Thursday, September 29, 2016

Letter to The Toledo Blade

Your "Where is Hillary" editorial was oddly disconcerting to me.

The idea that Toledoans should not vote for Clinton unless she comes to Toledo and hears their concerns is silly. Do you think people are unable to make up their minds without seeing the candidate in person? Besides, Toledo's "concerns" are primarily local and state issues, not issues which a president needs to be preoccupied with.

This gets to the problem with the way The Blade covers the campaign. You seem to think it is some big deal when a candidate comes into northwestern Ohio, hence all the front page headlines about Trump's campaign appearances, which you cover prominently whether or not Trump actually made any real news at a campaign stop. It would be far better to cover the campaign by highlighting the issues, something that would actually be of help to voters.

Also, Clinton does not need Ohio's electoral votes to win. The current map at shows Clinton with 302 votes to Trump's 236, even though Trump is ahead in Ohio. Trump, on the other hand, cannot win the election without Ohio. Is it any wonder Trump is giving so much attention to Ohio?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Playing the Dragon

This game shows how black can defend against white’s most aggressive approach against the Dragon.
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Ne5 11. Bb3 Qa5 12. h4 Rfc8 13. h5 Nxh5 14. g4 Nf6 15. Bh6 Bxh6
My older analysis always had black playing 15…Rxc3 here. But more recently I have come to understand that black need not fear the white queen on h6. The key is that, after exchanging bishops on h6, black must immediately take the white knight on c3, so that that knight cannot neutralize black’s knight on f6, which is needed to prevent the check on h7.

16. Qxh6  

Taking with the rook instead of the queen usually leads to a draw.  A typical example is 16. Rxh6 Rxc3 17. bxc3 Rc8 18. Kb2 Qb6 19. Qh2 Qc5 20. Rxh7 Qxc3 21. Kb1 Nxh7 22. Rh1 e6 23. Qxh7 Kf8 24. Qh6 Ke7 25. Qg5 f6 26. Rh7 Nf7 27. Qxg6 Qe1 28. Kb2 Qc3 29. Kb1  drawn

16...Rxc3 17. bxc3 Qxc3 18. Kb1
Black has a knight and 2 pawns for his rook. Experience shows that the endgame is very good for black, as white’s rooks have no open files to operate on, while black’s knights can jump around at will, harassing white’s rooks.

Rc8 19. g5 

A popular alternative here is 19 Qd2, but then white is admitting that his attack has fizzled, psychologically a hard thing for him to do. One game continued 19. Qd2 a5 20. g5 Nh5 21. Qxc3 Rxc3 22. Kb2 Rc5 23. a3 Kg7 24. Rh4 a4 25. Ba2 Bb5 26. f4 Nc4+ 27. Bxc4 Bxc4 28. Rdh1 e6 29. f5 Kf8 30. R1h2 Ke7 31. Rxh5 gxh5 32. Rxh5 Re5 33. Rxh7 Rxe4 34. g6 Rxd4 35. Rxf7+ Ke8 36. f6 e5 37. Rxb7 Rf4 38. Re7+ Kd8 39. Ra7 Rxf6 40. Rxa4 Be6 41. g7 Rg6 42. Ra7 Ke8 43. a4 Bf7 44. a5 Rxg7 45. a6 Rg4 0-1.

Another tgame with 19 Qd2 went 19. Qd2 a5 20. Qxc3 Rxc3 21. Kb2 Rc5 22. a3 a4 23. Ba2 Kg7 24. Rhf1 Bb5 25. Nxb5 Rxb5+ 26. Kc3 Rc5+ 27. Kd2 g5 28. Rb1 b5 29. Rb4 Nc6 30. Rb2 Kg6 31. c3 Ne5 32. Rb4 h5 33. gxh5+ Nxh5 34. c4 bxc4 35. Kc3 Ng3 36. Rf2 Nd3 37. Rg2 Nf4 38. Rf2 Nge2+ 39. Kc2 Nd4+ 40. Kd1 Nd3 41. Rd2 Nxf3 42. Rxc4 Nxd2 43. Kxd2 Rxc4 44. Bxc4 Nc5 45. Ke3 0-1.

19...Nh5 20. Rxh5 gxh5 21. g6  

21. Qxh5 Nc4 22. Bxc4 Rxc4 23. Rd3 Qe1+ 24. Kb2 Qf2 25. g6 hxg6 26. Qd5 Be6 0-1

21...hxg6 22. Bxf7+  

Alternatives which have been played are 22. Ne2 Qxf3 23. Rg1 Bg4 24. Nf4 e6 25. Bxe6 fxe6 26. Nxg6 Qf6 0-1, and 22. Nf5 Bxf5 23. exf5 Nc4 0-1.

22...Kxf7 23. Qh7+ Kf6 24. f4 Qc4
This is necessary to prevent white’s rook from checking on f1. The natural-looking 24…Nc4 lost after 25. e5+ dxe5 26. fxe5+ Nxe5 27. Rf1+ Kg5 28. Qxe7+ Kh6 29. Qxe5 Qc5 30. Qf4+ Qg5 31. Qd6 Be8 32. Rf8 Rd8 33. Rh8+ 1-0 However, computer analysis suggests that black can improve with 26…Kg5, after which white runs out of checks and gets mated on b2, e.g., 27. Rg1+ Bg4 28. Ne6+ Kf5 29. Qf7+ Ke4 30. Ng5+ Kd4 31. Qf4+ Kd5 32. Qf7+ Kc6 33. Qxg6+ Kc7 and white is out of checks.

25. Rd2
Taking the knight on e5 is suicide for white:  25 fe de 26 Rg1 Bg4 27 Nb3 Qxc2+.

25...Qb4+? (25...Qf1+ wins) 26. Kc1 Qa3+ 27. Kd1 Bg4+ 28. Ne2 Qxa2 29. fxe5+ dxe5 30. Ke1 Qb1+ 31. Kf2 Qb6+ 32. Nd4 Qb4 33. Qh6 Qb6 34. Kg2 exd4 35. e5+ Ke6 36. Qxg6+ Kd7 37. e6+ Bxe6 38. Qxh5 Rg8+ 39. Kf1 Bc4+ 40. Ke1 Qe6+ 41. Kf2 Qe3# 0-1