I had a brief, though quite interesting, exchange with a gentleman not long ago. It started with a query concerning Louisa Matilda Ballard Fagan, the Italian born English chess player who scored 2nd in the Ladies' International Chess Co... | Read More
I think about chess a lot. I think about chess news, chess history, chess openings and endgames, my chess friends (living and dead), beautiful chess games, and how my 4,000 chess books are pushing me out of my home.
But my main chess thoughts ar... | Read More
As 2014 draws to a close, it’s a natural time to look back at the best chess of the year.
The past year was a good one for fans of the world’s most popular board game. There was an exciting world championship match, several amaz... | Read More
The last couple of months were a real paradise for true chess aficionados. The world's top events (including the world championship!) followed one after another.
Today, I offer you an opportunity to test your chess skills and find the star moves... | Read More
"Every time the Berlin endgame shows up on the board," GM Vladimir Kramnik remarked a few weeks ago, "everyone starts to cry quietly, [because] such positions are boring. However, games are often full of exciting play, although there are... | Read More
Professor: Hello, class.
They all greeted the professor as if saying goodbye.
Professor: Don't look so glum.
Rachel: Isn't this the last class?
Zephyr: All good things come to an end.
Lucian: Do they have to?
Wei: Yes, but each ending is a t... | Read More
Like the Kan/Paulsen, the so-called "Modern Defense" is an opening with many names. When I first met it, as a beginning chess player, I knew it as the "Robatsch Defense."
It has also been called the Ufimtsev Defense, the Kotov Defense, the Pi... | Read More
When I was still playing in tournaments I answered 1.e4 with various Sicilian lines (Richter-Rauzer, Accelerated Dragon, Paulsen and Taimanov systems, etc.) and the Caro-Kann.
I always loved the Caro-Kann, and at the end of my career it became m... | Read More
I had stumbled across the archived "New York Times" obituary notice for Edmar Mednis (February 22, 2002, by Dylan Loeb McClain). The obit, of course, reviews his life, but pivots on the point that, although Mednis (pictured left in 19... | Read More
Your favorite holiday chess tradition is back!
Chess.com is proud to celebrate the holiday season with an all-new puzzler quiz for 2014.
The 2014 Holiday Puzzler has ended. Thanks to all who played and commented.
O... | Read More
© 2014, José Diaz
Interview with José Diaz
José Diaz Official Website
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Most people are fascinated by optical illusions. Indeed it is a very strange feeling that what you see with your own eyes is not exactly what it is.
This reminds me of the punchline to the old joke that I already mentioned in this article: "who ... | Read More
Professor: It's good to see you, class.
The kids didn't say much. A few of them even looked sad.
Professor: Why so pale and wan, if I may ask?
Rachel: Well, the semester's coming to an end.
Professor: That's true. But you've all learned... | Read More
The concept of overprotection, invented and verbalized by Nimzowitsch in My System, is defined by IM Jeremy Silman as "a strategically important pawn or square that is given more protection than it seemingly needs. Essentially a prophylactic ... | Read More
Last week, we looked at the history of the Paulsen Sicilian until the late 1950s.
Around this time, it was accepted that the c2-c4 plan was not terribly dangerous for Black, whose dark-squared bishop was still unimpeded by the pawn. The li... | Read More
Why study traps?
There are several good reasons why studying traps might be considered important. First, of course, to avoid becoming a victim of one. Second is to recognize when the opportunity of gaining a quick victory appears. B... | Read More
Several years ago I was visiting a friend and he was online looking at live games in a team match event. One game was between a grandmaster (who had the Black pieces) and an international master.
A zillion people were using a zillion chess engin... | Read More
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Peter’s Chess Vibes
“This Bulletin focuses on the World Championship — especially the featured article and the opening articl... | Read More
How many games have been played on Chess.com?
OK, so maybe Dr. Evil asked for 100 billion, but we're getting there.
A billion is a big number. If one game started every second, 24 hours a day, it would take nearly 32 years to get to a billio... | Read More
If you were to ask a hundred grandmasters to name the most difficult chess variation about which to write an opening book, my guess is that the 6 Bg5 Najdorf would be the frontrunner. It is perhaps the most analysed line in chess history, the pi&e... | Read More
The chess world gasped when in game six of this year's world championship match, both Carlsen and Anand missed a simple tactical shot 26...Nxe5! (see #10 in the second part of this series).
Some reporters even rushed to call it "the bi... | Read More
Professor: Good afternoon, class. Are you ready for some chess?
Three quarters of the students expressed a certain readiness. One quarter didn't.
Rachel: I think all eight of us are ready, professor.
Zephyr: Eight? Are there really that many... | Read More
The double attack is a devastating tactical weapon.
A double attack can come out of nowhere, instantly winning the game in a complex position. Combinations and tactical shots are usually made possible by a certain aspect of the position -- a vul... | Read More
The Open Sicilian can be broken down into four basic systems.
In one, the Dragon, the black bishop is fianchettoed on g7.
In the Scheveningen, it is developed on e7 while Black adopts a "little center" of pawns on d6 and e6.
In a third, t... | Read More
Despite the War, the 1940s were an exciting time in American chess, especially in New York. The USCF, newly formed, still seemed vibrant and "Chess Review," Horowitz' somewhat self-serving periodical, reflected the vivacious... | Read More