Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spreading the love of chess

Annastasia and Amelia Wyzywany, participants of the SP Girl's Invitational last year, started a scholastic chess club. The club began in September 2010. They club has had a steady stream of children joining. Currently the club has 26 members of which 7 are girls. Annastasia conducts most of the lessons while Amelia checks to see if students are understanding and need help one on one. Here is what Annastasia and Amelia wrote:

Amelia and I teach a chess club for kids. We have been teaching our chess club for one school year. We have 26 kids and seven of them are girls. Most of my teaching materials I use I learned from the SPGI and your website. All the girls love hearing about the SPGI and hope that they earn an invite someday.

Our four year old sister Alexandra plays chess at the chess club. The kids love to play her because they think it is cool a four year old can play chess. The first time we had chess club we brought our trophies. The kids liked the trophies and asked how they could win them. We told them they have to play and beat other kids in a tournament.

The kids love to come to the chess club, one of the Moms said that it is her son's favorite activity. My little brother Francis teaches the new kids how the pieces move. It is always fun to go and see the kids smiling faces and to teach them to play.

The kids love to hear about the tournaments and can't wait to play in a tournament. We will have our first tournament in March, the kids are excited to play in their first rated tournament.

Our goal is to teach the kids as much as we can. When I am teaching and no one will answer I say things like "come on, its free today". When it is a puzzle and they win a piece I say "bye bye sweetie pie". Both sayings I learned from my coach Mr. Angelito Abella.

When we started playing chess there were no kids in the local chess club. In our first tournament we had only adults to play. We started a chess club for kids so when other kids play in tournaments they would have kids to play instead of just adults, and have people to play at their level too. We also started the chess club to grow chess in our town. We also teach chess to kids of all ages at the Volunteers of America.

Annastasia and Amelia Wyzywany
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Special interview in Milan by Dario Pedini

Interview with Susan Polgar in Milan by Dario Pedini
Di Darkstorm (del 05/01/2011 @ 19:36:37)

D : Susan, let’s start with one of the most topical issues in the chess world at the moment : What do you think of the World Championship format and the forthcoming Candidate matches

S : I think that it is satisfactory as we are now back to a Classical format, much better than the knock out system used for the latest events.

D : Don’t you think that 4 games aren’t really enough to decide who deserves to go through to the next round, though?

S : Indeed, 4 games aren’t really enough , but you see, finding available dates for these events is a real problem , as is finding suitable sponsors who are able to finance matches that last as long as these.

D : Let’s talk about Carlsen. His withdrawal has raised more than one eyebrow, not to mention the disappointment to his fans. Any comments ?

S : It is definitely a blow for chess fans worldwide that Carlsen has decided not to take part in the World Championship cycle , which would have been a good opportunity for his career. However, he is still rather young and he will have plenty of opportunities to play for the title.

I’m not happy with the reply, so I pry a little more …

D: In my opinion Carlsen, as Adams, has done well to withdraw from the FIDE Grand Prix, a competition that has been riddled with problems , such as dates being cancelled, sites being changed, down to the whole event being included wholepiece in the modifications of the current World Championship cycle. However, I was not impressed with the explanation Magnus gave, which I found didn’t really adress the key issues. Do you think the sponsors might have played a part ? And what would your personal thoughts on the matter be?

S : ( smiling ) Written explanations aren’t always the whole of the matter. Magnus is young, and this year he has been busy elsewhere, such as his venture in fashion. These distractions take their toll and require time and energy from a professional player. However I think there might still be a way to convince him to play the 2011 matches.

D : Let’s talk about Italy. Caruana is now established as a 2700 player and is amongst the top 30 players in the world. Do you think his current trainers can take him to the Top 10 or does he need new coaches ? As a case in point, Karjakin has recently changed his sporting allegiance and moved to the Russian Chess Federation for economic reasons, but also to make sure that he could work with that federation’s trainers with the result that he has improved considerably in the last few months, and could be one to watch this year.

S : ( Glowing ) Yes, Fabiano has moved to Switzerland, after spending some time in Budapest. He has often been able to work with excellent trainers and if he carries on training as he has always done, he will be able to set his sights on even higher goals. As you know, Fabiano started out in my club back in the USA.

