Shortest Losses by World Champions, Part 4

By Matthew Grinberg, Founder of Alamogordo Chess Club

This week we feature World Chess Champions Boris Spassky, Bobby Fischer, and Anatoly Karpov.

Korchnoi, Victor – Spassky, Boris, 1:0, 1948

Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation

This game was played in the semi-final of the USSR championship in 1948.  Spassky was a 14 year old wunderkind destined to win the World Chess Championship from Petrosian in 1969.  Korchnoi at 19 was also a very strong player and years later would challenge Karpov for the World Championship.  This was the first of 81 games they would eventually play against each other in competition.

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. f4

[More common today is 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O  +0.02|d15 Rybka4]

6… Bg4!? Unusual in the present day, but the theory of the Dragon Sicilian was not well developed at this time.

[Better is 6… Nc6 as played by the same two players a year later. 7. Bb5 Bd7 8. Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Qc7 10. h3 Bg7 11. Be3 O-O 12. Qd3 Rab8 13. b3 Rbd8 14. Rae1 Bc8 15. f5 Nd7 16. Qd2 Ne5 17. Bh6 f6 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Nce2 g5 20. Ng3 d5 21. exd5 Rxd5 22. c4 Rdd8 23. Qe3 Rf7 24. Ne6 Bxe6 25. fxe6 Rff8 26. Nf5 Kh8 27. h4 gxh4 28. Qh6 Rg8 29. Re4 Rg6 30. Qh5 Rg5 31. Qxh4 Rdg8 32. g3 Ng6 33. Qh3 Ne5 34. Rh4 R8g7 35. Nxg7 Rxg7 36. Kg2 Qd8 37. Qf5 Qd6 38. Qf2 Qxe6 39. Rd1 Nf7 40. Rhd4 Rg8 41. R1d2 Ng5 42. Rh4 c5 43. Qxc5 Qe1 44. Qf2 Qe6 45. Qd4 Qc6 46. Qd5 Qc7 47. Rd3 e6 48. Qb5 Nf7 49. Qd7 Qe5 50. Rxh7 Kxh7 51. Qxf7 Rg7 1/2-1/2, Korchnoi Viktor (SUI) 2564  – Spassky Boris V (FRA) 2548 , Leningrad 1949.  If the game had continued, then a draw by repetition was inevitable. (52. Qe8 Qe2 53. Kg1 e5 54. b4 Qxd3 55. Qh5 Kg8 56. Qe8 Kh7 57. Qh5 Kg8 58. Qe8 Kh7 Draw by three fold repetition)]

  1. Bb5 Nbd7 8. Bxd7!? Korchnoi is hoping for the mistake Spassky makes, but he really should not exchange the bishop for the knight until Black forces it by playing a6.

[8. Qd3 a6 9. Bxd7 Bxd7 10. e5 dxe5 11. fxe5 Ng4 12. Bf4 Bg7 13. Qe2  +0.17|d15 Rybka4]

8… Qxd7?! The trouble with this move is that it leaves the bishop with no good retreat.

[8… Bxd7 9. Qd3 Rc8  -0.04 Rybka4]

  1. Qd3 e5!? Leaving both d6 and f6 weak. In general it is not a good idea for Black to play e5 in an open Sicilian if he has already played g6. If the dark square bishop  develops to e7, then the dark squares on the king side are weak, but if the bishop develops to g7, then the pawn on d6 is weak.

[9… Rc8 10. Be3 Bg7 11. O-O O-O  +0.38|d17 Rybka4]

  1. Nf3 Bxf3 11. Qxf3 Qg4? Spassky’s plan is to exchange queens with an equal position, but…

[better is 11… d5 12. Nxd5 Nxd5 13. exd5 Bg7 14. Bd2 Rd8 15. c4 O-O 16. O-O b5! when he has good play for the pawn.]

  1. Nd5! The twin threats of Nxf6+ and Nc7+ leave Spassky with no good move, so he resigns.

[12… Kd8 13. Qxg4 (Not 13. Nxf6? Qh4 14. g3 Qxf6  +1.27|d16 Rybka4) 13… Nxg4 14. h3 Nh6 15. fxe5  +2.32|d17 Rybka4 dxe5 16. Bg5 Kc8 17. Bf6 Rg8 18. O-O-O b6 19. Bxe5 f5 20. Rhe1  +2.61|d17 Rybka4 White has an extra pawn and better development.  Black’s king is exposed to attack and his pieces are in disarray.;

12… Qxf3 13. Nxf6 Ke7 14. Nd5 Ke6 15. gxf3  +3.26|d15 Rybka4;

12… Qh4 13. g3 Qh3 14. Nxf6  +4.46|d5 Rybka4]

[1:0]

Unzicker, Wulfgang – Fischer, Bobby. 1:0, 1960

Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation

Bobby Fischer, though only 17, had already been U.S. Chess Champion for three years and a World Champion Candidate when he travelled to Buenos Aires to play in this tournament.  His opponent, Wolfgang Unzicker, was one of the leading players from West Germany.  Fischer uncharacteristically loses his way in the opening and never gets on track.

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 The Najdorf Variation is named after Miguel Najdorf. He was originally from Poland, but Argentina became his home when he was stranded there after the 1939 Chess Olympiad due to the German invasion of his home country.
  2. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O O-O!? It is too early to signal where the king is going to be. Frequently in the Najdorf Black will leave his king in the center as long as possible so as to keep open his options as White develops his attack. The king is reasonably secure behind the phalanx of pawns on f7, e6 and d6.

[9… Nbd7 10. g4 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. g5 Nd7 13. f5 Nc5 14. f6 gxf6 15. gxf6 Bf8 16. Rg1  +0.00|d15 Rybka4;

Or as Fischer played three years earlier in the U.S. Championship 9… h6 10. Bh4 Nc6 11. Nxc6 Qxc6 12. Bd3 Bd7 13. Qe2 Rc8 14. Kb1 b5 15. Rhf1 b4 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Nd5 exd5 18. exd5 Qc7 19. Bxa6 Rb8 20. Rfe1 Bc8 21. Bxc8 Rxc8 22. Rd4 O-O 23. Re4 Rfe8 24. f5 Kh7 25. c3 bxc3 26. Rxe7 Qb6 27. Rxf7 Kg8 28. Qg4 Kxf7 1/2-1/2, Seidman Herbert – Fischer Robert J (USA) 2780 , New York 1957 Ch USA]

  1. Bd3 Unzicker begins to aim all of his forces at the castled king.

10… Nc6 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Qg3 h5? Apparently Fischer played this to secure g4 for his knight.  Whatever he hoped to gain by playing this is not worth the weakening of his king side.

[Blocking White’s light square bishop out of the attack is much better. 12… e5! 13. Rhf1 Nh5 14. Qh4 Bxg5 15. fxg5 g6 16. Ne2 Qd8 17. g4 Ng7 18. Ng3 Rb8 19. b3 Ne6 20. Rf6 Qa5 21. Kb1 Nc5 22. Nf5 Bxf5 23. gxf5 Na4 24. fxg6 Nc3 25. Kc1 hxg6 26. Qh6 Qa3 1/2-1/2, Borngaesser Rene (GER) 2390  – Stean Michael F (ENG) 2275 , Groningen 1972 It (open)  Both players recognized that a draw by repetition was inevitable. (27. Kd2 Nxd1 28. Rxg6 fxg6 29. Qxg6 Kh8 30. Qh6 Kg8 31. Qg6 Kh8 32. Qh6 Kg8 33. Qg6 Draw by three fold repetition)]

  1. e5! Now the light square bishop is fully in the attack.

13… dxe5 14. fxe5 Ng4 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Ne4 Qc7? Fischer ignores the defense of his king to go after a measly pawn.

[There is still a chance after 16… Kh8 17. Be2 Nh6 18. Bxh5 c5  +1.45|d10]

  1. h3 Nxe5?? Still paying more attention to the pawn than his own king, Fischer walks into a mating net. But he does not have a good move anyway.

[17… Nh6 18. Nf6 Kh8 19. Qg5 Rb8 20. Nxh5 Nf5 21. Bxf5 Qxe5 22. Rd8 Bb7 23. Rd3 Rg8 24. Ng3 Qf6 25. Qh5 Qh6 26. Qxh6 gxh6 27. Bg4  +3.08|d14;

17… Qxe5 18. hxg4 Qxg3 19. Nxg3 hxg4 20. Bh7 Kh8 21. Be4 Kg8 22. Bxc6  +3.47|d19 Rybka4]

  1. Nf6! Kh8 19. Qg5 Nxd3 20. Rxd3 gxf6 21. Qxh5 Kg7 22. Qg4 Fischer resigns because he will be forced to give up his queen to avoid mate and even then Unzicker will mate quickly anyway.

[22… Kh7 23. Qh4 Kg6 24. Rg3 Qxg3 25. Qxg3 Kh7 26. Rf1 Rg8 27. Qh4 Kg7 28. Qxf6 Kh7 29. Rf4 Rxg2 30. Rh4 Kg8 31. Qh8#]

[1:0]

Christiansen L. – Karpov A, 1:0, 1993

Queen’s Indian Defense

Back in the good old days there was a National Chess League.  The team from Washington, D.C. was the Washington Plumbers.  I was at their site one evening watching one of their matches.  After the games were over, one of the players on the Washington team, International Master Eugene Meyer, was playing over his game from the match and taking questions from the audience.

