Magnus Carlsen, the strongest player in chess history, rated approximately 75 points higher than the second-highest rated player, Levon Aronian, decisively defeated World Champion Vishy Anand by a score of 6 ½ - 3 ½ in a match held in Chennai, India, to become the 16th world chess champion.
Carlsen won the match on Nov. 25, eight days short of his 23rd birthday. Garry Kasparov, who was only 22 years, six months and 27 days old when he won the world championship from fellow Soviet player Anatoly Karpov in 1985 holds the record as the youngest world champion.
Carlsen has been the top player or close to the top for several years; if he had chosen to compete in the 2010 world championship cycle, he might have been able to become the challenger in 2012, and might have become the youngest world champion in history.
Kasparov, who was still ranked number one in the world when he retired from chess in 2005 (he has since become very active in Russian politics, opposing Vladimir Putin), attended the 2013 match, and described Carlsen, as the “Harry Potter of Chess.”
The Nov. 25 match was surprisingly one-sided: After four draws, Carlsen won the fifth and sixth games in complicated games that Anand might have been able to draw with best play. After two more draws, Anand, desperately needing a victory, played a sharp attacking line in the ninth game, hoping to find a mating attack on the kingside.
Carlsen defended well, and the game should probably have ended in a draw but Anand blundered and lost. Trailing 6-3, Anand would have had to win all of the three remaining games to tie the match to force a tiebreaker.
In the 10th game, Anand, playing Black, offered to repeat moves on move 21, which would have enabled Carlsen to obtain a draw and win the match. However, Carlsen, feeling that he had a better position, declined the offer and played for a win, and the game was not drawn until the 65th move, when both players did not have sufficient mating material.
On a personal note, I was somewhat inspired by Carlsen’s action.
Last Sunday, in the last round of the National Chess Congress, my opponent, rated 250 points higher than I, offered me a draw, which, had I accepted, would have enabled me to achieve my long-standing goal of regaining my Expert rating. However, I believed that I was winning, and rather than accept the draw, kept playing. Unfortunately, I lost.
All of the games from the championship match are readily available on the Internet: I recommend the site, chessvibes.com, but the official match site and the Wikipedia page of “World Chess Championship 2013” have them as well.
Carlsen said, “I would like to take some responsibility for [Anand’s] mistakes, that’s for sure. It’s been that way for me for a long time. I just play and…People crack under pressure, even in World Championships.”
Anand acknowledged, “My mistakes didn’t happen by themselves; clearly, he managed to provoke them.” Anand attributed his loss to his failure to execute his own strategy.
The match was sponsored by the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, at a cost of $6 million, including prizes of $1.53 million for the winner and $1.02 million for the loser. The match organizers were given high praise by everyone for the professional way in which the match was conducted.
GM and chess journalist Ian Rogers noted that the state chief minister, Jayalalithaa Jayaram, a former movie star, may be a future candidate for Indian prime minster, and that the sponsorship of a match featuring the Indian national hero Anand may support those ambitions.
Although his qualification for the world championship match might seem to have been inevitable, Carlsen qualified for the match by narrowly winning a double round-robin tournament against seven of the strongest players in the world, winning the tournament on tiebreaks against former champion Vladimir Kramnik (see “Carlsen Wins Candidates, Will Challenge Anand,” Enterprise, April 4, 2013).
Even before the match, Carlsen was nominated by Time magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in the world, a rare accolade for a chess player. This year, New in Chess produced a second edition of a 2004 book by Carlsen’s trainer, International Master Simen Agdestein: How Magnus Carlsen Became the Youngest Chess Grandmaster in the World.
The book has been highly recommended by the renowned chess teacher Jeremy Silman as an important book for recreational players to learn how to study and improve their game.
Anand was interviewed five days after the end of the match, and acknowledged that he had been completely outplayed. He said that he “could barely move a muscle” for three days after the match.
Although he said that he was not keen to retire, he talked at length about the fact that he would have more time to spend with his young son and said, “Chess will cease to be the thing that completely dominates my thoughts and … now I will be able to enjoy more time with my family, pursue my hobbies, do other things as well… So I think chess will find a new place in my life.”
Nevertheless, Anand, as the just dethroned champion, is automatically seeded into the qualifying cycle for the next world championship match, and he is likely to continue playing for some years.
Anand’s seven-year reign as World Champion is reminiscent of the 15-year reign of Mikhail Botvinnik, from 1948-1963 (with two interruptions — Fédération internationale des échecs rules permitted Botvinnik to contest and win two rematches, after he had lost his championship to Vassily Smyslov in 1957 and Mikhail Tal in 1960).
