I was asked to attend the end of season wrap by the
Edinburgh Chess League and I given a plaque as an award
for Chandler Cornered.
Flattered, slightly embarrassed and honoured.
Me and League President Bill Marshall.
Bill is not to be confused with Marshall of the Marshall Gambit.
That was Frank Marshall (he always told the truth).
This is Bill Marshall (who is always demanding money).
I actually love unique chess things like this.
I thought they could have got into the swing of things
and spelt my name wrong or something like that.
It's a momento I'll always look at with fond memories
and it's yours as well as mine.
(If anyone wants to borrow it for a few days drop me an email).
So now what?
Let's not waste this space... I'll do a Corner.
Dave Archibald picked up the Premier League Trophy.
Dave is not to be confused with Archibald of the Archibald Gambit.
That was Sally Archibald one of the very few woman players who has
an opening named after her.
Dave is Sally after the operation.
An old trophy that. Possibly the oldest league trophy in the world.
Previous winners are:
The Roman Legion, King Arthur's Knights, The 1066 Club,
The Wallace Warriors and The Six Wives of Henry the VIII.
Those Viking Gaming Pieces
As the Museum is a two minute walk from where I live I thought
I'd pop along and see the Unmasking of the Lewis Men.
An impressive display complete with video (in Gaelic - English sub titles.)
also featuring Viking artifacts and their board games.
It seems little by little by they are coming around
to the fact that these may not be chess pieces.
This is the first time I've seen them displayed with
other Viking games.
I of course soon gathered an audience, including a
tour guide, and told them what's what.
To be honest I really hope they did come from Lewis I love the romance
of the tale but I'm convinced they were not carved for the game of Chess.
This is me with er....um.....A Rook?
Golden Chess Rule No.2
Never lend out Chess books.
(Golden Rule No.1 is never take up Chess.)
David Oswald lent me this:
And he is not getting it back.
A super-duper book full of Austrian Brillo's.
Calling it Queens Sacs Galore was a possible title.
A cracking book to play through. Don't buy an opening book. Get this.
(At it again Chandler. It's Australian not Austrian....Ed)
Great instructive games.
I used one when I was invited to do the bit
in between the end and the prize giving at the recent
HBOS Chess Championship
The theme was get them pieces out.
3 pieces will always mate you just have top be good enough to find it.
(So you start with the obvious forcing moves first and look
at them no matter how silly at first they appear).
This position crops up the game.
If White defends with 15.Rg1.
Then the way for Black to continue is...
Also part of the lesson I showing was the backward attacking Knight move.
It can be really hard to spot this when you are defending.
This last one gave me a at the demo-board shock.
Near then end of the game this position appears.
And I crown this masterpiece by showing with a florish
the backward attacking Knight move. 16...Ng5 and mate
on h3 cannot be stopped.
Panic sets in when I noticed there and then that 16...Nf2
also mates and it's NOT a backward attacking Knight move.
Golden Rule No1 for anybody going infront of a demo board.
Know the game you are to show and know it well.
So before you could say "But what about Knight to ...." I quickly
played Ng5 and confused them by showing them silly attempts
by White to stop the mate. (I think I got away with it).
Here is the game.
[Click here to replay the game]
David Smerdon - Kevin Casey
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Bc5 5.c3 Nxe4 6.d4 exd4 7.Re1 d5 8.Nxd4 0-0 9.Be3 Qf6 10.Nxc6 Bxe3 11.fxe3 Qf2+ 12.Kh1 bxc6 13.Bxc6 Bg4 14.Qc1 Bh3 15.gxh3 Qf3+ 16.Kg1 Ng5 17.Rd1 Nxh3
And another book review.
I was sent this book for my coverage on the Dresden Olympiad.
Keith also got one and I believe that every player who
played in this event received one too.
Keith and I actually get a couple of mentions (In one Jacob
pulls us up for saying there is no need to study endings.
Of course he's wrong in a very right sort of way.)
Rampant Chess gets a plug as well.
Some chess books have passed through my hands in my lifetime
but I have to say this must rate as one of the best.
It is certainly the heaviest chess book I have and will
take me months and months to read.
This picture will give you an idea of the size.
Of course weight and size don't make a good book but what I have read
so far puts this book right up there amongst one of the best.
304 glossy pages, 1,000's of pictures, interviews, background tales,
over 100 games analysed in depth, usually noted up by one of the players
so you get all these different analysing styles plus the actual thoughts
from one of the participants.
Final performance tables of all the players, puzzles, cartoons...
...This is a Keti's tribute cartoon for her winning the GM title.
It is Keti pipping out GM Stelios Halkias who she had to beat as
Black in the last round to obtain her GM title.
This tactical feast of complications Keti herself annotates in the book.
They are mixed in with Halkias's postmortem comments.
After Keti's move 20...Qd8-g5 which is OTB inspiration.
Halkias: "Whether this is a novelty, prepared or otherwise I don't know."
Keti: "As much as I understood the dubious nature of the Queen's
adventure on the kingside. I just could not bring myself to exchange
my proud Knight on f4, even if it was the right thing to do."
Here is the game (one of the few games to appear twice on the Corner).
[Click here to replay the game]
Halkias,Stelios (2584) - Arakhamia-Grant,Ketevan (2448)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 Nc6 10.d5 Ne7 11.Nd2 Nh6 12.f3 g5 13.Bf2 f5 14.c5 Ng6 15.Nc4 Nf4 16.0-0 Rf6 17.a4 Rg6 18.exf5 Nxf5 19.Bd3 g4 20.fxg4 Qg5 21.h3 Qh6 22.Qf3 e4 23.Bxe4 Nd4 24.Qe3 Bxg4 25.Bxg6 Nxh3+ 26.gxh3 Nf3+ 27.Qxf3 Bxf3 28.Bg3 Rf8 29.Kh2 Qxg6 30.cxd6 cxd6 31.Rf2 Qd3 32.Nxd6 Bxc3 33.bxc3 Bxd5 34.Rb2 Rf1 35.c4 Rxa1 36.cxd5 Qf1 37.Bf2 Qh1+ 38.Kg3 Qxd5
To continue with the review.
Round by Round reports, articles and really deep analyse of
some of the critical games.
I've also read some very interesting, enlightening and thought
provoking articles on coaching an Olympiad team and features that
capture the whole spirit of this event.
The round by round background stories and the day by day, hour by hour
coverage of the different teams and how they prepare for each opponent
I'm finding fascinating.
They also interview some of the players after they went home.
Sopiko Khukhashvili reveals that the Georgian government have
given the members of their winning ladies team a life time stipend.
Impossible to give it a full review as I've only read about
a third of it and played over a few games But what I've seen has been
superb and am really looking forward to reading the rest of it.
Keith has ask me to mention he thinks it's superb as well.
"I like books on tournaments and this is by far one of
the best I have ever seen." Keith Ruxton.
I feel very sorry for the next Olympiad organisers, they have to match this.
Olympiad United! Dresden 2008
Harald Fietz / Josip Asik / Anna Burtasova
V erlag SCHACH WISSEN BERLIN 2009
Olympiad United! website
And that's it.
Also Thank You to Flo Konig from Austria for sending me the
Chocolate Chess Set.
Me and the Grandkids will munch into these next time they around.