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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Harry Golombek

Harry Golombek (1 March 1911 – 7 January 1995), was a British IM and honorary GM, arbiter and author.  He won the British championship three times (1947, 1949, and 1955) and finished second in 1948. On the outbreak of  WW2 in September 1939, Golombek was in Buenos Aires competing in the Chess Olympics and when he returned to the UK he worked at Bletchley Park working on the Enigma project.



Here’s an instructive example of his play.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chess Museums

I found a site containing links to chess museums from all over the world.  Lots of interesting browsing: photos of old chess sets, etc.  VISIT

Offer from Dover Publications

Dover Publications, which publishes a lot of chess books at reasonable prices, has an interesting offer. You can sign up for their email newsletters to hear about new books in your areas of interest, get free samples, learn about special offers, and more. Click here to sign upDisclaimer: I have no financial interest in this site. They just have great deals on books.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Good Stuff!!



Kramnik Interview

Vlad Tkachiev’s interview with Krmanik appeared on the Why Chess Blog a couple of weeks ago and is interesting reading.  Kramnik talks about Anand, Topalov and his future plans.  Tkachiev described Kramnik as impeccably polite and at times even aristocratic in his manners. Indeed. The Interview.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Miscellaneous Things

Jon Edwards former US Correspondence Champion, “The best way to improve your chess game? To play of course, and also to play over the games of the best players. Play over 2,000 games and you're a master. That's what my uncle told me nearly 40 years ago and, for whatever it's worth, it worked for me.”

Irving Chernev, "If it requires unorthodox move to force weaknesses in his position, then play these unorthodox moves! Moves are good and bad by one standard only-their effect on the position at hand."

 For those who like logic puzzles, here’s one I found.

During the final round of 2004 Georgia All-State Chess Tournament, the eventual top 4 finishers in the tournament played their final game against 4 different opponents. The tournament boards were numbered from 1 to 50 to facilitate location and identification of games. Each of the top 4 finishers played a different opening in this last game. Use the clues below to determine the first and last names of the first through fourth place winners of the tournament, the chess opening each used in his last game, and the number of the chess board on which he played his final game.

1. Mr. Hart played the King's Indian Defense.
2. Steve placed ahead of the one who used the Ruy Lopez opening.
3. The top 4 players were Larry, Mr. Korn, the contestant who opened with Queen's Gambit, and a player who played on an even-numbered board.
4. Mr. Rose finished exactly 2 places ahead of the player on board 31.
5. The number of the 3rd place winner's board is at least 10 higher or at least 10 lower than that of Mr. Baird.
6. The number of the board of the contestant who placed immediately after Bert is exactly 15 higher than the number of the board played by the one who placed immediately before Tom.
7. The lowest board number of the top 4 finishers was exactly half the number of the board played by the one who placed immediately after the one who played the Giuoco Piano opening.
8. The highest board number was exactly 8 higher than the board number of the man who finished exactly two places after Bert.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Is Playing Blitz Good for Your Chess?

I’ve read on more than one forum, mostly posts by lower rated players, that playing Blitz will improve your chess. Does it help or hurt?  See what some strong players think.

Magnus Carlsen Book

A new book by Norwegian journalist, Hallgeir Opedal, who followed Carlsen for a year sheds light on the episode two years ago when Garry Kasparov briefly became the coach of Norway's Magnus Carlsen. It was billed as the ultimate pairing which would elevate Carlsen to new heights, but after less than six months they went their separate ways because it turned out Kasparov was too disciplined for Cartlsen. Read Leonard Barden’s article in The Guardian.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Revolutionary Thought on Improvement

While browsing through GM Alex Yermolinsky’s The Road to Chess Mastery, in the introduction to the section entitled Openings and Early Middlegame Structures, he wrote about how IM John Watson, in Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy compared acquiring chess knowledge with learning a language. 

Yeromlinsky described how, at the age of 31, he moved from the Soviet Union to the United States and had to learn English.  He wrote how his adult mind tried to apply logical concepts to learning the language just like it was done with other subjects.  Break it down into parts, analyze each part separately, then systemize by drawing similarities between some of the parts and finally synthesize them into something that should work.  The result is disappointment because you still can’t speak the language.  But then he noted that he watched his kids picking up English on the fly without conscious effort.  He came to the conclusion that the trick was to “plunge into a new environment, just like kids do, and learn it from the inside…A native speaker doesn’t have to analyze and systematize the words and rules of his language…he just speaks it and anybody who wants to become like him has no other way than by imitating.”
John Watson said, and Yermolinsky agreed, chess can’t be studied as a science simply because of its nature; thus you shouldn’t even attempt to study the elements one by one.  Yermolinsky said, “I’d go even one step further and say that traditional methods of studying chess elements by taking them separately under a microscope is harmful to your development.”

