Saturday, November 27, 2004

That's All Folks!

that's all folks
It seems like an appropriate time for cliches -- We've followed a long and winding road to reach the light at the end of the tunnel where we can clearly hear that the fat lady has begun to sing.

This is the final post for the 2004 Boylston Chess Club Championship Weblog. I hope you have enjoyed the coverage over the past three months and will return on occasion to review the games and relive the magical moments of this year's Championship. To that end, I have created a Complete Site Index which provides access to everything that has been posted by category. In addition, all the categories are listed alphabetically in the sidebar.

Now it is time to move on to the next BCC blogging project ... The Boylston Chess Club Weblog provides an interactive space for members of the club to share any/all chess-related information -- games, announcements, experiences, tournament results, anecdotes and more. That's right, this time you get to post! So stop by to Join, Read, and/or Syndicate our newest Blog.

DG, signing off...

Complete Site Index

chess pieces
All Championship Games
Best Games
Adjourned Positions
Opening Preparation
Non-BCC Championship Games

Qualification, Selection & Participants
Schedule & Pairings
Background & Color
Round-by-Round Results
Round-by-Round Standings

Boylston Chess Club

The Best of ...
Commented Posts
Weblog Development & Promotion

Outside Articles

Friday, November 26, 2004

Category Summary: Best Games

best of 2004
Here are the best game selections from each round of the Championship. Click on the 'Round #' for the Best Game post; on the players' names for the game.

Round 1: Mac Intyre-Cherniack 1-0*

Round 2: Martirosov-Williams 1/2 - ... Round 2? Not yet!

Round 3: Glickman-Riordan 1-0*

Round 4: Chase-Mac Intyre 1-0

Round 5: Cherniack-Martirosov 0-1

Round 6: Chase-Cherniack 0-1*

Round 7: Riordan-Chase 1/2*

* Selected by Paul Mac Intyre for publication in the November BCC Newsletter

Category Summary: The Best of ...

best of the best
My series of re-runs of past favorites:
The Best of August
The Best of September (1st-15th)
The Best of September (16th-30th)
The Best of October

... and to cap things off a few November gems:
Trafficking in gossip
Waiting for Results
Prize Winners

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The theory of relativity

Albert Einstein
Some time back I calculated the predicted final score of each player in the Championship based on their published 10/04 USCF ratings. While no one pays bonuses for relative performance (except in the mutual fund industry, that is), here are the players ranked by the differences between their actual and predicted scores:

+1.3 Martirosov (5.0 actual, 3.7 predicted)

+1.0 Glickman (2.5, 1.5)

+0.7 Mac Intyre (5.5, 4.8)

+0.2 Chase (5.0, 4.8)

+0.0 Cherniack (4.5, 4.5)

-0.5 Williams (1.5, 2.0)

-1.0 Slive (1.0, 2.0)

-1.8 Riordan (3.0, 4.8)

These provide a slightly different perspective from the absolute standings in assessing who had a good vs. not-so-good tournament.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Top of the Haup

Bob FuhroRobert Sullivan
The Hauptturnier finished up a week after the Championship with a tie for the top spot. Congratulations to all those named Robert.

6.5 Robert Fuhro, Robert Sullivan

6.0 Bernardo Iglesias, Edward Dean

4.0 Edward Foye, Jonathan Lee

2.0 Robert Oresick

1.0 Greg Hager

0.0 Ted Gorczyca

w/d Carey Theil, Bryant Vernon

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Alex's annotations to Round 3: Cherniack-Slive

A while ago, Alex Slive wrote detailed notes on his 3rd Round game with Alex Cherniack. I have posted them below as annotations to the game. Why Gumby? See Alex's note to move 21:

Some comments on
my Rd. 3 game with Alex Cherniak. Even though my score so far hasn't been so good, I feel like I'm in the games. This is a good example, a tough fighting game all the way through.

