Saturday, 13 December 2008


Paul Charles Morphy was born on June 22, 1837 in New Orleans. He was the son of a successful lawyer and judge Alonzo Morphy. His uncle, Ernest Morphy, claims that no one formally taught Morphy how to play chess, but rather that he learned the rules by observing games between himself and Alonzo.His father and uncle had not realized that Paul even knew the moves, let alone any chess strategy. They were even more surprised when Paul proved his claim by resetting the pieces and demonstrating the win his uncle had missed.
Capablanca 60 years later also learnt chess from watching his father play.
When Morphy was only 12 years old, Johann Jacob Loewenthal visited New Orleans and at the request of Morphys father, agreed to play a casual match with young paul. Young Paul won 2½ to ½.
He was also one of the first chess prodigies in the modern chess era.
By the age of nine, he was considered one of the best players in New Orleans.

He received an invitation to participate in the First American Chess Congress, to be held in New York in the fall of 1857. At first he declined, but at the urging of his uncle he eventually decided to play.
He defeated each of his rivals, including the strong German master Louis Paulsen in the final round. Morphy was hailed as the chess champion of the United States, but he appeared unaffected by his sudden fame. According to the December 1857 issue of Chess Monthly, "his genial disposition, his unaffected modesty and gentlemanly courtesy have endeared him to all his acquaintances."

Morphy then went to Europe to play the best players. At the Café de la Régence in Paris, the center of chess in France, he played a match against Daniel Harrwitz, the resident chess professional, soundly defeating him.
In Paris, Morphy suffered from a bout of intestinal influenza. In accordance with the medical wisdom of the time, he was treated with leeches, resulting in his losing a significant amount of blood. Although too weak to stand up unaided, Morphy insisted on going ahead with a match against the visiting German master Adolf Anderssen, considered by many to be Europe's leading player. Despite his illness Morphy triumphed easily, winning seven while losing two, with two draws.
One player that seemed to avoid Morphy was England's Howard Staunton (the name of the current standard chess set).
While Morphy waited to play Staunton he easily won a series of chess matches against all the leading English masters. Staunton, who was past his best but still a good player, and who initially promised a match but eventually declined and gave work duties as why he could not play.

Both in England and France, Morphy gave numerous simultaneous exhibitions, including displays of blindfold chess in which he regularly played and defeated eight opponents at a time.
So dominant was Morphy that even masters could not seriously challenge him in play without some kind of handicap. At a simultaneous match against five masters (Jules Arnous de Rivière, Samuel Boden, Thomas Barnes, Johann Löwenthal, and Henry Bird), Morphy won two games, drew two games, and lost one.
Morphy issued a challenge that he would play no more matches without giving odds of pawn and move.
When no challenges came he retired from chess.
On July 10, 1884, Morphy was found dead in his bath at the age of forty-seven. According to the autopsy, he had suffered a stroke brought on by entering cold water after a long walk in the midday heat.
Morphy played only 59 "serious" games of those played in matches and the 1857 New York tournament — he won 42, drew 9, and lost 8.

I give only one Morphy game but it is one of the best and well known games he ever played.
It is known as "The opera game" or " a night at the opera"
Whichever name it is know by,it is use by chess teachers to show the power of the PIN, and it is a fine example of minor piece attack.

Friday, 5 December 2008


The result of the Best chess player ever poll was won by Bobby Fischer by a large margin.

FISCHER (82) 56.55%
KASPAROV (29) 20.00%
CAPABLANCA (24) 16.55%
ALEKHINE (10) 6.90%
I think some of the Fischer votes may have been cast because he died recently.
A new poll has been started "should chess be taught in primary schools"
Their are many advantages for chess to be taught in Primary schools.
what better safer way to teach a child to take responsibility for your actions,all beit on a chess board.
Mental planning,concentration and working the problem are all pluses.
Their are many other pluses and not many minuses.
Please let me know your view.
Please vote in this poll.

Sunday, 30 November 2008


Svetozar Gligoric was born on February 2, 1923 in Belgrade(in the old Yugoslav what is now Serbia). In 1938 he won the championship of the Belgrade Chess Club, one of the strongest clubs in Yugoslavia.
World War II put a stop to his rise in the chess world. In 1947 he won his first major international event at Warsaw, ahead of future World Champion Vasily Smyslov.
Gligoric became a Grandmaster in 1951.
He was Yugoslav champion 12 times 1947 (joint), 1948 (joint), 1949, 1950, 1956, 1957, 1958 (joint), 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965 and 1971.

He represented his country (Yugoslavia) with great success in 15 Chess Olympiads from 1950 to 1982 (13 times on first board), playing 223 games (+88 =109 -26).
In the first post-war Olympiad, on home soil at Dubrovnik 1950, Gligoric played on first board and led Yugoslavia to a historic result, the team gold medal. The Yugoslav team was usually second or third in the world during the 1950s.

His list of first-place finishes in international chess competitions is one of the longest and includes such events as Mar del Plata 1950, Stockholm 1954, Belgrade 1964, Manila 1968, Lone Pine 1972 and 1979, etc. He was a regular competitor in the series of great tournaments held at Hastings at the end of the year, with wins (or ties for first) in 1951–2, 1956–7, 1959–60, 1960–61, and 1962–3.
During the 1950s and 1960s he was one of the top ten players in the world,but his world championship record does not reflect this.
His Zonal wins in 1951, 1960 (joint), 1963, 1966, and 1969 (joint) and finishes at the Interzonals of 1952, 1958, and 1967 high enough to qualify him for the Candidates events the following year.
But he was not as successful in any of the Candidates events, with mixed results in the 1953 and 1959 Candidates Tournaments and a match loss to Mikhail Tal in the 1968 Candidates match series.
Gligorić had good scores against some of the world champions,Mikhail Botvinnik +2-2=5, Vasily Smyslov +5-7=21, Tigran Petrosian +7-10=10, Bobby Fischer +4-4=6.

