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Sinquefield cup 2018

chess sinquefield cup 2018

Chess Sinquefieldcup 2018

It’s time for the Sinquefield Cup and I’ve looked at some twitter news! I usually like to follow this tournament, but not sure if there will be time blogging about it. These are some favourite tweets.

Chess Sinquefieldcup 2018=4

Chess Sinquefieldcup 2018=5

Chess Sinquefieldcup 2018=1

Chess Sinquefieldcup 2018=3

Chess Sinquefieldcup 2018=6

Chess Sinquefieldcup 2018=2

Chess Sinquefieldcup 2018=7

chess magnus carlsen

Photos: Grand Chess Tour 2018 – What is Magnus thinking?

chess magnus carlsen 1

Shahriyar Mamedyarov resigns on behalf of his team.

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Official Trailer

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chessmovie

I enjoy true stories. I am not a really big fan of science fiction stories or movies. If you want to treat me, give me a good cowboy book or movie, a real life story or a true story. This movie is about a true story of a Chess Champion. African true stories, and from some other places in the world, are inspiring, as the struggle to reach for dreams is so much more intense due to so many problems and issues people from developing countries need to deal with on a daily basis -things people from developed countries take for granted. Today, some of those problems and issues are because of certain countries in the West who tried to gain, only for themselves and who put leaders in place just to shush their conscience. They think they get things right, but they are totally wrong. I’m glad that there is, once again, a movie about chess, to show the power of this game in real life and to highlight the struggles of some people in this world.

True Story of a Chess Champion
Walt Disney Pictures has revealed the colourful first Queen of Katwe poster. The true story of an inspiring chess champion stars Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar), Oscar winner and Tony Award nominee Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game.
Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family.

Directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (The Hoax) based on the book by Tim Crothers, Queen of Katwe is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher (The Darjeeling Limited) and John Carls (Where the Wild Things Are) with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. Disney’s Queen of Katwe opened in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016. Resource: commingsoon.net 

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Four Corners


Fatherless and raised by his grandmother, thirteen year old Ricardo Galam lives in South Africa’s Cape Flats, a unique and volatile sub culture dominated by two Number gangs, the 26 and 28. Ricardo’s future as a chess prodigy is threatened by his growing interest in the 26 whose local leader is grooming him as a potential member. Unknown to Ricardo, the father he’s never known has been released from prison. Farakhan, a reformed general in the 28, is back in his old neighbourhood, an intruder in 26 territory. In a story that is at times raw and violent at other times touching and true. FOUR CORNERS is a gripping drama set against the backdrop of a gang war in Cape Town which has been raging for a 100 years; a little known fact. 

(Quote from youtube)

By watching this trailer, I don’t think I ever want to be in an area where any gangs are roaming and scavenging for anyone they can manipulate to their needs. It must be scary and you must feel intimidating to live in places like these, but the same time you feel sorry to know that there are people who only know one life and that’s this kind of life. Then the same time I wonder if you could change any adult who only knows this kind of life?

GoldenHorn

This movie has received 13 Golden Horn nominations at the SAFTAs – South African Film and Television Awards March 2015. 

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From The Tempest: Miranda and Ferdinand playing chess

Image: Wikipedia
The Chess Players attributed to Karel van Mander. This was identified in 1916 as an image of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare playing chess. Most scholars consider this to be pure speculation, but the claim was revived in 2004 by Jeffrey Netto, who argued that the chess game symbolises “the well known professional rivalry between these figures in terms of a battle of wits”.

Update: 2016 – Shakespeare died 400 years ago and today is Shakespeare day! I’ve decided to repost an entry of 4 years ago. Please enjoy my ‘contribution’ to Shakespeare day. The following is my entry of 2012.

I’ve written another cento – I had to, because it’s a chess one! I’ve taken again Shakespeare lines – like my Moonrider-cento , where I also used Shakespeare. A cento is a form of poetry, where you use lines of different poems. In this case [like Moonrider], I’ve used lines of Shakespeare’s works – and not different poems. This cento was much easier to put together than Moonrider, as they are shorter lines and I didn’t really spent that much time thinking how to merge it into a poem that makes sense. I couldn’t give it a title other than ‘A Game of Chess’. I have made minor changes here and there – to the word order or adding of an exclamation mark – just for effect. This ‘poem‘ is almost like a dialogue – as it’s various characters speaking in role from Shakespeare’s plays.

A Game of Chess
Sweet lord, you play me false
For a score of kingdoms you should wrangle
and I would call it fair play
How fares the king?
His hour is almost past

A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!
And I have horse – will follow where the game makes way.
I have his horse!
Give me another horse!
So, the good horse is mine.
My day’s delight is past, my horse is gone.
The rascal hath removed my horse.

Are the knights ready to begin their triumph?
A wandering knight?
I am undone! The knight is here!
Great shouts within all cry ‘the mean knight!’
Great is the humour of this dreadful knight.

I dare thereupon pawn
My life I never held but as a pawn
I have not pawn’d to you my majesty?
I pawn’d thee none!
I’ll send some bishop to entreat
The bishop will be overborne by thee
Wat says my bully rook?

There stands my castle!
His queen, it was his queen!
Queen of queens, how far dost thou excel?
Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
Sir your queen must overboard!
Will take your queen
Farewell sweet queen!

I’ll move the king.
The skipping king, he ambles up and down
This may gall him for some check
No mates for you!
We’ll draw!
My lord, your son drew my master
Where’s the master? Play the men!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown 

[Shakespeare-lines -]
Click on this link to read more about the Cento and to read what Folger Education think about my cento. I feel humble – you can view their comments in their comments box. Thank you!

–Click on this link to see the complete list of chess quotes with the references to the works of Shakespeare.

Enjoy Shakespeare day with some chess dancing!

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The World Chess Championship is coming to New York.

The WCC, a one-on-one match administered by the World Chess Federation (FIDE), will be played in New York City this upcoming November, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Magnus Carlsen, the highest ranked player in history who defended his title against India’s Viswanathan Anand in 2014, will play against a to-be-determined challenger from November 10 to November 30.

As for finding the challenger, eight of the world’s best players (excluding Carlsen) will meet in Moscow to compete in the forthcoming Candidates Tournament, a double round robin bracket, to determine who will play against the 25-year-old Norwegian.

Kasparov 10Wikimedia

Among the eight are US Grandmasters Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura. If either of them win in Moscow, they’ll have the chance to become the first American world champion since Bobby Fischer in the 1970s.

The other six Grandmasters in this year’s Candidates Tournament are Peter Svidler and Sergey Karjiakin of Russia, Anand from India, Veselin Topalov from Bulgaria, Anish Giri from the Netherlands and Levon Aronian from Armenia, according to Chess News.

This is the first time in 21 years that the world champion in chess will be crowned on American soil.

Back in 1995, Garry Kasparvov beat Anand in a 20-game match on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center.

As for where exactly in New York the event will be held, the CEO of Agon, the commercial partner of FIDE and organizer of the WCC, told the WSJ that he is in discussions with several NY venues, including the World Trade Center.

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chess_Candidates_2016-

chess_candidates_2016

Who is going to be the winner? 

The World Chess Candidates that takes place  on March 10 – 30, 2016, is a dramatic tournament which determines the challenger for the World Chess Championship. The winner will play a match for the title against reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen in November in the US.

Candidates Chess 2016 participants
1. Vishwanathan Anand (India) – The player who lost the 2014 World Championship Match
2. Sergey Karjakin (Russia) – as winner of the FIDE World Cup in Baku
3. Peter Svidler (Russia) – as the silver medalist of the FIDE World Cup in Baku
4. Fabiano Caruana (USA/Italy) – from FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15
5. Hikaru Nakamura (USA) – from FIDE Grand Prix 2014–15
6. Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) – By rating
7. Anish Giri (Netherlands) – By rating
8. Levon Aronian (Armenia) – organizers nominee of rating higher than 2725 ELO
Candidates 2016 details
Details of the Tournament:
Dates: March 8 – 29, 2016
Number of players: 8
Format: Double round robin tournament (14 rounds)
Length: 22 days including arrivals, departures, opening and closing ceremonies
Prize fund: EUR 561,000 

Please click here for live cover on chessdom.

ROUND 1 Anand 1 – 0 Topalov Please click HERE to play through the game of GM Anand and GM Topalov.

ROUND 2 – Please click HERE to play through the game of GM Aronian vs GM Anand.
Aronian: 1/2 – 1/2 Anand
Chess_Candidates_2016_Anand

ROUND 6

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 O-O 8 a4 Bb7 9 d3 Re8 10 Nbd2 Bf8 11 c3 Na5 12 Bc2 c5 13 d4 exd4 14 cxd4 d5 15 e5 Ne4 16 axb5 axb5 17 Nxe4 dxe4 18 Rxe4 Nb3 19 Rxa8 Bxa8 20 Ng5 Nxc1 21 Qh5 h6 22 Qxf7+ Kh8 23 Rg4 Qa5 24 h4
GM Anand 1-0 GM Svidler

ROUND 7
GM Giri 1/2 GM Anand
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Nbd7 5 Qc2 Bb4 6 a3 Bxc3+ 7 Qxc3 O-O 8 Bg5 h6 9 Bh4 c5 10 e3 cxd4 11 Qxd4 Re8 12 Bxf6 Nxf6 13 cxd5 Nxd5 14 Be2 Nf6 15 Qxd8 Rxd8 16 O-O Bd7 17 Rfc1 Rac8 18 Kf1 Kf8 19 Ke1 Ke7 20 Ne5 Rxc1+ 21 Rxc1 Rc8 22 Rxc8 Bxc8 23 f4 Nd7 24 Nxd7 Bxd7 25 Kd2 Kd6 26 Kc3 e5 27 g3 b6 28 Bc4 f6 29 b4 g5 30 h4 gxh4 31 gxh4

Round 9

GM Anand, Viswanathan 1-0  GM Aronian, Levon 

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 O-O d6 5 d3 Nf6 6 c3 a6 7 a4 Ba7 8 Na3 Ne7 9 Nc2 Ng6 10 Be3 O-O 11 Bxa7 Rxa7 12 Ne3 Ng4 13 Qd2 a5 14 d4 Ra8 15 dxe5 N4xe5 16 Nxe5 Nxe5 17 Bb3 Nd7 18 Bc2 Re8 19 f3 b6 20 Rfd1 Nc5 21 b4 Nd7 22 Bb3 Nf6 23 Qd4 Qe7 24 Nd5 Nxd5 25 Bxd5 Ra7 26 b5 Bb7 27 c4 Qe5 28 Rac1 Qxd4+ 29 Rxd4 Kf8 30 Kf2 Ke7 31 f4 f6 32 Rc3 Kd7 33 Rh3 h6 34 Rg3 Re7 35 Rg6 Bxd5 36 cxd5 Ra8 37 Kf3 Rae8 38 Kg4 Rxe4 39 Rxg7+ Kc8 40 Rd2 Kb8 41 Rc2 Rc8 42 Ra2 Rd4 43 Kf5 Rxd5+ 44 Kxf6 Rf8+ 45 Rf7 Rxf7+ 46 Kxf7 Rf5+ 47 Kg6 Rxf4 48 g3 Rc4 49 Kxh6 d5 50 Kh5 d4 51 g4 d3 52 h4 Rd4 53 Rd2 Kc8 54 g5 Kd7 55 Kg6 Rxh4 56 Rxd3+ Ke8 57 Ra3 Rc4 58 Kg7 Kd7 59 g6 c6 60 Kf6 cxb5 61 g7 Rg4 62 axb5 Rg1 63 Rd3+ Ke8 64 Re3+ Kd7 65 Re5 Rxg7 66 Rd5+ 1-0

Round 11 – GM Anand vs GM Sergey 1-0
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 d3 Bc5 5 c3 O-O 6 O-O d6 7 h3 Ne7 8 d4 Bb6 9 Bd3 d5 10 Nxe5 Nxe4 11 Nd2 Nd6 12 Nb3 c6 13 Nc5 Ng6 14 Qh5 Bxc5 15 dxc5 Ne4 16 Bxe4 dxe4 17 Rd1 Qe7 18 Nxg6 hxg6 19 Qg5 Qxg5 20 Bxg5 f6 21 Be3 g5 22 Rd6 Re8 23 Rad1 Be6 24 b3 Kf7 25 R1d4 Bf5 26 a4 Re7 27 g4 Bh7 28 b4 Bg8 29 b5 Rc8 30 Rd7 Rce8 31 b6 a6 32 Rc7 Kf8 33 c4 Be6 34 Rxe4 Kf7 35 f4 Rxc7 36 bxc7 Rc8 37 f5 Bd7 38 h4 g6 39 Rd4 Rxc7 40 hxg5 fxg5 41 Bxg5 Be8 42 f6 Kf8 43 Bf4 Rh7 44 Kg2 Bd7 45 Bg5 Be6 46 Rd8+ Kf7 47 Rb8 Bxc4 48 Rxb7+ Kg8 49 Rb8+ Kf7 50 Kg3 Ke6 51 Re8+ Kf7 52 Rc8 Bd5 53 Kf4 Ke6 54 Re8+ Kd7 55 Ra8 Ke6 56 Re8+ Kd7 57 Re3 a5 58 Kg3 Rf7 59 Kf4 Rh7 60 Re1 Kc8 61 Kg3 Rf7 62 Re8+ Kd7 63 Ra8 Kc7 64 Kf4 Rd7 65 Bh4 Kb7 66 Re8 Bf7 67 Re4 Bd5 68 Re3 Bf7 69 Kg5 Ka6 70 Re7 1-0

Results: chessbase

Congratulations to GM Sergey Karjakin!

Sergey-Karjakin

Sergey Karjakin is going to the FIDE World Chess Championship Final 2016 in New York after winning the Candidates Chess 2016 tournament with 8,5/14. In the decisive round 14 Karjakin won the final game against Fabiano Caruana and surged a full point ahead in the standings. The Russian player is going to face the defending champion Magnus Carlsen.

Sergey-Karjakin1

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LondonChessClassic7

Please click here to watch full videos of round 1.

It’s again the London Chess Classic and these players are the participants this year.
LondonChessClassic2015

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JamesBondchess


James Bond – and chess.

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chess_build_bridges

Read about Watu Kobese, a South African chess champion and Fide trainer and now also author of chess books. Kobese is taking the game and his book on a roadshow to promote chess. Click on the image for a larger view in order to read the complete article.

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CapeTown_SAOpenChessFestival

The 2015 South African Open Chess Festival incorporates the SA Schools Individual Chess Championship and SA Open Chess Championship
SA Open Chess Championship runs from Fri 03 July to Sat 11 July 2015
(entire day over weekends and evenings during week days)
SA Schools Individual Chess Championship runs from Mon 06 July to Thu 09 July 2015
(mornings and afternoons)
SA Schools Individual Chess Championship players may choose to participate additionally in the SA Open.
For more details, click this link. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Comedy of Errors

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chessgame22

There stands my castle!
His queen, it was his queen!
Queen of queens, how far dost thou excel?
Come hither, come! Come, come, and take a queen
Sir your queen must overboard!
Will take your queen
Farewell sweet queen!
I was in a mood to blog a chess game, this is one of my very old games – about 8 years ago! I played black and like how I trapped my opponent. I love Shakespeare’s works and these lines are from Shakespeare. This title of the post doesn’t fit the writing, don’t worry, it’s meant not to fit. I need to play more chess so my brain can get organised in boxes. I like that guy’s video on youtube about the male and female brain. I need a male brain, so I can organised everything in boxes. I try too many things in one go. Here is the game link.
Please click HERE to play through the game.

Enjoy some chess dance

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The World Chess Championship Match between World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Challenger Vishy Anand is taking place in Sochi, Russia on November 7–28, 2014. It’s the first time that Magnus will defend his title. [Images:Twitter & Official site]

5-time World Chess Champion, Vishy Anand is considered one of the most versatile chess players in the world. He is the only world champion who won titles playing in all different formats (match, tournament and knockout). He is the first Indian grandmaster.

It’s been a year since my entry about the game in Chennai, where Magnus walked off as the World Champion

Please click HERE for the official site. You can also follow the game on twitter – on the bottom photo you will find the official twitter account of Carlsen and Anand. Sochi temperatures average 24° C – 27° C between June and October/November. Who are you supporting?

anand_vs_carlsen2014_chess_set
The Chess set
anandcarlsen
I hope you like this card-image – I was in a mood to play around with the two chess kings!
As Carlsen is called the ‘Mozart of Chess’ – I have some Mozart for you to listen to. One of my favourite pieces – though only part of the composition.

anand_vs_carlsen2014
This is the hotel where Anand and Carlsen will be playing.

This is the Instagram link for you to follow, should you wish to do so.
sochi
On the map I’ve highlighted for you where Sochi is.

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chess_sa_women_2014
chess_sa_women_2014-1

The South African Women’s Chess Championships will be held at ‘The Atrium’, The Woodlands, Johannesburg and starts on the 8th August 2014 – 10th August 2014. That’s a serious killer with 3 games per day! There is also a B-section. You can click on this PDF for all the necessary info and a link to the venue. 
2014_SA_Womens_Open_CC

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chess_thelodger
Scene from ‘The Lodger: A Story Of The London Fog‘ (1927) a thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock [movie on youtube]
chess_whatsnewpussycat

Woody Allen, Peter O’Toole and Capucine, a French model and actress in ‘What’s new, Pussycat’

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world_youth_chess_championships_2014

The FIDE World Youth Chess Championships 2014 will be held in Durban, South Africa from 18th September to 30th September 2014 organized by the South African Chess Federation under the auspices of FIDE. All FIDE members and chess academies are cordially invited to participate in the 2014 World Youth Chess Championships. The Local Organizing Committee is honoured to host this prestigious event and we sincerely hope that you will enjoy your visit in Africa.

Please click HERE to visit the Official site of the World Youth Chess Championship.

 

The Championships will be hosted at the International Convention Centre, Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. The ICC Durban is one of the most advanced conference facilities in the world. The ICC Durban is purpose-built, fully air-conditioned and comprises six convention halls that are interlinked, but separate. Halls 4-6 double as convention and meetings spaces and the flat floor space for the ICC Arena makes it the leading indoor sports and entertainment venue in Durban which accommodates up to 10 000 spectators.
The latest FIDE Rules and Regulations will apply
Age Groups : u/8, u/10, u/12, u14, u/16, u/18
Format: Swiss System
Rounds: 11 rounds
Time Control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves; Followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game; 30 seconds per move starting from move one.
Each National Federation can register a total of twelve (12) Official Players, that is, one official player in each category (under 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 years old; open and girls) plus one accompanying official, provided he/she holds a valid licence and title as a FIDE Trainer.
The players placed 1st to 3rd in the previous FIDE World Youth Championships, and the respective Champions of the 2014 Continental Youth Championships, shall have the personal rights to participate in the World Youth Championships of the corresponding age-category or a higher age category if the age stipulation is met. Such players shall also be classified as Official Players and have to be registered by their respective National Federations.

Other than Official Players, all other players shall be classified as Additional Players. All other persons other than players or the Accompanying Official shall be classified as Accompanying Persons. A Federation may register any number of Additional Players and Accompanying Persons but they shall be responsible for their own costs.
In order to provide appropriate tournament conditions, the Federations must complete the official online registration form, in full, and submit to the organising committee by no later than 17 July 2014. FIDE endorsed Chess Academies may register not more than one player per age group per gender per event. The deadline for the reservation and payment of a 50% deposit on the accommodation is 17 July 2014. Any accommodation payment made after the deadline, will incur a surcharge of 10%. Once the payment has been made, proof of payment must be sent to the Treasurer at treasurer [at]2014wycc.co.za

Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, also known as the Zulu Kingdom. Durban is also the major centre of tourism in South Africa because of the city’s warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. Resource: Chessdom.com

Durban_SA

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I had been on a course and it was held at this beautiful place in Lincolnshire. It was a residential course and I couldn’t help to immerse myself completely into this historical swamp. When I looked at the mansion and the structure of the building, I found myself in a game of chess, moving turrets and spikes around, wondering about the conversations that took place at this place by noble men and women, throughout the centuries. I also wondered about the Romans who roamed the area and the meetings during WW2, when the Second Battalion of the Parachute Regiment used it. In the late 40’s teachers got trained here till the late 1970’s and today it belongs to one of the largest Teacher Unions for training sessions and conferences. 

The obelisk was erected by Charles Turnor, 1847, in honour of Isaac Newton, who acquired his basic education in the area of Stoke, the area where this mansion-hotel is. The Turnor family owned the original property from as early as the 1700’s till 1940.


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chess-analysis_a_game_of_chess

This is all about a  beautiful style of art called: ‘Fore-Edge painting’. I didn’t know about this kind of art. What you see in this above image, is the edges of the pages of this chess book. It’s amazing! See also the video clip.

Resource: Please click here to view the resource on the site of  Boston’s Public Library. 

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chessknight

Masterminds seek to master both their own emotions and to impose their reality on the chessboard. A Mastermind always seeks the right move, and believes that attacking is the right way. Typically choosing sharp openings, Masterminds win with fantastically deep calculations, producing combinations which are deeply hidden in correctly built-up positions. Masterminds thrive in complicated positions, where their accurate calculating ability and iron nerves give them the advantage.

alexandre-alekhine
Alexander Alekhine is a Mastermind

Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946), the fourth world champion, was a true Mastermind. One of the greatest attacking players ever, Alekhine could produce spectacular combinations from positions which seemed to promise no such thing. His calculation ability was phenomenal, and his combinations often included deadly and unexpected surprises at the end of a series of obvious moves: the famous “sting of the scorpion’s tail”. Most important was his ability to build up an attacking position and create complications without taking undue risks himself. Alekhine held the world championship from 1927 until 1935, when he lost a match to Max Euwe, and then from 1937 (after beating Euwe in the return match) until his death in 1946.

chess_personality

I was intrigued when I was sent this link on Twitter. I quite liked the questions, as there are a few chess problems to look at and to work through, not the normal options where you choose either a, b or c. According to the link, my play is similar to Alekhine’s play. Hmmmm… what do you think of the test? Take the test and let me know. Do you trust it? Some of my chess opponents had said to me that I’m an aggressive player, but not really sure if I am that kind of player. I know I like to attack, whenever I can, but only if I know I can benefit from it, depending on my position and I do like complicated positions. The scale on the above image was different. I navigated away from the link and when I returned, aggressive and calm was also on the end of the scale. My original setting was slightly to the right, more to ‘solid‘ and the same for ‘calm’. I wonder what my chess friend in South Korea is thinking, or Dan, my other chess friend? Eugene doesn’t want to play me, he is scared of me… hehe

Click HERE to take the Chess Personality ‘Test’.

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chess_sa_1898

Please click HERE to view the image by emmyeustace  on Flickr.

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chessMaGNus

@TarjeiJS Tweeted this: ‘Article of the dn.no announcing his new sponsorship deal with Nordic Semiconductor’ 

tromsoview
The view from Tromso, as tweeted by Svensen: ‘The view from my room is acceptable!’ – he is also tweeting about the Tromso Chess World Cup tournament
chessmagnus-

‘Millions flowing in for chess ace’

Magnus and the article as translated by ‘google-translate’ The article can be read in the Norwegian language from the link at the bottom of the entry. To all those little 10 year old boys always saying, ‘ I want to be a footballer’ – what about: ‘I want to be a Magnus Carlsen’ [hehe]

Norwegian sponsors will use the world’s best chess player opener with large customers, writing Todays Market.

On Saturday puts Magnus Carlsen heading to Chennai in India to prepare for the World Cup tournament pending against Viswanathan Anand in November.

On Monday techno now Nordic Semiconductor Carlsen fifth main, next to the law firm Simonsen, brokerage Arctic, newspaper VG house and software company Parallels.

Will he win the World Cup waiting nine million kroner in prize money. In addition, there are about six million in sponsorship revenue and miscellaneous other income.

Thankful
After the DN understand the young chess player will stand to gain a gross turnover of between 15 and 20 million years.

The money goes through the company Magnus Chess, which since 2007 has had a total turnover of 27 million. The profit before tax amounts to 15 million dollars, and Carlsen had at the end of 2012, built up a solid equity of nearly 12 million.

‘ I am very grateful that I can live on something I think is so fun. Beyond that I’m not thinking so much about it’, says Magnus Carlsen about their financial chess moves.

Please click here to read the original article.

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It is time for the Chess World Cup 2013 – in Norway
Please click here for the official site.
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Photo and message from Europe-Echecs Twitter account See the official video to know who is taking part. My favourite this time? I think Etienne Bacrot.

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Chess Players arriving at the university of Tromso for the opening ceremony – photo SPolgar [twitter]

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Susan Polgar doing exactly what she says on these tweets

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Susan interviews her ‘baby’ sister, Judit on 13/8/2013

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NO Susan, he is NOT funny and insightful, read HERE why I don’t think he is and make sure you read the first 10 lines carefully. [hmf]
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Tromso – image: Barents Observer

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Lovely colourful houses in Tromso [image:getintotravel]

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Tromso Chess – 17/8/2013 Game 3 round 1

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Tromso round 3 tight security

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Final game 1 – Kramnik wins

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chess_KingCharles

Royal game: The chess board believed to have been owned by King Charles I, which has been sold for a record breaking £600,000 at an auction.

An amber chess board taken by King Charles 1 to his execution has been sold for a record £600,000. The board was owned by the controversial King, who was such an enthusiast for chess he was engrossed in a game when a messenger told him he had been betrayed by the Scots to the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War. The news sealed the royal’s fate and he was executed on January 30, 1649. It is known the King took with him two precious possessions to the scaffold where he was beheaded: a Bible and an amber games board, believed to be the one that has now sold for £601,250. Erik Bijzet, an expert in European sculpture at auctioneers Sotherby’s, said: ‘This board was made by Georg Schreiber who was known as the “King of the Gamesboards”. ‘He was an amber worker in Koeningsberg, the capital of Prussia, where amber washed up on the shores of the East Sea in small amounts.

Chess enthusiast: Charles, pictured with what is believed to be a chess piece around his neck, was an avid fan of the ‘King’s Game’, known to have been used to teach war strategy‘The board is dated 1607 and was given to either James I or Henry Frederick as Charles was only seven-years-old then. ‘When at the height of the Civil War a messenger arrived to inform Charles that he had been betrayed by the Scots he didn’t rise from his game of chess, even though his fate had effectively been sealed.
‘Charles took a Bible and a games board with him to the scaffold where he was beheaded.’ Following his death the items were passed on to his personal chaplain, Bishop William Juxon, who read Charles his last rites. The board then remained in his family until the 18th century before it was acquired by British peer Sir Robert Hesketh. It has now been sold by the Second Baron Hesketh’s Will Trust. The board was bought at auction in London by a private collector, following a dramatic bidding war, for £601,250, the highest amount ever paid for an amber games board. Mr Bijzet said: ‘It entered into the ownership of the Hesketh family and an inventory of their possessions is the earliest record that mentions that the board belonged to Charles.