He wrote that chess presents enough hard challenges and the last thing we need is to worry about is a “doing the right thing” attitude.  What he meant by that was worrying about following positional rules, etc.  As he pointed out, rules (like occupying open files with R’s) are nothing more than statistical data that work most of the time.  Just like studying a book on a foreign language does not make one proficient in the language, studying a chess book all by itself will not make one a proficient player.
 Yermolinsky went on to say that trying to apply acquired knowledge from books to every practical situation that appears on the chessboard is very often futile.  Actually, when you think about it, this has been the case for many years.  Today’s GM’s, thinking outside the box, accept as playable positions that the great players of bygone eras thought were not playable.  Read Alekhine’s comments on 1…g6; he didn’t think it was playable.  Today everybody knows better.

Yermolinsky’s thought was that it is best to teach by example and that “maybe chess should be observed, just like a language should be spoken around you in order to be understood and transformed into a skill.”
What I found interesting in this was that it is in agreement with US Senior Master Ken Smith’s thought that you should play over hundreds of unannotated master games, spending no more than 5-10 minutes per game, while trying to guess the next move.  Smith’s idea was to build up pattern recognition skills that could be applied to your games.  IM Jeremy Silman wrote, “Chess literature is being swamped with countless books on openings…tactics…the middlegame…the endgame and game collections….if techniques to improve your chess intuition can be taught, then the subject matter will be both interesting and practical… I feel that 99.9% of chess is based on some form of pattern recognition.
GM Susan Polgar wrote, “One of the biggest misconceptions about chess is it requires a lot of memorization. In reality, while some memorization is required, pattern recognition plays a crucial part in chess mastery.”
So, could it be that the secret of chess improvement could be in doing as Ken Smith suggested?  I once hung around in the bookseller’s room at a US Open and observed the books players gravitated to.  Lower rated players fondled the opening books.  Masters browsed game collections and, as was popular in those days, tournament books.  Masters seem to spend a lot of time analyzing and playing over GM games.  From my own experience of being a perennial 1600 player despite reading opening books, middlegame books by Fine, Euwe, Pachman, et al and studying Basic Chess Endings, my rating never went up.  Then, after playing over several hundred games as recommended by Smith, it shot up over 400 points.  Kids today have access to millions of games to play over using various chess programs and then can practice on the Internet where they can learn to apply what they have seen the GM’s do; is it any wonder there is such a plethora of 12 year old masters?

If Yermolinsky’s theory that studying a chess book all by itself will not make one a proficient player and that the best way to learn is just like learning a language…one should learn by observing the GM’s at play by playing over their games and if Yermolinsky, Watson and Smith are really right and observation and pattern recognition is so important, then why do so few authors mention it or recommend it?  Probably because, as Yermolinsky pointed out, you don’t need a lot of chess books.  And, seriously, what author is going to tell people that?  Could improvement really be that simple?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Komodo 3 Evaluation Bug

While examining a recent Blitz game I played on the Internet I discovered what appears to be a bug in Komodo 3’s evaluation. In the first position it says after 51..Qg7 52,Qxg7# Black is winning and the evaluation is “-+” 1998 and in the second position it also says Black is winning and gives a crazy evaluation score.


I have seen this happen before with this engine; I have no idea why this happens, but when I see things like this it makes me nervous…can I trust its evaluation at all?!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Anti-Sicilian

1.e4 c5 2.a4

The variation 1.e4 c5 2.a4 was invented by the American opening theoretician and author Hugh Myers (1930-2008). Myers is best known for his writings on unusual chess openings such as the Nimzovich Defense (1.e4 Nc6). The eccentric opening 1.c4 g5!? is known as Myers' Defense because of his advocacy of it in his writings and games. Myers wrote numerous editions of his book on the Nimzovich Defense, as well as three other books on the openings. He edited and published the Myers Openings Bulletin from 1979–88 and the New Myers Openings Bulletin in 1992–96.
This opening can transpose into the Rossolimo Variation (1.e4 c5 2.a4 d6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Bb5+) so it’s not totally bad.  Maybe it’s worth looking at if you want to surprise an opponent. At any rate, there is plenty of room for you to do your own research.  FM Stefan Buecker has written a brief 8 page pdf book on this line you can download from ChessCafe HERE.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Synthetic Method of Playing Chess