He made enormous contributions to the theory of the King's Indian Defense, Ruy Lopez and Nimzo-Indian Defense, among others, and particularly with the King's Indian.
As a chess commentator, Gligorić was able to take advantage of his fluency in a number of languages and his training as a journalist, to produce lucid, interesting game annotations. He was a regular columnist for Chess Review and Chess Life magazines for many years, his "Game of the Month" column often amounting to a complete tutorial in the opening used in the feature game as well as a set of comprehensive game annotations. He wrote a number of chess books in several languages and has contributed regularly to the Chess Informant semi-annually (more recently, thrice-yearly) compilation of the world's most important chess games. Add to these accomplishments a successful career as organizer and arbiter of chess tournaments, and the picture that emerges is of one of the greatest chess figures of all time.
I give 4 games from this great player.

Would you have resigned in this position?
Although it was a mistake how many players made smyslov lay down their king in under 20 moves? Smyslov was world champion in 1958

How many club players would have agreed a draw in this position?

If 33………….Qxe8 34Rxe8+ Kf7 35 Rb8 Blacks Bishop and Knight are both attacked.

This game was by many considered to be Gligoric best game. It is from the 1970 "Tournament of Peace" held in Zagreb. Gligoric came second with Petrosian behind Fischer.

Friday, 21 November 2008


Eduard Gufeld was born in Kiev in 1936, where he became the junior champion of Ukraine at the age of 18. Called up for military service, he avoided the worst of army life by establishing himself as chess trainer to the armed forces, a role he was to enjoy for two decades. He became a Grandmaster in 1967, but never established himself in the first level of Soviet players.
By the late 1950s he was a very strong player. He defeated Tal, Spassky, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Bronstein, and just about every other strong Soviet player.In 1977 his Elo rating was 2570, and ranked 16th in the world.How times and elo ratings have changed!!!
2570 is how far down the rating list now.

As well as being an army trainer he moved to Tbilisi, the Republic of Georgia, and lived there for more than a decade, and coached Maia Chiburdanidze, who became the youngest women's world chess champion in 1978.
He one of the most prolific grandmasters from the old Soviet Union, and one of the greatest ambassadors for the game of chess. A player, trainer, chess propagandist, writer of over 80 books and, some said, a part-time KGB officer.

More often than not when a Soviet team traveled, Gufeld was part of the delegation as trainer or official journalist. Why him when there were so many stronger players longing for international travel? Since no Soviet delegation in that era was permitted to travel without someone monitoring their behaviour and reporting back, a persistent rumour grew that Gufeld was in the pay of the KGB.
Gufeld loved the Kings indian defence as black against 1.d4 or 1.c4,so much so that the Bg7 bishop became known as the Gufeld bishop.
He all so played Bg7 as black in the Sicilian defence Dragon variation.

"Eddie" (as he was called) Gufeld spread his infectious joy for the game wherever he went.After the collapse of the USSR, Gufeld travelled even wider afield, writing and playing more than ever.
He settled in California, where he opened a Chess Academy near Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
In September 2002, Gufeld a stroke and heart attack virtually simultaneously. Following a period of unconsciouness, he regained consciouness but was unable to speak or walk. He died two weeks later at the age of 66 in the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

I give 4 of his games.
This game he considered his finest and called it his immortal game or mona lisa,from his book "The search for the mona lisa".

This game against smyslov along with mona lisa were his best chess games, they made it into John Nunn's collection of the hundred greatest games of all time.

This game is a win against Tal a year before he was World champion.

A game using the famous gufeld bishop

Sunday, 16 November 2008


David Ionovich Bronstein,(born Feb-19-1924, died Dec-05-2006) in the Ukraine was one of the strongest and most imaginative players to emerge from the talent-rich post war Soviet Union.
Bronstein, who has died aged 82, was a creative innovator in opening strategy. Though he frequently represented the Soviet Union in international tournaments, in 1976 he clashed with the Moscow chess authorities after refusing to sign an official letter denouncing Viktor Korchnoi, who had defected to Holland, as a traitor. After that, Bronstein did not compete in the west for another 10 years.

He wrote many fine books but he was most highly regarded for his authorship of Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953 (English translation 1979). This book was an enormous seller in the USSR, going through many reprints.

Bronstein was also a six times winner of the Moscow Championships, and represented the USSR in 4 Olympiads 1952, 1954, 1956 and 1958, winning board prizes at each of them, and unbelievablly only losing one of his 49 games in those olympiads.
In those 4 olympiads he won four team gold medals.

He made many contributions to theory in openings such as the Ruy Lopez, King's Indian, and Caro-Kann.
In the Caro-Kann Defence, the Bronstein-Larsen Variation goes 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6. In the Scandinavian Defence, the Bronstein Variation goes 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6.

He shared first place in 2 Soviet Chess Championships 1948 ( with Alexander Kotov) and 1949 ( with Smyslov).
He also tied for second place at the Soviet Championships of 1957 and 1964-65.
His major tournament victories outside the USSR were Hastings 1953-4, Belgrade 1954, Gotha 1957, Moscow 1959, Szombathely 1966, East Berlin 1968, Dnepropetrovsk 1970, Sarajevo 1971, Sandomierz 1976, Iwonicz Zdrój 1976, Budapest 1977, and Jūrmala 1978.

While chess computers were still developing, Bronstein was the lead grandmaster in an annual Man v Machine series in The Hague.
I give a Bronstein game against a early computer program.

Although Bronstein sometimes got into time trouble he was an early advocate of speeding up competitive chess, and wanted to introduce a digital chess clock which adds a small time increment for each move made, a variant of which has become very popular in recent years.

In this game Bronstein sacrifice three pawns to open queenside lines into Aloni's King position.

This next game is one of his wins from the drawn 1950 world championship against botvinnik.After this one shot at the tittle he remained one of the worlds best players, but he never again got another chance. Was that chess fate?

