Tag Archives: chess lecture

GM Mark Bluvshtein: Chess Rock Star!

Chess Lecture in Toronto, February 28

GM Mark Bluvshtein
GM Mark Bluvshtein at Annex Chess Club
© 2011 by the photographer David Cohen

On February 28, GM Mark Bluvshtein delivered a chess lecture at the Annex Chess Club in downtown Toronto. He analyzed two games – M. Bluvshtein-I. Ivanisevic, 2011 Tata Steel (13); and K. Nikolaidis-M. Bluvshtein, 2010 Corsica Masters (5) – and shared compelling insights into grandmaster chess play.

In the first game, Mark discussed his and Ivanisevic’s transposition battle in the opening, where both players surprised each other: Mark was not expecting 2…c5, but he declined to walk into probable Benko preparation and switched to a 4.g3 Nimzo Indian, where he was surprised by a rare 6…Qc7 line. He also discussed Ivanisevic’s passion for wild positions (where Mark was more than willing to go), and his own choice to sacrifice a whole knight “for nothing” with 16.Bg2 – just to arrive at a possibly equal position, but one where it was easier for his opponent to go wrong, while he himself got to play “risk-free” with a safe king. Grandmasters, we learnt, make mistakes, too; they don’t drop pieces, but their games are still filled with mistakes. In this game, Ivanisevic completely missed the pretty tactic of 22.Ra4, while Mark later exposed his king unnecessarily with 31.f4.

White: Mark Bluvshtein (2590)
Black: Ivan Ivanisevic (2630)

2011.01.14 Tata Steel Chess (13)

E20 Nimzo Indian: 4.g3

White: Konstantinos Nikolaidis (2318)
Black: Mark Bluvshtein (2590)

2010.10.24 Corsica Masters (5)

A60 Benoni

In the second game, Mark showed us how to beat lower-rated players: how to create unbalanced positions where “the price of each move is high” and how to constrain the opponent’s pieces to maintain positional dominance after a sacrifice. He also showed how his opponent was “making it easy for him” by letting him have everything he wanted and not setting any difficult problems for him to solve.

During question-and-answer sessions after each game, Mark discussed his training (the necessity but also the down-side of extensive opening preparation, and the importance of physical exercise, regular sleep, and “tactics for breakfast”); he reflected on his year of professional chess so far (“a big learning experience in every way”); and he announced his upcoming chess plans. After another month or so in Toronto (“it’s good to be home”), he is heading to Mexico for the Continental Chess Championship of the Americas, April 19-24; then to Philadelphia for the World Open, June 28-July 4; and then back home for the Canadian Open, July 9-17. He also touched on a number of other chess-related topics, such as the inflation of FIDE ratings, the lack of gyms in European hotels, and the difference between A-group and C-group grandmasters at Wijk aan Zee.

It was especially nice to see such a large number of young people out for the lecture – offering tactical suggestions during analysis, and enjoying Mark’s chess rock-star status in the intermission. Evidently, Mark enjoyed himself, too. Check his blog.

Thank you again, Mark, for supporting our chess club and putting on such an entertaining show!

[Event “73rd Tata Steel “]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2011.01.14”]
[Round “13”]
[White “Bluvshtein, Mark”]
[Black “Ivanisevic, Ivan”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “E20”]
[WhiteElo “2590”]
[BlackElo “2630”]
[PlyCount “93”]
[EventCategory “11”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nf3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. g3 Qc7 7. Qd3 Nc6 8. Ndb5 Qb8 9. Bf4 e5 10. Bg5 a6 11. Bxf6 axb5 12. Bxg7 bxc4 13. Qb1 Rg8 14. Qxh7 Rxg7 15. Qxg7 d5 16. Bg2 d4 17. O-O dxc3 18. bxc3 Bxc3 19. Rac1 Nd4 20. Kh1 Bd2 21. Rxc4 Be6 22. Ra4 Ke7 23. Rxa8 Qxa8 24. Qxe5 Qa4 25. Qc7+ Bd7 26. Qc5+ Ke8 27. Bxb7 Ne6 28. Qd5 Ba5 29. Rc1 Qa3 30. Rd1 Qa4 31. f4 Bb6 32. Rd3 Nd4 33. Qe5+ Kd8 34. Qd6 Qa5 35. Kg2 Qb5 36. a4 Qb2 37. Bf3 Kc8 38. a5 Bc6 39. Kh3 Bd7+ 40. g4 Ba7 41. a6 Qa1 42. Kg2 Qb2 43. Qf8+ Kc7 44. Qxf7 Qb5 45. Rc3+ Kb6 46. Qf6+ Ka5 47. Qd6 1-0

