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  1. 12 Dec '17 22:27
    Hi Big Dog.

    Yeah sorry about, not as comprehensive as I intended it to be.

    Took a few out, Thought there were too many

    Rushed it because I am now totally timed out till the New Year.
  2. 12 Dec '17 14:51 / 1 edit
    The explanation of the 2017 Chess Tour is here.

    Magnus scored the most points over the 4 events he played in. He picked up $245,417.


    Carlsen (white) in game v Nepomniachtchi proving blunders do come in pairs.
  3. 11 Dec '17 21:58
    Going to be very over next 3 weeks. But hope to have my next one 1st week of the New Year.
  4. 11 Dec '17 12:24 / 1 edit

    The traditional Christmas Quiz using 5 RHP games.

    A Christmas Study

    You have heard of the Gothenburg Triangle, then it is time you met the RHP player,
    juilio, who has a triangle of three games where he has played the same combination

    The trouble is in all three cases the juilio combination was unsound.

    A couple of Korchnoi games showing us his good and bad side.

    Finally A Christmas Elf with some chess advice.

    Blog Post 374
  5. 06 Dec '17 14:18
    Hi Lyudmil,

    I don't mind people disagreeing with me, most do, and I agree the computer is a useful tool.

    But I also point to the 1000's of very good players who emerged before 1995
    when computers 'got good'.

    Most of us are home and casual players. I do not think anyone on RHP
    earns their living by playing chess so most of us would be very happy
    being just half as good as some of the great players from the pre computer era.

    Apart from a few gifted individuals these old masters got there with the book,
    board and study method. So to improve a computer is not really needed.
    That method has a proven track record. It works if you are willing to put the time in.

    In my opinion the computer is overused and over evaluated at the lower level.
    Weaker players use them to do their thinking and exploring for them and the
    hype around these things makes it seem it is a must have tool. It's not.

    At the top level yes. But these guys really know what they are doing
    and use it correctly as a tool and not as a crutch.

    Also I have faith that one day with some radical new programming
    they will design a computer that knows what a difficult position is
    for a human to solve and it will be able to set 20-30 moves deep traps
    that should the player step into it on move one then there is no escape.

    At the moment they can see them but cannot play them because perhaps
    on move 15 the eval drops by 0.05. When that day comes I expect some
    wonderful new opening variations and middle game sac-sac attacks to appear
    as it considers not playing the best or safest move but looks for a human type error.

    This is from a game on here (Black to play)

    All computers I have tested choose in order 1...Kxb7 then 1...Kb8 or 1...Kc7.

    The human played 1...Kc7 setting a 'you can win this trap' which the
    White human player fell for playing 2.Ka6 expecting and only seeing
    2...d3 3. Ka7 White promotes first and wins.

    Instead Black played 2....Kb8 and White resigned.

    What is needed is a program that will always choose in such positions
    1...Kc7 looking for an error (which is human trait) rather than expecting best play.
  6. 05 Dec '17 12:17
    Hi Lyudmil,

    'Pawn Power' is like 'My System' and Marmite. You love them or hate them.

    All for original thought and ideas. Kmoch outlandish terms are known to work as
    a memory aid and the term 'Passer' has been firmly established in chess lore.
    (Thankfully a lot of the others have failed to grip the public.)

    Not sure if learning how to beat to beat or play against a computer is beneficial
    to OTB play v human. But if the reader gets just one thing from your book that he
    can point back to later years and say: "Yes that bit won me games' then you have succeeded.

    This diagram shows the basic flaw in modern computers. (White to play)

    It will see 1.Kh2 is mated in 3 moves and 1.Kh4 is mated in 8 moves.
    It will always play 1.Kh4 and yet 1.Kh2 sets the stalemate trap 1....f1=Q =.
    lots of won game have been chucked due to a thoughtless automatic promotion.
    The computer will of course see it but can never play such a move as 1.Kh2.

    Again another example from a human v human game. (White to play)

    A computer will always play 1.Kc3, 1.Kb3 or 1.Ka3.
    The human played 1.Ka1 Kc1 stalemate.

    They simply cannot roll the dice to hope for a blunder.
    Yet in human v human chess this can and does work.

    Take it down a level and instead of looking for mates look for evaluations.

    It's the computers move, it has two choices. one moves evaluates at 0.01
    to opponent the next choice evaluates it at 0.09. The computer no matter
    the position will always take the 0.01 option even if playing the 0.09
    moves sets the human incalculable problems OTB problems to solve.
    They have no idea what an incalculable position for a human is.

