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Articles Archive

Chess Ladder Rules

The competition ladder runs until the chess season restarts end-September.

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Simultaneous Display by Stuart Conquest

Former British Champion GM Stuart Conquest gave a simultaneous display on Monday 7th December 2015.

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Prudence reigns in Chess and Life

More Prudence might well help your chess: this week someone gave me negative feedback at work and I was unsure how to respond:

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The position finder general

Tim Mifsud

The creator of Chessbites, Tim Mifsud has not played competitive chess for many years. Although a strong junior (he was the British u-13 champion in 1991) and champion of his native Malta, it was impracticable to develop a chess career from the Mediterranean island. Yet the chess muse still danced within his soul and he has been developing an innovative chess database which identifies whether any position has been played previously. His website provides a useful addition to the analytical tools for the chess improver.

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The Quickplay vs Slowplay Debate

Paul Shepherd of Surbiton Chess Club explains the Quickplay v Slowplay debate in the Thames Valley League and gives the result of the club’s opinion survey.

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Reflections

Julian Way reflects upon the development of his chess playing strength and style.

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Capablanca's fundamental pawn ending

José Raúl Capablanca was one of the most divinely gifted chess players the world has seen. He had an effortless style and rarely lost. He was particularly effective at endgames – the mark of a grandmaster. He became world champion in 1921, the year in which he wrote Chess Fundamentals, which is one of the finest brief chess books ever written.

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The World Championship Final Game

I decided to follow online the final game of the World Championships today between Vishy Anand, the current champion and Veselin Topalov, the former champion. The match is taking place in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, the home ground of Topalov. This is a blow-by-blow account of the game as experienced by an internet user.

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The Extraordinary Prince Dadian

Prince Dadian

Prince Andre Dadian of Mingrelia was an eccentric character who left a lasting impact on the world of chess. He was born in Mingrelia, a province of Georgia, bordering the Black Sea, in 1850 to a wealthy aristocratic family. He was notable both for the ingenuity of his games and for the irregularities which surrounded the chess events he sponsored.

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Mating with two rooks and a knight

two rooks and a knight

The combination of queen and knight is often lethal. The combination of two rooks and a knight is rarely seen because two rooks are sufficient to achieve checkmate in their own right. However the knight can be implicated with rooks in certain tableaux.

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The Glasgow Kiss

Glasgow Kiss

This game is one of Alan Scrimgour’s finest. He demolished the Sicilian Defence by placing his rook in the heart of his opponent’s kingside sundering Black’s co-ordination. His satisfaction derives not only from the onslaught on the Black ramparts with the Levenfish Attack, or the controlled simplification to a won ending. It also lies in being able to echo Bobby Fischer who sacrificed the same rook on the same square to stymie the defence in his famous victory over Pal Benko in the US Championships of 1963. A club player enjoys few opportunities to execute such a classic chess motif.

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Knights of the South Bronx

Knights of the South Bronx

The film deserves recognition as an vision of how chess could be part of the syllabus alongside mathematics and thinking skills.

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The Mistress

Mistress

Another flight of fancy

by Julian Way

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Morphy's Genius

Paul Morphy

Mr. Morphy always plays, not merely the best, but the VERY best move; and if we play the move only approximately correct, we are sure to lose. Nobody can hope to gain more than a game, now and then, from him.

Adolf Anderssen, the German chess champion defeated by Morphy.

His mastery of open positions was so vast that little new has been learned about such positions after him.

Mikhail Botvinnik, Soviet World Champion

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Britain's first official grandmaster

JacquesMieses

Julian Way’s recent triumph in the Surrey championship prompts antiquarian Mike Sheehan to ruminate on a man who is all but forgotten now. Jacques Mieses was Britain’s first official chess grandmaster. Mike traces a bibliophilic provenance via the American Civil War and Paul Morphy to Nazi Germany and Jacques Mieses. Four games from Mieses’s long career are selected: an early defeat against the originator of the Caro-Kann in 1885, his brilliancy at Paris 1900 where he left his queen en prise for six moves, a sharp victory with his favourite Sicilian also played in Paris, and a game played in his adopted London in 1941.

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The Rules of Winning Chess

Rules of Winning Chess

Julian Way recommends Nigel Davies’ recent book: The Rules of Winning Chess. Nigel has an interest in martial arts and quotes from Bruce Lee, amongst others. Nigel draws on the wisdom he has gleaned from martial arts and eastern religion and applies this to chess improvement. Nigel’s book is very readable and accessible and may prove of interest to anyone seeking to improve their chess.

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Named Famed Games

Johannes Zukertort

Recorded games used to be rare. There were so few of them that they were savoured and discussed in books and pamphlets. Consequently the outstanding games were named for posterity. Two of these famous games are shown below and are transcribed from Fred Reinfeld’s Treasury of British Chess Masterpieces published in 1950.

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The emergence of English chess consciousness

GWR Hotel Birmingham

Chess could not move too far down the populist track. After all, it is a game of the intellect and intellectual pursuits were (at that time at least) a respected characteristic of English gentlemen. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle were about to be published marking the triumph of rationality over intuition. In the match, traditional sources of authority prevailed. The top board for each team was assigned on the basis of social position rather than merit: each was a Cambridge-educated vicar who had developed their chess skills at Simpson’s Divan in the Strand.

