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Positions to Solve

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Mate in three moves by J.W. Abbott

Some time has passed since I last wrote a post here… I have been playing CC, reading, thinking and sunk into depression,trying to survive to it, trying to find solution to problems both in Chess and in life… (these grey, rainy,cold,glum,winter days kill me one year after another…).

One of the solutions I found was to engage in more and more ICCF games. Apart from that, I proceeded to re-read Rudolf Reinhardt’s: Aron Nimzowitsch 1928-1935. A superb book of over four hundred pages with a wealth of information, annotated games, and so on. Unfortunately, its author passed away without seeing his wonderful masterwork published.

Well, many Chess writers insist on the idea that to learn Chess one must study and play. Everybody understands what “playing Chess” means. And for “studying”?. Of course you should study games, openings, interesting endgames, technique, and so on. When you are alone (I mean with no trainer) you may find it drab or boring. Anyway you should do it.

My two favourite methods are : 1) to solve mate in 3/4 move problems and 2) to choose games played by my favourite players, play the opening moves on a board (NEVER on the computer screen), cover their moves and try to find them on my own. Everybody knows these methods. It is very interesting to cross-check the move you want to play against the actual one played by the GM. And when I do not understand something, I make a tick on the move: when the process is over I replay the games and analyse the why’s and the why not’s. Incidentally, another good way to develope your analytical skills. So two birds with the same stone…  My only advice to you would be that though this method can be used with any GM, I would recommend you to use the players you feel most at home with. Not all “positional” players play the same way and not all “attacking” players play similar Chess. (among other considerations because although we use those words to classify chessplayers ,it is too broad, too vague and imprecise ,etc. The matter of the chessplayers’ styles I think it is an absolutely complex matter, with many sides, many shades, many details.)

These gloomy days I have been thinking about life (or rather my Chess life). I was taught the game in 1971: Bobby Fischer, Boris Spassky, Viktor Korchnoi, Anatoly Karpov,Tigran Petrosian etc. were young. Today Bobby and Tigran are dead, Korchnoi and Spassky can no longer play and what is worse: illness has confined them to wheelchairs. Only Karpov seems well though he is no longer playing Chess.


Mate in three moves by O. Wurzbrg 

The following position is from Keres-Petrov, Moscow 1940. How would you continue as White?


In this position Keres played:

19. e6! and the game continued with 19…, Nd5 / 20.exf7 , Rxf7 /21. Bc4!, c6/ 22. Rxd5 , Qxc4 / 23. Qe8 and Black resigned. 


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January 11, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Questions Without Answer and Nimzowitsch

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Some of my CC opponents keep complaining about the changes in the way of playing CC introduced by the intrusion of engines and databases. So here I leave some questions for the reader to consider:

-Do opening Chess books become quickly and easily outdated now ?

-If the player blindly follows those databases and engine recommendations, will s/he be playing what the engine decides and not what s/he decide?.

-The numerical assessments engines give to moves may be misleading. BUT if the player puts his/her confidence on them, will s/he end up following the engine move after move for fear of deviating and playing a move considered unfavourable by the program?

-Can today’s CC be played without the aid of an engine knowing that your opponents are employing them?

-Can the engine analytical brute force be met by an ultrapositional approach and no engine at all?

-In today’s CC games could it be possible to apply, for instance, restraint, blockade,overprotection and openings like 1. e3 , 1. Nf3 /2. e3, etc? (If so, do not use a computer…) and survive?

In any case, I firmly believe that the way CC is played now is a beginning, and not an end. New times new means,new ways of doing things. A matter of adaptation to the new environment and putting into practice our innate instinct of survival. (And remember that this is a wild jungle and only the strongest will survive.)


