Books, King’s Gambits, and Cats

June 12, 2017

Yesterday I met again with Gjon Feinstein and Mike Splane, this time with Eric Montany as our fourth. For the last two years he has been working on a book, and this was the first time he had gotten together with us since he finished. Until this weekend, Eric had never revealed to us what the book was […]

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Flexing my King’s Gambit Muscles

June 3, 2017

How quickly can you spot the best move here? Position after 12. … Qxd5. White to move. FEN: rnb2rk1/p4ppp/5n2/3q4/2Np1R2/3B4/PP4PP/RN1Q2K1 w – – 0 13 This position arose in a blitz (game/7 minutes) game that I played against Mike Arne this afternoon. Mike is a veteran player who was rated in the 2300s in his heyday. […]

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Thrilling Conclusion of Kids’ Tournament

May 28, 2017

Yesterday I wrote about the results of the Aptos Library Kids’ Chess Tournament, which I directed yesterday. I have two followups to that post. First, our local paper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, had an article about the tournament with some nice photographs (but no results). You can see me at the very, very far left-hand […]

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In Which I Resemble a Tournament Director

May 27, 2017

As fans of my blog know, on one day each year I do an impersonation of a tournament director. Today was the day! The 2017 Aptos Library Kids’ Chess Tournament was (in my opinion) a big success, with 33 participants, our second-largest total ever. One year we had 37. (Really, 36 is the most we […]

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Dream Position

May 23, 2017

Most of the time, when we talk about a “dream position,” we mean a position that is too good to be true — all the pieces in just the right places, working together like a team. The position below, on the other hand, is an ACTUAL dream position: a position that came to me in […]

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First game of 2017!

May 1, 2017

I know this seems like a weird thing to say on May 1, but yesterday I played my first chess against a live human opponent in 2017. I’m not completely sure of this because I might have played a couple of blitz games back in January or February, but I have been so busy with […]

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Two knights, two rims, twice as dim

April 27, 2017

The Reykjavik Open concluded today, and the winner was not too big a surprise: it was Anish Giri, who went into the tournament with the highest rating. However, the way he won was definitely a surprise; going into round eight he was half a point behind the leaders. The beautiful victory I showed in my […]

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Cross Pin Sighting!

April 26, 2017

Six years ago I wrote a post called Master Class, about a class taught by Varuzhan Akobian at the Berkeley Chess School, which I went to along with several of my chess friends. In the comment thread after my post there was a lively debate over whether the class was really worth the time and […]

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A wonderful, awful idea

April 9, 2017

Hey, I won another cool game against Shredder! Even though I know it doesn’t mean anything, I still feel like sharing. I was White in the position below: Position after 31. … Re5. White to move. FEN: 3q2k1/1p1n1p2/r2p1Pp1/p1p1r1N1/P1P1PQP1/3P4/1P3R2/R6K w – – 0 32 Here, believe it or not, I was feeling just a bit frustrated. […]

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Infinite Resistance, Part 2

April 8, 2017

In my last entry I wrote about how exciting it is to win a game that you were just hoping to draw. The outcome of this year’s U.S. Championship might end up being determined by just such a game. Round nine. Varuzhan Akobian versus Fabiano Caruana. Akobian sacrificed two pawns for a nonexistent attack, and […]

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