Archive for January, 2010

Results from Tucson Open…

January 26, 2010

Will be up on the USCF website soon… and then we can discuss them here!

– Coach Sean.



January 25, 2010

These were the photos from the start of round four this morning – Sunday the 24th – shot from 9AM till about 9:30AM.  Then I had to leave the tournament site to meet my teaching commitments as a chess coach back in Phoenix Arizona.  Quite the event – next year I shall play!  – Coach Sean.


January 24, 2010

Now that is what I call a cake!


I went to the Birthday party for my student Mitchell today – and THIS was his Birthday cake!  WOW!  Now that is a Birthday cake for a serious chess player!  If you need/want to know who the artist is that produced this Birthday Cake then here you go:





Ted Scutti – President and Sugar Artist

Business office:
387 N 2nd Avenue, Unit 1G
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: 602.300.2625

And don’t forget to save me a slice of cake! : P – Coach Sean.

TUCSON OPEN PHOTOS: Days 1 & 2 – Friday and Saturday.

January 24, 2010

Wijk aan Zee: Quite the event… so far.

January 20, 2010

With Shirov going 4 for 4 right out of the starting gate this has become a very interesting horse race – with plenty of contenders chasing after Shirov.  It is still too early yet to say who will win this years’ edition of Wijk aan Zee.  Much to much early to speculate upon what kind of chess tournament Shirov will have for this year’s edition as he has yet to play Carlsen, Anand, Kramnik and Ivanchuk – opponents who are capable of winning or losing to the latvian now Spanish firebrand.

I will provide some commentary upon games from this event in upcoming postings – as there are already many interesting games that have been played as of round four.  Shirov will have to really focus now and control his nerves if he is to attempt the amazing feat matching Karpov’s phenomenal accomplishment at Linares 1994.  Let us all cheer on Shirov’s brand of chess – fighting chess – and keep our fingers crossed for more of it in upcoming rounds.

– Sean Tobin.

SIMULIZE! My 15 Board Simultaneous Exhibition Chess Match 1/19/2010

January 19, 2010

Some pictures from the 15 board chess simultaneous that I gave today – please notice that no chess clocks were in use during this event.  However each player had very little time – maybe ten minutes or fifteen minutes maximum so I had to checkmate them quickly!  This event was a lot of fun – the largest Simul I have given so far this year with my own personal best being over twenty chess boards.

If you want to achieve anything in life then it is up to you!

As it is at the chess board so it is in the great adventure that is life! - Coach Sean.

Before the storm breaks…
Object of the game?  As many checkmates as possible!

Attack of the Scholastic players - the wave comes crashing down!

The chess board is my shield...

The battle rages on!

You need track shoes for Simuls!

As soon as I defeat a youngster - 10 more want to take his/her place!

I played a lot of kids today!

"At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box".

"At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box".


January 19, 2010

Dionisio – Ready to rumble.

First wave of Simul opponents Thus starts the day long Simul

12 Board SimulDionisio – with energy!

Joel Johnson in the background.Joel waits for a more opportune moment.

Cody Vorhees - helped Dionisio get to the event site and handled Spanish language translations when necessary.Most improved player – Cody!

3 from EmporiumOnly three Emporium Coaches showed up…

Dionisio finds the going getting tough – time waits for no man!

One of the three – Good spirits as always!

Second wave attack commences.

“It is not enough to stand and stare…” – Pink Floyd

Why wouldn’t you play?  It was a free lesson from Dionisio!  Actually the fellows in the picture up above who are watching the Simul did play earlier on – as part of the first wave attack.  But there were plenty of other people who did not – which, in my opinion, was a shame really.  A missed opportunity for a good lesson and a missed opportunity to play one of the top two players in Arizona.

Final Score +33 -8.

Dionisio took a big hit on his USCF rating and thus I would propose fairer conditions for him in any such future engagements.  I have to be honest – I didn’t even know that his was rated until I got to the event.  I have never heard of anyone giving a rated USCF Simul – Susan Polgar most certainly did not when I played her – and I immediately got a bad feeling about this.

A good test of fairness for players of Dionisio’s caliber is this:  Would Garry K undertake such a challenge?  The answer is most certainly no – under no circumstances or conditions would former World Champion Garry Kasparov agree to play Game in 30 minutes against 12 opponents at the same time – and then allow others to jump in as opponents were eliminated.  In fact for most of Garry’s simultaneous displays he stipulated and forced potential particiapents to contractually agree upon the rule that no players would be allowed to participate that were rated above 2000!  In fact in the final years of his life Bobby Fischer made fun of Kasparov for this – even though Fischer was afraid to play anyone!  Kasparov did undertake special Simuls – such as his amazing win against the Israeli National Chess Team but this was with much longer time controls and did not feature as many opponents as Dionisio faced this past Sunday – which finally numbered at 41 by the end of the night.

