as players. But it may also be that, however open we are to women, our all-male membership does not make them feel completely at home. If anyone has any suggestions for how we might change that, let me know."

Probably not many people see this as a problem -- that's why it gets only passing reference in the history. After all, most men go to gentleman's clubs to be among men and escape the confines of domesticity. But if we want to be a more integrated club, certainly inviting more women would be a start. The perenial question remains, however: How do you get more women into chess?

At the moment, female chessplayers are attracting significant media attention, out of proportion to their representation among chessplayers. Alexandra Kosteniuk, the Russian GM, is not only lovely but increasingly impressive over the board, as her recent victory in the Russian Women's Championship shows. As girls now have more female role models in chess, such as Kosteniuk and the Polgar sisters, you would think they would play more. But while scholastic participation among girls is up, their overall participation in chess or in chess clubs has remained relatively stable.

If there had ever been a question of whether or not women could play chess as well as men, that seemed pretty well answered by Judith Polgar's ascent to the top-10, even after having a child. And Polgar's performance in the M-tel tournament suggests she continues to hold her own against the world's best.

Mig Greengard recently reflected on the topic of women and chess in his blog, suggesting that women (whether by natural inclination or by the way they are raised) are less competitive than men and therefore less likely to want to engage in tournament play -- or, by extension I assume -- in club competition. But I have to question whether women are really less competitive -- especially if they have been exposed to the competitive culture of women's sports such as soccer or basketball.

I think the main issue for our club is simply a circular problem: there are currently no women at the club, so when women do come by (as one did a few months back) they feel a bit out of place and don't return, leaving us still with no women.... It's a viscious cycle. The only way to break out of it is to cultivate a group of female players who will keep coming back. Maybe we could also encourage members to bring girlfriends and wives to help create a more female-friendly atmosphere.

I may be the first to give it a try, since my wife is rather a good player. We just have to work out the details of getting a baby-sitter for our son on chess nights....

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Founding Fathers

I discovered a treasure trove of pictures in our club closet last night. I am scanning and touching them up to go with Mike W's history of the club. I thought people might like to see this one of our "founding fathers" from 1973 (when the club was one year old):

That's Mike W. in the lower-left corner. And Andy one over. Probably founder Vinnie Smith in between. I'll have to ask Mike about the rest, but any help identifying them would be appreciated.

Blitz Tournament and Remembering History

A reporter / photographer from the local paper visited our club, snapping some pictures of our Blitz Tournament. If we are to increase membership, publicity cannot hurt. The five-minute event was won by Mark Kernighan (center).

During the event, Scott Massey and I used Fritz (projected onto the big-screen TV monitor) to analyze and discuss his famous controversy with Jason Cohen. The position was fascinating and our analysis drew a crowd. As each five-minute game ended, the players would come into the meeting room to watch.

Jason claimed a draw with 45 seconds to go on his clock (in sudden death) based on the rule of "insuffient losing chances." The TD adjourned the game to await his decision, which took three weeks (he should have resumed the game by the rules and decided the issue later). When play finally resumed after weeks of analysis, Scott was able to demonstrate that there were actually lots of losing chances for Jason, especially since he played 1...Kf4 2.Kd3? (2.Rf6+! might draw with best play) 2...h3! winning.

The complete analysis will be included as part of Mike Wojcio's excellent history of the club, which I hope to have up some time this week.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Making Diagrams

Steve had me over his house the other day to show him some computer programs so that he could make diagrams for chess materials he is working on. I realized after we met that I should write up a little tutorial about how to make chess diagrams, since he is not the first person who has asked me.

Of course, if you have one of the ChessBase programs such as Fritz, you can easily make diagrams for a Word document by (1) setting up the Fritz board the way you want it for the diagram, (2) going to Edit-->Copy Position, and (3) pasting the diagram into Word. If you don't have Fritz, you can use any number of other programs. But a tool that makes it all very easy is SnagIt (available to download for a free 30-day trial or pay $40 to use it for years). SnagIt is a screen-capture software program that allows you to easily capture screen views or portions of them (including chess diagrams) and save them as image files (such as .bmp, .jpg, or .gif -- the latter of which is best) or copy them to the clipboard to insert into a Word document. That way you can use any graphical user interface (including the familiar ICC interface) and then copy the board images with SnagIt for use with your writing. One big advantage of SnagIt is that it allows you to create images for the web as well as for print publications without having to buy Photoshop or another image editor.