‘Besides the provenance, this board is a tour-de-force of amber working, is of superb quality and was made by the maker of Royal chess sets.
‘We only know of four comparable boards, none of which have seemed to survive in good condition.’ The board, which measures 27ins by 13ins, opens into two halves, allowing it to be used for different games including chess, backgammon, draughts and Nine Men’s Morris, a strategy board game which emerged from the Roman Empire. The board would have been extremely sought after and expensive during the 17th century due to amber being found only in small quantities.
Source: Follow THIS LINK for more images as well.

KingCharles

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The Lonely Chess Player

chess_norway
Image: Norwaychess

Sergey_Karjakin

Congratulations to Sergey Karjakin [left]- the winner of Norway Chess 2013

chessnorway

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anand_magnus_chennai_

New Delhi: Viswanathan Anand will defend his World Chess Championship title against world number one Magnus Carlsen in his home city as FIDE today chose Chennai as the venue for the prestigious match.

Even as it has been reported that Carlsen was not keen to play in Chennai and instead preferred Paris as the venue, the FIDE Presidential Board confirmed Chennai as the venue during a meeting at Baku, Azerbaijan today.

The match between the Indian and his Norwegian opponent will be played from November 6 to 26.

“The agreement was signed today at Baku by Bharat Singh, Hony Secretary All India Chess Federation and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov,” a press released stated.

Anand had defeated Boris Gelfand of Israel to retain his title in 2012. Source: Zeenews.india

Farewell Farewell

A variation on the Cento – used Shakespeare-lines about Chess

There stands the castle!
My day’s delight is past
great shouts within
and all cry

A horse! A horse!
I have a horse and
a wandering knight.
My skipping king
ambles up and down

A wandering knight?
The knight is here
… a mean knight

The hour is almost past
Farewell Farewell


It’s hilarious – Carlsen’s coach?

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b3218934567321

I’ve been looking at some of my games played a few years ago and just to post a game to go with these two games from chessgames, I’ve decided on this game HERE – for no particular reason. You can play through the game on the link. I played black.

chessendN

End position of my game

chessking-1

One of my very old games, played in 2006- I was black and you can see my rating – not that I was really bothered to improve my rating, time to really think about moves, doesn’t exist in my life of full time teaching. [hehe] I liked how I was chasing my fellow countryman around on the board, whilst he was in a really strong position early on in the game.

chessbishopattack

A game played in 2005 – and I like how I used my bishops here. My opponent resigned on this point.

chessking_1

In this game – where I played black – I was lucky. My comments on this game: a very interesting game I’d played in a long time – well, that was in 2006. I like the checkmate in this game. 

You can click HERE to play through the game.

In these next two chess games, you can see some bizarre chess openings…with a King… play through the first game on this link  on chessgames.

chessking01

Not that I think I’m the best chess player, but look at THIS GAME  game, not sure what he was trying.

chess-kingo

Have you seen The King and I?

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Reykjavik_Open_2013

Reykjavik Open 2013

Reykjavik_Open

Reykjavik_Open_schedule

Schedule

AnishGiri

Anish Giri

IvanCheparinov

Click HERE to play through the chess games of Cheparinov on chessgames.com

Some of the players: David Navara, Anish Giri,  Johan-Sebastian  Christiansen, Svetoslav Mihajlov, Ivan Cheparinov,  Claude Hoegener, Sebastian  Mihajlov, Gawain Jones and Per Isaksson

reykjavikchess

The tournament are held in Harpa, Reykjavik´s spectacular new music hall on the harbour : 19th – 27th February 2013

The City of Reykjavík has sponsored the tournament since its inception in 1964, when Mikhail Tal won it with a record 12½ points out of 13. The tournament was initially held every two years, but has since 2008 taken place every year. It was closed in its early years, but has been an open event since the 1980s. Throughout its history the Reykjavik Open has featured many of the strongest chess players in the world at the time, including Mikhail Tal, Nona Gaprindashvili, David Bronstein, Vasili Smyslov, Bent Larsen, Friðrik Ólafsson, Mark Taimanov, Lev Polugaevsky, Jan Timman, Victor Korchnoi, Samuel Reshevsky, Anthony Miles, Nigel Short, Hikaru Nakamura, Judit Polgar, Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk, Fabiano Caruana and Hou Yifan.  Official site: reykjavikopen.com

Games can be followed live HERE on livestream or on the Chessbomb site.
Click HERE to view the chess results of the various rounds of the tournament and rankings/pairings on the site of chess-results.com.
Reykjavik_Giri_round1
Round 1 – Anish Giri

Reykjavik_round1_anish_giri

Reykjavik_Navara_round1
Round 1 David Navara 1-0

moves 17-20 – 17. O-O  Bc3   18. Ne7+ Kh8   19. Qd6 Ra6   20. Bxa6 1-0

Reykjavik_round1_Ivan_Cheparinov

Claude Hoegener vs Ivan Cheparinov 0-1 End position

Moves

1. e4 c5 2. c3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. dxc5 Nc6 5. cxd6 Nxe4 6. Nf3 Nxd6 7. h3 e5 8. Na3 f6 9. Nc4 Be6 10. Nxd6+ Bxd6 11. Be3 O-O 12. Qa4 Kh8 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. Bc4 Bd7 15. Qc2 e4 16. Qd2 exf3 17. gxf3 Bb8 18. Qxd7 Qxd7 19. Rxd7 Ne5 20. Be6 Nxd7 21. Bxd7 Bc7 22. O-O Rad8 23. Bf5 Bb6 24. Bc1 g6 25. Be4 Rd7 26. c4 Re8 27. b4 f5 28. c5 fxe4 29. cxb6 axb6 30. Be3 exf3 31. Bxb6 Re6 32. Bc5 Ra6 33. Re1 Rxa2 34. Re3 Rd1+ 35. Kh2 Rxf2+ 36. Kg3 Re2 37. Rxf3 Kg8 38. h4 h5 39. Rc3 Re4 0-1

Reykjavik_Cheparinov

Moves  – Cheparinov 1 – Wang 0 – Round 2

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. h3 Be6 9. Qf3 Nbd7 10. g4 Nb6 11. O-O-O Rc8 12. Nc5 O-O 13. g5 Nfd7 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Qg4 Kh8 16. g6 Rf4 17. Bxf4 exf4 18. Qxe6 Ne5 19. gxh7 Qc7 20. Rg1 Rf8 21. Bc4 Kxh7 22. Bb3 Qd7 23. h4 Qxe6 24. Bxe6 Rf6 25. Bf5+ g6 26. Rxg6 Nxg6 27. h5 Kg7 28. hxg6 Rf8 29. Ne2 Rh8 30. Rg1 Nc4 31. Nd4 f3 32. Ne6+ Kg8 33. b3 Ne5 34. g7 Rh5 35. Kd1 Bh4 36. Nf4 Rg5 37. Rxg5 Bxg5 38. Nh5 Bh6 39. Be6+ Nf7 40. c4 b6 41. Kc2 a5 42. Kd3 Bg5 43. e5 dxe5 44. Ke4 Bh6 45. Kf5 Bxg7 46. Nxg7 Kxg7 47. Bxf7 Kxf7 48. Kxe5 1-0

Reykjavik_Cheparinov_

Round 3 – Cheparinov vs Huang position after move 24

Moves up to move 24
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. b3 Bg7 4. Bb2 O-O 5. g3 d6 6. d4 e5 7. dxe5 Nfd7 8. Nc3 dxe5 9. Qc2 Nc6 10. Rd1 Re8 11. Nd5 Nc5 12. b4 Bf5 13. Qc1 Na4 14. Ba1 Nd4 15. Ne3 Be4 16. Bg2 Qe7 17. Kf1 Rad8 18. c5 a5 19. bxa5 Nxc5 20. Ne1 Bh6 21. Bc3 Bxg2+ 22. N1xg2 Ne4 23. Be1 Qe6 24. Qb1 Nd6 *

Reykjavik_Navara

Navara vs Ris – Round 4 Endposition    1-0 

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Qb3 Nb6 6. d4 Bg7 7. e4 Bg4 8. Bb5+ c6 9. Ng5 O-O 10. Be2 Bxe2 11. Nxe2 Na6 12. Qh3 h6 13. Nf3 Qd7 14. Qh4 g5 15. Bxg5 hxg5 16. Nxg5 Rfd8 17. Qh5 e5 18. O-O f6 19. Qh7+ Kf8 20. f4 exd4 21. f5 fxg5 22. f6 Bh8 23. Qxh8+ Kf7 24. Qg7+ Ke6 25. f7 Kd6 26. Nxd4 Kc7 27. Qe5+ Qd6 28. Ne6+ 1-0

Reykjavik_Cheparinov_round4

Cheparinov Round 4 Endposition 1/2

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O exd4 8. Nxd4 Re8 9. f3 c6 10. Kh1 Nbd7 11. Bf4 Ne5 12. Qd2 a5 13. b3 Nfd7 14. Bg5 f6 15. Bh6 Bxh6 16. Qxh6 Nc5 17. Rad1 Nf7 18. Qd2 Bd7 19. Rfe1 Qb6 20. Nc2 f5 21. Qd4 Qd8 22. exf5 Bxf5 23. Ne3 Bd7 24. Bf1 Ne6 25. Qd2 Nc5 26. g3 Qf6 27. Bg2 Qg7 28. f4 Re7 29. g4 Rae8 30. g5 h6 31. h4 hxg5 32. hxg5 Qh8+ 33. Kg1 Qh4 34. Qf2 Qxf2+ 35. Kxf2 Bf5 36. Bf1 Bd7 37. Nc2 Kg7 38. Rxe7 Rxe7 39. Re1 Rxe1 40. Nxe1 Bf5 41. Ke3 Nd8 42. Nf3 Nde6 43. Nh4 Bg4 44. Bg2 Kf7 45. Ne4 Nxe4 46. Bxe4 Bh5 47. a3 Nc5 48. Bc2 b6 49. f5 gxf5 50. Nxf5 Kg6 51. b4 axb4 52. axb4 Kxg5 53. bxc5 dxc5 54. Nd6 Kf6 55. Ba4 Ke5 56. Nc8 ½-½
Standings after 4 rounds: top ten positions

1 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2688 4.0
2 GM Eljanov Pavel UKR 2678 4.0
3 GM Gajewski Grzegorz POL 2644 4.0
4 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2715 4.0
5 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2709 3.5
6 GM So Wesley PHI 2684 3.5
7 GM Giri Anish NED 2722 3.5
8 GM Socko Bartosz POL 2643 3.5
9 GM Baklan Vladimir UKR 2609 3.5
10 GM Jones Gawain ENG 2637 3.5

Reykjavik_Cheparinov_round5

Round 5 -Cheparinov 1 Kristiansson 0

Round 5 – moves Cheparinov vs Kristiansson

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Bxd7 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 Rc8 9. Nc3 e5 10. Qd3 Qa5 11. Nd2 Be6 12. Nf1 g5 13. Bg3 Nf6 14. Ne3 Be7 15. O-O Qc5 16. Rfd1 b5 17. a4 h5 18. f3 b4 19. Ne2 g4 20. Bf2 Qc6 21. c3 Rg8 22. Kh1 h4 23. Nd5 Bxd5 24. exd5 Qc4 25. Qxc4 Rxc4 26. b3 Rc8 27. c4 h3 28. Ng3 hxg2+ 29. Kxg2 Kd7 30. a5 gxf3+ 31. Kxf3 Ng4 32. Bg1 f5 33. Ra4 Rb8 34. Rf1 Nh6 35. Ba7 Ra8 36. Bb6 f4 37. Ne4 Nf5 38. Rxb4 Rab8 39. Ra4 Rxb6 40. Nc5+ dxc5 41. axb6 Nd6 42. Rfa1 e4+ 43. Kxf4 Bg5+ 44. Kg4 Bf6+ 45. Kf4 Bxa1 46. Rxa1 Rf8+ 47. Kg4 Kc8 48. Rxa6 Kb7 49. Ra7+ Kxb6 50. Re7 Ka5 51. Re6 Rd8 52. Kf4 Kb4 53. Ke5 Kxb3 54. Rxd6 Rxd6 55. Kxd6 e3 0-1

Reykjavik_standings

Standings after round 5 – Top Ten

Reykjavik_pairings_round6
Pairings Round 6 – top 16 boards

Reykjavik_Cheparinov_round6

Round 6 Cheparinov 0- Eljanov 1 

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. a4 e6 6. g3 dxc4 7. Bg2 c5 8. O-O cxd4 9. Nxd4 Be7 10. a5 O-O 11. Nc2 Qc7 12. Be3 Bd7 13. Bb6 Qc8 14. Ne3 Bb5 15. Rc1 Nfd7 16. Na4 Bg5 17. f4 Nxb6 18. Nxb6 Qc5 19. Rf3 Bf6 20. Nxa8 Rd8 21. Qe1 Nc6 22. Nb6 Bd4 23. Kf2 e5 24. b4 Nxb4 25. fxe5 Nc6 26. Qd2 c3 27. Qc2 Nxe5 28. Qf5 g6 29. Qf4 Re8 30. Nd5 Qxd5 31. Kf1 Nxf3 0-1

Reykjavik_open_2013-
Pairings round 7 – 24th February at 13:00

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chess_victoria-oomPaul

Image: kihm2.wordpress.com

Playing chess with Queen Victoria is Paul Kruger (1825-1904) a.k.a. Uncle Paul (Dutch: “Oom Paul”), President of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the face of Boer resistance against the British in the Second Boer War (1899–1902). The general looking over Victoria’s shoulder could be Baden-Powell. Sad face, Queen Victoria ‘s – uhm…wonder why…? 

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Indeed the name Prokofiev needs little introduction, as one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century. However his connection to chess might be a little less obvious, even to the musically enlightened. As to David Oistrakh, he was one of the very greatest violinists, whose virtuosity ranked alongside Fritz Kreisler and Jasha Heifetz. Both of them were passionate chess players, though Prokofiev more than one would believe.
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev, born April 23, 1891, died March 5, 1953 was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century, which include Igor Stravinsky, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Among his best-known works are the 3rd Piano Concerto, the third and fifth symphonies, as well as composed family favourites, such as the ballet Romeo and Juliet – from which “Dance of the Knights” is taken – and Peter and the Wolf. Sergei Prokofiev fell in love with chess at an early age, and during his lifetime never lost his passion for the royal game, befriending chess greats such as Capablanca and Alekhine.The composer met Alekhine in his native Russia in 1900 during an international tournament held there. Alekhine was a member of the organizing committee and Prokofiev had volunteered to accommodate the guests and the players. As the years passed, their friendship solidified. He met Capablanca in January 1914 in Petersburg where the Cuban champion was playing a series of simultaneous games. Prokofiev tried his luck and even managed to win a game!

The game:
[Event “1914 Tournament”]
[Site “St. Petersburg, Russia”]
[Date “1914.05.16”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “3”]
[Result “0-1”]
[White “Jose Raul Capablanca”]
[Black “Sergei Prokofiev”]
[ECO “D02”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[PlyCount “86”]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 Bf5 4.Qb3 Nc6 5.Qxb7 Na5 6.Qa6 Nxc4
7.Nc3 e6 8.e4 dxe4 9.Bxc4 exf3 10.Qc6+ Nd7 11.g4 Bg6 12.Bg5
Be7 13.Bxe7 Kxe7 14.O-O-O Re8 15.h4 h5 16.gxh5 Bxh5 17.Nb5 Kf8
18.d5 Qf6 19.dxe6 Ne5 20.Qc5+ Kg8 21.exf7+ Bxf7 22.Bxf7+ Qxf7
23.Kb1 Rab8 24.Nxc7 Rbc8 25.Rc1 Re7 26.Qd6 Rexc7 27.Rxc7 Qxc7
28.Qe6+ Kh8 29.a3 Qc2+ 30.Ka1 Nd3 31.Rb1 Nxf2 32.h5 Qc6 33.Qf5
Ne4 34.Qxf3 Nd2 35.Qxc6 Rxc6 36.Rd1 Rc2 37.Rg1 Rc5 38.Rg6 Rxh5
39.Ra6 Nb3+ 40.Ka2 Ra5 41.Rxa5 Nxa5 42.b4 g5 43.Kb2 g4 0-1
Another great combination: Chess and music! What’s missing is the poetry! The closest I could get was the poem by Robert Frost.  Please click HERE to read the entire article on Chessbase.

Fire and Ice – Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

You can read my entry on Dance of the knights  on this link. The music is also the theme music to The Apprentice.


A young Sergey Prokofiev with his inseparable board
and chess books. [Image: chessbase]


Prokofiev in his later years remained faithful to his true love [Image: chessbase]

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nigel09

 

bond01

Chess: Spy Style – from the movies: James Bond: From Russia with Love

It’s time for chess – again – and this time – from the movies. This game of Boris Spassky, is the game played in the James Bond movie as well.  You can read what Nigel Short said in 2004 about Spassky’s game.

russia
The name is Spassky, Boris Spassky
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 15Nf8 16. Nxf7 exf1=Q 17. Rxf1 Bf5 18. Qxf5 Qd7 19. Qf4 Bf6 20. N3e5 Qe7 21. Bb3 Bxe5 22. Nxe5 Kh7 23. Qe4 [see an annotation of the game lower down in this entry]

Click HERE to play through the game on Chessgames.com

Nigel Short: [see resource at the end of the text] If chess is a vast jungle – deep, relatively unexplored and slow to yield its myriad secrets – computers are the chainsaws in a giant environmentally insensitive logging company. If our beloved game is not to be reduced to a glorified naughts and crosses – an arid computational desert – then, like a beautiful and intelligent woman, it must retain an element of mystery. If I sound uncharacteristically sentimental, it is probably because my wife and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary this week and thus, for once, my thoughts are jolted out of their quotidian rut onto matters of the emotions. A little romance does not come amiss in either chess or love, or so I try to remind myself from time to time. In my opinion perhaps the most romantic of all openings is the King’s Gambit (1. e4 e5 2. f4!). A few years ago I sat in a bar with Vladimir Kramnik discussing theory. At that time the future World Champion was contemplating a switch to King’s Pawn openings and he wanted to bounce his preliminary ideas off me. He opined that the Evans’ Gambit (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4!) was very logical: White sacrifices a fairly unimportant wing pawn to open lines and accelerate his development. This was not necessarily to say that it was Vlad’s preferred method of starting the game, but at least he could understand the rationale behind it. In contrast, the King’s Gambit, however, was for him totally incomprehensible: it loses a pawn and weakens the King-side, for all he could see. Of course Vlad was absolutely right; my scientific deductive side had to agree – the King’s Gambit has had a somewhat dodgy reputation ever since it was first mentioned in Lucena’s manuscript of 1497. And yet my irrational mystical side revolted and still revolts against so cold and sober a judgement. There is something inspiring about voyaging into storm-tossed seas.
Over the years the most successful practitioner of the King’s Gambit has been Boris Spassky. His record of 16 victories and no defeats (with some draws) is unsurpassed. His victims include two of the most illustrious names in chess history – Bobby Fischer and Anatoly Karpov – and his famous brilliancy against Bronstein was used as the opening scene of the Bond movie From Russia with Love.
Click on this link to read the article on the site of the Telegraph.

From Chessbase:

bond02

From Leningrad with Love

The movie Nigel mentions, From Russia with Love, was produced in 1963. One of the villains is Kronsteen, played by Vladek Sheybal, master plotter for the terror organisation SPECTRE. Kronsteen is also a world-class chess player who, when asked if his plan would be successful, replies: “It will be. I’ve anticipated every possible variation of counter move.” And Bond’s colleague, the Turkish operative Kerim Bey, says of him: “These Russians are great chess players. When they wish to execute a plot, they execute it brilliantly. The game is planned minutely, the gambits of the enemy are provided for.”

In the famous chess scene at the beginning of the movie we see Kronsteen playing the Canadian McAdams in an “International Grandmaster Championship”. The score is 11½–11½. The position on the board is the following:

Kronsteen – McAdams, From Russia with Love, 1963

Here Kronsteen gives his opponent a long glare and then plays 1.Nxe5+ (as you can see in the picture above). He ominously says “check” while the move is displayed for the audience on a large demonstration board. McAdams nervously plays 1…Kh7, after which Kronsteen smiles and plays 2.Qe4+.

McAdams is horrified and knocks over his king as a sign of resignation, muttering “Congratulations sir, that was a brilliant coup.” The audience bursts into applause as Kronsteen leaves the room to get on with his evil plottings.

Click HERE to read the article on the site of Chessbase.

This is the game annotated by my chess friend, Dan. [see his message in the message box].

1.e4 e5 2.f4 Prior to Spassky, Bronstein was considered to be the foremost grandmaster practitioner of the King’s Gambit, so Spassky’s move has an air of provocation about it.

exf4 3.Nf3 d5 The Abazzia, or “Modern,” Defence to the gambit. After 45 years, though, should it still be called “modern,” especially since it dates back to at least 1913 (time of the Abazzia Gambit Tournament, from which it gets its alternate name)?

4.exd5 Bd6 A rarely played continuation, the usual line being 4…Nf6.

5.Nc3 This move comes up in several of Spassky’s King’s Gambit games (see his game with Fischer in the same year). It’s like his philosophy is, “when in doubt, play Nc3.” In many lines of this opening, a handy solidifying move for White is Pc3, which the Knight now blocks. More active, it seems to me, is the line (5.Bb5+ Bd76.Bxd7+ Nxd7 7.0-0), which should lead to a considerable advantage for White. White could have also tried 5.d4 followed by 6.c4 with a Pawn phalanx. Both plans seem better than the text.

5. … Ne7 Black plans to put his Queen’s Knight on f6, hence the King’s Knight gets developed on e7.

6.d4 O-O 7.Bd3 Nd7 Heading for f6 …

8.O-O h6 … which he doesn’t play right away because of (8…Nf6 9.Ng5! h610.Nge4) and White has a nice, centralised game (although, due to White’s Pawn minus, the game could be considered equal).

9.Ne4 White might also have tried the manuever 9.Qe1-h4.

Nxd5 10.c4 Ne3 11.Bxe3 fxe3 12.c5 White prefers to gain space rather than prosaically win back his Pawn with 12.Qe2.

Be7 13.Bc2 This looks almost like a beginner’s plan: doubling the Queen and Bishop on the b1-h7 diagonal, move the Knight/e4 out of the way, then mate on h7. Of course, that’s assuming Black does nothing to stop it.

Re8 14.Qd3 e2?! Black is trying to gain time with his useless e-pawn, but the threat on h7 is real. Better would be (14…Nf6 15.Rae1 Be6 16.Rxe3) and White is only marginally better.
15.Nd6!? One of the more spectacular sacrifices in chess history. “The most brilliant sacrifice since the Evergreen Game,” exclaimed one commentator. The question is: is it sound? (15.Qxe2) sould lead to a small advantage for White, and, objectively speaking, may be the better move. Another possibility is 15.Rf2, with the idea of(15.Rf2 Nf8 16.Rxe2) followed by Rae1.

15. … Nf8 (15…exf1=Q+ may transpose to the game if, after 16.Rxf1 Nf8). KK suggests the following: (15…exf1=Q+ 16.Rxf1 Nf6 17.Nxf7!) with advantage. However, I think Black has a better move here with 15 or 16…Bxd6, e.g.,(15…exf1=Q+ 16.Rxf1 Bxd6 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Qh7+ Kf8 19.Qh8+ Ke7 20.Re1+Ne5 21.Qxg7 Be6 (21…Rg8 22.Qxh6 Qb6+! 23.Kh1 Be6 24.dxe5 d5 25.Qf6+ is unclear) 22.dxe5 dxe5 23.Bb3 Qb6+ 24.Kh1 Rg8 25.Qxe5). I’d take Black for choice.

Chessworld member jim42078, Lord Ptarmigan did the following analysis with the aid of his “Fritz” computer: “I have found what seems to be the best defence for Black(well, my fritz has anyway). The key idea is to maintain the pawn on e2 for as long as possible, e.g., (15…Bxd6 16.Qh7+ this check really just gives White a chance to peer through the fogginess of this position, but is not disadvantageous 16…Kf817.Qh8 probably not best; this is merely for illustrative purposes 17…Ke718.Qxg7 Rg8 19.cxd6+ cxd6 20.Qxh6 and now Black has to take on f1 with check, or else he will find himself lost or level.

20…exf1=Q+ 21.Rxf1 Qb6) and this position differs from the …exf1 before …cxd6 lines because Black has made time to give his King somewhere to run to and has not needed to interpose with the Knight to e5. Black is better off here, although there is work to do.

To counter this, White could play his King’s Rook to e1 or f2 and not sacrifice it. Thus(15…Bxd6 16.Qh7+ Kf8 17.Rfe1 Nxc5! 18.Qh8+ Ke7 19.Rxe2+ Ne6 20.Qxg7 Rg821.Qxh6 c6 22.Rae1 Kd7 23.Ne5+ Bxe5 24.dxe5 Ke8 25.Qf6) seems White’s best on a first, rushed glance, but Black cannot have much to fear here.

Alternatively, White could force the early sac by (15…Bxd6 16.Qh7+ Kf8 17.cxd6when Black has to take on f1 if he wants to claim a refutation 17…exf1=Q+18.Rxf1) and we are back in the main idea Norfolk suggested. This is White’s best.”

Another example of the inexhaustible riches of chess! Admittedly, these complications are almost impossible to wade through over the board, so who can blame Bronstein for losing his way?
16.Nxf7 exf1=Q+ 17.Rxf1 Bf5 This looks like desperation, but Black’s options are limited. If instead (17…Kxf7 18.Ne5+ Kg8 (18…Ke6 19.Bb3+ Qd5 20.Qf5 mate) 19.Qh7+! Nxh7 20.Bb3+ Qd5 21.Bxd5+ Be6 22.Bxe6+ Kh8 23.Ng6 mate). Black’s best bet may be to try to block the key diagonal with 17…Qd5, e.g.,(17…Qd5 18.Bb3Qxb3 19.Qxb3 Be6 20.Nxh6+ gxh6 21.Qxb7). White is better, but Black can fight on for awhile.

