The First App

According to Wikipedia an app is a software that causes the computer to perform useful tasks. It is also a software which runs on smartphones or other mobile devises.
The beauty of the new mobile world is that it gives you a chance to make better use of your free time. Whenever you travel for work or for pleasure you are spending time in various vehicles, precious time that you are mostly wasting.
It is no longer like that thanks to the new app culture. One can use his/her time more productively by learning new things.
A chess app is an idea too.
My first app pays a tribute to one of the most ingenious players ever- Paul Morphy. The way that he attacked his opponents revolutionized the game and brought it to the next level.
What was his secret?
You will find the answers in the app, and here is a bit of it:

You can download the app from here.


A Different Look at the Match Battle

I never knew that it was that difficult to win a match for the World Championship. Watch the exciting battle of Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short revealed.
At least, according to BBC ;)




The White Rose of York is the symbol of the House of York and has since been adopted as a symbol of Yorkshire as a whole. During the civil wars of the fifteenth century, the White Rose was the symbol of Yorkist forces opposed to the rival House of Lancaster. This period of the English history is known as the Wars of the Roses. Ever since, the lovely flower became a symbol of the whole Yorkshire to the present. The main city of the Yorkshire area is Leeds.
What does this have to do with chess? Nothing, except for the fact that one of English teams is named White Rose. The people in charge were kind enough to invite me to take part in their wonderful 4NCL.
The British system of play is very interesting. Sixteen teams are divided in two pools of eight each. They compete in all-play round robin tournament where the four winners get a chance to qualify to the top eight and the bottom four will have to show their best in the lower pool to stay in the League. The direct encounters of between the teams in the groups count in the final eight matches.

Each team consists of eight players which have at least one woman in the squad, just like in France.
An interesting point is the eighty-point rule which means that a player who is rated 80 points below a teammate cannot play in front of him/her in the matches. On the other hand, a team which is homogeneous enough provides plenty of unpleasant surprises for their counter parts and tough moments of preparation.
Another interesting point is the wild card rule. This allows any team to add a new team member at any moment during the season. The new player does not have to subscribe in advance, he/she just appear for the weekend games to make things interesting. Saying that, it is not unusual to see at the last and decisive round a player like Ivanchuk popping up out of the blue or Judith Polgar at the female board. True, this usually happens to one of the two best teams. In this year those seem to be Guildford 1 and Wood Green.
One squad can have more than one team in the league and this allows some additional strategies. Guildford was not shy to bring a strong second team in their encounter against Wood Green. The attempt to steal points from the main rival though was unsuccessful and Guilford lost 2.5-5.5.
The weekend games on 15-16 February gathered together the cream of the British chess. Those were accompanied by almost all the best Scottish players and many more players from abroad. The lovely Hinckley Island hotel hosted the event and provided excellent conditions to all.
The White Roses managed to win both the matches and got a nice chance to qualify for the final eight upper division.


Learn to Play Chess (2)

Today I present you another "Learn-to-Play"app by Simon Louchart.
The short description of Lesson 2:
Pieces' value, captures, exchanges and threats. How to mate with 2 queens, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 1 rook.


