Saturday, December 31, 2011

du Chattel's opening system: The 4 pawns attack

A rarely played line in the du Chattel's opening system is the 4 pawns attack (see diagram). In my own tournament practice no player chose to play it as White.  It was played once against the dutch master Philip du Chattel as we can see. As I could find no material to work on, here are a few computer assisted lines.





Saturday, December 24, 2011

An interesting interview to Magnus Carlsen

http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7778

Chess Miracles

 In the past we have talked about chess miracles. Here we have an elo difference between players of 496 points, and the lower rated wins. The game is from the recently played Crespi International Tournament played in Milan, Italy in early December. White is Paolo Formento (Fide rating 2133) and Black is GM Yuri Solodovnichenko Enjoy it

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More on the du Chattel's System

Starting from 2005 to 2011, I played about 30 tournament games where I used the du Chattel's opening system involving an early Nh6 move as Black. Mostly my opponents were rated between 1450 and 2000. They played various White systems. Surprisingly none of them played the system I feared the most: 1.e4 Nh6 2.d4 g6 3.h4!?  See diagram



But should the Black player be afraid of this position ? Well, I have analyzed the position with the support of various chess engines, and the answer is "NO" IMO.


What follows are just a few lines

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A chess talent

Centuries ago as an unrated player, I participated in my first serious tournament: Milan's Open Championship. In the same event, I came to know another unrated player. He was a young man, with rather long air. Although it was his first tournament, he played magnificently. He did won against 1st category players and he drew against candidate masters and masters as well. Soon he became 1st category. Then Candidate Master and Master. In 1985 he won a strong master tournament and then he gave up playing chess at all. In my youth I played a lot of blitz games. This guy was the only player against whom I could not really play...after 10 moves he sac'd a pawn...after 15 moves he sac'd a piece...and our game never lasted more than 30 moves :-(
I met him again in Bratto 2011. He decided to participate in the master tournament just the week before the tournament started. I asked him how he had prepared for the tournament. He answered that his only preparation was to study a few games blindfold taken from the "Torre & Cavallo - Scacco!" italian chess review
Amazing..no study on the openings at all. I asked him how he studied the endgame. He smiled while answering that his games never reach the endgame...
I approached him in the analysis room, while he was trying to explain his analysis to an eastern IM he had just smashed with his enterprising way of playing. I voluntereed to translate their post mortem comments and I was soo amazed to translate this italian master's analysis. Amazing. He had a positive performance in Bratto 201 and he gained many elo points. Great respect for this chessfriend. or this post only I have disabled the comments, as I do not want to reveal this guy's name. Otherwise italian chess players might be induced to take him to the endgames...if they are not chess-murdered in the middlegame..of course  :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

More on Vitruvius

At http://vitruviuschess.blogspot.com/2011/11/piccoli-miglioramenti.html we read that Vitruvius shall be released on Jan. 1st 2012. In the meantime, we can enjoy a game played Vitruvius against Komodo 3.0 as part of a test match played at 40 min. per player/game level. ..fireworks.....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Walter Thomas Downs' chess works

Original thinkers will always have room on this blog. Now we offer a free download link to Walter Thomas Downs' works This is his brief description of the systems as follows:
"Featured are two complete chess systems:
The Tiger and Dragon.
The Bear.
These systems feature complete repertoires for White and Black as well as all the "nuts and bolts" you need to be a complete chess player. They were written with the idea that the chess enthusiast need never have to buy another book on chess. The systems are backed up by intensive computer, mathematical and/or psychological analyses, as well as intensive research using chess openings databases."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Statistics

Today I checked the statistics of the blog. This is the list of the 10 Countries who read this blog most often. It's really an international blog :-)




Sunday, November 20, 2011

More on Alexander Shashin's work

In a previous post http://theamazingchessworld.blogspot.com/2011/02/chess-philosophers.html   we have already given a link to Alexander Shashin's work. Now we offer additional links as follows:
http://www.bs-chess.com/latin/lectures/shashin1.html
http://www.gmchess.com/gmschool/teachers/shashin/
We hope that Shashin will have a chance soon to publish his original ideas in a book, which although still not realeased, is mentioned in the above links as "The chess and metachess".

