Sunday, October 3, 2010

This blog has moved

This blog has now moved address to:

The move has transitioned smoothly. As far as I can see, the email subscriptions have been successfully transferred to the new address so followers do not need to take any action.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Facebook Like Option

You can now choose to 'like' GeniusProphecy Chess using your Facebook account. Either do it on the GP Chess homepage or follow this blog link. Please support our website!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Greatest Chess Performances

I have added a new section to the homepage called 'Greatest Chess Performances'. It is split into two subheadings - 'Greatest of All Time' and 'Greatest Modern Performances', the latter which I am yet to fully compile. So far, there are games from Karpov, Kasparov, Lasker, Tal, Alekhine and Carlsen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bent Larsen passes away at 75

The well-known Danish Grandmaster Jørgen Bent Larsen (1935-2010) passed away on the 12th of September 2010 after a short illness at the age of 75. Born in Tilsted (near Thisted), Denmark, he is considered to be the strongest chess player ever born in Denmark and the strongest to be born in the Scandinavian region at least until the emergence of Magnus Carlsen. Larsen was a world-class player, winning the Danish Championship at least 6 times, and was a Candidate for the World Chess Championship on four occasions. Larsen was awarded the first Chess Oscar in 1967.

Click here to see ChessBase's tribute article to Bent Larsen and Lubomir Kavalek's dedication in The Huffington Post.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Reasons for Playing Chess

In a time of growing uncertainty, I have recently pondered my own motivations for playing chess. After delving to the edge of human knowledge (just kidding!), I have come to better appreciate the royal game we play. The reasons one plays chess is often difficult to explain, particularly to those who do not share our passion. I have tried to break down this reasoning scientifically.

Click here to see the article "Reasons for Playing Chess". Note that the clearly inferior article "Why Play Chess" has now become a 'subset' of this piece.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yes, chess is a sport

Of course chess is a sport, what were you worried about? It is easy to argue chess as a mind sport, but people are often doubtful to call chess a full-fledged sport. However, the skeptics can be silenced when you flamboyantly proclaim that chess is a recognised sport of the International Olympic Committee. Whilst the IOC does approve of chess, it does not feature in the Olympics. Presumably, this is because it is too difficult to arrange - anyway, we already have a World Championship, World Cup and World Teams Olympiad! Any addition of a further world-class tournament would just be confusing.

Here is the visual evidence, from Wikipedia:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A new elusive chess engine

A new free chess engine called Houdini (version 1.03a) has purportedly overtaken Deep Rybka 4 in playing strength! The IPON rating list places Houdini first in front of several big names like Rybka, Stockfish and Naum. Houdini borrows many ideas from the source codes of Ippolit/Robbolito, Stockfish and Crafty, and is hence released as free software.

Click here to visit the Houdini website.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Age is no barrier!

I recently read this paragraph that English Grandmaster Nigel Davies (aged 50) wrote: "Perhaps this... has led to the belief that it is impossible for someone to improve their chess after a certain age. Frankly, I believe this view is total poppycock; players can improve their chess at any age as long as they adopt an effective approach." I think this is sufficient evidence to justify that the excuse of old age has been busted.

On a separate note, I have expanded the Building a chess repertoire article with two new sections: How to learn an opening (coincidentally also based on recommendations from Nigel Davies) and a tip on studying complete games (adapted from English International Master Andrew Martin).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New Chess Ebook!

I have released an ebook called Opening Repertoire Suggestions in PDF format. This is a completely overhauled, revised and updated version of my original "Opening Repertoire Suggestions" article on the GP Chess Website.

I present two opening repertoires. One for those who have limited study time and require systems that are simple to learn but still carry some bite. The other one is a 'strategic repertoire' for those who have more time to dedicate to chess, but who do not have the stomach to digest the main lines.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Video Vault Sample

Here is a sample to my new Chess Openings Video Vault.

Nimzo-Indian Defense (Part I):

If you are viewing this by email, click here to see the sample video.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chess Openings Video Vault

The Chess Openings Video Vault is an exciting new product offered at GeniusProphecy Chess. It is a collection of videos and files providing helpful summaries of a range of chess openings.

