The Seven Deadly Chess Books

Jonathan Rowson is a young Scottish GM who has written two of the best and most important books of recent years: The Seven Deadly Chess Sins and Chess for Zebras.  They are important because they are some of the best discussions about how chess is actually played that I have ever read; often Rowson seems to be writing for the first time about things that have rarely been mentioned, let alone explored in any detail.  The books are also confusing, pretentious and irritating by turns. 

'I'm enjoying it - but I don't like it.' Geoff Chandler, October 2005

Let's take them one at a time.

The Seven Deadly Chess Sins is an exploration of chess psychology.  There is a psychology of chess, the academic study of what chessplayers do.  In fact, chess players have been called the 'fruit flies of psychology' because they are such a favourite research subject.  Rowson isn't very interested in all that stuff.   He quotes with approval:

"It seems to us that the theories associated with board reconstruction experiments represent an idealised picture of master chess which may be misleading. ... So often, as any player will agree, it is hopes and fears which seem to influence the choice of a move." – Hartston and Wason

It’s the emotional swamp which is Rowson's territory, seeing it not just as the source of mistakes but a promising route for seeking improvement. 

His sins are: Thinking, Blinking, Wanting, Materialism, Egoism, Perfectionism and Looseness.  (I'm very amused that Thinking is a sin.)  Perhaps some detail would help:

  • 1. Thinking: Confusion, pattern limitations, lack of faith in intuition.
  • 2. Blinking: Missing key moments, lack of “trend sensitivity” and “moment sensitivity.”
  • 3. Wanting: Attachment to results, carelessness, expectation.
  • 4. Materialism: Misevaluating, lack of dynamism, oversights.
  • 5. Egoism: “Forgetting” the opponent, fear, impracticality.
  • 6. Perfectionism: Time trouble, inappropriate copying.
  • 7. Looseness: “Losing the plot,” drifting.

Warming up?   The first example in the first chapter (Thinking) shows an example from a GM which obviously provides Rowson with some real inspiration but which might make the rest of us despair...

  • Rozentalis E. - Appel R. [B02]

Wow. Is chess really that hard? Do I really have to be able to come up with ideas like that?  Well, no, but if you want to get better, you do need to stop playing the way you do right now.  Shaking up your ideas is part of Rowson's plan.

  •  1. Thinking:
    • Hodgson J. - Tiviakov S. [A25]
  • 2. Blinking:
    • Emms J. - Webster A. [B06]
  • 3. Wanting:
    • Miles A. - Arkell K. [D00]
    Black has just offered a draw.
  •  4. Materialism:
    • Capablanca J. - Lasker E. [C80]
    5. Egoism:
    • Thomas - Redpath [C07]
    6. Perfectionism:
    • Morozevich A. - Rowson J. [B80]
    7. Looseness: 
  • Urien - Rowson [B84]

These are quite sophisticated mistakes, but I think the same things can be seen at club level as well.  (I just made a mental note to myself to find club-level examples of all of these things).

The irritating bit of Rowson's book is that it is hard going.  The examples are hard.  He gets distracted when discussing them.  Not all the examples are clear.  And then he includes a huge variety of anecdotes, quotations and ideas from outside chess, some of which are hard to see the value of, and some of which seem included just to let us know how widely-read is the author. 

"When considering whether to use these ideas in the book, I was concerned that it might seem too abstract or contrived for most readers and hard to apply to their real games… So even if I’m not making any sense, or if you only partly understand what I’m saying, the main thing is to have the courage to look at chess with new eyes."

I like the aim.  However, he's not really achieving it with passages like this:

“There are some striking parallels with quantum theory in the way of viewing chess outlined above, particularly Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle ... and Bohr’s Principle of Complementarity.” (p.84).

