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RIP Malcolm Pyke

I am so very upset this morning to have learnt of the untimely passing of my friend Malcolm Pyke. We happen to be friends on Facebook, too, and over the last few days I'd enjoyed his regular photo updates of his trip in Portugal. SoShow More Summary

WBL launches new theme album!

Words, Beats & Life, Inc. (WBL) has released another album, but this time it is chess-inspired. The album is called “Crowns” and contain 15 songs by a number of featured artists. Some of the songs are “ROOKie,” “Queens,” “Strata-G’s,” and Asheru’s “Chess Move.” The entire album is up on soundcloud, a music portal for budding […]

Fiddling with the London System

2 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

In the first round of the Winter Championship at the Spokane Chess Club last night, I played an opponent who has been difficult for me. We first played nearly forty years ago in a match between our respective high schools. There mayShow More Summary

Happy Halloween … Oops, Wrong Time of Year

Yesterday I wasted a ton of time playing against Shredder on my computer, and losing game after game… Finally I “dumbed the computer down” to a rating of 1977 just so that I would have a chance to win. And what do you know? I got a chance to play probably my nicest combination ever […]

Blowing the Ending

5 days agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This morning on, I beat NM Farzad Abdi in a three minute game. However, I completely blew the ending and won only because my opponent ran out of time in a dead drawn pawn ending. Black to move I played 55...Ra3+ and swapped rooks, which produced a pawn ending where my opponent easily seized the opposition and a dead draw. Show More Summary

A New League in Town!

I’m sure it hasn’t escaped the attention of my readers that a new, worldwide chess league has come into existence. The old US Chess League is defunct, and in its place stands a NEW and BETTER chess league, called the PRO Chess league. (Yes, PRO is capitalized; no, I don’t know why; yes, I’m having […]

Lessons with Yasser

Yasser Seirawan is giving me free chess lessons, but they are not exclusive. Once again, he is the host in the broadcast booth for the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. I have been enjoying Seirawan's commentary during Grand Master tournaments since the early '00s. Show More Summary

2017 Tata Steel Chess (Wijk aan Zee)

The first major tournament has begun and marks the first classical tournament for Magnus Carlsen since he defended his title. He will be one of the 14 competitors in the 79th edition of the Tata Steel Chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands). Pea soup will not be the only thing served up as the […]

Teaching Endgames

My advanced group and a few from the beginning group met together this week becuase of a schedule change for another after school activity. They struggled to find the moves in a game played by Alexander Alekhine when he was a young man. Show More Summary

Somalia ushers in “Chess in Schools”

Chess officials display the equipment to eager onlookers. Somalia has been a member of FIDE since 1987 and has participated in past Chess Olympiads. However, things have been difficult in terms of keeping the momentum going in the Horn of Africa. Fortunately, the Somalia Chess Federation got a boost from the Kasparov Chess Federation with […]

Patterns: Some Evidence

Working through a lesson series called "Advanced Tactics" on, I came across this problem. Black to move The diagram is upside down (Black on bottom).This lesson series was created for Chess Mentor by Thomas Wolski. It contains many lessons from the games of Wilhelm Steinitz. Show More Summary

Alekhine -- Levenfish 1912

Reading Alexander Alekhine's Best Games (1996) this morning, I became caught up studying a miniature. Alekhine -- Levenfish, St. Petersburg 1912 was decided in nineteen moves. Naturally, Levenfish's errors merit attention for anyone who plays the Benoni Defense, and perhaps also for players of the Modern. Show More Summary


2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Much of my time preparing chess lessons for young students is invested in the creation of worksheets. These can be photocopied and distributed to groups of students at minimal cost. The young chess players can then work on their own or with others to find the correct answers. Show More Summary

Microsoft co-Founder and KCF launch “Chess Masters for Africa”

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft The Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa is delighted to be able to announce that we will be collaborating with the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to facilitate a series of chess master training tours across the African continent during the first six months of the 2017 calendar year. The program will […]

4th Multi-City Site Tourney in three cities!

This report was written by Jones Murphy, Jr., organizer of the multi-site tourney. Photo by Daaim Shabazz. The fourth Multi-site Chess Tournament took place Saturday December 3rd, with 3 venues and a 3-hour time zone difference among them. The venues were New York Chess & Games, the California Youth Chess League in Santa Clarita near […]

The Restricted Center

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Dutch versus the English My interest in the English Opening has been revived lately. As a consequence, I've been looking at some games in Anatoly Karpov, How to Play the English Opening (2007); Vladimir Kramnik, and Iakov Damsky, Kramnik: My Life and Games (2000); and S. Show More Summary

Life Masters, Pretty Pieces

Welcome back! I’m officially ending my blog hiatus today, but I have to warn you that posts will continue to be very sporadic for the next month or two. My book still isn’t finished yet, and that has to be the #1 priority. Still, I will post here when I can, especially when I have […]

Hope Arthurine Anderson: Jamaican Legend

IN THE BEGINNING… On March 24, 2016 one of the brightest of Jamaican lights was extinguished when Hope Arthurine Anderson, escorted by Caissa, went to meet her Maker and the chess gods. Many, including members of the Jamaican Chess fraternity, mourned the passing of this outstanding Caribbean woman, a veritable gem of a human being. […]

Empty Promises

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

Year in Review 2016 was a rough year that dropped my USCF standard rating to 2009 levels. In 2007, my rating climbed over 1700 for the first time, albeit briefly. In 2008, it appeared that I would keep it over 1700, but then in the first event of 2009, it fell again to 1698. Show More Summary

The Chess Drum’s Highlights of 2016!

The year 2016 was the year of the Olympiad and Baku certainly spared no expense to put on a wonderful event. It was, by many accounts, the best Olympiad ever. The USA won the gold for the first time in 40 years and capped off a cinderella year the likes of Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura […]

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