After one of his moves someone asked, “Why did you play that move?”  Indeed, from my point of view the move did not have a point.

Meyer replied, “Because it defends the knight.”

“But there is nothing attacking the knight.”

“True, but even when not attacked, the more pieces you have undefended, the more likely it is that something bad will happen.”

Profound!  I had never thought of that!

Perhaps Karpov should have been at that Washington Plumbers match.

At the time former World Chess Champion, Anatoly Karpov, lost the game below, it caused a sensation.  How could the second best player in the world (after World Champion Gary Kasparov) play such a simple blunder in a simple position?  Karpov’s opponent, Larry Christiansen had been U.S. Champion in 1980 and 1983.

  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Ba6 5. Qc2 Bb7 This move and White’s 4. a3 are not the kind of moves I would play in the opening, but this is a normal book line and they are Grandmasters, so what do I know?
  2. Nc3 c5 7. e4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Nc6 9. Nxc6 Bxc6 10. Bf4 Nh5 11. Be3 This is still normal book stuff, but now…

11… Bd6?? This move is hard to fathom.  Not only is there the positional objection that it blocks his d-pawn, but more important, it leaves the both the bishop and the knight undefended and exposed.  Furthermore the refutation is ridiculously simple.

[My best guess is that Karpov intended to keep following the normal line and simply got the move order mixed up. 11… Qb8 A few months EARLIER Karpov played this move against Christopher Lutz and won. 12. O-O-O Bd6  +0.27|d17 Rybka4 Again, these are not the kind of moves I would play, but what do I know?]

  1. Qd1! It doesn’t take a genius to see that either the bishop or the knight is gone, so rather than continue a hopeless game, Karpov resigns. [1:0]

10 Common Beginner and Intermediate Mistakes

In my 18 (the number that equates to “life in Judaism) years of teaching chess (so far), I have seen beginner and intermediate students make a lot of the same mistakes. Here are ten of the mistakes I often find myself speaking to students rated U-1800, when reviewing their games and playing against them:

1) Trading at all Costs:

Would you be excited if I offered you $100 if you had to return the money the next minute? You may give me the money if you trusted you would it get back but you would definitely not feel like you are winning something. Students often will trade just because they can. However, one should only trade if he benefits from it, most often when he is up in material, has less space or needs to yield off an opponent’s attack or lead in development.

2) Avoiding opening principles:

Students need to remember the basics- control the center, castle and develop. Without a good reason otherwise, every move in the opening (approximately the first 10-15 moves of a game) should relate to at least one of these ideas.

3) Making pawn moves for no reason:

The pawn never moves backwards; therefore every pawn move is transformational and creates a weakness. When moving pawns, one must make sure he is actually gaining something.

4) Checking your opponent and making threats for no reason:

There is the famous saying “Patzer sees check, patzer gives check.” The late National Master Edward Kopiecki used to often say “Always check. It might be mate.” However, not all checks are good. For instance, yesterday I was showing the famous Opera game to one of our school programs and as I usually do in this position, I asked the class how white should continue developing his pieces.

A girl suggested “6.Bb5”. When I asked her why she picked “6.Bb5” versus “Bc4”, she said Bb5 was a check. I then explained to her and rest of class, how after 6…c6, white has to play 6.Bc4 and black basically got an extra move in for free. As check is the most forcing type of move, I encourage students to always look for checks but not always play them.

5) Forgetting the importance of always asking oneself “Why did my opponent make his move?”:

Just like a smart person would never cross the street without looking both ways, a chess player should never make a move without investigating why his opponent made his move and having a good idea where he would go in event he had another turn.

6) Rushing in openings and endgames that they have previously studied:

Students will often rush when playing openings and endgames that they previously studied. Last week I was teaching one of our new private students, who is a litigation attorney. In her game that we were analyzing, there I asked her why she played one of her moves and she mentioned that is the way she normally plays. I then I asked her if she ever saw this same exact position before and she said “no.” I then she agreed with me when I explained how in law you could use previous cases as reference points but each new one is different. Just because in a similar case the judge ruled one way does not mean that he will have the same exact ruling in another. You need to take into account all of the nuances.

Rookie players will often have trouble when doing the major checkmates (The Ladder, King and Queen, King and Rook, etc.), not because they do not know how to do them, but because they rush so quickly, that they will hang one of their pieces or stalemate their opponent. A fool-proof way to not stalemate your opponent when up material is consistently make sure he is at least one legal move until it is checkmate.

Intermediate students will often not take advantage of their opponent’s inaccuracies and blindly follow opening principles. The situation where I see this most is when students do not play the famous Center Fork Trick, which grants black the bishop pair and a slightly better game.

7) Spending too much time studying openings:

Players rated U-2000 need to have a basic opening repertoire with 5-10 moves in each variation as white, usually playing 1.e4 or 1.d4, and good responses to both of those first moves. There is no need to learn a bunch of theory in each line. It is a lot more important for students to do a lot of puzzles and learn how to logistically think and come up with the best moves as per our thought process.

8) Not spending enough time studying checkmating patterns:

Despite how many beginners think kings can get captured, we win a chess games only by checkmate. Therefore, it is important that we spend a lot of time learning the fundamental checkmating patterns, like the simple endgame checkmates, Anastasias Mate, Smothered Mate, Arabian Mate, etc. One of the best books for learning checkmating patterns is How to Beat Your Dad in Chess.

9) Taking offers without thinking about why one’s opponent made them:

Last week I was playing against a novice student and he captured my knight without realizing that on the next turn, I would capture his queen. I played dumb and asked if saw what I would do and of course he replied “no”. Our podcast guest Grandmaster Max Dlugy likes to compare chess to a duel. In a duel, one would not blindly follow what one’s opponent requests as he would expect it to be some sort of trap. Likewise, in chess if your opponent offers you a ‘free piece’, square to move to, draw, etc., your initial reaction should not be to immediately accept it but rather “why is my opponent offering that?”

10) Lacking confidence:


The biggest mistake players of all levels make is that they lack confidence. If you are going to play a more experienced player, thinking from the outset that you are going to lose, you may as well not start playing. Now matter how high rated your opponent is, you should pretend he is 50 points higher rated than you; that way you will give him a little bit of respect but not be underconfident and start playing passively. For more about confidence, read this previous post.

If you are a beginner or intermediate player, I hope you can start to avoid these 10 common mistakes. If you are more experienced and/or are a chess teacher, let us know what areas of improvement you most often see. Conquer the game; master your life!

Your Health Check Mate   

 

By Efrat Cohen, PT, MPT, PCS, C/NDT, Cert. Schroth Scoliosis Therapist

As a Physical Therapist, I spend a lot of time analyzing how people move and the postures they assume and why they do so. Usually, it is to determine the cause of injury and the manifestation of symptoms.

For quite a while, especially during Covid, I have consulted many clients on their at home workstations. Many have questioned the use of sitting desk and standing desks to help alleviate their symptoms from prolonged sitting. Similar to their creative work stations, most have not realized that their working postures are from ideal. As their work and life stressors increased, their posture worsened. Stress postures, including jaw clenching, forward head, elevated shoulders, crossed legs, only toes contact with the floor, increase many of my clients’ symptoms. With work station modifications, posture education, workstation specific exercises and strategies, clients can resume their work day symptom free.

Amazingly enough, the same rules do not necessarily apply to chess. Many chess players can be seen playing in sitting and standing in all sorts of positions and less than ideal posture based on observation. Hardly any research documents musculoskeletal conditions and symptoms due to the playing of chess. Chess players are under an enormous amount of stress but the stress postures assumed by chess players have not been reported to cause debilitating symptoms.

Research has shown that there are many health benefits to playing chess including enhanced memory, perception, decision making and problem solving skills. Playing chess improves concentration and learning abilities, mitigating dementia, and less chronic disease.

This past year brought some changes to the chess playing world. Many have played virtually with computer simulated games or through tele classes. Recently, in person games have resumed outdoors with the wearing of masks. Here are some suggestions that may help you with these changes:

 In person mask wearing:

1)        Elevate the chess board or sit slightly away from the board

Mask wearing blocks your lower visual field. In order to prevent excess neck bending, you can either sit slightly way from the chess board or elevate the chess board for better viewing.

2)        Create cool environments

Masks trap heat. As temperatures elevate create a safe place for cooling off.

3)        Hydrate

People tend to breathe more through their mouths with use of masks. In doing so, you lose moisture and dehydrate, which leads to fatigue. Drink regularly so you can concentrate on your game.

4)        Posture Correction

Upright posture allows for best oxygenation. While playing take some time to put your feet flat on the floor, with hands on the table move your trunk away from the table and sit yourself up tall.

For virtual gaming and classes:

1)        At desk play

While we enjoying playing games sitting, standing, lying on the floor, etc, take some time to play virtual chess sitting at a desk. It’s good to get in the habit of using technology with more formal sets up plus it simulates how to play chess in person.

2)        Invest in a laptop easel

If you are attending your virtual classes or playing simulated chess games using a laptop, tablet or cell phone, use an adjustable laptop easel to help you simulate more upright play as you would be doing if you were playing in person chess.

3)        Posture Correction

As discussed above, upright posture allows for best oxygenation. While playing take some time to put your feet flat on the floor, with hands on the table move your trunk away from the table and sit yourself up tall.