In this game he destroys Efim Geller a very strong Grandmaster in 21 moves.
Geller was for years the only grandmaster to regularly beat bobby Fischer.

Finally a game played when many had thought Bronstein had pasted his best.

Monday, 3 November 2008


Paul Keres (January 7, 1916 – June 5, 1975), was an Estonian chess grandmaster.
Known as the "The Crown Prince of chess". The five kroons Estonian banknote bears his image.
Keres won the USSR Chess Championship three times, but more importantly finished runner-up in the the first 4 Candidates tournaments.

He won the 1938 AVRO tournament, which led to negotiations for a World Championship match against Alexander Alekhine, but the match never took place due to World War.
Many people believe him to be the strongest modern player to never have made it to a World Championship match.

One school of thought as to why this was, is pressuse may have been applied against him in the old soviet days, because during world war 2 he took part in German run tournaments. Perhaps the Russians could tolerate him as a very strong grandmaster, helping to keep western players from the world championship.
But never allow him that chance.

He was a three-time Estonian schoolboy champion, in 1930, 1932, and 1933. Also he won the adult title many times.His playing matured after playing correspondence chess extensively while in high school.
He represent Estonia with success in pre-war Olympiads.
Warsaw 1935, Estonia board 1, 12.5/19 (+11 =3 -5);
Munich 1936, Estonia board 1, 15.5/20 (+12 =7 -1), board gold medal;
Stockholm 1937, Estonia board 1, 11/15 (+9 =4 -2), board silver medal;
Buenos Aires 1939, Estonia board 1, 14.5/19 (+12 =5 -2), team bronze medal.
He also represented the ussr after the war in olympiads
Helsinki 1952, USSR board 1, 6.5/12, team gold;
Amsterdam 1954, USSR board 4, 13.5/14 (+13 =1 -0), team gold, board gold, best overall score;
Moscow 1956, USSR board 3, 9.5/12 (+7 =5 -0), team gold, board gold;
Munich 1958, USSR board 3, 9.5/12 (+7 =5 -0), team gold, board gold;
Leipzig 1960, USSR board 3, 10.5/13 (+8 =5 -0), team gold, board gold;
Varna 1962, USSR board 4, 9.5/13 (+6 =7 -0), team gold, board bronze;
Tel Aviv 1964, USSR board 4, 10/12 (+9 =2 -1), team gold, board gold.

I give 3 of his games in one of them he has the great Alekhine laying down his king in 23 moves!

Keres was an endgame expert and wrote the famous book Practical Chess Endings.

Monday, 13 October 2008


The 2008 World chess championship starts Tuesday 14th of October, i think this will be a great chess match.
Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik are in good form and both are still young men, so age wont play a part in this match.
The "who will win" poll on this blog makes Anand a clear winner, i think he will win but it will be close.
I hope the match has more drama than this video, also i hope that both players are better behaved!!!

You can follow all the action on the offical web site CLICK HERE

Sunday, 5 October 2008


Miguel Najdorf (born Mendel (Mieczysław) Najdorf in Grodzisk Mazowiecki near Warsaw, Poland, April 15, 1910 – died in Málaga, Spain, July 4, 1997) was a Polish-born Argentine chess grandmaster.
He played for Poland in the Chess Olympiads of 1935, 1937, and 1939. He was playing at the Buenos Aires Olympiad in 1939 when World War II broke out, and decided not to attempt to return home, taking Argentine citizenship (1944) and changing his first name to Miguel. His family, left behind, died in German concentration camps. In 1943 he set the record for simultaneous games played. He played 202 players (+182-8=12). In 1947, he conducted a simultaneous exhibition in which he played a record 45 games blindfolded (+39 -2 =4).
He played 11 times for team Argentina in Chess Olympiads from 1950 to 1976. He played first board at Dubrovnik 1950 (+8 –0 =6), and first board at Helsinki 1952 (+11 –2 =3). He took eleven Olympic medals (seven for teams Poland and Argentina –four silver, three bronze, and four individuals – three gold in 1939, 1950, and 1952, one silver in 1962). Argentina's best team finish was silver at Helsinki 1952.
He tied 1st with Paul Keres at Buenos Aires in 1939 after the Olympiad,with 8.5/11. In 1941 he was 2nd, behind Gideon Ståhlberg at Mar del Plata, with 12.5/17. Also in 1941, he tied for 1st with Stahlberg at Buenos Aires, the two scored 11/14. In 1942, he won at Mar del Plata, with 13.5/17, ahead of Ståhlberg. In 1943, he was second at Mar del Plata, behind Stålhberg, scoring 10/13. In 1943, he won at Rosario. In 1944, he won at La Plata, with 13/16, ahead of Ståhlberg. In 1944, he tied for 1st with Herman Pilnik at Mar del Plata; the two each scored 12/15. In 1945, he won at Buenos Aires (Grau Memorial), with 10/12, ahead of Ståhlberg and Carlos Guimard. He took second place at Vina del Mar 1945, with 10.5/13, behind Guimard. Then he won Mar del Plata 1945 with 11/15 ahead of Ståhlberg, and repeated at Mar del Plata 1946 with 16/18, ahead of Guimard and Ståhlberg. He also won at Rio de Janeiro 1946.
Najdorf's successes between 1939 to 1947 had lifted him into the ranks of the world's top players. According to Chessmetrics, he was ranked second in the world from mid 1947 to mid 1949. But Najdorf was not invited to the 1948 World Championship tournament.
Although not a full-time chess professional (for many years he worked in the insurance business), he was one of the world's leading chess players in the 1950s and 1960s and he excelled in playing blindfold chess. In 1950 FIDE made him an International Grandmasters.
In the Budapest Candidates Tournament 1950 he came fifth. At the Zurich Candidates Tournament in 1953, he finished sixth. He did not qualify for the Candidates again. The closest was in the following cycle, when he narrowly failed to qualify from the 1955 Interzonal.
Just before his 60th birthday, he participated in the 1970 USSR vs. Rest of the World match, achieving an even score against the former World Champion Mikhail Tal.
At age 69, he tied for second place in a very strong field at Buenos Aires 1979, with 8/13, behind winner Bent Larsen (11/13), but ahead of former World Champions Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky.
His name will be forever associated with one of the most popular chess openings of all time, the Sicillian Najdorf (1. e4 c5 2. f3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. xd4 f6 5. c3 a6).
I give not one of his best games But a game now called "The Polish Immortal"

