Wednesday, 30 December 2009


I have just won this game through time forfeit,the play was 3 days per move.
The position was even ,but i had a good knight.
Perhaps he just lost interest?

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I would like to wish all chess fans a happy new year.

Thursday, 24 December 2009


We may come from different cultures follow different religions, or not follow one at all.
But we are all humans and all have more or less the same needs.
Fortunately for me chess is one of my needs.
So i would like to wish everyone a merry chessmas, or seasons greetings.

Monday, 7 December 2009


On tuesday the 8th i am going to spend the day at the London chess classic in Olympia.
Their are a number of tournaments, but the top one is the GM tournament "the classic".
Playing is Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, Ni Hua, Nigel Short, Michael Adams, David Howell and Luke Mcshane.

If i manage to get any photos of the top players i will post them.
Link to the offical website click here

Monday, 30 November 2009


I have just spoiled a good solid position by playing well i don't know what to call it.
Chess blindness or just not paying attention.
You decide.
I am white in this position.

Black plays 1..........Bc3 attacking my b4 knight. So instead of moving the knight to c2,i play 2.Ke2!!!!!!!! goodbye knight.

Was this position drawish before my bad move?

Thursday, 12 November 2009


I have played some bad moves in my time,but i think this is the worst.

I am black in this game,doing nicely,a piece up for 2 pawns.
King in the open,but i have to protect my queen side pawns.

I am not sure what happened but i played Re8!!!
White can take the rook as my knight is pinned.

Is this chess blindness or very careless play,or both?

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


I played another game as white trying the kings indian attack.
The time control was 20 minutes each for the whole game.
I think i was lucky in this game.

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I still am not sure about this opening.

Friday, 23 October 2009


I played this game as white yesterday, the time control was 20 minutes each for the whole game.
In this game i tried out the kings indian attack as white.
It seems this opening can be played as white almost against anything black plays,well with in reason.

In the end it came down to a game of chicken with the clock.
When the draw was agreed, we both had only seconds left on the clock.

Not sure if i like this opening, i might slip back to my old safe ways with this,but well see.

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Thursday, 15 October 2009


This is an online game i played at
I am white in this game and swopped a rook for 2 bishops.
This is me not playing safe moves all the time,also not playing very well,but not playing safe.

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Once 24.Ne7+ was played it was goodbye rooks for black.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I have just finished struggling through Grandmaster Kotov's book "Think like a grandmaster" published by Batsford in the early 1970's.
Kotov covers all the standard things the centre open and closed,planning,positional judgement,pawn structures and many other topics.
This is the book that wants you to think your next set of moves using the tree analysis method.
With branches for sub variations branching out from the main trunk of moves.
The book has some typos but i found the book wanting,it did not infuse me as Stean's book did(see book review 2).

This book for me does not go into enough depth in some chapters and to much in others.
On the chapter about endings, we pick up a game from move 22 it shows how one side gets an advantage, then on move 54 it stops with "and white forced a win on move 86".
But does not show you how this happened.
The chapter on opening study is very general only 6 pages long.

On the other hand in the chapter "The tree of analysis" to many variations are given making it at times difficult to follow.Muddying what could be clearer waters.

The examples used are taken mainly from either Soviet championships or the Candidates 1953 tournament in Zurich.
In fact so great is the number of positions and part games used by Kotov from the 1953 Candidates, i bought the Dover book written by Bronstein on the 1953 Zurich tournament.

Perhaps this book is above me,i dont know, but i could follow the instructions in the book.
The test is if i can remember to use what is in this book when i play.

This book is classed as a classic by many people but it did not do it for me.

Monday, 5 October 2009


This game was a friendly game not a tournament or match game.
I played the French as Black against a player called Dave.
The time control was 10 minutes each for the whole game.

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I ran the game through fritz and got pages of anaylsis,no way would i have found, let alone thought of most of the the fritz stuff.

But hey, comments please.

Friday, 2 October 2009


I have just read Chess Bitch by Jennifer Shahade published by Siles press.

This is a story of women in chess from Vera Menchik pre ww2 to the mid 2000's.

This book shows how the barriers are slowly coming down in this male dominanted sport.
Women are trying to gain equal terms,while being side stepped into seperate womens tournaments and championships.

Shahade argues the pros and cons of seperate World championships for men and women by using interviews with top women players.
She investigates the women’s chess dynasties in Georgia and China and interviews the famous Polgar sisters, who refused to play in separate women’s tournaments.(execpt susan who did become women world champion)
Thier is also an interview with transgendered Texan Angela Alston.

While touring around the world playing in tournaments Shahade gives an insight into chess not seen before.
Shahade paints a colorful world that most chess fans never knew existed,showing that girls certainly chess girls do like to have fun.

The book gives both sides of the arguement of how women are seen in chess.
The feminist side who are chess players that happen to be women,and not so feminist the glamorous grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk the current womens world champion.Who openly uses her sexuality to promote her self.
Just look at some pictures on her website.

This book gives the reader much material and many questions to work on,like why are women under represented in big numbers in chess?
Questions like why are womens international and grandmaster titles lower rated and easier to gain than a mans title?