[Event “Corsica Masters”]
[Date “2010.10.24”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Nikolaidis, Konstantinos”]
[Black “Bluvshtein, Mark”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A60”]
[WhiteElo “2318”]
[BlackElo “2590”]
[PlyCount “64”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 b5 6. Bg2 d6 7. e4 Nbd7 8. Ne2 g6 9. O-O Bg7 10. h3 O-O 11. g4 b4 12. a3 a5 13. axb4 cxb4 14. Be3 h5 15. Nd4 hxg4 16. hxg4 Ne5 17. f3 Ba6 18. Rf2 Nc4 19. Bc1 Qb6 20. Nc6 Bb5 21. Ne7+ Kh8 22. Bf1 Rfe8 23. Nc6 Nxe4 24. fxe4 Rxe4 25. Qf3 Re1 26. Qh3+ Kg8 27. Bg5 Rae8 28. Kg2 Ne3+ 29. Bxe3 R8xe3 30. Qh4 g5 31. Qxg5 Bxf1+ 32. Rxf1 R1e2+ 0-1

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Lecture by Canada’s Top Grandmaster

GM Mark Bluvshtein – February 28, 2011

When: February 28, 2011 @ 7:30 pm
Where: Annex Chess Club, 918 Bathurst St (just N of Bloor)
Cost: $20 (free for ACC members) includes coffee and casual chess after the talk

GM Mark Bluvshtein is Canada’s top FIDE-rated grandmaster, but also a local hero: he grew up in North York, attending Newtonbrook Secondary School and York University.

Mark is currently back in town, after playing in the Aeroflot Open in Moscow. This was the latest stop on his tour of top international chess tournaments, which included the Tata Steel Chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee.

This coming Monday, he will be delivering a lecture at the Annex Chess Club, featuring games from his recent tour. Annex Chess Club members were asked to select two games from four possible options. On February 14, 2011, the vote took place.

The games, as selected by ACC members, are first (with 90% of the vote) M. Bluvshtein – I. Ivanisevic, 2011 Tata Steel (13) and second (with 80% of the vote) K. Nikolaidis – M. Bluvshtein, 2010 Corsica Masters (5).

Please feel free to print a flyer and help us promote the event.

(The event was a great success – read the review.)

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Chess for the Rest of Us

“The Unglamorous Majority: insights into rank-and-file chess.”

Yakos Spiliotopoulos is delivering a chess lecture at the Annex Chess Club on Monday February 7, at 7:00 pm. We’re not all grandmasters, and Yakos promises an exciting talk on the real-life chess games of the club player, full of confused thinking, negative emotions, and bad moves.

Entry: $5 for non-members, includes casual chess after the talk.

The lecture schedule is posted on our events page.

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Annex Chess Club Opens With a Blast

Grandmaster lecture opens Toronto’s newest chess club

Mark Bluvshtein's Lecture
GM Mark Bluvshtein at the ACC
©2010 by the photographer, David Cohen

Canadian GM Mark Bluvshtein gave a chess lecture on Monday October 18 to open the Annex Chess Club.  Having recently returned from the Olympiad in Russia, where he played board one for Canada, Mark shared his two biggest games from the tournament.

His thought-provoking lecture included insights into everything from at-home preparation to over-the-board thinking, and from the emotional aspects to the political aspects of chess in the upper echelons.  Mark has earned himself many new supporters in Toronto, and we at the Annex Chess Club wish him well in his “year off” devoted to playing chess professionally!

After the lecture, we were honoured to have two of Mark’s fellow Canadian olympic players, IM Nikolay Noritsyn and Liza Orlova join him in cutting the cermonial cake to open the Annex Chess Club. We ended the night with some casual and speed games.

A big thank-you to one and all in attendance at the event — especially our new club members!

Our next event, the ACC Fall Swiss, starts next Monday, October 25.

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Annex Chess Club Grand Opening!

Grand Opening – Monday October 18

Featuring a celebration of the Canadian chess olympic teams, highlighted by a guest lecture from GM Mark Bluvshtein, Canada’s youngest-ever International Grandmaster and our top board at the recent Chess Olympiad in Russia!!

Check out our flyer for details.

GM Mark Bluvshtein’s lecture will feature:

  • Extended discussion of his recent Olympiad experience in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
  • Analysis of the game in which he defeated former World Champion GM Veselin Topalov, knocking him from 2nd to 3rd in world rankings
  • Extended analysis of his exciting last-round game against GM Nikola Djukic, where Mark sacrificed his Queen, then an exchange, then a knight to ultimately reach a won endgame
  • Discussion of what lies ahead in Mark’s career, including his participation in the “Wimbledon” of chess: the Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands in January 2011

$20 entry for non-members; free entry for members. Join the club!!!

GM Mark Bluvshtein
GM Mark Bluvshtein
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