Sunday, July 28, 2013

Playing with the Masters at Chessdom Arena-Part I

Chessdom Chess Arena is a brand new free online chess 
platform which is gaining speed every day. Despite its 
limited functionality, Chess Arena presents multiple 
nice features to the users. One of my favorite aspects 
is the Master Challenge where all players have a chance 
to play against IMs, WGMs, and GMs.

Last July 11, 2013, I had the honor of playing a 13 
games match with IM Spas Kozhuharov of Bulgaria with 
a time limit of 3 min + 1 sec. increment. He is the 
highest rated player at chessdom arena and among its 
resident instructor. I played white in the 1st game 
and he played the Sicilian Defense, running into my 
pet Grand Prix Attack. He was busted right in the 
opening and lost the game. I could not believe my 
luck! However, the succeeding 12 games was another 
story as the IM piled- up wins after another ending 
the match 12-1 in his favor. Winning our 1st game was 
something special to me as the IM has a 2461 FIDE 
rating while I am unrated. 

Below is our 1st game with my annotations.
Event "Blitz match"]
[Site "Chessdom Arena@ "]
[Date "2013.7.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "IM_Kuzhuharov"]
[Black "Metrolirot"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "1641"]
[BlackELO "1421"]

Sicilian Defense- Grand Prix Attack  

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 

The moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 are known as the Grand
Prix Attack and are popular among club players today, 
mainly owing to the prospect of launching an attack 
without the need for too much prior preparation.

The opening got its name thanks almost exclusively due 

to FM David Rumens, who used the Grand Prix, the 
Stonewall Dutch and other idiosyncratic weapons to win 
the English-based Cutty Sark Grand Prix on a regular 
basis, back in the 1970's and 80's. Rumens upon 
reaching this position or those like it, used to 
try to crash through with f4-f5, whether sacrificing a 
pawn or not and that is the true GP attack. 
( IM Andrew Martin – Refuting the Grand Prix attack )

Nc6 4. Nf3 g6 5. Bc4 Bg7 6. d3 e6  7. O-O Nge7 8. f5!?

This is the old main line of the Grand Prix Attack 
which involves a pawn sacrifice. Modern theory now 
considers it as too direct and premature as it gives 
black too many options.  

8... exf5?!

Previously, taking the pawn is considered taboo as 
it gives white a tremendous attack. The position 
was then subjected to a closer scrutiny and it was 
found out that black can survive the attack with
a pawn to boot. However to the uninitiated, one 
misstep could cost the game.   

9. Qe1 O-O?

IM Andrew Martin, in his chess video "Refuting 
the Grand Prix Attack " commented that black 
should not commit the cardinal sin of castling 
in the kingside as it gives white a completely
direct attack. He instead recommends the move 
9...h6!,  as the refutation of this line in the 
Grand Prix. 

10. Qh4!

A leading expert in the Grand Prix GM Gawain Jones,
in his book " Starting Up:The Grand Prix Attack ", 
has this to say:  

After 10 Qh4! Black is already in trouble as white’s 
attack is far too strong; e.g. 10… Qc7 (10… Ne5 
11 Bg5! wins a piece) 11 Bh6 Ne5 12 Ng5 Nxc4 
13 Bxg7 Kxg7 14 Qxh7+ Kf6 15 e5! and mates.

GM Gawain Jones refers to White's idea of Qd1-Qe1, 
Qe1-Qh4, f4-f5,Bc1-Bh6 and Nf3-Ng5 as the 
Caveman Attack.   

10... Be6? 

The losing move. Interestingly, I had the same 
position as white against 2009 Toril blitz champ 
Anthony Mosqueda in our blitz match barely a week 
before this game. In that game I played 11 Ng5? 
and somehow Mosqueda was able to survive my attack. 
I analyzed the position with Fritz and found out 
the correct sequence.   

11. Bxe6! fxe6 12. Ng5! h6 13. Nxe6 Bd4+ 14. Kh1
Qd7 15. Nxf8 Rxf8 16. Bxh6 Rf7

White is now quality and a pawn up. Black resigned 
few moves later. 


Replay the game below..

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

1st Philippine Internet Match Revisited

A very special chess event took place last May 15, 
2013.Convicts in the USA teamed up to play a chess 
match via Skype against inmates from Russia. Both 
teams consisted of ten players. The Russians were 
located in Astrakhan, Samara, Saratov, the 
Yekaterinburg region and Krasnodar while the US 
players were all at Chicago's Cook County Jail.

Cook County Jail detainees took part in an online chess match against inmates from the
Russian federal prison system, Thursday, May 15, 2013. (WLS Photo)

The players could see their opponents by video, but 
did not speak to each other. After two hours, the 
final score was 15.5-4.5 in Russia's favour. The USA-
Russia match was attended by no less than former World 
champion Anatoly Karpov.

