Monday, 26 December 2011

Hilarious Video: Checkmates

Checkmates - watch more funny videos

"Yo, these pieces ain't your boss; your are the boss of them pieces."

I came across this hilarious video. Enjoy!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Endgame Mistake #1

I had a great game today with one of my chess friends; my nemesis Dave! In a frustrating endgame I made a huge error costing me the game. In fact I missed the winning combination.

This actually occurred at move 59 in the actual game. The analysis showed some better variations for both colours but in general the game was very close the whole way through, until the endgame that is. I had a winning combination as shown in the variations on move one in the png. In either variation I win. Then again I had a chance for a pawn break; as shown by the variations on move 5. There are other variations but you get my point. Surely such a position could have been drawn.

Instead I played inaccurately and was at the mercy of the black Kings opposition. This was a fairly frusterating situation, one that was unnecessary. Hopefully this endgame analysis will help me play better in the future!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Trap in the Sicilian (Smith-Morra Gambit)

Greetings to anyone who may come across this!

I'd like to post a trap I discovered in the Smith-Morra Gambit for White. If Black wastes a much needed tempo after retaking the Queen with his Knight he is in for trouble. In a rematch this just came to me and my opponent resigned. I am sure this has probably been published in some book; might be good to have in your repertoire of traps! Enjoy!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Accused of Cheating

Let me start off with a transcription of the chat window which took place after I won the game:

"Anonymous: resigns
Unrated game, no ratings changed
Anonymous: proggy 
latmat: Proggy? Sorry, don’t know that one 
Anonymous: chess engine
Anonymous: cheater/abuser of system
latmat: No just lucky on that
Anonymous: no
latmat: I screwed up bad and you did too 
latmat requests another game
Anonymous: too long
Your opponent has left"

I have been accused of cheating while playing on Chess Cube few times now and every time it is quite unsettling. Let be clear I do not cheat. I do however study (memorize or learn) opening lines and a bit of end game theory from chess books, videos and my own computer assisted analysis.

Grandmaster opening preparation goes deep; up till even the 30th move! Now this preparation is done with computer assisted analysis in our day and age. Are they cheating? No they are simply using their gifted and developed memories. Now just because I am not a grandmaster does not preclude myself from preparation. So if a player plays lines I know well, I will give them a strong performance.

Now it is also possible to be taken out of the "book" so to speak when less common moves are made. This is an example of what happened in my game posted here. I made a mistake, taking us both out of the main lines.  Now just because I play a strange line and end up being able to win the game does not mean I am cheating!

In this instance my opponent forgets that he too also makes mistakes! Going out of the "book" creates an atmosphere where creativity and not memory is key, mistakes are more likely to occur. The more creative player with a stronger intuition and tactical eye will often have the advantage in such a position!

So in this instance I was more creative and had a sharper tactical eye. I found myself a chance to win which he did not see. In another game the outcome may be different but in this instance I won. If you look at the computer annotation included in the pgn above, my opponent was far better off than I. His blunder on move twelve gave the advantage back to me! There was no cheating here, only a bruised ego who couldn't believe he could have lost such a position!

Chess Players have good and bad days, have different knowledge; needless to say the reasons one player wins and the other loses is very complex. Let's please keep the accusations of cheating to an intelligent minimum!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Open A File

My opponent (white) did not like my Bishop and decided he was going to trade off his knight. This is a very common practice as many players favour the Bishop over a Knight and consider the trade an advantage. I kindly obliged, instead of retreating to another square I decided it might be useful to open up my A File. As you can see from the game, this allowed opportunity for a massive attack following a Rook lift.

Moving his king, on move 25 was a huge blunder essentially just losing, as White would have had to give up his Queen to stop the mate. The position would have been much better for White, had he played 12. h4 instead of h3, as h3 was hanging due to the pin. White could have then locked up the position playing 13. g3. In fact the computer seems to slightly favour White in this position.

However we are not Computers! I believe the open A file can provide interesting avenues for attacks, getting the Rook into the game early on. A strategy that I will have to look at closer.

In any case it was a really fun game!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Windmill

Here is a nice tactical motif I learned a while back. It is called the Windmill at least it was where I heard of it. It consists of repeated checks and discovered checks, allowing the checking piece to gobble up every piece in sight while the opposite colours King is being hit by a discovered check. Complicated? Maybe a little, take a look at my png of the Windmill it will really help you see what is going on in the Windmill tactical motif. I got to use this in a blitz game today, I lost on time but it felt like a victory. As you can see from my rating, I struggle in blitz games especially in tournament games. Hopefully I can improve this area of my game. Here is a an awesome video on the Windmill by the Chess Website on Youtube:

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Internet Game Analysis #4

In this game my opponent called it an execution! Which was pretty funny. It was then I mentioned how I loved the Smith Morra Gambit; such a fun game to play! Anyway, he then told me that he doesn't study theory! I was blown away that he didn't considering his rating was higher than mine! After being beaten in this opening twice, I would hope at least analyzes these games to learn his mistakes. Lesson to be learned a little bit of study goes a long way to improve your game! With YouTube videos; this is easier than ever now days!