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"The St. George Defense" Chapter within the book "No Passion for Chess Fashion"

We have already spoken of this book briefly in a former post Now we would like to go more in detail, concerning "the "St. George" Chapter. This 47 pages article (from page 82 to page 129) was written by IM Chetverik who claims to have played more than 100 games, with classical time control with this opening. By the way, Chetverik had the opportunity to study either IM Basman's previous works (see Bibliography at the bottom of the article) or Yuri Remizov's Shakhmatny byulleten articles. Furthermore, he had the opportunity to obtain the support of strong chess engines for his analysis. These 24 games are analyzed in details, and deviations are dealt too. The first move is 1.e4 a6!? (2.d4 b5 if not otherwise mentioned) :
1. Werner-Chetverik 2003 2.c4 e5 (and 2.Nc3 / 2.f4 analysis)
2. Cyborowski-Bartel 2007 2.g3 b5
3. Cozette-Chetverik 2008 2.d4 b5 3.f4 (also 3.Bf4 analysis)
4. McDonnell-Basman 1998 3.Be3
5. Vorobev-Chetverik 2003 3.c4 Bb7 4.Nd2 bxc4
6. Seirawan-Spassky 1990 3.c4 (transposition from 1.d4 b5)
7. Tian-Chetverik 2001 3.c4 Bb7 4.f3 e5 5.cxb5 f5
8. Jonas-Chetverik 1998 3.a4 Bb7 4.axb5
9. Frolov-Kutuzov 2002 3.a4 Bb7 4.Nd2 Nf6
10. Levitt-Howell 2006 (from 1.d4 b5) 3.a4 Bb7 4.f3 b4;
11. Gozzoli-Chetverik 2006 3.a4 Bb7 4.Bd3 e6
12. Szabo-Chetverik 1998 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Ne2 e6
13. Zozulia-Baklan 2004 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 e6 5.Nc3 c5
14. A.Petrosian-Csom 1989 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 e6 5.Nbd2 c5
15. van der Weide-Carrabeo Garcia 2007 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 e6 5.0-0 c5 6.c3 Nf6 7.Nbd2 Be7
16. Delchev-Chetverik 2005 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 e6 5.0-0 c5 6.c3 Nf6 7.Re1 d5
17. Gleizerov-Ionescuy 2007 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 e6 5.0-0 c5 6.c3 Nf6 7.Re1 Be7
18. Handke-Poley 2004 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 Nf6!? moveorder 5.e5 Nd5 6.Ng5
19. Khamatgaleev-Chetverik, 2000 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 Nf6!? 5.e5 Nd5 6.c3
20.Karpov-Miles 1980 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 Nf6!? 5.Qe2 e6 6.a4 c5
21.Freisler-Janturin 2007 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 Nf6!? 5.Qe2 e6 6.Bg5
22.Vitiugov-Savchenko 2003 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 Nf6!? 5.Qe2 e6 6.0-0 c5 7.c3 Be7
23. Veszpremi-Chetverik 2008 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 Nf6!? 5.Qe2 e6 6.0-0 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.d5
24. Hunt-Basman 1998 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 Nf6!? 5.Qe2 e6 6.0-0 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.Nbd2
 
We can wholeheartedly recommend this article in the book, as the most updated work on the St. George Defense. One minor objection is that the book was published in July 2011 while the most recent games included in the article are of the year 2008. We would have liked to see some material taken from games played in the year 2009 and perhaps the first part of 2010 as well.
The St George Defense recommended Bibliography (Chronological order)
-Book "Play The St. George" by Michael Basman, 1980;
-Cassettes (now CDs) "St. Georges Opening" by Michael Basman, 1981 You can purchase them here
-Book "The Polish Defense" by Thomas Kapitaniak, 1988
-Chapter "The St. George" from page 66 to page 89 of the book "Dynamic Black Defences" by Tim Harding;
-Book "Die Polnische Verteidigung" by Peter Zimmer;
-Book "The New St. George" by Michael Basman, 1993.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._George_Defence

Friday, October 14, 2011

While we are waiting for Vitruvius 1.0 to be released....

...at http://vitruviuschess.blogspot.com/ I have just seen an amazing game by Vitruvius where it has beaten His Majesty Houdini 2.0.... 10 min. per player game. A few notes taken from that Blog:
  • Vitruvius sacrifices a pawn with 5.a5!?
  • 21.Rxc5!? Vitruvius sacrifices the exchange
  • 27.Nf4 After pawn & exchange sacs, Vitruvius sacrifices a Knight....
Enjoy this wonderful game!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beware....Vitruvius 1.0 is about to be released...