       From 1894 to 1923 there appeared on the US chess scene a series of seven books written by US Master Franklin K. Young of the Boston Chess Club in which he expounded a method of scientific play.  Young claimed chess was but one manifestation, along with mathematics and warfare, of the science of Applied Force.  During his career it has been said Young defeated players like Steinitz, Zukertort and Pillsbury by, as he claimed, the application of his methods.  However historian Edward Winter was able to unearth one game played in 1893 in which Young defeated Pillsbury in 16 moves, but the occasion on which it was played could not be found.  In an off-hand queen’s knight odds game in Boston in April 1885 Young was defeated by Steinitz who described Young as one of the strongest local players and believed that he would be too strong for such odds in a serious contest.
       He found a similarity between chess and warfare and wrote, “the fact remains that scientific chess play is the replica of warfare, and the process of Grand Strategy, High Tactics and Greater Logistics, as established by the Great Captains, by the movements of their armies on the surface of the Earth, are identical with the processes established by the Great Chess Masters, by the movements of their Pieces on the surface of the Chessboard.”  I’m not kidding! He said that.
       The seven volumes were 1) The Minor Tactics of Chess, 2)The Major Tactics of Chess, 3)The Grand Tactics of Chess, 4)Chess Strategies Illustrated, 5)Chess Generalship-Grand Reconnaissance,6) Chess Generalship-Grand Manoeuvers, and, finally, 7) Field Book of Chess Generalship-Grand Operations. Volumes 5 and 6 contain stories about many famous battles and military campaigns and very little chess.  All the volumes contain elaborate terminology that made Hans Kmoch’s terms in Pawn Power in Chess pale in comparison.  Young’s contention was that by using his synthetic system an amateur player of mediocre talent could win games now and then from those with much greater talent.  Young wrote many things like: "Whenever a point of junction is the vertex of a mathematical figure formed by the union of the logistic symbol of a pawn with an oblique, diagonal, horizontal, or vertical from the logistic symbol of any kindred piece; then the given combination of two kindred pieces wins any given adverse piece"  Just as a curiosity, you can download Young's books from Google books.

In the following game, which was played in the semifinal round of the old Chess Review’s Golden Knights tournament, the player of the white pieces, and army officer, annotated the game in Young’s style.  The winner stated the game was an example of Grand Operation I (one of four basic operations of chess play) and more particularly of a Strategic Grand Battle (of which there were 8 types).  Just to clear matters up a bit, it’s also an example of one of the Great Captain’s of chess, Steinitz, and his theory of a flanking attack around a fixed center.  I make no attempt to translate Youngese into English.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Komodo3 Engine

Komodo3 by IM Larry Kaufman & Don Dailey is worth keeping an eye on!  As of now there is only a single processor version but a dual processor version is scheduled to be released before the end of the year.  I had problems with the last release…it kept crashing on my new laptop but so far I have not had any problems with the new version.
Chess2u has been running an “Interzonal” consisting of the top 10 rated programs that were seeded by rating and 8 others that were “invited” through qualifying tournaments. Unfortunately Houdini 2.0 and Komodo 3 are not included in the tournament because they were released after the start of the tournament.

So far, after 8 rounds, the standings are:
6.5 Stockfish (with a bye)
6.5 Critter
6.0 Houdini
5.5 Ivanhoe (with a bye)
5.5 Tactico
5.0 Deep Shredder
5.0 Spark
4.5 Igorrit (with a bye)
4.5 Deep Rybka
4.5 Hiarcs
Komodo64 2.03JA (the one I had trouble with…it kept crashing on my laptop) apparently started off well but then lost 3 games in a row. So it now stands in 20th place with 2.5 – 5.5.
In a quick test I ran consisting to two 10 minutes games against Houdini 1.5 x64, Komodo3 scored one win and one loss.  Here is a game between Komodo3 and Houdini 1.5a x64 played at 120m/40+60m/20+30m that was taken from the Chess2u site:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Musings...

