Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November Open quiz

318 students on their way to a tournament. Shawn Swindell is in the red jacket.
photo by Tom White for the NY Times.

1) Miguel sacked a pawn much earlier in the game for an initiative that proved lasting. Here, white tried to protect f2 by castling (30. 0-0). What's wrong with this?

2) Paulo Santana played 11...c5 here. How should Myles Foster have replied?

3) In the same game, Myles Foster played 19. Nf3. Could he have won a piece with 19. h3 instead?

4) same game. white to move. choose between 25. exf6, 25. e6, or 25. Be6.

5). James Black -- Danny Feng
James just played 15. Be3-d2. Can black take on d4?

6). Daniel Pressa -- Shawn Swindell
Which move is better, 1. Qc4 or 1. Bd4?

7) Danny Feng (black) has a bad position against Jaleel Zaroung. Here, he seriously considered trying to free himself with 20... e5. Should he have?

8. Coincidentally, James asked me to show him this line 10 minutes before the game. (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Qc7). It's the same line I got against Yaacov Norowitz in our USCL game. Black gets an isolated pawn, but white has made some weird moves, lik3 f3. Black has a great move here that shows how weak the dark squares really are.


1) Miguel won with 30...Qxg3 31. fxg3 Rg2+ 32. Kh1 Rh2+ 33. Kg1 Rag2#

2) Myles could have won an exchange with 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Be4
3) No, because of 19...Bh4, trapping the queen.

4) Myles gave away his attack with 25. exf6 Qxg3 26. hxg3 Rxg5 27. fxe7 Kxe7 28. cxd5 Bxd5
but he showed me a line he had been considering: 25. Be6+! Kxe6 26. Qh3+ Kf7 (D)

Here, Myles was looking at 27. Qh5+ Rg6 28. e6+ Kxe6 29. Qxg6 and thought it was winning for black, but it's not: 29...Qe5.
Instead, 27. Bxf6! is: it threatens 28. Qh7+ Ke8 29. Qxe7#, and this is not easy to stop: 27... Qc7 28. Bxe7+ Kxe7 29. Qh7+ Kd8 30. Qxg8+ Kd7 31. Rf7+ Ke6 32. Qg6+ Kxe5 33. Qf5+ Kd6 34. Qf6# for example.

25. e6 isn't anything special after 25...Ke8.

5) Yes, he can! Both players got this wrong, thinking that after 15... Qxd4 16. Bxb4 Qxf2+ 17. Kh1 that black was losing a piece, but they missed 17....Qb6! (D)

when black threatens both Qxb4 and Nf2+.

6) They both lose! Pressa played 1. Qc4 and Shawn took his queen after 1..Bh2+ 2. Kh1 Bxg2+ and 3...Qxc4, but he told me he had been hoping for 1. Bd4 Bh2+ 2. Kh1 Bd6, trapping the queen.

7) Danny saw that he would win white's central pawns after 21. Nxd5 Qe6 22. Ne3 exd4 23. Rxd4 Rxc5 24. Qxa7, but didn't trust the move and didn't play it. After the game Jaleel found the refutation: 21. Re1.

8) Ken Cohen -- James Black
13... Nh5!
Now if the bishop goes to:

a) g3 we just take it
b) e3 we play Ng4!!: 14. Be3 Ng4 15. fxg4 Bxh2+ (D)

16. Kf2 (16. Kh1? Ng3+ 17. Kxh2 Nxf1+ 18. Kg1 Nxe3) 16... Qg3+ 17. Ke2 Rae8 18. Rf3 Nf4+ 19. Kf1 Qxg2+ 20. Ke1 Bg3+ 21. Rxg3 Qxg3+ 22. Kf1 Qg2+ 23. Ke1 Rxe3+ 24. Qe2 Rxe2+ 25. Nxe2 Qxe2#)

c) g5 and we play Ng6, uncovering an attack on h2 and preparing to harass the bishop with ...h6: 14. Bg5 Ng6 15. h3 (15. g3? Bxg3) 15... h6 16. Be3 Bh2+ 17. Kh1 Ng3+)

d) If it takes the knight on e5, we recapture, and white has big problems on g3 and h2: 14... Bxe5 15. g3 Nxg3 16. hxg3 Bxd4+ 17. cxd4 Qxg3+ 18. Kh1 Rac8 (D)

black just plays Rc6-h6

White can try 15. Kh1 instead, since 15... Bxh2? loses to 16. f4 when the Nh5 and Bh2 are both hanging, but black can maintain a nice position by playing 15...Nf6 or developing a rook.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quizes. Nice positions. Works like a strong cup of cofee to get the brain moving first thing in the morning.


Elizabeth Vicary said...

sure, thanks for the comment!
The quizzes basically are my lesson plans these days; kids seem to like them so much more than positions from books, so it's no trouble.

Bill Brock said...

The first position is cool!

Could White have played 1.Qc8+, 2.Qc3+, then 3.O-O?

Anonymous said...

The kids are impressively sharp!

anjiaoshi said...

In problem one, wouldn't 1...Rxf2 2.Rxf2 Qxg3+ 3.Kh1 (or 3.Kf1) Qxf2 also lead to a speedy and unavoidable mate?

Greg Shahade said...

the one line is completely forced with zero options by white, the suggested line allows white to do stuff since the moves aren't check. Moves that are completely forcing moves should always be considered first, and if leading to an instant win, should almost always be played over "non-forcing moves", simply because there is much more opportunity to overlook something when your opponent has options that don't involve stopping a check or whatever.

In this particular case I'd worry about Qc8+ Kg7 Qc3+, defending the g3 pawn....

But regardless I'd never for a second consider this line as an option once I saw Qg3, even if I was 99% sure it was winning.

Rihel said...


A good practical approach to chess.

Anonymous said...

I like #6, but after Bd4 is it necessary to play ... Bh2+? Doesn't ... Bd6 straight away also trap the Queen?

Rick Massimo

Anonymous said...

Wow Myles showed you that line, he must really be a great chess player, but in his first position wht happens after BxF6 BxF6 Be4 can black play f6? Myles keep up the good work!!! I seen some of your games you're inspiring me to play chess again

Anonymous said...

Wow Myles showed you that line, he must really be a great chess player, but in his first position wht happens after BxF6 BxF6 Be4 can black play f6? Myles keep up the good work!!! I seen some of your games you're inspiring me to play chess again