Monday, June 1, 2015

Playoff Results

1. Metcalf
2. Seward
3. Capital Hill
4. Seven Hills

Monday, March 2, 2015

Interesting positions from the matches

I'll be adding more to this positions post as I have time. Check periodically to see if one of  your games is here. Answers are at the bottom of this post.

Position 1 Round 2 Victoria vs Peyton. Peyton has just played b5 and Victoria is trying to find a good place for her queen. Where should she move?

Problem #2 Harrison of Cap Hill has just played Ba3 preventing Caleb of Farnsworth from Castling and also threatening immediate mate on e7 if the Queen moves. What should Caleb do?

Problem #3
Simon of Farnsworth has just played Bh6. How should Oscar of Friendly Hills respond?

 #1. Nxb5 if cxb5 2. Bxb5+ Ke7 Nxc6+ winning the queen. If instead of Ke7 he tries Nd7 it's still Bxe7+ Ke7 Nc6+ and the queen is a goner. Even if he doesn't take on move 1, white has many threats.
#2. Move the queen anyway. ... QKd2+ 2. Kf1 Qxf2# This would have resulted in a drawn match between Capitol Hill and Farnsworth A.
#3. The queen is the only thing supporting that bishop - give it a nudge - Bc8. The queen must move and the bishop falls.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Final Standings (Verified)

Here are the final standings of the Twin Cities Division of the Jr High Chess League.
I corrected numbers for Peyton and Oscar. Now all totals match.
This was not an SCA event and therefore no merit points were awarded.

I have begun to post some interesting positions from some of the games on the most recent post.

Team Results

Seward and Capitol Hill advance to the playoffs at Metcalf Jr. High Mar 21. Gook luck!

Seward CapHill Breck FarnA FarnB FrHills Playoff Rd Matches Games
Seward XXX 2.5-2.5 4-1 4-1 5-0 5-0  FA 4-1 5.5 24.5
CapHill 2.5-2.5 XXX 3.5-1.5 3.5-1.5 4-1 5-0  Br 3.5-1.5 5.5 22
Breck 1-4 1.5 - 3.5 XXX 3-2 3-2 5-0  CH 1.5-3.5 3 15
Farn A 1-4 1.5-3.5 2-3 XXX 4-1 4-1 Sew 1-4 2 13.5
Farn B 0-5 1-4 2-3 1-4 XXX 3-2 FH 5-0 2 12
Fr Hills 0-5 0-5 0-5 1-4 2-3 XXX FB 0-5 0 3

Individual Results

Several players have earned an outstanding player award (*) by scoring at least 5 points. You will learn more about that award at the playoffs at Metcalf.

Just a reminder to the teams going on, to keep your players in proper order. Tap into the USCF or SCA databases to get the relative strength of your players, or have an internal rating system. Then keep you players in that order. Players are sorted below based on their typical board number with board 1 listed first.

Team Name W L D Award
Seward Tiger Worku 2 0 0
Nelson Munene 5 1 0 *
Sam Kendrick 6 0 0 *
Marshall Urban 5 0 1 *
Noah Muller 2 1 0
Alex  Schuck 1 0 0
Malcolm Munene 3 0 0
Capitol Hill SashaHydrie501*
Mani Chadaga 3 0 0

Roger Easthouse 3 1 1
Joseph Thompson 4 0 2 *
Matthias Baese 0 5 0
Harrison Ash 5 0 0 *
Breck Ishan Nadkarni 2 1 3
Pat Liss 3 3 0
Ben Liss 3 3 0
Peyton Schweibert 1 4 1
Aditi Nadkarni 2 1 0
Ethan Richter 2 1 0
Farnsworth Seth Xiong 0 2 1
Shyion Bonner 0 3 0
Chinu Thao 2 4 0
Bobby Fraser 1 1 1
Pahlee Thao 4 2 0
Simon Thao 4 2 0
Caleb Vang 3 3 0
Victoria Vang 2 3 1
Dineth Altmann 1 2 0
Luche Yang 2 1 0
Annabel Yang 2 0 0
Kevin Thao 2 0 0
Elvis Schiung 1 1 0
Fr. Hills Josh Philips 2 4 0
Tom McDermott 0 3 0
Carter Hahnfeldt 0 3 0
Oscar Halverson 0 5 0
Isaiah Walker 0 3 0
Jack Larson 0 3 0
Emma Stevenson 1 2 0
Forfeits   16

Monday, February 2, 2015

Positions from Jan 31 and next meet

Saturday's Meet

Next matches are Feb 28. 2015. Meet at 8:45 at First Covenant Church in St. Paul 1280 Arcade. (3 blks North of Maryland) When entering the building from the parking lot, turn left on the sidewalk before you enter the building and head toward the triple doors to the south.