Here’s to your health and let the games begin!

About the Author:

Efrat Cohen is a graduate of Temple University’s Physical Therapy program. With over ten years of experience working with patients of various ages and diagnoses in New York premier hospitals, including NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases and Hospital for Special Surgery, Efrat has mastered the understanding of how the body moves and what it takes to improve one’s posture.

In addition to her private practice, she created and runs a successful corporate physical therapy wellness program for employees at their work station.

Shortest Losses by the World Champions, Part 3

By Matthew Grinberg, Founder of Alamogordo Chess Club

This week we feature World Chess Champions Vasily Smyslov, Mihail Tal, and Tigran Petrosian.

 

Smyslov, Vasily – Hjartarson, Johann, 0:1, 1995

Sicilian Defense

At the age of 75 Smyslov plays in a grandmaster tournament in Iceland, but the young Icelandic player, Hjartarson, defends his home turf skillfully.

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Qe2!? An unusual move, prematurely developing the queen and blocking the bishop.

[Better is a normal open Sicilian Defense. 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 (4… Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be2 a6 7. O-O Nf6 8. Be3 Bb4  +0.28|d16 Rybka4) 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. O-O Qc7 7. Qe2 d6 8. c4  +0.30|d17 Rybka4]

3… Nc6 4. Nc3 d6 5. g3 g6 6. Bg2 Bg7 7. O-O Nge7 8. d3 h6 9. Be3 Nd4 10. Qd2 Rb8 11. Rab1 Nec6 12. a3 b5 13. b4?! By taking a defender off of the knight on c3, Smyslov allows a simple little combination winning a pawn.

[The position is equal after 13. Ne2 Nxf3 14. Bxf3 Ne5 15. Bg2  -0.04 Rybka4]

13… Nxf3 14. Bxf3 Qf6 15. Bg2? It is important to defend the bishop, but it is also important to get the king off of g1, as will become apparent.  Now he loses a knight instead of a pawn.

[15. Kg2 Qxc3 16. e5 Qxd2 17. Bxc6 Bd7 18. Bxd7 Kxd7 19. Bxd2 Bxe5  -0.89|d14]

15… Qxc3 16. e5 When playing his 13th and 15th moves, Smyslov may have thought this would win back the piece due to the twin threats of Bxc6+ and Qxc3, but Black has a trick up his sleave.

[No better is 16. Qxc3 Bxc3 17. bxc5 dxc5 18. Bxc5  -2.32|d14]

16… Nd4! Smyslov resigns since he must end up down a knight or a rook for two pawns.

[17. Qxc3 Ne2! The reason why leaving the king on g1 was bad. 18. Kh1 Nxc3 19. exd6 (19. Rbe1 Bxe5 20. bxc5 d5 21. Bxh6 Bxg3 22. fxg3 Rxh6  -3.15|d18 Rybka4) 19… Nxb1 20. Rxb1 Kd7 21. bxc5 Bb7  -2.97|d17 Rybka4]

[0:1]

Tal, Mikhail – Petrosian, Tigran, 0:1, 1962

French Defense

This game was played in the Candidates Tournament in Curacao in 1962.  Tal lost the World Chess Championship to Botvinnik the year before.  Petrosian won the tournament and the right to challenge Botvinnik for the World Championship.  This was the last game Tal played in the tournament before withdrawing due to illness.  I can see why Petrosian’s last move might have made him feel ill.

  1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Nbd7 6. Nxf6 Nxf6 7. Nf3 c5 8. Qd3 Be7 9. Bxf6!? Typical of Tal, he heads for complications before he is even out of the opening.

[A safe alternative is 9. dxc5 O-O 10. Qc4 Qc7 11. Bd3 h6 12. Bf4 Qxc5 13. Qxc5 Bxc5  +0.11|d15 Rybka4]

9… Bxf6 10. Qb5!? Still going for the gusto.

[He could still go for the safe alternative, but that’s just not the way Tal played. 10. dxc5 O-O 11. c3 Qc7 12. Qe3 Be7 13. Qe5 (Trying to hold the extra pawn is dubious since it neglects his development and weakens his queen side. 13. b4!? b6 14. Bd3 (14. cxb6 axb6 15. Be2 Ra3 16. Rc1 Rxa2  -0.49|d17 Rybka4) 14… bxc5 15. O-O Bb7  -0.38|d17 Rybka4) 13… Qxc5 14. Qxc5 Bxc5  +0.00|d18 Rybka4]

10… Bd7 11. Qxb7 Having given up the bishop pair and neglected his development with this queen excursion, he has no choice but to plunge forward and grab whatever he can.

11… Rb8 12. Qxa7 Rxb2 13. Bd3 cxd4 14. O-O What does Tal have for his adventure?  He has given Petrosian the bishop pair and a superior center, plus he has weak pawns on c2 and a2.  He might very well win against a lesser player, but Petrosian was a tough nut to crack.

14… Bc6 15. Qa3 Qb6 16. Bc4?! Hoping that Petrosian will take the pawn on c2, but Petrosian has a much better idea.

[A better move is 16. Qd6 By keeping the queen on the a3 to f8 diagonal to stop Black from castling and putting pressure on the pawn on d4, he would have left Petrosian with little choice but to trade off queens into a roughly equal position. 16… Bd5 17. Qxb6 Rxb6 18. a4 Kd7 19. a5 Rb4 20. a6 Kc7 21. Rfb1 Rxb1 22. Rxb1 Ra8  -0.18 Rybka4]

16… Rb4! By blocking the a3 to f8 diagonal and attacking the undefended bishop, he gains the time to castle, when Black’s bishop pair and superior center give him a clear advantage.

[Not 16… Rxc2? 17. Rab1 Qc7 18. Bb5 Bxb5 19. Rxb5 d3 20. Rfb1  -0.17|d16 Rybka4 The fact that his king is stuck in the center and White controls the b-file makes the position very dangerous for Black.]

  1. Qd3 O-O 18. a3 Ra4 19. Rfd1?! The rook would do much better to move to the open file, attacking Black’s queen.

[19. Rfb1 Qc7 20. Bb5 Bxb5 21. Rxb5  -0.85 Rybka4]

19… Qa7 20. Ra2? In an already difficult position, Tal makes a simple oversight.

[Trading off to relieve the pressure would still give Tal some chance to hold. 20. Bb5 Bxb5 21. Qxb5 Rxa3 22. Rxa3 Qxa3  -1.11|d12]

20… Rxc4! The best Tal can do is end up down two bishops for a knight, so he resigns instead.

[21. Qxc4 Bd5 22. Qe2 Bxa2 23. c3 Qxa3 24. cxd4  -4.40|d17 Rybka4]

[0:1]

Kotov, Alexander – Petrosian, Tigran, 1:0, 1949

Queen’s Gambit, Exchange Variation

Kotov, the renowned author of “Think Like a Grandmaster” and “Play Like a Grandmaster” is the reigning Soviet Chess Champion.  The twenty year old Petrosian is playing in his first Soviet Championship.  He learns a lesson from Kotov on the undefended piece.

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 c6 7. Qc2 Ne4? Petrosian thinks he will simplify to a drawish position. He is in for a rude awakening.

[Petrosian may simply have been mixed up on the move order. 7… O-O 8. Nf3 Ne4 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Bd3 f5 11. O-O  +0.17|d18 Rybka4;

The more commonly played line is 7… Nbd7 8. Bd3 Nh5 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. O-O-O g6 11. Nge2 Nb6 12. Kb1 Bd7 13. Rc1 O-O-O 14. Na4 Nxa4 15. Qxa4 Kb8 16. Rc3 b6 17. Ra3 Be8 18. Qc2 Rc8 19. Rc1 Nf6 20. f3 Bd7 21. e4 dxe4 22. fxe4 Rhd8 23. h3 c5 24. Ba6 Rc7 25. Ng3 h5 26. Rc3 h4 27. dxc5 Rxc5 28. Rxc5 Qxc5 29. Qxc5 bxc5 30. Rf1 hxg3 31. Rxf6 Bxh3 32. Bf1 Be6 33. Kc2 Rd4 34. Rf3 Rxe4 35. Rxg3 Bxa2 36. b3 c4 37. Bxc4 Re1 38. Kb2 Bb1 39. Bxf7 Be4 40. Bxg6 Re2 1/2-1/2, Bareev Evgeny (RUS) 2702  – Rabiega Robert (GER) 2487 , Frankfurt 2000 It]

  1. Bxe7 Qxe7
  2. Nxd5! That was a kick in the teeth! The problem with this position as compared to the position after 9… Qxe7 in the line given above is that here the bishop on c8 is undefended.

9… cxd5 10. Qxc8 Qd8 11. Bb5 Nc6 12. Bxc6 The safe way.

[He could instead win the knight, but it’s risky. 12. Qxb7 O-O 13. Qxc6 Qa5 14. Kf1 a6 15. Bd3 Rfc8 16. Qd7 Qd2  +2.25|d18 Rybka4]

12… bxc6 13. Qxc6 Petrosian resigns.  He doesn’t want to play on against his illustrious opponent down two pawns and with his king on the run.

