2022-10-01

Don't mess with my DUCK

Duck Chess is an exciting and absorbing new chess variant invented in early 2016 by Dr Tim Paulden, the president of Exeter Chess Club (Devon, England).

The basic principle of the game is very simple: in addition to the usual pieces, the two players have joint control of a small rubber duck which acts as a "blocker" (i.e. nothing can move onto or through it), and which must be moved to a new square after every turn. The goal is to successfully capture the opponent's king.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsUd20OEoNQ

2022-09-30

Pinkamena (1535) vs V. Khoroshun (1703). Chess Fight Night.

I always love it when little kids can play chess well. At first, I thought that she played the opening a little inaccurately, but when she won the knight on e4 I was thinking, "Holy Crap!".  Her opponent paused because he realized that he was getting his butt kicked by a little girl, and then she proceeded to play very well afterward. Good for her!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y-6QmL05lw

Ilya Smirin: Chess commentator sacked for sexist comments during match - BBC News

All chess players - men and women - can become grandmasters, which is the highest title a chess player can attain, if they have a rating of 2,500 and above.* The very top female chess players have this title.

The woman grandmaster title is only for women and requires a lower rating of 2,300.

The commentators were discussing whether Zhu Jiner could become grandmaster, when Mr Smirin said: "She's a woman grandmaster or what?... Why she wants to be like men grandmaster in this case?"

Mr Smirin went on to appear to admit that he had privately said "chess is maybe not for women".

Fellow commentator Fiona Steil-Antoni said to him: "You're saying, you know, 'chess is maybe not for women'," and Mr Smirin replied: "I didn't say it openly... in private, private conversation."

And he also seemed to admit saying another female player - Grandmaster Aleksandra Goryachkin - had been "playing like a man".

"That's true," said Mr Smirin, when questioned about his apparent comments. "She played in Russia super final. Small minus she made, but it was very strong tournament. She also had like 2,600 plus rating."

Challenging him again, Ms Steil-Antoni asked: "What does that have to do with playing like a man, only men can play well?"

"No, no," Mr Smirin responded. "But she's playing in style, positional style... But OK, I'm always curious, why can women play among men but men cannot play with women in women tournaments? Interesting question."


* Reaching a rating of 2500 is not the only requirement for becoming a Grandmaster.

Chess is dominated by men, maybe because it is a highly competitive (and egotistical) game.  Men tend to prefer competition whereas women tend to prefer cooperation.

2022-09-29

The most incriminating evidence against Hans Niemann


I understood what she was saying, but her French accent made it difficult.  Closed captioning is helpful, but it is done by a computer and often yields incorrect words in the speech recognition.

The bottom line is that not even the top players, playing at their best, perform at the same level as the top chess computer engines.   An average Grandmasters would match computers roughly 50% of the time, which is how Hans Nieman plays most of the time.  However, he has several games that are 100%, which is unheard of, and a few others that were in the 90s.

I was on Hans Nieman's side, viewing him as an up-and-coming 19-year-old.  He is either occasionally playing like a genius or is occasionally cheating.  It would make sense that he would not cheat all the time because that would be too obvious.  

I hope that this is not true.  

It is possible to play a perfect game if your opponent plays a bad game because it makes the choices more obvious.  Against really terrible opponents I played perfect games according to the computer, but I didn't have to think very hard.

Yesterday, I studied one of Han's better games because it is very instructive.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCJ0uIAlreA)  The youtube chess personality stated that he didn't think that Hans was cheating, because the moves were the kind that a good player could find.  This may be true, but if a player has too many aberrant results then it looks suspicious.

In this long video, Hikaru Nakamura gave his opinion on the first video, comparing the results to his own games:


This is a shorter video doing an analysis that is worth watching:



Testing old chess computers through emulation

In the days before everyone had computers, if you wanted to play chess, your only option was to play with another person. In the late 1970's Fidelity introduced a series of electronic computer chess games. These early models played rather poorly, but I knew people who bought them just to be able to play and practice whenever they wanted. I managed to borrow a few of these so that I could get a feel for how well they played.

