Conrad/Tasby/Lowe Chess Club Meetings
Tue - 3:40-5:10 PM - Tasby Middle School Library
Wed - 4:15-6:15 PM - Conrad High School - Science Lab 2-220
Thu - 3:40-5:40 PM - Tasby Middle School Library
(Sicilian 256-19 - Please Memorize.)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6
5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.O-O O-O
Hint: Now that the Asynchronous Tournament has started, it may be useful to study the next five suggested moves on Page 256, Columns 19, 20, and 21 in Modern Chess Openings (MCO-14), shown below:
Col 19 - 9.Kh1 b6 10.Be3 Bb7 11.f3 b5! 12.a4 b4 13.Nd5 Nxd5
Col 20 - 9.Be3 Be6 10.Qd2 Nbd7 11.a4 Rc8 12.a5 Qc7 13.Rfd1 Rfe8
Col 21 - 9.f4 b5! 10.a4 b4 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.Qxd5 Qb6+ 13.Kh1 Bb7=
Asynchronous Tournament Results 1/20/17
Aung vs. Leonardo 1-0
Aung vs. Siang 1-0
Faizal vs. Aung 1-0
Faizal vs. Paul 1-0
Faizal vs. Seng 0-1
Jessenia vs. Aung 0-1
Michael vs. Aung 1-0
Michael vs. Seng 0-1
Paul vs. Rodrigo 0-1
Paul vs. Siang 0-1
Seng vs. Aung 0-1
Seng vs. Leonardo 1-0
Seng vs. Rodrigo 1-0
Seng vs. Siang 1-0
Siang vs. Faizal 1-0
Siang vs. Leonardo 1-0
Rodrigo vs. Aung 0-1
Rodrigo vs. Faizal 1-0
Tha vs. Aung 0-1
Tilan vs. Faizal 1-0
Asynchronous Online Tournament - January 15 to March 15, 2017 - $50 First Prize, $30 Second Prize, $20 Third Prize
The tournament is now underway. I have started all 325 games (by manually castling 650 times!), and your clocks are now running. Please let your fellow chess club members know, so that all of you can start playing immediately. Each game starts with White at Move 9 from our standard Sicilian opening. So you probably have about a dozen games waiting for you to play your White move. You will also have Black clocks running if any of your White opponents have moved against you. Remember two basics: 1) play each move carefully, and 2) check and move often to try to force your opponents to run out of time. I predict that about 200 games will conclude by March 1 as less attentive players run out of time. Whenever a game concludes (even on a timeout), the winner is responsible to send the game to my onedrive account for credit. If you don't remember how to do that, email me (email@example.com) or text/call me (972 567 7739). And don't forget that you get a half-point for a drawn game. If you don't upload your drawn game to me, you probably won't receive that half point (because your opponent may not upload it to me either). That may mean the difference between a $50 prize and no prize at all.
The chesstempo website has built-in security features to determine whether someone is using the computer to help select best moves. It also tracks whether a player stops his clock illegally. For this tournament you are not permitted to take any timeouts, and anyone who violates that rule will be disqualified.
Each player will play 25 games at once. Your 25 clocks will run independently for any games when it is your move, so it is to your advantage to check frequently and to move whenever you find any of your 25 clocks running.
The 26 tournament participant usernames are: ct.alexis.h, ct.aung, ct.david.h, ct.faizal.m, ct.franklin, ct.htway, ct.jennifer.s, ct.jessenia.t, ct.juan, ct.kyle.l, ct.leonardo, ct.michael.e, mohammad7, ct.naomi.p, ct.paul.anthony, ct.prat, ct.rahmo, ct.rodrigo.h, ct.seng.m, ct.siang.c, ct.tha.h, ct.tilantb, ct.thomas.p, ct.twa.bee, ct.vung, ct.zar.k
You will play a separate game against every contest participant (except yourself :-) For each game, chesstempo has started the game clocks with White to move. I will not regularly monitor game progress. It will be up to each player to keep his opponent's clock running (just like in a real tournament). Each game winner must upload the game to onedrive to get credit for the win. For drawn games, both players need to upload that game to ensure getting his/her half-point credit. I will disregard all games that do not include the uploader's name at the beginning of the game file.
