The Philadelphia Eagles tried their hand at chess with local students. 6abc.com From the field, to the board,The Philadelphia Eagles tried their hand at chess Wednesday with local students during an annual tournament. The Eagles Chess Tournament at Lincoln Financial Field included 225 Philadelphia youth chess players from across …
On a misty winter morning at a gym in Kolkata, Pushpa Jha, 15, hits a punching bag with all her might, sweat trickling down her cheeks and temples, while her mother looks on.
Jha had severe malnutrition when she was younger, which affected her respiratory system badly, stunting her growth. Tiny and frail, she’s an unlikely candidate for a gold medal at the World Chess Boxing Amateur Championships, but she won that very title in May of 2017. Now she has set her sights on the 2018 championships, to be held this July in Kolkata.
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Her coach, Montu Das, president of Chess Boxing Association of India, says that she has something that many players do not—a desire to succeed against all odds. Her mother, Golapi Jha, agrees.
“She forgets everything when she is up in the ring; she has been wounded and injured twice already during matches, and she often has blood flowing through her nose during physical stress, yet she is adamant to continue,” Golapi Jha, a domestic worker, says.
Much to the surprise of its pioneers, this new sport is transforming the lives of a group of Indian girls.
Many of them have learned chess at home, so training focuses on the physical skills needed for boxing, with a half-hour at the end dedicated to chess strategy.
“It has made me strong—not only physically but also mentally,” Jha says of the sport. “I am learning to overcome my fears. It has helped me in getting medical help too.”
She says the prize money had been useful for her and her family. Her local elected representative has also given her small scholarship packages over past two years for her achievements.
Rashmi Saha, 16, hopes to build a more certain future for herself through chess boxing. Her mother cleans the houses of six different families every day, while her father pulls a rickshaw on Kolkata’s backstreets. In total, the family income usually doesn’t exceed Rs 22,000 ($338) per month, which vanishes as soon as it appears.
They don’t have enough money to send their daughter to college, but Saha hopes chess boxing will change that by giving her access to scholarships. Certain schools and colleges recognize certification from the Chess Boxing Association of India when considering applications.
“I’ll appear for my board exams next year and hopefully secure a seat in a college,” she says. She hopes the sport will give her an edge over other students in the job market too. In India, a percentage of jobs in the railways, defense, banking, and other government departments are reserved for people in sports. The Chess Boxing Association of India is currently in talks with committees and government departments to recognize the new sport nationwide as part of these programs. In the meantime, practitioners can apply for the program through either the chess or the boxing streams.
“If my performances are good, I may find a job somewhere using the sports quota,” Saha says.
Debjani Dutta Roy, the headmistress of Kolkata’s Surah Kanya High School, says chess boxing has provided an alternative to domestic labor for her students, more than 200 of whom have trained in the sport so far.
“I don’t know how long they’ll be able to hold on, but they are persisting. This sport has introduced them to an alternative; this has made them hopeful,” she says. “At least, they are not dropping out from school to join the workforce.”
Das agrees. “Many of these girls would have been married away at an early age, right after they dropped school, or would go after some kind of employment,” he says. “Their parents can’t support their education nor could they help them pursue a proper career. Chess boxing has helped them dream of something—a medal, a fantastic performance, maybe a job going forward.”
Saha is already training a few girls in her area. She aspires to become a sports coach when she is done competing.
“It’s relieving that they are able to bring home something. Even though we want our children to have a good life, it’s practically not possible to invest much in them,” her mother, Kumkum Saha, says.
India now has more than 1,200 registered chess boxers, 35 percent of whom are women, Das told News Deeply. The sport’s founder, Iepe Rubingh, who is also the president of the World Chess Boxing Organization, says this is unusual.
“In India, there are a lot more women involved in chess boxing than in Europe. In Europe, it’s 90 percent men and 10 percent women,” he said in an email. He says there will soon be opportunities for India’s women chess boxers on the international circuit.
“We will select the best fighters from India to fight in the professional league in Europe, and if they do well and win a title, the plan is to bring the professional events together with Mr Montu Das to India.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Advancement Deeply, and you can find the original here. For more news coverage and community engagement focused on women’s economic advancement, you can sign up to the Women’s Advancement Deeply email list.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s result in the last Candidates’ tournament has cemented his position as one of the world’s very best players.
In a year-old article, we already discussed what makes his chess so sparkling and powerful. Today I would like to talk about one of his favorite chess patterns, which perfectly fits the description from the above-mentioned article: “he uses a well-known classical concept as an inspiration and then produces a much more sophisticated and beautiful gem.”
