Friday, November 21, 2008


HCC Happy New Years Tourney

HCC Happy New Years Tourney
Friday Night January 3rd 2009
1st $200.00, 2nd $100.00 1st under 1900 $100.00
4 rounds of game 45 starting at 7 p.m.

Houston Chess Club

Sign Up Sheet at club. Sign up and pay before December 27. Details at club.

Houston Chess Club


Friday, September 19, 2008


Houston Chess Club Open and Insane!

From Mark Dixon:
OPEN FRIDAY 9-19-08 at 6:30 p.m., SATURDAY 9-20-08 10:30 a.m., and SUNDAY 09-21-08 at 11:00 a.m. THANK YOU!!!!! hope to see you there!!!

The HCC insanity is set for OCTOBER 24th 2008 starting at 7 p.m.. The first round is at 7 p.m. the second is at 8 p.m. etc., etc., the last round starting at 6 a.m. OCTOBER 25th 2008. I have 10 players signed up. IF FOR SOME REASON YOU STILL CAN'T MAKE THAT DATE (the 10 players signed up already) please contact me. 713-773-2437 or the hotline 832-473-7178. I still need your entry fee money though. Because it was a RESERVED THING. First place is 100.00 and second is 50.00. I have a ANONYMOUS DONOR and the prize fund will increase. I have 1 master, 6 A'S, 1 EXPERT, AND 2 UNDER 1400 PLAYERS SIGNED UP SOO FAR. If you want to get in PLEASE CONTACT ME. I will be contacting the players already signed up individually. The time control is G/30. Let's go!!!! IT should be EXCITING.........Entry fees: $20 HCC member and $25 non-HCC member.............


Friday, June 27, 2008


Friday Night Action July 4th

Friday July 4th there will be a special Friday Night Action Tournament at the Houston Chess Club! First prize is $100 and second is $50. Four rounds of game/30 starting at 7pm.

And, inspired by:
FIRST: The Canadian Open Chess Championship will be held in Montreal, Quebec (Canada) this year from July 19-27, 2008. Goddesschess has funded a $100.00 CAD "Pawn Promotion Prize." The very first player in the Canadian Open who promotes a pawn will win $100.00 CAD! This is open to all players in all sections.
Supporting Local Chess with $$$

I have donated $50 to support local Houston chess as two additional, special prizes in this event. $25 will go to the first person to promote a pawn in the tournament and $25 will go to the last person to promote a pawn in the tournament.


Monday, June 09, 2008


Smarter Scrolling, Tab Mode Change, Focus Change

Updated June 23 to use the latest version of the viewer.
Some changes based on BDKs feedback: a) The focus button now goes *around* the button instead of obscuring it, b) scrolling is smarter (both forwards and backwards) and c) the start button's appearance is improved.

Also, now in single board mode with the variations tab enabled, the main line shows up as a tab. Don't know what that means? Play through this game to move 8 and then move 9. See the "variation tabs" to the top right of the board? Try clicking them and see what happens...

Download PGN

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Saturday, June 07, 2008



Updated July 8 to use the latest version of the viewer.
This is an interesting game I played against Master Mansour "Mick" Bighamian in 2002. I played quite well, until I started winning....

The game is shown in the ChessFlash PGN Viewer with two boards and tabbed variations on the second board. Click the arrow keys below the boards to navigate. Or, an arrow with the "focus" (yellow box) can be played by pressing the space bar. When primary variations are encountered they will appear as tabs on the second board. Click the tab to view the variation(s) on the second board.

Download PGN | Enlarge Viewer

Update: Publishing with width=100% and height=100% (was w=100%, h=500 pixels). That did not work at all in IE7 (viewer did not display) but worked well in FireFox 3. Ok, now trying w=100% and h=90%. About the same result. Trying...width=100% and height=550 seems to be the biggest I can make the viewer that works for me in both IE7 and FF3 on my laptop and still have the viewer fit in a single screen.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008


What Are You Doing Sunday?

email from Mark at the Houston Chess Club:
come out and SUPPORT THE CLUB on sundays PLEASE.......

thanks to all for coming out on SATURDAYS.....we had 20 last saturday at the HCC. This email is about SUNDAYS.......we haven't had a SUNDAY tournament in about three weeks!!! It's unbelievable!!! there's over 3 million people in the HOUSTON area alone and we should have 20 every saturday and 20 EVERY SUNDAY.....COME ON!! LET'S PLAY CHESS!!! all you have to do is show up on sundays!!! THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, November 17, 2007


USCF Results Tool

a great tool by Wayne Zimmerle. Ever wondered who you have played the most, the highest rated player you beat etc? It's all there.
Getting to 2000

What is this tool whereof he speaks?