[13… Kf8 14. Ne2 h5 15. Rc1 Rh6 16. Qa4  +1.68|d16 Rybka4]

[1:0]

Make the Best Move of Your Career

By Victoria O’Connor, Co-Founder & Director of Undergraduate Services of Arrow Academic Consulting

Plenty of moves can open a chess game—Catalan Opening, King’s Gambit, Queen’s Gambit—but what about opening moves for college? Like preparing for a chess match, it is never too early to start preparing for college. We assist with resume building, application assistance, financial planning, personal/diversity statements, and interview preparation.

We offer individual sessions, or complete packages to accomplish everything you need for college. Meet virtually with one of our experienced consultants to get started. All first consultations are FREE. Use code “CHESS” for 20% off packages until Fourth of July here!

 

 

 

 

 

Short Losses by World Champions, Part 2

By Matthew Grinberg, Founder of Alamogordo Chess Club

This week we embarrass the next three World Chess Champions Alexander Alekhine, Max Euwe, and Mikhail Botvinnik.

Alekhine, Alexander – Tachtarov, 0:1, 1907

Ponziani’s Opening

At the time of this game, Alekhine was an unknown 15 year old.  If it were not for the two games he played against Alekhine in this tournament (they split) Tachtarov would be totally unknown.

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3!? The Ponziani is a little dubious since it takes away the queen knight’s natural developing square.

3… Bc5!? Setting himself up for White’s next move.

[Since White’s last move undermined the defense of his e-pawn, it is best to immediately attack it. 3… d5 4. Qa4 f6 5. d3 Nge7  -0.03|d17 Rybka4]

  1. Nxe5 Bxf2

[Or 4… Nxe5 5. d4  +0.38|d17 Rybka4]

  1. Kxf2 Nxe5 6. d4 Qh4 7. g3?! Creating an unnecessary weakness.

[Instead after 7. Kg1 Nc6 8. e5 d6 9. exd6 cxd6  +0.58|d18 Rybka4 White’s superior pawn structure and bishop pair give him the better position in spite of losing his castling privilege.]

7… Qxe4 8. Bh3?? Should the bishop be developed?  Yes, but it needs to stop the knight from going to d3 as well.

[8. Be2 Black appears to have nothing better than a perpetual check.  If he tries for more, White’s pieces will quickly come to life, while his own are bottled up. 8… Qf5 9. Kg2 Qe4 10. Kf2  +0.00 Rybka4]

8… Nd3 9. Kg1 Nxc1? Missing his chance to put the game away immediately.

[9… Qxh1! 10. Kxh1 Nf2 Ouch! 11. Kg2 Nxd1 12. Bg4 Nxb2 13. Bxb2  -3.25 Rybka4]

  1. Qxc1 Nf6 11. Kf2 O-O 12. Re1 Qd5 13. Re5 Qc6 14. Qf4? Overlooking Black’s next move.

[It’s still “a game” after 14. Kg1 d5 15. Bg2 Bd7 16. Qd2 Rae8  -1.19|d15]

14… d6! There is no good answer to the double threat of Bxh3 and dxe5.

  1. Rf5 Bxf5 16. Bxf5 Rae8 17. Nd2 Re7 18. Qh4 Rfe8 19. Bd3 Qd7 20. d5 Re5 Again Alekhine faces a double threat, Rxd5 or Rh5 followed by Rxh2+. This time he resigns. [0:1]

Wiersma, E. – Euwe, Max, 1:0, 1920

Queen’s Gambit

Euwe was an up and coming 19 year old when he lost this game.  The game was from an eight game match against a relatively unknown player, Wiersma.  Wiersma had his fun this game.  Euwe won the other seven games.

  1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e5 6. Nf3!? Okay, but…

[slightly better is  6. Ndb5 as played later in the same match. 6… a6 7. Qa4 Bd7 8. cxd5 Nc6 9. dxc6 Bxc6 10. Qb3 axb5 11. e4  +0.22|d16 Rybka4]

6… d4 7. Nd5 Nf6 8. Bg5 Be6 9. e4 So, he wants to secure the position of his knight on d5.  We’ll see about that!

9… dxe3?? Yes, this does undermine the position of the knight, but unfortunately for Euwe, Wiersma has no intention of keeping it there.  Euwe resigned rather than face the embarrassment of White’s next move.

[The position would have been equal after 9… Nbd7 10. Bd3 Bd6 11. O-O O-O  +0.00|d16 Rybka4]

[…]

[Instead, after 10. Nxf6! Black has to lose his rook on h8, or his queen, or be checkmated. 10… gxf6 (10… Ke7 11. Ng8 Ke8 12. Qxd8#; 10… Qxf6 11. fxe3! Black can’t move his queen! 11… Nc6 12. Bxf6 gxf6  +6.71|d15 Rybka4) 11. Qxd8 Kxd8 12. Bxf6 Be7 13. Bxh8  +5.03|d16 Rybka4]

[1:0]

Izmailov, P. – Botvinnik, Mikhail, 1:0, 1929

Queen’s Gambit, Cambridge Springs Variation

Botvinnik at the age of 18 is playing in his second USSR Chess Championship.  His opponent, P. Izmailov, was never heard from before or since.  Botvinnik also lost a 19 mover to Ilya Kan in the same tournament.  It just wasn’t his tournament.

  1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 d5 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. Nc3 c6 6. e3 Qa5 By transposition we reach the Cambridge Springs Variation, named after the great tournament held in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania in 1904.
  2. Qc2 Bb4 8. Nd2 O-O 9. Be2 b6!? Dubious since it cuts off the retreat for the queen.

[9… dxc4 10. Bxf6 Nxf6 11. Nxc4 Qc7 12. O-O  +0.18|d15 Rybka4]

  1. O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3 Ba6 12. Bf4 This move is somewhat of a non-sequitur. The bishop was well placed where it was, attacking the knight. On f4 it is attacking nothing.  When your opponent plays such a move you have to ask yourself, “Why did he do it?”

12… Rac8? Clearly Botvinnik didn’t ask himself the question, else he wouldn’t have played this move.

[12… c5 13. a4 cxd4 14. cxd4 Rfc8 15. Rfc1  +0.41|d15 Rybka4]

  1. Bd6! Due to the threat of 14. Bb4, winning the queen, Black can’t save the rook. 13… c5 14. Bxf8 Nxf8 Botvinnik decides to throw in the towel. […] [1:0]

Would I consider this position to be resignable?  No.  Would Botvinnik play on if he had to do over again?  Probably.  But I know the feeling.  When you make a ridiculous blunder like that early in the game, you just feel like you want to get the heck out of there.

Queen of Katwe: A Collection of Quotes

By Olga Inglis, Director of Business Development

Photograph by the very talented alechkovphoto”

These were my favorite quotes from Tim Crother’s Queen of Katwe book.

“Survival in Katwe depends on courage and determination as well as guile and luck.”

(page 18)

“Katwe’s youth endure an overwhelming stigma, a sense of defeat, and a resignation that they’ll never do any better than anybody else in the slum.”

(page 19)

“Soccer allowed Robert to dream.  It gave him joy.  It became his identity.”

(page 43)

“Doctors told Robert he would never play soccer again.  Nine months later, Robert was juggling the ball.”

(page 46)

“ ‘He didn’t ask for anything in exchange like other players who would ask me, ‘What will I get?’  What can I expect?’  Robert never thought he would get his daily bread from Miracle.’ “ (about Katende)

(page 49)

” ‘He was a young boy.  He needed shaping and guidance and direction.’ “ (about Katende)

(page 51)

“Katende had learned the game primarily through trial and error and the taught it that way to the Pioneers.”

(page 61)

“ ‘There was something special about Robert, a certain dignity and awareness that just stood out,’ Suddith says.”

(page 111)

” ‘I came to appreciate that chess is the best tool for kids in the slums,’ Katende says.  ‘I believe when they play the game they can integrate the principles used in the game into their daily life.  The moment your opponent makes a move, it is like posing a challenge to you, and the whole issue is to think, ‘What can I do to overcome this?’  It is like the challenges they face every day.  They must think how they can overcome those as well.  I told them they can never resign in a game, never give up until they are checkmated.  That is where the chessboard is like life.  That is the magic in the game.’ ”

(page 64)

“Whenever there was a crisis of confidence, Katende would tell his favorite story about an inept doctor.

‘Think of a situation when you are sick and you have gone to the clinic for treatment and a doctor comes up and says, ‘Young man, you’re sick.  I am going to inject you, but I don’t know whether I still remember how to inject.  Let me first see if I can remember.’  Then he gets a sponge and he tries to inject it and says, ‘I think I can remember.  Okay, let’s do the injection,’  Can you allow yourself to be injected?  Of course, you can’t.  Why?  Because the doctor does not believe in himself.  Then how do you entrust your life to him?  You cannot.  If you don’t believe in yourself, how do you expect anyone else to believe in you?’ “

(page 65)

” ‘Someday you will be able to read your opponent’s mind many moves in advance,’  Katende told them.  ‘You will see what is going to happen on the chessboard before it happens.  You are going to be prophets.’ “

(page 65)

“Harriet did not give up after her first business failure at the market, but tried again after learning from her mistakes.”

(page 79)

” ‘Then I watched them play the game and get happy and excited and I wanted a chance to be that happy.’ ” (Phiona)

(page 81)

“ ‘I learned that chess is a lot like my life,’ Phiona says.  ‘If you make smart moves you can stay away from danger, but you know any bad decision could be your last.’ “

(page 93)

“Chess began to make sense for Phiona.  It was a game of survival through considered aggression.  It is about finding some clarity among the confusion, some way to organize the chaos by always thinking several moves ahead of the danger.”