...while we are waiting for the Vitruvius 1.0 official release, we can see how a test version of Vitruvius is playing against "The King Houdini 2.0" at 60 min. x game level.
The game is taken from the Vitruvius Blog in italian language at http://vitruviuschess.blogspot.com/2011/10/vitruvius-092m.html
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q9550 @ 2.83GHz 2842 MHz W=20.1 plies; 5. 831kN/s; 8.047.407 TBAs; Perfect2011.ctg B=20.4 plies; 6.924kN/s; 64 TBAs; Perfect2011.ctg

Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 World Amateur Chess Championship

Yes, this tournamentt does exist for players rated < 2000! At http://wacc2011.tsf.org.tr/  you can even download the games! Perhaps next year you and I could join the tournament ;-)
The winner will be awarded a Fide Master title with a Fide rating of 2200!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

UON 29 just published!

Gary Gifford's UON 29 is downloadable at

                                         Contents

  1. Durkin’s Attack: An Investigation by N Earl Roberts
  2. Basman’s Chess Inheritance by Davide Rozzoni
  3. Fishing Poles by Brian Wall 
  4. Damiano’s Defence f6 as Black! by Domingos Sávio Perego
  5. Inter-Service Chess by Sgt. Nicholas Wolff
  6. Zilbermints by Lev Zilbermints
  7. Two Albin Counter Gambit Games by Quentin Mason 

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Vitruvius ver. 0.82b is out!

    http://deepsaros.jimdo.com/
    "This is still an experimental version still keeping a strong positional feature. It is not an engine devoted to play against other engines, but if you choose to let it play against other chess engines, he needs some time of reflection.. The analysis and the need to check possible positional sacrifices require more time than a standard tactical analysis" says its author, in italian language, on http://www.giocareascacchi.it/utility/forum/Chess-Engine/2086-Saros-Vitruvius-.html/5/

    THANKS Carotino for this wonderful engine!

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    A free tool to train and play chess as well

    Luca's Chess
    The aim is to play chess against the computer with increasing levels of difficulty and with a limited number of hints that are given by a chess tutor.
    Also included are thousands of training positions such as different types of endgames, tactical combinations and chess problems (mate in 2,3,4 and more).

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    No passion for chess fashion

    An interesting  new book by Raetsky & Chetverik has been published. It also deals with some offbeat openings or rarely played variations of standard openings like: 


    • 1.e4 a6!? , 
    • 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bb4!?
    • The Albin Countergambit

    Here you can read a Preview

    Update of Sept 4th 2011:
    And this is a very good review of the book: http://kenilworthian.blogspot.com/2011/09/review-of-no-passion-for-chess-fashion.html
    Sept. 11th 2011 Update
    This is Rick Kennedy's Review of the book

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Old...but not forgotten: "The Stonewall Attack" by GM Andrew Soltis




    A lot of chess players are looking for a repertoire to play as White. This opening system should be easy to learn and with a low level of maintenance. If this is the case, you should consider the possibily to purchase Soltis' book "The Stonewall Attack".
    The system consists of playing 1.d4 2.e3 with f4 to follow but different move orders are possible.    
    This is what Soltis writes on pages 8 and 9 of his book.            



    In order to show you that from the Stonewall Attack can arise exciting games, here you can see a nice game played by Gerard Welling before the publication of Soltis' book:

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Teaching Chess

    An excellent method to teach chess that has been adopted by many chess clubs and schools in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
    http://www.stappenmethode.nl/stepsmethod/index2.html

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Saros Vitruvius: works in progress

    Carotino is working on a more human-like chess engine starting from Deep Saros and its name will be Saros Vitruvius.
    Here's a link to an interesting discussion for the english speaking friends
    http://immortalchess.net/forum/showthread.php?t=11417
    and this is a link to a similar discussion in italian language http://www.giocareascacchi.it/utility/forum/Chess-Engine/2043-Il-motore-ideale-adesso-c-e-.html
    I can't wait to see an official release of Saros Vitruvius!
    THANKS Carotino!
    ***************************************************************
    Sept. 11th Update
    Vitruvius 0,82b is downloadable at http://deepsaros.jimdo.com/
    "This is still an experimental version still keeping a strong positional feature. It is not an engine devoted to play against other engines, but if you choose to let it play against other chess engines, he needs some time of reflection.. The analysis and the need to check possible positional sacrifices require more time than a standard tactical analysis" says its author, in italian language, on http://www.giocareascacchi.it/utility/forum/Chess-Engine/2086-Saros-Vitruvius-.html/5/

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    ”Play Like Mikhail Botvinnik” training course released for free!

    http://chessok.com/?p=24620
    This is what we can read at the above mentioned link:
    "This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 6th World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik. In honor of World Champion, ChessOK releases a free training course ”Play Like Mikhail Botvinnik” in Peshka interface.Learn to play like the 6th World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik in 350 most interesting and instructive positions from his games!
    This course also features 1.069 games played by Botvinnik from 1924 till 1970. The games are deeply annotated by GM Alexander Khalifman, FIDE World Champion’1999 and IM Sergey Soloviev."