Click here for more information on the Chess Openings Video Vault.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Chess-boxing is a trendy new hybrid sport involving alternating rounds of chess and boxing. The creative idea has attracted much attention in Europe. It is excellent that a byproduct of the new sport is to create more awareness of normal chess and hopefully this will lead to more sponsorship for chess events around the world.

Click here to learn more about the mechanics of chess-boxing.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chess Questions

I have created a new page for Frequently Asked Chess Questions. I will add to this question bank over time.

I have already compiled two common questions:

Why is chess so attractive?

When I was taking a look at the demographics for my YouTube channel, I assumed that most people who watched my videos were probably teenagers. I was surprised to find that, by a large margin, most people who watched my videos were aged 35-44. Perhaps this is the age that one comes back to board games which they didn't feel were interesting earlier in their lives!

People have an attraction to chess for a variety of different reasons. Hence, everybody has their own answer to this question. In many cases, I believe the desire to win plays a large part. The feeling of a good win is more satisfying than winning in almost any other primitive battle. It is also a fun pastime, and an enjoyable way to make and spend time with friends...

Why do so few women play chess?

I don't think anyone really knows the answer to this question, but the reason generally put forward is social conditioning, as women are less aggressive by nature. Perhaps also, men tend to be more obsessive and women are far too sensible to persist in playing a board game, unless they can reach the world elite.

With the knowledge that less than 5% of chess players are women, I think it is easy to explain why there are so few women in the list of top chess players...

Click here to see the full article "Frequently Asked Chess Questions".

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Free Multi-Processor Rybka Version

With the release of the new Deep Rybka 4 (which can be purchased commercially), the Rybka team also released a multi-processor version for free download. The previous free version was Rybka 2.2n2, and we can now add Rybka 2.3.2a to the list. This engine is slightly stronger according to the CEGT rating list, with a rating of 2980. Originally, the single processor version of 2.3.2a was available via a highly obscure method, but the multi-processor version was not. Now both versions are downloadable from the Official Rybka website. You can find a discussion of the old Rybka 2.2n2 in my Free Chess Programs article.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Online Qualifiers and Updated Articles

I have expanded upon my articles on correspondence chess and playing chess online. The CC article now includes a list of advantages of correspondence and I also have revised some of the technical details.

Apart from revising the online chess article, I also added a new section on online qualifying tournaments. The text makes reference to the Gibtelecom Chess Festival and Dos Hermanas, but there is actually a series of qualifying tournaments on right now. Running on the weekend of May 28th-30th, Internet Chess Club members can take part in the Arctic Chess Challenge qualifier with the winner receiving automatic invite, air fare, hotel & breakfast and 400 ($485) euro cash prize! There will also be an additional $700 on offer for prizes on the ICC during the online qualifier.

Click here for more information about the Arctic Chess Challenge 2010.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Anand Wins World Championship

Viswanathan "Vishy" Anand (2787, IND) retained the World Championship title by successfully defending it against challenger Veselin Topalov (2805, BUL). I remember watching the 12th game online last night. Anand and Topalov were on an equal score. The opening was the Queen's Gambit Declined and the middlegame looked very drawish to me. I went to sleep fully expecting that the game was drawn and the World Championship would be taken into extra tie-break games, but I was surprised today to learn that Anand had won. He had played ambitiously against Topalov's passive play and was able to break through.

Here are the final results (click the image to enlarge):

I will give an overview of all the games shortly. Watch my 2010 Topalov-Anand World Chess Championship page for any updates. Currently, I have discussed 6 of the games from the WCC, and I will add the other 6 very soon.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lilienthal passes away at 99

Hungarian Grandmaster Andor Lilienthal (1911-2010) passed away yesterday at the age of 99. Born in Moscow, he spent the vast majority of his life in Hungary. He has scored wins against World Champions José Raúl Capablanca, Emanuel Lasker, Vasily Smyslov, Max Euwe and Mikhail Botvinnik, and has also beaten other greats such as Najdorf, Tartakower, Bronstein and Taimanov. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living grandmaster, and the last surviving person from the original group of grandmasters awarded the title by FIDE in 1950.

