26. heinäkuuta 2017

JSM 2017–2018 -kokoonpanot

LauttSSK pelaa 4 joukkueella syyskuussa alkavassa JSM 2017–2018 -turnauksessa. Alla ovat joukkueidemme vakiokokoonpanot pöytäjärjestyksessä (suluissa vahvuusluvut 14.7.2017).

LauttSSK 1 (selokeskiarvo 2142), 1. divisioona:

  1. Henttinen Markku (2261)
  2. Hurme Harri (2260)
  3. Havansi Erkki (2181)
  4. Lehti Juhani (2175)
  5. Laine Karri (2077)
  6. Saren Ilkka (2071)
  7. Heikkinen Jyrki (2060)
  8. Kauppala Pekka (2053)

LauttSSK 2 (selokeskiarvo 1993), 2. divisioona:

  1. Tuovinen Jukka (2013)
  2. Aakio Seppo (2001)
  3. Nyrhinen Harri (1994)
  4. Kivinen Jyrki (1984)
  5. Mähönen Timo (1975)

LauttSSK 3 (selokeskiarvo 1968), 3. divisioona:

  1. Turner Neal (1972)
  2. Pystynen Jarmo (1970)
  3. Lindholm Arto (1970)
  4. Sobenin Evgeny (1968)
  5. Vesely Petr (1961)

LauttSSK 4 (selokeskiarvo 1901), 3. divisioona:

  1. Broman Hannu (1949)
  2. Luosto Kerkko (1936)
  3. Joutsivuo Timo (1875)
  4. Kumar Ashwin (1874)
  5. Kauppinen Jyrki (1873)

Varapelaajat:

  1. Kokko Esa (1832)
  2. Piippo Mikko (1802)
  3. Rautio Reijo (1777)
  4. Siikonen Timo (1756)
  5. Hämäläinen Leo (1711)
  6. Heimonen Arto (1687)
  7. Suihko Ismo (1683)
  8. Järvinen Seppo (1660)
  9. Laitinen Martti (1647)
  10. Koivusalo Riku (1623)
  11. Henttonen Tero (1619)
  12. Lahdenmäki Leo (1600)
  13. Kauppinen Janne (1593)
  14. Jalas Aaro (1562)
  15. Valli Kari (1520)
  16. Paasonen Pasi (1456)
  17. Mäntsälä Juha (1154)

JSM-otteluihin ilmoittaudutaan Nimenhuudossa tai suoraan joukkueen yhteyshenkilölle:

  • LauttSSK 1 & 2: Seppo Aakio
  • LauttSSK 3: Mikko Piippo
  • LauttSSK 4: Janne Kauppinen

1. ja 2. divisioonan joukkueissa voivat pelata vakiokoonpanoon nimettyjen lisäksi 15 seuraavaa pelaajaa:

  • LauttSSK 1:ssä joukkueiden LauttSSK 2–4 vakiokokoonpanoon kuuluvat.
  • LauttSSK 2:ssa joukkueiden LauttSSK 3–4 vakiokokoonpanoon kuuluvat ja 5 ensimmäistä varapelaajaa.

18. heinäkuuta 2017

The Art of the Blitz - Tip #3

Don't Admire Your Opponent
There is a phenomenon in all sport, and especially in chess, which I will call as the "aura-effect". It's when you have so much admiration for your opponent, that you don't notice their blunders, and you sometimes even allow them to magically win from a hopeless position.

You have to look no further than the last two World Chess Championships to find the aura effect taking its toll on some of the world's best players.

In 2016 Game 10 Carlsen - Karjakin, Karjakin was leading in the match, meaning a draw would be a great result for him. Yet, on two successive moves (moves 20 and 21), he missed something that the even chess commentators had spotted - a chance to force a draw. Most experts say this is due to "nerves" or other vague reasons. But for me the reason is clear: Karjakin did not truly believe that he deserved to win, and he admired Carlsen so much that he failed to notice his blunder.

In 2014 Game 6 Carlsen - Anand, Anand missed a tactic (move 26) that would have probably won him the game. Again, experts were eager to pin this down to his old age and all sorts of silly reasons. But to me, it's clear: Anand did not truly believe that he deserved to win, and he admired Carlsen so much that he failed to notice his blunder.

In my own chess, I observe the aura-effect playing a role in many of my games. Especially in games where the opponent is significantly higher or lower rated than me. I have a tendency to squander winning positions against high-rated opponents, and lower-rated players tend to overlook my blunders more than they would ordinarily.