I am reading an amazing ,extraordinary book:  “ARON NIMZOWITSCH 1928-1935”  by Rudolf Reinhardt. The late Mr. Reinhardt devoted a lot of time and effort to investigate that period in Numowitsch’s life (the last one since Nimzowitsch died in 1935) . The book contains a gold mine of information including games annotated by Nimzowitsch and others, his writings in the form of commentaries and articles, etc. I thought I knew Nimzowitsch inside out but it turned out a self-delusion…

The introduction to the tournaments and the games offers objective analysis but also Nimzowitsch states of mind. We see him showing doubts, joy, disillusion, self-distrust, renewed confidence… We see how he uses his beloved “system” against his honourable opponents (names like Capablanca,Alekhine,Bernstein,Becker,Spielmann,Rubinstein, Marshall,Bogoljubow, Vidmar, Stahlberg, Yates,Tartakower, and so on), opponents with different approaches to Chess and against whom he tries his ideas and explains the conclusions.

The book is making me rethink my ideas about strategy and how to use it in these complex CC age. I would like to strongly recommend this book to all of you. But let me say it would be much more pleasant and instructive if you have already studied Nimzowitsch’s “MY SYSTEM” / “THE PRAXIS OF MY SYSTEM” or the excellent Keene’s book “ARON NIMZOWITSCH: A REAPPRAISAL” (aka “Aron Nimzowitsch Master of Planning”  


White to play wins. Horowitz & Kling. It resembles a real game, this is why I like.


1. Rxe6 , Rxe6 / 2. b6 , Kxb6 / 3. Rh6! winning


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April 27, 2014 at 6:46 am

Wonderful Knights, Odd Squares.

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“…for thre is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  Shakespeare: “Hamlet

You are at home studying wonderful Chess games. You see how well-played they seem to have been played : an exquisite and smoot blend of strategy and tactics. You say to yourself you are going to do the same. (End of dream)

Then you go to play your own games and everything seems “rough”, full of ups and downs, with oversights on both parts if not gross mistakes. Back at home you tend to think you have been tricked by those GMs: the theory they played differs from the theory you wanted to imitate at one junction and you lost the thread of the game, and…and…and… etc.

Well, one of the many problems in Chess occurs when you have left the book and instead of a lovely attacking position with clear objectives and so on you face one of those level positions with several options but no clear plans, no threats, no weaknesses to attack, and so on. You have to play one move and after going to and fro considering one move after another without any clear idea, then you move a piece. But after seven or eight moves you realise you have committed your position to a degree that even a draw would be a miracle. 

For those positions, top GMs have developed a sort of sixth sense which allows them to intuitively “see” many hidden things: they “see” ,or rather can feel ,that which piece belongs to which square and how to re-route their pieces to keep their positions consolidated and harmonious. (Take for instance a player like Petrosian ). They feel that even apparently “ugly” moves like Nf3-h2 or e1 , Ng3-h1, etc may be the best option not because “something-has-to-be-played” , but because that is the right way to anticipate a hidden threat or re-route the piece via that odd square. (Backwards Knight moves, specially to the h1/h8 or a1/a8 squares are difficult to evaluate for the average player because of the way most of the people have been taught the rudiments of strategy in their beginnings)

But GMs have learnt (after all they are full-fledged professionals and they excel at what they do) that there is no such a thing like “pretty” or “ugly” squares/moves, but good and bad moves, good and bad plans , good and bad strategical/tactical decisions. Even Nimzowitsch was accused of playing “bizarre” moves, moves nobody understood, nobody would play because they went against the accepted truths or were labelled as “ugly”. Nevertheless, he made history, while many of his detractors, those defending “normal ideas”, those unable to accept that Chess was not a dead thing but a living, evolving one, passed unnoticed. 