Although the early machines did not play well, things started to improve in the 1980s. There was a golden age of dedicated chess computers that went from 1983 to about 1993.  In 1984, I purchased the Novag Super Constellation electronic chess game for what I think was $200, which was quite a bit of money in 1984. The U.S. Chess Federation had given it a rating of 2018, which is better than at least 90% of all adult tournament players. Any rating between 2000 and 2199 is considered to be the skill level of "Expert" and a higher rating of 2200 is considered to be "Master."

Although I am currently rated 2016, at the time I bought the Novag Super Constellation I was rated just a little over 1700. In a few months, I would reach a rating of 1800 which is considered to be "Class A." Nevertheless, what I remember about the Novag Super Constellation is that it played better than me, which is surprising since it only contains an 8-bit processor running at just 4 MHZ. That is not very fast compared to modern 64-bit processors with multiple cores running at gigahertz speeds.

Over time, I bought a couple of better chess-playing computers and I have fond memories of practicing with all of them. I sold all these machines when I got a desktop computer in the mid-'90s, but I kind of regret it because they all were fun to play with it.

This became an issue when I was researching these old chess-playing computers where I saw many online claims that these computers were not as good as the ratings that had been assigned to them. For example, I saw the claim that the Novag Super Constellation was only about 1750 strength, and two other computers that I owned rated 2100 and 2265 were also claimed to be weaker than their advertised ratings. None of these claims match my experience, since all of the computers played better than I did.

I was so curious about this that I wanted to get my hands on one of the old chess computers, assuming that one can be found, however unlikely, and see how it compares to my current chess ability. Fortunately, I found software that allows me to emulate dozens of old chess computers on my Windows PC.

In my first game against the emulated Novag Super Constellation on level 1, the lowest level, I was able to win by only the slimmest of margins. I tried the same thing on the Fidelity Designer 2100, a slightly better machine, and I lost. I have no doubt that the other computer I owned, the stronger Fidelity Designer 2265, would stomp me like it used to when I played it 30 years ago. I will confirm this eventually.

So I tested a variety of chess computers with a somewhat difficult chess problem..



Most serious chess players have seen this problem already and know the answer. However, if they were not familiar with it, the solution might be difficult for them to find in a real game. There is the more direct solution of 6. Nxe5 Bxd1 7. Bxf7+ Ke7 8. Nd5# (checkmate). However, for a computer to see the solution it also has to see 6... Nxe5 7. Qxh5 Nxc4 8. Qb5+ c6 9. Qxc4. There is also 7... Nf6 8. Qe2 Nxc4 9. Qxc4. Either way, that is 7 half-moves deep, which is pretty deep for ancient chess computers to look.

Based upon my testing, this is how long various chess computers take to solve this chess problem...



# Model Year Processor Speed ROM Time Depth Nodes/S
1.
Fidelity Chess Challenger 10
1978
Z80
4 MHZ
4K
Fails
2.
Fidelity Chess Challenger 7
1979
Z80
4 MHZ
4K
12 hours
3.
Novag Savant
1981
Z80
6 MHZ
24K
12:40m
4.
Novag Savant II
1982
Z80
6 MHZ
32K
12:33m
5.
Novag Constellation
1983
6502
2 MHZ
16K
6:46m
6.
Constellation 3.6 ROM set 1
1984
6502
3.6 MHZ
16K
3:30m*
7.
Constellation 3.6 ROM set 2
1986
6502
3.6 MHZ
16K
3:33m*
5 ply
8.
Novag Super Constellation
1984
6502
4 MHZ
56K
2:10m
5 ply
9.
Constellation Expert
1985
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
1:54m
5 ply
10.
Novag Forte A
1986
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
2:15m
5 ply
~1000
11.
Novag Forte B
1986
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
1:58m
5 ply
~1000
12.
Novag Super Forte
1987
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
1:13m
5 ply
~1350
13.
Novag Super Expert A
1987
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
1:00m
5 ply
~1100
14.
Novag Super Forte B
1989
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
30s
5 ply
~1400
15.
Novag Super Expert B
1989
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
19s
5 ply
~1375
16.
Novag Super Forte C
1990
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
11s
5 ply
~1500
17.
Novag Super Nova
1990
HD6301Y
4 MHZ
32KK
10s
4 ply
18.
Novag Super Expert C
1990
65C02
5 MHZ
64K
6s
5 ply
~1050
19.
Novag Scorpio 68000
1990
68000
16 MHZ
98K
9s
20.
Novag Diablo 68000
1990
68000
16 MHZ
98K
9s
21.
Fidelity Excellence
1985
65C02
3 MHZ
16K
2:16m
5 ply
22.
Fidelity Excellence
1985
65C02
4 MHZ
16K
2:00m
5 ply
23.
Fidelity Designer Display 2000
1989
65C02
3 MHZ
32K
1:45m
5 ply
~81
24.
Fidelity Par Excellence
1986
65C02
5 MHZ
32K
1:22m
5 ply
25.
Fidelity Designer Display 2100
1988
65C02
6 MHZ
64K
54s
5 ply
~180
26.
Fidelity Designer Display 2265
1989
68000
16 MHZ
64K
5s
3 ply
27.
Fidelity Designer Display 2325
1991
68020
20 MHZ
64K
3s
4 ply
28.
Chessmaster NES
1990
6502
1.79 MHZ
48K
7:00m
5 ply
29.
Chessmaster Super Nintendo
1991
65816
3.58 MHZ
110K
4:43m
5 ply
30.
Chessmaster 2000 (DOS)
1986
?
?
NA
1:33m
31.
Chessmaster 3000 (DOS)
1991
?
?
NA
4s
4 ply
32.
Stockfish 14.1 2017-iMac
2022
i5
3.4 GHZ One Core
NA
<1s
<12 ply
~880,000

