UMBC: Not Just a Chess School Any More

March 17, 2018

There’s no sporting event that I love more than the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, in part because it’s the one sporting event at which anything can happen. The famous teams have to step on the court and compete with the not-famous teams, and often the not-famous teams prove that there is more to basketball than […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

PRO Chess League Playoffs

March 15, 2018

This week the PRO Chess League playoffs started with a rash of upsets. In five out of eight matches the team with the lower seeding beat the top-seeded team, and in one more match the favored team only managed to squeak through to the next round by virtue of their draw odds. That leaves only […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

Feel Happy, Play Happy (part 2)

March 9, 2018

Continuing from last time… Position after 33. Rc2. Black to move. In my last post, we reached this position from my game with IM Ed Formanek in the 1994 Cardinal Open in Columbus, Ohio. The title of the post refers to the fact that I had a positive mental attitude throughout the game. Even though […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

When You Feel Happy, You Play Happy

March 7, 2018

I’ve learned one thing from watching kids play chess: the result of a game often depends not so much on the position on the board as on the position in their minds. Often I’ll see a kid lose a piece or more, but still stay resolute and continue making threats, and eventually win. I’ll also […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

Just a Reminder …

February 28, 2018

… of my favorite tactic. Position after 22. … Qd2. White to move. FEN: r2r2k1/2p2pp1/p6p/1p2R3/8/1PQ5/1PPq1PPP/R5K1 w – – 0 23 Black (Olav Sepp, 2436) has just played 22. … Qd2, obviously hoping for a queen trade with good drawing chances, or even better, hoping for 23. Qxc7? Rac8 followed by 24. … Rxc2. But White […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

The Rope-a-Dope and the Fishing Pole

February 21, 2018

The PRO (Professional Rapid Online) Chess League is well into its second season now, with six rounds complete. The league is easier to follow online than it was last year, because it now has a website independent of chess.com (http://www.prochessleague.com), and there are recaps posted on the day of the rounds. Most rounds take place […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

Official Book Announcement

February 13, 2018

Going off topic today! I hope that my readers will forgive me. As many of you know, for the last two years I have been working on a big, non-chess book. It’s called The Book of Why, and we are now entering the home stretch. Publication date is now just three months away (May 15). […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

In the Company of Legends, Part 3

February 3, 2018

Today we’ll see the conclusion of my three-part epic game against Jay Bonin from the 2005 HB Challenge. The first two parts show how we followed and finally deviated from a terrific GM battle, Polugaevsky-Tal from the 1969 Soviet Championship. I’ve really enjoyed reading everybody’s comments about that game. Even if it was home analysis […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

In the Company of Legends, Part 2

January 31, 2018

Position after 21. … Rc4. White to move. FEN: 3q1r2/pb3pp1/1p4k1/3pP1N1/2r2Q1P/8/Pn3PP1/3RR1K1 w – – 0 22 Last time I left you with this quiz position, from the classic game Polugaevsky-Tal, Soviet Championship 1969. What should White play? Even if you didn’t read my earlier post, I strongly recommend taking some time to analyze this position. One […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →

In the Company of Legends, Part 1

January 28, 2018

One thing that I miss about playing in tournaments is not having games to blog about afterwards. Hopefully my tournament absence will end fairly soon, but in the meantime I still have hundreds of games from the past that I’ve never blogged about. Here is my one game against an American legend — Jay Bonin, […]

Print Friendly
Read the full article →