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Top Mushroom

Chris Briscoe

Candidate Master Chris Briscoe is capable of beating top players as demonstrated in this victory against Eddie Dearing. The game was played on the top board of the Mushrooms v Drunken Knights where Chris played as the top Mushroom. The Knights won the match overall. In these engaging notes, Chris sets out his thoughts during the victory against IM Eddie Dearing in a tense Slav.

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Stephen Moss's win at Dorking

Stephen Moss

Even though Stephen is not in the first rank of club chess players (Bobby Fischer would call him a patzer), and granting that the game itself is not without error, it is nevertheless instructive. In fact, it is probably more instructive than many games because the sorts of positions that arise in ordinary club games are never to be seen in all the chess books which confine themselves to games between grandmasters. John Saunders, editor of the British Chess Magazine, annotates.

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Elasticity

Chess poetry

by Julian Way.

A new strand on the club website.

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Knights Tour brain training

The knights tour game

This knights tour brain training game is quite fun and might even help you in your chess if you have ending with knights and only a few seconds left…

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London Champions from Kingston

R P Michell

So I faced the bespectacled veteran and his slightly “walrus” moustache. Neither on our introduction nor throughout the game did his manner give the slightest indication that he was not playing another master. However, one or two portly “lounge lizards”, eager to witness the “brutal baptism” of some incongruous youth who had somehow penetrated their precincts, gathered round, their very waistcoats saturated with sadistic expectation. Michell soon got an overwhelming attack on the king’s side, whereupon one “sarcastic old beast” observed: “You seem to have got the gentleman somewhat tied up”. “My QRP is weak” was all the change he could get out of R.P.M.’

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Overcoming the fear of defeat

The Scream - Munch

The fear of defeat can be so pronounced that there is even a name for it: kakorrhaphiophobia. Julian Way reflects upon the fear of defeat in chess and suggests a practical solution for overcoming the fear.

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Bill Waterton: his life in chess

Chris Clegg and Bill Waterton

After leaving the navy, Bill had a fascinating career as a medal maker. This kept him in touch with members of the military, senior civil servants throughout the Commonwealth, and the Royal Family. Bill also designed and made trophies pro bono for community groups. For example, he created the Centenary Trophy for the Surrey League as well as a trophy for the Kingsnympton Youth Club.

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5 minute study: two opening traps in the Caro Kann

5 minutes

White has to be alert to the dangerous tactics that can be employed by Black in the Caro Kann. In 5 minute chess, there is not the time to evaluate positions in detail. Natural moves are made automatically and can lead to disaster.

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Fish playing chess

Fish playing chess

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has three fish on its Coat of Arms. Anna Rowson, the daughter of one of our members has created a chess club image where the fish are playing chess.

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Kingston Chess Club in Canada

Kingston Chess Club Ontario

Kingston, Ontario is located a short distance from the USA border. Kingston used to be the capital of Canada until 1844. Apparently, the capital was moved because Kingston was thought vulnerable to American attack!

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The nation's average chess grading is 134

Death Valley

The idea behind the grading system is that a player graded 10 points higher than their opponent would be expected to score 6/10 against that opponent. The expected percentage score = 50 plus the difference in grades.

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Play casual chess now

Instantchess

Play casual chess when you visit this website. You only need to play one move per visit so no need to worry about taking up much of your time. You will be automatically paired against someone else also using the application. This chess application hails from Russia, the land famous for chess. The Internet Chess Club based in the USA is the dominant entity on the web, but it is only a matter of time before Russia shows its capability in this growing field.

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Boden's Mate

Kosteniuk

A chess player wants to play a classic move at least once in their career. After this I think I can die happy. John Foley shares a move from the Golders Green Rapidplay.

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Bent Larsen - an appreciation

Bent Larsen

As we look forward to the Norwegian genius Magnus Carlsen coming to London to play in the Chess Classic, Julian Way reflects on the last Scandinavian prodigy. The great Dane, Bent Larsen, was one of the most innovative grandmasters of all time, refusing to go down well-trodden paths..

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Trompowsky model attack

Peter Roche has been playing the Trompovsky for many years and has a refined sense of what strategies work. In this game, the reduced piece set of queen rook and bishop proves unstoppable.

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Acknowledgement to founders

Lewis chessmen

The club website has been established due to the contributions of a number of people. We found it a painless way to set up a website and recommend it to other chess clubs. The cost was modest and the effort was minimal. The response from online visitors has been encouraging.

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킹스턴 체스 클럽 Korean

Korean version

킹스턴 체스 클럽 Korean version of website

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Fatherland

Digestive biscuit

Chess fiction

by Julian Way.

A new strand on the club website.

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A struggle at the Club Championship

After a short lull, the club championship is being resumed. Julian Way is organising an event for current and new members. Players will play on club nights when they are not in a match. New members are welcome to join in during the season.

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Battle with Barden

Leonard Barden

One of the stalwarts from the era when Kingston won the Surrey Trophy was Bill Booth. He managed to draw with Leonard Barden. Bill Waterton, longtime Club President also managed to achieve a draw, the prize being a signed book.

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Let off the hook

Fish hook

A game played in the Surrey League in 2007 when Kingston unexpectedly knocked Redhill out of the cup. The top four boards for Kingston had lost. This game was played on Board 5.

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