It is noteworthy that the Super Constellation solved the problem in roughly 2 minutes, which is within tournament time controls. I am disappointed in Chessmaster on the Super Nintendo because it failed to achieve this. It is running on a similar processor, and it is a port of Chessmaster 2000 written by Dave Kittinger, who also wrote the Super Constellation program!

* The second version of the Constellation 3.6 solves this problem on its top two tournament levels, but the first version moves too quickly to see the answer.  It can only solve the problem on its infinite level, even though it takes about the same amount of time to see the solution. The second ROM set is based upon the Novag Expert program.

Super Constellation game #1.

Classic difficult chess problem. White to play and win


2022-09-26

MAGNUS CARLSEN: "I Believe Hans Niemann CHEATED"


Good video.  

I don't believe that Hans cheated.  There is very little evidence for it.  Hans is a rising star and had the best game of his career and Magnus didn't.  If I can lose to players rated 200 (or in my case 500) points below me then so can Magnus.  

Shit happens.  Twenty years ago I got a draw against Grandmaster Igor Ivanov.  About the same time, I watched a B player friend of mine beat Grandmaster Susan Polgar in a speed tournament.



P.S.  The Babe Ruth story is misunderstood. He was pointing to people he knew in the stands, but the myth remains.

The story about Hans claiming ahead of time that he was going to win a tournament is interesting. Over 20 years ago I was running a Utah championship tournament when a teenager told me that he was going to beat everybody to prove that he was the best player. I thought that this was a very cocky statement to make, but to my surprise, this is exactly what he did.

2022-09-20

My Chess Tactics

https://www.entertainmentjourney.com/1w.htm


The one-move chess problems on my website were constructed deliberately to be the "vocabulary" of chess tactics.  I have long felt that learning chess is a bit like learning a new language.  In these problems, you can find every motif like pins, forks, skewers, removing the defender, and mates.

I attribute the 1, 2, and 3 move problems by themselves to raising my rating from 1800 to 1900.   Since I played a great deal of speed chess, my goal was to be able to see the tactical motifs as quickly as possible.  Because I did these problems repeatedly, I got some criticism from one of my friends who said that I wasn't doing tactical problems, but I was memorizing them.  This was partly true.  My counter was that I could not memorize all the problems, but I could memorize the tactical themes.  When I do the problem now, the tactical themes become quickly apparent.  Likewise, I see tactics quickly in speed chess games.

A bit of history...

When I moved to Utah in 1993, I was around a 2000-rated player.  

However, at that time the ratings seemed to work differently in Utah.  Salt Lake City and the Wasatch mountain range are hundreds of miles from the nearest major metropolitan areas.  It felt like the pool of rated chess players was isolated from other players by distance.  When I started playing in tournaments in Utah, I saw my rating decline to 1800.  Also, those players who would go to out-of-state tournaments, such as in Vegas, reported doing very well against similarly rated players from California.