Oh, yeah?  One exasperated reviewer concluded:

"It is at best a flawed if earnest effort. At worst it is a pretentious, barely mitigated disaster ... The Seven Deadly Chess Sins is strong evidence that to the seven we should add two more: writing this book, and buying it." http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review274.pdf

Harsh... I understand this love of quotation and pursuit of analogy from Rowson's point of view; writing something like this, or a PhD, is rather like being in love, everything you read or think about reminds you of what you are doing, and you want to include everything.  I did end up wishing that he had a more brutal editor, but it’s a record of his journey and his thinking, and after a while you enjoy the ride with him.

He has a final rather defensive note, entitled The Author's Redemption, where he says:

"I've tried to write about chess as I've come to understand it: a complex a rewarding game that lies, tantalisingly, beyond the full grasp of the human intellect. ... There is no virtue in giving easy answers to the questions posed by a difficult game. "

And while I think it is not usually given to the author to decide whether he is redeemed or not, I will concede the point.  10% of the book may get up your nose, but the other 90% is witty, informative, thought-provoking, and more likely to focus you on your bad habits of chess than anything else I know.

Chess for Zebras is much more focussed.  The examples are just as demanding (you remember that I used one of his examples when we looked at planning in the endgame) and Rowson's temptation to throw in a quote by 'my favourite Buddhist writer' is still there, but where in Sins the author seemed happy to show us a deal of thought-provoking material and let us get on with it, in Zebras Rowson is more helpful in guiding us through the thoughts he hoped to provoke.  He is also to be commended for listing our website in the bibliography!

That endgame example is accompanied by a long transcript of exchanges between Rowson and one of his students.  I guess that Sins is the result of Rowson thinking about how he got good at chess and how he is going to get better, and Zebras is the result of Rowson trying to teach others to get better.  It's lower-key in many respects but more punchy.  I threw a couple of quotes at you last time:

"If you want to get better at chess you need to place much less emphasis on 'study' whereby you increase your knowledge of positions, and place more emphasis on 'training,' whereby you try to solve problems, play practice games, or perhaps try to beat a strong computer program from an advantageous position." (25).
"Chess skill emerges from chess playing combined with chess training, where ‘training’ means working things out by yourself.  The main skill a chess-player needs is skill in making decisions, so that’s what you need to do and do repeatedly.  If you want to become a better player, you need better habits, and you cultivate better habits through training.  The best training is the kind that pushes you up against the edges of your comfort zone, where you force yourself to take responsibility for difficult decisions.  It is so much easier to read books that give strategic guidelines, hints and tips, etc., but what you need is ‘know how’ and that means learning by doing."

The contents list is an amusing read in itself:

  • Part 1: Improving Our Capacity to Improve
  • 1. What to Do When You Think There is a Hole in Your Bucket
  • 2. Psycho-logics
  • 3. Storytelling
  • 4. Which Myth are You Playing By?
  • 5. Concentrate! Concentrate? Concentrate.
  • Part 2: Mental Toolkit for the Exponential Jungle
  • 6. Why is Chess so Difficult?
  • 7. Something that Works for Me
  • 8. Doing and Being
  • 9. Why Shouldn’t I be Defensive?
  • 10. Glorious Grinding
  • Part 3: Thinking Colourfully about Black and White
  • 11. Three Types of Theory and What They Mean in Practice
  • 12. White’s Advantage
  • 13. Black’s Advantage
  • 14. Finally….

Oh, and why Chess for Zebras?

‘Thinking like a zebra’ therefore means being more open to experience and less constrained by convention.  It means allowing yourself to think differently."

It's going to be hard to do more than scratch the surface of what you can find in Zebras, but let's give another couple of examples, ones that rang a bell with me.  The first section of the book is about productive training; we already looked at one from the this section in an earlier session (the Estrin endgame).  The second section is about expanding your conceptual toolbox, and the third is about openings from the points of view of White and Black.