Rd 4 Capitol Hill vs Seward, Farnsworth A vs Friendly Hills, Farnsworth B vs Breck
Rd 5 Seward vs Breck, Friendly Hills vs Farnsworth B, Capitol Hill vs Farnsworth A
Rd 6 Team 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3 and 5 vs 6.

After 6 rounds the top 2 teams advance to the league playoffs at Metcalf in Burnsville on March 21. Top teams are determined by match record, then total points for the tiebreaker. If still tied it goes down to how they did head-to-head.

Here are some positions from Jan 31.

Here Oscar Halvorson of Friendly Hills, playing White has a chance to put away Noah Muller from Seward on board 4. Oscar almost got it right, but couldn't quite finish it. What should he have done?
This is how the game progressed, Oscar playing wonderfully.
1. Qg6+! Kh8
2. Qxh6+ Kg8
3. Nxg5 Ne5
...but then he couldn't find the next move. What should he have played?
That knight on e5 is messing up everything. Just take it! Bxe5 with multiple threats of checkmate.The game continued 4. Qh7+ Kf8
Oscar can still win. How?
Oscar played 5. Bxf7?  but 5. Bxe5 still wins. Qd7 is the only move that staves off mate 6. Qh8+ Ke7 7. Bf6#

Problem #2 Dineth Altmann of Farnsworth missed what I thought was the easiest path to victory for Black. What move would guarantee an easy win?

I thought 1. ...   Qf6+
                2. Kh5 Qg7 makes it easy to pick off the dangerous pawn.
But he played 1. ... Qf5+ 2. Kg7  Now normally a pawn on h7 and the King guarding h8 is a draw for White, but Dineth's King is close enough to get the win. How?
2. ... Qf6+ 3. Kg8 Ke6! 3. h8(Q) Qf7#! Matthias could have asked for a knight, but Black could still win quickly. How?
3. h8(N) Qh6 4. Nf7 Qg6+ 5. Kh8 Qf6+ (taking the knight with either piece results in stalemate)
6. Kg8 Qxf6+ and the rest is straightforward.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jan 31 Results

A lot of exciting games this morning. Here's the team standings and individual standings.
Coaches - keep in mind that there are outstanding player awards for those who win 5 or more games.
So don't sit out a player who is in the running. Also remember to keep your players in proper order.


Seward Cap Hill Breck Farn A Farn B Fr Hills Matches Games
Seward 4-1 5-0 5-0 3 - 0 14
Cap Hill 3.5-1.5 4-1 5-0  3 - 0 12.5
Breck 1.5 - 3.5 3-2 5-0 2 - 1 11.5
Farn A 1-4 2-3 4-1 1 - 2 7
Farn B 0-5 1-4 1-4 0 - 3 2
Fr Hills 0-5 0-5 0-5 0 - 3 0

School Name W L D
Seward Tiger Worku 2
Nelson Munene 3
Sam Kendrick 3
Marshall Urban 3
Noah Muller 2 1
Alex Schuck 1
Farnsworth Seth Xiong 2 1
Chinu Thao 1 2
Caleb Vang 1 2
Simon Thao 2 1
Pahlee Thao 2 1
Victoria Vang   1 1 1
Dineth Altmann 1 2
Capitol Hill Harrison Ash 2
Matthias Baese 2
Sasha Hydrie 3
Mani Chadaga 3
Roger Easthouse 2
Joseph Thompson 2 1
Friendly Hills Josh Philips 3
Tom McDermott 3
Carter Hahnfeldt 3
Oscar Halverson 2
Breck Ishan Nadkarni 1 2
Patrick Liss 2 1
Ben Liss 2 1
Peyton Schweibert 1 1 1
Aditi Nadkarni 2 1
Forfeits 13
42 42 6

Monday, December 29, 2014

League Schedule and Rules for 2015

Minnesota Junior High Chess League - Cities Division


Bring sets, clocks, pencil and notation paper.

So far we have Capitol Hill (1), Farnsworth (1), Friendly Hills (1) Seward(1) and Breck(1).
Wash tech is out. Farnsworth will try to field 2 teams. (If Farnsworth does not have enough for a B team, there will be 5 teams and therefore a bye for the team scheduled to play Farnsworth B in the schedule below.

Fees are $40 for the first team. ($60 for two teams, $70 for 3 teams.)

