|Posted by Paul Anderson on May 3, 2011 at 11:45 PM|
Game Of The Week
Chess has the power to bring people together. I have seen the oddest couples come together over the chessboard. It can unite the peace-loving liberal with the hard-driving conservative and move them past their petty squabbling and into the realm of truth and beauty, at least for a little while.
However, the chessboard is also a battlefield and therefore inherently confrontational. It is not a physical battle with weapons or words, but an intangible battle with ideas and intellect. Perhaps, the most important component of the battle is the spiritual element. Which combatant can find that peace of mind to clear those distractions out of his thinking that cause him to fail to see the path to victory?
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division… The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father…”
Luke 12:51, 53 (KJV)
My dad and I have faced each other across the electronic chessboard in a 14-year, 53-game match by email. While the match had brought us together, despite being a thousand miles apart, all good things come to an end. Our last game ended in the middle of 2010.
I ended up pulling ahead of my dad towards the end of the match (+22-15=16), but for the most part, it was dead even. The match is the main reason I play chess today and how I got better at chess.
However, the thing I realize the most from our final game is that we both still have a lot of blind spots in our play and have plenty of room to improve. I think that when I focus on the spiritual components, the physical elements take care of themselves. In this game, I was able to exercise a little more self-control to avoid the major blunder and get one of my quicker wins.
Anderson,Douglas -Anderson,Paul [B10]
22–15–16 Email, 02.07.2010
The Caro-Kann has been my bread and butter since I started playing back in1996. I knew nothing about openings and even less about what I was playing, but I saw someone play it and copied it. It allowed me to slowly develop and avoid a lot of quick tactical traps. My strength has always been my strategic planning and not my tactical calculation. In my 53-game match against my dad (27 possible times as black), we have had this position 20 times, and it was always when I was on the black side. How did it work for me? Well, it was about even. With this final game, I finally pulled ahead, winning seven games to his six (+7-6=7).
His move looked odd to me. I don't know if I have ever seen this move before. In fact, it was an odd choice for my dad, as it was the first time he has tried this plan. However, it is still book, and I found the book response, which is not an amazing discovery for someone who plays the Caro-Kann.
3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bb2 Nc6 5.d3 e5
My dad leaves the book with d3. Nf3 was played before and, of course, prevents my pawn from going to e5, keeping me from occupying the center. Now, it seems like the Caro-Kann was a brilliant choice with little tactical worries and a dominant center. It seems like all my pieces are eager to jump into action, and my king will peacefully move to the kingside, as I press my edge in the middle of the battlefield.
6.Nd2 Nf6 7.Ngf3 Bc5
Bd6 is perhaps more natural to defend the pawn. However, the pin on the uncastled king (8. Nxe5 Qe7) is a more subtle way to accomplish the same goal and provide more activity for the bishop. So, the pawn remains safe for now.
8.h3 0–0 9.Be2 Re8 10.0–0 e4 11.Nh2 e3 12.fxe3 Rxe3
Everything has gone well to this point. My strategic plans have given me the edge, and I begin to look for tactical possibilities. Of course, this is not my strength and often leads me into blunders. However, I couldn't resist setting up the discovered check, which is not that hard to avoid. Another possibility I failed to look at is having the bishop take the pawn with check and supporting it with a pawn on d4, giving me a huge space-advantage.
Here is a bit of my tactical blindness. Of course, if he takes my knight with his dark bishop, my queen and rook battery is poised to take his light bishop. However, the nice trick is that my over-extended rook can have his communications with his queen cut off when the knight jumps to d4, throwing away my advantage. Fortunately, my dad did not see it either.
14.Bf3 Nd4 15.Ng4 Nxg4 16.Bxg4 Qe7 17.Rc1
Here is more of my tactical blindness. The bishop on g4 seems to be hurting for a place to go, yet he is one of the few defenders near the king. I decide to encourage him to vacate with a pawn storm. However, it is better to just removed him and storm the queen instead with a quick capture and a pawn push to f5, leaving very little protection around the king and opening the way for the knight and queen to quickly invade.
17...g6 18.Bxc8 Rxc8 19.Qg4??
I guess my blindness is not as bad as others. Here the temptation of forking the knight and rook proves too powerful for my dad to resist. When temptation comes, be sure that God will provide a way out.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV
Just taking the knight first and then forking the rook and bishop is sufficient to distract my queen away from the king and end the attack. It takes a lot of self-control to fight temptation and do what is right, but first you have to realize that chess is not just a mental challenge but a spiritual battle as well.
The Blind Leading The Blind
[White "Anderson, Douglas"]
[Black "Anderson, Paul"]
1. e4 c6 2. b3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bb2 Nc6 5. d3 e5 6. Nd2 Nf6 7.
Ngf3 Bc5 8. h3 O-O 9. Be2 Re8 10. O-O e4 11. Nh2 e3 12. fxe3 Rxe3 13. Kh1 Qe8
14. Bf3 Nd4 15. Ng4 Nxg4 16. Bxg4 Qe7 17. Rc1 g6 18. Bxc8 Rxc8 19. Qg4 f5 0-1
This Week In Chess
On May 3rd, the CSCC had 5 members in attendance. The participants played in a double Round Robin, Speed tournament (RR, G5). I was on a roll and took clear 1st. Here are the results:
8.0 Paul Anderson
4.0 Jeff Fox
4.0 Alex Torres
4.0 Mark McGough
0.0 Kenton Lloyd
Host A Chess Student
By Dorit White ([email protected])
I found your cool website by googling "Chess Colorado Springs" - I have an unusual request for you. I am a coordinator for a local high school exchange organization, and I am looking for a host family for a young girl (16) from Italy and a boy (15) from Germany who love chess. We like to match our students with families who share a passion with them - those are the best matches usually!- and I was wondering if you could help me get in touch with chess families, who would be interested in our high school exchange program? The students stay here for one school year, and the requirements are simple: the family has to be at least a man and woman (no kids on their own required), and they have to provide room and board on a volunteer basis.