Doing and being

  • Miles A. - Reinderman D. [B08]

Zugzwang Lite

  • Hodgson - Arkell [A36]

Click [...] for list of games


[Event "Bundesliga 9394"]
[Site "Germany"]
[Date "1994.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Rozentalis, Eduardas"]
[Black "Appel, Ralf"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B02"]
[WhiteElo "2610"]
[BlackElo "2430"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "1993.11.06"]

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. g3 d6 4. exd6 exd6 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. d4 d5 7. Nf3 Be7 8. O-O
O-O 9. Ne5 Nbd7 10. Nc3 c6 11. f4 Nxe5 12. fxe5 Ne8 13. Qh5 f5 14. Ne2 Nc7 15.
c3 Ne6 16. h4 Rf7 17. Nf4 Nxf4 18. Bxf4 Be6 19. Rf2 Qa5 20. a3 c5 21. Be3 c4
22. Raf1 Raf8 23. Bg5 Qd8 24. Bxe7 Qxe7 25. a4 Qd7 26. Qd1 Rc8 27. a5 Rcf8 28.
Qa1 Qe7 29. Qa3 Qxa3 30. bxa3 Rd8 31. Rb2 Rc7 32. Rb5 Rdd7 33. Kf2 g6 34. Ke3
Kg7 35. Rfb1 Kf7 36. Rc5 Ke7 37. Rbb5 Rxc5 38. dxc5 Kd8 39. a6 Kc8 40. Rb6 Bg8
41. Rf6 Rd8 42. Kd4 bxa6 43. Rd6 1-0

[Event "Groningen PCA"]
[Site "Groningen"]
[Date "1993.??.??"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Hodgson, Julian M"]
[Black "Tiviakov, Sergei"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A25"]
[WhiteElo "2625"]
[BlackElo "2635"]
[PlyCount "144"]
[EventDate "1993.12.??"]

1. c4 (1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. b4 d6 4. Bb2 e5 5. d3 Bg7 6. g3 O-O 7. Bg2 a5 $6
8. b5 Nbd7 9. Nfd2 Nc5 10. Nc3 Re8 11. Nb3 Ne6 12. Na4 h5 $1 13. e3 $1 h4 14.
Nd2 $1 Rb8 $6 (14... Ng5) 15. Nf3 $1 hxg3 16. hxg3 c6 17. Rb1 c5 $2 {
Speelman-Rowson, MSO Masters (London), 1999 ... 1-0}) 1... e5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2
g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Rb1 Nf6 6. b4 O-O {avoiding ...d6} 7. b5 Ne7 8. Qb3 c5 $5 9.
bxc6 dxc6 10. d3 Nf5 11. Bg5 Nd4 12. Qd1 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. Nf3 Bg4 15. Nh4
Rad8 16. f3 Bc8 17. O-O h6 18. Bh1 g5 19. Ng2 Nh7 20. g4 f5 21. gxf5 Rxf5 22.
Ne3 Rf7 23. Ne4 Nf8 24. Ng4 Ng6 25. e3 Ne6 26. c5 h5 27. Ngf2 Bf8 28. Qc2 Nh4
29. Qc4 Rd5 30. Nh3 Qd8 31. Nd6 Bxd6 32. cxd6 Rxd6 33. Nf2 Ng7 34. Bc3 Be6 35.
Qc5 Bxa2 36. Ra1 b6 37. Qa3 Be6 38. Bxe5 Rdd7 39. Ne4 Rxd3 40. Qb2 Ne8 41. f4
gxf4 42. exf4 Bh3 43. Rfe1 Qd7 44. Nf2 Rf3 45. Ra3 Bg4 46. h3 Rxa3 47. Qxa3 Bf5
48. Qg3+ Ng6 49. Ne4 h4 50. Qg5 Qe7 51. Qg2 Kf8 52. Ng5 Qc5+ 53. Kh2 Re7 54.
Qf3 Nd6 55. Bg2 Nc4 56. Qh5 Ncxe5 57. fxe5 Rxe5 58. Qh7 Qe7 59. Qh6+ Qg7 60.
Rxe5 Qxh6 61. Rxf5+ Ke7 62. Rf7+ Kd6 63. Rf6+ Kc5 64. Rxc6+ Kb4 65. Ne4 Qf4+
66. Kh1 Ne5 67. Rf6 Qe3 68. Rf1 Nd3 69. Rb1+ Kc4 70. Nd6+ Kc3 71. Ne4+ Kc2 72.
Rf1 a5 0-1

