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".