Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bog Addiction

Polly and DG did it, so I figured I'd give it a shot...

52%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Find Sonography schools near you

I think my score is bumped up because I READ a lot of blogs... And because I technically have two blogs. I'm trying to get ChessUSA transitioned into a community type blog format and will eventually let it go to others to control.

By the way, if you blog about chess in the USA and want to contribute to ChessUSA, shoot me an email!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chess: TakChess' Book Club

(Hat tip to DG at Boylston Chess Club Weblog)

TakChess is trying a novel approach to studying Vokovic's classic The Art of Attack in Chess.

"I recently read SamuraiPawn's blog and about his fascination with the Art of Attack in Chess by Vladmir Vukovic . He convinced me to spend some time on it. I am have sampled it various times during the past year but have not read it with any consistency. I now intend to read it straight through, take notes on this blog and slowly study the games. I invite anyone who wants to join me to follow along and add any notes you care to in the Comment Section. (feel free to do this even if it is weeks, months or years after this initial blog was posted)"

I'll be following along with my copy, an ancient edition with Descriptive notation from Pergamon. TakChess is using a newer edition from Everyman that, "translated the games to Algebraic Notation, added more diagrams, checked the analysis, added footnotes and polished the language." TakChess' copy has a publication date of 1998, mine is a reprint from 1988. My even older edition from, as I recall, sometime in the 70's fell apart long ago and has been lost.

December Chess Carnival (Edition IV) at ChessUSA

The December Chess Blog Carnival and Reaction to the Carnival are online at ChessUSA.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. . .

7 December 1941

President Franklin D. Roosevelt:
Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of American was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. . .

Source: Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.

Graphic from

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chess: Breaking 2000, Another London System Win

ratingI've broken the "2000 barrier" at ICC correspondence. WooHoo!

Earlier, I stated that I had tried the London System and had found it wanting for correspondence chess. Despite that, it seems that I am getting the better position in some games using the London. In others the opponent is simply misplaying the position. Regardless of the success I've had with the London, I still think I will not use it in correspondence from here out. It seems to me that I have had to grind out each game in this system and it hasn't been fun. Enjoyment is in itself perhaps the best factor in choosing an opening system.

[Event "ICC correspondence 2007Seven.02.05"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2007.08.25"]
[Round "-"]
[White "sdo1"]
[Black "az2112"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "1956"]
[BlackElo "1592"]
[Opening "Queen's pawn game: London System"]
[NIC "QP.08"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 e6 4. e3 c5 5. c3 Nc6 6. Nbd2 Bd6 7. Bg3 O-O 8. Bd3 Qe7 9. Ne5 Nd7 10. f4 f6 11. Nxd7 Bxd7 12. O-O Rac8 13. Qe2

chessThis is another good London System setup. Black, when playing against the London, must always be on guard for tactics against his King side pawns, particularly the h7 pawn. Here, the protective g6 Knight is gone and the light Bishop has sighted in on h7. The Queen has free access to the light King side squares and can easily join an attack on h7 if Black ignores the weakness. Otherwise, Black has a good position and can defend, as long as he defends accurately. Black is well on his way to equalization and has possibilities of an attack after his King is secured. Some would say that Black even stands a bit better in this position. Black's pawns have more flexibility, his pieces are more central, and he has the promise of a center break at his time of choosing. Unfortunately, for Black, he chooses to try the break too soon.

13. ...e5? 14. fxe5 fxe5 15. Qh5

chessThis is the result of the early ...e5. The Queen invades and there is no good way to prevent the Bishop's attack resulting in either a won pawn with a fractured King side, or a Bishop sac for a complete removal of the two protective King pawns.

15. ...g6 16. Bxg6 hxg6

Other tries were ...Bb8 and ...Qg7.

17. Qxg6+ Kh8 18. Qh6+ Kg8 19. Bh4 Qe6

This was simply a flier for Black. He will certainly lose material anyway, this desperado was worth trying.

20. Bf6 Kf7? 21. Qh5+ Kg8 22. Qg6#

20...Kf7 leads directly to mate.

The lesson in this game is glaring, Black must always guard against an attack on his h7 when White exchanges off the g6 Knight in the London. Against this system, it is probably best not to post the Queen Knight aggressively to c6, but instead to d7 where it supports the defense of the King side and a c5 push. The London player, much like the Colle player, is looking to attack the g and h pawns in front of the King. The light Bishop, while having as his first duty the support of the e4 push, is optimally poised to take advantage of the absence of a g6 Knight, and with the Queen makes a happy battery to hammer at h7.