       A friend has been telling me I need to put some advertising on this Blog so I can make some money.  The way he tells it, he is making “a lot of money” on his Blog.  I don’t believe him.  He has tried every get rich quick scheme he can find ever since I’ve known him and none of them has worked.  If he would have devoted as much time to a job as he has to trying to make money without working for it he would be a lot further ahead.  I have links to Adsense and Amazon on this Blog as a convenience to readers…now about 100 per day.  This Blog (not counting the original one which got hacked) has been in existence for about a year and a half and so far my “earnings” total $1.08 and that’s from legitimate sellers listed on Blogger, not sleazy grifters. Chess players don’t buy chess books and equipment off of Blogs anyway.
       As I mentioned at the very beginning of this Blog its purpose is to amuse myself; it keeps me from vegetating in front of the television and keeps me from sitting around McDonalds with a bunch of other retired fellows talking about the old days (some weren’t so good, so it’s just “old days”) and drinking too much coffee.  I reckon I’ve made about all the money I’m ever going to in life unless we win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes, and despite the fact that it looked like we were close to winning several times, I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t going to happen.  So, I will keep posting even if nobody reads this Blog and will continue to list chess books offered by Amazon even though, if I’m being honest, very few books ever helped me improve very much.  Some I enjoyed a lot, but improvement…no.  I’ve always gotten the most enjoyment out of game collections and tournament books.  Tournament books are a rarity today, but if you can find one from any tournament from bygone days, buy it and just enjoy playing through the games. 
       When it comes to buying chess books, most of us own too many and most never get read.  We buy them with good intentions, sometimes actually start reading them, but then another one catches our eye and the last book is put on the bookshelf unfinished. I recently gave away about 50 or 60 books.  How many of them did I actually read clear through?  None!  I kept about a dozen that I had read plus one that I’ve never bothered to read but Dr. Max Euwe autographed it for me back in 1959. I got rid of a bunch of cheap trophies several years ago and threw out a bunch of medals won in postal chess tournaments so long ago I didn’t even remember what events they were won in…they were corroded and turning green.
       Chess sets were another money waster.  I gave away a half dozen of them and kept only two…my 1959 wood Zagreb set and a plastic tournament set which will most likely never see battle again.  In fact, if I ever found somebody that would give me $100 for my chess table I bought 40 years ago I’d sell that, too.  Today they go for about $600. 
       These days I prefer to spend my money on things that are more important.  Like a couple of weeks ago when I got a set of hex wrenches and a set of three different sized putty knives that were on sale at Home Depot.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fantastic Purdy Endgame

The following position is taken from the game Purdy vs. Hamilton  played in the 1967 Australian Championship.  It's Black's move and it appears that he should win but Purdy had analyzed the position and come to the conclusion that it was a draw

Ten moves later the game had reached the following position and astonishingly it is a draw!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Arnold Denker

Arnold S. Denker (February 20, 1914 – January 2, 2005) was born in the Bronx of New York City and was a promising boxer in his early years. Denker first gained attention in chess by winning the New York City individual interscholastic championship in 1929 at age 15. Over the next 10 years he established himself as a rival to Samuel Reshevsky, Reuben Fine, and Isaac Kashdan as one of the U.S’s strongest players.

Denker’s career spanned nearly three quarters of a century from 1929 to 2002. Denker was renowned for a tempestuous attacking style filled with risky sacrifices and slashing assaults on the opponent’s king.  Al Horowitz Denker’s play, "The attack is both his strength and his weakness. He can handle an attack with a fertility of ideas and a richness of imagination that are rare. Yet frequently he tries to attack where defense is necessary or where the position does not warrant aggressive tactics." In commenting on one of his games in which he defeated Denker, Samuel Reshevsky asked Denker after the game why he had played an unsound sacrifice.  Denker replied, “It looked good.”


 In 1940 Denker won the first of his six Manhattan Chess Club championships. He became US Champion in 1944 winning fourteen games (including one against Fine), drawing three and losing none. Reshevsky did not play that year.  Denker successfully defended his US title in a 1946 match against Herman Steiner, winning 6-4.  In 1945 he played on board one in a USA vs USSR radio match and lost both games to Botvinnik and in the return match held in1946 in Moscow he lost both games against Vasily Smyslov.   In 1946, he played at Groningen where he scored 9½ out of 19 and securing draws against Botvinnik and Smyslov.  He only tied for 10th – 12th at Groningen but as this was the first great tournament following WW II, the result placed him in the top two dozen of world chess. In tournament and exhibition play, he drew with at least five world champions, including Bobby Fischer.

