I know what I'll do over the festive season.
I'll review the latest CHESS. The January 2006 edition.
Cover...OK - Christmas touch. Santa playing chess with elves.
(that's why I got sod all for Christmas, Santa was playing chess).
The cover was done by Elite Avni, possibly some relation to
Amatzia Avni who does the Baron Munchausen section.
Next The 4NCL pages 4-11.
I usually skip straight past this regional cliquey rubbish.
Are you interested in seeing if the Slough Sharks beat Wood Green 2?
Neither am I.
Just a quick glance to see if there is anyone I know playing.
Notice someone called Rawle Allicocke. Pause for a moment to
think of any nick-names he was possibly called at school.
(this is a very childish hobby of mine - hey! it keeps me amused).
A-ha, A Rowson game - a loss!
let us have a look at that.
Andrew Greet - Joathan (sic) Rowson
Notes by A. Greet.
After what appears to be a 'I'll turn up and win' opening by J.R.
(actually this is rather unkind to A. Greet as this is his 15th
straight win in the 4NCL. So JR was playing someone on form)
This position is reached with Black needing ideas.
I would have gone for some kingside action. Nh7, Rg8 and toss up
the g-pawn. The g3 square is like a light to moth to me.
No doubt it's a dodgy plan but there is some fun coming.
JR went for c6 but did not get anything but a grim position.
Witness the following diagram.
Here Andrew states...
"At first sight the position may not look so terrible..."
I do not at what level he is aiming the article at
but I'm afraid it does indeed look terrible.
Knights out of play, the c-file, Qg6 coming,
sad looking pawns all over the place.
Infact it's testament to JR's skill that he manages to
keep the game going and actually put up some
kind of resistances.
This can be unsettling.
You have a strong player on the ropes
when suddenly they wake up and start playing.
It's not impossible for a weaker player to get a good
position against a strong player(it happens quite often).
The hard bit comes converting it into a win.
As Andrew says in his notes JR's 33...e5 is a shot at
messing it up and Andrew misses the best move (34 Rc7).
Fortunately for him no damage done.
[Click here to replay the game]
A. Greet vs.J. Rowson
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Qe7 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Bxd2+ 7.Nbxd2 d6 8.0-0 a5 9.e4 e5 10.d5 Nb8 11.Ne1 h5 12.h4 Bg4 13.f3 Bd7 14.Qb3 b6 15.Qe3 Na6 16.b3 Nc5 17.Rc1 c6 18.a3 cxd5 19.cxd5 Bb5 20.Rf2 0-0 21.Bf1 Qd7 22.b4 axb4 23.axb4 Na4 24.Kh2 Bxf1 25.Nxf1 Nh7 26.Qd3 f5 27.exf5 Rxf5 28.Rfc2 Rf7 29.Ne3 b5 30.Qg6 Nb6 31.Rc6 Ra2+ 32.N1g2 Rf6 33.Qxh5 e4 34.f4 Nc4 35.Nxc4 bxc4 36.R1xc4 Qa7 37.Qe8+ Rf8 38.Qxe4 Nf6 39.Qe6+ Kh8 40.Rc8 Qf2 41.Rxf8
Sharpen Your Tactics pages 12-13.
Here is what I do with these.
Look at the first one. (white to play).
usually No1 is easy. OK. Rxh8 then Rf6+ vacating c6
for a pawn fork. Simple. Then look at the last one.
Got it? g6 goes with a check so it must be 1 Rxf7.
(1 Nc7 must also be in with a shout).
Then I do the 2nd one and then the 2nd last so I get
a mixture of easy and tough. I'll do them all over
the next few days.
Again I also check to see if there is anyone I know.
Steve Mannion has two. He is white here but black to play.
I'm not into these ending type problems. No imagination
required just a bit of counting. This one however required
some thought. 1...f4 looks obvious but White Queens in
that line. 1...f4 2.gxf4 exf4 3.Kxc5 g5 4.Kd6 gxh4
5.e5 h3 6.e6 h2 7.e7 h1=Q 8.e8=Q. Quick look to make sure
there after no Queening deadly checks. None.
The win is 1...g5 2.exf5 g4 3.fxg4 e4 4.gxh5 e3 5.Kd3 c4+!
Quite a good one that. I might give it to Endgame Eddie
as a Christmas present.
How Good Is Your Chess pages 14-16.
I never do these. I end up arguing about moves not
selected and giving myself points. I play out the game if
it's an opening I play. 1 c4 e6. NO CHANCE. skip that bit.