I've had many experiences when I play a series of games with a lower-rated opponent whose style happens to be especially effective against me. I often win the first one or two games with a bit of help from my opponent... but eventually he wins one, and then his self-belief grows, and his chess play improves too, making it harder and harder to beat him. Essentially, he admired me at first (and lost like he expected to), but then he realized I was a pretty crappy player and started to beat me (like he believed he ought to).

Summary:
  • Players play better when they believe they deserve to win. They're calmer, more precise, and spot blunders more easily.
  • Players play worse when they don't believe they deserve to win. They're more likely to let their opponent get away with blunders, and are more willing to make blunders themselves.
Simply being conscious of this psychological effect is a good starting point. It allows you to recognize what's happening and help you strengthen your resolve to overcome it.

My advice: 
  1. Don't admire your opponent.
  2. Play like you deserve to win.
Doing this will help you spot blunders more easily, and will help you stay calm enough to convert advantages into wins.

Tip #2 - Never Lose the Option to Win on Time
Tip #1 - The Best Move is Faster than the Fastest Move 

Joukkuepikashakin SM: kokoonpanot

LauttSSK pelaa seuraavilla kokoonpanoilla joukkuepikashakin SM-kisoissa Porissa 5.–6.8.2017 (suluissa joukkueiden pikapelin selokeskiarvo):

LauttSSK 1 (2144)
1. Seppo Aakio, 2. Markku Henttinen,
3. Juhani Lehti, 4. Ilkka Saren
LauttSSK 2 (2057)
1. Ashwin Kumar, 2. Petr Veselý,
3. Jyrki Heikkinen, 4. Pekka Kauppala
LauttSSK 3 (1938)
1. Tero Lehtinen, 2. Jarmo Pystynen,
3. Arto Lindholm, 4. Kaarlo Kaarlonen
LauttSSK 4 (1918)
1. Jukka Tuovinen, 2. Jyrki Kauppinen,
3. Harri Nyrhinen, 4. Jyrki Kivinen
LauttSSK 5 (1643)
1. Mikko Piippo, 2. Janne Kauppinen,
3. Kari Valli, 4. Pasi Paasonen

13. heinäkuuta 2017

Syyscup 2017 alkaa

LauttSSK:n syyscupin 15 pelaajaa on jaettu 4 alkulohkoon, joiden ottelut pelataan lokakuun 2017 loppuun mennessä. Pelaajat sopivat itse, milloin ja missä pelaavat. Lohkojen kaksi parasta jatkaa pudotuspeleihin.

Cupin säännöt ovat entiset, muun muassa inkrementtiajat aikatasoituksissa. Cupin ajantasaiset tulokset ovat kerhon tulospalvelussa.

Alkulohko A:

  1. Jyrki Heikkinen (2060)
  2. Timo Siikonen (1756)
  3. Leo Hämäläinen (1711)

Alkulohko B:

  1. Pekka Kauppala (2053)
  2. Kimmo Turtiainen (1774)
  3. Arto Heimonen (1687)
  4. Juha Mäntsälä (1154)

Alkulohko C:

  1. Antti Suominen (KäpSK, 1984)
  2. Petri Mäki-Fränti (Moukat, 1872)
  3. Ismo Suihko (1683)
  4. Pasi Paasonen (1456)

Alkulohko D:

  1. Kauko Kaiju (Garde, 1934)
  2. Ashwin Kumar (1874)
  3. Janne Kauppinen (1593)
  4. Aaro Jalas (1562)

6. heinäkuuta 2017

Spring Cup 2017 - Ashwin beats Antti in the finals, becomes a hero

I won the 2017 Spring Cup. It was the second time I won the tournament, the last time being in Spring 2015. No money for the winner, but a much more valuable (in my eyes) painting that he gets to keep until the next tournament. This painting has been around since the 1990's and has the name of the winner of each cup written on the back of it. A truly historic piece of memorabilia. I'm relieved to have won it back as my apartment is in desperate need of some decoration!

Group Stages
Petri Mäki-Fränti (2–0) – He was my opponent in the thrilling 2015 Spring Cup Final. As always, a difficult opponent with lots of tactical prowess.
Aleksej Leppänen (2–0) – A new member of the club; it was a pleasure to play with Aleksej and discuss ideas on how to improve his chess. Though relatively inexperienced, he clearly has a very good feel for the game. In our second game, he was essentially a piece down, but played impeccably well to regain the material and make it a tight finish.

