Newsletter: Vol. 3 No.1 November 2011

Kasparov training Stretching Your Brain: How to Warm Up for a Chess Tournament

Many chess playing students who participate in tournaments want to know what are the best things to do before the event. If you watch your Mom or Dad when
they exercise or if you are in a special soccer, ballet, or sports activity, you might notice that stretching is an
important part of the activity. A good way to prepare for
a tournament is also to stretch, to stretch your body and mind.

Paul Morphy: America’s First Kid Chess Wizard BY DANIEL TAUBENBLAT

Grownups hate losing to kids. About 160 years ago the famous Hungarian chess player Johann Lowenthal visited the United States and as a favor played a 12 year old named Paul Morphy. When they met, Lowenthal patted the young
Morphy on the head, like he was saying “You’re just a kid-how sweet that you will allow me to beat you.” As soon as Morphy moved though, Lowenthal’s proud attitude changed and his face turned more serious and white like a ghost.
People watching the game couldn’t believe it as Morphy quickly took the advantage and Lowenthal’s eyes supposedly widened, his eyebrows shooting up higher with each move. Morphy won that game and the next two games that
Lowenthal was brave enough to play. –CONTINUED ON PAGE 5–

Brain Brain

– 1 –


By Mark Kurtzman


The game is very close in position and material. It is White’s turn and he thinks he sees checkmate. White plays
Qh4+ and after black plays Kg8, White will play Qh7++.
So White plays his Qh4+ move and black instantly says the move is illegal. He stops the clock (this should be
done any time you make any kind of claim), and points out that White’s King is in check from the black bishop on
c5. White agrees and takes the move back. Both players agree that 2 minutes should be added to black’s clock
because of white’s illegal move. This is the typical penalty. Then white plays Kh1 instead, to avoid the check,
presses the clock and play continues. Is this the proper course of action?


Everything seems to make sense here. White played an illegal move, admitted it, and 2 minutes was added
to black’s clock. However, what many players seem not to realize is that an illegal move can also carry
the additional penalty of “touch move.” Because white touched the queen when he played Qh4, he must
move the queen if ANY legal move with the Queen is possible. Do you see one? White can move the
Queen to f2 to block the check. Therefore, this is the only move that white can play even though it will
cause him to lose the Queen and probably the game.

Sometimes players get so excited about calling the illegal move and getting the extra minutes on their
clock, but they miss out on the major penalty of an illegal move which is the “touch move” rule. If it was
not possible to escape from the check by moving the Queen, the only penalty would have been the time
penalty and play would have resumed without any other penalty.

So the next time your opponent plays an illegal move, take the extra minutes, and keep in mind that the
touch move rule applies!


Old Men Of Chess Face Off
To Decide World Champion

Chess is similar to Olympic gymnastics or pro Tennis in
that most players reach its highest level when they are
young adults between the ages of 17 and 25. Top
players keep getting younger as more players are now
becoming Grandmasters (one of the highest levels of
chess) in their teens at age 17 or even younger.
However, next year men with a few grey hairs will be
playing each other to find out who is the world’s top
player. Boris Gelfand age 42 will play Viswanathan
Anand age 41 in Chennai, India. Gelfand, who is
relatively unknown outside the chess world, won the
right to challenge Anand by winning Candidate
Matches in May. He had to earn a spot in the Candidate
Matches too, which he did by winning the World Cup
in 2009. Candidate matches have been run by FIDE ,
the international chess association, since 1950 to
determine the World Champ.
Though they won’t be showing up with canes, Gelfand
and Anand are the oldest players to play for the world
champ title since Alekhine (41) beat Bogoljubow (45)
in 1934.
It is actually refreshing to see that experience can be an
important factor in chess though the aggressive style
that is often tied to younger players is sometimes
needed to give one player an edge. Gelfand is known
for a more traditional style of play and he often chooses
openings that result in draws for both players.

Old Men Of Chess Face Off
To Decide World Champion
Against Anand he will probably change his style slightly and
take on more risk to try to win the match.
Out of a total of 65 recorded games between Anand and
Gelfand Anand won 16 or 25%, Gelfand won 6 or 9% and 43
or 66% were draws. Given this history, we predict the match
will be over quickly with Anand retaining his title.
This is the first time a major chess tournament event will take
place in India. As Anand is playing on his home turf and he
is treated as a national hero, there is expected to be
tremendous excitement and crowds of people in Chennai.

Chess has become extremely popular in India, the world’s second largest country in terms of number of people. India has 1.2 billion people and a history of respecting education
and analytical thinking, two ingredients needed for chess to become popular. The Anand/Gelfand match will be all over the Indian news.
Who knows, maybe some of the kids watching will be future grandmasters or even world champions, imagining themselves in Anand’s shoes.

