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.