Ruy Lopez Richter Variation

August 13th, 2009

Inspired by another game I recently played against a friend on Facebook, over the next few posts, I’d like to dig into a tricky line in the Open Ruy Lopez called the Richter Variation, characterized by the move 7.d5, instead of the more usual bishop retreat.

Its namesake may sound familiar as he’s well known for his contributions to Sicilian theory, in particular the Richter-Rauzer variation (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5).

Anyway, I digress. For a taste of the possible fireworks, here’s an illustrative miniature from the man himself.

I’ve been meaning to give this line a try for a while now, so knowing my friend’s repertoire includes the Open Ruy, I thought our online correspondence game would make for a great outing. Alas, despite notching the point, I really think he missed a couple wins. I’ll first present it sans commentary then come back to it as a launching point for further investigations.

If you’ve played any games in this line, from either side, please share your experience and moves in the comments.

Sidelined for the NH Open

June 11th, 2009

The NH Open is this weekend! Alas, this year the $42 entry fee for the New Hampshire Chess Championship (more if you pay at the door) hits the wallet too hard. I’m not used to this budgeting stuff! :P

The good news is I’ll be spending Sunday with my friend Scott, and we’ll be dropping in to the tournament site to catch the big match-ups during the final championship rounds.

And… he’s going to cook up some home-made vegan chili (starting with dried beans) for lunch at his place. Should be a fun day, and I think it’s supposed to finally stop raining and warm up around here. Woohoo!

I’ll see if any of the guys would be willing to send me a game or two for the blog after the event. <fingers crossed>

Capablanca in Modern Day Endgame Play

May 27th, 2009

First off, big congratulations are due our new US Champion, Hikaru Nakamura. Steady play throughout the recently completed tournament netted him clear first. And thanks to Jen Shahade and all involved in pulling off such great live coverage. A most enjoyable event from the spectator’s point of view, with lots of fighting chess.

One game from close second, Robert Hess, particularly impressed and made me happy to see the great World Chess Champion Capablanca had clearly left his mark on our youth.

And earlier this month, there was this one from Kramnik:

Any guesses as to which endgame of Capablanca’s both reminded me? This brilliant masterpiece, of course!

I first encountered this game in the excellent book Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings: 60 Complete Game by Irving Chernev, which I highly recommend. I’ve read it a couple times now, and it’s due for another.

What do these games have in common? In all three, the victor allowed his opponent to capture pawns WITH CHECK in order to advance his king into attacking position.

Facebook Fireworks

May 8th, 2009

My first game using the Facebook app (a really cool piece of software) was against my friend Keith. We created a near miniature after he veered from known theory.

The time control was three days for each move, but I’d say we averaged more like a day each.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. ;)

Note the bit of local flare in the embedded game won by the Massachusetts youth Max Enkin. I had forgotten this game and only recalled having seen it during the post-mortem.

ChessHouse Coupon Codes April 2009

April 7th, 2009

Passing along the savings here, folks. Thought you might be interested in these coupon codes for

Click the image below to bring up their site in a new window or tab. Happy shopping! :)

Serious chess. Serious fun!