    Chess history is littered with examples of humans knowingly not playing
    the best move because of the OTB problems (and traps) it sets their opponent,
    especially in lost or poor positions. This is what humans do.
  7. 05 Dec '17 01:43
    I agree Paul, these super-duper tournaments are dull.

    You need two top 10, and the rest from the 2600 club.
    Then the good guys have to prove it else drop grading points.

    Opens like the Isle of Man are also good. you get Tarjan v Kramnik upsets.
  8. 04 Dec '17 22:30
    Good Luck with the book. Sadly it does not have the word 'Opening'
    in the title so it will get ignored by the majority of punters.


    Hi Paul,

    I read the review as well and the first thought I had was Hans Kmoch's 'Pawn Power'.
    Smerden is 33, the book was published in 1959 but it is pretty famous. I am surprised
    he never spotted the link or maybe he has never heard of it.

    Just some of Kmoch's terms.

    Buffer duo Two opposing duos facing each other with one rank in between.
    Candidate Unopposed or half-free pawn.

    Conditional backwardness A pawn that is backward in only certain respects.

    Faker A half-free pawn with inadequate helpers.

    Frontspan Vertical distance between a pawn and the forward edge of the board.

    Mute chain lever A chain lever in which the bases of the opposing pawn chains are not attacked, e.g., a5, b4, c3 vs. a7, b6, c5. Doesnt produce passers.

    Ram Two deadlocked, directly opposing pawns.

    Telestops Squares beyond the stop square in the frontspan of a pawn.

    Tight duo A duo in contact with an opposing pawn(s), whose axis forms a ram.

    The list goes on and on....and on....

    Don't know why people are so interested in being able to beat a computer.
    Why bother? The game is human v human and exploiting human blunders.
    A machine cannot and does expect a blunder. It has no hope.
    The thing does not even know it is playing a game.

    They would lose games from positions 1300 players have won because
    they cannot set a basic two move trap.
  9. 29 Nov '17 23:57
    Arayn - peewit RHP 2017
    I'll probably feature this in a future blog.

    See if you can guess how Black wraps this up.

    [Event "Challenge"]
    [Site ""]
    [Date "2017.02.04"]
    [Round "?"]
    [White "Arayn"]
    [Black "peewit"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [WhiteElo "1229"]
    [BlackElo "1668"]
    [EndDate "2017.02.28"]
    [WhiteRating "1229"]
    [BlackRating "1668"]
    [GameId "12074667"]

    1. e4 e5 2. h4 Bc5 3. a4 d6 4. c3 Qf6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 a6 7. d4 Bxf3 8. Bxf3 exd4 9. b4 Ba7 10. c4 Nc6 11. Bd2 Ne5 12. Bg5 Qe6 13. Na3 Nxc4 14. a5 h6 15. Bc1 Ne7 16. g4 Nc6 17. Nxc4 Qxc4 18. g5 Nxb4 19. Qa4+ c6 20. Be2 d3 21. Bxd3 Nxd3+ 22. Kd2 Nb4 23. Rh3 Qd4+ 24. Ke2 Qxf2+ 25. Kd1 Qf1+ 26. Kd2 Qxh3 27. Qxb4 hxg5 28. Qxb7 Qe3+ 29. Kd1 Qd4+ 30. Ke2 Qxe4+ 31. Kd1 O-O 32. Ra3 Qh1+ 33. Kc2 Qxh4 34. Qxa6 Bc5 35. Rc3 Rxa6 36. Bd2 Rxa5 37. Rb3 Ra2+ 38. Rb2 Qc4+ 39. Kb1 Ra4 40. Bxg5 Qd3+ 41. Kc1 Rc4+ 42. Rc2 Rxc2+ 43. Kb1 Rg2+ 44. Kc1 Rxg5 45. Kb2 f5 46. Ka2 f4 47. Kb2 f3 48. Ka2 f2 49. Kb2 f1=B 50. Ka2 Kf7 51. Kb2 Rh5 52. Ka2 g5 53. Kb2 g4 54. Ka2 g3 55. Kb2 g2 56. Ka2 g1=N 57. Kb2 Qd2+ 58. Kb3 Rb8+ 59. Ka4 Qc1 60. Ka5 Bh3 61. Ka4 d5 62. Ka5 Bc8 63. Ka4 Bf8 64. Ka5 Ke8 65. Ka4 c5 66. Ka5 d4 67. Ka4 d3 68. Ka5 d2 69. Ka4 d1=N 70. Ka5 c4+ 71. Ka4 Rh8 72. Ka5 Ne3 73. Ka4 Ng4 74. Ka5 Nf3 75. Ka4 Nf6 76. Ka5 Ng8 77. Ka4 Ra8+ 78. Kb5 Qg5+ 79. Kb6 Qd5 80. Kc7 Ne5 81. Kb6 Nc6 82. Kc7 c3 83. Kb6 c2 84. Kc7 c1=N 85. Kb6 Nd3 86. Kc7 Nf4 87. Kb6 Qa5+ 88. Kxc6 Qd5+ 89. Kc7 Ne6+ 90. Kb6 Nd4 91. Kc7 Nc6 92. Kb6 Nb8 93. Kc7 Qd8 {Checkmate} [/pgn]
  10. 28 Nov '17 15:47
    You cannot copyright chess games.
    The notes are copyright, but not the moves.
    There is a site that has just the games used in books but no notes.

