Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hyper-Accelerated Swiss Gambit

With an 0-3 start, it would be easy for the Cobras to throw in the towel. But since no one on the team can speak Spanish, there has not yet been a cry for "No mas." Player/Manager Craig Jones held a closed door meeting after Monday's loss, and sources say he instructed his team that his "Hyper-Accelerated Swiss Gambit" strategy has worked to perfection, and that a "torrent of tactics and novelties" are about to be unleased on the league. So before the league writes off the defending Eastern League Champions, a closer look at sporting history and other international conflicts reveals that all is not lost.

In 1982, not one but two NFL teams made the playoffs with a 4-5 record. Sure, the season was shortened due to strike, but there remains some chance that USCL Commissioner Greg Shahade may not be able to renew the USCL Players Association Collective Bargaining Agreement before the season ends. Or perhaps he will even adopt the ridiculous logic of Major League Baseball in 1981, which allowed the 50-53 Kansas City Royals into the playoffs due to their slightly-above mediocre second half record? With all this in mind, perhaps a couple of wins would be good enough to sneak Carolina into the post season. (And don't forget, in 2006, Carolina pulled out all the stops in posting a 4-6 regular season mark to get in, aided by FM Matt Hoekstra's fiber-optic freeze gun, which paralyzed his opponent's right hand in time pressure.)

This season, the week two loss to longtime nemesis Boston hurt the team, dropping Carolina to 0-5-1 lifetime against the Blitz. But the Cobras can draw inspiration from France, who went 0-5-4 against the Huguenots, and that was before GM Maxime Vachier-Legrave had even learned to move the pieces.

Ten years after the NFL's strike-shortened season, the San Diego Chargers made the playoffs after beginning 0-4. A year after that, in 1993 the San Jose Sharks began 0-8-1 before rebounding to play in the spring. And the history of chess in North Carolina is surely as storied as the history of hockey in California.

The Cobras wrap up the northeast corridor beginning of their season with a week four matchup versus Queens, who is also scuffling after an 0-2-1 start. Lead Pioneer blogger and board four WFM Elizabeth "Lizzie" Vicary will no doubt be licking her lip gloss at the chance to get off the schnide both personally and as a team, but a team of Cobra supporters plan to unleash a flurry of in-game New Yorker and Economist articles to Vicary's inbox, in a manoeuvre Carolina supporters are calling the "The Seymour Hersh - Hendrik Hertzberg offensive." Vicary's conclusions and metaphors will likely be over the heads of most chess fans, but Tarheel agents hope her multitasking skills are as unrefined as the Carolina Panthers' passing game.

Long memories create long seasons. The Cobras, 2009 Part Deux, begins next week. And anyway, was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

