Tuesday, September 29, 2009


“When the chess game is over, the pawn and the king go back to the same box." - Irish saying

Top Ten

Top 10 reasons why you were late for your game:
1. you slept in
2. you were stuck in traffic
3. you couldn't find the location
4. you got off at the wrong transit stop
5. you got the start times mixed up
6. your last game ended late and you needed a break
7. you lost track of time (for instance, playing too many blitz games)
8. you had other commitments
9. you were trying to throw off your opponent
10. it was daylight savings

Monday, September 28, 2009

Top Ten is back!

Top 10 things to do BEFORE a game:
1. review openings *note: understand, don't just memorize*
2. review tactics
3. play some practice games
4. grab a wholesome breakfast/lunch/dinner
5. sleep!!!!
6. check the standings and make sure your pairings didn't change...as they sometimes do
7. take a walk
8. chat with your fellow players or organizers
9. take a washroom break
10. wish a good game/good luck to your opponent (shake hands)

Top 10 things to do DURING a game:
1. concentrate
2. analyze
3. plan
4. move! (well...you have to)
5. remember to press your clock
6. be mindful of your time control
7. be respectful to your opponent and others
8. take small breaks to refresh, especially if you start to feel tired
9. notate your game for future reference
10. have fun!!!!

Top 10 things to do AFTER a game:
1. stop the clock
2. shake hands with your opponent
3. offer to analyze the game with your opponent in the skittles room *note: don't forget to clean up your tournament board/area before going to the skittles room!*
4. analyze the game
5. make mental notes about key points you can learn from your game (you can also make notes on your score sheet)
6. take a break to refresh and relax
7. recheck the standings
8. eat something
9. congratulate others for doing well in their games
10. prepare for your next game!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

After-school Private and Group Lessons

Posted by Corinna Wan on the CMA website:

"Small group in a private school at Woodbine and 16th. It is an afterschool chess program running every Tuesday from 3:30 to 5:30. They would like to have some players outside the school to join them. In the 2 hours, students will have about 40 minutes small group lesson (usually 1:3 or 4), chess puzzles and rated games. If you are interested, please email corinna.wan@utoronto.ca for details."

Fritz 12 Chess Software Available


(cross-border scam)

Or buy Fritz 10 for $19.99 http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=0665000FS10108448&logon=&langid=EN#

2009/2010 Official Chess Calendar

CHESS 'N MATH (junior chess)
Toronto http://chess-math.org/pdf/toronto_calendar.pdf

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hazel's Jokes!

What is a doctor's favourite chess piece?
Answer: The king! He's the only one who gets checked!


White to move and selfmate in 6 moves.
Here is the link to the solution: http://www.problemonline.com/F0034.htm

A Sad Post

I am not one to get actively involved in politics, but the situation with the Stockhausen family has gone too far. Peter Stockhausen's wife, Karen, and daughter, Silken, will soon be evicted from their home, and may lose all their belongings. They cannot receive social assistance or welfare because they are still legally dependent on Peter. I cannot even imagine what it would be like for them. I know I'm no politician or lawyer, but I just wanted to mention that I care, and I hope things will get better soon. If anyone has any ideas about how we can possibly help this family...maybe a fundraiser or services (an extra room or carpool)...please share.

**note: I am making no personal attacks with this post. I just wish the best for the family.**

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Someone had a bit too much free time...

I found this interesting youtube video based on selfmates (puzzles in which you attempt to force mate onto yourself).

The puzzle: Selfmate in 222 moves!

Chess Puzzle (White to Move)

A guy named Gilles Charleux posted this position. Mate in 21!