Quarter Finals
Arto Heimonen (2–0) – Arto has improved a lot over the last couple of years. I was particularly impressed with some of the endgame tricks he pulled out against me. There are a lot of strong players who may not have even considered those kind of possibilities. Just goes to show how much room there is for improving one's endgame skills and how big an impact that will have on one's rating.

Semi Finals
Kauko Kaiju (1½–½) – After our match, Kaiju and I had a pleasant chat in which he said – "I'm blind. But luckily in chess, you don't need to see!" That quote in itself says a lot about Kaiju's wisdom, grace and sense of humor. It also shows in his chess. A very balanced player; he has immense positional skill and is a tricky tactician as well. Upon analyzing his games, I would say he could be a bit more careful before advancing his pawns, and also a bit more careful when trying some tricky tactics.

1. Ashwin vs Kaiju 1–0
2. Kaiju vs Ashwin ½–½

Finals
Antti Suominen (2–0) – Clearly one of the toughest tacticians and openings experts I've encountered, Antti is the only player in the world for whom I don't play my usual set of openings because I know he is so tough in them. Upon analyzing our games, I'd say that he had the opportunity to win both games, but erred by not allowing himself enough time to have the mental clarity with which to spot the winning tactics. As players, it's important for us to recognize that we need a lot more time than we perhaps realize to spot tactics at later stages of a game than in the earlier stages (because the later positions are much less familiar to us than the earlier positions).

1. Ashwin vs Suominen 1–0
A pretty even game for the most part. What started out as a relatively simple looking position turned into a very sharp double attack game with both queens and paired bishops on the board. Very easy to make a losing blunder in such situations. And I in fact did just that with 30. Qc3??, but was lucky that Antti didn't spot the winning continuation (30...Rf8). I would attribute that to his not having enough time to calmly respond to my unexpected move.

2. Suominen vs Ashwin 0–1
Antti played fantastically in game 2. His first significant error came as late as move 33! Meanwhile I had made about 7 inaccuracies before. Just goes to show how one mistake can undo a lot of hard work. In the game, I was surprised that he allowed the trade of queens early in the game (considering that he needed a win), but he later explained that it was favorable for him to do so in our Isolated Queen's Pawn type of position. I was most impressed by the series of moves that led to 21. Nc8, which I did not account for in my calculations, and which gave him a clear edge. Fortunately that end game was not so easy to play for white, and so I managed to survive and eventually win.

Next up is the Autumn Cup. Better sign up fast if you want to have a shot at taking down the Champ.

4. heinäkuuta 2017

The Art of the Blitz - Tip #2

Never Lose the Option to Win on Time
My blitz rating is much higher than my standard rating. I tend to be able to punch above my weight in the shorter format. Last year, I won four out of the six games I played against titled players. Out of the 100 or so blitz games I have played in these big tournaments (5 minute 0 increment), I have lost only one on time. I should also mention that I don't have the quickest hand action either; I'm definitely slower as a piece mover than Tero or Petr, for instance.

But what I do have is experience playing tens of thousands of high speed games online. And from that experience, the best tip I can share is that you should never lose the option to win a game on time.

If you find yourself in a position where you have a comfortable advantage (maybe a few pawns or a piece up), but the only way you can win is if you manage to checkmate your opponent within the next 20 seconds, then you have done something horribly wrong with your time / game plan management.

If you are winning a game, it is an absolute crime and a tragedy to lose it on time. Don't let the weaker player beat you like that!

So how does one achieve this? It takes three things -
1. Self-awareness
2. Game Plan Methodology
3. Practice

Self-awareness is important because you need to know what your key strengths and weaknesses as a player are. For instance, I am good at getting small positional advantages but am bad at executing tactics.

This understanding helps with the second point of having a game plan methodology. Every chess game involves a game plan choice. If you're winning, you can either go all in for the checkmate, or you can liquidate your advantage and simplify into a winning endgame. If you're losing, you can try to complicate the position, or you can try to out-gun your opponent on time. There are many other options as well besides these of course. But the key is to figure out which plan you should have, and at what point you should switch plans.

In my case, because of my positional strength and tactical weakness, I typically attempt to maintain a good position and use that to slowly pressure my opponent on time, and then win. But if my opponent has managed to get ahead of me on time, then I will usually try to liquidate my advantage for a simple position that I can play quickly even if it means having to make many moves to finally win. The important thing to note when adopting this plan is to be decisive and alert about when to switch to it so that you have enough time to execute it. Typically you should switch to this kind of plan when you have at least 1 minute to spare. As far as middle game checkmates go, I rarely attempt to execute one. And if I do, I do so only if I have a lot of confidence in its success and a lot of time (so that I have a backup option to win on time in case something goes wrong).