18.Qxf5 Qd7 Otherwise he loses at least the Queen. Maybe White will swap Queens?

19.Qf4 No such luck. White has a marked advantage now.

Bf6 Trying to cut off the Knight from the Queen’s protection.

20.N3e5 Qe7 Another try is (20…Bxe5 21.Nxe5 Rxe5 22.dxe5 Re8 23.Qe4) with advantage for White.

21.Bb3 Threatening a deadly discovered check.

Bxe5 This leads to a quick end, but (21…Ne6 22.Nxh6+ gxh6 23.Qxf6 Qxf624.Rxf6) also loses, as does (21…Kh7 22.Qf5+ g6 23.Qxf6 Qxf6 24.Rxf6) etc. The position following the text, and the remaining moves of the game, were featured as the game “Kronstein vs. McAdams” in one of the early scenes of the James Bond movie, “From Russia With Love” (although I was informed that the position in the movie was slightly altered). Quite a distinction and honour for an actual grandmaster game of chess!

22.Nxe5+ Kh7 Or (22…Ne6 23.Qe4 Rad8 24.Qg6 Qg5 25.Bxe6+ Rxe626.Qxe6+), winning easily.

23.Qe4+ On (23…g6 24.Rxf8!) wins. Bronstein (and McAdams in the aforementioned movie) resigned.

23. … 1-0

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screen-shot-2012-07-16-at-11.27.45-am

Image:businessinsider.com

When I followed a link on Twitter, I came across this article, which reminded me of a draft I’ve saved a few years ago! By further ‘investigation’, I found this article much more interesting than the start I made on some chess terminology. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did. Happy New Year – again!

Here’s a headline that was in USA Today a few days ago: Obama, Boehner continue stalemate on ‘fiscal cliff’.

Anyone who knows chess terminology knows that headline makes no sense.

A “stalemate” happens at the very end of the game, when neither side has a legal move, and so the game is tied. There is no way to “continue” a stalemate.

And the headline writer presumably was not trying to imply that there were literally no more options in the discussion. In fairness, lots of people misuse stalemate.

That being said, chess offers up a wealth of nice terminology that can spice up your writing if you use the terms correctly. Anyone who writes professionally, whether as a journalist or analyst or anything else, could benefit with some knowledge of chess terms.

So as a service, here are a few terms, what they mean, and how they might apply to the news.

Alekhine’s Gun — When your queen and both rooks are all along the same file, they can be incredibly powerful. This orientation is named after the chess master Alexander Alekhine. This is a great term to use to describe any time you have a bunch of heavy hitters all lined up together, focusing on a single target.

 

badbishop
E2-E4
 — This is the most common opening move in all of chess, as it involves moving your king pawn out two squares. Bobby Fischer famously called this opening move the “best by test.” When a politician makes the most predictable possible announcement (such as when Obama started the Fiscal Cliff talks by saying he wanted everyone to freeze taxes on incomes sub-$250K) that was the E2-E4 of political moves.Bad Bishop — In chess, you have two bishops that move along diagonals, each of which only occupies one color throughout the whole game. The bishop that starts on a white square can never occupy a black square. In a game where all of your pawns on light squares, your white bishop becomes a “bad bishop” as it becomes hemmed in and impotent. In politics, you see assets misused all the time, as their vantage point makes them particularly ill-suited to bring a certain case. A Wall Street CEO coming out as a spokesperson for later retirement? That’s a bad bishop.

Five-Piece Endgame — A very common endgame scenario in chess involves one side having a king and a rook while the other side has a king, a rook, and a pawn (five pieces total). Usually the side that is a pawn up can win, but not before an extremely drawn out and predictable fight that leaves little room for error. Any scenario where the finale is obvious, but the process of getting there is drawn out might be characterized this way.

Kibbitzer — Kibbitzers are those annoying folk who stand behind you while you play, whispering or even outright commenting on the game in progress. Pretty much everyone on twitter is a kibbitzer.

Knight Fork — Due to the knight’s unusual L-shaped moves, it can be used in clever ways to attack two other pieces at once. Anytime a politician or business attacks two far apart things in one blow, the term applies.

Olimpiada_Bled_Slovenija_deska

Wikimedia Commons

White’s pawn on C-7 is on the verge of advancing and becoming a queen.

Queening — A pawn that makes it from its starting point all the way to the other end of the board gets promoted into being a queen. After taking the lead on budget issues, Paul Ryan got queened when Mitt Romney made him his VP selection, essentially making him one of the most powerful people in the GOP.

Simul — When a master demonstrates his skill by playing several simultaneous games at once with amateurs. Any executive who has to multi-task and address several different issues at once could be said to be playing a simul.

Theory — Because there have been so many documented chess games, almost every possible opening sequence has been played several times over. Grandmasters have a huge library of these openings memorized, and can play them rote without much thought. As long as a game is going according to some previously played sequence, it’s all going according to “theory.” Eventually every game deviates, at which point the real game begins.

chessclock

Wikimedia Commons

A chess clock. Each side starts with the same amount of time. After each players move, they hit their button, their clock stops, and the other players begins to tick down.

Zeitnot — In competitive chess, the players use a chess clock, which alots each player a certain amount of time to make all of their moves. As the endgame draws near the need for speed causes the players to make worse moves because time is running low. That time pressure is Zeitnot. That could be used to characterize the Plan B fiasco.

Zugzwang — This is a state that occurs usually near the end of a chess match, when it becomes advantageous for the other side to make a move before you do. This might happen if you have a perfectly secure position, but you’ll inevitably weaken your position by moving. When John Boehner is calling on the Senate to move next, you know the fiscal cliff talks are in zugzwang.

Zwischenzug — An “in-between” move. If there’s an obvious play, but the player decides to delay that move for whatever reason, this is a Zwischenzug. Again, Plan B might have been a Zwischenzug.

Bottom line is that chess offers a wealth of cool terms with unique definitions that can spruce up writing. No need to stick to tired terms like stalemate or checkmate.

Read more:businessinsider.com/chess-terms-that-every-journalist-needs-to-know-2012-12

Enjoy this song and listen to the words

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Magnus Carlsen playing chess on Pulpit Rock – in Norway
and…I think I can ‘read’ a little bit of the Norwegian language. There’s a tournament next year, Magnus is going to take part in a Super Tournament and then there’s…a school tournament..and a celebrity tournament……

Enjoy the song by a Norwegian singer.

Turneringene

Superturneringen blir stil 7. til 18. mai 2013.

En unik vri planlegges med varierte historiske spillesteder for å trekke maksimal oppmerksomhet fra hele regionen.Stavangerregionen bruker arrangement som virkemiddel for å markedsføre regionen.Det arbeides allerde med mulighet for repeterende turneringer til regionen.

Turneringen vil inneholde:

Superturnering med flest mulig av de topp 10 rankede spillerne
Skoleturnering med hundrevis av barn
Kjendisturnering med et utvalg kjendiser som skal vise sine sjakkferdigheter

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Unbelievable! I missed all of this! And I saw the tournament was coming up during the Olympics, but so so not me to forget about it! -With all these ‘posh‘ players a few miles away from me! See this link who they are. Here here are the results on the site of Fide. I was fascinated by the piece of art when I saw the image. It’s so beautiful. Some people are just more artistic than other people, so unfair. 

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This year, the voting results of the annual contest of the “64” became known later than usual. In the 10 th issue of the reports that the owner of the honorary prize was Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian was the first chess player, who won the trophy three times in a row. The gap between him and the runner-up -Gelfand was very significant. The remaining places in the top ten was as follows: 3. Aronian 4. Svidler 5. Kramnik 6. Grischuk 7.Ivanchuk 8. Anand 9. Morozevich 10. Nakamura.

Resource: HERE  a Russian Chess website.

Chess Wedding cake of Shahriyar Mammadyarov. See more photos on this link of him and the wedding.

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Photo: Official site

The Braille Chess Olympiad starts tomorrow! Please click HERE to read more about the Chess Braille Olympiad in Chennai [India] . The tournament starts 9th August till 19th August. Chess is the only game visually impaired players can play on an equal footing with sighted players.
Please click HERE to follow some of the games live!

Team South Africa at the Braille Olympiad. Good luck to all players and we wish you a great tournament! Click the image for a larger view.

South Africa at the Olympiad – photo: official site

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It’s time for the South African Open Chess Championships! Follow the Official Site with all the details. There’s also a link to ‘Live’ games! So, a very exciting tournament to look forward to with a ‘Live’ link! As you can see, it’s going to take place in the Newlands Rugby Stadium, Cape Town.

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Anand – Photo: CNN-IBN News [Twitter]

Tie break: Gelfand vs Anand: 1 1/2 – 2 1/2

These are some of the Tweets  from Twitter about Anand retaining his title – for the 5th time – as World Chess Champion.

Update: 4/6/2012 – Pogonina on Twitter

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Image: Susan Polgar chess blog – image edited

Anand and Gelfand – image: chessdom

Anand – image: Anastasia Karlovich

It’s again time for the FIDE World Chess Championship – this time Anand vs Gelfand at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Follow the link of the official site to read more.The prize fund is 2.55 million US Dollars. The winner gets $1,530,000 (60%) and the loser $1,020,000 (40%)
Official site: Chess FIDE Moscow

This is the second entry on my blog, on THIS LINK you can follow the first 6 games – with some chess graphics too. Six games have been played. Six draws. Is it Anand’s tactic, is he warming up? What about a prediction: 6 more draws within the next week.

Game 7 – move 8

Game 7 – Anand explained where his ‘mistake’ was – the Bishop on C8!- which he lost

Game 7 moves – [grrr for the Houdine comments in the PGN-file too- I tried to remove it neatly]

Click HERE to play through game 7. The link will open in a new window.

Anand during the interview after Game 7 – explaining his Bishop-mistake +My opinion about move 26: unnecessary lost of his Knight on E4 too.

Game 8 Anand vs Gelfand 1-0

Game 9 – Gelfand vs Anand – 1/2-12

Game 10 Anand vs Gelfand – 1/2-1/2

Game 10 moves

Countdown startinggame 11

Anand – Gelfand – taking their positions

Standings

Game 11 Gelfand vs Anand – move 16

Anand – game 11

Game 11 – Gelfand

Game 11 – draw agreed

Game 11 Gelfand vs Anand – 1/2 – 1/2

Game 12 – Anand vs Gelfand 1/2-1/2

Standings: Anand 6 – Gelfand 6. Now – for the tie break on Wednesday! Still crossing my fingers for Anand!

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Femme à Côté d’un Échiquier, by Henry Matisse -[credit:chessbase]

Images: http://www.pbase.com/arnomeintjes/drakensberg

Missing ‘The Berg‘ today! Wish for a mountain – a proper mountain – to climb.

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Anand and Gelfand – image: chessdom

Image data: chessbase

It’s again time for the FIDE World Chess Championship – this time Anand vs Gelfand at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Follow the link of the official site to read more.The prize fund is 2.55 million US Dollars. The winner gets $1,530,000 (60%) and the loser $1,020,000 (40%)
Chess FIDE Moscow
Anand vs Gelfand –  Official site here.

The World Chess Championship 2012 is a match between the current world champion Viswanathan Anand of India and Boris Gelfand of Israel, winner of the Candidates tournament. The match started on 10 May and is expected to end on 30 May 2012. It is played in the Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia and will determine the World Chess Champion. The match is held under the auspices of FIDE, the World Chess Federation. The prize fund is 2.55 million US Dollars.

The defending champion is Anand, having held the title since 2007. He last defended his title by winning the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov. The challenger is Gelfand, who won the tournament of eight-player Candidate Matches.- Wikipedia

Schedule – game 3-12

Image: Tretyakov-Gallery

Tretyakov-Gallery – Image:
http://moscow2012.fide.com/en/venue

The Venue

The State Tretyakov Gallery is the national treasury of the Russian fine art and one of the greatest museums in the world. Founded in 1856 by the Moscovite merchant Pavel Tretyakov, the Gallery was donated to the city of Moscow in 1892. Throughout the years, the Tretyakov Gallery developed into not only an immense museum known around the world, but also an important research center engaged in the preservation, restoration and study of its treasures, as well as raising public awareness of them. Today, the Tretyakov Gallery is home to over 170,000 works of art.

The Tretyakov Gallery Engineering Wing which will host the match is designed for large exhibitions, conferences and other cultural events. Source: chessbase

Anand vs Gelfand 1/2 – game 1

[Event “Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship”]
[Site “Moscow RUS”]
[Date “2012.05.11”]
[EventDate “2012.05.10”]
[Round “1”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[White “Viswanathan Anand”]
[Black “Boris Gelfand”]
[ECO “D85”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Bb5+ Nc6 9.d5 Qa5 10.Rb1 a6 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.O-O Qxa2 13.Rb2 Qa5 14.d6 Ra7 15.Bg5 exd6 16.Qxd6 Rd7 17.Qxc6 Qc7 18.Qxc7 Rxc7 19.Bf4 Rb7 20.Rc2 O-O 21.Bd6 Re8 22.Nd2 f5 23.f3 fxe4 24.Nxe4 Bf5 1/2-1/2

Gelfand vs Anand: Game 2: 1/2-1/2

Anand vs Gelfand Game 3 – 1/2-1/2

Anand vs Gelfand game 3 – photo: Indianews

Gelfand vs Anand – Game 4 – 1/2-1/2

Anand vs Gelfand – Game 5 – 1/2-1/2

Gelfand vs Anand Game 6 – 1/2-1/2

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 a6 6.Qc2 c5 7.cxd5 exd5
8.Be2 Be6 9.O-O Nc6 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Rxd4 Bc5 13.Rd1
Qe7 14.Bf3 O-O 15.Nxd5 Bxd5 16.Bxd5 Nxd5 17.Rxd5 Rac8 18.Bd2 Bxe3 19.Bc3 Bb620.Qf5 Qe6 21.Qf3 f6 22.h4 Qc6 23.h5 Rfd8 24.Rxd8+ Rxd8 25.Qxc6 bxc6 26.Re1 Kf7 27.g4 Bd4 28.Rc1 Bxc3 29.Rxc3 Rd4 1/2-1/2

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Vaibhav Suri – image: chessdom

Thank you to BiB  for the link sent to me. It’s great if you have someone who likes to share some great news like this! This boy is only 15, this is a big WOW for him. Is it my imagination, or are there more and more younger players who achieve this GrandMaster status in the last ten years? It’s fantastic, more and more children are getting exposed to chess at a very young age, which is great! Well done to India!

May 8, 2012, 2:12 am
India Gets a New Grandmaster
By THE NEW YORK TIMES

Vaibhav Suri became India’s newest grandmaster last Sunday when he won the Luc Open in Lille, France, Dylan Loeb McClain writes in The New York Times. At 15 years, he is the 27th youngest grandmaster in history.

“Some players who have become a grandmaster at such a young age have gone on to join the elite, but others have floundered,” Mr. McClain writes. “And some relatively late bloomers have risen to the top.”

The world champion, Viswanathan Anand, 42, who inspired a generation of Indian players, was 18 when he became a grandmaster, Mr. McClain writes. (Mr. Anand began his defense of the title on April 28 against Boris Gelfand of Israel.)

Suri has a classical style of play, “but he is also opportunistic,” he writes. A good example of his ability was his win over Artashes Minasian of Armenia in the Aeroflot Open in February.
http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/india-gets-a-new-grandmaster/?partner=rss&emc=rss

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Image: New York Times
Image here too: http://wyn.cc/1fi7e

images from the movie: The Thomas Crown Affair

Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen

We all know that alcohol inhibits the brain function under normal circumstances. For some people, wine adds some kind of majesty or splendor to a function -or even aesthetic value –  for some chess players too – to their game. I wonder what was added to Faye Dunaway’s game vs Steve McQueen? In the wine and chess scene, Faye’s Queen traps Steve McQueen’s King, and he says, ‘Let’s play something else,’ … hmm…think the wine was too much for him – or was it maybe the chess…[hehe] or was it more Faye’s clever ‘tricks’ to get him distracted from the game. Hmmm… some tips I might be thinking of next time – hehe…   of course we know Steve McQueen  had something else on his mind! Click HERE to view the clip of: The Thomas Crown Affair: – the wine and chess scene with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen.

On the next  link, a chess-friend , blog-friend and  Sommelier ,- one who knows his onions‘Boer’, who is in South Korea, recently blogged about the Chilean vs South African wines – an Afrikaans entry – unfortunately. [Google might help a little bit with the translation.]  He was then informed about a few wines – which had been given as pressies –  I would like him to comment upon. I’m not a huge wine-lover, but do like a glas of sweet red wine from time to time -that is about 1 glass per month – or so. Bad, I know – some of you might say…hehe…but promise to have at least 2 glasses, if I have a special meal with you! [hehe] If you look at some chess-gifts, they even include some wine for the wine-lover! This is definitely not for the professional chess player, I guess. Ok, now the photos for our Sommelier in South Korea.

image: flower-delivery-uk.co.uk

White Chardonnay [2009]- Chile

Red Frontera -[2011] Chile

French and Italian wines – click image for a very large view

Domain Cauvard – Volnay [2000]

La Chasse: Shiraz

South Australian – Jacob’s Creek: Shiraz

Some words about wine: Plato said: ‘There is nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the gods to man.’  Thomas Jefferson: ‘good wine is a necessity of life for me.’

‘Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them.’ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.  Click this link for more words on wine – a PDF document.

This poem originally by Rumi caught my attention:
I Am and I Am Not

I’m drenched
in the flood
which has yet to come

I’m tied up
in the prison
which has yet to exist

Not having played
the game of chess
I’m already the checkmate

Not having tasted
a single cup of your wine
I’m already drunk

Not having entered
the battlefield
I’m already wounded and slain

I no longer
know the difference
between image and reality

Like the shadow
I am
And
I am not

From: Love Poems of Rumi – Deepak Chopra
Translated by: Fereydoun Kia
Edited: Dr Deepak Chopra
Republished with permission of: Chopra centre
Click HERE for the poem source-link.

This image is from chessgames.com. It must be  some sort of good position, but to get my pawns lined up like this, I will have to take a few  ‘reds’ to be this good. I’ve never had 4 of my pawns in a line like this. I can recall two pawns, but 4…pass me the Red please! Click this link to read about double pawns.

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncle_sparkles/6233864275/
Enjoy the clip: Wine, Woman and Song – by Strauss

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Melodies of love II

It’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged a game I’ve played. On my blogger blog I have games played quite recently. I enjoyed this game, in particular how I was allowed to use my Knight to multi-fork my opponent! I always try to keep my Knights for their unusual moves. You can play through the game interactively. I played black in this game – my favourite colour to play. Please click HERE to play through the game. The link will open in a new window. My opponent eventually resigned – which I don’t blame him, but since he’s a relatively good player, I was surprised that he was prepared to lose his Rook without capturing my Knight. He could have moved his Queen on the first rank to capture my Knight in order to gain a piece. [image2] Another multi-fork was possible, but he cleverly avoided it by moving his Bishop and ‘forced’ me to move my Queen. On the third image you can see the end position and why he resigned.  If you look at my position, you can also see why I knew I was in a safe position and why I didn’t make an effort to be in a more secure position – with my King. 

Here are the moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.h3 Nf6 4.d3 h6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.a3 O-O 7.Be2 a6 8.O-O Nc6 9.Re1 Be6 10.Be3 Qd7 11.d4 exd4 12.Bxd4 d5 13.e5 Nh5 14.Nd2 Nf4 15.Bf3 Nxd4 16.Ne2 Ndxe2+ 17.Bxe2 Ng6 18.c3 Nxe5 19.Bf3 Nc6 20.b3 b5 21.a4 b4 22.cxb4 Bxb4 23.Re2 Bxd2 24.Rxd2 Nb4 25.Rd4 Rfb8 26.Qe1 Nc2 27.Qd2 Nxa1 28.Bxd5 Bxd5 29.Rxd5 Qe6 30.Rd3 Nxb3 31.Qc3 Rb7 32.Rg3 g6 33.Re3 Qd6 34.Qc4 Nc5 35.Rf3 Rb1+

Encircled

Unfolded subtle moves

squared and checked

sliced fearlessly

through minds and space

time and time again:

uninvited –

unasked, locked

encompassing en passanting

files cleared

control demanded:

E2 E4

gradually infiltrated

and distracted

surrendered: piece by piece

‘Thou shall not move’

–Nikita–30/3/2012 23:30

Update: 3/4/2012

Move 28.Qxe7+ Qxe7

My opponent on her way to capture my pawn, so I’m closing in with my Queen to make the final move – and to capture a Rook the same time… that’s what I thought the ‘plan’ was…

Move 33. …. Rb1 Qxb1+ leads to a lost Rook with move 35.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 Bg4 4.d4 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 Qe7 6.Nc3 exd4 7.Nd5 Qd7 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bf4 a6 10.Qd3 Nc6 11.e5 dxe5 12.Bxe5 f6 13.Nxc7+ Kd8 14.Nxa8 fxe5 15.Nb6 Qd6 16.Qf5 Qb4+ 17.c3 Qxb6 18.Qxf8+ Kd7 19.Qf7+ Nge7 20.Be6+ Kd6 21.O-O g5 22.Qf6 Rd8 23.Bf5+ Kc7 24.Qf7 Qxb2 25.Rab1 Qxc3 26.Be4 Qa3 27.Bxc6 bxc6 28.Qxe7+ Qxe7 29.Rb3 Kd6 30.Rb6 a5 31.Rc1 Rc8 32.Rcb1 Qe6 33.R1b5 Qxa2 34.Ra6 Qa1+ 35.Rb1 Qxb1+

Playing black, I completed this game today. My opponent, a female, is a deadly player. She frustrated me quite a lot with her style of playing. So much, that I nearly resigned the game, as I felt there was not really a ‘plan‘ according to her style/moves. She was just attacking left, right and centre and used her Queen everywhere. I soon realised that I might stand a chance of winning the game, for the way she played and sometimes it felt like she was moving pieces randomly. That of course frustrated me too, but guess it might work great in chess – if that’s what you try to get your opponent to be. Loosing her Queen was the ultimate sign of lack of concentration and I knew there was no way she could win the game anymore and I was patiently waiting for the next error, which was the Rook-move. Rook A6 and I responded with QA1. Thou shall not move.…sounded.

Click HERE to play through the game. The link will open in a new window.

Enjoy the two clips with some beautiful music! This song is called ‘My hart het ‘n kleine venster’ in Afrikaans, also available on youtube in German. [‘my heart has a little window’ – translated directly]


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‘Life is not a matter of milestones, but of moments’: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

I was more interested in the chess scene in this clip, but then inquisitively read about Joan and her story, which I knew about, though it was ‘refreshing‘ to read about it again, truly a very sad story. I guess, as things were at the time, it was ‘normal‘ for what had happened, but surely not in our modern days. I think Joan is an inspiration to us and must have been a brave woman to do what she did and believed in, especially at the very young age of only eighteen.

Joan of Arc
The story and biography of Joan of Arc which contains interesting information, facts and the history about the life of this Medieval person of historical importance.

The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc Lived from 1412-1431.  In the long wars between the French and English not even the Black Prince or King Henry V gained such fame as did a young French peasant girl, Joan of Arc. She was born in the little village of Domrémy . Her father had often told her of the sad condition of France, how the country was largely in the possession of England, and how the French king did not dare to be crowned. And so the thought came to be ever in her mind, “How I pity my country!” She brooded over the matter so much that she began to have visions of angels and heard strange voices, which said to her, “Joan, you can deliver the land from the English. go to the relief of King Charles.” At last these strange visions and voices made the young girl believe that she had a mission from God, and she determined to try to save France. When she told her father and mother of her purpose, they tried to persuade her that the visions of angels and the voices telling her of the divine mission were but dreams. The village priest, her young companions, even the governor of the town, all tried to stop her, but it was in vain.

1429 – Joan of Arc meets King Charles VII, the King of France, at Chinon.
Little by little people began to believe in her mission. At last all stopped trying to discourage her and some who were wealthy helped her to make the journey to the town of Chinon , where the French king, Charles the Seventh, was living. When Joan arrived at Chinon, a force of French soldiers was preparing to go to the south of France to relieve the city of Orleans which the English were besieging. King Charles received Joan kindly and listened to what she had to say with deep attention. The girl spoke modestly, but with a calm belief that she was right. “Gracious King,” she said, “my name is Joan. God has sent me to deliver France from her enemies. You shall shortly be crowned in the cathedral of Rheims. I am to lead the soldiers you are about to send for the relief of Orleans. So God has directed and under my guidance victory will be theirs.” The king and his nobles talked the matter over and finally it was decided to allow Joan to lead an army of about five thousand men against the English at Orleans.

Joan of Arc marches to Orleans
When she left Chinon at the head of her soldiers, in April, 1429, she was in her eighteenth year. Mounted on a fine war-horse and clad in white armor from head to foot, she rode along past the cheering multitude. In one hand she carried an ancient sword that she had found near the tomb of a saint, and in the other a white banner embroidered with lilies. The rough soldiers who were near her left off their oaths and coarse manners, and carefully guarded her. She inspired the whole army with courage and faith as she talked about her visions. When she arrived at the besieged city of Orleans she fearlessly rode round its walls, while the English soldiers looked on in astonishment.

Joan of Arc wins victory over the English and ends the siege at Orleans.
She was able to enter Orleans, despite the efforts of the besiegers to prevent her. She aroused the city by her cheerful, confident words and then led her soldiers forth to give battle to the English. Their success was amazing. One after another the English forts were taken. When only the strongest remained and Joan was leading the attacking force, she received a slight wound and was carried out of the battle to be attended by a surgeon. Her soldiers began to retreat. “Wait,” she commanded, “eat and drink and rest; for as soon as I recover I will touch the walls with my banner and you shall enter the fort.” In a few minutes she mounted her horse again and riding rapidly up to the fort, touched it with her banner. Her soldier almost instantly carried it. The very next day the enemy’s troops were forced to withdraw from before the city and the siege was at end. The French soldiers were jubilant at the victory and called Joan the “Maid of Orleans.” By this name she is known in history.

Joan of Arc sees the King crowned at Rheims
Her fame spread everywhere, and the English as well as the French thought she had more than human power. She led the French in several other battles, and again and again her troops were victorious. At last the English were driven far to the north of France. Then Charles, urged by Joan, went to Rheims with twelve thousand soldiers, and there, with splendid ceremonies, was crowned king. Joan holding her white banner, stood near Charles during the coronation. When the ceremony was finished, she knelt at his feet and said, “O King, the will of God is done and my mission is over! Let me now go home to my parents.” But the king urged her to stay a while longer, as France was not entirely freed from the English. Joan consented, but she said, “I hear the heavenly voices no more and I am afraid.”