Click here to see ChessBase's tribute article to Andor Arnoldovich Lilienthal.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Midway into Topalov-Anand World Championship

We are halfway through the 2010 Topalov-Anand World Chess Championship. Anand is currently leading 3.5-2.5. His early opening deviations (from previous games in the same match), aiming to bypass Topalov's preparation, are working well for him.

(Click image for enlargement.)

I have written a summary of all the games of the match so far. This summary page will be updated again at the end of the match.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 World Chess Championship

The 2010 World Chess Championship is currently being played out. The match is being played from April 24 to May 13, 2010 in Sofia, Bulgaria. It is a traditional one-on-one challenger vs champion match. The combatants are Challenger Veselin Topalov (2805, Bulgaria) and World Champion Viswanathan Anand (2787, India).

The World Championship is a twelve-game match, with a prize fund of 2 million euros.

(Click the image for enlargement.)

Interesting note: the Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen (2813) very recently took up the FIDE No.1 World Ranking, displacing Topalov who had been No.1 for a while.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Strategy Games Section

I have created a very primitive Strategy Games Section on the homepage. The purpose of the section is to discuss other strategy games similar to chess. Currenly, poker and the Rubik's Cube are considered. Although I may add another game such as checkers or shogi, I don't have any real plans to expand it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chess Engines Race!

I will need to update my Free Chess Programs article soon, as the chess engines section is constantly changing all the time.

As far as I know, the best CEGT-rated chess engine at the moment is Stockfish 1.6.3. On a 32-bit operating system and with 2 CPUs, the latest version of Stockfish is rated 3043, a whole 82 points above the free version of Rybka (version 2.2n2) on the same hardware.

The IppoLit family of free chess engines is still not rated by the CEGT Computer Rating List, but word around is that they are even stronger than Deep Rybka 3 (which is stronger than Stockfish). RobboLito, mentioned in my Free Chess Programs article, has now been superceded. RobboLito was surpassed by IvanHoe, which has now been superceded by the even stronger FireBird.

The creators of FireBird state that their goal was to "combine all the best ideas, features, and strengths from the IppoLit family of releases... IppoLit, RobboLito, Igorrit, and IvanHoe". Note that, unlike RobboLito, FireBird is now fully usable in an UCI interface such as Fritz and it now supports multiple processors.

FireBird has an estimated Elo rating of 3400, and even though computer testers haven't tested this engine yet, it is unofficially the strongest free chess engine available.

Nevertheless, I still recommend analysing with Rybka 2.2n2. Even though it has a miniscule rating of 2961, I believe it creates the most accurate assessments of positions. Rybka is known for its modest assessments of positions, making it very handy to use in analysis.

Whilst FireBird and Stockfish may play stronger moves purely on a numeric basis, they do not necessarily evaluate the position correctly. For example, they may assess a position as winning for White when in fact the correct assessment is a slight advantage for White. For this reason, they are less useful for human-assisted analysis.

However, the best way forward, if you have super-powerful hardware, is to run Rybka as the main engine and have FireBird kibitzing in the background.

Note that for people with a single processor and 32-bit operating system, there is a very obscure way to obtain a Rybka 2.3.2a (which is a tiny bit stronger than 2.2n2), detailed in my Rybka article.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How to Access CBH, CBV and PGN Files

A brief guide for beginners on how to access chess game formats such as CBH, CBV and PGN.

Click here to see the full article "How to Access CBH, CBV and PGN Files".

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Smyslov passes away at age 89

7th World Champion Vassily Smyslov passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at the age of 89.

Smyslov was known for his positional chess and superb endgame knowledge. A lesser known fact is that he was also a great combinational player, evident in a number of spectacular tactical shots thoughout his career.

