Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

April Family Chess Night @ Bookman’s on Speedway–Dress for Chess

Can you solve the puzzle for April? Black to move and mate in three.

Win a PRIZE!  Bring your puzzle solution to Bookman’s on Speedway Family Chess Night, 6:30-8:30pm, first Wednesday of every month–this month, April 4–and win a free prize. The whole family, new and experienced players are all invited to join us to play or learn chess.

Dress for chess minding the rules

Maybe the biggest story coming out of the recent European Women’s Individual Chess Championship in Gaziantep,Turkey–other than winner Valentina Gunina also placing first in the blitz–was the announcement of a new dress code.

Internet alerts for women’s chess were blazing with news of the dress code released by the European Chess Union. The story got much media exposure–Time, New York Times, USA Today and the Tucson Citizen among others.

A photo of 9Queen’s co-founder Jennifer Shahade playing chess with a tattooed male opponent (an homage to artist Marcel Duchamp’s famous game), illustrated a number of the news releases.

The irony of the sexually assertive championship’s masthead–a red lipstick with black rook base–and the concurrent dress restrictions, highlights confusions female players face in a game dominated by men and conservative views of current fashion.

Though guidelines for both sexes are described, the news buzz focused on keeping women’s blouses buttoned up and skirts long. Rules describing clothes “coordinated to the outfit” and “a pulled-together, harmonious, complete look with colors, fabrics, shoes and accessories” makes fashion concerns imperative in an otherwise geeky domain. What to wear supersedes which opening to play.

ChessBase News (making the initial report) presented an interview with the ECU general secretary Sava Stoisavljevic about the new rules. Surprisingly, Stoisavljevic described men’s appearance as being more of a problem than women’s. ChessBase followed up the media flurry by interviewing players about the dress code and photographing tournament attire.

9 Queens 5th Annual Chess Fest set for Saturday, May 5

9 Queen’s 5th annual Chess Fest is just around the corner. This year’s free family chess celebration is featuring former World Women’s Champion and Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk. Congratulations go to Grandmaster Kosteniuk for winning silver in the Rapid Championship in Gaziantep, Turkey.

See you May 5 at the Hotel Congress for 9 Queen’s Readymade Chess Fest!

References

2012 European Individual Women’s Chess Championship

Gaziantep: Gunina overtakes Pähtz, wins European Women’s Blitz–ChessBase News

Interview with Sava Stoisavljevic on the dress code–ChessBase News

Chess and cleavage: dress code story in the media–ChessBase News

Postscript

March’s puzzle solution:
1.  . . .      Qxf2+
2.  Rxf2   Re1+
3. Rf1      Rxf1#

5th Annual Chess Fest!!!

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Join 9 Queens and former Women’s World Champion and Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk for the 5th Annual “Chess Fiesta” on Cinco de Mayo (May 5, 2012) from 2-5 pm at the Hotel Congress (311 E Congress St, Tucson, Arizona). This year’s Chess Fest will feature a simultaneous chess exhibition where Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk will play multiple games at a time against Tucsonans interested in challenging the Grandmaster. Grandmaster Kosteniuk will also be the recipient of the 9 Queens Award given to a player who embodies the mission of 9 Queens and our commitment to empowering under-served and under-represented populations.

This year’s “Readymade” Chess Fest will have something for everyone, regardless of age or chess experience. For those more artistically inclined, Chess Fest will pay homage to Marcel Duchamp an artist and avid chess player known for selecting ordinary manufactured objects and using them to create “readymade” pieces of art. Participants can visit the arts and crafts station to create their own “readymade” chess sets and crowns. Other activities include: beginner chess lessons, pick-up chess games, face painting, chess simultaneous exhibits.

March Family Chess Night @ Bookman’s on Speedway–Deviant Chess

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Can you solve March’s puzzle? Black to move and mate in three moves.

Win a PRIZE!  Bring your puzzle solution to Bookman’s on Speedway Family Chess Night, 6:30-8:30pm, first Wednesday of every month–this month, March 7–and win a free prize. The whole family, new and experienced players are all invited to join us to play or learn chess.

Deviant Chess: Fischerandom –Why not shuffle the pieces?

If you are tired of memorizing openings you may want to give Fischerandom a try. You can generate random starting positions by using the Fischerandom chess generator found at chessgames.com.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1996, Bobby Fischer proposed a variant of chess that starts with randomly positioned pieces. Called Fischerandom or Chess960 (because there are 960 initial positions)–the new game would maintain the basic structure of chess but revitalize the game which Fischer thought was dead. Fischerandom would increase creativity and negate chess that used computer databases and memorization of opening lines. Players would be focused more on understanding than playing by rote.

Fischer said: “I love chess, and I didn’t invent Fischerandom chess to destroy chess. I invented Fischerandom chess to keep chess going. Because I consider the old chess is dying, or really it’s dead. A lot of people have come up with other rules of chess-type games, with 10×8 boards, new pieces, and all kinds of things. I’m really not interested in that. I want to keep the old chess flavour. I want to keep the old chess game. But just making a change so the starting positions are mixed, so it’s not degenerated down to memorization and prearrangement like it is today.”

Rules are simple. Listen to Bobby himself briefly state the rules:

http://chess960.net/how-to-play.html

References

http://chess960.net/

http://support.chess.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/141/16/what-is-chess960

http://www.amazon.com/Shall-Fischerandom-Chess-Batsford-Books/dp/071348764X/

Postscript

February’s puzzle solution:
1. Qxh7+ Ke6
2. Qg6+  Bxg6
3. Rf6#

January Family Chess Night @ Bookmans–The Poetics of Chess

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January’s puzzle was created by the great novelist and poet Vladimir Nabokov. White to move and mate in two.

Bring your puzzle solution to Bookman’s on Speedway Family Chess Night, 6:30-8:30pm, first Wednesday of every month–in January, Wednesday the 4th–and win a free prize. The whole family, new and experienced players are all invited to join us to play or learn to play chess.

The Poetics of Chess

Poetry and chess teamed up at a recent Tucson event held on the lawn of the Himmel Park Library. The Emily Dickinson Tribute Chess Tournament attracted chess enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels for a three round chess tournament, gourmet lunch and reading of Emily Dickinson poems. The event was co-sponsored by Kore Press Big Read Project, 9Queens and the Tucson Public Library.

Two Emily Dickinson poems read at the chess tournament addressed mental focus:

I felt a cleavage in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.

The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the throught before,
But sequence raveled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.

——————————————————–

The brain within its groove
Runs evenly and true;
But let a splinter swerve,
‘Twere easier for you
To put the water back
When floods have slit the hills,
And scooped a turnpike for themselves,
And blotted out the mills!

——————————————————–

Poetics and chess cross at many junctures. Beauty, structure, precision, concentration and seeking the essential purity of a form are not all that the subjects share. The language used to describe chess concepts and play often wax poetic.

In the recent HBO documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World, Dr. Anthony Saidy speaking of Game 6 of the 1972 World Championship match between Fischer and Boris Spassky, describes the game as a “symphony of placid beauty.” Fischer’s triumph over Spassky was “a beautiful game. . .a model of precision,” says former US Chess Champion Larry Evans. About Fischer, Boris Spassky told the press, “Fischer is a man of art.”

Saidy writes in his book The World of Chess (co-authored with Norman Lessing) that, “A most felicitous definition of chess–from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia is: ‘an art appearing in the form of a game.’ For indeed, the element of beauty is its most captivating quality.” The poetics of chess explores beauty.

In the book Bobby Fischer Goes to War, the authors David Edmonds and John Eidinow write–”Genius in chess is a magical fusion of logic and art–an innate recognition of pattern, an instinct for space, a talent for order and harmony, all mixed with creativity to fashion surprising and hitherto new formations.” This is an apropos description of poetry.

The great conceptional artist and chess master Marcel Duchamp proclaimed, “Chess has the visual possibilities of art. It is a mechanistic sculpture that presents exciting plastic values. . . .The transformation of the visual aspect to the grey matter is what always happens in chess and what should happen in art.” As Duchamp more famously stated, “From my close contact with artists and chess players I have come to the personal conclusion that while all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.”

More about the beauty and art of chess in puzzles to come.

References

Bobby Fischer Goes to War, David Edmonds and John Eidinow, Harper Collins, New York, 2004

Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess, Francis M. Nauman, Bradley Bailey, Jennifer Shahade, Readymade Press, New York, 2009

The World of Chess, Anthony Saidy and Norman Lessing, Random House, New York, 1974

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/24/142729894/emily-dickinson-takes-over-tucson

http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/bobby-fischer-against-the-world/index.html

Postscript

Solution to last month’s puzzle taken from a game with Judit Polgar vs Xie Jun, Amber Rapid Monte Carlo 1996:  1.Bh7+. . .Kxh7  2.Qxf7+. . .Bg7   3.Qxg7#

December Family Chess Night @ Bookman’s features Judit Polgár

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December’s puzzle is taken from a game won by Judit Polgár. White to move and mate in three moves.