Chessbase 12 Publishing

Just a quick test on Albert Silver's explanations for web publishing.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "Schaakfestival 2010 Open A"]
[Site "Groningen"]
[Date "2010.12.28"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Bojkov, D."]
[Black "Bok, Benjamin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C45"]
[Annotator "Dejan Bojkov"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2010.12.??"]
[SourceDate "2001.12.26"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {Played for the first time in my life. But there is
always a first time.} exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nxc6 Qf6 6. Qf3 bxc6 7. Nd2 d6 8. Nb3
Bb6 9. a4 a5 10. Bd2 Qxf3 11. gxf3 Ne7 12. Rg1 Ng6 {Another possible plan is:}
(12... O-O 13. Be3 Bxe3 14. fxe3 {as Anand-Aronian, Bilbao 2008 is more usual,
but as a whole this line is still in developing progress.}) 13. Be3 Bxe3 14.
fxe3 {Diagram [#]} Bd7 {The beginning of a wrong idea. The bishop is
vulnerable on d7. The simple:} (14... Ne5 {is more to the point, for example:}
15. Be2 g6 16. f4 Nd7 17. Bf3 c5 18. e5 Ra7 19. exd6 cxd6 20. Nd2 {with a
slight pool for White occured in Radjabov,T (2744)-Aronian,L (2737)/Bilbao
2008/CBM 126 (34)}) 15. f4 O-O 16. O-O-O c5 17. Nxc5 Bc6 {[%csl Rc5][%cal
Gc6a4,Gc6e4] The point behind Black's play. However, it seems that he
underestimated the follow up:} 18. Na6 Ra7 {Both:} (18... Rfc8 19. Bh3) (18...
Bxe4 19. Rd4 {cannot be recommended.}) 19. e5 {Bad is:} (19. Rd4 Rfa8 20. Rg5
Rxa6 21. Bxa6 Rxa6 $15) ({But serious attention deserved:} 19. Rg5 $5 Rfa8 20.
Rxa5 Bb7 21. Nxc7 Rxa5 22. Nxa8 Rxa8 23. b3 Bxe4 24. Rxd6 $14 {and as the
pawns become more valuable in the endgame, White has the better chances.})
19... dxe5 20. f5 Nh4 21. f6 g6 (21... Ng6 22. fxg7 Kxg7 23. Nc5 $16) 22. Nc5
Nf5 {[%csl Re3][%cal Rf5e3,Gf5d6] Diagram [#] So far the game for more or less
forced. Black needs to make one more move-Nf5-d6 to put his pieces together,
after which he will be out of danger. Therefore:} 23. Bb5 $1 {Much better than:
} (23. e4 Nd6 24. Bg2 Raa8 {and Black is only marginally worse.}) {Temporarily
sacrificing the pawn I manage to get the maximum of my pieces, while keeping
the rook on a7 in a "box".} 23... Bxb5 24. axb5 Nxe3 25. Rd7 {With the threat
b5-b6.} Nc4 26. b3 (26. Re7 a4) 26... Nb6 27. Re7 a4 {White's idea is
supported tactically:} (27... Nd5 28. Nd7 $1 Nxe7 (28... Rfa8 29. Rxe5 $16) 29.
fxe7 Rfa8 30. Nf6+ Kg7 31. e8=Q Rxe8 32. Nxe8+ Kf8 33. Nf6 $18) 28. bxa4 Nxa4
29. Nd7 {'!' I was also considering the position after:} (29. Nxa4 Rxa4 30. Rg5
Rf4 31. Rxc7 Rxf6 32. Rxe5 $14 {But then realized that the move in the text is
even stronger.}) 29... Rfa8 (29... Rd8 30. Nxe5 Nc3 31. Nc6 $18) 30. Rg5 {Not
the most accurate. Better is:} (30. Nxe5 Nb6 31. Rg4 Ra1+ 32. Kd2 Rd8+ 33. Ke2
{when White keeps all his active pieces on the board.}) 30... Nb6 {I spent
most of my time calcuating the line:} (30... Nc3 31. Rgxe5 h5 {Diagram [#]} 32.
Rxf7 $1 Kxf7 33. Re7+ Kg8 34. f7+ (34. Rg7+ $2 Kh8 35. Ne5 Ra1+ 36. Kb2 Nd1+
37. Kb3 R1a3+ 38. Kb4 R8a4+ 39. Kc5 Rc3+ 40. Kd5 Ne3+ 41. Ke6 Re4 42. Kf7 Rxe5
43. Rg8+ Kh7 44. Rg7+ Kh6 45. Rxg6+ $11) 34... Kh8 35. Re8+ $18) 31. Nxb6 (31.
Nxe5 Ra1+ 32. Kd2 Rd8+ 33. Ke2 Ra2 34. Rxc7 Nd5 35. Rd7 Rxc2+ 36. Ke1 Rc1+ 37.
Kd2 Rcc8 {is not something that you would like to enter in the coming
time-trouble.}) 31... cxb6 {Black can also keep the second rook, but his
situation is no better:} (31... Ra1+ 32. Kd2 cxb6 33. Rgxe5 Rd8+ 34. Kc3 Raa8
35. Rc7 $16) 32. Rxa7 Rxa7 33. Rxe5 {Diagram [#] The arising endgame is
technically won for White. He has more active pieces, and will soon organize a
strong distant passed pawn.} Ra8 (33... Kf8 34. Rd5 Ke8 35. Rd6 Rb7 36. Kb2 g5
37. c4 g4 38. Kc3 h5 39. Rd5 (39. Kb4 Rb8 (39... h4 40. Rd4) 40. Rd5 (40. c5
bxc5+ 41. Kxc5 Rc8+ 42. Kd5 Rc2 43. b6 Rd2+ 44. Kc6 Rc2+ 45. Kb7 h4 46. Rc6 Rd2
47. Kc7 Rd7+ 48. Kb8 Rd2 49. Rc4 Kd7 50. Rxg4 Rxh2 51. Rd4+ Ke6 52. b7 Rb2 (
52... h3) 53. Rxh4 Kxf6 54. Rh5 Ke6 55. Ra5 f5 56. Ka8 f4 57. b8=Q Rxb8+ 58.
Kxb8 $18)) 39... Ra7 40. Rxh5 $18) 34. c4 Kf8 (34... Rc8 35. Kd2 Kf8 36. Kc3
$18) 35. Kc2 Rd8 36. Kc3 $6 (36. c5 $1 bxc5 37. Kc3 {is more precise.}) 36...
Rd6 37. c5 bxc5 {In time trouble Bok did not find the best defense:} (37...
Rxf6 $1 38. Kc4 Rf4+ 39. Kd5 f6 40. Re2 Rf5+ 41. Kc6 Rxc5+ 42. Kxb6 Rc3 43. Ka6
Ra3+ 44. Kb7 $16 {compared to the game, Black will have several extra tempi.})
38. Kc4 Rxf6 39. Kxc5 Rf2 40. b6 Rb2 (40... Rxh2 41. b7 Rb2 42. Kc6 Rxb7 43.
Kxb7 $18) 41. Kc6 f6 42. Rb5 Rc2+ 43. Kd7 {Diagram [#] Now there is not even a
reason to win the rook immediately, as Black will not have any counterplay.}
Rd2+ 44. Ke6 Rd8 45. b7 Rb8 46. Kxf6 Ke8 47. Ke6 h6 (47... Kf8 48. Kd6 Kf7 49.
Kc7 Re8 50. b8=Q Rxb8 51. Kxb8 Kf6 52. Kc7 g5 53. Kd6 $18) 48. h4 Kf8 49. Kf6
g5 50. Rc5 {I believe this was my best game in Groningen.} 1-0


