Tuesday, October 26, 2010

quintuple whammy

Hi again everyone! You are very patient if you are still reading this blog. thank you.

Let's start with Justus. He's an impressive 5.5/7 in the World Youth, Boys 12 and Under, tied for 3rd-12th.  There are 4 more rounds; you can follow the results here.

I played in the USCL last night, lost stupidly to Braden Bournival. I moved my queen five time in a row like a child. I'm also annoyed at myself for playing this bad pawn sac line, making semi random moves, and losing like I always do in it, especially after I had decided a long time ago to play a much better line that goes 7. Bf1 Bg4 8. h3 Bh5 9. g4 (I learned this from a chess lecture by David Vigorito, and during the game I could hear him saying "I play this myself for black, and it's good as long as white doesn't play h3 and g4 immediately, which is the secret to the position." I remembered that yet somehow I felt too chicken to play it.) 9... Bg6 10. d3 e6 11. Nh4 Nd7 12. Ng2, intending f4-f5 and Nf4. I also forgot he switched to the Sveshnikov years ago and spent half of Monday looking at the Panov. stupidstupidstupid.

Amazing how well New England did though. I'm very curious to see if they can keep it up in the post season.

School is great/ insanely busy. I met Jesper Hall, a chess teacher from Sweden and a member of a FIDE committee on chess and education, who was visiting NYC. We talked shop for a bit, and he showed me a great lesson that I've been loving:

White gets five moves in in a row to checkmate the black king. Black does not move at all. White cannot put the king in check before the last move. It's like a Coakley Double Whammy, but Quintiple. We do a couple examples together so kids know what solutions look like (e5, exf6, Ng5, Qh5, Qxh7 or Nh4-f5, Qg4xg6 xg7), and then they have 1/2 - 1 period, a partner, and a board to find as many other solutions as they can. With some classes, I said you have to find as many solutions as the hundreds place of your rating (a 1450 has to find 14), after you did that you could play. Everyone had a great time and learned mating patterns.

I have a new project/ experiment: I've picked a 6th grader (now rated 1093) and am going to see how high I can get him in a year. The program inclues: private lessons 2 lunch periods a week, extra tactics, making sure I see all his games, and always pairing him up in club.  Any opinions on what constitutes success? Galvin's promised to buy me any chess book I want if he gets to 1600. I'm trying to get Galvin to pick his own kid to compete with me, but he's refusing because he knows he'll lose.

a cool video for you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

318 goes to the Marshall; James beats Lapshun and breaks 2100

Shawn, Alex, and Markus waiting

Maya, who beat Caey Jacobs (1900) and gained over 100 points to reach a personal best of 1481!

James  Black and Yuri Lapshun analyze their game

James Black (2100) -- IM Yuri Lapshun (2550)

1. d4 c5 2. d5 e5 3. e4 d6 4. Bb5+ Nd7 5. a4 Be7 6. Nf3 Ngf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. O-O h6 9. a5 Nh7 10. Nd2 Bg5 11. Nc4 Ndf6 12. a6 bxa6 13. Bxa6 Ne8 14. Nb5 Qd7 15. Bxc8 Qxb5 16. Ba6 Qd7 17. Na5 Nc7 18. Bb7 Rab8 19. Bc6 Qe7 20. Nc4 a6 21. Qd3 Nf6 22. g3 Bxc1 23. Raxc1 Rfc8 24. Ra1 Rf8 25. Rfe1 Nh5 26. Rf1 g5 27. Qe2 Ng7 28. g4 h5 29. h3 Qf6 30. Ra3 h4 31. Rf3 Qe7 32. Ra1 Rfc8 33. Qd2 Rb4 34. Qe2 Rbb8 35. c3 f6 36. Qc2 Rf8 37. Qa4 Rf7

38. Qa5 Qd8 39. Ra3 Kf8 40. Qa4 Ke7 41.Re3 Qc8 42. Rb3 Rxb3 43. Qxb3 Rf8 44. Na5 Kf7 45. Qb6 Qd8 46. Re1 Kg6 47. Ra1 Nce6 48. Qxa6 Nf4 49. Kh2 Rf7 50. b4 Qb8 51. Nb7 f5 52. gxf5+ Nxf5 53. exf5+ Rxf5 54. Nxd6 Rf6 55. Ne4 Nxd5 56. Nxf6 e4+ 57. Kg1 e3 58. Bxd5 exf2+ 59. Kf1 1-0

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Back to School Films!

Come see a (new) preview of Chess Movie at the 92nd Street Y on Thursday Oct 21 at 7:30 pm. It's part of the Back to School Film series and only costs $12.

This month's Story Leads to Action is a Back-to-School celebration of movies and movements dedicated to education, growth, hope and community resilience - featuring excerpts and scenes from three films-in-progress each one uniquely exploring the possibility, fierce promise and politics of educating the next generation of global citizens. More here.

Chess Movie (working title)

Director: Katie Dellamaggiore

In 10 years, Intermediate School 318 has built the best junior high chess program in the nation, despite its consistently high level of student poverty. This year, 318 has its strongest team ever, but in an unexpected twist of fate, the school is also dealt a severe budget cut and all after-school activities, including chess, are losing funding.

Mariachi High

Director: Ilana Trachtman

Mariachi High is a documentary film, supported in part by Latino Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts, that will take viewers on a transformative and spirited journey into the dreams and dramas of Mexican American teenage-hood, through the soulful and vibrant lens of a competitive mariachi band. High school has never sounded so good.

Our School

Director: Mona Nicora

Our School follows three Roma children—Alin, Beniamin and Dana—as they move from a dead-end segregated school into a mainstream Romanian school. The film is an elegy about hope and squandered opportunities, as well as a meditation on what it truly means—and what it truly takes—to give a real chance to a whole generation of children.

Speaking in Tongues

Director: Marcia Jarmel & Ken Schneider

At a time when 31 states have passed "English Only" laws, four pioneering families put their children in public schools where, from the first day of kindergarten, their teachers speak mostly Chinese or Spanish. Speaking in Tongues follows four diverse kids on a journey to become bilingual. This charming story will challenge you to rethink the skills that Americans need in the 21st century.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I invent the "one round a day" schedule

a sculpture on the beach in Spain

So I want to play some chess, and because it's a holiday weekend, I get both Saturday and Sunday off (the Chess in the Schools tournament is on Monday). The Marshall is having a 4 round, 2 day under 2300 tournament (30/90 g/30), so I decide to play, and in the middle of round 1, I come up with the great idea to take byes in round 2 and 4. It's so much more pleasant that way-- playing becomes a fun part of my weekend and not a exhausting, nerve-wrecking giant monster that eats my only non-work time.

It also helped that my opponent made one very bad move right at the end of my opening knowledge and I was immediately and easily winning.

Ben Altman-Desole  1750 --Elizabeth Vicary 2100
Marshall October U2300 rd 1

1. d4 d5 
2. c4 c6 
3. Nf3 Nf6 
4. Nc3 dxc4 
5. a4 Bf5 
6. Ne5 Nbd7 
7. Nxc4 Qc7 
8. g3 e5 
9. dxe5 Nxe5 
10. Bf4 Nfd7
11. Bg2
I know this opening from teaching it to my students; I've played the Slav in 4-5 games so far, but never this line.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vaughn gets lucky

Vaughn is black against Brittanie in the above position, and it looks like he's losing a pawn because of his misplaced Ba5 after 13. Qa4. But he's a lucky kid, and after
13. Qa4 Bb6
14. Qxc6 he finds Bd7!
15. Qb7 Bb5! (D)

with ....Rb8 after white moves the rook. :)