Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The Results Are In!
IM Igor Khmelnitsky on Back Rank Mates
2007 U.S. Blind Chess Championship
Jeffrey B. Siebrandt Wins Sixth U.S. Blind Chess Championship Title!
(Crossville, TN) USCF Chess organizer Rick Varchetto ran USCF's 2007 U.S. Blind Chess Championship in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Play concluded June 23 with Jeffrey B. Siebrandt claiming his U.S. Blind Chess Champion title for the sixth time! The four round event was held at the Hampton Inn.
Final list of competitors:
Jeffrey B. Siebrandt of Texas won with a 3.5 score.
Agan Hajric of New York tied with Jessica T. Lauser of California for second place with 3.0.
Alexander Barrasso of DC took fourth with 2.5.
Albert Peitrolungo of Maryland tied with Joseph C. Wassermann of Pennsylvania and Virginia Alverson of Massachusetts with 2.0.
Richard A. Mc Straw of Ohio and Allen Betts also from Ohio tied for 8th with 1.0.
Nicholas Stockton of Virginia finished out the field of 10.
Chief Tournament Director Tim Just directed this USCF National event.
The crosstable can be found here. Games from the tournament can be downloaded here.
Labels: 2007 U.S. Blind Championship
New Chess Blog
Monday, June 25, 2007
And the Winner Is ... ???
Heading into the final round, Brian Goldstein held a slim half-point lead over Edward Lu. According to the MonRoi site, Goldstein drew his last-round game, but they don't show Lu's final game.
It shouldn't be this difficult to obtain the results of a national event. Anyone have any updated information?
Friday, June 22, 2007
2007 U.S. Junior Open Underway
Evan Ju - 2007 U.S. Cadet Champion
On the strength of better tiebreak points, Evan Ju has won the 2007 U.S. Cadet (Under 16) Championship, with 7 points in the ten-round event.
Tied at 7 points was Warren Harper, who was awarded second place. At the mid-point of the tournament, Harper had only amassed two points out of a possible five, but then followed with five consecutive wins, including defeating Ju in round nine.
Robert Lau finished close behind, with 6.5 points. The other players were Alec Getz, Thomas Riccardi and Jeffrey Haskel.
Here is the final crosstable. Additional coverage can be found in a Chess Life Online article by WGM Jennifer Shahade.
Labels: 2007 U.S. Cadet Championship
Marc Tyler Arnold - 2007 U.S. Junior Champion
As the only player to go undefeated through the nine rounds of the 2007 U.S. Junior Invitational, Marc Tyler Arnold has captured the title of 2007 U.S. Junior Champion. Arnold, last year's U.S. Cadet (Under 16) champion, finished with 4 wins and 5 draws, good for 6.5 points.
FM Ray Robson got off to a slow start, with a loss and two draws in his first three rounds, but finished strong, with four victories and two draws in subsequent rounds, to end with 6 points and second place.
Xiao Cheng came in third at 5.5 points. The other competitors included Corey Acor, Elliott Liu, Mackenzie Molner, Ryan Milisits, Alexander Barnett, Eric Rodriguez and FM Teddy Coleman.
Congratulations to all these young players! The final crosstable can be found here.
Labels: 2007 U.S. Junior Invitational
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Free Video Lecture
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Update on Junior Championships
In the 2007 U.S. Cadet (Under 16) Championship, eight of ten rounds have been completed. Evan Ju is in clear first place, with 6 points, followed by Warren Harper with 5 points and Robert Lau with 4.5. This tournament has the odd schedule of different time controls (either game/90 or game/120) on alternating days. The championship finishes tomorrow with a final round time control of game/120.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
2007 Junior Invitational and Cadet Updates
1) Mackenzie Molner and Marc Tyler Arnold, 3.0 points
2) Ryan Millisits, 2.5 points
At the 2007 U.S. Cadet (Under 16) Championship, four rounds have also been played. Evan Ju has pulled a full point and a half ahead of his nearest competitors. Ju has a perfect 4-0 record, with both Robert Lau and Alec Getz standing at 2.5 points.
Monday, June 18, 2007
2007 Junior Invitational, Cadet, Junior Open Championships
The 2007 U.S. Junior Invitational Championship, for players age 20 and under, is currently underway in Tampa, Florida. It began June 17 and will conclude on June 21. After two rounds (out of nine total), only Corey Acor of Florida has managed two wins. A half-point behind are Marc Tyler Arnold from New York (last year's Cadet winner) and Georgia's Xiao Cheng. The other players are Mackenzie Molner, Alexander Barnett, Elliott Liu, Ryan Milisits, Teddy Coleman, Ray Robson, and Eric Rodriguez. Selected games are being presented at MonRoi.
The 2007 U.S. Cadet Championship (age 16 and under) is being played concurrently. Six players are in this ten-round event: Robert Lau, Evan Ju, Warren Harper, Jeffrey Haskel, Alec Getz and Thomas Riccardi.
When these two tournaments conclude, the 2007 U.S. Junior Open Championship will start. It is scheduled to run from June 22-24.