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    IM Bosboom's creative chess (Part 2)


    Deep Saros 2.3i available

    For Linux & Windows 32  + 64. This is still an unofficial release but it's the most updated version of Deep Saros..
    The author says (my translation from the italian language) that: "In the updated version there are little improvements in the evaluating functions  (Queen, Knights, Opposite colour Bishops), small improvements in the positional play (read Steinitz), bugs correction and a few "hacks" added."
    Here you can read the original italian posts http://www.giocareascacchi.it/utility/forum/Chess-Engine/2018-Deep-Saros-vers-2-3i.html and the download page http://deepsaros.jimdo.com/

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    IM Bosboom's creative chess

    During the recent Dutch Championship, Gerard Welling met the extremely creative IM Manuel Bosboom who played (and won !) a side event. He showed Welling a nice little game he played in a Amsterdam chesscafé, 3 minutes chess, 3 or 4 years ago. An amazing example of an active double rook sacrifice. Welling thought we may have liked to see it, so he wrote the moves down, checked the notation with Bosboom and..here it is for our pleasure.

    My thanks to Gerard Welling for his kind contribution.

    A perspective of Mike Basman's original chess

    Recently IM Andrew Martin has published on youtube a nice analysis of the game Pritchett - Basman. A powerful demonstration of Basman's original chess.


    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 f5!?

    In a former post,it has been shown that Mike Basman played some original openings in Sutton 2008 such as 1.f4 d5 2.c4, 1.d4 f5 2.g3 c5, 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 f5 and 1.e4 c5 2.c3 f5.
    The trend (still early to label it as a "fashion") to mix an early c5 + f5 seems to have spread as even IM Kamran Shirazi has recently played this 2..f5 move as well against strong opposition. In fact with Gerard Welling, we found the following game on chessgames.com :

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    London Calling

    Tomorrow I will be in London with my family for a few days. While my wife was planning to visit museums and historical places, she asked me if I was interested to pay a visit to "The Sherlock Holmes Museum" located in Baker Street...well.. I answered that while she will visit that museum with our son...I will visit another MEANINGFUL place located in Baker Street :-)  http://www.ukgamesshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=lcc&Category_Code=ORD-Pro     Next week I will tell you some more details about THAT visit........ :-)

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    LEOpard 0,7c chess engine is born!

    It is still an experimental and unofficial version with many limitations, but it works quite well, says its author at http://www.giocareascacchi.it/utility/forum/Chess-Engine/1986-LEOpard-U-C-I-chess-engine-.html
     The author goes on saying that it is an "indipendent" engine, meaning that it does not derive from existing engines, although he has staken many ideas and procedures from various open source engines such as
    IvanHoe and StockFish. At the moment the engine it is not ready to handle the tablebases, but it should be ready by the end of the summer. On this version there are still some "Deep Saros like" set ups, but they will gradually disappear.
    The first official version should be ready within September. At the above mentioned link, you can find either a download link + some games where LEOpard demolishes very strong chess engines at rather long time controls. Enjoy this experimental version, while we are waiting for the official release. Well done Daneel Olivaw! aka....;-))

    Vujovic's position

    In one of the last posts, we discussed a quiz that was asked by Milorad Vujovic some years ago.
    The source of the position has been found by Harold van der Heijden, of the famous van der Heijden database of endgame studies. In fact, after Gerard Welling showed him the position, he checked it in his database and found out that  it  was indeed a study by Liburkin and that it was published in Shakhmaty v USSR in 1939.
    My thanks to both of them for having shed additional light on this wonderful position.

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    Recent interview to W. Anand where the chess engine Houdini is mentioned

    http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/interview-with-the-world-champio-anand-on-becoming-a-father-kazan-and-more-part-1-of-2/
    Interviewer:
    (...)
    "I want to change the style of the interview a little bit and give you a few quick, brief opposites where you have to choose one. Then you’ll realize that we’ll discuss a few of the subjects a little bit after that, OK? (...)
     OK, three: Fritz, Rybka or Houdini?"
      