[Event "Isle of Man op"]
[Site "Isle of Man"]
[Date "1995.??.??"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Miles, Anthony J"]
[Black "Arkell, Keith C"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D00"]
[WhiteElo "2600"]
[BlackElo "2505"]
[PlyCount "170"]
[EventDate "1995.10.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 d5 3. Bxf6 exf6 4. e3 Bd6 5. Bd3 g6 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Nbd2 f5 8.
O-O Nd7 9. c4 Nf6 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nc4 Be7 12. Rc1 c6 13. a3 a5 14. Qd2 Be6
15. Rfd1 Re8 16. Bf1 Nf6 17. Qc2 Bd5 18. Ncd2 Bd6 19. g3 Qe7 20. Bc4 Bxc4 21.
Nxc4 Bc7 22. Nce5 Nd5 23. Re1 Bd6 24. Qc4 Kg7 25. Qf1 h6 26. Qg2 Qe6 27. Nd3
Nf6 28. Nd2 Ne4 29. Nxe4 fxe4 30. Nc5 Qe7 $11 31. Na4 Qe6 32. Rc3 h5 33. h4 Qg4
34. Nc5 Re7 35. Rec1 a4 $5 36. Rc4 b5 37. R4c2 f6 38. Kf1 g5 39. Qh1 Kf7 40.
Ke1 Kg6 $6 (40... Bc7) 41. Kd2 Qf5 42. Qf1 Qd5 43. Qe2 Bc7 44. Rh1 Ba5+ 45. Kc1
g4 $11 {+/=} 46. Kb1 Rea7 47. Ka1 Bc7 48. Rcc1 Rb8 49. Qc2 f5 50. Qb1 Kf6 {(=)}
51. Qa2 {"I'll go with the momentum, thank you."} Rd8 52. Rc2 Ke7 53. Rhc1 Bb6
54. Kb1 Rd6 55. b3 $1 axb3 56. Nxb3 Ra4 $6 57. Nc5 Qxa2+ 58. Kxa2 Ra7 59. Kb2
Ra8 60. Nb3 Kd7 61. Rc3 Ra7 62. R1c2 Ra8 63. Nc1 $1 Rf6 64. Ne2 Bc7 65. Kb1 Ba5
66. Rb3 Bc7 {#} 67. d5 $1 cxd5 68. Rd2 Rb6 69. Nc3 Ke6 70. Rxd5 b4 71. axb4 Be5
72. Rc5 Rba6 $2 (72... Rd8) 73. Kc1 Ra1+ 74. Rb1 R1a3 75. Kc2 Rd8 76. b5 Bxc3
77. Rxc3 Ra2+ 78. Kb3 Rxf2 79. b6 Rg2 $2 (79... Rfd2) 80. b7 Rb8 81. Kc4 Rxg3
82. Rb6+ {#} Kd7 83. Kd5 Rg1 84. Rd6+ Ke7 85. Rc7+ Ke8 1-0