(page 134)

“Katende taught Phiona to understand the game, then to appreciate the game, and then finally to love the game.”

(page 135)

“Ivan believes Phiona’s greatest strength is her patience.”

(page 137)

“Phiona looks at all the options and then makes the best move.”

(page 137)

“By that time, Phiona had embraced chess as her true calling.  ‘I love chess with all of my heart,’ Phiona says.  ‘And when you love something with all your heart, it brings many other things.’ “

(page 192)

“On his way home that night, Robert Katende believed he had seen the last of Phiona Mutesi.  ‘Because the day was so hard for her, for sure I did not expect to meet her again,’ Katende says.  ‘When she came back the next day, I knew she had an enduring kind of spirit.  I knew this girl had courage.’ “

(page 86)

“He explained about discipline and good behavior and seizing any opportunity that comes her way and using her past as motivation for her future.”

(page 133)

“ ‘Have you ever done something wrong because someone else has told you to do it without thinking?’ Katende asked her.  ‘Before you do something, always think, ‘What will be the repercussions?  What will be the consequences?’ “

(page 134)

Tips from Phiona for Chess (and Life):

Believe in yourself

“You are meant to believe in yourself.  If you are not sure of yourself, your best can’t come out.  When I first started playing chess, I didn’t believe I could learn the game.  Then I didn’t believe I could become good.  Then I didn’t believe I could win a game.  Then I didn’t believe I could challenge a boy.  But Coach gave me confidence and I won a game against a boy, and from that day I started to move forward more boldly and I began to believe in myself that I can win any game that I play.  I have been amazed at what I could do in chess once I started believing in myself.”

Challenge yourself:

“It is easy to play against those opponents you know you can beat.  But Coach has encouraged me to challenge myself and play as many games as I can against opponents who can beat me.  When I go and play against someone who I believe is better than me, I know my chess will get better that day.  I always learn something in a game when I am challenged.”

Don’t get too excited:

“I don’t ever get excited even when I’m in a winning position because I know that until the game is over I have to be really serious.  One time I was playing in an Olympiad game and during preparations we had gone over various openings, so when I went to play I played a good opening and I managed to take a free piece and I realized my position was much better than my opponent’s.  I got so excited because I thought I was going to win.  I ended up making a big blunder out of excitement and I lost a bishop.  I eventually managed to win the game, but it was a serious struggle to come back.  That day I learned that I can never get excited again until the game is over.”

Don’t get discouraged:

“I have played in so many games when I was in a bad position and I felt like resigning, but I always remember that Coach has given us advice about never resigning until the game is over.  I hear those words in my head whenever my position seems hopeless and I just continue to endure and keep pushing myself.  I have seen many examples that a chess game is never over, no matter how bad your position may be, until you are mated.  You must continue to think.  You must continue to plot.  I have trained myself to believe that there is always a way out of trouble if I just continue thinking.”

Be patient:

“Once you have learned all the rules governing pieces, it is time to learn to strategize and to plan. You are trying to create teamwork with your pieces.  I encourage those I teach to be very patient in their planning.  You cannot just win a game, you have to plan for it.  I advise them not to always be in a hurry, but to first look at what the opponent has played and then try to read their mind.  What are they planning?  How can I stop that plan?  Then how can I attack?  How can I take control of the board?  When I first started playing, I wanted to capture a piece on every move.  One day I realized that you can win a chess game without capturing a single piece.  That’s when I realized that planning is more important than capturing.  The best way to avoid blunders is to play well.  Every game is different.  There are some games when I can never think more than one move ahead and there are others when I can plan beyond more than five moves ahead, but you must always be planning.”

Have a dream:

“The only way to become good chess player is to work on your game every day, and I have found that it has helped me to have a dream.  In my heart, I love chess and part of that is because I am working toward a goal.  To be a big player in the game, I think you need to have a big dream,  because if your dream is only to beat your brother or your father, then when you achieve that dream, you will quit because you have achieved that goal.  My ultimate dream is to become a Grandmaster, and chasing that dream is what brings me back to the chessboard every day to try to become the first Grandmaster ever in my country.”

Phiona Mutesi(pages 239-241)

To learn more about Phiona Mutesi, listen to our CEO National Master Evan Rabin’s interview with her in our 148th podcast episode.

Short Losses by World Champions, Part 1

By Matthew Grinberg, Founder of Alamogordo Chess Club

Two Weeks ago I presented the shortest loss ever by a World Chess Champion – a six mover by Anand.  That got me to thinking, why not present the shortest loss ever by each of the sixteen World Champions?  So I have selected 16 games from all World Champions, ranging from Wilhem Steinitz to Magnus Carlsen. This week we have the shortest losses by the first three World Champions – Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker and Jose Raul Capablanca.  If they can lose quickly, so can your next opponent!

Winawer, Szymon. – Steinitz, Wilhelm 1:0, 1896

This game was played two years after Steinitz lost the World Chess Championship to Emanuel Lasker.  Winawer was also one of the leading players of the day.

  1. e4 e5 2. d4!? Theory holds that the Center Game is not quite sound, but in practice it scores well.

2… exd4 3. Qxd4 Nc6 4. Qe3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd2 O-O 7. O-O-O Re8 The position is slightly better for Black due to the exposed position of White’s queen.

  1. Bc4 Bxc3!? Typical of Steinitz. He grabs material when he can and challenges his opponent to show what he has for it.

[Black retains an advantage after 8… d6 9. f3 Ne5 10. Bb3  -0.44|d15 Rybka4]

  1. Bxc3 Nxe4 10. Qf4 Nf6 11. Nf3 d6 12. Ng5 Be6 13. Bd3 h6 14. h4 Nd5

[Taking the knight may be playable, but it is very risky to open the file for White’s rook. 14… hxg5 15. hxg5 Ng4 16. Be2 Nce5 17. Rh5 Ng6 18. Qd4 N4e5 19. f4 Bg4 20. Bxg4 c5 21. Qe3 Nxg4 22. Qf3 Qd7 23. f5 N6e5 24. Rdh1 f6 25. Bxe5 Nxe5 26. Qd5 Kf8 27. gxf6 gxf6 28. Rh8 Ke7 29. R8h7 Kd8 30. Rxd7 Nxd7 31. Rh7 1-0, Salmensuu Olli (FIN) 2420  – Norri Joose (FIN) 2400 , Finland 1998 Ch Finland]

  1. Bh7 Kh8 16. Rxd5 Bxd5 17. Be4 f6?? When he should be getting White’s attacking pieces off of the board, Steinitz instead creates a giant weakness on the light squares around his king.

[Black is fine if he simply returns the extra material to blunt White’s attack. 17… Rxe4! 18. Nxe4 Ne5 19. Rd1 Bxe4 20. Bxe5 Bh7 21. Qxf7 Qf8 22. Qxf8 Rxf8 23. Bg3  +0.07|d19 Rybka4]

  1. Bxd5! fxg5 19. hxg5 Ne5?? Granted he is dead busted anyway, but this allows a quick mate.

[19… Re5 20. Qg4 Qc8 21. Qg3 Qf5 22. f4 Nb4 Note that the rook can’t move due to Rxh6 mate. 23. Bb3 Nc6 24. gxh6 g6 25. fxe5 Nxe5  +4.66|d12]

  1. g6 There is no good way to stop the threat of 21. Rxh6+gxh6, 22. Qxh6 mate, so Steinitz resigns. […] [1:0]

Bird, Henry – Lasker, Emanuel, 1:0, 1892

Center Game, Danish Gambit

This game was played two years after Steinitz lost the World Chess Championship to Emanuel Lasker. Winawer was also one of the leading players of the day.

1. e4 e5 2. d4!? Theory holds that the Center Game is not quite sound, but in practice it scores well.
2… exd4 3. Qxd4 Nc6 4. Qe3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd2 O-O 7. O-O-O Re8 The position is slightly better for Black due to the exposed position of White’s queen.
8. Bc4 Bxc3!? Typical of Steinitz. He grabs material when he can and challenges his opponent to show what he has for it.
[Black retains an advantage after 8… d6 9. f3 Ne5 10. Bb3 -0.44|d15 Rybka4]
9. Bxc3 Nxe4 10. Qf4 Nf6 11. Nf3 d6 12. Ng5 Be6 13. Bd3 h6 14. h4 Nd5
[Taking the knight may be playable, but it is very risky to open the file for White’s rook. 14… hxg5 15. hxg5 Ng4 16. Be2 Nce5 17. Rh5 Ng6 18. Qd4 N4e5 19. f4 Bg4 20. Bxg4 c5 21. Qe3 Nxg4 22. Qf3 Qd7 23. f5 N6e5 24. Rdh1 f6 25. Bxe5 Nxe5 26. Qd5 Kf8 27. gxf6 gxf6 28. Rh8 Ke7 29. R8h7 Kd8 30. Rxd7 Nxd7 31. Rh7 1-0, Salmensuu Olli (FIN) 2420 – Norri Joose (FIN) 2400 , Finland 1998 Ch Finland]
15. Bh7 Kh8 16. Rxd5 Bxd5 17. Be4 f6?? When he should be getting White’s attacking pieces off of the board, Steinitz instead creates a giant weakness on the light squares around his king.
[Black is fine if he simply returns the extra material to blunt White’s attack. 17… Rxe4! 18. Nxe4 Ne5 19. Rd1 Bxe4 20. Bxe5 Bh7 21. Qxf7 Qf8 22. Qxf8 Rxf8 23. Bg3 +0.07|d19 Rybka4]

18. Bxd5! fxg5 19. hxg5 Ne5?? Granted he is dead busted anyway, but this allows a quick mate.
[19… Re5 20. Qg4 Qc8 21. Qg3 Qf5 22. f4 Nb4 Note that the rook can’t move due to Rxh6 mate. 23. Bb3 Nc6 24. gxh6 g6 25. fxe5 Nxe5 +4.66|d12]
20. g6 There is no good way to stop the threat of 21. Rxh6+gxh6, 22. Qxh6 mate, so Steinitz resigns. […] [1:0]

Bird, Henry – Lasker, Emanuel
1:0, 1892
Center Game, Danish Gambit
This game was played two years after Steinitz lost the World Chess Championship to Emanuel Lasker. Winawer was also one of the leading players of the day.

