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The Underdog

  The Grandmaster scowled at the autograph hunter and dutifully scribbled on the ticket. He had just blundered a game away, losing horribly in under 25 moves. That he, a World Championship candidate no less, had crushed his young English opponent in a simultaneous display the…

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How Deep Blue Knew

Daniel Johnson reviews Garry Kasparov’s Deep Thinking Times, 3 June 2017, p.16.   We know exactly why Deep Blue knew that its eighth (not seventh) move, Nxe6, was winning by force: it was programmed to play this well-known winning line.

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The Perfect Suicide

Jeroen van de Weijer   Should we still be playing suicide chess (also known as ‘antichess’, ‘losing chess’, etc.)? After all, computer analysis by Mark Watkins (University of Sydney) has recently shown that White wins (1 e3!) against all defences. In my view, this should…

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The No.1 Bestseller

  By the same author   See also Reflections on Garry Kasparov 10 Seconds with Garry Kasparov We Need to Talk about Garry, Part 1: A New Beginning We Need to Talk about Garry, Part 2: Good Decisions We Need to Talk about Garry, Part…

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The Accountant Who Shunned Percentage Chess

  H.E. Bird: A Chess Biography with 1,198 Games Hans Renette 608 pages | hardback | 150 illustrations | 1,198 games | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2016   Adrian Harvey   During the period after 1860 three British chess players had a plausible claim to be in…

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FIDE President Awarded Golden Bolloc Gold Medal

On October 13, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was awarded the annual International award the Golden Bolloc 2016 for his contribution to “the cause of peace and development of the relationship between nations and states”. Bookies’ favourites British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Korea’s Kim Jong-un…

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World Chess Federation Draws a Veil Over Criticism

FIDE’s controversial decision to allow Iran to host the 2017 Women’s World Chess Championship has sparked a furore in the hushed, cerebral ranks of the game’s fans. In a bold move to silence critics who accuse it of endorsing a regime that enforces gender apartheid, FIDE…

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The Forgotten American

  Samuel Lipschütz: A Life in Chess Stephen Davies 408 pages | hardback | 42 illustrations | 249 games | $65.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2015         Hans Renette    Samuel Lipschütz   It does not take much to fire a passion. In his introduction…

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A Monument to Contemporary Chess History Writing

  Ignaz Kolisch: The Life and Chess Career Fabrizio Zavatarelli 376 pages | hardback | 63 illustrations | 174 diagrams | 324 games | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2015         Stefan Löffler I can’t think of a chess personality who enjoyed a more adventurous and prosperous…

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