So, the next time you sit at the board do not use those dangerous concepts of “prettiness/ugliness” when pondering about the movement of the pieces and the squares involved. (Or do it and then try to explain to yourself why h1/h8 is “not definitively  a square for your Knight to use…)

The following position is from Nimzowitsch-Tartakower, Carlsbad 1929:


Nimzowitsch played here…yes: 17. Nh1! and went on to win the game:

17…, f6  18. Qh2, h6 19.Ng3, Kh7 20. Be2 Rg8  21. Kf2 Rh8 22. Rh4 Qe8 23.Rg1, Bf8 24. Kg2, Nb7 25. Nh5, Qg6 26. f4, Nd8  27. Bf3, Nf7 28. Ne2,Be7 29. Kh1,Kg8 30. N2g3, Kf8 31. Nf5, Rg8 32. Qd2! Rc1 33. Rh2, Ke8  34.b3, Kd8  35. a3, Ra8 36. Qc1 Bf8? 37. Nh4,!, Qh7 38. Nxf6, Qh8 39. Nxg8, Qxg8 40. g5, exf4,  41.gxh6,Qh7  42. Qxf4, Bxh6  43. Qf6, Kc8 44. Nf5, Bxf5  45. exf5Kb7 46. Qg6, Rh8 47. Qxh7, Rxh7 48. Rg6, Kc8  49. f6, Rh8  50.Bg4, Kd8 51. Be6, Ke8  52. Bxf7, Kxf7 53. Rhxh6, 1-0

The next position is from Schlechter-Nimzowitsch, Carlsbad 1907:


Here, Nimzowitsch played... 17…Nha8!/ and went on to win the game.

And the last one is from Nimzowitsch-Rubinstein, Dresden, 1926:


The game continued: 18. Nh1! (en route to g5 forever) ,… Bd7/ 19. Nf2, Rae8 / 20. Rfe1, Rxe2/ 21. Rxe2, Nd8/ 22. Nh3, Bc6 / 23. Qh5, g6/ 24. Qh4, Kg7/ 25. Qf2, Bc5/ 26. b4, Bb6/ 27.Qh4, Re8/ 28. Re5!, Nf7/ 29. Bxf7, Qxf7/ 30. Ng5, Qg8/ 31. Rxe8, Bxe8/ 32. Qe1, Qe7/ 33. Qe7, Kh8/ 34. b5, Qg7/ 35. Qxg7 ,Kxg7/ 36. bxc6,  1-0


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March 28, 2014 at 7:45 am

Are We What We Have Been Influenced By?

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Have you ever thought about the past influences you show in the way you play Chess?. Think about it for a while.

My early Chess influences were , in this order, Karpov-Petrosian-Nimzowitsch (and the Hypermodern movement)-Botvinnik-Fischer and Spassky . I have learnt many things from all of them. If I reduce the list it would read: Karpov-Nimzowitsch et alii-Fischer-Spassky. Now you may say: “So what? Different chessplayers,different styles, etc.” Well, let’s try to find the common denominator. In fact when we speak of “influences” in Chess I immediately think of  openings and   certain middlegame recurrent positions. 

1.- Openings: Karpov (from his beginnings till around 1986), Fischer, Spassky and Nimzowitsch have had 1. e4 as their main opening as White. As Black Karpov ,Fischer and Spassky have played the Sicilian (my main weapon). The four have played Hypermodern defences : the Nimzoindian, the Queen´s Indian, the Grünfeld, the King’s Indian, the Benoni. I have played all of them + the Orthodox (Spassky’s weapon for many years too). 

2.- Middlegames: I have studied many books on strategy, middlegame Pawn constellations, etc. Books written by GMs from the Soviet Chess School and other GMs. like Pachman, Soltis, Grau (Argentina),Marovic, etc. I have studied Tarrasch´s and Steinitz´s games… BUT the greatest influence of all came from around 1979-80, when I came across my first copies of Nimzowitsch’s “Chess Praxis” and “My System” (the latter is a curious extended edition including different appendix with Nimzo’s articles which do not appear in the original and editions made after it (I suppose the editor decided to include them for the sake of completeness…). Then I managed to get a copy from “Blockade” published in the United States. And afterwards , I have tried to obtain anything on Nimzowitsch. For instance I have a copy from “Aron Nimzowitsch 100 Partier Forsynet med Stormensterens egne Kommentarer Og Skakcauserier” by Bjorn Nielsen in Danish (!!). And Nimzowitsch led me to Reti, Tartakower, Breyer,…

The Hypermodern reaction to the “classicism” represented by Tarrasch is known by everybody. I began to play Hypermodern Defences and typical middlegame set-ups avoiding the invasion of the centre with Pawns but trying to control and attack it from the wings. In my early years I used the English, the Reti or the Barcza System as White. I even tried bizarre systems like 1. c4, e5 2. e4 or 1. e4, c5 or …e5 / 2. c4. Or the Dresden Variation of the English, a most cherished  set-up of Nimzowitsch’s.