Life on the Back Rank
A badly drawn unfunny cartoon on page 16.
example: here is a couple of panels.
I could better than that...
My one is an old idea in a new setting.
The Chess Links Project Revisited pages 17-21.
A report covering School chess. Simul games plus pictures.
No problem with me here. These things should be given all the
coverage they can get.
Here is IM Richard Palliser beating David Seymour.
[Click here to replay the game]
R.Palliser - D.Seymour
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 Bg7 5.Qd2 Ng4 6.Bg5 0-0 7.f3 Nf6 8.0-0-0 Nc6 9.Bb5 Bd7 10.Nge2 Nb4 11.Bc4 Be6 12.d5 Bd7 13.Bh6 a6 14.h4 b5 15.Bb3 a5 16.a4 bxa4 17.Bxa4 Bxa4 18.Nxa4 Na2+ 19.Kb1 Nb4 20.h5 Nxh5 21.Rxh5 Qd7 22.Nec3 Rab8 23.Bxg7 Kxg7 24.Rxh7+ Kxh7 25.Rh1+ Kg7 26.Qh6+ Kf6 27.Qf4+ Kg7 28.Qh6+ Kf6 29.e5+ Kxe5 30.Re1+ Kf6 31.Ne4+ Ke5
In the final position Richard won the Queen with 32 Nec5+
missing mate in 4. (the game went on for another 8 moves).
Back at move 24. 24 Rxh7 is given an !.
Infact it should be a ? as 24 Qh6+ Kf6 25 e5+ dxe5 26 Ne4 is mate.
(did you spot that as the game was being played - there are
quite a few missed mates in this game. Must have been a
tough afternoon for Richard.)
The report continues, stating not enough people were
willing to give up their spare time to help out.
Also, rather alarmingly, it stated 'bursars' who held funds
for the events rarely wanted to part with the cash.
I think some naming and shaming would be in order.
It concludes with an enjoyable interview by
British Senior Champion Norman Stephenson.
One question was:
Do you think Chess improves your memory?
Norman gave a straight answer.
Surely the door was open for
"...I can't remember. what did you just say?"
The Cedars Reunion pages 22 - 25.
An article about a get together with the
old members from The Cedars Chess Club.
"In the late 50's and 60's the best known chess club
in the British Isles."
Never heard of them - some good games though.
True Team Chess page 25
This guy, H.T. Dearden, wants us all to play 15 minutes
on one board, then we all stand up and play 15 minutes
on another board from someone else's position.
Musical chairs without the music. Nonsense.
Can you imagine me picking up a position after stodgy
Ruxton has 15 minutes with it.
Then Endgame Eddie has to play a position after I've
been saccing pawns for a quarter of an hour?
The Pawn Hunt pages 26-27
by Yochanan Afek (wonder if the kids at his school came up
with a funny nick-name for him?)
This is an excellent article all about Knights chasing
down passed pawns. Not as easy as you think.
I don't have the time to do the examples full justice.
It's something I'll go over with Keith Ruxton in Bells.
We both enjoy Knight studies.
I did however play out this example.
Can the Knight stop both pawns?
The solution is quite amusing.
1.g4 Nf6 2.g5 Nh7 3.g6 Nf8 4.g7 Ne6+ 5.Kd7 Nxg7 6.g4
and the Knight is trapped.
It finishes with 4 puzzles to try yourself.
So try this. White to play and draw.
This took me ages. I found the idea quite quickly
but had to bust all the other tries.
If the pawn was h2 then any white king move draws.
So White has to lose a move.
Very hard to do with a Knight.
The answer is 1.Ng6 h2 2.Nh4.
You yourself can work out why nothing else works.
Collectors Corner pages 28-29
A report by Gareth Williams on chess memorabilia at
Bloomsbury Auction Rooms last November.
A few pretty pictures of chess sets quoting prices
of £8,330.00. 0ut of my league.
100 Years Ago by Chris Ravilous. page 30.
Something about a King being entombed and Alain Campbell White.
Quite an interesting piece about Christmas puzzles.
Chess in Italy by Tony Cullen, page 30.
A small report about playing chess in (funnily enough) Italy.
The World Team Championship by Yochanan Afek. pages 33-38.
The team championship was held in Beer-Sheva 1st-10 November.
An enjoyable article with some good games and an interesting point.
Apparently there was a shortage of hotel rooms due to the fact...
and I quote...
"...this had been partially caused by 'FIDE settlers', a group of
officials enjoying scandalous VIP conditions, salary and pocket
"This is a recurring phenomenon in FIDE events and nobody seems
to bother to change it."
