Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Edmonton (1), 21.08.2008
Fun Rybka line: 17.Bxg6 hxg6 18.Nxg6 Rf7 19.f4 exf4 20.Qxf4; I had looked only at 17.Nxg6? hxg6 18.h4 Ne6 19.Qh6 Qxd3
Elizabeth Vicary says: How did you come to be on the Arizona team? Were you a founding member? A hired gun? A strange apparition in the night?
Mark Ginsburg says: I was living and working in Chicago then came back to Tucson when that work arrangement ended. So now I'm living in Tucson and hence a "local."
At some point, I was going to be transferred to San Jose so in another reality I could have been a "Mechanic." I'm not a founding member... I think Leo Martinez founded the club then invited me when he learned I was coming back to Tucson.
Elizabeth Vicary says: So you're saying you were a tack-on at the end?
Mark Ginsburg says: Not quite an afterthought, more like an early 'n solid addition. :)
Elizabeth Vicary says: In New York, we have some team props, or more accurately, Jay Bonin has a sword and shield. Do you have any Scorpion related team spirit items?
Mark Ginsburg says: I just want to say I liked living in SF in the year 1999-2000 very much so I have positive feelings towards the Mechanics. :)
Now I will answer your q :) We have Amanda Mateer as a Spirit Item. No kiddie crap like Bonin's toys … Let me rephrase: no kiddie crap *yet*. I am sure Robby will think of something
Elizabeth Vicary says: How is Amanda Mateer like a scorpion?
Elizabeth Vicary says: ok, so... related question. I have a pair, ok, 2 pair, of NY Knights underwear. I would have misgivings, however, about wearing underwear with a frightening scorpion on it. Aren't you afraid your female fans might share my hesitation?
Mark Ginsburg says: Are "they" selling scorpions underwear? If so, yes. I think Scorpions gear is most definitely a little scary. I found a real one in my boot the hard way
Elizabeth Vicary says: Scary enough to change your logo to, perhaps, a fuzzy cat?
Mark Ginsburg says: I think an Agave Plant would be nice. Agave makes mescal.... we could all be trippin' balls to be consonant with our logo.
Elizabeth Vicary says: wow. Okay, moving on…How much will you be in the AZ line up? Do you have any say in what the weekly team composition is? If so, what line up strategies can you reveal?
Mark Ginsburg says: I would like to play as much as possible. We have two possible locations and players split up between Phoenix and Tucson. Some of us can travel. Levon, Warren Harper, Robby and I are in Tucson. Aldama, Barcenilla, Rensch are in Phoenix area. It's up to us *where* to play the match; there are numerous possible lineups, very complex.
Elizabeth Vicary says: any predictions for the team you expect to see from Dallas? Where do you think they are strongest and weakest against you guys?
Mark Ginsburg says: I am not sure who they will play... they have a lot of strong players. Our best hope to do damage is board 4. Since they have so many 2500s, they have to go down to a relatively weaker board 4. As a strategist, I need Board One to hold, Boards 2 and 3 to get 0.5 at least, and a win on 4. Quite honestly, in USCL, anything can happen. In our first match, our 2350 played much worse than that. But if we have a player who buckles down and is Joe Solid without freakouts, we have good chances on 4.
Elizabeth Vicary says: yeah, what happened with Warren there?
Mark Ginsburg says: He was probably nervous. Was lost the first time I glanced at his board! Levon and I grimaced, but what can we do? He was just lost. I think he got some lines mixed up. Our prep session was dreadful.
Elizabeth Vicary says: Tell us about your prep sessions.
Mark Ginsburg says: They are not good. We try to have one solid prep per match... but we need to bring them above the level of nonsensical. I didn't help in the prep session, laying on a sofa and yelling I was tired.
Elizabeth Vicary says: Tell me what you guessed for each game
Mark Ginsburg says: I was gonna say, NY would have benefited greatly from a productive prep before the Boston match.
We guessed Warren's opp would go for a 4. e3 Nimzo. And he didn't. He went for a 4. a3 Saemisch. Warren acted as if the Saemisch was totally foreign territory for him.