    Anand:  "Houdini."
    *********************************************************
    http://www.cruxis.com/chess/houdini.htm

    Vujovic's Quiz: here's the solution

    Isn't it amazing?

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Vujovic's Quiz posted on June, 19th -> promised help

    White is winning and the first move is 1.Bd2+
    Also, as the quiz is really difficult, you can set up the position on a chessboard, and you can try to solve it by moving the pieces if you want.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Remembering International Master Milorad Vujovic: very very difficult Quiz

    This is a very very difficult Quiz. It has been published in an italian chess newsgroup called it.hobby.scacchi back in March 2001 by Mauro Scarpa. This man said that the Quiz had been shown him by IM Vujovic in Montecatini (Italy) in 1992. It was also contained in a pdf paper made by various authors in remembrance of IM Vujovic. Vujovic proposed this quiz to Mario Scarpa saying something like "You play white, I play Black and I win". or "I play White, you play Black, I win".
                                           White to move

                                Who is winning?
    A help will be offered during the week.
    Before showing it to you, I let the very strong chess engine Stockfish 2.1.1 analyse the position for about 10 minutes and it reached depth 23/59 without finding the right solution..........
    Comments will be disabled in order not to spoil the fun :-))
    Of course I wasn't able to solve it :-))
    Have fun!!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Free chess spirits

    A few minutes ago I was thinking to the open  minded chess players who are willing to explore new paths. I am grateful to Mike Basman, Gerard Welling, Philip du Chattel, Stefan Buecker, Mike Surtees just to name a few...and at the same time the thought flew to Jonathan Livingston Seagull....So glad that they exist...
    UPDATED SEPT. 3rd 2011

    Answer to the quiz posted on June 8th 2011

    Black to move is winning. The position is taken from the italian translation of the book "Chess Positions" by C.H.O'D. Alexander

    Ortueta - Sanz (Madrid, 1934)
     1... Rxb2 !! 2. Nxb2 
    (2. Rf7 Rxa2 3. Nc3 Ra3 4. Rf3 Ba5 -+) 
    (2.Nc3 Rc2 3. Ne4 c3 4. Kf1 Rc1+ 5. Ke2 c2 6. Kd2 Re1 -+) 
    2... c3 !! 3. Rxb6 c4 !! 4.Nxc4 c2 with a won position.
    If you want to check all the variations, please set up the position and check it with a chess engine.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Quiz

                            Black to move. Please assess the position:
    • White has a won position.
    • The position is even 
    • Black has a won position.
    • Black  is slightly better
    and choose Black's move.
    The answer will follow in the coming days. Readers' comments are disabled for this post only, in order not to spoil the fun :-)

    My dear readers..

    My dear readers,
    please be patient. I am working on new posts, but I am quite busy in these days. New posts will follow within 4/5 days.
    Thanks & ciao

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Answer to the Quiz posted on May 29th 2011

    The position is taken from the simultaneous display Emanuel Lasker - Loman, London 1910 
    Black to move AND WIN!
    1...Rc4+!! 2.Kg5 Rh4!! the only move preventing White's promotion of the h pawn. 3.Kxh4 g5!! freeing the g7 square for the King 4.Kxg5 Kg7 


    The source of this endgame is "Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics" excellent book.

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Endgame Quiz

    Black to move

    This position occurred in a simultaneous game. Black to move. Please assess the position:

    • White has a won position.
    • The position is even 
    • Black has a won position.
    • White is slightly better
    The answer will follow next Wednesday. Readers' comments are disabled for this post only, in order not to spoil the fun :-)

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    Can meditation influence your chess?

    Recently I found an interesting interview to GM Jonathan Rowson
    http://www.tm.org/blog/people/british-chess-champion/ 

    In it he explains how meditation had a profound impact on his life. Also he reveals that before every serious game he devotes 20 minutes to meditation. You can read more at the above mentioned website. 
    A couple of years ago I  discovered a site where I was taught to meditate (and much more) for free  http://www.aypsite.org/MainDirectory.html in a friendly non dogmatic way. I feel that meditation has improved meaningfully my life and my approach to chess as well.
    Also, people who are interested in learning an inexpensive techinique leading to a stress-free life may give an eye to this link http://www.nsrusa.org/  A friend told me it works.

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    UON 27 & 28 are available!

