Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I would like to wish all of you the special gifts of this holiday season - Peace, Joy and Lasting Happiness.

Susan Polgar

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Excellence ON and OFF the board

Excellence ON and OFF the board

The accumulative grade of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders chess teams (A, B and Girl's team) this semester is approximately 3.30, with 4 players earning a perfect 4.0!

Here are some of their majors: Economics, Finance, Math, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, Law, Spanish, English, Political Science, Biotech, and Microbiology, etc.

In addition to getting good grades, they also worked hard to improve their chess skills. Through the special SPICE training program, 3 of our players earned the GM title in the past 6 months!

In addition, many members of the Knight Raiders also volunteered countless hours to teach and promote chess in the Lubbock community through schools, libraries, and senior centers, etc.

I am very proud of my players and we will work hard to continue the tradition of excellence on and off the board.
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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Game analysis

Here is one of great games by Bobby in the historic 1963 U.S. Championship.

Bobby Fischer - Pal Benko

U.S. Championship, New York Dec. 30, 1963

This is one of the classic victories of the legendary Bobby Fischer from the 1963 U.S. Championship where he scored an incredible 11–0. Around the time of this game, Grandmaster Benko was ranked as one of the top ten players in the world.

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 These opening moves are referred to as the Pirc defense.

4.f4 With this move White gains more space and is considered the most ambitious way to counter the Pirc.

4...Nf6 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Bd3 A year earlier Fischer tried 6.Be2 but Black gained a good game after 6...c5. Therefore, he tried to improve on it in this game.

6...Bg4?! Black jut pinned White’s Knight. However. if the pin is not sustainable then such a move does not make much sense. The better options according the opening theory are: 6...Nc6 or 6...Na6.

7.h3 This is a good response. It forces the Black Bishop to either trade (as Black continued in the game) or retreat.

7...Bxf3 Black could not maintain the pin by 7...Bh5, as then 8.g4 would trap the Bishop on h5.

8.Qxf3 Nc6 Black now attacks White’s d4 Pawn.

9.Be3 This is a natural developing move which at the same time also protects the attacked d4 Pawn.

9...e5 Otherwise White was going to play e4-e5 himself.

10.dxe5 dxe5 11.f5 This is a very strong move to cut Black’s Bishop out of play. Now White’s plan is to play g2-g4-g5.

11...gxf5 12.Qxf5 12.exf5 would have been a mistake as Black would get very active after 12...e4!

12...Nd4 13.Qf2 Capturing the Pawn on e5 with 13.Qxe5 instead would be an error due to Black’s discovery attack by 13...Ng4!

13...Ne8 Black is trying to regroup the Knight to d6 and then play f7-f5.

14. 0–0 Castling to the other side was also a reasonable option.

14...Nd6 Black is following up his plan, to prepare the Pawn advance f7-f5.

15.Qg3 This is good looking attacking move which creates a pin over Black’s Bishop and threatens with 16.Bh6. However, 15.Rad1 may have been even better.

15...Kh8 A better try would be to continue with the plan 15...f5.

16.Qg4 Now the f7-f5 advance is stopped.

16...c6 17.Qh5 White is slowly but surely inching closer and closer to Black’s King. White’s plan is to trade on d4 next, and then open up the light squared Bishop’s diagonal with e4-e5.

17...Qe8? This was the losing move. Fischer recommended instead 17...Ne6.

18.Bxd4 exd4 Now not the natural 19.e5 when Black would be still ok after 19...f5! Fischer has something else in mind.

19.Rf6! A truly impressive move which made it to countless combination books in the past half a century. The idea of the move is simple: to prevent Black’s f7-f5 defense after White’s e Pawn advances!

19...Kg8 If Black captures the Rook by 19...Bxf6 then after 20.e5 the checkmate is unavoidable. Also after 19...dxc3 the problem would be the same 20.e5 and if, 20…h6 21.Rxh6+! Kg8 22.Rh8+! Bxh8 23.Qh7 checkmate.

20.e5 h6 Here there are numerous ways which lead to win but the simplest is as Fischer continued 21.Ne2!

Here Black resigned as the situation is hopeless. The Knight is hanging on d6. If it moves away, White responds with 22.Qf5 with a checkmate threat on h7. If 21...Bxf6, then 22.Qh6 and it is game over.

