Sunday, March 22, 2009

Rotlewi - Rubinstein, Lodz 1907

In contrast to his great rival, Lasker, Akiba Rubinstein was a player of calmness and simplicity; his victories seem as inevitable as the rising tide. Here he demonstrates the value of time in a symmetrical position. White’s first loss of tempo permits Black equality; the second invites a brilliant, devastating – and logical – mating attack.

Rotlewi – Rubinstein
Lodz, 1907


1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 c5 4. c4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. dxc5

Not exactly a mistake, but by making this capture before Black’s Bishop has moved from f8, White risks a loss of tempo if a later Bf1-d3 is answered by ... d5xc4.

6. ... Bxc5 7. a3 a6 8. b4 Bd6 9. Bb2 0-0 10. Qd2

Another inaccuracy; it is clear that Black will soon open the d-file and place a Rook on d8, forcing the White Queen to move again.

10. ... Qe7 11. Bd3 dxc4 12. Bxc4 b5 13. Bd3 Rd8 14. Qe2 Bb7 15. 0-0

Time to take stock. The pieces of both sides are posted symmetrically, but Black has the useful extra move ... Rf8-d8, and it is still his move. Rubinstein begins by exchanging off one of the Kingside defenders.

15. ... Ne5 16. Nxe5 Bxe5 17. f4 Bc7 18. e4

White’s undeveloped position can’t stand this; he had to try Rfd1, though Black still stands better with his active Bishops.

18. ... Rac8 19. e5 Bb6+ 20. Kh1 Ng4 21. Be4

Black is well on top after 21. Qxg4 Rxd3, and 21. Ne4 runs into 21. ... Rxd3 22. Qxd3 Bxe4 23. Qxe4 Qh4 24. h3 Qg3 25. hxg4 Qh4 mate.

21. ... Qh4 22. g3

Also insufficient was 22. h3 Rxc3, e.g. 23. Qxg4 Rxh3+ 24. Qxh3 Qxh3+ 25. gxh3 Bxe4+ 26. Kh2 Rd2+ 27. Kg3 Rg2+ followed by mate, or 23. Bxc3 Bxe4 24. Qxg4 Qxg4 25. hxg4 Rd3, and White must lose the Bishop on c3 in view of the threat of 26. ... Rxh3 mate.


22. ... Rxc3!

A wonderful combination, which includes the motifs of overloading and removing the guard.

23. gxh4

Other moves are no better: 23. Bxc3 Bxe4+ 24. Qxe4 Qxh2 mate, or 23. Bxb7 Rxg3 24. Rf3 (Black threatened ... Nxh2 and ... Rh3) 24. ... Rxf3 25. Bxf3 Nf2+ 26. Kg1 Ne4+ 27. Kf1 Nd2+ 28. Kg2 Nxf3 29. Qxf3 Rd2+ and wins.

23. ... Rd2!

The final point. Hopeless now are a) 24. Qxg4 Bxe4+ 25. Rf3 Rxf3, b) 24. Bxc3 Rxe2 threatening both ... Rxh2+ and ... Bxe4+, and c) 24 Bxb7 Rxe2 25. Bg2 Rh3!

24. Qxd2 Bxe4+ 25. Qg2 Rh3!, White resigns

For White must soon be mated.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Western Pacific Open final

IM Enrico Sevillano took first place in the 7th Annual Western Pacific Open, held at the LAX Hilton March 13-15, with 4.5 out of 5. Next at 4-1 were IM Jack Peters (who drew with Sevillano in the final round), Garush Manukuyan, and Gregg Small. In the Amateur (U2000) section, 10th-ranked Ryan Polsky had a tremendous tournament, scoring 4.5 and gaining over 60 rating points. Complete standings are posted on the Western Chess web page.

Prize Winners

1st: IM Enrico Sevillano, 4½-½; 2nd-4th: IM Jack Peters, Garush Manukyan, Gregg Small, 4-1; 5th: John Daniel Bryant, Ryan Porter, 3½-1½; U2200: Ryan Richardson, Varun Krishnan, 3-2.

