Well played to WiseCrabbyCoconut for his win in the Sunday Bullet event at the weekend with two excellent wins and a draw. He secured the win with a great checkmate in the final round - position below.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see all the games and the full results at the following link: www.chesskid.com/tournament/sunday-bullet-130844/results
theworldoflegend took the spoils this evening by winning all of his games - very well played.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see all the games and the full results at the following link: www.chesskid.com/tournament/wednesday-blitz-131615/results
Chess Problem: Mate in 1
The following position comes from one of the games last Sunday. Can you see how WiseCrabbyCoconut delivered Checkmate in one move from this position? - Black to play.
Answer: Re2# - this is a lovely checkmate - the Knight and the pawn on e6 defend the squares on the "f" file, the e6 pawn protects Knight, while the King protects the pawn. The King defends d6, while whites own pawn on d4 prevents escape on that square. When the Rook moves to e2, there is nowhere for the White King to go - a very nice checkmate involving lots of pieces. A very good find in Bullet chess.
In chess, a great way to win pieces is to 'fork' two or more of your opponents pieces. This simply means to attack two or more pieces simultaneously with one of your pieces. One of te most common ways to do this is with the Knight. This is called a 'Knight Fork".
However, if you are lucky enough - or skilful enough - to find yourself in the position below when playing Black, you have a great opportunity. In this position, Black can make a 'Family Fork'. In this case, Black can attack the White King, Queen and one of the Rook's all at the same time. As White will be unable to take Black's piece, White's Queen will surely fall. Can you spot what move Black plays here?
Congratulations to NextPuffyJelly who won the game with this move - very well played. If you want to see the answer, the whole game is shown further down, and you can see what move NextPuffyJelly played.
Tonight we had a really tight event with three players all finishing on 2 points. Well played to all. Going into the final round AbleLopsidedGiraffe was in pole position with 2 wins, while theworldoflegend needed a win to draw level. With the two players up against each other, it was a head to head. theworldoflegend won the game and with it the event on tiebreak score. Very well played to both.
MeanCactus also had an excellent evening. The second round saw MeanCactus playing theworldoflegend. This was an excellent game with lots of very good chess. Time was very tight for both players with less than 20 seconds on the clock in for the final 15 moves or so. theworldoflegend took the win, but both players played extremely well, and the game is shown in full at the end of this article. MeanCactus also finished on 2 points, coming third overall on tiebreak score.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and all the games here: www.chesskid.com/tournament/wednesday-blitz-130103/results
What a tight finish! Tonight's event saw a three way tie for 1st place between RichSmoothPanda, theworldoflegend, and MerryJazz, with all scoring 3 wins for 4 games. MeanCactus got off to an excellent start with a great win in round 1 over the top seed, RichSmoothPanda. theworldoflegend won his first 3 rounds and looked on course for a perfect 4 points when, in the last round, RichSmoothPanda spotted a Mate-in-1 - see below and see if you can find it. I was watching the game and I didn't spot it - it was a great move. MerryJazz recovered from a loss in round 2 to secure 3 points for the event.
But... the player of the day? I think MeanCactus deserves this. He secured excellent wins against both the 1st and 3rd placed players, and only lost to the 2nd and 5th placed players, and in all but one of his games was out graded - so some really excellent results - very well played.
There are two positions below. One is a Mate-in-1 puzzle, and the other is a puzzle where you need work out why a certain move loses the game.
Mate-in-1 - fairly easy - White to play
See if you work out how to find Checkmate in one move in the position below, which is from tonight's event.
Answer: Qe3# (which means move the Queen to e3, and the '#' symbol means Checkmate)
What went wrong? - difficult
In the position below, White has just moved his Queen to e2. Why does this lose the game?
Answer? Well, when I used the ChessKid website to analyse this, there are a few possibilities for Black. The one that was found in the game was as follows (starting at Move 9 for Black):
9: Qxe2+, Bxe2;
Black took the White Queen on e2 with Check. White's only possible response was to take the Black Queen with the Bishop. That left Black able to take the pawn on c2, thereby attacking both the White King and a1 Rook. About to lose the Rook, White resigned.
