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When You Feel Happy, You Play Happy

I’ve learned one thing from watching kids play chess: the result of a game often depends not so much on the position on the board as on the position in their minds. Often I’ll see a kid lose a piece or more, but still stay resolute and continue making threats, and eventually win. I’ll also […]

Just a Reminder …

… of my favorite tactic. Position after 22. … Qd2. White to move. FEN: r2r2k1/2p2pp1/p6p/1p2R3/8/1PQ5/1PPq1PPP/R5K1 w – – 0 23 Black (Olav Sepp, 2436) has just played 22. … Qd2, obviously hoping for a queen trade with good drawing chances, or even better, hoping for 23. Qxc7? Rac8 followed by 24. … Rxc2. But White […]

Ten Seconds

2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

What should White play? It is a blitz game; seconds matter. White to move


2 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

This past weekend was the 26th annual Collyer Memorial chess tournament. I have played most years, and have had my best and worst tournament results in this event. Twenty years ago, after my first date with my wife on the eve of the tournament, I lost every game and finished in last place. Show More Summary

Black History Reflections for 2018!

Muhammad Ali played chess and was a master of strategy and tactics in the boxing ring. Each year The Chess Drum posts reflections for Black History Month. This year a video was produced with some reflections and contemporary topics. This has already been an interesting year with the release of “Black Panther” and its prospects […]

Davy and Gray… 2018 Jamaican Champions!!

Davy Cops Fourth National Chess Champion Title The 2018 National Chess Championship of Jamaica ended last weekend at the Christar Villas Hotel, with FIDE Master Damion Davy capturing the National Champion title for the Absolute section. This was Davy’s fourth hold on the title, which he won in 2011, jointly in 2012 and 2013. FM […]

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

3 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Rolling Pawns

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

last monthHobbies / 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

2 months 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, […]

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