EppsNet Archive: Chess

Chess Game of the Day: 8-Move King’s Pawn Game


One of my online chess games. Some annotations below . . . 2. g3 This opening move doesn’t have a name as far as I know. 4. Bxf4? There’s no way I can see for Black to save the pawn after 4. Nc3 so why put the bishop out there as a target? 6. b3? 6. h3 would prevent Black’s follow-up move. 7. Ng2? 6. Bxc6+ knocks out a valuable Black piece. 8. Bf1?? White’s game is probably lost already so instead of prolonging with something like 8. Nc3, why not just commit suicide? Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Caro-Kann Defense


One of my online chess games. Two or three weak middle game moves by me and I got hit by an avalanche. Some annotations below . . . 1. …c6 Caro-Kann Defense 3. e5 Advance Variation 3. …c5 Botvinnik-Carls Defense 13. Qd4? Maybe 13. a4, instead of putting the queen where Black can point a bishop at it. 29. Ra2 Black has the best of things at this point. Possibly Rxf8, taking a piece out of the attack, is an improvement. 34. Ra8? Moving the rook back to a2 would have been better. 39. …Ra1 I thought 39. …Ra2 was better but this move still doesn’t put much of a dent in a large Black advantage. 41. Re2?? 41. Ke3 could have prolonged the agony. The game is really over at this point, but in a blitz game where we both had a little under 40 seconds left, why not… Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Queen’s Pawn Game, Chigorin Variation


One of my online chess games. Some annotations below . . . 2. …d5 Queen’s Pawn Game: Chigorin Variation 12. Ne5 12. Nd2 might be better, as the queen’s bishop runs into a wall in this line. 16. Bg3 A sacrifice that’s maybe not easy to find in a 2+1 blitz game is 16. f4 gxe5 17. fxg5 followed by O-O. 22. Rxf6?! 22. …Qxf6?! 22. …Kxf6 is better just in terms of material but this is playable. 22. Kxg2? This can wait. 22. Rd1 brings another piece into the fray. 29. Rd2? I like 29. h4 because the king can use h2 as an escape square, and the rook is going to be better at d3. 30. Qe4?? Losing. Advancing the h-pawn keeps the game alive. 30. …Bh3+ Mate to follow. Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Ruy Lopez


One of my online chess games. White had a significant advantage, squandered it, then misplayed a forced draw. Some annotations below . . . 3. Bb5 Ruy Lopez 3. Bxc6 Exchange Variation 5. …f6 Gligoric Variation 17. …c4? This opens up the b-file for White’s rook, although he ends up not using it. 20. a5? 20. Rb1 is better. 20. …Bxd3?? This looks like a losing move. I could have defused the king-side problems with 20. …b5. 21. Rxd3 21. axb6 was probably worth a try. 22. …b5 This is now a little late. 23. d4? White is still winning but 23. Rb1 Qd7 24. Nxb5! axb5 25. a6 was the way to go. 36. Rb6? At this point, White has pretty much defused his own attack. 36. Rd4, opening b6 for the queen, looks better. 37. e4? Don’t like it because White can survive 37. …Rxe4 38. Qf7+, and… Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: French Defense


One of my online chess games. Black builds a probably winning advantage but is running short on time (in a 3+2 blitz game). I offered a draw, which Black declined. This was followed by some not-so-good moves on both sides, including a losing blunder by Black on the last move. Some annotations below . . . 1. …e6 French Defense 39. Qa5? Black has probably a winning advantage and it’s hard to find a strong move. 39. …Ba6+? Black could start to capitalize on the pawn advantage with 39. …c4. 41. Qa1? I didn’t see it coming but 41. Kh2 would have avoided the upcoming knight sacrifice on g3, which opens up the diagonal to the White king. Black is winning but has only 21 seconds left (I have 43) so I offered a draw, which Black declined. 42. Qa4? 42. Qc3 would have guarded g3. It’s too late for… Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Italian Game Sudden Death