Bring your puzzle solution to Bookman’s on Speedway Family Chess Night, 6:30-8:30pm, first Wednesday of every month–in December, Wednesday the 7th–and win a free prize.

The whole family, new and experienced players are all invited to join us to play chess.

Judit Polgár: World’s Greatest Female Chess Player

Judit Polgár was born in 1976, Budapest, Hungary. Her father trained Judit and her sisters, Susan and Sofia, to be chess prodigies. Laszlo Polgár’s belief that “geniuses are made, not born” was tested and proven by his daughters, two chess grandmasters and one international master.

Judit Polgár 2008

Judit became grandmaster in 1991 at the age of 15, beating Bobby Fischer’s record by a month. She is the only woman to enter the World’s Top Ten Chess Players. She has defeated nine Men’s World Champions. Polgár seldom plays in women-only chess events. “I always say that women should have the self-confidence that they are as good as male players,” she said.

Former world champion Garry Kasparov has written, “if to ‘play like a girl’ meant anything in chess, it would mean relentless aggression.” Judit’s style promotes aggressive openings and play. She excels in tactics by maximizing the initiative and developing complication.

Former US Champion Joel Benjamin describing Polgár–”it was all-out war for five hours. I was totally exhausted. She is a tiger at the chess board. She absolutely has a killer instinct. You make one mistake and she goes right for the throat.”

The debate over female chess capability may continue but Polgár’s aggressive style and accomplishments disprove the argument that in chess, women lack the patricidal urge.

Putting the title “strongest woman player ever in chess” to test, Polgár, as a mother of two, has said, that a chess tournament now “feels like a vacation.”

More about great chess moms in puzzles to come.

Reference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judit_Polgar

Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Judit_Polgar.jpg

Postscript

November’s Bobby Fischer puzzle solution

1. Rxf8+  Kxf8  2. Qd8+  Ne8  3. Qe7+ (or Be7+)  Kg8 4. Qxe8#

November Family Chess Night @ Bookman’s features Bobby Fischer’s “Game of the Century”

Can you solve this month’s puzzle? White to move and mate in 4 moves.

novpuz

Puzzle from the book Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess.

Bring your puzzle solution to Bookman’s on Speedway Family Chess Night, 6:30-8:30pm, first Wednesday of every month–this month Wednesday, November 2–and win a free prize. The whole family, new and experienced players are all invited to join us to play chess.

Remembering Bobby Fischer’s 1956 “Game of The Century”

When asked in an interview the year before he died which of his games he thought the best or most beautiful, Fischer replied his game with Donald Byrne in 1956.

At the age of thirteen Robert James Fischer was invited to play with eleven other top Americans in the Rosenwald Memorial Tournament in New York City.

Playing black, Fischer forced mate at move 41, establishing him as one of the greatest chess prodigies. Because of Fischer’s age, precision and daring the game has been labeled the Game of the Century.

The game demonstrates young Fischer’s understanding of the hypermodern system and use of the Grunfeld Defense that quickly develops his pieces, hooking up his rooks and placing a rook in a center open file.

ByrneFischer

In the unexpected and powerful 11th move, Fischer brilliantly exploits white’s weak position. Fisher’s famous move 17. . .Be6!!  sets up a surprising queen sacrifice that results in a fierce attack with his minor pieces, allowing multiple discovered checks.

Lessons to be learned from this game–develop pieces quickly, castle early; a large pawn center (here, white pawns) can be a liability; an open file in the middle attacks a king in the center.

More about great Bobby Fischer games in puzzles to come.

References:

Fischer, Bobby (with Stuart Margulies and Donn Mosenfelder), Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, Bantam Books, 1972

Brady, Frank, Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy, Dover, 1965

Verwer, Renzo, Bobby Fischer for Beginners, New in Chess Press, 2010

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_of_the_Century_%28chess%29

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1008361

http://youtu.be/Vqbq_bPCzN8 (a YouTube commentary of the game)

http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3434# (game commentary, history)

9 Queens: Empowerment through Chess

9 Queens is dedicated to empowering individuals and communities through chess by making the game fun, exciting, and accessible.

Player Spotlight

Alexandra

Alexandra Kosteniuk

12th Women’s World Chess Champion

“I make an effort to support organizations like 9 Queens and share their commitment to popularizing chess. Chess Fest will be the second 9 Queens event I have supported and attended. ”