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The Rope-a-Dope and the Fishing Pole

The PRO (Professional Rapid Online) Chess League is well into its second season now, with six rounds complete. The league is easier to follow online than it was last year, because it now has a website independent of (, and there are recaps posted on the day of the rounds. Most rounds take place […]

To play or not to play

I knew that a big tournament at the university was coming up on the long weekend and had a hard time to decide to play or not. After Thursday’s game I realized that I am not in the best shape and decided not to play, but on Friday the thought that I will be sitting […]

Africa Chess releases “Maiden Edition”

Great news! There is another outlet for African news. African Chess released its “maiden edition” with a number of interesting stories including a brief history of Malawian chess and GM Nigel Short’s visit in 2006. It was a watershed moment for the country who joined FIDE a year earlier. Africa Chess is the brainchild of […]

Tremil Anderson, YouTube chess sensation!

Tremil AndersonPhoto by LA Chess Club Sometimes serendipity smacks you in the face. Last night while on Facebook I get a Facebook Live alert from Valerie Idehen that Maurice Ashley was playing blitz in Los Angeles’ Starbucks. I tune in and watch him beat several players with 5:1 odds. That’s not the story unless you’ve […]

Battle with a veteran

It was a third round in the Monday’s club championship, I played there first time in 2 months. My opponent was an old guy, FIDE master, it was his first tournament since 2012. I knew I could play him with Black, saw that he plays Vienna game and prepared a bit. So his first moves […]

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). […]

The Chess Drum beating for 17th year!

Another year has passed and The Chess Drum is still beating at 17 years. It’s been quite an interesting journey. Things have changed drastically from the times we were reading Informants and MCO to the current times of ChessBase 14, Twitch banter videos and cage matches. During the time of The Chess Drum, I have […]


I played on Thursday, it was a first game in two months, fifth round. My opponent was a 1475 rated man, I played him recently and won. I had White and he chose French, so we got Tarrasch, closed variation. 22. Ng5 was a provocative move, he took on f8 with a queen and it […]

The Importance of Nakamura’s Trip to South Africa

Before going to Spain in an attempt to defend his Gibraltar titles (2008, 2015, 2016, 2017), GM Hikaru Nakamura traveled to South Africa for a visit and a series of exhibitions. There were a number of videos buzzing around in social media and the visions of over-excited South Africans made it a must-see event. Nakamura […]

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 […]

Keep Forking

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Last week and this, I've been using my time on the bus to solve a few tactics exercises on I have attempted more than one hundred, finding that my concentration on the bus is often less than optimal, especially on the small screen of my phone. Show More Summary

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 […]

Study Material

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Chess Informant 134 contains an article by Ivan Ivanisevic on "The Art of Unequal Exchange" that has material suitable for chess players across a range of skill levels. An unplayed variaton in his first game fragment offers some positions highlighting fork threats. Show More Summary

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, […]

On the Bus

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

During the bus ride from the college town where I am teaching a class this quarter back into the city where I park my car, I attempted fifteen tactics exercises yesterday. This is one of those that I failed. Black to move (diagram upside down with Black on bottom) It is exercise 660988 on

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 […]

Checkmate Data

last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

It is commonplace to speak and write about checkmate patterns. Certain recurring checkmates happen over and over again in games no matter the skill level of the players. Of course, once players rise above a certain level, checkmatesShow More Summary

Chicago CC to host GM Ramirez

Blitz Battle!Daniel X Jones vs. GM Alejandro Ramirez The Chicago Chess Club will be hosting their first major event of the year when GM Alejandro Ramirez will be coming to the Windy City for a simultaneous exhibition and a match with Daniel X Jones. Promoter Nathan Jones asserted that the match is the main event, […]

Trump invites Norwegians to the U.S. Is Carlsen coming?

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Donald Trumpdays before his infamous remarks.Photo by CNBC President Donald Trump has had a tumultuous tenure in his year in the Oval Office. Constantly dogged by Tweets, off-color comments, contradictions, he was recently blasted for making disparaging comments about Haitians, Nigerians and Africans in general. He recently said if Nigerians […]


last monthHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Black to move From a blitz game.

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