Monday, 6 August 2012

Lost in Limbo

By Moulthun

"I've come back for you... to remind you of something. Something you once knew but chose to forget...To take a leap of faith" (Cobb from the film "Inception")

It is often the case that many chess players will subconsciously think about the
game, or their past experiences. Though none would really admit to doing so on
a regular basis, it becomes almost like a craving for our minds. I, however admit
that it's absolutely normal, especially during tournaments. What i recall is somewhat
of a blur most of the time, in terms of the games played. There's always a lot happening
around the board taking away from my awareness. Or perhaps I'm simply not at a high
enough level to do so; I'm no Fischer or Bronstein...

So why are we talking about dreams if i don't even remember my own?
Actually I was watching an old Japanese animated film called "Paprika". Which is about a new revolutionary psychotherapy treatment, called dream therapy. Where a device allows the therapist to enter into the patients own dreams and subconscious thoughts, using an altar ego. It's quite bizarre to watch, and the writers are quite amazing to have put together such original ideas. Can be difficult though to follow the storyline, as it will take you through unexpected twists and turns. The most useful feature of the device in the film, is being able to capture and view it later on a screen. Should remember though it would be short clips, since hours in the dream state is only minutes in the actual world. :))

Somewhat reminded me of another film (which I've been stealing quotes from). But while writing this I remembered another quite famous game of David Bronstein. Although "consciously" speaking he never actually played it, just the quality of play when i first saw it was quite high for someone fast asleep. Apart from move 13, which looked pretty bad. If i ever remember any of my own games of this quality, I will be sure to post it!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Gold Coast Open 2012 Round 1 game

by Junta

In June I played in the Gold Coast Open for the first time (Moulthun's post on his tournament: here).

June 22 (Friday night game) - Round 1.8: Ikeda (2309) - Black player (1783) [C00]
1.e4 e6 2.f4
After a break of 2 months from competitive chess, I felt like getting back into the swing of things by playing something new. In May, the final round win by Nakamura over Seirawan which he clinched the US Championships with had made a strong impression on me, leading me to play the same 2nd move. Apparently it's called the La Bourdonnais variation (which brings to mind this classic, Game 1 of The World's Greatest Chess Games which was probably my favourite book in primary school)?
2...d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.c3 Nge7 6.Na3 Nf5 7.Nc2
This position has been seen in about 75 games in the database.

7...Be7 (Seirawan had played 7...h5)  8.d4 c4 I was happy to see this move. Black should probably maintain pressure on d4. 9.Be2 Bd7 10.g4 Nh4 11.0–0 Nxf3+
12.Bxf3 g6 13.b3 b5 14.Ne3 14.f5 immediately would have been stronger.

14...Qc8?! 15.Bd2 15.f5 was best, again. 15...Kd8 16.f5 += Bg5? 17.Nxc4 +- bxc4
18.Bxg5+ Ne7 19.bxc4 Qxc4 20.Be2 Qxc3 21.fxg6

21...hxg6 22.Rf3 Qb4 23.Rb1 Qa5 24.Rxf7 Re8 25.Bd2 I liked the idea of switching the bishop from the kingside to the queenside. 25...Qxa2 26.Ra1 Qb2 27.Ba5+ Kc8
28.Ba6+ 1–0

Friday, 3 August 2012

Colouring problems

by Junta

Following on from one-colour chess yesterday, the post today is on 'colouring problems' in chess - where the solver's task is to determine which belong pieces to who, and what the last move played was - in order for the position to be legal.
Solvers are encouraged to write their solutions in the comments section.

The following problems were composed by the German composer, G. Husserl.