Robby lent me a book so that I could repeat a recent draw I had vs Pasalic OTB, a Taimonov. And then I varied with a Kan.
Elizabeth Vicary says: Why did you do that? That’s not guessing wrong
Mark Ginsburg says: I did it because I an enamored with putting my N on d7 in Sicilians, a bias of mine. But Nc6 is more active. :) Delchev's book, which was new to me, is a nice book. (on the Taimonov).
Levon did some private prep, he was out of town for our group prep. Obviously his prep went well. Robby just played on 'general considerations' vs Burgess.... that went well except for his nerves playing tricks and driving him down to 8 secs.
Elizabeth Vicary says: But what did he expect in opening? And did he get it?
Mark Ginsburg says: Some kind of slow sicilian, yes, he got it. I just wanted to give a link to levon and robby's notes to their games; http://sazchess.org/reference/palview4/games/USCL/week1.htm it helps answer some prep questions.
Elizabeth Vicary says: ok, on to your evaluations of other teams...Who do you think will make the playoffs?
Mark Ginsburg says: In the West, I think SF is the best. I think we have serious competition with Dallas for #2. West is tough…
We are extremely hard to predict, we have so many faces. In fact our lineup has us always contesting matches tightly, and never being crushed, but never blowing anyone away! We are compact.
Mark Ginsburg says: Yes, many players are seriously adversely affected by computer play. I tried out moving on a physical board myself, and it worked out well (Amanda relayed and so did Ben Marmont). As long as there is not frantic "Robby-esque" time pressure.
Elizabeth Vicary says: what did you guys do after the game? Any celebrations?
Mark Ginsburg says: We went nuts. We went to Applebees and we were all emotionally wrecked by the tension. We ordered a billion drinks in the 15 minute window we had before last-call. Of course, the underaged Warren and Amanda and Ben did not have alcohol because we are a law-abiding team. I was probably screaming out "Up in the Air, Junior Birdman!" I have a pic to go along with that.
Elizabeth Vicary says: Great, skype it to me. What does it mean?
Mark Ginsburg says: It's something you say while flapping your arms. You sort of make bird-eyes then flap your elbows and yell that out. It's an art-form.
Elizabeth Vicary says: Okay, now for the difficult analogy question part of this interview. Ready?
Which of the Arizona Scorpions is most like …
a kitchen appliance, and what kind?
Mark Ginsburg says: Levon is a highly efficient microwave
Elizabeth Vicary says: mode of transportation, and what kind?
Mark Ginsburg says: Warren is a dirt bike with big shocks.
Elizabeth Vicary says: Ethnic cuisine, and what kind?
Mark Ginsburg says: I am Indian buffet lunch
Elizabeth Vicary says: Grammatical mistake, and what kind?
Mark Ginsburg says: Aldama is an improper failure to space an ellipsis
Elizabeth Vicary says: Farm product, and what?
Mark Ginsburg says: Rensch is a wheat thresher
Elizabeth Vicary says: That's not a product. That's an implement.
Mark Ginsburg says: That's a farm tool. So for product I will say "cereal.":)
Elizabeth Vicary says: Still Rensch?
Mark Ginsburg says: Toasted HONEY Oats. Yes. Heart-Healthy.
Elizabeth Vicary says: Consitutional amendment, and which one?
Mark Ginsburg says: FM Ken Larsen is the Women's Right to Vote.
Elizabeth Vicary says: Typical undergraduate essay topic, and what?
Mark Ginsburg says: Leo Martinez is the tried and true "Understanding the Beginnings of the Cold War."
Elizabeth Vicary says: And lastly…Beatles song, and which one?
Mark Ginsburg says: I would like to be "Blue Jay Way" for its much maligned "mystical" influences. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Jay_Way
Elizabeth Vicary says: is there anything else you would like to say?
Mark Ginsburg says: I would like to thank you for letting me bla bla and most importantly, if I impugned any player or team in my stupid blog, remember "all press is good press." Teams and fans, keep the contro in controversy!