Judit Polgar is the first women to play and beat the top male players at chess on a regular basis. Where are the rest?
Why should men be dominant in chess,where no physical strength or speed are needed,yet men rule in the world of chess.

I enjoyed this book very much,it can also be a good read to non chess playing readers.

For my own 50cents worth i see children feed into chess at a young age,through my school chess club and junior tournaments.For every 3 boys their is 1 girl entering chess,then as they go up through the age tournaments their are less and less girls.

I think it comes down first to a numbers game,like in the old days the more Russian grandmasters in the top 20 the more likly a Russian world champion.
First Susan Polgar then Judit Polgar drew more women into chess through there fame(as Paula Radcliff did in marathon running),and some of them become very strong players,as the next generation of women chess players will also need to draw more women into the sport.So the numbers grow.But this takes time.

Secondly i think girls dont see spending hour upon hour on chess as important.
But good roll models would help to change that.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


I have just finished a really good book no make that an excellent book.
Simple chess by GM Michael Stean.
The copy i have is published by Faber & Faber about 1982is,using descriptive notation so back to the days of P-QB4.

The only fault i have with the book is the title "Simple chess" it can be misleading,the book is in fact about chess strategy.
A subject that GM Stean makes very readable and easy to follow.

The book's 6 chapters cover the main points of strategy outposts,weak pawns,open files,half open files the minority attack,black squares and white squares and finally space.

Each of the chapters uses good examples and is clearly written.
In the chapter on half open files their is a discussion on the pawn structure of the sicilian defence.

The Ruy lopez main line is discussed in the chapter on space.

What makes this a great book to me is not only the clear writing combined with excellent games and positions,but Steans own touches throughout the book.

On page 47
"black is left with hanging pieces,an undesirable alternative to hanging pawns"

on page 71 my favourite
"all the white pieces are amusingly trapped,like a bicycle wheel in a tramline,only able to go backwards and forwards"

on page 77
many people reason "if i put my pawns on the same coloured squares as my bishop i can defend them there". If you commit hara-kiri instead,you won't have to defend them at all. The two solutions are roughly equivalent,give or take the problem of cleaning the blood off the board.

This is an excellent book for players who want a no-nonsense clear introduction to chess strategy i recommend this enjoyable book.

I end this review with a line from the book that perhaps sums up chess "simple chess always requires flexibility of thought".

Monday, 21 September 2009


Killer move part 3 is from Judit Polgar the princess of chess.
The game was played during the 1988 womens Olympiad in Thessaloniki aginst
P.Angelova in some books it is Chilingirova.
Judit was 12 at the time and during the same tournament she beat Xie Jun
who 3 years later went on to win the world Championship.

The killer move is 17.Qxf8+

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17......Kxf8 18.Bh6+ Kg8 19.Re8# wonderfull and only 12.

Monday, 14 September 2009


While i am recovering from my ankle operation i have read a book that i have had for a number of years but never got around to reading.

P.C. Clarke's Mikhail Tal's best games of chess.
This book is an old book published by Bell back in the 1960's.
Bell produced great chess books,game collections of Alekhine,Capablanca and Larsen
being my favourite ones.

The Tal book covers his chess from 1951 to and including his 1960 World Championship win against Botvinnik.
The book has a photo of Tal,followed by 9 pages of biography called "The road to the championship",rounded off with 7 pages of "The genius of Tal" using positions in a what Tal did next format.
Thier is also a page and half from Tal talking about chess as an art form.

The rest of the book has 50 of his games.
In most of them he seems to sacrifice pieces and pawns almost at will,but Clarke's note are very good if brief.

Game 39 stands out for me as a great game, played against V. Smyslov.
Who only 2 years before was himself World Champion.
The game is played during the 1959 Candidates tournament at Bled,Tal has the white pieces.On move 17 Smyslov plays 17...Qxa2 threatening mate next move.
Tal defends against this then on move 19 plays a wow move 19.Qxf7. offers his queen
to Smyslov.
Enjoy game 39.

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If 19....Rxf7 20.Rxd8+ Rf8 21.Rxf8+ Ng8 23.Rxg8++
If 19....Re8 20.Qg8+ either knight or rook xg8 21.Nf7++ smothered mate.
Don't even think about 19...Rg8.
If 19...gxh6 20.Bxf6++

I found this an enjoyable book of a snap shot from history.

Friday, 11 September 2009


This is another game by Petrosian with a similar finish to the Spassky game given in my prevous post.

This game was played between Petrosian and Simagin in the 1956 USSR Championships held in Moscow.
Not the Moscow Championships of 1956(which they also played in) as stated in the book, Tigran Petrosian his life and games by Vik.l.Vasiliev.

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Monday, 7 September 2009


Another game with a killer move is T.Petrosian v B. Spassky World championship 1966 game 10.

What a move 30.Qh8+ a temporary queen sacrifice that leads to a won position.
This would be a great move to play in a normal tournament game,but in a World Championship game,wow.