    Go here:

    search by author, Chernev's 1,000 games is about 11th or 12th down.
    click on PGN and save.

    The saved file will be zipped. unzip and it will ask you for a password.


    That works (just tried it) it works on all the books you dpwnload in PGN.
  11. 27 Nov '17 17:33
    As I have said before Playing on here is different from one to one OTB.

    My 'see what happens approach' is IMO the best approach because we
    are all playing many games at once at different times of the day and,
    in my case and I'm sure with others, we are making moves within 10
    seconds of logging on and jumping from one game to another as Black and White.

    Also in some cases we should not be playing.

    As a fellow RHP member can vouch prior to posting my last blog
    I was in bed with flu/pneumonia making moves on a tablet.
    I was hanging pieces and ruining my positions.

    Luckily I appear to have got away with most of the other blunders
    because of my opponents game load.

    Here as Black I played 12....c6 missing Qxd4.

    I have since then won back the piece and am looking good.

    If any of these very dodgy positions had been one to one OTB
    I would have lost the lot instead of just the three or four from 20.
  12. 27 Nov '17 00:28
    'The Plan' is overrated.

    Very few games follow a plan set out from the opening.Those that
    do are wonderful (and easy to note up) and make a false impression.

    In the 1920's and 30's the positional gems of Capablanca and Tarrasch
    were looked at more closely and what they call dynamic play was introduced.
    Players before then were mesmerised by 'the plan' and lay down and just let it happen.

    Usually, unless a severe opening error has been made a game is a set of small
    middle game skirmishes as each side tries to:

    (A )improve their position or
    (B) inflict some kind of weakness on their opponent.

    From the improved position new ideas may emerge that enable (B)
    to be carried out. and once the weakness has been established you
    work out a plan to prove it is a weakness.

    Meanwhile a modern player may gladly accept such a weakness because
    it gives him freedom in another part of the board. Your weakness v my weakness.
    "You gotta give squares to get squares." - Fischer.

    At this level it is the tactical shot that is the decider, that and the fact players
    if they do not have a plan think they must have a plan so come up with some
    cockeyed idea that usually involves a pawn move and you have created a (B)
    for your opponent without any dynamic comeback.

    My plan has always been very simple.
    Point things at the King and see what happens.

    Once or twice I've has a position where I come up with a different plan.
    The most recent was v vandervelde (I'm White)

    Here instead of offering a draw I came up with the idea of dancing my Knight
    about the board till I got it too e3, my King to e4 and I'll play f5
    "...and see what happens."

    Same game 6 moves later.

    I played f5. things got a bit tricky, I do not think vandervelde defended correctly,
    I was just playing on to see what happens and I won.

    Full game. As you can see I played my point things at the King method
    and see what happens. Usually against vandervelde I lose but here
    the late middle game plan only appeared because
    I had run out of ideas and could not see a way for him to break though.

  13. 26 Nov '17 12:19
    Here....White to play.

    33.Rc5 appears to win a piece.
  14. 21 Nov '17 13:49

    An Australian beer that does your chess no good.

    A small piece about the Late Bill Lombardy.

    A winning tactic appeared in a recent game of mine that I had first seen
    in a Chernev book of short games. I admit I do no know if I would have
    stumbled upon the idea if I not seen it elsewhere . I happen to think not.

    An unheard melody from 1881 finally played out on RHP in 2007.

    Blog Post 373

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