The following masterpiece by GM Bronstein is one of those games that a proverbial “Russian schoolboy must know.”
White’s daring piece sacrifice allowed him to create a powerful pawn center, which simply steamrolled Black’s position. Yes, Black’s play could be improved on many occasions (like his dubious move 10…c5?! that only made White’s center pawns stronger), but it is White’s brilliant concept that really matters here. In many positions it is absolutely worth it to sacrifice a minor piece for a couple of pawns that are going to push your opponent off the board!
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
We can find this pattern in many games by GM Mamedyarov!
Looks pretty easy, right? Now try to play like Mamedyarov in the following position:
And here finish the game in style just like Shakhriyar did!
Since Mamedyarov is a very aggressive attacking player, it is quite common in his games that such far advanced pawns help him to checkmate the opponent’s king.
Now that you know how dangerous Mamedyarov’s passed pawns can be, you’ll appreciate the following game. To some extent this was one of the biggest achievements of Fabiano Caruana in the tournament of his life where he won the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen. When I saw the position where Mamedyarov had three passed pawns, I thought that Caruana was doomed.
Fortunately, he managed to do the impossible: stop Shakhriyar’s pawns! And that eventually sealed the tournament.
Jasper Faeldonia scores 7.5 points out of 11 rounds to win his first national tournament
Published 2:38 PM, May 14, 2018
Updated 2:38 PM, May 14, 2018
CHAMPION. Jasper Faeldonia wins the Under-14 category in the National Age Group Chess Championships. Photo from Pinoy ChessClub Online’s Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – Sometimes, one just needs a little push and the results of that push can prove to be a pleasant surprise.
National Master Rudy Ibanez persisted, but in a gentle way, that 13-year-old Jasper Faeldonia was ripe for the National Age Group Chess Championships in Capiz. Even he, however, did not expect the young man to win the Under-14 ahead of the favorite, Michael Concio Jr of Dasmariñas.
Faeldonia won with 7.5 points out of 11 rounds to win his first national tournament. He had the same score as Concio, who was a finalist in last year’s national championship but a better tiebreak gave the incoming Grade 8 student from Arellano University the victory.
“I was not expecting since I saw good players there but I relied on his hardworking character,” said Ibanez through a Facebook exchange. “It’s luck being first.”
Faeldonia had only won silver medals in the 2014 Milo National Little Olympics and the 2017 Palarong Pambansa. In the 2017 NCAA high school division, he won a gold medal playing board 5, which is as a reserve.
There were several players with FIDE titles who did not have to play the national finals, along with some players who will be sponsored by their cities or province.
But strong players, like Daniel Quizon, 14, played in the Under-20 division where he may play in next month’s Asean age group chess championship in Davao. Another one was Al-Basher Buto, who played in the Under-8 division and dominated.
Cherrylyn, Jasper’s mother, said in a text message that her son “was excited playing in his first national tournament.”
Jasper has a quality which is not often seen among some young players who prefer a waiting style. He is aggressive and knows when to take calculated risks, said Ibanez.
“He has lots of room for improvement. (He is) hardworking and never missed practice,” said Ibanez. “For me, this attitude is important.”
Faeldonia, who learned chess at the age of 6, idolizes world champion Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So, his mother said. In So’s case, Jasper’s mother said “he was inspired because So became a strong player at a young age.”
Jasper’s mother said they would be paying a call on Odiongan Mayor Trina Frimalo in Romblon on Monday, May 14, to express their thanks in helping her son. But, for the big event in Davao, Jasper’s mother said the National Chess Federation of the Philippines will be paying for his trip.
It could be the start of something good for the boy who doesn’t miss chess practice. – Rappler.com
What’s happening and what you need to know in Central Jersey. STAFF VIDEO BY JOE MARTINO
The Daily Rundown(Photo: Getty Images/Moment RF)
Metuchen Junior Girl Scout Troop installs library
Metuchen Junior Girl Scout Troop 80751 is spreading its love for reading to earn a Bronze Award. The girls have coordinated and installed a Little Free Library in Oakland Park in Metuchen to encourage literacy and provide a convenient opportunity with easy access of books for people of all ages. The troop started creating awareness for the program with flyers in shops on Main Street. It also visited kindergartners at Moss School to inform them about the library and presented to other sister scouts locally. Troop members performed an informational skit for the students, read books aloud and helped each student make their own bookmark. Moss students donated close to 50 books to the library. A grand opening ceremony was held May 5. The library is a small house-looking box in a public place that has books for individuals to borrow or swap.