Friday, 19 September 2008


Frank James Marshall was born on August 10 1877 In New York. His family moved to Montreal Canada when he was 8 for 11 years. When he was 10 he began playing chess and by 1890, he was one of the leading players in Montreal.
He won the U.S. chess championship in 1904, but did not accept the title because the current U.S. champion, Harry Nelson Pillsbury, did not compete.
Pillsbury died in 1906 and Marshall again refused to be reconginized as champion,he won the title in 1909 and kept it untill 1936.
Marshall played in tournaments and matches from 1897 to 1940,he played some great games but did not win many tournaments.
His best tournament results and 18 months period was 1904/1905 he won 5 tournaments.Cambridge springs 1904(undeafted),New York masters 1904,3rd American congress 1904,4th Netherlands Congress 1905 and Barmen International 1905.
He played Lasker for the World championship in 1907 the result was lost 8, won 0, drew 7.
Marshall has a bad "public" match record he was beat by Tarrasch 8-1 Capablanca 8-1, but he won matches against Janowsky,Napier,Mieses and Leonhardt true not great players but he did win matches.
Marshall captained the U.S. teamp at the Chess Olympiads in the 1930s. He inspired them to 4 gold medals from 4 Olympiads.In those teams Marshall had Samuel Reshevsky and Rubin Fine.This was befor the Russians entered the Olympiad.
He was one of the first 5 Grandmasters of chess a title given by the Tsar of Russia in 1914.
The Marshall Attack in the ruy Lopez is a well known openning and is still used today.
On November 9, 1944, he was walking to a friend's house when he collapsed from a heart attack and died in the street.
I give 4 games of Marshall the American beauty,the pipe game and Marshalls notes to this game, a crazy game against Dus chotimirsky and what many think is his best game played in Ostend 1905 against Chigorin.
The American Beauty

The Pipe game

The pipe game notes
1.d4 {Notes by Marshall. Britisher Amos Burn was a very
conservative player who liked to settle down for a long
session of closed, defensive chess. He loved to smoke his pipe
while he studied the board.} d5 2.c4 e6 {Burn began hunting
through his pockets for his pipe and tobacco. } 3.Nc3 Nf6
4.Bg5 Be7 {Not much thought needed on these moves, but Burn
had his pipe out and was looking for a pipe cleaner.} 5.e3 O-O
6.Nf3 b6 7.Bd3 Bb7 8.cxd5 exd5 { He began filling up his
pipe. I speeded up my moves.} 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.h4 { Made him
think on that one. And he still didn't have the pipe
going. The threat is Bxh7+, Kxh7; Ng5+, known as the Pillsbury
Attack.} g6 11.h5 Re8 12.hxg6 hxg6 { Now he was looking for
matches. } 13.Qc2 Bg7 14.Bxg6 fxg6 { He struck a match and
appeared nervous. The match burned his fingers and went
out. }15.Qxg6 Nd7 {Another match was on its way. } 16.Ng5 Qf6
{ He was puffing away and lighting up at last, but too late. }
17.Rh8+ Kxh8 18. Qh7# { Poor Burn. I think I swindled him out
of that one. If he could only have got that pipe going, it
might have been a different story. He took it good naturedly
and we shook hands. Then his pipe went out. } 1-0

The crazy game

When Dus Chotimirsky played his 12th move Qg3 so the story goes he went into the players waiting room and said in his broken English “poor Marshall dead”.
When the players gathered around the board they saw blacks next move was either Qh2# or Qxg2#.
But Marshall just played 13Qxg4 When Dus chotimirsky saw this he swept the pieces from the board and said “oh Marshall not dead I dead”

His best game

Marshall was a fine attacking player that always went for the win,but by trying to win every game Marshall lost games that other players would have agreed a draw.This finally got to him in 1904 when he wrote a letter to a friend saying “when will I learn that a draw counts more than a loss”

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Richard Réti was born in may 28th 1889 in Pezinok (now Slovakia). He was one of the best players in the world during the early 20th century. He was a classical chess player during his early career being a keen Kings gambit player.
After the First World War, Reti's play underwent a radical change, and he became one of the leading proponents of hypermodernism, along with Aron Nimzowitsch,Gyula Breyer, Savielly Tartakower and others.
When Frank Marshall the USA champion entered european competion again after world war 1, he was worried how he would fare against this "new craze hypermodernism". But it turned out just to be chess.
Reti has an openning named after him the Réti Opening (1. Nf3 d5 2. c4), with which he famously defeated the world champion Jose Raul Capablanca in New York in 1924 (his most famous game).
This defeat was the first time Jose Raul Capablanca had lost since he had became world champion,in fact it was the first defeat for Capablanca for 8 years.
Reti's openning can be transformed into the Catalan and English opennings with ease.It is still a commonly used opening by Grandmasters today.
Reti passed away a week after turning forty from scarlet fever, had he lived longer and not been an hypermodern who knows what chess heights he could of reached.
Although Reti was a great player and won many tornaments,i feel he never attained his true worth chesswise,even in his short life.
In 1942 Alekhine was taken ill with scarlet fever and was shocked to find he was the same Prague hospital where Reti had died from the disease in 1929.
Réti also composed numerous endgame studies this being one of his best known.

