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Overprotected

Posted by Tim W on November 5, 2017

This is a position from my recent game with Tom Bradford. Fritz tells me that I could have happily played Ng6+ in this position. I was tempted over the board but couldn’t convince myself to do it. See below for my analysis.

After Ng6+, play continues fxg6, fxg6, h6, gxh6, Bh4 and as the Queen is overloaded, RxR wins the Bishop on h4 and white has won at least one pawn.

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Posted in Interesting Positions | Leave a Comment »

Mobiles

Posted by Tim W on November 5, 2017

When using this website from my mobile phone, I have had difficulty accessing both of the side menus.
To assist with this problem I have added a page called “Mobile” to the top level menu, and have included links to our fixtures page, the Northumberland Chess Association & the ECF. Further links could be added if required.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

FEN STRINGS EXPLAINED

Posted by dwhump3yahoocouk on November 5, 2017

Forsyth-Edwards Notation Explained

A FEN string contains six fields or sections. The separator between fields is a space. The fields are:

Field 1
Piece placement (from white’s perspective):
Each rank of the chessboard is described, starting with rank 8 and ending with rank 1; within each rank, the contents of each square are described from the a-file to the h-file.

Following the Standard Algebraic Notation (SAN), each piece is identified by a single letter taken from the standard English names (pawn = “P”, knight = “N”, bishop = “B”, rook = “R”, queen = “Q” and king = “K”).
White pieces are designated using upper-case letters (“PNBRQK”)
Black pieces use lowercase (“pnbrqk”).
Empty squares are noted using digits 1 through 8 (the number of empty squares), and “/” separates ranks.

Field 2
Active colour:
“w” means its White’s turn to move.
“b” means its Black’s turn to move.

Field 3
Castling availability:
If neither side can castle, this is “-“. Otherwise, this has one or more letters: “K” (White can castle kingside), “Q” (White can castle queenside), “k” (Black can castle kingside), and/or “q” (Black can castle queenside).

Field 4
If an en-passant capture can be made, this shows the square that the capturing pawn will end up on. If no en passant move can be made then this field is just “-“. This field is active regardless of whether or not there is a pawn in a position to make an en passant capture.

Field 5
Halfmove clock:
This is the 50-move rule counter. It starts at ‘0‘. As soon as a move is played that is NEITHER a pawn move NOR a capture, this counter starts counting. If a pawn move and/or capture is subsequently played, the counter resets to ‘0‘.

Field 6
Fullmove counter:
This counts the number of complete moves played. At the start of a game, it is set to 1, where it is waiting for move 1 to be played. White makes a move and, as soon as black replies, it increments to 2, showing that move 1 has been completed and  it is now waiting for move 2 to be played.

Example 1:

Here is the FEN string for the start of a game of chess.

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq – 0 1

Field 1:- rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR
Field 2:- w
Field 3:- KQkq
Field 4:- ‘-’
Field 5:- 0
Field 6:- 1

Field 1:-
Going rank by rank starting with the 8th rank we have
rnbqkbnr – These are Black’s pieces:- rook, knight, bishop, queen, king, bishop, knight, rook
pppppppp – These are Black’s pawns
8/8/8/8/ – These are the 4, empty ranks of 8 squares each.
PPPPPPPP – These are White’s pawns.
RNBQKBNR – These are White’s pieces:- Rook, Knight, Bishop, Queen, King, Bishop, Knight, Rook

Field 2:-
w – It is White’s turn to play

Field 3:-
K – White can castle kingside at some time.
Q – White can castle queenside at some time
k – Black can castle kingside at some time.
q- Black can castle queenside at some time.

Field 4
‘-’ – No en-passant move can be played in the position

Field 5
‘0‘ – This is the 50-move rule counter. No pawn moves or captures have yet been played, so this is set to 0.

Field 6
‘1‘ – This is the move counter. It starts at 1, showing that it is waiting for the first, complete move to be played. It is increased by one after each of Black’s moves.

Example 2:
rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR b KQkq e3 0 1

Here, white has opened the game with 1.e4. Field 1 shows this move. The part of the field that looks like /4P3/ shows that, along the 4th rank, there are 4 empty squares, a white pawn, then 3 empty squares. If this pawn could be taken en-passant, then e3 would be the square that the capturing pawn would end up on, as shown by the ‘e3‘ in field 4. Remember that this field is active whether or not there is a black pawn that can actually make an en-passant capture in the position.

