Monday, January 18, 2016

Rethinking Chess Tournament Strategies

Recently, I have started playing in Over the Board (OTB) chess tournaments and I am on a losing streak due to a combination of factors. I caught a cold the first weekend of January and I am still having problems with my sinuses and post-nasal drip. I waste much of the time that I am awake coughing. I have a humidifier / vaporizer, but the air in my place can still be too dry during the winter and too humid during the summer.

While still recovering from my cold I entered a tournament that is being played on Wednesday nights at a restaurant that is called Smashburger. The playing conditions there are bad for me. The lighting is a little too low and the overhead lights are in my eyes if I do not wear a hat. Also, it is noisy there and I am often distracted by people who are moving around while I am playing.

Last Saturday I played an event that was within walking distance of where I live. I lost a hard-fought game in Round 1 that went more than 70 moves and then I had about 10 minutes to recover before starting the next round! I played horribly in Round Two and missed all kinds of chances to win that game. I eventually ended up in an endgame down material and had to swindle my nine-year-old opponent into playing an endgame that he did not know how to win! In Round Three I had another game that went more than 70 moves and I blew that endgame too!

What I now realize is that I lack the endurance to play out chess games that go more than 50 moves, especially if I have to play more than one game per day! I need to slow down during the early parts of these chess games and really look for the wins in the openings. Failing to end the chess games in less than 50 moves will most likely result in my blundering due to fatigue and then losing.

Mike Serovey, MA, MISM

Monday, June 01, 2015

Michael Serovey of Colorado Springs, Colorado has won a closely contested 2013 trophy quad by a full point over his nearest rival.




2 ½
2 ½




White: Michael Serovey (2130)

Black: Roger Pedersen (2028)

 2013 Trophy Quad


 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 c6 4.0–0 Bg4 5.c4 e6 6.d3 Nbd7 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.Be3 Bc5 9.Bxc5 Nxc5 10.Nc3 0–0 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Rc8 13.Rc1 Qb6 14.Qd2 Rfd8 15.Rc2 Rc6 16.Rfc1 e5 17.d4 Nce4 18.Bxe4 dxe4 19.d5 Rcd6 20.e3 h6 21.Qe2 a6 22.Kg2 Qb4 23.a3 Qb3 24.g4 Qb6 25.Qc4 Nxd5 26.Nxd5 Rxd5 27.Qxe4 g6 28.Rc7 Qxb2 29.Rb1 Qxa3 30.Rbxb7 Qf8 31.Qf3 e4 32.Qxe4 Rb5 33.Rxf7 Qxf7 34.Rxf7 Kxf7 35.Qf4+ Ke7 36.Qxh6 Rd6 37.Qg7+ Ke8 38.e4 Rbb6 39.Kg3 Re6 40.e5 Rb3+ 41.Kh4 Rf3 42.Qg8+ Kd7 43.Qa8 g5+ 44.Kxg5 Rxe5+ 45.Kh4 Rf6 46.Qb7+ Ke6 47.Qxa6+ Kf7 48.Qa7+ Kg6 49.Qc7 Re2 50.f4 Rf7 51.f5+ Kg7 52.Qf4 Re8 53.Kg5 Rg8 54.Qd4+ Kh7+ 55.Kf4 Ra8 56.Qd6 Kg7 57.Qg6+ Kf8 58.Qh6+ Kg8 59.f6 Ra5 60.g5 Rd7 61.Qh5 Ra8 62.Qg6+ Kf8 63.Qe4 Rda7 64.Kf5 Kg8 65.Kg6 Rf8 66.Qe6+ Kh8 67.f7 Raxf7 68.Qxf7 1–0

Friday, May 01, 2015

Win and Draw

I went through the chess games that I could find in my score books and elsewhere and then I made a spreadsheet of the highest rated players that I have beaten and drawn in various formats and places. I have posted that below.

Organization Event Type Rating Result Opponent
USCF Correspondence Chess 2399 Draw Daniel Woddard
USCF Correspondence Chess 2317 Win Harold Boege
USCF Over the Board Tournament 1991 Win Dante Benez
USCF Over the Board Tournament 2237 Draw Mikel Peterson
Stan's NetChess Turn Based Chess 2601 Win Chachi
ICC Internet Server Correspondence Chess 2603 Win Colossus
ICCF Internet Server Correspondence Chess 2151 Win Victor Popov
ICCF Internet Server Correspondence Chess 2389 Draw Mark Eldridge

Michael R. Serovey, MA, MISM

My New Chess Trophy

Back in 2013 I entered a trophy quad to be played by correspondence chess. We mailed moves to each other. I moved during the course of this event and so did a couple of my opponents. One of them is now in jail.

