Mechanics need your vote!

October 28, 2017

The PRO Chess League qualifier has concluded, and these were the standings for the Pacific Division. (It was a 15-round Swiss, with 4 players on each team, so the team scores given below are out of 60 possible points.) Chengdu Pandas — 36.5 Seattle Sluggers — 35 Australia Kangaroos — 34.5 New York Knights — […]

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PRO Chess League returns — will the Mechanics?

October 27, 2017

The great experiment known as the Professional Rapid Online Chess League is about to return to an Internet near you! The world-wide chess league debuted last January with 48 teams, and ultimately came down to a thrilling match between Wesley So’s St. Louis Arch Bishops and world champion Magnus Carlsen’s Norway Gnomes. Although Carlsen beat […]

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… And Out Popped a Mate

October 26, 2017

In 1978, I was an exchange student for a semester in what was then called the Soviet Union, studying Russian language at what was then called Leningrad State University in the city then known as Leningrad. One of my biggest goals for the semester was to participate in a chess tournament. I didn’t even know […]

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Chessboard Art

October 23, 2017

Last weekend Santa Cruz had an annual event called the Open Studios Art Tour, a chance for local artists to promote their work. It’s highly competitive (Santa Cruz has a lot of artists!) but this year one of my neighbors, Martha McNulty was selected to exhibit her work. I knew that she was an art […]

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Human’s Revenge

October 20, 2017

In my last post I showed you a game where the computer completely embarrassed me, by playing as if it were the reincarnation of Aron Nimzovich. Of course, after that game I had to get my revenge, and there is no better way to get revenge against a computer than to play the Bryntse Gambit. […]

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How I got Nimzovich’d

October 17, 2017

(A post in the Halloween spirit.) Last night I was playing chess against Shredder, the computer program, and set its rating at 2220. At that very moment, through a glitch in the time-space continuum, the ghost of Aron Nimzovich was summoned and possessed my computer. “What is this?” thought Nimzovich. “The afterlife is not as […]

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In Honor of the Long Diagonal

October 15, 2017

I’m back! I’ve finished writing my book, the last files are going off to the editor tomorrow, and at last I can think about chess and my blog again. For a long time one of my many passwords (Not for this site, though! Don’t get any ideas!) has been “iamtheboss.” The point is that the […]

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World Cup Wrap-Up

September 27, 2017

Today Levon Aronian won both of his 25-minute playoff games against Ding Liren to become the first two-time winner of the World Cup. (He also won in 2005. I’m not including the two earlier World Cups that were held using a different format and only 24 players.) He left no doubt that he was the […]

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KQ versus KR, part two

September 23, 2017

In my last post, I looked at the K and Q versus K and R endgames, one of the four endgames of the Apocalypse, which occurred in both of the semifinal matches of the World Cup, and I introduced a couple of new ideas or at least new terminology, the “seesaw maneuver” and the “back-against-the-wall […]

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The Seesaw in the KQ vs. KR Endgame

September 21, 2017

Watching the World Cup is just like watching a master class in endgames! We’ve already had three matches decided by very difficult K+R versus K+B endgames, with equal pawns on both sides. Today, in the semifinal round, the masters decided to teach us a class in the infamous K+Q vs. K+R endgame, with no pawns […]

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