3rd library plans announced

The Chess in the Library program will begin running at Maria A. Shchuka district branch (Eglinton and Dufferin) on November 7!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Important CFC website news

The CFC website, particularly the rating system, may still be infected by viruses:

Bob Armstrong's post http://www.chesstalk.info/forum/showthread.php?t=2101

I thought these two prior posts needed to be brought to all members' attention, as they are a new warning about entering the ratings part of the CFC website ! EKG apparently did clean the last infection ( or didn't ), but now it has been hacked anew. So I am reposting the two posts:

Originally Posted by Egidijus Zeromskis

"Sorry to say, but seems that the site (rating part) was hacked again. Now it has a link to "a0v.org/x.js" "

Posted by Steve Karpik:

"Some browsers like Chrome and Firefox will warn you not to visit the CFC web site. Internet Explorer won't do you that service. For the time being, I would recommend that CFC members don't query the web site for their ratings. After conducting a limited and unscientific survey of the CFC database, it seems that only some portion of the database has been infected but that's scant comfort if the data you're looking up is polluted with links to malware.

It looks right now that a fully patched computer will block the malware that is being distributed through the link to "a0v.org/x.js"; however, it is probably best to be safe rather than sorry. "

Hazel's Jokes!

What do you usually find at the end of the opening?
Answer: The letter g!

Chess in the Library

I've lost count of the number of weeks since Pleasant View began, but nonetheless, it was great to go back and see everyone this past Saturday. All the kids were well-behaved, and despite the start of the school year, the number of players has generally been stable. I want to thank everyone...players and organizers...for making me feel so welcome and for inviting me to participate in a couple double chess games. I will definitely look into returning in the future.

CFC website back up!

The website for the Chess Federation of Canada, http://www.chess.ca/, is running once again. It may take some time for the information to be updated, but you can still look up tournaments, ratings, chess equipment, and more.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Upcoming Chess Tournaments!


Corinna Wan has posted new junior chess tournaments:

--> September 27, October 4 and 18 @ Oriole Community Centre
--> Chess 'n math rated
--> $8 per tournament for Oriole members, $12 for non-members

More information: http://chess-math.org/pdf/oriole_oct_18.pdf

Sunday rated tournaments on Yonge St. http://chess-math.org/pdf/knights.pdf

2009/2010 upcoming events: http://members4.boardhost.com/chess-math/msg/1252957845.html

2009/2010 lessons form: http://www.chess-math.org/pdf/toronto_lessons.pdf

ADULT TOURNAMENTS = the CFC website seems to have been affected by a virus, so please be patient. Here is what I have heard of so far:

Toronto Thanksgiving Open - October 10-12, 2009 http://torontochess.org/drupal/node/177

Chessca Open - October 31-November 1, 2009 *lots of extras now provided through sponsors!* http://www.chesstalk.info/forum/showthread.php?t=1920

Guelph Fall Pro-Am - November 7-8, 2009 http://www.chesstalk.info/forum/showthread.php?t=2074


Maria A. Shchuka library, 1745 Eglinton Avenue (one block east of Dufferin St.)http://yuanlingyuan.blogspot.com/2009/09/3rd-library-opening-soon.html

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hazel's Jokes!

How is chess like life?
1. People go to check out a potential mate => CHECKMATE
2. People decide that their partner is not as perfect as they once thought => STALEMATE
3. People give up and retire => RESIGNATE

+ this occurs PERPETUALLY*

*unless your TIME on earth RUNS OUT

hence, the most common outcomes of our chess games!

For more on how chess relates to life:
"How Life Imitates Chess" by Garry Kasparov

Note: the joke was created by Hazel and may not relate to the content of the book.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Hazel will be back in Toronto this weekend!

16 + 1 terms for Sept. 16!

I've found that while chess contains a wealth of easily understood vocabulary, there are some terms that juniors have difficulty understanding. Here are sixteen of them (no particular order):

1. initiative
Initiative is a dynamic imbalance that can be thought of as control. A player can obtain control through superior pawn structure, space, lead in development, etc. Obtaining such control is very important, because it provides the foundation for implementing our own ideas and plans, rather than responding to those of our opponent.