In Chess we could distinguish several periods (Chess writers call them “Schools”): Morphy, Anderssen et alii belonged to the Romantic School. Then came the Classical School with Tarrasch and contemporaries. One step forward and we have the Hypermodern School (curiously both Tarrasch and Nimzowitsch claimed they were trying to explain Steinitz’s ideas … to reach conclusions poles apart…). Afterwards, the Soviet Chess School, comprising everything, re-formulating many concepts,discovering new ones, etc. Today’s chessplayers follow an eclectic path (I guess). In a period of ultra-dynamism you can still find positional masterpieces in a classical or a hypermodern style be those what they may. I have written that certain school of thought has proclaimed that there is no strategy these days because the opening stage has been so extended that modern “tabiyas” may place the game between the 20th and the 30th move. (You can notice it at top-level Chess and in CC). But nearly everybody has a favourite idol : you may like Capablanca’s classical approach or Tal’s romantic one. Etc.

Perhaps knowing about all this may help us to improve because by insisting upon those features we have subconsciously acquired since our beginnings we may play within” our true style” or at least avoid repeating past mistakes, when perhaps we mixed things… (after all , one cannot play the Alekhine (1. e4, Nf6/ with the idea of invading the whole board with our Pawns… Get it?)

(In a different post I will write about Richard Reti (1889-1929) but I would like to include one of his compositions -No, it is not the famous  King/Pawn-race one…): 


This study was published by Reti and Mandler in 1924. White to move wins.  Instructions:

1.- This is not a mate problem.

2.- Study the position and try to imagine how White can proceed and how Black can defend his position.

3.- You can do it without moving the pieces. Then, try to find a solution by moving the pieces if necessary.

4.- You can cover the solution and try to find the first move and so on checking your election against the solution as if it were a game. White must play for the win, Black will try to , at least, get a draw. This is an exercise of threats/defences ,threats/counterthreats.

Remember that ,  in Chess, all the work you do always pays off, always reward.

1.- Ng1, Kd2! / 2. Nf3+ , Kd3! /3. Ke1, Ke3 / 4. Ne5, Ke4 /5. Nc4, Kd3 6. Nd2, Ke3/ 7. Nf3, Kd3 /8. Kf1! Ke3 / 9. Ne1, Kd2/ 10. Nc2!, Kd1 / 11. Nb4, Kd2 / 12. Nd5 winning.


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March 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm

CC Crisis

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(This is an open post. There are no definite ideas, only hints and doubts)

From time to time some doubts assault me and I fall into deep periods of Chess crisis:

Phase 1: No matter what you do: you start losing CC games.

 Phase 2: You need to rethink your approach to Chess and this means a change in your opening repertoire because for some reason, you have decided to torture yourself with CC.

Today’s CC has become a sort of “Star Wars”, with people glued to their computers + databases , aloof from the rest of the world, trying to destroy their unseen and unknown enemies using supertechnological devices. There is no strategy, no blunders due to wrong analysis, no human factors. Many games are decided by choosing one or another option in the opening. Once you or your opponent get an advantage, it is very difficult to lose the game due to a blunder. And it is very difficult to turn an inferior position into an advantageous one too… 

What can be recommended for OTB Chess is not valid for CC. That’s all.

