Sunday, February 27, 2011

Creepy Crawly : "unfinished"

This game reminds me of something "unfinished". Black played a decent game for 95% of the game, but at the right moment...I threw everything away... Anyway I liked to play it, and I hold in high esteem Mike Basman, the inventor of this opening system.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Old...but not forgotten

"Old... but not forgotten" is devoted to books that have been published more than 10 years ago, but they contain meaningful material for various reasons. At first a wikipedia link to introduce the author  Edward Lasker and his great chess autobiography. It is a thick book: 428 pages (!!) and you can find a used copy of it online for less that $10,00 see for instance
The only thing I do not like is that the descriptive notation is used to annotate the games. A jump in the early 20th century chess and a way not to forget the masters of the past.

We read what follows from the back cover: "In this autobiographical chess manual, Edward Lasker traces his successful chess career from his early interest in the game as a boy in Germany through more that 50 years of tournament play. No chess enthusiast can fail to be entertained as this chess master and winner of five world capital championships describes the giants of the chess world whom he met and played against in tournament after tournament in the major cities of the Americas and Europe. Included are amusing anecdotes and first-hand impressions of many of the great players who have now become legendary figures, plus records of the hints given him by his intimate friends Dr. Emanuel Lasker, Jose Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine.

Writing in the lively, genial manner which has made him a favorite chess author, Lasker brings to life most of the important masters of the last two generations--Emanuel Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Rubinstein, Nimzovich, Bernstein, Yates, Janowski, Pillsbury, Tarrasch, Reti, Bogolyubov, Reshevksy, Marshall, Fine, Horowitz, and many lesser-known figures. His narrative is interspersed with stimulating analyses of some 77 games, including those played between Frank Marshall and the author in their match for the U.S. championship in 1923, Lasker has chosen interesting, exciting games, and explains not only what actually happened abut what might have happened had the players used different tactics.
Chess fans will be delighted with Lasker's insightful comments, from which many valuable lessons can be learned. In addition to games not previously published in English, and his own analyses of the strategy and tactics employed in them Lasker has included many examples from older chess literature that both beginners and seasoned players will enjoy."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chess Miracles

What is chess miracle? 
One of all the possible definitions: in a rated tournament, there is a difference of at least 500 points between the two opponents and the lower rated player wins. Here we have a first category player (Class A) who has beaten a GM in the Lugano (Switzerland) 1st Casinò Open.  Curioni, F. (1952) - Meijers,V (2485)
If the readers are aware of these kind of chess miracles, please let me know and they will be published on this blog.

Chess Philosophers (part 2)

G. Chepukaitis
 Chesscafè interview
Chepukaitis' lecture 1
Chepukaitis' lecture 2
 The news of Chepukaitis' death

A. Bangiev's "Squares Strategy"
the B-method in german language  and a  google english translation of the german page
Squares Strategy Vol. 1 
Squares Strategy, Vol. 2: The Opening 
Squares Strategy, Vol. 3 Middlegame 

Deep Saros: very strong free UCI chess engine

I foresee bright future for this engine, that is very very strong at long time controls especially. Here you can read the   interview to Deep Saros' creator in italian language
 and this is an english google translation of the interview   At last this is the download link.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chess Philosophers

I want to thank IM Gerard Welling for sharing Parham and Shashin's links

Bernard Parham: 
Alexander Shashin:  Interview    Chess plan - Fiction or reality ?
Mike Surtees:   read interview in UON 24

(Part 11)Tips for the improving UCO players rated between 1500 and 1800

UCO readings, amazing sources of inspiration:
UCO material is not generally dealt in "standard" chess magazines. So here you have a list of magazines where you can find some good & rare material about offbeat opening systems:

 In the beginning was "The Myers Openings Bulletin". Then came all the others. A real mine of chess ideas. If you can find some old issues  somewhere, grab them and do not le them go!
 About Hugh Myers
 C. Nakamura's Chessville article
 Chessbase : Hugh Myers (1930-2008), opening theoretician 
  R. Kennedy's Chessville review of Myers's book "A Chess Explorer
 Gary Gifford's wonderful chess magazine freely downloadable at
 In every issue tons of UCO/Gambit material.

 In german language you have the great Randspringer, Rainer Schlenker's creature.
 About Randspringer

More about Randspringer in german and a contact address to buy old issues

Last, but not least, we have S. Buecker's excellent Kaissiber. It is available in german language Kaissiber or in italian language I apologize for putting a small Kaissiber cover picture. But unless I do so the quality of the image would deteriorate. A taste of Buecker's writings

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Road to Grandmaster & a bet


I will surely follow this enthusiast player to see how he progresses.

