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Winning Chess Moves: MVL vs. Aronian, Superbet Romania 2022

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave round 6 game against GM Levon Aronian at the Superbet Romania chess tournament came to a sudden conclusion after MVL (white) errored with 25. Kd4. How does Grandmaster Aronian (black) punish his opponent’s careless king advance?

Winning Chess Moves: Palatnik vs. Geller, 1980

Ukraine has long been a source of great chess and great chess players. As such, many famous chess games have been an all Ukrainian affair. Tonight’s winning chess move comes from one such game. Ukrainian-American chess Grandmaster Sam Palatnik played a beautiful winning move over fellow Odessa native Grandmaster Efim Geller at the URS TeamContinue reading “Winning Chess Moves: Palatnik vs. Geller, 1980”

Francisco Friday for 5/13/2022

Long established San Francisco Bay Area chess instructor Francisco Anchondo turns the tables on the Fried Liver Attack by using the good old Traxler Variation. [Event “Casual Blitz game”] [Date “2022.03.04”] [White “Anonymous”] [Black “Francisco Anchondo”] [Result “0-1”] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kf1 Qe7 7.Nxh8 d5 8.exd5 Nd4 9.c3Continue reading “Francisco Friday for 5/13/2022”

Chess Position Worth Sharing 144

Some games are just too good not to share so tonight’s puzzle comes with the entire game as an added bonus. “Too good” is actually quite an understatement. In fact, if I had to demonstrate Paul Morphy’s greatness in just one game, I might choose this one even over the more famous Opera Game. EspeciallyContinue reading “Chess Position Worth Sharing 144”

Chess Position Worth Sharing 143

The 1927 World Championship Match was a fiercely contested clash of chess styles. Jose Raul Capablanca had a straightforward playing style which, combined with his famously precise endgame play, was his recipe for success. Alexander Alekhine, on the other hand, preferred creating complexities and oftentimes employed risky attacks in route to his victories. Capablanca wasContinue reading “Chess Position Worth Sharing 143”

Francisco Friday for 5/6/2022

Attacking maestro Francisco Anchondo had the black pieces in the chess game below. As for white, “Le fue como a los perros en misa.” [Event “Casual Blitz game”] [Date “2022.03.02”] [White “Anonymous”] [Black “Francisco Anchondo”] [Result “0-1”] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 f5 4.d3 Nf6 5.Qc2 Bc5 6.Be2 Bb6 7.Na3 a6 8.b4 d6 9.Bb2 f4Continue reading “Francisco Friday for 5/6/2022”

Chess Position Worth Sharing 142

Tonight I showed Werner Springe vs Hans Gebhardt, Munich 1927 to my chess students at Gomes Elementary School in Fremont, California. This game, played by relatively unknown players, is a delightful choice for a chess lesson. In the position below, black has just played pawn to h6 threatening white’s bishop. What is white’s best move?

So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 45

A training game against my student took an interesting turn today. I had the black pieces and after some opening inaccuracies committed by my opponent, I believed I had the game well under control. However, I let down my guard and nearly lost the game in dramatic fashion. What is white’s threat and what isContinue reading “So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened! 45”

Winning Chess Moves: Le Quang Liêm vs. Jorden Van Foreest, 4/28/22

Chess Superstar GM Le Quang Liêm played a spectacular finish in route to his Round 7 victory over Dutch Grandmaster Jorden Van Foreest. In this first diagram, Van Foreest (black) has just played 23… Bd6 threatening white’s queen. GM Le Quang Liêm ignores his opponents’ formidable threat and replies with one of his own. GMContinue reading “Winning Chess Moves: Le Quang Liêm vs. Jorden Van Foreest, 4/28/22”

Francisco Friday for 4/29/22

His name is Francisco Anchondo. If you sit at his chessboard, prepare to be checkmated! [Event “Casual Blitz game”] [Date “2022.02.28”] [White “Anonymous”] [Black “Francisco Anchondo”] [Result “0-1”] 1.e4 e5 2.d3 Bc5 3.Be2 d6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.h3 f5 6.exf5 Bxf5 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Bg5 O-O 9.O-O Qd7 10.Nh2 Nd4 11.Bxf6 Rxf6 12.Bg4 Rg6 13.Ne4 Bb6 14.Ng3Continue reading “Francisco Friday for 4/29/22”