The MSA data program simply downloads the data for the selected individual USCF member to his or her computer and then analyses it to present the data in various ways. available from

So, what can it do? It took me about ten minutes to download the software, install the software, download my data from the USCF and produce:

This is data from 01-01-1991 to 11-17-2007

Current Official rating is 2031
Current UnOfficial rating is 2031
Best Unofficial rating = 2041
Best Official rating = 2041
Lowest rating on record = 1936
103 Opponents
Total Rated Games = 196 ---> 114 Wins 21 Draws 61 Losses

Best Upset = 280 points -- CLARENCE C YEUNG -- 2216 TUGGLE MEMORIAL 07-19-1992
Best Draw = 391 points -- MICK BIGHAMIAN -- 2359 HCC U2000 OPEN 05-02-1993

Highest Rated Opponent Win = B L PATTESON -- 2249 CHEAPO 04-26-1992
Highest Rated Opponent Draw = MICK BIGHAMIAN -- 2387 FRIDAY NITE RAPID 05-15-1992

Most Recent Wins in a row = 10 ending on 02-08-2002 at HCC- FRIDAY NITE ACTION 2/8
Most Recent Draws in a row = 2 ending on 08-11-2007 at 20070811 HCC SAT OPEN
Most Recent Losses in a row = 4 ending on 08-28-1992 at FRI RAPID
(and lots more stats and analysis)

My only objection so far is not the fault of the software. It is that the online USCF records only go back to 1991. I think my first published ratings in the 1970's was in the 1200-1300 range. I think it was around 1600-1700 in 1980. I improved by playing at the Houston Chess Club in the late eighties and first crossed 2000 sometime around 1990.


Sunday, August 12, 2007


HCC Saturday August 11, 2007

I played in the August 11 HCC Saturday Open and finished second with 2.5 points in three rounds. The tournament crosstable will is here.

I have modified my ISAM method to comply with new (as of Jan 1, 2007) USCF rules that the player make the move on the board before recording it on the scoresheet. Changing a 20 year habit proved not to be too difficult but I think there were times I played a little more impulsively than usual.

You can play over all of my games from that event in your browser from the link in the sidebar HCC August 11, 2007 under games archive. The positions below are from those games. So if you are interested in puzzles try these before playing over the games (where all is revealed).

This USCF Press Release lists the top World Youth Qualifiers. Number one for Girls under 8 is Evan Xiang at 1484. My first round opponent.

In this position Evan can win a piece. Do you see how? She did. Black to move:

Coming back from a piece down I see a chance for a draw. Do you? Do you see what I didn't see? (Fritz did). White to move:

My game with Alan Rodenstein was largely "positional" or perhaps "anti-positional". In any case, it may threaten my claim that chess is all tactics. I played the Moron Defence.

The game ends with a "subtle positional manuever" :-). Black to move:

In my game with Will Clayton I was in a swashbuckling mood and offered a Danish Gambit but he didn't want to go there. The game continued in gambit style. In the opening, the center, piece development and king safety are important concepts to keep in mind. This game illustrates their importance through the endgame.

White can put a big hurt on black here:

How does White continue:

I can't believe that I missed this shot for White:

Compare White's rooks to Blacks. How to turn the development advantage into something more concrete and lasting? White to move:

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Sunday, August 05, 2007


HCC Saturday August 4, 2007

I played in the August 4 HCC Saturday Open and tied for first with 2.5 points in three rounds. The tournament crosstable is here.

I am pleased with my results but not my chess. Especially the openings. I seem to keep getting in trouble in the openings and then fighting my way out of a hole. I definitely need to work on that.

You can play over all of my games from that event in your browser from the link in the sidebar HCC August 4, 2007 under games archive. The positions below are from those games. So if you are interested in puzzles try these before playing over the games (where all is revealed).

This first position is from my game with George Fan. White's move here reminds me of Bill Reuter's book Winning with Reverse Chess Strategy. Do you see White's move?

Later in the same game with George Fan, how does White put an end to the Black resistance?

From my game with Christopher Xavier. Black to move and win. Be careful, the obvious move for Black actually loses.

This is the final position in my game with Larry Englebretson. He offered a draw because he was short on time and was concerned about the lines with Qf6+ and Rf3. I was trying to find a win or forced draw after Nf5+ but I wasn't finding it. A draw ensured me a share of first place and I thought I was losing so I took it. White's best move in this position ? Take the draw offer?

Later, with Fritz I did find the following line that looks promising for White: 20. Nf5+ gxf5 21. exf5 Nc5 22. f6+ Kh8 23. Bxh7 Kxh7 (...Bg3!?) 24. Qh4+ Kg6 25. g3 Bxg3 26. Nxg3 Qe5 27. Rg1 Bg4 28. Qxg4+ Qg5 29. Qxg5+ Kxg5 30. Ne4+ and White wins. Should I have played on?

If after 20. Nf5+ Black does not take the knight but plays Kg8 instead that appears to be an invitation for repeating moves.

But, after 20. Nf5+ Kh8 21. g3 gxf5 22.exf5 Bxg3 23. Nxg3 Ng5 it looks like Black keeps the upper hand.

What do you think? Who is winning? What is the best move? Should I have played on?