This is a truly brilliant game by the 20–year old Fischer.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2011 Susan Polgar National Open for Boys and Girls

2011 Susan Polgar National Open for Boys and Girls

Over $100,000 in scholarships & prizes!

March 4-6, 2011
Chandler (Phoenix), Arizona

7 Round SwissSys G/45. 8 Sections: Primary (K-2), Elementary (K-5), Middle School (K-8) and High School (K-12) , separately for boys and girls. Rounds: Sat. 9:15 A.M., 11:15 A.M., 1:15 P.M. and 3:15 P.M.; Sun. 9:00 A.M., 11:30 A. M. and 1:30 P.M. Awards at 4:00 P.M. Online Registrations: Girls and Boys. Entry: Chess Emporium, 10801 N 32nd St., Suite 6, Phoenix, AZ 85028.

Bogle Junior High School - View Map
1600 West Queen Creek Road
Chandler, AZ 85248


Friday, March 4th
6:30 PM - Puzzle Solving Championship
7:00 PM - Bughouse Round 1
7:30 PM - Bughouse Round 2
8:00 PM - Bughouse Round 3
8:30 PM - Bughouse Round 4
9:00 PM - Bughouse Round 5

Saturday, March 5th
9:15 AM - Main Event Round 1
11:15 AM - Main Event Round 2
1:15 PM - Main Event Round 3
3:15 PM - Main Event Round 4
5:00 PM - Susan Polgar 20 Board Simultaneous Exhibition
6:30 PM - Blitz Round 1
7:00 PM - Blitz Round 2
7:30 PM - Blitz Round 3
8:00 PM - Blitz Round 4
8:30 PM - Blitz Round 5

Sunday, March 6th
9:00 AM - Main Event Round 5
10:30 AM - Susan Polgar Q&A
11:30 AM - Main Event Round 6
1:30 PM - Main Event Round 7
4:00 PM - Awards Ceremony

Hotel Info:

Holiday Inn
1200 W. Ocotillo Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248

Call: 480-203-2121 mention "Chess" to get special rate of $95/night for 2 Queen or King room.


9-12 Grade Boys & Girls sections:

Scholarships to Texas Tech University!
Trophies to top 10 individuals
Trophies to top 3 School Teams
Medals to all participants!

K-2, 3-5 & 6-8 Girls and Boys sections:

Netbook to 1st!!
$200 in chess prizes to 2nd
$150 in chess prizes to 3rd
Trophies to top 20 individuals
Trophies to top 3 School Teams
Trophy to Top Club Team
Trophies to top 3 Sibling Teams
Medals to all participants!

Tournament Fees

* Main Event:

$55.00 if postmarked by 01/15/2010
$59.00 if postmarked by 02/15/2011 or
$65.00 if postmarked by 03/02/2011 or
$69.00 on site registration

# Puzzle Solving Championship: $15 by 2/25/11, $20 thereafter, registration closes 5:30 PM Fri. 3/4

# Blitz Championship: $20 by 2/25/11, $25 thereafter, registration closes 5:30 PM Fri. 3/4

# Bughouse Championship: $20 (Team) by 2/25/11, $25 (Team) thereafter, registration closes 6:00 PM

# Susan Polgar Simultaneous Exhibition: $25 by 2/25/11, $30 thereafter, registration closes 15 minutes prior to start time.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Historic chess initiative in Texas

Texas Tech University and SPICE officially launched the UIL Chess Puzzle Solving Statewide Pilot in the state of Texas earlier today at Wester Elementary School in Lubbock, Texas. UIL is the largest interschool organization of its kind in the world!

More than 300 students, teachers, parents, administrators, and various media, etc. were on hand for the launching of this historic competition.

This will potentially provide excellent opportunities for millions of chess playing students in the entire state of Texas to compete and earn scholarships for years to come. This is the first time that Chess has been accepted as an UIL Competition in its 101 year history!