Free Uci Chess Engine: Spike 1.4 Leiden

The version, which took a shared 2nd place at the 30. open dutch computerchess championships!
 30th ODCCC Final Results 
Spike 1.4 Leiden download
This new release has an exciting new feature: possibility to limit Spike's playing strength according to your desire!.

Ken Smith's Chess Improvement Course

Very good stuff.

Ken Smith's Chess Improvement Course

This is one of the gems contained therein:

"If you aren't at least a "high Class A Player…..this news is for you…..! Until you are at least a high Class A player:
Your first name is "Tactics", your middle name is "Tactics", and your last name is "Tactics". You can overcome a weak opening and be so far ahead in material that the endgame is mopping up.
I demand that you get every book on tactics and combinations that you can afford and study it as if your life depended on it!"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

(Part 10) Tips for the improving UCO player rated between 1500 and 1800

Play against your chess hero
This is how it goes. Let's suppose you have chosen to play Basman's "Creepy Crawly".
1st: obtain Basman's booklet at
2nd: play throught the games in order to learn the strategy;
3rd: start playing that opening against human players and chess engines (reduce the strength according to your own rating);
4rd: "Play" against Basman. This is how it goes: 
  • Obtain a file of Basman's Creepy Crawly booklet in pgn
  • Download Chess Hero
  •  Install Basman's Creepy Crawly pgn DB in Chess Hero.
  • Play the games against Basman using "Chess Hero" and check how it goes. BTW a strong chess engine will assess your own moves as well as Basman's

(Part 9) Tips for the UCO chess player rated between 1500 and 1800

A second opening choice   inspired by IM Welling.
I had prepared 1.b4 & 1.d4 b5 + 1.e4 a6 2.d4 b5 for a tournament. In the second round I played against a player who had a rating similar to mine. I played a variation that I considered good starting from 1.b4 d5
After about 13/15 moves I had a very poor position and soon I lost badly. My confidence in that 1.b4 variation was shaken and I was afraid to play it again in the coming rounds the next day. So I needed another opening to play on which I could still rely on.
At this point of the story comes the help of IM Welling. Perhaps what I an saying will sound a little bit philosophical but this is how it goes for me. Sometimes when you chat with a much stronger chess player, you are exposed to greater "chess awareness", so it happens that while you are discussing certain chess related things, a concept you had vaguely in mind is clearly defined in that moment.

(Part 8) Tips for the aspiring UCO player rated below 1500

Perhaps it is better that you concentrate in obtaining basic chess knowledge before starting to play weird openings. For this reason I recommend the book "Logical Chess Move by move" by Chernev.

Every single move is explained. And you will benefit a lot from reading it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Free Training tips by Life Master A. J. Goldsby

Very useful and well done.

(Part 7) Tips for the improving UCO player rated between 1500 & 1800

A great self assessment chess book

An exciting and instructive book Chess Exam  As you go through the test, you will know exactly your strengths and weaknessess as a chess player and you will be given specific suggestions on how to improve in the areas where you need more support.

(Part 6)Tips for the improving UCO players rated between 1500 and 1800 )

The "energy saving" concept   taught me by IM Gerard Welling.

For sure unorthodox chess openings are exciting tools to start a chess game. As a Uco player you feel creative and you know that you are leading your opponent towards  an unknown least for him, if you have done your homework :-) requres energy and concentration.
I try to explain this point more in detail: I believe that 1.g4 is a playable move but it is much easier to go downhill playing it than if you choose to play 1.e4 or 1.d4
This is  not to be consdered good or bad, it is something to take in consideration. Just suppose you didn't sleep very well last night and you had a difficult day at the office.  You feel tired and you go to the tournament room for a rated  game that wiill start at 20,00 and it will probably finish around 23,30
Yes, you can play 1.g4 but it will require much energy care. Are you ready for it or do you prefer to be less creative but spare some energy?
This subject is especially meaningul now that I am in a phase between the "middlegame" and the "advanced middlegame" of life at 46 years of age and the concept of a diminishing level of energy is a real issue to deal with. I remember that when I was 20 years old, I could play many blitz games before a rated game and after the serious game I could go out with friends to drink something till very late. Of course in the morning I could wake up very early. Now I need more time to sleep and recover.