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!

  ( ) -   ( )
  ( )

Download games
ChessTempo PGN Viewer

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).

  ( ) -   ( )
  ( )

Download games
ChessTempo PGN Viewer

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.

  ( ) -   ( )
  ( )

Download games
ChessTempo PGN Viewer

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.

  ( ) -   ( )
  ( )

Download games
ChessTempo PGN Viewer

Apr 242012
 

Yesterday was an auspiscious day for Dragons - Saint George's day in the Chinese year of the Dragon. This image was sourced from Frank Wuestefeld's Flickr photostream

For the last two years this site has made a point of celebrating the advent of the national day of our patron Saint with a game from my Sicilian Dragon archive. Yesterday was the 23rd of April and so we will once again acclaim Saint George with a dragon!

Of course 2012-13 is the Chinese year of the Dragon and so it seemed appropriate to recognise this with today’s image choice. There is also a line dubbed the “Chinese Dragon” in the opening variation. Indeed it is mentioned in the notes to today’s game.

Readers will find that the game below includes extensive notes and aims to cover some of the strategic ideas behind the opening as well as the tactical themes that recur all too often. It has been my aim to try and provide some basic coverage of the ideas to those who may wish to start playing the mainline of this opening with White or Black. However, if you just want to play through a lively game with plenty of tactical cut and thrust then I don’t think this game will disappoint you. 

It occured to me that, between the two previous articles and this new annotated game, there must now be a fair amount of theoretical ground covered. So, for ease of reference, here are the links to the two previous items should you chose to delve deeper into this complex but rewarding opening variation. I’ve updated both articles with the Chesstempo game viewer so that the games can be downloaded as well as enjoyed on the page. 

 These first two games both featured White wins (well Saint George did kill the Dragon after all!) but in todays effort Black manages to hold a draw in a complicated battle.

  ( ) -   ( )
  ( )

Download games
ChessTempo PGN Viewer

Apr 232011
 

Today is St.George’s Day and so it only seems right that this blog celebrate the occasion by offering up a Dragon to be slain! Of course I’m talking about the chess variation rather than the mythical beast itself. I count myself as something of a Sicilian Dragon aficionado and have played the opening numerous times with both sets of pieces. In the game I’m presenting for examination today I was playing with White in an online correspondence tournament in which all games played had to be Dragons. My opponent chose to play a line called the Soltis Variation (it’s named after the American GM who is credited with introducing it into high level chess) and things got very interesting there after. In fact this game also features the only occurance I think I’ve ever come across in a genuine game where one player has ended up with quadrupled pawns so, to me, it is something of a collectors item.

The Soltis variation (characterised by 11…h5) is reputable and very sound. Recommendations don’t come any higher than that of ex-World Champion Garry Kasparov who, in his title match against Viswanathan Anand in 1995, chose to defend this line of the Dragon after a series of set-backs with his beloved Najdorf variation. I can remember the shock waves this switch caused amongst commentators at the time of the match. It was a huge change in strategy from Kasparov but, as always with him, it was a practical decision and it worked. Anand was caught off guard, lost in the first game that the Soltis was played and the momentum of the match changed decisively.

I hope readers will enjoy this little sojourn into Dragon theory…

  ( ) -   ( )
  ( )

Download games
ChessTempo PGN Viewer

Feb 222011
 

Valeri Salov: "Not a man who takes his luncheon seriously!"

In today’s post we welcome back Colonel Walter Polhill (RTD) to our humble blog. The Colonel wrote a series of erudite articles for The Independent on Sunday back in the late 90’s and yours truly has excavated them, dusted them down and now presents once more for your enlightenment. In this article the Colonel tackles the knotty issue of opening theory and reveals the real reason why so many Grand Master games follow the opening books for so many moves.

The true value of opening theory is not generally understood. Studying the opening to such a degree that one may reel off a dozen or 20 moves by rote is, above all, an aid to digestion. Some tournament organisers, for reasons best known to themselves, insist on starting play in the very early afternoon. This presents a stark choice: forgo lunch, risk indigestion by attempting to think too soon after a meal, or rely on opening theory until the meal is digested.”

 

  ( ) -   ( )
  ( )

Download games
ChessTempo PGN Viewer

Apr 242010
 

Could there ever be a better excuse for me to post a Sicilian Dragon game than to celebrate yesterday — St George’s day? As patron saint of England, (and also of various other nation including Georgia I believe) St George has a special place in the heart of every Englishman. However, if you mention St George and the Dragon to a chess player their mind will also turn to the well-known variation of the Sicilian Defence. The Dragon is notorious for being a double-edged and tactically complex variation which has been analysed in great depth, sometimes to the point where it was in danger of extinction. However, Dragon enthusiasts are die-hards who love their pet and fight courageously to protect it.

My own history with the opening goes right back to point when I first started to learn the rules and play of the game. I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for myths and legends and so as soon as my tutor told me that there was an opening called the Dragon I knew it would end up in my repertoire. I learned the line, played it over the board when I could and, occasionally, I would cheer from the sidelines when the opening made an appearance at the very top flight of Grand Master chess — most illustriously when Kasparov used it to great effect in his World Championship match with Anand in 1996. (I wonder if Topalov will give it a shot in his match with Anand which starts today?)

My understanding and appreciation of the Dragon stepped up to another level when I started to use it in correspondence chess on the Red Hot Pawn web site. To play this opening in correspondence requires a much deeper familiarity with the myriad variations than playing it over the board. I’ve entered several “Dragon Thematics” online and in the later stages of these competitions the level of play is extremely high, much too high for me, but I’ve learned a lot by playing in them.

This Dragon loving is all very well but yesterday was St George’s day so I can’t possibly publish a win for black. Instead, much as it pains me to do so, I will give you an interesting win for white. Playing in thematic tournaments means playing against each opponent with both colours and so even the most ardent Dragon funs must face, and try to defeat, their own beloved favourite. To begin with this feels a little bit odd but once you have grasped the opportunity to play the lines that you find most uncomfortable facing with the black pieces it becomes a great deal of fun. I hope readers will enjoy today’s excursion into the wonderful and crazy world of the Dragon.

  ( ) -   ( )
  ( )

Download games
ChessTempo PGN Viewer

https://www.caviarbase.com http://www.simondeli.com http://www.weeklyleak.com replica handbags replica handbags hermes replica replica bags replica handbags replica hermes https://www.9replicabag.com replica bags replica handbags http://nwaedd.org replica hermes hermes replica iphone cases cheap jewelry wholesale jewelry sex toys cheap sex toys human hair wigs cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys http://www.kahnawake.com canada goose outlet hermes replica replica hermes http://www.gretel-killeen.com http://www.etgworld.com canada goose outlet http://www.replicaaa.com replica handbags