In the final round China need just 1pt from their last match
to win the championship. Their last round opponents were Russia
who needed to win 3½-½ to steal the title.
Russia won 4-0.
One magnificent picture here.
in this position Black (Morozevich) played 51...g5!!
White (Ni Hua) can do nothing to stop black
from creating a strong passed pawn.
The game continued.
1...g5 2.dxe6 g4 3.Kd4 Rh3 4.Rg1 g3 5.Ke5 g2 6.Rd1 Rh1 7.Rd7 g1Q 8.Bd6 Bc6.
This was the last game to finish and the picture appears
to capture the very moment that Ni Hua realises his team is
about to go down 4-0.
He simply cannot believe the situation.
San Luis Rounds 7-8 by Jacob Aagard, pages 38-46.
This is a follow up article from the previous month.
It was the end of the previous article were FRITZ was getting copyright
on it's analysis that started me punting at FRITZ for a the past few C.C's.
No FRITZ credit at the end of this article. Infact Jacob has his own
poke at FRITZ. On page 45 he states he can reveal to you an excellent
move that FRITZ will not find without a little help.
Also on page 46 he finds another fault in FRITZ's judgement.
These two articles are excellent, Jacob has been helped
greatly by the sheer quality of the games.
Lots of back room chat and instructive points.
My only gripe here is the depth of the some of the analysis.
I have spoken to a few strong players in the past about
long and endless variations. It seems the only people
who look at them are the author and perhaps the players involved.
A Chance to Shine by Mike Hughes. pages 47-48.
An article stating that the top modern players play each other all
the time and players of a lesser strength never seem to get a look in.
He wants the top elite to start playing in Swiss
events so the lower lights can have a crack at them.
Not a bad request. Pointless, but not a bad idea.
Mike than recalls an incident where his opponent just
happened to remark he once drew a serious game with Euwe.
Mike looked up the player on his database (G. Norman) and
found he had actually played Alekhine, Capablanca, Marshall,
He continues that there is very little chance of a player
outside the top elite getting a chance to build up a list
of illustrious opponents close to one above. True.
Find the Winning Moves page 51.
Another page full of white/black to play and win positions.
Nobody I recognise here. There is a player called Cannon.
Now if only he could be paired against Ball. They could play
the Gunpowder Gambit 1 Nf3 e5?!
How I Outplayed Alekhine by Vladas Mikenas. pages 52-54.
A wonderful article coupled with a really good game recalling
a fantastic Alekhine incident that I have never heard before.
In the following position Alekhine has just played 23 Ne4?
A cup of coffee arrived and then Alekhine noticed that 23...Rc2
was a killer ( 24 Qxc2 Qxf3+ 25 Kg1 Bh3 a simple mate coming).
In his anguish Alekhine accidently picked up a white pawn
to sweeten his coffee and dropped it into his cup!
Mikenas does not say this put him off but he played 23...Bxe4?
Alekhine breathes a sigh of relief, leans across the table and says
"Young man, you could have won at once with 23...Rc2."
"Not to worry." replied Mikenas. "I will find a way to win
against you a second time!" A brilliant anecdote.
He did. Here is the game. it played at Kemeri in 1937.
[Click here to replay the game]
A.Alekhine - V.Mikenas
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 c5 8.e4 Nf6 9.e5 Nd5 10.dxc5 Na6 11.a3 Nxc5 12.b4 Ne6 13.Bb2 a5 14.b5 Qd7 15.Qe2 Rd8 16.Nbd2 Nef4 17.Qc4 Nxg2 18.Kxg2 Qh3+ 19.Kh1 Be6 20.Qe4 Bf5 21.Qe2 Qg4 22.Rfe1 Rac8 23.Ne4 Bxe4 24.Qxe4 Qxe4 25.Rxe4 Rc2 26.Bd4 Rc4 27.Re2 g5 28.h3 h5 29.Bb2 g4 30.hxg4 hxg4 31.Nd4 e6 32.Re4 Nc3 33.Bxc3 Rxc3 34.Rxg4 Kf8 35.Re4 Rd5 36.Ne2 Rc2 37.f4 Rdd2 38.Re1 Ke8 39.a4 Bf8 40.Kg2 Bb4 41.Kh3 Ra2 42.Kg4 Rdb2 43.Rc1 Rxe2 44.Rc8+ Ke7 45.Rec4 f5+ 46.exf6+ Kxf6 47.R4c7 e5 48.Rxb7 exf4 49.gxf4 Rg2+ 50.Kf3 Rgf2+ 51.Ke3 Rae2+ 52.Kd3 Re6 53.Rc6 Rf3+ 54.Kd4 Rxf4+ 55.Kd5 Rf5+ 56.Kd4 Rxc6 57.bxc6 Ke6 58.Rb5 Rxb5 59.axb5 Kd6 60.Kc4 Kc7 61.Kb3 Kb6 62.Kc4 Bd6 63.Kd5 Bb8 64.Kc4 Bc7
Woody Woodpusher (Festive Quiz) pages 55-58.