Make checks out to Minnesota Junior High Chess League and mail to
Brian Ribnick
Metcalf Jr. High
2250 Diffley Road, Burnsville MN 55337
There's an invoice available on the link to the League site in the upper right.

If anyone else wants to join, send Bill Heinemann an e-mail at


Jan 31 9:00 - 12:30 Seward Montessori Matthew's Center
Team listed 1st is White on Boards 1, 3 and 5
Round 1 9:15 Breck vs Capitol Hill, FarnsworthA vs FarnsB, Seward vs Friendly Hills
Round 2 10:25 (or sooner) Breck vs FarnsworthA, Capitol Hill vs Friendly Hills, FarnsB vs Seward
Round 3 11:35 (or sooner) Friendly Hills vs Breck, FarnsB vs Capitol Hill, Seward vs FarnsworthA
Done at 12:45 at the latest
Feb 28 8:45 - 12:15 First Covenant Church on Arcade (across from Farnsworth Lower School)
Round 4 8:50 FarnsworthB vs Breck, FarnsworthA vs Friendly Hills, Capitol Hill vs Seward
Round 5 10:00 (or sooner) Capitol Hill vs FarnsworthA, Friendly Hills vs FarnsB, Seward vs Breck
New format for round 6 due to the fact that I just learned that 2 teams from this division will advance to playoffs.
Round 6 11:10 (or sooner) Team 1 vs Team 4, Team 2 vs Team 3, Team 5 vs Team 6.
In round 6, preference for White on odd boards will be given to Breck, Farnsworth A and Friendly Hills since they were black 3 times in th first 5 rounds.
Final Standings 12:20
Done at 12:25
Playoffs March 21, at Metcalf Jr. High in Burnsville.
Awards will be given at St. Kate's at the State Tournament (on March 27-29?)

(League rules available at the link in the upper right.)
Teams should bring their own notation paper, pencils, chess sets and clocks.
Players should bring their own clocks to ensure they will have a clock for their game.

Rules are USCF rules. All games must be notated (moves recorded) by both players. A clock will be used on all games. Each player will have 30 minutes with a 5 second delay (35 min with no delay). We could run over an hour by 7 minutes on a 40 move game or by 15 on an 80 move game, but with so few games we are more likely to finish early. So I think we'll be OK with this time control.

Touch move - if you touch a piece with the intent to move it you must move it if you can legally do so. If this means you have to block check with your queen, so be it. If you touch an opponent's piece with your hand or your piece with intent to capture, you must capture. A player is not required to say check. The three-move repetition rule will be enforced. Press the clock with the same hand that moved your piece. No kibbitzing, verbal or otherwise - penalty will be forfeit of 1 point from your team score that round. If you have a question or issue, raise your hand. No one will remind you to press your clock or notify you if you have an illegal position on the board. You must be aware of these yourself.

A match will consist of five games pitting one school against another. Top player from one school will play the top player from the other school, etc. Coaches should develop a way to rank their players. If a team does not field a full team, players must move up leaving the bottom boards vacant. You will forfeit the games on those boards. The team that scores 3 or more points is the winner of the match.  If a team score 2.5 points it is considered a draw. With forfeits it is possible that neither team will win the match. The team that wins the most matches advanced to the playoffs. In case of tie in matches, the total points will be used as a tie breaker. You may bring extra players and sub them into your team, but they must stay in proper order according to their ratings/ranking. We will match the extras up for practice games that will not affect the league scores.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One last problem from Junior High League Chess Matches

This was a battle between Frank Sullivan from Friendly Hills playing White against Elise Lothrop from Farnsworth at board 2 in round 3. Elise has just played h5, demonstrating that she understands the concept of undermining. Is there anything Frank can do to stay in the game?
(In the actual game, Frank played Rf1 which is what any reasonable player would play - save the rook and give up the knight. But as I often say, "When you're in trouble, don't panic, think! There is usually a way out.

Answer: After considering a number of wild and daring captures, none of which worked, I considered saving the knight instead and imagined what Black's pieces would look like if he took the Rook. Wait! His King and Rook would be forkable! If I could just get my knight to d5. I can! The game (in my mind) continued 1. Ne3 Kxf6 2. Nd5+ Kg7 3. Nxe7 c3 (trapping the knight) 4.Rxe5 Re8 5.Nxc6 (or Nd5) bxc6 6.Ra5 Ra8 So I'm still down the knight but I did get two pawns for it, I've got an active Rook, she's got a passive one. And with four connected pawns vs two isolated ones on the queen's side, I should be able to get a passed pawn of my own. I'd still rather be Black, but at least the game isn't a slam dunk.