Both Botvinnik and Anand, as champions, did not play in very many tournaments, choosing instead to focus their chess energies on the title matches. Such a strategy was more effective for Botvinnik, since there were fewer players of world-championship caliber in the 1950s, and he was not hurt by the lack of top-level competition.
Botvinnik was arguably the strongest player of his time, while Anand, rated 100 points lower than Carlsen, is ranked only ninth in the world today.
This week’s problem
Kenneth Howard’s 1962 book, One Hundred Years of the American Two-Move Chess Problem, characterized “the ideal American two-mover [as] an attractively set composition, illustrating an interesting strategic idea, introduced by a subtle keymove.”
By convention, these problems are White to mate in two moves, and the first move is neither a capture, nor a check. Although the possible moves are limited, a good problem is subtle and, after solving it, one appreciates the beauty and artistry of the composer.
The problem below, composed by a postal worker and famous chess composer named Otto Wurzberg, appeared on the cover of the inaugural issue of Chess Review magazine in 1933, which continued to run problems on its cover until 1941.
Alexis de Toqueville is best known for his classic work, Democracy in America, which was published in 1835 after his two-year tour of the United States. Toqueville had persuaded the French government to send him to the United States on the pretext that he was going to study American methods of handling convicted criminals. He is reported to have said that the measurement of a society is the nature of its prisons.
It would be interesting to see what Toqueville would say about the Special Housing Units of New York State correctional facilities. About 5,000 inmates are locked in cells approximately 100 square feet, 23 hours a day, and are allowed out only for “recreation” in a small pen.
Although the inmates can communicate with other inmates by yelling across the cellblock, they are not permitted to participate in any programs, and access to the outside world is severely limited. Some of the inmates are sent to SHU for months, if not years; many of them have serious mental health problems, or develop them as a result of the stress of the solitary confinement.
Nevertheless, some inmates in SHU, known as “the Box,” play chess, usually for postage stamps as they are not permitted access to money. Although few, if any, inmates have ever played in formally recognized tournaments, the quality of play can be surprisingly strong. Some players demonstrate a keen sense of tactics, even though, at times, their knowledge of theory may be weak.
Some years ago, I played a correspondence game against an inmate whom I was advising on legal matters. Although he was not very good, he did persuade me to play a game against another inmate, Damian Coppedge, who goes by the name of Focus, who is a particularly interesting man and a very good player.
Focus was convicted of manslaughter in 1998, at the age of 21, and he is presently serving 19 to 22 years. In prison, he has become a committed Buddhist and an accomplished writer and poet.
Over the last two years, we have been playing four games: Although I have won two of them, and will almost certainly win a third, all of the games have been hard-fought, and Focus has demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the openings, imaginative and creative play, and a good fighting spirit. The fourth game, which is now in its 31st move, is an extremely complicated tactical game, and it is by no means clear who is winning.
Focus was sent to the SHU in the Southport Correctional Facility as the result of a fight with another inmate, which he felt he could not avoid. Southport is one of New York State’s two “super max” facilities; all of the inmates are in SHU.
Apparently, despite the desperateness of the inmate’s situations, there is still an active chess culture. Focus sent me two games that he played against another inmate — one that he won and one that he lost — and a third game, against an inmate named Foots, who introduced himself by asking, “Do you know anything about chess?” This was followed by a boast that he would “crush” Focus in any "book games."
Mr. Foots claimed to have been a very successful player in New York City’s Washington Square Park and to have memorized the standard reference work, Modern Chess Openings.
Focus – Foots,
October 6, 2013
1.e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 de 4. N:e4 Nd7 5. Bd3 Ngf6 6. Ng5 e6 7. N1f3 Bd6 8. Qe2 h6 9. Ne4 N:e4 10. Q:e4 Nf6 11.Qe2 c5 12. dc B:c5 13. Bd2 Qb6 14. O-O-O.
All of the moves up to now have been played by strong players, and the game is still within Houdini’s book lines: somewhat remarkable for a game played between two inmates without formal chess training.
Now Houdini indicates at least four master games with 14.. Bd7 15. Ne5, and White has a small advantage. However, Mr. Foots wisecracked, “Let me gobble up this pawn you don’t want,” and played 14..B:f2?. This is a mistake. 15 Rhf1 Bc5. White’s lead in development and open lines now give him a significant advantage, even a pawn behind.