Joan of Arc is captured
However she took part in an attack upon the army of the Duke of Burgundy, but was taken prisoner by him. For a large sum of money the duke delivered her into the hands of the English, who put her in prison in Rouen.

Joan of Arc is charged with Sorcery and brought to trial
She lay in prison for a year, and finally was charged with sorcery and brought to trial. It was said that she was under the influence of the Evil One. She declared to her judges her innocence of the charge and said, “God has always been my guide in all that I have done. The devil has never had power over me.” Her trial was long and tiresome. At its close she was doomed to be burned at the stake.

Joan of Arc is burnt at the Stake
In the market-place at Rouen the English soldiers fastened her to a stake surrounded by a great pile of fagots. A soldier put into her hands a rough cross, which he had made from a stick that he held. She thanked him and pressed it to her bosom. Then a priest, standing near the stake, read to her the prayers for the dying, and another mounted the fagots and held towards her a crucifix, which she clasped with both hands and kissed. When the cruel flames burst out around her, the noble girl uttered the word “Jesus,” and expired.

Source: Click here to read the original article.

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It was in the late 90’s when I said to my ex-headteacher that I would love to see chess as a subject in schools, for all the known reasons why children would benefit from it. – There are many entries on my blog about research and the benefits of chess – in the ‘search’ box you can type key words and you should find about 10 entries-or even more about the benefits of chess. You can read similar/same entries on many other sites too. Research conducted by various people from various countries in different/same areas has shown the same results. There is no doubt that chess, not only help children with all subjects in school [including reading!], but also support children in building/developing their skills for life. The fact that the European Parliament has made this decision,  is great news for chess and chess-lovers all over the world!

“This is a historical success for the European chess. The date of March 13th, 2012 will go down in chess history as the date when the game of chess advanced to a higher level of recognition by the society – not just like sport, but also like a part of education in the modern world.” – said Mr. Silvio Danailov, the President of the European Chess Union.

The President of the European Chess Union Mr. Silvio Danailov was applauded by all the MEPs for the success of the ‘Chess in School’ Declaration. This happened during the official parliamentary session at the EU Parliament where Mr. Danailov was invited as a special guest and presented by the Bulgarian MEP Mr. Slavi Binev. The President of the EU Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz officially announced from the rostrum that the Written Declaration 50/2011 about Chess in School was endorsed by the EU Parliament.
After the session, some of the MEPs said to Mr. Danailov that the acceptance of the Declaration is really a great success, because the EU MEPs usually adopt only small number of Declarations, 10-15% of them. The final number of the MEPs who have signed the Written Declaration 50/2011 is 415.
Silvio Danailov, Bulgarian MEP Slavi Binev and the chess legend Garry Kasparov, also gave an official press conference, which reached audience on 250 national TV stations from Europe and the world. All activities and events connected to the project “Chess in school” were held under the high patronage of the previous President of the European Parliament, prof. Jerzy Buzek and Mr. Slavi Binev, who is the main supporter of the project and who introduced the Written Declaration 50/2011. During the press conference, Mr. Danailov gave a special award to Mr. Binev for his big contribution to the acceptance of the Written Declaration. MEPs John Attard-Montalto and Hannu Takkula, who were among the strongest supporters of the project, also took part in the press conference.
The Written Declaration will officially be communicated from the Parliament to the Commission and to the Parliament of each EU Member State together with the list of signatories.
The Declaration calls on the Commission and Council:

– To encourage the introduction of the program ‘Chess in School’ in the educational system of the Member States;

– To pay, in its forthcoming communication on sport, the necessary attention to the program ‘Chess in School’ and to ensure sufficient funding for it from 2012 onwards;

– To take into consideration the results of any studies on the effects of this program on children’s development.

The development and implementation of the program will be carried out as a joint project between the European Chess Union and Kasparov Chess Foundation Europe.

Source: Please click HERE for the site of EUROPECHESS

Toasting success! Garry Kasparov, Silvio Danailov and the team celebrate. Image: chess.com

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ACP Women Cup in the Land of the World Champions – Georgia

The ACP Women’s Cup starts tomorrow – 18th February 2012 – in Tbilisi. On the link – which will open in a new window – you can follow the games.

Tbilisi – on the map – very close to Azerbaijan, where my favourite Chess City – Baku is, which I would love to visit one day – especially the old city. If you remember my Baku-Chess entry, you will remember the beautiful pics of the old city too – where one of my favourite blogreaders is ‘hiding’ too. [hehe]

Tbilisi Schedule

Ana Zatonskih

Some of the players at the ACP Women Cup: Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tatiana Kosinteva, Ana Zatonskih and Antoaneta Stefanova – see more players on the given link.

Tbilisi – pic from the gallery I’ve just discovered on the official site!

If you go to the ‘gallery’ link on the official site, you will find more beautiful pictures of Tbilisi

Image: Wikimedia

I think Tbilisi will also be on my list of cities I would like to visit one day!

Rkinis Rigi – in Old Tbilisi – image: Wikimedia

Tbilisi – Church at night

According to Wikipedia: Tbilisi is the largest city in Georgia with a population of 1,152,500.

Results: ACP-Round 1

For more results, please click HERE . The link will open in a new window.

Kosteniuk round 2 move 7

Kosteniuk round 2 move 28

Kosteniuk round 2 move 35

Kosteniuk round 2 final position 1-0

Tbilisi – ACP Women round 2 results

Tbilisi – ACP Women round 3: results

Kosteniuk round 3: moves

Kosteniuk round 3: Final position

Kosteniuk round 4 – moves

Kosteniuk round 4: Final position

Kosteniuk round 5 – final position

Final results: rounds 4 + 5

Kosteniuk round 8 final position

Results: rounds 6-8

Results round 9 – 11

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Image: Web-archive  here.

Valentines Day is upon us! How romantic can you get – or unromantic/dry? Have you thought about chess? No? Well, then think twice! Watch the video further down in this entry. Good luck!

‘The great game has its tender, its romantic side, as no game can have at which more than two people play. It smiles on lovers, and can even be the cause of love’. – NY Times

Romance in Chess
What could possibly be less romantic than chess?

Romance in chess? ‘What could possibly be less romantic than chess?’ you might be asking. After all, chess is a game of war based on logic, isn’t it? There is nothing romantic about war or logic.

Many players are familiar with the famous quote by Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch from the preface to his classic manual The Game of Chess : ‘Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make men happy’ (which politically correct writers of more recent times change to ‘the power to make people happy’). Less familiar is Tarrasch’s preceding sentence, ‘I have always a slight feeling of pity for the man who has no knowledge of chess, just as I would pity the man who has remained ignorant of love.’

Chess once served a social function of allowing young men and women to meet above the board. Echecs et Féodalité : Raoul de Cambrai (Chess and feudalism; from Culture et curiosités, see the link box at the bottom of this article on the page where the article origins) tells of a poem by Bertolai, a 10th century poet from Laon, France. The poem, about a war of succession in Northern France, references chess twice. In the second reference chess is used as an excuse by the daughter of the new overlord Guerri to woo the hero Bernier to her chambers. Her chamberlain, assigned the task of arranging the meeting, says to Bernier, ‘My young lord, you can be proud of yourself, since the daughter of Guerri, the most noble woman from here to the south of France, asks that you join her in her apartments, to play chess. You should comply, but don’t play chess.

The significance of this might be lost in our age of instant gratification, but as recently as 100 years ago, chess still occasionally served as a means to a more romantic end.

Read it HERE on the site of the NYTimes.

This popular illustration by Clarence Frederick Underwood (American, 1871-1929), is often listed under various titles. Our favorite is Knight takes Queen. This theme is not as unique as you might think. One web site has a collection of more than 50 drawings and photos, all with the theme ‘Couples playing chess’ . The images invariably have titles like ‘The right move‘, ‘The greatest game in the world‘, or variations on the word mate : ‘Impending Mate‘, ‘Check and mate‘, etc. The word ‘checkmate’ even figured in at least one early valentine.

My little love do you remember,
Ere we grew so sadly wise,
When you and I played chess together,
Checkmated by each others eyes?

The scientific view of chess as a game of logic based on first principles took hold at the end of the 19th-century. The romantic period in chess, where players sacrificed pieces for the sake of introducing tactical complications, is generally considered to have reached its peak during the mid 19th-century. The greatest proponent of the romantic style was undoubtedly Adolph Anderssen, the unofficial World Champion from that period. His daring lives on in games that have been given romantic names.

Immortal game : Anderssen – Kieseritzky, London 1851

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Bc4 Qh4+ 4. Kf1 b5 5. Bxb5 Nf6 6. Nf3 Qh6 7. d3 Nh5 8. Nh4 Qg5 9. Nf5 c6 10. g4 Nf6 11. Rg1 cxb5 12. h4 Qg6 13. h5 Qg5 14. Qf3 Ng8 15. Bxf4 Qf6 16. Nc3 Bc5 17. Nd5 Qxb2 18. Bd6 Qxa1+ 19. Ke2 Bxg1 20. e5 Na6 21. Nxg7+ Kd8 22. Qf6+ Nxf6 23. Be7+ 1-0

Evergreen game : Anderssen – Dufresne, Berlin 1852

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 exd4 7. O-O d3 8. Qb3 Qf6 9. e5 Qg6 10. Re1 Nge7 11. Ba3 b5 12. Qxb5 Rb8 13. Qa4 Bb6 14. Nbd2 Bb7 15. Ne4 Qf5 16. Bxd3 Qh5 17. Nf6+ gxf6 18. exf6 Rg8 19. Rad1 Qxf3 20. Rxe7+ Nxe7 21. Qxd7+ Kxd7 22. Bf5+ Ke8 23. Bd7+ Kf8 24. Bxe7+ 1-0

The Evans Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4) is the chess opening most closely associated with the romantic period. The position in the following diagram, showing the b-Pawn being sacrificed for tactical complications, was a magnet for the romantics.

Anderssen played the Evans Gambit, as did Mikhail Chigorin, one of the last, great romantic players of the 19th century.

Evans Gambit 4…Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 : Anderssen – Zukertort, Barmen 1869

Evans Gambit 4…Bxb4 5.c3 Bc5 : Chigorin – Dorrer, Correspondence 1884

Anderssen’s opponent in our example game, Johannes Zukertort, was himself no stranger to piece sacrifices.

English Opening : Zukertort – Blackburne, London 1883

Who was the first of the romantic players? We would say Louis-Charles de La Bourdonnais (French, 1797-1840), the first unofficial World Champion. The award winning The Oxford Companion to Chess by David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld (link box again- see original link of article) calls the opening 1.e4 e6 2.f4 both the Bourdonnais Attack and the Romantic Attack.

Who was the last of the romantic players? No one. More modern players like Mikhail Tal and Alexei Shirov continued the romantic tradition, often spurning logic to make their opponents hack through mind spinning complications.

Source: http://www.mark-weeks.com/aboutcom/aa05b12.htm

Voltaire by Huber

Voltaire frequented the Café de la Régence where he played chess with Philidor and Jean-Jacques Rousseau as well as once, in 1748, having played a correspondence game with Fredrick the Great of Prussia by courier.

http://www.edochess.ca/batgirl/VoltairebyHuber.jpg

The Café de la Régence, by a Chess-player
Fraser’s Magazine, Vol. XXII July to December, 1840
transcribed by Mark Weeks

The Régence was established as a rendezvous for the literati of the day, under the government of the Duke of Orleans, and like Will’s in London, became, from its eligible position, the haunt of the most celebrated esprits of France during the eighteenth century. Voltaire, the two Rousseaus, the profligate Duc de Richelieu, Marshal Saxe, Chamfort, St. Foix, Benjamin Franklin, Marmontel, Philidor, and Grimm, are but a few of the men of note who constantly frequented the Régence in early times. The very chairs and tables acquired name and fame from classical association; and, till quite recently, the master of the establishment might be heard commanding his attendants, in tones of pride to “Serve Jean Jacques,” — “Look to Voltaire,” — the identical tables at which this pair of philosophes were wont daily to play chess, being still at that time in existence, named from the departed great. These sacred shrines are now superseded by marble slabs; coal-gas sparkles in sun-like lustres; and Voltaire could hardly recognise his favoured lounge, save from the low-ceiled room unaltered in its proportions. A dingy portrait of Philidor yet hangs, I am glad to see, against the wall. To a chess antiquary, the relic would be worth purchase at its weight in gold.

Source: http://www.edochess.ca/batgirl/voltaire.html

Was great to find my ‘creation’ on Alexandra Kosteniuk’s chess blog with her entry on Valentine’s Day – 2011. [hehe]

And with this image: Enjoy Valentine’s Day 2012! Enjoy this golden oldie

Sharon Tany and Billy Forest – Helloh-A

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chess_vintage

This is one more of my ‘creations’ and I hope you like it – as much as I’ve enjoyed ‘creating’ it. With this image: I want to wish you a Happy New Year  and wish you lots and lots of success in everything you do. Be positive, proud and keep smiling.

Gelukkige Nuwe Jaar aan almal wat hier lees. Mag jou jaar met vrede en voorspoed gevul word!

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.— Gustave Flaubert

 

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Lord Nelson – Image: Wikipedia

Lady Emma Hamilton – Image: Encyclopedia.com

Lord Nelson had a love affair and he was a hero ‘at sea’, but was a really a hero in his personal life. How many people really do know about this scandal? I only got to know about it when I read about Lady Emma! Lord Nelson was – apparently – also a chess player.

A poem from Lady Emma to Lord Nelson – from here:

gutenberg.org/cache/epub/15437/pg15437.txt

EMMA TO NELSON.

  I think, I have not lost my heart;
    Since I, with truth, can swear,
  At every moment of my life,
    I feel my Nelson there!

  If, from thine Emma's breast, her heart
    Were stolen or flown away;
  Where! where! should she my Nelson's love
    Record, each happy day?

  If, from thine Emma's breast, her heart
    Were stolen or flown away;
  Where! where! should she engrave, my Love!
    Each tender word you say?

  Where! where! should Emma treasure up
    Her Nelson's smiles and sighs?
  Where mark, with joy, each secret look
    Of love, from Nelson's eyes?

  Then, do not rob me of my heart,
    Unless you first forsake it;
  And, then, so wretched it would be,
    Despair alone will take it.

Born Emma Lyon, she became the mistress of Charles Greville, then of Sir William Hamilton , ambassador to Naples, whom she married (1791). She gained enormous influence with Neapolitan Queen Marie Caroline. Her intimacy with Nelson began in 1798, and after returning to Englandwith him, she bore him a daughter, Horatia, in 1801

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Trafalgar

Nelson’s affair with Emma Hamilton was the biggest scandal of the age. Their actual liaison lasted only six years, but it transformed their lives, their respective positions in society, and the public’s perception of them both.

Horatio Nelson first met Lady Hamilton on 12 September 1793. He was a 35-year-old post captain and she was the 28-year-old wife of Sir William Hamilton, the British Envoy to Naples. Emma was a great beauty and a celebrated artists’ model, and she was also famous across Europe for performing ‘attitudes’, which were performances in which she moved quickly from one dramatic pose to another.

Mired in retirement in Norfolk for the previous five years, Nelson had hardly seen a woman since he had returned to sea six months before their meeting, and he was impressed by Lady Hamilton. He wrote to his wife Fanny that Emma was a ‘young woman of amiable manners who does honour to the station to which she is raised’.

Although the newspaper-reading public savoured every detail about Nelson and Lady Hamilton, others condemned their relationship and some friends and colleagues refused to visit them. Most aristocrats and rich men kept mistresses, and many, like the Duke of Wellington, humiliated their wives by flaunting courtesans in public. Nelson, however, was the first high-profile man to actually leave his wife and many were scandalised by his actions.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/nelson_emma_01.shtml

Six Wood Relics Related to Admiral Lord Nelson – you can see a turned chess piece to the right on this photo.
Image: http://ephemera.ning.com/photo/six-wood-relics-related-to

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I will be following some of the teams, but unfortunately time for blogging games not good now, what a shame as I would have loved to blog Ivanchuk’s games. The following link will bring you the results of the Open section as well as the Women’s section.

http://euro2011.chessdom.com/results-etcc-2011/

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Beautiful

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6372332

Wow, this unusual perfume set is – oh so – beautiful! – and cute. I would love to have a set of these bottles, so please, Dan/Eugene/Awmyth, if you read here, hear my call! [hehe]

An unusual “Mary Chess” glass perfume bottle chess set is expected to sell for £2,000 – 3,000. During the 1930s Mary Chess became synonymous with fine women’s perfume, and a series of popular scents were bottled in glass chess pieces.

Read more HERE on the link which will open in a new window.

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chess blind1

Through a search engine term about Visual Impaired chess players, I’ve decided [back in 2009!] to create an entry about Chess for Visually Impaired Chess players. You can also read about Cecil Vosloo, South Africa’s champion.


How Visually Impaired Play Chess The Chess Board of 64 squares has the following modifications:

  • All the Black squares are raised about 3-4 mm above the white squares. By feeling the squares, the player is able to determine whether the square is a black or a white one.
  • Each of the squares on the Board has a hole in the centre so that the pieces can be fixed in these holes.
  • Each of the pieces has a downward projection (nail) at the base, which fits into the hole in the squares on the Board, thereby fixing the piece securely on the board.
  • All the Black pieces have a pin fixed on their heads helping the player distinguish between a white and a black piece.

The players therefore, by feeling the raised or the lowered squares can figure out whether the piece is on a black or a white square. By feeling the shape of the piece, they can determine whether the piece is a Pawn, Rook, Bishop, Knight, Queen or King. The touch of the pin on the pieces helps the player from distinguishing a white piece from a black one. The player is therefore able to have a clear picture in his mind of the position on the Board. He is now ready to take on any opponent, sighted or otherwise. After making every move, the visually impaired person is required to announce the move aloud, so that his opponent comes to know of the move. Instead of writing the moves on a Score Sheet, the visually impaired player writes the moves in Braille or records the moves on a tape recorder.

A little while ago, – in 2009 to be honest! -I did a search on visually impaired chess players on the web, as someone found my blog through a search engine term linked to visually impaired chess players. I came across Cecil Vosloo, a visually impaired chess player from South Africa on a site where he left some details about himself. I contacted him and he’s sent me some more info about himself. Visually impaired people have always been closed to my heart. As a student, and later as a teacher, I worked with visually impaired children and met Mariette, a High School student, who loved chess. We played many games – during the evenings when I did study duty in their hostel and I was always amazed by her bubbly personality, despite her visual disability. She tried to remember the layout of the chess board and where every chess piece was after each move. She had to observe the board from my point of view and from hers! That must be quite difficult, as you need to remember where both players pieces are and what your opponent tries to do and what you want to do! cecil-vosloo-braille-chess

On the site where I found Cicel, this was his personal message: My name is Cicel Vosloo. Born and bred on a farm, my dream was to become a farmer. This wasn’t to be though, because, whilst fighting a neighbour’s fire, my face was was terribly burnt, resulting in the loss of my sight. My initial anger gave way to the realisation that God provided me with a challenge, that, with His support I would be able to meet. Whilst attending a college for the blind, I started playing chess. In 2007 I won the national chess competition, which gave me a new lease on life.Currently I am ranked the number two South African Braille Chess Player and am honoured to be invited to represent South Africa in the Braille Chess Olympiad, an international event, in Greece in October 2008.

chess blind2

Via email Cecil sent me the following in October 2009:

Well, where do I start? I like the outdoors, BBQ’s and South Africa’s sunny weather. For me personally, I enjoy chess very much. I had been playing blind cricket for about three years, for the Gauteng club, but due to all sorts of interests, I’ve decided to quit. I had been playing chess since the beginning of the 2000’s and it came as an amazing surprise as how much you can actually learn from chess, how many friends you make and the respect you are treated with. It is not always easy to get around to get to clubs, and then of course the transport problem when you need to play tournaments far from home. It was my first time at an Olympiad in 2008, it was mind blowing -the tricks the guys pull for a win, amazing, but of course all in the rules. South Africa is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to blind chess.

Since Greece I played in 6 tournaments: January – Piet Roberts Open – 3.5/6 sighted March – Gauteng Open – second April – Top Eight – forth June – Kolonade – first June – Louis Braille Open – second August – SA Nationals – third.

I did contact Cecil again, as this entry got ‘lost’ as one of my 100+ drafts! So Cecil has now updated me with more info about him and his chess whereabouts. braille

July 2011 update: In 2010 I played in the sighted S.A. Open, got four wins, two draws out of nine games. In 2011 I won our blind Top Eight tournament. I won the Gauteng Open and also took part in the Commonwealth Chess Tournament which was recently held in South Africa. I got 5 points out of 11, it was a very tough tournament, 699 players took part. It was a great experience and I’m now working on getting into the team for next years Braille Olympiad. Next month is our blind S.A. tournament and I’m aiming to do well there too.

blind-chess-

Update 27/7/2011 from Rista: Chess South Africa: SA Open 2010 4 wins, 2 draws out of 9 rounds, which was stunning. He was the only blind player in this tournament. SA Braille Closed – [Top 8] 2011 – Cicel scored 6 out of 7, he won 5 games, 2 draws. Gauteng Braille Open – Again Champion! Commonwealth and SA Open 2011 – Cicel was awesome in this tough tourney. He won the first prize for Visually Impaired players. The Braille SA Championship is 13 – 14 Aug. Cicel is a favourite to win. The Top 8 will get invited next year April to the closed championship where a decision will be made about who to present South Africa internationally and they will get to go to India. Click HERE for the results of the Braille tournament where you can see Cecil’s photo as the Champion.

Chess games I played recently [not Cecil!]. These chess games are really nothing to get excited about. The only reason why I get excited about it is because it is  of my less good games – especially the game on the first link- and I also put in a lot of conditional moves in this game as my opponent was one of those very slow moverschesschat, whilst I wanted to finish the game in real time…very impatient me. [lol] I got near to the end very excited, as I put 6 complete moves in as conditional moves [just out of frustration to get the game done!] and when I logged back on, it was all done. You will see how many pieces I offered and also how unnecessary I lost my one knight! I played black and the Philidors defence as opening in this game. I offered many pieces near to the end as I knew it would be a win for me. Have fun playing through it! Click HERE to play through the second game I played. Click HERE to play through the first game against this same player [links will open in a new window]. In this game I was more focused too and played – as in many other games – the Kings Pawn opening. The last move – Qb7+ isn’t active in the pgn-viewer, although you will see the move [for some reason it prefers to stay inactive].

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Fine Art


The pianist in this youtube video is brilliant. Enjoy one of my favourite pieces of music: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no 1. The Chess art is by:
redbubble.com/people/plunder/

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It’s time for another big tournament – starting on a very special day! If you’re not sure who these ‘Kings’ are, click the Official site-link here. I might not have time blogging their games, but will follow the results of the rounds. This tournament takes place in Medias, Romania from 11-22 June.

Click HERE to go to their games – live.

Round 1
Click HERE to play through the games of round 1.

You can also the results HERE on the site of chessbase follow. There are links to play through the games played too. [All links in this post will open in a new window.]



The schedule of the tournament is the following:
– 11th of June 15:30 1st Round
– 12th of June 15:30 2nd Round
– 13th of June 15:30 3rd Round
– 14th of June 15:30 4th Round
– 15th of June 15:30 5th Round
– 16th of June Free day
– 17th of June 15:30 6th Round
– 18st of June 15:30 7th Round
– 19nd of June 15:30 8th Round
– 20th of June 15:30 9th Round
– 21st of June 13:30 10th Round
– 22nd of June Free day

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Please click HERE for the official website.

Vishy Anand, current World Champion and seven times winner of the Magistral, comes back to Leon to face the strongest Spanish player, Alexei Shirov, on the 24th edition. This tournament is already a classic, one of the most prestigious in the chess calendar.

Anand and Shirov will play in Leon with a large audio-visual setting that will allow the public to “see the chess stars thinking”, thanks to big screens and live audio comments (by GM Illescas, eight times Spanish champion) and IM Michael Rahal.

The rules, written by the prestigious arbiter Joaquin Espejo, indicate that Anand and Shirov will play six games (Friday to Sunday, two per day) with 45 minutes per side plus Thirty seconds increment after each move in the magnificent León Auditorium. If needed, there will eventually be a tie-break of several five minute games.

SCHEDULE
Thursday, June 2nd
PLAYERS ARRIVAL – 20.00 Drawing of lots, CONDE LUNA HOTEL.
Friday, June 3rd
GAMES 1 AND 2 (16.30), LEON AUDITORIUM.
Saturday, June 4th
GAMES 3 AND 4 (16.30), LEON AUDITORIUM.
Sunday, June 5th
GAMES 5 and 6 (16.30) and, eventually, tie-breaks, LEON AUDITORIUM.
Monday, June 6th – Prize giving 14:30
Simuls (17.30), LEON UNIVERSITY.

Game 1 Anand vs Shirov:1/2


Game 2- Anand vs Shirov : 1-0
Click HERE to play through their games.


Game 3 – Anand vs Shirov 1-0


Game 4 Anand vs Shirov – 1/2


Game 5- Anand vs Shirov

Game 5 – Anand vs Shirov 1/2

I love this next picture which I put together in Fireworks – it is a combination of about 10 different images.

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http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1233404

On one of the chess sites, I’m busy playing a tournament and this particular player sent me the above link on chessgames, to highlight a ‘better’ move for one of the moves I’ve made. When looking at the game, I realised that our game was almost this game, in particular the first few moves. I felt sort of ‘thrilled’ by the idea of playing the start of Morphy’s famous game called: ‘Night at the Opera’. The moves in blue are the first moves of our game -I played white- and you can compare it with Morphy’s game in this entry.[maybe, if I didn’t castle, I could have had move 9 with move 7 – which was Morphy’s move – he castled move 12.] I hope you like Dolannes Melody by Jean-Claude Borelly, you can listen to it at the bottom of this post.

1. e4 e 5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Bg4 4. dxe5 Bxf3 5. Qxf3 dxe5 6. Bc4 f6 7. 0-0 Ne7
8. Rd1 Qc8 9. Qb3 c6

In 1858 the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard invited the American master Paul Morphy to the Paris Opera to watch The Barber of Serville, then asked their guest to play chess with them. Morphy was more interested in watching the opera, but could not courteously refuse.

