Hello Again Chess People,
Rather a lot to hack through this week so let us get started.
Jannic Konarski emailed me (one at a time) the pictures he took
from the Dragons Allegro. This event was played at the
Polish club to celebrate 25 years of the Wandering Dragons.
Only Dragons or ex-Dragons were allowed to play.
It was scheduled for 6 rounds - I paid for six rounds.
We played 5 rounds (it's a Dragons thing, best not to ask).
Graham Paterson and Jannic displaying their Dragons t-shirts.
Here is a shot that will brought back some memories.
Chris Dunkin (white) playing Howard Nimmo.
Two of the original Dragons who had traveled up from
England for the event.
I cannot remember who won. Graham Hamilton was smiling at the end
of it. He won something. Go to the Dragons site (you will be charged!)
I'm sure you will get all tournament info there.
After the event everyone retreated to a Chinese Restaurant.
Jannic and Bill Falconer look happy...why?
...Because neither of them is paying the bill.
So who was stuck with the tab?
I cannot explain the next picture.
Jannic must have accidently emailed me a picture
from one of his sweat shops.
OK a game from the allegro. Well nobody gave me a game
so you will get one of mine. Chandler v Sanderson.
I've sacced my Queenside for tricks and traps.
In the following position Black can avoid all the
tom foolery with 25...Qe7. his 25...Rf8? allowed the
double attack on h6 and the a7 Rook.
Unprotected pieces... How many times must I warn people
about unprotected pieces... Am I talking to myself here?
[Click here to replay the game]
Chandler vs. Sanderson
1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b4 cxb4 5.a3 bxa3 6.Bxa3 Bxa3 7.Rxa3 Nc6 8.d4 Nge7 9.Bd3 Nb4 10.Be2 a5 11.c3 Nbc6 12.Bd3 b6 13.Qe2 Nb8 14.Ng5 g6 15.c4 dxc4 16.Be4 Ra7 17.0-0 b5 18.Rh3 h6 19.Nc3 Bd7 20.d5 Nxd5 21.Nxf7 Kxf7 22.Nxd5 exd5 23.Bxd5+ Be6 24.Qf3+ Kg7 25.Bxe6 Rf8 26.Qe3 Qg5 27.Qxa7+ Kh8 28.f4
Where was I?
Oh Yes, unprotected pieces.
Unprotected pieces are the root of double attack combinations.
Double attacks combo's are the easiest to spot and play.
Stop leaving your pieces unprotected and you will stop losing.
I really am getting fed up saying this!
(You tell em Geoff...Ed)
11 days after the above game was played. C. Willman v G. Chandler.
My move and I have set up a nice little perpetual.
26...Nxd3 27 Qxd8+ Kg7 28 cxd3 Qd1+ - Qg4+. etc.
Suddenly I decide I can win this and play 26...Rd7??
See that Knight on c5...it's unprotected.
27 Qe8+ Kg7 28 Qe6+ a Double attack on King and Knight 1-0.
Excuse... I done it on purpose to give you dear reader another
example of what can happen if we leave our pieces unprotected.
You don't believe me?
Do you think I would play a dumb ass move like 26...Rd7 and
miss the fact I had given the Queen e8 as a checking square.
Do you want hear something funny?
This game was played on board 2 in the Bells 1 v Dragons 1. League match.
I played for the perpetual and just before I nearly played 26...Nxd3
I looked at boards 1 & 3 to see how they were getting on.
My opponent will back me up on this.
I had my back to the wall during the game, I visibly relaxed
when I had achieved the perpetual and started looking around.
Board 1 Ruxton (Bells 1) v Orr. Endgame, Orr has the Bishop v Knight.
My assessment: loss for Keith, possible draw.
Board 3 Rattray (Bells 1) v W Burnett. Middle game.
Mickey has an attack but Black looks solid. Possible loss there.
"We are in trouble - I had better play for the win."
I resigned a move later.
Down in the bar 5 minutes pass and Mark Orr arrives.
He lost. Infact he resigned after playing only 1 move
after my faulty assessment.
Another 5 minutes pass and Mickey Rattray appears.
He won with a lovely combination which was unfolding
as I was looking at it.
How naff a chess player am I?
My assessment of a draw and a loss were infact two wins.
In my defence I have to say I have never been able to
look at other people's game when I'm playing.
They always appear as a jumble of randomly placed pieces.
