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Herr ‘Stemitz’ and the Librarian

Although Steinitz was celebrated for his play without sight of the board, barely two dozen of his blindfold games survive. In February 1875 he visited Oxford to give a blindfold exhibition over seven boards. He won four, lost one, with two games left unfinished. It…

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The Sincerest Form of Flattery?

This item deals with an accusation of plagiarism levelled against Raymond Keene in the magazine Inside Chess: May 3rd, 1993, pages 24-25; June 14th 1993, page 19 and February 7th 1994, page 3. We are grateful to Inside Chess, now owned by Chess Café, for…

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Raymundo contra Mundum

On the eve of the press conference to announce the Kasparov-Kramnik match, David Levy addressed a remarkable billet-doux to Raymond Keene, his life-long business partner and former brother-in-law.     An open letter to Raymond Keene: Raymond, We have known each other for 37 years. We have…

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How to Avoid Traps

  ‘A player of average strength asked us how to avoid traps in the opening. We gave him four rules: Move nothing beyond the fourth/fifth rank till all your pieces are developed (except a pawn, if it hits a piece or takes something). When Black,…

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Has Karpov Lost His Marbles?

Tony Miles As it happens I am in a position to reveal exclusively to Kingpin readers (unless, of course, someone else actually offers to pay me) the true and tragic story of why the invincible Anatoly failed to dispose of that young upstart Kasparov. I…

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The British School

‘The British School is characterized by a great show of brilliancy. No idea is too bizarre for them, no concept too fantastic. They are hard workers, to be sure, but rather bent on finding new sensational effects than on constructing something useful. For the main…

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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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Chess Annotation as a Fine Art

 ‘A raking pin by the proud prelate. White threatens to thrust the flagship of his armada forward with the galloping move e5, leaving his discomforted steed on f6 feeling like Yasser Arafat at a barmitzvah.’   A great spoof by Colin Crouch from Kingpin 20 (Spring 1993).

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