Edmonton International (5), 21.08.2008
Hurray! I did what my file says I'm supposed to.
Probably a wasted tempo? Brynell -Cramling 1993 0–1 went 9...Be7 10.d3 e5 11.Nc4 Be6 12.a4 Qd7 13.Bd2 Rad8 14.b3 f5 15.Ra2 Bf6
12.cxd4 Bf6 I figured this was a fine isolated pawn position for me. My knight is already on d5, his dark bishop doesn't have any obvious squares, and his Ne2 is placed a little strangely.
13.cxd4 It would be insane, of course, to trade a pair of minor pieces and then accept an isolated pawn.
14.Qg4 [14.Qd3? Nxc3]
15.Ne3 I don't want to take this knight at all, because I think both his knight and bishop want to be on e3, but unfortunately I don't have a good retreat.
17.Qb4-- I was scared of this move in the game. It's like I'm almost equal, except that his bishops have unpleasant pressure against my queenside pawns. 17...Bc6 18.Bb6 Qc8 19.Rfd1 Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Qc6+ 21.Kg1 still, just slightly unpleasant.
I don't want to weaken my pawns without trading queens, since they will be on light squares and consequently are much more vunerable with queens on.
Not 23...Bxc3? I'm not winning a pawn and I'm just activating his rook. 24.Rxd8+ Rxd8 25.Rc1 Bb4 26.Rxc6]
24.Rac1 [24.c4? Rh5]
I need to push the pawns on the side where I have an extra. If I just sit around, he will make a queenside passed pawn and beat me.
Beastie likes 34...Ke6!? 35.h3 (35.b5?! axb5+ 36.axb5 cxb5+ 37.Kxb5 Kd5 38.c6 Bd8 39.Bb4 e4 40.gxf4 gxf4 41.Bc5=) 35...g4 36.hxg4 hxg4 37.gxf4 Bh4 38.f5+ (38.fxe5 Bxf2-/+) 38...Kxf5 39.Be3=
38.Kxb5 h4 [38...Bd8]
39.c6+ Kc7 not Kc8 because I want the white bishop to have to come to a5
40.Ba5+ Kc8 41.Bb4 Bg5 42.Bd6 [42.Kc4]
I had spent some time making sure of everything and I was proud of myself. But then I started second-guessing ... somehow I talked myself into believing that I would be zugzwanged and my king would have to move out from c8, allowing the pawn to queen. And I did something pretty uncharacteristic-- I didn't double check the "losing" variation, I just gave up and got upset. Which is a shame because the draw is pretty.
49.c7+ Kc8 50.Kc6 Bg1 51.Bxg1 h2 52.Bxh2 stalemate]
45.Kd5 Kd8?? oh my god [45...Bg1]
46.Ke4 Bg1 47.Kf5 1–0
US Open (8), 21.08.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0–0 Nc6 6.c3 Nf6 7.d4 Nxe4 8.d5 Ne5 9.Re1 Nxf3+ 10.Qxf3 Nf6
The alternative is 11.c4, when the line typically goes e5 12.dxe6 fxe6 13.Bg5 Be7 14.Nc3 0–0 15.Qh3 h6 16.Qxe6+ Qxe6 17.Rxe6 Kf7 18.Rae1 Rfe8 (18...Rae8? 19.Nb5) 19.Bh4 g5! but this position looked dull to me, so I had decided to play the text move, 11. Na3.
Now my much-loved book on this opening, Palliser's The Bb5 Sicilian, gives 12. Bg5 an exclam here, although it does not consider my opponent's response at all. The alternative is 12. b4, which is played two moves later in Palliser's root game Pfretzschner - Forsberg corr. 1992, but is not mention by Palliser as a possibility on move 12, even though it's the more common move. Next time I will play it, assuming, of course, that I remember.
12.b4 Qg4 (12...cxb4 13.Nc2 bxc3 14.Nd4 I saw one game, in fact I showed it as a lesson to some kids, where white did this funny maneuver, but it was after Bg5, h6, Bxf6 gxf6 was thrown in. ) 13.Qd3 e6 14.dxe6 fxe6 15.Qb5 Bosboom - Brenninkmeijer 1991 0 –1
He offered a draw somewhere around here.
