Weekly Review: 7/4/14 – 7/17/14

Welp, once again I find that I have fallen behind on updating this hastily put together blog. So once again, I am reduced to sharing amusing images I found online and headlines that occurred since the last post. There are more interesting posts to come I promise! In the meantime, here are some headlines since the last post: Read more

Weekly Review: 6/20/14 – 7/3/14

Hello everyone, I’m working on a lot of different posts and projects now that have consumed a lot of my time. That said I present to you a miniature post that I hope you people enjoy. I will do these periodically when I feel I haven’t written enough. I hope they will be a bit of a respite from the usual dry material. In these posts, I will include anything cool or funny that I found whilst perusing the interwebs. Read more

The US Championships Part 1: 1936

Hello everyone, after witnessing GM Gata Kamsky win yet another US Championship. I thought it would be prudent to look back at some previous US Champions and their games. In this post, I will be focusing on what I consider the first “modern” US Championship played in 1936.

I’d like to compile enough material for a “My Great Predecessors” style book one day but I know that day is a long way off. Unfortunately, we’ve lost some games since some of these early tournaments took place. I did my best to compile all the available information here and paint as clear a picture as possible. I used information from Wikipedia, as well as other sites.

Any replication of this work without my express written consent and any attempts to monetize this work without my knowledge is strictly verboten (forbidden).

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Miniatures in the Scandinavian

In this post, we will look at some amusing games I’ve played in the Scandinavian Defense. The vast majority of these were on ICC in either the three or 5-minute pools. These games don’t require much analysis. They should be a nice airy respite from the heavily analyzed mystery post to come (you know, the one that’s taken me almost a month to write). I hope you people enjoy these games and find some humor in them in the same way that I did. I consider miniatures to be games ending in fewer than 25 moves; some of these games are also “Micros” which are games under 10 moves. I’ve provided some light analysis but the main point here is to show how not to play in the Scandinavian, not do some complex survey on the opening.

I’ve broken the games down into various sections for easy perusing. The first section is what happens when White tries to keep the pawn via the Scandinavian Gambit Accepted. This arises from the move order: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.dxc6!?. The next section is miniatures from the Alekhine/Scandinavian/Exchange variation, which as the name suggests is a transposition from the Alekhine’s defense that occurs frequently in the Scandinavian. This arises from the move order: 1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.exd5 Nxd5. The final section is comprised of games from the Scandinavian/Portuguese variation. This arises from the move order: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Bg4!?.

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Cold in July

Cold in July: Sometimes the Good Guys Win

Last night I saw the film “Cold in July” at The Little. The film was riveting, suspenseful and at points quite funny. I recommend you all check it out while it’s still in theaters.

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Chess Cheating Part 1: Cellphones and YOU!

I’ve been keeping this blog for a little while now and have yet to cover one of the most controversial topics in modern chess: Cheating. An email sent out recently on behalf of the Continental Chess Association (CCA) describes new rules and conditions. I have played in many CCA tournaments through the years. Mr. Goichberg does a nice job of continuing to hold large tournaments with big prize funds in a variety of locations. Read more

Recap of the 60th Maryland Open

I recently competed in the 60th Maryland Open in Rockville, MD. As usual the tournament was well run and the playing conditions were wonderful. The nice thing that keeps me coming back to Maryland to play is the way they run the tournaments. The time controls make sense, they provide boards and clocks and they even provide a continental breakfast. The turnout in the “Champions” section was impressive. There were many players that included people that I had not seen before (as well as some familiar faces). The “Champions” section included a clause that I appreciated: to play in the “Champions” section you needed to have your rating be >2000. The tournament saw a 3-way tie for first place with GM’s Lenderman, Moradiabadi and Paragua with 4/5. GM Lenderman was kind enough to annotate his second round win over a local player in an interesting ending:

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The Raid 2: Berandal

Review of The Raid 2: Berandal

Got a chance to see “The Raid 2: Berandal” at The Little last night. I saw the first in this series “The Raid: Redemption” and enjoyed it. The second film was also incredible, and quite different from the first. I recommend you go check it out, because this is one of those films you want to see on a large screen. If you live in Rochester I would recommend seeing it sooner rather than later. The Little is going to stop airing it on Thursday for reasons that are unclear to me.

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College Chess: Death to the Pan-Am!

So recently there has been some buzz on the USCF forums about college chess (a discussion you know I can’t keep my big nose out of). I want to go on record as saying that I played college chess and saw firsthand the difficulty that the current situation creates. Read more


Review of Noah: How Long Can You Tread Water?

Last night I went to see the film “Noah” directed by one of my favorite directors Darren Aronofsky. I’m not sure what I expected going into this film as I’m not a religious person and I’m not a big Russell Crowe fan. I had seen that some of my Facebook friends had panned the film and I wanted to see what the commotion was about.

I reached a bit of an impasse with my chess blogs (Anand won). And because a certain local independent cinema that will remain nameless decided to play the same movie in three of their theaters; I decided to give Noah a whirl. (No one will bully me into seeing another goddamn Wes Anderson movie; he’s the Radiohead of directors at the moment). TL;DR: I didn’t enjoy watching Noah, you can wait for this one to hit Netflix. Read more