- Mike Klein

Friday, September 11, 2009

Week 2 - Computer Analysis

Rybka 3 on Intel i7 overclocked to 4GHz - 3 minutes per move

Jones,Craig (2275) - Krasik,Ilya (2252) [D45]
Boston vs Carolina Internet Chess Club (2), 09.09.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Nf6 5.Nf3 dxc4
6.Bxc4 b5 7.Bd3 Nbd7 8.0-0 Bb7 9.e4 b4
10.Na4 c5 11.e5 Nd5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Bb5+ Nd7
14.Bg5 Qa5 15.Nd4 a6 16.Bxd7+ Kxd7 17.a3 score +0.58)
(17. Rc1 score = +0.74 = 74% of a pawn)
(17. f4 h6 18. Bh4 g6 19. a3 Rc8 20. axb4 Bxb4
21. Rf3 Ke8 22. Nc3 Qb6 23. Ne4 Kf8 24. Bf2
score +0.37 = 37% of a pawn 26 ply search).
17. ... Rc8
18.Qf3 score = + 0.32
(18. Qb3 or ab +0.58)
18. ... Ke8 19.axb4 Qxb4 20.Rfd1 score = +0.08 8% of a pawn
20. ... h6 21.Qh3?? score -1.39 = white down 139% of a pawn
(21. Be3 g5 22. Qg3 Bg7 23. b3 Rg8 24. Rac1 Rxc1 25. Bxc1 Qa5
26. Bd2 Qc7 27. Nf3 Ne7 score +0.09 = 9% of a pawn for white)
21. ... hxg5
22.Qxh8 Nf4 23.f3 score = -4.25 white down approx 4.25 pawns
(23. Nc3 score = -1.39)
23. ...Rc4 24.Nb3 Rc2 25.Nac5 Rxg2+
26.Kh1 Ng6 27.Qh3 g4
28.Nxa6?? score= -9.32 white down more than a queen
(28. Rd8+ Kxd8 29. 29. Nxb7 (29. Qxg2?? Bxf3 30. Qxb3
fxg4 score= -2.48)
28. ... gxh3 29.Nxb4 Bxb4
30.Rac1 Rxb2 31.Nd4 Nxe5 32.Rb1 Bc3 33.Nb5 Bxf3+
34.Kg1 Rg2+

Friday, September 4, 2009

Week 1

Hi Everyone!

Week one was tough but some bright spots here and there.

First our new location in the Perkins Library was well liked by everyone!

It's a Great location!

On the playing front we had high expectations for the match and I think we felt we would win it so losing comes all the more difficult.

Cobras go down 3-1 to the Baltimore Kingfishers.

Jonathan Schroer did a great job preparing for and then playing his 2650ish level player who is a “nasty strong”, as I heard someone describe him, German GM Leonid Kritz. Jonathan played the opening better and reached several winning positions and the game eventually ended in a perpetual for Kitz who was lucky to escape. I was just informed by the league that Jonathan Schroer has won the upset of the week prize!! Great Job Jonathan.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 a6 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Bf4 Nc6 7.Rc1 Nh5 8.Be5 f6 9.Bg3 e5 10.e3 Nxg3 11.hxg3 Be6 12.Qb3 Qd7 13.a3 Rd8 14.Na4 Bg4 15.Be2 e4 16.Ng1 Bxe2 17.Nxe2 Na5 18.Qc2 Nc4 19.Nf4 b5 20.Nc3 Nb6 21.Ng6 Rg8 22.Nxf8 Kxf8 23.Rxh7 Kf7 24.Qe2 Rc8 25.Qh5+ Kf8 26.Ne2 Rxc1+ 27.Nxc1 Qc8 28.Qd1 Nc4 29.Qc2 Kf7 30.Ne2 Rh8 31.Rxh8 Qxh8 32.Nf4 Qh1+ 33.Ke2 g5 34.Nxd5 Qxg2 35.b3 Qf3+ 36.Ke1 Qh1+ 37.Ke2 Qh5+ 38.Ke1 Qh1+ 39.Ke2 Qf3+ 40.Ke1 Qh1+ Game drawn by repetition 1/2-1/2

Since I was the only board where we had an advantage rating wise it was expected that to have success I have to win. I used too much time in the opening (thinking and dealing with computer connectivity issues as well) so after 4 moves had lost 40 minutes ugh! The gamed went back and forth but not dramatically so and I finally reached a solid ending edge (-.48 rybka) only to immediately blunder a pawn and thinking back had I not thrown away so much time in the opening, very foolish, maybe the ending would have been different hard to know. I was able to work up counter play in an ending and then missed a fairly simple win on move 39. See if you can find it! After this the game is level and I try everything I can to win a dead drawn ending probably reaching a lost ending at one point but eventually it was drawn… not good the 4th board is where points have to be collected..