Interesting fact: Apart from playing excellent chess, Smyslov sometimes gave musical performances during chess tournaments, often accompanied by fellow GM and concert pianist Mark Taimanov. In fact, he only decided upon a career in chess after when he failed an audition for the Bolshoi Theatre in 1950.

Click here to see ChessBase's tribute article to Smyslov.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Brief History of Chess

I compiled information from Encyclopædia Britannica and World Book to create a timeline on the origins of chess and other interesting historical data.

Click here to see the article "Brief History of Chess".

Friday, March 5, 2010

Best Chess Interfaces and GUIs

Chess engines are normally not standalone programs: they need an adequate interface in order to run them. Today, I'm going to run through a number of chess interfaces/GUIs (graphical user interfaces).

Nowadays, most leading interfaces support the Universal Chess Interface protocol, which is widely considered to produce the strongest engines in the world. Almost all of the following interfaces double as chess database/analysis software...

See the full article "Best Chess Interfaces and GUIs".

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chess Book Recommendations

Chess books are the ultimate source of knowledge on chess. In technical terms, they can provide more detailed material than DVDs. Some players even credit 1800+ of their rating points to a single book! There is an abundance of chess literature out there and today, I'm going to go through some of my personal recommendations. I have broken the suggestions up into categories so they are easier to digest.


Opening books on specific openings are either superseded or go out of date quickly, so I'm not going to recommend any titles in that department. However, you can find some book/DVD recommendations that complement repertoires in my "opening repertoire suggestions" article...

See the full article "Chess Book Recommendations".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sveshnikov's 60th Birthday

Evgeny Sveshnikov, born in Cheliabinsk, Russia, on February 11, 1950, is perhaps best known for the opening named after him, the Sveshnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defence (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5). To be honest, having played the Sveshnikov Variation many times before, I hadn't realised this grandmaster was so young! Evgeny Sveshnikov became an IM at 25 and a GM at 27.

It is interesting to note that in January of 1984, Sveshnikov was diagnosed with third stage cancer. He survived and went on to live a normal life.

Check out ChessBase's tribute article "Evgeny Sveshnikov turns sixty".

Friday, February 12, 2010

Review of Roman's Lab DVDs

Roman's Lab is a range of chess DVDs that have been released within the last few years and I believe the series hasn't finished yet. The DVDs are presented by famous American Grandmaster Roman "Dzindzi" Dzindzichashvili. Best known for his videos and books nowadays, he was once within the world top 10. Throughout his career, he has landed defeats on big names such as 6th World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik, Bronstein, Larsen, Timman, Shabalov and Nakamura. He has worked with 12th World Champion Karpov, 13th World Champion Kasparov, Kamsky, Korchnoi and Perelshteyn. Roman has come equal first in the US Championship twice. According to Wikipedia, his peak rating was 2703 in October 1978. These days, he is much older (65 at the time of writing), but he is still well known for his very strong online play...

See the full article "Roman's Lab DVDs".

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Chess DVD Reviews

I have reviewed several chess DVD series recently. DVDs are a great way to learn if you want to take a more relaxed approach to chess improvement.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chess Styles

Long since the days of Ruy Lopez and Greco have players argued about chess styles. Before we continue this article, I would like to bring to attention some important words that my chess coach FIDE Master Geoff Saw said to me, "I really doubt that [12th World Champion] Karpov would ever play an inferior move just because it's more congenial to his style. But if the moves are objectively about the same anyway then it's fine for personal preferences to take over... Way too many players wreck themselves by deciding that they are an 'attacking' playing or a 'positional' player, and this kind of self-labelling stops them working properly on areas of weakness." A player must be careful that their style does not get in the way of playing the best objective moves. Now that the 'disclaimer' is over, let's continue onto the main discussion.

It is often said that our chess style emulates our personality. For example, an outgoing person might be an aggressive chess player. Although we can't draw anything extremely deep from this, it is one of those unique nuances that apply to chess...

See the full article "Chess Styles".

