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Nigel Short’s Questionnaire

  What is your earliest memory of playing chess? I remember playing  my father in our first game in about 1971.   What is your most memorable game? Beating Mikhail Gurefish [sic] in the last round of the Manila Interzonal.   What was your worst…

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Americans Prefer Poker

‘The game of chess has never been held in great esteem by the North Americans. Their culture is steeped in deeply anti-intellectual tendencies. They pride themselves in having created the game of poker. It is their national game, springing from a tradition of westward expansion,…

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Confessions of a British Nightclubber

While looking at a copy of Chess Monthly, I read with interest while Chris Ward revealed how he had been thinking during his penultimate round game with Jonathan Levitt during last year’s British Championships. Having reached a very promising middlegame position Chris started to daydream. I hand you over to the man himself:

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Combo Absurdo

With his sharp eye for the unusual and the bizarre, Tony Miles offered this ‘candidate for the most absurd combination of the year award’.  Bellon–Sosonko Amsterdam 1978 Having been positionally outplayed Bellon now produced the incredible 21 Bxa6!!??? The ‘justification’ lying in the variation 21…Bxa6 22…

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A Fish Who Makes a Lemon is Busted

The Students’ Olympiad 1967  W. R. Hartston   This event was held in Harrachov, Czechoslovakia in July and Cambridge University provided two members of the English team. On board two I scored two wins, nine draws and one loss in soporific style while on board…

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We’ve All Been There

‘After I resigned this game with perfect self-control and solemnly shook hands with my opponent in the best of Anglo-Saxon traditions, I rushed home, where I threw myself onto my bed, howling and screaming, and pulled the blankets over my face.’ J.H. Donner on losing…

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Irish Pawn Centre

Short–Trent Gibraltar Masters 2014 (5) position after 14 cxb4 Commentator Simon Williams described White’s tripled isolated b-pawns as the ‘Irish pawn centre’ but was at a loss to explain where the term originated. As Alex Baburin points out in his article ‘Winning with the Irish…

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