16. Bb5+? and Focus gives it away. 16 Ne5 would have maintained White’s advantage. 16.. Bd7 17. B:d7 N:d7.
Houdini says the position is equal, but now Focus tries an unsound sacrifice, which should have lost. 18 Ba5? Q:a5 19. R:d7 K:d7 20 N:e5+. This kind of hyper-aggressive chess is not unusual for prison chess — sometimes, as here, it actually works. If 20.. Kc8, 21 N:f7 Rf8 22. Q:e6+ Kb8, White would be down a Rook for a pawn and could resign, but Mr. Foots played 20..Ke8. and lost after 21. N:f7 Rf8? (Kd7 or Ke7 would have kept the game going) 22. Q:e6+ Be7 23. Nd6+ Kd8 24. R:f8+ B:f8 25 N:b7+ Resigns.
Focus won 10 stamps, and the satisfaction of shutting up someone he described as “full of bombastic b.s.”
The three largest local chess clubs — Albany, Schenectady, and Saratoga — have all commenced their championship tournaments.
Thirteen players are competing in Schenectady, which will be directed by Phil Sells, including former champions Carl Adamec and John Phillips. Two of the participants from last year, Carlos Varela and Zachary Calderon, are now established Class A players, and are legitimate contenders, along with Jon Leisner, Mike Mockler, and myself.
Albany, like Schenectady, has adopted a round-robin format for its 16-player tournament. The highest rated player is 2012 champion Dean Howard, an Expert who will be challenged by seven A players: last year’s co-champion Mockler, Gordon Magat, John Jones, Tim Wright, John Lack, new member Jeremy Berman, and myself, as well as tournament director Glen Perry, whose rating is now just below the Class A threshold at 1782. The Albany tournament also features two new unrated players, Mahmoud Ramadan and Will Stephenson.
The Saratoga championship will be a double round-robin tournament with seven players, including defending Champion Jonathan Feinberg, last year, Schenectady Champion David Finnerman (who could not play in the Schenectady championship this year due to scheduling conflicts), Gary Farrell, Glen Gausewitz, Bill Little, Josh Kuperman, and David Connors.
This week’s problem
Wilhelm (later William) Steinitz (1836 -1900) was the first undisputed world champion, winning the title either in 1866 against Adolph Anderssen or in 1886 against Johannes Zuckertort, before losing it to Emmanuel Lasker in 1894.
He took breaks from competitive chess, and his career as a chess journalist was sometimes marked by controversy due to his bluntness, but he made a modest living as a chess professional, both before and after he moved to the United States in 1883.
He played two matches for the World Championship against the Russian Mikhail Chigorin in Havana, in 1889 and again in 1892. One of the more famous games of the second match is the 4th game, where Steinitz has an obvious forced mate after a hard to find first move.
The match between the Albany and Schenectady chess club is one of the highlights of the Capital District chess calendar, and a good cross section of the Capital District chess community participates. Since several strong players are members of both clubs, and it is common for “ringers” from Rensselaer County or Saratoga to play for one club or the other, winning the match does not confer significant bragging rights, and the match is usually a very friendly affair.
This year, the match was contested on Oct. 3 on 11 boards at a time limit of 90 minutes per player for the game. Albany ended a two-year drought by winning the match, 6-5.
Last year, Schenectady was propelled to victory by sweeping the top four boards, 4-0. This year, Albany, scored 4-1 on the top five boards to secure the match win. Five of the six players who competed in the finals of the Schenectady championship participated in the match: two played for Albany (Mike Mockler and myself) while three played for Schenectady (Dave Finnerman, Carl Adamec, and Carlos Varela). Mockler, Finnerman and myself, as well as Cory Northrup, Bill Little, and Jon Leisner are members of both clubs.
The Board One match-up between Albany’s Dean Howard and Schenectady’s Peter Michelman was very even for 15 moves when Michelman made a very weak move, which permitted a winning attack.
The games on Board Two (Jeremy Berman – Carl Adamec) and Board Three (Gordon Magat – Jon Leisner) were described by Eastern New York Chess Association blogger Bill Little: “Careful play by both sides [led] to logical draws.”
On Board Four, Mockler and Schenectady Champion played a complicated game, typical of their usual match-ups; this time won by Mockler.
I won an interesting game against John Phillips on Board Five (see below). On Board Six, Bill Little, playing Black, established equality fairly quickly, and the game was drawn.
