Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thousands of Tactical Positions

Not much time to blog today, so I'll just point you to this page with many-thousand positions in .zip files that you can download and solve at your leisure.

(Courstesy Qxh7#)

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Great Computer Game

Via the always outstanding and useful Kenilworthian here's Shredder-Rybka, from June of this year, wherein Shredder gets shredded in fine fashion. I must say, though, that the annotation on Black's 27th move is a little over the top ("A fantastic move! Instead of taking the queen (which would win too), Black leaves his own rook under the queen's threat. But actually, White is helpless." - Deviatkin). After looking at the position for a few minutes I was able to work out the variations, which aren't really that long. In a tournament game, I probably would have taken the Queen, I'll admit.

Overall, it's an excellent game and if it had been played by Tal, Fischer or Kasparov it would probably have made it into their 'best games' books.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Short Personal Report

Contrary to my hopeful posts of several weeks ago, personal and professional circumstances haven't allowed to me to resume regular Thursday tournament chess as planned, and may not until the February Reno CC class championships.

I have, however, been able to follow up with some study of my own games using the Wetzell Method and have identified the first three positions to use for the collection of Images (as he calls them) that I will be reviewing regularly as part of the program in Chess Master...at any age.

So, ad astra per aspera!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New Opening Studies

A few of the guys at the Reno Chess Club are now getting together on Sunday evenings to study openings from the book The Chess Advantage in Black and White by IM Larry Kaufman. I'm going to be joining them--I wondered if any of my readers had any experience with this book and could add to the reviews I read over at Amazon.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Homer Nods (III)

I wanted to try out Chess Publisher and also show another heartwarming example of a great player making us little fish feel better. In this case, there's no one-move blunder that drops a piece, but the memory of a sitting World Champion losing a minature in the Exchange Slav might give us a little comfort next time we lose...here is Portisch-Petrosian, Moscow 1967.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

You Tricky Pawn Endings!

Here's a very tricky pawn ending, with White to play. What's the best move? (I'm not gonna say win, lose or draw--that would be too easy!).

(From Garcia-Quinteros, Moscow 1982, courtesy of Chessgames.com, who I've been remiss in not linking on the sidebar. Until now).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

AGCB (Another Good Chess Blog)

There are hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of worthwhile chess blogs out there and I've only put up links to few of them so far, so I'll be making an effort to add regularly under the label AGCB (Another Good Chess Blog).

Today's entry is Dread Pirate Josh, a fun, down-to-earth chess blog with some of the author's games, a little humor, etc. Also, he linked to me, always a sign of good taste.

Here is one of his best games.

Recommended under "Chess for fun."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Immortal Game (Book)

David Shenk, author of The Immortal Game, A History of Chess, is interviewed on Good Morning America last September. Very encouraging information about chess improving education and helping to prevent Alzheimer's disease.

(Don't know why this video won't give an option to post a window here, but click on the link)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Homer Nods (II)

One of the greatest players ever makes perhaps the worst move of his career:

9. ... Ba6??

I'm sure even you and I can spot the refuatation...

Can any reader identify the man, the tournament, the opponent?

For all the fascinating background see here.

My Tournaments and Ratings For the Record

Tournaments and rating since 1992. I reached a peak of around 1825 in 1988 or 89. Here's Bryan Smith, the guy I posted about playing back in 1996. Now that's progress!

I'll be playing rated tournament chess again this Thursday, and every Thursday after that (barring the ususal 'life events'). When I can get that rating to climb, I'll crow about it here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Using Chess for Global Self-Improvement

The recent posts on Rolf Wetzell's Chessmaster...at any age have got me thinking about not just improving my chess, but using chess for self-improvement. Wetzell talks a lot about discipline: the discipline to avoid time pressure, the discipline to study on schedule, to maintain one's health as the basis for achieving long-term career goals in chess, etc.

I like this idea of using chess to improve one's life. Feel like eating junk food? Not good for your chess! Jogging not attractive on a cold morning? Get out and do it for your chess! Sleeping, eating and breathing chess could be the best thing to motivate one to do the right things in life, if it was looked at in that light.

I think some of those who've gone before us talked about training to be a warrior in this way; the great thing about chess is that after the discipline and the preparation, when you put it in practice you have a much better chance of coming home alive and with all of your limbs intact!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Homer Nods (I)

Chess is a hard game, and everyone up to World Champion has those moments when the simplest- seeming point is overlooked. Almost all of us below that level enjoy seeing the masters play like rank amateurs from time to time; hence my new series 'Homer Nods.'

From the very interesting Shakmaty Bereoleos, FM Bereleos (Black) kindly shares this moment with us from the 2006 King Island Open vs. Seth Homa (2210):

Black played 37. ... f5. What should White do (Homa didn't...).