Starts of with some good advice plus examples about pins and things.
Woody should have quit there, he was well ahead.
But alas, he pushed on...
"And now the moment you've all been waiting for...
Woody Woodpusher's Annual Christmas Quiz." Ta daaaaaa.
Following Hugh Courtney was an impossible task but this
Christmas quiz is made up of questions relating to articles
that appeared in CHESS during the past 12 months.
So we are treated to such questions as...
B3 Won in double-quick time in Halifax.
B5 Their middle order was blown away by Cambridge at the RAC Club.
C3 Relegated to Division 2 of the 4NCL on game points.
Progressive Chess by David Pritchard pages 58-59
"A variant that will improve your play."
I know this guy. I have one of his books.
In Progressive Chess White has one move, Black has two,
white has three, black then has four etc.
There are two main sets of rules.
The Scottish system! and the Italian system.
In the Scottish rules any check ends the players move.
Under the Italian rules any check other than the
last move losses the game.
Other rules jointly used by both systems.
A king must get of check on move 1.
Checkmate can come at anytime.
Now I dislike any variants of chess however I do
play this. (Apparently I've been using
Scottish rules - though from now on I'm an Italian man,
there are good cheapo opportunities here).
Look at this position. White to play (9 moves).
Looks hopeless. However Kd3, Kc4, Kb5, Kb6.
f3, f4, f5, c4, c5+, and black must give a check
to get out of check so losses.
The article concludes with 6 'solve them yourself'
Progressive Chess puzzles. I tried one and have 'bust' it.
White to play (5 moves)
The given solution is Qd6, Nb5, Kd2, Kc3, Nc7+
Black's only move is Qxc7+ so black losses.
However there is a mate in 4.
Ne4, Qd3, Qe3, Nd6 mate.
(another possible suggestion for a FRITZ improvement.
Put in some chess variants - the given positions could
have then been 'Fritzed' and this mate would not have been missed).
Baron Munchausen by Amatzia Avni. page 60
This is usually OK but this one is simply silly.
I just don't get it.
The Baron is white in this position.
To save himself he erects fences all over the board
to hilariously stop his opponent from getting at his King.
and that's it...??
I've stared at it and I've re-read it. I just don't get it.
Why did the opponent not say I'll swap my
King and Queen for two Knights and then...
Checkmate! (even my idea is pants).
Magical Miniatures by Colin Russ. page 60
I usually attempt these things for a couple of minutes
and then give up. There is a £25 gift voucher up for grabs.
In both cases white to move and win.
Colin gives the name of the composers. I think this aids the solver
because if they have a book of the composers studies (I have a handful).
Then they can simply look up the solution.
I have not given the name of the composers.
send your entries to:
CHESS, 369 Euston Road, London NW1 3AR
Entries must be in before the 5th. February 2006.
Bookman's Halt by Chris Ravilous pages 61-62.
Now who is this?
Well according to E.G. Sergeant (A Century of British Chess) and
H. Golombeck (Encyclopedia of Chess) this is Henry Bird.
Chris give us 100% proof it is infact a picture of Henry Thomas Buckle.
(here is a picture of Bird)
Joking aside, this is always an easy to read pleasant section
and this month's effort is no different.
Chris is looking for wins by the female player Joan Doulton who
was an active player in the 1940's & 50's.
Any news then email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
Problem Album by Colin Russ page 65.
Problem mates in 2. I never try these things.
And that's it. There is of course the Book/Software review section.
Most reviews are simply a reprint of the back cover blurb.
Hardly a review that. I mean what book is going to say
"I am crap - save your money.?"
Also, I've no idea why a book on Poker is reviewed in a Chess Magazine.
But it is. Perhaps the author, Stewart Rueben, slipped it in when nobody
Overall CHESS at £3.95 is a bargain. It is very good value for money.
Something for everyone. I get mine ordered from a newsagent.
Sub £39.95 for 1 year. Sub holders get all kinds of deals on new books.
Chess & Bridge (and Poker!!) Ltd.
369 Euston Road, London NW1 3AR
Tel: 020 7388 2404
Fax: 020 7388 2407