On Board Seven, Bill Townsend (who also directed the match) won a Rook for a Bishop, and held on to win against Glen Perry. On Board Eight, Zachary Calderon defeated Cory Northrup.
On Board Nine, Mike Laccetti, rated 1625, almost upset Carlos Varela, rated 1839; Laccetti was up a piece when his clock ran out and he forfeited. On Board Ten, a rapidly improving Tom Clark drew Schenectady President Richard Chu.
Finally, on Board 11, Albany President Arthur Alowitz defeated Joel Miranti, rated 500 points lower. Last year, Schenectady’s large rating advantage on the lowest board gave the club a relatively easy point: This year, Albany had the edge.
Phillips – Henner
1. d4 f5, 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. c4 d5 5. Nf3 Nbd7 (c6 is more common) 6. cd (0-0 is probably better) ed 7. 0-0 Bd6 8.Nc3 c6 9. Qc2 Ne4 10. Nd2 Ndf6 11. f4? (The position had been pretty even — now Houdini says Black is up 0.3 because the Knight on e4 can not be dislodged) 0-0 12. Nf3 N:c3 13. bc Ne4 14. Ne5 Qc7 15. c4 Be6 16. c5 Be7.
According to Houdini, White is now slightly better. 17. a4 I had been expecting Bd2, and considered offering a draw soon thereafter. The advanced knights cancel each other, and I thought it would be difficult for either side to make any progress. a4 may be OK, but I thought I had some play now.
Qa5 18. Rb1 Rab8 19. Rd1 Houdini says White still is up .2, but the fireworks are about to begin. I had been threatening to play Qd2 or Qc3, and try to infiltrate White’s position. Both John and I thought Black had an initiative, and John thought a long time before playing Rd1.
After the game, he wondered if there were any good moves for White here. While he was thinking, I analyzed my reply, and concluded that Rd1 loses for White – as it turns out I was wrong. I thought for about ten minutes and played Nc3, and after 20. Bd2, I immediately responded with N:e2+.
Now Houdini says that White is up 1.7! After 21. Kf2 N:d4 White is down two pawns, but both John and I had missed 22. Qa2 Q:c5 23 Bb4,where White regains material and keeps the advantage. But after 22. B:a5 N:c2 23. Nd3 (I had expected Bc7, which may be a little stronger) Bd8 (23..Na3 was significantly better, because 23 ..Bd8 permits White to minimize the damage with 24. B:d8). 24. Bc3 d4 Black is up two pawns and has a positional advantage – Houdini says Black is up 2.1).
25. Bd2 Bf6 26 Ba5? Ne3 27. Re1 Bd5 (Bc4 was stronger) 28. B:d5 N:d5 29. Re6 Kf7 30. Rd6 Rfe8 31. Nb4? (this is a very bad move – but it creates a lot of complications and we both had less than ten minutes to play. The correct response, which puts the game away is Nc3. I suspected as much during the game, but didn’t have the time to calculate everything, so I played the safe Be7 32. Rd7 Ke6, and after one last desperate try: 33. N:c6 K:d7 34. N:b8 R:b8 35. Rb5 Kc6, White resigned.
There is an episode of the old TV sitcom, Leave it to Beaver, where the sleazy Eddie Haskell tries to cheat Wally Cleaver in chess by removing a Bishop when Wally is not looking. Chess players, of course, know that this is absurd; any chess player would be sufficiently aware of the position to notice such an action immediately.
Chess, unlike say poker or bridge, is a game of perfect information; both players have complete and full knowledge of the board, and success is determined solely by one’s skill in moving pieces on the board.
So, one might think it is impossible to cheat. However, now that chess computers are stronger than the best human players, cheating, especially in high-level competitions, is becoming a serious problem.
Last month, a German International Master, Jens Kotainy, was disqualified from a strong European tournament, after the director had observed that he was reaching into his pocket to check his cell phone after every move, and the cell phone was observed emitting vibrations that could have been a code.
The problem was discussed at length in a January 2013 letter from University of Buffalo Computer Science Professor Kenneth Regan (who is also an International Master) to the Association of Chess Professionals.
Professor Regan analyzed the results of the 2012 Zadar Open, and in particular the allegations against the Fide (Fédération internationale des échecs) Master Borislav Ivanov, who scored 8-1 to win the tournament with a performance rating of 2697. He concluded that there was a strong correspondence between the moves made by F.M. Ivanov and a computer program and the odds of such a correspondence were 1,000,000 to 1.