D : Susan, your site’s motto, which I take also holds true for you as a player, goes “ win with grace, lose with dignity ! “ . Do you think overall sportmanship is well represented amongst today’s top players ?

S : The most recent World Champions, Anand and Kramnik, are true gentlemen, and are extremely fair players. They are excellent role models for our kids and have much to teach on fair play, apart from everything else.

D : Their Italian counter-part could be Michele Godena. Speaking of him, Reggio Emilia will shortly hold the annual New Year’s event,( editor’s note - the interview was held shortly before the event ) with many top players, including Morozevich, a truly great player , who has probably been invited at the perfect time for him. I feel he stands out somewhat from the other 2700-rated players, and has a long history with the Russian national team.

S : Yes, Reggio Emilia 2011 will be a fantastic event and Morozevich definitely adds to the overall standing of the tournament. He has often threatened to retire from active chess, however he has been playing quite regularly these last few years. I think it’s great that he is there and he will add to the tournament’s prestige, he’s definitely one of the most important players around today.

D : You have come to Italy for a conference, which was held today. Can you tell us a bit about that ?

S : I have been invited to take part in the “ Conferenza della Fondazione 21 di Paoletti “. It was a very interesting event which I was glad to take part in as a speaker, but which I enjoyed attending as a spectator also. I was amongst the 21 guests, the line up being made up of Nobel prize winners and Olympic champions, and each speaker had to talk for 21 minutes on how he or she managed to become succesful in their chosen field.

Susan asked me if we had finished the interview as she had a dinner event to attend, and I asked if I could impose on her for a few more quick questions, to which she kindly relented. I felt a bit guilty , but I soldiered on for a few more minutes … and had to think on my feet to keep the interview going.

D : Italy’s chess scene has witnessed a steady improvement in these last few years, and many people are doing a lot of work to achieve something worthwhile locally, however, it has been decades since we have hosted an event with world class players, and by that I mean players in the Top 5 playing each other . Do you think that Italy will be able to hold such an event, or some other important FIDE event ?

S : Why not ? Italy is a beautiful country, and maybe something might happen in the next few years. There has been a lot of talk of hosting big events in Italy, but nothing has gone beyond the initial stages yet.

D : Susan , have you ever played in Italy in your career ?

Susan looks both surprised and intrigued by the question. She takes a long moment to ponder over the matter, holding herself in her arms in a typical reflexive stance, and lays back on her chair. After a while she confesses :

S : You know, I really don’t think so. I’ve been on holiday to Rome and Florence and have passed through Milan, but I don’t think I’ve ever played a tournament at classical time controls. How curious !

D : Do you think there will be a chance to see you play in Italy ?

S : I no longer play in tournaments, I could definitely come here for a Chess related event, but I don’t think I’ll come to play serious chess, it’s really no longer on the cards at present.

At this I couldn’t resist a cheeky riposte :

D : OK, so this is the perfect moment. Let’s set up a board here in the bar and play ! ( all the while I’m miming moving chess pieces with my hand, to underline my point )

Susan doesn’t quite know what to make of this, and can’t work out wether I’m kidding or not. To be honest, I didn’t know the answer to that myself, but I really couldn’t resist proposing a game, and to be honest I wouldn’t have minded at all if she had agreed to one, but in the end I settle for taking some pictures for future memories before saying our good-byes …

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2011 Susan Polgar National Open for Girls and Boys

Official Qualifier for the 2011 Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational! Winners of all the girls' sections will automatically qualify for the 2011 SPGI, the most prestigious all-girls event in the U.S.

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.
  • Posted by Picasa

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    FIDE Committee for Women's Chess New Website

    FIDE Committee for Women's Chess New Website


    The WOM is happy to welcome all of you to our webpage!! Our goal is to inform you all about women history, present players, future events and much more ! Our commission is working hard to improve the situation for women in the chess world in all areas such as players, trainers, arbiters and organisers. We will really appreciate all your comments and ideas to help us improve!

    Best Wishes
    Posted by Picasa

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Technology changes game of chess

    Posted: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:04 pm

    Technology changes game of chess
    Rocio Rodriguez
    Staff Writer Daily Toreador - Dept. of Student Media, Texas Tech University

    Feb. 10 marks the 15th anniversary of the first time a computer defeated a human in the game of chess.