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Sunday, July 29, 2007


HCC Saturday July 28, 2007

I played my first USCF rated games in over four years yesterday. I signed up for the first two rounds of the HCC Saturday Open with a third round bye. I scored 2 points in the two rounds I played. The tournament crosstable and results are here.

In both games I played a "novelty" in the opening. That is not always a good thing. The games are here and in the navigation bar under HCC July 28, 2007 with some analysis by Fritz.

In my game with Jim Polomsky I was pretty much lost in the opening but saw an opportunity to create complications and pressure and got lucky. But then I let up and almost let the game slip away.

In my game with George Fan I had a critical decision at move seven. This was the hardest move of the game for me to find. What should Black do here?

Here is another position from later in the same game. Black has a forcing maneuver that improves the position of his pieces and creates powerful threats. Do you see it?

In my game with Jim Polomsky I was winning with this position. Can he win my Bishop at h7? I did not play the best move here. What is White's best?

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Houston Chess Club Sunday Open

The crosstable for the recent July 15 Houston Chess Club is available online from the USCF. Christopher Thomas Javier finished in clear first with 4 points in 4 rounds. For more on the Liu sisters who also played see Emily's Chess Blog.



Houston Chess Club

From Mark Dixon:

We are open Tuesday nights 7-9 p.m. Advanced class by a master. $10.00 non-members and free for members.

Wednesday nights 7 to midnight we are open. Slow chess 30/90, SD/60. Starts the FIRST Wednesday of each month. Play one game each week. $30.00 non-members and $20.00 members.

Fridays are G/30. 4 rds SS G/30 starting at 7 p.m. Entry fee $10.00 non-members and $5.00 members.

Saturdays we have a free lecture starting at 10:30 a.m. and going for an hour. Registration is 11:30 to 12 noon. Tournament starts at 12 noon sharp. $10.00 members and $15.00 non-members. Round times 12, 2 and 4 p.m. Time controls are G/60.

Sundays we are open at 11:30 a.m. and tournament starts at 12 noon. Registration is from 11:30 to 12 noon. Time controls are G/45 and round times are 12, 1:30, 3, and 4:30 p.m.

1ST PRIZE $250 GTD!!
2ND PRIZE $150 GTD!!
1ST UNDER 1800 $100 GTD!







From the USCF:
HOUSTON CHESS CLUB (USCF ID A6010939). Affiliate Type: Club. H 832-473-7178 S&S 10:30-8PM. TUES,WED,FRI 6:30-12AM, HCC 9000 SW FREEWAY, HOUSTON. Contact: Mark Dixon. Contact Phone: 832-473-7178. Club Phone: 713-773-2437. Address: 9000 SOUTHWEST FWY STE 290, HOUSTON, TX, 77074-1520. email:, Casual Play, USCF Rated Events, Blitz Events, Matches, Club Championships. (MSA Information)


Monday, February 12, 2007


Jesse Tuggle

I remember when I first started playing chess regularly in Houston. I played almost every Friday night at the old Jackson Hill club. And many Fridays I would be pitted against Jesse Tuggle. He was always there. He was a machine. Jesse was the USCF most active player from 1985 to 1990.

Jesse passed away in 1991.

I got an email from a relative of Jesse's. He would like to communicate with people that knew him. If you knew Jesse and want to help please drop me an email and I'll put you in touch.


Sunday, August 17, 2003


Houston Chess Club

The Houston Chess Club link at the left has been on and off (mostly off) for months; you might try this site: Houston Chess Club. It is dated but has generally accurate schedule information as well as directions to the club. If you have any questions you can call the club at 713-773-2437. I just spoke with Larry Englebretson there and he tells me that despite the problems with the website, the club is "alive and well."


Saturday, March 15, 2003


HCC Friday Night Action March 14, 2003

An exciting event and strong field. One master, two experts and two A players. There were a total of twelve players. Curtis Brooks and Mbugua Bo Githoro tied for first with 3.5 each - they drew in their head-to-head encounter. Jeffrey T Miller won the under 1600 prize with 3 points. For my games from this tournament, see March 14, 2003 Friday Action.

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Houston Chess Club

The Houston Chess Club web site is currently not operating, but the club is alive and well. If the link at the left does not work, you can click here for address, basic schedule, address, phone numbers etc. By the way, I am told that it should be back up and running soon. (Update March 23, 2003 -- the HCC site is now back online. Content will be updated soon, I hope).



A Blast from the Past

An interesting game Wilson-Bighamian from 2002 as a static html file. Newer games will generally be available using the ChessBase 8.0 javascript viewer (so you can play the moves in your web browser) and as pgn files.

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HCC Friday Night Action March 7, 2003

Three way tie for first: Chalker beat Wilson who beat Farley who beat Chalker and each finished 3-1. At the end of my game with Chalker he had one second on the clock and I had, I think, eleven seconds. We were using a five second delay but that made for an exciting finish.
For Wilson-Farley and Chalker-Wilson, see March 7, 2003 Friday Action.

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