Of course, if you are just interested in making diagrams for print, you will get a lot more out of Fritz or Shredder or one of those for about the same price.

Those in search of free programs should check out ChessPad (or download direct). It downloads quickly and sets up in a flash, and then the diagrams it makes are pretty good, especially for Word documents. It is also good for making PGN files.

To use it to make a diagram, simply use the graphical user interface (the chess board -- GUI for short) to set up the position you want. Then choose Position-->Copy As...-->Bitmap (or use Control+D as a shortcut -- or the little Copy as Bitmap button).

Then simply go to Word and use Edit-->Paste (or the shortcut Control+V) to paste the diagram into the body of your text wherever you want it. The diagram looks like this:

This works great for diagrams in Word documents. To make diagrams for the web, you will need to take a few different and more complicated steps, so maybe I'll save that for another lesson....

You can also use ChessPad to generate PGN files -- into which you can insert symbols:

...or insert written commentary:

By the way, I used SnagIt to capture those screen views.... Pretty useful.

With ChessPad you can make all sorts of adjustments to get things right. You may have noticed that I changed the board colors from the pea-green default colors to something more resembling the Kenilworth blue. It's a pretty cool. And it's free. You can't beat that.

Steve should be generating some interesting chess materials for the club in the coming months. I look forward to reading what he comes up with.

Meanwhile, you might like to know what Steve displays proudly on his mantle: the Kenilworth Chess Club Championship trophy. "It goes nice there" he said.

HB Final

The HB Global Chess Challenge mega-event has concluded. In the end, it did not live up to its organizer's expectations -- so if you didn't go, it may well be that you will never get to see something as huge again. But in many ways it seems to have been a success. The number of GM games it produced alone is staggering. And there was some excellent chess at the top board. You can find the critical game Nakamura-Beliavsky annotated by Chris Byrd on the Day 4 Summary page. Beliavsky was later defeated by the eventual winner, Zviad Izoria, in a tough game:

[Event "HB Global Chess Challenge"]
[Site "Minneapolis"]
[Date "2005.05.22"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Beliavsky, Alexander"]
[Black "Izoria, Zviad"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2707"]
[PlyCount "122"]
[EventDate "2005.05.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Qc2 b6 9. Rd1 Ba6 10. b3 Nbd7 11. Bf4 Rc8 12. Nc3 Qe8 13. e4 dxc4 14. h3 Bb4 15.Re1 h6 16. bxc4 Bxc4 17. a3 Be7 18. Nd2 Ba6 19. Qa4 Bd3 20. Re3 Bb5 21. Nxb5 cxb5 22. Qxa7 g5 23. Bc7 Ra8 24. Qb7 Qc8 25. Qxc8 Raxc8 26. Be5 Nxe5 27. dxe5 Nd7 28. Nf3 Rc5 29. Rb3 Nxe5 30. Nxe5 Rxe5 31. Rab1 Rd8 32. Rxb5 Rxb5 33. Rxb5 Bc5 34. Rb3 Rd2 35. Rf3 Ra2 36. Bf1 Bxa3 37. Bc4 Ra1+ 38. Kg2 Bc5 39. Rc3 Re1 40. Kf3 Kg7 41. Rc2 h5 42. Rd2 Rc1 43. Be2 Kf6 44. Kg2 h4 45. gxh4 gxh4 46. Rd7 Rc2 47. Kf1 Kg6 48. e5 Rb2 49. f4 Rb4 50. Bd3+ f5 51. exf6+ Kxf6 52. f5 exf5 53. Rh7 Rf4+ 54. Ke2 Rf2+ 55. Ke1 Rf3 56. Bf1 Kg5 57. Rh5+ Kxh5 58. Be2 Kg5 59.Bxf3 Kf4 60. Bc6 Kg3 61. Bd7 f4 0-1

Sunday, May 22, 2005

HB Global Challenge

Most of us probably know someone competing in the HB Global Challenge. Their website is very useful for tracking results and downloading games. For good coverage of the leaders and other stories, check out Maurice Ashley's blog (which I'll have to add to my list). He seems to predict Beliavsky to win it all -- especially since he beat both Nakamura and van Wely today while playing Black against both!