Here is the FEN string that I used as the starting position for all 325 games. After issuing the challenges , I then castled both sides (i.e. 650 manual move operations) to start your game clocks.
rnbqk2r/1p2bppp/p2p1n2/4p3/4P3/1NN5/PPP1BPPP/R1BQK2R w KQkq - 2 8
Tasby Seventh Graders Sweep the District UIL Chess Competition
Congratulations to the Tasby participants at the UIL Competition at Conrad Saturday, December 10th, 2016. Alexis, Michael and Franklin won First, Second, and Third Place in the contest. This was the third time (in three UIL contests!) that Alexis has won the First Place division title. Rodrigo and Paul placed Fourth and Seventh for 6th graders. Seng won 7th Place for 8th graders.
Seng, Vung, and Zar Have Won 1-year Gold ($35) Chesstempo Memberships
Each of these club members has worked at least 500 Standard Tactics Problems and has a Chesstempo rating exceeding 1000 in that category. The Gold membership has several special privileges on the website. Our current Gold members also include Mohammad Faroz and Coach Jerry. Per Meh's Gold membership will expire in May or June.
Sam Tasby Chess Team Wins First Place at the Canterbury Tournament on November 12, 2016.
1. Alexis Hernandez won all five games to get the First-place Individual Trophy (for the grades 6-12 division)!! And Franklin Arcadio won the Second-place Individual Trophy.
2. We had ten tournament participants; Alexis was the only club member who turned in a legible opening report for his five games. He received a $10 Target Gift Card for his effort.
3. The entire chess team thanks Mr. Villegas for buying pizza for all of us at the Canterbury tournament.
Conrad Chess Team wins Second-place DISD District High School Team Trophy at Conrad on November 5, 2016
Congratulations to David, Mohammad, Rahmo, Vung, and Zar for winning Conrad's first-ever chess trophy.
Immediate Priorities - 1/10/2017 - 1/17/20176
1. Get the asynchronous tournament running. This will either turn into a really fun event or a total disaster, but someone is going to win $50.
2. One or more members were still submitting defective OneDrive files in December. I summarily discard all such files. Too bad if you won and were the culprit. You don't get credit for the game, and your opponent doesn't lose any points. If any of the following club members: Aung, David, Emilio, Franklin, Jessenia, Kyle, Naomi, Tilant, or Zar, are not sure how to upload pgn files correctly, please learn how to do so from another member or coach. I will continue to discard all bad files that are uploaded. A proper file has a title similar to: [ZAR -ct.zar-ct.vung-12345678.pgn]. NOTE that you need to append your name (preferably in capital letters) at the beginning of the file title each time you upload to onedrive. If the file you create does not have a similar format, YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG. Consult with a coach or a member who will show you how to properly upload your file to the onedrive account.
3. The winner of each on-line club game must upload his/her game immediately after it is played. That should only take a minute or so. I will deduct twenty-points from the winning student's club game rating every time I find an infraction of this rule.
4. Use the required 8-move Sicilian 256-19 opening, and play at least two club games each week on ChessTempo. The more games you play, the sharper and better player you will become. Please play a variety of players instead of the same players all the time.
5. Every chess club member must provide his/her chesstempo password to me. Every time you play online you save the time it would otherwise take to write your moves carefully in Algebraic Notation and then validate the game on the computer for upload. You can probably play at least twice as many games in a session than if you play on a 'real' board. If you will be transparent by showing us how you play, we (the coaches and your fellow club members as well) can help you improve your game.
6. Whenever you miss a chesstempo tactics problem, back up to the beginning and study to learn what you should have played before you go to the next problem. That way you will derive more benefit from each problem. 7. Cell phone use will NOT be tolerated during chess club meetings. If you need to use your cell phone, please go out into the hall or go home so the rest of us can play chess. Also, please stay and play chess until the end of each session, if your schedule permits. It is very disappointing that some of you are so eager to leave chess club almost every week. We need to maximize the number of games that we play at each club meeting. As in any sport, with chess there is a strong correlation between your performance and the number of games you play.
