Archive for August, 2016

As you may know “Texas hold em” Poker is currently the world’s most poplar game by quite some distance. I’ve often thought the expression ‘putting a player on tilt’, heard so often in Poker coverage is applicable to chess also. In the following game at the Abu Dhabi Open, a tournament which has come a long way since I last entered it, GM V. Fedoseev (2670) begun with the black pieces in the most provocative fashion against England’s D. Eggleston (2384).


The position after 1.e4 Nf6 2. e5 Ng8?!

I think black’s plan is to unsettle his lower rated opponent with dubious moves. A risky strategy but the great tragedy here is that black succeeds with his initial plan and then goes on to win in less than 30 moves!

You can find the game here below. I am informed that the variation at hand (2. … Ng8) is called The Brooklyn Variation. You may note that white’s idea of Qb5 is not correct – I suspect he was ‘on tilt’ at the time.

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I’m going back to the hallowed antiquity of spring 2008 in the home counties; it’s a typically quiet Sunday morning, with a cold, light breeze that carries the country air. You told the wife you’re ‘just poppin’ out ta fix the motor’ but you can’t fix it, and without an escape into the country, the emptiness of the afternoon ahead is suddenly overwhelming. Without your wheels you wander off to the ‘the local boozer’, get hammered and stagger home before midday. Did someone put this chess-song on the jukebox down ‘the local boozer’…it doesn’t matter as you’ve congratulated yourself on finding something to do already… .

Credit goes to Justin Horton for reminding me of the Half-Man Half-Biscuit track… .


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Searching for a new home, Luton Chess Club, whilst eagerly awaiting permission from Bedfordshire University to relocate there, have acquired a second option at a venue ‘just outside the town’ I was informed by e-mail. The Bedfordshire Chess Association, keen to know whether Luton Chess Club will participate in the forthcoming season or not has quickly rejected it, stating the following:

‘Dear Luton Chess Club Secretary, Mr I. Adjust,

Regarding your applications to relocate, pictures of the venue alone is insufficient. At the very least, we require a physical address and directions in order to assist visiting teams, and I might add, the proposed second location looks a bit further away than ‘just outside the town’ as you put it -we are not in agreement at all!

Note that travel to a venue is limited to vehicles belonging to team members and does not usually involve spacecraft from third party sources. We are most displeased with the effrontery of your proposal for an, albeit potential, second venue given how incredulously close to collapse the club is. Please reconsider with greater sensibility.

Mr. J. Doube,

Bedfordshire Chess Association.

The images submitted by the Luton Chess Club over its ‘just outside the town’ second option, can be found below.


The first option


The second option

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View from the first second option venue


‘Just outside Luton’

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See below for how not to make a promo video:

Having spent nearly two years in Baku, I strongly suspect those participating in the vid know little about the place (the locals excluded of course!). No comments on the multitudinous rumours abound that the vid was scripted, that many of the GMs were coerced, were held at gunpoint during the filming, that the budget of 10 pence was not exceeded. (that’s £ 0.10 to non-Brits).

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Who is better and why? Hot Tip: the white pieces are handled by a certain endgame expert named Mr. J. Capablanca

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Posted on the English Chess Forum, GM Jan Gustaffson, with a 12 minute clever rant over the recent Sinquefield Cup and modern chess in general, has had us chuckling. Light-hearted and inoffensive, I suspect it is worth a peak… .

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“The analogy between the artist and the child is that both live in a world of their own making.”

Anias Nin – Diary 1945

Which number comes next in the following sequence? 93, 63, 23, 2 ? Zero perhaps? (if zero is a number that is)

In August 93 Luton Chess club had 63 members, that was 23 years ago and now only 2 members remain active, leaving the club, now without its long-term home, on the verge of collapse.

What has happened to all those disappearing club members? The town itself has increased by more than 30,000 since and is now more ethnically diverse than ever yet the chess club has all but vanished. It is a mystery indeed.

Am I only one who thinks that the club’s chess sets should be sent to a laboratory and tested for flesh-eating bacteria or does anyone have a better theory regarding the gradual disappearance of its members?




Are you at risk?


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I decided last year to stop playing at the ICCF for the simple reason that far too many players use computers either to find their moves or as a blunder checker. If you go to their site you will see that there is nothing in the rules to prevent this as controlling it is practically impossible. I really don’t see the point in paying to enter a tournament only to use computers but whatever…. . Some players, who don’t use computers, also show bad etiquette with slow-play when they lose interest in the game from falling behind in it.

It took almost one year to defeat a certain cheeky Scottish chappie who sent the message “well-played” upon his resignation in our game. With the tournament waiting an eternity for our game to finish, I no longer have any games to play and have cancelled my account with them, having found their on-line ‘support’ not very supportive also. Anyway, my opponent steadily fell behind in the game only commit a mistake which would put him into an endgame which he could not save. Let’s pick up the game late on.

35. Qa7 Rf8 have just been played. What should white play next?



Scroll down slowly for the answer.



Keep scrolling.




Nothing to see just yet.



Okay, the cheeky Scottish chappie I had the pleasure of beating played the mistaken 35. … Rf8. White can simply play 36 Rxf7 with a winning endgame to come.


47. f6 Resigns.

My moment of freedom from the ICCF -hurrah!

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My Bedfordshire playing partners, if you missed out on the months of work that culminated in Our Clash of Future Champions…well there it is again. In it I argued that William Ward (of London) as he was known, grew up in Bedfordshire and retained some connection, however slight, with his home town Luton and its, then, thriving chess scene throughout his career probably being the strongest player to have lived in and played for Luton still to this day.

He is the only player with a Bedfordshire connection that can be found in the EDO historical ratings website. Further details concerning his approximated strength and achievements can be found here:


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