DrDave's blog

An exercise in punctuation

Charlie sent me this game for comment. I thought it would be interesting for us both to annotate. If you would like to join in, please assign each move of Black a symbol:
! = almost certainly the best move
!? = a good move among alternatives
?! = probably not the best move
? = clearly wrong

[Event "Ex Club Chship"]
[Site "Exeter"]
[Date "2011.04.19"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Bolt, graham"]
[Black "keen, charles"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]
[PlyCount "115"]

1. g3 d5 2. Bg2 Nf6 3. d3 e5 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nf3 h6 6. Bxf6 Bxf6 7. c3 O-O 8. O-O

John Brown's body of work

I was at the WECU Easter Congress in Exmouth today for the final round (news at http://chessdevon.co.uk/), and heard from Bill Frost that Brian Gosling has written a book about the problems of Dorset composer John Brown. And I thought if I hadn't heard about it, then perhaps you haven't too.

The Secret Life of Rafa Benitez

Plagiarists' Corner

I've just noticed that one of my favourite comedians, Stewart Lee, has a little bit of his website devoted to rip-offs of his work:

On a completely different topic, you might be interested to compare the design of a popular locally produced scorebook:
...to that of a recently issued product from the other side of the country.

The simplest mutual full-point Zugzwangs

Tim came to the club buzzing with these a few weeks ago.

[Skip intro]

A Zugzwang (German: forced move) is a chess position where, if it's your turn to move, you lose, and if your opponent has the move, you might be OK.

Here's an example from one of my own games: anything White does loses. We say, White is in Zugzwang.


Black can doodle happily with pawn moves, but any move of a white Pawn or piece loses at least a Pawn. White in fact threw himself on the sword with

Chess: the musical

...coming to the Princess Theatre, Torquay

"Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood directs an amazing cast in an extraordinary new staging of the classic musical CHESS."

…possibly the ultimate staging of Chess.” The Chronicle

Ancient chessplayers who remember the KK struggles of the late 1970s and early 1980s will find some echoes here.

Lyricist Tim Rice is apparently a chess player, although he seems to have let his grading lapse.

Read more:


Least convincing e-mail subject line ever

Subject: Eliminate you mistakes with Colin Crouch
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2011 19:38:33 +0000
From: ...@everymanchess.com
To: chessnut...


"Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby!", said GBS, but typically there's not a lot of overlap between my day job in health and education and my pastime of chess.

Then two come along at once :)

My colleague David McGeorge called to my attention to some research about going second, which looked at penalty shoot-outs and the game of chess.

Two from the top and the rest small, please Carol

Penny dropped: it's the Countdown numbers game!

There's a special captain's treat that I save for myself, which is picking the teams for the Peter Rooke Cup. I'm after the best team of 8 players for the matches from the available pool, who together are inside the grading limit of 1120 (formerly 1000).

After some fiddling with a spreadsheet, I managed to hit exactly the limit of 1120 this year, one chap dropped out, then the closest I could get was 1119, which is still pretty good.

Then today our opponents cancelled because of Weather, so I have to start again...

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Winning Chess for Humans

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Chess Quotes

"Chess, like the tomb, levels all grades of conventional rank and distinction and reserves its high places for the best players."