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The Levon Aronian Joke. (and it was on me!)

How about this for an idea.
Title here

Copy this picture, print it, carefully cut it out (get an adult to do that bit for you)
paste it onto a piece of stiff card and mail it to your favourite Red Hot Pawn Player.

Next week I’ll be publishing the names and address’s of all the R.H.P. Players. ...

Brief Chess News Update

The Candidates Tournament for 2016 has all but been decided. The place will be Moscow. The time: 10-30 March 2016. With such a strong lineup–eh, I should run down the lineup to cut down on Googling.

Viswanathan Anand (2796) qualified by virtue of being last year’s challenger.
Sergey Karjakin (2766) and Peter Svidler (2743) qualified through being the winner and runner-up, respectively, of this year’s World Cup.
Fabiano Caruana (2787) and Hikaru Nakamura (2793) made it to the Tournament by finishing first and second, respectively, in the most recent Grand Prix.
Levon Aronian (2783) was the organiser’s choice.
This leaves two players who are virtually certain to qualify by rating average for 2o15: Veselin Topalov (2803) and Anish Giri (2783). ...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Thinking Chess

There are several ways to decide on a move in a game of chess. A good chief weapon is calculation, calculation and careful evaluation. The two approaches which are commonly used are pure calculation, evaluating carefully, and going down the ladder of threats. The three methods which I recommend are pure calculation, evaluating carefully, and going down the ladder of threats, and asking a number of questions. These four– are amongst our weapons!

Why the stammering in a supposedly carefully crafted blog post? I don’t know, I didn’t expect a Spanish Inquisition!

Calculation is used to conduct a cursory blunder check, addressed further on. It is also used in tactical positions especially, but is also useful for small positional maneuvers. Here is a very tactical game which I enjoy to ...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Blundering in Time Trouble

Three games today, each with a nice blunder from a strong player. I like seeing this type of game because it reminds and reassures me that these players are beatable. Sometimes when I am paired against a strong player, I am fearful. But watching blunders makes me feel courageous, and sometimes I even do beat them.

Siegbert Tarrasch–Emanuel Lasker World Championship 1908
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.O-O O-O 6.d3 {Both White and Black are content to develop.} d6 7.Bg5 Be6 {Black, however, is not copying White. He merely hopes to get out his pieces.} 8.d4 {8. Nd5!, piling on the pinned knight, was more precise.} exd4 9.Nxd4 h6 10.Bh4 {White retreats. If Tarrasch plays 8. Nxc6?, Lasker replies 8…bxc6 9. Bxc6 hxg5 10. Bxa8 Qxa8, wherein he has an advantage because of his activ...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Chess and Tractors + A Halloween Gambit

This week we meet two Chess Players, a Highway Robber, an old pub
and an opening line in the French Defence (the Winawer Variation.).

But before I go any further I have to remind you of this book.

A few blogs ago I mentioned I was working my way through this
and enjoying it and recommending it. Then I found puzzle No.133...

Queen and Rook Endings the RHP Way

Let’s do one of these....
Title here

Here is a blank board,
8/8/8/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1
See if you can set up the pieces for a game of chess.

If you have this position...

Human Chess

Greetings, chess fans. I have found a few interesting games which are exactly the opposite of games played between computers. They are played, not only by humans, but with humans as the chess pieces.

One notable, annual, repeated chess game is played at the Marostica Chess Festival, which commemorates a famous chess game played between Rinaldo d'Angarano and Vieri da Vallonara for the hand of a maiden in 1454. A nice duel. Not quite as violent as the gun or sword duels that were more common.

I am uncertain as to the source of the following game. I have obtained it from . It claims to be, in the PGN header, from 1454. However, since I cannot verify this, I believe that it is the game from the 2014 Marostica chess festival. Apologies for the uncertainties. It is, however, a cracking...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Failing to Draw

Today, I went looking for some games in which a player, presumably aiming for a draw, plays a very drawish opening and is easily defeated.

Stefano Tatai–Viktor Korchnoi Beer Sheva 1978
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Bd3 c5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Qe2+ {White tries to prevent the development of the black bishop to a more aggressive square.} Be7 7. dxc5 Nf6 8. h3 {Tatai prevents Bg4, but at the cost of a crucial tempo.} O-O 9. O-O Bxc5 {Initiative ‘restrain the Black bishop’ has failed.} 10. c3 {Simple development seems better.} Re8 11. Qc2 Qd6 {Black is now much better thanks to his coordinated pieces.} 12. Nbd2 {Unfortunately allowing…} Qg3 {Bxh3 is threatened.} 13. Bf5 {White stops the bishop capture, but falls prey to a rook on the seventh.} Re2 14. Nd4 Nxd4 {White resigned here. After ...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Hi, first of all I must answer some of the PM’s I’ve been getting.

Hi, Global Knight
Your cousin is absolutely correct, under certain conditions the
Tournament Arbiter may legally carry out a wedding ceremony.

