Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The NY Knights take apart the San Fransisco Mechanics,

Matt arrived armed with a shiny new computer, still in its box. How thin and sleek it looks!
He was white against Daniel Naroditzky, and their game followed Shabalov-Timman 2003 until Matt deviated with 15. Bg2 (instead of 15. Be2). His bishop came to f3 in a couple moves, and maybe the tempo mattered because five moves later, black had a winning idea.
Herman- Naroditsky
black to move
answer below next picture
Black played 20... Bd4! which wins the f pawn: if 21. Bg2, defending e3 with the queen, 21...Rxf4; or if 21. Bxd4, as in the game, 21....cxd4 and after the knight moves, 22...Qxc2.
So we were off to a bad start.

Michael Bodek has been black in every single game of his USCL career, and tonight was no different as he faced off against fellow US Chess Schooler Yian Liou. Michael played a Berlin Defense and made what seems to be an early novelty with 11...h5. The game was drawn after 27 moves, bringing our score to 0.5-1.5.

Alex Katz (w) played a crazy theoretical line against Kesav Viswanadha's Najdorf. They reached move 24 very quickly, with both sides still in theory and black especially using almost no time. Alex declined a repitition with 25. Re3 and in a short time gained a huge advantage simply by pushing his f pawn to f7. Despite this advantage, the position was crazy and hard to understand: Alex was down two pieces for three pawns, then down a rook for three pawns, but his pieces were active, his pawn dangerous, and black's king highly exposed.
Alex Katz - Kesav Viswanadha
white to move
answer below next picture
37. Qf4! threatens to queen the pawn, and 37...Rf8 is met by 38. Qh6, when there's no easy way to defend the rook.
Low on time, Alex missed this, but his opponent returned the favor moments later.
Alex Katz - Kesav Viswanadha
Black to move
answer below photo
45...Rg4 wins. If 46. f8=Q Rxe8 47. Qxe8 Qe1+ wins one queen and leaves black up a rook for two pawns in a simplified position. Otherwise, black threatens 46...Rg3+ 47. Kd2 Rxg2+ 48. Ke3 Re2+ 49. Kd4 Qf2+ and its mate in 7.  Instead, Kesav played 45...Rc8 and the advantage swung back to white.
Alex's win evened the match score 1.5-1.5 and left it up to Giorgi.

As he Giorgi put it on the walk back to the subway, "It's very hard to beat someone when they have white and just play for a draw." He eeked a small 2 bishop advantage out of the opening, forced Jesse to sacrifice a pawn (doubled for black) to keep his bishop from being trapped, and ground his opponent down in a long, late ending.

Sometime after midnight, Giorgi manuevered intructively to reach the following position, but then slipped up with 64...Ba2:

Kraai - Kacheshvili
after 64...Ba2, white to move
answer below next photo
65. Nxd5! wins a pawn.
Despite this setback, Giorgi kept pressing and his Georgian technique overwhelmed Kraai. He won in 94 moves, sometime after 12:30 am, to take the match for the Knights 2.5-1.5.
Hurray for us!
A heartfelt thanks to our sponsors, ChessNYC!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The NY Knights crush the Boston Blitz

Justus Williams and Alex Katz both won

The Knights: Matt Herman, Giorgi Kacheshvili, Justus Williams, Alex Katz

GM Giorgi Kacheshvili

FM Matt Herman

NM Justus Williams

NM Alex Katz

We crushed the Boston Blitz last night 3.5-0.5. Justus was, as usual, the first to finish, playing bravely yet seemingly effortlessly, exploiting his opponents slight weakness on c5. Matt Herman improved his position relentlessly before sacking the exchange to exploit the over-aggressive g2-g4.

Kazim Gulamali  -- Matt Herman
annotations by Herman
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 {the blogs called for a Smith-Morra-Esserman Gambit}
2. ..d6
3. d4 cd
4. Nd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6
6. h3 e5
7. Nde2
(67) h5 (85) {in conjunction with e7-e5, a 'positionally sharp' idea; the standard plan of g2-g4 and Ne2-g3, with an extra tempo on the g3 Najdorf is prevented, but this concedes the g5 square to white's Bc1 and h5 may become a target later}
8. g3 (66) Be7 (76)
9. Bg2 (61) b5 (55)
10. Bg5 (59) Nbd7 (52)
11. 0-0 {white could have "fallen" for 11. Nd5 Nd5 with the idea 12. Qd5!, but black is OK after 12. ..Nb6 13. Be7 Ke7! as in Vallejo-Ubilava 1998}
11. ..Bb7
12. a3 Rc8

13. Qe1 (47) {this move is new; Alec Getz fell under heavy pressure against Shabalov at last year's World Open after 13. Qd2 0-0 14. Rad1 Rc4!? 15. b3 Rc5 16. Be3 Rc7 17. Nd5 Nd5 18. ed Qa8}
13. ..Rc7
14. Rd1 (41) Qa8 (43) {it's not so clear how to protect e4}
15. Bf6 Nf6
16. Nc1 0-0 (22) {after another twenty minute think; also possible was more direct play with 16. ..Rc3 17. Qc3 Ne4}
17. N1a2 (29) Rfc8 (23)
18. Qe3 (11) {if 18. Nb4, black has a pleasant choice between 18. ..a5 or 18. ..Rxc3}
18. ..Rc4 (13) {unpleasant; white has to allow additional pressure on e4 or make a concession to drive the R from c4}
19. Rfe1 (10) Qb8 (9) {overprotecting d6 and allowing the Be7 to re-route to a7-g1; also useful in variations where black goes a6-a5 / Nc3xb5 / Rc4xc2 and white is not allowed to capture on d6}
20. Bf1 R4c5
21. Qf3 Bd8
22. Bd3 {protecting e4 and c2, but losing touch with d5; compare to the position after move 19}
22. ..Bb6
23. g4? {a try to complicate a difficult position in mutual time pressure, but the counterstrike in the center is dangerous}
23. ..d5!
24. Nb4?! {24. ed Rd5! 25. Nd5 Bd5 26. Qg3 Ba2 27. b3 Bd4! and black will eventually win, but this allows a clarifying combo}

