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Emory Tate’s Immortal Game

U.S. Masters

Oak Brook, Illinois

White Emory Tate

Black Leonid Yudasin

Result 1-0

1.e4 c5

2.Nf3 d6

3.d4 cxd4

4.Nxd4 Nf6

5.Nc3 a6

And we have Sicilian, Najdorf. Black’s last move prevents white from placing his knights or bishop on b5. Named after Miguel Najdorf, this opening has become one of the most widely studied in all of chess.

6.Bc4

With 6. Bc4, Emory chooses the Fischer-Sozin Attack where which was a specialty of Bobby Fischer. Invented by Veniamin Sozin, this line was hardly worth mentioning until Bobby Fischer played it in several key victories.

6…e6

Yudasin wisely plays e6 to remove the influence of white’s bishop from f7.

7.Bb3

Fischer and Tate both preferred this precautionary retreat as the bishop will almost undoubtedly end up on b3 after black plays pawn to b5.

7…Nbd7

Historically, The second most popular move behind 7… b5. Black’s position remains flexible and the knight on d7 can now reposition to c5 to threaten the bishop on b3 and pawn on e4.

8.Qe2

Here the queen is setting the stage for an pawn thrust to the center with pawn to f4 followed by e5

8…Nc5

Black seems to be scoring well with this plan in the 21st century.

9.g4

This chaotic attack had only been seen once in 1967 (Garcia-O’Kelley, Costa Del Sol) and once in 1968 (Messing- Minic, Belgrade) and white did not win either encounter.

9…b5

Daaim Shabazz states: (page 126)

“Black must react quickly. It is interesting that usually one would counter a flank attack by a central thrust, but Yudasin tries a flank attack of his own.”

            9…e5 $6 10.Nf5 g6 11.Ne3

11.g5 12 Nfxe4 

11…Bh6

11…Ncxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Qc4

9…h6 10.g5 hxg5 11.Bxg5 Be7 12.h4 Nfxe4 13.Nxe4 Bxg5 14.Nxg5 Qxg5 15.hxg5 Rxh1+ 16.Kd2 Rxa1 17.Nf5

is a line Emory calculated during the game.

10.g5

Maintaining the initiative.

10…Nfd7

11.Bd5 

After staring at the position for over 30 minutes, Emory Tate dares his formidable opponent to take the bishop offering.

11…Bb7

Yudasin decided against accepting the offering as capturing would have allowed Emory to enter the complexities he desired.

For example:

11…exd5 12.Nc6 Qb6 13.exd5+ Ne5

Here, Emory told me that he would have continued with:

14.f4 Bg4 15.Qe3 Nd3+ 16.cxd3 Qxe3+ 17.Bxe3 Nxd3+ 18.Kd2 Nxb2 19.Kc2 Nc4 20.Bd4

Where he felt the better player would win. and “I’ve always liked those odds.”

12.Bxb7 Nxb7

Emory enjoyed the fact that he compelled both of his opponent’s knights to retreat and felt like he was gaining the upper hand.

13.a4

Another fork in the road for black and both paths offer Emory something he desired.

13…bxa4

Capturing here as Yudasin does gives Emory a golden opportunity to be creative with a rook lift, a motif Emory loved to use with great effect. avoiding the capture with 13… b4 would have resulted in:

13…b4 14.Nd5

and then if:

14…exd5 15.Nc6 Qc7 16.exd5+ Ne5 17.f4

and certainly Tate is playing with initiative for the win.

14.Rxa4

And Tate was happy to have his rook enter the game.

14…Nbc5

Yudasin brings his knight back to c5 with a threat.

15.Ra3

But of course Emory preferred the Rook on the much more open third rank anyways.

15…Qb6

With every move, Yudasin is catching up on development.

16.O-O

Emory stated that he considered

16. Nd5 but wasn’t comfortable with:

16…. exd5 17.exd5+ Ne5 18.f4 Qb4+ 19.c3 Nd3+ 20.Kd2 Qb7 21.fxe5 Nxe5 22.Re1 Be7 23.Qe4

23.Kc2 O-O

as black would have better piece organization and king safety.