Chess Position Worth Sharing 141

“A popularly held theory about Paul Morphy is that if he returned to the chess world today and played our best contemporary players, he would come out the loser. Nothing is further from the truth. In a set match, Morphy would beat anybody alive today… Morphy was perhaps the most accurate chess player who everContinue reading “Chess Position Worth Sharing 141”

Winning Chess Moves: Koltanowski vs. Tholfsen, 1928

GM George Koltanowski, simply known as Kolty to his many friends, was the most passionate chess player I have ever met. He was always sharing his love for chess through his daily San Francisco chess column that ran for over five decades straight. His blindfold simultaneous exhibitions set world records and many new chess fansContinue reading “Winning Chess Moves: Koltanowski vs. Tholfsen, 1928”

Francisco Friday for 4/22/22

There’s not a lot of crossover between groups of chess and boxing aficionados despite the two activities sharing many similarities. For example, watching white’s queen movement at the end of this game brings to mind the famous Muhammad Ali quote, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Also, perhaps the best way to describeContinue reading “Francisco Friday for 4/22/22”

Some Coffee and a Danish Gambit

I felt as though I was following in the footsteps of Dr. Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn by playing the Danish Gambit at Rook-odds. However, Lindehn played without his queen’s rook while I did without my king’s. Additionally, instead of playing at the Café de la Régence, I was playing at Peet’s Coffee. Still it makesContinue reading “Some Coffee and a Danish Gambit”

Francisco Friday for 4/15/22

Francisco Anchondo has spent decades building his reputation as one of the East Bay’s most dangerous chess players. Oftentimes, Francisco is at the chessboard for one reason, and that is to deliver checkmate. Sit beside him long enough and you will learn the art of checkmating. [Event “Casual Blitz game”] [Date “2020.06.04”] [White “Francisco Anchondo”]Continue reading “Francisco Friday for 4/15/22”

A Perfect Equilibrium of Attack and Defense in Chess

We will never have be able to witness the greatest chess players from different historic eras playing matches against each other but that doesn’t stop me from musing about such matchups. Just imagine Paul Morphy launching an all out attack against the great defender Tigran Petrosian. I like to believe that, at least for oneContinue reading “A Perfect Equilibrium of Attack and Defense in Chess”

Francisco Friday for 4/01/22

San Francisco Bay Area chess coach Francisco Anchondo demonstrates nicely why dominating the center of a chessboard is an important step toward dominating a game of chess. [Event “Casual Blitz game”] [Date “2022.02.22”] [White “Francisco Anchondo”] [WhiteElo “?”] [Black “Anonymous”] [BlackElo “?”] [Result “1-0”] 1.e4 e6 2.d4 Nc6 3.f4 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Nf3 b6 6.Nc3Continue reading “Francisco Friday for 4/01/22”

Francisco Friday for 3/25/22

In this week’s installment of Francisco Friday, San Francisco Bay Area Chess Coach Francisco Anchondo plays a delightful variation on a Greek Gift theme. Students of the game should take note that sometimes it’s better to play Bxh2+ and then Ng4 while in other positions, such as in today’s game, the inverse order is preferable.Continue reading “Francisco Friday for 3/25/22”

Francisco Friday for 3/18/22

Today I am sharing one of Francisco’s famous tabiyas. In chess a tabiya is a special position reached by fairly standard opening chess moves but that results in a complex starting point requiring a serious investigation. Francisco proudly showed me his homegrown theory on this particular tabiya a decade or so ago and it onceContinue reading “Francisco Friday for 3/18/22”

Winning Chess Moves: Repka vs Ali Marandi, 2022 Spring Chess Classic

Tonight’s chess position comes from Round 1 of the 2022 Spring Chess Classic organized by the Saint Louis Chess Club. Black (GM Cemil Can Ali Marandi) has just played 28… Qxf5. Grandmaster Christopher Repka (white) plays a powerful move that causes black to resign immediately. What move did GM Repka play?