Now I couldn't decide if I wanted my knight on c2, from where it can go to e3 /f5?!, or on c3
20.Nc2 [20.Nb5 a6 21.Nc3 Re7 22.Kf1]
I offered the draw here. I was worried that he could play a6 and b5, then bring the king to the queenside and attack my two weak pawns on c4 and a2. We looked at it after the game and found a lot of good lines for him, but I don't remember them anymore and the computer thinks I'm fine. Of course I can always meet a6 with a4 anyway... ½–½
PS Sorry I know that was boring.
US Open (7), 19.08.2008
5.a3 [5.g3 and 5.Nc3 are more common] 5...Bxd2+
I thought I was achieving something with this, because I feel like black often tries to push the e pawn in connection with a kingside attack in these types of positions. But I think I should first castle and play Nc6, so his knight can't go to d4. This way I don't have to play ...c5, which actually makes a pretty serious weakness on d5.
11.Nb5 a6? And really, why am I spending a tempo to push the knight to c3 where it is better placed? Of course at the time I thought I was gaining a tempo, but that's very silly stereotypic thinking on my part.
13.Qc2 Re8 [On 13...Bf5 I was worried about 14.g4]
I couldn't decide if I wanted the knight here on or c6. The advantages to d7 are that I can maybe go via f8 to the kingside, and that the knight will not be attacked by a white pawn if one gets to d5.
15...Nc6 16.Nd5 Qe5 17.Qb3 This variation is why I rejected 15...Nc6. I thought I would have to play 17...Rb8 here and that didn't fit in with my narrative of playing a smooth, controlled win against a 1500.
16.Rfe1 Rad8? Probably a strategic mistake in the sense that bringing a rook to d8 is eventually going to lead to an exchange of all rooks (and then queens?) on the d file. Since I have more space and a potential kingside attack, I want to avoid exchanges. Perhaps 16...h5?
While he was thinking about this, I was looking at 17.f3 (or 17. f4, because I guess I have to take it?) 17... exf3 18.Qxf5 Qxe3+ (18...fxe2 19.Rxe2) 19.Kh1 fxe2 20.Rxe2 Qh6. I was a little nervous about this because while I knew I should be better, being up a pawn, I felt temporarily uncoordinated and like something bad might happen. Of course I can also not take the pawn immediately. (18...fxe2)
17...Bg6 stopping f3/f4... for good, but maybe a big waste of time, especially because my bishop might become quite bad there.
19...Nf3+ 20.gxf3 exf3 21.Bd3 Qe6! Alex found this immediately after the game. There's no good defense. 22.Ne2 then best is 22...Nh5 (But also good is: 22...fxe2 23.Rxe2 Qg4+ 24.Ng3 h5) when the threat is simply 23... Qh3 24.Nf4 Nxf4 25.exf4 Qg2#]
I was expecting 20.Ng3 and had planned 20...h4 21.Ngxe4 Nxe4 22.Nxe4 Rxd2 23.Rxd2 h3 (23...Nxc4) 24.g3 (24.gxh3 Qh4)
20... h4 21. Rxd8 Rxd8 22.Rxd8+ Qxd8 23.Ngxe4 Nxe4 24.Nxe4 h3 25.g3 (25.gxh3 Qh4) 25...Bxe4 26.Qxe4 Qd2 27.Qxe5 Qxe2 28.Qe8+ Kh7 29.Qe4+ somehow in my head here I thought I could play g6-- I didn't see Qh4 won the h3 pawn-- and I thought I had good chances, but the truth is he has perpetual... 29...Kg8 30.Qe8+ etc.
20...Rxd8 21.Rxd8+ Qxd8 22.Qd2 So now I made a bad practical decision, although I'm not sure I would do differently next time. I saw that the endgame after trading queens is very hard to win. My bishop is not any better than his, in reality. So I tried to find something to avoid this, but nothing is great.