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Book on The Legendary Bobby Fischer

There has been much literature written on 11th World Champion Robert James "Bobby" Fischer, considered by many, including the highest ever rated player 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov, as the best chess player in history. "Bobby Fischer – The Career and Complete Games of the American World Chess Champion" is a new 408-page book by German Grandmaster Karsten Müller...

See the full article "New Book on The Legendary Bobby Fischer".

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lack of Improvement in Chess

Today, I'm going to discuss some issues you might face when you're playing chess long term.

Chess Ceilings

Chess authors often talk about "chess ceilings", where each chess player has their own peak standard of play and can never improve above that level. Grandmaster John Nunn, in Secrets of Practical Chess, stated: "It is my belief that most players never get anywhere near their natural ceiling, and that considerable improvement is possible with appropriate education, training and practice...

Click here for the full article "Lack of Improvement in Chess".

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New French Chess Movie

There is an interesting new French chess movie soon to be released called Queen to Play (also known as Joueuse), starring Sandrine Bonnaire and Kevin Kline. Jennifer Beals has a cameo.

See the article "French Chess Movie" for more details and a trailer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two New Extremely Strong Engines (For Free!)

There are two new chess engines available that have shown to be very strong. Stockfish 1.6.2 JA readily outforms Rybka 2.2n2 (strongest multi-processor version of Rybka available for free) on the CEGT computer rating list. The other engine is RobboLito 0.085g3. This engine is still in preliminary stages of testing, but some say that it is even stronger than the newest version of Rybka (Deep Rybka 3.0).

For more information, I have made the appropriate updates to my "Free Chess Programs" article. Scroll down to the "Playing Software and Engines" section. If you have visited this article recently, you may want to refresh the page.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Material Odds Tip

To save me having to do a second update, I have added a screenshot of my website statistics for your interest.

Have you ever found playing against your computer boring? Computer are not great at simulating particular playing strengths and of course, they are way too strong to play against at their optimum level.

But, there is a great way to have an interesting game with the computer: simply do a "position setup", remove say, a rook from the computer's pieces, and try to convert the advantage against the computer. If you master a rook-up starting position, try playing with knight-odds, pawn-odds, etc.

It is easy to do position setup in Fritz and presumably other software like Chess Assistant, Scid, etc. If you don't have any of this software, I recommend using the simple and easy-to-use program Tarrasch, which comes with a pre-installed Rybka 2.2n2 engine. Or go to the Tarrasch homepage. I discuss the Rybka engine more in my article World's Strongest Chess Program for Free.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

World Chess Champions

An overview of the world's best players including interesting facts about them. This article contains a list of all world champions (including FIDE and Classical World Champions).

Click here for the full article "World Chess Champions".

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chess as a Career

Unless your top 10 material, it seems that most professional chess players aren't particularly wealthy and may even be in financial difficulties at times. The fact is that chess is mainly a one-way road in terms of money. Basically, money goes out, no money comes back in. Of course, some younger lower-rated players do get lucky and strike a major sponsorship deal, but speaking as a 2100 player, I am severely in the red when I play chess, particularly in stronger tournaments when entry fees are often higher and one needs to purchase airtickets, accommodation, etc. It does get better when a player earns his International Master title (or higher), as they are then offered many free services such as free membership on PlayChess and waived entry fees to weaker tournaments...

Click here to read the full article "Chess as a Career".

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Correspondence Chess

Correspondence chess is a form of long distance chess where moves are delivered by services such as email, traditional post, fax and homing pigeon...

Click here for the full article "Correspondence Chess".

Friday, January 1, 2010

Creating Your Own Chess Website/Blog

Would you like to run your own chess website or blog? Today I'm going to run over a basic tutorial on how to do so. I will go through 4 possible options. Note that this guide is universally applicable to subjects other than chess.

Free Blog

A free blog is the simplest to set up. I recommend using Blogger, a service run by Google. I currently run two chess blogs on Blogger, Australian Chess News and GeniusProphecy Chess (note: the latter is used to inform about updates to this website).

Creating a blog on Blogger is extraordinarily easy...

Click here to see the full article "Creating Your Own Chess Website/Blog".