1st: Ryan Polsky, 4½-½; 2nd-3rd: Gautam Nipanikar, Kenneth Poole, Steven Morford, 4-1; 1st-2nd U1800: Jason Kammerdiner, Michael Bynum, 3½-1½; 3rd U1800: Ernesto Soto, Ronald Morriss, 3½-1½; 1st-2nd U1600: Michael Phalen, David Connors, 3-2; 3rd U1600: Babken Krbashian, Crescen Tolentino, 2½-2½; U1400: Joseph Reynolds, 2½-2½; U1200: Jospeh Calderon, 2-3; Unrated: Hovhanes Melkonyan, 1½-3½

Section 1: Ray Wong, 2½-½
Section 2: Bryan Shapiro, Zaven Khachiyan, Antonio Malapira, Elijah Ullman, 2-1

Sunday, March 15, 2009

SCCF State Scholastic Championships final

All four sections of the 2009 SCCF State Scholastic Championships produced clear winners. First place in the High School section, and an invitation to the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, went to Vincent Huang with 4.5 out of 5. Tied for second and third a half point behind were Jared Tan and Michael Yee. Top team was University High of Irvine, with Vincent Huang, Aaron Ong, Aldrich Ong, Robert Khachatryan, David Shin, and Paul Raymond Duncan.

Jeffrey Ding topped the Junior High with 6-1. David Minasyan scored 6.5 in the Elementary (Grade 6-below), with Coalinga taking Top Team. Coalinga also took the team prize in the Primary (Grade 3-below) while Leo Kamgar scored 6.5 to take individual honors. And "Beyond Chess" took home the non-school club trophy in every section!

Randy Hough directed, with assistance from Anthony Ong and Ivona Jezierska. Click here for complete standings of all sections.

Pictured above: High School Champion Vincent Huang; Junior High winner Jeffrey Ding with trophy; the winning team from University High of Irvine (Vincent Huang, Aaron Ong, Aldich Ong, Robert Khachatryan, David Shin, and Paul Raymond Duncan).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Western Pacific Open & SCCF Scholastic Championships

These combined events at the LAX Hilton saw good turnouts in both. The WPO attracted 79, including three IMs, despite man "regulars playing for the state scholastic titles instead. The Scholastic Championships saw 151 compete in fur sections. Click here for standings of the WPO after three rounds, or here for standings of the Scholastics.

IM Jack Peters – Craig Faber

7th Western Pacific Open, Los Angeles 2009


1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.0–0 e6 8.Nh4 Bg6 9.Nxg6 hxg6 10.Bf4 Nbd7 11.a3 Nh5 12.b4 Qd8 13.Be3 a6 14.Re1 Be7 15.Ne4 Nb6 16.Bb3 Nf6 17.Nc5 Qc7 18.g3 Nfd5 19.Bd2 0–0–0 20.Qf3 Nf6 21.Bf4 Bd6 22.Be5 Rh5 23.Nd3 Rdh8 24.h4 g5 25.Bxd6 Qxd6 26.Ne5 g4 27.Nxf7 gxf3 28.Nxd6+ Kc7 29.Nf7 1–0

Jeremy Treadwell – Gautam Nipanikar

7th Western Pacific Open U2000, Los Angeles 2009

B23 SICILIAN DEFENSE, Rossolimo Variation

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 e6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bb5+ Nc6 6.0–0 Bd7 7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.d3 Be7 9.Qe1 0–0 10.Bd2 b5 11.Nd1 a5 12.Nf2 Qc7 13.g4 Nd7 14.Nh3 Rae8 15.Nhg5 b4 16.h4 Qb7 17.c4 Bd8 18.Qg3 f6 19.Rf2 fxg5 20.hxg5 g6 21.Rh2 Rf7 22.Qh3 d5 23.f5 Bc7 24.Rh1 exf5 25.gxf5 gxf5 26.g6 Rg7 27.Ng5 Nf6 28.cxd5 Bd7 29.gxh7+ Kh8 30.Kf2 fxe4 31.Ne6 Bg3+ 0–1

Nathaniel Lagemann – IM Jack Peters

7th Western Pacific Open, Los Angeles 2009

B33 SICILIAN DEFENSE, Scheveningen Variation

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Bd3 e6 7.Nc3 a6 8.0–0 d6 9.Be3 Qc7 10.f4 Be7 11.Kh1 b5 12.Qe2 Bb7 13.Bg1 0–0 14.Rf3 Rfe8 15.Rh3 g6 16.Nb1 e5 17.Qf2 d5 18.exd5 Nxd5 19.fxe5 Nxe5 20.Be4 Ng4 21.Qg3 Bd6 22.Qxg4 Rxe4 23.Qg5 Nf4 24.Rf3 Re2 0–1