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By GM Larry Evans   
August 6, 2008

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GM Larry Evans
BEST QUESTION:

What’s a Fianchetto?
Solomon Ruddell
Los Osos, CA


What is a fianchetto? How does it help you and what does it do?

Fianchetto (pronounced fianketto) comes from the Italian “fianco,” meaning flank. It refers to developing a white bishop on g2 or b2 or a black bishop on g7 (King’s Indian Defense) or b7 (Queen‘s Indian Defense). It helps you to exert pressure on a long diagonal from afar (h1 to a8, for example) without exposing the bishop to danger. It’s usually hard to attack a king castled behind this pawn fortress. Here is an example after 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 b6 3.Bg2 Bb7 4. b3 e6 5.Bb2.

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Fianchetto (by Black) and Double Fianchetto (by White)


Tournament Categories
Linda Moore
Reno, NV

I heard that FIDE tournaments are classified by categories to indicate the strength of the field. How are these determined? What is a category 20 tournament?

The category of top-level tournaments are based on the average rating of all participants. Average increase of 25 points moves up to the next category, as shown in the following table.

    CATEGORY     ELO RANGE
          20            2726 - 2750
          19
            2701 - 2725
          18
            2676 - 2700
          17
            2651 - 2675
          16
            2626 - 2650
          15
            2601 - 2625
          14
            2576 - 2600
          13
            2551 - 2575
          12
            2526 - 2550
          11
            2501 - 2525
          10
            2476 - 2500
           9
             2451 - 2475
           8
             2426 - 2450
           7
             2401 - 2425
           6
             2376 - 2400
           5
             2351 - 2375
           4
             2326 - 2350
           3
             2301 - 2325
           2
             2276 - 2300
           1
             2251 - 2275

The table can be further extended to Category 21, etc. Soon computers are likely to exceed 2800.


The Fighter Reminisces
Dennis Fritzinger
Berkeley, CA

I hope your readers enjoy this poem that I composed.


THE FIGHTER REMINISCES


back in the ring again.
today i
played in my first blitz tournament
in many years,
and my last actual game
of lightning chess
(or blitz, as we call it)
was 6 months ago,
give or take a few.
and it was one. only.
i was telling everybody
it felt like the first tournament
i ever played in—
totally at sea,
trying to keep score,
make moves, punch the clock,
i was completely inept.
and lost.  like i lost my
first three games today—
the only thing worse
than my board sense was my clock sense.
still, i survived,
hung on, and managed to
rack up the next seven games
and finish in the money.
what luck--what dumb luck!
i'm looking forward
to doing it again.



Some of you may have experienced the same feelings. The author is a veteran of many chess battles and a prolific poet.


Ask a Question: If  you have a question for GM Larry Evans, send it to gpetersen@uschess.org. GM Evans will choose the Best Question for the next issue. The winner will receive a copy of This Crazy World of Chess by Larry Evans, courtesy of USCF Sales.
 
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