The Mammoth Book of Chess

Recently bought “The Mammoth Book of Chess” from Amazon. If you are passionate chess player or want to become one, I  strongly recommend you this book. For more recommendations have a look this post.

The Mammoth Book of Chess


Beware of the Bishops!

In a previous post we saw how manoeuvrable are Knights. Time to turn our attention to Bishops. Following game is a blast from the past – Schulder vs Boden, London 1860.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 (not very popular today Philidor defence, solid but White has the initiative and if play actively for Black is very difficult to equalise) 3.c3?! That’s too passive. White should go for 3.d4 and occupy the centre. 3… f5! Black immediately take the initiative and fight for the centre. 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d4 (a bit late) 5… fxe4 6.dxe5 exf3 7.exf6 Qxf6 8.gxf3 Nc6

Beware of the Bishops - Diagram 1

Black has only one problem – Bishop of f8. In a few moves we’ll see how Boden solves this problem elegantly and efficiently. 9.f4 Bd7 10.Be3 O-O-O 11. Nd2 (pawn on c3 is preventing this Knight to get on far better place on c3 so it will require few moves before it finds good square to go. This gives Black time to reorganise his forces) 11…Re8 12.Qf3 Bf5 (things are staged and Black’s army waits to deliver final blow)

Beware of the Bishops – Diagram 2

13. O-O-O? That’s a mistake! White simply go for trouble. 13…d5! 14. Bxd5?? Black already has massive advantage and this blunder just speeds up the end. Next few moves and final position went into history as Boden’s mate. 14…Qxc3+!! 15.bxc3 Ba3++

Beware of the Bishops – Diagram 3

What a beauty!

Amazing Knight

Just had the pleasure to look at game where a two noble Knights, manoeuvre amazingly across the battlefield and become heroes.

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 d6 5.h3 Nf6 6.a4 O-O 7.Be3 Nbd7 8.Be2 e5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.O-O Qe7 11.Qd3 a5

Diagram 1

12.Qc4! (prepares knight ‘s move) Re8 13.Rfd1 h6 14. Nd2! (this horse dreams for green pastures on b6) Nh7 15.Qb3! Ng5 16.Nc4 Nc5 17.Qa3 Nce6 18.Qxe7 Rex7 19.Nb6 (at last fresh grass for the horse, so knight can dream for his beloved one) Rb8 20.Bg4 Re8 21.Bxg5 hxg5

22.Nb1! (now this one has same dream) Bf8 23.Nd2 Bc5 24.Ndc4 Bxb6 25.Nxb6 Kf8 26.Rd2 Ke7 27.Rad1 Rf8 28.Nxc8+ Rfxc8 29.Rd7+ Kf6 30.Bxe6 fxe6 31.g4! 1-0 (black have no way to prevent R1d3 followed by Rf3)

Chess corner

Do you like to play Chess?

I do! Unfortunately, I have no time to enjoy a nice full time control games anymore 😦

I do not like blitz games. I like long games where you can plan properly and thus improve your strategic play. Blitz, to me, is not allowing you to do this. Apart of training your tactical game and short vision, you are not getting too much from it. It is too much game of chance and blunders. It is more or less game of who memorized longer opening lines. Not necessarily best ones but those that you can surprise the opponent with new and unexpected move.

And are you using a computer for analysis? That’s fine to some extend but again computers are still not good enough with strategy. Chess algorithms are quite advance these days but still they lack of lot of the strategic planning pluses that humans have. IMHO computer is useful to quick sanity check on a moves for blunders and tactics (yeah, comps are extremely good in this) but still you have to put your own brain in to work to come up with some strategic plan. Otherwise, you will suffer some bad defeats 🙂

I started this post with an idea to introduce to you a series of good chess books by Jeremy Silman. I am child of the Russian and Bulgarian chess teaching systems and methodology. If you have even the smallest piece of chess talent, using those methods you can quickly rise to master levels. However, what is missing in those systems is the bit that can teach you to play good chess if you are not talented. Believe me, you may be a profane and still learn to play master level chess. I wasn’t sure how exactly this can be achieved, until I read Jeremy’s books. He found way to explain to the masses what’s going on inside masters head and also to presents a nice and easy way to train yourself to think like a master.

For one who decides to give it a go, I recommend following of the books to read:

  1. How to Reassess Your Chess: Chess Mastery Through Chess Imbalances
  2. The Reassess Your Chess Workbook: How to Master Chess Imbalances
  3. The Amateur’s Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions into Chess Mastery
  4. Silman’s Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner to Master
  5. The Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z

I would suggest reading these books in this particular order, but any other one will do the job as longer as you keep the order of first and second book.

One last thing before I finish with my gibberish that I am calling a blog – If you are interested of playing chess and have not so much time as me, we can play some form of correspondent chess – let’s call it “Blog chess” 🙂 Just let me now that you are interested. I will create a section (“Chess corner”) on this blog, where we could post our moves. It will be funny I think 🙂