1. feenschach, 1986
a) K: g8 and h6, Q: h8, R: g6

b) K: g8 and h6, Q: h8, R: g7

2. Prize, Israel Ring Tourney, 1966/1971
K: c8 and d6, Q: c6, R: d8 and f6, B: a8, N: e8, P: a7 and b7

More of these colouring problems can be found at this website (page author: Philippe Schnoebelen), but be warned, they are more difficult than the ones above.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

One-colour Chess (Go)!?

by Junta

After the Gold Coast Open finished in late June, Moulthun and I were watching a couple of episodes from our favourite anime, Hikaru no Go - where the main character, Hikaru Shindō is challenged to a game of one-colour Go by a master. Go, like chess, has one side take the white pieces (stones) and the other the black. However, playing where only pieces of one colour are used, keeping track of which pieces are who's is more difficult than in chess, because all the stones look the same!

A scene from the episode on the English manga version (publisher: Viz Media).
Read from right to left, top to bottom

Nevertheless, we wanted to see how a game of one-colour chess would turn out. What started out as a casual game in a new variant (with a time control of 10+10), quickly turned competitive...

(for maximum enjoyment, set up a board with one colours yourself and follow)

Junta-Moulthun, 25 June (with annotations just on the crucial moments)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.f3 b5 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 Nb6 10.g5 Nfd7 11.a4 b4 12.Nd1 (12.a5!) d5 13.Nf2 Qc7 14.b3 e5

(in two colours)

15.Nf5 (again, I missed 15.a5 - no doubt the unorthodox colour of the pieces had its effect) d4 16.Nxd4 exd4 17.Bxd4 Ne5 18.Be2 Bc5 19.f4 Ng6 20.Bxg7 Rg8 21.Bf6 Nxf4 22.0–0–0 Be6 23.Bxa6

White now has three pawns for the knight, and threatening pieces...

23...Nd7 24.Bb5 Rb8 25.e5 Rxb5 26.axb5 Nxf6 27.gxf6 Rg2 28.Qxf4 Rxf2 29.Qe4 Qc8 30.b6 [30.Rhg1 Bf5 31.Rg8+ (31.Rd8+ Qxd8 32.Qc6+ Qd7 33.Rg8+ Bf8 34.Rxf8+ Kxf8 35.Qc5+ Ke8 36.Qxf2 Qc8=) 31...Bf8 32.Rxf8+ Kxf8 33.Qxb4+ Kg8 34.Rd2±]

After 30.b6

30...Bxb3 31.b7 Be3+ 32.Rd2

This looks more chaotic when the white pieces are black as well..

Bxd2+ 33.Kb1 Ba2+ [33...Bxc2+ 34.Qxc2 Qxb7 35.Rg1 Kd7-+] 34.Kxa2 b3+

35.Kxb3 [I should have been able to calculate and choose 35.cxb3 Qc7 36.Qa4+ Kd8 37.Qd4+ (37.Qa8+ Kd7 38.b8N+ Ke6 39.Qa6+ Kf5 40.Qd3+ Kxe5 41.Nd7+ Ke6 42.Nf8+ Ke5=) 37...Ke8 38.Qxf2 Qc2+ 39.Ka3 Bc1+ 40.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 41.Ka2 Qc7 42.Qg2 Kd7 43.Qd5+ Ke8 44.Qb5+ +-] 35...Qc3+ 36.Ka2 Qa5+ 37.Kb3 Qb6+ 38.Ka2 Rf4 39.b8Q+ Qxb8 40.Qc6+ Kd8 41.Qd5+

Ke8 42.Qc6+ Kd8 (42...Kf8 43.Qc5+ Kg8 44.Qg1+) ½–½ A fun game.

Along with blindfold, I think playing games and solving problems in one colour is good training for the abilities of visualisation, not to speak of calculation and assessment of the position.

Here's the full replayable game:

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

August 2012

by Junta

Hello. This month is an exciting one for FIGJAM, with Andrew and Fedja playing in the World Junior (U/20) Championships in Athens, Greece (their last year eligible to play), while Moulthun makes his debut on the Australian Open team (as Board 2!) at the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

World Juniors links (Hopefully the guys'll be posting from Athens as well!):
Official website page (Andrew, Fedja)
We posted several times at the World Juniors last year (starting with this one) when it was held in Chennai, India.

Olympiad links:
Official website
Team lineups
ACF Olympiad appeal