I think that whatever difference there may have been balanced out some over time.  There was nationwide rating inflation that happened in the 80s which my rating benefited from.  This was due to the USCF tinkering with the rating system in the 80s and then reversing course in the 90s causing a noticeable rating deflation.

I constructed my online tactical problems around 1995 to 1998.  

I don't remember exactly when I started studying the following materials:

Sharpen Your Tactics
Chess Pocket Training Book:  300 most important positions
Practical Chess Exercises
The 1000 problems on the Shredder iPhone app.

I spent 10 minutes every night for a year without fail studying the Chess Pocket Training Book, and then afterward had one of my greatest chess tournament results ever.  This was 20 years ago.

So I attribute these materials to raising my rating from 1900 to 2000.  Once again, I did a great deal of repetition.  The goal has always been to make hard things intuitive.  For me, this feels like learning a language.





Did Hans Niemann Cheat: The Evidence! with IM Ken Regan

INSANE Chess Cheating Scandal Update


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YktWQrnjPwU

Alana
5 hours ago (edited)
At this point I'm going for the "should you believe your spouse if they're convicted of murder" ethical dilemma and choosing to believe Hans is innocent. Just because if he really did cheat, then he's getting what he deserves, but if he didn't then this is absolutely horrible for him. I'd rather give a guilty man clemency then an innocent man a death sentence.


John Coffey
0 seconds ago
I think that it is a really big stretch to say that Hans was cheating. It is too hard to pull off and not get caught. 

If I can lose to players rated 200 points below me then why can't Magnus? What is the point of playing if you are not allowed to win?  

Computer analysis shows that Magnus did not play a perfect game. Neither did Hans Neimann. As long as there are mistakes on the board then in theory either side can win.

2022-09-07

Hans Niemann

I feel that this latest controversy over Grandmaster Hans Niemann beating Magnus Carlsen is overblown. Niemann is a 19 year old rising star, and if I can lose to people rated 200 points below me then so can Magnus.

Yet Magnus insinuated that he was cheated, and then Hikaru Nakamura came out and said it out loud, and then suddenly the whole Internet jumped on this bandwagon. Then chess.com suspended Niemann's account even though this is not an online tournament.

I think that it would be very hard to cheat in a live tournament and not get caught. They also have safeguards to prevent this.

What is the point of playing if you are not allowed to win?

I believe Niemann when he says that he has done nothing but study chess 12 hours a day for the last two years.


Best wishes,

John Coffey

2022-08-23

The 4 WORST Chess Openings

Presented for your consideration.  Many of his opening recommendations match what I play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLpYQCCcZ6w

I have been playing, advocating, and teaching 1. Nf3 for a long time.  It is atrocious how many times people play 1... Nc6, which might be okay if they know the Chigorin Defense, but they never do, which often gives White a winning position right out of the opening.  i.e. 1. Nf3 Nc6 2. d4 d5 3. c4 dxc4 4. d5 Nb4?? 6. Qa4+.  The move 1. Nf3 gives White the option of playing Queen Pawn or English, and after 1... c5 either 2. c4, 2. d4 or my preference of 2. e4 d6 3. c3.

2022-08-02

Chess tactics problems on my chess lesson website

A word of caution about the tactics problems on my website: I'm looking for cheaper or free web hosting. I may have to cut back drastically on the number of web pages on my chess lesson site.

I thought that I could replace the tactics web pages with a free tactics app, but that is going to take a long time to develop.

Therefore, my tactics web pages may become temporarily unavailable starting around September or October. I have many other tactics problems on blogs that don't cost me anything, so I may just link to those instead.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

2022-07-21

Very wild game

[Event "Columbus Chess Club"]
[Site "Lewellyn"]
[Date "Jul 21, 2022"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Steve Salo"]
[Black "John Coffey"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 Ne4 3. Bf4 c5 4. Qd3 d5 5. dxc5 e6 6. b4 a5 7. c3 axb4 8. cxb4
b6 9. Bxb8 Ba6 10. b5 Bxc5 11. Bg3 Qf6 12. bxa6 Bxf2+ 13. Kd1 Bxg3 14. Qb5+ Kf8
15. hxg3 Qxf1+ 16. Kc2 Rc8+ 17. Kb2 Qc1+ 18. Kb3 Nc5+ 19. Kb4 Qb2#
0-1

2022-07-20

Fwd: 'BREAKING: Carlsen Not To Defend World Title'

Just like people scrambled and bent over backward to get Bobby Fischer to play the world championship in 1972, we could see the same thing here.  More money for the winner might do it.

