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Note: I just added a PGN database of my analyses. Go to the BCC site for links to PGN readers.

   Also, check out the cocktail earth theory as depicted in my patentedly schizophrenic style on my  Kwazey Front Page.

One more thing. Bret: I am going to post pix of my model railroading progress here. I just put another coat of SP (that's short for southern pacific.. for those not in the know) armor yellow on my My-jack. if Ace hardware gets more nice cheap cans (crates containers) i might pick more up. I already bought some plaster, but I have to make it to the ace right across the street here and buy something to make little molds to make those little highway dividers somehow. Right now on the link above, there are mostly pix of "real trains" instead of the toy ones. The process now is a lot of werk more than anything.. i have to figger out what the right colors are for the foliage i might pick those up i have to make a trip to city college soon so i will be in the neighborhood for the SF train store. If you go to the link, make sure to click on the thumbnails to get a better view! {:)

the Morgan Cooper Controversy
HAS BEEN RECTIFIED! woo hoo!
Morgan Cooper's rating was not inserted properly into the UCSF online rating DB. I have been interacting with the webmaster (who is not apparently in charge of the back end), and I made this page to try to help them rectify the matter.

So Far, I guess I only have one game under
Big Tourneys
That was in Reno April 2004. Went back to Symmetrical English 'cause of an Anand line I liked. However, E. Hong avoided that line with the kingside fianchetter. Oh well.

A few years back, at the National Open I had a game, while playing up into the 'A' section (might have been called 'U2000' -- note that at the time my rating was in the 'B' range), though the way things go, fully a third (2 out of 6) of my opponents were 'B' players. I took note that I beat all the 'B' players, and managed to draw one 'A' player, I considered the tournament a success. Beyond this overall assessment of 'success' (having lost half the games to the 'A' players, there must be some disclaimer) was one game I considered a gem thanks to my sacrifice that took fully 14 moves playing with 2-3 pawns for the piece to finish the win. I usually consider 3 pawns to be a sound bet for a piece, depending, as always, but I am still not sure if this one was sound. I gave the game to OLM Jerry Hanken, but ex post facto, I felt similar to the time when I got chided by Jerry and Randy Hough for beating some rich guy, Frederick Field, of Marshall Fields. In this case, my opponent in this pretty game was a young gurl. Thankfully, she's still playing and is currently in the 'A' class so I don't think I have to werry about hurting her feelings too much by posting it.

I have a few from the
Berkely Chess Club
The first I want to mention is Glasscoe - Shulman, 1983. Joan had that up with the second player listed as "co-conspirator." I decided to analyze it a bit, and as per my usual procedure of doing a database search, what would come up, but the entire game, identity of the "co-conspirator" and all.

After having an interesting issue with the rules, Nelson Sowell chose to beat Nick Casares over the board rather than on the clock. In the featured diagram here, you see a position where they have achieved the material balance (or rather, imbalance) that attracted me to the game. Mikhail Tal has played in games with a similar balance, perhaps, but usually, I think he would go for a position when his queen had a greater initiative than this. White (Nelson) has consolidated his position and will go on to win this game.
Blundering in my Usual Fashion, I nevertheless made the second from last mistake and beat Steve Wierzba. Delaying Nf6 for black looked funny in the opening to me, but after looking at a Fritz suggestion to exploit it, I remained unconvinced. Instead, we transposed into something looking normal, and I got a good d5 square for my knight. After collecting some pawns, I went into autopilot again and made my blunder. However, there was a tiny amount of technique poison in my Bc4, and very soon after I managed to induce the counterblunder.

This is a game that I was fascinated with because of the funny material balance. Jacob Lopez had the tables turned on him with respect to his penchant for trading those big clumsy ox rooks for those sleek little bishops. David Goldfarb insisted on keeping his bishops, and I also found some nice lines with monster knights. Jacob should study the Hübner variation instead of those silly open lines of the Nimzo-Indian defense that favor white. He had a great chance in this game to just have a nice monster closed pawn wedge. Instead, he threw his center away, and then had David's assorted army raining down on him, as I was satisfied with my politically charged imagery, "like the World Trade Center on September 11th."

Ian keeps on rolling. Is it looking like he is the favorite to win the Marathon? He's won Berkeley champs before. If you go by rating, David Barton is scheduled to beat him next week. This week's game with Craig Andries was played in a Stonewall Dutch, according to my MCO-13 from 1990. I am not sure the distinction between that and the Leningrad aspects of the position. I guess black's fianchettoed king's bishop may form an essential part of the Leningrad formation, while in the game Craig played his bishop to d6. I found 4 precedent games for the position they reached on move 5. Craig avoided 6..Ne7 that spelled defeat for two players I don't recognize, and Ian avoided 7.Bf4 that led to two draws. Was this game a big improvement on theory? Could be, as far as I know.

Steven Svoboda very nicely exploited the erroneous "win" of an exchange by David Barton. Position first, "material" second, is what IM John Donaldson told me a while back. I put "material" in quotes because there is much debate about the exact value of the pieces. For instance, in my endgame studies, I have seen that 4 pawns always beat a rook (at least the examples in ECE) and 3 pawns can easily draw. I have heard of various theories giving say a bishop 2.7 and a knight 2.5 etc. The classical idea of 1, 3, 5, and umm.. the queen? How much for a queen again? 8 pawns? well.. if your opponent gives you 8 pawns he can never get another queen. Maybe that's it, yeah.
Coop allows "Die Blockade" hence allowing David Goldfarb to be the sole possessor of the tiki god of attack in a Sicilian Yugoslav Dragon B76. Furthermore, he absurdly allows the "easily equalizing 9..d5!" Tsk, Tsk.

