Day: September 29, 2020

Clubs League Season 2
Chess Club News
Seeking Players for Clubs League Season 2

Players of all ratings are invited to join Chess.com’s Season 2 of Clubs League — tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 7 through Saturday, December 19, 2020. John Wright will be the Team Admin. Leave a Comment below if you’d like to play.

There are two divisions – Division A and Division B. There is no difference in the divisions besides the minimum number of players per match. Division A has a minimum of 10 boards per match. Division B has a minimum of 5 boards per match. We are seeking as many players as possible so that we may qualify for Division A.

Each match is a club vs. club match of two segments – rapid and blitz. In each segment, the club with the most game points wins that match segment.

Each segment is weighted equally – if a club wins both segments, they earn a full match point, if one club wins the rapid and the other club wins the blitz, it is a tied match.  In case one segment is tied, the club that wins the other segment will receive the full match point.  Game points are not relevant in determining the match result. Only the result of each segment (win, loss, draw) is significant.

👉🏽 Players are not required to play both segments in a match – they may play either segment, or both. 

In each segment (rapid and blitz), each player will play 2 games against the same opponent (white/black).  Players will not necessarily play the same player in both segments.

The rapid time control is 15 minutes plus 2 second increment. The blitz time control is 3 minutes plus 2 second increment.

Players should show up early for their matches and ensure a stable connection. It is recommended but not required to play from a computer in case of connectivity issues. Players must join the rapid and blitz segments separately.

Clubs are encouraged to bring as many players as possible to each match.  The minimum for each segment of each match is 10 players per club for Division A and 5 players per club for Division B.  If a club brings less than the minimum number of players, the match will still be played, but that club will be forfeited on the “missing” boards. We are hoping to get 10-15 players committed to playing for the SGVCC Team so that we can can qualify for Division A. John Wright will be the Team Admin for Season 2.

👉🏽 We do not have to use the same players for each match.

The default match time is Saturday 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern Time.

The top 16 clubs in each division will qualify for the playoffs (scheduled for January 2021). The League will tentatively have weekly matches on seven (7) consecutive Saturdays – November 7, November 14, November 21, November 28, December 5, December 12, December 19, 2020.

Leave a Comment below or get in touch with John Wright if you’d like to be part of the team or have any questions.

Chess Club News Chess Tournaments
Knight moves haunt the top boards – Part I

Chris Stychinsky and John Wright faced each other in the second round. I talked about their game one encounter already. In this post we are taking a closer look at their second game.

Chris seems to have moved on from his swashbuckling opening repertoire and played the Ruy Lopez against John’s 1 … e5. I can only recommend to follow in Chris’ footsteps. Playing complex openings such as the Ruy Lopez exposes us to a variety of pawn structures and strategic ideas. In the long run this will make us better chess players.

John countered Chris’ Ruy with the Zaitsev variation—the battle ground of Karpov and Kasparov in the 80s. The positions arising from this opening are often wild, black players seek their fortune of the queenside and white players try to deliver a quick checkmate. However, before launching queenside operations black puts pressure on e4 to slow down white’s queen’s knight attempt to join kingside operation.

The knight manoeuvre I’m referring to was introduced by Steinitz and is commonly used in Ruy Lopez and Gioucco Piano positions.

The best square for the knight on b1 would be f5. It gets there via d2, f1, and g3 and there is very little black can do in this particular situation. Also note, white only advanced the d-pawn to d3 and e4 is under firm control here.

We are now ready to have a look at the game:

Now would be a good time for a black strategy reset. The accidental pawn sacrifice offered white some hope to seize the initiative. Black’s main priority should be to thwart all of white’s active attempts. White enjoys some open diagonals and lines thanks to dropping a pawn. The white bishops are in good positions and both knights are already on the kingside and ready to move to more active squares. Thanks to white’s unfortunate pawn loss black already won the battle on the queenside. There is not much left to fight for.

Stay tuned for part two of the knight move series. I will talk about my game with Randy. Here is a little preview:

Why didn’t Randy take the rook on h2?