Archive for August 20th, 2009

chess girl

Chess and your personality
chess personality king's gambit

[All links in this post will open in a new window.] Have you thought about the chess openings you like and think that it might be that you prefer certain openings – as those openings just feel like it is “you” – like your personality. You feel you associate yourself with certain openings or you feel like you’re in your own “comfort zone” when playing those openings? Well, that’s me. I think I’m that type of player playing most of the time certain openings. The silly quiz I’ve taken said I’m a  King’s Gambit-person, but I stronly disagree. I looked at a few of my chess games and I’m certainly not the King’s Gambit-player-type …in the games I’ve been looking at. In most of the games I looked at, the Indian Opening or Philidors Defence were the most common, but again, I only looked at about 10 of my previous of about 5000 games.  If you take the quiz, you will not be told what type of personality you’ve got, only the type of opening. Click here for the quiz. Bear in mind, this quiz has for sure been drawn up by some wandering, loose pawn-on-the-run and not by an educated Bishop… or a Knight with a black belt…haha…in all of these games’ graphics of my games, I played the colour nearest to you, i.e. the bottom colour. From the next image you can see statistics from the chess site where I played tournaments [this is only half of the statistics – of my games/tournaments] and you can see from the column to the right – the opening played during those games.

Click in the image for a larger view

Brunel University has done a study. Interesting – the chess personalities. Do yourself a favour and read the PDF-document. I’ve quoted a few paragraphs here for you as a taster. Please click here for the pdf on research done by Brunel  about personalities in chess. They used 169 children in their study. I wonder why not 170? That sounds so not right to use an unrounded number…maybe another pawn got away…hehe…

Children who score higher on Intellect/openness and Energy/extraversion are more likely to play chess while children who score higher on Agreeableness are less likely to be attracted to chess. Boys with higher scores on Agreeableness are less likely to take up chess than boys with
lower scores. Considering that girls score higher on Agreeableness, this factor may provide one  of the possible reasons why more boys are interested in chess. Although none of the Big Five factors were associated with self-reported skill level, a sub-sample of 25 elite players had significantly higher scores on Intellect/openness than their weaker chess playing peers.

Chess is an adversarial game where one has to take into account the opponent’s intentions and not just focus on one’s own plans. Chess is also a game where just a small mistake can ruin the efforts of the previous long hours. Hence, players should be more suspicious and orderly than non-players. That is exactly what Avni, Kipper, and Fox (1987) demonstrated – chess players scored higher than non-players on the measures of orderliness and unconventional thinking in the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory In addition, it was found that more competitive players, as measured by the number of games played, were more suspicious than non-players.

We applied the Big Five Questionnaire for Children which measures Energy/extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional instability, and Intellect/openness, on primary school children aged eight to eleven. Our main goal was to find out what are the personality characteristics of children who decide to take up chess, as well as to see whether personality factors can differentiate between strong and weak players. We also wanted to see whether personality factors could shed some light on the issue of the large discrepancies in the participation rates of girls and boys. Based on previous results with adult we hypothesised that children who play chess would score more highly on Conscientiousness but less highly on Energy/extraversion than children who do not play chess. Given that chess is often perceived as an intellectual endeavour, we also hypothesised that Intellect/openness will differentiate between children who take up chess and those who do not. The same personality factors could
be expected to differentiate between strong and weak child chess players.
Since women score higher on Emotional instability and Agreeableness. Two factors previously not shown to be associated with chess skill, it is difficult to have clear-cut predictions as to how these factors are related to gender differences in chess skill. On the other hand, chess has a competitive side where players encounter constant conflicts and confrontations which may be less appealing to children who score more on Agreeableness. Consequently, it is possible that Agreeableness provides clues about
the differences in the number of girls and boys who take up chess as a hobby. Read on the PDF-link the complete research-article.

Some openings and the moves – click on images for a clear view

bishops opening

 Bishops Opening: Philidor counter attack

chess Indian C20 e2d2e4d3

Indian Opening – C20 – e2d2e4d3 – one of my previous games

 chess Indian opening

Indian Opening


e2 d2 e3 d4
e4 e5
 1. e4 e5 2. d3 Bb4+ 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Nf3


Another e4 e5-game of mine


Fork 1 – oh how do I love thee…let me count my knights! Some people prefer Bishops, other Knights and I certainly prefer to keep my Knights. They do work for me.


