Chess from Morphy to Botwinnik by Imre Konig

This is one of my favourite books and though rather dated (the last game cited is from 1948) it's also extremely instructive.

In 100 annotated games, Konig discusses the opening theory of four openings: the Ruy Lopez, Queen's Gambit, English Opening and King's Gambit.

It takes an evolutionary approach to chess theory, and instead of jumping in to contemporary theory, tells the story of how that theory came about. So we trace the English Opening from Staunton's new(!) approach in 1843 to Golombek's ideas in 1939.

Space and potential (mud, mud, glorious mud)

How do you play against the Hippo? It's all about Space and Potential. At risk of sounding like an estate agent, I propose to describe my limited understanding of these issues...


All else being equal, it's an advantage to have more space. More space means you can get about the board more easily, organise an attack more easily, and sometimes all your opponent can do is sit tight while you work out how to win:

[Event "Top 10 endgames: "]
[Site "Arnstadt"]
[Date "1926.??.??"]

Dr.Dave's Adventures at East Devon, 2014

I still don't understand why anyone plays the Exchange, except that I keep getting worse positions against it! Giles has been working on his chess and is now a serious danger to anyone... I was lucky to find the cheapo on move 32.
[Event "E. Devon Open"]
[Site "Exeter"]
[Date "2014.02.28"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Body, Giles"]
[Black "Regis, David"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C01"]
[PlyCount "71"]

Dr.Dave's Adventures at East Devon 2016

Friday night:

My entry to our local congress is sometimes deranged by family visits, but an expectedly free weekend allowed another excursion in Exeter's St.George's Hall, now renamed the Corn Exchange.

[It's about as big a hall as a corn exchange would be, but Exeter is a wool town, not a grain one, and this unhistoric renaming of a post-war building rather makes me wince. Not as much as the chess, though...]

I have played less this season, quite deliberately; I've been finding evening chess very hard, and in October even lost to a club member graded

Dr.Dave's Further Adventures at East Devon

East Devon Congress, Open Section, 2007

Four games and no wins is so-so, but the blunder count was reassuringly low, and I had a good attempt at winning a couple of games, including the one against Helbig, who was the strongest player I faced. So, progress of sorts.

{Wretchedly got a bye in the first round. }

Click on [...] to see games list.

[Event "East Devon"]
[Site "Exeter"]
[Date "2007.02.24"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Regis, D."]
[Black "Cordner, D."]

How to mate with Bishop and Knight

Danny Sparkes and Norbert Friedrich.

Danny Sparkes recently took us through the technique here, and had some fun at the expense of a range of computers and computer programmes who seem generally clueless about t. I don't have his notes but I do have tucked away some similar notes by Norbert Friedrich, who also has a mild dig at computer technique, and whose notes I have expanded on a little below. (If you have ChessBase 6.0 or above, the database will show some helpful extra detail of the patterns.)

Why bother?


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