[Event "86th ch-British"]
[Site "Scarborough ENG"]
[Date "1999.08.12"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Emms, J."]
[Black "Webster, A."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B06"]
[WhiteElo "2586"]
[BlackElo "2427"]
[PlyCount "170"]
[EventDate "1999.08.05"]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 c6 4. Be3 d6 5. Qd2 b5 6. Nf3 Nd7 7. Bd3 Qc7 $5 8.
O-O Ngf6 $1 9. a4 $5 b4 10. Ne2 a5 11. c3 Ba6 12. Bxa6 Rxa6 13. Ng3 bxc3 14.
bxc3 O-O 15. Bh6 c5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qg5 e6 $1 18. e5 Ng8 {#} 19. Rfe1 $6 (19.
h4 $1) 19... h6 20. Qf4 (20. Qe3) 20... cxd4 21. cxd4 dxe5 22. dxe5 Rc6 $1 23.
h4 $6 (23. Ne4 $5) (23. Ne2 $5) 23... Rc4 24. Re4 Rc8 25. Rd1 Rc1 26. Ree1 Rxd1
27. Rxd1 Nb6 28. h5 Qc2 29. Re1 Rc4 30. Qe3 Nd5 31. Qa7 Rxa4 32. hxg6 Qxg6 33.
Rc1 h5 34. Qd7 Rb4 35. Qd8 Nge7 36. Qxa5 h4 37. Nf1 Rg4 38. Ne1 Qg5 39. Qd2
Qxe5 40. Nf3 Qf6 41. N1h2 Rf4 42. Qe2 Nc3 43. Qd3 Ncd5 44. g3 hxg3 45. fxg3 Ra4
46. Rf1 Nf5 47. Nh4 Rxh4 48. gxh4 Nde3 49. Qxe3 Nxe3 50. Rxf6 Kxf6 51. Kf2 Nf5
52. Nf3 Kg6 53. Ne5+ Kg7 54. h5 Kf6 55. Nf3 Nh6 56. Kg3 Kf5 57. Kh4 Kf4 58. Nd2
Nf5+ 59. Kh3 Kg5 60. h6 Nxh6 61. Kg3 Kf5 62. Kf3 Ng4 63. Ne4 Ne5+ 64. Ke3 Nc4+
65. Kf3 e5 66. Ng3+ Ke6 67. Ne4 f5 68. Ng3 Nd6 69. Nh5 Ne4 70. Ng7+ Kf6 71.
Ne8+ Kf7 72. Nc7 Ng5+ 73. Kg3 Ne6 74. Nd5 e4 75. Kf2 Nc5 76. Ke3 Ke6 77. Nf4+
Ke5 78. Ng6+ Kf6 79. Nf4 Ne6 80. Nd5+ Ke5 81. Nc3 f4+ 82. Ke2 Nd4+ 83. Kf2 e3+
84. Ke1 f3 85. Nd1 Nc2+ 0-1

[Event "St Petersburg"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1914.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Capablanca, Jose"]
[Black "Lasker, Emanuel"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C80"]
[PlyCount "199"]
[EventDate "1914.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5
Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 d4 11. cxd4 Nxd4 12. Nxd4 Qxd4 13. Bxe6 Nxe6 14. Qf3 Rd8
15. a4 Qd5 16. Qxd5 Rxd5 17. axb5 axb5 18. Ra8+ Nd8 {#} 19. Ne4 $1 {"a highly
creative defensive effort" - Rowson.} Rxe5 20. Rd1 Be7 21. f3 Rf5 22. Rc8 O-O
23. Rxc7 Bb4 24. Be3 Ne6 25. Rcd7 Rc8 26. R1d5 Rxd5 27. Rxd5 Rc2 28. b3 Rb2 29.
Rxb5 Rxb3 30. Bd2 Bc5+ 31. Rxc5 Nxc5 32. Nxc5 Rb2 33. Be3 Re2 34. Bf2 f6 35.
Kf1 Ra2 36. g4 Kf7 37. Ne4 h6 38. Kg2 Ra3 39. f4 Rb3 40. Ng3 Ra3 41. Nf1 Rd3
42. Ne3 Rc3 43. Kf3 Ra3 44. f5 Ra2 45. Nd5 Rb2 46. Nf4 Ra2 47. h4 Ra5 48. Bd4
Ra3+ 49. Be3 Ra5 50. Nh5 Ra4 51. Ng3 Kg8 52. Ne4 Kf7 53. Bd2 Ra1 54. Bc3 Rf1+
55. Nf2 Rc1 56. Bd4 Re1 57. Ne4 Rf1+ 58. Bf2 Ra1 59. Kf4 Ra4 60. Bc5 Rc4 61.
Kf3 Rc1 62. Bf2 Ra1 63. Kf4 Ra4 64. Kf3 Ra3+ 65. Be3 Ra5 66. Nc5 Ra1 67. Ne6
Ra3 68. Ke4 Ra4+ 69. Bd4 Rb4 70. Ke3 Rb3+ 71. Ke4 Rb4 72. Kd5 Rb1 73. g5 hxg5
74. hxg5 fxg5 75. Nxg5+ Kg8 76. Ne6 Rd1 77. Ke4 Kf7 78. Ng5+ Kg8 79. Ke5 Re1+
80. Kf4 Rf1+ 81. Kg4 Rd1 82. Nf3 Rf1 83. Be5 Kf7 84. Kf4 Kg8 85. Ke4 Rd1 86.
Ng5 Re1+ 87. Kd5 Rd1+ 88. Ke6 Re1 89. Nh3 Rb1 90. Nf4 Rb6+ 91. Ke7 Rb5 92. Ng6
Rb6 93. Bd6 Ra6 94. Ke6 Rb6 95. Ne7+ Kh7 96. Nc8 Ra6 97. Ne7 Rb6 98. Nd5 Ra6
99. Nc3 Kg8 100. Ne4 1/2-1/2