Fork 2 – same game as in the previous image


Run! – the sequal continues…old King Cole…


Defeated! A position I never had a player in before or after

chess opening sicilian dragon yugoslav attack

This opening is called: Sicilian Dragon, Yugoslav Attack

I do like the dragon, I love the formation of the white pieces…hehe


This next game was featured in the James Bond movie “From Russia With Love.”

Event “URS-ch”]
[Site “URS-ch”]
[Date “1960.??.??”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “?”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “B Spassky”]
[Black “Bronstein David”]
[ECO “C36”]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 d5 4. exd5 Bd6 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. d4 O-O 7. Bd3
Nd7 8. O-O h6 9. Ne4 Nxd5 10. c4 Ne3 11. Bxe3 fxe3 12. c5 Be7 13. Bc2
Re8 14. Qd3 e2 15. Nd6 Nf8 16. Nxf7 exf1=Q+ 17. Rxf1 Bf5 18. Qxf5 Qd7
19. Qf4 Bf6 20. N3e5 Qe7 21. Bb3 Bxe5 22. Nxe5+ Kh7 23. Qe4+ 1-0

 Boris Spassky’s victory over Fischer using the Kings Gambit:-

[Event “Mar del Plata”]
[Site “Mar del Plata”]
[Date “1960.03.29”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Spassky,Boris V”]
[Black “Fischer,Robert James”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C39”]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.d4 d6 7.Nd3 Nxe4 8.Bxf4 Bg7
9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 c5 11.Be2 cxd4 12.0-0 Nc6 13.Bxg4 0-0 14.Bxc8 Rxc8 15.Qg4 f5 16.Qg3 dxc3 17.Rae1 Kh8 18.Kh1 Rg8 19.Bxd6 Bf8 20.Be5+ Nxe5 21.Qxe5+ Rg7 22.Rxf5 Qxh4+ 23.Kg1 Qg4 24.Rf2 Be7 25.Re4 Qg5 26.Qd4 Rf8 27.Re5 Rd8 28.Qe4 Qh4 29.Rf4 1-0

I found this next quote on the chess site..and it was funny

I know some dog lovers who play the Colle.  Some Italians I know play the Sicilian Defense.  I have some Polish friends who play 1.b4.  It seems that bird lovers like to play 1.f4.  Some Catholics I know like the Bishop’s Opening.  I see the Danish Gambit played by a lot of pastry lovers.  I’ve played a few folks from the U.K. and they seem to play the English Opening.  I’ve played a gourmet cook who opens with the Fried Liver Attack.  Anand seems to play the Indian Defenses a great deal.  I’ve played a few drunks who opened up with the Scotch. 

Philidor’s Defense

On the first link you can look at the Philidor’s variations and the second link you can play through some chess games in this opening.


Chess openings: Philidor’s Defense – games as early as the 1500’s


As this next piece of info was on draft for ages, I can’t remember where I got it from, but thought not to delete it anyway.

‘You are Crazy! But Does It Matter?’

Translated from ‘Schaaklezen’ written by Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam. It’s a collection of dutch chess columns.