In 1972 I didn't even know how to play chess, but everybody was talking about the World Chess Championship.  However, people didn't know how crazy Bobby Fischer was.

Although Carlsen could be sincere in his desire to not defend his world championship title, it could also be a negotiation tactic.  I find myself not caring.  A Nepo vs. Ding Liren match would be fun to watch because it will not be a foregone conclusion.  If Carlsen loses the title then he may want it back later, which will make the next world championship match much more interesting.

--
Best wishes,

John Coffey






 

chess.com puzzle rating



It took me at least 90 minutes to only get a small increase in rating.  At this difficulty, I am spending up to several minutes on some puzzles.  

It is always frustrating when you think that you have found the answer, and then you find out that you are wrong,   According to chess.com, my success rate is 59%.

2022-07-14

Chess.com Puzzles



A friend pointed out that people don't know that it takes 10,000 hours to become a chess master.  This is according to the rule that it takes 10,000 hours to master anything.  I suspect that for some people that it would take more than 10,000 hours and for other people less.  The younger people start, the easier it is to improve.  By my age, most people have given up trying to get better at chess, at least by any significant amount.  However, it is not in my nature to give up.  I still would like to be a chess master.

I feel that there is some benefit to the chess.com puzzles.  It is said that to improve that you need to get out of your comfort zone, and these problems definitely take me out of my comfort zone.  I am at least as likely to fail to find the solutions as I am to succeed, even after some serious calculation on my part.  Unlike the simple chess puzzles on my website, which are designed to build pattern recognition, the vast majority of these problems require at least a minute of calculation, if not more.  The longest I took on a single one was about seven minutes and I got it wrong.

These puzzles might be good training for tournament chess.  After I did a large number of them, I felt that my deep calculation skill had improved a little.  This is different from speed chess or simple problems where people usually go with their first impression.  My first impression frequently fails because most of these puzzles are way trickier than they first appear.

Four weeks ago today I was bragging that I got my chess.com puzzle rating up to 3003.  It was a significant milestone. These ratings don't match standard USCF ratings, because it is possible to get up to a rating of 65,540 which appears to be the maximum, and a handful of people have actually obtained this rating.  After reaching 3003, I tried to go higher and got to 3021, but then I went all the way down to 2878.  Today I spent three hours doing the puzzles, and after much difficulty, I got up to 3001. 

I'm quitting for now while I am ahead.  I keep a link to every problem that I have done, and the site allows you to go back and review them.  I have a total of 975 puzzles saved, of which 875 I have not yet reviewed.  My plan is to review all of them multiple times, and that will take many months.  Then I will see if I can raise my rating higher.

Always my goal is to take difficult tasks and make them easy or easier with practice.

--

2022-07-12

Levy: "I Am Retiring From Chess"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQqvUfjKBaU&t=1013s

John Coffey:  I play chess to have fun. I used to love tournaments, but at age 62, tournaments feel like too much work for no real benefit.

2022-07-06

The Best Chess Players Over Time (Estimated By Accuracy)

The standings at the end seem relevant.  I had assumed that Bobby Fischer would be 2nd, but the video ranks him as fifth.  Fischer was significantly better than all his contemporaries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnQnJEj-Yxo

2022-07-05

How Judit Polgar Crushed Magnus Carlsen In 3 Minutes!

Advice on Tactics

I gave this advice to a couple of people in my chess club:

'Meaning no offense, but I noticed a few missed tactics in your game.

It isn't just a matter of tactical skill. No one at our level has the skill to see all tactics. What I have noticed is that Class A players usually have a "spidy sense" to know which positions could possibly have a tactic. They may not see the tactic right away, but they know that there could be a tactic in the position, so they analyze deeper. Usually this means that something is out of balance, like a exposed king, or a loose piece, or the position just doesn't feel right. This is when you know to give it a second look.

Developing this "spidy sense" can help you bring up your rapid game, possibly by a lot. '

Best wishes,

John Coffey

2022-06-18

Puzzle Leaderboard - Chess Rankings - Chess.com

https://www.chess.com/leaderboard/tactics?page=171

I'm #8540 on the chess.com puzzle ratings.  I was expecting that the top ratings would not go too high, but I was wrong.   The top three ratings are all 65540, which for the reasons I give below, I suspect is the highest possible rating.