22...Nfd7 I knew this was a bad move, and I understood when I played it that Qd5 was a great response and not so hard to see. I just figured I would take my chances and try to trick the guy somehow. Alternatives are dismal: 22...Qb6 23.Na4 Qc7 or 22...Qe7 23.Nd5 Qe6 24.Nxf6+ Qxf6 25.Qd5]
23.Qd5 Qh4 24.Qxb7
I was hoping for 24.g3 Qh3. Unfortunately, even with this I have no threats.
24...Nf6?? 25. Qb8. I'm an idiot. 1–0
Friday, August 29, 2008
"With humor and a tragicomic sense, which belongs to art since the times of Greek tragedy, Kippenberger ... faces his condition of suffering, which he expresses in many works, also, for example, in a video in which he crucifies himself," the museum said in a statement.
Also don't miss the exploits of other US Chess celebrities....
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Jay playing Denys Shmelov
Jay enjoys poprocks chocolate.
John Fernandez is team capain for the match.
Evan and Jay playing.
Greg Bravlovsky and Alex Shabalov playing. Jfern relays moves.
Monday, August 25, 2008
EV: Hey, can I interview you about the Knights?
AS: I’d say it’s too early for the interview, and I don’t mean in the day...
I decide to ignore his refusal.
AS: I compare myself to no other. My performances are unique… in the best sense of this word.
EV: What’s your record against Wednesday’s opponent, Jorge Sammour-Hasbun?
AS: Maybe there were some draws, but ... I don’t remember them.
EV: And the wins and losses?
AS: I don’t know, 20-0? Something like that.
AS: (shrugs) I don’t know. He’s not playing for a long time.
EV: How do you rate your teammates' chances?
AS: It’s hard for me to estimate that, as obviously I could give a simul to the entire Boston team. I expect total Knights domination on boards 1-4. We have so much depth. Our bench is uncomparable to the other teams in the league.
EV: Of everyone in the league, who are you most looking forward to playing?
AS: I want to play cornfield boy Jaan Ehlvest from Tennessee. Jaan found his roots, literally, and ... yeah, literally. He’s an Estonian peasant, and he likes his pork salty.
I want to play… it’s unfortunate I cannot play Jay Bonin, we’re on the same team, but that would be my dream come true.
EV: As Game of the Year Judge, you were known for your irreverent nicknames. What do you hope to be called?
AS: LeBron James was called “Little Emperor” during the Beijing Games. But how dominating was he, really? So just call me “Emperor.”
EV: What do you think of the current USCF-lawsuit-Sloan-Truong disaster?
AS: I wouldn’t call it a disaster. In my opinion, the atmosphere where everybody sues everybody is the perfect working climate for the USCF. When everyone knows every footstep is being watched, that might lead to new heights for American Chess.
(sings) Rock me, rock me … Amadeus, Amadeus…
I would compare the Fake Sam Sloan to Robin Hood...
EV: In what way? They both wear a mask?
AS: They both wear tights! Or maybe there’s some other heroical figure, like Rip Van Winkle…
Is Van der Morsel on the Chicago team? That’s who I want to play. I want to play a morsel… (sings) … morsel…morsel….
EV: As a board member of the Association of Chess Professionals, what advice would you give the USCF management?
I think the USCF has too many things going on at once. I think they should just concentrate on one thing at a time, for example, blind chess. Just focus on that for two years. This way, no resources are wasted on ungrateful Olympiad teams or the US Championship. And then, in a few more years, the USCF can have a convention in Hawaii again.
EV: And what advice would you give to Greg Shahade and the USCL?
AS: I think he should add an all-girls team and a second gay team. These must be the two expansion teams for 2009. LA will have to wait.
EV: Do you have any goals for your USCL debut season?
AS: I want to be seeded into the finals.
EV: Seeded? You or the Knights?
AS: Just the New York team, unopposed.
EV: Wait, do you have to play the final?
AS: No, we seeded and we unopposed.
Thanks for doing the interview! First of all, please feel free to skip or reword questions if they are too tactless/ignorant/ridiculous.
No need to do so. If they were important enough for you to ask, they’re important enough for me to take the time to answer.