"The seeds of the UIL were planted in 1904, when Dr. S.E. Mezes, president of UT, decided the state's foremost university needed to be of service to the entire state.... Since 1910, the records and achievements of state high school participants have justified the decision of the University to support this program of public school service. The UIL has grown into the largest interschool organization of its kind in the world, and is the envy of similar groups nationwide. The UIL exists to provide educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests. So successful is the program that one of every two high school seniors has participated in a UIL event prior to graduation. The initials "UIL" have come to represent quality educational competition, administered by school people on an amateur and equitable basis." (Official UIL Info)
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Texas Tech, SPICE Introduces Old Game to Young Players

DATE: Dec. 10, 2010
CONTACT: Karin Slyker,
(806) 742-2136

Texas Tech, SPICE Introduces Old Game to Young Players

WHAT: Texas Tech University announces a state pilot program for students of Lubbock Independent School District.

WHEN: 1 p.m. Monday (Dec. 13)

WHERE: Wester Elementary, 4602 Chicago Ave.

EVENT: Chess will be the subject of a University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition next year for elementary and middle school students. The pilot program was proposed by the Texas Tech Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), part of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement.

The competition will be in the format of solving chess puzzles designed by Grandmaster Polgar. Competing students in grades two through eight will have 20 puzzles to solve in 30 minutes.

Elementary school students will choose their answers from mostly multiple choice questions in which white can checkmate black in one move, while older students will have puzzles that are checkmates in one or two moves.

According to Lynn Elms, the regional director for UIL, the pilot chess program is a historic moment for Texas Tech, which has a 75-year association with UIL. This is the first competition that Texas Tech has proposed.

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at

CONTACT: Paul Truong, director of marketing, SPICE, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-7742 or
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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Game of the week

Here is a past game from GM Lahno, the reigning Women’s World Blitz Championship, and one of the participants in this event.

K. Lahno (2479) – K. Nemcova (2344)

Plovdiv, Bulgaria (4),
04.24.2008 [C63]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 The Schliemann/Jaenisch Gambit has regained its popularity in recent years thanks to top GMs Radjabov and Zvjaginsev.

4.Nc3 In the recent game Topalov – Radjabov, Morelia/Linares 2008, White got a small advantage after 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 Bc5 7.Qd3 d6 8.Qc4 Qe7 9.Nc3 Bd7 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Nd4 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nxd4 Bxd4 14.a4 a6 15.Be3 Bxe3 16.fxe3 0-0-0 17.Rf2 Rdf8 18.Raf1 Rxf2 19. Rxf2, but Black should be able to hold this queen and rook endgame.

4...fxe4 5.Nxe4 Nf6 This is the newest fashion. After 5...d5, White is better in the old main line after 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Nxc6 Qg5 8.Qe2 Nf6 9.f4 Qxf4 10.d4.

6.Qe2 d5 7.Nxf6+ Forcing Black to recapture with the g-pawn in order to protect the pawn on e5.

7...gxf6 8.d4 It is important for White to play energetically and to undermine Black’s strong pawn center.

8...Bg7 9.dxe5 0-0 After 9...fxe5 10.Nxe5 0-0, Black did not get enough compensation for the sacrificed pawns after 11.Bxc6 bxc6 12. Nxc6 Qd7 13.Ne7+ Kh8 14.0-0 Bb7 15. Bg5 in Mikhalchishin – Annageldyev, Uzhgorod 1988.

10.Bxc6 In the game J. Polgar – Radjabov, Wijk aan Zee, 2008, Black solved all his opening problems after 10.e6 Ne5 11.0–0 Bxe6 12.Nd4 Bg4 13.f3 Bc8 14. f4 c6 and the game ended in a draw after: 15.fxe5 fxe5 16.Rxf8+ Qxf8 17. Bd3 e4 18.Bxe4 Bxd4+ 19.Be3 Bxe3+ 20.Qxe3 dxe4 21.Qg5+ Qg7 22. Qd8+ Qf8 23.Qg5+ Qg7 –

10...bxc6 11.e6 Upon 11.exf6 Qxf6 12.0–0 Bg4, Black wins the pawn back by pinning White’s knight and will have an excellent position.

11...Re8 Black will win the pawn back, but White hopes for an advantage based on the difference in the pawn structure.

12.0-0 c5 Black wants to make sure that White will not block the advance of the cpawn on c5. In Shirov – Radjabov, Odessa, 2007, after 12...Rxe6 13.Be3 Re8 14.Qd3 Bg4, White had the option to gain the advantage by 15.Bc5.

