All posts by Ian comley

McMutcheon Mayhem

Three posts in short succession … just like London buses!

Here is an interesting game in the Horsham Rook competition which is our club championship. I was relieved to stay in this tough competition last year with a late surge winning the last two games and coming a creditable fourth.  Chris plays combative chess and is a fine player with the wisdom also to play the French as Black.

One of the problems with playing regular chess against the same players is that they all know your lines. As we were playing this game other players were checking out which lines we played ready to prepare for our game later in the season…

Fantastic Fischer

I have found myself drawn to some Fischer games of late and here is another absolutely fantastic game played by Bobby against Boris.

As a clubplayer I learned a few lessons. Firstly it is not enough to play one fantastic move to win the game. Bobby played stunning moves time and again in order to beat as good a player as Spassky.

It is also crucial to understand your endgames. Look at how Fischer converted the final position by converting into a winning endgame. I wonder how many of us clubplayers would have foreseen such a plan.

Enjoy this game – its a stunning destruction of the opposition.

Worthing Wonders

I am keen to play more chess this season and so have joined a second club  which plays lots of internal chess , has a healthy junior section and is based over a local working man’s club which offers restorative beer!

I am still finding my way around their competitions and here is my very first game in the club championship.  There are players graded 202 , 190 and 168 to look forward to but I started with this game against a very promising junior who I am sure will shoot up the grading list shortly. I certainly wish I could play this well when I was 12.

The Great Capablanca

Here is a very interesting game with a suitably clever finish from the great cuban player Capablanca.

Thegame is just over a hundred years old and shows a very interesting concept. This combined with the finish makes it a valuable use of ten minutes!



I always feel the club season proper starts when I play the first game in my club’s all play all which  is the club championship. The competition is entitled the Rook and the trophy is a very fine solid silver Rook of considerable size.

One year , rather surprisingly, I was able to win this trophy and I was understandably proud. On returning home with this fine piece of silverware my pride was punctured with an immediate domestic decree that I would be polishing it myself!

So this season I began with a game against Phil Stimpson who is a very active player. He plays for a number of clubs and is always very well prepared. This was a very interesting game in a French sideline which he has tried against me once before.


I came across this great video with the amazing Yasser Seirawan who was one of the great players of the western world as I grew up.

I think you might enjoy some brilliant chess …perhaps even commit a game to memory …

Knockout Knockabout

After last week’s quickplay games the season got off to a proper start with the first round of the knockout.  As luck would have it I found myself playing a new player to the club who recently moved to the area.

Alex is graded 165 so he is certainly not new to chess and we quickly reached a standard position. Early season imprecision allowed him to get the Bishop for Knight and I found myself in an uncomfortable position before the position broke open in my favour, winning a rook.

Game Six

Chess Champion Bobby Fischer

I mentioned Game six of the Fischer -Spassky duel in my last post and it is a truly beautiful game. These days there are many good online resources and I personally enjoy watching some of the many excellent youtubers.

Inevitably many have focused on this historic game and I have watched several but my favourite account is shown below – if you enjoy the video you might even subscribe to watch more of the ChessNetwork.

I love the way that Fischer exercises control over his opponent with such simple moves. There is a strong element of prophylaxis where he prevents Spassky from creating any counterplay.

When the opening goes wrong…

Pawn Sacrifice

I recently watched Pawn Sacrifice which is a mainstream film about Bobby Fischer . It featured some real stars including Tobey Maguire as Bobby and Liev Schreiber as Spassky. If like me you can never remember actor’s names then you may know Liev from Ray Donovan and Tobey from Spiderman.

It was a well dramatised story for a very weird tale and it managed to convey the chess excitement to a non playing audience without grating for us chess enthusiasts. It also taught me some things I didnt know…I wasn’t aware that Spassky had applauded Fischer after the sixth game for instance.

From a personal view I found myself playing over some of the world championship games and finding some great videos with Bobby baffling other grandmasters.

This is a great example which is definitely worth a watch.

Modern Delights

Phil is a strong player who plays a lot of chess for a number of clubs. He is well known for carefully preparing for his opponents. He knows that I play the French and will surely have prepared an interesting little surprise for me. Under normal circumstances I would welcome the challenge to my cherished French but I was still readjusting to my return to chess and felt I was not playing at my best.

I therefore decided to go back to my roots and looked into the Modern /Pirc complex which I played some years before. In actual fact I had this position on my board earlier in the day and the curious Ng8 manoeuvre appealed to me somewhat although I was mocked for it somewhat in the pub later!