21 September, 2014

Missd Tactic 3

Well, a slight fabrication, since the actual position didn't occur, but it was one possibility that may have arisen.

A recent  game has been very level and threatens to continue as such from this position.

Black has just played Nxe5, winning a pawn.


The actual position Nxe5

White did, of course, play the very sensible Rc8+ in reply, which would eventually regain the pawn, but my mind wondered...

What if White decided on Nd4, to threaten the Rook ? Where could the Rook  retreat to ? 

Wrong thought to have, as Nd4 presents Black with a very nice tactic !


A possibility after Nd4

What should Black play ?


18 September, 2014

Missed tactic 2

Another missed tactic from a recent game.

This time I did actually consider the move that I should have played, but didn't calculate it enough, and so dismissed it.

Should one trust intuition more in chess ?

Result of not spotting this at move 16, was a 67-move game, including a long Rook + Pawn endgame.

If nothing else that should be an incentive to improve !


Black to play and gain an advantage

14 September, 2014

Missed Tactic

From a recent game..White to play and gain an advantage.





Luckily ( for me ) White missed this, just as I had overlooked it.

I was concentrating on the a- and b-pawn threat, and I guess he was too, as it wasn't mentioned in the post-game chatter.

The clues about why b5 was bad, are obvious in hindsight, but I can assure you, I did not see them !

04 August, 2014

T61 Openings Summary

Another TL season over, so an appropriate time to look again at what Amateurs play in the opening phase in TL chess.

Hardly changed over the seasons, as the Sicilian Defence is firmly rooted at the top, and the remaining openings played seem to remain more-or-less static, just varying in popularity, although General Queen's Pawn Openings ( ie not specific Queen's Gambits or English or often not with an automatic c4 ) seem to be on the increase at the moment.

Counted in this ( General Queen's Pawn) are 'systems' such as the London or Colle, which I would think are often used by amateurs to cut down on amount of theory required: certainly that applies to me, as I have adopted the London recently.

Other openings remaining most played are the Caro-Kann and French, from a Black point of view, and the English and Spanish from White's perspective.

However, if you consider the most played move, then, technically, 1.e4 is the most used opening move with the reply of e5 just beating c5 followed by e6, c6, d6, d5.

01 August, 2014

Chess Olympiad : Tromso , 2014

The Tromso Olympiad kicks off today, well at least the opening ceremony.

The " live action"  begins in earnest tomorrow.

I will be paying attention to the top seeds, but will also be keeping my eye on the teams and players that I have a "soft spot" for.

Of course, this will include The Netherlands ( especially the women's team and Lisa Schut ), and England ( it would have been great to see Jonathon Hawkins, the new British Champion playing ), plus smaller countries like Portugal and Mauritius, along with players like David Navara or Richard Rapport.

As added  fun, I have entered the Fantasy Chess Olympiad, as dreamed up and launched by Yorkshire Chess. I intended to do this last time around, but was just a little late. This year I am on time, and have entered two teams, one " favourites and emotional ties" , the other statistical.

It will be intriguing to see the results !

Regardless, I am looking forward to some chess that is both entertaining and enjoyable, hopefully without too much politics.

For Olympiad history and statistics, there is no better site than this to wander through.


As a last minute update, I notice that Eva Repkova is playing ( for Slovakia ). 

Why the interest ? Well, with a bit of luck, she may play the Réti Gambit, which seems to be part of her repertoire, and holds  illogical emotional ties for me !  


27 July, 2014

Fast Blitz Mate

Yes, its a Blitz game, but still it shows that paying attention and not making automatic moves in the opening is important.


French Advance , with ( in my experience ) a rare 4. dxc5 which just allows me to accelerate my development.

With what could be an automatic 6. Nc3....

6. Nc3

I had a quicker mate, but took the material first and then saw that 8.., Qe3 was in fact mate.


Yes, my opponent helped me, but I take a little credit for seeing it !!