Congress Challenges


I finally offer my games from the Gatwick e2 e4 Congress back in March. I was playing pretty well at the time and have to say that I was hugely impressed with the playing conditions. It was a pleasure playing in a decent hotel with good facilities and good food. It compares very favourably with cold church halls and the curling sandwiches of my youth. It encourages me to play in more such tournaments … but I have been spoiled now and will only play at e2 e4 tournaments!

Dave Cork is a fellow club chess player. In fact he used to play at my own club although he now plays elsewhere. I knew that he is a regular player with a competitive spirit and looked forward to a tough first round.

Lightning Tussles

Our chess club offers players the opportunity to take part in ten second a move mayhem once a year. Almost every game involves major errors, especially as the game advances. In practice you have only a few seconds to select a move and hope it doesn’t lose!

I am pleased to report this club chess player tied for first place in the group stages but sadly did not proceed to the final rounds having lost to his rival in the first round.

This game led to an interesting position and is far from flawless from either side – it was ten seconds each after all!



Rook Dance

rook dance

I am a club chess player and although my serious games are played with the club I also play some online skirmishes. In all honesty I view these as light entertainment and do not pay enough attention to the games – sometimes resulting in horrific errors.

Occasionally interesting positions pop up on the board and I had an interesting example today involving a curious Rook dance . The play is not perfect of course but I thought it might interest you.

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?

Rook Wrestles


This Tuesday I played Tim Pavlovic in the Rook competition which is effectively a ten game all play all club championship. Tim is a very good second team captain and a very strong player.

I was pleased with my play here as I found a way to control the game although I suspect he should have taken my e pawn when he could.

This result takes me to five out of six in this competition with four tough games ahead.



I was playing some quickplay skittles last night and reached an interesting position against a junior.