Then, what can be done , apart from nothing?. Sometimes I tend to thing that it would be better to forget everything about dynamic strategy and so on: that is for OTB, not for CC. Then?. Well one of my last ideas is to revert to the classics, concretely to players like Nimzowitsch and -why not?- Petrosian. But can it be done when we try to follow all the moves databases suggest so creating games of the type we all know today?. Or should we play bizarre openings/defences ? (If you do so, don’t use a program to check the positions…) The answer is that what we perhaps should do is not to play bizarre openings but some of the strategies suggested by Nimzowitsch: centralization, restraint and , above all, blockade. As how we can do it , well, the idea is still in its beginnings… I have been reassessing some games by Nimzowitsch and one of the ideas is that he was a superb strategist who based everything in a deep tactical insight. If you study the chapter devoted to blockade in his “Chess Praxis” you will see how he was able to carry out his strategical/positional  ideas using tactical threats.

The question now is clear: could today’s super-programs be defeated by closely adhering to some of the ideas expressed by Nimzowitsch and only with this ideas?.-For in the rather tactical positions stemming from today’s openings, it is clear a computer will have the upper hand… And as for CC : could it be possible to use this or a similar method to defeat an opponent armed with “Deep ~” and a strong ,updated database?  (If you think all this is not important, please could you tell me why if all CC players use the same devices there are still wins and losses???)

(One of the main problems in Chess is not to find the first move and the sequence in combinative positions but to find the best move in strategical or quiet ones with no imminent tactical threats. Have you ever trained this particular point?. Remember that before reaching a combinational moment -and in most cases it will occur after a blunder on your opponent’s part -many intermediate “quiet” positions have to be solved ,since in Chess you have to make moves…)


This position is from Nimzowitsch-Möller, Copenhagen 1923. How would you continue?


(Solution: 34. Rxe5!, Bc3 35. Rb2-b5, Bxe5 36. Rxe5, a4 37. Kf3,Bc2 38. e4, Bb3 39. Rb5 , Ke7 40. Rb7, Kd8 41. Rb8, Ke7 42. Kf4, Rxd7 43. Rb7!, Be6 44. cxd7, Bxd7 45. Ke5, Ke8 46. Kd6, Bxg4 47. Rxg7, h5 48. e5, a3 49. e6, Black resigns.)

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January 10, 2014 at 8:11 am

The System

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Nimzowitsch wrote three books: “My System”, “Chess Praxis” ( a.k.a. “My System in Practice”) and “Die Blockade”. Much has been writen about them and they have become a sort of  milestones for every chessplayer. But the whole thing can be very obscure, especially pre-conceptions concerning “My System” and “Chess Praxis”. What is that of a “system”? Are there “systems” to play Chess?. Is the system first and the games derive from it or were the games first and he derived the system from them?. Well, let’s assume a system, in short, is but a set of  organised and related concepts. In this respect, what Nimzo did was to reasses Steinitz’s theories, add  new ideas he and others had found concerning the openings, increase the number of playable positions and start playing new openings. We are dealing with new strategical concepts a broader understanding of Chess positions and openings and a fight against Tarrasch’s dogmatic points of view.  Nimzowitsch, Reti, Breyer et alii studied the games and ideas played/used by their predecessors, broadened them , start playing new openings and changed the assessment of different strategical concepts . If their predecessors defended the occupation of the centre with Pawns and the use of openings leading to that, they advocated an indirect approach and proved it can be as valid as the opposite point of view. To control the centre was not necessary to play e4-d4-Nf3-Nc3-Bc4-Bf4 and so on. You could play ,for instance, c4-g3-Bg2-Nf3-Nc3 and exert pressure on it attacking from the wings. This gave rise to a number of new openings for White and for Black: the English,  fianchetto openings, the so-called Indian Defences including the Nimzoindian, etc. These new ideas changed Chess and after applying  them in his own games, Nimzowitsch could later speak of a system (Larsen somewhat was of the same opinion). In this same respect Soviet trainers could do the same after working very hard on the strategical aspect of Chess mainly after WW2 (They did not do it speak of a “system”- though everybody knows the meaning of the term “Soviet Chess School”.)   

