Chess vs The Super Bowl

I blog today while watching the Super Bowl, an American football competition, in the background. It is, to my eyes, not very interesting. But perhaps that is because I blog about chess. Chess is not an American tradition, wherein insane numbers of people tune in. It doesn’t even have its own TV broadcast, which I do hope will change. But the sheer rawness of the physical combat, in my humble opinion, are easily paralleled with what can be seen on the chessboard: not only the brutality, but the inventiveness can be matched. And anyone can play!

The internet makes chess accessible to all who have connections, as evidenced by the popularity of chess sites such as this one: Red Hot Pawn.

procyk–DeepThought RHP 2006
1. d4 f5 2. c4 Ng8f6 3. Nb1c3 e6 4. Ng1f3 Bf8e7 5. g3 O-O 6. Bf1g2 ...

Andrew's Story Part Two

The solution to last edition’s puzzle at the bottom.

Thanks very much to Sebastian Yap for identifying the problem with the PGNs I was trying to post. They work now.

Before we dive in, I’d like to say: I am not made a prophet by my predictions last blog. However, I did get 18/28 of the games: the correct win, loss or draw prediction. 3/7, 5/7, 6/7, and 4/7 in Wijk aan Zee rounds 10, 11, 12, 13. (Carlsen won, with a +5 score, a full point clear of the field. Simply incredible.)

Andrew Ortwin’s story Part Two: ...

Wijk Aan Zee and a Blunder Quiz

Some interesting things in this blog: a blunder quiz, and my part-way review of the Wijk Aan Zee tournament. (It’s called the Tata Steel now, I think, but that’s a rather boring name, so I’ll call it Wijk Aan Zee, which I am more used to.

Blunder Quiz:
Try to find the move that the grandmaster (or, in one case, computer) played to lose material or blunder checkmate. This should be fairly easy: a nice departure from the usual “mate in x” quizzes. Try it out.

To start with, a blunder from the 2016 Wijk Aan Zee: White to move.
GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov– GM Pavel Eljanov Tata Steel 2016
2r3k1/6p1/4p3/4PpQ1/p1P1qP2/7P/P5PK/1R6 w - - 6 3...

A Bit of Chess Fiction

This is an experimental blog. It is a work of fiction! I’m combining narrative and chess (mostly towards the end, in this blog.) I plan to put out this kind of blog every other week, with normal blogs interspersed, for three weeks. I’ll tell the same story, continuing, in a sort of soap-opera format (normally the integration of chess will be less stilted.) Thanks for reading. If you enjoy this, let me know, and I might continue this story longer. Again, this is not a departure from regular programming. That’s coming next week.

“All right. Now I’m turning on the tape,” said Officer Jannick. Reaching over, he clicked on the tape recorder, which beeped and emitted a small red light from a tiny contained lightbulb. “Time: 8:02 P. M. on March 28, 2014. Officers Gaël Jannick and Josèp Cesc...

Checkmate in Ten Moves

One thing that I love about chess is that things can go wrong so quickly. Very quickly. In some cases, a player can lose in as soon as four moves. With cooperation from both sides, even two is possible. But under around twenty is usually considered unusually quickly. Here is an opening trappy variation in which, if Black goes wrong, he can lose in as soon as ten moves. And not even by material loss. By checkmate! In this blog, I examine several games with this motif, the correct responses, and what Red Hot Pawn has done when facing this deceptively tricky, sometimes called drawish, opening.

Movses Movsisyan–Thomas Patton Tulsa Open 2004
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 {This is a little bit of a slack move. Usually, in e4-e5 openings, fianchettoing takes too much time to be worth it...

Year-End/Beginning Special

Here, as a blog for the beginning of 2016, is a selection of fifteen games from 2001-2015. Enjoy.

2001: The eighteenth game ever played! Unfortunately, the system glitches make it nigh-on unviewable.
18(Paul–mwmiller RHP 2001)

2002: A spectacular series of blunders by Black.
mwmiller–RedHotRedSox RHP 2002
1. e4 d6 2. Bf1c4 e6 3. d4 d5 4. Bc4d3 Qd8d6 {? There is no reason to bring the queen out so early, except to be attacked.} 5. e5 {5. Nc3 is a bit better, with ideas of Ne4 or Nb5.} Qd6b4 6. c3 {Simple, strengthening, and kicking back the queen.} Qb4b6 {The game now almost looks like a strange French where White has a few extra moves in.} 7. Ng1f3 g5 {?? I can find no explanation for this move. It just blunders a pawn.} 8. Bc1xg5 {8. Nxg5 is a slightly more accurate way to ta...

A Blog About Controversial Chess Rules

A brief explanation is due for the following post. Due to some recent incidents in the London Chess Classic in which the rules (though clear, and with no execution problems) were criticized by some players, I thought I’d write a blog about what happened. I, thereafter, remembered that I had given a short presentation about related topics last spring, and since I didn’t have the video, I’d attach the outline I made. I’ll see you at the bottom of the outline with some, perhaps more relevant, recent news.

An explanation of FIDE
There are two levels in the organization of chess. The national chess organization for the US, the USCF, and a broader, worldwide organization, called FIDE. The USCF has many problems, but FIDE sadly, has more.
Why they are corrupt
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Books and the British Knockout

I have a dilemma. You see (and you surely do, because a picture is below) that I have taken out two books from the library.

Library Books

I forgot about reading them, which I was planning to do. I have recently learned, however, that they are overdue. The choice is: do I give them back immediately and apologize, or do I keep them long enough to read? The second is a viable option, as they have not threatened me with any fines as of yet. Additionally, they are checked out very rarely. I will likely not keep the books from anyone who wants them by delaying: How to Open a Chess Game and Psychology in Chess were checked out last in 2010 and 2011 (or at least this is the most accurate I can get by studying the checkout slips in ...

A Bad Chess Tournament

First off, I apologize, because this blog is about me. I try to keep it about things that my small readership will find instructive and useful. Another reason is that it may help all of you play against me. Here is my reason for breaking my own rules: I played the worst chess I have in a long time, and I feel like I need the catharsis that having this (even sparsely read) soapbox will give me. My second reason is that perhaps, if not using these games to show you how I play good chess, I can ask you to not play like me.

I played four games, starting on 11/20/15, taking a bye in a three-day, five-round tournament. The time control was 90 minutes + a 30 second increment for the first 40 moves, with 60 minutes left to finish the game. This was by far the longest tournament I’d ever pla...

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). ...
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