Blog Profile / Dana Blogs Chess


URL :http://www.danamackenzie.com/blog/
Filed Under:Hobbies / Chess
Posts on Regator:651
Posts / Week:1.5
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive

One Small Step for Computers, One Giant Leap for Mankind

Today, like many people, I was shocked by the news in my Facebook new feed. AlphaZero beats Stockfish! For those who (like me) had never heard of AlphaZero, let me explain that it is a new deep-learning algorithm created by the same folks who gave you AlphaGo, the computer program that vanquished the human Go […]

My Shortest Loss

A few years ago I wrote a post about a game where my opponent resigned in a drawn position. I mean really, truly drawn: I had just sacrificed a queen to force a perpetual check, but he somehow misread it and thought it was a checkmate. Of course, there have been even worse cases in […]

Video and Movie Reviews

I hope that everybody reading this will check out the new video about the 2016 Chess Olympiad at YouTube! I apparently cannot embed it in this post, but here is a link to the video. I really don’t think that people outside the chess world appreciated what a major event this was, definitely in U.S. […]

Chess Personality Test

A few days ago my chess friend and correspondent, Larry Smith, sent me a position from a game he had played against his computer. Larry was White: White to move. FEN: r1b4k/pp2N2p/4p2Q/3pP2B/3b4/P7/KP3r2/8 w – - 0 1 First of all, let me say I’m glad that I’m not the only one who likes to play […]

What Would Daisy Do?

Recently I had a kibitzer for one of my chess games against the computer. As we all know, man versus computer is an uneven battle. But a little bit of canine assistance can even up the odds! Daisy and Dana — Shredder (2220) 1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 d4 3. d4 d6 4. f4 […]

A Ghost Named George

The Kolty Chess Club, a San Jose-area club where a lot of my friends play, recently completed its club championship, which ended in very dramatic fashion. Going into the last round, Henry Wang, a 15-year-old Expert who is surely headed for Master and beyond, had put in a dominating performance. He had scored 5½ points […]

Poochie the Chess Game

Last week, during the World Series, I read this hilarious article about the wonderful, wacky, crazy fifth game. This was the game when the Houston Astros fell behind, 4-0 and 7-4, and they were facing the best pitcher in baseball (Clayton Kershaw), yet somehow came back to win, 13-12. It was a game when impossible […]

Playing Abroad, Part Two

Recently I wrote a post about my first experience playing a tournament abroad, back in 1978 in Russia. Coincidentally, I got together last weekend with some chess-playing friends, and tournaments abroad were one of our big topics of conversation. Mike Arne, a Life Master who has played almost no competitive chess since 1999, has recently […]

Close But No Cigar

I’m sure that this will come as a surprise to no one: The Minnesota Blizzard won the fan vote for the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions of the PRO Chess League. The San Francisco Mechanics came in second and we will be the first alternate to take somebody’s place if one of the teams collapses. This […]

Time to Vote! Plus, Highlights from Yesterday

The polls have opened to determine the final two participants in the 2018 PRO Chess League! According to commissioner Greg Shahade, there will be two concurrent polls, one on Twitter and one at chess.com, and the votes will be added to determine the winners. You have 72 hours to cast your vote. To read about […]

Mechanics need your vote!

The PRO Chess League qualifier has concluded, and these were the standings for the Pacific Division. (It was a 15-round Swiss, with 4 players on each team, so the team scores given below are out of 60 possible points.) Chengdu Pandas — 36.5 Seattle Sluggers — 35 Australia Kangaroos — 34.5 New York Knights — […]

PRO Chess League returns — will the Mechanics?

The great experiment known as the Professional Rapid Online Chess League is about to return to an Internet near you! The world-wide chess league debuted last January with 48 teams, and ultimately came down to a thrilling match between Wesley So’s St. Louis Arch Bishops and world champion Magnus Carlsen’s Norway Gnomes. Although Carlsen beat […]

… And Out Popped a Mate

In 1978, I was an exchange student for a semester in what was then called the Soviet Union, studying Russian language at what was then called Leningrad State University in the city then known as Leningrad. One of my biggest goals for the semester was to participate in a chess tournament. I didn’t even know […]

Chessboard Art

Last weekend Santa Cruz had an annual event called the Open Studios Art Tour, a chance for local artists to promote their work. It’s highly competitive (Santa Cruz has a lot of artists!) but this year one of my neighbors, Martha McNulty was selected to exhibit her work. I knew that she was an art […]

Human’s Revenge

In my last post I showed you a game where the computer completely embarrassed me, by playing as if it were the reincarnation of Aron Nimzovich. Of course, after that game I had to get my revenge, and there is no better way to get revenge against a computer than to play the Bryntse Gambit. […]

How I got Nimzovich’d

(A post in the Halloween spirit.) Last night I was playing chess against Shredder, the computer program, and set its rating at 2220. At that very moment, through a glitch in the time-space continuum, the ghost of Aron Nimzovich was summoned and possessed my computer. “What is this?” thought Nimzovich. “The afterlife is not as […]

In Honor of the Long Diagonal

I’m back! I’ve finished writing my book, the last files are going off to the editor tomorrow, and at last I can think about chess and my blog again. For a long time one of my many passwords (Not for this site, though! Don’t get any ideas!) has been “iamtheboss.” The point is that the […]

World Cup Wrap-Up

Today Levon Aronian won both of his 25-minute playoff games against Ding Liren to become the first two-time winner of the World Cup. (He also won in 2005. I’m not including the two earlier World Cups that were held using a different format and only 24 players.) He left no doubt that he was the […]

KQ versus KR, part two

In my last post, I looked at the K and Q versus K and R endgames, one of the four endgames of the Apocalypse, which occurred in both of the semifinal matches of the World Cup, and I introduced a couple of new ideas or at least new terminology, the “seesaw maneuver” and the “back-against-the-wall […]

The Seesaw in the KQ vs. KR Endgame

Watching the World Cup is just like watching a master class in endgames! We’ve already had three matches decided by very difficult K+R versus K+B endgames, with equal pawns on both sides. Today, in the semifinal round, the masters decided to teach us a class in the infamous K+Q vs. K+R endgame, with no pawns […]

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