Anyway. Obviously he should have had done something about the f7 threat on move 7. Counter attacking with the knight all alone was just a bad idea. After that exchange his King was running amuck out in the middle of the board! Never a good thing. By this point there was really nothing my opponent could do to stop the onslaught. I put it through the computer and the positions which were played were almost comical.

Lesson to be learnt: Always be mindful of attacks on the King via the vulnerable f2 or f7 Pawn's.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Internet Game Analysis #3

This was sort of an interesting game for me because I haven't often played against the Lopez opening. Everything was going good pretty well the both of us developing our pieces. Until at move 14 my opponent playing White got a little greedy and stole a Pawn. This opened up the way for me to win a piece. By taking the Pawn he put his Bishop in harms way. It was not as protected as he thought because  after 14...Bxc4 Black's bishop is hanging! After that it was just forced trading and pressure, pressure, pressure! A fairly standard uninteresting finish to the game followed, White's queen trying to gobble some Pawns put him a tad off side.

Lesson to be learnt: Don't leave a piece hanging! Pretty obvious but important, maybe all those Chess tactic puzzles are starting to pay off!

Internet Game Analysis #2

As far as I can tell my opponent was doing a good job until about move 27 where he traded Rook's. In my opinion this is where the game really shifted in my favour opening up the queenside for an attack. Interestingly when I put the game through a computer vs. computer simulation at move 26 the Black's Rook played a waiting move @...b7. The computer played it out to a draw from that point. Though Black certainly had more dynamic play. I think had my opponent been less aggressive, he would have had a better game. Though he obviously felt pressure and followed the popular convention of trading down. There may be a lesson in here.

Lesson to be learnt: Do not trade down unless it favours your position!

How one determines that well I hope to be able to figure that out someday! This was the first of three games. I am proud to have won all three.  The next two games coming up...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Chess Club

I played Chess at my local group tonight. It went good, I lost 2 games out of 10 or 11 games. Playing in person is much more enjoyable than online play in my opinion. It's awesome building a report with a good group of Chess players, better yet; it is good to find a nemesis to improving your game. I have a couple such players at my club and I enjoy pitting my mind against theirs every week.  When I first joined the group, I lost every game against my nemesis now I am nearing 50/50 against him. Hopefully I will surpass him and be able to find stronger players to play against in the future! Anyway play Chess in person it will make it more fun and give you a reason to leave the house!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Game Analysis #1

Here is a game I played today on ChessCube which I thought was a lot of fun! I sacrificed my bishop to open up his castled King. It turns out that my opponent (Black) could have had a better game had he moved his King as the Chess Engine computed. Luckily for me he didn't! My opponent resigned presumably because I had a forced mate. I ran the position as played through the engine as well and couldn't find any escape for black. I made the sacrifice only based on intuition, I felt as though it was my best chance to win. I was very happy with the result, though had he picked up on the escape, the result may have been very different!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Legal's Mate

Legal's Mate is essentially a trap in the Philidor's Defence. It was first recorded as being played by M. de Kermar and Sire de Legal (1702-1792). Legal played it against Saint Brie in 1750, his game played as the following: 3... Bg4 4. Bc4 g6 5. Nxe5 Bxd1 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Nd5#.

In the main line White needs to be careful or else his Knight will be captured! In the decline line, White still does well gaining a Pawn. White's position is better, with his King in position to castle and a Knight developed. Legal's Mate is a must know for any Chess Player!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Trap in the Vienna Game

This is a trap in the Vienna Game. Black hopes to compromise White's centre control as in the secondary line at 4. Nxe4 d5 5. Bxd5 Qxd5. Luckily for White their is a nice trap that can be played resulting in checkmate if Black isn't careful. Even if the trap doesn't work, White still has a great game. Both White and Black have some control of the centre however Black's King can no longer castle and is somewhat exposed. A great trap to deal with an aggressive opponent, one of my favourites!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Mortimer Trap in the Ruy Lopez

The Mortimer Trap is one of my favourite traps. It is very easy to learn and since the Ruy Lopez is so common, players have many opportunities to try it out. Watch out for the smothered mate in the alternate line shown here. 

Fool's Mate

Fool's Mate is the shortest possible chess game ending in checkmate. It was mentioned in Arthur Saul's book "Famous Game of Chesse Play, published in 1614. You don't want to be the fool, build a strong foundation with your opening!

Double Check

Maybe the most devastating tactic in chess is the double check. I once heard it referenced as the atomic bomb of chess! Double check is the simultaneous check from two chessmen. The check(s) cannot be blocked; thus the only escape is to move the King.  It occurs when a piece moves checking the King, uncovering another piece which also checks the King. In other words it consists of a check and a discovered check. For your viewing pleasure, I included a png of an internet game I played. Not stellar chess by any means but it certainly demonstrates the power of the double check, even leading to checkmate. Enjoy!