[Event "Edinburgh"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2000.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Thomas"]
[Black "Redpath"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "C07"]
[PlyCount "18"]
[EventDate "2000.??.??"]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. dxc5 Bxc5 6. Ngf3 Nf6 7. Bc4 Qd8 (
7... Qc6) 8. O-O O-O 9. Qe2 Be7 $2 (9... b6 $1 10. Ne4 $1 Nbd7 $1 11. Nxc5 Nxc5
{"It is not pleasant to give up the Bishop-pair like this, but in return Black
is almost fully mobilised. Egoism often manifests itself in this way -- the
refusal to make concessions to your opponent, even when necessary." - Rowson.})
*

[Event "4NCL"]
[Site "Birmingham ENG"]
[Date "2000.04.30"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Morozevich, A."]
[Black "Rowson, J."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B80"]
[WhiteElo "2748"]
[BlackElo "2499"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2000.01.22"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 Be7 8. Qd2
O-O 9. O-O-O Nc6 10. g4 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 $5 b5 12. h4 {JR knows a similar
position without f3...} e5 $5 {"For some strange reason I wanted to show my
super-strong opponent that he couldn't get away with missing these small
details..." - Rowson.} 13. Qd2 b4 14. Na4 $1 Rb8 15. g5 Nd7 $2 16. b3 $1 Bb7
17. h5 f5 $6 18. Bc4+ $1 Kh8 19. g6 h6 20. Bxh6 $1 fxe4 21. Rdg1 e3 22. Qxe3 d5
23. Bxg7+ Kxg7 24. h6+ Kf6 25. g7 dxc4 26. h7 1-0

[Event "Blitz"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Urien"]
[Black "Rowson"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "B84"]
[PlyCount "24"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O Nbd7 8.
Be3 $6 b5 9. a3 $6 Bb7 10. f3 Be7 11. Qd2 O-O 12. Rad1 Rc8 {"White has very
few chances to take over the initiative." _JR} *

[Event "4NCL"]
[Site "Birmingham ENG"]
[Date "2000.04.30"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Morozevich, A."]
[Black "Rowson, J."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B80"]
[WhiteElo "2748"]
[BlackElo "2499"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2000.01.22"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3 Be7 8. Qd2
O-O 9. O-O-O Nc6 10. g4 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 $5 b5 12. h4 {#0/0 (JR knows a similar
position without f3...)} e5 $5 {"For some strange reason I wanted to show my
super-strong opponent that he couldn't get away with missing these small
details..." - Rowson.} 13. Qd2 b4 14. Na4 $1 Rb8 15. g5 Nd7 $2 16. b3 $1 Bb7
17. h5 f5 $6 18. Bc4+ $1 Kh8 19. g6 h6 20. Bxh6 $1 fxe4 21. Rdg1 e3 22. Qxe3 d5
23. Bxg7+ Kxg7 24. h6+ Kf6 25. g7 dxc4 26. h7 1-0