Westfield's Todd Lunna got to play against Sergey Kudrin in the first round:

[Event "HB Global Chess Challenge"]
[Site "Minneapolis"]
[Date "2005.05.18"]
[Round "1.25"]
[White "Kudrin, Sergey"]
[Black "Lunna, Todd"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C10"]
[WhiteElo "2648"]
[BlackElo "2248"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2005.05.??"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. g3 Be7 6. Bg2 Ngf6 7. Nxf6+ Bxf6 8. Nf3 O-O 9. O-O Rb8 10. c3 b6 11. Qa4 a5 12. Bf4 Bb7 13. Rad1 Qc8 14. Rfe1 Rd8 15. h4 Ra8 16. c4 Nf8 17. Be5 Bxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxg2 19. Kxg2 Qb7+ 20. Kg1 Ng6 21. Nc6 Re8 22. d5 Nf8 23. Qb5 exd5 24. cxd5 Kh8 25. Rxe8 Rxe8 26. Nxa5 Qc8 27. Nc4 Qg4 28. Qxe8 Qxd1+ 29. Kh2 Kg8 30. Ne5 Qxd5 31. Nc6 1-0

Check out the links above for more info and games.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Some Games from the Simul

I used to wonder why it was that you rarely got to see the great masters' wins in simultaneous exhibitions, while the game scores of their losses proliferated. Well, they say the winners get to write history, and we might add that simultanous players are just too busy to write down their moves.... I hope the members of the club will come forth with some of their game scores that show Steve at his best. Meanwhile, here we get to see some of the best by members of the club. I especially like Rich Lewis's startling Knight move, which he must have been planning as a trap when he played 17...b4!? You can download these games in PGN format (for viewing on your favorite PGN viewer, such as Fritz) or play over the moves below with a board:

(1) Stoyko,Steve - Minkov,Ari
Simul at the Kenilworth Chess Club Kenilworth, NJ, 19.05.2005
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nbd2 e6 5.e3 Bd6 6.Bd3 Nbd7 7.0–0 0–0 8.b3 e5 9.cxd5 Nxd5?! 10.Bb2?! [10.dxe5! Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.Bxh7+ Kxh7 13.Qh5+ Kg8 14.Qxe5±; 10.Nc4!?] 10...Qe7?! 11.Ne4?! [11.dxe5! Nxe5 12.Nxe5 Bxe5 13.Bxh7+!] 11...Bc7 12.Re1?? f5 13.dxe5 fxe4 14.Bxe4 N5b6 15.Qc2 h6 16.Qc3 Qc5 17.Qxc5 Nxc5 18.Bc2 Bf5 19.e4 Bg4 20.Ba3 Nbd7 21.Nd4? [21.e6] 21...Bxe5–+ 0–1

(2) Stoyko,Steve - Lewis,Richard [D91]
Simul at Kenilworth Chess Club Kenilworth, NJ USA, 19.05.2005
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.d4 d5 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.Bh4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.cxd5 [8.e3 Nc6=] 8...Qxd5 [8...cxd4 9.cxd4 Qxd5] 9.e3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nc6 11.Be2 [11.Qb3] 11...0–0 12.0–0 Be6 13.Qa4 [13.Qb1!? Qd7 14.Rd1] 13...a6 14.Rfc1 b5 15.Qa3 Rfe8 [15...Qd7=] 16.Rc5 [16.Ng5! Qd7 17.Nxe6 fxe6 (17...Qxe6 18.Bf3 Rac8 19.d5+-) 18.Bf3 Rac8 19.Qxa6+-] 16...Qd7 17.Rac1 b4!? [17...Rec8 18.d5 Bxd5 19.Rd1 e6 20.e4 Bf8 21.exd5 exd5 22.Qe3 Bxc5 23.Qxc5±] 18.Qa4? [18.Qd3 Nd8 19.Rc7±] 18...Nxd4!! 19.Qd1 Nxe2+ 20.Qxe2 a5 21.Rc7 Qd5 22.Ng5 Qxa2 23.R1c2 Qa1+ 24.Rc1 Qb2 25.R1c2 Qe5 26.Nxe6 Qxe6–+ 0–1

