A Chess Club For All

11.00 am 17/03/2020   CORONAVIRUS
Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday, the chess club is closed. All matches are now suspended until further notice.
If conditions significantly improve then HCA and H&D competitions will continue over an extended season. If they dont then there's the possibility they could be abandoned. At the moment though it is too early too call.

Today's blog.
4NCL Online Chess Barry, Mark B, Dave and Nick have entered a Hertford team into this new competition. Matches are played every Tuesday evenings up to 9th June starting from 7.30pm. The rate of play is 45 mins + 15 secs per player. Over 170 teams have entered. It seems an excellent way to provide reasonable length games whilst we remain in lockdown.
Steve, Mike, Mark L, Theo and Alan are participating too. They're part of three 'Broken Herts' teams drawn from across the county.

31/03/20 9 of our 11 internet club members competed in Tuesday's 5 minute blitz. Players sign-in around 7:55pm and play starts prompt 5 minutes later. The pairings and rounds are controlled automatically by chess.com. Next week Mark might change the rate of play. Feedback to either Mark or Alan please.
In the game Gerald v Alan it all started to unravel for Alan on playing the greedy 13...e4?.
Blitz Chess Results

24/03/20 Hertford Chess Club now has an internet chess club. Join now to challenge other club players and/or play in the blitz on Tuesday from 8.00pm sharp.

Five club players - Mark, Stephen, Paul, Mike and Alan - met on the internet on Tuesday to play some blitz games. This was the inaugural meeting of the online Hertford Chess Club. Mark Bussell was the organiser and chess.com hosted the 'club' and our mini tournament. You first have to join chess.com, it's free, then navigate to the clubs section where a search will quickly reveal the Hertford Chess Club. Under the members option you can apply to join. It worked well and was good fun and hopefully more of our players will join. More details to follow.

22/03/20 Your host sets a new blitz record. After playing a sharp game and turning on the analysis feature afterwards, the engine awarded the game ten consecutive half move blunders, thus setting a new standard for incompetence. This will take some beating.

21/03/2020 Has your opponent ever announced “mate in 73”? Well, supposing they did, do you think you would reply “yes, I agree, great game, well played!” It happened to me last month. Of course we are talking correspondence chess here. I was playing for “Herts & Minds” (Hertfordshire) in the States and Regions Correspondence Chess Championship, Division 2.
The event cross-table is here
And you can replay the game here
Remember this is correspondence chess and both players are using computer engines and databases. So no blunders. But it does answer the question that a lot of people ask - how can you win/lose a correspondence game, when you have a computer engine to help you out? The answer is, basically, very long-term strategic weaknesses that the engine may evaluate as a tiny disadvantage, but the exploitation of the advantage is so far outside the engine’s horizon that it tells you that the position is “equal” or nearly so. However, your engine will not tell you that the final position, after 96 moves, is “mate in 73”. Because that is outside the engine’s horizon too. But the International Correspondence Chess Federation uses “table bases” for positions with up to 7 pieces on the board. In simple terms, this means that chess has been “solved” for up to 7 pieces. You can look up the best moves in a table. And the table says that, in the final position, with perfect play by both sides, it is mate in 73. Once an ICCF game gets down to 7 pieces, the players can simply pack up and go home, and record the result that the table base tells them is inevitable.

Ross Brennan Welwyn Hatfield Chess Forum


Updated April 6 2020.

Tip for the club player

You can never have enough tactics. Every chess player must solve as many puzzles as possible in order to grow stronger.
GM A Mikhalchishin

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