Archive for Columns

Wednesday, March 03, 2010 20:46
He watched Max Euwe become World Champion. He chatted with Emanuel Lasker, and saved dozens of Jewish babies during the Second World War. Last night I had the privilege to play a club game against 99-year-old Professor Dr Johan van Hulst. I couldn't beat him. Photo: Fred Lucas Professor Dr Johan Wilhelm van Hulst was born in Amsterdam on January...
Thursday, February 04, 2010 17:00
There’s a picture of Mikhail Tal that has always seemed to me the ultimate chess player’s pose: Tal's looking at the board, chin on his thumb, his other arm folded under his fist, utter determination in his eyes. But what was Tal actually thinking at the time the picture was taken? When I was just starting out as a chess player, I noticed my...
Sunday, January 31, 2010 20:12
Chess players, perhaps insisting on their world-wide status as 'smart people', have always seemed to me more formalistic and pedantic than your average customer at the grocery's. But sometimes being 'wrong' is much more fun. How do you spell 'Korchnoi'? The questions rears its ugly head from time to time on chess forums and blogs. At first, it...
Friday, January 15, 2010 18:15
How would you fare as a chessplayer being transported back in time? Would your contemporary theoretical opening knowledge pay off? Would your understanding of modern ideas in chess strategy trump older concepts about chess? These questions came into my head as I read a recent article on the Aardvarchaeology Scienceblog called The Fear of Time...
Tuesday, January 05, 2010 17:48
Every chess player, no matter how weak, has a high point in his career. Mine occurred in May 2007, during the last round of the Dutch Team Chess Championship. I was playing in the Master League, the highest level in Dutch chess, and I was surrounded by all the top players of The Netherlands. Moreover, I had prepared a spectacular line which was...
Saturday, December 26, 2009 21:49
Yesterday TIME featured a short interview with the new world's new number 1 Magnus Carlsen. Despite the fact that there were only ten questions with relatively short answers, I liked it so much that it got me thinking about chess journalism in general. Why can't interviews with chess players always be this sharp? The main reason why I thought the...
Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:12
Two interviews with World Champion Viswanathan Anand have appeared in Indian newspapers this week, and in one of them he makes a remarkable statement. To the question whether GM Ganguly will again be in his team of seconds for the match against Topalov, the World Champion answers he's doesn't know yet. "But one thing is for sure, Magnus Carlsen (...
Monday, December 14, 2009 1:06
With the first decade drawing to a close, many sites look back on the past ten years and publish their lists of ‘greatest’ movies and books, most influential people, most important historical events and most significant technological developments. In chess, it’s not difficult to establish the most important change, which is of course the rise of...
Wednesday, December 02, 2009 22:19
"In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace—and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock," said Harry Lime in Orson Welles' The Third Man. In FIDE, for twenty years they lacked democracy and love for chess, and what did that produce? The zero-tolerance rule. For the first time since Toiletgate,...
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 19:20
Now that I've finally accepted that I probably won't be World Chess Champion, it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to set goals in chess. What's worse, I've noticed I am trying to force my will upon my opponents by different means than winning the game. If you play blitz or bullet online, you've probably encountered opponents who, after...

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