This event prompted me to take a second look of an 
important breakthrough in Philippine chess history
when two chess clubs composed of 12 players each 
fought it out at on April 6, 2011 in 
a chess match dubbed as the "1st Philippine Internet 
Match ". 

( The BW- Manila team logged-in at Robinsons internet cafe, Imus, Cavite ) 

The two teams which are now part of Philippine on-line 
chess history were Barangay Wesley(BW)-Manila, an 
internet based chessclub composed of GM Wesley So fans 
at ably headed by Sugardom and 
wordfunph, and Metro Toril Chess Club- Davao headed by 
its President Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr.a.k.a metrolirot. 
Metro Toril Chess Club won the match 16-8

( Metro Toril Chess Club- Davao team logged-in at 3G-G Net Cafe, Toril
 Davao City)

 The highlight of the event was previously featured 
in my blog: 
and was also featured in Rusticbull's chesswindows:

I also annotated my game in my blog: 

However, despite the joy and excitement that it brought
to the hearts of pinoy on-line chess fans, the event 
did not caught fire and was never tried again although 
at present there are now pinoy on-line blitz tourneys. 
Hopefully, an on-line team tournament will be staged in 
the future just like the US Chess League. 

Below is a game from the said event annotated by the 
winner, former Davao Executive champ  Engr. Jun 
Atmosfera .

[Event "1st Philippine Internet Match"]
[Site "Chesscube"]
[Date "2011.4.16"]
[Round "2nd"]
[White "Asfora (Engr. Jun Atmosfera)"]
[Black "Epistle"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "?"]
[BlackELO "?"]

Sicilian Defense

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 

5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Nc6?

[Bobby Ang wrote in his Chess Piece column of Jan. 7, 2011 
in Business World titled Sicilian Theory that Black's 7...Nc6 
has been refuted. He said that "7...Nc6 was championed by 
Najdorf specialist and 6-time US Champion Walter Shawn 
Browne in the '90s, and has recently been picked up by French 
champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. GM Alexey Kuzmin pointed 
out the refutation in New in Chess Yearbook 94, and several 
people got to use it with devastating effect".]

8.Nxc6 bxc6 9. e5 h6

9...dxe5? 10. Qxd8+ Kxd8 11. fxe5 h6 12. Bxf6+ gxf6 13. exf6 

Black will be hard put to hold this endgame (Bobby Ang in his 
comment on the game between Bok, Benjamin-Gabuzyan, 
Hovhannes, WYCC Open U16 Porto Carras (8.6), 27.10.2010)]

10. Bh4 g5 11. fxg5 Nd5 12. Qd2?! 

[12.Ne4 is more precise as in the game between Bok, B. (2453)
-Gabuzyan, H. (2261)/WYCC Open 2010 1-0 (22)]

12.. Be7?

[12...Nxc3 seems to be a better alternative].

13. Ne4 dxe5 14. O-O-O hxg5 15. Bxg5 f6?

[Weakening his kingside. Better was 15...Bxg5]

16. Be3 Nxe3


 [16...f5 17. Nc3 Nxe3 18. Qxe3 Bg5 19. Rxd8+ wins].

17. Qxe3 Qc7 18. Bc4 Rb8 19. Qg3 Kf7 20. Rhf1
Rg8 21. Qh3 Qb6

[21...Qb7 makes no difference. 22. Bb3 c5 23. Qh7+ Rg7 

24.Ng5+ Kf8 25. Qh8+ Rg8 26. Nh7+ Kf7 27. Rxf6+ Bxf6
 28. Qxf6+ Ke8 29. Rd8#]

22. Bb3 c5 23. Nxf6 Bxf6 24. Rxf6+ Kxf6 25. Rf1+ 

[At this point my opponent was disconnected but his 

position is lost in all variations in spite of being a whole 
rook up. E.g., 25...Ke7 26. Qh7+ Kd6 27. Rd1+ Kc6 28. Ba4+ 
and the Queen is lost. If 26...Ke8 27. Qxg8+ Ke7 28. Qf8+ 
Kd7 29. Ba4+ Kc7 30. Qe7+ and mate. If the king goes to 
the kingside, it's also inevitable mate. 25...Kg6 26. Qg4+ 
Kh6 (26...Kh7 27. Qh5+ Kg7 28. Rf7#) 27. Rf6+ Kh7 28. Qh5+ 
and mate next move. If 25...Kg5 26. g4! threatens mate in 
one. (26...Kg6 27. Qh5+ and mate.) 26. g4! is much faster 
and easier to win than 26. Qg3+ Kh5 27. Qxg8 c4 when 
Black can mount some sort of defense based on the idea 
of Qe3+, transferring the Queen to the kingside, aside from 

The only way to avoid mate is 26...Rh8 but after 
27. Qxh8 Kxg4 28. h3+! Kg3 or Kg5 29. Qxe5+, Black will 
be mated soon.]

