Category Archives: General

Short Arms

Look at this great checkmate from an under 12 competition in the USA being held in Disney –  thanks to @USchess . Notice that the winner constructs a great checkmate but can barely reach the seventh rank!

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 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 …


Have you discovered Powerplaychess online? Danny King is a great British GM who is an extremely effective communicator. His many chess videos are worth a look and his contribution to chessbase is formidable. He offers regular commentaries at the London Chess Classic and his Youtube offerings are extremely worthwhile. Simply go to Youtube and subscribe to his channel.

Here is an excellent example where he conveys a complicated game in a clear and concise way.

Caruana – Nakumura : US Championship

Caruana demolished Nakumura in the US championship and is beginning to establish clear water between these top two US players.

Nakumura’s performance in the Candidates was disappointing by his own high standards and one starts to wonder if he is just going through a bad patch or perhaps is on the wane…

This was a cracking game at a very high level and certainly offers good lessons for the club player.

This is the critical position where Caruana found the most accurate move.

Caruana Nakamura

Can you find White’s strong 27th move?  It’s a pretty stunning move which exposes the insecurity of the Bishop on a4. I considered 27.Ra1 but Ra3 is even stronger with c3 following and nasty threats along the b file with the Queen coming to b6 if possible or the Rook swinging back to b3.


Here is the link to the post match interview with Caruana:

Levon Aronian


I was watching an excellent series of videos on Chess24 featuring the games of Levon Aronian. Yusupov and Gustafsson produced an interesting commentary on several of his games.

I have seen Levon a few times at the London Chess Classic and he is an impressive character. Extremely likeable and ruthlessly objective, he somehow remains very human.

His games contain a certain controlled flair. Not the extravagance of Tal or craziness of a Short King manouevre but real flair. He is a highly talented player and I can’t really understand why he hasn’t done better in the Candidates.

Perhaps I will pick out one or two of his games to show my point.



I have just three Rook games remaining in the club championship and since I am the current favourite I am understandably keen to return to complete these games.

The eagle eyed among you will notice that I previously claimed to have four games remaining and I actually played another game before being taken ill which I will publish shortly. Unfortunately it was a loss and my remaining games are against three very strong players so I am using this time wisely to get back in the swing of things and hopefully scoop this excellent trophy.

I am also in the semi final of the knockout against Gavin Lock who is an extremely strong 201. Gavin has an extremely efficient style and has a habit of not losing on our top board against extremely strong opposition. I was therefore looking forward to playing him very much. As things stand I may not have time to fit this game in, which would be a real disappointment.

I still have all my games from the Gatwick e2 e4 tournament earlier in the year which I will publish. I had been hoping to play in the May tournament as well in order to get an ELO rating but that is open to question while I get my health sorted.

Watch this space – at least six more games to appear shortly..

Chess as diagnostic tool


I have to apologise for disappearing for a short while. I have had a few health issues which have laid me low and more importantly have interfered with my chess!

One interesting thing I have noticed is that when I have been poorly my play online has suffered accordingly. Some times it has seemed I have barely been able to make legal moves – certainly falling victim to simple cheapos. On the other hand when I play acceptably then I am feeling a bit more with it…so chess as a diagnostic tool?

Exciting New Ventures

I spent the weekend playing at the Gatwick E2 E4 chess congress scoring a pretty credible 3.5/5 . I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience – there were excellent playing conditions in a good hotel with friendly staff and good food. The tournament was superbly organised and this really is the standard that English chess should be aspiring to. It motivates me to play in many more of these events.

I will publish my games as time allows but I learnt some very valuable lessons about my strengths and weaknesses. In particular it showed the difficulty of maintaining sharp focus over a four hour game – let alone over five games across a whole weekend.