One of my online chess games. Some annotations below . . . 3. Bc4 Italian Game 3. …Nf6 Two Knights Defense 5. …Na5 Polerio Defense 6. Bb5+ Bishop Check Line 8. …Qd5?! More speculative than 8. …Nd5 15. Qf2? I thought White had the advantage had he played 15. Nh3, blocking the Black rook from pinning the White h-pawn. 17. Re2?? White has a playable position by covering the rook with 17. Kg1 (probably best) or one of several knight moves, but any effort at saving the rook by moving it results in . . . 17. …Ng3# Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Rubinstein Opening


One of my online chess games. A pretty even game all the way until it ended with a colossal mistake, as chess games sometimes do. Some annotations below . . . 5. b3 Rubinstein Opening 37. Qf1 I kind of wonder about this move as it lets Black deliver a queen check on the 2nd rank. 39. Nf6+?? We were both running short of time (in a 2+1 bullet game) and I was about to offer a draw when White did this, missing that he can’t recapture. 40. Qfx6+?? So he recaptures anyway. Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Halloween Gambit


One of my online chess games. Some annotations below . . . 4. Nxe5?! I never saw this before in a Four Knights Game but it actually has a name: the Halloween Gambit. In exchange for a knight, White gets to chase black knights around the board with pawns. 9. …c6? This is not such a good move if White had played 10 h4 because the knight at g6 doesn’t have many options. Instead, 9 …cxd6 10 exd6 Qf6 11. Qe2+ Qe6 12. Nb5 Qxe2+ simplifies with a material advantage. 11. Nxb5? Just backing the bishop up to d6 looks better. 14. …a5? White could have played 15 Bd2 attacking the pawn. 15. O-O? 15. …Nh6? This gives White time to play 16. Be3 (which he doesn’t) and cut off the diagonal to his king so Black can’t play 16. …Qb6+, which I should have played this move. 16. f5??… Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Modern Defense


One of my online chess games. Some annotations below . . . 2. …Bg7 Modern Defense 11. Ng5?! 11. b4 is a safe alternative. 12. Ne6?! 12. Nf6 is positionally better than leaving a pawn hanging at e6, but then what was the point of moving the knight to g5 in the first place? (Spoiler alert: This move will turn out okay.) 14. …Rb8 14 …b6 would have been better. 15. Rd1? In hindsight, I think 15. c5 would have been stronger. The rook move gives Black time to play 15 …c5 (which he doesn’t do) and prevent White’s c-pawn from advancing. 15. …Nf6? Much worse than 15 …c5. 16. …c6?? The game is pretty even here, but Black needs to get the king to h7, out of the White queen’s line of fire. Instead he makes the worst move on the board, allowing a discovered check, losing the queen… Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: 8-Move Three Knights Game


One of my online chess games. Some annotations below . . . 3. …Bb4 Three Knights Game 5. …Nxe4 Not wild about that move. Maybe d6 is better, or Qe7. 6. …Nf6?? Terrible. 7. Rg8?? Black could stay alive with Rf8 but why bother? Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Two Knights Defense


Man vs. computer. I feel like I was winning most of the game, screwed up, then missed the opportunity for a forced draw. Some annotations below . . . 3. …Nf6 Two Knights Defense 8. …Qd5?! I’m not sure what is the point of this move. It threatens the g-pawn, followed by 9. …Qxg5 but is easily defended by a move that White would make anyway. 12. Ne4?! Maybe capturing the bishop is better: 12. Bxg6 hxg6 13. d3 Be7 14. Nc3 Qd4+ 15. Be3. 18. …Qf4 Threatening 19. …Qxh2#. 21. …Qh5 Again threatening 19. …Qxh2#. 30. Qe1? I wish I’d taken the c-pawn. Pretty much lost the advantage with this move. White can survive 30. …Re1+ 31. Kg2 Re2+ 32. Kf1 Rxh2 33. Rh4 Rxh4 34. gxh4 Kh7 35. Qe4. 31. a4?? This was even worse. Probably 33. Kg2 was the way to go. 33. …Qf2?? Allowing a forced… Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Time Problems Force a Draw