      Denker became an International Master in 1950 (the year the title was first awarded by FIDE), and in 1981 FIDE made him an honorary Grandmaster. In later years, he was an important chess organiser, serving on the Board of the American Chess Foundation, the United States Chess Federation, and the U.S. Chess Trust.  The Denker Tournament of High School Champions was named in his honor.
      Denker was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1992 and continued to play chess until his last days.  His last ELO rating was 2293.  In 2004 Denker received the honor of being named "Dean of American Chess" by the United States Chess Federation.  Denker was out of chess for many years while he ran a successful mail order business, returning to chess after retirement by playing in the series of Lone Pine tournaments held in California in the 1970's.  Denker died of brain cancer at age 90 in his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  

Some of Denker’s most brilliant combinations can be seen HERE…see if you can guess his moves.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Reshevsky Anecdotes

Reshevsky was my favorite player and some interesting anecdotes about him can be found on the Jewish Chess History site.  There are also interesting posts about other greats…like Najdorf. Be sure to pay this site a visit.

3D Chess Dog

To view in 3-D (sort of) move slightly back from your normal viewing distance and place your viewpoint on a line perpendicular to the center of the image. Place your finger halfway between your eyes and the image and view your finger.  Allow the focus of your eyes to drift to the surface of the screen without uncrossing the eyes a three dimensional depth illusion will appear.  It’s a little strain on the eyes, but I did get it to work.

Isaac Kashdan

Isaac Kashdan (19 November 1905,– 20 February 1985)
Kashdan vs. Horowitz

was one of the world's best players in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He was twice US Open Champion (1938, 1947) and played five times for the United States in chess Olympiads, winning a total of nine medals, and his Olympiad record is the all-time best among American players. Kashdan was often called 'der Kleine Capablanca' (The little Capablanca) in Europe because of his ability to extract victories from seemingly even positions.  Alekhine named Kashdan as one of the most likely players to succeed him as World Champion. Unfortunately Kashdan could not pursue a chess career for financial reasons because his peak chess years coincided with the Great Depression. During that time he was earning a living as an insurance agent.  Some of his small ads can be found in Chess Review magazine of the period.  In the 1940’s one of his children had serious health problems which resulted in a move to California because of its better climate and this put him even further away from the center of chess activity which was mostly in New York City.

Career highlights:


1930
Frankfurt: second place behind  Nimzovich
Stockholm: First
Gyor: First
Defeated Lajos Steiner in a match (+5 -3 =2)
Lost a match against Gosta Stoltz (+2 -3 =1).
New York City: defeated Charles Jaffe by 3-0

1931
New York: finished second behind Capablanca
Bled: tied for 4-7th places.
Hastings 1931/32: 2nd behind Salo Flohr.

1932
Mexico City: =1st  Alekhine
Pasadena: second place behind Alekhine
London 1932: 3rd-4th places

1934
Syracuse: finished 2nd behind Reshevsky
U.S. Open Chess Championship / Western Open, Chicago: tie for 5-6th places, with Reshevsky and Reuben Fine sharing the title.

1935
U.S. Open Chess Championship, Milwaukee placed 3rd

1938
U.S. Open Championship: =1st with Horowitz
Kashdan tied for 2nd-4th places in the 1947 U.S. Open and finished 2nd in 1948 a half a point behind Weaver Adams.

Kashdan never won the U.S. (Closed) Championship.  Arnold Denker and stated that "from 1928 onwards, Kashdan was clearly the best player in the United States, but the aging Frank Marshall was attached to his title. Kashdan "bargained and haggled with Frank for years until Marshall voluntarily relinquished the crown. The result: the first modern U.S. Championship tournament in 1936. But by this time, Reuben Fine and Samuel Reshevsky had surpassed Kashdan.”

U.S. Championships:
5th in 1936 (Reshevsky winning)
3rd in 1938 (Reshevsky winning)
3rd in 1940 (Reshevsky winning his third straight title)
tied for 1st-2nd with Reshevsky in 1942.  Kashdan  lost the play-off match (+2 −6 =3)
2nd in 1946 behind Reshevsky
tied 1st-2nd in 1948 with Herman Steiner but lost the playoff match.

Kashdan would have been U.S. champion in 1942, but lost out to Reshevsky when the Tournament Director, L. Walter Stephens, incorrectly forfeited Denker after Reshevsky exceeded the time limit.  In this infamous incident Stephens picked up the clock and turned it around so that the clocks were facing opposite sides and then declared Denker forfeited. Despite howls of protest from Denker and a group of spectators, Stephens refused to change his decision.  When asked, Reshevsky replied, “It’s not my decision.”