[Event "BCC Championship"]
[Site "Somerville, MA USA"]
[Date "2004.09.22"]
[Round "3"]
[White "
Cherniack, Alex"]
[Black "
Slive, Alex”]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteUSCF "
[BlackUSCF "
[ECO "
[Opening "English"]
[Variation "
Flohr-Mikenas System"]
[Annotator "Alex Slive"]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.e5 Nfd7

[Black could have played 4...d4 5.exf6 dxc3 6.fxg7 cxd2+]

5.cxd5 Nxe5 6.d4 Ng6 7.Bb5+

[I found a game - 7.dxe6 Bxe6 8.d5 Bc8
Onischuk-Mitkov. Black won in 26 moves]

7…c6 8.dxc6 bxc6

[8...Nxc6 leads to a simpler game]

9.Bc4 Be7

[After 9.Bc4 and for the next few moves, ...Ba6 right away was possible. Instead I went for 9...Be7, so I could get castled quickly. Cherniak's comment was that this was like waving a
red flag in front of a bull. He's got a good point. He starts the attack immediately with 11.h4]

10.Nf3 0-0 11.h4 Bf6

[Black tries to give his Ng6 an escape square with 11...Bf6. However, 11...Qc7 was better; if 12.h5 Nf4]

12.Ne4! Ba6 13.Bxa6 Nxa6 14.h5 Ne7

[14...Nh8 sure looks depressing, but I wonder if it's possible]

15.Nxf6+ gxf6

[After 15...gxf6, the theme of the game appears: will Black's control of d5 balance White's attacking chances?]


[Cherniak thought for a long time considering the immediate 16.Bh6 Re8 17.Ne5!? fxe5 18.Qg4+ Ng6 19.hxg6 fxg6 (19...hxg6). He rejected this and ended up playing 16.Kf1 because of 20.dxe5 Qa5+ and takes the e-pawn. This line still might be good however;
Bob Fuhro suggests 20.0-0-0 as a way to keep the attack going]

16…Kh8 17.Qe2

[17.Qe2 starts a series of pretty-much forced moves]

17…Nb4 18.Bh6 Rg8 19.Ne5 Qe8 20.Ng4 Nbd5 21.Ne3 Qd7

[I should have played 21...Nxe3 22.Bxe3 with equal chances. My thinking during the game provides a lesson for me - BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR IDEAS. I rejected 21...Nxe3 because I was too wrapped up in keeping my hold on d5 in front of the isolated pawn. I didn't want White to answer 22.fxe3 connecting his pawns. But Cherniak showed me that 22.fxe3 is no good - 22...Nf5 23.Bf4 e5! (not 23...Ng3+?? 24.Bxg3 Rxg3 25.Qf2 and wins)]

22.Qf3 Rgd8 23.Nxd5 Nxd5 24.Rc1 Rab8?

[24...Rab8? drops the exchange to a nice tactic. Almost any other move is OK; but I don't really know how to improve my position]


Cherniak-Slive Rd. 3 Diagram

[25.Qg3! wins the exchange]

25...Rg8 26.Bg7+ Rxg7 27.Qxb8+ Rg8 28.Qb3

[After 28.Qb3, it's still kind of a ballgame because of the good Nd5. However, White's rooks eventually will operate on the outside files out of the reach of the knight and the value of the exchange will tell in the end]

28…h6 29.Qf3 Qd6 30.a3 Rg5

[30...Rg5 starts a little demonstration, but Cherniak plays correctly]

31.g3 Rf5 32.Qd3

[Not 32.Qg2?? Ne3 or 32.Qe2?? Qxg3. By the way, both sides started to get into a little time pressure about here]

32…Kg7 33.Rh4 Ne7 34.Qe4

[34.Qe4 invites 34...Qxg3?? 35.Rg4+]

34…Rd5 35.Qf4

[With 35.Qf4!, Cherniak gives up a pawn for the "
boa constrictor" endgame mentioned … by Glickman. It was hard to not take the pawn, but the question is: Is 35...e5 better?]

