Playing for a win

Jonathan had a frustrating game recently, where his hopes of an interesting game with chances to win came to nothing. Have a play through this one and have see what you think.

Murray-Waley, 2011

With hindsight, the various exchanges and the symmetrical pawn formation with likely further exchanges of Rooks were strong drawing factors. So we can suggest:

Mysterious moves

[Just testing pop-up games using PGN4Web]

"We perceive after a careful consideration of the evolution of the chess mind that such evolution has gone on, in general, in a way quite similar to that in which it goes on with the individual chess player, only with the latter more rapidly." -- Richard RETI

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

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 Theory of Steinitz

  1. At the beginning of the game the forces stand in equilibrium.
  2. Correct play on both sides maintains this equilibrium and leads to a drawn game.
  3. Therefore a player can win only as a consequence of an error made by the opponent. (There is no such thing as a winning move.)
  4. As long as the equilibrium is maintained, an attack, however skilful, cannot succeed against correct defence. Such a defence will eventually necessitate the withdrawal and regrouping of the attacking pieces and te attacker will then inevitably suffer disadvantage.

Strategy and Tactics

Two or three things prompted this session:
  • There was a long-running argument on the UseNet rec.games.chess newsgroups earlier this year, basically around the idea that "chess is tactics, and club players should study nothing but tactics" (or 90% tactics).
  • More recently I got a video by Nigel Davies called Dirty Tricks which offered a complete repertoire for a club player. In every line, there was at least one huge smelly pit for the opponent to fall into, or some other hope of

The Ideas behind the English Opening

I don't like doing so many sessions on Openings, because we all play different ones, but while Rex was asking me about the English it occurred to me that I have played more English Opening games than any other over the last 15-20 years, but I have never tried to teach anybody about it. So I sat down and tried to put together this session.

  I immediately realised why it wasn't such a natural thing to do, because the damn thing is so diffuse and complex. [I wouldn't dream of doing a session which I had narrowed down to "1.d4", even less so if there were vast transpositional

Dr.Dave's Adventures with the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit

Exeter Chess Club: My adventures with the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit


If you haven't met this spendid opening before, do check out Tom Purser's BDG World magazine for games, variations, stories and a chance to meet the characters of the BDG community.

  The opening is named for Blackmar, who described the gambit 1. d4 d5 2. e4 dxe4 3. f3 , and for Diemer, who improved the line by avoiding the defence


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