Kashdan drew 5-5 in a match against Horowitz in 1938. and won at Havana 1940.  He tied 2nd-4th in the New York State Championship in 1941.  In the famous Radio Match of 1945 against the Soviet Union,  Kashdan lost both of his games against Alexander Kotov. In Hollywood 1945, Kashdan placed 5th.  In 1946  the American team traveled to Moscow for a rematch against the Soviet team, and Kashdan again played Kotov and won 1.5-0.5.

In a Master event organized by the Manhattan Chess Club in 1948, Kashdan finished 2nd behind George Kramer but the 1948 New York International, Kashdan only scored 4-5 and tied for 7-8th place.

In the U.S. Open Chess Championship, Kashdan tied for first with Larry Evans in 1951 and in 1952 in Hollywood he only managed a 4-5 score and finished 7th.

By this time it was apparent that he was no longer a top competitor and his final event was the 1955 match in Moscow against the USSR where he scored only 1-1/2 out of 4 games against Mark Taimanov.

Kashdan was awarded the GM title in 1954, and the International Arbiter title in 1960.

In 1933, Kashdan, in partnership with Horowitz, founded Chess Review magazine and several years later sold his interest to Horowitz.  Kashdan was the leditor of the Los Angeles Times chess column from 1955 until 1982, when he suffered a disabling stroke.

As an arbiter he directed many chess tournaments, including the two Piatigorsky Cup tournaments of 1963 (at Los Angeles) and 1966 (at Santa Monica). Kashdan also helped to organize the series of Lone Pine tournaments in the 1970s, which were sponsored by Louis Statham.

Although ratings were not introduced formally until 1970 by FIDE the site chessmetrics.com calculates Kashdan's peak rating at 2742 in 1932. Kashdan was #2 in the world from November 1932 until June 1934, behind only world champion Alekhine. Kashdan was in the top five players for more than four years, from December 1930 until February 1935, the period of his greatest top-class activity. However, the chessmetrics database is missing several of Kashdan's important results from this period.
After this time, the rise of Reshevsky and Fine somewhat eclipsed Kashdan among the top American players. Kashdan was a powerful tactician, but that his real strength was in the endgame, and that he was very strong with the two bishops. However, Denker also pointed out that "the slightest touch of rigidity" occasionally crept into Kashdan's play, as he sometimes resorted to artificial maneuvers to obtain the two bishops.  Lack of top-class practice after the mid-1930s, due to economic imperatives, led to Kashdan's gradual slide from the elite.
Some tactical puzzles from of Kashdan’s games can be found HERE

Tournament Results Website

On this site which is available in several languages you can search for the results of ~40,000 tournaments from around the world from club tournaments to European Championships and Olympiads.  You can show/print/export the results to Excel showing final results, pairings and crosstables.  There is also a game mode which allows you to search for games and either play through them online or download them in pgn format.  There’s also a player search mode that enables you to find all the tournaments where a player has participated and show/print/export to Excel all the details about the player and tournament.  This site is made possible by the program Swiss Manager.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

6600 Tactical Training Positions

This file contains over 6600 test positions and tactical tests in zipped "cbh" format. The positions are from various sources such as Reinfeld's 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate, Win at Chess, 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, Encyclopedia of Chess Middle Games, Encyclopedia of Chess Endgames, 1234 Modern Endgame Studies, etc. You will need an engine to determine the solutions though because they are not given (to avoid copyright infringement).  DOWNLOAD

Rubinstein Masterpiece

In 1899 the format of the championship of Russia was changed to a round robin event that was known as the All-Russian Masters' Tournament. Chigorin won the first three events in 1899, 1900/01 and 1903. The 1905/06 event was won by G. Salwe and by 1907 Chigorin was too sick to compete and the next three events were won by Rubinstein.  Here is a brilliant game by Rubinstein from the 1907 event. Rubinstein's attack is really amazing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

From My Archives

      After completing an “advanced level” book on endings and playing over several hundred games in the old Informants while trying to guess the next move I had seen my percentage of correct guesses jump from about 20-25% to around 70%.  It was time to try my luck in tournament play so it was off to the big city…Chicago…for a weekender.        
      This game was one against a player who was one of four victims, all rated over 1800, that resulted in me going into the last round with a 4-0 score.  That’s when I met Chicago legend Morris Giles; he mopped up the board with me. I guess to beat 2400’s you have to be able to guess better than 70%. I remember Giles was very pleasant and patiently went over our last round game and offered some good advice.