Archive for April, 2011

One reader has commented on puzzle #77 “I think this puzzle is really interesting. Can you put more puzzles by Bobby Fischer?”  I’d love to publish more Fischer puzzles but the trouble with very good players is that their games are widely known and they don’t often make unusual mistakes which could be the subject of a “puzzle.”

Not so lesser players!   Take the recent Doeberl Cup in Canberra for example.   I was following the games in the Premier Division live on the internet (it was very strong with 6 grandmasters playing) but they also showed the top game from the Major and Minor Divisions as well.  I was watching the game between Badar Zoud 1591 and Peter Grinyer 1489 (top board in the Minor) but it was boring as White was just romping it in with an extra exchange and a pawn and with his Q + R both attacking.   I was just about to move on to the next game when White made a move and Black’s reply caused me to burst out laughing!    Black had swindled a draw from a totally lost position.

Let’s assume that White was choosing between 1.e5, 1.g3 and 1.Rc8.  Which one of these was the huge blunder that allowed Black to draw and what was Black’s reply?

[fen caption=”White to Play and blunder!”]4R3/5p1k/5qp1/3Q3p/P2pPb2/7P/1P3PP1/6K1 w KQkq – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for April, 2011

Archive for April, 2011

Keep it up kids and chess will take you places! As well as the Elite Sports undergraduate scholarship that Monash has (for which chess players are eligible) there is now an opportunity to get a PhD in chess ratings!

Monash University is offering a PhD scholarship of $26,667 to work on a chess ratings project!

Archive for April, 2011

News over the weekend is that Armenia is the latest country to add chess to their school curriculum.

Children from the age of six will learn chess as a separate subject on the curriculum for two hours a week. The lessons, which start later this year, would “foster schoolchildren’s intellectual development” and teach them to “think flexibly and wisely”.

And the total cost – only $1.43 million …

Read more

Archive for April, 2011

Two chess players are playing a correspondence game. White lives at the South Pole and Black at the North Pole. The postal service is rather slow and play proceeds at about one move per year!

After 15 years of play, White makes a daring sacrifice, the consequences of which are by no means clear. A year later, as he sees the postman returning, he is very excited. He thinks “Will Black take my queen? Is the sacrifice sound?”

He tears open the reply and sees…

Archive for April, 2011

What makes a good puzzle?   I think it is the element of surprise.   You study the position for ages but can’t find a winning move then you look up the solution and go “Wow!”   ‘Why didn’t I see that?”   That’s why I don’t like easy puzzles.  It’s no fun if you can find the solution quickly …. and you don’t learn anything.

Leonard Barden had a great puzzle the other day in the “Evening Standard Newspaper” where he asked the reader to find mate in 1 move.   Should be easy, but like most readers I couldn’t find it.   Then he said “set up the position on a chessboard” and the trick became apparent.   In fact there were 9 mates in one as Black had 9 pawns in the position and every time you took away an extra pawn there was a different mate.  A great trick!

I can’t match that, but the other day I was playing through a Fischer game on my iPad over lunch and I came across the “Wow” factor.   Fischer made a great move that stopped his opponent Pal Benko in his tracks.

For today’s puzzle, let’s say you are Benko and you are considering either 1…Qe5, 1…Qd6 or 1…Qc8.  One of these moves is a big blunder that allowed Fischer to unleash his combination.  Which move did Benko play and what was Fischer’s surprise reply?

[fen caption=”Black to Play”]3r2k1/6Pn/p4pQ1/1pq2P2/2p1Bp1P/2P2P2/PP6/6RK b KQkq – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for April, 2011

I’ve recently been reading a book “Endgame” by Frank Brady about “the Spectacular rise and fall of Bobby Fischer” which is a fascinating account of Fischer’s progression from chess prodigy and World Champion to paranoid recluse living in Iceland.  I thought it would be nice for today’s puzzle to have a Fischer combination but, whilst trolling the internet for a suitable puzzle, I stumbled across a fascinating Fischer story.

Apparently back in 2006 there was a chess match being televised  live in Iceland (which is a chess-mad country) and the players reached the following position.  In time trouble Black touched his King and started to play 1…Kg8 but then realised that 2.Qxg7 was mate so instead he played 1…Qd7.  Unfortunately for him the arbiter was watching and enforced the touch move rule so White played 2.Qxg7# and won the game.

At this point a viewer rang in to the TV station and suggested that Black had missed a spectacular win.  The viewer was chess recluse Bobby Fischer, probably the greatest player of all-time.  Today’s puzzle is can you spot the move that Bobby suggested (fairly easy) and after White’s best reply what is Black’s killer second move (quite hard)?

[fen caption=”Black to Play”]8/2p3rk/2q1pQ1p/4pN2/3br3/7P/5PP1/5RK1 b – – 0 1[/fen]

Archive for April, 2011

Another excellent open weekend event being held in Victoria. This is suitable for kids or adults over the weekend 27th – 29th May.

Good cash prizes for ratings divisions and for best Junior.

Download a flyer or entry form.

See details and submit your entry online.

An early bird discount of $10 is applicable to entries received by April 29th. Enquiries to Geelong Chess Club.

Archive for April, 2011

I’ve just come across a nice website from Texas… it has quite a few good puzzles and famous games. Plus a nice intro to openings… What I like about it is that it’s nicely designed for a change!

If you’re looking for a place to learn a bit more about chess it is worth a visit!