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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 […]

Seattle Chess Youth love Officer Cookie!

Officer Denise “Cookie” BouldinPhoto by Joe Dyer With all of the tension that exist between urban youth and the police force, there have been so many suggestions to bridge the gap. There have been meetings with celebrity athletes, summits and other initiatives. There are a number of videos of police officers playing basketball and even […]

African Junior Championships in Togo!

2017 African Junior Chess Championships(Lome, Togo) Togo delegation at the General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by Daaim Shabazz. Togo is a small French-speaking West African nation of 7.6 million and a budding chess nation. The nation has been a member of FIDE since being welcomed at the 2012 FIDE Congress in Istanbul, Turkey. In […]

Everest Tucker, Jr. 1949-2017

It has recently come to my attention that Everest Tucker, Jr. of Farmington, New York had passed away earlier this year in May. We played a couple of times and had a few amicable and lively exchanges online. He had missed a few World Opens and when I saw him in 2006, he told me […]

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 […]

Opening advantage

My opponent was an old guy, I played him a couple of times in the past and won. I had White and he played Sicilian, French variation. I was not inclined to play d4, so I played c3 instead. His 5… Nc6 didn’t look right to me, I saw c4 right away and after some […]

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 […]

Egypt’s Bassem Amin breaks 2700!

GM Bassem AminPhoto by Anastasia Kharlovich Africa has its first 2700-rated player in Egypt’s Bassem Amin. It has achieved this landmark before other aspiring geographic regions. The 29-year cut his teeth on Africa continental tournaments and won the 2004 Africa Juniors. He is a four-time African champion (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017) and recently won […]

DeJesus tops Jones in thrilling Blitz Match 11-10

Jones-DeJesus has the ring of a championship boxing match. After months of fierce trash talk, taunts, diss videos, Daniel X Jones decided to ditch his “Baby-Faced Assassin” label for the more ominous, omnipotent label of “God.” Immediately causing a lot of controversy, he continued with the theme coming to the match with a shirt emblazoned […]

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, 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 […]

Evans Gambit

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Rolling Pawns

It was a first round in Monday’s tournament and my opponent was a young guy I played twice recently, blundering in the first game and drawing in the second. I excepted him to play Ruy Lopez again, but he played Evans gambit.  I went for a modern variation with Be7. Suddenly on move 7 he […]

Cage Match! Daniel X Jones vs. Jeff DeJesus

Daniel X Jones vs. Jeff DeJesus After two months, another Cage Match is upon us! Daniel X Jones will take on Jeff DeJesus in a 21-game blitz match at the Chicago Chess Center. After a couple of hotly-contest matches, Jones will take on DeJesus who will be flying in from Houston, Texas for match glory. […]

… 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 […]

Risk pays off

4 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Rolling Pawns

My opponent was a guy I played once, 4 years ago and had a draw. I had Black and we played Queen’s Pawn. I didn’t have a plan and couldn’t get any advantage until move 23, when I decided to play f6 and then e5. Objectively my position didn’t get better, e5 pawn didn’t look strong […]

2017 Jamaica International Chess Festival

Ambassador Dr. Nigel Clarke, Akshat Chandra, Qiyu Zhou, Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Akshita Gorti, Awonder Liang, Hon. Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Maurice Ashley. Photo by Peter Myers (Jamaica Chess Federation) The inaugural Jamaican International Chess Festival kicked off on the 13th with a serious schedule of events. The weekend was filled with many […]

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