Hi, Quazzi_Mott...

London 1851, No it's not the Immortal Game.

Been reading this.
Title here

Detective Inspector Robert Colbeck is investigating the
first Great Train Robbery that took place in London 1851.

Yes 1851 the same year as the first ever Chess Tournament. ...

Ketchum vs Jobava

hi everyone. My brother is the author of this blog and he has asked me to write some words about pokemon. first,pokemon is not just some stupid little kids game .I’ve met someone in COLLEGE that plays this “stupid game” and he loves it .Anyways, pokemon is a card game , video game and. kids all around the world play it and they like it too. In third grade,my friends would take their card s outside to the playground and play out there.I sometimes played with them until it was banned because a bunch of people started losing their cards and my teacher got mad and banned it a lot of my friends were really angry. Well, basically, it’s sort of like…Pokémon is a game of skill, strategy, and intellect. Usually, at the top right, there is an HP, which is health points. Under the picture of the ...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

My Rd2 World Cup Predictions

The World Cup is here! One of my favorite chess events of the year: A giant, 128-player, single-elimination tournament. A chance for weak players to make a smash onto the world stage. Another opportunity for established Candidates to go for the Championship. And I, in this post, have the honor of predicting the next round. Enjoy.

V. Topalov–S. Zhigalko: Veselin Topalov. Zhigalko had a very nice shot against Bukavshin; Can you find it? White to move.
3rnrk1/4qppp/p3p3/1p2P3/6N1/P4RQ1/1PP3PP/4R1K1 w KQkq -
But I don’t think he can get past the iron wall that is Topalov.

L. Shanglei–W. Hao: Wang Hao, although this could be a tough match for him: Lu Shanglei defeated the strong and similarly-seeded Moiseenko. Unfortunately for Lu, I don’t think he can do it again. ...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Luck in Chess and Strange RHP Games

We pause just a moment whilst I win a £5.00 bet...
Title here

...see I told you I still had Short-Kasparov poster on my wall. Pay up.
red pawns

Title here

I know in the past I have tackled this tricky subject before but after recently
overhearing a conversation in the greengrocers I thought we’d go over it again...

Annotation Difference

I was sent this annotated game by moonbus: which I played through, and then annotated myself (below) and I recommend you play through as well.

moonbus–Gengistiger RHP 2013-14
1. e4 e5 2. Ng1f3 Ng8f6 3. Nf3xe5 d6 {Black uses this mechanism to regain the pawn. It is inadvisable to take right away because of 4. Qe2, which is difficult for Black to deal with satisfactorily.} 4. Ne5f3 Nf6xe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bf1d3 {The best square for the bishop, pressuring the knight and possibly targeting h7.} Bf8e7 {Paving the way for Black to castle. 6. Bd6 is also OK.} 7. O-O Nb8c6 8. c4 {Hoping to dislodge the knave on e4.} Nc6b4 9. cxd5 Nb4xd3 10. Qd1xd3 Qd8xd5 11. Rf1e1 {White has sacrificed the minor exchange for mild pr...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Days Before Databases + Rip off Chess Books

Look what I've got....
Title here are now drooling all down the front of your Star Wars tee-shirts.

The idea was brilliant. Print volumes of every game ever played right up until the
present day.........Then someone invented Databases and only Vol I was published. ...

Exchange Sacrifices

A few days ago, I embarked upon a chess trail of links and games. It began two days ago when I saw greenpawn34’s post in the Chess Forum remarking on the number of decisive games in the Sinquefield cup: 165280. I saw the Giri–Grischuk game and the So- MVL game and was enthralled. I then, attempting to find similar things, searched online these keywords: “red hot pawn exchange sacrifice” and got this link: old rhp thread , and this one: online chess thread, each with an interesting game. The first one connected to a variation from a book, which I then pulled from the shelf. And that’s my rambling intro for today. Onto the games.

Anish Giri–Alexander Grischuk Sinquefield Cup 2015
1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bd2 Be7 {Black claims the bishop is misplaced on d2, while whi...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

The Gambit. + Karpov - Kasparov 1985

I went to see this at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Title here

It's a play based on Karpov meeting Kasparov 25 years after game 24 in
their second World Championship match in 1985. (you can do the maths)

This first dilemma was how do I pay to get in?
Title here

You see the girl selling the tickets was very pretty and I can either pa...

Manifold Topics

Several things to attend to today: The Wei Yi game everyone is fussing about, a bit on The Thinking Machine 4, and a game by ptobler.

Here is a picture of Wei Yi: (credit: The Telegraph:

Wei Yi

Wei Yi - Lazaro Bruzon Batista, 6th Hainan Danzhou 2015
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 a6 {To prevent knight hops to b5, creating a safe haven for the queen on c7.} 4. Be2 Nc6 5. d4 cxd4 {Black refuses to completely yield the center.} 6. Nxd4 Qc7 7. O-O Nf6 8. Be3 {This protects the a7-g1 diagonal before 9. f4, and protects the d4 knight nicely.} Be7 9. f4 {Gearing up for a kingside a...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Red Hot Pawn Rooks


I introduced this character last blog. Let us look at him in detail.

