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Old Lothario

Hugh Alexander: my favourite game ‘good judgement rates at least as high in chess as accurate analysis’ Asking someone who has been playing tournament chess for well over thirty years for his favourite game, is rather like asking an ageing Lothario about his favourite girlfriend. He…

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Out in the Cold

Olaf Steffens Long ago in Ancient Greece the Olympic Games were invented to celebrate all sports. In the searing heat men would wrestle, run and throw the discus, sometimes even stark naked. Then they would take a break and meet again four years later to compete…

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Andrew Whiteley 1947-2014

Andrew Whiteley, who has died aged 67, belonged to the generation of players who ushered in the ‘English Chess Explosion’ of the late 1970s. Most of them cut their teeth as students at either Oxford (Botterill, Lee, Markland, Whiteley) or Cambridge (Hartston, Keene, Stean, Williams)….

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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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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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