Oct 252013
 
Groundsman Willie's famous jibe seems to have entered the common vernacular. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and is sourced from xJason.Rogersx Flickr photo stream

Groundsman Willie’s famous jibe seems to have entered the common vernacular. This image is used under Creative Commons terms and is sourced from xJason.Rogersx Flickr photo stream

Bonjoooouur, ya cheese-eatin’ surrender monkeys!
– Groundsman Willie, The Simpsons, 1995

What possible reason could there be I hear you ask for starting this post with such an overt show of anti-Gallic sentiment? Well, by now, long standing readers of these pages will be only too familiar with my annual habit of celebrating the English victory at the Battle of Agincourt on the 25th of October 1415. This year is the 598th anniversary (whatever will I do when 600 comes up!?) and so, once I again, I’d like to pluck a recent morsel from my ‘giving-the-frog-a-damned-sound-pasting’ database for you to enjoy (or bemoan as is your right!)

This game was played fairly recently in a Chess.com French Thematic Tournament and it’s significant because I think this is about the furthest I’ve ever been into book in any game I’ve ever played. As far as I can gather the first new move in this encounter was Black’s 29th! I’ve chosen not regale you all once more with the theoretical ideas behind the opening phase because I’ve published quite a few games in this line that you can take a look at if you’re interested.

Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy this game and, if you fancy an overdose of jingoistic Agincourt celebrations, then you’ll be delighted to hear that I’ve posted another thrashing of the French on the Yorkshire Chess website — though you’ll be relieved to hear that that one is in a different line of the Tarrasch Variation and it’s not one of my games!

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Jul 042013
 
Outside of Russia I can't imagine there are that many stamps with chess players on them

Outside of Russia I can’t imagine there are that many stamps with chess players on them. You can find out more about the man himself on Wikipedia

In today’s post Nick Sykes, our club’s most enthusiastic and experienced openings connoisseur, shares some of his thoughts on a venerable opening variation that has been deployed with both colours by pretty much every World Champion in the history of the game. I’ve taken the liberty of adding a couple more annotated games to Nick’s original selection to pad out this compendium even further.

The Ruy Lopez (or the Spanish Opening) is one the richest openings in the whole of chess and occurs after the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5. It has a high-class pedigree and is played at all levels of chess. Here we will look at a variety of Ruy Lopez games from games in the Calderdale League.

The variety of Ruy Lopez variations can be categorized using the following ECO codes;

  • C60-C67: This looks at a variety of variations when Black does not play 3…a6 (Morphy Defence); this includes defences such as the Schliemann (3…f5), the Bird’s (3…Nd4), the Classical (3…Bc5) and the Berlin (3…Nf6).
  • C68-69: This looks at the Exchange Variation (3…a6 4.Bxc6).
  • C70-76: This primarily looks at the Modern Steinitz (3…a6 4.Ba4 d6).
  • C77-79: This looks at variations after (3…a6 4.Ba4 Nf6) and includes variation such as the Archangel and Moller Defences.
  • C80-83: This looks at the Open Ruy Lopez (3…a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4)
  • C84-99: This looks at the Closed Ruy Lopez which occurs after (3…a6 4.Ba4 5.0-0 Be7), this includes a number of defences such as the Marshall Gambit (6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5), the Zaitsev (6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7), the Breyer (6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8) and the Chigorin (6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5)

In this article I shall be concentrating on three lines without 3…a6, the Schliemann (Game 1 in the viewer below), Bird’s Variation (Game 2) and the Classical Variation (Games 3, 7 and 8). I’ll also cover some lines with 3…a6 including the Exchange variation (Game 4), the Open variation with (Game 5), and a variety of other Ruy Lopez lines with (Game 6).

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Apr 232013
 
This lovely image of St. George wrestling his nemesis was taken in Catalonia and is used under Creative Commons licensing from Vanessssa's Flickr photo stream

This lovely image of St. George wrestling his nemesis was taken in Catalonia (where he is also the patron Saint) and is used under Creative Commons licensing from Vanessssa’s Flickr photo stream

It’s St George’s Day and that means only one thing… yes, it’s time for to indulge in our annual delve into my Sicilian Dragon database in order for me to trouble you with another sub-standard, error-strewn affair. At least it ought to be entertaining!

Anyone interested in a more extensive survey of the Sicilian Dragon might be interested in taking a look at these three previous posts from St. George’s Days gone by.

In this year’s effort I’ll be covering a very topical sideline of the Dragon where White avoids playing Bc4 and Black takes the opportunity to break out in the centre.

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Jun 162012
 

 

Shapland vs. Bagley. White has just played 29.Rh3 attacking the Black queen. What is Black’s best response?

At the Trades Club on Monday night Hebden Bridge ‘A’ team Captain, Dave Shapland, hosted the first of several analysis evenings being held as part of HBCC’s summer programme. He chose to analyse a game he played in the Leeds League earlier this season against Rose Forgrove’s Andy Bagley.

The game was played in an opening variation of the French Defence that Dave has had quite a bit of experience of contesting and he endeavoured to explain some of the strategic ideas behind it before the game took a rather chaotic turn. Neither side managed to castle and both players left pieces en prise when they were attacked on several occasions as the struggle for the initiative became the critical to the result.

All those participating in the session enjoyed spending quite some time delving into the complicated forcing variations that could have been selected by either player at various stages. In the end Black overlooked a startling defensive (in the diagram position shown) resource that was very hard to find and was on the receiving end of a king hunt that ended in checkmate.

For any of you who missed it Dave has provided the game and some (very!) extensive commentary for the game viewer below. But before you look at the game see if you can find Black’s best move in the position given at the beginning of this post. It’s a tough one!

Next week (the 18th) Matthew Parsons will be hosting an endgame workshop using an illustrative game of his own. Please be at the Trades Club by 8pm if you would like to take part in this session.

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