Raritan Township police blotter
Four individuals were charged by Raritan Township Police with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana from April 30 through May 6. Charged were Devon Degrasse, 23, of Flemington; Glenn Spearman Jr., 28, of Philadelphia; Nicholas Sapienza, 36, of Elizabeth; and Shanna Kwasnik, 19, of Bushkill, Pennsylvania. Sally Elkholy, 23, of Lambertville, was charged with drunken driving, reckless driving and failing to maintain lane on Route 202 at 3:17 a.m. May 5. Matthew Petras, 39, of Middlesex Borough, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle after police found him sleeping in a car parked at Lowe’s at 4:53 p.m. May 5. Nicole Parah, 30, and Jonathan Guild, 30, both of Hamilton, were charged with shoplifting from Walmart at 1:22 p.m. May 5. The two were also charged with possession of heroin and hypodermic syringes. James Picklo, 47, was charged with possession of oxycodone on Route 202 at 1:14 a.m. on May 6.
Man in lady’s clothes sought in theft
Watchung police are seeking a man dressed in woman’s clothes in connection with shoplifting from Old Navy at Watchung Square Mall at 11:50 a.m. May 2. The suspect is described as 5-foot-8, weighing 140 pounds with long black hair, wearing a pink sweater, blue jeans and white shoes. The other suspect was a heavyset woman, about 5-foot-5 with a gray t-shirt and blue jeans. Both fled the store with bags of clothing.
Melvin Gatling, 62, of South Brunswick, was charged with trespassing on Montgomery Road at about 9:30 p.m. May 5. Abigail Williams, 35, of Long Valley, was charged with driving while intoxicated and speeding at about 11:30 p.m. May 5 on County Route 601. Paris Basile, 18, of Hopewell, was charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, speeding and possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle on Route 518 at 6 a.m. May 1.
Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz speaks during a conference in Puerto Rico. (Photo: ~Courtesy of City of Perth Amboy)
Perth Amboy mayor visits Puerto Rico
Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz visited Puerto Rico to participate in the 2018 Center for Creative Land Recycling conference in Guaynabo. Diaz, of Puerto Rican descent, spoke to fellow mayors to share her experience and best practices learned through redevelopment projects and Superstorm Sandy recovery. Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, Perth Amboy helped support the people of Puerto Rico with more than 400,000 pounds of donated of goods, relocating victims that sought a new home in New Jersey and guiding them toward recovery in their communities. Diaz offered a presentation on “Brownfield Success Stories and Resilience from the Mainland” and included a information on Perth Amboy recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy, land revitalization strategies and funding mechanisms. Diaz also participated in a panel discussion on “Urban Planning as a Strategy for Preserving Green Space and Agricultural Land” during the fourth Puerto Rico Brownfields Development Summit.
Second Narcan training held
On May 8, Bridgewater Township Councilman Matthew Moench hosted a second free Community Narcan Training in consultation with Rutgers University and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s Division of Addiction Psychiatry. The event brought together citizens from all over the community to learn how to recognize overdose symptoms, and appropriately implement life saving strategies during an overdose such as rescue breathing and the administration of naloxone. Jose Cruz presented the program on behalf of Rutgers and Robert Wood Johnson. Visit www.bridgewaternj.gov.
Music registration open
Registration is open for The Princeton Festival’s popular Music That Tells a Story, a free introduction to opera that includes an interactive workshop, led by professional singer and educator Dr. Rochelle Ellis, plus admission to a fully-staged performance of the Puccini favorite Madama Butterfly. More information and an online enrollment form is available at princetonfestival.org/event/2018-opera-workshop-music-tells-story/. Participants have a choice of workshop sessions: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, in Princeton; 10 a.m. Saturday, June 9, in Trenton; or 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, in Lawrenceville. The opera performance takes place at McCarter Theatre in Princeton at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 14. Information on the entire 2018 season of The Princeton Festival is available at www.princetonfestival.org.
Lance calls for debate on languishing bills
U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-District 7) recently signed a discharge petition calling for a debate and vote on a series of immigration reform bills languishing in the U.S. House. Lance is the first New Jersey Republican to lend his name to this effort. A discharge petition can be brought up only on the first and third Monday of the month when the House is in session. June 25 is the next time the House is in session on one of those Mondays. Visit lance.house.gov.
