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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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Happy Bloody Birthday

John Emms I’ve finally decided that playing a competitive game of chess on your birthday is not what it’s cracked up to be. In fact, I’ll be taking measures to ensure this doesn’t happen to me again. It’s all the more painful if it happens…

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More Chess on the Radio

Writer John Healy is the first subject of this new programme on Radio 4, the first BBC radio series dedicated to chess since 1964. The other interviewees are former heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions,…

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Leonard Barden’s Blunder Theory

  ‘The worst blunders occur on the days when you’re feeling in form and aren’t expecting the chess gremlins to strike.’ ‘If you go through my games at the Hastings tournament of 1961/2 you may well expect my greatest error to have occurred there. I…

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That’s the Spirit!

Jonathan Rowson A polished pine bedroom in a convent school, Tallinn, Estonia, September 1997. A bottle of whisky, unpacked suitcases, and three drunken chess players playing blitz. Andrew Martin, Simon Williams, Jonathan Rowson. And, our invisible friend, ‘The Spirit’. It is intriguing. It is intriguing…

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Sergey Tiviakov: 20 Questions

Sergey Tiviakov was born in Krasnodar on 14 February 1973. Alexey Osachuk was his first coach and from 1980 until 1984 he was a pupil of former World Champion Vassily Smyslov. He won the World U-16 Championship in 1989 and World U-18 Championship in 1990….

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The Fine Art of Swindling – Defined

 Jonathan Rogers There are many ways in which chess literature suffers from the fact that the game is not a recognised academic study. Take, for example, the imprecision of our terminology; we all use various chess words but seem to mean different things when doing…

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Victor Bologan: 20 Questions

  Moldovan grandmaster Victor (Viorel) Bologan was born on 14 December 1971. His dynamic style has brought him numerous tournament victories including Dortmund 2003 (ahead of Kramnik, Anand and Leko), the Aeroflot Open (also 2003) and the Canadian Open (2005) and (with Zahar Efimenko) the…

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Emil Sutovsky: 20 Questions

Emil Sutovsky was born in Baku on 19 September 1977. He won the World Junior Chess Championship in 1996 and has represented Israel in eight Olympiads. At the 39th Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk in 2010 he achieved the highest tournament performance rating (2895) in the history…

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