White to play and draw
• 1. Kg7! h4
• 2. Kf6 Kb6 (or 2. ... h3 3. Ke7 and the white king can support its own pawn)
• 3. Ke5!! (and now the white king comes just in time to the white pawn, or catches the black one)
• 3. ... h3
• 4. Kd6 and draws

I have to give the Capablanca defeat New york 1924 Reti's win made front page news.

Saturday, 13 September 2008


Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian (June 17, 1929 – August 13, 1984) born to Armenian parents in Tbilisi Georgia.He was nicknamed "Tigran" or "Iron Tigran" due to his playing style because of his almost impenetrable defence, which emphasised safety above all else.
So much was safety his first thought that in the 1955 U.S.S.R Championship he won 4 games lost none but drew 15 games.In his defence this championship was also a world championship zonal, the most important thing was to qualify to the interzonal rather than win the tournament.
He won the U.S.S.R championship 4 times.He played in 8 world champion candidate tournaments/matches 1953,1956,1959,1962,1971,1974,1977 and 1980.
He was world champion 1963-1969,beating Botvinnk in 1963, defending the title against Spassky in 1966 but losing to Spassky in 1969.For 27 years he was either a candidate or champion,a feat that may not be beaten in mordern times.
He was placed high in many tournament tables rather than winning many tournaments.He was very hard to beat and often went a year or so without losing a game.
In team events he was fantastic his Olympiad results are just great.
Munich 1958, 2nd reserve, 10.5/13 (+8 =5 −0), board and team gold medals;
Leipzig 1960, 2nd reserve, 12/13 (+11 =2 −0), board and team gold medals;
Varna 1962, board 2, 10/12 (+8 =4 −0), board and team gold medals;
Tel Aviv 1964, board 1, 9.5/13 (+6 =7 −0), team gold medal;
Havana 1966, board 1, 11.5/13 (+10 =3 −0), board and team gold medals;
Lugano 1968, board 1, 10.5/12 (+9 =3 −0), board and team gold medals;
Siegen 1970, board 2, 10/14 (+6 =8 −0), team gold medal;
Skopje 1972, board 1, 10.5/16 (+6 =9 −1), team gold medal;
Nice 1974, board 4, 12.5/14 (+11 =3 −0), board and team gold medals;
Buenos Aires 1978, board 2, 6/9 (+3 =6 −0), team silver medal.
His overall performance in Olympiad play is impressive: +78 =50 −1 (only one game lost out of 139 played), for 79.8 per cent
His play was considered dull by many but if he played 5 minute chess the tactian in him came out and he played open attacking chess,very unlike his normal play.
I give the 10th game from the 1966 world championship match with Spassky.
Petrosia's last move is a killer.

Petrosian has two major opening systems named after him: the Petrosian variation of the King's Indian Defence (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. d5) and the Petrosian system in the Queen's Indian Defense (1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3). A variation of the Caro-Kann defense also bears his name, along with former world champion Vassily Smyslov; the Petrosian–Smyslov variation (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7).

Thursday, 11 September 2008


Akiba Rubinstein (born Oct-12-1882, died Mar-15-1961)was Polish but become a citizen of Belgium. He was one of the strongest players never to become World Champion.
In 1912 he won five consecutive strong tournaments in one year (Vilna, San Sebastian, Breslau, Pistyan, and Warsaw). Rubinstein was to play Lasker for the World Championship in October 1914 but the first world war put a stop to that.During World War I Rubinstein as did Lasker invested all his money in German War bonds.
From 1907 to 1921 Rubinstein was one of the top 5 players in the world. He won many tournaments during his career.


Position Place Year
1 Barmen 1905
1 Lodz 1906
2 St.Petersburg 1906
3 Ostende 1906
1-2 Ostende 1907
1 Karlsbad 1907
1 Russisches Nationalturnier Lodz 1907
1 Dreimeisterturnier (2.Marshall, 3. Salwe) Lodz 1908
1-2 St.Petersburg 1909
1 Warschau 1910
2 San Sebastian 1911
2-3 Karlsbad 1911
1 San Sebastian 1912
1 Pistyan 1912
1-2 Breslau 1912
1 Warschau 1912
1 Wilna 1912
2 Viermeisterturnier Berlin 1918
2 Viermeisterturnier Stockholm 1920
1 Viermeisterturnier Rotterdam 1920
2 G”teborg 1920
1 G”teborg 1920
3 Haag 1921
1 Triberg 1922
1 Wien 1922
2 Hastings 1922
3 Meran 1924
2 Baden-Baden 1925
1 Marienbad 1925
3 Breslau 1925
3 Dresden 1926
2 Hannover 1926
3 Budapest 1926
2 Berlin 1926
1 Lodz 1927
3 Bad Kissingen 1928
2 Budapest 1929
1 Rohitsch - Sauerbrunn 1929
3 San Remo 1930
3 Scarborough
Also he never lost a match.


Year Place Opponents Results
1903 Lodz Salwe 5 - 5 (+ 5 - 5 = 0)
1903 Lodz Salwe 6 - 4 (+ 5 - 3 = 2)
1908 Lodz Salwe 5 - 3 (+ 3 - 1 = 4)
1908 Lodz Marshall 4,5 - 3,5 (+ 3 - 2 = 3)
1908 Warschau Marshall 4 - 3 (+ 4 - 3 = 0)
1908 Wien Teichmann 3,5 - 2,5 (+ 3 - 2 = 1)
1909 Berlin Mieses 6 - 4 (+ 5 - 3 = 2)
1910 Warschau Flamberg 4,5 - 0,5 (+ 4 - 0 = 1)
1918 Berlin Schlechter 3,5 - 2,5 (+ 2 - 1 = 3)
1920 Stockholm Bogoljubov 6,5 - 5,5 (+ 5 - 4 = 3)
1930 Amsterdam Landau 2,5 - 0,5 (+ 2 - 0 = 1)
I have given his playing record because he is one of the over looked players of chess. When you see this it shows how good he was.
It is claimed he studied chess for six hours a day, 300 days a year.With 60days of playing in chess tournaments. The remaining five days he rested. He never ate in public and would not shake hands for fear of germs. He was so paranoid that if a stranger came to his door, he would jump out the window
I give a game that has become known as Rubinsteins Immortal game played in 1907 against Rotlewi,sometimes spelt Rotlevi.