I find this 65540 number suspicious because the top three ratings are this number.  The maximum value that can be stored by a 16-bit number is 65536.   If you want to save storage space, why use a 32-bit or a 64-bit number to store ratings when a 16-bit number would do?  The 65540 number almost fits.  You can make it fit by making the lowest possible rating the number 5.  Why would you set a lower limit on the rating?  To not accidentally run into a divide by zero problem, which can crash computer code, or other mathematical oddities from having a low or negative number in your equation.



Chess Puzzle Rating



I reached a milestone on chess.com by reaching a 3000 rating for solving chess puzzles. The site's puzzle rating has little to do with real chess ratings because the puzzle ratings are comparatively inflated. I have seen average club players reach puzzle ratings of 2000 or 2100.

Nevertheless, reaching 3000 took a great deal of effort.

The site presents chess problems that have difficulty proportional to your current puzzle rating. I have reached a point where I am almost as likely to fail as I am to succeed. I find that I am not analyzing as well as I should so I am trying to make myself focus deeper. The casual puzzle solver will look for what the "trick" is in the position and make a move without thinking about it too hard. However, I can no longer just make cursory judgments.

A chess master in Salt Lake City that I know has been in the 3070 to 3100 range. I would like to catch up with him.

--
Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com

2022-06-06

Stockfish 15 vs. Stockfish 14.1

Overnight I did an engine versus engine match of 100 speed-chess (4+2) games.

There were 94 draws.

Stockfish 14.1 won 1.

Stockfish 15 won 5 with a score of 52%.  Its performance rating was 16 points better than Stockfish 14.1.  This website is claiming a 36 point improvement:  https://stockfishchess.org/blog/2022/stockfish-15/

Either way, the improvement is not very significant.

My computer seemed to hang while doing deep analysis with Stockfish 15.  I'm going to try again.  For the moment I am still using Stockfish 14.1.

--

2022-04-23

Chessle

I had not seen this puzzle before. I like it. It is obviously a chess spin on Wordle, which I also like.

The goal is to guess the sequence of opening movies.

https://jackli.gg/chessle/


The puzzle gives you the option to guess 3 or 5 moves.  In today's puzzle, I got the 3 move sequence on the second try.  It is an opening sequence that I like to play.





2022-04-16

Magnus Carlsen BLUFFS with Raising $100,000 When He Has 0% CHANCE to Win

Not really interested in poker, but it is interesting to see Magnus Carlsen play it and bluff.  I didn't understand why he had a zero chance of winning?  Was it because his opponent had five of a kind?

https://youtu.be/nbPTZP5tkNc

It would drive me crazy not knowing what my opponent has.  I would have to play the odds, but if I always did that then I would be predictable.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

2022-03-29

Greenwood Chess Club: White to play

https://greenwoodchessclub.blogspot.com/2022/03/white-to-play.html

I had the hardest time with this one. For those who understand king and pawn endgames, it seems counterintuitive, I think because normally the king is supposed to be in front of the pawn that he is trying to queen. Maybe it is just me.

2022-03-23

Re: Sergey Karjakin BANNED From Chess...

I support free speech.  I don't have to agree with Karjakin and he doesn't have to agree with me, because it has nothing to do with his ability to play chess.

On Wed, Mar 23, 2022 at 10:13 PM Albert wrote:
I know banning Karjakin from playing in FIDE events is currently for 6 months. I don't like that he will be unable to play in the candidates tournament. Organizations who set up international events should not be involved with politics. After all, isn't this the 21st century?

On Wed, Mar 23, 2022 at 9:00 PM John Coffey <john2001plus@gmail.com> wrote:
The first couple of games are really interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dieM4IDbJsQ


Sergey Karjakin BANNED From Chess...

The first couple of games are really interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dieM4IDbJsQ

2022-03-11

Lost chess endgame.

This is an interesting endgame that I should have lost.  My 31... Ra6 is a serious miscalculation.  I soon started to think that I was going to lose.