(3) Stoyko,Steve - Kernighan,Mark
Simul at Kenilworth Chess Club Kenilworth, NJ USA, 19.05.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Bxc6+ bxc6 5.0–0 e5 6.c3 Nf6 7.Re1 Be7 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 Qc7 10.Na3!? 0–0 11.Nc4 Be6 12.b3 [12.dxe5! Bxc4 13.exf6 Bxf6 14.Qc2 (14.Bf4!?) 14...Be6 15.Bg5] 12...exd4 [12...Nxe4!? 13.Rxe4 d5 14.Rxe5 dxc4 15.Ng5 Bxg5 16.Bxg5 Qd7=] 13.Nxd4 [13.Qxd4 d5 14.exd5 cxd5 15.Bf4 Qc5=] 13...d5 14.exd5 Bxd5 15.Ne3 [15.Nf5!? Bb4 (15...Bc5 16.Be3 Bb4 17.Bd2) 16.Bd2= (16.Bb2? Bxe1 (16...Qf4µ) 17.Bxf6 Bxf2+!–+) ] 15...Rad8 16.Bb2 Be4 17.Qe2 Rfe8 18.Qc4 Bd6³ 19.g3 Be5 [19...Qb6!ƒ] 20.Rad1 [20.f4?! Bd6 21.Ndf5 Bxf5 22.Nxf5 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Qa5!µ] 20...Qc8? [20...Qb6!] 21.f3? [21.Nxc6! Rxd1 (21...Bxc6 22.Rxd8±) 22.Nxd1 Bxc6 23.Rxe5 Rxe5 24.Bxe5²] 21...Bxf3 22.Nxf3 Bxb2 23.Rxd8 Qxd8!? 24.Rd1?? [24.Qxc6 Bd4 25.Nxd4 Qxd4 26.Qc4 Qb6] 24...Qb6!–+ 0–1

(4) Stoyko,Steve - Goeller,Michael
Simul at the Kenilworth Chess Club Kenilworth, NJ, 19.05.2005
1.c4 Nc6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 e5 4.d3 Bb4 5.g3 Bxc3+!? 6.bxc3 d6 7.Bg2 Bd7 [7...e4!?] 8.0–0 0–0 9.Rb1 b6 10.e4 Ne8 11.Ne1 [11.Nh4] 11...f5?! 12.exf5! [12.f4 fxe4=] 12...Rxf5 13.f4 Rc8 [13...exf4 14.Bxf4±; 13...Rb8] 14.g4?! [14.Nc2± with the idea of Ne3-d5] 14...Rf8 15.f5 Ne7! 16.Bg5 Nf6 17.h3 [17.Bh4!?] 17...h6 [17...Qe8 18.d4 Bc6] 18.Bh4 g5 19.Bg3 [19.fxg6 Nxg6 20.Bg3 Qe7 21.Rb2] 19...Kg7? [19...Bc6! 20.d4 Bxg2 21.Nxg2 exd4 22.cxd4 d5= makes Black's Rc8 look reasonable.] 20.Nc2 [20.d4!±] 20...h5?! [20...Bc6!] 21.Ne3?! [21.Qd2 Nh7 22.d4±] 21...hxg4 [21...h4? 22.Bxh4!? (22.Bh2 Bc6 23.d4²) 22...gxh4 23.g5!] 22.hxg4 c6?! [22...Bc6!] 23.d4! Qc7 24.c5! bxc5 25.dxe5 dxe5 26.Nc4 Ned5 27.Bxe5 Qd8 28.Nd6?! [28.Qd2! Nf4 29.Rb7+-] 28...Ne3? upon playing this move I said "Don't worry, I'll resign soon." It looked bad, though I did not see the mate: 29.Bxf6+? [29.Qd2!+- Nexg4 30.Qxg5+ Kh8 31.Qh5+ Kg7 32.Qg6+ Kh8 33.Rf3 forces mate -- he didn't see it either...] 29...Qxf6 30.Qd3?! Now the position slips into an ending where White has a distinct edge based on Black's doubled c-pawns and more exposed King, but no clear win. [30.Ne4! Qe7 31.Qd2 Nxf1 32.Rxf1‚] 30...Nxf1 31.Nxc8 Bxc8 32.Rxf1 Rd8 33.Qf3² White still has a clear edge, but the win would require more attention on Steve's part than he likely could devote here. So he offered me a draw, which I grabbed in an instant. ½–½