I applaud Joel Johnson’s pulling this event off as it was a brilliant idea.  It was a jolly good show for all who came across the scene – one man playing many and with chess clocks.  I watched reactions on the faces of shoppers to the scene as they would come across it and I can tell you that their facial expressions betrayed their amazement.  This was quite a good event but can be improved upon for future editions – and should be.  Hopefully next time it will be a G45 or G60 time control for both sides and – as was amended on site for this first edition of this event – there should be breaks for Dionisio, or whomever is giving the simul be it Joel or anyone else, between success waves of players.  Perhaps even raise the entry fee to $10 to make up for the longer time control?

Congrats to Joel and Dionisio – it was quite the show!  – Coach Sean Tobin.

DIONISIO ALDAMA – Cuba’s loss is Arizona’s Gain!

January 17, 2010

For those of you not in the know Dionisio Aldama is the second highest rated player in Arizona – as of this writing.  He is probably as strong as most Grandmasters are – minus the G and the M in front of his name.  During the final round of the most recent edition of the weekly Adult Friday Night Action Chess Tournament Dionisio took the measure of all of his opponents and then firmly seized them by their chess minds and then violently twisted the chess life out of his opponents!  I usually stay well away from such metaphors but this is literally – in a chess sense – what Dionisio did.

The Friday night action is held at the Chess Emporium every week and is at least four rounds long.  It was this humble chess blogger’s honor to bear witness to an extremely exciting game as it was in progress – Dionisio’s Queen Sac game – and then also to see another fine work of art produced by this extremely strong player – one Dionisio Aldama.  I have posted a Chess Puzzle position taken from the second game mentioned – the Queen Sac Game I am saving for a Club lesson!

As an added bonus for the evenings celebration of chess I got to watch Dionisio analyze with the Chess Emporium’s very own Joe Lafornara.  His most recent loss – his fourth round loss to an extremely strong expert (2150-ish) was what was on offer for the evenings amusements.  As Joe astutely pointed out what takes work for 99.9 percent of all players in the world comes with ease for Dionisio Aldama – and usually with a smile upon his face when he sees the winning line.  If you want the “Free” lessons from Dionisio then leave your ego at home and come play him during the Friday Night Action tournament that starts at 7 PM every Friday night.  Arrive early so you can register for this fine event – and seating is limited during some editions of this event as their are also Super Group and Private lessons being given.  The Chess Emporium is at times like a big chess hive – with lots of activity.

If you are looking for another opportunity to play Dionisio then this Sunday – the 17th of January – he will be giving a 12 board clock Simul at the Paradise Mall Borders.  The fun starts at 2PM and continues until around 8PM that evening and the entry fee is $5.00 – paid to the man with a plan – Dionisio Aldama.  You will have 30 minutes to match wits with one of the nations top players – and he will have only 30 minutes to move back and forth from board to board as he gives lessons to one and all takers.  This is a benefit to help support one of our strongest players – so be there or be square!

To warm up for the clock Simultaneous Exhibition Chess Match this Sunday here is a tactic from one of Dionisio’s games.  This one didn’t last long – he takes the heart of a 2150 rated player in 16 moves!  In fact when I played over the game I had to sit there for a minute or two before it dawned on my why the player of the white pieces was resigning his game.  Enjoy this little gem of a combination! – Coach Sean.




As Sherlock Holmes might say “Elementary, my dear Dr Watson”

But as all chess players know – the devil of a combination is hidden in all of those chess board details!

See you Sunday – Coach Sean Tobin.

SUPER GROUP & PRIVATE STUDENTS: An endgame for your Enjoyment – Coach Sean.

January 16, 2010


Don’t judge a book by it’s cover nor should we be quick to judge an endgame.  I want all of my players to play this out and then I want them all to tell me what the result is going to be – or what they are expecting it to be.

– Coach Sean Tobin.


January 16, 2010

And we are off!

The 2010 Spring Semester has begun and I have a lot of work to do now.  Most classes still will not start until a week or two but I have much to do.  Time to finish up with information about last Semesters’ clubs and time to set up new websites so as to keep my content for parents and content for players separate – otherwise the email updates are way too long and take too long to type up and send out!  I have to be able to move quickly this Semester – no more slow poke!

Make it a great day! – Coach Sean.