Blog Profile / Dana Blogs Chess

Filed Under:Hobbies / Chess
Posts on Regator:662
Posts / Week:1.5
Archived Since:August 3, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Official Book Announcement

Going off topic today! I hope that my readers will forgive me. As many of you know, for the last two years I have been working on a big, non-chess book. It’s called The Book of Why, and we are now entering the home stretch. Publication date is now just three months away (May 15). […]

In the Company of Legends, Part 3

Today we’ll see the conclusion of my three-part epic game against Jay Bonin from the 2005 HB Challenge. The first two parts show how we followed and finally deviated from a terrific GM battle, Polugaevsky-Tal from the 1969 Soviet Championship. I’ve really enjoyed reading everybody’s comments about that game. Even if it was home analysis […]

In the Company of Legends, Part 2

Position after 21. … Rc4. White to move. FEN: 3q1r2/pb3pp1/1p4k1/3pP1N1/2r2Q1P/8/Pn3PP1/3RR1K1 w – – 0 22 Last time I left you with this quiz position, from the classic game Polugaevsky-Tal, Soviet Championship 1969. What should White play? Even if you didn’t read my earlier post, I strongly recommend taking some time to analyze this position. One […]

In the Company of Legends, Part 1

One thing that I miss about playing in tournaments is not having games to blog about afterwards. Hopefully my tournament absence will end fairly soon, but in the meantime I still have hundreds of games from the past that I’ve never blogged about. Here is my one game against an American legend — Jay Bonin, […]

The Search for Concepts

Last week I got together with three of my friends — Mike Splane, Gjon Feinstein, and Eric Fingal — for a chess analysis session/chili feed. I’m glad to say that both parts of the occasion went well; the chess was perhaps even better than Eric’s wife’s chili, which is saying something. Mike showed us a […]


Happy New Year! Here’s our first chess problem of the year, which doesn’t look like a chess problem:How many acorns do you see in the picture? Yesterday I went hiking with my wife and one of her friends in a state park near Santa Cruz, and toward the end of our walk I took this […]

How to Beat a Grandmaster (Part Two)

This morning I got a reminder in Facebook of a blog post I wrote exactly two years ago, called How to Beat a Grandmaster. My friend Robin Cunningham, a FIDE Master, was at that moment playing in the Hastings Masters tournament in England, which traditionally bridges the old year and the new year in chess. […]

Assistants and Assistance

I guess, in retrospect, it was silly to think that anybody would come to chess club on the day after Christmas. Even though I told several parents last week that we would be open for business, I think that everyone is just too much in the holiday spirit to think of leaving home and coming […]

Learning from the Students

In the most recent meeting of the Aptos Library chess club for kids, I decided to show them a position from a game that I played against Shredder, the computer. (Usually my lessons are taken from the excellent book Tactics Time by Tim Brennan and Anthea Carson, but every now and then I throw in […]

Sort-of Book Review: Eric Montany’s Modern Samisch

First let me explain the title of this post: I don’t really do book reviews in my blog. And I especially don’t do reviews of technical opening repertoire books. However, I have to make an exception when one of my friends has a new book published, a labor of love that he has been working […]

How AlphaZero Wins

So far I have looked at three games from the AlphaZero-Stockfish match: #5, #9, and #10 from the ten games provided in the arXiv preprint. All three are amazingly similar, and at the same time they are amazingly unlike almost any other game I’ve ever seen. In each case AlphaZero won by sacrificing a piece […]

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 […]

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