An ABC of chess

Exeter Chess Club: An ABC of Chess

Here's a mental toolkit for the improving chess player.

  I think that for each of these elements there are different levels of understanding e.g. bad Bishop

1) I've heard of it!

2) I know what it is and could explain it to a junior.

3) I understand enough to make use of the idea in a game.

Chess Notation

Algebraic and descriptive notations

[There is a more detailed explanation of notation and more of the symbols available.]

  Here is the board, labelled using both systems of notation (text-only browsers: see below for pre-formatted version!)

Descriptive (from Black's side)
Descriptive (from White's side)


Mopping Up

There were three issues raised at the start of the summer that I haven't dealt with yet, and thought I'd offer some reflection.  It turned out that the people who wanted to work on these issues aren't around at the moment, so I might come back to these!
  1. Making practice (at club and at home) really helpful in terms of improvement
    That would be a good thing to solve!  Well, in many ways I've tried to promote and model this over the last few years, so I will be brief here.

Level 290

We're used to doing puzzles which might be mate-in-one (Level I), mate-in-two (Level II) and so on. Someone asked on Friday, what's the highest level you can get? Well, I have heard of a 1220-move monster by Babson, but that has some peculiar conditions.

The most moves in a forced-mate problem with no conditions is this one, from Otto Blathy, who published a whole book of such monsters.

Mate in 290 -- best of luck!


Following Andy Costello's good performance and much interest in his other sport at Torbay, I wondered if people would be interested in knowing more about chessboxing :
  • Chessboxing article in the Guardian
  • Chessboxing feature on the BBC
  • One of Andy's fights on YouTube
  • Material imbalance: Queen for Two Rooks

    I have to say, if this is the aspect of your game most in need of fixing, then count yourself lucky, but there are some general lessons to be learned.

    Example games:

    Ish follows some theory:

    Ramdewar I. - Edney R. [B76]

    Kramnik wins with the Rooks:

    Leko P. - Kramnik V. [C42]

    Fischer wins with the Queen:

    Portisch L. - Fischer R. [E45]

    The Queen on the attack:

    Janowsky - Lasker

    The Rooks make a team:

    Euwe - Rubinstein [D05]

    So, what features favour the Rooks, which the Queen?

    Yusupov loses to the Queen:

    Jussupow A. - Shaked T. [E81]


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