|Feb-06-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: Hi, all!
I've decided to reopen my forum, which, instead of focusing strictly on chess problems or other aspects of the game, I will intend to use as an all-purpose blog. To start this off, however, I have a problem that I would like to show. This is actually an original by me that was composed a couple of years ago. The problem is for White to play and self-mate in three.
click for larger view
Solution to be posted one week from now.
|Feb-14-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: White doesn't look remotely close to being mated, but watch what happens when his knights go:|
1.Nc5+ Kxb5 2.bxa4+ Kxc5
Now after 3.Ke4, thanks to a couple of pins, Black has only one legal move, 3....Nd6#.
|Jul-28-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: Heh, I did say that I'd be using this page as a blog, didn't I? It's looking like I might have lied. It simply turned out that life didn't give me a lot of opportunity to frequent this particular corner. Indeed, I've only returned here because I just did something that I hardly ever do --- solved yesterday's mate in two from Bill Cornwall's weekly chess column in the L.A. Times.|
Most of the time the problem in that feature is beyond me, but the more miniature they become, the better I am. So I'll throw it up here to give others a chance to partake:
click for larger view
On a related note, it would be nice if that weekly column were archived somewhere online. I've tried looking for it but without any luck. I'd take particular interest in the Game of the Week --- those that happen to be in this database, I could gather them all into a collection, like little acorns.
|Jul-29-14|| ||OhioChessFan: Great sui-mate in your February post.|
|Jul-29-14|| ||OhioChessFan: There's no way that's a mate in 2. Are you sure you set the position up right?|
|Jul-29-14|| ||Shams: 1.Bb8|
|Jul-29-14|| ||OhioChessFan: 1. Bb8 Ra7|
|Jul-29-14|| ||Shams: I see your point.|
|Jul-30-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: Whoa! They're biting!
<OhioChessFan: Great sui-mate in your February post.>
Thanks, glad I'm finally getting recognition from somewhere. I've sent this to Steve Giddins, who I thought lived for these kind of problems, and to the guys at Chessbase who do the Christmas puzzles, and who I thought lived for these kind of problems. Nothing. I guess it's like so many other areas, you have to already be established in the field in order to break in.
Now, with regards to the above mate in 2 problem, 1.Bb8 is in fact not the key, but OCF's refutation of Ra7 actually does provide a clue to the true key. I'll reveal it together with the newspaper column, on 8/3.
But my real reason for coming back here was to give some thoughts on Carlsen/Anand Part II. It's coming up some months from now, and although I never got a chance to look at the discussion in the Candidates' Tourney thread, no doubt people were shocked by Anand, at age 44, winning the tourney ahead of all the contenders of the younger generation. Contenders including Aronian, who seems to own Anand. Yet it really isn't like this sort of thing has never happened. A century ago, Lasker was easily defending his title at the age of forty-five, and indeed held the crown past fifty before finally getting dethroned by Capablanca. And before him, Steinitz held the title to the age of 58 before ceding it to Lasker. Not only that, but he had successfully defended that title two years earlier, at 56, and the chess world was utterly electrified by Lasker's victory over Steinitz, according to the 1981 book "Grandmasters of Chess" by Harold Schonberg.
So what does all this have to do with Carlsen/Anand. Well, Anand's peak may simply be landing later than that of the typical grandmaster. After all, look how long it took Anand to win the title. And furthermore, don't be surprised if Anand ends up giving Carlsen a run for his money. Carlsen might have blown Anand away in last year's match, but Carlsen was challenging for the title, and Anand's was the heavy head wearing the crown. Now it's going to be a different dynamic. Carlsen could have his hands full in this upcoming match.
|Jul-31-14|| ||Shams: 1.Bc7?|
|Jul-31-14|| ||OhioChessFan: Nice.|
|Jul-31-14|| ||Shams: Well, after I was spoon-fed it. I'm not good at problems.|
|Aug-03-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: <Shams: 1.Bc7?>
1.Bc7 is the key, threatening 2.Bg8#. If Black plays Rxh8, he allows 2.Kf2#, and Rook moves along the a-file give the h7-bishop a square to screen off, as follows:
1....Ra3 2.Bd3# (or Bh7-any since it is blocked by the black pawn)
The only line the bishop cannot block is the rank from a7-h7 since the bishop starts on that rank, which is why the key has to be 1.Bc7.