Black now replies with the Sicilian Defence and plays 1…c5, producing the following FEN string:-

rnbqkbnr/pp1ppppp/8/2p5/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq c6 0 2

Field 1 shows that, along the 5th rank there are now 2 empty squares, a black pawn, then 5 empty squares.

Field 4 shows that, if this pawn could be taken en-passant, the square that the capturing pawn would end up on is c6.

Field 5 shows that, since a pawn move has been made, so there is no need to start the 50-move rule count. This number is still 0.

Field 6 shows that one, complete move has been played, and we are now waiting for move 2.

White now continues with 2.Nf3 giving the following FEN string,

rnbqkbnr/pp1ppppp/8/2p5/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKB1R b KQkq – 1 2

Field 1 shows that, in addition to the previous moves, there are now 5 empty squares, a white knight, then 2 empty squares along the third rank.

Field 4 shows that no en-passant capture is now possible, hence, ‘-’

Field 5 shows that, since white’s last move was not a pawn move or capture, the 50-move rule count has started.

So there we have it. Not too difficult to get your head around.

 

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

10 Interesting Facts about Chess [Ref:- ChessWorld, Yuri Markushin]

Posted by dwhump3yahoocouk on November 4, 2017

1. The estimated number of electrons in the universe is 10^79. The number of possible chess moves is 10^120.
2. The longest game of chess that is theoretically possible is 5,949 moves.
3. The longest time for castlling to take place was the match between Bobotsor v Irkov played in 1966 where white played 46.0-0
4. As late as 1561, castling consisted of two moves. You had to play R-KB1 first, then K-KN1 on the next move.
5. The word Checkmate derives from the Persian ‘Shah Mat’ meaning ‘the king is dead’.
6. The longest chess problem, white to play and mate in 290 moves, is credited to Otto Blathy (1860-1939)
7. The police in Cleveland, Ohio, raided a chess tournament in 1973. They arrested the
tournament director and confiscated the chess sets. The charge was illegal gambling [ cash prizes were being played for] and possession of gambling devices [ the chess sets]
8. The famous Knights Tour, where a knight is placed on an empty board and has to move so that is lands on every square once only, has over 122 million solutions.
9. The longest, official, chess game lasted for 269 moves. It was played in Belgrade, in 1989, between I.Nikolic and Arsovic. In ended in …………..a draw!
10. From the starting position, there are 8 different ways to mate in two moves and 355 ways to mate in 3 moves.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

Monarchs v Austins

Posted by dwhump3yahoocouk on November 4, 2017

The Monarchs were struggling to find a 4-man team this time around. So, it was agreed to field two, 3-man teams. The Monarchs line up, for the match played on the 2nd Nov, was as follows:-

Board 1 – Pete Crichton (143) v George Glover (143)
Board 2 -Derek Blair (112) v Bill Burgess (114)
Board 3 – Dave Humphreys (82) v John Lydon (107)

After three, hard fought games, the Monarchs emerged victorious, winning 23-17 on handicap.
Pete, after reaching a drawn bishop+knight+pawn against bishop+knight+pawn endgame, sadly lost a pawn and, after the bishops came off, was unable to hold the resulting position. A lesson for the rest of us to study our engames!

Derek went in for an unorthadox queen-pawn opening. Both sides castled queenside. Bill gave up two minor pieces for rook and pawn, creating an interesting imbalance of material in the position. But, after a very tactical game, Derek overcame his opponent in fine style.

Dave, who was giving away two handicap points, assayed the Kings Indian defense for the first time in serious play. Playing for a kingside attack, all was going well until a mixture of tunnel vision and hallucination resulted in him blundering his queen away on move 26. He was able to get knight and rook for the queen, and, as his remaining pieces were far more active, managed to snare his opponent in a mating net, forcing his resignation on move 37.

Posted in Monarchs | Leave a Comment »

Reivers v Gosforth Ivy

Posted by northman on October 29, 2017

The Reivers secured a narrow 3-2 win over Gosforth Ivy last Thursday; the results were as follows:

  1. Derek Harris v Geoff Harrison 1/2
  2. Peter Crichton v Kurt Moreby 1/2
  3. Ian Mackay v Robert Heyman 1-0
  4. Bruce Reed v Joe Chan 1-0
  5. Dave Humphreys v Gary Clarke 0-1

Bruce’s game, which he described as “wild”, finished early and successfully; Peter’s followed when both players confessed that neither knew who had the better position and agreed to a draw. Ian’s win over Robert Heyman left the team needing a half point from one of the remaining games on top and bottom boards ; both looked to be heading for safe draws but Dave, in time trouble, missed a tactic leaving Derek needing the draw to secure the match: with rook, knight and pawns against rook, bishop and pawns he managed to gain a pawn advantage but with time running short and mindful of the match situation he offered a draw which was accepted.