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Petrosian is known for grinding an opponent down positionally,his games to some seem boring.
But on occasion he could when the position deemed it produce the Tal/Morphy type firework moves.(but alas not very often)

Thursday, 3 September 2009


I am back from hospital after having my anckle operation.

I have my left leg in a cast from my knee to my toes.

The cast comes off in a few weeks then more decisions will be made.

The pain is much worst than i thought it would be,i was giving morphine to help with the pain.

I should be able to start walking in a month or so,can't even think about running.

I'm not sure if i will get to use my place in the 2010 London Marathon or not.

But the kind words from you guys has been great, THANK YOU.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Yes the rescheduled date for my anckle operation is tomorrow the 2nd of September.

After being cancelled twice before i think it is third time lucky!!!!!

All that can go wrong now is when i am in hospital they cancell me because of an emergency.

But fingers crossed.

See you guys soon.

Monday, 31 August 2009


I have been looking for an new opening for the children to play against very strong players as black.

Using some hints from you guys about my responce to 1.d4,i have found the Hippopotamus opening.

It is a pirc/modern type opening.
You seem to play in your own half of the board and draw your opponent on to you.
Spassky has played this opening a few times even twice in the 1966 world championship against Petrosian.
First in game 12

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Next game 16

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Most childrens games open 1.e4 and reply 1..e5.
But against some very strong children this is no good as these strong kids are pumped and primed with opening traps.
So i am thinking agaisnt the very strong children my ones should play the Hippo.
It's a non aggressive opening (so linuxguy will never play this!!!)
and should take strong 1.e4 e5 players out of any book lines.

Thursday, 27 August 2009


This is a game i played yesterday on
A year subscription to playchess came with fritz 11.

The game was a draw.
I thought i would meet 1.d4 with 1...d5 just one last time.
As recent posts have given me lots to think about when meeting 1.d4.
The kings indian or grunfeld look best so far.
I replied 1...d5 because i am not confidenet with either of these yet.
I am still seeing which one is best for me.

Here is the game i am black.
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Wednesday, 19 August 2009


I know i have had big gaps of non playing in my chess playing life,and for the last 11 years i have run a school chess club so no time to play adults.
I have not kept up to date with opening trends,not that i did much of that when i did play.

But in the last 3 weeks i have played 4 games as black against 1.d4.
I only met 1.d4 2 times before in perhaps 150 games,and both games where decided on time (not the opening)1 win 1 loss.

I have replied 1..d5 each time and the games have gone off into different openings,not stayed as queens gambits.
I just feel uncomfortable playing this,i know this sounds silly.

But i would appreciate some suggestions/help of what is good for you against 1.d4 and why.

I think some players know i am weak/weaker aginst 1.d4 so they play it.

Thursday, 13 August 2009


Have you ever played a killer move in a game,a move that has been so devastating it wins straight away.

I give 2 of the most famous examples of killer moves.

Game 1 Levitsky against Frank Marshall in 1912.
In this game so history has it,when Marshall played 23.....Qg3 people in the crowd threw gold coins as they thought it such a great move.

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Game 2 Bernstein against Jose Capablanca 1914.
Some older books refer to Capablanca's move 29....Qb2 as a million dollar move.

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If i ever did play a killer move i think it might be valued some what less!!!

Friday, 31 July 2009


This game was played between the board 1 and board 2 of the school chess club i run.
It was an end of therm game played with a clock.Game 15.
Board 1 has been with me for 3 years and board 2 about 2 years.

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Sunday, 26 July 2009


I am thinking of using the Taimanov as black in a Sicilian.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6

Have any of you used this variation before?

Friday, 17 July 2009


This is a game played recently between 2 children from my School chess club.
The child playing White has been with me for 2 years, while the child playing black has only been with me 6 or so months.

The time limit was 30 minutes each on the clock for the game.
At the end white had 20 minutes left on the clock and black had 28 minutes.
So it was not a slow game, mistakes were made by both sides,but white shows some promise.

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Wednesday, 15 July 2009


I played over this game today a La Bourdonnais game as black against Jouy in 1836.
Their is little to no attempt at controlling the center or King saftey.
Just out an out attack.
I know the Kings gambit when accepted is all about attack,and boy do they,this is a very good entertaining little game.

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Sunday, 12 July 2009


This is a game played in 1834 between Mcdonnell and La bourdonnais.
The final position is one of the strangest i have seen in chess.
Would this happen in todays play i don't think so.

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Thursday, 9 July 2009


I think this game from the Sousse 1967 interzonal is perhaps one of Bobby Fischers best underatted games.
Fischer has white against L. Myagmarsuren in round 3.
It is not played against a very strong player, but i think it is still a great game.

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Black cannot take the white queen as this leads to checkmate.

Monday, 6 July 2009


This is my first game using chessflash game viewer.
It is one of my favourite games of all time.
It's not a classic by any means,but it has a history to go with it.
It was played in Breslau 1912 between Levitzky and Frank Marshall(whos games i like playing over).

When as remour has it Marshall played 23.....Qg3 the crowd throw gold coins at the players.
Did people in 1912 have gold coins to throw away,i am not sure.
But it's a great story and an entertaining game.

Work out why Marshall's Queen can't be taken.

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