Sunday, 7 September 2008


Louis-Charles Mahé de La Bourdonnais(1795 - 1840) possibly the strongest player in the early 19th century.
De La Bourdonnais can lay claim to be the unofficial world champion (there was no official title at the time) from 1821, when he was able to beat his chess teacher the equally if not greater Alexandre Deschapelles.
In 1834 he played a match against Alexander McDonnell this match was considered by some to be a World championship match.This match was 85 games played over 6 matches in London.Final score La Bourdonnais won 45 Mcdonnell won 27 with 13 games drawn.
The final match was abandoned.La Bourdonnais had to return to France to deal with his creditors.
Mcdonnell died a year later and La Bourdonnais died penniless in 1840.
The following game is from these matches and has a strange final position.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


Today i start a series of famous games by famous players.
Adolf Anderssen full name Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen(July 6, 1818 - March 13, 1879) was the first great German chess master, Tarrasch and Lasker were to shortly follow. One of the classic masters of 19th century chess. He was one of the leading chess player in the world from 1851-1858 and 1861-1866.
I give 2 games from Anderssen his IMMORTAL game against Lionel Kieseritsky 1851 and his EVERGREEN game against Jean Dufrense 1852.
Both games have many sacrifices and a win is all that is in each players mind.
I don't think in these games the players were thinking get a small advantage, then grind out a win in 60 moves.Perhaps this chess is a little out of date with some of todays Grandmasters,but it is exciting to play over.

Sunday, 31 August 2008


Was the Bobby Fischer game against Donald Byrne, played in october 1956 during the rosenwald tournament the game of the 20th century?
I think it is a fantastic game to play over, and to be played by some one who was only 13 years of age.But does it deserve the title it has?
Play over the game and tell me.

Thursday, 28 August 2008


Vassily Ivanchuk wins the Tal Memorial tournament in style a point clear of second place shared between Alexander Morozevich, Boris Gelfand,Ruslan Ponomariov and World champion contender Vladimir Kramnik. But more importantly Ivanchuk went through the tournament undefeated.
Kramnik perhaps has one eye on the World championship match with Anand later this year and was not at his best.

1. Ivanchuk, Vassily 6
2. Morozevich, Alexander 5
3. Gelfand, Boris 5
4. Ponomariov, Ruslan 5
5. Kramnik, Vladimir 5
6. Leko, Peter 4.5
7. Kamsky, Gata 4
8. Alekseev, Evgeny 4
9. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 3.5
10. Shirov, Alexei 3

I give a game from the first round Kamsky is about to be checkmated if play carries on

Monday, 25 August 2008


Emanuel Lasker won the St Petersburg 1914 tournament and the Russian Tsar made him one of the first grandmasters of chess.
By beating Wilhelm Steiniz in 1894 Emanuel Lasker become the second World chess champion. He held the title for 27 years finally losing to Capablanca in 1921.
During his playing career Lasker won many tournaments and was a master match player.He played 7 world title matches, including Tarrasch,Marshall and Capablanca 3 of the first grandmasters of chess. Only Alekhine of this select group did not play him for the World championship.
Unlike a lot of champions that lose the title Laskers play stayed very srong,he was able to win the 1924 New york tournament ahead of Capablanca and Alekhine,3 years after losing the title.
He was also a master player at Bridge and a writer of books on philosophical subjects.He spent his playing years trying to increase prize funds for tournaments and matches,and raise the standard of living for chess players.
At that time many great players died in poverty.

Throught his career Lasker played some fantastic games. Here is the game in which Lasker is given credit for inventing the double bishop sacrifice.
Kasparov later said he wished he could have copyrighted them.

Monday, 18 August 2008


I will take a break for a short while from THE FIRST GRANDMASTERS OF CHESS to bring 2 very exciting gmaes from the first round of the Tal memorial tournament.
This is taking place in Moscow between 17th-31st of August.
The players are Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Morozevich, Evgeny Alekseev, Vassily Ivanchuk, Alexei Shirov, Gata Kamsky, Ruslan Ponomariov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Peter Leko and Boris Gelfand.
After this tournament their will be a World blilz tornament on August 29th-30th.

Round 1 results are

Ivanchuk, Vassily - Kamsky, Gata 1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir - Shirov, Alexei 1-0
Morozevich, Alexander - Alekseev, Evgeny 1-0
Leko, Peter - Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½
Ponomariov, Ruslan - Gelfand, Boris ½-½

I give 2 very exciting attacking games.

For tournament website CLICK HERE

Thursday, 14 August 2008


By finishing 2nd in the St Petersburg 1914 tournament Capablanca become one of the first 5 grandmasters of chess.The grandmasters title is now awarded through tournament results and rating points.
But then it was created by the Tsar of Russia for the first 5 finishers in the great tournament.
Capablanca finished runner up to Lasker the then World Champion in this tournament.He was some 7 years later to beat Lasker for the World Championship in 1921.
Capablanca's early career promised great things, but for many reasons he did not fullfill this promise.
He held the World Championship for 6 years only Max Euwe held the title for a shorter time amonst the pre-2nd world war champions.
Capablanca won tournments and matches and was clearly head and shoulders above the other players,i think he thought this will last for a very long time.
This i think was his undoing he was a great player (i think the greatest) but in the 20's opennings were not studied deeply.So as long as you played sound openning moves you should be o.k.He later struggled against lesser players that were better prepared in the opennings.
Capablanca excelled in the middle and endgame in fact a book has been written about his best endings.
When he became champion his play did not inprove but seem to stand still,his clear play was not always their.Tournament results were o.k but not great New York 1924 2nd to Lasker, Moscow 1925 3rd.
He showed the pre-1921 Capablanca in New York 1927 a great win,Alekhine came second, and i think Capablanca thought in the World Championship match with Alekhine later that year he would win comfortably.
But he did not nor did he get a chance to win back the title.
during his career he found chess easy very easy and even thought of adding to the pieces and expand the board to make chess more interesting.
If he had not found chess easy or had tougher opposition during his early years he might of studied the game and stayed champion longer.
Having said all that he produced many wonderfull games.
I give a game against Marshall in 1918,Marshall had prepared a special line for Capablanca who met the prepared line and went on to win a fine game.