1. e4 e5 2. d4!? Theory holds that the Center Game is not quite sound, but in practice it scores well.
2… exd4 3. Qxd4 Nc6 4. Qe3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd2 O-O 7. O-O-O Re8 The position is slightly better for Black due to the exposed position of White’s queen.
8. Bc4 Bxc3!? Typical of Steinitz. He grabs material when he can and challenges his opponent to show what he has for it.
[Black retains an advantage after 8… d6 9. f3 Ne5 10. Bb3 -0.44|d15 Rybka4]
9. Bxc3 Nxe4 10. Qf4 Nf6 11. Nf3 d6 12. Ng5 Be6 13. Bd3 h6 14. h4 Nd5
[Taking the knight may be playable, but it is very risky to open the file for White’s rook. 14… hxg5 15. hxg5 Ng4 16. Be2 Nce5 17. Rh5 Ng6 18. Qd4 N4e5 19. f4 Bg4 20. Bxg4 c5 21. Qe3 Nxg4 22. Qf3 Qd7 23. f5 N6e5 24. Rdh1 f6 25. Bxe5 Nxe5 26. Qd5 Kf8 27. gxf6 gxf6 28. Rh8 Ke7 29. R8h7 Kd8 30. Rxd7 Nxd7 31. Rh7 1-0, Salmensuu Olli (FIN) 2420 – Norri Joose (FIN) 2400 , Finland 1998 Ch Finland]
15. Bh7 Kh8 16. Rxd5 Bxd5 17. Be4 f6?? When he should be getting White’s attacking pieces off of the board, Steinitz instead creates a giant weakness on the light squares around his king.
[Black is fine if he simply returns the extra material to blunt White’s attack. 17… Rxe4! 18. Nxe4 Ne5 19. Rd1 Bxe4 20. Bxe5 Bh7 21. Qxf7 Qf8 22. Qxf8 Rxf8 23. Bg3 +0.07|d19 Rybka4]

18. Bxd5! fxg5 19. hxg5 Ne5?? Granted he is dead busted anyway, but this allows a quick mate.
[19… Re5 20. Qg4 Qc8 21. Qg3 Qf5 22. f4 Nb4 Note that the rook can’t move due to Rxh6 mate. 23. Bb3 Nc6 24. gxh6 g6 25. fxe5 Nxe5 +4.66|d12]
20. g6 There is no good way to stop the threat of 21. Rxh6+gxh6, 22. Qxh6 mate, so Steinitz resigns. […] [1:0]

Bird, Henry – Lasker, Emanuel
1:0, 1892
Center Game, Danish Gambit

This game was played two years after Steinitz lost the World Chess Championship to Emanuel Lasker. Winawer was also one of the leading players of the day.

1. e4 e5 2. d4!? Theory holds that the Center Game is not quite sound, but in practice it scores well.
2… exd4 3. Qxd4 Nc6 4. Qe3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd2 O-O 7. O-O-O Re8 The position is slightly better for Black due to the exposed position of White’s queen.
8. Bc4 Bxc3!? Typical of Steinitz. He grabs material when he can and challenges his opponent to show what he has for it.
[Black retains an advantage after 8… d6 9. f3 Ne5 10. Bb3 -0.44|d15 Rybka4]
9. Bxc3 Nxe4 10. Qf4 Nf6 11. Nf3 d6 12. Ng5 Be6 13. Bd3 h6 14. h4 Nd5
[Taking the knight may be playable, but it is very risky to open the file for White’s rook. 14… hxg5 15. hxg5 Ng4 16. Be2 Nce5 17. Rh5 Ng6 18. Qd4 N4e5 19. f4 Bg4 20. Bxg4 c5 21. Qe3 Nxg4 22. Qf3 Qd7 23. f5 N6e5 24. Rdh1 f6 25. Bxe5 Nxe5 26. Qd5 Kf8 27. gxf6 gxf6 28. Rh8 Ke7 29. R8h7 Kd8 30. Rxd7 Nxd7 31. Rh7 1-0, Salmensuu Olli (FIN) 2420 – Norri Joose (FIN) 2400 , Finland 1998 Ch Finland]
15. Bh7 Kh8 16. Rxd5 Bxd5 17. Be4 f6?? When he should be getting White’s attacking pieces off of the board, Steinitz instead creates a giant weakness on the light squares around his king.
[Black is fine if he simply returns the extra material to blunt White’s attack. 17… Rxe4! 18. Nxe4 Ne5 19. Rd1 Bxe4 20. Bxe5 Bh7 21. Qxf7 Qf8 22. Qxf8 Rxf8 23. Bg3 +0.07|d19 Rybka4]

18. Bxd5! fxg5 19. hxg5 Ne5?? Granted he is dead busted anyway, but this allows a quick mate.
[19… Re5 20. Qg4 Qc8 21. Qg3 Qf5 22. f4 Nb4 Note that the rook can’t move due to Rxh6 mate. 23. Bb3 Nc6 24. gxh6 g6 25. fxe5 Nxe5 +4.66|d12]
20. g6 There is no good way to stop the threat of 21. Rxh6+gxh6, 22. Qxh6 mate, so Steinitz resigns. […] [1:0]

Bird, Henry – Lasker, Emanuel 1:0, 1892
Center Game, Danish Gambit


At the time of this game, Lasker was two years away from taking the World Chess Championship from Wilhelm Steinitz.  Bird had been a major player on the European scene since the 1840’s.

  1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3!? The Danish Gambit. It makes for exciting play, but it is not considered to be quite sound.

3… dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5. Bxb2 Qg5!? Early development of the queen is not good.

[The modern method, first recommended by Carl Schechter about a century ago, is to return the two extra pawns to get the queens off the board with an equal position. 5… d5 6. Bxd5 Nf6 7. Bxf7 Kxf7 8. Qxd8 Bb4 9. Qd2 Bxd2 10. Nxd2 Re8  -0.12|d16 Rybka4]

  1. Nf3 Qxg2? Some have claimed that the Golden Rule is, “Never take the queen knight pawn with your queen.” That should probably apply to the king knight pawn too. Obviously this is the point of Black’s last move, but it is never-the-less bad.  Black’s queen is exposed to attack and he is horribly behind in development.

[Black still has a good position after 6… Qa5 7. Nc3 d6 8. O-O  +0.20|d17 Rybka4]

  1. Rg1 Bb4? If Lasker was not lost already, this seals his fate because it leaves the g-pawn undefended.

[7… Qh3 8. Bxf7 Kd8 9. Rxg7 Qh6 10. Rxg8 Rxg8 11. Bxg8  +2.24|d15 Rybka4 White is up a piece for a pawn.]

  1. Ke2 Qh3
  2. Bxf7! Kd8

[Obviously not 9… Kxf7 10. Ng5 Ke8 11. Nxh3  +8.34|d14 Rybka4]

  1. Bxg7 Ne7 11. Ng5 Due to the threat of Ne6+ Lasker has to give up his queen to avoid checkmate.

11… Qh4 Instead he decides to commit suicide. 12. Ne6# [1:0]

Sometimes the old guys get in their licks.

Marshall, Frank James – Capablanca, Jose Raul, 1:0, 1909

Queen’s Gambit, Orthodox Defense

At the time of this match Marshall was the U.S. Chess Champion.  Capablanca, from Cuba, was ostensibly in the U.S. to study engineering at Columbia University, but in reality he spent most of his time playing chess.  Capablanca won the match 8 – 1 with 14 draws, but Marshall’s one win was memorable.

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 Ne4 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. Bd3 Nxc3 8. bxc3 Nd7

[Another game from the same match – 8… dxc4 9. Bxc4 b6 10. Qf3 c6 11. Ne2 Bb7 12. O-O O-O 13. a4 c5 14. Qg3 Nc6 15. Nf4 Rac8 16. Ba2 Rfd8 17. Rfe1 Na5 18. Rad1 Bc6 19. Qg4 c4 20. d5 Bxa4 21. Rd2 e5 22. Nh5 g6 23. d6 Qe6 24. Qg5 Kh8 25. Nf6 Rxd6 26. Rxd6 Qxd6 27. Bb1 Nc6 28. Bf5 Rd8 29. h4 Ne7 30. Ne4 Qc7 31. Qf6 Kg8 32. Be6 fxe6 33. Qxe6 Kf8 34. Ng5 Ng8 35. f4 Re8 36. fxe5 Re7 37. Rf1 Kg7 38. h5 Be8 39. h6 Kh8 40. Qd6 Qc5 41. Qd4 Rxe5 42. Qd7 Re7 43. Rf7 Bxf7 0-1, Marshall Frank J (USA) – Capablanca Jose Raul (CUB), New York 1909 Match]

  1. Nf3 O-O 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Qb3 Nf6 12. a4 c5 13. Qa3 b6!? The pawn just becomes a target on this square.