– 3 –

– 4 –

 Paul Morphy (Continued from Page 1)

Morphy’s unusual talent for chess was noticeable when he first learned the game by watching his dad (a judge) play his uncle Ernest. One day,
after his dad won, Paul came over to the board and said “let me show you how uncle Ernest should have won.” He then replayed the game by
memory correcting BOTH players’ moves.

By the time Paul was 9 he beat just about every strong player in New Orleans where he lived, and faced and won against many of the top chess
players in the US. But Morphy was still not considered a world class player because he had not yet been to Europe where most of the greatest
players lived. After all, going to Europe back then involved taking a boat for two weeks to get across the Atlantic. There just were no planes yet!
When Morphy finally went to Europe about 15 years later when he was in his 20s, he visited England and France defeating top players including
Daniel Harrwitz and Adolf Anderssen. Some players like Howard Staunton simply refused to play him and became experts at coming up
with new, creative excuses.

One of Morphy’s most famous games took place in 1858 when he was 21 at a show, the opera Norma at the Paris Opera House. Morphy never
Morphy seized the center, developed his pieces with power, boxed in the two challengers and with a brilliant queen
sacrifice, ended the game in 17 moves. Whew, “Now I can enjoy the show” Morphy might have thought “and I played a
pretty good game too!” he might have modestly thought.

Morphy has been called the Pride and Sorrow of chess because after returning to the US when he was 24, he stopped
playing and focused on making money as a lawyer.

Many disagree with this nickname. In 1850, he had already cut back on how much chess he was playing and went to
college when he was 13, graduating in 4 years from Spring Hill College with a BA and then stayed for a Masters in Math
and Philosophy. When he was 20 he got an LLB degree from University of Louisiana (now Tulane) and passed the bar
by supposedly memorizing the complete laws and codes of Louisiana!

Unfortunately, Morphy was not successful as a lawyer. One of the reasons possibly was due to his fame since many
visitors to his law office just wanted to talk about or play chess. Yet he had used his mind in a productive way by
applying chess skills to his job and every day life. We should follow his example and take from chess, skills and
experiences that help other areas and allow us to lead a richer life that contributes to our society and the world.
heard it and wanted to listen to the music but the two people he was with, The Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard
already heard Norma and wanted to play chess against Morphy as a team, in their box seat which was a private very
fancy open room with seats right next to the stage.

As the game started and continued past the opening, the two challengers began talking about it loudly as they noticed that
Morphy who wanted to finish the game and listen to Norma, was creating a chess masterpiece. The opera singers started
moving closer to the box to see what was going on as the show continued.

– 5 –


White: Paul Morphy Black: Duke of Brunswick & Count Isouard

– 6 –

Brain Stretch  (Continued From Page 1)

One way to remember the the TriState-Chess tournament prep routine is to remember the code word
SWEET. SWEET stands for Sleep, Workout, Eat, Early, and Tactics.

Rest will help you think faster, better, and deeper allowing you to see further ahead and remember chess
ideas. Try to get at least 7+ hours of sleep the night before.

If you can, it’s a good idea to get some exercise early in the morning before a tournament. This might be
walking to pick up milk with Mom or a quick game of basketball with Dad. Even walking up and down
stairs or stretching your body can be helpful. Kasparov would regularly do an hour or two of rowing or
swimming before matches.

Your body and brain need good food before a chess match. Try to eat a healthy meal before a
tournament. A breakfast of chess champions might be a healthy cereal like Wheaties, Raisin Bran or the
king of healthy food, oatmeal with some juice, a yogurt, and some fruit like a banana. Keeping fruit or
sports bars with you can help to keep you from getting hungry during a match.

Show up at least a half-hour before the tournament. Think of the expression “The Early Bird Catches
the Worm” (The Early Player Checkmates the King). This will relax you as you get familiar with the
building, especially where the restrooms and/or water fountains are located. Bring an extra fleece or
sweater with you in case it gets too cold.

Finally, take a ½ hour before you leave and review some simple chess ideas. For beginners, playing a
game like simple pawn football can help. Each side gets 4 pawns and a king. To win you must
checkmate the king just like in real chess. Try also some random mate in one problems. More
advanced players can choose 3-5 random mate in threes or fours to complete from a good puzzle
workbook. Make sure you do puzzles you have not seen before.

These 5 steps should help you get ready for our tournaments. So give SWEET a try. It will help you
have more fun at tournaments and improve your results.

– 7 –


Find the words below in the chessboard. Each word’s letters are spaced out on the board in a knight pattern.
For example, the word MATE begins with the letter M on square F1 jumping like a knight to G3 gives you
the A, F5 gives you the T, and h6 gives you the E. Once you find a word, look at which letter is highlighted
in yellow. Next to the word write down the square using chess notation. In our example, the T in MATE is
highlighted which is on f5, so write in f5 next to the word MATE on the square line. Next to the square is a
# or number space. Convert the square to a number by adding the column number (f=6) and the row number
(5)=5 so our word MATE has 6+5=11 as its number #. Add the numbers for all the clues and enter it on the
TOTAL line. Subtract 44 from the total, Add 7 to the result then divide it by 14. Do the math and you
have your answer.