Now we see RookMan in action v BishopGirl.

(I do hope you lot appreciate the effort that goes into creating this blog.
I'm now at the drawing and colouring in cartoons stage which is a clear...

The RHP Games Explorer

There is a new game explorer! Hooray!

With it, we are able to see that player e4e5nf3 chose his username brilliantly. When he plays 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 as White, he has a winning percentage of 100% over ten games. As Black, he has also never lost in this line. (It has, however, never been played against him.)

His game against littletwink was a good example of piece coordination.

e4e5nf3-littletwink RHP 2008
1. e4 e5 2. Ng1f3 c5 {A weakening move that undermines Black’s control of d5. It also blunders a pawn.} 3. Nf3xe5 f6 {A serious mistake now by Black. The e8-h5 diagonal is now ripe for the picking.} 4. Ne5f3 {White should have attacked further with 4. Qh5+. This wins White loads of material after 4…g6 5. Nxg6 hxg6 6. Qxh8.} Ng8h6 {Black gets out a knight.} 5. d4 {Simple, straig...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Rook Man the Super Hero + Bullet Chess

I know what you are all thinking. What is that crazy swine greenpawn up to now.

Is this cover the prelude to a creepy beast being released on the chess board.

It could be. Good idea. I do have a game where a Black Knight goes on the prowl...

Trawling the Internet

I, casting my net over the waves of the World Wide Web today, found two awesome things. One is a game online, played by GM Max Dlugy while he commentates live. The only unusual part? Dlugy loses!

Here is the video:


The game:...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

The Games Explorer + The Eccentric Bishop

The Eccentric Bishop.

Hi, and I’ll kick off with one of those cartoons you wish you had thought up yourself.
Alien Queen

More of the artist Richard Sargent‘s work here but only this one is chess related.

Richard Sargen...

Canadian Chess

I was in Montreal and Edmonton each to watch the semifinal games of the Women’s World Cup. (My condolences, Laura Bassett.) I have a chess story from each. In Montreal, I visited an interesting cafe named Café Pi.

Café Pi Outside

Café Pi Outside

(Both pictures from ...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

GM Walter Browne

RIP Walter Browne.

Here are two games of his.

Walter Browne–Kerry Lawless San Francisco 1969 ...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Dundee + Cool Chess + Anecdotes

I went to Dundee to see the good ship, ‘Discovery’.

Nelson lost a leg on this ship when he won the battle of Waterloo.

A few days after the battle the ship was I think sold to Captain Scott.
Captain Scott

He was a famous engineer……(he built the Flying Scotsman...

Fischer Spassky Game 6 (The RHP Way)

The cover of the June 1972 ‘Chess Life & Review’ published a few
months before the Fischer - Spassky match. Brezhnev and Kosygin
are asking Spassky, who has a pile of books for defences v 1.e4 what
he will do if Bobby does not play 1.e4. A prophetic magazine cover. ...

The CANdidates Tournament

As Caruana and Nakamura have freshly qualified for the Candidates tournament along with last year’s challenger, Anand, let’s take a look at a brilliant game each.


Tibor Fogarasi–Fabiano Caruana Budapest 2007
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 Qc7 {Black, having neglected development to take away squares from the White knights, can safely put the queen here.} 6. Bd3 {White puts the bishop on an active diagonal and overprotects e4.} Nf6
7. O-O Bc5 8. Nb3 {The knight retreats to gain a tempo on the bishop and assist a possible f5-push.} Ba7 {The bishop moves to avoid capture.} 9. Kh1 {To get off the a7-g1 diagonal, and so prepare f2-f4.} Nc6 10. Bg5 h5 {Black begins the attack.} 11. Bxf6 gxf6
12. f4 {...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Oddities and Development

First of all, I apologize for not putting up a post in a long time. A month. I’ve been really busy, and I’ll post more often now.

We go to a few of the stranger positions I have recently had. (sorry if this seems a tad egotistical)

golddog2-HikaruShindo RHP 2015
2k5/p4p2/2p2p2/2p3p1/5p2/1K5P/3r2P1/8 w - - 0 34

Here golddog2 sportingly resigned. However, I was hoping for a chance to round up the h- and g-pawns. Black would then have seven (!) passed pawns, along with a strikingly bad pawn structure...
Posted to Hikaru Junction

Don't Think Ahead in Chess.

"When you don't know what to play, wait for an idea to come into your opponent's
mind. You may be sure that idea will be wrong." Siegbert Tarrasch 1862 - 1934.

(That is not Tarrasch………..Russ)

I know but all the pictures of Tarrasch are copyright. and I cannot...


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