    Very well done Gary & Lev!!
    You can access these files at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Chess-Unorthodox-UON/files/According to an e-mail written today by Gary Gifford to the <UnorthodoxChessOpenings@yahoogroups.com>
    "These contain Lev Zilbermints games and analysis of the Zilbermints Gambit to the Euwe Defense (of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit).
    These two UONs pick up where UON 25 (also with Lev's material) left off. The three UONs, when combined) make a pretty hefty book for those who like these lines." 

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    King+Bishop+Knight Vs. King endgame

    Can you win the endgame in the title? Do you believe me if I tell you that very strong players could not? I am not kidding. Well, back in 2007 I saw an italian player, Carlo Gustavo Fornasir (who was rated a little below elo 2000 at the time) who won a King+Bishop+Knight Vs. King endgame very easily in a Fide rated tournament. He had about two minutes left on the clock...but he knew the winning tecnique and he won. I was very impressed by that performance. Some time later, while I was reading the first pages of "Silman's Endgame Course" I came to know that IM Silman doesn't teach how to play this kind of endgame, as it happens very rarely and it takes a little while to learn the winning tecnique. That time could be used in other useful ways. (Sorry I am not at home and I cannot quote Silman's own words). So I decided to find out if very strong players, I mean players rated > 2490 knew the winning tecnique or not. This post shows my discoveries (with the help of Chessbase + Mega Database 2009) as follows:
    I found out:
    GM Browne trusted his opponent's skills and resigned quickly.

    GM Sturua was able to mate GM Miles

    Judit Polgar did even more as she was able to mate Ljubojevic blindfold
    Berelovich resigned just one move before Vallejo Pons mated him:
    But at the same time the are other strong players who could not mate. (Time trouble?)





    Well, at last do we want to spend some time learning this kind of endgame or not?  ;-))

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    The importance of Chess Tactics

    What follows is not a major revelation but it is a confimation of a known truth. Two weeks ago I participated in a quick time control tourrnament (that means every player had 15 minutes at his disposal to finish a single game). 4 out of 6 games have been deeply influenced by chess tactics. The shorter the time control, the greater importance of chess tactics. He who has ears to hear....  :-))

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    A chess book to read if I should spend two months on a desert island

    This morning I asked myself a question. If I had to spend two months on a desert island, which chess book I would like to take with me? The answer came quickly without any doubts:
    [The Mammoth Book of]   "The World's Greatest Chess Games."  (By GM John Nunn,  GM John Emms,  and FM Graham Burgess.)

    An amazingly cheap, thick & good book! I first came to know it when I read Lifemaster A. J. Goldsby "best book page" at
    http://www.ajschess.com/lifemasteraj/bestbook.html
    where he wrote about it:
    "(...) This book is one of the best instructional and analytical books I have seen in my entire chess career. It is the collaboration of three authors: GM John Nunn; GM John Emms; and FM Graham Burgess. Some of the best game analysis I have ever seen in my whole chess career is in this book!!! There is definitely a lot of meat here. (...)" 
    Here you can read a preview of the 2010 edition: 
    and here are some reviews of this book 
    As I have written in past posts, time and money are limited resources, so on this blog you will find reference to meaningful books & chess material only.

    Answer to the quiz posted on Apr. 9th

    The position is taken from the master game Colle - Gruenfeld, Carlsbad 1929.
    Although the position is a draw after 1...Kd3! Black did not see it and he resigned instead :-((
    If 2.Kg5 Ke4 3.Kxh5 Kf5 and the h pawn will not promote.
    What can we learn from this example?
    A) We need to study the endgames. It is a sad story to play a good opening & a fine middlegame if you play a poor endgame.
    B) Sometimes even masters can lose relatively easy positions in the endgame.
    (The source of this endgame is "Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics" excellent book.)

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    Endgame Quiz

    This position occurred in a tournament game between masters. Black to move. Please assess the position:
    • White has a won position, Black should resign
    • draw
    • White stands clearly better
    • White stands slightly better

    The answer will follow next week. Readers' comments are disabled for this post only, in order not to spoil the fun :-)

    Mike Basman in action in the 2008 Surrey Open

    According to the chess databases available, it seems that Mike Basman did not play any serious chess after the year 1998. But in 2008 he played the Surrey open. After the St. George experiments in the early 80's and Grob & Macho Grob games in the late 80's, in the 90's Basman started to play the Global Opening with an early h6 & a6. However in 2008 he chose a new set up: 1.f4 with 2.c4 or 1..c5 with 2..f5 or 1..f5 & 2..c5 Here are the games...food for thought for ther UCO player! My thanks to IM Welling for having found these games.