2. deflection/decoy
Deflection and decoy are very similar tactics involving the concept of distraction. In deflection, one piece is distracted from defending another piece or square. In decoy, the distracted piece becomes the target of another tactic, such as a fork or mating attack. Deflections and decoys often involve sacrifices.

3. zugzwang
"Zugzwang" is a German word meaning "compulsion to move". In other words, a player must make a move, but has no good options. This usually results in an unpreventable material gain or checkmate. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugzwang)

4. en passant
Please refer to: http://chess.about.com/od/rulesofchess/ss/Specialrules_3.htm

5. perpetual
A perpetual is an ongoing repetition, much like an infinite loop in computer programming. Since a chess game cannot go on forever, rules have been set to produce an immediate draw if a position repeats three times in the same game.

6. stalemate
A stalemate is another type of draw, very similar to a checkmate, except lacking the check. A stalemate can be called if 1) one player has no legal moves, 2) it is said player's turn to move, and 3) the king is not in check.

7. sacrifice
A good sacrifice, often used in tactics, is like an investment. A player gives up some material (for instance, trading a rook for a knight) in order to achieve positional gain, future material gain, or checkmate. Many of the most beautiful games in chess involve some form of sacrifice.

8. zwischenzug
Another German term referring to an "in-between move". While most moves/tactics seem to follow a logical and forseen pattern, one overlooked check or attack inserted in the middle of the move sequence can produce unexpected results.

9. underpromotion
It seems common sense to immediately grab a new queen when a pawn is promoted, but in certain cases, it's actually more useful to promote to a B, N, or R. As an example, some endgames may result in a stalemate if a queen is chosen, yet a win if a rook is chosen instead.

10. forced/forcing move
I find a lot of students have trouble with this concept, because they assume only a limited number of moves are possible for their opponent, even if there are many. In order to reduce the number of possibilities, a check, strong attack, or important capture is essential to stimulate your opponent to follow certain lines. Forcing moves are extremely crucial for many tactics and imbalance involving initiative.

11. imbalance
According to Jeremy Silman, an imbalance is a "difference in position". From the very start of the game, there is an imbalance in tempo(time), since white moves first. Other imbalances include knights vs. bishops, pawn structure, centre/space, development, etc. The use of imbalances helps dictate a player's strategy. Visit the following website for some practice: http://jeremysilman.com/chess_instrctn_trnmnt/072102_ch_ins_tour.html

12. gambit
A gambit is a sacrifice in the opening. Often one player will give up a pawn or two in order to get a lead in development, central pawn structure, superior activity of pieces, etc. Some famous gambits include the Queen's Gambit, King's Gambit, Evan's Gambit, Smith-Morra Gambit, among many others.

13. counterplay/counterattack/countertrap
The attacking player does not always win the game. The reason for this is counterplay. Even though a player may be defending for some time, he/she must always be on the lookout for other sources of play and attack. A common example is the overextended attack, in which one player uses all his/her forces to produce an attack, and if it doesn't work, the player is left with all sorts of targets/holes for the previously defending player to start firing at.

14. battery
“Many hands make light work.” - John Heywood
The same concept applies to pieces. When pieces work well together, they are more effective in both attack and defense. A battery is a great example: either rooks & queen working along the same file/rank (usually file), or bishop & queen working along the same diagonal.

15. hypermodern
In the past, players such as Steinitz and Tarrasch wrote books based on "classical theory", often focusing on play directly in the centre of the board, and strict rules about avoiding weaknesses and placing pieces. More recently (1920s), players such as Reti and Nimzowitsch started a hypermodern movement, which encouraged more creative play, including central control from the flanks and gambits. Today, both views are considered correct, and it's a matter of style to determine what balance is appropriate for the individual player. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypermodernism_(chess)

16. passive
"receptive to outside impressions or influences"
Pretty much, your position is influenced largely by your opponent, and thus you have lost the initiative. Passive positions can result from lack of planning, lack of experience (especially in chess strategy), fear, discomfort in the opening, a failed attack, ...