Morphy played white, while Brunswick and Isouard consulted on black. He took his opponents apart in 17 moves, enabling him to watch the rest of the show without distraction, and incidentally proving that teaming two mediocre players does not double their talents.

This game is one of the best known in chess, exemplifying as it does the advantages of quick development over the pursuit of minor advantages. The game features a queen sacrifice that leads directly to mate.

The score of the game follows:

Paul Morphy vs Duke of Brunswick & Count Isouard, Paris Opera House, 1858. Philidor’s Defense.

Paul Morphy “The Pride and Sorrow of Chess,” was an American chess player. He is considered to have been the greatest chess master of his era and an unofficial World Chess Champion. He was also one of the first chess prodigies in the modern rules of chess era.

The “Opera game” – a casual game against inexperienced opponents, but at the same time one of the clearest and most beautiful attacking games ever. Often used by chess teachers to demonstrate how to use time, develop pieces and generate threats.

While most of the audience was following the performance of The Barber of Seville, Paul Morphy was busy at the chessboard, facing noble opposition. His opponents, working together, played well enough for a while, but they allowed Morphy to set two deadly pins.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Bg4 4. d x e5 B x f3 5. Q x f3 d x e5 6. Bc4 Nf6
7. Qb3 Qe7 8. Nc3 c6 9. Bg5 b5 10. N x b5 c x b5 11. B x b5 + Nbd7
12. O-O-O Rd8 13. R x d7 R x d7 14. Rd1 Qe6 15. B x d7 + N x d7
16. Qb8 + N x b8 17. Rd8 mate

These two images found on google and edited it slightly – beautiful poster – the second image.

I spoilt myself the last few days with a few chess games and even a few tournaments, but work is calling again! The following two games were played against the same opponent – you will notice in both games, my Knights were used – in conjunction with the Queen – to checkmate my opponent. I always prefer to save my Knights – I will even sacrifice my Bishops in order to keep my Knights for the reason as in these games and also for their tricky moves.

1. e4 e5 2. d4 Bd6 3. d5 h6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 d6 8. Be3 Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. gxf3 a6 11. f4 Nxe4 12. c4 f5 13. Rb1 Nc3 14. Qh5+ Ke7 15. Rxb7 Qc8 16. Rb3 Ne4 17. Qh4+ Nf6 18. Rg1 Rg8 19. f3 Kf8 20. fxe5 dxe5 21. Bc5+ Kf7 22. Bd3 Nbd7 23. Bb4 c5 24. Bxf5 cxb4 25. Bg6+ Kf8 26. Rxb4 a5 27. Rb3 Nc5 28. Re3 Qb8 29. Kf2 Ra7 30. f4 e4 31. Kg2 Qb2 32. Qf2 Qa2 33. d6 Qxc4 34. c3 Rb7 35. f5 Nd3 36. Qe2 Rb2 37. Kf1 Rxe2 38. Kxe2 Nf4+ 39. Kf2 Nd3+ 40. Ke2 Qxc3 41. Rxe4 Nxe4 42. d7 Qd2+ 43. Kf3 Ng5+ 44. Kg3 Qe3+ 45. Kg2 Ke7 46. Rb1 Qxh3+ 47. Kg1 Nf3+

1. d4 d5 2. Nc3 Nf6  3. Bf4 Na6  4. Be5 Bf5  5. Bxf6 exf6  6. e3 Qd7  7. Bxa6 b6
8. Bb7 Rb8  9. Ba6 Bd6  10. a3 O-O  11. h3 h6  12. Nge2 Rfe8  13. Bd3 g6  14. Bxf5 Qxf5  15. O-O Rxe3  16. fxe3 Qe6  17. Qd2 Re8  18. Rf3 c6  19. Raf1 c5 20. Rxf6 Qd7  21. Rxf7 Qxf7  22. Rxf7 Kxf7  23. e4 dxe4  24. d5 e3  25. Qe1 a6 26. Qh4 h5  27. Qg5 Re5  28. Qh6 b5  29. Qh7+ Kf8  30. Qxg6 Be7  31. d6 Bd8 32. d7 Bc7  33. Qf6+ Kg8  34. d8=Q+ Bxd8  35. Qxd8+ Kg7  36. Qc7+ Kf6
37. Qd6+ Kf5  38. Qxa6 b4  39. axb4 cxb4  40. Nb5 Ke4  41. Nd6+ Kd5                42. b3 Re6  43. Qd3+ Ke5  44. Qd4+
Dolannes Melody by Jean-Claude Borelly

And for the record: It was Republic Day

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Image: chessgames

J R Capablanca was a world chess champion in the 1920’s. He wrote this letter to his son, age 10 by the time. This letter is a very inspirational one, as his advice is so true to many of us. I wonder how many parents – in today’s life – do give such advice to their children? For more about Chess history….follow this link.

From Wikipedia:
José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera (19 November 1888 – 8 March 1942) was a Cuban chess player who was world chess champion from 1921 to 1927. One of the greatest players of all time, he was renowned for his exceptional endgame skill and speed of play. Due to his achievements in the chess world, mastery over the board and his relatively simple style of play he was nicknamed the “Human Chess Machine”.

The envelope was marked as follows:
‘For my son José Raúl

When he reaches ten years old and afterwards for therest of his life –
J.R. Capablanca.’

My dearest son,
You must keep this letter to read it again when you are 21 because things that you do not know and understand now you will know and understand then. First of all, you must always respect and love your mother above all else. Try never to tell her lies; always tell her the truth. Your father, writing these lines, has a reputation throughout the whole world for being a very honest man – very truthful and honourable. Try to imitate me in all this. Be studious and strong so that you can defend your mother and your sister with your head as well as with your hands. Whatever wishes you may have to study a particular thing, remember that in any case you must become a lawyer before anything else, so that you can defend your own interests and those of your family.

After you have become a lawyer you can, if you prefer something else, concentrate on whatever you like. Don’t forget that the best period of a man’s life is when he is a student. As a boy this will not seem so to you, but when you have gone through that stage and reached the age of 40 you will see the truth of what I am telling you. On the physical side, there are two things you must know how to do well – swim and box, so that you can defend yourself at sea as well as on land. This does not mean that you should often fight, but that you must be prepared to do so if necessary.Try to be a man of wide culture. There is nothing in the world as entertaining as books. It is also necessary to be useful to humanity. If you can avoid it, never play cards, smoke or drink alcohol of any kind. These are bad habits which greatly shorten life and weaken men physically as well as intellectually and morally.

Be an honest and good man.
Your father embraces you with all his love.
J.R. Capablanca.’

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Digital Time – Boldriaan [schaakkunst.nl]

Ballet dancers – Irma Stern

Flowerseller – Irma Stern

 

The Hunt – Irma Stern



Chess is an art. Chess is a science. Chess is music.  Chess is a game. Chess is cool. Chess is fun. Chess is Chess! There are always people ‘arguing’ about what Chess actually is and I really find these ‘conversations’ [if you can call it a conversation] really boring. I think it’s mainly bored people on chess sites just wasting time around topics like these. The same with ‘men are better than women’ – also one of the most boring topics. Can Chess players not have more intelligent conversations in the Chess forums than these boring topics? – or is it just me in a ‘mood’.[haha]

Here’s some musical fun!  Click on this link for the  FUN  and enjoy! The link will open in a new window and you need to use your mouse to click the rain drops and you create your own melody too.

From a document found on the US Chess_trust site, I’ve copied a few paragraphs, but once again, this is just another ‘confirmation’ of what I’ve said in many entries on my blog before. So much evidence is available – research done by many people in the past and you will find plenty of documents on my blog to support it – to prove the benefits of chess for children and their learning. These quoted paragraphs are just a tiny drop in the bucket of all the evidence available. Whilst it’s Easter Holiday, I feel to take time out to enjoy a ‘trip’ to some fine ‘art galleries’ and fine  ‘music theatres’ of the ‘world’ and would like to share with you Irma Stern’s art. I’ve found you some info about Irma Stern on Wikipedia and her house [now an art gallery-museum]-link can be found near the bottom of this entry too. The three music files are some of my favourite music and it’s by Waldo de los Rios [and his orchestra] and you can read about the Toy Symphony on my blog on the link at the bottom of the entry. [copy/paste the link in your browser]. These files are not complete files – as you will notice. I hope you can hear the clock – at the start of the first file. Haydn’s ‘Clock’. [Turn the volume up if you don’t hear the clock] Lastly, I had to add a file from Mantovani and his orchestra: Elizabeth Serenade

She was born in Schweitzer-Renecke, a small town in the Transvaal, of German-Jewish parents. Her father was interned in a concentration camp by the British during the South African War because of his pro-Boer leanings.[1] Irma and her younger brother, Rudi, were thus taken to Cape Town by their mother. After the war, the family returned to Germany and constant travel. This travel would influence Irma’s work.

In 1913 Stern studied art in Germany at the Weimar Academy, in 1914 at the Levin-Funcke Studio and notably from 1917 with Max Pechstein, a founder of the Novembergruppe. Stern was associated with the German Expressionist painters of this period. She held her first exhibition in Berlin in 1919. In 1920 Stern returned to Cape Town with her family where she was first derided and dismissed as an artist before becoming an established artist by the 1940s.

In 1926 she married Dr Johannes Prinz her former tutor, who subsequently became professor of German at the University of Cape Town. They were divorced in 1934.

Irma Stern travelled extensively in Europe and explored Southern Africa, Zanzibar and the Congo region. These trips provided a wide range of subject matter for her paintings and gave her opportunities to acquire and assemble an eclectic collection of artifacts for her home. Stern was to travel extensively in her lifetime: in 1930 to Madeira, in 1937 and 1938 to Dakar, Senegal, 1939 Zanzibar, 1942 Congo, 1945 Zanzibar, 1946 Central Africa, 1952 Madeira, 1955 Congo, 1960 Spain and 1963 France. Stern travelled extensively in South Africa, for example in 1926 to Swaziland and Pondoland, in 1933 to Namaqaland, in 1936 generally, and in 1941 to the Eastern Cape. In 1931 she visited Madeira and Dakar, Senegal, in 1937 and 1938. Irma Stern refused to either travel or exhibit in Germany during the period 1933 – 1945. Instead, she undertook several exotic journeys into Africa; going to Zanzibar twice in 1939 and 1945 and then planned three trips to the Congo region in 1942, 1946 and 1955. These expeditions resulted in a wealth of artistic creativity and energy as well as the publication of two illustrated journals; Congo published in 1943 and Zanzibar in 1948.

Almost one hundred solo exhibitions were held during her lifetime both in South Africa and Europe: including Germany, France, Italy and England. Although accepted in Europe, her work was unappreciated at first in South Africa where critics derided her early exhibitionsin the 1920s with reviews titled “Art of Miss Irma Stern – Ugliness as a cult”.

The Irma Stern Museum was established in 1971 and is the house the artist lived in for almost four decades. She moved into The Firs in Rondebosch in 1927 and lived there until her death. Several of the rooms are furnished as she arranged them while upstairs there is a commercial gallery used by contemporary South African artists.

On the 8th of May 2000, one of her works sold at Sotheby’s South Africa in Johannesburg for an all time record of R1.7 million.[2] This record was soon broken, however, and in March 2007 Stern’s work was sold for R6.6 million.[3] Stern’s Gladioli was sold for an all-time high of R13.3 million in October 2010[4], but was then followed by the sale of Bahora Girl for R26.7 million later that month[5] – both were also records for sales of South African art at the time.

Quote from the Chess document, you can find it at the end of the entry. It is a PDF document and will open in a new window.

Chess clearly is a problem-solving tool, an “ideal way to study decision-making and problemsolving because it is a closed system with clearly defined rules” (Horgan, 1988). When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to
previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3)

When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning”
(Horgan, 1988, p. 3). As in mathematics, which might be defined as the study of patterns, pattern recognition in chess is of prime importance in problem solving. After recognizing similarity and pattern, a global strategy can be developed to solve the problem. This involves generating alternatives, a creative process. A good chess player, like a good problem solver, has “acquired a vast number of interrelated schemata” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), allowing for good alternatives to quickly and easily come to mind. These alternatives must then be evaluated, using a process of calculation known
as decision tree analysis, where the chess player/problem solver is calculating the desirability of future events based on the alternative being analyzed. Horgan (1988) found that “the calculation may go several to eight or ten moves ahead. This stage requires serious concentration and
memory abilities…[or]…visual imagery” (p.4).

The mathematics curriculum in New Brunswick, Canada, is a text series called “Challenging Mathematics” which uses chess to teach logic from grades 2 to 7. Using this curriculum, the average problem-solving score of pupils in the province increased from 62% to 81%.

Click on the following link Why Chess to read more to convince yourself why Chess is so important for children to develop their thinking/reasoning skills at a young age.

http://www.irmasternmuseum.com/artist.htm

https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/waldo-de-los-rios/

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http://commonwealthchess.com


If you’re a chess player still wanting to take part in the Commonwealth Chess Tournament, in South Africa, then you are lucky as you still have time to enroll till April, 8. The tournament takes place from 25th June 2011 – 3rd July 2011. If you click HERE you will find an online entry form to complete. A PDF document with all the details is linked here too. Links will open in new windows. I do hope to have time to follow this tournament and have a few entries about it- so, keep watching this space! There are about 7 Grandmasters and IM’s also taking part and these articles can also be read on the official South African site: chessa.co.za  On the following link you can see more photos and details from other GM’s and IM’s from other countries who have entered for the CC2011.

http://www.chessa.co.za/tournament_websites/CWCC2011/player_profile.html

We are delighted to announce that top English Grandmaster Nigel Short (MBE) has confirmed his participation in the 2011 Commonwealth & South African Open Championships!

Nigel is a three times past champion and will be bidding to become the first player to win the title on 4 separate occasions. He has previously won the tournament in 2004, 2006 and 2008!

Having first attracted media attention by defeating GM Viktor Korchnoi as a 10-year-old, Nigel went on to become (at the time) the you8ngest International Master in chess history. In the process he broke the record previously held by no less than Bobby Fischer! He earned the Grandmaster title in 1984 (age nineteen), to become the youngest grandmaster in the world at the time.

Nigel is a former world number 3 and is possibly best known for his World Chess Championship match against Garry Kasparov in London 1993. He has been a chess professional for more than 25 years and yet continues to enjoy international success as a player. Still ranked in the top 100 players in the world, he is a highly regarded chess columnist and commentator.

He has also coached a number of the world’s best known players including GM Pentala Harikrishna, GM Sergey Karjakin, GM David Howell and GM Parimarjan Negi.

Nigel, we look forward to hosting you at the tournament.

English Grandmaster Gawain Jones has become the second British based Grandmaster to confirm his entry to the tournament. Gawain began playing chess at the age of four, and hit the headlines in 1997 when he became the youngest player in the world ever to beat an International Master in an official tournament game. He has represented England at the World Junior and World Youth Championships on many occasions and also represented England at the Chess Olympiads of 2008 (Dresden) and 2010 (Khanty-Mansiysk).

Gawain has lived in Italy, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, but now lives in London, where he is focusing on his chess career and related projects. An active player on the tournament circuit, he secured his grandmaster title in 2006. He helped make history in 2009 when he competed in the South African Open from Australia, using the online chess servers of ChessCube.com. He eventually placed second in this event, behind IM (now GM) Amon Simutowe.

Gawain has published a book on The Grand Prix Attack and is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts on the The Benoni and The Benko Gambit. He publishes blogs of his travels on his website http://gawainjones.co.uk/wp/?page_id=2

Results – Female section – Anzel Solomons in 2nd position

Results: Open Section- Deon Solomons in 4th Position

On the next image: RESULTS of the Open Section of the Commonwealth Chess Games 2011 – Top 20

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It’s a long time since I’ve blogged something chessy – so here goes… time is tight! I don’t even have enough time to play a proper chess game. Luckily, it’s almost Easter Hols and then I might have a few spare hours to play a game or two. I do miss playing chess though! I’ve come across this movie-article and thought to share it with you. The movies can’t go without chess! It’s Spring and trees around us are almost covered in blossoms. This flower-pic was taken in August last year. I hate these bees we have here, they are surely not friendly and look quite scary.

In ‘Queen to Play’ Sandrine Bonnaire plays a chambermaid empowered by playing chess.

Chess as a Slow Dance of Seduction

By STEPHEN HOLDEN

Published: March 31, 2011

Caroline Bottaro’s tangy comic bonbon, “Queen to Play,” plucks the game of chess out of the metaphorical realm of spy thrillers and reimagines it as a fable about relationships and upward mobility. Adapted from Bertina Henrichs’s novel “The Chess Player,” this slight but captivating movie (Ms. Bottaro’s directorial debut) compares the strategies of chess to the erotic maneuvers in a flirtatious pas de deux that may be more satisfying than actual sex. At the same time, a woman’s winning the game symbolizes female empowerment in a man’s world and ascent from working-class drudgery to the bourgeoisie.

Hélène (Sandrine Bonnaire), the movie’s sly, middle-aged Cinderella, is an attractive chambermaid at a luxury hotel in Corsica. While going about her chores, she observes a chess game being played by a sexy American couple (Jennifer Beals and Dominic Gould) on the balcony of their suite. Stealthy moves accompanied by insinuating eye contact culminate with the woman’s defeating the man and flashing Hélène a smile of conspiratorial glee.

Hélène takes the hint, and at a birthday party for her husband, a handsome dockworker named Ange (Francis Renaud), she presents him with an electronic chess set in the hopes of reigniting the spark in their marriage. Ange is mystified and vaguely annoyed by the gift. When he expresses no interest in learning the game, Hélène begins teaching herself to play and quickly becomes obsessed.

“Queen to Play” is a lighthearted, grown-up fairy tale in which chess consumes Hélène’s imagination and transforms her life. As she mops a black-and-white checkered floor, it becomes a surreal dreamscape. At a restaurant she makes chess pieces out of crumbled bread and pushes them around the squares of the red-and-white tablecloth.

The intimate looks exchanged by the characters as they compete for advantage in a game in which the queen is the most powerful piece tell us as much about them as anything they say. Sometimes chess even suggests a mental striptease in which the players shed their defenses as they exchange glances and dare each other to go forward. At other times it conjures a war between the sexes, with Hélène the feminist upstart challenging male dominance.

Avid to learn more, she discovers a chess set in the house of Dr. Kröger (Kevin Kline, in his first entirely French-speaking role), a widowed American professor for whom she works as a part-time housecleaner. She volunteers to clean his place in exchange for weekly chess lessons. A mysterious figure suffering from an unidentified lung ailment, Kröger agrees. When, after only a few lessons, she is regularly beating him, he urges her to enter a local tournament.

In small but significant ways, “Queen to Play” defies expectations. It dangles the possibility of an affair between Hélène and Kröger in games that the film likens to courtship rituals in a classic screwball comedy. But their flirtation is never physically consummated.

Hélène’s relationships with her husband and rebellious teenage daughter, Lisa (Alexandra Gentil), undergo surprising transformations. Ange, initially threatened by Hélène’s passion, which keeps her out late and distracts her from housework, is initially so suspicious that he follows her to a lesson and spies on her. But once he realizes that she has a gift, his jealousy turns to admiration, and the flame of desire is rekindled. Lisa, who is so ashamed and contemptuous of her parents for being “poor” that she refuses to invite boyfriends to the house, becomes her mother’s fervent champion.

Ms. Bonnaire’s Hélène subtly evolves from a harried, resentful domestic wearing a perpetually hurt expression into a woman who discovers her power. Mr. Kline, as the haughty, secretive professor with a kind heart under a prickly exterior gives one of his finest screen performances, executed with minute fluctuations in his body language.

In their most delicious scene Hélène and Kröger play an imaginary game of chess away from the board. Gazing into each other’s eyes, they engage in what has the ring of intellectual pillow talk. Although the conversation is entirely chaste, in the intensity with which they study each other’s signals, they might as well be newlyweds.

QUEEN TO PLAY

Opens on Friday in Manhattan.

Directed by Caroline Bottaro; written by Ms. Bottaro and Caroline Maly, based on the novel “The Chess Player,” by Bertina Henrichs; director of photography, Jean-Claude Larrieu; edited by Tina Baz Le Gal; music by Nicola Piovani; set design by Emmanuel de Chauvigny; costumes by Dorothée Guiraud; produced by Dominique Besneard and Michel Feller; released by Zeitgeist Films. In French, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 36 minutes. This film is not rated.

WITH: Sandrine Bonnaire (Hélène), Kevin Kline (Dr. Kröger), Francis Renaud (Ange), Jennifer Beals (the American Woman), Dominic Gould (the American Man), Valérie Lagrange (Maria) and Alexandra Gentil (Lisa).

A version of this review appeared in print on April 1, 2011, on page C8 of the New York edition..

Source: http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/movies/kevin-kline-in-caroline-bottaros-queen-to-play-review.html

Time is tight – enjoy!

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Carmen Kass: My love of chess helped me to get to the top!

Agree or disagree?

She is the girl from TV with those impossibly long Max factor lashes; she is the model with the sassiest strut on the catwalk!
Carmen Kass is not like other supermodels. As well as occasional burger scoffer, she can also add politician, business woman, actress and president of Estonian Chess Federation to her lists of accomplishments.

There is no history of public meltdowns, no tantrums and no rock star boyfriends. Although she briefly dated Leonardo DiCaprio in the past, these days she is happily settled with Eric Lobron, a bespectacled, curly haired German chess grand master. The glamzon and the geek might make an odd couple, but not for Kass. “Everyone has to find the right one for them” she says matter of factly. “For me it was never about being the girlfriend of a rock star”.

Kass knows her own mind. She has done since the age of 14 when given the opportunity to enter a modelling competition in Milan, she faked her mother’s signature, needed for the young girl, to travel from her home town of Paide, in Estonia, to the Italian fashion capital. Now 31, she admits it was too young to leave the school and start a career but, as for many eastern European girls in the mid 90s, escape from a small town and its crushing lack of opportunity was her main motivation. She left the frugal home where she was raised by her mother (her father, a chess professor, lived apart), and didn’t return for three months. “I am very much an opportunist in the sense of what life brings me. I take chance”, she says.

Given her extraordinary youth, she could have been gobbled up by the fashion industry, but Kass always seemed to make smart career choices. “I never took at this as a life style. I always look at it as a business. A lot of models make a mistake of thinking their work is fun and glamorous and they burn themselves out”. By the age of 18 she had moved to Paris, where fine feline features and lean, athletic body (she cycles everywhere when at home in Germany or Estonia, but otherwise “I do nothing”) caught an eye of Anna Wintour.

She worked hard, made friends and quickly became one of the worlds most sought after faces, appearing in campaigns for Chanel, Gucci, D&G and Michael Kors. She is still a regular on the catwalks. Appearing alongside girls half of her age, where she deploys her killer walk: a wampish. Sassy, hip-swinging strut that rivals even Naomi Campbell’s.

Kass believes her love of chess, which she describes as “a game of tragedy” has helped her to get to the top- and stay there. “In life, we make decisions and we have choices,” she says. “Chess trains you to see through the head. You can make better choices, you can analyse good and bad, and you can see further. Life is a chain of command- basically, one thing leads to another and if you make the wrong move, there are consequences.”

She’s had business success as the owner of Estonia’s biggest model agency. And then there is a political career. In 2004 she joined the then ruling right wing Res Publica party in Estonia and stood for election to the European parliament. However MEP status evaded her, although she does not regret it, saying “a pretty dirty business, I learn that”.

These days she focuses her energy on persuading young people to vote and has become passionate about education, including her own. “One should never stop leaning. I did not do the 11th grade exam, but I am going back to school, because one day, I would like to go to university.” Philosophy and Law are her favourite subjects.

At this point of her career, Kass has earned the privilege of choosing exactly who she works for. Her latest gig is as face of Hoss Intropia – fast growing Spanish brand prides itself on choosing models who are more then just pretty faces, and Kass likes its focus on personality and individuality. “It’s not just about great clothing, they care about the substance of beauty as well,” she says.

In Kass, they have a great ambassador. But she is uncomfortable with being a role model. “I don’t think there should be role models,” she says. “Every individual has to find themselves. You can not live in exactly same way as somebody else. You can take the ideas and principles of something, but it’s never going to be exactly same for you. If you have a role model, you can get distracted from who you are”.

Checkmate!

Source:

http://www.figaroworld.com/en/supermodels/carmen-cass-my-love-of-chess-helped-me-to-get-to-the-top/

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Images: Wikipedia [click on image for a larger view]

Title page of the first printed edition. It depicts the Fat Bishop saying “Keep your distance”, and the Black Knight tempting him with “A letter from his holiness”. The characters’ faces are caricatures of de Dominis and Gondomar.
Written by:  Thomas Middleton
Date premiered : August, 1624
Place premiered:  Globe Theatre, London
Original language:  English
Subject:  Anglo-Spanish relations, Protestantism and Catholicism
Genre:  Satire, allegory
Setting:  A chessboard
Chess is a game where there is a war taking place. [luckily without violence and blood] The chessboard is a very popular setting to depict situations or to learn lessons – from the past as well as current. Chess is also popular in movies. On THIS LINK I’ve posted an entry about chess and the movies.
I was searching for something completely different – than chess – when I came across this play – about chess – and really enjoyed reading about it. I’ve copied from the link, but you can read on the Wikipedia link more about the Acts, the Scenes and the characters in this play. Interesting:

The play was stopped after nine performances (August 6–16, Sundays omitted), but not before it had become “the greatest box-office hit of early modern London.

Please click HERE  to read more about the play on Wikipedia.

King James I of England, model for the White King

King Philip IV of Spain, model for the Black King

Count Duke of Olivares, model for the Black Duke [Rook]

The play

The drama seems to be about a chess match, and even contains a genuine chess opening: the Queen’s Gambit Declined. Instead of personal names, the characters are known as the White Knight, the Black King, etc. However, audiences immediately recognized the play as an allegory for the stormy relationship between Spain (the black pieces) and Great Britain (the white pieces). King James I of England is the White King; King Philip IV of Spain is the Black King. In particular, the play dramatizes the struggle of negotiations over the proposed marriage of the then Prince Charles with the Spanish princess, the Infanta Maria. It focuses on the journey by Prince Charles (the “White Knight”) and George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham (the “White Duke”, or rook) to Madrid in 1623.

Among the secondary targets of the satire was the former Archbishop of Split, Marco Antonio de Dominis, who was caricatured as the Fat Bishop (played by William Rowley). De Dominis was a famous turncoat of his day: he had left the Roman Catholic Church to join the Anglican Church—and then returned to Rome again. The traitorous White King’s Pawn is a composite of several figures, including Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, a former Lord Treasurer who was impeached before the House of Lords in April 1624.