16…Be7

17.Kh1

Daaim Shabazz states: (page 128)

“This move is twofold: It increases king safety and now makes the g-file available for a rook battering ram. According to ancient Chinese philosopher and military strategist Sun Tzu, ‘To surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape. Show him there is a road to safety, and so create in his mind that there is an alternative to death. Then strike.’ Tate gives a glimmer of hope, and Yudasin flees . . . to safety?”

17…O-O

18.b4

It’s hard to imagine that playing pawn to b4 here is actually the beginning of an attack on black’s castled king. Attacks like these are literally out of this world which is why Emory’s friends sometimes joked and referred to Emory Tate as extraterrestrial or E.T.

8…Na4

Certainly not:

18…Qxb4 $2 19.Nc6 Qb7 20.Nxe7+

19.Nf5

Tateshinkai!

Emory was extremely proud of this positional sacrifice and enjoyed stumping classes of advanced young students on this move. I took notes during one of these occasions and what follows is Emory’s own analysis of moves suggested by students:

19.Rxa4

is worth investigation but after

19…Qxd4 20.Bb2 Bxg5 21.Rg1 Bf6 22.Nd1 Qb6

leaves black a pawn up.

19.Be3

was also suggested

19…Nxc3 20.Rxc3 Qb7 21.Nc6 Rfe8 22.Nxe7+ Rxe7

is ok but still not as good as the move from the game.

19.Nxa4 Qxd4 20.c3 Qa7

and white has created too many weaknesses without compensation.

19.f4

is clearly a big mistake.

19…Nxc3 20.Rxc3 Qxd4

19.Nd5

Emory smiled when 19Nd5 was suggested by a young master.

19…exd5 20.Nf5 Rfe8 21.Rxa4 Bf8 22.Be3 Qb7 23.Rfa1

but upon close inspection is not as good as 19. Nf5 as black’s king remains secure.

19…exf5

Certainly not:

19…Nxc3 20.Nxe7+ Kh8 21.Rxc3 Rfe8 22.Nc6 Rac8 23.Be3

20.Nd5

A most powerful knight move exposes black’s weaknesses on both sides of the board.

20…Qd8

Black must retreat.

21.exf5

Suddenly it becomes easy to see how all of white’s pieces can attack black’s king.

21…Re8

21…Bxg5

has been suggested.

22.Bxg5 Qxg5 23.Rg1 Qh4 24.f4 Rae8 25.Qg2 g6 26.Rh3

but is something Emory was more than ready for.

22.Qh5

When there is blood in the water, Attack!

22…Nab6

Leonid Yudasin falters under the pressure.

But…

22…g6 23.fxg6 fxg6 24.Qg4

and Emory would have had to pause his attack to relocate the queen because Qh6 doesn’t work.

24.Qh6 Nab6

However…

25.Nxb6 Qxb6 26.Qxd7 Bf8 27.Rf3 Re7 28.Qa4 Qb5 29.Qxb5 axb5 30.Rd3 Ra1 31.c3 Bg7 32.Rg1

Leaves white with winning prospects.

23.Rh3

And now Yudasin must hang on for dear life.

23…Nf8

24.f6

Emory is assaulting his opponent’s castled king with surgical precision.

24…Nxd5

24…Bxf6 25.Nxf6+ gxf6 26.gxf6 Qxf6 27.Rg1+ Qg6 28.Bb2 Re1 29.Rxe1 Qxh5 30.Rxh5 Ng6 31.Ra1

25.fxg7 Kxg7

Far from satisfactory for black but so are the other options:

25…f5 26.gxf8=Q+

25…Bf6 26.gxf6 Nxf6 27.gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 28.Bh6+ Ke7 29.Bg5 Kd7 30.Qxf7+ Qe7 31.Qxf6 Qxf6 32.Bxf6

25…Nf6 26.gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 27.Qh6+ Kg8 28.gxf6 Bxf6 29.Rg1+ Bg5 30.Bxg5 Qd7 31.Bf6+ Qg4 32.Rxg4#

26.Bb2+ Kg8

27.g6

Just a brutally perfect attacking technique on display.

