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.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Some Interesting Positions From Feb 1

#1 Here Seth from Farnsworth, playing white, missed a good move against Anton from Friendly Hills. Friendly Hills went on to win this math 3-2, so this game decided the match. Anton checkmated Seth 4 moves later.

#2. In this next position, Eric from Nellie Stone Johnson playing black comes up with a way to save his minor pieces.

#3. In the same game  a few moves later, Eric was faced with the following position. He chose Re7 with the intent of doubling up his rooks - normally a good idea. But there's a better move here for Black.

#4. In the board 1 game between the two top teams, Thomas from Friendly Hills had just move his bishop to d5 holding back the knight and attacking the a-pawn. How should Chinu protect the a-pawn?

#5. Here, Elise from Farnsworth playing black on Board 2,  has sewn up her 6th straight win. But what is the best plan to win?

#6. Josh Philips has the chance to get the upper hand against Bobby Fraser. Bobby has just castled long. What should White play?

#7. Same game a few moves later. What should White do?


#1. Seth missed Bb6#

#2. Eric found Ne5! Anton can't take the Bishop because of Nxf3+ with (not NxQ?) Qxh2# next.
Another solution is Be5 which threatens mate and gives the knight time to escape. After 1. ... Be5 White can't play f4 because of QxQ, but 2. Rd1 seems to allow survival (not Re1 lest Bxh2+ with a discovered attack followed by RxR#) but 2. ... Bxh2+! 3. Kh1 Bg3+! 4. Kg1 Qh2+ 5.Kf1 Qxf2#

#3. 1. ... Rxe4 2. fxe4 Bxf2+ 3. Rxf2 (if Kh1 Qxe4#) Qxf2+ 4. Kh1 Qf1#

#4. Chinu doesn't have to protect it. If Thomas takes it, Chinu simply plays b3, then Kb2 and the bishop i dead. Look up the first game of the Fischer-Spassky match for a similar position where Fischer lost by taking the pawn.

#5. Right now the White King cannot get past the third rank because of the pawns guarding the light squares and the knight guarding the dark squares. So use your other piece to invade. Advance the King to the center, to e5. Then attack the b pawn with the knight (to d8 then c6). Finally when the White King is over towards the b file advance the f-pawn for a trade and queen the g pawn.

#6. 1. Nxf6 gxf6 2. Nxf7 fork! (Alternate solution - 1. Nxf7 fork! 2. Qxf7 Nxb6+! 3. axb6 Bxf7

#7. This is complicated, but I think the best choice is 1. Nxd8 Rxf1+ 2. Rxf1 Nxf1? 3. Be6!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Division Results After Round 6

Team Standings

The team from Friendly Hills advances to the playoffs on March 1 at Metcalf Jr. High. They are also encouraged to participate in the MSCA State championship to be held at St. Catherine University on March 29-30 where the team will receive its trophy.

Friendly Hills x 3-2 4-1 5-0 x 3-2 4-1 5-0 6 24
Farnsworth Aerospace 2-3 x 4-1 5-0 2-3 x 2-3 5-0 3 20
Nellie Stone Johnson 1-4 1-4 x 5-0 2-3 3-2 x 5-0 3 14
Washington Tech 0-5 0-5 0-5 x 0-5 0-5 0-5 x 0 0

Individual Standings

Those in Bold have earned an "Outstanding Player Award". Those players are encouraged to participate in the MSCA State championship to be held at St. Catherine University on March 29-30 where they will receive their awards.