35…Qxf4 36.Rxf4 Rxh5 37.Rc5 Rh1+ 38.Ke2 Rb1 39.b4 Ra1 40.Ra5
Nd5 41.Rg4+

[Cherniak sealed 41.Rg4+. Adjournment analysis was tough. All the lines seemed to let Black just hang in the game by a fingernail, but eventually end up losing. I guess the standard chess piece values are correct: only one pawn is not sufficient compensation for the exchange. By the way, I had to look at 41.Rf3 as a possible sealed move. Cherniak's move was better. After 41.Rf3, Black can harass the king a little and maybe play against the pawn at d4]

41...Kf8 42.Rxa7 f5

[There's a surprising pretty mate after 42...Nxb4. 43.Ra8+ Ke7 44.Rgg8! N moves 45.Ra7+ Kd6 46.Rd8++]

43.Ra8+ Ke7 44.Rgg8 Ra2+ 45.Kf1 Rd2 46.Rgb8 Rxd4 47.a4

[After 47.a4, do you see what I mean about the rooks operating on the outside files away from the knight? Black just doesn't have enough resources]

47…Rd1+ 48.Kg2 f4 49.a5 fxg3 50.Kxg3 Nc7 51.Ra7 Rd7 52.Rab7 f6 53.Rb6 Rd3+

[Cherniak plays the endgame very well. If 53...Kd6, 54.Rc8 is pretty much zugzwang]

54.f3 Kd7 55.Rh8 Rb3 56.Rb7 1-0

Monday, November 22, 2004

Mac Intyre annotates his Round 1 encounter with Cherniack

guns blazing
In today's BCC newsletter Paul provided annotations to Round 1: Mac Intyre-Cherniack 1-0. I have reprinted them below:

MacIntyre came out of the starting gate with guns blazing. His round 1 victory over NM Alex Cherniack was perhaps his most impressive of the tournament.

[Event "BCC Championship"]
[Site "Somerville, MA USA"]
[Date "2004.09.08"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Mac Intyre, Paul
[Black "Cherniack, Alex"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteUSCF "2303"]
[BlackUSCF "2228"]
[ECO "C19"]
[Opening "French"]
[Variation "Winawer"]
[Sub-Variation "Main Line 7. a4"]
[Annotator "FM Paul MacIntyre"]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.a4 Qa5 8.Qd2 Nbc6 9.Nf3 Bd7 10.Bd3 c4!?

[The “all-out” approach which is the hallmark of Cherniack’s style. Some think that by c:d and exchanging queens, Black can count on equality in the endgame due to white’s worse pawns. Alex’s move initiates a complex war of manouver]

11.Be2 f6 12.Ba3 0-0-0 13.0-0 Rdf8 14.Rfb1 Rf7 15.Rb5 Qa6 16.Qc1!

[The transfer of all the heavy pieces to the queenside is Botvinnik’s recipe in such positions]

16....Ng6 17.Bd6 b6 18.Qa3 Kb7?!

[Instead, the thematic 18....fe 19.fe Rf3! would have bagged the important King’s pawn and given black plenty of compensation for the exchange]

19.Rab1 Ka8 20.exf6!

[Black won’t get a second chance]

gxf6 21.Nd2 Nh4 22.R5b2 Qc8? 23.a5! Nxa5 24.Rxb6 Nc6??

[Black crumbles. He had to take the rook, after which there is no clear win available for White]


Mac Intyre-Cherniack Rd. 1 Diagram

25...dxc4 26.Bxc4 +–

[Black can no longer defend the King. White has a number of ‘coups de grace’ including moving a pawn to d5 or a Bishop incursion via a6]

Qg8 27.Bg3 Nf5 28.Qa6 Qc8 29.Rb7 Nxg3 30.d5 Qb8 31.dxc6 Bxc6 32.Rxb8+ Rxb8 33.Qxc6+ Rfb7 34.Ba6 Ne2+ 35.Kf1 Nxc3 36.Bxb7+ Rxb7 37.Qc8+ Rb8 38.Qxb8# 1-0

Best Game of Round 7

Charles Riordan
I'll go with Riordan-Chase since it had such significant implications for the final results of the tournament and because Charles' Houdini act during the adjournment was something to behold.