Show me your games and I tell you who you are. Is it possible to draw conclusions about the nature of somebody’s character when looking at their chess games? A tempting hypothesis, which seems to be as easily proven as it is challenged. The book ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ from David Guterson which has received numerous literary awards in the United States, describes a lawyer who believes his personality is reflected in his chess games. At least you come to that conclusion since he uses his chess style as a business card.
When Nels Gudmundsson for the first time visits Kabuo Miyamoto, accused of murder , he does not want to waste any time talking about why he is the man for the job to defend him, instead straight out he offers to play a game of chess. They draw for colour and the lawyer has white: ‘The old man doesn’t seem to bother to castle at all. He is not faintly interested in the endgame. His strategy is to give up material in the beginning-phase of the game in favor of the position which occurs, give up his pieces to get an undefeatable bind on the board. He won , even though Kabuo saw what he was doing. No fiddling. And the game ended abruptly.’ The reader might now expect he knows how Gudmundsson will set about his defense and also has inadvertently faith in his qualities. When going through two books about the great Akiba Rubinstein which first was released by the International Chess Enterprises, I was wondering in which extend the sober playing style of the Polish genius was a reflection of his excessive desire not to be a burden on his surroundings. various people of his time testified Rubinstein never sat at the board when it was not his move because he was terrified to disturb his opponent. As soon as he pressed his clock , he would stand up, duck under the cord which separated the players from the audience and if possible even hid behind a big plant until it was his move again. This complete effacing of himself and his reluctance against all blatancy is also shown is his games. As Nimzowitsch wrote in his tournament book about Karlsbad 1929: ‘Another characteristic property of Rubinstein is his aversion to melodrama. Hollow bombast and pretentious moves shock him deeply in his soul! All his moves are soaked with a natural elegance , almost contiguous to severity.  His moves are always normal, you could call them ‘ordinary’. Closer study brings to light that these simple, common moves are in fact extraordinary deep.’ This correlation between his nature and chess style produces a fine parallel, which undoubtly contains a core of truth, but sells Rubinstein short. Was his style indeed as sober as Nimzowitch outlined? Maybe so if we compare him to a lot of his contemporaries. Hypermodern and
neoR0m@ntic players might consider him pretty boring and dogmatic despite his great strength, nevertheless Rubinstein’s concept of many positions give you the feeling he was way ahead of his time.
Rubinsteins games to this day deserve to attention of every serious chess student. Only therefore alone John Donaldson and Nikolay Minev cannot be praised enough for all the material the put together in ‘Akiba Rubinstein:Uncrowned King’ en ‘Akiba Rubinstein:the Later Years’ On the basis of roughly thousand chess games, many accompanied with annotations and testimonies the reader gets a clear picture of the luster and sadness in the ‘Curriculum Vitae’ of one of the greatest chess players ever lived. thrilling as the wave of success was between 1907 and 1912 , when he stood above everybody else as a tourney player ,so compelling was the turn around after world war one , which amplified his mental state drastically. The expected match against Lasker was cancelled due to that reason.A few years later Rubinstein’s dream to concur the highest title definitely shattered when he was unable to gather the needed money to be able to play a match against Capablanca. More and more he was haunted by ghosts in his head, although he occasionally still showed his enormous talent. He managed to will a strong tourney ahead of Aljechin and Bogoljubov. During tourneys his peculiarities could not be unnoticed, but never it received more then a shrug of ones shoulders. Typical was the reaction of a neurologist from Munchen who examined him at the instance of Mieses Because Rubinstein constantly complained about a buzzing fly crawling on his face during a tourney in San Sebastian. Without hesitation the doctor said: ‘My friend, you are crazy! But does it matter? You are a chessmaster!’ Rubinstein had to stop playing chess in 1932. The rest of his life was totally grief.The Rubinsteins were very lucky they survived world war two in a by Germans occupied Brussels. To make sure he was stationed in a sanitarium for five years.For this act of charitable the family received a sum of 49500 Belgian Franks Once in a while he played chess with his son Sammy, a Master class chess player who still lives in Brussels or with the master O’ Kelly. It was not until 1961 when the relieving death came. Donaldson and Minev tried very hard to establish a honoring for Rubinstein, but a definite tribute their books cannot be called. For this the material needs to be reordered and reproduced and a few gaps need to be filled. This would be very convenient for the binded book which to my enjoyment is available.The will to improve is still there. in version two of the book are many adjustments and corrections. As a tribute to Rubinstein a piece of classic clarity . Even now when someone wants to engross himself in the Tarrash defence can take advantage of the refutation which Rubinstein showed in 1908(!)

White: Akiba Rubinstein
Black: George Sawle

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 e6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. g3 Nc6 7. Bg2 cxd4 Be7 8. Nxd4 Qb6 9. Nxc6!  bxc6 10. 0-0 Be7  11. Na4! Qb5 12. Be3  0-0 13.Rac1 Bg4 14. f3! Be6 15. Bc5 Rfe8 16. Rf2! Nfd7 17. Bxe7 Rxe7 18. Qd4 R7e8 19. Bf1 Rec8 20. e3!  Qb7 21. Nc5 Nxc5 22. Rxc5 R8c7 23. Rc2 Qb6 24. b4 a6 25. Ra5 Rb8 26.a3 Rca7 27.Rxc6 Qxc6 28.Qxa7 Ra8 29. Qc5 Qb7 30. Kf2 h5 31. Be2 g6 32. Qd6 Qc8 33.Rc5 Qb7 34. h4 a5 35. Rc7 Qb8 36. b5 a4 37. b6 Ra5 38. b7 and black resigned.

snow falling on cedars

Book cover: Snow falling on cedars

Read Full Post »