When White put Queen on e2, Black might have immediately played Nxc2, forking the Rook and King. It would probably have worked as well, or almost as well.
Very well played if you found these moves.
Nationality: United States
Age when he became a Grand Master: 15 Years and 79 days
Favourite 3 openings:
Sources of Information:
Nakamura is at his best when playing the fastest forms of chess - Blitz and Bullet - and is ranked number 1 in the world at Blitz. I could write lots about him here, but you may be better to look him up on the internet.
Results from tonight's tournament: Wednesday Nakamura Blitz
We started a little later this evening, and we had more players, so I think it is a better time, and we will stick with that going forward. We had 4 star performers, all scoring 3 points from 4 games, and they were as follows: theworldoflegend, rafcalum, AbleLopsidedGiraffe, and JamesBlyth. theworldoflegend won the event on tiebreak score, so very well played.
It was Great seeing JamesBlyth do so well. With lots of players entering, he did really well to win 3 games from 4 - very well played and his best result yet!!!
There are many different options when playing chess. In some events I have seen players have as much as 1hr 40mins per player, + 30 seconds a move - and then they get 30 minutes additional time after 40 moves. Games can take many hours and tournaments run over several days with one game per day. And the fastest forms of the game? - Blitz and Bullet.
The longer forms of the game are played out with players putting huge amounts of thought and concentration into each and every move, with many options - called 'candidate moves' - considered, and is where chess is played at the highest level.
Blitz and Bullet are much more about instinct - what looks best. It is a different challenge - and a real test. In thinking about what to write, I wondered who is the best player in the world at Bullet Chess. In 2019, Chess.com held a Bullet Chess world championship between some of the best players in the world. It was won by a United States player called Hikaru Nakamura. Nakamura is one of the top Grandmasters, earning this title at the age of 15 - not bad. And, while we have been playing the bullet chess at a leisurely 3 minutes + 3 seconds, in the Chess.com event, the time available was 1 minutes each with no additional time per move.
So, what makes him so good at Bullet, and how does he play so fast? I read an article about the event on the Chess.com website, at the link below, and it was interesting to see that he was able to play some of his moves without any thinking time - he just saw the moves and it turned out that they were the best moves. He also "sees tactics at lightning speed". His opponent in the final commented that Nakamura is "just too fast".
Link to article - https://www.chess.com/news/view/nakamura-wins-chess-com-bullet-championship#f2
So, my suggestion for success at Blitz and Bullet chess? - play lots of tactics (these are chess puzzles). You can play these for free on many websites. You can play these on ChessKid, although you do have to pay a subscription to do lots of them. Here are some places you can find tactics / puzzles:
You may be interested to see one of the games played between Grandmaster Oleksandr Bortnyk and Nakamura is shown below. See if you can see why Bortnyk resigned.
Today we held two chess events; we started with a 5 minute blitz event and finished with a 3 minute + 3 seconds Bullet event.
Blitz - 5 minutes
The Blitz saw a joint first place between four players all scoring 2 points from 3 games with AbleLopsidedGiraffe and theworldoflegend taking joint first place on tiebreak score, and WiseCrabbyCoconut and sana333 taking joint third place. Well played to all. It is also great to welcome a new member to the online club - sana333 - and see her winning games - very well played.
Joint 1st: theworldoflegend & AbleLopsidedGiraffe
Joint 3rd: sana333 & WiseCrabbyCoconut
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and all the games here: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/sunday-blitz-5-106775/results
Bullet -3 minutes + 3 seconds
In the Bullet event, WiseCrabbyCoconut took the spoils with 2 wins and a draw from 3 games - very well played. theworldoflegend and AbleLopsidedGiraffe both finished on 2/3, with theworldoflegend taking 2nd place on tiebreak score and AbleLopsidedGiraffe finishing in 3rd place.
If you have a ChessKid login, you can see the full results and all the games here: https://www.chesskid.com/tournament/sunday-bullet-5-106777/results
Check here for articles about the Suffolk Juniors.