(5) Stoyko,Steve - Corcoran,Paul
Simultaneous at the Kenilworth Chess Clu Kenilworth, NJ, 19.05.2005
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Qd2 0–0 8.0–0–0 c5 9.f4 Nc6 10.Nf3 a6 11.Bd3?! [11.dxc5] 11...f5 [11...c4!] 12.exf6 Nxf6 13.dxc5 Qxc5 14.Rde1 Bd7 15.Ne5 Rfe8 16.Kb1 b5 17.Ne2!? Rac8 [17...Nxe5 18.fxe5 Ng4 19.Nd4] 18.c3 a5?! [18...b4 19.cxb4 Qxb4 20.Qxb4 Nxb4=] 19.Nd4! Nxd4 20.cxd4 Qb6 21.g4 Re7 22.g5 Ne8 23.Re3 [23.f5! exf5 24.Nxd7 Rxd7 25.Bxf5+-] 23...g6 24.Be2 Ng7 25.Bg4 Nf5 26.Bxf5 exf5 27.Rd1 [27.h4] 27...Rf8 28.h4 [28.Nxg6!] 28...Kg7 29.h5 Qd8 30.h6+!? [30.hxg6 hxg6 31.Qh2 Rh8 32.Rh3+-] 30...Kg8 31.Rc1 Re6 32.Rec3 b4 33.Rc7 Rd6 34.Qc2 Be8 35.Qc5+- 1–0

More games (including a java playboard to view them on) will be posted to our website when I get a chance. Meanwhile, you can also download the PGN file.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Steve Stoyko Goes 7-3-1 in Tough Simul

2005 Kenilworth Chess Club Champion Steve Stoyko played a simultaneous exhibition against 11 strong players at the club last night. He played from 8:45-10:45 p.m. in a speedy performance, usually making his moves immediately upon arriving at each board. His opponents, who included one master and several Class A and Expert players, were allowed the time he took to circle the room plus two passes they could use at any time. Within an hour or so, Ari Minkov took the first of three wins against the FIDE Master after Steve miscalculated a combination. A bit later, he was forced to resign to Richard Lewis and NM Mark Kernighan. But the rest of his opponents were not as fortunate. I hung on in a dismal position, where Steve had all of the attacking chances, until he missed one or two best moves to let me squeak into an equal ending and get a draw. The rest of his opponents fell one by one, despite stiff resistance all around. Steve's final score was 7 wins, 3 losses, and one draw.

It was a pleasure to see some new and returning players at the event. Especially welcome was Richard ("Doc") Lewis, who had been a frequent visitor in the past and a longstanding member of the Westfield Chess Club, which he led as President through many of its best years. We hope he will consider coming by again from time to time.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Steve makes his first move on Board 1 of 11.

Contemplating a piece sac by Greg Tomkovich.

Each of the 11 players paid $5 to play, with half going to the club to support our activities. I collected several game scores from the event (more would be welcome) and will be posting them in the next couple of days, after I get a chance to convert them to PGN files.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Local Knowledge

I just got off the phone with Mike Wojcio, who is busily working on the history of the club for our site. It sounds like he is writing a book, complete with games and interesting chess positions from the past. This is precisely the sort of material we need for the club site -- a nostalgic tour for those who remember (chessplayers are always nostalgic) and something to help new members feel a sense of belonging, since they can use the history to gain access to local knowledge. I asked Mike if he'd be willing to keep a blog for our site, but he was non-commital. I think he'd have a lot to offer. After all, he can tell the local stories that might do more to spark interest and a sense of connection to the club than any analysis or link I could offer.