Regan also strongly stated that the statistical evidence of such a correlation was secondary to actual observations of cheating, but nevertheless he believed that such evidence had a role to play. Indeed, it was precisely that statistical correlation between computer moves and the moves played that led the tournament director to investigate I.M. Kotainy.
During the course of a chess game, a player is not supposed to receive any assistance from other players, have access to chess books, or, of course, use a computer. In a recent tournament, my friend Alan LeCours was accused of cheating by his opponent because his opponent had heard me asking LeCours how his game was going even though we did not discuss the position, and, of course, I did not and would not have made any comments or suggestions about moves to play.
In the early 1980s, a friend of mine from college, who was a tournament director himself, reported an incident of cheating that resulted in an International Master’s disqualification from the World Open. The I.M., once known for his encyclopedic knowledge of the openings, stepped out of the tournament room and visited a bookseller and was observed leafing through a book describing the unusual line of a particular opening that he was playing.
However, such incidents were rare; generally, strong players do not need, and could not get, meaningful assistance during the course of the game.
Cheating in chess did not usually involve activity at the board.
To be sure, there were incidents of players agreeing to throw games, to enable other players to win tournaments or achieve “norms” for titles. (I have heard rumors that at least one United States Grandmaster in the 1980s achieved his title by such arrangements.) And some players would lose games on purpose to artificially lower their ratings, so they could win large cash prizes in lower rated sections, a practice known as “sandbagging.”
The United States Chess Federation has adopted rating “floors,” 200 points below a player’s highest rating, in a generally successful effort to stop sandbagging. However, what took place at the board was usually open and honest.
Computers changed all that. For example, the standard time control in top-level international tournaments was 40 moves in 2 ½ hours, and games used to be adjourned after five hours. If the game had not been completed, the players would customarily analyze the position overnight, sometimes with the help of an assistant.
This meant that players competing for world championships depended heavily on a very good grandmaster assistant, or, in the case of certain Soviet players, a whole team of assistants. Today, there are no adjournments: Time controls have been adjusted so that the game is completed at one sitting.
Big-money postal chess tournaments are also a thing of the past: It is just too easy to cheat by using a computer to analyze a postal game.
However, the use of computers to cheat in over-the-board games is a relatively new phenomenon. The problem, if not addressed, could severely interfere with chess competition, not only at the highest levels, but also in recreational tournaments, where, say, a class B player accesses a computer to win a money prize in an Under-1800 section.
This week’s problem
Israel Albert (Al) Horowitz, a youthful chess hustler in Times Square, who went to Wall Street, and then left it to devote himself to chess, was one of the top United States players in the 1930s and 1940s, but was best known as a promoter of the game, as the chess correspondent for The New York Times, a founder of Chess Review, and is the author of many chess books.
He “never took chess or himself too seriously: chess was a science, yes; a sport, of course; and art, to be sure; but it was also a business,” according to Burt Hochberg, a chess expert and author who died in 2006.
Horowitz was famous for being a “chess vagabond,” giving many simultaneous exhibitions. In the position below, he has forced mate in four moves. His opponent could have made a nonsensical move, which would have delayed the mate, but would still have permitted a pretty mate in six.
11. Q:g7+ K:g7, 12. Bh6+ Kg8, 13. Rg6+ hg, 14. Nf6 mate (if 13…fg 14 Nf6 is still mate). The nonsensical move 13.. Qg7 is met by 14. R:g7+ Kf8, 15 R:g8+ K:g8, 16 Nf6 mate.
Alexander Ivanov, a veteran Grandmaster from Massachusetts, drew his last game against fellow Grandmaster Joel Benjamin to score 5-1 (four wins and two draws) to win the $1,500 first prize in the 135th New York State chess championship, America’s longest running chess tournament.
Grandmaster Alexander Stripunsky (who lost to Ivanov in Round 5) and Benjamin tied with Nicholas Checa, Stanislav Busygin, and Igor Nikolayev for second through sixth places with scores of 4 ½ - 1 ½.
However, the New York State championship is awarded to the highest scoring New York State resident and 11-year-old Checa, the 2013 New York State Junior High School Champion, edged Nikolayev on tiebreaks for the title.
Two years ago, three New York State high school students tied for first, but chess champions are getting younger. Checa is believed to be the youngest Champion in the long history of the tournament. In 2012, he placed 10th and won the prize for best score under 2200; a year later, his rating is up to 2296.
The under-2100 and under-1800 sections also show that chess is not a game dominated by older men: Both sections were won outright by women.