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.e5 Ne4 7.Qxd4 f5 8.Bf4 Nc6 9.Qe3 d5 10.exd6 e5 11.Bg3 Qxd6 12.Na3 a6 13.Rd1 Qc5 14.Qxc5 Nxc5 15.h3 Na4 16.Rd2 Bf6 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.Bxe5 Bxe5 19.Re2 Nxb2 20.Rxe5+ Kd8 21.0-0 Re8 22.Rd5+ Kc7 23.Bb3 Re2 24.Nc4 Nxc4 25.Bxc4 Re4 26.Bb3 Be6 27.Rd2 Re8 28.Rfd1 Re7 29.Kh2 Bd7 30.Bd5 R4e5 31.Bxb7 Ba4 32.Rb1 Bb5 33.Bf3 Re1 34.Rbb2 Rc1 35.Rbc2 Ree1 36.Kg3 g5 37.Bd5 h5 38.c4 h4+ 39.Kf3 Bd7 40.Rxc1 Rxc1 41.Rd3 g4+ 42.Kf4 Rf1 43.Rd2 g3 44.Kf3 Bc6 45.Ke3 Bxd5 46.cxd5 f4+ 47.Kxf4 Rxf2+ 48.Ke3 Rxd2 49.Kxd2 Kd6 50.Kc3 Kxd5 51.Kd3 Kc5 52.Kc3 Kb5 53.Kb3 Ka5 54.Ka3 Kb6 55.Kb4 a5+ 56.Kc4 a4 57.Kb4 a3 58.Kxa3 Kc5 59.Kb3 Kd4 60.a4 Ke3 61.a5 Kf2 62.a6 Kxg2 63.a7 Kxh3 64.a8Q g2 65.Qf3+ Kh2 66.Qf4+ Kh3 67.Qf2 g1Q 68.Qxg1 Black stalemated 1/2-1/2

Oleg’s game was a very well played hard fought. Reviewing it with Rybka today the level of play was exceptionally high. Until move 45 both players are playing either top moves or near top moves the entire way with white maintaining a normal slight edge but black is fine. I think at this point time pressure kicks in and the play just becomes “edgy” for both sides. Blacks 46th...Qc6 appears losing to Re8 but this is very difficult to find and is not played. After 46...f6 the game retains is character of white having a slight edge but hard pressed to demonstrate.

Whites 47th Qe4 is inaccurate and now Oleg has Nb4 but in time pressure saying these things may not mean much it’s just too difficult finding the right solutions. After 47...Nb4 white has to find 48Qf4! Or black takes over the advantage. After Qf4 the position seems dead equal.

Time pressure just takes over and for the next several moves both players miss chances.

By move 51 its = but still tricky for both sides. 51...Qd3 set white tricky problems but Oleg’s Qe2 is fine. Blacks 52nd is the moment of truth. If Oleg finds 52...Ne4! he may very well have won it’s a difficult position for white to face practically with the threat of Rf5 looming but if white plays correctly its just equal. After Whites 53rd Qd2 black loses the c2 button and faces a probably hopeless task for the next 35+ moves finally going down on move 89.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.g3 d6 8.Bg2 Bg7 9.Nf3 Nbd7 10.Rb1 0-0 11.0-0 Qa5 12.Bd2 Rfb8 13.Qc2 Nb6 14.b3 Qa3 15.Bc1 Qa5 16.Bd2 Qa3 17.Bc1 Qa5 18.Rd1 Ne8 19.Bd2 Qa3 20.Bc1 Qa5 21.Bb2 Nc7 22.a4 c4 23.b4 Qxb4 24.Nd4 Bb7 25.Nc6 Bxc6 26.dxc6 Qa5 27.Nb5 Nxb5 28.axb5 c3 29.c7 Rc8 30.Bxa8 Nxa8 31.Bc1 Qxc7 32.Be3 Nb6 33.Bd4 Bxd4 34.Rxd4 e5 35.Rd3 d5 36.e3 Qc4 37.Rc1 d4 38.exd4 exd4 39.Rcd1 Qxb5 40.Rxd4 Kg7 41.Rc1 Rc5 42.Qd1 Nd5 43.Re4 h5 44.Qd4+ Kh7 45.Re5 c2 46.h4 Qc6 47.Qe4 Kh6 48.Re8 Qb5 49.Qe5 Nf6 50.Qf4+ Kg7 51.Rb8 Qe2 52.Rd8 Re5 53.Qd2 Ng4 54.Rxc2 Qf3 55.Rc3 Qf5 56.Qd4 Qb1+ 57.Kg2 Qb7+ 58.Rf3 Qe4 59.Qxe4 Rxe4 60.Rd2 Re7 61.Ra2 Rd7 62.Rfa3 Rb7 63.Ra7 Rb5 64.Re2 Rf5 65.f3 Nf6 66.Ree7 Nd5 67.Reb7 Ne3+ 68.Kf2 Nd1+ 69.Ke2 Nc3+ 70.Ke3 Nd5+ 71.Kf2 Nc3 72.Rd7 Ne4+ 73.Kg2 Nc5 74.Re7 Nd3 75.Rad7 Nc5 76.Ra7 Nd3 77.Ra3 Kf8 78.Re3 Ne5 79.Ra8+ Kg7 80.Ra7 Kg8 81.Rc3 Rf6 82.Ra5 Nd7 83.Rc7 Nf8 84.Ra8 Kg7 85.Rcc8 Nh7 86.Rh8 Rb6 87.Rag8+ Kh6 88.g4 Rb2+ 89.Kf1 Black resigns 1-0

