Tag Archives: Chess

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!


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.

Rook Shuffle

Another in the occasional series of interesting positions from informal games. Here is an interesting series of Rook coordination similar to the earlier Rook Dance (see http://clubchessplayer.co.uk/rook-dance/ ) – but more of a Rook Shuffle!



Catching Up

I promised you the outstanding Rook game (which is the club championship). This club chess player was determined to overturn the long string of recent draws with this opponent.

Paul Kington is a very strong player who I have played for some decades. His relatively low rating reflects his tendency to choose the safest move but I learnt in the 90s that if you play aggressively to beat him he has hidden resources which can come to bite you. We have therefore drawn for many years, including earlier in the season. I was determined to beat him on this occasion, even though I knew the risks.

Remember that clicking on a move creates a pop up to allow you to play through the game more easily.

Unfortunately  losing game  takes me to 5/7 having won 5 games and lost two with three games remaining. I am still the favourite with three tough games against 180+ players remaining. I will also publish the six games from the e2 e4 tournament earlier this year.

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.