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Chess in lockdown

We all have our pastimes to pass the lockdown time and mine is chess. An Austrian opponent Motzmarkus who has the beating of me invited me to join his 15 player tournament on the internet chess site. I duly accepted. You had to move every two days which is normally too frequent for me but in [...]

May 24, 2020 // 0 Comments

Chess and Casablanca

One of the features of chess is that it mirrors life. How long have we hung onto a relationship, job or even credo when it is hopeless?  Same in chess. In an internet game my opponent had a weak central pawn which I pressurised. He committed more and more pieces to its defence.  I saw an elegant [...]

April 2, 2020 // 0 Comments

A satisfying chess win

One of the most interesting aspects of this fascinating game of chess is the sacrifice. If you try and solve a chess puzzle there is normally a forced mate through sacrifice. However you can sacrifice early on in a game for positional advantage. This happened to me recently in a game against Start [...]

March 4, 2020 // 0 Comments

The Queen’s Gambit /Walter Tevis

Chess fiction is something of a rarity. Stefan Zweig wrote rather a good one (Chess) about a prodigy on a liner. Walter Tevis was seemingly more interested in pool. He wrote The Hustler which became a superb film with Paul Newman. The Queen’s  Gambit is about Beth Harman, an orphaned child who [...]

January 17, 2020 // 0 Comments

Chess matters

Magnus Carlsen recently held his crown as world chess champion defeating the American 25 year old Fabiana Caruana. The first 12 games were draws, largely because every grandmaster game is on line and current ones merely replicate the opening 15 moves from another game. This practice extends to club [...]

December 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

Gary Kasparov

For a varety of reasons I was delighted to hear the podcast of Gary Kasparov on Desert Island Discs. Firstly the castaway is normally some high achieving woman of whom I have never heard. Secondly, whereas you don’t have to listen to the BBC radio too long for a critique of Donald Trump, [...]

February 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

Chess matters

Very few chess players are household names, perhaps only Bobby Fischer and Gary Kasparov in my time. In terms of records as he was world champion for 20 years, Kasparov might be regarded as the greater player but Fischer, odd that he indubitably was, broke the hegemony of Soviet chess. Kasparov is [...]

June 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

The fascination of chess

I am often asked why chess is such an intriguing game. The trite response is that it is a game of infinite possibilities, there are more chess moves than atoms in the universe. Most people are taught chess at a young age by the teacher who happens to be most proficient but unless the player shows [...]

December 17, 2016 // 0 Comments

Chess: macro and micro

The news that the organiser of the schools chess competition, Mike Basman, is the subject of a bankruptcy demand from HMRC is of serious  concern. HMRC are pursuing him for the VAT on the subs that schools play to allow their pupils to compete. Technically though absurdly the HMRC are correct as [...]

August 30, 2016 // 0 Comments

A visit to the chess club

Last night I made a rare visit to the local chess club to where I have moved. Almost all chess I play is on the internet for reasons of practicality and anonymity. Sometimes I miss the game played over the board where one sees one’s oppoent so I presented myself at a house in an affluent [...]

October 16, 2015 // 0 Comments

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