A Unique Book Review
Rick Kennedy offers one of the more unique reviews I have come across, in his assessment of Dangerous Weapons: The French, by IM John Watson. I think you'll enjoy it, at the Chessville website.
Labels: book/software review
Thursday, June 14, 2007
IM Josh Friedel Named Samford Scholar
Chess Life Magazine reports that IM Josh Friedel has been awarded the 21st annual Samford Scholarship.
The Samford Scholarship was created "to identify and assist the best young American chessmasters by providing top level coaching, strong competition and access to study materials. The Fellowship also provides a monthly stipend for living expenses so that the winners may devote themselves entirely to chess without having financial worries. The total value of the Fellowship is approximately $32,000 annually for two years."
You can also hear a bit from Josh in my March 2006 Scholastic Chess ChessCafe column. That column included a discussion of the U.S. Chess School, following the school's first session which included Friedel.
Labels: chess news
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
USCF Dues $588 Per Year?
Then I came to page 13, which contains an ad which begins, "Get Chess Life for $49 a month." At this point, I was especially thankful that I've been a USCF Life Member for quite some time.
Let's see... $49 per month works out to $588 per year. I do enjoy having membership benefits, including an annual subscription to Chess Life, but $588 ...
On the other hand, this might help improve the USCF's financial condition. Say the USCF has 30,000 full dues-paying members. Now we've got $17,640,000 coming in each year. Hello, fully endowed U.S. Championship! Maybe we could create the new CNN - Chess News Network.
I'm all for it. Especially as a Life Member.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Chess Life Online Coverage of the National Open
Labels: 2007 National Open
New Scholastic Chess Column Online at ChessCafe
The primary focus is on Brooklyn's Intermediate School 318, which came away with multiple local and national championships this year, and on Anna Ginzburg of New York's famous Stuyvesant High School. Guess where she went to middle school? That's right - I.S. 318.
In addition, one of my book reviews appears this week at ChessCafe. Bruce Pandolfini authored a little book entitled Pandolfini's Chess Challenges: 111 Winning Endgames. Here is the opening of my review:
"What’s 4”x6”? An index card? A postcard? In this case, it’s Bruce Pandolfini’s latest book. The back cover states, “Here are 111 quirky, surprising, and fun tactical chess problems to improve anyone’s game.” Indeed the shape of the book itself is quirky, surprising and fun."
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
The Kindergarten Attack
"I have been teaching children how to play chess and their initial plan is usually something like a4, Ra3 or h4, Rh3. While I try to teach them the ‘correct’ way to develop, I also try to learn from them. In this, I was also inspired by Deep Fritz’s rook manoeuvre vs. Kramnik.
My idea is rather childish, but it can be also very aggressive. In the Benko Gambit Accepted, after 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 b5 4 cxb5 a6 5 bxa6 Bxa6, why not try 6 h4!? with three possible plans, all designed to keep the initiative, and maybe the pawn:
- If Black continues normally, the plan is Rh3, Ra3, simplifying the position and keeping the pawn, which gives a very pleasant Benko (just remove a pair of rooks and the position is much easier to defend).
- If Black plays ...e6, then after the pawn exchanges Rh3, Re3 with an attack (since Black cannot sacrifice on the queenside, open the center, and finish kingside development).
- Simply attacking on the kingside, with h5 or g4.
I would like to propose the name ‘the kindergarten attack,’ since my young pupils were the source of this inspiration."
Labels: Chess Instruction
I Guess Chess Is a Sport, After All
Michael spins great stories from the real-life Edward R. Murrow chess team - if you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor and curl up with it on a rainy day.
Read about the 2007 Quill nominees here.
Labels: The Kings of New York
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Eliot Weiss and Michael Weinreb on New York Public Radio
A nice 17-minute interview took place yesterday on WYNC - New York Public Radio with Eliot Weiss, coach of the Edward R. Murrow chess championship team, Michael Weinreb, author of The Kings of New York, and Mikhail Furman, sophomore member of the Murrow team.
The interview can be downloaded here.
Want to learn more about the Murrow team? Click here for our many posts and you can read my April 2007 Scholastic Chess column at ChessCafe where The Kings of New York book and the Murrow team were the subject of the column.
Labels: The Kings of New York
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I.S. 318 Honored at City Hall
The picture below is of I.S. 318 team member Michael Peguero, receiving an award from the Dominican Consulate.
Labels: I.S. 318
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Kids Say the Darndest Things
Here are some samples:
Two first graders at a tournament were playing chess. The chess coach asked the boy playing black what his rook (on the other side of the board) was doing because it is laying on its side. He looks up and grins, "He is sleeping!"
Two first grade girls are teamed up against a first grade boy. One of the girls stands up in the middle of the game, puts her hands on her hips and says to the boy, "Rachel and I are queens. We own all the gold, all the silver, all the jewelry, and all the castles in the whole world…and you are just a little boy!"
During a game between two first grade girls, one girl was impatient that her opponent was taking too much time. She looks up at me and says, "I looked into her brain and she wasn’t thinking about the game!"
Labels: chess news