24. ..Rc3!
25. bc de
26. Be4 hg
27. hg Ne4
28. Re4 Be4! {not 28. ..Rc4 29. Rd7!}
29. Qe4 Rc4
30. Qe2 Qc8!
31. Rd6 Bc5
{Rc4xg4-h4, works, as does 31. ..Bf2! 32. Qf2 (or 32. Kf2 Qc5 picking up the rook) Qg4 33. Qg2 Qh4! and wins}
32. Rc6 Qd7
33. Ra6 Rg4
34. Kf1

34....e4! {the last precise move; white cannot bring his N back with Nb4-d3 and the Queen is denied any activity}
35. Ra8 Kh7
36. Na6 Rh4! {with forced mate, white let his flag fall}


Giorgi took a draw against Eugene Perelshteyn to clinch the match, while Alex Katz took down Boston Blitz Assistant to the Manager Ilya Krasik in a creative and exciting game.

An ENORMOUS thank you to our sponsors, ChessNYC, whose unstinting generosity enables us to field such strong and exciting lineups. On a personal note, I want to add that in addition to supporting the NY Knights, they've stepped in to help my school, IS 318, after we were unceremoniously dumped by Chess in the Schools. Their entirely selfless and generous funding of a grandmaster coach for the economically underpriviledged children I work with will make an enormous difference in my students' education and development. THANK YOU SO MUCH! You're the truly the best!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Vaseline Globes are Slippery!

Justus Williams

GM Tamaz Gelashvili

Isaac Barayev and GM Alex Lenderman

obligatory photo of Philadelphia Mastermind Jay Bonin!

Isaac's computer sucks, so he borrows mine.
We begin the game in our normal back room.

Alex plays the Sicilian for the first time!

nail biting action
After multiple disconnections, I insist everyone moves into the Marshall's office. Space is tight.

The Marshall office window: You can see Isaac's face, Tamaz's arms and yellow shirt, Justus, my arm, and the Game of the Century.

our admirable TD, Gregory Keenan, on the far left

b2 or b4?
Isaac played an interesting queen sac for a rook, piece, and pawn, but then hung a rook and (optimistically!) asked for takeback two. Justus played nicely to win. Alex chose the wrong square for his queen and lost a piece. Tamaz heroically won his rook endgame to draw the match. I got home at 1:15 and was at work, also heroically, by 7.

Thanks to our sponsors, ChessNYC!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

NY Knights vs the Vaseline Globes

Starts at 9:00 PM EST
Time Control: Game in 60 with 30 second increment
New York KnightsVaseline Globes
GM Tamaz Gelashvili: 2694IM Andranik Matikozyan: 2470
GM Alex Lenderman: 2703IM Zhanibek Amanov: 2463
NM Justus Williams: 2331FM Michael Casella: 2308
Isaac Barayev: 2144Nicky Korba: 2007
Average Rating: 2468Average Rating: 2312

This week features the debut of NY Knight Isaac Barayev, formerly of IS 318 fame!

GM Alex Lenderman continues his quest to reclaim USCL MVP!
Tamaz has the white pieces, outrates his opponent by 224 points, and seeks Game of the Week Vengeance!
Justus Williams has the toughest match, but is coming off an excellent result at the Manhattan Open and a summer vacation of intense study. 

Many thanks to our sponsors, ChessNYC!
Log in to ICC at 9 pm to cheer us on!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Puzzles from the NY Knights first match of 2012, against the Manhattan Applesauce!
Our first match was tied, 2-2, with NY wins from GM Alex Lenderman and US Cadet Champion Michael Bodek on boards 2 and 3.
In all cases, the last move is given, and you are looking for a winning tactical idea.

1. GM Vladimir Romanenko vs GM Tamaz Gelashvili
white to move

2. GM Alex Lenderman vs. IM Lev Milman
white to move
3. Oleg Zaikov vs. Michael Bodek
24. Kd2
black to move

4. Nicolas Checa vs Alex King
13. Bxc4
black to move

5. Nicolas Checa vs. Alex King
14. Be2
black's strongest move is strangely quiet

6. Nicolas Checa vs. Alex King
23. Nd4
black to move and win

1. 29. Bg4! is best, as 29...Rxg4 30. e6! Qg7 31. Rf7 Qg8 32. Qe5! is crushing. This variation was spotted by Knights Assistant Manager Matt Herman; in actuality Romanenko played 29. Qc3.

2. 47. b5! works, since 47... Rxb5 48. Rxa2+ Kxa2 49. Nc3+ wins.

3. 24... Bc4 is winning, as moving the rook allows the devastating ...Qxb2

4. 13...Ndxe5! wins a pawn, since 14. fxe5 allows 14... Qh4+. 13... Ncxe5 also wins a pawn, but doesn't free the black queen so nicely.

5. Black's strongest is the amazing 14...Bb7, threatening to threaten ...Bxg2. After 15. fxe5 Nd4 16. Kf2 Nc2, black is winning the exchange.
14... Nd4 is also good, since 15. Bd1 Bb7 16. Kf2 is met with 16...Nc2 17. Bxc2 Ng4.

6. The game finished with 23... Rxe2 24. Nxe2 Qc6!

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