One of my first Chess books was Nimzo’s “Chess Praxis”. I have  re-read it tens of times and it has always been a source of inspiration. (Of course the first times I studied it -starting around 1979- I understand little… This usually happens when you learn Chess by yourself.) The games there always offer something new to me and I enjoy reading Nimzo’s prose. Sometimes I simply open it and without looking at the chapter the games belong to I represent them on the board. The advantage of such an approach is that you are not influenced by the main topic the game features and you get more benefit from it. Some weeks ago , while doing this, I came across two games which made me enjoy myself on a depressing Sunday afternoon  :

W.: Yates (0)

B.: Nimzowitsch (1)

London 1927

A typical game … even for today’s standars.

1. e4, c5/ 2. Nf3 , Nf6 (one of Nimzowitsch’s pet variations. It pursues the same idea as the Alekhine Defence: to provoke the advance of the enemy’s Pawns overextending the centre and try to destroy it from the wings.)/  3. e5, Nd5/ 4. Nc3, Nxc3/ 5. bxc3 (today 5. dxc3  is considered better) , 5…, Qa5 (Also the typical Nimzo’s bizarre move) / 6. Bc4, e6/ 7. Qe2, Be7/ 8. 0-0, Nc6 (Nimzowitsch proposed …b6 instead) / 9. Rd1, 0-0/ 10. Rb1, a6/ 11. d4 (White has no problems. Nimzo gives a variation showing that now 11…, Qxc3 is not possible but computer analysis may give a second opinion: this is your work for today) 11…, b5/ 12. Bd3 (Nimzo says nothing, but here 12.d5 must strongly be taken into consideration .Work it out by yourselves) ,…, c4/ 13. Be4, f5/ 14. exf6 ep, Bxf6/ 15. Ne5, Bxe5/ 16. dxe5, Rf7/17. Qh5! (and  Nimzowitsch has managed to create an attacking position … for White. White reaches the King’s side ,creates threats and destroys Black defences there) 17…, g6/ 18. Bxg6, hxg6/ 19. Qxg6, Rg7/ 20. Qe8, Kh7/ 21. Qh5, Kg8/ 22. Bh6, Qxa2 (only move) 23. Bxg7, Kxg7/ 24. Qg5, Kf7/ 25. Rbc1, Qa3/ 26. Re1, Ke8 / (Now Nimzowitsch writes that White, instead of trying to chase Black’s King he should have remembered he had a passed Pawn – h2-. Yates lets victory slip trhough his fingers…) 27. Re4, Qe7/ 28. Qh6, Kd8/ 29. Rd1, Kc7/ 30. Rg4, Qc5/ 31. Re4 , Ne7/ 32. Qd2, Nd5/ 33. h4 (too late), Bb7/ 34. Rd4, Rh8 (Bishop and Rook work as a deadly team) / 35. Qe1, Bc6/ 36. g3, Qf8/ 37. f4, Qf5/ 38. Qf2, Qh3/ 39. Qh2, Qg4/ 40. Qf2, Rxh4/ 41. f5, Nf6 /42. Qe3, Qxe4!/ 43. Rxd4, Rh1/44. Kf2, Ng4/45. Ke2, Rh2/ 46.Ke1, Nxe3 / White resigned.

W.: Kmoch (0)

B.: Nimzowitsch (1)

Niendorf, 1927

A typical game with some imprecissions and an excellent example of tournament Chess.