Now if Alex had seen Vadim's analysis before their adjournment...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Small fish, very tiny pond

Regular readers may have noticed that I began offering syndicated feeds in the last couple of weeks. For those unfamiliar with RSS (really simple syndication), that's what those XML and +My Yahoo! buttons on the sidebar are about. While it is certainly late in the game considering that this weblog will be out of business in less than a month, two factors motivated me to learn something about syndication: 1) the new Firefox browser has integrated RSS through a feature called Live Bookmarks and 2) the new My Yahoo! allows you to have syndicated feeds from anywhere on the web on your personal pages.

All well and good, I've added some RSS knowledge to my blogging repertoire; but then I happened upon something rather surprising. It turns out that on My Yahoo! you can search the web for feeds to put on your page and they are listed by the number of users who have previously syndicated them on My Yahoo! (this last part is actually an assumption on my part, but I'm fairly certain I'm correct). So what happens if you search for chess? [Note - this link probably will not work unless you are a My Yahoo! member currently logged-in]

2004 boylston chess club championship is ranked 10th on the list! Now I know something about the size of my readership and there is no way that I could have a large number of "syndicatees"; in fact, it is hard to imagine that I could even have ten. What explains this?:
  1. There are very few chess-related weblogs
  2. Many of these don't currently offer syndication
  3. The interested readership for chess weblogs is rather small and therefore my visitor stats are actually quite competitive with other sites
I certainly feel no shame in being ranked behind Mig's Daily Dirt, WaPo's weekly chess column or, but don't you think I could beat out a discussion board on 3-D chess? So if you are a My Yahoo! member, why not try syndicating this site. Let's see what we can do to those rankings.

Vadim's analysis of Martirosov-Slive Rd. 7 adjourned position

Along with his own notes, Alex sent in Vadim’s analysis of their Round 7 adjourned position. I can’t include enough diagrams to make clear all the subtle positional and tactical themes in this line. Instead, I would strongly recommend that you play through these moves on a board (physical or electronic). You won’t be disappointed.

Note – this is all analysis; the actual moves of the game can be found here. To be as accurate as possible, I would attribute what follows as -- analysis by Vadim, commentary by Alex based on his post-mortem with Vadim, and very minor editing by me:

Martirosov-Slive Rd. 7 adjourned position

[Vadim showed me a beautiful almost study-like variation that he worked on for hours during the adjournment. It ends in a draw and he thought it probably was Black's best play]

41.Be4 Ne6 42.Kf3 Nf4 43.h4 Nh3

[Black attempts aggressive counterplay]

44.Ke3 Rxf2 45.Ra7

[Threatening e6]


[Black gets a pawn for compensation]

46.e6 Rf6!

[Only move - e7 is threatened and Black plans ...Re6. 46...Kf8? loses to 47.e7+ followed by Bc6]


[Best move - 47.Bd5? Nf4 48.e7 Nxd5+]

47...Kf8 48.e7+ Ke8 49.Kd4

[White wants to play Bd3/c2 followed by Bb5+/a4+ but has to avoid a Rook check at e6 first]

49…Ng5 50.Kc5!

[Beautiful! 50.Bc2 Rf4+ 51.Kd5 Rxg4 and Black will give up his Rook for White’s Bishop after a check on a4; 50.Bd3 Rd6+ 51.Kc4 Rxd3 52.Kxd3 h3]


[Now this is forced]

51.gxf5 h3 52.Ra6!

[An amazing line is 52.Kd6 Ne4+ 53.Ke5 h2 54.f6 (54.Ra1? Nf2) 54...Nxf6 55.Ra1 with a probable draw (not 55.Kxf6?? because 55…h1Q covers a8!)]

52...f6! 53.Ra4

[53.Rxf6?? Ne4+]

53...Kxe7 54.Rh4 Kf7 55.Rxh6

[A positional draw]

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Round 7: Riordan-Chase 1/2

perpetual motion

White develops attacking chances against Black's king along the open h-file, but plays too passively at a critical moment and fails to exploit them. Instead, Black gives up his queen for a rook, bishop and several pawns. At the first adjournment it looks like White has few chances to survive. However, he finds a line which enables Black to queen a pawn and be up a full rook but results in a draw by perpetual check. An exciting finish to this year's Championship.