Learn to Play Chess App

We live in times where speed is everything. The flow of information is faster than ever before and this affects our beloved game of chess. New ideas are discovered, played and used by other chess player in days and sometimes in mere hours.
This might be extremely unpleasant for the creative part of the chess world.
On the other hand, technology widens the boundaries of the game.
More and more products help new people learn how to play chess from their homes or even vehicles while travelling back home.
The following app is one of those, it teaches
Piece and pawn moves, captures and special moves, checkmate and stalemate.

Players who have never tried the game of chess before can use it for free. People who are willing to give it a try can use the arrows on the app for changing the pages.
The creator Simon Louchart of France was kind to grant permission for anyone who wishes to learn something new and fun.


Dynamic and Positional Pawn Sacrifice

The seminar Chess 431 – Dynamic and Positional Pawn Sacrifice was concluded this Sunday on one of the best chess sites.
Among the examples that were covered was the following masterpiece by Veselin Topalov:
Topalov,Veselin (2812) - Wang Yue (2738)
Sofia MTel Masters 5th Sofia (4), 16.05.2009
[Rogozenco. D, Topalov V.]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Nb6 8.Ne5 a5 9.f3 Nfd7 10.e4 Nxe5 11.dxe5 [11.exf5 offers prospects of a slight advantage (Huebner,R): 11...Nec4 (11...Ned7) 12.Qb3 Nd6 13.Bd3 g6 14.g4 Bg7 15.Be3 Nd7 16.0–0–0 Qb6 17.Qxb6 Nxb6= Ѕ-Ѕ Carlsen,M (2770)-Wang Yue (2738)/Leon 2009 (47)]

