Sunday, January 24, 2010

Need an idea for a chess themed Birthday Cake?

Here it is!

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.

Monday, January 18, 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.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

CUBA'S LOSS IS PHOENIX ARIZONA'S GAIN - Dionisio Aldama is top notch in Arizona!

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 Friday night action chess tournament held at the Chess Emporium in Phoenix AZ, Dionisio took the measure of his opponents and then firmly seized them by their chess minds and then violently twisted the chess life out of his opponents - in impressive fashion! The Friday night action is held at the Chess Emporium every week and is at least four rounds long - so if you are ever in Phoenix Arizona come pay them a visit!

It was this humble chess blogger’s honor to bear witness to an extremely exciting game as it was in progress – and then also to see another fine work of art produced by this extremely strong player – one Dionisio Aldama. I present a puzzle from Dionisio's short win over an extremely strong Expert. A game that is over and out in all of 16 moves! Well worth the trip to Phoenix!

Here is a wonderful tactic from one of Dionisio’s games - a surprising tactic in that he wins a piece in a quiet position and all because his opponent makes a "natural" looking move. This contest did not last long – he takes the heart of a 2150 rated player in 16 moves. Thus this game qualifies as "Chess Caviar"! In fact when I first played over the game I had to sit in my chair for a minute or two before it dawned on me why the player of the white pieces was resigning his game against Dionisio. When he tipped his King I am sure Dionisio was smiling.




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!

Make it a great day – Mr_theory.