– 9 –

– 10 –

Grand Prix Rules

To promote tournament chess in the New York City area, Tri-State Chess has introduced new “Grand Prix”
prizes where top 5 finishers in ALL sections of Tri-State Chess tournament receive special “Grand Prix”
points. At the end of the season players can turn their Grand Prix points into prizes as if they were cash at
Tri-State’s concession stands at tournaments or at:

The Chess Exchange store at 325 E. 88 Street
between 1st and 2nd Ave. New York, NY (212) 289-5997

For every section of each tournament the top five finishers will get the following “Grand Prix” points:
Grand Prix Points Awarded/Tournament
1st place 10
2nd place 6
3rd place 4
4th place 2
5th place 1

If players are tied in rank they will evenly split the total points for the tied finish.

For example, three players tied for first would split the total points for 1st-3rd place (20) and each would get
6.7 points.

– 11 –

– 12 –

A guy gets on a long-distance flight. He’s just getting comfortable when somebody sits down next to
him. He looks up and wow, it’s Garry Kasparov.

Kasparov basks for a moment in the recognition. Some way into the flight, the meals are cleared
away and Garry produces an elegant little wooden travel chess set. He begins to play.

After a while Kasparov asks the guy whether he would like to play chess to kill time. The guy replies,
“Hey Garry, You think I don’t know who you are? I can’t compete with a world champion.” Kasparov
replies, “‘How about if I play left handed?”

The guy thinks about this for a minute, then agrees. He is demolished in 8 moves, and is
inconsolable for the rest of the journey.

On landing he meets his friend, who asks him how the flight was. “It was terrible,” he says.
“Completely humiliating. I played chess with Garry Kasparov and he beat me in spite of him playing

His friend replies – “Ha! He fooled you! Garry Kasparov is left-handed!!”

– 13 –

– 14 –

November 2011 – February 2012


November 5, 2011
Browning Chess Tournaments

10:00 am
52 East 62nd St., NYC
(516) 991-7509

November 6, 2011
PS 116 Chess Tournament
NY Chess Kids
Saudin Robovic
210 East 33rd St., NYC

November 13, 2011
Hunter College Elementary School

Tournaments +1 other event
Hunter College Elementary School
71 East 94th Street, NYC
Sunil Weeramantry

British International School of NY
20 Waterside Plaza, NYC
Beatriz Marinello

November 18, 2011- 11/20/2011

US Chess Federation (USCF)
Dallas, Texas

November 20, 2011

10:00 am
(212) 289-5997
Tournament Site: 100 West 84th
Street, NYC


December 3, 2011
Browning Chess Tournaments

10:00 am
52 East 62nd St., NYC
(516) 991-7509

December 4, 2011 –
PS 77 – Lower Lab School
Chess Tournaments

9:30 am
NY Chess Kids
Saudin Robovic

December 18, 2011
PS 116 Chess Tournaments and 1
other event<
br />
9:30 am
NY Chess Kids
Saudin Robovic
210 East 33rd St., NYC

10:00 am
(212) 289-5997
Tournament Site: 1458 York Ave.


January 7, 2012
Browning Chess Tournaments

10:00 am
52 East 62nd St., NYC
(516) 991-7509

January 8, 2012
Hunter College Elementary School

Tournaments +1 other event
Hunter College Elementary School
71 East 94th Street, NYC
Sunil Weeramantry

January 15, 2012
PS 116 Chess Tournaments

NY Chess Kids
Saudin Robovic
210 East 33rd St., NYC

January 22, 2012
PS 334 Chess Tournaments and 1

other event
100 West 77th St., NYC
Michael Poukchanski


10:00 am
(212) 289-5997
Tournament Site: 655 West 254th St.
Riverdale, NY

January 28, 2012-1/29/2012

Chess Center of NY
New Yorker Hotel West 34th St. and
8th Ave., NYC
Steve Immitt


February 4, 2012
PS 41 Chess Tournaments

9:00 am
Jeremy Scheinbach

February 5, 2012
PS 77 – Lower Lab School

Chess Tournaments
9:30 am
NY Chess Kids
Saudin Robovic

February 11, 2012
Browning Chess Tournaments

10:00 am
52 East 62nd St., NYC
(516) 991-7509

February 12, 2012
Hunter College Elementary School

Tournaments +1 other event
Hunter College Elementary School
71 East 94th Street, NYC
Sunil Weeramantry


10:00 am
(212) 289-5997
Tournament Site: 164 East 68th
Street, NYC

February 18, 2012-2/20/2012

9:00 am
Parsippany Hilton Hotel
Parsippany, New jersey
Steven Doyle

February 19, 2012
PS 116 Chess Tournaments

NY Chess Kids
Saudin Robovic
210 East 33rd St., NYC

– 15 –

– 16 –


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