The former Spanish ambassador to London, Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, conde de Gondomar, was blatantly satirized and caricatured in the play as the Machiavellian Black Knight. (The King’s Men went so far as to buy discarded items of Gondomar’s wardrobe for the role.) His successor recognized the satire and complained to King James. His description of the crowd’s reaction to the play yields a vivid picture of the scene:

There was such merriment, hubbub and applause that even if I had been many leagues
away it would not have been possible for me not to have taken notice of it.

The play was stopped after nine performances (August 6–16, Sundays omitted), but not before it had become “the greatest box-office hit of early modern London”. The Privy Council opened a prosecution against the actors and the author of the play on Aug. 18 (it was then illegal to portray any modern Christian king on the stage). The Globe Theatre was shut down by the prosecution, though Middleton was able to acquit himself by showing that the play had been passed by the Master of the Revels, Sir Henry Herbert. Nevertheless, further performance of the play was forbidden and Middleton and the actors were reprimanded and fined. Middleton never wrote another play.

An obvious question arises: if the play was clearly offensive, why did the Master of the Revels license it on July 12 of that summer? Herbert may have been acting in collusion with the “war party” of the day, which included figures as prominent as Prince Charles and the Duke of Buckingham; they were eager for a war with Spain and happy to see public ire roused against the Spanish. If this is true, Middleton and the King’s Men were themselves pawns in a geopolitical game of chess.

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Image:Weg.co.za – Anyone for some chess?

 

Magnus Carlsen: Chess is like physical sport

Magnus Carlsen, the highest-ranking chess player in the world, is in London for a tournament which will choose the player to challenge the reigning world champion, the Indian Viswanathan Anand.

On a rest day in the tournament, Magnus Carlsen spoke to the BBC’s Tim Franks, and outlined the similarities between chess and physical sports.

He said: “I think there are many elements of sport in chess. We prepare very seriously for the games, the main objective is winning, the players prepare physically as well as mentally, and it’s very tough – you get seriously tired playing long games.”

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday 19 March 2013.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-21840944/magnus-carlsen-chess-is-like-physical-sport

https://sports.ndtv.com/chess/videos/why-fitness-is-important-in-chess-250573

Anand stressed it out to be fit when you play chess.

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Image: Wikipedia

Quite recently I played a chess game and the opening was a Chigorin-opening. I’m not always taking notice of different openings when I play chess just for the fun of it, but the name Chigorin quickly got me on the site of Wikipedia to read about this opening/chess player. I couldn’t even remember if I’ve read the name before, maybe – I think it was just me being ignorant. What I discovered, was quite interesting – even a book that I might get myself to read at some point, although I’m no fan of science fiction, so not sure if I will read it eventually. I’ve thought to share what I’ve found with you and hope you enjoy it too.

Chigorin defense – image Wikipedia

The Squares of the City is a science fiction novel written by John Brunner and first published in 1965 (ISBN 0-345-27739-2). It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1966.

It is a sociological story of urban class warfare and political intrigue, taking place in the fictional South American capital city of Vados. It explores the idea of subliminal messages as political tools, and it is notable for having the structure of the famous 1892 chess game between Wilhelm Steinitz and Mikhail Chigorin. The structure is not coincidental, and plays an important part in the story. Source: Wikipedia

[Event “Havana”]
[Site “m”]
[Date “1892.01.17”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “16”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Wilhelm Steinitz”]
[Black “Mikhail Chigorin”]
[ECO “C77”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[PlyCount “75”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 Bc5 6. c3 b5
7. Bc2 d5 8. Qe2 O-O 9. Bg5 dxe4 10. dxe4 h6 11. Bh4 Qd6
12. O-O Nh5 13. Bg3 Bg4 14. b4 Bb6 15. a4 bxa4 16. Nbd2 Qf6
17. Bxa4 Ne7 18. Qc4 Be6 19. Bxe5 Bxc4 20. Bxf6 Nxf6 21. Nxc4
Nxe4 22. Nxb6 cxb6 23. Rfe1 f5 24. Ne5 Rfc8 25. c4 Ra7 26. f3
Nf6 27. Bb3 Kf8 28. b5 a5 29. Red1 Re8 30. c5 bxc5 31. Rd6 Rb8
32. Rad1 Raa8 33. b6 a4 34. Bxa4 Kg8 35. Nc6 Nxc6 36. Bxc6 Ne8
37. b7 Ra7 38. Rd8 1-0

Please click HERE to play through the game.

This is the end position of the game.

Chigorin – Image and facts: Wikipedia

Mikhail Ivanovich Chigorin  12 November 1850, was a leading Russian chess player. He served as a major source of inspiration for the “Soviet school of chess”, which dominated the chess world in the middle and latter parts of the 20th century.

Chess career
Chigorin was born near Saint Petersburg and moved to the city some time later. His father worked in the Okhtensk gunpowder works. Chigorin’s parents died young and Chigorin entered the Gatchinsk Orphans’ Institute at the age of 10. He became serious about chess uncommonly late in life; his schoolteacher taught him the moves at the age of 16, but he did not take to the game until around 1874, having first finished his studies before commencing a career as a government officer.

Once smitten with the game, he terminated his employment and started life as a chess professional. In 1876, he started a chess magazine, Chess Sheet, which he edited until 1881 (only 250 subscribers in all of Russia). He played a series of matches with established masters Emanuel Schiffers (1878–1880) and Semyon Alapin (1880) and notched up a large plus score against each. It was not long after that he was regarded as the best player in the city and possibly the whole of Russia.

His first international tournament was Berlin 1881, where he was equal third (+10-5=1) with Szymon Winawer, behind Johannes Zukertort and Joseph Henry Blackburne. There were 17 master competitors in this event.

At the great London tournament of 1883, he finished fourth (+16-10=0) behind Zukertort, Wilhelm Steinitz and Blackburne. There were 14 competitors in this double round robin event. The tournament included practically all the best chessplayers in the world.

At the very strong tournament of New York 1889 he was equal first with Max Weiss. Following this great success he challenged the world champion Steinitz for a match with the World Championship at stake.

The match was played at Havana in 1889, but he lost 10½–6½ (+6-10=1). A second match was played also at Havana in 1892, but he still lost 12½–10½ (+8-10=5). His overall record against Steinitz was very close (+24-27=8). He also played a much publicised ‘telegraph match’ against Steinitz in 1890, devised to settle a theoretical argument. Chigorin had the slight advantage of choosing the openings in advance from a list supplied by Steinitz and duly won both games.

Towards the end of the century, his standing at home and abroad continued to rise, and he joined the ranks of the world’s top four or five players. His reputation as a match player too, continued to grow. He drew an 1893 match with Siegbert Tarrasch in Saint Petersburg (+9-9=4) and in his lifetime, maintained a narrow plus score against the German (+14-13=8), who was a fearsome player in his own right. He had a strong plus score against Richard Teichmann (+8-3=1), but a poor record versus David Janowski (+4-17=4). Most of his losses to Janowski occurred late in Chigorin’s life, when he was past his best.

In all likelihood, his best performance occurred at the Hastings 1895 chess tournament, where he placed second, ahead of reigning world champion Emanuel Lasker, Tarrasch and former world champion Steinitz. All of the greatest players of the time participated in the event and Chigorin’s outstanding result included winning his individual encounter with tournament victor, Harry Nelson Pillsbury. Pillsbury had great respect for Chigorin’s ability and for good reason, as Chigorin had a marginal lifetime plus score against him (+8-7=6). Although Chigorin had a poor record against Lasker in serious play (+1-8=4), he was victorious with the black pieces in their first game of this 1895 tournament, in which he outplayed Lasker in a classic two knights versus two bishops ending.

In other major competitions, he was joint winner at Budapest 1896, and beat Rudolf Charousek (+3-1) in the playoff. At Cologne in 1898, he was equal second with Charousek and Wilhelm Cohn after Amos Burn. His 7th place finish at London 1899 was disappointing in comparison, but this was another tournament notable for its impressive list of participants. At Monte Carlo 1901, he placed equal third after Janowski and Carl Schlecter.

A highly skilled exponent of gambit lines, he won the King’s Gambit-themed Vienna Tournament of 1903 and defeated Lasker (+2-1=3) in a sponsored Rice Gambit tournament in Brighton. The latter was however something of a hollow victory, as it was emerging that the Rice Gambit was unsound and so, playing the black side in each game gave him a distinct advantage. At Łódź 1906, in a four-person event, he finished second to Akiba Rubinstein.

Alongside these international events, he also entered and won the first three All-Russia Tournaments of 1899, 1900/01 and 1903. These prestigious successes further cemented his reputation as Russia’s best player. Upon losing the fourth such event in 1906, he challenged the winner Gersz Salwe to a match and came out the victor (+7=3-5).
Style and demeanour
His playing style featured a well honed tactical ability and an imaginative approach to the opening. He rejected many of the inflexible doctrines put forward by Tarrasch and Steinitz, but accepted Steinitz’ teachings about the soundness of the defensive centre. Indeed, he went on to add to the development of the concept through the work he carried out with closed variations of the Ruy Lopez. He also pioneered some variations of the Slav Defence.

Mikhail Chigorin shortly before his death in 1908Although a large bearded man, Chigorin was also described as ‘decidedly handsome’.

Frank Marshall once commented on the highly agitated state that would possess Chigorin when faced with difficult positions. Aside from the usual frantic foot-tapping and crossing of legs, he would occasionally become “a bundle of nerves”, at which point his temperament could turn “quite fierce”.

Later life
As an ambassador for Russian chess, Chigorin was a shining example; he gave many lectures, wrote magazine articles and chess columns and subsidised or otherwise supported a number of periodicals to keep them afloat despite low readership levels. He also founded a chess club in Saint Petersburg and tried for many years to establish a chess association, an attempt that finally succeeded just a few years after his death.

According to the Canadian International Master Lawrence Day, Chigorin travelled with the young Fedor Bogatyrchuk to Russian events in the 1905-1907 period, helping to train him. After moving to Canada following World War II, Bohatirchuk then trained Day.

In 1907, Chigorin failed badly in a chess tournament and clearly not in good health, was diagnosed by doctors in Carlsbad with an advanced and untreatable case of diabetes. This prompted a prediction that he had only months to live, whereupon he returned to his estranged wife and daughter in Lublin and died the following January. In 1909, a Chigorin Memorial tournament was played in St. Petersburg, after that many more followed, from 1947 onwards mainly in Sochi and from 1990 back in St. Petersburg.

Legacy
Through his original talent, lively games and prolific teachings, many Russians regard Mikhail Chigorin as the founder of their “School of chess”, later to become known as the Soviet School of Chess. Overshadowed to some extent in the 1920s by the exciting new theories of the hypermodern movement, Chigorin’s influence nevertheless demands a prominent and permanent place in the Soviet chess hegemony of the 20th century.

Chigorin has several chess openings or variations of openings named after him, the two most important being the Chigorin Variation of the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Na5) and the Chigorin Defence to the Queen’s Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6). Whilst the former has remained popular through the 1900s, the latter struggled to attract a great many devotees until relatively recently. Igor Miladinović has used the Chigorin Defence with great regularity, but its current revival owes much to the efforts of Alexander Morozevich, who has championed the opening both in play and in his book – The Chigorin Defence According To Morozevich (published 2007).

Another opening line invented by Chigorin is 1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 in the French Defence. It is now generally regarded as a forerunner of King’s Indian setups, but Chigorin also played it with other ideas (such as b2-b3) in mind.

In popular culture
A famous Chigorin game played against Steinitz in 1892 is used as the base for the plot of The Squares of the City, a 1978 science-fiction novel by John Brunner.

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3manchess

I’m not sure if I’ve seen this chess variant before – or even heard about it. This is interesting, but I think I would prefer to play only one other player at a time. If I play this variant, it will only be for the fun of it – like in playing checkers.[lol] It’s enough to rack my brain when playing one player at a time, I don’t want to fry my brain in a chess game! [hehe] Oh, btw, if I have to play chess on this board, I would like to wear this beautiful dress – it has sequence which is not really obvious in the picture, it is just the dress for an anusual chess game! I quote from the source page:

Finally, a Chess variant board has been developed that accommodates three players, without compromising ANY of the rules, strategies, or competitive challenges that make Chess the best board game in the world.  The only changes from conventional chess are some protocol issues that must be followed to maintain order where the teams border each other, which is simple and necessary.  Also, please notice that the trajectory lines orienting from the outer rank, are simply visual aids to help guide diagonal moves passing through the center.  If the path is clear, a diagonal move starting from the outer rank can pass through the center and sweep back around to where it originated.  The complexities of the third player are infinite.  Your threatened piece may be allowed to maintain occupancy as your position is beneficial to the threatening player.  But how long can it last?  This scenario may exist all over the board.  There are multiple trust and doubt situations between all players.  An unexpected move might well result in a cascading massacre.  Defense is crucial since a diagonal move through the center, or a horizontal move around the center can sneak up behind you.  A player can be checkmated by a combination of both other players or ultimately one player can checkmate both other players at the same time. Source:3manchess.com

If you want to know what the above image is all about, then click here to watch the video! The link will open in a new window.

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Click on the image for a larger view

I had no intention to blog about what you’re going to read in this post. My intention was to blog about the type of chess player you might be – do you see yourself in one of the photos in the above image? –  and to put the question to you: What kind of chess player are you? Do you think carefully about your move…do you make the move instantly?…Are you a careless player? There are many more questions I could have asked you – I think you know them all. Maybe the picture ties in- in some way – with what I’ve found and which I want to share with you.

In my SEARCH  I came across this link and thought to add the information- for readers who haven’t read it before or haven’t read something similar on my blog before. The next question is: Have you got what it takes to be a chess player? [a serious chess player – I might add] Even children sometimes turn up in large groups very eager to play/learn and then discover that chess is actually not for them – or not what they thought it is all about. At the bottom of this entry you’ll find a link to an entry on my blog about Chess Personalities and a link to Brunel University about research they’ve done. Enjoy the reading from the above link quoted:

Traits of a Good Chessplayer
Quote of the Month: Not all highly intelligent people play chess well, and not everyone who plays chess well is highly intelligent (although if you ask them…!) A beginner often wonders if he has what it takes to become proficient at the Royal Game. The answer is that there are many aspects of intelligence and personality that correlate with the potential to become a good chess player. Almost everyone realizes that a lot of hard work will be necessary to climb the ladder of chess success, and few want to put in many hours of work with little prospects for reward. Knowing that you have some of the requisite talents is always helpful in keeping up your spirits. Several lists of applicable chess traits have been published, so I thought it would be fun to give it a Novice Nook spin. I have separated the traits into four groups:
“IQ” Aspects
Physical Traits
Personality Traits
Emotional Traits
…but there is quite a bit of overlap, so these are really just rough groupings. “IQ” Aspects
Memory – The ability to remember things is certainly a “no-brainer”, insofar as being helpful for chess. First there is the obvious ability to retain more chess patterns and what you know about them, including opening and endgame knowledge, tactical positions and ideas, positional maneuvers. In addition, there is also everything else you “know” about chess – including guidelines, how to handle a six-hour World Open game, and the information in Novice Nook. The better the memory, the better you can store the information and retrieve it quickly and accurately. It is also well documented that memory is not as sharp when you get older, so age does degrade this ability. Note: “Knowledge” is not an ability, but it is the information you retain better with a good memory. It is also worth noting that knowledge is not correlated one-to-one with your playing strength; for example, a player who reads more books and retains more knowledge is not always better than one who has read much less. As one of my chess friends once said, “Never confuse ignorance with stupidity” – the corollary being “Never confuse knowledge with intelligence.”

Spatial Relationships – I call the special vision which enables one to
understand what is happening on a chessboard “Board Vision”. But the
general ability to process spatial relationships is more than just that chessspecific skill; it is the capability to see and/or imagine what is happening in two or three dimensions. An example of how this is tested would be the type of IQ test question where they show you an unfolded cube and you are asked to fold it in your head and select which of four folded cubes could be created from the fold. The ability to visualize geometric patterns is valuable in chess when you are trying to look ahead and imagine a possibly occurring position. An example of an error using this ability would be a “retained image” – when you fail to see that a piece has moved off its square and you visualize it doing something on a later move when, in fact, if that line were actually played that piece would no longer be there!

Deductive Logic – This is the “If A implies B and B implies C, then A
implies C” type of logic. In chess you need deductive logic to figure out what
is forced and what is not. For example, during analysis of a position you need to be able to look at a move and deduce something like “Because of so-and so, if my opponent does not stop my killer move (or whatever), then I can do this, so he must make move A or move B to prevent it or else I win.” A common deductive error would be assuming your opponent will make a move that you think is forced when in fact another move is better. Of all the skills in chess, I believe that this one is perhaps the most popularly recognized by the general public. Your deductive logic is another part of the thinking process that slows as you get older.

Physical Traits
Concentration – Playing chess correctly requires a lot of thought(!) The
better able you are to concentrate and focus your thoughts on the task at hand, the better. If your mind is wandering – even thinking about a mistake you made earlier in the game – that can only hurt you. Lack of concentration
detracts from your ability to perform from the task at hand, which is usually
finding the best move in the current position within the given time available.

Stamina – This is the physical ability to sit and play without excessive
tiredness or fatigue throughout not just a long game, but possibly even a long series of games in a tournament or match. One of the problems older players have is lack of stamina; they get tired more easily. You can increase your stamina by eating and drinking correctly before and during a long game, getting proper rest, and entering the event in good shape. That is why it is helpful to have an aerobic sport, like tennis, jogging, or swimming, to
augment your chess lifestyle – these are beneficial for your non-chess
welfare, too!

Nerves – In the course of chess history, it has been stated about several toplevel grandmasters that were not serious World Champion candidates because they did not have the nerves for top-level play. Playing chess for fun is one thing, but playing for your livelihood – or your place in history – is quite another. It requires strong nerves to play chess at the highest level, but having “bad nerves” affects your play negatively at any level.

Personality Traits
Carefulness – Of all the traits that make for a good chess player, one of the
most important is the ability to take your time on each move and try to find
the best one. And of the personality traits that support this ability, being
careful is the key trait. Interestingly, one can be too careful and, in that case,
you may even be afraid to move for fear of making a mistake. This fear
inevitably leads to time trouble, requiring fast moves and resulting in even
bigger mistakes than the ones you had been avoiding by taking 12 minutes
instead of 6. Therefore, the best chess players are the ones that are careful, but not pathologically so. It should be noted that players who are not naturally careful in life can learn to be careful in chess! I have seen several players who were able to overcome their natural tendencies, but of course to do so one has to feel strongly that it is worth the special effort!

Caring – This trait is different than carefulness, and is actually more closely
related to some of the emotional traits below. You want to care about your
move, your result, your rating, and your reputation, but not too much. If you don’t care at all, you won’t work to improve it/them, and if you take these too personally then chess becomes too involved with your personal image and you will find it hard to take the necessary risks to play and improve.

Determination – This is one area in which I score well. I will not stop at
something until I get it right. My wife thinks I am a little nutty because I once took almost a year on the same tough cryptogram – I would not skip it or take a hint or look up the answer. She is right, of course, but that same
determination paid me good dividends when I wanted to become an expert, a master, and get my FIDE rating (back in the days when you had to have a
FIDE rating of at least 2205 to get one). One should differentiate game-time
determination to obtain the maximal outcome (“will to win” or “fighting
spirit”) with the longer-term career goal determination to do whatever it takes to become the best player you can. During a simultaneous exhibition at a local high school, I once met a student who, when he found out I was a chess master, said “Really? Wow! That’s cool. I live for chess.” I was a little
amazed by this pronouncement, so I said, “If you live for chess, then why
don’t you play in tournaments? For example, come a few miles down the road and play in some of the big events at the Adam’s Mark Hotel.” His
disappointing reply, “Oh no! I couldn’t possibly do that!” I guess that makes
him like a kid who lives for baseball but cannot possibly think of playing in
Little League! His answer was not a mark of determination!
Note: “Killer-instinct” is not the same as “fighting spirit”. Killer-instinct is an
intense desire to either beat down the opponent, or at least finish off a won
game. Good chess players seem to have either one of two special traits: killer
instinct or expert problem solvers. Without one of those two traits it is hard to have the determination and perseverance to play hard each move, game after game. I am more the problem solver type – I want to find the best move each and every time and I am not trying to wound my opponent’s ego.

Perseverance – This trait is similar to determination, but it represents not the will to do well, but the ability to carry on that will despite whatever
roadblocks are presented: lack of time to play and study, unexpected and
unnerving losses, the skepticism of others, etc. Again, there is short-term
game-time perseverance and the more common long-term career goal
perseverance. Surprisingly, I find a lot of students who have the
determination (otherwise they would not hire me as their chess coach), but
lack the perseverance – they want quicker results than is possible, get
discouraged at the inevitable setbacks, and cannot maintain their chess
determination for the years that are required to reach their lofty goals. Since
extensive chess progress can only be measured in years, it is not surprising
that many players cannot persevere in what it takes to maintain improvement over that time period. Note: I did not forget “Willpower”, but it is mostly contained within determination and perseverance.

Capability to overcome natural shortcomings for the good of your chess
play – This is a special type of trait which enables you to not dwell or be held
back by any shortcomings you have, but to be able to rise above them due to your strong desire to play well and improve. Almost every player thinks, “I’m not this or I am not that.” Everyone has shortcomings in one area or
another. No one has a great memory and great deductive logic and great
nerves and everything else – even the Fischers and Kasparovs are not perfect (but they are a lot closer than the rest of us!) However, some players let their concern about these shortcomings hold them back. Further, in some cases, these shortcomings can mostly be overcome by will. For example, suppose you are naturally impatient or not very careful. It still may be possible, when sitting down at the chessboard, to say to yourself, “OK, I am naturally impatient (or not careful), but if I am going to play good chess I have to take my time on every move and be very careful on every move or else I can let the game slip away just by that one bad move.” If you are able to say this to yourself, you may be able to overcome your natural impatience for the good of your game. Once you get in the habit of consistently practicing correctly, then it becomes easier and easier, despite any natural tendencies otherwise.

Confidence – Like many of these other traits, either extreme is bad: too much confidence is overconfidence, which often leads to carelessness, or lack of respect for the opponent. On the other hand, if you play with lack of
confidence your results will surely suffer. Chess is a mental sport, and one’s
lack of confidence often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let me augment
this observation with a brief story: As a teenager I had a friend who played
regularly and studied chess diligently. For example, in the openings he
learned the English and the Caro-Kann. But in tournaments his low rated
opponents did not play into his study lines and he suffered from very poor
results, getting an 1100 rating based on several events. He then quit playing.
Ten years later he had not played nor picked up a chess book, but asked to
play in one of my invitational round robin tournaments, filled with players
rated 1300-1500. Despite not having played in a decade and being the lowest rated player, he finished in second place with a performance rating of almost 1700. I asked him how this was possible. He said that maturity made the difference – he no longer worried about what his opponents were doing and just enjoyed playing. Whereas before he doubted his ability and was affected by his opponent’s weird play, now he was confident that he could just play well and do the best he can. So the extra 500 points or so of playing strength was almost all due to his new-found confidence and lack of worry.

Awareness – A player who can keep his awareness and be cognizant of what
is important has a big advantage. For example, when an experienced player
starts to realize that the time is running short and time management is
becoming a bigger and bigger part of the play, he has an advantage over an
opponent who either is not as aware of the importance of this change, or is so but does not change his priorities. Similarly, being aware of possibilities, such as unexpected opponent blunders, or sudden changes in the phase of the game, is a distinct asset.

Flexibility – In a similar manner to awareness, flexibility of plan and action is a big asset. If you are not flexible enough to adapt to the change in state, then being aware of that state is not much use. It is also very important to be
flexible in your learning. This flexibility is related to the next trait, openmindedness.
Open-Mindedness – The ability to listen and to consider new ideas (or
realize that the old ones you have are at least somewhat misbegotten), is very important. It is very difficult to learn if you “know” you are right or not open to new ideas, or possibilities of what you are doing wrong. A brilliant,
stubborn beginner probably will never get past the beginner stage since it will be very difficult to learn from his mistakes, even (or especially!) if they are pointed out to him. The good news is that in chess if you are not very openminded you tend to retard your own progress. Therefore, if you can recognize the cause of this lack of progress, it may jar you out of your complacency.

Emotional Traits
Ability to deal with losses as a learning tool – This is a very important
indicator of how good a chess player someone is going to become. Suppose a player take losses so hard and personally that you can’t speak to them and they don’t want to review or think about the game. Then not only will they not be able to optimally learn from those losses, but eventually the realization that they are going to lose thousands of games in order to become a good player will wear them down. At the other extreme we have someone who doesn’t care at all if they lose – they, like the tough loser, will also not review their games, because “it is just a game” and why should they spend effort to avoid repetition of their cause of defeat if it does not matter? These players are doomed to repeat their mistakes over and over and never get much better. The best outlook is somewhat in between: you cannot take your losses too personally but you have to be the type who vows never to lose the same way twice. A player who takes great interest in their shortcomings and studies them in such a way as to minimize the chance of recurrence will usually be much better than the players who are at each extreme.

Pride in your moves and your reputation – I think this trait is a little
underrated. Players who take pride in each move have an advantage over players who are don’t care that much about each move. These latter players are often surprised when I ask them about what considerations went into a particular move, as if to say “Why should you care? It is not that important to me” or “This is just a medium speed internet game – why should I try my best?” But almost all strong players share the concern that they put in the proper effort on each move (time permitting) and try to reach the correct decision, or at least do the best they can. Can you imagine Garry Kasparov annotating one of his games and writing, “I made this move without much thought – I really didn’t care if it was a good one or not”?!
Ability to deal with setbacks, bad moves – This is different than
perseverance, which enables you to maintain your will after setbacks of any type. Perseverance is therefore part of this trait, but not the only part. For example, the ability to maintain equanimity – not lose your cool – when things have gone wrong, is important. Players who get upset and let previous moves affect their judgment of the current move, or even think about the previous move instead the current move, are almost making a big mistake. Playing chess is fun – This is the most common trait shared by chess players. Humans who lack this trait may become good scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, golfers, bridge players, video game champions, businessmen, or whatever, but they won’t become good chess players. Studying chess is fun – This is the flip side of the previous trait: take random chess players at a chess club and hand them Capablanca’s Best Games and ask them to read it, a certain percentage will decline and the rest will gladly accept. The ones that accept almost always find that doing chess work is fun. Assuming they have not already read this book and that no extraneous factors are at work, the ones that decline usually like to play chess, but find the studying side tedious. When I work with beginning chess players of all ages, this is one of the first things I notice: everyone wants to get better, but only the ones who find doing the “work” side fun will ever have a chance of getting anywhere. No matter how much the others are determined to get better, they can never overcome the fact that doing the “unfun” work on a hobby like chess cannot last very long.