13.Bf4 White often tries to play aggressively by 13.Qb5, but, after 13...Bf8, it is unclear if the white queen is well positioned on the queenside.

13...Rb8 14.b3 Another reasonable option was 14.c3.

14...Rb6 15.Qd2 With the idea of a double attack on Black’s a7- and c5-pawns by Qd2-a5.

15...Bf8 Defending against the above threat by protecting the c5-pawn. If 15... Rbxe6 16.Qa5.

16.Rad1 Bxe6 Now Black’s rook looks useless on b6.

17.Rfe1 White is playing logical, commonsense chess by centralizing all her pieces.

17...c6 18.Bh6 It is a good idea to try to trade dark squared bishops.

18...Bd6 Black’s only hope for counter play to keep the bishop-pair.

19.c4! Another strong move!

19...Bf7 Removing the potential exchange sacrifice Rxe6. This is where Black lost the thread of the game, although White had a nice advantage in any case.

20.Nh4 Immediately takes advantage of Black’s last move, which weakened the f5-square.

20...Rxe1+ 20...Qd7 would not stop the white knight entering on f5, as after 21.Rxe8+, Black would be forced to recapture with the queen, because the bishop is busy guarding the d5-pawn. Or 20...Be6 21.cxd5 cxd5 22.Rxe6! Rxe6 23.Qxd5 Qe8 24.Nf5 is also very good for White.

21.Rxe1 Qd7 22.Qc3 Black’s position is hopeless now.

22...Qd8 If 22...Be5, White wins by 23.Rxe5! fxe5 24.Qg3+ Bg6 25.Nxg6 hxg6 26. Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Bg5 Qg7 28.Bf6. Other tries such as 22...d4 23.Qf3 or 22... Be7 23.Qg3+ would not help either.

23.Qf3 Threatening Qg4+.

23...Kh8 24.Qg4 24.Bg5 fxg5 25.Qxf7 Rb8 26.Nf5 was also strong.

24...Bf8 24...Qg8 is answered by 25.Qd7.

25.Bxf8 Qxf8 26.Qf4 Bg8 27.Re8! A nice deflection combination!

27...Qf7 The game ends immediately after 27... Qxe8 28.Qxf6#.

28.Qd6 Rb7 29.Nf5 Threatening 30.Rxg8+!.

29...Qg6 30.Qe6 Rf7 31.Rxg8+! Qxg8 32.Nh6 Qg6 33.Qc8+ 1–0

An overview and insight into Women's World Championship 2010

An overview and insight into Women's World Championship 2010
Posted: December 5, 2010 - 12:14am

The question of the week is how I feel about the knockout format for the Women’s World Championship and who I think are some of the favorites to win it all this year.

The Women’s World Championship is taking place right now in Antakya, Turkey. Here are the top 10 seeds in this year’s event:

1. Koneru, Humpy GM India 2600
2. Hou, Yifan GM China 2591
3. Kosintseva, Tatiana GM Russia 2581
4. Dzagnidze, Nana GM Georgia 2551
5. Stefanova, Antoaneta GM Bulgaria 2548
6. Muzychuk, Anna IM Slovenia 2530
7. Cramling, Pia GM Sweden 2526
8. Harika, Dronavalli IM India 2525
9. Ju, Wenjun WGM China 2524
10. Lahno, Kateryna GM Ukraine 2522

Koneru of India, Hou of China and T. Kosintseva of Russia are my top three picks to win it all. Unfortunately, even though they are ranked one and two in this championship, Koneru and Hou will have to face each other in the semifinal if they advance all the way through, just as in 2008.

I have no problem with the knockout format. However, I think it is unfortunate that the first five rounds are two-game matches, and the final is only a four-game match. This is way too short for a World Championship. This is like playing Wimbledon, the NBA championship or World Series with the best of three game format. It is almost like a lottery.

One way to fix that is to reduce the field from 64 players down to perhaps 32 or even 16. Then early match(es) could be best of four games, six for the semifinal, and the final should be at least best of eight games. The bottom line is the matches have to be longer. But to have the current format simply cheapens the prestige of the World Championship title.

Source: Avalanche Journal
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