Posted in Reivers | Leave a Comment »

Scarborough Congress October 2017

Posted by fellman01 on October 28, 2017

This event was, as ever, very well attended, with 60 entries in the Open alone. Tynedale Chess Club’s one representative (one more than at the Northumberland Congress!) was Steve Larkin, who played n the Foundation event, for players graded 120 and under. Of the 86 entries in this section, he was ranked 16th.
His first round game on Friday night (October 20th) was a close match with Allan Buchan (99) from Edinburgh. It came down to a queen and 5 pawns on either side, when Steve, conscious of the 4 rounds still to come, offered a draw which Allan accepted.
Steve’s opponent on Saturday morning was Kevin Randle (95) of Aughton. This was another close match till Steve was able to press home a mating attack. In the afternoon he played David Lowcock (107) of Hartlepool and immediately came under a lot of kingside pressure. He managed to resist this for 3 hours, before a killer knight move he had not spotted led to forced mate or the loss of his queen, at which point Steve resigned.
His opponent on Sunday morning was Jeff Wilson (100) of Oldham, who should have won but who misplayed the ending, allowing Steve to go from a pawn down to a pawn up. The game ended as a forced draw, with the one remaining pawn on the h-file blocked by Jeff’s king on h8.That game lasted three and three quarter hours, and before long it was time for the final round, against Robert Artherton (102) of Skegness. Steve had most of the initiative, but could not make it tell. With the position dead level and fatigue kicking in, he offered a draw which Robert accepted immediately.
So 50% overall for Steve but, given that every one of his opponents was graded lower than he was, he should have done better. However, the old adage – “There’s no such thing as an easy game” – proved true yet again.

Posted in Tournaments | Leave a Comment »

Reivers v Newcastle University

Posted by fellman01 on October 13, 2017

This match was played at the University with the following line-up:

  1. Victoria Chan (176) v Tim Wrigley (151)
  2. Maxim Misevra (u) v Steve Larkin (116)
  3. Jeremy Revell (135) v Bruce Reed (112)
  4. Kiro Samuroya (u) v Derek Blair (112)
  5. Javier Horas (u) v Dave Humphreys (82)

Dave got us off to a flying start with a swift and clear-cut victory over his Spanish opponent, who made several blunders. That advantage was soon cancelled out as Steve was swept off the board by his Ukrainian opponent, Steve’s own play not helping his cause. Derek had a somewhat closer game against a Bulgarian, but lost. Which Tim and Bruce battling it out to the bitter end. Bruce achieved a clearly-won endgame, but had only 17 seconds in which to convert it. He declined his opponent’s apologetic offer of a draw, only to lose on time. Tim seemed to have a very slight positional advantage but Victoria had everything covered and a draw was agreed with both players down to their last two minutes  and a vast amount of play still left on the board.

So the University ran out winners by three and a half to one and a half, but the Reivers were not disgraced, and had Bruce had more time the match result would have been a draw.

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Fixtures for 2017-18

Posted by Tim W on October 1, 2017

The new season is upon us, and this years fixtures are available from the link on the left hand side.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a Comment »

Jeremy Handley memorial trophy

Posted by fellman01 on September 21, 2017

The second staging of this event was held at Morpeth on Wednesday September 20th. Tynedale could muster only six players (as against 13 last year!), so the line-up was:

  1. Mike Smyth (182) v David Wrigley (159)
  2. James Turner (163) v Tim Wrigley (151)
  3. Bob Mitcheson (152) v Peter Crichton (143)
  4. George Ellames (151) v Steve Larkin (116)
  5. Geoff Loxham (140) v Dave Humphreys (82)
  6. Paul Richards (134) v Damian Rudge (51)

Not surprisingly given the grading differences between the two sides, Morpeth ran out comfortable winners by 5-1. However, most of the games were closely contested, and it was only in the final twenty minutes or later that boards 1, 2 and 5 were decided. Special mention must be made of Peter, who spared us the embarrassment of a whitewash, and Dave who, despite going the exchange down on move 18, made his opponent work very hard for his victory.

Posted in Jeremy Handley Memorial | Leave a Comment »