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Monday, March 24, 2014 10:11
For the second time in two years I decided to visit the Reykjavik Open tournament in Iceland – not to play chess, but to watch it, and enjoy the country’s hospitality and natural wonders. Last year, I didn’t have enough time to see any glaciers or volcanoes, though I did manage to visit Bobby Fischer’s grave and make a tour of the ‘Golden Circle...
Kasparov, Nakamura, and Mark Zuckerberg's hoodie
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 12:00
When, in 1995, Garry Kasparov employed the ancient Evans Gambit, I was thrilled - in part because I was a live witness to it, in his game against Jeroen Piket, at the Euwe Memorial tournament. But I was also a tiny bit annoyed, because I realized it was only now that many people would start taking this fascinating gambit seriously. In fact, I had...
Monday, November 11, 2013 14:03
When it turned out that I would be in Chennai, India, in November during the World Championship match between Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen, I was, like any chess fan would be, over the moon. I even posted a photograph of my visa on my Facebook page to annoy my chess friends who would have to remain at home.  But in real life, things always turn...
Gladwell on chess and the ’10,000 hours rule’
Sunday, August 25, 2013 10:51
Malcolm Gladwell, the author of the best-selling book Outliers, has written a piece on the website of The New Yorker dealing with some of the criticism he’s received over his popularization of the so-called ’10,000 hours’ rule that he describes in above-mentioned book. This rule, which postulates that “the key to success in any field is, to a...
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 14:32
Two weeks ago I played my first chess tournament in years. It was a rapid tournament in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn and because every round was played in a different café, it was called the ‘Apeldoorn Bar Hopping’ tournament . I didn’t do badly at all, which was probably because, unlike many other participants, I couldn’t drink any alcohol as I...
A Perfect Harmony
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Monday, May 13, 2013 13:46
Recently I saw the movie A Late Quartet, directed by Yaron Zilberman, about four professional musicians in a famous string quartet struggling with rivalry, love and old age. Playing a little bit of classical piano myself, I found it interesting to see a Hollywood movie taking the subject of classical music itself seriously. It also reminded me of...
Eljanov-So shake hands after three moves at the Reykjavik Open
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 10:42
The three-move draw (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 ½-½) between Pavel Eljanov and Wesley So at the Reykjavik Open has re-opened the never-ending debate on (short) draws in chess. Was it acceptable? Does it matter if such a last-round draw lasts 10 moves, or 15? Let's look at a few different arguments which have been expressed in recent years. Eljanov-...
Monday, October 29, 2012 23:11
Last week, when I read about the recent cheating scandal in the German Bundesliga, GM Falko Bindrich's open letter responding to the accusations and especially the comments below the article, I immediately thought of a book on cheating I happened to be reading: Dan Ariely's The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How we Lie to Everyone - Especially...
Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 14:49
Although it’s not the most popular genre around, there is definitely a market for chess books on psychology and subjective experience. For me, Jonathan Rowson’s Chess for Zebras (2005) is still one of the highlights in this category. While reading this book, I often found myself wondering how I had managed to survive without it! I had the same...
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Monday, July 16, 2012 17:05
I’m normally a bit skeptical when chess players give lectures – cobbler, stick to thy last! – but Vishy Anand’s recent Accenture lecture (posted on ChessVibes) is an absolute must-see for every chess enthusiast. Vishy Anand during his Accenture lecture in Madrid | Photo Accenture España The lecture, on the ambitious topic of decision-making, is...

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