Freeholder challenges youth to simultaneous chess games
Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Brian D. Levine will challenge up to a dozen chess players from the area schools to a Chess Challenge (simultaneous chess games) at the Mary Jacobs Library, 64 Washington St,, Rocky Hill, part of the Somerset County Library System. The challenge will begin at 5 p.m. Monday, May 14. All are welcome to view the activity. “I love working with kids and I love playing chess,” said Levine, “so this chess exhibition is perfect for me.” The former mayor of Franklin Township, Somerset County, Levine — last year named “Freeholder of the Year” by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors — learned the moves as a seven-year-old when he watched his father and cousin playing chess. He went on to study the game, becoming high school champion at J.P. Stevens in Edison, and top player in the conference in which his high school competed. Before the games begin, the attendees will receive a brief chess lesson form International Chess Master Dean Ippolito, of the Dean of Chess Academy in Branchburg. Anyone who manages to outstrategize Freeholder Levine will receive a gift, complements of the Somerset County Library. Levine is donating half-a-dozen tournament quality chess sets and boards to the library, in addition to giving a “chess pin” to all who challenge him.
Award, scholarship luncheon
The 200 Club of Somerset County has announced the recipients of its 2018 Valor Awards, who will be honored at the 45th annual Valor and Scholarship Luncheon on Wednesday, May 16, at The Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Ave., Franklin. Valor Award recipients include: Corporal Keith Hermann of the Franklin Township Police Department, Officer John Granahan of the Manville Police Department and Detectives I Michael Leonardi and Stephen Riefler of the Intelligence and Criminal Enterprise Section of the New Jersey State Police. Contact Denise Maria at 908-526-2565. Visit www.somersetcounty200club.org.
M&T Bank announces tax credit funding
M&T Bank announced $985,000 in tax credit funding for four deserving nonprofit organizations in New Jersey through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program (NRTC). This investment acts as part of the banks ongoing pledge to help grow and develop neighborhoods throughout its footprint in NJ. The organizations receiving this funding through the tax credit program include: New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC); Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GDECDC); Unity Square in New Brunswick, a project of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen; and Interfaith Neighbors. Visit www.mtb.com.
The second annual Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Rainbow Run 5K was held on April 22, at White Oak Park in Branchburg. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity)
Rainbow Run 5K held
Habitat Youth, a group of civic-minded students from seven high schools in Somerset and Hunterdon counties, hosted the second annual Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Rainbow Run 5K on April 22, at White Oak Park in Branchburg. More than 75 participants came out to support the students’ efforts. The Rainbow Run raised more than $1,800, which will help area residents create better lives and financial stability by partnering with Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity to build affordable homes for their families. If you attend a school in Somerset County or Hunterdon County and are interested in starting a Habitat service club, contact Rebecca Maier at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908-704-0016, ext. 18. Information: www.rvhabitat.org, 908-704-0016.
Shown participating in a special presentation are (from right) Tony Rose, Columbia Bank’s first senior vice president, marketing director; Bria Barker, EVERFI’s Financial Education account executive; and Michael Campbell, Columbia’s senior vice president, community development officer. (Photo: ~Courtesy of Columbia Bank)
Columbia Bank receives award
Columbia Bank has been awarded the 2018 Financial Capability Innovation Award from EVERFI, Inc. for sponsoring financial education programs at several local high schools. EVERFI’s online course, funded by Columbia Bank at no cost to schools districts and students, uses interactive activities to promote financial literacy. Columbia currently sponsors the EVERFI financial literacy program at Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI), Hawthorne High School, Fair Lawn High School, South Plainfield High School and Maple Shade High School. Visit www.columbiabankonline.com.
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For those that enjoyed my previous article, Test Your PositionalChess, let’s do it again. It’s fun to follow positional concepts, and it’s also extremely instructive.
Please keep in mind that these puzzles aren’t like usual tactical puzzles. You usually won’t have to find the “one and only one” move since the position might offer several reasonable choices. So, if you think you found the right move but the software says nyet, keep trying.
Also, this isn’t for 1000-rated players or for masters; it’s for everyone. After all, when you’re playing a serious game you’ll need to deal with the game’s complexity (or lack thereof) whether you like it or not. Anyway, the real goal is to understand the position and THEN and ONLY THEN look for moves that cater to the position’s needs.
I’ve made sure that all the puzzles have notes, so make sure you take a look at them since those are often the key to improvement.
Of course, you don’t have to agonize over the puzzles. Just click on the “?” at the left-bottom of the puzzle and the puzzle-board will open up its wonders.
One other thing: At the end of the puzzle (in my notes) I give the puzzle’s main LESSONS. So please take a look at them.