Archive for October 27th, 2015

Victorian times in the home counties -a gentleman cycles across rural Bedfordshire to participate in a chess match but ends up in prison -how quaint?



The gentleman’s destination.

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GM Michael Adams, arguably England’s greatest ever player, won a game in fine style against GM Maxim Matlakov at he European Club Championship with a deep move that had chess-playing friend Peter Frost in awe.


White (GM Adams) has just played 27 Bb3, a very deep move allowing a loss of material as well as structural damage.

You can play out the rest of the game here -Mickey at his best.

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En route to becoming county champions of England for the first time, Bedfordshire received help from yours truly on more than one occasion. Just look at this…this amazing effort below kindly sent on by author Richard James.


I remember that match quite well, it was played one sunny afternoon at The Purcell School in Bushey, Watford on the B462. We took an early lead as I was left to wander around for ages in my green puma jumper, making jokes with teammates that the opposing side had brought ‘criminal types’ to the match (see board 11), not knowing if my opponent would arrive. Here’s the position when I won on time, I was black.


A stunning victory in which I played no bad moves, Bedfordshire then went on to make history.

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Someone once said ‘When I give check, I am never afraid’. Apart from the fact that the counter-check can give mate, it’s generally not a good idea to stop thinking in chess. Here’s an example of just that from the hallowed antiquity of 1987, taken from Burgess’s ‘Quickest Victories of all time’ (1998)

R.Huque – J.Hodgson  London ‘Chess for Peace’ 1987

1 d4      Nf6

2 c4      c5

3 Nf3   cxd4

4 Nxd4 e5

5 Nb5   d5?!


6 cxd5  Bc5

7 d6?    Ne4

8 Nc7+??


Instead of gaining a tempo, white now loses on the spot. Can you find the winning move?

8. …       Qxc7!

9 Qa4+ Qc6  0-1

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