Praxis

Safe and solid?

From a recent email
"The most important single feature of a chess position is the activity of the pieces... (opening, middle, and especially endgame)... The primary constraint on pieces' activity is the pawn structure."
-- Michael STEAN
[Event "Merseyside League"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.10.15"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Blades, Tony"]
[Black "Webb, Tom"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A45"]
[PlyCount "49"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

Lessons from Anand

Anand's easy manner sits on top of a breathtaking attacking verve and capacity for creative counterplay.

Opening

The imaginative attacking finish seems to belong to an earlier era, while the opening play is all modern. The Scandinavian leads to an early release of central tension, and, if Black can develop smoothly, will have no problems. This line is an attempt to prevent Black from developing smoothly, and no end of rule-breaking goes on to that end.

[Event "Biel"]
[Site "Biel"]

Lessons from Carlsen

Carlsen often seems to win without doing anything in particular, but doing it very well. Commentators have tried to explain his peculiar gift by appealing to 'nettlesome' moves, moves that have no obvious dangers, but perhaps are surprisingly awkward to meet.

Opening

Carlsen, particularly when younger, has been noted more for his avoidance of sharp and theoretical lines, than having signature opening systems. He often seems content to aim for a 'normal' White plus in the opening, hoping to build on it later on, particularly in blitz.

Lessons from Kramnik

We have entered an era where it is not always obvious what the best players are doing. They are better than previous generations, they play all positions well, and they are fighting against players who also do everything well, and what makes the difference is not apparent to me.

But while Kramnik's play is subtle and deep, there are games which makes it look as though what he is doing is as simple as it looks.

Opening

Kramnik brought to several apparently settled opening systems a new clarity in pursuing White's main plans. In the Grunfeld, it was White's

Lessons from Kasparov

What can we learn from the play of the strongest player of the last century? His dynamism, industry, memory and willpower are all hugely impressive, but can they be imitated successfully at all? I guess each aspect of his game might inspire us, but there are instructive moments.

Opening

Kasparov had that restless drive for the initiative that we previously saw with Alekhin. I was horrified when he destroyed Hubner as Black in a line that I had seen as a fine way to suppress any Black initiative. I expect that, at bottom, this is a case of falling behind in development,

Peter Rooke Cup FINAL Sat 19th May 2018 Exeter 2½-5½ Newton Abbot

(A) Exeter 2½-5½ Newton Abbot (H)

Graham Bolt 196 (B) ½-½ Paul Brooks 170 (W)
Dave Regis 166 (W) ½-½ Alan Brusey 158 (B)
Sean Pope 140 ½-½ Vignesh Ramesh
Tony Hart 135 0-1 Andrew Kinder
John Guard 130 ½-½ John Allen
Will Marjoram 128 ½-½ Jacquie Barber-Lafon
John Maloney 108 0-1 Mike Hussey
Brian Aldwin 88 0-1 Z Grophulous

Exeter 2½-5½ Newton Abbot

Games to follow

Exeter 5-3 Teignmouth, Peter Rooke Cup semi-final 10 March 2018

EXETER (H)					TEIGNMOUTH (A)

Lowe, Chris (B)		 176 	½-½	163	Ingham, Bill (W)
Regis, David (W)	 166 	0-1	125	Cockerton, Mark (B)
Amos, Jeremy		 147 	1-0	122	Henry, Ian
Walker, Harry		E140 	½-½	108	Doidge, Charles
Whittington, Reece W	 131 	1-0	E90	Stuart, Brian
Sachdeva, Deepak	E130 	1-0	 84	Webster, Alan
Kelly, Edmund		 114 	1-0	 83	Chubb, Raymond
Gardner, Douglas	E50 	0-1	 67	White, Michael

				5-3

On paper, the home team were comfortable winners, and so the score might suggest, but, as they say about football, the game isn't played on

How to beat your Dad at chess

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.21"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Sequiera, Alfie"]
[Black "Sequiera, Alistair"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C53"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.21"]
{No problems for White here: there are a couple of points in the opening you
could have another look at.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 d6 5. d4 exd4
{So far, so good!} 6. Nxd4 ({The idea of c3 is to take over the centre, and

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