[13… Ne4 14. O-O Be6  +0.05|d16 Rybka4]

  1. a5 Bb7 15. O-O Qc7 16. Rfb1 Nd7?! Always try to avoid passive defense.

[16… Ne4 17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Nd2 cxd4 19. cxd4 Bd5  +0.43|d19 Rybka4]

  1. Bf5 Rfc8 18. Bxd7 Qxd7 19. a6! Bc6 20. dxc5 bxc5 21. Qxc5 Rab8? Allowing Marshall to undermine the defense of the bishop. Capablanca’s position was already difficult due to passive defense, now it is critical.

[21… Rc7 22. h3 h6 23. Rb2 f6 24. Nd4 Rac8 25. Qa3 Qe8 26. Rab1  +1.02|d15]

  1. Rxb8 Rxb8 23. Ne5 Qf5 24. f4 Rb6?? Instantly fatal.

[He would still have a slim chance after 24… Ba8 25. Qxa7 Rf8  +2.67|d18 Rybka4]

 

  1. Qxb6!! Brilliant! Capablanca resigns.

[Capablanca was no doubt hoping for 25. Nxc6?? Rb1 26. Rxb1 Qxb1 27. Kf2 Qc2 28. Ke1 Qc1 29. Ke2 Qc2 30. Kf3 Qe4 31. Kg3 Qg6 32. Kh4 Qh6 33. Kg4 Qg6 34. Kf3 Qe4 35. Kg3 Qg6 36. Kh4 Qh6 37. Kg4 Qg6 38. Kf3 Qe4 Draw by three fold repetition.]

[…]

[He has to take the queen, but it loses quickly. 25… axb6 26. Nxc6 Qe4 (26… Qd7 27. a7 Qxc6 28. a8=Q Qxa8 29. Rxa8#; 26… Qc8 27. Ne7 etc.) 27. a7 Qxe3 28. Kh1 h5 29. a8=Q  +10.40|d14 Rybka4]

[1:0]

Pawn Endgame Puzzles

By Matthew Grinberg, Founder of Alamogordo Chess Club

  1. This little puzzle of mine illustrates two of the most the most basic and important things about pawn endgames – the opposition and keeping your king in front of your passed pawn.

The opposition is one form of zugswang – putting your opponent in a position where any move he makes weakens his position.  Having the opposition in a pawn endgame means having the opponent’s king two squares away from your own king on a file, rank or diagonal with your opponent on the move.  The best form of the opposition in a pawn endgame having your king directly in front of your opponent’s king with your pawn behind you so his king will be forced to step aside or back up, allowing your king to advance.

The importance of keeping your king in front is that it not only allows you to set up the opposition, but the king acts like a bulldozer, clearing the way for your pawn.

White to play and win.

  1. Kd3! White both steps in front of his passed pawn and takes the opposition.  Every other move in this position allows a draw.

[1. d4? Kd6 2. Ke4 Ke6 3. d5 Kd6 4. Kd4 Kd7 5. Ke5 Ke7 6. d6 Kd7 7. Kd5 Kd8 This move illustrates an important point for the defender in pawn endgames – when forced to drop back by a pawn directly in front of you defended by the opponent’s king, it is best to drop directly back, not diagonally.  (7… Ke8? 8. Ke6 Kd8 9. d7 Kc7 10. Ke7 Kc6 11. d8=Q White wins) 8. Ke6 Ke8 9. d7 Kd8 10. Kd6 stalemate;

  1. Kf3? Kd4 2. Ke2 Ke4 3. d3 Kd4 4. Kd2 Kd5 5. Ke3 Ke5 6. d4 Kd5 and we have reached the same position as after White’s first move in the previous line.  Draw]

1… Ke5

[1… Kd6 Stepping back directly when the opponent’s king is in front of the pawn does no good because your opponent will step forward directly retaining the opposition 2. Kd4]

  1. Kc4 Ke6

[2… Kd6 3. Kd4 Ke6 4. Kc5 Kd7 5. Kd5 Ke7 6. Kc6 Kd8 7. Kd6 Ke8 8. d4 Kd8 9. d5 Kc8 10. Ke7 Kc7 11. d6 Kc6 12. d7 Kd5 13. d8=Q White wins]

  1. Kc5 Ke5 Black’s king takes the opposition on a rank, but it is futile because White advances his pawn, forcing Black’s king to move.
  2. d4 Ke6 5. Kc6 Ke7 6. d5 Kd8 7. Kd6 Once again White takes the opposition with his pawn behind his king forcing Black’s king aside so White’s king can step up to cover the last two squares the pawn needs to queen.

7… Ke8 8. Kc7 Ke7 9. d6 Ke6 10. d7 Ke5 11. d8=Q White wins [1:0]

2.

This problem illustrates what I call the “pawn breakthrough” – a well-known theme in pawn endgames.  But, oops, I made a mistake in setting up the position.  White’s king should have been on a1, not a2.  On a1 the intended solution, 1. g6, is the only solution.  As it is, White has two alternatives.  But this allows me to go into further depth in the realm of pawn endgames.

White to play and win.

  1. g6! Black must capture else White’s g-pawn will quickly queen.

[1. Ka1??? turns the game on its head and allows Black to win by playing g6 first and getting his king to the pawns first. 1… g6 (1… Kc2 2. Ka2 Kc1) 2. hxg6 hxg6 3. fxg6 (3. f6 Kd2 4. Kb2 Ke3 5. Kc3 Kf4 6. Kd4 Kxg5 7. Ke5 Kh5 8. Kf4 (8. Kd6 g5 9. Ke7 Kg6 Black wins) 8… g5 9. Kg3 (9. Kf5) 9… Kg6 10. Kh3 Kxf6 Black wins) 3… fxg6 4. Ka2 Kd2 5. Kb3 Ke3 6. Kc2 Kf4 7. Kd1 Kxg5 8. Ke2 Kg4 9. Kf2 Kh3 10. Kg1 g5 11. Kh1 g4 12. Kg1 Kg3 Black takes the opposition and wins. 13. Kh1 Kf2 14. Kh2 g3 15. Kh3 g2 16. Kg4 g1=Q Black wins;

  1. Kb3 g6 (1… Kd2 2. g6 hxg6 3. f6 gxf6 4. h6 White wins as in the main line) 2. hxg6 hxg6 3. fxg6 fxg6 4. Kc3 Kd1 5. Kd4 Ke2 6. Ke5 Kf3 7. Kf6 Kf4 8. Kxg6 White wins;

Even this move wins. 1. Ka3 g6 (1… Kd2 2. g6 hxg6 3. f6 gxf6 4. h6 f5 5. h7 f4 6. h8=Q f3 7. Qd8 Ke2 8. Qe7 Kf1 9. Qxf7 f2 10. Qe6 Kg1 (or 10… g5 11. Kb3 Kg1 12. Qg4 Kh2 13. Qf3 g4 14. Qxf2 Kh3 15. Kc2 g3 16. Qf4 g2 17. Qg5 g1=N 18. Qxg1 Kh4 19. Kd3 Kh5 20. Qg7 Kh4 21. Ke3 Kh5 22. Kf3 Kh4 23. Qg4#) 11. Qg4 (Not 11. Qxg6?? which leads to a theoretical draw.  One of three things will happen, Black will queen the pawn, Black will be stalemated on h1 when White captures the pawn with his queen, the position will be repeated three times allowing Black to claim a draw or 50 moves will be played without anything being captured or the pawn moving, allowing Black to claim a draw.  The one thing Black must avoid to secure the draw is stepping his king in front of the pawn since that would allow White’s king to move towards the kingside.  I note that the position would also be a draw if Black’s pawn was on h2.) 11… Kh2 12. Qf3 Kg1 13. Qg3 Kf1 14. Kb3 Ke2 15. Qg4 Ke1 16. Qe4 Kd2 17. Qd5 Ke2 18. Qg2 Ke3 (18… Ke1 19. Kc2 Ke2 20. Qe4 Kf1 21. Qg4 g5 (21… Ke1 22. Qd1#) 22. Kd3 Ke1 23. Qe2#) 19. Kc2 g5 20. Kd1 Kf4 (20… g4 21. Qg3 Ke4 22. Qxf2 White wins) 21. Qxf2 White wins) 2. hxg6 hxg6 3. f6 Kd2 4. Kb4 Ke3 5. Kc5 Kf4 6. Kd6 Kxg5 7. Ke7 Kh4 8. Kxf7 g5 9. Ke6 g4 10. f7 g3 11. f8=Q Kh3 12. Ke5 Kg2 13. Ke4 Kg1 14. Qh6 g2 15. Kf3 Kf1 16. Qh3 Ke1 17. Qxg2 Kd1 18. Qb2 Ke1 19. Qc1#]

Back to the main (intended) line. 1… hxg6

[Or 1… fxg6 2. h6! and White will win much as in the main line. 2… gxh6 3. f6 Kd2 4. f7 Ke3 5. f8=Q g5 6. Qxh6 Kf4 7. Qxh7 g4 8. Qh2 Kf3 9. Qg1 White wins]

  1. f6! Now no matter what Black does, White’s f-pawn or h-pawn will queen.

