Exeter CC AGM

Tues 28th Sept 2021

Minutes of last meeting, agenda, and minutes of this meeting are attached.

Lessons from Jan Timman

I have just read, with enormous pleasure, Jan Timman's volume of his best games, Timman's Triumphs. The range of openings is very broad, the tactics pleasing and sometimes brilliant, the strategy revealing, the endgame play subtle; the annotations do justice to a Grandmaster's play but remain accessible; the stories between the games are engaging and warm.


Timman's repertoire is very broad and includes every style.

[Event "Bugojno"]
[Site "Bugojno"]
[Date "1984.??.??"]
[Round "?"]

Lessons from John Nunn

John Nunn was a top ten player in his prime, but was and is a champion as a chess author. His first substantial book, Secrets of Grandmaster Play with Peter Griffiths, was an instant classic, and he has written many volumes aimed at the improving player. He has been particularly concerned to reflect the richness and complexity of modern chess in his books, and has striven to do so in uncluttered prose, leavened with a bit of dry wit.

Lessons from Euwe

Euwe was always an amateur player, not a professional; he taught mathematics in a girls' school in the Netherland for much of his active playing career, then was employed by a computer firm. He devoted much of his life to teaching chess, through books and articles. My favourite among his writings is a collection of articles about the middlegame with Hans Kramer, later published in two volumes. He collected and organised opening theory, he wrote books for beginners and masters, and he took the Presidency of FIDE.

Lessons from Smyslov

Botvinnik's disciplined research and iron logic was a strange parallel of the era of Stalin, the man of steel; Smyslov's chess was something altogether lighter and more intuitive.

Smyslov could often distil something clear and attractive from a game in ferment, and bring a fresh eye to familiar settings.

In the 1980s, he had a remarkable second wind, playing his elegant, modern chess all the way to the Candidate's Matches, where he was stopped by Kasparov.


Lessons from Alekhin

Almost any game by Lasker or Capablanca could be studied with profit, in the hope of playing a little more like our heroes. Their games are full of common sense. But the modernists and hypermodernists like Alekhin are not so easy to learn from; they thrive on a different style of chess, being less interested in the elegant harmony of principles and more interested in complexity, conflict and contradiction.

When John Nunn first came across the games of Alekhin, he said "How can anyone play like this?"(!). Alekhin's chess can be admired, but it is not easily imitated!

Lessons from Steinitz

"This little man," said Adolf Schwarz, "taught us all to play chess".

Steinitz started as a dashing attacking player, in the style common at the time, and claimed the World Championship after defeating Anderssen in a match (although the official beginning of the lineal championship began with his match with Zukertort many years later). By the time he played Zukertort, he was playing in a completely different style, and in the development of Steinitz' style we can see the beginnings of modern chess.

Top tip

To toggle the user medal marker in ChessBase on a Win10 laptop, and you don't have a numeric keypad with a plus key, you can use PowerToys' Keyboard Manager to assign something like 'backtick' to 'plus key'


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