And now for the pronounciation everyone seems to have trouble with...
Wilhelm Steinitz
Wilhelm Steinitz was the first official world chess champion, having held the title in the late 19th century. He was one of the first advocates for a positional style of play, and battled the old school of thinking in what was known as the "Ink War". While most have heard his name, it's amusing to hear the different versions of pronounciation people try! The correct version is vil'helm shtī'nits (http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0846626.html)

Wow, this post took a long time! Hope it's informative for everyone - I'll be out for the rest of the day, so that's all folks!

Another Chess Puzzle (White to Move)

Cute position. Mate in 2.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chess Puzzle (White to Move)

I came across this puzzle and found it quite interesting. Mate in 5.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Than 1000 Page Views!

Surprise! My roommate thought of this design for the 1000 position. THANK YOU to all readers...family, friends, chess players,...together, we can keep building support for chess in Canada. *smiles*

Friday, September 11, 2009

More Than 900 Page Views!

Well...this is sort of outdated (900 was passed a few days ago, and it's now nearing 1000), but here it is anyway!

Long Time No "See"...I mean "Joke"

Where can you find most of a blindfolded player's weaknesses?
Answer: The c-file!

Toronto Labour Day Open Results

RESULTS: http://www.gtachessevents.memberlodge.com/labourday

Top Scores:
OPEN: GM Bator Sambuev & IM Leonid Gerzhoy 5/6
U2300: Aman Hambleton 4/6
U2200: Pavel Rakov & David Southam 5/6
U2000: Mickey Stein & Daniel Aparicio 5/6
U1800: Michael Song & Dmitry Chernik 5/6
U1600: Joseph Bellissimo 6/6 *cheers!*
U1400: Frank Wang 5.5/6
Unrated: Benjamin H. Yang 3.5/6
Wildcard: Renee Caday


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back to School Savings

Cajun chess is offering a back to school promotion between September 10 and 20.

10% off your purchase, no limits

Coupon code at checkout: SCHOOL

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finally Got Internet!

It took me so long to figure out how to change my wireless internet settings, but now I've settled into campus and will try to update my blog frequently once again! *Cheers*

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Taking a Break

Over the next few days, I will be preparing to move into university...so no new posts for a week or two. Don't forget to check back then, and in the meanwhile, catch up on my previous posts!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Women in Chess

Wow, a photo from so long ago! Some very familiar faces...where did everyone go???

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More Than 800 Page Views!

More views than I thought I'd ever get ;)

Tournament Update

Toronto Labour Day Open
--> Macedonian Community Hall, 76 Overlea Blvd., Toronto
--> September 5-7
--> Contact Bryan Lamb bryan.lamb@rogers.com
--> http://www.gtachessevents.memberlodge.com/

--> 89th Montreal Open Championship
--> Seprember 11-13, 2009
--> PROMOTION! Every youth in the Chess 'n Math Association with CMA rating over 900 who has never participated in a "slow" game rated tournament is invited to play for free. An additional $105 prize + certificate will be awarded to the girl with the top score in the
--> Note: This tournament is rated by FQE (Quebec's chess association). You will need to buy a membership at the tournament or online.
--> Register at http://paiement.championnatdemontreal.mine.nu/, and make sure to include “Chess’n Math invites me for free!” in the comment line.
--> tournament post: http://members4.boardhost.com/chess-math/msg/1250859489.html
--> tournament info: http://www.championnatdemontreal.mine.nu/

White to move, Mate in 2

Susan Polgar created this problem at age 4!

Mom Knows Best

After travelling to the US for the weekend, my mom came up with this joke (and she's not even a chess player)!

Where do chess players go to eat (in the US)?

(one of my favourite places to eat in the US is a restaurant chain called Ponderosa...cute joke)

More Libraries!

Two more libraries will host the Chess in the Library program starting in October and January.

Deer Park - Yonge & St. Clair
Northern District - Yonge & Eglinton

See http://michaelkleinman.blogspot.com/ for more details!