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We’re Going on a King Hunt

When he took up playing poker seriously Alexander Grischuk was already an elite grandmaster.  He’s convinced that chess skills such as concentration, psychology, logical thinking and endurance helped his poker no end, but he’s less persuaded that poker has helped his chess.  But for his habitual…

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Chess in the US, with Pizzazz

Maurice (‘More-Reese’) Ashley’s commentary style is not everyone’s cup of tea. If his pants-on-fire delivery seems better suited to boxing than chess, then that’s the whole point.  But hose him down and he’s a decent interviewer, if more Piers Morgan than John Freeman. He’s the Morgan…

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The Final Round

If you’ve missed the US Chess Championships until now there’s still time to catch the final round. Well worth watching not only for the chess but for the engaging commentary team of Jennifer Shahade, Maurice Ashley and Yasser Seirawan. If their observations seem more entertaining…

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The $400 Club

Yasser Seirawan   Yasser Seirawan v Anatoly Karpov Phillips & Drew, London 1982 Queen’s Gambit White’s first move is very important! 1 d4 allows Karpov the more active Queen’s Indian (in comparison with the Queen’s Gambit). 1 c4 allows 1…e5, as Karpov played against Ribli…

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Keith Arkell Celebrates a Sage of Strategy

  ‘Ulf Andersson’s style  is a remarkable blend of Stahlberg and Petrosian, with a sprinkling of Nimzowitsch thrown in for good measure. Its subtlety must appeal to the connoisseur, and his deep understanding of the game make him a Grandmaster of the highest order.’ Harry…

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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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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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The Chess Player and the Train Robber

April 1981 was a fast month for news. John Hinkley had been arrested for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. There were riots on the streets of London. Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, went on trial. The Sun newspaper revealed to a rapt nation that…

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Chess Psychology and Father Christmas as Love God

Remembering Adriaan Dingeman de Groot (1914–2006)   Renzo Verwer translated by Kaarlo Schepel   ‘I wanted to show that chess was a game that differed quite a bit from people’s perception of it. I came to understand through my research that playing chess involves many…

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