Note that Black's Queen, Q-Rook and Bishop are mere 

bystanders that cannot help the King.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


The cast is finally completed for the 2nd edition of the 2013 Toril Chess
Challenge Series featuring the University of Mindanao All-Stars vs. 
The Aton brothers. The event will be held at Atty. Jong Guevarra's Rest 
House in Eden, Bayabas, Davao City on April 14, 2013 from 1:00 p.m to 
7 p.m. 

Playing for the U.M. All Stars will be Atty. Jong (Team Captain), 2012
Penang Open champ ( Challenger ) Vincent Umayan, Nofre Reyes, Eric 
Fernandez and Anthony Mosqueda.  The  Aton Brothers, on the other 
hand, will be composed of brothers Warren Aton, Ariel Aton, Arnel Aton, 
Irwin Aton and Lucky Leo Aton.  Chess patron Bob Bula is donating 2
beautifully crafted trophies from the U.S for the event.
( pulsar, a.k.a Emir Gamis  vs. metrolirot a.k.a Caissa's Father/ Atty. Jong match- Jan.20,2012 Kamayan-Saisaki restaurant 4th floor SM Megamall )

Ariel, Arnel and Irwin were members of the invisible Dela Salle University chess team of the early 2000s which won 6 straight UAAP titles with runaway scores. Ariel is now a teacher at the UP Mindanao,high school section in Mintal, Davao City, while at the same time serves as the coach of the UP-Mindanao chess team.
( Ariel Aton in a Dep Ed sponsored chess clinic )

I'm giving you a sneak preview of the match by presenting my annotated 
game against Ariel Aton. This is the only game that I have played in a 
tournament against any of the Aton brothers.

[Event "2005 ASEAN tourney elimination"]
[Site "Gaisano Mall, Bajada, Davao City"]
[Date "2005.??.??"]
[Round "2nd "]
[White " Ariel NiƱo D. Aton"]
[Black "Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteELO "1963"]
[BlackELO "1835"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 
7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Qb8 !? 

This is the Ukrainian variation of the Sicilian Dragon Yugoslav attack. 
This variation was developed by the Ukrainian GM Leonid Stein, a former 
Soviet champion whose premature death at the age of 38 kept him from 
being among the greatest players of his time. Black's plan is to bring the 
rook to c8 and blast open the queenside. Modern theory holds that it is 
somewhat suspect but it can be used as a deadly weapon against an 
opponent not familiar with the line.  

11. Bb3 Rc8 12. Kb1 a5 13. a4 Nxd4 14. Bxd4 
b5! 15. h4?

This move is somewhat automatic in the Yugoslav attack but surprisingly 
it is the losing move (almost!?) in this game. 15. axb5 or 15. Nd5 is much

 15... bxa4 16. Nxa4 Bxa4 17. Bxa4 Rc4! 

18. Bb3 Rxd4!

This exchange sacrifice paves the way for the dragon bishop to enter the
fray with deadly consequence.

19. Qxd4 a4!

 White is now forced to give up his bishop as there is no defense to black's 
threat of 20... Nxe4! 

20. Bxf7+ Kxf7 21. Qc4+ Kf8 22. e5 Nd7 

In the game IM Bouaziz, Slim vs. IM Levy, David- Siegen Olympiad 1970, 
black played the more accurate 22.... Nh5 and white resigned after a few 
more moves. IM David Levy was the famous author of the Sicilian Dragon
book in the 1970's  and I didn't know that I was playing his moves up to this
point of the game.   

23. f4 a3 24. Qb3 Nc5?! 

Fritz suggest 24... Qc8 instead. The exchange of queens favors white
as it somewhat eases out black's attack against white's castled king. At 
any rate, black is still winning and with correct play should have scored the 
full point. 

25. Qxb8+ Rxb8 26. b3 dxe5 27. fxe5 

27... Bxe5? 

More accurate is 27... a2+ ! 28. Kxa2 Bxe5 29. Kb1 Ra8

28. Ka2 Bb2 29. Rh3 Kg7 30. Re3 e5 31. Rd5 Na6
 32. c3 Rc8 33.Rdxe5 


(33....Rxc3 ! 34. Rxc3 Nb4+! )

34. Rxc3 Rxc3 35. Re7+ Kf6?

( Throwing away the win. 35....Kg8 and white can resign... )

 36. Rxh7 Rg3?

( 36... Nc7 is the only move to maintain the advantage but a win is already 

 37. h5! Nc5 38. hxg6 Kxg639. Rh3 


Ariel Aton: I thought that this game would be a bonus round for me but I was wrong.  I never expected Atty. Guevarra was an expert in Sicilian Dragon and so I bravely challenged his opening repertoire with black.  As a result, he defended all my attacks and found myself struggling to save the game.