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On the Bus

10 hours agoHobbies / 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

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 […]


Black to move From a blitz game.

2018 Tata Steel Chess (Wijk aan Zee)

One of the marquee tournaments kicked off today in Wijk ann Zee with the opening of the 80th Tata Steel Chess Tournament. World Champion Magnus Carlsen is coming off of his 2017 Grand Tour win and the recent Blitz title to play in his 14th Tata tournament. He won in 2016 and will be looking […]

Beware the Horse

Where should the queen move? White to move This position caught my interest. It appears in "The Art of Unequal Exchange" by Ivan Ivanisevic in Chess Informant 134, which I received last week. This article is quite interesting and offers study material that promises to improve my game, as well as helping me develop some materials for teaching young players.

Fascinating Fischer video!

Some years ago, I stumbled onto a Google document featuring a video of Bobby Fischer shortly after he was released from his nine-month imprisonment. I had not seen it on any chess-related website and had been meaning to do a brief on it after some reservations. Fischer had shaven his scraggly beard grown over his […]

Colding releases “Chess for Children”!

National Master Ernest “Steve” Colding has been a mainstay in New York chess for more than 40 years. He has an affable persona and for the past 30 years has shared his joy of chess with students in the New York area. As one of the original “Black Bears of Chess,” he continues to enjoy […]

Carlsson tours Kenya!

GM Pontus Carlsson is becoming a regular on the African scene to conduct training sessions. The Swedish national participated in the 2017 Africa Tour visiting Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. The trip, sponsored by the Paul Allen Foundation, was a rousing success and featured other Black chess masters including Maurice Ashley and Kenny Solomon. This visit […]


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 […]

The Chess Drum’s Highlights of 2017!

The year 2017 was an interesting year showing that chess is becoming more universal with the steady rise of China and India. Viswanathan Anand is still a force as he won the World Rapid and took 3rd in the World Blitz, a sign that he is still a force to be reckoned with in the […]

“Triple Exclam” wins joint honor for “Best Author”

Chess Club Live, a large social media organization announced their awards for 2017 via Twitter. There were various categories and followers were asked to vote in several categories. The vote was conducted via Twitter poll and there was a limited window of time. In a year when an number of interesting books have been released, […]

Webster’s New York chess crew makes history

Four young men from New York have continued their ambitions in chess at Webster University under the tutelage of Grandmaster Susan Polgar and Paul Truong. Shawn Swindell was the first to enter Webster and he also plays on the basketball team. He was followed by FM Joshua Colas and FM Justus Williams last year who […]

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. […]

Kenneth Clayton, chess pioneer (1938-2017)

“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” ~ African Proverb The chess world lost another pioneer the other day when National Master Kenneth Roger Clayton passed away on December 26th. The 79-year old Maryland resident was a person of consequence: a scholar, chess master, loving father/husband and scuba diver. He was […]

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 […]

Revisiting Baraka Shabazz

Baraka Shabazz at Dupont Circle Recently on Facebook, BJ McCurdy raised a question on the whereabouts of Baraka Shabazz (unrelated to this writer). For the uninitiated, Baraka was a teenage sensation who experienced a meteoric rise in the late 70s. She was the subject of many articles and enthralled a mass media audience. Her story […]

Holiday Cheer

4 weeks agoHobbies / Chess : Chess Skills

I usually play a game or two of online blitz on holidays. These days are devoted to family time, but there are always a few moments when everyone else is sleeping or otherwise occupied, so I sneak in a game of chess. This morning, the investment of a knight gave me a nice position in a classical French. Show More Summary

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