Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Coffeehouse Chess at the Coffee House

The South Bend Chess Club (meeting every week in Mishawaka, naturally) meets every Thursday night in the Borders bookstore cafe, and the play there sometimes befits the sobriquet "coffeehouse chess." Certainly the following does:

DM-NN (one of the stronger players in the club, who will remain anonymous in the hopes that when he gets his revenge, as he inevitably will, he'll allow me to keep my anonymity as well!), 5-minute game.

1.d4 Nf6 2.g4

This opening, whatever it is, is the sort of junk I used to see IM Kamran Shirazi play in blitz and even tournament games. So what the heck - it's only chess!

2...Nxg4 3.e4 d5! 4.h3 Nf6 5.e5 Ng8?

5...Ne4 would have been fine, as 6.f3 allows Ng3.

6.Bd3 e6 7.Qg4

The queen really isn't threatening anything, but what it does do is start to annoy Black - both by preventing the Bf8's development and by just hanging around in a vaguely aggressive manner. My opponent decides to start chasing her:

7...h5 8.Qg3 h4

I saw this and the sequel coming, and decided I was too tired to play responsibly; instead, I would sac a piece.

9.Qg4 Nh6 10.Qh5 g6 11.Bxg6

This is complete nonsense, but it's important to realize why it's nonsense in this case while in other, not too dissimilar positions, it's a reasonable speculative sacrifice. The difference here is that my queen's help is too far away - my remaining pieces aren't in or even approaching contact with the Black position. Accordingly, Black should be able to consolidate with just a few accurate moves, but alas, my opponent's play was insufficiently energetic on this occasion.

11...fxg6 12.Qxg6+ Nf7

This move is natural, but I think it's a poor choice. The reason it's not so good is that it insulates my queen from being bothered - I've been given a free hand on the kingside. His queen can't approach the kingside, his rook can't (safely) hit my queen, the knight is pinned and of course, the bishop on f8 travels on the wrong colored squares. Had Black played instead 12...Kd7! with the idea of 13...Qe8, 14...Be7, etc., White would have been hard-pressed to produce anything even resembling genuine compensation for the sacrificed material.


This prepares either Ng5 or Bg5, as well as clearing the g-file for the rook. Now White starts to get practical chances.

13...Qe7 14.Nc3

Naturally, I'd have liked to play 14.Bg5, but I didn't want to allow 14...Qb4+ in reply.

14...Nc6 15.Bg5 Qd7 16.O-O-O b6 17.Rhg1 Be7

I played my 17th move in the hopes of creating some tactical possibilities with Qg8+, so Black's best reaction would have been 17...Ne7, when my attack will die, stillborn. But now White has some real hopes!

18.Bf6! Bxf6 19.exf6

It's easy to see White's threat when you're looking for it (and it doesn't hurt that I mentioned it in the previous note, either), but even good players overlook threats when it looks as if they've been forcing the play the last few moves. That was, incidentally, one reason why I chose 17.Rhg1 instead of 17.Bf6; I wanted to move my bishop in response to a(n apparent) threat, to dull my opponent's vigilance. It worked:

19...Bb7?? 20.Qg8+ 1-0

Black's 19th was bad, of course - much better was 19....Rf8. I think White might still be able to generate some threats, though: 20.Ng5 Bb7 21.Nxe6 (prevents castling and threatens 22.Rde1), and 21...Rh8 runs into 22.Qg8+ again. Or 20...Nd8 21.Nh7, threatening 22.Nxf8 Kxf8 23.Qg8#

A good game? No. But it was a fun game, and one we can learn from, too.


  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger David Glickman said…


    I'm finally getting back to you on your question about how to add links to your sidebar. I took a look at your source code and I think this procedure should work:

    1) Go into Blogger and select "change settings".

    2) Click tab for "edit template"

    3) Scroll down in your template until you find the following lines of code (probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the way to the end):

    < !-- Begin #sidebar-wrapper -->
    < div id="sidebar-wrapper">
    < !-- Begin #sidebar -->
    < div id="sidebar">

    This indicates where your sidebar section starts.

    4) Choose where you want to put your links (probably before "previous posts" or after "archive" but before the blogger chicklet). Find that point in your sidebar code.

    5) Use the following code to add links (you can change the title to whatever you want and obviously you need to use the actual URLs and site names):

    < h2 class="sidebar-title">Favorite Weblogs< /h2>

    < ul id="recently">

    < li>< a href="http://url-of-first-link">Link #1< /a>< /li>
    < li>< a href="http://url-of-second-link">Link #2< /a>< /li>
    < li>< a href="http://url-of-third-link">Link #3< /a>< /li>

    < /ul>

    Make as many copies of the lines that begin with < li> as you need for the links you want to include.

    Hope this helpful.

    Note: Throughout this entire description there is an unecessary space between "<" and the next character so that the commenting program doesn't interpet it as a html tag. Remove these spaces before posting the code into your template.

  • At 2:35 PM, Blogger David Glickman said…

    Hopefully it will be obvious, but I neglected to mention step 6.

    6) Save the changes to your template and republish your blog.


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