Monday, 13 July 2020

When World Champion's walked among us like normal men

I'm currently evaluating software that processes pgn in bulk, doing a quick analysis of games using various chess engines. At this stage I am calibrating the results using older events where engine assistance (in opening prep) isn't part of the equation*
One event I am using is the Montreal 1979 Tournament of Stars. It was won by Tal and Karpov, and included almost all the top players in the world at the time. Tal started off the tournament with a win over Spassky, but the second most interesting thing from the game (after the moves), was the rating of both players. No 2800+ Super GM's here, just a couple run of the mill low 2600 journeymen!

Tal,Mihail (2615) - Spassky,Boris V (2640) [E94]
Montreal Montreal (1), 1979

*The reason being that it is a lot harder to differentiate between engine moves and 'remembered' engine moves when looking for evidence (or non-evidence) of engine assistance.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Serious skillage

With most chess events still being played online, there is now plenty of opportunity to cast an eye of some new talents on the Australian chess scene. The MCC Allegro (organised by the Melbourne Chess Club) has seen a couple of established tournament winners upset by at least one newcomer,  while the Box Hill Rapids have turned into quite a battle between some rapidly improving female players.
One game that really impressed me was the final round game between Jennifer Morrison and Chloe Fan. Although Morrison had at least a share of first place guaranteed, she still needed half a point for outright first. Under such circumstances there is a chance that the pressure may induce a serious mistake, but she was able to avoid any serious missteps and hold the position.

Morrison, Jennifer (1751) - Fan, Chloe (1733) [D02]
Live Chess, 12.07.2020

Friday, 10 July 2020

Who and when?

Who said the following, and when did they say it? "There were even the popular varieties, in which the original positions of the chessmen were decided by throws of the dice"

Thursday, 9 July 2020

An interesting draw

The ongoing ACTCA online events continue to serve up some interesting games. The latest is a draw that was played on the top board of the 45m+15s event that is currently running, although it looks as though White missed a chance for a bit more at the end. I'm posting the bare moves here, but will probably analyse it at greater depth on my twitch stream tomorrow.

mattrad (1609) - DoctorWho64 (1640) [C01]
Live Chess, 09.07.2020

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Over 1000

Following on from my post about, I have finished cataloguing my collection of chess books. At this stage I have just cracked the 1000 book total, although there are some books I have more than 1 copy of, and there are other books I haven't been able to add.
In the case of multiple copies, I have tried to remove duplicates if they are the same publisher and edition, but leave them in if they are from different print runs. So I probably have 5 different entries for "Logical Chess: Move by Move" but am treating the 3 copies of BCO 2 as a single entry.
On the other hand I probably have at least 50 books I am yet to add, either because the ISBN number doesn't match what Amazon or Google has, or that they are in a foreign language (usually Russian). As an example I have a Russian language copy of '200 Open Games' by Bronstein, but without an ISBN number, it is very difficult to add it.
If you are interested in seeing what books I do have (or seeing how the website works), you can check it out here


I've just noticed that my Chessbase database photo has got an upgrade. In this case I'm no longer the 'fat Elvis' I was around 2000, when the picture was last updated!

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Keep threatening checkmate

When you first start playing chess, it is quite an easy game. All you have to do is checkmate your opponent before they checkmate you. And the best way to do this is to keep threatening checkmate. Eventually they will crack.

Jeff_Memes (2332) - Chessplayersunchao (2340) [C67]
Live Chess, 02.07.2020