White can win with 34. h4 or 34. Ke1 or Ke2, but he pushes the wrong pawn making it equal.  My 36... Kc6?? is also a blunder because it takes my king out of the range of his kingside pawns.  His 39. g4 loses for a surprising reason reminiscent of the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer."  What surprises me is that he has to abandon his pawn to draw, i.e. 39. Kb2 Kxc4 40. g4 draws.

I'm aware that I could have played the opening a little better.

[Event "Casual G/10"]
[Site "Columbus Chess Club"]
[Date "2022.03.10"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Bill Starr"]
[Black "John Coffey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B22"]
[PlyCount "94"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 d5 4. d4 dxe4 5. Ne5 Nxe5 6. dxe5 Qxd1+ 7. Kxd1 Bg4+
8. Be2 Bxe2+ 9. Kxe2 O-O-O 10. Be3 e6 11. Nd2 f5 12. exf6 Nxf6 13. Bg5 Be7 14.
Bxf6 gxf6 15. Nxe4 Rhg8 16. g3 f5 17. Nd2 e5 18. c4 e4 19. f3 Bf6 20. Rab1
exf3+ 21. Nxf3 Rge8+ 22. Kf2 Bd4+ 23. Nxd4 Rxd4 24. Rhe1 Rd2+ 25. Kg1 Rxe1+ 26.
Rxe1 Rxb2 27. Re5 Rxa2 28. Rxc5+ Kd7 29. Rxf5 h6 30. Rf7+ Kc8 31. Rf6 Ra6 32.
Rxa6 bxa6 33. Kf1 Kd7 34. h4 a5 35. Ke1 h5 36. Kd1 Kc6 37. Kc2 Kc5 38. Kc3 a4
39. g4 hxg4 40. h5 g3 41. h6 g2 42. h7 g1=Q 43. h8=Q Qa1+ 44. Kc2 Qxh8 45. Kb1
Qc3 46. Ka2 a3 47. Kb1 Qb2# 0-1


2022-03-10

Chess game

[Event "Casual G/10"]
[Site "Columbus Chess Club"]
[Date "Mar 10, 2022"]
[Round "2"]
[White "John Coffey"]
[Black "John Tasca"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 cxd4 6. Qxd4?! exd5 7. Bg5 Be6 8.
e4 Nc6 9. Bb5 Be7 10. e5 Nd7 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. O-O O-O 14. Rfe1
Rfc8 15. b4 a6 16. Rac1 Rc7 17. Na4 Rb8 18. Nc5 Nxc5 19. Rxc5 Qd7 20. Rec1 Bg4
21. Nd2 Kf8 22. Nb3 Qe8 23. Na5 Bd7 24. Qc3 Rbc8 25. a4 h6 26. b5 axb5 27. axb5
1-0 eventually

2022-03-09

Chess Puzzle (instructive)


https://www.chess.com/puzzles/problem/1212004/practice

This chess problem is relatively easy, but fun.    Imagine getting this position in a real game.  Black to play.

To see the problem you probably would have to sign up for the free version of chess.com membership if you don't have a membership on the site, so here is a diagram...