I heard your name in connection with the Mottershead Report from the very beginning. Regretfully, I’ve fallen a little behind in my reading on rec.games.chess and chessdiscussion. Can you describe your past and present involvement and or thoughts on the whole Sam Sloan / Paul Truong umm… affair?
If you had to guess how many Fake Sam Sloans there are, and you had to lay odds on the potential candidates, what numbers and lines would you give?
Do you think the USCF will go bankrupt? If yes, how long will it take, and what will happen afterwards? If maybe, what exactly does it depend on? And if no, why not?
So, I hear you got kicked off the USCF Finance Committee. How did you manage that?
Tell us exactly what you think of Sam Sloan.
I read Susan thanked you on her site for objecting to a plan to accuse her of child molestation. Can you tell us anything about this: where it came from, who was behind it, anything like that?
If you had to lay odds on the chances each of the three lawsuits has of succeeding, what would you give them?
1. Sam Sloan – It hasn’t been dismissed yet. Legal opinions seem to indicate that the lack of a quick dismissal probably indicates that at least part of the lawsuit will go to depositions. Mr. Sloan put in way too many parties, extraneous issues, etc. A lot will ride on how pared down the lawsuit gets. I honestly don’t think USCF will be dismissed out of the suit and if it is, I fully expect that Mr. Sloan will refile suit in state court.From what I understand, Mr. Sloan’s objective here is not really money although the amount of money suing for does get the attention he desires. His main focus is the removal of Mr. Truong from the Executive Board and that Mr. Sloan be given another chance to run for the seat which he feels was denied him by deceptive means – whether one agrees with that premise or not is up to a jury to decide.If Mr. Truong resigned or was recalled or removed from the Board, it would trigger a new election and I honestly believe a quick settlement for minimal financial damages could probably be made with Mr. Sloan. I personally haven’t tried to negotiate same but am aware that others have.
The USCF attorney stated that the legal fees for USCF pertaining to all the lawsuits could hit $100,000 or more. I can easily see that to be a low estimate. IMO, the only chance USCF had to avoid this was for the delegates to remove Mr. Truong from the Executive Board and then try like heck to negotiate out of the mess with several of the parties. Obviously, I didn’t hold the majority view in Texas. As the pocketbook empties, I’m rather confident the delegate mindset will change.
Who do you think would win in a game of chess, Paul Truong, Sam Sloan, or Bill Goichberg?
Aside from the Sam Sloan imbroglio, what do you think the biggest issues facing the organization are and what would you do about them?
What three changes would you make to the organization? (This can be personnel, organizational structure, goals, priorities, etc.)
I see from MSA that you are a 1750 who plays chess all the time and has since at least 1993. I was embarrassed to be surprised--of course I make the assumption that women don’t play chess, but more than that, I make assumption that chess politicians don’t play chess. (So well done!) In that vein, how much do you think the current USCF situation is going to affect the average tournament player?
How good do you think Chess Life, Chess Life Online, and Chess Life for Kids are, and what would you propose to do about them?
I get the sense that the only real reporting that is being done on the USCF conflicts is in the New York Times. Everything else is just internet posts from people involved, who clearly have their own agendas. Do you agree with that statement, and if so, do you think CL or CLO should get involved in reporting on it. Or do you think it’s impossible or unfavorable to do so given the complexity of issues/ height of emotions/ stupidity of the situation?
Which other person in the US chess political world do you find yourself in agreement with most?
Who do you think the most competent person at the USCF office is?
Thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions. They were thought provoking and really forced me to analyze my own perceptions so it was well worth my while to take the time to do so.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
But we get stuck in vicious traffic Friday afternoon and miss round one. I try to cancel my hotel reservation for Saturday but have missed the deadline. So Alex decides to play with two half pont byes, maybe he goes 3-0 and gets the hotel back at least, but I'm too stingy to pay the entire entry fee to play 3 games, so here I am in Washington, entering game scores for Jenn and posting wedding pictures.
Mike and Gretchen get married.
Greg is a groomsman.