    Though it may seem the average chess player could play and beat a home computer chess game, one particular game revolutionized the interaction of chess and technology — when Russian Garry Kasparov, who is considered by many the world’s best chess player, lost to his computer opponent, Deep Blue.

    “Initially, (computer chess) was an entertainment, and then it became a competition pretty much from the mid-1980s to the mid-’90s,” said Susan Polgar, the first woman to earn the grandmaster title and director of the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech.

    “For that decade it was a competition, and then when that famous match happened between Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov, that the computer won — the IBM computer won — that pretty much put an end to the competition, because once he lost, and a number of other grandmasters lost as well to different programs, humans pretty much gave in.”

    According to the American Physical Society website, in the first match between Kasparov and Deep Blue, the computer won the first game, shocking Kasparov. Kasparov however, won three games total and played two to a draw. They played again in 1997, but Deep Blue had been improved, working on a faster processor and other resources allowing it to adapt to new strategies. This rematch ended in a win for the machine.

    Paul Truong, SPICE director of marketing and public relations and assistant coach of Tech’s chess team, the Knight Raiders, said after Deep Blue’s success, players realized they needed to learn from computers, not battle against them.

    “(The computers the team practices against) are loaded with computer softwares,” Truong said. “We can’t even do anything without it. Things we don’t see, computers can see. Things we can’t calculate fast enough, computers can do in a millisecond. It’s becoming a part of what we do in chess. It’s not a challenge anymore because you can’t compete against a computer. There’s no chance.”

    According to the IBM website, Deep Blue’s software is used to solving problems outside of the world of chess.

    “The underlying RS/6000 technology is being used to tackle complex ‘real-world’ problems like cleaning up toxic waste sites, forecasting the weather, modeling financial data, designing cars, developing innovative drug therapies,” the IBM website states.

    The senior faculty adviser and founder of Knight Raiders, associate professor of geosciences Hal Karlsson, said software is becoming an assistant of sorts to professionals.

    “Today, what a lot of the so-called professional higher-level chess players do, they use the program to calculate variations,” Karlsson said. “So, if they’re interested in some particular variation, they feed it into a computer, and it comes up with things we don’t think of.”

    Truong also said competitors’ success is determined by how they use the computers to train.

    “(The top four chess schools) will be using (software) to prepare to compete against each other,” Truong said. “Those who can interpret the data better, who can use it better, that’s the one that’s going to win. That’s the different skills now.”

    Posted by Picasa

    Saturday, February 05, 2011

    Game analysis

    This is one of the wildest games I have seen in a while. Of course that is not unexpected when the opening choice is the King’s Gambit! Nowadays, not many have the courage to experiment and take the risk that comes with this once popular choice of opening.

    GM Ivan Ivanisevic (2630) – IM Tania Sachdev (2391) [C25]

    73rd Tata Steel (Group C) Wijk aan Zee NED (1), 15.01.2011

    1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.Nf3 g5 5.h4

    The gambit variation, starting with 5.d4 g4 and 6.Bc4 would be at least as risky as the game move.

    5…g4 6.Ng5 d6 7.d4 h6 8.Nxf7 It seems brave, although at this point there was no choice as the Knight was already trapped. Naturally, White did not blunder, but is following a theoretical line.

    8…Kxf7 9.Bc4+ Kg7 10.Bxf4 Nf6 Another idea was tried in the Forster – Z. Almasi, Horgen1996 game 10…Be7 11. Qd2 Bf6 12. Ne2 Qe8 13. O-O Bxh4 14. Ng3 Nf615. Rae1 Nh5 16. Qc3 Rf8 17. Nxh5+ Qxh5 18. g3 Be7 19. e5 dxe5 20. Bxe5+ Nxe521. Rxf8 Kxf8 22. Rxe5 Qg6 23. Qe3 Bg5 24. Qa3+ Qd6 25. Qd3 Bd7 26. c3 Kg7 0–1

    11.0–0 Be7 12.Qd2 There were two other interesting options instead. The Bosboom – Dautov, 1991 game continued with 12…Rh7 13. Rae1 Kh8 14. Nd5 Ng815. h5 Bg5 16. Ne3 Bd7 17. Bd3 Rg7 18. c3 Bxf4 19. Rxf4 Qg5 20. Ref1 Qxh5 21.Nf5 Bxf5 22. Rxf5 Qh4 23. Qf4 Nce7 24. g3 Qh3 25. Rb5 Rf8 26. Qe3 Rf3 0–1.