8. Based on an email discussion with Richard, the host of the chesstempo website, I have concluded that we should take advantage of Standard Tactical Problems and Blitz Tactical problems as well. Every serious club member's goal should be to solve at least two problems (Standard or Blitz) CORRECTLY every day (10/week). Last year we proved that tactical study consistently improves the games of diligent students. Three Tasby students worked a total of more than 9800 problems last year. That combined effort helped us win six team trophies and at least three individual trophies in six tournaments. If you were on your school basketball team or any other sport team, you would be required to put forth a lot of extraordinary effort to stay on the team. Chess is no different; your team mates rightfully expect you to do your absolute best to make chess a successful team effort. Most tournaments have limited enrollment. Your performance records may be evaluated to determine who qualifies to participate in those tournaments.
How To Upload Online ChessTempo Games to Onedrive (using Firefox):
Using Firefox, open and sign into two tabs: chesstempo.com and onedrive.com. In ChessTempo click > Chess Database > My Chess Games.
In the View Column, click the right hand icon [View game] for your selected game.
Below the AN window, click the second icon [Download game PGN].
Then click [OK] in the pop-up window.
Click the blue down-arrow and click [Show all downloads] to create a small LIBRARY window that shows your selected PGN file at the top of the list.
Now click the tab to show your ONEDRIVE window.
If your file name doesn't include your name and your opponent's name, something is wrong, and you need to get a coach to help you remedy the problem. But if the PGN file name looks appropriate (like ct-ct.jerry-ct.alexis.h-1475019476.pgn) click and drag the desired file from the LIBRARY window to your ONEDRIVE window.
Release the mouse button after you drag the PGN file to ONEDRIVE and the file will upload in a few seconds. You may have to refresh the ONEDRIVE screen to see the file you have uploaded.
Finally, rename the file by right clicking it and placing your cursor at the beginning of the file name. Put your name at the beginning of the file name (so it looks something like jerry-ct-ct.jerry-ct.alexis.h-1475019476.pgn). Then I will know who sent it to OneDrive. Your opponent should also upload the game file from his computer, with his/her name similarly appended to the front of the PGN filename. I will ignore all games submitted without a username appended to the beginning of the file name. I will also ignore all games that are not submitted according to the file format discussed above. Drawn games should be submitted by both players, because nobody should assume the other player will submit the game. The half-point credits will be lost if neither player submits a proper file.
ChessTempo Standard Tactics Problems
We will use ChessTempo extensively. Primarily, we will be playing a lot of games against each other to improve our playing skills, but ChessTempo also has a database of many thousands of graded Tactics problems that teach you how to figure out best chess moves. As you work these Tactics problems, ChessTempo adjusts your problem difficulty to match your playing proficiency. Then as you improve, the program gradually increases the difficulty of the problems that you work. You will need to work slowly and carefully enough to get 70-80 percent of your problems correct. Wild guesses won't work because wrong answers hurt your rating 3-4 times as much as right answers help your rating. If you work fast and carelessly, your rating will trend negative instead of positive.
Your basic free subscription to ChessTempo allows you to solve an unlimited number of Tactical problems to measure and gradually improve your rating. To attain a rating above 1200, you may have to work several problems per week for a while. Vung has a current rating around 1100. Per, who now attends another school, has a rating above 1200. My rating is around 1300. Mohammad F has a rating above 1400. As the school year progresses, we will watch to see how our ratings change with practice, and we will also see how well our actual performance at tournaments and within the chess club compares with these ratings.
SBRanch.org is a resource website available to the general public. However, it is maintained primarily for use by the Conrad, Lowe, and Tasby academic chess clubs in Dallas, Texas. These are public schools in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD).
Our primary Chess Club objective is to learn to play excellent chess and to participate competitively in regular local district-wide chess tournaments on team and individual levels. Our immediate goals include playing and uploading (to our OneDrive depository)at least three games each week against other Chess Club members For those games, we currently use a standardized 8-move Sicilian Najdorf Opening (MCO-14 p. 256, col. 19). This particular opening sequence helps us obtain a solid mid-game entry from which we will strive to develop our tactical skills.