Here is the Mickey Rattray game.
In this critical position Black should have captured
the Rook on h5 with the pawn so the Bishop can defend
the white squares f5, e6 and d7.
After 22...Bxh5? White is winning. Mickey wraps it up well.
[Click here to replay the game]
M. Rattray v W. Burnett
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Bc4 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.h4 Ne5 11.Bb3 h5 12.0-0-0 Rc8 13.Bh6 Nc4 14.Bxc4 Rxc4 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.g4 hxg4 17.h5 Rc5 18.hxg6 fxg6 19.Qh6+ Kf7 20.fxg4 Bxg4 21.Rdf1 Rh5 22.Rxh5 Bxh5 23.Nd5 Qd7 24.Nf4 Qg4 25.Nfe6 Rg8 26.Qh7+ Ke8 27.Qxg8+ Nxg8 28.Rf8+ Kd7 29.Rd8
A nice finish that.
I pulled a game off the Scottish Bulletin board.
It was played by The Moderator of the site, Dave Gillespie.
I played over the game. It's a Caro Khan and ends in a draw.
So I'll save it up for another day (I bet you cannot wait).
I like Dave Gillespie, I'm always comfortable in his presence
and yet I could not really explain why. He reminded me of someone
I know but I could never figure out who.
Then I picked up a 'Rumpole of the Bailey' book.
I love Rumpole "...her who must be obeyed..."
It had a cartoon on the cover.
What next? Oh Yes Gavin Austin.
I've been mailed, is Gavin Austin related to Rudolf Austin?
Here is Gavin's latest game.
In this position White to play.
Gavin is Black and he is about to go two pieces up.
I'm afraid to report that Gavin lost. Here is the game.
Look out for White's 8th move. A good practical choice.
[Click here to replay the game]
G. Russel v G. Austin
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.0-0 Nd4 6.Nxe5 Nxb5 7.b4 Bd4 8.Nxf7 Kxf7 9.c3 Nxc3 10.Qb3+ d5 11.Nxc3 Bxc3 12.Qxc3 dxe4 13.dxe4 Nxe4 14.Qc4+ Be6 15.Qxe4
Incredibly, after all the excitement,the material is level.
I have the score but the moves went all bad after 15 Qxe4.
Black obviously got very depressed and stop recording correctly.
It's a shame, but those of you who are following Gavin's
Chess career will no doubt agree he is improving.
When I first saw the diagrammed position it brought back
a pleasant memory from 1983. Boy I was good player then.
Chandler v Dr. Ratcliffe
League match 1983 Edin 1 v Edin 2
Look at the following position, see the similarity
with above position? I'm White, me to play.
(Note I cannot sac on f7 - I've already done that).
The sac on f7 was deliberate, 8 0-0 was a blunder.
I can still recall Graham Morrison's face,
he was on board 1 for Edinburgh 1. When he
looked at this position he was a picture of shock and horror.
later on I sac another piece.
So I'm three pieces down - I sac my Queen.
(although to be honest, at the time I do have two).
and I win - look and learn, play it out and weep.
[Click here to replay the game]
G. Chandler vs Dr. Ratcliffe
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bb6 5.b5 Na5 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Nxe5+ Kf8 8.0-0 Bd4 9.Ba3+ d6 10.c3 Bxe5 11.f4 Bf6 12.e5 Be7 13.Qe2 Bf5 14.g4 Bxb1 15.Raxb1 d5 16.Bc1 Ke8 17.d4 Nc4 18.f5 Bg5 19.f6 Bxc1 20.fxg7 Be3+ 21.Qxe3 Qe7 22.gxh8Q Nxe3 23.Qxg8+ Kd7 24.e6+ Qxe6 25.Qxe6+ Kxe6 26.Rbe1
Now what? Dave's email.
I was sent this by a 'Dave.'
I quite enjoy your site, funny and instructive.
I thought you could use this quote.
GMs are so far removed in playing strength from class players
that their advice is often misguided. For the same reason that
a university mathematics professor will probably not be able to
teach addition as well as a first grade teacher, a GM will probably
not be able to teach the basics of chess as effectively as a
pedagogically inclined player who is much weaker. – Michael de la Maza.
Well Cheers Dave (who are you?)
I know two Dave's you are not either of those,
unless they have changed their email address.
I think you are trying to say I'm a pedagogically inclined player.
