Thursday, February 21, 2013

rare chess books for sale

The estate of the late Fred Snitzer has donated some very old and valuable books to IS 318, and we are looking to sell them. Titles include:
  • Jaenisch's Chess Preceptor: A New Analysis of the Openings of Games (1847)
  • A Treatise on the Game of Chess Containing a Regular System of Attack and Defense J. H. Sarratt (1822)
  • A New Treatise on the Game of Chess J. H. Sarratt (1821)
  • Studies of Chess; containing Caissa, A Poem by Sir William Jones A Systematic Introduction to the Game and the Whole Analysis of Chess composed by Mr. A. D. Philador (two volumes) 1803
  • A Selection of Fifty Games from Those Played by the Automaton Chess player (1820)
  • The Incomparable Game of Chess J. S. Bingham (1820)
  • Practical Chess Grammar W. S. Kenny (1818)
  • A Selection of Games of Chess Played at the Westminister Chess Club between Mnsr. L. C de la Bourdonnais and an English Amateur of First Rate Skill W. Lewis (18350
  • Paul Morphy the Chess Champion (1859)
  • Encyclopedia des Echecs A. Alexander (1837) 
I believe all the above are first editions and in great shape. (I inspected 4-5, not all) The oldest ones have removable plastic covers to protect them. There are also better known titles like
  • Capablanca's My Chess Career
  • Reti's Masters of the Chessboard
  • Nimzowitsch's My System
also all first editions.
There are also complete sets of Chess Life and America Chess Bulletin, carefully preserved and dating back to the early 1900s. There are also some of Fedorowicz's old scoresheets from the 1970s!

You can view photos and photocopies of the books and their title pages here, as well as online  (AbeBooks) estimates of their value.

We'd also be grateful if anyone who knows something about chess books would be able to value them, and the estate is potentially willing to pay for a valuation.
All proceeds from the sale will go to supporting the IS 318 chess team.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

usate warm up

I played two rated games today to warm up for next weekend. My team is USATE is Matan Prilleltensky, Matheu Jefferson, Charley McMillan, and me. Anyone got a great idea for a name?

You might think this is wimpy, but I like to play just a couple games a day, instead of torturing myself with 12 hours of chess. baby steps.

I saw a Brooklyn Castle poster on the J train on my way to the tournament, which I figured was auspicious. I haven't played a tournament since last summer, and only a couple in the last few years, so I was mentally prepared for mediocrity.

(30) Bonin,Jay - Spiegel,Elizabeth [E09] g/75
1.d4 d5
2.Nf3 Nf6
3.c4 c6

I've played Jay maybe 20 times, and I think I'm 0-20. He's played this against me before, but I'd forgotten and had no idea what to do. Of course, I wanted to play 4...Bf5, but I was worried about 4...Bf5 5.Qb3 Qb6 6.Qxb6 axb6 7.cxd5 cxd5, which the engine says is ok, but I thought would torturous and Jay would grind me down.

Later, at lunch, Matan told me I can just play 5...Qc7, and his Nd2 prevents Bf4 ? Rc1/ any annoying attacks with the knight.

4...e6  I play the semi-slav, and I was trying to console myself that ii would be a bit like that, but it really isn't. For one thing, I can't take on c4 and play b5-b4 hitting the Nc3.

5.Qc2 Be7   I thought it would be worse on d6 because of e4: 5...Bd6 6.e4 dxe4 7.Nxe4 Nxe4 8.Qxe4 Nd7 9.Bd3 Nf6 10.Qh4

6.g3 0-0
At this point I was starting to panic. How am I going to generate any play or develop my bishop?  I thought it would be hard to play e5, and even if I did, it would weaken the long diagonal and his Bg2 somehow win the game easily. I should just calm down and play b6 and Bb7.