I managed to finish this section with 3 wins, one loss and two draws. That gave me clear first place.

The trophy below is the first one that I have won since I left Florida in 2013.

Michael R. Serovey, MA, MISM

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cheating in Chess

The chess game below is from the final round of the 2011 Golden Knights Postal Chess Championship. This game concluded not only my last game in this section but also my last game in correspondence chess that I played by snail mail.

The rules of the US Chess Federation (USCF) prohibit using chess engines to help analyze a  correspondence chess game that is still in progress. My opponent used Stockfish 6 to help him decide whether or not to trade rooks and to accept my draw offer. I did not discover this illegal use of a chess engine until after the game was over and I started to look at it with my own engines. I did not file a complaint about this because the use of this engine did not affect the outcome of the game. I got the draw that I wanted.

It is impossible to go into the engine room at without using your own engine. Checking to see if someone else has analyzed a given position in the engine room could be considered cheating by a strict interpretation of the rules, but I will allow it because I do that too. What I object to is someone staying there more than a minute. If they are there long enough to get credit for discovering a position, then they are definitely cheating!

Posted below are screenshots of the engine use.

Michael R. Serovey, MA, MISM

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Chess Application is Available

I have developed an application for mobile devices that you can use on a smart phone or tablet. This application will keep you up to date on my chess activities and also allow you to view The Chess Improver blog that I contribute to. You can also get chess supplies from Amazon using this application. It is $0.99 on Google Play, but it is still free if you click on the Amazon link. This will not be true much longer.

You can get it here:

My Chess Information
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mike Serovey Publishes a New Chess Book

I just published a new book on Amazon. It is what is called a "zero content" book. It contains a few introductory pages and then there is an outline for you to put the notation of your chess games and some notes about your opponents and the tournaments that those games were played in. There is also room at the bottoms of the pages for your pictures from these events.

You can get the book here:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Open Chess Tournament in Tampa, Florida

Mike Hoffer has announced the following:

Tampa Open Chess Tournament – Saturday, March 30 @ 10:15-7 pm
FUTURE DATES: March 30, April 20, May 25
Sorry, we have to limit entries this month to 40. Thanks to your support, we already have 20 tentative entries. Secure your entry NOW and SAVE $5 by registering via PayPal on our website.
(WE MAY CLOSE PAYPAL OPTION EARLY as it takes a few days for PayPal to transfer to our bank):
The adults are on the run! These events are rating BONANZAS for younger players & great lessons if they lose!
Tentative entries include: Jason Abellada, Corey Acor, Luther Barnum, Gary Barrick, Stephem Barrick, Beard Bruce, Peter Calhoun, Preston Copeland, Chad Davis, Wyndell East, Mark Feldman, Terry Feeney, Raul Gutierrez, Joshua Harrison, Jordan Hart, Andres Hernandez, TrongAn Hoang, Truman Hoang, Michael Hoffer, Jason Hofferle, Roshan Jayaraman, Allyn Kahn, Nathan Kelly, Andrew Larson, Kelvin Ng, Vinod Panicker, Robert Prince, Scott Raymond, Geoff Roberts, Mike Serovey, Alex Shah, Rick Sloan, Kevin Stevens, Marc Taylor, Herbert Valdsaar, Charles Wright, Jay Wu, Jeff York
Tampa Chess Centre at Busch Commercial Plaza, 5035 E. Busch Blvd, Suite 10, Tampa, FL 33617 Entry fee is only $25 if registered 2 days in advance; Credit cards accepted via PayPal. $30 on-site. USCF membership required. You may join on-site. Please bring your own clocks and sets if you have them.
Time control: NEW! GAME 60 minutes for each player, 5 second delay, four round Swiss System - no elimination
Registration starts 10:15 AM; First round begins (times approximate): 10:40; R2 1 PM; R3 3:00; R4 5:00
Prize money: $335 based on 20 entries. Prize distribution subject to category of entries (including a split between adults and kids) divided equitably. Example of prizes: $125-60-45. U1700: $60; U1300: $45
Prize money: $500 based on 30 entries. Prize distribution subject to category of entries (including a split between adults and kids) divided equitably. Example of prizes: $150-90-60. U1700: $90; U1600: $60; U1300: $50
Prize money: $670 based on 40 entries. Prize distribution subject to category of entries (including a split between adults and kids) divided equitably. Example of prizes: $250-120-80. U1700: $100; U1600: $70; U1300: $50
Tampa Chess Centre Club & Classes by Hoffer’s Chess Academy
Official Affiliate of the United States Chess Federation
Push Pawns Not Drugs! Say Yes 2 Chess!
Tampa Chess Centre
Busch Commercial Plaza, 5035 E. Busch Blvd., Suite 10, Tampa, 33617
(813) 526-2257