27…Bf6

28.gxf7+ Kh8

29.Rg1

Emory’s only inaccuracy in this attack was missing a mate in 6:

29.Qg4 Ne6 30.Rg1 Ng5 31.Qxg5 Re5 32.Qh6 Rh5 33.Qg7+ Bxg7 34.Bxg7#

But even this slightly inaccurate play leaves Yudasin with no chance of recovering.

29…Re1

30.Rxe1 Bxb2

31.Re8 Nf6

32.Rxd8 Rxd8

33.Qh6 Ne4

34.Qh4 Nf6

35.Rg3 N8d7

36.Qg5

And Yudasin is left with no way to stop the inevitable mate.

1-0

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Is it easier to learn chess or reading music?

Question: Is it easier to learn chess or reading music?

Chess notation and musical notation have a fair amount in common. Those who have studied diligently are rewarded with a chessboard/symphony in their mind. Still, reading musical notation and/or recording chess games are arguably the least fun aspects of “playing.” Some instructors even claim that it slows the learning process while new students find the practice dull or even revolting.

As a musician, I find that it is helpful remember that when learning a piece of music you can go as slowly as you need. Unless you are studying at a college level, no one should have a hard deadline to finish at a certain time. In the real world, a great deal of musical literacy has no speed necessity on the sight understanding part. It’s much more critical for practicing musicians to learn it right. Always remember that trying to learn a new piece of music to fast will undoubtably end up in working twice as hard to fix already well practiced mistakes.

As a chess player, the basic rules of chess are not very difficult to learn/teach but most new players despise notating their games at first. It’s simply much more fun to play 15 games in 1 hour than spend 1 hour focusing on playing and recording one game well. In chess, forging ahead without learning to notate properly will undoubtedly hurt newer players in the long run as they will repeat mistakes rather than learning from them. In youth chess tournaments, only the least skilled players do not notate their games and in professional circles, every player does.

As an instructor, I require that my students be either musically or chess literate based on their field of study. IMHO if you wish to have long term success in either art form you simply must be willing to put in the effort to build a foundational understanding. It stands to reason that such an understanding is much less likely without sufficient literacy in the art for which you hope to achieve success in.

My Wyzant profile is located here: Chris T. – Guitar and Chess Tutor in Fremont, CA

Wyzant Chess Tutoring

Question: What is your opinion of Wyzant.com chess tutoring?

Wyzant is a tutoring platform with many great educators. Having been a chess instructor for several decades, I recognize the profiles of many other highly qualified chess teachers. The whiteboard on Wyzant is easy to post chess problems on, I simply tilt the camera toward my demo board for demonstrating games and I play chess on a popular chess server while keeping our Wyzant connection open to have real time interaction with students during training games. As a chess coach, I really find that Wyzant offers everything I need to teach meaningful chess lessons on their platform.

I often describe finding the right chess instructor as a similar experience to finding the right pair of shoes. Wyzant offers a low risk way to find and try out a chess coach to see if it’s a good fit. Several of my online students have taken lessons from a couple other chess teachers before choosing my services which means that they are using Wyzant to make informed decisions as to which teacher fits them best. By empowering students in this way, Wyzant is helping to raise the bar for chess educators and I think that’s a wonderful thing.

My Wyzant profile is located here: Chris T. – Guitar and Chess Tutor in Fremont, CA

(GM) Rashid Nezhmetdinov

Question: Why wasn’t Rashid Nezhmetdinov a Grandmaster?

