Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Strange behaviour of online players

Eh LOL is all I can muster after this funny episode. I played a game in the 3-minute pool. I win.

My opponent gives one of those lame pre-programmed "gg txx" or something like that. I don't care people may do what they want. I don't answer immediately and he says:

LG312 says: why are most chess players antisocial !??!

I answer: You got that from our game?

Not sent -- LG312 is censoring you.

Not that first time some blistering idiot censors me without me ever uttering a word to him. Damned if you do, damned if you don't?

Tactics in yesterdays online games

I found some neat and unusual tactics in yesterdays online blitz games. While I feel good finding these I also need to stop playing 3 0 as the quality of games is close to dramatically better in online 5 0 games vs 3 0 games. Time is just too huge a factor in 3 0 and it annoys the hell out of me to build up good positions only to be flagged by an opponent who did close to nothing constructive the whole game.

But such is life...we need to take the positive out of these games and I was happy with these tactics.

#1 White to move

#2 Black to move

Monday, November 29, 2010

Marin's English Opening

I am very impressed by the 3-volume work that Mihail Marin did on the English Opening. It really fills in some voids that I had in my English 1.c4 and/or 1.Nf3 repertoire. I have been trying some of the lines in online blitz games and will share some of that with people here on my blog. Here is a game I played against a strong IM in the 3-minute blitz pool on ICC. It's in the so called "Fischer line" where black plays 5...e6

Calculation exercise

This is a good exercise in calculation/tactics. Does the tempting move 20.Nxg5 work? The main idea being to answer 20....Qxg2 with 21.Nxe6+ ??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tactics - The Karpov choke

In the Czech Open 2004 in Pardubice my opponent allowed me to finish the game with a well known trick. The answer is in the comments. If you haven't seen this trick before or you would like to learn more about this trick then watch Pattern Recognition #4:


Friday, November 26, 2010

Aronian wins World Blitz Championship!

Congratulations to Levon Aronian for winning this fantastic event. It is clear that this form of chess is the most commercially ready product for the general people who know little or not much about chess. The Russian organisers did a great job with a brilliant live broadcast and I enjoyed myself thoroughly watching some live games (video of the players playing, not just a relay of moves) over the 3 days that the event was played.

Many of the games are also quite interesting because the players at this level play extremely strong even with this short time control and we get to see top class intuition at it's best.

I recommend everybody to watch some games, they are for instance available on these channels on YouTube:



ChessVibes also has some videos in two parts:




This success by Aronian follows quite good results recently and he is currently over 2800 which is a pretty sexy rating!

I met Aronian in Gothenburg 2005 and he is a very nice guy, difficult not to root for him!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Clumsy blunder by ex FIDE World Champ

This position is from the "Cup of Governor" or the 6th Femida Tournament which I think is some kind of superleague in the Ukraine. It was four teams on four boards playing a round-robin. Some top players included Ponomariov, Eljanov, Jobava (all rated 2700+) and some very strong Ukrainians like Korobov, Volokitin, Miroshnichenko and Moiseenko.

In the diagrammed position, former FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov just played 30.Qb3-d3?? allowing Jobava Baadur with black to hit him with a nasty tactic. Jobava won all his 3 games which should mean he should be very close to a career high in rating (he also beat Eljanov!).

Jobava played 30...Nf2! and Ponomariov had to give up the exchange with 31.Bxf2 and suffer while Jobava brought home the point as 31.Rxh7 fails to 31...Rxh7 32.Rxh7 Nxd3 32.Rxe7 Nxe1 which is also check, leaving black a full piece up after he captures the rook on e7!

Chess doppelgangers #1

Now I think Magnus is a good looking guy. However personally I don't think one of his G-Star picks is very good. I can't help but think of the resemblence everytime I see the pic. What do you think?

Maaaaaaaaat Daaaaaaaaamon

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mating patterns: Blackburne's Mate

I have a nice video series on chess patterns on Chessvideos.tv called "Pattern Recognition". All in all I have made 5 videos in this ongoing series.

If you have seen video #1 you should have no problems solving this puzzle: (black to move)

Solution appears at the end of this post.

The pattern occurs more often in this form:

This is from Stefansson - Bruzon.  Stefansson finished the job with 22.Qxh5!
Black loses on the spot as he just lost a piece, mate is threatened on h7 and he can't take the queen because 22....gxh5 is met with 23.Bxh7#

In our puzzle position black wins with 1...Qxf3! 2.gxf3 Bxf3+ 3.Kg1 Ng4 and mate with Bh2 next cannot be avoided. Sort of going the backdoor into our mating pattern!

To learn more about this pattern and some others you can watch my video on Cv.tv:


A nice win in the 3-minute pool on ICC

Not often that I play or beat such super strong players. Generalisimus is one of the strongest blitz players on ICC over the last 3-5 years. His real name is Rauf Mamedov from Azerbaijan and he has a FIDE rating of 2660. He was also on of the participants in the recently concluded World Blitz Chess Championship in Moscow.

White: Generalisimus (GM)
Black: Zibbit (FM)
ICC 3-minute pool

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7

The so called Morozevich variation. Romanishin was one of the first players to employ it regularly but Morozevich really put it well on the map and it is one of the main continuation for black these days in the Tarrasch.
4.Bd3 c5 5.dxc5 Nf6 6.Qe2 a5 7.Ngf3 0–0 8.e5 Nfd7 9.h4

The first moment of interest. I am out of book, my knowledge has ended. I want to play Nxc5 if possible but unfortunately that would be met with the violent 10.Bxh7! A sacrifice that everyone should know! I think I found a playable solution

9...f5 10.g4 Nxc5 11.gxf5 Nxd3+ 12.cxd3 Rxf5 13.Nd4 Rf7

Here I was happy with my position. I have the bishop pair, my position seems solid and it is difficult for white to find a shelter for his king. Next I bring my pieces out naturally in a "french" sort of way increasing the pressure with every move.

 14.N2f3 Nc6 15.Bd2 Qb6 16.Bc3 Bd7 17.Rg1 Raf8

Not having done anything special my pieces co-ordinate very well. The queen, the knight on c6 and soon the bishop on b4 put pressure on b2 and d4 and the rooks are very useful on the f-file, pinning the f3 knight and making it very difficult for white to find moves.

 18.0–0–0 Bb4 19.Qe3

If  19.Ng5 which looks threatening I have... Bxc3! (19...Rxf2?? 20.Qh5±) the key point of Bxc3 is removing defence of b2 thereby enabling me to play Rxf2 next!


19...Bc5–+ is the move the computer likes and it looks close to just winning for black. The simplfication that I chose looks more human and I think most players would have gone for that in a blitz game. I get two pieces for a rook and an overwhelming position.


Here Mamedov missed his last chance to complicate with 20.Rxg7+!! Kxg7 (20...Kh8 21.Qh6) 21.Nxe6+ Bxe6 22.Rg1+ Kh8 23.Qxb6 even here I think black is in control and stands better.

20...Qxe3+ 21.fxe3 Rxf3–+

22.Rde1 Bxc3 23.bxc3 Nxe5 24.Kd2 Rf2+ 25.Re2 Rxe2+

I missed the easy 25...Nf3+ but in my defence I saw it a couple of moves later and at this point in 3-minute games the main focus is not to flag!

26.Kxe2 Bb5 27.Kd2 Nf3+ White resigns 0–1