Archive for Columns

Thursday, April 23, 2009 3:49
Everybody has a favourite chess move. Many just love 23...Qg3. Tim Krabb?©'s favourite is 16...Nc6. According to British Chess Magazine, it's 47...Bh3. And a member of my local chess club is obsessed by the move 7.Ke3! in the Traxler Counter-Attack. These are all highly spectacular moves. My own favourite is the¬†very modest queen-shuffle 2.Qe2. I...
Wednesday, April 08, 2009 19:08
I've always found it difficult to take the concept of chess as a team sport very seriously. The U.S.A., arguably the country most obsessed with team sports, didn't have a national chess team competition until 2005. Makes you wonder, doesn't? Then there's the fact that a team sport seems to require by definition, cooperation - which is pretty...
Tuesday, March 24, 2009 17:00
This is not a review of an actual chess book that was recently published. However, the article was inspired by a book, and I really wish someone would write this book with a view to chess. I'm talking about The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, which is about 'the impact of the highly improbable'. As Taleb explains in the prologue,...
Wednesday, March 04, 2009 1:10
Last week, ChessBase was apparently 'forced to cease Internet broadcasting of the Topalov-Kamsky match'. As we noted in our report on the first match game, live broadcasting of the chess moves in this match without permission was prohibited by the Bulgarian Chess Federation (although they didn't seem to have a problem with Chessdom's, Crestbook's...
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:22
In his fourth column about beauty in chess, Michael Schwerteck was inspired by the recent German championship, as well as by ski jumping. It has always bugged me that the scoring system in chess is so primitive. As everybody knows, there are only three possible results: 1, 1/2, and 0. However, there are so many different ways to achieve them! Let...
Sunday, February 15, 2009 22:23
One of the strangest news items concerning the upcoming World Chess Challenge match Topalov-Kamsky was published not on some obscure chess blog, but on the main page of the FIDE.com site. Its headline runs 'The chances of Topalov and Kamsky are fifty fifty'. I was instantly curious, since it seemed clear to me that Topalov was the absolute...
Thursday, February 12, 2009 15:00
Why do we play chess at all? Why bother? Today is an exceptionally good day to ask yourself that question. You'll probably answer: ' Because I like it!' Well, yes, but that was not the kind of 'why' I meant. Why do people have sex? Because they like it - doh! But why do they like it? This is the question Charles Darwin, who was born exactly 200...
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 5:23
All successful chess players are alike; every unsuccesful chess player is unsuccessful in his own way. I was eight years old and I was excited as any eight-year-old can be. My excitement was caused not by chess, but by the arrival of a book I had ordered, titled How to be a Spy. It was full of thrilling tips which could be used by our 'group' in...
Wednesday, January 07, 2009 22:22
In the first week of 2009, both Henrik Carlsen (representing his son Magnus) and Vladimir Kramnik (since December 28 the proud father of a baby girl) have expressed their thoughts on the current world championship cycle as well as their ideas for a future set-up. It's interesting to see that Kramnik's opinion is diametrically opposed to Carlsen's...
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 18:08
Do you know who Britney Spears' manager is? Do you care? Okay, I admit having read a news item about the breakup between Britney Spears and her previous manager, but, of course, that was not because of the news itself, but because it involved Britney. And I have absolutely no idea who her new manager is. Actually, the reason I clicked on the above...

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