Ron’s games was a slightly unusual exchange Caro but seemed normal with white having a small edge through most of the early going. Though Ron’s 12 Qc2 is fine with white maintain a small edge the computer shows a very elegant idea. (can comps be elegant??) 12Nf1 Nf4 13Bf4 Qf4 14 Ne3! And white maintains a decent small edge with tricks on d5 looming.. A very interesting idea.14...Rd8 15Qb3! E6 16 Ng4 and white has an edge. Through move 16 it’s either equal or white has a tiny advantage. I am not sure what is whites correct 16th move is but more important than a given move is finding a plan and that is even less clear to me. Eventually black will play e6 and rab8 and b5 a5 rec8 etc with a clear plan. The position is fine for white but finding what to do in this position is unclear so from a practical perspective it’s tough. 16 Ne5? Is just a easily overlooked tactical mistake I certainly didn’t see what was wrong with it specifically though I didn’t know if in general it was good. Black has a nice tactic and GM Kaufman finds it. 17..d4! a very nice shot. The point is seen with 18cd Qc2 19. Bc2 Bh6 picks off an exchange.

Ron put up a bitter resistance and at times I thought we would see some Simpson magic but Kaufman put out all the brush fires before they could get roaring...

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.h3 g6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.Re1 0-0 9.c3 Qc7 10.Bg5 Re8 11.Nbd2 Nh5 12.Qc2 Nf4 13.Bxf4 Qxf4 14.Re3 Qc7 15.Rae1 Bd7 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.dxe5 d4 18.R3e2 dxc3 19.bxc3 Rac8 20.c4 Red8 21.Nf3 Be6 22.Qb1 Rxd3 23.Qxd3 Bxc4 24.Qe3 Bxe2 25.Qxe2 e6 26.Qe3 b5 27.h4 h5 28.Rd1 a5 29.Qe4 b4 30.Rd4 Bh6 31.g4 Qc2 32.Qb7 hxg4 33.Rxg4 Qc6 34.Qxc6 Rxc6 35.h5 Rc2 36.hxg6 Rxa2 37.Rh4 Bg7 38.gxf7+ Kxf7 39.Rc4 b3 40.Kg2 b2 41.Rc7+ Kg6 42.Rb7 a4 43.Rb6 Kf5 44.Rb5 a3 45.Nd4+ Kg6 White resigns 0-1

We will reload for next week when we face what some say is the strongest team in the league Boston should be a lot of fun!

If you live in the Triangle area and want to come analyze the games while they are being played please do!!

Craig Jones