Coachability – Despite some fiction to the contrary, no one becomes really good at chess in isolation. Many factors, including some of the above, can contribute to this trait. A player might have many reasons they are less coachable: bad listening skills, stubbornness, know-it-all, doesn’t care enough, lack of maturity, or just believes that books alone can make him a great player. In any case, coachable players obviously have an advantage in the long run.

Conclusion
Next time you run into someone who says, “So-and-so is really smart – he would make a good chess player”, consider how well that person fits some of the above, “non-IQ” criteria. And how well did you score? If you were above average on most of the critical requirements, that may mean that you have a promising career ahead – assuming you are not damagingly low on a couple of others! A player is usually only as good as his weakest link will allow him to be.


Click HERE to read about Chess Personalities and research done by Brunel University. The link will open in a new window.

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Israeli chess grandmaster Alik Gershon broke the Guinness World Record in Tel Aviv early Friday morning for simultaneous games played, a title previously held by an Iranian chess player.

The thirty-year-old played 527 concurrent games, winning 87% of them.
Please click HERE to read the complete article.

Gershon won 454 games, lost 11 and drew 58 games. [according to the BBC news article]

Image: chessbase – Alik Gershon [right] with Ignor Nor.

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Londonchessclassic 2010

London Chess Classic 2 – Date: 8-15 December at Olympia. I attended the London Classic I last year in December and will definitely not miss this one too as Anand [my favourite] will be playing!You can read my entry about the 2009 Classic HERE on the 12th December 2009.

Image: londonchessclassic

Heading the line-up is the world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand from India; the teenage sensation who currently outranks him on the world chess rating list, Magnus Carlsen from Norway; and Anand’s immediate predecessor as champion, Vladimir Kramnik from Russia.

Vishy Anand is the one addition to the field that contested the first London Chess Classic in December 2009. Though undisputed world champion, Anand is currently not the highest rated player in the world, but he recently wrested back third place from Kramnik, so is considered the man most likely to stop Carlsen making it two London triumphs in a row. Anand has recently stated that his ambition is to regain his number one status, so it sounds like he already has plans for his clash with the prodigiously talented Norwegian in London.AnandKramnik

Kramnik and Anand

London Chess Classic 2010 lineup

Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2826

Anand, Viswanathan IND 2800

Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2780

Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2733

Adams, Michael ENG 2728

Short, Nigel D ENG 2690

McShane, Luke J ENG 2657

Howell, David W L ENG 2616

Click here for entry forms – to take part in the tournamnet [yes, you can play there too] and here for tickets.

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This image can be found on the 2nd link in the first paragraph, on the first link you can see a video-animation of the board from different angles.

I wasn’t going to blog at all for the next few weeks – due to work etc. – but a search this morning led me to this interesting site where I – for the first time – saw a close-up picture of a Senet board and found this article quite interesting and thought to share it too. I have two entries on my blog about the Lewis Chess men and I’ve seen them in the British Museum too. I hope you will find this article interesting too. All links will open in a new window and the source-link can be found at the bottom of the entry.

Each ancient civilization had their own board game of choice. In the Egyptians’ case it was senet, a complex contest of chance that – dating from as long ago as 3500 BC – represents the oldest board game in history. The most famous senet board yet discovered comes from the tomb of the legendary pharaoh Tutankhamun. Made of gorgeous hand-carved ivory with ebony veneers and fittings, it’s arguably the finest example of a board game ever found.

Its closest rival is the Lewis Chessmen – a set of 93 chess pieces of Norse origin, also individually hand-carved from ivory. Dating from the 12th century AD, they were found on the Scottish island of Lewis, and may be the only complete medieval examples in existence of what would one day become one of the world’s most popular and enduring board games.

Senet was more than just a game to the ancient Egyptians – it was a matter of life and death. Great believers in determinism, the Egyptians came to regard senet boards as talismans for the journey of the dead, because of the element of luck involved in playing the game, which revolved around the throwing of knucklebones or casting sticks.

Successful players were believed to be protected by powerful gods such as Ra, Thoth and Osiris, and the game is even mentioned in the Book of the Dead. Their senet boards were often placed in their graves when they died, among various other handy tools for usage on the treacherous road to the afterlife.  

Tutankhamun was buried with four different senet boards – evidently he enjoyed playing the game a great deal. Some of them were for ceremonial purposes, others were for day-to-day usage. The ivory board – dating from 1333 BC and found by Howard Carter, among the many other spectacular treasures of Tut’s tomb, in 1922 – was the most beautiful of the lot.

Small and portable, with various highly personal design flourishes, it may have been the very set that King Tut used to sit down with of a warm summer’s evening to play against his queen Ankhesenamun. On one end, it bears a roughly-carved image of a seated Tutankhamun, with Ankhesenamun standing facing him, holding a lotus flower.

Designed as a box, the board contains a small drawer in which the senet pieces – two ivory knuckle-bones, five red ivory reels and five white ivory pawns – were kept. The drawer was originally fastened by bolts, but these are sadly missing. Carter speculated that the bolts were probably made out of silver and gold, and were possibly stolen by grave robbers.  

Various inscriptions filled with yellow pigment are etched into the sides of the box, all of them immodestly proclaiming Tut’s greatness. One reads: “The Strong Bull, beautiful of birth, image of Ra, precious offspring of Atum, king of Upper and Lower Egypt, ruler of the nine bows, lord of all the lands, and possessor of might Nebkheperura.”

Around the drawer, Tut is described as “The good god, lord of the Two Lands, lord of crowns whom Ra created” and “Beloved of all the gods, may he be healthy, living forever.” No wonder he liked it so much!

The whole thing is mounted on an ebony stand in the form of a bed frame, with feline paws resting on gilded drums. The drums themselves were attached to an ebony sledge. Senet was played on a board of 30 squares; on the reverse side of the box is a second board, of 20 squares, which was used for playing a different game called tjau, which would appear to translate as “robbers.”  

Nobody can be sure exactly how either senet or tjau was played, although some historians have made educated guesses, and sets are manufactured, sold and played-upon today. They’re but a mere shadow of Tutankhamun’s favourite senet board, however, which can be viewed in all its splendour at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Plus Points:

  • The finest existing set of the oldest board game in history.
  • Once a prized and frequently used possession of a world-famous Egyptian royal.
  • There’s a tjau board on the reverse. Two games in one – bonus!

Let-downs:

  • No one can be sure how to play Senet.
  • Some parts may have been stolen by tomb robbers.

It’s worth noting first of all that the Lewis Chessmen might be misleadingly-titled. According to recent research by a trio of Scottish heritage experts, the pieces may actually have been used to play Hnefatafl – a medieval Scandinavian warfare game not dissimilar to chess, but contested on a bigger board with more pieces.  

Whatever they were used for, it makes no difference as to the artefacts’ quality, which is indisputable. Individually scratched and chiseled out of walrus tusks and whales’ teeth by highly-skilled artisans in Trondheim, the capital of Norway until 1217, the Lewis Chessmen – eight kings, eight queens, 16 bishops, 15 knights, 12 rooks and 19 pawns – are totally distinctive. Their weirdly contorted, wide-eyed and melancholic faces are humorous and enchanting. Their enigmatic origins and complex and controversial history gives them an air of mystery and drama.

Many stories exist as to how and why the chessmen were deposited on Lewis, where they were found hidden inside a sandbank at the head of the Bay of Uig by crofter Malcolm “Sprot” Macleod, from nearby Pennydonald, in 1831.

One fanciful local myth has it that they were stolen from an unknown ship sheltering in the bay by an escaping cabin boy, who swam ashore, before being murdered by an onlooker and concealed in the bluff. More likely they were either lost or abandoned on the island by a passing Norse merchant, or were the prize possession of a wealthy local king, lord or bishop.

After their discovery, the Lewis Chessmen’s story immediately becomes a complex and slightly confusing one. Following their purchase by a disreputable antiquities dealer called TA Forrest, 82 of the pieces were sold to the British Museum in London, while another 10 were secretly kept in reserve.

These 10 chessmen changed hands a number of times – with another single piece, a bishop, mysteriously added to the set at some stage – before all 11 were eventually sold to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, who finally donated them to the Royal Museum of Scotland (part of the modern National Museum of Scotland). The chessmen today remain divided into two separate collections, owned by two different museums, in London and Edinburgh.  

Calls have been made in recent years for the British Museum to return their quota of the Lewis Chessmen to Scotland, to allow the full set to be reunited on Lewis. The British Museum have resisted – the Chessmen after all represent one of their most popular and precious exhibits. But they have conceded to a temporary loan of a handful of pieces, for a tour of Scotland through 2010 and 2011, alongside the National Museum of Scotland’s 11 chessmen, which will visit Lewis among other destinations.

Not all of the Lewis Chessmen may have yet been discovered. There have been calls for new excavations on the island, to see if as many as 35 missing pieces may still be hidden there somewhere.

Plus Points:

  • Perhaps the only surviving medieval sets of one of the world’s most popular and enduring board games.
  • Beautiful and enchanting craftsmanship.
  • An intriguingly mysterious story full of myth and controversy.

Let-downs:

  • You need to visit two different museums, in two different countries, to view all of the chessmen.
  • They may not actually be chessmen.
  • Some pieces are missing.  

Source: Please click here

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I not the kind of person that like to showcase awards, medals, etc. but don’t have the option to hide this blog award Vlam has passed on to me, which I really appreciate. Her motivation for the award was: she sees me as a busy boddy and never depressed. [borrellend besig en nooit bedruk – in Afrikaans] I think she’s hit the nail on its head with both, but honestly, must say that with what was going on in my home country the past week, had me quite upset and depressed and it was hard to stay positive about South Africa when getting news about pasients dying in hospitals due to the strike of medical staff! Then, on the positive side, I do read Annie’s blog for quite a time now and have found a lady of great inspiration. Annie is an American living in Pretoria and it’s amazing what she’s always doing. I do salute Annie 70×70 for the work she’s been doing and also in the past week she volunteered at a hospital and cheered pasients up with her humorous personality. I need to pass this award on to 5 other amazing people and Annie is definitely on the top of my list. Next is Kyker for his beautiful photos of places around the world. The scenes and places are always thoughtfully selected and you will enjoy his photograpy when visiting his neatly laid out blog. I think he’s an example of perfection. He’s also writing his own poems and if you can read Afrikaans, you will definitely enjoy his poetry too. Thirdly I would like to award Madele  for always being positive in her views and always taking other people into consideration. Madele only started blogging quite recently and has already shown she’s a person of great inspiration too, an open person who’s truly honest and someone you can trust.  Recently, Roer has started blogging again – after silence of almost a year – and I appreciate her determination in her decisions and pushing through with ideas when she’s decided to do things in life, despite of what other people are saying/thinking. Lastly, but not the least, I would like to pass this award on to Connie for his great blog he’s started recently about Chess in his area/province, which is the Northern Cape – in South Africa. He’s always uploading some great pics of  children taking part in tournaments across the country/province.  He also keeps his followers/readers informed about tournaments and always has details at hand. I got to know Connie through the chess.com-site and he’s a great Chess player too – as his twin-girls! Keep up the good work, Connie.

Part of receiving the award is naming three things I like. Well, that is quite difficult as there are many things I really do like. I like it when people are honest/fair and have an open mind about things in life, thinking logical about things that make sense to us all. I appreciate the beauty of nature, the wild and would love to be on a farm for the rest of my life. Lastly, I like reading and poetry and would love to have all the time in the world just to read. When I was little, I even read every single advertisement in the newspaper or every single label on bottels etc. I always thought I was going to miss something…silly billy me…lol…Now, the last part of my task – as part of the award. I need to upload a photo of a place/something I like. Well, it wasn’t difficult to decide as my first choice will always be the Drakensberg Mountains – this mountain range stretches from the north of the country to the far south and in this photo you can see Mt Aux Sources – the highest peak in South Africa – which is about 4300 m. The actual highest peak – Thaba Ntlenyana – is in Lesotho – an enclaved country in South Africa. -an enclaved country is a country within [surrounded by]  another country. Thaba Ntlenyana means beautiful little mountain. I was 15 when I was on top of Mount Aux Sources with a school trip. There are two chainladders to go up before you reach the summit. A great experience if you like hiking or the outdoors!

Dankie, Vlam vir die toekenning! Ek waardeer dit, komende van jou – net so borrellend besig en bedruk? Nee, nie van wat ek weet nie! Jy’t my ook voorgespring met Skoor natuurlik – hehe… sjoe, hoe lus het ek vir cupcakes as ek so na hierdie pienk prentjie kyk – lekker eetbare prentjie. lol

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Image: Wikimedia – Philidor

I’ve read a lot about Philidor the last couple of days as he was – as  a chess player – also a great composer of his time. [Of course, if you don’t know it, it was Philidor who said…‘The pawns are the soul of chess.’] I’ve thought to create an entry about research that was carried out about chess and music – and have found some useful information, but very basic and I think we all know that already, but also came across an interesting article…and  you can read an extract of it and the complete article on the given link – which is more about Steinitz. So many beginners think about the Pawn as just a piece to move if they don’t know what to move and I sometimes struggle with students not to move their Pawns unless they have to. I think Philidor was a bright spark! He composed beautiful music and played some brilliant chess. The info from Wikipedia is quite interesting. Read why he died in London. Chess is also a game full of strategies which you can apply to your everyday life – as we all know, but there are now companies making use of Chess players to support them in their business and training their staff in Chess strategies in order to excel in the company. The following quotes about Chess were found on one such Chess Consultant’s site. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow jacobm – as he is such a consultant and these quotes are from his site.

“Knights are the curvy pieces that bring a circular aspect to an essential linear game.”
– J. Rowson, Scottish Grandmaster

“The handling of the Rooks demands a great understanding of the strategy suited to a particular position.”
– L. Pachman, Czech Grandmaster

“Whenever you have a Bishop, keep your pawns on opposite color squares.”
– J.R. Capablanca, Cuban World Champion 1921-1927

“The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“When the chess game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box.”
– Italian proverb

“Every Pawn is a potential Queen.”
– J. Mason, 19th Century Irish chess master

“The handling of the Rooks demands a great understanding of the strategy suited to a particular position.”
– L. Pachman, Czech Grandmaster

“What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to this question are objectives. How will you go about achieving your desired results? The answer to this you can call strategy”
– William E Rothschild

THE HISTORY OF CHESS AS WE conceive of it today  can be safely assumed to start with the composer (of music) François-André Danican Philidor (1726–1795). His undoubted status as a ‘founding father’ stems mainly from the famous sentence that everyone associates with his name, ‘the pawns are the soul of chess.’ That ‘pawns are the soul of chess’ is the fundamental law of chess theory. It is the identification and elaboration of the fact that pawns are heavily limited in their movement, so that the structure of pawns is much more static and rigid than that of pieces; this, coupled to the fact that an advantage of a pawn is usually enough to win the game (if the endgame, where pawns are potential queens, is reached), gives the handling of pawns an importance and a difficulty that goes beyond that of pieces. The consequences of a pawn move are lasting, and cannot generally be pondered by ‘concrete analysis,’ the sheer calculation of variations. Moving pieces always involves of course the risk of mistakes and blunders that immediately ruin a game—but these can be calculated and avoided. Moving pawns means a much more subtle risk, for relevant negative consequences might appear a long time afterwards; there is no need for blunder to lose a game because of a pawn move. This distinction between pawns and pieces is at the core of the distinction between ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics,’ the two branches of chess theory, training, education, etc. (Strategy is the identification of the general long-term ideas and plans of the game, usually based on the configuration of pawns reached after the opening; tactics refers to the actual moves and short-term variations that execute the plans, and it usually focuses on the action of pieces. ‘Tactics consists in knowing what to do when there is something to do; strategy is about knowing what to do when there is nothing to do,’ Tartakower is reported to have said.) In this sense, the discovery of strategy, and with it the birth of chess theory as such, is essentially linked to the name of Philidor. Thus (and I choose the following source for no other reason than having it at hand—assertions to the same effect are easily found in any book on chess strategy), It was master Filidor, the luminous French musician and chess player, the first to understand, already at the end of the eighteenth century, the importance of pawns in chess; it is actually with him that the game’s positional strategy is born. This is what the name Philidor means for chess today. He plays the role of the symbolic point of reference, the recipient that contains the essence and the primary source of chess theory. But, as usually happens with such figures—think of Thales as the father of philosophy, Pithagoras as the father of mathematics, and even of Aristotle as the father of empirical science—, he himself is exiled from his name, and what he actually thought or understood is ignored in favor of what we think and understand. Historical fact is of little importance for the role of the figure—just as Homer, and more recently as Saussure, he is defined by us as the author of his works, rather than his works being defined for us as the product of his efforts. In fact, ‘the pawns are the soul of chess’ is a corruption of what Philidor really said. (The fate of this sentence is similar to that of other myths like Newton’s apple or Galileo at the Tower of Pisa: dubious recollection of facts modified by tradition to suit its fancy.) The actual quotation from Philidor’s foreword to his 1749 Chess Analysed or Instructions by Which a Perfect Knowledge of This Noble Game May in a short Time be Acquir’d (his own translation of the Analise des E´checs) reads. My chief intention is to recommend myself to the public, by a novelty no one had thought of, or perhaps ever understood well. I mean how to play the Pawns. They are the very life [not ‘soul’] of this game. They alone form the Attack and the Defence; on their good or bad situation depends the Gain or Loss of each Party. And then, immediately: A player, who, when he had played a pawn well, can give no Reason for his moving it to such a square, may be compared to a General, who with much practice has little or no Theory. Philidor’s wording (Attack, Defence, Reason, Theory) reveals that ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’ are not part of his conceptual net. When ‘the pawns are the soul of chess’ is interpreted today, what it brings to mind is the classification of pawns into weak pawns (isolated, doubled, hind pawn) or strong pawns (passed pawns), some especial configurations (chain of pawns, hanging pawns), and the concept of weak and strong squares. All this obviously remains at best inarticulate in Philidor’s book. As Cecil Purdy says, “in Philidor’s system of play, it is not at all evident to a mediocre player even if experienced why ‘on the good or bad situation (of the pawns) depends the gain and loss to each Party.’ ” Follow this link to read the complete article, the link will open in a new window. -[ it is a PDF-document]

http://www.fedegarcia.net/writings/steinitz.pdf
François-André Danican Philidor (September 7, 1726 – August 31, 1795) was a French chess player and composer. He was regarded as the best chess player of his age, although the title of World Chess Champion was not yet in existence. Philidor’s book Analyse du jeu des Échecs was considered a standard chess manual for at least a century. He was commonly referred to as André Danican Philidor during his lifetime.

Chess career
Philidor started playing regularly around 1740 at the chess Mecca of France, the Café de la Régence. It was also there that he famously played with a friend from ‘New England’, Mr. Benjamin Franklin. The best player in France at the time, Legall de Kermeur, taught him. At first, Legall could give Philidor rook odds, a handicap in which the stronger player starts without one of his rooks, but in only three years, Philidor was his equal, and then surpassed him. Philidor visited England in 1747 and decisively beat the Syrian Phillip Stamma in a match +8 =1 -1, despite the fact Philidor let Stamma have White in every game, and scored all draws as wins for Stamma. The same year, Philidor played many games with another strong player, Sir Abraham Janssen, who was then the best player in England, and with the exception of M. de Legalle, probably the best player Philidor ever encountered. He could win on an average one game in four of Philidor, at even terms; and Philidor himself declared that he could only give to Janssen the pawn for the move.

In 1754, Philidor returned to France, after nine years of absence spent mostly in Holland and England. He was now a much stronger player, having successfully played with opponent of the calibre of Philip Stamma and Abraham Janssen, but, as G. Allen reports in The life of Philidor, it was not until his match with de Legal in 1755 that he can be considered the strongest player in the world.

“When Philidor left Paris, in 1745, although he had for some time been playing even games with M. de Legal… he had not ceased to recognize his old master as still his master and superior. But nine years of practice, with a great variety of players, had authorized him to look for neither superior nor equal; and when, in 1755, a match was arranged between the pupil and his master, who was still at the height of his strength, the result placed the crown firmly and indisputably upon the head of Philidor.”

In 1771 and 1773 Philidor made brief stays in London to play at the Salopian coffee-house, Charing Cross and at the St James Chess Club. In 1774 the Parloe’s chess club, on St James street, in London, was created and Philidor obtained a remuneration as a Chess Master every year, for a regular season from February to June. Philidor stayed faithful to this agreement until the end of his life and he was replaced by Verdoni only after his death. It is rightly in this place Philidor encountered Mr. George Atwood, famous mathematician and physician, lecturer at Cambridge University. In an article of J. J. O’Connor and E. F. Robertson [1], devoted to George Atwood, there is the following passage:

” Atwood was a renowned amateur chess-player and among other opponents played games against the famous French player Philidor, who was regarded as the unofficial world champion.”

H E Bird records :

“Of the players who encountered Philidor, Sir Abraham Janssens, who died in 1775, seems to have been the best, Mr. George Atwood, a mathematician, one of Pitt’s secretaries came next, he was of a class which we should call third or two grades of odds below Philidor, a high standard of excellence to which but few amateurs attain. One of most interesting features of Atwood as a chess player is that he recorded and preserved some of his games, an unusual practice at that time. These records have survived, among them the last games that Philidor played which were against Atwood at Parsloe’s Club in London on 20 June 1795.”

In England, Philidor astounded his peers by playing three blindfold chess games simultaneously in the chess club of St. James Street in London on 9 May 1783. Philidor let all three opponents play white, and gave up a pawn for the third player. Some affidavits were signed, because those persons who were involved doubted that future generations would believe that such a feat was possible. Today, three simultaneous blindfold games would be fairly unremarkable among many chess masters. Even when he was in his late years, when he was 67 years old (1793), he played and won two blindfold games simultaneously in London.

Philidor, both in England and France, was largely recognized in each of this fields and got a lot of admirers, protectors and also friends, like were the French philosophers Voltaire, Rousseau and the famous English actor David Garrick (1717–1779).

In December 1792, however, when he was then age 65, Philidor had to leave definitively France for England. He was fleeing the French Revolution (1789–1799), because his name figured on the Revolutionary banishment list, established by the Convention nationale. This was not probably due to his ideas (indeed it seems Philidor was rather reserved about his opinions apart from music and chess), but very likely in view of the traditional attachment of his family to the King’s family service [2].

Andrew Soltis writes that Philidor “was the best player in the world for 50 years. In fact, he was probably about 200 rating points better than anyone else yet alive—set apart by the mysteries of the game he had solved.”

It was said that the reason why Philidor emphasized the pawns in the chess game was related to the political background during the eighteenth century of France, and that he regarded pawns as the “Third rank” on the chess board (citizens were regarded as the third rank of the society before the French Revolution started in 1789). He also included analysis of certain positions of rook and bishop versus rook, such analysis being still current theory even today. He is most famous for showing an important drawing technique with a rook and pawn versus rook endgame, in a position known as the Philidor position. The Philidor Defense(1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6) is named for him. Philidor’s book was the very first (1) that gave detailed annotations on how to play the middle-game, (2) that presented chess strategy as a whole, and (3) that presented the concepts of the blockade, prophylaxis, positional sacrifice, and mobility of the pawn formation.

Philidor joined the Royal choir of Louis XV in 1732 at the age of six, and made his first attempt at the composition of a song at the age of 11. It was said that Louis XV wanted to listen to the choir almost every day, and the singers, while waiting for the king to arrive, played chess to relieve their boredom; this may have sparked Philidor’s interest in chess.

Listen to the music of Philidor.

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It is time to enter for the South African Open 2010. Click the image for the Official website of the organisers: Ramlodi. The link is also on my blog’s side bar. Last year we had 3 GM’s to play in this tournament online from different continents and it was the first Fide tournament to be played online. You can visit the official website or follow some of the links here. Games/photos will be followed and blogged here as results will become available during the tournament.
Please click
here for the ONLINE entry form. [Links will open in a new window] NON-Citizens of South Africa: Click click here to pay via PayPal or visit the Official site for the same link.
 


The Venue: Tswane University of Technology [Pretoria]

Venue: Inside [Theunis Bester Hall] – see more pics on the Official site.


Schedule SA Open 2010 or click on this PDF-link to download the schedule.
SA Open 2010 Schedule in PDF

History of the South Africa Chess Open Championships
The Cape Town Chess Club is the oldest chess club in the country, boasting an un-interruped existence since its foundation in 1885! However, it is almost certainly not the first club that was formed. Besides the reference above to a club which met in Cape Town in 1847, the Grahamstown Journal of 29 December 1969 reports the result of a match of three games played by correspondence that year between Amateur Chess Club of Port Elizabeth and the Grahamstown Chess Club. Grahamstown won all three games.
The 1st SA Championship, Cape Town 1892
At the Cape Town Chess Club’s 7th Annual General Meeting in March 1892, J.H. Clark, one of the club’s most prominent member introduced a proposal that a general chess tournament, open to all chess players in South Africa, be held in Cape Town under the auspices of the Cape Town Chess
Club. This proposal was received with enthusiasm and the club set about organising the tournament. The Metropolitan Hall in Burg Street was the venue. The tournament was opened by the club’s President, the Bishop of Cape Town, and others on the platform were General Cameron, officer commanding the local British forces. Prize money offered amounted to £25. The rate of play was 25 moves per hour, with sessions of four hours duration, but few games lasted that long. Eleven players were accepted for the Championship proper and ten played in the Minor tournament, both being round-robins. The tournament was to last six days, during which the contestants had to play 10 games. This heavy schedule was quite acceptable to all, it seems. Rivett and Roberts each scored 9½ out of 10. They then contested two games to break the tie, the first beginning at 4pm on the sixth day of the tournament. Roberts won this and at 7:30pm that same day the second game commenced. Rivett was successful so the title was shared.