|Aug-18-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: AP college football rankings came out today. We are #11, behind:|
(1) Florida State
(5) Ohio State
(8) Michigan State
(9) South Carolina
At first, I thought #11 was somewhat high for the Stanford Cardinal, given unresolved questions concerning our roster. Then I realized that most of the top 10 above us have similar unresolved questions on one side of the ball or the other. Florida State was an ass-kicking machine last year, and is a prohibitive favorite to make the playoff. However, having to beat two other elite teams in the postseason will make it difficult for them to repeat.
Other ranked teams on our schedule:
(15) Southern California
(17) Notre Dame
(19) Arizona State
Of the above six teams we play five of them on the road. May fortune be with us.
|Aug-29-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: They have a weekly problem on the British Chess Problem Society website (http://www.theproblemist.org). This week's is a mate in two by Herbert Ahues. I solved this one myself:|
click for larger view
HINT: Either Nf5 or Ne2 would be mate, if only those moves didn't block coverage of the squares f2 and g4 respectively.
|Sep-01-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: OK, I'm going to go ahead and give away the key to the above problem:|
1.Rf1 threatens 2.Nf5#
I was intending to leave it open for another couple of days, but the following turn of events brought me here sooner.
It must have been a couple of years ago, that I was making a collection out of the 100 "classic" games that come with the Chessmaster 2000, a program I received in early childhood. The information for all the games can be found in the manual, a link to which is here:
At any rate, on my first pass through, I was able to find and collect 97 of those games (I must not have had premium powers at the time). Only three games were missing: Liptai-Spassky (no. 70) and the two Chessmaster-Sargon games (no. 99, 100). Naturally, I submitted the scores of those games to the database for addition. In the months that followed, I checked the database periodically to see if they were in, but they didn't turn up.
But then just now, for the first time since rewinning premium access on Christmas, something possessed me to look for Liptai-Spassky again, but now I could go through the Opening Explorer. Sure enough, around move 14 I'm led to a 1962 game, Liptay-Spassky with precisely the right score. Wait. <Liptay>. No wonder I hadn't found it in the database. I'd always looked for a game with Liptai, as his name was spelled in the Chessmaster manual. And here it was given as Liptay-Spassky all along. Laszlo Liptay is no small fry either; he is officially an IM. I felt like I'd fallen out of the doofus tree and hit every branch on the way down.
But hold on. I look at the game ID in the CG database. 1,713,xxx and something. It couldn't have been here that long. On a hunch, I check for the two Chessmaster-Sargon games and they're also present under 1,713,xxx. Looks like CG recently got around to adding those three submissions, and did them all together. THANK YOU! Now my CM2000 classic game collection is complete.
|Sep-01-14|| ||OhioChessFan: Better late than never. Rf1 is a sort of closing the corral fences in around the Black position.|
|Dec-08-14|| ||SamAtoms1980: Predictably, the inaugural College Football Playoff gets under way with a healthy share of controversy. Six teams were worthy but there was only space for 4. The following would be my ideal version of a college football playoff:|
(1) Alabama vs. winner of (5) TCU / (4) tOSU
(2) Oregon vs. winner of (6) Baylor / (3) FSU
Finals - winner of upper three-team group vs. winner of lower three-team group.
It'll never happen, but I think a variable-size playoff is the way to go. Include all who could conceivably beat 2-3 elite teams to win the title, probably based on W-L but accounting for extreme variations in strength of schedule (e.g. if a Group of Five team or even this year's FSU suffered a loss then they would be dropped out).
Of course, the whole idea of <teams who could contend for the title> would be, currently is, has always been and will always be a hotbed of debate, and rightly so. The last basketball tournament provided a crisp object lesson, when 7-seed UConn and 8-seed Kentucky drove out of the depths of their brackets to play for the title.
|Dec-09-14|| ||OhioChessFan: Practical concerns like scheduling, travel, etc are why a variable playoff wouldn't work. The mundane aspects of life have a way of getting in the way of good ideas.|
A free online guide presented by Chessgames.com