All Chess Club members enjoy free access to chesstempo.com, a website where we regularly play against each other online and where we also have the opportunity to work on Standard Tactics problems that are designed to develop our chess playing skills. Each member is encouraged to solve at least ten Standard Tactics problems correctly per week. Several members routinely work many more than ten problems per week.
Students who are unwilling to commit to diligent effort to improve their playing skills may become ineligible to compete at tournaments or may even be dismissed from the club at the discretion of the Chess Coaches and Faculty Staff. We do not have time for idle conversation or any other activity during any club session. Cell phone use for any non-chess-related purpose during Chess Club is prohibited. Computer use for anything other than supervised chess activity is also prohibited.
In many respects, Chess Club is similar to a college-level academic course. Material must be learned quickly: new words, new rules, practically a new language. Chess helps us to learn to think more quickly and clearly. Studies have shown that chess players tend to maintain better grades than the general student population. It is arguable whether chess makes better students or if it is simply that better students migrate into chess. Both factors probably interplay. But it has been shown conclusively that the game itself helps many students perform well in many of their academic pursuits.
If your parents or relatives play chess, many of you will probably be able to play as well or better than they can play very soon. Many of you will also be beating your coaches consistently within the school year if you pursue the game seriously. There is no luck in chess. You and your opponent both start out with even odds, and whoever plays the best game wins. The more you play, the better you become. And playing against a stronger player is the best path to improvement.
At the beginning of the school year some new members will likely not be even romotely familiar with the game. So for the first few weeks, our more experienced players will have to be patient while we work to get everyone up to speed. Advanced players will need to help the beginners learn the rules and concepts that go into becoming a good chess player. Some of you may think you already know how to play the game, but many times even 'experienced' players find that they have 'learned' some things that are contrary to the real rules. We will play by the official rules that evolved about 500 years ago. The rules have changed only slightly since then. If you pay attention to what is going on, you will quickly become a knowledgeable player, and we won't have any disagreement about the rules of the game.
We will start out by learning 'how to move the pieces' and how to play chess on the computer. We will also learn how to talk, think, and write in Algebraic Notation (AN). We will learn the concepts of checkmate and stalemate. Our first lessons will emphasize the end of the game - not the beginning. We will study practically every way there is to checkmate an opponent, and we will study some of the traps that can lead to stalemate or loss. We will learn a few basic checkmates. We will learn how to set up and start a game properly.
Within a week or so every student should be able to read a chess book and understand what it says. Many 'experienced' chess players cannot do that. It's quite easy to learn the rules that specify 'how to move the pieces'. But we are going much further than that; we are going to learn 'how to play chess'.
Chess will entertain you, but more importantly, it will help you develop your brain for the rest of your life. The game may also open up scholastic and career opportunities for you that you cannot even imagine. So hang in there and pay attention for a few weeks while we prepare for a great roller coaster ride in the coming school year, a ride that you may continue to enjoy for the rest of your life.
Sign in at the beginning of each session. Then, unless otherwise instructed, proceed directly to play against other Chess Club members. We will record every move in Algebraic Notation (AN), and we begin to 'speak AN' from day one. This new language will soon become second nature.
Written scoresheets will be used frequently. The Chess Coach will periodically review those scoresheets to insure that all players are writing their moves in proper and legible AN. Fill in both player names and the date each time you record a game, and upload a OneDrive validation record for each club game that you play.
Make every effort to attend each club session. If you need to miss a session, you will have to assume the responsibility to catch up and keep pace with the rest of the club members.
At the conclusion of each session, any game in progress should be suspended, and the game should be recorded appropriately so that it can be resumed at a later date. Put the chess pieces back into their storage containers. Stack the boards upside down so that a Chess Coach or a designated assistant can store them properly.
Part of our club activity will be devoted to instruction and discussion independent from actually playing chess against an opponent. It is very important to pay attention and to participate in these discussions that have been designed to help you and your club mates learn and improve your game. All club members are encouraged to play additional games against each other on chesstempo.com outside scheduled meeting hours. Such games should be submitted for playing credit, just like the games during regular meetings.