I've no idea what pedagogically means.
Does it mean I have a limp?
I find the quote silly - too many probably's.
probably this, probably that, probably can, probably can't...
Mr Maza is probably some place, probably sitting on a fence.
Nearly finished. What's next - ah yes Chess for Zebra's
I have posted a review for this book on the site that got me the book.
It would be unfair for me to fully review it here.
So here I will do it my way.
Chess For Zebras by Jonathan Rowson
Gambit Publications Limited £17.99 $29.95
First of all. Do you know how I keep myself in line.
I have circle of friends whose opinion I trust.
I frequently ask them if they think this site is OK.
I listen to their ideas and comments.
If something is naff. They tell me.
I thought Jonathan's 7 Deadly Chess Sins was an awful chess book.
Too much arty-farty confusing clap-trap and waffle.
(I'm the chess expert on waffle).
I'm not alone in my opinion of 7 Deadly Chess Sins.
Most people I have discussed this book with agree it's long winded.
"Benefit wise, totally useless."
That was from one of Scotland's leading players just a few days ago.
Studying a good chess book can help you improve your game.
The more you study the better you get.
It really is that simple.
99% of us don't study the game.
And by study I don't mean stuffing opening variations
into your head. That is being a parrot.
And I don't mean putting your game in Fritz to see
if you missed any combo's - that is being a fool.
I certainly don't Study.
I did for about two or three years.
Now I just play. I'm maintained an average grade of around 1900
for the past 20 years solely on what I picked up in 1979-82
and a small amount of natural ability to spot a combination.
Some Chess players have a better start than others because of natural gifts.
If these gifts are nurtured and honed correctly. Wallah, a good player.
Natural ability is not the private property of chess.
Some people can run faster than others, swim faster than others,
kick a ball better than others. There are winners, there are losers.
Bobby Fischer, I'd say is the greatest player of the game that ever lived.
He was once asked how he became a Grandmaster.
His reply. "One day I got good."
He got good by studying, studying and then studying some more.
He lived and breathed the game.
So how do you 'get good.'
Ideally you need a good teacher to guide you.
If not, then a good book.
In my opinion (and I stress my opinion, what worked for me).
The book(s) has to have instructive well annotated games.
Good advice about how to develop your game further.
How to erase any sloppy errors that have crept into your game.
All wrapped up in PLAIN EASILY UNDERSTOOD ENGLISH.
Add a dash of humour to make the work fun and that's it.
(and of course play, play, play - against a human.)
Seven Deadly Chess Sins failed on all
accounts except for the game notes.
"The Seven Deadly Chess Sins is strong evidence that to the seven
we should add two more: writing this book, and buying it.."
Taylor Kingston. ChessCafe.com
Jonathan too has friends. Honest friends.
Someone has told him Deadly Sins was too high brow.
Add that to the wretched review the book received at the Chess Cafe
and we have a bruised young man who has picked himself up, dusted himself off...
Well that is my explanation as to why the complete change in writing style.
A Change in style that works...
Chess for Zebras matches every criteria for a good book.
and it actually crosses the barrier.
It is an excellent chess book.
It is one of the best chess books I have ever read.
It has very nearly got me into study mode again.
It is that good.
Do not please do not pre judge Zebras because of the Deadly Sins.
I know some people already have.
Do you know who is going the best benefit from this book?
Adults! Players who have been playing for around 10 years but
find themselves stuck on a grade and cannot get higher.
Read the book, smell the coffee.
Read the book and wake up.
Wait a minute... I've got a great idea.
Maybe that guy at the Chess Cafe and me should slag off
Zebras even more than Deadly Sins.
Jonathan then will have to write an even better book!
Nah... He's not going to top this. It's unique.
Why have I got a cartoon of a guy playing
the guitar popping up during this book review?
You will have to buy the Book.
I put Chess + Zebras into Google.
I was taken to a fairy chess site.
As is if chess was not hard enough. Look at this.
The 'new' pieces are: Bats, Tigers, Giraffes, Camels,
Nightriders,Rhinoceros,Dababbas (?), Griffins
There are instructions.
For normal play, both the Bat and the Nightrider
are to be replaced by Zebras, as the move of the Bat will
tend, in general, to make play unduly difficult.
What are these guys smoking?
Gosh this is a long Chandler Cornered,
my mates will giving me a row.