1. e4, Nc6 (Nimzo’s trade mark again) / 2. Nc3, e6/ 3. d4, Bb4/ 4. Nge2, d5/ 5. e5, h5 (Again typical in Nimzowitsch and his (extreme) “prophylaxis theory” though he says 5…, Nge7 was better) 6.Nf4, g6/ 7. Be3, Bxc3?!  (again …Nge7) / 8. bxc3, Na5/ 9. Bd3, Ne7/ 10. Nh3, c5/ 11. Bg5, c4/ 12. Be2, Nac6/ 13. Bf6, Rg8/ 14. 0-0 (Nimzowitsch recommends 14.Ng5),…, Qa5/ 15. Qd2, Nf5 / 16. Rfd1, Kd7/ 17. Ng5, Rf8 /18. h3, Kc7/ 19. g4, hxg4/ 20. hxg4, Nfe7/ 21. Kg2, Ng8 (Nimzowitsch labels this as an error and proposes 21…, Bd7/ 22. Rh1, Rae8/ 23. Rh7, Nd8 ) / 22.Bg7, Re8/ 23. Rh1, (Nxf7 – Nimzo), Bd7/ 24. Rh3, Nd8/ 25. Rf3, Rc8/ 26. Rh1?! (26 Nxf7 or 26. Qc1 -Nimzo-), … Qxa2 27. Rh7 , Kb8/ 28. Nxf7, Nxf7/ 29. Rxf7, Bc6/ 30. Bf6, a5/ 31. Rh1, Qb2/ 32. Bg5, Rf8/ 33. R7-h7, Rc7/ 34. Rxc7, Kxc7/ 35. Qc1!, Qxc3/ 36. Qa1, Qxa1/ 37. Rxa1, Ra8 (Black has managed to disentangle himself taking advantage of defensive subtleties, intermediate moves his opponent inacuracies and  his typical defensive technique. The process is worth a study. The game enters a new stage : manoeuvres to break White’s position whose Bishop pair offers good defensive perspectives ) 38. Bd2, b6 /39. Kg3, Ne7/ 40. Bd1, Bd7/ 41. Bb4, Nc6/ 42. Bd6, Kb7/ 43.c3, b5/ 44. Rb1,b4/ 45. Ba4, b3/ 46. Bxc6, Kxc6 (Like Steinitz, Nimzowitsch saw the King as a strong piece, and used it accordingly: it is not a piece to be hidden in safety: he must play with the other fellow companions. In this respect, we can say both Masters … played a piece up!.) 47. g5, Ra7/ 48. Rb2, Rb7/ 49. Kf4,Bc8/ 50.Kg3, Rb4! 51. cxb4, a4 / 52. b5, Kxb5/ 53. Ba3, c3/ 54.Rb1, Kc4/ 55. f4, Kxd4/ 56. Kf2,Kc4/ 57. Ke1, d4/ 58. Ke2, Kd5/ 59. Kf3, Bb7/ 60. Re1,Kc4/ 61. Kf2, b2/ 62. f5, exf5/ 63. e6, Bc6/ White resigned.  

(By the way, Nimzowitsch games are very good to study the topic of piece exchanges and the transition from one postion to another, especially because he preferred closed positions and complicated strategical decisions. This can be done with many other players, of course.)  

(Possible idea for a future post: perhaps in some of your games you have hesitated  between, say, 1. e4 or trying 1. d4… Or as Black between 1. d4 d5 or 1. d4, Nf6. This is normal especially if you are a CC player: doubts about playing one’s pet opening or have a try at something new and perhaps more exciting…  But , what about “the second move”???. The answer in a future post.)


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October 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Quest (Chess)-tions?

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pos1  Mate in  3 moves. ( Bergstrom)


There are 4 questions I try to answer to myself with different degrees of success ( in fact no success since they seem to be always there…):

1.- Why am I still playing correspondence Chess since everybody uses programs to find/check his / her moves?

2.- Why do I so much like Nimzowitsch  and the Hypermodern period around him (1910-1935)?

3.- Why do I like the Soviet Chess School and the Chess between 1940 and 2000 .

4- Why am I writing this blog?

Since writing may constitute a sort of cathartic experience, let’s deal with them.

Q1.: The use of strong Chess programs has changed the way CC is played. When you win you are happy, when you lose you wonder what use all this is… I learn the game around 1971 and began to devote nearly all my spare  time to Chess in 1978.  In the past I did some sport: swimming and cycling. Only swimming remains. So I devote my spare time to reading (10%), other activities (10%)  and to Chess (80%). Of course this is an average calculations: while on holidays “other activities” are the 90%!