The last point is common sense - practice. Test out your time management / game plan methodology. Practice was particularly critical for me because I had played most of my chess online where it was possible to play ten moves in one second. So I needed to re-calibrate my internal time management clock to figure out when to adopt a certain plan.

I will end by saying that each player is different, and your unique strengths and weaknesses, and even your attitude to chess should be the driving force behind your personal blitz strategy. If you would like help figuring out the plan that works best for you, feel free to reach out to me - ashwin26@gmail.com

Tip #1: The Best Move is Faster than the Fastest Move

2. heinäkuuta 2017

Heinäkuun pelaaja: Jyrki Kivinen

Shakkisiirtojen oppiminen

Joskus kansakouluaikaan löysin shakin säännöt Yrjö Karilaan kirjasta Antero Vipunen. Kun sitten innostuin asiasta enemmänkin, isäni opetti minua sen, minkä osasi, ja hankki vähän paremmin tarkoitukseen sopivia kirjoja.

Kuinka usein pelaat shakkia?

Viime vuosina olen pitänyt melko rauhallista tahtia. Vakavampi pelaaminen on jäänyt lähinnä erilaisten joukkuekilpailujen varaan (JSM, HSL jne.).

Shakkikerhoon liittyminen

Aloittaessani vuonna 1976 oppikoulun Herttoniemen yhteiskoulussa siellä oli pieni mutta aktiivinen ja hyvätasoinen shakkikerho. "Oikeaan" shakkikerhoon päädyin vasta 1979 osallistuttuani Hyvinkään shakkiviikolle äitini työkaverilta tulleen vihjeen perusteella. Siellä olivat opettajina mm. Olli-Pekka ja Risto Kuula, jotka kehottivat käymään Pauligin huvilalla. Sen jälkeen liityin melko pian SSK:hon, eikä sittemmin tullut tarvetta vaihtaa.

Saavutukset shakissa

Ahkerimmin pelasin lukioaikoina, jolloin sain selon nostetuksi 1900:n paremmalle puolelle, mutta mitään mainittavampia saavutuksia ei tullut. Viime vuosina on saanut nauttia hyvistä joukkuetuloksista kolmosdivarissa, aina nousukarsintaan saakka.

Makea voitto

Nykyään etenkin pitkää peliä tulee pelatuksi sen verran harvoin, että kaikista voitoista osaa iloita, tulivat ne miten tahansa. Makein voitto on aina se viimeisin.

Onnekas voitto

Näitä on tietysti paljon enemmän kuin jaksaa muistaa. Yhdessä viikonlopputurnauksessa kesken rauhallisen avauksen vastustaja siirsi daamin suoraan suihin. (Olin pelannut Re5 ideana Rc4, joka olisi ollut normaali teoriajatko, mutta valkea keksi laudan ääressä uutuuden ja torjui tämän uhkauksen pelaamalla Dd3.)

Avausvalikoima

Avausteoriaa tuli opiskelluksi enemmän nuorempana. Nykyinen avausvalikoima selittyy aika pitkälti sillä, mitä niistä ajoista on jäänyt mieleen. Prosessi on ollut jossain määrin sattumanvarainen, esim. aikanaan piti opetella Marshallin gambiittia valkeilla, kun eräs Pauligin huvilan kanta-asiakas toistuvasti nuiji minut sillä. Mutta yleisesti ottaen pidän perinteisistä avauksista, joissa ei oteta turhia heikkouksia sotilasasemaan jne.

Pelityyli

Yleisesti ottaen minulla varmaan taktiikka on vahvempi kuin strategia. En ole erityisen hyvä loppupeleissä, mutta vähän yllättäviäkin pisteenpuolikkaita saa välillä pelastetuksi, kun jaksaa yrittää pelata loppuun asti tarkasti.

Miettimisaika

Yksittäiseen peliin sellainen JSM:ssä käytetty noin 5 tunnin peliaika on minusta mukava. Aikaa riittää ajatella sen verran kuin on tarpeen, mutta ei ehdi väsyä. Vartin pelit ovat hyvä tapa kokeilla avauksia ja kehittää rutiinia. Varsinaista pikapeliä on myös kiva joskun pelata, mutta se on vähän oma lajinsa.

Shakkimotto

"Shakkipelin voittaa pelaaja, joka tekee toiseksi viimeisen virheen." (Tartakower)

Haaste jäsenesittelyyn

Harri Hurme.