    While the Brenke – Halasz 1990 game, followed with Nh5 13. Be3 Bf6 14. Nd5 Bxh415. e5 Be6 16. Nf6 Bxc4 17. Nxh5+ Kg6 18. Nf4+ Kh7 19. c3 Qe8 20. Qc2+ Kg7 21.Qf5 Bg5 22. d5 Bxf1 23. Ne6+ Kg8 24. Bxg5 Bd3 25. Qxd3 Nxe5 26. Qf5 hxg5 27.Re1 Qh5 28. Nxg5 Qh2+ 0–1. I have looked briefly at the alternative, 13.Bxh6+ Rxh6 14.Rf7+ Kg6 15.Raf1, but it seems that after 15… Ne5! 16.dxe5 dxe5 17.Qe3 Bxh4 Black is fine.

    12...Na5?! 13.Bd3 Nc6 White had the option to repeat moves with 14.Bc4. As we have seen above, Black had probably better options on move 12.

    14.Nd5! A good choice as Ivanisevic was ready to fight!

    14...Nxd4 Interestingly Black’s position is quite challenging and it is certainly not easy to find good choices at the board with limited time. After 14...Nh5, White has a nice combination with 15.Bxh6+! Rxh6 16.Rf7+! Kxf7 17.Qxh6 with a very strong attack. For example 17…Nf6 18.Nxf6 Bxf6 19.Qh7+ Ke6 20.d5+ Ke5 21.dxc6 bxc6 22.Qh5+ Kf4 23.e5!; Or after 14...Nxd5 15.exd5 Nxd4, White simply wins the Knight back after 16.Be3 c5 17.c3, while still maintaining the initiative.

    15.Nxe7 Qxe7 16.e5! A very elegant move to open up the light squared Bishop’s diagonal. That becomes especially important if we compare the immediate Bishop sacrifice (16.Bxh6+? Rxh6 17. Qg5+ and now 17…Rg6 is the refutation) with the game continuation.

    16…Nd5 If now, 16...dxe5 17.Bxh6+! Rxh6? 18.Qg5+ Kf7 19.Qxh6 and White wins. Also after 17...Kf7 18.Bg5 Nf3+ 19.gxf3 g3 20.Rfe1 White would be better.

    17.exd6 cxd6 18.Bc4 Qe4 White played the game very well so far but did not find the difficult prophylactic move here which would have given him a clear advantage. After the direct 19.Rae1, Black escapes thanks to the tactical opportunity with 19….Nf3+ 20.Rxf3 Qxc4.

    However, after the quiet and unexpected 19.b3! Black has trouble to find sufficient defense against the upcoming threat of 20. Rae1. For example if: 19…Nxc2 ( or 19...Nxf4 20.Rxf4) 20.Bxd5 Qd4+ 21.Qxd4+ Nxd4 22.Bxd6.

    19.Bd3?! This is an inaccuracy. The Bishop belongs on c4 to put pressure on the d5 Knight.

    19…Qe7 20.Rae1 Qxh4 21.Re4? This is another move in the wrong direction. Better was 21.Bc4 Nf3+ 22.gxf3 Nxf4 23.Qxf4 Bf5 24.Re2.

    21...Nf5 22.Rc4 b5?! Better was 22...Rf8 23.Bxf5 Rxf5.

    23.Bxf5 Bxf5 24.Qxd5 bxc4 25.Bxd6! Better than 25.Qxf5 Rhf8 26.Qd7+ Kg6 (but not 26...Rf7? 27.Be5+) 27.Qxd6+ Qf6]

    25...Rhf8 After all the fireworks, the game could have ended in a peaceful way after 26.Bxf8+ Rxf8 27.Rxf5 Rxf5 28.Qxf5 Qe1+ 29.Kh2 Qh4+ and draw by repetition of moves. However, White pushed just a bit too far.

    26.Be5+? After this last mistake it is game over. Despite of the Black King’s risky position the material advantage prevails.

    26...Kg6 27.Qc6+ Kh5 28.Bf4 Qf6 29.Bd6 Rad8 30.Rd1 Rfe8 0–1

    Posted by Picasa