Answer: By most accounts, Rashid Nezhmetdinov should be a Grandmaster (if for no other reason than having won the Russian Championship over a talented field in 1950, 1951, 1953, 1957 and 1958.) It wasn’t until 1950 that the Grandmaster title was first awarded by FIDE and only 27 players including the world champion at the time (Botvinnik), those who had qualified or were seeded into the inaugural Candidates tournament and a further dozen players who were awarded the title for past achievements. Unfortunately for the 40 year old Rashid Nezhmetdinov, … https://qr.ae/Txa7tB

Basic Chess Strategy

Question: What are some common chess strategies?

Answer: Below is a list of chess strategies known as Reuben Fine’s “Thirty Rules of Chess”. Chess is a complicated game and there will always be exceptions to any rule. However, it is a good exercise to understand why each item below is generally recognized as good chess strategy and to employ these rules in your own games.

TEN OPENING RULES

  1. OPEN with a CENTER PAWN.
  2. DEVELOP with threats.
  3. KNIGHTS before BISHOPS.
  4. DON’T move the same piece twice.
  5. Make as FEW PAWN MOVES as possible in the opening.
  6. DON’T bring out your QUEEN too early.
  7. CASTLE as soon as possible, preferably on the KING SIDE.
  8. ALWAYS PLAY TO GAIN CONTROL OF THE CENTER.
  9. Try to maintain at least ONE PAWN in the center.
  10. DON’T SACRIFICE without a clear and adequate reason.

For a sacrificed pawn you must:
a)
 GAIN THREE TEMPI,
b)
 DEFLECT the enemy QUEEN,
c)
 PREVENT CASTLING,
d)
 BUILD UP a strong attack.

TEN MIDDLEGAME RULES

  1. Have all your moves fit into definite plans.
    Rules of Planing:

a) A plan MUST be suggested by SOME FEATURE IN THE POSITION.
b) A plan
 MUST be based on SOUND STRATEGIC PRINCIPLES.
c) A plan
 MUST be FLEXIBLE,
d)
 CONCRETE, and
e)
 SHORT.

Evaluating a Position:

1) MATERIAL,
2)
 PAWN STRUCTURE,
3)
 PIECE MOBILITY,
4)
 KING SAFETY,
5)
 ENEMY THREATS

  1. When you are material AHEAD, EXCHANGEas many pieces as possible, especially QUEENS.
  2. AVOID serious pawn WEAKNESSES.
  3. In CRAMPED POSITIONS free yourself by EXCHANGING.
  4. DON’T bring your KING out with your OPPONENT’S QUEEN on the board.
  5. All COMBINATIONS are based on DOUBLE ATTACK.
  6. If your opponent has ONE or MOREpieces EXPOSED, look for a COMBINATION.
  7. IN SUPERIOR POSITIONS, to ATTACKthe ENEMY KING, you must OPEN a file (or less often a diagonal) for your HEAVY PIECES (QUEEN and ROOKS).
  8. IN EVEN POSITIONS, CENTRALIZE the action of ALL your PIECES.
  9. IN INFERIOR POSITIONS, the best DEFENSE is COUNTER-ATTACK, if possible.

TEN ENDGAMES RULES

  1. To win WITHOUT PAWNS, you must be at least a ROOK or TWO MINOR PIECESahead (two knight excepted).
  2. The KING must be ACTIVE in the ENDING.
  3. PASSED PAWNS must be PUSHED (PPMBP).
  4. The EASIEST endings to win are PURE PAWNendings.
  5. If you are ONLY ONE PAWN ahead, EXCHANGE PIECES, not pawns.
  6. DON’T place your PAWNS on the SAME COLOR SQUARES as your BISHOP.
  7. BISHOPS are BETTER than KNIGHTS in all but BLOCKED pawn positions.
  8. It is usually worth GIVING UP A PAWN to get a ROOK ON THE SEVENTH RANK.
  9. ROOKS belong BEHIND PASSED PAWNS (RBBPP).
  10. BLOCKADE PASSED PAWNS with the KING.

Source: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-common-chess-strategies/answer/Chris-Torres-13?ch=10&share=a594e89b&srid=i4Sz