Monday, 11 August 2008


Alexander Alekhine was one of the first grandmasters,he came 3rd at the St Petersburg tournament 1914 were the title was first bestowed.
Alekhine became the 4th world chess champion by beating Capablanca in a 1927 match.
He defended the title twice against E. Bogoljubow in 1929 and 1934, before losing to dutch master Max Euwe in 1935.
This was partly due to drink and bad health,but he regained the world title in a 1937 rematch. No more title matches were played by Alekhine and he died in 1946,one of his wishes was to die as World Champion was fullfilled.
Alekhine won many tournaments but 2 stand out as power house wins San Remo 1930 and Bled 1931.
He played many great games and wrote some fine tournament books, but his private life was a bit shady.
To many including former World Champion Gary Kasparov Alekhine was a chess hero who played great attacking chess.

I give an Alekhine game that has a great finish.

Friday, 8 August 2008


The second of the first Grandmasters of chess is German siegbert Tarrasch.
During a 5 year period won some great tournaments Breslau 1889, Manchester 1890, dresden 1892 and Leipzig 1894.Also during this time he declined a chance to play Wilhem Steiniz the then world Champion in 1892, as the demands of his medical practice were to great.I am sure if he had played Tarrasch would of won.
He finally got his chance for a world championship match in 1908 against Lasker, but by then he on the decline and was out classed.
Here i give a Tarrach game that has sacrifices,forks,checks and discovered checks.
A great game of the time.

Monday, 4 August 2008


The title of Grandmaster of chess was given to the 5 leading players in the St Petersburg tournament by the Tsar of Russia in 1914.
The 5 players are Lasker,Alekhin, Capablanca, Marshall and Tarrasch.
Here i give a famous game from one of these players Frank Marshall the American Champion.
In this game Marshall plays his famous Qg3 move.
Can white take the queen?
Does white have a good move?

Friday, 1 August 2008


The best chess books i have read have been mainly game collections books.
In no order my best chess books are:
1. Immortal games of Capablanca.
This book contains some great games although from a different time still great.
2. Alekhine best games 1908-1937.
Some games in this book are gems, a must for the attacking player.
3. Bobby Fischer:Profile of a prodigy.
This book gives an insight not much just enough of the real Bobby Fischer.
4. My fifty years of chess.
The games of Frank Marshall one of the first 5 Grandmasters.I don't think
many of you would have seen this book, some may not have heard of Marshall.
But when i get a bit tried of chess this book cheers me up chesswise.
It's not a classic but if you have read it then you will know what i mean.
5. Curse of Kirsan.
A book by Sarah Hurst about the current FIDE President. A very good read.

The worst chess book i read was Persona non grata, by victor Kortchnoi.
It was written after the 1978 world championship aganst Karpov.
I know Kortchnoi had defected to the west and his family was still held in the ussr.
But the book in my mind is not a proper chess book.
I have other books by kortchnoi and i think they are very good,but this one for me was the worst.

Thursday, 31 July 2008


Alekseev beats Dominguez in a close play-off 2.5-1.5.
After 3 draws Alekseev gets the deciding win which wins the 41st Biel International Grandmaster tournament.
I give the deciding game.


The last round of the Biel tournament produced a tie for first place between GM's Leinier Dominguez and Evgeny Alekseev both finished on 6.5 points.
Dominquez lost his last round game all he needed was a draw to win the tournament outright.

1. GM Leinier Dominguez (CUB, 2708) 6.5
=GM Evgeny Alekseev (RUS, 2708) 6.5
3. GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2775) 6.0
4. GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA, 2691) 5.5
5. GM Alexander Onischuk (USA, 2670) 4.0
6. GM Yannick Pelletier (SUI, 2569) 1.5

A play-off is now under way of 2 15 minutes games then if needed 2 blitz games and 1 Armageddon.
To watch these quick games CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


I watched the games of round 2 of the British championship from Liverpool, live or delayed live on the internet.
One game stuck out from the rest Zhou V GM Nigel Davis i think you will enjoy this.

To follow the games live at Liverpool CLICK HERE

For all championship news CLICK HERE


After 8 rounds of the Biel grandmaster tournament GM Dominguez of cuba still leads.
Today he had a fine win over GM Evgeny Alekseev.
Table after 8 rounds.

1. GM Leinier Dominguez (CUB, 2708) 6.0
2. GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2775) 5.0
3. GM Evgeny Alekseev (RUS, 2708) 4.5
4. GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA, 2691) 4.0
5. GM Alexander Onischuk (USA, 2670) 3.5
6. GM Yannick Pelletier (SUI, 2569) 1.0

Round 8 results are:

Evgeny Alekseev - Leinier Dominguez 0 - 1
Etienne Bacrot - Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½
Yannick Pelletier - Alexander Onischuk ½ - ½
For round 9 lives games CLICK HERE

Monday, 28 July 2008


After the dust of round 7 has settled in Biel we have a new tournament leader,GM Leinier Dominguez on 5 points. After his win against bottom place Yannick Pelletier.
Alekseev win against Calsen brings him to equal 2nd place with Calsen on 4.5 points.
Table after round 7

1. GM Leinier Dominguez (CUB, 2708) 5.0
2. GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2775) 4.5
= GM Evgeny Alekseev (RUS, 2708) 4.5
4. GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA, 2691) 3.5
5. GM Alexander Onischuk (USA, 2670) 3.0
6.GM Yannick Pelletier (SUI, 2569) 0.5

I give all the games from this excellent round.

