Wednesday, 29 May 2013

British Championships Training - Wellington College

On Thursday 25th and Friday 26th July Wellington College will run mini matches in preparation for the British Chess Championships. The games will take place on both afternoons and will be a 4 hour session, 1 white and 1 black against the same opponent. Games will be ECF graded but not FIDE rated. ECF Head Coach GM Nick Pert will also be on hand to go through games with players after they have finished. All players are welcome to register an interest via email in order to try and find an opponent, there are only 14 spaces available. On Saturday 27th July GM Nick Pert and IM Yang-Fan Zhou will be running a training day at Wellington College from 10am. There will be 2 groups, an over 150 grade group and a 100-150 grade group. There will be another training day on 19th October.

Photos of previous events can be seen here:

Monday, 27 May 2013

Chess Tactics Magnus Carlsen Decoded

I have just downloaded a fantastic, up to date tactics book for my Kindle.  It features the most recent wins of Magnus Carlsen and demonstrates the tactical levers he used to achieve them!  This ebook features over 50 games, many of which are contests between Carlsen and Aronian, Carlsen and Nakamura and Carlsen and Anand.

If I remember correctly, the book is VERY reasonably priced at under £5.  It is written by Mijail Bogdanov, who has himself annotated the games.  I appreciate this guide, because:

a) There is no exhaustive analysis.
b) There are loads of tactical positions to analyse.
c) I can learn from these positions.
d) Entire games are included, so openings can also be examined.

It is worth noting however, that the book should probably have been edited more thoroughly as the English is a little stunted / awkward in places, but I didn't buy the book to appreciate English grammar!

I love the book and I'm tackling just one game per day, which should be sufficient for me.  Thoroughly recommended.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Blitz - mate in 9!?

Blitz is fine, but not when you lose in 9 moves as my opponent did! I tried to lead the game in to From's gambit but he pushed his pawn on?

As usual, any comments welcome ...

Bird's Opening

PGN Viewer courtesy of

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Chess: You MUST stay alert!

In my last club game, my opponent gifted me with a huge blunder! I think he was guilty of one major fault. He had one and only one plan in mind and he was intent on sticking to it regardless of anything else ... In fact he became so blinkered by his plan that he left a piece hanging and I cleaned up.

After making some horrible opening faux-pas (moving same pawn twice - what was I thinking?), I made an effort to concentrate and then he blundered by playing 12.g3?, therefore the game is not at all noteworthy. The technique I used to keep him from using the open d-file for either of his Rooks was correct though!

As usual, any comments welcome ...

Sicilian Defence (B53)

PGN Viewer courtesy of

Monday, 6 May 2013

White wins against Philidor's Defence

During my latest club match I was fortunate that my opponent went to sleep and allowed me to win the exchange easily. On the other hand they had to take a very defensive stance throughout the entire game after playing Philidor's Defence as Black. Just when I thought it might get a little 'stalematey', I realised that all I had to to was break open the pawns around the enemy King. This is more of a strategic aim than a tactical one ... However as you can see from the game it proved quite effective!!

Like in a boxing match when you inflict a flesh wound, the opponent becomes a little intimidated and this is when they are at their most vulnerable ... When they start to lose their balance you can knock them out! I wasn't obliged to write the moves down due to being within my last 5 minutes, but I managed to Queen my 'a' pawn and eventually checkmate my opponent with just over 1 minute to spare ...

As usual, any comments welcome ...

Philidor's Defence

PGN Viewer courtesy of