Sunday, July 31, 2011

Guess-the-Master-Move, part 1 (Steinitz)

Using the "Guess-the-Move" application at, I will replay three games of each of the twelve first undisputed world champions. In order to somewhat normalize the scores, I will focus on my achieved percentage of the par score of the games in question (unless someone comes up with a nicer idea). The first world champions are of course:

Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker and José Raúl Capablanca

This post will be updated with games replayed and my score.

Replayed Games:

1. Steinitz vs Lang, 1860 (score: 17 par = 25)

This was a highly tactical King's Gambit game which was clearly beyond me. Once upon a time I believed that tactics was my strength. This was an illusion caused by much higher test scores on tactics servers than my never increasing ICC rating.

2. Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1892 (score: 35 par = 43)

Here I scored a lot of easy points suggesting to castle but on the other hand completely overlooked Steinitz amazing attack.

3. Steinitz vs Zukertort, 1886 (score: 30 par = 23)

Another wild tactical game in the Vienna gambit (C25). This time the attacking moves felt pretty natural. I am not claiming any progress. I have probably seen the positions before.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Chess "Who-Are-You" Experiment

A fellow chess blogger started a nice project. I am sorry but I cannot remeber who did it. Please remind me!

The Experiement was to "Guess-the-Move" a handfull of games from all World Champions to get a feel for his or hers chess style. Agreed, a chess low life such as your truly has no style but Blunderistic but I like the approach. I tend to need to fool myself to work hard and in a steady direction. So, my project of the day will be to replay 3+ games of the ten first World Champions and to create a clever way of comparing the results. Suggestions appreciated! Join the Movement!

A Neat Little Tool

So, you have had trouble to get started using SCID? Or, not ready to pay a hand and a foot for Chessbase? This might be what you need to a price you will like: ChessPad

I have not been working with huge databases using ChessPad so I cannot tell for sure of the Search works efficiently but for the DIY Chess Improver, I think it works perfectly.

Hey, I even managed to add Stockfish (also free!) as an engine so ChessPad must be really userfriendly. My computer knowledege ends just beyond the power switch.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Never Ending Story

Yes, I have spent almost as many hours contemplating chess openings as actually playing the Game of Kings.

Yes, I realize that most games stays within theory for at most 4 moves.

Still, I cannot resist to go into the "what-to-play-loop" yet again.

So, I have been faithful to the Good Old London System for some time but I am getting bored with it. Rumor has it that David Rudel is working on a new Colle book. Changing from the London to some version of Colle is perhaps not as refreshing as I would like. I feel "1. e4??" is coming my way. "Chess Openings for Kids" will be my compass into the hopefully revitalizing world of double pawn openings.

Blog readers with a sweet tooth for betting should know that the Total for number of months until the next Opening Phobia Attack is 3.5.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Only Opening Book You Will Ever Need?

"Chess Openings for Kids" by John Watson and Graham Burgess

Too many opening books on the book shelves? Still wondering what you would like to play? Well known chess authors John Watson and Graham Burgess might have written the perfect introduction to 50 well known openings and at the same time the only opening book most of us will ever need!

Burgess' "The Mammoth Book of Chess" is a wonderful book. Perhaps the most useful section of that book is the personal and opinionated short introductions to a great number of openings. In "Chess Openings for Kids" Burgess and opening expert John Watson takes it one step further by focusing on fewer openings and adding a little more depth.

After reading through all of the introductions to the 50 mighty opening systems if feel that I want to try them all at once. To be able to provide both enthusiasm, inspiration and basic knowledge is a praise worthy effort.

Highly recommended as a first book on openings and maybe as the book that will replace all the unread opening books in your chess library.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Great Stuff!