2… gxf6 The best hope since Black ends up with three pawns for the queen.

  1. h6 Kd2 If Black does not move his king towards the pawns, they will all be quickly lost.
  2. h7 Ke3 5. h8=Q f5 6. Qe8 Kf3 7. Qxf7 f4 8. Qxg6 Ke3 9. Qg2 f3 10. Qf1 Black’s pawn is no longer a threat to queen.  Meanwhile White will bring his king over the finish the deal.

10… Ke4 11. Kb3 Ke3 12. Kc4 Ke4 13. Qf2 Ke5 14. Qxf3 Ke6 15. Qf4 Kd7 16. Kd5 Ke7 17. Qf5 Kd8 18. Kd6 Ke8 19. Qf1 Kd8 20. Qf8# [1:0]

3.

I saw this puzzle a long time ago.  I can’t remember where, but when I saw the solution, it was permanently imprinted in my brain,

In order to win, White has to get back to the original position, but with Black to move.  If he does that, then he will win Black’s last pawn and the game.

The idea of getting back to the original position with the opposite side to play is called “triangulation.”  The idea is that the player on the move has three safe squares for his king but the opponent’s king only has two.  But in this case there are more squares involved and  it takes more than the three moves implied by the term.

White to play and win.

  1. Kd5

1… Kc8

[1… Kd8 Allows White to win faster. 2. Kd6 Kc8 3. c7 Kb7 4. Kd7 Ka8 5. c8=Q Ka7 6. Qg8 Kb7 7. Qb3 Ka8 8. Kc6 Ka7 9. Qb7#;

1… Kb8 Allows White to win faster. 2. Kd6 Ka7 3. c7 Kb7 4. Kd7 Ka8 5. c8=Q Ka7 6. Qc5 Kb7 7. Qe7 Kb8 8. Kc6 Kc8 9. Qc7#]

  1. Kd4

[2. Kd6 Works but takes longer. 2… Kd8 3. Kd5 Kc8 4. Kc4 Kd8 5. Kd4 Kc8 6. Kd5 Kc7 7. Kc5 He gets to the key position two moves slower than the main line. 7… Kc8 8. Kb6 Kb8 9. Kxa6 Kc7 10. Kb5 Kc8 11. Kb6 Kd8 12. c7 Kd7 13. a6 Ke6 14. a7 Kf5 15. a8=Q Ke5 16. Qf8 Kd5 17. c8=Q Ke4 18. Qc4 Ke5 19. Qff4#]

2… Kd8

[2… Kc7 Allows White to win faster. 3. Kc5 Kc8 4. Kb6 Kb8 5. Kxa6 Kc7 6. Kb5 Kc8 7. Kb6 Kd8 8. c7 Kd7 9. a6 Ke6 10. a7 Kf5 11. c8=Q Kf4 12. a8=Q Ke5 13. Qf3 Kd6 14. Qf6 Kd5 15. Qcc6#;

2… Kb8 Amounts to the same thing. 3. Kc4 Kc8 4. Kd5 Kc7 5. Kc5 Kc8 6. Kb6 Kb8 7. Kxa6 Kc7 8. Kb5 Kc8 9. Kb6 Kd8 10. c7 Kd7 11. a6 Ke6 12. a7 Kf5 13. c8=Q Kf4 14. a8=Q Ke5 15. Qf3 Kd6 16. Qf6 Kd5 17. Qcc6#]

  1. Kc4

[3. Kd5 Works but takes longer. 3… Kc8 4. Kc4 Kd8 5. Kd4 Kc8 6. Kd5 Kc7 7. Kc5 Again he has taken two moves longer to get to the key position. 7… Kc8 8. Kb6 Kb8 9. Kxa6 Kc7 10. Kb5 Kc8 11. Kb6 Kd8 12. a6 Ke8 13. c7 Ke7 14. a7 Kd7 15. a8=Q Ke7 16. c8=Q Kf6 17. Qf3 Kg6 18. Qff5 Kg7 19. Qcf8#;

  1. Kc5 Kc7 Repeats the starting position with White to move – not what White wants unless he is going for a draw.]

3… Kc8

[3… Kc7 Allows White to win faster. 4. Kc5 Kc8 5. Kb6 Kb8 6. Kxa6 Kc7 7. Kb5 Kc8 8. Kb6 Kd8 9. a6 Ke7 10. c7 Kf6 11. a7 Kf5 12. c8=Q Ke4 13. a8=Q Kf4 14. Qg2 Ke5 15. Qgg4 Kf6 16. Qce6#]

  1. Kd5

[4. Kc5 Kc7 Repeats the starting position with White to move again]

4… Kc7

[4… Kd8 Allows White to win faster. 5. Kd6 Kc8 6. c7 Kb7 7. Kd7 Ka8 8. c8=Q Ka7 9. Qc5 Kb7 10. Qb4 Ka8 11. Kc6 Ka7 12. Qb7#;

4… Kb8 Allows White to win faster. 5. Kd6 Ka7 6. c7 Kb7 7. Kd7 Ka8 8. c8=Q Ka7 9. Qc5 Kb8 10. Qb4 Ka8 11. Kc6 Ka7 12. Qb7#]

  1. Kc5! White finally gets back to the original position with Black to move!

5… Kc8 6. Kb6 Kb8 7. Kxa6 White wins Black’s lone pawn.

7… Kc7 8. Kb5 Black can no longer stop the pawns from queening.

[Not 8. Ka7?? Kxc6 Draw.  White will never be able to queen his remaining pawn]

One possible finish: 8… Kc8 9. Kb6 Kd8 10. a6 Ke7 11. a7 Ke6 12. c7 Kf5 13. a8=Q Kg6 14. c8=Q Kg5 15. Qf3 Kg6 16. Qff5 Kg7 17. Qcf8# [1:0]

4.

This is a problem I composed myself a long time ago.

The theme in this puzzle is “interference” – your opponent has a critical goal, so you throw a piece in his way to stop him from doing it.  Often, as in this case, the piece is sacrificed.

White to play and win.

  1. d5!

[Advancing the passed pawn looks good, but Black’s king runs it down and the game ends in a draw. 1. a4? Ke4 2. a5 Kd5 3. Kf2 Kc6 4. Kf3 Kb5 5. Ke4 (5. Kg4 Kxa5 6. Kxg5 Kb5 7. Kf6 Kc4 8. Kxe6 Kxd4=) 5… Kxa5 6. Ke5 Kb4 7. Kxe6 g4 8. d5 g3 9. d6 g2 10. d7 g1=Q 11. d8=Q=;

  1. Ke1 Ke3 2. Kf1 Kf3]

Black has to take because otherwise the pawn will queen. 1… exd5 But now Black’s own pawn blocks the path his king needs to intercept White’s a-pawn.

[1… g4 2. dxe6 g3 3. e7 g2 4. Kg1 White wins]

  1. a4 d4 But with two passed pawns and one further advanced than White’s passed pawn, it looks like Black has a chance.

[2… g4 3. a5 g3 4. a6 g2 5. Kg1 d4 6. a7 d3 7. a8=Q White wins;

2… Ke4 3. a5 Ke5 4. a6 Kd6 5. a7 Kc7 Because his own pawn blocked his path, Black’s king gets there too late. 6. a8=Q White wins]

  1. a5 d3 4. Ke1 g4 5. a6 g3 6. a7 g2 7. a8=Q Sorry Black, your pawn is one move too late.

7… Kg3 8. Qg8 Kf3 9. Qg5 d2 The last desperate attempt to hold.

  1. Kxd2 Kf2 11. Qf4 White forces Black’s king in front of his pawn setting up the win.

11… Kg1 12. Ke2 Kh1 13. Qh4 Kg1 14. Kf3 Kf1 15. Qh3 Ke1 16. Qxg2 Kd1 17. Qb2 Ke1 18. Qc1# [1:0]

How to Make Staying Inside Safe and Fun for Kids

By Amy Collett, Founder of Bizwell

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Having children home from school or daycare means finding ways to keep them entertained throughout the day. This can be a major challenge, especially for parents who are trying to work from home. Often, it feels like the only option is putting them in front of a screen. However, many parents feel guilt and worry that their little ones are not getting the stimulation they need to stay healthy.

Here are a few (mostly) screen-free ways to keep kids occupied throughout the day:

Learn Chess from Premier Chess

Have some messy fun with finger paint.

Build a pillow fort.

Do these science experiments with household items.

Teach them to cook.

Take advantage of the benefits of classical music by setting aside daily personal listening time.

Avoid boredom with these boredom busters for teens.

Let them enjoy some screen time.

Children can get restless and bored easily, but having a stock of great activities on hand keeps them (and you) sane. When your kiddos start getting stir crazy, turn to one of the fun items on this list and see if they have a fun time with it. Make a note for particularly successful games or activities to bring out again at a later date. Before you know it, you will have something to turn to anytime your kids need something to do!