11...Qxd1+ 12.Kxd1 Be6 13.Kc2 f6 [13...Bc4 14.Bxc4 (14.Be3 Bxf1 15.Rhxf1 is slightly better for White.) 14...Nxc4 15.e6 fxe6 16.b3 Nd6 17.e5 Nf7 18.Re1 gave good compensation to White in Berczes,D (2232)-Carlsen,M (2250)/Heraklio 2002]


14...Nd7 An over-the-board novelty according to Topalov. Previously: [14...fxe5 was played, for example- 15.b4 Nc4 16.bxa5 (16.Bxc4 Bxc4 17.bxa5 0–0–0 18.Rd1 Rxd1 19.Nxd1 e6 20.Ne3 Ba6 21.Ng4 Bd6 22.Bb2 Rd8 23.Rd1 h5 24.Nxe5 Bxe5 25.Bxe5 Rxd1 26.Kxd1 g6= Ѕ-Ѕ Vallejo Pons,F (2629)-Kasparov,G (2847)/Linares 2003 (41)) 16...Nxa5 17.Be3 Bc4 18.Bb6 Bxf1 19.Rhxf1 Nc4 20.Kd3 and White was slightly better in Berkes,F (2614)-Kiss,P (2394)/Hungary 2005]

15.b4! [15.exf6?! exf6 would be better for Black only.]

15...Nxe5 [15...axb4 16.Rxb4 0–0–0 17.Be3 Nxe5 18.a5 would give strong initiative to White.]

16.bxa5 Bc8 [16...0–0–0? 17.a6+–]


The positional sacrifice disconnects the black pawns and creates plenty of weaknesses in the opponent's camp which can be used by the White pieces.]

[17.Bd2 Rxa5 18.Nd5 Rc5+ (18...Rxa4 19.Nb6) 19.Nc3]

17...bxa6 18.a5 [Black's queenside is very weak, he has problems completing his development and finding any activity. Therefore White's compensation for the pawn is more than enough and secures him better prospects.]

18...Nd7 [18...Be6 19.Rb6 Bc4 20.Bf4 Bxf1 21.Rxf1 Nc4 22.Rxc6 Nxa5 23.Rc7

23...e5 24.Bd2±]

19.Na4 e5 [19...Rb8 20.Rxb8 Nxb8 21.Nb6 Bb7 22.Bc4 e5 23.Be3±]

20.Bc4 [20.Be3!?]

20...Bc5 [White's compensation is more than obvious in case of-20...Bd6 21.Be3 Ke7 22.Rhd1]

21.Rd1 [A good alternative was 21.Nxc5 Nxc5 22.Rb6]

21...Bd4 22.Ba3 c5 23.Rb3 h5

[23...Ke7 24.Rxd4! exd4 25.Nxc5 Nxc5 26.Bxc5+]

24.Rdb1 Ke7?! 25.Bd5 [25.Nc3]

25...Ra7 26.Rb6! Topalov could not stand the temptation to sacrifice further the exchange!

26...Rc7? [The decisive mistake.]

[Necessary was 26...Nxb6 27.axb6 Rd7 and White has nothing forced. After 28.Bxc5+ (28.b7 Bxb7 29.Bxb7 Rb8 30.Nxc5 Rc7!; 28.Nxc5 Rxd5! 29.exd5 Bxc5 30.Bxc5+ Kf7! Topalov) 28...Bxc5 29.Nxc5 Rxd5! 30.exd5 Bf5+ 31.Ne4 Rb8 Black retains good chances of escaping with a draw. (31...Bxe4+ 32.fxe4 Rb8! (32...Kd6 33.Kb3+–) 33.Kd3 Kd6 34.Kc4 h4 is better for White, but there is no obvious win for him (Topalov).) ]

27.Re6+ Kd8 28.Nb6+– Nxb6 [28...Ra7 29.Kd3!? (29.Rd6 Topalov) 29...Bb7 30.Kc4+–]

29.axb6 Rb7

30.Rd6+! Ke7 31.Rc6 Rd7 32.Re6+ Kf7 33.b7


I would like to thank to all the participants who took part in this event and to wish them many successful pawn sacrifices, both positional and dynamic!
Those of you who have missed the chance to take part in the seminar still have a chance to purchase it. Just go on the left side of the blog and choose the paypal button under the Chess.com seminar sign.
I will send you the link with the videos and the pgn files once that you are ready.
Best regards!