Well, if I gave up Chess, what more could I do?. On one occasion, Bobby Fischer accepted a draw in one game. Later he regretted it : “I should have adjourned the game. What should I do with myself tomorrow?” Bobby has no life outside Chess. It is not my case, but try to ask (and answer) yourself the same question…

Q2.: This is easy. Freud and Jung would be delighted: my first Chess book was O’ Kelly’s book on Petrosian. The second was Nimzowitsch “Chess Praxis” and the third a small book with all Reti´s compositions. So my “Chess infancy” marked my “Chess adulthood”. Psychoanalysis at its best.

Q3.: In 1978 , when I began to seriously study Chess the most important event was the Baguio match between the Anatoly Karpov (USSR) and the Soviet dissident Viktor Korchnoi. The impact on the media was enormous. The Soviet Union had been the driving Chess force since WW2, everybody admired the Soviets, everybody tried to get Russian Chess literature, etc. In 2000 in my opinion the world and the world of Chess were suffering complicated changes.The Soviet Union was slowly disappearing, Karpov one of my all-time idols began to decline. To me it was as if everything had changed forever. Perhaps it was me who changed…In any case, I see it as a turning point in my life. The period 2000-2005 was a terrible personal period for me.

Q4.: This is the worst one… When I began to write this blog I did it because I wanted to  keep a  record of my Chess experiences mainly a sort of “Diary of an ex Chess Deputy Arbiter”, etc. Also, I wanted to write about Chess as I see it in a sort of attempt to show my gratitude to Chess. After the first few posts, the blog seemed to acquire a sort of own independent life. Now I do not know what to do. 64 is a magical number ( Mercury’s magical square has this number of squares, as the chessboard, and so on.) So, perhaps when I reach the number of 64 posts I will have to decide what to do. But so far, nothing is decided yet…

Perusing other Chess blogs one can find interesting ideas, byassed analyis of this and that matter, etc. One of my defects is trying to be objective from a subjective vision… One of the recurring topics is that of “The Ten Best Chessplayers in the History of Chess”. One can find as  many list as writers.I have nothing against it. In fact I think you can always found a lot of interesting explanations concerning why / why not this or that player is or is not in the list. The only problem I find is how to compare players from different periods of time…

I am going to tell you one of my biggest doubts:  Period 1930 – 1972. Events: Soviet Union  Championships  – USA Championships : which of the two were the strongest?????? 

I guess I will have to devote some more space to this particular question…In a future post.

W.: A. Karpov (1)

B.: T. Petrosian (0)

Tilburg 1982

1. e4  c6  2. d4 d5  3. Nd2  de4  4. Ne4  Nd7  5. Bc4   Ngf6  6. Ng5  e6  7. Qe2  Nb6  8. Bb3  a5  9. a3  a4  10.   Ba2  h6  11. N5f3  c5  12. c3  Bd7  13.  Ne5  cd4  14. cd4  Be7  15.  Ngf3  0-0  16. 0-0  Be8  17. Bd2  Nbd5  18. Rfc1  Qb6  19. Bc4  Bc6  20. Re1  Nc7  21. Nc6  bc6  22. Bf4  Ncd5  23. Be5  Rfd8  24. Rad1  Bd6  25. Rd2  Be5  26. de5  Nd7  27. g3!   Nf8  28. Red1  Rd7  29. Qe4  Rb7  30. Rc2  Rab8  31. Rdd2  Ne7  32. Kg2  Qa5  33. h4  Rd7  34. Be2  Rd5  35. Rd4  Rd4  36. Qd4  Nd5?   37.Rc6  Qa8  38. Rc4  Qb7  39. Rc2!  Nb6  40. Bb5  Ng6  41. Qd6  Qa8  42.  Bc6 , Black resigned.


Written by QChess

December 6, 2012 at 6:57 am

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