Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Chess: Library Simul

On Tuesday, July 24, the Mount Prospect Public Library sponsored a simultaneous exhibition by area chess teacher Ilya Korzhenevich. According to his bio, Ilya is a Russian Candidate Master which means that he achieved a rating of 2200 in Russia. While this is certainly an impressive feat, his USCF record does not reflect any serious games in the last five years. The only rated chess he has played is seven games of quick chess, one of which was a win over me at the Renaissance Knights Chess Club in 2005.

Given his inactivity, I did not figure that playing against him in a simul would be all that interesting, but I went over to the library anyway figuring it might provide a recruiting opportunity for the Prospect chess team. Of course, once I got there I could not resist sitting down at an open board and playing.

Unfortunately, there did not seem to be any promising youngsters there. One of the high school players got mated in four moves after 1.e4 f6? 2.d4 h6?? 3.Qh5+ g6 4.Qxg6#.

My game was not all that exciting. Ilya allowed a standard tactic in the Sicilian Najdorf which led to an ending where I had a knight and rook against his bishop and rook. While theory states that the bishop is generally superior to the knight in such endings, practice is another matter altogether. Knights require more careful attention then my opponent was able to give while playing twenty games.

Ilya grabbed the pawn with 25.Bxa6?, figuring that he could retreat the bishop to f8 to block the back rank mate. However, he resigned after 25...Nc5! After 26.Ra7 Nxa6, White cannot recapture without allowing mate. He was quite gracious about the loss and he went on to win the rest of his games.

Although I did not encounter any prospects for Prospect, the local cable access station was covering the event and I had the opportunity to babble incoherently in an interview for the Library Life show. Perhaps something positive will come from that. I really should come up with some standard pitch for the chess club that I can deliver if called upon.

No comments: