Archive for July, 2016

My fellow county players, I have some truly fantastic news, the current FIDE President Kirsin Ilyumzhinov has agreed to allow Bedfordshire to participate in the upcoming Olympiad in Baku. Without doubt the most prestigious invitation Bedfordshire has ever received in its long history and one can only imagine the excitement the opportunity will be seized by. Four main players are required and two substitutes. This will be decided at a meeting to be announced shortly, let us hope as playing partners and long term friends it is conducted in a gentlemanly manner and doesn’t descend into an almighty scrum. Bedfordshire’s most senior members will soon be sent all the info including flight details, hotel bookings and so on.

Regarding the current FIDE President, I’ve been calling him all year to try and persuade him to allow Bedfordshire to play in the upcoming Olympiad as well as all future Olympiads. The essential part of the conversation went as follows:

M =Me

K= Kirsin

M ‘Alright, is that Kirsin?’

K ‘Yes, and who is this?’

M ‘It’s Mark.’

K ‘Oh, you again, (long pause) and what are you calling for this time as if I didn’t know?’

M ‘Hmm, well, as I explained in the e-mail I kept sending. The Olympiads these days are an absolute joke. Half the countries that enter aren’t even proper countries, like Aruba, Chinese Taipei, Guernsey, Jersey, and Andorra to name but a few, and in addition some of the countries participating are the most unpleasant places on the planet, like Iraq, Yemen, Nicaragua, to name but a few. Bedfordshire has got much more going for it than that lot so can you let us in or what?’

K ‘Mark, the problem is that Bedfordshire is far too strong to enter the Olympiad and we fear its participation will make a complete mockery of the whole event. It is abundantly clear that every team you play will be beaten 4-0. Under no circumstances whatsoever can I have ex-world champions and hordes of 2700+ players knocking on my office door demanding to know how they have been beaten by an unknown county player. This will cause complete chaos and undermine the entire event which will probably have to be abandoned as a result. It is, of course, the chess world’s worst kept secret that Bedfordshire was far stronger than the Soviet Union in its heyday. Even when Botvinnik’s train briefly stopped in Luton whilst en route to Nottingham in 1936, he confessed it was the only time in his life he was too terrified to play chess after a local gentleman entered his carriage with a chess set in hand, being aware of the fearsome reputation Bedfordshire had across the entire globe. When the offer finally came an hour or so into the journey Botvinnik, more relaxed, insisted that he would only play if given odds of a queen. The gentlemen from Luton obliged but was a well known figure of its thriving chess community and played on board 2 for the Luton ‘Z’ team. Naturally it was not long before Botvinnik resigned.

K ‘Given the abundance of talent you’ve always kept so well hidden to all except us of course, we will give you two choices: the first that your Bedfordshire players agree to play all matches blindfold and that their opponents’ moves are not announced during play to them, no questions concerning play can be asked or will be answered, your team members must simply guess what has been played before making their next move. Alternatively, you deliberately lose all matches against established nations but you can beat all the weak ones that no one cares about. We suggest this second option and expect you will take it.

The FIDE president then continued:

K ‘If Bedfordshire annihilates the entire chess world at the Baku Olympiad it might be annihilated in return…it could be that upon the victorious Bedfordshire team’s return a simultaneous display of atomic bombs may just happen to land on Milton Keynes Chess Club, Bedford Chess Club, Leighton Buzzard Chess Club and Northampton Chess Club, erm, but perhaps not Luton, after all, we don’t want to improve its appearance!

Those players who wish to form a team for Baku please sign up below. In doing so you express agreement with the following statement:

‘If I represent Bedfordshire at the Olympiad I promise not to constantly thrash super Grand masters or wallop ex-world champions with ease. Also, I don’t want to be killed or anything like that so I won’t say anything bad about Azerbaijan or anything nice about Armenia as well. I accept full responsibility for any atomic bombs landing on my chess club as a result of my over-performance at the board and promise to rebuild any chess club entirely obliterated with my own hands as a result. With the greatest of enthusiasm I will sign up below.’




Colour Preference (if any)?

Ability to deliberately lose to 2800 & 2700 players?

If none, previous experience surviving atomic blastings?

Inside leg measurement?

Hat size?

The air speed velocity of an unladen swallow (African and European)?


Bedfordshire or Baku?


An Atomic Bomb


African or European?

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The dullest game I ever played was against a young N. Pert at the Hitchin Open in 1991 rated 144 at the time I think. After a ponderous beginning, a forcing line in the 3. …c5 line of the French Tarrasch quickly centered around the elimination of the black IQP. Pert managed to exchange it off but drew everything else on the board into the action and created an almighty exchange-fest in a turbo-charged two seconds, leaving a completely symmetrical king and pawn ending, that could not have looked anymore drawn. I still remember the brief eye contact we exchanged after the game -a true wtf? moment we both acknowledged. An on-looker, who called himself ‘supra-super multi-ball Marvin’ a self-proclaimed pinball champion said at his best he can handle 18 balls even with his eyes closed but the pace the pawns and pieces came off the board during the game was far beyond his capability. Whilst standing side by side taking a piss together in the bog he asked me if I had super natural powers whilst breathing in some of the steam I released at the urinals, wanting to know how I could capture minor pieces with such speed without them.

By far the most pointless game I ever played, I always laughed at the breakneck speed it suddenly ended in the most dead drawn position imaginable -it was impossible not to laugh at it. We both played to win, a truism no chess player alive could ever be convinced of if they were able to play through the game -hopefully long since lost by both players.

More recently, I’m informed that Ncholas Pert inadvertently entered the Guinness Book of Records during his handling of the Caro-Kann against Peter Batchelor when over half a million chess computers around the world were blown up by the obscurity of the line he chose and position he reached on move 11. I’m sure once you’ve had a look yourself you’ll understand why.


Last moves were 11. Ngf3 Bd6

What on earth has white achieved here? GM N. Pert showing that as an adult the wtf? play which I noted when he was a child is in evidence still. I suspect white’s moves freaked out our gadgets so much, malfunction was inevitable.

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An unnamed member of Bedford Chess Club (possibly an occasional Board 5 player for the A team) has sent pictures to F.I.D.E taken during their 3-2 loss to Leighton Buzzard last season claiming that underhand tactics were used to deliberately put them off and that they should be stripped of their title.

In the first picture, the Bedford players felt unsettled by the appearance of their opponents as well as their behaviour before play began, claiming they were named A. King and A. Queen. Each also mimicked the piece they represented whilst moving round the playing hall, rather than milling around freely, especially around the boards of opposing players in time trouble, which it was claimed, is not how royalty should conduct itself and was ‘bloody annoying’.  


Leighton Buzzard A

In the second picture Bedford’s board 5 player said when he approached the board to start the game he couldn’t concentrate properly as his opponent had a handgun on view and at the ready, and gave the impression of being a fugitive, furthermore, when his female sidekick stripped off in front of him, he forgot to press his clock and lost several minutes at the start of the game but added if there were further instances of femme fatales stripping off at the start of play, no further complaints would be lodged.


Leighton Buzzard A strip off

A F.I.D.E official replied stating that clubs who coerce strippers into their gamesmanship will be stripped of their title. Quoting rule 18.1 ‘Er. it’s not cool to muck about during rated games yeah? It’s sort of against the rules’.

Images courtesy of MemoryChess once more.

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An email replete with expletives has been sent to the Bedfordshire Chess Association by the English Chess Federation, banning Luton Chess Club from entering the Beds. league next season after its latest mobilization was considered rather idiosyncratic.

Club Secretary Peter Montgomery, at the request of the ECF, sent pictures of recent games and evidence of the clubs recent reform. He explained ‘Well…we were going to mobilize to boring old Milton Keynes but that’s not even in Bedfordshire, so we had a brainwave, we thought why do we need to go and play there? To mobilize all you need is mobiles, let’s just use them instead.’

He then sent pictures of some recent games, which were rejected with the concluding remarks ‘Are you taking the piss? How can that be a club? Never bloody mind how boring Milton Keynes is, just get your backsides over there if you want to be entered for the next season.’ Here are the pictures of the reformed Luton Chess Club which were rejected for their idiosyncrasy.






As per usual, I am indebted to MemoryChess for his fabulous efforts and the endless inspiration they provide.

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Key figures from the Sierra Leone Chess Federation have sent emails stating they want to arrange a match with Bedfordshire in Freetown, their capital as part of their preparation for the upcoming Olympiad. ‘We are no muppets’ -as you English like to say- we recently trounced Timbuktu 14-2 in a televised match so be prepared ‘even though they (Timbuktu) defaulted on 14 boards we would have won anyway’.

‘We’ll put you English gentlemen up at a top hotel; it had running water about 10 years ago, but occasionally we still have electricity. There’s a TV with all locals channels to watch in the lobby, the blood and bullet holes from those slaughtered in the courtyard during the civil war was cleaned up long ago, nothing to see there now. We’ll pay for your flight from Heathrow direct to Freetown via Nairobi, Cape Town, Cairo, Dubai, Ougadouga, Kinshasa, Casablanca, Timbuktu, Algiers, Mogadishu and Tripoli before arriving at Freetown. We hope you can accept the 17 hour stopover in Kinshasa and the 3 day wait in Ougadouga and the one month wait in Tripoli for your visas.

Please be patient and accept that in Africa it is not uncommon to find farmyard animals such as goats on board, we hope this will not spoil your flight in anyway. We shall be requesting another 16-man match but we insist those interested must provide proof of their rating and that they can handle a machine gun, which will be provided upon disembarkation of the aircraft by our great leader who will escort you to your hotel in an armored convoy. We must remind you the machine gun is not for use on your opponent, it is there so when you leave the playing hall you can engage in combat with those who target Westerners with confidence, should this be necesssary.

Our advice is, when you exit the playing hall -to chat about openings as you English like to -do not wander out casually one by one, you must burst out collectively as a team with all guns blazing, that will scare everyone off, only then should you enter into the latest novelties in the Ruy Lopez for example. Hopefully your concentration will not be broken by too much gunfire during the match. The army will be there to help eliminate anyone you may happen to miss.

Those interested may sign up below

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The Kalashnikov. For those who don’t know that’s 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 ed 4. Nxd4 e5. Note that 4. …Nf6 is the Sveshnikov. I’m not sure why but most Sveshinikov players say the Kalashnikov has a major drawback. However for those participating, the Kalashnikov is an appropriate choice.



Scenic area near the playing venue

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With England in the midst of yet another decade of poor governance and cultural degradation, its putrified neo-liberalism and crumbling capitalist architecture have fostered new levels of poverty, an increasingly narrowed middle-class, a surreptitious and multitudinous erosion of civil liberties and an unvoiced -often- immigrant minority living in more than 10 people per room sometimes and dependent upon communal meals made from Tesco’s leftovers after which our travelers of the twilight, must steal, beg and break into properties in an attempt to survive starvation, inflicting yet more misery on the British public and their apathetic police force. The 2-3 million Brits also on the poverty line, crave a slow death from decades of drinking into oblivion with their minds destroyed by drug use and dodgy soap operas.

With the democratic decision to leave the EU, those who uphold power within the UK are already trying to challenge and overturn the decision instead of respect our democracy -that being the heavily trampled on will of the people. Politicians always act out of self-interest, that’s why they become politicians in the first place. No matter how dressed up with rehashed rhetoric their artless speeches are, they can still influence that 1% who uphold the power of a nation who may or may not want to leave the EU: ‘we, must get the backhanders we are accustomed to, I didn’t shove my tongue up dozen or more backsides for nothing you know, I want what I worked for’.

Britain slides further backwards led astray by another generation of politicians where their career has such greater precedence than the plight of their nation, that the systematically depoliticized generations awash within the cities are defeated and despondent. The Freudian slip in the video below reveals what matters more to Cameron, being part of a machine that manufactures hundreds more like him whose priorities are no different.

The New Teams, their premises and, er, some words of caution

A public toilet in Stockwood Park Luton infamous for dogging, HIV, transvestites and numerous stabbings in the nineties has submitted a team for next season’s play asking if they could play on the grass outside the public lavatory rather than inside (as it’s a bit smelly).

A bunch of Bedford bell-ringers from St. Paul’s Cathedral have also expressed an interest, stating that matches could take place in the bell tower itself and that opposing teams would not need more than a decade or two to get used to the infuriating racket. Being a satanist in my youth, I suggest you refuse them entry to the league then burn down their stupid little Cathedral.

Some tramps usually seen loitering around Houghton Regis have expressed an interest if super-strong cider is provided during play on behalf of the club and shooting up in the bogs is not prohibited. Home matches would be played in tents shared by heroin addicts, where only some might be lying dead -but they’d only just be dead, or on the verge of dumps or by open fires where the outcasts of their chosen sub-culture smoulder between logs ablaze after a drunken back magic curse backfired, or perhaps by stolen cars set on fire in the middle of nowhere. One of the aforementioned tramps knows how to move ‘the horsey one’ as he put it, as well as ‘the prawns‘, he also knows that the bishop moves ‘slantyways’ but knows it can’t overtake other bits or become a crown or doesn’t get 200 pounds for passing go but must go scrumping up apple trees when they bear fruit to become promoted to a queen. He will play on board one if he is still alive by then… .

The EDL, have also submitted a team and have vowed to play only the English Opening with white or the St. George’s Defence with black. A spokesman has said:

Tell your boys we got a proper firm. We can handle ourselves over the board. We ain’t muppets. No one ever won me in play, I’ll win everyone, you’ll see. I play the prawns and make them into a mob where they march down the board, just like when we do when we are on tv. I like the prawns cos they is skinheads, so they look like us init.

When you come to our gaff its only English allowed. We got a bar. Visiting teams order just before the clocks are pressed, It’s 2 quid a pint and its 25 pints per order, so that’s 3 pints per player, er wait no 89…er no 5… yeah 5 pints per player and you gotta finish them in the first fifteen moves or we get an extra prawn on each board. Any Watford gets glassed coming in, then crushed by an 80’s fruit machine leaving. We’re the new firm, we got the thousands you lot ain’t got, you play by our rules or we march through every town in the country with thousands of skin heads dressed up as prawns upholding hundreds of banners exposing the flaws in your top boys opening repertoire as well as their worst ever blunders. Now you don’t want that do you? So just play ball and you’ll be alright. We’re not trouble makers, we’re just frustrated because the Hatters were treated like rubbish by the FA and we had no one to fight when we went into the conference…you can’t go though the weekend in Luton not scrapping with strangers in the streets -you’d go crazy in no time.

We’re supposedly against the Islamic invasion of England but don’t think we can’t be riled by months of foreign openings being played against us and reform into the ECDL (English Chess Defence League). Nuff said.

Lastly, several renowned clubs from Marseilles have also applied. After disagreements with the French Chess Federation they feel a move to the Bedfordshire league is the logical thing to do. They will continue to operate from the same premises but have promised detailed maps for visiting teams, stating that its not much further than Northampton for most clubs and is a much nicer drive anyway. If their inclusion is a success a sister club in the Cote d’Ivoire will be encouraged to join the following year.

Details to follow… .

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By jove! The beleaguered Luton Chess Club now homeless for months has exciting news for the county with 3 new venues available for the 2016 – 2017 season. I’ve been asked to post images on line and gain feedback from those around the county. I do need to add a great deal of effort has gone into securing the venues and it is unlikely that another within Luton can be found so we cannot accept criticisms concerning the unsuitability of the venues. Please note that the aim of the club was to find a venue which was a marked improvement on that of recent years.



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At Luton we only request that visiting teans are suitably dressed and that snorkelling between moves is prohibited, as is peeing in the pool both will incur a two minute penalty. Should anyone be caught shitting in the pool they will lose by default with immediate effect.

Towels, generously donated by oxfam are available although one of them is the worse for wear as it appears someone has used it to wipe his arse.

Do be a good sport and register your preferred choice of venue below.

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Though the new season is a few months off still, numerous interested players in the region have contacted me and asked which club is nearest to them in the Beds. league, all have confirmed they are ready to start the new season providing one or two queries can be answered by the various respective club secretaries who should expect an email or two shortly. I have posted their expressed club preferences.


Luton has just acquired a new member. Her rating is quite low, less than 100 in fact, but she’s looking for someone to go through her games with her in her penthouse apartment on the edge of town after matches.

Any expression of interest amongst the vast array of thriving Luton chess club members will be forwarded on, she has asked me to submit evidence that she is a chess lover and has a board and set at home which can be used, so let me know if you can spare a few late evening hours.

She said anyone prepared to play through her games be welcome to crash at her place. If play went on too late into the night she wanted to let everyone know she’s only got one bed but doesn’t have a problem sharing it. I have provided a picture of her below as she requested so that she can be recognized upon her first visit to the club.



Bedford also has a potential new member named Rover -the Latvian Gambit terrorizer- Kasparov but due to a language breakdown I could not establish his rating. His owner mentioned he likes to play paw to king four, and sometimes plays paw moves that aren’t always legal. He has recently been banned from a Hertfordshire club after chewing his opponents pieces placed on the side of the board repeatedly. His owner has submitted a picture taken in a recent game.


Leighton Buzzard

Several young ladies who live locally are in search of new opponents. They mentioned they prefer superstuds 170+, with their own transport -ideally a Ferrari- who would be welcome to make up foursome play, preferably held at their country home of which they have submitted a picture. Senior club members need not apply but entrepreneurs with connections in the media industry are particularly welcome as a private studio is available for use at the rear of the property, there is also a fully equipped dungeon for more creative photo shoots.


Open University/Milton Keynes

Two local chess lovers are looking to join a team, one of whom can provide transport for those located in more rural areas. They claim to be endgame specialists, especially knight endings but both have difficulty writing down moves during play. They have submitted a picture of a friendly game recently played behind a stable. They have asked if bails of hay, sugar cubes and doggie biscuits are sold in the vending machines in the canteen.



Northampton, renowned for its eternally talentless football club and extensive rainforests as ecologically diverse as those found in the Congo and its neighboring countries, has attracted several potential new members who claim they can ape the success of any former county champion they face over the board. Informing me that they don’t monkey around in the openings and play gambit chess only. One of whom claims his Benko gambit cannot be beaten. They have submitted a photo of a recent playing session on the outskirts of town.


In addition I have been contacted and offered the use of the following gent who is prepared to operate as a reserve for county matches, however, I’m not sure of his suitability but he is available if we are ever short of players.


A warm welcome to all newcomers and long may they prosper. As always, an exciting season as Autumn ascends lies ahead once more. Good luck to all those over the board.

Thanks goes to Memory Chess for the wonderful images.

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Another position posted many years ago comes with the game to follow. Again its from Kotov’s ‘Think like a Grandmaster’, which though a dated and criticized work in our modern age, contains many interesting positions and studies of a more classical nature.

Here’s one from Kotov’s own games, its Kotov V Steiner, 1955 U.S.S.R V U.S.A, and its white to play and formulate a winning plan. There is no winning move as such, just a winning plan to be found.


You can find the game here to see how white continued.

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During long winters, league matches end with players withdrawing from the board into dark car parks where they drive home through dark evenings on frosty roads past country homes long since asleep. But not all chess players choose to sleep upon their return home. Some stay up and analyze into the small hours. They listen to agoraphobic night music, the videos of which sometimes contain a hiatus wherein many a variation has an unrefined opportunity to become lost forever… .


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