These thoughts are also inspired by reading a posting by David Glickman at his Boylston Chess Club Weblog titled "A Remarkably Successful Failure," in which he thinks about slowing down in his blogging since it has not had a large impact on his local community of players -- even as it has been remarkably successful at organizing the larger chessblogs community. DG's posting gave me pause (long enough to leave a comment), since he had obviously failed at exactly the goal I've set out to accomplish.

It made me ask some questions: Can a chess blog really have much of a local impact? Can it really help to center a local community of chessplayers? Does a local community even need a website since they have a weekly meeting with face-to-face contact? Is there a way to avoid DG's "failure"?

Maybe it has more to do with the specific content than the limitations of the web itself. One of the other commenters on the blog wrote:

"Frankly, I think that what the blog needs is a little LESS posting. I always checked the blog to see what was happening in Beantown while I am away, and mostly I got links to silly little references to chess on the internet. While those are sometimes fun, the sheer volume of it made it hard for me to keep paying attention to it. That said, what I would really like to see on the blog are more people posting about their recent chess experiences. I don't need links to bad chess cartoons, or silly references to chess in movies (only occasionally!) What I want are the stories. Why doesn't someone write about their experience at the recent Harvard Open? Or their new chess book find? Jason 05.13.05 - 9:29 pm"

That got me thinking that maybe the BCC weblog "failed" to foster a local community while it succeeded at fostering a net community precisely because it usually pointed away from Boston and toward that other constituency.

Jason's desire for local "stories" reminded me of the recent discussion at ChessBase over how to promote chess generally. According to Jamie Duif Calvin, the "dark secret" to promoting chess is telling stories about chessplayers with which people can identify. And if you want local success you need local stories.

I think I'll try my hand at that from time to time here. And I hope I can recruit more naturally gifted story-tellers to write those things down -- like MW is doing for us now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"New York" Article on Chess Kids

There is a great article from New York Magazine available online:

Mr. Times and His Knights of the Square Table by Mark Jacobson, which follows the adventures of the coach who took over from GM Maurice Ashley at Harlem's Mott Hall.

Planned KCC Website Additions

I have now accumulated a massive backlog of materials for the Kenilworth Chess Club website. I hope to find some time this week to post it all, but it may be two weeks before it's all up. Meanwhile, I thought I'd make a list of "things to do" (as much for myself, to be honest, as for any readers who might be interested):

Finish Blogs Page (temporarily at /blogs.html - soon to be at /blogs/)
I hope to have a nearly-complete listing of "chessblogs" on the site when I'm through. I also want to recruit at least one additional Kenilworth blogger to post to our site.

Link Blogs Page to Main Template

Move Urusov Links to Kenilworth Links
I have created the template already and begun moving some pages (and building additions -- including one on Chess Computers). But to do it right I have to go through a process of removing all excess coding from the original pages. And I will have to put up "moving" notices and auto-forwarding.

Opening Analysis
The Apocalypse Attack -- 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Ne5!?
The Anti-Portuguese -- 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Nf3 Bg4?! 4.Bb5+

Best Games

Finish KCC Championship Pages
I have posted something from most games, but I still need to complete all of the files -- and I now have some additional games to put up.

Steve Stoyko 5-12-05 (see file)

Tactical Endings -- taken from KCC players' games

IQP Tactics

And we will need a posting on the simul this Thursday....

Monday, May 16, 2005

Chess Tags

I am putting together a page of links to other "" -- that is web logs about . I was surprised at how many there are out there. One interesting source is Technorati's links. Another is Satish Talim's Chess Blog (and his ChessBloggers blog). More entries, links, and commentary to follow.