School Name Score
FH Thomas Miranda 6-0
FH Anton Priborkin 6-0
FA Elise Lothrop 6-0
FH Magnus Nordby 5-1
FA Seth Xiong 4-2
FH Josh Philips 4-2
NSJ Eric Hall 4-2
NSJ Michael Hopewell 4-2
FH Frank Sullivan 3-3
FA Chinu Thao 3-3
NSJ Freddy Alonso 3-3
NSJ Eli Barban 3-3
FA Pahlee Thao 3-2
FA Bobby Fraser 3-0
NSJ Angel Alonso 2-4
FA Simon Thao 1-2
WT Cowboy Dway 0-3
WT Shuepheng Lee 0-3
WT Mula Lay 0-3
WT Pov Thao 0-3

Round by Round Results

Round 1 Friendly Hills Farnsworth Aerospace
Thomas Miranda 1 0 Chinu Thao
Frank Sullivan 0 1 Elise Lothrop
Anton Priborkin 1 0 Simon Thao
Josh Philips 0 1 Seth Xiong
Magnus Nordby 1 0 Pahlee Thao
Washington Tech Nellie Stone Johnson
Cowboy Dway 0 1 Freddy Alonso
Shuepheng Lee 0 1 Eli Barban
forfeit 0 1 Eric Hall
Mula Lay 0 1 Angel Alonso
Pov Thao 0 1 Michael Hopewell
Round 2 Friendly Hills Washington Tech
Thomas Miranda 1 0 Cowboy Dway
Frank Sullivan 1 0 Shuepheng Lee
Anton Priborkin 1 0 Mula Lay
Josh Philips 1 0 Pov Thao
Magnus Nordby 1 0 forfeit
Farnsworth Aerospace Nellie Stone Johnson
Chinu Thao 1 0 Freddy Alonso
Elise Lothrop 1 0 Eli Barban
Simon Thao 0 1 Eric Hall
Seth Xiong 1 0 Angel Alonso
Pahlee Thao 1 0 Michael Hopewell
Round 3 Nellie Stone Johnson Friendly Hills
Freddy Alonso 0 1 Thomas Miranda
Eli Barban 0 1 Frank Sullivan
Eric Hall 0 1 Anton Priborkin
Angel Alonso 0 1 Josh Philips
Michael Hopewell 1 0 Magnus Nordby
Washington Tech Farnsworth Aerospace
Cowboy Dway 0 1 Chinu Thao
Shuepheng Lee 0 1 Elise Lothrop
Mula Lay 0 1 Simon Thao
Pov Thao 0 1 Seth Xiong
forfeit 0 1 Pahlee Thao
Round 4 Nellie Stone Johnson Farnsworth Aerospace
Freddy Alonso 1 0 Chinu Thao
Eli Barban 0 1 Elise Lothrop
Eric Hall 1 0 Seth Xiong
Angel Alonso 0 1 Bobby Fraser
Michael Hopewell 1 0 forfeit
Washington Tech Friendly Hills
forfeit 0 1 Thomas Miranda
forfeit 0 1 Frank Sullivan
forfeit 0 1 Anton Priborkin
forfeit 0 1 Josh Philips
forfeit 0 1 Magnus Nordby
Round 5 Friendly Hills Nellie Stone Johnson
Thomas Miranda 1 0 Freddy Alonso
Frank Sullivan 0 1 Eli Barban
Anton Priborkin 1 0 Eric Hall
Josh Philips 1 0 Angel Alonso
Magnus Nordby 1 0 Michael Hopewell
Farnsworth Aerospace Washington Tech
Chinu Thao 1 0 forfeit
Elise Lothrop 1 0 forfeit
Seth Xiong 1 0 forfeit
Bobby Fraser 1 0 forfeit
Pahlee Thao 1 0 forfeit
Round 6 Farnsworth Aerospace Friendly Hills
Chinu Thao 0 1 Thomas Miranda
Elise Lothrop 1 0 Frank Sullivan
Seth Xiong 0 1 Anton Priborkin
Bobby Fraser 1 0 Josh Philips
Pahlee Thao 0 1 Magnus Nordby
Nellie Stone Johnson Washington Tech
Freddy Alonso 1 0 forfeit
Eli Barban 1 0 forfeit
Eric Hall 1 0 forfeit
Angel Alonso 1 0 forfeit
Michael Hopewell 1 0 forfeit