GM Ronen Har-Zvi Hosts Kick off Schenectady Simul
By Herman and Zachary Calderon   
November 10, 2009
GM Ronen Har-Zvi shaking hands with Sophie Calderon at the start of their game.

SCHENECTADY, NY-Friday, November 6th was the “Kick Off” day for new upcoming chess events resulting from the outgrowth of the successful Summer Chess in the City. A simul was held in at Proctor’s theater with Grandmaster Ronen Har-Zvi at the center of attention, literally. The former World Under 16 Champion walked in a slow, intimidating circle around the room, making moves instantaneously for some games while for others he would pause for a suspenseful half minute. He did this free simul because of his passion for chess promotion. Spectators whispered in quiet consultation about the progress of the games. Competitors would hold their heads in their hands and talk to each other about their games. “He played Sicilian against me.” “Oh, I played Semi-Tarrasch.”  Despite all the great efforts, GM Ronen completed a 25 - 0 victory!

GM Ronen Har-Zvi playing against Carlos Varela and his daughters. There were certain boards in which couple of players consulted among themselves and played against the GM.

 The last person standing was Kavana Mallanna who had to contend by playing Ronen with 10 minutes on the clock and a 5 second delay.  She was the last person to finish though she was already down a minor piece when they began to use the clocks. All the Scholastic Chess players who participated received six months of free memberships to the World Chess Live online Chess Center.
Here are some of the other interesting games as noted by Bill Townsend, master of ceremonies for the kick-off simul, writer of the Chess Corner of the Sunday Schenectady Gazette and tournament director for the Summer Chess in Schenectady blitz tournaments:
GM Ronen Har-Zvi (2586) – Ethan Richman (287) [A09]
Proctors Theater simul-1:25 Schenectady,NY, 06.11.2009
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 Nf6 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.e4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.d4 Bg4 7.d5 Ne5?

8.Nxe5! Bxd1
I was a little alarmed when I looked over and saw a black bishop where Ronen's queen should be, but the grandmaster has things well in hand.
9.Bb5+ c6 10.dxc6 e6 11.cxb7+ Ke7 12.Nc6+

This was the first game to finish. 1-0

John Phillips (1903) – GM Ronen Har-Zvi (2586) [D20]
Proctors Theater simul-1:25 Schenectady,NY, 06.11.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Qxd4 Qxd4 6.Nxd4 Nf6 7.Nc3 Bc5 8.Ndb5 Na6 9.Bf4 0-0 10.Nxc7 Nxc7 11.Bxc7 Be6 12.Be2 Rac8 13.Be5 Rfe8 14.Bxf6

Phillips felt that with black's kingside pawns shattered he had the better game, but GM Har-Zvi later said that he thought white was nearly lost after this: black has the two bishops and a queenside majority.
14...gxf6 15.0-0 a6 16.Rfd1 b5 17.Bf3 Kg7 18.Rac1 Red8 19.e5?

White thinks he sees a way to win a pawn, but it costs him a trapped minor piece.
19...fxe5 20.Bb7 Rxd1+ 21.Rxd1 Rc7 22.Bxa6 b4 23.Nb5 Rc6 24.Bb7 Rb6 25.Bd5 Bxd5 26.Rxd5 Rxb5 0-1

Har Zvi,R (2586) - Rotter,R (1929) [B01]
Proctors Theater simul-1:25 Schenectady,NY, 06.11.2009
1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 dxe4 3.Nxe4 e5 4.Bc4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Be7 6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 Ngf6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Re1 Nb6 10.Bb3 Qxd4 11.Nxd4 Nxe4 12.Rxe4 Bf6 13.c3 c5 14.Nb5 Bf5 15.Rf4
15...Rae8?! [15...Bd3! 16.Na3 (16.a4? c4!) 16...Rae8³] 16.Be3 Re5 17.Nd6 Bc8 18.Rd1 h6 19.a4 Na8? 20.Nxf7 Rxf7 21.Rxf6 gxf6 22.Rd8+ Kg7 23.Bxf7 Kxf7 24.Rxc8 Nb6 25.Rc7+ Kg6 26.a5 Nc4 27.Rxc5 Rxc5 28.Bxc5 b6 29.axb6 axb6 30.b3 bxc5 31.bxc4 Kf5 32.f3 1-0


Not only was this another exciting simul, but the start of year round chess events in the Electric City. Every Friday, from 4:30 – 6:00 pm, there will be casual games, puzzle competitions, chess instruction by experts such as GM Ronen Har-Zvi, and potential tournaments. Events will be held in the Muddy Cup Café in Proctors from now until at least February, or maybe longer depending on the continued success.  The Third way, along with the City Mission of Schenectady and Proctors Theater, have allowed all this to continue to ride the momentum of success. These programs are great examples of how chess connects people from all backgrounds, which not only helps promote chess, but just simply brings people together.