[Event "BCC Championship"]
[Site "Somerville, MA USA"]
[Date "2004.11.08"]
[Round "7"]
[White "
Riordan, Charles"]
[Black "
Chase, Chris"]
[Result "1/2"]
[WhiteUSCF "
[BlackUSCF "
[ECO "
[Opening "Sicilian Defense"]
[Variation "
[Sub-Variation "Unusual White 6th moves, 6 Be3 e5"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Nbd7 9.g4 h6 10.Qd2 Rc8 11.0-0-0 Qc7 12.Kb1 Nb6 13.h4 Be7 14.Qg2 g6 15.Qf2

[The first new move. The previous time this position was reached the game continued 15.g5 hxg5 16.hxg5 Nh5 17.f4 Nc4 18.Bxc4 Bxc4 19.f5 b5 Lobron-Quinteros, London BBC TV-A 1981 1-0 (33)]

15...Nc4 16.Bxc4 Bxc4 17.Bb6 Qd7 18.Na5 Be6 19.g5 hxg5 20.hxg5 Rxh1 21.Rxh1 Nh5 22.Qd2 Kf8

[Fritz suggests 22...Bxg5 23.Qxg5 Rxc3 24.bxc3 Qb5+ 25.Nb3 Qxb6 26.Qd2 Black has a pawn and the superior pawn structure in return for the exchange (equal?)]

23.Be3 b5 24.Nd5 Bxd5 25.exd5 Qf5 26.Qg2 Kg7 27.Nc6 Bd8 28.a3 Nf4?

[A mistake which would have been punished if White had found the correct continuation at move 30]

29.Bxf4 exf4

Riordan-Chase Rd. 7 Diagram


[Why take the rook off the h-file? Instead 30.Nd4! Qxg5 31.Qh3 Qh5 32.Nf5+! Kf6 33.Qxh5 gxh5 34.Nxd6 Rb8 35.Rxh5 and White is effectively up two pawns in the ending]

30...Qxd5 31.Qh3!?

[A risky continuation. 31.Nxd8 Rxd8 32.Qh2 Qe5 looks drawish]

31...Qxc6 32.Qh6+ Kg8 33.Rh1 Qxc2+ 34.Ka1 Qc1+ 35.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 36.Ka2 Rc5 37.Qh3 Rf5

[A good move which keeps the White queen from penetrating at d7 or c8]

38.Qf1 Bxg5 39.Qd3 d5 40.Qc3 Bf6

[At adjournment, the consensus opinion was that White would be hard pressed to draw. Charles proved the kibitzers wrong]


[Sealed move]

41...Kg7 42.Qxa6 d4 43.Qc6 Re5 44.Kb1 Re1+ 45.Kc2 Re2+ 46.Kc1 d3 47.Qxb5 Bxb2+ 48.Kb1 Re1+ 49.Ka2! Ra1+ 50.Kxb2 d2 51.Qe5+ Kh7 52.Qxf4 d1Q 53.Qxf7+

[It is a perpetual check since White can't interpose with his queen without giving up the rook]

53...Kh6 54.Qf4+ Kg7 55.Qe5+ Kf7 56.Qf4+ Ke6 57.Qe4+ Kf7 58.Qf4+ Kg8 59.Qb8+ Kh7 60.Qh2+ Kg7 61.Qe5+ [Sealed move] ½-½

[The game was agreed drawn without resuming]

Friday, November 19, 2004

Prize Winners

First Place - Paul Mac Intyre
$300 plus free entry to all eligible tournaments at the BCC from December 1, 2004 to November 30, 2005

Second & Third Place - Chris Chase & Vadim Martirosov
Split the second and third place prizes of $200 and $100 respectively ($150 each)

Fourth through Eighth Place - Cherniack, Riordan, Glickman, Williams, Slive
The recognition and prestige (if any) of participating in the 2004 Boylston Chess Club Championship tournament

Special TD Prize - Bernardo Iglesias
Our gratitude for another flawlessly run tournament

See also my previous post "Prize Fund".