New York Times Article on Girls in Chess

Check out this article in the New York Times:

On Boards without Boys Girls Reassert Their Power by Jodi Wilgoren

Isolani Games

I have been collecting resources to help people study the Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP) or "isolani" pawn structure that Steve Stoyko lectured on this past Thursday. A book that is frequently mentioned is Baburin's "Winning Pawn Structures," which is devoted to the IQP as a repertoire backbone. The book is available quite cheaply from our friends at Wholesale Chess.
A file of games from the book can be found online:

I did a little research and put together a file of games, including the games and fragments that Steve discussed. You can download the PGN file here:
Or you can wait until I find a chance to put together the page at our site....

Note from an Old "Kenilworthian"

Dale Spindel, Kenilworth reference librarian, received this confirmation from Kenilworth, England:

"Dear Dale:
Geoff Symes has passed your query on to me as the Chairman of theKenilworth History and Archaeology Society. ... I came to Kenilworth to teach at the Grammar School, and its Old Boys and Girls were always known as 'Old Kenilworthians'. At one time there was an intermittent Rugby side comprising Old Boys called that. I hope this answers your query. If you get stuck for anything like that again, please don't hesitate to ask. Hopefully, the Society will get into even the 20th century soon & have a website, but not yet!
All good wishes,
Norman Stevens"

So that cinches it. However stuffy and old-fashioned sounding, it's "Kenilworthian" alright.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

More Isolani Resources

One of the games that Steve referenced "en passant" in his talk was Botvinnik-Vidmar, Nottingham 1936, which is considered by most authorities a classic isolani game. For some good commentary on this game see Larry Evans's 1978 Chess Life article (online at The Mountain Lake Chess Camp site) on creating an "Opening Repertoire" around the isolani position -- available in two picture files: Page One and Page Two. Since these are essentially very big picture files, they will take a long time to load via a dialup modem -- so you may want to download the image to your desktop via the Mountain Lake links.

Picture from Steve's Lecture

Friday, May 13, 2005

Steve Stoyko Lecture, Thursday 5-12-05

Steve Stoyko lectured last night about the Isolated Queen Pawn formation. This is a classic opening motif that has been the key positional feature of many games. These positions can also produce an isolated pawn couple (following an exchange of Knights or Bishop for Knight at c3 and bxc3) or "hanging pawns" (when the neighboring isolanis are side by side), but Steve thought it best to save those for another lecture. The IQP has both positive and negative features for both sides (including space and attack for White and endgame prospects for Black), but Steve focused on the positives for White if he knows what he is doing. He also looked at games where White clearly seemed not to know what he was doing -- concluding with a game that otherwise would seem very boring but which makes an interesting illustration of not grasping the position: Reshevsky-Petrosian, California 1966. The point Steve wanted to make with this game was that even GMs sometimes don't seem to understand the basics of the IQP -- which means that you can outplay them if you do! Reshevsky's 13.Bd2?! is a lemon and leads him to all sorts of contortions, and Petrosian took a draw in a better position as Black likely for issues completely unrelated to the situation on the board.

I will soon be posting a file of the lecture and a page devoted to it, along with links on the Isolated Pawn Formation and maybe books for additional reading. I may also post some good links to the games he covered -- maybe in my next post.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Getting Started

I was thinking of putting a blog onto the Kenilworth Chess Club site for a while, but thought it might be some trouble setting it up. Then I stumbled upon an article in PC Magazine (also at PCWorld) on giving your site "blog appeal" and realized it could be done very easily through Blogger. What's more, I could help other members of the club set up their own web logs and turn our site into a collaborative effort without having to teach everyone HTML.

Set-up was easy. The only trouble I had was coming up with a name. I figured something that meant "citizen of Kenilworth," but I was puzzled for a while over whether that might be "Kenilworther," "Kenilworthan," "Kenilworthite," "Kenilworthian," or some other construction. I called up the Reference Librarian at the Kenilworth Public Library, Dale Spindel, who offered to research the question and give me the most definitive answer possible. To that end, she even contacted the town clerk of our namesake city, Kenilworth, England. In the end, though, it was the postings in Google's Groups using the term "Kenilworthian" that decided the issue for me.

And so "The Kenilworthian" was born.