The 2nd SA Championship, Cape Town 1897
After a lapse of five years the Cape Town Chess Club again took the initiative and staged the second SA Championship in 1897. The committee has budgeted for a total expenditure of £200 and it is noteworthy that the full amount was subscribed by donors, among whom was President Steyn of Orange Free State, who gave £5. The Prizes in the Championship were £30, £20, £10 and £5, with a further £10 for consolation prizes. For the Minor tournament, which attracted a field of 11, £25 was
allocated for prizes. The tournament was in fact a triumph for the Cape Town players, for after Roberts came Cameron
with 9 points and then another club representative Friedman was tied with Kummel for third and fourth placings, each scoring 8½.
The 3rd SA Championship, Durban 1899
The 4th SA Championship, Johannesburg 1903
The 5th SA Championship, Cape Town 1906

Source: Ramlodi.co.za

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In the Chess World the Russian Chess Federation was under sieged…it seemed. Read on this link what happened. Kasparov and Karpov are both involved in this FIDE-matter. [The link will open in a new window.] There are some little green mendressed in yellow – involved too. I hope you enjoy my edited image. [click on the image for a larger view] See original images
HERE and also here. You can see Mr Spock playing chess in Star Trek here.
See two more edited images of  ‘Flash’ Karpov here on my blogger-blog.

Image: chessgames

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Anand in Sofia – Anand and Topalov are going to fight the mother battle of all battles. [chess of course!] I hope [if you’re a chess player] that you’re going to follow their games with me. Anand is my favourite and my money is on him. Those of you who don’t know anything about these players…they are THE big chess-engines of the world of chess…and they’re playing in Sofia[Bulgaria]. Anand is from India and Topalov from Bulgaria. Anand is the current World Champion and Topalov the challenger.

What is said about Anand- ‘….extreme efficiency, his splendid personality…’ -watch the videos about Anand and Topalov on the official site…

Anand is the fastest thinking chess player

Ah…they look so handsome… – is that what he’s thinking [haha]

Enjoy the music of the Hungarian Rhapsody no2 [unfortunately not the Bulgarian Rhapsody…but let’s pretend lol -also not the complete music file]

Topalov…hmmm…wonder if he’s going to beat me up!..

Press Conference – Sofia

Postal Items devoted to the Anand-Topalov Chess tournament in Sofia [Bulgaria]

Please click HERE to visit the official site of Anand-Topalov to read more or to play through their games. The first game starts on the 24th April. [see the playing schedule] You will also find this link on the sidebar of my blog.[top] Images in this post are all from the Official site of Anand/Topalov. 
 

Click on the image for a larger view…This is the schedule of Anand’s and Topalov’s games.


Map of Bulgaria / Sofia – image: Topnews

The History of Chess…only a few images from the video on the Official site.

See the video on the Official site – link in this post [and on the sidebar of my blog] about the History of Chess. These images are from the video.

40-hour ride to defend the title
New Delhi: World champion Viswanathan Anand Tuesday reached Sofia, Bulgaria, after a strenuous 40-hour road journey from Germany as all flights were cancelled due to the volcanic ash floating across European airspace.

The 40-year old world champion had requested a postponement of the World chess championship match against Veselin Topalov, by three days, but his appeal was rejected by the organising committee.

Not used to travelling such long distances on road along with the refusal to grant a three-day postponement could give Anand’s challenger, Topalov, a significant advantage.

Anand had planned to reach the venue on April 16, which is one week before the first game on April 23. But he arrived four days behind schedule due to factors beyond his control.

Anand might miss the press conference but will attend the opening ceremony according to his wife Aruna Anand. Not rescheduling the games will mean Topalov could have the same advantage that Anatoly Karpov enjoyed in the world title match, in Lausanne, in 1998.

“The news from us is that we reached here safely,” said Aruna Anand.

Had Alexander Alekhine been in Anand’s place, he would have sought a postponement of at least a week as world champions ruled and challengers were at the mercy of champions. Sometimes a handicap is a better way to start a match and Anand can turn the disadvantage into a driving force in the 12-game series.

Earlier, the organising committee had received an e-mailed request for a postponement from Anand and also a word from Fide about the situation.

However, the committee said that the press conference could be postponed but not the opening ceremony scheduled on April 21 because invitations to all official guests, sponsors, politicians, television stations and the media was already sent. Also since many commercial contracts have been signed, there would be serious penalties if any changes were made.

The championship is to be formally inaugurated on April 21 with the first of the 14 games to begin on April 23.

Source:

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100421/jsp/sports/story_12362406.jsp

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Benjamin Franklin playing chess…’And lastly, we learn by chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs; the habit of hoping for a favorable chance, and that of preserving in the search of resources.’ -Benjamin Franklin, ‘The Morals of Chess’

 

I like playing chess on  chesscube for a couple of reasons…I always find someone to play a quick realtime game -my time is little and I’m not anymore interested in playing games going on for ages – I like the interface and the colours. This first game was played today and I was just on time to win this game…as I’m always in a hurry…I try to think fast, move fast – and sometimes end up with fast blunders too. My opponent spent 7 minutes before he decided to sacrifice his Queen -and in the process I did the same and won his Bishop. I have the pgn-file for you to follow if interested.

Click on the image for a clearer view

B01 -Scandinavian (center counter) 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. Bc4 e6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. d3 h6 7. O-O Bc6 8. Bf4 Nf6 9. Nb5 Bxb5 10. Bxb5+ c6 11. Bc4 Nbd7 12. a3 Bc5 13. b4 Bb6 14. Ne5 O-O 15. Nxd7 Qxd7 16. Be5 Bd4 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Rb1 Bd4 19. Qg4 Rad8 20. Kh1 Qd6 21. f4 a6 22. f5 Bb6 23. fxe6 Bc7 24. g3 Kh8 25. exf7 b5 26. Bb3 c5 27. bxc5 Qc6+ 28. Kg1 Qxc5+ 29. Kg2 a5 30. Rf5 Qc6+ 31. Kh3 a4 32. Qe4 Qxe4 33. dxe4 axb3 34. cxb3 Bd6 35. b4 Bc7 36. e5 Rd3 37. e6 Bd6 38. Re1 Be7 39. Ree5 Rxa3 40. Rxb5 Ra7 41. Rbd5 Bf6 42. b5 Rb7 43. Rd1 Be7 44. Rd7 Rb6 45. Rxe7 g6 46. Re8 Kg7 47. Rf1 Rxe6 48. Rxf8 Rf6 49. Rxf6 Kxf6 50. b6 Ke7 51. b7 Kxf8 52. b8=Q+ Kxf7 53. Qc7+ Kf6 54. Qd6+ Kf7 55. Qd5+ Kf6 56. Qd6+ Kf7 57. Qe5 g5 58. Qf5+ Kg7 59. Qe6 Kf8 0-1

image:animalartistry.co.uk

Mmmm…I always keep my Knights as long as I can…wonder if you can spot in this next game why…I have some of the colours of chesscube on this image too. Very visual for someone like me…This player resigned the game.

Click on the image for a clearer view

C41 – Philidor’s Defence -1. e4  e5 2. Nf3  d6 3. Nc3  Bg4 4. Bb5+  c6 5. Bc4  Bxf3 6. Qxf3  Qe7 7. d3  h6 8. O-O  Nd7 9. b4  Ngf6 10. b5  c5 11. Nd5  Qd8 12. Nxf6+  Nxf6 13. Bd5  Rb8 14. c4  Be7 15. Rb1  O-O 16. a4  b6 17. Bd2  Ne8 18. Ra1  Bf6 19. a5  Kh8 20. Bc6  Nc7 21. axb6  axb6 22. Qf5  Ne6 23. Bd5  Nd4 24. Qg4  Nb3 25. Ra2  Nd4 26. Bc3  Nb3 27. Bc6  Be7 28. f4  f6 29. fxe5  dxe5 30. Ra3  Nd4 31. Qd7  Qxd7 32. Bxd7  Rbd8 33. Ra7  Ne2+ 34. Kh1  Nxc3 35. Bf5  Bd6 36. Rb7  Ne2 37. Rxb6  Nf4 38. Rf3  Bc7 39. Rc6  Bd6 40. g3  Ne2 41. b6  Nd4 42. Rxd6  Rxd6 43. Rf1  Rxb6  0-1

Don’t forget! Anand-vs-Topalov – Sofia 21st April

http://www.anand-topalov.com/

Image: Official site…Playing Hall – Central Military Club, Sofia

Schedule: Anand vs Topalov – click on the image for a larger view

The scene where Anand and Topalov will play – image: chessdom

Here’s a song from Elton John to enjoy…Your Song

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Rudolf Hess – Image: howstuffworks.com

Nazi Deputy Rudolf Hess crashes in Scotland: On May 10, 1941, German official Rudolf Hess made an unauthorized visit to Britain. He was arrested after he broke his ankle in a parachute jump from his Messerschmitt, which crashed just south of Glasgow, Scotland. Hess, whose German title of deputy Führer put him in charge of the Nazi Party apparatus, was on a solo mission. He said he wanted to negotiate a peace in which Britain would be safe from attack if it gave Nazi Germany a free hand in Europe. Dismissed as insane by the British and Adolf Hitler, Hess remained in Allied imprisonment until his death in 1987. Source: howstuffworks/american-history/

Britain and America wanted to release Hess, but the Russians didn’t want to. Perhaps, Hess was a lucky pawn in their hands.

ONE was a notorious Nazi war criminal, the other a young Tyneside soldier.

They came from different countries and from different backgrounds, but they forged a friendship of sorts and ended up playing chess together.

This is the remarkable real life story of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess and Maurice Williams of the Durham Light Infantry.

Charged with guarding Hess in Berlin’s Spandau Prison, Maurice the pair ended up playing a game of chess.

“It was 1951 and our Battalion was taking up guard duty at Spandau Prison,” said Maurice, who lives at Ovington in the Tyne Valley.

“There were a number of Nazi war criminals there and I was curious about the place.

“I decided to take a tour of the prison and it certainly was a grim place. On my travels I came upon this guy in the prison garden, reading a paper.

“It turned out to be Rudolf Hess. We weren’t supposed to talk to either him or the other Nazi prisoners and, if caught, I would have been on a charge, but I was curious about him.

“He had a chess board and I asked him about it. He asked if I played chess and, luckily, I did.”

Hess challenged Maurice to a game and Maurice said: “In the end, he beat me easily. I said to him that I only thought two moves ahead and that he must be thinking about 10 moves ahead. He laughed and said: ‘Maybe a few more than that’. We played a second time and this time I gave him a much better game but, again, lost out.”

Maurice said Hess was unlike the picture he painted in the Nuremberg Trials of a man on the edge of sanity, adding: “He was a perfect gentleman and asked such things as ‘are you married?’ He spoke perfect English, better than myself!

“I told him I was single and he asked about my family, it was just like talking to the man next door. I really wanted to ask him how he felt about the Jews but the opportunity didn’t arise.

“He said he liked the British and American guards, but wasn’t too keen on the Russians.

“I’m not surprised about that as I found them a funny lot, especially when they were on the vodka, which was made out of diesel oil. If they gave it to us we had to drink it with black pepper.”

Nobody was more shocked than Maurice at what had gone on in Nazi Germany, but he didn’t class Hess as one of the hard-liners who were hanged after the war crimes trial.

“I don’t know why they didn’t let Hess go in the 1950s. Spandau was a harsh place and Hess had a room the size of a normal living room with table chair and bed and also a wireless.

“I believe that later he was given much more room.”

Apparently Britain and the USA wanted to release Hess, but the Russians wouldn’t allow it. Many think it was because it gave them a foothold in West Berlin.

Hess is said to have committed suicide in 1987.

It was not the first time Maurice had been to Germany.

He had joined the Durham Light Infantry at the end of the Second World War and witnessed the devastation as he travelled through France and Belgium toward Germany.

“In Germany we had to hammer on the doors of the civilians and tell them to get their valuables packed up within an hour and stored into the lofts or such place.

“We then took their homes over as billets as there was no army camp. They were put into a displaced persons camp.

“All the time we were there I never knew of any soldier touching the belongings of the German civilians.

“They were lovely middle class houses with lovely gardens. You know what Geordies were like for gardening, so enjoyed keeping them in shape. They could come back to their homes undamaged with nothing missing. In 1946 we were sent out to Egypt. It was later in 1951 when we were posted to Berlin and Spandau.”
Source:
Here

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The Chess players: Shakespeare and Ben Johnson playing chess-

Image: Wikipedia
The Chess Players attributed to Karel van Mander. This was identified in 1916 as an image of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare playing chess. Most scholars consider this to be pure speculation, but the claim was revived in 2004 by Jeffrey Netto, who argued that the chess game symbolises “the well known professional rivalry between these figures in terms of a battle of wits”.

Read more HERE about Shakespeare and chess.

Even Shakespeare (1564-1616) incorporated a well known, though minor, chess scene in The Tempest.

Image: http://sbchess.sinfree.net

The Tempest: Act Five, Scene One  (Ferdinand and Miranda)
The entrance of the Cell opens, and discovers Ferdinand and Miranda playing at chess.
Miranda: Sweet lord, you play me false.
Ferdinand: No, my dearest love, I would not for the world.
Miranda: Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, And I would call it fair play

Miranda and Ferdinand are lovers whose fathers are sworn enemies. Their love, represented in a devious game of chess in the final scene,  restores harmony between the two families.[Source:sbchess.sinfree.net]

Sports and pastimes of the English:[see the next paragraph and the source link] – I think it is even today the case… – due to the weather…chess is a favourite indoor game, that’s why so many people in the UK play chess online. Comparing to our counterparts in the Southern hemisphere, you would get the opposite.

DANCING AND CHESS PLAY.–Dancing was certainly an ancient and favourite pastime with the women of this country: the maidens even in a state of servitude claimed, as it were by established privilege, the license to indulge themselves in this exercise on holidays and public festivals; when it was usually performed in the presence of their masters and mistresses.

In the middle ages, dice, chess, and afterwards tables, and cards, with other sedentary games of chance and skill, were reckoned among the female amusements; and the ladies also frequently joined with the men in such pastimes, as we find it expressly declared in the metrical romance of Ipomydom. The passage alluded to runs thus:
“When they had dyned, as I you saye,
Lordes and ladyes yede to to playe;
Some to tables, and some to chesse,
With other gamys more or lesse.”

In another poem, by Gower,  a lover asks his mistress, when she is tired of “dancing and caroling,” if she was willing to “play at chesse, or on the dyes to cast a chaunce.” Forrest, speaking in praise of Catharine of Arragon, first wife of Henry VIII., says, that when she was young,
“With stoole and with needyl she was not to seeke,
And other practiseings for ladyes meete;
To pastyme at tables, tick tack or gleeke,
Cardis and dyce”–etc.

Source

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I think for anyone not knowing Algebraic Chess, the following will be Greek to them… Morphy Defence, C78 Ruy Lopez,  1. e4    e5, 2. Nf3   Nf6, 3. Bb5   a6,   4. Ba4  Nf6,  5. O-O   b5,   ……29. Qxc2   dxe5…etc.  That was the opening moves of a chess game of Fischer vs Di Camillo played 1956 in Washington D.C. Fischer won. During the WW’s/Cold War, codes were used to send messages and some of the messages were disguised as chess moves! There were also the Code Breakers and many of them were chess champions (employed to break the codes) and some of them just very good chess players. So, if you want to send messages disguised as chess moves, it’s time for you to start knowing about algebraic chess! [haha] I’ve come across this interesting article and want to share it with you. Near to the bottom of the post you can read about Britain’s Code Breakers and how they operated. Last year Bletchley Park was in the news again as the building needed restoration. Bletchley Park is now a museum. Bletchley Park also helped to win WW2 and the launch of the modern computer. Read the Timesonline-link at the bottom of this post.

Intriguing spy postcards with cryptic messages to MI5 chief during Cold War found
23rd July 2009

Top secret postcards containing coded messages sent from a Cold War spy in Germany to an MI5 boss have come to light.

Written in cryptic text based around a series of chess games, they were posted in 1950 to Graham Mitchell, the then deputy director general of MI5.

Found by a member of Mitchell’s household staff – who kept them for more than 50 years – they are expected to fetch £1,000 when sold at auction on Monday.

 Intriguing: Chess was a favourite Russian national pastime and information would often be disguised as chess moves [click on images for a larger view]

Sent from what is thought to be an undercover agent in Frankfurt – a hub of espionage activity at the time as it was well positioned for spying on both the East and West – experts are not sure what side the men were spying for, as Mitchell was suspected of being a secret Soviet agent at the time.

Written on typewriters and dated throughout 1950, each of the messages revolves around chess, with a discussion of various moves and games written out in the text.
Some are addressed to ‘Dear chessfriend Mitchell’, and each contains a series of numbers recognisable as chess moves, used by correspondents to play games at a distance.

One postcard, dated June 16, 1950 said: ‘Without against Dr. Balogh I always have now hard fights in my games.

‘Against Collins I have been fallen into a variation of the Nimzowich-defence who surely should be lost!

‘I shall try to find a new idea for defending. But only a little hope. But all my games go forward in a quick way.

Gordon Thomas, author and expert on the history of MI5 and MI6, said chess moves were a common way of communicating during the Cold War.

He said: ‘Mitchell was head of counter-espionage at MI5 and would have been responsible for recruiting double agents with the aim of getting them into the KGB networks.
‘The Russians in particular favoured using chess as a method of communicating. It was a great national pastime and information would often be disguised as chess moves.

Code: Experts have not worked out the true meaning of the cryptic text

‘There’s even a section about it in the KGB handbook. For example, one move could ascertain what was happening and another could give instructions.
‘Agents would be trained to understand chess moves and Mitchell was quite a good chess player.The chances are that these were instructions or intelligence to a Soviet agent or an informer.
‘Of course they could just be innocent correspondence, but at the height of the Cold War it seems logical Mitchell would have more important things on his mind. We will never really know, but nevertheless it really is an astonishing find.’

Following a series of operation failures Mitchell was put under investigation along with the director general Roger Hollis.

He was even suspected as being in cahoots with the notorious Cambridge Five spies and was named by the now-famous Spycatcher author Peter White as a spy.

No evidence was found against them but Mitchell took early retirement in 1963 as a result of the investigation.

The postcards were delivered to Mitchell’s address in Chobham, Surrey, and were all sent from a Dr. Edmund Adam in Frankfurt.
Heather Cannon, of Barbers Fine Art Auctioneers of Woking, Surrey, said: ‘It was commonly known that Mitchell was investigated on suspicion of being a spy. He was also known to play chess and it seems he had a regular correspondence with Dr Adams.
‘The messages could very well be codes that conveyed secret information between the two. But until they are broken we can never know for sure.
‘They’re certainly a very interesting find and we’re expecting a lot of interest from people who are fascinated by MI5.
‘Anyone interested in spies and codes would be intrigued by them, and perhaps the buyer would be able to spend time trying to crack the mystery.’
Born in 1905, Graham Mitchell was educated at Winchester School and Oxford University before joining MI5 as an expert on fascist organisations.

Source HERE

Bletchley Park – image: Wikipedia

Sir (Philip) Stuart Milner-Barry OBE CB KCVO (20 September 1906 – 25 March 1995) was a British chess player, chess writer, World War II codebreaker and civil servant. He worked at Bletchley Park during World War II, and was head of “Hut 6”, a section responsible for deciphering messages which had been encrypted using the German Enigma machine. He was one of four leading codebreakers at Bletchley to petition the then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill directly for more resources for their work. After the war he worked in the Treasury and later administered the British honours system. In chess, he represented England in international tournaments and lent his name to three opening variations.

He represented England in chess, and played in the international Chess Olympiads of 1937 and 1939. The latter tournament, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, coincided with Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in September 1939. Milner-Barry, with teammates Hugh Alexander (at that time the British chess champion) and Harry Golombek, abandoned the tournament and returned to Britain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuart_Milner-Barry

Image: chesshistory.com

The Codebreakers: Names underlined in red were British Chess Champions or Scottish chess champions and others only very strong chess players.

Bletchley Park, also known as Station X, is an estate located in the town of Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire. Since 1967, Bletchley has been part of Milton Keynes, England.

Although its function was a secret at the time, Bletchley Park was officially known as the ‘GCCS’ (Government Code and Cypher School, which some irreverent people re-interpreted as the ‘Golf Club and Chess Society’). Up to 7000 people worked there at any one time.
Towards the end of the war, when they could be a bit more relaxed about security. Here is a detail from a photograph which appeared in the magazine ‘Chess’ showing participants in a 1944 match between what was called ‘Bletchley Chess Club’ and Oxford University. ‘Bletchley’ won the match 8-4.
During World War II, Bletchley Park was the site of the United Kingdom’s main decryption establishment. Ciphers and codes of several Axis countries were decrypted there, most importantly ciphers generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines.

The high-level intelligence produced at Bletchley Park, codenamed Ultra, is credited with having provided crucial assistance to the Allied war effort and with having shortened the war, though Ultra’s precise influence is still studied and debated.

Bletchley Park is now a museum run by the Bletchley Park Trust and is open to the public. The main manor house is also available for functions and is licensed for ceremonies. Part of the fees for hiring the facilities go to the Trust for use in maintaining the museum.

Five weeks before the outbreak of World War II, in Warsaw, Poland’s Biuro Szyfrów (Cipher Bureau) revealed its achievements in decrypting German Enigma ciphers to French and British intelligence. The British used this information as the foundation for their own early efforts to decrypt Enigma.

The “first wave” of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) moved to Bletchley Park on 15 August 1939. The main body of GC&CS, including its Naval, Military and Air Sections, was on the house’s ground floor, together with a telephone exchange, a teleprinter room, a kitchen and a dining room. The top floor was allocated to MI6. The prefabricated wooden huts were still being erected, and initially the entire “shooting party” was crowded into the existing house, its stables and cottages. These were too small, so Elmers School, a neighbouring boys’ boarding school, was acquired for the Commercial and Diplomatic Sections.

A wireless room was set up in the mansion’s water tower and given the code name “Station X”, a term now sometimes applied to the codebreaking efforts at Bletchley as a whole. The “X” simply denotes the number “10” in Roman numerals, as this was the tenth such station to be opened. Due to the long radio aerials stretching from the wireless room, the radio station was moved from Bletchley Park to nearby Whaddon to avoid drawing attention to the site.

Listening stations – the Y-stations (such as the ones at Chicksands in Bedfordshire and Beaumanor Hall in Leicestershire, the War Office “Y” Group HQ) – gathered raw signals for processing at Bletchley. Coded messages were taken down by hand and sent to Bletchley on paper by motorcycle couriers or, later, by teleprinter. Bletchley Park is mainly remembered for breaking messages enciphered on the German Enigma cypher machine, but its greatest cryptographic achievement may have been the breaking of the German “Fish” High Command teleprinter cyphers.

The intelligence produced from decrypts at Bletchley was code-named “Ultra”. It contributed greatly to the Allied success in defeating the U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic, and to the British naval victories of Battle of Cape Matapan and the Battle of North Cape.

When the United States joined the war Churchill agreed with Roosevelt to pool resources and a number of American cryptographers were posted to Bletchley Park. Whilst the British continued to work on German cyphers, the Americans concentrated on the Japanese ones.

The only direct action that the site experienced was when three bombs, thought to have been intended for Bletchley railway station, were dropped on 20 November 1940 – 21 November 1940. One bomb exploded next to the dispatch riders’ entrance, shifting the whole of Hut 4 (the Naval Intelligence hut) two feet on its base. As the huts stood on brick pillars, workmen just winched it back into position whilst work continued inside.

An outpost of Bletchley Park was set up at Kilindini, Kenya, to break and decipher Japanese codes.[8] With a mixture of skill and good fortune, this was successfully done: the Japanese merchant marine suffered 90 per cent losses by August 1945, a result of decrypts.

After the war, Churchill referred to the Bletchley staff as “My geese that laid the golden eggs and never cackled.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bletchley_Park

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_associated_with_Bletchley_Park
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hut_6

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuart_Milner-Barry

During WW2 the British set up at Bletchley Park a major organisation whose purpose was to try to crack the sophisticated German codes (i.e. those using the ‘Enigma’ machine). A number of notable academics and mind-gamers were employed, including chess players, mathematicians and crossword-puzzle solvers. They succeeded in their task, and it has been seriously suggested that this single breakthrough shortened the war in Europe by 2 years. The Germans never believed that such a thing was possible. Among the chess-players based at Bletchley park were C.H.O’D (Hugh) Alexander (a British Champion) Stuart Milner-Barry (who gave his name to more than one ‘gambit’ variation) Harry Golombek (distinguished chess-player and author), N A Perkins, and James McRae Aitken (10 times Scottish Champion).

Other people at Bletchley Park included the mathematician Alan Turing (whose theories led to the development of artificial intelligence and computers), politician Roy Jenkins (subsequently a leader of the Labour and Social Democratic parties) and Professor Donald Michie (who later brought chessplayers Danny Kopec and Ivan Bratko to Edinburgh University to research AI techniques using chess).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hut_6

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7524421.stm

Bletchley Park, the codebreaking centre that helped to win the Second World War and launch the modern computer, is in danger of irreparable decay unless the Government steps in to save it, some of the country’s leading computer scientists caution today.

In a letter to The Times, 97 senior experts, mostly professors and heads of department, say that “the ravages of age and a lack of investment” have left the historic site under threat.

One of the unheated wooden huts where the codebreakers worked day and night to turn the tide of the war now looks “like a garden shed that’s been left for 60 years”, according to Sue Black, head of the Department of Information and Software Systems at the University of Westminster and one of the organisers of the letter.

A dirty tarpaulin keeps out the rain, and several of the eight surviving huts have peeling paint and boarded-up windows. [Read on the next link more – the link will open in a new window.]

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4387286.ece
The leading British chess masters of World War II all became leading codebreakers for British intelligence.

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chess_patches

Like my previous entry of yesterday, I was again playing around with [Adobe]Fireworks and used quite a few images from the web to put this one together, that’s why I call it Patches. You will see again I’ve used Samuel Bak’s art in this creation, but also another classic piece of art [in this post at the bottom]. Also, I’ve found Mark Twain’s letters online and if you are ready with your magnifying glass, you can even see a tiny piece from one of his letters in this image. In the next image, I’ve put together bits and pieces from a few of his letters. You can download his lettes in PDF.

 

Mark Twain-patches

Grimm-patches –You can read Grimm’s fairy tales online here on this link.

Chess-love – see the original next


 

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I’ve been playing around with [adobe]Fireworks and edited/created this top image…I deleted the woman’s corset in the image, replaced it with these chess pieces from the chess art of Samuel Bak – [see more of his art on my Chess Humour-page] and I added the sort-of-border.
Original image here …the link will open in a new window.

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