Robert Smith beat Rick Veres in a sort of Cambridge Springs QGD. They stayed in theory of sorts up to 9.c5?! which I call dubious because of white's poor record in this "line." However, Robert made the best of it and certainly the move is not _that_ bad, only dubious, at least based on its record. They played on and in my opinion 37..g6? gave white a better position. Not following my plan meant that Robert had to rely on 45..Kd8? to win the game.
James Matz beat Dwight Kearney in what I guess is a Ragozin QGD. 7..Bc3?! seemed to be the first sign of Dwight's faltering. It has been played, but in my database black does not do well with it. He traded two pairs of minors in order to avoid facing the bishop pair, but this costs him time. I left the dubious mark on 20.h4?! but it spurred me into a long discussion on pawn structure that seemed to indicate maybe I should have given the caveat that "?!" was "a David's" opinion. After that, Dwight got a little attack happy and threw away the game.

Brenda MacIntyre took out Paul Nolan in the Fianchetto King's Indian. The first punctuation was 18. Bc5?! where I didn't catch why Brenda gave up the bishop pair. After that, they made it to a point where Fritz sacced the exchange! (see the diagram at the left) Passing up on that opportunity, Brenda just played the caveman and shoved some rooks down poor Paul's throat.
Kevin Walters took out Steve Mann with a Pin Scandinavian. Steve violated popular opinion by weakening his kingside after castling there, and in the opposite side castling position they went to from there proved to be more than he could handle.

Andrew Yun bested Nick Casares with the black pieces in the Evans Gambit. Nick left book with a "Fritz second choice" move 9.Qb5 when I don't think he realized he was supposed to give up a bishop for a knight and in his dismay, I think, he ended up trying some rather dubious complications. He should have went for the position shown at the left and come to think of it , in the game, he could have gotten there with his "Fritz second Choice" instead of playing the "correct" 9.Qa4, given that Andrew played 9..KxB and allowed the transposition.
David Goldfarb hits us with a mysterious "necessity" on move 18 for this one. I can't figger it out, but I don't play the King's Indian Defense. Any ideas out there?

Those 19th century guys really knew how to play the game of chess, or did they? Wow. What an amazing slugfest. Was this the Compromised Gambit? I only checked a Morphy book out of the Mechanics Library one time. I don't own that one, but the name sticks in my head.
Got to try to be a thorn in David Goldfarb's side, no? {:) Heh. Well, actually I think we see eye to eye here on the idea of pursuing the soundness of Theron's sacrifice. I just got a little more giddy with it. It was one of those Confounded Colles.

Dwight Kearney and Ian Zimmerman played a game that I can only name at this point as a Sharp QGA. I guess I should have MCO here. Of course I could google it. Naww.. too much of a headache.
Kevin Walters and Jason Yun played a B76 Yugoslav. I avoid that line, so I guess I am a little bit less than nice. Sorry about that. I don't get lines in the Sicilian that have a cavalier disregard for black's ..d5 push. Beyond that, black somewhat mysteriously decides to make his dragon breath Bg7 bad. Cutting him some slack, the state of white's kingside pawns makes that badness very potentially nonpermanent.

I was very pleased to have a chance to survey a Budapest Gambit. What a beautiful opening. Maybe I should learn to play it. For me the highlight of this game was disagreeing with David Goldfarb's exclamation point! {:) Yeah, two pawns is enough to make a guy with a rook feel comfortable against many two minor combinations, but the two bishops? Well, that can be a differnt story, I tell you what.
This next one is quite a theoretical novelty. At least I thought it was at first. It turns out that barring two knight moves a young Gary Kasparov played it a lot. I ran it by IM John Donaldson and he gave me a couple of move orders. Sheesh, did I feel stupid for what I used to have written here. The theory is a bit new, though. In my three books on the Symmetrical English (yes I should have consulted the books but I do this in San Jose and my books are in San Francisco, except now I have the Symmetrical English books here but I still haven't come to a conclusion yet) one of the three barely treats it at all. For the fun of it, let's keep calling it the Pelikan English.

David Goldfarb asked me to go over his game with Andy Lee from the "Berkeley Marathon," as Joan Arbil coined it. The main lesson I can remember right now to point out about this game is what IM John Donaldson told me in Chicago this year (2004), i.e. "..position first, material second." I went with "?" instead of "??!" for his move 15.Rae1, another case of getting rid of one of those clumsy ox rooks for a sleek bishop. I guess my analysis points out that Andy should have won, but I remember finding some strange lines that maybe explained the strange behavoir of masters who refuse to take material offered to them.

My buddy Brendan Purcell played a nice yugoslav with David Goldfarb in "the marathon." He couldn't quite pull it off, but they were deep in theoretical terrority. Keep plugging, buddy.

Brendan managed to beat Tony Cole in a closed type of Sicilian game that got classified as B50, but doesn't strike me as too theoretical from the opening. I'm not sure why they suggest the kingside fianchetto for black against closed set-ups, but I have given up the argument and went with it. Maybe I'm mistaken. I found a possible win for Cole, take a look at that one. Tactics at the higher levels are about being rock solid at the same time as lashing out. That would be my main thought here.

Ian Zimmerman beat Matz in the marathon. I didn't have a lot to say about it because it is in the "big black hole" of the Queen's Gambit that I for the most part avoid in my repertoire.

Andrew Mundt shot past Aldo Valle with a Tartakower QGD.


Mechanics Tuesday Marathon

I was sure Marc Kastor should have won, and I was right. However, I didn't have a complete scoresheet and I got way bogged down in numerous errors for both sides so I didn't really get to the position I wanted. Furthermore, I remain frustrated with the state of the art of ChessBase Endgame tablebases.



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I perfer the former.