Game 1 Magnus Carlsen - Evgeny Alekseev 0 - 1

Game 2 Leinier Dominguez - Yannick Pelletier 1 - 0

Game 3 Alexander Onischuk- Etienne Bacrot 0 - 1

Round 8 tommorrow hopefully will be just as good.
Watch the games CLICK HERE


The British chess championship starts today in Liverpool.
Some people have belittled the championship of late because the big names like Micky Adams or Nigel Short do not play.
I think we will get a better closer championship without them.

The live games start at 14:15 to watch them CLICK HERE

To keep up with the championship news CLICK HERE


Round 7 starts today in the Biel tournament, GM Magnus Carlsen has half a point lead over GM Leinier Dominguez.
Watch the live games CLICK HERE
The standings after 6 rounds.

1. GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2775) 4.5
2. GM Leinier Dominguez (CUB, 2708) 4.0
3. GM Evgeny Alekseev (RUS, 2708) 3.5
4. GM Alexander Onischuk (USA, 2670) 3.0
5. GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA, 2691) 2.5
6. GM Yannick Pelletier (SUI, 2569) 0.5

Saturday, 26 July 2008


After 5 rounds of play in the Grandmaster tournament in Biel
The top of the tournament table is very close with GM Magnus Carlsen
sharing the lead with GM Evgeny Alekseev both on 3.5 points.

Here is the best game so far it is Carlsens win over Etienne.

To keep up with the tournament news CLICK HERE

Thursday, 24 July 2008


This is one of my favorite Capablanca games of all times.
It took place in Moscow 1914 the wow factor of capablanca's 29th move fantastic.

I can play over this game time and again and never tire of it.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


This is a photo of the first Grandmasters of chess a title given to them by the Tsar of Russia 1914.
In the photo L to R Lasker,alekhine,Capablnca,Marshall and Tarrasch.
The current world champion and 2 future world champions.

Who was the best player of all time?
Can this question be answered?
Was Capablanca best or alekhine or Fischer or is Kasparov the best.
What makes a great chess player.
Is talent is training is it both.
I think capablnca was the best because he had talent by the bucket full,but
he was lazy in somuch as he did not need to train, as he was just better than most of his rivals at the time.
But when he came across better prepard players (who where less talented than him)
he struggled.
Alekhine to follow.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008


After 2 rounds of the Grandmaster Tournament in Biel 2 players tie for first place on 1.5 points.

1. GM Evgeny Alekseev (RUS, 2708) 1.5
GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2775) 1.5
3. GM Leinier Dominguez (CUB, 2708) 1.0
GM Alexander Onischuk (USA, 2670) 1.0
5. GM Yannick Pelletier (SUI, 2569) 0.5
GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA, 2691) 0.5
Although only 2 rounds have been played, as you would expect it is going to be a close tournament perhaps only a couple of points between first and last place.
Today sees the 3rd round games take place Carlsen plays Alekseev.

To watch the games live CLICK HERE

Saturday, 19 July 2008


GM Arman Pashikian won the Lake Sevan tournament with an underfeated 6.5 points,half a point in front of second place GM Jiancho Zhou.

Full details on tournament website CLICK HERE

Friday, 18 July 2008


A chess fesitival takes place in Biel, it has many tournaments rapid,bliz and youth.

But the main focus will be on the Grandmaster torunament.

Magus Carlsen norway's number 1 player and with an elo rating of 2775 the world number 6 is pre tournament favorite.
Carlsen (pictured) won't have an easy passage in this tournament but should finish in 1st place.

For the tournament news CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


This video has 5 checkmates for you to find.

Video from chess network for more CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


A rare sound track of an interview by Former World Chess champion Alexander Alekhine.


The National Schools championship gets a new sponsor,Yateley Manor School.
"Yateley Manor has a long history of supporting junior chess and we are delighted to provide this sponsorship". Says HeadTeacher Francis Howard.

IM Andrew Martin, the ECF Manager of Coaching, has been on the staff at Yateley Manor for some 17 years, teaching chess to children from age 5 to age 13. The South of England Junior Chess Championships and the English Junior Closed Championships are also held at the School.

Speaking on behalf of the English Chess Federation, Andrew Martin said: "We look forward to an excellent tournament in 2008/9 with many new schools participating and we anticipate working with Yateley Manor for many years to come.


Alan Tate wins the 115th Scottish Chess championship on a tie break from IM Andrew Muir. Both on 6.5 points.

Sunday, 13 July 2008


On board 2 we have big brother, International Master Sabino Brunello, playing little sister Marina

The tournament hall.

The 115th 2008 Scottish Championship end today in Glasgow.
In the joint lead are GM Jan Markos,Tautvydas Vedrickas and Scotlands very own Alan Tate all on 6.5 points.

For the lastest news and games CLICK HERE


Some players enjoying a game.

The Lake Sevan tournament from 10th-20th July is well under way.

For games and news CLICK HERE

Kramnik fails in Dortmund

Peter Leko left against Naiditsch during the last round.
Vladimir Kramnik comes first from last in the Dortmund international tournament.
He also lost 2 games drew 3 but only won once.
With the World Championship in october is this a blip or a lack of form.
Peter Leko won the tournament with 4.5 points 2 wins and 5 draws.

For all Dortmund 2008 news and games click here

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Here goes my first blog,my favorite player

Capablanca is my all time favorite chess player. He found chess easy very easy indeed,in the end this was his down fall.
While other players studied he just played from his own talent.
Here is a video of Capablanca in Moscow 1925.