[Event "Escaldes zt"]
[Site "Escaldes"]
[Date "1998.11.08"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Miles, Anthony J"]
[Black "Reinderman, Dimitri"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2590"]
[BlackElo "2540"]
[PlyCount "121"]
[EventDate "1998.11.06"]

1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O Bg4 7. Be3 Nc6 8. Qd2
e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. Rad1 Qc8 11. Qc1 Rd8 12. Rxd8+ Qxd8 13. Rd1 Qf8 14. h3 Bxf3
15. Bxf3 Rd8 16. Nb5 Rxd1+ 17. Qxd1 Qb8 18. Qd3 a6 19. Nc3 Qd8 20. Qxd8+ Nxd8
21. Na4 Ne6 22. Nc5 Nxc5 23. Bxc5 Bf8 {#} 24. Be3 Bd6 25. Kf1 Kf8 26. Bg5 Nd7
27. Bg4 Ke8 28. Bh6 $5 a5 $2 (28... Nc5) 29. Bxd7+ $1 Kxd7 30. a4 f5 $6 (30...
c6 31. Ke2 b5) 31. Bd2 Bb4 32. c3 Bc5 33. f3 f4 $6 (33... fxe4 34. fxe4 c6) 34.
Ke2 c6 35. Be1 g5 $2 36. h4 h6 $2 (36... gxh4) 37. b4 axb4 38. cxb4 Bd4 39. a5
$5 (39. b5 $2 cxb5 40. axb5 Kd6) (39. h5 $2 b5 $1) 39... b5 40. axb6 Bxb6 41.
h5 $1 Ke6 42. Kd3 Bd4 43. Kc4 Be3 44. b5 cxb5+ 45. Kxb5 Bc1 46. Kc6 Bb2 47. Bb4
g4 48. fxg4 Kf6 49. Kd5 Kg5 50. Bd6 Kxg4 51. Bxe5 Bc1 52. Ke6 Kg5 53. Bc3 Kg4
54. Be1 Bb2 55. e5 Ba3 56. Bd2 Bb2 57. Kd6 f3 58. gxf3+ Kxf3 59. e6 Kg4 60. Kd7
Ba3 61. Bxh6 {"I did absolutely ****-all and it proved to be enough!" -- Miles}
1-0

[Event "Newcastle Blitz"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2001.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Hodgson"]
[Black "Arkell"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A37"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2001.??.??"]

1. c4 c5 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. a3 a6 6. Rb1 Rb8 7. b4 cxb4 8. axb4
b5 9. cxb5 axb5 {# "Consider the following moves as though you had never heard
that White might begin the game with some advantage"} 10. Nf3 d5 11. d4 Nf6 12.
Bf4 Rb6 13. O-O Bf5 14. Rb3 O-O {"Zugzwang Lite"} 15. Ne5 Ne4 16. h3 (16. Nxc6
Rxc6 17. Nxb5 Qb6) (16. Nxe4 dxe4 17. Nxc6 Rxc6) 16... h5 17. Kh2 $6 Re8 $1 18.
Be3 $6 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Rc6 $1 {"Compare the pieces."} 20. Nxb5 Bxe5 $1 21. Nd4
Bxd4 22. Bxd4 e5 {"Black has some advantage."} 23. b5 Rc8 24. Bb2 d4 {#} 25. b6
$2 Nxf2 $1 26. Qe1 (26. Rxf2 Bc2) 26... Ne4 27. b7 Rb8 28. g4 hxg4 29. hxg4 Be6
30. Rb5 Nf6 $1 31. Rxf6 Qxf6 32. Qg3 Bc4 33. g5 Qh8+ 0-1

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