Alex's notes to Martirosov-Slive Rd. 7 adjournment

Alex provided notes to the adjournment session from the 7th round game Martirosov-Slive. He also sent a variation which Vadim believes was best play from the adjourned position (I will post it separately once I have a chance to look at it – to call it complicated would be an understatement). Here are Alex’s comments:

Martirosov-Slive Rd. 7 Adjourned Position

[Yes, Black has drawing chances after the adjournment.]


[Sealed move]

41...Ne6 42.Kf3 Nf4 43.h4 Rb2 44.hxg5 hxg5 45.Bf5 Rb3+ 46.Ke4 Rb4+ 47.Ke3 Rb3+ 48.Kd4 Rb2 49.f3 Rd2+ 50.Ke3 Re2+

[50…Rd5 should draw. 51.Rxd5 Nxd5+ is forced. After 52.Kd4 Nf4, if White ever plays e6, Black trades pawns and not minor pieces, puts his K at h6, and bounces his N around to the right square from f4. How can White win?]

51.Kd4 Rd2+ 52.Kc4

[Not 52.Kc5 Rd5+ and the draw is similar to the note above.]

52...Rd8 53.Ra7 Re8

[After 53.Ra7, I started to lose the thread. I don't think 53...Re8 is losing yet, but much better is 53...Kf8 to stop any lines based on e5-e6. Black would then just keep his R on the d-file - if White ever advances his K to the 5th rank, then …Rd5 would win a pawn.]

54.Kd4 Ne2+

[I still think Black is OK after the text move 54…Ne2+, but 54…Kf8 is more to the point.]

55.Kd5 Rd8+

[Again 55…Kf8 or even 55…Nf4+ 56.Kd6 Kf8 looks like it still holds. How can White take advantage of his advanced K? After the text move 55…Rd8+ both Black's R and N have strayed from the e6 square and trouble is lurking.]

56.Kc4 Re8??

[56…Re8?? is the real clunker. 56…Nf4?? is also answered by 57.e6. Black has to play 56…Kf8 and if White ever plays e6, an endgame arises similar to the first note, but with R's on the board. I think this is still a draw.]


[After 57.e6 it's all over.]

57…Rf8 58.Kd5 Kf6 59.e7 Re8 60.Kd6 Nd4 61.Rb7 Nxf5+ 62.gxf5 Kxf5 63.Kd7 Rxe7+ 64.Kxe7 Kf4 65.Kf6 1-0

[65.Kf6! is a pretty end to the game. 65.Kxf7 leads to a draw. (I think.)]

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Standings after Round 7

Paul Mac Intyre
Mac Intyre takes the crown by a 1/2 point. Chase and Martirosov tie for second.

5.5 Mac Intyre

5.0 Chase, Martirosov

4.5 Cherniack

3.0 Riordan

2.5 Glickman

1.5 Williams

1.0 Slive

Riordan and Chase agree to a draw!

Charles reports:

Riordan-Chase was agreed drawn without further moves (White has a perpetual check since black can never move his queen off the first rank). The sealed move was 61.Qe5+.

Congratulations to our 2004 Boylston Chess Club Champion -- Paul Mac Intyre.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Riordan-Chase Rd. 7 adjourned position #2

The final game of the Championship has been adjourned for a second time -- the only time this has happened in this tournament. Since the 3rd time control is Sudden Death/30, the game must come to a conclusion during tonight's session.

Riordan-Chase Rd. 7 adjourned position #2
White sealed his 61st move

White: Kb2; Qh2; Pawns on a3 and f3

Black: Kg7; Qd1; Ra1; Pawn on g6

FEN "8/6k1/6p1/8/8/P4P2/1K5Q/r2q4 w - - 0 61"

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

23.5 cents

... the amount of interest which could have been earned to date in an ING Orange savings account on the $300 first prize had the Championship actually ended on the scheduled date for the final round (November 3rd).