--

2022-02-14

White to play

Play chess online

Novag Super Constellation Level 1




[Event "CB-Emu"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2022.02.06"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Coffey, John"]
[Black "Novag Super-Constellation Level 1"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E21"]
[WhiteElo "2016"]
[BlackElo "2018 (on level 7)"]
[PlyCount "124"]
[EventType "rapid"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 b6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Be2
d5 9. O-O c5 10. cxd5 cxd4 11. Nxd4 Bxc3 12. bxc3 exd5 13. Bf3 Rd8 14. c4 Bb7
15. Rc1 Na6 16. cxd5 Bxd5 17. Bxd5 Rxd5 18. Qb3 Rdd8 19. Qb5 Nc5 20. Nb3 Nxb3
21. axb3 a6 22. Qc6 Qxc6 23. Rxc6 b5 24. Rfc1 Rd2 25. Kf1 a5 26. Rb6 a4 27.
bxa4 Rxa4?! {This barely favors White, whereas 27... bxa4 barely favors Black.  Even the infinite level makes the wrong move here.} 28. Rxb5 Raa2 29. Rf5 g6 30. Rf4 Kg7 31. g3 g5 32. Rf3 g4 33. Rf4 {Diagram.} Kg6?? {The game was technically a draw up to this point.  At first, it is hard to understand how the computer could drop a pawn when it is looking 4 plies ahead.  The computer is afraid of 33... h5 34. Rc7, but Black draws by playing both rooks to the first rank with a mate threat.   Then White has to go for a perpetual check with Rcxf7+.  Even the infinite level takes 12 hours to see the draw with a 10 ply search after 33... h5 34. Rc7.  To see that 33... h5 draws takes around 80 hours where the computer only reaches an 11 ply search depth!} 34. Rxg4+ Kh7 35. Rf4 Ra7 36. Rc6 Rb7 37. Rh4 Kg7 38. Rhxh6 Rbb2 39. Rhf6 Re2 40. Rf4 Rec2 41. Rxc2 Rxc2 42. h4 Kg6 43. g4 Kg7 44. Kg2 Kf8 45. g5 Kg7 46. Kg3 Rc1 47. Kg4 Rg1+ 48. Kf5 Rh1 49. e4 Rh3 50. e5 Rd3 51. h5 Rh3 52. h6+ Kf8 53. e6 Rh1 54. g6 {I thought that this was me trying to get too fancy, but Stockfish doesn't have a problem with it.} fxg6+ 55. Kxg6+ Ke7 56. Rf5 Kxe6 57. Rh5 Rg1+ 58. Rg5 Rd1 59. h7 Rd8 60. Kg7 Rd7+ 61. Kh6 Rxh7+ 62. Kxh7 Kf7 1-0

The Super Constellation fails at deep calculation.  It sees shallow tactics very well, which is where its strength comes from, so it appears to be pretty strong at speed chess.  It is not clear if the computer can calculate three-fold repetition or any repetition on a deep search because the 8-bit hardware limitations would make this check very inefficient.  This might be the reason the computer fails in the above position.  The computer would not normally search deep enough to see a three-fold repetition anyway.

Other than missing the draw, the Super Constellation played a very solid game.  According to Stockfish, I made no mistakes in this game.  This is what it takes because the computer will punish small errors.

2022-02-12

John Coffey vs NN (1978) (chess game)

Funny thing about this game.  I played it against a higher-rated player in a tournament in Bloomington around 1978.  (This person is still around, and he has gone out of his way to be rude to me, both then and now.)

The game is very simple.  My opponent made the mistake of letting me push the D pawn.   He resigned after 8 moves.

I was so pleased with myself that I sent the game to the state chess magazine which published it.  It was seen by some chess author who put it in a book of short chess games.  I don't remember the title of the book.  Over a dozen years ago I found the game in the database of games for one of the older versions of Fritz chess.   It is not in Fritz 10.

Quite by accident, I discovered that the game is on chessgames.com.  However, I had written them a couple of years ago to ask if they would accept games to publish, and they informed me that they only publish games played by chess masters.

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1251021


2022-01-30

World Championship REMATCH!

"Magnus has a chance against engines" - Shakhriyar Mamedyarov | Tata Steel Chess 2022





Juventin
3 hours ago
did he actually say his favorite game was the one he lost? that's just a ton of class.


Daily Dose of Chess Clips
3 hours ago
True


Berk Y
2 hours ago
Shakh is the most down-to-earth 2700 player you can see I'd say. He enjoys the challenge, playing online Blitz against Hikaru, classical against Magnus. Such a great guy.


ursuss100
2 hours ago
You learn more in defeat than in victory, as in that case, you can review what you did wrong and work on it. That said, yeah it's still very classy from Shakh to say that. :)

2022-01-23

2022-01-13

French McCutcheon

RG150

Semi-Slav

Play chess online

2022-01-08

Black to move Checkmate problem



From a game of mine around five years ago. This is not difficult. I had a little problem seeing the continuation to mate, but now I can't imagine why I found this difficult at all. It appears to me that there are at least a couple of ways to do it. Even if I didn't see the moves to the end, I still would have made the same moves at the beginning. Any decent chess player would.

--

2022-01-05

Magnus Carlsen, world chess champion, plays online speed chess under pseudonyms and livestreams his matches.

In an interview with a Norwegian newspaper in October, Carlsen admits he quit drinking for his health. "I wouldn't say I was an alcoholic exactly," he said, "but I found out this year, if I'm going to travel and play a lot […] I need to prioritize differently."

It is not clear that Magnus has quit drinking.  Recent videos show him playing online and apparently drunk.