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+

(show chess board)(hide chess board)

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.

(show chess board)(hide chess board)

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.

(show chess board)(hide chess board)

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.

(show chess board)(hide chess board)

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.