One of my online chess games. I feel like I would have lost but it ended with a draw by repetition when Black ran short of time. Some annotations below . . . 2. Nc3 Vienna Game 3. …Nc6 Four Knights Game 12. Rad1 Probably 12. Bxc6 is better. 15. …Bg4 I feel like 15. …exf4 is an improvement. 20. …Bh4 I don’t see what this move accomplishes. 23. …Qf5 I like 23. …Qa5 here. 27. Rxc7 At this point, I feel like Black should be able to continue with something like 27. Rd8 and win by queening the a-pawn. (Capturing the a-pawn with 28. Rxa7 doesn’t help after 27. …Rd2. But Black only has 14 seconds left in a 2-minute game and after 6 seconds of thought, takes the draw by repetition. Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: Four Knights Game


One of my online chess games. Some annotations below . . . 2. Nc3 Vienna Game 3. …Nc6 Four Knights Game 4. Nd5?! I think Bb5 or d4 is more common but I like this move. 7. Nxf6+ Qe2+ is a possibility. 8. …Be7 I feel like …h6 is an improvement as it prevents White’s next move. 12. Nxd4 Black seems to be in good shape with something like …Ng6 instead of 12. …Qxd4?? followed by loss of the queen. Read more →

Chess Game of the Day: 8-Move Closed Sicilian


One of my online chess games. A few annotations below. 2. Nc3 (Closed Sicilian Defense) 5. …Bg4 Everything’s been pretty standard thus far but this is unusual compared to, say, Be7. 7. Nxe5! I’m generously giving myself an exclamation point on this. 7. …Bxd1?? That must have been very tempting but it leads to a forced mate. Better to take the knight on e5. 8. Bxf7+ After 8. …Ke1 (forced) 9. Nd5# is mate. Read more →

Competitive Programming: POJ 2488 – A Knight’s Journey


Description Background The knight is getting bored of seeing the same black and white squares again and again and has decided to make a journey around the world. Whenever a knight moves, it is two squares in one direction and one square perpendicular to this. The world of a knight is the chessboard he is living on. Our knight lives on a chessboard that has a smaller area than a regular 8 * 8 board, but it is still rectangular. Can you help this adventurous knight to make travel plans? Problem Find a path such that the knight visits every square once. The knight can start and end on any square of the board. Input The input begins with a positive integer n in the first line. The following lines contain n test cases. Each test case consists of a single line with two positive integers p and q, such… Read more →

Man Ray Chess Set


Really liked this Man Ray chess set at MOCA . . . white has played e4 and waits forever for a response that’s never coming . . . Read more →

This Was the Room I Had to Live In


This was the room I had to live in. It was all I had in the way of a home. In it was everything that was mine, that had any association for me, anything that took the place of a family. Not much; a few books, pictures, radio, chessmen, old letters, stuff like that. Nothing. Such as they were they had all my memories. — Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep Read more →

Greece is Going Out of Business


I remember the good old days when we only had to worry about small banks going out of business. Then big banks started to go out of business, then non-bank financial institutions, and now small countries. The problem with having a lot of debt is that, with some exceptions (“too big to fail”), bad things happen when your investors get nervous. My memory is not photographic as some of the legends about me say, but I am sure I would remember if the works of Adam Smith included the phrase “too big to fail.” — Garry Kasparov What are the odds that people running companies or countries will make smart decisions about money if they don’t need to make smart decisions — if they can do just as well or better making dumb decisions and being rescued from the consequences? According to the government debt chart below, the next countries… Read more →

Everyone Was Equal


Sorry, but I’m from a place where everything was “shared equally” and it wasn’t as nice as some of you seem to think it would be. — Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) October 20, 2013 Or as fellow grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi wrote in his autobiography: “The Soviets were very successful: everyone was equal — equally poor.” Read more →

Bobby Fischer, 1943-2008


Americans like a winner. If you lose, you’re nothing. I’m going to win, though. It’s good for the match that Spassky has a plus score against me. We’ve met five times. He’s won three times and we’ve drawn twice. But I’m a stronger player and a long match favors me. — Bobby Fischer Bobby Fischer died last week in Reykjavik, Iceland, the site of his greatest triumph — the 1972 World Chess Championship. He was 64 years old, one year for each square on a chessboard. For the first half of his life, his brilliance as a chess player mostly outweighed his irrational judgment and paranoia. For the second half of his life, it was the other way around. In the middle of the Cold War, he beat the Soviets at their own game. He became as famous as a rock star while playing a game that absolutely no one… Read more →

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