The documentary ‘Chess Kids’ can be found in the following link


It’s well-handled and worth a watch.

Answers to two wins & a draw

1) Ra8+ Kxa8 2.Qa1+ Kb8 3. Qa7+ Kxa7 4. Nc6+ (the move I couldn’t see) Ka6/a8, 5. Ra1++

2) I thought this was quite pretty. As you have probably noticed, black is already close to stalemate, so…1. Re1+ Kh2 2.Qg1 Kg3 3.Rd3+! Qxd3 (Kg4 will ose to Qd1) 4.Qe3+! QxQ Stalemate. Easy but pretty.

3) 1. Qa8!! (at first sight, counter-intuitive but winning). The rook cannot be saved, black can safely resign here.

Whilst reading the truly wonderful ‘Chess: the history of a game’, by Richard Eales, I discovered that Benjamin Franklin once wrote an essay on ‘The Morals of Chess’. His comments show that he understood our beautiful game very well. The piece certainly reveals it age, his comments regarding ‘the rules of play’ made me chuckle. I would like to add that I am in concordance with the view that singing at the board whilst your opponent is thinking is rather ungentlemanly. After all, the last thing you want whilst deep in concentration is for renditions of the latest death metal number to waft across the board… .

You can find it in Appendix on pg.6.


Founding fathers of the USA or death metal?

Founding father of the USA or death metal?

 A founding father of the USA or death metal?

Two wins & A draw

The positions below are from Hodgson’s ‘The Chess Traveller’s Quiz book’

1) Wahls – Bjarnason Malo 1986, white to play and win.Pos2

2) Gogolov – Varshavsky, Luksena 1967, black to play and draw.


3) Pagilla – Carbone, Argentina 1976, white to play and win.


Answers to come soon.

On September 14th, my home county Bedfordshire showed great resolve by beating Buckinghamshire in this year’s Fleming Trophy despite the fact that we were out-graded on 15 of the 16 boards.

You can find the match result by clicking on the following link.


Well done Bedfordshire.


If you are in England and want to find the club nearest to you, click on the following link


Just when you finally get a day off during the week, the latest international tournament to roll into town just had to have a free day too. So what better way could there be to spend a day than lounging around watching archive footage of ex-world champions whilst the little one runs amok with her new shopping trolley, the last of nanny’s birthday presents! Whilst flicking through a few playlists, I came across a montage showing the rivalry between Kasparov and Karpov. It’s well edited, there’s a lot of great footage, and the music is quite listenable too. A nice way to spend 15 minutes for sure.


Underwater Chess

For the lads the tropics is a great place to laze around on the beach whilst trying to pull scantily-clad local girls but for us real men its an ideal place to turn our backs on society and play some underwater chess instead. In the linked video, two machismo IM’s turn up, swap their thick goggles for scuba masks and go to war in the aqua waters of Curacao, much to the delight of some bemused tourists.

The footage, however, contains scenes which will cause uproar amongst hardcore chess purists. There’s so many fish in the water that it’s hard to follow the action, and a stingray went unpunished by the arbiter for swimming over the board whilst the players were deep in concentration. Obviously, it should have received a verbal warning at least. It’s hardly surprising that no one has played underwater since the video was made in 2008 given the etiquette of the marine life in it and the double-standards employed by the officials. Yet again, its one rule for marooned International Masters and another for the occasional passing stingray….when is FIDE going to get its act together?

NB Chess fans suffering with high-blood pressure should seek medical advice from a doctor before clicking on the link below. Discretionary viewing advised.