I was expecting 8. b3, when I was planning to take with the b pawn and play Ba6. I figured at least I'd have the b file?! But Jay immediately played

8.c5 Nbd7
the computer wants to play ...a5 here, gaining a little space, but I was already feeling desperate and decided I had to open the position now, while I was still behind in development...
 9... e5?
10.dxe5   Taking with the knight is even better: 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.dxe5 Nd7 12.Nf3 and both captures lose: 12...Nxc5 13.Be3 Na4 14.b3 Nb6 15.Qxc6 wins a pawn, while 12...Bxc5 13.Ng5 g6 14.e6 is even worse
11.Nb3 Ngxe5
12.Nfd4 Bb7
13.e4 dxe4 I rejected 13...Nf6 because of 14. f4 Nc4 15. e5 Nd7, but that's ok for me.
14.Qxe4 Re8
15.Qc2 Qc7 I had thought he was threatening Nxb5, but I can just play Ba6 and I'm winning an exchange.
16.Bf4 Rad8
17.Rfe1 Bf8
18.Qc3 g6

So for a while I've been worse, but defending. I have used a ridiculous amount of time, and only have 7 minutes left when I suddenly see a ray of hope...
20.Qxb4 Bxc5
21.Qxb7 Qxa5
Amazing, I have three threats: Bxd4, Rb8 trapping the queen, and Nf3+! I can hardly believe my good fortune and tug on my hat with excitement.
I immediately, arrogantly, played 22...Nf3+? which loses two pieces for a rook. I spent the next six moves in deluded paradise, thinking I was up the exchange. It wasn't until move 28, when I realized something unexpected had happened, countingwise.
   I should have played 22...Bxf2+! 23.Kxf2?  (23.Kf1 Qb6 24.Qxb6 Bxb6 and I'm up a pawn but his bishops are very strong) 23...Nd3+ 24.Kg1 Rxe1+ 25.Rxe1 Qxe1+ 26. Bf1 Qf2+ 27. Kh1 Qxf1#.  23.Bxf3 Rxe1+ 24.Kg2 Qb4 25.Nxc5 Qxb7 26.Nxb7 Rxa1 27.Nxd8 Rxa2 28.Bxc6 Nb6 29.Be5 Kf8 and I lost in a few moves. Not such an accurate game, but I felt I came up with a few ideas and made it a fight. I need to learn the opening, manage my time better, calculate more accurately, and have a braver attitude.

Netx round, I was paired with a 1650.

Spiegel,Elizabeth - Grasso? [B51] g/75 ChessPub Guide

1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bb5 d6
4.0-0 Bd7
5.Re1 g6
6.c3 Bg7
my favorite opening: the Bb5 sicilian
The Bb5 Sicilian is like gold against anyone under 2000. He's already played it somewhat weirdly, combining a few different development schemes. Usually, they play 5....Nf6 and 6...a6, and then on 7. Bf1 Bg4. His next move struck me as just bad:

7... e5  My first instinct was to play d5, trade the light squared bishops, and enjoy my space advanatge and better bishop, but I also thought it might be hard to get at him.
 8.dxc5 dxc5
9.Be3 Qb6
10.Na3 a6
I've won several games with this idea.

12.Nd6+ Ke7
13.Bxc5 b6

14.Ba3 Kd8
15.Bxc6 Qxc6
16.Nxf7+ Kc7
17.Nxh8 Bxh8
18.Qd5 Be6

1-0 hurray!

In other news, my video of Greg playing Samuel Sevian has over 100,000 views!

Friday, February 1, 2013

IS 318 visits Jane Street Capital, part 2

Our host, Jane Street CEO Sandor Lehoczky, explains the basics of finance to IS 318 chess team students.

We watch traders in action.

Sandor explains why they play bughouse every day at Jane Street: bughouse teaches players to evaluate many complex pieces of information simultaneously, make quick and on-going judgments about which factors are the most important, and requires teamwork and flexible but accurate thinking.

At 4, when the markets close, we take a walk around lower Manhattan and climb on some sculptures.

We return for pizza and bughouse.

Anthony plays against Sandor; Ariel watches.
Alexis and Danny beat everyone.
On the ride home, everyone decided to work really hard in math class and become stock traders when they grow up. The highlight of the trip for me was overhearing one kid say to his friend, "I wish today would last forever."
Huge thanks to Sandor and everyone at Jane Street for an incredibly fun and educational day.
You can see more photos here.