Latest in Hack Attack

Confessions of a Crooked Chess Master – Part 2

Michael Basman   International Intrigue   It was Hastings 1967-8 at the annual congress run by Frank Rhoden. I had not been doing particularly well after having bullied Frank into giving me a place in the tournament. ‘I’ve got to invite Keene, Hartston and Penrose,…

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Confessions of a Crooked Chess Master – Part 1

Michael Basman   The Slippery Slope My first step along the road to perdition came in the London Under-14 Boys Championship in 1959 (in those days girls didn’t or couldn’t play chess). It was round 5 and I was playing J.N. Eyres of Colfe’s School…

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Zukertort Zigzagged

 Zukertort – Potter London, 1876 Black to play   Black has been gradually outplayed and is hanging on by his fingertips. He’s a pawn down, his queen is attacked, and the threat of a4-a5 seems terminal. After 36…Qe4 37 Qxe4 fxe4 38 a4 the pawn will…

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Fiendish Moves #2

 Kupper – Leepin Basel, 1954 White to play   Black has nothing to fear from 27 Qd8+ Kh7 28 Nf8+ Kh6 29 Qd4 Re2 when the position is equal.      27 Nf8! A brilliant move, and the only decisive one.      27…Bh7 27…Qxe5 fails…

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King of the Coffee House

This line as yet has no official name (except ‘Zaitsev line with 8 Bc4’); it is generally referred to as simply ‘The Hack Line’, or for reasons which are rather obscure, the The Nescafé® Frappé Attack or NFA for short. Graham Burgess, Attacking the Benko: The Nescafé® Frappé…

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Startling Castling

‘Security passes were something I never felt the need to wear, particularly when coupled with Rambo [John Stevens]. The way we were viewing it was, “If our hairdos aren’t our pass, well, we’ll pass on the gig, thank you.” Rambo and I got into so…

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Fiendish Moves #1

 Eliskases – Henneberger Bad Liebwerda, 1934 Black to play   Walter Henneberger (1883–1969) was a Swiss master whose career as a school teacher afforded him few opportunities to compete in  international tournaments. In the early 1900s he won the Swiss Championship four times but was…

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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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Walking the Walk

It’s a measure of how drab the World Championship has been that Magnus Carlsen allegedly falling asleep at the board and the double blunder in Game 6 have provided its most dramatic moments. The blunder is beautifully captured in this short clip featuring IM Lawrence…

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