Rifeng Xia won the $1,000 first prize in the under-2100 section with a score of 5 ½ - ½. Her last-round opponent offered her a draw, and a certain share of the prize money, but she declined, and held on to win.
Sarah Ascherman won the $1,000 first prize in the under-1800 section with a score of 5-1, drawing against another woman, Xiaoyu Xu, in the last round; Xu finished in a five-way tie for second with 4 ½ - 1 ½.
Thomas Clark, of the Albany club, scored the largest rating gain of any local player, raising his rating from 1425 to 1587 as he won the $800 first prize in the under-1500 section with a score of 5 ½ - ½.
A local scholastic player, Ronghai Gong, won the $500 first prize in the under-1200 section with a score of 5 ½ - ½.
Two-hundred-and-eleven players competed in the tournament, held over Labor Day weekend at the Albany Marriott; at least 32 were from the Capital District.
In the Open section, local high school student Patrick Chi drew Grandmaster Benjamin and had a chance to tie for first if he had prevailed against his second grandmaster opponent, Stripunsky, in the last round. Although he lost and finished in a tie for eighth-to-ninth place, with 4-2, he still gained 33 rating points (up to 2253).
Ashok Aaron, the father of soon-to-be senior master (over 2400) Deepak and fast-rising Dilip, played in his first tournament for some time (not counting the Schenectady speed tournaments that he has dominated the last two years).
Although none of the 10 local players finished in the money in the under-2100 section, Phil Thomas and Phil Sells both finished with undefeated scores of 4-2, drawing their last-round game with each other.
Thomas raised his rating over 2000 to become the Capital District’s latest expert. Dilip Aaron’s score of 3 ½ - 2 ½ raised his rating 75 points, to 1899.
Nine year-old Martha Samadashvili from East Greenbush, who has only been playing tournament chess for a little more than a year, is now rated 1678, thirty-sixth among all United States 9-year-olds (third among girls) and is the 2013 North American Youth Under-10 Girls’ Champion.
Her score of 2-4 is misleading: She defeated a 1900 player who made the mistake of playing the risky Morra gambit against her. She had a won game against me, and played all of her opponents very tough. (I will write a feature article about her and her chess-playing family from Georgia in the near future.)
In the under-1800 section, junior player Michael Ny Cheng, a veteran of our local scholastic Make the Right Move tournaments, drew two Class B players and defeated another to raise his rating, 93 points, to 1560. Richard Moody, who tied for first in this section in 2012, drew two games against much lower rated opponents before withdrawing.
Local player results
Patrick Chi 4-2
Steven Taylor 2 ½ -3 ½
Ashok Aaron 2 ½ -3 ½
Dave Finnerman 2 ½ -3 ½
Peter Henner 2-4
Carl Adamec 1 ½ -4 ½
Phil Thomas 4-2
Phil Sells 4-2
Dilip Aaron 3 ½ - 2 ½
Michael Mockler 3-3
John Phillips 3-3
Kenneth Evans 2 ½ -3 ½
Koushak Pernati 2 ½ -3 ½
Scott Boyce 2 ½ -3 ½
Zachery Calderon 2 ½ -3 ½
Martha Samadashvili 2-4
Cory Northrup 3-3
Michael Ny Cheng 3-3
Jason Denham 2 ½ -3 ½
Elihue Hill 2-4
Arthur Alowitz 1 ½ - 4 ½
Richard Moody 1-5
Lew Millenbach 1-5
Thomas Clark 5 ½ - ½
Nitin Obla 4-2
Pranav Venkataraman 3 ½ -2 ½
Nigel Kent Galia 2 ½ - 3 ½
David Connors 2-4
Nate Stevens, 4-2
Ronghai Gong 5 ½ - ½
Jankarl Galia 2-4
Blaise Loya 2-4
Melodie Loya 1-5
This week’s problem
The great Samuel Reshevsky, who represented the United States in the six-man World Championship tournament in 1948 and whose chess career spanned seven decades, was a genuine chess prodigy. He was already famous for playing simultaneous exhibitions against Europe’s strongest players before he came to the United States and played chess full-time before finally starting school at the age of 12 in 1924.
Here the 8-year-old Reshevsky finds a neat way to win.
Solution: 28 Qg2 Q:g2+ 29 N:g2. Black resigns because if 29… R:e7, 30 R:a8 and White’s rook on e1 is protected by the Knight, and 29 Ra7 leaves Black a Knight behind after 30 R:e8.